A week ago I posted about social branding and the importance it plays in marketing and today I want to further talk about that topic, because the truth is that there is no greater form of getting free traffic as with social branding yourself. It doesn't matter if you have a website or not, or if you use social network marketing or not, the truth is the most important thing is that you find a community related to your niche. You need to belong to a community in order to properly market. When you join a community, you get to know others in that community and if the community is related to your niche,
that means a lot of people who are not only going to be interested in what you are promoting but they may also find themselves linking to your websites, offering you advice, and otherwise helping you figure out marketing specifically for your niche.
However you can’t just spam people. You have to take the time to get to know them. Show off your expertise and your knowledge. Get involved with hot topic debates, share your wisdom. The more people trust you know what you are talking about and the more people who become friends with you the more willing they will be to check out your blogs, websites, and offers.
Communities can be found everywhere. There are communities on irc, communities inside social networks, blog communities, forums, yahoo and google groups, usenet groups, niche related social networks, skype groups, the list can go on and on really. The fact is you need to find a few of these communities and become an active member. I recommend you find one or two really big communities that are highly actively and you join in and I also recommend finding a few smaller communities where you can easily become the most active member and easily become a well known authority of the community.
The real idea to being active in a community is that it helps you to build your own community. That’s when you start to find real unlimited free traffic. Let me give you an example from my perspective with being a blogger. When a visitor visits a blog for the first time, they are much more likely to read a post if there are comments on the post, and the more comments there are, the more likely they are to also leave a comment. If they leave a comment there is a good chance they will return again to read followup comments and new posts.
Having your own community also means people tend to trust you more and trust that you know about niche related products and services. I read a post yesterday called what can an online community do for you that explained why its important to build a community.
A good online community can:
- help to keep you focussed on your goals, as it is so easy to be distracted
- give you recognition for a job well done
- help you with problems
- offer advice on how to proceed with your business
- answer any questions you may have, no matter how basic
The truth is unless you join a few communities and start to build your own you will never know the true power of a good community. Take this blog for example, its been online just over three weeks. Now the majority of blogs three weeks in don’t have comments and repeat visitors. However because I took the time to build a community before starting this blog, I am able to quickly turn this blog into my own community.
Almost every post of this blog has comments. Many of the people who left comments have come back and left second and third comments. This is because I am well trusted in many communities and on many social networks. It was as easy as telling people connected with me that I created a blog, and keep them updated on when I post and what I post about.
The comments come pouring in and the community slowly begins to build itself.
Do not underestimate the power of community marketing. It is truly the most power form of marketing online. More powerful than social marketing, more powerful than SEO, and even more powerful than television and radio advertising. Having a community is the single most important factor in branding yourself.