Why Americans Use Social Media—New Report!

From PEW:

“Two-thirds of online adults (66%) use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn. These internet users say that connections with family members and friends (both new and old) are a primary consideration in their adoption of social media tools.

Roughly two thirds of social media users say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a major reason they use these sites, while half say that connecting with old friends they’ve lost touch with is a major reason behind their use of these technologies.”

“Other factors play a much smaller role—14% of users say that connecting around a shared hobby or interest is a major reason they use social media, and 9% say that making new friends is equally important. Reading comments by public figures and finding potential romantic partners are cited as major factors by just 5% and 3% of social media users, respectively.”

Download the report here.

New Linkedin Profile Section Can Help Nonprofits Raise Money!

LinkedIn now has a “Volunteer Experience & Causes” section for your profile page which can be a great asset for any nonprofit. 

Empower your stakeholders starting with the board and staff. 
It gives you the opportunity to share information about what causes you care about and your level of engagement with those causes.

This page gives you step by step instructions. Click here to go to the key page on LinkedIn to get started.

There are two other useful pages that explain more about this and give you a great example:
This is a fabulous way to empower your board to pass along strategic messages and help fundraise by leveraging their connections. 
Joe Barnes, Digital3000.net

The True Power of Social Media!

For those of you you follow Erik Qualman, he has a book I highly recommend — “Socialnomics,” which I use in many of the social media marketing classes I teach. And he has produced some amazing videos. Here’s the latest that just goes to prove where people are talking!

The Medium Is NOT the Message!

As one historic rocker said, “The Times They Are a Changing.” In the book “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man,” published in 1964, author Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “The Medium is the Message.” He said that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not only by the content delivered over the medium, but also by the characteristics of the medium itself.
Welcome to today’s world! 2.5 BILLION – Number of visits Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn together received in one month alone.
But unless your communication is relevant and interesting to followers, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Blogs, etc., are just tools. Nothing more. 
Here’s an example:
I advised the Girl Scouts of Western Washington to think carefully about who followed them on Facebook and why. I held it was primarily mothers raising daughters. With that in mind I told them to post only 20% about Girl Scout events and post 80% about helpful articles for mothers raising daughters; stories like how to deal with youth peer pressure, drug pressures, bullying, etc., and then to ask at the end of each story, “What have you tried that has worked for you?”
The outcome? “Likes” went up considerably but more important, engagement posts by followers went up dramatically.
The morale of this story:
1. The medium isn’t the message.
2. The content is the message and it must be RELEVANT to the lives of your customers/followers.
3. You can’t just post a Facebook logo and expect people to follow your business or nonprofit organization. Give them a reason; give them a benefit.
(c) Joseph Barnes, www.DIGITAL3000.net

New Stats on the Impact of Social Media!

By the numbers, engagement is growing:
  • 695 MILLION – Number of Facebook users. 
  • 148+ MILLION – Number of LinkedIn users.
  • 140 MILLION – Number of tweets created each day.
  • 2.5 BILLION – Number of visits Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn together received in one month alone.
  • 164 MILLION – Number of active blogs.
By generation—-GenX (34- to 45-year-olds) —the first generation to grow up with PCs—are plugged in and media-savvy. 
A new eMarketer report indicates this group is as comfortable with digital as with traditional media. “To effectively engage with Gen X, brands need a strategy that incorporates multiple channels—including mobile, social and online video—with authentic, relevant messaging,” the report notes.

How To Win At Social Media

If you want to win in social media, read this every day:
1. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube, website, etc.,  are just technology tools. Nothing more.
2. To use them successfully, it’s about creating “relationships” and “communities.” That’s why Facebook is so successful. It’s a community for you and your friends. It’s “social.”
3. Creating “community” and “relationships” means engaging people, having two-way conversations (not just pushing information at them), listening to what they are interested in, responding to their wants and needs, and sharing things (pictures, information, etc) that are RELEVANT to their lives—not yours. 
4. It’s about getting them to share their stories, their pictures, their videos of why they use and like your brand. It’s NOT about you telling them why they should like your brand. 
5. Be real, be authentic, and engage. Don’t run away from a problem. Face it head on. That’s the magic of social media. You get to see and hear the problems instead of them be underground.
6. Create a website that gives instant access to your brand and let people connect with what they like and love. Don’t just “post” stories, data, facts and figures. The website is and should be about two-way relationships. Create ways for people to “engage” on your website. 

