Social Media

Know When To Say When To Social Media

It’s Time To Clean Up Your Social Media Clutter
Out with the old and in with the new. Why wait around until spring time to start organizing your life, your home and, more importantly, your social media portfolio? With 2009 sprawling ahead of you it’s time sort the social clutter that’s been piling up around on your computer desk and in your inbox.

One way to start this process is to take inventory of the social networking and bookmarking sites you subscribe to, and decide which services you like best in each category. After all, everyone wants to save time and spending hours a day on multiple services isn’t nearly as efficient as getting extra quality time on the best services.
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Search News Special: Web 2.0

Search engines and Web 2.0 have an unusual marriage. Here in the social media corner of the metaphorical room, we’ve long held the belief that a successful social media and Web 2.0 marketing campaign would contribute positively to organic search engine rankings. We’ve come to this conclusion not just from hopeful thinking, but from solid statistical analysis. Do one well, and the other will follow. Search Engine Land just ran an article about this very phenomenom, citing specific examples of links from social media sites that improved ranking. But all too often these kind of results are treated as an abnormality rather than the norm. The fact of the matter is that it’s extremely difficult to get online, let alone run a marketing campaign, without incorporating a least some aspect of web 2.0 or social media. Think about your daily web activities, and I bet most if not all of them involve some component of the read/write web, whether it’s social networking, blogs, or a simple interaction beyond the passive user. Bottom line, we can’t escape social media and Web 2.0, and the same goes for the search engines and their algorithms.
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Modern Old-fashioned Networking

There are very few situations where a social media profile will not be of use to your professional or private life. These days more and more people are jumping on the social media networking bandwagon. In fact, many teenagers who have grown up in the advent of social media don’t know any other form of networking. If you own a small business that’s kicking off a social media marketing campaign you shouldn’t underestimate the importance incorporating some old-fashioned, face-to-face networking. There are dozens of ways to connect that are just as good as “Social Media” on the web.

Here are some suggestions:
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Take It From the Clowns…

When it comes to social media marketing, sometimes you’ve just got to listen to the clowns. Well, a very specific group of clowns anyway.

In particular, the mind-bendingly bendy group at Cirque du Soleil has once again thrown off convention and is currently leading the movement by established and successful organizations to move advertising online. While they haven’t completely abandoned traditional means of advertising, Soleil’s social media manager Jessica Berlin is spearheading the effort to make the high budget production known on forums such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and others.

In a recent panel discussion, Berlin divulged some key points about the benefits of moving advertising efforts online.
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He Blogged, She Blogged

When it comes to men and women, who blogs better? Moreover, how do men and women approach blogging? People all have their reasons for engaging in social interaction, and when it comes down to it women are more likely to blog for social and emotional interaction than men.

A recent Entrepreneur.com article mentioned a study that found more than 36 million women blog every week. Almost 50 percent of those women said that blogs influenced their buying habits. Some women even said they were so committed to blogging that they would give up PDAs and alcohol to continue doing so.

More than half of all bloggers in North America are women. These women tend to write more and longer than their male counterparts. Strangely enough a recent study out of Great Britain noted that the most influential bloggers tend to be white American males. This study also found that women were more interested in the social aspects of blogging, while men care more about new information and opinion.
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Are you Afraid of the Digg?

If you thought witches and ghouls were the scariest thing you were going to encounter this Halloween, some established companies might see it a little bit differently. For them, the most terrifying prospect is…a social networking site.

But why would anyone be afraid of a little site like Digg or Facebook? The simple answer is control. Companies fear social networking sites because they can’t pick and choose what is said about the company through these kinds of outlets. But this hesitation to move viral (and relinquish this control) shouldn’t be too shocking. Think of all the time, money, and effort that are put into carefully creating any and all company marketing campaigns. Commercials are screened by test audiences before they ever make it on the air. Heads of the company have careful speech writers and PR pros coordinating all company information before it’s divulged to the public. And with social networking sites, companies move out of this controlled environment into the wild, untamed world of everyday human interaction.
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Blog Marketing for Business

I’ve talked before about the incredible adaption and utilization of blogs in the business world. From Fortune 500 companies and corporations to small businesses just starting out, blogs have made the business world stand up and take notice. In June of this year, I wrote about the BusinessWeek article that followed up on the original groundbreaking story that introduced much of the business world to blogs back in 2005. Business Blogs and Beyond talked about the significant changes in the marketing landscape, and how social media, blogs and other forms of Web 2.0 marketing have opened up the doors to advertising on all fronts, harnessing the ability to connect with customers on levels that were never before possible.

The articles and accolades for marketing with business blogs haven’t stopped. Instead, blogs have become the #1 necessity for business owners looking for affordable, effective marketing that can deliver even in a questionable economy. Recently, Entrepreneur Magazine published an article about getting your business noticed at a minimal cost. Their #1 suggestion was blogs. From the article: “Set up a blog … and begin writing interesting commentary that relates to your business, says Hager. To drive traffic, comment on other topic-related blogs and include links back to your own blog.” Further down the list, they mention “Exploiting the Web” as number 17. This suggestion includes utilizing social media sites like delicious.com and digg.com to advertise and market products or services.
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Every Day Social Media

Time Magazine Cover - Social MediaTraditional media’s days as the main source of information are numbered. Giants like newspapers, television and radio are taking a back seat to the onset of social media as the most popular way we interact and discuss the subjects that are important to us. Web 2.0 and the read/write web has made it easy for everyone to share and discuss opinions, find new information and discover those with similar ideas and interests. Without adapting and evolving, old media will find themselves playing catch-up or worse, branded insignificant and out of date. Of course the progressive outlets are embracing this shift in the fundamentals and using it to their advantage. Major newspapers, radio stations and television networks now have significant online presences and encourage the interaction that is driving our daily lives. But they find themselves in competition like never before. As social media grows, more options are available to users every day, forming a whole new basis for every aspect of how we get and share information.
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Social Media in Plain English

The folks over at Common Craft have put together a new video that explains social media titled “Social Media in Plain English”. This one features a town that has a serious love of ice cream and the how the residents embrace the fundamentals of social media to everyone’s benefit. You might remember Common Craft from their video explanations of Social Bookmarking and Social Networking. They’ve also covered topics like RSS, Blogs, Podcasting and even Zombies.

The videos themselves are great explanations of complex topics. I’ve heard the “I get it now!” exclamation many times after directing a friend or colleague to one of these videos. Admittedly so, Web 2.0 has introduced a new landscape of terminology and applications that will take a little while for complete adoption by the typical user community, so I think these videos provide a great translation medium. Take a look: