Category Archives: Social networks

Facebook, Feeds and Micro-Blogging

It seems like no online marketing seminar is complete nowadays without at least one session on social media. SES San Jose was no exception – social media optimization is definitely creating a buzz in the industry (as it has been for at least the last year).

Moderator:
Kevin Ryan, VP, Global Content Director, Search Engine Strategies & Search Engine Watch

Speakers:
Andy Beal, Consultant, Blogger & Author, Marketing Pilgrim LLC
David Snyder, Search Specialist, JRDunn.com
Neil Patel, Co-founder, ACS
Brian Morrissey, Digital Editor, AdWeek

Andy:

Twitter
Make sure you secure your company name – even if you aren’t going to use it.

Basic symbols:

  • @andybeal directs a message to that user (public)
  • d andybeal sends a direct message that is
  • #olympics are used for tagging tweets
  • favorites are used to bookmark tweets you want to revisit
  • delete: this is possible but beware, Tweets can get syndicated in different places so even though you may delete a Tweet, it isn’t necessarily gone

Be selective with who you follow. You’ll realize why after a while. With Twitter it is easy to receive a lot of noise from people or subjects you don’t care about. Some people you might want to follow:

  • Peers
  • Press
  • Influencers
  • Customers

Look out for interesting conversations. The medium really supports these when they happen. Don’t send Twitter spam – this is such a conversational medium, any attempts to use it solely for commercial gains looks transparently salesy and just doesn’t go down well.

If you want to get into someone else’s network, think to copy your message into their thread using @[username] at the beginning of the post.  Their network of followers will see you message.

Use services like Twitterfeed to cross-promote blog content on Twitter (everytime you blog, all those following you on Twitter are automatically notified).

Your Twitter reputation IS your reputation so don’t get pulled into negative conversations – in most cases you can just let them play themselves out.

Use search to find those with similar interests (who you can choose to follow).

Brian:

As a journalist, I use Twitter to develop sources and find out who is writing on certain issues. Comcast and Zappos are good examples of companies using Twitter to manage their reputation online.

Neil:

Facebook
Some Facebook stats:

  • 73% of people are white
  • 30% make over 100k
  • 43% didn’t go to college

David:

Friendfeed
The best way to describe this service is as RSS on steroids – brings all social network data to one place and allow you to interact with that data. The big problem with social media is that it is so diverse. If you post images on Flickr, post on Blogger or leave content in any of a number of places across the web, then bring all your activity into one place with Friendfeed.

Optimizing for news search

News search engines have grown in popularity over the last few years. This session covered how to make the most of press releases and news content to tap into the power of news search.

Moderator:
Dana Todd, CMO, Newsforce

Speakers:
Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Online Marketing
Greg Jarboe, President & Co-founder, SEO-PR
Lisa Buyer, President & CEO, The Buyer Group

Lisa:

Some background on the press industry. Journalists are lucky to have a job and will now most likely work for more than one publication.

  • 64% use google or yahoo to follow news
  • 85% visit a corporate blog once a month

In addition, journalists use LinkedIn and Facebook to find sources. Lisa gives the example of a journalist who uses Google News to find the top 20 technology stories and build a digest. It is also common for journalists to use Google alerts to keep up on subject updates.

Lisa made the point that often press releases are written using too much jargon and industry-specific language. The AP Style Guide (used frequently by journalists) recommends using 7/8 Grade English level. The advice here is to use this in press releases.

If you need help optimizing releases, there are a number of tools available, including:

It is important if you use agencies, that your SEO and PR agencies should work together around strategy and operations.

Remember to think about lead generation as well when it comes to measuring the value of PR.

Multimedia content
Adding multimedia content to releases can really help boost visibility. For instance, YouTube clips can be embedded in PRWeb releases.

Images are always useful, as journalists (especially trade journalists) are always looking for images. Don’t forget to think of graphs if you are stuck for good quality images.

