Thought Leadership on Social Media Strategy

With more businesses realizing the power of digital channels to nurture relationships, rally fans and build customer affinity, opportunity abounds for savvy professionals.

But with execution all over the board how should those who are new get started?

To answer that question, we posted thoughts from a variety of marketing and web professionals on social media strategy before tactics.

It’s an ongoing debate, but the consensus among the marketing and PR crowd is clear:  strategy before tactics is the logical approach for businesses to take when engaging in social media.

Sarah Evans provides a clever analogy:

3 Tools to Help You Share Microcontent Online

Over the last few years, the concept of microblogging has gone from zero to hero. Just a few short years ago, the terms “microblogging” and “microcontent” were known only to early adopters.  These days, the only thing “micro” about microblogging and status updates is character count. Consider a few recent statistics:

  • There are nearly 40,000 Tweets a minute, according to TweeSpeed
  • Last year, Tweets grew 1,400%, while traffic to Twitter.com grew around 1,100%
  • More than 60 million Facebook status updates are posted every day

When it comes to microblogging sites, customers and prospects are either there, or those that influence them are. Microblogging can take on a life of its own – with users making connections, developing relationships and publishing content all from within.

Google: The Social Media Company

Over the last few years, the popularity of social channels – for professionals, teens, grandmas and everyone in between – has skyrocketed. Consider the recent numbers:

  • Twitter experienced an annual growth in 2009 of 1,382%
  • Facebook now boasts 400 million active users
  • Every minute, 20 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube

Between blog posts, Facebook status updates, tweets, videos and every other piece of social content published, there’s a whole lot of information floating around out there.

Enter the latest social media player, Google.

Google’s latest activities, acquisitions and features all point to the fact that the search giant no longer has a close eye on web 2.0; it’s already there.

Here are 5 ways Google is now becoming a dominant social media player:

5 Social Media Tips for Ecommerce Marketing

If you run an ecommerce business, chances are your customers – regardless of their age, gender or economic status – are active on social networks and social media sharing sites.

Just consider the statistics from social media monitoring site Pingdom:

  • Males and females almost equally use social sites (47% vs. 53%)
  • 61% of Facebook users are middle aged or older, with the average age being 37
  • 18- to 24-year-olds don’t dominate any particular social networking site; they’re spread out all over

The bottom line: If you aren’t discovering which in social networking channels your customers spend time and include them in your ecommerce marketing mix, you’re probably  missing out on building relationships, community and increasing new customer acquisition through online word of mouth.

SES SJ: Turning The Social Web Into Real ROI


Day one of SES continues with the hot topic of turning the social web into real ROI.  Everyone knows the social web is essential to how we live our lives and stay connected, but many marketers aren’t finding returns on their ad spends.

Tim Kendall, Director of Monetization for Facebook moderates this heated session with speakers (R to L in the image):

  • Sean Heywood, Managing Partner, MR Barber Shop & Urban Lounge
  • Rogelio (Ro) Choy, Chief Revenue Officer, RockYou
  • Claudia Virgilio, Vice President Western Region, Performics

Focusing on best practices in how marketers can leverage the social web as a simple way to quickly build and manage effective campaigns, this discussion had valuable takeaways for marketers interested in social media advertising.

Facebook Marketing Best Practices – Web 2.0 Expo


After the keynote frenzy this morning, the session that stood out for me was “Facebook Marketing: Best Practices” with Jeremiah Owyang from Forrester Research as moderator, Evan Mager from AKQA, Holly Liu from Watercooler, Brett Keintz of 750 Industries and Stanford GSB and Kevin Barenblat of Context Optional.

Some of the key takeaways from this session were:

  • Be clear with your objectives
  • Test spending money on Facebook marketing even if you aren’t sure about the return. Hey, 1,000,000 visits can’t be wrong!
  • Understanding the ROI of Facebook requires a new kind of mindset
  • Don’t take away the social features of Facebook from users
  • Facebook marketing is not about driving traffic to your web site. Keep Facebook users on Facebook

Reader Poll: Is Facebook Losing it’s Luster?

reader poll

A recent report from Hitwise cited Facebook as having grown by 51% yet MySpace is still King of the online social networking world with 76% of US social network traffic. According to Nielsen Online, MySpace attracted 60.1 million visitors in December 2007 compared to 22.6 million visitors for Facebook.

