Babbling B’s Blog

Archive for the ‘Social Networking’ Category

I know I’ve been quiet, but I’ve been BUSY! I wanted to quickly share a presentation I’m working on for an ‘inform-al’ school presentation. I really love Forrester’s Social Infographics, Technographics and the book Groundswell, so I’ll be sharing some of the ways consumers use social media and the demographic info. I think the research is really useful for figuring out how to engage with your target market. I hope you find it useful too!

Oh, and I finally used Prezi for this presentation. It was really easy, and I’m hoping it makes the presentation a little more engaging. On the downside, it doesn’t seem to embed on a wordpress.com blog, but it’s still pretty cool!

Social Media Infographics on Prezi

I’ve been really happy with my decision to dive into social media and blogging. I’m constantly learning new things and sharing ideas with more and more people. It’s hard to believe I’ve only been interacting on these platforms for four months. So many things have happened to make me grateful, and so many things are on the horizon:

1) Blogging for VitaminIMC – Taking a more critical/editorial standpoint on integrated marketing communications strategies that companies and brands are taking has definitely pushed me as a marketer. I’ve also been able to make connections with some GREAT people in my academic program that are in the full-time classes, and they’ve become my partners-in-crime for attending social media events. Which leads me to…

2) Attending Social Media Events – Ok so I’ve only attended one so far, but I’m going to another one next week! It’s such an interesting atmosphere of learning, connecting and building relationships. It’s so fun to put a face with the avatar (get it?) and get to know people I otherwise would never come in contact with – and they’re in the same city!

3) Meeting GREAT People – This is probably the best part for me. And probably what drives me to write a sentimental postsuch as this – the people that you meet are pretty amazing. I am sill so surprised when I ask a question to Twitterland and get really great responses, tips and advice. I even get encouragement for my running!

4) Building Career Skills – Ultimately, and probably most importantly at this point in my life, I’m building up a network of people to get advice from and learning at an unbelievable pace. I’m learning the skills I need to be able to make a social media presence a reality for the company I work for.

I hope you are having a great experience too. If you’re new, keep learning. If you’re the expert that’s teaching others, Thank you!

The 80/20 rule, or the Pareto Principle, states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In Marketing, it’s often applied to your Target Market – focusing 80% of your efforts on cultivating your top 20% of prospects and customers. After all, they’re the ones generating 80% of your revenues.

After reading some interesting articles on this concept, I found the 80/20 rule applies in so many other applications, especially social media. How you may ask?

1) Spend 80% of your time on business and 20% of the time on personal communications: Think of it this way – would you want your current or prospective clients to see it – or your mom? While no one wants to look at robot-like output that’s all business all the time, it’s important to keep a certain level of professionalism in your social media ventures. But be sure to add a little bit of personal flavor into your social media applications so your audience can connect with you, build a relationship, and know you’re human!

2) Spend 80% of your time on 20% of the social media outlets: You can’t be everywhere at once. Just as you know you should focus on the top 20% of your customers, you should apply this rule to the plethora of social media applications out today. Focus your time on the top social media platforms that you can use in your business, building your personal brand, or in social networking. By focusing, you will be able to build quality relationships rather than a whole bunch of useless connections.

3) Focus 80% of your social media presence on the top 20% of your audience: Spend a majority of your time engaging and interacting with your top readers, commentors and fans. Take time to examine what they are reading and writing about, and use this as a guidepost as you plan your future commentary. Focus your blog posts, tweets, comments etc on those top people.

It’s not to say you need to start a tally sheet with your commentary. The 80/20 rule is simply a guideline to allow you to take a step back and examine the way you are engaging with others via social media. Are there time suckers? Don’t be afraid to let them go.

Other interesting articles on this subject:
The 80/20 Rule and Social Media by @larrybrauner
The 80/20 Rule of Effort

LinkedIn can be a great tool for job seekers. Articles and job-seeking strategies that leverage LinkedIn are constantly popping up. But what about those who are generally happy with their job? What’s in it for them?

I’ve been on LinkedIn for a few years, yet I’ve never used it to find a job. I have a decent network of people from and have fully filled out my profile. So now what? What’s in it for me?

The other day, I made an update to my status letting everyone know what I’m working on (a campaign about the federal stimulus funding). Out of the blue, I received a message from a previous manager, along with a recommendation. How cool is that? It got me to thinking about what LinkedIn is all about.

It’s about building your personal brand: This is all about you, but professionally. Sure you may be on Twitter or Facebook, but this page is all about your professional life. It’s you resume that goes along with the personality and insights you provide through all of your other mediums.

It’s about staying networked with people you’ve come in contact with: I just got back from a conference with a pile of business cards. I debated what to do with them – should I write descriptive notes on the back of the cards with what they do, what they look like, what we talked about? Seemed like a lot of work – then I got the bright idea of adding them on LinkedIn! Problem solved. All but one of the contacts were on LinkedIn.

It’s about joining groups: Keep the conversation going.  You can get a lot of information from being a part of the LinkedIn groups, and provide a lot of information too! By responding to requests for advice and weighing in on subjects, you’re building your network even further. Even if you aren’t directly connected, you are getting in front of people with the same interests as you. Plus, when you need advice you’ll have a group of people who will return the favor.

It gives you an excuse to ASK for recommendations: Who thought asking for recommendations was ever going to be easy? And once you received one, be it for admission to college or for a new job, you never got use out of it again. With the LinkedIn recommendations, they’re there for the long haul. Next time someone thanks you and says they owe you one, simply ask for a LinkedIn recommendation to go with that beer!

