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BizReport : Social Marketing : April 04, 2012

Top three tips to optimize social marketing efforts

Social networking is growing by leaps and bounds as consumers share information about the minutiae of their lives. But for brands, the social space is still an unknown. The logic of connecting with consumers already in the space has many creating branded pages. Here are our top three tips for optimizing a brand's social profile.

by Kristina Knight

opti-jpg.jpg"Social media channels are still experimenting with ways to optimally monetize the millions of eyeballs they have," said Anthony Joseph, Vice President, Marketing & Customer Experience, Optify. "Twitter just announced that it's releasing the promoted products service. Facebook has not rolled out a refinement to its advertisement engine algorithm that takes into account the variation in thematic displays present in their timeline feature. It's also more difficult to measure ROI of advertising in the newer social media channels, so while Marketers see social media as a viable channel to experiment in, they still don't view these channels as a very clear alternative that they can shift their spending to. Expect this channel to slowly mature over the next two years."

Still brands and marketers are flocking to the social space, trying to carve out their niche. At the same time, they're adding options like mobile and video to their marketing mix. One way to dip those marketing toes into the newer ad waters is by using these additions within traditional campaigns.

"Companies can add social sharing to promotions, content pages that offer information about its products, and videos to increase its relevant and vibrant content, which in turn will increase their SERPs ranking," said Joseph. "Initially offering the ability to share, like and +1 brand and content pages will make it easier for others to find their pages. It is also important to make sure sites are browsable on a mobile device. A recent study showed that 70% of users who initially landed on a brand's non-optimized mobile website, never returned to that website on their mobile device. This is a huge opportunity lost for brands if they're not doing the basic things to facilitate more modern interaction patterns."

Google +1 is the newest social factor, one which has big implications even though the uptake from consumers hasn't been as fast as anticipated.

"Google Search Plus Your World (SPYW) is a roll-up of three new features in the evolution of Google's social search: personal results, profiles in search and people and pages discovery," said Joseph. "It is still somewhat early to determine how impactful this will be in the short-term, but regardless of whether or not you think it will be meaningful in the long term, it is indeed the most significant change to the user's experience in search in the last year. It is clear that search is becoming more integrated with good content, social connections and personal visibility. Brands need to be able to integrate these elements into their content marketing plans. It is important to create compelling content and make it shareable."

And don't forget the optimization - of social, video and mobile as well as more traditional search and display options.

"Our top tips include: 1) Create compelling content - and share it. 2) Add [social] buttons on your website content pages - Google +1, Twitter, Facebook, etc. 3) Build your community (invite them to participate). This will be important for brands to start building a history of data connections between its content, and its community. It's still unclear how +1 votes will be used as a ranking signal, but you can imagine that it will be factored in. Brands that wait till the day it's announced to start to make those connections (between its content and its community) will be at a disadvantage."

You can read part one of my chat with Anthony, on trends with display and search marketing, here.

Tags: Optify, social marketing, social marketing optimization, social marketing tips, social marketing trends, social networks

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