Social Media Myths as set forth by Mashable.com

Posted in Uncategorized on June 14, 2011 by Kalli's Connections

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business. So in case you missed this in your daily Mashable read, here it is again (all credit to Mashable here)

25% of small business owners said they plan to spend more on social networking in 2010, according to the Ad-ology Small Business Marketing Forecast.

Facebook ranked as the most beneficial social network for small businesses, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter, according to the November 2009 report. The 1,100 small business owners surveyed said the biggest benefits of social networking were the abilities to generate leads, keep up with their industry, and monitor the online conversation about their business.

But despite the enormous growth of business presences on social networking sites, there are still many misconceptions about how best to use social media. To help cut through the hype, here are a few social media myths dispelled.


Myth #1: Small Businesses Must be on Social Media


social icons imageAd-ology’s study found that 31% of small business owners said they don’t use social media because their customers don’t use it. If that’s the case, find where your customers are and the best way to reach them there.

Warren Sukernek, partner and vice president of strategies atLift9, said there’s a rush to get on Twitter and launch a blog without a plan. He stressed that spending time up front doing analysis, research, and goal setting will make a social media plan easy to execute.

He recommended first getting active as a lurker on different social media networks to see what’s happening and what people are saying. For example, check out what other companies are doing on Twitter and then assess what you like and don’t like.

Sukernek also pointed out that social media fits more naturally for certain types of businesses, but that doesn’t mean other businesses shouldn’t be on there. It may just take more time to build an audience.

“I wouldn’t dissuade that B2B company from dipping a toe in. It might make sense to dip a toe in a different pool of water,” he said. He suggested that being on an industry-specific forum or LinkedIn might work better in some cases than being on Twitter.

Depending on what the goals are, gathering competitive intelligence might turn out to be what’s most valuable to a business, according to Sukernek.

“It’s hard to put a price tag on that,” he said.


Myth #2: Set It and Forget It


twitter signup imageDon’t expect a case of build it and they will come. Sukernek compared it to building a brick-and-mortar store and not putting a sign on the outside.

“You’ve got to promote it,” he said.

Cross promote your web site with the pages you set up on social media sites. Sukernek advised integrating these social media sites into your business’ offline activities. For example, a retailer should list their fan page URL and Twitter name along with its company’s web site.

Time spent on social media efforts depends on the type of business and the goals involved, according to Sukernek. Goals should be distilled down to revenue and key performance metrics.

“Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Set some reasonable, manageable objectives,” he said.


Myth #3: Word of Mouth Presence Isn’t There


Sukernek said small businesses think that if no one is talking specifically about their company on social networks, they don’t need to be there. He disagrees.

“They’re talking about subjects that are germane to the brand,” he said.

On the other hand, what if your small business is being talked about on social media in a bad way? Sukernek said people are probably already doing that, and suggests it’s better for small businesses to be aware of it and address it directly on those platforms.


Myth #4: Social Media is Only for Broadcasting Messages


megaphone imageTreating social media as a one-way communication channel is an approach that’s doomed to fail. Check in with your fans and followers by asking for feedback, responding to questions and comments, and being personable to build relationships with customers.

“It’s conversational. It’s dialogue,” Sukernek said.

Concerns of small businesses on social media aren’t much different than those of large companies. For those businesses that aren’t careful, subscribing to these social media myths can result in some big mistakes.


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Control Your Social Activity For Free!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 4, 2011 by Kalli's Connections

With the boom of Social Media in business I have seen an enormous amount of small start up that off the ability to track all of your social media efforts in one location – for a fee. “Stumbling” around today, I came across a great site that offers this to you FOR FREE!  Thinkup , in their words, in an “open source community of developers, writers, designers, bloggers, journalists, data nerds, and social media enthusiasts whose goal is to make meaningful software with world-class documentation.”

Who ThinkUp Is For

ThinkUp is for organizations and personalities who are active on social media networks, have more than 1,000 friends or followers, and need deeper analysis tools to derive meaning from those interactions.

ThinkUp is for:

Government agencies who want easy ways to survey constituents, analyze and share response sets as well as track and archive conversations.

Personalities like journalists, bloggers, and celebrities who want easier ways to manage interactions and compile feedback from fans and followers.

Publishers like bloggers or broadcasters who want easy ways to measure reach and analyze content performance on social networks with readers, subscribers, and followers.

What ThinkUp Can Do

At its heart, ThinkUp is a conversation analysis tool. ThinkUp helps you pose questions to your followers on social networks, and compile and share the responses, whether you’re The White House asking U.S. citizens what our country’s next Grand Challenge should be, or a writer asking what the best brand of ballpoint pen is.

ThinkUp also helps you answer questions about your social media activity, like “Who are my most popular followers?” and “How many people saw a retweet of this tweet?”

Using ThinkUp, you can:

Analyze: Get insightful graphs and charts in a single simple dashboard which helps you make sense of your social network activity.

 

 

Search: Ever get frustrated that Twitter doesn’t let you find a tweet you posted a year ago? ThinkUp archives all your tweets from the time you start running it, plusall  its  replies and retweets, and makes them available to search and export.

 

Visualize: ThinkUp’s rich visualizations let you see your conversations mapped across the globe, or as a collection of most-frequently mentioned keywords.

 

Publish: ThinkUp lets you publish and embed conversations on a blog or website. Everyone can benefit from the wisdom of your social network.

 

 

Export: Export your tweets at any time and open them as a spreadsheet in Excel for further analysis. Or just save them for recordkeeping.

 

 

 

So hurry on over to ThinkUp and check out it’s freeopen source web application and begin capturing your posts, tweets, replies, retweets, friends, followers and links on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

 

Do you trust Facebook?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 24, 2011 by Kalli's Connections

Four out of every five people on Facebook feel either uneasy or ambivalent about the information they share on these sites.

These feelings can erode the strength of a social media brand online, according to Netpop Research.

Netpop says that people feel more confident about privacy on YouTube more than Facebook, and thus trust the video sharing site more.

As for how people specifically feel about Facebook, Netpop says:

  • 47 percent of Facebook users are concerned about privacy
  • 38 percent of Facebook users feel ambivalent about privacy
  • 15 percent of Facebook users are not concerned about privacy

These figures mean that page administrators have to work harder to elicit personal data from people on Facebook, or at least find ways to engage with them.

What do you think brands can do to boost people’s trust in the way their data is handled by social media sites?

Send Targeted Traffic to Your Site with the Facebook Send Button

Posted in Uncategorized on May 23, 2011 by Kalli's Connections

Last Month, Facebook launched a new social plugin called the “send” button. Akin the “like” button before it, the plugin has the potential to drive traffic to content. The difference is that where the “like” button is for people to publicly share something with their friends, the “send” button is more for personal sharing. You can send something directly to a single person or to a specific group of people.

“We designed the Send button to be used alongside the Like button,” says Facebook’s Abe Parvand. “By including both on your website, people will have ability to broadcast the things they like and also send it to specific people.”

“The Send button drives traffic by letting users send a link and a short message to the people that would be most interested,” he says. “They don’t need to leave the web page they’re on or fill out a long, annoying form. Compared to the alternatives, the Send button has fewer required steps, and it removes the need to look up email addresses by auto-suggesting friends and Groups.”

Facebook Confessions ~ Good or bad?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 16, 2011 by Kalli's Connections

We’ve all done it… Logged in and confessed something on Facebook… From “I must admit that I would much rather sit at the computer all day long reading blogs, tweeting and pinning on pinterest than doing any housework. And most of the time I do just that. Then I come up with 80 katrillion excuses why things didn’t get done.” to “I am probably the only guy who when he sets his status to ‘thinking of someone’, starts to wonder when he sees that the girl he likes posted the same thing a few hours later”

You can spill your guts on Facebook on just about anything from inconsequential broadcasts like “I couldn’t get to a bathroom fast enough so I tinkled in my pants” to “My fat pants no longer fit” to ”My husband doesn’t know I slept with his sister.”

Facebook confessing is a simple, non-torturous process, so far removed from being an upfront and in-your-face experience. Practically gone are the days of sitting in front of some pious, voyeuristic person, who is claiming to wash away your burden of sin as he/she sits there trying hard not to cringe at your every sinful deed. No more dressing up in your Sunday best, no appointment times, there are zero requirements for Facebook confessions, it’s a 24-hour, 7-day a week techabsolution.

Mea culpas on a social networking site that is life unplugged is the first step toward healing. There are religious leaders who now view online confession as perfectly acceptible. Many believe that God can forgive an online confession just like any other, as long as it’s heartfelt. Oftentimes, confessing online allows someone to remove their masks and be truthful about their shortcomings. Facebook confessing for some is like communicating spiritually through journal writing.

Have you tried some of the Facebook online confession pages? Do you think they’re a well-intentioned bad idea or the brainchild of some genius? Do tell….

What are you willing to share?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15, 2011 by Kalli's Connections

This video really makes one think about what they will freely put on cyberspace for millions of total strangers to see, however, refuse to give the same information in person to just two strangers…

Tag your fans in your page’s photos!!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 11, 2011 by Kalli's Connections

Starting today, people have the ability to tag Pages in their photos on Facebook in the same way they can tag their friends. Photo tagging for Facebook Pages enables people to share richer stories with friends about the things they interact with in the real-world, such as businesses, brands, celebrities, and musicians.

A Page can be tagged anywhere that someone can view a photo in the photo viewer. These photos will appear on the Photos tab on the Page, and not on the Wall. In addition, a Page can be tagged by anyone on Facebook, not just people who have Liked your Page.

For now, only Pages within the Brands & Products or People categories brands, can be tagged in photos. We’re looking to expand this functionality to more Page categories over time.

To tag a single photo you are viewing:

  1. Click the photo you wish to tag and select “Tag This Photo” below the photo.
  2. Type the name of the people or product Page you wish to tag.
  3. Repeat this process for every Page in the photo that you would like to tag.
  4. Click “Done Tagging” in the bottom left corner.

The privacy of the photo is always respected when a Page is tagged in a photo. If a photo post is published to “everyone,” then it can appear publicly on the Photos tab of the Page and the Page admins can see it. If it’s just published for someone’s friends, only their friends will be able to see that photo. Page Admins can always choose to disable tagged photos from appearing on the Photos tab by going into Edit Page > Posting Options > and unchecking “Users can add photos”.

Learn more about photo tagging for Pages here.