7 Things I Didn’t Get Out of SMX Social Media and 2 Important Things That I Did

October 18, 2007: Heading from NYC last night, I started thinking about what I would tell the rest of my colleagues as it relates to how and what was learned from SMX Social Media.

Well here are some things that didn’t happen:

  • I still don’t feel comfortable adding Danny Sullivan or Neil Patel to my Facebook network.
  • No one gave me the social media “quick fix” idea that I thought would be worth risking my profile or IP getting banned in respective communities.
  • In fact, I didn’t hear anyone contradict the notion that it takes real time and effort to be successful in social media. That means both an understanding of the audiences involved and in networking with like-minded individuals. I had to chuckle when I saw some jaws drop at Tamar Weinberg’s mention that she had actually dugg over 18,000 articles in Digg since she started using it.
  • I didn’t add anyone from the Digg Top 100 over the past 2 days (although that may be my own fault, but I didn’t feel comfortable interrupting people in other conversations or trying to make an introduction at an inconvenient time).
  • Lisa Broer is not going to cut anyone any slack for messing up Wikipedia entries just because she spoke at the conference.
  • I still can’t figure out how Reddit really works (and I even got to spend 15 good minutes with someone pretty well connected to the site)
  • But in all seriousness, I came out of SMX Social Media with two distinct observations and conclusions.

    It’s still all about content.
    Except you have to throw in a bit of creativity and you better understand the social community that you are trying to interact with. Is that really any different (theoretically at least) than building a traditional SEO content strategy for your own business or clients, that is designed to generate links and/or publicity? If you have something of value to give to a community and you can create an effective way to communicate that you’ve got a far better chance of success.

    While that can sound ridiculously obvious for those reading the SMX session wrap-ups that have a sound understanding in social media, the real value was in hearing people like Brent Csutoras talk outside of the PPT slides when it came to strategies for submissions that resonated successfully with the Digg crowd, Chris Winfield discussing what may or may not work for a particular client’s social media strategy through researching past successes and failures or Sarah Hofstetter and Liana Evans alluding to the how and why you can connect to particular blog audiences for gaining publicity and leveraging social media tools.

    Your network is really what you make of it
    One of the undercurrents I heard from some was that everyone speaking was already networked so of course they could get things up on the Digg home page or del.icio.us’ popular page etc etc. And while there may be truth to that statement there’s something else to be said and gained.

    I had an opportunity to meet a few dozen intelligent and exciting people in NY this week and am sending out emails, subscribing to blogs and connecting in communities, all with the goal of building a network and being able to help other people achieve success in social media. After all, the “social” component of this endeavor is in finding people that share your interests and in working together to collaborate on ideas and strategies.

    And here’s the last thing I didn’t get out of SMX Social Media…
    I probably didn’t get to shake hands, exchange business cards or have the quick conversation with half the people I would have hoped to meet; and I wish I could have. If you read this blog post and were at the SMX event, why not add a comment as a registered user and alert us to your SEO/SEM blog, RSS feed or profile? (note that you can also comment without registering) If you were at SMX Social Media, there’s a good chance we have at least a couple of interests and professional goals in common.

    Coverage of SMX Social Media
    So that’s my wrap-up of the event. If you are looking for specific session coverage, here’s a list of blogs and sites with information and posts on SMX Social Media.

  • http://www.brentcsutoras.com Brent Csutoras

    I am sorry that you were not able to get the Quick Fix for Social but i would be willing to offer that making a quick top 10 list can take as little as an hour to make and can get you a ton of traffic and links.

    They are not risky or dangerous and extremely effective.

    If an hour is not a quick fix then your pretty much screwed.. :)

    Glad you got some value from some of the speakers and glad you liked the conference. Good luck to you.

    Brent

  • Derek

    The examples you gave in your presentation were incredibly effective and appreciated. I personally got a ton of value from them.

    I wasn’t really looking for the quick fix at all so it’s my mistake if that was inferred. When I meet people who consistently are not succeeding in some social community and don’t know why, the challenge I usually see is that they are not taking the step back to really look at what they really are offering and how it is being delivered.

    It’s not always that they are actually bad (or good) ideas – it’s in the understanding of the community and perhaps the delivery that gets flawed.

  • http://www.wolf-howl.com graywolf

    I don’t know that there is “quick fix” for social media, as you noted it definitely takes time to get involved in the space.

    However right now IMHO social media is the most effective use of your time to build links to your site. It’s not the right tool for every market, but it is for many. if you don’t think it can be applied to yours come find me at the next conference, I’m pretty good at it, and love a challenge.

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  • http://www.searchmarketinggurus.com Li Evans

    I’d echo Michael’s sentiments. Social networking best form of marketing for link building purposes. I’d also add that it’s the best place to build a marketing strategy to a targeted audience.

    Great post btw, think my #1 would be that “I’m still not as Hawt as Danny Sullivan in a BOTW tank top” :)

  • Derek

    Thanks for the comments Li and Michael – they are sincerely appreciated and your presentations at SMX were great. I am definitely in agreement as it relates to the value of social media for link building strategy.

    In some cases, I find that people see the tangible steps to a social media website and then jump to the conclusion that it should be a simple process (register, login, submit). Of course, the next question is always, “why am I not succeeding or becoming ‘popular’?” when a couple months down the road, that’s all they are doing.

    It’s not that it’s unreachable to be successful and some people (like a lot of folks speaking at SMX) are just damn good at it, but most people forget that it takes time to be a part of the community, learn, contribute and then help others as well.

    Thanks again and hope to see you both at a conference or online soon!

  • http://www.ericlander.com/ Eric Lander

    Solid article here Derek, and well worth a Sphinn.

    Having been at the conference, I have to agree with some of your points above. It will take time, energy, effort and genuine creativity to pull off a link bait campaign on the major social networks.

    Michael gave you a gold mine of an opportunity above…

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  • Derek

    Thanks Eric – and thanks for the mention on Search Engine Journal. I definitely was appreciative of the offer from Michael Gray, that is for certain!

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