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Steve King outlines easy and free ways for companies to use social networking and crowd-sourcing for market research. He outlines the uses of LinkedIn, Twitter and Blogs. He notes, that social media tools are making it much easier to connect and converse with customers, prospects, and broader audiences. And while asking questions on blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media sites does not produce statistically valid results, you can learn a lot from the responses.
What do you think? Have you used these outlets for your market research?
At Social Media Today, Josh Peters recently commented on how to increase your blog readership. Get involved in the conversation going on around the web. People are out there talking about the topic of your blog, so throw in your opinions on their posts or Twitter comments. People will make it back to your blog if you give them a reason to read it.
Beth Dunn recently wrote about the importance of social media in the hard financial times that are upon us. However, she looks at it implementing a social media plan as something that’s easy to do, and you may already have some know-how on your team at the workplace. Someone may already know how to engage the right audience through Twitter, and another may have great writing skills for a blog. With just a little time and effort, you could jump into the world of social media and start connecting with your target market. Read more here.
What is the future of blogs? Jamshed Wadia recently explained in depth why blogs are hear to stay, because not only do they provide a face for a brand and an outlet for expressions, but they’re a key part to any social media strategy.
He listed several reasons why he believes they’re here to stay:
1. Personal expression
2. Stories not covered or ignored by mainstream media
3. Show case personal talent
4. Building Personal brands
5. Social Causes and non profit Fund Raising
6. Evangelistic blogs
7. Keeping in touch with customers
For a more in depth look at why he sees these as important factors, read here.
Matt Rhodes recently posted on socialmediatoday that for American adults, online reviews are only second to word of mouth in terms of influencing purchase decisions. The report was published by Rubicon Consulting, and it also goes into detail about how a consumer-to-consumer message is much stronger than a brand-to-consumer message.
That means that consumers are turning to blogs, social communities, peer reviews, forums, and other forms of social media to help them make an informed decision before they go out and spend money on a product or service. Some of the areas in which the web has a greater influence on purchase decisions is consumer electronics. Companies like BestBuy and Circuit City have incorporated customer reviews next to each product in order to aid potential customers in making the right decision.
Is your business using social media to help your customers make a more informed decision?
I came across this post on Wired in which Paul Boutin mentions that people should pull the plug on their blogs if they already have one, and stop considering launching one altogether if you were previously thinking about it.
Part of his reasoning here is that it is almost impossible now to get noticed because of cut-rate journalists who are now drowning out the voices of the few authentic amateur wordsmiths. He believes that you are better off investing your time with other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. The Technorati list of top 100 blogs includes some of the more professional blogs like the Huffington Post, TreeHugger, and others. Most of the personal blog sites have been shoved aside by these professional ones.
Audiences are slowly turning away from text-based sites and are instead turning to social media sites that incorporate pictures, audio, video clips, and other multimedia. It will be interesting to see how blogs will be affected over the next couple of years. Do you agree that blogs are going out of style and are being replaced by social multimedia sites?
Web 2.0, and Community 2.0 are commonplace in business conversations, but implementing and utilizing these tools can be difficult. VentureBeat announced here, that LiveWorld is releasing a new application, LiveBar, that will instantly ‘bedazzle’ any website with a bar that businesses can add of Web 2.0 features. This would allow organizations to have an area for immediate customer interaction, where they chose on their website. The features would include ‘soap boxes’ and ‘shorts’ which are similar to blogs and Twitter messages respectively. The benefits to businesses, as this article states is:
‘LiveBar features are standardized, they’re easy to add to any site. It takes minutes to do. By comparison, getting companies to add customized Web 2.0 features to web sites can often take months. As such, LiveBar is a tool for retrofitting pages that were created in the days before Web 2.0. It’s a way for companies to play catch-up in the Web 2.0 game, where engaging consumers in a conversation is just as important as presenting information to them’
With all of the technology, new and old, available to businesses, is there any reason for businesses not to utilize web 2.0 strategies?
In a recent blog post at Social Media Today, Michael Gass shared with us some of the companies out there using social media. After looking through the list, it’s great to see that each company is molding their social media plan to the audience they have. Here are some of the examples I liked: Xerox uses blogs, the NBA made a widget for it’s All Star Game, Delta is utilizing Flickr and a blog, and Bon Appetit has a very interactive Facebook page.
Has the list left out any corporations you’ve seen using social media?
I came across this post on Mashable today which reveals a new way to give bloggers more control over which tweets get published on their blogs. Tweet Remote recognizes hashtags like #text, #link, and #image, puts them in a separate RSS-style feed, and then formats them accordingly. The end result is a more aesthetically pleasing blog.
The only downside is the ‘tweet stream pollution’ you might experience by sending nicely formatted hyperlinks to you blog via twitter. Many users on twitter do not like hashtags, and so you can potentially lose some followers.
Tweet Remote seems like a great application to clean up a lot of clutter in blogs but the question you might find yourself asking is what’s more important to you, your blog or who’s following you on twitter?