Creating a "buzz" around products, services, businesses or events is a requirement from all clients. There is no social media marketing wand to wave that will quickly bring the right target audience to your website. And what works for one brand may not work for another.
The process of creating buzz doesn't start with a Blog or a video, it's a social media strategy that encompasses social media and word-of-mouth marketing. We have compiled a list of social media tools that companies use to build their social media marketing mixes.
Blogs have become a great tool for social media marketing. That is first because, if optimised correctly, it can be used to drive traffic to a website. A good blog will help in creating internal links, fresh content, active community or non-search engine traffic.
Examples of popular blogs where you can create your account are: Wordpress, Blog.com, Bloggers.com, Typepad etc.
2. Online video & Photo sharing
The importance of online videos has rapidly increased during the last years. Film how to use your product making sure you cover all the positive features. If you are a consultant, give advice in your field. Popular video sharing websites are: YouTube and Vimeo. Platforms that allow photo sharing are: Flickr, Memeo, and Photobucket.
3. Presentation sharing
Another great way to put your brand's name in the spotlight is by offering presentations on topics of interest for your audience on presentations sharing websites. They are increasingly gaining in popularity nowadays. Some of them are: SlideShare, MyPlick, Scribd, AuthorSTREAM, or Myplick.
4. Polls and Voting
Surveys are an an effective model because they can be used for research, and education as well as engaging with interested consumers and opinion leaders.
Includes social bookmarks on educational articles and case studies to allow redistribution. Examples of popular social bookmarking websites: Twitter, Delicious, Digg, Mixx, , Reddit, Slashdot, StumbleUpon and Buzz.
6. Discussion boards and forums
Online forums are a great way to market your products/ services and interact with other professionals or your audience. Engaging your audience in your niche forum can bring high value to your site and brand too.
7. Comments and reviews
Search on forums for people having issues with your competitors, or with the problems that our product or service sells. Offer sensible advice, and subtly promote your own solution. It builds credibility and contact with real potential customers.
8. Publish information articles
It is important to publish your articles on your own website, and submit your press release on important specialised sites like i-Newswire, PR.com, PressReleasePoint, PRLog.org.
Social Media Marketing is new, and therefore not as streamlined as other well established marketing channels. There are lots of networks to choose from, and creating presence on all the channels is very time consuming. Many companies are struggling to understand what social media marketing mix they should use to make their brand successful in the online world. Often they are guided by Social Media Guru's - who are the current favourites of the public speaking circuit.
It costs very little to try a social media channel. Most do not work in South Africa - and most do not in fact work as business communication and marketing channels anywhere in the world. Social media is somewhat over-hyped by the many companies who are attempting to profit from an easy source of income. There are not many businesses where it cost nothing to launch, and you can learn everything there is to know about the channel is less than 24 hours!
You know your business and where your customers come from. We recommend that you identify which channels are suitable for your business depending on your target audience, and try them. See how you can adjust your marketing to take advantage of what social media has to offer - which is bulding relationships with social-media connected users.