Oh, Social Media, How Far You’ve Come

I always have a tough time committing to day-long seminars. But when I managed to finagle a free ticket to the New England Direct Marketing Association’s Marketing Technologies & Tactics Summit, I decided to go. Good decision.

As you’d expect with an event like this, there was plenty of talk about social media. (Session titles included “Socialize Your Marketing and Advertizing!” and “Trumpet Your Success Stories with Social Media!”) [Ed. note: Those exclamation marks are theirs, not mine.]

Social Media: All Grown Up

One thing that really stood out was how much social media has grown up over the past year or so. “Social media” used to entail blogging, creating a Facebook account, maybe tweeting once in awhile. Back then, it was hard to form a coherent strategy around social media, or even to gauge the impact of your efforts. That’s changed, big time.

Harry Gold, founder and CEO of Overdrive Interactive, discussed fascinating ways to use social media to enhance your marketing and advertising success — and how to measure the results. Kipp Bodnar, inbound marketing manager for HubSpot, focused on the ROI of social media in terms of prospects and sales leads.

Overdrive’s Selig on “Blended Search”

My favorite session was led by Jeff Selig, Overdrive’s director of media services and analytics. He keyed in on the concept of “blended search,” where social media, video, images, PDFs and other digital content all factor in to your search engine optimization efforts. SEO has come a long way from the days where you could plug a few keywords into each page of your website and watch the traffic flood in. (I’m oversimplifying, of course.)

A few great facts and tips I picked up from Jeff:

  • Thirty-eight hours of video is uploaded to YouTube each minute. If you’re uploading a video for your business, post a transcript too so that search engines can crawl the text. Be sure to post videos elsewhere, like Facebook and your blog, because “videos rank high in Google’s algorithm.”
  • Nail down the set of keywords that matter most to your business. Then, plant these keywords across your social media outlets — the company description on your Facebook and Twitter pages, under your specialties in your LinkedIn profile, in your profile on your YouTube channel, etc.
  • This is heavily paraphrased, but … “Use and reuse your content over and over again. Repurpose it across various sites. Throw your seeds to the wind.” So if you’ve created something interesting — a great white paper or “how-to” article — post that baby everywhere you can.
  • When tweeting, use a URL shortening tool like bit.ly when inserting a link. Besides helping you stick to Twitter’s strict character limit, bit.ly allows you to track your links. For example, you can find out how many people re-tweeted your original tweet, and then how many of those people visited your site (and much more).
  • “Blogs are like crack to search engines.” So update yours often, and help your site stay relevant in Google’s eyes.
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