- Our blogging section talks about why blogging is such a popular and effective marketing technique.
- Check out our in-depth Facebook Marketing Guide if you are considering utilizing Facebook as a marketing tool.
- Market edges & spammy marketing explains why competitive market forces and the active web are killing the effectiveness of many once effective spamming techniques.
- Tagging search results and user feedback covers how user acceptance and information sharing may shape search relevancy.
- The blurring of editorial vs ads and editor vs users mentions that many traditional publishing business models are failing, and offers many suggestions on how you can boost your profile by participating in community sites and syndicating information
- Viral marketing and the social web discusses how new sites can compete with old sites and how linkbait works.
- If News is That Important, it Will Find Me references how we rely on friends and social filters to find important news. This is in stark contrast to the early web, where we had to link to stuff just to be able to find it again.
General Community Interaction
Intel shared their social media guidelines online here. While smaller companies can be more aggressive on some fronts, this is a good working document for individuals new to social media and larger companies. Nobody wants to be the next Belkin, getting caught buying fake reviews.
I recommend viewing the web as a social medium. Find blogs with posts about topics you are interested in and participate in the community. The whole point of weblogs is community discussion, so it is not spam to add something useful to the conversation.
If you get a signature link with your post don’t expect the link to help you rank better in the search engines, because most blogs use nofollow on links. If you participate in your community and leave valuable comments, it will make some people more likely to pay attention to you or link to your site.
I have seen mainstream media outlets quote blogs or contact people who left comments on blogs. If you are actively engaged in the conversation, you will gain authority much quicker than if you are not.
An even better way to get noticed with blogs is to comment about what other blogs say on your own blog, and make sure you link to them.
If people leave good comments on your blog make sure you respond to them. That helps build community and brand loyalty.
Chat, Google Groups & Forums
In forums, people asking and answering questions creates free content for the person who owns the site. This virtually automated content creation allows the forum owner to sell advertising space against the work of others.
In exchange for the posts, many forums allow signature links that point to your website. Since forums change rapidly, they often get indexed frequently. Your site will get indexed quickly if you ask a few questions at a few of the various public forums.
Of course, the goal of forums is to have meaningful conversations, so many forums aim to curb noise and ban people who look like they are only commenting for links or to push their business interests.
Forum links are easy to get and forums have many links on the pages though, so the links probably do not have a large effect on SEO. Forum sig links from relevant useful posts have far more direct value in driving sales and building friendships than in effecting search results directly.
Participation is Key
By helping others by participating in web communities, you become more linkworthy and work your name and your brand into the language representative of your topic. Plus, if you know what people in your community are talking about, it is much easier to create things they would be interested in and market them to their needs and wants.
Twitter is a general purpose open social network where friends can send each other short messages back and forth. It's informal nature and structure allows you learn bite sized bits about people that you may not otherwise discover.