Another panel I presented on at SES London 2009 which took place this past week was Social Media Optimization. I had the fine pleasure of presenting with Jennifer Laycock of Search Engine Guide, Lisa Ditlefsen who’s recently launched her own company Verve Search, and Krista Neher of Marketess. I think it was the only panel at SES that was completely female dominated! Besides that, our panel seemed to flow rather nicely with each of us covering different aspects of social media.
I took the lead in presenting the basics that build social media. From how it rose to be a power that consumers now have, to defining your goals before you start, I covered a basic foundational structure of what social media is. The two main points I really wanted to stress is that 1) it’s all about the end user and 2) social media is a source of new signals about relevancy for the search engines. Beyond covering the basics of strategy and goal setting when it comes to social media, I demonstrated how someone used these aspects with phenomenal success, that person being the new president of the United States, Barack Obama.
Next to the podium was Jennifer Laycock who reinforced my presentation that it’s about the conversations with the end users. From there Jennifer talked about a few social media sites that could be part of any social media strategy. These sites, aren’t bleeding edge, but have been proven performers of where people are having successful conversations with companies. Jennifer started off with Flickr, showing how she effectively utilized it to promote her BentoYum blog. From there Jenn went on to discuss the objectives of successfully using Twitter in your social media marketing strategy. Moving on next Jenn discussed and then rounded it out with an overview of Facebook and LinkedIn with some.
Lisa Ditlefsen then took the approach of “how do you do this” with a look of how you need to do this with your in house team – whether you are an agency or a company. The first thing is that everyone needs to be on the same page, if you aren’t the strategy is going to fail. The idea you are working with also needs to be creative, otherwise its just going to whither away. Resources need to be planned out as well, because if you don’t have enough resources allocated to handle a successful strategy, or you need to switch gears to retool a strategy, your efforts can be for nothing. Lisa then highlighted two social media pieces, SEO Wars – a YouTube video her team put together, and a social media “Fun” piece put together for Rackspace. Some great takeaways were given for both of these.
To round out the panel, Krista Neher presented several different social media pieces that have been widly successful. The main point of her presentation that she drove home is that end users don’t care about your company. Something I couldn’t agree more with. For end users it is about the conversation, the sharing of the exprience. Krista highlighted the Blendtech videos, the Dove campaign for Real Beauty, and a few other very successful social media strategies that took into account the end user first.
Overall I think the panel gave a great overview of what social media is truly about, having been on the panel lasty year, a lot has changed and this was a really good well rounded view of how it has truly become a very strong online marketing channel to be strategized for.