Do you ever watch videos on You Tube or see video footage on the news of terrible things happening to people? Do you wonder why people were taking pictures and videos instead of helping out?! It blows my mind! However, that tells you exactly how today’s technolgy is ingrained in all of us. When crisis occurs, just as a soldier will draw his weapon in a fire fight, civilians will draw their cameras! Capturing a good viral video is certainly more important than helping a fellow neighbor in need!
Well, by now most of have already heard about the poor man who was skiing in Vail, CO and almost fell off the ski lift. Fortunately, his skis caught the lift preventing him from falling. Unfortunately, his pants also caught the lift and ended up around his ankles as he dangled upside down for about 15 minutes! During this 15 minutes crowds gathered to take pictures and video footage. Within 24 hours his story is all over the Internet and the world news. In his case, technology proved to be an enemy.
Now that we have had our fun, let’s look at how these types of viral videos apply to social media and Internet marketing. Companies large and small are using platforms like Facebook and Youtube to make millions! Why shouldn’t you?
Social media is basically just online communities of people talking about things they are interested in. Therefore, using social media as a marketing tool takes the following steps:
- Develop a product (let’s assume you already have a product or service to market)
- Create good copy about that product and/or service, or be able to write intelligently about it
- Define the online communities that would most likely respond to your “industry” – this may take some time but is very important – you need to understand where your target audience is, what they talk about, what similar products they have bought before, etc.
- Build a presence in those communities by researching what they are talking about, get involved in those conversations, and develop a persona that people trust – offer value, insight, and something FREE if possible
- DO NOT start marketing your product or service immediately or you will be seen as SPAM and shunned from the community
- Once you have build trust and are part of the “group” you can gradually start collecting followers through sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySace, and of course the other more targeted sites where you probably first built your reputation
- Once you have the followers, you can start to remind them occaisonally that you have a product or service for sale!
Defining the community and building a following is crucial when you start to drive traffic to your website through social media optimization or marketing. You can drive a million unique visitors per month but if they are not the right people, who cares. You can only expect to receive good conversion rates if you are driving targeted traffic to a site that is set up to convert that traffic to revenue. And don’t forget to live up to the promises you made while building that reputation on the social media platforms. This is a great strategy that any good SEO company or Internet marketing company would recommend. It is not appropriate for all products, but if executed correctly, it can be very powerful for building brand and making money.