Blog Archives

Social Networking Overload: Which Social Network’s Could Help Your Business Grow the Most?

With so many social networks online, do you sometimes feel overwhelmed trying to determine which site to update with what, or whether to create an account on a lesser-known or new site, such as Google+ or Tumblr? Check out our summary below to help you determine which site(s) would be the most beneficial to your business.

  • Facebook is good for both photo and text postings. Also it has the largest user base, therefore the largest potential target base.
  • Twitter, on the other hand, is more for text postings, although you can still post images, however users have to click on a link to see the image. Also, the 140-character limit makes advertising a bit tedious. For businesses that can get away with microblogging without appearing annoying, Twitter was created with you in mind.
  • Google+ is a combination of these two, although it is slightly more and slightly less than both. You can post both images and text, however, the extensive privacy controls sometimes create confusing situations as far as commenting on posts or images. This is especially true on the Google+iPhone/iPad app. Also, since Google+ is still the beta stage, and therefore remains an “invitation only” social network, potential users have a very high susceptibility to being turned off. Also, businesses have been advised to wait to start pages when Google+ rolls out the business pages.
  • Tumblr is a relatively new microblogging site, created in 2007, with a cross-platform format. The ability and easiness to post images, video, text, audio, quotes, as well as hosting your own blog, let’s a multitude of diverse users utilize the site in different ways. With a user retention rate of 85%, it is increasingly being seen as an alternative to Twitter, which only holds a 40% user retention rate.
  • MySpace is an exception in its own right. One of the first social networks to go online, the company that started as a social networking site in 2003 is now almost defunct in that sense, and is instead one of the foremost destinations for social entertainment, such as bands, musicians, actors, etc. that are just starting out. After being overtaken by Facebook in 2009, MySpace is down to just 400 employees, pushing it into the backseat of social media.
  • LinkedIn is a professional networking site, allowing professionals and business to network with each other. Colleagues or friends can write a letter of recommendation on your profile, which is then visible to anyone who views your profile. With more than 120 million users as of March 2011, this network spans across 200 countries and is available in a multitude of languages. Users can post their resume’s on their profile, which can then be downloaded at the click of a button in Word, online, or PDF format.
  • YouTube is a video-sharing site, that was created in early 2005 by three former employees of PayPal. YouTube allows users to record, upload, and share videos with both users and non-users alike. Videos such as TV clips, movie clips and trailers, music videos, video blogs, etc. have transformed the way we interact with each other and the world around us.
  • Foursquare is a very new location-based social networking site. It is one of the only social networks that is exclusively used on GPS-enabled mobile phones. When users “check-in” a list of nearby stores, restaurants, and other venues appears, allowing users to explore the area around them. This application is also an excellent way for small businesses to advertise for free. By offering tips, specials, and other content, users and businesses can interact with each other on an almost personal basis.
Speaking of the iPhone/iPad app, this another consideration to take into account. Does the social network you are considering have a smartphone app, and if so, is it available on a wide variety of softwares? Businesses utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Fourquare, and Youtube still have the biggest advantage to reach their customer base via smartphone apps, especially since society in general is increasingly mobile and continues to transition to smartphones. With the above information about some of the most popular social networks, you should now be able to make an accurate assessment as to which social networks would most benefit your business.
Advertisements

What Facebook’s Newest Privacy Changes Mean for Your Business

Recently, Facebook announced that their new privacy settings would be taking effect August 25, starting with one percent of their 750 million users. The changes to Facebook’s wildly unpopular approach to user privacy settings is most likely a result of the rise Google+. Because users can easily and accurately control who sees what information, businesses could potentially have a more difficult time trying to connect with users. Here’s a quick summary of how Facebook’s new privacy changes may affect your company:

