Monday, August 31, 2009

How to Build Your Brand in Social Media For Your Job Search

This weekend, I hosted my first face-to-face social media strategy session for job seekers. I wanted to pay it forward and help my fellow project managers with tips on using social media for your job search. That is what inspired this latest video I created.

Some focused branding strategies based on each person’s use of social media, LinkedIn profile revamp and specific online activity recommendations, and some automating tools and techniques to keep the whole engine running.
The main focus was on LinkedIn, and how you can tap into groups, your networks, and advanced search.

We talked about minimizing efforts in receiving information (especially with RSS feeds) and then sharing that valuable information with various social networks, especially LinkedIn groups. We also discussed making the content precise and targeted based on goals. That’s strategy at its finest.
From all that was discussed in this private session, I found that using the example of my own online activity showing up in Google Search, was eye-opening for the small group. Have you Googled yourself lately? If you are a business, you probably have, as well as look for your competitors, but the ANALYTICS are very important if you want to see what a recruiter will see when they look for you. Google alert - it doesn’t hurt! It would hurt more if the recruiter didn’t find you and moved on, right?

Some of you may be just Spectators, and that’s OK.

But if you are looking for a job, and social media is free, how can you not tap into it? Well, except your time, but use tools to help you automate as much as possible.

There are new tools popping up every day, and there always will be. Come to think of it, if you want to keep on top of a Certified Project Manager who’s a Social Media Strategist, you can automate and subscribe to this blog, right? Look forward to hearing from you!

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ford's Approach to Social Media

It's great to hear a company that is using social media and recognizing their niche offerings when approaching twitter their social media efforts, especially twitter. You don't have to lump the conversation all under one umbrella, but you can focus your messages and have intelligent conversation with customers by segmenting your market's needs (i.e. customer service, product line, etc.). Would have liked to have heard Scott Monty more, as his dialogue was brilliantly focused on the customer and serving their needs. Kiwibox seems like a valuable offering, for a very targeted teen market. I just think they are very different offerings, and could have been best served with two separate discussions. I most wanted to hear about one of the leading U.S. company's successful use of social media - Ford Motor Company. Enjoy!

Friday, August 28, 2009

WOW - my 1st screen capture: How To Insert YouTube Video on a SlideShare/LinkedIn Presentation

Blame it on the optimization gene - I love Web 2.0 tools, and have to thank @PhilBaumann for sharing this one with me. After having shared how to pull an RSS feed for LinkedIn/Q&A, I wanted to return the favor by doing the same for him and others - a really cool video with how to insert video in your slideshare presentations on LinkedIn- especially if your tips are about LinkedIn! That's the audience that needs your tips, now go make 'em say WOW! :)

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Close Relationship Between Bloggers and Marketers - eMarketer

Great post by with good survey coverage.

So out of a sample size of 233, surveyed recently, a whopping 100% of them were contacted by PR firms. What does that mean for bloggers? What does it mean for PR firms?

Well, I think that the audience is valuable for both - for bloggers, they get to receive the content that is of most value to THEM, pertaining to some subject matter of importance - and noted as EQUALLY important to maintain transparency.

And for PR firms, the audience of bloggers is of value to them because they can spread the word, hopefully of what the PR firms tells them to spread. I found it very fitting recently when mommy bloggers instituted a blackout.

But I DO think that the value of transparency for marketers is critical. Especially since it is obvious that businesses taking on social media have SOME marketing objective, and PR objectives in mind, with a return on their investment needed.

So marketers need to take note that bloggers are ON it. They get their value, and know their place - so to tap in, join the conversation and add VALUE. You can have a place in the blogger line, you just have to have some currency in your wallet when you get to the register to check out!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Which Social Media Channels Should You Be Using?

Just a quick microblog post today, for this SocialMediaToday post by Jordan Julien. He really shares the point that social media needs to be customized, for your own particular needs - and he does a really quick breakdown or the pros of each, whether you're a business or a consumer.

And I thought the visual really popped, too.

