Things to what they had for lunch, and send it to your friends or post it on your profile. Entice your “friends” to fill out the questioner and send it to their friends, free online chat rooms and the cycle will continue throughout the network. It may seem like a small process, but creating a small quiz or questioner will end up reaching for more people than you might imagine.
Twitter is a social network that you truly must be a part of. It’s unique in the way that it allows you to consistently update your status without being too obnoxious. The whole purpose of Twitter is to literally let your “friends” know what you’re doing in every second of every day. Use Twitter to inform customers of upcoming events, specials, and newly posted articles and blogs. Let customers know how you’re feeling about popular news, or a company event. Don’t be too professional, but send relaxed and informational messages to your “friends” on a constant basis. Embed links back to your site, or to a recent blog that you posted.
YouTube is another free social venue that is quickly becoming the SEO guru’s dream, and while it may take a bit more technical knowledge, it can be your greatest free marketing tool. Filming a short video, or throwing together a quick slideshow with music, and adding a link directing people to your site, is all the work you need to do. It rarely even matters what the video is about, as long as it’s entertaining and under about three minutes. You can simply use your Windows MovieMaker to edit the video, add music, a title and credits. Be sure to include a reference to your website.
How-To videos are, and will continue to be, in demand and creating one that is short and informational will do wonders for your website. Do a little research on Google Trends or Yahoo Buzz to find out what the hot topics are, and talk about them. If you’re a gamble, make a controversial video (or blog). If you can get people interested and talking, you will definitely get them to your site. This will also persuade people to bookmark your video (or blog) to share the controversy with others.
The key to YouTube marketing is filling your video description with keywords and links to your website. The only way that your video will be found is through the description that you give it. Be specific to either what your video is about, or what your business is about, without sounding too much like that used car salesman. Make your description as long as you need to, as long as the link to your website is within the first few lines. These will be the first words that a viewer will see in your description. By using optimized keywords, when users search for YouTube videos via Google or YouTube itself, your video will be at the top of the list. Don’t be afraid to comment on your own video, or have a friend or employee comment to get the ball rolling.
Post the videos you make on other video sharing sites such as MySpace and Meta Tube, and before you know it your video will rank on Google alongside your Facebook page and company website. If you have built your social profiles and video descriptions with smart links to redirect traffic, you should notice your numbers going up.
Another free Web 2.0 marketing tool is social bookmarking. Creating a profile on sites such as Digg and StumbleUpon is similar to creating your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Bookmarking sites are used to spread the word about interesting blogs, articles, and websites. For example, on Digg a user will post a story that he found interesting about Obama’s stimulus package. He will “shout” it out to all of his friends, where they’ll “Digg” the article and pass it to their friends. The more Digg users that see this link, the more readers this Obama article gets. The New York Times uses Digg as its number three resource to drive traffic back to its website. If you can harness the power of social bookmarking sites like Digg, you will drastically improve your traffic. This is why it is crucial that anytime you post a blog on Myspace, a video on YouTube, or an article on your personal or company website, you must add some bookmarking options for your readers.
Adding bookmarking options to your blogs involves one simple step. It’s an embed code that you will place directly into your work. Check out AddThis.com to get the code and customize your bookmarking options. SocialMarker.com is another great free resource for creating accounts on many different bookmarking platforms and easily accessing those accounts. This is a platform that will actually take you from site to site, allowing you to open an account or add your blog one by one.
An SEO strategy that has been implemented by many marketing companies is to combine RSS feeds with social bookmarking. (An RSS feed is a way of syndicating your content throughout the internet to anyone who is subscribed to receive it). Your employees should all be subscribing to your RSS feeds already. Anytime you post a