All Social Media Business Isn’t The Same

There’s lots of different social media platforms available to us all. Some people believe that they have to sign up for everything, then wonder why they don’t have any time to do anything else. Some people sign up for everything then do none of it, wondering what should come first and getting caught up in “analysis paralysis”.

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Not all of the major social media platforms are for everyone when it comes to business. For that matter, one might get more enjoyment out of one and none out of others. This isn’t a definitive guide, but it’s an idea of what a person looking to maximize their business might think about doing.

Twitter is quick and fast. It’s a place where you can state something quickly in 140 characters, then move on if that’s all you want to do. The problem with Twitter is that there are millions of other people doing the same thing at the same time, so your message could get lost if it’s not targeted. Twitter is my favorite social media platform because I talk to people all around the world, but it’s not my best business platform.

LinkedIn is imperative for anyone looking to do business with, well, anyone. LinkedIn is imperative if you’re ever looking for work, or might ever look for work. LinkedIn is for business period, although in recent years they’ve added groups, which adds a new dynamic to the mix. LinkedIn gives you ways to highlight your business, and yourself, that you might not want to do on your own website. It also offers you the best opportunity to meet people, locally or otherwise, in their business form. I haven’t actively searched for anyone on LinkedIn for years but every day I have at least 2 requests to add me there; no idea why but maybe it’s because some folks see when my business blog posts go live, which shows up there.

Facebook as a business platform, if you’re not a big name, isn’t all that easy to do. I have a business page that has 345 people connected to it, but I can’t go out and recruit more people to the site. It gives one the opportunity to try to get a dialogue going, but truthfully the best reason to have a business presence there is to link back to your own site; it’s not much but with over a billion people connected to it, smart money says do it. Overall it’s more for personal connections, as all my family is there and many of my friends from years gone by.

Google Plus is Google’s attempt to get into the social media game, and the numbers are impressive if few other things about it are. Actually, the visuals are stunning, and there are some people who have great engagement there, but for many of us it’s just not the same thing. I have almost 5,000 people who have me in a circle there and I have a community there with about 100 people and almost no one talks to me; sigh…

YouTube has more than 500 million views a day; that’s pretty powerful stuff. But it’s also something that’s not for the faint of heart, and it takes the longest to create content if you want to get it right. But hit the right message at the right time and you could be a star. I’m nowhere close to a star but I keep trying, as I now have over 150 videos there; check it out! 😉

If you’re a brick and mortar business, you should be on Four Square. It gives you the opportunity to set up special deals for people who visit you and then tell others they’re at your shop. I know more than one local business that built their presence this way. It works best if you sell a product rather than offer services. I’m not on Four Square yet, but I’ve been thinking about signing up more and more. And being on Four Square gives you the ability to advertise on other platforms effectively.

I’ll stop here because everything else is either a copy of one of or a mashup of all the others. You as a business owner or individual get to decide which type of social media platform you think is for you, but the one statement I’d leave you with is that it’s imperative that you’re on something, because you can bet that at least one of your competitors is. And if you click on any of the links in this post, you’ll find me on all of them… don’t get scared. lol
 

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The Slow Spiraling Death Of Empire Avenue

It’s been a bit over 18 months since I last wrote about this site called Empire Avenue. At the time I wrote some tips on how one might actually play the game.

Unfortunately, these days you’re more likely to get one of these while cruising through some of the accounts on the site:

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What’s going on? Basically it’s all come down to money. In essence, the people who run the site are trying to find a money model that will help them make money and the people who use the site are irked at all the changes that have made it more difficult for some of them to drive up their scores drastically, as well as some of the networking that used to go on.

What the game does is works like a stock market of sorts. One earns what they call eaves, their equivalent of money, one of two ways. One is by having lots of people buy shares in you. The other is in doing things on social media sites, enough so that it helps impact your score in a positive way.

To encourage people to buy shares in you, one of the biggest things you had to do was buy shares yourself, if not necessarily in those folks. When you reached certain levels you could decide to increase your level via using up some of your eaves or by spending a little bit of cash, most often $20. Some people had no problem with that, thus some money was raised. But that wasn’t enough it seems, so now it not only costs you way more of your own eaves to move up a level (2.2 million eaves as opposed to the 500,000 it used to be) but $50 instead of that $20. And many more things cost money as well.

Then the site decided to kill the option of many of the folks using certain automated tools to help them along in playing the game. I’m not necessarily griping at that one because I’m someone who’s always played the game directly. But people had automatic messages and automatic buying and automatically could find players who were new or growing or whatever else you wanted to find out. All of that is gone.

One final thing the site did, which made me happy, was start giving more value to people who were actually playing the game. My own score started going up more often since I play the game almost every day, but many of the top people’s scores started to stagnate, especially after their auto tools went away.

What’s happened? Many people have stopped playing the game. Those who decide to make a statement when they leave close their account, which results in that image above and people getting their money back if they’d ever bought any eaves in those accounts. More eaves is nice, but your score takes a major hit every time it happens, and it’s happening a lot now. So, even though my daily score will increase, all it takes is someone to close their account who owned even 500 of my shares and suddenly my score is dropping. And when your score drops, no one wants to buy any of your shares for a while.

Here’s the thing. I’m once again seeing a website that seemed to have a good thing going messing up and not listening to its users. I can’t say that I have a lot of suggestions for this site because truthfully, I’m mainly there playing it only as a game. But there are some fairly smart people playing the game who have played for a long time that do offer lots of suggestions, but administration doesn’t seem to be listening to almost any of those people, which makes them leave.

That’s what happened to a site I used to participate on many years ago called Ryze, which for awhile was one of the top 500 websites in the world and is now sitting down around 71,000 per Alexa. And it’s also what’s happened to sites like MySpace and Friendster; that last one isn’t even around anymore as far as I know.

There’s nothing wrong with making money; heck, all of us are out to make money however we can get there. However, there’s something inherently wrong with the system when a few people decide to totally shake things up and alienates enough people so that they leave & make a site obsolete. Facebook has dangled on that thin line for awhile and keeps surviving, and yet I’m reading more stories from people who have deleted their accounts. How many people are actually using AOL for anything more than email and possibly to read a news story here and there? Yahoo? Excite?

If it’s a blog or something owned by one person who decides to change things up, it’s only on you and more power to you. But if it’s your livelihood and you’ve got a lot of people to play with you, so to speak, drastically changing your model so that you alienate your core base and become off-putting to new members is suicidal. Of course it’s still up to the owners to do what they want to do but if I’m the last man standing on the game… well, trust me, if it looks bad I won’t be.
 

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