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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Social-Media Marketing Essentials

How you can balance the need to be on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social media to build your business without letting them take over your life

Sites To Employ Your Social-Media Strategy

Real-time updates in 140 characters or less
Active Users: 500 million (as of April 2012)

Users are known to click through shared web links at a higher rate than users of any other social-networking site
Twitter has quickly become a highly valued source for real-time breaking news and trends
Possesses an active and vibrant photography and technology community
Not everyone enjoys the 140-character limit
The endless flow of updates can be overwhelming for some (see recommendations below)

Best times to post are Monday through Thursday, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., to maximize link clicks
List yourself in Twitter directories to help people find you (e.g., Twellow, www.twellow.com)
Group followers in lists or use third-party software to manage your account (e.g., HootSuite or TweetDeck) to keep the constant flow of updates in check

The largest and best-known social-networking website
Active Users: 901 million (as of April 2012)

Contains the largest population of active users and, in theory, should provide the greatest opportunity to reach new clients
Facebook is the number-one image-sharing site, with 250 million photos being uploaded daily, according to their 2011 S1 filing
Allows business owners to create business fan pages above and beyond individual accounts
Image metadata is systematically removed
Image compression is a constant complaint, negatively impacting image quality
Continues to push boundaries on minimizing user privacy

Create a fan page for your photography business for the sake of professionalism
Note that the best times to post are Monday through Thursday, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., to maximize link clicks

The most recent social-networking site from Google
Active Users: 170 million (as of April 2012)

Home to a vibrant photography community
Great image quality and image-sharing functionality
"Hangout" feature allows for free video chats with a group of up to 10 people
Recommended links from your network are shown in search results at Google.com
Not as widely used as Facebook
Business-page functionality and access aren't as mature as Facebook fan pages

Worth trying and keeping an eye on, as new features are added regularly
Enhance your Google+ experience with Google+ specific plug-ins for the Chrome web browser

Linked In
The premier professional networking site
Active Users: 161 million (as of Feb. 2012)

Professional focus linking coworkers, clients and customers versus casual acquaintances
Now a standard resource used by many HR departments
Lower-volume activity than other social-networking sites
No image-display functionality

Join groups to reach new clients or interact with peer groups
Link your Twitter account to LinkedIn to consolidate your updates

Microblogs to share images and multimedia
Active Blogs: 59 million (as of June 2012)

Receives over 13 billion views/month
Easily integrated with other social-networking services
Easy sharing capabilities within and outside of their blog network
Great image and multimedia support
Doesn't support self-hosted blogs, but you can use a custom domain name that you own for your Tumblr blog

Customize your Tumblr theme
Connect with friends and colleagues via the "People You Know" function

Active user data acquired from Wikipedia and www.rightmixmarketing.com/right-mix-blog/blogging-statistics/
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