Social Media Marketing GPS: A Creative Social Media Guide

Posted on June 8, 2010. Filed under: Marketing and Public Relations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Toby Bloomberg's ebook, Social Media Marketing GPS, is specially formatted for e-readers

Twitter is a powerful publishing platform. But when messages are limited to 140 characters it has its limits, right?

Well, less than you might think — if you’re as resourceful as Toby Bloomberg. She recently published an ebook based on interviews conducted via Twitter.

A guide to social media, one tweet at a time

As Toby explains in the introduction to her free ebook, titled Social Media Marketing GPS:

“The goal was to create a comprehensive body of knowledge that could serve as a roadmap (GPS) for developing a strategic social media plan. My thoughts were if this could be accomplished in a series of 140 character tweets it might help ease the apprehension for people new to social media, while at the same time, providing a review and offering some interesting ideas for those more experienced.”

Toby admits the whole thing was conceived as an experiment.

Based on the result, I’d say it’s a success. Social Media Marketing GPS is a shining example of the power of communication conveyed through social media.

Featuring advice from 40 marketing pros

The book features tweets from 40 professional marketers, all of whom are avid practitioners of social media.

Some handle social media for corporations or agencies, while others are solopreneurs. Contributors include Paul Chaney, Mack Collier, Roxanne Darling, Ann Handley, Beth Harte, Neville Hobson, Tim Jackson, John Maley, Scott Monty, B.L. Ochman, Connie Reece, David Meerman Scott and Liz Strauss.

Certain of those names are well known; still, I like that Toby didn’t simply turn to the uber-darling “usual suspects” of social media to create her book.

Not that there’s anything wrong with superstar power. It’s just nice to hear from others who are in the trenches, blogging, vlogging, podcasting, Facebooking, Tweeting, branding, and otherwise successfully engaged in social media marketing.

That, of course, is part of the beauty of social media: It helps level the playing field for who has a voice (and impact) in the marketplace.

Big ideas presented in bite-size nuggets

Each chapter of Social Media Marketing GPS features useful ideas and opinions regarding social media strategies and tactics. Topics covers tools and platforms, ethics, metrics, branding, blogger relations and more — all presented in bite-size nuggets.

In a way its presentation strikes me as being akin to how you might use a yellow marker when reading, to highlight essential details. Only in this instance, the content is strictly the highlights.

Toby is the consummate conversationalist

Toby — who, in case you did not know, is a popular blogger and marketing maven in her own right —  serves as ringleader, instigating interviews with a leadoff question. She embellishes each chapter with concise introductions and summaries of key concepts, and then closes out with questions to consider when creating a social media marketing plan.

These questions also invite you to think about each topic — on your own — which enables Toby to create a kind of conversation between the ebook and its readers.

Of course, if anyone knows how to generate stimulating conversation — virtual or otherwise — it’s Toby. She does it all the time on Diva Marketing Talks, her podcast series featuring chats with experts about all things social media. Those familiar with the series may note a considerable overlap between her guests on Diva Marketing Talks and the individuals featured in Social Media Marketing GPS.

Useful to both new and experienced marketers

Meanwhile, Toby does succeed in her goal of creating a book of value to both newbies and those experienced in social media. Wherever you may fall on that spectrum, I recommend you give it a read.

And by the way, if you happen to have an e-reader, the book is specially formatted for this handy gadget.

– Deni Kasrel

Have you read Social Media Marketing GPS? What do you think of it? Comments welcome.

Advertisements
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

Inbound Marketing: How To Get Found On The Web

Posted on February 16, 2010. Filed under: Books, Business Strategy, Marketing and Public Relations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Here’s a tip to ensure you rank high on search engine results for a particular concept: make it up yourself.

Start a company, write a bunch of blog posts and offer webinars — all based on the concept. Once the idea gets some traction, write a book about it.

Do this and you own the keywords for that concept.

That’s the deal with inbound marketing, a term popularized by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah — the founders of Hubspot, an internet marketing company, and co- authors of Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs (The New Rules of Social Media).

Present your message when people want to receive it

What is inbound marketing? Well, it’s the opposite of outbound marketing, a.k.a. traditional marketing, a.k.a. interruption marketing. Which is to say, the opposite of print, TV and radio ads, direct mail, telemarketing and any other way companies push a message in front of consumers.

