Stop Flying Under the Radar: The Importance of a Social Network

The importance of a social networkIt may come as a surprise that many of our clients are not very technical, and some even go as far as to pride themselves on their resistance to using LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media sites to stay connected.

Some of these people do it the old fashion way, being diligent about manually keeping up with personal and professional contacts over the years. They immediately send an email after meeting a new acquaintance, add the person to their contact list, and send cards or articles of interest to that person upon occasion. I admire that practice, but most people who eschew the use of social media don’t even do that.

Some people just aren’t focused on adding new contacts to their social networks. People who are currently [Read more…]

Find Yourself a Twitter Chat

Tweet Chat

People often have a difficult time figuring out how to get started on Twitter. A great way to start is with a Twitter chat.

Participating in Twitter chats can be a great way to find a group of people with whom you share an interest; and, because everyone is communicating on the same topic, it is easier to break the ice and begin to add your own expertise to the conversation. This will also help you build your network.

What the heck is a Tweet Chat?
It is a scheduled conversation on a particular topic, open to anyone and held on Twitter. They are identified by a name with a hashtag (#). An example of one of the big daddy Tweet Chats is #blogchat on Sunday nights at [Read more…]

No More Bad Stock Photos, Use Your Instagram Pics on Your Website

InstagramInstagram is my fun place. I don’t use it to “get business,” I use it because I love snapping pics that I find interesting.  I like that I can instantly share them with others through Instagram, and if I want I can send an image to Facebook or Twitter. Although I don’t specifically use it for business, my feed does give people, who follow my feed, a sense of who I am and keeps me in front of mind.

I feel like I really get to know the people I am following by the images they share. It is another way you create the brand of “You”. [Read more…]

The Magic of Hashtags

magic_of_hashtagsAre you in mystery about Hashtags? It is really pretty simple. Hashtags are words or phrases that are used on Social Media apps like Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Facebook and Pinterest to name a few, as a way for people to follow or track a particular subject, business, TV show, webinar or other type of event. Hashtags let people find and join into conversations on different topics. [Read more…]

Before Applying For College Get Your Social Media S*%T Together

Google YourselfYou know I am a fanatic about cleaning up one’s digital image before embarking on any endeavor that is likely to prompt a Google Search of your name. Whether it is a college application or a job interview, you have to Google Yourself and clean it up. One of my son’s friends found out his mug shot for a DUI was online when he had applied for graduate school and one of the school recruiters let him know. Not good. Be proactive and don’t just stop at cleaning it up, you can work to craft your online brand. Although I always say, It’s Never Too Late, in this case it is Never to Early!

The following post is from Direct Hits Education, an SAT preparatory that is giving this great advice while SIMULTANEOUSLY (at the same time)  building up your vocab!

Social media has become UBIQUITOUS (omnipresent) in our culture. With Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, YouTube, and more, we’re sharing a lot of information online. In case you’re OBLIVIOUS (unaware), your online image matters, especially when it comes to applying for colleges, scholarships, and jobs. How you present yourself online can be a BOON (benefit) or BANE (source of harm) for you, as more and more college admissions officers and prospective employers use Facebook and other sites to research applicants. A negative online image could COMPROMISE (jeopardize) your college applications or job opportunities. Let us help you ELEVATE (move to a higher place) your social media presence as you prepare for college and beyond. [Read more…]

Rebuild Your Online Reputation After Receiving Negative Search Results

Man who has to rebuild his online reputation.The Internet can be a double-edged sword for your reputation. It can be very, very good or it can be very, very bad. If you are in the public eye in any way, you need to be proactive about managing your online reputation.

Last week, I spoke about the need to manage your online reputation when you are applying for jobs or promotions. Having a blog can be especially helpful towards this goal since you can write articles that reflect your expertise as well as show how you think, work, and relate to people in your world. Each blog post can come up on a Google search so it is also a great way of owning the first pages of a search of your name.  And believe me, you will be searched!

When a recruiter or employer reads your posts, they will get a much clearer and richer image of you and how you would contribute to their team than they could ever glean from a resume. Creating and writing a blog takes a great deal of initiative and confidence and this will also set you apart from crowd.

This week I have had several people contact me about how to deal with negative information about them appearing online.

There are two main strategies when dealing with negative search results.

  1. Have it removed at the source.
  2. Add positive information which will suppress the negative results.

Libelous versus Embarrassing

You need to be aware that just because you don’t like the information being said about you, if it is true you have no basis to have it removed. When someone makes a false claim to the public in writing about someone else, that claim may fall under the legal definition of libel and there are grounds to have it removed as well as may be subject to legal ramifications. The mug shots appearing online after people have been arrested are horrible but not illegal, although often you can pay to have them removed (which then feels like you are being bribed).

