The internet is swarming with things to do when it comes to Social Media and yes I too have written a post to that affect. Today I would like to do a different kind of post, one that talks about things NOT to do when it comes to social media. I think it’s important to learn the ethics of social media and equally important to learn what’s a big no-no.
The following strategies are pet peeves:
1. If I repeat, they will come: Sell your skills/expertise not your products- I will never promote or recommend someone who is constantly announcing why their company is the best and the special deals they have going. If you don’t engage your online community and have conversations with them or have something of value to offer, get a megaphone and get off social media.
2. TMI: If you are using social media to promote your business, keep bathroom breaks to yourself. I understand social media has become part of life, but I truly feel the concept of TMI (too much info) has become invisible. Please keep bowel movements to yourself.
3. If it exists, I must tweet: Do not just tweet about anything and everything, have a strategy, a focus. Ask yourself, what are you focusing on? What are you trying to achieve?
4. I have a camera, I must share: Do not put up a picture of anything and everything, be cautious. Just saw a fellow tweep put a pic of herself in Hawaii in a bikini-where’e the unfollow button? (This would depend on the type of profession you are in I guess.)
5. If they exist, I must add: Do not add just anyone and everyone. If I see someone following 1000people and only 100 people following them, I will think of them as a spammer and not be interested in following them.
Every so often I re-evaluate the tweeps I follow, the pages I am a fan of and re-evaluate who to continue to follow and who to leave behind. Sorry if you are one of those who didn’t make the list. Maybe if you stop doing the things mentioned above, I will follow you again. Until then adios!
As a business consultant one of the most common things I urge businesses to do is to get feedback, know your customer, ask questions. During a recent meeting, a client asked me to provide a list of common poll/survey applications that can be utilized.
Here is a list of the different tools I have tried out, got any others, add them to the list:
1 Linkedin Polls: I have personally used Linkedin polls and have found it easy to use and simple. Easy to create. Can be shared with with your network or selected professionals. View real time results. Get external link that can be distributed to anyone.
2 Poll Code: Free. You can customize with colors and fonts. Quick post option for Myspace, Facebook and Wordpress.
3 FreeOnlineSurveys.com: Create email or web based surveys. Free. You can create upto 20 questions. Data Analysis feature available. You can insert videos from youtube or google video within survey.
4 Poll Daddy: Free. Real Time reporting. Embed pictures or html within poll/survey. International language support. Export data as XML, CSV, and receive results via email or RSS. Works with blogger, TypePad, Wordpress etc.
5 Facebook Poll: I haven’t had any problems but I have heard some complaints. Free. Application is easy to add. Can be added to personal profile or business pages. Allows you to add HTML tags to the polls.
6 Survey Monkey: Free version is quite powerful. Powerful designs available. Different lay out options, Send automated responses to those who haven’t responded or left the survey incomplete. Powerful reporting tool. Highly recommend it for the analytic tools alone.
7 Constant Contact: Free 60 day trial. Gives sample questions. Survey wizard is quite powerful. Customize poll with colors and your logo. Can be embedded within website or blog. Create custom invitation. Send auto-reminders. Analyze invitations and results.
8 Ace Polls: Free. Can be added to website, blog, myspace, wordpress, email link etc. Simple and easy to use.
9 Google Forms: Google Forms is a great way to collect information, I have utlized the online based system to gather information from clients or getting feedback specific to a client. You can create a private poll or a public one and publish it on the web. For more information about Google Forms and other Google Docs, read my post 10 ways to use Google Docs for Small Business.
10 Twt Poll: Another online based poll, great for social media usage. You do need to have a twitter account to use the product. Ability to customize the look and feel of the poll. To see more features, click here to see video.
We are on our way to celebrate our two year business launch anniversary. As I reflect over the last two years, I started thinking about the different tools that we used that helped our business be a success. I quickly realized that we could not have been where we are without the help of Google Docs. Below are some of the ways we and other small businesses use Google Docs
1. Create word processing documents, we used it to write proposals and develop website manuals.
2. Share documents with other people on the same project, this was helpful when people involved on a project were not in the same physical location.
3. Created a document that could be edited by multiple people simultaneously for collaboration purposes. This was very important for us when we were trying to meet a deadline.
