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A Beginners Guide to Social Media Marketing

By Charles Hopkins Published 01/2/2008 | Marketing
In the past few years, Social Media and Social Media Marketing have become buzz- words. This is due to the popularity of sites like MySpace, Digg, etc. The social media have two components - user generated contents and the ability to form networks of friends for sharing contents.

In sites like MySpace and Facebook users create their profile pages and use texts, pictures, and videos to embellish the pages. They can then share those contents with others in their friends' network, or the social network

In sites like Digg, YouTube, Flickr users submit a summary of news articles, pictures, videos and they vote on the contents submitted by others. Popular contents are featured on the homepage and it drives massive amount of traffic.

There are many variations of the two models described above, including a combination of the two.

Using the social media sites to promote your product or services (or a website) is called social media marketing. There are two types of traffic you get when your content becomes popular in a social media site.

The primary traffic or the direct traffic comes from the site where it becomes popular. For sites like Digg, it can be huge and your site should be ready to handle the surge in traffic without crashing.

When your site becomes popular in a social media site, people talk about your site and the post that becomes popular. They will put links to the content. The secondary traffic or the indirect traffic flows from those links long after the surge due to the primary traffic is over.

So, what are the benefits of primary and secondary traffic from the social media sites? The primary traffic exposes your site to people who have no other means of knowing about your existence. Some of those visitors will become regulars to your site if you are providing something that they want on a regular basis.

The greatest benefit is the natural links to your site given by others because they want to discuss your offering. Natural links from a large number of relevant sites improve your search engine rankings and organic search traffic.

Social media marketing lets you expose your site to a large group of people. If your search engine traffic has leveled off, shifting your focus to the social media marketing and becoming successful in that will take you to the next level in search engine traffic.

The only other alternative for increasing your search engine traffic is pay per click advertisement. If you are already running a PPC campaign, you can continue your PPC campaign through out the year to sustain increased traffic from search engines at a cost.

Social media marketing is free and making your site popular a couple of times in a year is enough to sustain increased traffic through out the year.