Moz’s Rand Fishkin Gives Lessons on SEO and Social

Published on SkilledUp

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Rand Fishkin prefers the title Wizard of Moz, although he is much more than simply the man (or co-founder) behind the curtain.

Fishkin co-authored the Art of SEO, co-founded Inbound.org — one of the coolest online hangouts for inbound marketers — and speaks at marketing conferences across the United States. In fact, Fishkin is more like the wizard of digital marketing.

He is best known for co-founding Moz though, an all-in-one search engine optimization (SEO) research and analytics web application that helps businesses increase their search engine visibility.

SkilledUp spoke with Fishkin recently.

“I dropped out of college, and began building websites until clients didn’t want me to build them anymore,” he said. “Instead, they wanted traffic to their websites. They didn’t have a budget, and I didn’t have a budget so I had to learn inbound marketing through forums, online bulletin boards, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and so on.” Before he was an expert, he was learning through trial and error.

The first step toward a career in social media marketing is to acquire a holistic and strategic approach to how social media influences people and business.

How does social media work as an acquisition platform, a retention platform, a customer service platform and a brand and PR platform? The best social media marketers know the answers.

Endeavoring social media gurus should also be ready to list examples of successful social media campaigns and accounts of different-sized entities, from small businesses to major brands and enterprises.

“What are brands doing on social media that is successful and resonates? You need that understanding to open the door,” Fishkin said. “Tell me what a certain company did on social media that is truly effective and why.”

A savvy social media presence is a must

One of the first things Moz looks at in a potential hire is their social media presence. The candidates who get hired have a savvy one.

More importantly, though, is empathy.

Fishkin says they want to know how empathetic someone will come across in short-form communication and how well a candidate understands the audience. They should know what marketers are seeking from Moz on its social channels.

“I like to find people who are creative communicators, meaning they find ways to be unique and uniquely valuable through social media,” he said.

“Voice is deeply rooted in our decision-making process also because Moz wants it to feel different, like the exception to the rule when someone reaches out on Twitter or Facebook.

“We hire people with who our voice resonates, and we can get a sense for that with what they broadcast on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Basically, we see if it is the same way that we act on social.”

Bonus: Rand Fishkin recommended Twitter accounts to follow

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