social media

Is Social Media Just A Giant Headache?

“I hate social media.  I hate it all.”

I was on the phone the other day with a prospect when she completely stunned me with the above declaration.

With some gentle prodding, she went on to explain to me why she hated social media:
• Social media made her feel guilty; she felt like the train had already left the station and she was definitely NOT on it.  
• She didn’t know who to listen to.  She felt bewildered by the contradictory advice from all directions.
• She felt unsure of how to put together a winning strategy
• While she enjoyed certain social media in her personal life, she felt that social media was a complete time drain when it came to her business
• She was confused by all the different social media tools.
• She was not at all convinced that social media was worth the hassle or resources necessary to make it happen.
When I hear these comments, I wonder if social media isn’t just in the process of shooting itself in the foot.  For as many cheerleaders as this exciting new medium might have,   there are just as many out there who almost feel resentful of it.

What’s the solution?

If you are unsure about social media, here are three ingredients that might help you resolve your uncertainties:

Education: You will want to make sure that you understand the full potential and power of social media for your business-no matter what its size.

Organization: Simple organization is one of the best kept secrets about social media success.  On the one hand, it is imperative to integrate your social media into your current marketing and communication efforts without sacrificing too much time or resources.  On the other hand, you will need to have a rigorous approach to the creation […]

The Right Way And A Wrong Way To Blog

Like so many social media platforms, people are confused how to really tap into the power of the blog. They take a stab at using it, make mistakes, get disappointed and ultimately abandon their blog altogether.

The Web is notoriously littered with the carcasses of blogs gone wrong—and discarded forever on the side of the Internet highway. This phenomenon is so common that the abandoned blog has almost become a rite of passage into the Web 2.0 world.

Last year the New York Times reported that, according to a Technorati 2008 survey, only 7.4 million of the 133 million blogs the company tracks were updated in the last 120 days. This means that about 95% of blogs are inactive.

What a pity!

A blog is one of the most powerful tools available to you. It will deliver thought leadership, a robust community of followers and brand recognition which will drive sales.

But the power of a blog is only available to you if you execute it correctly.

I thought it would be worthwhile to make a check list of the right and wrong way to implement your blog:

The Wrong Way To Blog:

A poor blog will exhibit the following weaknesses:
• Not enough posts
• Intermittent, irregular posting
• Excessively long posts
• Posts that are no more than thinly veiled promotions; people visit blogs for interesting, original information, not to buy
• A lack of keywords
• No variety
• No pictures
• No distribution throughout the Social Web
The Right Way

A blog executed correctly will combine the following strengths:
• Ongoing original content that keeps your readers coming back for more
• Consistent posting
• Varied material that provides a balance of practical tips, strategic advice, comments on other blogs, statistics and interviews with other experts
• Frequent blogging; to obtain excellent […]

Our Childhood Playground Comes Back To Haunt Us

Ever since we were children, we were afraid of criticism.  Someone might mock our hair, criticize our dress, whisper nasty things about the way we played in the playground.

Criticism has haunted us since Day One.

And social media is no exception.  Has

When we write a blog, people can write a nasty comment.  When we post our update, people can pop out with a mean comment.  Our tweets can be sliced down in a word or two.

 There doesn’t seem to be any place to hide.  And we are back at the playground once again.

Okay.  So this is the deal.

Negativity and negative comments are just part of the social media game.  So the answer is not to hide in the corner just hoping no one will see you.  The answer is to figure out how to respond to the negativity.

First of, don’t try to avoid them.  Hiding under the desk didn’t work in elementary school. And it won’t work here either.

Confront the negative comments head-on

Learn to listen

Learn to respond.

And-if the criticism is merited- (and it CAN be merited), try to fix what is broken.

But the most important thing is NEVER IGNORE NEGATIVITY

Respond immediately and politely.

It may be hard.  You might have to bite your tongue.  But you will be surprised what happens.  Often, your enemy turns into your advocate.  It takes the wind out of their sails.  And sails with no wind don’t travel too far.  On the best of days, your critical enemy will become your advocate or even your friend.

And don’t prohibit people from saying negative things.  Some people will review the comments made on their blogs.  Don’t do that.  Let people say negative things about you.  Let them say those things publicly.  It’s okay.  […]

A Statistic Snapshot of the Blogosphere

I stumbled across this great post on thefuturebuzz.com written by Adam Singer on December 10,2009; it is a statistical synthesis of Technorati’s 2009 State of the Blogosphere 

Many sneer at the lowly blog.  But as Singer points out, it is worth remembering the fact that a whopping 133,000,000 blogs have been indexed by Technorati since 2002. And according to Universal McCann, 77% of active Internet users read blogs. 

