Posts in Category: Advice

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?


Blurred Lines in Social Hiring Practices

This week a brief Twitter debate about hiring practices sparked the idea for this post. One of the concepts I teach the companies I work with is the concept of the social company, and the ethics that go into becoming a truly social company. When you can use social media to find out anything about anyone, where do you draw the line?

One of my Twitter connections wanted to spark a discussion on unique hiring practices. His tweet about doing Spouse Interviews for new hires to find out about their personal lives happened to catch my eye, and I felt compelled to reply. Setting aside the legal ramifications of this practice, the ethical ramifications loom large to me. Everyone deserves to be able to separate work and life.

We’re in an age of dwindling privacy; of purposeful transparency and all of the ramifications of that lying under the surface as we march forward online playing our games, creating things, listening to music or watching movies, blogging, connecting to brands and people, and connecting to friends.

Even as I love the optimistic potential of the new technology landscape for health, connection, education, creativity and more, I am concerned with the divergence between that optimism and the positive ramifications of these technologies and the blurred ethical lines from people in positions of power. It’s not OK for an employer to require a Facebook password anymore than invading a potential employees life with a spousal interview is (and don’t get me started on the lack of understanding of the internet and these technologies in government that lead us to things like CISPA).

When hiring and looking to verify education, experience or other facts online, the same rules apply there as in the real world. It’s just that simple. This causes some interesting issues in an age where people can be careless with their privacy – posting public photos of their weekend warrior lifestyle or airing their private opinions in a way that becomes public (Facebook posts have led to several firings in recent years, and have become a common cause of divorces and other problems).

I’d love to hear from human resource managers, CEOs and others out there who are struggling with this new fire hose of information about potential employees at all levels. What kind of ethical decisions is this introducing into your company that you didn’t face before? Have you put policies in place to guide folks through this aspect of hiring in a tech age? Do you move forward assuming that if the person didn’t remember to set a privacy setting it “makes it ok” to use that info to make a decision? I’d love to get a dialogue going about this with you.

To spark your discussion, below is the conversation I had on Twitter that got my brain turning about this in more depth than just advising clients that professional social media sites like LinkedIn and professional blogs were great places for vetting employees but that personal social media sites are a touchier area.

Remember: We Have A Long Road to 100% Saturation

Articles like the one written by a midwest blogger, Marilyn Hagerty, about Olive Garden and her down-to-earth response to “going viral”, serve to remind us that the United States (and other countries) are not yet 100% online. The parts of the US that are online are not all connected via broadband or FIOS. This means that a large number of folks still connect with the familiar dial-up modem sound we all grew up loving, or, if they are lucky, DSL. Heck, so many places still don’t even have good cell phone coverage for all of these mobile apps we push so hard (my mom, for example, still has to drive 2 miles down a rural SC driveway to get close enough to a cell tower signal to get 2 bars on her Verizon phone).

One of the things that rankles as a marketer in 2012 is the assumption that because you have access to something – technology, restaurants, shopping, money, infrastructure, education – others do also. Traditional marketing may be changing but not quite at the pace the social media bubble would like. Many people who can afford TV (don’t forget how many can’t) still watch TV live (though many now also live tweet shows with their friends). People who love music still experience concerts without a cell phone in hand for Instagram, Facebook/Fousquare check ins or Twitter commentary, choosing instead to enjoy the show itself. People in certain parts of the country still use phone books, read the paper and buy real books (I know! Shocker!).

Are those traditional media elements and traditional marketing tactics becoming less effective as that population shrinks? Yes. But that population is a bigger demographic than many think, and we do a disservice to those that aren’t as connected as we are to forget they exist or to choose to leave them behind (or, in the case of this reviewer, mock them).

We can also learn a lesson from people like our intrepid Olive Garden food reviewer (a writer for decades, by the way) – while the internet was busy harping on her having written a “serious” review about Olive Garden (I’d say “knowing her target audience” instead, folks – perspective) she was out living life: playing bridge and enjoying a full life outside of a computer box. Perhaps those marketers that are going to be most successful as we transition from one world to a new world are the ones who remember to also step into the big blue box outside their window once in a while to get real world connections and experiences that will broaden their scope.

Meanwhile, I loved the response from her son in the Wall Street Journal. A lovely and poignant look at his mom and her many talents.

