What is social media for business?
Wondering about social media for business? It’s ok. There’s no shame in being uneducated about social media. Did you know only 6% of small businesses reported using social media to promote their business? Despite its worldwide usage, you might be surprised to find out that the boom is still less than ten years old. Amazing, right?! In this article, we will explore some history of social media and how businesses can use it to grow.
A little history about Social Media for business
Here’s a brief history of social media to help give some perspective.
- 1970’s – 1980’s: CompuServe. The first true “email” system allowing friends to connect with each other within discussion forums that interested you. CompuServe paved the way for the future of bulletin board systems, and internet social media in general.
- 1980’s – 1990’s: Bulletin Board Systems. Geared toward hobbyists, gamers, and geeks who shared the same interests, bulletin board systems were similar to forums. Exclusively-invited members could join or ask to join in order to share the latest news, access new technology, and discuss just anything.
- 1990’s – 2000’s: AOL. America Online kind of served as the internet before there was really the internet. The first to make popular the concept of a member-profile, a user could now become whoever they wanted to be, and through this tool connect to anyone else, build a private or public group, and “surf” the latest news and topics of the day.
- 2002: Friendster. Another evolution of the previous versions of digital-social interaction, Friendster built on the concept of online bonding by providing new, multiple ways of finding more friends to connect with.
- 2003: LinkedIn. The first to recognize the value of digital interaction for the business community, LinkedIn reframed the concept in terms of “connections.” Purposefully directed away from the lighthearted, fun, eclectic personal interests, the goal was to create space for each user to showcase their experience, education, skills, and talents.
- 2003: MySpace. Opposite the goal of LinkedIn, MySpace offered a digital wall for users to display and say anything and everything that interested them. Aimed at young adults who loved music, it was eventually ousted from the top by Facebook and became a primary space for musicians to connect and interact socially.
- 2004: Facebook. Building on previous ideas like Friendster and MySpace – as well as other lesser known platforms like Classmates.com and SixDegrees.com – Facebook hit a nerve, filled a gap, and attracted venture capitalists who invested in the product. To date, it boasts users from more than one in every seven people on the planet.
- 2005: YouTube. Offering social media in a completely revolutionary way, users could now record, produce, upload, and share their own video content. Within a short time, other social media outlets began making use of this concept and offering their own versions of video content.
- 2006: Twitter. Taking the concept of the blog to a micro level, Twitter required users to hone their thoughts and feelings about whatever into bite-sized bits, called tweets. These tweets could then be “hashtagged” so that similar content could be categorized, searched, and shared (retweeted).
- 2007: Google +. Attempting to capitalize on the social media growth, Google designed its own platform to serve as a social sphere for its entire outfit of applications.
- 2008: Groupon. Taking advantage of the marketing and monetization opportunities inherent in social media, Groupon launched as a way of allowing companies to advertise their products and services via coupons. These coupons were limited in terms of customers and availability time and could be shared with others in their social network by way of instant connection to their favorite platforms.
In 2010, smartphones officially outsold computers, creating a meteoric rise for social media as a mobile technology with almost no limitations. Proof of this came to be seen later in the revolutions of several countries which were primarily fueled by social media.
Social media has also paved the way for “big data,” which primarily serves as a label for incomprehensible amounts of data gathered from users, made available for “mining” information useful for new ideas.
How can businesses best use Social Media?
Here is a helpful way to think about how the various social media platforms are used today. Take the word in italics and simply substitute it for whatever your product, service, or profession offers to see how it works.
- Facebook: “Hey friends! I really like Aculign and the widgets they offer!”
- Twitter: “Hanging out with #Aculign today. We killed it on our plans for marketing and workflow.”
- Instagram: “Here’s a photo of me and the Aculign guys” (with my favorite photo filter).
- YouTube: “Here’s a brief video of a workshop segment we did with Aculign.”
- LinkedIn: “My experience and skills with Aculign include…”
- FourSquare: “This is where we played golf with Aculign.”
- Pinterest: “Here’s an infographic from Aculign on 5 Steps to Faster Receivables.”
- Google +: “I’m an XYZ employee who connected with Aculign.”
- Groupon: “Here’s a special offer on our Business Accelerator Program available to 20 people for the next 7 days.”
What is the next thing should you with managing your social media?
Aculign is a social media management company in Atlanta, Georgia
What WE do: meet with you for a strategy session, build a profile of your business, examine the various social media outlets, and help you decide which one would be best for your business. From there, we can manage it for you. Or you can DIY with our free content planner.
What YOU do: Download ur free content planner. Plan and manage it yourself, measure your results, take notes on what you learn, then tweak and try again. When you’re ready to take on another platform, follow the same pattern.
Does your business have more than three employees and more than $500,000 in revenue annually?
It’s time to start using three or more social media channels at once. And it’s also time to let someone else start managing your social media marketing and sales.
Schedule a free consult, then shop Aculign’s packages to decide which approach is best for you. We build your profile, help decide which platforms are best for you, deliver reporting results monthly, and providing coaching each month.