All this is becoming less effective because we tune it out, either psychologically, or for real — via DVR, satellite radio, spam filters and do-not-call lists.

Meanwhile, we’re ever more inclined to shop, and do research on what we want to buy, through search engines, and by reading information and recommendations posted on social media sites.

Enter inbound marketing, where you create ways for people find your message when they’re amenable to receiving it.

How do I find thee? Let me count the ways.

It’s things like RSS feeds, opt-in email newsletters, blogs that are not simply about your product or service but are more broadly informative about the industry in which you operate, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising and having a presence on social media outlets.

All of which is addressed in Inbound Marketing, a guide for success with this 21st century marketing method.

Smart strategic advice

The book presents step-by-step plans plus strategies and tactics.  It explains the fundamentals; RSS, blogs, SEO, Twitter, etc. — to include how to track your progress. Halligan and Shah are data guys — hey, they’re MIT grads — sticklers for measuring results.

Smart advice supplements copious how-to material. For instance, a “Getting Found on Google” chapter notes the importance keywords play in search engine optimization while cautioning that choosing only the most popular relevant terms is not necessarily the way to go — because the most popular keywords are also the most competitive, making it harder to achieve high rank.

For sites just starting out the authors advise choosing keywords with low competition: “Then, as you build authority for your web pages, and start ranking for these keywords, you can move up to higher volume keywords that have more competition.”

If you’re hedging between several keywords, the suggestion is to “consider launching a small PPC (pay-per-click) advertising campaign to determine what your best keywords might be.”

A practical primer

Advice on how to drive traffic to a website is all well and good, however, Halligan and Shah realize the ultimate goal of all that effort is to drum up business. Once you figure how to get found, Inbound Marketing provides tips for turning interest into sales, with landing pages and calls to action.

Each chapter concludes with a case study plus handy to-do list for implementing an action plan.

Concise and straightforward, there’s no fancy theories or eloquent prose. This is a practical primer. Read it and learn how to be found on the inbound.

– Deni Kasrel

What are  your thoughts on Inbound Marketing? Do you think Halligan and Shah are onto something?

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

The Boob Trial

Posted on December 2, 2009. Filed under: Blogs/Blogging | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Guest post by: Steve Hartkopf | Read his blog

If you blog, then you know that generating traffic takes constant promotion, especially in the beginning.  My blog readership is up nicely this year and it isn’t an accident — I work hard.

I believe bloggers earn every one of their readers. That said, I’m always searching for new ways to attract more readers. This post is about how that very common goal led me down an unexpected path.

The path between my pragmatic readership goal and what I’m now calling, The Boob Trial, requires some background.

Sex sells

It’s no surprise, especially to those of you who have teenage boys, that words associated with sex and the female anatomy are highly (Highly!) searched on the Internet. I mixed those two facts and, whammo, The Boob Trial was born.

Joanna Krupa is a famous bikini model and recent contestant on Dancing With The Stars, which is where I was introduced to her. When she was (unjustly) eliminated last week, she handled it with maturity and poise. Her fans, however, did not. They sent emails and posted comments about Joanna’s treatment, they acted like boobs. I took the liberty of naming them, Joanna Krupa’s boobs. My November, 23 blog, “Bloggers, Don’t Act Like Joanna Krupa’s Boobs,” was written to coach my fellow bloggers using Joanna as an example.

I just wanted them to redirect their energies and stop whining about how hard it is to find an audience. If you’re a great writer it may be “unfair” that you can’t generate an audience. Who knows? But whining is not the cure or the solution to your problem. The solution, as it is in most of life, is hard work. OK, so I had a little fun with boobs. Hey, you know what I mean.

The boob test

Good tests have limited variables so I abandoned my usual promotional activities and only posted a few Tweets.  I do a lot more promoting for most of my blog entries, but this was my version of a Mammogram, a boob test. The results were probably predictable but hilarious, nonetheless.

To determine the impact of boobs I needed some numbers, so I calculated my average pageviews, bounce rates and visitor duration for the prior three months and they became my baseline, my average day. Here are the results:

  • “Boobs” increased my pageviews 331%. 331%!
  • My bounce rate, which refers to the number of people who view one page and leave, went up 340%. That’s bad because it means virtually none of my new visitors stuck around to peruse my site. One and done, baby.
  • The average length of time spent on my site is about 4:00 minutes but I’ve had visitors hang around for a half an hour. Not Monday. The average visit was under 30 seconds. Apparently my new visitors aren’t big readers. No pics, no sticks.

