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

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.

Lee Odden

Fortune Covers MySpace and YouTube

On my flight from Minneapolis to Vegas today I picked up a copy of Fortune Magazine, which had and the founders Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe of MySpace on the cover. The article, “MySpace Cowboys” was pretty good describing the founding of the company as well as the acquisition by News Corp.

With an acquisition price of $580 million, Tom and Chris are still singing the “we’ll keep working as long as we can keep building the vision” song. Well, not exactly, but pretty close. They do seem pretty committed to continuing the journey of making MySpace all about the users and the community.

Lee Odden

StumbleUpon Rocks

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, Social Search

My current, favorite way of finding new web sites and blogs is hands down, StumbleUpon. I had started using their service over a year ago, but after a few months it just didn’t resonate with me. In the past two weeks I noticed in our main company web site server logs that we were getting a LOT of referring traffic from stumbleupon.com so I decided to check it out again.

I downloaded the toolbar, set preferences and have not been disappointed since. Not only am I a happy user, but StumbleUpon is also a great way to get great web sites or blogs noticed.

It appears Rand has similar thoughts.

Lee Odden

Blogs, PPC and MySpace for Online Marketing

Kauffman eVenturing is featuring several new articles focused on helping entrepreneurs evaluate different aspects of online marketing, from search engine optimization and key word advertising to blogging, online publishing and using eBay as a distribution channel. A few of the articles:

Giving Online Marketing a Greater Share – Chris Topping (Brick and Mortar/Online Retailer)
Honing Pay Per Click for Targeted Results – Jerry Kenefake (Online Retailer)
What MySpace Means for Marketers – Zachary Rodgers (ClickZ)
The Rise of the Participant Economy – David Sifry (Technorati)

Articles from retailers can be pretty insightful but many don’t want to share what they’ve learned in the same way many marketing consultants don’t give away the best info at conferences. However you can often find nuggest of great information in articles like these.

Lee Odden

Is SMO SPAM?

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, Social Media

I was recently reading a post on Marc Pentermann’s blog that suggests social media optimization is pretty much SPAM for social media. My comments about that are as follows:

I think the issue of SPAM and any kind of marketing will always exist regardless of the medium. Email, web pages, blogs and social media are all susceptible.

Just because it is possible to SPAM a medium does not invalidate that medium. Should we not send email because others use it for SPAM? That would not make sense.

It is also important to note that SPAM-focused efforts are not long term marketing solutions. Leveraging the opportunities with social media makes it easier for marketers to reach their intended audience and for users to find and share the content they’re interested in.

Lee Odden

New Tools for Social Media Optimization

With all the buzz about social media optimization the past week, I thought it would be timely for us to present two updated tools for encouraging the sharing of and linking to content as well as distribution. These are concepts that are fundamental to the notion of social media optimization or SMO.

Screen Shot of 2 New Social Media Optimization Tools

The first tool is one we’ve received excellent comments on and it’s called the Social Bookmark Creator. In order to make it easy for readers to save a blog post or a web page for reading later or to aggregate resources using a social bookmark service, we’ve created a tool that allows you to add a social bookmark menu after each post or on a static web page.

Social Bookmarks

Lee Odden

Resources for New Media and Social Media PR

There’s a growing amount of buzz about social media lately, but specifically of interest is social media press releases. As we fold the new media press release, press room and media relations tactics into our PR strategy, I’ve been monitoring a number of resources on the topic of new media PR and the hRelease or social media news release and offer some of those links here.

New Media Release Group – A Google group started to discuss the new media release format with participants ranging from independent PR consultants to PR Newswire and Market Wire.

New PR – Constantin Basturea’s “Digg style” site for new media public relations news.

Workspace for Social Media Press Release (hRelease) – hRelease is a community effort to define a new format for press releases via a community standard microformat

Lee Odden

Forbes.com Goes Swicki with Eurekster

Eurekster has announced today that their social search product, SwickiPublisher, will be used to create a new vertical search engine feature on the Forbes.com home page via a tab called “Web” and on the search results pages.

I had the opportunity during the San Jose Search Engine Strategies conference to talk about Eurekster with CEO, Steve Marder. Unfortunatley, I did not get a chance to write about that meeting during the conference, so I’ll include some of the things he shared here.

What is most interesting to me about Eurekster’s site search features is that it learns by analyzing clickstream data as people use it. Tagging or voting is possible, but not required. Eurekster is based, in part, on the notion of “collective wisdom”, or “wisdom of crowds”, where users’ actions and/or behavior provide information to the search engine on what content is relevant.

Lee Odden

New Rules for Social Media Optimization

There is an exceptionally interesting meme developing around the idea of social media optimization. It started with Rohit Bhargava of Ogilvy Public Relations and his 5 Rules of Social Media Optimization (SMO) and this insight:

“The concept behind SMO is simple: implement changes to optimize a site so that it is more easily linked to, more highly visible in social media searches on custom search engines (such as Technorati), and more frequently included in relevant posts on blogs, podcasts and vlogs.”

With contributions by Jeremiah Owyang, “Rules of Social Media Optimization and Cameron Olthuis, “Introduction to Social Media Optimization” who offers this take on SMO:

Lee Odden

Marketing with Social Media

Leveraging Social Media
This is actually the first session that I covered at the San Jose Search Engine Strategies conference, but I did not get a chance to clean up my notes and post until now. It was a good session about a topic that is very close to the consulting practice of our PR and marketing agency.

Part of the ClickZ track, this session was moderated by Rebecca Lieb and included Gary Stein of Ammo Marketing, Scott Meyer of About.com, Hans Peter Brondmo of Plum, a new social networking service and Brian Monahan from IPG.

First up is Gary Stein who introduces the notion of “clique-through”, which means to use social media to spread your message deep but not wide. The “clique-through” approach is to get specific segments to adopt a particular message. It offers more long term value than the “lightning in a bottle” associated with buzz marketing.

Lee Odden

ad:tech Chicago – Advertising with Social Media

ad:tech Chicago is coming along nicely. Coverage of the conference by Online Marketing Blog as well as DMNews and iMedia Connection is keeping those who were not able to attend well informed. Here’s the next installement of our coverage:
Any discussion about social media and social networking is going to involve MySpace. This session did exactly that with some aspect of MySpace being included in just about every speaker’s contribution to the session.

Rather than a presentation format, moderator David Carlick of Vantage Point Venture Partners introduces “Social Media: The Dynamics of the Genre and the Opportunities for Marketers” as a Q and A session.

Carlick starts things out talking about MySpace as a way to explain social media and social networking. He shows a MySpace news clip: MySpace most popular site over Yahoo and Google. The challenge with MySpace is how to leverage advertising.

Lee Odden

Feeding Journalists With Deli.cio.us

Todd Defren posts a nice rundown on using del.icio.us for an online PR initiative for bzzagent. Deli.cio.us is used to create content of value to journalists covering WOMM – the word of mouth marketing industry of which bzzagent is the focus.

What are we doing here? Providing any writer who is interested in WOMM with a customized research page containing the top news in the space, including first-hand reaction — on a daily basis — by a WOMM industry pioneer. For media types, et al., who subscribe to the RSS feed of that del.icio.us page, that’s a daily dose of Thought Leadership!