Saying You are on Facebook Does Not a Social Strategy Make

This past week I visited a local restaurant that was preparing for the holiday season by advertising their holiday parties on a board right when you walk in.  Also on that board, were requests to “Follow us on Twitter” and “Like us on Facebook”.  So I tried to find them on Facebook, and being more knowledgeable than most with Facebook, I thought I would find them right away.  But, there are two pages for this one specific business.  It was also difficult to find them on Twitter, since they add “NY” to their name.

On their lobby sign, they don’t even tell you how to find them.  What’s their twitter name?  How are they listed in Facebook?

This is the position so many businesses find themselves in lately.  They have gone through the trouble and expense of creating a Facebook page (or two)… and then nothing.  People click “like”, they collect fans, people even write on their wall, and then … nothing.

This particular restaurant hadn’t updated their Twitter account since May, and has never actually engaged on their Facebook page(s).

Is this a social strategy?

No.

So, what makes a good social strategy?

A good social strategy has four main components:

  1.  Identify your goals
  2. Find your audience
  3. Decide on performance indicators
  4. Schedule and manage

Identify Your Goals:

Any good marketing plan, whether social or traditional, requires that you start at the beginning.  What do you want this specific marketing to accomplish?  Do you want more customers?  Do you want to establish your brand as an expert in a specific field?  Until you know what you want to accomplish you will have no way to move your plan forward.

Find Your Audience:

You will need to determine where your customers are spending their on-line time.  Are they on Facebook or Twitter?  Is LinkedIn more appropriate for your business?  This will all depend on the type of business you have and the specific client you are trying to reach.

Set Your Performance Indicators:

Social media can be measured.  You can determine how many people visit your blog, website, or Facebook page.  You can analyze what content is getting shared and retweeted and when that content is being posted.  You just need to determine which of these items are important to the campaign you are running.

Schedule and Manage:

Once you know what your goals are, where you will be concentrating your efforts, and what you are looking to monitor, it’s time to set out your schedule.  Who is tweeting on behalf of the company?  When will posts be made to Facebook, and who is responsible for responding to your customers?

These steps will help you begin to envision your social media strategy, in hopes that you can offer your clients an engaging, responsive, and embracing community.

 

Resources:

7 Steps for a Successful Social Media Strategy

The Key to Developing a Social Media Strategy

Social Media Strategy in Four Steps

 

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

The ABC’S of Networking Follow Up

Most of us have attended numerous networking events. We make it a point to meet and greet many people with the idea of building a relationship for potential business. So, why don’t we follow up?

How often after an event have you found yourself with a dozen or more business cards only to put them in or on your desk to collect dust. Weeks may go by before you look at them again and forget who they are or where you met them. Well, that is why, right off the bat I suggest to put your picture on your business card. It does help when people see your picture to remember who you are. That would be my first suggestion.

Next, I would suggest you ask yourself what your goals are. Are you going to these events to become a card collector? I know in some industries it’s a numbers game but then that is not really networking. Networking is about building relationships not necessarily transactions.

So many of us put so much time and effort into networking but fail to follow up. Did you know that follow up should actually begin shortly after the introduction? You should instinctively know during your conversation whether or not you would like to speak or meet with them again. (Remember don’t just look at them as a potential client but rather a potential referral source.) So, you might want to say something like “I really enjoyed speaking with you and would love to follow up with this conversation. Would you prefer I contact you via telephone or email?” At that time, they will either say:

  • Response A: “I enjoyed speaking with you as well but I am really busy right now – maybe we will run into each other again.” (meaning – they are not interested in networking with you) Keep in mind that doesn’t mean it’s over simply wait until you run into them again and let things happen naturally.
  • Response B: “The best way to reach me is via email or ….”

At this time, you may want to make some notes on the back of their business card to help remind you of some key points in the conversation for your follow up.

The only way to see the “ROI” on networking is by putting in the time. Successful people know the importance of a strong network.

According to Dr. Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI – offers 2 tips – 1 for networking and 1 for follow up meeting:

1. A one-page flyer – Have a brief overview of your business ready to pass along at all times in case you meet someone while networking who wants to quickly pass along your information to a prospective client he/she knows. You should have a hard copy to fax and an electronic copy to email.

