Barack Obama started using social media and the marketing gurus went “Oh my God, he’s a genius, now all we have to do is use his name to promote this and voila, clients will be lining up to buy social media marketing services”. Well, it didn’t quite happen that way, well not for everyone.
First you need to determine if social marketing is needed for your specific business. Social marketing makes you popular, it’s doesn’t bring you BUYERS!
I REPEAT! SOCIAL MARKETING MAKES YOU POPULAR, IT DOESN’T MAKE YOU RICH!
So if you want to spend hours twittering about your latest product, fine, be my guest, but that traffic won’t convert into making sales. Yes, it will bring you visitors, social marketing certainly drives traffic to your site. But, it drives BROWSERS. People who are just looking around because they saw a link on your profile. To reach buyers you need to concentrate on SEARCH ENGINE TRAFFIC!
But if you insist on knowing the in’s and outs of social media marketing, feel free to read on.
So What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing means promoting your website, business through popular social media channels. Social media marketing is a very powerful marketing strategy and it not only brings quality links but also helpful in brand marketing and getting massive traffic to a website.
Importance of Social Media Marketing In SEO
Social media marketing is important for every type of business. If your website is selling products, services or even if it’s targeting adsense/ad publishing revenue social media marketing is an effective way for making you website profitable with time. Below are some benefits of social media marketing for your website:
One way links: All of us know links are the key for getting top search rankings. It’s difficult fro a new website to gain links through traditional link exchange methods. Quality links from authority websites can be achieved though social bookmarking. If your article is posted at home page of Digg or delicious, then you can get hundreds of one way links within no time.
Targeted traffic: Social media website get millions of visitors daily, who browse through there favorite categories to read articles on them. If your articles/bookmarks sound interesting then user starts following your bookmarks/website for more interesting information.
List of Social Media Marketing Sites
“Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”
Twitter allows you reach a wide audience of people who “follow” your mini blog. This has quickly become a very popular social network site, especially since Oprah has talked about Twitter on her show.
As long as you can create interesting short messages known as Tweets you will be able to engage the people who are following you on Twitter.
“Digg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. From the biggest online destinations to the most obscure blog, Digg surfaces the best stuff as voted on by our users.”
Creating a Digg account and submitting your own interesting content to Digg is a good start to attract visitors, but you will probably find that you won’t really get a lot of visitors until you get other Digg users to submit your websites content as well. Basically keep submitting your excellent content and hope other people “Digg” your content too.
“Delicious is a social bookmarking service that allows users to tag, save, manage and share web pages from a centralized source. With emphasis on the power of the community, Delicious greatly improves how people discover, remember and share on the Internet.”
Delicious allows you to save and organize your bookmarks and share them with other Delicious users. Much like Digg adding your own content to Delicious is the best way to start spreading the word about your sites content and hope other people pick up on it as well.
“Reddit is a social news website on which users can post links to content on the Internet. Other users may then vote the posted links down or up, causing them to appear more or less prominently on the Reddit home page.”
Reddit is a much like Digg but Reddits stories tend to be more news oriented.
“Technorati was founded to help bloggers to succeed by collecting, highlighting, and distributing the online global conversation. As the leading blog search engine and most comprehensive source of information on the blogosphere, we index more than 1.5 million new blog posts in real time and introduce millions of readers to blog and social media content.”
This is a popular search engine for blogs and will crawl your blog once you have setup an account with them. For set-up instructions to have your blog crawled you can check out their faq page for setup instructions.
“Squidoo is the popular publishing platform and community that makes it easy for you to create “lenses” online. Lenses are pages, kind of like flyers or signposts or overview articles, that gather everything you know about your topic of interest–and snap it all into focus.”
Squidoo is a popular site and is in the top 200 most visited sites in the world, and in the top 50 most viewed in the United States.
Squidoo lets you create a one page blog type entry on any subject. In this case its a good idea to try to create an attractive one page flyer about your website and tag it appropriately. When Squidoo users search for information based on your “lenses” topic, Squidoo will recommend your “lens” to their users.
“LinkedIn is an interconnected network of experienced professionals from around the world, representing 170 industries and 200 countries. You can find, be introduced to, and collaborate with qualified professionals that you need to work with to accomplish your goals.”
This site tends to be more for professional individuals that want to network and might not fit in with your websites marketing goals, but if you are a professional looking to network with others than this is an excellent resource for you.
“Updated continuously by citizens like you, Newsvine is an instant reflection of what the world is talking about at any given moment.”
