Social media is one of the “most important” and “most ignored” aspects of creating a successful online brand. When webmasters start a new site, they often focus on content, design, or functionality. Great content is extremely important, but even the best articles won’t get seen if they aren’t promoted correctly. This content not only needs to be seen, but seen by influential people in the niche. This is why becoming a “social authority” is one of the best ways to launch a site. Creating a popular Facebook page, Twitter account, Digg account, and online forum presence will promote your content to people who have a greater reach than you do. Once your social profile is well established, getting your message out will be much easier.
Engaging In Forum Discussions:
Establishing yourself as an authority on Internet forums can generate interest in your brand. One of the best examples i have ever seen of this was by an affiliate network owner. At the time he was an Internet marketer that was always helpful to everyone, always friendly, would answer any question you asked, and over time he gained a lot of respect in the community. Later, when he started his own affiliate network, everyone from the community quickly jumped on board. This helped him gain affiliates and grow a network at a time when networks were popping up like weeds. He now runs one of the most successful CPA networks in the space. In many cases, forums can be a huge time sink. But, if done with a goal in mind, it can be a way to promote yourself, your brand, and your products.
Building A Twitter Account:
When twitter first launched, i have to admit, i did not get it. I thought it was for narcissistic people who thought everyone else cared that they “just ate a turkey sandwich for lunch”. But i stuck with it, and after a month or so, i began to understand why twitter was so important. Simply put, “it is a completely new way to communicate”. Twitter can be used to gain followers with like-interests. It is easy to create content for followers, due to the 140 character limit. One of the best way to create content is to link out to interesting articles or resources for people in your niche.
Treating your users well is important. You cannot just spam links to your site. It takes time to develop a relationship with followers so they pay attention to what you are saying. The quality of content you deliver should be the same that they grown to expect from your brand. Over time, this will help you build loyal group of people that are interested in your message and your products.
Building a Facebook Fanpage:
Facebook is the 2nd most popular site on the internet and too huge to ignore. Its traffic is equal to or greater that of Google and has become the center of social interaction on the web. Creating a Facebook Fanpage is a way to connect to a group of users interested in your area of expertise. A Fanpage can be created within minutes, but gaining followers is more difficult. An easy, but more expensive way to gain followers is by advertising your page. Running a Facebook Ad is very easy and takes just a few minutes to setup. On the other hand, running a successful ad campaign that gets followers at a reasonable cost-per-acquisition is much more difficult. For the best results make targeted ads tailored to a very small group of people. Facebook Ads can target age, interests, jobs, and more. Pick a small group and make your headlines, images, and subjects specifically to capture the attention of this small group. This will increase click-through-rate of your ads and dramatically lower your costs.
Promoting your story on Digg:
Digg.com is a social news site where users can promote their own stories. This site is skewed to a college male aged demographic and can bring a huge volume of traffic and links if a story is successful. They key to getting a story popular on this site is creating interesting content, specifically geared toward this demo. It is also important to build up a base of friends that will help you promote/digg your story. It is difficult to reach the front page, but if you make it, you will experience a flood of traffic that can send most servers crashing. You will also need to be prepared in case this does happen.
Building a well-known brand is the goal of most businesses. Creating social channels that can push your content out to customers is a proven way to grow a user base. Ignoring social media could be the difference between success and failure for your business. It is not easy to figure how to best use each platform, but taking the time and effort to learn each one is extremely valuable.