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For years Google has championed the concept of an open web. Some took it as an altruistic sign, while others thought it was a convenient angle to commoditize complimentary business models.

Google pushed for net neutrality but made wireless connections an exception. Why would they do that? Could it be they are invested in disrupting that market elsewhere?

As Google started to reach the bulk of potential returns based on direct response they started to lean on brands as a signal of quality & recommend brands more in their search results. When you search for Amazon you might get 8 or 9 links from the official site & even on some generic keywords Google recommends associated brands.

When you think about what brand is, it is a mental shorthand for a concept. It leads to increased recall, fatter sustained profit margins, and thus the ability to spend more on marketing. If Google is to put more weight on reviews and look at sentiment analysis then of course that will benefit the larger players who invested into establishing positive associations, even at a young age. The results of such branding efforts are quite powerful.

And even moreso if you don’t use them for evil, Pepsi! :D

In the past Google has positioned that affiliates are evil (the body language says it all IMHO), though there are Google’s remote quality rater documents which provide further proof to anyone with lingering doubts.

As Google is becoming the affiliate they are getting direct signals into what consumers like most & are able to serve them a personalized recommendation engine. New extended ad formats & using location data will allow Google to further drive down the organic results.

Not only does Google sell CPA priced product ads on their search results, but they also allow your Google Base account to drive additional product links, which gives them over 150 million products to advertise. The name of the game is to give Google a bit more data to get a higher clickthrough rate & thus have a higher quality score & be enabled for additional profitable opportunities sold at below fair market rates. That seems like a free lunch and works great, up until the day Google decides to use the aggregate data to compete directly against you. ;)

Google now runs a thin affiliate site in Boutiques.com. Google’s ability to recommend consumption behaviors not only impacts ecommerce, but every type of media in the world. They control the ad rates of various advertisers & can create custom ad integration opportunities.

Youtube offers related videos, a never-ending personalized streaming service in LeanBack and ads which users can select from.

When Google started scanning books it was supposed to be for search, rather than to have ebooks for sale. A couple lawsuits later and today Google finally opened up their ebook marketplace.

One of the leading features of Google’s ‘open’ marketplace is DRM: “Publishers can choose whether or not to lock down their books with DRM. Google also says it will have a strict privacy policy that forbids it from using your book buying habits to advertise to, or profile readers.” If you are outside of the United States the store is simply unavailable. That same article states that “Google hopes to layer on social features into the service in the near-future and says the infrastructure is in place to let people buy both a digital and paper copy of a book in a bundle.”

Would that be Google moving from pushing bits & people to pushing physical products?

Google announced their copyright “improvements” in front of the Viacom vs Youtube copyright lawsuit appeal.

Meanwhile Google is the same company which published this & recommends keygens and serials when you search for a brand. Google promises to fix that later issue – something that has only took them a few YEARS to do, even though they were blocking porn words (& other words that could have earned them negative press) much sooner.

In much the same way that Google has captured most of the revenue streams they will be able to with direct response ads, I think they realize that they will need to work better at managing property rights of big media & other publishers if they really want to drive brand advertising revenues. This will likely lead to a decline of the “anything goes” web.

If you think of the whole reason Google was so liberal in their approach to supporting (and even funding) copyright violation it was so that they could weaken the positions of the companies that hold those rights, such that Google can eventually negotiate a deal with them. But the main thing holding back Google music is that based on Google’s past performance the labels do not trust the idea of a digital music locker hosted by Google. After all, Google AdSense ads are what allow sites dedicated to downloading MP3s from Youtube to be monetized today.

Google offers promotional links on Youtube & knows how much money they are missing out on. Google’s boondoggle of using public relations to paint a clean show publicly while using legal loopholes to circumvent the intent of the law was good for getting them into a strong market position, but if they want to have a leadership position in more big media markets they will need to get buy in from established players.

Google wants to get big into television ads. And that is going to mean having better respect for copyright. To some degree as we see the Google business model change we will see their approach of “paying anyone to steal anything & wrap it in Google ads” (to soften up copyright) change to a model where the put themselves as a gatekeeper on DRM content & push the “official” sources of the media (and try to make a cut of the profits). Already on Youtube if you view certain content from outside the United States they will tell you that it is unavailable in your area.

