by John Eberhard
Most people these days are familiar with Facebook and Twitter, and maybe MySpace and LinkedIn. And certainly Facebook and Twitter are the two 800 pound gorillas in the room with social media marketing.
But what if you’re not content with just using one or two sites for social media marketing? What if you want to really put the pedal to the metal? Go the distance? Be a world class social media marketer?
The Full Social
As a nod to “The Full Monty” movie I am outlining the Full Social, which is a program of all or nearly all of the social media marketing actions one can take.
First Tier Sites
The first tier social media sites are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace. The importance of these sites is roughly in that order. The goal is to start accounts, get lots of friends or followers, then put out regular updates on what you are doing with your business. The idea is that by putting out regular updates on what you are doing, you keep yourself high in people’s awareness as the provide of ____ (your product or service). You should also post things occasionally about your personal life, and comment on other people’s posts, so as to develop and maintain engagement. I recommend that people start an account on Ping.fm and hook up all your accounts to it. Then you can post your status updates from Ping.fm and they go out to all the sites at once.
Creating a Facebook fan page gets you a really high quality link to your site or sites, but so many people are doing these now that it is getting harder to get lots of fans.
Second Tier Sites
The second tier social media sites include Plaxo, Plurk, FriendFeed, Bebo, Friendster, Hi5, Orkut and PerfSpot. Same handling as above.
Some people consider YouTube a first tier site but it is sort of in its own category because of the way it is used. The idea is to create some videos that promote your business and then get them up on YouTube. Be sure to include your web address and some of your top keywords in the description box. Creating videos these days is not that expensive, using a Flip camera and software such as Camtasia. But it is definitely time consuming.
Squidoo And HubPages
Squidoo.com and HubPages.com are similar in that you can start an account and put up pages on any given topic. You can add pictures, videos, links to your blog and so on, to your pages. For a while these two sites were devalued by Google for some reason but that is over now. The pages you create give you very high quality links and both sites get a lot of traffic. Squidoo is much more friendly to marketing than HubPages, which only allows you to put one link per page.
There are a variety of social media business directories online today, where you can create a listing for your business that includes your contact info, a company description, and links to all your web sites. Some of the sites include HotFrog.com, AboutUs.org, and Mashable.com. One of the advantages of putting up listings on these sites, aside from people seeing your listing and contacting you, is that these listings create very high quality links back to your web site.
Blogging is really its own activity but some people consider that it falls under social media. I recommend creating a main blog, using either WordPress or Typepad, then post something to it weekly. I also recommend starting blog accounts on the free blogging sites, including WordPress.com, Blogger.com, Posterous.com, LiveJournal.com, and Blog.com. Then using your Posterous.com account, you can hook up all your other blogs to it (including your main blog) and posting on Posterous.com will then send your content out to all your blogs at once. Be sure to include 1-3 links in your post back to your main web site. Some people, when I mention this setup, voice concern over “duplicative content penalties.” However, Google states there is no such penalty so this is apparently a stubborn urban legend. Make sure to send out a “ping” or notification to all the blog search engines after each post, using Pingomatic.com.
Social Bookmarking Sites
Social bookmarking is a way for people to organize, store, manage and search for bookmarks of resources online. Top bookmarking sites include Delicious.com, Digg.com, StumbleUpon.com, and Reddit.com. Aside from being a sort of online listing of your favorite web pages, each counts as a link. So you can create bookmarks of all your web sites, individual pages within the sites, and of your blogs.
Pursuing a full program of social media marketing will get your company out there broadly across the Internet, create a lot of links to your site, put your regular communications in front of a lot of people, and drive in business.