If you have been online for even just a little while, I am sure you’ve heard the advice that you need to listen. There are lots of people out there talking about lots of different things; you want to find out what they are saying about your product, your service, your company. Or, if you aren’t a big online presence yet, about your specific topic area, your niche.
You want to be able to have your finger on the pulse, know what is going on, with social media you will hear it from the experts all over the place. “You have to listen”. It is the number one thing that you need to do. The benefits of listening online are that you’re really going to know what is going on; in your target market, in your niche, in your subject area, in your family — you are going to know what is going on.
You’ll also be able to see any problems developing. Are people talking about you or your field in a negative way? Has the tone of the comments, questions or requests changed from positive to maybe a hint negative or really questioning? You’ll be able to see some of those problems coming, which means you’re going to be able to address them early when they are small rather than later when they are large. If you see something that is negative about your product or service, you’re going to be able to jump right in and do something quickly.
So, how do you listen online? I have four ways that you can do just that…
1. Google alerts. An excellent tool. You can set them up for any number of topics that you want. You can set up as many as 1000 Google alerts. And you can decide when you are setting it up, how often you want to receive those Google alerts. I have Google Alerts set up for my name, company name, keywords and article titles, it is your decision what you want to set yours for.
2. Set up searches on terms or key words in Twitter. Once you set it up, you can go in and monitor it. You will find out exactly what people are saying, when they are saying it, where they are saying it, how they are saying it. AND you will know at the speed of Twitter, what is happening.
3. Twilert.com. Is a web site where you can go and you can set up some Twitter alerts, so that you are not going to have to go back in and take a look at the searches that you have generated. They will send you the results and so that you know what ‘s going on.
4. SocialMention.com Social Mention takes it one step further in that it monitors all of your different social media. What is happening? Where are you being mentioned? Where is your product being mentioned? What key words — you will be able to go in and set up whatever you want.
There are hundreds of ways to listen online. These are four of the easiest and they are all free. You need to get started. Get out there, get listening, understand what is going on.
It is critical that you back up your social media conversations.
Do you really know the value or even what you have in there. Is there information on potential customers or clients that can only be found in your social media conversations?
What would be the impact if they closed down your Facebook account? What would be the impact if there was a big glitch again at Twitter and you lost all your Twitter conversations?
Take a look and decide just how important are the social media conversations to your business, and I’ll bet, like me, you discover that there is a heck of a lot in there that isn’t anywhere else. It’s not backed up, it’s not in your database. It’s not in your email, it’s nowhere else but in your social media conversations. That’s why it’s so important to get in there and back things up.
Originally, I thought it’s not that important, I don’t have much in there, and I’ll get to it later. Well, guess what? What you really need to do is to get yourself into the habit, develop the habit of backing it up now, when there’s not a ton in there. It doesn’t take long, and you’ll be able to see how it works, how it happens. It won’t be at a point where something’s gone wrong and, oh my gosh I’ve got to get this done as quickly as possible. Take the time, do it now, and develop that habit.
Personally, I store tons of things in social media, that whole initial contact. And I had no way of backing it up. Do you know how you store yours? Do you know what’s in your Gmail account? Take a look at where your traffic comes from, because as you grow, so will your traffic. So that little bit of traffic that you’re getting now, or even if it’s a lot of traffic that you’re getting now, find out where it is, start with that social media platform, that one that’s the most important today.
There are free services out there that will back up all your stuff for you, but there’s no guarantee, and losing your social media information is just like losing a customer.
I have five options, five ways that you can back up different social media platforms.
1) With Twitter, there is one that is called Backupify. When this first happened to me, that my Twitter account was affected during one of the people attempting to bust into, to hack into Twitter, and my Twitter account was down for three days and I had nothing, no backup at all. And you, I’m sure, will understand the huge sigh of relief when all my Twitter streams came back again. I was so grateful that Twitter was better at backing things up than I was.
2) Gmail: Gmail has Mailstore.com, and you can back up more than just Gmail, but it is a place to back up your email. If you’re like me and a lot of your first contact is in there, you direct people over to your website to get them into your database but they don’t, that first contact stays in your email. How do you back that up? Mailstore.com will be able to help you with that.
3) Facebook also has a process. You can go into your Facebook account and you can back up all of your Facebook, and they will send you an email when it’s done. I probably do mine about once every two weeks. It takes quite a while, and depending on the number of friends and the number of groups and pages you are a part of, it may take a while.
4) LinkedIn also has its own special process; you can actually export your information on LinkedIn over to another file that you can store. You may choose to store it as an Excel document; I choose to store mine on notepad.
5) WordPress has a plugin that allows you to set it and forget it. I get that email every day, that my WordPress is backed up, and I go in and delete the old one. I actually keep about a week’s worth, when a new one comes in, I go back and delete an old one.
I recently attended a conference of business owners. I was amazed with some of the ideas, remarks, suggestions, that I received during discussions with other business owners. I heard things like social media is not worth the time or the money, social media just does not work for my business, or even social media just doesn’t work.
Here is a great quote from Bill Gates:
Information, technology, and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other.