Google’s first video store was a complete failure. Once again they are pushing hard on video with Google TV & by buying the DRM company widevine. Big media companies have opted out of Google TV awaiting more favorable deals.

Part of such deals will ultimately rely on backroom payouts coupled with hard coded promotions. There will be a lot of collateral damage as entire categories become unprofitable. I think we are seeing the organic search results take a page from the ad book: pay to play.

Google’s old model of paying people to scrape content & wrap it in ads was leading to a market for lemons, driven by Gresham’s theorem. Much like how the most fraudulent banks could afford to buy out less fraudulent ones, and how Chinese milk with melamine was cheaper than real milk sent real companies into bankruptcy, the search results were suffering from the age of scrape/mash/publish. Given the surrounding economic forces crushing newspapers, Google was making things worse than they needed to be.

Those who are creating original high-quality content have real business costs. Google paying scraper sites like Mahalo and Ask to borrow your content & wrap it in ads means that you are sometimes getting outranked for scraped duplications of your own content. That drives down publisher margins and pushes marginally profitable publishers into losing money.

Google news has been described as a sewage factory plagued with nefarious players & is now undergoing clean up as well.

Slowly but surely the search results will fill up with official hotel sites, official music sources, official video sources, official ebook sources, etc etc etc … with Google putting a big foot on the gas & accepting whatever cut they can get. If they want to avoid regulatory scrutiny they need to work with the official sources (which are every bit as politically connected as Google is).

As that shift happens the longtail spam model will lose out on its profitability because it will be forced to compete with higher quality content that is automatically mixed into the search results. (The whole point of universal search was to allow Google to short cut certain types of information right into the core search results…as they start making money from micro-payments and such look for that trend to accelerate).

Ultimately what has doomed most portals was that they were willing to produce second rate holder stuff that filled out a vertical and was ‘good enough.’ What makes Google so powerful with the stealth backdoor portal approach is that it allows them to mix 3rd party content without forcing them to either absorb the cost or create low quality backfill stuff on their own.

One area that is ripe for ad innovations is books:

I’m genuinely glad to have Google enter this market because it will be reaching potential customers at a unique point in their book-buying journey: at the point of web search, not at the point of searching the bookstore. This means many things you didn’t realize a book can help you with—overcoming depression, remodeling a bathroom, making friends and influencing people—will now be surfaced alongside all the YouTube and other results Google will offer. This is a net plus for books.

But the ultimate effect of Google e-books, if Google knows what’s good for it, will be the creation of an ad-supported publishing model.

Now that books are digital & Google has rights to sell them I would expect in the next year or 2 that Google starts to display them in the organic search results more aggressively. The free samples can be monetized via ads & upsells of the whole book. That endless stream of editorially vetted content could put a dent in the content farm business model.

SEO Book.com – Learn. Rank. Dominate.

Is it a fad? Is it a scam? Is it here today, gone tomorrow?

Social media and marketing experts have had a wide range of opinions on the future of social media for a long time. Many said it would be gone by the end of 2010 (I even recall an article in 2007 that predicted the demise of social media as a marketing tool by 2008). Just about everyone who predicted that social media would die are either silent or admitting the error of their ways.

Our friends at Flowtown put together this excellent infographic that puts it all into perspective for us. Still have doubts? Don’t.

Everybody’s Doing It: How Marketers Are Utilizing Social Media In 2010
Flowtown – Social Media Marketing Application

Soshable | Social Media Blog

Posted by randfish

You may have seen the recent string of posts about SEO vs. Social Media, starting with this effective, but poorly argued controversy-bait, which was excoriated by Elysia Brooker and Hugo Guzman, then followed up with a more nuanced view by Darren Rowse. While I’m not particularly interested (nor do I think there’s much value) in re-hashing or arguing these points, I did think the topic warranted attention, as it brings up some excellent points marketers should carefully consider as they invest in their craft.

