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Thread: Social Media as a Marketing Tool

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by vangogh View Post
    Learning and sharing are great reasons to connect. Do you participate with networking services like Twitter and Plurk or use sites like Digg and StumbleUpon.
    I don't use Twitter and Plurk, but I do use Facebook.

    As for Digg and Stumble I have in the past but never did as much as I should, that is until you posted the Sociable plug in for wordpress. With those icons in place now, it makes it 10 times easier to quickly add your newest post to sites like Digg and Stumble.

    There is a site called ballype that has been really good for the sports related sites too.

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    Facebook is another good way to connect with people. With Digg and StumbleUpon and others I think it's generally best to let others submit your content, but just having the buttons there is an indication you'd like them to. You can even rewrite the heading text on the plugin so it says something like: "Enjoy this post? Consider sumbitting it to one of the following services." or something to that effect.

    It's ok to submit your own content every so often, but too much and it can turn people off.
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    I didn't realize it would turn people off. Just curious though, how would they know it was my own stuff?

    I write under a pen name and my accounts at Digg and Stumble are under different nicknames and I post other random stuff I come across too.

    I am pretty much a noob when it comes to these types of sites and the last thing I want to do is turn people off.

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    It's not that hard to know you're submitting your own content. It might be the link in your profile or one of your other profiles. People get suspicious if you're always submitting the same content. If the content isn't truly that great. Lots of different ways to tell.

    If you're posting under different names and submitting other content too, then sure it's less likely someone will know you're submitting your own content, but even then if you want to have success you really do need to have content the community likes. If you're just submitting because you want some traffic you're not likely to have the same success.

    You also have to consider what social media traffic is and does. Most will visit a page that's hot or on the front page of a site, but those same people generally leave quickly. The value in social media is often less about the traffic and more about building your brand on another site and making connections with people who will later visit your site and link to you.

    The traffic spikes are generally somewhat artificial. I'm not saying you can't get good traffic from social media. Sites certainly do. But I think the value is really other than the direct traffic.

    I think of social media similarly to how I think about forums. If you participate and add something to the community you'll get something back. If your goal is to take from the community you don't give the community a chance to give back to you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vangogh View Post
    I think of social media similarly to how I think about forums. If you participate and add something to the community you'll get something back. If your goal is to take from the community you don't give the community a chance to give back to you.
    I think you're so right about that. You can always tell the people who are just there to shill for their own stuff and most people start avoiding them pretty quick. You get what you give. If you help others they'll help you. The smart people know it's about forming a network and making connections. If you show you're there to benefit others you can generally find someone to give you a helping hand when you need it.

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    I guess I should probably look a little deeper into the aspects of sites like Digg and Stumble. I was under the impression they were generally article submission sites. From what you two are saying it sounds like I have only scratched the surface.

    Thank you VG and Kristine, as always you have both been very insightful.
    Last edited by the goat; 09-01-2008 at 06:22 PM.

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    They are in a sense article submission sites. Really more social voting sites. Ideally site members submit content that they think the community around the site will enjoy. Assuming the community agrees they vote the content up, making it more visible, and more people see it.

    Note I said ideally, since all of these sites are manipulated to some degree and each has an algorithm where votes and submissions from certain users tend to weigh more than others.

    Consider the ideal though. Digg as a community is pro Apple, pro Linux, anti Microsoft. If you're writing content about how wonderful Windows Vista is the community isn't going to like it or you. On the other hand if you wrote an article called top 10 reasons Apple kicks Microsoft A$$ then it's likely to be accepted by the Digg crowd.

    It's about spending some time with the community first and understanding what you can about how the community works before trying to hard to market yourself to the community.
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    i love social media, and i think i have gotten a lot of good out of it, like on here ... in information, in thinking thru ideas, in enjoyment...but i dont see you as potiential customers....... but im pretty sure nobody on here is going to be dropping in witha truck and buying my cupboards...dang!!!
    on the other hand a big portion of my customers mentions my website...the new ones somehow saw it thru the google.and studied my site .. and came to my store... i know i have pretty great google in my fields....so i need to be out there....my old customers mention my site quite a bit too and my blog...

    one more point...partly im in the foo foo decorating world, the you go girl world, the pink world....and there , social media seems to be pointed at getting well connected on the web, trading links, chatting, complimenting, with the big hope of getting into magazines...being brick and mortar with a payroll, im so different...i want to/have to get customers to me...not just impress my fellow bloggers, pinkies or magazine editors.....etc etc..
    i mean i dont have time to twitter or play blog tag with fun people who are too faraway and / or too small to be in my customer pool......[im looking for customers with 5000 to 10,000$ to spend , who can justify coming here with a big truck to buy for their store]
    anyway, i think a lot of the social media advice in my world, is partly misdirected fluff.....but i would love to hear how to use it better, in ways i could believe in...
    thats why im glad to have found you guys again...even tho you arent in my world, your view is sometimes so helpful and realistic....
    ann
    ann at greenoak www.greenoakantiques.com

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    People are still trying to figure out social media as far as marketing is concerned. The one thing that seems certain is that more and more people are using social media and that trend is only going to continue. The sites where people congregate may change, but the concept isn't going anywhere.

    When it comes to your business understand that social media is a conversation. It's where people are spending their time. Some of those people are your customers, some are people in your industry. I don't think social media works as a direct marketing channel in most cases. But it can work indirectly.

    One thing to realize is that since there's a conversation going on you can listen to that conversation and find out what your customers or potential customers are talking about. You can discover what they want and what they like, etc. You can do all sorts of market research by listening in.

    From your side you can use social media as a way to be more visible. It's just another way to be accessible to your market. It can also be a good branding tool. Most of us have sites that get seen by a limited amount of people. Even if we're doing well most people still don't know who we are or are likely to find us.

    On the other hand social media sites like FaceBook or MySpace are seen by many more people. Pages on those sites can rank well based on the authority of the overall site. If you create a profile page at those sites and maintain it then you have another potential entry point into your business.


    Social sites also give you the potential to network with people the same way you might network with people offline. Do all those connections lead to something that helps your business? Probably not. But some will.

    Ultimately when it comes to being online you don't control the conversation about your business or your market. That conversation is taking place through social media right now and so it makes sense to at least listen to the conversation, and then participate in the conversation.
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by vangogh View Post

    One thing to realize is that since there's a conversation going on you can listen to that conversation and find out what your customers or potential customers are talking about. You can discover what they want and what they like, etc. You can do all sorts of market research by listening in.
    This is so true and so valuable. One of our companies makes a hunting product. When we were first debuting the product, I spent a lot of time on hunting forums. I got so much free market research from those forums just from asking simple questions. I could test marketing strategies, try out new slogans and hear what people thought of marketing and marketers without exposing our company to any negative attention. It was fabulous.

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