Many experts tell us social media marketing is a must to get recognized online.
If that is true, then how can we utilize these social media so that we can profit from their existence?
That’s a question David Offer of Facebook chat emoticons has an answer to.
In fact, he has 16 suggestions to use overlooked and underused social media marketing strategies.
I’ll let David explain in today’s guest post.
Photo Credit: pedrosimoes7
Social media marketing is vital to any business, or product promoter, that wishes to create brand recognition, large-scale promotion and word-of-mouth advertising.
There are many mainstream methods of social media and competition is fierce with costs increasing on a daily basis. Different strategies work for different products, but by adopting a widespread social media marketing strategy, a business can get the word out to many people, in a short space of time.
Here are 16 of the most underused and cost-effective social media marketing techniques. All offer huge publicity potential, low-competition and minimal financial outlay.
This is a term used to describe utilizing a large (usually unpaid) group to come up with a solution to a problem, or brainstorm an idea.
With the emergence and popularity of social network sites, this strategy has become a wonderfully cost effective method for a business to pose a problem and ask the public to voice their opinions and suggest potential solutions. Not only is this free research, it announces to the masses that you are forward thinking, value consumer input and openly advertises your company brand and products.
2. Brand Monitoring
Services like ReputationDefender.com allow a business to see firsthand how they are viewed online by the general public. This is invaluable information when building brand recognition.
Other services that can be used to see what people really think of your company include: Buzzlogic and Radian6.
3. Topic-Related Forums
Otherwise known as Discussion Boards, these community-based talk groups can be an integral platform for communicating with potential clients. They are also great places for insight into the latest trends, market-based discussions, for informing people about your business and reinforcing your reputation as an industry expert.
Blogs are nothing new but are still one of the most potent social media tactics available to any business.
Any serious business should always include a blog as part of their business strategy. A company blog is the ideal place to keep people informed of your latest developments, new products and industry know-how.
Blogs leave readers feeling involved and offer a real appeal to an otherwise faceless corporate entity. People like to have their say and quite often they will make suggestions that your best researchers would never have thought of on their own.
5. Online Video Sites
These sites, such as YouTube and Vimeo, attract huge audiences and informative videos can obtain millions of views. A great promotional video about a business, or product, can reach a target audience that will dwarf any contemporary TV advertisement by comparison.
6. Online Presentations
A rarely used resource is to make a presentation of a new product, like one you would show to a boardroom full of prospective clients, or shareholders.
These presentations can be broadcast via sites like: Scribd.com, AUTHORstream.com or SlideShow.net and can reach a huge member base that is already searching for this type of information – an ideal free resource to pitch your products to targeted viewers.
7. Get Your Ratings and Read Reviews
Like brand monitoring, this service allows a business to see how well they are perceived and read actual realistic reviews about their services and products. This is a great method for analyzing how any business development strategy is performing.
Check out GetSatisfaction or Yelp for honest public opinion.
8. Photo Sharing Sites
A commonly overlooked resource for promoting a business, or product – any publicity photos can be uploaded to these free picture-sharing sites.
People often search for free photos to use on blogs and other content and the more people that see pictures of your new brand, or product, the better. This is like having free photos emblazoned across the pages of popular magazines and periodicals and allows your promoters free access to your publicity photos – so no time wasted emailing them to every requester.
The most popular sites are Flickr.com and Photobucket.com.
9. Social Networks
Twitter and Facebook are already massively popular and well used. But not many businesses take advantage of the various applications available, like the online Facebook storefront Payvment.
Then there is Facebook Groups and Pages, where you can create business pages and promote yourself to the millions of daily users.
Twitter can be used to create a business-orientated profile and keep in touch, in real-time, with prospective clients – this shows that you are modern, approachable and is the modern day approach to customer service.
10. Create Your Own Widgets
Widgets and badges are everywhere. There are few blogs and websites that do not have the Twitter bird, the Facebook ‘Like This’ or the Google Buzz buttons easily accessible on their pages.
Now you can create your own personalized widgets on sites like SpringWidgets and WidgetBox. Having your own widget is great brand promotion and looks professional.
If you have numerous Web 2.0 and social media accounts, you can aggregate all the information and news into one feed that can be accessed by readers, in one useful all-encompassing feed.
Use a site such as: FriendFeed, Bloglines, Lifestream or Lijit and give readers all your latest news in one go.
Microblog is an industry buzz word used to describe the emergence of sites, like Twitter, that only allow for small textual entries.
Blogs can be hard to maintain every day if you are struggling to write lengthy content. Most people will visit a blog once a week, but people are addicted to the real-time, short entry speed of Twitter and spend most days reading the constant updates.
Schedule Twitter messages to post every few hours and add snippets of news, industry information and upcoming product developments. Microblogging keeps you constantly visible and enhances brand recognition.
13. Wiki sites
Add your business or brand to a topic-related Wiki. These are online resources that are constantly referred to for information and advice. They are easier than leafing through an encyclopedia and a lot more topically relevant. There are many different Wiki’s for each market, topic or industry and they appear regularly in high search engine rankings. They are also great sources for quality backlinks. Check out Wikipedia.org, Citizendium.org, or AboutUs.org.
Start your own mini radio station and produce your own free radio advertising. A lot cheaper than mainstream radio adverts and these podcasts are downloaded, and streamed, by millions of digital radio and iPhone/iPod users every day.
15. Social Bookmarking Sites
Submit your best content, information and news to the popular social bookmarking sites like Digg, Propeller, Fark, Mixx, StumbleUpon, Reddit and Buzz. These submissions can be read by millions of users and voted on. If you submit quality content that captures the reader’s interest and received enough positive votes, the story can go viral and appear on other blogs and news sites. This can lead to a swarm of new visitors and a healthy amount of brand popularity.
16. Publish Content to PR and Archive Sites
If you have any new upcoming product releases, or if you are starting a new business, write a press release and submit it to one of the many online PR agencies such as: PRLog.com, PR.com and i-Newswire. Never overlook the advantage of posting content to other sources like Google Docs, ideaMarketers, Yahoo Articles and eHow – these sites archive your content and are often searched by people looking for quality information for research and journalism assignments.
All these different resources can seem like a mammoth amount of work, but they are just some of the options available to assist with business promotion and brand recognition. There is no need to use all these sources for every campaign; they are just useful conduits available to the social media marketer. The great thing about these platforms is that the majority are completely overlooked and offer any business some low competition alternatives to help stay ahead of your nearest rivals.
By D. Offer. Daniel leads a Facebook chat emoticons project entitled Emoinstaller. Emoinstaller is a software product that enables users to add Facebook emoticons easily to their Facebook account. Users have access to over 900 Facebook smileys once Emoinstaller is installed.
So far David’s suggestions.
What social media marketing strategies do you use?
Post your comments below.
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