Everybody is talking about Social Media. Sites like MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, WordPress and Flickr are becoming household names. I've been curious about what is going on out there for a long time but it took me awhile to put my toe in the water of the Social Media pool. Why? I had several of my own "traditional" web sites and I didn't see the need for it at first. I added links on my sites to the blogs, MySpace pages and photo sharing sites of several friends, without feeling compelled to immediately get one of my own.
Then we started our business blog here at Webinar Resources. Blogging had become part of my job description, but it quickly became much more than that to me. Web sites are not only part of what I do for a living, they are a personal passion, and I never get tired of finding new ways to get people to come to them. With all the millions of sites out there screaming for attention, why not use whatever advantages you can find? One of the first things I did after my first blog post was to figure out how to syndicate my posts to several of my own web sites. Content is what draws visitors, and it takes valuable time to create good content, so any way to leverage what you've created is a bonus.
My next move was to respond to an invitation from a friend to get a Facebook account and join her friends list. Like many other similar services, Facebook offers the ability to create online photo albums. That's an obvious incentive for potential users of this service, as so many of us now have digital cameras or cell phones that can take pictures. Photography is one my hobbies, so with lots of content to choose from, I immediately started to upload photos, and to link to the resulting collections from one of my other web sites that already contained photo pages. And to leverage the content even more, I put a Facebook badge on some of my other web sites that contains browseable thumbnail images of photos I've recently added.
It's easy to see how such tools could enhance your social connections. But what about business? Can Social Media help businesses with lead generation and the customer acquisition process? I'll explore that question in a future blog post.