Monday, September 25, 2006 "Do's and Don'ts"

I just read this..... from Derek Gehl of the Internet Marketing center. This will give you an idea how to use social networks eg

The "dos" and "don'ts" of participating at social media sites --------------------------------------------------------WARNING: There's ONE IMPORTANT THING you have to remember when using social media sites to get improved search engine placement for your site! And that's the fact that these are SOCIAL sites -- people don't visit them expecting to be hit with a bunch of marketing messages. So if you want to get links at these sites to point to your own site, you have to do it SUBTLY. Think about it... If you were at a party and somebody started handing out business cards and immediately launched into a sales pitch for his product, you'd try to get away, right? Well it's the same thing on a social web site. That kind of behaviour is considered highly unethical and inappropriate by members of these communities. On Digg ( ), for example, links will often get voted down as spam if they're submitted by the person who owns the site they point to. And on ( ), if all of your favorite links point ONLY to your web site, you'll lose all your credibility, and no other users will add your links to their own list of bookmarks. So make sure that you're participating honestly and being low-key about your business. Be sure you share other relevant and entertaining links with the community, in addition to your own products and articles. Otherwise all your hard work creating content for these sites will have been a waste of time. Here are the main things you should be doing on social media sites:
* Do create a profile with a link back to your web site
* Do tag your articles with relevant keywords * Do participate in the discussions to build your credibility
* Do contribute to the growth and value of these sites by creating and submitting content that is entertaining and solves problems
* Do get a good grasp of what's receiving attention on that specific site before submitting content
* Do invite your friends to go online and vote for your links -- within reason, of course!
* Do give your articles intriguing headlines that will get people to read further
* Do be yourself -- these communities don't reward fakers Here are a few things you shouldn't be doing on social mediasites:
* Don't spam sites with links only to your own articles, or bookmarks pointing only to your site
* Don't go overboard when encouraging friends to vote for your links -- organized "gangs" of voters often get discovered and "booed off" these sites
* Don't submit boring or irrelevant content -- this will only hurt your reputation
* Don't be there just to promote yourself -- nobody wants to be friends with people who are only out for themselves! By following these rules, you'll become part of the online community, and people will begin to value your opinion and see you as a credible source of information. This will allow you to become more powerful in the community, and your links and articles will carry more weight than the anonymous contributions of a new member.

----------------------------------------------------Final thoughts---------------------------
The key to getting the most out of these social web sites is to start small. Check out a few of the different sites. Then choose one or two that you enjoy hanging out at, and get a feel for the communities.

By spending time at these sites, you'll discover what type of information is popular, get tons of ideas for new articles, and find out exactly what's on the minds of regular Internet users. Eventually, start creating some valuable and interesting content of your own, and submit it to these sites... then sit back and see what happens!

By participating honestly and sharing some interesting links, videos, or articles -- as well as providing links to your own web site -- you might find that a lot of other people will start linking to your articles and your business site. The worst that can happen is you'll have some fun, meet some interesting people, and learn a few things.

If you do things right, play by the rules, and create some fun and interesting content, you'll be able to grow the number of relevant links pointing to your site -- and that just might lead to your ultimate goal of improved search engine placement!

So, have YOU ever posted links on social media sites as a way to increase your traffic or get improved search engine ranking? And if so, was the experience a success for you? Tell us about it ? we?d love to hear about YOUR marketing stories!

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