1. SOCIAL MEDIA
1.1 WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA : Before we jump right in and start building a social media strategy,
we must understand: What is social media? According to Wikipedia : Social media is online content
created by people using highly scalable and accessible publishing technologies. In it’s basic sense, it’s a
shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content. It’s a fusion of sociology
and technology, transforming monologues (one to many) into dialogues (many to many) and is the
democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers. Social media
allows people to connect in the online world to form relationships for personal, political, and business
1.2 What are Social Media?
The term “social media” refers to the wide range of Internet-based and mobile services that
allow users to participate in online exchanges, contribute user-created content, or join online
communities. The kinds of Internet services commonly associated with social media (sometimes
referred to as “Web 2.0”) include the following:1
Blogs. Short for “web log,” a blog is an online journal in which pages are usually displayed in
reverse chronological order. Blogs can be hosted for free on websites such as WordPress, Tumblr and
Wikis. A wiki is “a collective website where any participant is allowed to modify any page or create
a new page using her Web browser.” One well-known example is Wikipedia, a free online
encyclopedia that makes use of wiki technology
Social bookmarking. Social bookmarking sites allow users to organize and share links to websites.
Examples include reddit, StumbleUpon and Digg.
Social network sites. These have been defined as “web-based services that allow individuals to (1)
construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users
with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those
made by others within the system.” Among the most popular in Canada are Facebook and LinkedIn.
Status-update services. Also known as microblogging services, status-update services such as
Twitter allow people to share short updates about people or events and to see updates created by
Virtual world content. These sites offer game-like virtual environments in which users interact. One
example is the imaginary world constructed in Second Life,11 in which users create avatars (a virtual
representation of the user) that interact with others.
Media-sharing sites. These sites allow users to post videos or photographs. Popular examples
include YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.
These categories overlap to some degree. Twitter, for example, is a social network site as well as a
status-update service. Likewise, users of the social network site Facebook can share photographs, and
users of the media-sharing site Pinterest can follow other people.
2. 2. ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKING:
Social networking allows users to communicate with each other by creating profiles, 'posting'
comments and opinions, connecting or forming 'links' with others on the site, joining different
'networks' and adding 'friends' or 'connections'.
2.1 Personal vs professional :
Social networking sites are used both personally and professionally. It is often not clear where
personal and professional boundaries lie and when your professional obligations start and end.It may
also be difficult at times to distinguish casual or informal interactions from more formal
You must give proper consideration to the fact that the same professional ethical obligations
apply to your conduct in 'online' and 'offline' environments. It is important that personal and
professional uses are not confused, and the most appropriate social media channel is selected for your
Even when you are using social media channels for personal use, you should consider whether
you will be associated with activities which may be visible online and which, in the future, could be
viewed by other professionals or clients.
You should be aware that information you share with contacts or friends online, or information
posted about you by contacts or friends, may be accessible to a much wider audience than is
intended.The implications of this can be varied as it has the potential to reflect both positively and
negatively on you:
For example: At a job interview you may be questioned about activities that you have carried
out, or comments or opinions that you have made, in the past which the potential employer has found
simply by searching for your name on the internet. Either:
You may have displayed experience which is relevant or be viewed as an advantage to the role
that you are applying for, so reflecting positively on you
You may have made a comment, or expressed an opinion, that ultimately is viewed as contrary
to the values of the organisation you are applying to work for.
You should regularly review the content of your personal social media channels, which will enable
you to remove any information that you feel could reflect negatively on you or you do not feel
You may want to take into account the fact that some social media channels are more appropriate
for a practice's or an individual's business needs than others, and consider whether to set out certain
parameters as to which channels are most appropriate for your business.You may approve certain
channels for use, but stipulate additional scrutiny where the use of other channels is proposed.
2.2 linkedin and twitter:
LinkedIn and Twitter are social networking sites that are widely used and recognised by
3. LinkedIn is a business orientated social networking site which is primarily used for professional
networking. It allows users to create professional profiles, build and maintain professional contacts and
is a marketing tool for businesses. It is a global network with over 360m members.
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and
read small amounts of information called ‘Tweets’. A guide to doing business on Twitter can be found
on the Twitter website. Like many organisations of interest to firms and practitioners, the Law Society
maintains an account, as do key representatives such as the Society's chief executive.
2.3 Facebook, YouTube and Flickr:
Other well known social networking channels such as Facebook, YouTubeand Flickr may only
have limited business use as they are more widely recognised as channels for personal use.
However, this does not mean that you should discount these channels as viable social media
channels to be used professionally. For example, YouTube could be used to host a video for a business
Rather, these channels should be used with caution, for example if you make 'friends' with
clients on Facebook, you should evaluate whether this may affect any of your ethical obligations
(outlined above). Please note, this does not apply if a practice creates a business page as individuals can
'like' a business page but the page cannot make 'friends' with individuals.
2.4 Privacy settings:
If you are intending to use any social networking site, you should review that site's privacy
settings to enable you to control, and put restrictions on, who is able to access your information.
However, you should be aware that by adopting privacy settings this does not necessarily mean
that the information you post on social media sites will be protected. Some sites are totally open to the
Both Twitter and Facebook have privacy settings and offer an explanation of how the privacy
settings work. However, the default privacy settings for both Twitter and Facebook allow some
information to be shared beyond an individual's contacts. As such, you as the user are responsible for
actively adjusting the privacy settings of your account.
2.5 Practices adopting social media internally:
Using social media internally could be both an efficient form of communication and an effective
method of learning and development.
Corporate forums or weblogs for example may drive innovation and boost employee morale.
Examples include Yammer or Tibbr.
3 . BENEFITS AND RISKS OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA:
4. Several of the benefits and risks of engaging in social media activities have already been
highlighted but set out below are some of the most significant benefits, and areas of social media
activity which present the highest risk to you and your business.
Engaging in social media can be used to raise the profile, and general awareness, of yourself
and your practice.
It provides an opportunity for you to determine what information is available online about you
and your practice, rather than relying on third parties to do this for example through news articles.
You have an opportunity to shape the messages about you and focus on the areas of your
practice that you would like promote.
3.1.2 Engagement with clients:
Quantifying the benefits of engaging in social media activities is not always easy, but you should bear
in mind that some clients may expect to be able to communicate in this way, either now or in the future.
Some clients may use social media channels, rather than email, as their main method of
communication. The increased use of social media by clients could result in a corresponding
expectation that these channels of communication should be available in relation to legal services.
The lack of geographical barriers and constraints offers those engaging in social media activities the
opportunity to reach a wider audience than would otherwise have been achievable via other more
traditional forms of communication.
Social media activity could be an efficient marketing tool for promotion of you/your practice's legal
services. For example an advert on a social media site has the potential to reach an extremely wide
You should note that chapter 8 of the SRA Code requires that you take steps to ensure that publicity is
not misleading and is sufficiently informative so that clients can make informed choices about the
services they receive. You must also ensure that you are complying with any relevant statutory
requirements and voluntary codes.
Having set up a social media channel, engaging with clients and other professionals via social media is
likely to be relatively low cost. However, you will need to take the time to maintain any social media
activity as an ongoing part of your business.
Costs might include staff time, paid advertising (for example, boosting posts on Facebook and Twitter),
the cost of employing an outside expert to help with search engine optimisation and analytics or the
costs of up-skilling your workforce in these areas, and the cost of social media management tools such
as Hootsuite or Sprout Social.
5. 3.2 Risks:
The use of social media among legal professionals is extremely varied and, as detailed in
section 2 What are social media?, there are many different types of media channels for different
audiences with differing purposes.
In addition to the more general issues surrounding the personal and professional boundaries of
social media activity discussed above, you should also bear in mind the following specific areas of risk.
3.2.1 Defamation :
The law of defamation allows persons who consider that their reputation has been, or may be
harmed by statements made by others, to sue for damages or to prevent the making of those statements.
Defamation law can apply to any comments or opinions posted on social media sites. You may
want to consider including this in your social media policy (outlined in section 6 below).
As already noted, social media activity presents challenges to compliance with the requirements
set out in chapter 4 on Confidentiality and disclosure of the SRA Code.
Outcome (4.1) states that you must 'keep the affairs of clients confidential unless disclosure is
required or permitted by law or the client consents'. The use of social media exposes you to the risk that
confidential information may be inadvertently (or otherwise) disclosed, as illustrated in some of the
184.108.40.206 Logging out and password security:
Given the wide-reaching and impactful nature of social media, it is important to ensure that the security
measures protecting access to accounts are properly safeguarded - any client or member of the public
will presume that messages from your account properly represent you (even if you have delegated use
or maintenance of your account).
You must always ensure that you log out of social media sites, particularly if you share a machine with
other colleagues. If you remain logged in your account can be viewed by another user, even if you turn
off your machine or quit your browser.
