If you are unsure about how to become involved in social media marketing then read on.  It is really quite simple.  You need to listen, respond, contribute interesting conversation and monitor what people are saying about you or your product – it is as simple as that. 

Why Should You Get Involved With Social Media Marketing?

It is natural: social media marketing allows you to get natural inbound links to your website.

Creating awareness for your website: through social media you can create great awareness of your website, your products and your services

Social communities: social communities are an excellent source of traffic for your website – in addition to the traffic that you may already be getting via the search engines. 

High return rate: your costs are limited only to time and the benefits will often exceed the time costs.  It would cost you thousands of pounds to buy as many links and site visitors which you can get through social media marketing – for free!

A business that has a social media marketing strategy is likely to reap the rewards, according to a report recently compiled by analyst Charlene Li of the Altimeter Group.  Charlene’s report ranks the Top 100 brands by social media engagement.  To date most businesses have used social media primarily as a tool for general communications, including public relations and marketing.  This is about to change however as businesses are starting to discover the value of social media marketing as an essential tool for customer engagement, lead generation, immediate customer contact and interaction and brand reputation management.  Looking ahead to the future “lead generation” is the top function most businesses intend to use social media for.

As organisations look to the future the social media form that most businesses are considering is a blog.  Some people already consider blogging as “old” social media but it has proven itself as an effective communications tool.  The ability of a blog to reach a mass audience with your own personal or business point of view and invite comments from your customers and prospective customers is extremely powerful. 

Social Media Networks & Tools:

Four services currently dominate the social media networks:

  • LinkedIn – 79.3% of the respondents to the Altimeter Group survey are currently using LinkedIn
  • Facebook – 77.2% now using
  • Twitter – 75.3% now using
  • Blogs – 68% of respondents currently using them

Interestingly, only 17.2% of business respondents use MySpace to promote their business.  It is also believed that external use of Twitter is likely to shift sharply towards an emphasis on customer involvement.  The internal use of Twitter will continue to focus on information sharing. 

Types of Social Media:

  • Blogging
  • Content Aggregation
  • Forums
  • Live Casting
  • Micro blogging
  • Photo sharing
  • Podcasting
  • Social bookmarking
  • Social networking
  • Social news
  • Video sharing
  • Wikis

Social media optimisation & marketing is normally community specific.  It does not interfere with any other methods of driving traffic to your website.  Website marketing is part of the shift towards using social media as a way to connect, acquire and retain customers.

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