Life Without Facebook ~ A View From Gen Y #1

01/16/2012

More than 800 million active users has given Facebook the enviable status of the golden child of social networks. With multiple generations sharing photos, updates and videos Facebook might even be considered the biggest digital family reunion ever!

However, as with any 'family' sometimes you need a bit of a break. That's what's happening for the people who 'grew-up' on Facebook .. the Gen Y or the Millennial Generation. They're signing off from Facebook. Some for forever. Others for a few months.

One of the 20-somethings who disabled her (7 year) Facebook page is my niece Jessica Robyn. Ironcially it was Friday the 13th when Jessica said good bye to that part of her virtual life. I had so many questions Why? What would it be like for her? How would she keep in touch with her friends? What did her friends think?  

Jess had kindly agreed to a series of interviews .. let's call this quasi reality social media. Over the next weeks she'll share with us what life is like without Facebook.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Tell us a little about Jessica Robyn.

Jessica Robyn _for fb article
Jessica Robyn
: I am 25 and work in the mental health field during the week and spend my weekends performing Rocky Horror with the Full Body Cast in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. I graduated with a degree in psychology a few years back and when I am not busy with work or Rocky I spend time going out with my friends for drinks, dinners, concerts, going to movies, or finding some way to entertain ourselves. 

Diva Marketing/Toby: You’ve grown up on Facebook. You connect to your BBFs on Facebook. You have a history built on your page. Why did you disengage from Facebook?

Jessica Robyn: The entire idea of leaving Facebook began a few months ago when I ended a relationship. It was difficult to move on since our entire history was on Facebook in the form of mutual friends, photos, and wall posts. This was the first "long term dating" I had been in since high school (back in the day when Zuckerberg was just a regular guy). The idea crossed my mind to disable my account, but I have been such a huge social media addict I quickly threw it out of my mind.

When I was ready to start dating again I became slightly frustrated. I would be out and start talking to a guy and he would say, "Oh yeah we should hang out some time... find me on Facebook." I would give most of these men confused looks since at that point I was 85% sure we had not even exchanged last names. After a few of these instances I began to seriously consider disabling my Facebook while I began to date again.

I would rather someone get to know me than add me as a "friend" (I use quote since clearly I would not consider someone I JUST met a friend.) then simply have a baseball card of facts like my birthday, where I went to school, my favorite movies, etc.  Jessica robyn facebook_1 1_12 _5

Since I've been on Facebook from when I was 18 there are also pictures of the past 7 years of my life. If someone who has just met me, doesn't know who I am now, is judging me from snap shots of my past ... when I was out at a party, or being a goof with my friends ... well it could be a turn off. I admit I'm guilty of doing that too when I initially met someone.I judged them based on what I saw or read on their posts without getting to know their personality.

I can be a sarcastic person which means some of my posts should not be taken seriously. Now most people who know me pretty well can decipher the difference whereas someone who just met me may not sense the sarcasm and make the assumption I am just a heartless jerk.

Diva Marketing/Toby: I was intrigued by your tweets. What were you nervous about and why?

Jessica Robyn_Twitter _1_12 FB
Jessica Robyn: It's a HUGE change for me. When I am sitting in the doctor’s office or stuck in a long line at the store I can just grab my phone and see what people are up to on Facebook, make some comments, post some pictures. I don't play a lot of the games on Facebook, but it is a great way to occupy my time when I am bored at home. Now I won't have that option.

I have had a very strong relationship with Facebook. For over 7 years and it has been a daily part of my life. If you ended a 7 year marriage wouldn't you have a weird feeling waking up without your partner? I'm not trying to say I am THAT obsessed with Facebook that it feels like a marriage, but it's the daily usage that will be weird to live without.

Diva Marketing/Toby: How did you “Do IT?” Were you all by yourself? What were you feeling? What were your thoughts when you clicked the disengage link?

Jessica Robyn:  I did IT while I was alone. It took me a while to find the disable button and then, of course, Facebook says "Are you sure you want to deactivate your account?" Below it were pictures of 5 of my Facebook friends saying they would miss me and asking if I would like to send them a message.

Two of them were people I am friends with through Rocky Horror, one was a friend I made while in Israel, one was an old family friend, and the last was my old college roommate. Only one out of the five I would not see on a regular basis, but I am sure they will all miss me on Facebook.

I guess initially I felt very numb and empty. I didn't really have a reaction. It hasn't been long, but I will go to my phone when I would usually check my Facebook on the go and just feel sort of lost and confused thinking, "Well what I am supposed to do to occupy these next 30 seconds of time?"

Twitter_Facebook dream

To be continued .. 

Life without Facebook Part 2 Part #3

At it's ♥ Social Media Is Our Teacher.

12/31/2011

One of the aspects of social media that I like most is what is at the very ♥. Try as we might (and we certainly keep trying!) we can't corral it.

Gifts on keyboardSocial media is not the beautifully wrapped box you might have opened last week. It's not the gift that you knew exactly what to expect from the shape or size of the package.

The ribbons on our social media package, just as beautiful as that perfect gift, are slightly skewed. The paper is held together by all sorts of different tapes. And when you rip open the package it's not quite what you might have expected. You see Girlfriends, social media is a messy, magical gift.

Sometimes it's playful and brings innovative new ideas. Sometimes it holds a mirror up to help you understand how the operational side of your business is working .. or not. Sometimes it's comforting with friends supporting your efforts.  

