Blog Archives

Latest Reads: Week of March 26

Image Courtesy of fracasnoir.com

Image Courtesy of fracasnoir.com

What a beautiful weekend! I had a great time visiting with old friends and colleagues, and seeing family in Kansas City! Now, it’s Monday and back to reality. To help make your morning coffee a little easy breezy, here a few of my favorite reads from the past week. [Sorry apparently this didn’t publish this morning, #fail]

Pinterest Updates Privacy Policy, Terms of Service (via Mashable)
As you’ve probably heard, Pinterest is updating its TOS and Privacy Policy. So what does this mean? Well, my quick translation is: “Dear Pinterest users, we’re trying to make life simple, so (a) we’re not trying to make money off you, (b) you need to keep it Twilight PG-13, (c) you can pin all your secrets privately, and oh, by the way, we’re up the API soon! Yay! Sincerely, your favorite time-suck, Pinterest.” 

The Rise Of The Explainer Video (by TechCrunch)
Overview videos are a great way to share your visual/audio elevator speech! If you can’t explain how your product works in a brief video, you have bigger problems. Also, we spend a lot of time talking around things, but overview videos give you a step-by-step look at how something works, making it immediately actionable. Who doesn’t want that? 

Clever App Finally Cracks the Code for Facebook Dating (via Mashable)
If you saw the latest infographic on online dating [Does Online Dating Work], you know that survey results state 27% of couples say they met through mutual friends, and 38% through work or school. So, it may not be a surprise to you that Huffington Post alumni Rob Fishman and Jeff Revesz launched a matchmaking app for Facebook this week designed to help you meet your friends’ single friends. Genius or just creepy? Guess you’ll have to see for yourself!  

Five Ways to Optimize Video for Search Engines (via Entreprenuer)
Search is not dead, even though sometimes we seem to forget about it! Here are some great ways to optimize videos for search engines. These are great tangible and quick tips that really can make a difference in video views. Let me know how it works for you! 

7 Best Interactive YouTube Videos
I love an me an interactive YouTube video! Check out these videos, enjoy and let me know which one is your favorite.

How Tech and Social Media Are Changing Travel [INFOGRAPHIC]
Sticking with the theme to share an infographic each week, here’s this week’s infographic on how social media and technology have changed how to plan for, document and catalog our travels!

Latest Reads: Week of March 12

Here are a few of the latest reads for this week. Happy reading!

More than half of consumers ‘overwhelmed by brand messages’ on social media (Ragan’s PR Daily)
I appreciate the top highlights in this study that was published by Ragan. If you read nothing else, here are the findings that were spotlighted. If you are engaged in social media on behalf of a company’s brand, DON’T POST every day, give people something meaningful, and more than anything – keep it simple. 

  • 40 percent of respondents felt that brand promotions are too complex to enter;
  • 20 percent felt incentives are not worth the effort;
  • 75 percent said that one or two Facebook messages per day is too much to receive from a brand;
  • Nearly 40 percent don’t want to share brand interactions with friends
  • 20 percent proactively post messages to brand pages.

15 Most Frequently Asked Questions by WordPress Beginners (WP Beginners)
I love WordPress, and I loved these FAQs! Hope this is helpful! Want a blog or Website?  I enjoy BlueHost’s How To Use WordPress tutorial too! Check out the Playlist.

What People Are Pinning on Pinterest (Mashable)
By now, you know I love Pinterest (Pinterest InfographicWhat’s So Awesome About Pinterest). Well, the latest article shares what eople are posting. Top categories for posting are Home (17.2%), Arts and Crafts (12.4%) and Style/Fashion (11.7%).  No big surprise there! 

A Store in Your Pocket: Retailer Mobile Websites Beat Apps among US Smartphone Owners (Neilsen Wire)

The latest Nielsen study shows that smartphone users prefer to visit mobile sites rather than mobile apps. As more and more companies start thinking about how to use mobile technologies, I always urge for mobile optimized sites, rather than creating dozens of apps! Ask yourself, what makes your app something a user can’t live without. If you can’t answer it, maybe you should wait.