We Search for What We Want + Need

The search for information and answers has been essential to humans since time immemorial. And there’s no sign that our latest iteration, web search, is losing any steam:

Growth in Search Query Volume 2006-2010

Even as we’ve reached a maturity point with broadband adoption and online population, searches are rising. We’re not searching less every month; we’re searching more.

Search is an intent driven activity. We don’t search casually (much), we search to find answers, information, goods and services to consume. The power of search marketing – whether paid or organic – is simple: Be in front of the consumer at the time of consumption. There’s no more effective time to be present and no more effective way of knowing what is desired. All the social graph analysis in the world won’t tell you that Sunday evening, I got fed up with my current selection of footwear and, after some searching, spent a few hundred dollars on Zappos. But being front and center when I queried mens puma shoes brought them some nice business.

We’re Social to Discover and Share

Social media – whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Reddit, StumbleUpon or something else – is about connections, interaction, discovery and distraction. We hardly ever use these portals as a way to find answers, though they certainly may provide plenty to unasked questions.

Social media marketing advocates often make the case that social is how we find out about new products on the web, but, at least so far, the data doesn’t back up this assertion:

ATG Study on Where Users Discover Products
-
ATG Study on How Users Discover Products via SearchEngineLand

However, I am strongly inclined to believe the claim that social media is how we find out about new content on the web, particularly when we’re not seeking something in particular (as with a search). Blogs, pictures, video, research and the like are surely seeing an increased share of their visits from social, and that branding exposure is definitely valuable.

Some recent GroupM Research helped to shed the light of data on this supposition, noting that:

  • The click-through rate in organic search results for users who have been exposed to a brand’s social marketing campaign are 2.4X higher than those that haven’t; for paid search, it showed a jump from 4.5% to 11.8% (in both cases, this is for branded queries)
  • Consumers using social media are 1.7x more likely to search with the intention of making a list of brands or products to consider purchasing compared to those who do not use social media

Ben Yoskovitz talked about this value in his recent analysis:

Based on the information in this report, it’s reasonable to argue that social media marketing can increase the quality of leads (and not just the volume). It’s possible to hone in on, and understand intent through search and how social media exposure affects that intent. And as people are exposed (and I would say involved with – since exposure sounds like you’re just broadcasting stuff at people, which isn’t what social media is about) to social media their intent is more focused and driven towards lead conversion

That’s the kind of social media marketing value I can get behind. Get exposed to potential customers through social so that when they build their consideration set, search and purchase, you’ll have a leg up on the competition.

What Drives Traffic (and Converts) for Whom

It pays to understand the bias of this flare-up’s instigator, and I’ve got plenty of compelling data myself to see his perspective. Last weekend, I started publishing content on a personal blog – no domain authority, no links and little chance of performing well in search. But the results from social media – Twitter, Facebook and Hacker News in particular – are fairly remarkable:

Traffic Data

The search traffic demand, all 78 visits, was generated from the articles that went popular on Twitter & HN. The site itself still doesn’t rank for its own name. Yet, social media sent 22,000 visits over 9 days. No wonder bloggers, in particular those that monetize through advertising, sponsorships and other traffic-driven systems, have a proclivity for investing in social traffic. Perhaps it’s not so crazy to suggest on Problogger.net, a site about growing blog traffic and improving monetization, that social can be "better" than SEO.

I’d still argue that overall, referring traffic of all kinds sent from social, particularly from the largest network (Facebook), is only a fraction of the visits Google sends out each day (unless you’re in the business of appealing to the Facebook audience biases – I was a bit frustrated with how the data was clearly manipulated in the reference piece to fit the story). But, social does eliminate some of the inherent biases that search engines carry and let content that appeals to social users flourish no matter the site’s ability to grow its link profile, make content accessible to spiders or effectively target keywords.

Now let’s look at an example on the opposite end of the spectrum – conversions for a B2B product.

SEOmoz’s PRO membership may not be a good investment unless you’re a marketer actively engaged with SEO, but given that both the search and social traffic our site attracts
likely fall into this intent group (interested in SEO and likely to be in web marketing), a comparison seems fair.

