Tag Archives: facebook

Social Networking: Is It Conversation Or Curation; What About Conversion?

The onset of social media has brought a revolution of content. What many had buried in their minds, stored in their pockets or recorded on tape is now able to be broadcast in real time. With today’s powerful social networking tools in hand, how can you know the best way to promote yourself, your business’ ideas? And to what end?

For the sake of this post we’ll focus in on two processes (conversation and curation) and one “end product” (conversion) used within social media.

Conversation, in its purest sense, is interacting with others so as to share and gain ideas and experiences resulting in a more harmonious and congruent relationship. Conversation can take many forms and is exercised by all of us everyday. When it comes to online interaction, it is no different.

Three walls have been broken down with communication over social networks (especially on Twitter and Google Plus): geography, demographics and economic status. The playing field is leveled when it comes to interactions. For example, a low income citizen can build an impressive online reputation, getting the attention of high-profile executives and celebrities. For example, look at Daniel Starkov from Ruse, Bulgaria. He is a college student living in a small city along the Danube River. He now has over 40,000 followers on Twitter and offers a great platform for guest blogging.

Curation is best illustrated by observing entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki. The guy’s (no pun intended) a virtual fire hose. And with his creation of Alltop, it’s one of the supreme sources to discover what’s being talked about.

You may not be able to tweet interesting or bizarre links every few seconds like Kawasaki, but if you know your niche it’s possible to deliver good, trustworthy references to a growing captive audience.

Conversion, for businesses, non profit organizations, and individuals alike, is the pinnacle of social media. Whether it’s the sale of your coffee, a visit to your site resulting in revenue, or a link being passed along by many people—everyone has a goal to bring their followers into deeper engagement.

Whether you choose conversation or curation for building a reputation on social media, you can be sure that you’re efforts will be rewarded. However, the most effective, in my opinion, is to apply both methods and play with the balance between them. Watch how your audience responds to both and make the necessary adjustments to either converse or curate more. In short, allow your customers to be your gauge for how your virtual reputation is shaping up.

Even though we all desire to have that one tweet, Facebook post or blog entry to go viral, it is more the exception than the rule. Faithful interaction with your followers and friendly recruiting of newer audiences will guarantee a group of humans who not only follow your branding but will eagerly promote it among their circles.

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Which Social Network Would Mister Rogers Prefer?

You remember the red sweater, the putting on and removing of shoes routine? What about the trolley that would arrive upon his beckon call? Mister Rogers entertained kids for nearly two generations, bringing a multitude of lessons to the ears of little ones with ease.

Mister Rogers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

Courtesy of Pennstatelive

Having passed away of stomach cancer on February 27th, 2003, he just missed the onset of the social media revolution. Let’s say, theoretically, that he was still alive today and active on social platforms. Which one would he prefer? Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus? Would he be engaged online at all? Maybe he would hire someone younger to handle it? Would he feature Mark Zuckerberg on his Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood program?

Why do I ask what Fred, the shoe-tying guru, would prefer when it comes to staying connected? Because he is the epitome of simple, transferable, yet profound teaching lessons that many of us grew up with.

Instead of me babbling on, let’s hear your input by way of a poll

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Five Secrets To A Balanced Business and Personal Social Media Presence

When you operate as a social media ghostwriter, it can be difficult to keep up your own social networking. Days will come where you feel as though you’ll pull your hair out over it. What are effective methods to deal with this constant tension? Well, here are five secrets that I’ve learned from my own experience:

  1. Don’t feel too pressured to maintain the same barrage of updates as with your paying clients – If you’re a freelancer like me, when you’re posting social updates ‘off the clock’ it almost feels like a waste of time. Remember, you’re still growing your visibility and networking even with one to three quality updates per day.
  2. Spending time on your own social media updates can be therapeutic (and strategic) – Writing a personal update via Twitter about your hectic workday or even the fact that you’re falling behind on freelance work can not only feel like an emotional weight lifted, but may reward you with sympathy or timely advice from the social community. Not only will it bring your blood pressure down, but you may generate new connections over your honesty and emotional approach.
  3. Be intentional to carve out time for updating your own social profiles – I find that if I wait until other work is completed before I tweet or post a link on Facebook that it never happens. Force yourself to put up an update before beginning your freelance or other business-related marketing.
  4. Turn it into a conversation by asking the community – Tweet or post about your dilemma and wait for the social media community to offer their collective wisdom. And, as mentioned above, you might be surprised at the growth of followers who have either been afraid to publicize their emotions or are ready to branch out from their own group of confidantes.
  5. Some of your social connections could benefit the company you work for – It’s very possible, as has happened to me, that a person or two in your social circles could benefit your client. Whether it’s website design, legal services, financial advice or the like, it could prove to be a powerful and natural networking technique.

If you’re new to social media marketing, realize it will take time to adjust to the intensity and breadth of growing followers around the particular branding of the company you represent. Even though it may feel like you’re emotional energy is being sapped by building their business, it doesn’t have to detract from your own presence on the web.

Finally, it is possible that some of the links (a cool viral video) you’re using for work could be very useful and relevant for your own social network; content that you otherwise would have never discovered on your own.

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Social Media For Beginners

How many social networking sites exist? It’s hard to know, but the most populous ones by far are Facebook and Twitter. When it comes to professional networking LinkedIn wins hands down. Video you say? Uh, YouTube.

