Social Media Training a Must for Business -
Social Media is shifting toward Business and CEOs must take Notice
As published in the Albuquerque Journal Outlook, Monday December 23, 2013
by Barbara C. Lemaie, PhD
Since its origins, Social Media has used fast-tracking to make changes to their platforms; much to the consternation of their users. Lately the pace has quickened to add business applications as the BtoB world is discovering the advantages vs. pitfalls social media has to offer.
Learning the basics of Social Media is a must for solopreneurs/entrepreneurs – but what about CEOs? Most of C-level management has been blissfully unaware of the revolution going on with the Branding, Marketing and Selling Power of Social Media. Usually, their company website is as close as they get, unless they are on Facebook to keep in-touch with their family. Here are a few numbers that tell the story “The amount of CEOs on social media networks according to CEO.com, is just 7% of Fortune 500 CEOs and they are on the biggest social site, Facebook. Twitter was even worse at 5.6%, and only 3.7% have ACTIVE Twitter accounts. Naturally, LinkedIn did a little better, with a comparatively massive 28% of the big bosses signed up.” But, these numbers are changing according to DOMO.com who sponsored the study.
It’s not entirely the CEOs fault; the Marketing Managers must champion the use of Social Media, leading the company into this arena. Yet, they are still struggling to find the best uses of Social Media for their product or service. And, Social Media is a difficult concept to relate to a CEO. This may be because unlike usual media: Radio, TV, Newspapers and Magazines, Social Media sites interact with each other and affect browser ranking, website traffic, and product reviews it has so many moving parts. Finally many departments need to be involved in the decisions: Sales, Marketing, IT, Customer Service, Public Relations, HR.
No wonder it has not been a priority to communicate the importance of a Social Media presence, let alone the need for a Social Media presence, let alone the need for a Policy and employee training to C-level management.
But without C-Level involvement, marketing’s ability to take advantage of all that Social Media can offer is minimal, at best. Does HR know how to craft a social media policy? Is customer service able to interact online with customers to nip a problem in the bud. Is I.T. unintentionally making it difficult for employees to create relationships with, prospects, vendors and customers, let alone interact with their peers? Does the Public Relations department have a plan on how to handle a Social Media crisis? Without leadership from the top, Social Media is just another opportunity that goes untapped; and the pitfalls go unaddressed until a crisis makes it real - as we have seen so recently in our community.
How to attract some Pinterest
Premium content from New Mexico Business Weekly by Adam Stone, Special to NMBW
Date: Friday, May 4, 2012, 4:00am MDT
Related: Media & Marketing
Logo design by Michael Deal and Juan Carlos Pagan
Business owners can gain tremendous exposure with little cost or effort by “pinning” images on social networking site Pinterest. Social Media Made Simple CEO and Chief Strategist Barbara C. Lemaire offers these rules of the road.
Business owners can gain tremendous exposure with little cost or effort by “pinning” images on social networking site Pinterest .
Social Media Made Simple CEO and Chief Strategist Barbara C. Lemaire offers these rules of the road.
Don’t overwhelm the board. As you pin, the image is added to the large board. By pinning 50 of the same subject at once, you overwhelm the board. Viewers will skip over them or even stop following you.
Don’t just repin, though it is tempting. Find new material.
Add a description of what you are pinning. If you found it on a website, add the URL.
Include information about yourself in your Pinterest profile, including your website URL.
Link to Facebook and Twitter on Pinterest, but do not send everything you pin to either.
You can choose which image is the cover of each board. Pick one that is most representative of the contents.
Search using keywords to find images and information on Pinterest.
Post videos if it makes sense for your business. Those could include a corporate headquarters tour or a Q&A with the business owner. Anything a business might post to YouTube would likely serve a similar purpose on Pinterest.
Always add a URL of your business to the description of your posts.
Pinterest is the Fastest Growing Social Networking Site on the web.
Pinterest a Virtual Pinboard.
Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. To get started, request an invite.
Are you thinking fine this is a lot of fun and a time-sink - I can't use it to market my business. Oh, yes you can - let me help you.
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Social Networking – as important as a cell phone?
by Barbara C. Lemaire, PhD
Is Social Networking as indispensable as your cell phone? Perhaps not yet - but it is still a relatively new concept. Let me put this in context. Remember when you first began hearing about cell phones (those of us of a certain age.) Why would I need that? Of course, anyone born after 1980 could not wait to get their hands on a cell phone and those of us born after 1990; well not having a cell phone is not an option, it is a necessity, a lifeline…alas, as it is for most of us.
Back to Social Networking. In 2004 good friend involved in technology, business and the Internet, invited me to join something called LinkedIn. I joined, haphazardly filled out my profile, then I promptly ignored the site and its unknown potential. It took more than two years for me to become active on LinkedIn – two years I will never get back.
