Understanding the Complex Social Marketing Playing Field

This session at PubCon 2009 focused on the overall social marketing playing field, covering some of the challenges companies face with social media marketing. The presenters covered some great strategies for making the most of social media marketing.

Jennifer Laycock was up first with her presentation cleverly titled – “Social Media “Dating” for Marketers”. She has a good point with the overall theme of her presentation. Social Media is all about relationships, so companies shouldn’t treat it as a typical advertising channel.

  • Social media marketing is about creating a feedback system with clients & establishing a relationship with them
  • Listen to customers on social media. Learn about who they are & find the conversational starting point.
  • Be “romantic” – find out about the people who leave reviews for competitors & ask them to leave you a review as well.
  • Pitching to bloggers – if you are asking bloggers to write about your company or product, personalize your pitch to the blogger.
  • Don’t pretend to be someone else on social media.
  • Make yourself available & responsive.
  • Make the right connections – make sure that you’re connecting with your target audience.
  • During recession, people are doing A LOT more research & engaging in conversations online. Blogs & articles and Social Reviews are most influential in social media campaigns.
  • Value long term relationships & build trust.

Dan Zarrella – Viral Marketing Scientist at Hubspot

Dan covered some great statistics to give you insight on how to most effectively use social media for marketing, specifically on Twitter.

  • Put a bio on your Twitter profile- profiles with bios have 6 times more followers.
  • Identify yourself clearly in your bio, and put a link to your website.
  • How to get more followers on twitter: Follow more users, but try to keep the ratio of following to followers close to 1 to 1.
  • Don’t worry about tweeting too much – it’s hard to tweet so much that a lot of people will unfollow you.
  • Afternoons & evenings are when you are most likely to get click-throughs on your links, and Thursday, Saturday & Sunday are the best. If you are trying to promote your own link on twitter, send out the link & then stop tweeting links for a little while.

Dan Zarrella of Hubspot
Dan Zarella speaking at PubCon 2009

Rand Fishkin – CEO & Co-Founder of SEOmoz

Rand gave a great impromptu presentation, speaking about strategies for building communities on your own website.

  • Rand presented the SEO pyramid below, illustrating that social media has the smallest impact on your overall SEO strategy. Content is still the foundation of SEO.
  • dan-zarrella-hubspot

  • The most effective thing you can do to get interaction is to give your users an ego boost– give users ownership to encourage them to link to your website.
  • Give users a vibrant community with a way for users to rank themselves in relationship to other users.
  • Make it easy to share as easy as possible for users to share your content. On blogs, use trackbacks.
  • Use old domains & URLs – with a page that isn’t working well, don’t build a new page, use the old page with new content because it already has some links pointing back to it.
  • How to turn a tweet into a link?
    • Use subject matter that warrants discussion.
    • Create an experience vs. read & forget
    • Don’t discount the value of a tweet, especially with Bing licensing the twitter feed, it’s possible that some of the tweets will make it into the search algorithm.

In conclusion, social media has the potential to hugely impact any brand or company’s bottom line. As customers are increasingly turning to their online social networks to research potential purchases, companies should also be making use of social networks to influence those conversations.

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