Social Media

Some Thoughts From Social Media FTW 2011

It’s been a couple weeks since Social Media FTW, an annual social media conference in Maine. This year was the third year and I took some notes that you might find fun from a couple presentations I went to:

Session 1: Elijah Young,

A bit about blogs:

  • There are 133 million blogs on the internet
  • 94.5% of these blogs are abandoned after one year (The 7.5 million blogs that remain are ‘maintained’, meaning updated at least once a month. (which really isn’t much.)
A lot of people stop blogging because it seems like no one is listening. Bummer. But it’s important to know:
  • 90% of people will lurk
  • 9% will interact occasionally
  • 1% will respond regularly
Some tips to help you be more successful at blogging:
  • Comment on the smaller blogs, they’ll appreciate the comment more than the big guys. Build a reciprocal relationship with them.
  • Respect every interaction (‘Thanks’ is not an conversation.) Having a meaningful exchange makes you memorable, builds relationships, and is more likely to generate leads for you.
  • Interview experts in your field and competitors to build authority. This makes you seem connected and not so selfish.
  • If you are stuck on a topic, use Q and A websites, competitor websites’ FAQs, and blogs you are already reading to help you come up with ideas.
  • Keep it in perspective. You aren’t blogging to become the next famous person, you are doing it to generate more business.

How to get your blog readers to talk to more people for you.

Session 3: Rich Brooks,

A bit about video:

  • If you are targeting a key phrase, you can rank higher by creating videos with that keyphrase.
  • For blog posts, a thumbnail and play button for a video next to the blog post link (for example on Facebook) is more engaging than just a plain text link.
  • For Flyte, conversion rate on pages with video was much higher than average site visitor (Contact form over 700% more likely to be filled out, 700% higher than the typical visitor).

Video types:

  • How-to
  • Testimonials
  • Tours
  • Tips/Secrets
  • Series
  • Response
Some tips for Youtube and videos:
  • Wondering what keywords you should include in your video file name, video title, video description, etc.? Try the Google Keyword Tool:
  • Videos should ideally be under 2 minutes.
  • Why companies use Youtube: >55% of market share of online videos on Youtube
  • The average Youtube visitor spends >15 minutes/day
  • Youtube is the second largest search engine and the third most visited site online.
  • You can customize a Youtube background; just create an image that is 960 pixels wide center justified.
  • When writing the video description, start with the URL to your website. This will help make sure people see it, and drive traffic to your site.
  • You can add a link to another Youtube video in the annotations section. You can link to a website off Youtube as well but that’s a bit more complicated. ;^) But possible! (It involves making it a promoted video and set CPV to one penny and then editing the video so the call to action overlay appears.)
  • If you are going to embed the video on your blog or website, it’s best to write a blog post to go with it to make it most findable.
  • Tubemogul is a free service that allows you to publish videos to multiple places at one time.
Anyway it was a great conference and I certainly didn’t take enough notes!
Sorry to have missed it? Click here for the slides. 

Fun Friday: Chef Dan

Let me just say right off that I am far from being some kind of smooth lady on the relationship front. But I’ve recently did something where I accidentally encouraged my new boyfriend to do something nice for me, and then it kept happening.

Dan likes to cook. The second meal he made me, I decided to take out my digital camera and record him on video.

The next day, I watched it. What surprised me was that the video was actually good. I asked if I could post it on Facebook, thinking his friends would get a kick out of it. Almost immediately, he got phone calls, emails, and comments, mostly asking when the next video was coming out.

Next video?

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Marketing Monday: Goop

Editor’s Note: Thank you all for your kind condolences about the death of my dog. I appreciate your compassion, and am happy to report that I am feeling much better this week. Many thanks.
Know an individual or business doing something cool to promote themselves online? Let me know about it and they might be featured as part of Marketing Monday!

Goop's front page. Flash driven and a little vague (bad) but graphic and simple (good).
I’d first of all like to keep this blog a positive one. There are so many people doing so many good things online, to promote their business or otherwise.
Today, I wanted to review Gwyneth Paltrow’s website called Goop. It’s mission is to ‘nurture the inner aspect’ and is supposed to be about things in Gwenyth Paltrow’s life.
Recently, her post about a New Year’s cleanse recieved some media attention at both Nerve and Huffington Post and just this past weekend, the site came up in conversation over lunch with two of my friends in the media.
The only reason this website seems to work is because it belongs to Gwenyth Paltrow. I haven’t found anyone who ‘gets it’.
Goop does not embrace internet terms.
A web magazine written by one person about their life is called a blog.
Goop can call its posts ‘articles’ all it wants but in doing so alienates itself from the blogging community. I could see the use of another term if this website was launched five years ago when blogs weren’t nearly as prevalent . But nowadays, bloggers are used as experts on television news programs and followed by media types on social media for story tips.
Bloggers are far from obscure and distancing yourself from a group of people also trying to create online content seems like a silly thing to do. Let’s not mention the fact that bloggers spend a lot of their time talking about and linking to other websites. Not one of them? That certainly makes it hard to become part of the community.
It’s unclear whether the site is compensated for the products it endorses.
A whole section of Goop is called ‘Get’ and seems to endorse cool products. No where on the site could I find policies about these products. Does Gwyneth Paltrow receive financial or other compensation for putting these products on her site? Does she personally use them? It’s hard to say.
As a reader of the site, I’d like to know. A simple ‘About’ section of ‘FAQ’ would do wonders at answering some small questions about the site and its policies.
Goop doesn’t link to other sites.
Not linking to other sites makes you 1) less connected with other web developers and 2) doesn’t help your search engine ranking. This is why all bloggers have a blogroll or list of links we like: because it’s good for us and good for the people we link to.
Not having many (or perhaps any) links off the site seems like a missed opportunity, not only for increased traffic to Goop but also for Paltrow to use her star power to help out smaller sites. You can’t buy the kind of good buzz that would create.


