I am a Massachusetts native and I recently moved to Franklin. I will be celebrating one year in Franklin near Thanksgiving. Thank you for having me as the newest member of the downtown partnership. I’m a network Engineer and I have been supporting small to large businesses and their access to the internet by designing their complex networks, building them and then supporting them. My expertise is Cisco, security and social media.
I have been building simple web sites and administrating social media as a hobby for the last 10 years. I'm now turning my hobby into a full time profession.
Today I would like to discuss different types of social media, why each is useful and who uses them. I would like to also briefly discuss Reputation management and how the public perceives your business and the feedback you have on the internet.
There are endless numbers of social media pages on the internet. Each website is hosted on a server in a network behind a firewall. All that data is tracked from the point of access meaning a cell phone, a computer or tablet being used by a student, a small business owner or a person possibly anywhere on our planet. That person is probably looking for social interaction, looking to make a purchase or seeking to do some sort of research.
Some of the more common social media sites in the United States are Facebook, linkedin, yahoo, yelp, twitter, Instagram and craigslist.
Each of these sites serve a unique purpose.
The juggernaut of American social media in 2016 is Facebook. Facebook surpassed Myspace in 2008 and Myspace quietly fell to the wayside. The United states has a population of 320 million people and the world has a population of 7.4 billion people. Facebook currently has 1.7 billion active users so that gives you an idea of the percentage of the world wide population using Facebook.
There are many reasons for using social media.
Most people are already aware of why you use social media pages . I would say that the “born digital” generation takes the internet for granted but Gen X people (People 35 and older) with families who have not been on the internet much are now migrating to social media to follow their family’s activity online while they are slowly upgrading their flip phones to new social media enabled devices.
Positive reasons for going onto social media may be: - Disseminate information -social interaction -networking -shorting distance between friends and family -being part of like minded groups -share news and build audiences -find and share product information
Social Media negatives -Security -Time mismanagement and lost productivity -facts vs. opinions and misinformation -spam -lack of personal interaction -addiction -potential for attacks, hacking, privacy and bullying.
There are multiple types of accounts on social media pages
On the many different social media pages like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Angie’s list you can log in as a user and build your personal profile. In addition to that profile you can build groups and open business pages. Those group and business pages allow you to build and manage followers who have common interests and allows you to create a forum for like minded people. It’s these groups that businesses can use to sell products or to provide information to the public. The pages can be set up making rules limiting comments and limiting the amount of interaction. These are a fantastic place for businesses to provide information to their customers.
I have a few websites I prefer and I have listed the reasons why you would want to use them. Facebook: Facebook is the fastest-growing popular online platform that enables customization of user interface, which also includes installing applications to personalize the experience further. Users are connected to their friends very quickly as they could receive notifications when someone in their network has made changes or updates to his/her current profile or status. If you are intending to create a professional online portfolio for networking purposes and attract future employers, FaceBook could be a useful channel, but do keep in mind of the content that you are publishing. You future employers might not want to see you being "tagged" in an album "A racy party at John’s". If you are searching for a convenient way to find friends, family or acquaintances and get connected to them easily, FaceBook is a appropriate platform.
Angie’s List: Geared toward U.S.-based service businesses, Angie's List is a "higher-end" review site, because users actually have to pay for membership. But you get what you pay for. The reviews, given on an A–F scale, are typically very well-thought out -- not a lot of that ranting and raving that's more common on free review sites. The reviews can't be anonymous, which helps cut down on fake or misrepresentative reviews, and companies are allowed to respond to the reviews posted about them, too.
Twitter: Twitter is a practical and useful way of disseminating information about your organization online. Twitter offers useful information that targets an audience and your targeted customers or clients would be “following” you. To attract attention, use catchy and intelligent copywriting when tweeting. You could also follow related people who are in your area of business and interest and you can be assured of landing in the right network. Twitter is good for News organizations, marketers and advertisers. Twitter allows spontaneous interaction in real time. Twitter clients on mobiles are getting popular and enables quick and easy communication. You would be able to track what people are saying about you or your related business competitors. Brand exposure: Twitter allows engagement with people in a viral way. Loyal and satisfied customers or clients would “retweet” messages that they would love to recommend. Through constant and vital tweeting, your brand awareness would be enhanced. A short, sweet yet sufficient message would serve as a great marketing gimmick.
Linkedin: LinkedIn‘s tagline “Relationships Matter” is very appropriate to show us what this social network does. Believing that people relationships is a valuable asset, LinkedIn serves to help individuals and companies to build and maintain them. This gives professionals an advantage to be more successful and productive in their careers by leveraging as well as contributing their to own professional and trusted network. Although not spontaneous communication with others, you could build an identity for yourself by answering inquiries related to your industry to demonstrate your expertise. A feature called Answers, is similar to a forum where users can post questions and contribute their related opinions or solutions.
Linkedin is certainly favorable for branding your identity for both individuals and companies. Users connect themselves to people in the same interest of work and industry to build a network. Make the profile a complete one in order to leverage this platform effectively. Significant traffic might not be evident. Only potential clients and customers are more likely to visit your site. If you are a fresh graduate who is ready to step into the working society, LinkedIn is a great starting place to prepare your resume and introduce your strengths and abilities to attract employers or recruiters to land in the profession you desire. Instagram: Instagram is a popular platform for instantly enhancing photos and videos with cool effects and sharing them across a number of social media platforms. The terms specify that users should be at least 13 years old and should not post partially nude or sexually suggestive photos but do not prohibit the portrayal of violence, swear words, or drugs. Users can flag photos for review, but mature content still appears in some photos and in the comment sections. Photos shared in Instagram are public and may have location information unless privacy settings are adjusted. Instagram Direct allows users to send private photos directly to other users. Tinder users can access other Tinder users' Instagram feeds directly from within the Tinder app, even on private Instagram feeds if Tinder integration is enabled.
My last topic is Reputation management. Reputations are a powerful ally on the internet. Your reputation can also be a catastrophic disaster for your product. If there is feedback or negative press on social media about your product that is not handled properly and not acknowledged you may lose your online business or cause a significant reduction in register sales. These comments could be factual or blatant lies. It doesn’t matter if a comment is true. The comment in a public place that goes unaddressed or ignored has already caused damage and your reputation may already be ruined if not handled properly. Common web sites for feedback are Angie’s list, Glassdoor, Yelp, Ebay and Tripadvisor. It’s good practice to set up keyword searches in Google alerts to help manage your reputation. If you don’t know what your reputation is - I suggest you go out and look to see what people are saying about you and your product. Do some simple google searches or Facebook searches. You might be amazed at the positive feedback you will find from friends and customers. Use those comments to drive business and learn how to harness those comments on social media to find new customers.