Larry BraunerThe social media and web marketing space is evolving, and we must therefore continually revise our social media and web marketing strategies and techniques.

Here are several cases in point that affect social media and web marketing practice, especially for small business.

Good-Bye Facebook Open Networking

FacebookFor years, Facebook was an open social networking site that permitted members to befriend people whom they didn’t know despite mounting privacy concerns.

However, in 2010, Facebook tightened its friending policies in order to combat phishing and spamming practices.

It appears that Facebook now evaluates friend requests based on degrees of separation and profiles users who repeatedly go out-of-bounds, restricting their friending capabilities.

Consequently, we must regard Facebook as a closed networking site going forward, despite the Facebook Freedom to Share and Connect principle, and find approaches to building our Facebook networks that don’t raise red flags.

Hello Ning Open Networking

Ning Social NetworksSince the Ning shift earlier this year from free or paid networks to paid-only networks, protest from disgruntled free-site creators has subsided and, as promised, Ning has come through with improved functionality upgraded periodically.

While Ning cannot compete with Facebook based neither on popularity nor functionality, Ning is nevertheless a great platform for creating niche social networking sites and for open networking.

I’ve dedicated the Small Business Network, my own Ning networking site, to the pursuit of open social and business networking, and I would be delighted if you would join me there.

You can still share via broadcast any of your Ning content, like blog posts or pictures, with all your Ning friends, a feature not found on the Facebook or LinkedIn social networks.

Search Engine Optimization Still Pays Big

GoogleNotwithstanding my remarks in The NEW Search Engine Optimization, search engines are still the mightiest source of website traffic, and SEO is still the most vital web marketing activity.

Social media sites send thousands of visitors per month to Online Social Networking. However, Google and other search engines send much more. Having a website or blog site and optimizing it for search engines and humans is of paramount importance if you want to market successfully on the web.

Put website development and optimization at the very top of your to-do list for 2011.

Please accept my sincere wishes for a healthy, fulfilling and peaceful New Year. I look forward to growing and sharing with you in the years to come.

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11 Responses to “3 Key Social Media and Web Marketing Strategies for 2011”

  1. Stephen G. Barr, Publisher on December 26th, 2010 10:41 pm

    The only constant appears to be change eh Larry? It appears to me that Linkedin has loosened it’s policy. Any news on them?

  2. Cherry Rahtu on December 26th, 2010 10:44 pm

    Larry, thanks for the insight. Indeed, Facebook is getting more strict and closed. Most people still search and look for their answers, so SEO is still important. I believe that a website/blog with great content, optimized for search engine and social media is a good strategy that can last for a long term. :)

  3. Larry Brauner on December 26th, 2010 10:45 pm

    Yes, Stephen, change is constant.

    I’m not sure I agree, however, that LinkedIn has loosened its policy, Stephen. But the LinkedIn groups help to compensate.

  4. Dawn @ Personalised Gifts on December 27th, 2010 6:40 am

    I work for a company which runs a number of online retail websites. Although our social media presence is growing, all of our sales seem to come down to Google Rankings - which are now dwindling. I think in 2011 we’re needing to focus much more on SEO with a view to clawing our way back to the top for our main keywords.

  5. Gilberto Cintron on December 27th, 2010 2:30 pm

    I agree that SEO is still important and will always be, although to a lessor extent in 2011 and years to come. However don’t abandon SEO yet since it will be a while before masses grasp the new concepts.

    One need only look at the growth and popularity of social sites to see the writing on the wall. And with Facebook adapting and finding more ways to make all things social, I predict that searching online will change dramatically as Facebook perfects its new roll-out simply called “conversations” which is a merger of email, texting and chatting.

  6. John on December 28th, 2010 8:09 am

    Larry - I couldn’t agree with you more when you said put SEO on the top of your to-do list for 2011. I think search engine optimization will always be the best way to market your website no matter how popular social networking sites like Facebook become.

    I haven’t heard of Ning before but I’m now interested in checking it out. Having the ability to share your blog posts, pictures, or other content via broadcast sounds pretty cool.

  7. Jeffrey Baril - Source Blogger on December 31st, 2010 2:20 pm


    How are you? It’s Jeffrey Baril of Source Blogger.

    I wanted to stop by and wish you and your community here all the best in the new year.

    I’m not familiar with NING, but have enjoyed your articles regarding Twitter, Facebook, and Networked Blogs.

    I am enormous proponent of Twitter. Now Facebook…I see that will remain a challenge. And Networked Blogs…I’m still not sure what their role is to become.

    You had recently published something here about what followers really mean to a blog — particularly that readers are encouraged to follow, but typically does not lead to a lot of traffic and follow/through/upon their behalf. Great observation. That inspired me to write something I plan to release in January.

    Thanks, Larry.

    Jeffrey Baril - Source Blogger
    “Determined To Make You A Better Blogger!”

  8. Fiona Bosticky on December 31st, 2010 7:57 pm

    I think it’s wonderful that Facebook has tightened their “friending” policies.

    People have lost site of the REAL purpose of social networking. Evidence has shown time and time again that mass building followers in these networks really doesn’t mean more business.

    Social Media is about engaging and making connections. And the more Facebook supports this, the happier I am. :)

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  10. Larry Brauner on January 2nd, 2011 9:02 pm

    @Dawn Try to strategy and implement rather than clawing to the top. It’s more fun and more effective.

    @Gilberto @John @Jeffrey Thank you.

    @Fiona Agree somewhat. It’s not possible, however, to connect one-to-one with everybody in one’s community.

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