Friday, April 24, 2009

Another great seminar

We held another successful Social Media for Executives seminar this morning in Lacey. Clay Loges of Yodio lead a great session and discussion, followed by hands on experience in a workshop session with Karyn Whitacre of Konnects.
The BE community has been growing steadily since it's Monday launch. Some tips for creating a successful online profile-

1. Fill in the blanks- make your profile as complete as possible and add some personality to make it feel authentically you.
2. Upload a professional looking photo. If you do not want a photo online, at a minimum pick an image to replace the anonymous head outline.
3. Invite your friends. All social media platforms make it very easy to upload your address book or list of contacts from other sites.
4. Give recommendations and introduce business contacts- give and you will receive.
5. Stay current, update your profile with relevant information and keep it "fresh."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Social Media for Executives Seminar this Friday!

If you are an executive who values your time, yet senses that you need to understand the basics of Social Media you owe it to yourself to attend this 90-Minute Briefing for Executives.

This fast-paced, information-packed presentation introduces you to the "low cost, high impact" Social Media tools popularized on the internet. It identifies specific, practical ways to use Social Media strategies to drive revenues and lead your competition.

This seminar was first held in Tacoma on February 24th, a second event was held April 3rd and has received rave reviews. Click here to read the Social Media and Your Business blog conversation and see reviews and comments here from the first seminar's attendees.

Date: Friday, April 24th, 2009
Time: 7:00 a.m. Breakfast
7:30-9:00 Social Media Briefing
9:00-10:00 Questions and Conversation
10:00-12:00 Hands on Workshop (New!)
Bring your laptop- or watch and take notes- as we walk through
setting up or optimizing various social media accounts!

Where: Washington State Farm Bureau Building- Harvest Room
975 Carpenter Rd NE, Suite 301, Lacey WA 98516
Cost: $90
Register on-line

Monday, April 20, 2009

The BE online community launched today!

The Business Examiner Newspaper Group launched an online community today to foster connections between small business owners, managers and supporters in the Sound Sound. Those who complete a brief registration process immediately access the BE network to find business leads, exchange ideas through interest groups, comment on stories, share their thoughts about the business news of the day, post events and share updates.

This social networking feature is a partnership between the BE and Tacoma-based The BE is the second newspaper in the state to launch an integrated online community, joining the Wentachee World in the Konnect's pilot program. The online community functions similarly to LinkedIn or Facebook, but will be populated primarily with local business people who share connections to the BE.

The service is a free of charge and is the newest addition to the host of no-cost business resources and tools available through the Business Examiner.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Domino's learns the power of social media the hard way

This makes my marketer's blood run cold, but further reinforces the need to monitor and prepare to respond quickly using social media platforms.

“We got blindsided by two idiots with a video camera and an awful idea,” said a Domino’s spokesman, Tim McIntyre, who added that the company was preparing a civil lawsuit. “Even people who’ve been with us as loyal customers for 10, 15, 20 years, people are second-guessing their relationship with Domino’s, and that’s not fair.”

Video Prank at Domino’s Taints Brand
Published: April 15, 2009
The New York Times
Link to Story

Organize all your new online tools

I'm a big Google fan because it makes life easier for me. I don't just mean Google search, but the host of Google applications that I use on a daily basis.

As I my list of bookmarks grew for different online tools and cool applications I use, I started to get overwhelmed with all the sites I had to check, monitor or update. When someone suggested I set up an aggragator for the blogs I wanted to monitor, I was excited to know I didn't have to remember to scour different sites for tidbits that interested me ( While I now had blogs and RSS feeds under control, I still had email accounts, Twitter feeds, my calendar, LinkedIn updates, Pandora, Facebook, Google Alerts for local business news and more coming every day.

Then I heard about iGoogle, which is brilliant. It has allowed me to create a "dashboard," if you will, of all the various tools I use. Each tool has a small widget that you can link to from your dashboard that signs you in and automatically feeds you updates and links.

This idea of tech-overload is a common concern at our Social Media for Executives seminars. Already busy execs get glossy-eyed and a bit frantic when they are told that they, personally, need to engage in social media. They worry about keeping track of things, staying up to date and having an "efficiency tool" become very inefficient as they grapple with getting their arms around it.

So my message today is that there are so many efficiency tools for efficiency tools out there, and while I am a self-proclaimed fan of Google, there are many more coming online every day. Find one that works for you and put it to use, it'll make life easier for you too.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Even Sam Reed has a blog!

