Social media websites case studies
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Social media websites case studies

social media websites case studies | Blogging has come a long way from the late 1990s, when it was started as a way for people to share personal commentary with other Internet users in an online diary format. More than ten years later, with hundreds of millions of blogs in existence, the industry has matured far from beyond the fad that many critics initially proclaimed it to be.

 

Microblogging |social media websites case studies
JUST AS its name suggests, microblogging is a shortened form of blogging, where multimedia updates that are usually shorter than a full-length blog post are published online. The key feature of microblogging is that people can subscribe to someone else’s microblog and be notifi ed when that person has published new content. These subscribers can then respond to the information or interact with other bloggers on the same tool.

The other powerful thing about FriendFeed, which is common with many other social media tools, is the community that you can tap into for information, insights, or business connections. These connections can be made in several ways: you can add friends you know who are already on FriendFeed, or you can search for them using a keyword phrase. FriendFeed also suggests users that you can add as friends that they think are interesting in some way. You can also join groups in which members post on a particular topic. By tapping into this broad community of users, a FriendFeed account can be an eff ective tool to increase exposure for your business, whether you’re interacting with fellow industry members, sourcing new clients, or building the brand of your business through the resources you share. One of the most popular tools on Tumblr is the Tumblr bookmarklet (more on this in Tip 86), which allows you to quickly and easily post Web content to your account from within your browser. Apart from posting new content to Tumblr, you can import feeds from other places where you have a presence, such as Blogger, Twitter, Flickr, Digg, and Delicious. When you link these feeds, making an update on any of those sites means that it will post that update to your Tumblr account as well. Tumblr is a lightweight, no-frills blogging platform, known as a tumblelog, that sits halfway between a microblogging tool like Twitter and a regular blogging tool like WordPress or Blogger.

plaxosocial media websites case studies
Although Plaxo’s online address book may seem like a fairly basic service, it’s an essential one: your contacts are at the core of your marketing eff orts since they are your primary way of spreading your brand’s message, generating leads, and building up your customer base.

When you create your Plaxo account, you’ll be prompted to import contacts you have on other lists, including your Web-based e-mail accounts such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, Outlook, or Apple Mail or on sites like LinkedIn. Then, when you modify or delete a contact in your Plaxo account, you can sync this back out to all your other address books on the sites mentioned and even to your cell phone. To access your address book later, click the “Address Book” main menu item from the home page once you’ve logged in to your account.

linkdin | social media websites case studies
Having a company profi le in LinkedIn is a good way to reach not only potential employees but potential clients and partners as well. Through elements like LinkedIn groups and the site’s question and answer section, you can interact with other people to show off your expertise in a particular field, which helps to build your reputation as an expert within that industry. To set up a company profile, you’ll need to first have a personal LinkedIn

orkutsocial media websites case studies
Two elements of Orkut can make your profi le more interesting to look at:
adding updates and adding scrapbook elements. Text-based updates on Orkut are similar to a Facebook status update or a Twitter update. To add an update in Orkut, fi ll in the text box just below your name on your main profi le page. From here, it fi lters into the tab that says “My updates” farther down your page. Similarly, you can see updates of your friends in the adjoining tab that says “All.” Updates are a good way to populate your Orkut profile with notifi cations about your latest blog posts or links to news or promotions that you talk about on your website. You can also use this area to link to interesting resources that relate to your industry or business and that your Orkut friends would find interesting.

ning|social media websites case studies

Ning, from the Chinese word meaning “peace,” is one of the newest additions to the social networking space. Ning’s key diff erence from general social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace is that it allows people to create their own social network around a specifi c subject. When you create your own network on Ning, you can customize its structure, design, and features to suit your own specifi c needs. To date, Ning has just under two million social networks and around forty million registered users.

myspace| social media websites case studies

Although at one point it was the most popular social networking site in the United States, MySpace has more recently been overtaken by Facebook in terms of market share: as of September 2009, Facebook had 95.497 million unique visitors in the United States, as opposed to MySpace’s 65.652 million.
The large number of MySpace users means that exposing your brand to only a small percentage of these users can result in a signifi cant increase in brand awareness and traffi c to your blog or website. Investing in the time to market yourself on MySpace can therefore be worthwhile—provided that the typical MySpace user is in line with your target demographic.