2. Question-and-answer sheets – One of the quickest ways to learn about a person’s business as a networker, and for him or her to learn about yours, is to make the initial meeting as organized as possible. A sheet with questions that you can each ask each other can ensure you don’t forget to find out the information that could lead to a quick referral.

A great article to read, by Dr. Ivan Misner, is “Don’t make this networking mistake” He explains how to go for the “long-term relationship” and not the “short sale.”

Try to follow up from immediately to up to 72 hours while the person and conversation is still somewhat fresh in not only your mind but the other persons mind as well. Hopefully, during the initial conversation you did most of the listening this way you can offer something of interest to them based on things they have said. For example, they may have said they love golfing – so maybe you can let them know of a golf outing that is coming up or an interesting article you may have recently read about golfing. You want to look for a solution to a problem they may be having. Your follow up can include:

  • An article or a book you read
  • An expert opinion
  • A contact or introduction
  • An invitation to an upcoming networking event or target event
  • Refer to a commonality you both may have. For example:
  1. Could be You came from same town
  2. You share the same hobby
  3. You Vacationed at the same location
  4. Your both reading the same book

Just remember to be genuine and real and do not try to sell unless they showed an expressed interest in your product or service.

  • Visibility comes with being present.
  • Credibility grows during the follow ups.
  • Conversations create stronger relationships.

For a more personal follow up, which will help you stand out from the rest, send a personal handwritten note or a personalized card from sendoutcards.com.

During the course of a conversation, you may want to ask if they utilize social media. You may request to connect on facebook. If that is too personal, ask if they have a business page that you can become a fan of or try connecting on linkedin. Start building the relationship before you actually need them. Suggest a date to meet explaining how you would like to know more about their business. People like to talk about themselves so be sure to ask open ended questions.

You need to feel out the person you are following up with. Be mindful of their time. Become someone they enjoy talking to. In order for your follow up to work you need to follow through. Remember it’s not about “chasing prospects” it’s about “building relationships”

There are guidelines or campaigns for your follow ups – one is reaching out with the 8 x 12 method – meaning – you reach out to potential prospect 8 times over a 12 week period which is more for a sales follow up. Networking follow up is a much longer process to building relationship that you hope to keep for most of your career.

You may want to break down the cards into 3 catergories:

  • Prospective clients
  • People you will refer to others
  • People who will pass referrals to you

As the saying goes “The Fortune is in the Follow up” speaking of which, there is a recently published book out by Heidi Sloss called “The Fortune is in the Follow up” I have not had the pleasure of reading it yet but I may soon.

To help you stay more organized with your contacts and follow ups there is a site called jibberjobber.com – it is a personal relationship manager that can help you organize and track personal & professional relationships. It is free to set up and free to use or you can upgrade to a premium package for a low monthly cost but it is not necessary.

Don’t forget to reconnect with old business relationships, clients / customers because they too can become a good referral source.

Appropriate and sincere follow up will ultimately lead to meaningful and fruitful relationships

Here is a great guide for sales follow ups – creating a great follow up with your clients in 7 simple steps by followupsuccess.com

Statistically speaking – for sales…..

  • 48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect.
  • 25% of sales people make a second contact and stop.
  • 12% of sales people only make three contacts and stop.
  • Only, 10% of businesses make more than three contacts. This means they’re losing a small fortune.

Because…

  • 2% of sales are made on the first contact.
  • 3% of sales are made on the second contact.
  • 5% of sales are made on the third contact.
  • 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact.
  • 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact.

Back in January, 2011, I wrote about Networking 101. This article is a follow up to networking 101 on how to follow up.

Sources:

Ezines Articles: Networking 101

“Don’t make this networking mistake”

Creating Great Follow Up With Your Clients in 7 Simple Steps

Social Media Management Tools Keep Updating: So Be Informed

Social Media Saturday:Management Tools

 

About Laurinda Handlik

Laurinda Handlik of NY Introductions (Social Media Marketing & more) – Founder/President of NY Business Alliance (Networking group with a unique networking model).

