Popular Social Networks in Other Countries

 

Facebook and Twitter are two huge forces to be reckoned with when it comes to social media. Both have huge user bases; Facebook has more than a billion users, Twitter has over 500 million. Both networks boast users from all over the world. The same goes for other social media power players like Instagram, Pinterest, and Reddit. Each social network brings in a different crowd that houses a mix of cultures amongst users. This creates an interesting dynamic.

However, other countries also have social networks that are specific to themselves as well. Surprising, right? It can be if you haven’t thought about this before.

Here is a little information about some other big social networks from around the world:

Badoo, founded in Spain

Badoo focuses more on dating and meeting people. The service is offered only to those 18 years and older, contrary to Facebook and its relatively lax 13 and up policy. Badoo is free for a basic profile, but charges for some upgrades like games. Badoo now has a presence in 180 countries.

Weixin and Weibo. China

Weixin and Weibo are two large social networks in China. Weixin is relatively similar to Facebook, but it has the option to share to smaller groups of friends and family rather than everyone on your friend list. Weibo is geared more towards the general public and has a more Twitter-like feel.

StudiVZ, Germany

StudiVZ is a social network geared primarily towards students in Germany and Europe. According to Wikipedia, the network gets its name from the German expression Studentenverzeichnis, which translates to students’ directory. Because the interest of the network is primarily education, users’ profiles revolve around their studies, including what they study, interests, and classes they are taking.

Bebo, based in California

Bebo became popular several years ago. It was founded in California but quickly gained a large international following. In 2008, Bebo had upwards of 40 million users. The network has since lost many users, but is being revamped by its original founder.

While I don’t want to sound like a cliché, social networking has essentially taken over the modern world. More social networks exist than you can even think of. With the amount of social networks nowadays are people going to start getting burnt out? Only time will tell.

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Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

Is LinkedIn Becoming Just Another Resume Site?

 

I have blogged quite a bit about LinkedIn being an important site to maintain a professional presence on. We’ve discussed what to include or not include in a profile and why it’s a good idea to give a comprehensive picture of what your skills, job history, and education entail. So why is LinkedIn under fire from job seekers as well as employers?

Sites like Career Builder and Monster have been around for quite some time. Typically, these sites offer free memberships to people who are seeking jobs while they charge employers to post job listings. This makes sense, right? The job seeker and the employer both benefit, as the seeker is able to browse and apply for many different listings, and the employer gets a wide variety of applications to choose from.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, has always billed itself as a place for people to make professional connections. At first, the ability to look for a job or a new employee on the site was just a perk. Now, LinkedIn is turning job hunting into a business entity. While it does seem like a natural fit for the site, since the focus is on professional skills, some people feel as though LinkedIn is going about this shift the wrong way.

If you choose to post your resume or apply for jobs on LinkedIn, there is the opportunity to pay roughly $30/month to have your resume bumped to the top of the pile on job listings that you apply for. However, employers can see by a special badge that is assigned to your profile that you have in fact paid for this upgrade. So while your application may be more visible, employers are also able to tell that you paid. This may accomplish the results that you’re looking for – employers may look more closely at your application. But it may also have the opposite effect. Employers may discount people with paid memberships, assuming that they are underqualified and need to pay to have their application bumped to the top of the proverbial pile rather than let their experience speak for itself.

So essentially, LinkedIn is profiting not only from companies who choose to pay to advertise open positions on the site, but also from job-seekers who pay their monthly fee.

So does all of this mean that you shouldn’t use LinkedIn? No. I think it’s still important to maintain a great presence on the site. While it can be used for job hunting, it’s still a great place to network and showcase your skills. If you are using the site to find or post a job, understand how the process works specifically on LinkedIn and consider carefully whether the paid membership is worth it. Also, if you are an employer, it’s always important to review as many candidates as you can. You never know who could be the perfect fit for your company.

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Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

6 Ways to Activate the Passive Customer

 

Riddle me this: A customer attends all your webinars, opens all your email newsletters, regularly browses your site, and may have even made a few purchases, but for some reason you cannot get this customer to cross the engagement threshold and actually become an evangelist.

You want them to leave reviews and share purchases on social media, but they aren’t. What do you do?

Activating the passive customer can be a perplexing and frustrating effort. The good news is, the customer appears on your radar; the bad news is, you don’t know what buttons to push to make this customer take action. However, transforming these passive customers into brand evangelists is one of the smartest marketing investments any company can make, because these customers can amplify and spread your marketing messages in a way no paid marketing campaign could.

