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Monday, February 08, 2010

Social Media: It's About Mission, Not Measurement Alone

"This is not about measurement, but about organizations and their capacity to manage this changing real world of reputation. They find it hard to do this, because they're stuck in an old-world broadcast model."

The speaker: Bryan Eisenberg. The setting: a past SES London conference, at an All-Star Analytics panel.

This year's SES London is, once again, particularly heavy on Analytics all-stars. As it should be. Search marketing is accountable, performance is king, and any digital marketer can improve their lot by doing a better job with the analytics toolkit.

But some people and some companies will confuse that importance with a blind faith that the measurement gurus can solve their larger strategy problems. Even the esoteric ones. Like the above question that came before the panel, roughly speaking, asking: "Hey super smart panelists, can you tell me some metrics that will help us decide whether our social media is WORKING?"

The inside-the-box answer is: measure this, measure that, and adopt the same approach to social media as you do to other channels. If you "scored," it's "working." Of course, you can measure a lot of these types of things -- just not with Omniture. Remember, the old public relations world, where a "positive mention" in the "Washington Post" is something you can count? You don't need Jim Sterne or Steve Rubel to tell you that. Nor can these experts help your organization get really good at all the stuff it needs to do to get there.

The out-of-the-box (Bryan's) answer to the social media measurement question is: sure, we'll get around to the measurement piece -- but if you're looking to "hit targets" with your social media spend, or to measure whether "it worked," maybe your organization has given you the wrong marching orders. We don't need more statisticians in this realm: we need more companies who are willing to fundamentally transform the ways in which they communicate.

I say again: (or actually, the panelists said it last year): "Can you put a dollar value on a conversation?"

Sure, you can. But let's start with getting your organization aligned with the idea of a conversation first. The only social-media-savvy company initiatives that will typically hit short-term targets are those that are architected on a broadcast model, so they defeat one of the key purposes of public relations, which is to change perceptions. And to put specific content into the public's awareness of you. To position your organization to carry on conversations that lead to business results, throughout the organization, over time, as a matter of course. Setting up your campaigns based on thin measures of short-term success might actually spur more negative conversations than positive! Or just not get you anywhere fast. You can measure that you're not getting anywhere fast. Great.

Reputations are built over time. You'll never get there if your organization has a bias for shutting down the conversation channel early because "it isn't working." Or you're insulting members of your community by being too goal-directed in online conversations, because you've incentivized your community manager by paying them a bonus for warm leads or upsells.

Am I saying you can't or shouldn't measure PR 2.0? Of course not. But if the milieu is vastly different, then you may have a lot of trouble measuring the impact, and you should probably be measuring something very different. Something that might not even be readily available in today's Google Analytics platform. "Engagement" can't just be about spending 3:28 on a website, or deciding whether someone visited the "About Us" page... as important as those may be in the ordinary course of your marketing planning.

Or to be blunt: before going out to hunt for a next-generation tool to measure "how you're doing out there," you should be actually getting out there, and doing it. If you're not? There are a bunch of free tools like Yahoo Site Explorer, Backtweets, and Google Search itself that will tell you in a couple of nanoseconds if nobody's linking to you, and nobody's talking about you.

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




Thursday, October 15, 2009

Social Media as Signaling Strategy

So, so, so much ink has been spilled on the "proper use" of social media for business.

And as I continue to replace football season with my new pastime, reviewing friends' marketing books, I expect to be seriously schooled soon by some of the best. I have three books by amazing social media experts on my shelf. It could have been fifty, no doubt.

So much ink on such a new topic. As Mitch Joel has noted, not a single "social media expert" has put in the Gladwellian 10,000 hours in the field that would be a prerequisite to being a true virtuoso. (Translation: hire one of them and place too much faith in them, and they could be fishing what's left of your company's debris out of the Pacific.)

I'm not a social media "expert," but for now, I can still be right about this.

In this glut of commentary, how does anyone make an original statement? I think perhaps by going extreme. Imagine Zero Social Media Usage. Imagine generating business without it.

In Meatball Sundae, Seth Godin went the polite route. He warned companies that grafting social media sprinkles on top of your existing organization would create a disconnect at best.

But in real life, Seth's reality speaks volumes. He's got one of the most popular blogs in the world, and has published dozens of books, probably a dozen bestsellers. And he doesn't tweet. Number of followers, zero.

