All posts by Nipa Shah

Social Media Blog: Be careful who you Facebook Friend!

At every workshop and every speaking engagement, I stress the need for being very careful when posting content on popular social media websites. My favorite slide is the one that shows a person in jail and has the caption "what you say can put you in jail or make you unemployed".

Today I read about a Seattle fugitive who got apprehended because of his mistake of befriending a judge on Facebook. This fugitive fled to Mexico after pulling off a $200K bank fraud. He met someone at a bar in Mexico and befriended him without knowing that the new "friend" was a former US department employee. Federal agents found him when they found the ex-US department employee on his Facebook page. You see, even though the fugitive had made his Facebook page "private", his "friends list" was available to the public for viewing. Long story short, the federal agents contacted the ex-US department employee who cooperated and provided details which led to the fugitive's arrest. He's now spending time in jail, facing up to 30 years in prison.

Stupid??? Yaaaa aaa!

So the moral of the story isn't just "be careful whom you befriend of Facebook". It's also:

Be careful what you say to whom and where! Social networking sites are meant for networking. They are NOT meant for baring your soul and sharing every detail of your life (especially yucky are announcements about bathroom breaks, burps, throw-ups, hang-overs, etc.). And they certainly are NOT meant for you if you have committed a crime and are trying to avoid prosecution.
 
 

Social Media Blog: Celebrities exiting Twitter! Uhh, so?

Celebrities do things to make news. They fall in love and fall out of love in as much time as it takes me to decide which lipstick to buy from where. So what's the big deal about a "handful" of celebrities exiting Twitter? They may come back, they may really be busy, they may realize that tweeting is adding to the rumor mill and not really helping them.

A celebrity on Twitter generally tweets ONE-WAY! I for one find that to be so not about networking and SO about self-promotion. So whether they stay or go, who cares?

I must say that I can kinda relate to what Kanye West was quoted as saying back in May:

"In May, rapper Kanye West ranted against the service, writing in his "Caps Lock" glory, "I'M TOO BUSY ACTUALLY BUSY BEING CREATIVE MOST OF THE TIME AND IF I'M NOT AND I'M JUST LAYING ON A BEACH I WOULDN'T TELL THE WORLD. EVERYTHING THAT TWITTER OFFERS I NEED LESS OF.""

Bottom line is if you have time and feel the need or the desire, then you should tweet or facebook or be linkedin. If you don't, then don't!

Blog on your own site, not outside your site!

A client was recently advised by her peers that she should remove the blog utility (WordPress) from her main site and blog on www.blogger.com or an external blog portal. The client mind you is an attorney. She was told that a website should be "static" and not have any interactivity in it.

Where are these people residing? Hellllllo!
 
Web 2.0 means interactivity. The days of static, one-way websites are LONG GONE! Creating engaging content in the form of audio podcasts, video, and blogging are the in-trends.

Blogging by the way is one of the fastest ways to bring visibility to your site. That’s because blogging creates new content for your website. The more you blog, the more content you are generating.Since search engines like Google love content, they immediately index (visit and load page to their database) the page that has the new content in it. Of course when you blog, always remember that quality content is important. Blogging regularly and ensuring that your blog has relevancy to your business is also very important. (For e.g. if you are a lawyer, don’t write about trends in fashion on your business site because that’s not relevant; unless you can come up with an angle on suing people when they don’t follow the guidelines of the fashion police).

Doesn’t that sound logical?

Now if you blog OUTSIDE your own website, you miss out on the traffic, branding, and visibility because the pages that are getting indexed are not in your site, the traffic coming to your blog is not coming to your site which could use the traffic, and overall you don’t get the visibility that you deserve. Remember, Blogger (Google) doesn’t need any more visibility or traffic. They own Earth (Google Earth, lol)!
  
So my advise to all business owners out there is please, please, please, be careful to when taking advise from others who are not experts in this field. Not everyone knows what’s happening in the online marketing world. There are many who claim to know the latest trends but they only know enough to be dangerous and may not have the expertise that you are seeking>

Do your research online, there’s a lot of material available if you just want to separate the false from the correct information.

