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Gordon Young
Editor-in-chief at The Drum

Social Media Review: Linkbait by Lyndon Antcliff

This is the Carnyx Awards Blog for our awesome competitions The Chip Shop Awards, Online Media Awards, Social Buzz Awards and DADI Awards brought to you by social media chap Craig McGill.

Expect insight, interviews, reviews and snark. Especially snark.

We'd also encourage you to enter all the awards to make you feel better about yourself.

One of the great problems with social media - and in training social media to people - is that a printed book can be too slow to be the best way to train people. There's probably no area of digital engagement where this is more true than linkbait.

Linkbait - for the uniniated - is the art of creating copy that people not only want to read, but share and share widely because it touches them in an emotional way. It's the digital equivalent of the old "hey, did you see that story in the paper today" that you used to talk about down the pub.

Done well it can drive traffic to your site (which may convert to sales) and there's also SEO benefits if people are linking and the story has been well constructed. And it's important as the likes of UK PR supremos Paul Stallard and Stuart Bruce have stated

But there's a lot to it. From writing the story in a web-friendly way, finding the right things to put in the story, a decent headline, where to seed the story and at what times.

A lot of it journalists and PRs know about from years of writing for the daily markets but the technical side can escape them while technical types may know how to game Digg but don't know what makes a good tale. On top of that you have the fact that online content is moving away from just Samantha Brick-like articles that inflame and is now about lists with 10 tips or 24 stories you may like as well as infographics.

It also has to be topical, which is the biggest problem with trying to do it in a book format. It's a bit hard to write nine months in advance and talk about the cutting edge with examples if your book won't be out for a year or so. And if you don't know how to do it, how can you expect to win something like a Social Buzz Award (£45 entries still open: email Katy for the deadline date)?

Content marketeer Lyndon Antcliff found a way around that with Linkbait Coaching. Instead of writing everything he knew as a book, he turned it into an online forum that he maintains and updates with current examples. He also has the likes of Andrew Burnett in there, meaning you're getting advice from experts who have engaged more people than DeBeers.

Covering the obvious classics like Digg, Reddit and all the way through to current social media tools and platforms like Pinterest and infographics, the site is loaded with information and real-world examples showing how to make good, engaging, sharing content that works for brands and individuals.

It's packed with information and if there's one criticism it's that it may make some people feel that in the race for eyeballs online, we're in a race to the bottom, but to think that would be to miss the paradoxical point of the site - good linkbait gets your content out there to as many eyeballs as possible, but it's getting it to the right sets of eyeballs.

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