The Other Social Media Sites
The simplest type of free marketing is social media marketing. It really has taken on increased significance since implementation the Panda and Penguin upgrades to the Google search engine algorithm.
Google now gives more weight to sites that have the highest social approval signals, so boosting their ranking. Like SEO (Search Engine Optimization), social media marketing can take some time to gain traction because it takes time to develop a following of social media contacts, interact with them, drive them to your pages, and then encourage them to offer you social approval signals.
A good approach is to give attention to multiple social media outlets, not merely one or two, partly because the popularity of social media sites changes and what is flavour of the month (…year) today may not be as popular tomorrow.
Also, your prospective followers are also using multiple sites, so if focusing only on a few could mean you are missing a large segment of potential customers, or a media platform that has high potential for your niche.
What are the most Important Social Media Sites?
Excluding Facebook and Twitter – which will be the subject of a separate article – the most critical social media platforms that you should be involved in today are:
- YouTube – Video is the format preferred by web users today. Thanks to 3G and 4G networks and Wi-Fi, most people can access streaming video on their smart phones and/or tablets. Google owns YouTube, so there is at direct liaison between search results and most significant distributor of video.
- LinkedIn – This site focuses essentially on business networking as opposed to social networking. But LinkedIn has become an important platform for reaching corporate and commercial clientele.
- Pinterest – Currently, Pinterest is among the most popular social preference platforms. It enables members post links to things they like. If that includes one of the links on your site, you can expect a rise in traffic to your landing pages.
- Google+ – Google+ tries to combine the best features of all the other social media sites – for example email, social sharing, social preference – and throws in some killer apps like free video conferencing to make it a highly desirable social media site.
Social Comment Sites
As a result of spread of mobile media, social comment sites are increasing in popularity. Included in this are such apps as foursquare, Urban Spoon, Yelp and many others. Social comment sites let users post comments, images, reviews, ratings and other opinions on businesses they visit or any topic they choose directly from their mobile devices.
This sometimes has serious consequences, specifically for the brick and mortar business owner, because if customers post negative comments it can not only hurt your reputation but additionally linger on the web for a long time.
On the flip side, positive comments can help drive more foot traffic through the door. For the web-based marketer, social comment sites’ benefits lie principally with social approval signals they are able to provide. Positive reviews of your content can help to boost your web page ranking on Google. Moreover, you should quote reviews that are positive on your own web pages, social media accounts, or even in promotional materials.
Value of Social Approval
Social approval signals can make your marketing efforts go “viral”, which refers to the use social networks and other web tools to produce explosive brand or product awareness. Like any viruses – which spread exponentially – social approval signals such as Facebook “Likes”, Tweets, Google Plus “+1’s” and others can spread the word on your brand or products incredibly quickly, with unbelievable results.
Internet users now have the capability to share and spread viral messages they like faster and with lots more people than ever before with literally at the click of a mouse or the push of a button. One person can promote your posting to hundreds or maybe thousands of social media contacts, who could then pass the it on to tens of thousands or possibly millions more.
Google+ Brand Page
As already stated, Google+ takes many features of the most successful social media platforms and puts them all in one place. That makes them easier to coordinate on your through employing such mediums as the Google+ brand pages and Circles Google+ permits you to create individual Circles for friends, family, acquaintances, employees, or any category you choose to add. You also can create sub-categories within these Circles in order to simply the way you communicate and allow you to do so within specific groups.
Hangouts is the free Google+ web-based chat program that enables you to connect with other users in real time using video, audio, or text feeds that are connected directly to your Google+ home page. Hangouts may be used for many purposes, for example providing live one-on-one video customer service, answering customers’ questions, or showcasing your products’ great features.
You can easily use it to host webinars, record them and make them available online as lead capture page giveaways. Hangouts also provides a feature called On Air, which lets you link your Hangout to your YouTube channel, where it may be broadcast and recorded, providing access to your videos to an unlimited amount of viewers via YouTube. Viewers can even submit live questions and comments via text.
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