Social media and social networking for business
If Barack Obama’s record-raising campaign contributions and historic election results are not a testament to the power and efficacy of social networking sites then I don’t know what else to say. Indeed, much of the viral marketing and ingenuity of Obama’s 2008 campaign (and Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign) is owed, in large part, to masterful use of social media sites and web 2.0 strategies.
How to use social media for business
Twitter is like a micro blog. You update your status on a regular basis. People can keep up with what you are doing, your thoughts, your announcements and your interests – if that is what you tweet about. I think the best use of Twitter is as an RSS feed for a blog. By using Twitterfeed, for example, you can stream your news releases or blog posts to Twitter. So, when people follow you on Twitter (follow mFae on Twitter) then they can see the primary headlines of the news that you are producing.
If you have charisma or have employees with charisma or if you are creative and hire charismatic actors then you can create a loyal following through your YouTube channel. If you have products or services that can only be appreciated through a live demonstration then you can demonstrate this through YouTube. If you have entertaining infomercials that you would normally broadcast on cable TV then YouTube is a great vehicle. If you are an actor or entertainer or sales person and you want to give a free sample of yourself to your fans or potential clients then YouTube is a great medium.
If you have a lot to say then you can say it on your blog. If you have a lot of knowledge and information that you would like to share with potential clients or partners then a blog is a great vehicle. If you have a leader within your organization and you would like to put out periodic entries within a leadership journal then a blog is a great mechanism. If you have a news or press section of your website where you regularly put out news releases or press releases then a blog is a perfect tool to deliver these releases. With a blog, you can also embed those YouTube videos of yours, by the way.
Facebook has its own markup language called FaceBook Markup Language (FBML), which allows you to customize the look and feel of your corporate Facebook page a little more than the standard personal Facebook profile. Facebook has a method to update your status, which is basically the same as a Twitter. Although, you can sync your Facebook status with your Twitter status if you like. Facebook also has a method to upload videos. Although, you can also sync your YouTube videos with your Facebook account. Facebook allows you to write on your wall, although you can also import your blog entries into your wall as well. So, if you think about it, Facebook allows you to integrate the contents from your Twitter, YouTube channel and blog all together PLUS a nice method of managing and organizing your photo gallery into photo albums.
So, why would you maintain all four forms of social media? Well, actually, I might even add a few more.
LinkedIn allows you to create your historical resume and biography by listing every job you have had over your career, what was your title, where you worked, when you worked and what you did. You can connect with other LinkedIn professionals and you can give, get, and maintain recommendations and references from past employers and colleagues. So, the next time you are applying for a job and somebody asks for references, you can just direct them to your LinkedIn account. LinkedIn also allows you to update your status, just like Twitter and Facebook. LinkedIn can also allows you to integrate both your blog and your YouTube account.
Delicous, Digg, Technorati, Flickr
All of these social media sites have their unique place right now. I find all of them useful and more and more are being integrated within one another. What these social media outlets do is increase your sphere of influence. They connect you with other people through degrees of separation. They provide inbound links to your websites and your blog. Together, they help to define and describe you, your company, the people you surround yourself with and the things that interest you.
Use Caution with Facebook, YouTube and Delicious
Warning! People should know that there are drawbacks to laying your life on the line in public. The police, FBI, CIA and potential employers could learn more about your personal life through your social media accounts. Potential clients can see the videos you watch on YouTube, the websites you visit on Delicious, the random thoughts you make on Facebook and the places you go as you Tweet. So, understand that your privacy and civil liberties are revealed and vulnerable as you add friends and subscribe to channels throughout the internet. So, use it to your advantage but know that it could be a double-edged sword.