SES Chicago: Actionable Social Media

The session on Actionable Social Media at SES Chicago this week reviewed the importance of community-built websites and how content shared through tagging can be a great way to tap into links and search-driven traffic. Overall, the session provided an excellent overview for those who should, but may not be taking full advantage of, the benefits social sites like Flickr and have to offer. Below are a few key points from this session:

Todd Parsons, Co-Founder and CPO, BuzzLogic

Blogging is big - 65 Million Americans read blogs

  • 60% of people online read blogs to get opinions on issues.
  • Importance of the blogs is further underscored by the fact that 65% of "online power shoppers" read user-generated content.
  • 3.5 billion brand-related chats take place every day.
Adam Lavelle, Chief Strategy Officer, iCrossing
  • Content is the fuel that we use to connect to each other.
  • We have great devices to capture content, incredible software to shape it, and more ways to share and distribute it than ever before.
  • Lavelle quotes Clive Thompson who claims that Google is a reputation management system rather than a search engine.
Jennifer Laycock, Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Guide
  • Notes the importance of Flickr as a means of generating links (both direct and indirect).
  • Discusses the importance of tagging and adding notes, finding and joining communities, geo-tagging images, subscribing to RSS feeds, using Flickr widgets and creative Commons Licenses. (in essence, increasing your participation in the community will positively impact your long-term traffic)

Steven E. Marder, CEO & Co-Founder, Eurekster, Inc.

  • Introduces the "Swicki" product (covered here recently by Website Magazine)
  • Discusses trends in the space; from Search and Media 1.0 to Social Media and Search 2.0 (algorithms + human participation)
  • Suggests you can build brand but must participate - that's what social is about.

A Swicki (Social Media Search Widget) can be about anything related to the site and brand. The syndication opportunity is dramatic, and this further reinforces the brand and provides something useful long term - exposure.

Tamera Kremer, Founder, Wildfire Strategic Marketing

  • Reviews the benefit of as one of the most popular social bookmarking tools around.
  • You can use it to share as well as vote on topics' popularity (folksonomy).
  • You can browse other users tags by keyword, and you can share your links with other users in your network.

Kremer also touched on the fact that many people did not initially understand how to use effectively, so they weren't utilizing it. This problem was solved once a quick-start guide was created. Participation then increased tenfold.

The session did a nice job illustrating how every social medium, whether it's blogging, image submissions, tagging or social bookmarking simplifies the process of sorting ourselves into similar communities and getting your content into like-minded social networks.

- Alma Garcia,