Monday, February 9, 2009

Social Marketing- for those of us selling on line!!

In the most simplistic terms Social Marketing is very much like going out and making friends. You visit different venues and make contacts (friends) and interact with them… talk (chat, email, leave comments etc.), find common interests and truly get to know them. During this process you introduce them to your business. This is also referred to a “soft sell”. You mention the new piece you are designing or the new order you received and before you know it you are discussing your business! Sounds easy right? Well, it is and it isn’t. We need to dedicate time each day to building these relationships just like “real life”. We can’t have friends and not spend time with them; right? Otherwise, you wouldn’t call them friends!

Here are a variety of ways to accomplish social interaction on the web:
Blogging or mini-blogs: We write about ourselves and our business usually on a set schedule… our readers begin to expect to see something new on a regular basis. We develop a following of readers who get to know us through this process and hopefully we build and cultivate a rapport with them. These new friends become a source for sales. This is done through commenting on the different posts. Sites like Blogger and Wordpress make it easy for us to establish a blog. Sites like “Ning” are set up for mini-blogs arranged in communities. There are sites that we can join that are communities for blogs and attract specific types of readers.

Writing “expert” pieces on topics relating to our business is another way to social market our stores. There are sites established to help us do just this. Squidoo, Hubpages, OpenZine are just a few. Each is set up a bit differently but they all have help along the way. With a little effort we can be published and searchable on the web! Searches are based on the key tag words we use and the content we post. Another way to get published is to write articles for a favorite magazine or websites. Write and submit them on a regular basis. I’m testing out being a volunteer Editor for a woman’s site called BellaOnline where I write articles on Jewelry Collecting and interact with readers through a forum there. There are many ways to become published.

Join social sites like MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, & Flickr. Each has it’s own benefit but the idea is the same… it is an interface we can use to meet new people on a personal or professional level and share information about ourselves including pictures, video, writing, chatting and yes even having fun all the while turning those new friendships into a source for sales.

Esmarts Team members I have posted additional information to the Yahoo forum in a document called “Social Marketing Portfolio”. Please take sometime and review it to find links to all the sites I have listed here and more. I’m available to answer questions and help you along your social marketing journey.

Diane Geisel
Social Marketing Director for eSMArts
The new bracelet at the top of this post is for SPRING...soon to be added to my Etsy store!!


Studio618 said...

Thanks Diane, for breaking down these SM sites into different types. It helps to understand the function of each when there are nice summaries like that.

Anonymous said...

Diane, even though I've been in eSMArts for some time, I somehow missed how all this "worked" in the beginning. It took me ages to really understand how I would make connections "on the computer." However, this is a great explanation that everyone needs to understand...thanks for sharing. Teri Twitter: Teri_B

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