Long Island Goes Local: The Kioli Business Summit 11.3.11

Alison Gilbert's DBME press pass

Alison Gilbert’s press pass © DBMEi.com

As one of the original contributing authors and business supporters of Digital Brand Marketing Education, I received proof of my proudest accomplishment the other day in the mail, my PRESS PASS. I tried it out, wearing it around my apartment and even wanted to wear it to sleep on my pajamas. But reason overtook excitement. I decided to wait until this past Thursday, November 3, 2011 for its first official outing, the Kioli BUSINESS SUMMIT at the Inn at New Hyde Park on Long Island.

Kioli ID tag © Kioli.org

Kioli Exhibitor ID tag © Kioli.org

I am no newcomer to events such as this having attended tradeshows, workshops and seminars as far back as the days when the Coliseum (New York not Rome) was home to NYC tradeshows and the Jacob Javits Convention Center was merely a cruise ship sized dream for becoming the primary host to the world of vendors and buyers for many, many industries.

After four hours at the Kioli Business Summit, including my eating a delicious lunch, listening to seminars on ‘Growing Sales’, ‘Banking, Borrowing & Investing’ and ‘Social Media & Search Marketing’ as well as attending an on-going networking tradeshow, my tired feet insisted that it was time to call it a day.

The previously scheduled Happy Hour was canceled due to a wedding that took precedence over continuing our celebration of LI Business. The news of this came as a mixed blessing, relief to my tired feet but disappointment to my boundless networking energy.

What is Kioli? To quote the November 20th, 2008 edition of The Long Island Press, it “is a catchphrase. An acronym to be more exact. It is a philosophy and a movement. It stands for Keep It On Long Island, but it means many things. (Kioli has actually become a verb as well as an acronym. To kioli means,  ‘to keep it on Long Island’.

Kioli defined

Kioli defined © kioli.org

“It means keeping our money here where it cannot be manipulated by treacherous Wall Street investments. It pleads with consumers to spend money in local businesses that are owned by local residents. Businesses founded by investments made by Long Islanders that result in profits staying here and circulating through our economy. It is a movement that dreams of providing our children with affordable housing alternatives and productive skilled employment. It is a notion whose time has come and Kioli.org is where it resides.”

LI Press

LI Press Logo © LI Press on facebook

The Long Island Press, a free weekly Long Island based newspaper distributed through out the Island and dedicated to “informing, entertaining and educating the opinion leaders of Long Island”, is the founding member of KioLi.org. “In the fall of 2008 a handful of companies, both for profit and nonprofit, came together to form a movement called ‘Keep It On Long Island’ (Kioli) for the purpose of stimulating business in the local economy. In 2009, the movement found a home online at www.kioli.org. Today these companies are known as Kioli Founding Members . . . .”

They are Alure Home Improvements, Farmingdale State CollegeSchwartz & Company,  Sperry Credit Union, MCL Dental Lab, Cactus Salon & Spa, Men On The Move.

Since its beginning three years ago, Kioli has been busy, very busy with the business of keeping business alive and well on Long Island. This is a serious challenge due to both the cost of living to stay here and the fact that jobs are hard to find because businesses here have been compromised by the current economic crisis.

Long Island is no exception to the hit our nation has taken. But there is a palpable ‘kioli’ spirit in the air. It is my opinion that this spirit was well represented at the Kioli Business Summit. I felt the spirit present in the amount and types of businesses, nonprofit organizations and business people who define LI for me.

Photo-of-Items-from-Kioli-Summit

Photo of items from Kioli Business Summit © Phil Jacobs

As I collected dozens of promotional items, exchanged innumerable business cards, introduced myself and shook hands with my fellow business owners, I had the opportunity to experience and feel this spirit at work, in the flesh, for the first time. I realized the foresight and dedication the original founding member businesses had.

Most importantly, I came to understand how both consumers and businesses on Long Island must think and stay local in order for Long Island to survive. That is what ‘Keep It On Long Island‘ means. Everyone on Long Island has a stake in this.

Fortune 52 Event Oct 17, 2011

Fortune 52 Honoree Event Oct 17, 2011 © LI Press

Even a major national social media company, Constant Contact, that is not Long Island based has provided us with a direct, full time and in-person link to the heart of their products. Ellen DePasquale, was a Kioli Summit speaker  in the afternoon  and a Kioli participant, giving a seminar at SUNY Farmingdale (a Kioli founding member) in the morning.

