Top 5 Inbound Marketing Stories of the Week: Social Media Signals

Pamela Vaughan
Pamela Vaughan

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Medieval Knight The majority of us know that getting tons of inbound links is one of the best ways to rank higher in search engines.

But take a moment and think back to the medieval times, when a country's nobles voted for each successive king. While they made use of an election process, only the upper class got a vote, leaving out the vast majority of medieval people and making it an elitist process. (I swear there's a relevance to inbound marketing...)

In InboundMarketing.com 's top inbound marketing story of the week, author Eric Enge uses the above analogy to explain how link-centric rankings are somewhat unrepresentative for SEO; the only way to participate in rankings is to have a website. "No website, no vote."  He also uses the analogy to segue into discussing another SEO factor that may be growing in importance: "Web references" or "citations," which give the power back to the people and make it even more important to engage in social media.

1.  Links Vs. Web References as Relevance Signals

Author: Eric Enge of Search Engine Land

Mentions or citations of a brand on the Web are also known to be a factor in search ranking.  As Eric Enge explains in his article, every time a brand is mentioned on the Web, it shows the brand's growing presence and serves as a signal to elevate the brand's ranking.  Eric also emphasizes this as another reason why it is important for all businesses to start experimenting with social media.  Now that social media is so widely used and everyone can have a voice on the Web (not just those with a corporate website), it behooves you to get involved and become a topic of conversation.

Lesson: Social media can improve SEO.

2. The 1-9-90 rule won't work for Internal Collaboration

Author: Paul Dunay of Buzz Marketing for Technology  

The 1-9-90 theory, coined by Jakob Nielsen , states that for every 100 people to join a community or network, 1% actively contribute, 9% contribute from time to time, and 90% are lurkers.  Paul's article discusses the work and time needed to make an internal social media platform such as a wiki or microblogging service worthwhile.  While the 1-9-90 theory may not make that big an impact on the social media community as a whole, he worries about its impact on a company whose size is much smaller.

Paul wonders if the way to flip the theory on its head is for social media marketers to get better at training.  By setting standards for and making expectations of employees, might it be possible to increase their productivity on social media platforms?

Lesson: Take chances.

3.  Small Business Social Media: Up for the Challenge?

Author: Suzanna Vara of Kherize5  

In order to successfully run their businesses, small business owners must wear a lot of hats.  Still, while they're multi-tasking and juggling different jobs, they all must find time to make a commitment to engage.

Suzanne's article highlights a recent blog post by Chris Brogan , " 5 Things Small Business Owners Should Do Today Online ," encouraging SMBs to step up to the plate and take the challenge to engage by starting a blog, listening to what people are saying about you, try Twitter or Facebook (start with one), get the word out and try moving the needle.  Who's up for the challenge?

Lesson: Push yourself.

4.  Inbound Marketing will destroy SEO!

Author: Toni Anicic of Inchoo

Time to reconsider hiring that SEO consultant.  Just like a job cannot be formed solely based on knowledge of Twitter (have you heard about twittsultants?), Toni explains that, in order to do proper SEO, you need expertise in other areas as well.  In fact, SEO has become just a small part of one much larger area of expertise - inbound marketing. 

Toni states that, in order to perform the best search engine optimization, marketers must understand the concept of content marketing and link bait, be good and innovative copywriters, understand social networks and other online communication channels, build a network, build a community, know your niche and competitors, and understand your customers.

Lesson: Be the whole package.

5. Sanuk proves a Facebook page doesn't have to be complicated

From The Word of Mouth Marketing Blog

Sanuk , maker of "funky, functional shoes," goes to show that Facebook pages don't need to be overly complicated to be successful.  The Word of Mouth Marketing Blog highlights Sanuk's Facebook page to show that keeping it simple can be effective.  The brand keeps their page fun an engaging by hosting a "Most Humorous Weekly Caption" contest, being responsive, and linking to the page from its corporate site.  And it must be working - they have over 6,000 fans!

Sanuk's page also demonstrates that Facebook doesn't require users to expend a ton of resources, but rather some fun and a commitment to engaging the fans that take the time to connect.

Lesson: Keep it simple.

Photo by  Kamal Aboul-Hosn

 

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