So let's see, if blogs are best used for B2B, I guess you came because you have some interest in social media, definitely for learning how to best use and optimize the medium. Maybe it's for your business, or maybe you're a job seeker, who's in the business of selling their services for employment. Either way, it's a business interest we both have. Do you agree? Please post your comments. Love to hear!

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Monday, August 24, 2009

The Social Media Project Manager Movie- How U Can Manage Your Teams and Projects

Found this insightful presentation that ties together social media and project management. For anyone that is putting together a social media marketing campaign (which is a project in itself!), you need to always monitor and control throughout the process, and us project managers have tools to help with the methodology to track time and budget. But, a HUGE component of the process is communication. Especially if your team is using social media, what better way than to keep the lines open with all the valuable tools out there, that are ever-changing.

However, a knowledge area of project management that cannot be ignored ESPECIALLY in social media, is RISK management - not just relating to brand management, and using a monitoring service to do just that (or on your own), but with the technology becoming outdated and replaced. What are you gonna do?

A social media project manager HAS to stay on top of technologies to be successful. And that is why I share this communication with you today, because slideshare is a really neat way to do it.

Sometimes there is something that you just want to share, 'nuff said.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Google Voice - Currently Invite Only - The latest truly mobile craze

WOW. Checking out today's twitter trends, I saw quite a buzz going on over google voice. And yesterday, I was telling someone on a conference call about Google Wave.

Not having a phone number tied to a phone will make us truly mobile. Just wanted to do a short micro blog post about it, taking a break from my usual social media post - but, hey, I'm using social media to do THIS, right? It's automated through posterous from a button on my browser toolbar, and automatically posts to twitter and facebook.

Now, if I just could figure out how to include LinkedIn status updates, that would be the ultimate trifecta!

When we get an implant chip in our hand (now that will be the day) how much more social media will I be able to take on?? I just don't want to know where the fax comes out.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Social Media Guidelines - Is Your Company Ready?

We've all seen fiasco after fiasco of corporations trying to calm the bad publicity frenzy after the fact. Many times, it is because of a customer service issue that could have been calmed way before the storm (I don't want to add fuel to the fire and encourage the behavior, so I won't name names, but you know who you are...)

I think social media is like a wide open ocean. You have areas of protected coral reefs, with communities of different kinds of fish (and of course predators lurking about!). These are like your protected social communities. but just like the Coast Guard tries to keep control of the open ocean, companies can take action and set up social media guidelines, or at least a set of ground rules for starters. (If you've got more thoughts on this analogy - I'd love your comments!)

You've got to check out Lawsuits & PR Nightmares Why Employees Need Social Media Guidelines, thanks to @MJLeonard.

Of the 22 Corporate social media guidelines/policies he shares, I thought I would share the US CoastGuard's with you, for its relevancy to my analogy of the open ocean:

US CoastGuard Social Media Policy - Part 1

US CoastGuard Social Media Policy - Part 2

Social media guidelines are important for not just those who are maintaining the brand image in social media from the company's perspective, but also for employees to know how they should conduct behavior, as well. EVERYONE is watching.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

VIDEO: What is LinkedIn? Is this Social Media Tool For YOU?

I think this is a great video for those that want to tap into social networking for business or for job seeking but just don't know why or how. I hope this video will enable someone out there to not be so overwhelmed by this VERY helpful tool.

Thank you @LinkedInQueen for sharing this tweet.

BTW, an area of interest to me is in the methodology of automating the process. In case it might be of help to others, I have the "Share on Posterous" link in my browser, and when I come upon an interesting video or picture, I just click on it and it embeds it in my blog. Then, I just add my comment, and voila - an e-mail goes out to post on my blog, twitter and facebook. Have to check out's options, but for now, this works for me.

Please share your tips here, too! And maybe we'll crack the social media code just yet (nah, I think it will always be one step ahead of us!).

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The First Step in Developing Your Social Media Marketing Plan What is your GOAL?

So, you get behind the wheel to go to the latest greatest social media conference in town! How are you going to get there? Don’t you have to know where you’re headed? Do you put an address into the GPS or are you a genius who has an incredible memory for landmarks? Even if it’s somewhere close by, you have to have a clue about where your destination is.

