Helping Your Children by Building Your Network


Your Network Has Value to Your Children

While you may typically think of your network as your list of contacts that will help you in your business or career. Your network has the potential to help more than just you. One of the most important benefactors of your networking efforts can be your children.

How Your Network Can Help Your Children

Through your connections, you can provide your children access to influential people they may otherwise never know. Whether your child is looking for a connection to a college, an opportunity for an internship, a job, references, or some other interest that can benefit from a connection; you can be the missing link.

Almost daily most of you come in contact with interesting people with varied backgrounds. Capturing these connections brings value to you and your network, but it may also bring a needed future connection for your children.

As a parent building your network can be one of the most unselfish acts you ever take as you work to create the connections that your child will need as the progress through their career.

Read my other networking articles on this Blog for more reasons why you MUST be networking.

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Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping businesses, organizations, and individuals to establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

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Social Media.. What Site or Sites Are Best for My Business?


Few Companies Take the Time to Select the Social Media Sites that Will Be Best for Them

I don’t know how many times I have read purported experts telling organizations that they should have a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Plaxo, Friendster, MySpace, etc. I have heard them specify up to 10 sites that they state are critical to your business. Do they really know? What is their proof?

If you go looking for sites on your own you will see that Wikipedia lists over 190 different Social Media sites. On top of selecting your Social Media sites; businesses are told they must be blogging and oh, by the way, you should do podcasts in your spare time.

The reality is that there are way too many options and no business, regardless of how well staffed they are, can effectively participate in all these sites or even 10 sites. To make it worse many so-called Social Media consultants or experts spend little or no time understanding your business or helping you develop a strategy. My experience is that their interest is to get you involved in Social Media Sites far more than helping you achieve Social Media success.

What Do You Hope to Accomplish with Social Media and Why?

Before you jump into any site you must first understand or determine what you are attempting to accomplish. You must be able to answer these questions:

  • Who do you want to talk to?
  • Where do members of your audience spend their time?
  • What Social Media sites serve your audience?
  • What is interests your audience?
  • What information can you contribute to meet their interests?
  • How often do you want to talk?
  • What of quality or value do you have to say?
  • What action do you want your audience to take?

I am sure you can come up with other questions that will help to narrow your focus and evolve your strategy.

When you can answer these questions you are then prepared to start evaluating which Social Media sites will best serve your purposes. Certain sites lend themselves better to one objective or another and none are a one-size fits all solution.

The mistake that you do not want to make is to spend time in places where you will not find your customers and prospects or where you have nothing to add to the conversation. My friend, Neal Shaffer, wrote the blog post 5 Reasons Why Your Social Media Strategy Isn’t Really a Social Media Strategy.

Your Social Media Strategy Must Be Evolving

Your Social Media strategy must be evolving. Social Media sites will come and go, customers will redefine their interests, and/or you will change your strategies. You must be prepared to adapt and change as your needs change.

The reality is that businesses must pick and choose their Social Media sites with care. Just like you take care in selecting your product or service lines you must be using the same care in selecting your Social Media sites.

Social Media Has Much to Offer Businesses, but They Must Do Their Homework First

If you take the time to do your homework; your chances of success will increase geometrically.

Networking May Be Right Up There With The Fear Of Speaking


My LinkedIn Poll

I have an unscientific LinkedIn poll with a few results, but I am going out on a limb to draw some conclusions because I find it interesting.

The question I asked and the possible responses:

What is your greatest networking challenge?

  • Identifying possible connections?
  • Lack of comfort when inviting?
  • Available time?
  • Understanding networking value?
  • Believe it to be bothersome?

I was and still am asking about your biggest challenge to networking (go to my poll to participate). I am suprised by the responses I have received. The results are split 50/50 between small and large organizations, 33% women and 67% male, 33% C and VP-level, and all respondents were between 35 and 54.

As to response all but one indicates a lack of comfort when inviting people to connect and one of the non-C and VP level individuals indicated time constraints.

As I said above 50% of the current responses are from C and VP-level respondents and these individuals all identified the lack of comfort inviting as their biggest challenge as well. This really surprised me. I expected time challenges to be their reason.

What Do the Responses Mean

Although I received just a couple of comments; those comments and my experience lead me to the conclusion that the problem is a fear of rejection. The fear of rejection is powerful and it stands in the way of many successes. Successful people, however, do not let this fear stop them. They continually move forward.

When you invite people you do put yourself out there and invite a potential negative response, but that is a risk you must take; if you are going to be successful. If you are still laboring over a no response; you must really question your commitment.

The reality is that the worse that can happen is someone says: no. At that point you just need to dust yourself off and move on. Don’t dwell on it when someone says no; keep moving forward to your next invitation.

Your level of success can be measured by the size of your rolodex. The truly successful realize that they cannot do it on their own, it is with the help of others that they will continue to move forward.

I would appreciate it if you would take a minute to respond to my poll, so we can build better results.

Building Your Business Using Social Media


Does the World Know About Your Expertise?

I received email this morning from my friend Charlie Cook. Charlie helps small businesses with their marketing. In his email he was talking about a bike shop, Santa Fe Mountain Sports.

Charlie needed to fix the derailleur on his wife’s bike so they could take a ride. An avid biker, Charlie thought he was up to the task, but quickly realized he needed some help. He went to YouTube and searched on “adjusting front derailleur”. He found the video he needed and saw that over 400,000 other people had found it as well. All told this bike shop has over 1.3 million views of their videos that demonstrate their expertise.

