Even though the benefits of using them are not in doubt, many Internet marketing start-up are not being plugged in to social networking sites because their owners are not sure how to utilize them.
Sure, social sites give you a lot of interactivity and allow users to personalize their sites, compile a list of favourite links, videos, music, photos, documents and share it all with friends and visitors, but how exactly does that help you develop your Internet marketing start-up business?
The first thing to understand is that there are two basic types of social networking sites, so you will need to be clear in your own mind about what it is you want to do – bookmark or network?
Social Bookmarking Sites
Social bookmarking sites allow you to build and organize your favourite links (i.e. bookmarks) AND you can choose to restrict them to selected friends or make them public and share them with everybody on the Internet.
The big advantage of social bookmarking is that your favourite links are no longer tied to one specific browser accessible from just one computer in one location.
Social bookmarking services enable users to save bookmarks on a remote web server which can be accessed anywhere where there is an online connection.
Social bookmarking sites usually categorize links with a “tagging” system which allows users to choose keywords with which to “tag” their bookmarks. Sites can then be retrieved via the tags.
You may invite visitors to bookmark your posts. You can do this by adding a button to your page that links through to Stumbleupon, or Digg, or TwitThis and so on.
However, there are so many social bookmarking services, that if you added all their buttons you’d end up with more buttons than content on your page! Instead, use a service like addthis.com, which places one button on your site for a wide range of social bookmarking sites.
Social Networking Sites
Social networking sites offer a convenient method of connecting with people who share similar interests to you.
Sites like Facebook and MySpace allow you to post your advertisements and promote your products, as long as you do not simply (and stupidly) send out spam. Traffic will build on any site that has original, good quality, regularly updated content.