All About Social Networking (via Social Media)

Online social networking is viewed by many as the next new paradigm in personal, professional and organizational networking and marketing. (Social media are the tools that people use to do social networking, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.) The following sections first give a broad overview of the movement of social networking, including basics about each of the most popular tools. The next section describes how to use the tools for personal, professional and organizational networking and marketing.

Sections of This Topic Include

Overview of Social Networking
Major Social Networking Tools
--- Blogging
--- LinkedIn
--- Facebook
--- MySpace
--- Twitter
--- YouTube
Social Networking for Personal and Organizational Networking and Marketing -- Planning
--- Build Your Social Media Plan Right From Scratch
--- Back to Basics – Small Business MUST Adopt Social Media Marketing – Part 1 of 2
--- Back to Basics – Small Business MUST Adopt Social Media Marketing – Part 2of 2
Social Networking Policies
Protecting and Repairing Your Online Reputation
Measuring and Evaluating Your Social Networking
Boards and Social Networking
General Resources for Social Networking

Also see
Computers
Marketing
Marketing On-Line
Public and Media Relations

Related Library Topics

Also see the Library's Blogs Related To Social Networking and Social Media

In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs that have posts related to Social Networking and Social Media. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section "Recent Blog Posts" in the sidebar of the blog or click on "next" near the bottom of a post in the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources.

Library's Career Management Blog
Library's Coaching Blog
Library's Human Resources Blog


Overview of Social Networking

The following links will give you a general understanding of social networking and its many uses, and will mention some of the most common social networking tools -- although the number of tools seems to be increasing daily. The following paragraphs in this Library topic give you more information about some of the most popular tools.

Social Networking
Social Networking 101 (basics)
Social Networking in Business Is Next Big Things
Leveraging Social Networking Sites to Generate Business
Who Owns the Social Network?
Online Social Networking Goes to Work
Social Networks Dominate in Online Display Ads
More Marketers Use Social Networking to Reach Customers
Social Media Q & A
Social Networking for Nonprofits: Panacea or Hype?
Free Software Isn't Free!
Are You Better Off NOT Having A Blog?
How to Develop a Social Media Content Strategy
Getting Started with Social Media
Nushina Mir on Evaluating New Media
Are You Overloaded on Social Media? - Online Marketing Blog
The History of Social Networking
28 Telling Responses to 27 Things About Working in Social Media
How We Communicate
Plan and Build Your Social Media Presence
Gotta Have A Social Media Strategy
Google + (or Google Plus)
Google Plus Pages
Demonstrating Board Leadership with Social Media


Major Social Networking Tools

Blogging

A blog is an online journal of information about a certain topic. The blogger, or owner of the blog, writes or publishes regular "posts," or articles, about the topic. Posts vary in size from 100 words to 1,000 depending on the nature of the topic. The posts might be published once a month or even once a day, depending on the blogger's time and energy for the blog.

A blog is a powerful means for the blogger to establish relationships with stakeholders by sharing his/her opinions and expertise on a regular basis. Stakeholders could include, e.g., customers, investors, employees, community leaders, collaborators and suppliers. The stakeholders read the blog posts to learn more about the topic and even more about the blogger.

Business Blog FAQ
Advice for New Bloggers
Bloggers -- A Portrait of the Internet's New Storytellers
7 Blogging Mistakes That Small Businesses Make
Starting to Write Your Business Blog
Blogging for Your Online Business
Blogging: The Spiders Say It's Time You Got Started
Use Email Marketing to Grow Your Blog
Don't Start Your Own Blog: Start a Group Blog Instead
5 Tips on Business Blogging With Minimal Resources
The Short Post Vs. The Long Post. Who Will Be Victor?
The Dark Side Of Blogging: When Free Gets Ugly
Harmonizing Design and Content in Your Marketing Materials
Blog Posting Frequency Overview
Backup Your Blog
Your Blog
How to Find Endless Topics for Blog Posts

Here's a link to a list of directories, each of which lists many blogs about various topic.

