October 07, 2010

Facebook (SEO) Optimization: Free Ways to Be Found on Facebook

By Li Evans

Reporting from Search Marketing Expo (SMX)

Marty-weintraub Lately Facebook marketing has become all the rage, especially for online marketers.  With that in mind I sat down in the Facebook SEO:  Free Ways to be Found on Facebook panel at SMX East 2010.  The panel was moderated by Elizabeth Osmesloski the editor for Search Engine Land and presenters were Marty Weintraub, Gregg Finn and Chris Silversmith

First to the stage was Marty, who had a deck that was just packed with data, so much so that I'll have to go back and digest that presentation to fully comprehend everything Marty was trying to relate in such a small amount of time.  Some key facts, tips and information I gleened from Marty's presentation were truly insightful.

When it comes to the "SERPs" of Facebook (if we want to call them that as search engine marketers) and mature Facebook accounts different factors like personalization and likes matter in what's brought back when a user searches in the Facebook environment.  There's a few things that affect personalization: you "like it", your friends "like it", you've got 2nd degree friends (not quite as relevant), you've been invited to things, you've visited the page before, and you've listed it as an interest on your profile.

Marty outlined 9 important ranking factors to consider when you are setting up your profile or pages/groups on Facebook, if you want them to rank in Facebook's search results.
  1. Your Name
  2. Events You Are Invited To
  3. Friend with Keyword in Name
  4. 2nd Degree Friend with Keyword in Name
  5. Questions w/ keyword in it & # of Answers
  6. App you have used
  7. Page Friend Likes
  8. Groups you have joined
  9. Internal external page & Interest You Have on a Profile
The one place that seems to be the most "spammy" on Facebook that programmers are hacking and exploiting is Events.  Events are not geographically based, nor based on if your friends are attend, nor the invites and not really keyword based.  Spammers are using events to send emails to everyone on the attendee lists whether they've RSVP'd or not.  This is why people are ignoring events anymore.

The key to successfully marketing with the events is to get people to RSVP as ATTENDING and get people to the page at least once.  Don't forget to make your primary keyword the first word of the event and don't make that name too long.

Marty had so much more great information, if you are interested in it, follow him on twitter he's @aimclear.

Greg Finn was up next with another treasure trove of great tips for marketing in Facebook.  The key to making your pages rank is relevancy of the page name, the fans you have and also the conversations that are going on within those pages, according to Greg.  Greg also highlighted Facebook's Page Browser feature and how those factors affect what appears in the page browser.

When you are trying to boost your fans he pointed out some rather simple things marketers can do like making sure you have a "Become a Fan" button on your main website.  He also suggested running promotions, however you do need to consult Facebook's guidelines on promotions before you launch to avoid having Facebook shut down your promotion.

The best promotions that work are charitable donations.  This is where companies say "for every fan we acquire" within a certain time frame, they will donate a certain amount of money to a charity.  Greg suggested that companies can alter this and encourage more conversation because in order to comment on a fan page wall, you have to like it first.  So by running the promotion focusing on "for every comment on this post, we'll donate", you are getting both fans and conversation.

Open-graph Chris Silversmith rounded out this panel with some other great insights, primarily utilizing your status updates in more effective ways.  If you utilize tagging, you can really improve your chances of increasing the number of people who see it.  For example utilizing people's names, groups, businesses, and locations can actually place your status updates on their walls, exposing that information to their fans/friends. 

You do want to be careful with this though because it can appear spammy and get ignored and also be ineffective if a group, fan page or community page only shows "their" updates and doesn't allow fans updates to be seen.  Remember as well, you can only use 6 tags in a status update.

Chris also gave some great tips about optimizing fan page code for facebook by using the Open Graph.  Open Graph code is based on RDFa and Chris pointed out that marketers should make sure to use the meta tags outlined in the Open Graph outline by creating special html pages on their own sites and synching them with the Facebook Fanpage.  You really only get one shot at this as once 10 or more people like it, Facebook won't change the information on the page you've synched.  To get Facebook to recognize your Open Graph coded page put the like button on the page and click it as the administrator of the fan page from that page.

This panel was so packed with great information, there's a lot more that I didn't cover here, as actually sitting in the panel is where you get the true benefit!  If you are interested in learning more, tweet to the presenters, they might help you out, or better yet attend SMX West in February 2011.