First, I did some prep work in our Google Analytics account by creating an advanced segment called "social traffic" that contains any referral source with "twitter," "facebook," "stumbleupon," "linkedin," "flickr," and "ycombinator" – these represent the vast majority of our social media sources. Next, I compared this traffic quantitatively with our search referrals over the past two weeks:

  • Social Traffic – 26,599 visits from 30 sources
  • Organic Search Traffic – 102,349 from 20 sources

I then compared the percent of these reaching our landing or purchase pages for PRO membership. Here’s organic search:

Organic Search Traffic

And here’s social traffic:

Social Traffic

Here’s what I see:

  • 4.5% of organic search visitors considered a purchase
  • 1.3% of social traffic considered a purchase
  • While I can’t disclose full numbers, I can see that a fair number of search visits converted vs. zero for social.

In fact, looking at the entire year to date traffic to SEOmoz from social sources, it appears not 1 visit has ever converted for us. Social may be a great way to drive traffic, build branding and make a purchase more likely in the future, but from a direct conversion standpoint, it doesn’t hold a candle to search. To be fair, I’m not looking at full life cycle or even first-touch attribution, which makes this analysis less comprehensive, though likely still directionally informative.

Takeaways

Given the research and data here and in the posts/content referenced, I think we can say a few things about search and social as marketing channels:

  1. There shouldn’t be a VS.: This isn’t about pitting web marketers against each other (or perhaps, more accurately, themselves, since our industry survey data suggests many of us are responsible for both). There’s obvious value in both channels and to suggest otherwise is ideological nonsense and worse, self-defeating.
  2. Search Converts: Billion+ isn’t being wasted on Google’s search ads – that sucker send intent-driven, focused, conversion-ready visits like nobody else on the web.
  3. Social Has Value: Those exposed to a social campaign are better customers and prospects; making social not only a branding and traffic channel, but an opportunity for conversion rate optimization.
  4. SEO Is Hard in the Early Stages: Without a strong link profile, even great content may not perform particularly well in search results.
  5. Segmenting Search and Social is Key: Unless you separate, analyze and iterate, you’re doomed to miss opportunities and falsely attribute value. I’m particularly worried about those marketers who invest heavily in social to the detriment of SEO because the immediacy of the rewards is so much more tangible and emotionally compelling (He’s following me on Twitter! We have 200 Facebook fans!) – make sure appropriate effort goes where it can earn ROI; it’s our job.

For another interesting (and more social-media biased) perspective, check out Search vs. Social from Bradford Cross.

I’d love to hear more from you on this topic, too. 

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SEOmoz Daily SEO Blog

Many cruise along the paved roads of Social Networks without giving much thought to their development or enhancement within our social ecosystem. They are fun, entertaining, and for the most part – very easy to figure out.

What if we analyze our historical growth in communication or the evolution of us as human beings and uncover the path from our first existence till today? Would we find out the explosion of Social Media was not in fact a genius creation put forth into motion and we as human beings just happened to find pleasure in it? Or would the remnants of our history unearth a deeper more scientific process that exposes social media as a natural procedure that was destined within the make up of the human evolution?

As this video suggests, and explains our homo-empathicus nature – It can’t help BUT leave you wondering….

***


Soshable | Social Media Blog

Social Media for businesses can be a competitive place as you decide to integrate your business in amongst the herds of already established competing communities that may be strong within your competitors, and can seem overwhelming as you take that leap into the possibilities of Social Media.

Don’t Be Discouraged

As scary as it may seem to take a step forward in perhaps a world that is unknown to you, yet the pressure and the logic of becoming involved may plunge you into taking part, without truly understanding what exactly you’re suppose to do within the gigantic Social Media Universe. You my friend are not alone.

First, you need to separate your business with its own identity and look to other businesses that stand out from the crowd with success. You need to lead by example, but need examples to learn how to lead.

Be a Leader

The size of your business will not play a role in how successful you can be within Social Media; it all has to do with how big your team thinks, and the risks you take along the way to build strong connections with people within your communities.

