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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

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

PROS:
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
CONS:
Not everyone enjoys the 140-character limit
The endless flow of updates can be overwhelming for some (see recommendations below)

RECOMMENDATIONS:
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

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

PROS:
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
CONS:
Image metadata is systematically removed
Image compression is a constant complaint, negatively impacting image quality
Continues to push boundaries on minimizing user privacy

RECOMMENDATIONS:
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

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

PROS:
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
CONS:
Not as widely used as Facebook
Business-page functionality and access aren't as mature as Facebook fan pages

RECOMMENDATIONS:
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)

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

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

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

PROS:
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
CONS:
Doesn't support self-hosted blogs, but you can use a custom domain name that you own for your Tumblr blog

RECOMMENDATIONS:
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/
Traffic post times:
searchenginewatch.com/article/2173631/When-to-Post-on-Facebook-Twitter-Tumblr-for-Maximum-Effect-Study


 

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