Google+ is the Backbone

Many are confused about Google+. “My business already has a Facebook page, what do I need with Google+? Well, for starters, Google is the number one search engine. I assume you are like many businesses and struggle to make sure that our customers find your website. So what better way to increase your chances of being found than by partnering your business with Google and Google+.

As Copyblogger says, “Google+ isn’t only a social network. It’s the very backbone (and future) of Google itself.” Check out their tips… “64 Google+ Content Strategies.”

 

45 Things…

Just had to share a great post by Liz Dennery Sanders…
45 Things I Know at 45 (That I Didn’t Know at 25)

The ROI of Social Media

Dickson Interactive shared this on Twitter (thank you!). Since the MDG blog says “You can embed this graphic on your blog or website”, I thought I’d try to extend it’s reach to my small audience. Enjoy!

Infographic: The ROI of Social Media
Infographic by MDG Advertising

Be a Good Ambassador for your Cause

A recent post by Scott Dickson, of Dickson Interactive, LLC, shared the, “Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Post About Politics on Facebook.”  The reasons were…
1 – You could lose a friend
2 – You could lose a client
3 – It’s a waste of time
4 – It’s the wrong platform
5 – There’s enough politics in the media

One response to the article shared that “there are ways to post about politics without being obnoxious, ideological or mean spirited.”  I agree that it is possible, but difficult because our passion for our point of view tends to take over and cloud judgement. Yes, I’m just as guilty as the next guy. If you must share your political views via social media, use only credible sources and check your spelling and grammar.

Use Credible Sources
I do not dare suggest what I consider to be credible and respected sources. Do your own research about the sources/sites you visit regularly. Where do they get their information?  Verify their ‘facts’ through numerous additional sources. Get a second and third opinion, like you would after a medical diagnosis.

Check Spelling and Grammar
You will never convince someone with an opposing view to come over to your side if your posts contain misspelled words and/or incorrect grammar. If you really believe in your cause, take the time to ensure that you are representing it in a professional, intelligent and respectful way.

If you are posting your political views, are you a good ambassador for your cause?

Does Social Media Make People Anti-Social?

My answer is “no”.  This past week, my community experienced a tragic loss. A Sheriff’s Deputy, age 23, was shot and killed while responding to a 911 call.  This was the first deputy lost in the line of duty for the Sheriff’s Office and the fourth law enforcement officer lost in the line of duty for the county.

Despite the fact that many did not know the deputy personally, the community rallied around the Sheriff’s Office and the officer’s family. They lined the streets holding American flags and holding their hands over their hearts for the funeral procession. Bracelets, decals and shirts are being sold and businesses, churches and civic groups are hosting fundraising events to raise money for the officer’s wife and unborn child.

I cannot count the number of people on social media who changed their profile picture to a badge with a black mourning band or another image to show respect for the deputy and his sacrifice.  The community has taken to social media to share their grief and heartache, to support each other and to honor the deputy.  Social media is the tool the community is using to coordinate and organize activities to assist the family.

There is a huge desire to help the deputy’s family, but also to get to know other local law enforcement families and provide support.  I’m sure the law enforcement community would still pull together to support each other, but social media has certainly made it much easier.  Two Facebook support groups have also been created.

There have been so many beautiful expressions shared by family, friends, co-workers and total strangers on social media. As the wife of a law enforcement officer myself, the thoughts and feelings shared by others provide comfort and aid in healing.  I hope that one day the comments might comfort the deputy’s wife and provide a small glimpse into who the officer was for his unborn son.  His son will see that while his dad’s life was short, it was a big life.  It was a life of service, courage, dedication, compassion and most importantly, faith.

Officer Down Memorial Page – Deputy William R. Mast, Jr.

Sheriff’s Deputy William R. Mast, Jr. Funeral
* Photo by the Watauga Democrat

The Watauga Democrat on Facebook.

Anyone Tired of Social Media?

Good. Me either.  Like anything, there are some downsides, but when kept in perspective I think the positives surpass the negatives.  For me, social media provides a quick way to touch base with family and friends (colleagues and clients as well).

We all lead busy lives. On a normal week, I’d probably be able to carve out time to touch base with a couple of friends.  With social media, I’m able to check-in on friends and family and they are able to check-in on me.  We are each able to share the good and the bad with the masses in a few seconds. Can you imagine trying to share a life event with hundreds of friends and family by phone?

Social media also offers news tidbits. Instead of spending hours searching the websites of my favorite charities and organizations, social media delivers quick bites of information to my fingertips. I can quickly filter the news so that I can dig deeper on the items I care about and skip the ones I don’t.  I’m certainly not suggesting that we stop visiting our favorite organizations’ websites; actually, by filtering, I spend more time on their websites reading and learning more about my favorite topics.

What positives do you experience through social media? Please share your comments below.

Give it a Try

Technology equals change, and everybody dislikes change at some point in his or her life.  When confronted with the possibility of change, most people will kick, scream, claw, and argue to keep from having to change.  Fear keeps them from trying something new.

