Wednesday, February 27, 2008
We talked about how organizations of all sizes are beginning to explore Web 2.0 enabled technologies and the information exchanges they enhance. For a fast and interesting read, check out this posting on The Wall Street Journal and be sure to read through the comments below Ms. Lorber’s blog post … it’s a great window into the way many businesspeople are thinking quite narrowly about social media, limiting it to MySpace and other digital outposts popular with younger audiences.
We’re advising our clients to expand their consideration of social media beyond the very consumer-focused solutions and to think about becoming more engaged with Digg, Yahoo Answers, and other digital outposts that can help fortify their brands and build audience awareness. And some social media profiles, such as company profiles in Facebook, are actually picked up by the search engines and help with reputation management and SEO.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Yahoo Answers is the knowledge sharing Q&A based social network. With 400 million answers, all searchable in its archives, Yahoo Answers is the second-most-visited education/reference site on the Internet after Wikipedia, according to comScore.
There are many professionals and business owners providing valuable knowledge and experiences on Yahoo Answers. By identifying yourself as such and providing great answers, you are building credibility and positive brand image for your business.
Each Yahoo Answers form comes with a section for listing web sites as references to the answer. These links are shown to result in referring traffic to the sites of those users who answer with in depth and accurate answers. And Yahoo answers are included in Yahoo search results and Mobile search results too. All these will add more traffic to your site.
How to make this work:
- Make sure your site has good content on the subject area. It is very important that your site is relevant to the subject area.
- Setup an RSS feed. It will send you the questions in your subject area as a feed to your computer. It is very easy to setup
- Using the Advanced search feature, enter the keywords that people may use in their questions that are relevant to your subject area, and choose to see only open questions and click the Search button.
- In the search results page, you will see an RSS button.
- Subscribe to the feed and add it to your feed reader.
- Check your feed reader once a day.
- Answer the question and add a link to your site with your signature. (Without your signature, you may be considered as a spammer. So, it is advisable to leave your signature)
As with any social media site, focus first on what you can give to the community rather than what you can get from it. When used correctly, Yahoo Answers can be a great source of direct referral traffic, as well as indirect search engine traffic.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Before MTV let Tila Tequila have “A Shot at Love", the model/actress/musician's #1 claim to fame was having the most Friends of any artist on MySpace.
While it's easy to attribute Tila's mass appeal to her status as a bisexual bikini model, there's no shortage of similarly branded ladies on the Internet who don’t have upwards of 2.5 million friends. Tila’s social media networking success is not an accident.
Here’s what marketers can learn about social media networking by following Tila's example:
1. Know where your brand fits in.
After being kicked off of Friendster multiple times, Tila Tequila moved her online presence over to the newly created MySpace. With its somewhat flashy and trashy feel, Tila fit right in. It’s hard to imagine her finding the same success on a site such as Facebook. Due to the site’s “preppy” image and the restrictions Facebook places on whose profile users can view, Tila would have been hard-pressed to build a fan-base on the same scale. When selecting a social media outpost for your brand, don’t just go for the biggest or newest site out there. Try to find a social media site which fits your brand’s style and puts you in touch with the right audience for your message.
2. Don't be shy.
You can’t sit around waiting for “friends” to come to you. Reach out to your real life contacts, post an invite on your main Web site, and interact with the social network’s existing members. Tila started her MySpace fandom by inviting 30,000 to 50,000 of her closest friends to join her at the site. "Once they saw how I worked it, everyone did what I did and started promoting themselves," she told Time Magazine. "That's how you maintain your popularity and keep it alive."
3. Engage other users.
The biggest issue marketers have in adjusting to the social media is the “social” aspect. You have to pay attention to what your fans, customers and critics are saying and respond in kind. Not only does this force marketers to relinquish some control over their message, it requires a tremendous amount of resources to monitor the conversation and stay involved. Not everyone is willing to put in the effort but, for those who do, the payoff can be huge. According to Tila’s interview in Time, "There's a million hot naked chicks on the Internet. There's a difference between those girls and me. Those chicks don't talk back to you."
4. Keep things fresh.
Who would you rather spend time with: The guy who, when asked what he did over the weekend, says “Nothing, just hung around the house” or the guy who always seems to have something new and exciting happening in his life? I’m going to bet that most people pick the second guy.
This principle applies as much in online communities as it does in the real world. If you want to attract attention and keep people coming back for more, you have to update your profile or blog on a regular basis. Even after all these years, Tila provides frequent updates to her MySpace profile and has even created the “Tila Zone," a site that offers clipart, layouts and widgets for use on other social networks.
5. Don't forget the community.
Too many marketers make the mistake of abandoning an online community once the campaign ends. Even though she’s hit the big time with a reality TV show, an album, a clothing line and various other ventures, Tila tells PunkTV.ca, "[It's] not just about the numbers for me, it’s about the fans, the interaction, and I am talking to them everyday. …. It is unbelievable that so many people are interested in what I do. I love them for it so I always try to leave everyone comments back. Especially those really loyal fans that help me spread the word about my music and page."
So if posting pictures of yourself posing in a bikini hasn’t worked, try Tila’s secret to social media success: Find a place where you can fit in and build a real relationship with the community.
Friday, February 01, 2008
This morning’s news about the potential acquisition of Yahoo by Microsoft/MSN struck me as remarkably similar to what happened earlier this week in the Presidential Primaries – one drops out to let the other two have at it.
Taking this analogy a little further, it’s actually more like Giuliani (Yahoo) dropping out and throwing his weight for McCain (Microsoft) who, if he does get the nomination, faces the prospect of a Democratic juggernaut (Google) in the general election this fall. Then there’s the potential for an independent like Bloomberg (Ask) to jump into the fray and stir things up even further. Dare I compare the fading Ron Paul to AOL?
Of course, we’ve heard these rumors about Yahoo and MSN before. Isn’t it a little ironic that they resurface on Groundhog Day Eve?
Tired of spin?
The “spin” of politics these days is incessant as everyone tries to cast the best light on their version of things – whether it’s numbers or snubs. That’s one thing we don’t have too much need for here at DBE. Our clients’ traffic is up or it’s not. Their keyword visibility is up or it’s not. (Note: we have never had a client not up over baseline but you get the idea.) And we don’t rely on straw polls or exit polls with margins of error that make the findings meaningless. We have hard, real time data in the form of impressions, clicks, CTRs and conversions. Having come out of the advertising arena where subjectivity and spin often made it second to last on lists for credibility (used car salesmen being the bottom; not sure where politicians fit in), it is refreshing to now be in search marketing where the results speak loudly and clearly for themselves.
PS – You can now cast your votes for our blog by “Digg-ing” it or by submitting your write-in comments.