Today I am on a social media panel at the New England Small Business Xpo at 3pm EST in the Boston Convention Center. I summarized a few of the expected questions and thought I would post my notes/answers here for anyone who was curious. If you attend the panel today, come by and say hello!
What the importance of content in social media?
SEO and content are critical to success in social media. All three work together. Content (typical blog articles, but can be photos, videos, etc.) is what makes you interesting in social media. Promoting this content in social media helps attract more people to it, which in turn makes it more likely you will get links. Links are what power SEO, so more links will attract more people to your content, which can contribute more followers and friends in social media. If you do not leverage content and search, you are drastically reducing the ROI of your social media time.
How is video important to online communications?
I think it is critical, because people like different types of media, live video can be used to stimulate a community (HubSpot TV as example, with guests like MC Hammer, Biz Stone, etc.)
What's the difference between advertising in social media and engagement in social media for brands?
There is a huge difference. You can do both, but the engagement if done properly is a better long term strategy with better ROI. We use all forms of social media in terms of engagement, but also advertise on Facebook (better ROI than Google AdWords), but the best ROI is through inbound marketing - publishing content, promotion, optimization and engagement.
If companies are becoming publishers, how should they manage their editorial production process?
We publish one of the top marketing blogs (it took 2 years to get there) and have a former NYTimes.com editor as our editor. We review the stats for each blog post and optimize future content based on what we learn. Also, more content is always better. We doubled our subscription and traffic growth rate when we went from publishing 3 times a week to 5 times a week.
Twitter appears to growing very rapidly, what's the future for Twitter? Is Twitter a serious competitor to Facebook? Google?
Twitter might have a better pulse on what is happening NOW than Google, which could be interesting. Google might be called search for the "dead web" and Twitter (or Facebook) for the 'live web". It will be a test for Google to see if they can incorporate the social graph and real time events into their results.