Since this is a “social” guide that seeks to extend the discussion on the topics covered on this blog to social media platforms I utilize, I have decided to do more posts containing excerpts from my business to business social networking efforts. This to highlight its importance in the Social Media Age. Below is relevant excerpts from one of the better discussions that relates generally to business, but more specifically, to property management. It was with group manager of a Real Estate Linkedin group.
But first let me give you a little context. I shared a link in the Linkedin group and he sent me a kind and well deserved message about not just sending links to the group and stated his preference that I start or join discussions instead. In short, because of a lack of time I was doing what I would tell others not to do that goes against the grain of the whole idea of having a social guide. I was talking to his group by megaphone not telephone. Anyway, we sent a few messages back and forth about my lack of time and Group Manager’s insistence that the group discussions would benefit me.
To test the waters, I asked him to look over my two websites and give some feedback and in return I would invest some time in the group. It goes without saying since I mentioned him in the beginning that he actually did what one in a million do: He visited both my sites, read enough that I know he spent some quality time there, got back to me in a timely manner, and asked me a few questions that blew through a gap in our message that we thought we had closed on our 3rdWAVElands Property Services site.
After some back and forth on a few messages it finally clicked how to close the gap. Here is the last question he asked me after I visited his site and gave him a few observations to return the favor. He got back to me with another question quoted below with my response(edited for spelling, style, grammar, and clarity from the original):
“Thanks Joe for below… Do you provide SEO services?
“As I stated last night, our discussion has given me some ideas as to how to crystalize our message and zero in on the right target audience. Your two questions about what we actually do were instrumental in that. You saw a gap we thought we had closed was still open. Thus, making our message unclear.
With that said, I am processing this as we speak and am going to make some changes to the Property Services site that I believe will hit the target. It is our first attempt to monetize from the overall vision and is very much still in the trial and error phase. We were going to use the Social Guide site and just list services we can provide on an options page. I changed my mind after watching the Facebook movie again a month or so back and have decided to keep it “cool”.
All topics covered on this site are tied 20 questions it seeks to discuss
This is referring to something said by Napster creator Sean Parker in regards to Facebook. I believe he made Facebook what it is today not Mark Zuckerberg in that when Zuck’s partner wanted to monetize with a bunch of ads like traditional internet companies he talked them out of it. The movie had him saying, “A million dollars is cool but a billion is really cool.” Meaning that if they held out and kept the site “cool” for as long as possible the amount of users would sky rocket. If the movie is true he saw the site for a few seconds, booked a flight, and added his input knowing if they listened to him the billions would come. ZUCK, to his credit, listened and cashed out the other day for 16 Billion, I think.
Point being it is very hard to keep the vision pure and find creative ways to monetize. We are trying to do that by separating the sites. Now, I think I know how to go about that in a better way.
All that to say, depending on what you mean by “Providing SEO Services” the answer is yes we do. If you are talking about traditional help with keywords, though, I have never thought it that important since I started.
Let me digress, I went into Real Estate with no money at all but a willingness to cold call anyone by phone. Something that used to work. Well it did not. So I took a class on how to use Facebook for business and then gradually started a blog/website. I had no money to pay an Search Engine Optimization specialist so I used social media to get the word out. In doing so, I chose to learn about social media rather than SEO.
Shortly into it, I saw a video by Chris Smith from Tech Savvy agent(now with Inman next) that showed he was getting a higher percentage of referral traffic from social media than Google search. This gave me hope and confirmed my decision to invest my time in learning how to utilize social media rather than learn Search Engine Optimization.
I did a post on Chris’s video, sent it to him, and he retweeted it. I got more page views in 3 hours than I had 3 months before it. I was convinced. Later down the road I noticed Klout, a site on the geeky backside of Twitter conversations, had actually made it into the New York Times. I posted about it and shared it all across social media. The next day when I searched for the original article again I saw I had actually made my way high up on Google Page One and was even above Klout for the search, “New York Times Klout”, I think.
Long story short, Klout had made the big time and I beat them on their big day. This as my Klout score was dramatically increasing. At the time I did not know why but I knew Klout was onto something and that I needed to invest sufficient time into learning about social media influence. This, before I moved forward with any business plans. This was after the foreclosures dried up and I had to come up with a new plan in Real Estate or marketing in general.
I decided to go back into teaching to give myself some time to think things through. Then we decided to move to Arizona for a fresh start after several attempts to do something practical with 3rdWAVElands resulted in nothing that made sense. I could regularly hit Page One on numerous important topics but could not think of anyway to capitalize on it. Finally, I actually gave up and decided to come back to Florida to get back into coaching and teaching again.
After a few weeks of looking for jobs we found something in Marco Island that we both knew we needed to pursue. My girlfriend, and owner of the property services business, even turned down a management position with a good company to do to so. After a few weeks we decided to move to Marco. The second we landed here all of a sudden things just clicked. The two sites were created, up, and running within a few weeks.
All that to give you some insight into me and the process I went through to have a web presence without spending one dime on traditional SEO services. What has allowed me to grade high on Marketing Grader, Klout, Twitter Grader, and other forward thinking metrics? It is the things I learned from discussions like these and links people posted in the social media stream, not by searching Google.
I believe that this signals that the conversation is shifting, as one recent post put it, from “the document” to “the stream.” The webpage being the document and the stream being social media news feeds. Simply put, the former relies on key words that find a document and the latter relies on great content that either starts or is part of the right conversations.
Cutting to the chase, after that long preface, I believe that my experiences described above have shown me that if someone is looking for Google juice based on traditional document based search they should be transitioning. Meaning that they should be moving away from traditional SEO based on key words and towards a comprehensive SEO strategy that relies heavily on SMO.(Social Media Optimization)
Why? Because someone like me can come along with no money and out rank a lot of people who do because Google got smart and starting weighing social media influence heavily in their rankings. They warned all the key word stuffers recently to stop and many got hit hard who missed the boat with social media. More light was shone on this recently when they released some insight into their new algorithm.
Nonetheless, the ambition of this this site is not so much to stay current as it is to follow the lead of Columbus and gaze out “Beyond The Horizon.” Thus, not becoming the Portuguese who despite every advantage of their day missed the boat that helped launch the modern world. Accordingly, I feel that the truly wise will abandon, or at very least dramatically shift their attention away from, traditional Google search based on key words and documents(web pages) and focus their efforts on finding ways to create content that is relevant in “the stream.”
Bottom line is that I can send anyone a Hubspot Marketing report and they could fire back, and rightly so for now, that is all and great but I have more unique visitors per month than you. Since my whole vision is based on what I stated above this means little to me knowing that Klout and Hubspot metrics determine who will be getting the website visits moving forward. This as social connectedness and business to business networking completely change the face of business. I feel that traditional SEO is one of many things that is part of the caterpillar that has to die in order to be transformed into the butterfly that lives on.
I hope you find something of value in the information from Hubspot I sent you and that I took the time to give a well thought out answer to your question about SEO. Thanks for our discussions and starting your group. This is how I learn. You have sold me on investing some time with you guys for sure.”
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