Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Using LinkedIn Groups To Increase Your Contacts

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Lots of people create a LinkedIn profile, upload their resume, accept the occasional connection but then basically ignore it. 

I wrote a post a while back on maximizing your LinkedIn profile. Hopefully, you followed the advice. So now what?

Go find some Groups. Why? Because they are an excellent way to increase connections, learn stuff and establish yourself as an expert in your field. What are LinkedIn groups? Basically, they are groups of LinkedIn users who share information and ideas around interests or topics. You can find a group for just about anything, from industry groups to professional organizations to topics of interest.

Joining a group and participating in discussions will increase your exposure and allow you to share knowledge and meet new people. Group members will ask to connect to you if they like what you say.

You can ask questions and learn from other people. You can share links to articles. As long as you aren’t obnoxious about it, you can even share links to your own stuff.

But be careful and respectful. Remember that people aren’t on LinkedIn to be sold to. Most groups have policies against promoting your products or services.

That said, there are plenty of ways to use Groups to make contacts that can help you and your business. Anyone have any good LinkedIn Groups stories to share?

Guest Post: The Top Social Networking Apps

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Today, we have a guest post by Jane Johnson, who is a writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone related news, commentary, reviews on popular providers like T-Mobile.

Take it away, Jane!

Engage with new friends and old with these 5 popular networking apps

Last year a new social networking app hit the market faster than you could say Google+. And with popular social networks, like Facebook, improving on and introducing new apps for us to sink our teeth into, like Facebook Messenger, there were more ways to connect with friends, share news, jokes, video, photos, and texts than you could shake a stick at. Choosing a social networking tool for your iPhone, Android, or Samsung Galaxy S, can be overwhelming when there’s a new one almost every week. So I’ve put together my list of favorite 5 social networking apps that you want to miss downloading…

1. Facebook Messenger (Free – for iPhone)

Formerly called Beluga by its creators, this app was purchased by Facebook and dubbed its official Facebook Messenger app, making chatting on Facebook its own. An extension of the social networking charm of Facebook, Facebook chat gives users more ways to connect, engage, and network on the go using their mobile devices. Your contacts are now, literally, just a click away. Users can message friends faster than ever and be assured that they’ll be delivered instantly.

2. Get Glue (Free – for Android)

A fantastic social networking app for media buffs—including music geeks, movie buffs, reality show wannabies, video gamers, and literary geniuses—GetGlue lets users share their latest interests (be it that new art film you just went to see or that new video game release that you just rocked). Users can also leave recommendations or reviews of their favorite new album, or a play-by-play of their “I can’t believe he did that” reality show moment, along with impressions of those interests, with other ‘Glue users and the app will rank your favorite media based on user feedback and check-ins.

3. Pinterest (Free – for iPhone)

A rather recent social media app that’s taken off like wildfire, Pinterest, is an online pin board (think of a cork bulletin board) where you put a pin in the items you really dig. These items are then shared for your entire network to see. Now wait before you brush this off as the latest “link” hoarding site. Pinterest is more like a guilty pleasure collage of your favorite things.

4. Foursquare (Free – for Android)

Foursquare has earned it’s rep as probably the most popular geographical-based social networking tool. Users check-in to their favorite restaurants, shopping spots, gyms, and entertainment establishments and Foursquare offers them deals, discounts, and, if you’re really a frequent flyer, freebies. It’s no wonder why so many businesses are heaving themselves at the foursquare bandwagon, hoping to draw a local fan base. For the user, Foursquare also helps track friends and contacts (yes, it’s a little creepy), but if you want to hook up with a large group, you just launch the app, check in to the designated spot and everyone knows where and when to meet up. It’s like having your own personal event planner…without all the drama.

5. Disposable Hipstamatic (Free – for iPhone)

With the popularity of photo sharing sites, like Flickr, there was only a certain amount of time before another photo platform was released with cool affects. Introducing Disposable Hipstamatic, the app that adds a vintage, disposable camera-like filter to snap shots taken on your smart phone. You can share your own photos with the Hipstamatic community and comment and like other people’s photos.

Content and Conversation

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

On Monday I talked about how it doesn’t really matter who follows you on Twitter. What is most important is your content. Today I’m going to discuss conversations, an important part of content in any form of social media.

Step back from social media for a moment and think about conversations you have in person. What do you do when you see a good movie? You share, right? Or if you read an article that makes you think? Again, you share and talk about it. When you hear a friend is sick, you reach out with encouragement.

All of these things work in social media and should be part of a good presence. Remember my post where I talked about “1/3, 1/3, 1/3?” Let’s apply that to conversations.

1. About You

In a networking conversation, someone might ask what you do. Or you might want to share a recent accomplishment. But you won’t spend all of your time talking about yourself, at least not if you want anyone to continue talking to you.

If you spend about 1/3 of your time talking about yourself, that’s not a bad ratio, in both social media and face to face.