May 26, 2009

Online Marketing Tips Video: Being Social in Social Media

By Li Evans

This week's Tuesday's Tips in Online Marketing video is all about how to be social in social media, especially if you are a company. These days it takes a lot more than just having a Twitter account or a Facebook page to be successful in social media! In this short educational video, there's 3 quick tips that companies can use to integrate into their social media strategies and be more social with a lot more success.

Full Being Social in Social Media Video Transcript after the jump ...

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Being Social in Social Media" »

May 12, 2009

Online Marketing Tips Video: Community Building

By Li Evans

Finally I'm back with our Tuesday's Tips in Online Marketing!

Today I decided to focus on Community Building in Social Media.  It's under 3 minutes, quick and to the point about 3 tips for helping to build the community around your blog, forum, or even networking group like those on Facebook or LinkedIn.  Enjoy!

Full Community Building Tips Video transcript after the jump ....

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Community Building" »

January 14, 2009

Online Marketing Tips Video: Forum & Message Board Marketing Strategies

By Li Evans

Are Forums & Message Boards dead?  Hardly!  In fact according to Charlene Li's Groundswell, it's the 2nd most popular thing people are doing in social media (next to watching videos). 

Companies and their marketers need to be weary though entering into these unique areas of communication with their potential audiences, there are rules to be obeyed and honesty of who you are to be pronounced.  These three tips should help you start to build a solid strategy for working in forums and message boards.

Full transcript after the jump....

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Forum & Message Board Marketing Strategies" »

November 05, 2008

Barack Obama The First Social Media President?

By Li Evans

BarackObama.com After the Presidential WinYesterday was probably one of the most exciting days of this year, if not the past 4 when it comes to the possibilities of emerging media being pushed to the forefront and actually being a factor in something very important in not just our nation's history but quite possibly world history.  Yes, the United States elected its first African American president, but it also elected its first president to utilize technologies beyond email or a cell phone to office to just raise campaign donations.

Barack Obama is the first "Social Media President" in history.  He's the first one to understand and harness the power of sharing and communicating through social media platforms to not only get out his message, but to energize a group of Americans into action.  Of course it wasn't just Barack alone, it was his campaign team that focused in and realized the power and reach utilizing different aspects of web technologies could bring them.  It wasn't just one social media site used either, it was everything working in conjunction with one another, complementing each other and promoting the same singular message of the Change that can happen if people on these sites helped to elect Barack Obama president of the United States of America. 

One of my sources on the inside told me that it was some of the people who were on Dean's 2004 campaign team that came in and built upon what they knew, and that doesn't surprise me in the least.  Not only did they learn the power of the infamous "Dean Scream" hitting YouTube, but they learned the power of fundraising and brought that to the Obama campaign, improved on it and turned it into a finely tuned machine.  So much so that the majority of Obama's donations came from donors giving $200 and under.

So what kind of technology did Obama use? Let's take a quick, deep look at what was implemented.

Continue reading "Barack Obama The First Social Media President?" »

October 26, 2008

Twitter As a Terrorist Tool?

By Li Evans

Terrorism Cartoon by BradFitzpatrick.com I was doing my normal reading of the main stream media sites - CNN, MSNBC and FoxNews and my eyes got a glimpse of a headline that contained the word "Twitter" in it, so of course, curiously I clicked on it. 

"U.S. Army Says Blogging Site 'Twitter' Could Become Terrorist Tool"

*blink*  ..... *crickets* ..... *blink*

Wow, really?!  A terrorist tool?  Now I don't know about you folks, but I tend to give terrorist a little more credit in the secret and brains department.  Ideally these folks don't want ANYONE knowing what they are up to right?  I mean seriously, a terrorist tool?

According a a report by the Agence France-Presse news agency, the 304th Military Intelligence Battalion contains a chapter entitled “Potential for Terrorist Use of Twitter,” which expresses concern over the increasing use of Twitter by political and religious groups.

Am I wrong, are we not in America?  Seriously, isn't this they way that grassroots efforts are suppose to work?  They use tools to communicate a like minded message and join together for a common cause.

