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July 26, 2009

Where’s Social Media Headed?

social networking

Barack Obama started using social media and the marketing gurus went “Oh my God, he’s a genius, now all we have to do is use his name to promote this and voila, clients will be lining up to buy social media marketing (SMM) services”. Well, it didn’t quite happen that way. And the wonderful case study that was “Presidential candidate Barack Obama” became a not-so-active name on various online portals including, Twitter, where from November 2008 to May 2009, his twitter update has had five posts. Yep, only five posts in six months.

So what is happening in the Social Media world right now?

Well, first of all, social media website use has exploded with millions of people using popular Web 2.0 applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and dozens of others. I personally “play” and “work” on many, but my favorites remain Twitter and Facebook.

Celebrities and politicians seem to have found a way to pontificate one-way to their audiences. I say pontificate because most of these are rarely engaged in a two-way discussion, more times sending out their updates but not really engaging with others who may wish to interact with them. Politicians and celebrities across the globe have taken their messages to their fans and followers on Twitter and Facebook.

However, millions of users and dozens of so-called SMM experts later, small businesses remain offline and are positively scared of using social media websites.

The business owners I interact with when I’m speaking at an event or when I’m networking offline (yes I still do that) are concerned about using social media websites to promote themselves. They are worried about the lack of privacy and a misconception that they need to be technically savvy to use such websites as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. These same business owners also mention lack of time and lack of trained “marketing” resources which prevent them from taking the social media marketing plunge.

For marketers, social media marketing means a huge opportunity. The opportunity comes from being able to demonstrate actual results to end clients in the form of visibility and generated buzz. For small businesses who have taken the social media marketing plunge, it means visibility at low cost. For everyone, Social Media Marketing means; buzz, visibility, website traffic and leads, assuming SMM is executed properly.

Social media marketing is here to stay and can bring tremendous value to those who know how to leverage it. From gaining new clients, to gaining visibility, branding, and credibility, not to mention leads, social media marketing is one activity that everyone needs to “find” time for and “create” a budget for.

As an individual seeking a new job or as a business seeking new clients, here are some very basic yet very key strategies to keep in mind when embarking on the social media marketing journey:

1. Reap what you sow: This saying applies very well to Social Media Marketing. If you don’t begin leveraging social media websites to promote yourself or your business and especially if your competition is, you’ll be left behind in the dust of their visibility & buzz.

2. Make Time: Either make time for social media marketing for yourself / business OR find an expert who can do it for you. Not doing anything is not an option. Find a marketer who knows social networking.

3. Land your next opportunity: Remember the impression you want to cultivate online. You wouldn’t go to a face-to-face networking meeting and complain “how tired you are”, “how sleepy you are” etc. Then don’t do it online either. Online networking has reached a new level and you need to show your “networking” savvy by creating an impression which will land you the next opportunity, a new client or whatever you seek.

4. Don’t end up in jail or unemployed: If you don’t want to end up fired or end up in jail, be careful about what you say online. Professional behavior should be the norm (even for teenagers who don’t realize the impact of what they put out there on Facebook). Prospective employers, prospective clients, current clients, and anyone who wants to look you up, can and will. Once you’ve put something out there, it is out there forever.

5. Frequency matters just as much as content: Blogging once a month or writing a tweet once every week or posting a FB status once every other day is not the way to grow your visibility. All marketing activities require frequency, consistency, and long-term effort. You wouldn’t expect one
advertisement in the Detroit Free Press to generate leads immediately or ongoing. Similarly, online marketing requires consistent, frequent, and long-term effort.

Again, remember, not doing anything is not an option.

Just like email and voicemail, yes, those now archaic technologies that we don’t even think about; texting, Facebooking, Tweeting, blogging, and audio & video podcasting are all slowly becoming mainstream. Social media marketing is also fun, quick, and a cost-effective way to get visibility and
it provides the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere in the world.

Implement Social Media Marketing correctly and you’ll find that practice does make us perfect!


Nipa Shah is the founder and visionary who has shaped Jenesys Group, LLC and is known as an expert in the field of Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization.

