Fleeting Thoughts on Snapchat

Snapchat recently went public and had one of the biggest IPOs in years. Assuming that you’re not very familiar with Snapchat, there are a few things to know.

People (especially teenagers) like Snapchat because, if photos are going to exist only briefly, they need not be as carefully composed (AKA “faked”) as with Instagram or Facebook. As such, sharing on Snapchat is more honest, more like real life.

Like Twitter, Snapchat allows one to share whatever’s on one’s mind. Unlike Twitter, which is text-based with photos bolted on, Snapchat is photo-based, with an option for a bit of text.

Read More

3 Rules for Using Social Media in Business

Have you ever noticed that eight of the ten Commandments (80%) are things not to do? Thou shalt not…

Just two of the Commandments are affirma­tives. In keeping with roughly that same ratio, to go with the ten don’ts of my earlier post, I offer three affirm­ative rules for using social media in business:

  • Social media is like a cocktail party. What works or doesn’t work in one of these venues applies equally in the other. Good cocktail party behaviors include: Asking questions, actively listening, engaging in conversa­tions and building relationships.

Read More

10 Things Not To Do in Social Media

“Social” is not your father’s marketing. When participating in social media and social networking in business, here are 10 basic rules about what not to do:

  1. Don’t get started in social media if you have significant product deficiencies, customer support problems, or even corporate culture issues. Social media makes good businesses more successful and bad businesses bankrupt.
  2. Don’t use social media to explicitly sell. Instead, educate, enlighten, inform, and entertain your audience. In so doing, you’ll position yourself and your company as experts.
  3. Don’t “set it and forget it.” Lack of conversation makes you look worse than not showing up at all.

Read More

Social Media Strategy for Business: 3 Key Points

After leaving TalkShoe.com in 2009 (a live podcasting service that I started in 2005), I decided to write a book about how small and medium-size businesses can most effectively use social media and social networking tools to achieve their goals. That book is called “How Can I Capitalize on Social Media When My Kid Has to Program My DVR – A Busy Executive’s Guide to New Tools No Business Can Afford to Ignore.”

Image: Not Social Media

Thinking back about that book as I begin writing another one, here are the 3 most important things you need to know about “social:”

  1. It’s not about you;

Read More

The Reality of Social Media

Have you ever seen the cartoon that might best be titled “What the customer needed?” After much Googling, as far as I can tell it first appeared here (a site now defunct). I’d really like to use this image with official permission (if it’s copyrighted), so if you’re the owner/creator, please let me know and we’ll talk terms. That stipulated, here’s the cartoon:

As you might guess, I’m the “business consultant” portrayed in the fifth panel of this cartoon. If you’ve been reading for years, you know that my blog has described some of the biggest successes,

Read More

Connecting With the 1%?

A few years ago, a friend gave me a satirical poster that said, “Blogging: Never have so many… said so much… to so few.”

In fact, companies that blog get an average of 55% more web traffic than those that don’t. Here’s why.

Most people use Google as their search engine. In 2011, Google shifted its algorithms to favor newer content over older. Since half of all Internet traffic starts with a search, and a blog is continuously updated, it’s easy to see how blogging can generate more inbound traffic.

If you have a relatively static website,

Read More

Start By Listening… Prepare to be Amazed

People typically think of social media as a talking tool. Indeed, the word media implies creating content. However, it doesn’t have to be our content. What about their content – our customers and prospects, our employees and partners? In business, we can listen to and learn from what they’re saying using social media.

Google Alerts

My favorite listening tool is Google Alerts. I first touched on this service in Chapter 4. Remember that Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Most of are well practiced at searching Google for what we need.

Read More

Snapchat – Warn Your Kids

There’s a hot, new service that the younger crowd is using now that they’ve spurned Facebook. It’s called Snapchat. Facebook reportedly tried to buy Snapchat last fall for something like $3 billion. No deal.

By the way, in case you’re not familiar with Facebook, you might be interested to know that it’s “a tool for connecting with old people.” As such, millions of the millennials are leaving Facebook.

Why use Snapchat instead? It seems that the younger generation is finally becoming aware of the downside of over-sharing, at least when done publicly where a parent,

Read More

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Google+…

In mid-2011, when Google announced a new social network called Google+ (pronounced Google Plus), my expectations were low. Google was already a 3-time loser in social networking. Have you ever heard of Orkut, Wave, or Buzz? I didn’t think so.

Based on that track record, I figured that Google engineers just didn’t get social networking, let alone real world networking (hey, I’m an engineer too, so I can make fun of our kind). My opinion changed when I discovered that more than 10,000,000 people had joined Google+ during the first two weeks. Back then,

Read More

Happy 10th Birthday LinkedIn!

On May 5, 2013 LinkedIn celebrates its 10th birthday. It now has more than 200 million users, roughly half of whom are in the United States. Every second, two more professionals join LinkedIn. If you’re not a member, it’s time to sign-up. If you are a member but are not active, it’s time to participate. If your company doesn’t have a branded corporate page, it’s time to create one.

Of all the social networks, LinkedIn is likely to stand the test of time. Our two sons demonstrate why.

My older son, now 22, asked me upon graduating from college last summer,

Read More