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How to Utilize Social Media Marketing (SMM/SMO) for small businesses!

Lately, it seems there is an explosion of social media marketing (SMM/SMO) on the scene. More and more, you will notice your search results are peppered with Digg, Blogger, MySpace, YouTube and many more. Utilizing this opportunity is a great way to get found in the search engines. This is gaining popularity mainly due to the fact that real people want to know what other real people are saying. It’s like one large reality show with unlimited possibilities.

Where do I start?
We decided, not too long ago, that we should really start practicing what we preach in our “hands on” SEO certification courses. So I started right away. First, I joined the major social media opportunities such as Digg, Linked In, MySpace and many others. We of course have the Tampa SEO Training Academy blog on Google Blogger since it gets spidered daily.

This step can be time consuming but is well worth your time investment. Once they are set up, you just sit back, relax and write your blog, dig sites you like even your own sites, stumble upon pages you find cool or informational and share it with others.

Google makes a lot of things easy for you and for free too. So I recommend using Google alerts to alert you when the pages you put out get found. Make friends with as many REAL people who are related to your industry as possible. Every day, add new friends, if you can. The larger your friends list or contacts, the greater chance you have to get your info seen and shared. This is extremely important for raising brand recognition for your company as well.Writing your Content?

When I begin to write, the first thing I do is start with the keyword research. I find a term that I would like to be found for and focus my content on that key word or phrase. Today’s word is Social Media Marketing. As you can see, I have use plenty of keyword rich terms. I made sure to use the term in my title which is also important. I have also sprinkled in some other keywords that pertain to my subject to give it that much more relevance. My links point to relevant sites about the link text especially my own. Since the content needs to be genuine, I write about what I know to be true by my own research and experience. Google likes this.

How do I find the time?
OK, so if you’re wondering when I have time to write and digg and stumble upon, I don’t. If you are a larger company you may have the resources to hire a copywriter to write your own web 2.0 material. However, if you are small company or a one man shop you have to utilize your time wisely. So, the search engines don’t like duplicate content, right? Well, here is how to get around that… You could write a generic post with everything you want to say in it.

Make your links SEO friendly. Make sure your content is relevant and compelling. Copy it and paste it into each of your social media opportunities and then tweak it. Change things around a bit. You should change 20% at the least, just enough not to be considered duplicate content. Then publish it for indexing. Depending on how fast you write, this all could take up to an hour or two after you set up your accounts.

Ultimately, you have to make the time, but trust me, it won’t be a waste. All together, after every thing is set up, I spend about 2 hours a day maintaining it all. This includes updating photos, blogs, myspace and linkedin, as well as participating and sharing.

Make yourself popular!
On all of your blogs you should have the links to all of your social media endeavors so people have the option of sharing it with others. Click here for the code and tutorial to add the Chicklets feature to your blog. You can also customize the code if you know how, to include your LinkedIn account if you have one. If you can’t or don’t know how to modify the code then you can manually add a LinkedIn button at the end of each post (this is best for blogs).

Participation is the key to making social media marketing work. Say you are searching the internet and find something you really like, you should SHARE IT! If there is no button to share the page then submit it yourself. Digg is good for this technique because it’s easy and fast to do. You can also submit or Digg your own stuff as well. You can send out shouts to all your friends so they can see what you like and get friends to dig your stuff or recommend you in your LinkedIn account. Basically, you should try and take full advantage of what these sites have to offer and you will see results.

Not only will you build brand recognition for your company, but for yourself. People get to see you’re a real person who wants to share valuable knowledge.

When will I get found?
We didn’t worry about getting found right away, just post your info on a consistent basis and try to follow the SEO tips above. Personally, I started at the beginning of 08. I have spent a few hours each day building my network and writing for the blogs. The blog is already coming up on the first page in Google, Digg, MySpace and LinkedIn. (YEA!!) Some things take longer than others. Remember, it takes time to establish yourself in an online community. So, stay consistent and you should do just fine.

Will it drain my budget?
Aside from taking up some of your time, the answer is no. All of these web 2.0 or social media sites are free. They just require your time and opinion. Actually, people who blog a lot are starting to turn it into a way to make some good money. If your blog is being found and people are reading it heavily on a regular basis you could really make some good money via paid advertising such as Google Adsense. But that is a whole other topic. Maybe that will be a good topic for my next post.

Post responsibly! Don’t be spammy or you will get buried. Also, each social media site has it’s own set of rules so read them so you don’t get yourself kicked off. To make sure you are utilizing these sites correctly with proper SEO techniques sign up for our Free SEO tip of the Day.

Until next time…

Nikki Patrick
View Nikki Patrick's profile on LinkedIn

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