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March 26, 2008

SES New York: Social Media & Why It Matters (Part 4)

By Brian Cosgrove

The forth and final part of this post covers William Flaiz of Avenue A | Razorfish.  Additionally bits from the Q&A are provided at the end.Dsc_4363

William’s Introduction: Instead of diving into a specific site, William takes a broader, shallower approach to social communities; illustrating how they’ve been used for agency clients.  William addresses the benefits of being part of the community, the back link perspective, and the value of having pages properly tagged.


-          Avoid putting marketing speak in Wikipedia: it won’t fly.

-          Avoid just removing the negative speak: these changes will just get reverted. 

-          Take advantage of your reference links: these don’t get pulled or modified s often.

-          External links may be removed or modified, even if they point to the official site.

Photo Communities

We used Flickr with a large hotel client.  Not only were we seeing reviews and other interaction, hotel bookings went up 10% due to Flickr derived traffic.

Photobucket – Search engines aren’t crawling or indexing these image pages.  Tags are working well internal search but not in external search engines like Google.  Further, Photobucket doesn’t allow links.

Video Communities

YouTube was used for a client who wanted to distribute a PSA about the declining number of Bees: Colony Collapse Disorder.  While other video networks were used, the biggest benefits came from YouTube. The “About This Video” section lets you enter a pretty good listing, complete with links.

Social Networking Sites

Facebook lets companies put out a page specific to their company and Facebook ranks well within the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Social Profiles

Social Profiles are especially useful for a reputation management program.  Creating profiles for someone’s name in sites like Zoominfo, LinkedIn, Facebook, Blogger, iLike, Flickr, Twitter, and any of the countless others out there will help to displace sensitive or negative listings with positive or neutral ones.


Cultivate a list of bloggers that you can provide products and information to. Also, be aware of what is being said about your company in the blogs.  Finally, be active in responding to comments in the blogs.

Content Placement

Certain sites let you place content that list well for a client’s terms. They also let you provide links back to where additional information can be found on the client’s site.

We’ve found Squidoo pages can be so strong that they may outrank the product pages of a client’s website.  They tend to increase the number of pages that are indexed and ranking for targeted terms.  Hubpages offers a similar opportunity.

In conclusion, the only way to get the most out of these sites is, Be Social. 

Short Tips from the Q&A

-          Digging from your company’s IP address is not a good idea since the site is heavily moderated.

-          Third party tools for Twitter let you and follow a conversation around a specific topic.

-          Twitter scanning lets you monitor these conversations.

-          Webshots is another Photo Sharing site, but it is not as intuitive or friendly for business or a marketing stream as Flickr and should generally be avoided by marketers.

-          One man created a Squidoo page back in January and hasn’t noticed any gains.  The speakers generally agreed that it’s not worthwhile if you’re only doing these things for the links. Squidoo may not have been the best approach for the company’s goals.

-          Some companies enact policies to block their employees from getting into sites like MySpace (and not getting anything done). In these cases, management should work with the IT department to see if they can provide a workaround for the marketing department.

-          The most important consideration with social media marketing is time management.  The marketers should decide on the best route to go down and make a strong effort.  You don’t need to go full force with everything.

-          A content site should get involved in the blogging community first and shy away from MySpace, Twitter, and similar sites where they would get less value. BlogHer is an example of a great resource to find bloggers.  A publishing site should use social bookmarking in particular to get incremental traffic.

Be sure to see these other posts from this series:


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Nice information from your site about the search engine services. There are a lot of marketing strategies that work, but which one is the best? This question is impossible to answer because it all depends on your goal.

HubPages has made huge strides in SE attractiveness and now far outstrips Squidoo on a per page of content basis - over 4 times the traffic:


We maintain strict, high standards, but tens of thousands of publishers comply with them and reap the benefits.

Not only digging from a company IP is a bad idea. The same is true for editing on wikipedia.

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