Lee:

Beyond straight press release optimization, think of how you display your releases on your site. Often this is by date order which isn’t that meaningful for search engines. Think about ordering PR releases by category or even keyword.

You should consider optimizing the following:

  • Press releases
  • Online newsrooms
  • Corporate blogs
  • Whitepapers and other marketing collateral

You’ll often hear SEOs talk about keyword density but don’t obsess over this for press releases. Just try and include the core keywords at least 3-4 times.

Measurement
Measurement is key. Think about press release analytics and social media monitoring.

Greg:

Greg went through some examples and showed how adding an image to a PR release helped generate a thumbnail in Google News (which in turn led to greater visibility).

Blog outreach programs are useful to push a new idea. However, you should think of blogs like publishing houses – sell content that will appeal to their audiences. Don’t just pass on press releases.

When it comes to measurement, Quantcast is a good independent way to gauge traffic.

During the questions, Dana Todd cited this Website Magazine article which explains how your website can be included as a Google News publisher.

Storyteller Marketing – SES

Subtitle: How The Art of Storytelling Matches Up With the Business of Marketing

Stories have been around since the beginning of communication, and there’s a reason: it’s a form of communication that beats all others when it comes to delivering a memorable, motivating, and meaningful message.

This is another session that deals with the popular (and someone thorny) issue of how to handle visitors once they get to your site. In addition, this session also covered how to attract more people through inclusion in Google News (the most popular online news service).

Moderator:
Rebecca Lieb, Contributing Editor, ClickZ

Speakers:
Gary Stein, Director of Strategy, Ammo Marketing
Sally Falkow, President, Expansion Plus Inc.
Larry Lawfer, Founder/President, YourStorys.com

Gary:

People listen to a story and act inefficiently, however there is no denying that stories shape behavior. The best brand marketing builds a story around your brand – it doesn’t just pump out brand messages. (I’m thinking of the story around how Krishna Bharat built Google News after wanting balanced news accounts following the September 11New York bombings).

Apparently, there are only five stories that can be told:

Origin: where did we come from?
Purpose: why are we here? / Vision: where are we going?
Education: teach the crowd, show them something
Ethics: walk the walk
Connection: eg. CEO reaching out to disgruntled blogger

Sally:

In every business there is a story. If you don’t tell it, others will tell your story for you. (I’m not sure this is always such a good thing, given there are always two sides to every tale).

You need to monitor onlline conversations and know what people are saying about you. Listen for the story. It can come from employees, customers, suppliers – anyone within your business’s ecosystem.
But beware: insincerity or fake stories will backfire. You can use tools like BrandsEye or Radian 6 to monitor online reputation.

All creative should be tied to the story and you can amplify the story online.

Spreading the word
Optimized press releases with images will show up in results (news and web now we have more universal search). Multimedia is a useful aid in transmitting your story.

Sally gives the example of Intercontinental Hotels, who have produced low-fi videos talking to most concierges across the road. Concierges have lots of stories and these unscripted videos were produced for around $4k per video.

Think of blogs: these are often picked up by search. As with age-old PR, you have to be consistent. Make sure you carry the story across all channels. However, regardless of the story, product performance and service is the final word. If these are in place, then you can work out your story and let others tell it for you.

Larry:

Starts off presentation with this adage:
Advertising: you say you’re a good date
PR: your mother says you’re a good date
Engagement marketing: your date says you’re a good date

So, how do we move towards engagement marketing?

Words and pictures are a great way to build a story.

The basic rule is to be real:

  • Be authentic
  • Invite involvement
  • Listen, respond, repeat

BuddyPress: Social networks on WordPress

Unfortunately I didn’t get to attend this session, but thankfully, through the beauty of blogging, there are numerous other accounts online.

BuddyPress grew out of a series of plug-ins that added social functionality to WordPress MU (the multi-user edition). It is being touted as Facebook-in-a-box, ie. you can setup your own personal Facebook for your community.

Credit: Andrew Mager

More screenshots from Andy Peatling’s blog.

Andy graciously added his presentation to Slideshare: