Explosions in social media when personal & corporate values merge

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Gillian Muessig, Co-Founder, SEOmoz presentation at SoCon2011, 20th of October, ICO, London

Gillian Muessig, Co-Founder, SEOmoz presentation at SoCon2011, 20th of October, ICO, London

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  • The era of traditional sales is officially over
  • People all over the world are declining to watch, listen to, or be persuaded by ‘in your face’, one-way communications and ‘pushy’, interruptive ads.
  • From Raving Fans…
  • to Conversation Marketing
  • and Friends-of-Fans marketing
  • we are witnessing a huge shift in the marketing and buying consideration process
  • Someone brilliant told me recently that Social Media does not create or change the story of a company
  • It merely increases the speed with which the message travels
  • …and the breadth of the coverage of the message
  • The common conversation around Social Media is mired in tactical advice
  • Select platforms
  • Target markets
  • Likes are the new links
  • Depth + breadth of engagement = ROI
  • Etc. And these conversations ARE important… and we’re going to hear a lot about the tactics that work and those that don’t from amazingly transparent and generous marketers of some pretty powerful brands here today. In advance, I’m going to say, “thank you.” What you share today will not only improve the professional lives of us in your audience, but elevate your brands in our eyes.
  • To kick things off this AM, I’m going to talk about the Nature of Social Media – what it does and how it does it…
  • So that the trains leaving your station
  • carries the message you want it to carry
  • What is the ‘truth’ that Social Media is spreading so efficiently? It’s the truth about the nature of a company or brand. That’s what it’s spreading
  • The nature of a company can sometimes be found in its guiding principles
  • But whether it’s nature is codified in written tenets or not
  • The nature of a company is always found in its processes
  • Here’s the story of how SEOmoz built the world’s largest brand in search marketing software using Social Media - Inbound marketing.
  • 1981. I opened a small consultancy
  • I raised 3 children under my desk
  • I teach the children, “If you share, you will get more”.
  • Later this same sentiment became popularized by a movie called, “Pay It Forward” We built a company based on that premise.. And darn, if it didn’t work out well!
  • In 1993, I became involved in a web startup
  • In 1999, Rand joined the company; we added websites to our corporate identity work
  • Rand was already searching for the idea that would make his mark in the new economy
  • Yes, it IS personal! He wrote in his first online bio on our website: The future of the Internet is as unimaginable today, as the future of flight at the turn of the last century. We have the opportunity to populate this new universe, unfettered by the laws of physics. I take that opportunity as an obligation.” I cried. I (kid) down. Two to go.
  • In 2001, the dot-com bubble burst and I wet out to make the rain fall while we continued to search for our BHAG.
  • We designed, authored, developed, deployed, managed, marketed, and maintained our clients’ websites. We made our living by taking a percentage of adjusted gross online sales.
  • That meant the sites had to be found in the SERPs. We farmed out the SEO project to 4 companies, none of which could do the job.
  • So Rand studied the subject. He learned it so well, that a competitor of one of our clients posted this help wanted ad: Anyone who wants to go head to head against Rand Fishkin for the term Hard Money, apply here.
  • We climbed out of ‘The Dip’, into profitability
  • 2003 Rand begins to write SEOmoz.org to share what he’s learning about SEO with others. Opening comments and allowing others to blog generates interest from intelligent, capable SEOs
  • “ No matter how much you plan, it is tenacity, unyielding desire to succeed, and the ability to cope with change that will eventually prevail.”. Perry Payne (born 1966), Rugby Player, Father, Executive
  • Rand blogs every day
  • 2003. Rand continues to blog every day
  • 2005. Danny Sullivan invites Rand to attend SES NYC
  • MysteryGuest suggests wearing Yellow Shoes
  • @SiFish joins Rand in NYC.
  • November, 2005. A colleague suggests Newsweek interview Rand and SEOmoz. Issue: Dec 2006
  • 2006. Rand publishes SEOmoz income numbers on the blog.
  • 2007. Brand of Rand Fishkin / SEOmoz.org increases and gets on VC’s radar and the company is funded.
  • REPUTATION IS STICKY 2011. People still remember this amazing transparency. When Rand ‘live blogged’ our 2010 and 2011 failed forays into additional investment, people around the world remembered the first publication of our SEO consultancy numbers and applauded our continued transparency.