  • At it's ♥ social media is our teacher. 

Our friends at MSN Business On Main posted an article highlighting characteristics of successful entreprenurs. Steve Strauss identified the Top 3 Traits of the World’s Best Entrepreneurs: Idealistic, Teammates, Character with Character. Steve's post held an ah ah thought for me. 

Take this back to social media. The Internet has given (most of) us, for good or for bad, a digital footprint trail. Your presence, especially on open social networks e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and let's add blogs and blog comments, is so easily findable. You have, by default, let loose into the world .. your personal brand .. along with your digital business card.

Your digital footprint trail provides insights into who you are: Idealistic, Teammate, Character with Character. Even if your social media presence is not tied directly to your company, in an adjunct way, you are part of its digital tapestry and it to you. One more way that you can't corral social media.

During 2011, I began to build personal branding workshops that help organizations leverage the benefits from their employees' personal brands while aligning with the company's brand values. My thoughts are this is a critical piece of the social business puzzle. Bernie Borges termed this "corporate personal branding."

Clara Nelson, one of the awesome project managers at the American Marketing Association, understood the concept. She asked if I would team with Bernie Borges, CEO Find and Convert, to develop a 2-day workshop for AMA: Personal Branding Within The Corporate Workplace. Our podcast offers tips on how to begin your corporate personal branding strategy.

So you see, Divas and Divos, although when you first unwrapped your social media present you might have assumed it was simply a Facebook game or Twitter chat. Social media is so much more. Where it will take us in 2012 is anyone's guess. The one thing I do know for certain .. 

  • At it's ♥ social media is our teacher. 

With just hours away from bidding 2011, either a fond good bye or a kick in the derriere .. from the Sound of Music  --

 So long, farewell

Auf Wiedersehen, adieu
Adieu, adieu
To you and you and you

Thank you for your support and friendship. Max and I look forward to continuing the conversation with you in 2012. In the meantime, wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous year where all that you wish comes true. 

Diva Marketing is part of an online influencer network for MNS Business on Main. I receive incentives to share my views on a monthly basis. All opinions are 100% mine.

Go Behind The Numbers To Determine Success

10/05/2011

Sesame-street-flashers_counting

How do you determine business success? Not only in marketing communications but in customer service or even with nonprofit programs. Just asking .. 

"Why Toby," You might say. "You set a numerical goal and then see if you can meet it. It's called measurement and metrics." 

"Ah, " I might say. "Yes that's good. Or is it really? Or might it be misleading? Is it enough? Could it be doing us a disservice?"  Just asking ..

This week I was chatting with a friend who recently joined the staff of a nonprofit organiztion. Her focus is to manage social media for one of the non profit's community education programs.

She said two things to me that inspired this post.  #1 - Her boss expected the number of friends, followers, hits to the site, etc. to increase within weeks. #2 - The major funding grant placed a high emphsis on site visitors.

Sidebar: In another lifetime I was marketing director for a nonprofit. Among other elements, our grants measured success by the number of people we serviced; as well as the out reach we did. So I am familar with the demands of funding source reporting. However, In this case, there is a huge disconnect and lack of understanding of social media from my friend's boss and the funding source. Perhaps a post for another day.

We use numbers as a gauge of success. It's fairly easy to count. We learned it watching Big Bird, Oscar, Cookie Monster, The Count and my favorite Elmo!

But is that really sufficient to determine the worth of your strategies? Just asking ..

I admit, going behind the numbers takes more time and resources. When was the last time you determined if you hit the "right" people? Or if "they" took away the end objectives e.g, behaviour changes (finding information online versus your call center), perception changes (branding), new skills learned (training)?

  • What was the impact beyond the numbers? Just asking ..

It's not difficult to understand the why we are stuck on the numbers. The history of  business "success" is based on the quantitative.

Back in the Mad Men advertising days broadcast media success was about the reach and numbers. High Nielsen ratings were the gold ring. Decisions lived and died based on the figures. In newspapers and print publications (remember those?) the number of subcribers were what drove the ad dollars. It gave us a baseline. It was ok.

Then we stepped into the digital world and WoW! it was like walking into the Disney World of analytics. We could count Everything .. happy days! Our challenge became which ride (metric) to go on first (or pay attention to).

Then came social media. We had learned how to count our online strategy "results" from banner ads to website analytics. We transfered our hard earned knowledge from the web and began counting. Counting followers, likes, comments, posts. Life was good. Management could understand that type of "success." 

However, with social media came something else. Something that we were never able to determine: who were the People Behind The Numbers. Huge. Powerful. Scary. 

Hold on to your boas .. we can determine:

.. if we are reaching our target audiences

.. if we are acheiving our beyond the numbers goals 

.. if we are relevant to our target audience 

We are now really accountable for if our strategies resonant with our customers and prospects. Oh sure the numbers should matter but to a lesser degree. We should also be paying attention to if we are attracting and sustaining the right people. 

Go Beyond The Numbers Tips

1. Review the profiles of the people who are Likes, Followers,  G+, etc. 

2. Analyze your LinkedIn connects based on the niche you want to attract as clients. 

3. Segment as much as possible within limits of the social network platform. For example, on LinkedIn tag people, in Google+ put them into circles, on Twitter create lists. 

 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10! What are your thoughts?  Just asking ..

Update: Example of going behind the numbers - Brian Solis and ReSearch.ly analyzed 50,000 of Starbucks’ Twitter followers. What resulted was a rich,complex profile and a indepth understanding of likes and lifestyles. So much more interesting than just the numbers. 

Interview with Alex Brown Author Great and Goodness Barbaro And His Legacy - Part 2

07/22/2011

Part 2 of my interview with Alex Brown explores how he incorporated social media to create awareness for his book, the Barbao community, horse slaughter and Laminitis the disease that killed Barbaro. (Part 1 tells the back-story of why Alex wrote the book and how he created an engaged community of thousands.) 

Alex Brown_book jacket Greatness and Goodness Barbaro and his Legacy Diva Marketing/Toby:  Let’s talk about the book, which by the way, I loved! Greatness and Goodness Barbaro And His Legacy may be an extension of the digital world that Fans of Barbaro built, however, it is still an entity on to itself. 

How is your approach towards marketing/creating awareness different with the book versus the site?

Alex Brown: This is something I am learning as I am going along.  With the book I had an initial advantage, I already had a large community.  Many of those within the community were waiting to buy the book as it was launched. And I added a facebook fan page for the book to keep people updated with its progress.

I also created an extensive schedule for book signings, visiting many racetracks and timing the launch around the excitement of this year's Triple Crown.  So there was a traditional component to the marketing campaign.  This year marks the five year anniversary since Barbaro's great win, so that timing helped also. 

I was able to get some pretty good media exposure.  I also had a few reviews of the book done, which helped.  Each time there was a review, or article about the book, or a book signing event to talk about, I would update the facebook fan page, my own profile page, the main AlexBrownRacing.com site and so forth. I was busy, getting good coverage, and also able to use the social media tools to make it all look busy and successful. 

The major downside is I self published (great advantages to doing that) which means I really don't have access to the major retail stores. The book is on Amazon, we recently eclipsed 500 sales on Amazon.  Alex Brown_book signing Barbaro

Diva Marketing/Toby:  In terms of general marketing, and of course social media, what tactics/tools are giving you the biggest impact for time you invest?

Alex Brown: I don't think there is one tactic which has proven most successful.  The key has been to keep the community constantly updated with progress with the book, keep the interest front and center.  Going quiet about the book would potentially be fatal. 

Diva Marketing/Toby: Let’s talk the “C” words .. content creation. Are you leveraging the content from the book, social platforms, and even online media, to support the book promotion (and feed your social networks)? If so how?

Alex Brown: I have a book excerpt that I have made available on the internet. I think that has helped.  I have promoted its availability through the many channels I use.  As I noted earlier, anytime there is a review, or feedback on the book, I push that out through the channels.

It is funny though, as hard as I try, and as deliberate as I am about push all the content back out, there are many in the community who do not see the content. I guess it is like traditional marketing, your customer has to see something multiple times before it truly registers. 

I am also exploring e-version ideas for the book, and hoping they help cross-sell the hard cover book.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Your own story is fascinating and inspirational. The digital platforms you created, as well as your book, have turned into catalysts for several “for the greater good” purposes: the legacy of Barbaro, dreaded Laminitis disease and education about horse slaughter. 

What extent did the internet and social media play .. wondering if this could have been accomplished without a digital presence?

Alex Brown: Its role has been fundamental.  This could never have happened otherwise.  That's the short and long answer.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Alex, you get the last word .. wrap it up any way you’d like my friend.

Alex Brown: Thanks for all your support. I cannot remember how long ago it was when you started speaking to my class at Udel (over the internet), it would be fun to revisit what we talked about then. 

The fascinating aspect of social media it is keeps evolving and improving.  Now I have to figure out this Google+ thingy!

Continue the Conversation with Alex!

Even if you are not a horseman (or horsediva) Great and Goodness Barbaro and Legacy is an inspirational from the heart read.

Great and Goodness Barbaro and His Legacy

Alexbrownracing.com

@Alexbrownracing

Disclaimer: I recevied a complementary copy of Greatness and Goodness Barbaro And His Legacy. There are no affinity links in this post.

Marketing Eating on the Street: Food Trucks

07/13/2011

Food Truck _Yum Yum I love eating on the street! Really I do.

 A hip urban "Indie" alternative to a traditional restaurant meal is (literally) hitting the streets. From the City of Angels to Hot'lanta to cities across the United States food trucks are validating our less formal life style with a unique sense of fun. (Photo of Atlanta pink food truck Yum Yum cupcakes)

However, don't think for one second these food trucks are like the old corner prezel stand. They're part of a growing luxury food trend. Ray Choi, owner of the Kogi (which draws an almost cult following in LA), was awarded the Food & Wine 2010 Best of New Chef award.

In our tight capital investment economy, entrepreneurs are getting creative with parameters of limited cash flow and investment dollars. Food trucks have become one of the hottest small business ventures.  

MSN's News On Main video highlights a few of the approximatley 600 (!) food trucks in Portland OR. As Chris Cashman reports, "Every food truck owner has a unique story." One of my favorites from is Ziba from Bosnia who sells pitas based on her family's 100 year old recipe. 

This is not a cupcake walk nor for the faint of heart. Developing a successful food truck business takes more than passion and talent. It takes as much hard work and savvy as any company plus add to that the challenges of a roaming location. Oh sure, at the end of the day it still has to be all about the food but .. 

