Social Media Q and A, Episode 25: How do I stay up on the latest in social media?

Welcome to episode 25 of “Social Media Q&A”!

This week’s video is about staying up on the latest in social media.

If you miss any of the episodes, they can be found on my YouTube channel.  If you are one of my email subscribers, you will get the episode before anyone else via email (so if you want to get it first, just subscribe for my “50 Social Media Tips” piece on the right side of my site or below this post).

Remember, every Tuesday, I will have my Social Media Q&A logo pinned on my Facebook page and is open for you to post your questions!  Each week I will answer a different question.

So without further ado, I present episode 25 of Social Media Q&A

http://memarketingservices.com://youtu.be/u599imBdGks 

Here are some of the sites I like to  follow:

Social Media Examiner
Social Media Today
Social Solutions Collective
Jeff Bullas
AllFacebook

Facebook’s New Graph Search

As a part of the Social Solutions Collective, I blog about what’s new in social media.  With Facebook’s announcement about their new search, Graph Search, I took to the internet to give my take.

Facebook  had momentum building for a week. Their shares were up ahead of Tuesday’s well-covered press conference. Then the announcement happened.

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Graph Search is a search engine that is focused on people, photos, places and interests located within Facebook. It looks promising but the announcement left everyone a little underwhelmed. There were high hopes of announcements about mobile, post editing, a Messenger iPad app or even a Facebook Smartphone. Investors were a less-than-thrilled too – Facebook’s stock dropped throughout the press conference. But back to Graph Search.

Facebook sees Graph Search as a way of answering your questions. It’s not a keyword search, but a search based on what you want.  Here are some features that were talked about:

  • The results are unique to you.
  • You can define your search based on any set of factors – age, gender, location, movies, music, etc.
  • To deal with the privacy issue, you are only able to search for you can already see on Facebook.  If it’s hidden, you can’t search it. For more information on what this means to privacy, read this great article from Mashable.
  • The searches do not have to be limited to your friends, you can search things like “football teams liked by sports journalists” and it will pull up the Facebook pages of teams that sports journalists follow or “tv shows liked by social media managers” and you will see those tv shows that are followed by social media managers.
  • The searches are more narrow than Google.
  • Graph Search is partnered with Microsoft’s Bing search engine so when you can find what you are looking for on Facebook, you have a web option.  Facebook said in reference to this partnership “With Graph Search you get a powerful tool and a world class search engine at the same time.”

The Art of Networking, Part 1

Networking is essential to business no matter what others may say.  It will help you more than hurt you.  Networking is more than just exchanging business cards.  There’s an art to it.

I am splitting up this topic into 2 posts – part 1 is about offline networking and part 2 is all about online networking.  They have the same goal, but each is very different.

Personally, I love networking events.  Of course, I love to talk too.  I have found that having the opportunity to talk about your business and explain what you do to others is some of the best promotion your business can have.  You can answer questions and even make a sale.

However, not everyone does networking right.  We’ve all been to those Chamber of Commerce events where you will get approached by someone who immediately pushes a business card in your face and asks for you business.  That’s not the way to do it.  Networking is about communication.  Networking is also about learning.

I am a member (and Past President) of our local chapter of BNI, Business Networking International. BNI is networking membership group.  Only one person per professional is allowed to be in each chapter.  We have a set 90 minute meeting every week and we network and pass referrals.  Everyone has the opportunity each week to give a 60 commercial teaching moment about their business and shares who they are wanting to connect with – a person, business or a group.  I can attribute 80% of my local clients from this one group.  It has been worth it.

Why do I mention BNI?  Because they do networking right.  They’ve taught that there is an art to it.  Here is what I have learned about it…

Communication

Communication is the key to just about everything.  Businesses and personal relationships fail for lack of this.  When networking, communication is essential because you want to present yourself professionally.  You want to convey a message, both verbally and non-verbally.  You want to appear as someone who you would want to do business with.  Of course, you want to be confident when talking about your business and display your communication skills.

Listening

Listening is very important.  There is a reason we have 2 ears and one mouth.  Listening is more than just simply hearing what the other person is saying.  Listening is giving them your (hopefully) undivided attention.  Really paying attention to what they are saying.  Repeat back something they’ve said.  Ask relevant questions.  When an attorney is telling you about a case they just had, don’t ask him if he noticed the billboard by the highway.

