I hope you found it useful. Here is this morning’s transcript
I’m currently interning with a very small company that has taken on the admirable (and challenging) task of rekindling the flame of local radio in Manchester NH, and my background in media studies and audio production has elevated my role to more of an operations manager.
I’ve recently been exploring the ways in which our social media accounts interact with our website, and I’m trying to determine which functions are better provided by one medium over another. In short, our website provides our listeners with tremendous functionally, such as a blog, audio and video clips, press releases and survey questions, and our strategy has largely been guiding our audience to this website through our radio show and our social media accounts.
My question is this: is it more productive to pull Facebook/Twitter users away from those sites and to our own unique website (which we also sell ad space for), or is it more effective to cultivate stronger and more interactive relationships on these accounts alone, or some combination of the two? At time it seems counterproductive to pull users away from an environment in which they already happy interact (Facebook/Twitter), but our ability to monetize our own website is important to our business model.
Thank you for your input!
First: It is always better to pull people over to your site whenever possible for the simple reason that you OWN it. The TOS (Terms of Service) of Facebook, especially, dictates that any photos or other content you upload to their site, they own and can use for profit. They are doubling down on this with their upcoming social ads, that actually will pull comments from people’s public fan pages to sell their products. It’s always better for the business to keep full ownership of their content and full control over what they post and how it is used.
Second: You can’t control how users prefer to use the internet, and the fact that folks are already comfortable with Facebook, etc and are already there means that yes, a presence there is key to your business surviving and thriving. The trick is to instill some kind of app or other mechanism that allows the user on FB to enjoy your content that you are producing on your site – not all businesses have the budget for this. If you don’t, then have a thriving presence there centered around conversation with your fans and use that to bring them out to your site.
I use Hootsuite to manage my account and those of my clients. It is free for one user but more users cost money. One reason I like it – it lets you see when someone has replied to a customer already if you have lots of people on one account.
Seesmic is another option, totally free, for one person to use. It’s really nicely done and clean.
Another is Twimbow – a free app that lets you sort your stream by color and other cool things.
If you like stats another one that isn’t completely free is PeopleBrowsr.
If you are a larger business you might want something more robust, like Meltwater Engage (formerly JitterJam), the Awareness Hub, Eloqua, etc.
There are hundreds of apps out there to choose from, though, so if you don’t see one you like up there you can look at tools like SocDir.com to find more.
1) Make sure your Twitter account is not protected – protected accounts are hidden, so no one can find you to follow you
2) Use Twitter search to find people talking about things you are interested in or topics relevant to your company – then join the conversation. You don’t have to be following someone to reply to them on Twitter! It’s by nature a public conversation and public news feed – jump right on in. Then, if you get a dialogue going, you might find that those people are people you want to follow and that want to also follow you. The #Discover area on Twitter.com is also useful for finding common topics to talk about with folks you haven’t met yet.
3) At an event? Find out the hasthag and jump in on the conversation there and share your event photos etc using it. For example, Social Media Breakfast NH uses #SMBNH every time we have a breakfast so attendees can find each other and find content relevant to the event. Also make a list of the attendees to follow, and make sure you are on any public Twitter Lists for the event as well.
4) Jump in on a live Twitter Chat. A great one is #blogchat on Sunday nights, but there are a ton of chats relevant to you. Check the full list here (or add yours to it if you have one you host): docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AhisaMy5TGiwcnVhejNHWnZlT3NvWFVPT3Q4NkIzQVE
5) Get into Twitter habits. For example, @CSPENN is know for his link sharing #the5 now (among other things) – people now expect him to share his five best links using that hashtag. Find your “thing” then make it a habit
This is just the tip of the iceberg but it should get you started!
I like that Pinterest addressed the customer service aspect of the issue by putting control into your hands – if you look on their site you see they now provide site owners with a bit of code that allows you to opt out of having people “Pin” your content.
Remember: the trade off for these free sites is YOU: is your data and your content. Protect yourself.
LePress: organize courses, make assignments
Lesson Plan Book: Calendar of lessons
Possibly Related Classroom Projects pulls in relevant projects from DonorsChoose
Then there are a ton of plugins for calendars, histories, timeline visualization, visual content enhancement, and collaborative editing that are useful but not classroom specific.
Find other teachers like @ldpodcast @johnherman @holden @scastriotta etc on Twitter and talk to them about what they use also.
There are also USB charge packs (look for one with the right connector style for the iPhone – some are meant for other phones). I keep USB charge packs in my house for my Android phone – it’s saved my bacon in a few NH ice storms and outages to have them around.
As you get more and more people talking about you, and post regular content that is good and useful in your subject matter field, you’ll see your results improve.
If you are a brick and mortar business, also claim your Google Place and your Plus page in addition to creating channels for your business on sites like Yelp and Foursquare. People online who are in your area will be more likely to see active businesses that are close to them first. If their social graph (friends, family and coworkers) are talking about your business, then that result is more and more likely to be you.
Meanwhile, iPads and other tech in class enhances learning and brings the world to your students’ doorstep in school. I think that can only be a good thing.
There are so many red flags you can look for that don’t fit here, but in the end – do due diligence. Don’t buy a bill of goods. Educate folks in your community what to look for and what these things mean.
Lastly, never use “God”, “password”, “1234” or similar passwords. If you can’t use a service to generate a password, try using 4 random words strung together that have nothing to do with each other but that you can remember (thinkhorseoceanpurple for example) or mixing it up with symbols and numbers in your password. Your password should always be more than 6 letters long.
4) Use social searches on all channels to find jobs being posted there by keyword. Keyword #job is popular, also #workwednesday and #hirefriday
That’s just a few things you can start doing right now. You can also use it to check out possible new employers before you start work or interview to make sure it’s where you want to work (and remember, they can do the same back in most sites.)
Here are the questions I answered this morning (read from bottom up).
Tune in next week (and every Wednesday in February) to ask me your questions!
Any small business needs a website (a good one – please pay someone to make you a nice one), good content, and some social outposts that fit where their customers are – this may be Google Plus and Facebook for one business and Vimeo for another – do your research or ask someone like me at Magnitude Media for help with your strategy.
Have a schedule to make sure you update often once you get your social in place, and don’t forget to reply to the people who talk to you online. Do vanity searches and alerts for your business so you don’t miss chances to talk to people you might not follow yet.
Of bigger concern to me is how they have changed search. To get your old search results back (e.g. relevant search results), click the world icon at the top of the search page to turn off personal search, and then go into your Google Plus account and turn off the +1 results feature.
If that’s you, I’ll be on WMUR’s online Tech Talk as their “Ask an Expert” every Wednesday morning from 7AM – 8AM Eastern this month doing my best to help you out of your social tech jams. Note: my answers will feed out to my Magnitude Media business Twitter (not to @Leslie – that account is noisy enough already!).
Questions I will answer: social media, marketing and general business tips and questions about social media and emerging media issues and tools. Wondering what the heck Pinterest is or have questions about Google Plus? Want to know about tools to help filter the noise or what a good blogging platform is for SEO? Those are great questions.
Questions I won’t answer: questions about your specific company’s needs (one question doesn’t give me enough info to tell you what kind of strategy to use for your next marketing campaign, for example). You really need to consult me (or someone else) as a consultant for an in depth question or marketing strategy needs.
I can’t wait to help you!