Tag Archives: Facebook

Face time and the whites of their eyes

By Stephen Rhodes

It’s easy to get caught up in the hurley burley of Web 2.0, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

When sitting at your desk,  looking for creative ways to invade the online world with your message, it’s sometimes easy to forget that these great tools can’t replace good old-fashion face time when it comes to generating business.

Wikepedia actually has a definition for Face time:

an interaction or contact between two or more people at the same time and physical location. Face time therefore occurs in real life and contrasts primarily with interaction or contact which occurs over distance (eg. via telephone) and/or electronically (eg. via email, instant messaging, e-commerce or some other computer communication.”

Wow, a little clinical, but a good reminder that it involves people in close proximity. Face time has in fact entered the vernacular because there are an increasing number of people who don’t do it, relying instead on some electronic engagement for business communications.

So, if you build your business around the Web, Twitter and Facebook and never actually see another human being, is it still a business? I guess that depends on your standard of measurement. I have never met anyone at Amazon or Chapters-Indigo but I buy lots of products. I buy on the strength of referrals from friends I do trust. “There’s a great book you should read….”

However,  I can’t imagine buying professional services without first meeting someone face to face.

For me, spinning messages online to 1100 followers is not  the same as pitching someone in person.  Did their eyes flicker, did they bite their lip, are their arms crossed? Did they look happy, sad, or  indifferent?

Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I still like to see the whites of their eyes.

What do you think?

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Build the right network

By Stephen Rhodes

For some in the social networking circus, success is all about numbers – followers on Twitter, fans on your Facebook page or contacts on LinkedIn.

It’s a myth that you need a large network to succeed. What you need is a smart network.

More than 1,000 people without influence isn’t nearly as important as 50 who can connect you with your target audience.

So, think about how you network in the real world and online. Target the most influential people in your business world and determine how to reach them.  Check Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to see if they use these services. Are they members of the local Chamber of Commerce or some other business association?

Find a way to be where they are, or to reach out to them, and build a network of people with influence.

The right network will make a difference.

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Big Brother and Social Media

By Stephen Rhodes

Big Brother is watching and we seem determined to help.

Social media has kicked the stuffing out of privacy laws, notwithstanding Facebook’s recent mea culpa. Even then, while Facebook has broadened our options, they still hold most of the cards. Read How to Fix Facebook’s new privacy settings.

Others, like Coke, are beginning to understand the value of online information. In a marketing attempt to showcase its similarity to Coca-Cola, Coke Zero asked Facebook users to sign up to find their look-alike. The Facebook application uses the same facial-recognition software that “governments and international security agencies use” – but instead of finding criminals, it says, “you’ll be able to find a person that looks just like you.”

Before the application finds a match, the user has to agree to let Coke Zero pull profile information, photos, friends’ information and “other content” to work.

University of Toronto professor Andrew Clement raises concerns in this Toronto Star article.

Another article titled the End of Privacy in the National Post documents the evolution of George Orwell’s world and how young people seem unaware of the dangers.

Avner Levin, director of the Privacy Institute at Ryerson University, has conducted research on university students’ attitudes to online social networking. For instance, employers that Levin and his colleagues surveyed felt anything posted online was fair game when appraising a job candidate. Think of all the things you might have posted online in a status update, a tweet or a comment on a blog and whether it might impact your job search?

Levon says however, that over time, the people who have grown up in a digital environment will assume positions of power, and attitudes will likely change. An embarrassing online photo or questionable Internet posting in one’s past will become the norm, no more shocking than the revelation these days that an aspiring politician once smoked pot.

We seem to be  more comfortable sharing our lives and thoughts instantly to literally thousands of people, some close friends and some  strangers. We leave a large footprint online –  our friends, business associates and casual acquaintances;  our interests, hobbies and opinions; our shopping habits, travel destinations, replete with photos and videos,  and even our location through geotagging.

The world customized just for you, gleaned from every keystroke.

Scary? Your thoughts?

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Eating elephant morsels 140 characters at a time

By Stephen Rhodes

To build on yesterday’s post about the changing world of marketing , I want to say that most business people I talk with are afraid of Social Media because it seems complex and involved. And it may seem a little daunting to someone with minimum online skills.

There has been so much written about Social Media over the last 12 months and it’s easy to feel uneasy and out of touch. I can’t keep track of the daily how tos on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, You Tube and Flickr.

Think of it as an  elephant, and we all know how to eat an elephant.

Amber Naslund at Altitude Branding has an excellent primer called The Social Media Starter Kit. Download it and use it as a starter and a refresher. Follow Amber on Twitter and subscribe to her blog. She can teach you a lot.

In the beginning you want to listen and observe. Build your own community by following or subscribing to people who speak to you. When you feel comfortable, talk back, share and contribute. Find your own voice.

Let me know what you think of Amber’s starter kit? Or let Amber know.

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Bedlam in the boardroom

By Stephen Rhodes

Emerging trends like Twitter and Facebook cause bedlam in the boardroom.

The big brand names so want to be trendy, hip and with it – at least those that view young people as their primary target group. They want to be out in front even if they don’t know what they want to be out in front of.

chaosIf you are standing on that precipice, look before you leap. It’s tempting to want to jump in but like any other marketing strategy, it takes thought and attention to detail. Back to the basics – who is your target audience, what’s the best way to reach them and what do you want to say? Social Media provides great communication tools but make sure it’s the right fit for your business.

I remember when newspapers first jumped into the web arena. They didn’t understand the medium, saw it primarily as a threat, but decided they needed to be there. Some newspaper groups across North America launched complex websites; but by holding content until the morning newspapers hit the stand, failed to recognize the real benefit of the Internet – immediacy. Expensive, labour intense websites, that essentially weren’t relevant, were scaled back during the last recession.

Even today, most newspaper websites don’t understand that the Internet isn’t a complimentary product line. It is the product line.

Think about how these new tools can help your business. Do a little research. Don’t just jump in blindly.

Your thoughts?

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