Facebook took 852 days to reach its first 10 million users. Twitter took 780. Google+ took just 16, and after a month it has grown to more than 25 million users. One big reason for its rapid growth is the popularity of Google's widely used Gmail platform. Google doesn't publish the number of Gmail users, but it's generally believed to be several hundred million. Google+ for business is expected to be out before the end of the year, and is eagerly anticipated. Widely expressed reasons for G+'s popularity include a better approach to relationship control than Facebook's, with the Circles interface, innovative features like the Hangouts (multi-user video conferencing), and integration with other Google products.
Foursquare is a popular location-based service with more than 10 million users. Foursquare members check in at restaurants, entertainment venues, and other businesses to share their whereabouts with their networks (and win various Foursquare badges and other social awards). Foursquare has allowed business to have their own pages for over a year, where they can interact with mobile- and social media-savvy users. Special offers to Foursquare users are a popular promotion strategy, for example. Now businesses can sign up and edit their own pages instead of having to work with a member of the Foursquare team. Another helpful feature is the ability to have multiple page managers.
No matter how careful you and your employees are about customer service, sometimes things go wrong in your relationships with your customers. Mistakes get made, people get mad, and in today's environment businesses need to manage the social media fallout from bad customer interactions. Here's a collection of four practical, social media-oriented ways to repair those relationships and keep out of trouble in the future.
Facebook has two kinds of pages, Official and Community. Official Pages are created by a user on purpose to represent some content they own, or bya public figure or business they represent. Community Pages are created when users create a place to check in, or to add something to their Likes, education history, or workplace for things that don't have existing Pages. Sometimes Community Places get created that duplicate Official ones, and now Facebook allows admins of Official Pages to merge duplicate Community pages with them. The Official Page content doesn't change, but the people who "Liked" the duplicate Community page(s) are added to the Official Page community, to give it credit for all the people who are interested in the brand.
With today's tools, there's no need to use traditional media relations and PR techniques to reach reporters. Here's a practical way to get your business messages out to reporters and editors in local and national newspapers, magazines, and other media. Like so much of the work that businesses need to put into social media, the strategy involves the careful, respectful cultivation of real relationships with people who are interested in whatever news and other content that a business has to share with the world.
In April 2009, some Domino's employees were seen doing disgusting things to pizzas in a widely watched YouTube video. Domino's promptly apologized, and quickly learned to use Social Media aggressively and successfully. Now in a bold, new campaign, Domino's is displaying - in real time on a 125-foot-wide, 4,630-square-foot billboard in New York's Times Square - what customers actually think of the brand, culled from its Domino's Tracker application. The comments are filtered for bad language and appropriateness, but not for sentiment. The Times Square Campaign was set to run until August 23.
Facebook is projected to have a 17.7 percent share of all online display advertising this year, up from 12.2 percent in 2010. This makes Facebook a compelling advertising platform for all kinds of businesses. Many businesses find buying and managing ad campaigns on Facebook confusing and difficult, and lots of specialized agencies and consultancies have sprung up to help. In an attempt to make it easier for businesses to use the very popular and effective Facebook advertising platform themselves, Facebook has started a new site to provide step-by-step help for businesses.
Use LinkedIn? You need some way to make your profile stand out from the crowd. Lots of people just throw something up and leave it at that, and never return to add new information about themselves, add links to content like websites, or publish status updates. And they're letting good personal branding opportunities get away. Google and the other search engines rank LinkedIn profiles highly. Everyone who uses LinkedIn should review and tune up their profiles regularly. Here's a great set of 15 tips about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
Daniel Lieberman is the founder of Daniel Lieberman Digital ("I speak Geek - You don't need to."). Based in Shelburne Falls, Mass., he helps companies, organizations, and individuals learn to use the Internet to communicate, market, and brand themselves using the most up-to-date tools and techniques. Contact him at 413-489-1818 or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
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