More than meets the eye?

I’m always very grateful when anyone takes the time to read my blog, leave a comment or send an email. So I want all my loyal readers to know that I don’t ever plan on using such tactics again.

However, if it weren’t for my little experiment, would Deni have asked me to write a guest blog? So maybe suspending my better judgment wasn’t a bad idea? Maybe there’s more here than meets the eye? I wonder what Heidi Klum is up to?

Steve Hartkopf, is the founder and managing partner of Aligned Marketing, LLC a marketing consulting and technology solutions provider. Steve’s insights and clear communication cut through the noise to increase sales, improve profitability and lower costs.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

An Easy Trick For Increasing How Often You Post To Your Blog

Posted on November 3, 2009. Filed under: Blogs/Blogging | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

calendar (image by Big Stock Photo)Did you know this November is Better Blog Month?

Yes, it was decreed so by Cathy Larkin, a public relations/social media consultant, who has designed a month-long program for improving the content of your blog.

A well thought-out program

Larkin says one of the reasons she devised this scheme is because she wants to improve her own blog. She reckoned, why not have others join in the process? Which is, by the way, nicely thought-out.

Larkin posted invites to her program via LinkedIn and Twitter. I saw her tweet and enlisted in this blog boot-camp.

Each week of Better Blog Month has a different theme, with corresponding exercises to complete. The process begins with self-examination: You ask yourself why you’re blogging in the first place and then take a hard look as to whether your blog does indeed meet all of those goals. If not, then make a note of where the holes are and think about how you can plug them.

Write shorter, post more

An end-goal of the project is for participants to post more frequently.

Posting more frequently can help your search engine optimization (SEO), because search engines seek out new content, and a fresh flow of stories means visitors come to your site more often, which also affects your search rank.

One easy way of posting more often, so Larkin tells me, and especially if you are pressed for time, is to write shorter posts.

One trick to writing shorter posts is to dash off an intro and link to an article that you like and think will be of interest to your readers.

Apparently it’s cool to link to articles that you’ve written for other web sites.

Let’s give it a whirl: I wrote a more detailed post with notes and early impressions of Better Blog Month for The Bloggers Bulletin.

It’s got more tips on how to improve blog content. Here’s the link to the story titled One Month To A Better Blog.

– Deni Kasrel

What are some of your tricks for increasing the frequency of posting to a blog? Care to share? Comments welcome.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Should Employers Ban Personal Use of Social Media While On the Job?

Posted on October 22, 2009. Filed under: Best practices, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Not Approved sign (Big Stock Photo)Did you know more companies are banning employees from using social networks while on the job?

Oh, really? Not one tweet, or a single Facebook comment all the live-long workday? Surely some folks will go into withdrawal. That stuff is addictive, you know.

Meantime, Iran tried to ban use of social media, and that didn’t work, so what chance does an employer have of making the rule stick?

Yet more businesses are adopting a no-if-ands-or-buts stance on the matter.

Outright prohibition

Robert Half Technology, an agency providing information technology professionals for both part-time and full-time needs recently polled 1,400 CIOs regarding company policy on worker’s visiting social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter while at work. Here are the results:

54% Prohibited completely

19% Permitted for business purposes only

16% Permitted for limited personal use

10% Permitted for any type of personal use

1%   Don’t know/no answer

A press release about the survey notes Robert Half Executive Director Dave Willmer’s sensitivity to employers: “Using social networking sites may divert employees’ attention away from more pressing priorities, so it’s understandable that some companies limit access.”

Willmer goes on to state, “For some professions, however, these sites can be leveraged as effective business tools, which may be why about one in five companies allows their use for work-related purposes.”

Why single it out?

Social networking for personal purposes is a diversion from work responsibilities. So is making a personal phone call, replying to personal email, engaging in small talk around the office coffee pot, taking a cigarette break, surfing the Net, and any number of other ways that individuals may not be 100% on the job while on the company clock.

And let’s get real; outright prohibition is impossible to enforce given the prevalence of smartphones, which offer ready access to the Internet, and hence all those social sites.

The trend is only going up

Social media is undeniably an ever-growing mode of communication. For many, it’s as familiar a way to converse and share information as the telephone and email. That goes for personal and business use.

Risks are real

Companies are wise to be cognizant of social media — to promote their own purposes, and as pertains to the potential for it to turn into a time suck on employee productivity.  Even if someone intends to jump on just for a quick jolt, it’s easy to get entranced on these platforms.

There are reputation risks. Workers may post comments that reflect badly on their employer, and perhaps themselves. Anyone can do the same offline. Bad judgment isn’t limited to the social media sphere.

Establish a policy

When change happens fast, and with force, it can be difficult to know how to handle the disruption.  That’s what’s going on here. Two years ago Twitter’s audience was limited — now, it’s where major news breaks. Facebook has in excess of 300 million users.

Companies do need to devise ways to deal with all that comes with this new circumstance.

But a ban? Well, that’s just plain crazy talk.

The sensible thing to do is to create and publicize a policy that establishes reasonable practical parameters for employee use of, and behavior on, these networks. I wrote a post about this in August. It spells things out nice and simple.

For additional resources and actual examples of social media policies, hit these two links:

Social Media Governance: Online database of social media policies

List of 40 Social Media Staff Guidelines (from blog of Laurel Papworth)

Companies are made up of people, not robots.

Bottom line: Organizations must be mindful about what is a realistic solution here.

Employees may be resources, but they are human resources.

– Deni Kasrel

Related post:

How To Create A Winning Corporate Social Media Policy

Do you think employers should prohibit personal use of social networks while on the job? Is it even possible to enforce such a policy? What do you think? Comments welcome.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 5 so far )

Four Great Blogs About Blogging

Posted on October 15, 2009. Filed under: Blogs/Blogging | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Have you noticed how many blogs are about blogging?

Clearly, the blogging community embraces the rule of thumb to write about what you know.

The upshot is; if you’re a blogger, or want to become one, there’s a plethora of free resources available on the web. Here are four sites that I find useful:

Copyblogger

Copyblogger lives and breathes the content is king mantra.

copyblogger logoIt’s serious about teaching us how to write great copy. As would be expected of such a site, it’s an entertaining read. Illustrations are frequently funny and you might want to visit it just for the grabby headlines (one example: How to Be Interesting).

Copyblogger posts are sharp and to the point — no fancy prose or hyper-pontificating allowed. While the big focus is on the art of writing, the site believes there’s little point to putting a lot of effort in this regard if no one reads your blog. To help ensure this doesn’t happen to you it includes marketing tips, too.

Considered tops in the biz, Copyblogger routinely winds up on lists for “best of’ and “most influential” blogs along with…

ProBlogger

ProBlogger logoThe big kahuna in the blogging-for-dollars space, it’s the brainchild of Darren Rowse, who figured out early-on how to make money from blogging and subsequently surmised he could make even more by creating a blog to help others do the same.

The site has several thousands of articles as well as a weekly video post. ProBlogger is chock full of practical tips and tutorials on writing, publicizing, search engine optimizing, analyzing and otherwise getting the most bang from your blogging. Leading by example, it’s got a heavy ad/sales component.

Daily Blog Tips

This one offers a daily dose of information on blog-related topics (though it does rest on Sundays). The content is wide-ranging and includes design, marketing, promotion, software, tools, strategy and plenty more — in terms of comprehensive coverage, you can’t beat it.

Daily Blog Tips logoEvery Friday Daily Blog Tips has a Q&A in response to queries from readers. Another recurring feature is the Bloggers Face-Off where two bloggers respond to a series of questions and readers can vote on the winner. Here you can readily see that there are many approaches for creating a successful blog.

Consistently offering good info, DBT is one of my go-to sources when I’m looking for articles to tweet.

The Bloggers Bulletin

A relatively new kid on the block, The Blogger’s Bulletin was launched to support members of a group on LinkedIn called The Blog Zone. The pool of contributors draws from this group though anyone can read The Bloggers Bulletin.

The Blogger's Bulletin logo (with border)Much like Daily Blog Tips, the site takes a big picture view of what all’s involved in blogging. It has a long list of contributors — one of its purposes is to help writers, including those just starting out, get placement outside of their own blog and to provide a link back to the writer’s blog as a way to help increase traffic and boost search engine optimization. This community-minded approach results in a nice diversity of writing styles, views and opinions.

