Search, PR and the Social Butterfly — SES San Francisco


Susan Bratton, Co-founder, Personal Life Media


ses sf logo

Okay, kids. My belly is full of a somewhat tasteless Caesar salad and bland chicken, followed by a mystery coated dry brownie. Lunch of champions that will hopefully energize these fingers to smokin’ speed!

The after-lunch crowd is pretty slim for this session but the panel looks like it’ll have a lot to offer us. This shall be a pretty interesting session for me, the unsocial one. Maybe I’ll even learn something and then maybe, just possibly I’ll tweet once in awhile! But then again, maybe not.

It looks like the session is going to be broken down based on requests that people made previously. Here’s what we are going to get:

  • Sally is going to explain why you need to think of yourself as a publisher.
  • Lisa is going to talk about coping mechs to help you manage the strategy.
  • Brett will go into detail with a real case study so you can see the strategy in action.
  • And finally Kristjan will talk about analytics, tracking the stakeholder reaction.

Sally is going to take the podium [and I’m quite excited to hear that lovely accent she has].

This seems to be the big topic — Google Caffeine. It’s out and it’s live people.  This means that search has gone more real-time and social content is playing a bigger role.  Previously Google took a while to reindex a site, but with the Caffeine changes they’ve changed that and the index is much fresher nowadays.

Sally quotes Search Engine Guide on how important it is to have unique and valuable content creation on a regular basis, and the wherewithal to deliver it.  To quote Matt Cutts, she says that we must create a blog, post often and syndicate your content.  Also, Caffeine is looking at “citations” — not necessarily links, but mentions.

Another quote, Kami Huyse: “While it’s important to have a hive of content distributed on the social Web, it is also necessary to have a hub on your website that aggregates all your social touch points.”

Jeremiah Owyang: “Finally your corporate website can be relevant again. Companies must integrate customers’ behavior on social networks to their corporate website to increase relevancy, word of mouth and trust.”  She says Jeremiah has a whole slideshow on this topic and to search for it, because he covers quite a bit of information that is useful.

When you take content and put it on your site but also syndicate it, it will be picked up and indexed. When it’s syndicated, it’s picked up and reprinted. This helps with links, citations and getting the news and brand out there. Sally suggests having content around images, videos and news because those are some of the most clicked on results on a SERP.

She has a slide of a butterfly where your content is the body of the butterfly, and the wings are the ways that your content “flies” or “grows wings and takes flight” with social Web, bloggers, sites like StumbleUpon, Facebook, etc.

Sally recommends listening to the conversation and finding ways to join it, contributing to it with valuable content, then distributing it out there to the Web. Remember, also, that getting mentions on very popular sites doesn’t always mean that you’ll get more sales. She tells a story of a client who strived to get mentioned by one particular company, and they did. However a mention on a small mom blog got them more visitors and conversions than the popular company did.  [That’s important to remember everyone.]

Okay, up next is Lisa Buyer from The Buyer Group.

The theme is Publicize, Optimize and Socialize.

Vocus quote: “The old world of PR is changing and it’s not coming back,” meaning it’s an exciting time right now.

Oh look she too has a butterfly slide — and her butterfly body is “Public Relations” while the wings are made up of all the social sites. She jokes that they’ll be selling their butterfly shirts. [I’ll have to pick my favorite.]

Media is now getting search savvy. 65% of media use social sites for sources. Editors and reports are still depending on PR professionals for some things but are leaning on the Web more and more.  100% of journalists use Google as a tool when working on stories. That’s quite different from the old days. Wikipedia is the 2nd most popular tool for them.

Today’s PR needs to be Optimized, Publicized and Socialized.

Like Lee Odden says, if it can be searched it can be optimized.  You are optimizing for media and customers for them to use.  Remember to put links on it too! Some sources to use to publicize are PRESSfeed, Haro, Muck Rack, Corporate Newsroom, PitchEngine and many others.

Use press release distribution at least every 30 days to stay in the Google News results.

To socialize you need to schmooze with the media via tweet ups, LinkedIn, Facebook and others.  They don’t have time for old school schmoozing, so go to where the media is nowadays.

Also schmooze with customers with tweets, posts, foursquare and other avenues.

To talk more about foursquare, claim your business listing.

[Oh, she’s going so fast! Smokin fingers.  Quick rest before the next speaker.]

