Social media marketing is an all-encompassing term which is getting lots of responsibility these days especially with the election having just passed.
At the very start of the presidential election roughly 12 months ago in late 2007 Ron Paul was huge on sites like Digg, Propeller and elsewhere. I read somewhere that in just one month through his Internet marketing efforts he had raised over $ 5 million from these social media site users.
He was an Internet darling and a rising star. But unfortunately his soon soon faded and Barack Obama came in and picked up where he left off completely dominating John McCain. I do not know who was running their Internet marketing campaigns and particularly their social media campaigns but I do know.
Which brings us to an interesting point … there are lots of "gurus" out there on the Internet who want to sell you their marketing information and in particular the promise of the social media space to give you free advertising. Unfortunately, most of these "gurus" do not tell you the flip side of the equation. Namely, that it requires work and some initial investment of time and value given in order to be able to take out sales.
Because if theyave the whole story it would hurt their ability to make sales. Also, another big problem is that they do not provide any evidence of successful social campaigns that they've run which have made them millions of dollars.
Caveat emptor definitely applies on the Internet.
It's a big bad world out there and you've got to consider the source of who you're getting advice and training from. The simple rule I use is for anyone to give me advice they have to achieved what I want to achieve already. This way I know they know their stuff and by following them I should get similar results to what they've already gotten.
It's easy to get sucked in by high-priced sales letters and copy writers who know how to push all your emotional buttons, hit on your biggest fears, and attack your desires. My advice is it's okay to get excited but before you push the buy button take a step back and do just five minutes of research.
Just go to your favorite search engine like Yahoo, Google, MSN or one of the smaller ones and type in the product name plus "scam" and the product name plus "reviews". Also type in the businessman's name and "reviews" to get an idea of his reputation. If everything checks out and it's within your budget by all means go ahead and buy the product.
At this point now I'm going to give you your start with some of the basics of social media marketing. First you have to have an understanding of the different format of these social sites. It's not a blatant advertising model. It's definitely not a banner ad network nor is it a pay per click network.
The kind of short classified advertisements that worked on Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Network, and MSN AdCenter is not going to work on sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter. These type of blatant advertisements and classified ads do not work on social sites the way they do on Craigslist or BackPage.
You have to understand this type of advertising applied to social media is like taking a butter knife to cut a 2 x 4 piece of wood. You simply would not do it because you need a saw for the job. In the same vein you need a different tool to be able to market in social media. Reputation is everything in the social media space and building up positive reviews and positive feelings about your personal brand is paramount because people will tell their friends. This is viral marketing at its best and how you'll get good results.
You want to allow your personality to emerge in your communications. Your personality is very key in allowing you to connect with your market. You have to speak the language and the jargon which your target market speaks so you can easily make friends with them, build rapport, and extremely get them to trust and do what you say. Some of the things you can do depending on the site is provide valuable content and information the people you want to connect with would be interested in.
So at the start you want to target and make friends with influencers in your market and start making friends with people interested in that topic. You can do this by searching groups which encompass your topic area and make friends with members of those groups explicitly. Once you have these targeted friends you can start asked them questions about what kind information they want but can not currently find for free on the Internet. After they give you some feedback you can do the research and put this information together and then say hey I've got this information and posted for the course hiring them where it is with a link.
I can see you may be starting to whine saying "it sounds like a lot of work." It is but when done right is well worth it. It really helps to build your reputation with a series of informative posts one which builds upon the last. In this way you can get your friends lathered up and continue to build their trust in you by teaching them stuff with a series of informative posts on information they want.
I've been observing and participating in this very phenomenon on Facebook through the use of note posting. Bottom line is you want to put information and value our before you attempt to take anything back for yourself. In your notes you can ask for people's feedback and for those interested to contact you for more information. Doing this you will respect their time and build lots of trust with them.
Of course, when they request more information that's the point you now have their permission to send them a link to your sales letter and your valuable products. You follow these basics and you'll be well on your way to establishing a quality presence and getting valuable interaction and value exchange from your social media marketing efforts.