Advertising on today’s popular social media sites is significantly different than standard online advertising practices, as social media itself is a phrase that can be defined as a series of social actions that allow users to interact with one another systematically and be continually updated or made aware of topical developments as they unfold in specific social channels or threads. These “threads” or “posts” are closely related to the way search engines process search information and often themselves the very sources of discovery of news stories, music, film, and many other topics of interest for most social media users. When integrated into a comprehensive SEO marketing strategy, social media sites can prove to be an invaluable resource for building links for websites or blogs.
So, at this point, you’re probably thinking, “How can I use social media to my advantage and drive traffic to my site?” While the possibilities are nearly endless, we’ll go over a few basic tactics that can get you started on a few sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. For starters, if you don’t have accounts on any of the aforementioned sites, it’s highly recommended that you set up at least one and then set up others after you’ve sufficiently familiarized yourself with the ins and outs of one social media site.
Facebook is largely self-explanatory and offers very affordable and cost-effective marketing opportunities and tools for companies. There are various “pages” that you can set up, although for most small business, the best kind of page to set up is a “Business Fan Page”, which will allow customers or potential fans to register as fans on your page, thereby increasing its popularity in their social circles as your updates to this page are sent to their news feeds. Additionally, you may also find running hyper-local ads to be useful in generating large amounts of traffic.
For those of you who would prefer to “tweet”, as posting on Twitter is often referred to, you can easily learn how to leverage Twitter effectively for your business by spending 15-30 minutes on searching for keywords related to your industry or niche, competitors in your industry, and even your own company name or brand, as there may be users who are already “tweeting” about you and your brand! More advanced users who have mastered the basics can then move onto Twitter-friendly applications such as Tweetie, Seesmic, Twitterfall, and Tweetdeck, which will grant you greater control over your Twitter marketing strategy by allowing you to pre-define searches for keyword monitoring purposes and organize the individuals you follow into specific groups for even greater focus and analysis. For example, Twitterfall enables you to define color-coding custom searches for you to review at your convenience and to follow trending topics that are generated between all the users that you’re following.
Since being bought out by Google back in 2006, YouTube has enjoyed a nearly meteoric rise to fame due to the ability for users to upload a virtually unlimited amount of videos. For small businesses, this is a definitive boon, and YouTube has even taken its platform to the next level by integrating comprehensively detailed activity updates and highly innovative analytical tools that will help you determine the overall reach and impact of your videos, thereby providing you with information you can leverage towards driving greater amounts of traffic to your videos and your site.
As far as video marketing strategies are concerned, a popular method of video marketing can be found in producing videos that have the potential to go viral, but as this usually requires an incredible amount of luck and a great deal of knowledge about filming, screenwriting, and acting, you may wish to hire a consultant or a company that specializes in those particular disciplines. Of course, that being said, posting videos of you doing what you do best is not a bad idea, and as long as you take the time to make sure that you’re delivering good quality content that viewers can easily understand, your efforts will pay off considerably in the long run!