Social Media 101 – Part 1


It seems that every time we turn around, a new social media platform is introduced.  Social media, including online channels for sharing and participating in a variety of activities, represents an increasingly important way for brands to communicate with attractive audience segments.

“Social media” is a household phrase.


As a business owner, you cannot ignore the importance of a social media presence.  Below is a quick rundown of some of the platforms, in order of popularity.

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FACEBOOK: Founded by a Harvard psychology major in 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, and originally known as “the Facebook”, Facebook was a social network that colleges utilized.  Once it was open to anyone age 13 and over with a registered email address in 2006, it basically exploded.  Facebook boasts that there are over 40 million active small business pages (Tech Crunch).  Don’t let that scare you – there’s enough room for everyone considering there is an estimated 900 million unique monthly visitors (E Biz MBA).

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TWITTER: When the first tweet going out in 2006, I don’t know if people realized what a revolution this 140 character messaging platform would create.  At first it may seem daunting to deliver a message in such little words, but it can and HAS been done for the past 9 years.  Twitter is a great way to connect with your current and future customers, to share your promotions, and to connect with brands you are interested in aligning with.  310 million estimated unique monthly visitors and counting, Twitter will continue to be a strong social media resource.

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LINKEDIN: Launched in 2003, publicly traded in 2011, and growing at approximately 2 members per second (LinkedIn), LinkedIn is a great way to showcase your business, connect with peers and create alliances with likeminded business peers.

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PINTEREST: Pinterest is not for every industry but it holds a lot of weight when it comes to consumer decisions.  Once Pinterest for Business was released, “pinners” were better able to see what people liked and saved from their website and obtain important data in order to learn what their customers really want (Pinterest). With 250 million estimated unique monthly visitors, Pinterest holds its weight when it comes to social media.  You can also promote your pins, getting them to your target market easier.

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GOOGLE +:  38% of the U.S. digital population use Google +, and despite rumors of it shutting down, I don’t see Google + going anywhere any time soon.  The ability to get in front of a small percentage of the 2.2 million Google + profiles (Digital Information World) enticing enough, along with the obvious fact that it’s associated with Google – in my opinion, THE search engine of choice.

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TUMBLR: Launched in 2007, and as of 2013 owned by Yahoo!, Tumblr is a platform for short-form blogging and multimedia sharing.  Tags are used within the posts to allow easy searching capabilities.  Compared to WordPress, it isn’t as customizable but companies such as The Standard Hotel have a Tumblr blog in conjunction with their main website.

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