Social Networking

Viral Marketing, Social Bookmarking, Social Networking; what does it all mean?

There are so many different types of alternative forms of online marketing now, it is hard to keep them all straight.  It is even harder to figure out which is right for you.

Social Bookmarking

Social Bookmarking is simply taking your favorite web links and making them public for all to share.  The added benefit is that you can find all your bookmarks in one place if you are using somebody else’s computer.  How does this help from a marketing front?  Social Bookmarking would fall under the “every little bit helps” category.

Users searching the web can stumble onto your bookmarks and decide to explore them.  There is a side benefit of generating back-links to your site, but that is conversation for another day.

Social Networking

Social Networks are websites that allow users to interact with each other, so instead of every user being a passive “reader” – each user is an active “participant” of the shared ideas.  The most famous Social Networking website is probably Facebook.  Facebook allows its users to share photos, video, messages, links and much more.  But there is a catch, only your “friends” can view what you are posting, so in a sense, you are only reaching the people you know already.

I would say that is the first mistake small business owners make when marketing via a social network, they don’t take into account who can actually view their offer.

My favorite social network is YouTube.  YouTube is a social network for people who enjoy video.  You can leverage this social network by generating your own videos to reach them.

Viral Marketing

Viral Marketing is a loose term that just means you are going to market your product using your users as hosts to your message (virus).  Viral Marketing can be done via social bookmarking or social networking.

Conclusion

I would say the biggest and most effective form of social networking currently is YouTube.  It is popular, video is powerful, and not just  your “friends” can watch what you are posting.  Start making videos for you business today!

Practical Plan

:

  1. Set up accounts on ping.fm (this will take time but be diligent)
    1. Facebook
    2. Twitter (microblog)
    3. Digg (social bookmarking)
    4. Others
  2. Post on  Facebook at least once a day
  3. Begin 6 twitter posts a day (5 generic, 1 related to your business)
  4. Wish all your friends on Facebook a happy birthday with a personal touch
  5. Digg an article a day related to your topic and connect it with facebook
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