Social Networks and Your Online Marketing Strategy

Social Networks and Your Online Marketing Strategy

Article by Michael Pulo

As social networking becomes a hotter and hotter topic, what should your organisation do and what are some of the choices to make?

Just to note, social networks are not new. The first social network launched 13 years ago and was called SixDegrees. Now there are many social networks from start ups to the big ones like Facebook.

Your demographic will most likely be in a social network, the questions is how do you reach them effectively? This starts with selecting the right social networks in the first place. By country is a good place to start.

Different countries prefer different social networks, sometime for simple reasons like simplicity. So here’s a quick run down by users…

Facebook – 430,000,000 Windows Live Profile – 164,000,000 MySpace – 110,000,000 Baidu Space – 63,000,000 Orkut – 54,000,000 Twitter – 58,000,000 HI5 – 47,000,000 QQ Allumni – 43,000,000 LinkedIn – 35,000,000 Deviantart – 34,000,000 Kaixin001 – 24,000,000 Vkontakte – 17,000,000 Studivz Sites – 17,000,000Skyrock – 16,000,000 VK – 14,000,000 Mixi – 13,000,000 Conoklassniki – 10,000,000 Bebo – 8,000,000 Wer-Kennt-Wen – 7,000,000 Hatena Bookmark – 4,000,000 Bharatstudent – 4,000,000And here are the favourites by country in priority order…

USA – Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn China – Baidu Space, QQ Alumni, Kaixin001 Russia – Vkontakte, VK, Odnoklassniki France – Facebook, Skyrock, Windows Live Profile United Kingdom – Facebook, Windows Live Profile, Bebo Brazil – Orkut, Windows Live Profile, Twitter India – Orkut, Facebook, Bharatstudent Canada – Facebook, Windows Live Profile, MySpace Germany – Studivz Sites, Wer-Kennt-Wen, Facebook Japan – Mixi, Hatena Bookmark, Facebook Australia does not rank in the top ten yet for social network usage. Professional networks like Linked In can have a positive effect on your business and professional success.

So what should you do for your business?

We usually recommend a stepped approach into social networks before you commit allot of time and money into developing a thorough social networking strategy.

Step 1: Establish a blog within your website with an associated RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feed. This will allow you to automatically integrate into your company Facebook page, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks.

The benefits of this approach include keeping things simple so you don’t waste allot of time posting in different networks and supporting your search engine optimisation activities with good links coming back to the pages you need.

Step 2: Actively grow your social networks to expand your market reach. Step 1 would have started this. Here we mean actively advertising your company Facebook page and growing your LinkedIn network for example.

Step 3: Running commentary on company activities and offers. Really engaging with your network so you connect, build relationships and grow your business. This may include targeted advertising. For example; Facebook will allow you to market to General Managers in Australia or Chief Purchasing Officers in New Zealand.

Taking the first step into social marketing can be very productive at the basic level if you target the right networks in the right countries. As a minimum you should see increases in your free keyword rankings in organic search engine results. You should also see increased traffic to your website.

To get more aggressive than this you should develop a thorough social networking strategy to ensure you make the right investment and workload decisions.

About the Author

Michael Pulo is a Web Strategy Consultant helping people build there Online Marketing Strategy. Download his 9 Steps to Online Marketing Strategy eBook to find out more about making the right strategic decisions for your organisation.

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