The Power of Social Media

"Social media is not just a fad; it is a fundamental shift in the way we communicate."

As the world struggles to right itself, we humans need to utilize any means possible to facilitate the emergence of a new culture. Here are some statistics that may startle you on the power of social media:

  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, and the many hundreds of other social media) are now the number one activity on the Web.

  • To reach 50 million users, it took radio 38 years, television 13 years, and the Internet four years. Facebook reached 100 million people in just nine months!

  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the fourth largest in the world.

  • Some five billion minutes are spent on Facebook each day.

  • Approximately 55% of all Americans have a Facebook page.

  • Twitter has more than three million tweets placed each day.

  • YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, with over 100 million videos in its library.

  • Over 65,000 new videos are uploaded to YouTube every day.

  • The average person spends more time on YouTube than on NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox combined.

  • There are over 200 million blogs, with 54% receiving new content daily.


Review -> Top Ten Social Media Web sites


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50 Ways to Use Social Media to Get Your Ideas Heard

  1. Add social bookmark links to your most important web pages and/or blog posts to improve sharing.
  2. Build blogs and teach conversational marketing and business relationship building techniques.
  3. For every video project purchased, ensure there’s an embeddable web version for improved sharing.
  4. Learn how tagging and other metadata improve your ability to search and measure the spread of information.
  5. Create informational podcasts about a product’s overall space, not just the product.
  6. Build community platforms around real communities of shared interest.
  7. Help companies participate in existing social networks, and build relationships on their turf.
  8. Check out Twitter as a way to show a company’s personality. (Don’t fabricate this).
  9. Couple your email newsletter content with additional website content on a blog for improved commenting.
  10. Build sentiment measurements, and listen to the larger web for how people are talking about your customer.
  11. Learn which bloggers might care about your customer. Learn how to measure their influence.
  12. Download the Social Media Press Release (pdf) and at least see what parts you want to take into your traditional press releases.
  13. Try out a short series of audio podcasts or video podcasts as content marketing and see how they draw.
  14. Build conversation maps for your customers using , Google Blogsearch, Summize, and FriendFeed.
  15. Experiment with Flickr and/or YouTube groups to build media for specific events. (Marvel Comics raised my impression of this with their Hulk statue Flickr group).
  16. Recommend that your staff start personal blogs on their personal interests, and learn first hand what it feels like, including managing comments, wanting promotion, etc.
  17. Map out an integrated project that incorporates a blog, use of commercial social networks, and a face-to-face event to build leads and drive awareness of a product.
  18. Start a community group on Facebook or Ning or MySpace or LinkedIn around the space where your customer does business. Example: what Jeremiah Owyang did for Hitachi Data Systems.
  19. Experiment with the value of live video like and Mogulus, or Qik on a cell phone.
  20. Attend a conference dealing with social media like New Media Expo, BlogWorld Expo, New Marketing Summit (disclosure: I run this one with CrossTech), and dozens and dozens more. (Email me for a calendar).
  21. Collect case studies of social media success. Tag them “socialmediacasestudy” in
  22. Interview current social media practitioners. Look for bridges between your methods and theirs.
  23. Explore distribution. Can you reach more potential buyers/users/customers on social networks.
  24. Don’t forget early social sites like Yahoogroups and Craigslist. They still work remarkably well.
  25. Search for as much data as you can find in Twitter on your product, your competitors, your space.
  26. Practice delivering quality content on your blogs, such that customers feel educated / equipped / informed.
  27. Consider the value of hiring a community manager. Could this role improve customer service? Improve customer retention? Promote through word of mouth?
  28. Turn your blog into a mobile blog site with Mofuse. Free.
  29. Learn what other free tools might work for community building, like MyBlogLog.
  30. Ensure you offer the basics on your site, like an email alternative to an RSS subscription. In fact, the more ways you can spread and distribute your content, the better.
  31. Investigate whether your product sells better by recommendation versus education, and use either wikis and widgets to help recommend, or videos and podcasts for education.
  32. Make your first stop for understanding the technical quality of a website.
  33. Make your next stop for understanding a site’s traffic. Then, mash it against competitors’ sites.
  34. Learn how not to ask for 40 pieces of demographic data when giving something away for free. Instead, collect little bits over time. Gently.
  35. Remember that the people on social networks are all people, have likely been there a while, might know each other, and know that you’re new. Tread gently into new territories. Don’t NOT go. Just go gently.
  36. Help customers and prospects connect with you simply on your various networks. Consider a Lijit Wijit or other aggregator widget.
  37. Voting mechanisms like those used on show your customers you care about which information is useful to them.
  38. Track your inbound links and when they come from blogs, be sure to comment on a few posts and build a relationship with the blogger.
  39. Find a bunch of bloggers and podcasters whose work you admire, and ask them for opinions on your social media projects. See if you can give them a free sneak peek at something, or some other “you’re special” reward for their time and effort (if it’s material, ask them to disclose it).
  40. Learn all you can about how NOT to pitch bloggers. Excellent resource: Susan Getgood.
  41. Try out shooting video interviews and video press releases and other bits of video to build more personable relationships. Don’t throw out text, but try adding video.
  42. Explore several viewpoints about social media marketing.
  43. Women are adding lots of value to social media. Get to know the ones making a difference. (And check out BlogHer as an event to explore).
  44. Experiment with different lengths and forms of video. Is entertaining and funny but brief better than longer but more informative? Don’t stop with one attempt. And try more than one hosting platform to test out features.
  45. Work with practitioners and media makers to see how they can use their skills to solve your problems. Don’t be afraid to set up pilot programs, instead of diving in head first.
  46. People power social media. Learn to believe in the value of people. Sounds hippie, but it’s the key.
  47. Spread good ideas far. Reblog them. Bookmark them. Vote them up at social sites. Be a good citizen.
  48. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be ready to apologize. Admit when you’ve made a mistake.
  49. Re-examine who in the organization might benefit from your social media efforts. Help equip them to learn from your project.
  50. Use the same tools you’re trying out externally for internal uses, if that makes sense, and learn about how this technology empowers your business collaboration, too.

