Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Social Networking and Jobs

Last week, I participated in an article with Farhad Manjoo of the New York Times for an article he authored entitled Social Networking Your Way to a New Job. I was thoroughly impressed with the article and his shedding light on this often overlooked topic.

In our current time and with our current economy, it is crucial we examine all aspects of our identity when searching for employment. That extends to social media and includes:
  • thoroughly reviewing our privacy settings on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. We will be reflections of any business that hires us and we want those to be professional reflections.
  • ensuring our LinkedIn profiles are complete. Our profiles should tell a story. We need to make sure those stories are accurate and that our privacy settings are turned OFF so any employer reviewing our profiles can access all information desired.
  • allowing our Twitter accounts to show who we are. Do we follow groups, organizations, and industry leaders that show we are engaged in our fields? This also goes for LinkedIn, we should belong to groups that reflect our engagement in our careers.
  • adding our LinkedIn URL to our e-mail autosignature and resume. Inviting others to learn more about us enhances our opportunities.
  • taking classes/training about social media use. We all know that social media is not a fad. If we have time and the opportunity, we should take classes that teach us how to better use these tools that make will make us more of a value to potential employers. Public libraries, which we know I LOVE, often offer free classes in their communities, presented by speakers like myself, to teach community members the basics of using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Let your story be a success story with the help of social media.

Don't forget to check out Laurie Boettcher Speaks at http://www.lbspeaksonline.com/.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Social Media Touch

David Armano of Logic + Emotion authored a terrific post earlier this month entitled Media Isn't Social. Although the article was wonderful, what caught my attention most was one of his graphics:
This is so true. Social Media touches all of these aspects and departments.

Recently, two of my friends, Linda Pophal of Strategic Communications and Renee Bonjour of Group Health Cooperative, had an interesting discussion about who, within an organization, should be responsible for social media activities. Being a PR Practitioner, Linda leaned towards PR, and Renee is a Marketing Director, so she voiced Marketing. After much discussion, we all agreed that it has to be a carefully planned endeavor on behalf of all departments.

Social media is about communicating with one consistent voice. It's about showing our followers we are here, we care, and we are engaged. PR and Marketing help define that voice, most of the time Customer Care is the voice, HR determines what that voice can legally say, IT helps the voice be heard where it needs to, and R&D gets to respond to the needs on the other end of the voice. If everyone is not communicating, the system is not working.

Which person/department at your organization handles social media? How involved are other people/areas?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pusher or Sharer?

Do we want to be Pushers or Sharers? For the chatty type like myself, it is easy to reply 'Sharer!' I love it when my followers join in the conversation by posting their own thoughts, questions, concerns, and experiences. Everyone learns from that.

For companies who are driven by a bottom-line, it is really challenging to reply 'Sharer.' It is your job to sell products and services and to meet quotas. With social media, however, we all have to move from Pushers to Sharers if we want to earn and retain our followings.

Starting the conversation about a product, service, or experience allows us to be Sharers while offering information about what we can do/provide. If we get too pushy, we lose the engagement and the following. Sometimes, it is even best if we let our followers respond to others' questions and concerns. It is great to see our products and services be sold by those whose respect and loyalty we have earned.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What do you mean 'it's not all about me'?

As much as I like everything in life to be all about me, there are times when I have to come to terms with the fact that it is not.

Using social media is one of those times. I like Facebook and Twitter; they are my fave social media tools. However, many of my clients and followers, like you, are new to social media. You may value your privacy on Facebook (yay you!) or just not get into Twitter. That is when I have to put you first. Where are you at? What are you comfortable using? What makes you feel engaged and valued?

My professionals like LinkedIn. For some of my library peeps, it is connecting with me on LibraryThing. For my fellow wine 'tasters,' it's Cork'd. Educators, I can connect with many of you on Classroom 2.0 because it is one of the few social networks schools don't block. For others still, it may be traditional e-mail or telephone calls.

If you and your organiztion don't like social media and have decided not to do it, you really are missing out on an invaluable opportunity to reach your people on mediums they feel comfortable using.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why Do I Blog?

First and foremost, anyone who has ever met me knows all too well that I like to talk. I've got stuff to say and I love me an audience. Besides feeding my need to (over)share, here are a few benefits of blogging:
  • Blogging gives us and our organizations a voice. A place to open a dialogue about what is going on within our orgaizations, exciting news and events, and a damage control tool.
  • It is an opportunity to reach more people on tools they are comfortable using. Millenials and others aren't paper-prone, they prefer to read information electronically. If that is what they want, let's give it to them!
  • Often times, it helps our budgets. Printing expenses can be a huge portion of our budgets. If we can offer our newsletters, agendas, and other documents on a blog, we can save some cash.
  • It fosters relationships. When we write, we express our character and style. Our bond with our readers is strengthened when they sense who we are.
  • It provides our readers with a connection to us. When we blog and comments are posted, we respond. That shows readers that there are real live people on the other end who care about their experience.
  • Encourages activity on our web sites. If our blogs our intriguing and engaging, readers want more of us. They want to know who we are, what products and services we offer, and how to reach us.
Those are just a few of the reasons I blog. I use Blogger which allows me to schedule my posts, which is a huge convenience during busy weeks/months. There are several other formats that are highly popular. Check them out and get your blog on today!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Know Where You Need to Be With Knowem'

What if our company isn't one that should have a Facebook page? What if our customers/patrons aren't on Twitter? Now what?

Facebook and Twitter, although two of the dominators in social media, are not always - or even often - the answer to our social media needs. The key with using social media correctly is knowing where our peeps are and how to reach them. As social media is evolving, the nich sites are becoming more an more valuable. They allow us to target in on a demographic with a specific message. That way we reach people who we know are interested about the topic.

There is a web site out there that I use often: http://www.knowem.com/. Visit the link and click on networks. Tabbed out in categories, we can see a sampling of some of the most popular niche social media sites available. But, before we make any rash decisions to join a bunch of social media sites. Visit the site and search for some of our keywords - company name, product name, competitor name, competitor services, whatever. See if/how we are represented on the site. We may be surprised.

Most importantly: never join more sites than we can manage. If we cannot be consistent and present, it is a waste of our time and energy as well as our patrons.