A Brief History About Social Media

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2 Table Of Contents Executive Summary...3 A Brief History About Social Media...4 Evaluating Social Media Tools...5 Facebook...5 Twitter...6 MySpace...6 YouTube...7 Blogging...8 LinkedIn...8 Conclusion...10 How FiG Can Help You...11 Sources

3 Executive Summary With increasing Internet users, social media marketing can be crucial for the survival of your company. The web is a great source of integrated marketing communications, which helps businesses follow and connect with their target market as well as reach out to new markets. Social media marketing programs usually focuses on content that attracts attention, generates conversations, and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. The message produces the word-of-mouth companies are looking for and presumably resonate because it is coming from a trusted source. Social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with Internet access, opening doors for organizations to increase their brand awareness, facilitate conversations with the customer, and further understand the needs and wants of its target market. Social media can be used for various different marketing tactics including: customer service, broadcasting updates/announcements/news, promotions, providing a behind the scenes look at an organization, and advertisement. Five major social media networks that are most widely used are Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, blogs, and LinkedIn. The following overall statistics, and graph, provide prominent evidence of the importance of social media in today s society. By 2010 Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers.96% of them have joined a social network 80% of Twitter usage is outside of Twitter people update anywhere, anytime imagine what that means for bad customer experiences? There are over 200,000,000 Blogs 54% = Number of bloggers who post content or tweet daily 34% of bloggers post opinions about products & brands 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations Only 14% of people trust advertisements Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI 24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation because people longer search for the news, the news finds us. In the near future we will less often search for products and services they will find us via social media Successful companies in social media act more like party planners, aggregators, and content providers than traditional advertisers 3

4 A Brief History About Social Media To further understand the importance of social media in our society today, it is imperative to take a look at where it has evolved from to draw appropriate conclusions as to where it is going. Many believe that social media marketing didn t hit the map until the creation of the Internet. Yes, it has only recently become part of mainstream culture and the business world; people have been using digital media for networking, socializing and information gathering for over 30 years. The creation of the Internet did enhance social media, but it did not start it. In fact, social media began with the simple use of the telephone. In the 1950 s the telephone made it easily possible to telemarket and communicate with friends or clients. While telephone marketing was useful for its time, social media successfully evolved with the creation of the Internet. The 90 s sparked a new media tool called blogging. This innovative idea allowed people and businesses to write about anything and publish it to followers. This concept lit a fire in many eyes and was the beginning of the development of social media. By 1997 the first recognizable social network site was created. This site, called SixDegrees, was the first to allow users to create profiles, list friends, and surf friends lists. Blogging and SixDegrees were two stepping-stones for the progression of social media. By the early 21st century, social networking sites exploded with the creation of Friendster, LinkedIn. MySpace, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. In just a half a decade, social media took over the Internet and attracted both national and global attention from Internet users. It is evident that social media has the ability to further advance into something superior to what it already is. With improvements in technology it is now possible to be online and at these social networking sites at all times by just a click of a button on a mobile phone. The possibilities are endless and it will only be a matter of time before hard copy marketing is taken over by social media and online marketing. 4

5 Evaluating Social Media Tools Facebook Facebook has rapidly become one of the fastest growing and leading social media sites not only in the United States, but globally as well. If your company has intentions to increase its local and global activity, Facebook could be an excellent tool to use. With over 70 available language translations, 400 million total active users, and 100 million active mobile users, Facebook makes it possible to connect with and understand your target market and further satisfy the changing needs and wants. In addition, Facebook has an extremely wide range of users which makes it possible for all companies to benefit. The following statistics can help us draw conclusions of the importance of businesses being on Facebook. People on Facebook: More than 400 million active users 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day People spend over 500 billion minutes on Facebook per month The fastest growing segment on Facebook is year-old females Activity on Facebook: There are over 160 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups and events) Average user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events More than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month. Global Reach: More than 70 translations available on the site About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States Mobile Users on Facebook: There are more than 100 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices. People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook as non-mobile users. There are more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries working to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products This given numbers are astronomical and prove that close to every market segment is accessing Facebook. Companies need to recognize the opportunity of growth from this platform and act on it. Facebook will enable companies to create personal relationships with clients and formulate trust among them. In addition, it can be an effective advertising tool to generate hype about a company. For instance, if the average Facebook users happen to come across a company s page and post a link or comment about it this is 5

