Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

When Does Self-Promotion Cross the Line? Monday, April 1st, 2013

Self-promotion is tricky.  Whether online or in-person, you want to promote your business or cause, but don’t want to appear annoying or boastful.  When does healthy self-promotion cross the line?  How can you avoid common pitfalls that make you seem big-headed or bothersome?

From a personal branding standpoint, the first thing to remember is that your personal brand is like your reputation.  You are not a bag of potato chips, so don’t market yourself like a commodity.  Be honest when you describe your accomplishments, and don’t exaggerate the details.  Often it’s best to let your work or product speak for itself: your first priority should be to deliver quality content, not to promote your personal brand.  Communicate how you can help others; people want to know what’s in it for them.  Make it about other people, not just you. Give credit to people who have helped you.  Using testimonials (written responses by others that praise you) are much more effective than tooting your own horn.  Make sure your self-promotion is relevant or helpful to the topic at hand.  Respect your target audience.  Your goal should be to make connections, not “win” supporters.

One of the worst things is to over-do it.  Be careful not to be too aggressive about self-promotion; it’s a major turn-off.  Relentless self-promotion can imply insecurity and self-doubt.   Don’t post links for your websites on forums or sites too often or when it’s irrelevant.  Be cautious about how often you “name drop” illustrious colleagues, programs, or companies you’ve worked with, since this can be seen as bragging.  Don’t be the guy who spams in-boxes with tons of self-promoting emails, especially if those emails are impersonal and of the “one size fits all” variety.  Don’t offer advice when you have limited or no expertise on a subject.  Failure to sensitively self-promote can leave people feeling irritated and manipulated.  If it sounds like a sales pitch, people are smart enough to know what you’re doing.  Don’t post anything that will come back to haunt you.

There is a fine line between appropriate self-promotion and just being obnoxious.  Gimmicks will fool some people, but not all.  You want people to respect you enough to return to your website or services in the future.  Be sensitive about how often you promote yourself, and how you go about it.

John Bradley Jackson

Top Dog

The BirdDog Group

© Copyright 2013

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Is Your Password Hacker-Proof? Monday, February 18th, 2013

Managing countless passwords for multiple accounts across the internet can feel exhausting.  In an attempt to keep things simple, many people rely on passwords that are simple and easy to remember – but also easy for a hacker to crack.  SplashData released some of the worst passwords, compiled from a list posted by hackers online.  Some of the worst include, “password”, “123456”, “qwerty”, “11111”, “baseball”, “jesus”, and “iloveyou”.  The trick is to find the balance between easy to remember and hard to guess.  While it may take some extra effort, it is worth it to know your information is secure.

Want to decrease the chances of getting hacked?  Here are tips to create safe passwords:

  • Go for length and complexity. Use upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.  Don’t use simple combinations like “123” or “abc”.  A good rule of thumb is 6 to 8 characters, but the longer the better!
  • Avoid using personal information. Don’t use your birthdate, nickname, children or pets’ names, address, etc.
  • Use different passwords for different websites/accounts. Avoid the temptation to use the same password for multiple accounts, especially for bank accounts and other important accounts.
  • Change your passwords often. You don’t know where you online information could be stored.  Don’t re-use old passwords.
  • Consider using a password manager service. These programs generate complex passwords across multiple sites, and then manage these passwords with a single master password.
  • Use a sentence, catchphrase, or quote and abbreviate to make it harder to crack. An example would be taking “take me out to the ball game” and turning it into “tmo2tbg”.
  • Keep your passwords secure. Don’t save them in a email account that can get hacked or in a Word document that isn’t encrypted.  If you write the passwords down, be very careful where you store this information.  Don’t send passwords through email.
  • Don’t share your password. Be wary of anyone asking for your password, either online or in person.  Be cautious and don’t release your password to just anyone.
    • Be creative. Use multiple strategies and techniques to create a hacker-proof password.  Example: Take a phrase you can remember, like “My favorite movie is ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’” and change spellings, add other characters, and vary upper and lower-case: “**!Myfav’MovieisIndianaJonez2!**”

 

John Bradley Jackson

Top Dog

The BirdDog Group

© Copyright 2013

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What is a Community Manager? Sunday, February 26th, 2012

I get asked this a lot.

