Monday, October 17, 2011

Making Time for Social Media

Greetings my fellow social media gods and goddess…. Are you ready for another adventure into the world of social media???  So grab your bags and hop on board the social media express as we explore the land of time and social media. 

The one thing I hear most often is “I do not have time” in reference to using social media to market ones business. I use to think the same thing until I understood the power of using social media. So lets’ explore a different approach to this topic.

Many blogs have posts on the subject that share with you short cuts and resources that will help you post and monitor your social media resources. However, that is not the issue when one thinks they do not have the time to use social media. The real issue is not seeing the value, the power, the effectiveness of social media marketing and therefore not wanting to take the time to use these resources.

We all know we make time for what we perceive as important to us. We make time to network, to follow up on leads and referrals, to follow up with current clients/customers and all the other things we do to gain and keep clients/customers. Why, because we feel these things are effective. They are business practices that gain results. The same can be said for social media marketing when it is added into your normal routine of doing business.
Social Media is about building relationships and inviting conversations. If you have a facebook business page you now notice the insights now track your”reach” and people “talking about” your page. This is to show you the impact your posts are having. Why, because it is all about relationships and conversations. When approaching using social media this is the mindset needed. 

How important is it to you to keep your current clients engaged? How important is it to you to inform and educate your current and potential clients? It is not possible to personally do this through phone calls and emails. It is possible to have a greater reach, a greater impact through social media. 

Here is an example of how this can work for you. Say you are networking, you meet a potential client and you schedule a meeting. In that meeting you both talk about what you both offer and how you can help each other. So after the meeting what do you do? How do you keep in contact with them? How do you foster that relationship? This is where social media can help you. You can friend them, follow them, link with them and they can do likewise. You can comment on their posts and they can do likewise. You can further the relationship through staying connected through social media. 

Another way social media can work for you is, say that you have a great promotion that you know your customers would love? How do you let them know about it? Do you personally call each and every one of them? Do you place a coupon in the local paper? Social media will allow you to have a greater reach in getting known so that your promotion has a greater impact. Why? Because you current customers have the opportunity to share your promotion with their friends easily and quickly by one click a button.   
Are you beginning to see how Social Media can work for you and how easily it is to make time for using this powerful resource? 

If you have a success story you would like to share please feel free to leave a comment about how social media marketing has improved your business.

So my fellow gods and goddess until our next adventure….Happy Posting!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Facebook Changes Have You Confused?

Greetings fellow social media gods and goddesses. Have you recovered from the shock of the new changes facebook did at the end of September 2011????  Has it left you scratching your head as to what these changes are all about?  Well do not get too comfortable as more changes are on the way. 

So lets peek at these new changes and how they can work for you......

The first one is the newsfeeds. They have combined what was once top stories and most recent all into 1 feed.  What is confusing is if you look want to see things in a time line order. They idea with the change is so that you see what interests you most first and then the posts in a time line format. All the same information should be there but to be honest I too struggle at times with missing somethings that were posted. So after playing around with this I just read everything but now it just takes a wee bit more time....I never used the previous top story option very often. 

Now the smart lists was a "smart idea". Here you can create lists of your friends and read only those posts. This is a great way to be sure you do not miss anything and you only read those who posts you want to be sure you get to see. You have the control here. This gives you great flexibility so that if you want to read only what your business friends are posting you can do just that. You can even restrict what some friends see. Your close friends likes and such will also now show up in your notifications. It does make it easier to follow those you want to the most and not miss anything. These lists is one of my favorite changes they have done in this go around.

Another new feature is the Subscribe option. If you are friends with somebody you already subscribed by default. What this option does is allow those who have reached the 5,000 friend limit have people subscribe to their "public" posts. The keyword here is PUBLIC. As you now have the flexibility to alter posts on an individual basis as to what friends see, friends of friends and public. If privacy is a concern then set all our setting to friends only and you will have no issues with people seeing posts you do not want them to see. 

So what is the deal with the ticker as they call it???? Now that is a very good question. It does allow you to see posts without having to leave your home page and leave comments. I suppose for a time factor this is a useful feature. It is in real time and is much like Twitter in that respect so if you are use to twitter you will love this feature.  

If you have a business page, they made some changes there too. You no longer have to have 25 followers to get a custom name. I have heard that some were having trouble with this working but I suspect the bugs gave been worked out.  They also now have a feature that will show you when your friends comment or like a post. The idea is so that you know when a friend has interacted with your page. Usefulness??? That is up to you to decide. 

