Posts Tagged 'Business'

Social Networks For Business – 7 Tips and Tricks

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Many people don’t have time to use social networks. They are too busy with emails, phone calls and face to face meetings, in order to get engaged – whether it’s work or fun. This is a major issue for most people who are trying to use social media tools as part of their business tool box.

I’ve went through several phases in my social media activities, starting with first limited steps in social networks such as LinkedIn, moving to the interactive Facebook, and using the hyper-interactive Twitter. Over time I found that I am investing a lot in communicating, on the expense of being the most effective and efficient in my communication and work. One of the causes of this phenomena is the overload social networks and tools are putting on all of us, with multiple updates and feeds.

Also, the amount of my connections affects my communication pattern as I wrote in the past. Therefore, in the recent months I’ve changed my communication pattern to better fit my needs, and support my other activities.

However, social networks and social media in general provide great business benefits if handled correctly.

In a business, I don’t believe that conversation is the most important thing. Efficiency and effectiveness are the goals of every business, in order to successfully compete in the market.

How can you balance between the social media noise, and the hidden value in its tools?

Here are my tips on how to do that. Would love to hear on how you are doing it:

If you are the ADD type, already involved in more networks then you can handle:

  1. Separate leisure and work – you know that time in day when you are not focused? Sometimes you’ll go to Facebook and check what’s going on there, get into a conversation, read some notes, and just go around the network. It is ok – if you decided that you are willing to invest your free time in having fun in Facebook. Would you do something else that is fun right now, not online, if you had the chance? If the answer is yes, then everything is ok. If the answer is no – read a blog or a newspaper to relax your brain. Social networks, especially Facebook and Twitter, can suck you in and make you loose sense of time. And you don’t want that in on working hours.
  2. Aggregate feeds from various social networks using Friendfeed or Spokeo – these tools aggregate activities of your connections from different networks in one page. It is very useful, and helps you not only keep in touch with your friends and business contacts, but also find new ones.
  3. Kick out spammers from your network – yes, sounds logical, but it is not necessarily done in a consistent manner. When someone sends me 6 useless Facebook apps – it is time to say goodbye. After that, there is less communication overload with stupid interactions.
  4. Understand when you want to communicate and when you want to do something else – A good friend of mine told me once, when I was all over Facebook, that there is a limit to the amount of interaction one wants to be involved in. At the time I thought he was dead wrong, but now I see that it is true. I’d like to interact only part of my day, and in many cases I need the ability to concentrate and reach a goal. Twitter, IM, and Facebook should be closed at these times unless they are used for the same task.

If you are not hooked yet, but understand there is a value in social networks for your work, and you want to be effective and efficient in using them:

  1. Maintain your social network periodically – once a month, upload your contacts to Linkedin or Facebook and invite relevant people to your circle of contacts. discipline is the secret. You can reduce the effort required by uploading all your contacts to gmail or yahoo mail, and let the networks retrieve the information from there. It takes less time than uploading your address book to each platform separately.
  2. Embed social networks activity in your work day:
    • Update your online address back immediately after you return from a conference. Connect to the guys you met as soon as you can. Size and quality of your networks correlates with the value you will drive from it. Foster it.
    • Add your social networks to your bookmarks toolbar so they will be easily accessible. The more you use them, the more they value you get from it.
    • Use social networks as source of information – whenever you have a question, don’t just ask google. Ask your network as well. You will be amazed how much high quality information lies in Linkedin and Facebook.
    • Spend 10-20 minutes of your work day for social networks updates. Go through Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter every morning to see what’s new and who is talking about what. I am doing it with my morning coffee. Friendfeed and Spokeo can also come handy, but go through the sites themselves once in a while.
  3. Increase your networks’ value – connect to key people in the industry, thought leaders, experts, key decision makers and so on. The value of network is driven from the aggregated quality of its members, and not only by its size. Invest 30 minutes a week in looking for key people in your network and connect with them. It is worth it.

All those tips are completely irrelevant if you just want to chat with friends. But if you are business oriented user, I hope it would help you to get more value from time spent these social networks.

Page_11.png Thinking About Social Networks Taken by Jeff Pulver

Hot from the press – Facebook Pages just released

Facebook just released Facebook Pages, which enables you to create pages for items, and not only people.

Now you can create a page for a business, TV show, organization and so on.

I am very excited with this new feature, as I got a bit worried seeing all those fake profiles of companies and products on Facebook.

How it affects the market?

