Social Media Matters: Blogs, Facebook, & Twitter

Blogs, Facebook, & Twitter

A Social Media Strategy Story

A few weeks ago, I met with some people from a local organization to discuss how to use the web and social media to share some of their stories.  The goal of phase 1 was to connect with others and obtain good placement in search engine results from Google, Bing, and Yahoo.  Here is the situation:

  • Little Time
  • No Money
  • Minimal Tech Skills

A quick analysis of the situation lead us to Google Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, and the creation of Children of Humble School Africa Blog.  Most of the people in the organization were already familiar with these Social Networking Services.  These Social Media tools are free and can be activated in minutes.  These tools don’t require a Computer Science degree to use, in fact they are simple enough to be used by a child, grandparent, or anyone in-between.

Social Media Gets Results

Using Social Media to share stories and connect with others has a positive effect in top search engines.  Here are the results after 14 days.

Google: Search Engine results for our site after 14 days was top four results out of 13.2 Million.

 

Google: Search Engine results for our site after 14 days was the top result out of 29.2 Million.

 

Bing: Search Engine results for our site after 14 days was two of the top four results out of 4.2 Million.

 

Yahoo: Search Engine results for our site after 14 days was two of the top four results out of 4.3 Million.

 

Social Media for Small Businesses & Non-Profits

The Social Business of Web 2.0

Once upon a time, the power to reach out and connect with others beyond your local community was reserved an exclusive group of people.  Social Media extends this ability to all people and bursts open the door of new opportunities.

Google Blogger

I was not as familiar with Google Blogger compared to other types of Social Media tools, but was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get started.  The ability to integrate other social media is also very simple.

Blogger is a web-based tool that helps you publish to the web instantly – whenever the urge strikes. It’s the leading tool in the rapidly growing area of web publishing known as weblogs, or “blogs.”  Google Blogger gives you a way to automate (and greatly accelerate) the blog publishing process without writing any code or worrying about installing any sort of server software or scripts. And yet, it still gives you total control over the look and location of your blog.  Details on how to get started are available in this video.

Web Gadgets, Widgets, & Apps

There are countless gadgets, widgets, and apps to support social media integration.  Some of these for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other Social Networks can be found in these collections, “25 Great Blogger Widgets“, “Google Gadgets Directory, Collection of Google Blogger Plugins, and people can easily create their custom social gadgets with the Google Blogger API.

Mobile Device Support

The ability to support displaying your content in “app-like” format on multiple mobile devices at the flip of a switch is one of the main strengths of this free service.

Photo Walls

You can also add interactive photo walls to your blog, created with pictures from Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, YouTube, and RSS.  You can share these photo walls on web sites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, WordPress, and more.  You can create and share amazing photo walls for your web sites and blogs using Cooliris.

Social Media Engagement

The Children of Humble School Africa Blog with Social Media integration is just a tiny example of the real possibilities.  There are many great people that share helpful tips about how small businesses and non-profits can leverage the power of social media. Some of these very talented people include:

[twitterusers @goodlaura @scedmonds @JessicaNorthey @Philanthropy @kanter @rosettathurman @briansolis @2morrowknight @chrisbrogan]

 

Free Social Media Monitoring With Twitter & Google Maps

How To Use Google Maps & Twitter to Monitor Social Media

flickr_la-magia-in-un-soffio

Monitoring Social Media Channels for real-time conversations by topic and location is an important part in the overall strategy of any business.  The evolution in human behavior shows us people share information faster and more feely than ever before.  A large contributer to this trend is lower barriers in communication and collaboration.  The explosive growth of Social Networks and the mobile market continue to fuel this trend, giving people the freedom to express themselves whenever and where ever they are.  These new sources of information gives us the ability to tap into the Collective Intelligence that is created when crowds of people are sharing information about a common topic within a targeted location.

Let’s take a look at a simple example.  Shelly Jones is opening a Pizza shop in the Washington, DC area and she wants to use her social media skills to connect with new customers in the area.  She has a facebook account and a fan page for her business.  Her friend suggested she should also create a Twitter account and is willing to help her create a simple web site for her business.  Shelly gladly accepts the suggestions and help because she does not have much money and knows nothing about HTML, CSS, or any of that other geek stuff.  Shelly and her friend discovered how to use Google Maps and Twitter to find potential customers in the area.

How to Use Google Maps to Get Lat and Long of a Location

Google Maps provides a very simple method of getting Latitude and Longitude of a location.

  1. Search for location by name at http://maps.google.com
  2. Right click in map to display the context menu and select “What’s here?”

Google Map with Context Menu

A green arrow will appear on the map, which will display the current area’s lat & long when you pass your mouse over.

Google Map with lat & long

The lat & long (geocode) is now also displayed in the Google Map Search Box.

  1. Copy the lat & long from the Google Maps search box.

Google Map Search


How to Use Twitter to Find People by Topic and Location

Twitter is a large Social Network that also provides amazing tools to help you connect with people in your area.  One of these tools is Twitter’s Advanced Search http://search.twitter.com/advanced You can use the Advanced Search tool at Twitter to discover many interesting people and conversations.

