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August 17, 2010

SEO Value of Social Media — Online Marketing Summit

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After a long day of travel, delayed flights, and no-food, I finally sit down to attend a few sessions.

My second session of the day was “SEO Value of Social Media”, by Ray “Catfish” Comstock, @bolsearch, Director of SEO at BusinessOnline. This session was part of the Online Marketing Summit (OMS) of Connected Marketing Week. It was great to have this extra session content, for those who didn’t see a session they liked in SES.

ses san francisco logo

The speaker starts with: “My name is Catfish.” He describes this session as a “comprehensive overview” of search and social, with a few tactics to get started.

Catfish starts off explaining that when companies start social media activity they are often looking for metrics. He explains that SEO allows companies to have metrics justify the use of social media.

Catfish breaks down the history of search optimization into 3 generations:

  1. First Generation – On Page / Content, Meta, Title. These are the traditional things that optimizers did to get early rankings.
  2. Second Generation– Off Page / Linking. What do other people think is important and relative to this keyword?
  3. Third Generation – Web 2. 0 (I cringed) and user-driven. Social media is a direct reflection of user intent and use

Catfish explains that his 3rd or latest generation has been bubbling for several years. Social media has been creating links and content since the first forum was established. Blogs became a huge force in the world of SEO. All of this led to search engines integrating social media into search. Search engines have adopted more ranking methods based on social media

He breaks down social media’s search value into several areas:

Real Time Search
Google now incorporates real time search results from Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Jaiku, Yahoo Answers, and much more

Content
User generated content (UGC) is generated through social media through forums, blog commenting, reviews, and videos. Strong UGC is keyword focused.

Links
Some social media sites create connectivity via profile links, but most of the value comes from posted links. Social media is a great awareness tool of great content. That content leads to links.

Brand Related Search
Social media ROI calculations should include brand related searches. Brand searches on Twitter and Facebook (no surprise) generate higher conversions. Companies often notice that the more they participate in social media the more their branded search traffic increases. This is not a coincidence.

Directly
YouTube ranks videos based on user interactions (comments, embedding, ratings). It’s only a matter of time before Google starts using social ranking (like the Facebook Like button) to rank websites.

Social Search
Searches in social media (search.twitter.com) are become more and more prevalent. Catfish asked the audience, “Does your brand show up in these searches?”

Reputation Management
Maintaining a collection of prominent social media accounts (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) can allow a site to control most of the top 10 real estate on brand searches.

Tactics
Catfish discussed several key tactics that everyone should do, below are a few of the highlights.

  • Interlink all social media accounts.
  • Have a participation schedule – Including participating in other conversations, commenting on blogs, and adding to the community. Not just broadcasting.
  • Blog often.
  • Use targeted keywords in the Facebook “About” box.
  • Each social media channel should offer something unique. Do always spread the same message across all channels. Give them a reason to friend and follow you.
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5 responses to “SEO Value of Social Media — Online Marketing Summit”

  1. Dana Lookadoo writes:

    You cringed at Web 2.0? LOL Nice summary and hope you get some rest and some food!

    I especially liked the tactic of “Have a participation schedule.” I have not thought of that term before, plagiarizing. Glad you captured such good nuggets!

  2. John Ellis writes:

    Dana,

    Thanks. It was a great session.

    I just thought we were beyond the 2.0 phrase, but other than that it was a great session.

    Look for more good nuggets Wednesday.

    -John

  3. Randall Hopkins writes:

    Great article. We’ve had a lot of success marketing some of our dental clients in the Austin area applying these exact principles. Users expect to find what they’re looking for in social media spaces, and you’d better be there when they do begin that search.

    More info on what exactly we do:

    Fahrenheit Marketing

  4. John Ellis writes:

    Randall,

    Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the article.

    -John

  5. The Moving Expert writes:

    I have recently started an aggressive campaign for my business on facebook, with the sole goal of giving of something of value to my friends/followers, I did the same for twitter but I often wonder how many of those actual followers are real people and not some auto generated followers.

    I have been adding keyword rich company pages and love that I come up in searches, but haven’t yet seen the benefits of marketing through facebook, at least in the same way that all other companies that brag about are, right now it seem like a lot of extra work but I will stick with it as long as I can until I get over the hump, so with that said I hope this comment gets published in this blog because I am engaging in the conversation.

    ————-
    Thanks and Regards
    The Moving Expert for marketing-move.com
    professional moving & storage social media solutions



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