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Lately I’ve been finding myself in a pickle during events around town while with a mix of friends in the biz and those whom are not. My iPhone is usually tethered to my side, so whenever I arrive at say a restaurant, I immediately check into foursquare to see who’s nearby and then tweet away. Fine and dandy when I’m with PR friends, who are usually doing the same, but things can become awkward when I’m out with family or other friends who don’t know twitter from a tornado.
It’s been an interesting experience to find myself explaining to someone what I’m doing on my phone instead of making friendly eye contact…live tweeting, texting, whatever. Usually, the more I talk, the more I laugh at how ridiculous it must all sound:
“Sorry, just need to check into foursquare.”
“Pardon me. A few friends are tweeting me, and I don’t want to be rude by not responding.”
“I’m totally tweeting that!”
Shouldn’t engaging in conversation with the person directly across the table from you be a priority over virtual conversations? It seems like an easy answer, but it can be tough if you’re attending an event with a tech-clueless person and see social media friends in attendance whom are tweeting away points of interest that you’d love to share too.
These experiences are good reminders of what really constitute good manners with your social circle – whether in-person or online. As I started thinking about this conundrum, an old post from Social Media Today about social media etiquette came to mind: 10 things your grandmother can teach you about social media. Take a peek.
Give these a thought the next time you’re nose deep in your phone vs. engaging a real live person in front of you.
Here are two interesting pieces of news regarding Google+ in the past week. First, Google+ attracted more than 25 million users in less than a month, which outpaced both Facebook and Twitter and ranks it as the fastest website to reach that milestone. Second, Google+’s (how strange does that look?) growth is slowing down since total visits fell.
That tells me that lots of folks are joining the bandwagon, particularly since it’s invitation only, but once they get on, they’re not sure what to do. Personally, I realized today that besides adding people to my circles, I haven’t posted anything in a week. My issue is that my personal friends are still on Facebook, so that’s where I go to stay connected. I checked my friend circle today and basically only two people have been posting regularly to Google+. My full stream of content on Google+ is all from professionals discussing social media topics. Since I follow most of those people on Twitter, I’m not motivated to check Google+ just to see similar content.
A couple weeks ago, I posted on Google+ asking everyone how they were deciding what content to post there vs. Facebook vs. Twitter. Another friend echoed a desire to get that insight, but so far, no one has responded and I haven’t found any posts or articles that cover content trends.
Would love to hear what your experience has been with Google+ and what content trends you’re noticing.
A couple of weeks ago, Chuck Soder with Crain’s Cleveland Business interviewed me for a story on how small businesses can leverage online tools. His article ran in today’s issue and mostly highlights how small businesses can use social media tools to build awareness that can lead to an increase in sales. Here’s an overview of five tips I shared about how small businesses can best use social media:
1.Listen to social media conversations – Determine what’s been said about your organization on which outlets and by whom online. To accomplish this task, you can use free tools like Google alerts and/or paid software by companies like Radian6.
2.Assess your in-house talent – Allocating resources toward social media efforts is a huge conundrum for companies of all sizes. If you have someone in-house who is familiar with and enthusiastic about social media, that’s definitely an advantage. If you don’t have an internal champion, then the best way to learn is to practice using social networks on a personal level.
3.Define your strategy and goals – Ultimately, the findings of your conversation audit will help narrow down which social networks you should be participating in (if at all), who you should be targeting (as potential audiences and influencers) and what you should be saying.
Here’s a great article that came out from Harvard Business Review that highlights four distinct types of social media strategies for businesses. For example, maybe your strategy revolves around adding an arm to your existing customer service model to reduce online complaints. (Read about D&E's social media strategic process here.)
4.Engage – It’s imperative for small businesses to prioritize and match their level of engagement with their allocated resources (staff, budget, etc.). Recognize what types of outreach will make the biggest impact based on effort required. For example, writing a blog requires more investment than just writing a post. You’ll need to comment on other blogs, promote what you wrote, etc.
Many small businesses have found success with tapping into social media influencer networks. Fore example, opening a retail store? Give local lifestyle bloggers VIP access to build word-of-mouth excitement.
5.Measure and refine – Benchmark your efforts so you can measure the progress and success of your social media efforts and track what impact they have on sales.
Google+ hasn’t even been live for a week and big-name brands are not only taking notice, but taking action. This post, which features an interview with Scott Monty, highlights how Ford has jumped in and what potential Monty and his team see for features that will appeal to brands. Monty shared that the Huddle chat feature can be useful for hosting webinars and analyst calls and can have useful applications for customer service.
Other sources have mentioned that Google has confirmed that brand profiles are in the works, at least for small to mid-sized businesses. Experts like Jay Baer also are speculating that Google will soon begin incorporating Google+ behaviors into the ranking algorithm for websites.
