If you're trying to build up traffic to your website, one great piece of the puzzle is leveraging social media to market to your audience. Everywhere you go nowadays you probably see FaceBook likes, Twitter tweets, and Google+ +'s and there's a good reason for that.
Word of mouth is a great form of advertising, and with todays social media networks and heavy social media usage from users, it can also be a cheap and reliable way to bring much needed traffic to your website.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Put simply, Social Media Marketing also called SMM is just the process of getting your business or website noticed without actually using your website, but instead using social media networks to create an audience.
Social media networks account for the largest percent of where people spend their online time now, and when you bring mobile into the mix the numbers get even higher. So for your business or website to capitalize on all of those eyeballs, you need to have a social media presence.
Spread information quickly
If you happen to have some great content about a new chocolate chip cookie recipe sitting on your website. Unless you have a popular website that thousands of people are coming to on a daily basis, chances are you aren't going to have a thousand people view that recipe in a short time-span.
However if your business has a few hundred FaceBook friends or likes, some Twitter followers, and a Google+ account receiving tons of +'s, the chances to reach a thousand people grows greatly.
Brand awareness and protection
If you just have a website on the Internet, people aren't going to know about your brand and business right away. Using social media networks is a great way to help build up some brand awareness and get your name out in front of your competitors.
Popular online review sites like FourSquare and Yelp! are also considered social media networks, and companies that stay on top of their social complaints can help minimize bad press and use positive reviews as a marketing tool.
Increase organic search engine traffic
With the search giant Google heavily integrating their Google Authorship with Google+, this means over time, social media signals will carry more and more weight when determining the search engine ranking of your website.
I got to witness this first hand when I wrote about the large WordPress brute force attack that happened back in April 2013. To this day I still get organic search engine traffic to that article and a large part of that has to do with me reaching out on various social networks trying to help people that were having those issues.
So Google is starting to view content linked to from my Google+ account as more authorative on the subject then just some random person writing about WordPress for the first time.
What Social Media networks should I use?
Everyones needs are going to be different, and each social network has certain advantages and disadvantages, so it's really important to find out which social media network works best for your business.
For instance if you wanted to post videos about your business, the obvious choice would probably be YouTube. Where as if you're constantly posting large infographics, then Pinterest would probably be your go to network.
I would typically recommend creating an account on each social media network, and then using your own judgement as to which platform is easiest to work with, and seems to generate the most amount of interest back to your website.
Here are some social media networks with more than 100 Million active users:
|Social Network||Registered Users||Active Users||Launch Date||Last Update|
|1+ Billion||1 Billion||2/2004||9/2013|
|Google+||540+ Million||300 Million||6/2011||10/2013|
|500+ Million||200+ Million||3/2006||12/2012|
|225+ Million||160 Mllion||5/2003||6/2013|
|100+ Million||100 Million||10/2010||5/2013|
Here are some other popular ones I don't have great stats for:
|Social Network||Active Users|
|Yelp||> 100 Million (1/2013)|
|~48.7 - 70 Million|
|FourSquare||7 Million (2/2011)|
I wouldn't recommend picking any Social Media networks strictly based off the number of active users, but it is good information to understand as to where the largest audiences are at.