OR, talk to experienced marketing professionals like the ones we have in Jenesys Group; I promise, we won’t lead you astray!

Facebook AND Neilsen = A winning combination!

 

Facebook wants your television advertising dollars. Yep, Facebook will end up stealing a lot of the television advertising dollars if its new program Brand Lift lifts off successfully (pardon the pun!).  Brand Lift will give advertisers the ability to measure their Return on Investment (ROI) for all the money they spend on social media ads, period!

Facebook’s Brand Lift product is being released in partnership with Nielsen, the company that provides metrics to marketers. Using Brand Lift, Facebook will poll users for ad awareness, brand preference, ad recall, and whether or not the user plans to purchase the product or service. Neilsen will then package that data and provide it to marketers.

Large brands have shied away from online marketing until now due to lack of monitoring methods to gauge the effectiveness of campaigns. With the launch of Brand Lift, Nielson customers will be able to measure the how well their ads are performing on Facebook. They will be able to do market research to determine who viewed their ads and who didn’t.  With Brand Lift, Facebook will attempt to woo it’s Fortune 500 customers away from Television and on to Facebook.

These advertisers will get immediate feedback through various polls which will be run to test how users reacted to the ads.  Asking users to respond to polls before and after being exposed to ad campaigns is not rocket science. In theory it makes a lot of sense but will it work?

We’ll know soon enough.

A few more months and you can begin leveraging the Brand Lift campaign yourself. Facebook continues to kick butt in the social media arena with these innovative partnerships. Anyone know what Myspace’s doing? (Now don’t say Myspace who!)
 

Quality versus Quantity!

Twitter follow

Image Reference: http://stut.net/blog

LOL, I saw this sign and couldn’t help chuckling. This to a great sign to use if you want to curtail followership from people who are just following everyone in the hopes of gaining new followers.
 
People seem to think that gaining followers & friends is critical to achieving success on social networks.  I can only imagine the frustration of those individuals who believe in “quantity over quality” when twitter announced that a person could not follow more than 1000 people in any given day.

To capitalize on social media, all of us must first understand why we are online and why we spend so much time networking. The next step is to understand who we want to follow and why.

Are we following people who are creating quality content that is helpful, interesting, engaging, or otherwise conversational? Or are we just following people

Now I must admit that I believe in reciprocity so when someone follows me, it is more than likely that I’ll follow back. Sometimes I wonder why I follow back someone who’s got 2000 followers and not a single tweet to their name. Or I wonder why when I follow back those who have no avatar, no bio, and no tweets. But I overlook those things because I feel that if they took the time to follow me, I should follow back. The only exception to that rule is when I find followers who are not real or who are trying to sell me “get rich overnight” schemes.

So why am I on twitter you may ask?

I’m on Twitter to network and connect with others, to relax and have fun while engaging in lighthearted dialog with others who see humor in situations, and also to get visibility. The last is important because I admit, unapologetically, that after all is said and done I’m still a businesswoman thinking about growing my business and gaining new clients through online and offline networking.

(It’s a whole another matter that the visibility ain’t quite anything to write home about when every third follower I get is a spammer.)

But I’ve never played the “quantity” over quality game, even offline. I’ve always preferred to attend smaller networking groups where personalized networking makes it a “quality” event versus trying to network with 500 people in two short hours where all you end up doing is exchanging cards and rushing around the room doing nothing more than “hi, I’m so & so, and “bye”.

But I digress!

Bottom line is this. Stop the mad rush to gain hundreds or thousands of followers. Instead, GET an audience!

Follow those who’ll not only follow back but will also:

•    Engage (say hello back, weigh in on topics, etc.)
•    Retweet (take your information and share it with their own followers)
•    Respond (participate in dialog that is more than one tweet long)
•    Support (send you hugs when you need them, congratulate you when you get a win, feel sad when you are feeling ill, etc.)

Trust me, they’re there! We just have to do better at finding AND keeping them!

For positivity and support; Two reasons you must begin Tweeting!