Washington State Seal
Washington Secretary of State Blogs

Even elected officials are getting in the game! I pulled some interesting information from the Secretary of State Sam Reed's blog to share, although the Gov, Attorney General and even WSDOT have jumped in to the social media game. They are using tools such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and of course blogs!

"The Washington Office of the Secretary of State’s blog provides from-the-source information about important state news and public services. This space acts as a bridge between the public and Secretary Sam Reed and his staff, and we invite you to contribute often to the conversation here."

Blog Use Policy

The Office of the Secretary of State’s blog use policy states that posts and/or comments must not contain vulgar, offensive, threatening or harassing language or personal attacks. Outside comments must be on-topic only. Under state law, we cannot post political statements, such as comments that endorse or oppose political candidates or ballot propositions. We will not post any content promoting or advertising commercial services, entities, or products. Making a comment on this blog does not constitute giving official notice to the agency. For official communication, please contact our programs directly. This policy may be amended at any time.

Other Government Officials' Blogs

Unlock the business potential of Twitter

Published: April 13, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO — The first reaction many people have to Twitter is befuddlement. Why would they want to read short messages about what someone ate for breakfast?

It’s a reasonable question. Twitter unleashes the diarist in its 14 million users, who visited its site 99 million times last month to read posts tapped out with cellphones and computers.

Individually, many of those 140-character “tweets” seem inane.

But taken collectively, the stream of messages can turn Twitter into a surprisingly useful tool for solving problems and providing insights into the digital mood. By tapping into the world’s collective brain, researchers of all kinds have found that if they make the effort to dig through the mundane comments, the live conversations offer an early glimpse into public sentiment — and even help them shape it.

Click here to read the NY Times Article

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Article on PC Tools- Beware the Landmines of Social Media Tools

I decided to share this article, not because I'm interested in scaring anyone away from social media tools - but because I think it's important to remember that similar rules apply to using all technology.

1. Much like your parent's taught you about Halloween candy, don't eat/open it unless you know where it came from.

2. If something smells rotten it probably is. If you are uncertain if something is legitimate, check with the source before linking to, opening or accepting a download.

3. Watch out for wolves in sheep's clothes - again, if you are not expecting a file from a friend, check first to make sure they sent it.

A little skepticism can go a long way - here's more from PC Tools-

Article link

Friday, April 3, 2009

Great seminar with lots of energy!

This morning we held our second Social Media for Executives seminar in Tacoma and had great feedback from all attendees. Blaine and Clay provided a solid overview of current communication trends, various social media tools and suggested ways for business executives to leverage them.

Several items I took away from today's meeting:
1. Social networking is not social media. Social media is an umbrella term for things such as social networking, blogging, Twitter and Yodio.

2. It is never a good idea for businesses to just "jump in" to social media. Effective use of the tools can be very powerful, while ineffective use can erode a brand rapidly. Create a plan and monitor the effectiveness over time.

3. Businesses need to identify their master plan for using social media and communicate that throughout the ranks. The example of how the company is represented should be set from the top down - the CEO absolutely belongs in the social media space and should be using tools that help differentiate them from the competition.

4. Social media is as accessible to small business as it is to large corporations. It is the first online tool that helps to level the playing field - and may actually provide an advantage to the little guy who can be far more nimble in using real time communication tools.

5. Comments are your friend. Don't be afraid to get feedback through the web. Look at it as an opportunity to respond publicly to criticism and dispel rumors before they spread.

I know our attendees left with their heads swimming with ideas and questions, we hope they continue the conversation here!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

BtoB Story: Combining e-mail with social media

Great article on using Social Media tools!
Story posted: April 2, 2009 - 6:01 am EDT

Story Link:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How to Use Facebook for Business: Social Networking 101 for Entrepreneurs, Authors and Speakers

By Stephanie Chandler

It seems the most popular question lately is, “Are you on Facebook?” Launched as a way for founder Mark Zuckerberg to connect with friends at Harvard, Facebook has exploded into the mainstream. With nearly 200 million users, and a million new members joining each week in the U.S. alone, people are paying attention.

One of the biggest benefits that social networking platforms like Facebook provide the business community is the ability to get repeat exposure with the people in your network. Clients, peers, and prospects can make up your network, and you can promote events, sales, special offers and more through your Facebook profile.

