SES Toronto 2009 Live Blogging: Social Media – Do Big Companies Get It?

Moderator:
Greg Jarboe, President & Co-founder, SEO-PR
Speakers:
Mark Evans, Principal, ME Consulting
Guillaume Bouchard, Co-founder & CEO, NVI
Krista Neher, CEO, Marketess

5 Myths of Social Media

Mark’s up first!

Social Media is Free
While the services are free, there is a definite cost in the time spent, especially if you hire professionals. As you should!
Social Media is Easy
A lot of grunt work. Twitter seems quick and easy, but it requires someone very involved. Making it a team approach can help, because there is such a thing as a shelf life to a social media employee.
Social Media is About the Tools
The tools definitely help, but they must be incorporated into a bigger strategy to make sense.
Social Media is a Standalone Activity
Social media has to fit within the greater high level company strategy, integrated with other marketing efforts.
Measuring ROI is difficult if not impossible
There are plenty of tools available! For example, tracking sales brought through a Twitter referral URL

7 Mistakes Companies Make in Social Media

Krista Neher’s up now. Will be interesting to see how this differs from the previous speaker.
Focusing on Numbers
We obsess too much over this audience, but we have to understand that all traffic is not created equal. Basically, focus on quality more than quantity. I would add that quantity does bring people in because it seems impressive, but she is
Join the Conversation
When you jump in, participate, but don’t divert the topic from what the user(s) intended it to be.
Spamming
Sabotages the usefulness of the platform as people try to generate leads, get their message out. The rules being fairly open has led to a fairly spammy environment, especially on Twitter.
Irrelevance
Trying to get the wrong people to talk about the right thing. Build on existing interest in users, but don’t try to force users to be into something they’re not into, using gifts or whatnot. The user-generated content will be crap.
Boring
Be interesting, or you’re wasting your time. You should see comment, it should be relevant, and there should be a sense of community. Content has to add value, and be consistent.
Not Being Committed
“It’s a relationship – not a one-night stand.” Whatever you decide to do, be consistent and stick to it. If you’re not going to stick to it, don’t bother.
Not Playing Nice
Interact with users properly, non-insultingly. Ryanair apparently called a blogging who said he found a loophole in their booking system a lunatic. Not smart. Playing nice also involves transparency, where people are who they say they are.

Social Media News Sites

Guillaume time. (woo!)
Social media news sites, in many ways, have replaced the press release. Moderator doesn’t look happy.

A Look at Digg and StumbleUpon
– New toolbar, fine with Google, pissing off SEO companies. NVI might develop a custom toolbar replacement.
– Digg success is all or none, StumbleUpon more proportional.
– Digg used to be easily manipulated, now tough
– How in upcoming is the kiss of death
– Keyword recommendations
– No more shouts

Main Criteria for social media success: Content (very important), Platform (very important), Submitter, Category, Solicitation

Content: be funny (if you can pull it off), work hard, be strong and don’t waste their time, don’t seem marketing, not too too much text, no slow server, easy buttons for voting. SEO-wise, keywords in title (for good anchor text), interlink after, try not to 301.

Platform: /blog, client-owned blog, SEO-company-owned external blog, each have their own pros and cons as far as branding, riskiness, content ownership. Need some trust, because very few text-based non-trusted domains hit the home.

Submitter: Power user helps on Digg, less on Stumble.

Category: Not super important.

Solicitation: Instant messaging, toolbar, etc. Stumble the more votes the better, not necessarily on Digg.

Social Media Metrics
Be mindful of the social site links that can make up the bulk of the backlinks generated.

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