Live from DM Days: Winning the Online Popularity Contest

New York—Winning the online search and social media contest isn’t difficult, according to panelists at a June 19 session during DM Days New York, if you follow a handful of simple guidelines. With social media sites capturing 12% of all Internet traffic and influencing 33% of online purchases, the impact of these sites on online marketers is huge. But they also require a different approach than traditional direct marketing, which relies on a one-sided message pushed to a mass audience at a relatively pace. Social media, on the other hand, is a two-way conversation with a smaller audience at a quick pace.

To help attendees navigate this new and ever-changing media channel, panelist Detlev Johnson, vice president of Position Tech, sent attendees away with 10 commandments to successfully participating in social media.

1. Authenticity

2. Authenticity

3. Authenticity

4. Value – Comments and content should be intriguing, entertaining, and influential.

5. Disclose – Marketers need to be up-front with others in the social media group that they are marketers.

6. Participate – Marketers need to put aside reservations about how social media works and simply start participating.

7. Respect – The social media space and other participants.

8. Be on the record

9. Be brutally honest

10. Never say something that you would regret saying or leave negative comments unanswered.

While blogging is still a relatively new marketing tool for merchants, social news sites that ask people to rank news articles such as Digg and Newsvine, are still a fairly unmarked trail. Lee Odden, president of Top Ranks Results, cautioned attendees on what not to do when navigating these sites. Marketers, he said, should not submit press releases or their own content to theses sites because it is seen as self-promoting. Do not over do it when it comes to commenting, he said, nor should you encourage others to over-comment on your content because it is viewed as a “Howdy Doody” comment and self-serving.

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