Thursday, July 30, 2009

Plain English In The Best Way

A video for people who:
1. Thought Wikis were a creature in Star Wars
2. Love learning about technology in low tech ways
3. Fear the internet
4. Know that Wikis are a community post but want to smile

video

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Universe Is Expanding

Click on below for the full universe.

The Art Of The Hyperlink

Hyperlink

Is this the future of social media?

video

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Article About The Faith

Get Your Small Business Involved in Social Media

Social networking is here, and it isn't going anywhere. Embracing the trend before your competitors do is key to grabbing market share in an active online community you can't afford to ignore.

Any business has the potential to excel (or fail) socially online. Having a game plan is key to making sure you're ready for both instances.

It starts with getting your Web site ready for social networking. However, just adding a Facebook link on the home page and sitting back and waiting for the traffic won't cut it. The key to social networking is interaction and involvement.

Although your niche will determine which networks are best for you, keep the big ones in mind -- and have an active presence if you can. It takes time, and you need to weigh the cost of not being involved with the benefits of being there. Include in your cost-benefit analysis whether your competitors have the capacity to surpass you with online interaction, because that's a huge piece of the puzzle.

The Networks

Many networks may fit your time commitment and business much better than the big three: Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. Don't forget about TripAdvisor, Yelp, Superpages, TravelPost.com, Mixx, Bebo, CafeMom, iVillage.com, Angie's List, LinkedIn, etc. There is really a social network to fit your needs, you need to invest some research time to find it.

Make sure you're visible and branding your icon and username in some way. It may be subtle, like using your name with an (HVAC) at the end if that's your line of work, or you might use the business name as your forum name.

Using a persona (a person's name) to represent your business in these social networking communities is most valuable. People tend to want to interact with a person, not a brand.

Use third-party tools and on-site tools to integrate your social network profiles with your Web site and each other. I can post to Twitter and Facebook at the same time, which saves a ton of time.

I can also feed my Twitter stream into my blog, and my new blog posts into my Twitter and Facebook pages. I can bring TripAdvisor reviews right into travel blogs or hotel Web sites to give third-party validation to on-site shoppers -- that's a great tool for increasing conversion rates.

Your Web Site

There are many case studies in how not to set up your Web site for social networking. A lot depends upon your audience. Keep in mind that you can point them at your Facebook page, but if you don't interact with them, then it isn't worth the investment to add the icon in the first place.

Some great Web sites really understand how to interact with their customer base. One I ran across recently was Steamboat Resorts. They have a bar across the bottom that makes it easy to find them on the social networks, and they also offer exclusive Twitter deals if you follow. In the hospitality arena, this is a great example of someone who isn't a chain hotel, taking advantage of the social sphere.

Another thing you need to be ready for is that viral story, offer, or product that may hit your site. When things to viral, your site will get bombarded with traffic. Talk to your hosting company and make sure they're familiar with this phenomenon and ask what they do to handle huge surges in traffic volume.

It's All About the Attitude

Be realistic in what you're looking for socially. At first, your ROI will be in online word of mouth. You might not see a ton of income from this, but keep at it.

An involved company is a successful company -- as long as you treat everyone fairly, keep things professional and civil, and don't participate in smear campaigns. A company can trash their online reputation in a social network if someone is having a bad day, and just loses it with an irate customer.

The other side of not losing your temper is not burying your head in the sand. Yes, businesses have problems, everyone makes mistakes -- owning what the mistake was and providing a remedy to fix the problem is key to recovering in a positive light. People who use social and review sites tend to look at the middle of the road reviews for honesty, the really great ones look somewhat contrived, and the really angry ones look like a disgruntled employee tried to get even.

Although it's wonderful to have only awesome reviews, don't be afraid of the small criticisms. Be prepared to respond to those publicly. Posting a response is key to mitigating the online damage a stain on the carpet or a broken elevator can cause.

My number one rule with online reputation and social networking is to be personable, honest, and involved. Faking reviews or having a friend who has not used your service say really nice things is wrong, and unethical as a businessperson. Users rely on your reviews, so it's important to make sure they're honest.

Be approachable and involved in your social network of choice. There are ways to participate in one spot and have it carry over into others so don't miss out on those opportunities to maximize your time investment.

Join us for Search Engine Strategies San Jose, August 10-14, 2009, at the McEnery Convention Center.

Can I Get An Amen

The 10 Commandments of Social Media

BY LON SAFKOWed Jun 10, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Moses

As an author of The Social Media Bible, I am often asked, "What do I need to do engage my company, my products, and myself in social media?" The answer is easy: participate. Get out there and get involved. If you aren't in the game, you can't win. Here's your Ten Commandments or things you need to be doing to get in and win with social media.

  1. Thou Shalt Blog (like crazy).
  2. Thou Shalt Create Profiles (everywhere).
  3. Thou Shalt Upload Photos (lots of them).
  4. Thou Shalt Upload Videos (all you can find).
  5. Thou Shalt Podcast (often).
  6. Thou Shalt Set Alerts (immediately).
  7. Thou Shalt Comment (on a multitude of blogs).
  8. Thou Shalt Get Connected (with everyone).
  9. Thou Shalt Explore Social Media (30 minutes per week).
  10. Thou Shalt Be Creative (go forth and create creatively)!

Commandments 1. Thou Shalt Blog (like crazy)
Blog. Please. That's the first priority. Set up a blog, a personal blog, a business blog. It's easier than you think. Use an existing blogging site such as Blogger.com or GOingOn.com or install your own branded blogging site right on your own server by using WordPress. And, WordPress is free.

Commandments 2. Thou Shalt Create Profiles (everywhere)
Create your profiles; do it now before someone else takes them. Once they are gone, they are gone forever. That's called cyber squatting. So get out there. Use Open Social to make filling in your profiles as easy as a click of a button.

