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Buzz Marketing Through Social Media – What this Means for Search Engine Marketers

Buzz-Marketing

“Buzz marketing” is a hot buzzword I hear a lot of these days. Being an analytical type, I want to really understand what it means, before I sling it around like corned beef hash.

Buzz marketing, word of mouth marketing (WOMM), guerrilla marketing and viral marketing are often used interchangeably to describe marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness through self-replicating viral processes.

While Seth Godin, author of Unleashing the IdeaVirus, states that viral marketing is, technically, not the same as word of mouth:

Word of mouth is a decaying function. A marketer does something and a consumer tells five or ten friends. And that’s it. It amplifies the marketing action and then fades, usually quickly. A lousy flight on United Airlines is word of mouth. A great meal at Momofuku is word of mouth.

Viral marketing is a compounding function. A marketer does something and then a consumer tells five or ten people. Then then they tell five or ten people. And it repeats. And grows and grows. Like a virus spreading through a population. The marketer doesn’t have to actually do anything else. (They can help by making it easier for the word to spread, but in the classic examples, the marketer is out of the loop.) The Mona Lisa is an ideavirus.

most marketers will not debate the difference.

Buzz marketing can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet. In this series of posts, we are going to focus on the viral effects of a buzz marketing campaign that leverages social media networks, as opposed to viral advertising strategies and tactics.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Buzz marketing that leverages the network and conversation effects of the social web is often referred to as social media marketing.

According to a great series of posts on Do It Yourself Social Media Marketing by Stepforth Web Marketing:

Social media marketing (SMM) or social media optimization (SMO) is a method of promoting your brand (be it yourself, a product, a service, or a company) by strategically making your presence known across various social media networks (such as Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, MySpace)

Do not expect your social media marketing campaign to immediately drive business – it’s best used for branding or online reputation management, that will indirectly convert your target audience into fans, and your fans into customers.

Why do Social Media Marketing?

Every day, someone out there, somewhere is discussing something important to your business. They could be discussing your brand, your company executives, your competitors, or your industry.

Either they are hyping up your company and generating positive buzz about your products, or they are criticizing your service and sowing the dissention over the value you bring to your industry, and humanity in general.

According to internet marketing expert Andy Beal of Marketing Pilgrim:

A great brand can take months, if not years, and millions of dollars to build. It should be the thing you hold most precious.

It can be destroyed in hours by a blogger upset with your company.

A new product launch could take hundreds of TV commercials, dozens of newspaper ads, and an expensive ad agency.

It can also spread like a virus with the praise of just one customer, at one message board.

A company can dominate market share, throttle competition and hold the #1 brand in the world.

It can also crash in months if it fails to listen to what its customers want.

This is happening whether you like it or not, so why not join in on the discussion? By participating in online conversations you can contribute your valuable expertise, quell misconceptions and doubts about your company, product, or industry and grab some more valuable web real estate in the process.

What are the SEO Benefits of Buzz Marketing through Social Networks?

When users search on your company name or targeted keyword phrases, search engine results pages (SERPs) will frequently display threaded discussions on social networking sites like Ning, forums like Webmaster World, and user review sites like Yelp. If there’s a lot of activity on these threads and, thus, continuous, freshly updated user-generated content, these threads will often rise to the top of SERPs.

These discussions can often include positive as well as negative opinions about your company or organization. Therefore, defensively, you want to be sure that you are doing your best to manage your online reputation, and diffuse or bury any negative publicity that could appear on this valuable SERP real estate.

Pro-actively, you should absolutely capitalize on the positive buzz, establish yourself as a thought leader or industry expert and generate as much brand awareness as possible. All the while, you can scatter valuable target keyword phrases and links to important web resources, especially your own, all over the social web and blogosphere. This can drive a great deal of traffic back to your website or other online locations where your product is sold.

If you have not included buzz marketing into your online marketing strategy, then you should. Otherwise, you are missing out on a great opportunity to generate a brand awareness and search engine optimization benefits for a fraction of the cost that online and traditional advertising requires.

[tags]social media marketing, SMM, social media optimization, SMO, buzz marketing, word of mouth marketing, WOMM, viral marketing, search engine marketing, SEM, search engine optimization, SEO, search engine results pages, SERP, seth godin, andy beal, lorna li, lornali[/tags]

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Comments

  1. Interesting post. i enjoyed reading this post. you have beautifully explained about social Media marketing and how does it work and the benefits of it. i found its really useful for webmasters t0 improve their website.

  2. […] the word of mouth and viral mechanisms of the social web. As I mentioned in an earlier post, social media buzz marketing can generate great free hype, exponentially expand your web presence, is relatively cheap, and has […]

  3. […] Why Should You Do Social Media? It seems to be a huge topic of discussion. Why make the effort to do social media? Why spend your money on social media strategies and campaigns? Why optimize my company within social media? Why do it at all? […]