So let's think about that extreme position applied to your company.

What if you just didn't do social media at all, and kept on doing the things you know generate leads, partnerships, repeat business, etc.?

Like email. Like buying advertising. Like "good old fashioned" word of mouth. Like trade shows. Like hiring people who are respected, who act as shining beacons for your company (and yes they are allowed to use social media in their own way, which creates a 'signaling effect' I discuss below.) You're telling me you've got all those channels figured out and fully optimized?

I hear what you're saying to yourself. Other people are saying stuff about you in social media: it's a huge task to manage this! You need to manage your reputation, both reactively and proactively. OK, fair enough. You need to *monitor* social media, and you need to maintain a good reputation. It's starting to get more complicated. But most of that falls into place if the individuals in your company come with the right toolkit: they're inherently approachable and online-communication-savvy. My point earlier when I wrote about Google, Zappos, and the "New PR," was that you can't credibly develop a company-wide PR 2.0 strategy, because social media is inherently about people, not companies. It may be agonizing to think that everyone in your company had better "get" the new reputation management, from the CEO right down to the engineers or baristas. But that's the way it is. Nothing -- no social media usage -- is better than letting someone screw it up royally, or artificially doing it as a "company." Remember? You can still sell beer on TV and software at trade shows?

In case it isn't clear, then: you'd better get the right people on the bus. You can't fake "people". Your people will either be good or horrible at social media brand creation. If horrible, then zero social media use is preferable. What about using it to promote themselves over your company? Do you think you can legislate that in your company? Sure: you can make all the draconian rules you want, if you pay six figure salaries and have free range quail in the lunchroom. Or maybe not even then. Maybe that's a separate post about the Art of Letting Go, and on that I may just disagree with @MarkEvans. If you had the right people on the bus in the first place, though, they wouldn't embarrass you horribly with online oversharing and drama. That eventually turns into a firing offence in many companies, whether or not anyone admits it.

I know what you're saying #2: good social media mentions may help you rank well in search engines in the future. Sure, that's an extension of off-page factors (such as links) that search engines use to figure out how to rank your content, etc. True. Important and fundamental. And you don't get everyone falling all over themselves to tweet about you overnight. It's part of full engagement with your marketplace, and creating something unique and valuable.

I know what you're saying to yourself #3: what if we wake up two years from now and it turns out we really should be using social media to win new customers, or for some other reason? Won't we be screwed? It takes time to genuinely build those loyal follower lists. Aha. Now, you're making sense. You do need to figure out social media as a hedge against being completely left behind in two years.

Most companies today go through that reasoning, and then they do it wrong. They put logos on their avatars. They talk about their new low calorie beer, ostensibly to customers who have opted in to hear all about it! They diligently try to build really big follower lists, waiting patiently for the day they can broadcast their marketing messages to everyone. Bzzzzt! Wrong! Why not just buy ads?

That's not how Tony Hsieh did it.

So that gets us back to the main point: the most impressive corporate uses of social media have not been for outbound marketing. They've been to make the individuals who run the company look like they get it, and to make companies more like people: approachable.

(There's nothing new about that. Media was social before it was "social media.")

Like being good-looking, toting a new smartphone with the latest apps, refreshing your website design, or choosing a good office location, social media savvy signals to the world that you've developed enough mastery of the world to be able to conduct business or personal relationships without tripping over your own shoelaces or running short of breath.

There's one more thing it can do for you. Help you plug into knowledge and further your career: as an individual. Smarter, more connected individuals don't just help themselves. They help their companies.

So that's it: social media can help you look hot, or at least to seem approachable. And it can assist you in your ongoing research so you don't look clueless, since networking plus information in the digital age is research on steroids. It can strengthen your "personal" brand(s), and help you to run with the pack, savvy-wise.

But as for using it for outbound marketing? Save the spam for later. Or how about never.

My hypothesis is that a handful of our experts may say just that in their books. Kevin Ryan once said it off the cuff to a room full of 400 marketers, or so I hear. Let's see if any experts really do agree with this. Saturday morning, the fall reading session commences.

Edit: I did a search for the title of this post to see if there were any exact matches of it online. Turns out Google had already indexed it, and (like Twitter) can tell you it was published "four minutes ago." The immediacy of social media, and the rush of real-time search, is cool too. Question though: did it make either of us money, or did I just waste my time posting this screen shot?