LinkedIn.com is the professional businesspersons Social Networking site. Its growth over the past few years is phenomenal. A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second, and about half of their members are outside the U.S. LinkedIn has more than 60 million members in over 200 countries worldwide and they are influential! Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members.
Here are a few other stats:
Average Age: 41
Average Household Income: $109,703
Household Income $100k+ 53.5%
Have a Portfolio Value of $250k+ 24%
Own Smartphone/PDA: 34%
College Grad/Post Grad: 80.1%
Business Decision Maker: 49%
Senior Management 16%
Middle Management 18%
LinkedIn offers a Social Networking site with a profile designed to summarize your professional expertise and accomplishments. However, its most valuable feature is the ability to connect with your peers throughGroups and Discussions within those Groups.
Discussions within a group of your peers are by far the most robust way to Socially Network. By joining Groups specific to your industry or interests, you gain new insights through discussions with like-minded professionals in private group settings. You can also form your own highly specialized “Group” and attract people from all over the world interested your precise concern.
Although there are specific social networking sites for most industries, research has shown that participation is comparatively minimal and the diversity of the membership does not compare to larger, open membership sites.
So, if you have not yet joined the Social Networking movement I suggest that you start with LinkedIn.com. Remember that your personal profile is your resume and calling card, so treat it appropriately.
It is in your best interest that you be as complete as possible. Include your full name and email in title. Provide a clear description of what you do in the subtitle. Fill in your city and industry, current positions, past positions, education and websites. As you become more comfortable, add a reading list from Amazon, Slide Share or other apps that make sense to you.
Once you have your personal profile completed:
Invite people to connect using:
Ø Imported email contacts
Ask for Recommendations
Ø Ask for recommendations from colleagues and clients
Ø Write recommendations for colleagues and clients
Ø In your industry
Ø Of personal interest
o Participate in discussions
Create a group
Ø Colleague Based
o Invite colleagues
o Invite vendors
§ Participate in discussions
Ø Client Based
o Invite Clients
o Invite Potential Clients
§ Participate in discussions
Finally when accept invitations to connect be sure to screen them for appropriateness to your needs.
The Internet formed so that researchers could share information more efficiently – this is exactly what using Social Networking sites now accomplish for everyone.
What businesses need to know about their employees
and social media
Premium content from New Mexico Business Weekly - by Barbara C. Lemaire, Guest Opinion
Date: Friday, April 22, 2011, 4:00am MDT
What every business owner must know about Social Media and their employees.
Whether you only have one employee or one-thousand, it is imperative that you create a Social Media Policy. Although you may not have as yet embraced social media to promote your business, most employees are involved in the many platforms available to anyone and have been for a while.
How does that effect your organization? Your business may have a Facebook page, and you don’t know it; more importantly you do not have control over the content as it pertains to your business.
I have worked with a number of large companies who discovered they have a Facebook Page, yet have no way to edit it. This page may have been created by a former employee who and took the administration rights when they left the company. LinkedIn also offers a company page, and once again if it is created by someone in the company, they have the administration rights and you don’t.
This is happening in all types of businesses from multinational to start-ups. The first step toward harnessing this powerful medium is to create and deploy a social media policy that is clear, differentiates and empowers. “I'd say there are two broad reasons for having a social media set of guidelines for every company: crisis management or brand opportunity,” says Mario Sundar, community evangelist at LinkedIn. “Social media may be a huge opportunity for your employees to help build your company's brand, but let's not forget that there also exists a tremendous risk for individual employees to inadvertently damage the company's brand and by defining a set of guidelines you help mitigate that risk.”
Before Social Media, the Marketing, PR/Communications department carried the corporate message. Now anyone can. It is beneficial to you that everyone in your organization is reading from the same page.
A few of the items to consider when creating you company’s policy are:
· What are the official social media accounts for the company
· Who manages them
· What type of content will be posted
· Who will engage with customers/clients
The major social media platforms to consider in the policy are:
When crafting a policy, be sure to:
1. Focus on the things that employees can do rather than what they can’t. Don’t create an unnecessarily restrictive model of engagement that prevents your company from reaping the rewards.
2. Emphasize that employees must be responsible for what they write - exercise good judgment and common sense, regardless of whether an employee’s online comments relate directly to their job.
3. Don’t go stealth – ask employees to include their name and, when appropriate, your company name and their title. Consumers buy from people that they know and trust, so encourage employees to let people know who they are.
4. Employees must consider that their audience may include clients, potential clients, vendors, employees and future employees as well as investors. This is not the place to air differences of opinions.
5. Remind employees to respect copyrights and fair use and always give proper credit and make sure they have the right to use something with attribution before publishing.
6. Stress the importance of protecting the company’s confidential and proprietary information; if they disregard this policy, they risk losing their job and will be held legally responsible.
7. Empower employees to bring value to their conversations by offering useful information and solving problems.