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Social Media Optimization & the “Social Three”

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Social Media Optimization & the “Social Three”: Presented by Kevin Mullett (@kmullett) for Cirrus ABS on Sept. 28th 2010 at the NIIC in Fort Wayne Indiana. …

Social Media Optimization & the “Social Three”: Presented by Kevin Mullett (@kmullett) for Cirrus ABS on Sept. 28th 2010 at the NIIC in Fort Wayne Indiana.

http://www.cirrusabs.com, http://www.twitter.com/cirrusabs, http://www.facebook.com/cirrusabs, http://www.youtube.com/user/cirrusabs, http://www.linkedin.com/compaines/cirrus-abs, by email: mailto:info@cirrusabs.com or by phone: 1.877.817.4442.

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  • Social Media Optimization & the “Social Three”:Presented by Kevin Mullett (@kmullett) for Cirrus ABS on Sept. 28th 2010 at the NIIC in Fort Wayne Indiana.
  • Social Media Optimization & the “Social Three”: Presented by Kevin Mullett, Director of Product Development & Social Media Optimization for Cirrus ABS. Places you can find and communicate with Kevin: kevinmullett.com (blog), twitter.com/kmullett (twitter), facebook.com/kevinmullett (facebook), and on linkedin.com/in/kevinmullett (LinkedIn), among hundreds of others social media communities and networks.
  • The “Social Three” // You are here to find out about social media, but let’s start by actually talking about what I call the “social three”. Why? Because people use these terms interchangeably, when they are not in fact interchangeable. If you think about it we could just remove the “social” moniker off all of these and we would have good old fashion traditional media, networking, and marketing methods. Today we will discuss various aspects of the social sphere and social media optimization. Now the information I present today, much like search engine optimization information, will have a limited shelf life. A scant 6 years ago Facebook was created in a dorm room and now has more users than the population of the United States. A year ago many of you had no idea what Twitter was, now it has gone mainstream and is in countless TV commercials. I could waste the entirety of this seminar just talking about the rise and fall of various social services, percentage of market share, types of people who use each, etc. Instead I am going to breeze by some of those items at a high level, so I can spend more time giving you social marketing tips that will help your business.
  • The “Social Three” // Firstup we have social media which represents the tools we use for building followers, friendships, & contacts. Tools like twitter, facebook, linkedin, youtube, friendfeed, Buzz, foursquare, ning, to name only a fraction of the available services. Each have strengths and weaknesses and each need to be evaluated so we can put our time into the ones that will reap the largest ROI. I have both online and offline media tools represented because they are all just visibility tools.
  • The “Social Three” // Social networking is the day to day interaction we have with contacts built using the various social media tools/services, in other words the “social” part. It is no different then when you attend a party, that you might otherwise pass on, in order to touch base with clients or potential clients. Now some might also toss in social networks, but let’s not make things confusing. Each tool has the potential to reach a percentage of your ideal market segment, group, individuals, or demographic. This is also to extend and optimize your circle of influence.
  • The “Social Three” // Social marketing is the subtle, or not so subtle, use of one or more online tool to promote your business to the network you have established. Again no different than reminding those people you meet at parties, “hey I build killer websites, you should have me do one for you”. Over simplified? Maybe, but the real reason we’re here is to learn how to put this all into motion. We want to avoid the Me Monster. (me monster by Brian Regan)
  • Social Media Optimization // Ok now that you know what the Social Three are, how do we apply it? Which social services should we use. Do we really have to participate in social media at all? Can I just do the ones I like or have time for?If you have not been already, this will be the year you are inundated with people telling you to get into social media, and I will be among those asking you to take a look at it, but I want to explain some factors to consider before deciding where to put your money and efforts in 2010. I also want to show you a bit about how social media is affecting SEO and as importantly how it is not.  We are also going to discuss social media optimization (SMO). As we have heard from many clients, the chief concern is how do you get a return for the time invested.As I have been prone to repeat , this will be the year of talking to your audience in their preferred medium, that is to say those they pay attention to, not the ones you wish to participate in. In a down economy we are not afforded the opportunity to be steadfast in our ideals.
