Status updates are here for good. Love them or Hate them but if you are on social networking site, then you can’t ignore them. Status updates work by asking user the question – “what are you doing?” The user’s reply is the update that will appear in his or her profile.
There has been an ongoing debate on whether status updates should be qualified as form of micro blogging. Twitter, one the first micro blogging facility providing company, realized early on that people would want to write micro blog posts. Hence micro blogging allowed the user to answer that question in 140 characters. The appeal of status updates as important aspect of social media spread so quickly, that major social media companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google in Gtalk are offering it as a feature. In fact Facebook even offered to buy out Twitter for that feature.
It’s surely a very non intrusive way of knowing what your friends and family have been upto over the past few days. While some of the status updates are funny others can be down right annoying – like ‘Am at work’. Nobody wants to know that you are at work.
I found our several creative, positive and financially rewarding ways to use status updates. A lot of it will also depend on how many friends you have.
User participation – This feature is important to better engage with your consumer. For e.g. “Who will be the winner of the reality show called ‘Big Boss’” Don’t be surprised with the amount of answers you can get for this one.
Brand Promotion – A very important tool for word of mouth promotion. It’s very common to read updates where movies, books, music being recommended by users. Also to promote websites and blogs which one can’t advertise in a classical sense. Updates are used effectively by event managers to promote their shows “ XYZ singer or magician is performing in city ABC – come and book your ticket @ email@example.com”
Announcement – Several of my friends in the media use it to announce their new shows and events launched by their news channels. All companies use it to announce their new product launch or new feature upgrades available.
News updates – Micro blogging was use aggressively during the Mumbai terror attacks to give out minute by minute update. Election updates or economic ups and downs – all find their ways as updates
Recruitment – I read this in one of the linkedin discussion where in all the employees of one organization wrote “Wanted a qualified website designer to work out of Mumbai”. Apparently they got 12 people submitting their resume over one day and they recruited one amongst them. This helped the firm save commission that they would have paid to the recruitment agent.
Or like Jeff mentioned on his status update “If anyone knows Latin, please contact me” and within 20 minutes 3 people contacted him and he got his work done.
Surveying – A random check of status updates will give out the most current and debated topics prevalent on people’s mind. It’s very apparent to map out what is holding people’s attention at that point in time.
Donation – You can donate your status as evident in the campaign that Facebook carried out to urge Americans to come out and vote. This created a huge movement and record number of voting ever in US history.
Saving your life – This one is the most bizarre tale but I had to include it here. Buck, a journalism grad student who was travelling in Egypt was apprehended by the local police authorities. But before he was arrested, he was able to tweet (i.e. update to his twitter profile) one word “Arrested”. His friend read that tweet and contacted the US Embassy and his school University of California at Berkeley, which sent a lawyer to get him out of jail. Phew!!
If Facebook came out with Fan page for status updates, I would be one of them. Write in the funniest, weirdest or the best use of status update that you have seen.
Read the post on how Facebook can be used to promote brands