Not only is Facebook a tool for your business, but it can be fun to connect with old friends, family and coworkers. There is something about sharing an old grade school photo that can create an instant bond with those from your past. Even personal connections have the potential to become new business opportunities.

Ready to get started? Here are some ways to maximize Facebook for your business:

Create a Powerful Profile
There is no cost to create a profile on Facebook and based on site policies, it must be tied to a human name, not a business name. Use the “About Me” section to describe your business and what you do. In the “Information” box on your main profile page, you can feature links to your website, blog and other business resources. Be sure to include your photo so that others can recognize you online.

Build Your Contact List
Facebook is based on the concept of connecting with friends. You can send and receive friend requests and once accepted, your friend can view your profile and you can view theirs. To begin connecting with people that you know, you can either import your contact database or you can search Facebook for individual people.

You can also view the friends list for each person you are connected to. As an example, once you have accepted a friend request from your peer, Mary, you can view her list of friends. If you know any of Mary’s friends (or you would like to know them), send a connection request.

Communicate with Wall Posts
Each Facebook member has a “wall” where friends can post messages. This is a great place to post a quick note to those in your friends list. In the business networking world, this is the online equivalent of picking up the phone to say hello.

For example, if you are connected to a CEO who you saw at an event recently, you could post a note on her wall that says, “Loved your presentation at the XYZ event – thanks for the great ideas!”

Update Your Status
At the top of your Facebook home page is a status box. When you post a status update, everyone in your friends list can see your update on their home page. Those using Facebook for social purposes might update their status to say, “Jenny is putting the kids to bed.” For business purposes, this is a place to share tips, promote events and even boost sales.

Effective business updates could include: “Jenny found a great article on social networking: www….” or “Joe at ABC furniture is hosting a special event! Check out www….”

Participate in Groups
Online groups allow you to network virtually with potential clients and peers. To access groups, start from your Facebook home page, view the list of applications and click on “Groups.” You can browse through thousands of themed groups with topics ranging from business to politics and everything in between.

You can also search groups to find topics related to your industry. For example, if you own an office supply store inSacramento, you might search for general business groups based in Sacramento. If you are an auto parts dealer, you might join the Honda Civic owners group along with other auto-related groups.

If you really want to maximize the potential with groups, consider starting one of your own. Once again, there is no cost to do this and the visibility can be great. For example, if you are a business broker in Dallas, you could start a group for Dallas business owners. You do not need to promote your business at every turn. Instead, make it known that you’re a broker, but provide value for members by sharing interesting tips and engaging with them in the online forum.

Build Your Friends List
For business purposes, the one with the most friends on Facebook wins. Okay, not exactly, but the point is to connect with as many potential clients as possible. One way to do this is to join a group and send connection requests to fellow members with a note: “Hey, we’re both members of XYZ group. Let’s connect here on FB!”

Just as you would with an in-person business introduction, take a moment to learn about new people you meet on Facebook. Networking always works best when there is a two-way exchange. If you can help a new Facebook friend, they will likely want to return the favor.

Create Fan Pages
Because Facebook requires that a profile be designated to a human, not a business, they have instead provided the ability to create fan pages. You can create a fan page for a business, product, book, author, speaker, celebrity or just about anything you want.

To create a fan page, scroll all the way down to the bottom of Facebook and click on “Advertising” (don’t worry, it doesn’t cost anything to set-up). Next, click on “Pages” at the top of the screen. You will find some helpful explanations about how pages work, along with a link that will allow you to create your page.

Pages function a lot like profiles so you can add links, events, discussion boards and other features that make them interactive. Facebook will also post updates from your fan pages back on to your profile so others know about them. And instead of sending friend requests out, you can invite others to become a “fan” of your page. You will also have the ability to send messages to all of your fans, allowing you to cultivate a community online.

Manage Your Time
The biggest complaint most have about social networking is that it takes a lot time to manage. I recommend designating time in your day for Facebook activities. You can login once or twice a day to view messages and manage your connections. Just be careful not to let time get away from you (it’s easy to do!). Also, remember that the more time you spend on Facebook, the more ways you will find to use it to your advantage. Be creative, show your personality and have some fun. That will all be reflected in your success.

About the Author
Stephanie Chandler is an author of several business and marketing books including “The Author’s Guide to Building an Online Platform” and “From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur.” She is also founder and CEO of, which provides custom book publishing and author marketing services for business, self-help and other non-fiction books, and, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs.