Whether you're into SEO or Social Media (or both like me!), this session is one you'd want to sit in on. Don't let the word "integration" scare you – there's no Calculus here.

People are spending an appreciable amount of time on Social Media sites, so we need to keep an eye on how the Search and Social Media worlds are coming together.

Speakers on this panel include:

Kristina Neher, CEO, Marketess
Jason Dailey, Country Lead, Solution Specialist Sales, Microsoft Advertising Canada
Guillaume Bouchard, Co-founder & CEO, NVI

Kristina Neher, CEO, Marketess

Social Media sites are very prominent in search engines when searching for personal brands. Keep in mind that there is content that you can control, and content that you don't. Examples of social sites and elements that are showing up in SERPs: Twitter, images, video, blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, SlideShare, Google Profile, and user-generated wikis.

It's important to understand how Social is integrating with Search, especially since user-generated content shows up in search results and can impact your brand's reputation.

There are two main focus areas:

1) Create and optimize your own profiles on social sites
2) Inform the conversation

Create And Optimize Your Profiles

  • Create accounts on as many social sites as possible
  • Use similar branding, messaging, use the same profile picture, and link to main site
  • Don't violate the TOS
  • Create an account, reserve the username, and clearly communicate the intended use. Funnel them to where you are active.

Multimedia helps, so create multimedia content (photos, videos, slide shows). Make sure to tag the multimedia, and watermark photos and videos. Include a URL in the description and be clear on copyright and licensing rules.

Inform The Conversation

Kristina: People are sources of misinformation. We're idiots!

*crowd laughs*

Social Media is a lot like broken telephone.

1. Monitor and see where the issues are. Some tools you can use are:

Free – search.twitter.com, set up Google Alerts
Midsize – Tracker.com
Enterprise – Radian6

2. Make friends. Don't be the outcast. Build an "Army of Advocates", who are ready to come to your defense. You can do this by being nice, sharing, and listening. Remember to address issues rather than ignoring them. Having a product that is actually good also helps.

[funny images to follow...]

Overall summary:

  • Social Media is impacting SERPs already
  • What other people say on social networks matters more
  • Nurture friends and fans to say nice things about you and to defend you
  • Participate in an authentic way

On Twitter: @KristaNeher

Jason Dailey, Country Lead, Solution Specialist Sales, Microsoft Advertising Canada

Jason wants to change the word "Social" to "Conversational". He goes into a few more definitions below.

Search: platform that organizes and surfaces content to help people find things
Conversation: exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions, and ideas
Media: communication channel or platform used to deliver information or content

For marketers, you can be proactive by increasing reach and visibility, or reactive by monitoring sentiment in search results.

Consumers mainly join Facebook fan pages to show their support for specific products/services/brands, and to receive coupons and discount offers.

Jason shows examples from Victoria Secret, Lululemon, Tim Hortons, Air Canada, BP, and Future Shop, and how their social profiles (Facebook/Twitter) are showing up in Bing.

Benefits:

  • Natural search
  • Reach
  • Simple registration
  • Familiarity
  • Repeat messaging
  • Customizable

Best practices when starting out:

  • Evaluate existing Social Media properties
  • Make it official
  • Leverage PPC to drive awareness [Did not mention Microsoft Advertising directly. That's cool.]
  • Educate internal stakeholders

Best practices for on-going:

  • Identify discussion zones
  • Measure buzz and sentiment about your brand
  • Research consumer research behaviour
  • Build your own community
  • Respond to a crisis!
  • Proactively generate positive content
  • Engage with consumers in social spaces to raise a positive perception
  • Change the way you do business

Jason says it's okay to make mistakes, but be proactive and test things out.

Guillaume Bouchard, Co-founder & CEO, NVI

4 Unique Ways To Do Social Media

1) Online PR
- often event-centric, an adaptation of traditional PR, reaching out to influential bloggers

2) Community Management
- on an on-going basis, listen and participate with whoever is talking about your brand and reach out to them to seed content

3) Social News Optimization (SNO)
- regularly create compelling content on social-ready platforms and promote on social news sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Propeller, Reddit, Mixx

4) Widgets
- create a valuable widget for your industry and promote it to any potentially-interested website while making sure that it benefits both parties

For Branding or SEO?

Branding: Online PR + Community Management

  • Might not get anchor text
  • Transforms PR into media buy
  • Most community sites don't pass link juice

SEO: SNO + Widgets

  • SNO forces the company to create compelling content on its website
  • SNO generates many natural inbound links with each attempt
  • Widgets support branding & SEO simultaneously
  • Widgets create lasting relationships with websites

SNO Key Factors & KPIs

Key Factors:
1) Content – quality and enjoyment factor vs time taken to read
2) Platform – /blog vs another domain & overall domain trust
3) Submitter – popularity always helps
4) Categorization – popular categories / tags will brign more results
5) Solicitation – a key to reach a critical mass

KPIs:
1) Traffic – UVs, pageviews, recurring visits
2) SEO – average inbound links

Widget Key Factors & KPIs

Key Factors:
1) Usefulness
2) SEO Friendliness
3) UI / UX
4) Ease of installation
5) Valuable rewards

KPIs:
1) Reach
2) Traffic
3) SEO – sitewide links with relevant anchor text

Shockley Au

Shockley is an experienced digital marketing consultant, helping businesses succeed online through SEM/PPC, SEO, Social Media, and Web Analytics. He is certified in Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and Bing Ads, and also blogs at State of Digital. Follow him on Twitter @ShockleyAu.

Shockley Au

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