WMUR 9 Tech Talk Transcript From February 22, 2012

  • Great questions this morning! And thanks to Leslie Poston for answering them. You can learn more about where to find Leslie on the right side of this page.
    by Kevin Clay/WMUR Staff 8:01 AM
  • I’d suggest having her host her own blog where she can take photos of her art and blog about it, then either link that to a store like Etsy or use PayPal, Dwolla or Square to sell her items herself from her own site with pay buttons, etc. Put a Pin This button on that site so folks can share her items on Pinterest, as well as other social share buttons. You can also use sites like Shopify to create an e-commerce blog (Shopify has some great Facebook plugins to bring your store onto Facebook, by the way). There are hundreds of options out there but keeping it simple and low cost is always a good plan for people who make things or sell their art. SmugMug and Fotki and sites like that are also an option, but you tend not to have as much control over how much you make on sites like that.
    by Leslie Poston 8:00 AM
  • I have a friend who is a very talented artist, which she does as a hobby. She drew a pencil drawing of my dogs in a portrait as a gift. I am trying to get her to set up a web based business to begin making money off her passion of her art. What sites do you suggest for her to do this? I know about Etsy. Any other great ideas?
    by Stephanie 7:55 AM
  • In the past you could use straight up old-school SEO tactics like meta tags and keywords and reciprocal links coupled with content written a specific way to handle this issue, but in the age of social, this has gotten more complex.Now you need to not only write with keywords in mind, but also create good, interesting content worth sharing on a regular basis (having a blog is great for this purpose).You also need to make it easy for people to share your content or site by placing share buttons around the site or blog that make it easy for folks to talk about you everywhere.Having social accounts for your business in places search engines look is also key now – post your blog posts to your LinkedIn company page. Link them on your Facebook company page (don’t use it to blog, though – Facebook owns anything you store there). Link them on your Twitter page and put your video blogs on Youtube – all of this will help you pop up more in search.

    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.

    by Leslie Poston 7:55 AM
  • How can I come up first in Google when someone searches for my business?
    by username 7:50 AM
  • There are a lot of great options out there for blogging. I personally recommend WordPress. If you can, host it yourself and get WordPress from If you can’t – start off on and they host it for you. It is very versatile.Tumblr is very popular right now, as well, but WordPress does a bit more for business I think – Tumblr is more for individuals who want to share content from others or shorter thoughts on things. Tumblr is great for photobloggers – it makes it easy.There are a lot of options out there – even Blogger, a fairly old school one – still works well as a blogging platform.You can also audio or video blog using Cinch, Talkshoe, Youtube, Vimeo, Viddler, Qik and more (and all of these an be embedded into WordPress posts – another reason I like WordPress – it lets you do a variety of things).

    by Leslie Poston 7:44 AM
  • if i want to start blogging, what’s the best free site to use?
    by brian 7:38 AM
  • Technology and social media in education is a huge topic right now. I write about it a lot (most recently: are some great educators in NH doing wonderful things with technology who are very accessible: John Herman (@johnherman on Twitter) and Hans Mundahl (@hmundahl) come to mind right away as people you should talk to in your field.I think emerging media will bring education out of the institutional model it is in now and make education something accessible and understandable to each person. I think teachers will become guides and sherpas of knowledge as we (eventually) move away from teaching to tests. I think we are armed with the knowledge and the technology to make fundamental changes to our educational system that can make us a better society overall.I like seeing things like iPads in the classroom (in fact, Hans is doing a seminar on that at New Hampton School soon – ask him about it) and think that is a great first step, but also have to remember that not all kids have access to tech at home. We have a lot of bridges to cross and gaps to close economically and with access before we can effect real change.

