Google announced on its Twitter account that public status updates from Facebook are now showing up on Google searches via the company’s new real-time search feature, first announced in Dec. (Updates that aren’t tagged for public consumption will not show up.) The algorithm now pulls in real-time blog postings, tweets and MySpace updates.
Remember, Google is heavily taking location into account! Combine that with this announcement and you’ve just dramatically elevated your online presence if you’re posting on Facebook AND you’ll increase your visibility exponentially if your Facebook friends share your stuff! *Just remember to tag your biz related updates as “Public.”
Global consumers spent more than five and half hours on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in Dec. 2009, an 82% increase from the same time last year according to Nielsen. Social networks and blogs led mediums in terms of ave. time spent in Dec., followed by online games and instant messaging. With 206.9 million unique visitors, Facebook was the No. 1 global social networking destination in Dec. 2009 and 67% of global social media users visited the site during the month. Time spent on Facebook has also been on the rise, with global users spending nearly six hours per month on the site. While the U.S. had the largest number of social media users, Australia actually led in terms of ave. time spent on social media sites.
Average Time Spent per Person on Social Media Sites – December 2009 Country Unique Audience (000) Time per Person (hh:mm:ss) United States 142,052 6:09:13
Japan 46,558 2:50:21
Brazil 31,345 4:33:10
United Kingdom 29,129 6:07:54
Germany 28,057 4:11:45
France 26,786 4:04:39
Spain 19,456 5:30:55
Italy 18,256 6:00:07
Australia 9,895 6:52:28
Switzerland 2,451 3:54:34 Source: The Nielsen Co.
The same reasons that make Twitter so popular are those that make describing twitter problematic.
While that might not makes sense at first glance, once you realize that Twitter has no real product direction or single “primary use” you may begin to realize just how difficult it is to describe (and figure out) Twitter’s relevance as a businesses tool.
Here’s a parallel challenge:
Come up with one blanket statement that clearly describes what our existing land line phone systom does.
Why is that a challenge? Well, in your description you will have had to include all uses of consumer land line phones such as fax transmission, internet connections, VOIP phone line connections, 911 ermergency services, automated home alarm warning services, etc. So, that being said, please consider the technology of Twitter just as complex.
That’s all great, but WTF is Twitter?
The direct answer: Twitter is whatever you can make of it.
That’s probably disappointing, but its absolutely the reason people say things like “I’m still figuring Twitter out” or “trying to get used to Twitter” or “I don’t get it.” The unfortunate fact is, once you create your account you are stuck trying figure out what to do with little to no direction and that takes time most people don’t have. Fortunately there are a lot of folks, like myself, willing to spend way too much time writing stuff like this and trying to help out:-)
10 things you can do with Twitter (for free):
Connect with fans using Twitter by offering relevant information.
Provide updates on your product for active Twitter users (millions & growing).
Improve your website by posting updated information to your site via Twitter (RSS) fed widget.
Offer scheduled information to anyone interested. May included daily, weekly or random information to customers which could include specials, coupons,
Follow experts in many industries for fresh information as it happens.
Post last minute deals, specials, emergency information, etc. to customers or other interested parties (because users choose to follow you we can assume they are “interested”).
Update any RSS capable reader or product connected to the internet.
Get found in real-time keyword searches. *Google, Bing and other search engines are adding Twitter search results to their own first page results and further integration is ongoing.
Have your “tweet” reposted in the streams of organizations followed by tens, hundreds, thousands or even millions of passionate people.
Publicly comment on anything.
So why use Twitter?
First and foremost, because the simple act of posting information on Twitter significantly increases the chances of being found in search engines and because using Twitter as one of your marketing channels makes for a great introduction to using Twitter.
What did I miss? Got more ways to use Twitter? Do you disagree? Please add your thoughts and ideas in the comments.
If you like this explanation, please link to it in your blog posts > Twitter
If your business is on Twitter and / or Facebook and you’re not handing out social media business cards you are missing a great opportunity! Instead of cramming all the info on your traditional business cards, have a stylish but inexpensive set printed to draw special attention to your tweets, Facebook & Linkedin statuses.
Look for another post coming soon “KILLER CRAZY SILLY COOL SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILE BIZ CARDS” for you to check! Please subscribe to InovediaMarketing.com via RSS or EMAIL.
So, here you go (cue first line of song “This is how we do it”) :
Inovedia Marketing provides the following services, how can we help you?
Social Media Marketing
We provide training, monitoring, blogging & copy writing services which means we can just get you started or manage and build your social networking efforts!
Let us create your web videos! We have Emmy award winning talent and the know how to create high quality videos & podcasts on a budget. For bigger projects, our access and established relationships with full service facilities means the sky is the limit!
Web Design & New Media Development
Put the web to work for you! From tweaks to complete redesigns, we’ll transform your website into an engaging resource your ideal customers will frequent! Ask how we can deliver highly target-able audiences to your door through new media product development! We can extend your brand, drive traffic and multiply your reach!
General Creative Services
Copy-writing, design services, online and traditional marketing campaign development, contest creation & management. Ad creation including banner ads, print, radio, television, newspaper and direct mail.