3.2.3 Control over information :
You should consider how information on social media channels is used and by whom. The speed at
which information can be circulated, and the proliferation of that information, is something over which
your practice will have little control. Similarly, even though you may attempt to remove any posted
content, it is possible for others to take and retain screenshots of that content, and thereafter make it
220.127.116.11 Right to be forgotten :
There is currently a debate about whether or not information is ever deleted from social media
sites. Information published on social media is not always easily removable, particularly when this
information comes from a third party. This is a point that has been controversial regarding Facebook.
6. Currently, both Twitter and Facebook have the following statements on this:
Twitter: 'You can also permanently delete your Twitter account. If you follow the instructions
here your account will be deactivated and then deleted... After 30 days, we begin the process of deleting
your account from our systems, which can take up to a week.'
Facebook: 'When you delete an account, it is permanently deleted from Facebook. It typically
takes about one month to delete an account, but some information may remain in backup copies and
logs for up to 90 days. You should only delete your account if you are sure you never want to reactivate
it. Find instructions to delete your account.
Although much of the information on social media sites will be public, some of it will not be
(either as a result of privacy settings or because it is only available to selected users). You should
consider that information on social media sites could be produced as evidence by either side in
18.104.22.168 Accuracy and presence on multiple media/channels :
You should consider how you will maintain the accuracy of information on the social media
sites. You have a responsibility not to mislead or misinform (potential) clients and third parties. This
can include, for instance, where you change organisation or position within an organisation.
4. THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN OUR DAILY LIVES:
If one were to look back over the last decade and try to find some element that affected society as a
whole from a technical standpoint, there would be a couple of possible contenders. The advancement of
smartphone technology in such a short time is certainly impressive, for example. However, the impact
of social media, while intertwined with the smartphone is something that made even more of an
impression. Consider just how easy it is to see what is happening on the other side of the world,
through the accounts of real people rather than filtered news channels. Twitter and Facebook were huge
parts of the Arab Spring, and they are important to help people keep in contact and updated during
The Effect on Communication and Connection
A decade ago, it was very difficult to find and connect with people that you once knew in high school
or college, even with the power of the web. When you moved away, most people lost touch
permanently. The social media sites, such as Facebook and Google+, are making it much easier for
people to find one another and reconnect, even after decades of being apart. The sites are a great way to
see what is happening in the lives of friends and family, and to meet new people who have similar
interests and thoughts to yours.
The youth of the world is often the most ready to adapt to and learn to use new technologies, and they
are certainly at the forefront of social media of all types. They have more technological know-how than
many of older generations as well. Social media, therefore, is certainly having a rather large impact on
their daily lives for good and for bad.
7. Those who spend too much time on social sites, or who take the abuses of online bullies seriously on
the sites could have some issues. For parents, even those of teenagers who are 16 and 17, it is important
to watch to make sure that social media sites do not take over the lives of children. When used
appropriately, it can be a very good thing.
Of course, the social media sites are ripe for marketing endeavors as well, and over the past few years,
users have seen an uptick in the amount of advertising on the sites. Many companies are actually
choosing to become a part of the site rather than merely buying advertising. This allows for a closer
connection between the customers and the companies, which could lead to better service and better
quality products. As long as companies are not too overt about ads and promotion, most users do not
mind it. In most cases, users would have to subscribe to the content in the first place.
Another reason people are spending as much time as they do on social media sites is because they can
be a great form of entertainment. Watch videos that people post to their timelines, view pictures, read
stories, and even play games. Whether using a smart phone, a tablet, or a traditional computer, more
and more people are utilizing social media in their daily lives. Few things have quite as much impact
and affect as social media over the past few years. The sites are certainly a step toward world
It is possible to find a number of different social media outlets available today, and one should certainly
be able to find something that suits their needs and lifestyle. From Twitter to Facebook and Google+,
something is available for everyone who wants to connect.
5.SOCIAL MEDIA APPLICATION IN OUR DAILY LIFE:
Twitter: Twitter lets you send short messages to a group of friends. It is more immediate and intimate
than blogging. Twitter is a social network that lets people share status updates in a short, concise
format. The application works by giving users access to an account. The user can build up a contact list
and followers, who will receive updates each time the user posts a new status. Businesses and others
often use Twitter to keep their audiences informed on new developments, changes and issues.
A mobile version is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows 7 and Blackberry device
users. The user can customize the background on their profile and upload an image or photo that is
displayed on their account. Twitter limits status updates (called Tweets) to 140 characters so the user is
required to keep things short and sweet.
Facebook: Facebook.com is one of the most popular social networks that connects people with
friends, old classmates, colleagues... Facebook is the most popular social network on the web today.
Facebook’s user base consists of more than 500 million individuals. The site offers up everything social
networking users want, including status updates, wall posts and private messages. Users can also send
instant chat messages through Facebook.
The site allows users to build a profile complete with information, photographs, links, videos
and favorite items and interests. Users connect by adding others to their friends list. Friends can read
each other’s wall posts and leave comments that are either publically or privately available (depending
8. on what the profile owner chooses). Facebook also supports users groups, which allow users to come
together based on a specific topic, cause, issue or interest.
MeetMe: MeetMe, formerly My Yearbook, is a social network aimed primarily at teens. MeetMe,
formerly MyYearbook, is a social media site primarily aimed towards teens. It features many activities
which help teens make friends and meet people. It even helps with the teen dating seen, as it allows
teens to secretly admire one another. If two people secretly admire each other it will send them a
message congratulating them and encouraging them to hold a conversation. MeetMe also has a virtual
economy called “LunchMoney” which users can spend on virtual gifts, stickers, charitable donations
and more. The site also offers games, television shows, and image battles. Users can also engage with
MyMag: users will write articles, and then professional editors select, edit, and feature the articles that
seem most relevant to the MeetMe audience. None of the features have changed with the name.
Google Plus: Google Plus gives users another social network to join. Google Plus is Google’s take on
the social network concept. The application is intended to provide users with a number of improved
social networking features. Users will be able to create Circles that can be used to organize their contact
list. Circles, which are essentially social circles, allow users to separate friends, family and coworkers
however they like. Members of one circle cannot view the members added to another circle on the
user’s profile, creating a much needed separation of interests. Google Plus user can also join Hangouts.
Hangouts allow up to 10 people to participate in group video chat.
A Huddle feature is included which provides mobile access for iPhones, Android devices and
SMS devices. Android devices will also be able to use the Instant Upload feature to store video or
photos in a private album. Sparks allows users to identify topics they are interested in, that could spark
conversation. Through Sparks, users can stay updated on developments and stories based on their topic
of interest. The Stream allows users to see recent updates from their Circles. A Data Liberation option
permits users to download content from Google Plus. The application does not yet offer an API like
other popular social networks; however it will integrate with other Google applications.
Dot429: Dot429 is a professional community designed for the gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual
community and those who support them. The site provides a variety of content, including updates on
issues and stories related to the LGBTA community. Event galleries show images from various events,
including the 429Grand SF brunch. The 429 Magazine covers a number of topics, including art, design,
politics, business, influential people and lifestyle content. 429 TV provides access to similar content in
the form of online videos. A member’s area displays current users with their images, occupation and
name. Registered users can access profiles. The Straight Talk page reserves a space for discussions with
influential speakers in the LGBTA community. Dot429 is a large community dedicated entirely to
LGBTA individuals from all walks of life.
TalentSplash: TalentSplash gives talented individuals a place to market their abilities. Users can also
look for talent for project...
TalentSplash is a talent network that helps individuals build their careers. Users can sign up to
become available to companies and organizations in need of talent. The community focuses on talent in
all its forms, including actors, behind the scenes talent, writers, visual artists, photographers, musicians,
filmmakers, comedians, dancers and anyone with extraordinary talents. The homepage showcases
upcoming events, hot jobs and recently added splashes. Talent profiles can include images and videos
9. as well as the number of views, talent data and other interesting details. Users can search for talent by
name or by browsing people, videos and photos. The site also includes a contests area and a
marketplace that lets users create listings for available jobs or for available talent.
Empire Avenue: What can you use the app for?
Empire Avenue is half traffic generator and follower creator and half game. It creates a “virtual
stock market” that measures profile engagement. Users play the game with a virtual currency called
“eaves,” buying and selling shares in one another’s profiles to get virtual currency dividends. This
helps measure the profiles that are most active. Users can also drive traffic to websites, blogs, and
social media profiles by creating “missions” that offer virtual currencies in exchange for users taking
certain actions, like reading user blogs, following Twitter profiles, or visiting other links. This can help
gain some direct traffic while helping users discover new things to explore and interact with over the
Internet, great for users who enjoy exploring the new and unexpected. Users can also earn achievement.
Orkut: Orkut is a social network, which allows users to showcase videos, blogs and other content to
their circles of friends. The service helps its users reacquaint themselves with old friends, keep up to
date with their friends' activities and meet new friends too. The site has all the usual features that you
would expect from a social networking site, such as a display of personal information, options to post
videos and photos and even a personal blog. Users can completely customize their profile with
backgrounds, images, music and "bling" to have it be a complete representation of their personality.
Since Google owns YouTube, the integration between YouTube and Orkut is excellent, and posting
YouTube videos to one's profile or blog is simple. There are also community groups based around
shared interests and users can browse first and second-degree friends.
