The Meteoric Rise of Social Media

July 21st, 2009 by Bob Bly

Two years ago, only one out of five marketers used social media.

According to a survey from the Association of National Advertisers, today two out of three marketers use social media.

I have to admit that, while I have accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and MySpace, I can muster no personal enthusiasm for social networking.

I understand its value as a marketing tool. I even have a rudimentary grasp of how to do social marketing.

But as for voluntarily spending any of my time on any of these social networking sites, whether for business or social reasons — try as I might, I seem to be unable to force myself.

I have so much else to do, and such limited time, that I can’t see wasting my time noodling around on these sites.

I suppose I would be more active on social networking sites if I found them fun or interesting — but I don’t.

Most of what people talk about seems banal or trivial. Why would I want to follow someone on Twitter to find out what new song they just downloaded from iTunes or what they had for lunch?

Also, I find social media to be interruptive. I am constantly getting invitations for Facebook and LinkedIn throughout the day, when I am busy with other work. So I have to save them and set aside time to reply later (I think about not bothering, but it seems rude).

My staff and the consultants I employ have given me a schedule for Twittering and Facebooking on a regular basis, which I almost completely ignore. I was compliant for a week or two, but it quickly became an onerous chore.

Why Twitter or Facebook weekly unless I have something really new and important to share — especially when I put everything of interest to my readers in my blog and e-zine?

So … what about you?

Do you, like me, find Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the like a thundering bore?

Or do you spend your life on these networks conversing and connecting on the Internet, like my arch enemy, Robert Scoble?

If so, can you share with me what interests you about this medium, so I can remain a participant instead of letting it fall by the wayside?

Thanks!

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 2:36 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

71 responses about “The Meteoric Rise of Social Media”

  1. Dennis Kalian said:

    It is a bit overwhelming with all of the social networking sites, and it seems like there are more every day! Facebook is a definite winner, i am not fully sold on Twitter, Linkedin definitely has a niche different from the rest.

    How does ones business benefit from these sites is the real question, it’s far too easy to get lost in all of the banter of “oh my gosh I sure did wake up tired today” or here is a picture of my pet lizard, etc. etc.

  2. Adrian Eden said:

    Twitter also helps with SEO and can be measured using sites like Viral Heat. I think you may not be sold on Twitter, Dennis, because you don’t understand how it works outside of the basic status update.

  3. Brett Owens said:

    The only social media tool I believe we get business value out of is LinkedIn – and there, I have to admit the returns diminish quickly if I spend too much time there.

    Most valuable use for me is being able to look up and ID a prospect, customer, or someone I’m about to speak with. LI can give a very nice concise bio – of their interests, where they went to school, their work history, etc.

  4. Phil Wrzesinski said:

    I use Facebook for my business – Fans of Toy House in Jackson, Michigan. I have enjoyed FB personally – finding lots of old friends I thought were lost for the ages. When I set up a fan page for my store I immediately had 200 fans. They aren’t an active bunch – a few posts here and there – but I can reach 400+ fans instantly with a quick message whenever I want. Plus, they leave wonderful testimonials (which I link to from my store’s website).

    I see FB as mainly a Nostalgia type medium – good for causes, memories, and connecting to old/new friends. It cannot replace a website for it’s ability to reach masses of people and give them in-depth information.

    LinkedIn is more B2B, (yes, I have a profile) but the problem I have there is the self-serving nature of it. Everyone seems to be only trying to feather their own nests. I joined a few groups to follow the discussions but they mostly are, “Connect with me,” requests.

    I can see the marketing applications to all these forms, but at some time a business has to ask itself where it can best use it’s limited resources. Too many marketing campaigns fail because the company does a half-ass job in many media instead of a well-crafted job in just one medium.

  5. Jim Novo said:

    I can’t help but think a lot of this interest in Social comes about because people don’t know how to put up a web site and build an e-mail list, from a business model perspective.

    A blog with an RSS feed is fundamentally no different that a web site and e-mail newsletter, it’s just easier for more people to put together and see some activity.

    Same with the Social nets / Twitter, except now you’re bypassing the “site” element and scattering your content all over the universe.

    So I think the fact people with little knowledge of “how to” can “get online” with whatever their business is rather quickly is driving the popularity of Social.

