August 7, 2007

"What social media sites can offer you - other than links - that you might be overlooking."

A lot of webmasters and search engine optimizers don't realize the full power of social media websites. If you're like a lot of online users, you figure social media sites like Digg and Netscape are a great place to get exposure and a some great traffic. Let me tell you what social media sites can offer you - other than links - that you might be overlooking.

Back in July a new social media website called Sphinn was released. Sphinn is a social site for search engine optimizers and marketers, with a huge focus on search engine related news and articles. There hasn't been any big SEO and online marketing community driven sites like Sphinn, so a lot of big names were quick to jump on board. If you haven't already, take a look around and register over at Sphinn.

On July 17th I wrote a post about how " is basically a popularity contest", which made it to the front page of Sphinn and is currently residing in the "Greatest Hits" archive of the site.

The purpose of the article was not to put Sphinn in a negative light, but rather do something a lot of blogs should be doing, but don't. The purpose was to call readers into action, stir things up, and get the community going at full speed. I understood that by directly targeting the community of Sphinn, I would be fully utilizing the power of social media.

Sphinn stats
The image above shows the stats for Internet Hunger over the past few weeks. The big red spike there represents the amount of traffic I received the day my article hit the front page of Sphinn. A fairly decent rise in traffic. 

Because Internet Hunger was a fairly new blog, it's hard to determine the exact affect Sphinn had on overall traffic. But traffic isn't what is important here. What's important is what a lot of webmasters are missing about social media sites: the ability to network.

My article created such a stir that subscribers for Internet Hunger increased 4x. My Technorati authority increased to 24 (from one). And a quick search reveals multiple links from fellow Sphinn goers to Internet Hunger.

The result of posting an article to a social media site that called the community into action? The thing that a lot of webmasters are looking over when working with social websites? Unbelievably easy networking. I can now open up my e-mail inbox and write to a dozen other bloggers who would be more than happy to collaborate with me, or help Internet Hunger further by linking.

The article has drawn a lot of attention to Internet Hunger, and has created an identity for me in the field almost instantly. By calling the community to action, I've created a great start for Internet Hunger in the SEO and marketing world. With a little hard work, a great stance, and a way to call a community to get up and go, you can begin a network that will benefit you more than just a few traffic hits from a media site.

Social media websites can offer you the ability to create a sturdy, powerful network of people almost instantly - something that webmasters need as community sites are becoming the playground of the internet.