If you have a medium- to large-sized online network, you might have noticed some of your contacts have been developing their own communities in the form of private groups, forums or social networks that are a mixture of free or paid memberships.
The Pros of Creating Your Own Community
So with all of the existing communities out there, what’s the benefit of creating your own?
Driving Traffic to Your Site – Let’s say that you start a forum on your own domain. If you’re successful in creating a popular community, you’ll be driving a lot of traffic to your website. The traffic, in turn, will lead to the next benefit.
Social media allows you to match data generated by social interactions with individual’s preferences and general interests. This creates useful profiles that give marketers insight into how to tailor future offers and products to their customer base.
In this article I’ll show you five ways to use the data generated by your social network profiles—and those of your competitors—to expand your reach and sales.
#1: Listening Data
Nearly every social media plan tells you to begin by “listening,” but what are you listening for? Monitoring news related to your local business environment and industry can give you a sense of the conversation around your products or services, but social listening allows you to expand this information and make it more relevant.
HootSuite just announced that they’ve passed their millionth user at the end of November, so it’s time to take a deep dive to see what HootSuite is doing and how it’s going to impact the social media space. Here’s a review of the latest and greatest with HootSuite’s new freemium service model.
Last fall, HootSuite announced that they were changing their business model to offer new “premium” services for business customers. All HootSuite users received a message asking them to choose a plan when they attempted to log in for the first time after the change.
Understanding the concept of social graphs will not only enhance your proficiency with social media marketing today, it will also help you foresee emerging trends. This will significantly help you be fully prepared when new web technologies are launched.
The term social graph was first used a few years ago by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, specifically in reference to the Facebook platform. Your social graph is a digital map of your personal identity, your primary Facebook friends and everything you share with them.
Both social media marketing and direct response marketing place a focused pitch on the right list (prospects) and understanding what they want in order to engage them with relevant information that will get them to buy from you.
So why are social media and direct response considered mutually exclusive?
Jonathan Fields, author of Career Renegade, put a stake into the hearts of social media “purists” when he said, “Those making the most money with social media marketing today are doing so by turning it into direct-response 2.0.”
Depending on your niche or industry, you may find that channeling all of your energy into broad social bookmarking networks that cover almost every topic imaginable may not benefit you.
Instead of targeting networks that only have a percentage of users interested in your topic, why not find a network whose members and visitors are 100% interested in your niche?
Geolocation is one of the hottest trends in social networking today. Users enjoy connecting with friends at nearby locations. Businesses are beginning to take note of the opportunity to tie their brick-and-mortar locations to their online marketing.
As users provide more information about their location, serious privacy implications are beginning to surface. For instance, a Webroot study released in July 2010 found that more than half of survey respondents who used geolocation services were worried their privacy was at risk.