Friday, February 08, 2008

A good post from the LED Digest is below -

Five Link Bait Methods -

Could people be tiring of the social networks -

Reputation Management

Five Questions - Getting started with a blog

Here's the Post ---------

From: Steve Pronger
Subject: Social media

> Personally, I was tired of [social media] > long ago. I still use some social sites for > marketing purposes.
- Nathan Holley, LED 2583

How do you "use" them Nathan? Do you jump in and say "Hey guys, I'm a marketer, and I'm here to sell you something". If you do, you'll be about as welcome as the telemarketer who rings you in the middle of dinner. Or do you say "Hey guys, thanks for letting me join YOUR community. I'm here to contribute and learn. If you follow my participation in this community - content submission (not just mine), comments, messages, voting etc you'll start to see me as an expert in a particular field. Your go-to guy. And having accepted me as a trusted advisor in this particular field you'll look a bit deeper into my profile and discover that I just happen to sell a product or provide a service which can help you."

I'm no expert on social media. I'm still a rookie and I've made PLENTY of mistakes, as do most "marketers". Even the big name Web marketing "gurus" are getting this wrong. And that's because we approach this as marketers and SEOs. The social communities see us coming a mile off.
But, get it right and the benefits are real. I'm starting to see tangible results. Links, rankings, traffic. It works.

> Will social media sort of die out, at least > a bit, after the hype wears off?

Nope, not a chance. Hype? Rupert Murdoch didn't fork out $580 Million to buy MySpace because of hype. Social media and Web 2.0 is a fundamental change in the way your potential customers spend their time online.
According to the Online Publishers Association (Feb 2007) they spend only 5% of their time using search engines. Download a copy of Rich Schefren's Attention Age Doctrine Vol 2. Makes for interesting reading.

Steve Pronger


Steve, thanks for your comments. I sense you don't have much experience using social sites - not meant as derogatory at all - you stated yourself that you're not an expert in the space. I've been using sites like Digg since early 2006, not as long as some but long enough to build up very powerful profiles. And I use them every day.

When I stated that I use social sites for marketing, I meant exactly what I said. I use social media sites for marketing. I don't use them for fun, or to find news, or to make friends. I use them for marketing.
But how, you ask? Good question. I won't tell you, you'll have to figure it out, but here's a summary:

1. Approach social media like you approach a party: attend to join the conversation and add value. Don't look like a drunk loser and don't post your own stuff (until you earn the right).

2. Build your profiles through consistent use of the sites: submitting content, commenting, voting, and sending private messages.

3. Keep a low profile about what you do for a living. I'm an affiliate marketer, I do it for myself professionally, I don't have a firm or even a site that anyone knows about. You can bet I don't advertise my site's on my profile pages - instead I advertise my other profiles. That's key.

4. Learn the ropes. Each site has its own flavour and style. After a time, you'll learn what types of content works where and why.

5. Build content for the sites. See #4 and then create custom content that's just for the sites you're targeting.

6. Keep it non-commercial. The content you promote needs to be valuable and unique, and non-commercial. Blogs are a popular format, but Digg especially dislikes marketing blogs, anything to do with SEO, or lots of ad supported sites. Stay as .org as you can in terms of presentation.

7. Track progress. Develop a set of metrics you can apply to social media, and track your marketing progress. If you don't, it's all just a big guess.

There, I don't use social sites for fun, because they're all a giant waste of time (except Delicious). And I don't use social sites to make friends. I use them to market - I play the game according to the rules and I benefit from the traffic and backlinks. Don't ask me to give you a digg or a stumble, I won't, and you won't ever know my profile IDs. But you'll see me on the frontpage of Digg all the time - heck I was just there on Monday!!

-Nathan Holley


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