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Social Media


What is it?

Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send and receive text-based posts (Tweets) of up to 140 characters long. That length can include links to photos, website, webpages, videos, etc. 

The media cycle has undergone a transformation on the back of the introduction of Twitter, with news increasingly being broken on Twitter. It is then posted on entertainment and gossip sites, broadcast news cite secondary sources, and only then does that news appear in print and on magazine covers. Quite a turnaround from the norm of just a few years ago! A US study has found that the average age of Twitter users is 37.

Twitter is a fantastic portal for grooming relationships with media and industry leaders, and hashtags (#) are critical to ensuring your message gets out to a maximum number of readers (and potential followers). Hashtags (#qldfloods, #thebigwet, #tcyasi) were used effectively during the recent Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi to communicate updates to and from media, people at the coalface, and concerned people from across Australia and the world. Tweeting peaks coincided with flood peaks = vital news source. 

In the agricultural industry, two hashtags that I recommend are #agchatoz and #agchat. #agchatoz is the Australian version of #agchat, and the founders of this hashtag also moderate a two-hour discussion forum on Twitter every Tuesday night, from 8-10pm. Those who think farmers don't adopt technology, etc, etc, should check out this forum! Great discussions and topics. 

Two popular Social Media dashboards that allow you to manage your portfolio (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) in one location are:
1) Hootsuite 
2) TweetDeck 
Share photos and videos on Twitter using Twitpic

Link: 25 Suggestions for How to Use Twitter
Link: Should Small Business Use Twitter, Facebook, or Something Else?
Link: Social Media Crisis Management Done Right: by Red Cross America - the message is to be upfront, honest, and communicate in context
Link: The Top 10 Twitter Statistic and Analytics Tools


LinkedIn

What is it?

More than 90 million professionals use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas and opportunities - including 1.3 million Australians as at early-2011. Introduced in 2003, LinkedIn is now the world's largest professional network. It is in a rapid growth phase, bringing more and more search engine optimisation (SEO) power to the table. LinkedIn is the single most powerful SEO tool for getting found online that we have as individuals and businesses. The more connections you have on LinkedIn, the more often you'll be found within LinkedIn and by search engines like Google too. 

Link: Using LinkedIn to Enhance Your SEO 


Facebook

What is it?

The social networking website, Facebook, was launched in February, 2004, and now has more than 600 million active users worldwide. Users may create a personal profile, add other users as friends and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common interest user groups, organized by workplace, school, or college, or other characteristics. The name of the service stems from the colloquial name for the book given to students at the start of the academic year by university administrations in the US with the intention of helping students to get to know each other better. 

Link: 32 Ways to Use Facebook for Business
Link: How to Create a Facebook Engagement Policy
Link: How Marketers and Businesses Can Start Using Facebook Places
Link: How to Add Facebook Questions to your Brand Page
 
While it’s still unclear exactly how much a Facebook “Like” is worth to a brand, the following video sums up why Facebook is so important.




Brands will be tripling down on Facebook advertising in 2011, and the process for acquiring Facebook “Likes” has evolved to accommodate this increase in demand. Instead of doing A/B testing between two photos to see which generates more Facebook “Likes,” the savvier brands and agencies are leveraging technology that can simultaneously deploy 10,000+ ad variations to yield the lowest CPA (cost per acquisition) of those “Likes.” 

Lawson Communications' client, Rourke and Henry, has a main target audience of young mothers. We set about constructing Facebook Ads with a narrow target range to suit the business. We have spent just shy of $640 on four separate small ad campaigns, and 610 people have clicked on an ad. That means 610 people have been driven to the Rourke and Henry website and this has translated to fantastic web traffic, e-newsletter sign-ups, and product purchases.


YouTube

What is it?

YouTube is a video sharing website on which users can upload and share videos. Three former PayPal employees created YouTube in February, 2005.  

We have invested in top-of-the-range video production and editing equipment and are increasingly offering clients the capacity to generate Video News Releases (VNRs), to be sent out together with written media releases, as well as web video, video testimonials, promotional videos, etc. YouTube is a free and easy medium for uploading and sharing video. How can YouTube videos increase exposure for your business in 2011?
 
Link: How to Make a Successful Marketing Video for the Web
Link: Online Video Marketing: 10 Ways You Can Use YouTube to Promote Your Online Content





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