We can take some techniques from persuasive psychology to activate these passive, yet valuable customers. We need to Really, Come See About the Lost Shopper (RCSALS), which is also a list of the most powerful psychological reactions we can use in this situation: Reciprocation, Commitment, Social Proof, Authority, Liking, and Scarcity.

Reciprocation

The feeling of reciprocation proves to be one of the most powerful human impulses. Its a psychological instinct that says we should attempt to repay what another person has provided us. You know that feeling when someone buys you a really extravagant gift? Yeah, me neither! But I have heard it’s a very uncomfortable feeling stemming from the sense of “I will never be able to repay this person, or give them a gift of equivalent value.” Even when the person clearly gives something as a gift, and does not expect to be paid back in kind, we still get this feeling.

How you can use reciprocation to activate a passive customer: When you send a coupon or discount code to a customer, and they use it, make sure you follow up with a message prompting them to review the product/service on Yelp, tweet it out, or give it a Facebook “like.” This allows the customer to reciprocate and helps them “close the loop” psychologically.

Commitment and Consistency

Interestingly enough, consumers tend to be more confident of their choices after they buy something. The act of making a final decision activates a psychological trigger that makes people believe they made the right choice. Look at how Amazon gets so many customers to review products. They ship quickly, the customer gets the merchandise and soon after, Amazon sends an email asking for a review. The customer is already committed to the purchase, so asking them to leave a review becomes just the last step in a really smooth process.

How you can use commitment to activate a passive customer: Make it dead simple for the customer to share the purchase on social media as part of the checkout process.

Social Proof

Humans are social animals. One way we figure out what the socially acceptable thing to do is to find out what other people are doing. When I was a teenager, they called this “peer pressure.”

Have you ever gone into a bar that had just opened for the day? You notice the bartender’s tip jar already has a few dollars in it. How could this be? You are the first customer of the day. Bartenders are geniuses at social engineering, and in this case, the bartender uses the concept of social proof to prompt you to leave a tip. He does this by giving the appearance multiple patrons have already left tips as well.

How you can use social proof to activate a passive customer: Show how many shares, likes, and tweets certain items already have. Based on the existing social proof, this will motivate the customer to share, like, and tweet as well.

Authority

Even the most powerful people in the world drop their pants when the doctor tells them to do so. The most stubborn and headstrong person will quit a habit cold turkey if it’s “doctor’s orders.” Why is this? We are wired to defer to authority, and in this case, it’s a doctor who has authority in our lives when it comes to anything related to health and medicine.

How you can use authority to activate a passive customer: Simply tell them to engage. In many cases you don’t have to cajole or incentivize. Just say, “Here is what you need to do next: leave a review.” Make engagement part of the process.

Liking

Have you ever heard of Tupperware? Avon? Amway? These companies made millions trading on the human trait of liking. In other words, you are much more likely to buy something from someone you know and like, even if you don’t need it. A certain female in my life gets very anxious when she gets invited to an Avon party, because she knows she doesn’t need any makeup, but will buy some anyway to support the party host.

How you can use liking to activate a passive customer: If a customer makes repeat purchases, then it is safe to assume they like you—or at least your products. Many of the CRM solutions on the market have modules that will, when triggered by a customer’s second purchase within 30 days, automatically send the customer a note telling them, “Share Us on Twitter or Facebook to Get 20% Off Your Next Purchase.”

Scarcity

“Limited time offer!” “Supplies Limited!” “Last Chance!” “One of a Kind!” I’m sure you’ve seen slogans like this associated with all kind of products and services. These examples illustrate the concept of “scarcity.” When we have limited access to something, our desire for that thing increases, which is why you always seem to want what you can’t have.

How you can use scarcity to activate a passive customer: Make an offer for a customer to share with 10 friends in the next 10 minutes to get a 10% off coupon, and enforce the deadline.

When we take a look at marketing and customer engagement, sometimes we end up running in the same old marketing circles. Taking a look outside of marketing and engaging in other disciplines (such as persuasive psychology) can open up a whole new toolset for creative marketing strategies. Use these tips to turn your passive customers into active customers.

 

Tirrell Payton is a marketer and technologist with more than 15 years of experience in the digital world, and is the VP of Analytical Marketing at Egg Marketing and Communications. He is a former executive at Accenture, a global technology and consulting firm, where he helped companies transition from “industrial speed” to “web speed.” Prior to Accenture, he worked in the digital media division of Yahoo. Tirrell combines marketing sense with technology savvy with an unwavering eye on the bottom line. He is a regular contributor to ChamberofCommerce.com, Small Business Trends, and DIYMarketing as well as his own website, SEOTirrell. Follow him on Twitter @SEOTirrell.