This week it seems like I have had so many conversations with people about the simple things they can do to their website to make it social media optimized, and because of that I wanted to take that approach with today’s viral media post.
Has anyone (other Internet marketers) else noticed how good CNN is doing lately with embracing social media and trying to connect with the users of it? You can follow them on Twitter, Facebook and more. You can even create your own “widgets, profiles and badges” on the CNN site talking about your issues and who YOU are. When I give this as an example to people (that I am working with) they tell me that they hear them talking about this stuff on CNN but have no clue what a profile “badge” is? If you are an Internet business owner, you need to have a clue and embrace the world of social media.
Social media sites continue to gain a huge following, and if you are not allowing your site to grow the the changing Internet environment then you are going to be left behind. Let me explain it to you this way; Google does get the majority of the search traffic, yes that is a given. The people who understand SEO (I mean really get it and understand) will always be able to achieve high natural rankings by understanding what the algorithm is looking for. The users of social media, and sites like Delicious try to counteract that by giving results based on what users are recommending – In other words, your content ain’t going anywhere on sites like Delicious unless its good and other people are saving it. Let me go even further, it does not even have to be “good” for it to be embraced by these communities, you just have to make it more available (easier) to the users of these communities.
If I come across a site that I like, and I see they have a Delicious button on their homepage, then I am going to save them because its there (and easy), whereas if they didn’t I would probably just pass them by trying to remember the site next time I was in my Delicious account. The same is true with Stumble Upon, I will usually give a site that I like the benefit of the doubt and “stumble” them if they have the SU button on their site. This is the same respect I am giving CNN and the anchors I watch by following them on their social media accounts and interacting with them that way. I have no time to be watching news all day, but if Rick Sanchez puts out an update on Twitter – I know about it (instantly) and I can take the time to watch or read, but before (or if he wasn’t doing this) I would not have had a clue as to what was going on (on his program). I would have just kept in my own little Internet world, working away and only interacting with other users of social media that I am connected with.
The simple point here for Internet business owners (that have not embraced social media) is to make sure that they have these social media icons on their site, and they let people know what communities they are a part of. A huge part of that is also understanding what communities to put where on your site. Understand that having a Digg icon on the homepage of your website is pretty much useless, and it needs to be where articles, blog posts, or news is at on your site (more potential for being “Digg-worthy”). Also understand that having “social bookmarking” icons like Delicious and Stumble Upon on your homepage would be ok. Once you understand the community and what they are looking for, the better.
There are reasons these social communities give you the ability to make your own widgets and badges promoting your profiles and what communities you are a part of, and its not just for promoting them. I would suggest getting in to the social communities that you are a part of and learning all the tools and services they have to offer. I mean, really get in and learn what having a Twitter account can do for your blog. You might think its silly to have a “micro-blog” when you are already blogging, but this is a great way to let people know of new content, things on your mind, and especially a great way to connect with people who may have never found your blog.
I know there was not a whole lot of “how to” on this post (that will come later), but I hope this at least gets you thinking of how you need to be including social media into your “over all” Internet marketing plan, and especially be embracing it on the simplest of levels – your website!