According to Wikipedia Social Media is an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio.
This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends on the varied perspectives and “building” of shared meaning among communities, as people share their stories, and understandings.
Social Media Marketing on the other hand is the use of this combined technology and social interaction to promote a product or service or website online. There are many social media available to use as tools in your Social Media Marketing strategy. These include but are not limited to forums, message boards, podcasts, video and weblogs.
There are also social media services available through which you can promote your website such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr, to name but a few. These sites provide the medium to promote the media and Internet Marketers use both in combination to develop a Social Media Marketing strategy.
I believe the foundation of any social media marketing plan should begin with a Blog. The Internet Marketer should create a Blog to drive traffic and direct this traffic to the product or service being promoted. The Blog owner should also comment on other Blogs in order to attract traffic to his or her Blog.
Another good technique for driving traffic is Internet Forums. This is a good way to establish your reputation by submitting quality content which is of some service to the reader. This will encourage people to reciprocate and visit your website or Blog to check out your content.
A third Social Media Marketing technique which is a good way to create a buzz online and therefore generate word of mouth is video. Create a video promoting a product which may be coming soon and distribute it to the various video sharing sites such as YouTube. This should contribute to increased traffic to your website and therefore increased sales.
Video can be utilized in many different ways. For example: to make people laugh, to demonstrate how a product works, to illustrate how to do something or to conduct a product review. Video attracts people’s attention and leaves an impression and this is why it is the wave of the future for Internet Marketing.
A fourth technique which you can use to get your message across is social networking. You can accomplish this by joining some of the social sites available such as Facebook and MySpace.
However anyone using these sites as promotion tools should be careful to follow the rules and not spam or promote excessively. Treat these sites with respect and use them as they are intended and the traffic will still materialize.
Finally, audio is another social marketing technique which can be implemented. Create an e-book for example and distribute it to the various audio sharing sites such as Soundboard. Or if you have a talent share it with the rest of the web through audio and your traffic should increase exponentially.
These are five techniques any Internet marketer can implement into their Social Media Marketing plan, but there are many more available to choose from.
The point being you shouldn’t overwhelm yourself with so many methods that you cannot do justice to any of them in terms of the time involved. As with any plan choose the ones you enjoy most and you will achieve your goal of increased Social Media traffic.