Social media is booming! In the words of Wedbush Securities analyst Lou Kerner, “In less than two years, Facebook has become the dominant source of online user data and is rapidly becoming one of the Web’s premiere advertising destinations.” Facebook has more than 600 million users, and Twitter has around 175 million. In our day and age it’s essential to know how to get started in social media!
But how to start? Listen to a social media veteran: Canadian broadcaster, podcaster, blogger, and speaker, Amber MacArthur advises establishing a goal, ensuring a listening strategy, and creating compelling content. Making sure you have a solid framework in place greatly increases your chance of success. In order to keep your finger on the pulse of the “online conversation,” you can use resources like Google Alerts, business solutions websites, and software like Radian 6.
Remember, though, that social media is an unexplored medium. Since these online tools are so new, there are few legal guidelines out there. Bradley Shear, lawyer, entrepreneur, and blogger, says that “There is going to need to be some major lawsuits or decisions by federal courts, appellate courts or more to decide what are acceptable practices online for a real shift to take place. There are legal ramifications for everything you do online, and many people and businesses simply don’t understand that.” To deal with this, make sure to have a strong employee social media policy and be aware of legal constraints, including copyrights, FTC advertising and full disclosure requirements and general privacy issues.
Don’t let that scare you, though! Social media is a marketing world ripe to be explored and can really help your overall advertising strategy. Just take a bit of caution and make sure you can get the basics down and you’ll be on your way to getting started in social media!
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James Kim is a writer for Choosewhat.com. ChooseWhat is a company that provides product reviews and test data for business services and products.