    The problem is, when it’s so easy to participate, you get a lot of crap and the quality of the audience goes down the chute.

  6. Ken said:

    I find it a little tedious as well…I like facebook as a way to keep in touch with people who live far away, but for marketing I haven’t gotten into it yet.

    I would imagine that your full schedule is one of the reasons you haven’t gotten into it more…meaning you don’t need it at this point as a means of getting more clients and more work. If only half your time was filled with clients via other avenues, you may be more willing to try it out.

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  8. Christine said:

    I believe social media is a big advantage to your business especially if you want to continue to grow in your market. I do however find it very time consuming and you can easily get distracted which in the end defeats the purpose of why you were there.

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  10. Lisa Brown said:

    I am using social media to re-connect with old friends as well as meet new ones in order to expand my circle of influence.

    Perhaps yours is already large enough, Bob!

  11. Archana Sarat said:

    When I started my blog-website http://www.insidecopywriting.com, I just twittered abt my joy aloud even before posting a single blog. Viola! That day alone I got nearly a 50 hits to my site and I felt so embarrased that I had not yet put up any content. So, I somehow find twitter easy, simple and great to get around any information about my site.

  12. Segismundo said:

    Hi there.
    I´m agree with Bob that social media places need time to arrange it, but I think that there are a perfect tool to complete your micromedia offer aparta the classical personal blog and/ or ezine.
    We can publish in the blog and ezine our vision of the bussines and give to your readers add value with free reports, etc.
    But with facebook and twitter, in my oppinion, you spot-light another parts of your personal-brand proposition that, communicate in that channels, keep free of noise your “corporate” channels like blog/ ezine.
    In facebook you can spot-light about another sphere of the bussines, no directly connected with your brand, but if could means value added to your friend list like tips of another people, cool works, bad works…and you can pos aobut it explain it wy is cool, why tht palce is a crap…
    And I used twitter like cochannel of facebook, I used to comm reference (with no comment, JUST THE HEADLINE) to works, places, eplaces, cool people…I used like a customer-channel advising with SHORT-BULLETS news about my personal brand or corporate brand. And you can identify interesting people in twitter reading profiles or admiting following request, when you cacht one, and you cecked that is interested develope a relation, you invite him/her to facebook to develope the relation in a deep senses.
    But, for me it´s necessary establish a discipline to manage this.
    Thanks for your time.
    Rgrds
    Segis.

  13. Chris Greaves said:

    I’m with JimNovo on this one, entirely: “I can’t help but think a lot of this interest in Social comes about because people don’t know how to put up a web site and build an e-mail list, from a business model perspective.”

  14. Mary said:

    Social media has its place, it just takes some practice to find the balance that works best. I am on Facebook more to reconnect with old friends, rather than for business, but Twitter and LinkedIn have both driven traffic to my site.

    What works for me is to plan what I am going to do on these sites before I log in. It might be a specific tweet or an edit to my profile. After I log in I do what I had planned, maybe spend a few minutes seeing if I missed anything interesting, then log out and move on. Takes about ten minutes each day.

    On Twitter, I have over 200 followers. It’s worth ten minutes to send a targeted message to these people.

  15. Jeff W said:

    I am trying to find the value in it. Can’t quite see it though. So, far I have connected with some people I wanted to connect with and I been found by people I wasn’t that interested in connecting with. I haven’t found any business use so for.

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  17. Howard M. Cohen said:

    Bob

    I’m currently wrestling with the writing of a chapter I’ve been invited to contribute to an upcoming textbook on Convergence. The subject is social media and the challenge has been cutting through all the nonsense and getting to what it really is and is not.

    I guess the most important observation I’ve made is that it is not something unto itself and it is not new. Telephone is a social medium. “Men of Letters” were participating in social media.

    The most telling element is this “Web 2.0″ garbage. It would more accurately be stated as “Web Bubble 2.0″. With Web 1.0, the big value was “search”. Yahoo, Google, Altavista, and others pinned their futures on the idea that people needed a way to find things on the internet and advertising placed strategically between them and that information would resonate. Billions of dollars of imaginary value were “created” until everyone woke up and the bubble burst.

