Search engine optimization has grown far beyond keyword placement and links, and social media is now a vital part of the mix.
With limited resources, social can be difficult to pull off correctly, so the panelists in the session 25 Social Media Ideas For The Advanced Search Marketer were tasked with sharing actionable tips to help marketers work more efficiently and effectively.
Mad Men Theme For The Win!
The entire session was Mad Men themed, and the speakers even dressed the part (several people commented that they’d never seen Matt Siltala so dressed up). They even drank their water from martini glasses.
The full court press on the Mad Men theme was a brilliant idea. The speakers were obviously having a blast with the theme, and the presentations seemed much more aligned and cohesive. Kudos to Monica Wright – hopefully we’ll see more themed sessions in the future.
Communication Is Key
Lisa Williams, Director of Digital Marketing Strategy at Search Discovery, started the session with communication and planning tips. When you’re trying to get social and search to work well toghether, you’ve got to start with communication strategy to get everyone on the same page.
Executive buy-in is important when it comes to social, so you should create audience-specific social timelines. A high-level view helps to communicate the plan without spending too much time on specific details.
She stressed the importance of collaborative calendars that all teams have access to. If the search and social teams can work together on accessible calendars, it’s much easier for them to thrive.
Lisa also discussed the value of engaging with news media and social movements. You should define your amplification opportunities and then research partners for curation and collaboration.
“You can’t automate relationships,” she said. “Automation is NOT strategy. You have to nurture relationships.”
Use Tools To Help Build Personas
Mike King from I Pull Rank was up next, sharing tips on personas and link building. If you’re going to market to your audience, you have to know who you’re talking to — and that’s why personas are a vital piece of the puzzle.
Mike machine-gunned through a huge list of tools and tactics for gathering useful persona data. For Twitter research, he suggested using Tribalytics, which takes any Twitter user and segments their followers into meaningful groups. He also suggested Bottlenose, which allows real-time keyword research based on what Twitter users are currently discussing.
Moving on to link building, Mike said, “Guest posting isn’t dead. Low quality guest posting that you’re getting from your link vendors is dead.” Quality guest posting on relevant sites is still a perfectly viable tactic.
He also shared a tip for social link building: If you use a social listening tool, you can find users who have tweeted links to you. You’ll have a list of people who know who you are, what you’re about, and were willing to share links to your content. It’s easy to contact those people and ask for a link on their website, too.
Visual Content Can Set You Apart
Matt Siltala of Avalaunch Media took the podium next to share visual content ideas for marketers. He started with a great quote: “Your job as a marketer is to keep your clients from falling behind.”
He showed a graph of the social platforms that brands are using, pointing out that only 39% of brands are on Pinterest and just 14% are on Instagram. There are huge opportunities for businesses that use those platforms well.
If you’re doing content marketing, you should take it a step further and create content that businesses can use both online and offline. You’re taking the time to create the content – why not get more exposure and use out of it?
Instagram can be a powerful bridge between online and offline media. Matt shared an example of a food truck that markets exclusively with Instagram. They share their daily schedule and location in photos, and they’ve got a huge following.
Instagram allows you to show your products in context, which is much more engaging than boring product shots on your website.
Don’t Just Create Content — BE An Author
Mark Traphagen from Stone Temple Consulting rounded out the panel with helpful tips for Google Plus and authorship. The word author comes from the Latin “auctor,” which means originator or promoter. “You’ve got to be the originator!” Mark said.
If you’re a content creator, you shouldn’t just participate in the conversation – you should be the one who’s changing the conversation.
Google wants to know who you are, but the world is moving beyond rel=author. You need to establish yourself as an expert on a subject. “Know your stuff better than everyone else,” Mark stressed.
He joked that he tried to take a screen capture of Mike King’s Moz blog post about personas, but the post was so long that it broke his screen capture software. He said that Mike is clearly the expert about persona modeling, so his content is authoritative and well-known.
Mark summed up the session with a great quote: “Every brand needs a badass — someone who’s out there, who’s the face of the company.”
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.