Remember MTV? Not the also-ran cable channel we have now with its bad reality shows, made for TV movies and music documentaries. I’m talking about MTV when it really was Music Television. When MTV debuted in 1981 it featured 24-hour a day music videos with a VJ (short for video jockey) who introduced the videos, talked to the musicians and segued into commercials.
It was magic. It was innovative. It was fun.
It had power! Thousands of musical artists and acts got their careers started with music videos and a lot of forgotten acts were rediscovered. For example, a simple weekend marathon of the old Monkees TV show resulted in the once trashed group getting together for what turned out to be the biggest summer tour of the year 1986. New records by the group, more reruns and the rebirth of a made-for-TV band followed.
But most of all, MTV was exciting!
That’s where I see social media today. Like MTV in the beginning, social media is all of the above with innovative features being rolled out right and left and the ability to connect with folks around the world 24 hours per day. It’s like magic!
But, again, most of all, it’s exciting!
And, it’s now a part of SEO, which some have also likened to magic.
Unlike MTV, which was one-way, social media is about interaction. You connect with folks who connect with other folks and everyone provides user generated content and links that help bolster your SEO, traffic and conversion goals. You do this through photo or video sharing, news and networking sites as well as blogs.
There’s the power!
And, like the young MTV viewers of the 1980s, social media users tend to be cutting edge, comfortable about innovation and technology. Using sites like YouTube, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Digg and del.icio.us, etc. just comes naturally.
So how do you tie your SEO efforts into all of this excitement and power?
Tune in regularly. Join some of the social media sites and commit to participate every day. Yep, it’s very time consuming, but there are no shortcuts.
Have a hook. Like an MTV VJ, learn what is popular in each specific community and segue your content and participation in that direction.
Be anonymous. Just as you voted for your favorite MTV videos using different phone numbers (remember that?), don’t make it obvious that you are promoting yourself. That’s a big breach of etiquette. Promote from a different IP and account. Get your friends to help. If your office is participating, be sure they all cast their votes and submissions from home and NOT on the office IP. Too many coming from the same IP address can get you into trouble.
Become a groupie. Connect with influential users of the service. Later, take a look at their friends and see who else might make good connections.
Vote for your fave. Cast votes for good, quality content, not just yours, every chance you get and Stumble at the same time.
Have variety. Let’s see…rock or rap? Submit quality articles, content or videos from a variety of sources. If all you do is submit your own, you’ll be labeled as a spammer or your submission will just get killed.
Promote. Got a new gig? Social networks are great for introducing your blog to your network of friends.
Get subscriptions. We’re not talking 16 Magazine. Social news traffic is short term. What’s on the front page is gone tomorrow, so to keep some of those viewers coming back, get them to subscribe to your feeds.
Use Twitter! No, Flock of Seagulls hasn’t released a new album. Twitter is what you’d call a mini instant messaging system. I have to admit that when Twitter first came out, I thought it was kind of silly â€“ 140 characters to alert your friends about what you were doing? Didn’t make a lot of sense, but it sure does now. Tie your Twitter account into your social accounts to let people follow you automatically. For instance, you can use a WordPress Twitter plugin on your blog called Twitter Updater to automatically send a Twitter status update to your Twitter account when you create, publish, or edit a WordPress post. A similar web-based service, Twitterfeed, can be used as well. Facebook has a Twitter application that you can install that will feed blog entry status to your Facebook status updates. Twitter is also great for customer or visitor communication. Feel free to follow The Web Optimist on Twitter.
Name the band. Register your company profile on all of the social networks. Grab your company name as quickly as you can to prevent someone else from doing it and pretending to be you.
Where to go from here? Once you are established as a reputable social media user, you’ll find that connecting with the Linkerati, influential social media linkers, bloggers and journalists, will be easier. Your doors will open wider. Hey, make a video!
So, it’s an exciting time to be in social marketing and SEO. Let’s just hope social media keeps its focus on what it is and doesn’t do an MTV on us.
I miss my MTV!