PubCon – The Social Marketing Playing Field
- Joe Laratro
- Rand Fishkin, CEO, SEOMoz.
- Neil Patel, CTO, Advantage Consulting Services, Inc.
- Michael Gray, President, Atlas Web Service.
- Cameron Olthius, CEO, Factive Media.
With social media, booming at a staggering rate, everyone wants a piece of the pie. Knowing this, the experts came to give us their two-bits on how to further businesses. First to speak was Rand Fishkin, who kicks off the second day by showing two presentations.
- Social Media 101
- 60 websites worth watching (more advanced)
Social Media 101. Listed below are websites in a random order:
- adultswim.com – message board
- ballhype.com – Digg-based sports portal
- blogs4god.com – Religious portal
- couchsurfing – Leave your links there
- deviantart.com – Drop your opinion, has live links
- dfinitive.com – social bookmarking site
- dnhour.com – add a link to your profile
- fanpop.com – profiles come with links
- hugg.com – eco-friendly community
- photographyvoter.com – as the name goes
- sk-rt.com – profile’s come with links
- sphinn – live links
- tweako – social bookmarking site
Some of Sites
Next is Michael Gray, President, Atlas Web Service who says that two important things to remember before starting on these are sites are:
You have to think long-term, so act and perform accordingly.
The story you publish should be about how relevant it is to the site. Examples are:
- digg.com: How to paint the social bookmarking site’s logo on your wall
- hugg: how to pick an eco-friendly paint
- lifehacker: This is where you learn how to paint your living room in a weekend
- propeller.com: Find out what the color you use reflects about your personality
- Back to school
- Spring time
- Tax time
- Use calendar and current events
- Fall: save money on heating bill
- Winter: last minute tax saving
Rands puts up a presentation about a new website which received over 120,000 visits within a span of two months. Next, he shows a graph about blog subscribers, which shows an upward movement. Apparently, social media is about owning a crowd/audience that isn’t search engine-dependent. Also, your site must have regular link growth (refer to Google patent). The stories you have should be connected to other parts of the site. Create brand awareness, repetition is key here. So, it will take about 7-8 times before your audience remembers it. The audience you create should know how to use social media as if they like your stuff they will finally do the work for you. Join a community and be part of it regularly, don’t do a half-hearted job. Don’t be shy about linking to other blogs.
Rand’s 10 Tips for Social Media-
Titles must be eye-catching
Site should be and have images
Content should be short, simple, witty, easy to scan content
Don’t make the page deadends
Stay topical and keep an eye on trends
Find a solution to someone’s problems
Incorporate buttons and widgets to encourage voting
Use less ads and target links
Everyone loves top 10 lists – break some rules and make yours go to 11
Next up is Neil Patel, CTO, Advantage Consulting Services, Inc, who discusses the ‘Dark side of social Media.’
- Pay for votes – Apparently, it has worked for Neil, whenever he used pay sites
- Social media rings –
Have a long e-mail list and make your friends vote.
The bigger the ring, the better
Be a part of multiple rings
Don’t vote right away
Don’t vote on just about everything
Never abuse the ring
Use hxxp instead of http – helps block the referral
- Social media apps.
Vote on stories you like
Ask a developer to build you an app
- Forced Actions-
Use iframes to vote/add a friend/subscribe to something
- The dark side. Think of the best stuff. Don’t think it loud. Think dark and shady and it will come out sooner or later. (Audience loves it)
- Light reading. 10e20.com Brentcsutoras.com Seomoz.org/blog
Next up is Cameron Olthuis, CEO, Factive Media, who talks about linkbait. Cameron suggests using ‘remakeable content,’ that will compel people to link to you from their site.
Be controversial: Jason Calicanis
News: Try to be the first one to break a story
Tools: Include tools like widgets, calculators etc.
Benefits of Linkbait:
Cameron next brings out a Case Study: Sobercircle.com
- Research. Go though social media sites and find out what people like. Use Digg and Del.icio.us to know what different audiences like. With Del.icio.us, you get associated tags that is beneficial in giving you more ideas. Also, you learn what is popular.
- Brainstorm. Try to find as many ideas and suggestions as you can. The more the merrier, in a while you can lessen it down after a while.
- Create the content. SImplicity is key. Moreover, most of the readers are channel surfing.
Format lists. Easy to scan, add images and videos.
*Cameron shows the audience an example*. The site is about a drug. His slide shows 1001 Diggs, page has a video, image, and a good amount of content.
- After content, comes seed.
– Submit the site and select the topics and tags.
– Use a Power Account
– Use Witty titles & descriptions – Titles can make or break you
– Categorise and tag properly. Don’t go with what is popluar, go with where it belongs
– Target sites
read/write web found the page and gave it more exposure
Research your target audience
Content should have appeal
Must have aPower account
Test test test
Use good titles and descriptions
Keep your server up!!!!!
After this came a Q & A round, where some of the best questions were:
How much traffic can you expect? What type of servers?
Cameron: 5-25k vistors from reddit. Digg can do 100k+.
Graywolf: Call your hosting provider before hand
Rand Fishkin: for images use flickr and other sources. If your page uses a DB, make the page static and it will help you. The Database could really hurt you so just make it static.
Neil Patel: CPU somewhat matters, its the memory. Have 4GB of memory and use Memcache.
How do you get access to power users?
Rand Fishkin: the power users are for sale. Find the users and befriend them.
GrayWolf: Vote on their stories early so they see you. Really pay attention to stories they are interested in.
What are some other measures of success?
Rand Fishkin: Hard core tracking. Track your brand name in the results. Blog Search in Google reports accurate links, or use Yahoo Link. Watch your referring stats, where did it come from? watch your repeat visitors.
Neil Patel: Track your PR. Watch magazines, web sites, and other press contacts. Rand suggests using Google/Yahoo news to see how often your brand was mentioned.
How many man hours goes into an idea?
Neil: as little as possible (gets laughs) The hardest part is the idea
Rand: As little as a day, as long as 60 days (it took Jane 60 days to put together the Web 2.0 awards and get the votes)
GrayWolf: 2 Sides: Maintaining the Power Account and then creating the content/idea.
Cameron: No cookie cutter approach.
In the end, the best cam from Cameron Olthius who said, "No cookie cutter approach."