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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Incorporate Social Media Optimization Tools in Your Marketing Plan

Thursday, March 15, 2007
In the face of rising social network sites, and specialty search engines, global search engines seem to be loosing their grounds. Today, users or researchers have more options to search information. I hardly deny the fact that organic SEO still matters for many firms to drive traffic through global search engines, such as, Google, MSN, Yahoo, and many more. However, restricting our efforts to drive traffic mainly through these search engines indicate that we undermine the viability of social sites. In fact, opportunity to get immediate HITS through social sites abounds.

A recent survey by marketing professionals in MarketTools’ Zoomerang division carried out in early November reveals that the early adopters of web 2.0 applications are getting positive results from their marketing effort.

It’s left to time to verify whether web 2.0 will continue to bubble or bust, but as of now it’s the reality, which is gaining momentum. Any trendy business brings windfall profit for those who catch up with the wind. The late adopter simply becomes loser. Before, web 2.0 becomes common for everyone; it’s high time to incorporate social tools in our marketing strategies to drive high traffic immediately.

My belief

Chase your customers wherever they go, and draw their attentions towards your products and services. Today, a big chunk of population spend their time on social network sites, such as, bolt, bebo, gaia online, orkut, facebook, flickr, esnips, myspace, tagged.com, xanga, and the list adding on. Unlike traditional traffic from search engines or Link exchanges, Traffic from social networks tend to be more viral and more targeted since it allows mobility of data and information.

Practical Tips

A few tips which I think may help get immediate hits.

1. Create a blog with exceptionally updated blog including all tools such as RSS feed, feedburner, good images, video files, etc.

2. Research hundreds of social sites, such as, orkut, dodgeball, Friendster, Squidoo, etc., and size up their market to post a link of your website, which brings immediate HITS. Create a community and make your information travel across. For example, esnips.com offers immediate promotion of contents of committed and loyal users. Log on to the site and register to become member. Add valuable contents with a link to promote the site.

Please, click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_networking_sites to view the popular social sites listings in wikipedia. Also, click http://noahfleming.com/private/?p=37 to get some more listings of social sites.

3. People love watching and listening instead of reading lengthy texts. In fact, video is a big hit. So, submit the video clippings to the sites like bliptv, esnips, metacafe, vimeo, imeem, clipshake, vsocial, jumpcut, videobomb, revver, and many more. For me, bliptv is better than youtube in terms of quality and takes less time for buffering in a low speed bandwidth.

Further, do podcasting about the products and services you offer in various user generated sites, such as, switchpod. Simply register yourself and start submitting your audio contents. Click http://www.podcastingnews.com/topics/Podcast_Directory.html to see some top podcast directories.

4. Be a good social bookmarker. Submission of web site link to various sites such as, yahoo Myweb, digg, delicious, reditt, furl, blinklist, tecgnocruch, spurl, trailfire, co.mment, newsvine, etc. may help you drive traffic. But make sure to register yourself with different user names and give drooling and existing titles, descriptions, and unique tags while submitting the links to these bookmarking sites.

5. Write exceptionally good articles and submit them in the wikis –wikipedia, wetpaint, jotspot, and PBWiki. If the article gets approved, and published in the sites, you have won a half battle without SEOing because search engines display wiki results on their first page for many key phrases you type on search box. Just like optimizing for the regular search engines, the keywords you choose to tag can make a dramatic difference in the amount of traffic you receive. Technorati is one of the best places to do tag (keyword) research to determine what tags you should use with your own content.

6. Provide ‘submit buttons’ of major social bookmarking sites below your web page. This may help users post the site without any hassle.
7. Try to travel your contents through cross links, embedded codes, RSS feed, and feed burners. Connect your site with each other. Please, click http://www.comagz.com/ and http://www.zimbio.com for your overview.
8. Involve yourself in Q&A sites, such as, http://answers.yahoo.com/,
http://www.answerbag.com, http://www.wondir.com and be active members of discussion forums.

At this point it’s hard to tell which social search engines will emerge as being the top performers. That’s why it is important to get your content in as many web 2.0 locations as possible. The ideal way to increase traffic would be to combine SEO and SMO.

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