I have gone over certain characteristics of social media marketing in a number of various discussions over the years, nevertheless as far as I know I’ve never undertaken an “all-in-one” kind of article, outlining the differences that can be found with Social Media and also the many ways a person can leverage them.
Social Media is actually growing like no media has ever grown before. MySpace was one of the first mass social platforms, then Facebook, Twitter and the list goes on and on. As Internet Marketers Social Media is a comparatively new, HUGE market and opportunity, but it’s far from a secret!
Presently there are a huge number of services committed to leveraging Social Media to do this, that and the other. It is a marketing machine, nevertheless, just a tiny percentage of internet marketers are really benefiting from it because most of them are just confused by it all. This posting is my attempt at clearing up that confusion.
Let’s start off with the definition. Wikipedia states:
“Social media is content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies.”
That is the “book” meaning, however it really all comes down to the very first word “social.” Virtually any site that is actually powered by user-generated information is a social media site! With that being said, let me tell you something that most folks do not realize for a WHILE, that causes them to waste time bugging legitimate users by spamming those users… ultimately getting their accounts suspended.
In a nutshell, please understand that there are MANY different types of social media web sites and each one has it’s own benefits to you as an Internet Marketer. They are NOT all the same thing. Some can be leveraged in the same basic way. Several provide the same benefit if leveraged the right way, but all are different!
For example, social bookmarking sites such as Digg and Stumbleupon are best leveraged as direct exposure tools. Good, viral content that you generate can gain 1000′s, even millions, of new site visitors coming from these sites when your site visitors bookmark them. But, you really do not go to Digg or SU to build links (it’s all nofollowed) or even to be able to network. Truth be told there will be different social bookmarking sites which will give you a followed link. There might even be a few that are great for networking. Which is where my point comes in. They are all different!
LinkedIn is a social site that is all about networking. Meeting other people within your own area of interest. Making good friends, which is actually just what social networking is all about!
Facebook and Twitter are practical for direct exposure as well as networking. And as a side note, I tend to recommend creating separate accounts for business and private use.
Presently there is an enormous dilemma with several social media sites and spam, most definitely Twitter. This particular dilemma comes from confused entrepreneurs that do not recognize that each website is without a doubt different.
The problem is spam. Yet this spam isn’t coming from sneaky, dishonest scammers like most spam comes from. It’s coming from “newbie” Internet Marketers who are finding very broad facts relating to the subject and acting on that info without any kind of real understanding of the practical applications.
I get direct mail messages on Twitter on a regular basis from people pitching their “deal”, like we’re best friends even though I have never written to them in my life. They really do not realize that Twitter (for instance) is just like real life. Start using it so that you make friends. Communicate NORMAL to people. Get to know them, assist them, share with them.
Things like this take place on just about all of the big social sites. Each problem is definitely unique to the site it crops up on, but it all comes from users trying to use a social platform in the incorrect way. And so what’s the bottomline? Sorry to say, the best advice I can offer you, or anybody for that matter, can offer you, is to look at each and every site differently!
Every time a new social media site begins to gain popularity I create an account and start making use of it PRECISELY HOW IT’S MEANT TO BE USED. Once I know it, I then start to think of ways in which it can benefit my business, if any. It comes down to this. Almost all social media sites tend to be best leveraged by using them EXACTLY HOW THEY’RE MEANT TO BE USED!
No need to force URL’s or ads onto people you really don’t know. Don’t bend or even break the rules of the sites. Merely sign up. Find out the main objective and intention of the site and then use it. Promoting and marketing isn’t always about ads and pushy sales talk. It’s also about making contacts, expressing ideas and information, helping people better their lives. It’s basically being active and involved.
Lee Green, Success Coach and Business Mentor
Lee has over 30 years of business experience and has been online since 1994. He is an internet marketing and direct response professional and specializes in Web 2.0, Affiliate Marketing and Network Marketing strategies and techniques. People consider him consistently reliable, a good and well-liked friend and trusted advisor.