The Socialnomics video by @equalman is probably the most shared video on the economics of social media on YouTube. This is the long version (4 minutes 19 seconds) of the 2011 edition set to music by Fat Boy Slim.
Social Context and Network Presence
Some social media and marketing experts believe that you should be everywhere. However, it is far more important to be in the right place at the right time. Context is everything when it comes to deciding which social networks are relevant for you and your business. Take the example of a downtown restaurant, where daily specials can be posted on Twitter and loyalty discounts can be offered to regular customers who check-in on Foursquare. Different networks will have different advantages depending on the type of business and amount of resources available. The trick is to weigh up all the pros and cons of each opportunity so as to not risk being overwhelmed by taking on too much too soon.
Earlier this month, the Oxford Internet Institute released the latest report on the State of the Internet in Britain, containing information on the emergence of next generation users in terms of adoption, characteristics and attitudes, use, government and politics, social networks and friendships, impact of internet use, regulation and control and digital divides. This valuable demographics and trend data feeds into the World Internet Project, which “is a major, international, collaborative project looking at the social, political and economic impact of the Internet and other new technologies”.
Most users will only actively participate on one or two networks on a daily basis, so it is important to focus on relevance and providing valuable engaging content. Unfortunately there are a myriad of networks to choose from and the top choices will vary depending on industry, geographic region and active user base.
Choosing a Social Network
If you are based in the English speaking world, the main social networks that have established social media marketing frameworks, applications, metrics and guidance on usability are a good place to start: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursquare, and YouTube. It is not critical to establish a presence on all of these networks and there are plenty of review sites and social media comparison charts that can help with the targeting process, such as those provided by the Social Media Guide.
The Social Media ROI video is part of the Socialnomics series by @equalman; can you tell that I am a fan? The data is from 2009 and the music is Bob Sinclair, 4 minutes 15 seconds worth of real world examples of social media strategies that have had a clear business impact.
The key questions to ask when deciding to participate in a social media network are:
- Why should I be on this network?
- Are my customers there?
- Do my customers want me there?
- How will I engage my customers?
- How much time and effort will it cost?
- Will there be a worthwhile return on my investment?
By considering each of these questions in the context of the individual social networks that you might join, you will be able to decide which networks will be the best ones for you to start with.
A comprehensive UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report is compiled annually by Econsultancy, and although the full report currently costs £250, there are some useful metrics in the free sample download.
Company Names, Brands and Trademarks as Social Identities
This video is a great visual interpretation of the journey of branding from its use as property demarcation to social identification and what it means in today’s economy. It was produced in 2011 by the MSc Brand Leadership team at Norwich Business School at the University of East Anglia.
The question of whether you need to register your profile on all of the social networks that you are likely to want to use is a good one. It is important to consider whether your company name, brand name or trademark is worth protecting from being registered by someone else, who might use the account for their own purposes. Even if you do not wish to actively participate in a particular social network, it may be worth registering your username to act as a placeholder or a redirect to the websites and networks where you are actively participating.
A useful service to check is KnowEm, which allows you to do a quick username search on more than 550 social networks. In my personal experience, the results are not always 100% accurate; but it is a great place to start researching for safeguarding a specific company name, brand name or a trademark.
Finding More Help with Social Media Marketing Basics
Whichever profiles you choose to establish on social media networks, it is really important to remember which social networks you have joined and use a bookmarking service. My personal favourite is XeeMe, which is based in the US but currently on target to set up a physical presence in Europe in the coming months.
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