Boosting Business+Profits Online

Social Media Marketing Challenges in 2010

Over two thousand marketers surveyed by Marketing Sherpa listed their top social media marketing challenges for 2010. Based on the results, the most important items appear to relate to measuring performance and ROI, as well as converting social media fans/friends/prospects into paying customers.

Posted via web from Kym Wong’s posterous

Google Buzz Launches 150+ Million User Social Network

How would you like to launch a social network and instantly amass more than 150 million monthly users?

Well, Google just launched Google Buzz and it’s going to be tied into its existing Gmail user base–all 150+ million of them!

How smart is that?

Google has failed to gain traction with any of its previous social networking efforts. How many of you are active Orkut or Google Wave users? So, instead of trying to build a new social network from scratch–and likely failing–it’s tying Google Buzz directly into its email offering.

Genius!

It’s built right into Gmail, so you don’t have to peck out an entirely new set of friends from scratch — it just works. If you think about it, there’s always been a big social network underlying Gmail. Buzz brings this network to the surface by automatically setting you up to follow the people you email and chat with the most. We focused on building an easy-to-use sharing experience that richly integrates photos, videos and links, and makes it easy to share publicly or privately (so you don’t have to use different tools to share with different audiences). Plus, Buzz integrates tightly with your existing Gmail inbox, so you’re sure to see the stuff that matters most as it happens in real time.

I added the bolding for two reasons. One to show you the features Buzz brings to Gmail, but the other is to point out the Jedi mind-trick that Google is pulling on you. You see, you thought your inbox was all about sending emails. Nah ah, apparently you’ve been sitting on a vast social network and–whether you like it or not–Google’s about to tap into that network.

Even more clever on Google’s part, is that it’s not reinventing the wheel. In fact, it wants you to bring all of your existing wheels to Google Buzz.

We’ve relied on other services’ openness in order to build Buzz (you can connect Flickr and Twitter from Buzz in Gmail), and Buzz itself is not designed to be a closed system. Our goal is to make Buzz a fully open and distributed platform for conversations. We’re building on a suite of open protocols to create a complete read/write developer API, and we invite developers to join us on Google Code to see what is available today and to learn more about how to participate.

Does this sound like any popular service you know that was recently acquired? *cough* Friendfeed! *cough*

Of course, like any new Google product, you’re going to have to wait for Buzz to rollout to your Gmail account. Fortunately, unlike the Google Wave invite fiasco, you should see Buzz automatically appear in your Gmail account over the next few days.

Speaking of Google Wave, is that now dead in the water? I mean, did anyone really ever figure out how to use the thing anyway?

It seems to me that Google Buzz is exactly what Google Wave should have been in the first place!

Posted via web from Kym Wong’s posterous

Top Social Media Sites

In a previous post, I talked about how businesses are leveraging social media sites to connect with more prospects and customers online.

top-social-networking-sitesSo what are some of the top social media sites today that business owners can tap into?

In a recent study, eMarketer, a market research firm, ranked the popularity of social networking sites in the US and came up with the top 20.

Interestingly, as of Mary 2009, Facebook has replaced MySpace as the most popular site among internet users. Facebook’s unique visitors doubled to over 70 million in the 12 months ending May 2009.

Also, while Twitter showed the most dramatic growth over this time period, its visitor level is still less than a third of Facebook and MySpace.

For businesses looking to utilize social media marketing, it may be useful to take a deeper look at the top 3 sites and their visitor demographics.

1. Facebook

facebook-demographics1Online since March of 1997, Facebook is the 4th most trafficked site on the internet, with users spending an average of 26 minutes a day on the site (based on Alexa statistics).

The site appears to attract a younger more affluent demographic, with a heavy representationof users aged between 18-24.

2. MySpace

Ranked 11th by traffic, MySpace users spend an average of 19.5 minutes daily on the site, which was started in 1996. Much like Facebook, it tends to attract young adults (relative less affluent however than Facebook users).

facebook-demographics

3. Twitter

Unlike the top 2 sites above, Twitter users spend only 8.5 minutes each day on the site which has a traffic rank of 25.  The site tends to attract a slightly older audience, those between the ages of 25-34 with males being more over represented than females.

This quick analysis shows that knowing the user demographics of these sites is critical in helping business owners determine if this is the right target audience for their products or services.

Since social media marketing requires a significant time commitment, rather than following the herd and targeting the top ‘most popular’ sites, it pays to spend time researching each social networking site’s audience before jumping in.

Tools such as Alexa, Compete or Quantcast provides useful  statistics and site demographics which businesses can use to conduct market and competitve research.

Social Media – Connect with More Customers Online

socialmedia2Are you tappping into the power of social networking and Web 2.0 sites to connect with more prospects and potential customers?

In these tough times, effective use of social media can mean the difference between a thriving or a languishing business.

Web 2.0 and social media marketing offer businesses a massive opportunity to reach and engage more prospects online in both a highly cost effective and personal manner.

What kind of reach do these sites have? The numbers below will give you a rough idea:

  • LinkedIn: Network of 36 million business professionals
  • Twitter:  8  million users growing at a rate of 40% per month
  • Facebook:  Community of 200 million
  • Youtube: 100 million videos viewed daily
  • Flickr: 54 million photos per month
  • Digg/Delicious/StumbleUpon: 30 million users

Does social media marketing work or is it just a waste of time?” is a question I often hear from small business owners.

Results of a recent March 2009 marketing industry survey answer this question and may convince you to start building a social media presence for your business (if you haven’t yet already!). Here are some of the highlights:

social-media-industry-report-benefits-marketing-stelzner-march-2009

The majority of businesses (over 80%) reported an increase in attention and exposure for their businesses, with small business owners reporting the greatest benefit. In addition, search rankings also rose (due to the high page rank accorded to popular social media sites by Google), thus increasing these businesses’ chances of being found on the web.

social-media-industry-report-commonly-used-social-tools-march-2009

Interestingly, Twitter was the top tool used, followed closely by blogs, LinkedIn, and Facebook.  With Oprah (and almost a million of her fans) joining Twitter recently, the service is fast becoming a tool that is known and used by mainstreet america.

social-media-industry-report-stelzner-time-commitment-march-2009

So how significant is the time required for social media marketing? About a third reported spending more than 5 hours each week, with 39% spending 10+ hours and almost 10% using it more than 20 hours each week.

The bottom line? The overall results of the survey point to social media marketing efforts as being beneficial in terms of creating a high impact web presence – thus generating new traffic, leads, and partnerships for businesses who are willing to invest the time to learn and leverage these highly effective tools.

Boosting Business+Profits Online