    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.

    by Leslie Poston 7:36 AM
  • Where do you see technology going in education? I already have been blessed to get a grant for 4 ipads for my reading classroom. The motivational component alone, really engages students and meets them where they are in technology. Do you see the future of online learning as just another creative alternative to educating our youth? It seems to me that we are moving in that direction if only as another alternative to traditional education in schools.
    by mskdog 7:31 AM
  • That’s a great question. One red flag are companies selling you a “system” for social media, or social automation. There are legitimate services out there, like Dan Martell’s Timely.Is, that allow you to pepper your social feeds with links you find interesting or things you discover to help you not have empty feeds while traveling, etc. but you can not have successful social media with automation – you have to have a human element.Another red flag are companies that promise you exorbitant numbers in a short time period. Of course it is always possible to purchase fans and followers or to join a circle of reciprocal followers, but these are empty numbers. You want steady growth from people who will engage with you and your brand, not vast numbers of bots who only a) expect you to reshare their marketing links or b) never talk to or about you at all.The SEO red flags are big ones also. If a company offers SEO as a specific service – check their numbers before you hire them. Make sure they are using no black hat SEO tactics.Check a company’s social numbers as well. Are they following 2000 people but have less following them back? Do they have 200 Facebook fans but no comments or engagement on their wall? Do they rely on empty scores based on noise like Klout that don’t tell you anything useful except that they willingly spam their followers for shiny prizes? Do you attend their talks and only get 101 information, every time, or old information? Do they have recommendations for their work? Do they give them to you to check out? Do they hop on any bandwagon to milk it for all its worth so they can be a “thought leader” (most recent of these: writing a million blog posts about how to monetize Pinterest, also recently Google Plus)?

    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.

    by Leslie Poston 7:29 AM
  • Hi Leslie! How do we help small businesses spot questionable social media/online business scams? Im seeing more and more multi-level/relationship marketing/ Amway style things that are more about the “downline” than the actual product, which often is ineffective anyway.
    by Whitney 7:21 AM
  • I’d recommend using Pinterest in a more organic way. People are trending toward blocking business that just use it for sales or marketers that just use it to market. Pinterest is a group about what’s interesting, and the users there can (and do) unfollow boards that are just there to market.That said, if you have decided to make it part of your strategy, a better way is to add a “Pin This” button to your site and then be interesting and post great visual images as part of your content – make sure you have the image rights.To find local pinners and things that are interesting on Pinterest, do a site-specific Google search on
    First turn off Google’s Your World search by clicking the World icon in the search window (this broadens your search past “who you know”) and turn off the +1 search results in your search preferences.
    Then go back to and type “ Portsmouth, NH” or “ 03801” etc (without the quotes) to look for Pinterest users sharing locally.Most importantly, have fun with it. That element of play and discovery is why people use Pinterest. The shopping is part of it – people tend to pin what they want to buy – but overall, they are telling you what they find interesting. Use it to learn, then be interesting on your blog so they share your stuff.

    by Leslie Poston 7:19 AM
  • Pinterest is all the rage lately. I’m planning to start my small business page on Pinterest today. I’ve figured out how to get the best SEO out of Pinterest, but am having a really hard time finding other Portsmouth NH businesses out there. The search tool really needs to be upgraded. Do you have any hints or recommendations?
    by Renee Vannata 7:13 AM
  • It sounds like you may need to add a password to your computer itself so that when you walk away from it people in the room can’t access it via windows you have open. Add it to the screen saver so that the screen saver starts right away when the computer is idle – no more unwanted log ins from people in the room.If the problem is coming from the computer, I’d be careful to check what applications you have allowed access to your Facebook account. Some of them are spam, and should be disabled as well as changing your password.It also sounds like you may have accidentally clicked a phishing link in the past. You might want to do a virus scan to make sure it didn’t leave anything behind, since changing your password regularly usually does the trick.Also, you can generate more complex, random passwords using a service like 1Password – that will help make passwords that are harder for people and computers to guess.

    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.

    by Leslie Poston 7:12 AM
  • From Kendra on Facebook: How can I stop people from getting into my email accounts, or Facebook? Everytime I change my password, they figure it out and look at my personal information. I know who these “people” are. They are relentless and always trying to get into my private stuff.
    by Kevin Clay/WMUR Staff 7:05 AM
  • I’d recommend doing a few things:1) Use LinkedIn to build an online resume and to connect with people who will be able to recommend you from your past work and education, connect with people you need to know to work in your field. Participate in groups there to showcase your knowledge and reach new connections. Don’t cross post from Twitter there.2) Use Twitter to find new people you know already and to alert those you do that you are looking, to ask for help in your search.3) Blog! Tumblr is popular right now, but I prefer WordPress blogs you host yourself – use your blog to show that you know your stuff. Use it to go more in depth on topics than you can on LinkedIn and Twitter. Link the blog to LinkedIn and Twitter

    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.)

    by Leslie Poston 7:04 AM
  • How can someone who is unemployed use social media to find a job?
    by dave 6:58 AM
  • Good morning! You can start asking your questions for Leslie Poston.
    by Kevin Clay/WMUR Staff 6:56 AM

Read more:

WMUR 9 Tech Talk Transcript from Wednesday, February 15, 2012

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!


