Are Your Social Strategies Hardcore? [SMX Advanced Seattle 2012]

It’s no longer sufficient to simply make sure that your hotel is on social channels. Now you must ask yourself, “Are my social strategies hardcore?” This question prods the audience and panelists alike at SMX Advanced Seattle 2012’s ‘Hardcore Social Strategies’ session to think of how to innovate, engage, and build a valuable social presence.

Vince Blackman of 97th Floor made a one-word revision to the long-standing SEO mantra that moved it into the social realm.

“Visual Content is King”

A simple statement that sums up an incredible social movement. But this begs the question, how can we leverage this medium to drive valuable traffic to convert? By creating and posting unique content to visual-based social channels like Pinterest, you are able to catch the attention of your audience. But, as we all know, the goal is to drive valuable visitors to your website where they will interact with the content and convert. A few ways to make visitors do this is to create content enticing users to continue on this flow. For example, offer a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) step by step list in a visual format, including a bold and impactful title. By catching the user’s attention with a clear title, you are initiating their interest. Keep this interest by offering smaller, yet clear and simple steps that are more easily accessed or visible on a larger version of the image (hosted on your website). This will convert viewers into visitors, and increase the opportunities for conversion.

Brent Csutoras of Kairay Media made an additional great point: content still works. It’s inevitably one of the most important factors in conjunction with social signals, which are also increasingly accounted for in search authority. Content plus social signals can be a killer combination for search engine result domination. He shared a few simple yet powerful social tips, as follows:

  1. Be prepared to succeed. While this often seems to be a ‘best-case scenario’, you must be ready to manage your active social media, dedicate the resources necessary to stay on top of the channel, and transcend the strategies for cross-channel optimization.
  2. Monitor your site in social. Your site will interject itself in social whether or not you put it there, so you must monitor the media, content, and conversation created around your brand as it is shared on the world-wide web.
  3. Use your channels wisely. Ok, so I’m paraphrasing. Tips 3, 4, and 5 all spoke to the opportunities found in key social channels, including Pinterest, Reddit for Realz and StumbleUpon. While Reddit and StumbleUpon may be one of the hardest social channels to create a successful presence, if and when you do, it pays off. Know the platform and its rules – if you adhere to them, you’ll be interjecting yourself into a well-targeted conversation. Also, as one of the most impressive breakout and fastest growing social channels, Pinterest can’t be ignored. Post in strategic and optimized ways to convince the user to visit your website and convert, and you’ll be doing your business a huge favor.

Finally, all of the panelists agreed that one important point in social is to keep your eyes peeled for those breakout platforms. With the recent changes to and buzz around Google Plus, it’s clear that you can’t ignore opportunities in social when they arise.  Transcend your social strategies across all SEO and marketing efforts, and leverage your social audience and the opportunity that they present in the social network.

Contributed by Brittany Bingham

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