  • Social Media Optimization // One of the common objections to participating in social networks for business use is privacy and mixing business with pleasure. In reality our information has been publically available for decades, albeit in a different format. It used to be on almost every street corner dangling at the ready for any stranger who took the time to peruse it.We used to do business with people we knew. They knew our kids, what we drove, our views, and sometimes when we where on vacation. A percentage of the market desires a move back to relationships with who we do business with.
  • Social Media Optimization // What we really want to know is how to use social media as a means of; winning new business, enhancing customer service, providing offers and notifications, press releases and general promotion, manage our brand and reputation, awareness of our industry, promoting our knowledge experts, and keeping tabs on the competition.
  • Social Media Optimization // Right now, you need to be going where the traffic is or more pointently, where you can be visible. And while being visible is great, if efforts are put into areas where there is no intent for action it will be wasted time, money, and effort. Keep in mind too, that this is not a singular action. Social media campaigns are just another part of a NetCentered marketing approach. We will talk more about that later.Just who or what do we want to be visible too? The obvious answer is people who would like to use our product or service. The not so obvious answer is search engines. We want to make sure we are out where they are actively crawling.
  • Social Media Optimization // action 1: It is time to take some action. As I promised you are going to leave with things you can directly do. Let’s start with a few simple steps. This presentation is filled with items you can go do, today, that can have a positive impact on your business.Let’s develop a unified elevator pitch for social profiles. Be specific about what you really do, who you really are as an organization. Each of the various social services will have a different length for the bio or information area. This means you need to first come up with a long and short version and tweak it for each individual service. Try to be consistent however as it should be the right message every time. It is also good to have a unified logo or picture you use across the various social services so friends from other services will know it is you. Now that of course is a very general statement and will not fit in all situations. Generally speaking you want to use photos for personal profiles and logos for businesses.
  • Social Media Optimization // It would seem obvious, but many businesses simply don’t take advantage of the exposure they could have. We get busy just like you, and occasionally miss some opportunities. The key is to develop a structure that supports getting the word out to minimize those lost opportunities. Here we see two pictures added to my personal flickr photo sharing account. The first was uploaded on Feb 28th 2010, while second one has been there since May 6th 2009. How did the first one, which is arguably no more intriguing, earn so much traffic in one day? Because I told someone. Adding that picture to one social site, Stumbleupon, made people aware. It created a backlink to my picture and people followed that link.
  • Social Media Optimization // action 2a: Use a service like namechk.com to go grab your brands social id’s. I think it is wise for both branding reasons, and for online marketing presence to grab them. If you have an intern, this would be a great task to set them out on. Which ones are important? Which ones don’t you want a competitor or squatter to have? While the backlink value for many is not high, the fact that search engines are constantly crawling these networks is worth noting. This is especially important while the crawl rate on your website is low. Posting links to some of these networks, like ning.com or mybloglog.com where the search engines already spend a significant amount of time, can lead to pages being indexed in under an hour and subsequently lead to radical improvement in new pages being indexed on your site.
  • Social Media Optimization // action 2b: Now use dandyid.org to store your social id’s in one spot. You can use the provided code to embed it on a website. Add key social sites to your email signatures.Bah! This social thing isn’t working. Well, have you told people about it?There are many. http://www.retaggr.com/ is another type.
  • Social Media Optimization // action 2c: Now lets shoot for some social visibility. This concepts takes content you post via your website, twitter, facebook, linkedin, delicious and posts it on other services where others are spending time and where the search engines are crawling. Each unique URL on each service is a page that Google could choose to serve up in a SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
  • Social Media Optimization // action 2d: Last but certainly not least lets go sign up for groups on the ning network and through our personal linkedin accounts. As you can see in this example we were able to promote our Fort Wayne Social Media Seminar on one of the groups we belong to on ning. This page was crawled within hours by google and ranked on page one for many terms within one day.The second example shows posting to social media site LinkedIn for this event also shows up well in the search engine result pages.Recent changes in the ning network pricing structure could destroy some of these groups. ($3, $20, $50 plans)
  • Social Media Optimization // Socialposts have unique URL’s and count as backslinks! (nofollow) Someone told you that hundreds or thousands of backlinks were the key to SEO nirvana right? Well to be sure, backlinks are important, as it was one of the founding factors Google was based on. My example about the picture in the previous slide would also stand to prove that putting links out in the public eye can produce a traffic boost as well. And yet we have the knowledge that there are over 200 criteria that Google uses to determine rank. Furthermore I have seen sites that have been active for years with tens of thousands backlinks still not rank well because they do not sufficiently cover other ranking factors. Either way, we want to put our links out there for both visibility to real people and to search engines. We want them both to come visit. That isn’t bad, it’s called promotion.
