http://ow.ly/1r9XC Who owns social media in the workplace? Did we forget it’s about community & collaboration?

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Here it is, Thanksgiving, and it is time to reflect on what we are thankful for this past year.  I could share with you how my heart is full of love for my family and friends, because it is.  But it is more appropriate for me to share with you what I give thanks for on a professional level.   This year I want to reflect on how truly thankful I am for the web evolution and revolution.

I am thankful that there are groups on Twitter and on LinkedIn that connect me with like-minded professionals, asking and answering questions that help me grow.  I am thankful that subject matter experts are providing free webinars to share knowledge on social media, marketing, and networks that increase my ability to benefit from Web 2.0 and that allows me to share this new knowledge with clients; we play it forward and that is a really great gift.  I am thankful that conversations happen constantly on web sites and I can make better product choices prior to a purchase.  And I am thankful that restaurant reviews can make my dining experience more tasteful than tacky.

Yes, the new web works for me.  I am in touch with family and friends far and near through Facebook, I am up to date in real-time on what’s happening around the globe through Twitter and based on my research, it is only going to get better.

Open sourcing is allowing companies like Google to improve new products before they come to market.  Just visit the next evolution of Internet interaction at Google, entitled “Wave.” 

And I am thankful for competition and how it drives innovation.  Today Apple’s iPhone is the benchmark for smartphones, and all hand-held technology.  According to PC World, Apple has approved over 100,000 apps and I am thankful that almost 20,000 of them are free.  But wait, there’s more.  We are the recipient of better products because competition is healthy, and Joe Wilcox, from Betanews is predicting that Google’s Android will take the top stop in mobile devices in 2012. Imagine that!

How many of us could have predicted we would be in virtual conversations and in virtual communities 10 years ago?  I am thankful for creativity and thankful for progress.

Here are just some of my favorite sites and sources (in alpha order) of which I am thankful.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?  Share your thoughts and hopes for social media’s future and what you appreciate about it today. Share your thoughts and thanks by leaving a comment. And thank you for reading my blogs.

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Eileen Weisman is a communication strategist, an on-going student of social media, a good listener, a walker, a recycling expert, a dog lover, and a mother of the bride (read previous posts to learn more). Contact The W Group to discuss opportunities for improving the listening environment within your company or organization.

W small only   Driving to my weekly networking meeting I saw a dog walking down a major thorough-fare with traffic coming right up on it!  I stopped my car, put on my flashers and hoped my car, the dog or I didn’t get hit!  We all survived the moment, and now I had a beautiful Cavalier King Charles spaniel in my car!  Now this dog definitely belonged to someone, this is not your average dog—high maintenance might even be an understatement.

So now what do I do?

The first thing I did was take the dog to the nearest vet office to see if it had a microchip since it did not have a collar with tags.  No chip!  I did learn the dog was a boy and he was not neutered.  This is all important info which I figured would further define the dog’s identity when I was able to locate the owner.cavalier

 With three dogs at home I couldn’t bring this flea-full animal into my house.  So I took him to my vet where he would spend the day being pampered and receiving shots while I began executing against a communication strategy to find the owner.

How did I do this? 

First!  I made calls to the pounds, the local vets, I posted on Craig’s List, I contacted the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Society of Houston, and I send out a tweet to see if anyone was looking for a missing Cavalier King Charles spaniel. I posted in the “lost dog” section of Craig’s List that I found a dog (many details not included—see next paragraph).  I also posted on Facebook a request for a foster home for this cute boy as we have three dogs in our household and another would just be pushing it!

Next, I made signs.  Now since this is an expensive doggie, we didn’t put the breed on the signs.  We simple stated–Found Dog, Small Male, White and Tan. Call xxx-xxx-xxxx. I left off the breed, as you never know who is in the market for a high-end dog and would love to claim ownership!

I placed the signs strategically around the area where the dog was found. I chose a 2 mile square area to place the signs.  Additionally, I focused heavily around parks and schools, and major intersections.

Then our family waited. 

Nothing the first night but by morning a dog-lover who was walking her dog around one of the parks saw our sign.  She called!  She told me she saw a sign on a front lawn not far from the park saying “Lost Cavalier King Charles spaniel.”  Unfortunately, they had no phone number on their sign—their only sign in the entire neighborhood!  She gave me directions to the home, as I don’t even live in that neighborhood.  I drove over (without the dog), rang the bell, and asked questions.  I felt I had found the owners of our cute little man!  The owner was in tears and followed me to my house.  With many tails wagging, (my dogs included) the owner and the dog were reunited!

