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October 17, 2007

SMX Social: Effeciently Leveraging Social Networking

By Li Evans

SMX Social:  Using FaceBook, LinkedIn and MySpace Effectively with Online Marketing Strategies

Dave McClure, 500Hats
Dave starts off asking the audience about who is using Facebook, audience is rather familiar, some even logged in right now.  Demonstrates his facebook page, showing he just updated his "status".

Showing off the news feed, showing all the shared activities that you and your friends are doing.  People who are using applications, posting content and commenting push things out to the feed.  The real trick is about setting up your network appropriately, as well as tagging content with the people who are appropriate.  Referencing people who are notable helps to get them to add you to their network.

If people are tagged in photos, posts or videos, they are notified, great way to get their attention to add them into your network if they aren't already there.  It's also a great way to get people to view your content.  Facebook also gives you the option to "Share", you can send it to your friends on the network, or your can post to your profile, which puts it into your "mini feed".  Not only do these people see this, but their friends see it too.

Occasionally change the profile photo, gets attention, but you can also use logos.  This keeps people's interest and gets them to notice your profile.  By sharing all this type of content into the feed helps you reach people you didn't really know you could read.  Firefox also has a add-on that allows you to add site links that you are on into the media feed and share with friends, great way to let people know you are reading their blogs, sites and content.

You become part of geography groups, schools, etc.  But you can also create your own groups, which allows you to add or invite people to the group.  Again this makes this visible to other people.  You can add photos, videos, links, content just to that group, but are also shared into your feed, sharing to people in the network and connected to the network.

Helen Overland, Non-Linear Creations
Marketing on LinkedIn, Helen's asking who's using LinkedIn for other purposes other than to just updating your profile.  Linked in is a professional networking site.  In June you could reach 11 million, now you can read 15 million.  Average income is 140k of LinkedIn users.

Volume of Contacts, or Trusted Contacts is the question that is asked the most.  Does there need to be a balance.  However, if your smart you can do both.  LinkedIN Open Networkers (LION), connect to them, and this can help you build have access to 3 million other people you don't know.

Increase your visibility & branding through LinkedIn.  You can answer questions, this is where the most useful pages are.  This helps to display your expertise.  You can announce your new website or service, but don't be too spammy about it.  LinkedIn Answers can also drive traffic to your blog posts, if you have answered it in your blog.  You can have people recommend your service which gets noticed within your network. 

Getting direct sales, you can reach clients and partners directly. Responding to service requests in "Answers", or having colleagues can recommend you.

Support SEO, LinkedIn does not have the "nofollow" on their links. Answers pages are indexed, so these can drive traffic with relevant links.  Use LinkedIn "vanity URL" to add keywords to your profile URL. If you employees, have them link back to your websites - free links! LinkedIn Users view more pages, and stay on websites a lot longer.

LinkedIn helps you reach a very targeted market and it's free!

Cindy Krum, Blue Moon Works
Cindy is covering MySpace and how to use it effectively, the "Whoas" and "Woes".  Great way to reach a specific demographic - branding and target marketing.  Her first example is Flying Dog Brewery, target the "extreme sport" type person.  They use their MySpace profile to promote the brewery and products.  Using the bells and whistles to reach their community.  They chance out their profile picture, to help grab attention.

Flying Dog also puts pictures of all their products on the photos page.  They also are using photo albums to help promote the business, from logos, to events at the brewery.  The owners even have their owners to help their "Friends" know more about them. Flying Dog is also using the "Events" to help promote the events at their brewery which included times, costs, maps.  People can RSVP to this event and blog about the event and promote.

Flying Dog's MySpace profile outranks the Wikipedia article about them.

Second example Cindy is showing is True which is a web-based dating community.  Snazzy  profile page.  They have tools, games and quizzes to keep their visitors engaged.  They encourage users to interact with potential mates that you might find on True.  Fortune cookie widgets help to promote their MySpace profile.

They create games like the "Create A Date", "Date-O-Rama" and "Heart Beats" as well as the Date Search Engine to help keep people on their MySpace page or take you to their site.

So now the "not so good" things with MySpace.  Westwood College, wanted to reach out to their students on the MySpace site.  Set up their profile with information from their site.  Wanted to relate information to students with the profile. 
Lesson Learned: 

  • takes time to create a great profile
  • cool profiles need to be updated frequently
  • need to create unique content that isn't on your regular website
  • you need to manage friends (manages who to accept and not)
  • manage communications, this takes a lot of line, need to determine if these are "official" emails
  • blogging - do you blog, what do you blog
  • do you participate in groups?

Next example is Auto Europe wanted a widget that would help them with linking and useful to travel bloggers.  The widget was to work across all sites, including on MySpace.  Links to Pages within MySpace are not encoded, like if you just put in regular link to your MySpace profile.

If you are creating a widget, flash version 9 & action script 1.0, links in Flash files just won't work, MySpace converts html into its preferred object format before saving.  Not all developers are widget developers.  Widget development is a lot more complex for social networks, especially if you want it to work cross-social network platform.  Browsers also play a part.

MySpace might launch a new developer platform and markup language rumored to be launching this week, will allow deeper access and allow widgets network access.

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