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Social Media and the Small Business Owner

Yesterday, I had 10 minutes to present to my Christian Professional Network group my overview of social media and what small business people need to know about it. I have used my experience in blogging and later other platforms since 2004 to support my comments and recommendations, now having well over 2000 posts across several blogs and growing a worldwide network of people I can call upon for support and extra help getting the word passed around (which is what it takes to grow a business: connections of value).

First up: “Social” is the first word on Social Media. With the exception of LinkedIn, the other commonly used social media platforms all began as places to be social. Over time, it has become acceptable to conduct business in places like Facebook and Twitter. Key point: Treat all your work on these sites as if there are real people at the other end of the typed characters on the screen, being civil and polite, just as you would if that person (or group) was there with you in person, and things will go well.

Secondly: Sitting in a networking meeting indicates you already have a great understanding of how to use social media. You come to the meeting to meet others, to not only promote your product/service, but too get to meet others and hear about what they have to offer. Just take that model digitally, and you can figure out what you’re trying to accomplish quite nicely.

I quipped: Who had a surrogate work out for them at the gym this morning. In answer to the question, no one raised their hand. Calling on Grant Corrigan, an excellent and experienced health coach, I asked how long it would take to get rid of 30 pounds. Answer: 3 Months. This direction was meant to point out that 1) The results from someone else doing the work will provide very different results from self involvement, as well as, like just about every thing else, it takes effort over time to get results.

My take on the analogies of the major places small business uses to get more importantly than traffic, but revenue:

Twitter: The run by the people at the water cooler in the office notification system. Short, to the point, but lacking in details.

Facebook: (Your business page that is) Your nice glossy trifold brochure. You can pack quite a bit of detail there, and include some of the necessary information, but you don’t control the “space” surrounding your message.

LinkedIn: The place where you present and establish your credibility. The resume and detail supporting your claims of experience.

In all three above, the area around your posted information is filled with “oooo! shiny new stuff!” distractions, placed by the service, or those on your feeds. In that arena, there is a potential for the viewers to be distracted easily.

The final frontier for placing your message is: Your Website/Blog. This is the I have your attention now, and let’s discuss what I can do for you. The only surrounding distractions there will be those you choose to place. The message you send to the world in this medium is up to you, managed by you and therefore the perfect place to drive interested parties. The level of information can range from the superficial, to the dramatic detail. consider this: You will meet people and have opportunity to present yourself/your business, and you will need several versions to meet that need, dependent on the level of interest shown. Put it all there, and then you can refer them to the appropriate level of information by forwarding a link.

I have been asking for years: “how would you like to talk to someone for 30 seconds and get them to listen to you for 30 minutes?” By spending some time putting a strategic plan for your social media together, I can show you how to achieve this, and make it customized to your needs.

Just what can you do with the recaptured time by doing this well? Most likely, spending your time on the direct revenue generating aspects of your business. How would that effect your bottom line?

A major issue to consider in conducting any social media work is this: Who knows your business, your message, your capabilities and your possible restrictions (if you are in a regulated, or ethically manged profession) better than you? That is an important beginning point, as outsourcing, at the least, can tend to get only a superficial presentation out to the audience, and in the worst of cases, you may lose your professional credentials, and all without anyone setting out to have that happen. In the long run, the best voice is your own. This does mean you’ll have to get involved at some level for the copy going out. Think of it this way: You’ve already been in the business of crafting your message so you’re already on the right track to get it out, it’s just a different delivery method of the same information you use now.

My goal is help you use your digital life effectively to augment your work style. Call me lazy, but I have spent over three decades doing exactly this, with substantial results.

Call me to set up a consultation to get a solid, functional plan to fit your work schedule and your digital media platforms.

We Infect Our Computers Ourselves

Didn’t bookmark it, but a few weeks back, I saw an article that said greater than 50% of computer infections were no user imposed.

What does that mean exactly? It means the people who write and manage software are doing a pretty good job of staying ahead of the hacker crowd, but,we the users, are become our own worst enemies. Not that we purposely let spyware, malware and viruses in, but we are more easily fooled into doing just that.

The “bad guys” are becoming very good at replicating things that are legitmate, both in look and in a social context, that make us want to click it.

Next hing you know, you’ve got a “ScareWare” problem, which, if you don’t pay the ransom, it begins to dig about your files and, over time, render your PC useless.

What got me to post this? An article in a security news feed I track saying there are a crop of “Browser Updates” showing up on people’s screen, and, we do what we are told “KEEP YOUR COMPUTER UP TO DATE!”

That makes it increasingly difficult to sort the fake updates from the real ones.

Let’s be careful out there and, according to Symantec researcher Parveen Vashishtha know this:

Malware authors are employing innovative social engineering tricks to fool users — it’s as simple as that…”

Live Streaming: What can it do for you?

Harriers from VMA-231 flying over the front si...
Image via Wikipedia

Well…..if you have an event of significance, that you want people out of your area to see…You could use it for that.

The Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma, AZ is going to be running their Air Show today (3/27) live at this link to the Yuma Air Show website, using the technology I do!

Like to know how you could do this? I can help….really….leave me a comment.

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SmartPhones: Good or evil?

I’ll say this:  I’m waiting for the Dell “Slate” to hit the streets as my PDA, cell phone and non-existent air card service.

I’ve suspected, at the barely conscious level that when we all grab our ‘driods and tap into “all you can eat” web surfing, the networks will begin to wheeze.

What next?  Well, as consumers, we shall begin to talk bad about the services that served us well, until we could chop on large heaps of bytes with essentially miniaturized computers in our hands.

At the ARS Technica site, they say this:  How SmartPhones are bogging down some carriers:

Even though AT&T has made improvements to its network over the last couple of years—including moving towers to an 850MHz spectrum that can more easily penetrate building walls, as well as upgrading to faster 7.2Mbps HSPA+ protocols—those improvements have done little to stem the tide of complaints from consumers in larger urban areas. Those users experience frequent dropped calls and an inability to make data connections, and in general they feel that service is spotty.

Just think, the iPad is going to be coming in large numbers…and the Slate, to join the many new phones which are the all in one digital tether to the net we seek like crack.

The pure technical facts are, the “bandwidth” (think of how many lanes in the road) can be used faster than more of the capability can be added. It’s not like we all haven’t experienced this with road construction sometimes in our lives.

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RIP: Mark Francis Broderick – Project 2996

Mark Broderick died on 9/11/2001 in New York City, a casualty of the attacks by terrorists. He is survived by his wife Carolina and three sons, Matthew, Andrew and James. 40 Years old at the time of his death, he graduated from St John’s University on Staten Island and lived in Old Bridge, NJ with his family.

He had made a life long friend in Chris Dowd while fraternity brothers in college. Mark always called to wish him happy birthday.

Mark was an accountant at Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P., having recently joined the company the prior April. He worked on the 101st Floor of the World Trade Center.

Mark grew up in Bayonne, NJ and had picked up the nickname “Sparky.” It suited him. As a father, he loved getting home to put his sons to bed, and then spent his weekend doing things with the family, since he worked long hours during the week. He followed in the footsteps of his father to be a certified public accountant and coached his oldest son’s Little League team at the Old Bridge Roman catholic Church.

Mark sounded like a great man, who loved his worked, but loved his family equally. We lost a fine man on 9/11/2001 in Mark Broderick, and so did his family.

For other victims of 9/11/2001 memorialized by the Project 2996, click here.