Netlog: Netlog is a social networking website intended for younger people in Europe. Users can create
a profile and add photos, blogs and guest books. Just like other social networking websites, users can
add friends and follow one another. Users can also add events, music and video clips to their Netlog
profiles. Further customization is offered through the site’s library of professionally designed profile
skins. Users can connect with people they know and meet new friends through shared interests and
Netlog also provides privacy settings, advanced inbox tools and visitor statistics so users can
monitor activity on their profiles. A handful of convenient Netlog-related extras are also available to
download, including the uploader which allows for quick picture and video uploading and the Netlog
24 desktop application
Piczo: Piczo is a website for teenagers and the youth. It aims at empowering teens and young peopl
Piczo is a website for teenagers and young people in general. It can serve as a social networking
site which is designed specifically for teenagers. It can be an alternative to social networking websites
like Facebook. The Piczo application provides a space for people to create their own blog pages and
users do not need to have much experience in creating blog to be able to use the application. Users may
also create a website that contains many blog pages. There is also an official blog for teh application
that provides users with useful informationa dn potential ideas for creating new blogs or articles. With
10. the official Piczo blog , users may also locate information about news stories, interviews with other
memebers or people, tips about various topics, features of the application and a variety of updates.
Groupsite: Groupsite.com combines features of traditional websites, blogs, collaboration software and
GroupSite offers users a number of tools to collaborate effectively. The site includes functions
like group calendars, sub groups, photo galleries, video sharing, file and document sharing, and more.
Users can bring an entire team together, no matter how far apart they may physically be. Using an
online application like GroupSite is an easy way to keep everyone informed and get input quickly as
the project progresses. Additional social features like contacts, profiles, goal sharing, and the ability to
vouch for the credibility of others can also help enhance the capabilities of GroupSite. Mobile features
are also available for professionals on the go.
LikeALittle: LikeALittle is an anonymous flirt and chat tool that is gaining widespread popularity
among university students.
The app can be used mainly by students to anonymously send compliments, observations and
other messages to other students. It also serves a chat function. Students can anonymously chat with
each other. Students frequently use it to send out a compliment to somebody, male or female, who they
saw walking by on campus. Shy students can also use it to try to flirt with a man or women whom they
otherwise probably wouldn't have the courage to speak to
Heello: Heello.com is a platform where users can share short updates with an optional photo or video.
Heello provides user with an easy way to share updates, much like Twitter. The application lets
the user create a profile complete with name, avatar or image, location and contact details. The user can
add a short update, called a Ping. Along with the text update, the user can attach a video or photo. Pings
can also be used to share the user’s location. Each Ping appears much like Tweets on Twitter, with a
list of Pings appearing in the order they were submitted. Other Heello users can respond and post Pings
as well, so the users can interact and share information. The site also includes a built in follow system
called “listens.” The user can choose to “listen” to another user (which is the same as following) so
they are updated when the user posts new Pings. Heello profiles also contain stats that show how many
Pings have been posted, how many listeners the user has and how many others they are listening to.
Ruck.us: Ruck.us provides users with a chance to meet others who share their political beliefs. The site
matches users up with...
Ruck.us is a political social network that takes a refined approach to helping people connect.
Rather than directing users based on their overarching political party or labels, the site reviews the
user’s beliefs and opinions of specific issues. By applying the user’s position on these issues, the site
provides a more detailed, accurate and realistic interpretation of that user’s political stance. Users are
not required to lean all the way to one side or the other. After answering issue related questions,
Ruck.us matches the user with others like them so they can share ideas and discuss important topics.
This also allows users to group together to find others who want to take action on a specific issue that
11. they feel needs attention. The site recommends petitions, causes and candidates based on the user’s
Coderwall: Coderwall is an application that provides developers and any associated teams the
opportunity to specify their skills..
Coderwall is an application that enables skilled professionals provide information about their
achivements and successes. It provides a channel for skilled workers such as programmers and
developers to let others see summaries of their skills, experience and interests. By providing such
information, technically inclined individuals can gain credibility and also remain relevant within their
specific career or job-oriented communities. Users of Coderwall can also include their profiles in job
applications, although depending on the employer, interpretations of the presented profiles may not be
readily clear. Nevertheless, it can contribute positively to a job application.
Sharing Giggles: Sharing Giggles is a way to help parents and others save and share memories of
children as they grow and reach milest..
Sharing Giggles provides a digital baby book or child memory keeper that lets parents and
family share memories, laughs and giggles regarding their children with others. Users can determine
who to grant access to view this child's photos or memories. Busy parents are able to track, save and
store memories that establish various milestones children pass through. Whether a child turn one or two
years old, begins to walk, learns how to giggle or sing, the Sharing Giggle application is able to allow
users capture such moments and make them truly unforgettable. Parents, kids and children are able to
enjoy precious moments captured by Sharing Giggles.
Hubbub: Hubbub is a social networking app that allows users to interact with sound, uploading and
downloading shot audio clip...
You can use Hubbub to carry out your social networking with sound. You can link in to Hubbub
through your Twitter or Facebook account and start immediately utilizing short sound bites as a main
form of social networking. You can use Hubbub to keep up with your social network when you are
driving, jogging or performing some other activity that prevents you from using your hands to type.
4talk IM: 4Talk IM is a world-wide chat app that offers a few convenient features. Send images, voice
messages, text messages a.
4Talk IM is a chat app that lets people communicate via mobile device. The service is available
to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users and includes features and functionality that fully utilizes the
abilities of iOS 7. Users can engage in real time text conversations, send voice messages, pictures, files,
location details and store contacts and more. User profiles include a photo or avatar image, name,
phone number, status, related notifications, devices and more. With a few taps, the user can search for
specific contacts and send a message, image or view their profile. A version is also available for laptops
and desktop PCs that allow the user to stay in touch with phone contacts while using their PC. Mobile
to PC features also include access to other features like file sharing.
MySpace: MySpace gives internet users a place to network and enjoy music. The site presents music-
related news and photos alone.
12. MySpace is a music-focused social network. Users can add friends to their contact lists and send
private messages or post messages on one another’s profiles directly (much like a Facebook wall). The
user’s profile includes an image and as much or as little personal information as the user cares to add.
Users can catch up with friends, meet new people and explore a variety of mainstream musical talent.
Each user is also given a blog feature that they can use, which is accessible through their profile.
Additional photos can be added to profile albums. Users can put together a play list of their favorite
music to share with others as well. The site has incorporated the ability to earn and display badges for
completing various activities within the online community.
Ning: Ning gives users an easy way to build a social hub for their business, group or brand. The
application lets the user ...
Ning is a social website builder that lets users bring their audiences together in one centralized
location. The user can select a design from a list of pre-made themes. The application also includes 80
design settings to further customize the look of the user’s social website. The user can also make
further changes through the CSS. Users can organize events on their social pages and include member
profiles that allow their audience members to create a personal space within the online community.
Discussions can be started through forms, activity streams, chats and groups. User generated content
can also be displayed as images, comments, blogs, videos and voice opinions. Ning includes built in
integration with YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Revenue features are also available for businesses.
Hi5: Hi5 is an international social network site. Users can share their interests, photos, videos and
music while playing
Hi5 is a social networking site where users can play games, interact with and befriend others
virtually. Instead of limiting one's friends to those they know in real life, Hi5 encourages its users to
grow their circle to more virtual friends and have fun doing it. It has many of the usual features of other
social networking sites, where one can setup a their own profile page, create an avatar, show off photos,
hobbies and make new friends. Profiles can be completely customized much like MySpace, so it can
represent the user's personality. The site was redesigned in 2009 with a more intense focus on
entertaining its users and offering them many games and activities that they can play. In 2010, Hi5
opened itself to new game developers to offer its users a ton of variety in new apps and activities
Bebo: Bebo is an online social network service. Bebo is especially popular in the UK and Ireland.
Bebo is a social network that allows users to interact and share media online. The user can
create their own customizable profile and post videos and photos for the Bebo community. Just like
other social networks, Bebo allows users to post updates and send messages to keep friends, family and
others on their contact list “in the loop.” The application has also added some online games that can be
played with others through the site. The homepage features an ever-changing user activity feed so
newcomers can see what’s going on within the Bebo community. The site also offers users a dating
area for single users who are interested in connecting and possibly starting a dating relationship.
PeopleJar: PeopleJar is a search platform for individuals and organizations to be found and find others
by specific attributes f..
PeopleJar is intended to help individuals promote their professional, personal and humanitarian
efforts. Users can connect with other throughout the world. PeopleJar encourages individuals to form a
13. bond based on a similar interest or passion. It is a social network that encourages users to use it along
with their other social networking profiles. The site gives users the ability to add Performances. A
performance can be anything imaginable. The term refers to a video, audio clip, photo, or document the
user created to share their interests. Performances are intended to allow the user to show their
individuality while adding a solid conversation starter as other with a similar interest notice the user
and begin talking about their life’s passions. People Jar is essentially a social network that focuses on
the deeper sides of its users.