    This time around the subject matter is that which most people find most valuable; information about themselves. So, yes, everyone posts every minute detail of their day, there’s TONS of “re-tweeting” from people who really have no value to offer but want to have the APPEARANCE of having value. It’s nurture marketing gone wild and it’s out of control, but so what.

    This is no different from the yo-yo, the hula hoop, and Annette Funicello. It will come and pass many times.

    I strongly suggest you look upon Facebook as the new version of the old telephone “party lines”. You can pick up and find out what your friends have been up to whenever you feel like it. By carefully selecting whose posts I want on my newsfeed I have created a very nice environment that keeps me in closer contact with the business and personal friends who are most meaningful to me. I spend less than 10 minutes each day just checking in to see how everybody’s doing and I don’t waste time on anything else.

    Predictions:

    1) Twitter will soon die the death it deserves. It is totally useless and wasteful.

    2) Facebook will remain as a community, a global village. It could conceivably replace email if the current disasters in the SMTP space keep happening.

    3) LinkedIn will continue as a good “who’s who” to find resources through.

    4) Any utility site, like Flickr, that gives users good value such as the ability to share RAW photo files easily, and drop.io that permits sharing of larger files than email will accomodate, will find an economic model to sustain them.

    5) The rest will fall away.

    Best,
    Howard M. Cohen
    Senior Resultant
    HMC Corporate Copywriting & Consulting

  18. Nikhil Vaswani said:

    Nicely written! Social networking will soon become the most effective way of building your professional career and creating a personal brand. However, one will have to invest time in learning the effectiveness of these sites and ways to use them properly.

    By the way, if you are looking to make the most of your LinkedIn account, check out networking expert Jan Vermeiren’s new book “How to REALLY use LinkedIn”. You can find a free lite version at http://www.how-to-really-use-linkedin.com/

  19. Jodi Kaplan said:

    I’m not on Facebook or Twitter, but I am on LinkedIn, as it is more b-to-b and more focused.

    I’ve gotten traffic and some business from it, and it’s a good way to get a quick bio on someone before you meet.

    The most valuable social network I’m involved in is a closed community. The gate keeps the signal to noise ratio much higher than in open networks.

    By the way, I just checked your LinkedIn profile. Happy Birthday!

  20. Bill Rice said:

    I think it is simply an extension and evolution of how we communicate online.

    I whole-heartedly agree that social media is a “buzz-bubble” of hoopla, but used smartly I think it can yield value.

    Here are a few ways I use it:

    -Building relevant audiences with content
    -Testing new content (my favorite)
    -Efficiently harvesting sources and case studies
    -Research and competitive intelligence

    I guess the most important thing is that all of my interactions (engagement) with social networking/media is preceded with an objective.

    Without this critical element it becomes a voyeuristic time waster, on a reality TV show level!

  21. Phil Wrzesinski said:

    A further thought I have on the subject…

    We all have two forms of currency to invest into our marketing – time and money. For years we have invested money into marketing. Social media doesn’t require money, it requires time.

    Some of the hesitation may come from those who either don’t have the time, or would rather invest money instead of time to make it work.

    Do you agree?

  22. Bob Bly said:

    Phil: In my case it’s primarily a matter of time (I have more important things to do) and secondarily lack of interest (I am not big on small talk).

  23. Sean said:

    Many good comments and great post.

    I come from the perspective of working for an email marketing company to large organizations – one that uses SM in its arsenal. At home, I then put on my lone ranger copywriting hat and leverage the same social media tools to drum up part-time business.

    Here’s what I’ve noticed:

    When I’m alone working as a freelancer and I get bogged down in the absurd posts, friend and join-my-network requests, then I conclude “This is worthless.”

    When I’m at work and around other live input streams, I’ve frequently found myself on the brink of making a conclusive comment like Howard only to get served another client survey or success story regarding the use of SM, including Twitter.

    Maybe we’re looking for a final, closing argument on social media? You have posted on this topic before.

    Knowing how limited my experience is has made me wonder how conclusive we can be on the effective use of SM in a day of so many tech options and segmented audiences.

    That said, I’m in a younger generation and still tend to side with you Bob. I could care less that my friend is cutting his grass – especially when my side business is no where near where I’d like it to be.

