It’s not every day that search engine marketers are willing to write a step-by-step guide to describe what they do. Last week, however, we had one of those days when Michelle MacPhearson published Social Media Daily, a 26-page Web 2.0/Social Media Marketing guide. It consists of a few pages of introduction and background on social media for the uninformed and 20 or so pages of checklists for ways to promote, distribute or submit your content across the Internet.
As others have noted, it is fairly 101-ish in nature and covers a lot of info that good social media marketers should already know. However, the real value in this guide will be derived by the larger portion of the population that are not as familiar with the long tail of online marketing opportunities. This is where Social Media Daily really adds value. Many sites in here are not that popular or well-known and welcome content submissions. Even if only a few of the smaller sites in her lists make it big, getting in early by following her advice can pay off huge in terms of qualified traffic and high-quality links. Of course, most of the sites listed are larger and more established and make you work a little harder to get listed.
If you are good at following instructions, by the end of this guide you will have a few dozen accounts at social networking sites as well as 10+ blogs to maintain. That’s a lot to handle. I’m sure her intention is to have the marketer weigh the costs and benefits of doing all of this manually, but there are few, if any, notes about how to choose the right opportunities. Personally, I am a fan of getting more heavily involved in fewer venues instead of spreading my efforts too thin. Do a little research before simply creating all of these accounts and blogs so you know where to focus your efforts. Some will be hits, others will miss but if you take your time and approach it a little bit at a time it won’t be too overwhelming.
Another danger with this type of marketing guide is having a bunch of well-intentioned but clueless online marketers running around mucking up the social networks for the rest of us and more importantly, the actual users. A few bad apples with blatant, irrelevant or inappropriate marketing can cause the networks to clamp down on legitimate, well-placed and targeted marketing. Michelle mentions keeping the audience in mind in the introduction, but most people are probably like me and skipped over that to get to the good stuff. It reminds me of the old Yogi Berra quote about places being “so popular nobody goes there anymore.” A few more words of caution might have helped get the point across better.
All in all, this is a great step-by-step guide and can help any site increase their visibility across the internet. Hopefully this will result in tons of qualified traffic and links for anybody that follows the instructions, but we all know the big winner here is Michelle. Just goes to show that opening up and giving away a lot of free content is great for the SEM community, great for businesses that want to market themselves online and great for the content creator. A real win/win/win.