Classmates: Classmates.com enable users to locate and interact with acquaintances from high school
Classmates is a social networking website based around high school friendships. Users can
explore a community of people who they went to school with, reintroducing themselves or staying in
touch with friends they still talk to. The site also boasts the largest online collection of high school
yearbooks available. Users can search for their school by browsing states or countries. The application
includes schools in the United States, Canada, Austria, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and France.
Users can also view the year books page, which is sorted by decade starting with 1920 and ending in
1980. A state search option is also available for year books. The Classmates network currently covers
more than 30 million individuals. Users should note that the number refers to all individuals found in
yearbooks rather than users on the site.
TagWorld: TagWorld is a social network that is focused on tags. Users can add content, converse and
access content by tags.
TagWorld is a social tagging community that helps users find content by topic. The website
revolves around a tagging system. Users can upload images and post comments. A search bar lets users
browse by keyword. Users can also click buttons to access different types of content, such as blogs,
links and photos. TagWorld gives the user an overview of all content related to a tag. Just like other
social networks, TagWorld lets users establish a profile and add friends. Friends lists are displayed as
images on the user’s profile page. The site has set a few ground rules for its users since activity relies
so heavily on the actions of others. The rules are generally what most users expect to find in any forum
or network and help keep TagWorld fun for all users.
Power.com: Power.com allows users to read their Orkut, Facebook, MySpace and other social network
messages all in one place.
Power.com is a social inter-networking site that allows users to login to all of their social networking
sites from one location. Users can share information between networks, and send information to all of
their networks at the same time. Currently the service supports Facebook, HI5, Orkut, Voteme, Google,
Metacafe, YouTube, MSN, Games and 5 other social networking sites. Users have their own Start
Page on Power, which shows a summary of all of their Messages, Friends, Communities, Friend
Invitations, and Updates from all of their social networking sites. There are also links to pages for each
of these categories.
The Start Page also provides links to the user’s home page on each of the social networks that
they belong to. There is a message bar at the top of the page which allows users to send messages to
any of their friends. By entering a friends name in the message bar, users can also view that friend’s
14. profile, view their photo, or chat with them. There is also a chat bar at the bottom of the page which
allows users to log into and use MSN messenger via MessengerFX.com. The user’s profile is also
shown on the Start Page. The site’s content is available in English, Portuguese and Spanish.
BlackPlanet: Blackplanet is the largest Black community online.
BlackPlanet is the largest Black community online. Users can socialize and meet Black women
and men for friendship, networking or dating. Users can open up and express their opinions in the
forum's groups, chat rooms and blogs. Users are also able to showcase themselves their talent using the
site's personal profile and networking with other members of the online community.
Also, users can have fun meeting Black people who share their interests. Users of the
BlackPlanet community can also find other members on the site by seeing who is online, by attributes
like gender, age, location, whether the user has photos on their profile, their relationship status and
finally their sexual orientation. The site also lists a number of fun features for its users including
Farmandia, setup VIP lists, takes quizzes, get rated by other members and become a secret admirer of
another member. Finally, users can look through photos posted by other members, listen to music and
submit and read the blogs of other members.
Gather: Gather is a compilation of news stories from many different perspectives.
Gather is a site that compiles news articles and also provides an outlet for members to post their
own commentaries as well. Users can comment on the provided content or they can create their own.
The site aims to provide a unique perspective on the latest going-ons. Users can share their own views
or join in the conversations that revolve around their favorite topics. The site is also a resource for
freelance writers to find their own work.
Gather works with hundreds of freelance writers who start thousands of conversations each
month. Beyond just reading the latest articles on the site, users can also make friends and find others
who share the same opinion as they do. The site features many different articles in many different
topics. Some of it is serious, and some of it is just gratuitous entertainment or newsstories. When users
find writers whose work they enjoy they can choose to visit that writer's page or even follow all of the
articles that they write.
Tribe.net: Tribe.net connects communities together.
Tribe.net is a social network that aims to make connecting to one's community an easier task.
Nowadays it can be difficult to find new friends or make connections within one's own neighborhood.
Tribe.net has arranged for different local groups or interest groups where users can congregate online.
Some of the groups include: Burning Man, Makeup & Hair, Healthy Food, DIY and more. Users can
search for communities by keywords via the app's homepage. Some keyword examples that the site
gives include poker, san francisco restaurants, underground hip hop and more. When users enter into a
new community they will see a board full of posts and also a lit of active members in the community.
Users can choose to join the tribe or to bookmark it. Once in a thread and once a user joins a tribe they
can then comment on the content or contribute to the tribe.
GROU.PS: GROU.PS is an online community site creator.
15. Grou.ps is a site that allows users to build their own social networking site. The site is ideal for
groups and organizations. Grou.ps provides a complete social networking environment for the user's
group. Setup is fairly straightforward – the user chooses a web address for their group (a subdomain of
grou.ps), enters title and description information, enters profile information, selects from one of many
available themes for the group's site, and invites users to the group. The user can then control all
aspects of the group site from the Administrate section of the site. The user that creates the site is by
default the administrator of the site, but other users can be given administrative rights.
The main features that are available to users of the group's site are Profiles, People, Group Chat,
Forums, Blogs, Photos, Videos, Games, Calendar and Wiki. Additional features which can be added by
the administrator include complete control over profile questions, Facebook applications, language
customization, polls, moderation of content, member ranking/rewards system, create new pages, alerts
and monetization using Google AdSense. Also available from the administration section are the ability
to send group messages, the ability to send a weekly newsletter, and a Statistics section which shows
usage statistics for the group's site.
Lunch.com: Lunch.com is a community based on finding your common ground with other people in
order to help make the world more that.
Lunch has nothing to do with food, except as a personal passion among its users. The concept
behind Lunch focuses on understanding and learning about other people. The application’s goal is to
bring communities closer by helping people find common ground through interests, beliefs and
preferences. Users create profiles and share things about themselves, allowing them to connect with
people they might never have otherwise. Lunch helps peel away preconceived notions to provide a
more tolerant environment for bonds to thrive.
Togetherville: Togetherville is a social online community for families where parents create safe online
neighborhoods for their kids.
One of the biggest concerns parents have today is whether or not their children are safe online.
The internet allows almost anyone access to others throughout the world. Parents worry about who their
children are talking to and adding to contact lists on social networking websites. Togetherville provides
parents with a valuable tool to keep young children safe. A parent or guardian can create an online
network of people that they know their children know. Togetherville gives kids a way to communicate
with friends and family online while learning how to use social networking tools all within the safety of
a parent-created network.
Chi.mp is a service you can use to collect, promote and connect elements of your digital life on
Many professionals have a growing concern about their online reputation. There are many
different ways for businesses and individuals to promote themselves digitally. The problem is that
managing them all can be very time consuming. Chi.mp was designed to help users organize their life
online and promote themselves digitally. Users can take control of their online identity and find out
what others are saying about them. Chi.mp has brought together many helpful items that allow users to
centralize their internet presence and easily promote themselves. Through Chi.mp features, users can
16. highlight strengths and activities, create a personalized web space, set public and private viewing
permissions, get a free .mp domain name, and allow friends and colleagues to find their profile on
GetGlue: GetGlue helps you find your next favorite movie, music album, book or other every day
GetGlue is a unique social networking website that helps users discover their next favorite film,
book, or other form of entertainment. The site works much like StumbleUpon, only with an
entertainment focus. Users can give a thumbs up or thumbs down to suggestions made by GetGlue.
This helps determine what other items are presented. The site also monitors what the user’s friends are
watching or reading and factors that information in as well. Users can earn status on the site through
stickers. Stickers are essentially badges or achievements the user can earn. Some are easy to get based
on the user’s activities while others are a little more obscure. Some require the user to log in on certain
days at a certain time. The user can build their reputation through stickers and show friends what they
like while discovering new entertainment media that may be their next favorite.
Tarpipe: Tarpipe makes it easy to share content across different social media applications.
Tarpipe allows users to automate publishing to several social media platforms by creating
workflows. The workflows can be triggered by email, instant message updates, or third party apps.
ScuttlePad: ScuttlePad is an online network for 6 to 11 years old kids.
Finding safe places for their children to explore the internet is very important to some parents.
The internet can offer a number of valuable opportunities to growing minds. The problem is that there
are many people out there who are not who they claim to be. Parents are often worried about who their
children ware conversing with online. ScuttlePad gives parents peace of mind by providing a place for
children to enjoy an online environment that is safe and secure.
Kids can build their own personalized profile complete with a photo or image. They can add
their friends or make new friends through ScuttlePad. The application also allows users to send
messages to one another. Parents can appreciate the 6 to 11 year old age group and guided
communication feature that allows words found on a predefined list. Each photograph posted on a user
profile is manually reviewed and must be approved first. The site maintains a positive approach with no
bullying or soliciting.
Everloop: Everloop is a safe social networking site for children.