Now that the big guns are on the table the next question is, “What do we do with them?” That, my friends, has a short answer and a very LONG answer. For simplicity sake, I will unpack the short answer for just Twitter and Facebook…

I’m assuming you have set up accounts at the major networks (mentioned above). Let me begin with the distinctive of each…

Twitter – A short sound byte megaphone. It is a superb medium for getting word out to large audiences very quickly. Recent examples would be the Arab uprisings that spread like wildfire over social networks. Remember the Iranian election uprisings a while back? CNN got major backlash for being too slow to disseminate content regarding the election uprisings… Twitter had them beat.

  • How many times a day should you tweet? Well, that depends on your purpose in using the service. A bare minimum would be once per day, but if you want to enter into more extensive networks and connections it would be advantageous to post updates six to ten times per day (or more). An extreme example, sometimes referred to as a ‘firehouse’ effect, is Guy Kawasaki.
  • What should you promote? Depends on what you value? If you have tweeted for some time and want to know your label as a Twitter user, just sign up at Klout and check out the grid. Basically, you want to have a well-constructed statement followed by a shortlink and then possibly some hashtags to target a particular audience.
  • Can you interact with other Twitter users? Absolutely. Utilize the mention feature or send a direct message (though you and that user must be mutually following each other to use this). Browse different profiles to see how conversations are taking place. You’ll get the hang of it eventually.
  • How can you keep track of certain users more closely? Create a list and add your favorites to that list. Then, whenever you want to see what they’re tweeting about just pull up the list on Twitter or any well-built API.

Facebook – A conversational platform 700 million strong developed by Mark Zuckerberg.

  • How often should you post an update? Depends on your lifestyle. Some update every few minutes and others every other month.
  • How can you interact with other users (or ‘friends’)? You’ll need to invite (or be invited)  ‘friends’ (by ‘friends’) to take advantage of full interaction capabilities. Once the friendship is accepted then you are free to collaborate and see each others’ content. One of the advantages, for some, is this ‘walled garden’ effect that gives a certain level of privacy. Realize that you can change your privacy settings too.
  • You have a business or organization. How can you use Facebook to promote that? Set up either a Fan Page or a Group to showcase your venture. People will need to ‘like’ your fan page in order to see updates in their stream. You have the power to invite anyone of your friends into a group. These are ideal for class reunions, and can be set to complete privacy for deeper interaction.

So, how can I integrate Twitter and Facebook in my daily routine? This is not a simple question to answer, as it will depend on the person and their lifestyle. However, a rule of thumb is to use Twitter for quick sharing of content or your business vision. It’s like walking into a large room of strangers and making a lot of small talk, with a focus on introductions and networking. Facebook, on the other hand, is entering a room filled with acquaintances and friends who you would enjoy more detailed conversations with.

You’ll notice many businesses and organizations have a Twitter and Facebook badge on their sites or on their products. Because we are such a mobile society and even the culture of the work environment has changed, more and more conversations are happening over social media.

Don’t let the seemingly complex nature of social networks discourage you—remember using your first cell phone?

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Three Concrete Ways To Engage With Tech

Today, it’s easy to get inundated by everything tech. How do you filter through the clutter? Where do you start? How do you navigate the ever-growing URL pool? Some have resorted to staying with desktop software alone. Others, merely taking suggestions from family and friends. Still others have given up altogether and resorted to pen and pencil thinking.

What way is best? If the power grid were to collapse, I suppose the latter thinking could prove the viable option. However, nobody knows the outcome of tomorrow.

How do you stay up on what is affecting you and your business (or organization) without defaulting to extremes? Obviously, each person should test the waters and see where their threshold lies, but here are three tips for engaging with tech:

1. Don’t assume the way you use the web today will define the way you use it tomorrow – A term that comes to mind for this tip is ‘Social Media.’ Who would have thought, even five years ago, how much this medium would define our lives. With over 700 million Facebook users and an ever-growing Google Plus crowd, people from children to grandparents have an insatiable appetite for relationship and sharing. If we were using the computer and the web exclusively circa 2000, much would be missed from news to the latest dog grooming styles.

2. You learned to ride a bicycle, didn’t you? – Childhood is defined by new experiences and a constant intaking of new information, experiences and relationships. I just have to watch my own children to be reminded of tireless exploration. What happens as we get older? Why do so many resort to habitual lifestyles that refuse to engage outside a certain structure? I’m not here to get into the psychcology of the matter, but to remind that we need to be proactive at learning once out of college. There is so much to explore and experience, and the Internet brings it to our lap (literally).

3. Watch the younger generation – If you’re older, especially over fifty, tech can be more of a challenge because you didn’t grow up with it. It was introduced when in your thirties and became an adjunct, not integral part of your life. Tips for your generation: watch your kids and others in the younger demographic for how they use the web in everyday life. You may feel exhausted at all the uses (and the gadgets they carry), but you can glean some ideas from the ‘fire hose’ examples. For example, you may not have realized that you can utilize Twitter as a notepad to keep track of thoughts. Need to locate a group of people fast? Use Facebook to organize a group and search for names to connect with. Need to keep track of time on some projects? Use Toggl for time and project management. The list goes on and on…

Let this be a catalyst for action, not a post for paralysis.

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