The process of creating buzz doesn't start with a blog or a video, it starts with a social media strategy that encompasses social media and word-of-mouth marketing.  How you can adjust your marketing to take advantage of what social media has to offer - which is building relationships with social-media users.

Social media is not just Facebook

Creating a “buzz” around products, services, businesses or events is a requirement from all clients. There is no social media marketing wand to wave that will quickly bring the right target audience to your website. And what works for one brand may not work for another.

The process of creating buzz doesn’t start with a blog or a video, it’s a social media strategy that encompasses social media and word-of-mouth marketing. We have compiled a list of social media tools that companies use to build their social media marketing mixes.

1. Blogs

Blogs have become a great tool for social media marketing. That is first because, if optimised correctly, it can be used to drive traffic to a website. A good blog will help in creating internal links, fresh content, active community or non-search engine traffic.

Examples of popular blogs where you can create your free account are: WordPress, Blog.com, Bloggers.com, Typepad etc.

2. Online video & Photo sharing

The importance of online videos has rapidly increased during the last years. Film how to use your product making sure you cover all the positive features. If you are a consultant, give advice in your field.

  • Popular free video sharing websites are: YouTube and Vimeo.
  • Platforms that allow free photo sharing are: Flickr, Memeo, and Photobucket.

3. Presentation sharing

Another great way to put your brand’s name in the spotlight is by offering presentations on topics of interest for your audience on presentations sharing websites. They are increasingly gaining in popularity nowadays.

  • Some of them are: SlideShare, MyPlick, Scribd, AuthorSTREAM, or Myplick.

4. Polls and Voting

Surveys are an an effective model because they can be used for research, and education as well as engaging with interested consumers and opinion leaders.

  • Surveys can be built into your website, or use SurveyMonkey and others.

5. Sharing

Includes social bookmarks on educational articles and case studies to allow redistribution.Check what is used by your target audience in your region.

  • Examples of popular social bookmarking websites: Twitter, Delicious, Digg, Mixx, Reddit, Slashdot, StumbleUpon and Buzz.

6. Discussion boards and forums

Online forums are a great way to market your products/ services and interact with other professionals or your audience. Engaging your audience in your niche forum can bring high value to your site and brand too.

7. Comments and reviews

Search on forums for people having issues with your competitors, or with the problems that our product or service sells. Offer sensible advice, and subtly promote your own solution. It builds credibility and contact with real potential customers.

8. Publish information articles

It is important to publish your articles on your own website, and submit your press release on important specialised sites like i-Newswire, PR.com, PressReleasePoint, PRLog.org.

What conversations happen every 60 seconds online

9. Twitter – should you consider it for your business?

Twitter is not an appropriate platform for everyone.  Use it if:

  • You often have news, photos, new products, specials and announcements (e.g. retailing or event-based businesses)
  • You already build credibility for your company through press releases, blogs and informational articles (or are prepared to do so)
  • You are an expert in a niche field or want to be seen as an authority on a specific subject (e.g. consulting)
  • You have a website with pages that are worth sharing
  • Your prospective customers are the general public (rather than repeat business from from a known sector)
  • Your prospective customers have internet access, especially cell phones.
  • You want introduce a new product or service to a new market

9. Facebook – should you consider it for your business?

Facebook is not an appropriate platform for everyone. Use it if:

  • Your business is primarily social and consumer in nature – a wedding planner, a community group, a pet groomer, photographer or an entertainment event.
  • Your business has a strong, popular brand that individual users will “like”.
  • You have a wide circle of friends who know and appreciate that you are personally linked to your business – an estate agent, a musician, a preacher.
  • You have interesting news and events to share weekly.
  • You are part of a bigger community where you can share other users news.

Your Facebook company page is linked to the personal Facebook profile of the person who sets it up. If the employee leaves, they can delete the page. Because the page must be linked to a person, if that person has inappropriate content on their own Facebook page, the company is judged by those comments or photographs.

Confused?

Social Media Marketing is new, and therefore not as streamlined as other well established marketing channels. There are lots of networks to choose from, and creating presence on all the channels is cheap but very time consuming.

Social media is over-hyped by the many companies who are attempting to profit from an easy source of income. Social Media Guru’s are usually failed university students who work out their garage.

You can learn everything there is to know about social media in about 24 hours! It isn’t “new”, it isn’t different from any other media channel.

  • Is your target market market actually using social media.
  • Is a typical social media user on that channel likely to want to engage with your organisation.
  • Are you prepared to engage directly and regularly with them.
  • Do you have something to say.

It costs very little to try a social media channel. You know your business and where your customers come from. We recommend that you identify which channels are suitable for your business depending on your target audience, and try them. See how you can adjust your marketing to take advantage of what social media has to offer – which is building relationships with social-media connected users.

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