Let’s Bring Social Back to Social Media

Let’s Bring Social Back to Social Media!

There I said it.  I have to admit.  I don’t spend nearly as much time on social media as I used to and the main reason plain and simple is because there’s just too much “noise”.  No matter which social platform you choose, if you view the main feed, it’s like surfing through the channels on the radio or cable tv and not finding anything you like.    Another reason was because it just wasn’t the same as it was back when social media was “new and shiny”.    I remember when I could log into Twitter and be able to tweet “Hi” and at least a dozen people would tweet “Hi” back and it didn’t matter if you were following one another.   People were online,  starting conversations, and getting to know each other because social media was so new, we didn’t think to advertise businesses.  There was no agenda.   Nothing  was automated, the fake “bot” accounts had not been invented.

That’s when I decided to write this post “Let’s Bring Social Back to Social Media” and do even more to change the way I interact on my social platforms. The attempts I made to interact as I did in the past have not had success.

Please do not misunderstand or get me wrong, I’m not saying I have never scheduled tweets or any other social media posts.  There is definitely a need for scheduled posts to make best use of your time. Noone can be online 24/7.   But… and there is a big  BUT.  Every post should not be automated, especially if you are expecting responses of any kind from potential or existing customers.  In my opinion – social media should not be like radio or television.  It is a two-way communication medium.   It is NOT solely for advertising as many people and businesses use it which is in my opinion why there is so much noise.

Sure – you can get around the noise of Twitter and other platforms if you know how.

In my effort of  Let’s Bring Social Back to Social Media I am creating a list on Twitter called “Live Tweets Only”.   The purpose of this list is to add members who will tweet back when I say “Hi” without having to @theirhandle.  I’m hoping by creating this list, it will bring back a little bit of the social interaction that has been replaced by the automated tweets.  Do you think it will help? Do you have any more suggestions to bring social back to social media?

 

Pros and Cons of Hiring an Intern for Social Media

social media

Let’s face it.  social media is becoming more and more important in marketing your brand whether you are a brick and mortar business, an online business, a celebrity, a non-profit,  or something else altogether.  No matter which category you fall into, social media allows you to reach more of your target market for less marketing dollars than traditional marketing avenues.  If you haven’t started using social media yet, or have but have not been managing your accounts regularly, this post covers the pros and cons of hiring an intern to handle your social media accounts.

What are the pros and cons of hiring an intern for social media?

  1. Pro:  You can get an intern free or almost free.  Most interns are required to do internships as part of their college credit so you won’t have to pay the rate you would have to pay a professional.
  2. Pro:  Interns are usually more technically savvy.  Interns have been using the social platforms you want for years.  They probably have taken classes in many of the management platforms as well.
  3. Pro: Interns are not set in their ways.  Interns are usually younger and are open to new ideas (your way of doing things) whereas professionals usually have their own way of doing things.)

 

  1. Con:  Interns are only with you a short time.  Because interns are doing their internship for a class credit, they are only there a short time (unless you decide to hire them). If you decide not to hire them, you have to go through the process of training another intern.
  2. Con:  Interns may need to be closely monitored.  Although your intern may have years of experience on various social platforms, their experience is purely for personal and social reasons.  Their posts may contain inappropriate language, and represent your business or brand in a questionable or negative manner.  Unless closely monitored, they may spend the day tweeting with their friends instead of the tasks you’ve given them.
  3. Con:  Interns are not dedicated to your brand or company.  You put your blood sweat and tears into your company.  You would never do anything to tarnish your company’s name in any way shape or form.  Does your intern care if there’s a typographical error, or if they accidentally post a photo of them at a party drunk as a skunk to your account that should have been posted to their personal account? Very doubtful.
  4. Con:  Interns don’t know everything about your company.  The person representing your company through social media should know as much as possible about your company and your brand.  People will be asking questions about your products and services.  Exactly how much can you teach an intern in a limited amount of time about your company or your brand?
  5. Con:  Interns won’t monitor your social platforms 24/7.  This goes back to the intern not being dedicated to your company.  They are there for college credit and possibly a job down the road, but 24/7 monitoring is a lot to ask for someone who is probably not getting paid.

I’m sure you can think of more pros and cons of hiring an intern for social media.  Please be sure to share them!  If you haven’t started using social media as part of your marketing strategy start now.  Don’t take my word for it – read this post by Forbes.  If you don’t play, you can’t win.

The 3 S’s of Social Media

What are the 3 S’s of Social Media?

social media

I watched a movie this weekend called My Best Friend, and while I won’t go into all the details, the short of it is about a guy who doesn’t have any friends (but claims he does) and makes a bet with his business partner he can prove it in 10 days.  During his “search” for his “best friend” someone taught him the 3 S’s of being friendly and making friends.  While watching this I realized, the 3 S’s apply to social media too!

1) SMILE! So you may be asking yourself how do you exactly SMILE on social media?  EASY!  Post positive comments, funny posts, make sure your avatar shows your bright smiling face! Of course you can also add the smiley faces i.e. 🙂 or :0) or even the big smile :D.  Then there are hugs and and other variations of affection.  If you have a blog like this, write posts that make people smile. (I think I need to work on that one!)  As adults, we have a tendency to be so serious, so business-minded.  It’s good to be professional, but let’s remember to have fun too and get your friends on social media smiling.

2) BE SOCIAL! You might say “Well DUH!” You’d be surprised how many people go online, open accounts, tweet about specials, or announcements, but never interact.  They spend money having Facebook fan pages created, and even make posts for a month or two, but when they don’t get the results they want, they decide it’s not worth the effort.  Social media is easy, but it’s work.  It’s simple, but it takes time to cultivate relationships.  Treat social media, social networking, social platforms in general like any other “real life” relationship and you’ll be much more successful.

