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Old 25th January 2007, 06:05 PM   #1
thejenn
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Default Stop Putting The Cart Before The Horse With Social Media

Authored by: Jennifer Laycock

Full Text: http://www.searchengineguide.com/laycock/009299.html

A Snippet:

As best I can figure it, the search marketing world has gotten so internally focused that they're losing the ability to look at things from the traditional business perspective. They're finding things that work (and work extraordinarily well) within the realm of their own businesses and they're having a hard time understanding why those same tactics aren't going to translate to success for most of the folks looking to them for advice.

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Old 26th January 2007, 12:17 AM   #2
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Jenn ... Amen.

I posted about this on SBS, and like you, I was surprised that Danny said what he did. I hope he just forgot to mention the "one size does not fit all" aspect, but who knows? His words carry a lot of weight....

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Old 26th January 2007, 09:37 AM   #3
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Matt,

I responded to your post on your blog about my typical industrial client not being marketing oriented let alone internet savvy. Someone suggested I take a look at Yelp and I thought, "Yikes! What's Yelp?"

I dutifully took a look and it's a Citysearch clone with a blog feel. Would my client's benefit from participating? It's hard to say. This whole social bookmarking thing requires one to be social. I'm sociable but not social. I don't even read blogs outside my business interests, yet I have a blog. Why? I wanted to experiment with this whole internet thing.

But is Internet Marketing even a necessary strategy for all businesses? A number of VPs at companies I talk to only need to maintain a conversation with their current customers. They don't want to be ranking in the search engines. Should I push pay-per-click ads or social linkbait? A blog might be a better solution for creating stickiness.

Without established marketing goals and performance indicators in place, it's all just theory. My friend Michael Martinez (www.seotheory.com) has been advocating this of late: Experiment, Evaluate, Adjust.

Good advice.

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Old 26th January 2007, 09:53 AM   #4
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Great article jenn!!

I think part of this discussion has roots where the eyeballs are. I've always said that I am not loyal to google, yahoo and microsoft live ... but instead targeting where the people are looking/searching which are these search engines. With the tech sector in particular, I agree that social sites are now more important than y/m but google is still the most important. Outside of tech, I think it still goes google, yahoo, msn and then other industry related sites in general. Some times, within specific industries there are sites that outweigh y/m - but based on my experience there is a (big) difference between someone who searches for 'blue widgets' from google vs someone visiting for the same from digg, a blog or forum. If anything from my end, I think it is important that conversation is happening about non search methods of marketing. Nothing new though, just the amount of eyeballs moving is different.

In your situation Nicolette, I think something is off with communication when someone says they don't want to rank in search. I do agree that is not the medium to have the conversation you mention. To me it should happen where those visitors are, either the companies site (by incorporating the appropriate communication within a blog, forum or some other tactic) or an email newsletter within their inbox. Having to 'maintain a conversation with their current customers' is a ceo thing to say based on my experiences. What does that mean? I would have them explain what that would consist of and have them provide some scenarios as examples - then decide is this something appropriate for a blog, forum, newsletter, social site, press release, etc. ... or maybe the best medium isn't a blog or online but direct communication such as customer service, feedback, market research, focus groups, etc. To me, these social sites have far less to do with having a 'conversation' than getting noticed... and that is a very short notice - versus the long term rankings of organic search. That's a big difference to me, I still would rather rank for my keywords in yahoo and live.com for years rather than get dugg for a day.

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Old 26th January 2007, 10:53 AM   #5
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See, here's the thing about "more important than Yahoo/MSN."

It's not so much that people don't use Yahoo and MSN, it's that people in the tech industry do not use Yahoo and MSN.

Why would you be surprised that most of the search traffic to your SEM blog or to your hardware review site comes from Google? How many search marketers or tech savvy types are searching at Yahoo and MSN?

On the other hand, let's say that you're a big box retailer or a niche fashion site or, umm...a dentist.

Guess what...regular everyday people use Yahoo and MSN. (they use Google too, but they still use Yahoo and MSN.)

Again, it's knowing your audience and knowing the demographics of different sites and then targeting accordingly.

I have an aunt that used to be city income tax director. Her husband is a bank manager. They are both intelligent people and spend a few hours a day online. My uncle is an eBay nut, my aunt loves email and news and shopping. The other day, my cousin mentioned someting about Google.

The response?

'What's Google?"

We've got to stop assuming that everyone in the world thinks and searches like us. They don't.

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Old 26th January 2007, 11:12 AM   #6
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Jenn your article made my morning! It is great to see others in the community who really get the long-term potential of social media.
This line was perfect and insightful. I will be quoting you soon.
Quote:
"It's not about scoring a hit on Digg in particular, it's about scoring a hit on the community that your target audience frequents."
Good linking is just good marketing.

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Old 26th January 2007, 01:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolette View Post
Someone suggested I take a look at Yelp and I thought, "Yikes! What's Yelp?"

I dutifully took a look and it's a Citysearch clone with a blog feel. Would my client's benefit from participating? It's hard to say.
Hi Nicolette,

I'm a big fan of Yelp. You're underestimating it with that description. :-) It's more like Flickr, but instead of photos the "currency" is user reviews (of businesses, restaurants, hotels, etc.) You kinda have to go look at the San Francisco/Bay Area community page to see what Yelp could become if it were to gain traction. Yelp is one of the places where small businesses really should have their eyes open, because it's an active site for user reviews. I also think/hope Google will buy Yelp, because Google needs to add its own user reviews to Google Maps, rather than getting them from Yahoo et al.

Jenn wrote:

Quote:
Guess what...regular everyday people use Yahoo and MSN. (they use Google too, but they still use Yahoo and MSN.)
I wish I'd gathered up the stats from my Performancing Metrics account (which is now shut down), but the #1 local search referrer to my blog was variously-worded searches for "submit to MSN Local". It wasn't even close. It was like 5- or 6-1 with searches for getting a small biz listed on MSN over getting it listed on Google (or Yahoo).

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Old 30th January 2007, 02:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
It's not about scoring a hit on Digg in particular, it's about scoring a hit on the community that your target audience frequents.
I agree. Your customers and your target audience are the greatest factors in the success of your business. So you have to tap into where they go and make yourself be of service to them. It would be pointless to be popular among people who have no interest in your product or business. It's also a waste of your time and effort and money.

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Old 24th December 2008, 08:28 AM   #9
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very nice title "Stop Putting the Cart Before the Horse with Social Media " it attract me to read it and the content very rich

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Old 24th December 2008, 12:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
I'm a big fan of Yelp. You're underestimating it with that description. :-)
Since this thread was re-opened after a year, it was interesting to note that the San Francisco Bay area appears to STILL be only one of a handful of cities listed. Guess it didn't take off as expected. This was the first time I've ever heard of it.

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