Today, the internet has evolved into a huge masterpiece – a distinct showcase that describes people, ideas & businesses freely, clearly and specifically. The internet now offers a great opportunity to freely express your thoughts and ideas in various forms; be it audio, video or text.
Simply, the internet has become what you could call – “A Social Marketplace” which is made up of large number of social media sites encouraging human interaction in almost every possible manner you could imagine. Therefore, the internet has become highly accessible or rather, “social“.
What Are Social Media Sites?
Social media sites are the ‘next generation websites’ that encourage generation of human interaction, information and networking informally. It’s a new emerging form of media, apart from being means for information, communication and entertainment. It is really quick and works at lightning speed just like your email or mobile phone that sends messages in seconds. The birth of Social Media is regarded as the re-birth of the World Wide Web, technically spoken as ‘Web 2.0′ – meaning an enhanced version of the web.
Why is it called ‘Web 2.0′ or ‘Social Media’?
Here are various characteristics of a social media site:
- Interaction: Social Media Sites are ones who encourage 2 way or 3 way conversations between two people or many of them & create an informal atmosphere for discussions, debates and arguments. This characteristic of free flowing informal ‘interaction’ within the internet was non-existent a few years ago. Hence, sites which encourage interaction informally & freely in various forms are called as “Social Media Sites”.
- Participation: Social Media Sites facilitate participation of people to freely discuss and share ideas or even do business effectively. There are almost no barriers to effective participation on Social media sites sites as they are open and informal in nature. These social media sites encourage people to rank, vote and give feedback on different forms of information, be it audio/video/text stored therein. Isn’t that fabulous?
- Oneness: Social Media Sites create space for community building for every possible cause that you may have; be it the US presidential elections, anti-corruption or even building a faithful community for your website. People with common interests on these social media sites literally flock together to help each other personally.
- Networking: These sites are almost as good as meeting people offline. A person’s profile on these sites talks a lot of about him/her which further proves a factor in his/her growth professionally, personally and even socially. Social Media Sites encourage people to freely connect with other people of similar interests irrespective of castes, creed, nature, religion or country.
Social Media Sites are a form of unification for people across the globe. It’s also the birth of the new age internet – the blogosphere.
How could you use them to promote yourself or your blog?
There are various forms of social media sites. You can make better use of these different forms of social media sites by learning how these sites can help you effectively.
Some of them could be:
- Social Networks: These sites encourage people to build their own network of friends & colleagues with similar interests, exchange different forms of information or simply build a reputation of their own through these social media sites to thrive upon the world as a reputed human being. You would know about Facebook which has more 123 million users, LinkedIn apart from other exemplary sites like MySpace, Orkut and Hi5. Just having presence on Facebook or LinkedIn does not make much sense. It should be meaningful. They are supposed to be more professional sites and if your target audience is teenagers, you might want to explore MySpace more often. You can add your blog feeds to these sites and whenever you post a new blog entry, these sites will also have the latest stuff besides your profile. This way, you can automate the process and have users coming in from these sites as well.
- Forums: Forums are a great way to talk about subjects of similar interests. If you like bollywood, you might want to visit Captain Bollywood or if you like web designing and developing, you can participate at SitePoint. Start helping the community and participate in discussions. Most of such forums allow a registered user to place a signature under each post. Once you have substantial posts made and genuinely helped the community, you can post your blog link there with a one liner on what your blog is about. You can surely expect people visiting your blog as well.
- Blogs or Weblogs: Weblog or simply blogs are logs of information created and stored informally on the web just like in an offline diary or an online journal. Blogs offer the fastest and simplest way for the average internet user to connect with people globally or even raise a million dollars for a great cause by writing informative content. A great example is TechCrunch which makes a whole lot of money too from blogging or rather writing on the technology and internet space. If you already have a blog, you can start by participating on other blogs. Make sense in what you write as comments and don’t keep promoting your blog there. Once you have contributed to the discussions, you might want to point to a similar entry on your blog or something relevant. If you just promote yourself, be prepared to be banned. If you talk sense, expect other bloggers to visit your blog. See, you can pull more readers from various blogs this way.
- MicroBlogging: Twitter is the most extensive form of microblogging. This form of blogging refers to sending short bytes of updates to people across your network as well as interacting with them by sending short text messages via web/mobile. Don’t automate twitter with your feeds rather have occasional pointers back to your content with your other tweets you do.You might want to have the twitter feeds on other social networking sites as mentioned above. Add friends or make a few. Increase your community/followers and you will have a few of coming to your blog.
- Podcasts: These are simply audio & video files which you can store on your ipod and listen to them though most of these podcasts aren’t free for download.This might not be relevant for everyone, but for a few could be very effective tool to get in the masses to listen to them.
- Wikis: These sites freely allow to the common internet user to edit / add / modify information written within them which may therefore act as a database of information relating to the past, present or future. Wikipedia is a great example. If your blog focuses on a specialized topic, you might want to visit Wikipedia for information on that and add your blog in the resources section.
- Content Community Sites or Social Bookmarking: Bookmarking sites like Digg, delicious, photo sharing sites like Flickr or even video sharing sites like YouTube are the most common examples of content community sites which encourage people to share similar form/type of content within them. Bloggers swear by the traffic Digg can get on your blog. Stumble Upon is another very interesting way for users to discover your content.
Therefore, you can use social media sites to connect with people across borders and share various kinds of information in various forms easily and effectively. Social Media Sites are one of the best ways to interact, inform and impress people you always want to.
Now, after this long entry, let me go to twitter and put the url in there. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to know about newer articles and sharing interesting stuff. If you like the article, do digg it. Thanks. Have you tried any of these to promote your blog? Do share your experiences.