For free press release distribution, Sally suggests The Open Press. This might get you into Google News. Lisa says though that you get what you pay for when going for free vs. the higher priced distribution methods. With the free, you won’t get into Yahoo! News, the largest news audience, so if you go free just know you aren’t getting as much coverage.

Another good one is PR Leap.

Remember folks: only submit a press release to one source, not to many press release distributors.

Alright Brett’s turn and his case study.

He opens with a slide from Compete showing when Facebook overtook Google’s visitor traffic.  He says that the numbers may be skewed slightly but still, Facebook has opportunity. He says it shows the “changing of the guard” in our industry over the last year or so.

Evolution, Not Revolution:

  • As SEOs/SEMs we are in a unique position to see the leading edge and adopt it before it reaches its’ tipping point.
  • AKA: Facebook late ’07 and early ’08
    • Minor tweaks on BBSs
  • AKA: Twitter early ’08
    • Minor teaks on IRC chatrooms
  • Are you on foursquare yet? It can be the next big thing.

Talking about PubCon and their strategy for promoting the conference:

  • $65,000 spent on PPC ads over 4 years
    • ZERO tracked sales from the ppc [wow]
  • $75,000 marketing budget for 2008
    • Moderate success

Then in 2008 the economy crashed and sales flat-lined in Sept-Oct 2008.  This is when they decided to re-evaluate EVERYTHING. They came to the conclusion it was time for the marketing conference to get serious about marketing.

They went back and surveyed past attendees to find out that the important things are Trust and Recommendation.  People sign up because of those two things.  That’s when they decided they needed to move in that direction.  They used Twitter for instantaneous, immediate coverage.

They went to an all Twitter strategy spending $0 on marketing. Results: up 30% attendance in a down year. The overall income was up 40%.

Talking about retweets: 70% of retweets contain links. People are sharing good stuff when they RT. Tweets with hashtags have a higher amount of RTs.

Timing (time of day) is everything. Find out when your audience is online. Don’t be afraid to post it a couple of times, but don’t overdo it. Lastly, always be optimizing. Troll the friends of your competition and scout for related keywords.

For influentials, use Klout to get a score of people.  It’s a PageRank for Twitter.  Track your retweeters and thank them. Plus, keep score and remember to retweet friends.

For his slides go to

[Yea Brett… good presentation with some nuggets of info for us, even if there wasn’t a butterfly slide in it.]

Last up is Krisjan from Nordic Marketing.

He’s going to talk to the Analytics of News and a case study that they did. By observing 1000s of news and ePR distributions through the eNewsPR network, they found that Google news picks up news within 2-5 minutes, and less in some cases.

As an example, he’s going to talk about Beyonce and when she was accused of stealing a clothing design.

  • The news went live at 9:10. Google picked it up at 9:12.
  • 1st visitor through Twitter at 9:29.
  • Google News returns the first visitor at 10:41.
  • The first recognized news media, MediaCom, comes in at 13:31 through and external RSS news pick up.

They monitored the stakeholder visits like Daily News, etc., and were surprised by the reach of them.

Back to his presentation, Google Web search is still the prominent research tool (88%), with Google News as 2nd.

Actions points: What type of analytics are you using to monitor your site?

  • When sending out PR, don’t only look at rise in visitors, also look at who comes in. are the stakeholders and target market coming in.
  • They use Yahoo! Web Analytics to get the data needed.

When sending out press releases, understand that U.S. journalists are not very accurate when searching. Plus, Twitter and Facebook are great, but still not as popular as Google when it comes to news.

[That’s all for today folks.  Not sure I’m ready to become a social butterfly but I’m sure I’ll be telling my clients to. It’s beneficial and becoming more important every day.]

Once a hard working corporate type, Jayme traded in her office and business attire for cowboy boots and the Sierra Nevada mountains. At one time Jayme was the director of SEO for Bruce Clay Inc., then senior SEO analyst for WebMetro. She now spends her time out in the country. As a busy mom, soccer coach, weekly volleyball player, weekend hiker and hobbyist photographer she does manage to find a few hours a week to stay connected to the Internet Marketing world plus she is still doing SEO on a handful of clients. You won't find her active on Twitter or her own blog, because when she does have spare time she's usually away from her computer enjoying what life has to offer, away from the computer monitor. In fact her own website is sinfully neglected. Even though she has grand plans to one day put some energy into her own blog that day still hasn't arrived, possibly after her kids are both in school.

See Jayme's author page for links to connect on social media.

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