How can you set up a plan, or your step by step directions, if you don’t start with a clear goal in mind?

Some examples of social media goals are:
I want to build better relationships.
I want to increase website traffic.
I want to build your base.
I want to inspire people to action.
I want to create more loyal customers.

Now go a step further and quantify your goal, so you can know if you meet your mark:
I want to build 50 new relationships within a month.
I want to increase my website traffic by 50 direct hits per week.
I want to build my customer base by converting 10 customers per week via click throughs.
Yada, yada, you get the point.

Being able to know exactly where you’re going and how you will measure the success of your efforts is critical. But, let’s start at ONE. You will see a greater impact for your efforts if not only do you understand what you are trying to do, but your audience does, too!

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

VIDEO: The Future of Social Media/Networks - Charlene Li:: SXSWi 2009 Groundbreaking!

Had to share this video (nicely edited), from a recent conference in Austin.

Charlene is a brilliant thought leader, and I am captivated by her work (and Josh Bernoff!). on Groundswell, which has transformed my thinking as a traditional marketer to leveraging social media for developing relationships, because it's all about ka-ching for business. Listen to her statement in this video on just that - it's not about "Kum Ba Ya." I laughed out loud.

To think of how much more important open ID will be in a world that has social media more integrated -"like air," was thought-provoking. It will be more important to standardize so that we can connect wherever we are. Social media will truly be a part of our every day lives.

And businesses must continue to learn all they can about it or be left behind.

Love the video - enjoy!

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Social Media Marketers Sidle Up to the Female Blogger Bar?

Marketers Court Female Bloggers - eMarketer

Marketers want to head on over to the social media cocktail party and join the conversation. At this Bar, there's no cover charge, no age minimum (more than likely), and no last call. I love articles that challenge thinking, so you can be smart about preparing a social media plan. Read the rest of my blog post, and then click through on the image above to take you to the latest eMarketer article.

I share this with you as it struck a chord with me. Yeah, I guess I'm a female blogger, but also because as a marketer, I understand it's critical to understand your audience before your plan a strategy to communicate with them. But even moreso, HOW are they using the social media space? That's a virtual world all its own, as it's consumer generated content, and conversation that makes it so valuable.

If your market includes mommy bloggers, know that not all female bloggers fit that bill. We women aren't all the same, nor are all males, and our purchase behaviors and the way we choose to live our lives is based on our own unique experiences and values. But you can work with this, if you just know something about them, and what kinds of social media they are taking part in already. That's where research and monitoring comes in handy, particularly in the area of social media usage.

But if you are an organization that is fortunate enough to have communication with a female audience already, you're ahead of the game. You've got an audience that is ready and waiting for you - now all you've got to do is have a plan.

I share this article that has valuable research provided by ShesConnected, BlogHer, iVillage and Compass Partners, based on studies done with a sample of over 1,500 women, with a wide range in age (18-77), about weekly social media participation, conducted by the US Census and Nielsen.

Women bloggers are more than willing to help marketers out when it makes sense to do so.

40% said they provided marketers with information collected on their blogs.

53% said they would consider doing so if asked.

If you really want to help fill a NEED, (as use marketers strive to do), whatever part of the mix it may be (direct, e-mail, display), then understanding your audience is crucial.

Traditional marketing research (focus groups) have been used successfully for years. Now your focus group wants to hear from you - they're waiting at the bar. Bartenders aren't shy and are usually good at conversation, adding value for your what could have been lonely cocktail/brewski.

What do YOU have on tap?

Let's tap in!
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stop Collaborate and Listen - Social Media Marketing and Vanilla Ice??

Not to say that Vanilla Ice is a guru in the digital marketing area, but we CAN take a lesson from this song’s opening line (Ice, Ice, Baby) - “Stop, collaborate and listen…”

Yeah, that’s pretty much all we can take from him in online marketing tips…but I think it is a strong opening statement for anyone who wants to test the waters in developing a social media marketing strategy.

