Ever since social sites first started taking off in popularity they’ve had to deal with the overzealous impulses of marketers. When we found out that Google and others favored the content and links they found on social sites we, as usual, deluged the sites with our profiles and links. We immediately “used” the social sites we discovered, without adding much to the communities themselves.
Though not nearly as effective today, the marketing community generally uses the social-scape to thinly veil marketing messages and links as content in order to get people to their sites from busy communities around the web.
We, as a community of website owners with something to sell, don’t have such a good reputation with the target users of such sites. Marketing, whether through banners or through networking on these sites is seen by regular users as a pariah which only gets in the way of their reason for being on these sites: actual networking.
We marketers have had to struggle with our own demons present in the social-scape. We have to constantly address the question of where to spend our time and effort to get what we want from social sites, which is traffic, leads, and ultimately clicks, subscribers, or sales.
Social Marketing is Dead
“Social Marketing” is a term used by marketers who use social sites to mine traffic and links, and it is on the outs. Large companies have found that traditional banner advertising isn’t as productive on sites where people are engaged with the content too much to be bothered to click away to learn how to lose weight or get a new ringtone.
Social Networking is Alive and Well
Actually using social sites for their intended purpose, but with an eye toward moving targeted followers to your offer, blog, or other social profiles, is the method of the day. And in order to network effectively on social sites, you have to spend more time on the sites you choose to be a part of.
This means, naturally, being part of fewer communities and creating a deeper presence on those sites. Some call this method “hot-spotting.” It is basically being an above average user of a social network as an actual community member.
It means using all the features a particular site offers to members and really getting into being a regular, participating member of the network or site. The attention and traffic from social networks is now in full-blown participation, managed so that you don’t get sucked into social networking so much so that you feel overwhelmed.
The new mantra then, is “effective participation in fewer networks and on fewer sites for more traffic and links.”
The more you make your participation about the people you are targeting for your site, the more of them you will start seeing at your site.
About Jack Humphrey
Jack Humphrey is an internet marketing consultant, CEO of CurationSoft and BlogSuccess, and author of "Bending the Web."