Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the art of attracting, engaging and inspiring communities on social networks to discover, consume, share and act on brand social content.

 

92% of companies today consider social media important for their business but keeping up with the latest best practices, social media platforms and changes in the industry can be a challenge for brand marketers. Recognized as a top social media blog by Social Media Examiner and many others, TopRank solves that challenge by sharing social media marketing best practices, industry news, interviews, book reviews and liveblogging of presentations at industry conferences.

 

Browse our social media marketing articles to find the answers to your most pressing social media questions.

 

Lee Odden

Search Marketing Links 102206

RSS to Email service FeedBlitz has launched version 2.0 of the service. Lots of upgrades. via Blogger Design.

Google launches a new multivariate testing tool, Google Website Optimizer and is looking for beta testers.

Yahoo launches the new version of their sponsored search program, Panama.

Here’s a new e-book on social media (pdf) from spannerworks. This is a great companion book to the PR 2.0 Essentials (pdf) document from SHIFT.

Brian Solis publishes the next installment in his series about blogger relations: “Reaching The Blogosphere Part 4 – Writing and Distributing the News”.

Rohit’s “Dark Side of Social Media and How to Avoid It” offers sage advice on how NOT to market with social media.

Lee Odden

Online Public Relations and Blogs

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Later today I’ll be presenting here at DMA-06 on a panel called, Blogs, RSS and Podcasting with Amanda Watlington from Searching for Profit and Stephan Spencer from Netconcepts. Basically, my presentation will cover how blogs can be used as public relations tools in the context of “Push and Pull PR”. The presentation is broken up into:

  • Opportunity
  • Push and Pull PR
  • Blog Optimization & PR
  • Blogger Relations
  • Case Study

The “opportunity” section explains how many journalists are ignoring the noise of getting pitched by so many PR firms and company PR staff. Whether it’s a pitch by phone or email, many members of the media go online (98%) to find news sources (76%), story ideas (92%), experts and to research press releases (73%). The percentages come from a study done by Middleburg/Ross.

Lee Odden

Interview on Social Media, SEO and PR

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I recently did an interview with Neil Patel over at Pronet Advertising blog talking mostly about the SEO business, SEO and PR, social media optimization, blogging and about the future of search.
Speaking of SMO, Danny Sullivan sent me an email last night about participating on a social media optimization panel. I am very much looking forward to that. As you know, I like to talk about SMO. 🙂 Unless something major changes, this will be the last SES Danny is involved with.

Lee Odden

Search, PR and Social Media Blogs

Here’s a list of blogs that I’ve come accross recently that I’ve added to my RSS reader that cover topics related to search engine optimization or new media PR and social media. Some of them are new, some have been around awhile and I am just now getting them added to my reader:

Yodel Anecdotal – Yahoo company blog (not the Yahoo Search Blog)

Read/WriteWeb – Richard McManus

CrunchNotes – Michael Arrington

Somewhat Frank – Frank Gruber (I know I’ve listed Frank before, but just to make sure since he’s a very swell fellow)

LifeDev – Glen Stansberry

Pheedo Blog -  Bill Flitter
Web Analytics World -  Manoj Jasra

Small Business SEM – Matt McGee

Linking Matters – Ken McGaffin

Lee Odden

Where’s Wallop?

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, Social Media

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The Microsoft Research Labs spinoff has launched their Flash based, social networking service, Wallop to compete with MySpace, Facebook, Yahoo 360, etc.

I reviewed Wallop in June of last year. At that time, I don’t know what the official plans are but I would not expect to see Wallop open up as more than a research project.

com.

So many social networking sites, so little time.

Lee Odden

Facebook Opens Up

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, Social Media

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I received my “Join Facebook” email today and registered. You can join one of three networks: Regional, College or Work.

While several employees at our firm, TopRank have Facebook accounts and we may (or may not) have done some things with clients, this is the first time “playing around” with my own account. There’s quite a difference between Facebook and MySpace in terms of layout, customization options and functionality.

For more info from the source, check out this very interesting video interview by Bambi Francisco with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg earlier this month after their little redesign fiasco. They discuss whether Facebook is hitting a ceiling, the deal with Microsoft and about opening up Facebook to regional networks.