Your Example

A leader within the Automotive Industry is in Lebanon, Ohio where they have hired a Social Media team that packs a punch amongst the top forward thinking Dealerships out there. Not only do they have an interactive Facebook Page, Twitter Page, and YouTube channel but they’ve also decided to create a social logo to represent them and community based blogs.Their Social Media Team Leader, Jeff Cryder Jr. has made purchasing cars a social activity. Since, buying a vehicle is one of our biggest decisions; it is smart for a Dealership to create genuine relationships with their customers and potential customers. This means you need to represent your business on a personal level, just as Cryder is doing at Lebanon Ford Lincoln Mercury (LFLM).

As they have progressed within Social Media it has caught the attention of the high-profiled Social Media brilliance of Scott Monty who works for Ford. Since, Lebanon Ford Lincoln Mercury pays attention to its community they noticed that Monty was noticing them.

“I saw he had been on our For[d] Life and Ford Project blogs, looked up his email address and sent him a nice note letting him know we were planning a road trip to Dearborn, MI and asked if he’d be available for a 10-15min interview.” Cryder says.

After taking the initiative to first create and communicate with their community and staying informed of whom was taking part in their community. Lebanon Ford Lincoln Mercury stepped up their game and connected with Ford’s Scott Monty and was able to meet with him in Michigan. Capitalizing on their visit they took a lot of great pictures at Ford and with Monty, and then shared it with their online communities. They were even asked to visit again in the future.

With excitement Cryder says, “We got invited to come back up to Dearborn next week to drive the newest Ford products around the Race Track!”

Connections with those who like or follow your business on your social networks are exceedingly important but just as important you need to unite with others within your Industry, as Lebanon Ford Lincoln Mercury decided to do.

“It truly is amazing what can result through Social Media coupled with a little initiative. It would have been easy to say, “how neat Scott was on our blog today”, but in order to be successful (especially in Social Media) you need to be able to drive deeper into the conversation and explore new opportunities.” Cryder says.

He continues with, ” We came away from our meeting completely impressed, with wealth of knowledge to apply to our work at Lebanon Ford. Not only that, it also shows our growing community we are something more than just a dealership. We’re not just going through the motions; we legitimately care about providing them with quality automotive insight, conversation, and content.”

It is about the quality of service you want to provide your community which needs to be exemplified in everything you do. Personalizing your business and gaining success will be dependent on how much initiative your business is willing to take. Social Media is not difficult; it is only how difficult you make it. Educating yourself on this personable medium and pushing your business forward will be a rewarding experience for you and your community, so think big, capitalize on experiences and find something or someone who inspires you, so you can gain initiative and fight for your rightful spot in Social Media success.


Soshable | Social Media Blog

Posted by RobOusbey

Today, I want to share two pieces of advice that are particularly useful to certain types of business – and will be exceptionally quick to implement. I’ve also created a free download that might help some people implement one of these ideas even more quickly.

About two years ago, I made a recommendation to a client in the UK, and I’ve just seen it used by a hotel in the USA. If your business offers public computers with internet access – such as those in hotel lobbies, libraries, etc – this is for you:

Tip 1: Put up a sign, next to your public computers, with a call to action; typically this could be something like ‘Find us on Facebook’ or ‘Follow us on Twitter’.

Here’s such a poster in use, at the Ledgestone Hotel in Yakima. (Click the image to embiggen.)

Sadly, it doesn’t look like the Ledgestone is doing much with their Twitter account; this probably disappoints people who go to their page, and so they don’t end up with as many followers as they could do. Remember – getting people to your Twitter page (or Facebook, or whatever else you’re asking them to do) is only the first stage – there has to be something there for them when they arrive.

The second tip is more for people who offer wi-fi – this could be all manner of hotels, conference venues, airports, aeroplanes, train stations, coffee shops, etc. For places that offer free wi-fi, this can work even better:

Tip 2: You control the first page visitors see after logging on to your wi-fi. Don’t waste this with a dull message; make the page interesting, and put some calls to action on there.

People have probably logged on to do something – but many will welcome a distraction – particularly if you keep the request brief. Create a nicely styled, but simple page, and add a couple of message on there. Some examples could include:

  • Follow us on Twitter / Like us on Facebook: you could incentivize this, for example: if you’re a coffee shop, then offer a free latte to new followers
  • Sign up to our email newsletter: this will only take them a second if you make sure the form is right there on the page, and again this can be incentivized
  • Don’t forget to check in on foursquare: ideal for almost any location, and this is as good a time as any to remind them to check in
  • If you’re enjoying your stay, please review us: particularly useful for hotels, where online reviews can increase visibility; I’ll go into a little more detail about this below.

