2012
I was having a discussion with Michael Q Todd about Social Media and platforms that are really rocking. It was a very informal, laid back but very informative discussion but these 12 platforms that have been rockin’ for me. After working to get my social media strategy where I want it, this is what i’ve come up with.

12 Platforms you should check out for 2012:  

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Facebook 

There are a lot of people that have issues with Facebook for whatever reason. STOP TRIPPIN’ people! Yeah I said it. Facebook, love it or hate it but they have around 800 million users and they are still growing. This is HUGE for your ability to build your brand. It’s not really about love or hate, frankly it’s about business, brand exposure and Cha-ching!

Facebook has now created an option to Subscribe. This is HUGE for people that use their personal Facebook page for networking, like me. This allows people that follow you on other channels to follow you on your Facebook personal page without becoming your friend. Remember if you opt to allow people to subscribe to your updates, remember to provide some information that would appeal to them and use the public option to post.

Facebook is a driving force behind social media and if you are smart you will take advantage of this to propel your brand. The new revamped Facebook Timeline with ability to offer people the opportunity to subscribe to your updates is HUGE for your brand. Add the power of the Facebook Business Page and that makes a power combination.

When you scoff at Facebook, think about which comparable platforms offer you the ability to reach up to 800 million people.  So if you have jumped off the Facebook bandwagon, I suggest jumping back on. 800 million people, there’s nothing to think about, just do it.
Twitter  

Twitter offers a HUGE opportunity to reach out to an unlimited amount of people, with 140 characters.  Things to keep in mind, don’t spam, don’t shove your marketing message and or sales pitch down the throats of your followers. They don’t care what your selling. REALLY. Twitter is about sharing content that is of value to your followers, NOT about you, your message and what you’re selling. The plus is that providing great content and valuable information will put you in a position to be viewed as an authority within your subject area. This will increase your chances of turning followers into potential clients, clients and or people to collaborate with.  Twitter is HUGE, use it.

Google +

Is the new kid on the block and is really being minimized by many. This is a platform that should be taken serious if nothing more than realizing that Google RAWKS. The Internet would NOT be the same if Google wasn’t a huge player. Google+ is not just a social media platform but a Game changer.  Google + will change the Internet as we know it like they did with the introduction of Google and the domination of the Internet since then. Google will take every platform that they own or that they plan to own and add it to Google+ to make it ROCK. BELIEVE IT! Google+ is the Game changer because it is the beginning of Social Search. Grab a Google+ Page for your business as well. Pay attention peeps.

Scoop.it

Curation is a huge part of the future of the Internet, primarily because there is an abundance or over abundance of information floating about on the millions of social media channels. People are quite literally overwhelmed by the amount of information that is being chucked at them. Curationallows the curator to compile topics of interest by weeding through the information, finding what’s of relevance to their demographic of followers and supply that information to their followers. This is what Scoop.it is all about and you need to check it out.

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Tumblr

Is an extremely social media oriented blogging platform that is easy to share, easy to follow and extremely popular. I use my Tumblr account everyday. Tumblr is great for supplying small segments of information, pictures and quotes to people that are interested in grabbing quick information.

WordPress

Is one of the most powerful blogging platforms available now. I am a reformed WordPress basher that really didn’t get the big hoopla about WordPress until I used it myself. I was using Posterous as my primary blog platform of choice, they changed their format and IMHO Jumped the Shark. So, I was almost forced to look at the only blogging platform that I hadn’t tried  and that was WordPress.  I like the functionality of the free platform and I really REALLY love the self hosted WordPress.org option.  Since WordPress added the option to subscribe for most of the blogs, they are now the best in my book.  I use the Free format for everyday, uncomplicated blogging and the self hosted format for my more involved blogging needs.

StumbleUpon

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Is one of the most underutilized and underused formats in the social media game. Stumbleupon will give some serious juice to your content. I have included it as a sharing option on my blogs, I’ve added it to my Chrome Plugin and I Stumble every blog that I +1 and share. Use it!

Commun.it

Is one of the BEST Twitter management tools that I’ve ever used. I am usually not one for Twitter management tools;  However, I really LOVE Commun.it.  This platforms helps you to focus on people that are your most engaged members, supporters and influences. That’s huge because it allows you to know who is really in touch with your brand so you can actively engage with them. This is “For The Win” for creating an active and engaged Twitter following.  Commun.it also gives you an indication of those that have unfollowed you and those that you should consider unfollowing based on lack of engagement. This is a must in your arsenal for 2012. It is still in Beta and by invite only so if you want, grab INVITES

Empire Avenue

Is first and foremost a great way to meet some really AMAZING people, not just any people but the Social Media Elite ( my opinion) There are so many people in technology and social media related fields playing this social media stock market game.

What’s good about Empire Avenue is that it numerically rates your social media activity by  platform and assigns a dividend (div) amount based on how engaging your content is. The dividend is payed out daily to people that buy your shares, sort of like dividends in real stock market.

You can register as an individual or as a company. After you register, connect your social media channels and watch your share price and divs go up. There is a big drive to buy n00bs, because players have an opportunity to buy shares at a low price.

This game is not for the faint of heart. If you content sucks, your divs will suck and people unload your shares. The good thing is that share price and divs can give you an indication of things in your social media strategy that you may need to work on.  What’s more important than the gaming aspect, is that Empire Avenue offers players the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the most amazing, tech savvy people that they will ever meet.   Join, then chase down the Facebook Groups, Social Empire, Team Zen,  XBar and Eav Winners. Join the groups, learn the game and meet the amazing people behind the game.

Twyla

I am still learning a lot about Twyla but this is one of the platforms that I will be using more. One of the HUGE things about Twyla that I like is the POWER TWEET. It allows you to create the most powerful tweet ever.  Twylah is still in Beta so you have to ask for invites.

Pinterest

Is Image driven Google juice. It is the “New” Hot Social Media Platform, although I hear it’s been around for a while. Either way everyone is jumping on it, primarily because people really love pics and that is the driving force behind Pinterest. It allows you to grab pics from online sources, Flickr, Urls and uploaded images and add to your boards. People can then share those images by repinning them. You can also embed the images, which is really cool. I just started using this and I really like it.

Triberr 

Is the ultimate source of Blog Juice! One of the things about blogging is the ability to get your content out there, shared, Tweeted etc. You can have the greatest blog out in the world with the most wonderful content but if no one reads it,  the content is almost irrelevant. Triberr is the key  to getting readers for your blog content.

Triberr allows a user to create a Tribe and add members to their tribe. All tribe members can add an RSS of their blog which then gives the tribe members an opportunity to share  this content with their Twitter followers.  This is huge for brand awareness, blog traffic, subscribers and potentially for meeting clients and collaborators.

When a person is invited to a Tribe they can then create a new Tribe of their own and invite members. Triberr is still in beta so you will need an invite, which are not really spread around like other Beta platforms. This is primarily because to offer an invite to Triberr is inviting that person into your Tribe.

The key to being successful with Triberr is being very selective about who you invite to your Tribe and careful about Tribes that you join. I find that it is best to have similar and or complementary content as the people in your Tribe.  Also, make sure any Tribe that you join have members that are willing to share your content with their Twitter followers as you are willing to share with yours. I’ve learned these things the hard way so I am very selective about Tribes that I join.  If you join a Tribe that does not meet your expectations there, just bounce. I would, I have and would do so again.

OK, those are my 12 things for 2012. Rock on!

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