What is Social Marketing?

Social marketing is a relatively new way of networking on the Web. The Web 2.0 revolution and the use of the Internet to connect to people instead of just websites have made social marketing a key part of digital marketing.

Facebook, MySpace, onzepagina Ning, Friendster and all the other social networking sites have become very important in the realm of digital marketing because social networking sites allow you to get up close and personal with your customers and give the customers the opportunity to get up close and personal with you.

To effectively use social marketing to sell your Website and your art and crafts there are some rules to follow. Just like Internet forums have a certain code of “Netiquette” there are a lot of social mores to follow when you’re using social networking sites to market your products.

The worst faux pas you can commit when trying to use social marketing is adding people to your friends list that you don’t know without sending them an introductory message. It’s OK to ask people you don’t know to be friends but always send a little introductory message along with the request. It can be something short and simple like, ” Hello! I see you’re interested in _________. I’m interested in ______ too. Check out my profile and I hope we can be friends!”

No one wants to have a stranger add them when that person is only going to try and sell them something. Don’t say anything like ” Hi! I sell ______ on my website! Check it out!” in your introductory message and don’t leave messages like that on their public boards. It’s rude and it tells the person you are only interested in hawking your goods.

The key to success when it comes to social marketing is to be genuine and to give the readers something besides a sales pitch. When you’re selling handmade arts and crafts you are really yourself. You’re selling your story, your skills, and your interests. So instead of focusing on just selling your art and crafts on your social networking profiles use those social networking sites to sell yourself. Talk about your craft, how you got interested in it, why you use the materials you use and other things.

Don’t just post about your latest sale or how other posts that are meant just to get people to come to your store and buy. No one likes a hard sell, but especially on a social networking site where the focus is on getting to know the person a hard sell can be a real turn off.

Here are some other tips for using social marketing to your advantage when it comes to marketing your website or blog:

Post regularly – Pick a day or two days per week and always post something new on those days, and not just your latest sales pitch. Post something new and interesting that gives your friends insights about you and your creative process.

Read other people’s blogs and leave them comments – Social marketing, like friendship, is a two way street. If you are not actively reading other people’s work and leaving them constructive comments they won’t be inclined to do that for you. It takes a little time and effort to build up friendships on a social marketing site but it can really pay off in the end if you stick with it.

Be consistent – If you’re going to have a profile and try posting on several different social networking sites trying to increase your web presence then make sure that your profiles on all the sites that you post on have the same information on them. You’re building a brand so make sure that when you create these profiles you keep that in mind and act and post professionally.

Don’t oversell – Don’t come on too strong. Just put yourself and your work out there and focus on building relationships. The sales will come when your friends on these social networking sites recommend you to their friends and so on and so on. If you start with a hard sell right out of the gate you won’t be very popular. Be patient, follow the other etiquette rules for belonging to a social network and let the sales flow from social marketing naturally.

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