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Busting The No. 1 Social Media Myth: The Real Secret to Explosive Online Marketing

» Introduction
YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace…. What do all these stories have in common? They all received massive amounts traditional media coverage, which is what really broke the stories. Online media can spread like wildfire, but without the serious clout of mainstream media coverage, online stories generally remain an Internet phenomena. Without traditional media attention, the Internet can create success stories - but not stars.
» Step 1
Many people don’t realize that stories that started on the Internet became global powerhouses because of traditional media coverage in such outlets as CNN, the Today Show, the New York Times, Time and the Wall Street Journal. The myth is that it all happens online, when actually, it’s a sequential online/offline process

With online marketing and social media becoming more and more powerful, traditional PR is more important than ever. Many confuse Internet marketing with traditional public relations, but there is a world of difference between the two. But used effectively, they can meld seamlessly and the combination can create on of the most powerful marketing tools available
» Step 2
The reason that traditional public relations is so powerful is that by being featured in the media, you become the news. You have sidestepped the advertising section of the media and jumped to the editorial section. You are the news and with that comes credibility and validation. You not only reach your target market, you’re positioned as an expert. Unlike any other form of marketing, effective PR can establish you as an expert in your field and showcase you, your business, your talent and/or product. And it can do so locally, nationally and internationally. You are the story! That has always been what’s made PR such a powerful marketing tool. The validation and credibility factors cannot be overstated. Other forms of marketing, whether they be advertising, direct marketing or online marketing cannot offer you the basic trust factor that comes from being featured in the media.
» Step 3
YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace... What do all these stories have in common? They all received massive amounts traditional media coverage, which is what really broke the stories. Online media can spread like wildfire, but without the serious clout of mainstream media coverage, online stories generally remain Internet phenomena. Without traditional media attention, the Internet can create temporary flashes - but not stars.

The interaction between Internet marketing and traditional PR is a two way street, just as you can use the Internet to magnify the power of a local or regional PR story, you can also use traditional PR to focus on an Internet phenomena and turn that into a mainstream news story. More and more we’re seeing instances where a savvy entrepreneur or business owner or rock band has started a buzz on Twitter, Facebook or MySpace and turned that buzz into a mainstream news story. In fact Twitter, Facebook and MySpace all grew exponentially because of the mainstream media coverage that drove countless new visitors to those sites.
» Step 4
In this case you can go full circle to utilize all of the marketing potential of both PR and the Internet: you use the Internet and social media to create a story and a buzz, pitch that to the mainstream media, land newspaper, magazine and TV coverage and then turn around and place that coverage on the net in order to amplify your media.. You end up with the validation and credibility of traditional PR with the Internets worldwide reach.
» Step 5
Big stories start online, but they truly explode after the mainstream media covers them. Because the social marketing aspect of the Internet is still relatively new and compelling, many businesses try to replicate the online success stories of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter without using the validation and credibility factor that comes with mainstream media. This can be a particularly costly mistake during a recession. Ironically, traditional PR is the real secret to explosive online marketing.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2009

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