5 effective free tools to promote your business and self using Web 2.0

1. Blogging

Blogging is a great way to express your identity, goals and ideas online. With enough effort to consistently tag and categorize posts, as well as promote your blog on external Web sites, it is possible to gain a faithful following and expand your site’s audience.

From my reading and class discussions, the most important thing about starting your own blog is to
a) Write to be scanned, and
b) Write with the attitude that people are reading your blog posts and are interested in what you are writing about.

Easy-to-use blogging sites:
WordPress
Blogger
Tumblr

2. Facebook fan pages

More than 10 million Facebook users become fans of fan pages each day. This is quite a large following. Campaigns like TGIFriday’s Woody Burger promotion became instantly successful via fan pages due to the spreadability of information in that medium.

A particularly useful aspect of Fan pages is that users can invite friends to become a fan of that page. Bands, individual artists and businesses are taking advantage of these pages to interact with consumers.

Key concepts about fan pages include:

-Creating a page with the intention to interact.

-Making an effort to read user comments and respond—either generally or to specific comments.

-Encouraging fans of the page to participate on the Wall and write messages.

3. Twitter

Aside from creating a basic Twitter account and working to achieve a large amount of followers, I recently came across an interesting advertising tool. While working on a class project involving the Water.org Web page, there was an option for me to donate my Twitter status.

Essentially, this status donation means that by subscribing, I am allowing water.org to re-Tweet select messages on my Twitter page. This is an effective marketing tool because many of my followers on Twitter may not be aware of Water.org or their current efforts to conquer the water crisis.

This re-Tweeting tool is very effective for non-profits.

4. MySpace

MySpace is a very effective tool for musicians. A simple profile set-up allows artists or bands to list information about upcoming concerts, allow users to listen or download songs from a built-in player on the site and inform viewers about new events.

Users can interact with artists or bands by posting comments on the profile page. As the creator of that Web page, it is important to frequently offer updates or respond to occasional comments. Users need to feel like their voice is being recognized.

By participating more in the discussion aspect of your site, you will likely gain a more loyal fan base that appreciates your effort to communicate with them.

5. YouTube

Some of the most low-budget, small-scale videos have become viral on YouTube. Take this video for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFpbXJuQYnE. A driver takes their car through the wrong entrance of a gate. “Driver Fail,” posted on failblog.org October 6, has already achieved 116,392 views on YouTube.

By creating a YouTube count to post interesting, funny or compelling information online, there is a chance that people will choose to subscribe to your channel. Gaining subscribers will likely increase if you promote these videos on blogs.

The nice thing about YouTube is that videos can easily be embedded and shared on popular social networking sites like Facebook. It is also a simple process to embed a YouTube video on a blog such as WordPress.

Most of the above tools work together and there are elements of crossover that allow an individual or business to easily use and incorporate most of these tools in their strategy for online promotion.

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Filed under COM530, Interactive Writing and Design

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