– Deni Kasrel

What’s YOUR  take on these blogs about blogging? Do you know of other sites that should be added to the great blogs about blogging list? Please feel free to make suggestions.  Comments welcome.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Trend Watch: What is Lifestreaming?

Posted on September 29, 2009. Filed under: Social Media, Trends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

sky in window (Big Stock Photo image)There’s talk about how blogs are soon to be deceased in lieu of lifestreaming.

The Doomsdayers believe the blog scene might as well be hooked up to a respirator: With notable exceptions given to big-shot bloggers and major blog sites that are already heavily entrenched in their respective market niches.

I don’t buy it. I think the prognosis for the persistence of blogs, in general, is excellent.

It’s not an either/or proposition. Still, this business of lifestreaming is intriguing.

What is lifestreaming?

The precise definition of lifestreaming elicits different responses depending on whom you ask.

I favor easy-to-digest explanations; so let’s go with this one from lifestreamblog:

“In it’s simplest form it’s a chronological aggregated view of your life activities both online and offline. It is only limited by the content and sources that you use to define it.”

Well, that sure narrows it down.

Just like life, it’s a lot of things

Let’s start with lifestreaming as a “chronological aggregated view,” big giant window, or however else you choose to describe uploading a bunch of information, in one place, where others can see it.

Next, it’s only limited by “the content and sources that you use to define it.”

So… blog posts, updates to your various social media sites — LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, etc. — links, tidbits, social bookmarks, emails that you float into the stream – basically it’s like creating a single network for all your different online channels.

Lifestreaming can happen in real-time. Hence, you can send a live video feed of what you’re doing at a given time.

Depending on your outlook, lifestreaming can be really cool, or TMI; as in too much information.

The stream scheme

There are numerous avenues for getting your life into the stream of things — some are more robust than others. Popular lifestreaming applications include FriendFeed, Lifestrea.ms, Posterous, Profilactic and Tumblr.

One obvious advantage to lifesteaming is that your friends and followers don’t need to visit many different sites to see your Tweets, Facebook entries, photos, videos, slideshows and all the rest of it. Now there’s a one-stop shop.

Conversely, a lifestreamer need not go to all those same sites to upload, or respond to comments on, his/her posts.

In any event, convergence is increasing. Facebook did buy FriendFeed, after all. You can post to Facebook from Twitter.  You can import your blog and other applications to WordPress.

There’s surely more to come down this particular pike.

To stream, or not?

Inputting and viewing everything all in one place is not for everyone. The stream can look like too much disorganized clutter to certain eyes.

However, if you truly want your life to be an open book, this is an easy way to go for it.

– Deni Kasrel

What do YOU think of lifestreaming? Is it the next greatest thing, or way too much information? Comments welcome.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Wonder Gals of Web 2.0

Posted on September 10, 2009. Filed under: Marketing and Public Relations, Outstanding Communicators, Web 2.0 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

SuperwomanA Twitter pal recently turned me on to an article titled Wonder Guys of Marketing 2.0. The post highlighted five “marvelous people” who are responsible for popular blogs and big ideas.

The five guys are: Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Chris Hughes, Brian Clark and Michael Arrington. All stand out in the world of Web 2.0. To find out why, read the Wonder Guys piece.

But enough with the boys club routine. Does Web 2.0 have a glass ceiling?

Me thinks not.

Sisters are doin’ it for themselves. They’re blazing trials and are true thought leaders whose ideas and opinions matter. And so I present the first installment of Wonder Gals of Web 2.0.

Toby Bloomberg

Toby Bloomberg Best known for Diva Marketing Blog, Bloomberg has been in the web trenches since the late 1990s. Savvy and street-smart with a down-to-earth attitude, Bloomberg helps demystify marketing and social media while having fun along the way. Her jaunty Diva blog consistently ranks among the top in its field and she makes things even livelier with Diva Marketing Talks , her podcast series, featuring chats with other media hotshots.

A staunch advocate for employing blogging as a means of personal empowerment, Bloomberg’s compelling Blogger Stories project compiled tales “of how the blogosphere has touched people’s lives and, in doing so, opened the door to new way of creating relationships and opportunities.”

This clever Wonder Gal created the first business book using Twitter as a distribution channel and content platform. An active organizer and speaker for multiple organizations, she also heads Bloomberg Marketing, a strategic consultancy.

