Social Media is one of the biggest pieces to the internet marketing puzzle and yet the least understood. Many websites, that initially had nothing to do with marketing to the consumer, have developed as new resources for companies trying to connect on a personal level with their audiences. As the new trend was foreseen as an effective and strategic marketing tactic, websites emerged specifically for business to consumer marketing. Described in Wikipedia, “social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video. Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing, and voice over IP, to name a few. Examples of social media applications are Google Groups (reference, social networking), Wikipedia (reference), MySpace (social networking), Face book (social networking), Youmeo (social network aggregation), Last.fm (personal music), YouTube (social networking and video sharing), Avatars United (social networking), Second Life (virtual reality), Flickr (photo sharing), Twitter (social networking and microblogging), Tenporium (social polling and consumer product reviews) and other microblogs such as Jaiku and Pownce. Many of these social media services can be integrated via social network aggregation platforms like Mybloglog and Plaxo.”
Furthermore, there are two important aspects of social media marketing. The first is social media optimization which is where a webmaster optimizes a site using social media platforms such as Reddit and Digg. Pages can be easily save and submitted to the online communities providing not only exposure but back links to your site.
The second part, social media marketing, involves building communities within specific online venues. A business is able to brand them self by creating a voice that interacts with members of the community. Conversation is the keyword in this arena. The goal is to keep the momentum of the conversations about your company constantly going and to build trust in your community.
Social media marketers like Internet Marketing Inc. offer to build an online identity or presence and socially optimize your site to utilize the power of the social media venues.