Social media marketing is an all-encompassing term that is batted around the Internet these days in a very willy-nilly fashion.
There are lots of "gurus" who claim to know their stuff and can show you the promised land on how to make a mountain of profits with zero advertising costs by using their social media marketing techniques or their social marketing tactics.
Unfortunately, most of these "gurus" show you no proof nor any pictures or video evidence of campaigns they've run in the social media space which successfully made these millions and millions of dollars they claim you'll make by using their process.
Caveat emptor definitely applies on the Internet.
It's a big bad world out there and you've got to consider the source of who you're going to take advice and training from.
The simple rule I use is for anyone to give me advice they have to have achieved what I want to achieve already. This way I know they know their stuff and by following them I should get similar results to what they've already gottten.
All too often on the Internet though it's easy to get hyped up and excited by a sales message and just act on that impulse to buy. This can get you in trouble though.
Whenever you're looking at buying something, any kind of training material it's always best to do a search with that training package name and the word "scam" or the product name plus "reviews".
I know this is basic day one type of stuff but it's very important and all too often overlooked. You want to know the reputation of the person selling you the stuff and get any reviews from people who've bought and used it.
Now I'm going to give you your start with social media marketing.
The first thing you have to understand is it's a completely different space than regular advertising formats. Most people would argue you shouldn't even do any marketing in this type of space because the people are there for socializing and to connect with friends.
This creates a unique challenge and absolutely demands a different type of marketing than the blatant advertisements you see in banner ads and on paper click campaigns like Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Network, and MSN Adcenter along with all the smaller PPC places.
The biggest thing in the social space is establishing your reputation and your personal brand. These people don't want to see a bunch of corporate sales pitches.
You want to allow your personality to emerge in your communications.
Some of the things you can do depending on the site is provide valuable content and information the people you want to connect with would be interested in.
So at the start you want to target and make friends with influencers in your market and start making friends with people interested in that topic. You can do this by searching groups which encompass your topic area and make friends with members of those groups obviously.
Once you have this down you can start to ask some of your friends what information they're interested in and what's missing from the information which is out there and available to them.
Then of course you provide that information in multiple formats including text notes and article posts, audio podcast, and video trainings/how to video tutorials.
I can see you may be starting to whine saying "it sounds like a lot of work".
It does take some upfront investment in order to get some returns out the back end.
You can think of the social media space as a bank. You have to put money in before you can take money out. When your bank account goes into a negative you have problems.
It's the same in the social media space in that you've got to give value and establish yourself and your brand before you can sell stuff and take money out.
So start out giving good valuable information and encourage people to comment. Encourage them to ask you for more information and then when they do so you can send them a link to your sales letter.
This has gone over very well when I've used this tactic and it's also worked very well for my friends who've used it. It works far better than just shoving a link in someone's face.
You follow these basics and you'll be well on your way to establishing a quality presence and getting valuable interaction and value exchange from your social media marketing efforts.
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