Nearly 3,800 people registered for SocialMediaExaminer’s Webinar “8 Hot Social Media Marketing Tips You Need to Know” yesterday (April 6, 2010). If you weren’t one of them (perhaps you couldn’t get into the virtual room because there was only space for the first 1,000) then this recap is for you. Not only was this Webinar packed full of “virtual” bodies, but it packed in a wealth of information from four social media specialists.
- Mari Smith, author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day, and founder of the International Social Media Association
- Chris Garrett, co-author of the book ProBlogger, founder of the Authority Blogger site and co-founder of the Performancing Online ad network
- Denise Wakeman, co-Founder of The Blog Squad, she has several Websites including Build a Better Blog
- Michael Stelzner, founder of SocialMediaExaminer.com (the hosts of today’s Webinar) and the author of the book Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged and the Social Media Marketing Industry Report.
The underlying message was that businesses need to get into the social media game. Michael Stelzner, the host of the Webinar, set the stage when he shared a few facts about the escalating traffic volumes of Facebook and Twitter:
- There are 450 million people on Facebook. If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest country in the world, just behind China and India;
- There are 40 million Twitter updates every day. Your customers are using social media, and the question is: are you engaging them?”
Tip # 1: Online Video Drives Traffic and Boosts Your Visibility (from Denise Wakeman)
Denise Wakeman said that video is a powerful tool for increasing trust and credibility because it connects, engages and converts blog readers. It is a more intimate way to connect because the viewer can see your body language, facial expressions and hear your tonality. She listed the following facts and recommendations:
- A 2007 report by the Kelsey Group says that 24 percent of those who view video on a Website will make a purchase;”
- In December 2009, 178 million people watched 3.2 billion videos with the average viewer watching 187 videos per month in the US alone, according to comScore. Nearly 40 percent of those videos were YouTube videos. 86.5 percent of the total US Internet audience viewed online video and 134.4 million viewers watched more than 13 billion videos on YouTube alone;
- Video viewing habits in the US are up 23 percent over last year;
- For businesses and professionals Denise recommends adding video to blogs to connect with audiences “in the best way for them.” Not everyone likes to read, but they will watch a video, she noted. Video also increases the amount of time people spend on blogs. You can add video on your home page in the form of a welcome video, how-to video, tip video, demos of products and services, tutorials, testimonials, and interviews with industry experts, yourself and others in your own organization;
- Distribute your content on multiple platforms to get to “potential clients where they are hanging out:” YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and iTunes;
- YouTube (owned by Google) is the second largest search engine and comes up high in search engine results. Videos that are “optimized” with information about your blog URL, sales page or .opt-in page should be the first thing that people see in the description of your video. Create and customize your own channel with videos on YouTube as well as the other video sites;
- Grab a .tv domain for your name, site or company and redirect it to your YouTube channel. Denise believes that .tv urls could be the next big Internet land grab because of the power of video. Protect your .tv name. These domains are a little more expensive then .coms, but she said it’s well worth protecting and grabbing that online real estate.
Tip #2: Drive More Traffic with Twitter (from Mike Stelzner)
Mike Stelzner provided a tip on how to drive more traffic to sales landing pages, Websites and blogs using Twitter. He revealed “the secret sauce” used at SocialMediaExaminer, noting that they get between 200-1,500 retweets” on all of their posts.” He said that great content is key in social media.
Here’s the “Secret Sauce” recipe and a tip:
- The SocialMediaExaminer blog content comes out at the same time every morning (around 5:00 AM PT Monday to Friday);
- Insert the TweetMeme button (available with a free account) into your blog to make it effortless for people to send your Tweet off to their audience: “To get action you need to reduce friction and make it very easy for people;
- Social Oomph.com (formerly TweetLater.com) makes it possible to schedule Tweets, direct message (DM) followers and track keywords so at 5 AM the SocialMediaExaminer blog posts go live. Several hours later a pre-scheduled Tweet goes over the SMExaminer feed. Next to “New Post,” they add please retweet in parenthesis. Michael cautioned not to ask people to do this all the time. However, he noted that when you do ask people to take action it increases the likelihood that they will. Next a pre-crafted Tweet is sent out for the same article from another of Michael’s accounts, but in this case the secret sauce is a direct message. The DM goes to about nine people he calls Fire Starters (partners such as Mari Smith, Denise Wakeman and Chris Garrett) who can help these Tweets get started. The secret is to time the Tweets so you get a “pump up during a short amount of time.” Rapid tweets lead to trending on such sites as Tweetmeme’s home page.
