The ability to share photos, opinions, events, etc in real-time has transformed the way we live and, also, the way we do business. Retailers who engage social media as an integral part of their marketing strategy usually see measurable results. But the key to successful social media is to not treat it like an extra appendage but to treat it with the same care, respect, and attention you do all of your marketing efforts. 
If you use social media you need to engage with your customers, involve them in a dialogue, and ask them for their opinions. Post a picture of two items you are considering carrying in your store and ask customers which one they like best. This creates a dialogue which leads to shared posts which leads to engaged followers. Plus, if you follow this example, it will also lead to enhanced margins because your back and forth conversation will prevent you from buying the item that won't sell as well.
Enterprise social networking allows a company to connect individuals who share similar business interests or activities. Internally, social tools can help employees access information and resources they need to work together effectively and solve business problems. Externally, public social media platforms help an organization stay close to their customers and make it easier to conduct research that they can use to improve business processes and operations.

Skype, owned by Microsoft, is one of the most popular communication-based social networking platforms. It allows you to connect with people through voice calls, video calls (using a webcam) and text messaging. You can even conduct group conference calls. And, the best part is that Skype-to-Skype calls are free and can be used to communicate with anyone, located in any part of the world, over the internet.
Launched in March 2010, Pinterest is a relatively newcomer in the social media arena. This platform consists of digital bulletin boards where businesses can pin their content.  Pinterest announced September 2015 that it had acquired 100 million users. Small businesses whose target audience is mostly made up of women should definitely invest in Pinterest as more than half of its visitors are women.
According to research from UCLA, teenage brains' reward circuits were more active when teenager's photos were liked by more peers. This has both positive and negative features. Teenagers and young adults befriend people online whom they don't know well. This opens the possibility of a child being influenced by people who engage in risk-taking behavior. When children have several hundred online connections there is no way for parents to know who they are.[107]
One challenge is that militant groups have begun to see social media as a major organizing and recruiting tool.[57] The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIL, ISIS, and Daesh, has used social media to promote its cause. ISIS produces an online magazine named the Islamic State Report to recruit more fighters.[58] Social media platforms have been weaponized by state-sponsored cyber groups to attack governments in the United States, European Union, and Middle East. Although phishing attacks via email are the most commonly used tactic to breach government networks, phishing attacks on social media rose 500% in 2016.[59]
These may include fashion, beauty, lifestyle, sports, business, society, and many more that you will discover when you register. Advertisers select from these categories when creating campaigns and you will only receive a campaign invite if what they have selected matches your profile. If there is a match, you can participate in the campaign and earn money!

Capitalizing upon human curiosity is an ingenious idea that would lead to the creation and launch of Quora in June, 2009. The website, co-founded by two former Facebook employees, Charlie Cheever and Adam D’Angelo now claims that it received more than 80 million monthly unique visitors, with half of them coming from the U.S. So far, the question-and-answer website has managed to raise $141 in venture capital funds and while it doesn’t look ready to go public yet, it’s definitely a company to watch.


If you use social media you need to engage with your customers, involve them in a dialogue, and ask them for their opinions. Post a picture of two items you are considering carrying in your store and ask customers which one they like best. This creates a dialogue which leads to shared posts which leads to engaged followers. Plus, if you follow this example, it will also lead to enhanced margins because your back and forth conversation will prevent you from buying the item that won't sell as well.
Offered by Baidu of China, a search engine company, Baidu Tieba (known as Postbar internationally) is a social forum network based on the keyword searches in the Baidu search engine. This discussion forum works on the unique concept of allowing you to create a social network group for a specific topic, using the search, or even to join an existing online social group.
The importance of social media to web marketing can't be overstated. To quote a few statistics from our Beginner's Guide to Social Media, 72% of online adults use social networking sites, and YouTube now reaches more U.S. adults aged 18-34 than any cable network. With that kind of traffic, it's no wonder marketers now use these networks to interact with their customers. Google searches for 'social media' have seen a steady rise since early 2009, and data from this year's industry survey tell a similar story. Whether you've been in on the game from the very beginning or are just starting to wonder how social tools can apply to your own professional life, the resources on this page can help take you to the next level.
Perhaps the best feature about LinkedIn is the fact that you can post any recommendations from your previous customers or colleagues about your business right to your LinkedIn business site (and we all know just how important testimonials and third party endorsements are!) LinkedIn gives you the chance to really build up your brand in a community that is quite similar to you. As LinkedIn is more about businesses connecting with other businesses, you’ll be among more like-minded people – and you may be able to pick their brains for more marketing ideas.