A community manager manages a specific community and/or platform for an organization. He or she may wear many hats including brand champion and engagement specialist for that community. The community manager may be tasked to create and manage content. In a nutshell, a community manager uses online networks to be the voice of the company to the community and the voice of the community to the company.

Generally,  a very digital-savvy employee, her or she is responsible for all communications, PR, social media, events, and out bound messages.

This role can be in-house or outsourced but the job requires someone who is intimate with the brand and has the authority to make decisions.

 

John Bradley Jackson

Top Dog

The BirdDog Group

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Deja New Marketing Monday, January 3rd, 2011

My new book called Deja New Marketing is now available as an ebook on Amazon.

Here is a synopsis of the book:

Have you ever had the feeling that you have experienced a sales and marketing challenge before, but were uncertain about what to do next? Have the conventional tools become less effective for you? You tried direct mail, networking, print advertising, and cold calling. Nothing seems to work anymore. Welcome to the “new normal.”

New and different marketing techniques are needed for you to remain competitive and to stay in business. This new landscape is very complex:

• Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have replaced the water cooler as the customer hangout.
• E-mail marketing letters are often considered SPAM and don’t even get opened.
• Bricks and mortar stores are now being trumped by websites that offer e-commerce, online chat, blogs, and deep discounts.
• Personal selling has never been harder since customers seem to hide behind voice mail and e-mail.
• Getting your website found in a Google search is increasingly difficult as the battle for keywords rages.

You need to do something better and different — you need “Déjà NEW Marketing.”

John Bradley Jackson
Top Dog

The BirdDog Group
© Copyright 2010
All rights reserved.

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Flock – Social Media Browser Friday, July 2nd, 2010

I have been using Firefox as my web browser for years now. It is fast, has a lot of extensions and it just seems to fit my needs. Basically, I was not in the market for a new web browser when I came across Flock.

Flock is billed as the web browser for the social media power user. While it is that, Flock’s other side is that it is a pretty powerful media aggregator as well.

For Social Butterflies

It allows you to keep track of your presence and your friends’ presences on all the different social media sites that you are on in a convenient sidebar. But I must say Flock is a better fit for Facebook users. There is a little blue thought bubble in the lower right hand corner of the Flock browser that lets you share whatever page you are on with your Facebook friends.

Additionally, when you are posting a comment on another social site in that convenient social media sidebar you have the option of simultaneously posting to Facebook and Facebook alone. So, as long as you do most of your social media activities on Facebook then this browser will work out fine for you. If you are more of a Twitter person then it will take a little extra effort.

But not that much extra effort. Like I was saying before, Flock lets you manage all of your social media presences in a single sidebar. You can make the sidebar stream so that you will see all of your friends’ activity across all of the social media platforms you are on or make it so that just your friends on Facebook are in the stream. If you are a little more daring, you can even put your friends on any of the platforms into their own group.

Say you have business friends on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter and you want to make it so that you see what they are doing. With Flock you can put all of these friends together in their own group, so it no longer matters that Friend A is on Facebook and Friend B is on Twitter, you can track them both at the same time.

And respond to them. And upload pictures. And post to your blog. Really, you can do almost anything you can think of through the Flock browser. It is pretty cool but, if you are like me, you already have created workarounds on another browser, like Firefox, or with other services, like Tweet Deck.

For Media Consumers

Aggregating feeds can quickly become a pain for a number of reasons. Take me as an example. When I first started out using Google Reader I did what many of you probably did; add on as many feeds as I could. Suffice it to say, I ditched those feeds after a couple of weeks.

Then I started using other services like Digg and YouTube to find new stuff along with some sites like The Drudge Report for news. Fortunately, Flock makes aggregation fun again.

For example, right now I have a sidebar filled with all the different feeds I have, there is a bar along the top of the browser where I can keep track of media from Digg, YouTube and a number of other social media sites and I have The Drudge Report’s most recent headlines in the main area of the browser. Flock gives you the ability to save, blog, email and Digg items in your various feeds. Basically, Flock is a pretty good media aggregator.

Flock Conclusion

My big problem with Flock and with a lot of the different social media efficiency tools is that they are almost too good at what they do. You end up seeing a lot of interesting stuff about topics you are curious about and, before you know it, it’s 3 a.m. and you didn’t get done what you were suppose to.

