It’s easy these days to see how the viral nature of online networking, as featured at SoCon09, is reaching new territories.
The well-read Peach Buzz column in the AJC this week disclosed new blogging efforts by Jane Fonda, famous actress and former wife of CNN founder Ted Turner. Fonda also is on Twitter, the popular microblogging site that also has been invaded by such established news organizations as ESPN, FOX News and CNN, and even the U.S. Congress. Another high-profile Twitter user: NASA, with its Mars mission.
Some who attended SoCon09 in the Atlanta area would already have known of Fonda’s efforts, as breakout session James Andrews of Ketchum PR agency described launching Fonda’s site. “What voice are you using?” Andrews advised bloggers. “What is your social map?” In other words, don’t try to be all things to all people.
Andrews also noted that Barack Obama’s new administration might be ushering in “White House 2.0.” This generation “expects” video with a story, he said, explaining that Obama’s YouTube response to George W. Bush’s final State of the Union speech drew 1.5 million views. (Updated 2/21/09: To show how online video usage is growing, YouTube alone got more searches than Yahoo in Jan. 2009, per info in the Comscore release.)
Many businesses already know how a social media strategy can pay off. Atlanta PR/social media agency Flammer Relations told in a “tweet” how Highland Homes increased sales late last year after cutting its ad budget by 50% and launching a social media campaign. And a recent Bizjournals story out of New York state describes how a day spa there is doing more viral marketing. Less cost, similar exposure, and huge word of mouth potential are hard to beat.
The one thing left wanting from SoCon09 was “what’s next.” The buzz says Web 3.0 will be mobile, or virtual worlds. I tend to lean with the former. With text messaging, e-mail alerts and even mobile blogging being wildly popular, expect businesses to tap into that mode of connection. (More buzz: The AJC, beleaguered like many other daily newspapers by societal changes in communications, is developing a mobile-phone strategy. Don’t say you weren’t warned.)