Search and social media

Sorry, but I’m really surprised by the pieces I’m reading in the last couple of days about Google beginning to integrate “real time” items in its search results that talk about how now it’s important to integrate search strategies in your social media plans.

If you haven’t taken search into consideration when you’re doing social media from the start you’ve probably been doing it wrong, or at least haven’t been wringing as much value from it as you should have been. Here are just some of the search advantages you can wring from, as an example, a corporate blog:

  • You increase the number of pages on your site every time you hit “publish”
  • Search loves fresh content, an incentive to keep your blog active
  • Blog software, at least most of it, has great date structures. Search engines love that YYYY/MM/DD format. So pretty….
  • Optimized headlines
  • Becomes a content engine for the rest of your site

And those are just what occur to me.

This conversation comes up every now and again, like someone has just realized that social media marketing strategies can have search advantages, and I’m blown away every time.

Search thinking *absolutely* should be part of your social media strategy. If you’re not looking at what sort of rankings your getting in search engines and how much traffic you’re deriving from it you really do need to get on that.

Young adults, social networking and the workplace

Interesting study from Deloitte (Chicago Tribune, 12/10/09) that reports 58 percent of teenagers say the freedom to use social networking at work could be a major factor in deciding where to work. These kids see social network usage as an important extension and expression of who they are and so are going to be looking at a potential employer’s attitude toward that usage when they’re mulling jobs down the road.

83 percent of respondents said they did not engage in unethical behavior on those networks and 38 percent said they hadn’t considered a potential employer’s reaction to their social behavior.

All of this while some companies are restricting usage of social networks within their workplaces, seeing it as a time-suck.

Personally I think there needs to be more flexibility when it comes to allowing people – whatever their age – to use social networks at work. Obviously this is going to increasingly an issue as more of these young people enter the workplace. So the smart company will have policies in place that will allow people to do their thing but also help them transition from a…juvenile usage of it to something more professional. I’m not saying companies should start coaching them on how to solely promote client programs or whatever through their networks, but policies and training should be in place that certainly include proper usage across all fronts, with those lessons hopefully having wide-ranging benefits.

Looking at this with my grumpy-old-man hat on, it used to be that college would be a time when kids would transition from being children to being adults, learning responsibility and behaviors that are more appropriate for the workplace. But that doesn’t seem to be happening now and so young people are entering the workforce expecting they can still get stupid every night and act irresponsibly at work and everyone will continue to praise them because they’re just being themselves and we have to celebrate that.

So I think employers need to look at studies like this and figure out how to work new policies and procedures into place to pick up some of that slack.

Quick Takes: 12/11/09

filmstripDora Candelaria and Charlie Pinto have been promoted at Paramount Pictures to the roles of executive directors in the national publicity department at the studio.

MovieClips has launched, a site with 12,000 movie clips, most around two minutes in length, that people can search for and view for free. The site brings in clips from movies from Fox, MGM, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Warner Bros. They’re obviously viewing this as a promotional platform for home video catalog titles.

Dreamworks continued emphasis on 3D releases for their animated films will be driven in large part by promotional partnerships with retailers and product brands. The studio saw these sorts of efforts around Monsters vs. Aliens as a success and so is going to keep driving down that path.

I’m not saying the idea of Redbox “destroying” the entertainment industry is the most idiotic thing I’ve read this month but…well…I kind of am. So many other factors are at play here (downloads, recession spending, the fact that most catalog titles are out already, that TV seasons aren’t selling like they used to, etc) that to even *kind of* pin the blame Redbox is just a case of whining. You have a problem? Fix it. Work around it. But if you’re going to cry and complain I have no sympathy for you.
Oh have mercy…now we’re going to have to look at look at case studies about The Blind Side succeeding with “faith based” audiences for the next three years. Apparently the publicity firm did outreach to Christian groups and so now I’m going to be subjected to stories that mention it.

The tidbit about a coffee company that produced limited edition espresso cups based on the films of Pedro Almodovar, who has the new film Broken Embraces coming out, sounds pretty interesting. Wish The New York Times had stuck with that that instead of devolving into more rehashing of studio promotional partnerships that no one wants to talk about.

Laid off film critics are finding work as members of focus groups for studios looking for a more informed opinion than the general audience would for their arthouse and specialty releases.

Why you’ll no longer be seeing links to Variety on MMM

variety-logoBecause as of yesterday they erected their own pay wall.

Oh sure I could still take advantage of the five free pages they’ll let me view in a month, but that’s just me. What about my readers?

I did a quick search of MMM and found that, since June of 2004, I’ve written 500+ posts that have mentioned and linked to Variety. That’s darn near 10% of my content in that time period. I like Variety and they publish great content, which is why I link to it, something that results in traffic for them.

But if I have to have in the back of my mind that linking to a Variety story is going to result in blocked access for my readers…I’m just not going to do it. That’s a bad user experience for them, sorry.

Have any of those 500+ posts mentioning and linking to them done anything to benefit me? Sure…they’ve made the content on MMM better. Have they benefited Variety? Sure…they get the traffic, readership and the ad revenue that results. If they’re not charging enough for those ads or haven’t found a strategy to convert free readers to paid subscribers maybe those are problems they need to address before cutting off access.

Hey they’re right to put a value on their content. It costs them money to produce and it’s quality stuff – that’s why I link to it so often. But in the media world we’re in now there needs to be more than just “pay me now” thinking when it comes to deriving financial benefit from online readership.

What the…

Why is the guy in this Banana Republic ad for sweaters playing a trombone outside in the middle of winter? Were there storyboards created showing what comes next, including the ride to the emergency room when his lips become frozen to that mouthpiece? Why does the woman look like there’s nothing odd going on? Is this a normal thing, some outside snuggling with an impromptu solo trombone recital? Or is there someone across the street in the same position with his sweetie but playing a trumpet and this is a musical game the couples play on a regular basis? Does he look totally uninterested in her and does she seem OK with the vibe of emotional neglect he’s throwing off by focusing on his instrument instead of embracing her? Or am I reading this wrong and there’s a free trombone thrown in with every sweater purchase? If I don’t want a trombone can I get a saxophone?  I NEED MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SCENE!!!