Social media is everywhere these days. If you know someone who hasn’t jumped into the latest revolution in communication, call them on their Zack Morris cell phone and see what the deal is! I’ve had many opportunities to lead seminars and training sessions discussing social media and how it can both positively and negatively impact your business.
If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably trolled through the thousands of other social media posts pointing out the same no-no’s for managing your social media. This would include posting at inappropriate times, not completing your page info and ignoring comments from your audience. I’m beyond that. I’m looking to give insight on deeper issues that I see spread across social media profiles. Check out the list below, and please give me your comments on these tips and if you agree or disagree.
I imagine a lot of you can say that social media has improved your relationships among your friends, family and colleagues. Who knew 5 years ago that it was a viable threat to people to say “I’ll unfriend you” or that it would be ethical to “poke” co-workers after hours. Social media is overhauling how we communicate with one another. I know many people stay away from it for fears of identity issues, but these fears also existed when people began getting on the internet and when society started shopping online. “giving my credit card over the internet is dangerous.”
In the past 5 years we have seen another internet boom that came along with the web 2.0, or is I call it the social web. Every website if it wants to be successful now has some hint of social media in it. Whether it is Urbanspoon, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter or a blog, user generated content is as important as having a website. We have seen a societal change from a cell phone being used for voice calls and texting to it being on 24/7 information and data hub. The iPhone is the number one digitsl camera now. Everyone has a smartphone in their pocket now with Google Androids and the Apple iPhone leading the charge. 5 years ago RIM (Research in Motion) was the top mobile phone in the US, now, they’re stocked dropped a stunned 21% Friday June 17th and it’s mobile devices are known as being archaic. They are a dying breed in an app hungry society. And speaking of apps, it is now being reported that users are spending more time on mobile apps then they are on the internet. Check out the Google Analytics for your company’s website and compare it to your traffic on your company’s Facebook page, believe me, the tides are turning on how users get information about businesses.
But I don’t want to toot the horn of social media. We’ve all heard this song before and that’s why I wanted to do something different. Here is a video to bring you up to speed on technology.
Our society is in a transformation period. We are leaving a desktop area and entering a mobile era. And in the next 5 years, the blend of social media and mobile is going to provide a stunning change in the way we live and the way we do business. By the end of this year we could be seeing the Verizon 4G network in our area providing blazing download and upload speeds everywhere…..EVERYWHERE.
Where will we be in the next 5 years
Let’s start with the hot topic in technology right now
Cloud computing will be one of the most significant changes in our society. Cloud computing is when applications are provided and managed by the cloud server and data is also stored remotely in the cloud configuration. An easy example of this is Facebook. Your “profile”, your pictures, your information, your videos are all stored remotely on a server somewhere and you can access it whether you are on your laptop, your ipad or your mobile phone. Another example that I can personally relate to is putting your family photos in the cloud. I did this because I was concerned of what I would do if my hard drive crashed. Lets face it, we don’t have negatives any more to fall back on. So I backed up all our photos on an external HD to put in a firesafe but also put all our images on Flickr.com and made them only accessible to me. 60gb of family photos, backed up in the cloud and accessible from any computer, and tablet and any phone. Pretty cool huh? Now, a month ago Apple announced iCloud. This is helping people image what the cloud is. With iCloud you can have all of your documents, images and music all in the cloud and accessible from any Apple device. Sick days aren’t sick days anymore!
How will the Cloud impact your business?
How many of you have ever thought or said “I’d pay $50 for somebody to come mulch my house today”. Zaarly makes that happen. Zaarly allows you to request a service or some offer to anyone in your area. While being less than a month old and being founded overnight during a 54 hour cram session at LA Startup weekend, Zaarly is making fast tracks in our digital world. Here is some background on it.
Post what you’re looking for, how much you’re willing to pay for it and how soon you need it on Zaarly. Zaarly immediately shares your request in the local community through the Zaarly platform, and also allows you to get help from your friends and contacts to find what you’re looking for via social channels like Facebook and Twitter
People or businesses nearby see what you want and connect to fulfill your request
Zaarly allows buyers and sellers to anonymously message and talk on the phone to facilitate the logistics of a
transaction, enabling an in-person or virtual meeting to complete the transaction
You can use cash or Zaarly’s integrated credit card payment system to pay for the transaction, all within a
safe and secure platform
Zaarly is available on the iPhone, Android, and all Web-enabled mobile phones via your mobile Web browser, as well as through the Web and Facebook on your desktop computer. The integrated Zaarly platform allows buyers and sellers to connect while they are on-the-go or from the convenience of home or office
Square is a revolutionary service that enables anyone to accept credit cards anywhere. Square offers an easy to use, free credit card reader that plugs into a phone or iPad. It’s simple to sign up. There is no extra equipment, complicated contracts, monthly fees or merchant account required. 2.75% per swipe for all credit cards.
