Monday, October 12, 2009

How to FACEBOOK - Yes a Verb!

For a long time I was a Facebook hold out.  Ok, well I guess it would be better said that I was a social networking hold out.  I thought spending time on the computer talking to my friends and family was lame (I know several of you just deleted me from your friends list).  But now that I am a convert I must apologize to all those I made fun of before I had "THE KNOWLEDGE".

Since my social media birth in June I have had the extreme pleasure of meeting so many new like-minded people on Twitter and Facebook and other sites as well.  But I keep getting questions about how I use these sites.  Recently I had someone tell me that after she gets on and looks at her inbox and updates she doesn't know what to do - seems to her like a waste of her time.  I have to say I completely understand since I used to share that point of view.  So let me take you through a few things that I love about Facebook.

1.  There is nothing wrong with having fun on Facebook.  I'll admit it - I am a farmer.  I have a farm in Farm Town and Farmville (more partial to Farmville).  I like to collect hearts from iHeart (as a matter of fact I have a heart page on my profile now to show off my hearts).  I like to take quizzes like the personality quiz from What's Your Personality Type (I am an INTJ).  However, what I don't do is post a lot of this to my feed - when it comes to the question that says "post to your profile or skip" I almost always skip.  I do this because I don't think that everyone wants to know that I just "collected a pink cow for my farm - which I did - Yahoo!"  My friends do give me a hard time about this but I have to tell you that I find it quite relaxing to take a little time to rest my brain.  I work hard and sometimes I need to play harder.  I do give myself a time limit though or I can get really into rearranging my farm.

2.  The connection I have with friends and family is quite different now.  Hi, My name is Michele and I am a workaholic.  I have been all of my life.  Therefore, I have not cultivated the relationships with friends and family that I feel I should have.  Facebook is bringing that back - all be it in a different way.  Think about it - you all have those family members that you only see at Christmas parties, weddings and funerals.  We all do but facebook is the great equalizer.  I have a lot more interaction with family members that live out of state and I hate to admit with some that live less than 5 miles from me.  So how do I connect, you ask?  
  • I read all the updates on my feed.  I make a point to click the like button on the ones I like and comment on the ones I have a comment for.  I do a lot of this.
  • I check my inbox.  Some of them prefer to talk privately through the inbox.
  • I check my notifications.  In the bottom right corner of the facebook screen you will see a red flag when you have notifications.  It tells you if someone has commented on something you commented on or liked.  Then you can click on that to continue the conversation.  It actually notifies you of anything that happens in facebook that has to do with you.  For example, when my friends put a picture on their site and tag me in the picture it will tell me and I can go to their site to see it.
  • I make a point to click on peoples names in my list to go to their wall to see what they have been up to.  Not everything they do shows up in your feed and it is great to see what they are interested in etc.  You can also look at their photos and info.
3.  Facebook is a great tool for connecting with other like-minded people.  I have gotten to know many many many new people through Facebook and Twitter.  I meet them through groups and pages on Facebook, I meet them through tele-courses I take and I am introduced to people by my other friends on a regular basis.  I also read lots of blogs and other information on the internet and now you will see the "Connect on Facebook or Connect on Twitter" buttons and guess what - I actually connect with them.   I have met some truly wonderful people and connect with them through comments and "likes" on their updates and supporting their fan pages and groups.  I love to tell my friends about other interesting people.

4. If you know me at all you knew I would get around to using Facebook for promoting your business.  I have to say, Wow!  The opportunities are endless for promoting yourself or your business on Facebook.  Let me start by saying that Facebook has lots of rules about this and they are very protective of their members - which is an awesome thing.  That is probably the reason that this does work so well.  If they think you are spamming their members at all they will kick you off - and I like that. 

I believe that to promote you must nurture the relationship.  Answer me this - Are you more likely to buy something from someone who takes the time to provide value to your life and has earned your trust or someone who just keeps pushing and pushing and pushing you?  Promotion in the world of social media is changing the way people think - it is truly about the relationship!  I could go on and on and on about this subject but I think I will save that for its own blog post.

I wanted to take a second to say that Facebook Fan Pages are amazing ways to get your vision across.  You can have a direct relationship with people who are interested in you and your product.  If you don't deliver value into their life they can easily "unfan" you.  That leaves the ball in your court to provide the type of information that makes people think, laugh, smile and love.  I make a point to be a fan of many pages (the most pages you can fan in facebook is 500) and I look at those that are successful to see how they are doing things.  Why reinvent the wheel - if it works just roll with it.

