Abby's Corner, our resident SEO expert.
Social Media and You.
Last time we discussed blogs, how to set up a blog, what to wrote about and how to help drive people to your website using your blog. This time I will be talking about Social Media.
Hi my name is Abby,
Social Media, what is it? Wikipedia says:
Social media is a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Youtube and blogs are all examples of social media. What does this mean to me you ask? This is one of the fastest growing segments of the internet. Facebook has around 200 million users, LinkedIn 43 million, twitter 45 million and Youtube recorded 100 million views of videos in October 2008.
Almost everybody has heard of the various Social Media sites but don't really know anything about them. It's pretty simple once you break down each one into it's basic concept and use.
Facebook was started in Feb of 2004 by a Harvard College student. It's intention was to put a name to all the faces in the college campus crowd. It made sense, it was a great way to place a name to the face of that person living across from you in the dorm. In rapid succession it expanded to other college campuses and then to High Schools all across the world. Since September of 2006 anybody 13 years or older can join Facebook.
It is typically viewed as a "social" website by those that don't really know about it. They envision it as a place where your buddies from college reminisce about the days you passed out on the lawn of the frat house. Well honestly, some of that does occur, even in my parent's account. However, Facebook is also a place to find old friends, meet new folks and socialize with family. That's great, but did you know that you can also join groups you are interested in? You can even start a fan page for your business or product. Everybody in your friends list will see all of your news you send out regarding you business. More, all of your fans on your fan page will see the messages. That's advertising for free. In today's world free is a great thing. Facebook also offers paid advertising similar to Google Adwords.
LinkedIn is the "professional" networking site. Most of the people my daddy meets are on LinkedIn. This site started in 2002 by a man named Reid Hoffman in 2002 as a way to help build his network. In the time since it went from a few professionals to over 40 million people. The fact that most of the professionals my parents meet are on linkedIn it's a great thing to get involved with. Your LinkedIn profile resembles a resume that anybody can see. LinkedIn also gives companies the ability to have a profile listed for, FREE!
Again this is a great thing, people will see your business and what it does if they search for your product or service. Your account gives your information, your experience and other information that a potential client, employer or networking professional will be interested in. There are also many applications for Blogging, setting up get together's etc that can be helpful.
Twitter, is not what the birds do early in the morning. Twitter gives you 140 characters to tell your followers what you are doing. When you sign up for a Twitter account you can look for people or groups to follow. You will see what they write about. I like to follow Tony Robbins, yes that Tony Robbins, because he always has some great up lifting sayings. Tweets (where you tell people about what you are doing or thinking) should be informative, funny (not offensive funny) or just day to day helpful tips. You can offer tidbits of information to market yourself but don't over do that. It's bad form to sell, sell, sell on any of the Social Media websites. You can however offer that information and use a tiny URL to send people to your blog or website for more help. As you tweet more people will begin to follow you. They will see your tweets just like you see the tweets of those you follow. The more followers you have the more that will see what you say. Just be careful you keep an eye on those following you. You may find a few are not good followers (offensive etc). You can always unfollow those folks so don't worry. You can also do things like re-tweet which we will explain at a later time.
YouTube is the video social media website. You can download videos of your last adventure (up to 10mins long) for the world to see. It allows you to search for almost anything that can be video recorded. Funny videos, music videos, how to videos, informative videos etc. . Where this will help you is you can post videos of your new products, how to use your products or information about your products. Willitblend.com is a great example of how Youtube (or videos in general) can be used. All you need is a YouTube account, a video camera (one that records 60-120 minutes is perfect) and something to say. Downloading videos is so easy even I can do it, and I lack opposable thumbs. Most new small video cameras come with software to help you get started on Youtube.
All you need to get started on these Social Media sites is an internet connection, email and password. It takes just a few minutes for you to set up each one. If you haven't done it already get to it, it's easy!
Remember that social media takes some time to keep up with. Set aside 10 minutes for each a few times a week and pretty soon your friends, followers etc will be getting your help and wisdom. This is great for you, your product and business!
The things to remember are:
- Social Media isn't just "social". It can be used to give helpful information, ideas and advertise yourself.
- Don't sell, sell, sell. It's bad form on most Social Media sites and you will be ignored after awhile, offer helpful tips instead or insights to make your knowledge in a particular field useful to someone else.
- It goes without saying, don't put anything on your profile pages you don't want your mother to see. It will destroy your creditability especially in LinkedIn and Twitter, the more "professional" websites.
- Set aside time each week for your Social Media, 10 mins a day for each is all you need. However, you need to give it the time to make it effective and that could take some time.
Social media is great way to connect with family and potential clients. The preceding information is just scratching the surface. With time your Social Media can help drive business to you and your website. Good luck! I need a walk after all this.....