In my first post I introduced social media and its meaning. This post, my second, is about the different social media networks and their proper use.
Social media is not an advertising platform but it is a relationship building and nurturing platform. It is an organic online conversation between peers of more or less the same interests, wants and needs.
It is also an open communication network powered by the different social media networks such as: blogs, RSS feeds, bookmarking, video and photo sharing sites, wikis, message boards, social gaming, social media press releases etc…
The Social Media Landscape:
The Social media landscape is very noisy. There are hundreds of Social Networks if not thousands, so the need to differentiate between their functions, niche and uses becomes a necessity and not a luxury.
That is why a good Social Media strategy has to be put in place, depending on the nature of each business and their target customers; it is not a one size fits all. A social media strategy will narrow your focus by targeting the proper nice of audience, establish and maintain presence, and build relationships
The best way to leverage the social media networks is by having a profile that stands out of the crowd. The profile should be optimized to:
1- Reinforce a brand
2- Be found by search engines for ranking, by using the proper keywords in the right places (keywords used by prospects searching for your industry or services and not keywords that are relevant to you or your business)
3- Maximize inviteness to your profile
The following examples are the different channels of Social Media and their use:
1. Communication: Blogs, micro-blogs, social networking, Google, Yahoo such as: Blogger, WordPress, Twitter, Facebook.
2. Collaboration: Social bookmarking and discussion forums sites such as: Digg, Newsvine, Magnolia, Stumbleupon, Yelp.
3. Multi-media sites: Multi-media sites share photos and videos such as: Flickr, SmugMug, YouTube, HuluTV, JustinTV, Viddler and UStream.tv.
4. Entertainment/ Virtual sites: Virtual worlds, games, online gambling and the Harry Potter World such as: Second Life, world warcraft, SparkleIM, Harry Potter world
The 3 most widely used social networks are:
• LinkedIn is the only professional-based network.
• 50+ million members worldwide, 50% in the United States
• Average income on LinkedIn is $109,000/year
• Fortune 500 companies are on LinkedIn
• Decision-makers and CEOs are on LinkedIn
• Connections are 1ry, 2ry and 3ry degree network
• Used to establish one’s credibility and expertise i.e. self-branding
• Great tool for job search
• Builds new business partnerships & increases prospects
• Creates buzz for events
• Improves search engine visibility
• Facebook is the 5th most popular site among social networks with 500 M users.
• 110 million active users
• #1 photo-sharing site
• 6 million active groups
• The highest ranking Fan pages are: Obama, Nutella, Dr. House and Twilight
• Business/ Fan pages exist. Ads are very targeted by location, age, gender, title, income etc… and it is set as per the advertiser budget.
• Facebook is a closed community meaning that you cannot reach its members unless you are signed in on Facebook and being a part of the community.
• Its power lies in the massive numbers of its active members and the groups created on Facebook.
• For business, it is advised to create a business/ Fan page – separate it totally from your personal page, start by being your 1st fan – do not transpose the friends you have on your personal page to your business page.
• Micro-blogging site that allows up to 140 characters
• Provides updates about “What are you doing now” in real-time
• Flexibility lies in the capability to update status from the web, IM or cell phones
• Traffic has increased 800% in one year
• 6 million active users
• Used by news media during Iran elections
• The Obama Administration, WN, JetBlue use Twitter
• Is now linked to LinkedIn.
• Used by companies to market their products or services by giving them a voice or identity.
• Its power is in its search platform
• Builds credibility
My next post will be about how social media changed the face of marketing probably forever
Merry Christmas to all, stay safe.