Directories of Blogs About Management Topics

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is sometimes described as a "social networking service for adults". It's a very useful tool for quickly informing people about your professional experiences, skills and interests. You also can use LinkedIn to conveniently network with others who have similar backgrounds and interests. Compare LinkedIn to Facebook, below, which tends to be about more informal topics, such as personal background, interests, family, hobbies, friends, etc.
LinkedIn
LinkedIn (Wikipedia)
Why LinkedIn is the One Social Network I Couldn't Work Without
LinkedIn - Social Networking for Professionals
LinkedIn Social Network Keeps Growing During Recession
The Missing Link (myspace for adults)
LinkedIn Criticism
Networking With LinkedIn - Tips To Improve Your Visibility And Credibility
How to Grow Your LinkedIn Network
5 Tips for Individuals to Help Companies Get More Out of LinkedIn
LinkedIn Networking
LinkedIn Company Pages

Facebook

People can join Facebook to share information about themselves or their organization. Information about themselves tends to be rather informal -- more so than LinkedIn. Organizations increasingly use Facebook as a public relations tool, to inform the public about the organization.
Facebook
Facebook (Wikipedia)
Criticism of Facebook
Should Local Businesses Make "Friends" With Customers on Facebook?
Using Facebook to Improve Your Business
Facebook Landing Pages
Facebook Privacy
Facebook Redesigns Pages
Using Facebook to Capture Customers
How to Use Facebook to Drive Higher Sales
How to Create an Effective Company Facebook Page
9 Tips to Help Redesign Your Company Facebook Page
Facebook Marketing Q & A - The Essentials for Small Business Social Media Marketing
Facebook: Convert Personal to Business
What is a Facebook “Like” Worth? Part 1 of 2
What is a Facebook “Like” Worth? Part 2 of 2
Facebook Engagement Tactics
FaceBooking Your Organization
Demonstrating Board Leadership with Facebook

MySpace

MySpace is a social networking site for people to share information especially about themselves. Users of social networking often compare Facebook and MySpace and have strong feelings about which one is best.
MySpace
MySpace (Wikipedia)
Do You MySpace

Twitter

Twitter is a social networking site that allows the author to quickly share messages, or tweets, of up to 140 characters and with huge numbers of people. While 140 characters might seem quite limiting, an increasing number of people and organizations use Twitter to share opinions and even to advertise products and services. Some news organizations use Twitter to quickly broadcast up-to-the-minute news items.
Twitter
Twitter (Wikipedia)
Twitter Basic Primer
Why the Twitter Haters are Wrong
Tweet Yourself To Success With Twitter
Seven Ways To Tweet Your Followers On Twitter
Five Ways Twitter Can Help You Conquer Distraction
Five Things Wrong With Twitter When It Comes to Marketing
How to Twitter and Get More Followers
7 Tips for Effective Marketing with Twitter
Why Should I Be on Twitter and What Should I Do First?
Alyssa Milano's Twitter Followers
Twitter Mistakes to Avoid
Crisis Communication via Twitter
Putting Out Fires with Twitter
Twitter No-No’s
Emergency Twitter Tips
FEMA and Social Media vs. Irene
Flash Mobs
Twitter Underprepared for Censorship Backlash
Twitter Wit: Is It Time for Subtle?
Nine Specific Ways to use Twitter for your Business

YouTube

YouTube provides a forum in which people can show videos about a broad range of subjects, including about themselves and their organizations. The videos usually include audio/sound, so YouTube is a very quick, convenient, low-cost way to broadcast information about yourself and your organization. It's viewed by millions of people.
YouTube (Wikipedia)
Mashable (about social networking tools)
Marketing Your Business On YouTube


Social Networking for Personal and Organizational Networking and Marketing - Planning

Build Your Social Media Plan Right – From Scratch

© Copyright Lisa Chapman

How to Reach Your Target Audience

In addition to your primary site, social media sites leverage your messages online. The wonder of social media is that it naturally connects people who have similar interests. You want to reach your friends, and your friends’ friends.

When you engage in discussions online through social media, your message can even “go viral”, gaining momentum and reaching well beyond your friends’ friends. The ultimate goal of an internet marketing campaign is to create a meaningful message that reaches its target audience and is virally spread to others who are interested in the topic.

Social Media Plan Fundamentals

Build your social media presence and interaction very deliberately. Certain basic fundamentals will make your social media efforts most rewarding:

  • Write down your business goals.
  • Find and listen to the conversations that are already taking place online about you, your products, your competitors, and your competitors’ products.
  • Find and listen to your ideal customers’ needs. Remember, when you offer a solution that solves a pressing problem, fulfills an urgent need, or gives them hope and joy, people will eagerly buy it.
  • Choose key social media sites for your target niche and establish your online profile.
  • Integrate those sites for maximum exposure, brand-building, and traffic.
  • Engage in conversations.
  • Build your network or following. Build your email database.
  • Track and monitor activity and results.
  • Tweak to continually improve results.
  • Repeat.

Listen, Engage, Add Valuable Content

A site that allows users to interact and add content (comments, links, photos, video, etc.) is social. Use first person. Make your interaction sound and feel genuine. The people you meet online will be attracted to you (and what you offer) when you add helpful, meaningful input. If you’re new to social media, it is widely recommended that you first LISTEN to the conversation in order to become familiar with its unique style and flow.