Best of LI 2012

Best of LI Competition 2012 © LI Press

The Long Island Press, Kioli’s founding member, plays a huge part in ‘kioli’ daily. In addition to its weekly publication both online and on paper, it is host to and reporter of many local activities. It adds an extra spark to the mix with its ‘Best of Long Island‘ yearly competition and Beverly Fortune’sFortune 52‘ and the honoree events. Felice Cantatore, Executive VP, bears highlighting as well. When he is not representing the LI Press or boxing, he is the ‘poster man’ for Kioli. I see him at every LI Business event I attend. And I am sure he goes to many more.

With the ability to travel from one end of the Island to the other in under two hours (depending upon the traffic) and in seconds (depending upon the cooperation of the Internet, WiFi and 3G), Long Island is in the process of becoming one business community. Although it is comprised of two counties (actually four if you count Brooklyn and Queens) and countless municipalities, towns, villages and cities, those boundaries are fading and in my opinion need to continue to be replaced by a sense of one common goal, Kioli.

Nonprofits at Event

‘Giving is Good Business’, Nonprofit Organizations  at the Kioli Event © Phil Jacobs

Common concerns and cares as well as a love for the life that we have here on Long Island are partly what glue us all together. With the extraordinary assistance of skyrocketing technology, we are becoming one. Not only does Kioli serve to ‘Keep It On LI’, but these types of gatherings and movements also strengthen that intention and further the unification of LI into one local business community. Kudos to Kioli, its founding members, its present participants and activities, as well as its energy in working towards this economic lifesaving destination.

SOURCES:
Who Cares About LI?  Kioli Business Summit Announcement

Kioli Business Summit (Advisory provided by Google)
Keep It on Long Island
About Kioli
The Long Island Press
The Founding of Kioli.org

About Alison Gilbert

Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.

New Google Newsletter and Mobile Adwords Features

Google Adwords launched new features in September 2011. These new features are geared towards making site clicks and even subscriptions to site newsletters or blogs easier to accomplish. Being able to get signed up to internal site options from the external source of a Google browser could go a long way in increasing traffic for those who utilize these methods.

AdWords Subscribe Option

Adwords now provides an option to allow Google search engine users to subscribe directly from a PPC ad. The option to subscribe to newsletters or email lists can be displayed on top or side ads.

All ads are displayed with “Privacy Info” that lets the viewer know that information shared in the input boxes will be shared with the advertiser.

Mobile Landing Pages

A recent study found that 61% of mobile browsers are not likely to return to a site that does not provide a good mobile experience. In response, Google initiated a shift in their policy that will now reward mobile sites with good optimization. Users with good mobile optimization who promote their sites with Google Adwords will now receive better performance. The ads created will drive traffic at a lower cost if they directly link to your site that is optimized for mobile users.

How Will This Affect Me?

If you are a business owner, whether or not you use Google Adwords, the time to optimize your site for mobile users is now. Even without the use of Google Adwords to promote a site, knowing that over half of mobile browsers will never return to your non-optimized site should be enough to push you into sprucing up your site to accommodate users on mobile devices. Getting rid of flash heavy content is a great step towards optimizing for mobile usage.

How Do I Optimize My Site for Mobile?

Google has offered a few suggestions to help you get your site optimized for mobile usage.

  • Keep the layout and design simple
  • Prioritize your content
  • Use markedly mobile features
  • Make your site easy to convert

If you want to know how well your site functions on mobile devices, grab your device and load up your site. If it is frustrating for you to navigate, you may want to make the changes required to encourage mobile use of your web pages.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

What Makes Mobile Search Marketing Beneficial?

Mobile marketing changed its definition in the early 2000’s when the original meaning, which was marketing on the go, changed into mobile search marketing, which are in essence, marketing techniques carried out over a mobile device.

SMS marketing is an advertising technique that involves the collection of mobile phone numbers to add to a messaging platform database. These numbers are collected so that when a special promotion or offer becomes available, the number list owner can send out a mass message to what they hope will be future repeat customers. SMS marketing relies on opt-in users due to practices established by the Mobile Marketing Association to help prevent unwanted messaging, similar to the protection offered by the Federal Do Not Call registry.