    I would echo Bill’s post with this: only recently have I realized my inability to ignore such worthless tweets doesn’t necessarily reduce its effectiveness to the right audience.

  24. lesley peters said:

    Hi Bob,

    I am still unsure about the real value of social media. One of my colleagues in Florida has written an interesting book about social media for business. It’s called Marketing 2.0 . . . Bridging the Gap between Seller and Buyer Through Social Media Marketing by Bernie Borges. He’s a firm believer in Social Media.

    I like Linked-In for my business. I haven’t yet figured out how Twitter would be of value to me, or my business. Many people are talking about it . . . still not sure what to do about it. Perhaps it’s a bubble . . .?

    Lesley Peters
    Qualified Communication Services

  25. Steve Calder said:

    I can’t help but sympathise with Bob’s sentiments. But then again, I only got learn about them by following a Twitter link!

  26. Jorge Martin said:

    Hi Bob,

    I think the social media is a bubble. It doesn´t worth the time needed to spend to achieve results.
    Only if you use this strategically, to find specific partners could be useful. This is my opinion.

  27. Michael A. Stelzner said:

    Bob;

    This one is easy: engagement.

    Social media is the most powerful tool to get folks to act.

    I’m going to tweet about your post to my followers so you can see this in action.

    Mike

  28. Kaye - SandwichINK said:

    I really appreciate Twitter for a variety of reasons. It’s been great for networking with others involved in senior home care for aging parents. It’s a wonderful resource to discover new helps, tips, and even ideas for articles. It’s easy to pop in and out of it as time allows. Of course, it also requires self-control, as does everything else in life. :)

    I’ve also enjoyed “meeting” others in different areas who help spark creative ideas and interests. That includes people like @Mike_Stelzner who asked me to pop in and say HI to you from Twitter. I was thrilled to do that as I have read several of your books, myself, and appreciate them and you for sharing what you’ve learned! :)

    Have a WONDERFUL day :)

  29. Dianna Huff said:

    Totally agree with Stelzner. I use LinkedIn, Twitter, and my blog. That’s it. All three work together: blog is incorporated on my LinkedIn profile, I Tweet my blog posts and link to my blog from Twitter and vice-versa.

  30. The Baum Group/Dr. Rae and Associates said:

    Being engaged with like-minded individuals is a plus for us every day Bob. Mike says hi!

  31. Phil Dunn said:

    Facebook and Twitter don’t mean squat to your business… unless (I blogged about it here http://bit.ly/ip2CF)..

    These are just “communication channels,” folks. The real game underneath the game, “the guy behind the guy” (for you Swingers fans) has not changed. Relevant, targeted content; value; service; assistance; persuasion; needs analyisis; testimonials.. those are still the things that count — no matter what the communication medium.

    Hi via Stelzner’s network.

  32. Dan McCarthy said:

    First, Bob is 100% correct.

    Second, my attention to this discussion stems from a Tweet by Michael Stelzner, so go figure.

    Third, Bob is 100% correct.

    The confusion arises from the semantic issue of what defines social media. Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin are no more social media than a direct mail piece is revenue. You’re confusing a platform with the goal or activity it enables.

    Just like traditional marketing tools, from direct mail to white papers, social media first requires context and content. What distinguishes it, however, is the element of conversation. In SocMed, your readers are now responding to your content.

    Here’s the thing: social media is only as useful as the conversations you engage in.

    As you point out, Bob, the problem with Twitter and the like, is it provides very little bedrock context in which to have meaningful conversations. But here’s where you miss the boat.

    This blog is also a social media platform (comments = conversation). The reason I suspect you find blogging more valuable is because it imposes context on its content. That translates into less noise, and more valuable engagement (to use Michael’s term).

    So, Bob, you’re 100% correct about Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. But don’t confuse SocMed’s platforms with its goal of engagement. Like direct mail, you have to learn how to wield the tools to see the benefits of the tools.

  33. Giacomo Squintani said:

    Dan McCarthy is right. And Mike Stelzner sent me here, too.

