Social Media and Your Business Part One: What is Social Media, a beginners guide

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Social Media and Your Business

Part One: What is Social Media, a beginners guide

By Rachel Bjerstedt, Marketplace Maven

You have heard about it right? Social Media. Do you understand it or is it overwhelming? ‘Social media’ is the new buzz term. Everybody is doing it, and why? Because it can generate masses amount of traffic to your website, which can easily turn into revenue.

Image by Matt Hamm, what exactly is social media and how do you do it?

Well, it is all about non-passive user participation. Social media participation is becoming an essential tool in networking with professional contacts, making new contacts, recruiting employees, and keeping in touch with the world. If you are not participating in the top social media and networking sites, the world is leaving you behind.

Social media can hijack your brand – and you want to be in control of your brand. Social media can help you earn the loyalty of your current customers or it can help you convince new prospect that your product is far superior to all of your competitors.

There are social media tools for communication, event coordination, multimedia sharing, reviews and opinions, and more. Many times these different social media sites are different flavors of the same ice cream.

Social Media Tools you should know…

Blogs (a contraction of the term “weblog”) is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.:  (BloggerLiveJournalOpen DiaryTypePadWordPress)

Micro-blogging is a form of multimedia blogging that allows users to send brief text updates or micromedia such as photos or audio clips and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group, which can be chosen, by the user. A variety of means, including text messaging, instant messaging, email, digital audio or the web can submit these Messages. (TwitterPlurkTumblrJaikufmylife )

Social networking focuses on building online communities of people who share interests and/or activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. Most social network services are web based and provide a variety of ways for users to interact, such as e-mail and instant messaging services.. (FacebookLinkedInMySpaceNing)

Develop a Social Media Strategy

It took at least 7 years for companies to stop asking, “Why do we need a Web site?” According to Forrester’s predictions on interactive spending, by 2014 U.S. marketers will spend twice as much on social media, as they do on email. However, as Social Media Guru, Jay Baer states, “Social media is not a checklist” You cannot simply decide just to open a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and a blog. Using social media to develop your brand takes careful planning and strategy.

Jay also explains, “The checklist approach causes two types of problems. First, companies are engaging in social media without any sort of meaningful, long-term social media strategy that gives a rationale for each component. Maybe Facebook is not right for your brand. There is no law (yet) that says you have to have a Twitter account. Your results may (and should) vary with regard to social media implementation.”

Keep an Eye Out for Emerging Social Media Tools

Remember tools always evolve and change over time. In 1994 Yahoo was THE search engine, we also used Altavista, Lycos, WebCrawler, and Infoseek, but Yahoo was king. Many people thought that Yahoo was destined to become the only way we sought information. However, who is king now? Google. If you do not believe me, ask yourself whether you have been guilty of using Google as a verb.

Even though Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn may be the favorites now it does not mean that they will always be on top. It is important to always keep an eye open on new media tools as they emerge! Your business depends on it!

… Coming Next How to Use Facebook for your business


Written by RachelLaughing

November 13, 2009 at 1:35 pm

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