The key to success is not how you see yourself. It is how others see you, speak of you and think of you. Continue reading
Last week, I had the pleasure of listening to Lon Safko, co-author of the Social Media Bible speak to a group of counselors from SCORE and the SBDC as a prelude to Greater Phoenix SCORE’s Social Media Event this January 14th and 15th.
During his presentation, Lon kept emphasizing the reasons, excellent ones BTW, that businesses need to pay attention to and utilize social media. And repeatedly he punctuated his message with a continuing theme…Oh Yes! It’s FREE!
But is it?Continue reading
Do you love sharing original ideas with others? Have you found that when you do conversations start and collaborations form?
Clay is the ultimate professional and so creative. One of his creations is MeetTheTweets, showcase of videos introducing us to people we hear from on Twitter.
One of my creations is a little project called #BeOriginal – a place on Twitter where friends share their Original Ideas.
We thought it would be fun to combine them, creating #BeOriginal Week on Meet The Tweets. So we put instructions out on the #BeOriginal Blog and let some of our #BeOriginal Contributors know where to find them.
And, since I am ‘the original #BeOriginal’, I created a little video message to kick things off.
Here it is. Let me know YOUR thoughts. And don’t forget to be on the look out for new great videos from other Originals. Just follow @MeetTheTweets on Twitter so you do not miss any.
Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned…
No, I’m not talking about this majestic lady – Queen of the Jungle, I’m talking about LI-ONs, Linked In Open Networkers. People who pledge to connect to everyone on Linked In who sends them an invitation.
You can normally tell a LION by a profile that reads LION or by their membership in a LION group. Some people make the mistake of assuming that someone that has 500+ connections is by default a LION, and that can be a costly mistake. It can result in a DNK or I Do Not Know this person response. Get too many of these and your Linked In privileges can be restricted.
The Laws of the Social Jungle are Relationship Based
Successful networking, whether it is face to face, or profile to profile in cyberspace is about creating relationships. Once the relationship is formed, then you can move on to real conversations whether it is in the business world or the personal realm. When forming relationships, it is important to understand how the other person chooses to communicate and share information. It also helps to understand the boundaries or personal space preferences of the other person and adapt your behavior to theirs.
Listed below are my personal boundaries. That does not mean they will be the same for you, but they might give you some ideas when you form your own.
- Inclusive – CorePurpose, my company, has a linked in page to share information. I also share ideas occasionally on a number of Linked In groups including Lead Change, MIT Enterprise Forum Phoenix, Continuous Innovation, Corporate Planning & Global Industry Segmentation, Forbes Woman, and Marketing Partners
- Exclusive – I limit my Linked In connections to people I actually know and have done business with. Having been on Linked In from almost the very beginning, I still have quite a few, but every single one is someone I know and can personally recommend to others. This enables the true power of Linked In – quality introductions.
- Inclusive – CorePurpose, my company, has a Facebook page. On it you can find blog posts, articles, and links that I choose to share. Facebook pages are highly inclusive. Like web pages or blogs, anyone can choose to see them or follow them.
- Exclusive – My personal profile by definition is more exclusive. If Facebook is for friends, then my personal choice is to keep it to friends and not connect to every person who finds my profile and wants to connect. I want to know what my friends are doing – and to do that, I intentionally keep the group smaller so I can actually find them in the crowd.
- Inclusive – On Twitter, I am at my most inclusive. I look for like minded people and I auto follow back the people who follow me. But more importantly, when people engage and talk to me with @mentions or non- automated DM’s, I engage with them and join the conversation.
- Exclusive – My exclusivity comes into play when people wear out their welcome. Spammers, scantily clad avatars, porn, and hateful people are quickly unfollowed or even blocked. I also go in once each month and clean up my accounts, You can see how I do it here,
It was an article on CNN.com, Defriending Can Bruise Your ‘Digital Ego’, that got me thinking about all this. You see, I probably was “this one woman”. The message is one that I use frequently when contacted by people on Linked In that I do not know. It is not meant to be unkind, or rude, Just realistic. If I do not know you, I can not recommend you, and that is how I use that particular tool. ‘I only connect with people I know, and hopefully our paths will cross one day.’ I am not that hard to connect with and engage in other areas. Really – just Google me.
Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned…
Have you ever had a dream where you were surrounded by people and then in an instant you were all alone? As if a wizard waved a magic wand and all of your friends disappeared? Continue reading
Is your Twitter account starting to look like the house of that little old man down the road who never weeds his yard and never throws anything out?
Is it full of clutter, empty boxes, things that are broken, or that you never use.
Do you still have people on your Christmas Card List that sent you a card in 1995 and you have not heard from since?
Perhaps when you read this, you may think I have taken a page from Oscar the Grouch, but there are times when you need to bite the bullet and Clean Your House.Continue reading
There are few things as powerful in this world as when people come together as a community to make something happen.Continue reading
Earlier this summer, I was asked by my friend, Dr. Julie Smith David of the Arizona State University Center for Advancing Business through Information Technology (CABIT) to present on Twitter Applications for Business. I will be speaking there on Tuesday September 8th. If you read this in time and would like to attend, the contact information is provided below. Best of all it’s free.
I was incredibly honored to be asked, but I had to wonder… why would they want ME?
I am not a social media expert let alone a twitter expert. I’m simply a business executive and corporate strategist trying to figure out where all this stuff fits.
I have yet to find all the answers, but one thing has become very clear.
Social media is simply a tool.
Think about your social media tool kit like a set of screw drivers. You have different types of screw drivers for different needs. Sometimes you use them alone or sometimes you use them together. We use screw drivers as tools to help us…
- Build things
- Take things apart
- Make adjustments
- Fix what’s broken
The same screwdriver can be used to fix a broken electrical socket or to build a nuclear power plant. It all depends on the the goal you set, the plan you develop, and how you go about executing.
The same can be said about social media. Websites, Video like YouTube and Vimeo, Blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are simply tools we use to create conversations, build communities, listen to our customers, and deliver our message. These tools can help us as business people to do the very same things that the handy screwdriver can do – Build, Disassemble, Adjust, and Fix what’s broken.
Just remember – the tool is NOT the strategy. It’s simply something you can use to achieve the goals you set. Your message however IS a key component in any strategy. It’s how you share what you are trying to accomplish. That’s where social media fits for business – as a community building messaging tool.
You simply need to choose the right combination of tools to drive your message home.
Since Tuesday’s talk will be focused on Twitter – here are some tips for using Twitter as a tool for what it is best at: Community Building, Customer/Audience Interaction, and Message Delivery.
In any good strategy you start with a goal, develop specific tactics, choose your tools and people resources, establish metrics or milestones, and execute while adjusting as needed.
Twitter, like the screw driver, works best when combined with other tools for more complex projects. Here is a listing of tools and tips you can use with Twitter to make it more effective.
Twellow is a great tool for finding people with shared interests. You can search by key words like Information Technology, CEO, Entrepreneur, Leadership…you get the picture. You can also search by locations (City, State, etc) if you are trying to build community in a specific region. You can find people you want to follow and if you are offering good content in return, many will follow you back.
Conversely, for the people you might want to avoid – TwitChuck is a good resource. In a matter of minutes, it can scan your friends and followers to identify known spammers and other inappropriate tweeters like porn sites and bots. (You can also check your own reputation to ensure that you are considered a ‘Good” person to follow.
As you are getting started, and even after you are well established, Twitter imposes follow limits. These are important to know and understand. You can read them here.
Be Friendly! When someone follows you, I believe it is common courtesy to give them a follow back. If they then abuse the courtesy with spam or inappropriate content – you can unfollow them or even block them so they can not come back later. To save time you can automate this process using SocialOomph (formerly known as TweetLater.) This service will automatically follow people that follow you – a BIG time saver. The service also has a feature for auto replies when people follow you. This I highly recommend NOT doing. It is a common practice of spammers and by veteran twitter users is considered very uncool!