The fact that SMS messages are commonly read in the first four minutes after receipt means that this form of marketing is highly convertible.

A New Digital World

If we thought SMS marketing was impressive, then came the smartphone. A new world of marketing was then opened in many new forms.

  • MMS – Multimedia message service
  • Mobile Web Marketing
  • In-Game Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing via QR Codes
  • User-Controlled Media

Ever-Changing Media

So exactly what is changing about mobile search marketing? For one, it has become infinitely more complex than the simple SMS original formats. Mobile search marketing is unique not only in its format, but also in the way that it approaches the consumer. Traditional forms of marketing can be a combination of intrusive versus elusive.

Intrusive methods include telephone marketing, television advertising, and even door-to-door sales. Although intrusive methods have shown their own positive statistics about effectiveness, many elements such as increased crime rates, new laws and regulations, or increasing costs have made the intrusive forms of marketing much less lucrative in recent years.

Elusive methods are the most effective and can include in-game marketing, user-controlled media, or mobile web marketing. This type of marketing is effective in the sense that the advertisements are usually an ‘in addition to’ or bonuses. For instance, users can play the free game on their phone, or they can purchase the nearby advertisement option to achieve ‘pro’ status on the game. Users can utilize a particular browser and that browser may support and advertise their own series of media, apps, or programs.

Although some marketers still argue that mobile queries constitute too little of an overall end-result to make the campaign effort worthwhile, it is a notable fact that Google’s mobile query share has grown over five times in the last couple of years. Mobile search continues to grow at an accelerated rate than traditional search options.

There may be no time like the immediate present to gain pioneer advantages and initiate your mobile testing and paid search campaigns right away.

 

 Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

Is Google Plus (G+) the key in the transition to Web 3.0

A Google account has become the most powerful tool that any entrepreneur or small business owner could ever hope for. While Google’s general public brand has been tied to Search, Google has been building a monopoly that can and will change the shape of business, politics, and education forever. In fact, Google is Web 3.0!

Google has many, many tools and products in its offering, most of which are free! If you have not taken the time to look around I suggest you spend a few minutes and start to familiarize yourself with them, they will save or make you A LOT OF MONEY!!!

Google recently made a few updates, but the top bar has been around for longer than most realize, it is in this bar that Google is writing the book on Web 3.0.

What is it that makes Google such a force? Why is Google Plus or G+ such a big deal?

As seen above, Google has captured the “cloud” era ahead of schedule. Without even looking at the advanced features or Google Apps, one can create and store documents on their google account, set appointments organize and share a calendar, find new information and search for products, solutions, books, or even watch a movie or a how to video.

Social Media has changed the way that people interact and use the web, in fact web 2.0 was all about social media. Websites, software and plug-in updates that allowed people to interact with one another and turned a one directional internet into a multi directional web. In web 2.0 not only can you talk back to the media or information source, you could share it or pass it around. The individual web user could claim the brand of a company for better or worse. Dell had individuals that were not related or employed by the company providing customer support in the forums, and Milton’s Scrabble lost thousands, arguably millions in its brand because two other developers claimed the brand in Facebook.

Web 3.0 has been branded the “cloud” era where information, both public and personal is stored on the world wide web and accessed via data plans, Wifi or traditional cable and dial up. This includes massive files for things like high definition media, entire company databases, etc. This is really not something that is new, just look at how startups like Patch Media use google to simulate a traditional IT infostructure or Saleforce.com to organize track and distribute leads, sales and work. With only one main hub in NYC, Patch Media delivers people and content without traditional overhead in over 800 communities around the United States.

Google Plus bridges the gap between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0

In Google Hangout people interact in a real time public space. Others now have to rethink how they look, speak and the body language or facial features that they use. (The innovative marketers and advertisers will need to think how to get a coke can on the desk during that hangout, how to get a new movie poster on the wall behind that person on the hangout etc.)

Google Hangouts has a game changing advantage for those that know how to present, speak and are truly genuine in public. Users should be aware that this new social tool is a lot like “Larry King Live” and you better be prepared for questions that you may not want to answer.

