One of the best things about a blog is that you get to talk about and exchange ideas on what is working and not working in social media. That is good.
The downside is that by sharing you might wake up one morning and find out that the tactics(s) that you have been using successfully no longer work. Either because the search engines manually adjusted your site, or because a lot of people started to use that tactic thus devaluing it.
In Brent’s post he gave several examples of where people have shared their successes on a blog and then seen their competitive advantage disappear almost overnight. Bob Mass back in 2002 announced he was selling PageRank via his Ad Network. Google read this and manually penalized his site and it took him 4 years to get his PageRank back!
In the social media space Lyndon Antcliff who is one of my favorite social media bloggers wrote about a a piece of social media linkbait that went to the front page of Digg and was mentioned on a television news broadcast. The problem is that Lyndon gave the inside scoop on the piece and mentioned that the linkbait article was not true. He called it satire.
Overnight Lyndon got Matt Cutts attention at Google (never a good thing) and the client severed his relationship due to the negative media exposure. Lyndon later commented that the short lived fame from exposing the success of his campaign was not worth it. He even decided to remove the original post from his site saying, “At the end of the day it did more harm than good discussing publicly such effective tactics.”
Unfortunately that is a position that I find myself in. We run social media campaigns for our own properties as well as for client sites. All of our clients have seen substantial increases in traffic, leads and conversion since we added a social media component to their online marketing strategy. If I continue to disclose what tactics we are using and our client sites lose the competitive advantage they have, we are doing them and ourselves a disservice.
Starting today I will not be disclosing any techniques and tricks that we are currently using. Instead I will be focusing on more general social media topics and tactics.