In the past, if you wanted to find something online, search engines were the only game in town. That’s all changed now with the introduction of Web 2.0. What is Web 2.0? Well, Web 1.0 is typically a static website where the website owner can tell you anything he or she wants. It is a one way communication. Web 2.0 allows the site visitor to communicate back with the site owner. In other words, a blog website (where visitors can leave comments) and social media sites are considered Web 2.0 sites.
Web 2.0 not only allows visitors to communicate with website owners, it allows users to communicate with each other, and more importantly for business, refer things to each other. People are much more likely to buy something that their friend recommends than from a commercial that promises something which may or may not be true.
The biggest and most popular Web 2.0 site is of course the social networking giant Facebook! At the time of this writing, Facebook is said to have over 900 Million users, quickly on its way to 1 Billion! Can you imagine if just 1% of those users saw your website? That’s almost 10 million visitors!
Facebook has Facebook Pages which businesses use to promote, advertise, and brand their business. This is a MUST have for anyone in business! Make sure that you have one if you’re already in business.
Another important concept in Social Media Marketing (SMM) is something called “Social Bookmarking”. When you visit a website and you like it, you can save it as a “bookmark” or a “favorite” site and go back and look at it later. Some people decided that it would be cool to be able to share their bookmarks with other people. This concept brought forth the creation of Social Bookmarking websites. Some examples of this are Del.icio.us, Furl, and Digg. These sites allow users to share their personal bookmarks with other users. In addition, they can add tags to bookmarked websites using relevant keywords. This way, people can search those tags and pull up websites which are applicable to that keyword – which other people have already read and recommended. Pretty cool. This basically creates a human voting machine for different sites. In addition, the more tags or votes a site gets, the more it shows up on the searches. So a particularly useful or popular site that gets a lot of votes will get a lot of visitors – and that’s good for business.
Technorati.com decided to take things one step further and create an entire network of blogs – not just website pages. It takes into account the amount of incoming links the entire blog has and ranks it accordingly. The more links to the entire blog, the higher the ranking. It also considers the tags associated to those blogs. While Technorati.com is the largest blog network out there, there are also many other blog networks that do the same thing – rank blogs.
And, while Facebook is getting all the fanfare for having so many users, YouTube has almost just as many with over 800,000,000 users! Over 60 hours of video are uploaded every minute onto YouTube! And over the course of one year, there are over 1 TRILLION views on YouTube! So if you’re not on YouTube yet, you could be missing the boat!
Social Networking Will Help Increase Your Site Traffic
As a business owner, it’s important that you’re using these social networks in your online marketing strategy. It’s amazing to see the progression of these social networks. Just consider how popular Justin Bieber is right now, and he was discovered on YouTube. Imagine if your business got as many views as he did and does!
It’s important to have an optimized and consistent Social Networking strategy for your business. In fact, some businesses have started to see more traffic coming from social networks than they have from search engines. Some businesses are built completely on social networks as well.
There are so many people on social networks that are actually spending time online and looking at well… everything, that if you don’t have a proper social networking strategy, you’re missing out on a huge potential windfall of clients.
What Do You Need To Do To Get Started In Social Networking?
The first thing you need to do is simply sign up for a few networks. Once you’re on a network, then you’ve got to start engaging and interacting with its members. How do you do this? Simple. You just start telling good stories or providing great tips on how to do something. You can share resources and even ask questions of other members. Remember that these are “SOCIAL” networks, not sales networks. You have to engage and talk with people and not just sell, sell, sell. People want to get to know you before they do business with you.
The cool thing is that once they get to know you and your business, they’ll start telling all their friends and connections about you and your business. This is basically free advertising for you! Social Networks can in fact become your largest source of referral business. And referrals convert 667% better into sales than just cold calling a lead! Are you ready to get started online yet?
Whether you’re just getting started or are already on several Social Networking sites, Blue Rise Media can help you improve your Social Media Strategy and social presence. Contact us today to develop and improve your Social Media Marketing strategy!