iTiaJones

The Basics of Getting Started with Social Media Marketing

Posted in Social Media by tiajones on June 12, 2008

Leveraging the Power of Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing capitalizes on the tremendous outgrowth of the world of social networking sites, which are based on user-generated content. These social networking sites basically encourage people to gather together and communicate with each other around topics that interest them. When you use social media marketing tactics you are joining and creating conversations online between you and your target audience with the goal of capturing mindshare and generating a buzz that will attract traffic to your site.

Social media marketing (SMM) can be used to increase web traffic, get you more exposure, build or deepen relationships with new or existing clients, and increase name recognition. You must have a plan of action before you proceed, or you could end up in frustration having wasted countless hours while reaping few recognizable benefits.

Social Media Marketing tactics are very easy to put into practice, and they require no special skills or software to implement. Bear in mind that Social Media Marketing tactics will take some time to bear fruit, so you will invest some time and energy upfront before you will begin to see the rewards.

Before you can even think about implementing a SMM strategy, you must first begin with a web site that has targeted, useful content that can be made viral and used for link bait. Your site must be optimized for the search engines and it must utilize the right keywords that real people are already using to search for your particular service or product. You will be creating compelling, useful content that contains links back to your site and posting it on the various Social Media sites.

Set Your Goals

What do you want to get out of your Social Media Marketing plan? The basic premise for any sort of marketing effort is to get you, your product or service in front of as many targeted eyeballs as possible in order to generate leads. Do you want to boost your own visibility, your site’s credibility, get lots of free back links that will increase your traffic and link popularity? Your Social Media Marketing efforts could yield many of these perks. So, decide where you want to focus your efforts and start building your profiles.

Build Your Profile: Establish Your Personal or Business Brand

You will choose a few social networking sites where you will build your profile that will contain useful content in an effort to attract attention, links and relationships with other site members. The various social networking web sites will have different themes and areas of focus. You’ll want to browse through the sites and get a feel for what is happening there before you start spamming your message out there. Bear in mind that the basic rules of social etiquette apply on the web just as they do in person. If you were attending a live networking event, you would not go around the room and shove your business card in the face of everyone present. In the same way, simply blasting your URL repeatedly won’t win you any close friends either. That tried and true expression, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” is true online as well as in the real world. If you contribute useful, relevant content, then you are not only helping yourself but you are also adding value to the social media site itself.

Here are a few social media web sites that you might find useful:

1. Digg

2. Del.icio.us

3. Wikipedia

4. Flickr

5. Reddit

6. Facebook

7. StumbleUpon

8. Technorati

9. MySpace

10. Yahoo! 360

11. LinkedIn

12. Squidoo

13. Wikihow

14. Ning

15. The Hustle

16. 43 Things

You’ll also want to make it easy for visitors to your site to tag the content that they find useful and share that content on the various social networking sites. You can easily add a button linking your content to your favorite social media sites to aid in the viral distribution of your content.

Social media marketing is an easy way to communicate your message to the world. If you invest a bit of time and establish a real rapport with your target audience, you will reap many benefits in the long run.

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