Online marketing is widely successful because of one simple premise: it’s based on the needs of others. With the advent of social media, online marketing has become a hub of essentially content-sharing platforms. Think of it this way: not only does everyone now have a mini virtual megaphone, but there are strings connecting users to one another and important information continues to pass along these routes.
It started with blogs. Got something to say? Say it and share it. Since then, content-sharing systems have become an integral part of any viable new media platform. From Digg, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, YouTube to Flickr, all really successful new media channels have one thing in common – they offer you the opportunity to give and receive freely.
You can use existing social media platforms to increase your online visibility with some easy-to-implement suggestions…
What: Use short and engaging headlines with relevant SEO-rich keywords.
Why: This attracts attention and also serves you well in search engine results. Think of recent viral stories like “My Son is Not Gay” or “Tiger Moms” and you get the idea of what gets a pool of people with otherwise diverse interests to pause and read your content and then share it with others, giving you increased visibility.
What: Offer Unique Content.
Why: Nobody wants to waste their time hearing about the same thing twice. It’s unoriginal and offensive to people’s intelligence. Show your audience that you value their time by coming up with something original. People also like attention and they want to be the first to share interesting or exciting news/information.
What: Avoid “big words” in your tweets.
Why: Technical words and difficult to understand language is ill-suited for Twitter, which is essentially a platform for quick, bite-sized and easy-to-digest snippets of information. Sounding like a professor is a Twitter turn-off and ensures no one will be retweeting your message.
What: Retweet tweets you find interesting, or from those whose attention you want to get.
Why: Because you have to give to get. Giving someone a little bit of attention and recognition by retweeting their tweet to your followers ensures that you get their attention. It also shows your followers that you’re interested in more than just yourself – which is always good if you want to come across as more than one-dimensional.
What: Schedule your Facebooking for early mornings, evenings and weekends.
Why: Most people look to share content in the morning and read content in the evening or weekends. Strategically posting to Facebook during these times ensures you get more people reading and sharing your content. At the same time, make sure you engage with your followers as well. No one likes a selfish Facebooker.
What: Always include an image in your content.
Why: An image in your content will pop up as a thumbnail when you link it on Facebook. Studies show that people gravitate toward images, and the better the image, the higher the clicks to go and read your post. Just make sure the image is relevant to your post.
Think of your own web page and what you can do there to host content sharing. Keep your consumer base in mind and ask yourself, what are their interests? Maybe you can offer them freebies such as PDF manuals and other resources useful to them in their business. This strategy works great for business-to-business, but if you’re business-to-consumer based then consider what other interests your consumers have. For example, if you’re a local restaurant, try thinking of what local events and news your patrons would be interested in. Become a resource for this information and you become more than just a restaurant – you become a trusted and familiar source that they’re more likely to frequent. The more familiar your patrons are with you, the more they will flock to you and the more likely they are to talk about you.
Remember, it’s about them, not you.