If you use social media applications to promote yourself or to just stay in contact with your friends then Flock might be a good idea for you; especially if your main social media site is Facebook. But be forewarned, there are more feature-rich options out there for individual social sites like Tweet Deck for Twitter. If you are one of those people who check your friends’ statuses occasionally then there are simpler options for you, so stay away from Flock.

Media consumers might get some value out of Flock because it is a pretty robust feed aggregator and discovery engine. But, again, unless you are a power user who is looking for an all-in-one social media browser there are better and simpler options out there.

Personally, I won’t be replacing Firefox anytime soon. Maybe I’ll break out Flock every once in a while and see if it can change my mind about it. If that happens, I’ll let you know. But you shouldn’t hold your breath waiting for me to announce my conversion to Flock.

Travis Lindsay

Social Media Guru

The BirdDog Group

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How to Classify Social Media End Users Saturday, May 15th, 2010

While social media remains an evolving story, the players are taking shape when you observe what they do on the web. As my psychotherapist friend (yes, we are just friends) says, “behavior predicts behavior.”

In fact, there are six categories of social media users and these types are usually grouped according to their activities. Check this out:

http://www.mediasocial.org/

John Bradley Jackson
Top Dog

The BirdDog Group
© Copyright 2010
All rights reserved.

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Social Media Pundits Say Greed is Dead Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Social media is reporting a new normal in society’s view of money and success. The greed of the dotcom era seems to have been replaced by a new set of priorities which favor trust and authenticity.

If this is true and we are having a cultural shift in values,  are your marketing messages compatible? Or, like most firms, does your value proposition boast profits and growth for customers who buy your offering?

Let it known that this author embraces profits and growth, but if there is truly a cultural shift at play there may be no choice but to adapt.  Otherwise, your offering will look out of date. Worse yet, you could be sending a message that is rejected.

John Bradley Jackson
Top Dog

The BirdDog Group
© Copyright 2010
All rights reserved.

http://www.bestsocialmediamarketingtips.com/2124″

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“What’s the ROI on Social Media?” Thursday, December 24th, 2009

A lot of people ask me about the value of social media and if it really applies to the the B2B space.

My answer is yes. Absolutely.

Watch this video now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypmfs3z8esI

John Bradley Jackson

The BirdDog Group

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The Importance of Social Media Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Social media is, at its essence, about connecting with people. Unfortunately, too many individuals and companies believe that social media is about reaching people, or, to put it in the proper web 2.0 vernacular, spamming. Everyone knows a spammer when they see one and they will usually ignore what the spammer has to say, so I’ll continue my focus on connections.

There are things that are very important about your life – family, religion, work, hobbies – and this is why social media is the evolution in communication that it is. Before the advent of all the different social media avenues we have today (cell phones, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, forums, and all the rest) we talked to people directly. Which is fine and is still an extremely important part of everyday life. But now we can communicate with billions of people with a couple clicks of the mouse.

This astonishing evolution of technology makes it possible for anyone to have direct access to those who have the best knowledge on just about every subject available. Granted, there is a lot of static in the social web but, in general, most people try to be as genuine on the Internet as they are in real life. When you are considering a venture into the social media world you need to understand this.

If you are under the impression that social media is something to be gamed then you will most certainly fail at creating any kind of long lasting relationships. Maybe you will be able to finagle some new business this way but, rest assured, if your product is subpar or your clients figure out that you are nothing more than a charlatan you will eventually fail.

On the other hand, if your product is good and people trust you then great things can happen. Chic fil-A, Dell, and Zappos are all great examples of how proper use of social media can improve a business. Small companies are using social media to achieve great results as well.

Using social media is not easy nor is it free. To be effective you will need to spend a good amount of your time on it but, to put it bluntly, you don’t really have a choice anymore.

Every time a customer leaves your store they may very well log onto Yelp and post a positive or negative review of your company. At a minimum you need to have mechanisms in place for monitoring what is said about you and your company online. If you don’t you will lose control of your brand and you will have no input into what others think about you or your company.

What’s your holdup? Get active online and make things happen!

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Measuring Twitter ROI Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Twitter is a waste of time.

Or, is it a an efficient tool for public relations?

Blogger and copywriter Bob Bly has created a crude metric for measuring whether Twitter is getting you results or just wasting your time—it is called Followed-to-Follow (FF) Ratio.

Check it out:

http://bly.com/blog/online-marketing/a-new-metric-for-measuring-twitter-roi/

John Bradley Jackson


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