As you would expect, social media marketing plays a huge role in not only creating awareness but in building the brand and a loyal customer aka fan aka like aka circle base. For food truck owners it is especially critical for their customers to feel they are part of the entire experience. Here are a few ideas (many can be used in any business setting).

Six Food Truck Marketing Tips

1. Concept On The Tweet Street

The concept must be easily understandable without a lot of explanation. If people find you through Twitter the first (and sometimes only) introduction to your culinary point of view is your name. Does it confuse or hinder or intrigue?

2. The Truck

The "wrap" should support your brand concept with unique visual interest. In addition, the cleanliness of the exterior is as important as the interior of your kitchen. Don't forget people can see into at least part of the back-end of your operations. 

3. Pressure Cooker Service

How you and your staff relate to your customers is paramount in creating loyal fans. How will you let your Twitter followers or Facebook likes know you care and appreciate them? Success can lead to long lines = a long wait = unhappy customers. Consider taking orders while people are waiting in line (before they reach the truck window). A few .. "glad you're here" "thanks for waiting" "we promise it will be awesome" .. is a good idea too. 

4. Presentation 

 Do your serving plates reflect your brand or are they just a boring (yawn) white? Boston based Roxy's Gourmet Grilled Cheese uses bright yellow checked paper linings that reinforces the retro and the yellow in their truck. 

Social Media Marketing  

5. Facebook: If your menu is consistent build out a "menu tab;" status updates are great when adding new items to your menu. Photos .. photos .. photos and a few videos too. Encourage your customers to post their photos to your page .. don't forget the tags!

6. Twitter: Talk to your customers .. just don't message out your menu. Make it easy for your customers to find you. Google map link your location. 

 Business on Main/Diva Marketing Food Truck Marketing Contest

Let's have some fun. MSN Business On Main is providing me with $100 to run a monthly contest. Thank you kindly.  Here's the deal. Let's create a list of marketing ideas for food truck owners. The suggestion that Max & I choose will win 100 dollars.  Food Trucks_BOM Ziba  

Rules of The Business on Main/Diva Marketing Food Truck Marketing Contest

1. Post your marketing idea for food trucks on this Diva Marketing post And on this post on Business On Main

2. Identify your post on Business on Main with the words Diva Marketing

3. Winner is at the pleasure of Diva Marketing

4. Contest ends midnight July 31, 2011

5. You must be at least 18 years of age

6. A valid eMail address must be included on the "Post a Comment Section"

That's it .. now it's your turn!

Roxy food truck_james
Update!
Excited to tell you that James DiSabatino, Roxy’s Grilled Food, finalist on the Food Network Foodtruck Race will be our guest judge. Toss a pink boa to Dorothea Bozicolona-Volpe for the intro.

Update! Interview with James DiSabatino and announcement of the contest winner!

Diva Marketing is part of an online influencer network for Business on Main. I receive incentives to share my views on a monthly basis. All opinions are 100% mine.

July Fourth .. Live the Life Of Your Choice

07/04/2011

Cupcakes july 4 2011 As we take a deep breath, blow out the candles and take the last bite of 235th birthday cake of the United States, I hope you are inspired, and at the same time, just a little humbled. 

Note: Lemon blueberry cupcake with lemon sorbet .. so good, if I do say so myself!

Looking back on my day, I had an ah ha moment. New media, old media, offline and online were integrated seamless in creating the tapestry of inspiration for my July 4th, 2011.

My morning began with a tweet from Max Gladwell which presented an unexpected insight about the men who founded America. They were the brave ones who lived the life of their dreams so others could live theirs. Max Gladwell July 4 2011
The Peachtree Road Race is a much loved tradition in my adopted city of Atlanta. This year 60 thousand people ran down Peachtree Street to Piedmont park to show the world, and themselves, that they could. It's an unusual race that combines competition with companionship. 

Peach tree road race t-shirt 2011
My girlfriends proudly modeled their coveted T-shirts at our, most definitely, offline BBQ!  Not only were Paula, Bobbi and Lynn inspirations but our hostess, Hillary was as well. Hillary's love of family and friends showed as she opened her home for our fun celebration.  Hillary Kirstin July 4th 2011


 Hillary and her niece Kirstin

 

 

Checking into Facebook at the end of my day, I was greeted by a status up from Bonnie Simon (bragging rights .. Bonnie is a Gf author on my new community All The Single Girlfriends). 

Bonnie Simon _July 4 2011

I seemed to come full circle from Max's tweet to Bonnie's post. Dreams change .. life throws us curve balls; but the opportunity to travel your own road is yours if you are brave to take the risk.

Then as I was wistfully (how often do you get to use the word wistfully?) watching the (Boston) Pops on the (Charles River) Esplanade, wishing I was back in Boston, Carrie Underwood sang There's A Place For Us . 

 From traditional media (TV) to Shazam (mobile/iPhone app) to online (YouTube) the words from this song were an explanation point! in my Fourth or July travels. 

We can be the kings and queens of anything if we believe.
It’s written in the stars that shine above,
A world where you and I belong, where faith and love will keep us strong,
Exactly who we are is just enough,

 

To paraphrase Bonnie ..  Let's celebrate the opportunity to live the lives of our own choosing .. for me that includes many ways to connect with friends, colleauges and our community. I find it amazing that with a click I can be Skyping with friends in India or tweeting with cousins in Virgina or Facebook-ing with clients across town. (Notice how social media platforms turn into verbs?)

