It’s well known that social networks can be a great way to drive targeted traffic. There are social networks out there for just about any subject you can think of. As companies and people new to social media catch on to the power of being social – they often go about their social networking strategy the wrong way. A common theme that happens with new social marketers is that they come across as marketers and are instantly ignored or seen as spammers. They don’t take the time to become a part of the community before promoting themselves or their company. They simply sign up for a social community leave a few posts about their business or submit their own site and move on. While it is possible to send a very small amount of traffic through methods like this it can ultimately do more harm than good. The best case scenario while using this tactic is that you will just be ignored – worst case you upset a popular blogger so much that they become an anti-brand ambassador, writing about how terrible your marketing plan/product is and ruining your online reputation. The ideal way to start marketing to any social network is to market without marketing. You have to become part of the community and then slowly work your own site and promotions into the network. A great way to start becoming part of a community is to submit stories that are not your own, comment on other submissions, be part of discussions about relevant topics that other users have started, and most importantly, make friends. The more friends you have, the more likely your additions to the social community will become popular. Now, when you do start marketing your own site/product, you will send much more traffic and drive conversions. Also, if your social community infiltration was done correctly, the people who are your friends will start promoting your sites/products for you without being asked – because they like you. You have created free brand ambassadors.
Kelly Rusk says
Also I think it helps if you can get your employees excited about social media and actively participating.
Can we be friends? 🙂
Your advice is dead-on. I think too many people think of social networking in terms of “what’s in it for me…NOW!”
Fact is that people love helping their friends. If you have a goal of making friends first, you will find you will have a small army of people who WANT to promote you and see you be successful.