I appreciate my good bud Cameron Olthuis taking the time to answer some questions about social media that many of my readers have either sent me via email, or are always asking me. Also, this is a great opportunity for me to ask an expert some of the social media questions that have been on my mind. Cameron owns his action sports media network, as well as a action sports online community – 5ones – where he blogs about, and interacts with others as passionate about surfing as he is. For those of you that may not know much about Cameron, he is a regular social media expert speaker at conferences like SMX, SES, Pubcon and others, so this is a treat today!
1. How do you know which social networks to focus on, and which ones do you focus on?
This is a tough question to answer because there’s no cookie cutter social network that works for all people for all things. A social network that might work great for one site, might not work at all for another. Also, depending on the goals of your marketing campaign, the social media sites in which you would use to reach those goals will vary. I’d say focus on the ones will bring the best ROI for any given campaign. I do a lot of stuff on StumbleUpon, Twitter, Facebook, and Digg.
2. What would be your best tips for someone brand new to social media? (how to grow in the communities etc.)
The best tip I can give anyone brand new to social media is to actually use social media. Before you jump in the pool you need to learn how to swim. Take some time to understand how certain social media sites work the way they do. Watch and learn from others marketing campaigns. Get to know how the social media crowd works, how they think, and what interests them. Expect a fair amount of trial and error before you hit a home run.
3. How much time would someone expect to put into social media? (if they are planning to do it right)
I guess that depends on their desired results. I can tell you that you’ll get out of it what you put into it. If you only give a half baked effort, you’ll only get half baked results. I would say that you should plan for a solid 6-12 months before you will really learn the ins and outs of social media, build up your accounts, and be successful and marketing through these channels.
4. What are the top 5 social networks for getting the most results? (SEO, traffic, buzz, etc. – in your opinion)
5. Which social networks are the biggest waste of time?
The ones that are ghost towns and don’t have a decent sized audience.
6. If I am brand new to Digg, what is the best tip you can give me to creating powerful account?
Provide value to the community. This means submitting articles that will be useful to the community and lots of them. This doesn’t mean submit your own articles that are good, submit from a wide variety of sources. Providing value to the community can also come in the form of digging the right articles and leaving thoughtful and insightful comments.
7. Do you see any up and coming social networks worth spending time at? For example; Tipd? What are your thoughts?
I think Tipd is a great one if you have a site that is financially related. There are a lot of niche networks that keep popping up so I’d recommend that a person watch for these in their verticals. Pay attention to which ones seem to be catching on and get on that ride as early as possible. The sooner you can establish your site(s) as an authority source on these sites the better. Before you know it other people will be submitting your content and you won’t even have to do it anymore.
8. What do you feel are the long term benefits of Social Media Marketing?
- Links for SEO.
- Creating trust in your brand.
All of these add up to increased business, which should be the long term benefit of any marketing campaign. A marketing campaign that has no ties back to long term value in your business is just a waste of
If you want to get specific, I think trust in your brand and increased word of mouth is number one. Studies have shown that majority of people base their purchasing decisions on word of mouth. So interact with your consumer base online. Be honest and genuine and you will build their trust. Then they will spread word about you. Of course, the content (products, services, etc) has to be there to back it up.
9. Any other tips you can offer that we might have missed here for people new to Social Media?
Get started. Don’t wait around to jump in and start learning this stuff. Every day you wait is another day your competitors are gaining ground on you.