Tip # 3 Discover Google Buzz (from Chris Garrett)
- If you are not claiming your personal name or personal brand on Google Buzz get on it. Billed as “a new way to share updates, photos, videos and more, it is very much like Facebook or Friendfeed. And by the way, if you have a Gmail account you’ve got Google Buzz;
- Flesh out your Google profile because Google Buzz could become very important. Hook up your Picasa, Twitter and other social media services if you want, but a word of warning. A lot of people are saying that they only want to have people in their networks that are creating original content. So find out what [your targets] are doing first;
- Why use Google Buzz instead of Facebook or Twitter? Google Buzz supports very focused conversations. Unlike Twitter where conversations take place in minutes before you lose track of them, with Google Buzz the conversation can span days. Each conversation, if it’s set to be public, has a public page that could appear in a search engine. It’s probably best to avoid contentious political or religions subjects, but if you are talking about your business – the service and expertise you offer — it can be useful.
Tip #4: Create Facebook Fan Pages (from Mari Smith)
The reason to have a Facebook Fan Page is because there are 250 million people logging on daily for an average session time of 55 minutes, said Mari Smith. She provides tips on building a compelling fan page.
- As Gary Vaynerchuk says “eyeballs are monetizable.” So one of your goals should be to corner some of those eyeballs in your target market and build “outposts” [to your blog] with social media sites such as a Fan Page;
- The content on Fan Pages is fully indexed by Google so all your updates can be found even if people aren’t logged into Facebook;
- Why a Facebook Fan Page rather than just a personal page on Facebook or a Facebook Group? You can have unlimited fans unlike your personal profile on Facebook that limits you to 5,000 friends. The key distinctions between Facebook Fan Pages and Facebook Groups is that content on a Group is not indexed by Google, and you can not add applications to a Group. Another thing, when you hit 5,000 members of a group you will not be able to email them. So definitely have a Fan Page;
- Can fully customize Fan pages with applications. Have a look at SocialMediaExaminer’s Facebook Fan Page (it’s only 1 1/2 months old). Their Welcome [sidebar] uses Static FBML (Facebook mark up language). You can drive traffic using applications, and you can have landing pages, and more.
Tip #5: Create a Social Media Hub (from Chris Garrett)
The problem with posting content to social media services is that you don’t actually own your own content, says Chris Garrett. You are posting to someone else’s site, and they can change the rules and remove your account and content.
There used to be service called Pownce. A lot of people thought it would take over from Twitter because it was founded by a superstar chief executive. It was bought out and all the content and accounts are now gone, and the communities have disappeared. People also use the legal system to remove content. A pop star called Edwyn Collins posted a song [A Girl Like You] to his MySpace page. He owned the copyright, and he wanted to share his song, but a record label who didn’t own the copyright took it down. He owned it, but he didn’t have a big enough legal team to protect his own content. You have to play by their rules. That’s the negative.
- So use all of the good, positive benefits of these services and communities. Engage the community where people already hang out and bring them back home. Build your own hub. I’m a blog advocate and Denise is a big blog advocate so we propose that you use a blog, but it can be any Web site. Build your hub to lead them to even more value, more content, to keep them coming back to your site;
- Build fresh, unique original useful content on your hub and get them onto a list. If the worst happens and your Website is taken away from you (trademark infringement, etc) you will still have a link. It won’t matter if new services come and go. It won’t matter if Twitter or Facebook is the flavor of the month because you are always growing your core business, not their business. So the positive is that you can use these services to grow your own services to build your own community, build loyalty and keep people coming to you.
Tip # 6: Syndicate Video (from Denise Wakeman)
Denise’s tip focused on using video to leverage your expertise and help people find you and your blog to make a deeper connection with them on various outposts and to give them more information about how you can help solve their problem. She noted that the Web enables us to syndicate, (broadcast or amplify) our messages across multiple platforms. Yet video files are very large and it takes time to upload them to these sites.