I think what the government is missing, very clearly here, is the way social communities police themselves.  If there's a crazy person in the group, or on the channel or in the forum, or espousing crap from their blogs, people either do two things 1) Ignore Them or 2) Look at their blog for the next crazy thing they are saying and laugh.

Twitter is already used by some members to post and/or support extremist ideologies and perspectives,” the Army report said.

Most normal human beings can spot a whack job a mile a way.  At least the type of whack jobs this report is describing.  These whack jobs can say whatever they want on twitter, it's just like they can print whatever they want, too.  It's just like those people with the weird hairdos and clothese at the airport that are selling flowers, or those Scientology members passing out fliers on Market St. in San Francisco.  Unless you want to listen to the music or read the message, you trash the communication device or ignore it altogether - you just don't listen to it.

Hugh_macleod_cool_sheep_cartoon The article goes on ..... "The blogging service and social networking site has previously sent out messages known as “Tweets” faster than news organizations during such major news events as the July Los Angeles earthquake and the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis."

I guess they forget to give credit to Scoble for getting a tweet about the earthquakes in China.  I guess they also missed that Beth Kanter raised over $2,500 dollars for Cambodian Children, in an hour live from Gnomedex.  I guess they missed the thousands of other great things Twitter's been used for and to spread the word about in an instance? 

Maybe Joe the Plumber should tweet his questions to the candidates, and then maybe it'll be worth the candidates mentioning how great Twitter is, instead of our government labeling it a terrorist tool?

What say you?

October 23, 2008

eMetrics: Key, Relevance Factors of Expanding Followers, Friends & Fans, In Your Online Community

By Li Evans

The last session of day 1 (technically it was day 2) here at the eMetrics Optimization Summit was the most engaging of all the social media tracks.  It had three different presenters and they all had some great information for the audience on how they use different social media to build their audience of fans, friends and followers and how that also affects other social media mediums they are in.  Each had very to the point, key, relevance factors of how you can utilize these social media tools.

Beth Kanter of Beth's Blog - How Non-Profits Can Use Social Media

Emetrics_beth_kanter First off, Beth is a ball of energy and enthusiasm about blogging and social media.  Seriously, her enthusiasm is contagious!  You could tell this the minute she stood up and greeted the audience.  What Beth is known for is using her blog to raise money for non-profit causes, such as sending kids to school in Cambodia.  Not only does she raise money through her blog, she also raises money through her Twitter account too.

At the Gnomedex Conference, Beth launched a fundraising campaign from the podium on Twitter.  Within 45 minutes she had raised over 2,500.00.  By the end of the day, she raised over 4,500.00.  This was also lived streamed over the TV on one of the cable networks.  

What is the ROI of Blogging?

Beth started of this segment of her presentation with "the sum of time and money saved plus money earned or donated plus benefits translated."  But in all honesty, although the numbers are what people judge campaign by, there are intangibles that can't be fully measured by numbers ..... it's more than just math.

Continue reading "eMetrics: Key, Relevance Factors of Expanding Followers, Friends & Fans, In Your Online Community" »

October 21, 2008

emetrics: Social Network Analysis Session Highlights

By Li Evans

Socialnetworkanalysisemetrics1 Fred Turling, SHS Viveon AG presented one of the first session of the morning here at the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit.  Fred's topic was on Social Network Analysis, which starts off the Social Media Metrics track here at the conference in Washington DC.

Social Network Analysis (SNA) can become a pretty deep subject.  Looking at the value of participants in social networks such as networks is becoming a pretty hot topic.  It's no longer about which community can best benefit from the relationship building in a social network, but honing in on which community members are the most valuable to build the relationships with.

Fred went on to describe that there are three main approaches to analyzing social networks: 

  1. Web Analytics - metrics & analytics of  reach, interest, conversion funnel;
  2. Business Intelligence (community platforms)  user generated content, user characters detailing daily usage patterns;
  3. Social Network Analytic & Data Mining - focusing in on social patterns, etc.

