Tag Archives: Social Media

Google’s New Friend Connect

Finally I have finished integrating Google’s new Friend Connect into my website content pages. If you don’t know what Friend Connect is, it is a new programmer-free social interface that allows any website to use hi-tech programming features to allow site visitors to interact with the content. The key is that with Friend Connect you do not need to have any programming skills.

I have used the page review rating and comment module in many pages of my website. You can visit our instruction section to click through the various pages to see how it looks and how it works. Click into a few pages and you can see how the modules act and work on the page. Leave a comment, mouse over the stars and leave a rating and you can do so anonymously.

Personally I found the application after a few dry runs, extremely easy to work with and simple to install. There are several modules you may want to consider for your use. You can install a comment module that even allows video upload, a website rating module, a page comment and rating module, and a friend network module. For my needs, I am only using the page rating.

One thing that I have found is that it is best to only have one comment or rating module on a page otherwise the application gets confused.

It is easy to style the modules anyway you want from inside Friend Connect and then style the <div> that contains the content back in your source code. Implementation of Friend Connect is still best for webmasters or people who know their way around source code.

I consider the application a new exciting way to interact with website visitors. Take a look and tell me what you think by clicking comments below.


LinkedIn The Social Network of Choice For Professionals

LinkedIn is where it is at for professionals of my age and caliber. Facebook is for college and newly employed persons. Yes I have a Facebook site and keep it updated, but by far the number of colleagues, clients, and prospects at LinkedIn beats Facebook four to one.

I have found that more of my peers are on LinkedIn and if not eager to join. LinkedIn is easy to join and set up, but the real power is in your connections. I sent out my Outlook contact book at LinkedIn and in less than 30 minutes I had 30 connections. People are actively using LinkedIn and want to connect with you there. As a comparison, I sent out the same number of invitations on Facebook and got three connections in one day. Professionals are simply using LinkedIn more than Facebook.

So what’s the benefit of using LinkedIn to connect with others? Wow, there are many benefits to using LinkedIn, here are just a few:

  1. People are hungry to connect – no really starving to connect! I have not had a single person turn me down, not even those who did not have an account, they set one up to get into the fun.
  2. The ability to use Questions and Answers is fabulous – wow, that is a powerful tool. I asked a question and got extremely savvy answers from professionals who really took time to point me to links, answer my question, give their personal experience in less than 12 hours. What an excellent way to not only poll others on a topic but to connect with others with common interests.
  3. I sent out a few requests for recommendations and got four in less than 30 minutes. I was able to then ask to be able to use their comments beyond LinkedIn for marketing on my own website. The recommendations that I got from clients were worth their weight in gold. Not only do they appear on my LinkedIn profile, but with the speaker’s permission I will be able to use them any where and any time. Wow! That alone was worth the 10 second investment to send out a mass request.
  4. LinkedIn is very easy to use. LinkedIn shows you what to do to complete your profile, add business history, get referrals, and any additional information to make your profile really work for you.

If you are not using LinkedIn yet, now is the time to jump in and see just how easy and fun this network can be, you may end up as surprised as I am at how friendly, sharing, and interactive it is.


Social Media: People Are Hungry, No, Starving to Connect

I am shocked really, today I worked on my Facebook and LinkedIn profiles and sent out some invitations and requested for LinkedIn recommendations. Within minutes I had a slew of question responses, tons of new friends, and six recommendations. The response has staggered me. I have toyed with social media networking, it has seemed like a time pit to me without any selling value, but I have to say I am strongly rethinking my viewpoint.

Here’s what I have found so far:

  1. People who are acquaintances, colleagues, and clients really want to know you better.
  2. People want to share what they know through LinkedIn questions and answers.
  3. People want to share resources that they have found to help someone they know.
  4. People are not afraid to give you a recommendation, if you ask for it.

Interesting, as I thought people would just be too busy to do any of these things and that Facebook and LinkedIn were only for people who had a lot of time on their hands. Not so, clearly.

My big question has always been, and has been shared by other professionals, is that the time you invest in social media, specifically social networking, may not translate into sales. But based on what I have seen this may be a concern that I may need to reconsider. Most of my business comes from referrals of other satisfied customers. With these new networking tools, I may be able to tap into the second degree of separation to my colleagues and clients to garner additional clients and access to news and emerging technology through my own connections. This would provide more value to me personally and warrant the time investment not only with increased sales and contacts, but access to new emerging trends and technologies.

As I got responses from others in from my LinkedIn question on how others are effectively using social media, I am finding that use of the question and answer tool is very important and video continues to pop up as a very important aspect as well.

You can click in and join my three social media networks from the badges on my right side bar right now and I’ll accept you. This way you can be part of the conversation as I do additional research on how to effectively use social media and social networking for your business. I’ll be sharing my findings with my networks and offering ideas and suggestions.


Join Our Private Social Network

Hey, I am testing out my own private social network on Ning. I’d like to invite you to check it out and join if you want.

I have a several forums there, blog posts, cool viral videos, photos, and notes and tips. Check it out, join, add your own photos, videos and tips. Have fun! It is a very cool application and it’s all free. I’m trying to identify if clients and readers like it and would use it to connect with others.

Leave me a note and tell me what you think and if you think that you would use something like this on site’s you visit.


Twitter the New Ad Ticker

I started out on Twitter a month of two ago and initially loved the interface, the interaction, and reading mundane information posted by others. Now I am looking at Twitter with a different perspective after having used it for a while.

I think if you have a community of close associates Twitter would be great like instant messaging on the fly, but if you don’t, Twitter is now all about marketing, self-promotion, and advertising. If you look at any mature Twitter site, it is chock full of links to eBooks, to people’s blogs, or how to buy their new T-Shirt. In fact it has gotten so bad now, that mainly I use Twitter to post my blog feed and occasionally monitor it for information.

Twitter is mutating as people figure out how to use it and integrate it into their lives. I do still feel that it’s a fine tool for a network of colleagues or close friends, but for me I am seeing it as a marketing vehicle and I’m not sure I want to read other people’s advertising messages in the rare free time that I have.

I’m sure that the makers of Twitter did not intend for the application to become an ad vehicle, but take a look at my Twitter friends posts and that’s all you see. http://twitter.com/mccordweb


Social Media Marketing Packaged For the “Extreme” Push

I have been watching this trend and thought it was a good blog post. Social media networking started out as a must have for the everyday person. When MySpace was new, you just had to have a page. Then there was Facebook, then LinkedIn. All the sudden there were too many sites to participate in and it became difficult to find out what you should do and where you should invest your time.

I have all these tools in play, but have found that the social networking is just too time consuming to do personally. What I have seen is all the sudden the PR field has jumped with both feet into social media networking and in a stroke of genius now is packaging social networking sites with viral video, and online and offline push with an effort to spin a client into the stratosphere.

Is it workable, yes you bet, these tools in the hands of a PR expert can get the online media exposure that some clients and products can really benefit from. I have one marketeer who is doing just that and just got a call from Microsoft that may turn into a consulting gig to teach their staff about social media.

What I found totally interesting was that the PR world is not just selling the social media aspect but by packaging set up as a part of multiple services they are hiding the cost of the set up needed to get going and getting a  big fee in the process. Truthfully anyone can set up these account for free, but this is where the parallel ends, it is what you do with them that make the difference. Having the account open means nothing, it is about building, linking, and the viral video aspect that makes these programs different and possibly worth the money you will spend.

Although for many of my clients the social networking medium is a novelty and a must have, but what do you do with it once you have it, the PR firm puts social media on steroids. This trend is definitely worth watching. Here’s just one example that I have found recently that is worth reading about.