- A tool she loves is TubeMogul.com, a free service that provides a single point from which to upload video to the top video sharing sites. It has powerful analytics that enable it to track that go far beyond views and tracks per second audience drop-off, audience geography and a lot more, she observed;
- Set up a free account (there is a premium account but free is fine if you are only doing a couple videos a month). You must invest some initial time setting up accounts for all of the sites you plan to which you plan to upload through TubeMogul, but then you only have to upload one time in the future to get to multiple sites. She advises her clients to create a cheat sheet with all of their contact and profile information, URLs to their social media sites and blog so they can simply copy and paste the information;
- Each site has a place for your profile and this is important so that when someone views your video or clip on these sites they will know who you are, see your picture, your logo and access information about you;
- You can use the same email and password for these video sites. A word of caution, you will get a lot of email in the set up process so she recommends using a separate Gmail account just for these notifications;
- The pluses: It’s free and it will save you an enormous amount of time because you don’t have to upload to every site. Your sites and stats on your viewership across all the video sites will all be in one place. By syndicating your videos you will increase your reach. TubeMogul claims that people using their service get three times more views per video.
Tip #7: Broadcast Live Video (From Michael Stelzner)
One of the things “that’s really cool” about social media is the immediacy of communicating with people, said Michael. Talking faces bring the “Wow factor” to the table. By interacting with your watchers live they can see your physical reactions. Your video can also be broadcast to Twitter and Facebook followers to drive more traffic back to the live broadcast.
- TinyChat.com is free (with a paid option) You can request your own room like tinychat.com/your company. Once you give people that URL they can immediately enter the live video conference. TinyChat supports up to 10,000 people in a room at once. You can get up to 12 live video streams simultaneously, but it gets a little tricky when you have more than two people [streaming] because some people don’t understand audio [requirements];
- A couple of quick tips on audio. Have your presenters wear their ipod headsets in one ear so the audio from their speaker goes into their ear not out of their computer to prevent feedback. Ideally, have them wear a headset, any kind of USB headset will eliminate background noise like a fan in the room or dogs barking in the background. Consider recording them using Camtasia or ScreenFlow. See a recording I did with Mari Smith on SocialMediaExaminer.com.
Tip #8: Grow Your Facebook Fan Base (from Mari Smith)
If you build it will they come? You could have the most beautiful Facebook page on the Facebook planet and nobody is coming. Some of my Ninja tricks.
- One of the first things people do is invite all of their friends with the “Friend” feature, but Mari doesn’t think that is very effective. For one thing, Facebook only allows you to join 500 Fan Pages and over time if you have many friends and are quite active on Facebook those “Suggest a Friend” pages will build up. She recommends using the “Share” button instead. It’s ubiquitous on Facebook and it’s on your Fan page at the bottom of the left column. When you click “Share,” which will go to your personal profile you can tell friends why they should come to your Facebook Fan Page. You can say you have a new tricked out Fan Page. But you should tell them what will be going on there – questions about your area of expertise, ask them to add their photos, say you are doing a contest, etc;
- Definitely want to add a widget to your blog. The link is facebook.com/facebook-widgets;
- Recommend adding on your Twitter background image that you can find us on Facebook. It’s not necessarily clickable, but at least it will be clear you have a presence on FB;
- If you have a Web-based email you can use the plug-in wisestamp.com and pull in your Facebook Fan Page link, your Twitter and LinkedIn;
- Think outside of the box instead of just saying “Become a Fan.” Say something like come and write on our Fan Page wall.
- Put your social media links on your business cards;
- People can join your Facebook Fan Page using text, using SMS, and you can Tweet this out as “fan yourusername” to 32665 (FBOOK).
If you missed this Web forum you can listen to the Webinar and download the slides from these presenters (until April 9) from http://www.whitepapersource.com/slides/. You can also sign up for the Web-based The Social Media Success Summit 2010, founded by Mike Stelzner, that will take place in May. Speaking at the forum are 24 social media experts including Guy Kawasaki (author, Art of the Start), Chris Brogan (author, Social Media 101), Darren Rowse (author, ProBlogger), Ann Handley (MarketingProfs), Brian Clark (Copyblogger), Mari Smith and many other experts from a cross section of industries.