FOCUS is the number one obstacle you will face in any “new media,” web or social networking project be it company wide tweeting or starting a Facebook fan page. Without focus businesses “forget” to update websites, they post links customers don’t care about and generally send mixed messages. It’s no coincidence focus is also the number one obstacle in any marketing project! Everything your company does involving new media – even the content – is marketing and the possibilities are endless so it’s very easy slip off track.
Set guidelines “What Would My Brand do?”
Is your brand loud and fun, like the t-shirt above? Use your brand’s “personality” as a guide for what you should post on Twitter or Facebook. A comedy club might post jokes when a Lexus dealership would not. While B2B might connect with customers via Linkedin.com, everyone should consider starting a “brand” account on Twitter in which you only post business related updates, successes, discussion and events. Facebook is an exceptional place for small business owners to connect with customers as “friends” to exercise your personal brand. Everyone wants to know the owner!
Make a plan. Check it, tweak and repeat.
You never really know what any given moment will bring, so executing a plan might be just be your biggest challenge! Whatever you decide to do, make sure you sit down with the calendar you really rely on and schedule it! Schedule daily or weekly updates for Facebook, plan out the next 3 months worth of recipes for your blog. Keeping the plan simple and making it a priority will improve your chances for success tenfold. Create ways to measure your success so you cannot fail! If you were to create a goal to get your regular customers to be your friends on Facebook by sending them email invites you should check your progress in a month or so. If your efforts are stalled tweak your approach. Consider handing out social media business cards, direct mail or contesting. The point is, keep on eye on your progress and tweak it if it isn’t working.
Need help with your online product, projects or marketing? There are many free programs available for scheduling tweets and Facebook statuses and there are ways to have your social media sites monitored (for free) as well. If you cannot be active on the sites, please seek out other solutions because at the minimum you should be reasonably “accessible.” If you are asked questions or worse, taken to task, you need to be aware and you need to respond!
If you need help, there are a lot of resources “out there” that are very cost effective and you’re welcome to shoot me an email or begin a discussion right here in the comments.
*Post updated 4/23/2010!!! Please sign up for your email news letter!!! (upper left of sidebar)
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This list combine’s new & traditional marketing and is somewhere between the obvious, hanging a “We’re on Twitter” banner, and the incredibly inventive but perhaps not so practical. “BakerTweet”, for example, automatically tweets from donut shops whenever their donuts are fresh! Please let me know what you think and add to the list in the comments!
1. @YourBiz Shirts
2. Sign-on cards with JUST your social networks on them is a great way to bring attention to your web efforts! It’s a no brainer to add your social networks to your business cards, but having separate cards printed up can include each of your social network sign-ons, your email & website or blog. You might just see them run out before your regular business cards do!
3. @YourBiz Vehicle Magnets should be long and practical for multiple locations such as above the rear tire. Please avoid big huge ridiculous white squares with tiny writing that are slapped on the door!
4. Across a vehicle’s rear window is a great place to add @YourBiz in large letters!
*For #s 1 – 5 keep in mind folks on Twitter immediately recognize @YourName as a Twitter sign-on so, in most cases, the “Twitter.com/” can be scratched. You can use any of these ideas for your @twittername or your /facebook name. When choosing a name, try to balance these three traits: as short, simple and close to your business name as possible. All reasons we chose @inovedia from InovediaMarketing.com for our Twitter sign-on.
6. iPhone contests create buzz!
Step 1. Go to the apple store.
Step 2. Consult your attorney. I am not one, I don’t pretend to be one and if you don’t you’re on your own.
Step 3. Purchase a gift card for the equivalent value of the iPhone you want to give away (adding $ for monthly service gives you bonus points).
Step 4. Create a plan to tweet, use Facebook & your email list to execute a contest everyone will be talking about.
Step 5. Create signs, banners, flyers, etc.
Step 6. Reap the reward & email me your story!
7. Are you on Twitter? If you have a restaurant, ask if anyone the table is on Twitter & follow them while placing their order. Ask them to tweet where you are or what you’re ordering. Don’t tweet that they are there without asking as that could be a major faux pas!
If you’re thinking social networking is impractical you probably don’t have the right tools in place. Here are a couple of suggestions that will help make it easier to access Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. throughout the day.
8. Get a smart phone! Treos are older clunkier phones, but they’re still great tools for social networking with cameras that work find and keyboards that rival any blackberry for under $100. New phones with contracts are now ridiculously cheap with versions of the iPhone now under $100 and the Palm Pre under $200. Suck it up and get a “store phone” that can be kept at the counter or front desk for whoever is on duty. No more excuses about not tweeting because I wasn’t at my desk.
9. A netbook placed at the back of your restaurant or on your store counter with internet access. I picked up a Lenovo S10, which I love, for under $350. It’s small, inexpensive, light weight and there’s no DVD drive tempting employees to watch movies (though HULU will be a click away). More importantly, all the social networking tools you’re business requires will be right at hand. Truth is, even most out of date laptops will do the trick!
10. Ping.fm is a free site that let’s you send status updates and photos to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Friendfeed and a slew of other social networks all from one place. Genius! Chi.mp is another option that let’s you send to multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts and comes in very handy if you have multiple businesses or if you’re rocking both personal & business accounts.
Got more ideas? Want to add to these or trash them? Please chime in with your comments!