Deirdre Breakenridge

Deirdre BreakenridgeBreakenridge wrote the book on public relations as applied to Web 2.0. Make that two books: She’s author of PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools, New Audiences and co-author, with Brian Solis, of Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media Is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR. Both take a penetrating look at how social media and other emerging technologies affect the ways and means of public relations.

Breakenridge also penned The New PR Toolkit: Strategies for Successful Media Relations and Cyberbranding: Brand Building in the Digital Economy, plus she’s a university professor; so her knowledge runs deep. In writing, teaching, and speaking engagements Breakenridge is a thoughtful passionate force for “reinventing the PR industry.” She was among the first to call out the seismic shift in 21st century reporting and news distribution and the subsequent rise of direct-to-consumer communication.

Proving she can both teach and do, as president of PFS Marketwyse, Breakenridge leads a full-service enterprise that enables companies to bolster brands by integrating traditional and new media marketing.

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington Whether or not you agree with her politics you can’t deny that Huffington has rocked the blogosphere. As co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post she pioneered the notion of blogs having a real seat at the news table and legitimized bloggers as authentic journalists.

The HP has grown into a powerhouse publication. It’s now one of the most widely read and influential media brands on the internet. Huffington’s clout enables her to attract an impressive array of contributors, making The HP an entertaining and stimulating source of news and views.

This noted political pundit keeps current with media trends: In mid-August her site launched HuffPost Social News which uses Facebook Connect to enable readers to create social news pages. The author of 12 books, Huffington was cited in 2006 by Time as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People and named Media Person of the Year in 2008 by I Want Media.

Charlene Li

Charlene Li Recently making headlines for enticing web superstars Deborah Schultz, Ray Wang and Jeremiah Owyang to join her company, Altimeter Group, Li is an oft-quoted seer of the cyber scene. She’s co-author, with Josh Bernoff, of Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, a prescient and practical bestselling book on how businesses can benefit from social media.

The smarty-pants Harvard-grad honed her analytical skills at Forrester, a leading market research company; and as an early proponent of the power of the web, in the 1990s Li created the concept for and launched the internet publishing division of Community Newspaper Company, where she brought 120 community newspapers online.

Li’s into identifying and finding solutions to business problems: Having observed how certain companies have a tough time adopting a social media mindset, part of her current research revolves around studying and resolving a leading obstacle in this regard; corporate aversion to risk.

Li’s many kudos include being acknowledged by Fast Company as one of the Most Influential Women in Technology and being named Visionary of the Year by Society for New Communications Research.

Valeria Maltoni

Valeria MaltoniA marketer, consultant and prolific speaker/presenter, Maltoni advises CEOs on best practices for managing corporate image. Online, she’s recognized for the prodigious content of her uber-popular Conversation Agent. The multi award-winning blog is distinguished by its incisive interviews with individuals from all aspects of the business communications mix, as well as for Valeria’s viewpoints on subjects that veer from the big picture, to small yet important details.

Forthright and provocative, this Wonder Gal calls it as she sees it, often in a bright staccato style that lays out precisely what’s on her keen mind. For instance in a post about company blogs she writes, “Your blog WILL suck at first…. As you become more familiar with the space, and the tool, your efforts will improve.”

Fast Company snagged Maltoni for its Customer Conversation blog and she built one of the publication’s first online communities.  Her words of wisdom also appear in Marketing Profs Daily Fix, Marketing 2.0, Social Media Today and The Blog Herald.

Tamar Weinberg

Tamar WeinbergA web bio for Weinberg states that “Tamar is a member of just about every social network that has a name,” and that’s the truth. She’s also an avid blogger and opinion leader who currently contributes to Real Simple, Lateral Action, Mashable and Techipedia, the latter being her personal blog that explores and explains social media and internet marketing. This self-described “tech geek” knows the web from top to bottom, including pay per click, system administration and search engine optimization.

Besides blogging for Mashable, Weinberg is the site’s community and marketing director, where, she says, “my job is to make our valued members happy.” She finds time to be a media consultant for Say It Social, she’s an editor for Pistachio Consulting Touchbase Blog, and is an independent social media marketing consultant.

With that load only a Wonder Woman could squeeze in writing a book, and Weinberg has done that, too. She penned The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web. Released in July, it’s already a must-read guide for learning the intricacies of how to make the most of the many nodes of the socially networked web.

More Wonder Gals?

