SES San Jose: Successful Tactics for Social Media Optimization

SMO Reputation Management

Entering the realm of social media can be a bit like trying to enter an exclusive club. There are barriers to entry, codes of conduct, and unwelcome outsiders are quickly identified and ostracized. Yet, like an exclusive club, the benefits of membership can be great. Marketers looking to benefit from social media would do well to heed the advice of the three presenters in this SES session, moderated by Pauline Ore of IBM Corporation.

As Kendall Allen, digital marketing and convergence media consultant, pointed out, social media has come a long way since the advent of the Internet. Listservs, user groups and chat rooms have given way to the networking giants of Facebook and Myspace.

SES San Jose: Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

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

Direct Marketing vs Social Media Marketing

Thanks to the response received (@gyutae @AlbertMaruggi @AnnBernard @briansolis @martinbowling) from a Twitter post (follow here) on the topic of social marketing vs direct marketing, this post invites your opinion.

In a recent strategy session, some colleagues and I were discussing a promotion where one position was to focus on a direct marketing approach and another position involved social media, networks and communities. Compared to direct marketing efforts (snail mail, DRTV, email, etc) where an offer is created based on what the company wants to sell, a social marketing effort focuses more on involving communities with creating the offer as well as promoting it.

What would a direct marketing offer in this situation look like?

  • Develop top level messaging
  • Research and build an email list

How Social Media Impacts Search Engine Marketing

Today I’m doing an online radio interview over at RSS Ray on social media and search engine optimization. Our discussion will cover fundamentals of social media and how businesses, small and large, might use such tactics as part of their online marketing mix. We’ll also discuss blog marketing and press release optimization.

The kind of social media optimization and marketing that gets the most play these days is hitting the home page of digg or getting tons of traffic from Stumbleupon,, reddit, etc. Many of the SMO/SMM campaigns we run achieve these kinds of results, but it’s not the end goal. If you’re familiar with the services we provide at TopRank, you’ll know we take a holistic approach to search marketing and view things like social media on a longer term basis.

Easy Social Media Optimization via Photos

BloggerDesign iPhotoIn case you haven’t noticed, social media optimization (SMO) is the new big search marketing term. I think you’ll be hearing a lot about it this year and thought I’d give you an easy tip to get started.

First thing you need to know is what social media optimization is. Basically, it’s just getting exposure and traffic from social media sites like Digg,, MySpace and many others. For a more in depth explanation, check out the new rules for social media optimization.

What I’d like to share with you is one extremely easy way to get some social media exposure. It’s as easy as photo sharing.

Using photo sharing sites to host the images you use in your blog posts will give your site added exposure on other sites. Some photo sharing sites to check out include Zooomr, PhotoBucket and Flickr.

Lowdown on Spamming Social Media

The sheer irony of this post nearly kills me as I’ve had it in my queue to post for a few weeks now. In a presentation I gave at SES Chicago, a video interview with WebProNews and in previous blog posts, I have articulated both a naive confidence in the social news communities at being able to capably police spam as well as reasons not to spam social media in the first place.

And yet the effort was made within the digg community to disallow any stories from Online Marketing Blog from being submitted to digg with no chance of a human evaluation of the situation or process of reinclusion. digg has taken a DMOZ style persona in handling such matters with the puzzling part being domain names can be banned as a result of actions that have nothing to do with the owner of the web site. At least Google and Yahoo are mature enough to have a review and reinclusion processes in place

Session: Social Media Optimization

This is a bit of a late post but I want to get it out there before it gets swallowed up by all the other half-finished posts in my WordPress control panel. :)

I am happy to say that the session on social media optimization with Neil Patel, Andy Hagans, Rand Fishkin, Todd Malicoat and I during SES Chicago last week went pretty well. Todd and I did not do PowerPoint presentations but we did get a few minutes to introduce ourselves and talk a little bit about SMO.

Neil started things off with a very unique and humorous explanation of Wikipedia. Basically, “Don’t spam Wikipedia.”

Rand followed up with an excellent review of the various social media sites ranging from digg to StumbleUpon to reddit. He made excellent points on how these communities are sensitive to promotion and provided general guidelines for interacting with them.

Spamming Social Media

The buzz amongst online marketers and bloggers about marketing with social media has generated a lot of interesting discussion. One of the memes I’ve been noticing is the issue of spamming social media. A particular aspect brought to my attention recently is the idea that by making it easier for users to bookmark or “vote” for content on social news and bookmarking services, perhaps by using our social bookmarks link tool, that it’s an invitation to spam.

There’s a difference between ease of submission and getting to the first page of a social news or bookmarking site, where the most benefit is. The communities of those social media sites provide a self policing effect against most types of SM spam. I agree, that making submissions easier may attract abuse, but it will be noise hanging at the bottom.

When Will SEO Become Obsolete?

Recently I’ve seen some predictions that with the direction search engines are taking, search engine optimzation is going to become obsolete in 5 or more years.

That’s not too risky of a prediction, since 5 years is literally the half-life of the entire search engine optimization industry. Five years is a lifetime in internet time.

Do I think SEO will die a slow death? I think a slowdown in the impact of current SEO methods is a more accurate assessment. That’s not much of a prediction either, is it? The rules for effective SEO change more often than the rules for just about any other industry I know.

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”.


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.