Posts Tagged: leslie poston

Social Media Metrics for Dummies: Win a Signed Copy

Starting today, you have a month to win one of 10 signed copies of my book, Social Media Metrics for Dummies, over on GoodReads.  Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Social Media Metrics for Dummies by Leslie Poston

Social Media Metrics for Dummies

by Leslie Poston

Giveaway ends July 05, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

If you aren’t yet a GoodReads user, sign up and connect with me on my Leslie Poston author page for Social Media Metrics for Dummies, Twitter for Dummies and other upcoming books.

Social Media Metrics for Dummies is designed to give you a great start in using metrics for your brand or business. It is appropriate for both beginners and intermediate analytics users. Have you read it? I love it when happy readers leave reviews on GoodReads and on Amazon!

Prepare For Facebook Changing News Feed, Adding Graph Search

If you are one of the many people out there who hate it each time Facebook makes a change to how you view it, each time it violates your privacy or tweaks your settings – brace yourself. Facebook is about to change things up again in a big way with two new iterations of the way you use their service. In a blatant bid to compete with Twitter, Google+ and Google Search, Facebook is introducing changes to the News Feed and adding something called Facebook Graph Search.

Facebook users are already freaking out about the potential privacy issues both changes will bring, and with Facebook’s past history of being cavalier with our privacy I think a healthy dose of pre-emptive adjustment to your settings is completely warranted before each new thing rolls out. Before I dip into settings and privacy issues, however, let’s take a look at how this will change how you see the people and pages (and ads) on Facebook.

Gizmodo did a great write up of the basic changes in the news feed, so I’ll just do a quick recap here. You can read the complete article on Gizmodo. I noticed that their post seems to view the changes in a largely positive light. Each person (and business) uses Facebook in a different way, however. Personally, I’m not looking forward to the categories being split. I prefer to get my updates in one lump feed. Frankly, I’d have been happy if they’d have just let me set my feed to “Most Recent” consistently and called it a day. However, if you are a a visual person you’ll love the huge emphasis on images and videos in each category. If you go to Facebook for music discovery or memes, or to bombard Facebook with baby and vacation photos and not to talk with friends, for example, that change will appeal to you as well; you’ll now be able to simply look at one of the four categories at a time. For the rest of us, having to switch back and forth will create extra clicks – an intentional way to force people to spend more time on Facebook, which in turn will pave the way for an increase in the number of ads you will see in your News Feed.

The biggest shift for people who hate Google+ is going to be how much they copied Google’s 2012 release of a new Google+ interface. Facebook has definitely taken a page from Google’s design book with the new News Feed.  If you balk at Twitter, the speed of the News Feed they are introducing will feel quite a bit Twitter-esque to you, and may take some getting used to. If you are one of those people who don’t like sites they view in their browser to work (and look) like an app on their phone or tablet, you may struggle with the new unification in appearance and functionality of Facebook’s Mobile Apps and their web interface. Other than getting used to a new way to find your friends and family and learning where things are in the new categories, in the end the new News Feed is simply a user interface (UI) change designed to make Facebook a more visual and ad-friendly experience. In short, the UI is something you can get used to in time like all of their other many changes.

Privacy and the New News Feed

Privacy on Facebook changes so often I check my privacy settings weekly. Sometimes when Facebook flips a UI switch it changes some of your existing settings – that’s just how Facebook works. It has a long-standing cavalier attitude toward it’s users’ best interests. I recommend going into your privacy settings now if you don’t have the new News Feed yet and locking them down, then doing the same for pictures (yes – photo privacy is in a slightly different place). I also recommend reviewing all of the applications, games and third party services that have access to your account and permission to post on your Timeline and locking those down as well. Then I recommend taking time over the next fews days to adjust the granular settings of your friend’s posts as they scroll by in your existing news feed (you do know you can mute what you see from each individual friend, right? You don’t have to see their game notifications, likes or comments – but that control is up to you, not them). I discussed how to do this ina video here in August 2012, and that advice should be current until the new News Feed is rolled out to all. I’ll make a new video on settings for privacy then.

Let’s Talk About Graph Search

From a real-use standpoint, Facebook’s new Graph Search is underwhelming. Facebook is trying to bring some competition to Google Search, but if you are like me, you search for new things on Google Search, and not things that are connected to your social graph. However, the new Graph Search does make things you find on Facebook more comprehensive. More importantly, Facebook has not abandoned their partnership with Bing. This means that if the location, interest, business, place, photo or whatever you are searching for isn’t on Facebook and a shared interest with someone in (or connected to) your network, you’ll still get the Bing suggested search results popping up.

