Aug 23, 2008
This is written to SEOs and Social Media marketers, myself included.
Are we using our skills and talents to make a positive impact? Are we helping optimize society? How are we giving back and making a difference?
Is SEO “all about me?”
SEO, the process of getting websites to rank high in the search engines, is a critical component of online marketing efforts.
- We need to develop a lot of content.
- We optimize various forms of content (text, pdfs, podcasts, video) and our website(s) for universal search.
- We work to improve PageRank (authority) with Google while building up “social trust” by getting more links from other sites.
- We Blog, Sphinn, Digg, Thumb, Tweet, Snip, Share, Bookmark, Comment…
Focusing on SEO can result in tunnel vision, since a lot of this effort is “all about me!”… My website. My clients. My reputation. My content. My opinion. My pocketbook. Me. Me. Me. Remember, I’m talking to “myself” as well.
Enter Social Media…
Social Media properties are the hot topic and target of marketers. As marketers…
- We create and deliver information to influence consumers to purchase products or services.
- We deliver messages to the people who are spending time on Social Media sites.
Social Media Marketing is one way advertisers promote and gain insight on their products. (Read post on Social Media conversation and engagement.)
Social Media is important for SEO. Speakers at the SEOmoz Expert Training in Seattle this past week did a great job explaining the importance of SEO techniques and Social Media participation. One Take-away: SEOs must know how to use Social Media to go viral, to increase links and exposure to their websites.
Use. Did you pick up on that word? (I’m hearing Bill Wither’s song, “Use me” in the back of my mind as I type.) Are we using Social Media as a means to an end? Are we genuinely involved? Answer: Probably a combination of both. Unfortunately, it’s too easy to use online marketing skills to focus on self promotion.
How are you using your SEO skills?
How are you contributing to society?
Are you making a difference?
What need is met by Social Media?
Social Media communities provide places where people can be social online, where like-minded people can share, interact, mingle, explore, help and support each other. Dana Larson wrote a great article, Hierarchy of Social Media Needs, in which she lists Maslov’s list for human motivation:
- Physiological Needs
- Safety Needs
- Social Needs
- Esteem Needs
Dana does a great job explaining how one should genuinely participate in social media. She states:
Social sites are not designed for the classic swoop-and-dump (think seagulls) tactic, so users need to be careful with how they are using social media for marketing and what kind of information to pass along to other users.
Social Media has a valuable place in SEO and in our personal lives. It fulfills many needs, and is a valuable avenue for companies to engage with customers. I know it meets many of my personal needs. I am empowered by collective thought, including thoughts of non-like minds. Both sides of the brain are stimulated, left and right. I meet people whom I would never meet otherwise, and I get to know others at a deeper level, understanding them better and appreciating their likes and dislikes. (Ooops, I’m talking about me.)
Being Social is “all about you!”
Those with good social skills are people who listen, who ask questions, who genuinely care and go out of their way for others, who put the other person first. It’s all about you! Do these traits carry over to your involvement in Social Media? Are you giving back?
Focus on Optimizing Society
There is untapped potential for using SEO and Social Media to make a difference in society. Does society gain from any of your daily SEO efforts, your participation in Social Media? Or is your sole focus on getting Diggs, Sphinns, Thumbs, Bookmarks?
Consider using some of that energy to dig deeper, to share your pocketbook and your calendar. Help optimize society with your skills and gifts.
How? It’s different for everyone. It’s easier for me to give money than to give time. Sunday’s my birthday, and I told my Mom I wanted time wrapped up with a bow. However, I decided to give away time and money instead this weekend – oh, nothing big. However, I’ve been motivated by people in my social network – those who are giving and doing more.
Today, my husband and I participated in Impact Orangevale, an effort organized by our church to make a difference in the community. We spiffied up a local school – dug dirt, planted flowers, cut weeds, swept and cleaned up the place. We helped a local food bank and gave them almost 10 tons of food. (That’s approx. $65,000 work of food collected in one week.) We made a difference. I thought to myself, “we optimized the school and the food bank.”
Today, Chris Brogan posted an article, Solve Some Real World Problems, in which he outlines ways those of us in Social Media can make a difference. Yesterday, he tweeted about a cause to raise money to help send a young woman from Cambodia to college. Chris Brogan is making a difference. He’s optimizing society using his skills in Social Media.
Today, I met a gal, Christina McGee, who is studying microbiology. She wants to go into medicine to help people in other countries. Listening to her excitement about how she wants to work with others to make a difference inspired me. She will be optimizing society!
It’s time to get out of our (my) narcissistic fishbowls! Make a difference in the lives of others. If you know SEO and Social Media, you have valuable skills. Use your knowledge to make a difference!
Start today with Social SEO! I’d love to hear what you’ve done or want to do to make a difference, however small.