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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Social Media: How to Get Your Boss or Colleagues on Board

Posted in Internet Marketing Strategy, Social Media, Social Network by tiajones on September 18, 2008

Getting Your Colleagues on Board

Social Media: Getting Your Colleagues on Board

Social Media, while it’s not really a new idea any more, will still represent a new mindset and a new way of approaching marketing and customer relationship management. You have been using social media tools and you can see the beneficial results firsthand, and now you can see how it has the potential to have a positive impact within your organization, but you need some ideas for getting your boss and colleagues to buy into it and get on board. This article contains a few ideas to help you sell your boss and team members on the rewarding benefits of social media.

Bear in mind that for others to embrace social media it will involve them changing some of the ways in which they currently operate. We all know how challenging it can be for some of us to change. If you look at one of the more basic motivators of human behavior and answer the question that is looming in their minds the moment you bring up the topic and that is, “What’s in it for my company?” Answer that question in a satisfying way and you will have them on board in no time.

You can explain that with a traditional web site, you rely on customers coming to your site. With social media, you bring your marketing message to where the customers already are. You are joining a vibrant, interactive conversation rather than interrupting what they were doing.

Here are some other ideas to share to help bolster your message:

• Your company’s probably already being discussed

• Social media is largely free and easy to get started

• Your competitors are probably using social media

• Having a blog and connecting with customers can:

-Provide useful product/service information

-Reduce customer service calls

-Expand your reach and mindshare in the marketplace

-Boost your company’s profile in the community

-Protect your brand

According to Sally Falkow of “The Proactive Report blog, “Every company needs to be knowledgeable about the shifts in media consumption. How and where people get their information and news has changed. They are online sharing content and social media has become a major part of marketing and PR strategy today.”

It’s clear that social media is here to stay. Your task is to impress upon your boss that social media has already had a huge impact on the business world and factoring it into the organization’s Internet marketing strategy will have many far reaching benefits. The social media train has already left the station. You will be simply persuading your boss and colleagues to get on board or risk being left behind.

Resources:
Here are 50 companies using social media
http://www.socialmediatoday.com/SMC/46700

RSS Feeds Can Boost Your Internet Marketing Strategy

Posted in Internet Marketing Strategy, RSS Feeds by tiajones on September 16, 2008

RSS Feeds

RSS Feeds

RSS, (Real Simple Syndication) has many powerful applications for your Internet Marketing Strategy. RSS has been around for over ten years, but many marketers often fail to make effective use of this versatile technology.

RSS can be used for content delivery to push your fresh content to your web site visitors, subscribers, and prospective customers. This is a simple and reliable way to communicate useful information and sell to your audience. Using RSS in this way greatly expands your reach beyond your web site.

If visitors to your site find your content relevant and useful, they can then opt-in to your RSS Feed in the same way that they would subscribe to an email newsletter. Whenever you add new content to your site, subscribers will be automatically be updated, and your content will appear in their feed reader.

If you are not already familiar with how other web publishers are using RSS, you might want to subscribe to a few feeds yourself. Try one of the free, web based RSS aggregators such as Yahoo.com, Bloglines, Google reader among the many that are available.

Now that you’ve subscribed to a few feeds and gotten some ideas on how you will use RSS to push your content, you need to have a battle plan. What kind of content do you already provide on your site? If you have a blog you probably already have a feed for your blog posts, but you’ll want to set up a feed for your email newsletter, site updates and any news features that you offer. When you are developing the content for your feeds, always keep in mind that readers will be skimming and scanning to find only the most relevant text and glossing over the rest. Keep your text tight, concise, on topic and relevant to your reader’s needs. Create tip sheets with bullet points, and shape the content to suit the reader’s need for quick, actionable information.

Now that you have your content ready to go, you’ll need to publish your feed on the web so that you can start getting subscribers. There are several online tools that will manage and automate your feed for you such as, feedfire.com, myrsscreator.com and feedburner.com to name a few.

Next, you’ll need to promote your new RSS feed both on your site and through other external channels. Design an RSS page where you clearly show your visitors what rss is, how they will benefit from subscribing to your feeds, and where they can find a free reader. Along with the familiar orange RSS button, be sure to include links to the relevant RSS subscription services such as Yahoo, Google, Feedburner, Bloglines, etc. Mention your RSS feeds in your email newsletter and on all of your online and offline marketing materials.

Promote your RSS feeds externally by submitting your feeds to search engines and directories. Be sure to submit them under the appropriate category so that you are reaching your intended audience.

Learn more on RSS Here