The Bronze Age, the Dark Ages, the Industrial Revolution: the Earth has gone through many different ages over thousands of years. Well, for a different world, these ages are taking place over a few years instead. The Internet doesn’t do things slowly, I’m sure you’ve realized. From the age of dial-up text based computer games through the age of the email to instant messaging we’ve finally landed at the age of the social network. Every couple of years a new fad takes over the world of the wide web, from Wikipedia to Lolcats, but social media seems a bit more than that: they’re powerful and they’re taking up more of our time than any other Internet based tool. So are they here to stay? Have we entered the never-ending age of Social Media or is it just a fad that’s lasting longer than the last few?
The Power of People
It doesn’t matter how many times a stranger tells you something, hearing it from a friend is far more likely to make you sit up and take note. By making everyone a friend, social media lets you take everyone’s advice on the same level. Of course, others are going to take note of this and here is where social networks really come into their own. Companies and Internet entrepreneurs really know that people listen to their friends, so they take advantage of this. Expansive social media campaigns are launched aimed at getting just a few people to share their page, their blog, their video or just their web address. Every time their content is shared, the friends of the sharers see the content too. If only 10% of these take a look, then the company has broadened its reach incredibly. Social media has become one of the main marketing tools out there but it doesn’t matter how good your Facebook page is or how many followers you have if no-one wants to share your content.
To get people to share your content it needs to be of the highest quality. When someone shares something on Facebook, they’re sharing it so their friends can read it: they don’t want their friends to read rubbish after all. So the most important thing to do is make sure that your content engages your audience from first to last. They should be covered in goose bumps and ready to tell every one of their friends about it.
Facebook isn’t the only tool, of course. There is Twitter, to quickly share your links and short thoughts, Pinterest for sharing a whole selection of items and Digg or Reddit among others for instant sharing. The one thing that these provide you is natural links to your site. If you create perfect content it will be shared from A to Z and each time it is shared it will drop a link to your site. As these links are dropped in the social network, complimenting a piece of quality content, Google will lap them up. Natural links are the biggest tool you can have in the fight for a good rank.
So, with Facebook, Twitter and others hogging the limelight, who is the workhorse who does the donkey work for your social media campaign? Well, still the most popular method for getting your views shared is the simple blog. By creating an inventive and interesting blog that people want to return to time and again, you’re building a brand that cannot be destroyed overnight. Instead of chasing after the instant hits, your blog will provide you with sustained credibility provided, that is, that it is full of useful, informative content.
So don’t hang around, set up your guest blog and get those shares rolling in by providing your audience what they want: quality information. It’s a long way from the web of old but it’s time to embrace the new.