Last month, there were a number of sessions at SES San Jose 2009 and the Social Media & Video Strategies Forum that tried to link search and social media. One of them was entitled, "Social Media: Managing Conversations and Reputations When the User Is In Control."
What your customers say about you online -- both on your site and elsewhere -- has an impact on your marketing efforts. This panel examined how businesses must improve internal operations before trying to guide external conversations, provided the nuts and bolts of carrying out a social media strategy and shared first-hand experiences and tips from professionals in the trenches.
One of the panelists was Liana Evans, Director of Social Media at Serengeti Communications. (The Flickr photo of Li at SES San Jose 2009 was taken by Kenneth Yeung of TheLetterTwo.com) John Mulligan of SEO-PR interviewed Li after the differences between search and social media.
Li says you need to set appropriate objectives -- otherwise you are just throwing spaghetti against the wall. She says you need to plan your company's strategy, define what will be measured and constantly monitor and measure. With social media, you're measuring influency, intimacy, interaction. You can measure these attributes by observing such actions as whether comments are being left on your YouTube video, or putting reviews out via blogs about your product.
Li says it's about branding and building relationships when using social media and not necessarily about registering a click to purchase. She adds how important it is when building social media relationships to make potential users of your product "brand evangelists." Managing social media effectively revolves around building a strategy, says Li, and its all about the relationships you build.
Search Engine Strategies 2009 - San Jose - Liana Evans (Flickr photo by Kenneth Yeung (cc) of TheLetterTwo.com)