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How to Use Social Media for Research

I recently tapped into my social network to research a topic for a blog post. Specifically, I asked marketers how their paid search agency could better serve their clients. I received some great feedback and wanted to share how you can use your network for research.

First, I posted a question on LinkedIn Answers. This is one of the most useful features of LinkedIn and if you are not familiar with it, start reading answers in your industry and try to answer a few. Also you can ask members in LinkedIn groups questions in the discussion boards if you are also a member. Two great starting points for your research.

I also found some industry-specific forums and posted questions there (see Google groups, Yahoo groups, search industry keyword + group or forum) and on There are many relevant sites for every industry and it is amazing how people are so open to giving advice and sharing knowledge. Once you find these forums, get involved and participate in helping others. It can be rewarding and helps build your network.

Then I went to my network on *Twitter and asked the question with the link to the LinkedIn questions. I also sent direct messages to some folks who were active in the industry to try and get their feedback. I also searched industry terms on Tweetgrid to see if anyone was having a discussion about the topic.

*I have been building a network on Twitter for personal and professional development. One group that I interact with is marketing professionals in the US. I started talking to people on Twitter when I was at my last job and was a one person marketing department. I discovered that Twitter was a great resource to share ideas and information. The feedback I received when I posed questions was valuable and in real time. I could have conversations with other professionals in my industry and I didn’t feel alone. Having built this network, I was able to ask questions and get some great answers. Building a network on Twitter (and on all social media sites) takes time. People should build their networks a little bit every week. Participate and share and be sure not to just sell – that is a huge turnoff. Twitter is a place where people can learn from one another.

Using social media, I was able to get great insights and feedback from a group of talented people in only a few days.

Our society is more plugged in than it has ever been and people are looking to make a connection online and offline. Social media can serve as an extension of your research efforts – it’s like an instant focus group.

My blog post  – How to Be a Better PPC Search Marketing Agency.

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Paid Search Partners Launches in Atlanta

PPC Experts Pair to Provide Result-Driven Search Marketing Consultancy

03.18.2010 – Atlanta, GA – Announcing Paid Search Partners, a boutique search marketing firm. Formed by search industry experts Todd Miechiels and Charles Lumpkin, Paid Search Partners offers online advertisers a personal approach with measurable pay per click results.

“Working with a lot of agencies and corporations that struggle to make paid search marketing work made me very aware how much opportunity there out there to be of service to the marketplace in an advisory capacity. Everyone is rushing to figure out how to shift dollars from offline to online and in that rush a lot of mistakes are being made that turn out to be very costly. Paid Search Partners will help executive teams and marketing stakeholders navigate the rough waters of paid search marketing.” states Todd Miechiels, Partner.

“By working on a pay-for-performance basis it forces us to truly ‘count the costs’ of entering into a relationship that won’t produce great results for our clients. We will not grow this business through volume of clients or dollars spent on media. We will only grow as our clients become more profitable, period.”

Paid Search Partners provides counsel and advisory services in the area of pay-per-click advertising and search engine marketing. PSP helps clients and agencies improve the ROI of their campaigns through campaign optimization, landing page testing, and by improving website conversion rates.

“Todd and his team offer a high level of specialized expertise and service in the paid search arena.” says Kenny Ferguson, one of the partners at Armchair Media in Atlanta. “They’ve helped one of our most important accounts make paid search work in very quantifiable ways. They are razor focused on helping continually bring down our cost per action which is refreshing among the many agencies that seem to be satisfied with driving traffic.”

Paid Search Partners, a Pay Per Click Consultancy, Seeks Search Marketing Questions for Radio Show

Paid Search Partners, a new search engine marketing consultancy, is collecting marketers’ PPC questions for their upcoming guest spot on Gravity Free Radio in Atlanta.

Looking for Google Adwords advice? Need strategic insight on your overall SEM program? Paid Search Partners will answer your questions and give expert counsel for businesses working on their own or with agencies to manage their paid search programs. Submit your paid search questions on the Paid Search Partners web site.

Paid Search Partners also offers a free ebook at their web site titled the “7 Sins of Paid Search Marketing”. Check it out!