Handled correctly, social media sites can help drive brand awareness, business and online sales. CHRIS THOMAS
By Chris Thomas
Recently I witnessed a jaw-droppingly good presentation from Kevin Yank – technical director of www.sitepoint.com at the “Attract and Convert” seminar we spoke at a few weeks ago. It really opened my eyes to the potential of social media and just how powerful it can be.
Among other topics, Kevin highlighted the power of www.twitter.com and its ability to help you engage with people who are talking about your brand.
If someone on twitter (or other social media site) mentions your brand in a positive or negative light, respond in a way that is helpful, courteous and in some cases to even say “thanks”. Without going into the whole explanation of how twitter works, he basically demonstrated how many thousands of people can be exposed to your brand instantly.
Just by the by, I loved the article in yesterday’s The Age newspaper about how Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s new twitter page crashed due to overwhelming demand. It’s back up again now, and if you visit you’ll notice how he’s already following hundreds of other twitter people. They follow him and he follows straight back. Very good engagement! Mind you, he’s doing the exact same thing Barack Obama did during the US presidential election, but top marks anyway!
There are thousands of social media websites around, so it’s obviously a good idea to target the ones that have the most benefit to you and your business. This doesn’t always mean that you just find the most trafficked ones and start engaging in the community.
So how do you find an online community related to your area of business interest?
Luckily, it’s not too difficult – wonder over to Google and search!
In my world (search marketing), I contribute to www.sphinn.com. A search at Google for “search marketing social media sites” brings sphinn up first.
If you type in “finance social media sites” you’ll find www.tipd.com – a social media site where people share stories about finance.
The aim of the game is to find your niche and work it.
Some of the biggies obviously include www.digg.com and www.youtube.com. If you’ve got a blog – submit each post you make to digg. If you’ve got old TV commercials or useful product promotional videos, then upload them to YouTube. And don’t be afraid of comments, let people rate and critique your videos.
So once you’ve found your “social media niche”, make sure you begin to engage appropriately! A good list of social media tips can be found here. Basically, it’s better to provide helpful comments and responses to other people’s contributions rather than simply posting stuff willy-nilly.
Each social media site is a community where people have conversations. If you’re in there simply “shouting” all the time, people will stop noticing you. Stay noticed!
Chris Thomas heads Reseo, a search engine optimisation company which specialises in creating and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.
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Joel Montgomery writes: Great article and I really appreciate the link to tipd. I notice Dell is running some great social media initiatives on Facebook and Ideastorm (their own site for product innovation). Great example of how they’re creating chatter and improving their brand. I’m learning new things every day.