I intend to blog later and a little deeper on Square. This is an amazing system that has more uses that one can fathom.
Ultra High Speed Internet
Earlier this year Verizon announced the launch of its 4G LTE Wireless Data system. This amazing communications vessel boasts download speeds of 28 mbps and uploads speeds of 10 mbps. You say big deal, and I say it is. This is much faster than the average home cable internet speeds, even at work where we have TWC Business Class I only get download speeds of 7mbps and uploads of 1.5 mbps. Why does this matter? Imagine a workforce that has no centralized location. Imagine a workforce where people can work wherever, whenever as or even more efficient that they would in the office. As a graphic and web designer, I can design a lot better with headphones on a coffee shop than I can behind a desk being interuptted by phone calls, email and people stopping in for autographs. How this effects us in the next 5 years is mobile devices are now the primary information source for consumers. People have begun to stream video live from wherever they are to the masses. The website ustream.tv has excisted for a while as an internet streaming source, but did you know that you can stream from your phone? Imagine video from a presidential inauguration being crowdsourced from everyones cell phone.
Imagine getting to witness your child’s sporting events while you are stuck in a lecture or my favorite, imagine getting to talk to other people, face to face while you are not in the same room. No longer will you have to talk to your 4 year old on the phone and say “Stop picking on your sister” instead you can easily video chat with him and tell him “stop picking on your sister” while giving him the evil eye.
Video conferencing has a new meaning, so does the importance of looking your best EVERY morning. High speed internet will change the way all of us do business in one way or another. In 2016 the number one source for music, books, tv, movies, live events and business, will be the Internet. Get excited about this, if your going to go out and buy a smart phone, be sure its 4G or it will be very old and slow within the year. I’ve been holding out for the iPhone 5, if it doesn’t have 4G in it, I’m sticking with Android.
Earlier I talked about the Square card reader and what we can consumers can use it for. Square is only the tip of the iceberg. Since 2010 we have slowly seen the emergency of e-banking through your mobile phone. With certain banks right now you can pay all your bills from your mobile device and even deposit checks. Last Saturday I had my first experience in depositing a check from my phone. I used the Paypal app and snapped a photo of both the front and the back as instructed and it imported into their system. Right now the deposit turn around is 6 days but many banks are doing it much better, Chase and PNC Bank for example. Another way banking is changing is with the embedding of NFC technology in devices. Now, when I say NFC what do you think of? Thats right, the football conference that always seems to cheat the Detroit Lions. Trust me, in 2016 the Lions still stink.
In the fall of 2011, Google is releasing some smartphones with NFC chips in them, Apple will get on board later after this comes out, as usual. This allows the users to wave their phone over a specific area and have their phone react accordingly. So for example you can wave phone on a poster at a trade convention and instantly get the company’s contact information or coupon savings. Now, lets take this another step further. NFC also allows for you to use your phone as a wallet. A couple months ago Google announced “Google Wallet” which is a venture between them, Citi, Mastercard and some other partners. This allows users to have their credit card information stored in their mobile phone and they can pay for items wherever they say a paypass or NFC terminal. Mastercard already has these in many stores, you may have seen them. This allows users to take their credit card on the machine to process their transaction. Now everyone fears the “what if my phone is lost or stolen”. I understand that, but I ask you this, would you rather lose your wallet or your cell phone? Your cell phone you can have a password to access, your cell phone can be deactivated remotely and with a cell phone you can call it so it rings in order to locate it. Wallets don’t do that, even in 2016. Another quick little example, Coke is going to start distrubuting coke machines that you text to pay. So you text a specific code and the coke machine spits out a Coca Cola and your Verizon account is docked $1.00 for your soda. Crazy huh.
Alright, lets wrap this up. We have come a long way in the last 5 years and in the next 5 years, things will grow even faster. Technology, Media and Communications will be the three headed monster will solve a lot of problems and bring a lot of our fantasies to real life. I ask though that you have an open mind to new technologies and do not fear change. 2016 is a great year and I can’t wait for you to see it, Columbus is crazy since Ohio State won back to back national titles.
So many times I find myself explaining why I feel Twitter is a better social network than Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook and am able to connect with friends and family in ways I never would have dreamed. Twitter just offers something different. It offers the ability to learn from others, to experience events with strangers and most importantly, to influence strangers. NBA big man Shaquille O’Neal used to use Twitter religiously when he played for the Phoenix Suns to the point where he would tweet his location and give 2 tickets to the first person to give him a high five.
Have you high fived Shaq on Facebook yet? Didn’t think so.
In explaining to people the benefits of joining Twitter, I often stumble over myself because it’s a odd notion to grasp. ”You tweet a status update but you don’t really know who is reading it or seeing it”. In other words, your going outside in the middle of the night and hitting golf balls on the high way. You don’t know if anyone is seeing it, if your impacting anyone or not, but your doing it. Now, Twitter isn’t dangerous or illegal, and will not kill anyone (I do not advise hitting golf balls onto the highway) but you get my point about an action happening without knowing the reaction.