 

meetupsocial media websites case studies
Despite being eclipsed in recent years by higher-profi le names such as My- Space and Facebook, Meetup remains one of the oldest social networking sites in existence. The biggest diff erence with Meetup and sites like Facebook is that Meetup’s ultimate purpose is to help people organize face-toface meetings—in other words, the online social networking aspect of it is a means to an end as opposed to its entire reason for existence. By placing the emphasis on “real world” networking, Meetup gives you a better chance of establishing long-lasting, infl uential relationships with your target market and potential business partners than if you were only to interface with these individuals online.

Social Bookmarking |social media websites case studies
SOCIAL BOOKMARKING has its roots in the Internet browser’s ability to bookmark a Web page so that you can refer back to it later. Social bookmarking adds a community aspect, allowing you to store your bookmarks in a remote location and then share them with other people and fi nd bookmarks that others have stored. In addition, some social bookmarking sites like Digg and Reddit operate on a democratic voting system where its users decide which bookmarked content is useful and which isn’t. In this way, the site’s user base directly aff ects how much exposure a piece of content gets on the site, which in turn affects how much traffi c will be driven to the link’s destination.
delicious

Like other social bookmarking tools, Delicious lets you share links with other Delicious users or with the general public. This social aspect of sharing content makes it an extremely useful tool for marketing your business in that you can bookmark links as a way to drive traffi c to your blog or website. Success on Delicious is all about having great content. The more interesting your link is, the more it will be shared with other readers, which means more traffi c to your site. If a Delicious user with a large network of contacts on the site shares one of your links that he or she fi nds useful, the chance that your article will be bookmarked and shared goes up. In addition to the initial traffi c that a link generates, you’ll receive repeat visitors from Delicious users who return to their bookmark page later and click the link to your website or blog again. Besides generating traffi c from your own links, sharing useful links that aren’t yours helps to build your reputation as a value-added resource, which helps when it comes to posting your own content.

digg |social media websites case studies
Like most social bookmarking sites, Digg lets people share useful content with other people. Digg’s key diff erentiator, however, is that it allows users to vote for or against a particular link that’s been submitted, which in turn affects how many people see that content. When a user submits (or “Diggs”) an article on the site, it appears on the “Upcoming Stories” page, where other users can view it and “Digg” it (i.e., vote for it) if they fi nd it interesting or useful. Users who think the article isn’t useful can “bury” it to vote against it. The more Diggs an article gets, the more visibility it will have on the site: if it receives enough positive votes, it will appear on the front page of the site or on the front page of a particular category. Digg is therefore a democratic voting system, where users collectively decide which content should get more visibility and which should get less. As a marketer, a blog post of yours that is deemed by others to add value will translate into significant traffic from Digg to your blog or website.

 

stumbeuponsocial media websites case studies
StumbleUpon is a personalized social bookmarking tool that delivers pages to you based on your own interests as well as how popular that content is among other StumbleUpon users. StumbleUpon puts an emphasis on a personalized Web-browsing experience: as you use it over time, it learns what your preferences are and matches you up more closely with pages it thinks you would like. A key advantage to using StumbleUpon as opposed to a search engine to fi nd sites is that you don’t have to sift through vast amounts of information. On the fl ip side, you’re not given as wide a choice of sites as you would on a search engine results page. To begin receiving traffi c from StumbleUpon to your site, you need to have at least one of your pages submitted. You can either have someone else do this for you or do it yourself (though don’t do this too often) by selecting the thumbs-up button on the toolbar when one of your site pages is loaded into your browser.

 

google reader |social media websites case studies
Google Reader lets you subscribe to other people’s feeds so you can see what they’re reading too. You can share different parts of your feed with diff erent people by creating a custom friends list, and when you share an article you can append it with a comment or indicate that you think it’s useful by “liking” it. These two actions let you add value and insight for people who are following what you’re reading. Google also lets you choose how private you want your feed to be: if you make it public, it will be available for others to access from your Google user profile page via the “What I’m Reading” link. With Google Reader’s ability to connect and share information with others in these ways, the tool is valuable for keeping up to date with others in your industry and with what’s said about your company, as well as to network with others in your industry, including bloggers, partners, and prospective customers.

Google Reader lets you follow the feeds of others as well as your own by subscribing to their public feeds. Feed subscriptions are a useful way of keeping track of news and conversations in your industry and identifying new trends in your particular space. You can also use it as a source of regular content from which to write new blog posts if you have a businessblog. The main diff erence between social bookmarking tools like Google Reader and social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter is that with social bookmarking tools, you’re sharing resources rather than personal updates.

