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Social Networking: Work or Play?


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Or, “Yes, Virginia, there really is a business use for social media.” …

Or, “Yes, Virginia, there really is a business use for social media.”

Many professionals still wonder if social networking is worth their time. Social media IS an important business asset for both individuals and companies. So I visited AWC Houston to show members how they can sift through the myriad options and get started on just a few networks to help enhance their professional lives.

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  • The Conversation Prism, created by Brian Solis (a PR guru) and Jesse Thomas (a graphic designer, owner of JESS3), helps to illustrate the scope and relationships of the social media landscape. As vast as that landscape is, it’s still easy to distill all of those communities and networks down to a few so that getting started is a manageable feat.Speaker note: Visit for more detail and a new interactive version of the Prism.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Becca Taylor – Enterprise Business Social Media Manager
      @beccataylor |
      Presented to AWC Houston
      March 17, 2010
      Social Networking: Work or Play?
      Or, “Yes, Virginia, there really is a business use for social media.”
    • 2. Agenda
      Social media in business
      Before taking the plunge
      Jumpstart tips
      • Define social media
      • 3. Show the changing media landscape
      • 4. Highlight business successes
      • 5. Weigh risks and benefits
      • 6. Set goals
      • 7. Choose your networks
      • 8. Remember profile basics
      • 9. Get started on
      • 10. Twitter
      • 11. LinkedIn
      • 12. Facebook
    • “Social media is the use of technology combined with social interaction to create or co-create value.”
      John Jantsch
      Duct Tape Marketing
      “Social media is not a campaign that is around for 6 weeks – it is an ongoing activity that pays back over time.”
      John Battelle
      CEO, Federated Media
    • 13. The New Media Landscape
      Content creation and delivery is constantly evolving, for consumers and companies
    • Social Media is Here to Stay
      Comcast Cares (@comcastcares), a Twitter account run by Frank Eliason, is probably one of the most well-known examples of how customer service through Twitter helps change brand perception.
      BlendTec, seller of professional-grade blenders, saw 5x increase in sales from its “Will it Blend” YouTube series, where they blended sneakers, an iPhone and iPod, golf balls, glowsticks, and much more.
      Companies that are both deeply and widely engaged in social media significantly surpass their peers in both revenue and profit, according to the Wetpaint and Altimeter study called ENGAGEMENTdb.
    • 48. It’s a Vast Landscape
    • 49. Before Taking the Plunge
    • 50. My response
      Questions I hear all the time
      • Isn’t this a waste of time?
      • 51. How do I make time?
      • 52. Should I mix personal with professional?
      • 53. Can I hurt my company or my own reputation?
      • 54. What if I say the wrong thing?
      Weighing Risks & Benefits
      Enhance your professional image & brand
      Build a skill set
      Expand your network
      Solve business problems (and help others solve theirs)
    • 55. Setting Your Goals
      What do you want to get from social networking?
      How much time can you (or are you willing) to spend on it?
      Who do you want to connect with?
      What image do you want to project?
      Are you comfortable mixing personal updates with professional ones?
      Can you be flexible and accept that you’ll learn as you go?
    • 56. Reviewing Some (Simplified) Options
    • 57. Choosing Your Conversations
      Pick one network, develop it, then add another:
      Save time & make the most of your investment
      My recommendation for newbies:
      Twitter: your conversation lounge
      LinkedIn: your digital portfolio and contact list
      Facebook: your personal playground
    • 58. Jumpstart Tips for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook
    • 59. First Things First: Your Profile
      Always fill out your profile!
      Make it easy to find you by using
      Your real name so colleagues can easily find you
      The same e-mail address you use for everything else
      A bio that includes important key words for the audience you want to attract
      Upload a photo of yourself
      Link to other network profiles or your company web site
    • 60. Twitter
      Don’t forget your profile!
      Listen first
      Understand who’s talking about topics that interest you and see what they’re saying
      Enter the conversation before following a lot of people
      You might get only one chance to convert a browser to a follower, make sure you’ve posted tweets already that represent you and your contribution to the conversation
      Find people to follow and add them slowly
      Search keywords and hashtags
      Browse follow rosters
      Search and subscribe to Twitter lists (
    • 61. Twitter
      Optimize your tweet practices
      Use hashtags to connect your tweets to an ongoing conversation
      Re-tweet often
      Follow the 80/20 rule
      Follow your followers (, but!
      Be selective about who you follow
      Don’t be afraid of blocking
      Do not use auto-follow or auto-DM apps
      Test drive Twitter apps like TweetDeck ( or HootSuite (
      Utilize RSS feeds to help tame the content flow when you follow a lot of people
    • 62. LinkedIn
      Don’t forget your profile!
      Keep in touch with connections
      Ask for and offer recommendations
      Demonstrate your expertise by participating in the community*
      Join groups
      Browse and participate in LinkedIn Answers
      Connect LinkedIn to other networks and apps (like Twitter or blogs)
      *Your mileage will vary—content quality is hit-or-miss and watch out for spam!
    • 63. Facebook
      Find your comfort zone with personal info
      “Split personality” is common approach
      New privacy settings make combined approach easier than before
      Limit “fun” stuff if using for professional contacts
      Know your audience & use those privacy settings
    • 64. Putting it all Together
      Connect traditional networking with social networking
      Contribute to (as a writer) or create a blog
      Follow the same steps: listen, establish, engage, repeat
      Follow, read, and engage social media gurus
      That’s a very subjective and context-sensitive definition, but a few general resources:
      Chris Brogan (
      Seth Godin (
      Problogger (
      Twitter Tips from TwiTip (
      Social Media Examiner (
      Social Media Today (
      Read Groundswell for great business groundingin the social phenomenon
    • 65. Outcomes that matter.