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5 Current Social Media Stories That Mean Good Things For Your Business

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There are too many happenings everyday in the social media space for any single business owner to keep up with. Today’s web is fast, and very, very innovative. The production never slows down. New tools and integrations are launched seemingly every other minute.

While I’d encourage you to sift through the headlines and social media app directories on a regular basis, I’ve put together a few currently unfolding storylines with big implications for business owners.

What do you think is the most interesting social media development of which we have yet to see the outcome? Let us know.

1. Why the Google Buzz Firehose Will Benefit You

Google Buzz launched to a lot of hype, but that kind of died down to some extent after a while. The privacy-related issues that it launched with didn’t help. However, Google Buzz has steadily been making more moves to become more relevant to the social media universe. It already has a solid user base, and we’ve likely only seen the service’s infancy.

A couple months ago, Google launched the Buzz API, which was a big step in the right direction. This gave developers tools to build applications around Buzz, or integrate Buzz into their existing applications, hence making Buzz more useful. Just as Twitter became more useful when more apps were built for it, Buzz has similar potential.

That potential has now increased greatly, as Google has launched the firehose for the Buzz API. This means that all public information from Buzz users is accessible by developers for use with their apps, which opens the door for many more opportunities. See how some are already using it here.

From the business owner’s perspective, simply think of Buzz as another group of potential customers, in addition to Facebook and Twitter users, which will probably be integrated into many of the same apps that are already utilizing these other groups. So any promotional benefits you are seeing from said apps should increase with the addition of Buzz data, not to mention the fact that this and other factors will likely lead to the growth of Buzz itself. That brings me to the next point.

Do you think Google Buzz will become more useful to your business? Comment here.

2. Google Me

For weeks, Google has been rumored to be working on a new big social network to rival Facebook. The company of course does not comment on rumors, but has not denied the concept. Details are scarce, but "Google Me" as it’s commonly being referred to, will likely utilize existing Google profile pages, which are tied to Google Buzz. As I discussed in a recent article, Google is making all YouTube users connect their accounts to a Google account, which could mean that all of these Google account holders become part of Google’s massive social network by default.

Without knowing Google’s exact plans, it’s hard to say exactly what benefits will become available that aren’t already there, but you can bet that the implications will be big, and it might make all of Google’s social properties more beneficial to businesses. YouTube is one of the most popular sites in the world. Add that to everyone else with a Google account.

Will Google be able to rival Facebook in social media mind share?
Comment here.

3. Virtual Goods Increase Purchase Intent

Virtual goods are becoming more popular within social networks, and businesses are already finding ways to utilize them to not only increase brand awareness and influence positive opinions about their products, but drive purchase intent.

In fact, new study from Appssavvy found that they can do all of these things, while increasing all brand metrics. More about this here.

Virtual Goods<br />
Boost Mobile Ad Awareness

Have you had success with virtual goods-based campaigns? Comment here.

4. Customers Are Checking In, and This Will Become Searchable

Another hot trend in social media is checking in. You know, all of these geo-location services like Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite, Booyah, etc. More and more of them will continue to pop up, and let’s not forget the really big names. Google has Google latitude, Twitter has Twitter Places, and Facebook will be launching something location-based one of these days soon.

Foursquare is already in talks with all of the major search engines. We don’t know exactly will come of this, but it seems clear that search engines are interested in indexing this kind of data, and why wouldn’t they be? Imagine if you as, as a business, could search for all of the people sharing their location in your area. That could be pretty powerful.

How would you use searchable, realtime location data?
Comment here.

5. Social Media Hasn’t Plateaued.

During the world cup, Twitter was breaking records for tweets. While this is related to a large-scale event, it just shows that a massive amount of people still care about Twitter, and that isn’t changing anytime soon.

It was only earlier this year that Facebook announced it had surpassed 400 million users. The company is widely expected to announce that it’s reached 500 million this week. I probably don’t have to tell you that between these numbers, Facebook faced a huge amount of criticism in the media over privacy issues, with a lot of people talking about deleting their accounts. Facebook just kept on growing. That’s not going to change anytime soon either. Facebook is becoming integrated into the very fiber of the web more and more each day (through social plug-ins, apps, etc.). There are more access points all the time (see Microsoft’s new Outlook integration). It’s getting harder to ignore if you’re not already a user.

If that wasn’t good enough news for businesses placing their fatih in social media, more consumers are actively using Facebook and Twitter to engage with brands. They’re making email marketing campaigns (an already effective marketing channel) more effective.

How long do you think Facebook and Twitter will continue to grow? Share your thoughts.

