It’s no secret that social media and social networks should be an integral part of your online marketing strategy. Social media and social networks are the internet’s version of viral messaging and marketing. It can be used to disseminate news or information, as well as to attract attention. Today, there are a wide variety of social media channels and networks available.

Social networks and social media websites are community-driven websites that allow visitors to submit items of interest. Visitors also decide what items appeal to them by voting or tagging; the more popular an item is determined to be by the visitors, the more exposure the item is given.

In many social networks, the popularity of the item is determined through a democratic process, and the more popular the collective voice deems an item to be, the more prominence that item will receive in the listings on the social website.

Creating viral content and promoting it is only a fraction of the equation. You must also strengthen your online footprint and become part of the network. Trying to figure out where to start can be daunting.

In order to effectively use social networks, you must establish an identity and a reputation. As a social networker, it is important that you understand the dynamics of the social website before you begin participating. Take the time to observe the network before you begin posting.

Once you have a basic understanding of the website’s culture, it is safe to begin participating. Regular participation will give you insight into how a social network functions and what kinds of things the collective voice desires… or equally important, what it dislikes.

So then – here are some handy tips you would like to follow:

  1. The first thing would be to know your audience and understand their specific online habits and interests as well as things like lifestyle, age, geography and profession. Discover how your audience communicates best and start a conversation.
  2. Learn who the more influential people are on a social website. Becoming an influential member of the network can be time-consuming and difficult, but it will make it much easier to gain attention for important items once established.
  3. Add at least two contacts per week on either LinkedIn or Facebook. It’s a great way to connect with people and get opportunities flowing.
  4. Try not to spread yourself too thin by attempting to be everything to everyone on all social networks. Develop a network of individuals that share a common theme or interest.
  5. Find one active forum in your niche and create a real profile there. Introduce yourself and get involved – use the private messaging features to introduce yourself to other influential members. Remember – when introducing yourself, DON’T sell.
  6. Stay away from the over-hyped, all-purpose social networks that don’t drive traffic or influence people. They are out there and they want to suck your time up. Don’t let them. If they can’t get you decent traffic or links, don’t waste your time.
  7. When posting new items, pay particular attention to the Title you use. The title is like a headline, and it should “grab” attention without misleading anyone or being too vague. It is often helpful to evangelise and promote the social network itself.
  8. Creating video is a perfect way to reach a wide audience and get people talking about your product. Take advantage of Google Universal with video optimisation. Create one video for your business and put it on YouTube. Build links to it.
  9. Spend some time per day contacting a new person from Digg via instant message and forging a bond. You can usually locate this information right on their profile page and add them to your IM program.
  10. RSS feeds are an important way to keep people informed and updated automatically with the latest products or services offered.
  11. Answer five questions per day in your niche on Yahoo! Answers. Link drop to one of your sites every fifth answer.

Marketers are utilising these tools to the best of their abilities and attracting more consumers than ever before. Some elements, when put in place, can add tons to that content. As you can see there are many ways to make your social media piece gain momentum and build on relationships with your audience. Some of these elements are obvious and simple to include while others take more creative thought and energy.

Now that you are done, watch this awesome video that expalins Social Networks in plain English:

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