For individuals, social media is used to keep in touch with friends and extended family, network for career opportunities, find people from all over the globe who share a common interest, share content and more. Those who engage in these activities are part of a virtual social network. For businesses, social media is an indispensable tool for finding and engaging with customers, sales, advertising and promotion, gauging trends and offering customer service. Governments and politicians utilize social media to engage with constituents and voters.

Social media is also often used for crowdsourcing. Customers can use social networking sites to offer ideas for future products or tweaks to current ones. In IT projects, crowdsourcing usually involves engaging and blending business and IT services from a mix of internal and external providers, sometimes with input from customers and/or the general public.

Google+ isn’t so different from Facebook and Twitter in that it allows you to get a message out to a lot of people. The one nice thing about it, though, is that you can separate people into different “circles,” so you can really then target different people of different demographics with your messages and test which marketing messages worked best with who. It’s a great tool to use to really test the potential success of a social media marketing scheme.
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Someone who knows a thing or two about building an audience, strategic partnerships, and making a living off of being authentic and niched online is Michell C. Clark, social entrepreneur and cultural curator. Clark’s entrepreneurial journey began eight years ago online. And now with an audience of over 75,000 people, including major brands, he helps business owners and entrepreneurs transform their social media presence to help them achieve their professional goals.
Recent research has demonstrated that social media, and media in general, have the power to increase the scope of stereotypes not only in children but people all ages.[130] Three researchers at Blanquerna University, Spain, examined how adolescents interact with social media and specifically Facebook. They suggest that interactions on the website encourage representing oneself in the traditional gender constructs, which helps maintain gender stereotypes.[131] The authors noted that girls generally show more emotion in their posts and more frequently change their profile pictures, which according to some psychologists can lead to self-objectification.[132] On the other hand, the researchers found that boys prefer to portray themselves as strong, independent, and powerful.[133] For example, men often post pictures of objects and not themselves, and rarely change their profile pictures; using the pages more for entertainment and pragmatic reasons. In contrast girls generally post more images that include themselves, friends and things they have emotional ties to, which the researchers attributed that to the higher emotional intelligence of girls at a younger age. The authors sampled over 632 girls and boys from the ages of 12–16 from Spain in an effort to confirm their beliefs. The researchers concluded that masculinity is more commonly associated with a positive psychological well-being, while femininity displays less psychological well-being.[134] Furthermore, the researchers discovered that people tend not to completely conform to either stereotype, and encompass desirable parts of both. Users of Facebook generally use their profile to reflect that they are a "normal" person. Social media was found to uphold gender stereotypes both feminine and masculine. The researchers also noted that the traditional stereotypes are often upheld by boys more so than girls. The authors described how neither stereotype was entirely positive, but most people viewed masculine values as more positive.
Social CRM (customer relationship marketing) can be a very powerful business tool. For example, establishing a Facebook page allows people who like your brand and the way you conduct business to Like your page, which creates a venue for communication, marketing and networking. Through social media sites, you can follow conversations about your brand for real-time market data and feedback.
Most social media accounts post random thoughts and information that doesn’t target any specific demographic. If you intend to earn money through social media, however, it is important to focus on a single subject which you are good at or to pick a specific area to concentrate on. You should then tailor all your posts to fit into the niche you have settled on.
My name is Jamie Spencer and I have spent the past 5 years building money making blogs. After growing tired of the 9-5, commuting and never seeing my family I decided that I wanted to make some changes and launched my first blog. Since then I have launched lots of successful niche blogs and after selling my survivalist blog I decided to teach other people how to do the same.
You can help other people achieve their dreams without even leaving home. Whether you’re a physical therapist or a life coach or a financial advisor, you can do a lot of what you’d normally do in-person over social media. Whatever your expertise, you can coach people over email and Skype. To attract customers, first promote yourself on social media. Once you’ve impressed your followers with your knowledge, start a coaching service. This could turn into a sizable income if you already have a semi-lucrative professional, since it typically requires less of a time commitment than in-person coaching. One field that’s proven especially popular is personal training, with companies like FitOrbit offering a number of jobs that probably pay pretty well.
The variety of evolving stand-alone and built-in social media services makes it challenging to define them.[2] However, marketing and social media experts broadly agree that social media includes the following 13 types of social media: blogs, business networks, collaborative projects, enterprise social networks, forums, microblogs, photo sharing, products/services review, social bookmarking, social gaming, social networks, video sharing, and virtual worlds.[17]
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