An Illinois senator who was virtually unknown in 2004 defeated Hillary Clinton in 2008 to win the Democratic U.S. presidential nomination.
And he used social media to do it.
His YouTube videos got 110 million views, estimated to be 14.5 million hours of viewing. Mass media advertising to reach that many viewers would have cost $47 million.
A famous rapper made a promotional video that gave him even more free publicity.
At the time of the election, he had five million fans on Facebook — over four million more than his opponent. On MySpace, the numbers were approximately 800,000 and 200,000, respectively. On Twitter, he had over 100,000 followers and his opponent had about 5,000.
“You want me to use Twitter to market my business?” I hear you asking. “How do I generate leads and promote my business by telling my friends what I had for lunch?”
Yes, many people just use Twitter to share their day with their friends. Friends who may live 2,000 miles away.
And some people use it to broadcast a breaking news story as it happens. Like the time a plane crash-landed in the Hudson River. A man in a nearby boat with an iPhone got the “scoop” on that story before the news media reported it.
Social media networks are fields of dreams for marketers. With over 500 million active users on Facebook today, there’s no doubt that Facebook is a social media powerhouse. And although Facebook is a social networking favorite, it’s not alone.
Marketers are taking note of many different social media opportunities and beginning to implement new social initiatives at a higher rate than ever before. Here are 3 new studies that show social media is still on the rise:
#1: Small Business Doubles Social Media Adoption
One positive result from the economic downturn is the rapid growth of social media marketing.
Just as marketers are getting a handle on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, a fresh group of social media networks are poised to make a splash in 2010.
These networks have not reached mass adoption yet, so it’s not necessary to get active on all of them immediately. But remember, Facebook only took 6 years to reach 400 million registered users. You should keep an eye on these five upstarts to see if their innovative services attract large audiences in the near future.
Why You Should Pay Attention
Learning the ropes on new services before they gain mass traction can help you get value from them faster once they catch on. Monitoring the innovations in the social media space also gives you an indication of how the market is changing and will evolve over the next few years. Marketers should stay abreast of broader market trends to assure their messages stay relevant.
Did you join LinkedIn because someone you know invited you and you didn’t want to hurt his or her feelings, but now you’re wondering why you did it?
Guess what? If you wrinkle your nose in disgust when someone mentions “social media,” LinkedIn is for you!
Because LinkedIn is not like MySpace and Facebook. It’s not where teenagers post pictures of their high school prom or their latest beach party.
There are some interesting studies surfacing lately in the world of social media. Here’s a summary of three recent research findings covering the benefits of social media marketing, how forums help brands and how businesses are employing social media marketing.
#1: 50% of Small Businesses Say Lead Generation is Biggest Benefit of Social Networking
According to the “Small Business Marketing Forecast 2010” from Ad-ology, lead generation is the biggest benefit of social networking for U.S. small businesses.
When people hear the word design, they sometimes think only of making something look good, using colors and graphics to add interest. But on the web, and especially on a blog, design has a purpose: to grab readers when they arrive, make it easy for them to get what they want, and create trust through a consistent and professional look.
A well-designed business blog:
- Uses visual interest to make posts easy to read
- Brands your business in a consistent way
- Places useful information in places where it is easy to find
- Isn’t cluttered with things that aren’t helping you promote your business
- Makes it easy for readers to do what you want them to do
Real-time search is bringing social media to search engines. And that means a whole new dynamic for businesses using the social web.
With Twitter and Facebook updates appearing in Google search results, many businesses are trying to figure if this is good or bad—and what to do next. Ziff Davis featured this blog post a while back. It got me thinking about the implications of the real-time web and how businesses can navigate through these rough waters.
Ann talks about how she manages being the public face on Twitter for her organization. She also shares how her own Twitter strategy has evolved over the last 2 years.
In this video Ann also discusses the challenges of having employees represent your brands on social media and how to approach social media policies.