I believe that social media should be included as a part of a total marketing mix, which should have multiple channels for maximum effectiveness, reaching your audience however they are using media. But wait, even if you know what media they are using, do you know HOW they are using it? When I worked in radio, I would need to break down listenership into day parts. HOW were the listeners (that matched the particular demo/psychographic that an advertiser wanted to reach) USING the medium? Were they loyal to a particular program, then that might be where you would want to apportion some of the budget? Were they listening on the web? It was very important for my success as an account manager to understand how the audience was using the medium to maximize my client’s ROI so that the message was most likely to reach them. And analytics were crucial for me to understand that, regularly researching Arbitron data.

There are many tools available for online marketers to understand how their audience is using the online space. And it seems that new technologies are popping up every day - Google Analytics is widely popular in tracking the web usage of your site and seeing how people are using it, but you can also track trends on twitter (In a previous post, I discussed another valuable tool, Twitalyzer).

Ok, now you STOPped. Once you know HOW your audience is using social media, then you need to LISTEN. Collaborate with and listen to your audience. They will tell you what they want. And I don’t mean getting them to step aside from the space they are happily using and involved with their community, but I mean track the trends WITHIN their communities. Online surveys are a great tool, but if you have the opportunity to see how they are interacting with each other in their space, and maybe putting a poll in every now and then, how much more valuable is that - and in REAL time.

And in the days (almost 7 years!) when I was a jazz vocalist running my own business, it was CRUCIAL for me to understand what my fans wanted to hear. What places did they like to go to, so I could to some B2B and book venues for them to come. What headshot did they want me to use for my press efforts - yes, they even helped me choose a photo, from 6 images on a hidden page on my website in a private survey. And that photo had a major return for me, because I knew this was how my audience wanted to see me represented. What better marketing research is there, then one conducted with your own audience!

Don’t discount the value your customers can offer you if you just take a moment to STOP, COLLABORATE and LISTEN. Then you can effectively plan your social media strategy, and pretty much all your digital marketing efforts. Be appreciated for adding VALUE to the conversation. Your audience will let you know, if you just take a moment to let them know you want to hear them. They’ve got a LOT to say!

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Monday, August 10, 2009

SEO and Social Media - Video Tip #3

This video touches on a couple of points from my previous post on SEO and Social Media two days ago. I'm loving the Web 2.0 tools that allows us to all create and share content with each other. Let me know your thoughts and what tips you might find
valuable for your own social media efforts - love to hear from you!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Your Customers' Social Media Habits - Forrester Web 2.0 Tool takes a peek inside

Wrapped up reading Groundswell, by Charlene Li of Forrester Research and Josh Bernoff, I am also a subscriber to the Forrester blog, it's always great to learn from thought leaders who can help us all be successful in a world transformed by social technologies. The world really is flat, and we all have tools and technologies to bring us together to connect.

But we're also fortunate to have great tools to help us learn how to be better at connecting. And learning about our audiences and how they CHOOSE to connect.

This is a really neat Web 2.0 tool (whose code was made very easy to embed!!), and I thought it was a fun, interactive way to see that people really ARE different when it comes to social media, and why we are there in the first place. I guess no matter how much technology we have, we'll always still be human enough to make our own choices, and very unique ones at that! Enjoy and let me know what you think. Love to hear!

Friday, August 7, 2009

SEO and Social Media - Six Tips to Optimize

As budgets shift from traditional marketing/advertising efforts to digital, if companies don’t embrace SEO in a holistic strategy, they’re leaving a potential audience member out there unable to find them, and that’s very impactful on ROI. Do you want to enhance your social media efforts? How do you do that? Did you search today for SEO or Social Media? Somehow we found each other, and I’m pretty sure it had something to do with search.

To understand the true power of the internet, it’s critical that you understand how its engine runs - SEARCH. The fuel this engine requires isn’t diesel - it’s keywords, and SEO. Going back to my school days, I remember doing research and having the librarian bring me to the card catalog section (WOW, did I just date myself or what?) Well, you pretty much get the idea, that in order to find some information source, before the world wide web took really took off (imagine a world pre-Google, huh?) information was catalogued in alphabetical order and assigned a number, typed on these little cards in LONG drawers. So it was a multiple step process. And it always seemed the card that you needed with information on where to find the BOOK that had the information you were looking for was in the BACK of the drawer. Then to separate the tiny cards and read the number, you had to pull out and carry that long box with you to some table. Then you would have to put that LONG drawer back and then go and find the book somewhere. WOW. And microfiche? Ok, let’s not even go there - I think I’ve made my point.

