We service over 3 million SMB customers and manage 7.5 million domain names.
Hi ! I am Shashi Bellamkonda (@shashib)
Director: Social Media Strategy at Network Solutions ( Employees gave me business card title Social Media Swami)
My team is the Network Solutions listening post in the Social Media
Helped Network Solutions win
2008 SNCR Excellence in New Communications Award for Online Reputation Management
2009 a Gold Quill Award of Excellence in Social Media from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Speaker - `How to Sell Social Media to Your Boss' and 'Social Media Tools for Small Business at SXSW, IABC, Affiliate summit and others
Social Media 101
Social Networks and Communities
Getting Started on Twitter
Online Tools Used by Small Business
Network Solutions – University of Maryland Small Business Success index http://growsmartbusiness.com
I: Social Media 101: The Basics
Social Media 101: Definition and Application
Social media describes the online tools that establish human connections to share opinions, experiences, and perspectives with each other.
A few prominent examples of social media applications are:
Facebook (social networking)
YouTube (video sharing)
Digg (news sharing)
Flickr (photo sharing)
These sites typically use technologies such as blogs, wikis, message boards, podcasts, and wikis to allow users to engage and interact with each other.
Photo by: Sean McColgan
Social Media for Small Business
Small Business can utilize social media to level the playing field against bigger, stronger competitors.
Out of the Gate, Small Businesses can use social media to:
Create connections and build relationships
Improve search engine rankings which generates website traffic, inbound links and leads
Establish you and your team as thought leaders and innovators
Manage your brand and reputation online
Grow smarter and faster than your competitors
In order to achieve this, you must stay relevant and engage in the conversation and contribute to the community.
Social Media 101: Who will you reach? Audience Segments Customers Prospects Mainstream Media (Print and Broadcast) Social Media (blogs, forums and social networks) Employees Committee Members Suppliers/vendors/affiliates There are many you can reach as a business. Here are a few: Key Questions Their goals and aspirations? Their problems? How do they get their answers? How can you reach them? What’s important to them? What words and phrases do they use? What sort of images and multimedia appeals to them?
Social Media 101: Ways to Use Social Media Listening - using social media as “real time” research and gaining insights from listening to customers Talking - using conversations with customers to promote products or services Energizing - building brand stewardship; and identifying enthusiastic customers and using them to persuade others Supporting - making it possible for customers to help each other Embracing - turning customers into a resource for innovation
Social Media Tip #1 – Optimize Your Content to Go Everywhere
Optimizing content is not just about making changes to a site. You should have content that can be portable (such as PDFs, video, podcasts).
Submitting them to relevant sites will help your content travel further, and ultimately drive links back to your site
RSS – allow others to subscribe to your content
The end goal is to achieve Omnipresence
Social Media Tip #2 – Create Google Alerts to Monitor Your Brand
Google News Alerts
Allows you to keep a pulse on your online brand with email alerts from Google
Create alerts on keywords:
II: Leveraging Social Networks and
Social Networks: Explained
Social Networks You Know:
Social Networks leverage the concept of “Six Degrees of Separation” and use technology to connect people.
Online Business Social Networks:
MySpace (Artists and Musicians)
Social Networks: Why they work
Function like normal networks
Fast and inexpensive
Require no travel to connect with tons of people
Help you stay in contact & up to date
Could generate leads and referrals at a very low cost
Create likeminded groups and communities
Social Networks: Facebook for Small Business
300 Million Active Users
Largest Social Networking site in the world
Largest Growing Demographic is >35
Ability to interact with community and gain customers
Even Chips have their own Facebook page !
Social Networks: Facebook Buzzwords
Friend: Connect with someone on Facebook
Wall message: Write, draw or post something on someone’s wall
Tag: Add names to photos or videos
Status update: What are you doing?
Public timeline: List of recent activity
Source: Ogilvy Twitter Webinar Profile Page
Social Networks: LinkedIn for Small Business 50 Million Worldwide Users Focused on Business Users Connect to your connections’ connections Taps the power of second and third degree of “six degrees of separation” Eliminates cold calling Applications bring in other web content
Social Networks: LinkedIn Buzzwords
Connections: needs approval to become a connection
Applications: Fun widgets / tools to interact and promote brand
Answers: Space to ask / answer questions and polls
Groups: Common Topics
Contact Settings: You can customize what messages you want to receive
Source: Ogilvy Twitter Webinar
Social Networking Tip #1 – Your Profile is a First Impression
Share content from your other online presence
Upload pics and videos related to you and your business
Don’t put anything up there you wouldn’t be comfortable with
Add your Web links
Be fun and interesting
Promote activities and events
Social Networking Tip #2 – Be a Connector
Connectors are the people that introduce you to others
Most powerful in a social network
Give without expecting to receive anything back
Don’t just promote you, promote others and they will promote you which is MUCH MORE powerful
Social Networking Tip #3 – Go Where Your Audience Is Already
Your audience is already online
Many are on niche focused networks as well
The minute a business gets a website they are global
Social Networking Tip #4 – Add Value
Do you have any materials like the following?:
Company information, brochures, web site, sales sheets
Put it here: LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook Group Page, Blog
Photos and videos related to sales, training and products
Put it here: YouTube, Viddler, Blip.TV, Facebook, Flickr, Blog
Articles, news and press releases, events, newsletters
Put it here: Blog, Newsvine, Digg, Facebook, Fast PItch
Presentations for training, marketing, sales and service
Put it here: Slideshare, YouTube
III: Getting Started on Twitter
Using Twitter: What the Heck is Twitter?
