Thursday, January 28, 2010

Protect Your Privacy on Facebook

The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year-old females. This is evident in the majority of Social Media 101 workshops I teach. This generation is eager to get connected on the internet, however, they are also wise and experienced enough to know to be cautious in doing so.

Whether teaching workshops for employees at businesses, members at organizations, or staff/patrons/board members at public libraries, the predominant questions are, "What am I actually sharing?" How can I protect my privacy?" "How can I help protect my kids/grandkids privacy?" I LOVE that these questions are being asked. I could not be a bigger advocate for protecting your privacy and information by educating yourself in what you are sharing.

Facebook was 'born' in 2002, so it is still just a tween. Although I think Facebook is highly responsive to the wants and needs of its members, it is still figuring out the best way to utilize privacy settings. Unfortunately for us, this means there are changes quite regularly that we need to make ourselves aware.

Currently, there are many ways we can protect our privacy. Here's how:
Please note that you may access this step-by-step tutorial in my Social Media 101 presentation available on SlideShare at http://ow.ly/1139P. Slides 24 through 33 walk through all of the steps.
  1. Log into your Facebook account.
  2. In the top right hand corner, click on Settings.
  3. Once you see the gray My Account box, find Privacy and click on Manage.
  4. First click on Search. Unless you are a business or your Facebook account is a professional account, Google search engines do not need to index you. From the first drop down box, choose Only Friends. From the second, make sure the Allow button is NOT checked.
  5. At the top, click Back to Privacy.
  6. Next, select Profile Information.
  7. Change all of the dropdown boxes to Only Friends. Under Photos and Videos, select Customize and choose Only Me.
  8. Click Back to Privacy.
  9. Select Contact Information. Read each one and decide who you actually want to see this information? Is it Only Me? Is it Only Friends? Unfortunately, the Add Me As A Friend feature only allows you to select Everyone or Only Friends. Hopefully Facebook will be changing this soon.
  10. Click Back to Privacy.
  11. Click on Applications and Web Sites.
  12. Next to What Your Friends Can Share About You, click on Edit Settings. These are all of the things they could share about you. I don't know about you, but that is my personal business. If you agree, uncheck every box. Or leave the boxes checked next to information you don't mind sharing.
Congratulations! You have taken the first steps in protecting yourself and your privacy. There are more advanced features for helping protect our kids/grandkids. I am working on a presentation for that and hope to unveil it soon.

In the meantime, if you would like the Social Media 101 workshop presented at your business, organization, or public library, contact me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

LinkedIn for Job Searchers

I'm preparing for an upcoming workshop at Menomonie Public Library in Wisconsin called LinkedIn for Job Searchers. Whether you are searching for a job, trying to build your professional credibility, or strengthen your client base, LinkedIn is the most powerful business networking site available.

LinkedIn allows users, like you and I, to maintain online profiles. It ranks extremely high in Google search engines, so your profile (a professional representation you created yourself) will be the first result that appears in search results. LinkedIn boasts over 54 million users in 200 countries. With 80% of employers claiming to be using LinkedIn as hiring tool this year, we would be fools not to create profiles on LinkedIn.

What should you know about creating a profile on LinkedIn?
  • The headline is the first thing someone sees when viewing your profile. Make it good. Have a clear professional title. If your title is something nobody outside of your company would understand, adjust it so it represents what your actually do.
  • Would you rather hire an 'Engineering Job Hunter' or a 'Professional Engineer with Experience Working in Cutting Edge Technologies'? This is your opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition.
  • The biggest mistake new users make is not including a professional picture. People build relationships with people. A picture gives a sense of personalism. Use a current picture that shows your personality so you are recognizable in face-to-face situations. Do not use a family picture and crop yourself.
  • Edit your public profile URL so it is your name and not your identification. Use your URL on your resume so employers have access to a more complete profile of your qualifications.
  • Your summary needs to be one to three short paragraphs about who you are as a professional. Give up the goods as to why you are the best and worthy of attention. You are writing this about yourself, so use first person, not third.
  • Do NOT send invitations to connect until your profile is complete. FULLY complete. Connections are a reflection of the caliber of people you surround yourself.
  • When you do send invitations to connect, do not use the LinkedIn template. In one to four sentences, greet the person, remind them of how you know each other, and explain why you would like to connect.
  • If you get an invitation from someone you don't know or recall, reply to the invitation with, "Thank you for the invitation to connect. I have the privilege of meeting a lot of people and, unfortunately, sometimes I cannot always put a face to a name. Can you remind me of how we met or know each other?"
  • Keep your information current.
  • Use your LinkedIn URL in your autosignature so people you correspond with know you are available to connect.
  • Request recommendations from former colleagues, clients, and employers.
  • Give recommendations, if you can praise that person. If you are uncomfortable giving a recommendation, don't do it. Recommendations, given or received, are also a reflection of your professionalism.
These tips and more are available in a LinkedIn for Job Searchers presentation I created available on SlideShare at http://ow.ly/12DMu.  

Also, don't forget to become a Facebook Fan of 'Laurie Boettcher Speaks' so you can stay current on upcoming workshops and news.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What People Really Want to Know About Social Media

I love teaching workshops. Yesterday, I taught two of them for Wisconsin libraries (Chippewa Falls Public Library and Altoona Public Library) wanting to educate their patrons about Social Media 101.

