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Considering all the businesses that are flocking over to the social media, one could say that businesses these days feel pressured to get on social media. Brant Cooper at Entrepreneur Corner mentions that

Social communication by “word of mouth” is a fundamental human characteristic and taking advantage of that is fundamental to all marketing because (let’s face it) consumer to consumer (C2C) communication is free.

Viral marketing is what we all strive for. It is the best type of marketing because of its two main characteristics: free and highly contagious. With social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, companies have to figure out ways to engage with users using these new “word of mouth” tools.

The article continues to mention something I believe it is paramount to successful advertising overall and also more specific regarding social media. Your social media activities should not be constricted to advertising only, it should bring some clear value to the community. As a business participant, you are there to educate and share your expertise to the benefit of the consumer. If one manages to achieve this, it will be perceived less as an add and more as useful information and then the consumer will subconsciously click on the add as a thank you.

With an online presence on social media channels, the company has to follow specific rules of engagement established by those channels. At the same time the company has to make sure they open channels of communication to the community to receive the valuable feedback that the consumers are willing to share with you.

Is social media worth your marketing dollars?[Entrepreneur Corner]

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The trend is in web 2.0. Everyone is looking to startup their on web2.0 company. There are so many posts on craigslist, e-lance, rent a coder etc to develop web2.0 sites It’s crazy out there. I, myself started a new website called www.goSwoop.com with a group of people and it was tough. So here is my advice for the newbies looking to start up your own web2.0 or social networking and dealing with developers. Think of this as a basic 101.

First get your concept and idea down on paper. Once you have finalized that, you need to start thinking about what features you want for your website. Now here is an important advice: DON’T JUST PUT DOWN ON PAPER, I WANT EVERYTHING FACEBOOK HAS! That is not the best thing to do. Seriously think through the objective and goals you want to accomplish with your site. Then make a list of the features you want for example, messaging is a feature, personal profile, registration, photo alumbs are other features. Another term for “feature” is module.

Once you know what you want you need to think through everything that you want on the website that means all the features you could possibly think of in the next 3 years. The reason why it is important to layout everything is so that when the developers start designing (not graphical) database mainly they will know to keep things open so that in the future, features can be incorporated easily.

Then once you have completed that. Prioritize each feature and start writing out the objectives for each feature. So go through them write down the objective or goal you would like to accomplish with the feature, the expected output and the benefit or value the feature will create for the user. This will help you understand how the feature will help accomplish your overall goal or objective of the site and help you prioritize what you need.

Once you have done that, pick the features you want for a version 1 release. For each Version 1 feature, write down as much detail as possible as how you want the feature to work. Describe how you envision it to work and also if it will some how connect with other features as well. Then the rest of the features that are not on version 1 can be part of your version 2 release.

This will take time, but once you have this it will be a good start. It is important to clearly write down on paper or on a computer document. The more information you provide the easier it will be for the developer or outsourcing company to give you an accurate estimate. The worst thing to do is, “hey i want a site just like facebook please give me a quote.” That is the worst nightmare for a web development company because it is hard to accurately provide estimates because they don’t know what exactly you want. Facebook or other social networking websites are huge.

stay tuned for more on this topic got to go now!