Dead? Dying?  I don’t think so.  The blogosphere keeps chugging along.

Don’t underestimate its power. 

And please enjoy the statistics listed below! 

Demographics of bloggers:

• Two-thirds are male
• 60% are 18-44
• 75% have college degrees
• 40% have graduate degrees
• One in three has an annual household income of $75K+
• One in four has an annual household income of $100K+
• Professional and self-employed bloggers are more affluent: nearly half have an annual household income of $75,000 and one third topped the $100,000 level
• More than half are married
• More than half are parents
• Half are employed full time, however ¾ of professional bloggers are employed full time.
• Around half of bloggers are working on at least their second blog, and 68% have been blogging for two years or more
• 86% have been blogging for at least a year

Motivations of bloggers:

• 70% of all respondents say that personal satisfaction is a way they measure the success of their blog
• Bloggers are most likely to describe themselves as “sincere” (75%).
• 16% describe themselves as snarky.
• 71% say they blog at least in part in order to speak their minds.
• 72% say they blog in order to share their expertise.
• 61% say they blog in order to supplement their income.
• 53% of professional bloggers are interested in attracting new clients from blogging.
• 72% of those who are self-employed and blogging are interested in attracting new clients.
• 19% are concerned that their employers might disapprove of their […]

By |April 30th, 2010|Social Media|4 Comments

10 Ways To Creating First-Rate Content For The Social Web

High-quality content is absolutely crucial to your success on the Social Web. The problem is generating lots of interesting ideas consistently over time is no easy task.

Here are some tips on how to create superior content that will enhance your social conversation and grow your community.

Make sure you know exactly what you want to talk about. Do this by identifying a precise area of expertise upon which you want to build your reputation.

Once you have identified your subject area (s), generate a series of terms that relate to your subject. You can use Google keywords (free) or Wordtracker to help you

Research your terms. Go to sites like Google, Technorati or Delicious. Think about exploring your keywords adding phrases like How To, Helpful Hints or Top 10.

Keep track of topics that will appeal to your community and organize them in a file(either physical or online). .

Go offline. Unearth other ideas by reading magazines and newspapers, watching television and DVDs, or talking to prospects/customers.

Download the free software, Audacity, Record ideas or out of the ordinary personal stories which can be used as pertinent content. .

Use social bookmarking to keep track of remarkable websites, articles or blog posts which relate to your key terms.

Once you have generated at least 50 ideas, decide what form your content will take. Is this going to be a blog post? A tweet? A video?

Generate high-quality content. Make it easy to read (i.e. scan) with subheads, small paragraphs, bullet points and the integration of keywords Don’t forget to add visual images (photos, graphics and video) to bring your content alive.

Repurpose your content. Use every piece of content at least three ways. For example, a blog post can be made into a podcast, […]

FIRE UP YOUR SOCIAL EFFORTS WITH WILDFIRE

Companies large and small are always looking for new ways to engage their followers and fans on the Social Web.  In my opinion, one of the most powerful ways to do that is by conducting a contest, sweepstakes or promotion.  It  is not only fun for your current followers but it can potentially create a viral buzz to entice more people into your community.

One of the best tools on the marketplace to help you create a winning contest is Wildfire.

Wildfire is easy to use, straightforward and relatively inexpensive.   Here are some of its advantages:

 Lets small and big companies create branded interactive campaigns:
o Sweepstakes
o Contests
o Give-aways
o Coupons
Once the campaign is created, you can publish it on your company website or on a variety of social networking sites
o On your website, the participant uses a widget
o On a social network, the participant uses an application
Enables you to engage millions of social network site users
Helps you tap into the viral features of the social web
o The contest participant shares the contest with their social network friends
o These friends can in turn invite their friends so the word spread
If you change your campaign,  all  additions/deletions will be automatically updated everywhere you are located 
A basic promotional campaign costs $5 with an additional $.99 each day the campaign is active

By |April 23rd, 2010|Social Media|1 Comment

THE WORLD BEYOND YOUTUBE

Most people equate online video with YouTube.  While YouTube is a huge giant, there are other video share sites out there.   I recently ran across an excellent review  on Top10 Reviews about video share sites.  Here are some of the highlights:

Metacafe:

Originally started in Israel, Metacafe is now based in California and enjoys a huge following in the US as well as other English-speaking countries. The site’s excellent content is easy to find while the community is vibrant.  .

The videos submitted to Metacafe are reviewed by a panel of 80,000 community members, One big advantage of this system  is the lack of duplicates, making the site feel orderly, well-organized and uncluttered. 

