The rise of social networks, blogs, wikis, social bookmarking and other Web 2.0 tools has created a new dynamic source of traffic for your website or any other online profile you might have. A top article on Digg can drive much more traffic to your website or blog than a top search engine ranking could ever do. Web 2.0 has created a new way to market to unique and targeted audiences.

Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a form of word of mouth marketing through the use of Web 2.0 tools such as media sharing (video, images), social bookmarking, social networking and content sharing websites. The essence of Social Media Marketing is giving people a solid reason and purpose to visit your website or blog because of great original and informative content.

Social media (Web 2.0) is also a great way to build your brand and online reputation. Brand yourself and become recognized as the market leader in your niche and the sales and business leads will follow. Your brand and reputation is what you represent. You must be the persuasive and unique voice in your targeted market. Your goal is to create a cultural following.

SMM is quite different from SEO

SMM is quite different from Search Engine Optimization (SEO). With SMM, you can market directly to your targeted audience and with SEO, you are marketing to the search engines. Search Engine Optimization is all about building rankings on the search engines while Social Media Marketing is about building relationships and a community.

In today’s online driven world, nobody can hide any more. The world has become more transparent, not less. There is no more lurking in the shadows. Social Media and the sharing of valuable content shines a new light on businesses to brand themselves.

Online marketing has changed

The online marketing landscape and methods has changed quite tremendously over the last 5 years. It is really getting chaotic. The old style of controlling your market is dead. Businesses needs to understand that Social Media Marketing is very different from old school traditional marketing. SMM is about publishing, sharing of interested and original content, creating trust and building relationships. Not about selling directly.

SMM allows you to promote your brand and services by making your presence known on targeted Web 2.0 tools and systems. These Web 2.0 tools can include social networks like Facebook, blogs, wikis,StumbleUpon, Digg, LinkedIn, etc. Each of these tools has its own rules of engagement and strategies that needs to be developed for your Social Media Marketing strategy.

What you can expect from Social Media Marketing

  • Increase brand awareness.
  • Powerful backlinks that will help with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy.
  • Targeted visitors to your website.
  • The ability to interact with customers and future prospects.
  • Increased sales or business leads through brand awareness.

Even though social media marketing has been around for a while, businesses are only realizing the full potential of this phenomena now and how they can use social media to build brand recognition.