6 exposure the company would otherwise miss out on. Twitter Twitter was created in 2006, which makes it one of the most recent forms of social media. Twitter is a form of microblogging that enables users to update text-based messages known as tweets. These tweets can be a great to formulate word-of-mouth within your target market. Although Twitter is a new form of social media, it has been ranked one of the 50 most popular websites worldwide and it is the third most used social network. Recent studies show that most of the usage shares come from older adults. In fact, only 11% of Twitters users are ages So what conclusions can we draw about Twitter? Twitter can be an extremely beneficial site for companies to use for any updates they may have that need to be exposed to its market quickly. In addition, this social media site could be useful for companies who target customers of older ages. Further statistics about Twitter include: In March 2009, Twitter was ranked the fastest-growing site in the Member Communities category for February ,000 registered apps have been created for the microblogging platform Roughly 900,000 U.S. monthly website visitors in 2008 March 2008 Total Users: 1+ million Total Active Users: 200,000 per week Total Twitter Messages: 3 million/day By April million people used Twitter Promotional example: Southwest Airlines uses Twitter to let customers know about deals. Today I got a tweet from them explaining that if I book a ticket using PayPal, I d get $50 back in PayPal credit. Southwest also tweets press happenings and pointers to blog posts, as they did recently about their plane inspection issues. Again, this numbers are huge. Studies have shown that 23% of Twitter users follow businesses to find deals, promotions, and sales. Of that 23%, 14% use Twitter to find and share product reviews. Although Twitter doesn t allow companies to formulate personal relationships with their clients, it does open doors for companies to reach new customers. The more followers the better off your company is. The catch, how do companies go about gaining a strong follower base? What is tweeted is the primary source for enticing people to follow. It is import to tweet about topics that are important to the target market and welcome any market segments that may be beneficial for the success the company. As stated above, Twitter is an excellent way to inform the market of what is going on in your company and constantly keeping them up-to-date about news within your company and ultimately creating that strong word-of-mouth you are looking for. MySpace MySpace has transitioned from connecting friends to one another like Facebook does to focusing primarily on music and commercial content. MySpace is aimed at youth, giving them the opportunity to relate to brands and bands, as well as self-express. Similarly to Facebook, this site may also hold international opportunities for your company as it has 15 6

7 available language translations. Furthermore, if your company s main focus is the music industry, MySpace is the site for you. Through MySpace, it is possible to create visible playlists and purchase music through their innovative program, MySpace music. In addition, MySpace has recently revamped and added some new features such as a recommendation engine for new users, which suggests games, music and videos based on their previous search habits. With the popularity and large amount of activity on this site, it would be easy for your name to increase in popularity and ultimately gain a new client base. The following statistics further support the importance of MySpace for the right industry: Roughly 300 million accounts MySpace has more than 110 million monthly active users around the globe 85% of MySpace users are of voting age (18 or older) 1 in 4 Americans is on MySpace On average 300,000 new people sign up to MySpace every day In June 2010 there was 4.5 billion page views to the site in one day. More than 8 million artists and bands on MySpace Music Although there are fewer users on MySpace, if used correctly it can be extremely beneficial for companies. As illustrated above, the largest amount of MySpace users are artists or bands. New technologies within the network have provided immense opportunities for artists to express and showcase their work. In addition, by tracking user interests, MySpace has made it possible for users to connect with others and understand target markets on a deeper level. YouTube YouTube is another effective form of social media. Currently, it is the second largest search engine in the world. YouTube is a video-sharing website in which users can upload, share, and view videos online. The site uses technology to display a wide variety of usergenerated video content, including movie clips, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging and short films. With its simple interface, YouTube makes it possible for anyone with an Internet connection to post a video that a worldwide audience can watch. The wide range of topics covered by YouTube has turned video sharing into one of the most important parts of Internet culture. Companies can capitalize on this social media site by uploading informational videos about products or services that they offer or creating uniquely entertaining ads that users share with their friends and coworkers. In addition, if you are in the music or film industry, YouTube provides opportunities for artists to share talents with the entire world. Further statistics to support the importance of YouTube are as follows: More than 142 million U.S. Internet users watched an average of 80 videos per viewer in July percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online videos. Americans spent a total of 558 million hours watching online video during one month. 91 million viewers watched 5 billion videos on YouTube.com (54.8 videos per viewer) million viewers watched 400 million videos on MySpace.com (7.8 videos per viewer). The duration of the average online video was 2.9 minutes. YouTube is the #3 site in global minutes: 7

8 51% of users go to YouTube weekly or more; 50% watch all videos to the end 52% of year-olds share videos with friends / colleagues often Blogging Blogging is a great tool for companies to use to keep their customers informed and up-todate about any changes or updates that may occur within a company. In addition, with active followers, blogs allow companies to get immediate feedback from customers about whatever topic was most recently blogged about. Often times there are major communication gaps among businesses and customers, this gap ultimately results in a loss of customer loyalty and possible negative word-of mouth. Blogs can be used internally to enhance communication and close this gap. In addition blogs are a very beneficial marketing, public relations, and branding tool. If maintained properly, blogs can be an easy and effective way to reach your customers. LinkedIn LinkedIn is a professional network service used to formulate effective connections in the business world. LinkedIn is broken down into four different user types including: Savvy Networkers, which consist of roughly 9 million users. People within this group are likely to be member of other social networking sites and are typically technically advanced. This segment has the most connections compared to the others roughly 61 and is likely to use this site for more purposes than just job searching. Senior Executives consist of a less tech-savvy segment of nearly 8 5 million users. These users typically have power jobs and use LinkedIn to connect with their existing corporate networks. Senior Executives quickly realize how many key contacts are available and each creates, on average, 32 contacts. Late Adopters are users who have most likely received numerous invites to join the site before actually doing so. This segment consists of roughly 6.6 million people. This group has the fewest connections on average 23 because they tend to be cautious in how they use the site and only connect with friends and colleges. Exploring Options are workers who are currently employed but may still be on the job market. This group is the smallest of the four with only 6.1 million users. In addition, the exploring option faction of LinkedIn uses social networking sites for both personal and corporate uses, which make them more tech savvy than most. Most LinkedIn users connect with people they already know, including those in which they have only met on the phone. Because LinkedIn is aimed toward business connections, 66% of the users are decision makers and have high influence on the company they are affiliated with. Furthermore, studies have shown that the higher amount of connections a person has the greater chance there is to have a higher personal income. For instance, those who have personal incomes ranging from 200K-350K were seven times more likely to have more than 150 connections. Now that we have been introduced to the type of LinkedIn users, it is also important to 8

