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The SEJ x SMX West Speaker Interview Series: Lisa Buyer Explains How Women Can Rock in Tech

Women in Tech

I had the opportunity to interview marketing experts who are speaking at SMX West as part of SEJ’s partnership with Third Door Media. Be sure to attend Lisa’s sessions on Tuesday, March 11 and Wednesday, March 12 (and visit SEJ’s booth in the exhibit hall!)

Bio: Lisa Buyer balances the perfect blend of search engine friendly public relations, branding, and business consulting for each client. In 2006, Lisa launched The Buyer Group, where she works closely consulting with senior management teams to oversee the successful development and implementation of interactive public relations and branding plans for her client companies.

Author of “Social PR Secrets” and named one of the top 40 Digital Strategists for 2013, Lisa Buyer is passionate and ambitious about how public relations, social media, and SEO influence each other. Lisa brings more than 20 years of business management and communications expertise to The Buyer Group. Her creative energy and tireless drive have helped launch businesses, from small boutiques to Fortune 500 companies, to the next level.

What are 3 key points or takeaways your SMX West session will be focusing on?

  1. Paid social does not necessarily live in an advertising world, when done right it can be an effective way to amplify editorial content and a brand’s news – ultimately taking content to a deeper reach and distribution level using custom targeting. PR and advertising have traditionally been separated like church and state, that was then and this is now. I’m a Social PR pro advocating the integration of paid advertising to amplify social media, public relations news and brand content.

  2. Collaborate! Community managers and marketers who understand how to use social advertising will have a competitive advantage.

  3. Know your KPIs – Throwing a bunch of money at social advertising might buy fans and followers for short-term gain, but for 2014 it is about building a quality community that will give back, a return on relationship, as Ted  Rubin would say. I will focus on how brands can use social advertising to amplify, expand, and gain more visibility in the newsfeeds of Facebook and other channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn.

  1. Paid and social public relations can share the same house.

Lisa Buyer Social PR SecretsWhat role has social advertising had in overall paid search strategy?

Keeping in mind I’m an organic PR girl hanging out in a paid world when it makes sense; I‘m looking at things through a slightly different lens than a search pro who specializes in just paid.  In my experience and observations, I see the social and search paid working very well together, resulting overall in better conversions when a brand blends touch points via social advertising and paid search.

Other influential roles include branding, testing-out campaigns, landing pages, and social retargeting, which can really power up certain aspects of paid search.

How can we take what we learn from social media (both paid campaigns and organic engagement) and translate it into paid search or SEO?

With social it is really the people’s vote, where in search it can be Google’s vote. I like using social media to interact and engage in real-time with your audience. If something works well in social – for example a blog post picks up  some good traction in social shares, interactions, engagement – and if it is optimized for both search and social, chances are this will play out well on the SEO side. Grabbing the attention of the media (editorial journalists and bloggers)  in social can translate in nice online search exposure, resulting in natural link love that Google will bless. Today’s journalists are using social media to get story ideas and find expert sources, so using social channels first to report company news (optimized) and comment on trending news can result in coverage in the New York Times or by an influential blogger. Make your brand’s content the expert source, the authority, the go-to place for answers, the thought leader.

In an industry where multiple channels and attribution are still a little muddy, studies provide great confidence to marketers in the ability of two channels – namely paid search and social – to work together to create a cohesive, consistent and cost-effective marketing strategy.

How can marketers and businesses use growing social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine in their marketing efforts, in a unique way that may not be available in other platforms?

We are living in a visual and mobile world. Visual and video platforms should be part of business’ social public relations strategy – giving a sneak peek behind the scenes of a new product launch or a traditional media interview – think of a Vine video as an interview before the interview. A Pinterest board can be used to house photos from a conference or trade show and be used as a collaboration effort by inviting a group of pinners to help report their take on the show via Pinterest. Optimized news reported via Instagram can tap into a whole new audience and build a micro-community from an existing community. The Today Show and the Boston Celtics do a nice job on taking brand journalism to new levels on these platforms.

What was the last great book you read?

Something old, something new and over the moon!

Gone Girl: Part of my 2014 resolution was to spend less time on social media and read one non-business book a month. January’s book was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (sitting on my nightstand exactly one year before I opened it). This novel was an escape from my social media reality world.  Gone Girl  is a twisted story told with brilliant writing, a suspense thriller that I would wake up early and stay up late reading because I could not put it down.The movie starring Ben Affleck comes out in October. Read it before you see it!

Marketing the Moon: My last great business book I literally just finished today is Marketing the Moon by David Meerman Scott (one of my favorite Social PR authors known for his news jacking and real-time marketing best-selling books). Marketing the Moon takes Scott off his usual flight path and gives the inside story of how NASA used brand journalism, visual storytelling, and public relations to influence the support and public perception of the space programs. One small step for man, one giant step for a public relations case study. I heard a movie is coming soon for this book too, Mad Men watch out.