Everloop is a social network designed specifically for children. The site gives children and their
parents a safe place to interact online. Everloop encourages social skill development by providing
young internet users with a place to interact. The site also rewards its users for learning how to by
socially fluent online. Parents can set up alerts so they stay aware of Everloop activity and what their
child is doing. The website also maintains a very strict security policy to ensure that they know who is
Parents are asked to provide credit card information to verify their identity and to make sure that
each child on Everloop has been given permission by a parent or guardian. The website has also
17. implemented a more sophisticated security system that doesn’t only look for red flagged keywords but
identifies patterns to prevent bad behavior from occurring. Everloop also employs a team of real people
trained to watch for the early signs of a problematic user.
Google Profiles: Google Profile allows users to create a public profile to display personal information.
Google Profiles is an application for creating a public profile. It can act as a social media hub to
link to blogs, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, and other profiles.
PeerIndex: PeerIndex is an authority and reputation rating platform.
PeerIndex provides users with a great deal of insight into where they stand in the online social
arena. The user is given a detailed profile that reveals how they measure up based on all of their
activity. The PeerIndex shows the user their social capital. Users can also check out the topic
fingerprint to view a snapshot of what they have discussed. Topic resonance is also reviewed to
measure how others valued the user’s addition to the conversation. A comparison feature is also
available that allows the user to see how they compare to friends and others. PeerIndex has analyzed
over 6 million people to date. Users can also see recent topics linked on the homepage.
Tagged: Tagged is a social network that encourages users to meet new people. Users can chat, send
messages, add friends and p...
Tagged is a social network that intends to help users meet new people. Unlike popular sites like
Facebook, the application encourages its users to mingle with people they do not know online. The
interface includes all the tools most users expect from social networks. Users can send private messages
and build a profile that is seen by the Tagged community. Chat is available as well as social games that
give users more things to do together.
Users can sign in with an existing Facebook, MySpace or Twitter account. Users can give
virtual gifts and customize the color and style of their profile layout. Photoalbums are included as well
as social groups.
Glogster: Mix graphics, videos, photos, music and text into Glogs.
Glogster.com is a social networking platform that allows users to create “glogs”, which are blog
entries that look like posters. A glog can consist of text, graphics, images, videos and a background
image. The glog editor provides many predefined elements for use on the glog, such as various graphics
and many different text styles. Users can drag and drop elements of the glog anywhere on the page, and
rearrange them at any time. The completed glog can be saved at its own unique address on the
Glogster.com site, easily shared via a link or via the major social networking sites, or embedded on the
Glogster.com has several social networking features such as ratings on glogs, friends, fans,
comments on glogs and messaging. Users also have a profile on the site. All of a user's blogs can be
seen from their profile, and the site categorizes all glogs according to new glogs, top glogs, or by
category, such as Fun and Entertainment, Love, School,Music, etc. Users have a dashboard, where they
can view thumbnails of all their glogs, their friends, fans and messages. Users gain points on the site,
which are called “G's”, by rating the glogs of other users or by leaving comments.
18. Bloson: Bloson.com is an online portal that converts every day social activities into financial help for
Bloson is a social networking website intended for the everyday internet user. Visitors can join
groups or make one of their own. Bloson also connects with Facebook to expand functionality and
accessibility. New users are encouraged to sign up and share content or use Bloson as a way to reach
out about a cause they would like others to recognize.
Path: Path allows you to capture your life’s most personal moments and share them with the 50 close
friends and family in y..
Path provides users with another way to network socially with friends and family. The
application helps users build a path to others through their social network. Users can share information
about their lives, what they are doing, and more. They can also add photographs and put the people
they know and places they have been in context. With the "Stacks" feature, the photos are then
organized based on the places, people and things tagged in them. Through Path, users can stay
informed and keep friends and family up to date on what is going on in their life.
Soovox: Soovox is an online influencer network where your voice is heard by the brands you love and
Soovox gives users a unique opportunity to earn something form their favorite companies. The
site allows users to build a Social IQ and essentially earn through their networking. The way the system
works is by allowing users to enter all their social networks into their Soovox account. Soovox then
calculates the user’s Social IQ. This provides a starting point for the user’s (also called the
“influencer”) social influence. After registering and adding their profiles, Soovox begins monitoring
content and what the user posts through their profiles. Each time the user mentions or supports brands
or products, they can earn virtual rewards, freebie items, and cash. The user can also choose to send
their earnings to the charity of their choice. Businesses can also register with Soovox to empower their
best customers each time they talk about the company’s brand.
Noteleaf: Noteleaf provides a service to take notes about people and keep in touch using follow-up
Remembering people can be a real chore, especially with the accessibility of the internet. Many
people connect with far more individuals than they ever would have offline. Noteleaf offers a system
that helps users remember who they spoke to and other important notes to jog their memory. The
application is easy to use. It works by giving the user a place to enter a Twitter style note about
someone into their personal note collection. They can reference the notes later to remember who the
person was or how they met them. They can also include scheduled events and alerts in case they have
to do something for or with the person. Noteleaf works through a small box that can be used while
browsing the internet or doing almost anything on a computer. The user can check out a social
networking profile and add notes to their Noteleaf entry. The system is easy, simple, and very quick to
RendezVous353: RendezVous353 is an Irish global networking site connecting the worldwide Irish
19. Rendezvous353 is an Irish focused social networking website geared towards helping users find
common interests and connect. The site includes numerous special interest groups to encourage user
participation. Users can share their opinions, ask for advice or provide advice. They can also stay on
top of local and world news and current events. The site welcomes both professional and personal
contacts. Users can find friends and family members to stay in touch on Rendezvous353 or reach out to
a client or business partner. Entertainment is also available on the site, including videos with “Irish
flavor” and photographs. Each element is added to create a multi-purpose social networking website for
MeetYourFriends: MeetYourFriends is an online social community where you can meet, chat and flirt
with people from across the world.
Meet Your Friends is an online social community. Users can connect with people globally who
have similar interests. It promotes the sharing of culture and experiences through the private, secure
LeFeed: A Facebook app that allows users to organize their news feed.
LeFeed is a news feed organization tool that uses complex algorithms in order to learn what
users like. The app then organizes the user’s Facebook news feed in a way that allows users to see their
top interests first. LeFeed also gives users access to a + or – button that allows users to vote content up
or down, teaching LeFeed more about what is important to them. Users have the option of
automatically “liking” any post that they choose to vote up. The algorithm engages in periodic updates
to make sure that it is working in an accurate way. This is an app that works exclusively with
6. Mobile social network:
Mobile social networking is social networking where individuals with similar interests converse and
connect with one another through their mobile phone and/or tablet. Much like web-based social
networking, mobile social networking occurs in virtual communities. A current trend for social
networking websites, such as Facebook, is to create mobile apps to give their users instant and real-time
access from their device. In turn, native mobile social networks have been created
like Foursquare, Instagram, and Path, communities which are built around mobile functionality. More
and more, the line between mobile and web is being blurred as mobile apps use existing social
networks to create native communities and promote discovery, and web-based social networks take
advantage of mobile features and accessibility.
As mobile web evolved from proprietary mobile technologies and networks, to full mobile access to the
Internet, the distinction changed to the following types:
1) Web based social networks being extended for mobile access through mobile
browsers and smartphone apps,
2) Native mobile social networks with dedicated focus on mobile use like mobile
communication, location-based services, and augmented reality, requiring mobile devices and
technology. However, mobile and web-based social networking systems often work symbiotically to
spread content, increase accessibility and connect users from wherever they are.
20. 6.1 SOCIAL MEDIA MOBILE APPS THAT MAKE YOUR LIFE EASY:
Social media marketing doesn’t always happen at your desk.
There are times when you want to update your status, send out a tweet or reply to a fan while
on-the-go. This is when you rely on social media mobile apps to make it all possible.
Social media mobile apps give you the flexibility to work from anywhere and they let you get things
done with a simple touch on your phone.
They also eliminate the need to return to your desk every time you want to post something to
your social media accounts.
Here are 5 social media mobile apps that can make on-the-go social media marketing a breeze for you.
1. DrumUp : DrumUp is very different from other social media management tools. It searches for
content that relates to your business and gives you a fresh stream of recommendations everyday. It also
allows you to schedule the content on your social media pages like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
For businesses that require a constant stream of good quality content, DrumUp can work wonders.
To start getting your content, all you need to do is fill in some keywords that relate to your business.
For example, if you run your own photography business, you can input keywords like photography,
wedding photography, camera techniques etc. DrumUp will give you interesting, share-worthy stories
that can be posted straight to your social media accounts.
These stories are then queued for publishing based on a schedule that DrumUp thinks is best. You can
even set your own time for posting the content depending on your preferences. You can also review and
edit the queued posts before they are published.
DrumUp has a simple user interface that is easy to use, and acts as a central dashboard where
you can manage multiple social media accounts.
It uses NLP (Natural Language Processing) and machine learning algorithms to return good quality
content recommendations and there are plans of improving the application such that it can generate
content that is specific to a location by learning and understanding keywords.
DrumUp is being offered for free, and is a definite must-have social media mobile app because of the
convenience it brings to your content discovery efforts.
