Marijean jaggers and social media

Why it’s Important to Do Your Hair Before Going on the Radio

By Communications, Crisis Communications, Media, Social Media
[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/coybarefoot/status/197431400465567745″]

My friends Ginger Germani and Erica Haskins will be happy to see this.

And while you’re pondering what “radio hair” looks like, please listen to the podcast from Charlottesville — Right Now! We talked about reputation management, brand engagement and social media with Coy Barefoot!



You Can’t Outsource Authenticity

By Communications, Social Media

It’s a conversation I’ve had far too often; small businesses get overwhelmed by the responsibility of maintaining an online presence. They start to look for ways to outsource it. 

They ask:

  • Can I hire someone to post on Facebook and Twitter for us?
  • Can I hire someone to ghostwrite my blog?
  • What if we have an intern manage all our social media?

There’s a statistic we throw out fairly often, because it’s true and compelling:

Study Shows Small Businesses That Blog Get 55% More Website Visitors

The reason this happens is NOT because a blog is merely updated regularly — that’s important to be sure — but because the REAL, personal story of the people behind the business is what people connect with; not someone who is managing the account for the summer.

I get it if you need help. I completely understand feeling overwhelmed and like you need another member of your team to manage the production and posting of content on behalf of your business. It’s FINE to appoint someone to that role . . . but make sure it’s someone who is really part of the team. Someone who can really represent you in the public and social space and who others will happily see as representative of you and your business.

If it’s you, then it’s you. Suck it up and find someone to do some other piece of your business that’s it’s not essential you touch with your own two hands. But don’t try to have a surrogate social media manager. It just doesn’t work.


LinkedIn: Is Your Career on a Path of Continuous Self-Improvement?

By Communications

Pay attention.

It’s both the most obvious and most neglected discipline on the social web. As a business, it’s SUPER important to know what people are saying about your brand, your industry and your leadership online. As an individual, your professional appearance makes a huge (and sometimes first, and last) impression.

When was the last time you looked at your LinkedIn profile? Have you looked at how many times OTHER people have been looking at your profile? Do you like what they’re seeing? Does your profile demonstrate the true path of continuous self-improvement you’ve been on?

Don’t Overlook the Obvious: Using LinkedIn to Build Business Relationships

By Social Media

The other day I went to set up an event in Facebook for a tech group I’m in, and was interrupted by an email. The email had great deals on some pretty bags I wanted so I pinned them in Pinterest, then went back and bought one, which reminded me I needed some office supplies, so I went to another website and bought those. What was I doing again? I was so distracted that when I did create the Facebook event, I made it for the WRONG DAY. Luckily the group knows we always meet on Wednesdays, so they harassed me about my mistake and life went on.

I think of this stream of choppy activity as internet ADD and I generally don’t allow myself to fall into this spiral, but I can see how easy it is to do. If we, as individual consumers of content, have this problem, think of what a business deals with when looking at the broad array of tools, platforms and applications to use in support of their business branding and marketing.

There are solid, proven tools, platforms and networks: blogging is CRITICALLY important. A Facebook presence puts your brand in front of a potential 800 million pairs of eyes. Twitter is excellent for customer service and engagement and Pinterest has stepped into place as a serious contender for brands marketing to women.

But what about LinkedIn? Are we forgetting about the social network CREATED to foster business relationships? I assert that LinkedIn is the most solid, reliable place for individuals within companies to build a network in support of their careers and the brands they represent. It’s a professional space, so many of the concerns that plague businesses about the division between personal and professional are lifted. It’s been around a LONG time and the users who have realized its benefits have cultivated deep relationships using the tool.

Like all of us, sometimes the internet blinders are necessary. A plan to help your business stay focused and use the RIGHT tools at the RIGHT time is critical.

How have you used LinkedIn, lately?



It’s OK if You Don’t Get It

By Corporate Strategy, Social Media

Hi, it’s Erika again.

I’ll be chiming in once a week to talk about what’s happening over at my side of the office. This past week I had the opportunity to meet with two companies who are each considering a social media strategy. One is planning to expand and would like to use the social networks to create interest in the new communities. The other is a new company at that initial stage of defining their brand. In both meetings, I heard basically this:

I know people are out there on Twitter, but I’m not. I don’t get it. What are they talking about?

I’m going to say something controversial here. Wait for it . . . . .

Not EVERYONE is on Twitter. Ahhh, that felt good. Oh, and not everyone is on Facebook either. Yep, I said it and it’s true. I mean, a lot of people are. The thing is that these business owners know that their customers are using these platforms. That’s why they’re talking to us. But just because they know they’re out there doesn’t mean that they “get it”. And that’s totally ok.

A big part of what we do is educate businesses on the value of social media, what tone/content is appropriate for which platform, the most effective ways of listening and monitoring, then creating a plan (with calendar!) for publishing content.  We also help you write your social media policy because ultimately, one of your next questions will be:

If we let an employee represent the company, how do we control what they say?

That may be another post for another day, but in a nutshell, you don’t want to completely control what they say because then it wouldn’t feel authentic. The purpose of having a policy is to set parameters, but the voice should be, and sound like a real person. They should be out there on the social networks following businesses and individuals who they can tweet back and forth with. This person could be an entry level associate. If they are passionate about your company, people will hear that in their tone.

So I’m excited about both of these companies. As we move forward, I’ll share some stories about the process (with their approval, of course). Was there a paradigm shift? Do they see the benefits of social media rather than the amazing time wasting capabilities? Or did they become social media addicts? I sort of doubt it, but I am looking forward to the new start. I’ll keep you posted.