Facebook leaders seem to feel that facebook gets stale if they do not make changes. They also seem to feel that people are not emotionally attached to their experience and use it cause well what else is there. So to get their users loving their experience once again, they are rolling out changes. It is up to you to decide their success but before you do give yourself time to adjust. There are more changes coming and I suspect these current ones will make more sense once they roll everything out. 

If you use facebook for business you will have to adjust and find new ways to be effective with your marketing. This is not necessarily a bad thing. So be open to the changes and see how you can do things better.  

Until our next adventure together....happy posting.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Facebook Changes Again!

Greetings fellow social media god and goddesses.... are you ready for you next adventure into the world of social media???

So it seems facebook has made some changes recently and as usual they did them on the hush hush, meaning not telling any one. I noticed too that these changes have mixed reviews...sometimes I think we get so comfortable with how facebook works that we object to any change before we ever figure out if it is a good change or not..

However can't say I like one of the new changes as regards to posting...When I first saw it my reaction was....where is the link button??? What was cool about the old method was it would store the links you used before so you only had to type a bit of the address and a menu would appear...quick, easy and ohhh so sweet.... but now...alas this is gone... so what are our options... well you can type in the address you wish to use as a link or cut/paste it in. Ok so it is not the end of the world that we now have to do this but really??? Why the change... they left the photo option and the ask question option.. but the video option is gone as well.... not sure why they did this but this change gets a thumbs down...

Another change is that you can now change the setting of who see each post.... so if you want the public or friends of friends to see only certain posts then this is a welcomed change. The Custom option also allows you to choose specific people as well.  Now some were saying that the default setting was the  "only me" option but I have not personally seen you may want to check and see how your is set.You can now post" who you are with if you choose that option and your location as well. I playing around with the location option you can change it and add any city even if that is not where you are...hmmmm now this could fun if you like to play with this sort of function. Practically  speaking though you could change your location if you were traveling etc...and wanted to let your friends know where you were posting from. So, these are rather small changes and some of you may find them valuable. These posting changes get a thumbs up only because I do not see them as a loss of value but more like questionable value.

No matter what facebook does that seem to ruffle our feathers, the idea is to have some fun with it even if you are using it for business purposes. So until our next adventure....happy posting!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Twitter and Facebook: Should you link them?

Hello my fellow social media gods and goddesses. Are you ready to explore, once again, this fascinating world of Social Media??? Well go grab your favorite beverage or perhaps a sweet treat or two and get ready for your next adventure.

Today we are going to explore the question should I link my Facebook and Twitter accounts??? There are some things you may want to consider before you make your choice and if you already have these accounts linked, you may want to rethink that choice.

You can link your Facebook so that the posts there will go to twitter and you can link it so that your twitter posts show up on Facebook. The most common reason people link the accounts is so that they only have to create posts for one account and it will be posted in both places. 

However, Twitter and Facebook are 2 different worlds. Chances are you have very few who are following you on both.  Your market on each is very different and as such your posts need to reflect the difference. Facebook is more conducive to having conversations than Twitter is and you want to be sure what you post there are about building relationships. Twitter on the other hand is like speed dating. You have a very short period of time to gets someone’s attention.  On Twitter you can post many more times during the day before you annoy somebody. Facebook is much more fickle when it comes to this. Those that use Facebook do not necessarily tolerate 10-20 posts in a day but Twitter users will. The lifespan of a tweet is very short compared to the life span of a Facebook post. 

The reasons for using Facebook and Twitter are very different. As Facebook allows for more characters in your posts it is better for sharing more of your perspective. Twitter is about sharing little sounds bites…little bits of information. So what works on Twitter will not necessarily work on Facebook and vice versa. The content you post on each should therefore be reflective of the differences between these 2 worlds. 

If you are considering linking these 2 accounts you may want to really think it through. Is it really worth it just to save time if you are not going to get the desired results? If you already have these 2 accounts linked, you just may want to rethink your choice. While linking them may seem at first blush a great option…chances are it is not going to be as effective as you think it might be.

If time is a issue then consider using something like Hootsuite which allows you to schedule posts on either or both accounts.

Until the next time…Happy posting!  

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Facebook Page VS Facebook Group

Greetings my fellow gods and goddesses of the social media world. Today's adventure is in exploring the lands of Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups. These are 2 different lands and as such they are unique as to why you want to travel there.

So let's visit the Land of Facebook Pages first. There are many reasons you may want to consider having a "page" for your business. However before doing so you need to first envision what you plan to post on your page, what you page is really about, because you need to create content that is engaging, fresh and relate-able. You need to give people a reason to follow your page and "like" it. 