Metacafe’s popularity is in part due to the fact that it pays people for posting videos. Once 20,000 people have seen your video, Metacafe will pay you $5 per 1000 views.  If your video gets millions of views, this is obviously a very interesting option.

Break.com

This video share site specializes in humorous videos.  In addition, you can find videos on sports, entertainment and the military which attract its predominantly male audience.  But if you are looking for humor (whether you are male or female), this is a great site to visit.  

Google Video

 This video share site boasts more searchable categories than any other. You can search by category, search box or even use Google’s advanced search feature. The quantity of videos is large and the quality excellent.  It tends to have more informational videos than other video share sites.

Google has one of the largest viewing windows, taking up to one-third of the monitor.  Despite its size, there is still plenty of room for comments, ratings and playlists. 

True to Google, it […]

THE BEAUTY OF TUBEMOGUL

We are all looking to save time, particularly when it comes to managing our social media programs.  One great way of doing that is by using tools that help us automatically share information to several sites at the same time.  

Tubemogul is the leading tool which will help you share your videos to all the key video share sites.  I recently ran across a  Squidoo article which describes the benefit of using Tubemogul.  Here are some of the highlights of the article: 

As we all know, no one can resist the power of video.  Video can help you share  information about your company, your products, your ideas and YOU in a quick and entertaining fashion.  Video is an excellent way to boost your profile online that everyone should be using.   .

Not surprisingly, most people equate YouTube with video online.  But as I have outlined in some of my recent posts, there are many other video share sites besides YouTube.  They may not be as enormous as YouTube but this is a positive; hey offer you the benefit of making a bigger splash in a smaller pond.

The problem is if you have to upload your video individually to each video share site, this will quickly become cumbersome, time-consuming and inefficient.  

Enter Tubemogul.  With Tube Mogul, all you have to do is upload your video once and it will be automatically uploaded to dozens of video share sites. With one push of the button, you will  have a huge presence.    Even better, the service will also give you information on how your video performs on each site.  You can begin to understand when, where and how often your videos are watched so you can really get a grasp on […]

TEN TIPS FOR CREATING ONLINE VIDEOS

Everyone loves watching a good online video.    But what about posting videos yourself?

Video has evened out the playing field.   Video used to be only available to big companies with big budgets.  Now, with easy editing, inexpensive cameras and universal broadband, video is open even to individuals and solo entrepreneurs. 

Here is a list of how you can use video-fast, easy and effectively:

1. Go out and buy yourself a Flip camcorder.  They are the best invention since sliced bread and a 2 year old can operate them.  They are inexpensive (a little under $200) and have surprising high quality.  The best benefit is they have a built-in USB key so once you have filmed, it takes all of 2 seconds to upload your video to your website, YouTube and beyond. 

2. Record all your FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) that you normally post on your website.  Its much more fun to hear the FAQs read out by someone you can watch than to scroll through a long list.   

3. Write a list of the 20 best tips you can give to your audience.  Then make a video (not  more than 90 seconds long) about each tip.  Post them on your website, YouTube and other video sharing sites,

4. Interview experts or even customers in your industry.  .  Keep your interviews short.

5. Use video to show off your latest product.  If it’s a physical product, you can record with the Flip.  If it is an online product, consider using Camtasia.

6. Post your videos throughout your Social Media space—not just on YouTube.

7. If you know someone is really happy with your product, send them a Flip as a gift and ask them to record a customer testimonial. They will love you for it.  And future […]

MY BELOVED TREE FELL DOWN

A few weeks ago in France, there was a huge hurricane.  It happens once in a blue moon.  But the winds sweep through and we all just sit tight until its over. And when the wind finally subsides, we creep out of our houses to assess the damage. 

This last storm wasn’t anywhere as destructive as the famous storm of December 1999 which ripped off roofs and downed chimneys.   But this time, when I ventured out of my house, I was heartbroken to discover that my favorite tree—a majestic old pine- had simply fallen down. 

I sat and stared.  And I wept.

We all have landmarks in our lives.  We learn to love them, we lean on them, they provide us with comfort.  And when they disappear, we mourn them, realizing that it in some small way our lives will never be the same again.  I know this was just a tree. But for me it had been a daily reassuring site and a place of memories.

One thing that is crystal clear to me when I speak to my friends and colleagues around the world, is that I am not alone.  For so many, the old landmarks are gone.  So much has changed.  For so many of us, our belief in basic institutions like banks and governments and corporations have been left in tatters.  I know so many people in their 40s and 50s who have been rudely awakened in recent years, realizing that even though they played by the rules, they have lost out.  The old landmarks just didn’t live up their promises whether in the form of ruthless employers, inadequate medical plans or the obscenity of greedy bankers who behind our backs […]

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