The web is flooded with social media advice articles everyday. They can get redundant at times, and a lot of them say basically the same things. However, this massive amount of information is also a product of the sheer number of opportunities there are with this medium. That number also grows everyday as more apps, tools, and resources are created – including niche-specific opportunities. Local-specific. Networking-specific. E-commerce-specific. Brick and Mortar-specific.

What are some specific examples of social media opportunities you have found to be beneficial to your business? Share your ideas with other business owners.

5 Current Social Media Stories That Mean Good Things For Your Business
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  • http://moverscommunity.com Guest

    for some reason i ma not to happy with google buz

  • http://www.privatejets.com PJ

    I don’t think Google will be able to rival Facebook – I think that the people who already have FB accounts, especially adults, will most likely keep that one social profile.

    • Chris Crum

      It would be interesting to know the overlap between people who have both Facebook and Google accounts (especially when you include YouTube accounts).

  • http://sahelmarketing.com Social Media Marketing

    Thanks for the great article. These social media platforms need to be tested and adopted by any business owner to increase brand awareness and learn more about how the market sees her company.

  • http://parsonsmarketing.net Danielle Parsons

    I am thrilled with the Facebook Like button displayed on all of my blog posts. This social media feature will help bring me traffic from all of my contacts. When someone likes an article, that displays on their profile. Then your post could get additional traffic from their contacts. One great blog post can go viral quickly.

  • rajeev Goswami

    Google is a formidable rival with more resources in hand than face book. Sooner or later google will get it right.

    @Rajeevgoswami

    • http://www.cozality.com Non-Profit Websites by Cozality

      Though we haven’t been all that thrilled with Buzz, personally I’d have to agree with your projection. I imagine we’ll see some real competition from Google in the social realms over the next year or so, if not sooner.

    • http://www.cozality.com Non-Profit Websites by Cozality

      Above comment by Charles L. :)

      All the best.

  • Rajeev Goswami

    I would be surprised if facebook will surpass 1billion user before few other competitors will come in. I think social networking will eventually become niche oriented i.e. specific communities with specific tastes. Every person will be part of multiple niches. Facebook or some other apps will become an integrator of different niches.
    @rajeevgoswami

    • Chris Crum

      Forums are still good places to interact with niche user bases.

  • http://www.gotcheapappleipods.com Eric

    It has been a dud for me. Facebook and Twitter have a much more active and engaging community.

    • Chris Crum

      I think the jury’s still out on Buzz, but they are definitely making moves that will help it grow.

  • http://www.deligogo.com MArcel

    Thanks for this article. It is indeed hard to predict which direction it goes. Clear is that social networks are a great opportunity for starters with small marketing budgets. E.g. I use RSS to feed new content of http://www.deligogog.com to Facebook pages and Twitter. It saves me time!!!!
    I use Twitter “Tweets” to show new daily postings at the side of Deligogo. And if Google comes up with a great population of potential customers I will dig to new ways to promote our brand here as well. I love these fast developments wher you can be the first to use the system to your own benefits, and the beauti is, ITS ALL FREE!

    • Chris Crum

      Free is helpful. Unfortunately time isn’t free.

  • http://www.maleny-accommodation.com.au Prue

    Will be interesting to see how Google tackles a Facebook style social platform, look forward to seeing how they do it and if people take to it like Facebook.

  • Guest

    You asked for comments on next step to web 3.0 4.0
    regarding social networking,

    we are working on a project in this field.
    Our theory is that now people have the idea of linking so easily they will begin to seek people with like interests.

    The present owners of the batch of social sites believe that more is best.
    Our belief is that people do not want ALL the bells whistles.
    They would like to spend time hanging out with their own pleasure giving hobby and chew the fat with others.

    We are working on a competition to be offered to designers-content-writers-distribution experts
    to come up with their best. In order to win some large sums in prize money.
    By coming up with this organised membership idea

    We seek a respected group of outsourcing orgs. and others to help us get the word out.
    Stan Coleman ‘Rule the World Media’

  • http://NationalShowTickets.com NationalShowTickets.com

    Social Media is certainly here to stay so using all the tools available to us to grasp these customers as well is just one way to get your brand awareness out there.

    David
    NationalShowTickets.com

  • http://originalbatik.ru/ batik

    Too many social networks.
    Why do more?

  • http://thesisavenue.blogspot.com/ Guest

    that good idea

  • http://www.marketyoursmallbusiness.com/ Stephanie Matthews

    I would not be surprised if Google’s new rumored social app surpasses both Facebook and Twitter. Because Google is such a trailblazer in all that they do, I would only expect that given some time – just like the Droid, Google’s social app will make the competition run a little faster.