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Five Quick & Easy Social Media Tools

Tyler Banfield, 06-12-2007
As I've touched on before, modern Web 2.0 users want to be connected with each other (hence the popularity and success of social media). There are hundreds (if not thousands) of different social media avenues you can use to increase traffic to your web site. For today's post, I'm going to give you five of the easiest to implement social media strategies:

1) Email this to a Friend
Whether your company uses a blog, web site or both to promote its products and/or services, you have content that is intended for potential customers to read. What better way to increase the amount of potential customers that view your content than letting other visitors spread the word about your content? By placing a simple link at the bottom of your content that encourages visitors to email the content to others, you can spread your content around without doing any work yourself.

2) Add a Forum to Your Web Site
As we've discussed before, it is very important to include a way for your visitors to contact you and share their feelings about your web site. However, why not take things a step further and give them a way to publicly communicate with other visitors to your web site? Adding a forum to your web site is a great way to not only learn more about your visitors, but also to increase the number of repeat visitors that your web site receives.

If you are looking for a free forum option, PHPBB is normally considered to be the best option. For those that are willing to pay for a more powerful (and easier to manage) forum software, you can't beat the capabilities of vBulletin.

3) Make it Easy for Visitors to Bookmark Your Content
Much like the first topic discussed, you can benefit from using social bookmark icons regardless of whether you use a blog or website. Although some sites allow you to display tons of social bookmark icons under your content, most people are turned off by these large blocks of icons. Instead, stick with the four basic (and most popular) icons:, Digg, Reddit and Technorati. Adding icons for these sites to your website will encourage visitors to spread your content around the internet.


4) Put Your Company on MySpace
Personally, I have never been a fan of MySpace. Truth be told, I don't like the web site at all. However, I have realized the reach and appeal that it possesses, so anytime that I launch a new online project, I always take the time to create a MySpace profile for that project. Not only is it free, but when used properly, you can attract very targeted traffic to your website.

Because MySpace is filled with so much spam, it is important that you create a quality, spam-free profile. Your profile should reflect that you put some work into it (custom template, original copy). Additionally, you should never use MySpace tools to spam your friends. This will result in a loss of friends and potentially the deletion of your profile.

Adding friends can be done automatically, however, if you choose to use one of these tools, be sure to pick one that allows you to only add friends with specific interests. This will ensure that you are only sending friend requests to people who will actually be interested in your company. When you are using these tools, be sure that you are only adding a small amount of friends each day. If you try adding too many too fast, your profile will quickly be deleted by MySpace staff.


5) Show the World Photos
People like visual content. One of the best ways to take advantage of this fact is to share photos related to your company. Pictures that show your employees in the workplace, at company functions and, in some situations, with their families make it much easier for people to connect with your company on a deeper level. In addition to including these photos on your web site, you can put them on photo web sites like Flickr to attract an even wider audience.
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