February 20th, 2009 3 Comments

Social media and your business

Twitter logo

 

Everywhere you look these days there are stories about social media in general, and Twitter in particular. Just a few examples are: Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age (here, here, here, and many more).

Nobody knows where this is all heading and there isn’t any road map to help guide your particular business. But there are a few things that are already clear:

  1. Many of your customers are already using Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and all the other social media tools. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project: 11% of online American adults said they used a service like Twitter; 19% of online adults age 18 – 24 have used Twitter and similar services, as have 20% of online adults 25 to 34. Get the full Pew report for more details.
  2. Even if you don’t feel ready to start posting your own messages on social media sites these tools are a great source of information about your company, products, competitors, and almost anything else. This is real-time, actionable information that can really give you a competitive advantage. See for yourself. Search for anything and see who said it, and when. Someone could be asking about your products right now – engage them.
  3. Social media is definitely not about advertising. In fact, blatant advertising and self-promotion is a good way to turn people away, or against you, and you really don’t want enemies out there. These tools are for creating a dialog with your customers, not pushing information at them.
  4. Some companies are getting a lot of free publicity because they embraced social media early. Try searching in Google for "Zappos and Twitter" to get some idea of coverage that company gets, for free. The CEO of Zappos has over 100,000 people following his posts on Twitter. Look here to see what Zappos employees are doing right now. Do you have that kind of connection to your customers?

If you want to learn more about social media you might start with a report just released (Feb 2009) by Abrams Research . They surveyed 200 leaders in the field and the results will help focus your time on the sites/tools that make the most sense.

A group was formed recently to promote and support social media of all types. They are called the Social Media Club. Their Web site has a lot of good information, and they have local chapters popping up all over the place. I attended their event in Salt Lake City last night. There were over 100 people to listen to a panel discussion with five experts in the field. See the map below and attend one of their next meetings.

Social Media Club Local Chapters (Feb 2009)


Social Media Club Local Chapters (Feb 2009)

3 Responses to “Social media and your business”

robert

February 24th, 2009 - 1:30 pm

Just a quick follow up to this post. New York magazine had a good story about Twitter and the guys behind it in the Feb 16, 2009 issue.

http://nymag.com/news/media/54069/

robert

March 9th, 2009 - 9:23 am

Another good introductory article about Twitter at the Wall Street Journal today:

http://tinyurl.com/aklena

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