Having said that here are some things you can do with a "page":
1. Educate your followers as to your business
2. Drive traffic to your website
3. Have your blog post directly to your page 
4. Post information from articles related to your business.
5. Pages can be found on search engines.
6. Have specials, contests etc just for your fans 

Growing your page is the challenge and it can be slow but chances are those who are following you, for the most part are doing so because they find your content valuable. The more your business name is known the easier it is to grow your page.

Here are some things to consider:
1. I Have seen people using their facebook page name and going to other pages and liking posts...this can be effective in getting others to see your page but it you do this be sure to only "like" posts that you truly like otherwise it decreases your credibility. The posts you like should relate to your business, be somebody known to you or something you want to share on your own page.
2. Facebook now allows you to share content of others onto your page. This is also an effective way to grow your page as it can add to your content.
3. If you have a blog, do a newsletter and/or a website you can add a "like" button so that those who find you there can also become a "fan"
4. Good content that others see as valuable is the most important key factor here. It gives people a reason to follow you and share your content.
5. Avoid posting "like my page" on your your personal profile as it does not inform people as to why they should like your page and will get ignored. It does not give you creditability nor will you be seen as a resource. 

So now let us venture forth into the Land of Facebook Groups. This land can be very effective for interactions and communications. Facebook perhaps had a stroke of genius here however if you do not understand how these groups work, you just may annoy your social networking friends.

Lets us explore the upside to using a group to add to your social networking. The idea behind a group is to have others join in and belong as a place for people to network around a common theme. This theme should relate to your business but not be about your business. You do not want to name your group the same as your business.

People join such groups in commonality with your theme, your purpose so to speak. They have a common interest with each other. So when you invite people to join keep that in mind.

Groups are a great way to start and have conversations. so many times I see people using groups to promote their business but do not engage others in a conversation. So if you are starting a group remember it is about conversations and discourage your members from posts that strictly promote a business. I have seem many groups you from the start let their members know this is not allowed. So you want to make the purpose of the group to be clear.

Groups are a great way to get known to others. If you have a group or belong to a group(s) remember it is about you and not your business. It is about engaging others in a conversation. Once you are known then people will want to learn more about you and will want to follow your page, blog, do business with you etc.

There is a downside to groups however. Facebook will let you know when someone has posted in a group you belong to. They will send you an email each time unless you change your settings. 

Here is what facebook says to change this setting -  

To change your notification settings for a group, go to the group and click "Edit Settings" at the top right of the page. You have the option to be notified whenever a member posts, when a member posts or comments, when a friend posts. If you do not want to receive automatic notifications for the group, you can choose to receive them only about posts to which you are subscribed. 

If you are starting a group try not invite every single friend you have. Facebook allows you to invite people and your friends do not have to give their consent if you are starting an open group. You want to consider only inviting those who have a interest in the theme of your group. If you are not sure then ask them first if they are interested by sending them a message.

I have seen people post in groups like very 2-3 minutes..really?? You must bear in mind that these posts can be seen as annoying and you will loose creditability.  Posting too much is just as if not more harmful than not posting enough. Post when you have something to say that will engage others in a conversation. Talk to your fellow members and not at them.

The positives of creating and or joining groups far out weigh the negatives as long as you are considerate and always remember it is about conversations and interactions. If you have been invited to a group be open to the experience and use it to get to know others.

Speaking of conversations, this conversation will be continued but if you have any thoughts please feel free to share them. So until our next adventure enjoy your social networking experience, have fun and remember to be open to the experience.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Social Media Marketing - Keeping it Real

Greetings my fellow social media gods and goddesses. Are you ready for yet another adventure into the world of social media??? So let's pack our bags and venture into this very REAL world and explore how to keep it real.

Social Media Marketing affords you the opportunity to express yourself and share your unique perspective. No matter what it is that you post, you, your personality and perspective shines through. You have the opportunity to express you through your marketing. Ask your self, what is my current social media marketing saying about me, my business, my product, my service?

You maybe reading and hearing of some technique or taking a free webinar that is offering all sorts of tips and ideas that you can be doing for your social media marketing. Have you ever really thought about whether what others may be suggesting is really good for your business??

You may hear that Twitter is great for offering a coupon...and you may hear what great results others are getting by doing this. So you create a coupon offer, place it on your website and tweet away..... you may get a lot of people looking at it or not....but no matter how many seem to have clicked through you do not get many or perhaps nobody at all using your coupon. In other words your measurable results were a far cry from what you heard you should be getting.... so you give up and say Twitter did nothing for you...Really???  If people do not know who you are or anything about your business then why would they use a coupon?

Now I am not saying don't use a coupon but I am saying do not expect the same results that larger and more nationally known companies are getting. You have build a name, a reputation so that when you do present an offer, people will already know who you are. People also have to be looking for what it is you offer and it is also possible that for whatever reason, not enough people were in need of your offer at the time you presented it.

