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Social Media – It’s Not Just Facebook

April 2010- Recent events have seen Facebook make yet another round of privacy changes and their traffic dipped in January for the first time in recent history. Is it the beginning of new growing pains or a leveling off? With all the new tools Facebook offers marketers it’s easy to get caught up in the Facebook frenzy and spend all your time focused on their Social Graph and widgets.

Life before Facebook
When I first joined facebook years ago I had no one to connect to except possibly my nephew and niece who were both in college at the time. Unfortunately neither of them were on it yet. MySpace was hot and Twitter wasn’t nothing but a future echo of texting & AOL continued to fade. Despite this the social meida scene was booming.

Blogs, Forums and Chat
Blogs, forums and chat have been around for a while now, forums the longest, and have been a place for regular people to express and share their opinions.  In fact forums offer some of the richest grounds for building a community, even in a Facebook dominated world. The challenge is that forums require more work than quickly putting up a fan page with a Like button on your main website. Yet forums and blog post comments can be fertile ground for finding and developing product/service evangelists that can help you promote your product, answer customer questions and defend you against unflattering posters.

Plan Your Non-Facebook Social Media Strategy

  • Use free tools like Social Mention to help identify hot issues and avid posters
  • Reward evangelists with review products, T Shirts and semi official titles
  • Train your customer service folks correctly participate in forums

Today the numbers demand that you pay close attention to Facebook & even Twitter. Taking some time to plan for social media beyond Facebook and Twitter will give you a more balanced strategy and hedge your bet for when the next new paradigm shift arrives.

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