Social Media Marketing Interview Series Part 2 – Chris Bennett
Chris Bennett (follow him on twitter) has been someone I’ve looked up to since I started in the big world of search engine marketing and social media. He is the President and founder of 97th Floor and has been involved with the Internet since the days of Alta Vista’s reign (the good ol’ days when you could change your meta tags, submit your site through Inktomi and see your rankings improve by dinner). Chris got into SEO from a Graphic Design background. Since then he has seen the rewards of high search engine rankings; he’s been privileged to work closely with large companies such as Omniture, Henry Schein and The Polynesian Cultural Center. He’s spoken at many SEO conferences and seminars including a yearly seminar put on in Hawaii. He’s worked on or advised nearly a thousand sites, which has helped him think outside the box and find new ways to leverage anything from drop shipping, to catering, to one of the fastest growing software companies on the planet.
Interview with Chris Bennett
Social Media Marketing for a New Online Business
- In regards to social media, where is the best place to start if you are new to online marketing? Identify the key players and follow them on Twitter and their respective social sites. Twitter is a good place to jump in cause there is more conversation there and it is where all the other social sites come together. Also identify the blogs of the key players and those making headway in the space. #1 to getting started with social media is just doing it, setting up accounts, observing and participate when you feel comfortable.
- Why is social media marketing such an important part of success with a new online business? or is it? It is, because you can drive instant traffic, engage customers and brand yourself quickly and effectively and it is affordable.
- What are some of the main tools all new social media marketers should learn how to use if they plan to survive? First get to know the tools of the sites you want to focus on, there are tools to streamline and analyze your experience pretty much across the board. Do searches for things like, Digg Stats, and Twitter Stats, and Twitter Tools, etc.. Aside from that, the StumbleUpon tool bar, SEO Toolbar by Aaron Wall and Social Media for Firefox.
- Is social media marketing at all tied to monetization? If so, how? If not, why not? If you count branding as monetization then yes all of it is, if you are using it for a business goal. If you are using to meet and find people then no. Specificly it can be monetized through traffic, branding, increased rss subscribers, newsletters, direct sales, links and increased rankings.
- Please share one specific social media marketing experience that you attribute to financial success. Built an entire community and following strictly through social media for a client and it is now in the process of getting aquired by a very large Fortune 100.
- Where do you see social media marketing going in the next 3 years? The web is moving to a more dynamic and more social atmosphere. Everything will be social and sharable (is that a word :), everyting will be more instant than now and I am seeing it go from an easy way to share and network information, to a medium that will tell you what you should be looking for and searching for even before you do. Twitter search and Twitter Trends are a huge step in that direction.
- Is social media marketing taking over the world of organic search engine optimization as we once knew it? Social Media is taking over the internet, it can play an intrical part in anyone’s online strategy and it will only get bigger. But SEO will never go away. If I was a small business especially a regionalized one, I would first focus on organic seo for my GEO terms as well as Local Directories and search optimization. Once I had that under way I would then turn some (not all) attention on Social.
Any additional advice you’d like to share with people who are starting an online business?
My best advice for someone starting out is to just get the site up and live, and then start small by picking a less competitive keyword to start and test, test, test. That way once you rank for the smaller word you will enjoy small victories and it will carry you until you are dominating your industry. I believe that if a company is not online in 5 years they will not exist, everyone should be thinking about adapting to the Internet. I believe the future of SEO is in branding and doing things differently, which may include adopting a social media campaign or ranking for every spot in Google for your branded terms and employee names or buying smaller sites and ranking them for the same keywords to give you multiple positions for the same term. Also if you are not doing something to build a community online you will be past up by a competitor that is. Whether it is through blogging, user generated content or a profiles and member based site you need to be building a community. Community is the new commodity. (bold added for emphasis)
Special thanks to Chris Bennett for sharing his excellent advice about social media marketing!
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Twitter vs StumbleUpon – The Social Media Duel
Thanks to Oprah’s conversation with Twitter CEO Evan Williams, millions more are now using Twitter.
Some say Twitter is the next Google…bold yet true?
StumbleUpon was finally bought back from eBay.
The world of social media marketing as we know it is changing.
What will happen next?
Isn’t social media life great?
Twitter vs. StumbleUpon
Twitter and StumbleUpon are two of my favorite social media platforms. The question I propose, however:
Are Twitter and StumbleUpon fierce competitors or are they teaming up?
It’s a fact that Twitter and Stumbleupon serve different social media purposes. Twitter is a micro-blog where people chat, broadcast and share the simple answer to “What are you doing?”. StumbleUpon is used for online bookmarking and link building, amongst other things.
Which is more important though?
I recently had one client inform me that because of a StumbleUpon push, one of his articles went “viral” and got over 30,000 Unique Visitors in one day.
When Ashton Kutcher “re-tweeted” an article for Darren Rowse, his traffic jumped from 13,000 uniques to almost 37,000 uniques in one day.
Which social media site do you feel has more “viral potential”?
Twitter & StumbleUpon Team Up
One thing I discovered that leads me to believe they are teaming up is the integration of Twitter and StumbleUpon. It doesn’t appear to be fully “baked” yet but here’s what it looks like:
You see, right below the Update Review button is a “Syndication options” link.