There are so many more things I could tell you about Facebook but I think I will stop here.  I hope you learned something new today.  If you have any questions just look me up on Facebook (the link is on the side bar of this blog).  Oh and be sure to check out my new fan page The Mompreneur Strategy.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Can a Numbers Person Ignores the Numbers?

So do the numbers count in social networking?  Hmmm, well there are two distinct camps or matters of opinion on this subject.  A lot of people believe that the more followers you have on Twitter or friends/fans you have on Facebook or connections you have on LinkedIn the better.  So those people are out aggressively collecting, or maybe hunting would be a better word, people to add to their lists.  There are list builder programs you can purchase that guarantee certain numbers in a small amount of time and then there is the good old fashioned search and follow every one you find method.  Since this is my blog I can say that I do have a problem with just adding multitudes of people to your lists.  I can understand why Oprah has over 2 million Twitter followers or Ashton Kutcher has over 3 million Twitter followers, they are famous and obviously that many people feel like they know them already, much less by following them we feel a little more connected to them.  

Having a high follower count can be a big rush.  I must admit that the day my followers in Twitter hit 200 I did the happy dance. :))  I AM A NUMBERS PERSON!!!  I have a degree in Accounting - I love numbers.  I know you non-number people don't get it but I thrive on numbers.  So to teach myself not to focus on the numbers has been a exercise in self control.  So why not collect followers and friends like I collect shoes?
It was brought to my attention early on that social networking is much more than a way to connect with old friends and classmates, that it is truly the media of the future. This media can be and should be used to build lasting relationships with real people that share a common interest or who see value in something that you can provide.  It seems to me that adding followers, friends and connections should have a purpose.  If your purpose is to simply have huge numbers so you can say that lots of people want to hear what you have to say then go for it.  If your purpose is to provide some value to man kind then be more selective in the people you follow and thus the people that follow you.  I think it is much more important to have 500 followers who really want to hear what you have to say than to have 10,000 followers that don't care what you have to say.
So does all of this mean that I do not know my numbers - absolutely not.  I recently found this fantastic statistics site called Twitter Counter.  I can tell you at this moment that only 3 months into my social media project I have 488 quality followers and I follow 525 amazing people on Twitter, I have 95 friends on Facebook and 17 colleagues on LinkedIn.  My numbers are simply growing because I am hopefully providing quality information that people want to receive and I am building lasting relationships with people that I simply would not have met outside the world of social media. 
Mantra - Quality over Quantity!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Wow - Something new everyday in the world of social media.  OK I do realize this isn't new to some people but to me it is like Christmas morning when I get to open the biggest gift!  Today I am adding a TweetCloud to both of my blogs.  I noticed a tweet by @LCTwitizens saying that he (Oran Parker) was adding it to his blogs so I checked it out.  So cool!!  For those of you who do not know, a "Cloud" is a group of words that are referred to in your online conversations.  They have the appearance of a cloud with certain words being bolder and darker than others.  The more bold or dark a word is, the more you have used it.  Other programs make good use of clouds as well, for example, the social bookmarking site Delicious.

So what significance does this cloud have?  Is it just taking up space on my precious blogs?  It can be a powerful and fun tool for any online user.  Let's say you are interested in quotes or business and you see those words in my cloud.  You can click on the word and up will pop a list of entries I made that include those words.  How cool is that?  Let's take it one step further - let's say you are trying to brand your product online.  Would you agree that FREE advertising (publicity) is the best advertising?  You will see in my cloud at the moment the name Oran Parker, who recently gave a wonderful presentation on the power of Twitter which I tweeted about quite a bit.  In the online world SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the name of the game.  You want to have your brand appear as high on the search engine listing as possible when people are looking for help in your area of knowledge and the more your name appears on different websites and the more views those websites get, the higher the ranking.  If Oran wants to brand himself or his business it is advantageous to him to have his name appear on Twitter Clouds all over the web. 

“Every cloud has its silver lining but it is sometimes a little difficult to get it to the mint” Don Marquis
"Behind every cloud is another cloud.” Judy Garland