Teaching workshops requires me to shift gears. It is easy for me to get caught up in social media lingo and technicalities, but when teaching a workshop, I have to look at social media from its most basic points. What is it that people really want to know? What do they really care about? I have been blessed to have exceptionally engaged audiences who ask a lot of questions and this is what I found out people want to know about social media:
  • What is it? Not some technical wordy definition. What is it really?
  • Why should I care about social media and how does it affect me?
  • How EXACTLY to I set up an account the best way?
  • How can I protect my privacy?
  • How can I best talk to my kids about privacy?
  • Which are the best for personal and the best for business?
  • How could I use social media in my small business?
  • What is next?
These are all very basic and crucial questions that everyone should be asking. This is information our boards, staff, patrons, and clients want to know. If you have the opportunity to provide brief training, do it. Not only will it protect them, it will protect their families, jobs, and your business.

Some of my workshop presentations are available on SlideShare at http://www.slideshare.net/LaurieBoettcher/presentations.

RSJW5XDEZMVR

Thursday, January 14, 2010

You Left Me Far Behind

One of the major grumbles I hear from people in regards to social media is that they feel so far behind they don't even know where to start.

LinkedIn hit the internet in 2002, Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in 2004, and Twitter debuted in 2006. If the Big Three in social media were people, they would be tweens. They are still growing and evolving themselves! 

Just like with every discipline, there are people who study to become experts. This is why we have doctors, electricians, librarians, and social media professionals, because they have studied to become experts.

In fact, if we look at this graph from a study done by Michael Stelzner for the Social Media Marketing Industry Report, we can see that a mere 23% surveyed have been doing 'this' (meaning using social media) for a few years. The remaining, range from no experience to a few months experience.

There is no reason anyone should feel far behind. There is no reason our staff, patrons, clients, execs, board members, or others should feel intimidated. 


What we should be doing is finding a way to educate on social media. Consider offering workshops or presentations. Make sure to find a presenter that can teach at an elementary level, providing the basics so participants can feel informed, not overwhelmed, at every level. 

Not everyone is expected to be an expert in social media. However, it is a revolutionary way of communicating that requires each one of us to find our own communities and our own styles. Let's give people a platform to learn.

Some of my workshop examples are available on SlideShare at http://www.slideshare.net/LaurieBoettcher/presentations

RSJW5XDEZMVR

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Board Members on LinkedIn

I recently presented a workshop on the Basics of LinkedIn. I was talking about the importance of Board Members having a LinkedIn profile when a director of a fabulous non-profit asked me why. Why should her board members have a profile on LinkedIn?

The answer is simple. Board members, just like staff, are a representation of our organizations. Whether we are a library, non-profit organization, or corporation, our board members help people gauge the credibility, strength, and structure of our organizations. It tells them the caliber of people we are able to attract and the influence we have through our members.

If you were to ask me to advocate for your organization or donate money, especially in these current economic times, I want to know where my time or money is going. So, I would research your web site to find your director and board members. If I did not know them, I would look them up on LinkedIn to verify their credibility. It is important to know that my interest and money are in the hands of individuals looking out for the organization as a whole and are qualified to do so.

Setting up a LinkedIn profile takes only minutes. It's free. And, it allows you to take control of your online identity. Encourage your board members to create a profile by setting up one yourself, if you have not already.


My LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/laurieboettcher

RSJW5XDEZMVR



Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dominate or Integrate

Lately I've been getting a lot of promos about "How to dominate social media." I don't know about you, but the only thing I'm hoping to dominate this year is my waistline. This attitude is one reason I think so many people get overwhelmed by the idea of social media. Social media does not need to be dominated, it simply needs to be integrated. 

Debuting in the early 2000s, social media is still just a tween. It is growing and evolving every day. During its maturity, however, some of its leaders like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Slideshare, Flickr, and YouTube have risen to the top. These are common venues people are flocking to because users have unarguably proven that these are the sites they are comfortable using. We want to be where are users are. After all, social media is about our users, patrons, clients, whoever. Not about us. It gives them a platform and a community to promote their experiences with our services, programs, and staff.

 
If we look at Robert Scoble's Social Media Starfish or Brian Solis' Conversation Prism, we can see that there are multitude of venues we can integrate into our marketing efforts. Each one has a specific purpose and reaches a specific niche market.

Ask your patrons, clients, and staff where they get their social media information to help choose the venues you want to integrate.


Don't forget to connect with me on:
Twitter: laurieboettcher
Slideshare: www.slideshare.net/laurieboettcher
Facebook: Laurie Boettcher Speaks


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Human Connection

I had the pleasure of presenting a Social Media 101 workshop at the Menomonie Public Library yesterday. The workshop covers the basics of what social media is, why we should care, The Big 3: Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn, and how to protect your privacy. The workshop had a delightful and engaged audience. During one portion, one of the participants brought up a crucial point. She said, "With all of this social media and technology, I feel we are losing the importance of human contact." I could not agree more.

I am a social butterfly and anyone who knows me can attest to that fact. Nothing will ever replace human connection for me. I have had the misfortune of dealing with schwarmy people and giving my naive trust to undeserving people, as I am sure many of you have. With life experience and wisdom, it is increasingly important for me to have human contact to establish a relationship and determine if someone is worthy of my trust.

With this said, it is no wonder human connection is a cruical part of marketing. If I trust you, if I respect you, if I recognize you, if I enjoy your company, I am more likely to frequent your business, to participate in your programs, to advocate for your services, to donate to your cause, to follow you on Facebook or Twitter, and to tell my friends about you.

Use your human connections to encourage your friends, family, patrons, clients, and advocates to join you in your marketing efforts and follow you on Facebook or Twitter. You have relationships with them, so value their feedback in how it is working for them.

You can see the Social Media 101 presentation at: http://www.slideshare.net/LaurieBoettcher. You can also follow me on Twitter at laurieboettcher or become a fan of Laurie Boettcher Speaks.