Using Social Media in Marketing : Part 2

Everybody Is Doing It These Days

Yesterday I claimed that Social Media was all about the conversation. But this conversation is nothing new. Since the dawn of the web people have been socializing online. BBS’s and newsgroups have been around for eons. Look at YahooGroups for evidence of that, there is an apparent group for every conceivable topic. And where would the web be without the blessed forum. Forums are a lively, helpful resource for many people to learn and help others. All of them are two-way and conversational. So why is Social Networking such a novelty? Are Social Networking and Social Media just terms coined by those web poseur types that hang around in coffee shops with their MacBookAir’s? Possibly, but it would be foolish to ignore their relevance and importance to the modern internet landscape. With the advent of Web2.0 technologies like AJAX or RubyOnRails developers were able to expand the features of old static websites into something modern and dynamic. This allowed social networks to be expandable, extensible and highly customizable, whereas the good old forum or newsgroup are the exact same experience for every visitor. Social networks allow each participant to create an area on the web that reflects their taste, interests, ideals and personality.

From Twitter backgrounds to WordPress plug-ins, you can refine your social profile just the way you like it. And this is the beauty of the new social web. It allows you to reflect the personality of your, or your brand. Add to the mix the enhanced bandwidth of modern broadband service and the speed of modern computer processors, and you can see how the web has become a monstrous media jukebox. All this media being created by it’s users, and shared amongst their own personal network of friends and associates. Families are sharing photos like never before. Friendships are struck up between distant netizens with similar interests. Content creators are able make, publish, distribute and share their work with an audience they could but previously dream of. Ideas are swapped and argued at lightning speed, in real-time crossing continents, sparking questions and concepts (and the occasional flame war). The web, along with the new social networking and social media services, democratized the channels and liberated content generators from the shackles of anonymity.

There are specific things I like about the people I follow. And I do mean people, I hesitate to say Companies even though many of the people I follow do represent Companies. After some work, I managed to weed out all the spammy one-way Tweeters that never @reply or simply self-promote. And now my social network is full of interesting individuals with real lives and interests outside of their business practice. I get a glimpse of a software CEOs family life, a professional motorcycle racer’s fitness regime, a major filmmaker’s photography tips and techniques. And whilst I may never do business with any of these individuals, it gives me a broader outlook on the world outside my office door. It keeps me in touch with current events, trends and memes.

Tomorrow I’ll discuss how social media can have an impact in your marketing strategy. Check back then, or better yet subscribe with your RSS reader and have the series delivered to your inbox.

If you have any questions regarding this article, or would like to discuss setting up a social media platform for your organization, leave a comment below or contact me through the Contact Me page.

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One Response to “Using Social Media in Marketing : Part 2”

  1. Roy Hill says:

    Communicating via social networking channels makes up an astonishing amount of the time we spend online. Many sources report that there are over 40 million “tweets” sent on Twitter every single day. Socialnomics reports that Facebook actually gets more daily traffic than Google, the world’s largest and most popular search engine. According to Nielsen Ratings , “total minutes spent on social networking sites has increased 83 percent year-over-year”, and “social networking now accounts for 22% of all time spent online in the US”. Obviously, social media is no longer a trend, and is growing more popular every single day.

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