Educating

When networking, you are given the opportunity to educate the other person on what you do.  I wouldn’t give them a whole presentation but you have the chance to tell them 2 or 3 sentences about what you do.  This is your elevator speech, abbreviated.  This is something you should always have planned out and memorized.  For example when meeting someone and they ask what I do, I say, “I own a social media marketing company that helps small to medium-sized businesses and professionals brand themselves on the different social media platforms.”  I know mine is one sentence, but I like to keep it short and sweet.

Asking

An important piece in networking is asking – ask for a business card, ask to do lunch, ask for a meeting.  When networking, when you meet someone you would like to work with our connect with – ask.  You never know where that business relationship could take you.

Building the relationship

When you network and meet people who could be great business partners and what I like to call, referral partners, you want to take the time to get to know them.  Every person knows on average 100 people.  Could one of those be a potential client for you?  Yes, you can’t build a relationship in 5 minutes, but get a business card and meet for coffee or lunch.  Networking can take place outside a business function.  Networking is everywhere – the grocery store, the carpool line, at Starbucks.  Building a relationship with another business person is a great way to gain the next thing…

Trust

Would you honestly refer someone you didn’t trust?  Great networkers introduce and refer people they not only know, but trust.  When you trust someone and refer them, you are putting yourself out there and vouching for that person.  Same goes in a networking situation.  Do you want to introduce someone you don’t trust to a friend or colleague?

Follow-Up

Send a hand-written note or email.  Show your professionalism by following up with the ones you have met.

I see networking as building relationships with people I could do business with or people I could one day call clients.  Even if you have an online business, offline networking is important.  It gives you the chance to branch your business out even more.

Stay tuned for part 2 where I’ll blog about online networking.  It’s a lot like offline networking, but there are a few tips and tricks to doing it right.

Share with me – do you network offline?  If so, how and where?

How to Measure Someone’s Social Influence

This is the fifth post in the Social Influence Series.  If you’ve missed a previous post, the posts are listed at the end of this article.

Social Influence.  How do you measure it?  I asked this question on LinkedIn Answers and got a range of responses.  Some said by looking up someone’s Klout score.  Some said by the number of followers someone had.  Some said to look at how active they are on their social platforms.  Some even said you can’t measure it.

To me, you can measure someone’s social influence, but it’s based on your opinion and what you look for.  There are sites that measure social influence, but they are not always 100% accurate.  When a score is based on a formula, sometimes things do murk up.  That’s just life.

Social influence should be determined by a combination of factors.  If I’m looking at how influential someone is, I take in account 10 things…are you ready for them?

1.  Number of Facebook fans
Take a look at the person’s fanpage.  See how many fans they have and how many people are “talking about this”.  The may only have 500 fans but if their “talking about this” is over 500, then they are providing quality content that is worth commenting and sharing.  Likewise, if they over 1,000 fans hardly anyone “talking about this”, then I’d move on.

2.  Number of Subscribers on Facebook
Subscribing to someone’s personal profile is still fairly new.  Not everyone has made that option available on their profile.  If they do, take a glance at how many people subscribe to their public updates.  Those with some klout (no pun intended) will have good subscriber numbers.  I’m always curious who has over 100.

3.  Number of Twitter followers
Now let me preface this, there are people who buy Twitter followers.  So when you see someone has over 10,000 followers and are only following 1,000, sometimes I would take this with a grain of salt.  Most people with high following numbers are legit.  If see someone like that and have questions, you can put their Twitter name into http://memarketingservices.com://fakers.statuspeople.com/ and they will tell you the number of fake followers someone has.  Back to topic, I take into account their follower/following ratio.  I like to see someone who has more followers than people they are following.  That’s just my opinion.

4.  LinkedIn Endorsements & Recommendations
LinkedIn Endorsements are still fairly new.  It’s like Klout or Kred for LinkedIn.  You can endorse a person but simply clicking a skill they have.  Its shows up on their profile with their most endorsed topics first.  Those who are active on LinkedIn will have a lot of endorsements.  That’s at least what I find.  To me, though, what’s more important are their recommendations.  Who has recommended? What did their recommedation say?  How many times have they been recommended?  All of that says a lot about a person.

5.  Look at engagement levels on their social media platforms
This is going beyond a Facebook page’s “talking about this”.  What I mean by this, is how many times are they tweeting and retweeting?  Are they responding to people’s tweets?  Are they commenting and acknowleding posts on Facebook?  Do they have a 100% completed profile on LinkedIn?  When was they last time they posted on Google+?  The more influential the person, the more active they are.  They appreciate and acknowledge their community.

