Posted November 23, 2007 9:54 am by with 0 comments

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(GSINC‘s Gareth Davies couldn’t resist the lure of SMX London and took excellent notes while he was there. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

Kelvin, andrew and lisa photos

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Leveraging Social Media Networks
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This session was packed and the first to speak was Kelvin Newman of Site Visibility.

Kelvin covered the concept of friends/ friending on social networks for those new to social media. He pointed out that a relationship with online friends is obviously rather different to the kind of relationship you might have with a real friend, but friends are still an important part of online social networking.

He covered how some online groups can gather hundreds and thousands of friends into their network on sites like MySpace and FaceBook – but Kelvin suggested that if you had more than 150 friends on FaceBook then many probably weren’t your real friends and that anyone with a unusually high number of friends (say over 150) were probably a bit of a Social Media floozie! This resulted in brief protestations from SEO Chick Lisa Ditlefsen or being labelled a floozie but charmer Kelvin soon talked her round.

Kelvin also stressed that the old business philosophy of give first take later also applies to the world of social networks. For successful online networking it was about building relationships and not just about accumulating friends. In essence he said “Connect not collect”.

All in all it was a high-energy, fun session by a Marketing Pilgrim contributor Kelvin – Well done Kelvin!

Next Lisa Ditlefsen of base one interactive and SEO Chicks took to the stand and spoke about SMO – the SEOs best friend.

Lisa put on a similarly energetic presentation in her own quirky style, looking at SMO. She told us FaceBook has grown by 110% in the last year and MySpace has grown only approx 30%. Though the shocking stat of the day was that the average session time per person on Facebook is a massive one hour and seven minutes! This is probably not music to your ears if you happen to be an employer.

Lisa also told us about the campaign which had taken a potentially dull industry and made something quite successful and fun via a viral campaign called “What celebrity do I look like”
They created a widget so users can put in their pictures and software generates a selection of celebrities the user looks like.

Lisa pointed out that integrated this with a send to a friend feature via FaceBook and this element allowed the campaign to got many, many links and lots of traffic. However they did not remember to optimise their page properly and as the inbound links did not include their primary keywords their website rankings from an SEO perspective were not boosted in the way they could have been.

So the message from this campaign was this: To ensure that any SMO campaign runs parallel with SEO to get the maximum out any campaign.

Andrew Girdwood of BigMouthMedia did a great job of presenting a summary of social media around Europe. He pointed out the many different social media tastes of the major European countries.

In Sweden – there are not many bookmarking sites, but the Swedes are into blogging and youtube commenting. Yet next door in Norway blogging is less popular, but the Norwegians are into voting sites. The German market as one might assume is a sophisticated market and there are hundreds of social networking sites in Germany. Blogging is popular, but business blogging is rare, however news and community websites are most popular. In Italy, rather surprisingly, corporate blogging has become fashionable and there are a number of Italian online press release sites also emerging. And finally in Spain, Blogger is popular with the Spanish and there are plenty of social network sites being used including Spanish language Digg style sites.

Andrew concluded Europe is fundamentally fragmented when it comes to social media and there are many different sites and tastes. A campaign in one country won’t necessarily cross over easily and work as you might expect in another.

Overall Andrew put together an entertaining and robust presentation that everyone seemed to enjoy.

Finally Cav Balzer from Double Click addressed search behaviour. He pointed out that social media sites can be search engines in their own right.

For example, there are three times as many searches made on the MySpace’s internal search than on ASK! And Cav suggested we need to recognise that Amazon too is a hugely popular ‘search engine’.

Cav cited the Facebook advertising system as an example of ‘profile based targeting’ – a system that allows an advertiser to target groups by interest. But to get the most effective results from profile based targeting, campaigns advertisers would need tailor campaigns to niche groups. Marketers face a new age of ‘Micro-targeted campaigns’ was Cav’s belief. For readers of books like the “Long Tail’ this suggestion will come as no shock as it seems to be a natural progression in online marketing.

(Next up: Cutting Edge Link Building Tactics.)