Monday night we began covering social media and how to develop deep relationships online. We walked through the conceptual model of Findable, Recommendable, Transparent and Collaborative.  From there we moved on to the benefits of social media.

  • Habitual vs. Loyal – Buying from Amazon is a habit of mine. I would just as likely to to Overstock.com to buy my books.
  • Craftsman Mentality – The online market is just that; an open market.
  • Stronger Connection with Customers – People want to be heard. If you truly listen, they’re more likely to trust you and come to you for their needs.
  • You Become “Trusted Source” – Think Progressive Insurance. They will tell you what the competition is doing, even if they have a better offer.
  • Engaging User Experience – Conversation are much more engaging. Don’t read like a PR statement.
  • Conversational – This medium is conversational at its deepest. It can be used for 1) SEO at the least, 2) distributing information (which also builds SEO) and 3) creating relationships.
We then moved on to social media as a mirror for your corporate culture. Social media is not for every business and reviewing your culture/goals/business model is essential.

  1. State your Goals – Make these measurable. Revenue, cost reduction through better customer service, etc.
  2. Corporate Culture Review – Figure out how objective you can be and if you can’t then move forward with someone with new and good at reading people. They are going to need to identify the owners from a who is most passionate and the best communicator standpoint. They will also need to determine, based on business realities, can they do this part-time or full-time.
  3. Strategic vs. Tactical – One person can’t create strategy & tactics even though a good strategist should have a list of things to avoid. The strategists are passionate about social media and what can be done. The tactician is passionate about the subject matter.
  4. Determine what can be done – Once you done a review and determined who can perform what tasks, be honest and figure out what you can do. Is your effort simply going to be feeding SEO or are you going for the deep end of the pool and going to create relationships. You can only accomplish what your corporate culture allows.
  5. Adjust – If your goals don’t match what you can do, then something needs to be adjusted. It’s great to say you’re going to reinvent your culture to handle the new level of transparency but that takes a lot of time.

From there we reviewed LinkedIn, and it’s role in your personal brand. We talked about Groups, Organizer, Company Site, Answers, Account types, *Network Stats, and “LinkedIn according to Guy Kawasaki“. As for personal branding we reviewed the following:

  • Professional Photo – Exactly what photo is a personal decision and it should represent the standards within the vertical you’re in.
  • Complete Profile – Make sure all of your information is your profile. You never know what a potential strategic partner will glom onto.
  • Bilingual? – Just as there is not such thing as an offline company; there is no such thing as a company that isn’t impacted by international business.
  • Recommendations – These are good ways for people to understand your strengths and how others view you. Some companies will not give you chance to interview if you don’t have recommendations.
  • Groups – You vertical expertise is a big part of your personal brand. What groups you’re a member of allows others to see what your areas of interest are.
  • Contact Settings – Go to the settings screen and provide information on what you’d like to be contacted regarding. Business deals? Consulting offers? Let others know what you’re looking for.
  • Twitter Settings

Lastly we talked about Twitter and some of its defining characteristics such as 140 character limit, the power of the # tag as it relates to branding, the retweet, search, trends and when the best time to drive traffic via tweets. We reviewed the concept of lifestreaming and Twitter as a hybrid of business and personal information, intent based marketing, niche social networks via lists, tweetups and the Golden ratio; number of followers, number of tweets, number of people you’re following. And we finished up with some useful applications that utilize Twitter; oneforty, Seesmic, UberTwitter, CoTweet, Radian6, Twitter Grader.

Tonight’s class, were going to cover Facebook!