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What are social media and how do they work?
Social media, by definition, encompasses a wide range of activities. In general, though, these are forms of communication and promotion that uses means of connection and display using different types of social groups. In the internet, these groups can include message boards, forums, blogs, video, audio, podcasts, images and wikis.
Social media can appear as blogs, e-mails, instant messaging, VoIP, vlogs and other sharing functions. They can be used for a variety of functions, such as for reference, image sharing, virtual reality, social networking and file sharing. Some examples of social media sites are Google, MySpace, Digg, Del.icio.us, Wikipedia, YouTube, Flickr and Second Life.
As you can see, social media varies and while their purposes may seem similar, no two always have the same functions. Google, for example, may be used to look for and view videos but it is still not utilized in the same manner as YouTube.
So how do social media drive traffic to a website?
There are several ways social media can drive traffic to a website. These include:
A website that makes an appearance in social media is not guaranteed instant popularity but it has the potential to grab attention and drive traffic its way. Let's say a website selling photographic images submits one of its images to a social media site like Flickr.
Provided the image is tagged using targeted and relevant keywords and offer enough quality, it can find its own audience there. If the website owner provided a backlink to the website where the image is sourced, viewers will find their way there through the image. Using just a few strategically placed text or button links, a simple image can drive traffic to a website by getting viewed from a social media site.
Social media are known for making superstars of websites and the personalities behind them. Just review the kind of hype people who appeared in videos through YouTube have received. By giving a website a boost and a chance to shine, social media can be used to effectively drive traffic to this site. As more people get to view it, vote for it and recommend it, a website can begin enjoying a surge in popularity. It shouldn?t be long until it starts enjoying a good number of hits.
Another way social media can drive traffic to a website is by allowing it to appear due to relevance. Google, for example, lists websites and web pages depending on their relevance. A simple keyword search may produce numerous entries (some even reaching the millions mark), depending on the subject. Since web pages are displayed according to their importance, all a website owner has to do is to ensure that their page appears on the first page of the results list.
A semblance of reliability and respectability
Social media can be quite finicky but it can also be exclusive and protective. People will often gang up on a web page or website that doesn?t deliver on its promise. Conversely, they will also tirelessly promote a website that they like, without even getting paid for it.
Once a website receives the approval from members of a social media, it would have earned respect. Since the site will be viewed as trustworthy and dependable, it's only a matter of time before this results to a good amount of traffic, majority of whom will be a targeted audience.
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