When you click on that, it will give you the option to “Post to Twitter“.
After you check that box, it will say “You are currently not logged in to Twitter. Click here to authorize StumbleUpon to update your Twitter status.”
I clicked the “here” link and got this page:
So, it looks like it’s a work in progress but seems pretty cool – tying all the social media things we do together.
I’m excited to see where social media will take us in the next 6 months, 12 months, 3 years…
Newspapers are on their way out.
Television is changing too.
But online marketing and social media are here to stay!
How do the social media “die-hards” feel about this?
Multiple Reasons to Love TweetDeck
If you’re not on Twitter yet – Get Your Online Marketing Butt in Gear!
Twitter is growing like crazy!
Next time you watch the news I’ll bet you hear something about Twitter.
If you need to know how to set up a Twitter account, visit this article from TwiTip.com:
How to Set Up a Twitter Account
Once you have a Twitter account, the next step needs to be downloading TweetDeck.
…your personal browser for staying in touch with what’s happening now, connecting you with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook and more.
TweetDeck shows you everything you want to see at once, so you can stay organized and up to date.
4 Reasons I Love TweetDeck
This is probably the BEST REASON to use TweetDeck. I can follow as many people as I want, but it can seem impossible to really get anything out of the twitter people I care most about. TweetDeck Groups cures this problem. Here’s what they look like:
I can select an option that looks like this at the top of TweetDeck – I will then be able to pick from all the people I’m following and turn them in to a small focused Twitter group.
Let me know in the comments if you have questions about this.
2. Re-Tweeting (RT)
Another cool function of TweetDeck – ease of “Re-Tweeting” (RT). RT is best described as a “viral marketing” tool – a way to pass on good content. The option shows up when you put our mouse on the icon of the person – like this (the arrow pointing to the right is the RT:
Here’s what the search looks like –
This is an automated feature – all you have to do is set it up. The coolest thing about search is that you can monitor things being said about you, you can monitor specific keywords or keyword phrases, and you can monitor anything else you want to keep a close eye on.
Many clients I work with think I’m on twitter all day every day. The truth is…I am 🙂 – just kidding. There’s no way. But, with the Tweetdeck alerts, I can be notified when I’ve been replied to, when I’ve been sent a direct message or when something new was found in a specialized search I’ve been monitoring. Heres what the alerts looks like (it shows up in the top right corner of the screen)
These are my top 4 reasons to use TweetDeck and recently I discovered a new one too – the TwitPic Ajax feature (at least I think that’s what it is).
Here’s what it looks like:
To many of you, this may not be that big a deal, but to me it’s a time saver and TIME IS MONEY!
TwitPic is a way to share pictures via twitter. My “claim to fame” with TwitPic is when I helped @the_real_shaq learn how to upload pics to his Twitter Account (yep, another shameless plug for my Shaq Follow 🙂 )
The point is, TweetDeck is a great tool to help you save time with your Twitter experience; and now they’ve added this cool new feature where you can see the TwitPic pictures right on your screen without opening a new browser window or tab.
Have you tried TweetDeck.com yet?
3 Must-Follows if You’re a True Online Marketer
Life is good!
Today was the best day.
The weather was perfect.
I got to play with my kids at the park.
We ate delicious baked potatoes from Idaho – the Famous Potato State (my hometown).
I talked for quite awhile to the guy who got me in to online marketing back in the day.
I got a great updated success story from one of my favorite Prosper clients.
I still have my job 🙂
And…I got to chat with these online marketing All-Stars:
Yes, three of my search engine optimization, social media, and blogging icons:
- Aaron Wall: author of “SEO Book” and founder of SEOBook.com. This guy has so much to share about the world of search engine marketing. I believe the first e-book I purchased about SEO, and possibly the last, was SEO Book. I refer to it as the Bible of SEO. Make sure to follow Aaron at @aaronwall
- Muhammad Saleem: one of the first interviews I did over the phone was with Muhammad Saleem, the “Social Media Maven”. Not only is Muhammad a social media master, but he’s also very friendly and willing to help. At Blog World Expo 2008, Muhammad gave a great panel presentation on the how-to’s of social media. Follow Muhammad on Twitter at @msaleem
- Darren Rowse: THE PRO BLOGGER! Darren is the owner of many blogs, the most popular one probably being ProBlogger.net – a blog about making money blogging. If you are a current client of mine or if you’ve participated in my Blogging webinars, you’ve heard me speak of Darren. Darren recently started a Twitter Blog which shares things like how to set up a twitter account, twitter strategy, and more. Follow Darren on Twitter at @problogger.
Social media marketing is about connecting! It’s about not being afraid to connect with those who have the most influence in your niche.
The purpose of this blog post was two fold:
- To get my BUTT back in Blogging Gear! I’ve been so stressed lately and blogging is a great way to vent, share my passions for online marketing, and focus on things I have control over.
- To show all Moller Marketing readers that YOU CAN CONNECT WITH WHOEVER YOU WANT TO! I think the biggest problem is that many of you don’t even know WHO you want to connect with; you aren’t really sure who will take your business from where it is to where you want it to go (you may not know where you want it to go either). If you don’t know, you either need to do your homework or get out of the industry you’re currently in. You also need to really think about WHY you’re running an online business.
Let me know who you plan to connect with today…