  • Social Media Optimization // This is where people normally suffer paralysis by analysis. I can hear the questions forming in your heads right now. How can we make this work for our organization? Won’t this take a huge chunk out of our day? The answer is not unlike any large project. We need to make plans, prioritize our goals, delegate responsibility to those who can do the job, optimize our efforts by using the right tools, and get organized. Although it can be very different for specific markets, by and large, we see internet activity run a normal cycle. People slowly ramp up in the morning, are very active during the lunch hour, then wind down till after supper. We can minimize our time commitment by first prioritizing when we post and interact. We can further maximize our time by using tools like tweetdeck or post once services to spread the news one time and have it appear on many services. Thought should be given to the message going out and the target service. This is at the root of social media activity and participation optimization.
  • Social Media Optimization // There are many tools we can use to automatically post for us on a schedule like hootsuite, or based on individual blog postings via twitterfeed and RSS feeds. These types of services must be weighed against potentially coming across as unauthentic. We can also use tools like selective tweets to post to both twitter and facebook while on using mobile devices or going the other way, facebook to twitter with “facebook to twitter” app.
  • Social Media Optimization // One of the most common things I hear from companies for both their websites and their social efforts is that they have nothing to say, and no one would care anyway. We can get past that by remembering some simple suggestions. Be friendly and upbeat. Avoid issues that are hot buttons. Be helpful and listen first. Don’t be a comedian but be light hearted and engaging. We also encourage you to use RSS feeds and Google Alerts as additional ways to find good material you can comment on. It should go without saying, don’t copy other peoples articles. Instead, pull a snippet and summarize what that article means to your clients or business and include a link to the original article.
  • Social Media Optimization // action3: A sure fire way to lose followers or Facebook friends is to stuff your timeline with keywords or spammy words. Go ahead and include keywords, but do not treat them as a focus. First and foremost you want to sound like you are presenting information or participating in a conversation. Do use keywords and industry terms though so followers looking for information on the subject can find you, and so the search engines can include your posts in the real time search results.
  • Social Media Optimization // Now once you have their attention, we need to plan where we want to send them. A simplistic few is you are either going to send them back to your website for additional information or to your Facebook fan page where you may be more opt to develop an ongoing relationship by continuously showing up in their timeline. Let’s again think of where people spend their time. They are already spending it on Facebook, not on your website. The goal is conversion, not visits.It helps if you established goals for your social media campaign. How can you optimize efforts if you don’t know the goal? If you say the purpose is simply to drive traffic you may be disappointed depending on the efforts you put in and the type of business you are in. Instead we need to also look at client interactions, brand awareness, and referral business.
  • Social Media Optimization // action 4: How many in here have a Facebook page? Formally “fan pages”. How many in here have Facebook accounts? What throws a lot of people off is the fact that you need to have a profile first so you can create a fan page. Visit (http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php) to start the page creation process. Once you have the page setup you can also add other people, who have Facebook accounts, as admins. At the recent f8 conference Facebook released some changes which included turning companies, schools, likes, and interests into “community pages”.
  • Social Media Optimization // action 4 (continued): The process of completing your Facebook page will involve filling out various fields, inputting that “who we are” copy I mentioned, customization and promotion. The customization and promotion part can be extensive. You can even use what is called FBML (Facebook Markup Language) to create custom tabs, etc. That is a whole seminar by itself. Simpler items like setting up automatic RSS feeds from your website, posting to twitter when posting on Facebook, and associating your bit.ly url-shortening account with Facebook are easy to setup.To keep things really simple for the purpose of this seminar, let’s just make sure to put good content on the fan page and tell people you have a Facebook page so they can connect. Also worth noting is that you can get a vanity URL (http://www.facebook.com/username/) once you have 25 fans. Our vanity url looks like this http://www.facebook.com/cirrusabs. Oh. We would love for you to become a fan.
