One of the most powerful online marketing methods beyond traditional SEO is social network marketing, which involves using social media sites like Twitter or Facebook to attract targeted website traffic or new business prospects. Since these types of sites are some of the most popular of all sites on the internet, there is a massive potential waiting here for marketers that know how to take advantage of it.
Who can social network marketing benefit?
Although online marketing is typically done by businesses that run their own websites, social network marketing can actually benefit any type of business, online or offline. Brick and mortar businesses can use it to keep in touch with their customers or clients. It can also be used for branding purposes or to attract new clientele from around the world or even from a specific city.
Any type of website can use social media to drive targeted traffic to their site. This can help to gain more exposure for a site, product, or service. Individuals, such as celebrities or politicians, have also been able to use these sites to gain more exposure for their causes.
Even though Facebook and Twitter are the most commonly used social networking sites, there are numerous others that are more specialized. As a result, it is important for marketers to search around to find sites that may have more members interested in their niche to gain the full benefit from this type of marketing strategy.
Social network marketing basics
Beginner marketers will often get blinded by the large amount of people that can be found on these social networks, which can cause them to aggressively target members on those sites. Aggressive targeting on social media sites is easily the single most common mistake, because it encourages low quality content posting that is typically only centered around advertising.
The real key to success with any of these networks is to be subtle, friendly, and helpful. Try not to come across as a marketer. Instead, simply act like a normal, sociable person that has a few particular passionate interests. This strategy allows marketers to truly connect with other members, building friendships and loyalty.
Once a connection is made between a marketer and other members, it can sometimes create a viral explosion of new prospects. When some type of useful information is provided, friends can share it or encourage others to follow the marketer. Even without a viral explosion, it will not be difficult to at least obtain a steady flow of new friends or followers with more subtle social network marketing strategies.
The king of the social networking sites and one of the most popular sites on the entire internet is Facebook. The possibilities of what marketers can do on Facebook are nearly endless. It is typically used to try to attract people interested in a particular niche, so they can learn more about the business and their products.
The real trick to using Facebook as a marketer is to build friends and to attract more “Likes”. These actions help to increase their exposure, since they are generally shared among friends of friends. When a steady flow of these actions can be obtained, it can really help to spark a viral explosion. It can take a lot of dedication and hard work to make this happen, but it can result in it massive, worldwide exposure in a short amount of time.
Since Facebook allows a wide variety of ways to contact or post messages to other friends, it is extremely important to have a subtle marketing approach here. Positive comments can spread quickly on this network, so the negative ones have the same ability. Marketers that want to ensure they are doing everything they can do encourage positive comments about them can do so by offering something of value to people that visit their Facebook page.
Another unique use of Facebook pages that has been a growing trend that is popular for both marketers, and Facebook members is the offering of sweepstakes or contests. People love to have a chance to win something for free, so they’ll jump on the opportunity and even share the chance with their friends. Marketers can force people to “Like” their page before allowing them to register for a contest and even give them more entries by sharing their page with their friends. This can literally create a snowball effect for almost any kind of business with a Facebook page.
Facebook marketing strategies has more details on how to fully exploit Facebook for marketing.
Many people like to stay connected with their favorite businesses, favorite celebrities, friends, and family through Twitter. It is also a popular place to connect with a wide variety of types of websites, which gives online marketers an excellent opportunity to bring in traffic and new customers.
Information is key on Twitter because there are only so many things that people can do here. In general, it is all about Tweets, which are short messages that are shown to anyone following the account sending the Tweet. This means that marketers need to attract followers to get more exposure. They also need loyalty and recognition by their followers to ensure their messages are being read.
Followers can be gained in a few different ways. An easy way to get started is to search around for people that live in the same area as the business being marketed or have similar interests as the website being marketed. These people should be followed, which will result in many of them following back.
Another way to gain followers is done when the account is first created. The actual name of the account and various information in the profile is content that other members will be able to search. This won’t bring in immediate followers, but people interested in similar topics will follow the account over time.
The actual tweets that are made can also help to bring in followers. Find hash tags, which start with the number symbol (#), used in other relational tweets to gain some exposure by using them in tweets. A hash tag is a normal word preceded by the number symbol to designate it as a topic on Twitter.
When people see a Tweet with a hash tag in it, they can click on it to see other Tweets that contain the same hash tag. By utilizing these tags to talk about popular topics, products, or services that relate to the business can help to attract new followers that are interested in that type of information.
See Online marketing with Twitter for more tips on how to take advantage of what Twitter offers.
This is a very powerful tool designed to compete with Facebook and then some. How to use Google Plus for SEO covers various ways to take advantages of this service.
Other methods of social network marketing
Social bookmarking and sharing articles on news sites to include Reddit and StumbleUpon are also methods of calling attention to content and generate social proof and links at the same time. These methods are covered in detail at social bookmarking and social buzz.
For those looking to automate some of the parts of social network marketing, there is no better service than Synnd. Through it, users can automatically get Facebook likes, tweets and other kinds of social proof for their sites from a network of users around the world.