Are you demonstrating your expertise? Are you getting your word out?

As Charlie points out even if each person viewed it twice that is 200,000 exposures to potential customers and it is all done for free!

I can help you make Social Media work for you! Contact me at tom@upproach.com and let’s talk!

I Have a Facebook Fan Page; You Mean I Need Facebook Friends Too?


I Have Fans; Do I Need Facebook Friends Too?

The answer is a resounding YES!

But I Already Have a Fan Page, So Don’t I Just Need to Get More Fans?

The answer to this question is a resounding NO! It is true that you need to be getting more Fans, but that is not enough.

Before going any further let’s get a definition of Facebook Friends versus Facebook Fans. It is important that you have a good understanding of this difference because it is incredibly important to the “going viral” process.

Friends

A Friend is someone that either you invited to join you on Facebook, someone that invited you to join them on Facebook, or a third party that recommended that the two of you become Friends.

What this means is that there was an overt act on the part of someone to extend the invite or recommendation. There was also an overt act to accept the invitation or react to the recommendation. You can only be a Friend of another individual if they accept the offer of friendship.

Fans

A Fan is someone connected to your Facebook Fan (business) Page. They may have had your Page suggested by a Friend of theirs or maybe even you as that Friend. In the latter instance the Friend may become a Fan out of loyalty to you or even loyalty to the person that made the suggestion.

However, as easily as they became a Fan they can stop being a Fan. It only takes a click of the mouse to “Unlike” a page and Fans can disappear and leave no trace. Unless you have a very small Fan base, it is difficult to know who has joined or left your Fan base.

In addition to being suggested as a prospective Fan; a potential fan may join because they have seen something about your Fan Page that created an interest on their part. In either case the Fan has taken an overt action to a Page suggestion or a Page ad, or an overt response to something they have seen or found in a search on Facebook or even the Internet to become a Fan.

Fans can only become a Fan by clicking the “Like” button for a Fan Page. That “Like” button can be one on your Fan Page or one that has been placed on one or more pages of your or other’s websites. Friends can suggest that you become a Fan, but no one can force you to become a Fan.

So, there we have it. Friends belong to people and Fans belong to Pages.

Getting Back to Why I Need Friends

There are two reasons why you must have many Friends on Facebook. First, so you can suggest your Page to those that you believe will be interested in your Fan Page and second, even though they may not be Fans, your friends may still be interested in your message or know people that are interested and be willing to propagate your message through their Friend Base.

Although we like to think that our message has broad reader appeal, that is seldom the case. From my observations although your message may resonate with many Fans and Friends; only a few will be motivated to act on your message. Obviously the more Friends and Fans that you have; the greater more chances that you have for people to repeat your message.

Repeating your message over and over is critical to your going viral; Fans and Friends are critical to getting the repetition. You cannot afford to not be increasing your Fans and Friends at every opportunity. Successful people have large networks; that means lots of Fans, Friends, Followers, Connections, etc. Do not let your efforts of creating messages go to waste by not having and continually building an audience!

The Power of Facebook – Part II – Content Is King


Tapping the Power of Facebook

Just as important as those that “Like” your Fan Page are your Friends.

  1. Build your fan base.
  2. Build your friends list.
  3. Create great content.
  4. Get your fans to click that they “Like” your content.
  5. Get your fans to comment on your posts.
  6. Investigate and adopt new Facebook functionality as appropriate for your goals.

In my previous post on this topic I discussed items 1 and 2. In this post I will talk about items 3 through 5.

Facebook Success Requires Great Content

Great content is key to getting your message to spread or get legs of its own. When people see great comment they are more likely to comment and spread the word. If they do not like what you said it will die with them.

Content is not a given, it is something your must work on; if you are to perfect the process. Be persistent and when you get your formula working stick with it. There is nothing worse than getting a following started and then punking out on it.

One thing is that if you write something and it does not get legs of its own; you do not, necessarily, have to give up on the topic; maybe it was the format or the way it was said. The great thing is that because the topic did not grow legs, you can come back to it six months, three months, a month, or even a week later and try it again with a little different spin.

If You Friends and Fans Do Not “Like” Your Content; Your Content Will Die With Them

Anything that you write should be written with the idea that it will elicit responses. Responses are key to the accelerated spread of your identity and brand. Your goal is to expand your sphere of influence and the comments of your connections will cause that to happen.

Ergo, the more connections you have the greater the chance that your message will have a life of its own. If your content is not eliciting a response, then you MUST change your content. This is a trial and error process as you attempt to get it right. You must write and write and write; then you must monitor and monitor and monitor. Find out what works and what does not work. Build on what works and assess what does not work to see if it can be changed.

If Your fans Comment, Their Friends Will Care About What THEY Said

Social Networking is about spreading your sphere of influence. As such there is a lot of talk about getting a following, a bunch of fans, or lots of connections. While these are all important; it is even more important to get people talking.

You need to have the recipients of your initial message make comments to you or to others. Regardless of the direction of the content all of their Fans will receive the entire discussion thread, but if you pay attention to the thread only the most recent four or five comments are displayed. Have you ever wondered about that?

Here is the reason; the most recent comment will be from someone that you know; because that is YOUR primary point of interest. If you like what they said you may look at the original post and even look at other posts. The important thing is to know that the Social Networks want you to see things from your connections in the hope that you will comment on your connection’s comment and keep the thread alive.