  • Social Media Optimization // At the f8 conference, Facebook also released The Open Graph Protocol, which essentially allows all websites to tie in with Facebook. This is exciting because the visitors of your site have the potential to “like” your site or individual pages of content and thus show it to their friends in the Facebook timeline. Read more about the Open Graph protocol. (http://developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraph)
  • Social Media Optimization // action 5: Since we have mentioned it several times so far, and since most of the social services or social clients have a bit.ly tie in, I would suggest signing up for an account. This way you will have another way of checking traffic sources and volume. I know of well over 30 other url shortening service that are available to be used, and in fact a growing trend is for companies to create their own urlshorteners, but for our purposes bit.ly should do the trick.
  • Social Media Optimization // While this seminar wasn’t really going to be about social media advertising, I just had to mention a bit about Facebook advertising. As we can see in this simple example, for a very targeted subject and equally targeted cities, we received 5 clicks for a total cost of $2.69. We were even able to be specify education level and age range. As with all types of PPC/CPC type campaigns, continued testing, conversion traps, and altering the creative would be in order to maximize return.
  • Social Media Optimization // action 6: With the ability to specify very small test markets and limit your budget to just dollars per day, I encourage you to take a good look at this type of advertising.
  • Social Media Optimization // action 7a: Set up your Google Profile, tie in your various websites, social services, and create anchor text links in the about me section.We can see here that BING has crawled and indexed this status update from my Google Profile. Since this was added via TweetDeck and at the same time I posted to twitter, facebook, and linkedin, it took no more time. Again utilizing social media optimization principles.
  • Social Media Optimization // action 7b: After setting up your Google Profile you will also want to go through the process of verifying your name, which needs to be done through Google Knol. Here is an article with the steps in it. http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/019860.html
  • Social Media Optimization // action 7c: After you have your profile filled out and your name verified we optionally want to associate your Google profile with Google Buzz. Be aware though that as of right now, if you choose to cancel buzz it will close your Google Profile. As with all the social services it really boils down to where you ideal client is spending time and what other perks come along for the ride.On Monday (July 19th) Google announced the “Google Buzz firehose”. This distributes all public activity via PubSubHubbub. As of July 19thCollecta, Gnip, OneRiot, Postrank Analytics, and Superfeedr’s Track are utilizing the firehose.
  • Social Media Optimization // The trap many fall into is trying to hard for friends, fans, and followers due to pride or greed. They have mistaken followers as accurate measures of value. Since followers can easily be bought or faked, they cannot be accurately used for valuation. Instead we must build organic followers with intent to interact with us.
  • Social Media Optimization // We also must consider carefully how much weight we put on the types of people we engage with. These are great people to engage with, but they are likely to fill our pride tank before filling the coffers of our companies.
  • Social Media Optimization // We need to look to other criteria to judge the success or failure of our efforts. Things like reach, engagement, attention capture, connectivity, interactions and more. We can use tools like Klout, TweetStats, Twitter Analyzer, Facebook Insights, TweetReach, and there are now ways to hook up Google Analytics to your Facebook fan page now as well. I could go on for a solid half hour or more on the various tools and methods for measurement. The point I want to drive home is to make sure we are measuring the right things.What are good metrics for social media success? To name just a few: influence, traffic, reputation and brand management, visibility, engagement, competitive intelligence garnered, and of course revenue. Let’s not forget revenue!
