SMX: Effectively Leveraging Social Networking
Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and others allow people to connect with others and foster networks of friends or colleagues.
Participate appropriately, and your company will find "friends" interested in what you have to say (and sell). Cross the line and the mob may turn on you and reject your message. In this session you’ll learn to network and participate in an acceptable and effective manner.
Moderator: Danny Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Land
Speakers: Cindy Krum, Senior SEO Analyst, Blue Moon Works
Dave McClure, Entrepeneur & Startup Advisor, 500Hats
Helen M. Overland, Director, Search Engine Marketing, non-linear creations
The second day of SMX Social Media New York starts with Danny Sullivan introducing the first speaker, Dave McClure, Entrepeneur & Startup Advisor of 500Hats who is here to talk about FaceBook.
Dave asks who uses FaceBook. Many hands are raised. Apparently, he is logged in and he shows us his updated status. Purpose is to show how FaceBook uses it to market by inserting URLs. The News Feed displays all shared activities between you and your online buddies. These include wall comments, applications used, videos etc. The real trick is setting up your network appropriately and then tagging to people who are relevant. Through this, you can meet new people and it helps you in making notable people include you in their network.
Tags show users who are tagged under photos, posts and videos. For eg” Videos. They get notified and this is a great way way to include them in your network. Also, a great way to show off your content. Photos- These can be changed to logos. Photos are changed regularly in profiles and logos can be added to it too. An important feature here is “Share”. Another feature in FaceBook called "mini-feed" displays all your FaceBook actions. There are lots of important people in FaceBook and you want to associate with them, tag them. This is a great way to get you or your brand ‘noticed’.
Start a group where you can form a community of people with whom you share common interests. Add and invite people to them. This further gives more visibility to your brand. Include links, videos, photos, content messages. These get picked up by the feed and spead across your network.
Next up is Helen M. Overland, Director, Search Engine Marketing, non-linear creations who will discuss marketing on LinkedIn. Hlen starts by asking if anyone in the audience uses LinkedIn for more purposes than just putting up or updating a profile. As LinkedIn is a professional network site, one can easily connect with colleagues and friends here. While you could connect with 11 million back in June, the number has now reached 15 million. The coolest part for LinkedIn is that the average salary is 140K.
One thing to note is the difference between volume of contacts or trusted contacts. The latter is better. Unlike FaceBook, you want to network where you can market your products and services. Something called "Linkedin Open Networkers" are making endeavors to make a lot of contacts. Select some, and connect so that you can get their first levels of contacts. This instantly boosts your contacts. LinkedIn helps to:
- Increase branding and visibility
- Generate sales
- Traffic and support SEO
LinkedIn Answers: This is where you can post your answers. Also helps in increasing your brand and your visibility. Also, you can show off your expertise and knowledge, inform everyone of new websites. However, take care to make your posts and announcements less spammy. If you can get people to recommend your products and services, your credibility improves a lot. Come to think of it, Barack Obama posted a question and received 1,500 answers.
Sales: To get direct sales, search and find potential clients and partners here. Take advantage of LinkedIn by answering to service requests like "Answers". On the other hand, use "I can help you out" and make someone refer you. LinkedIn’s links do not use ‘noFollow’. Employ LinkedIn "vanity URL" by adding keywords to your profile’s URL. Make your employees link back to your website.
Bottom line, LinkedIn helps you reach your targeted market in the best manner-for free!
Last speaker of the session is Cindy Krum, a Senior SEO Analyst, Blue Moon Works who will discuss the pros and cons of marketing in MySpace which she calles the "Whoas" and "Woes". Funny! MySpace, is a great way to reach an exclusive demographic.
First Example – Flying Dog Brewery.
The target is the "extreme sport" kinda person. MySpace is used to promote Flying Dog and its many products. Due to MySpace sales and traffic are booming. They altered their profile image in order to get attention and display ads for upcoming events, business etc. people who are invited can also RSVP to the parties via MySpace. Later, they can blog, post their comments and images about the parties. These images can easily be shared and passed around, hence leveraging their visibility.
Flying Dog’s MySpace profile has a higher ranking than that in WikiPedia
Second example: True, a Web-based dating community
The profile for True has quizzes, calculators, tools, fortune cookie widgets, and many other fun and interactive features that engage the community members. The website has a Date Search Engine and games like "Heart Beats," "Date-O-Rama" and "Create A Date". Not only are these fun but with this you stay for long in the MySpace page or head to the official website.
Cons of MySpace:
Westwood college wanted to connect with its students via MySpace in order to share all information from their website. It backfired because:
- You need to know, for instance CSS to make a profile which takes a very long time.
- Profile had to be updated frequently in order to make visitors return frequently.
- Needed unique content that was not available on the college’s official website.
- One has to manage and decide the ‘friends list’. Who to choose and who to not choose.
- Handle communications.
- Keep the visitors engaged- blogs, sending e-mails.
- Strategy to tackle negative feedback and comments.
Third example: Auto Europe
Auto Europe wanted a widget that would aid them in link while also being helpful to travel bloggers. The supposed widget was to run on all sites (MySPace included).
Now, if you want to create a widget, in the instance of FaceBook, Flash version 9 and Action Script version 3 works. However, links in Flash just will not work. Not all developers are capable of creating widgets. Either get a widget developer who understands MySpace widget development or wait for MySpace’s development platform.
IMAGE SOURCE: TOP RANK BLOG