Infographic: How To Train Your Employees To Handle Your Social Media  (MindFlash)
Arming employees to use social media in a way that is safe for the company and safe for them is a critical project for me in my current role. Once I roll out, I’ll be able to share some of our results and best practices on my blog, but for now – enjoy this infographic from MindFlash! 

Appreciating the Anti-Social Side of Social Media Managers

If you’re taken the Myers-Briggs, what are the ABCs of your personality? Well my results always teeter totter on that first letter of those four letter results. Oddly, the others always remain the same. Today and most days, mine is INTJ – I being for introvert. In more uncomfortable moments, I play chameleon and land on E.

For those of us who do digital and social media for a living, the expectation is that we are, in fact, highly social beings. Business requires us to be extroverts, especially those of us in social business, so where does that leave introverts who need time for themselves and do businesses/companies appreciate the introverts who just need a social time out?

In my Sunday morning TED video binge ritual, I came across Susan Cain’s “The Power of Introverts.” It left me feeling a little empowered, and yet a little frustrated. Empowered because I want the change, and understand that if you want something, you must demand it and have the courage to not just believe but to act. Frustrated because it only stirs up moments of self-doubt and frankly guilt for my need for solitude.

In January, Forbes published an article entitled, “The Secret Power Of Introverts” highlighting Cain’s book – Quiet. I’ve included a video of Cain’s TED talk below. In the video, she talks about the advantages of introverts, the need for us to share our strengths and talents, and the need for a societal shift to appreciate introversion through behavior and action.

Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts (TED talk)

Susan concludes her talk with these 3 Call-to-Actions:

1. Stop the madness for constant group work
When I graduated from undergrad, I remember the incessant amounts of group work. Yes, we do need to learn the skills of working together, but we also need to learn to work in solitude. As I get ready to start my MBA, I am fully aware that the program will require LOTS of group work. Ideas are often sparked by interactions, but there is supreme value in autonomy and independence – for introverts and extroverts alike.    

2. Go to the wilderness
I love her call for us to unplug. We live in a constantly connected world. I spend approximately 85+ hours of my week engaging and interacting with people, whether online or offline. So, when it comes time for the weekend, especially Sundays, I need a time out! For years, I felt shame and guilt for my need for solitude. Now, I mainly think, “Screw it! I need me-time.” And that’s perfectly okay.

3. Look inside and share what’s in your suitcase.
Many of us forget to listen to our own voice – find time for reflection and deep thought. We’re running. Running here, running there, running off somewhere. But rarely do we make the time to commit to ourselves. I may not come up with genius or innovative ideas or thoughts that I’ll share with the world, but I believe in process. And hopefully, as I process through those ideas and challenges for my company and our world, I may make some sort of lasting impact. So although I may not open my suitcase to everyone, all at once, we introverts can give little peeks.

And, what about you? Are you an introvert or extrovert? What are your thoughts on Susan Cain’s “Power of Introverts”?

 

Engagement Does Matter: Twitter

This post was originally published on March 24, 2011. 

Last night, I participated in #pr20chat and one of the questions asked was how much brands should schedule tweets? The questions sparked some great discussion, but it also got me thinking about how companies should approach Twitter, and the need for engagement and two-way dialogue.

So, what’s the perfect mix? @Andrew_ShipPR and I shared it should be a balance of 25% scheduled and 75% organic or engagement types of tweets. The 75% could include retweets, @replies and relationship-building tweets. Sometimes there might be some flux, but it shouldn’t surpass 30% of scheduled content. This enables us to build relationships, while sharing some promotional content. Rationale? There are three key things we need to remember:

There is such a thing as too much. Moderation is key. Automated tweets make you sound like a machine, and no one wants to talk to a machine. Well, maybe if you were Rosie from the Jetsons. (I loved her.) If we use scheduled tweets as a crutch, we won’t actually be on Twitter. Or worse, since we rely on scheduled tweets we also miss out on conversations that may be happening in the community or beyond. For example, you might have had a light and humorous post about your weekend plans, during the Japan earthquake. Mistakes happen, but being online and active minimizes the likelihood of an oops.

