First up on the agenda today is Social Media and Search Marketing: Not the Same Old Stuff, with a panel including Brent Csutoras of Brent Csutoras, Inc., Jen Miller of Delta, Dave Snyder of Search & Social and Michael Gray (aka Graywolf) of Atlas Web Services.
Dave Snyder was up first and started off by discussing how social media linking is valuable, but that links have problems. Google has over 30 billion pages and claims to have found over one trillion links! Dave discussed the “query deserves freshness” (QDF) factor — that means that newsworthy topics need to rise to the top, but that’s not as much the case with Google today as it is in social media. Dave believes Google is starting to use “social signals” through its many offerings, like Google Adsense, Analytics, etc. He says they are looking for fresh content and says keys are:
- Traffic. He referenced a study Sugarrae (Rae Hoffman) did on launching a social site.
- Engagement. Dave cited a Google patent filing about social bookmarking and referenced how people are sharing content and bookmarking content. He indicated that it is driven more by going to a site, staying on a page, then bookmarking it. He believes they look at upstream and downstream data — how long did you stay? where did you go afterwards? where did you come from?
- User reviews. Yahoo recently submitted a patent to incorporate user reviews.
What can you do?
- Drive traffic from Twitter. Quick bursts of traffic are good. Add a retweet badge on your page to drive retweets and traffic.
- Control your bookmarking. Add widgets for bookmarking and suggest how the piece should be bookmarked.
- Increase use of your site. Use a sniffer to detect where people come from (ex. StumbleUpon) and make suggestions as to what others from that source access.
- Create engagement. Use quizzes, voting tools, reviews, etc. to increase participation and thereby increase engagement. Use the HReview tag.
What to consider:
- Be a persona, not a person.
- Fill out all of the details on your profile.
- Stats are important — how many people subscribe to you, etc.
- Stumble lots right away so that folks can see your favorites.
- Don’t spam! You will be found out.
- Start stumbling (discovery). www.stumbleupon.com/submit can show you recent hot topics.
- Tagging is important. Choose wisely. Be in categories that have lots of people and in as many categories as possible.
- See how others have tagged your content. Cross tag as much as possible — edit your tags to add theirs if you don’t have those same tags.
Next up was Brent Csutoras and covered how to use StumbleUpon and succeed in using it well. StumbleUpon is a social aggregation site like Digg in some ways. However, StumbleUpon has a toolbar that makes it easier for users to vote on content throughout the web when they find good content to bookmark.
Why should you use StumbleUpon? It’s an easy site to participate with — simply press the StumbleUp button. However, they’ve added lots more web-based functions recently as well, including Facebook and Twitter integration. There are also over 8 Million users!
What about SEO links from StumbleUpon? The links appear to be dofollow, so they are good for SEO. You can build inbound links quickly with a StumbleUpon effort.
What should you consider when using StumbleUpon?
- Create a persona for your profile.
- Start stumbling to get your content on your profile up.
- Cross categorize as much as possible. Tagging is crucial.
- Avoid patterns (voting, discoveries, shares).
- Add and make friends. (subscribers, testimonials, etc.)
- Post to your StumbleUpon page (called “your blog”).
- Vote videos and photos.
- Tag and review. Don’t just stumble!
- Choose a niche.
Next up was Michael Gray about using Flickr to build links. He emphasized that you should:
- take good pictures
- look for gaps in Flickr where there are no pics
- give pictures unique names and titles and use keywords and tags (picture names become the anchor text)
- put pictures under a Creative Commons license
Get your pictures ranking well in Flickr first. Put a link back to your gallery on your website. Find groups where you can add your pictures. If a group doesn’t exist, create one! Be sure to give yourself a photo credit too. On a limited basis, ask for specific anchor text. Also on a limited basis, put links back to your own website — don’t be a spammer.
To create links back to your site, use a Flickr photo, let the author know — be positive and thankful.
- Join Flickr and create Creative Commons photos.
- Describe, tag and name pictures.
- Become part of the community.
- Join groups, contribute and participate.
- Use only your best pictures to drive links and traffic.
- Use properly licensed pictures to build relationships and links.
Finally was Jen Miller from delta.com. She detailed how Delta began using social media, starting with a blog, to engage with customers and respond also to negative feedback. Today, Delta has RSS feeds, uses Flickr, videos on YouTube, and is present on Facebook.
She admits that there was not much focus on a purpose per se. But they did play around with many channels and found that integration was the key to success. They used interlinking between their blog, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr to cross link. They also measure success using a dashboard. They take action on key metrics, for example, both positive and negative feedback.
Jen said that social has given them more of an online footprint/real estate. In one year, through their multiple channels via social, last year they only had two entries in the SERPs but now have seven — owning more of the search results page through multiple social sites, like the Facebook page.