Social Media Marketing is considered as one of the newest methods of getting traffic to your website and marketing a special product or service. Recently, this promotional channel has become so powerful that big companies and merchants are taking the most advantage of it, too. Maybe you should think about it, as well.
Social Media is a collective group of web properties whose content is primarily published by users, not its staffs and employees. Sometimes it is called Web 2.0 as the new era of Internet and World Wide Web due to the dynamic contribution of website users for adding content and managing the communities.
Because of this new feature, many websites have turned into networks and communities where visitors play a very large role for maintaining them. That´s why the number of users in these kinds of websites and networks is growing all the time and has become a phenomenon in our age.
It is very important to explain what Social Media is and what it is not. Sometimes, many people confuse it with advertising on social networking sites. Advertising that appears on these websites is mostly in the form of context or social action based. Networks monitor what the users are doing and place relevant ads next to them with the assumption that they will be clicked.
Social Media Marketing is not about spamming, copying certain links and pasting it in discussion groups and forums. It is essential to give value to the people with whom you are having a dialogue. It is about building relationship and getting credit.
Social Media Marketing is all about cooperation and association between Internet users. It is about participating with everyone and sharing with them ideas and information. It is as much about giving as it is about receiving from the group. The main goal of this type of marketing is engaging with the consumer and providing value. Nothing more!
With that being said, the power of Social Media is so clear. However, I am going to point out 3 reasons why it is an amazing method of branding and marketing:
1. The Traffic is Unlimited.
The number of Social Media sites and their users is increasing all the time. It means an unlimited source of traffic containing real visitors with different interests and various demographics.
2. The Traffic is FREE.
Apart from advertising on Social Media websites, this method is absolutely FREE. You do not need to pay anything for joining and contributing with these websites. As soon as you create your profile, you will be able to get as much as possible without paying a single dime.
3. The Traffic is Targeted.
The third feature of this kind of marketing is the ability to get targeted visitors. You can find groups, networks and communities created specifically around your desired topic and the only thing you need to do is to just get involved. Sometimes, the traffic is even more targeted than the search engines!
Social Media can take many different forms from forums, groups and blogs to photo, audio and video sharing websites. Marketing on these websites should be precisely performed according to the theme of the network. That´s why Social Media Marketing is an art and science, not a bunch of information.
While covering every aspect of Social Media Marketing is out of the scope of this website, I do my best to mention the most essential facts such as introducing the top Social Media Websites.
7 Forms Of Social Media Websites
I have categorized Social Media Websites into 7 forms and listed some of the top resources in each category. Hope you find it useful:
1. Social Bookmarking Websites:
These sites are especially created for users to help them bookmark their favorites and share it with others. In other words, these websites allow users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of their selected web pages on the Internet.
Top 5 Social Bookmarking Resources:
2. Social Networking Websites:
These networks are focused on creating online communities of people who share their interests and activities and are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others.
Top 5 Social Networking Resources:
3. Social News Websites:
These websites are resources where Internet users can submit and vote on news stories or other links and share them with others. These website also enable visitors to comment on submissions and even rate the news and stories.
Top 5 Social News Resources:
4. Social Multi-Media Websites:
These website are widely spread all over the net and used by millions of users each and every day. They are referred as Multi-Media Networks and can be categorized into 3 sub-groups:
4.a. Photo Sharing Websites:
Resources where people can upload, edit and share their photos and comment and rate other´s pictures. These websites are highly popular due to their value.
Top 5 Photo Sharing Resources:
4.b. Audio Sharing Websites:
These are the resources where you can upload, edit, listen and share your audio and music files. Whether it is an mp3, Podcast or even live Internet radio, people love to listen.
Top 5 Audio Sharing Resources:
4.c. Video Sharing Websites:
These media websites are places where people can upload and edit their own video clips and watch and share them. It allows users to comment, rate and bookmark the movies and interact with other users and visitors.
Top 5 Video Sharing Resources:
5. Social Publishing & Blogging Websites:
These websites are platforms that allow users to create, manage, publish and promote content in the forms of web pages, lenses, blogs and micro-blogs. Basically, these websites are maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary which in blogs, for example, are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.
Top 5 Social Publishing Resources:
Top 5 Social Blogging Resources:
6. Social Learning Websites:
These are web pages where people can write, edit and read articles and essays or ask and answer question. Simply, these websites are considered as learning resources that enable the Internet users to contribute and modify content and help other people solve their problems.
Top 5 Social Learning Resources:
7. Social Forums, Groups and Discussion Boards:
These communities are built for a targeted group of people around a specific topic where the users can start a new topic, ask questions, look for solutions, answer the questions and much much more. There are Forums and Message Boards for virtually any existing topic out there full of targeted people having the same interests and activities.
Top 5 Social Forums, Communities, Groups and Discussion Boards Resources:
So far, you have had the opportunity to find out the most common Social Media Websites and the top resources in each category. Bear in mind that the above-mentioned list is only a fraction of what we call Web 2.0 and Social Media.
Also, remember that each website with a large user base that enables you to add, modify and share content with other users could be regarded as a Social Media Website and may not be overlooked. I have only laid out a short list, now it is your turn to find and locate other players in the market.
Hope you find this information useful. Why not subscribe to my RSS Feed and get the latest posts and articles?! Go ahead and do it now!
All the Best!