SEO Meet SMM (Social Media Marketing) was the most information-dense seminar that I attended at SMX Advanced, a multi-day conference geared for advanced web marketing professionals. As a result, it has taken a while to view my footage and pick out all of the best tips to share with you. The SEO Meet SMM seminar was paneled with an all-star cast of Rand Fishkin, Neil Patel and Cindy Krum. Between these three incredibly bright people, and my own experience and research I have put together this whitepaper on how to use social media marketing (SMM) to your advantage. I believe this is the most current (timely), accurate and cutting edge information available for those who want to start marketing in this field.

The Concept
Social media marketing is a method of promoting your brand (be it yourself, a product, a service, or a company) by strategically making your presence known across various social media networks (such as Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Myspace, etc). This may seem overly elementary but “making yourself known” is the kicker because each category of social media has a different, sometimes intricate method for effective promotion.

Business from Social Marketing is Indirect
A key concept to social marketing is that it is not designed to immediately provide business but instead it provides the visibility your brand needs to ultimately convert fans into buyers. I often get clients saying “I don’t think being on MySpace will sell anything”. The truth is that often they are correct. Having a commercial presence on MySpace that provides great content and interesting free tools (aka. widgets) serves to raise the awareness of your brand so that users remember your service for later and/or provides you with a podium to share the benefits of your brand. In short, it is important not to forget this essential concept: social media marketing drives brand awareness which later translates into sales.

Social Media Categories and Associated Strategies
Here is an introduction to the various top portals segregated into their appropriate categories and mated with a recommended strategy. Please keep in mind the following is only a partial listing of some social media sites. If you want a more comprehensive (but unorganized) list check out this list of web 2.0 sites which includes social media properties (very extensive list).

I have organized Social Media Marketing into the following categories or themes:

  1. Social Networking Sites
  2. Business Networking Sites
  3. Social (Collaborative) Bookmarking Sites
  4. Content Voting Sites
  5. News Sharing Sites
  6. Collaborative Directories
  7. Video Sharing Sites, and
  8. Photo Sharing

A) Social Networking Sites
The following social networking sites experience a volume of activity unrivaled in the social media marketplace. These sites provide it all; personal blogs, videos, music, classifieds, mail, and much, much more.

  1. MySpace: this site offers the widest variety of tools and social networking capabilities.
  2. Facebook: great for connecting with old classmates and creating a personal profile.

Associated Marketing Strategy
Each of these sites allow you to create a powerfully diverse and engaging web presence complete with photos, articles, and bookmarks. MySpace even provides the ability to ‘skin’ your profile! In other words you can actually brand it to make it totally unique; a powerful marketing capability (To view a great example see Starbuck’s MySpace account). Assuming the site is already done it is best to then start linking to the site from key areas of the Internet so the search engines will have no problem finding and indexing it. You can do this by linking to it from a social media section of your website; a section that I believe will be part of the status quo structure (as ubiquitous as the About Page) of all new websites in the near future.

»» Move on to section B of this whitepaper:Business Networking Sites” or view the complete PDF of this 4000 word detailed introduction to social media marketing.

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Placement Inc.
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