It’s exciting to guess at what features might come next, particularly when you consider the evolution of business applications on other social media sites:
Facebook: Obviously, this site has shown the greatest progression and is still evolving. It just announced a video chat function today. Remember when individual accounts, groups and event pages were the only options for promoting businesses? Fan pages seemed to live in a vacuum until posts were integrated into users’ news feeds. Now, sophisticated business applications exist, such as like pages, Facebook ads, e-commerce and Facebook Deals.
Twitter: Sponsored tweet functions give businesses a chance to trend and reach a gazillion users.
LinkedIn: Although released a while ago, company profiles permit companies to brand themselves.
YouTube: Businesses can brand a channel for sharing video content.
I'm sure I've overlooked some features that are useful for businesses, so please suggest any I missed. Can’t wait to see what’s next.
Way back when , blogs revolutionized the publishing industry by permitting anyone with a voice to raise it loud on the interwebs. Paper.li dailies are the latest widget for web publishing. Basically, Paper.li organizes links shared on Twitter and Facebook into a daily newspaper format themed on your topic of choice. Check out PRKent’s example here.
Public sentiment seems to be split on whether Paper.li offers good content or spam. Thoughts?
Two years ago, I took an amazing trip to Japan that filled me with inspiration, awe and relaxation. I was lucky enough to visit during cherry blossom season. This weekend, I haven’t been able to peel my eyes away from tsunami/earthquake coverage. It’s been interesting to see how relief efforts have stormed social and mobile networks. For example, Google launched a person finder, the Red Cross is promoting its popular texting donation option and TimeOut Tokyo is posting train schedule updates and other helpful tips to its Twitter feed.
Please consider donating. Here’s a post on seven ways to help, per Mashable.
P.S. For a number of reasons, the American Red Cross is a fantastic example of a nonprofit that leverages social media to make an impact. Check out the awesome Facebook campaign it launched recently about fire awareness.
This week, eyeballs everywhere have been glued to the weather on the tube as the nation prepared for Snowpocalypse 2011. Expected to impact multiple states and countless travelers, many turned to their smartphones to share tales of traveling woe. Even local news stations have been encouraging viewers to use hashtags to share details about their commutes.
Twitter has been earning credo as an effective tool for communicating during weather emergencies. When the NYC area got dumped on a little over a month ago, Newark's mayor @corybooker used twitter as a communication tool to dig out residents stranded by snow: http://tinyurl.com/33ap4ax
I also spotted quite a few check-ins to Snowpocalypse on foursquare last night and this morning. Safe travels!
As a college student, I benefitted quite a bit from professionals who took the time to network with me and share insights on their career paths, so I always enjoy participating in student events. A couple weeks ago, I attended the Greater Cleveland PRSA’s Student Day, an event I used to co-chair, and tonight I’ll be speaking to the PRSA chapter of John Carroll University about how social media is impacting media relations.
Today’s students have a huge opportunity to connect with and make an impression on professionals via social networking tools. With the job market more competitive than ever, here are a few tips for how to stand out among your peers and make a connection:
Follow professionals you admire (or those working at an organization you’re interested in) on Twitter, but avoid making connections on Facebook or LinkedIn unless you’ve had an extensive conversation
Post thoughtful comments on industry blogs and consider penning your own blog about something you’re passionate about (your topic doesn’t need to focus on your industry)
Share interesting posts, articles and events with your network on Twitter, LinkedIn or your blog
Consider asking a professional you admire to guest post on your blog (if the topic is relevant)
Tweet with a hashtag at industry events and write a post about your impressions or a follow-up topic
Share your Twitter handle and blog domain on your business card (make your own with perforated cardstock and an ink jet printer)
I’d love to hear what techniques have worked for you and any tips I left out!
I’m baaaack! I returned to work on Tuesday after a 12-week maternity leave, which explains why I haven’t posted in so long (I actually went into labor on the evening of my last post). The transition this week has been pretty smooth, and I’d like to think social networking has had quite a bit to do with it.
During my maternity leave, my baby and my iPhone were glued to my side at all times. When my son was snoozing or eating, I was constantly returning e-mails, reading blogs, texting, and checking and posting to Twitter and Facebook. It made me feel connected and more like my old self. I did not want to be left behind by my friends or co-workers! It also was fantastic to share pics of my little nugget and get words of encouragement from "real" and online friends.
The past three months have been busy ones for the major social media players. In case you were hibernating, here are highlights of what’s launched since August:
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Hey Gmail users: are you using Google Buzz? I’ve been ignoring the pop-up box that shows up when I log in, but this Mashable column is motivating me to take another look.
So what’s the big deal? Social media prophets are predicting that Google Buzz, which went live to most Gmail users on Feb. 10, will lure marketing dollars from Facebook and Twitter because its user base is more than 38 million (as of September 2009). And, Google reported that Buzz is generating about 160,000 posts and comments per hour.
Personally, I’m not yet convinced that I “need” another social network. Will you be joining the bandwagon?