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Is All This Social Media Ruining Your Social Life? And Other Hot Topics

Hey you…yes you, reading this blog post online.

How many people have you talked to today?

Okay. How many people have you talked to, not including those online or through your smart phone?

A study released this week found that 40% of Americans spend more time socializing online than they do in normal life. Remember that when you’re making your weekend plans.

Also, Facebook, Google+, and YouTube all got updates this week…don’t worry, you’ll actually like these changes.

1. Is social media making our daily lives less social?

While it’s scary enough that 40% of Americans spend more time socializing online than they do in normal life, the US is not alone. The study, which looked at 6,000 people across the US, UK, and Germany, found that 36% of the UK participants and 35% from Germany also spent more time socializing online.

Nearly a quarter said that they missed out on an important moment because they were distracted by sharing on their networks and 20% said that they actually prefer electronic forms of communication (like social media or text messaging).

Bottom Line: If you didn’t have enough reasons to get your business online, I hope this does the trick. Whether you like it or not, the idea of being social has completely changed and human interaction is being done through computers and smart phones. These statistics are staggering and borderline scary but they also present a picture of the incredible opportunities that exist for businesses with an effective strategy for reaching those online socialites.

2. YouTube is offering $50 million in free advertisements to help kickoff Google AdWords

The social media advertisement push continued this week when Google announced big plans for businesses looking to advertise with YouTube. Google AdWords, a feature that helps businesses easily create ad campaigns, target specific audiences, and measure their success on YouTube is now available to the public.

What’s even more exciting for businesses is that Google is giving a $75 credit to 500,000 new businesses starting out on AdWords, which can be used to reach more than 1,500 viewers for one month. They also released an Advertising Playbook to help advertisers create compelling content and build an engaged audience.

Bottom Line: Social media companies are making a big push to attract advertisers to their sites and that’s presenting big opportunities for small businesses. Google AdWords and the new Advertisers Playbook are making it easy for any business, regardless of their previous advertising experience, to create campaigns that will take advantage of the more than 800 million monthly visitors on YouTube. You can also learn from other businesses that have already had success with YouTube advertisements.

3. Facebook’s “real-time” page insights are now live

Facebook inched closer to providing real-time page insights for administrators this week. While most of the metrics are actually updated every 15 minutes, it is by far the most up-to-date reporting system that Facebook has offered for Page owners. AllFacebook.com gives a complete list of all of the analytics that are available with Page Insights.

Bottom Line: If you haven’t been monitoring your Page’s insights, it’s a good time to start. Facebook has made huge improvements over the last couple of years to help administrators monitor their activity and keep tabs on what type of content is driving the most engagement. Facebook Insights lets you see beyond your likes and shares and generates a better picture of the actual reach of your social activity.

4. Another week, another Google+ update that you might recognize

Google+ finally got its own share button this week. Users on Facebook have been taking advantage of the sites share capabilities for some time now and it appears that Google+’s button will work in the same way. The new button will be customized to let users share content with specific friends, circles, or groups of email address.

Bottom line: Sharing has become an increasingly important part of the social media experience. Getting a +1 or like is great but having sharable content gives your business or organization a much wider reach. Even more importantly, it gives your fans an opportunity to endorse your business and recommend your content to the people that they are already connected with. Those are the people that your business should be targeting on any social media platform.

5. Only 10% of businesses are monitoring their brand’s social media ROI

A new study out of the UK this week found that only 10% of participants actively monitor their brand’s ROI for social media. Of the 250 brands that took part in the Tackling the Social Challenge study, 65% had a presence on Facebook, 60% had a presence on Twitter, and 22% had hired someone to manage their social media.

Bottom Line: ROI remains an imperfect science but you should be setting goals for your social media activity. It’s only through setting goals that you’ll start to see real business results.

What topics were you discussing this week? Tell us in the comments below.

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