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January 30, 2008

Social Media Marketing For Beginners

In the recent past years Social Media Marketing and Social Media have dominated and defined Internet marketing. The popularity of social sites like MySpace and social bookmarking sites like Digg has caused this push. Social media has two main components, user generated content and the networking capability allowing you to form groups of friends and others that you can share content with.

Sites like MySpace, Zubby, and Facebook allow users to create profiles using text, videos and pictures to design their pages. These can then be shared with a selected group of other people in a special ‘friends’ network and if the user wishes these pages can be shared over the whole social network.

Sites like Digg, Flickr, Associated Content and YouTube allow users to submit links to their favorite news articles online, pictures, articles, and videos then vote on the content that others have submitted. The most popular content is displayed on the front page of the site and the other pages are available to the general public to browse through. These drive traffic to the site and to the pages that are bookmarked.

There are many different ways to use these types of sites, either together or alone.

The use of these types of sites to promote your products and services is what is known as social media marketing. The types of traffic you get once your content is discovered and becomes well known in social media are primary traffic and secondary traffic.

Primary traffic is the direct traffic from the site that you used to make your site popular. If you are using a site that has fairly heavy traffic like Digg to promote your site you could get a large amount of traffic in a short amount of time so you need to make sure your site can handle the traffic, otherwise it may crash.

Once a site becomes popular on a social media site it gets talked about. When people talk about these sites they post links to the site which draws more traffic to the content. This indirect traffic is the secondary traffic. It is the secondary traffic that continues to flow to your site after the initial surge of direct traffic slows.

The benefits of primary and secondary traffic coming from social media sites include exposure to your site initially. Once your site is known by the general public then organic traffic will begin and repeat visitors start to show up, as long as you have something to entice them to come back.

Natural links to your site are beneficial because they are given by people or companies who have nothing to gain from your business venture. These are generally from relevant sites increasing the likelihood that visitors are going to be genuinely interested in your products and services. These links improve your search engine rankings and improve organic traffic.

Social media marketing allows your site to get exposure in a larger site and to a larger group of people. If your traffic levels off you can use social media marketing to jump start your traffic and work on taking your search engine traffic to the next level.

The alternative for increasing your search engine traffic is using pay per click advertisement. Using pay per click campaigns can help you to sustain increased traffic from the search engines but this traffic comes with a price tag.

Using social media marketing is free and can increase your traffic and your ratings in the search engines. Getting your site notices a couple times a year in the social media arena can make your site popular enough to bring in traffic throughout the year.

Author:  Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of Be Successful News, a site that provides information and articles on how to succeed in your own home or small business.

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