questions about social media

Who’s Listening?

By Social Media

Today’s guest post is from Ken Mueller of Inkling Media.

Social Media platforms can be incredibly personal. For those of us who spend a good part of our day communicating via Twitter, it is not only personal, but has become second nature. So much so that we really do need to stop and think from time to time before we Tweet.

If you’re anything like me, you use Twitter for both personal and business reasons. You might even have two separate accounts, but we need to remember, it’s hard to separate the two. I’m a sole proprietor; I AM my business. People associate me with Inkling Media. Anything I say on my personal account will affect how people view me. That includes clients and prospective clients. Even if you are one of those people whose Twitter bio reads, “I also tweet for @[businessname] but my tweets here are mine alone and not those of my employer,” you need to think before you tweet. You can throw down all the caveats and disclaimers in the world, but if you annoy or alienate me on your personal Twitter account, and I know that you work for Joe’s Taco Shack, there’s a good chance I’ll go elsewhere when I’m jonesing for a taco.

It basically comes down to whether or not you have a filter. This can either be your own internal filter, or an external filter, or both. I normally have a pretty good internal filter. I find that in both the personal and professional realms, there are certain topics I’ll avoid. Those include politics and religion. Oh I have very distinct opinions on both of those topics, and I might make the occasional mention, but I also know that Twitter might not be the best realm for discussing them in any meaningful way. 140 characters of text can certainly limit understanding and cause confusion.

Additionally, I also tend to avoid any sort of profanity or off-color humor. I don’t really speak like that in my real life, so why should I talk like that on Twitter or Facebook? I know that there are some people I follow that I would NEVER want to work with based on their “sense of humor”. Often, I might even unfollow them if it gets out of hand. Some folks seem to wear their brashness like a badge of honor. Sorry, I’m not buying.

I also have at least two external filters in place. Very often you’ll hear someone say, “Don’t put anything online you wouldn’t want your mother to see.” Well, my 77-year old mom is one of my filters. She subscribes to my blog via email, and while she doesn’t understand most of what I blog about, just knowing that she’s reading my blog does have an effect on what I write. For instance, while I don’t use profanity, my mom’s definition of profanity and mine, are decidedly different, mostly based on being from different generations. I remember my mom making a big deal about one of her grandchildren using the “F-word” once. I was shocked that one of them would use it, and then discovered that to her, the “F-word” is “fart”. Yup. That’s my mom. Needless to say, the word “fart” won’t appear in my blog (but I’m more than OK using it here on Marijean’s blog! Hope your mom doesn’t mind, MJ!)

My second external filter is my 21-year old daughter. She recently joined Twitter as a way of being a part of the Tony Awards. But, now she’s there. And she follows me. She’s a great kid and we get along really well, but knowing that she is reading my tweets does make me pause from time to time. She’s kinda nosy and won’t hesitate to question me on things. So I’m now learning to put my tweets through an “Elizabeth Filter.”

Do you have a good filter in place? External, internal or both? What rules do you have in place for yourself? Are there certain types of language, behavior, or content that you don’t like seeing on Twitter, Facebook, or other social platforms?



Social Media Assignment #6: Listening to the Social Web

By Communications

Do you know what is being said about you, your brand or your company online?

Maybe you have been using Google Alerts to monitor for news about your organization, but do you know what people are saying on the social web?

What is the social web? Twitter, blog comments, bulletin boards, Facebook and blogs are some, but not all the elements of the social web.

Today’s Social Media Assignment

Take about half an hour to play with some of the tools displayed in this post. Try out Social Mention and IceRocket in particular — free tools that allow you to search the entirety of the social web.

With these tools you can subscribe to the search you create and continue to monitor mentions on an ongoing basis (recommended). You may find you have to tweak your search terms until you refine them to exactly the right keywords to find the results you seek.

Another approach to consider — search for your customers, clients or employees — do you know what they’re doing or saying online?

I recommend you spend some time listening — not just one day, or one half hour of one day. It takes time, and ongoing attention. And while you’re listening, take time to develop a plan for how you will respond to any mentions of your brand — positive or negative mentions.

Don’t Wait Till You’re Job Hunting to Engage on LinkedIn

By Communications

I have a new client (let us all take a moment for the celebratory happy dance). Part of what I will do for this client and for any client I work with is to help manage the client’s online reputation.

What does that mean? I am doing an audit of the client’s online presence and providing recommendations for updates to key elements, such as the client’s LinkedIn profile and bios. In addition, I identify opportunities to enhance that reputation. Is there an opportunity for blogging or contributing articles to key industry publications? Are there speaking opportunities? Could there be recommendations available from colleagues or customers? This is all part of giving the client an intentional path to follow in the effort to reach their personal and professional goals.

We were talking specifically about LinkedIn yesterday. I often hear that people don’t think of LinkedIn until they’re job hunting. Whole books have been written on the importance of a social network when you’re looking to make a career move.

I, however, encourage clients (and everyone, in fact) not to wait till you’re desperately seeking a new position. The time to expand your social network, manage how you appear online and take steps toward realizing your best professional self is now. Today.

What will you do today on your intentional path?

The 6 Most Annoying Mistakes Made in Social Media

By Social Media

This is a list of six mistakes I find people and businesses making social media on a regular basis. I’ll bet you have more, so let’s keep this list going as a cautionary document for those new to engagement online.

  1. The blog that died. In 2009 the New York Times estimated that 95 percent of blogs have been abandoned. That’s sad, especially because businesses that are blogging or individuals who blog as a way to increase business are probably still churning out content in the form of advertising, marketing materials or news releases. A blog that hasn’t been updated in months is a death knell for a company.
  2. The Twitter account with no biographical information. You’re who? You do what? Even worse are the accounts with no image. Let us see your face!
  3. The blog that doesn’t allow comments. In my opinion, if it’s not a two-way conversation, it is not a blog.
  4. The automated follow, reply or repost. See Automation Sucks.
  5. The rolling tumbleweed, the sound of crickets; that is, the lack of response when someone is contacted via Twitter, Facebook, online form or e-mail. Be responsive.
  6. The unattended LinkedIn profile. Business people have a responsibility to be aware what they look like online. Completing a LinkedIn profile has to be one of the easiest steps in social networking. It’s important, because it’s searchable and represents you as a business person online. Get it up-to-date today.

Your turn! What social media/networking mistakes are like nails on a chalkboard for you?