Understanding the Complex Social Media Marketing Playing Field: PubCon Las Vegas 2008, Day 1

Nov 12, 2008 | 1,566 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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Coming up with a successful social media marketing campaign isn't much different from constructing a skyscraper. The steps involved aren't much different either:

  • Research the Materials
  • Lay a Strong Foundation
  • Continue Regular Maintenance in order to ensure your building, in this case your social media marketing promotion campaign, doesn’t collapse.

Moderator:

  • Joe Laratro

Speakers:

  • Cameron Olthuis (CEO, Factive Media)
  • Neil Patel (CTO, Advantage Consulting Services, Inc.)
  • Michael Gray (President, Atlas Web Service)
  • Rand Fishkin (CEO, SEOMoz)

The agenda of 'Understanding the Complex Social Media Marketing Playing Field' was led by moderator Joe Laratro. He and an elite panel of social media architects shared some crucial social media design tips.

Some important contribution by each speaker during the discussion (discussed in detail further down):

  • Rand Fishkin, the Chief Executive Officer of SEOmoz, offered crucial tips on some building blocks for a thorough Social Media Marketing Campaign
  • Michael Gray, the president of Atlas Web Service, presented a strategic design plan (blueprint) to build a successful social promotion campaign.
  • Cameron Olthuis, the Chief Executive Officer of Factive Media, outlined some essential practices to be followed in order to interact with social communities in ten steps.
  • Neil Patel, the CTO of Advantage Consulting Services, Inc., concluded the session with a much-ignored but important look at “the dark side” of the process of social media marketing.

Some Building Blocks for a thorough Social Media Marketing Campaign

Your social media plan should comprise of a mix of the below-stated components:

  • Democratized Social News sites: Such tools enable an online marketer to interact with a community by providing various options, such as voting/ranking on content and submitting content of their own that can be voted/ranked by others. Some examples are Digg, Reddit, Mixx, and Newsline.
  • Editor-Controlled News Sites Sites, such as Yahoo! Buzz, that accepts and displays user-submitted content as per their editorial guidelines. Such sites are generally quite high profile and have the ability to generate substantial results.
  • Social Sites: Social sites provide one with an opportunity to simultaneously build and interact with a network, as well as publish some original content. The original content can be published in a variety of forms, such as links, news, photos, videos, and more. Some examples are Facebook, Myspace and LinkedIn.
  • Micro-Blogging Sites on Twitter, Plurk and Friendfeed: One can submit original content in 140 characters or lesser. This enables one to publish interesting content to a large audience, acting as an instant megaphone.
  • Social Bookmarking Sites: Internet Marketeers can submit URLs to sites, such as StumbleUpon, Delicious and Blinklist, in order to drive traffic to the specific pages. You can also use these websites for researching what specific type of content interests your target audience.
  • Social Content Sharing Sites: Sites, such as Youtube, Flickr, Yelp and DeviantArt, enables one to post specific types of content, ranging from videos and photos to reviews. Using such sites, marketeers can spread their brand message and reach out to new audience and feature in universal search results.
  • Wiki Sites: Wikis are an efficient way to feature on search results, since they generally rank quite high on SERPs. Marketeers can use wikis to post content and also edit existing content, reaching out to new audience. For an example of the same we don't have to look beyond Wikipedia.
  • Social Question & Answer Sites: Marketers can simultaneously post questions to other users as well as answer the existing ones on sites such as Yahoo! Answers and Wiki Answers. This can help them significantly in enhancing their brand reputation and as well conducting audience research.
  • Niche Sites Social: Marketeers can use the same to reach out to a highly relevant audience since these sites target a very specific niche. Ex, Corked for all wine enthusiasts

Creating Blueprints

A well-though out and detailed plan can undoubtedly increase the chance of success for your social media campaign. The following steps will ensure that your social media marketing campaign is as effective as you want it to be:

  • Ensure a thorough background research in order to find where your audience is online. To get an idea of their interests you can go through the content they have submitted themselves. Moreover, attempt to identify thought-leaders who can further spread your message. This way you will be able to spread the message to a broader audience.
  • A session of brainstorming can generate some good ideas for promotions. Take into account what all has clicked previously and build upon the same without copying. Try to filter all your ideas as per workability.
  • Try to incorporate some idea research by following up on your ideas to check their validity. Do this keeping in mind the current happenings of the social media you are targeting. Never try to force a bad idea.
  • Story Production and Formatting: Make sure that you are writing in a viral writing style. Try to avoid typical marketing language. Use multimedia to enrich your content.
  • Schedule and Launch: try to make yourself aware of how many times in the day or week does your audience interact on the social sites. Heavy promotions during holidays or major events are a good idea to generate timely interest.

Building Yourself a Foundation

The key to build a good foundation for your social media marketing campaign is to ensure that you interact efficiently with a social community. As Cameron Olthuis had quoted, “It’s called social for a reason.” Ensure that when you socialize within a community you follow some of these guidelines:

  • Network, Socialize: The whole process of making new friends, joining groups and participating frequently in the community, should be a continual one.
  • Genuineness and authenticity are of utmost importance. Try to always remember what your audience wants.
  • Ensure that you give the users something they benefit with. Provide this in different and subtle forms, such as advice, expert tips, inside information or something entertaining.
  • Never force an interaction. Let people act naturally. This would let users play with your content and have fun while they do so.
  • Be alert to positive as well as negative reactions by monitoring all the content once it’s live. Improve your content accordingly.

The Fake Facade

Neil Patel gave his perspective at what he calls 'The Dark Side' of social media marketing. He provided some low down tips and tricks that marketeers can use in order to obtain positive social media results

  • Screwing People: One can make a dent on the competitor's reputation by submitting useless and negative content from a competitor’s site.
  • Creation of Social Media Rings: Forming a ring of people who would vote up your content. This often becomes a “dark” practice when overused.
  • Social Media Applications: Applications, such as Tube Increaser and Twitter Friend Adder enables marketeers to add large number of friends to their accounts.
  • Forced Actions: Patel gave the example of iframes code, which is used to ‘force’ people to subscribe to content. Example of the same is the YouTube channel, wherein you subscribe just by visiting.
  • Blog Links: Patel pointed out that certain blog formats, such as WordPress, can be hacked. This could allow marketers to insert their links in the same.

Patel also advised marketeers to go through “light” reading resources. He emphasized that one has to come up with a holistic social media campaign by ensuring the three major stages outlined in the session, namely building blocks, strategic blueprint and a solid foundation.
Ensure routine maintenance by interacting regularly in the social communities. Marketeers ought to regularly inspect their progress by searching for their content on the sites, such as Technorati, Google Blogsearch, search.twitter.com, etc.

Keep yourself further updated with the latest happenings at the PubCon Las Vegas 2008 by coming to the PageTraffic Blog.

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Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail Understanding the Complex Social Media Marketing Playing Field: PubCon Las Vegas 2008, Day 1
4.thumbnail Understanding the Complex Social Media Marketing Playing Field: PubCon Las Vegas 2008, Day 1