So that’s the first installment of Wonder Gals of Web 2.0. It’s a terrific group of individuals who’ve done great things to educate, innovate, build community and otherwise move the social web forward.

There are surely others worthy of the Wonder Gal moniker.  But I don’t have all the answers — let me know who you think deserves to be on the list.

– Deni Kasrel

What do YOU think about these Wonder Gals of Web 2.0? Who did I miss? Comments welcome.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 8 so far )

How To Create A Winning Corporate Social Media Policy

Posted on August 26, 2009. Filed under: Best practices, Blogs/Blogging, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Nearly every day there’s another research report raving about how corporations are getting into social media. One study — Social Media: Embracing the Opportunities, Averting the Risk — dares to be different.referee signaling a touchdown- image by bigstockphoto

Yes, it includes those juicy numbers that gets everyone all exercised about the speed at which social media acceptance is accelerating. But then it pokes under the covers to reveal how deep-down, many executives think social media is risky business.

The biggest fear factors concern how use of social media while on the clock diminishes productivity as well as increases an IT infrastructure’s odds of being hit with computer viruses, and that corporate reputation can be damaged based on what employees post to their personal online accounts.

The report, prepared by Russell Herder and Ethos Business Law, notes that the majority of these leery leaders are apt to visit social media sites to suss out what’s being said about their business — by outsiders and staffers alike — or to check out the competition.

Source: Russell Herder/Ethos Law, Social Media: Embracing the Opportunities, Averting the Risk, August 2009

Source: Russell Herder/Ethos Law, Social Media: Embracing the Opportunities, Averting the Risk, August 2009

Meanwhile, only 13 percent have included social media as part of the organization’s crises communications plans.

All defense and no offense

It’s wise to be concerned about chatter a company is instigating in cyberspace. Monitoring should be ongoing, findings analyzed and replies registered when warranted.

However, to trot out a familiar sports analogy, engaging with social media strictly to see what others are doing is akin to having a defense and no offense. You’re not being proactive and are at risk of enabling the competition to succeed at your expense.

Plus, if a crisis does occur, isn’t it better to know from experience how the game is played rather than sitting on the sidelines and then trying to figure it out under pressure, on the fly?

A better game plan

You can’t play the social media game from a distance. It’s imperative to get involved to advance your goals.

Here’s where the report really shines by spelling out best practices of good corporate social media policy. These include:

Maintain a consistent attitude

Social media guidelines should reflect the general corporate culture. For example, if your credo is all about being flexible and open-minded, then continue that mindset with social media.

Set rules and be sure everyone knows what they are

Because it’s an informal means of communication social media can be an easy if accidental conduit for exposing confidential information. Ensure it’s understood that any existing regulations regarding the disclosure of proprietary information also pertain to social media.

Be clear about when players can wear uniforms

Employees have professional and personal identities. A business may not go so far as to try and regulate the personal part, but it can establish what’s in or out of bounds. If employees makes personal posts that blast a political party should they be allowed to identify their business title and the company they work for? Is it okay for employees to list their work email address when making personal comments on controversial blogs? Good policy addresses potentially contentious issues and defines what’s prohibited.

Focus on performance

Engagement with social media can impact productivity. But a total prohibition of its use during work hours is not only impossible to enforce but also onerous. It’s okay to set restrictions, such as saying employees can only post to personal sites during a lunch break. Whatever the procedure, the focus should be on job performance rather taking a hard line about “company time.”

Be transparent

Companies that spy on employee usage of social media should let it be known that they are doing so. Disciplinary actions that can result as a breach of protocol should be clearly spelled out.

Run a training camp

Guidelines are all well and good, but risks are mitigated and compliance better achieved by clearly stating the rules of the game. Create a comprehensive training plan to let everyone know the playbook.

Get in the game

The best way to succeed with social media is to be a player. Establish a scheme to meet your objectives. Then grab the ball and run with it.

– Deni Kasrel

What type of social media game plan do YOU think a company should have? Comments welcome.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )

    About

    This blog contains strategies, tactics, news, advice, opinions and the occassional random thought

    RSS

    Subscribe Via RSS

    • Subscribe with Bloglines
    • Add your feed to Newsburst from CNET News.com
    • Subscribe in Google Reader
    • Add to My Yahoo!
    • Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    • The latest comments to all posts in RSS

    Meta

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...