You can download and use it for free on your Android devices.
2. Mention :
If you have been looking for a way to monitor your brand and keep track of how it is
performing on social media, Mention is the mobile app for you.
The Mention app gives you an insight into what people are saying about your brand, and
whether the buzz around your brand is positive ot negative. Using the application is quite simple.
You can put in keywords that are specific to your brand, and the application will monitor the
web for those keywords. It will also send across real-time alerts whenever your brand gets talked or
As a business owner, you might be in need of an application that lets you tackle any kind of
emergency damage control. With Mention’s real-time alerts, you get quick notifications if something
requires attention and prompt action.
You can also get notified about whether your brand mentions are positive, negative or neutral –
which can be quite beneficial when it comes to creating a proper social media marketing strategy.
21. Image Source: Google Play
If you see a brand mention, you can easily see the person it came from and respond to it from directly
within the application without having to open another website or replying via email. The free
application lists all your alerts in order of priority and gives you the ability to assign certain tasks to
other team members – all from within the application.
Mention app is available on Android and iOS devices.
3. Facebook Pages Manager
While Facebook might get used for more personal activities, Facebook Pages Manager makes it
possible to use Facebook for business with just as much ease. For Facebook page administrators, this
tool brings a lot of convenience in updating business pages on-the-go.
Facebook Pages Manager is quite similar in appearance to the regular Facebook application – which
makes it easier to use and navigate.
The app allows page administrators to publish updates on multiple pages without any hassle.
Page administrators can also look at all the pages they are managing, and the number of administrators
It also allows you to see the account and privacy settings. All these settings can be easily seen
on the homepage without having to switch between tabs. The best feature this application provides is
the ability to separate personal and business pages – which helps avoid any kind of accidental posting.
Using Facebook Pages Manager you can monitor the performance of your content because the
app lets you see the number of people who have liked, commented or shared your published content.
You can also give other administrators access to specific pages from within the application.
This mobile app is a great way to keep your Facebook pages up-to-date even when you are away from
The app is free for download on Android and iOS devices.
4. News Reader by Feedly:
News Reader by Feedly is an awesome mobile application if you are constantly on the look out
for great content. This free app is available on both Android and iOS, and it gives you the ability to
discover fresh sources for content.
You can add various RSS feeds to the app, including feeds for your favorite website and blogs,
and all the content will be available for browsing in one application .
Account set up is easy and can be done through either Facebook or Google. Once you have an
account set up, you just need to add your preferred feeds to the application.
News Reader classsifies all content in categories like travel, marketing, films, photography etc.,
which simplifies the process of browsing through the content on your smartphones.
Most of all, News Reader by Feedly works with various social accounts like Facebook,
Evernote, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more – so you can share your favorite content through these
social media websites. It also lets you conduct a search for trending topics in case you are looking to
discover new content sources.
22. 5. Sparksfly:
Quite similar to News Reader by Feedly, this mobile application is pretty cool. The application
is designed to bring up content recommendations that are based on your content preferences. This is
made possible due to a specific algorith that the application uses.
The application allows you to search for content and filter it by adding keywords that are
relevant to your area of interest. You can also add various social networks and other users if you like
the content that a specific user is sharing.
Based on the content that you prefer to read regularly, you can create various “routines” on
Sparksfly, making it easier to browse through content that you are interested in.
These “routines” give you great content recommendations which can later be shared on social media
networks with friends, family and colleagues.
Sparkfly gives businesses an opportunity to appear in user routines and create a brand that is
well known and can be easily identified. It also helps you connect with your consumers in a more
You can download Sparksfly for your Android and iOS and use it for free.
7. METRICS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING:
7.1 Website reports:
This involves tracking the volume of visits, leads and customers to a website from individual
social channel. Google Analytics is a free tool that shows the behavior and other information, such as
demographics and device type used, of website visitors from social networks. This and other
commercial offers can aid marketers in choosing the most effective social networks and social media
7.2 Return on investment data:
The end goal of any marketing effort is to generate sales. Although social media is a useful
marketing tool, it is often difficult to quantify to what extent it is contributing to profit. ROI can be
measured by comparing marketing analytic value to contact database or CRM and connect marketing
efforts directly to sales activity.
7.3 Customer response rates:
Several customers are turning towards social media to express their appreciation or frustration
with brands, product or services. Therefore, marketers can measure the frequency of which customers
are discussing their brand and judge how effective their SMM strategies are. In recent studies, 72% of
people surveyed expressed that they expected a response to their complaints on Twitter within an hour.
7.4 Reach and virality:
Popular social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks can
provide marketers with a hard number of how large their audience is nevertheless a large audience may
not always translate into a large sales volumes. Therefore, an effective SMM cannot be measured by a
large audience but rather by vigorous audience activity such as social shares, retweets etc.
23. 8. THE TOP 10 BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING:
To some entrepreneurs, social media marketing is the “next big thing,” a temporary yet
powerful fad that must be taken advantage of while it’s still in the spotlight. To others, it’s a buzzword
with no practical advantages and a steep, complicated learning curve.
Because it appeared quickly, social media has developed a reputation by some for being a
passing marketing interest, and therefore, an unprofitable one. The statistics, however, illustrate a
different picture. According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing
was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites.
And according to Social Media Examiner, 97% of marketers are currently participating in social
media—but 85% of participants aren’t sure what social media tools are the best to use.
This demonstrates a huge potential for social media marketing to increase sales, but a lack of
understanding on how to achieve those results. Here’s a look at just some of the ways social media
marketing can improve your business:
1. Increased Brand Recognition. Every opportunity you have to syndicate your content and increase
your visibility is valuable. Your social media networks are just new channels for your brand’s voice
and content. This is important because it simultaneously makes you easier and more accessible for new
customers, and makes you more familiar and recognizable for existing customers. For example, a
frequent Twitter user could hear about your company for the first time only after stumbling upon it in a
newsfeed. Or, an otherwise apathetic customer might become better acquainted with your brand after
seeing your presence on multiple networks.
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2. Improved brand loyalty. According to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who
engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. The report concludes
“Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting
with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing
consumers into being brand loyal.” Another study published by Convince&Convert found that 53% of
Americans who follow brands in social are more loyal to those brands.
3. More Opportunities to Convert. Every post you make on a social media platform is an opportunity
for customers to convert. When you build a following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new
customers, recent customers, and old customers, and you’ll be able to interact with all of them. Every
blog post, image, video, or comment you share is a chance for someone to react, and every reaction
could lead to a site visit, and eventually a conversion. Not every interaction with your brand results in a
conversion, but every positive interaction increases the likelihood of an eventual conversion. Even if
your click-through rates are low, the sheer number of opportunities you have on social media is
significant. And as I pointed out in my article, “The Four Elements of Any Action, And How To Use
Them In Your Online Marketing Initiative,” “opportunity” is the first element of any action.
4. Higher conversion rates. Social media marketing results in higher conversion rates in a few distinct
ways. Perhaps the most significant is its humanization element; the fact that brands become more
24. humanized by interacting in social media channels. Social media is a place where brands can act like
people do, and this is important because people like doing business with other people; not with
Additionally, studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than
outbound marketing, and a higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust and
credibility in your brand, representing social proof. As such, simply building your audience in social
media can improve conversion rates on your existing traffic.
5. Higher Brand Authority. Interacting with your customers regularly is a show of good faith for
other customers. When people go to compliment or brag about a product or service, they turn to social
media. And when they post your brand name, new audience members will want to follow you for
updates. The more people that are talking about you on social media, the more valuable and
authoritative your brand will seem to new users. Not to mention, if you can interact with major
influencers on Twitter or other social networks, your visible authority and reach will skyrocket.
6. Increased Inbound Traffic. Without social media, your inbound traffic is limited to people already
familiar with your brand and individuals searching for keywords you currently rank for. Every social
media profile you add is another path leading back to your site, and every piece of content you
syndicate on those profiles is another opportunity for a new visitor. The more quality content you
syndicate on social media, the more inbound traffic you’ll generate, and more traffic means more leads
and more conversions.
7. Decreased Marketing Costs. According to Hubspot, 84% of marketers found as little as six hours of
effort per week was enough to generate increased traffic. Six hours is not a significant investment for a
channel as large as social media. If you can lend just one hour a day to developing your content and
syndication strategy, you could start seeing the results of your efforts. Even paid advertising through
Facebook and Twitter is relatively cheap (depending on your goals, of course). Start small and you’ll
never have to worry about going over budget—once you get a better feel for what to expect, you can
increase your budget and increase your conversions correspondingly.
8. Better Search Engine Rankings. SEO is the best way to capture relevant traffic from search
engines, but the requirements for success are always changing. It’s no longer enough to regularly
update your blog, ensure optimized title tags and meta descriptions, and distribute links pointing back
to your site. Google and other search engines may be calculating their rankings using social media
presence as a significant factor, because of the fact that strong brands almost always use social media.