2. About Other People

Again, at a networking event, you might hear a need and connect two people who can help each other. You might talk about another networking event or a great book you just read. It might be appropriate for you to make a plug for one of your trusted vendors.

You can do all the same things in social media, where you share articles, refer others, promote vendors or other great accounts to follow.

3. Conversation

Okay, I’ve been talking about conversation in this post, so what do I mean here? I mean just talking. Did someone just win an award? Congratulate her, just to be friendly. Ask a question. Answer a question. Tell a joke. Laugh at someone’s else’s joke. Discuss something you really enjoy. Chat about a movie you just saw.

Some people tell me that they want an absolute barrier on social media between business and personal. Why? Ultimately, we do business with people not businesses. Why can’t we learn a bit about you as a human being? Use some sensible discretion. Don’t over share, but it’s okay to give us a view of who you are. If we like you, we’ll do business with you. If we don’t? Well, we won’t, and that’s okay. We probably weren’t a good client anyway.

So what do you think? Ready to go out there and have some conversations, both online and in person?

Don’t Worry About Who Follows You on Twitter

Monday, February 6th, 2012

I get this question a lot.

“Some porn account just followed me on Twitter. What should I do? Should I protect my tweets by locking down my account?”

Short answer. “No.”

Longer answer.

Look, those account are all over the Twitterverse, and they aren’t going away. We all know they exist, and we know they are going to follow you. Guess what? We don’t care.

Who follows you isn’t nearly as important as who you follow. You choose who you follow. You don’t choose who follows you. So if someone is going to check out your online reputation, they are going to focus on the accounts you’ve chosen to follow.

But, let’s face it. Most people who check you out online aren’t even going to look at the list of your followers. It takes too much time. We’re going to look at your content. What do you post? Who do you retweet? That says lots more about you than some random people who spam-botted your account.

Remember, Twitter isn’t like Facebook. Those folks aren’t going to show up in your main feed, and you’re probably the only person who knows they are following you. If they really bother you, report them as a spam. Then they’ll go away.

By the way, speaking of content, tune in Wednesday when I’m going to do a whole post on good social media content.

Job Searching Changes…and Stays the Same

Monday, January 30th, 2012

I’ve been reading about how social media, computers and the Internet are changing the process about searching for a job. Keywords have become increasingly important, both in resumes and in job descriptions. Employers are using search terms to find candidates online, and they are using keywords to electronically filter the hundreds (or thousands) of resumes they are receiving.

I even heard recently of applicants for social media and other marketing positions being told not to send a resume. They just send their name, and the employer checks them out online, presumably looking for Twitter accounts and blogging activity.

Sound intimidating? Sure it does. Having a good resume isn’t enough anymore. You’ve got to pay attention to all these other areas.

But the good news is that one fact still remains. Networking will still get you in the door. It won’t land you a job if you’re not qualified, but knowing the right people at your target companies will get you past the automatic filtering.

By all means pay attention to the technological changes in a job search, but do not ignore the human element. Do your research. Find your target companies. And then use your network to get personal introductions.

It’ll be a long time before those strategies go out of date.

Complete That LinkedIn Profile!

Friday, January 27th, 2012

I’m always amazed at how frequently I run across incomplete or inadequate LinkedIn profiles. Your profile is one of your most important sites on the Internet. Don’t believe me? Do a Google search on some people you know. It’s highly likely that a LinkedIn profile will come up near the top, if not number 1.

Given that it’s so important and shows up so high on search engines, it’s insane that people don’t give their profile the time and attention it deserves. I’m going to talk about a few areas I usually see lacking.

1. A Good Summary

Your Summary should be the last thing you write. It’s a synopsis of you as a person, and it’s the tease that makes us interested to read more. No, it should not be the “summary” section of your resume. No “well-organized business professional” type language. That’s good for getting in the door on a job search, but it doesn’t make us want to connect to you. What’s in it for me to connect to you? Tell me that. Or why might I want to use or refer you? Tell me that. Shine. Stand out!

2. Too Much Resume Language

Lots of people cut and paste from their resume to create a profile. That’s okay for older entries, but make the newest positions in your profile snap and sparkle.

3. Incomplete Profiles

Need I say anything about this? LinkedIn prompts you on exactly what you need to complete a profile. Follow their suggestions and get it to 100%.

4. No/Few Recommendations

You need at least 3 to get your profile to 100%, but really, you need more than that. Your profile is a huge part of your reputation online. The more recommendations you have, the better. And absolutely get at least 2 (preferably more) for your most recent position. We’re going to make decisions about you based on that. Make sure we’re making a good one for you.

I could say a lot more about this, but those hit the biggest points. What are you waiting for? Go look at your profile and make it shine.

Need help? Creating/updating/fixing profiles is one of my services. Email me, and I’ll help you out.

Use a Strong Password on Social Media

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

The Twitter hackers appear to be out in force these days. I’m seeing lots of people in my stream saying they’ve been hacked or spitting out random tweets that tell me they’ve been hacked.