div>In short, celebrities can get away with things the rest of us can’t.

Most regular people can’t get away with a ‘this is stuff i like’ blog, if only because most of us have a limited audience. There are probably 30 people in my life who would care about everything Nicole Ouellette likes in my case. I am not Oprah, and this is why my blog entries have an undercurrent of money and marketing. It is why most blogs have a topic or subject they are about: more universal appeal.
What is Goop about? Whatever Gwenyth Paltrow feels like needs to be covered that particular week.
As my Twitter friend Marc Pitman puts it, it looks like Goop is “trying to do WAY too much”. I agree.
Some people do like a website that covers a lot of ground though, but for those of us who like to know what to expect, it’d be great if there’d be a preview of what’s coming up. No doubt the staff that maintains this site plans ahead for content and letting readers in on the not-so-distant future offerings I think would lead to increased overall satisfaction with readers.
Also, it would be great if Goop engaged it’s readers in some way. Featuring helpful comments in the weekly newsletter or having reader guest bloggers would no doubt increase Goop’s appeal and further connect it to other cool things going on online.
While Goop has interesting written content and a clean design, the posts have no photos.
The posts on Goop are text heavy; it would be great to have some graphic elements to get the content more skimmable and make the website prettier. Perhaps this is a place where readers could contribute if they knew about the topic ahead of time. Just an idea…
In short, Goop is not the world’s most terrible website but it could further its mission with some thoughtful tweaks and increased reader engagement.
Want some other opinions besides mine?

Weekly Online Twitter Chat: BudgetPulse, Breaking Even, and You

Friend and blogger Craig started a weekly personal finance chat on Twitter with BudgetPulse last week. He was looking for cohosts and since I like Craig and talking about money, I offered to be a part of it.
Each week, the topic is different with the undercurrent of money (sound familiar?). Tonight on the Weekly Personal Finance Chat, we’re talking about dating.
What does personal finance have to do with dating. More than you’d think: Who pays? Is it more expensive to be single or in a relationship? Basically all things love and money will be all over Twitter tonight, and if you have a Twitter account, you can be a part of it!

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Why Your Friend Is Online All The Time

An Explanation From A Socially Needy Person

Every time I hear someone complaining about those people who change their Facebook status multiple times a day, I smile to myself. I smile because I have become that person.

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t do this because I am bored or have no friends. I have a full life and real life friends. Really!

I would like to shed light on those people in your life who, like me, seem to reach out an awful lot online. Yes there are actual reasons for this behavior which I will from now on call ‘socially needy’.

Sometimes a lack of loin cloth, internet access, and my dog are what keeps me sane. I bet if Castaway Tom Hanks would have had Facebook, he would have updated his status more than I do.

Are You Twitter-petered?

Behold The Addictiveness of Twitter And You Too Can Have One More Website To Check

For those of us who are online a lot (or just like being online), it's fun to have a few websites you can visit and have a good time with while feeling as if you're getting something accomplished. People seem to like having things they can check. Sean's obsession with checking his email (at least five times a day) is one such example. A couple of my friends obsessively monitor Myspace pages or surf And now, we have Twitter.

Bambi Twitter is a social networking site for lazy people. (I lump myself in this group; writing and maintaining this blog take up enough of my time that social networking goes to the wayside a bit.) You have a tiny profile (here's mine) and can send little 140 character messages to people who are following you. That's about it.

I don't know even half the people who are following me. I know only a few of the people I am following. But I broadcast my little messages to the world anyway. Twitter has brought a little traffic to my site, not enough at this point to make it worth the thought I put into my little messages. But it is still oddly addictive.

I think bloggers like Twitter because it let's us get out of our niche and be a little more personal (though shameless self promotion, myself included, does happen). Also people are using it sort of like an online "word of mouth" (See Harnessing the Power of Twitter (SheGeeks) or The Power of Twitter (Miss 604) for more info about this.)

It has some interesting implications and takes little of my time for it so I guess I'll remain a little twitter-petered. (For those of you who get why I used a random Bambi picture, go you.) I'm breakingeven on Twitter if you want to tweet with me. And if you have unlocked the hidden powers of Twitter, do share!

Just think; one more thing online you can check besides your usual haunts… 

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