4. Divide documents into different folders/labels/projects-always nice to be organized!
5. Share folders with selected people, helpful to make sure there is a consistent way of sorting and organizing documents. You could have folders project based or sorted in what works for your organization.
6. Create forms to collect information from clients- For projects that required specific information, we would create simple forms and use them to gather the information we wanted. Made us look professional and helped us gather the information we needed.
7. Create forms for feedback after completion of projects-Always nice to get feed back in a professional way.
8. Email form or embed form in blog or website for quick responses-love this option!
9. Create presentations with Google presentation tools. Helpful if you don’t have MS Powerpoint.
10. Create spreadsheets using Google Spreadsheets-helped us with managing time spent on each project and amount of money owed by each client!
These are some of the ways we used google docs to help with our business. Do you have any stories to share? Tell us under comments or tweet them to me at @bizincubation !
Scenario: You are a small business owner and like most small businesses you don’t have a marketing budget. One way you decide to save money is by hiring your neighbors kid or asking a friend to create a website.
Pro: You feel like a smart business owner who just saved a few bucks
Con: You will most probably be stuck with a static website that you can’t update and possibly a useless worthless website.
So, how do you protect yourself?
No matter who is making the website for you, always always always ask for a contract, yes even your neighbor’s kid or friend. This contract should write everything in detail and should include the following:
Start of the contract- yes this is important, you want the web developer to meet your deadline, if any, to start creating the website
Samples- prior to the website development, you should specify how many mock ups you would like to see of the website.
The termination of contract policy- We never want to think that things can get nasty with anyone we are dealing with, but to save ourselves we should keep the termination policy in mind
Communication clause- how will everything be communicated, will there be a form used, who will be your account manager, how soon can you expect a response?
How will you be billed for website development and maintenance- will it be hourly, will be rounded up to the minute or hour, how often will you have to pay? All of these questions need to be answered in the contract. Make sure you understand the different billable things- website hosting, website development, domain name purchase, website maintenance
Who will have the rights to the content- yes it is important to clarify this.
Who will have the rights to the domain name – make sure you have those rights, life happens, you don’t want your web developer to be the only one with this vital information.
What will happen if the company liquidates- yours and theirs, it is important to specify this in the contract
What will the website designer create- make sure everything is listed
What will the website designer not do- it’s important to clarify this beforehand to avoid frustrations in the future
Make sure you have the capability of editing the website yourself. Ask for a user manual, ask for access. You need to be in control
Make sure there is a way to analyze the website – google analytics and other free services are out there, for FREE. Utilize them!
Having a good relationship with your web developer is important, being clear in communication is vital, being patient and offering as much information as you can helps web developers create a website to your liking. A smart business owner wants a good, easy to maintain website that they have control over and smart business owners have a thoroughly written contracts with their web developers to save their behind.online casino
I recently taught classes on Social Media to Small Businesses and Non Profits in the DC area. During my classes one of the main thing I emphasize on is it’s not the quantity of fans or followers you have it’s the quality of followers. The more I repeat this phrase, the more I see people not convinced by this statement.
On a lazy Tuesday night I decided to check out craigslist for a bit and was alarmed to see companies selling “followers” to twitter users and “fans” to facebook users. As I saw the numerous advertisements I started doing a little research only to realize that there are several businesses that are advertising similar services to desperate businesses and non profits who are trying to win the popularity contest.
They include pitches like:
1,000 followers/fans for $100
1,000 followers/fans in 7 days
2,500 followers/fans in 14 days
100,000 followers/fans in 1 year
My question to those who buy fans or followers is how do you create a community around your brand? What is your goal for being on a social media? I guess there is a business opportunity in everything.online casino
all the tools mentioned on the list, over the next few months I plan to try them out. I would highly recommend the Google Apps platform for online collaboration, which is what we are currently using. I love the fact that multiple people can update a document in real time. It truly has made data more accessible and the new folder sharing information makes sure all parties involved with a project have the same information in a uniform way. One website not mentioned in the list, zoho.com is also a great resource of tool which we have used with project management. The basic package can be tried out for free but I would recommend using it and seeing if it fits your organization.
This is another official update to the original “Shift Happens” video. This completely new Fall 2009 version includes facts and stats focusing on the changing media landscape, including convergence and technology, and was developed in partnership with The Economist.
