Companies like Apple and Google seem to generate online buzz effortlessly, but building up consumer anticipation and word-of-mouth recommendations is not limited to these international brands, according to one observer.

Kevin Gibbons of Search Engine Watch said "a few simple steps" can help any user of internet marketing services to whip up some excitement about their latest offering.

Companies looking to boost their online buzz should first harness the power of the tweet, he added.

Graze, a firm that specialises in healthy snack boxes, recently generated some good online PR by offering its Twitter followers a discount if they recommended it to their friends – who would receive a freebie if they signed up.

"Everyone's a winner, so everyone's a convert and everyone voluntarily advertises your company," Mr Gibbons noted.

Elsewhere, new products can get good exposure through a Facebook fan page – and if users comment on it, it will be shared with their friends, helping to generate more online buzz.

Indeed, Nicola Clark of Marketing magazine recently argued that smaller brands have a "massive advantage" over multinationals on social networks like Facebook and Twitter because they can create a sense of "genuine community".

News brought to you by ClickThrough – specialists in Search Engine Optimisation and Internet Marketing.

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