Twitter. Facebook. LinkedIn. They’re the new media marketing platforms that are changing the face of business. If used right, they can exponentially grow your business, connecting you with a host of new customers, clients, partners and vendors. Social media allows you to have two-way communication with your target audience(s) and position yourself as an expert in your field.
Contrary to what you might think, these sites aren’t designed for teenagers. Twitter is the fastest growing social network; traffic has grown over 600% in the past 12 months. An estimated five to 10 thousand new accounts are opened every day. Facebook currently boasts 200 million active members and is predicted to be at 500,000 million members by 2011. Why waste another second? There is a captive audience out there waiting to hear from you.
If you would like to learn more, please check out one of our Cyber Chat events as we regularly have sessions dedicated to Social Media.
Facebook is a global social networking website that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. Facebook users can connect with others via the Internet by adding friends. These connections, via the web allow you and your connections to send messages, update one another on personal and professional information and the activities taking place in your lives. Additionally, Facebook users can join networks organized by friends, family, employers, schools and organizations like the Loveland Chamber of Commerce.
Be sure to check out the Loveland Chamber Facebook profile and fan page. We utilize both to stay connected with our investors, to help connect our investors with one another, to showcase their activities with the chamber, and as additional channel of communication.
An interesting note fact about Facebook; the website's name stems from the colloquial name of books given at the start of the academic year by university administrations with the intention of helping students get to know each other better.
Flickr is an image and video hosting website; or simply stated, it is an online photo management and photo sharing application. It allows you to get your photos and videos to the people who matter to you and to enable new ways of organizing pictures.
You can upload photos from your desktop, send by email, or use your cameraphone. You can even edit the photos before you share them. Flickr even has an option that allows you to show where your photos and/or videos were taken using maps. And Flickr even supports RSS feeds!
In addition to being a popular website for users to share photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers as a photo repository.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site with over 40 million members. Used predominantly for professional networking, LinkedIn connects you with business related contacts (known as 'Connections') so that you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals than those you see on regular basis.
A contact network is built up consisting of your direct connections (termed first-degree connections), the connections of each of your connections (termed second-degree connections) and also the connections of your second-degree connections (termed third-degree connections).
A list of these connections can then be used in a number of ways:
- gain an introduction to someone you wish to know that is connected to one of your contacts
- find jobs, people and business opportunities via postings, recommendations, emails, etc...
- review the profiles of prospective clients, employee candidates, hiring managers to learn more about them and discover which of their existing contacts can introduce them
- employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates
- job seekers search the posted positions
Twitter is often referred to as a micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications. While the service, itself, costs nothing to use, accessing it through SMS may incur phone service provider fees.
The 140 character limit on message length was initially set for compatibility with SMS messaging, and has brought to the web the kind of shorthand notation and slang commonly used in SMS messages. The 140 character limit has also spurred the usage of URL shortening services such as tinyurl, bit.ly and tr.im, and content hosting services, such as Twitpic and NotePub to accommodate multimedia content and text longer than 140 characters.