  • Social Media Optimization // action 8: Did it work? do it again. We want to look for successes so we can repeat them and failures so we can correct or avoid them. While it sounds geeky to discuss Google A/B or multivariate testing, this will not lead to conclusive results for clients with low traffic volume. It certainly may not provide enough measurable change to warrant the cost of creating those changes. This in no way means we should not constantly be testing for improvement. We can as an alternative look to landing page effectiveness, conversion funnels, bounce rates, time on site, and many other types of clues in order to fine tune ROI. We can also check what effect our social efforts have had on our SERP (search engine results page). Use tools like Rank Checker for keywords you have selected, hopefully based on validation efforts, to check before and after results. You will also want to express the need for everyone in the company to be committed to monitoring contacts, calls, and lead sources for clues on what is working so you can do it again.
  • Social Media Optimization // The Difficult Truth, it's not about money it is about time, unless you don't have time, then you need to spend money. If you don't have the time, or someone on staff who does, you will need someone you can call to explain it.  Someone who will weed out fad from fact. Even if you engage us to help, we need you to show interest and participate in your marketing success. Let’s look at this like a good, better, and best scenario. This seminar was constructed so you would leave today with actionable items. Many of the day to day actions are best handled internally and can be done cost effectively. The tips I mention today can provide measurable impact on your marketing efforts. Knowing what your competition is doing allows you to extend efforts to the areas of highest return. And if all this seems too daunting, then it is time to call in reinforcements. 1.877.817.4442 // info@cirrusabs.com // http://www.cirrusabs.com
  • We at Cirrus ABS appreciate you taking the time to learn how to improve your internet marketing efforts. Please let us know how we can help you and if you liked this seminar please remember to sign up for our next event which will be on Aug. 11th on Google Analytics.
  • http://www.cirrusabs.com, http://www.twitter.com/cirrusabs, http://www.facebook.com/cirrusabs, http://www.youtube.com/user/cirrusabs, http://www.linkedin.com/compaines/cirrus-abs, by email: mailto:info@cirrusabs.comor by phone: 1.877.817.4442.
  • SMO // action 2a: extra credit , http://usernamez.com/ free (?),http://claimid.com/free (?), http://knowem.com/ $$ (400), http://claim.io/welcome $ (300)
  • Social Media Optimization // action 7a: Set up your Google Profile, tie in your various websites, social services, and create anchor text links in the about me section.After you have your profile filled out and your name verified we optionally want to associate your Google profile with Google Buzz. Be aware though that as of right now, if you choose to cancel buzz it will close your Google Profile. Directly tying Twitter to Buzz is frowned upon because of the way Google pulls in tweets.While Google Buzz is still extremely new, it started life with a huge boost since it tied directly into to Gmail. Something that not everyone was crazy about. Either way it is already approaching the size of twitter in far less time. As with all the social services it really boils down to where you ideal client is spending time and what other perks come along for the ride.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Social Media Optimization & the “Social Three” // Kevin Mullett cirrusabs.com twitter.com/cirrusabs facebook.com/cirrusabs youtube.com/user/cirrusabs linkedin.com/companies/cirrus-abs
    • 2. Social Media Optimization & the “Social Three” // Kevin Mullett kevinmullett.com twitter.com/kmullett facebook.com/kevinmullett linkedin.com/in/kevinmullett just google “kevin mullett” director of product development
    • 3. SMO // the “social three” • social media take the social out of it and it is good old fashion media • social networking business and personal networking, just online • social marketing marketing by any other name would spend as sweet
    • 4. SMO // social media = tools
    • 5. SMO // social networking = visibility
    • 6. SMO // social marketing = application
    • 7. SMO // visibility via preferred media • preferred media not singular media • specialty and niche social services • the year of talking to your audience where they are
    • 8. SMO // but…my privacy! • formerly found on street corners • were you unlisted? • who did we do business with 30 years ago?
    • 9. SMO // for my business? how can social media help your business? • visibility / brand awareness • customer feedback (in real-time) • traffic/backlinks (to pages or our site) • to encourage page or site indexing • likability factor (or not) – “All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends. All things being not quite so equal, people STILL want to do business with their friends” – Jeffrey Gitomer • promoting knowledge experts
    • 10. SMO // where’s the intent? • tv • dm (direct mail) • radio • newspaper • print (brochures/ads) • email marketing • social • SEO • search marketing • tradeshows • sponsorships (nascar etc.) • yellow pages (not shown)
    • 11. SMO // action 1 • develop your elevator pitch • optimize your “what we do” paragraph then adapt it to fit in various profile areas. (160 characters in twitter for example) • photos for personal accounts, logos for businesses (generally speaking. in some instances you want to use photos)
    • 12. SMO // you have to tell someone the first picture was promoted, the second was not. six months of being found versus one day of being promoted. Then SEO kicks in!