What about you? What inspires you to live the life of your dreams?

Why Don't People Get Social Media Is Not Private Communication?

07/01/2011

...the world is becoming too fast, too complex and too networked for any company to have all the answers inside.  Yochai Benkler. Yale University from The Wealth of Networks

Crowd source

Just One Crowd Sourced Question

Yochai Benkler's quote (above) reinforces the idea that many people hold the answers to a question. Bringing people into the mix from outside of your organization, or your blog, can open the discussion to new ideas and paths that you have yet to traveled. 

Just One Crowd Sourced Question is a "sometimes" series where I reach out to people in my social network and invite them to reach out to their networks to answer .. just one question. It's a quick turn around .. a few days to respond. The goal, of course, is to bring you diverse opinions so we can learn together. 

Recently one more agency was fired for an inappropriate tweet. We're not talking kids, but adults from politicians a la "Weinergate" to PR and advertising agencies who seem to be "misusing" Twitter. I just don't get it. These are smart, savvy people who seemingly don't understand that the digital world is an open network.

A few months ago I had the privledge of conducting a workshop for the 18th Annual Larry Brickman Educational Conference sponsored by JF&CS. The event supports mentally disabled adults and their families. My session was on how to ensure saftety using social networks.

I  structured the time to ensure the session was mostly discussion, so I had the opportunity to interact with all of the attendees. Let me tell you, every person who was particiating in social networks -- Facebook and Twitter -- totally understood the concept that what goes out into the online world can be passed along even in the most highly gated platforms. 

Keeping that in mind, here is the question I put out .. 

Question: Why don't people "get" that Twitter, in particular, and social media in general, are public forums where the world is not only listening but can respond back, pass along (online & offline) and often find its way into main stream media? 

As for the Redner twitter gaffe, he should have listened to his mother, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't tweet at all." Redner did get that social media is public forum and knowingly used twitter to publicly vent. Any agency representing a client has to learn to "think before they tweet."Danica Kombol @danicakombol

I don't think this issue is restricted to social media. Absolutely everything we post electronically can be retrieved and come back to haunt us. For example, if workers use their business e-mail addresses for frivolous purposes, they may get reprimanded.

If they use it for unsavory purposes, they may get fired. On social media and other Web sites, pages appear to be stored forever. What one says today, may be viewable in five years from now. One never knows. That's why it is of utmost importance that people self monitor their posts, photos, videos, and comments. Forget George Orwell. Big Brother is watching us all NOW! :) - Elaine Fogel @elaine_fogel

Bottom line (at least to me): these blunderers don't take their assignment seriously. I am sure they "get it" (with regard to the seriousness of the media), but they don't seem to "get" THEIR responsibilities. It's really quite simple: RESPECT yourself, your role, your assignment, the tools, and your client. When you do that, you behave appropriately, and establish systems that help you eliminate errors. These people aren't doing this.

I always ask this simple question, "If you were accused of blogging/Tweeting/Facebooking with the utmost propriety, care, respect, and skill, is there enough evidence to convict you?" - Rick Short @RickShort21

We have less privacy now, and I think that's a good thing. The reason nobody used to throw rocks through Church windows was because we lived in small towns and you'd get caught if you did something like that. People like Anthony Wiener are realizing that, because of the transparency of the internet, we live in a Digital Mayberry and if you do something wrong, you'll get caught. It won't be long before everyone realizes this. Until then, we'll have the occasional Wienergate. - Anon

I think individuals feel bolder behind their computer as opposed to in-person. 1. They lose tact. 2. There is lack of maturity. One has to be mindful at all times, whether in person or online. One has to ask: Will something I write hurt someone? 3. Some people are risk takers: Every once in a while some people might want to take risks with a thought or a comment, hoping it will go viral without the community backlash. Murphy's law comes to mind here. If something can go wrong, it will. 4. Sometimes Newton's Third Law applies to social media - Action and Reaction are equal and opposite in direction. If you rub the wrong person (someone with a huge following) the wrong way you can expect a strong reaction.

That does not mean you don't do it - the instigator may not always be right but again go back to #2 > Be mindful and also make sure YOU have support. 5. Written words often get misconstrued. The black and white medium especially twitter which is limited to 140 chars does not allow asterisks to explain. 6. A lot of times people don't really know you and know that you are well intentioned but were just careless. 7. It's easy for others to take offence and share it. Often times in person you might mind something and forget about it. But online, the retweet and share buttons are only a click away from the itchy clicker finger.

Be mindful and mature, Look before you leap. Be honest but be tactful and be prepared for big reaction to a big action (or little one).  – Prashan Kaw @prashantkaw

They call it social media for a reason. If it's something you'd to say to everybody, say it. If it's a secret you'd tell only a few, think before you speak; it might not be a secret very long. Rob Petersen @robpetersen 

Most people don't get that Twitter is real-time and world wide. Twitter is like no other social media. It's so misunderstood that it's often under used yet over rated. In most cases the value of a tweet is in the moment, unless you're a high profile person. In that case every tweet has mass media potential.- Bernie Borges @berniebay

Perhaps this is a question about people's capacity for self-control, especially egotistical ones. Twitter and social media in general simply make it easier than ever before for someone to have their rants or manifestations of ego get out of their control and blow up on them. Hence, the issue is age old...human frailties but in a world where nothing remains hidden very long. – Anon

I recently started mentoring my nephew-in-law, a graphic designer, teaching him to create WordPress websites. He started his first site that day and put a header on it and one post and that night he posted to Facebook a message about having done his website and about the services he would offer, which by the way were not even on the site yet.