Google Plus has an A symmetrical sharing system, which means that we can send to others but not get a share in return. G+ from its creation allows users to separate professional and personal lives and even organize beyond the largest separation issue that has plagues social users. This interface along with many other features makes Google Plus the most advanced social media site/tool/software that has ever been created, but all that pales in comparison to why Google is so powerful in web 3.0.

If you are in a space where you are using social in a way that allows you to network and share both your personal life and professional life, what could be better than the Google suite of products? You can share and update documents in real time, video conference, make appointments, develop leads, search out information, shop and buy products, services and so on…

A small business now has an IT Dept. in one place. They can seek out support, generate leads, share reports, organize their schedule, promote their business with video, learn from other videos, advertise in Search, not to mention capture the power of social or viral activity. The digital business can now provide face to face support in a familiar environment something that many still crave.

A teacher or tutor can instruct a class or group from half way around the world, share documents, collect home work in real time. A educator or small college can now reach millions and take online learning into a space that captures the best of brick and mortar with distance learning once only done through text based posts.

A politician can capture and organize moral entrepreneurs, organizations and supporters from an account that brands who they are, what they are doing and interact with them with little or no technical experience or knowledge.

The shift in the world economy has come from millions of individuals competing with large corporations and brands that once held a monopoly on professional marketing, networking and talent. Thanks to a Google account you can now work with the best talent, develop a impressive network and generate a brand that is professional, technologically competitive and organized.

 

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

New Facebook Features

Facebook seems to be well intent on stepping up their game in the world of social networking. Whether a knee-jerk reaction to Google +, or a long planned idea, following a recent press conference at their headquarters, Facebook launched their newest options for their users.

Skype

One of the newest features includes Skype powered video chat, for single or group chat connections. Many users have already lauded the ease in which a user can initiate first a solo chat, and then simply initiate another to create an instant video conference call.

From an unbiased point of view this does offer awesome capabilities to those who would not have been able to communicate this easily before. Soldiers and others abroad can quickly strike up a video chat with Mom and their spouse when time is short and connections are vital. Students traveling countries away from their homes can do much the same.

This is what the internet is about and it does feel good to know the great connections that can be made here now with not much hassle, but just as with anything else, this already leaves a hole open for those who abuse such things to begin doing so. If you have an incredibly huge network on Facebook, you may find yourself the recipient of unwanted phone calls. This could quickly become another source of frustration for those who use Facebook who may not be entirely fond of their privacy policies.

Group Chat

Although the new group chat is certainly more user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and in general, so far, less buggy and annoying, it does seem to offer then unwanted possibility of Skype calling as well. However, though there may be a few annoying folks who may choose you to test the new capabilities on, drawing you into chats you may never enter willingly, the novelty of this too will wear off soon, just as it has on many other chat or instant messaging network.

The new features will be integrated into the usage of Facebook fans in over 70 different languages in the coming weeks, no small feat regardless of the digital wizard behind the curtain. This entire work over is what Facebook developers say was a part of the plan since the $240 million dollar investment that Microsoft made in them back in 2007.

Currently, these options are only available in the Windows platform. When asked about other operating system options in the future, Zuckerberg would only respond with, “We’ll see.”

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

How is Social Media Changing Higher Education?

Many teachers have adopted an everyday practice of incorporating digital technologies in the classroom and extending learning beyond the traditional boundaries of the Institution.

Distance education is high on the agenda of most higher education institutes and a great deal of effort and time has been invested into staff development to ensure that teachers are up to date and aware of how to teach remotely using new technologies.

It’s not only the role of the teacher that has changed. The embedding of digital technology into everyday study has also changed the way students learn. Now students can assume more responsibility for their own learning and design their own study trajectories. They are able to access a vast pool of knowledge through access to the World Wide Web. They can learn anywhere, anytime.

Since the web has become more social, students today share experiences and knowledge; they can communicate with their teachers after hours, they communicate with peers and enhance their learning experience.

Today’s students are multi-tasking, possessing the ability to access and decipher information. Students are more at ease with changing technologies. Social media enables them to be heard and provide feedback. Studying is no longer a one way street from teacher to student but a two way collaborative effort. Social media gave the students a voice in their learning process.