And whatever you do – DO NOT SPAM your followers. The point is to offer helpful information, share ideas, and create value to your followers. If all you do is talk about your products, your blog, your ideas and never interact with others – people will stop reading your posts very quickly! Even worse, people can block you – ruining your online reputation.
Also, unless you are intentionally forming a closed group – DO NOT protect your tweets. This is counter to the whole principle of building a community. Plus for many third party tools, they will not be able to see them and people will not find or follow you!
OK – you may be thinking – I am looking at this as a BUSINESS tool. What do you mean it’s not all about me and my product or service!
Think about twitter as a giant focus group. As you build a community you have an opportunity to listen to what current or potential customers are tweeting/talking about. People who follow you have shown some level of interest – their opinions count!
You can even use Twitter Search to find people who are talking about your company or your product – or your competitors. Talk about a great market research tool! Then you can choose to follow them and join the conversation.
Interacting with customers means listening, starting a conversation, and engaging them. To do this – think about what you want your Twitter brand to be before you start. It may be that you need multiple profiles for different customer groups, products, or for you corporate message as opposed to that of your CEO for instance. That was appropriate for me over time and in the end I developed FIVE different Twitter profiles based on the type of information I choose to share. This post helps explain it.
The first rule of interaction is always – You get what you give. Follow people, share interesting content, and offer value, and that’s what you will get in return.
Now we get to the important part – message delivery. The point of Twitter for business is that you want to START a conversation that can be continued. Sometimes you can do that exclusively in the twitterverse, but more often that not, you want to be more expansive – that’s where your website, blog, Facebook page, LinkedIn Group, or other social media tools come into play. You can use Twitter to invite people to view your other content platforms. Does it work – Absolutely. Here is an example.
I have two blog sites for my company. One on TypePad and one on WordPress. They have exactly the same content and have been around for the same amount of time. The TypePad Blog gets promoted on Twitter. The WordPress blog using simple SEO. Now the real test. Does Twitter make a difference? YES! The TypePad blog has 100 times more RSS subscribers and 500 times more visitors after only 9 months! Oh and my website – CorePurpose.com gets more traffic today that it ever did with managed SEO alone.
How much time does all this take? I can’t be on Twitter ALL day!
This sounds like a lot of work and a lot of time. But after you get things set up efficiently, it does not have to be. Personally – my ‘Twitter Time – is less than 2 hours total each day – and that includes all of the reading of the articles and other tidbits I share that I would be accessing anyway.
Here are some of the tools that help me be more efficient.
Twitter itself is not the most user friendly interface for day to day management of large communities. If you are managing multiple profiles – Seesmic is my tool of choice. For single profile users, TweetDeck is also a popular alternative.
Going to be away from the computer and want to schedule tweets for a different date or time? Both SocialOomph and my favorite HootSuite can allow you to put your tweets on autopilot cleanly and professionally.
It’s up to you to determine how much time you give to Twitter. Just remember you get back what you put into it.
Lastly – if it turns out that Twitter is a key tool for executing your strategy, there are lots of professional out there that can be hired as in house community managers or outside consultants. These people can help you fast track your Twitter experience and in the long run save you time and hopefully get you towards your goal faster – plus they can help you stay on top of the latest developments.
This may be one of the longest posts I have written to date- but now you have what you need to get started. If you want to learn more about my personal journey in trying to figure out how all this stuff fits, visit the category section of this blog. You will find a section on social media and more musings there.
So does this work for business? You decide.
For me, my community – between my five Twitter profiles is over 22,000 after 9 months. My followers are focused on the areas I want to focus on. My website and blog traffic is up and so is my business. And, I have made new partnering contacts I could only have dreamed of before. So for me – It’s been worth the ride.
Thanks for stopping by. Stay Tuned…
Are all the choices and options for social media making you dizzy? As a business person are you wondering if social media is a useful tool or a productivity disaster as employees or you personally ‘waste’ time on line? As a job seeker, are you looking at social media as an answer to all of you problems. As a parent are you concerned about who your kids are connecting with and why?