 I saw it because of course I am his friend on Facebook. It was weird because he was in no way ready to do any of that. When I saw him the next day, I mentioned that I saw his post and I thought a better approach would be for him to wait and get everything polished up before he "presents" himself to the world, ready to work. He laughed it off saying he just wanted to show his buddies what he had done.

This is an another example of this same myopia. I know at least five of my friends are on his Facebook friend list since I introduced him to some of them. Some of these people work in social media or digital agencies and are in positions where they could someday hire him or help him to find a position. It is not just "his buddies" that are seeing what he puts on his page.

We all need to be cognizant that nothing anymore is really private . It is hubris or immaturity to not see how small the world is today. We had we better live our lives in a way that we are showing the same face to everyone because ultimately you cannot hide out. The dirty secrets, the stolen copy, the way you look when you go to the grocery store after working in the yard, are all up for prime time. Are you ready for it? Judi Knight  @judiknight

Now .. it's your turn .. Why don't people get that social media is not a private communication?

Read More Just One Crowd Sourced Questions 

How do you take the fear factor out of social media?

How do you put "soul" into a blog post?

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Social Media Can "Help" Build & Promote Your Personal Brand - Part 3

06/20/2011

Red carpet My greatest strength is common sense. I'm really a standard brand - like Campbell's tomato soup or Baker's chocolate. ~ Katharine Hepburn

You many not be an actor or a celebrity, however, how your peers, colleagues and employers perceive you is as critical to your career path as the carefully craft "brand" of Kate Hepburn or Lady Gaga. 

The Brand Called You, can and should be managed as diligently as if you were a rock star. Within your world are you not? 

As digital continues to integrate into how business is conducted, your personal online "bread crumb trail" takes on a more important role of  how people perceive you. Is your online presence positive or is it a liability? Do you come across as a thought leader or some one who parrots other people's ideas? Do your tweets selflessly bring value or are they thinly veiled sales pitches?

I asked 5 savvy women, who work in diverse corporate environments, if they would share how they use social media to help build and promote their personal brands. 

They talked about how to use your personal brand to stand out from the crowd by highlighting your strenghts; as well as, the importance of boundaries when it comes to letting people into your social world. Then wrapped it up with a few tips:

Be a resource for life

Remember your personal brand will evolve over time

Make your discussions real .. forget about industry buzz worlds

Find the tool/s that work best for you .. you don't have to use them all

Be active and consistent

This is 3rd and final post in the series Social Media Can "Help" Build & Promote Your Personal Brand. Part 1 Part 2  Please meet our guests: 

AmandaheadshotAmanda Coogle - Sales Consultant for PulteGroup, a nationwide homebuilder. Responsible for the marketing and sales efforts at a Centex branded community in the Coastal Carolinas Division. Facebook Linkedin Twitter Foursquare

Em HallEm Hall - Communicator who specializes in digital strategy, social media, and online marketing.  Currently works in the transportation industry and has led social media strategy for nonprofits.  FacebookBlog Linkedin Twitter Portfolio

Laura bennett 2008 80 redo (2)Laura Bennett - CEO and Co-Founder of Embrace Pet Insurance.  Facebook Blog Linkedin Twitter 

NancySchubertNancy Schubert - Global Brand Professional has worked for IBM full-time for 13 years on a contract basis.  Blog Linkedin Twitter

NazNazanin Weck - Develops concepts, designs creative marketing and communications material for the parks and recreation industry. Linkedin Twitter

Diva Marketing/Toby: How are you leveraging your “digital personal brand” to help support your career path?

Amanda Coogle:  I am leveraging my “digital personal brand” by being a reliable source in more than one subject.  I am licensed in real estate in both Georgia and South Carolina so obviously I am a reliable source for real estate; but I am also a reliable source of knowledge on marketing strategy, project management, and even nail polish colors to one of my Twitter followers. 

By being a reliable source in multiple topics, I am a multi-tasker who can handle a variety of projects in a fast paced environment.

Em Hall: It’s a crowded field in digital strategy and social media these days.  Sometimes it feels like I’m on a hamster wheel just trying to keep up! 

I try to use my digital personal brand to leverage fun and creative opportunities, and also to get the word out about side projects like I’m doing, for example, when I directed a play earlier this year, or my involvement in my local civic association. 

Those types of activities (hopefully) help make me a thought leader and influencer in my field, but also show that I’m a person who does a lot more than just sit in an office.  I think that’s what employers and clients are looking for these days.

Laura Bennett: Since I’m the CEO of Embrace Pet Insurance, my next logical step is to work myself out of a job at Embrace and keep myself busy somewhere else.

In that situation, I think that everything about me online is pretty representative of what I’m all about, my 3D-resume if you like. Of course, it’s not just a 2-D façade but years of interactions with many people so in the end, it’s the people I’m connected to that will help me with my career path down the road.

Nazanin Weck: Using my “digital personal brand” to communicate to my peers and others within the same industry, I am able to further highlight what my strengths are and what sets me apart from other marketers out there. I am able to be exposed to and learn a great deal by having a “digital identity”.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Do you set boundaries for the people who you will “friend, follow or connect with” on the social web?

