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Picks of the Week: Aug. 14-20

Today, we take a look at options for (quality) link building, how to use your Facebook page to reach new audiences, important updates you should make to your Facebook privacy settings and four key ways to develop quality content. In addition, we flash forward into the future with articles on the evolution of public relations, as well as the Internet as we know it.

Search Marketing

Investing in Link Building 

With hypothetical resources of $2,000 and 60 hours, and a great mix of quality information and humor, Mike Pantoliano, explores several common link-building options to determine which approaches may be most appropriate for companies at different stages in their SEO process. Mike looks at: directory submissions, outreach/requesting links (with a bit on what is and is not appropriate in this regard), buying links, and linkbait through viral marketing and content creation.

Though each option is fairly analyzed, the key takeaway for marketers is that developing linkbait through content creation is far-and-away the best option for a long-term approach. “Call it what you will, but the name of the game here is content. Whether it's a blog post, an infographic, a widget, a video, a funny 404 page, a comic, and so on, if its done well, there's no greater way to invest in link building… One caveat here is that your link building campaign can only go as far as your (social) network will take it.”

Social Media

Optimizing Facebook Status Updates for Local Marketing

In this helpful post, Chris Silver Smith offers some solid tips for marketers looking to improve their business’ reach on Facebook. After pointing out that “most of the people who will “like” you and follow you on Facebook are those who already know your company exists,” he explains how creative and clever use of Facebook’s tagging feature can help you get your updates in front of new, relevant audiences.

After diving deep into the tagging functionality, Chris also includes a handful of additional tips for improving status updates, such as posting information that isn’t only about your company, and including non-text updates like photos and videos.

The First Think you Should Do with Facebook Places: Don’t Let Other People Tag You 

Earlier this week, Facebook released a new feature called Places, a location-based check-in tool to rival Foursquare, Gowalla and the like. However, one feature Facebook offers in an effort to make the service “more social” is that users can tag friends as being at a location with them.

You may, understandably, be concerned with the privacy implications of this feature. If that’s the case, check out this article by Adrian Chen. It gives step-by-step instructions on how to disable the feature that enables others to share your location, as well as instructions on how to prohibit non-friends from seeing where you’ve checked in.

Content Marketing

The Four Key Qualities of Effective Content

In this article, John Bottom argues that there are four specific criteria that make the difference between good and great content. John says that truly great content must be:

  • Compelling (promise value early, in the title)
  • Fulfilling (deliver the promised value through quality information)
  • Convenient (easily understandable, available in appropriate format)
  • Efficient (planned, managed and repurposed to extend value when appropriate)

In short, quality content requires an investment of time and/or money. Employ this methodology to ensure that your investments are worthwhile.

PR and Social Media

The Future of Public Relations and Social Media

This article is quite a valuable read for PR pros and students that want to hear their peers' perspectives on the industry today, as well as how it will change as a result of social technologies in the future. Specifically, author Erica Swallow asks questions about the press release, social platforms, current limitations in social media, connecting with others in the industry, budgets and the human/story/relationship side of PR and media relations.

One thing I found interesting was what the interviewed PR pros said about broadcasting versus listening, “A vast majority of the PR people out there are using social media as a broadcasting tool for sending out press releases and recent client news. The next gen PR pros will use social media as a listening and communicating tool.” In my opinion, you can’t get anywhere in social media without listening first. Then, once you know what is being said, you share information based on what people are already discussing and most interested in. It surprised me to know that many of the experts here seem to go the other way around.

Money quote: “Public relations and social media are both about creating and fostering relationships. Our PR experts agreed and emphasized the fact that personal relationships will continue to propel the bond between social media and PR.”

Internet Evolution

The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet 

This article by Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff analyzes the state of the Internet and online business as we know it: How we got to where we are, what's happening now and what's coming next. The two reporters take similar, though sightly opposing positions.

They both agree that access to online information is rapidly shifting from an open, web-based standard to one in which people choose to go through closed, proprietary systems such as applications, APIs, online games, multi-media streaming software and more. In fact, the article states that "within five years, Morgan Stanley projects, the number of users accessing the Net from mobile devices will surpass the number who access it from PCs."

However, Chris posits that the lifecycle of the Internet and our evolving methods of accessing information are due to individual user desires and preferences, and that the Internet is simply following a "natural path of industrialization: invention, propagation, adoption, control" driven by the marketplace. Michael, on the other hand, argues that these changes are driven by business titans (in particular, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs).

Key takeaway: The Internet has fundamentally changed business, publishing and access to information. However, the evolution is not yet complete, and smart marketers need to keep an eye to the future, in order to stay ahead of the competition.

What was your favorite marketing article of the week? Share it in the comments below, or tweet it to our attention at @PR2020.

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