To Link or Not To Link

I like to talk with people. I love the exchange of ideas. I’m also keen on sharing knowledge. Last night I had the opportunity to speak to a group of local business owners about social media. The joy of talking with other small business owners is palpable for me.

At one point in our discussion last night one of the participants said ‘and don’t link your Facebook to your twitter or you’ll piss Gayle off’. I can’t deny that this is true; you will irritate me beyond belief. Nonetheless, I do not believe I am the ONLY one!

People link accounts because it is convenient. It is easy to think, I can post to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, etc and all I have to do it type it once. After all convenience is the American Way. The part that is not being considered in this scenario is the convenience of the reader (your audience). Each of the social media platforms has their own special way of interacting. What works well on one doesn’t necessarily work well on another.

When you insist on posting for your convenience and not the convenience of your reader (target audience) you run the risk of alienating the people who enjoy one platform over another. For example here in town there is a company that was VERY engaging on Twitter when they first opened their business. They posted the daily special, and were incredibly engaging with customers. At some point in time they discovered the ability to link Facebook to their Twitter account.

Now every tweet looks like this:Even worse, they no longer notice when someone tweets to them and they lose any chance of interaction.

The inverse is also true. I have a friend who constantly sends twitter retweets through to her Facebook. Unfortunately, even a wonderful message like this one:seems strange in a world where RT (retweet) and # (hashtags) aren’t common.

And in case you don’t yet know it, Social Media is about being SOCIAL! So think twice before linking your social networks for YOUR convenience. If you learn the common practices of each network and tailor your message to fit that format you will find your message better received. Believe me your customer will notice.

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Are you Using Social Media to it’s Full Amplification?

A goal of mine in 2012, along with consolidating my blogging, was to write consistently about social media. Last year I did well keeping up with my inspirational blog, and the occasional posts to my Glynne’s Soaps blog; However, when it came to blogging about social media, I quite simply was not any good.

What I have discovered in 2012 is that while I have plenty to say about social media, my tenor is snarky. I want to blast some guy who inappropriately (in my opinion) shared his chicken soup recipe. I want to prattle on and on (WOW do I have a WHOLE LOT to say about the guy who invites me to some event every day via Facebook and Linkedin (often after I have declined MULTIPLE times). I want to call out people who give me Klout on off-the-wall topics. I want to take all my frustration and put it here and lead you in with a snappy headline.

Unfortunately, for me, and fortunately, for you, THAT isn’t what Social Media is about. Too often we get caught up in the anonymity of the media and forget the social. We get caught up in complaining about the service at our favorite or not favorite restaurant. We complain about our neighbors or whine about our ailments. And really, WHO WANTS TO HEAR THAT?

It’s a trap, the trap of self absorption! We have all, no matter our age, fallen into the me generation! Are you tweeting because you want to be seen as an expert on a topic? Is your Facebook all about promoting your next event? Is LinkedIn just a place to disseminate your blog? What about google+ is it non stop drivel?

Now is the time to get clear on your message! Decide who you are and how you want your social media efforts to be received; then step out of your shoes and into your audience’s shoes. Figure out what they want to hear and how they want to hear it. When you do, you will enjoy the amplification of your voice as social media can do so well.

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Success Is Not A One-Way Street

We have all met those socially awkward people who believe everyone is dying to know everything about them. They trap you in a corner at a cocktail party and tell you everything you never wanted to know about the details of their life. After that first encounter, we learn to avoid the possibility of a trap; we have devised an escape route, or enlisted a friend to ‘save us’.

one waySocial media is no different. There are those business people for whom it is a one-way conversation. Every message they present is a commercial for their product or service. Social media for these people is a chore but they have been told that ‘it will sell their product” therefore they dutifully post the same information over and over. The beauty of social media is that disengaging is so much easier. A single click of a button and you have unfollowed or unfriended or simply blocked the content from your feed without the other person knowing you have moved beyond earshot.

2way trafficConversation is a two-way street. A good conversation has give and take; it may ebb and flow, but it always has multiple participants (aside from those of us who oft speak to ourselves). If one party is dominating the content then one side or the other will eventually disengaged.

Want to be successful in social media, loosen up, relax, have fun and have conversation. Be yourself! If you are engaged, your message will follow and the people you want to meet will seek you.

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You Cannot Afford Not To…

Several years ago in marketing class the professor made a statement, which has stuck with me over the years; He said, business owners frequently think they cannot afford to advertise; but the reality is if they want their business to survive, they cannot afford not to advertise. I believe this principal still holds true. Only today, I believe business owners cannot afford to not be actively participating in social media.

The first reason why you need to be actively participating in Social Media, it is FREE advertising. Sure it requires a time investment, and time is money; but it requires your time to design and implement any advertising campaign. The reality is that this “just does not seem like advertising”. However, in a world of DVRs,  Satellite commercial free radio and dying Newspapers and print media what is your return on investment?

The second reason you need to be actively participating in Social Media, is that it does not seem like advertising. That’s right. It is advertising that feels like a friendly conversation and what is more disarming than a friendly conversation. We are all burned out on advertising (which is why we will pay to NOT have to be bombarded with Ads).   The goal of advertising is name recognition. It is making sure the customer thinks of you when they need your service.

The third and last reason you should be using Social Media is that it has the fasting growing audience.


In a market that is growing this fast; no business owner can afford to not be an active participant.

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When Social Media Doesn’t Work – How to Avoid the Agony of Defeat

At dinner last night a friend adamantly proclaimed, “Social Media does not work” as he casually tossed my business card on the table. I must admit I agree with him. I am his friend on facebook and I follow him on twitter. I even went so far as to attempt to help him set up a facebook fan page for his company (offering pro bono assistance as administrator). He tweets on average once a week and sends a facebook message slightly more often, but never about business. 

I joined a gym a couple of weeks ago as a part of my ‘be healthier in 2010’ proclamation. Just as social media is not working for my friend, the gym is not working for me. I am not healthier, but I have not set foot in the place since I joined –scheduling reasons – wink wink nudge nudge. 

Social Media is the same as joining a gym, just joining it is not going to make the difference. Social Media requires that you show up and participate. Social Media doesn’t work, it is just a tool.

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How Can I Help

We all have experts we trust. Whether it is your uncle Joe, a Teacher, a Mentor, or just some person you know through the internet. We all have those people. Hopefully it is a group of people and not just one person. One of my trusted advisors is Chris Brogan. I have been a faithful and dedicated reader of Chris’ Blog for quite some time. I also follow Chris on Twitter.

If you have read my about me page, you know I own a business which makes All Natural Soaps (actually, it’s now skin care as we have lotions, body scrubs, etc in addition to our soaps) anyway, back in the spring I send Chris a DM (direct message via twitter) and asked him if he would use my soap, if I sent him some. It was a new product for us, Beer Soap. Evidently, I peaked his interest and he agreed to use our soap. He subsequently wrote about our soap and more importantly our social networking via his blog. This single act solidified my love of social media.

Since that time, my soap business has grown. My social networking has increased. I had reached a point where others were seeking my advice. Then I was presented with an opportunity to assist other small business owners with using twitter and facebook in their own businesses. I have the attitude that anything I can do to help a fellow traveler would help me, even if just for the joy of sharing knowledge.

I see Biz Buzz Social as a means to help other small business owners overcome the hurdles associated with learning a new means of communication. This may take the form of consultations, help getting set up and started or actual maintenance of accounts.

Let me know how I can help.

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