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The High Deserts Social Network Blog…

Good Morning Antelope Valley LIVE Talk Show

http://ilivetoday.com Weekly podcast / talk show highlighting events, businesses and community in the Antelope Valley. Come be a part of the live show! Hosted by Ben Andrews and Jim Greenleaf. 661.948.8442

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July 26, 2011 Posted by | BLVD, Blvd Today Cafe, SOCIAL MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY USE, social networking, socialnomics | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Surprise Advantage of Socialnomics

The other day I received a phone call from someone, whom I did not know, looking for a friend of mine – Jim Seargeant.  He said he has been looking for him all over the internet and couldn’t find him. He said the only way he could find him was through my postings of him on my site! Through ilivetoday, amazingly enough!  He gave me his # and asked me to give it to Jim. He wants Jim to do some custom woodwork for him, has had him do some in the past and wants more done. He didn’t have Jim’s current cell phone number.

I called Jim and he was tickled I had another job lined up for him! Only through ilivetoday and Jim Greenleaf did this happen. It proved the power of having a great internet presence and “cloud”.

The Graphic Experience now has a HUGE “cloud”, with the sun shining right through! It’s going to become even bigger and brighter!!

It’s been an amazing learning journey, this whole social networking journey. It has great power and great advantages. Through daily postings, tweets, blogging,”liking” ,”commenting”, and posting photos and videos, my “cloud” has grown! I’ve made new friends, become better friends with the ones I already had, found old friends,  and have become even more aware of how people are inherently GOOD people ( at least the ones I surround myself with !) in cyberspace and otherwise.The world has become even more accessible! I can visit the Eiffel Tower, chat with friends on the East Coast or in Europe (in “real” time), listen to great musicians, all with the stroke of a key.  I truly enjoy this “New World”.

June 6, 2011 Posted by | chris calaba, custom framing, jim greenleaf, social networking, socialnomics | , , , , | Leave a comment

How Objections to Social Media Are Killing Your Business

Came Across this fantastic article on OpenForum.com (from American Express) read it, I’m sure it is bound to spark some questions!

How Objections to Social Media Are Killing Your Business

by Ivana Taylor Marketing Strategist, DIY Marketers

March 18, 2011

One of the most common objections to social media is that it’s a fad; here today gone tomorrow. There is truth in that the social media sites we have today grew out of other sites: LinkedIn (2003) evolved from SixDegrees (1997) and Friendster (2002), then MySpace (2006) gave way to Facebook (2004) when it opened itself up beyond college students in 2006. And this is not the end of the list by any stretch.

As long as human beings have the need to reach out and communicate, they will discover and push technologies to achieve that. I am still waiting for the technology that makes Star Trek’s transporter replace airplanes! In the meantime, the best way to do business globally is to pull together a social media strategy. Yet, a lot of business owners haven’t done so because of their objections to social media. However, these objections may be killing your ability to generate leads and new customers and ultimately, be killing your business.

1.  There’s no return on investment in social media. What is the ROI for your phone?  If you don’t have a phone or a website or a social media profile, you do not exist on the business landscape of your customer. That doesn’t mean that you just throw money at social media and hope it delivers results. Use sound business principles. Set business goals and start comparing the investment you currently have in getting and keeping customers with new social media tools.

2.  We don’t have the money or the time to waste on this new thing. This is another ROI question. If you currently make cold calls, send sales reps into the field, go to networking events, travel to trade shows, gather business cards, make sales calls, make appointments, drive to appointments and make more appointment to generate a new sale, then you might actually be saving time and money by using social media tools. I still have face-to-face meetings, but these often come AFTER a lengthy relationship building series over LinkedIn, Facebook and even Skype. I’ve just calculated my mileage for taxes and have seen a 50 percent decrease in travel miles over the last three years. The same is true for my “meals” category!

3.  We can’t control our message. Yes. Tony Hayward from BP had this same objection and we see how much good it did him. The way you control your message with social media is by putting it out there in the form of blog articles, guest articles, Twitter posts, Facebook updates, LinkedIn updates, answering questions and simply being present online. Think of Google as your homepage. When people search on your name or your company name—the content that you created should overwhelm the page. On a personal note, when I searched my name back in 2005, there was a soap opera star ahead of me and (of all things) a blow up doll!  I certainly didn’t want my customers to see THAT!  Now when I search on my name—it’s only my content.

4.  We’ll lose privacy and expose ourselves to the competition. You will lose as much privacy as you would by sharing information at a networking event or a customer presentation. In fact, social media is a sales and marketing tool—the last thing you want is privacy! Worrying about privacy is like sending your sales rep to a trade show and saying, “Don’t tell anyone we’re there.” You wouldn’t do that at a trade show, why do it online?  Maybe you’re stuck on the Twitter idea that people share what they’re having for breakfast.  That might have been true in the early days, but overwhelmingly Twitter is a place where conversations happen about brand.  There are marketing research tools out there designed to pull and analyze what products and services people are talking about.  They wouldn’t do that if it wasn’t there and important.

