Like Social Cam which I talked about in my last blog, another fast up and
coming app is Instagram. A little bit of Facebook , Twitter, and a little bit
of Social Cam rolled into one. You can "like" a photo, you can follow or be
followed, you can upload your shots onto Facebook or Twitter or both, whatever
your little heart desires. Don't get me wrong, I am not against Instagram. It
just that it kind of rehashes some apps that you can all ready do with others.
I guess what makes it kind of neat is that it attempts to roll many things into
one app. As to its longtivity as a popular app it yet to be seen. It is
available for most smart phones but you need to sign up on their website (at
least for the Android version from what I can tell) and specify your phone and
it downloads the app for you. http://instagr.am. To try and download it from the
Play Store without going through this procedure, it is not going to happen. Not
a big deal in my opinion. From there, find your friends through Facebook who
have the app and begin to follow them, start taking pictures so you can fill
your album and they will follow you or see the popular pictures of the day from
the web collaboration and like them too.
As seeing this as a social media tool for SMB's or an enterprise level, yes,
there "could" be some possibilities through promotions such as liking a picture
of an event your doing and tying this in with your Facebook fan page but the
verdict is still not in on using Instagram with business. Since signing up for
it, I am seeing mostly young people having fun taking goofy or fun pictures of
themselves like with Social Cam and just enjoying themselves. On a personal
note, a lot of my friends have started using Instagram. So even us "over the 30
mark gang" are having fun with it. If a smart social media administrator wanted
to capitalize on the fad and apply themselves, yes Instagram could be a cool
tool to use to capture real time events or promotions and intigrate with present
tools since you can merge as with Social Cam, to Facebook and Twitter. Take a
look at Instagram and decide for yourself.
We just had Pinterest and it has caught on well as a social media tool for business. Now we have Social Cam. Many of us have "played" around with this on our personal Facebook pages and Twitter but then it hit me. How could this app, if at all, be applied for business usage? While it is still kind of new and being used mostly by young people, I do see some possible benefits for business applications.
First if you are not familiar with Social Cam, it is an app that can be intigrated to Facebook and you sign up for it on the web. You basically watch short unedited videos of people and events. Some are silly, some are interesting, some are touching, but most are just kids doing anything and everything and uploading it so their freinds can see where they are in pretty much "real- time". Ironically as of this writing, you only can use Social Cam through your smart phone's camera to shoot videos and upload them from there. They are working to allow desktop publishing of videos or using your web cam that is on your home desktop but as of today, that is not happening. Perhaps that is the whole novelty of Social Cam and to do that would just make it another YouTube sort of experience.
Now for the business aspect. Look at this scenario. Suppose your business is having a huge sale. You pay for live radio remotes or television commercials. You have your smart phone with you and would it not be cool to shoot some quick real-time video of your sale? Why not shoot some crowd action or interview a customer you know personally and get their excitement and upload it to your Twitter or FB fan page site? Wow, you just reached out to your masses! I see other postive uses of Social Cam for businesses as well. Applicants sending short introduction of themselves, maybe answering a question you submitted , new product line introduction, but I digress. Let me know your thoughts. Will Social Cam be a novelty or will it grow into a huge new social media tool?
I wanted to devote some more time to Twitter as I felt it necessary o examine more on the subject of "How Often To Tweet" section. I have had several of my clients ask me about this. The answer is "There is no real answer!" Tweeting on Twitter is a case by case basis. Depeding on your product or service, you can tweet 3 times a day or 3 times a week. I, myself, tweet usually twice a day, maybe 3 times a day if I find something interesting I want to put up on my Twitter site. For businesses, tweeting too much can get annoying to say the least and many times, your tweet will go unnoticed.
You want to tweet to the Eastern time zone as that part of the country gets moving first. If your saying that I am not getting up at 4 or 5 am to tweet I would not either. This is why some great minds invented HootSuite and other similar software to pre-program tweets to be delivered for you the next morning or whenever you want from your desktop, smart phone, or tablet. Simply plan ahead by a day, plug in the times, and you are set.
There is a big difference between personal Twitter and your business Twitter site. You need to be very careful not to mix personal comments or thoughts about subjects on your business account. People very quickly form an image or opinion of you and your business. Keep your tweets to your product or service and relate to that. It is ok to tweet an article that is revelant to your business and it ok to reply to your followers if they have questions
or comments. do not become obseesed with Social Media to the point you are not doing your other tasks. I plan my tweets to hit around 8:00 EST. and then call it a day. I will look at my board and see if I need to reply to anyone. Another "housecleaning" item is to verify your followers. Yes, there are "spam" followers on Twitter who have no goal in following you other than to self promote their 1-900 service, or visit their "website". You need to quickly uncheck them and block them. This can create problems for other followers who may pre-judge you even though you didn't ask for that follower in the first place. Hope this has been of some help for you. Chirp (tweet) away and have fun!
More and more businesses than ever before have discovered Twitter and how it can help promote their business. The phrase here is "they have discovered". Few have actually grasped the power of Twitter, the rest have said "Oh this is cool but now what?" Either they go off and pay experts to Tweet on their behalf or try to throw up random bursts of phrases and hope for the best. Whatever your goals are with Twitter, remember if you are going to use it to promote your business, it is open 24-7-365 and make sure you understand it has global outreach. Don't put your personal life on your business Twitter site. If it is that important to you, open another Twitter site. Don't mix business
with pleasure as they say. If you want to begin Tweeting on Twitter with your brand new site, here are some key tips.
1. Be Yourself
Let your business reflect through your
personality. Many local people reading your tweets know you anyway so don't try
to be somebody you are not nor post things that are not true or embellish your
business. It is ok to link material that has common ground with your business or
2. Good Material
On those links. Make sure they are something your customers or followers
would take interest in. Make those links relevant to your profession or
business. Don't post something that just because you thought it was
interesting that the rest of world would think so too. Think outside, not
Twitter is more than throwing up posts and links. Engage your followers,
follow others in your industry, tweet back to your followers and those you
follow. If you plan on being robotic with promotions and worthless content,
don't waste your time or their time. You know that @ symbol on your twitter
account and on all your followers? It is crying out to you to say "USE ME!"
4. What to say in 140 characters
Twitter is popular because it is quick and easy to read. You are forced to
say what you have to say in 140 characters or less. Use keywords that reflect
your topic and always keep your business or profession within that context.
5. Link, link, link
I mentioned links earlier but I wanted to as my last point say
it again. But this time remember to link your Facebook fan page and link your
website to Twitter. You can also link Linkedin
as well (wasn't that catchy?) There are a few more but these 3 are probably the
most popular for SMB's right now.
My final observation for using Twitter for business is developing a catchy background. While Twitter has standard backgrounds for "default" use, If you are serious about using Twitter for business social media, you need to brand your background just as you are
branding your business everyday. If you don't know how to do this, get someone
within your organization to do it for you who is savvy
with Adobe Photoshop, illustrator, or even Microsoft Publisher. Hope this
has been of some help to you. Good luck!