Social Media Toes in the Water


Toes in the Water

Originally uploaded by martha.harmon

Social Media is defined as activities, practices, and behaviors among communities of people who gather online to share information, knowledge, and opinions using conversational media*. There has always been a strong relationship between traditional media and business, but the new Social Media realm can occur as disruptive –a sink or swim proposition. The fact that the “which” and the “how” of a strategic approach has no commonplace baseline can be overwhelming and frustrating –at the same time there is a beauty in the vastness and budding nature of Social Media that provides a perfect scenario for creativity on a level playing field.

There are an emergent set of commonplace media portals (activities) that entrepreneurs and businesses are exploring —FLYT activities (Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter) are a “toe in the water” approach to the boundless ocean of Social Media possibilities. Easy to set-up and explore, FLYT provides the confidence to determine the next steps in a smart Social Media Strategy.

From a business perspective, Social Media is about enabling or empowering conversations – it is also about how this conversation can be prompted, promoted, and monetized*. As Shelley Roth, owner of Springboard Works states “Customers, investors, employees, critics, and fans are participating in a complex, organic online conversation that is quickly making traditional business communications obsolete” –here she defines FLYT activities:

Facebook is used by 350 million people and provides a mini website for your business where you can share photos, video, and messages within a social framework. This platform is about community. This powerful and free relationship tool signs up 600,000 new users every day.

LinkedIn connects 50 million professionals representing every company on the Fortune 500. Online profiles build credibility by articulating your value proposition, conveying information about your people and organization, and displaying your credentials. Fifty percent of participants are decision makers; eighty percent are college graduates and the average age is 41. You can join groups and communicate with a laser focus on your target market.

YouTube boasts one billion views per day, and is second only to Google as a search engine.

Twitter is a microblog that people use to follow their friends, and companies use to market their product or service. Tweets are limited to 140 characters, about one sentence. People use Twitter to follow friends, and companies use it to promote their product or services by sharing new information and helpful links and building credibility. Perception of Twitter has evolved from a fun indulgence to a key communication tool with the power to impact global politics.

So, get started, share the love, apply Social Media Best Practices (Communication, Collaboration, Education, Entertainment) and you are well on your way to gracefully navigating the Social Media Ocean.

* The Social Media Bible

See schedule of Springboard Works public workshops in Houston on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter –use code RUBY for a $10 discount when you sign up!

Related Posts:

Infatuate Your Customers

Strategic Social Media Portals

Get Your Social Media Groove On

Programs & Services: Plan & Let Go


2 Responses to “Social Media Toes in the Water”

  1. March 3, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Hi Ruby, thanks for sharing the helpful outline.

    I just wrote an example Social Media Strategy for Businesses (or Social Media Bible!) – http://www.siliconbeachtraining.co.uk/free-resources/manage-social-media-schedule/ – it’d be great to know if there’s anything you would add?


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