Thanks to everyone for joining us today and thanks to Leslie Poston for answering all the questions! You can read more about Leslie on the right side of this page and see where you can find her on the web.
by Kevin Clay/WMUR Staff 7:59 AM

I would recommend a crossover campaign for your church. So many churchgoers are active online it would be a shame to miss them (heck, many preachers are tweeting their sermons now), but church reaches an older demographic that isn’t online yet also so I wouldn’t abandon print altogether.

A cost effective ad campaign would be Google AdWords pushing folks to your church web site and Facebook page and adding a hashtag or other marketing tracking to print (use a different tracking code on the online ad) – that will help you start to see who finds you where and put the right amount of ad dollars to that spot.

Don’t forget to use Google Analytics on your site also to track who comes from which ad.

I wouldn’t recommend Facebook ads for you because of your budget (also, Google AdWords also allows geo targeting, and when used in conjunction with your Facebook Insights information can reach more people)
by Leslie Poston edited by Leslie Poston 7:57 AM

I run the website and Facebook page for my church. Our advertising budget is currently spent entirely on print advertisements in local newspapers. As a church, would we get more reach for our dollars by advertising on Facebook and other social media with geo-targeted ads, or is print still the best way to go for a local religious organization?
by April 7:53 AM

Facebook makes this a continued challenge by continually changing up the user experience and how they rank your posts. One thing to keep in mind while you seek more fans is that once you get them, you still only reach about 15% of your Facebook fans with your content on your wall because of how Facebook handles Edge Rank and how users can mute things in their newsfeed. That said, there are a few ways:

1) Good content, posted about once a day, + actually being there and talking to your fans
2) Facebook ads designed to drive users to your page (be careful, this can get expensive if you don’t watch the daily budget)
3) Contests and sweepstakes, although Facebook does NOT allow a contest expressly for the purpose of getting fans/likes – be sure you read the rules before starting one of these
4) Putting Facebook share buttons on your site and making sure you have a link back to your Facebook page there as well

There are many other ways but those are the simplest to implement quickly.

The number I’d pay attention to, more than how many fans you have, is how many are “talking about you” – much more significant.

Also, use your Insights to determine your demographic – it will help you decide what content to post that would be shareable – fans sharing your stuff is the best way to get new fans.
by Leslie Poston 7:52 AM

how do i get more fans on facebook for my business?
by dave 7:48 AM

There are two books out there right now on Google Plus that come to mind, a For Dummies book and ebook by Jesse Stay and one by Chris Brogan. I’m sure there are more on the way!
by Leslie Poston 7:42 AM

Any books or sites you would recommend on for using google +
by Sean O’Connell 7:41 AM

That sounds like something your company would need to set up for you for best results. If you use a traditional phone company land line and your company pays for the service you dial a code such as *72 to forward. If they don’t pay for the service, I’m not sure how you’d forward the phone. Companies out there like Ring Central claim to offer a paid solution for this problem, but again – it’s not free – and it isn’t something I personally have used so I can’t really recommend it. I’d talk with your company and tell them you need them to reactivate that service so you can better telecommute.
by Leslie Poston 7:40 AM

My company use to pay extra (didn’t state an amount) to be able to forward desk phones to cell phones but stopped doing this due to the extra money it costs. Not sure if it was part of the phone service or not but is there a free, safe application that will allow me to forward my desk phone to my cell phone? I work from home 3 days a week and have to check my desk phone voicemail though out the day.
by Kelly Crowley 7:37 AM

Since an iPad (and an iPod Touch) is not a phone, you need to grab an app like Skype to send texts (SMS). I know there are several out there to choose from but Skype I’ve used and it works well. You can also log in to your Google Voice account online and use that or download an app to access it as well.
by Leslie Poston 7:35 AM

Robert from Facebook: how do u text from an ipad?
by Kevin Clay/WMUR Staff 7:33 AM

For music you can create a playlist in iTunes and export it then upload that music playlist to your Fire legally. You can also do that for your photos in iPhoto.