  1. Go to Twitter’s Advanced Search http://search.twitter.com/advanced
  2. Enter your key words

Twitter: Advanced Search

Copy your Geocode from Google Maps into “Near this place” and press “Search”.

Note: Geocodes instead of location names seems to get better results.

Twitter: Advanced Search - geocode

Twitter Results Matching Topic and Location Criteria

Twitter Results by topic and location

You can page through these Topic/Location Twitter Results using the navigation toward the bottom of the Twitter Advanced Search page.

Twitter Results: paging

Shelly could also expand her search to include “pizza or pasta or sub”.

Twitter Results by topic and location

Shelly could see most of these people were attending college at a nearby campus and others were were working in offices close to her business.  She connected with a few students and wished them luck on their final exams.  She also started some conversations with people working down the street.  Some people were plesently surprised to discover that her pizza shop was just a few doors down and came in for lunch.  Shelly also did a quick analysis of this information, identified a handful of influential people and invited them to have some free pizza if they were willing to listen to a business proposition.  Later that week Shelly had pizza with a half dozen people that were willing to help her promote her business.  The students told their friends on Facebook and Twitter how good the pizza was and also took some of the pizza shop flyers to post around campus.  One of Shelly’s new friends works at a hotel two blocks away and he arranged to have a pizza shop flyer palced in every room.  Shelly enjoys staying connected with her community by using Social Networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Happy Fav Five Friday!

Beyond Social Network/Media Listening

Organizations should have an engagement strategy that aligns with their business objectives.  Fortunately there are plenty of tools and resources to help you with your Social Media efforts.  Here are a few, but please feel free to share your favorites.

Fav Five Places

Radian6

Listening is just the beginning. Businesses need to measure, analyze, and report on their social media efforts. They need to engage. They also need the tools to engage with their communities online. Radian6 provides the ability to do it all, and to incorporate all the areas that social media ought to touch: customer service, sales, public relations, marketing, and management. Learn more here.

10 Social Media Monitoring Tools to Monitor Your Brand’s Performance And Results

Social Media Revolution has more to do with the change in the online behavior rather than the emergence of twitter and facebook. Today, people are more open to expressing their opinions online and debating over it. People are more open to sharing news, information and every other aspects of their lives. As a result, social media has become a great platform for market research and trend watch. Learn more here.

The Sharpest B2B Social Media Monitoring Tools in the Shed – Part II

Tools for an Effective Social Media Strategy.  Learn more here.

35 Essential Social Media & Tech Resources for Small Businesses

As this year begins to wrap up and businesses start preparing big plans for 2011, we expect social media and technology innovations to be a bigger part of small business digital budgets. To spark a bit of creativity and help get that process rolling, Mashable has gathered 35 of their most useful small business posts from the past few months to make sure businesses are in the digital know.  Learn more here.

Twitter Developers

Create cool applications that integrate with Twitter.  Learn more here.

Fav Five Faces

Who is on your “Fantasy Innovation Team” this week?

Here are amazing people that have connected me to new friends and new ideas this week. You might be familiar with “Fantasy Football Teams” , well this is my “Fantasy Innovation Team” this week. I recommend following these smart, creative people on Twitter.

wileyccoyote-twitter Dir of Digital Mktg for @INgageNetworks| Blogger for iMediaConnection.com | Runner | Maker of Super Special Pancakes | All-around Awesome Mom | TMI SMU UTD Grad http://twitter.com/wileyccoyote
iPayStation-twitter Nucleus is a modular, multipurpose, PCI-certified platform, enabling merchants to provide a personalized experience for their customers with integrated CRM … http://twitter.com/iPayStation
sdarine-twitter Passionate marketer & traveler, dabbling in professional translation, copywriting & amateur photography. Firm believer in SEO, wishful thinking & chocolate. http://twitter.com/sdarine
timekord-twitter IT Manager in Education – Interested in the intersection of Technology, Society & Culture http://twitter.com/timekord
RLavigne42-twitter “Seasoned GenX Leader Capable of Leveraging the Technically Savvy GenY Knowledge Worker” Focus: Enterprise 2.0, Social Media, Social CRM, and Personal Branding http://twitter.com/RLavigne42
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E 2.0: Can the Enterprise Learn From Twitter’s Success Secrets?

3 Simple Secrets to Twitter’s Success

  • Understanding Culture
  • Harnessing Technology
  • Empowering Others

Trends about our culture today show us people are busy and tolerance for complicated things seems to be getting lower with each passing day.  Twitter tapped this culture trend of time commitment by keeping post limited to 140 characters and with it’s User Friendly / People Focused Design.  The Mobile Market is exploding, more people own mobile devices than computers.  Twitter tapped this trend by integrating a mobile strategy early in their plan.  People like things to fit their needs, this is why Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) should be a critical part of any technology strategy.  Twitter empowers people through it’s API with the ability to share custom information across multiple environments.

Happy Fav Five Friday!

Fav Five Places

I actually have a few more than five favorite places.  I hope you don’t mind.