Amanda Coogle: I do, but primarily on Facebook.  I think that Facebook is more personal than the other three platforms.  My rule of thumb with Facebook is that if I don’t share any friends with a person, I am highly unlikely to accept their request.  Facebook allows someone to look into the window of a person’s life so I am a little more cautious with this platform.

Em Hall:  I’ll connect with anyone who shares a passion in the topics that I discuss online.  The more opportunities for discussion and debate, the better! 

The only time I choose not to connect is if I get a request on LinkedIn and the person is a complete stranger.  Even then, I’ll message them and ask, “How do we know each other?”  Because I’m in the business of marketing and communications, having a depth and breadth to my online network is almost always an advantage. 

You never know who will call, email, DM – or message you on LinkedIn, natch – with an interesting opportunity or just to chat about something new that’s on their mind.  I like to keep it open and easy, so I also keep few security limits on who can see what.  At the same time, I realize that everything I share could be searched and scrutinized, so I’m always mindful of what I will and will not divulge online.

Laura Bennett: I don’t have many boundaries although I am not likely to respond to you if:

1. You only post links (twitter) – likely just an auto feed from your blog. If you can’t take the time and interact on twitter, I don’t want to be the sponge for your feeds

2. You aren’t real – I can tell!

3. You are a bit of an ass - that’s not what I’m about (and I get to judge!)

4. Sorry you lonely guy from remote parts of the world with 2 friends - I’m not going to hook up with you today or any other day…

Nancy Schubert: Yes. I don’t confirm all individuals to follow me on Twitter. I check out a Twitter requestor to follow me to determine from their posts if this is someone I want to be associated with. If I find cursing,  brash or negative comments on posts I won’t approve the individual to follow me.

On LinkedIn, I connect with a variety of people – almost all of whom I know professionally, with some friends and a very few family members sprinkled in.  With few well-thought-out exceptions, these are people whom I know or at least have met. Even with these criteria, I’m still am LinkedIn with nearly 400 people.

Nazanin Weck: I absolutely do! To me, its important to have followers and follow “real” accounts.

Too often, spammers are added to accounts and start to follow you, which in turn causes you to loose credibility with your peers. I think it is important to branch out to others and while followers are great for getting your information out, the wrong followers can send out a bad message and tarnish your “online reputation.”

Diva Marketing/Toby: What tip would you give to women, working in organizations (not business owners) who are considering using social media to create a more visible personal brand?

Amanda Coogle: My company represents value, a quality product, and the ability to be the customer’s ‘Builder for Life’ with our three brands: Centex, Pulte, and Del Webb.  My personal brand reflects the same representations. 

I am a reliable source with valuable information to offer, and I consistently deliver quality work and knowledge.  Because of the value and quality I deliver, my brand sends the message that I have the ability to be a source for life.

Em Hall:  Have fun!  Let your personal brand reflect the passions, interests, and activities that are complementary to – but not necessarily the same as – your career. 

Create an online portfolio that shows off the range of work you do, and make some personal business cards to hand out along with your regular business cards, when appropriate.  And this is going to sound incredibly narcissistic, but make a point of regularly Googling your name to see what shows up as the top hits.  It’s good to know what others are seeing when they look for your name.

The opportunities you can create for yourself are limitless, and you never know what direction you might head in as your personal brand evolves.

Laura Bennett: Take the time to build your LinkedIn profile to reflect you as a person, not just a list of places you’ve worked.

Sound real, like you were telling your neighbors in your kitchen about your accomplishments and don’t be afraid to boast about what makes you stand out, what makes you interesting. I wouldn’t use corporate language or trendy “guru” language – that’s not real nor interesting, believe me!

Nancy Schubert:  When starting out, try all social media tools that feel right. Then determine the amount of time you went to invest in social media and target your audience and stick with the tools that work best to get and keep you in front of that audience.

Nazanin Weck: Be active, and consistent! Many people start off posting and following and building their networks only to fizzle out once the excitement has died off.

