2011 has been an amazing year for friends, connections, and learning together. This chat started life as nothing more than an impassioned discussion between two avid social media devotees and quickly grew into a SoMe brain trust that few of us want to do without for very long. #SocialChat most certainly would not be the coolest hangout on Twitter if it weren’t for the insight, wisdom, and one liners of regulars like Lewis Poretz, Brandie McCallum, Nic Wertz, and Kevin Mullett. The core of this discussion group is comprised of some of the most stellar folks in the Social Media business.
Yeah, I know, enough with the mush and on with the good stuff.
Along with our loyal regulars, Alan and I have had the honor to pick the brains of some rockin’ tweeps.
Lee Odden not only brought into the mix a boatload of friends but also a great deal of insight into the symbiotic relationship between Social Media Marketing and good old fashioned SEO. Much of that discussion centered on the fact that to reach people, your content has to be crafted for your human readers with plenty of opportunities for the search bots to grab onto your content. You need good optimization to be found, but you need activity to give your content the ranking weight it deserves. If you want the absolute biggest bang out of your content, it needs to rock both the SEO and the SoMe worlds. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, be sure to check out Lee’s post at TopRankBlog.com for an excellent recap of that discussion.
I’d be completely remiss if I didn’t mention our discussion with Lisa Barone. In early June we discovered that Lisa had been lurking around our chat and her ears really perked up when Hugo Guzman mentioned her during a discussion of how to avoid a few common Social Media missteps. The mention inspired a fabulous post on Outspoken Media about always being the real deal online. We love her for that and HAD to get her to share her point of view on the chat. To the surprise of a few and the great pleasure of her following and ours, she agreed to discuss some of the ins and outs of corporate blogging and social media. She shared a great deal of insight into what makes great corporate blogs tick. When it comes down to it, whether you’re writing a personal blog or a business blog, if you don’t connect with your readers on a human/emotional level, you’re not going to get the kind of traffic that sticks around long enough to actually do business with you. The blog isn’t really about you, but about how your business adds value to the lives of it’s customers.
When it comes to the tips and tricks of community management, we had to turn to Lauren Litwinka… TWICE. Among her many talents, Lauren (@beebow) is a lightening fast conference tweeter and a wicked blogger. In March she discussed the talents, skills, and personality it takes to be a top community manager in this fast changing business. She joined us again in October to drill into some of the finer points of mining the Twitterverse for those high quality followers and business contacts. To get a feel for her insight into this segment of SoMe Marketing, you should check out her series for Search Engine Land on the B2B Community Manager’s Guide to True Twitter Friends.
To really mix things up, we finally coerced Alan Bleiweiss into discussing his personal Social Media experiences. He’s quick to explain that he’s an SEO guy not a SoMe guy, but, between you and me, he understands the art of attraction marketing better than any other SEO geek out there. He’s found a way to attract people by being a no-holds-barred rantmeister that brings a level of tough honesty that most people tip-toe around for fear of offending someone. Bleiweiss swears the key to SoMe success as a blogger/marketer is to be true to yourself and share your thoughts in a voice that is uniquely you. As he would probably put it, your community can spot bullshit a mile away.
Rounding out our mix of amazing guests is Azeem Azhar, CEO of PeerIndex. Our discussion with Azhar is representative of our most visited topic, the measurement of ROI for social media marketing. Gauging influence within the social sphere is just one of the mirad of ways we can quantify what all the posting, blogging, tweeting gains a business. In talking with Azeem about PeerIndex in particular, we gained a great deal of insight into the importance of understanding the topics that interest our community the most. People gravitate to sources of information they can trust. If you can establish your business/brand as a resource for the things that really matter to your community, the steps to doing real business with you become much easier.
Alan and I are so honored that the SoMe community has embraced our little chat, and we can’t wait to see what another year of digging deep will bring all of us. So, be ready to strap back into your seats on January 9th when we fire up the hot seat for a new year of grilling.
Since we haven’t been chatting over the holidays, you’re more than welcome to leave a few comments here and share your #SoicalChat highlights from 2011.