Social Media Marketing – Right and Wrong Things to Do

Social media marketing is an all-encompassing term which is getting lots of publicity these days especially with the election having just passed.

At the very start of the presidential election roughly 12 months ago in late 2007 Ron Paul was huge on sites like Digg, Propeller and elsewhere. I read somewhere that in just one month through his Internet marketing efforts he had raised over $5 million from these social media site users.

He was an Internet darling and a rising star.  But unfortunately his shine soon faded and Barack Obama came in and picked up where he left off totally dominating John McCain. I don’t know who was running their Internet marketing campaigns and particularly their social media campaigns but I do know Barack’s people were obviously more skilled.

Which brings us to an interesting point… there are lots of “gurus” out there on the Internet who want to sell you their marketing information and in particular the promise of the social media space to give you free advertising. Unfortunately, most of these “gurus” don’t tell you the flip side of the equation.  Namely, that it requires work and some initial investment of time and value given in order to be able to take out sales.

Because if they gave the whole story it would hurt their ability to make sales.  Also, another big problem is they don’t provide any evidence of successful social campaigns they’ve run which have made them millions of dollars.

Caveat emptor definitely applies on the Internet.

It’s a big bad world out there and you’ve got to consider the source of who you’re getting advice like backpage and training from. The simple rule I use is for anyone to give me advice they have to have achieved what I want to achieve already.  This way I know they know their stuff and by following them I should get similar results to what they’ve already gotten.

It’s easy to get sucked in by high-priced sales letters and copy writers who know how to push all your emotional buttons, hit on your biggest fears, and attack your desires. My advice is it’s okay to get excited but before you push the buy button take a step back and do just five minutes of research.

Just go to your favorite search engine like Yahoo, Google, MSN or one of the smaller ones and type in the product name plus “scam” and the product name plus “reviews”. Also type in the businessman’s name and “reviews” to get an idea of his reputation.  If everything checks out and it’s within your budget by all means go ahead and buy the product.

At this point now I’m going to give you your start with some of the basics of social media marketing. First you have to have an understanding of the different format of these social sites. It’s not a blatant advertising model.  It’s definitely not a banner ad network nor is it a pay per click network.

The kind of short classified advertisements which worked on Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Network, and MSN AdCenter is not going to work on sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter. These type of blatant advertisements and classified ads don’t work on social sites the way they do on Craigslist or BackPage.

You have to understand this type of advertising applied to social media is like taking a butter knife to cut a 2 x 4 piece of wood. You simply wouldn’t do it because you need a saw for the job. In the same vein you need a different tool to be able to market in social media. Reputation is everything in the social media space and building up positive reviews and positive feelings about your personal brand is paramount because people will tell their friends. This is viral marketing at its best and how you’ll get good results.

You want to allow your personality to emerge in your communications.  Your personality is very key in allowing you to connect with your market. You have to speak the language and the jargon which your target market speaks so you can more easily make friends with them, build rapport, and ultimately get them to trust and do what you say. Some of the things you can do depending on the site is provide valuable content and information the people you want to connect with would be interested in.

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