By Rosalie Morton (@RosalieMo)
What’s the key to success with social media? According to the pros who spoke at Vocus Users Conference ’11 in Baltimore last week, it’s content. And I have to agree.
The speaker list at the conference was virtually a who’s who of the social media/public relations space. The very entertaining Scott Stratten opened the conference in his characteristically wild style, setting the tone for a fun two days. I had the pleasure of attending sessions by Lee Odden, Valeria Maltoni, Ann Handley, David Meerman Scott and Gini Dietrich. Providing the perfect bookend to Scott’s energetic presentation, Peter Shankman closed the conference and brought down the house.
The overarching theme? Content, content, content.
Lee Odden started us off with a look into the ways that SEO and PR work hand in hand. SEO essentially closes the gap between PR and journalists. How do journalists find stories? They use Google. By increasing our SEO, we are increasing our odds of being found. In addition, SEO is the key for online reputation management. You should ensure that the first page of Google results only includes the links that you want your audience to see.
And how do we do this? Content. We have to help our clients demonstrate expertise on their subjects. They should be the authority on their given topic in the online space.
Ann Handley also rocked the content vibe—no surprise, considering we were all given copies of her book entitled, you guessed it, Content Rules. Ann told us, “Good content is the soul who you are.” It should share and tell your story… and when you create good content, it’s shared even further. This is where social media comes in. With good content, you not only reach your network… you reach your network’s network. That’s the goldmine.
David Meerman Scott went a very entertaining route, looking at content with respect to Charlie Sheen and his shenanigans. David focused on the importance of real time content. Look for opportunities to insert your company into the second paragraph of news. For a dead-on example, he looked no further than America’s favorite heiress, Paris Hilton. When she was arrested for cocaine possession in Vegas, Wynn hotels banned her the following Wednesday because her vehicle “reeked of marijuana.” The hotel chain issued a press release, and bam, their press pick-up was enviable (HuffPo, People, CBS News). The moral of the story? It’s important to be real time with your content. If you spend too much time jumping through legal hoops and getting approvals, you may be too late.
So make sure you’re considering SEO, reaching your network’s network and thinking in real time to develop content with true reach.
Thanks, Vocus, for this fantastic line-up of speakers. Hope to see you all next year.