“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
– Ferris Bueller
While I wouldn’t necessarily advocate the slacker attitude embodied by Ferris Bueller, I do think there is some truth in the quote above. As a small business, sometimes you simply can’t stop and look around. Don’t worry, I’m here to help. I have compiled the best resources, news, and tips from the social media space over the last month for you below. Let’s get started…
What is social collaboration, exactly? That’s an easy one. We have seen the benefits of social media when talking with our customers but what happens when you apply the concept of a real time stream to vendor or employee communications? That’s social collaboration (at a very basic level). And it’s a hot space. Some of the best examples of social collaboration are staring at us and we may not even notice. Have you used Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) lately? It has built in chat and live updating all in the document itself. Have you heard of or tried Yammer.com? Recently purchased by Microsoft for $1BN (cue Dr. Evil), Yammer is a social network for the enterprise. In effect, it is a social stream of information that is restricted to employees of a company only. Social collaboration is getting so big it is predicted that by 2013 over 75% of businesses will be using these tools.
Social Media Measurement:
OK…you’ve setup a Facebook page and a Twitter account for your business. You’re connecting with customers and prospects and have had a few really encouraging conversations lately. People like your product or service and the positive feedback is bubbling its way up via the social networks. Now what? Are these just casual conversations or is this activity having an actual impact on the top line? You’re not the only one asking this question. A full 82% of PR pros surveyed recently stated that they want a standard measurement tool for social media because one does not exist today. I spotted a particularly interesting tool in this space recently called WeLovROI.com. This tool walks you through a basic setup process and then forces you to define how you measure success. From there, the reporting engine will measure you against your goals and let you know how things are going. It definitely sounds like we are getting closer to a standard measurement tool. Sign up on the WeLovROI site to receive an invitation and tell them I sent you. On second thought, that might actually hurt your chances of getting an invitation.
Here’s another $1BN acquisition that is poised to make an impact on the social media space in short order. Instagram is certainly not a newcomer but they seem to have recently hit an even higher mode of growth partially bolstered by the fact that they are now owned by Facebook (technically, the purchase price depends on the value of Facebook stock which has been a bit…ahem…volatile lately). Are your products photogenic? Can’t keep them away from the camera? Instagram was made for you! The biggest draw to this social media tool is two-fold. It’s really easy to push Instagram pictures to Twitter or Facebook and the tool itself features a series of filters which can turn any amateur iPhone photographer into a professional with the swipe of a finger. Dunkin’ Doughnuts recently got into the Instragram craze and made quite a mark decorating their coffee cups for Halloween. Just don’t try to sign up for an account on the Instagram website. Average desktop users need not apply as the sign up process is mobile only (available for both iOS and Android).
To wrap this column up, here’s the stat to remember. One billion. In this case, I’m not talking about the purchase price of Yammer or Instagram but rather the total number of active (that’s important) users on Facebook across the world. One billion proudly served.
About Greg Tirico
Greg Tirico is Senior Social Media Manager for Sage North America – providers of business management software and services to over 3 million small and mid-sized businesses in North America. In this role, Tirico stays current with social media trends and works across the Sage Business Units to help set strategy and success metrics for social media marketing programs. Greg can be found through his blog (www.tirico.net), on Twitter (@gregt12), and LinkedIn.