Live from Pubcon Vegas: Going For the Gold – Optimizing for the Social Media Pay Day

By Janet Driscoll Miller | Nov 11, 2009
More Articles by Janet

This panel covered everything from the basics of the various social media tools to strategies for using social media to drive traffic and engagement.

Rebecca Kelley

First up was Rebecca Kelley from 10e20 with a presentation entitled “Better Living through Social Media”, an overview of the various social media sites and where the ROI can be found.

Social media is just another avenue to drive traffic. So where is the ROI in these sites? Rebecca started with an example of the Three Wolf Moon t-shirt case study.

Image representing Digg as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase

Digg can drive links and traffic to your site. Rebecca shared that a piece by State Farm in Digg helped them also rank very well for SEO keywords.

Reddit drives traffic, links and community. It’s not as big as Digg, but it’s pretty buzzworthy and has a very loyal community.

With delicious, you can build a loyal audience or readership. With StumbleUpon, it’s about traffic, mindshare and subscribers.

Twitter is about traffic, awareness, followers and sales. Tweeting a contest or promotion should provide some good response. Tweet deals (ex: Dell, JetBlue).

With Facebook, it’s about traffic, brand loyalty, deals and sales and ads. Rebecca gave the example of Victoria’s Secret’s Facebook efforts. She mentioned that you can create a tab on your Facebook page for specials, deals, etc.

LinkedIn is about building relationships and making connections. Best thing you can do to get ROI from LinkedIn is get recommendations and establish connections.

Reem Abeidoh

Reem Abeidoh from Outrider was up next and covered the growth of social media, its measurement.

Reem said that you need to use social media as a branding tool, not a direct marketing tool. Determine what is the best social media tool for YOUR brand. She felt that marketing doesn’t work in social media.

So what is the opportunity? Listening tells you what your customers are saying. Create a strategy based on your business goals. Optimize content appropriately for search and social. Then match the right content with the right audience in the right place. Finally, in order to prove the ROI, be sure to monitor and measure! How did customers connect with your brand?

Reem gave the example of the Dell customer service success story. Dell was able to dramatically change negative mentions by engaging. Best Buy had a high employee turnover rate. They empowered employees by giving them a voice with Blue Shirt Nation. Their 60% turnover was reduced to 8%.

Maximize your performance with earned media and owned media. She cited a whitepaper of a study about various search and social performance at

Define success metrics based on your brand or business objectives and recognize where you are in the purchase funnel.

Dave Snyder

Dave Snyder from Search and Social was up next with a presentation called “Put Social Before Money”.  Dave said that most companies approach social media as the product first, but that’s not effective. So how can a company make money with social media? Three top ways are:

  • Customer service (customer retention)
  • Links (improved search engine rankings)
  • Traffic (can drive conversions)

How do you build a social site’s equity? The funnel that many companies use is to drive visitors to their site to purchase products, but that doesn’t work. Don’t put the product before the consumer! Instead of working from the product down, why not create a new home for your product, like a microsite?

  • You build a home to fit your family, not your family to fit your house. Make a customized site to match your demographic and social needs of that segment.
  • Let your community know where their new home is. One great way to do that is via social news sites, like Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon.
  • Create a social network, like a fan page on Facebook.
    • Other great places are Yahoo Answers, forums, and vertical related blogs.
  • Listen to feedback about product, make adjustments to product, get feedback on the site, make adjustments to the site.
  • Turn your friend into a customer.
    • offer products and services your community needs
    • create incentives and offers
    • optimize the elements
  • Collect data and continue to revise the social media plan.

Jay Berkowitz

Last up was Jay Berkowitz who wrote the book Ten Golden Rules of Online Marketing and covered ten social search strategies.

  1. Instant Search – who’s looking for your business?
  2. Crowdsourcing – ask your follower
  3. Social Media Subscriptions – network with others
  4. People Search – Twitter and LinkedIn change how you find contacts
  5. YouTube – YouTube is actually the #2 search engine, but many marketers don’t focus on it.
    • Some tips for YouTube videos:
      • Include keyword phrases in the full title and description
      • Create a channel
      • Comment and favorite others
      • Develop a series of ‘how-to’ videos to build links
      • Advance – tags, playlists and captions, syndication
  6. Search Results from Social – reputation managment/pesonal brand (he also mentioned PeoplePond and Google Profiles)
  7. Facebook Fan Pages – they get indexed by Google
  8. Social Media Transcriptions
  9. Web 2.0 Links
  10. Social Link Bait – ex: top experts in area, put them on blog, experts will then link to the post
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