So, now we’ve got this monster machine - a monster truck, if you will. And the fuel its engine requires is compelling content that is SEO friendly. So people can find you EASILY without having to pull out a long wooden drawer with tiny cards. So here are five tips to make your social media campaigns more impactful. You are fortunate to have the power to track the metrics with online tools, to see how people may land at your blog, website, facebook page - the tools are there for you, and you can always seek to improve not just your content, but the searchability of your campaigns with thoughtful and strategic use of SEO:

1. Find out where your audience is.
You have an amazing opportunity to understand not only basic demographic information , but also lifestyle (psychographic) data such as their preferences, their preferred methods of publishing, behaviors and more. If you are a company (or an individual!) that is already involved some way in social media, you have a good idea where you can start. You can track the conversations, and identify keywords and also influencers (Please see my previous posts on web analytics tools that track powerful metrics, including Radian6 and Twitalyzer).

2. Add relevant keywords to your title and ads.
ESPECIALLY if your marketing efforts are tied to a revenue stream that is closely tied to PPC. Maybe you have a facebook ad campaign, where you can buy by CPC (clicks) or CPM (impressions). Or maybe you’re a blogger who wants to drive more traffic and build audience. And wouldn’t it just tie all together if you were a blogger who had a Google Ad campaign with revenue reliant on SEO? SEO and PPC are so closely tied together because it’s the search that will bring the potential customer to you or an ad will come to them because they were searching for a particular keyword.
I always try to take into consideration that people are pretty tight on time. Not only do people cut back in the way they spend their dollars, but also valuable, and to some maybe moreso, TIME. So to best illustrate this example, do you subscribe to an RSS feed, and maybe a few of them, and do a quick scan for the relevant keywords? So take a look at before: “Do you want to know how to optimize your social media campaigns?” and after: “Five Tips on SEO to Improve Your Social Media Campaigns.” By adding SEO to the title, I can engage people who are searching for that and invite them to join the conversation. Even further, now you know it’s just five tips and won’t take up too much of your time, so you can get back to YOU.

3. Optimize your word placement.
So I take you one step further, taking a look at step 2, with relevant keywords included, I can now bring those keywords from before: “Five Tips on SEO to Improve Your Social Media Campaigns” to after: “SEO - Optimize Your eMarketing/Social Media Campaigns - Five Tips.” Doing this will drive your search engine rankings higher

4. Get to the point.
It’s not WHAT you say, it’s how you SAY it. It’s just my marketing nature to know that people pretty much need to know WHY they need to listen to what you have to say. And if you’re lucky to be able to have a persuasive enough reason, then you can invite the conversation and convert. And the best thing that can happen is that they will bring their friends. It’s a happy marriage, but people don’t want to give you their time in the online “clutterverse.” I believe people truly want to do good, but it’s human nature to find the easy way out, and don’t have the time to focus their attention on what you have to say, unless you make it as easy for them as you can to get your message across in a nanosecond. Then you can invite them on in. Compelling content creation is an art, and it takes years of refinement - luckily, there are a lot of us that share free content for you to be able to see what the hot topics are, how they’re being shared. You have to have a love for a lifetime learning, and being thankful that you don’t have to go to the back of the card catalog to find it!

5. Go beyond text with pictures.
Not all search engines are the same. There are those that are human-powered and reliant on information being indexed and catalogued, but there are crawler-based search engines that use automated software (crawlers) that checks sites for relevant information and deposits it into some central depository, where its data is indexed. Every crawler is different, based on what its administrators have it do, and how often it periodically returns to sites to see what has changed.
If you are driving people to your website, then you should have some understanding of HTML code and metatags. And every one of us has the ability to drive up our rankings by using relevant keywords in the source code, and also the description of web PICTURES. Ever seen a Google Images search? If you have been surprised at the pictures that pop up when you search for a particular keyword, then you can bet is was the description in the code behind the scenes that drove up its ranking!