As such, being active on social media could act as a “brand signal” to search engines that your brand is
legitimate, credible, and trustworthy. That means, if you want to rank for a given set of keywords,
having a strong social media presence could be almost mandatory.
9. Richer Customer Experiences. Social media, at its core, is a communication channel like email or
phone calls. Every customer interaction you have on social media is an opportunity to publicly
demonstrate your customer service level and enrich your relationship with your customers. For
example, if a customer complains about your product on Twitter, you can immediately address the
comment, apologize publicly, and take action to make it right. Or, if a customer compliments you, you
can thank them and recommend additional products. It’s a personal experience that lets customers
know you care about them.
25. 10. Improved Customer Insights. Social media also gives you an opportunity to gain valuable
information about what your customers are interested in and how they behave, via social listening. For
example, you can monitor user comments to see what people think of your business directly. You can
segment your content syndication lists based on topic and see which types of content generate the most
interest—and then produce more of that type of content. You can measure conversions based on
different promotions posted on various social media channels and eventually find a perfect combination
to generate revenue.
These are the benefits of sustaining a long-term social media campaign, but if you’re still
apprehensive about getting started, consider these points:
• Your Competition Is Already Involved. Your competitors are already involved on social media,
which means your potential social media traffic and conversions are being poached. Don’t let your
competitors reap all the benefits while you stand idly by. If, somehow, your competition is not involved
on social media, there’s even more of a reason to get started—the field is open.
• The Sooner You Start, the Sooner You Reap the Benefits. Social media is all about relationship
building, and it tends to grow exponentially as your followers tell their friends, and their friends tell
their friends, and so on. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be able to start growing that audience.
• Potential Losses Are Insignificant. Realistically, you don’t have anything to lose by getting
involved in social media. The amount of time and money it takes to create your profiles and start
posting is usually minimal, compared to other marketing channels. Just six hours a week or a few
hundred dollars is all it takes to establish your presence.
11. THE 18 BEST BLOGGING AND PUBLISHING PLATFORMS ON THE INTERNET
Despite ongoing cries that blogging is slowly dying, there are still tons of people looking to start
new blogs for the first time or move to a better platform on the Web.
We wrote a comprehensive guide to blogging platforms two years ago, but the landscape has
changed dramatically in that time, with new entrants and technologies offering completely new
approaches to writing.
Here’s our ultimate guide to the best blog sites for getting your blog set up for the first time, or
as a new home for those who are tired of what they’re already using.
1. A quick primer
26. 10. Jekyll
17. Scriptogram R.I.P.
19. The ones that didn’t make it
11.1 . A quick primer:
There are a whole lot of confusing words and technologies involved in setting up your own blog, so
consider this your glossary. These are the common terms you will run into when trying to set up your
This is usually provided by a company that manages the entire blog for you. All you need to do is sign
up and you can start blogging without worrying about setting up your own server or knowing how to
code. An example of a hosted service is WordPress.com.
A self-hosted blog means paying a company like Digital Ocean to rent a server, then downloading
some blogging software to install on your own. This option requires some basic technical skills to set
up things like a database and custom domain name.
11.1.3 Domain name
The domain name is the URL of your website, or how people can find you online. An example of a
domain name is www.thenextweb.com or www.facebook.com. To get one, you’ll usually need to pay a
yearly fee to a domain name provider like IWantMyName or NameCheap.
You’ll also see references to sub-domains. They’re used by third-party services like WordPress or
Tumblr so you don’t need to buy your own. Here’s an example – owenw.wordpress.com.
Markdown is a simplified way of formatting your text, developed by John Gruber. For example, to
make text bold you would *write it like this* and to link a phrase, it would [look like
It might look intimidating at first, but it’s actually a graceful way to write, because there’s no
complicated user interface to get in your way.
A flat-file CMS doesn’t use a database to generate the site, instead relying on text files stored on the
server to serve up pages. These sites are easier to move and manage because there are less moving
11.2. WordPress (Hosted or self-hosted)
The default choice for many bloggers, WordPress remains the most popular choice and comes in two
27. forms. WordPress.com offers a freemium hosted service that provides free sub-domains and limited
customization to users, or WordPress.org’s free self-hosted option that doesn’t contain the restrictions
found on the hosted version.
The organization hasn’t shared any official usage statistics since 2013,when it claimed to run about 19
percent of all websites (W3Techs says Wordpress made up approximately 23 percent in 2014).
Over the last two years WordPress has seen a lot of improvements, such as a distraction-free writing
mode, better media editing tools, full emoji support and a fully responsive administration interface.
WordPress remains the king of customization, with thousands of plugins and themes available
for installation to make the platform do whatever you please. That said, using them correctly requires a
fair amount of knowledge so you should be careful which ones you choose.
It might be the most boring choice of blogging platform, but it’s also the most reliable.
Pros: Most mature blog platform, stable and highly customizable through plugins and themes
Cons: Can be complex to configure beyond the basic setup, self-hosting has a high learning curve.
Verdict: If you’re new to blogging and want full control over how your site looks and feels, WordPress
remains the best choice. It’s rock-solid and has been around for a number of years.
WordPress.com (hosted) / WordPress.org (self-hosted)
Many people mistake Squarespace as a service for simply setting up a business website, but its
blogging platform is best in class. Starting at $8 per month, Squarespace makes it easy to build a good-
looking blog without any coding experience whatsoever.
The service provides a range of theme options, but if you’re adept at coding you can also build your
The best thing about Squarespace is how easy it is to set up. You can easily build out an entire website
alongside your blog.Squarespace’s blogging interface is simple, easy to use and allows you
easily embed a huge amount of third-party content like videos, calendars and even restaurant menus.
Pros: Easy to set up and build a great-looking blog
Cons: No free plan, only available as a hosted offering
Verdict: If you want an easy, hassle free blog that’s a cinch to maintain and you don’t mind spending
money, Squarespace is the best choice.
If you’re nervous about setting up a blog only to have the service you choose eventually
disappearing, Posthaven is an excellent choice.
Posthaven rose from the ashes of Posterous, which was abruptly taken offline after it was acquired by
Twitter.Touted as an offering that plans to last “forever,” Posthaven costs $5 per month to set up your
blog. It’s fairly basic and doesn’t offer a raft of features, but makes it easy to quickly share your
thoughts, pictures or other content.
28. Pros: Posthaven hopes that it’ll stick around longer than most alternatives, easy to set up and get
Cons: Very basic, not offering features that other services offer already
Verdict: A good choice if you’re worried about your blog being around for as long as possible
11.5. Ghost :
Originally conceived in 2013 as part of a highly successful Kickstarter campaign that raised
$300,000, Ghost has been in active (albeit slow) development ever since.
The platform is based on a modern Web technology called Node.js, which means it’s fast and
responsive, even under heavy loads. The interface is fast and simple, using Markdown for formatting
It’s initially fairly basic, but Ghost themes are highly customizable (if you know how to code) and the
community building them has grown rapidly. Right now, there are no third-party plugins as Ghost
doesn’t support them, however they’re expected to land later this year.
Ghost is available in two flavors, as a download for self-hosting or thehosted GhostPro option
which starts at $8 per month.
Pros: Super fast, modern blog platform that’s easy to use. The new-comer on the block.
Cons: Ghost is slow to add new features, slightly harder to self-host than WordPress
Verdict: The best alternative to WordPress, if you don’t mind a few missing features
Kirby is a unique, flat-file CMS built using PHP that keeps things extremely basic but offers a
lot of customizability. Out of the box, Kirby works as a blog, however it really shines when you
develop your own themes.
Oriented toward developers, Kirby makes it easy to develop your own customized blog with fairly
basic PHP knowledge. The CMS takes care of complex tasks and its API is inspired by jQuery so
you’ll probably already know how to use it if you’ve coded in the past.
Perhaps the best feature of Kirby is you are able to create “blueprints” for the site, which adds
custom fields in the administration panel for filling in areas of your custom designs. There’s also a
healthy third-party plugin community.
Because Kirby is flat-file based, you’ll need to self-host it. One cool thing to note: because Kirby
doesn’t rely on a database to run, storing all posts as files, it’s easy to switch hosting providers at any
time and maintain backups.This also means it’s fairly simple in nature, so you can’t do things like
schedule posts right now. In the past, Kirby has been my CMS of choice because it’s so intuitive to
Kirby is free to try and build your theme, but you’ll need to pay $15 for a personal license before you
put it online.
Pros: Easy to build custom themes without extra learning required, simple to use and friendly interface
Cons: To truly take advantage of Kirby you’ll need to know how to code
Verdict: A great choice if you know some PHP and aren’t scared away by having to code
29. 11.7.Medium :
When Medium arrived on the scene in 2012, it was a major shake-up for the blogging universe.
It delivered a beautiful interface and a network that can reach a lot of people.
Medium has one of the most well-designed post editors out there, making it easy to quickly style text,
quotes, images and other media in an attractive way. There are no options to customize themes or look
and feel of your ‘blog’ but different image layouts, quotes and text uses can make a big difference.
