AOL Invented Socia Media
Written by Trey   
Wednesday, 05 May 2010 22:07

We've passed out a lot of deserved credit to the innovators who've developed ground-breaking platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Myspace. But there's one company that I think deserves a little credit in the social media discussion.

I don't mind saying that America Online helped define social media in the U.S. as we know it today.

Think about it. All of the information that we love to read about our friends and relatives on Facebook was plastered on AOL user profiles years before anyone coined the phrase social media. Once AOL built out their user profile search options, users could search for other users with similar interests and then contact them via instant message or email, very similar to what we do today on Facebook.

It was AOL which first recognized that the Internet could be an extremely powerful social communication tool if you could develop a platform for users to easily interact with.

While some during that period may have preferred an IRC channel, mainstream users needed an easy experience that integrated all of the different communication tools the Internet had to offer in one easy-to-use location. AOL offered that in spades and such developed quite a powerful user influence.

Today, it's easy to see where the company went wrong. High-speeed Internet truly doomed AOL. It didn't take users long to realize they didn't want to pay for AOL and a high-speed DSL connection. While AOL might have taught them how to use the Internet, high-speed access offered a entirely new set of possibilities. Then there were the customer service issues. Rather than realizing how important a user base is, AOL alienated its customers attempting to make it difficult for customers to cancel their service.

Imagine how different AOL could be today if they company would have instead of reacted to the exodus of customers by making their product free and using its powerful user-base to make money through advertising.

Social Media should generate sales leads, not hype
Written by Trey   
Monday, 28 December 2009 04:46

Newsweek did an interesting piece on how the opportunities that exist in social media are being diluted by social media marketing companies that are not delivering ROI.

As an owner of a company that provides social media marketing services, I couldn’t agree more. If you find yourself being pitched by a company on social media services, their presentation, in my opinion, should center on how the campaign will generate leads.

Brand building/monitoring is great. Building a “buzz” about your company is cool. But what about the sales leads?

Any time I give a presentation on social media, I generally start with how this campaign will generate new business for your company. That’s what business owners need and that’s what they pay for in the end. Social media can be a powerful and cheap sales tool, but only if it’s used as a SALES TOOL.

If sales leads and ROI tracking isn’t a part of your social media campaign, you need to give us a call.

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