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@Matt - It's true that there are always placed to differentiate yourself on different social and web platforms (like you don't duplicate Twitter and Facebook content :)) but most people prefer not to click out of Facebook if they are already there. If you can tell them - hey, check out my shop or website or service, and it's OK, it's already right here in your familiar Facebook surroundings - I think that's a huge advantage.
Another way to use your Facebook Business page is to enable your fans to browse your website without leaving Facebook. How? Using an app like MyWebees (http://bit.ly/mywebees_app), you can import your entire website, as is, directly to your Facebook business page. which is pretty neat :)
Some excellent apps here and some that are completely new to me, so now I'll have to check them out :).
Another great app for your Fan Page is MyWebees (disclaimer: I work with them, but they are still awesome :)). MyWebees enables you to add your entire website to your Facebook page as a new tab - there's no code or design involved at all, so it literally takes two clicks to do the whole thing. Then there's networking with other businesses, adding maps and voice messages to your website, and a whole lot more, so it's well worth checking out :)
(this isn't related to you, Joel, but why don't I get an email notification when someone comments on a post I've commented on, like every other blog/forum/site I know? I have to actively hunt down my comments to see if they were responded to?)
And now to what matters :)
I didn't say that your claims were unsubstantiated. On the contrary, I said that you stated facts that were out there - new facts, as the case was, and I'm not saying that you are re-hashing old news.
196 ways that.... are blogs that I don't like reading in any case, and that wasn't my point. My point was that I want to hear YOUR opinion on the matter. Not 196 ways that people are using SM. Not the latest job posting. What YOU made of it. The fact of the matter is that many blog posts (not necessarily yours) are made up of 80% facts and 20% opinion. I can read the facts for myself. I will formulate my own opinion, based on my experience, my previous encounters with the same kind of data, and on my education. I want to hear what you have to say about them.
"So what do you think, Avi? This is the age of participative media. Your opinion maters just as much as mine does, probably more."
Thank you for the flattery, but it doesn't. My opinion matters just as much as yours. No more, no less. (At least here. At your workplace, your opinion will probably matter more :)). Which is why I want to hear other people.
As for my opinion?
Most large companies still see Social Media as a large playground, not something that really needs to be taken seriously.
"Sure, we need someone to look over social networks and find information, but surely it is as easy as typing search terms into Google, right? And young people like social networks - hey! It's an excellent fit! And they're cheap too!"
When they get bad results from Social Media - not the traffic they expected, not finding the materials they thought were there, etc., they blame the social networks and social media for not working properly, or not delivering as promised, because people don't really use them, or use their real life information to complete their profile, or that clicking 'likes' does nothing in the real world. The companies don't attach any blame to the fact that they hired someone who doesn't really know what they are doing, and don't receive the proper training to do the job, which requires more skill than thought, as you and I know.
It will take another few years before social media skills become standardized, and only then you'll have companies looking for '1st degree in Social Media Studies" to investigate claims :)
And? I got the feeling I was reading half a post here. You posted some information, correlated it to a world wide trend (and put the most interesting bit - your own observation - in parentheses).
You could have done so much more with that - not necessarily longer, but with more meaning.
Keep in mind that I read the post because I want to hear your opinion. I already know the facts.
Business owners aren't participating in location based social networks because it isn't worth it for them. The social networks don't attract enough potential customers. Just do the math - FourSquare has 2 million users true, but probably 50-60% are active, and belong to the same demographic - meaning they are the social early adopters. Not all businesses cater to them :)
Don't forget that even with these networks handing tons of information and analytics to local businesses, these same businesses now have to spend money. Money on someone to interpret the data, money on someone to act on the interpretation, and not everyone is willing to make the plunge and shift to a new way of doing business.
Location based social networks, in my opinion, will get swallowed up by Google or Facebook, who might be able to make the integration better, as they have a massive user-base.