Ok so I’ve been "playing" on Twitter and Facebook, actively, for over eight months now. On Twitter I have oh about 2800 followers and on Facebook I have about 270 friends. (Although there’s a WHOLE lot of activity happening on other networks on my company’s behalf, I personally network extensively on Facebook and Twitter.)

 

I’m a bit more conservative while networking on Facebook than on Twitter. That’s cause my kids are on my friends list and I really, really don’t want people befriending my kids when they become friends with me. On twitter on the other hand, it’s a whole different way of networking. So much more open, supportive, and a lot more fun.

 

Here are only two reasons you should begin tweeting:

 

Ask for help, and YE will receive

 

My twibuddies are the best! Whether I ask for help to review my beta site before launch or whether I ask for an opinion on a certain product, there’s always someone willing to take the time to respond.

 

I’m launching my new web site and I posted one tweet saying I was looking for feedback. Within three minutes, I had eight (8) people who volunteered and reviewed my site and gave me valuable feedback on typos, navigation issues, and such. Each individual spent perhaps 10 minutes on the site and they helped me reduce my team’s time to conduct user acceptance testing by almost two days. Talk about impact to the bottom line!

 

Who needs medicines?

 

Now I’m never depressed or unhappy. I can be a rabble-rouser and I can be sarcastic but throughout all that I’m generally pretty upbeat, positive, etc. But even for a positive person like me, I feel a smile curving my lips when people take the time to commiserate with me when I share a trying experience or when they send me hugs or a backslap (figuratively of course) through their tweets. It feels wonderful that someone is out there reading what I have to say.

 

So can you imagine what a person facing depression, health issues, and loneliness can get out of twitter if he or she just spends a few minutes chatting with people and engaging in some positive, supportive, engaging dialog? And those weekly "followfriday" recommendations are sure to light up anyone’s day.

 

I think that Twitter is perhaps the best place for someone to be when they are feeling blue. All they have to write is "I’m feeling a little blue" and they’ll get everything from a link to an uplifting song to hugs and cheers from their network. Those painkillers and depression curing drugs may not be as needed.

 

There are SO many wonderful tweeps on my "followers" list that I couldn’t possibly mention all of them here. But here are some you may want to check out:
 

  • Spreading positivity: @sophie_lahoste,
  • Baseball addict: @Cohoons_World
  • Friendly: @chet6, @esaarem, @belladonnarose,
  • Helpful: @admore, @cxiro, @sunilv, @pattib22,
  • Supportive: @Adrigonzo, @mohitmohan, @
  • Funny: @lisisilveira, @holymully, @sanjeevsarma,@chiefsanjay
  • Good content @sm63, @indian
  • (new & old) Friendly peeps: @SiddharthKS, @SwitchingGranny, @srustirao, @d33pak, @MarkEricJohnson, @DH_Photography, @pseudomedia
  • Engaging: @tomraines, @shailesh, @nadeemd, @curtclapier, @pamelaweir, @joem32, @emma_zero
  • Music sharer: @WarLordwrites

 

ARE you Bing’ing it now or still Googling?

   

What do you think would happen if you walked into a meeting and said “I binged it and found out…..”?

OR

You went to a prospective customer meeting and the customer wanted to know how good you were, in the olden days (until a month or two ago), you’d have said, “Please go ahead and Google me”. Now though, what would your prospective customer do if you said “Please go ahead and Bing me”!

Don’t you just love Microsoft for coming out with BING? Could their team have come up with a better name than something that is innocuous but that sounds positively “not innocent”? (Call me unimaginative but that’s the best way I could describe it.)

To be honest, I’ve not made the switch yet. No, no, I don’t hate Microsoft like all of you do; I just haven’t taken the time to check Bing out yet. Once in a while I’ll take a quick look and then revert right back to my habitual process of Googling everything.

How about you?

SNS anyone?

It’s time to quit social networking when you being to feel SNS.  What’s that you ask?  SNS or Social Networking Stress is going to be the next disorder that will plague the world.