Back to Basics – Small Business MUST Adopt Social Media Marketing – Part 1 of 2

© Copyright Lisa Chapman

Simple Steps will Integrate Social Media into Your Traditional Marketing Plan

As a marketing and small business consultant (www.LisaChapman.com and social media consultant (www.iBrandMasters.com), I am continually astounded at how SLOW small business managers really are in understanding, budgeting, and integrating online marketing into their traditional marketing plans. Lots of lip service, very little action.

I realize that this is old news, but if this post motivates even a just handful of small businesses to actually START their trek into online marketing, I will be thrilled.

For those of you who have already started – congratulations, and please read this in the spirit of checking yourself. Have you covered the basics?

Why is Social Media Marketing Important?

Traditional marketing has changed and will never be the same.

  • Technology allows consumers to mute or skip TV commercials – and they do.
  • Newspaper and all print circulation is dying. Ads do not get our attention.
  • One-way “push” messaging is now viewed as offensive and hype-ish. Bad for the brand.
  • Consumers are overwhelmingly ‘over-messaged’. We are all OVERLOADED.
  • Consumers do not trust traditional marketers anymore.

Consumers Demand More Attention

Online, consumers have a voice. If a company’s product or service doesn’t match their marketing claims, WATCH OUT! Disgruntled and disenchanted consumers now have the power to publish all of their harsh and unedited opinions – anytime they want to! Once published online, those messages are likely permanent, and business has no control over the backlash.

Consumers want and demand that:

  • Their voice be heard and ACKNOWLEDGED.
  • Companies be accountable for mismatched promises and actions.
  • Their peers be involved in the most powerful ‘word-of-mouth’ ever.

Business Can Take Action and Benefit Enormously

Think of it like this: social networks are actually a democratic form of business! Customers vote with their opinions. Business has a gigantic opportunity to directly impact their customers online, engage them, and develop a real relationship of TRUST that will be stronger and longer-lived.

Businesses of all sizes MUST adopt and USE a social networking and social media marketing strategies NOW – or risk being left in the dust.

Back to Basics – Small Business MUST Adopt Social Media Marketing – Part 2 of 2

© Copyright Lisa Chapman

Integrate Social Media Marketing – Brand Advocates

When companies engage their audience and develop online relationships with real authenticity and trust, they have an exciting opportunity to make those individuals volunteer advocates of their brand!

Business has never had a bigger vehicle for positive word-of-mouth advertising. Fun campaigns can go ‘viral’ and trigger momentum like never before. This takes some strategic planning by management, and some genuine understanding of social networks. It’s a new culture that MUST be embraced by the entire organization, from the top down.

7 Steps to Start Strategizing – Target and Engage Your Online Audience

  1. Gather together a company team to strategize social media marketing. Include a cross-section of top management, sales, marketing, customer service, and a knowledgeable social media marketing individual (bring in a consultant if you don’t have this expertise on staff.)
  2. Convene this group for a minimum of four hours. Bring the current marketing plan. Ask everyone, “Does our (product or service) delivery match our marketing message?” If not, STOP. You must solve these problems before you can mount a successful social media marketing strategy/plan/campaign.
  3. Discuss and decide on your marketing and advertising goals. Do your current marketing and advertising efforts achieve them? If so, challenge the team to set higher goals, and brainstorm ways that social media marketing can be implemented.
  4. Identify online communities where your ideal customer congregates or searches. For example, if you are a local business, Google: “(your city) directories” to find local directories in which you should be listed.
  5. Make sure that you have searched and settled on specific keywords and keyword phrases that you use consistently in all of your online content.
  6. Establish 2-6 online “properties” (all optimized for your keywords) such as; at least one website, blog, social network site, and directory. The more places you exist online, the greater your chances of being found!
  7. Brainstorm online campaigns that help you achieve your goals. Remember, social media is effective ONLY if you have an end in mind. Otherwise, it’s fun, but can be a waste of time and precious resources.

Hundreds of creative possibilities exist, depending on your time, budget and goals. Have fun with this!