But seriously, that take is too prosaic by half. If everything happens much faster, then the cautious, laborious "targeted message" mentality of traditional public relations is fast growing obsolete. Social media savvy signals success. And those who panic under pressure (highly likely until we all have our 10,000 hours) aren't going to be great ambassadors for your company.

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




Thursday, July 30, 2009

Social Tweeting Outstrips Social Linking 100-1

If you're a blogger like me, you may subscribe to something like Google Alerts or use another simple tool to see how many folks have recently linked to an article or blog post. With our friend Rich Skrenta of Blekko fame, our observation is that genuine social linking as a means of recommending an article or post is for all intents and purposes dead.

Likely it was Digg, Stumble, and Sphinn, that sort of kicked off the trend. Social "bookmarking" and "recommending" was no longer about the ol' "link from another part of the web, from your pages on your site" routine. It was now a quick flip, a quick reputation bump, go-see-this cue - using a third-party service.

Mike Grehan has for some time referred to the death of social linking in terms of a "haves vs. have nots" problem for search algorithms that rely on link analysis. For the few that have authoritative sites, they can confer their authority by linking. The vast majority have recommendation juice inside their heads, but don't own any website, let alone an authoritative one.

Or you could express it in other terms: some people still have remnants of any inclination whatsoever to engage in 1998-era social linking, taking the trouble to wrap a relevant link around anchor text in a post like this. The vast majority have no such inclination. They prefer something quick and easy, like a tweet or any number of other forms of social behavior across different digital venues.

So only old school, super-conscientious sorts of bloggers, and SEO's and spammers, do "proper linking". Hmmm.

Twitter is taking off as the social recommending tool of choice, hand in hand with the requisite link shortening toolsets to help people squeeze comments and links into 140 characters.

Comparing old time linking to new-school tweeting, recent posts we've made here have been spontaneously tweeted and retweeted all over the place; a 100-1 ratio of tweets to regular links is roughly in the ballpark. No going around asking people to do it. Just the Twitter community and typical code of behavior working its magic. Here on Backtweets you can see hundreds of recent tweets for a couple of our posts. By comparison, only old schoolers like Danny at Search Engine Land can be counted on to regularly link to stuff that's relevant. A handful of ordinary backlinks from folks like him turn up in our reports every week.

PageRank dead? Certainly, PageRank as we know it is dead as any kind of reliable measure of what it was formerly supposed to measure.

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




Monday, April 13, 2009

Perception, Not Reality, Could Topple Google in Search

Reading recent Twitter-will-crush-Google musings, it looks like the reasoning goes something like this: Google cannot do real-time search as well as Twitter. Ergo, Twitter will take over as a search engine people turn to for this type of information.

There is a chance that a growing Twitter could make significant inroads on that front. But it wouldn't be because Google lacks the capability. They can develop or add this relatively quickly on a variety of fronts, and the results could often be more useful. Over the weekend I typed "Kenny Perry" into Google and saw a custom result at the top of the page that actually noted his position on the current Masters leaderboard (at the time: T3). Adding more real-time capability isn't something that Google just thought of yesterday. What people are really saying when they say "Google can't do real time" is "Google isn't Twitter." Twitter is the current Lovemark in the space. If you're not them, then you're something else. No feature build will fix that, because it's all about who's there at what time. It's not like Google can index your direct messages inside Twitter or organize all the information in the same way Twitter and Twitter apps do.

The fact that Google can do the immediacy thing, and could add more of it to the mix, might not make any difference to users, then. If people want to use Twitter as a starting point for their social and informational lives, then increasingly they will.

And of course, given Twitter's major shortcomings, it's very possible that it's a placeholder for a sentiment of community and immediacy that is happening at a certain place in time. As I wrote here on a perfect April day eight years ago, online communities endure as platforms come and go. (Remember kids, online community is like Christine, the haunted 1958 Plymouth.) As sure as day turns to night, in a few years, everyone will migrate somewhere else, and you'll have to migrate with them to stay connected.

As community and peer based thought have risen to the forefront, we may finally - after a ten-year run - be seeing the all-powerful concept of "search" losing ground to a new dominant metaphor: "share". By "losing ground", I mean this could be merely as a concept, or it could be in the sense of "what's the first place people think of to go online to solve a problem or get information?" By and large, it's been Google in this decade. Many have said that will give way to Facebook, as if one is somehow mutually exclusive to the other. Still, the fact that Google "isn't sticky" -- a threat many analysts used to level at the search giant, and one that increasingly looked laughable as repeat visits and profits piledu up -- could indeed be its Achilles heel in the coming years.

