What is social media and how can I use it within my overall online strategy? That's an excellent question I hear time and time again from large companies. Fellow SEW Expert Erik Qualman is helping find new and exciting ways for organizations of all sizes to answer such questions.
As is often the case in a large organization, you're likely to find resistance to getting involved in some areas of social media. Below are a few of the more common questions large enterprises have about social media marketing.
1. What Does Our Set of Products Have to Do with MySpace?
This is a valuable question because most large companies don't create products that will capture this particular market. Thus, it's critical to set expectations regarding the overall value of such a site. Typically, ringtones and low- or no-cost software has a high ROI. It's important to understand that the ROI may be targeted to signups rather than purchases for a long-term value.
For the most part, MySpace is search engine friendly, so as long as there's a way to reach a profile from a directory or another site, it may be indexed.
2. How Can I Integrate Our Products Into Facebook?
If the primary focus of your integration is around SEO, forget about the value that may be passed. Facebook doesn't allow profiles to be indexed by search engines, which will have no value within the organic search results. However, if you have a profile or several profiles that have a high volume of friends associated with them, it could be possible to promote certain products to them directly through the Facebook front end.
The Facebook front end is an extremely simple way to tell your friends about what you're interested in. Thus, if you have a large volume of friends associated to your profile, you could let them know about multiple products in a higher level of personal detail than normally found on any e-commerce sites. It's important to remember that because Facebook isn't crawlable, no credit will be passed to any pages promoted. Thus, it's more important than ever to only post products that your selected "friends" will click on.
3. I Have a Blog and I Want a Higher Level of Readership!
Blogs can be a challenge for most companies to understand. For the most part, when a large company wants to start a blog, they're confident that a non-personalized blog is the best way to go.
First off, blogs are given kudos based on their overall quality and popularity. A value that is built on several factors:
- Be sure to have an identity, or multiple identities that are easy to find. For example: Instead of having a writer named: "Some Company," have the person you choose to write such an article use their real name and photo. This can add a tremendous amount of credibility to the blog -- whether it be one blogger, or 50.
- Make sure that each blogger spends time connecting with other bloggers in the same industry. This can be accomplished by commenting on a great article with a track back link to the primary blog. As long as it doesn't seem like spam, this type of comment will intrigue most bloggers. If they like what they read, it's likely that this blogger may write about an article that they found interesting and link to it. This type of link, depending on age, quality, and length may have a high SEO value to its destination page.
Such targeted social-based articles can provide exceptional values to sites all over. When an article is well accredited, it can possibly have enough weight to provide value to product and or service pages within the primary site.
Be sure to make RSS feeds available, not only for one particular author, but the entire blog. This level of detail can help.
It's also important that blog posts don't have a sterile or clinical feel to them. This is the most common mistake by enterprise companies. Instead, come up with off the beaten track ideas that you normally wouldn't think about. Even though the traffic that it provides have minimal ROI, it's likely that these users will link to such pages from either their blogs or forums.