Lee Odden

Organic Versus Paid Search Results

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A new WebSideStory study announced today shows that paid search has only a slight advantage over organic search results for conversions.

The study looked at more than 57 million search engine visits on Google, Yahoo and MSN and showed a median order conversion rate of 3.40 percent at business-to-consumer e-commerce sites for pay per click compared to a conversion rate of 3.13 percent for organic search results during the same timeframe.

This announcement is timely, because recently, someone on our MIMA-SM discussion list asked about clickthrough rates on organic versus pay per click ads in search results. It’s pretty common knowledge that most people click on the organic results, but this person was looking for a credible resource citing specific numbers.

So here’s what I found:

Lee Odden

Social Bookmark Services Feature Review

Read/WriteWeb has posted an excellent review and comparison of the major social bookmarking services. Digg was not included as they are considered a social news service. The bookmark services reviewed include: BlinkList, Blogmarks, del.icio.us, diigo, Furl, Ma.gnolia, MyWeb, Shadows, Simpy and StumbleUpon.

The result? Del.icio.us and StumbleUpon were the clear winners. I seem to remember something a while back about how StumbleUpon Rocks. 🙂

Personally, I like tend to use del.cio.us the most for work and StumbleUpon for more recreational surfing. But I have found some excellent resources for work that way.

This information is pretty handy for when you creating your social bookmark links.

Lee Odden

Wize.com Brings Collective Wisdom to Product Research

One of the most frustrating things people encounter with search engines is doing product research. Hard as they try, the affiliate links, spam and irrelevant content plague search results. There are a number of recommendation shopping sites and recently popular social shopping sites available to perform product research, but the information is often narrow or biased.

There’s a new kid on the block called Wize that we’ve been working with and I have to say, it’s a pretty impressive research tool for consumer products. The site launced today and it’s worth checking out.

Wize.com

Doug Baker, the internet entreprenuer who created Wize.com has taken the notion of collective wisdom, made popular by New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki’s 2004 book ���The Wisdom of Crowds��� and combined it with the technology behind the jux2.com search engine he purchased earlier this year to create an easy to use comparison shopping and product research web site.

Lee Odden

Search Engine and Social Media Blogs

In the course of perusing the internet I come across some excellent resources. Here are some great search engine and social media blogs I’ve recently added to my RSS aggregator:

SEO Blogs:

HitTail Blog – Mike Levin

SEO Egghead – Jaimie Sirovich

Reality SEO – Mike Valentine

Search Engine Optimization for Site Owners – Michael Duz

Capture the Conversation – James Clark and Jason Cormier

Johnon Competitive Webmastering and SEO – John Andrews

inter:digital strategies – Joseph Dolson

Marketing with Social Media Blogs:

Experience Curve – Karl Long

Hacking New Media – T.L. Pierce

Social Media Optimization – David Wilson

Emergence Media – Daniel Riveong

Web Strategy by Jeremiah – Jeremia Owyang

Lee Odden

UnGoogle Your Marketing with Social Media

I think one of the ways you can sum up the idea of social media optimization and marketing is: “traffic alternatives to Google”. As great as Google is, marketers are increasingly looking for alternative and/or additional channels for content distribution and marketing and consumers for sources of information and interaction.

Some have suggested social search as an alternative. I don’t think social search will ever replace search engines as we know them today, but I do think the rate of growth for major search engines will certainly be affected by the growing number of niche tools and media specific channels such as social networks, social bookmarking sites, personalized search, tagging, podcasts, video blogs, regular blogs and other “social media”.

Lee Odden

Battelle’s SearchMob

John Battelle has launched a new Digg style service on his Search Blog called SearchMob. It allows registered users to submit articles and vote on them based on the Pligg content management system. via Google Blogscoped.

Similar services that I’ve found very useful include Piers Fawkes’ Marktd for marketing related stories upon which SearchMob was inspired and Constantine Basturea’s New PR for new media public relations articles.

It seems there may be opportunity to for many of these types of sites to emerge in niche topics. My question is, will they augment or compete with search engines?

Update:  I am a bit red in the face for not mentioning Search N Sniff, a similar service launched by Jonathan Nelson a week ago.