The History of Social Media

The social media craze all started in 1971 with the delivery of the first email. Since that time, the impact of social media on daily life has grown exponentially.

Life has become a constant stream of status updates, photos and tweets.  27 percent of time spent on the internet in the United States is dedicated to social media networks.  Additionally, 15 percent of mobile internet time in the United States is taken up by social media.  This phenomenon of online communication is undeniable, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t understand the basis of most social network sites.  This wasn’t always the case, though.  The social media craze all started in 1971 with the delivery of the first email.  Since that time, the impact of social media on daily life has grown exponentially.

Check out our latest infographic below to go back in time and take a tour of how social media has evolved over the last 40 years.

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They Said What!? Monitoring Your Business Reputation with Social Media

By creating your own strong social media networks, you can continue to get a strong pulse of what is being said about you online, and you can also limit the damage by using that same media, too.

It really can be amazing how quickly one person can destroy a brand and online business reputation that took years to build. Through the power and connections of social media, one disgruntled individual can seriously affect your bottom line, which is why you need to keep an eye on what is being said online about your business.

By creating your own strong social media networks, you can continue to get a strong pulse of what is being said about you online, and you can also limit the damage by using that same media, too. The effectiveness of limiting damage to your online reputation, however, is much stronger when it is done quickly.

Discovering What Is Being Said About You

WorldCustomer complaints and the criticisms of disgruntled employees can be handled quickly only if you are aware of them when they occur. This means that you need someone to constantly check on the social media for your company’s name, your products, your CEO’s name and their variations. A strategy for dealing with complaints also needs to be developed, as well as choosing the right individual to respond when problems do occur.

Take Charge of Your Own Social Media Sites

There are now many different social media sites out there that will give people an outlet to vent about your company. The top media outlets are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.  Instead of just using them for reputation management, you should also be able to see how you can use this same media for brand building and marketing purposes.

The Advantage Monitoring Social Sites Gives You

Even though an individual may have a complaint and expresses it online – as is becoming more common with disgruntled people – you have power to try to control the situation quickly. The key, however, is that you must know about it first. Then, you need to make sure you understand exactly what the complaint is before you react. Only then can a wise course of action be taken as you attempt to converse with the individual to settle your differences. When others see how it was resolved, or at least attempted to be resolved, it can uphold your company’s reputation.

If you discover that the critical individual is correct, it may be possible that changes are needed in your company. If you do implement changes, be sure to make it known through your social media, which will make your online reputation look better than ever.

Create Profiles and Watch

StreetsignSome social media sites, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, enable you to create feeds and watch what others are saying about your business – even if you never use it for anything else. You can also use Google Alerts to watch the Internet, but be sure to have the notification emails sent to you as it occurs online.

In order to get a broader view, you can create profiles at the more powerful social media sites by registering your company’s name. Do this at each of the sites, and this will prevent someone from getting a website in your name and them using it to decimate your business reputation. You can discover in an instant which sites are open to use your name at NameChk.com.

Mike Valles is an author who writes on a wide variety of topics, including protecting your online reputation.

Photo credit:  Digitalert, Stuart Miles

How Tweeting is the New Door-to-Door Salesmanship

Like most things, the concept of a “salesman” has changed greatly over the past couple of decades. In the past, the word “salesman” conjured up images of a sharply dressed middle aged man showing up at your door with a briefcase and a sparkling smile, ready to push his wares and services.

Many experts believe that with the proliferation of technology and the Internet, traditional salesmanship has lost that personal touch. We have seen the steady decline of institutions such as the weekly milk man, and even the occasional visit from an adorable Girl Scout selling cookies seems to hearken back nostalgically to a lost age of door-to-door salesmanship.

However, one new development appears to be bringing back the idea of one-on-one micromarketing: Twitter.

While Twitter certainly lacks the face to face interaction, it does provide a way for companies to reach out to individual consumers, garner their feedback, and engage them in a dialogue (limited to 140 characters, but a dialogue, nonetheless.) Twitter allows salesmen to hear what customers are saying directly and offers them a chance to respond in real time.

As outdated as the old image of a cheesy door-to-door salesman may be, it may help marketers to borrow some of the same concepts when using Twitter for their businesses, namely:

1) Every customer counts and has a voice.

2) The best new ideas for a company often come straight from the consumer.

3) Customers enjoy that extra personal touch.

For those of you old fogeys who have yet to hop on the Twitter bandwagon, it may help to just think of yourselves as a new and improved (and less invasive) version of the traditional door-to-door salesmen of the past….