There are two major gotchas with Medium: first, you’re required to use the hosted Medium site and
second, custom domains are supported but are only invite-only for now so you’ll probably end up with
something like http://medium.com/@yourtwittername.
That said, Medium is a great place to get started because it’s currently very popular. If you write
something that gets enough recommendations, it can end up on the homepage or in people’s email
inboxes, which drives a significant amount of traffic.
Pros: Instant setup, easy to use, fantastic editor
Cons: Limited customization, no custom domain support and no self-hosting option
Verdict: If you want a no-setup way to get blogging, this is it. If you want to customize your blog, try
In the same vein as Medium, Svbtle is a dead-simple blogging platform for just getting set up
and writing straight away.
Svbtle focuses on making the writing experience as simple as possible. The interface is stripped back,
offering only what you need to write and publish a post. It uses Markdown for text formatting.
You can’t customize your blog very much outside of an accent color and logo and it doesn’t offer as
many options for arranging your images and text as Medium. That’s not necessarily a bad thing,
however, because Svbtle is designed for simplicity.
In the past, Svbtle was invite-only but it opened up in 2014 for all to publish on, offering either a sub-
domain or the use of your own custom domain.Svbtle is only available in hosted form, for $6 per
Pros: Dead-simple interface for reducing distractions when writing, popular among the technology
Cons: Limited customization, Medium offers more features for free and no mobile app
Verdict: Great platform for reducing distractions and just writing, however the limited customization
options and restricted interface are not for everyone
30. 11.9.Postagon :
Postagon’s focus is creating a simple, clean blog for you in a few seconds. It’s a feature rich
blogging platform that offers RSS feeds, social sharing, cross-browser editing and more.
Like a number of the other options here, Postagon only offers a single theme with limited
customization options. You can’t change the way the theme looks beyond a few photos, but it works
well on mobile and desktop.
For $5 per month, you get all features and custom domain support.
Pros: Lots of features included with minimal setup to get blogging
Cons: Limited customization, no mobile app and no new features recently.
For the adventurous, or those that simply don’t want anything complex. Jekyll is a powerful ‘static site
generator’ that uses Ruby to generate your site from text files.
The idea is that with Jekyll , you don’t need any moving parts in your web app. You simply write your
post, run a command and a static site made up of HTML files is generated.This technique means
you’ve got a rock-solid website that can handle a significant amount of traffic with very few issues and
you can write in your own editor, on your terms.
You need to be comfortable coding and using a command line, but Jekyll lets you build highly-
customized sites. If you’re brave enough, Paul Stamatiou, a designer at Twitter, has written an excellent
set up guide.
Pros: Very customizable, you can use your own editor and build your own themes, handles high traffic
Cons: You need to know how to code and be comfortable finding your way around a command line
Verdict: Want to nerd out and build your own blog? Jekyll is the absolute best way to do it.
A slightly different way of thinking about a CMS for developers, Contentful delivers your blog as an
API. You write in Contentful, then code a separate interface to pull in your posts from the cloud.
This approach lets you also build your own mobile apps and access content easily there, too. There’s no
interface or front-end, that’s all up to you. Contentful just provides the tools to create a post and
delivers it as code.
Pros: You’re not tied to anyone’s interface or development language, instead you can use anything you
Cons: It’s up to you to build the entire thing
Verdict: Only for the most adventurous developers
31. 11.12.Anchor :
A free and open-source CMS you can self-host. Anchor is a thoughtfully designed blogging
It’s feature rich, easy to self-install and gives you ownership of your own content.
Pros: Free, open-source CMS without the bloat
Cons: If you don’t want the basic theme, you’ll need to know how to code.
Verdict: A good choice if you’re comfortable building your own site as well as taking care of self-
A beautifully designed minimal platform for getting blogging done. If Medium and Ghost had a
child, Silvrback would be the result – a beautifully designed, minimal platform for getting blogging
Silvrback focuses heavily on design and getting out of the way so you can blog. It’s a hosted
offering that focuses heavily on design, with a number of useful feature such as email subscriptions,
custom domain support andsyntax highlighting for developers.
It costs $29.99 per year to run a Silvrblack blog, but it’s a great option for those that want to
own their own content rather than handing it off to a company that can only profit from selling your
Pros: Beautifully designed, easy to use and independent
Cons: Limited design options, only available in hosted form
Verdict: It’s hard to fault Silvrback; it’s an independent blogging platform that’s well developed, easy
to use and offers a great alternative to the mainstream choices.
11.14. Tumblr :
Still the cool kid on the block, Tumblr is a great place to quickly get your own blog set up. It’s
full of young people and hipsters, but Tumblr’s blogging tools are easy to use and unique.
The service is built around different post types, so you can share a photo set, quote or video
post, rather than just cramming different content types into a default style.The most powerful thing
about Tumblr is that, just like Medium, there’s a community that you can engage with – it’s more than
just a blogging platform.That helps to get your blog out there and noticed. If you’re self-hosting, using
something like WordPress, you don’t have that advantage.Tumblr is free to use, but has advertising.
Pros: Easy to set up, thousands of theme options available (free and paid), community can help get you
Cons: Full of teens and hipsters, not everyone wants social networking baked into their blog
Verdict: Tumblr makes it easy to get started and meet like-minded people, significantly more so than
most traditional blogging platforms. It’s easy to get started and makes it easier to find like-minded
bloggers, significantly more so than most traditional blogging platforms.
32. 11.15. LinkedIn :
LinkedIn has quietly become a popular blogging platform and the company finally launched
blog analytics last week. If you’re looking to make a name in business blogging, it could be the place to
There aren’t many options, since this isn’t so much a traditional blog as a tool built on top of
LinkedIn’s social network. That said, if you write good content that’s relevant to those that follow you,
it’s a powerful way to reach a wider audience, thanks to the social network’s sharing tools.
Pros: You’re blogging right where the business audience is, LinkedIn has powerful tools for
amplifying your content on its network
Cons: There are essentially no configuration options and you’re blogging on top of a social network so
you don’t really own your own content. Also, not everyone appears to have access
Verdict: Want to reach business readers? LinkedIn is a good place to start, but don’t expect any fancy
11.16. Postach.io :
Postach.io is a little different – it turns an Evernote notebook into a blog. All you need to do is
connect it up, tag entries you want to publish, and it will do the rest.
Postach.io is $9 per month for up to ten sites and five authors, or $90 per year with two free
months. It’s a hosted-only offering, but also keeps things incredibly simple, while letting you
retain control over your own content.
Pros: Easy to use, setup completed in a matter of minutes, integrates into your existing workflow
Cons: Fairly limited options, a little odd to work out of Evernote
Verdict: Love Evernote? Use this.
11.17. Scriptogram :
This blogging platform turns a folder in your Dropbox into a blog. The company aims to reduce friction
to blogging by allowing you to put words on the internet as fast as possible.
All you need to do is create a Markdown file in your Dropbox — which you can do from any device —
and hit synchronize to publish. Scriptogram has a number of custom themes, but you’ve also got
complete control over the CSS if you prefer that.
What’s most compelling is that Scriptogram is free and supports your custom domain without any
Pros: Free, works with Dropbox, easy to get publishing
Cons: It being free means the company will have to monetize one day, right?
Verdict: It’s worth using Scriptogram if you don’t mind using Markdown and like not paying money
33. 11.18. Tinypress :
GitHub offers free website hosting for every user. Tinypress builds on that to make it easy to
quickly get an open-source blog – where anyone can submit errors of corrections – on the service.
It offers a simple editing interface, customizable themes, a full Markdown/HTML editor and an
Android app. If you’re familiar with GitHub, you can download your blog as a repository and directly
edit it in your favorite text editor.
You don’t need a custom domain to use Tinypress, because GitHub provides a free sub-domain
for you. You can also use a custom domain for free. The service was formerly $9.99 per year, but is
now available for free.
Pros: Developer friendly, easy to use and free
Cons: If you don’t know Git, this could get complicated
Verdict: Nerd out and use this for a fully customizable, but simple, free blog.
You might laugh that this is even an option in here, but it’s increasingly becoming the choice of
platform for younger generations.
If you don’t want to set anything up and want the easiest way to make your content shareable, you can
just write in the notes app on your phone and drop it on social media. It sounds ridiculous, but loads
of the celebrities are doing it.
Pros: Easy to just write, no setup required
Cons: You didn’t actually create your own blog
Verdict: Screenshorts are a legitimate way to blog, but probably not a credible one
Last time we wrote a roundup of publishing platforms in 2013, there were a number of options that
appeared that didn’t make it this time. Here’s a quick overview of why:
Google+: It’s fairly obvious why you shouldn’t be publishing on Google Plus, but if you weren’t
aware, it’s not doing particularly well as the company has neglected it in recent times, even splitting off
some of its services.
Quora: It’s a place you can blog if you really want, but that’s not all that popular anymore. You’re
better off moving somewhere new.
Blogger: This platform is dead. Google might insist that it isn’t, but the company also isn’t putting any
effort into it at all and hasn’t for a number of years. It’s not a safe bet.