Social Media Basics

What about Social Media?

Social Media is the electronic technology that foster interactive communication. Essentially, social media is any internet or mobile applications that allow creation and exchange of user-generated content.
social media
Earlier forms of media were one way only that allowed companies to tell their views or information and wait for users to respond. Now, with what is called as web 2.0, it has become possible for anybody to talk, share information or content such as image or video, or network using the internet. These are the social media tools of the modern age. Some of powerful and popular social media where users can participate in generating ideas and content are Blogs, Forums, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Digg, Flickr, Delicious among others.

While it was possible for companies and brands to get away with having just a website 10 years back, this is not the case now with all users using social media. If you are not there, your competitor will be. So the best is to start using some of the social media basics yourself first.

Blog

Blog is the initial form of social media which allows updating regular information/content where users can participate through comments or feedback. Having a blog is one of the best way online to letting know that your company is alive. There are free blogging platforms available such as www.blogger.com or www.wordpress.com to get started with. However customization works best for company blogs. Companies such as Starbucks have used a different approach to user engagement through their blog, whereas companies such as General Electric (GE) or Southwest Airlines have successfully taken the traditional role of brand awareness through their blogs. There isn’t much corporate blogging culture in Nepal, though some organizations post regular updates through blogs. Personal blogs on the other hand have grown substantially in Nepal, including ones like mysansar or others that blog to monetize.

Forums

Forums are good place to allow targeted users to communicate. You can find forums on endless topics ranging from travel to sports or movies to politics to technology. Or very specific forums such as macro photography or ice-cream or Ferrari. While maintaining forums, it is important to foster discussions in the appropriate topics.

Facebook

Facebook is one of the most popular and powerful social media. Whatever your business, Facebook is a great way to reach out to the users. Facebook currently has 800 million users worldwide. To start with Facebook, create a Facebook Page for your brand or company. Once you create a page, complete the basics (such as uploading a profile picture and filling the information) and add contacts. Users can then become a fan of your Facebook page and interact on it. Popular Facebook pages such as that of Coca-Cola have millions of fans interacting everyday in it. Even local Nepali companies such as Ncell or AceTravel have used it to good effect along with Facebook pages for social causes, such as NepalUnites. Facebook advertising on the other hand is a quick way to reach to more uses.

Twitter

Twitter is another social media that allows only 140 characters of public messaging service. Twitter has been used for many purpose such as interacting real-time with customers, feedback system, contests, organizing events or just updating with news. You can reply real-time in twitter privately or publicly. Using hastag(#) is a good way to start discussion in certain topic, such as #elections2011 or #twitter. Companies such as Best Buy have effectively used twitter through @twelpforce for real-time customer service. Even local Nepali organizations have used it well, such as @ibloodnepal and @tfcnepal for social causes.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social media for professional networking. It can be used as a personal resume on the internet or by companies to find employees. This business related social media can be used to foster interaction through LinkedIn groups, LinkedIn Answers or through job openings. It is very powerful in the sense that you get direct leads for your business. Again, advertising is an option to reach to potential users.

YouTube

YouTube is the most powerful social media for videos sharing. It is one of the most viral tools that spreads lot of buzz online as well as offline. Not only is it powerful for musicians or movie makers, this is equally useful for companies of all sizes. Consider the Old Spice Campaigns made totally on YouTube or the wacky Annoying Oranges. In Nepal too users such as lexlimbu have used YouTube to good effect.

These are only few of the popular social media. Each organization or brands have specific requirements and needs to select the social media accordingly. Also there are bookmark tools such as addthis or shrethis that allow users to share contents.

It is also important to understand that it is best to maintain only those social media that one can manage in the long run. Because not managing social media is worse than not having social media. In case your social media strategy backfires, you have to be ready for that too.

Need to know more? Glad to help.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn