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Happy Social Media Day 2012

Three years ago (in 2010), Mashable declared June 30th to be Social Media Day, and it has continued to grow since then.  It is a day created to help people across the globe celebrate the “one thing that unites us and keeps us in constant contact:  social media.”  In 2010, there were more than 600 Meetups in 90 countries, and that number more than doubled in 2011, when there were more than 1,400 Meetups worldwide.  In fact, nine cities and one U.S. State have declared Social Media Day an official holiday.

In the past, even Major League Baseball has gotten in on the celebration, by delivering a wide array of digital initiatives to reward fans during the 2011 All-Star Balloting.  All that was required to be entered to win a sweepstakes was to “like” their favorite team’s official Facebook page.  In addition, all 18 clubs that played games on Social Media Day had their own hashtag for fans to use in “hashtag battles” on Twitter.  Finally, all fans checking in to one of the games on Social Media Day were able to win a free team-specific “checked-in” T-shirt!

Social Media Day is our opportunity to celebrate the technology that is bringing the world closer together.  Just imagine a world without Facebook and Twitter.  I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to meet and communicate on-line with Chris Brogan.  I would never have had an opportunity to talk to Frank Eliason on Twitter, and have him generously provide a copy of his book, while attending BlogWorld 2012.  I wouldn’t be able to keep in touch with friends long lost from a time long ago (sleep away camp).

Social Media Day is a great opportunity for us to get out there and meet those we have talked to and those that have touched us throughout the year, using the great medium we now call Social Media.

To find local events in your area, visit Mashable’s Social Media Day website, and make sure to follow @mashSMday for the latest updates!

What are you doing to celebrate?

Author:

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you.  He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line.  EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business.  Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.

Sources:

Image courtesy of Mashable

Social Media and the Non-Profit

On Thursday, June 21, 2012, I was one of the panelists at Hofstra University, discussing the use of social media for the non-profit organization.  I was joined by some great minds in social media, Jerry Allocca, from Core Interactive (author of Connected Culture and SEO expert), Donna Rivera-Downey from the Girl Scouts of Nassau County (Chief Social Marketer), Ellen DePasquale, Regional Development Director for Constant Contact, and our host, Debbi Honorof, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Hofstra University.

Some of the things discussed included choosing where and how to engage, how to use Google search and their keyword tool to help improve visibility, and best practices for event marketing.

What information came from the panel?  Here are five tips to get your social media moving in the right direction.

1.  Pick the Right Social Network

The first step in becoming a social non-profit is to decide which network(s) will give you the engagement and results that you are looking for.  As discussed during the panel, the best way to determine this is to ask.  That’s right, go ahead and poll your users by sending out a survey through e-mail, using the polling function on Facebook, and asking Twitter.  If you are not on any of the networks yet, send out an e-mail and ask.  Your donors and participants will drive your engagement, so you are best served by being where they are.  And, it may not always be the network or method that you think it is.  Don’t just choose networks based on size.

2.  Ask your Personal Friends for Help

Once you have decided where you will be engaging, do not be afraid of asking for help in sharing your messages.  Your cause is one that is a passion for you, and you should be willing to share that information with your friends and family.  As they begin to share your posts and information, people will begin to gravitate towards you and naturally share information you provide.

3.  Don’t just take your Traditional Advertising and Make it Digital

Digital and social marketing are inbound marketing strategies that require a different message and different tone.  Traditional marketing is outbound, and directly asks for the donation or action.  Inbound marketing causes donors to participate because of who you are and what you’ve shared.

4.  Incorporate Social into your Website and Traditional Advertising

Make sure that your potential donors are able to donate on their terms.  This means having the ability to donate through Facebook.  Make sure your website/blog is your home base, and that all information leads back home.  Help your potential donors connect with you wherever it is easiest for them.  Utilize social plug-ins on your site, so that they can connect without any extra effort.

5.  Have a Social Media Policy

People make mistakes, and those handling your social media will, at one point, do something you wish they didn’t.  That’s ok.  What’s important is how you handle it, and a good social media policy will help you do just that.  Check out the social media policy of the U.S. Army for a well-written policy, and see how you can implement it into your organization.

Now that you have some basic tools to begin the social media process, the most important suggestion is:  Jump in and get your feet wet.

Really, the only way to determine if social media is for you is to begin.  Take a chance and begin to experiment where you are comfortable, and then jump into the deep end.  Take on Facebook or Twitter.  Connect.  Engage.

How is your non-profit using social media?  What, if anything, have you found works well?  What doesn’t?  I’d love to hear from you!

Author:

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you.  He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line.  EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business.  Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.

Sources:

Photo courtesy of Hofstra University

Social Media is HARD

The dictionary defines “perception” as “understanding”.  And the prevailing perception is that social media management and marketing is easy.  That people will find your Facebook page, your Twitter account, or your Google Plus page and they will just automatically connect with it.  That they will “like” you without any action on your part.

THIS JUST ISN’T TRUE

My favorite analogy is the opening of a new store.  When you open a retail location, people will not just automatically know you are there.  You need to tell them.  You need your friends to help spread the word.  You need to give people a reason to visit your store, whether it be a “grand opening special” or a product that they can’t live without, they need a reason to visit.

I was working with someone who wants to make social marketing their livelihood.  They have a Facebook page, and were complaining about how their audience wasn’t growing.  They haven’t run any ads.  They don’t even share that much on their page.  But, most importantly, they never asked any of their friends to help by “liking” their page.

They forgot the most basic idea behind social marketing — that it is no different than “word of mouth marketing”.  The platform doesn’t matter.  If your friends won’t or can’t sing your praises, why should anyone else.  And what reason will anyone else have to like your page if all you do is change your cover image?  If the only thing you’ve shared is…nothing.  And you’ve done it with no regularity.

In order to grow our audience, we need to give them a reason to join in our conversations.  We need to provide them with a reason to visit, and a reason to share our thoughts, ideas, and services.

The perception is that social marketing is easy.  It isn’t.  It takes time to cultivate relationships.  It takes effort to curate good content.  It takes momentum to build your audience.  And, it takes thought to become a thought leader.

Want to build your Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus audience?  Follow these simple steps:

1.  Share good content.

2.  Be human

3.  Share often

4.  Help others

5.  Follow the Golden Rule

6.  Ask for help.

Basically, if you want to build  your following.  Be a good person, and the rest will fall into place.

Author:

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you.  He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line.  EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business.  Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.

Resources:

Definition courtesy of dictionary.com

Image courtesy of Get Social With Amy

BlogWorld and New Media Expo 2012 or Where Did All The Exhibits Go?

On June 5, 2012, I attended day one of BlogWorld and New Media Expo at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.  During the day, I was treated to some amazing sessions, covering social media and blogging.  But, what I didn’t get to experience was the “Expo” part of the New Media Expo.  That’s right, there was no expo on the first day.  You could see some of the exhibitors setting up their booths for the next two days (BlogWorld, for those that don’t know is the world’s largest conference and tradeshow for bloggers, podcasters, web tv content creators and social media innovators).  Yes, it is a trade show with no trade show.  Advice for next year?  Go on day two and three!

But, what I did get were some amazing seminars covering the 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media, The 6 Important Shifts for Social Media Strategy, and 12 Imperative Must-Dos for the Serious Blogger.  Let’s break down the factics learned throughout the day.

7 Deadly Sins of Social

Scott Stratten, from Unmarketing outlined his seven deadly sins of social media.  They are:

  1. Gluttony – Don’t automate.  Don’t be everywhere, just be great where you are;
  2. Apathy – Social media’s biggest threat.  It is passion that makes Pinterest great;
  3. Pride – Don’t ignore something just because you don’t like it.  Learn it if you hate it!;
  4. Sloth – Invest the time, but don’t create accounts if you have no intention of being “there”;
  5. Greed – There are no shortcuts to being great in social.  It is not a numbers game;
  6. Lust – Be awesome when the *&^%$ hits the fan!;
  7. Envy – Don’t do things just because everyone else does it;

And the bonus:

  1. Wrath – Power is in the conversation and the community.  The power is in the people.

So, what does this all mean?  It means that social media is all about the conversation and the engagement.  Have passion in what you offer and in your on-line presence.  Invest the time, and it will pay off.  And, BE AWESOME!

6 Important Shifts for Social Media Strategy

Dave Fleet, VP of Digital for Edelman, a global public relations firm offers the answer to the question, “What is social going to drive for our organization?”  And he answered it with his Six Important Shifts for Social Media Strategy.

  1. Social Business – Step away from the new and shiny.  Buzz is not a reason to be on any specific tool.  Ask, what are the business objectives, and know when to step away.
  2. Objectives – Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound objectives.  In other words, be S.M.A.R.T.
  3. Measurement – Measure against your objectives.  Don’t focus on the wrong things, and don’t be unrealistic with your numbers.
  4. Integration – Forget about the “silos”.  Social media needs to be owned by the entire organization, not just one department.
  5. Content – Content is king.  It should improve your reputation and trust within the community.
  6. Community Management – Engage like a human.

