Let me go ahead and get the topic of social media out of the way. It you haven’t noticed, more and more organizations are asking people to “fan” them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Here are a couple examples of businesses that are using Facebook or Twitter. Squeeze In is a local breakfast restaurant–it has been featured on the Food Network and Toyota is, well, a large very well known automaker.
There are many more companies out there that have Facebook pan pages and or Twitter accounts. Some of them have products to sell and some have services to sell. From big companies like Toyota to a small one person operations, from for-profit to not-for-profit establishments, many are using social media as a marketing tool to reach their audience.
I will discuss the differences between the available social media services out there in my future blogs, provide examples of how they are being used, and discuss when and how they are effective. In this one though, I will simply list some of the popular social media services and provide a quick overview of what they are. There are several out there… for now, I will only discuss Facebook and Twitter. In my future blogs, I will also discuss how businesses are using blogging services like Blogspot and WordPress to, again, reach to audience.
Facebook was initially used as a means for college students to network with each other, later on, it was opened to the general public. Currently, there are over 500 million registered users on Facebook. Facebook requires that members are real people and not business entities. However, “real people” can create fan pages for their businesses–and this is how most businesses use Facebook. Registered users of Facebook, can “fan” your business page.
Twitter is a social networking and a micro-blogging service. The best way to understand Twitter is to think of it as a bulletin board with subscribers. The idea of Twitter is to gain and establish a group of followers to whom you can “broadcast” (in 140 characters or less) just about anything. However, anything you “broadcast” on Twitter is public and can be found by everybody on the internet as well.
In my next blog, I will begin to discuss Facebook in-depth and discuss how it is being used by small businesses to promote their products or services.
If you’re curious whether your favorite business establishment is using Facebook and or Twitter as a marketing tool, simply google “<company name here> facebook” or “<company name here> twitter.”