9 understand how to effectively use the media site to portray your industry expert persona to generate business. By capitalizing on LinkedIn features such as the questions and answers application, the presentation application, and status updates it can be easy to present your knowledgeable information to your contacts. There are a few easy ways to present information and use LinkedIn as a positive business tool and they are as follow: Answer Questions: Search LinkedIn for questions pertinent to your business and answer them. Don't sell, just answer. Be an Expert: When questions are asked and answered on LinkedIn it's important to provide high quality information. Not only does it help the person asking the question but once the question is closed (after 7 days) the asker can rate the best answers given. After you accumulate a record of providing the best answers LinkedIn will give you expert status. This is indicated by an additional icon next to your answers and most of what you do on the site. This is a great way to exude expertise and will help build brand recognition around the rating. Start and Engage in Discussions: Often times generating new discussion topics within a group can develop a conversation that goes on for days. This is a great opportunity to gain exposure as someone with something interesting to say in your given field. Join and Create a Group: Creating a group is an easy way to bring people together around you and your company's services and competencies. Set up groups to target your market and present useful and expert information about your particular field. Don't count other people's groups though. They may have the same goal as you but you can provide their member's with your expert opinions as well. Promoting Presentations and Blogs: Many companies have tons of content sitting quietly on their website. It's not just good for search engine fodder, promote those recorded webinars, presentations, blogs, reports, white papers, press releases, PR clippings, etc... and put them to work. They deserve to be viewed not only because of the hard work put into them but also to display and promote your company and its expert knowledge. By promoting company documents to groups you belong to, it can enhance your company image to the markets you want to serve. Whether you are an individual entrepreneur or a high level executive, LinkedIn is a site that can only benefit your professional career. Cultivating connections and promoting your expertise are the keys to a successful career and unlike other social networking sites LinkedIn only offers opportunities to achieve any professional goals users may possess. 9

10 Conclusion Social media marketing benefits both organizations and individuals by providing an additional channel for customer support, a means to gain customer and competitive insight, and a method of managing online reputations. To ensure its success social media users must choose a platform or platforms that engage and empower customers with the opportunity to communicate with the organization. By utilizing these platforms organizations are able to measure and monitor the impression of the organization on its customers. Word-of-mouth is extremely important for the success of every company and social media sites are great sources to generate buzz among current and potential customers. The challenge is ensuring that this generated buzz is positive rather than negative. Word-ofmouth can be spread extremely quickly within these sites and if negative reviews are being generated (and not attended to properly) it can be detrimental to your company. The positive aspect to this type of situation is that social media sites give organizations the opportunity to see this feedback and properly adjust to any business failures that may have occurred. If companies are in the dark of what is being done wrong they can never completely fulfill the needs and wants of their customers. For this reason, negative feedback can be extremely beneficial to companies despite being difficult to hear. As stated in this report, numerous studies have proven that the number of users on social media networking sites is larger than ever before. With advances in technologies, it is easy to predict that the future holds great opportunities for online marketing and business networking. It is crucial for organizations to capitalize on these sites and create effective profiles to reach current and potential customers. 10

11 How FiG Can Help You Finding the best fit in social media for your company can be challenging, but if used properly it can increase popularity of the company name and overall revenue numbers. Yes, it can sound simple to create this perfect profile and generate positive hype about your company but in fact the creation of one or multiple effective social media networking profiles can be extremely difficult. The below graph gives evidence of the value of social media for organizations and further supports the importance of properly managing these sites. FiG Marketing and Advertising can aid your organization in the creation and maintenance of your social media site(s). FiG has a profound understanding of each site and how to properly sustain company profiles. Moreover, organizations tend to have difficult time finding the perfect combination of which sites are most beneficial for their specific needs. FiG Marketing and Advertising specializes in understanding each industry and markets to formulate the perfect fit for your company. 11

12 Sources Evans, M. K. (2009, July 13). 33 ways to use LinkedIn for business. Retrieved from Facebook and twitter users spend more than 1.5x more online than the average internet user. (2010, June 25). Retrieved from Facebook: press room statistics. (2010). Retrieved from Gillbert, J. (2009, February 26). 5 tips for using LinkedIn as a business tool. Retrieved from Social media statistics. (2010, June). Retrieved from O'Neill, N. (2010, August 23). Facebook & MySpace hit new milestones. Retrieved from 12

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