Oh, the now not so new darlings of online marketing. There's also now a saying that "if it's free to use - then YOU'RE the product". Privacy concerns aside (yes, you're being tracked - "Privacy is dead - get over it"), if you're using these networks to help connect with and market to your customer base, they take time. And if you don't have time, then be prepared to spend money to get results. (There's a whole new industry that's sprung up over the last 6 years or so, for social media marketers, managers and consultants.)
- Facebook: Eveyone knows what Facebook is about by now. A billion people can't be wrong - right? Personal profiles, Business pages, Photo Albums, and "Communities". Want to get oodles of "likes" and "intereaction"? Be prepared to spend time and/or money, share and stay on message inside the ecosystem as much as possible.
- Sina Weibo, Renren and Tencent Weibo Hootsuite primer on major Chinese social media: "the other billion users".
- Flickr: Love photos and video? This is the place for sharing your best. Follow other profiles, join, create and manage interest groups. Also provides the option to license your images to Getty.
- Google Plus. G+ is dead was the mantra for many commentators over the last 2 years, and I couldn't see their point. They must be visiting the wrong neighbourhoods, I thought. But back in November 2015 Google changed G+, and now I just don't log in and visit or use it the way I used to, but it's still important for being an "active" business for Google search purposes so ... set a time limit, get in, stay focused, get what you need, share what you planned to, and then get out.
- LinkedIn.This is where you can handshake online rather than just wave. Personal profile and resumes, company pages (after you've proved your personal bona fides) groups, and jobs! And you can keep the page fresh by sharing your Twitter and blog post wisdom. The oldest social media network (founded 2002), it predates Facebook by two years, and is the most "professional" network, although many people now consider the groups a spam fest so...shrug.
- Pinterest. You haven't heard of Pinterest yet? It has already influenced they presentation style of other networks, and even has look-alike blog themes and web site templates now. Use public boards to show off your pretty pics, share interesting stuff from other places with the browser app, and get web site referrals from pins that you'd forgotten you posted three years ago! Drink in the infographic overload, and gather all your inspiration and research in one place, away from prying eyes with private boards. It's the new internet watercooler for fun, leisure and seriously ageless promotion and web site referral opportunities for travel and hospitality providers.
- Twitter. The world is a river in 140 characters or less. The company that made the @ symbol, #hashtags and url shorteners ubiquitous, along with lists. Use it as the airlines do, to keep customers informed of fast changing developments, or pick up quickly on questions, difficulties and gripes that could become potential PR problems. Stay in touch with past, present and future customers. Keep up to date with industry news (many trade publications tweet their latest blog posts, PR, news and web site info to their twitter feed, as do the travel and lifestyle sections of major newspapers), find and follow your own special interests, and if you like, even friends and family!
- YouTube. The world's number two search engine, YouTube is more than lolcats and jackassery. It is now a search engine in its own right, with many people using it for industry presentations, "how to" instructions, PR and marketing, looking for and checking out their next holiday spot, as well as general wasting of time. Again, many niche and industry markets will have a YouTube presence to augment and enhance other channels.
- Learn WordPress "You've got a blog. Huzzah! Time to make it the next internet sensation. Whether you want to be a WordPress.com pro or just need to get the hang of the basics, you've come to the right place." And if you dip your toe in the water with a free wordpress.com account, you'll also have a free plug-in which you can set up to share your blog posts to your primary Facebook, Google + and Twitter accounts. Publish once - broadcast many. Huzzah again!
Content Curation Services
Now you can be your own Rupert Murdoch! Curation services allow publishers/broadcasters (that's you if you're using any of the above), to consolidate your work, especially from your twitter accounts and lists, include other publishers and channels, and then publish/reshare it back out to your preferred network/s. Most also have Wordpress plug-ins, Chrome (or other web browsers) extensions and bookmarklets.
It's also where you can subscribe to other people's publications and stay up to date with all the news that you might miss otherwise.