  34. Bob Bly said:

    This is a good discussion, but people are trying to convince me of the value of social media which I said I ALREADY AGREE WITH. My particular problem is that, while I recognize its value, I can’t force myself to do it diligently as Dianna and Michael do. It just bores the crap out of me and I am too old to spend time doing things I find uninteresting or trivial. Maybe it’s just for the under-50 crowd?

  35. Bob Bly said:

    Seth Godin on why most social networking is absolutely worthless for business:

    http://www.igottatellyou.com/blog/social-media-bs-seth-godin-arrogant-accurate-imho/

  36. Dawn Colclasure said:

    Posting what song they just downloaded or what they just ate for lunch seems to be THE thing most folks do on Twitter. It’s like they HAVE to tell us Every. Single. Thing. I seriously doubt the world is THAT interested in what everyone is doing at any particular time. It’s annoying. I am not on Twitter for that very reason. I just don’t have the time to do it and refuse to partake in mindless chatter over what somebody just ate. Give me something WORTH the time to read! I also don’t want to be chained to my computer. I know of people who walk around carrying a laptop so they can open it the minute they are free again and I think that’s sad, really. There is MORE to life than technology and life is busy passing all of us by while we are at computers Twittering, etc. I check in at FB every so often and when absolutely necessary but not all day. And I have actually found MySpace to be a powerful networking tool. Some people have bought my books and I have been able to find contacts and sources to include in my work on there. So it’s a 50-50 situation.

  37. Michael A. Stelzner said:

    Bob;

    If you find it trivial, then maybe you really don’t get it? Seriously.

    Obviously you like discussion on your blog. What Twitter does is open up that discussion to a much larger audience—your fans who would never think to come here.

    Some folks prefer to stay quietly locked in their own world and just broadcast out updates.

    I am confident that those days of marketing will be providing rapidly diminishing returns.

    But yes, you must enjoy it. And I know you well enough my friend that you really should enjoy the 140 character updates of Twitter. Especially when you see how one single sentence can bring a ton of people to action (as witnessed right here today).

    All my best!

    Mike

  38. Bob Bly said:

    Michael: Twitter posts that drive people to a blog, article, report, web site, or other resource are useful to a point, I agree. But it seems to me that a LOT of Twitter uses make frequent updates about absolutely nothing. Same complaint with Facebook. It wastes one’s time to read them, which is why I follow VERY few people. If I followed more, my day would be wasted reading trivial e-mail updates (e.g., “Just took a walk-what a nice day!”).

  39. Dianna Huff said:

    Bob,

    Lots of people complain about Twitter and trivial posts, but I for one find a TON of information via Twitter. it’s also great for business.

    My client emailed me yesterday asking for a resume writer recommendation. I posted my request to Twitter and within 15 minutes got one. I forwarded the name to my client who hired her.

    On top of that, I have met dozens of people I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

    If you want to make Twitter work for you, take what you need from it and leave the rest — meaning, don’t fret over the banal posts. Lots of really smart people are posting some really great info — and that’s the stuff you pay attention to.

  40. Dianna Huff said:

    PS to Bob — Are you on Twitter? I can’t find you doing a people search. Also, someone has the @bob_bot username and appears to be a major fan of yours. Is retweeting your blog posts and responding to people when they talk about you.

  41. Roger said:

    I am on Twitter and Facebook. I am finding that Bob is right – they take a lot of time away from doing more productive things. For so many “Social Media Gurus” and “Trainings” out there, It’s still not clear how they are being used to the fullest potential for business. I used to be on more Twitter like sites, Identica, Jaiku, etc. but it quickly became too much to keep up with. Now I’m just on the two and have been gradually limiting the time I spend and the quantity/quality of stuff I post. There is much more spam out on both now too. More time, I guess to weed through it all.

  42. Bob Bly said:

    Dianna Huff: I AM on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Robertbly

    Roger: You have stated my complaint about social networking sites perfectly: “They take a lot of time away from doing more productive things.” I just don’t understand how busy people can spend parts of their day twiddling around on MySpace, Facebook,etc. Writing your own comments and posts can be done in a minute. But if you then stay to read and chat and wander, a half hour can go by in a snap — and I have lots of better things to do in that half hour.

  43. Michael A. Stelzner said:

    Bob;

    Talk about a timely discussion.