Here is a discussion in the Amazon groups where people are working on that same question. The solutions they came up with might help you:
by Leslie Poston 7:32 AM

Can I transfer itunes games and media to my Kindle Fire? Thanks!!
by Laurie 7:27 AM

LinkedIn is a business-focused network. I connect with everyone on LinkedIn who is not a spammer, even if I dont’ know them, as it broadens my network there and gets me into the business circles of people I would not otherwise meet. I check out their profile to see if I can discover why they’d want to connect – it is not uncommon for people to reach out on LinkedIn prior to reaching out offline to conduct business with me, for example, or to research my bio for a speaking gig. I make sure they have a photo and a complete history before clicking accept.

I do recommend protecting your contacts on LinkedIn if you want to try to optimize your LinkedIn experience by broadening your connections. Make it so that only you see who you are connected to. This handles the issue of folks who want to connect only to see who you know.

Also, please don’t feed your Twitter into LinkedIn (or Facebook) – it is way to noisy! People go to LinkedIn and Facebook for a different experience and reason than why they visit Twitter.

If you are a business – make a LinkedIn Company Page! Create and participate in a Group! LinkedIn has so much overlooked value for people as a business social network.

How they handle contacts is nice also – you can export them (meaning you keep your data). A great feature. You can also have a feed of your blog, your Slideshare slides and more – so connecting outside of people you know allows more people who might be able to do things for your business see you display your knowledge.

Find me there at
by Leslie Poston 7:26 AM

I get requests from people I do not know in my area wanting to connect on LinkedIn. My feeling is that I should only connect to people I know. I use the opportunity to connect to them by offering to meet them for coffee as a way we can get to know what each other does and the type of clients we are looking for. Your thoughts on connecting to people you do not know in LinkedIn?
by ktombs 7:20 AM

I do think Google Plus has staying power. Interestingly, I would have said that even before Google made sure of it recently by integrating Google Plus into search (at the bottom of your search results, notice how it says “Ask this on Google +” now) and started pushing toward layering your social data and use data across all of their tools like YouTube, Picasa, Search, Gmail, Docs, Plus and more. I also think it is key for business to have both a Google Plus and a Google Place page right now.
by Leslie Poston 7:20 AM

Do you think Google + has staying power?
by Hank edited by Kevin Clay/WMUR Staff 7:17 AM

There are hundreds of apps for the iPhone that come out daily, so I’m not sure it is possible to keep up with all of them. Some favorites on iPhone and Android are Evernote, Batchbook, LinkedIn, Hootsuite (productivity/business). If you want to get social Instagram and Foursquare are great ways to connect with folks, also on iPhone and Android. Skype and Google Plus are also good apps. Square is a great way to handle mobile payments via credit card. #techtalk
by Leslie Poston 7:17 AM

Any new APPS for the iPhone you can share?
by rap4143 7:12 AM

Jeff, I’m not sure what you want to aggregate? If you want to aggregate your posts out to various social networks you can use your RSS feeds and RSS reader. You can also use a site like FriendFeed or a tool like Yahoo Pipes to monitor your own posts in one place.

If you want to aggregate various social network accounts into one dashboard, you can use a tool like Hootsuite, Seesmic or Tweetdeck (there are many of these).
by Leslie Poston 7:05 AM

Jeff Savastano on Facebook asked: “I’m looking for an inexpensive social media aggregator tool. Can you recommend one?”
by Leslie Poston 7:04 AM

Read more (And join us next Wednesday at 7 AM Eastern to ask your questions at this link also)

WMUR 9 Tech Talk Transcript from Wednesday February 8, 2012

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!


