iTiaJones

Social Media Marketing to Create a Buzz

Posted in Internet Marketing Strategy, Social Media, Social Network by tiajones on October 30, 2008

You have a business, a cause that you want to spread awareness about, or maybe you’re an author who has just written the next blockbuster novel and you need some publicity. What you are really looking for is to create a ‘buzz,’ which simply means spreading awareness of your book or product or idea to the point that people are talking about it amongst themselves. In this article we are going to discuss how to use social media to plant the seeds to create that buzz that you seek. Your product must actually be buzz-worthy in order for your campaign to gain the necessary momentum, reach the tipping point and begin to take on a life of its own.

For those who have heard of the term ‘social media’ being thrown around, but are a little fuzzy on what it means, social media is basically a dynamic, collaborative approach to communicating ideas using the Internet as a medium of communication. Social media web sites allow people to become far more involved with the messages that they send, and it allows them to interact with the messages that they receive.

With social networking sites like YouTube, MySpace and Facebook, people are no longer relegated to be mere consumers of news and information. Social media provides a platform for conversation between those who disseminate information and their audience. If you read a particularly compelling post on a blog, and you’d like to recommend it to your colleagues, you might Digg it using the popular social media site that allows visitors to tag stories that they think are worth sharing. YouTube has recently launched its citizen’s news vlog (video blog) which allows anyone with a video camera anywhere on earth to share the news as it is happening wherever they might be. As viewers around the world watch these videos, if they like them they will share them with their friends and eventually they spread like a virus, thereby creating a buzz.

Many people have begun to leverage the power of social media to create awareness by utilizing these interconnected networks to share ideas, market their business, educate people about important causes, raise money, and create mutually beneficial relationships among people. Individuals or business people can take advantage of the high page rank and traffic of the major social media sites by developing their profile and building a network of friends, and linking back to their site from their profile.

To make the most of your social media efforts, you will want to focus your efforts on your ideal clients rather than trying to be all things to all people. Spending time on the different social media sites and interacting with your prospects will give you a deeper insight into your audience and how they are using social media. Then you can use what you learn to more effectively communicate with your audience. In this way you will become a participant alongside your customers within the social media experience.

Twitter is a great example of a social media site that was designed simply as a way for friends and colleagues to keep in touch, but is also being used for marketing and raising awareness about issues and causes. It’s a micro-blogging platform that gives you 140 characters to answer the question: “what are you doing now?” In addition to sharing about what they are doing, users now employ twitter to share URLs of web sites that they find useful or compelling; they exchange technical assistance in real time, and generally give a glimpse into the lives of people online all over the planet in real time as life happens.

The @twisney site is a case study of social media in action. It is an effective amalgam of Twitter, email, Flickr, and virtual earth to bring you a real time glimpse of what people is doing and what is going on at Disney theme parks. Visitors to Disney parks can send updates about what they are doing using email, twitter or IM from their mobile phones. They can upload and share photos, and when they include the name or an abbreviation of the name of their location in the park, it updates the virtual earth photos of the park.

Once you have set up your profile on the various social media sites, start groups around your area of interest and create networks of friends that you can communicate with. You’ll then begin to develop relationships and engage with your target group. If you want to gauge how your ideas are spreading, you can take a look at a couple of sites that track several social media sites. Take a look at surchur.com, which returns results including photos, videos, products, blog posts, and news about what is happening right now online. The next site to check out is serph.com, which says that it will, “track buzz in real time.” Type in your keywords into either of these sites and find out who’s talking about your product or idea.

Whether for business, artistic, religious, political or any other purposes, gives people a platform through which they can to create, distribute, interact with and ultimately to evolve the information and messages that shape their daily lives.

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