Social media is a fast growing segment of the internet marketing world. It changes dynamically, and keeping up with the changes could become life or death for an internet enterprise. Anyone who is serious about e-business or search engine marketing needs to become acutely knowledgable about social media.
There are various types of social media out there. The type of people each medium attracts, and the type of interactions the medium offer, vary tremendously. Forums, blogs, facebook, twitter, myspace, youtube, flickr, digg, and linked in are some of the more famous ones. But, there are many more. The interesting or scary fact remains that the lifecycle of popularity for a particular venue has very little security. Myspace used to be one of the most popular social media sites a few years ago, but now Facebook seems to be the rage.
Its a well known fact that internet saavy people world-wide spend a certain amount of their online time on social media sites making it one of the most powerful ways for businesses to network with new potential clients, and get feedback from existing clients. Wikepedia is a wonderful source of all types of information, and they say that Social Networking now accounts for 22% of the time spent onlien in the US.
Real Time Interaction
Much of the web has outdated information, or static pages. Social media, is not only fun for many, but the information that is most easily viewable is often published within minutes or hours of being read. Facebook has a wall for all of its users. Whatever topics are published appear at the top of the wall, and then move their way down as new material is published. You can post a discussion question and get dozens of answers within a few minutes or hours depending on how extensive your fan base is.
Social media is fair. Most business and governments are controlled by an elite few. But, social media is controlled by everyone who uses it. Everybody has a voice, and nobody can be censored... well, at least not in the United States (for now). If a business has a social media presence, customers can get on and complain. Hopefully their complaints are real and are constructive, but their voice will be heard by many none the less. Social media gives power to the people! For better or for worse.
By using social media, a company has access to all of the online world. By effective use of networking, you have access to everyone in the whole world -- with a little help from your fans. If you gain a few fans, and they like you, they can network your social media presence to their friends, and so on, and so on, and so on until you get a mega-following. Thats if they like you.
What makes a social network tick?
Social media is entertainment. People use it to interact with friends, meet new friends, compare pictures, videos, gossip, etc. If you use social media for your business, make it very entertaining and fun, while being relevant. If you bore your followers, you will not attract more followers. Well written and interesting industry relevent posts are the way to go. Take notes on what people liked and didn't like, so you can try to create more liked material.
Social Media Welcome Page
Social Media ROI
Social Media - The Various Networks
Social Media Analytics