Personally thought it highlighted some interesting facts and predictions! It amazes me how in this day and age with technology advancements and social media tools, there are still businesses and individuals out there who refuse to enhance their online image. What we need to figure out as individuals and business owners is, how can we keep upto date with the technological advancements and not get left behind. Enjoy this great video!
Interesting points highlighted in the study:
More video was uploaded to youtube in the last two months than if abc, nbc and cbs had been airing new content 24/7/365 since 1948.
$3 Million- the amount Dell claims to have earned via Twitter posts since 2007.
Among larger US companies, 17% have disciplined an employee for violating blog or message board policies
90% of the 200 billion emails sent every day are spam
The mobile device will be the world’s primary connection tool to the internet in 2020.
As a business consultant one of the toughest things I face is to educate entrepreneurs about social media and to convince them that anyone can adopt it. As I create strategic social media campaigns I often revisit my early adoption of Social Media tools and educate my clients about lessons learnt. Here are 20 of my favorite tips and tricks to make Social Media work for you and your business !
The key to social networking is to do the following:
Listen to conversations: For social media newbies, the best strategy is to listen, observe and follow conversations. Understand the Lingo, understand the concept that not all social media is created equally. Each social media tool has it’s own lingo and will benefit your business in its own unique way.
Learn from others: As an observer of social media, you are not only trying to learn the lingo and how it works but your goal should be to learn from the experts-industry related or social media gurus
Be innovative and creative: Your posts, links you share, thoughts and ideas should be innovative. Create excitement and unleash the creative monster within you and let it be free
Create a community: Create a community of mentors, experts, clients, suppliers, people you randomly like and even competitors! Just the way you need a support system in life, you need to create a support system in your online community as well.
Be helpful: This is probably the most simple yet most overlooked method of engaging in social media. People love those who are helpful and support them. If someone posts a poll, take a few minutes to answer it, if someone asks a questions, take out time to answer them. You need to be able and willing to give if you want to receive.
Be patient: One of the things that early social media adopters forget is that they have to be patient. If you are comitted to your brand and social media mission, then be patient.
Be nice: No one likes a meanie. Being nice on Social media entails taking criticism in a stride, helping out others, being polite and curtious.
Be an expert: Look into your innerself and see what you are good at, are you good at being a multi tasker, are you good at finding online deals? Are you good at quoting people, see what you know and talk about that.
Be honest: Noone likes a phony, be honest with others if you want them to be honest with you. If someone asks you a questions, be honest in your opinion. People can generally spot someone who is not being honest.
Add a personal touch: Social media is much like a face to face networking event, you want to be memorable, you want people to know you, well if you add that personal touch they will appreciate it more. The whole point of social media is to add a human touch to your company’s brand name.
A picture is worth a thousand words: People love pictures, videos, slides and animations. Leverage youtube, slideshare, twitpic, facebook and all the wonderful resources out there to host your multi media and share it with your online communities. Nothing gets more clicks and creates a stir like putting a link to an intriguing picture, video slideshow or animation.
keep it short, keep it simple-People want it short n simple.
Make it easy- Don’t ask people to do complicated things, don’t abbreviate and make people guess what your message it. Keep it simple, keep it straightforward
Do not sign up for every social media tool out there: Study the existing tools and choose which one you are most comfrtable with and will help you achieve your goal.
Cross Promote: If you are signed up on multiple social media sites, cross promote each site and use your website to promote your social media sites.
Never leave behind an incomplete profile: Often times people will get an invitation, they start a profile and just leave it-HIGHLY UNPROFESSIONAL and a huge mistake. Always complete the profile and keep it updated. Don’t think you will be using it? Delete the incomplete profile.
Google/You tube/ Help- make them your best friend: Don’t understand how to use a social network tool? Need help with a problem-google it! You are probably not the first one to face that problem! There are blogs, videos, websites dedicated to helping out people. In addition to the user manuals and help sections on the social media sites.
Ask others: Can’t find what you are looking for online, ask people. People on social media sites love to talk and help people out. No harm in reaching out to them!
Enjoy every second of it: Socia Media is a great way to have fun, you can share opinions, educate, learn and make great connections. Take out time on a daily basis to maintain and grow your social media efforts.
Hire a pro: Don’t think you can take out the committment for your social media campaingn/efforts? Hire someone to do it for you! Check our services to learn more !