In many higher learning institutions blogs, wikis and social media tools ease the way to create collaboration between students. Social media tools support sharing and building of knowledge.  Projects given to students as a group are now easier to perform since the geographical restrictions have been removed. Blogs are used for learning another language, projects can be posted on Youtube for the whole class (and the world) to see and project descriptions are posted online with due dates. Social bookmarking is used by professors to list the reading requirements of the course and giving students the key to resources online.

Experts in any field are more accessible today through social media. An expert’s tweets about his experiences can provide a learning experience and insight into the professional world never possible before. A question can be posted for an expert on his social page or his blog and a dialogue started that would have taken weeks to arrange in the pre-social media world.

And it starts even before the learning begins. Some institutions, for example, use Facebook pages to reach out to student before they first arrive on campus. With many of them leaving home for the first time, knowing some of their classmates before they arrive can support them in this time of transition.

Social media and Skype enable face-time with a teacher for a one on one session. When there’s no time during school hours, it can be done during evening hours and across time zones. . Schools today use cloud storage that enables their students the use of an expensive program from home, for a limited time. They provide space for storage of group projects where all the group members can enter and make changes.

As part of Walden University’s Doctorate in Education program I was amazed and shocked at the learning process. While it was exciting to be able to work at a unique pace and have access to classmates and instructors at different times of the day, from the comfort of my home. I also found that the use of such technology was lead by those who struggle to understand it. Having academics try to lead topics citing the internet and multiple intelligence theory was horrifying because most could not relate or lacked an understanding of the base.

One of the most foolish policies I ever heard started from Michigan State University, repeated at Stony Brook University and then echoed in the Walden University’s DC residency, “Wikipedia is not a source and should never be used”.  

The shock and awe was outstanding, it was as if the professors just repeated something that they were told and never actually took the time to do any research for themselves. While you might not directly cite Wikipedia as a source, this collaborative site for knowledge has been found by research to be more accurate then the Encyclopedia Britannica. In research, a process that requires a starting point and is benefited by diverse experiences and information, it is hard to truly argue that there is a better source then Wikipedia.

Other uses for the new technology include text messaging and social media alerts are a relatively new ways for schools in the US to alert the whole student body to an emergency situation.

What new challenges does this pose?

Keeping teachers ahead of the curve with continued education regarding technological possibilities and with so much information, educating the students to know what is credible and what not, what is important and what not, and be able to figure out the source of the information they come in contact with.

Students were given the virtual key to the library and a group study doesn’t have to be done in one physical location or with just classmates. The digital era and social media revolution is in full swing, all they need now is guidance.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

Social Media is Saving Lives & Raising Awareness

Has social media proved itself beneficial to your business? What if it actually saved your life or the lives of your children? Would you be a believer then?

Haiti Earthquake

We heard plenty of stories after the earthquake in Haiti last year of survivors under the rubble tweeting their locations, pleading for rescue. We may have even seen a few of the Facebook fan sites that sprang up in order to help direct rescuers to the most needed locations such as the Hotel Montana, a bit away from the epicenter but still desperately in need of help.

Many participants on both of these social networks also actively helped with the recovery effort by following and reporting request for supplies such as much needed first aid, food, and water to the Red Cross and other organizations that were headed into the devastation zone.

There can also be no doubt that Haiti also received an incredible amount of donations for their recovery by users on Twitter and Facebook who simply provided the information on how to donate quickly.

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

The tragic earthquake and its subsequent tsunami that leveled large parts of Japan’s coastline earlier this year was also a widespread and viral topic on social media networks from the moment the news reports came rolling in.

Users on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and other social networking sites played major roles in more early warning systems, sharing information, reuniting family members, and the much needed donation gathering.

As their infrastructure began to fail and TV stations were knocked out, many of the people of Japan took to the social media networks to get their information, news, and knowledge of what was going on with the rescue efforts.

Some even used Twitter to advertise their safe locations, inviting others to join them. Hiroshi Matsuyama of CyberConnect advertised his safe zone on Twitter by tweeting that they had television, some food, and beverages. He gave his location, stated he had room for around thirty people and asked that others who needed help to reply via Twitter, the only means of communication he found he could rely on. 