It gives you a chance to give kudos to those that deserve it: If you work with someone great, tell everyone about it. Wouldn’t you want them to do it for you?

It gives you a network, ‘just in case’: You never know when you will need to tap into your networking resources on LinkedIn. With the economy down and the unemployment rate up, LinkedIn and other social media networking strategies are critical.

Twitter messages with ‘secret’ ways to ‘make money fast’ and get ‘thousands of followers’ make me want to unfollow… What’s worse than those spammy messages? Getting an automated ‘Thank you for following me’ message with the same content. What a horrible first impression!

I’m on the fence on automated direct messages on Twitter. As a marketer, I understand the importance of welcoming your new follower, and how these welcome messages can help drive traffic to your website, blog, offer, etc. So I set out (with help from some awesome Tweeps) to find the best and worst of the auto-DMs we’ve received with hopes to shed some light on how to do DMs ‘right’. Author’s identities have been protested to save them from public Twitter humiliation.

Auto-DM Don’ts:

  1. DON’T cover up a good cause or message with a SPAM-like offer: Here’s a message I got that I completely ignored:
    Save approx. $1000/yr and save earth at the same time, learn better energy source-http://websiteaddress.com
    This is a great cause – saving the earth! Starting with money-savings instantly makes you glaze over in anti-spam mode.
  2. DON’T be too good to be true: Sure, maybe it’s possible. You always hear the stories. 2 good 2 be trueBut if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  3. DON’T send duplicate welcome messages: Hmm… Spam?Spammy Twitter
  4. DON’T send messages that alienate your audience: An email industry expert sent me this DM he received: Thanks for the Follow! Let me know if you have any questions about email marketing. Ironic, right? He got a kick out of it. Think about your audience, and don’t alienate other ‘experts’ in your field – you’ll want to make connections with them!

Lessons learned: Proofread your message before you post it. Ask someone’s opinion. Then ask someone else. Don’t offer something that seems too good to be true. Would you want to receive that message? Would you click through? TEST your Auto-DMs to ensure it isn’t broken.

Auto-DM Do’s:

  1. DO make it about your follower: It’s all about them. Make your message be follower-centric.all about you
  2. DO ask a question DO ask people to Tweet you: Start the conversation right away. That’s what Twitter is all about! @SloanInnovation Hey Thanks for the follow! How did you get such a great list of followers?
  3. DO show some personality: Let them know something about you through showing your humor, friendliness, or that you like to have FUN! @carvideoguy Hi there, Twitter Is Designed To Be A Big Party, Lets Have Fun, Enjoy My Quotations
  4. DO tell people what they are clicking on: Do you really want to click on a condensed URL if you don’t know what’s behind it? It only takes one dirty link from someone else to teach your followers NOT to click on your undescribed link. Let them know what they get when they click through. @CustomerMgmt IQ Thanks for the follow! Check out http://tinyurl.com/dcmqsg for more info on Customer Service, Mgmt, Call Centers & more

Lessons learned: Just as in business, it’s all about the customer! No one really wants to hear about you. They want to hear what’s in it for them. What is following YOU going to help THEM with? Don’t worry about having a URL or link in the auto-DM – if your message is done right, they will click on your profile to find out more about you and click on your website link on there.

So, I still haven’t set up my auto-DM – have you? Let me know what it is! I am open to suggestions.

Special thanks to @danpereira!

The things I’ve learned thus far in my Twitter conquest are quite interesting. No, I haven’t learned how to get rich quick or gain a million followers. Reflecting on the time I spend on Twitter, it’s such a different experience than with any other social media programs I’ve taken part in. When I explain what Twitter is to nonusers, I continually mention the same things over and over. The crazy thing: it’s not just applicable to Twitter – it’s applicable to your life, your work and your personal relationships. Crazy, huh?

So here are the top three things I’ve learned on Twitter (Twitter Teachings, get it?):

  1. Engage in the conversation: Talk with your followers. It’s not about how many people you follow or vice-versa; it’s about engaging in relevant conversations that are beneficial to both parties. While this concept is painfully obvious on Twitter, it’s amazing that more companies don’t realize the benefits of this concept. Engage in conversation with your customers, even after they’ve purchased! The more you engage and interact with your customers, the better you will be able to anticipate their future needs and thus meet them with your products. Better yet, the more you engage, the more you’ll uncover evangelists singing the praises of your product!
  2. Give more, get more: The more you give, the more you get. Seems self explanatory. The more you comment on blog posts, retweet (RT) topics, and give solid information in your arena, the more your networks responds positively to you and returns the favor. It’s cyclical. It’s karma. Pay it forward. Whatever you call it, everyone benefits (especially you!).
  3. It’s all about relationships: You begin to build relationships after a few sub-140 character exchanges. For me, it means adding you to my ‘favorites’ group on Tweetdeck. I don’t want to miss your Tweets and I was to be able to share my advice with you. In turn, I hope when I have my random ‘how-to’ or ‘have you ever’ questions, you will respond. You #followfriday each other. It’s a beautiful thing.

So get engaged in the conversation. Start adding like-minded people, begin contributing to the conversation, commenting on tweets and building your relationship. Oh, and add me so I can be a part of it: @brandiheinz

What have you learned on Twitter?

Check out my post on ‘My Twitter Experiment‘. Very exciting!

Sean Malarkey gives some really great advice on optimizing the use of Twitter!

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