There are a few morals to this story.

  1. Have your dog micro-chipped (it doesn’t hurt, and it is not expensive)
  2. Always, always have a collar on your dog with your contact information
  3. Check your fence to be certain there are not any escape opportunities
  4. Put signs up and think strategically about where to place the signs and be sure to include contact information
  5. Use every opportunity you can think of to communicate you lost your dog or you found a dog

And what does this mean to you?

Whether you are looking for a dog, or looking to create awareness in your company or organization you need a well-thought-out plan.  Begin by defining your audience, hone your message to the audience, create a delivery strategy that matches the demographics of your intended recipients, create listening posts to identify if your audience is listening, and if they are not, immediately fine-tune your strategy!  Keep refining and measuring until you are happy with your results.

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A Public Note of Thanks!

I would like to thank my dog-loving daughter for her assistance is helping me with this lost dog endeavor. I couldn’t have done it without her!

Our poll this week is a test of your heart-strings!  What would you do?

 

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Eileen Weisman is a communication strategist, a good listener, a walker,  a recycling expert, a dog lover, and a mother of the bride.  Contact The W Group to discuss opportunities for improving the listening environment within your company or organization

thumbnail logo“Tell me one good reason why I should use social media in my business,” is what I heard recently. And my response was “tell me why you don’t want to use it?”

Most people just don’t understand what social media is, how it is being used, who is using it, and how it could actually help businesses.

First, many feel it is a fad, something used only by the youngest generations.  Secondly, businesses can’t seem to grasp how social media could possibly help generate new business, and certainly many cannot fathom how it could help maintain current customers and clients.

Whether you are a company, a client or a potential new customer, here are three very basics reasons to consider using social media.

  1. Benefit from its low cost marketing approach
    1. Dell sells on Twitter—“In the last six months, Dell Outlet earned $1 million in sales from customers who came to the site from Twitter, after taking 18 months to earn its first $1 million.”[1]
    2. As a potential customer or a new client, use social media to see what is good and not so good about a company.
  2. Have conversations with customers, potential clients, and employees
    1. Talk, talk, talk, blah, blah, blah….it is happening so use it to your advantage. Promote new products and services, offer coupons exclusively to your community, even your employees.  Product improvement doesn’t require an expensive focus group anymore. Be out there, and hear what is being said.  You should be part of the conversation.
    2. Let a company or business know what you liked or didn’t like about their product or service.
  3. Build brand awareness, conduct e-commerce, track comments, respond to comments
    1. The line between customer service and marketing is becoming blurred because of social media. You can introduce new products, sell them, and get feedback quickly through your communities.  Remember, you can respond to negative comments and your honesty will serve you well. Social media is a two-way conversational approach to living in the 21st century.

Just last month, in May 2009, Compete estimated that Twitter had 19.7 million unique visitors, far short of MySpace and Facebook. But it is growing much faster than the more-established social networking sites—more than 1,000% over the previous year. [2]

US Unique Visitors to Facebook, MySpace and Twitter
May, 2009 (millions and % change*)
  Unique Visitors % Change*
Facebook 113.0 253.7%
MySpace 56.9 -5.6%
Twitter 19.7 1,043%
Note: *vs. same month of prior year
Source: Compete, Inc, as cited in company blog, June 9, 2009
                                                                                                                                    
www.eMarketer.com

 

The Power is Potent!

I find no better way to illustrate  the power of social media that using current events. This week social media use has been the most potent challenger to the embattled government of Iran as they are unable to censor and control the conversations regarding the recent election results. Iranians all over the world are blogging and posting everywhere.  This should give you a very vivid picture of the power of social media.

And I am certain there are studies showing how the Obama campaign used social media to their advantage and continue to use it to drive their agenda.

So image this…. I make a statement saying, “The Internet is just a fad!” Would you believe me? Well, certainly not today. What if I said it in 1980?

So here it is, 2009, and I don’t consider myself going out on a limb here by telling you, “Social media is here to stay.  Get use to it, explore its capabilities, and learn how to use it for your benefit.”

Eileen Weisman is a communication strategist.  Her company, The W Group can help you identify the best ways to improve you bottom line.

Eileen invites you to comment on her blogs.  Let’s get our own conversation going!  What social networks do you use for business?  Does your company take advantage of this new approach?

 


[1] New York Times, June 12, 2009

[2] Compete, June 9, 2009