The result?  Look at social media the way you would any other aspect of your business.  Embrace it, but don’t let your objectives become unreasonable.

12 Imperative Must-Dos for the Serious Blogger

This was a great presentation by Jay Baer, from Convince and Convert, and started with the premise that, “we are all teachers and we are all students.”

So, what are the 12 imperatives?

  1. Be patient.  Give yourself permission to take time to be successful.  It will be measured in years, not months.  (It took him 3 years to make his first nickel from his blog).
  2. Be specific.  What is your blog about?  Blogging is the most competitive form of communication.  You are better off being the favorite blog to fewer people than being the “meh” blog to lots of people.
  3. Be consistent.  Don’t value inspiration over perspiration.  You always have something to say.
  4. Embrace variety.  Don’t become forumalic.  If it’s boring to write, it’s boring to read.
  5. By a “youtility”.  How can you help people?  Be genuinely useful.
  6. Find an anchor.  This is the type of post that you can go back to again and again.  It is something special to put on the editorial calendar every week.
  7. Have a call to action.  Traffic has little inherent value.  It is about behavior.
  8. Cultivate community.  Community drives repeat visits and sharing behaviors.  To drive community, use WFACT – Welcome, Facilitate, Answer, Connect, Thank.
  9. Be findable.  The most important reader you have is Google.
  10. Keep score.  What is your real goal?  Measure behavior, not numbers.
  11. Embrace extensibility.  Your blog is your trampoline.  It is your central location but it also needs to live elsewhere (LinkedIn, Scribd, YouTube, etc.)
  12. Be shareable.  And share down, not just up.  Share content created by those below you, not just the experts.

And the bonus?  Write good headlines.  The second bonus?  Check out Jay’s slides:

View more presentations from Jay Baer

Author:

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you.  He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line.  EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business.  Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.

Sources:

Facebook Adds Scheduling and Admin Roles

Happy June!  And with every new month comes new changes to the way we use Facebook for business.  On May 30, 2012, Facebook announced several changes to their business Pages, which will change the way we post to Facebook and the way we enable administrators of our pages.  Or, will it?  Let’s take a look at the two big changes: post scheduling and admin roles.

Post Scheduling

One of the most common tasks for any person managing or running a Facebook page is the ability to schedule posts to appear throughout the day and week.  This is so important, in fact, that a whole industry has been built around this one task.  Tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck make easy work of scheduling posts to appear on your timetable, not Facebook’s.  They provide a detailed calendar view of your post schedule for any of the accounts that you have linked to it.

And now, you can schedule your Facebook posts right within Facebook.  Just by clicking the little, grey “clock” icon in the lower right corner of the status box, you can schedule your post for anytime within the next 6 months.

But will you?  This is a great feature, and one that has been requested by many over the years.  But, it doesn’t go far enough.  In order for any scheduling of posts to be effective, there needs to be a calendar associated with it.  One of the best tools to help organize your activity on social networks is with a content calendar (I even wrote a post about it).  HootSuite and Tweetdeck offer that very thing (although only for posting to social media and not for content creation).  Facebook doesn’t.  Facebook has no mechanism for you to keep track of what has been scheduled (although it is listed in your activity log, which is found by going to “Manage” in your admin panel).  However, through Facebook, you are unable to edit your scheduled posts, and can only schedule posts every 10 minutes.  Both Hootsuite and Tweetdeck allow you to edit and change posts once scheduled.

Overall, this method is not very user friendly, and not something I’m giving up my Pro membership to HootSuite for.

Admin Roles
Until today, any Facebook Page admin was able to do anything they wanted to the page – post content, monitor conversations, create ads, view analytics, add and edit apps, and delete posts.

But no more.  Now, we are in control of who has access to each of these tasks.  Facebook has created five new levels of page admins, from Manager, who retains complete control over all aspects of the Facebook page (exactly the same as before) to Insights Analyst, who only has access to view Insights for their page.

Check out this handy chart for the different levels of permissions now available.

The five different levels of ability now granted to admins provides a safety net for companies unwilling to give over complete control of their Page to someone new to social media, or an outside vendor.

What do you think of these two new changes?  Will you use Facebook’s new scheduling option?  Are you giving up on HootSuite or Tweetdeck?

Will you change the access your admins have?

Author:

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you.  He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line.  EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business.  Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.

Sources:

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