How to use the power of social media to your advantage

By now, most of the general pubic has jumped onto the social media train. You have a Facebook account. You follow people on Twitter. You make connections on LinkedIn. You watch videos on YouTube. So on and so forth. How many times while using these social networks have you ever thought you would get something out of it? Probably it that much, am I right?

What most people don’t realize is that socially connected brands want you to talk to them. They want you to tell the work about your likes and dislikes. Research shows that 85% of marketers believe that consumer insight is a top reason to be socially active. Businesses both large and small are monitoring their industries and brand to find their brand advocates (both positive and negative). By using the feedback they receive in social media, they are able to make improvements to their business and learn how to crisis manage in a faster timeframe. They can also use the information to solicit their fans to help create buzz around product launches and other events.

How do I get noticed by these companies? Start talking about them! For me, it’s easiest to do @mention shout outs and use hash tags on Twitter. See my two examples below:

Facebook is a little more difficult to get the attention of a company when you just post a status message. To really get the attention, comment on the fan page or checkin through Facebook Places. One local place that does this well is Junebug’s Cupcakes. I recently posted a brief review of some cupcake bakeries in Dayton and my sister shared my blog post on their wall. My blog post probably sent a good amount of traffic over to their website and by sharing, we let them know that we like their food. In return, I get some referrals back from fans on their page and an increased chance that next time I visit their bakery, they might recognize me which may result in some fantastic cupcake deals.

The important thing to remember is not every company will respond to your shout outs – and that’s okay. I would never encourage anyone to start talking about certain brands just because they give freebies. I would encourage others to talk about or endorse certain brands because of their responses on social media. I think that shows that a company understands its audience and really listens to them. It allows customer service to be at a whole new personal level. And in the end – isn’t that what we all really want – to be known as a face with a name and not just a number?

Social Media Tools Wrap-Up

This morning, I presented at New Media Dayton’s monthly meetup with Keri Jaehnig on Social Media Tools for your business.  We had a great turnout of people, and even gave away a shiny new Verizon phone.  As stated in my last post, we shared many tools that were mostly free and easy to use and then challenged people to put to use what they learned in our presentation in order to be entered in a drawing to win the Verizon phone.

I want to share with you our presentation from today and see if you’ve got any other helpful tools to add to our list, or to hear about your experiences with these tools.  And as always, I’m happy to help if you’ve got any questions!

Follow the chatter

In preparation for an upcoming New Media Dayton meeting next week, where Keri Jaehnig (Idea Girl Media) and I will be speaking to small business owners and individuals alike about social media tools, I wanted to give the readers here at Dayton Most Metro a little preview of what can be expected and get some feedback about what you would like to hear about.

 I don’t care about social, so why should I learn about the tools?  For starters, social media is about more than just logging into Facebook or Twitter and checking out what your friends have to say.  For the individual, social is about helping you find new interests through your peers and reconnecting with old friends.  For the business owner, it’s about discovering new insights about your customers and ways in which you can provide the best service to them.

One tool that I would like to share ahead of the meeting is called TweetChat.  This site allows Twitter users to track and follow hashtags.  By following a hashtag, you can see all the activity produced by a particular event.  Tweetchat lets you respond and contribute to the conversation in an easier way than using

I would encourage all of you to follow along next Friday (11/11) at 9:30am to the #NMDayton meeting and see what other tools we are going to share, and if you can stop by the meeting, we’d love to meet you!

Social sites going public – starting with LinkedIn

LinkedInMany of you may have heard that LinkedIn has gone public starting TODAY. I caught wind of the announcement earlier this week in a post from Mashable. According to Mashable, LinkedIn is rumored to be valued at almost $300 million dollars. Shares for the company are going from $32 to $35.

So the real question is, are you going to invest? And if so, how much? LinkedIn is the first of several social media sites that plan to go public (and one of the very first major ones to do so). My take – if I was in a position to invest right now, I’d be dumb not to. I don’t know that I would invest a whole bunch in it right away though. With so many other companies getting ready to follow suit – like Facebook and Groupon – I’d be interested to see how LinkedIn (LNKD) does in the financial markets first. Second, I want to see how LinkedIn’s public status affects the other social media sites worth.

In no shape or form would I call myself a financial advisor or even well-educated in the art of stock trading.  But there is one thing I am sure of and that is that LinkedIn – and social media sites – are hot.  And if you’re in a position to buy, you better move quickly before they’re all gone!

Is Vook the future of content distribution?

Vook – digital books and video apps for iPad, iPhone, Amazon Kindle and Android – what an interesting concept.  I recently upgraded my MarketingProfs membership from standard to PRO and my present is the Seth Godin vook.  My first thought – what the heck is a vook?

After doing some more research, I think this could possibly be the future of how we distribute content as a society.  We’ve got YouTube, Kindle and the iPad – the only logical place to go next, is to combine the 3 together.  I won’t be receiving my vook for a few more days, but I am very excited to jump and see what it has to offer.  Who knows, I might even find something in there that could up business value for me and others.

What are your thoughts/takeaways on the vook?

Profile Schmofile Part 2

This is going to be a short post. I thought it would be important to elaborate on my previous post about LinkedIn here. I have been working a lot with learning social media for other aspects of corporate organizations, such as HR, and I am finding one common thread in all who I have spoken to or read: we can’t find enough about to be or recent (3-5 year) college grads on this network and recruiting through Facebook isn’t the best method.

If you haven’t gotten a LinkedIn profile and think you don’t need one, think again! Recruiters are looking to find people all the time to fill positions that they can’t always find easily through traditional methods. So jump on the bandwagon, or start the trend. You might find that opportunity you’ve been searching for more easily than you think – or maybe it will find you :)

Profile Schmofile!

I have been getting a lot of questions recently from clients at our family business and some office colleagues about using LinkedIn. The number one question: why put all my information online for people to troll through? The easy answer is simply because it never hurts to have one more person know who you are. Being a recent college graduate, I find it almost ironic that only a handful of my friends and classmates have picked up on this social network – with the majority of the rest thinking it’s a waste of time.

The one thing I always have kept with me and am constantly passing on to others is that “it is not what you know but who you know”. After all, I wouldn’t have had any job or internship if it weren’t for knowing someone who knew someone else who needed to fill a position. And that is precisely how LinkedIn can help anyone in need of finding a job or just enhancing their business networks or skills.

Your LinkedIn profile acts as an online resume so always make sure that profile completion bar says 100%. And make sure you use a profile picture – an old kind of good photo is better than no photo. The photo and recommendations you receive on LinkedIn can act as validation to who you are and your skills. Having both an accurate and current profile along with a good number of connections (I recommend having at least 30) is a great way to get started in letting your profile speak for you and to get some potential opportunities pouring in.