Archive for the 'SEO/SEM' Category

Sports and Social Media-What have We Learned?

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Recently via ESPN,  a social media drama played out nationally as a Texas A&M  football recruit and one of their coaches sparred via Twitter, over the perception of each other’s veiled tweets. There will be no good that will come out of this. The fall out is bad mostly for the football coach and his respective university. The fall out is additionally bad because it also shows how recruiting athletes in a social media world can go terribly awry. In fact, it’s not even relegated to “just.” recruiting. Look no further than Laremy Tunsil and what happened to him on what was supposed to be the greatest night/ moment of his young life.

A few years ago I wrote about and presented on the need to measure twice and cut once on anything you might say via social media, but rather than heed that foresight, we’ve all, as a society have collectively run in the opposite direction. Into the light, if you will.

What’s happening is, we’re collectively realizing at the same moment, it seems, that we have become the media. This means that 1) we have realized the power and potential of the digitally written word/visual world and we realize its impact; and 2) all of us have become comfortable with the notion that we’re all publishers, editors and commentators of our lives, your lives and even the lives of people we know nothing about.

Which brings me to these quick thoughts:

  • Have we done a poor job of explaining the power of social to each other?
  • You may have no followers, but that doesn’t mean we don’t listen.
  • Everyone is a coach and will give you their 2 cents digitally
  • Digital has not lessened the consequences of our actions.
  • Athletes may have no fear but they always need to be accountable
  • The phrase, “Act like you been there before,” still resonates
  • Keep  it in the clubhouse still works
  • Team coaches need to have the social media talk with their teams

It really comes down to this. Organizations both large and small and teams of all sizes, have to have social media governance and policies that extend to their players and coaches, managers and staff. There’s too much on the line both personally and professionally as well as in the amateur ranks to not have the process and controls in place to deal with the coupling of social media and athletes. What you need to understand is that you may never have to worry about these types of issues but if and when it happens, you’re not in the dark as a coach or as an administrator.

The real question really comes down to this: What are you going to do when it happens?

What should you do?  What does an org do about the athlete who posts Instagram pics of their party life? What do you do about the athletes who dis another player or team via Twitter? How bout the YouTube video of athletes behaving badly? What do you do?  Who do you blame? Do you blame them? Because you know, we live in a transparent world now.

Going forward, athletes behaving badly via social media is not going away. The sooner you realize that as an org., the sooner you can prepare for what will happen. It’s not an if, it’s a when.

When content turns into an ad

It can’t be good…

😦

I was going to go off on a rant, but the fact of the matter is…it can’t be good. You feel duped and cheated and misled.

The Conundrum of Content-What is your Content Strategy?

I’ve been somewhat neglecting the blog over the last few months but I have a good excuse er… reason.  Others are getting my good content.  Or maybe I should just say they are getting my content, whether it’s good or not, well that’s in the eyes of the reader now isn’t it?

Being a content producer is brutal, it’s hard and it never ends.  And yea,  it sometimes it sucks.  Why?  Because content, in and of itself, is constantly being redefined and producing it is constantly a challenge.   Content for the consumer, is like Crack, the more one gets, the more one wants.  Good content keeps raising the bar for all content producers.  Why?  Because we all have to strive and push out something that will a) trump what was pushed out before, b) be consumed on a large scale and c) in a sense, hopefully will go viral.  Let’s use an Olympic analogy.  Once you score a 10, you’re expected to score another one.  When you don’t, we maybe wait and see if you can repeat and when you don’t, we maybe ask why and then, we look elsewhere.

The flip side? Like Crack, a users expectations are raised.  The tolerance levels rise. The need for more and better increase.  No longer is average content acceptable.  What make’s this further frustrating is that, as the producer of content, you no longer can control the quality.  It’s no longer up to you. You might think it’s good, but it’s really not up to you.  It’s up to them.

Thus,  just like the old adage or statement that “we’re going to create a viral video” is equal parts foolish and unattainable, thinking your next piece of content is going to rock them, well, it’s out of your control.

At the end of every business day on the web, the bottom line is that content churns the machine.  It’s what keeps companies and organizations in the public eye.  Sometimes though,  the content that keeps you in the public eye, isn’t produced by you, and isn’t necessarily how you wanted to be in the public eye.  That’s the dark side. Content is everyone’s friend and everyone’s enemy.  Why? Because  good content isn’t always about the positive.  Content, the good stuff, the reason why we fire up the computer every day, can be all about the bad stuff.

And…content is not abating, it’s not subsiding, and  it’s not morphing into something we can control, not even close and not any time soon. It’s not like there’s this rhythmic beat to the content that’s created and the content that is consumed.  Why? Pretty soon, (in  less than five years) everyone will have a smart phone AND a tablet device.  The desktop as we know it, will be dead soon.  Which means what?