Another scenario that sometimes occurs is that you do have a successful coupon offer and got very encouraged by the results. So several months later you present the same offer but the results were not the same. Less if any at all took advantage of your coupon.  So once again you become discouraged.

Social Media is fickle...and you have to find what works for you. Do not try to do everything all at once. A solid social media campaign involves building a following first. Your content needs to be fresh and engaging and not just promotional. A, what is called, "call to action" can be included. A "call to action" is a way of directing or asking your followers to do something.  You want to educate, promote, ask, engage so that your content is always fresh.

To keep all this real, you want to stay true to your business, your ethics and your vision.  You want to  put "you" into your content. Keeping it real will get you noticed more than a splashy offer and keep your followers engaged so that they keep coming back.

I hope you enjoyed your journey into this fast paced and ever changing world of social media.

Where would you like to journey to next? 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Making the Most of Social Media

Greetings my fellow gods and goddesses of the social media world. Are you enjoying your journey through the world of social media or are you getting frustrated?  Do you find it mind boggling and you just can't wrap your head around it all? Well go get your favorite beverage, adult or otherwise, and get ready for an inside peak into how you make social media work for you.

The first thing you really need to think about is why are you doing all of this...tweeting, posting, writing blog posts, articles and such. If you are doing it just because you heard you should be, you might want to rethink that approach. Social Media marketing is an investment of your time. It is something you have to grow right along with your business. In today's world it is a part of your overall marketing plan. It is as important as networking and advertising. It allows you to reach another segment of your market that the others may not reach.

To make the most of your social media marketing, you want it to do the work for you. That is the trick to using this form of marketing. The real power here is in the way this form helps you with your branding, being seen as the go to person. When people need your service, they will think of you.

Social media marketing allows you the opportunity to get your message out which brings us to the next important point...your content. Your content is the most powerful tool you have. It is your voice, your personality. It can work for you if you allow it to. People do business with those they know, like and trust. you can build this into your content. I do have a word of caution here though, you must be real. If you try to fake it through your postings, people will see right through that. When posting you want to talk to your audience and not at them. You want to engage them in a conversation. You want to provide useful information and educate them in a personable manner.

Not all content works the same. What you post on facebook may not work on twitter and vice versa. So, it does take practice and a little thought to learn what works for you. It is an opportunity for you to express your thoughts in relation to your business.

You can make social media work for you. Take is slow at first and do not try to do everything all at once. Build a following in one of the resources first before you add another one. Take some to read what other bloggers are saying on the topic. When you invest time in learning, you are investing in your business. Just as you keep up with trends in your industry, you do the same with social media marketing.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to the World of Social Media Marketing...and perhaps this trip got you thinking a bit differently about social media and how it can be of help to you. So enjoy your adventures in the world of social media....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Are Social Media Results Measurable?

Greetings my fellow social media gods and goddesses. Are you ready to explore the world of measure-ability? This is an area where debates and discussions are currently going on and if you read a lot about social media it just may you leaving scratching your head.

Most traditional forms of marketing one can measure the rate of return on investment easily. Place an ad, the phone rings you get clients...maybe yes maybe no but either way you can determine easily the results of placing that ad in a short period of time.

In the world of social media it is not quite so easy. Most social media resources are free so the monetary costs are relatively low especially if you are doing your own marketing. You are however investing your time  Ahh that precious commodity of time where we ask ourselves how much is our time worth. Each individual will have their own answer to that question.The question is not really how much time to put into social media but to make sure that in the time you do put into it that you are working smart. That you are doing quality social media and not quantity and that you are consistent. It is not enough for people to just see your name but it is about how they are perceiving you. You want to be seen as an expert in your field, that you are giving value so that those who do not know you will use you as a resource when the time comes that they do need you. This is the power that is in social media.

There are some things to bear in mind when trying to measure your social media marketing results.

1. Do not read too much into things like click through numbers, readers of posts on a blog, email addresses you are capturing and such. These numbers are useful in showing growth and the impact your social media campaign is having.You are looking for growth and increased impact. If in the beginning you are getting only a few people clicking through and such do not worry about it. You want to look for increases and not at the actual raw data.

2. Another important factor is if your get an increase response to a certain post, that does not mean the next time you try something similar that you will get the same results. The world of social media is very fickle and every changing. You can however determine what your followers are generally interested in and from there you will need to provide even more information to hold their interest, not the same information just said differently.

