Sure, social sites give you a lot of interactivity and allow users to personalize their sites, compile a list of favorite links, videos, music, photos, documents and share it all with friends and visitors, but how exactly does that help you develop your Internet marketing start-up business?
The first thing to understand is that there are two basic types of social networking sites, so you will need to be clear in your own mind about what it is you want to do – bookmark or network?
Social Bookmarking Sites
Social bookmarking sites allow you to build and organize your favourite links (i.e. bookmarks) AND you can choose to restrict them to selected friends or make them public and share them with everybody on the Internet.
The big advantage of social bookmarking is that your favourite links are no longer tied to one specific browser accessible from just one computer in one location.
Social bookmarking services enable users to save bookmarks on a remote web server which can be accessed anywhere where there is an online connection.
Social bookmarking sites usually categorize links with a “tagging” system which allows users to choose keywords with which to “tag” their bookmarks. Sites can then be retrieved via the tags.
You can encourage others to bookmark your articles, blogs or webpages by adding a Digg, Stumbleupon, TwitThis or other button on your page.
However, there are so many social bookmarking services, that if you added all their buttons you’d end up with more buttons than content on your page! Instead, use a service like addthis.com, which places one button on your site for a wide range of social bookmarking sites.
Social Networking Sites
Social networking sites offer a convenient method of connecting with people who share similar interests to you.
Sites like Facebook and MySpace allow you to post your advertisements and promote your products, as long as you do not simply (and stupidly) send out spam. A good site with regularly updated original content will attract traffic.
MySpace or Facebook?
It has recently been noised abroad that MySpace is no good for Internet marketing, but that is not so. It was simply a case of too many Internet marketers not knowing who their audience was.
The point is that MySpace tends to attract a younger age bracket with less money to spend than does Facebook. Get to know the sites and adapt your content to each one, don’t simply post the same stuff to both.
Another reason why some people don’t think social networking sites are good for business is that they do no more than set up a profile. Then they get stuck, don’t know what to do, do nothing. Merely being there is not enough! Find ways to communicate with the people who are there on their terms, not yours.
Go careful, though, that you don’t go overboard with the crazy applications and the “late night partying confessions” stuff if it is not the sort of thing you want your clients to see!
Whereas social bookmarking sites are simply sites for you to collect and organize your favorite links, social networking sites, being more sociable, require more time and regular fresh content updates. With social networking sites you have to work on your image!
Search Engines Love Web 2:0!
Another reason why Internet marketers should build a presence on both social bookmarking and social networking sites is because search engines LOVE them!
Search engine spiders regularly follow links posted on these sites. So, by building up your links on these sites, your website backlinks will grow, and so will your search engine rankings, which is what you need if your Internet marketing start-up is to survive, grow and thrive.
If you found this article helpful you might like to visit http://grasp-the-nettle.com for more free articles on Internet marketing to help you master the net. You might also like to sign up to my FREE Internet Marketing Start-Up newsletter, which comes complete with a library of Internet marketing ebooks (worth a total of $136.75) for you to download free of charge. David Hurley lives in Japan, where he works as an English language consultant, editor, and Internet marketer.