The Famous Twitter Sketch

You can see the birth of the idea for Twitter in this sketch and you can read Jack Dorsey’s thoughts about this sketch here.  Notice the simplicity of the design and how the idea of sharing across multiple channels was an early thought.  The discovery (“find-em”) part toward the bottom is a very smart piece to include early in the design too.  Sharing ideas (Collaboration) is the main point of Enterprise 2.0.  This sketch reminds us of how a simple idea, shared with others can grow into something beyond your imagination.

Picture 22

Twitter Talk at TED

Evan Williams of Twitter talks about integrating his ideas about SMS with Jack Dorsey’s ideas about Twitter.  Evan goes on to talk about the Fundamentals of Twitter.  He quickly describes how people discover uses of Twitter for Business and in Government.

A great quote here is, “One of the many ways that users shaped the evolution of Twitter”.  I can’t wait to here this in the Enterprise, “One of the many ways that USERS shaped the evolution of Enterprise 2.0″.

Twitter’s design and API make this tool so simple to use, that a common house plant can communicate to the world.   This reminds us of the power of simplicity.  Technology should lower barriers, not create new ones.

“Going far beyond the original idea” is another great quote.  I believe Enterprise 2.0 is designed to support doing this very thing.

There are many things taught about innovation in this video

Twitter CEO Evan Williams speaks to users in Tokyo

“What we learned time and time again from listening…”  is an important quote in this video.  You can also see the chart of all the tweets over the course of the World Cup.  This got me thinking about what would happen to your business if an idea had this much collaboration through Enterprise 2.0 tools.

Biz Stone and Evan Williams on Twitter

In this more recent video we hear Biz and Evan talk about how relationships are important.  Listening to customers can help avoid PR disasters and improve brand loyalty.  A little communication can reverse a customers decision about going to your competitor.  They also share some important thoughts on privacy.

How Twitter Changed My Life

This is an impressive presentation about Twitter and how to harness it’s value.

A Collection of Twitter Case Studies

Twitter provides a nice collection of case studies.  These case studies include reports from big businesses, non-profits, and government.

Picture 23

The Power of the API

In the first video Evan mentions there were over 2,000 applications using Twitter’s API.  Their API enables people to share filtered customized data across multiple environments.  The ability to share information across multiple environments increases the opportunities for collaboration.  What if  your Enterprise 2.0 Solution had an API to support sharing data when you need it, where you need it?

Twitter API Mashups and Apps on Programmable Web

You can discover and learn from a huge collection of APIs and developers at Progammable Web.

Picture 24

Twitter API Mashups and Apps on Yahoo Pipes

You can discover some new ways of using Twitter at Yahoo Pipes.

Picture 25

Fav Five Faces

Who is on your “Fantasy Innovation Team” this week?

Here are just a few new friends that have connected me to new people and new ideas this week.  You might be familiar with “Fantasy Football Teams” and such, well this is my “Fantasy Innovation Team” this week.  I recommend following these smart, creative people on Twitter.

twitter-db Communication strategist. Digital Something. Connector. Entrepreneur. Anime & SciFi lover. http://twitter.com/db
twitter-bhc3 VP of Product at Spigit, the SaaS enterprise innovation management platform. And a Dad who misses running marathons. http://twitter.com/bhc3
twitter-dzhu IT consultant, managing software development/ integration projects for a living; .Net, CMS, intranet, collaborative workplace, knowledge management, e-learning http://twitter.com/dzhu
twitter-eric_andersen Technology consultant/architect at IBM in Cambridge MA, enterprise search, social computing; piano, a cappella, cyclist, origami, iPhone; my tweets are my own! http://twitter.com/eric_andersen
twitter-rickmans social media strategist, technological optimist, blogger, consultant, father, spreker, innovatie, php, wordpress | I collect and tweet interesting links http://twitter.com/rickmans

5 Twitter Success Secrets for Enterprise 2.0

  • Listen (people, users, customers, partners, metrics)
  • Respond (people, users, customers, partners, metrics)
  • Empower Others
  • APIs Rock
  • Practice “People Centered” Design

Top 10 Takeaways from @ev’s Twitter #TED Talk

Twitter CEO Evan Williams @ev on Twitter #TED

The Art of Listening and Enabling

Evan Williams @ev, the CEO of Twitter gives a TED Talk about Twitter.  In the birthing room of ODEO, Twitter is born from Jack Dorsey’s @Jack idea of sending status updates.  Evan covers many fundamental keys to success in this video.  Thanks to Dr. Harish Kotadia @HKotadia for bringing this to my attention.

Top 10 Takeaways from @ev’s Twitter #TED Talk

  1. Listen to your inner voice (Follow your hunches)
  2. Listen to your colleagues
  3. Listen to your audience/customers/clients
  4. Expect the unexpected
  5. Adapt to customer/client needs
  6. Create a system that enables others to build upon
  7. Application Programming Interface (API) enables creative interactions
  8. More Good Things happen when you enable connections & collaboration
  9. Never assume what’s Next
  10. Understand culture/market Trends