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social marketing

Social marketing can be quite confusing. Basically it's a bit of an umbrella term which includes interactive broadcasts such as blogs and podcasts, as well as social networking websites - all marketing tools for your business. These usually allow visitors to become users or members, create profiles, and upload and share content.

Popular social networks include Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Bebo, Delicious, Digg, MySpace, and Yahoo! Buzz. You may feel that they aren't relevant to your business, but you can use them to your advantage.

There are hundreds around but we've taken a look at Facebook and Twitter in a bit more detail and covered a couple of other social media related items of interest. Blogging is covered in a separate article.

You may already have a personal Facebook profile for interacting with your friends and family. However, you can also have one for your business. This can be a great traffic generator to your website. If you would like to do this just go to Facebook and click on the link (at the right on the home page) to create a business page (or we can set it up for you).

Then you upload your logo, images of your products and anything else to give your business a friendly face. You do need to update your profile regularly with news, or special offers etc and send out a weekly message to keep yourself top of mind. Links back to your site from the Facebook profile will increase your inbound links and help improve your search engine ranking. Of course, include a link to your Facebook profile in your website and newsletters as well.

A forum is really on online chat room where people have conversations with other people. The topic discussed really depends on the website that the forum is on - it could be anything from accommodation, to children's toys, to interior design. The most successful forums are usually on objective or third part sites which have more credibility than on your own website. So, have a search for some forums that relate to your industry or business.

Find a discussion you can participate in, "post" your comment (which needs to be genuinely valuable, accurate and relevant) and put a link to your website at the bottom.

Once viewed as a niche player in the social space, Pinterest has become one of the fastest growing social networks ever and a considerable force in marketing.

Stats released February this year, show Pinterest is close to outstripping Twitter in user numbers and that 47% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from Pinterest – that’s huge!. And it sends more traffic to other sites than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined.

Twitter is an online community where people share their thoughts or opinions in less than 140 characters. For businesses, it's another way to get yourself in front of a potential customers. Go to Twitter and sign up for an account then find interesting people to follow - generally they will follow you too. Then start tweeting - always include a link to your website, make your tweets valuable and aim to add a new tweet every day or so.

Social Bookmarking
Enabling visitors to your site to 'share' articles and web pages with or link them to their social networks or blogs which will increase the number of incoming links to your site and help boost your search engine rankings.

There are lots of free 'bookmark buttons' available which can assist you to do this. One in particluar is the 'AddThis' bookmark code to relevant pages or articles on your website. Visit 'AddThis' tor have a look in your favourite search engine for a list of similar tools and widgets by searching with the keywords "add this" or "share this".

If you can incorporate these techniques into your website marketing strategy, you will keep your site fresh and interesting, and have a much better chance of improving your exposure and maintaining a flow of interested visitors to your site.

If you'd like to discuss whether social media is suitable for you give us a call. If you'd rather send us an email for more information you could complete our enquiry form.

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