Tuesday, January 26, 2010

4 Myths about Social Media and Business

I read a post on Mashable regarding 4 Myths About Social Media and Business. These are things I tell my new clients often.  Mashable explains it nicely in the article but I wanted to give a quick summary here:
Myth #1: Small Businesses Must be on Social Media
  Not everyone should be using Social Media. Do the research first.  If you see a place for you, create a strategy before jumping in.

Myth #2: Set It and Forget It
  You need to interact for it to work. 

Myth #3: Word of Mouth Presence Isn’t There
  Just because you are not being talked about, doesn't mean you shouldn't be there.

Myth #4: Social Media is Only for Broadcasting Messages
  You can broadcast messages and get some value, but the real value is with interaction.

I suggest you read the whole article on Mashable.  It's advice I often offer and it's great having a resource like Mashable to back it up.  And thankfully, they've written the post so I don't have to. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Real-time Tweeting. Is it worth it?

I was recently at an event where Connie Glasser was discussing communication techniques between men and women.  At one point, a gentleman noted he was Tweeting during the presentation and found his followers has some feedback to the discussion.  I admit, initially I thought, "Oh man I should be Tweeting about this!  I'm missing an opportunity to share."  This, thankfully, quickly passed.  However it got me thinking about Tweeting during events in general:  What are we missing when we Tweet mid-presentation and why do we feel like we need to?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Original Thought vs Knowledge Aggregation

Which has more value? Blogs with original thought or blogs that focus on knowledge aggregation with commentary? While I subscribe to many blogs and get value from them, I also think about what I'm providing to my readers and how I guide my clients. Often I'm asked, "What should we be writing in our blogs?", "What do people want to hear?", "What will they find valuable?" Ultimately asking, what will keep people coming back?  My conclusion relies on keeping the goal mind more than the action of producing the blog.  As long as you are educating and creating dialogue, it doesn't matter which approach you take.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Being present doesn't mean "presence".

You can attend a party and be a wall flower.  You are present for the party but you have no real presence.  No one is compelled to talk with you.  To look at you.  To interact with you. You provide no perceived value even though you might be a well worth of knowledge.  No one will remember you at the party let alone after.

Compare this to the person who is in the middle of the party. They are listening. They are talking. They are engaging. They are interacting.  If they are providing a value, they are sought out, swarmed around and everyone wants a piece.  They are seen as a commodity and a resource.

Having a web presence is more than a profile, a web site and Google search result listing.  Having a web presence means you are engaging your public.  You are providing a value in a sea of possible dribble.  Your expertise is sought after because people know you are good for it.

My advice to you and what I help my clients with:

  1. Know your goals.
  2. Know your expectations and be realistic.
  3. Have a strategy.
  5. Be Active. Be Engaged. Be Smart. Be Human.
  6. Evaluate and re-adjust.

Contact me if you need help with this.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Action. Strategy. Intention.

I like reading Chris Brogan's blog and he has this yearly tradition of picking 3 words to guide him through the year.  Instead of New Year's Resolutions, he has his three words.  I thought I could get away with one: Action.  With 2010 starting with me in my own consulting business, working for myself, I thought Action was prolific.  What else should there be?  Without Action, you have nothing.  Without Action, there is no reaction.  Without Action there is no movement.

But one can't have aimless Action right?  So I thought that Strategy should be part of my 2010 mantra.  Strategy gives Action a direction.  Strategy requires more thought than Action.

Which then lead me to Intention.  What is a Strategy without an Intention.  And it's more than an intention of action, it's a purpose.  I'm finding that being self employed requires more Intention.  Granted working for a company requires intention, but it's one that is guided by a force greater than myself.

So taking a nod from Chris Brogan, I too have established three words for 2010.  Action.  Strategy. Intention.  Without any of these, no New Years Resolution will stand the test of time.

Communication within a company

I was recently at an event sponsored by WITI, where I was grilled on how Social Media could be used in a rather large company (that starts with O) as a form of communication means.  My first question was what was the goal and why Social Media?  It appears companies are now trying to use Social Media tools within their business to improve communication and information dispersal.  The problem is, they only want to offer one solution across all departments and the powers at be think it needs to be the hot SM tool available today.  Having one platform might seem more efficient, however people like to communicate in different ways.  Engineers share and get their information differently than the Finance Department might.    And yes there are plenty of Social Media communication platforms in the world today, however you can't just set everyone up with a profile and hope it takes off.  There is some serious evaluating to be done before the right solutions rears it's lovely head.

The exercise is futile if the company makes information available but no one reads it.  You have to know how each group prefers to communicate before you introduce a new communication tool to them.   Based on that research, and yes it is research, you'll have to implement a solution(s) that makes information dispersal easier and one that achieves the communication goals.