Graph Search is still in a slow-to-roll-out beta stage. Unlike the change to the News Feed, which will happen rapidly (and soon) for everyone, Graph Search may not flip on for you for a while. Even so, you need to prepare (especially if you are a business). If you upload photos, check their privacy. If you are a business, upload more photos and make them larger and more interesting. If you haven’t added location information to your business page – do so. If you are an individual user, make sure you have your location settings turned off on Facebook browser and mobile interfaces if you want that kept private when you post an update.

Facebook will now allow you to find new people outside of your existing network who share an interest in things you search for, in locations you search for, and will deliver photos as results drawn from your network on topics you search for among other things. One example: you can search for people who have their relationship status set to single in your area and find new people to connect with via Graph Search. This is going to have an interesting impact on how much people share, and could serve to quiet some of the more obnoxious noise from people (and businesses) as users notice how far-reaching their social graph is. If your friends haven’t locked their profiles down as much as you have then how they share, like, and tag information pertinent to you matters more now than ever before. Much of the “creeping” that occurs on Facebook occurs through leaks in profiles that are not connected to you. This means educating the less tech-savvy in your circles about privacy settings (see above).

What About Graph Search and Privacy?

Because Graph Search is designed to unearth shared interests and connect you to like-minded people it will, by its very nature, infringe on privacy a bit. How much is yet to be discovered because it isn’t fully available to the entire user base. I recommend viewing the video above, which tells you how to set some of the more granular controls like how you can (or can’t) be tagged, and turning off the settings for “what your friends can see about you on Facebook” as well as turn off being found in search. There are some potential benefits to people who want to build a larger network of like-minded people, but the main benefit of Graph Search lies in what it can do for businesses.

Businesses should begin prepping their pages now to be more interesting and more shareable to ensure they are showing to all potential connections in the networks of the people who “like” your page. If you don’t want to reveal your love of Glee, bad karaoke, troll pages, political rant pages, vats of wine, or any other information that you felt was heretofore more private to a larger network, comb through your “liked” pages and interests and consider adjusting what you have liked and how much can be shared with friends. Keep in mind – to make all of these adjustments now, before you the News Feed and Graph Search is activated for you, will take the better part of an afternoon. Facebook did away with simple universal privacy settings long ago.

Page Ranking

One interesting benefit to businesses about Graph Search for Pages will be their push for better page ranking and more transparent metrics on the ranking of your pages. Double check a few things to improve your rank. First, check your page name and make sure it is not keyword heavy. Next, get a custom Facebook URL. It pains me every time I see a Page that hasn’t bothered to do this simple step. You can do this here. Make sure that all of the sections that allow you to give more information about your Page are filled out. This seems like a no-brainer, but so many businesses don’t bother to fill out their hours of operation, location or even provide a full About section, for example. Take the time – it will help you.

I can’t stress enough to be interesting if you are a business on Facebook. It matters now more than ever to create updates that compel your fans to engage with, and share, what you say. If your Facebook Page is a wall of announcements, heavy-handed sales pitches and general billboarding, the new Graph Search will start to mute how often people see you. It rewards Pages with high user activity and variety of content.

What If You Aren’t Afraid To Play?

If you are one of the early adopter types who just wants to play with all of this yourself, you can request early access to both new features. To request access to the News Feed early you can add your name to this list. If you want early access to Graph Search you can find that waiting list here (Note: that one has a longer wait for many people).

Social Media War Games

The simple fact of Facebook remains: much like War Games, “the only way to win is not to play”, especially if you are a user who wants to maintain a small social footprint behind a curtain of privacy. For many, leaving is not (yet) an option. They are either on Facebook for friends and family they can’t find elsewhere, have a business that needs a Facebook Page to reach new customers, or perhaps work in a field that requires a social presence (the fact that much of life requires a social presence now is worth a post of its own). Revisiting your privacy settings on Facebook (and elsewhere) should become a habit if you plan to stay on the service. In the meantime, explore these two new options and enjoy them – they both have benefits. It’s just a matter of getting used to something new and adjusting to change fluidly.

 

 

Social Media Breakfast New Hampshire Partners with NHPR for 2013

After four years of SMBNH, I’m so pleased to announce our new partnership with New Hampshire Public Radio. They will be hosting us in Studio D each month throughout 2013. We feel that this partnership brings the educational basis of SMBNH to the forefront, and look forward to the next year!

Our first SMBNH of 2013 is in January on the 3rd Thursday, and will feature C.C. Chapman, author of Content Rules and his newest book: Amazing Things Will Happen.

We’ll be sending out an event link for this event and the rest of the year tomorrow. The firm schedule of events for 2013, hosted by NHPR, is as follows:

January 17
February 21
March 21
April 18
May 16
June 20
July 18
August 15
September 19
October 17
November 21
December 19

We’re also putting out a call for speakers.

UDATE: As many of you know – Magnitude Media relocated in 2013. We have turned the keys of this wonderful thing we started over to some smart, capable folks at Seacoast Social Media. They are now running the existing @SMBNH Twitter and the SMBNH Facebook group, and are continuing the partnership with NHPR. Look forward to quality content and networking from them at this event and their other events!

White Paper: How To Kick-Start Your Content Marketing

I contributed to this ebook/white paper on content marketing called How To Kick-Start Your Content Marketing, A Seven Step Approach to Delivering Success, created after a webinar I did with Mike Lewis of Awareness, Taulbee Jackson of Raidious and Paul Gillin. Enjoy, and thanks to Skyword for gathering our thoughts together for the book!

Download Here

Talking Social Media Metrics on Breakthrough Business Radio

Yesterday I was on Breakthrough Business Radio.

If you missed it, here is the audio:

Listen to internet radio with Breakthroughbusiness on Blog Talk Radio

Michelle Price and Leslie Poston talk about Social Media Metrics

The Next Generation of CRM: Social Media Today Webinar

This week, wearing my author hat for Social Media Metrics for Dummies and my strategy hat from M2, I had the pleasure of joining Mike Lewis, author of Stand Out Social Marketing: How to Rise Above the Noise, Differentiate Your Brand, and Build an Outstanding Online Presence and VP of Sales and Marketing for Awareness; Paul Gillin, author of Social Marketing to the Business Customer and B2B marketing coach; Taulbee Jackson, Chief Strategist at Raidius; and the folks at Social Media Today for a webinar on The Next Generation of CRM.

It was an information packed hour moderated by the capable and well-informed Brent Leary where we covered all that’s new and worth noting in CRM, made a few predictions, had some witty banter and generally enjoyed talking shop and doing our best to be helpful for everyone tuned in.

If you missed it, you can download or listen to the audio with Leslie Poston, Paul Gillin, Mike Lewis, Taulbee Jackson, Brent Leary, Robin Carey for Next Generation of CRM by Social Media Today and see the simple slide deck below in this post.

A bit of the Twitter conversation during the webinar:

 

 

 

 

Read on for more event tweets and quotes and the full official webinar wrap description from the Social Media today wrap post:

 

The Social Web has removed a lot of the stability, structure and control that once characterized CRM. Traditional CRM has featured elements of communication and feedback tracking, but they have always relied on structured tools for participation and recording actions and outcomes. Now, customer relations exist across a wide assortment of platforms and conversations where the business must radically adapt if it is to practice any kind of management. In this webinar, our panelists will assess the new CRM – its potential and its limits in the context of a customer-defined playing field. Tune in and bring your questions as we explore the following issues:

Where does CRM live in a socially savvy business?
What CRM tools and practices have become outmoded and how are they being replaced?
Are there any boundaries between CRM, marketing, PR and CS on the Social Web?
How has the customer’s role changed in the relationship?
About the Panel:

Mike Lewis, VP of Sales and Marketing at Awareness, Inc. and author of Stand Out Social Marketing

Leslie Poston, Founder of Magnitude Media, Speaker, author of Social Media Metrics for Dummies, Brand Journalist for Radian 6.

Paul Gillin, Trainer and B2B social media marketing coach, author of three books on social media marketing including his most recent book Social Marketing to the Business Customer.

Brent Leary, is a CRM industry analyst, advisor, author, speaker and award winning blogger. He is co-founder and Partner of CRM Essentials LLC

Taulbee Jackson, is the founder and CEO of Raidious, the company that managed the social media efforts for the 2012 Super Bowl.

 

 

 

Throwing Stones at Glass Houses, or Privacy vs Publicy

Normally I am all business on this blog, but let’s take a moment to think about a few tech issues on a personal level. I think Google Glass is cool tech – I love cool tech – but if I see someone wearing Google Glass glasses after they come out, I’m infinitely less likely to want to be anywhere near them for any type of interaction. As the glasses get better and harder to detect, I’m likely to learn people have them by experience then avoid them. I’m wondering if I’m the only one?

You see, in spite of my public job, I don’t assume that every moment, thought or deed (my own or others’) needs to be public.  I am not a fan of being photographed or having video taken without being asked first, or having photos put up I don’t get a chance to look at first, and if you have ever tagged me in a non-work related photo – well, you already know how I feel about that. I value privacy and the dwindling ability to choose how much the internet at large gets to see of my (actual) life.  Just because you *can* take a picture of someone in a public place doesn’t mean you *should*.