I’m a huge proponent of organizations like Girls Who Code, who foster preteen girls’ interest in programming and tech. That being said, women are still in the minority in the search industry. What should we as a community be doing differently to promote more women in search?

There is a huge opportunity for both men and women in search, it is a growing industry with plenty of opportunities. But it’s true that men dominate the industry (for no apparent reason) and in general across all industries “women get paid 81-91 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.”

Here are my top 8 ways the search community can do differently or more to promote more women in search:

  1. Get smart and stay smart. Build a stable foundation for your future by putting continuing education in digital marketing search and social. If you look at doctors for example, they are required to do a certain amount of continued education.  This industry is in a sea of change and it is not stopping any time soon. Continue with quarterly education whether it is webinars, books, blogs, etc. Did you know: Women with only a high school diploma are three to four times more likely to live on the financial brink than those with a college degree.

  2. Invest in yourself and other women in search. Today’s women and girls need to think of themselves as providers in their families, not provided for. Increase your own earning power, learn about savings plans, and be financially savvy.

  3. Engage the men in the search industry as friends and allies. These issues are everyone’s issues. Marty Weintraub and aimClear did a great job at shedding light on some of the data about women in search. Male friends and counterparts, fathers, sons, and brothers are part of the solution and many are poised to partner.

  4. Submit to speak more and support other women speakers! Vote. But don’t give your vote away. Make candidates earn it. Vote for women and men who want to modernize the search industry’s relationship to women.  Support policies and laws that can add half-a-trillion dollars to the national economy by closing the wage gap.

  5. Be a 21st-century “search industry boss,” even at home. Recognize the power you have to impact women. Provide mentoring to other women in search. Offer benefits and workplace supports for your child care providers. Offer sick days, be flexible with schedules, leave good tips for waitresses and room attendants when you travel to conferences.

  6. Finance women’s work. Invest in women entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations that support, promote, and respect modern today’s modern women. See a list of organizations and resources at

  7. Mentor and motivate girls in search and social. Be a search marketing teacher to the girls in your life. Teach them about the importance of making smart decisions – social media, online safety, cyberbullying and support groups – that enhance their self-esteem and their career prospects. Foster the mindset that girls must invest and PROTECT themselves and that they have the power to succeed.

  8. Be an architect of change. We can push back from the brink and get back to balance in the search industry.

The above was inspired by a list originally published by The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink. I recommend you read it, discuss it, implement it, and pass it on.


Lisa’s SMX West Sessions:
Facebook for Business & Other Paid Social Media Opportunities
 (#smx #13C)
Facebook is the largest social sharing site on the internet, and your customers expect to find you there. What will you offer them? How will you get them to like your business? What will you do in exchange for their loyalty? And how can you use Facebook to promote your business and find more customers? Other social media platforms also offer advertising options, enabling you to broaden your reach and find new customers. This session explores the strategies and tactics needed for your business to get the maximum return on your investment in Facebook as well as other paid social media opportunities, and how to best take advantage of what each has to offer.

Moderator: Greg Finn, Chief Marketing Officer, Cypress North (@gregfinn)
Speaker: Lisa Buyer, CEO, The Buyer Group (@lisabuyer)
Time: Tuesday, March 11, 1:30-3:00pm

Top Social Tactics For The Search Marketer (#smx #23D)
Integrating your search and social media efforts can dramatically improve your marketing results, but where do you start? Speakers in this “speed-round” session will share their favorite authority-building social tips for search, including using Facebook, Open Graph technology, Google+, Twitter and more.

Moderator: Monica Wright, Director of Audience Engagement, Search Engine Land and Marketing Land (@monicawright)
Q&A Coordinator: Anthony Verre, Associate Director of Search, Rockfish Interactive (@tonyverre)
Speakers: Lisa Buyer, CEO, The Buyer Group (@lisabuyer)
Ric Dragon, CEO, Dragon Search (@ricdragon)
Jennifer Lopez, Director of Community, Moz (@jennita)
Lisa Williams, Director, Digital Marketing Strategy, Search Discovery (@seopollyanna)
Time: Wednesday, March 12, 1:30-2:45pm

Register for SMX West here.

Category Social Media
Kelsey Jones Marketing Consultant, Owner at Six Stories & StoryShout

Kelsey Jones is a marketing consultant, writer, and owner of and Kelsey has been in digital marketing since ...

The SEJ x SMX West Speaker Interview Series: Lisa Buyer Explains How Women Can Rock in Tech

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