Social media marketing is a marketing platform that allows you to market your business or website through social sites. Unlike conventional marketing channels, social media marketing is based on interaction with your target audience. Instead of TV or radio advertising that tell the consumer what to think, in social media marketing the reader can talk to you or your past customers and form their own opinion of your product or service. When executed correctly marketing through social sites is extremely effective at driving massive amounts of targeted traffic your way and can be significantly less costly than traditional marketing methods. Which poses the question, how do you use it “correctly?”
Social media marketing takes some finesse. It is not about pushing what you have to offer in someone’s face. It is first and foremost about marketing yourself and your product second. Your goal should be establishing yourself as an authority through social sites by giving your audience information they can use. Spamming the internet with “buy my stuff” posts isn’t going to get you anything but a bad reputation for you and your company. You should make people want to visit your site, not try and force them to.
Working With People in SMM
The key to getting people to want to go to your site is establishing a relationship them. (Note the keyword relationship.) You have to give people the opportunity to get to know the real you. If people feel like they know you they will be more likely to listen to you. Don’t always talk about “me, me, me” and this is what I do. Social media is about making friends that you otherwise wouldn’t have the outreach to make so treat them like friends. Don’t be that obnoxious person that is constantly peddling something. You wouldn’t walk up to everyone on the street and ask them to buy your product so why would on the internet? Get to know them, let them know you and when that person is ready to buy they will feel like they have made the decision based on what they know of your character and your business and not what you’ve told them to think.
While social media marketing has given business owners a powerful way to connect with their audience and humanize their business, it has also given consumers a voice. Now more than ever businesses need to be sure they deliver what they promise. Feedback on your product or service, good and bad, will travel faster and further than it ever has because of social media so be sure to stay committed to your customer satisfaction.
SMM vs Social Bookmarking
Social Networking is the process of networking with people in online communities. In networking sites there are usually sub communities of people with common interests that you can join that will give you a more focused target audience. For example, if you are selling golf apparel you could join golfing subgroups to meet people you know will be interested in what you have to offer. When marketing on social networks though it’s important to be yourself, not you as a business owner, just plain you. If people connect with you and develop a relationship with you they will want to visit your site instead of feeling like they are being forced to.
Examples of social networking sites:
Social Bookmarking is the same as bookmarking a site on your browser except you bookmark it on social bookmarking sites so others can see. The idea is that you will be exposed to sites that have been bookmarked by people in your circle that you otherwise might not have seen. Unlike just surfing the web and having to separate the garbage from the worthwhile content, on bookmarking sites it’s all content that people have deemed worthy of adding. As you start to bookmark your favorite sites people with similar interests will join your network to follow what you’re posting. You can also engage your network in conversations the way you would on a social networking site via posting comments on the bookmarks.
While social bookmarking is yet another great way to grow your network of friends, the biggest advantage is that your bookmark can actually rank in search engines. So instead of your site taking up one position on the search engines it will take up two. One is your main site and the other the bookmark that points back to your main site.
Examples of social bookmarking sites:
With both social networking and bookmarking you should use a universal username on all your accounts. Being that the basic principal of social media marketing is people getting to know you, your username should be easily identifiable as being you. It’s best to use your real name. If it’s not available then use a variation of it.