Social media is one of the largest growing marketing platform today. It can help you reach out to new customers and let them know what you and/or your company is up to. As you all know, I am "FUN-EMPLOYED" and currently searching for a job. Today I started to expand on my (slight) social media obsession in order to add to my resume.
After applying to a job as a Social Media Manager, I started to think about all of the different media that I use to communicate with friends, family and colleagues. The first obvious one is Facebook. Facebook was started waaaaay back in 2004 by a couple of Harvard kids looking to connect their campus. Soon they expanded to other schools, such as Clemson University, and the rest is history. I joined Facebook pretty much as soon as it got to Clemson (Fall 2004--freshman year). Through Facebook, I was able to connect with kids in my classes and to meet new people. Now Facebook is a giant of Social Media, enabling its users to play online, interactive games, create fan pages for any cause or company, and of course keep track of their friends. Facebook's creators are constantly updating the UI and its applications. They have often gotten themselves in trouble for their privacy options. I haven't, personally, seen any problems with the privacy. (I happen to have my privacy, pretty much if you don't know me, you won't find too much info on me unless you're a friend). Facebook also happens to "own" the posts and pictures, so just make sure not to post anything that is way too private or something that you wouldn't want your grandmother to see.
Facebook can be a great tool to use if you're a company, especially if you are trying to reach us Gen Y'ers and the Millenials. These two generations are the biggest users of online social media. As a company, you are able to create a page, that your customers can "Like" and can receive posts/news about it on their news feed. As a company you can also create ads that appear on a news feed. Facebook can use the data entered on your profile to pair people with the right ads, making sure that your company reaches the correct audience.
Another big platform for companies to use now is Twitter. I am a new comer to this one and when I first heard about it, I thought it was just a fad. However, Twitter has blown up and it seems that it's here to stay. Basically, Twitter lets you say what you're doing or just whatever's on your mind in 140 characters or less. Twitter is is less complicated than Facebook at first glance, but there are a lot of things you can do in 140 characters!! Twitter allows you to tag your posts. By tagging the subject, people who are searching for that specific subject are able to find all posts (including yours!) regarding that search. Also, Twitter keeps track of similar subjects and if they have a lot of posts about it, then it is labelled as "trending." On your home page, you are able to see which topics are trending in your area, country and even worldwide! This is a great tool for companies who are trying to generate buzz for a new product, new developments or even offer special sale or coupon found only on Twitter. People who are your friends are called your "followers" and you can "follow" people back. Celebrities are big users of Twitter and you can find the real accounts by following the ones that are "Certified." Celebrities often have large followings. For example, Lady Gaga recently set a record at over 5 million followers! Celebrities often "tweet" about products they endorse. This way the ad (disguised as a casual tweet) reaches a VERY large audience.
As I mentioned in a previous post, LinkedIn is a great tool to use when job searching. Does it surprise you that it is, in fact, a social networking site? Think of LinkedIn as the Facebook for professionals. You are able to post your resume, your accomplishments and connect with colleagues. As a company, you can also create a page for your company that people are able to follow. By following a company, you are able to keep up with recent news about a company and you can find out who works there, who has work there and their new hires. I am currently following a couple of companies to see if I have a chance to work there. You can also join groups that have similar career interests. For example, I am a part of the Clemson Alumni, Communication Arts and New Grad Life. The discussions in the groups are able to be sent to you via email if you don't want to log in (or forget your password all the time like me...).
However, there is one GREAT new tool I found today that is great for keeping track of ALL your media!! Hootsuite.com is able to combine Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, MySpace, and WordPress all into one dashboard. Here's what it looks like:
Each different site has its own tab so that you can look at each feed in just one click. Hootsuite is also great for tracking statistics if you are a company. By utilizing their shortened links (ow.ly) they are able to track how many people have clicked on that link and it can compile the data into charts for quick comparison. Even though I am just using it for my own personal accounts, I am practicing so that hopefully WHEN I get a job and I need to use it, I'll be an expert! I wish that it supported Google's Blogger! Now THAT would make my life 10,000,000 times easier!!
[Did you notice that I left out MySpace? Yeah, Myspace is good for bands because of its ability to play and stream music, but it's also good for attracting creeps. I only joined it because Facebook was only opened to certain colleges and my high school friends couldn't get on it. I got rid of MySpace after Facebook opened up to everyone. It's not really professional (in my opinion) and I feel its mostly for middle school and high school kids.]
So that was my quick guide to the most used of social media. Stay tuned for more on my two part (maybe three part) posts about the wide world of social media and its benefits for business and those (like me) searching for a job.
I am still signing off, my followers/readers,