Multiply the ability to consume what is created times two or maybe three.  As device proliferation increases, so does demand for sites, apps, content curators and content creators.  Like rabbits and mice, demand and creation will explode exponentially.

So I’m telling you right now, creating, collecting and curating content is damn hard. Additionally, just because you have resources and access to Google or Bing or Yahoo or whatever, it doesn’t mean that you know what will work for your company or a company when it comes to compelling content that will drive eyeballs and sales.  You can test, but at the end of the day, you have to ask yourself, if you sell soap for example-What content are you going to create that is going to increase the sales of soap?

Here are a few questions you need to ask:

  1. Can the intern help you with good content?  Initially, probably not.  But if you can nurture them into the position of “content beast,” that would be great but it takes time.  This of course would mean that you understand what works and what doesn’t.
  2. Can’t we just automate the process? So that means you’re just going to pull in everyone’s RSS feeds? Or does that mean you’re just going to scrape good content from others? Either choice is not a good one.  Though I’m a proponent of supplementing one’s own content with perhaps a national feed, it’s not a good idea to push the content of others.  Why? Well, where’s the value? Where’s the reason to come back every day?
  3. How well do you know what your customers want? Why? It takes knowledge and an understanding of your customers, what your customers search for and why exactly, are they your customers in the first place.  Once you conquer that, then you start to understand the difference between search and intent.
  4. Does it matter if your brick and mortar customers are online? It certainly helps.  Remember, that the first entry point for most people is not through the browser bar but generally through search and invariably through Google-which then heightens three things: one, is the quality of your content, two is the quality of your SEO and three is  your “socialness.”  Invariably though, your customers may start online before they walk in the door.
  5. Does it matter that your customers are social? It helps but what do you think?  If your customers are social that might mean they are digitally savvy and digitally demanding.  Don’t deliver and suffer the consequences.
  6. What will it take to create and curate compelling content? In a nutshell, you have to test what works and what doesn’t.  This is where a solid analytics package comes into play.  You have to know what drives traffic and what get’s clicked on and what doesn’t.
  7. Can we outsource it?  You can but you risk putting what you’ve known and what you’ve built into someone’s hands who doesn’t really know you, your product or your customers.  You may get lucky and find someone who plays in the same space but it takes some vetting to find that company or person.

So what’t the over-arching theme or point here?  As we hurdle towards 2013 and beyond, the proliferation of devices and platforms means that consumers are going to continue to demand content that “fits” them.  As well, that content not only needs to fit their niches and demands but it also needs to be accessed at anytime and anywhere. If it doesn’t, they are gone.  Which means, if you’re not delivering the optimum digital experience, then you lose.  It will start and end with the content you create and curate every day and every night.  If you don’t get it right, chances are that your competition will.

Social Business in 2012 Study

I just came across a great study co-produced by FedEx and Ketchum, titled The 2012 FedEx/Ketchum Social Business Study

This study, updates and expands upon research first undertaken in 2010 and analyzes the changing impact of social media on business today.  To quote, “Organizations are leveraging social media tools to evolve into social businesses – creating communities and relationships with external and internal stakeholders that are transforming the way they do business.”

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How Do We Get Duped By SEO [Infographic]

It all starts with a title. The better the title, the stickier the title, the more likely you’ll suck us in.

A Bunch of Littles Can Make a Big Difference-KONY 2012

Just watch the video…and then jump on over to Invisible Children

The Dawn of Social Mediocrity

Let’s do a hypothetical. You like western saddles.  You search for them every day on Google. Google gives you relevant results from a) your Google Plus peeps and then b) the most relevant, most SEO’d results. Let’s assume that your peeps straddle the lines of friends, family and business contacts, so the results or likelihood that there will be content from these people about western saddles may be 50/50.

You continue to search for info about saddles. I am a marketer that sells cowboy hats or western hats. I know that if I use the term “western saddles” as a key word, page title, hyper link, hashtag, splog site or blog post in some social networks or platforms, the  likelihood of you finding or landing on my pages might be pretty high. Why? Every link that you will find will ultimately take you to my western hat pages. I may or may not have much on saddles, but the bottm line is that I sell hats not saddles. Will you buy from my site? Maybe not. Of course I will or may affiliate links on my pages that will get you to a site that sells saddles but…the “quick” search has now turned into an hour’s worth of chasing the long tail of a bullshit game of bait and switch.

Is that a good user experience? No, but it’s the reality of search and social.

The more content that is created, the more that you have to choose from. The more that you have to choose from, the more of a chance that the content is watered down and possibly gamed. The more that search and social become intertwined, the more that you may become the victim of a bait and switch. Clicking on a link in the hopes that it is the right link-has become more precarious these days than it ever has.

The more that search and social lines become further blurred by the notion that content drives the machine, the more the user will get played. Pretty soon it won’t be social media any longer, it will be social mediocrity.


The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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