It has been estimated that some 81% of Americans used social media as of 2017, and increasingly so. Over one-fifth of an individual's online time is spent on social media, according to one estimate. In 2005, the percentage of adults using social media was around 5%. Globally, there are roughly 1.96 billion social media users. That number is expected to rise to 2.5 billion by the end of 2018. Other estimates are even higher. According to the Pew Research Center, social media users tend to be younger (some 90% of people ages 18 to 29 used at least one form of social media), better educated and relatively wealthy (earning over $75,000 per year). The United States and China lead the list of social media usage:

Great list and please don’t get me wrong here, I am sick to death of Facebook. Is there another alternative TO Facebook? Put simply, NO!!! The other social media sites are devoid of the basic common denominator, Collaboration!! While they MIGHT get you a closed network or a specific audience, it doesn’t cater for interaction with all of the platform. What we really need is somewhere that has a home page with your posts that is broadcast to ALL other users or chosen crowds. We need a news feed to cast all of the posts for people to interact with. Twitter, Snapchat, Google+ and Instagram etc etc, just don’t cut the mustard as far as this goes. Some of the others mentioned are specific to specific audiences and are nothing like Facebook. That is why all other alternatives fail dismally!! I wish I had the money and development time to produce it, but alas I don’t.

It is widely believed that young people are hopelessly devoted to social media. Teenagers, according to this stereotype, tweet, gram, Snap and scroll. But for every young person hunched over a screen, there are others for whom social media no longer holds such an allure. These teens are turning their backs on the technology – and there are more of them than you might think.
According to writer Christine Rosen in "Virtual Friendship, and the New Narcissism," many social media sites encourage status-seeking.[135] According to Rosen, the practice and definition of "friendship" changes in virtuality. Friendship "in these virtual spaces is thoroughly different from real-world friendship. In its traditional sense, friendship is a relationship which, broadly speaking, involves the sharing of mutual interests, reciprocity, trust, and the revelation of intimate details over time and within specific social (and cultural) contexts. Because friendship depends on mutual revelations that are concealed from the rest of the world, it can only flourish within the boundaries of privacy; the idea of public friendship is an oxymoron." Rosen also cites Brigham Young University researchers who "recently surveyed 184 users of social networking sites and found that heavy users 'feel less socially involved with the community around them.'" Critic Nicholas G. Carr in "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" questions how technology affects cognition and memory.[136] "The kind of deep reading that a sequence of printed pages promotes is valuable not just for the knowledge we acquire from the author's words but for the intellectual vibrations those words set off within our own minds. In the quiet spaces opened up by the sustained, undistracted reading of a book, or by any other act of contemplation, for that matter, we make our own associations, draw our own inferences and analogies, foster our own ideas... If we lose those quiet spaces, or fill them up with "content," we will sacrifice something important not only in ourselves but in our culture."
The development of social media started off with simple platforms such as sixdegrees.com.[20] Unlike instant messaging clients, such as ICQ and AOL's AIM, or chat clients like IRC, iChat or Chat Television, sixdegrees.com was the first online business that was created for real people, using their real names. The first social networks were short-lived, however, because their users lost interest. The Social Network Revolution has led to the rise of the networking sites. Research[21] shows that the audience spends 22% of their time on social networks, thus proving how popular social media platforms have become. This increase is because of the widespread daily use of smartphones.[22] Social media are used to document memories, learn about and explore things, advertise oneself and form friendships as well as the growth of ideas from the creation of blogs, podcasts, videos and gaming sites.[23] Networked individuals create, edit, and manage content in collaboration with other networked individuals. This way they contribute in expanding knowledge. Wikis are examples of collaborative content creation.
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