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March 25, 2008

SES New York: Social Media & Why it Matters (Part 1)

By Brian Cosgrove

I've decided to break this session up into 4 posts.  There is quite a bit of information to cover so I'll start with the first Speaker on the Panel, Liana Evans.  Dsc_4356

Li’s Introduction:  Social Media started on message boards and now everybody is using it.  You never know who has a video camera or where the footage will end up.

Why Social Media?

-          It offers new opportunities in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

-          It creates engagement opportunities

-          It drives traffic to site

-          It drives links to site

-          It creates buzz

Video Sharing: How To Videos

Liana presents a nice chart of Keyword Discovery results containing the term “how to” and “video”.  Keyword Discovery is a popular SEO keyword research tool.  Among the top, there were 169,818 searches for the term “how to tie a tie video.” Going to google, three videos show up in the search results.  An inspection of these videos shows several key elements that help make a video rank:

-          Title

-          Description

-          Views

-          Ratings

-          Links

Liana’s advice is to look at who is linking to you.  One video had www.Lifehacker.com linking to it (LifeHacker is a very powerful site in terms of search).  This helped that site to outrank another video which had more links.  These videos showed many views this type of traffic would be ideal and easily attainable for a men’s retail store such as Men’s Warehouse.  They would benefit heavily for this type of ranking.

Bare Escentuals Videos

Bare Escentuals is a makeup line.  Their YouTube channel has over 156 subscribers but they aren’t taking full advantage of the platform.  Some key areas that should focus on are the title, links to their site from the description, and tags.  They would certainly benefit by targeting terms like “How to apply makeup”.

HSN Videos

HSN gets search engine rankings though profiles on social media sites.  HSN’s MySpace is decked out ranks for “HSN Videos”. 

HSN also has over 7k videos on YouTube.  Someone actively participates in the YouTube community by responding to comments and answering questions. 

In addition to YouTube, companies should look at Facebook, metacafe, and other sites to further promote their videos. Ratings votes, Comments/Responses, Titles, Social Media Profiles, and Tags offer numerous ways for companies to boost their video content.

Social Ratings and Reviews 

These sites let you have a voice and speak loud and clear to people who care.   Ratings and review sites matter because people respect honest reviews.  They present companies with many considerations:

-          Good reviews are great and have impact.

-          Bad reviews are terrible and have a worse impact

-          Misinformation can be addressed publically

-          They present a great place for a qualified, relevant link

Some key points:

-          Know where your audience is

-          Understand how the review site works

-          Know what the rules are.

Yelp (www.yelp.com)

A San Francisco coffee shop sports a “No Yelpers Allowed” sign. This is probably not the best way to deal with reviews. Yelp matters and it does drive a lot of traffic to businesses.  In addition to social ratings and reviews, Yelp offers business owners the ability to verify and update their listing.  At the very least they can be included in the conversation.

Trip Advisor (www.tripadvisor.com)

Trip Advisor is another site that provides reviews and ratings for local restaurants and hotels. In addition to Yelp, it also ranks well within search engines.

Be sure to see these other posts from this series:


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