The Impact of Social Media on Businesses

David Berkowitz in the Mediapost Search Insider blog reviews some of the opportunities & issues surrounding social media and how it impacts businesses and the search world. This is a summary from a panel at MediaPost’s Search Insider Summit held last week in Palm Springs, California. Interesting ones are:

1) Conduct blog search audits to review buzz about your brand/company. Major blog search engines are Technorati, Blogpulse, IceRocket and, Google Blog Search .

2) Respond fast or die. “If you’re hit with a scandal, you can’t wait for it to blow over. Silence implies guilt, and the implication of guilt will lead to even more negative feedback from bloggers and social media producers.”

3) Social media is forever. There’s a good chance that what’s posted on the Internet today might live on forever. “Search engine optimization will require social media optimization, a term coined by Rohit Bhargava“.

4) Create a community, or tap into an existing one. “No matter your target audience, you can bet that they’re organizing online. If you can’t find any community that works for you, start it.”

5) Everyone has something to say, but only 10% will say it. “Most people remain passive, or “lurkers,” as Jakob Nielsen writes. He said in a report last month, “In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.”

What it means: I agree with David Berkowitz that, with the rise of social media, you can’t neglect that side of the Internet. A lot of people have jumped on the the SEM bandwagon but we don’t hear too many of these experts talking about the social media space. This is a definite must if you want to have a complete online marketing strategy in 2006. I’m curious to read more about Social Media Optimization (SMO) as this might become a discipline of its own!

Sylvain adds : Social Media Optimization is a great shortcut concept, but if we think about it, it’s really PR + blog culture… Edelman is really threading new ground here, they’re latest about “the fork on the road” is significant (background material on why this might go wrong search technorati for “edelman wal-mart blogs”).

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