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A Look At Social Media And What It is

|Let's Tweet

Over the Summer I will be doing some presentations on social media and what it is to two groups on Prince Edward Island. I will be writing some articles on social media and what it is leading up to these dates. This is my first of many future articles on social media.

Social Media is empowering users of the internet to have the ability to post their own content online. We have gone from the old times where just website staff would contribute to now-a-days where even big corporations like Futureshop encourage users to contribute to things like their online system which allows you to contribute by rating products.

One of the earliest forms of social that I can remember is newsgroups as anyone could join the discussion. I am told, there was a chat line before this which you dialed into however I can not remember the name.

One of the most popular forms of social media today is a website called Twitter which is a micro-blogging website which allows you to post updates which are 140 characters or less. How many characters is 140 characters? Not many. This paragraph is 268 characters long.

Twitter also allows you to follow people and allows people to follow you. By following someone, it enables you to see their Twitter updates. Social Media is important because it also allows you to connect with individuals to make the online experience not so anonymous and personalizes it. For instance, Comcast, an American based cable & internet company, has been using Twitter to connect with their users through an account called Comcast Cares. Instead of calling Comcast via their 1-800 number, you can tweet a message to Frank Eliason, the comcast employee who updates the Twitter account. As a result, Frank replies which is the key as social media is about contributing.

Frank uses Twitter to search for anyone mentioning Comcast and as a result he posts simple replies such as "Can I help?". The people who leave messages on Twitter with bad feedback can now be assisted with and this allows Comcast to build on it's brand.

But what is Twitter? Twitter is a micro-blogging website which you post updates too that must contain less then 140 characters. You can type your message in via computer or your cell phone. It allows you to follow other users so you can see their status updates meanwhile others can follow you so they can see yours. Twitter can help in multiple ways, whether it be branding or just increase your sales. Another great user of Twitter is United Airlines. They use "Twares" which are discounted fares announced via Twitter.

Of course they won't offer Twares to flights that are near capacity, instead they will offer them to flights that have a lot of room left. This helps them generate some revenue off seats that would normally be empty. We all know you may as well have someone in those seats at a major discount as opposed to no one.

Computer manufacturer Dell, is another company who has been Twittering. Dell has about 30 Twitter accounts ranging from the Dell Lounge to Direct 2 Dell Japan. The English version of the Dell Outlet (@DellOutlet) has made $2 million in sales directly from their single @DellOutlet account. Further to that, Dell has made an additional $1 million from closing deals outside of Twitter that started on Twitter.

It took Dell 18 months to make their first million directly off Twitter and 6 months to make their second million.

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