Jerri: How can organizations use social media to improve their business?
First, you have to have a great deal of familiarity with the space. You have to have a deep
understanding of the community, and you have to become part of the community, sharing content,
creating content, tagging content, and interacting with other people in the community. If you aren’t
familiar with this space or you don’t participate in the space, you won’t be successful.
How much time is spent participating in this space depends on your specific needs as an organiza-
tion. Some organizations only need to devote a few hours a week. Three or four, because social media
isn’t that important to their organization. There are companies, though, like AllBusiness, where social
marketing is more important and it’s nothing for them to spend 80 hours a week participating in
social marketing. It’s all determined by your business and what your business needs are.
Jerri: What do you see as trends in the SEO space?
It would be foolish to ignore what Google calls “universal search” and we call “vertical search.”
It’s in vertical search that companies find highly qualified traffic, and there’
s going to be a significant
amount of traffic in these areas. So, vertical search can include:
Instant answers (like Ask.com. That’s a rapidly growing area of search.)
And there are many more. All of those are vertical that can lead you closer to the customer that you
want to reach.
Jerri: What are your thoughts on what’s being called “human-powered search”?
Basically, I think it’s a joke — less than useless. A waste of time. It doesn’t scale, results are
of considerably worse quality than an algorithmic search, and there is very little hope that it would
take off in the next few years. I could be wrong, too, but in my opinion it will never achieve results
that have the quality which engineers can put into algorithmic results.
Jerri: Where do you see that organizations are performing poorly in search marketing?
That’s really a story of two different worlds. Less than 10 percent of small and medium-sized
business in the U.S., and less around the world, have paid any attention to search marketing and are
deriving any value from it at all. And they don’t really care. Many small and micro business owners
don’t know how the Internet can impact their business, and they don’t care.
But then there are a very small number of tiny web-based businesses that have come to it over time
that have seen phenomenal results. Etsy.com is an example. But mostly smaller businesses have no
interest in search marketing.
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