7 Useful Things I Learned about Social Media at #SMMOC

Here are the notes I took at the meetup last Saturday, April 21st, at the Social Media Mastermind Orange County meetup.

1.  Hashtag–“What does # mean?”

Hashtags, the act of adding # in front of a topic in Twitter, makes that topic sortable, linkable, and can make a virtual “Twitter chat room”.  We did an experiment using #earthquake to see who could find out the fastest when the most recent earthquake occurred anywhere in the world.  You can create a stream in Hootsuite which uses a particular hashtag as another means of sorting Tweets other than lists.

It can send a Tweet to LinkedIn with the #in tag, as long as your LinkedIn account is setup to accept these tweets.  The general consensus is don’t send all of your Tweets to your LinkedIn account because this generates too much “noise”.

2.  Klout—measuring social media influence

There was a discussion of Klout and other sites which measure influence in social media, such as Kred.com, Peerindex.com.  Why should you care about Klout, other than bragging rights about your score?  Other than comparing your score with those you influence, your poors, or those who influence you in social media, it can be useful for a longitudinal (time) study of your own influence.  This can help you figure out what you’re doing that increases your influence.

Klout used to be based on three social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but it is now expanding to six platforms, including Google+, WordPress, and Foursquare.

3.  Foursquare—the “drive-in” version of social media

What is Foursquare and why should we care?  When you go to a store, or an event, and you check in on Foursquare, it can give you the following advantages:

a)  It tells you where you are (helps you hook up with your friends).

b)  It gives you motivation through points which can earn badges like being the “mayor”.

c)  These badges can earn you discounts and other benefits from the hosting company or event (parking privileges, seating privileges, or price discounts).

d)  It can help brand you by having a record of the places you like to visit.

e)  It can help with personal security (tells your friends where you are).   Some cynics said it also tells your neighbors when you’re away from home which might not enhance your home’s security.

4.  SocialBro—managing your Twitter account

If the quantity of your Twitter community is getting out of hand, or the quality leaves something to be desired, SocialBro can help you analyze and manage that community.  You can have it search all of your followers and delete those that may be spammers, for example, by eliminating all those with less than 50 tweets.  However, once you tell it how what to do with your followers lists, you need to synchronize it with your Twitter account in order for it to take effect.

5.  Pinterest—Social media meets “scrapbooking”

Pinterest has gained enormous publicity of late, but this wave of popularity is starting to wane somewhat as the 13 million participants towards the beginning of the year have now dwindled to 8 million (which is still a lot).

There are other Pinterest clones, such as “WeHeartIt” geared towards women and “Gentlemint” geared towards men.  The majority of Pinterest users are still women, although the ratio of women to men is decreasing.

6.  Meetup—the human face is the ultimate social medium

There was a big discussion of the value of Meetup groups, of which SMMOC was but one example.  It is a great way for businesses to attract clientele, but you have to be careful about trying to monetize the Meetups directly by charging for membership or attendance at events.  Allowing free membership or events at which people can discuss or sample a product (such as wine) is ultimate the surest way to generate interest in a business or group.

7.  Privacy issues related to government and social media platforms

There is an Onion satirical story that says that Facebook is a program that was developed by the CIA to collect personal information on US citizens and it has saved the agency millions of dollars.  However, this satire contains a grain of truth, because legislation is being considered by Congress (CISPA) which would allow the government to access the personal information collected by such sites as Facebook, Google+, without the consent or even knowledge of the person whose information is being sought.  This legislation needs to be monitored by those who are concerned about personal privacy.


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