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SAP Ecosytem - 31 Keys to Success: Keys 13-21 - Don't Get Fooled by SEO and Social "Gurus" Print E-mail

13. Do you insist that folks visit your hub to get your content, or do you go where the conversations are?

You want to strike a balance between building up your hub and recognizing that people want to access content in the form they want it, on the web site or application they want to consume it on. Note: This does NOT mean cross-posting the same blog content all over the place. Cross-posting is a no-no for a couple very good reasons: the community finds it irritating, and it can seriously hurt you with organic search. (Google is aggressive about penalizing duplicate content and is not very good at determining the site of origin for such content. This means, unfortunately, truncating your RSS feeds rather than syndicating full posts. And yes, make all your content RSS subscribable - it's not as popular as "like" buttons but a minority of super users and decision makers use this format.)

14. Have you identified a need in the community or a cause that people care about you can offer your resources towards?

Have you considered building an app (example: iPhone app) that will help others in the community? Past examples: some enterprise SAP Mentors have built "SAP Mentor Expertise" apps to allow the community to easily locate these community leaders based on location and/or expertise. Another community member put out a mobile-friendly way to access the SAP Community Network. There is always another community need that can be turned into a user-friendly app.

15. Assess the "hierarchy of content" and determine where you will invest your time and resources.

Here's a content hierarchy flow from least powerful to most powerful:

  • Tweets
  • Blog posts
  • Deeper articles and white papers
  • Podcasts (with iTunes feed)
  • Regular newsletters (that people want to read, doesn't count!)
  • Videos (with YouTube channel)
  • Webinars
  • User group presentations
  • Keynote speeches
  • Unique data gathering and sharing (surveys, etc.)
  • Virtual trade shows and events
  • Creating a free mobile app that adds value to the community
  • Hosting an in-person trade show or event

16. Do you have a plan to multi-purpose the quality content you create? Examples include:

  • Embedding a video in a blog post
  • Transcribing a presentation and posting it
  • Posting a presentation on slide share, including audio commentary
  • Transcribing a podcast or video and posting that on your site for search.

Search still struggles with multi-media content, so you'll want to look to text-based repurposing whenever possible for search. And if you post multi-media on other sites, do your best to keep a good amount of the transcribed text on your own site for better search impact.

17. The highest level of content is community-generated content by passionate users of your product (Think Apple).

It's not easy to generate true passion around your product, and it can never be forced - that's the phoniest content out there and it's always rejected. But a truly passionate community built around your product means user-generated content, and that's a great multi-year vision to have. You can start by cultivating that kind of passion around your internal team. If they don't have it, no one else will.

18. Have you developed a brand advocate strategy?

Have you thought about how you would engage and recognize those leaders who are truly passionate about the topics that are relevant to your product? Note: SAP has done this via the creation of the SAP Mentor Initiative. See the JonERP article on Mentors and leadership for more on this. This is likely a longer-stage goal for your company, but it's never too early to think about where passionate community involvement could ultimately lead, and what it would take for folks to become passionate about your company and your products. Just remember that advocates have their own agenda and don't care about broadcasting your message (they might criticize you often as not). They care about community and long term excellence rather than the success of your latest discount or email campaign. The more you are willing to make course corrections - even painful ones - based on advocate input, the more powerful such a program will be.

19. Are you engaging with user groups in your regional markets? Are you doing so by providing speakers on topics users care about, helping to plan events, and doing the hard work that goes into creating a viable community?

This item isn't in the top ten because you shouldn't approach user groups until you have a clear identity around industry expertise, community involvement, and have some practice weathering the new rules of marketing (though you can certainly join user groups early on if they will sign you as an affiliate member, and start listening).

20. Reject the quest for "viral" content in favor of sustained community involvement.

Viral is hit and miss, and even when it hits, the hit is temporary and sometimes comes at the expense of credibility. Too often, attempts to go viral are wedded to sensationalism, such as hyperbolic ("such and such product is dead") blog titles. That doesn't pay off in the long run - not in a community like SAP where the key players know each other, and everyone has their BS detectors on.

21. Most bloggers and analysts don't want "free" briefings on your product.

You want to engage them as experts with their own business models if you want to build effective relationships. Some analysts WILL do paid vendor engagements - in that case, don't try to get something for nothing. Pay for the advice you contract them on, but without any obligations on their part to blog or promote. Just pay them to listen, absorb, and give valuable feedback. It's a big mistake to oversell free briefings that don't provide a clear value to the analyst, or to pay a PR firm that doesn't know SAP to pursue those analysts all over the Internet.

Do amazing things and create amazing content and the analysts will come to you. And when you do develop an influencer program, design it to suit the interests and agendas of each key influencer in your product area. Ignore Klout scores at all costs. Study up on your influencers and how they are perceived by others you know and respect. Create an individualized plan for engaging with each of them. Depending on whether they work for a larger analyst firm or are independent, they may have very different agendas in terms of how they do business, the firms they cover, and the compensation they expect.

Here's the clickable Table of Contents for the four part web version: 

Keys 1-4 - Avoiding SAP Marketing #Fails (and Report Introduction)

Keys 5-12 - The Challenges of Transparency

Keys 13-21 -  Don't Get Fooled by SEO and Social "Gurus"

Keys 22-31 - Why Buying Influence Doesn't Work

Download this entire "31 Keys" feature as a PDF (128KB)


Links to additional articles cited in this document:

SAP, social media and decision makers

Power of pull and ERP content curation

How to avoid getting ripped off by SEO "gurus."

On SAP Mentors and leadership

Have follow up questions?

Contact me on LinkedIn, Facebook. Twitter, or Google Plus.

About Jon Reed

jon-headshot-150x150.jpgJon Reed is an SAP Mentor and independent analyst who blogs, Tweets, and videocasts on SAP market trends. Jon is the driving force behind, an interactive web site that features Jon's long-running SAP podcast series - unscripted conversations about SAP trends. Jon's client services are focused on the creative integration of media into a mold-breaking business strategy. Jon is also an Enterprise Irregular, an influential consortium of enterprise bloggers and practitioners.

Jon has been publishing SAP market analysis for more than fifteen years, and he is the author of the SAP Consultant Handbook. Recently, Jon and partner-in-video-crime Dennis Howlett launched - a video commentary web site for the on-demand enterprise. 







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