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Social Media & SEO at Search Congress Barcelona

Posted on Mar 4th, 2011
Written by Lee Odden
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    search congress barcelona 2011Yesterday I spoke at Search Congress in Barcelona Spain on the topic of improving online marketing (and PR) with Social Media and SEO. My co-panelist was Aaron Kahlow of Online Marketing Connect and the moderator was the famous Massimo Burgio.

    Just before the event, Massimo suggested we break out our Spanglish in the presentations plus I ran into Bryan Eisenberg who did a keynote – unexpectedly in Spanish because the translator didn’t show. “Gracias” and “si” are about all I know, so you can imagine the situation.

    Speaking and presenting all in English wouldn’t be very considerate to the audience, so I decided to use Google translator (suggested by Mike Grehan) and translate most of my slides from English to Catalan. The presentation went over fairly well I think:

    Search Congress Barcelona @leeodden

    Here’s a summary of what I presented:

    Search is increasingly social with the incorporation content from social sources (video, blogs, images) into standard search results ala Universal search in 2007 followed by potential toolbar data and information captured while logged in.

    All major search engines take data feeds from Twitter and Facebook. In fact, if you compare the search volume numbers shared in this Search Engine Land article, Twitter is the second most popular search engine (Google 88bn, Twitter 18bn, Yahoo 9.4bn, Bin 4.1bn queries per month).

    It’s an understatement to say social media usage has exploded in the past year. LinkedIn is over 100 million users, Twitter has over 200 million accounts and Facebook is around 600 million users.

    The way consumer and B2B buyers discover, consume and share information has been influenced significantly by search and social technologies.

    For example, I might ask my friends on Facebook if anyone can recommend good restaurants for Tapas here in Barcelona. I’ll get a few recommendations and search Google for the restaurant names. On the restaurant site I might see that Fodor’s or Lonely Planet has reviewed the restaurant and after reading that, looking at the menu, comments and Flickr photos I may decide that’s the place to make a reservation. At the restaurant I might check-in on Foursquare, take a few photos and Tweet what great (or horrible) food and service there is. Afterwards I might even leave a review on Google hotpot.

    It can be argued that I’m somewhat of an early adopter, since a lot of people I know would probably only ask their friends via email for recommendations. Then they might Google the options and update their Facebook status if they had a particularly good or bad experience. But that’s still a reflection of changed discovery, consumption and sharing behaviors over a few years ago.

    As marketers we have an opportunity to stay in tune with customer behaviors and adjust our marketing accordingly. To do that, here are two tactical approaches to consider:

    Cycle of Social Media & SEO

    Cycle of Social & SEO:

    • Create, Optimize & Promote: The cycle starts with optimized content creation and promotion.
    • Spark an Interest: Content is noticed, shared & voted on. Grows awareness.
    • Grow the Network: Increased exposure attracts more subscribers, fans, friends, followers & links.
    • Attract a New Audience: Increased links & social exposure grow search & referral traffic.
    • Extract Insights from Data: Traffic & community help research, develop & further grow social networks for content & SEO.
    • Learn, Modify, Repeat:  With the information gained from community data, editorial optimization plans can be refined for more effective content creation, optimization and promotion.

    SEO Strategy Content Marketing

    Hub and Spoke Model for Social, SEO & Content Marketing:

    • Create a social hub: blog, Facebook Fan Page, YouTube channel, Forum, Niche social network, whatever you want to drive social traffic to
    • Develop distribution channels and communities off the hub
    • Spend time creating, optimizing, promoting great content on the hub and growing networks in the spokes.
    • The exposure of content to communities empowered to publish creates editorial visibility and links back to your hub.
    • Links send traffic and increase search visibility.

    Three things to do now:

    1. Establish a Listening Program:  Audience analysis, brand monitoring, social keyword research.
    2. Create a Social Media SEO Strategy:  Create, optimize & promote social content, develop networks.
    3. Make it Easy to Promote & Be Promoted:  Build a distribution network for content promotion & network with influencers.

    Thanks to Ouali and the team at Search Congress for the opportunity to speak as well as Matt McGowan & Mike Grehan from Incisive for inviting me and Aaron Kahlow from OMS for being a co-panelist. I hope to visit Barcelona again in the future.