26 Responses to “Where’s Social Media Headed?

    avatar alfon says:

    nice info

    avatar Danaville » Blog Archive » webmaster says:

    […] SiteProNews: webmaster News %26 Resources » Blog Archive » Where’s . Barack Obama started using social media and the marketing gurus went “Oh my God, he’s a genius, now all we have to do is use his name to promote this and voila, clients will be lining up to buy social media marketing (SMM) services”. […]

    […] %%Where’s Social Media Headed?%% […]

    avatar TuVinhSoft says:

    Great article! Twittered.

    avatar cold sores says:

    Thanks for your articles.I think the list 5 ” Frequency matters just as much as content” is the most important.

    avatar kbhuffaker says:

    Nice comments. I can see that SMM is an important part of exposing my business. I try to use SMM as a way to get as many backlinks as I can.

    avatar Kevin Phoenix says:

    Most business owners are interested in the marketing benefits of using social media but become quickly confused because they are trying to build friends, create fan pages, set up Twitter accounts, set up LinkedIn profiles, etc. This is a mistake.

    The business owner (interested in marketing) has begun a social media networking initiative and NOT a social media marketing initiative. They have been confused and have set down the wrong path from the start.

    One of the biggest mistakes that Internet marketers make is believing that they can launch a social media marketing initiative inside of social media networking environments (like Facebbook, Twitter, etc.)

    Social media marketing and social media networking are two VERY different initiatives. If you try to do one inside the other you are bound for disaster.

    There is a clear and distinct order in which you engage social media for business benefit. If you try the networking bit before the marketing bit then you are not operating at maximum efficiency.

    Most people have it wrong. They network with people in an attempt to build their business (prospecting). This is the most inefficient way to use social media and a great waste of time and energy. Not to mention it is hard to track results, there is no real way to measure it.

    I don’t network with people on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. I would rather network with people on my blog and people that I pull into my private network as a result of my social media marketing initiatives. I only need to network in one place, not many.

    I only network with prospects. Most make the mistake of trying to network with everyone in an attempt to pull in prospects.

    This is backwards… They social media network in an effort to begin a social media marketing campaign.

    Do you see the problem here?

    I think SMM is more of hype.

    avatar Sauna Guys says:

    Great info. I’m trying to use SMM as a way to expose my sauna business.

    avatar World Auction Bidz says:

    I agree! Jump in and get into it :)

    avatar Wayne says:

    Interesting to see how Barack Obama is using SM. He may not have posted much from Nov to May, but he is posting now and gaining followers. He may be above the normal rules for using SM. He doesn’t have to post on a consistent basis. When he needs additional avenues to communicate, he will use SM and his followers will listen. His rise in posting frequency is due to his drive to pass health care reform. Now he needs help so now he is posting.

    I have also heard from small business owners that they do not have time for SM. Yes, they still think Twitter is ridiculous. I think an underlying issue is they don’t feel comfortable with what seems like a one-way, boastful broadcast. For many, education is needed because they really cannot afford to miss the opportunity to communicate with their customers in such a collaborative way.

    avatar Turkish Property says:

    I can see what you are saying and another poster mentioned the backlinks aspect which is very important. The trick is for people to know which sites to use and how to use them. Amazingly I have seen so much social media articles with no use of anchor text leaving just the website address displayed. This totally defeats the object as a majority of people searching google will not type your web address in.

    Totally agree that businesses need to start employing staff specifically for this task otherwise they will get left behind.

    avatar @skump says:

    Nice article.
    I think as more people and businesses see that there is a huge benefit to SMM more will begin to implement it into their marketing activities. It is still early and the sooner companies get started the further ahead they will be.

    avatar christi pemberton says:

    This is in response to Nipa Shah’s article on SMM, and how celebrities/politicians and small businesses use or should use Social Media. This was an interesting article. Social Media is indeed a very powerful tool for communication, connecting, and attracting clients. It has leveled the playing field for small businesses and the average person greatly. When I look at how Obama has used social media, it was used to grab the attention and support of the nation, and also to bring information about himself and his campaign to everyone of us. Now, Obama, unlike the rest of us, has a country to run..so if he is not on the social media circuit often, then we know why. He has several crisis situations to deal with, to include a war, an economy that went bust, and issues of the environment…so I would rather for him to go and try to solve those issues, and not be on the social media that much at this time. He does use the internet to get our ideas and responses, may not be on twitter, but his administration does use it…because I have seen it done. If you watch some of his town hall meetings, you see that he uses the internet to bring in questions from people who could not make it to the town halls. Let’s put important things first, which is the President need to try to get this country straightened out first and use the social media to complement that, but do not worry about using social media a lot at this time. He is not campaigning now, he and the government need to do their job.