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My New Best Friend Twitter

I love you Twitter, oh yes I do, I love you Twitter, this much is true!!!  I was never a cheer leader but I think this is how that cheer starts.  I have fallen in deep love with Twitter.  I am in mini-blogger heavan.  The good news is you can love it too.  It is official, I have been using Twitter for 10 weeks now and I have learned a lot in that short amount of time.  So I thought I would tell you why I love my new best friend Twitter.
  • I have met so many new friends, as of today 436 to be exact. I love to read their tweets and I hope they love mine.  I find myself gravitating to those who tweet about personal growth, inspiration or business.
  • You are limited to 140 characters.  Short and sweet and I love that.  Nothing long winded and it is a challenge sometimes to limit those thoughts but so much fun to figure it out.  
  • RT's - Retweets!  I love RT's - I actually retweet a lot of information.  When I find something someone else has said and that I like, I will quickly RT it.  When you retweet you are giving recognition to the person who originally tweeted it.  It feels awesome when someone gives you credit for your own thoughts or work and it really feels great to give someone the credit and kudos they deserve for their work.  Note - if you want to be retweeted try to keep your tweets to 120 or less characters to give the RT'r the room to add your user name when RT'ing.
  • # - called a hashtag.  Usually tweets are individual thoughts that sometimes start a conversation but if you would like to create the community feel for a topic you can include it with a hashtag and watch the conversation unfold.  For example, one hashtag I follow is #LCTwitizens.  Just put that in the Twitter search box and you will see the stream of conversation.
  • Using Twitter you can easily share files, photos and video as well as much more.  You can simply type the URL in your tweet (using a URL shortner if necessary)
  • These last two I have not used personally but have watched them work for others.  First you can raise money for worthy causes.  The sheer size of twitters audience makes this possible.  Recently there was a Tweetathon to raise money to fight child hunger in the United States called 12for12K.  The idea was to raise $12,000 in 12 hours by passing along tweets and getting donations.  They actually ended up with a little over $14,000, a true success story.  Second if you are in business you can use Twitter as a customer service tool.  It is designed to have immediate results which is exactly what customer service should be.  You can resolve customers issue quickly with a personal touch and hopefully, if you are doing it right, build positive brand recognition at the same time.
These are just a few of the things I love about Twitter.  I could go on and on but won't.  OK maybe later but for now I will end with this - Twitter is a fast paced, I agree, but for me with a little focus I can see the huge potential for individuals and businesses alike. 

Friday, August 14, 2009

To LinkedIn or Not To LinkedIn

Recently I took two classes on the advantages of using LinkedIn. To tell you the truth I had never even heard of LinkedIn until a couple of weeks ago. I took a quick look at it and thought that it probably wasn't going to be for me. It looked like a site for people looking for a job - it reminded me of a resume'. I didn't consider myself to be actively looking for a job. I have to admit though that my two instructors have opened my eyes to the possibilities of LinkedIn.

The first class was taught by Barbara Giamanco, . Barbara is a Sales & Social Media Builder and she outlined 4 main reasons to use LinkedIn.

  1. Control your professional brand - you control what people see on your profile.
  2. Network and reconnect - connect with past colleagues and classmates. Those people all have other connections which could expand your network as well.
  3. Share your knowledge and expertise - ask your network and experts worldwide questions and/or answer question .
  4. Receive opportunities - whether that be a job with the company of your dreams or a consulting gig or even joint ventures.
She went on to explain that having a LinkedIn profile gives you great visibility through search engines. LinkedIn along with other well known sites such as Twitter & Facebook are well trusted by search engines so when you post information to them and someone searches for that information it is ranked very high on the list.

The second class was an advanced strategies class taught by Raymond "Chip" Lambert, . Another very informative class but this one focused more on the business development side of LinkedIn. How to use it to promote (brand) yourself and your business. I was very impressed with Chips knowledge and methods. He spoke extensively on knowing your:

  1. Goals - specifics example he gave 100 teleconferences in 100 days - that specific!
  2. Perfect Client - specific characteristics - monetary, geographical, age, gender!
  3. Sales & Marketing, Business Development - what works for your business. Speaking engagements, joint ventures, referral partners, etc.

At this time LinkedIn has over 40 million members so I thought I would put it to the test. I started my profile, To be honest it took me a few days to get it done but that is because I only had small bits of time each day. Actually LinkedIn is telling me I am only 85% done with my profile but for now it is close enough. It is quite comprehensive but once I got to a point where I felt like I was comfortable with my details I was off and looking for connections. This was actually the fun part. I started finding people from my past employment as well as people from my address book. I was actually quite surprised at how many people I knew that were on LinkedIn. If you are reading this and on LinkedIn I would love to connect with you. At this moment I only have 10 contacts but those 10 people are connected to an additional 7,000 people. Then those 7,000 people are connected to an additional 925,000 which means that through a few introductions I could quickly expand my network. Thus the reason to use LinkedIn - It's not who you know, It's who they know and are willing to introduce you to.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

5 Steps to Social Media Relationship Building

Hello All - In my last post I told you that I am starting to learn about the world of social media. I am in the process of taking a class from called Social Media University. 1st I should say that the class has been amazing and well worth the money but this is not a promo for the class - just an observation. We have had about 6 class so far and have learned a lot about Twitter and Facebook as well as why we should be using social media. I find it amazing how quickly social media has sky rocketed in the last year or two. We are a society in love with immediate gratification and social connection and social media gives us both. But what I have learned in the past couple of weeks is that the most important aspect of Social Media is building a personal relationships.

