Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

I’m still not sure how I feel about location-based social networking and if it is something I can use for business. Aliza Sherman wrote an article for Web Worker Daily called “How to Used Location-based Social Networking for Business,” that has some good insight.

I’ve got and account on FourSquare, but to be honest with you, I don’t even really know how to check in. There is also a more local social networking tool called TriOut that is really popular. Now, FaceBook has added a check-in feature called “Places.” It’s not as robust as other independent social networking sites, but it does let people tell their friends where they are.

So now the question is, which tool is the best one for me to use? Who should I connect with on there? Does it positively impact my brand? Again, I am not sure how to maximize this for myself, but I can tell you it is an amazing way for businesses to connect with customers and to keep people coming back, especially retail and restaunrants. The Pit in Raleigh is a living testimony to that.


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I recently had lunch with some old friends. After a long period of “remember whens” we started talking about what we do at our jobs. I started listing some of the things I do on a daily basis; I update the company blog, check e-mails, research on Twitter,  and maintain Facebook pages for clients…

While I was listing, my friend Tim stopped me mid-sentence and asked, “what’s this whole ‘Twitter” thing about?”

As a Gen Y’er, we always want to stay connected. It’s who we are. Gen Y’ers grew up with the internet and cell phones attached to us. I know if I don’t have my cell phone, which has my entire life in it, I’m lost. I know if I don’t check my email and all the social networking sites I belong to, I am probably out of the loop with all my friends. And if I don’t check my Twitter account, I won’t know what is going on within the advertising community, around the world, or even locally.

So how was I going to explain Twitter to a guy who doesn’t really get the Social Networking frezny? “It’s like a Super Target®,” I explained. It’s like going to the grocery store and the mall at the same time; it’s a one-stop shop! When you sign onto Twitter you’re signing onto multiple sources of information, for example

  • If I want to know what my friends are doing at work, Twitter tells me.


  • If I want to know what’s going on across the globe, CNN Twitter will keep me up to speed.


  • If I can’t remember what Ellen Degeneres is doing on her show that day, I can find it on Twitter.


  • If I am a store owner and I want to let my followers know about an upcoming sale, I can Tweet about it.


  • If I want to send President Obama a message about Bo, the new first dog, TWITTER LETS ME!

“Twitter is not so much about connecting with your friends, it’s about broadcasting information.” Stan Schroeder explained in an article on Mashable, The Social Networking Guide. It is the ultimate way to connect with companies, organizations and people, while filtering out tweets that are not relevant to you.

As PR, Advertising and Marketing, professionals we can use Twitter as an important tool in our every day work. PR practitioners are now using Twitter as a crisis mangament tool. Using Twitter during a crisis keeps readers updated in real time while using Twitpics to show live footage of a situation as it is happening. One example where we saw Twitter used during a crisis, was when Scott Monty of Ford Motor Company openly “tweeted” about a situation that developed when a Ford Fan Web site announced to the public that Ford was attacking their site. Through a series of Tweets, Monty kept followers of his Twitter account up-to-date. He even asked followers to “retweet” the messages that he posted so that he could reach more of the public. By keeping the Ford Followers on Twitter in touch with what was going on during the crisis, the Ford Motor Company was letting the public know that they care about the situation and want to find a solution to the problem.

 Ad agencies are also taking advantage of this fast moving technology by developing focus groups on Twitter. Tweeters can quickly let the public know their opinions of brands, products and services, and companies can quickly search them based on key words/phrases.  According to an Article on AdAge by Lee Mikles, “Twitter has been a great tool for us to monitor buzz about products or campaigns for our clients.”

 As I explained all of this to my friend, I told him that social networking sites are more than just keeping connected with friends and family. You can know what’s going on at the White House or even with Ashton Kutcher. It’s a one-stop-shop. It’s like when I go to Super Target®, I can get my groceries, household items and the lastest fashion trends all at the same place! For PR, Advertising and Marketing practitioners, social media give us the opportunity to quickly learn about our markets. We have the chance to stay connected with the public, keep up-to-date with current events, gain insight on industry trends and learn more about people’s likes and dislikes. We are being supplied with all the information we could ever ask for. We just need to make sure we use it.

