SMX Social Media kicked off Tuesday morning in the Metropolitan Center in New York with a session entitled Social Media Marketing Essentials. Moderated by Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land, this kickoff session reviewed the basics of what you need to know in the world of SMM.
Rand Fiskin of SEOmoz spoke first of the importance of social media and why it is important. From April 2006 to April 2007, social media use increased by 668%. These statistics are incredible, and with social media usage increasing every day, it is important to make sure you at least understand what it is and if you choose to use it with your company, what you can do with it.
A few ways to be successful with social media are to interact with participatory communities, create and promote viral (and beneficial) content and research the key influencers in a certain industry. When you or your company successfully incorporates these tactics into your social media marketing plan, you can increase brand awareness and increase traffic to your site or subscribers to your blog. These can also lead to increased conversions and sales for your company.
Rand also pointed out certain types of content that can become viral, including imaginative and stunning design of the website, ad-free content, good writing and accessibility. When you promote these items through your social network, people are more likely to be your friend because they believe you are offering them good, trusted content from which they can benefit.
So where do you conduct social media? Below is a list of popular places to research and implement your social media marketing plan:
- Social News Aggregation Portals. This is where users can submit content to others where it can be viewed, voted upon ad ideally made one of the popular posts that day. Some great social news sites include Reddit, Digg, Sphinn, Propeller and Newsvine.
- Social Networking Communities. Create a personal network, store your favorite content, and your â€œfriendsâ€ can view it. The most famous of these networking sites are Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn
- User-Generated Content sites. Here, the user creates and submits content for contentâ€™s sake, which makes the content and your company highly visible. We have all seen videos on YouTube and read definitions on Wikipeida and viewed images on Flickr. These are some fun and popular examples of user-generated content sites.
- Popular Blogs. The most popular blogs are read by several thousand daily readers, so if you have one of these blogs, make sure the content is visible and influence-able. A few popular blogs with great amounts of information are Techcrunch, Boing Boing and Lifehacker.
- Social Bookmarking Sites. Tag and save your content for others to view, and when it is popular it gets more visibility in the social bookmarking world where it is hosted. StumbleUpon, del.icio.us and ma.gnolia are all popular sites.
- Niche and Topical Participatory sites. These sites focus on topics in a specific vertical where users with that interest can join and promote content. A couple examples here are Slashdot, Fark, Truemors and upcoming.org. Tomorrow there is a session dedicated specifically to micro communities, where we will focus on more of these social communities more in depth.
- The Long-Tail of Blogs, Forums and Groups. These are smaller targeted niche-communities and blogs. To find then in your industry or interest group, do a blog search and read the forums. There are many out there.
- Mainstream Media Portals. Recently these large, well-known news brands have been offering a social aspect to their websites. Just last week The New York Times began showing comments on their stories on their homepage. Other well-known news brands offering these social aspects are cnn.com and news.google.com
Rand summed up with what he hopes we take away from his presentation as well as the conference in general. These takeaways include which techniques to use to succeed in SMM in communities and with influencers, ideas for viral content to get links and build brand awareness, how to find which social communities to use for your business and the awesome competitive advantage you will have over you anti-social peers.
So here at SMX Social Media I will be blogging about all these topics and anything else I learn and experience while I am here. Continue reading over the next couple days to find out more in-depth information on topics such as linkbait, micro communities and social news sites.