Want to get more followers oline? Real traffic? Here's a follow up to my Understanding Google's Mission video blog post. Here I'm kind of hitting on the same point somewhat but from a different angle. Both videos should help you begin to formulate a more effective plan for attracting people organically (not having to pay for them to come see you) and keeping them around. Things have changed so much in the last few years by way of how informaiton is shared and this posting is about how they have changed and what it means to you as a publisher (and by the way, you ARE a publisher).
Here's a definition I'd like to share with you for "social media optimization". (And if you find yourself yawning and going a bit mentally blank READ ON. That's what happens when you go past a word or symbol you don't fully understand.)
Definition: Social media optimization is the process of improving the volume and quality of conversations about your brand or website by distributing content to social networks. It's also about making it easy for people to share your content with others around the web, for example, helping your readers share your post with their Facebook network by simply clicking a link on your blog. -Typepad (the company that hosts my blog)
As you can see there are two things happening here: increasing conversations about your brand and making it easier for people to do the same by helping them spread your good word.
Of course, if you don't have much in the way of "good words" going out about your or your brand, it's going to be kind of hard for others to spread them in this Sharing Revolution we are experiencing right now. So first step is, jack yourself and your company brand into all the chatting that's going on out there. Start some conversations if there aren't enough of them happening already.
This might mean you have to take a step back and formulate a message that's worth talking about. And that's important too. It might take some huddling and whiteboarding and whatnot. Just because it's easy to spread ideas now doesn't mean you don't have to be deliberate about the ideas themselves.
If you are a dentist, maybe that message is the virtue of brushing or how much $ we can all save by flossing regularly. Or if you're a holistic dentist, it's about how you can help your entire body by taking care of your teeth.
From there you have a million possibilities for quality conversations that can be had about your message. If you take the time to start and/or have them, you may as well have them on the web where others can share them easily with others providing, of course, you've taken some simple steps to optimize your social media portfolio. Doing so generates a certain amount of good vibes for your brand and that increases the chances of obtaining more attention which is, of course, a prerequisite to revenue.
So there you have it, the definition for the day. Hope it's helpful!
Advertisers have more than doubled the amount of money they're spending on social networking Web sites since last year, according to a new analysis from market researcher the Nielsen Company. The roughly $108 million advertisers spent on social sites like Facebook and MySpace in August marked a 119 percent increase from the same month last year. Nielsen estimated that social networking sites now account for 15 percent of all online ad spending.
Never underestimate the power of social networking. When I first signed up for a LinkedIn account, it was primarily to network with peers in my area. I am now a small business owner who utilizes LinkedIn as a means to help gain customers outside of our local geographical area.
Social Media really IS turning the business-to-customer on its head and this process is only beginning. The businesses which embrace this are going to stay ahead of this chaos as it happens. But if, as a business, you're afraid of change or too set in your ways, you're liable to regret it later when your competitors take a giant leap ahead by setting themselves apart.Let's say you're a dentist (this is fresh on my mind because I just visited a great one here in town and am still convalescing a little from their excellent work). The usual dental business model is like a lot of others: attract patients (customers), do the work, they leave, you follow-up at some point or schedule a follow-up right there. That's the way it's been being done for years and years, with some slight variations.
But can businesses "handle it"?
Does this idea make you feel a little uncomfortable? It might and I'd be surprised if it didn't because businesses have not been all that good about bellying up to that particular bar. When was the last time someone at a company really asked you for your honest opinion about a service they delivered to you, in a way that you were happy to tell them because you could see they handle the truth? Ever? (Note: I'm not talking about the constrained surveys that only let you numerically assign values to service or your likeliness to buy or recommend. I'm talking about real, braindump, unedited type responses, because that's what people are able to dishout now, via their own media channels (blogs, Twitter, Facebooke, etc.), if they so choose.
Social media, if it's doing anything else in the market place is starting to tear down the walls between businesses and the minds of their customers. Not only does the emperor not have any clothes on, but his subjects are willing to tell him and can with relative impunity.
As more and more people realize they have venues like UserVoice, Get Satisfaction and others like them (see article below), honest answers about your services and products will begin to flow out into the world, whether you like it or not.The best thing businesses could do is embrace this fully and early as possible and build "get honest answers" mechanisms into their existing customer/patient management processes. The sooner they do this the sooner they will also ensure that they are protecting their herd or tribe from poaching businesses. (After all, the ease with which customers can now get information means they have so many more choices than ever before.)
---How Social Media is Upending the Enterprise | Fast Company.
The power of social media has empowered the consumer to reach literally hundreds or thousands of people in seconds. And because we know a consumer’s closest friends are three to five times more likely to share the same preferences for products and brands, this newfound power is not to be underestimated. ...
The challenge for companies is figuring out how to manage this. A conversation could start with a tweet, be directed to a help forum, be responded to in email, updated in a blog post, and then broadcast on Facebook. How will this be tracked, measured and monitored? This market is ripe with opportunity for both brands and software platforms built to nurture the distributed web-wide conversation.
Statistically it is pretty hard to ignore social media's influence today. We've gone from boring, static websites (Web 1.0 if you will) to blogs (less static, more updating more often--Web 1.5?) to what I have heard some describe as the Sharing Revolution, Web 2.0. These are sites like Facebook with 300 million users now, Twitter's baffling (to some) popularity, etc. where you can share something at the click of a button with tens, hundreds, thousands of people and more, depending on how many are following you.
At first I was thinking that this social media influence is driven out of people's desire to share. There is a lot of truth to this, of course. You see a great (or even just good) movie, you want tell others about it. Buy a car you're particularly happy with, same thing. Tell your friends. Have an idea, make a video and
There is, though, an impulse that runs deeper than merely sharing, however. It's the need to HELP.
Often I find that I want to share a link or a thought with others because I think it might help some of my friends and followers out there in the world. If sharing is the What, helping is the Why.
To me, this means a couple of things, right off the bat:
Increasing Social Media Influence
This also speaks, I think, a bit to how people should be using social media. Share links and information with others because it would be helpful in some way, vs. spreading gossip or info that might be hurtful to others or have no real purpose at all (note: fun and comical things can even be helpful because they lighten the heart and give a person some lift).
Maybe I'm just an idealist, but I really like the idea that social media and all this sharing could be fueled primarily on people's innate drive to help others and do good in the world.
What do you think? Leave a comment below. I'd love to hear your input on this idea.
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