    With celebrities, whether they use the social media or not, they have every media form to cater to what they want to do. They have tv, radio, internet and newspapers/magazines..so, they may not be on the social media that much either. We as people who are not celebrities and not famous politicians do not have all the media knocking on our door, so we “have” to use social media to help ourselves and get our message out.

    On Business:

    Using social media to promote your business is very important, but I do say, that many social networks do not like some of the advertising methods that businesses use. My advice is to use social media to get to know people, and yes, I agree using it for people to get to know you..but use it cautiously. Businesses should be very careful that they do not become a “nuisance” by advertising too much in one space….plus, people buy from you if they see you as a business that really cares about what they want and who they are.

    Everyone is on there:

    One last point….we have to always remember that although social media is an excellent tool, everyone is one there. So, we have to go further in making ourselves important to the audience.

    Great article. I really like what you said for small businesses. I really wish they would make time or hire someone. It would really improve the web and help businesses learn how to communicate online. So many companies that are online still SPAM and blast sales message with no reguard for social media protocals and general good taste.

    Two of the main business to business sites are Ecademy and Linked In (I can send you invites to both, if you like). They’re quite good for making contacts (you do get a lot of people who just want to add you for the sake of their number of contacts) and those contacts are useful for spreading the word about what you do.

    Is the jewellery aimed at a particular market? For example, if it was particularly suitable for the over 50’s, there are several forums for that age bracket and all you need is someone in that age group to give you a presence on there.

    avatar Nipa Shah says:

    Great comments, thanks you all. No, SMM is not hype, yes, SMM has leveled the playing field. All in all the best part of this blog is that we all come at it with different perspectives but almost no one disagrees that social media websites have a purpose.

    Can’t wait to hear more from you, pl. feel free to connect with me via email at: nipa at jenesysgroup dot com

    avatar Club Penguin says:

    If you are not willing to connect the things you are doing business wise to the social media outlets then you will sit dead in the water…

    There are tools and techniques to keep the most important social sites filled with new information and updates to keep your followers entertained.

    avatar Richard zhou says:

    how skillfully desgin about that image.

    […] Shah, en Site Pro News, ha publicado un interesante artículo titulado “Where’s Social Media Headed”. En realidad, más que de redes sociales, trata de mercadeo a través de redes sociales (SMM: […]

    Social Media is great, but as there are several of them and each one has got one outstanding feature that others don’t, eventually none of them seem to be able to replace a giant search engine like Google.

    Besides, smart search engines like Google index tweets and social media bookmarks among other efforts.

    It’s a great idea to embark upon social media marketing for many reasons even if you’re a search engine fan!

    I think it’s so easy to assume that because your proposition is quite technical, you need to stick to paid-for routes. Since I have stepped up informative postings and blogs on various social media about the state of the real estate market and the ins and outs of the buying and rental process, our inquiries have exploded. Richard Francis.

    Social media marketing is also fun, quick, and a cost-effective way to get visibility and
    it provides the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere in the world.

    social media website use has exploded with millions of people using popular Web 2.0 applications such as Facebook, Twitter

    avatar layout says:

    Start out by telling people you know. You can do this a number of ways, telephone, email word of mouth. You will be surprised how word speads. Almost everyone you tell will tell someone. Try getting a facebook page or myspace get friends spread the word that way.

    avatar Texas Marriage Records says:

    This saying applies very well to Social Media Marketing. If you don’t begin leveraging social media websites to promote yourself or your business and especially if your competition is, you’ll be left behind in the dust of their visibility & buzz.

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