 

reddit | social media websites case studies
One of the simplest and most popular social bookmarking sites around, Reddit lets you fi nd and make a note of, or bookmark, content that you can share with other people or refer back to later. Because of Reddit’s large user base, links that appear on its front page or subpages gain wide exposure, which means that if a link to content on your blog or website appears on these pages, you’ll increase your brand’s exposure and site traffi c. Reddit is a good way of connecting with other people in your industry and keeping up to date with news and trends related to your business, as well as sourcing content for blog posts if you have a business blog.OVER RECENT years the widespread availability of high-speed Internet in the United States and elsewhere has permanently changed the online advertising landscape. Before, spreading the word about your brand online meant you were limited largely to using text or static images.

flicker | social media websites case studies
Yahoo!-owned Flickr is a social photography site where you can upload and share photos with the Flickr community, your own network, and people searching for related images on search engines. Since its origins in 2004, Flickr has grown into one of the most active photography communities on the Internet and as of April 2010 hosted more than four and a half billion photos. Flickr can be used in a variety of ways: amateur and professional photographers use the site to get feedback on their photos and participate in photographic communities, while many bloggers use the site to host their images.

 

smugmug | social media websites case studies
Like Flickr, SmugMug is a photo-sharing site where you can upload photos online, organize them into galleries, and share them with both your personal contacts and the general SmugMug community. There are several key diff erences between the two sites, however, which makes each more or less suitable depending on your business goals. Firstly, unlike Flickr, SmugMug doesn’t off er a free membership option. Instead, you can choose among three types of paid accounts: a “standard” account for $39.95 a year, a “power” account for $59.95 a year, or a “pro” account for $149.95 a year. As with Flickr’s pro account option, there is no limit to the number of uploads or storage space you can have, and you can also upload video. However, SmugMug off ers three key diff erentiating features:

 

youtube | social media websites case studies
Founded in February 2005, YouTube is today the biggest video-sharing website online. According to Comscore, nearly 12 billion YouTube videos were viewed by users in the United States in February 2010,1 and, according to YouTube itself, around twenty hours of video are uploaded every minute via browsers, e-mail, and mobile devices.2 As a business wanting to market yourself using video, YouTube therefore represents huge potential exposure for your brand. This, together with the fact that the site is free, means that for many businesses YouTube is their primary channel for uploading and sharing video.

 

sldie share |social media websites case studies

SlideShare (www.Slideshare.net) is a social networking website on which you can share documents and presentations with other SlideShare users and with anyone browsing the site. By uploading resources that can be viewed by others, you can build your business’s reputation as a source of useful knowledge in a particular topic. Compared with other kinds of information like images, links, or blog posts, the documents you can upload to Slide- Share (such as PowerPoint or Word documents) are by nature more in-depth. This means you’re able to provide a richer resource for your viewers, who may be potential partners or customers for your business.

podcasting | social media websites case studies
A podcast is a digital media fi le, typically in audio or video format, that is broadcast on the Internet (either in a podcast directory or on your blog or website) and that people can subscribe to. Like a radio show, podcasts are usually produced as a series that contains episodes created on a regular basis. Unlike a radio show, though, anyone without access to a radio studio can create a podcast using fairly basic technical equipment. The result is that the podcast genre has grown substantially in recent years, and today you can subscribe to podcasts on a large number of topics, from fashion and sports cars to guitar lessons or astronomy.

podcasts:social media websites case studies
1. Audio podcasts. These contain sound only, which makes them relatively small in fi le size and so easier to download and play on any portable music player.
2. Video podcasts. These have both audio and video included, making them larger in fi le size and requiring a music player with video capabilities.
wikis
Contributing to general wikis like Wikipedia (for more about Wikipedia, see Tips 297–301) means you can contribute content that will be exposed to a large audience. However, if you want to reach a more specifi c audience, it’s worth contributing to subject-specifi c public wikis. Doing this lets you provide useful content to a more targeted audience that is specifically interested in topics related to your area of expertise. When contributing to any niche wiki, make sure you provide useful information rather than using the site as a way to sell your product. You can also use niche wikis as a way to find new information in your industry or to source new ideas for products and services within your business.
wikipedia |social media websites case studies
Combining the words encyclopedia and wiki, Wikipedia is a free, communitybased online encyclopedia that is written in wiki format. Cofounded in 2001 by Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia is today the sixth-most-popular site on Alexa (www.alexa.com)1 and is the largest general wiki online. Managed by the not-for-profi t Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia is written in multiple languages and has a signifi cant depth of content: as of January 2010, there were more than three million articles on the English Wikipedia site alone.

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