People ask me why Facebook is my least favorite social network. Setting aside the network’s blatant disregard for a consistent user experience, the manipulation of the user base while on site and the downright Machiavellian terms of service: the total disregard for privacy on the network, and the inconsiderate behavior it encourages in people, really make me cringe. I feel we must do our best to resist a world where we have spy glasses, drone planes, a culture of eavesdropping on communications and an “always on” mentality.

Let’s look at it from the simple perspective of crime, if you don’t like the privacy angle. As a woman, I am cautious to only pre-disclose events I plan to attend if I know my home will have someone in it and that the event will keep me surrounded by people. I don’t connect with many people on sites like Foursquare – I use them to keep me motivated for things like the gym, but never check into my home, and more often than not I keep my check ins private unless I am – you guessed it – surrounded by people and know my home is protected while I’m gone.  I value time with my friends where I can let my hair down a bit and have a little fun, and I eschew anyone who tries to make those vital moments of being out of the public eye public by sticking a camera phone or flip cam in my face.

It’s because that behavior is rude and invasive, true, but  it’s also because it’s not wise. I can’t control the privacy settings of other people – I can only control my own. A large percentage of information bleed online comes from the missed settings and carelessness of other people that you know. You can lock your own privacy settings down tight, but your inebriated friend at the reception might have his set to public, or a relative might not be as tech savvy, and enough unwarranted photos might reveal you or your kids’ favorite hangout, even if you try to keep it private, which could put you and people you know at risk.

I get a lot of flack from photographer friends about my desire to be asked before photographed. They err on the side of “if you’re in a public place, your consent is automatic”. I agree that at times that’s true. I can’t really get annoyed if I’m speaking at a conference and my picture or a video is taken, and I don’t – it’s all about context.  There is a difference between being in a “public place” and “publicy” and a need in this hyperconnected age to be vigilant and respectful about not just your own privacy but the privacy of those you come in contact with.

Mass adoption of new technology always causes a cultural shift. As one example: the dissolution of public transportation and rise of the car brought us the suburbs and contributed to urban decay in addition to making it possible to do cool things like go visit relatives in Ireland or go on vacation quickly and easily (the car and the plane brought us the world, but the trade offs for easy access to the planet have been pretty significant).

I wonder if we are prepared for – or even cognizant of – the cultural shift away from privacy that is in process right now and what it will cost us if not handled delicately and reigned in to allow for private spaces inside and out. Study after study  shows that privacy, the ability to reinvent oneself or move past a prior mistake in life (Think for a moment of Facebook’s recent indication that they will open up to ages 13 and under and what that will mean to their ability to grow from bad decisions, learn and reinvent when it’s time to move into their adult life. Pretty serious impact, isn’t it? ), the chance for quiet solitude and reflection to grow creativity and deepen thought processes, the ability to move safely from one place to another and more are vital to our well being as individuals and as a society.

*Note: the issue of trading our online behavioral and shopping data for access to sites is a whole ‘nother issue/can of worms. Post on that coming soon.

What are your thoughts on privacy vs publicy and this huge cultural shift that is going on under our noses?

Social Business vs Responsive Business

The term social business is in the air today, and there seems to be some general confusion about what the term means. As I keep seeing it used, I think people who are saying “social business” actually mean “responsive business”. I’ll try and break down what I see as the different aspects of each:

Responsive Business

This business is savvy in social networks and engagement. It’s got a channel open on every social corner, and has listening for brand mentions and customer concerns and responding quickly down pat. It is strong in brand awareness and customer service on social channels. Lead generation, thought leadership and business growth are happy side effects of a consistent social media, email and content marketing strategy supported by basic analytics and metrics analysis.

Social Business

The true social business uses social tools, metrics and methods internally and externally to be a better overall business across departments. In addition to using outward facing social media platforms and tools in expected ways: to increase sales and sales leads and bring information from networks into the process, to build brand awareness and establish thought leadership, to market to customers and potential partners, to source new employees and gather information about applicants, for competitive intelligence, for product marketing and research, informal crowdsourcing, data mining, information distribution, affiliate and referral sales and other established practices, the social business has an internally social component. The inward facing social ideal breaks down silos between departments, making internal communication fluid and complete, ensuring that the company operates more efficiently. It relays information faster and more accurately and makes all employees at all levels part of the process of a smoothly run business. It empowers people to make better decisions in the departments by connecting them to the information and people they need to access efficiently. In short, a social business uses social tools and social ideals to create a well oiled machine with agile business practices that help them grow and become competitive as markets shift and change quickly. This is a holistic shift in how business is done that is different than being on social media and responsive in that space.

