Social Media Marketing Sites as Databases

The other day I was giving a seminar on Social Media Marketing. We went through three different sites, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as a part of the presentation. In the middle of the LinkedIn presentation, one participant got completely confused and needed to come up for air. Why?

The Internet is one vast database. Each of these sites is a huge database. The cool part about having a database is being able to retrieve information from that database that interests you. Because that is the cool part, those who create these databases have ways to interface or pull information and even re-arrange it or reformat it to meet your needs. These are called apps or applications.

That part is pretty easy to understand. That is the theory side of it. The part that begins to get confusing is the implementation side. Because if I am involved in, for example, both LinkedIn and Twitter, I might think to myself, “Wouldn’t it be cool to pull information from Twitter and embed it in LinkedIn?” You bet it would.

But we went the first to think of it. Actually the folks at LinkedIn thought of it and created an app called Company Buzz. So right in the middle of my LinkedIn presentation, as I was demonstrating Company Buzz and how it lets me see what people are saying about my company and, for that matter, about any other company or key word that I want, this participant asked if I was speaking about LinkedIn or Twitter.

Yes was my reply. Company Buzz is just one example of how applications can pull (or even push) information from more than one database to show you the information you want.

OK, I gave her more than a Yes. I took the time to explain pretty much what I just blogged about.


Social Media Marketing Explodes

Whew! I actually have been so busy I haven’t posted on my blog in awhile. But I have been busy with social media. Have you been keeping up? It’s no surprise if you haven’t. Social Media has literally exploded.

Twitter grew by 131% in March. Yes, in the month of March. Not January through March and not in 2008 but just in the month of March.  In the last six weeks I’ve gone from about 100 followers to nearly a 1000 and growing rapidly.

Facebook continues its incredible pace of growth as well, adding 23 MILLION new users just in the United States this year.  And the numbers are interesting in that people aged 26 to 44 are the fast growing segment of Facebook users in the US, according to Facebook’s own numbers.

LinkedIn also is growing rapidly, doubling in size last year and reaching nearly 16 million users in the US.

Three quick observations:

  1. A few years ago, companies felt obligated to have a web site because, well, because everyone else had one and it was needed for competitive reasons. The same is rapidly becoming true for companies on social media sites.
  2. These social media sites are fun. No doubt about it. But if you’re doing it for business reasons, identify what those reasons are and then proceed accordingly. This will keep you from getting bogged down in areas that aren’t helpful for your business.
  3. When you create an account or profile, by all means jump in head first. But remember to listen first then speak. If you barge into the middle of a group and start “spraying” your wisdom around without first understanding where everyone is coming from, you might actually hurt your reputation.

Are you Linked In online?

LinkedIn is one of the largest business networking sites out there. Based on the premise that if I have 10 connections (people I know and network with) and each of those has 10 connections, I’m only one relationship away from 100 people.  If you have 100 connections and they have 100 connections each, well, you do the math.

So what all can you do on LinkedIn? You can connect with people, join virtual groups, many times they are virtual versions of physical networking groups. So this can be a great way to communicate between physical meetings. You can send or post reminders, share announcements and more. The benefit of doing this online is that you can reach a wider audience that might otherwise not know of your group.

If you’re looking for work, LinkedIn can be a great way to find the right job for you. There are hundreds of jobs posted but also by working your LinkedIn network, you can find opportunities that you would never know about through other ways. Through recommendations you can also let or encourage others brag about you.

Speaking of recommendations, this is another way to promote your business. Why “toot your own horn” when you have friends, customers and colleagues who are often more than happy to tout your benefits or service or value. Let word of mouth marketing work for you.

Spend a few minutes a day – literally just a few minutes, and you can build your network over a couple of weeks to the point where it can start working for you.


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