Dec 222010

2010 will be remembered as the year that social media made a big splash in the lives of business owners.

If you’re someone who runs an online business, you’ll have realized that social media has joined the ranks of SEO as a must-do activity (and, for some, has started to rival the number of traffic referrals sent, too).

While many people made mistakes as they tried to cash in on the next phase of the Internet, it was those who embraced the social element of social media who forged alliances, and built audiences and sustainable businesses.

Are you participating?

If you’re not participating in social media, you’re missing out on a lot.

The New York Times reported that Americans are spending as much time online as they are in front of the television set.

People are watching 2 billion videos a day on YouTube and uploading hundreds of thousands of videos daily. In fact, every minute, 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube.

Facebook served over 500 million active users, and 50% of those users log on to Facebook in any given day. The average user has 130 friends and is connected to 80 pages, groups, and events. If Facebook was a country it would be the third-largest in the world. Do you have a presence there?

Let’s not forget about Twitter—the social networking platform is on track to serve 200 million users by year’s end. I’ve got to ask you the same question: do you have a presence there?

Of course, people aren’t just networking and connecting online, they’re publishing too. As of December, 2010 there are over 32 million WordPress publishers.

Personal influence and reach is easier to build than ever before, and it’s more powerful than you could imagine. People’s purchasing behaviors are changing, as are the ways they find and consume content.

An introvert who spends most of their time on a computer in a basement can influence a network of thousands. What if they visit your blog and like what they see? You’ve got ways for them to share your content with that network, don’t you?

The bottom line

The way we use the Internet has changed, and social media simply reflects this. If you aren’t taking part, you’re getting left behind.

Have you actively used and experimented with social media over the last year? How have you fared?

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