Newsvine allows users to write and submit their own news stories to be voted on by users of the site. Once you create an account you are given your own column to write and promote your stories to the rest of the Newsvine users.
“Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers from all around the world; anyone can edit it. Since its creation in 2001, Wikipedia has grown rapidly into one of the largest reference web sites, attracting at least 684 million visitors yearly by 2008. ”
If you’re unfamiliar with Wikipedia than you’re probably pretty new to the Internet. Just about any keyword typed into Google these days will have a link to a Wikipedia entry. This shows how powerful having an article about your business in Wikipedia can be. Just be aware that any entry will be quickly deleted if it doesn’t actually contain any useful information.
When submitting an entry about your own business or website try to write it as if you’re an outsider that has nothing to gain by writing the entry. You will have a better chance of not having your entry deleted right away.
” StumbleUpon helps you discover and share great websites. As you click Stumble!, we deliver high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences. These pages have been explicitly recommended by your friends or one of 6 million+ other websurfers with interests similar to you. Rating these sites you like automatically shares them with like-minded people – and helps you discover great sites your friends recommend.”
As StumbleUpon users surf the Internet they can click on website pages they like and submit the page to the StumbleUpon database. The page is then voted on and recommended to other StumbleUpon users. The more “thumbs up” votes a page receives determines how often a page is recommended to other StumbleUpon users.
Creating an account and recommending your own content is a good way to start attracting visitors to your site from StumbleUpon.
“Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.
Great for keeping in touch with friends and family, and by creating groups that other users of Facebook can join, you can promote your business and any up coming events as well.
“Flickr – almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world.”
Excellent photo sharing site that allows other users to search through uploaded photo’s and comment on them. Great way to promote your business if you have related photo’s to share.
“WikiHow is a collaborative writing project to build the world’s largest how-to manual.”
If you can write a how-to guide about something that relates to your business then WikiHow can be a great resource to expose your brand to people looking how-to do what it is your entry is about.
“A place that’s all about you to share with friends and family.”
Yahoo 360 is an additional spot to create a page about yourself or your business much like Myspace or Facebook.
“Create a community on MySpace and you can share photos, journals and interests with your growing network of mutual friends!.”
The original social media site but unless you’re a musician, filmmaker or comedian, you may have a hard time reaching your target audience with MySpace.
“AddThis is the #1 bookmarking and sharing button on the Internet. We help website publishers and bloggers spread their content across the web by making it easy for visitors to bookmark and share content to their favorite social destinations.”
Add This is technically not a social media site itself but lets call it an enabler. If you are going to venture into the world of social media marketing then signing up and using the Add This “Share” button is a great place to start.
By creating an account with Add This you will be able to download your own “Share” button (like the one at the bottom of this page) and by adding this button to the bottom of every page of your website you will enable your visitors to easily share your websites content with their favourite bookmarking service or social media site.
What Not To Do on Social Media Websites
Spend some time browsing on Twitter or Facebook and you’ll quickly come across all types of people hawking products or reconnecting with friends.
You’ll see the share freak, sending off links to tech related news stories every other minute as if her life depended on it. Then there is the braggart, showing off freshly shot pictures of their gaudy new yellow Corvette still half wet from a recent bath. You might also encounter the prankster, perpetuating celebrity gossip faster than it takes to say the words not true. All these people have one thing in common, bad social media etiquette. Fortunately for you there are a few tips listed below that will help you stay far away from being labeled, and eventually discarded on these networks like those all-to-true examples above have been by so many fellow social networkers.
Tip 1: Do not use profanity, link to unsavory content, or isolate peers through polarizing remarks. In other words, don’t put out things that appeal to your darker humor, nor should you share links to things that wouldn’t be alright for your five your old nephew Tommy to look at.
Tip 2: Do not keep the focus on you, and your brand and you’ll surely lose the interest of most people you’re connected with on these sites. You and your needs are second to those of the people on these networks that came for conversation, for someone to listen to them at least some of the time, not distribute brand messages in rapid fire flare as if they were to expire the next day if not send out. Listen first, then engage, try to listen second and it might be too late.
Tip 3: Do not login and update less than every week and you’ll eventually never login at all, making your social media marketing campaign a dud. Human productivity is all about momentum, keep the wind behind your sails by logging in everyday, and posting regularly.
Tip 4: Do not chum around with friends propagating inside jokes and experience near instant loss of credibility. People go to these networks to be included in the conversation, not to be made to feel like an outsider. While the vast majority of people will break this rule, since they mostly join to conversate with their friends on a deeper level, you as a marketer should not, you should rather make your messages inviting and clear. No inside jokes.