Social Media Update

The world of social media is vast and ever-changing. How can you keep up? Our Marketing Department weighs in on social media news.

Social Trends

What’s New?

Katie: Google+ introduced their Business Pages mid-November which is the latest way to connect with customers and clients. Google+ features “Circles” which allow you to segment groups of people. For instance, a business would most likely have a circle for active customers, inactive customers, clients, partners, colleagues, etc. These circles allow you to share and market to specific target audiences depending on what circle you categorized them in. “+1″ Holdcom’s Google+ Page! http://plus.google.com/u/0/s/holdcom

Juli: I agree with Katie, Google+ Business pages are huge. I read that 60% of major brands signed up for a page within the first 2 days of their availability. For Google+, which many thought was playing second fiddle to Facebook, Brand Pages are a major game-changer. Google+ is very rapidly growing and evolving. Join now and you can call yourself an early adopter!

What’s Out?

Katie: There has been some major scrutiny surrounding Blackberry functionality in recent months. Although Blackberry was one of the first smartphones, Research In Motion (RIM), maker of Blackberry, has failed to keep up with the constantly changing market. When the iPhone first came out, people were attracted to this revolutionary pocket-sized touchscreen computer/phone, and popularity continues to rise, especially with the new release of the iPhone4S. The iPhone is certainly a game changer. RIM has struggled to keep pace with Apple’s smartphones and tablets, but hasn’t been able to make a triumphant comeback…yet. Blackberry still has 65 million subscribers and RIM plans to revamp its new generation of smartphones using a new operating system. The company has also introduced a tablet that now retails for under $200. Has Blackberry totally fallen out of favor, or is RIM poised to rise to the top once again? We’ll see what happens!

Juli: Facebook? I’m not too sure about this and it seems that not too many others are, either. A recent Mashable Poll found that 45.5% of users thought the site was just “Lukewarm,” compared to 30.34% who say the site is still “Hot” and 24.16% who say the site is “Not.” For now, people are holding onto their Facebook accounts. It’s certainly the biggest player with the most connections in the social media world, so it makes sense that people aren’t going to run away. Facebook has recently settled with the FTC over privacy concerns, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “I’m the first to admit that we’ve made a bunch of mistakes.” Since privacy was one of the main issues bothering Facebook users, maybe this settlement will keep the site at Number 1. Regardless of what is to become the next big thing, Facebook is still a major player, and you should have a business page, even if you don’t want a personal account.

 

What’s the Next Big Thing?

Katie: Mobile. Smartphone users can now do just about anything on their phone like deposit a check, search mobile sites, look up traffic, you name it. It is important that the public understands that the times are changing, and now is probably the best time to make the switch to a smart phone if they haven’t already. Mobile marketing presents a new set of rules and strategies for reaching customers, and mobile options can even be incorporated into IVR systems to boost marketing and customer service initiatives.

Juli: Stumbleupon. Okay, Stumbleupon is already pretty big. But for businesses, it’s growing more popular and useful. First, it’s really cool. As a search tool, the site lets you “stumble” the web based on your interests. “Stumbling” is the act of discovering new websites based on a specific category, like “art” or “technology.” Every time you “stumble,” you get a new webpage that has been submitted by users. Recent studies have shown that Stumbleupon is bringing more traffic to websites than Facebook. The easiest way to get your site listed is to “discover” key pages. You can install the Stumbleupon tool bar and discover pages all over the web! Branded profiles are coming soon, which makes Stumbleupon an even bigger competitor in the social media world. Check it out at www.stumbleupon.com.

What site should you be using, but probably aren’t?

Katie: In order to stay up to date with the latest on social media and technology trends, Mashable.com is the site to look at. I make sure I read their articles daily because technology is always changing and it is important to keep pace while these changes happen.

Juli: The site that’s majorly trending with me right now is Pinterest. This is a curatorial site that allows users to “pin” interesting items from all over the web. Users create virtual pinboards based on their own interests and share with users across the site. Pinterest isn’t going to be a great fit for every business, though. It’s primarily catered toward products, design, fashion, art, and technology products. If customers look at your products and think “Hey, that’s cool!”, then Pinterest is the site for you.

If you don’t think Pinterest is a good fit for you or your business, LinkedIn has a broader appeal. If you don’t have a personal account or a company page, I definitely suggest setting one up. LinkedIn has recently added company status updates, so you’ll be able to engage with your audience on a larger scale as your brand, in addition to interacting as yourself. No matter what your industry, there is a community on LinkedIn that will provide you with essential networking.

What do you think? Is Facebook out? Should Mobile be your next target audience? Have you tried a new social media site this month? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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