What do you think? Are there differences I missed? Do you agree that the term social business as it is often used today is on its way to becoming as meaningless as the overused term “innovative” (often used when “iterative” makes more sense)?

The Reports of Facebook’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

Please believe me when I say that I fervently wish reports of Facebook’s pending doom like this one were true. I just can’t agree, however. I think it is the wishful thinking of a tech press, sour investors and tech savvy professionals that don’t like the platform, and that it doesn’t take into account some key factors.

The most significant factor this prediction ignores is the human element. I agree that Facebook is evil and manhandles our privacy on a regular basis. I’d love to see people stand up and fight to prevent the significant changes the careless use of Facebook on a regular basis has made to our individual concept of accepted privacy vs publicy and how those changes are (negatively) impacting our society. The chances of that happening are slim to none, however, no matter how hard people like myself advocate for vigilantly guarding your right to privacy.

Completely ignoring the added issues of Facebook’s impact on how we think, our workday and our offline relationships, we can’t ignore one thing Facebook has mastered: it’s users behavior and emotional need to connect. Facebook has inserted itself into our lives in a way that MySpace and Yahoo simply never did. It’s crossed a barrier between generations that neither of those social networks were able to cross by finding a way to coexist across age limits, careers and demograhics. MySpace never really resonated with the parents or the grandparents in the way Facebook does – they got lost in the glare and blare and glitter. Yahoo never really resonated with kids past a certain age the way it resonated with an older demographic. Facebook manages to straddle the line.

The second factor that the article ignores is iteration. Many would choose the over-used term innovation here, but that’s not accurate. There is not a lot in the way of true innovation going on in tech right now. However, the company that can spot trends and iterate fastest across the most demographic touchpoints will win, and for the foreseeable future, like it or not, that company looks like it’s going to be Facebook.  The only way I see Facebook being completely gone by 2020 is if the internet (or the concept of a nextnet, whatever this space becomes over time) is itself gone. As long as we can connect, Facebook has shown a willingness (and budget) to iterate itself into our lives continuously.

Some say marketing will be what kills Facebook over time, but I disagree there also. Facebook has made it quite difficult for the average marketer of the average company to see success on their platform, and that is very intentional. They want to straddle the line of paying the bills and keeping the user enthralled, and you can’t do that as a company if you let marketing run the show (see this piece on GM for one example). Companies that play well in the pool, like Ford, see success, but others struggle, unable to see beyond traditional, limited marketing rhetoric. This ability to force marketing to act on the sidelines and to put the users into the marketing stream via stories is a third thing that will keep Facebook relevant far longer than most expect.

The fourth and final key element to the longevity of Facebook is their New York Yankees style growth plan. If they can make it, they do, and if they can’t make it, they buy it (disclaimer: Red Sox Fan). There is a lot of talent out there toiling away at various startups or under the umbrella of stodgier existing companies that will have plenty of ideas and technologies for sale to keep Facebook strong for years to come. Jut because some pundits think that’s a lazy approach, or some purists think you should create these things for yourself, doesn’t mean that buying talent or tools doesn’t work. So far it seems to be working far better for Facebook than it does for Google, a company who tends to ignore or kill the majority of the cool tech it buys.

How do you come down on this argument? Do think the projections of Facebook’s demise are greatly exaggerated or correct, and why?

 

SMM4D Virtual Book Tour Kicks Off June 20 – Join Us!

ONLINE 6:00 PM Eastern/ 3:00 PM Pacific – Join us!

—–> REGISTER HERE

I am pleased to announce that I will be hosting a live book talk on Shindig, a new customized video chat space for live events. We will be connected globally via webcam online, and can interact and participate in a live talk about Social Media Metrics. You can socialize with other participants, or watch and listen. The event will be June 20, 2012 at 6pm Eastern / 3 PM Pacific.

Here’s how it works. About 15 minutes before it starts go to the event link and log in (those who register using the link above will receive their log in instructions to their email). You should test your microphone and camera at this time. Then when the event starts we can get underway. We will have an interactive talk about Social Media Metrics, followed by a question and answer session. The talk is sponsored by Shindig Events.

The way to make this interesting and fun is to have A LOT of people in attendance. So please invite as many of your friends as you like to join us! Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter to as many people as you can.

Grab your web cams and get ready for a fun evening!

More Info Here

Get your copy of the book on Kindle or paperback before the event here!