I’ve collected a list of analogies that I thought might help some other people discuss Facebook and Twitter to explain it to those who are not socially savvy like us.
I guess Facebook is like yelling it out to a crowd, and then Twitter is just like talking in a room.
Twitter Is to Facebook as Google Was to Yahoo
Twitter is a Party
Twitter is an Appetizer
Twitter is a Text Webcam
Twitter is a Tavern
Twitter is a Hammer
Twitter is a Coral Reef
Twitter is a Cocktail Party
Twitter is like Post-it Notes
Twitter is a Virtual Coffee Shop
Twitter is Telegram 3.0
Twitter is a Conference Reception
Twitter is Email Marketing 2.0
Twitter is like Fishing
Twitter is like Holiday Cards
Twitter is a Line-A-Day Diary
On Twitter you should follow lots of people and brands that you care about, while on Facebook you should follow only people you REALLY care about.
Facebook is a family reunion, Twitter is a world’s fair. (personal favorite)
If you haven’t already, dabble on Twitter. The easiest way to get going is to create an account and follow 50+ people that might impact you. Celebrities, politicians, role models, authors, athelets and of course, me! @jayyeater
With over a half a billion people actively using Facebook, many people are utilizing their business’ Facebook presence in more places than just Facebook. Whether in email blasts, print or their website, retailers know that if they want to have an intimate, social conversation across their prospective audience, they need to incorporate social media as much as possible. Don’t just do it to build your base though, have a strategy of how you are going to converse and communicate with these new followers. ”Bring them to the bricks” to quote @beautieguy.
Facebook offers many features that allow people to incorporate the Facebook system into their website. Here are some of my favorite suggestions I give clients in the Findlay, Ohio area on how to do this.
If you have a website that runs on a system such as WordPress, you know you have full capabilties of allowing commenting on all your pages, news updates and media. What you may not realize though is that their is a plugin for WordPress called Facebook Commenting for WordPress that allows you to replace the outdating WordPress default commenting field with a highly customizable Facebook commenting field that (1) allows users to comment using their Facebook profile, (2) post their comments directly to their Facebook wall and (3) like you or your business from the same area.
Facebook Like Box
You see this box on many websites as a one click way to gain Facebook likes and share a social stream from your Facebook page. This has become so common though that I personally am straying away from it. I find it too distracting (the profile pictures) as well as I am one to want to bend the rules and break away from the common trends in social media and marketing. The like box though is a powerful way to show your social media strength. Some company websites have pages devoted to showing 1,000s of Facebook like photos. Below I discuss where to find this on Facebook.
Facebook Like Button
Now this feature, I really like. I like it a lot! Its minimal, effective and features the new Facebook “Send” button. The Send button is Facebook’s replacement for the forward to a friend feature we used to always seen on a website. Instead, they assume that you are friends on Facebook with everybody in your network and allow you to quickly type their name in, from anywhere, and drop them a link. Lets face it, Facebook is trying to take over for your email system, their….I said it. The Like button though is so small (90px wide depending on how “popular” you are) that it can be put anywhere on a website. I prefer to put it in the call to action areas and up in the menu bar as I have with my site. As with the Like Box, its a quick one click method for increasing your Facebook numbers but on a much smaller scale.
Make it happen’
To incorporate these into your website you need to
From there you will choose the plugin you wish to choose (Button, Box, Stream etc.).
Next you need to identify what link you paste in the window to the right. This could be your application link, your Facebook page link (facebook.com/armarketing).
Adjust the sizes of your plugin (as needed), such as your width, height, what selections you want to choose or whether to allow profile pictures or not.
Specify any other settings before click Get Code
Once a window pops up with your code, choose either the iFrame or XFBML code and copy it to your clipboard. I prefer the XFBML because it tends to have less issues across the multiple browsers that exist today, but iFrame is a very easy to use script.
Next, navigate to your website and paste the code in your header.php, sidebar.php, widgets section or other areas to paste your code.
As soon as you upload the file/refresh the page, you should see your plugin and it should function correctly.
For more help on this topic consider going through the Facebook tutorial on the plugin page.
I hope you found this post helpful. I’d appreciate a comment below and a follow on twitter as well @jayyeater. Thanks and as always, Stay Nerdy My Friends.
Recently I had the pleasure of attending a social media workshop put on by Greater Findlay Inc and hosted by the University of Findlay. This session focused on social media in business. Going into this I was expecting a recap of a lot of things I already know about social media and also to walk away with a lot of new knowledge. Needless to say, I felt I should’ve held out for a more advanced session. After the session was over with, I wished they would have dug deeper into the different forms of social media and opened the forum for discussion on how to apply it to your own business. Whether you have a small niche business like Wolfies Nuts or a larger organization like the Findlay YMCA, social media can make or break you. One area I would love to dig into with local users is twitter and tweetups.