6.  Google Them
Simple.  Type their name into Google and see what pops up. Does any of their profiles show up on the first page?  Is anyone talking about them and it is good or bad?  This is something I recommend everyone do – you need to know what is out there about you.

7.  Look at their Klout Score
See, you knew this would enter in somewhere.  Yes, this does factor in.  It’s not the end all.  Klout measures someone based on their social media activity. I would see where their score ranks among those in their industry.  If you are not that familiar with Klout, you can watch my video about it here.

8.  Look at their Kred Score
Kred measures someone based on their Twitter and Facebook activity.  You can easily pull up how they measure and what gets what points.  I love the transparency of this scoring.  Kred measures you on 2 things – Influence and Outreach.  Your Influence score scores you out of 1,000 and your Outreach scores you out of 12.  You can see the walk-through I did of this site here that has more information.

9.  Look at their PeerIndex Score
PeerIndex is another site that scores you on your social media.   It’s very similar to Klout and Kred. It’s respected and some of the big boys (i.e. Forbes) uses this as a part of their determining factors for lists.  At the time of this posting, I have been going back and forth with these guys for over 3 weeks because it won’t fully load my account.  When I have more on this (or if it ever gets fixed), I will revise this post.

10.  Go with your gut
Very simple.  If you are looking at someone and something just doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore that.  You know who you would and wouldn’t be comfortable with.

These are my 10 factors that I use to determine social influence.  I’m sure there are other ways and other components to look at.  When you want to determine how influential someone is, you have to take everything into account.

So tell me, what do you do to measure someone’s social influence?

Previous Social Influence Posts:
An Introduction to Klout & Kred
A Tour of Klout
A Tour of Kred
Is Klout Really Worth It?

 

Is Klout Worth Really Worth It?

This is the fourth post in the Social Influence Series.  If you’ve missed a past post, a listing of the previous posts are listed at the end of this post.

Ask anyone about Klout and you will get A LOT of reaction.  It’s one of those things you either love or hate.  There’s no in between.

Want my opinion?  I love it.

Next week I’ll be talking about to measure social influence, so don’t get all up in arms.  I believe Klout is just one component in that formula.

Klout, to me, is like a game.  The more active you are on certain platforms, the higher your score.  My score stays between 74 and 77.  I am proud of that.  My score is higher than some of the social media juggernauts out there.

Klout calculates your score based on your activity on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Klout itself.  They do factor in some smaller platforms but those four are the biggies.  They actually break down (in the circle below) how much of your activity goes into scoring.  See mine below:

My breakdown of activity:
Facebook: 48.84%
Twitter: 34.27%
LinkedIn: 7.08%
Klout: 5.28%
Google+: 4.5%

Now, the actual formula of how they calculate is a mystery to everyone except those who programmed it.  That is the big problem with Klout.  No one knows it or understands it.  I have some suspicion on a chunk of it, but more on that later.

People are starting to take notice of Klout. Klout gives you perks based on how you score on your topics.  Recently, a friend of mine received a perk to go meet Ben Affleck at the premiere of his new movie in New York City.  The biggest news of late is that Microsoft is now investing in Klout and I’ve heard a rumor that another big influential business that I can’t name (sorry, it’s not public, so I can’t say) is looking to invest too.

What does the Microsoft investment mean? Well, first of all Microsoft is going to include people’s Klout scores into their Bing search engine so your score will be out there for everyone to see (even if you’re not aware of it).  Second, and most importantly, it signals that maybe there is something to Klout after all.

Will the Microdoft investment pay off?  Maybe.
Will Klout become so mainstream that it influences things in our daily lives?  We will see.

Klout has it’s fair share of critics and even though I love Klout, I’m included in that lot. Before they changed the formula, my score jumped 3 points in one day because 300 people posted on my Facebook wall for my birthday.  Now that they’ve reworked the formula, it’s more even.

In the end, yes, I do think Klout is worth it.  It’s one component of many that people are looking at to measure social influence and some industries are even using it in screening job candidates (crazy, I know).

What do you think?  I want to know if you think Klout is worth it.

Oh, want to know about that suspicion I mentioned earlier?  I’m not going to tell it all here, but let me say this, make sure you are active on Google+ 🙂

Previous Social Influence Posts:
An Introduction to Klout & Kred
A Tour of Klout
A Tour of Kred 

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