While that growth news is all fine a good, from a personal observation standpoint, I’ve noticed I’m not logging into Facebook much anymore. Many of the updates I get are irrelevant to my interests as more and more people try to boost their friend counts and I mistakenly (in hindsight) accept those requests.

I posted a question to Twitter about not using Facebook lately and several others acknowledged the same trend which leads us to a Reader Poll question:

SES Session: Actionable Social Media

Actionable Social Media

By 2010, 70% of all content online will be developed by individuals, so claims iCrossing’s Adam Lavelle, articulated during the session “Actionable Social Media” today at SES Chicago.

The session, moderated by Anne Kennedy, included on its panel:

  • Lavelle
  • Todd Parsons, cofounder of Buzz Logic
  • Jennifer Laycock, Editor in Chief of Search Engine Guide
  • Tamera Kremer, Wildfire Strategic Marketing
  • Steven Marder, CEO Eurekster

The panel’s discussion reviewed the most popular social media methods, tying everything back to the main notion that we humans, truly, are social animals. The web has evolved naturally, but a breakneck pace to support this type of behavior.

Everything from blogging, to image submissions, to social bookmarking facilitate our tendency to sort ourselves into likeminded communities, either by finding them or creating them.

Facebook on the Ropes?

Damn, it was a tough weekend for Facebook on the publicity/blogosphere front. With Beacon blatantly selling out Facebook users’ privacy whether they’re logged in or not has nowhere else to go but controversial.

A platform built on community now making more aggressive efforts to monetize that community and not being honest about it smacks of downward spiral. But that’s just me. Here are thoughts from others you might be interested in:

Blognation – I’m Ready to Bail on Facebook – the New Face of Evil

bub.blicio.us (Brian Solis) – Has Silicon Valley Pulled an About Face on Facebook?

The Idea Shower (Nate Weiner) – Facebook, Here is Misinformation

Star Tribune (Jackie Crosby) – Bloggers seeing red over Target’s little secret

ShareThis – An Expansive Social Media Tool

Social media optimization is a big right now. There are a lot of sites that want to be featured on Digg, Del.icio.us, Facebook or one of the many other social networks. However, getting there isn’t always that easy. The first steps though is ensuring you have social media links on your blog to make sharing that content easy. My favorite tool of the moment for this is ShareThis.

ShareThis LogoShareThis use to be a plugin for Wordpres that injected social media icons, and an email this, link into your posts. It worked very well but was WordPress only until recently. It’s since been re-launched as a service that’ll work across any blogging platform or website.

Poll: Will OpenSocial “Maka-Maka” Facebook Obsolete?

The hot potato in social media this week is the OpenSocial web standards initiative (see screenshots here) promoted by Google involving numerous social applications, platforms and partners including: Ning, LinkedIn, Friendster, Oracle, Plaxo, Orkut, Salesforce, iLike, and Slide. Reported first on TechCrunch, “OpenSocial is a set of three common APIs, defined by Google with input from partners, that allow developers to access core functions and information at social networks”. That information includes: profiles, friends and activities.

A distinguishing feature of OpenSocial is that applications will be created with normal HTML and JavaScript. Facebook requires development using it’s own markup language making the apps unusable elsewhere. With the recent $240 million Microsoft investment in Facebook and a $15 billion valuation, the stakes are very high. Some say OpenSocial isn’t really opening any doors or isn’t a threat to Facebook. What say you?

Session: Effectively Leveraging Social Networking

Effectively Leveraging Social Networking panel

When you have all the social media essentials, and you know that you need to be social and active in your social networking communities, how do you effectively leverage that to benefit yourself (and your company)?

The speakers in this session on SMX Social Media Day 2 gave the audience tips and recommendations on how to best use social networking, specifically Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace, to make yourself known in the networking world.

Dave McClure of 500Hats spoke first with a fun tutorial on Facebook. Facebook is great for promoting events and for joining groups to share your brands and ideas and products to those interested in your industry. One of the main characteristics of Facebook that Dave focused on was leveraging the news feed in Facebook.