    • 13. SMO // action 2a grab your brand • mass id check with namechk.com
    • 14. SMO // action 2b centralize & promote your brand id’s • mass id listing dandyid.org
    • 15. SMO // action 2c increase your brand visibility, distributing RSS • social visibility mybloglog.com
    • 16. SMO // action 2d network your brand • join groups/add events on ning.com & linkedin.com
    • 17. SMO // yes virginia they are backlinks social profile & post backlinks why do we want backlinks? • visibility / brand recognition • traffic generation / linkbait (to pages or our site) • to encourage page or site indexing • increase page rank / authority (can impact SERPs) • someone told you to get backlinks
    • 18. SMO // social activity optimization optimize your efforts • schedule activity during peak times • use tools to consolidate accounts
    • 19. SMO // social team optimization further optimize by • delegating responsibility & automate (w/caution) • monitor keywords & brands
    • 20. SMO // i’ve nothing to say & no one cares we hear it all the time. i don’t have anything to say & no one would care anyway. how do i attract followers / fans. • friendly & upbeat • avoid sensitive issues • be helpful • listen first • engaging & funny
    • 21. SMO // action 3 posting tips • use keywords & keyword phrases sparingly • keywords should be relevant to subject • avoid spammy words make money, MLM, work from home, get rich… unless that is what you do! • avoid hyperbole • look informative • appear conversational
    • 22. SMO // where are you sending them? what is your goal? • will your site or fanpage support conversion • which are they more likely to visit daily • are you sending them to just another link
    • 23. SMO // action 4a facebook pages, the many flavors • community pages new • *groups are different • *profiles are for people • create a fan page or on the right side look for
    • 24. SMO // action 4b • select the category & follow the steps • now complete your profile & promote it • once you get 25 followers get your vanity URL
    • 25. SMO // facebook takes over the web • visible to their friends timeline (a recommendation) • Simple code to add the like button • Backend code to add site name and attributes
    • 26. SMO // action 5 setup a bit.ly URL shortener account (i know of over 30 other url-shorteners, but bit.ly is trusted & widely used)
    • 27. SMO // advertising at a matinee price facebook • low ppc (pay per click) rates (compared to Google) • CPM (cost per impression) option available • excellent capabilities for ideal client targeting
    • 28. SMO // action 6 http://www.facebook.com/advertising or click
    • 29. SMO // action 7a • setup google profiles for you & your business google.com/profiles
    • 30. SMO // action 7b • verify your google profile name via google knol name verification steps by search engine roundtable
    • 31. SMO // action 7c • setup google buzz (warning: can’t be undone without losing google profile)
    • 32. SMO // measuring the right things is this the right kind of measurement?
    • 33. SMO // social analytics & measurement am i popular and important yet?
    • 34. SMO // what really happened? measuring traffic, engagement, reach…
    • 35. SMO // action 8 • check google analytics or server logs for: bounce rates, time on site, pages visited, conversion pages, confirmation pages (setup advanced filters & funnels) • monitor contacts, calls, lead sources • rank checker: firefox add-on • bit.ly analytics
    • 36. SMO // good, better, best approach • good = know where your competition is, start there, start small, but start • better = watch alerts & filters, hashtags jump in when you can offer help • best = be an active & responsive participant with custom posts be willing to pay professionals for assistance & advice.
    • 37. We'll Help You Master Internet Marketing These days it’s more important than ever for you to reach new prospects, satisfy customers, find new efficiencies, and grow your business. The Web's the way to do it. We can help. Call 1.877.817.4442
    • 38. 1.877.817.4442
    • 39. SMO // action 2a: extra credit grab your brand • other mass id checking tools – http://usernamez.com/ free – http://claimid.com/ free – http://knowem.com/ $ – http://claim.io/ $