This shift didn't just happen yesterday, but it seems to be gelling.

Of all their many strengths, Google's key weakness is that they really own none of the top-of-mind brands in collaboration, community, and sharing (not counting GMail and GTalk of course, which are formidable but also private, and not counting YouTube): Facebook, Skype, Twitter, all major brands that somehow Google couldn't surpass with in-house offerings.

Not only does this weakness threaten to paint Google in a light it's never been comfortable with -- big, impersonal corporation -- an acquisition of any of these properties wouldn't do much to change that situation because the user bases would lament the loss of an "independent" community. Yahoo began facing up to that difficult paradox more than a decade ago, and arguably hasn't done much to solve it. Independent digital brands engender a lot of loyalty and enthusiasm for their pioneering spirit, but they have trouble scaling, so they sell out to the big brands. And that allows the cycle to begin anew.

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gen-X'ers Bowling Alone?

When MySpace and Facebook started taking off, it was common knowledge that online social networking was a frivolous young person's activity.

But as the technologies and audiences evolved, the stereotype melted away entirely. We got used to thinking of non-adopters as strangely stubborn or churlish. People of all ages, it seemed, were equally likely to have a large friend list. Social media accounts were becoming like a cellphone - yes, teenage girls still ran up ridiculously high bills and/or exposed themselves to brain cancer - but everyone was getting on board, in a general sense.

Whoops, not quite. A new demographic study of social media shows that across all the social networks -- even on LinkedIn -- the number of people with accounts drops sharply when you hit the 35-44 demographic. The number of women using LinkedIn, almost equal to men in the 25-34, drops particularly sharply in the next age bracket.

If adoption patterns don't change, this only sorts itself out eventually over time - a very long, slow time - in the sense that those early-30-somethings will eventually be 40-something. But it points to a potentially big problem on an individual career level for many Gen-Xers and boomers, groups that have long thought of themselves as connected, hip, and in control of their destinies.

Interpretation 1: Exchanging monkey doodles with acquaintances falls into "Level 4 activity" as defined by Stephen Covey. Neither urgent nor important, it's a pure distraction and subtracts time spent working, and isn't even real leisure. Gen X figured this out long ago and are busy beavers avoiding distractions. There is a lot of merit in this interpretation, I think. 13-24's have lots of time to waste which explains their chatting behavior; 25-34's still haven't outgrown their youthful habits. On that interpretation, Facebook is like XBox. Or going to a lot of "stags" and "stagettes." *Not* doing something isn't proof you aren't savvy; it means you no longer need all these distractions as a crutch. You have a "life" - a busy job, a family, and active leisure pursuits. You don't live in someone else's house. For a network, the old-school email address book, etc., works just fine.

Interpretation 2: By shunning connectedness, workers in mid-career set themselves up for a trap should they ever need to change jobs or progress through the ranks. The lack of a handy network also makes it harder to reach out and get a quick answer to a question, or to remind someone of your presence. You lose your sharpness. You have one less tool in your arsenal to tap into the global "brain," since the social graph can augment "mere" research. Relative isolation moves you closer to the camp of The Rooted as described by Prof. Richard Florida in his latest (Who's Your City?, Chapter 5, "The Mobile and the Rooted"). If your virtual city is as unfashionable or as tucked away as an economically-unfavorable real physical location (you've gotta read Florida to get this), you wind up with lower ("rooted") status than those who are connected and mobile (even if only virtually in this case).

There is considerable food for thought in Interpretation 2. Weighing some of the evidence and looking at a list of the most successful folks I know, my sense is that churlish non-adopters may need to take a second look at the benefits of the social graph. While Facebook may be akin to XBox, in other ways, professionals should be wary of involuntary dropping out of a race they didn't even know was being run.

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Candy Ass Social Media Goody 2 Shoes"?

It's right in the middle of the official Dog Days of Summer. As a result, people in the search marketing and social media promotion business have found the time to attack each other personally. Barry Schwartz posted that in general, the attack culture was "sad," but didn't really take sides. That's a side in itself, though, and worth noting. We have to remember to treat people with respect - it's OK to disagree.