The Right Steps
Getting Social Media Right: A Short Guide for Nonprofit Organizations
Nonprofits and Social Media: It Ain't Optional
21 Ways Non-Profits Can Leverage Social Media
How to Interview a Social Media Marketing Firm
6 Essential Steps for Executing Your Social Media Strategy
How Social Networking Has Changed Business
The Social Graph
A Worthwhile Social Media Strategy Always BEGINS with Goals
Are Late Social Media Adopters Losing Precious Ground?
When to Stop and When to Keep Going with Your Social Media Strategy
Five Tips for Smarter Social Networking
Build Your Social Media Plan Right From Scratch
Social Media Strategies
Business Social Networking
17 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid
5 Social Media Myths
The Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report – Highlights and My Two Cents

HOW TO: Use Social Media to Enhance Your Event
Case Study: Mobile Call to Action Engages Lincoln Center Audience
Case Study: Viral Mobile Marketing Campaign Achieves 72% Click-Through Rate
Small Business Social Media Marketing - 3 Success Stories
One Social Network PR Strategy That's Right on Target
Social Media and the Context for Corporates
Want to Lead Corporate Social Strategy? Read This
The Future of Human Resources and Social Media
One Social Network PR Strategy That's Right on Target
Free Social Media Monitoring
Why is Social Media Listening Important?
Building Your Brand with Social Media
Understanding Social Customer Relationship Management
Big Government Makes Twitter Work
10 Laws of Social Media Marketing
How Social Networks Can Boost Productivity
Use social media to increase sales
Plan and Build Your Social Media Presence
How To Make A Social Media Campaign Go Viral
Fight Back with Social Media
Evaluating Online Activities: Online Action Should Create & Support Offline Action
2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report
John Kremer: Marketing Magician
Social Media, Hot Marketing and Nobody is Listening
The WebPowered Entrepreneur

Social Networking Policies

© Copyright Lisa Chapman

Blogs, comments and social network postings are very important in businesses’ marketing tactics. They attract audiences and begin to build relationships of trust and engagement. But employee posts can also inadvertently cause PR nightmares for business, if even ONE errant post goes viral and causes negative word of mouth.

Legal Risks of Employees’ Social Media Use

When using social media, companies are exposed to many serious risks from multiple angles, including:

Defamation
Copyright
Anti-trust issues
Inappropriate use by staff
Intellectual property rights
User generated content
Employment practices

Don’t let your marketing and communications teams run ahead without due diligence and risk management controls.

EXAMPLE Social Media Policies

Let’s take a quick look at a few companies’ policies and guidelines on employee use of social networking. The policy excerpts below offer highlights of their own in-house guidelines:

Yahoo’s Blog Policies – Belief Statement

“Yahoo! believes in fostering a thriving online community and supports blogging as a valuable component of shared media.”

Mayo Clinic’s Employee Social Media Policy

“The main thing Mayo employees need to remember about blogs and social networking sites is that the same basic policies apply in these spaces as in other areas of their lives. The purpose of these guidelines is to help employees understand how Mayo policies apply to these newer technologies for communication, so you can participate with confidence not only on this blog, but in other social media platforms.”

City of Seattle

“To address the fast-changing landscape of the Internet and the way residents communicate and obtain information online, City of Seattle departments may consider using social media tools to reach a broader audience. The City encourages the use of social media to further the goals of the City and the missions of its departments, where appropriate.”

Many companies are quite explicit, with well-defined, formal rules. Others adopt a more open, lenient culture.

Why You Need a Social Media Policy
How Can Companies Craft the Best Social Media Policies?
Global Study: Business Policy and Risks of Employee Social Media Use
How to Develop a Social Media Content Strategy
Is Your Social Networking Policy Illegal?
Unintended Consequences: How to Keep Social Media from Becoming a Security Risk
Who Owns the Social Network?
How to Avoid a Social Media Lawsuit
Your Organization Needs a Social Media Policy

Measuring and Evaluating Your Social Networking

10 Social Media Metrics for Nonprofit Organizations (and How To Track Them)
10 Social Media Monitoring Tools for Measuring Social Media Analytics
What and How to Measure Social Networking Sites
Measuring Social Networks
What Does Real Social Media Success Look Like?
The Klout Score, a Way to Measure Online Influence
5 Social Media Blunders That Prevent Brands From Showing a ROI
Neilsen Report

Boards and Social Networking

What Do Corporate Directors and Senior Managers Know about Social Media?
NACD Featured Conference Session: What Social Media Means to Your Board
Boards Go Social
Social Media And The Boardroom: Critical Questions Directors Need To Ask
Social Technology In The Boardroom: 5 (More) Key Takeaways
Engaging boards on the future of marketing


General Resources for Social Networking

List of social networking sites
25 Social Networking Sites for Librarians
Social Media Q & A
Mashable
The Connect Between Social Networking And Small Online Businesses
39 New Social Media Resources You May Have Missed
Company Culture: It Cannot Run and It Cannot Hide (from Social Media)
Looking For the Latest Social Media Tips?
Social Media Impacts Customer Service
How to Make Your Video Go Viral
Is Marketing on ALL Social Media Sites Necessary?


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