Webconsuls Blog

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

For Halloween I am Going to be Seth Godin: A Story of Social Media and the Long Tail


It's an unlikely tale but I assure you it is all true. It all started when Darin went out and bought this odd contraption to cut his hair. Sunday morning he announced he was going to give it a go out on the patio and cut his hair all on his own. "What do you think?", he asked. "Sure", I grabbed my coffee, shielding it from potential flying hairs and sat up wind to watch the show.

It was actually going quite well. All the tension had left my body and I was resigned to see a normal looking hair cut at the end of this process. Then I heard a click and saw the huge chunk of hair sliced right out of the middle of Darin's head.

It was the point of no return. He had to shave the remaining hair.

We laughed. I said, "You look like Seth Godin." We took his picture. We laughed again. He said, "I should be Seth Godin for Halloween."

Then Darin does what Darin does every time he gets a hold of a goofy picture of himself. He posted it on the internet. Actually, he posted it just once, to ping.fm, titling the post "For Halloween I am going to be Seth Godin". Ping.fm is a new service which will deliver posts to a long and growing list of blogs, microblogs and social sites.

The next day we googled "for Halloween I am going to be Seth Godin". The results are interesting.

"for Halloween I am going to be Seth Godin" with quotations filled the first page with results from his social sites.

for Halloween I am going to be Seth Godin (with no quotations)
Out of 4,190 results 3 of the first page results point to to Darin's social sites.

Our intention was not to rank for these keywords, but what these results illustrate and remind us is that by using the "long tail", optimizing for keyword phrases we can build traffic sources with our blogs and social sites by titling our posts with keyword rich phrases.

For those who would like a little more information on the theory of the long tail and how it applies to SEO here is a video from one of my favorite experts in the field, Avinash Kaushik.


When you are posting to your social media sites and writing blog posts remember the long tail. Your blog titles are important and over time can develop into a key component of your online success.
  • What is the single question or problem your customer might be posing to Google?
  • Are you using the language of your customers?
  • Can you formulate an interesting story around it?
Your social media sites serve as another entry way to your website and by titling your posts with keyword rich phrases you can grow a nice long tail.

I will be waiting for Darin's hair to grow back. For more niche specific advice for how you can grow your long tail with social media contact us at Webconsuls.

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