Still though, what about taking a side?

I was gobsmacked to find Marty Weintraub prefacing his disagreement with Li Evans on social media tactics by (playfully?) calling her a "candy ass social media goody 2 shoes." (Another blogger called it "Slagbait," and I guess it works, since I just linked to SEOmoz and not the guy from Cornwall who called it Slagbait.) I guess that now becomes a badge of honor for Li (I'm not sure if "candy ass social media goody 2 shoes" will fit as a title on a business card -- might need to shorten it to "candyass social media goody2shoes") -- as much as in an unrelated kerfuffle this week, one Edward Lewis can now boast of being "terminated" from a social media brothel called Sphinn, by an evilgreenmonkey. Yeesh!!!

To be clear, I felt privileged to meet Marty recently and found him to be an engaging and accomplished marketer. We sell different things, I think, and we don't agree on marketing tactics and evidently, on how to argue with people.

Professionally speaking, I am with Li on this issue. I try to connect with businesses and help them to acquire new customers online in a measurable way. When they ask "what else can we do?," it's usually in a fairly practical sense. The managers at these companies are professionals - they aren't necessarily greedy (they're paid a salary) or ego-driven or thinking about short term expediency. For every customer you gain through sneaky tactics, you have to think about how many you'll subtract if your reputation is harmed in the process.

To put this another way. Marty reported that Matt Cutts, attempting a euphemism, assessed phony social media profiles as a kind of "social engineering." Marty played wounded, saying that Matt associated the tactic with something the Nazis would do. Marty, what do you think "propaganda tactics" are? They are wartime tactics and most of what we know about propaganda up to at least 1950 came straight from warmongering. So out of the gate, as "brand ambassadors," we're probably not going to be winning any Nobel Peace Prizes (or other moral pats on the back at the end of the day) anytime soon. As the overtired animal butlers on The Flintstones would say: "It's a living."

Unfortunately for the spectacle aspect of it, the nuances here start to come out in debate - Stephan Spencer clarifies that his MySpace friend-building tactics are only a small part of his universe - so we may not be able to go away all hating one another. My biggest takeaway of course is that as usual real debates came out in a session at an SES conference. In that regard, attendees didn't just get a warmed-over list of best practices -- they got something they were unlikely to forget soon.

Marty speaks of respect for communities, so probably, the philosophical gulf isn't as wide as he lets on. We all like to have fun, and the personas available to us as individuals or marketers have been making the Internet all the fun we can handle, way before "social media" got invented. But as a "for hire" marketer, I rely on clients' appetite for risk as a guide to the desired "envelope pushing power." And past Category Three Envelope Hurricane level, I won't push it, and will be happy to tell the client they'll need to find another guerrilla.

So no doubt, if I were partnering with or hiring a social media expert, I'd be looking for someone similar to Li Evans. Among other things, in her public presence she has shown courage, because we all know in this business that taking a stand on ethics will often get you branded as tactically naive. Untrue, and sad.

Peace out.

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




Thursday, July 17, 2008

Snap! to 'Social Media Experts'

In a piece entitled Social Media Experts Are the New Webmasters, Louis Gray writes uncharitably: Saying one is an expert in utilizing social media sites is akin to brand one's self [sic] as a "Web browsing expert", an "e-mail expert", or a "telephone specialist".

More constructively, he adds: While some will capitalize on the technophobes and newbies who don't know the difference between MySpace and NASA, or Hotmail and Hot Pockets, I believe it makes more sense that social media is spread thinly across all aspects of activity, be it a company's marketing activities, human resources, communications, and business development. Pretty soon, with any luck, social media won't be any scarier than opening a Web browser or writing a simple blog post.

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




Saturday, February 23, 2008

Rubel Takes "SEO Shenanigans" to Task

Phew. I was getting worried Danny Sullivan would run out of material soon. Luckily the attacks on SEO never cease -- this one by popular PR guru Steve Rubel, in connection with social media marketing.

And so it goes within the part of the world of search visibility that calls itself the "SEO industry."

Wandering around in London Thursday with Anne Kennedy and Mona Elesseily, prior to catching Spamalot (irony unintentional), someone remarked that sessions on "linkbaiting" have become increasingly popular.

