Search Marketers, Social Marketers, Marketing Managers and Bloggers across the globe gathered earlier this week at the SMX Social Conference in New York City, as well as myself.
SMX Social was the first conference dedicated to Social Media Marketing. Overall the conference presented Social Media Marketing to those who had not yet gotten a total grip on the area as well as provided those already involved with tips and useful tactics. The conference covered Social Media Marketing all the way from the top dogs (Digg, MySpace, Facebook) down to the niches (WebMd, Etsy, etc.)
One of the topics covered most throughout many of the sessions was Linkbait. Developing the right content to maximize the number of other sites that decide to link to you because of this content. Check what's worked and what hasn't, watch trends, research your industry niches and a variety of other arenas to look at. Successful Linkbait categories include: Lists, How To's and Current Events.
Once you have your Linkbait wrote and begin submitting to the various Social Media sites many feel their job is done. However that is completely untrue. Social Media Marketing takes a large amount of resources to be done properly. You need commitment to the highest degree. Before submitting you need to have your friends / networks in place and be able to take advantage of them. You also need to be able to monitor the reach of the Linkbait. How many new links were achieved? From where? Is the site getting more traffic? Have your search positions increased? After submission, most of the real work then begins.
Social Media Websites
The list of Social Media websites is virtually endless. There are new bookmarking and news sites popping up on the web every day. If they'll become the next Digg or Facebook, I doubt it. But while trying to get on the homepage of Digg may be the ultimate goal, it is a huge leap. Only .7% of the stories actually make the Digg homepage.
The larger Social Media websites offer the ability to reach a large amount of people and gain traffic, but you have to also utilize the niche sites. There are many micro-communities or vertical portals that can provide you with precisely targeted traffic. These niche sites can point people who already are interested in your topic to your site, versus targeting a broad range of topics. Utilizing sites like Yelp, WebMd, Etsy, Care2 and many, many more can provide large benefits as well.
Time! Time! And More Time!
The overall "keynote" that was repeated across the board was unanimous – Time! Social Media Marketing isn't simply submitting some pages from your website to some sites. You need to approach a Social Media Marketing campaign just as you would an organic search engine optimization program.
- Start Research and lots of it
- Create interesting and wanted content
- Optimize your titles and descriptions for votes
- Take advantage of your friends and networks
- Monitor results
Social Media Marketing when done correctly can not only drive traffic to your website, but build links, brand awareness and search visibility, ultimately leading to better rankings on the search engines.