A relationship is defined as a connection between two people or objects - the dealings and feelings that exist between those two people. So how do you build a relationship with total strangers in cyberspace? People need to first know you, then they can like you and only then they will trust you. Building that trust is the key to success in social media. So again how do you build that relationship?

  1. Put yourself out there! Are you making yourself available to meet people? What does your bio say about you? It is important that your bio be interesting and intriguing so as to create the desire for someone to take the time to find out more about you. Are you smiling in your profile picture? Yes you MUST have a profile picture.

  2. Reach out to others! Are you following people on Twitter or are you a friend or fan on Facebook? You must extend the first hand, get out of your comfort zone and make the first move. You will actually find some interesting and exciting people out there. Do not go crazy and add hundreds of people at one time because that could actually get you banned from some sites instead you should have a plan. How many people do you want to add each week? How many would that be each day? What you will find is that a lot of those people will start to follow you as well.

  3. Share information about yourself and your passions! On a daily basis you should post something that you find to be relevant to your life. That may be an inspirational quote, a comment on something newsworthy or it may just be a statement about your day but it should be something that lets people get a feel for who you are. You can do this multiple times a day but note there is such a thing as too much.

  4. Interact with people! There are multiple ways you can interact with people. On Twitter you could re-tweet something someone said that you found interesting, direct message or @reply people to ask them questions or make a statement about something they said. On Facebook you could comment on something they posted or write on their wall. The important thing is that you took the time to engage them in conversation, although it may be a short conversation.

  5. Help people - don't spam them! Take the time to provide them with information that is relevant and important in their lives. For example, if you read a great article about personal growth you could share that link so that your followers could read it. If you have experience in a certain area provide people with tips that can improve that area of their life. Do not continuously send them information and links promoting your products or services. A great rule of thumb is 10 non-sales contacts for each sales contact according to Social Media expert Nancy Marmolejo.

At this point you will have given them the opportunity to know you, by providing them information about you, then like you, by providing them with valuable and helpful information for their life, and then and only then will they trust you. Now you have to focus on keeping their trust! It is not as hard as it seems. Be genuine, kind and helpful and you will be amazed how many people will want to trust you.

Friday, July 24, 2009


OK I'll admit it - I am scared. At this moment a little more scared about blogging than the actual subject but if you had asked me yesterday before I decided to blog about my experiences I would have been more scared about social media. I don't know about you but a month ago I thought social media was for teenagers. Every kid I know has a My Space account and that is what I thought social media was - a place for teenagers to hook up.

Then about a month ago I started thinking about writing something, a book, a pamphlet, a letter - anything I could do to express some of these thoughts I have all the time. I have spent 40+ years absorbing all the information the world would give me and have now decided that it is time for me to share. I am going to give you the fast forward version of how I got to this particular point in time - Write a book? How to publish? OK how to self-publish? How to promote? What the heck is social media? - OK now these 5 steps took me several weeks but I woke up one morning and realized there is a whole world out there I knew nothing about and anyone who knows me knows I can't stand that. I have to know at least something about everything - how else can I form my opinion and I am very full of opinion. LOL

Over the previous months a couple of my friends had joined Facebook and asked me to join but I declined. I told one of them when she asked why I hadn't joined that I didn't want to have to talk to other people on my computer which, of course, was why my yahoo address was always on invisible. Not that I am not social just that I stay pretty busy and I didn't want anyone to be offended if they saw me online and I didn't speak to them. Then I saw an article about twitter and that looked like something I would like. Short and sweet messages from me to the outer world. People would hear what I have to say but I wouldn't have to hold a conversation with anyone. So on June 14, 2009 I opened a twitter account,, and sent my first tweet. It said "Wow! 1st twitter comment - what to say? Inspire - to affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence. I want to be inspirational!". I was hooked but still confused. I started following different people and had people start following me but I wasn't sure how to use it to my advantage.

My search for help took me to a site I had in my favorites but I have to be honest was not visiting on a regular basis I had signed up for a member account (not as an expert yet) and was receiving a few emails and newsletters but had really not paid much attention to them. One of the messages I got from Self Growth said they were going to have a teleseminar about how to use social media - it's amazing - exactly what I was looking for. I will stop here but be sure to come back to read about what I started learning in the class.......