Social Media is also known as Web 2.0 which has been around for some time now. Web 2.0 is basically application tools which allow users to interact with each other online.
Social media consists of a variety of tools and social networking would be one of those tools which make up the whole of social media. Here are a couple of tools and if you are a business owner then you would use a combination of these tools to increase your online visibility.
Most of us are familiar with blogs but if you are not, blogs is a type of website which can be updated quickly and easily and published chronologically. You can post text, images, video, podcasts pretty much anything on blog sites. A blog site can also be your website and it is a good place to start especially for start up businesses. Blogs are inexpensive to set up and easy to self manage. Think of your blog site as part of your brand, a representation of yourself and your business.
- WordPress (my favourite)
- MSN Spaces
- Movable Type
- B2 Evolution
- Text Pattern
- Express Engine
Social bookmarking is just really another way to bookmark your favourites but the difference is that you do it online instead of offline.
Digg, Delicious, Stumble Upon, Tweetmeme, Reddit, Mixx, Propeller are just a few social bookmarking tools out there.
Microblogging to me is like sending an sms but too many rather one person. It is short live updates.
The web definition of an aggregator is a person who collects things, so picture an online web aggregator as a social media tool which collects information and brings them together in one place.
Aggregators allow us to syndicate our content in one place, it is very much like having your own newspaper because you determine the content and you do this by adding RSS feeds from various sites to your chosen aggregator. Other terms for aggregators are RSS readers, feed readers, news readers.
- Google reader
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS is a very powerful tool, it allows you to distribute your content easily in various places. It also allows others to share and distribute your content easily or to add it to their aggregator or email if they want to keep up to date with your content.
Example: I take my RSS feed from my blog and I add it to my Twitter account, Facebook and Linked In account this way each time I blog those sites are updated automatically. I also take RSS feeds of blog sites I like reading and add their feeds to the same accounts so that my audience can benefit from this if they like the content of course. I also subscribe to receive email updates or add the feed to my aggregator so that I can read the updated blogs and comment if I wish to.
Photo sharing sites is a place where you can post your digital photos online and share them with others.
A podcast is basically a multimedia file or another simpler term would be audio file which you can upload online and users can download it to their computer which can then be added to a mobile device.
The use of video online is becoming more and more popular with both companies and the general public.
- Google Video
A wiki is basically software which allows multiple users to work collaboratively to add, remove or edit content. A popular wiki is Wikipedia of course.
People use forums to ask questions, answer questions and discuss topics. Companies generally have their own forums where their customers can post questions, find answers, or get help.
- Apple Forum
- Vodafone Forum
- UK Business Labs Forum
There are many community sites, business community sites, social community sites and your more niched community sites where people can network online and share common interests.
- Better Networking
If you have a particular hobby then search online for your hobby you are bound to find a community.
A teleseminar is a telephone call in which hundreds and even thousands of people can listen in to. People can either dial in and listen to a teleseminar or listen via web. Its like having your own radio talk show.
This is a great tool to share your expertise, interview others, or do online training. Most teleseminar facilities records the session and you can then download and replay.
- Instant Teleseminar
Instant messaging is one of my favourite social media tools, I am totally hooked up to Skype which is one of the instant messaging, VoIP tools. I even have a Skype number so if I’m out and about people can still connect with me.
Instant messaging is basically an online chat facility which allows people to type messages to each other, some of these instant messaging tools are also VOIP tools which is basically telephone over the internet.
- Skype (also VoIP)
- MSN messaging
- Facebook has an instant messaging facility
- Better Networking has an instant messaging facility
Have you ever wondered how some companies have these really smart flashy email messages?
They use an autoresponder. An autoresponder is basically an email facility which can email information to a very large database. When you visit a website and you input your name and email, this is where your information goes to, an autoresponder.
- Mailchimp – Free up to a certain amount, good if you are just starting out.
I have listed 14 social media tools that will help you to increase your online visibility. Combine and make use of a couple of these tools tools and you will be well on your way to making your online presence known.