There can be some issues with sites noticing that a lot of people from the same IP are visiting, particularly when it comes to review services. Local search expert David Mihm advised me that he’s heard Yelp in particular does try to filter our multiple reviews from the same IP, and that TripAdvisor’s fraud rules do include clauses that might get you into trouble (such as offering incentives for people to write reviews is not permitted.)

I’d recommend that there are two steps around this type of issue:

  1. Try to appeal for reviews only from people who already have accounts on those sites (e.g.: "If you’re a Yelp member, please review us here…." or "If you have a Google account, please leave a review here…"
  2. Make this ‘post-wifi-login’ page available on the public internet; review sites should be able to recognize that lots of people are being referred to your page from the same URL – if it’s public then they’ll be able to visit that page, and should figure out what is going on.

I’ve built a quick free template for you to to download as a starting point. You can visit the file, or download it, by clicking this link: free wifi login CTA page.

(That was created based on a template from LayoutGala; I’m not going to add any licence to it, other than use it however you want. You should change the image that are in it to be local files at the very least.)

Honestly, it doesn’t take long to print off a couple of small posters (or even to publish a nice wifi login page) so I’ll hope to see social-media CTAs cropping up all over the place soon. :)

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SEOmoz Daily SEO Blog

At the risk of giving away too much of what we do (not really – everything we do in social media is in the public, so you just need to pay attention or search around to find out), I’d like to share with you a little bit about Ford Motor Company’s approach to social media.

Here’s a great video that WebPro News did when we were at Blog World Expo last October. It captures a lot of what Ford is doing in the space.

I keep a clipsheet of coverage of our social media efforts (using Profilactic), which is helpful when speaking to reporters or digital media and they’re looking for examples of how our work has resonated. I simply refer them to our links and they can sort through the filters to find what they’re looking for.

On his blog, Jeff Bullas gave away The 7 Secrets to Ford’s Social Media Marketing Success last month. There are some great takeaways there for any company that’s interested in social media and some that are specific to Ford and our efforts. And Slate.com’s The Big Money covered the success we’ve seen from the first wave of the Fiesta Movement.

We’re working on a lot more – notably Chapter 2 of the Fiesta Movement, in which there are 20 teams of two in 16 cities across the country, creating mini marketing campaigns through social media as well as offline events and media. And our social media strategy is global, reflecting the growing interest from many areas around the company and around the world.

And we maintain profiles on a number of social networks, including profiles on Twitter: @Ford, @FordCustService, @FordFiesta, @FordAutoShows, @FordLatino, @FordEU, @FordAPA and more. In addition, we’ve got some employees on Twitter. You can find the full list at http://twitter.com/ScottMonty/ford.

We also have a number of Facebook pages, the most prominent of which are Ford and Mustang. All of our pages are favorited on the Ford page, so you can pick which ones you’d like to become a fan of.

In addition, we’re active on Flickr for photo sharing, YouTube for videos, Plancast and Upcoming for events, Delicious for public bookmarking, and Scribd for document sharing (where we’re the #5 most followed profile). And if you’re ever in doubt where to find us, you can see our profiles on the front of Ford.com or on The Ford Story.

Lots of stuff going on right now that’s keeping us really busy. Just thought you’d like a window into what some of it is and why we’re doing it.

Disclosure: http://cmp.ly/4

The Social Media Marketing Blog
Post image for Interview with Loren Feldman of 1938 Media

For today’s post were going to be talking to Loren Feldman of 1938 Media. Hi Loren for my readers who might not know you can you tell us a little about yourself, your company, and what you do.

I make videos for companies and people. I also make them for my website.

Many people who read my blog know you best for your satirical puppet video about the tech industry and it’s celebrities, like this video of Mark Zuckerberg of facebook

Click here to view the embedded video.

Do you think that silicon valley and tech blogger taking themselves so seriously is part of what makes your videos stand out?