Twitter has become more popular than LinkedIn!

MediaPost.com is reporting results from a recent study by Anderson Analytics showing that Twitter has become more popular than LinkedIn among social network users in the United States. Aside from posting tweets, Twitter users tend to blog frequently. Another interesting finding: those who belong to a social net are four times more vocal about products and services than those who don’t. More than 20% have their own blog, many of which are about social causes. Anderson Analytics says these consumers make good evangelists for brands.

It’s Not About the Tweet, It’s About the Relationship!!

Yes, you heard me right. If you’re using Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, blogs and all the rest of them, I applaud you. You know the tools and you are using them. But the key issue is what are you doing with the? If you just Tweet and tell the world what flight you took or what the commute is like or that you just had dinner with your friends—who cares? Twitter and all of these social media tools are about building communities. They are tools to build relationships.

If you tweet from a company account do you try to solicit comments from your customers? Twitter is a great two-way communications tool IF you ask questions. Are you just posting comments or are you creating a two-way dialogue with your tools?

Whether you are a non-profit trying to build a relationship with donors or a corporation trying to build a relationship with customers — use social media tools for relationships.

Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn

Remember—YOU are a brand. So kudos to Guy Kawasaki who has put together the Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn.

  1. Increase your visibility.

    By adding connections, you increase the likelihood that people will see your profile first when they’re searching for someone to hire or do business with. know and trust.

  2. Improve your connectability.

    Most new users put only their current company in their profile. By doing so, they severely limit their ability to connect with people. You should fill out your profile like it’s an executive bio, so include past companies, education, affiliations, and activities.

  3. Improve your Google PageRank.

    LinkedIn allows you to make your profile information available for search engines to index. Since LinkedIn profiles receive a fairly high PageRank in Google, this is a good way to influence what people see when they search for you.

  4. Enhance your search engine results.

    In addition to your name, you can also promote your blog or website to search engines like Google and Yahoo! Your LinkedIn profile allows you to publicize websites. There are a few pre-selected categories like “My Website,” “My Company,” etc.

  5. Perform blind, “reverse,” and company reference checks.

    LinkedIn’s reference check tool to input a company name and the years the person worked at the company to search for references. Your search will find the people who worked at the company during the same time period. Since references provided by a candidate will generally be glowing, this is a good way to get more balanced data.

  6. Increase the relevancy of your job search.

    Use LinkedIn’s advanced search to find people with educational and work experience like yours to see where they work. For example, a programmer would use search keywords such as “Ruby on Rails,” “C++,” “Python,” “Java,” and “evangelist” to find out where other programmers with these skills work.

  7. Make your interview go smoother.

    You can use LinkedIn to find the people that you’re meeting. Knowing that you went to the same school, plays hockey, or shares acquaintances is a lot better than an awkward silence after, “I’m doing fine, thank you.”

  8. Gauge the health of a company.

    Perform an advanced search for company name and uncheck the “Current Companies Only” box. This will enable you to scrutinize the rate of turnover and whether key people are abandoning ship. Former employees usually give more candid opinions about a company’s prospects than someone who’s still on board.

  9. Gauge the health of an industry.

    If you’re thinking of investing or working in a sector, use LinkedIn to find people who worked for competitors—or even better, companies who failed. For example, suppose you wanted to build a next generation online pet store, you’d probably learn a lot from speaking with former Pets.com or WebVan employees.

  10. Track startups.

    You can see people in your network who are initiating new startups by doing an advanced search for a range of keywords such as “stealth” or “new startup.” Apply the “Sort By” filter to “Degrees away from you” in order to see the people closest to you first. [Republished from: Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn via “How to Change the World” — Guy Kawasaki’s blog]

Guy is known for bringing the concept of technology evangelism to the masses through his pioneering work at Apple’s Macintosh group. [Source: Guy Kawasaki’s weblog — How to Change the World]