Social media

Social Media-2

Social Media - Tools - Part 2

The Tools

So if your interested in social media - what is it? Put simply, social media is online interaction using sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and many other social networks to distribute personal and business messages, create new relationships with friends and customers and all the while, building their loyalty to you and vice versa.

You may be asking, why care about social media at all? The easiest way to explain it is to take a look at recent on-line activity. According to, a staggering 124 million monthly visitors logged in to Facebook in September and it continues to widen the gap on the aging MySpace coming in at almost 50 million visitors. At the same time, Linkedin had 15 million monthly visitors and Twitter had 23 million, while YouTube continues to grow with 84 million. You can see why a little "social media" might be a very good idea.

It's all about communicating with your audience and providing content that they are interested in. It provides opportunity to reach all those people who would otherwise give you the internet equivalent of "Just looking, thanks".

Web Logs

Web logs or blogs for short should be all about your passion. You are driving interest through a blog and hopefully sales will be the end result. Of course the easiest way to get started is to use some search-friendly blogger sites such as WordPress or Blogger and then, if interested, plug-ins to make your blog an integrated part of your site. It is easy to establish a web presence, just remember to update frequently and stay on top of it. Nothing says "nothing going on here" faster than an outdated blog site with no recent content.

Instant Updates

Social media that falls into the instant update category is ruled by Twitter. Twitter asks you simply, "What are you doing?"  By necessity, you will need to keep things fresh so make tweats whenever you can. Many other networking sights are partnering with Twitter to allow tweet feeds to be shared with other sites, thus spreading your activities far and wide. Twitter can also help you begin word-of-mouth promotions - the internet equivalent of whispering, "Hey, have you heard . . . ?" Worth noting, many blogs, such as this one, may offer an offshoot of messaging in the form of commenting, which in itself can help facilitate visitor feedback and develop a community of followers.


The third general type of social media I will dub the informational group. This group was pioneered by MySpace. Others such as Facebook, Linkedin and a whole herd of other media sharing sites have followed, such as YouTube and Flickr. They usually allow you to set up informational "walls" which allow you to tell the world about yourself. The sites make it easy to post pictures, add little blurbs about cool new stuff, add videos of whatever interests you and allows others to post as well.

In the past some businesses have worried that sites such as Facebook and MySpace were teenage hang outs - the internet equivalents of the coffeehouses on weekends. But as big media companies such as CNN have teamed up with Facebook, many have reconsidered. These sites now provide another tool for updating the world about your business, while providing a way to make new connections and it gives an easy way to let friends and family know about current developments.

Obviously, the internet gives us a lot more tools for inviting and engaging traffic, just keep the basics in mind: stay in touch, be helpful and give simple but useful answers.

Source: Jon Rognerud via

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Social Media

Social Media - Strategy - Part 1

Strategy First, Tools Second

So we have all heard of social media and maybe you have actually started using it. But the big question is always - so how does a business use it effectively? One of the biggest benefits of social media sites is how easy it is to get started. Anyone can sign up and start using them right away. But it is important to remember that the ease of use does not directly correlate to how effective they will be for your business objectives. Stated another way, you need to think social media strategy first and the tools you will use second. 
Very often, people get overloaded with social media because they don't have a strategy. Someone says they should be on Facebook, so they join. Someone says to get on Twitter, so they do. Someone else says to stay connected via LinkedIn and they do. The number of sites you "should" be on will never stop increasing - as hundreds of social media sites come online each day. If you constantly jump from site to site, you risk wasting time and losing money. 

Your Strategy

Instead, start by considering your social media strategy:
  • Understand what business objectives you want to reach by engaging in social media. Business objectives might include outcomes such as growing your network, becoming more visible, increasing blog visitors or positioning yourself as the top expert in your field. While several of these can be accomplished simultaneously, for the most part, stick with one objective at a time. What is the one outcome right now that would move your business forward in the most significant way?
  • Acknowledge the time frame to reach your business objective. Social media is not a quick hit strategy and it can take a certain amount of focused effort to start seeing returns. If your time line for results is too short, you will feel like you are wasting time. If your time line is too long, you will feel frustrated, when it seems like results are not happening fast enough. For example, if you want to add 100 names to your database, you can probably accomplish this in 4-6 weeks. If you want to position yourself as the top authority in your niche, it will probably take a bit longer, especially if there is a reasonable amount of competition. Adjust your time line to the size of your business objective.
  • Focus on depth of involvement rather than breadth. While it can be tempting to be join 100 social media sites, you risk spreading yourself too thin and being lost in the crowd. Better to select 2, 3 or 4 sites which you can commit to participating in regularly, than joining 100 sites you never have time to access. Repetition is a very important element of building recognition and reputation. Focus deeply on a select group of sites and participate in discussions as fully as possible. Your consistent involvement will be noticed by others.
  • Test your level of participation to define how much is enough. There will be a sweet spot in terms of time put in and results obtained. Try participating very fully for two weeks and see what your results are. Participate less in week three, and see if your results change. By measuring one specific business objective, you willl have a good sense of how much effort you need to make on the social sites in order to reach your desired results.
  • Adopt new technology thoughtfully. There are many tools you can use to implement your social media strategy. Typically, you want to use the tools which are easiest, most cost-effective and provide the best results. Don't adopt every new technology blindly. Take the time to understand the technology and "kick the tires" so to speak. Keeping current is important, as it will help you recognize when a new technology can accomplish your business goals faster or easier.
Remember, craft your strategy first and then use tools to execute it. That is the right order for social business success.

We will take a break for the holidays - Happy Thanksgiving! We will be back in December. Winking

Source: Rachna Jain via

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