What is “Social Media”?

“If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.” – Wes Scoop Nisker

Now, with social media or your blog, you’re making the news and telling your own story. Every day.

And your fans and customers respond in a conversation.

There are hundreds of social networks, but the main ones to focus on are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Blogs.
There are hundreds of social networks, but the main ones to focus on are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Blogs.

 

 

 

 

 

Your website should be the central hub of an integrated social media self publishing news and thought leadership syndicate that might include the following:

  • social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest, ello, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Instagram.)
  • social bookmarking sites (like Digg and StumbleUpon.)
  • blogging sites (Like WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace and Tumblr.)
  • group buying/discount sites (like Groupon, LivingSocial, BuyWithMe.)
  • customer review sites (like Yelp.)
  • video sharing sites (You Tube, Instagram, Pinterest and Vimeo.)
  • photo sharing sites (Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram.)
  • radio talk show networks (“podcasts” like Personal Life Media, Visionary Culture Radio and Blogtalk Radio.)
  • Internet radio (Pandora, SOMA-FM.)
  • event networks (Plancast, Eventful, We Know, Daily Candy, Upcoming, Zvents, Eventbrite, Craigslist, Meetup, Going.)
  • professional networks (LinkedIn, Ryze, Labor Fair, TaskRabbit, MeetUp.)
  • vertical, niche social networks for your market (ie: Angel.co for tech start ups, Wiser Earth for non-profits.)
  • Yahoo Groups, Google Groups (these free, closed email lists can spread your product, workshop, event or idea to highly targeted niches.)
  • User groups – in high tech, these groups of early adopters and enthusiasts are critical to the success of a new product. For other businesses, such as Green, specific green networking groups are highly influential, and often have their own social pages or social communities.
Social media is just the newest way we communicate. It's replacing billboards, TV, radio, calendars, maps, clocks, stereo sytems, file cabinets, telephones, etc.
Social media is just the newest way we communicate. It’s replacing billboards, TV, radio, calendars, maps, clocks, stereo sytems, file cabinets, telephones, etc. Get used to it and get with it — it’s not a fad and it’s not going away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is “social media” anyway?

In the old days, “Press Relations” or “PR” meant a publicist called the press on your behalf and if you were lucky a reporter wrote about you and spread the word to your potential customers who subscribed to their magazine.

Now you post your “news” directly in social media sites like Facebook where fans follow various influencers, writers and editors. Same thing except that now the people decide what news gets shared and seen.  

You have to say something educational, meaningful and thought provoking. You cannot just spam readers with ads and marketing. They will tune you out.

As social media gets more sophisticated, it is now more about generating your own journalistic-quality content — including photography and video.

This starts a conversation with your community and they spread the word for you.

You can’t just post. You have to engage and converse. And this means that the most important conversation happens off the page. Not just on your page.

Instead of filtering your message through reporters and “experts” — you’re communicating directly to a community as well as filtering through influencers, reporters and other gatekeepers who decide to share your news with their fans.

  • Facebook now reaches 1 billion of the most influential, affluent and connected people on Earth — in 70 languages. And 70% of Facebook users are outside the US.
  • Pinterest reaches 1/3 of the women in the USA.

Now the numbers are so massive that social media can no longer be ignored.

Your social media pages on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Yelp, Facebook and Twitter also increase your website’s SEO (search rank) and they often show up first on Google or Yahoo when people search for you or your business. Yes, your posts will show up with a higher rank than an article in the New York Times. Take them seriously. It’s where your web traffic and customer comes from.

Traditional Print and broadcast PR is still influential and important — but you also need to amplify your message and reach reporters and influencers on social media.

If you’re not using Social Media to promote your business, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to find new customers, fans and relationships.

IN 2015, SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE MEDIA

The mainstream media (radio/TV/print) is quickly disappearing. It’s also increasingly a freelance-driven content engine, and frankly, not as well written as it used to be, so it’s actually easier to “compete” with your own quality, self-generated content.

Today, you also can’t rely solely on press coverage to announce your product or ideas–especially if you want to reach the GenX or Millennials. (That is, anyone under age 52 or so.)

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This younger generation doesn’t watch TV, listen to the radio or read the newspaper.  Millennials often don’t even use email.  They chat and Instant Message in Facebook, What’s App, Twitter and social networks.

Watch people on commute to work on the train in the morning, or in Starbucks — they’re glued to Smart Phones and iPads, not newspapers.

Usually if you see a paper publication the person reading it is in their 50s, 60s or 70s — generations that grew up with print. If your customer is 50-70, you definitely need to include print media and TV in your marketing, though these older consumers are now the fastest-growing adopters of social media and they have a lot of time to spend on it.

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Who watches TV, reads or uses email? Baby Boomers and people over 52, mostly. Millennials are on the web and social media.

SOCIAL MEDIA IS WHERE INFLUENCERS INFLUENCE THE INFLUENCERS

In order to influence and seed consumers and “early adopters” who will be the first to sign on to a beta programs, try a new product or embrace revolutionary ideas, it’s critical to be seen and heard on the “emerging media” or “social media.” 

This is where the trendsetters, hipsters, cutting edge early adopters and most technologically agile people hang out, talk about what’s new, and spread ideas to their friends and colleagues.

Since the dawn of BBS and online communities like the Well and Compuserve, social media has always been where the mainstream media and cutting edge influencers in technology and culture hang out to get their story ideas and learn what’s hot, trendy and new.