With the advent of websites like Digg, del.icio.us and even StumbleUpon, social media marketing has become a ineluctable aspect of valid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Apart from these link-sharing services, websites like LinkedIn, Friendster and MySpace let people share not only links, but many other interests too.
If by any chance you are not aware of the term social media marketing, it means encouraging web surfers to recommend your link to their friends using the bookmarking websites mentioned above.
Social media websites can be your quickest way to online fame because they can send 1000s of visitors scurrying to your website in a matter of a few hours. The users of their websites are passionate about their interests and don’t hesitate when it comes to expressing themselves.
Social media websites not only send hordes of traffic to you, they also help you improve your search engine rankings because most search engine ranking algorithms attach greater relevance to websites that are linked to by other websites.
Different SEO experts have different views on how one should approach social media marketing but the broader methodology of leveraging this great opportunity should encompass:
- Great content: People that love social bookmarking are always looking for great content to link to. Give people something they seek, something they feel others should know too. Offer them something that is of great value but is not easily available, or not available at all. Use compelling headlines and sub-headings. Give them what they desire and they’ll be linking to you like mad.
- Networking and communication: Since it is called social media, you cannot live in isolation and expect people to feel something towards you or your website. Till you make a name for yourself, you actively need to participate on social media forums and other websites/blogs and contribute valuably. The more gregarious (in the positive sense) you are on the Internet, the better are the chances of gaining relevant exposure for your website.
Personally I think it is the old wine in the new bottle. Apart from advertising, social media marketing has been a big part of online promotion since the beginning of the Internet. In fact that’s how indexing websites like Yahoo came into existence in the first place. What do you think?