It is imperative to continue networking and staying on top of the game within your industry. I believe there is always room for improvement, whether it’s in skills or your “personal brand.”

~~~~

Step 1: Take a cue from Kate Hepburn .. begin by identifying your greatest strength. 

 How are you using social media as a part of your career management?


Social Networks. Masks. Digital Safety

04/12/2011

Bregman
This crazy social media world opens doors that are unexpected. One for me is helping people "get" (Girlfriend, need I say it?) social media. 

Sometimes you have the opportunity to speak to a group where you feel honored to be invited. Sometimes it's even a personal pleasure. A couple of weeks ago I had the honor and pleasure to be invited to participate at an innovative program .. the 18th Annual Larry Bregman, MD Educational Conference

Sponsored by JF&CS* this conference was created to help adults with developmental disabilities, their families and their caregivers have fun while learning about topics that might not be addressed in other venues. Workshops ranged from Yoga, cooking, brain health, on the job communication and so much more.

I was asked to develop a session about social networking safety. Although I have never worked with this population, I knew one thing .. a lecture was not going to cut it. It had to be interactive from the start, fun and a little out of the box. The concept was masks. Yup masks! Mask

In social networks people often wear masks. Then again, in life we present different elements of our real self to different people. The big questions were: How do you know who is real? What can you give of your "real" yourself but still keep you safe?

With a touch of Diva style .. when people entered the room they were given a mask. In good spirit most of the folks put their masks right on and the fun began. What an amazing group of people! They shared their views and experiences, they challenged each other, asked smart questions .. they were the picture of engagement. We laughed and learned together. 

Your Digital Footprint! Most of Diva Marketing's community is savvy when it comes to online safety but for those who are new to participating in public digital conversations, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. remember that Google has a long memory. What you say today will be found many tomorrows from today.

Many people don't have a blog or personal website, but do have a LinkedIn profile. It is highly likely that when you are Googled (and you are and will be!) LinkedIn will come up first in a search. Look carefully at the image that you are projecting. Is it the best "mask" you are presenting of yourself to not only collegues but future clients, employers and the world at-large?

I've made the Bregaman deck available. Consider reviewing it not only with your friends who are new to the social web but your children as well. Show it to your kid's teachers and ask that, if they are not alreading doing so, that a social media safety module be added. Although it was built simply, the concepts are powerful and were meant to be used as talking points.

Let me know if you have any questions or if I can help along the way. 

In Social Networks You Wear Masks: How To Be Safe In A Digital World

View more presentations from TobyBloomberg

*Bloggy disclaimer JF*CS is a client.

Sorry for the Slideshare out of the margins embed. 

34 Hot Tips on Increasing Facebook Followers (or Likes) From AMA Boot Camp Marketers

02/21/2011


AMA Social Media B2B BootCamp image In 2004, the American Marketing Association asked to develop a workshop on blogs. Blogs: Marketing Beyond The Website, was an amazing experience. We took that Hot Topic program to 6 major markets in 10-months. Along the way, I developed a passion for helping people understand that 1st blogs, and now social media, is a credible and critical part of a marketing strategy.

Seven years later, I'm still facilitating training for AMA, as well as, other organizations and companies. I believe even more strongly that social media helps develop & nurture stronger real relationships between customers/prospects/other stakeholders and the people within the organization.

If you develop for the the long-term, you gain insights that can be used to increase bottom-line profits.

Along the way, I've conducted workshops for hundreds of people all over the country. Very nice people. Very smart marketers. Recently, I had the pleasure of working with the AMA Las Vegas Chapter to present a 1.5 day intensive boot camp on using social media in a business-to-business environment. 

Something special happened during our time together. We created a "social media" experience offline. People shared experiences (personal and business) and in doing so we learned from and with each other. We tackled many issues including -- How to increase your Facebook following. The participants generously agreed to share the results of our brainstorming. 

34 Tips On How To Increase Your Facebook Following

Create Awareness .. they won't come unless you tell them

1. Include in email newsletters. Write a special introduction article. Include links on all eZines. 

2. Add to all employees' eMail signatures

3. Add to all employees' business cards

4. Add to website in 2 locations. Above the "fold" with bold icons and on the footer which runs across the entire site.

5. Send eMails to people not part of eMail data base.

6. Add the URL to All traditional collatoral materials

7. Add the ULR all advertisements

8. If you run broadcast ads mention the url .. don't just say,"Like us on Facebook."

9. Use other social networks to send people to your Facebook page. Use Twitter to direct to an expanded conversation.

10. Install Facebook "like" box on your website and/or blog.

11. Add link to your LinkedIn page

12. Use your unique Facebook URL. Note: you need 25 "likes"

13. Add a "like" button to your blog posts

Content Matters .. make sure it is more selfless than selfish 

Sidebar: Thanks to WIlliam Crozen for the term selfless content. 

14. Create "selfless" or "what's in it for me" content. Information about the brand and company take 2nd place.

15. Develop unique "platform appropriate" content. 

16. Foster partnerships among clients and thought leaders 

17. Invite your community to join in an extended discussion.

18. Reach out to indivduals you know who would be interested in specific conversations.

19. "Talk" to people don't "message me"

20. Include "Facebook only" content that is not Tweeted or on other of your digital properties

21. Include videos and photos

22. Explore contests or give aways. 

23. Step out from behind the logo and talk people-to-people

24. Support a nonprofit

Think Outside The Box .. if you position this as a way to build your learnings it's easier to take a risk or two. 

25. Add a "buck slip" with invoices if paper or a link if eMail

26. At your next conference bring a laptop and show the site

27. Explore using QR codes

28. Create a landing page 

29. Analyze metrics

30. Consider running targeted Facebook ads

31. Actively participate in Facebook discussions e.g., comment, like .. friends make friends

32. Don't forget to participate on your own page!

33. Add a tab to collect opt-in eMail addresses

34. Include the url in the bottom right corner of every slide that you develop for presentations and speeches

Toss of a pink boa to the awesome AMA Las Vegas B2B Social Media Chapter and workshop participants Pink boa

@forestersusdiv @nathan_casper @pinkjeeptours @naescorp @profcharlotte @noblestudios @lindsayalford @inthezone23 @skyhighmktg @AMALV

Alan Fox, Independent Order of Forester . Nathan Casper, Shift4 Corporation . Lindsay Alford, Noble Studios . Charlotte Allen, SFASU . Kathyrn Loos & Michael Markvosky, Haws Corporation . Erin Reed, Crowe Hortwath . Brittany Smith, Pink JeepsSara Ure, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville . William Crozen, ModernLV . Josh Kozinski, Sky High Marketing

What are your hot tips on how to increase your Facebook following. Please drop your insights in the comment box below .. lets grow this list and continuing the learning. 

Toss of a pink boa to Lya Sorano forthe edit help.