As the year draws to a close and businesses flock to social networks in pursuit of consumers, the three most popular social media sites in Australia (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) are all launching new services with a business focus.Facebook is establishing itself as more than just a social network and more of a comprehensive communication solution. Twitter has new business analytics, and LinkedIn is building new features into its recently launched Company Pages.
NewsMaker founder Leila Henderson says the new tools now on offer for business-to-consumer promotion are making Facebook more sophisticated but could make consumers more guarded.
"Facebook was the line in the sand between friends and business but now that line is blurred," Henderson says. "A lot of businesses are turning to experts just to build a feature-rich Facebook page that's like a mini website in some cases. It's worlds apart from last year when there was a level playing field and pages were more one-dimensional.
"Also, the sheer number of business pages being touted will automatically weaken their power as it's been proven that when people have too much choice they don't make any decision at all.
"If, as predicted, Facebook introduces a full scale search engine next year to tackle the problem of too much information, the gloves will be off. It's hard to imagine Facebook faltering with such a massive amount of personal content under their control."
Twitter has opened its Twitter Analytics beta for commercial customers and brands. Advertisers will be able to target messages by interest and topics, but not by individual users, the service says.
LinkedIn Australia & New Zealand spokesperson Tara Commerford says the company is firmly positioned in the professional networking space.
"Facebook is more for photo sharing between family and friends, tweets have a short shelf life, while LinkedIn is all about building and maintaining a strong professional network, and sharing business insights and information,” Commerford says.
“We recently launched Company Pages to help companies of all sizes attract new customers using trusted, professional product and service recommendations.”
LinkedIn has over 1 million Company Pages and more than 1.5 million Australian members.
Founded in 2005 by a group of journalists, PR professionals and search engine marketing professionals, NewsMaker is a leader in online content distribution for professional business communicators. The company develops software systems for online publishing, distribution, tracking and reporting on media content. The NewsMaker service provides a very affordable way for the PR industry and marketers to publish their press releases and distribute them to search engines, social media and journalists.
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