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Is Social Marketing a Colossal Waste of Time?

Mar 31, 2008
It's one of the buzzwords of today's internet world: Social marketing. If you've been selling on the internet for very long, or you've just been thinking about trying your hand at internet sales, you've probably read web page after web page about how social marketing is the future of ecommerce.

But some marketers think it's a colossal waste of time. Is it worth the time and energy it takes to launch a social marketing campaign?

Well, to evaluate whether social marketing is a worthwhile strategy, let's look at some of the ways that social marketing can build your business:

1) Viral marketing. Putting your company and your products on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Squidoo, and FriendsWin encourages people to tell their friends about you.

The more you interact with other internet users through these sites, the more people will become excited about your products. And when you're excited about something, don't you naturally want to tell other people about it?

There's a common myth that people only tell friends about negative experiences with companies and products. It's simply not true. Myspace didn't acquire 330 million accounts without viral marketing. Likewise, FriendsWin didn't add 25,000 subscribers in 3 months without word-of-mouth referrals.

Even products as simple as Beanie Babies (remember those?) were wildly successful because people told their friends about them, not because of aggressive ad campaigns.

2) Connecting with other business owners. Social marketing not only allows you to connect with potential buyers; it puts you in touch with other entrepreneurs who are marketing similar or complimentary products.

Gone are the days when every internet marketer acted like he or she was on an island, well-distanced from competing marketers. Today's internet business environment demands that marketers work together toward mutual success.

Internet users simply don't have the time and patience for endless advertisements, so it's imperative that marketers work together to sell complimentary products to targeted, interested buyers.

For example, let's say you're selling high quality pizza baking stones. You could develop your marketing plan from scratch, and rely on SEO and pay-per-click to find customers who want to buy your pizza stones.

But what if, through your social marketing efforts, you found Joe, who sells premium pizza cheeses, sauces, and other ingredients imported from Italy?

Through cross-selling, you and Joe could develop a "one stop shop" where pizza lovers could find everything they need to bake great pizza at home. His customers don't have to scour the internet looking for the perfect pizza stone, and your customers don't have to hunt for premium pizza ingredients.

Providing this kind of convenience could easily generate more sales than either you or Joe could generate on your own.

3) Quality backlinks to raise your search engine ranking. Social networking sites like Myspace, FriendsWin, Squidoo, and Facebook all have tremendous pull with Google and other search engines. Linking to your website or blog from these sites can substantially improve your own search engine position.

It's also an excellent way to get backlinks from people who like your products, and from other internet marketers. Remember viral marketing? Backlinks from customers and fellow marketers are simply an extension of this type of marketing. Even better, backlinks are not only highly effective, they're free.

Sure, social marketing can be tedious and time consuming. There will always be entrepreneurs who tell you that social marketing takes up too much time to be effective. But if you have the patience and the vision to grow your business through social marketing, you'll gain some pretty enviable advantages that will help you and your business succeed.
About the Author
To learn about a new social networking site that is blowing the doors off of Myspace, please visit my FriendsWin page . Right now, you can also make money recommending the site to others, no matter whether you currently have a business, or are just looking for a legitimate way to make money on the internet.
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