Commandments 3. Thou Shalt Upload Photos (lots of them)
Upload photographs. You've got them. Don't upload the one with you with a lampshade on your head…counterproductive; but other photographs? Absolutely. Customers want to see and participate. You want to give people a face to go with your company.

Commandments 4. Thou Shalt Upload Videos (all you can find)
Videos. You all have got videos. I don't care whether it's training videos or customer videos, grab your video camera and go interview some of your customers. What's better than seeing your customer's smiley face on your Web site? And it doesn't cost anything.

Commandments 5. Thou Shalt Podcast (often)
Podcast. If you're too cheap to get a camera, use the free audio software that's in your computer. That's what I did. I created 48 audio podcasts. If you take the podcasts I did for my book and played them back-to-back, they run 24 continuous hours of interviews. You can do that. It's free. It just takes time.

Commandments 6. Thou Shalt Set Alerts (immediately)
Set alerts. People are talking about you. You probably need to know what they are saying and you want to participate.

Commandments 7. Thou Shalt Comment (on a multitude of blogs)
Comment. Commenting is like going to a cocktail party. You wouldn't walk into a networking event, walk up to a group of people talking, and tell them your name and what you do in your business. That would be rude and unacceptable. Listen first. Read the blogs and add comments. You can be controversial, that's okay. But participate. Get involved.

Commandments 8. Thou Shalt Get Connected (with everyone)
Get LinkedIn. Put it in your email that you have a LinkedIn account, you have a FaceBook account, and that you have a Twitter account. Make it a part of your heading on your letterhead, because that's how you propagate. That's how you sell it.

Commandments 9. Thou Shalt Explore Social Media (30 minutes per week)
Explore social media. Give me thirty minutes a week, that's all I'm asking. Friday morning grab your coffee, lock yourself in your office, and give me thirty minutes. Just Google something. I promise you within the first 30 days you will be excited. You'll be as excited as I am. You will get excited because of the ROI.

Commandments 10. Thou Shalt Be Creative (go forth and create creatively)
And the most important commandment is creativity. That's all. It's just creativity and having fun. But you know what, that's what your customers want. They want to see transparency. They want to see authenticity. They want to see you having fun. They want to be able to relate and communicate.

Read more of Lon Safko's Social Media Bible blog

Click here for your free FAST COMPANY The Social Media Bible Ten Commandment Ball. Just print, cut, glue, and be inspired!

Lon Safko is the co-author of The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies For Business Success. He is also an innovator and professional speaker with over 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, strategic partnering, speaking, training, writing, and e-commerce. He is the founder of eight successful companies, including Paper Models, Inc.

Friendster or Foester

Companies today are not only skeptical of what social media can do for them, but also fear what it can do against them. In his book, Annatomy of Buzz Revisited, Emanuel Rosen talks about the word of mouth on the street, but it can be applied to online forums, blogs, podcasts and updates on the social media sites as well.

It’s useful to think about four groups of people: experience-based promoters (“I tried it. It’s great.”), experience-based detractors (“I tried it. It sucks”), secondhand promoters (“Jeff says its great”), and secondhand detractors (“Joe says it sucks”).


The goal is to maximize the number of experience-based positive comments. Why? because research shows that these comments are more likely to bring sales. And that’s why some of the triggers that I described in the first chapter are so important--you create reminders so that people who had a positive experience with your brand talk about it more.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Great Quote From A Podcast

"The rules of content have never changed.
1. It has to be engaging
2. It has to be rewarding
3. It has to be entertaining
4. It has to be well written."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Web 2.0



Lets start at the beginning. The creation of the Web. Web 1.0 created a path from one computer to the next. Programs, sites, emails all existed on computers tied to the web. If you wanted to add something, create content, develop a site, you needed more memory or more computers.


Web 2.0 is the idea that the web can supersede the computer as the platform where content and programs are built. People can interact, create with and build upon the web. Where Web 1.0 strung a rope between two cans, Web 2.0 allowed you to hang signs, post-its, short stories, radio shows and video feeds on that line and let everyone see it.


Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, and thousands of other sites allow everyone to create their own content and share others. It democratizes information for us. It gives us so much information that gate keepers like search engines have become a powerful influence in our lives. There are now 175 million people on Facebook. That's more people that watch the superbowl.


We all love to tell our story and connect with others. Web 2.0 is where everyone is doing that now. It's debatable where web 3.0 will be, the next innovation, but it will only continue to help more people connect with their friends, families, associates, and brands.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Social Media of the people, for the people and by the people.

Social media is everywhere. It seems everyone has a facebook, myspace, linkedin or blog page. The question isn't are you blogging, podcasting, twittering, facebooking and YouTubing but how can a person or company harness that power to solve problems, such as business growth, communications breakdowns, bad PR, customer retention, and customer acquisition.


Yes, someone could view your blog or you tube video and the connection might be made. People and brands are definitely building their fame with these methods. You might have never heard of LonelyGirl15, but over 3,000,000 viewers have and love every episode. But, how do you add impact and uniqueness to your postings, messages and pages so that it’s relevant and engaging to your audience instead of being just another message in the mist?


So let me propose a new way of using Social Media Marketing for most of you. Every business now builds an email database. Even our email can be a database of knowledge. Use it. Social media is a great retention tool. A blog, email, podcast, newsletter, or twitter can remind an audience who you are and what you do. It's short. It's easy to accept or opt out.


What we all want is to know more, something that will make us smarter, faster, or better at what we do. Instead of making social media a method of bragging about ourselves. We can use it as a teaching tool. Reward them and they will come. Hopefully you will feel rewarded here.