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How can you create buzz with social media?

Since the social web allows you to interact with others, create and promote content that can get links and viral attraction, you can – with the right strategy – reach key influencers using this medium. We all know what blogs alone can do, and they are pretty search engine friendly out of the box.

Social media expansion is important because this provides foundations for broader / faster mindshare, along with supporting your search engine marketing objectives. You *can* convert traffic if you target appropriately (research needed), and do not spam. Read each point below to get a deeper understanding.

Tip #1 – Assistance:
Limit talking about yourself, at least initially – provide ways to help others instead. This is probably the most important tip in the social media workplace. Say you are building your new profile, make sure to bookmark other useful resources and sprinkle yourself lightly. It’s about “them”, not “you”. Don’t forget this important rule!

Tip #2 – Process:
Don’t become a “me too” – establish a process and goals for how to get there. I recommend reading 5 pillars for one, and much like SEO programs that have a process (keyword research, competitive review, content analysis, etc), build out a similar map. Too many companies dive in too fast, with no real plan and they are simply peeing in the pool, and no good results come from that.

Tip #3 – Contribute:
Be the one to create (quality) content. While community is Queen in Social Media, quality content is still King, and always will be. Studies show that people are reading much online, but a much smaller group is contributing content. This can mean
good opportunities for you.

Tip #4 – Connect:
Reach out to the influencers in your niche, be polite, honest, sincere, and you’d be amazed what brand advocates can do for you.

Tip #5 – Position:
Position yourself in front of consumers’ passions. It can and will create a powerful outcome for your brand.

Tip #6 – Blog:
Make sure you have setup a blog. These numbers are not to be overlooked. I think Technorati is tracking over 110 million blogs now, and growing at a furious pace, even excluding splogs (spam blogs).

Tip #7 – Links:
Don’t be afraid to link out to other blogs and websites in general. Links are what search engines and users make good use of – and search engines would not survive without them. Give others the love too.

Tip #8 – Videos:
Video consumption is growing fast. Create a “how to…” or “top tips…” videos and submit to YouTube. It has wide reach, and you could have millions of people see it. For even wider distribution, you should try or, tools to help automate. In generating all content, make sure to keep #1 rule in check. It’s fine to brand with a URL at the end of the video, but no direct selling. Humor, controversy and weird stuff works very well, keep that in mind – don’t be afraid to test.

Tip #9 – Technorati:
You said you have a blog, right? Claim your blog at Technorati. This will ensure you are indexed in their search engines for blogs and updates are broadcast across the network, along with your own blog network updates. This happens behind the scenes from automatic “pings”.

Tip #10 – Analytics:
Open an account from list below, use your brand name as identifier. This will establish your brand or company name, and not let anybody else assume or steal your personality so easily. Then, work with one or two from the list below to start, and don’t go too fast. Look at your web analytics and track referring domains and review traffic movements daily, weekly.

Tip #11 – Feeds/Research:
Subscribe to feeds, and use iGoogle, My Yahoo Web or other favorite RSS readers. Watch for changes (use also), and be the first to comment and engage in your topic. First commenters often get more visibility and traction.

Tip #12 – MicroCommunities:
Locate and join microcommunities – they are social communities that are relevant to your business. Some examples are,,,, and (non profits). It is much easier to have your voice heard in these and similar markets, than trying a post to Digg that may go nowhere. Those are the perfect places for the “big fish in a small pond” rule. Create highly relevant and linkworthy content, research what others are writing about, and connect with the top players and influencers.

Tip #13 – Submit:
Review the resources below, and consider building out profiles over time. If you submit content, make sure it’s useful, unique and that the title of your post stands out. Pick one or two resources to start, and don’t overextend yourself. Some of the top social marketers in the industry spend 10-12 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. This is a lot of manual (social) labor, but you don’t have to go at it that hard. Make sure to ask friends to vote or comment on your postings, befriend others, but no spam. Make intelligent posts and do not have your company employees post from the same location (IP Address). The submission(s) will most likely be rejected, and worst case, your account blocked or suspended.

Tip #14 – Hosting:
Have a good hosting provider. If traffic spikes come, and your server instrastructure cannot handle it, you are toast. You don’t want a Digg server melt-down (fun pic). Here’s a first hand story and how to deal with it.

Tip #15 – Monitoring:
If you want to save time monitoring across many resources within the social networks, try the new Yahoo Pipes, it’s a social monitoring desktop in a browser.

Tip #16 – Advertising:
If you are an advertiser, you might want to check out and – they both are showing promise from what I can see.

Top Social Media Resources (not necessarily in order of importance):

  1. Twitter *See more below – specific for twitter
  2. Facebook (download toolbar)
  3. YouTube (toolbar exists, but have not tried)
  4. (download toolbar)
  5. StumbleUpon (download toolbar)
  6. LinkedIn (tip: use the Q/A section to gain readership and clients)
  7. Flickr
  8. Digg
  9. Reddit
  10. Technorati
  11. Secondlife (3D)
  12. Meneame (spanish, translate title and synopsis before posting)
  13. Newsvine
  14. Subscribe (RSS) to Techcrunch!


Here are handy resources with over 200 Social Media Web sites.

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