Search and Social Media: Insight & Inspiration at SMX Toronto

This session featured four thought leaders from social media companies. The format was a little bit more of a panel discussion than a panel of presenters. The moderator asked questions to specific presenters, and actually moderated the conversation between panelist as it evolved. So although there were no slideshow presentations, the quality of the content was a bit more engaging because panelists were forced to interact with each other, rather than just talk at the audience. Here’s an overview of those involved and what was discussed.

Moderator: Alexa Clark, CheapEats

  • Leona Hobbs, Social Media Group
  • Tamera Kremer, teehan+lax
  • Ilya Grigorik, PostRank Inc.
  • Jeff Quippp, Search Engine People

Leona Hobbs on Search & Social

Reputation Management: If you’re not identifying and resolving issues and customer complaints online, Google will make sure that unfavorable reviews are found again and again. So addressing issues as they arise in the social sphere through the sphere is paramount to keeping a clean online reputation.

Seeding with Influencers: Don’t think about it as paying to place content with influencers, but to place it with Google. In other words, don’t drive to sales, drive to engagement.

Social Object: A social object is what people socialize around, so it can be a link, a video, etc.

Conversational Marketing: There are two ways to scale your social media plan, one it time, and the other is money. When you plan around time, what you do is instead of placing a display ad, you place “earned” or “owned” media. While earned media might be coverage by an influencer, owned media would be a piece of viral content that was successful across one or more social channels. This is why conversation marketers need to interface with search marketers more.

Tamera Kremer on Search & Social

Real-time Search: It’s not so much what the engines are deciding is relevant, it’s what the collective consciousness is passionate about and interested in.

Reputation Management: There is a business benefit to forcing different departments (CSRs, PR, Legal, etc.) to coordinate; it forces them to come up with processes that will help them identify opportunities online and anticipate potential challenges that might arise through social media. This happened with Dell when Jeff Jarvis’ “Dell Hell” experience took over Dell’s search results. Dell didn’t change overnight, but they started building social media tools into their very business processes — such as reputation monitoring and customer service.

Crafting Messages: Some messages are better deployed over different channels, so look at (1) who you are trying to reach, (2) what are your objectives, and (3) what are the channels that are going to work for you.

Selling Social Media: When dealing with clients, tell them a story; elucidate how things relate back to their business, and then bring in some solid metrics — such as how social media can drive sales and reduce inbound customer service calls.

Ilya Grigorik on Search & Social

Seeding with Influencers: Collect all the data from all social networks, then analyze it to see where the conversation about your brand is going. This allows you to identify influencers and proactively seeding your message. Because at the end of the day, 60% of social media content produced no engagement. So you want to identify those producing the other 40% of content.

When you look at conversion ratios, while the big influencers with 200,000 person reach, their conversion rate on engagement is about 1-10%, getting you only 1,000-10,000 users at best. On the other hand, smaller influencers might only have a reach of 10,000, but tend to have a engagement conversion rate of 50-60%. So sometimes it’s better to find 5-6 smaller influencers and focus on them, because they are easier to engage and can actually give you wider user engagement.

Because social is a dynamic space, so one the biggest challenges that brands face is identifying metrics that matter to them. For instance, you can determine that you generated x-number of page views, but you don’t necessarily know that means for your brand.

Reputation Management: Companies should also look beyond their internal staff for brand management. They should consider fostering a community so that customers can help each other when they have a question, rather than relying only on company employees.

Jeff Quipp on Search & Social

Reputation Management: A lot of businesses will be held much more accountable vis a vis ethical behavior. Businesses need to have the processes in place to ensure that customers have a good experience. That being said, there is an opportunity to solve problems in real-time: if a company deals with a customer relationship problem as it happens, and publicly engages the customer on the social web, that customer can end up more loyal than ever.

Search vs Social: Search isn’t great for creating awareness of something that people don’t know exist. With search, users have to request it. Social media, then, is better for creating the initial awareness. Once that awareness is raised, search is good for reaching users who are already aware and want to become more engaged and learn more about the content.

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