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Picks of the Week: May 16-22

In Picks of the Week, we take a look at last week’s top stories for marketers and PR pros, including anything you may have missed over the weekend. Read on for information about: content curation, a recent Google News update and its potential impact, Bing updates that pull Facebook data into search results, the problem with many corporate social media efforts, and big PR & marketing news from the week of May 16.

Content Marketing

Why B2B Search Marketers Should Care About Content Curation

This is an excellent introduction to content curation from Derek Edmond. He covers:

  • What is content curation?
  • Tips and best practices for doing it well.
  • How curating content can positively impact SEO.
  • How to get started with content curation.

If you’re not sure about why content curation is so important to marketing today, I highly recommend checking this out. (Cool side note: advice from PR 20/20’s Christy Barksdale is included in the article.)

Personalized Search

Google News Gains Options to Drop Blogs & Press Releases

Danny Sullivan reports that Google users have the option to limit (or increase) the amount of blog and press release results that come through in Google News results.

Though I expect that only the highly tech-savvy will tool around with these options (unless Google pushes for them in the future), from a PR perspective, I think it will be interesting to see how journalists use the press release settings. Are standard optimized releases good enough for them to want to see “more” of? If you’re a journalist reading this, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Things to consider:

  • While it’s somewhat unclear how Google defines blogs, in response to questions from Sullivan it stated that they “primarily rely on self-identification: if a site tells us it’s a blog in its site name, for instance, we obey that preference.” Therefore, you might consider removing the word “blog” from yours, if you consider it to be a news site.
  • If journalist adoption is high, and they opt-in for more press release results, this could disrupt the wire release market, and optimized press releases could become a go-to method for reaching target media contacts.

Search + Social

Bing Ups Ante in Social Search, Adds More Facebook “Likes” to Search Results

Social media’s impact on search results increases as Bing incorporates more Facebook data to its search engine result pages (SERPs). Greg Sterling reports on the specifics:

  • Trusted Friends incorporates Likes from your Facebook friends into its search results, and may prioritize results based on this information. For example, a page may jump up from SERP two to one if someone (or multiple people) in your network Liked it.
  • Collective IQ uses aggregated Facebook data — from those in and outside your network — to provide additional context around popular web pages. For example, you may see the number of people who Liked different articles all across Facebook when searching for a news story on a particular topic.
  • Enabling Conversation incorporates social features into specific areas of Bing, allowing you to discuss topics with the most relevant friends. For example, if you’re searching for travel information, Bing may tell you which of your Facebook friends live or lived in the area you want to visit.

Key takeaways:

  • We’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: social media must be a part of your search marketing strategy.
  • Consider paring down your Facebook friends to ensure that personalized search results are as relevant as possible. (No more pity friend accepts!)

Social Media 

Not Getting What You Want from Social Media? Give More!

In this thoughtful article, Augie Ray identifies a strong disconnect in brand and consumer needs — business is a world of numbers, while people live in the world of emotion. Sound obvious? A lack of understanding this simple concept may be the downfall to many corporate social media efforts, because:

Social media is a place where the rules of reciprocity in the business and human worlds collide, and the brands that do not understand this will fail to provide the necessary emotional reasons for consumers to reciprocate in valuable ways.”

Ray drives the point home by comparing two social media strategies:

  • Einstein Brothers offered a free bagel coupon for new Facebook fans. While this resulted in a 7,000% fan increase, sales decreased across the board.
  • P&G produced a video that advocated for women’s ski jumping as an Olympic sport. Women who viewed it reported more favorable brand awareness and an increase in purchase intent.

Key takeaway: You must understand the needs and desires of your audiences to make meaningful connections with them. Reaching people on an emotional level is the key to gaining passionate brand advocates.

Or, in Ray’s words: “Any brand can launch a Facebook page, upload a video to YouTube or create a Twitter sweepstakes, but how many brands can dig deep and create an emotional connection that sparks the desire in consumers to reciprocate in big, visible and unequal ways?”

In the News…

In the first IPO for a U.S. social network, and the biggest Internet IPO since Google, LinkedIn went public. Though some deemed the valuation too high, it turned out the stock was priced too low, with insiders gaining a nearly 100% ROI in a single business day, and LinkedIn shareholders losing out.

The AP Stylebook added 21 new words in its social media guidelines section. Updates include: helpful rules for tricky words such as “check in” v. “check-in,” a few surprised-it-wasn’t-there-before terms like “download,” social media verbs such as “tag” and “unfollow,” proper names of newer sites and more.

Bookmark of the Week:

100 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts & Graphs

From HubSpot, this is a mammoth compilation of recent marketing data on:

  • Inbound v. outbound marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social media
  • Blogging
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

What were your top stories of the week? Comments are open for your opinions.

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