What is Social Marketing and how does it work?
Social marketing is an over simplified version of word-of-mouth advertising. The concept is you build a network of on-line friends, then deliver small bits of useful information with a goal of stimulating commerce. By itself, social marketing is a poor advertising vehicle. Online relationships don’t transcend the trust boundaries associated with giving personal referrals. It is not until a personal relationship (online or otherwise) is established that quality word-of-mouth marketing takes place.
Online social friends (we call them stranger networks) almost always have conflicting motivations for establishing a virtual bond. Business people seek direct and word-of-mouth marketing opportunities, usually without reciprocation. Stories of internet predators scare most online social marketing participants to a posture of take over give. Therefore establishing strong personal relationships is slow and difficult.
As a compliment to a well structured internet marketing plan, social marketing can be a very effective tool. As a link building tool, social marketing sites are no-cost options to gain a large number of web links with relatively little effort. Usually a two stage process, social marketing requires an initiator, to stimulate action and a catalysis to complete the link to the final destination.
When a trusting relationship does not exist, stranger networks will give a very small amount of time to investigate possibilities. Direct sales presentations (like those we build into our company websites) are not good trust building mediums. Therefore, the initiator acts as a bridge between the Personality Based Marketing vehicle and the Stranger Network.
Personality Based Marketing is the process of establishing affinity between the reader and author. If all visitors to your company website already had a positive view of you and your ways of thinking, the potential for a sales conversation is significantly higher.
Since it is virtually impossible to build Personality Based Marketing topics on your main company website, using business blogging to deliver Personality Based Marketing presentations becomes a catalysis to bridge readers between the blog article and your company website.
Why not use Personality Based Marketing on your company website?
Internet users like that which helps, we call this the “What’s In It For Me” or WIIFM mentality. Answering WIIFM generally requires more time than normal internet surfers are willing to give. Since surfers are expecting quick, interactive and graphically appealing presentations, WIIFM web pages are usually ignored and thus are ineffective. However, blog sites are text intensive presentations and blog surfers are accustomed to this format. For these reasons, blog sites are more conducive to delivering WIIFM presentations.
Which social networking sites should you use?
In social marketing being where everyone else is is the goal. So we can use internet visitor data to help us find the more popular sites. Using data from comScore.com, we can find the following traffic patterns for November 2008 (number represent millions of unique U.S. visitors):
- Google: 147
- Yahoo: 144
- Microsoft Sites: 123
- AOL: 109
- Ask: 70
- Facebook.com: 51
- Craigslist: 36
- WordPress: 25
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.
Why do all this extra work?
Business owners are already inundated with more things to do than time to do them… The Pew Internet & American Life Project group found:
- 62% of American adult internet users surf the web for fun.
- 85% look for information on search engines.
- 33% Read someone’s blog.
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project Tracking surveys (March 2000 – May 2008).
Pew also concluded that 73% of all American adults use the internet. With more than 220 million users, it is in your businesses BEST interest to write for the 72+ million users who read blogs. Plus with higher search engine placement, getting first page listings to your blog exposes your personality to 187+ million searchers.
A business blog allows you to create search engine rich content you can share on social media sites and bring new traffic to your company website.
Need help getting your business blog up and running? Click or call me today for free advise or an affordable custom built solution.
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