Rules for Social Media Marketing
1. Increase your likability. This really means making your web site less static. If you want visitors to link to your site, it needs to contain information that makes them want to link to it: white papers, thought pieces, news, or even tools that let users handle information in ways that are useful to them. This rule is an extension of the most important principle behind regular SEO: content is king.
2 .Make tagging and bookmarking easy. You can see that we follow that principle on SEO Chat, with buttons to easily link articles to a variety of social sites.By including a helpful list of relevant tags for the page, and tagging your pages first on popular social bookmarking sites (not just the home page, but other parts of your site as well). This rule is a mashup of word-of-mouth advertising with that old marketing principle: make it easy for your customer to do what you want them to do.
3. Reward inbound links. This encourages site visitors to link to you. In the case of a blog, you want to set up a permalink to each entry (to make it easy to find again). Many blogs reward those who link to them by listing such links in their comments section, thus giving the linker visibility on their site. This raises both your profile and theirs in the various online social communities. This is, in effect, similar to the "customer testimonials" from old school marketing - except it's usually about your content rather than your product. As with testimonials, though, the best ones are unsolicited.
4. Help your content travel. SEOis about making changes to your site, with an implicit assumption that your content will stay on your site. That's not true today. You can generate buzz by submitting videos to YouTube and related sites, for instance - and you can figure that users might want to link your content to such sites. Before you get panicky and discourage this kind of copyright infringement, consider how much traffic it might be driving back to your site. Think of it as spreading tons of business cards - only with modern technology, you can spread a lot more information than can fit on a card, and make it more entertaining to boot.
5. Encourage the mashup. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then wanting to use your content in an original creation (within reason) is high praise indeed. Why do you think Google isn't upset with all the mashups of Google Maps? Users are finding ways to make that content more useful to more people. If you allow users to augment your content in some way, or use it elsewhere (think of the way YouTube provides code to let visitors embed the videos into their own sites), you will get them more involved - and more interested in what you have to offer.