 

Social networks provide us all with a “sense of belonging”. You know what I mean. You say something about a funny incident that happened to you and people in your network respond back with  a “LOL” or with an anecdote of their own.

 

You talk about your bitchy boss and voila, everyone wants to share “bitchy or A****** boss” stories. The adage of “misery loves company” really applies well in social networks and it feels good doesn’t it when someone sympathizes to something that we are going through?

 

And that leads us to the question of popularity. Sooner or later, you are going to begin equating your “popularity” with the number of followers you have, the number of people who engage with you, the “followFriday” recommendations you get every Friday, the “total number of friends” on your FB page, etc. etc.

 

So to remain popular and to continue feeling “belonged”, guess what? You are going to begin spending more and more and more time on social networks.

 

You might ask if I’m speaking from personal experience. And I’d have to laugh and say “not at all” but most of you won’t believe me. But no matter!

 

My point is that “SNS” is bound to happen sooner or later. Because even if you are spending time with people who make you feel good through their positive encouragement and “go girl” (or go guy) backslaps, sooner or later you’re going to ask the following questions:

 

>> How many sites will I be able to visit today?

 

>> Damn, I forgot to visit FB today, what’d I miss?

 

>> Why hasn’t anyone said hello to me?

 

>> How come I only have 5 “FollowFriday” recommendations?

 

And then you’ll know you have SNS or Social Networking Stress!

 

[No, this is not a doom & gloom prediction but a little humorous tongue-in-cheek look at our obsession with social networks currently.]

Text Messaging – TTYL

In one of my recent workshops, a young sales person told me that he’d been to a play and the entire time, people in the play kept saying “LOL”. He thought “LOL” meant “lots of love”. I couldn’t help but laugh because everyone knows that LOL means “Laughing out Loud”, right?

 

Wrong!

 

This whole new “text messaging” vocabulary is confusing people as heck, especially for those parents and adults who’ve not embraced text messaging yet. My kids find themselves in a little different scenario cause they have a mother who is more tech savvy than themselves and they’re plenty tech-savvy!  The other day my son said to me “Mom, my friends think you’re cool cause you can text message”.  (That surprised me a bit because I thought all moms of teenage kids text messaged their kids.)

 

After having that discussion with my son, I decided to do a quick poll with my colleagues and business clients. Come to find out only 10 out of the 100 or so people I spoke with used text messaging on a daily basis. And therefore, most of them couldn’t tell me what KUTGW or TTYL meant.

 

So I thought well, it’s time to put together this blog quiz to see how others do with these acronyms. Because remember, what you don’t know can hurt you. (And yes, your teenage kids may not like it if you become savvy in with this lingo but that’s tough luck for them.)

 

So here goes, and hey guys and gals, no cheating by googling this or asking others! Take a quick run through and tell me how you did.

 

Take your blog off BlogSpot now!

 

Your website is hosted on your company domain name; www.xyz.com.  So why host a blog as a sub-domain on blogspot.com? Easy you say? Well, that’s what I call penny wise and pound foolish.  That’s because by going the “free” & “easy” route, you are missing valuable traffic that could be coming to your domain, instead it’s going to Google. Trust me when I say that Google doesn’t need any more traffic.  So why help Google when you should be helping yourself?

 

So move your blog off blogspot.com today keeping in mind the following:

 

1. Transferring blogs & comments may not be easy: Google has several application programming interfaces or API’s to help migrate blogs. However, none of those API’s work as satisfactorily as you’d want them to. One API doesn’t allow you to move comments; another allows partial migration of blogs.

 

2. Do a 301 Permanent Redirect: The correct way of moving a website or blog from one domain to another is through a “301 permanent redirect”.  In non-technical terms basically you have to set up a new domain to allow you to forward your old blog to a new one.

 

[It is possible that Google does not let you do a 301 redirect if you’re using a blogspot.com subdomain. In this case, you could be losing your valuable inbound links.]

 

So, move your blog today. Blogger is free but it is not really free. If you have really good content, you are missing out on traffic that can help you grow yourself, your brand, and your company (if you have one).