To go even deeper down the curation rabbit hole, check out these articles:11 Content Curation Tools Every Marketer Needs from Hubspot, which is probably a good place to start if you've never thought about or done curation publishing before. And The Ultimate List of Content Curation Tools and Platforms, which will make your head spin, seeing how many excellent tools are available.
Usually misquoted as "Privacy is dead - get over it" it's actually "You have zero privacy - get over it". Scott McNealy, CEO Sun Microsystems, 1999.
See also: State of the Web: Who killed privacy? You did.
Web - Mastering
Isn't the world wide web a great place to enjoy and learn? Here are
a few of the places where I got to know a bit more about how it all works,
got valuable advise, or picked up some free public domain material.
Guidelines There is such a thing as Netiquette and you ignore
it at your peril. This link is to the original RFC (Request For Comment)
from 1995. Timeless information for "newbies", veterans and administrators alike. Also see Internet Basics (Australian Govt - Dept of Communications) and Netiquette: Rules of Behavior on the Internet from Education.com.
Plagiarism - The OWL at Purdue. "There
are few intellectual offenses more serious than plagiarism
in academic and professional contexts. This resource offers
advice on how to avoid plagiarism in your work." Just
because it's on the web and in the public domain, doesn't
mean it's free for you to use without permission. Stealing
or copying someone else's work and passing it off as your
own is not an auspicious way to further your career (or web
site!). An excellent resource for students and academics.
- Spambot Beware: "There
are many ways of hiding your email on a web page. Most of the tricks
described here can be combined, and all of them will benefit from
some CGI tricks as well." Thanks to Greg Sabino Mullane for
providing a simple site explaining the many aspects of spam,
what to do and as importantly, what not to do in combating it!
- World Wide Web Consortium,
or W3C. The overlords and arbiters of common web language, style
and behaviour. If you design/write web pages you should visit occasionally
to ensure your code is up to date so we all get to see your pearls
of wisdom. Much technical sysadmin stuff, but also a number of
tools to test your code against the current standards. A good
place to get an overview of who, what, where, when, why and how.
- The Web Design Group "was
founded to promote the creation of non-browser specific,
non-resolution specific, creative and informative sites
that are accessible to all users worldwide. To this
end, the WDG offers material on a wide range of HTML
related topics." A must visit, and it
most likely won't matter which browser you use (yes,
there's more than one!) or how slow you connection
is, you'll enjoy this site, and get some excellent
tips on simple and effective page layout and coding.
Original .GIFs. "All graphics here ...
are placed willfully and knowingly in the public
domain. ... -- backgrounds, wallpapers, lines/bars/dividers,
bullets, arrows/pointers, menubar icons, and
misc. icons -- are completely original, ...
Use is granted to personal and professional web
pages alike, as well as print newsletters, etc.,
and you don't need to ask permission before use." If
you want a background or other graphics to spruce
up the look of your site, a visit here is a must. There
are many beautiful graphics, and they are well
and truly in the *free* public domain, so you
don't have to ask for permission. Thanks
Archive - high quality backgrounds! An old
favourite, the name says it all. Backgrounds
are mostly in the free public domain, and from
contributors as well, so check the copyright
- Sitepoint Whether you're a beginner or seasoned pro who wants to learn more, Sitepoint is a great starting point.
- WebReference.com The
Webmaster's Reference Library - Web Authoring Tips & Tutorials
for Developers, an internet.com site.
- The Web Robots
Pages How to allow or prevent search engines and
spiders (the polite ones at least) from indexing pages,
directories or whole sites.
- The Search Engine
Report Useful for everyone who uses SEs to find stuff,
and and also to stay abreast of SE developments as a webmaster. "...
Is a monthly newsletter that covers developments with search
engines and changes to the Search Engine Watch web site."
- WebmasterWorld "...is one of the World's leading educational news and discussion forums for webmasters to discuss topics related to all aspects professional web mastery."