5.  We’ll open ourselves up for legal problems. This is a valid concern, especially for companies that are in heavily regulated industries like financial services. Instead of saying that it’s too difficult, get legal advice on what is acceptable in your industry. In 2009, the Federal Trade Commission issued general guidelines for social media that will help you start thinking about what the best way is for you to address your social media strategy. I recommend coming up with objectives and plans for your social media marketing strategy and THEN consult your legal team. This way you will get them to think of ways for you to achieve your objective instead of focusing on what you cannot do.  Finally, create a social media policy that clearly states what’s acceptable and what’s not for your organization.  Create social media identities for those employees who are eager to promote your brand online and be clear about how they are to represent your brand.

Don’t let uncertainty or doubt overcome the need for your business to gain new leads, prospects and customers.  Instead of approaching the world of social media with an immediate “no” and then finding excuses as to why it’s not for you, start with “yes” and see what benefits suddenly open up for you.

Need help setting up your Social Media Marketing Strategy?

At ilivetoday.com we have the tools and resources to help you succeed. Give us a call to help you with your Socialnomic Soultions!

About Ben Andrews

People call me a Young Punk Social Media Whiz Kid, But really I just Love Teaching People to Make Social Media Work… oh yeah and I’m Production MGR. of ilivetodayav 661.948.8442 


May 23, 2011 Posted by | social media, SOCIAL MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY USE, social networking, social networking for business, Socialnomics solutions | , , , , | 1 Comment

The social media strategy series: Guidelines and Training


 

ilivetodayav

Antelope Valley’s Premier Social Network…Cloud Computing

 

The social media strategy series: Guidelines and Training

by Gemma Went

This is the penultimate post in our social media strategy series and it’s been a long time coming. This also means that the series ebook will be out in a couple of weeks for those of you that have signed up for it. If you haven’t already, pop your details here and we’ll send you a copy when its done.

 

The series has so far covered:

So next up, guidelines and training. An essential ingredient. Once you’ve figured out which social activities you’re going to engage in and who will be working on them, you need the right guidelines and training that allows your team to do a good job. Now, don’t think this needs to be a big nasty rule book. Your goal here is to provide the tools and knowledge they need to be able to achieve your social media strategy.

Guidelines

Your guidelines should cover:

  • Your objectives. Be clear why you’re using social and how it will be measured so the team understand what they need to achieve and what their KPI’s will be. The training can cover the full strategy, but I find it useful to add the objectives in the guidelines as a reminder.
  • Who the social media team is. Now, as social impacts many areas of the business, this should also include those behind the scenes as well as those on the frontline, like IT, Legal, HR etc.
  • Which social activity you’ve defined in the plan, how it will be used and how much time is acceptable to spend on it.
  • Who owns the profiles, if your team are Tweeting from their own accounts, for example, do they own those accounts or does the company? Be clear with this from the start as things could get tricky if they leave.
  • And on the subject, have a plan for what happens to the profiles once people leave.
  • What content should be shared through social media. Be descriptive here as this is important. Make it clear what content is confidential and what isn’t. Also be clear what language is acceptable. If you have brand/messaging guidelines it would be a good idea to share these so that the team fully understand your positioning.
  • If the members of your social team have different roles, be clear what they are and what’s expected of them.
  • What to do if things go wrong. List ALL possible risk scenarios and how they should be handled to make it clear (and of course make sure you have the process in place to deal with these if they happen).

Make the guidelines concise, easy to read and accessible. Here are some great examples to guide you.

Training

Once the guidelines are done, you’re ready to train the team. If you feel confident doing this yourself great, if not get someone in to help you. The training is key as it gives your team the knowledge they need and empowers them to use social media confidently. The training should cover:

  • The social media strategy. Make sure everyone involved understands your objectives, how they will be measured, who your target audiences are what content you will be sharing and everything else in-between. You’re after understanding and full buy in here so ensure it’s easy to grasp and free of jargon. Also include how the team will be reviewed and how often.
  • Your guidelines. Again, you want full understanding and buy in from the team.
  • If their experience of social media is limited, help them by including an introduction to ensure they understand what it is and how it works.
  • Training on each activity and how it will be run. Include everything here, from profile set up and bio writing to how to use each tool in your plan. Make sure you include all the tips and tricks to make it easier to manage and if you’ve chosen tools like Cotweet, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck etc, include a full explanation.
  • Spend a little time on the content as this is often a sticking point. Show them how to find the right content to share, how to produce content, even how to write if need be.
  • How they should engage through the various channels and deal with things like negative blog comments.
  • Who is there to help them if they get stuck. This is important, your team should feel fully supported should things go wrong. You could provide ongoing coaching if that’s a requirement.

If you feel it’s necessary, arrange a few sessions over a period of time to give them the chance to feedback and discuss their findings.

Have you implemented guidelines or training for your business? If so, I’d love to hear about how it worked for you.

The final post in this series will look at Ongoing Management and Beyond.

 

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November 14, 2010 Posted by | antelope valley social media, social networking, socialnomics, Socialnomics solutions | , , , | 2 Comments