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Social Media FAQsWhat you really need to know!Amy Marshall – April 21, 2010
Why the “noise” about the Internet Almost two-thirds of US adults claim to go online every day Equates to almost 200 MILLION US adults a year! (eMarketer) Half of those will make purchases online (IDC) 40% of Internet users have mobile access (IDC) Internet has surpassed TV as the most essential media (IDC)
Who is Really Using Social Media? 75% of college students 60% of the wealthy Facebook’s fastest growing demographic is 50+, followed by 41-45 year olds The average Twitter user is 31 yrs old
Why You Can’t Ignore Social Media Ignoring social media is “like ignoring Google back in ‘99″ YouTube is the second largest “search engine” and provides an opportunity to tell your story
What is the ROI of Social Media?How much business can I get using social media? Forget about the ROI you get from social media and treat it as your customer service department. “An angry customer can lose you many more customers than a happy one can win you. Go to Facebook and register your business name or category, because there’s nothing stopping your competitors from doing so.” (Travel blogger)
Social Media Time ManagementHow do I keep social media activities from consuming all my time? Limit the number of networks Find your audience Set up alerts Google Alerts, TweetBeep, WhosTalkin.com Choose your connections carefully Set aside 15-20 min 3-4 times a week Build a “content calendar” Divide and conquer the management If managed well, can reduce emails!
Social Media Time ManagementI have 3 hours a week to spend on social media. What is the best way to distribute my time each week? Sync social networks together to make content efficient Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn People use different networks for content Post to one and let the rest auto update Focus on providing updates about events and responding to questions
Frequency of Contact on Social NetworksI have 200 Fans. How often should I be talking to them? Keep fans updated on events, news, updates – as often as it takes to do that Start with 3 times a week, move to 5 times a week or daily Always respond to questions or inquiries with 12 hours or a day at most Ask fans to initiate conversations/content
Being Transparent & Building Relationships with Social MediaHow do I get a conversation going without sounding like a commercial? Never start with your elevator pitch Be personal Ask questions Respond to questions Use follower names/usernames to get their attention Help them share their news/photos/updates/info Provide info that they will find useful Watch for people talking about your business or specialty and provide feedback when appropriate Thank people when they mention or write about you or your business
Facebook AdvertisingDo Facebook Ads Provide ROI? Jury is still out! Facebook ads can be targeted by exact segments (age, location, interests) Depends on the type of business Landing page needs to be exactly what the audience is looking for Try sending them to your Facebook page! Cheaper than a Google ad campaign
Do I need a blog?How do I manage a blog? YES! Especially for travel sites. Blogs provide additional, timely, relevant, fresh content to your website Provides more opportunity to appear for Google searches Create a Content Calendar Publish a post once a week or 2x a month Posts can be event notices, press releases, pictures, history about the destination, special guests – can be short!
Social Media ToolsWhat are the top ones and how do I stay updated on new social media tools and what should I use? Subscribe to one or two social media blogs to hear of new tools – Mashable.com, Techcrunch.com Twitter Twellow (find followers) Twitalyzer (Analysis/stats) Cotweet or Hootsuite (management) TweetDeck(desktop apps) Listorious (list management) Facebook – No management tool other than TweetDeck or HootSuite
What are the top 5 social media sites? Where should I focus my online efforts? Facebook - community YouTube - Videos Twitter – Microblog (140 characters) MySpace – community LinkedIn – Business community network Flickr – Still photos
Top Travel Social Media Sites TripAdvisor – travel planning, reviews – Top Travel site BestTravelDeals.com – share deals and vote for the best ones – subscribe to deals Dopplr.com – City profiles (maps, places to stay, places to eat, QA section) – Best for business travelers Driftr.com – Travel community (maps, visitor slideshows, “friends”, traveler stats) “Traveler Facebook” Could watch for what people are saying about your destination. Not many destinations have been reviewed in Ohio. Only 3,300 people belong. TripSay.com – Uniting travelers virtually around common interests (i.e. camping, hiking) ThornTree.com – Travel Forum
Other Social Media Sites Foursquare – Really good for retail, restaurants, offering specials. Gowalla – Similar to Foursquare, getting a little bigger. Digg – Nothing makes it to the front page. For link building time is better spent building a wiki.
What Trends in Social Media are Emerging? Mobile Applications Mobile gaming – experiential Geocaching games Develop Mobile friendly website 91% of all mobile users use social media sites 47% of generation Y replace laptops with phones Free mobile apps available Triggers for text messaging (Text 4444# to get a coupon)