  • Rand increases his social reach
  • SEOmoz’ basic stats – without placing a single ‘paid ad’ until late 2010.
  • Tactics.
  • We accomplished it through ALL the pieces of inbound marketing. This includes SEO and email marketing as well as what we’d now call ‘traditional’ social media marketing.
  • Pssst… these are the MONEY SLIDES!
  • Mozcation, Post-It Wars, and RogerBot are all demonstrations of the FUN concept at SEOmoz. Be sure you mindfully create representations of the message you’re trying to portray.
  • Mozcation, Post-It Wars, and RogerBot are all demonstrations of the FUN concept at SEOmoz. Be sure you mindfully create representations of the message you’re trying to portray.
  • Mozcation, Post-It Wars, and Roger Mozbot are all demonstrations of the FUN concept at SEOmoz. Be sure you mindfully create representations of the message you’re trying to portray.
  • Linkscape, the thing that could not be done – the BHAG. IMO, for an esoteric B2B company, having all the ‘fun’ elements without having some serious game under the hood would backfire. We have fun with the product launch And we get as ‘ salesy ’ as we ’ ve ever been.
  • 2010 – We attempt to raise money and share how we do it. That was easy.
  • 2011 – We blow it again. And share it again. That’s not so easy.
  • 2010. Jen doesn’t feel well. Corporate policy, having nothing to do with the quality of the product will affect brand viability… and social media spreads that words really efficiently, too.
  • The truth WILL out. Generosity in customer service, as well as with your employees / team will ‘out’. If you screw your customer/s… even once, it will take weeks or even years of reputation management to clean up the mess.
  • It IS personal. It is the sustenance of social media. When it stops being personal, social media has nothing to grow on.
  • Social media is NOT about sharing product specs and prices. Rather, Internal Corporate Culture is the basis for Social Media’s message about you to the rest of the world.


  • 1. Explosions in Social Media When Personal & Corporate Values Merge SoCon2011 Gillian Muessig, President & Co-founder, SEOmoz October, 2011
  • 2. The era of traditional sales is officially over
  • 3. Did you just interrupt my SKY ??!!
  • 4. http://www.amazon.com/Raving-Fans-Revolutionary-Approach-Customer/dp/0688123163/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318890746&sr=8-1
  • 5. http://www.amazon.com/Conversation-Marketing-Internet-Strategies/dp/1412092248/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1318890891&sr=1-1-catcorr
  • 6. http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2011/5626/facebook-brands-should-target-friends-of-fans
  • 7.  
  • 8. http://www.google.com/imgres?q=story&hl=en&gbv=2&biw=1013&bih=637&tbm=isch&tbnid=42vc_CzgE7IBxM:&imgrefurl=http://ajitah.com/blog/%3Fp%3D585&docid=JtZGt3OVTbNfRM&imgurl=http://ajitah.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Tell-Me-A-Story.jpg&w=1428&h=1419&ei=ArGcTrveLqaB4gSsusjjCQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=88&vpy=160&dur=69&hovh=224&hovw=225&tx=108&ty=128&sig=103195842722407947764&page=1&tbnh=114&tbnw=115&start=0&ndsp=17&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0
  • 9. http://www.google.com/imgres?q=speeding+train&hl=en&gbv=2&biw=1013&bih=637&tbm=isch&tbnid=n9EnjHipZ1amoM:&imgrefurl=http://superspeedtrain.com/tag/speeding/&docid=MwBff-dP8195bM&imgurl=http://superspeedtrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/high-speed-rail-update1.jpg&w=400&h=267&ei=WLGcTsS5Ceek4ATJ-oynCQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=483&vpy=324&dur=1396&hovh=183&hovw=275&tx=225&ty=104&sig=103195842722407947764&page=1&tbnh=125&tbnw=194&start=0&ndsp=12&ved=1t:429,r:6,s:0
  • 10. http://www.123rf.com/photo_5545967_orbits-of-binary-information-speeding-around-the-world-globe.html
  • 11. http://blog.stevesponder.com/?tag=activelistening
  • 12. Select Platforms 120mm Users: 50mm 750mm 200mm 10mm Users: 14mm Millions 14mm 6.5mm
  • 13. Target markets
  • 14. http://www.dotcult.com/likes-and-pluses-are-the-new-links
  • 15. Depth + breadth of engagement = ROI
  • 16. Target markets
  • 17. Let’s Talk about Strategy
  • 18. http://www.amazon.com/Lionel-Potter-Hogwarts-Express-Gauge/dp/B000SSN0Q0
  • 19. http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Owl
  • 20. http://www.ragemonthly.com/
  • 21. http://www.projectsigma.co.uk/Guidelines/Summary/Principles.asp
  • 22. http://doggies.com/blog/2008/06/07/10-commandments/
  • 23. http://funnyoldchicks.typepad.com/funny-old-chicks-blog/2010/06/life-in-the-aark.html
  • 24. The Story of ‘ Moz
  • 29. http://en.fotolia.com/id/10119250
  • 30.  