We all are. Tech is now like entertainment.

There’s no denying that you’re a funny person, but your also a smart guy. Back when the Bill Gates and Jerry Sienfeld commercials you where way ahead of the curve on understanding what was going on. What gives you an edge that a lot of tech pundits don’t seem to have?

Honesty.

Some people have said that the tech space is very spotty when it comes to real journalists. If you could change one thing about the tech bloggers and how they cover the industry what would it be?

So much of it is cut and paste and flat out scraping. They all are rehashing the same nonsense.

On the positive side who are two or three journalists, online blogs or news sources, that you admire or respect?

Kara Swisher, CNET, I like Wired lately.

Let’s change gears you have a conference in New York City coming up on August 14th called the Audience Conference, can you tell me a little bit about it.

It’s a learning experience on how to make your business more engaging to your audience by working with artists who deal with an audience up close and personal. We all want our business to be engaging and capture and audience ie.customers so I figured lets mash it all up and get some great ideas.

I spoke with a lot of people who went to last years show and said how different it was from traditional conferences. Can you tell me what makes your show different from the other shows.

I think it a lot more fun. We are also the least expensive.

Looking at your speaker list I can see you have quite a few marquee name presenters, can you tell me about them, and what they will be talking about?

All the comedians will do a set and then a Q&A about their experiences with an audience. The tech people will be talking about their tools and experience in dealing with an audience online.

If there where one or two things you hope that everyone who attends your conference could take back and put to use what would it be?

To always remember their is now an audience of some kind for your business. How do you best engage them.

Any closing thoughts you’d like to leave us with?

Just to remember to keep your eyes open. Thanks.

Thanks Loren for taking the time to talk to me today. If you’d like to read and see more of Loren’s work head over to 1938 Media. If you are going to be in the New York City area on August 14th you should think about attending the Audience Conference tickets are available online.
Photo via adrants

This post originally came from Michael Gray who is an SEO Consultant. Be sure not to miss the Thesis WordPress Theme review.

Interview with Loren Feldman of 1938 Media

tla starter kit

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Michael Gray – Graywolf’s SEO Blog

The Automotive Industry has begun realizing more and more the importance to become a part of the Social Media Industry to ensure continued success and to collide with the times. You are able to see this with Toyota, Ford and others that have initialized a relationship with Social Media. But how do YOU do it?

Whether you are a big Dealership or a small one, Social Media needs to become integrated within your Marketing Strategy. With any promotion for your Dealership, you plan, assign a person, or team and you execute. It is much the same with Social Media. It is important that you first start with a plan.

The Plan

Think of how you want to be perceived on your Social Networks. Unlike other media forms – a sales pitch or Inventory is not going to cut it. – So you need to think of how to grab people’s attention without sounding as if you are trying to sell something.

Sounds like a waste of time, right?

Currently Facebook has reached 500 million active users. Twitter has over 600 thousand searches a day and the average person watches 15 minutes of YouTube every single day. These statistics astound many and are vital towards your campaign. Knowing the effect Social Media has on people you need to create a strategic plan that uses your Dealerships name as a fun, informative, helpful and yes, useful way. The easiest way to manage and maintain your Social Networks is to assign a person or a team to continuously update your Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube Accounts.

Whom Do I Assign for Social Media?

This answer is a lot easier than you think. Look around your Dealership; the same people you trust to sell, answer the phones, and run the Dealership are the same people you should entrust your Social Networks to, Trust your employees online as you currently do offline. Once you assemble an SM team, think of creative content that would be useful for your online community as well as, grabbing their attention to your efforts. The more outside the box you go, the more responses you will receive.

The Content

Have fun with the content you choose to post for your online community, think of quizzes, multiple choices, and interactive videos that will grab the attention of your viewers. Make sure to incorporate articles that are informative about the Automotive Industry by writing or simply searching for them online. Use the knowledge that you know with how-to videos or articles that will be helpful to your community and showcase your Dealership, as well as, those working in your Dealership.

Show personality! No one enjoys mundane reads or videos, so think up creative original content and that way you will not only receive great feedback but also increase your SMO and SEO amongst search engines.