My ever-unanswered question was: "how about the sessions on creating something fundamentally worthwhile, worth linking to or remarkable in some way beyond just a slight diversion, etc.?" Actually Steve, we're getting there. Don't sell the "SEO industry" short. They talk about those things too.

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




Tuesday, February 19, 2008

SES London, Near-Live Blogging (I)

I just got out of one of the main panels of the day - the "All-Star Analytics Team" Orion Panel (get it, they're stars), which included Bryan Eisenberg and Jim Sterne and several other distinguished voices in the field of "Measuring Success."

Chatting with our multiloquous co-chair Kevin Ryan (and moderator of the session) afterwards I sensed that he is concerned about the entertainment value of SES sessions, especially the big ones held in the Auditorium here at the Business Design Centre in Islington. Analytics... entertainment... tall order. Still, he gave it a mighty shot with an initial reference to deal: he'll go back to America and convince Britney to stop speaking in a fake British accent when in shops, if London folks will stop the terrible fixation with 80's fashion on today's runways. Kevin, might I add, you might want to add a sweetener: talk that PBS-tote-bag carrying "Britophile" from the midwest out of crazy conversations with owners of local laundromats (viz. June 2007, Keswick) -- "Do you still serve teeeaaa? Isn't that graaand!!!" (Imagine this in a Chicago accent, at the top of her lungs.)

Anyway, off topic, as they say on the Internet.

The analytics all-star squad made a number of interesting points.

On accuracy: (In the sense of getting your ad network stats to match your analytics reports exactly, etc.) The consensus around the table (at least, in the easy chairs) was that "total accuracy can't happen." A range of user issues, including increasing privacy concerns (users deleting cookies, for example), drives difficulty in measurement. Beyond this, panelists (particularly Eisenberg) added later that the problem is a "lack of standards about what constitutes a session," or a click, or a visit.

On action: After all these years, corporations are stuck in the "collecting a lot of data, but not acting on it" mode. This theme came out repeatedly. Eisenberg made the point that if he were made to choose only one tool - Google Website Optimizer or Google Analytics - he'd choose Optimizer, because it means you're actively doing something to improve the user experience on the site. I share Bryan's enthusiasm for Optimizer.

On the whole: I have to say it doesn't look too good for third-party analytics providers. All panelists made polite noises that there is still a role for more costly analytics tools, but doing the obvious math, most weren't shying away from the conclusion -- derived from the triple whammy of Google & Microsoft offering a free product, typical users not coming close to using the full feature sets of advanced products, and anecdotal comments about the lack of support from third-party vendors -- that your "dollars" are best spent with a free product.

On social media measurement: This was a highly prosaic conversation, repeatedly returning to the nitty gritty of how to measure the traffic and sales impact of mentions in social media. In the midst of a discussion of tools that can measure the influence of key bloggers, even to the extent of their highly-trafficked discussions creating more discussions, a panelist interjected "What's the dollar value of a discussion?" Perhaps reinforcing the point, probably agreeing with the question, the panel went silent on this point.

However, another argument was made that companies need to start doing a better job of tracking their online reputations - figuring out whether what's being said about them online is positive or negative. Eisenberg wisely argued: "This is not about measurement but about organizations and their capacity to manage this changing realm of reputation. They find it hard to do this because they're stuck in an old-world broadcast model."

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




Friday, September 07, 2007

The New Netscape: Users Didn't Digg It

Techcrunch reports that Netscape's home page will revert back to a traditional mix of editorially-controlled news. The fun and games are over!

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Posted by Andrew Goodman




Monday, March 05, 2007

Social Media Gone Wild

Ever since the rise of social media sites like Slashdot, Digg, Reddit and their myriad clones, those little badge icons and the accompanying invocations from publishers for their visitors to [INSERT NAME OF SITE AS VERB] them have been popping up like the dandelions that will start appearing on lawns everywhere. In the beginning, it was helpful. But as more of these sites have appeared, blogs everywhere are starting to resemble the credits at the end of movies.

Witness the post footer template that our good friends at Search Engine Land are sporting now in the screenshot below. I sure hope no more social media / bookmark sharing / social networks pop up any time soon, 'cause social media fatigue is setting in with me.

As I'm sure Bryan Eisenberg would agree, when you have so many calls to action packed together so tightly, you're less likely to achieve the desired outcome. Maybe publishers should start picking the most popular social sites in their verticals. Or maybe the inevitable shakeout of social sites will make it all a moot point.

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Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




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