3. Social Media users are very savvy these days. You need to respect their intelligence and educate them on who you are and what it is you offer and not try to sell them or trick them into something. Many will not share their email etc as they do not want to get a mailbox full of your product offerings, webinars etc. You do want to make it easy for them to contact you should they be interested. Empower them to choose you by providing good content that will peek their interest. Talk to them and not at them.

4. There is no substitute for good content. If you are not getting the results you desire, step up your content. Provide them with the information they are looking for. Social Media is about informing and educating your followers in a personable and interactive manner so that they will feel they know, like and trust you.

5. Results take time and you are looking to grow your influence and impact. Numbers alone will not tell you this. You need to determine how you want to be seen, what you want to be known for and gear your content in the direction. Your content needs to be a reflection of this in a consistent, personable and relate-able.

So my fellow social media gods and goddesses don't stress over all of this....the world of social media is so new that even the guru's don't have it figured out but they are sure trying and are having a real struggle in doing so. You can make social media marketing work for you and you can get the results you desire. Just remember to keep everything in perspective and be yourself. After all is it not you that they want to do business with?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Facebook "Poke" Ponderings

Greetings my fellow social media god and goddesses.Today we are going to explore the Facebook Poke? Have you ever been poked on facebook and wonder why? What is the point? Yet you find yourself "poking" people back???  To poke or not to poke that is the question!!!!   

Would you believe that there is a group page on facebook devoted to divulging the meaning of the poke?? It has 115 members...serious! Facebook Poke Group is where you can this group.

So here is the thing about the "poke".  It means whatever you want it to mean. Some of the more common meanings people give it are: saying hello, to get someone's attention or to flirt.

So poke who want to, poke when you want to and poke for whatever reason and above not take it so is just a fun thing to do!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Some Facebook Tips

Recently Facebook made changes to what is seen in our news feeds. The default setting is to show only posts by friends you have most recently interacted with. Perhaps that is why it seems you are seeing only posts from a certain group and others seem to have gone silent...

To correct this just go to "Most Recent" click on it. You will then see a small arrow, click on that then select "Edit Options" Click on "show posts from" and change the option to "All of your friends and pages"

To read more on this please read this post from another blog on this topic Read More Here

Another recent change is in the security area.   Take a look up in the address bar..look for the URL address.
You will see either http:// or https://.  If you do not see https:// then you are not on a secured session. This can make it easier to be hacked.

You can change this by going to Account, then Account Settings, then Account Security, Click Change, Check the box that says Secure Browsing, Click Save.  This will allow you to have secure browsing whenever possible is what it states.  Some features such as games, networkedblogs etc will ask you to switch to an unsecured setting to use the application but it does revert back on your next session. So one you sign out and then sign back in you will be on a secured session again.

So for now those are the only changes I have been to find in surfing the blogosphere on facebook changes and updates.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Facebooks Land of Interaction

Greetings fellow social media gods and goddesses. Are you ready for yet another adventure as we explore the World of Facebook? Today’s tour takes us to the important Land of Interaction. This is a wild and truly unexplored land. Like so many adventurers before us, this is where you get to carve out your own path…charting your own waters so to speak. 

Facebook is designed with communication in mind. This is where you get to apply your conversational skills. Ahh the art of conversation! The most important factor here is listening. When someone is speaking are you just hearing them or are you listening to them? The same idea can be applied to facebook. Just hearing someone is when you scroll through your feeds, casually liking everything you see or commenting with posts that do not invite further conversation. You are just hearing when you share someone else’s video, picture, event or link without adding your own comment. When you do those things you are just going through the motions because someone told you should be doing those things.

When you are really listening then you can add value to the conversation. Even if you only have time to use the “like” button, then only “like” those posts you really do like. People do place value on this and take it to mean you really do like it. If you just go through and like everything it is not adding value and decreases your creditability. Better yet though add a comment if you can. Your comments should be conversational. Write what you would say if that person was sitting across the table from you. 

The other important part here is talking…..Do you converse with people you know or do you reach out to those you do not know? If someone you do not know very well or at all why not comment on their posts? What a great way to get to know somebody. Why not send a private message and start a conversation if you want to get to know them better or know more about their business.
When you post something are you talking to people or at them? Who are you talking to, just the people you know well? Your personal friends may get a kick out of a picture of some dish you are enjoying at a local eatery but why not add a comment that invites others to respond? 

These ideas are just some food for thought so to speak. The more you use facebook the better the feel for it you will get and the better you will be at expressing yourself and what your business offers. Facebook is an opportunity to foster relationships and can be very effective in allowing people to know you, like you and trust you. So have fun and enjoy the conversations!

Our next adventure will take us to the land of Business Pages. Where the rules are slightly different or are they?