Within a short span of time, social media has revolutionized the way we communicate and connect with each other. Networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Orkut, etc. have become a daily dose for us. But importantly, companies are making smart use of these platforms to better relate to their existing customers, find new customers, and improve brand positioning.

A recent survey conducted by Regus showed that on a global level the average use of social media by companies to find new customers has gone up from 40% in 2010 to 47% in 2011. These findings are further backed by June 2011 analysis conducted by MerchantCircle which revealed that by end-June 2011 40.9% companies were using social media as effective advertising medium.

Now where do you stand in this milieu? Are you already using social networks to promote your products and services? If not, then we recommend you start including them in your marketing plans. If yes, then below mentioned tips can help you break the ice on social media and gain popularity.

Increase Your Link Building

Link building on social media is not only essential but fundamental to increase your website’s visibility on search engines. Posting relevant links on social media can get you massive traffic for your website. Furthermore, posting fresh content, blog articles, whitepapers, thought pieces, or audio and video podcasts on social media can improve your website’s optimization on leading search engines. These links promote your products and services efficiently. Blogs can help you drive quality and repeat traffic to your website.

Provide Tagging and Bookmarking

This is again a very smart method of driving traffic to your website. You can make use of Share or Bookmark facility to host your content on social networks like Digg, MySpace, Messenger, Reddit, Delicious, Facebook, Orkut, and many others. Post relevant tags to this content so that it gets easily noticed and identified when people look for bookmarks shared by others in the relevant category. The more people check out your bookmarks, the higher your website’s chances of gaining popularity and quality traffic. Content syndication will also help you better share and promote your content across the web. So make a smart move and tag and bookmark your content on social networks for targeted traffic.

Reward Inbound Links

Inbound links or reciprocal links are the links posted on other associate websites or webpages. These links drive relevant traffic to your website from these associate or related webpages. But like they say there’s no such thing as free lunch. You cannot just post your website links on associate websites without giving them anything in return. It should be a fair give and take. So reward the associate websites by posting their links on your own website. Also associate with these websites on social networks to increase your visitor base. Being associated with websites with humungous traffic on social networks will pay off in multiple ways. It will not only give you traffic but also help you build a reputation.

Help Your Content Travel

Social media allows you to submit your content in multiple formats. You can post PDF files, audio, videos or PowerPoint presentation. You can post your content in different formats across different social networks. This way, your content can travel across the web faster and tap a wider audience base. You can have people reading your blogs, referring to your presentations, and even watching your videos or listening to your audio podcasts. People who like your stuff can comment on it showing fresh activity on your content. Ardent fans can further refer your website and content to other members of their circle on social networks. All this can improve your website’s ranking on search engines.

Encourage Mashups

Mashups are a result of a fairly recent web phenomenon called co-creation. We have learnt that it pays to be more open about letting others use our content. But YouTube should be really credited for fueling the trend of co-creation. The video broadcasting giant gives you a code to cut and paste to embed videos from their site into your website. This way you can have traffic coming to your website even through YouTube. Great technique we would say to drive targeted traffic to your website. Similarly, syndicating your content through RSS will also help you create mashups and augment website visitors.

Connect with Communities

Social media is all about communities. Now you can use these communities for business growth and to improve your brand recall value. You can relay your marketing messages or post enticing comments across these communities to create a buzz for your brand. You can touch-base with these communities and promote your business philosophy. You can even send out an open call to these community members to come forth and share where they feel you can improve. You can even announce exclusive discount codes or special offers for these communities. If possible an initial preview of a new product can be released on these communities. Thus, social media communities hold tremendous potential for businesses who can dare to think differently.

Make It a Dialogue and Not a Monologue

This is the crux of any social media marketing campaign. It’s naïve to think that you can post promotional stuff on social networks and then relax. No, this is where the important part begins. What you are doing is you are starting up a conversation. Your target audience is going to talk back to you on social networks. You need to follow through with them in an engaging manner. Encourage them to comment on your posts. Reply back to their comments. Carry out discussions if required. What you will end up with is fresh content, inputs, and steady activity. Your engagement levels can make or break your social media marketing

campaigns

The best part of social media is that it’s an open playing field without any strict rules in place. Beyond the tried and tested social media marketing gimmicks, you can always try something new. You can plan out a never-tried-before kind of promotional campaign. Social media affords you the luxury to be innovative in how you sell yourself. So be different in your social media optimization and you will surely get noticed!

Author's Bio: 

Jeorge Martin offers Social Media Optimization & Marketing Services> at affordable rates. Check our Social Media Marketing Packages for more details