  • OK everyone thanks for all the questions, and thanks to Leslie Poston for answering them!
    by Kevin Clay/WMUR Staff 7:53 AM
  • There is no certain way of knowing how much info sites like Facebook have about you. There are many lawsuits in effect right now all over the world where people are trying to force Facebook, in particular, to disclose that information.A safe assumption is that any info you type in (e.g. voluntarily give out) has been saved. I recommend clearing cache regularly, not using AutoFill in your browser, keeping backups of things like Google Docs, using OnePassword or Dashlane to create better passwords unique to each site, and surfing the web in incognito or masked mode wherever you can to protect yourself. Remember: the exchange for your use of free services is your personal data – it’s up to you how much you give away.

    by Leslie Poston 7:50 AM
  • Do we have anyway of knowing how much info google, FB, etc collect on our web activities?
    by Sean Mcdonald 7:45 AM
  • How to use social media to get more customers for your business depends in part on what your business does. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach that will work well for any business.One example would be a restaurant: a good HTML5 site (not Flash!) with a great mobile version of the web site, Open Menu, an online reservation feature, a blog, share buttons so people can talk about you, and a Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook page would be great. However, that is only great if you put the manpower behind the effort – people expect regular updates and to be able to ask you questions where they are online. In the near future, Pinterest and video will be key here also. And please, put your hours, phone number and menu on page one – people on their phone or tablet don’t want to mess around trying to find that info.A doctor, on the other hand, has a lot of regulations to deal with like HIPPAA. Social media can help their business, but they have to be careful – same for any business that is regulated or that deals with children, health, legal issues, etc.

    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.

    by Leslie Poston 7:46 AM
  • How can a small business best utilize social media to get more customers?
    by Dave 7:39 AM
  • Google’s new terms of service is a thorny issue for many! I look at it two ways: 1) They already had this layer of information about you (personal data is the price we pay for using services for free). They are just “consolidating” it to make your experience more universal across their platforms. In that way, they aren’t getting any “new” info about you. 2) This can create an issue for those that have kept their personal and professional personas separate on Google. If you are one of those people who like a clear divide and who use some Google tools for professional use and some for personal, you might look for other solutions. If you don’t mind the blurring of the lines, then you should be fine.

    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.

    by Leslie Poston 7:32 AM
  • If you’re a business that relies on google docs for meeting notes and storing other info, how worried should you be about googles new terms of service?
    by question 7:30 AM
  • Reciprocal linking is a bit of an old school tactic where sites would link to each other to help get more SEO traction. The issue there is that you could be linking to a site that you don’t endorse – a link implies endorsement. Better is to link to sites you really believe in and create good content around your business – then get it talked about on social channels, Links back to your site will come naturally without having to endorse sites that aren’t relevant to you.
    by Leslie Poston 7:28 AM
  • Jane from Facebook: Recently I was asked to link my web page to others (unknown ) in return they will link mine to theirs and I’d I did it for 5 pages, iget the same plus deep links it was called 3 way linking. And it was free?
    by Kevin Clay/WMUR Staff 7:26 AM
  • Pinterest and Gentlemint are two hot sites right now that are changing how we view the web. By making the web a more visual, curated experience. Currently, Pinterest is driving more traffic than Google Plus to product pages, which is a fascinating statistic considering Pinterest is still in invite only beta. At the moment I’d advise everyone to include not only mobile marketing and mobile active sites designed for tablets to their marketing plans, but to include a heavy emphasis on good photos and video.
    by Leslie Poston 7:25 AM
  • We hear a lot about Facebook, Twitter and Google+, what are some of the other up and coming social media websites?
    by Dave 7:23 AM
  • Skype is an excellent tool for customer service, especially if you utilize the video chat feature – it gives that personal touch to those customers that want to see who they talk to – but it’s not required, you can just text chat or call. There are plugins available to record Skype calls, Skype texts and entire conversations, but you need to install those before you embark on customer service via Skype. I wouldn’t use Skype without the recording tools – you need a record of your conversations for your business! The limit for a Skype video chat is small for the free version (I believe it is three right now – they recently changed it when Microsoft bought them) but you can have a paid account that allows you to have more people in video chat. You can have as many as you’d like in a text chat. The conference call feature is also three right now. Paid accounts can also choose their Skype number, their ring back number and other features.
    by Leslie Poston 7:17 AM
  • I’m in Customer Service and I noticed some of our customers have a Skype ID. What are your thoughts on using Skype as a communication tool instead of email and how many customers could you Skype with at a time? Is there a pause button? : )
    by Kelly Crowley 7:16 AM
  • There are stats out there on how advertisers used social media, particularly Shazam and QR codes. It’s a little long to post here, but if you check back on Blog later today I’ll post several options for that for you that tell more about the metrics of the Super Bowl Ads
    by Leslie Poston 7:14 AM
  • Renee on Facebook asks: Do you know if there are stats on whether Shazam or QR Codes are more effective driving traffic (likes) to a facebook page? Twitter account? Website? I’m particularly interested in demographics of who uses Shazam and who uses QR codes. Thank You.
    by Kevin Clay/WMUR Staff 7:13 AM
  • No you can not see if people look at your Facebook page – that is a well known phishing scam on Facebook. If you see someone with that link on their wall it means they need to do two things 1) go into their privacy settings and revoke permission for that app and 2) change their password – they’ve been phished, most likely by clicking a similar link.
    by Leslie Poston 7:10 AM
  • can people see if you’re looking at their facebook page?
    by Sean 7:09 AM
  • I’m not sure why FB decided not to turn an edit feature on in their main updates, but you can edit two types of posts : a shared link (you can edit the description area in the link – the excerpt – by clicking on it once) and the comments you make (clicking the x once quickly after making a comment now opens an edit window). Both features only work for a few seconds after posting though! – I agree – I’d love to have a do over on my updates. I’m a typo queen.
    by Leslie Poston 7:07 AM
  • why doesn’t facebook allow you to edit your posts?
    by Sean 7:04 AM
  • That depends on how you use twitter for your business. You don’t have to, but following allows them to DM you and may lead to reservations/customer service questions online that you’ll need to be prepared to handle by monitoring your account or setting notifications to email or phone.
    by Leslie Poston 7:03 AM
  • Hi Leslie, if a customer compliments or contacts us via twitter and follows us should we also follow them?
    by KancamagusLodge 7:01 AM

