What To Include In Your Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Creating a "buzz" around products, services, businesses or events is a requirement from all clients. There is no social media marketing wand that someone will wave and target audience will automatically start coming to your site. And what works for one brand may not work for another.

The process of creating buzz doesn't start from creating a Blog or creating a video, it's a social media strategy that encompasses social media and word-of-mouth marketing. We have compiled a list of social media tools that companies use to build their social media marketing mixes.

1. Blogs

Blogs have become a great tool for social media marketing. That is first because, if optimised correctly, it can be used to drive traffic to a website. A good blog will help in creating internal links, fresh content, active community or non-search engine traffic.

Examples of popular blogs where you can create your account are: Wordpress, Blog.com, Bloggers.com, Typepad etc.

2. Microblogging

Just as blogs, microbloggs offer huge opportunities for business promotion. That is both through content consistency and good optimisation. Few of the most used are: Posterous or Twitter.

3. Online video

The importance of online videos has rapidly increased during the last years. To read more on this topic, have a look at our blog on the Growing importance of online video. Popular video sharing websites are: YouTube and Vimeo.

4. Photosharing

Social media is all about sharing! Therefore, there are numerous platforms that allow photo sharing with your friends. Some of them are: Flickr, Memeo, and Photobucket.

5. Podcasting

Podcasting is part of the new media tools that are offered to both promote your brand or your products/services. Check out Blip or RadioPodcast here.

6. Presentation sharing

Another great way to put your brand's name in the spotlight is by offering presentations on topics of interest for your audience on presentations sharing websites. They are increasingly gaining in popularity nowadays. Some of them are: SlideShare, MyPlick, Scribd, AuthorSTREAM, or Myplick.

7. Social networks: applications, fan pages, groups, and personalities

Social networks are the place to present, promote yourself as well as to keep in touch with your targeted audience. You can read a list of most popular on our blog on Top social media network sites!

8. Crowd sourcing / Voting

Crowdsourcing is an effective model because it can be used for developing programs, marketing efforts, research, and education. For example Dell has used Crowdsourcing as a distributed problem-solving and production model and has reduced costs and increased their efficiency. Also look at the challenge for fNIH http://omopcup.orwik.com/ here to see crowd sourcing campaign.

9. Bookmarking/Tagging

Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to share, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web resources. Examples of popular social bookmarking websites: Delicious, Digg, Diigo, Fark, Mixx, MyBlogLog, Newsvine, Propeller, Reddit, Slashdot, StumbleUpon, Yahoo! Buzz.

10. Discussion boards and forums

Online forums are a great way to market your products/ services and interact with other professionals or your audience. Engaging your audience in your niche forum can bring high value to your site and brand too.

11. Content aggregation

Content aggregation offers you the chance to bring all news and feeds around your online communities accounts in one place. Some say this is the future of social media. Emerging content aggregation websites: Bloglines, FriendFeed, Lifestream.fm, Lijit.

12. Brand monitoring

Social media is also offering a variety of tools that help businesses understand the positioning of their brand. Popular examples are: Buzzlogic, Radian6 or Reputation Defender.

13. Ratings and reviews

The best way to find out where your website stands or how your brand is perceived by others is through ratings and reviews. See Yelp, Getsatisfaction.

14. Widgets

For those who are trying to promote their own brands, they can create their personalise badges using interesting widgets on Facebook, Twitter and other networks or simply use WidgetBox or Spring Widgets.

15. Wikis

Wikis are our online encyclopaedia. A short list of wikis: Wikipedia, Citizendium, Aboutus, Pbwiki, or Wetpaint.

Along with all the new ways of publishing your content on networking sites, it is important to publish your articles on publishing sites like Ezinearticles, eHow, Google Docs, IdeaMarketers, Yahoo Articles Group and submit your press release on important specialised sites like i-Newswire, PR.com, PressReleasePoint, PRLog.org.

Social Media Marketing can be very confusing at times. There are lots of networks and channels to choose from, creating presence on all the channels is very time consuming and randomly choosing any network is not a good social media strategy. Companies are struggling to understand what social media marketing mix they should use to make their brand successful in the online world.

We suggest it is important to identify which channels are suitable for your business depending on your target audience. Businesses must plan a step by step online marketing strategy and brainstorm ideas with their online marketing agency that will work for their products/service.

About the Author: Laura Wimble - SysComm International provides focused Internet marketing services including fully managed and highly successful Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing, AuthorSTREAM, Press Release Point, Social Media Strategy, Vimeo.