1. I believe that it improves the overall value of Facebook to users. Now we know who is a person, product or business.

2. Number of groups might be reduced – no need to open a group for fans of a tv show – you can just open a page for it.

3. Online directories might be affected – as users can find now businesses through Facebook.

4. Personally, I believe it will increase the time I spend on the site.

On the same topic, Facebook Beacon is really disturbing. This application allows site owners to add code to their site that sends through Facebook activity notification to contacts. Personally, I feel that this one is a bit too much.

Om thinks the same, and you can find a guide on how to block this intrusive product here.

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Your Company Got Blogger-Bashed? Take an Example From NewTek

Bloggers affect public image of companies – and smart ones know to identify and respond to issues raised by this independent media source. The effect of bloggers doesn’t end in image only, but also harm stock price, as Engadget false report on iPhone release dates showed the market.

However, smart management of these situation can not only fix damage done, but also improve company’s public image.

Readers of my blog know that sometimes I politely bash companies. That was the case of NewTek, the creator of TriCaster, that I’ve covered in this post. The main issue that I’ve raised was their lack of responsiveness to synchronis.tv, a company that used its product to push the envelope of online drama.

Several hours after publishing the post, their CEO and President, Jim Plant left a comment thanking for the post and asking who was trying to reach them. I’ve asked Andrew from synchronis.tv to touch base with Jim, and they’ve done so through the comments section, and later I’ve introduced them to one another via mail (based on the email address provided in the comment Jim left me). Not only that, the company later sent Philip Nelson, VP of Strategic Development, for a meeting with Andrew Lipson, and for a related panel in IMTC event.

Not only that NewTek improved their image in the community, they also gained some publicity and reach to new market segments – only because they were responsive to what was written about them – in a timely fashion.

So what are the most important points for companies in dealing with bloggers who bash them?

1. Time– responding in a timely fashion to posts is a crucial part of communicating with bloggers. This requires an ongoing monitoring of blogsphere by companies and their marketing departments.

2. Comments – though companies can contact bloggers directly, comments are visible to all readers. That way, even if a company doesn’t persuade the blogger that his bashing is wrong, at least the readers would see additional point of view on the topic.

3. Top management involvement – getting top management to comment directly on blogs provide additional benefits – especially when the company is bashed. Just like a press conference, when a senior level official presents company views, readers see that the company sees a topic as important.

4. Use real email addresses in comments – yes, I know, sounds strange, but the fact that I had the direct connection to Jim made things much easier, and raised NewTek’s credibility.

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Micro Media Mogul vs Media Maker

I’ve met Jim Long at VON in San Jose back in March, and really enjoyed talking with him.
He has a unique angle on the industry, as he works for the big guys while building his own act.

I’ve just came across his insightful post about the new breed of media creators:

“To create opportunity, I believe you have to think beyond the limits of the traditionally defined media roles of cameraman, producer, or talent. I think the emergence of the micro media mogul is emblematic of this shift, a shift that is blurring, if not erasing the line where media jobs fall above (executive and management) or below (crew and production staff). So as media workers begin to chart a new course in these re-defined roles, they are faced with a number of questions. Not the least of which is how much entrepreneurial fire do they have in their belly. Are you as passionate about the art of the deal as you are about the art of your media? Or do you prefer the comfort of steady paycheck?”

Jim took a shot at one of the most exciting things in the industry today. If you want to be a player in this new arena, you have to be able to think creatively, identify good content, have hands on approach to the production process, understand new technologies that affect your content distribution, think about advertisers when defining the content itself, use social media tools to promote it, have a business understanding in order not be ripped off, and, of course, have a lot of courage and drive to do it all in bootstrapping mode.

Challenging isn’t it? Well, otherwise it wasn’t any fun!

The only thing I didn’t like in Jim’s post is the name. We are not micro media moguls.We are the media entrepreneurs, building a new segment in the industry, that is disrupted by technology. As such, it creates opportunities for new players to capture a part of the market, because of the ability to create good content on the cheap and distribute it.

Yes, most of the shows we see today won’t survive, and some will be acquired. But some will grow, expand their brand, and become a market player.

I hope that we will see more and more of those, instead of reading about shows that are bought by the big guys.

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Economics of New Media Market – Link-O-Rama

NewTeeVee » Video Funding Keeps on Coming – post about financial rounds in the online video industry

paidContent.org: The Economics of Content – @ Streaming Media: Video Blogs Try To Hold On To New Media Values As Old Media Pays Attention – forwarded by a friend, this excellent post provides additional figures (wallstrip chapter costs 2500$, Scobleshow makes 6 figures for Podtech a quarter).

The Business Of Online Video: Mogulus, Vator.tv, ScanScout and Black 20 All Get Funding – another post about video related financial rounds.

VentureBeat » Kyte.tv raises single-digit millions for online TV channel service, from prominent European investors.


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