How many times in the past year have you gone to the Yellow Pages. I personally don’t use the Yellow Pages anymore, and if you were to take a look at the Yellow Pages from your community, I’ll bet that they are thinner now than they used to be. When you and your business consider getting involved with social media, take a step back and think of it simply as a marketing tool, like the Yellow Pages used to be. They used to be thought of as an excellent marketing tool. Not so much anymore. Even if you were to go in and take a look inside, I bet you you’ll find lots of blank spaces in your Yellow Pages, because they don’t get enough businesses advertising with them anymore.
Online information technology is becoming the way to connect with your customers and clients. Personally, if I’m looking for something, in my own area and when I am traveling, I always go online and Google it first. What do you do? Where do you go when you’re looking for a business solution or an answer to your question?
One of the big things that I’ve come across is people who are starting to get involved with information technology and social media is they have a web site that is static. It just sits there, it doesn’t do anything. It’s just one big pretty picture with some contact information, maybe a phone number, an address, nothing interactive, nothing to give the person, nothing to entice the person to take a closer look at the business. It’s just like having a great big business card online. Take a look at your website, is it working “for” you?
One of the things that you want in your business is social proof. You want people on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube to be talking about your product and/or your service. You want social proof. And the easiest way you’re going to get that is for you to have a presence in social media. If you don’t want to get left behind in marketing your business then you must get on board with social media marketing. All business can benefit whether they are big or small; brick and mortar or on-line.
I have a niece with a Facebook account, and I don’t know how many times I have said to her that it’s really not appropriate to post party pictures or have her friends post party pictures on her wall that are not putting her in the best light possible. I have mentioned this a number of times and, yet, she continues to allow her friends and she herself post pictures of her at drunken parties. This will hurt her in the future, and it will hurt her in the future because more and more people are going to social media in order to find out just who you are.
You have the ability to set your privacy in all of the different social media platforms. Facebook has an enormous amount of options for privacy. You can have your Facebook be wide open or you can have it locked down tight so hardly anyone can get to see it. That is your choice. But everyone needs to take a look at what they are comfortable with, what they want out there and, yes, okay sometimes there will be a blunder. We’re all human!
Maybe you’ll be in a bad mood one day and post something inappropriate on your wall or you will allow friends to post on your wall. We’re all human. The thing you want to make sure is that that’s not consistently on your wall. If it’s a one of thing that happens very rarely, that’s not going to be considered your normal behavior, but if all you have in any of your social media, whether it be videos, Twitter or Facebook, then that’s going to demonstrate to people that that’s the type of person that you are.
You don’t want anything on any of your social media profiles that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see, and that includes what your friends are saying. If you have friends or followers who come back and comment or retweet things that are not so nice or they swear, use vulgar language, inappropriate language, you want to ask them to stop doing that. And if they don’t stop doing that, you want to block them.
All of the different platforms will allow you to block friends, followers, and or comments. They all have some tool to allow you to block. It is your responsibility to check and see that your privacy settings on each and every one of the platforms is to your liking that fits your reason for being on the social media platforms.
Recently, in my job, we discovered that one of the senior managers was using Facebook while she was at meetings. She didn’t know how to set the privacy settings on her Facebook wall, and everyone could see everything. Everyone could tell that she was playing games on her BlackBerry while she should have been paying attention in a meeting. That could be reason enough for her to lose her job.
Make sure you set your privacy settings exactly where you need them to be. It really is worth the time and effort to check out the privacy settings on each and every one of your social media accounts.
Something a little different for you this Saturday. My good friend Geniece Brown who owns and operates a Virtual Assistant Company called Brown Virtual Assisting sent out this great email that I want to share with you.
There is so much power in LinkedIn for business when you use it properly. I have written a number of times on the topic of LinkedIn and thought you would love to read from another perspective.
Here is Geniece’s email…
OK so back to the point. I want to ask you a few questions regarding your linkedin profile:
Have you filled out your profile to it’s complete capacity?
Are you making new connections on a weekly basis?
Have you used your keyword (example: “social media” if you’re a social media business) in as many places in your profile that you can think of?
Have you given any recommendations to anyone you know on LinkedIn?
Do you provide helpful tips and engage in conversation?
Have you maximized the amount of groups (you can join up to 50) you can join on LinkedIn or created your own group?
Do you post a self promoting blog once per week to your relevant LinkedIn groups?
If you did not answer yes to the majority of the questions, then you’re missing out on clients who want what you’re offering.
How do I know this? Because, I implemented these techniques just a few short weeks ago and have added two new clients to my business, getting more messages to my inbox with people asking to meet with me, and secured a slot with a well-established editor to be a writer for a new online women’s magazine that’s coming out in May (I’ll tell you more about that later!).
You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc. but LinkedIn is my number one tool for social media marketing.
Now I’d like to ask a favor from you my friend. Here it is:
I have search engine optimized my profile with my keywords (words that I want people to find me by on linkedin). My keywords are:
Can you do me a favor and go to your linkedin profile, go to people, and search by one of my keywords? When you’re done, send me a quick note and let me know if I was successful at showing up on the first page of the search rankings in the people section of LinkedIn.
Like I said, I’ve gotten most of my tips for successful linkedin marketing from one of my coaches and by following Lewis Howes (www.lewishowes.com). And here’s another great video where Lewis Howes talks about keyword search on linkedin: Click Here
Go to your LinkedIn profile and clean out the cobwebs!
To your success,
P.S. -And for goodness sakes, if you don’t have a profile on LinkedIn, then why not?