    Twitter just released this online guide for business users:

    http://business.twitter.com/twitter101

    Mike

  44. Michael A. Stelzner said:

    Also, Bob, for what it’s worth… Most blogs talk about absolutely nothing, yet you still do it because good ones attract people.

    And the point is NOT that you need to follow anyone, but that people actually WANT to follow you Bob.

  45. Ash Waechter said:

    I wish I had an arch enemy.

    Twitter is a lot like two tin cans and a string. It’s a communications tool, like a phone with those annoying cold calls. It’s not a marketing tool. No marketing takes place in Twitter. It’s a lot of “Hey, I’m over here. Check out my stuff.” That’s all. Twitter doesn’t get anyone to believe in your product. That can only happen on your website.

  46. Bob Bly said:

    Ash: as your site points out, you need both traffic and conversion to make online marketing successful. Twitter can drive traffic. Therefore, Twitter is a marketing tool. Right?

  47. Dianna Huff said:

    Bob,

    Fix your Twitter profile settings to show your name is Robert Bly — that way you’ll come up in the people search. I didn’t think to do a search using “Robertbly.”

    You need to follow more people. I generally don’t follow people who have hundreds of followers but don’t follow others.

  48. Bob Bly said:

    DH: If I follow someone, does that mean I get a Twitter e-mail every time they comment on Twitter? If such is the case, I do not want to follow hundreds or even dozens of people (or really anyone) because I do not want Twitter e-mails cluttering my already overflowing in-box. Does anyone else not follow people on Twitter or Facebook for the same reason?

  49. Michael A. Stelzner said:

    Bob;

    The cool thing about Twitter is that you only get a Twitter email if they send you a direct message.

    Login to Twitter, go here:
    http://twitter.com/account/notifications

    and unclick New Follower Emails:

    This will limit the emails Twitter sends you.

    Then you should simply include your Twitter ID in an update in your newsletter.

    You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll have many thousands following you who already read your newsletter.

    And unlike blogs, you can use Twitter only when you want.

    The best thing to do is to go there and post a link to your new blog posts (in the beginning) to drive up the discussion.

    Eventually you will realize that it is a huge source of traffic.

    Mike

  50. Dianna Huff said:

    Yep, do what Stelzner says re: turning off email notices in Twitter.

    The reason I love Twitter is because I don’t have to be “on” all the time — I can pop in and out as my schedule permits.

    Also Bob, you don’t have to read every single Tweet. Just skim over the posts on your Twitter home page. After awhile you get a feel for who is posting good content.

    It’s also a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of pretty much everything.

    And yes, some people post all day 24 hours a day. I have unfollowed people who do that — it’s way too much!

  51. Natalie said:

    I use Twitter particularly as a feed for useful information, blogs, reports and the like, and try only to have interesting people on my list of ‘follows’.

    This means when I get to work in the morning, I can sit at my desk and read through the interesting articles that interesting people have posted on their Twitter – without having to visit their sites, look for their latest post, read half way and decide I don’t like it. It’s one click away!

    The comment from Michael A Stelzner is right – I want you to be one of my important people to follow…!

  52. Lou Wasser said:

    Bob:

    As of this post, I notice you have 51 comments on the subject of the new social media. For the short time I’ve followed your blog, 51 comments seems like a lot compared to the number of postings on other subjects you routinely put forth.

    My point is that either you’ve added a great many more readers of your blog in a short time or your existing readers have unusually strong feelings about the new social media.

  53. Bob Bly said:

    Lou: blogs are contentious in nature, providing a public forum for people to argue about issues and ideas. Social media is a marketing technique about which opinions are split, so it’s no surprise to me that people are using the comments to express their opinions pro and con.

  54. Carol Schiller said:

    Bob,
    Two ideas:
    1. Think of Twitter as a personalized newsfeed from people you respect. Choose the people you want to follow accordingly, and you will start to see massive value. Write your own tweets assuming your readers feel the same way.
    2. A technical point but, are you using the actual Twitter.com site to manage your tweets? Don’t. Try using Tweetdeck or Twhirl for a PC; Nambu or Twitterific on the Mac. Both offer much better functionality.
    Carol Schiller

  55. Bob Bly said:

    Carol: I don’t use anything to manage my tweets, because I don’t know what you mean by “managing” tweets. What needs to be managed?

