Social marketing is the rising star of the internet marketing world and is in the process of being shrouded in hype by clever marketers trying to get you to part with your cash. In return they will push whatever you want to pushed in front of an ever increasing hoard of internet socialites.
Social marketing is another name for metaphorically getting ‘out and about’ on the internet and striking up relationships in an attempt to promote your business / personal endeavours. Lets say you are the owner of a website that sells sporting memorabilia, you would try and relate to people that will have an active interest in this type of product.
Forums and blogs have been around for some years. It’s no secret that contributing on blogs and forums that discuss your product or service and making interesting informed comments will increase your exposure.
This may all seem like hard work and the rewards may not appear to be worth it. However, there are many success stories where individuals have contrived to be very active on blogs and forums in their community. And have managed to turn this activity into a substantial gain.
Social marketing has other benefits, people often like a personal touch and like to buy from companies or people who know what they are talking about. If you have a good knowledge of your industry and the product you sell you could quickly establish yourself as a leader in your field. If this is indeed the impression you give, people will be inclined to pay attention to you and ultimately purchase your products.
Recently, new social marketing opportunities are presenting themselves through platforms such as Twitter, MySpace and Facebook (for more, please see this comprehensive Social Network List). These sites attract thousands of real human visitors and if you go to the right areas you can find plenty of people who potentially, will be interested in what you are selling. You may be advised not to jump straight in and start advertising. Make yourself known to your target community, build a few relationships, maybe include the odd link to your website once in a while where you think it warrants it. Simple interaction and relationship building is more important than link building at this stage. People will come to you in good time rather than you chasing them. You just have to make the first step and assign twenty minutes to half an hour a day to become more visible and establish relationships in communities that have the potential to refer you your target customers.
Results and timescales may vary, some communities are much larger than others but it’s generally relative, smaller communities are often easier to establish yourself as a market leader as there is less competition. Larger communities carry more traffic and you will get your share based on your activity and professionalism. Either way a little hard work can go a very long way.