Having Libelous Content Removed

If something is wrong or libelous, you want to try and have it removed from the source. Having it removed from Google would not even be effective since Google is not the only search engine. Even if Google did remove it, other search engines would still have access to it or it would be able to be accessed by a link. Once something has been published online, on a website or on a social media platform, it is out there and the best you can do is go to the webmaster of the site where it was published and ask that it be removed. If the webmaster does not respond, the hosting company has the authority to remove libelous information from a site that they host.

To find the webmaster, try and send a message through the contact page of the website or find the e-mail address for the person behind the site.  If this does not pan out, do a web search on  “whois www.thesitename.com”.  This will give you some information about the owner or admin for the site.  If you can’t get the owners name or are unsuccessful getting them to respond, the Whois will also give you information regarding the hosting company for that site and you can contact them.

If the webmaster makes the changes you requested to a site that appears in the search results, you can request that search engines remove outdated information by submitting a webpage removal request. But even if you were successful in removing it, content  on the web has been indexed and cached and can still show up for years even if it no longer exists. That sucks right?

reputation management

Fight Negative with Positive

The thing that is ultimately more effective is to fight negative results with positive ones. This may seem daunting; if you feel you have been violated online, you most likely want to stick your head in the sand and hope it goes away. The last thing you may want to do is to go add things about yourself online.  But adding truthful and positive information about yourself will help to obscure the negative search results by pushing them back to less visited search results. It is highly unlikely that people will search past 100 results so adding positive information can dramatically improve the first impression [Read more…]

Build a Better Buffer for Your Tweets

Buffer appOne of my social media secret weapons that saves me time making and sharing articles on Twitter is called Buffer App. This app lets me schedule my tweets so that they come out at predetermined times throughout the day.

Scheduling your tweets helps to insure that your tweets are being seen by a variety of people, not only the ones that happen to be on Twitter at the same times you are.

When you have a tweet that you want people to take notice of, it is perfectly acceptable to send it out a couple of times a day. Twitter does not want you to send duplicate tweets, so change them up a bit before adding them to your buffer. Other apps including TweetDeck and HootSuite allow you to schedule the tweets, but you have to add them, one at a time. With Buffer App, [Read more…]

Social Media Plan

Sometimes people don’t get started with a Social Media plan for their businesses because it seems so overwhelming. I found this Infographic that breaks down some specific steps you can take to develop an online presence for your business. I wrote down my take on the information in the Infographic, which does not take the place of a well conceived social media plan designed to meet your business goals.

Please don’t get overwhelmed by this to do list, because you do not have to do all of these things at the same time. But trust me, many of you spend more time on your personal Facebook sharing than these items would take in a week!

Social Media Plan

 

Download your copy of the Infographic.

 

Keep Up to Date: For 30 minutes per day, use your favorite methods- Twitter, Facebook, Pinterst or Blogs you follow, to find interesting information relevant to your business. Keep track of it using apps such as Evernote or BufferApp so you can find it again to use for research for your posts and to share it with your followers. The content you find can help you craft blog posts and that same information can be reformatted to be used in many ways such as creating videos or social media updates.

Blog Posts: Writing blog posts is one of the most crucial parts of a successful social media plan. Write one to two blog posts per week on your website. Create them on topics that people will search for to find your business. Use relevant keyword phrases in the title and content of your posts. Share these posts on Twitter, Facebook Page, LinkedIn and Google +.

Facebook Page: Update your page status daily with what is going on. You can ask questions of your community or answer them. Add one or two interesting [Read more…]

Sharing Your Mobile Pictures With Ease

MearleyATLinstagramExample2If you have a smartphone, chances are, you’ve taken some pictures with that fancy built-in camera. But what do you end up doing with those pictures? Do they sit idly on your phone collecting digital dust? You can share your mobile pictures with the world with Instagram or Flickr. Or, if you don’t want to share your pictures, you can transfer them to a private Flickr account for safe keeping.

What is Instagram?

instagramInstagram is a photo-centric social media service that has been getting a lot of buzz the last couple of years. Instagram is available as an app on most major smartphones, and allows users  to easily upload pictures to the internet straight from their mobile device. Users can then connect their Instagram accounts to their friend’s account and like/comment on each other’s pictures. [Read more…]

Utilize StumbleUpon for More Traffic

Utilize StumbleUpon for More TrafficStumbleUpon is a website discovery engine that is designed to gear pertinent, quality content to it’s users based on their self-assigned interests.

A user can sign up and choose what kind of content they’re trying to “stumble” upon as well as submit links they’ve found on their own accord.

If you are a website owner who creates good quality, unique content, you can create a StumbleUpon account, submit links from your own website, and categorize them into one of StumbleUpon’s interests. The submitted link will be reviewed by StumbleUpon’s machines and/or employees to verify the quality.

If your content is of interest, StumbleUpon will start driving users, who are “stumbling” the interest you selected, directly to your content. When users are stumbling content they can [Read more…]