3) SINCERITY! Even though almost everything is in print, people can tell a fake a mile away and they won’t hesitate to bury you in their stream or unfollow your account.  Sometimes being overly positive, or overly optimistic can come off as insincere (Yes – I have that problem – I have happy days and I really DO think people ROCK!, but I suppose I can see where that might come across as insincere if you don’t know me.)

Do YOU have an “S” you’d like to add to the ones I’ve listed above?  What’s the best advice you would give to someone in social media?

Social Media Challenge Met!

My  very creative friend Dorien from More in Media recently wrote a post titled 7 Random Facts You Didn’t Need To Know About Dorien.  

Through this wonderful thing called social media I not only met an amazing gal named Dorien, but havesocial mediasocial media 2 formed a really cool online friendship and  learned some new things about her.  I knew she ran marathons, but over 7,500 miles in the past five years?  Holy moly girlfriend! I don’t think I’ve even driven that far in the past five years!  She also challenged a few of her com padres to come up with a similar list of random facts.  It couldn’t come at a better time for me as I’ve had a bit of a writer’s block, so here goes!

  1. My birth name was Joy Ann Chu.  I could probably go through all 7 facts with this story, so I’ll try to keep it short.  I was born in Seoul, South Korea, adopted by an American family who changed my name, but I didn’t like my name growing up, so I changed it again when I graduated college.
  2. Because of #1, I’m an Okie from Muskogee – that’s where my adoption papers were processed.
  3. When I was in high school I had the title of Bryan County Peanut Princess. (don’t judge)
  4. My favorite (current) candy is Junior Mints
  5. I was married in a hot air balloon.
  6. My favorite activities are white water rafting and zip-lining.  I would love to travel around the world rafting the different rivers, zip-lining through beautiful canopies and vlog about it!  (Of course I would still want to be involved with social media!)
  7. I like to paint.  I’ve had solo shows in small galleries, but my goal is to someday have a solo show in a larger “big city” gallery.  I’ve also been commissioned to do paintings for private collectors.

So there’s the 411 on me, and if you read Dorien’s post, she called out a few of our friends:

Wendy Cassera

Mallie Dein

Martha Giffen

Peggy Herrman

Keri Jaehnig

Jocelyn Wilhelm

I’m going to take it a step further and expand the challenge to a few more friends.

Annemarie Cross

Deeone Higgs

Michael Q Todd

Anise Smith

I would LOVE to learn the “little known facts” of these people as well as those Dorien listed. What a great way to use social media to get to know people!  As a nod to my mom, I’m going to say “I remember when we didn’t have computers and the internet.  The only “chat groups” were the party lines on the phones or the sewing circles!  O.K., so I don’t remember party lines or sewing circles, but I do remember times before access to the internet and social media was so easily accessible.

What is a little known fact you would like to share?  I would like to get to know YOU better too! 🙂

Benefits of On-line Communities


What are On-line Communities?

If you are on-line for any amount of time, you may be a member of a group or two, or perhaps several that will discuss topics or collaborate with other professionals in your field of expertise.  If you are lucky enough to be active in these groups, you may have regular online chats, skype calls, or if you live close enough, even have had the opportunity to meet some of your on-line friends to discuss possible business ventures.

These are the benefits of on-line communities.  Many people, professionals in particular, don’t seem to “get” the concept of social media and the importance of participating in on-line communities.  They think if they log into a #tweetchat once or twice a week and RT someone’s post they are “participating”.  They also think if they join groups on LinkedIn, and post a few links to their blog  that also constitutes as “participating”.   If you want to know what it takes to be successful when participating in on-line communities, just follow these steps:
  • Participate regularly (Regularly is different for everyone – whether it’s once a week or every day, do what your schedule allows.)
  • Always have a positive attitude (Negativity breeds negativity and this is a good way to get kicked out of your community.)
  • Follow the rules (If there are rules, make sure you read them as a courtesy to all members of your community.)
  • If the group/community you join has a member roster, enter your contact info (social platforms, blogs, etc…)
  • Ask questions (Everyone was new like you once, don’t be afraid to ask questions.  As a general rule, people are nice.)
  • Have an idea? GREAT! Make suggestions, collaborate, this where the fun starts.  On-line communities are an excellent way to make connections all over the world.  You can also obtain clients with on-line communities you may not have gained otherwise just because you formed a relationship.

I’ve met some amazing people on-line through my online communities.  Some I’ve written about on previous posts like Keri Francek JaehnigDorien Morin van Dam, and Jure Klepic.  I’ve had several skype chats with Keri and Dorien previously and today had one with a good size group including Keri, Dorien and Jure as well as Greg Welch, Karleen Harp, and Jocelyn Wilhelm.

Prior to the days of social media and on-line communities, would I have had the opportunity to meet these amazing people?  Probably not.  Karleen lives in California, and while I’ve been to California a few times, I never met her while I was there.  Jure lives in Canada, and I’ve never been to Canada.  Social networking is an amazing opportunity if you take advantage of it by getting to know people and build relationships.

So let me ask you the hard question: are you getting to know people when you are on-line or are you just spouting information, retweeting and checking in to FourSquare?  Are you building relationships or do you leave your social platforms the same way you joined?  Not knowing a single person, not knowing if you are making a connection, not knowing if the time you spent was wasted?   If you can’t answer with any certainty,  I have a challenge for you.  The next time you go on-line, and every time thereafter make one new friend.  Just one. Say hi, ask them how their day was, how the weather is, anything.   Don’t try to sell them anything or tell them about your business.   Just make a connection.  Then let me know either on this post with a comment or on my fan page.  If you don’t have an on-line community in mind, join us at Kickin it with Klout or Kickin it with Kommunity on Facebook.  (You don’t have to have an active Klout account to join.)

🙂