Blowing NoseMany approach treating a cold in the same way – afraid to stray from what they’ve always done and try a new or unconventional modality.  I won a battle with a sinus infection recently thanks in part to an unusual “medicine” I prescribed for myself.  The right antibiotics and rest played a big role, but getting outside in the sunshine and driving my car share in the credit for my healing.  Yes, I said driving my car.  I’m a car-girl, a gear head.  I love to drive, especially a manual transmission that has some giddy up like mine.

Most cold regimen take time to take effect, and unfortunately, patience is not my strong suit. Desperate to feel better, or at least a little more normal, I prescribed a treatment activity that is definitely not standard protocol.  Social media itself is a change, an unconventional idea for a lot of businesses. As a result, many are intimidated and sadly, never give it a chance.

Like medications, social media, is not going to fix all that ails you or your business.  But, you won’t know how much or how little it can help until you give it a try. To ensure growth and healing, you must be open to the possibilities. You must be willing to try something you consider unconventional.  If you embrace the positives and respect the negatives, social media can be a great addition to your business strategy. But… how will you know if you don’t give it a try?

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A few articles to check out to learn more.

What is a Tweetup?

I will be attending my first tweetup next week and as you can imagine, I’m very excited.  I’m telling as many people as I can that they should attend too and many respond with, “what’s a tweetup?”

Surprisingly, Wikipedia does not have a page on the term.  Social Hat says, “A tweetup is an event where people who Twitter come together to meet in person.”  Mashable.com says, “Twitter meetups, or Tweetups as they’re commonly called, are pretty much ubiquitous these days. You can’t escape them. The @ nametags. The random awkward conversations that result when you have more than 140 characters to express yourself.”

Why have a Tweetup?  Well, why not?  Are we not all on social media to connect with others?  A tweetup is another way to connect (network) for professional or personal reasons.  At a tweetup you can ‘put a name with a face.’  And, yes, you can have a conversation that’s not limited to 140 characters.  I also think a tweetup is a good excuse to celebrate. There’s enough stress in our lives, have a tweetup and celebrate the reason we’re all on Twitter in the first place.

Have you attended a tweetup? If so, please share your comments below.  Was it fun?  Was it a helpful networking event?

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Join the Boone Tweetup on April 10th at Pepper’s Restaurant or follow the event on Twitter using the hashtag #BooneTweetUp.

While you’re at it, follow @LinkingHiCntry on Twitter and like the Linking the High Country page on Facebook.

Branding Through Social Media

What is your digital personality?  How would you describe the person who inhabits your Facebook, Twitter or blog profile?

Your personal and professional reputation, or digital personality, is judged by what you say, how you say it and who you associate with online. If someone does a Google search for you or your business, will they find things you are proud of?  If not, you’ve got some work to do.  Branding is not just for corporations.

Tips to Shape Up Your Digital Personality

• Tell people who you are.
Share your interests, hobbies, favorite charities, etc.  It helps them understand who you are as a person and the values your business might be based on.

• Be mindful of how much personal information you share.
You don’t want to offend friends or customers by sharing something that might make them uncomfortable.

• Assume that everything you say or post online is public.
Even if you restrict access to your profiles, nothing is full proof. If you want to keep something private, don’t post it online.

• Be consistent.
Keep your online brand consistent across platforms.  If you’re a fan of Duke University basketball like I am, share it on all venues.

These are just a few tips. What else do you think is a must for maintaining a great digital personality?

My Grandma would Love Facebook

If my grandma knew how to use a computer, I think she would love Facebook. She would enjoy seeing pictures of her friends and family, hearing about the happenings in their lives and sharing her own interesting stories. Especially later in life when she limited her driving to church and the grocery store, I think she would have enjoyed watching her news feed and commenting on the items posted by her family and friends.

Grandma

My grandma helping me hold my baby sister.

Unfortunately, my Grandma has dementia. For the past 4 years, I’ve watched the slow decline of her mental capabilities (and her health).  At first, it was little things – like remembering someone’s birthday or that someone had passed away. Then, the details of her stories, which I’ve heard more times than I can count, began to get turned around and mixed up as she shared them again. Today, she tells us that people have been to visit her when they haven’t.  She grabs her things to go to the store, but within a minute or two, forgets and is not sure where she is.

I wonder… if Grandma had used Facebook before dementia took over, would she be able to look at her profile and remember those she cared about?  Would the wall posts bring back memories of places she had visited?  Would she call me on the phone and ask if I saw the most recent photo of my nephew, her great-grandson?

I’m not getting any younger. Will my experience with Facebook today help me remember people, places and events as I age?  Could Facebook prevent dementia from stealing my memories?

Could Facebook be used to help amnesia patients or those with traumatic brain injuries?  Maybe it is already. If not, I hope someone somewhere is doing the research.

We are all aware of the social benefits of Facebook, could there be medical / altruistic benefits as well?  What do you think?

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China is doing the research… yay!  Click here to read the article.

Playing with puzzles and doing crafts may help seniors with their memory, problem solving and other cognitive functions, a Chinese study suggests.  Keeping mentally active has been shown to reduce the risk of dementia, but less is known about the the effects of mental training on healthy people.

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