Social Media Update

What a year it’s been for Social Media. The nature of Social Media is that it’s changing very quickly – actually day to day. Even if you work in Social Media it’s difficult to stay up with all the changes that are happening. Let’s take a look at some of the things happening on “The Big Three”, commonly referred to as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as we approach the end of 2010.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has really been upping their game lately. There are now over 85,000,000 people with LinkedIn profiles worldwide. The average LinkedIn user is 41 years old and earns $107,000 a year. This is THE Social Networking site for professionals.

Recently, LinkedIn has turned on some new bells and whistles on a number of places on the site. On the Company Pages, you now have the ability to add marketing materials, descriptions of products and services and client endorsements.

On the Group Pages you can now promote your business in addition to advanced abilities to communicate and collaborate with other Group members. There are more changes happening and a lot more coming.

LinkedIn is starting to charge for some functionalities which in the past were free. I would normally have a problem with this, but after using LinkedIn for over 7 years and training thousands of individuals and hundreds of companies how to maximize this amazing business tool, I’m kind of surprised that they haven’t started charging sooner. I’m upgrading to a paid account. LinkedIn is a goldmine. G-O-L-D-M-I-N-E.

Facebook

What a year it’s been for Facebook. Over 600,000,000 users, a major Hollywood movie, your grandmother “friending” you…shall I go on? Facebook has become a worldwide phenomenon unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Facebook is the Beatles of the 2000’s.

There have been a number of stories in the news about people’s information being compromised so make sure that you have your privacy settings set the way you want them.

I call Facebook, “the world’s largest high school reunion.” Try the new “Friend Browser.” Facebook doesn’t tell how their algorithms work and they are pretty amazing. Facebook really is proving that the world is getting smaller. Their new friend Browser is pretty amazing at finding people you’ve gone to school with, worked with and already know.

A few years ago I had to virtually sell small and mid-size businesses on the validity of using Facebook for business purposes. Those days are over. With over half a billion people spending an average of 52 minutes per day on Facebook nobody is calling the site a pet rock, mood ring or hula hoop anymore.

Twitter

Still think Twitter is about 13 year olds talking about what they had for lunch? That’s okay, last year most folks thought that Facebook was just about 19 year olds talking about who’s hot. By the way, the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is women over 55.

Twitter has surpassed 175,000,000 users and has changed the way traditional media companies work forever. No longer are we dependent on media companies to tell us whats going on. Those days are over. Forever.

More companies are using Promoted Tweets to distribute time sensitive coupons, deals and other promotional material. On any given day, Twitter is surpassing Google for searches. Imagine if you could tap into over 175,000,000 people’s public conversations? This is not stalking. These are public conversations. For companies who are looking for ways to add value to customers, this is an amazing time.

That was a very, very brief update on the big three. One important thing to remember is that no matter how many connections you have on Social Networking sites, you’re not communicating with computers. You’re communicating with people through computers. As we get more and more connected, I’m finding that the need to have good people skills and communication skills is more important than ever. For every minute that you’re spending on the big three, spend a corresponding minute reading a book like Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and you’ll find your Social Networking time will produce huge results both personally and professionally.

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