6. Keep it current.
So if you want to optimize the way people reach your content and especially your PPC/CPM ad campaigns, you owe it to your audience to keep up to date with a finger on the pulse of hot trends, ever-emerging technologies, by subscribing to industry alerts, enewsletters, blogs, and relevant online communities. How did this information come to you? It wasn’t by accident, I bet it was SEO in your social media efforts. And you have an ever-growing bag of tools to help you optimize. And no more card catalogues!

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Who Finds Twitter More Effective, Advertisers or Consumers? Social Media & Business

This is a really interesting study done by LinkedIn and Harris Interactive, and this article by eMarketer (which has AWESOME articles everyday in my inbox) shows that using Twitter for your business to promote products and ideas is thought to be somewhat effective by both advertisers and internet users.

As an internet user (or consumer in the eyes of the advertiser), it's not that effective or not at ALL effective in promoting products and ideas.

This further proves my point in yesterday's post, "Don't Spam Me Dude..." We want to get your ideas and have our questions answered - give us VALUE.

And in the eyes of the marketer or advertiser (or my other hat), only half of us feel that it is even somewhat effective. So, I'm going to get out there and get that attention by





That's how social media should be taken on by businesses - and the ROI will be there - as proven by those already successful - take it from lessons learned.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Don’t Spam Me, Dude. Why Companies Need an Honest Soclal Media Approach.

We’re all bombarded with countless advertisements throughout the day. Reports vary on just how many, and just when we thought it was safe to escape from all the clutter to our private little corner of the office and surf on the internet, we get even more clutter. Only now they know just a little bit more about us - what browser we’re using, what we may want to purchase based on what we bought previously, or maybe something that goes with our purchase (complementary). So now advertisements get even smarter.

And one step further, social media has taken over our lives - every one of us has some niche that we belong to. And we have the powerful search capabilities to find others searching for other members of that niche to connect with. This is the place we want to be, right? The place where we can truly feel like we belong, like we are among other who “get” us, and feel like part of human race, so interesting and full of widely varying areas of expertise.

And new people start to come out of the woodwork. Someone has the secret to building a successful home business where you can earn $4,000+ a week. Someone can get me to add 1,000 followers by clicking on a link.

Look, spam happens. You have to laugh. But let’s try to use the opportunity to have a conversation like a wildlife preserve. It’s a jungle out there, filled with people connecting for a lot of different reasons - all with different goals in mind.

For example, my goal is to use social media and digital marketing to find a job in just THAT - strategizing social media and digital marketing! But, how can I use the medium without selling myself outright, and spamming people with the fact that I’m looking for work? Who want to listen to that?? If I shared some value with you FIRST, maybe you’d want to help. So I practice what I preach and encourage you to do the same.
No one in social media is looking to be SOLD on something. They are here because they find some VALUE from it. Whatever AUDIENCE they belong to - and that is very unique to each audience. You’ve got to share value with others - and they will come.

If you don’t know what VALUE is to your audience - then find out what they’re talking about. Here are a couple of examples:

Twitter - Who is following you? If you don’t even have ONE follower, you can search a keyword, to see who’s talking about a topic. Then look at who’s part of the conversation and what they’re talking about. Use twitalyzer to find out who the influencers are on a particular topic.

LinkedIn - What groups exist that might be in your area of interest, or your profession? Take a look at my profile for some ideas. Start sharing news articles with them, jump in the conversation and add VALUE by being part of the experience without SPAMMING!

Blogs - Search for people that talk about your area of interest and search for their blogs - comment and get part of the conversation. There really people out there who want to hear what you have to say.
There is a definite opportunity for businesses to grab onto social media, but it has to be for the right reasons first - ROI DOES count, but how else can we latch on?

We can learn from the best. See my earlier post on the top 10. The top corporations in social media don’t need to SPAM you and ruin that trust they worked so hard to earn. You can be a successful business using social media, and don’t have to resort to SPAM to do it. Follow some of my tips, and stay tuned to my Youtube channel for tips!

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