Looking at the background of where Social Networks come from, it's not new at all.  The term social network was introduced in 1954 by JA BArnes and refers to a social struture, in which individuals are connected to each other via relationships.  That can take on a variety of meanings from written letters, to post it notes and now even to emails and IM's.  In the contet of current media networks 4 distinct types can be identified:

  1. Communication - directly targeted communication (email, im, chat, sms), discussion oriented (message boards, blogs)
  2. Contact Management (social software - facebook, linked in)
  3. Interaction - nline games (world of warcraft), commercial or service auctions (ebay)
  4. Collaboration - collaborative indexing (digg, delicious, flickr), Wikis (Wikipedia)

Continue reading "emetrics: Social Network Analysis Session Highlights" »

June 30, 2008

Plurk Is Slowly Winning Me Over - How About You?

By Li Evans

At the end of the week last week, I asked the question to my Plurk audience, "Do you consider yourself a plurk convert? If you do, I'd love to hear why?" which then led to "What would you like to see plurk add to make it better??"  I am finding Plurk, more and more attractive to hold conversations and communicate despite the way I feel about the interface.

Harpooned Twitter Fail WhaleTwitter, has issues.  Major issues.  The more that it is broken, features are disabled and doesn't update or respond to its audience, the more it's driving people to Plurk, not Friendfeed, but Plurk. (Sorry A-Listers, ya missed the boat on this one!)

Plurk's A-Team is learning from Twitter's very public mis-steps and issues.  The team at Plurk is fast to respond, and fast to implement new ideas (that are feasible) suggested by its users.  It keeps its audience up to date with what's going on.  Granted, the user base is not that of Twitter, and growing pains are likely going to ensue once the exodus from those tired of seeing that dumb whale (or now the bird & dragonfly), hits Plurk.

Plurk is not Twitter, not by any stretch of the imagination.  Twitter is a broadcasting mechanism and an easy way to disseminate a message to a captive audience that wants to hear what you have to say.  You can hold conversations between yourself and someone else, but when you compare it to Plurk, you can see the big difference.

Continue reading "Plurk Is Slowly Winning Me Over - How About You?" »

June 14, 2008

Blog Potomac - Meeting Social Media Rock Stars You've Admired from Afar

By Li Evans

Yesterday I got the opportunity at Blog Potomac to not only meet two people I've admired from afar, but I even got a few minutes of their time to interview them. 

The first was Debbie Weil, author of the fabulous book, The Corporate Blogging Book and the blog Blog Write for CEOs.  I first read Debbie's book 2 years ago, and I still believe it holds solid, foundational information for any CEO or senior corporate executive thinking about entering the blogosphere.  I wrote a review of The Corporate Blogging Book right after I read it, silly me though, I left my copy of the book at home (I wanted her to autograph it for me).  Meeting Debbie was a great experience, her photo does not do her justice.  She's pretty and so nice, and very very passionate about blogging.  She wasn't the least afraid of my "fangirl" presence either.

Liana 'Li' Evans of Search Marketing Gurus & Lionel Menchaca of Direct2DellThe second person I got to not only meet, but interview was Lionel Menchaca.  For those unfamiliar with the social media world (beyond just searching for links), Lionel is probably "The Rock Star" of this industry.  Lionel started Dell's Direct2Dell blog and basically kick started Dell's whole foray into the social media space.  Lionel was very accommodating and we sat and talked for an hour or so about what Dell's done and where Dell's going.  Lionel not only understands the pure meaning and use of social media, he lives, breathes and works with it every day at Dell.

Now you may be wondering about these interviews I mentioned.  Well, my video guy, Shannon Hall (better know to a lot of you as "my friend Beau") and I headed down to Blog Potomac to get some video interviews with the speakers at Blog Potomac.  We also took small interviews from the attendees asking them "Why Do You Love Blogging?" which we're putting into a few montages (and no Simon, take down notices aren't allowed!).  We have interviews with Debbie and Lionel.  We also got some other interviews I'm really excited about too, ones with Kami Watson-Huyse, Rohit Bhargava and the other co-chair of the event Geoff Livingston.

Beau's working the editing of course, so it'll be midweek when we bring those interviews to you.  All of these people have such wonderful advice and great things to say.  Each interview was great, and I'll be transcribing them as well for members of the audience that have let us know they really like the transcription of our videos.

Of course you didn't think I went to this event without my camera, now did you?  Well, I've got over 70 photos from the event (Beau saved me, I forgot my battery, luckily we have the same camera).  So check out the Blog Potomac Photos in my Flickr set.

Kudos to Geoff & Debbie, as well as Josh Hallett for putting on a great event!

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