Residents of Japan utilized Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and more to locate loved ones and shelters that were opening in affected areas.

So while there are a wide variety of technologies that can help to help us isolate ourselves from our fellow human beings, social media tools have absolutely shown their capacity for uniting us and bringing out the empathetic aspects of human nature.

It seems Japan and it’s unfortunate tragedy has only concreted the idea that a friend or follower in need can inspire true acts of generosity, empathy, and honor, something many find lacking in our daily dealings with those that we do deal with, even face-to-face.

The Good Fight

It doesn’t always have to be an immense tragedy to gather the attention of those who may help. Sometimes, it may only be a personal one.

For many Leukemia patients, the only cure available is the transplant of bone marrow from a matching donor. Finding a donor though has been a huge source of frustration and disappointment for those who are suffering, or those who have to watch a loved one do so. The highest probability for those sufferers is finding a donor in their same ethnic pool.

Caucasians in this situation can count themselves the luckiest, as 80% of them will be able to find a matching donor listed on the National Marrow Donor Program registry. However, of the 6.8 million registered, 20% are minorities and a meager 1% of those listed are South Asian. So for South Asians who are facing this type of personal devastation, the odds on finding a matching donor are pitifully low. To compound matters, many countries, like India, with a population of over one billion people, there is simply no registry at all. 

For those unfortunate sufferers, options were nil. That is, until social networks became an option. Now those who are unable to take advantage of opportunities to heal that may be available in some countries but not others, have an outlet.

Social media can provide those seeking help and their loved ones with the infrastructure to begin looking for options in previously unconventional methods. Enacting strategies that include building instant awareness and coupling it with mass micro-mobilization. This allows those who may have previously been voiceless, to grab the attention of the media, engage their viewers with videos and photos, powerful story-telling and blogging, and then to take action, whether it is in the form of a bone marrow drive, build a concerned community, and network possibly life-saving options.

Business and Charity Awareness

Sometimes little things can make a big difference, take the small change that Petri Plumbing and Heating made in June 2011. The company had offered a variety of coupons for discounts for various reasons, traditionally it was for unions, teachers, military etc. Then in June Petri Plumbing took their Facebook page and added entire tab dedicated to raising money for “Make A Wish” of Metro NY.

“We already donate to a bunch of charities as individuals in the community and as a business, this seemed like a great way to increase awareness about the cause… at the end of the day both my customers and my staff feel good about ourselves…we’re doing something more than just helping ourselves” Mike Petri

Petri Plumbing currently offers a 10% discount on work, if you make a donation to the Make A Wish foundation of metro NY. Clearly this is using social media for a higher social cause.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

Main Stream Social Media: Foursquare, Twitter and the NYC Mayor

If you needed proof to how much social media is becoming the mainstream media, here’s a little tale:

Mayor Bloomberg, of New York City, made April 16 the official “Foursquare Day” in the city of New York.

Foursquare.com, a location based application that offers its subscribers the ability to “check in” through their smartphones and text messages, into an establishment to tell their friends where they are at the moment. By doing so users get prizes, collect virtual badges and redeem them for free stuff. They can also meet other users whom they don’t personally know but are at the location at the same time, and, as they say, let serendipity take its course. Foursquare has more than 8 million users.

So Mayor Bloomberg visited the Manhattan office of Foursquare, a social media platform, and made a proclamation through Twitter: “I’ve officially declared 4/16 @Foursquare Day in NYC #4sqday,” he tweeted and posted on Facebook as well. Together he reached at least 100,000 followers (70,680 on Twitter and 30,660 on Facebook).

Why this date? 4/16 – four squared. And the company is trying to get other cities around the world to declare it so for next year.

What a way for a mayor to boost his city’s economy.

A day later we learned the results: 3 million people checked -in in New York City alone and a lot of activity in charities they support. Foursquare events collected food, donated money to Japan disaster victims, supported the Red Cross, Humane society and more. On their blog they write “We love the fact that 4sqday helped contribute to these causes in a spontaneous, grassroots way” Mayor Bloomberg.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

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