Part of branding yourself is to use social networking tools and blog postings to your advantage. Once you have identified your niche, it becomes much easier to conduct promotions that may lead to sales and higher traffic as a result. Carving out your niche and finding new networks to explore will help you do this in multiple ways. Finding more people within your network will become easier as you expand your reach; by participating in forums, discussion groups, and social bookmarking portals, you will be creating brand recognition in many ways. The Internet has opened up many options for businesses and marketers to take advantage of increased interaction. Each group member within a niche topic can interact anytime of day, and start to gain trust and increase credibility of their chosen brand as a result.
There are many social networking tactics available for your niche. Yahoo! Answers offers one very valuable opportunity for direct contact, but your overall marketing strategy can encompass a variety of channels. After you’ve decided on what you want to accomplish with online networking, it’s time to choose the different social networking websites to participate in.
MySpace.com is one of the largest social networking websites available, and it can help to search and refine your target group using the online search engine. LinkedIn is a strong resource for professionals, and offers career-related online marketing options that let you connect with clients, customers, and even answer business-related questions. Gather is a network that incorporates articles into the system. Users write up specific topic-related articles and post them throughout the site. The articles can be helpful and insightful, and may even ask and answer a specific question. Once this has been posted, a point system is developed so that the user can increase their social networking activities on an ongoing basis.
Learning about who you want to interact with is another important step. Your options include customers and consumers, consultants, media and publishers, event representatives, and other people within your industry. You can target each of these groups in a different way. Approaching people in the right way is an important part of your online social networking tactics. You will always want to send a friend request on some of the major portals, and make sure you are leaving thoughtful and relevant comments on their pages. You will want to ‘work your network’ as often as possible. Set aside some time to respond to comments and messages, and keep your profile as up-to-date as possible. You will need to make sure your own pages are not being filled with irrelevant material, and add new content to your page so that people continue to visit your site regularly.
Engaging your audience as much as possible is an essential element of effective social networking and social marketing. Additional tips for your social marketing:
- Consistently add useful content to your site
- Join Google, Yahoo!, and Windows Live as soon as possible to branch out
- Acquire one-way reciprocal links
- Increase your Google PageRank as often as possible