I was using social media to promote my books years before the terms Web 2.0, social marketing, and bookmarking became fashionable buzz words.

I frequented places offline and online where people congregate to:
• Exchange views;
• Offer opinions;
• Ask questions;
• Seek or offer assistance;
• Make friends.

Early on I discovered that social media was an excellent vehicle for maintaining the bestseller status I had attained in other directions; maintaining the status not by overt promotion but by giving freely of my expertise and dispensing knowledge gratis.

• Radio is Social Media
• Article Distribution is Social Media
• Video Channels are Social Media
Public Speaking is Social Media
• Book Reviewing is Social Media
• Writing Circles are Social Media
• Forums are Social Media

Nowadays though the opportunities to engage in social marketing are greater and more widespread than ever before; offering a variety of ingenious ways of unobtrusively strutting your stuff before a receptive audience without ever getting in their face or causing offence.


Let’s begin with a basic outline...

Web 2.0 and Social Networking are interchangeable terms that are used to describe interactive environments and communication strategies applied on the internet.

Web 2.0 is a general term applied to any website that reacts to the input and activity of its users, such as a blog, a MySpace profile, a forum, or a Squidoo lens page.

Social Networking is best defined as the regular interaction of people for some common cause. Of course there is really nothing new about social networking, and it’s something many of us do every day offline, especially in schools or in the workplace. But as a marketing trend this concept is growing more and more popular online.

But first a few questions that require answers before we proceed further:

What is social media?
What is social marketing?
What is social bookmarking?

SOCIAL MEDIA allows people with basic computer skills to tell their stories using publishing tools such as blogs, video logs, photo sharing, podcasting (audio stories broadcast from the web or downloaded to a computer) and wikis (collaboratively edited web pages). They can also help us filter and organize the overwhelming amount of information on the web.

SOCIAL MARKETING is a form of internet marketing which seeks to achieve branding and marketing communication goals through the participation in various social media networks such as MySpace, Face book, Bebop, YouTube, Daily motion, Hi5, Gather.com, social web applications (webapps) such as Reddit, Digg, Stumbleupon, Flickr, iLike, Wikipedia, Squidoo, Last.fm, Twitter, Eventful, ePinions and many others.

SOCIAL BOOKMARKING is a user-defined taxonomy system for bookmarks. Such a taxonomy is sometimes called a folksonomy and the bookmarks are referred to as tags. Unlike storing bookmarks in a folder on your computer, tagged pages are stored on the Web and can be accessed from any computer. Technorati, a blogging site, describes the system as "The real-time Web, organized by you." Websites dedicated to social bookmarking, such as Flickr and Del.icio.us, provide users with a place to store, categorize, annotate and share favorite web pages and files.

So what, you might well ask, has any or all of this to do with helping me establish myself as a bestselling author and proceeding to maintain that status?

A great deal in my experience providing you treat social networking as an adjunct to online marketing activity and NOT as a replacement; providing too you keep your approach simple and consistent.

Author's Bio: 

JIM GREEN is a bestselling author in both fiction and non-fiction.