Social media marketing is fast emerging as a must-have in search strategies. In this session, industry experts Vanina Delobelle, Global Product Director for Monster, Erik Qualman from Search Engine Watch and Global VP of EF Education, along with Brnet Csutoras, Online Marketing Consultant offered some tips to successfully integrate social media into your search marketing mix.
Vanina kicked off the session this morning discussing what social media is and how, when used correctly, it can benefit your business.
So, what is social media?
- Social networks like MySpace, Facebook and Xing
- Forums such as Phorum and phpBB
- Microblogging with twitter or pounce
- Multimedia sharing sites like YouTube, Flicker and Slideshare
- Diggs with Wikio and digg
- Blogs and live casts
- Virtual Universes like Second Life
Social media is a user centric approach to online marketing and each of these sites are built with the user and community in mind.
Use social media to:
- Connect with people
- Maintain brand positioning
- Generate more traffic
- Enlarge the targeted segment
- Increase the user experience
And also…leverage current marketing results to get better brand awareness, get better brand management, get better user stickiness, get better quality products, and get more sales.
Requirement for social media include:
- Global means local. Because we deal with communities we need to be close to them
- Resources. Community managers need to get more focus
- Consistency. The effort should start and last
- Content. Content should get more focus
Because social content is updated more often and users link to the content, social media sites rank within the search engine results page, providing businesses another opportunity to increase visibility online.
Erik addressed the users specifically within the social media communities and lessons learned to launch a successful social media campaign.
1. Don’t treat social media like every other channel you use. Community members don’t want to be added to your database, they want to have a conversation.
2. Figure out what users want and what you offer, don’t provide irrelevant information, or applications if your customers don’t want it. Identify what it is that only your company can provider the user base.
Erik addressed some of the common questions businesses have regarding social media:
Where should I start?
Look at where your audience is, where you think you have the most chance for success and test one social site to see what works.
When should I start?
Today! Get out there, interact and figure out what people like and don’t like. Don’t push marketing right away, provide value to the community through conversation.
Can search engines crawl social media / networks?
Yes – absolutely! Social sites have a lot of inbound links and rank highly in the search engine results page
Does Facebook PPC work?
Test it out for your business, but don’t treat it like direct response ad. It’s better to build a community on Facebook first, send them to your Facebook page and include a link to your site.
What’s the easiest way for my company to use Twitter?
Start up an account, be transparent, and start to figure out what people are talking about. Start following people that are talking in a relevant context and respond to posts as you become integrated.
What else is new and exciting?
Search. The future of social media will include a search function, allowing you to search for ratings and reviews from your network base.
Brent Csutoras talked to the panel about how to use search in conjunction with your search marketing campaigns.
One of the most viable aspects of social media is to increase visibility, rankings and links by pushing content and services through your communities.
The biggest benefit social media adds to your marketing campaigns is organic links. Social media is a natural method to spread your content to others and gain natural links.
There are two main types of links coming from social media:
- Community links from the social media / networking sites
- Inbound links from other sites that ‘pick-up’ or share your content within in their networks
Social media tips
- Have a site that is social media friendly
- Pick communities you relate to
- Check what worked before
- Create high quality, link worthy content
- Understand how to submit and push social campaigns
- Understand what to do with success
- Be social!
How are you incorporating social media into your search marketing campaigns?