Engagement is essential. I recently read that engagement doesn’t matter in health care social media, but I have to admit that I disagree. Yes, engagement for brands is being available when customers need them, but it also means that in order to be available – people have to know what value brands bring. Engagement from a brand means sharing valuable content – content your audience will find useful or actually use. That means you have to know your audience before you can just start blasting messages. It also means you have to be listening to your community to find engagement opportunities to share resources and information (aka valuable content).

You can’t automate customer service. As more and more brands leverage Twitter as a customer service outlet and opportunity, it’s important to watch, listen and respond to members of your community. There’s no automation to this. You can’t walk away and say, “Okay, they’ll just call my 1-800 number.” Proactive customer service takes time, energy and yes, money. However, Ernan Roman, author of Voice of the Customer Marketing, reminds us that it’s 7 to 10 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to sell an existing customer. So, it’s worth the investment.

Seeing a theme here? Listen. Listening is crucial to any sort of engagement. And listening happens throughout the process. But it’s also to remember that there is a distinct different between listening and understanding (as Beth Harte shared today – check out her post here).  So, don’t just watch what’s happening, pay attention and understand the context of the conversation.

What are your thoughts on the mix of scheduled tweets versus organic ones?

HOW TO: LinkedIn Profiles for Beginners

Over the past few months, I’ve seen friends jump jobs to explore new careers, start a career for the first time, and sit stagnant in a job wishing they had a career. Tis the end of the year and with 2012 comes new year resolutions and goodbye to last year’s not-so-fabulous moments (or wonderful moments as well). As for me, I was one who took an opportunity to explore something new. It’s going quite wonderful, thanks for asking. [insert wink here] For those of you who might be wondering, “Where the hell has Laura been?” I’m here to say, I’m alive and well! I started a new role at Pioneer Hi-Bred, managing digital and social media. It’s been a fun, thrilling and challenging adventure these past 2 and a half months, and I’m excited for what 2012 has to bring for me and hopefully, some great work I’ll be able to bring to the company.

But after about 75 days have past, I started to realize – I haven’t been active in my personal social presences, and I barely did anything to my Twitter Page (with minimal tweets at best), Facebook Page (well, I did get my Timeline up and running), Tumblr (does staring count?), and LinkedIn profile! So, this morning, I set out on a mission. Re-activation social media commenced! For friends in professional fields, step one is to update your LinkedIn profile. What I realized in my conversations with new colleagues and friends, is that there are spectrum answers as to how and if they have a LinkedIn profile. So to get us started, let’s take a gander at LinkedIn.

Because infographics are awesome, here’s an infographic on the value of LinkedIn (in case you were wondering)…

More infographics: 12 Awesome LinkedIn Infographics in 2011

Getting Started on LinkedIn

So, you want to get started now? Here are 3 easy steps!

1. Create a Profile.

2. Find People. Make Friends.

  • When you add your previous employers, you’ll get a list of suggested people. Scroll through and start adding folks! SocialMediaExaminer gives a few how-to’s.
  • When following people, try to write a personalized note in your request, especially if you don’t know them very well. It’s a nice touch and gives a reference point to why you’re connecting.
  • Don’t always think with a “what’s in it for me?” mentality! I hate when people connect with me because they want something. Let’s date before you try to push the envelope.
  • Join groups, that align with your business goals. Check out Miles Jennings’ LinkedIn Blog for some good tips.

3. Engage Regularly.

  • Take part in the groups you joined. I don’t do this enough, but there are some great discussions happening, and it’s a great way to stay connected.
  • Ask and give recommendations. Everyone loves getting a pat on the back, and in order to receive, you should give. Chris Brogan gives some good tips on LinkedIn recommendations. Check it out.
  • If you don’t know someone’s email address, LinkedIn is a great way to try to connect with them. But remember: don’t go crazy with it. No ones likes a stalker.
  • Use tools! Hootsuite’s LinkedIn stream makes it easy to follow discussions and see what your connections are up to!

If you’re thinking, ” It’s just more work for me!” or “There’s not enough time in the day!” My response would be, “It’s only ‘more work’ if you think of it like that. You get out what you put in, so give a little and have fun!”

What about you? Do you have tips for LinkedIn?

For those of you managing a LinkedIn Page for your company, check out this great article: 5 Sure-Fire Signs Your LinkedIn Company Page Sucks

If you want to connect with me on LinkedIn, go to: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lauran546