Of course you want to use strong passwords most places online, especially on any sites with financial information, but it seems like lots of people use any old password for social media.

Bad idea!

Social media is your identity on the ‘net. It’s a reflection of you as a person and as a business person. Sure most people will understand being hacked, but followers who are new to social media may not understand and might unfollow you because of an ill-timed hack tweet.

A good way to create strong passwords that are easy to remember is to use a mnemonic like this. Think of a sentence that you can remember. Example: Oprah Winfrey is my number one favorite celebrity (not true by the way, in case you were wondering).

That’s 8 words, which turns into the following 8 characters by creating a password from the first letter of each word, mixing upper and lower case:

OWimNofc

See how it works? You can make it stronger by using characters instead of the first letters. Try this:

OWim#1Fc

All you have to remember is the sentence, what letters you capitalized and any character/number substitutions. That’s a pretty good 8 character password that’s easy to remember.

No, it’s not one I’m using, so don’t try this on any of my accounts. ;)

Anyone else have good password techniques to share? Or, if you had a social media account hacked, what you did to recover from the experience?

Why Should I Follow You On Both Twitter and Facebook?

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

I’m sure this happens to you all the time. You follow someone on Twitter. A day or so later, you receive a Direct Message inviting you to connect with the person/company on Facebook.

I certainly see this several times a week. Do I connect on Facebook? Usually not. Why? Because most of the time, there’s exactly the same content in both places. Why should I see the same content twice?

Disclosure. I do post the same blog content in both places, but I’m not really using or growing my Facebook following. You’re better off connecting with me on Twitter than Facebook.

So what should you do? If you want to use Twitter to grow your Facebook following (and it’s a good way to do it), post different content in both places. Start conversations on Facebook and use Twitter to suggest people join in. Post unique content on Facebook. Make your followers there feel special by connecting with you there. Do you offer specials? Post a different special on Facebook than Twitter. It makes your Facebook followers feel appreciated, and it allows you to track your social media return on investment.

Using different social media channels can be an effective way to grow your business. But keep the content different in all your channels.

Separating Business and Personal on Facebook

Monday, December 12th, 2011

One of my clients asked a really good question last week, and I thought some of you might benefit from the answer.

He mentioned that one of my 1 to 1 Discovery posts showed up on his personal profile. While he didn’t mind something from me, he was concerned that he wasn’t separating business from personal on his profile.

After a brief “Oh Crap!” moment (I manage his social media and briefly thought I’d posted to the wrong place. I hadn’t. Whew!), I realized what he was seeing.

He has “Liked” my 1 to 1 Discovery page from his personal profile. So posts from my page show up in his News Feed. What he didn’t understand is that his News Feed isn’t visible to his friends. As long as he doesn’t “like” or comment on the post, no one will know it was there.

If he “likes” or comments on my post, that will show up on his wall and be visible to his friends. (So no “liking” porn stuff, okay?)

What can he do if he wants to interact with my page without it showing up on his personal wall? He can unlike my page with his personal profile and like it with his business page. Then he can interact with my page without crossing any personal/business lines.

Make sense?

Twitter Time and Posting Management Tools

Friday, December 9th, 2011

This post was written at the request of Nancy Wigal of the Search Engine Academy of Washington DC. Hope it answers the question, Nancy!

I tell people that the worst way to interact with Twitter is at http://twitter.com. Why?

Because the main Twitter web page is missing so many useful tools. Yes, you can view your lists there, but it’s a pain to switch from one to another. You can retweet, but there’s no way to add comments to your RT. And, most important, there’s no scheduling!!!! Savvy Twitter people use (and abuse) scheduling.

So what’s a Tweeter to do? Use a third-party tool like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. Both allow you to:

1. Make columns to view your lists or other streams (like Mentions or Direct Messages)
2. Retweet with comments
3. Automatically shorten URLs
4. Schedule tweets!

So, you may ask, which one should I pick? I prefer Hootsuite, but your needs might vary, however.

Hootsuite is browser-based on all browsers while Tweetdeck only works in Chrome and Safari. If you use another browser, you need to download it as a piece of software. This gives it a couple of advantages/disadvantages, depending on your needs.

1. It doesn’t need to update itself your computer. Tweetdeck seems to want to update ALL THE BLOODY TIME! (Ooops, did I say that out loud?)

2. It has no notifications. In Tweetdeck, you can set it to pop up notifications for your various columns. Do you love it when your computer says “You’ve got mail?” Then you’ll appreciate Tweetdeck’s notifications. Do you hate it when your computer tells you there’s a new message in your Inbox? Tweetdeck will drive you crazy!

3. Hootsuite in the browser will time out, which the installed version of Tweetdeck will not. But, just to be fair, when Hootsuite times out, you get this:

He’s a good reason to use Hootsuite just by himself.

So, users of both, what do you think? Any advantages/disadvantages I missed?