2009 has been a big year for social media. Many of the sites have proven, in some eyes, that they can stick around and social media won’t just be the “fanny pack” fad of the industry. Although, those were pretty cool… A purse that buckles around the waste and wait, guys can sport it too? Radical. Well, come 1997 this was pretty much obsolete. Not so much the case for social media.
Social media marketing isn’t a fad – it’s becoming an important and integral part of online marketing and a ship your business should set sail on. By rolling your eyes at the idea of marketing through Twitter, Kontain or any of the other social media sites popping up out there, you could be opening the door to a big advantage for your competitors. As online marketing grows and steps into the future, so should your marketing plan. And it should include social media.
Introducing the best social media marketing sites of 2009 (that I think will be just as important, if not more in 2010)...
Digg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. If you, as a business, can spread some a.) funny b.) interesting or 3.) surprising content and get some peeps to “digg” it, you’re set. The hardest part with Digg is growing your presence on the site to gain any ground to stand on for votes. So, start now. Build a presence. Make some connections and the better your content is, the more votes you’ll get. And people just might end up talking about you – or better yet - at your website.
YouTube is a video sharing site and we all know that. But people spend thousands of minutes mindlessly watching funny, informative and entertaining video clips everyday. If you don’t have any video content related to your business, shoot 6 cute puppies playing in a field and title it “Cute Puppies Playing by [insert business name here]”. Anything with cute puppies rolling around is gonna get a buttload of views (so put your logo in the upper right corner and a link to your site and see what happens.)
With a Flickr account you can share photos and videos, join and create groups, connect with other members and share information. It’s a classic and well worth your time. ‘Nuff said.
is the “dead simplest place to post everything.” Just email them. So, posterous claims it’s fame by offering a blogging platform with no strings attached. Simply email what you want to post, attach images, video, audio, etc. and you’re done. Lots of really hip people are on posterous, and you probably should be too.
Ning lets you join and create new social networks for your interest and passions. This is great for your niche (or obscure) business – you can create a niche (or obscure) network and join with all the other obscure weirdos into your craft in one place. It’s easy to use, lots of people are already members and it’s a great way to introduce a lot of people to what you’re all about.
This is where you get to be professional. Create a business page, encourage all employees to join LinkedIn and provide links to your business, create relevant groups, share them and connect with LinkedIn’s gigantic network of experience professionals. LinkedIn ranks pretty well for business names too.
Tried and true. Looking at Facebook with our SEO-tinted glasses wouldn’t get it a #3 on our list, but from a social networking standpoint and brand awareness angle it rocks. Whether you’re big or small, get yourself a Facebook page, start encouraging fans, offer special Fans-only coupons, advertise on Facebook and the largest social network online just might jump on your business’ band wagon.
Kontain is new, just learning to crawl and trying really hard to get up and walk. He falls down sometimes and may even face-plant onto the carpet, but he sure is trying. In my personal (and professional) opinion this site is awesome. If you have images to share (especially artsy, crafty, or some too-cool-for-words) get ‘em up on Kontain. People here love to share stories with imagery and it’s a great network of individuals wanting to support one another. You’ll get a lot of views and followed links (score!) and might just find a new wave of traffic to your website.
You’re not on Twitter? Who are you? Miley Cyrus? Ok, so everyone… besides Miley Cyrus… is on Twitter. If you are, great. But, if by chance you’re not, get there. And once you’re there do something. Be interesting, funny and entertaining (wait, have I said that before?) and engage with people. Offer customer service responses, special deals, new industry information, whatever ya got. PS – offering people free/cheap sh*t works every time. So do it now.
So, Just Do It. I think some famous brand might have said that one time? I don't know, but the time for social media really is now. These guys lasted through 2009 to prove themselves, so make them work for you in 2010.