    • On the upper right corner of the screen, there will be a new drop down menu where users can choose which information to display to the public (Facebook’s new profile redesign looks oddly similar to Google+, hmmm…). While users had this capability before in their setting page, the new drop down menu is more easily and quickly accessible. The new accessibility of this feature could mean more users do not publicly share information that could draw attention to your business (such as check-its, tags, etc.)
    • Users will now be able to tag non-friends in status updates and pictures. This change could actually be beneficial to your business as people who have not taken the time to actually “like” you can tag you in their status, resulting in more exposure for your business.
    • Before posting a status update or picture, you can choose who can see it by choosing either public, friends, or custom. Again, this feature may decrease public exposure to your company if users are only sharing information to a select few.
    • Users can also more easily choose the “View Profile As” button from their profile (which was previously located in Setting) to view and possibly change what content is available to the public.
    • Another potentially beneficial new update is that users can now tag their location (such as your business) in their status updates, whereas it was only previously available via the “Check In” option through Facebook mobile.
    • Now, when tagged in status update by another person, you have the option to approve the tag or reject it. When tagged in a photo, users have the ability to remove the tag, ask the user to take down the photo, or block the user. This is also a beneficial update, as you can monitor who and how your business is tagged, preventing unwanted attention.

While a few of these new features have always been available under the users settings, Facebook is proving that they are ready to finally listen and act upon users’ complaints.  It is likely that businesses will have to adapt how they manager their profiles in order to accommodate the changes in how users protect and share their information. What is certain is that with the emergence of Facebook’s newest competition,  Google+, you can guarantee that these won’t be last of Facebook’s changes. Here’s another great article from Entrepreneur on how these changes are likely to affect your business.

Microsoft getting into social networking………?

There are numerous rumors floating around that Microsoft may have something up their sleeve. According to a Tech News World article, these rumors suggest that Microsoft is working on their own social networking platform. This news comes several weeks after Google’s big reveal of Google+.  These rumors were started with an image posted online. It showed a landing page for a service called “Tulalip.” There was a message on the page that said “With Tulalip, you can find what you need and share what you know easier than ever.” The image appeared on the website “Socl.com,” and the Domain registry lists Microsoft as the owner of the site.

The image is no longer on the website and Microsoft of course is downplaying the whole incident, saying that they accidentally published the image.  Was the publication of this image really an accident? Google+ has been the most talked about social media story for the past several weeks. Would anyone put it past a competitor to try to steal some thunder? While it will take Microsoft a while to create their own social network, do not be surprised if they eventually do.  All we can do is stay tuned.

Google+ Still Dominates Social Media News

Its probably a good sign for Google that the internet is still buzzing about the release of Google+.  I received my invitation to join this weekend and am really impressed with my initial exploration. The interface is clean and crisp.  The ease of creating circles is wonderful. I also really like the ability to choose which circles will see my posts. I am really anxious for the addition of the business pages and hope that doesn’t take too long to be up and running. But most of all, in my opinion the privacy features are an improvement over Facebook’s.

Ultimately, if we do have a war between social media sites, I think it will be over the issue of privacy controls. Mark Zuckerburg has made it clear that he believes social media and the internet should be open – the default should be to share everything. Unfortunately, this fails to take into account the reality of people’s actual lives. Does anyone want to share their weekend debauchery with their professional colleagues? Probably not. Is our choice then to either live completely blameless lives where nothing ever happens that we can’t disclose at the office or do we have to be privacy nazis where we constantly check our wall for an unseemly photo that might slip through by a trusted friend? Perhaps, this is where Google+ really gets it right. If the circles work correctly you’ll be able manage all of your social media in one site and still keep your lives separate.

Google+ and what it means to the world of social media

Google just announced their latest venture into the social media arena with the limited introduction of Google+.  According to an article at PC World, this new attempt at social media may be more successful than their last attempt, Google Buzz. But, even if its not, its important to remember that there is more to social media than just Facebook and Twitter. Its important to have a broad social media presence and to be prepared for the changes in social media as they come or be left behind.

Additionally, PC world wrote the following article about what Google+ means for businesses. Essentially, if Google+ gains a following then status updates and other content will need to be even more relevant and valuable in order to accomplish what businesses use social media for…connecting with their customers.