Early Riser With A Social Tech Question?

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!

You can get to Tech Talk each Wednesday in February 2012 at this link.

What Does “Be A Rockstar” Mean To You?

I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments. It’s such a vague phrase so casually bandied about, and so open to a variety of interpretations by everyone.

Include Front-line Staff in Your Social Media Efforts

We’re well versed in the benefits of communicating with your customers online:

Developing relationships
Brand recognition
Customer loyalty

But when developing your social media strategy it’s important not to loose sight of who’s communicating face-to-face with your customers in your store: your front-line staff. Make sure to include them in the conversation.

Ask for your staffs’ insight when it comes to sharable content

When it comes to the day-to-day relationships your company has with customers, your front-line staff are the stars. It doesn’t matter if they are baristas, receptionists, salesmen, etc… they know what’s important to customers. Asking them for content ideas will give them the opportunity to connect with your strategy and provide a unique insight for planning.

Educate staff on the strategy and promotions

Social media success relies on everyone. Don’t leave your front-line staff in the dark; let them help you achieve your goals. This is especially true when it comes to promotions. If you’re posting a “20% off discount for Twitter followers” or a Foursquare Special make sure that your staff knows the ins and outs of the promo and how to appropriately honor the discount. This will make for knowledgeable staff and happy customers.

Develop a system for sharing content with staff

After reading your content, front-line staff are mostly likely who customers will see first . Make sure staff have access to what you’re sharing. You want them to hold a conversation about a posted topic not give a blank stare.

When it comes to the success of your social media front-line staff are key players. Make sure they are engaged and know what’s happening.

What are ways you are including staff in your social media policy?

The Issue Of Women Online and Safety

There is a post this week, called to my attention by Chris Brogan, that illustrates so many things that are wrong for women who are online. Remember Kathy Sierra? I remember. I remember not liking then that she removed herself from online life in answer to the threats against her. I remember how badly I wanted her to stand and fight back.

Then I look, years later, at posts like this one at IttyBiz blog about being threatened and rethink that position. By asking women to stand and fight online are we putting our tech sisters in danger? I like that IttyBiz is both taking precautions and standing her ground, but the fact that this is ongoing, that bloggers like Queen of Spain and others get threatened for being visible, for having opinions that differ, for being successful, for just being women, galls me.

I am appalled at us as a culture that this is in any way “fine”. That more people won’t discuss this, and that many will poo-poo it.

I’ll have to think more about this issue and write a new post about ways I think we can tackle the problem, but for now – I wanted to help get the word out about the IzzyBiz situation, and I hope you share it also.