Social Network Marketing in Business – What’s Changed?

by Martin Malden

I reviewed an article I wrote about 11 months ago on the use of on-line Social Networking in business to see whether much has changed.

What I found is that some things have changed, but the basic premise has not.

You still have to recognise some basics and work with them, and you still need to put in the effort.

But the nature of Social Network Marketing has changed over the past year – at least in the way I do it.

These basic assumptions still apply to Social Networking:

Back links: the social bookmarking sites use redirects and Google applies ‘no follow’ to them. So direct links from the social media sites have no value. Don’t make the mistake of believing that linking to your blog from the Social sites will result in lots of back-links.

It may do, but it won’t be from the social sites

Traffic (visitors): although you can get spurts of traffic from a social media site this is largely ‘bounce’ traffic – i.e. they’re browsers. They’re there not because they were looking for you or the information you provide, but because your link appeared in front of them and they were curious.

Time: working the social media sites takes time and effort. In order to avoid being banned you need to make sure that you participate in the communities and not just post your own articles.

Here’s a change: I used to be active in a lot of sites and trying to participate in all those communities was frazzling me.

I now focus principally on 1 social site and I have 3 secondary sites that I dip into a couple of times a day.

Totally, my social networking activity takes me no more than an hour to an hour and a half a day now. Much less than I was spending a year ago.

Your Profile: you need to fully complete your profile on any sites where you’re a member. Why? Because if you put up interesting stuff people will check out your profile, and your profile is where you link to your site.

If your site also contains interesting (or useful) stuff they’ll become return visitors.

But it always comes back to providing interesting or useful information.

Think of yourself as a publisher, or educator. With one of those mindsets you’ll naturally start publishing stuff that’s genuinely useful to people.

There are other articles on this site describing how I use Twitter to find what will interest my potential readers.

It’s worth taking a look at them because what I’ve written there is the approach I’ve taken over the past year – and it’s transformed this site.

And that approach is not limited to Twitter – you can apply it to any social site.

How to reduce the time you spend on Social Networking

I mentioned earlier that I’ve greatly reduced the time I spend on social marketing online. Most of that is by rationalising the sites I was using and concentrating primarily on one, plus 3 others.

But there are other ways you can make more efficient use of your time…

Many of the social sites will allow you to set up your RSS feed so that all your new blog articles (or excerpts of them) are posted automatically to your profile page. Using RSS is a highly effective way of widely distributing your articles.

As long as you’re writing informative, well written articles you can quickly and effectively distribute your content far and wide, because people will tell their friends, who’ll tell their friends and so on.

Again, the immediate purpose of this is not to try to get links. As I mentioned above, the links from the social sites are not worth anything in themselves.

The purpose is to expose your content to people who may be interested in what you’re writing about, so that they check out the full article.

If it appeals to them they’ll stick around on your site and tell their friends.

Summary

So what’s changed? Not a lot as far as the basics go, but I’ve seriously rationalised the sites I spend time on and that allows me more time to put time and effort into other stuff.

Is Social Network Marketing still applicable to business? Absolutely, and you only need to see the growing number of big-name companies who actively participate on Twitter for proof.

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