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One of our recent blog entries gave tips on how to market your business when the economy is slow. One of the items on the list said to maximize your use of social media. So what does that mean exactly?

Last week I took our own advice and attended a social media seminar hosted by the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association (TIMA). The guest speaker was Peter Shankman, founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc. Shankman is known worldwide for his fun and different ways of using social media and marketing. I really appreciated the fact that right off the bat he said that he was not going to tell us how to be a social media expert. Instead, he was straight forward, humorous and used real life examples to enlighten us on the current social media setting. To practice what Shankman preaches, I wanted to pass along some key points that I took out of the seminar for others to share.

  • If you post a video on YouTube, have you created a viral campaign for your client? NO. Simply posting something doesn’t make it viral. That is why it is important to use strategy to come up with a creative message, the right people to target your message to and the right places to put your message so those people see it and pass it along. It also doesn’t hurt if you make it interesting or bizarre. An example of this would be the Diet Coke and Mentos eruption. The experiment was done on a news show in 2005, by Steve Spangler, and then took off on the Internet. Only when people are talking about your message and passing it along to others can your message become viral. This also reminds me of a video that was emailed to me a long time ago by a friend. It was a guy dancing to different songs throughout the years. It was titled, The Evolution of Dance. This video ended up getting a lot of attention because so many of us talked about it and passed it along.
  • If you are on many of the social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linked In, and have many friends on those sites, it means you are using social media sites effectively, right? WRONG. I love this point because Shankman really got the audience involved on this one. At one point while he was speaking he asked the audience, “How many of you have over 1000 friends on Facebook?” I saw about 5-10 hands go up. One of which was from a young woman sitting near me. She was smiling and confident about those 1000 friends. Then Shankman asked, “Ok those of you who raised your hands, out of the 1000 people, how many of them have written on your wall to wish you a Happy Birthday?” The girl next to me started counting out loud and thinking real hard about it. I heard the number 12 come out of her mouth. Then Shankman said, “I bet those of you who raised their hands are suddenly realizing that it was only about 1-5% of those 1000 people.” What is important is not how many networks you are on or how many friends you have, but are you using the sites effectively. So whether you are on the sites or not, you must interact with people. Congratulate them, say hi or offer to take someone out to lunch because it’s all about the interaction.
  • Lastly, we all need to utilize the Raving Fans. Raving Fans is a book by Ken Blanchard & Sheldon Bowles, about how a company should convert satisfied customers into raving fans that promote their business. Any company that has a customer who is pleased with their product needs to capitalize on that. That customer has other friends who may need the product and if they are raving about you they may tell those friends. So have places for customers to voice their opinions about your product. Whether it is on a social network or your website, let them give their review. When a person speaks highly of your product, give him or her something back. Give coupons, gift certificates, free t-shirts or branded items with a personalized note. This will have your fans thinking your company or product is even more wonderful and will help them promote you further.

Jim Tobin, of Ignite Social Media, calls social networking a Virtual Cocktail Party. You need to mingle and connect with those people you don’t know and start a relationship. For those people who you have existing relationships with, you need to see how they are doing, meet with them and maintain that connection. Social media is not a competition to see who has the most friends… it’s a means for building and maintaining relationships. If you are in it for the long haul then social media is for you. If you are a commitment phobe then maybe you should rethink your use of social media.

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I have done it. I’m almost a full-blown geek. I can now be found on linkedin, plaxo, facebook and twitter.

Twitter is my latest foray into the world of social media. I haven’t fully gotten the grasp on it, but what I’ve seen so far is pretty cool.

It amazes me that people have gone from feeling disconnected because of technology to being connected in such a way that your friends, family & followers can keep up with what you have going on as quickly as you can throw a post up on the web. How awesome is that?

Have you taken the time to get connected? Do you find it effects your perception of the internet?

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