  56. owen frager said:

    Bob, you are already a master of social media. This comment thread is a case in point. Social media is about a conversation- two-way communications rather then brands shouting marketing poop at you.

  57. Bob Bly said:

    Owen: Does a long comment thread or having X thousand friends or follows really mean anything? I mean, it’s interesting and gratifying to start a discussion like this. But how is it putting money in our pockets? And if you think it is, how do you measure and PROVE it?

  58. Bob Bly said:

    “followers” not “follows” — does this thing have an editing feature?

  59. Tony Pynes said:

    I have used Linked In to find business, identify expertise in new areas, and reach out to others who had insight or knowledge about an industry or company I needed at the time. It is like a local business persons meeting but global. It is many times self serving and so you have to define your own boundaries and policies for working with LI.

    For Twitter, I couldn’t figure it out until I did a little research and experimenting. What I came up with was that I can develop a brand very quickly on Twitter. Example: I was writing a whitepaper on Cloud Computing Services and Support. After using Twitter to research (will talk about that in a minute) and discuss areas I was interested in, I developed a very modest following. People started to contact me directly, I was able to interview some key players in the industry. Then it happened. A local business executive I was meeting with asked me what was knew in the Cloud Computing space…he thought I was an expert.
    I turned around and did the same for my technology services business. It helped me make a brand.

    As far as research, it is also a good place to find the very latest discussions on a topic. Try it, search on twitter on any topic that is currently breaking news or developing and you will find the latest articles and views as to what are the hot topics around the topic.

    Many people do not use these tools like this and you have to work to keep clear of distractions. But they are essential tools for me. It is still evolving of course. I recently split up my twitter between my services practice and everything else so I can focus on the brand.

    Facebook is a social tool but I can also see how it would be a good business tool for reaching consumers in a local or narrowly focused are where you could develop knowledge and discussion. Facebook pages seem to be the way to go there.

    My two cents.

    Tony Pynes
    Austin, Texas

  60. Bob Bly said:

    A question for Tom and others: how much time per day do you spend on all social networking activities combined?

  61. Becky said:

    Thanks for your thoughts on social media Bob! …I thought I was one of the only ones who really don’t “enjoy” social media.

    I think Social Media is a great opportunity to make some wonderful connections – but at the same time I think I already spend alot of time on the computer. Learning and working.

    …because of this I find it hard to enjoy what should be “real time” with people versus time spent through using social media.

    Most especially since my social life has paid a price.

    Not making time for myself, family and friends has been chronically tipping the scale the wrong way making it hard to justify why I should use social media. At this time. Maybe it’ll change as I get my life more in balance. I’m not sure.

    But for now, I believe it’s great for some, or even a lot of people. It just doesn’t work for me right now.

    : ) I need face time with the important people in my life AND I want to earn an income writing copy : D

  62. Dennis Kalian said:

    Bob,

    I for one spend way too much time on facebook (1+ hour per day) at least right now, as I am learning more about it and testing it to see if it can help promote my online business http://clecontactlenses.com.

    I have essentially just launched a facebook fan page, currently have 54 fans (not bad for a few days).

    Dennis

  63. Bob Bly said:

    Dennis: what analytics software and metrics will you use to determine the ROI of Facebook for your web sales?

  64. general knowledge questions said:

    I admit to going out on a limb regarding numbers 6 and 7, but I believe that, given its present rate of growth, Facebook is destined to gain ascendancy as an OS for the new Web. And, remember, I wasn’t the first to refer to Twitter as the new “email.” Scoble branded it as such.

  65. Bob Bly said:

    I am convinced that Scoble speaks mainly to gadget freaks and is not in touch with the mass of American consumers.

  66. AskMichaelHart.com said:

    Hey Bob,

    After reading and following case study after case study of bloggers and internet marketers gain an enormous amount of traffic to their blog which then opt in to their email lists and rss feeds, thus increasing their followers, clients, and suscribers, you would be crazy not to expand your social media.

    Hey, worst case scenario, get one of your employees to respond and click those mundane tasks. I guarantee you won’t reget it :)

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