  • 31. EXCEPTIONAL http://www.nitro-digital.co.uk/blog/2011/03/09/internet-revolution-in-publishing/
  • 33. http://www.motherboard.tv/2010/3/10/silicon-silliness-the-bubble-burst-10-years-ago-today--2
  • 34. TENACITY http://alburywebdesign.com/
  • 35. TENACITY http://www.articlesbase.com/elderly-care-articles/social-media-provides-needed-sunshine-for-seniors-and-shut-ins-4790859.html
  • 37. RESULTS
  • 39. TENACITY “ No matter how much you plan, it is tenacity, unyielding desire to succeed, and the ability to cope with change that will eventually prevail.”. Perry Payne (born 1966), Rugby Player, Father, Executive
  • 40. TENACITY & AUTHENTICITY http://gloriarand.wordpress.com/category/blogging-2/
  • 41. TENACITY & AUTHENTICITY http://gloriarand.wordpress.com/category/blogging-2/
  • 42. GENEROSITY BREEDS GENEROSITY http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2054740/Schedule-optimization-for-SES-New-York
  • 43. AHA! MysteryGuest’s Stroke of Genius
  • 45. RESULTS
  • 47. RESULTS
  • 50. I Told You That Story, So I Could Tell You This Story
  • 51. Our only marketing expense? Flights + hotels for conferences/events More at http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-history-of-seomoz
  • 52. How Did You Do That?
  • 53. http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-rich-get-richer-true-in-seo-social-all-organic-marketing Blogs + Blogging Comment Marketing News/Media/PR SEO Social Networks Word of Mouth Q+A Sites Forums Online Video Podcasting Webinars Research/White Papers Infographics Social Bookmarking INBOUND MARKETING! (AKA “free” traffic sources) Direct/Referring Links Type-In Traffic Email
  • 54. It all starts with Content Marketing
  • 55. A Blog We Update Every Day
  • 56. “ Viral” Targeted Content http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors
  • 57. “ Viral” Targeted Content http://guides.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-search-engine-optimization
  • 58. “ Viral” Targeted Content http://www.seomoz.org/seo-industry-survey
  • 59. Graphics + Illustrations
  • 60. A Weekly Video Series http://www.seomoz.org/blog/category/33
  • 61. Build it and they’ll come? Nope. Build it, then market it.
  • 62. Comments + Conversations
  • 63. Social Networks Data and charts of our Facebook and Twitter account performance via http://export.ly
  • 64. Social News / Bookmarking http://news.ycombinator.com , http://delicious.com , http://stumbleupon.com and http://reddit.com have historically performed best for us, but you should test results
  • 65. Q+A Sites / Forums
  • 66. Conferences + Events
  • 67. SEO
  • 68. Email Marketing We use/love http://www.mailchimp.com (who now has a cool free option for early stage folks)
  • 69. Involve a Sharing-Incented Community The brilliant strategy by http://www.urbanspoon.com made them one of the biggest players in the local restaurant business and got them acquired by IAC
  • 70. Design Like an “Award Winner” Check out http://google.com/search?q=css+gallery for tons of great galleries and inspiration
  • 71. Tactical Assaults
  • 75. EXCEPTIONAL WORK http://www.seomoz.org/linkscape_comic.html
  • 78. EMPATHY
  • 79. Last thoughts
  • 83. Q+A MSMLondon2011 45 days to play w/Mozzers (and kick your competitors’ proverbial….!!)
      • Twitter: @SEOmom
      • Blog: www.seomoz.org/blog
      • Email: gillian@seomoz.org