The Interactions

When you start taking your Social Media seriously, people will notice. They will see your hard work and efforts and want to be a part of it. They will do so, by sharing your content and by interacting with your various Social Networks. This is a good sign, and exactly what you want to strive for since it will create a domino effect of their friends and followers seeing just how great of a Dealership you are.

You must remember with every interaction made by a member of your online community, you need to pay attention and respond, use their name and handle to keep the personable relationship flowing. Remember, not responding is like sending a letter and not getting one back. It just sucks! So, respond!

These few and easy steps will guide you on the right road to creating the proper Social Media success you are trying to ensue with your Dealership. It will take effort and time to continue the journey and see results. However, the more time spent within Social Media, the more you optimize your name, your vehicles and own your online reputation unlike ever before.

Nothing you do in Social Media is a waste of time. Everything you do, gains you possibility and recognition.

Are you currently happy with your Social Media plan?

Erin Ryan
Social Media Specialist
TK Carsites

http://tkcarsites.com

http://facebook.com/tkcarsites


Soshable | Social Media Blog

What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social Anxiety Disorder can cause a person who suffers from it to feel an overwhelming sentiment of anxiety, a persistent and intense fear of being watched and judged by others and a trepidation of being around people to name a few. Social Anxiety, also known as a “Social Phobia” can be as debilitating to cause a person to retreat to being alone with the inability to work, go to school or being out in public.

There is a steady struggle between the people they “see” themselves as becoming and the “dark passenger” that rids them of anxiety and fear. This unrelenting fight usually occurs on a daily basis which can cause a person who endures SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder) unable to cope, yet fully aware of what is happening to them.

Social Anxiety Disorder invades more people than we are aware of, and although it is considered a Mental Health Disorder, the stigma usually wrapped in the “if we can’t see it, it doesn’t exist” mentality of our society, precedes to keep a perpetual cycle of silence.

Fortunately, there are ways of coping with this disorder. One of the most popular is cognitive behavioral therapy, which consists of the core, exposure therapy. This type of therapy helps the person to overcome what frightens them by exposing them to their fears through various stages. This is said to build confidence, coping techniques and to create constructive responses.

How Social Media May Help

Social Media is the interconnections of human beings from the comforts of their “safe zones”, whether it is work or home or where ever else we choose to interact online. Through this newest way of communication, people are in control unlike ever before.

Social Networks are birthed daily and those that have grown to see true popularity have surprised many people on how effective socializing online has become an important part of our culture. Social Media has even persuaded other mediums to take part in its expanding phenomenon.

Clearly, Social Media is no longer considered a fad and has intercepted the way we want to relate to other people and how we want to do it. Given that, we the people see how much we can manage the way we connect with other people while enabling us to feed our innate human behavior.

Since people who are diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder feel most comfortable alone, this does not imply that it is what they want. Rather, people who suffer from SAD, yearn to interact and to make friends.

Perhaps, Social Media can serve an even greater purpose by slowly integrating socializing online to a person with this type of unrest. We could even speculate that perhaps, one of the many reasons Social Media has become so popular is due to the massive amount of people plagued by this disorder. Besides its convenience and global reach, Social Media can also play an important role to help heal those who suffer from the silence of this all too common turmoil.

Ever since the beginning of time, people have gone in search of a sense of belonging and of other human interactions, it is abnormal for our species to want to be alone all of the time. We are social creatures after all.

Mixing Social Media and Social Anxiety Disorder could be a great start to begin a coping process that eases a person into forming connections with people; they would otherwise shy away from in offline situations. It could also help increase their feeling of hope, ease off the depression associated with SAD, and slowly build confidence by being in control of when they have the ability to socialize. Social Media could be the first step to lesson the feeling of loneliness and heighten their emotions of belonging or being “a part” of something. This could begin the demise of the “dark passenger” and contribute to gaining a sense of control over the person they deservingly see themselves to be.

Could Social Media play a role in helping those who suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder? Or do you think this is a recipe for disaster?

Here is an interesting Infograph with Facts and Stats about Social Anxiety Disorder
Soshable | Social Media Blog