Social marketing has become a popular and effective means of online advertising today. With the growing number of social media sites on the internet it was only a matter of time before marketers figured out how to make money using them.
The original intent of these web 2.0 spawned sites was a gathering spot where like minded people could can together on a ‘social’ level. The growth in their popularity led internet marketing enthusiast to this potent pool of prospective customers.
Visiting any of the more popular social media sites like Digg, Facebook, or Twitter one can easily see evidence of creative marketing at work. In fact it has become commonplace to expect to be exposed to varying degrees of internet marketing tactics at such sites.
The difference in HOW site members are exposed to these ‘creative marketing’ tactics is very noticeable as compared to more ‘traditional’ online marketing methods. Potential prospects on these sites are visiting for the social aspects the sites were created for. These same ‘prospects’ can either pay notice to or ignore various promotional efforts they may casually encounter during their visit.
The site member’s ability to pick and choose with whom they communicate is what makes this environment so dynamically different. If they encounter any online advertising they may not want exposure to they can block any attempts at contact. Repeated attempts by the same advertiser (viewed as spamming) could bar them from any future attempts at contacting site members.
With that said it now involves putting an interesting twist into the marketing strategy of anyone looking to promote anything at a given social media site. If a sincere interest in a particular site member is not displayed the opportunity to interact with them will likely be denied. Therein lies the twist since marketers primary online intent is usually to promote something and not spend time socializing.
A new word is now introduced into the vocabulary of anyone attempting to make money by marketing their goods at any social media sites: Subtlety! Ouch!!
To successfully incorporate social networking type sites into the marketing strategy of any online business it is important to recognize a certain respect needs to be shown to site members. Their purpose for visiting the site is based upon socializing and not being exposed to sales pitches or marketing hype. As a marketer you need to realize you’re ARE NOT in a ‘made for sales’ environment. Your ability to advertise anything will depend upon you FIRST gaining the attention and acceptance of site members. Without this you’ll likely not even be allowed contact.
Social marketing can be a very effective means in which to grow an online business. The key here is to recognize that your primary emphasis has got to be gaining the acceptance and trust of site members. By displaying a sincere interest in discussions and leaving comments you’ll enhance your chances of being ‘allowed’ to get more involved. If your focus is obviously on marketing you will likely be ignored and your efforts will only serve to annoy the members while wasting your own time as well.