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Archive for December, 2009

An excellent LinkedIn resource

December 27, 2009 5 comments

Got a question about LinkedIn? Wonder how you could better tap its power to achieve professional and/or organizational goals? Confused about its many features? Looking for ideas for incorporating it into your social media strategy?

Then, I’d highly recommend that you read The WindMill Networking Approach to Understanding, Leveraging & Maximizing LinkedIn by Neal Schaffer.

Schaffer devotes 362 pages to explaining the vast potential of LinkedIn. He does a great job detailing the many features in the social network for professionals. He explains the various settings, applications and tools available for free (or a charge, if you choose the advanced version).

I particularly like his “pay-it-forward” philosophy toward networking — the idea that you network to see what you can give to your contacts, not what you can get from them. It falls in line with my belief in social networking karma.

Schaffer spends a lot of time espousing his WindMill Approach to Networking. This partially involves networking with people who you haven’t met face-to-face, but could end up being powerful allies… an interesting approach that has allowed him to network with thousands of people around the world.

As I write this, I’m not completely sold on the idea of linking in this way. However, I’ll have to admit that I have used Twitter and Facebook in this way with great results. In fact, I got the chance to review Schaffer’s book because he offered it to reviewers through Twitter, so I’ll probably give windmilling a try!!!

Bottom line: There’s been a lot of attention given to blogging, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. LinkedIn seems like their plain, less sexy cousin. Reading this book will give you a better understanding why LinkedIn deserves A-list billing at any social media party.

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Social means face-to-face, too!

December 17, 2009 Leave a comment

“Must read for all professionals. Great info on how to network — and why it’s a continuous process, even if you’re happy in your current job. Quick read. Packed with helpful info. Plan to share with friends who have lost their jobs in the economic recession. (Side note: My wife knows the author, so I decided to check this out. It’s been enjoyable and informative, well worth the time.)”

 
Even though I’m not in a job search mode, I found the book to be very relevant.
Like many of you, I have devoted a lot of time to social media — many, many hours pecking away at my PC, laptop and BlackBerry.
 
However, from the start, I’ve tried to keep in mind that this is about forming mutually beneficial relationships — especially with people with common interests to mine.
 
And much of that relationship-building takes place in-person — at meetings of social networking groups and professional associations, in 1-on-1 lunch or coffee get-togethers, etc.
 
Bauke gives a lot of great ideas based on her years of experience in career development. You’ll love her fun writing style and real-life examples of what to do and what to avoid.
Do yourself a favor. Pick up this 102-page gem. You won’t regret it!
 
 
  
  
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And now…a word from our sponsors

December 11, 2009 1 comment
Another free tool for connecting with key audiences

 

 

 

Social media experimentation took me into the world of Internet radio this year. Somewhere along the social media path, I learned about BlogTalkRadio.

 
I’d wanted to expand on simple audio podcasting, but didn’t have much time and money to invest. I think it was Debba Haupert of Girlfriendology who told me about BlogTalkRadio.
 
Anyway, I decided to learn the technical basics by interviewing local social media enthusiasts last spring on the PR Mike in Cincy Show. It was really cool interviewing the founders of Cincinnati Social Media, New Media Cincinnati, LinkedCincinnati and the like. The test shows even got between 15 and 70 downloads each.
 
Feeling confident (sort of), I launched the Hamilton County JFS Show in June. I have mainly interviewed experts in the agency’s programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, cash assistance, child support, child care, employment services, adoption, foster care….
 
The shows are averaging about 50 downloads, with one recently topping 100. They are recorded live. Afterward, people can download (listen at their PC) to an archived show.
 
Granted, the shows aren’t challenging WLW-AM or even WAIF-FM in listenership, but they are allowing us to convey useful information in a cost-effective manner. Setup takes minutes, and the live interview is 15 minutes long. I have a control panel on my PC (a tool in BlogTalkRadio) and the subject calls in from wherever, usually their office.
 
We use the free version, which can have occasional technical glitches. And, if you’ve listened, you can tell that I have limited radio experience.
 
Still, it’s a useful tool — one we plan to continue using in 2010.
 
By the way, I’m thinking about resuming the PR Mike in Cincy Show and interviewing social media enthusiasts. Would you like me to do that? Let me know in the comments.

Aggregation elation

December 5, 2009 3 comments

Aggregating social media empowers members of your target audience

It’s a question I hear often: How do you get people to become fans of your organization’s Facebook page, follow its Twitter updates, listen to the BlogTalkRadio show, watch your YouTube channel…

There’s not a simple answer.

For one, you need to develop a strategic social media plan — one based on research, planning, implementation and evaluation. That will help you set goals, develop objectives, select target audiences, create content… and strategize ways to invite followers and fans.

For us (at the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services), this has included putting links on our Web site and in our online newsletter. Doing press releases. Including in PowerPoint presentations. Attending events and networking….

This week, we took another step — aggregating our social media feeds (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, BlogTalkRadio, RSS feeds) together in a Social Media Center. This allows target audience members to quickly view all of our latest posts — and, hopefully, subscribe to them if they haven’t already.

Here’s a link to the Social Media Center.

I’d really appreciate your feedback.

Kudos goes to Randall Reese of LVX Communications. Randall, a graphic artist, developed the page.