With all of the choices, opinions, strategies, and continuous change – who wouldn’t be dizzy!
OK, here comes the BIG disclaimer. I am NOT a social media expert. I do not claim to be, do not want to be, and probably never will be. What I am is a business owner and executive who never has enough time. So I use technology for what is is, a tool.
Every tool must have a purpose, and in the case of social media, its purpose is to start and continue conversations. Conversations are what I am good at. Conversations identify issues, uncover strategies for change, bring us up to date information, and keep us connected.
So lucky for me, I have friends and associates who ARE experts. I started a conversation with them and they helped me put together a toolkit that accomplishes what I need to do and then looked over my shoulder to make sure I did not mess it up.
In my case, my tool kit looks like this:
|Connect with Business Contacts and Showcase Qualifications
|Online Resume so Search Firms and Companies can Hire Me
|Linked In and Bright Fuse
|Sharing information and making updates to multiple profiles by cross linking accounts*. One for business info, one for friends. Note – never sell to friends if you want to keep them connected.
|Online address book and place to share and receive updates from business associates on business interests and activity
|Stay connected with Friends – share info, ideas, updates, and fun stuff.
|Share more detailed thoughts and ideas, build your brand, have longer conversations, publish articles on line, comment on other peoples ‘conversations’.
|Share Videos of yourself or others making a difference
|* Time Saving Tip – Set up a Business Twitter account and a Personal Twitter Account. Connect your Linked In, Plaxo, Facebook, etc. to the appropriate RSS feed. Then from HootSuite you can access both accounts – post updates – scan for news, replies, etc. and do it all quickly from one dashboard. You can even schedule your Tweets so it looks like you are always engaged even when your busy elsewhere. 🙂
|* Time Saving Tip – News Sites Consolidate information and so do some powerful Tweeters, newspapers, and magazines. AllTop let’s you pick the blog sites and publishers that you want to watch and puts them all on one page. Examples of Major Tweeters also provided.
|AllTop and tweeters: @GuyKawasaki, @Time, @WSJ, @NYTimes, @PhxPublisher, @AZBizReporter
So now that you have had a peek inside my Social Media Tool Kit, think about what you want to have in yours. Here are some great resources to help you decide what tools are right for you…
Want a manual? The Social Media Bible by Lon Safko and David K. Brake. (John Wiley and Sons) releases May 4, 2009 and is the most complete guide on the subject ever published. It’s a complete reference with 840 pages! Don’t worry, it’s well indexed so you can find what you need. I just ordered my copy on line for early delivery on Amazon.com (<$20) and saved myself a trip to the book store…
Want a Symposium: Check out the CABIT Symposium (coming up April 23 and April 24th at ASU for the all the latest in Collaboration from Social Media to Cloud Computing.
Want a Class? Jennifer Maggiore owns a firm specializing in development and management of Social Media campaigns. Her experience includes both the private and non-profit sectors for small businesses and national organizations. Jenn is offering hands-on classes to help you get started in the ASBA Computer Lab this month.
Ok – one last gasp on the subject. How long does all this stuff take? Well, learning the ropes and the initial set up takes some doing, but like a tool chest you can add pieces one at a time. Once you have your tool kit, just slot some social media time in your schedule. An hour in the morning (to read what’s happening in world and post a few comments) and a half hour at night to check back in does the trick for me. I wish I could get through my emails half as fast. 🙂
– Joan Koerber-WalkerTechnorati Tags: joan koerber-walker,corepurpose,Social Media Bible,Lon Safko,David K. Brake,Steven Groves,Francine Hardaway,Guy Kawasaki,Jennifer Maggiore,The Lavidge Company,Social Media Club Phoenix,ASBA,Dave Barnhart,Metro Studios,AllTop.com,Hootsuite.com,Twitter,Facebook,Plaxo,Blogs,LinkedIn,YouTube