Interesting Twitter Facts:
Twitter has 27M+ users (as of Aug 2009)
Twitter has 6 million UMVs, 27% of Twitter traffic are daily active visitors.
Usage is 40% in the United States and of the remaining 60%, 39% of that is in Japan
Twitter's largest age demographic is 35-to-44-year-olds who make up 25.9% of its users.
Source: (This is from a March 2009 Nielsen report)
Twitter is a microblogging platform to exchange short messages with your followers and the world
Using Twitter: Effective Business Uses
Company news in short, manageable pieces.
Special offers or discounts for your Twitter “followers” to drive sales.
Events to provide real time updates.
Questions or ideas about your business & get immediate feedback
Seek out customers tweeting about good and bad experiences with your company.
Thank your happy customers.
Your customers might appreciate getting to know you as a real person, not just a brand.
Share Your Experiences… And Make a Sale…
Using Twitter: Effective Business Uses
Corporate Reputation Management
Product Promotion and Sales
Using Twitter: Brand/Customer Monitoring
@netsolcares Network Solutions started @netsolcares in Sept 2008 to provide a new customer service channel
Using Twitter: Buzzwords
Follow: To friend someone (or follow their updates)
Direct Message (DM): Pseudo-email someone following you
“ At” reply: Speak to someone directly in the public stream (@shashib)
Re-tweet (RT): Repost content with credit
Block: Restrict access to updates
# (hashtags): a kind of tag or description – great for search
Source: Ogilvy Twitter Webinar
Twitter Tip #1: Engage the Audience
You can engage people on Twitter by doing the following things:
SEE what other businesses are doing on Twitter
USE Twitter search engines for keyword searches around brands, products and topic of interest.
FOLLOW folks with similar interests to establish a brand presence within conversation
START a conversation
DEDICATE time to Twitter. Having more than one employee on Twitter will ensure an ongoing company presence.
ASK questions and get feedback from your followers
Source: Ogilvy Twitter Webinar
Twitter Tip #2: Getting Followers the Right Way
Talk directly to people
Link to outside content
Live tweet from events
Avoid using ALL CAPS
Followers are the people that click the “Follow” button on your page
IV: Blogging Basics
Blogging Basics: ROI of this Module
Learn what a blog is
What business and corporate blogging is
Who and why people are doing this
What to write about
Tips to Great Blogging
Blogging Basics: Definitions, just in case
A Journal, usually updated frequently, sometimes categorized
Usually links to other sites
Can support comments and some interaction
Provides ability to subscribe to site so reader gets updates without having to visit page.
Blogging Basics: Reasons to Blog
Improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Gain Visibility as a Thought Leader
Generate Real Conversations
Display Brand Personality
Perform Market Research
Improve Customer Service
Share Company Announcements
Blogging Basics: What to Publish
Commentary on mainstream media articles, other blogs, news, events and relevant trends
Ideal Blog Topics: Photos, Videos and Podcasts Conference notes Business Philosophy Tools, resources, tips, ideas, lists Awards, honors, PR, new employee, new vendor, new system
Blogging Basics: Blog Buzzwords
Comment: Respond to blog post
Link Love: Link to other blogs/sites (online currency)
Tagging: Adding words to describe blog content
Troll: Mean commenters (IGNORE THEM!)
Blogroll: Links to favorite blogs
Embed: Copy/paste media
Blogging Basics: Getting Started
Take 15 minutes a day to write a blog post
Find a topic
Keep it around 400 words or less if possible
Write in short paragraphs. Not more than six lines of text.
Write and embed any content (pictures, videos)
Check copyrights and licensing and give attributions
Preview Your Post
Publish or Schedule It
Blogging Tip #1 – Increase Linkability
Remember, the key is to have content that “engages” others and makes them want to link to your site.
Blogging Tip #2 – Reward Inbound Links
Who is linking to you and what are they saying?
Track your inbound links
Allow display of trackbacks
Highlight people who write about you
Engage in conversations on blogs that link to you
November 8, 2009
Blogging Tip #3 – Engage Your Readers
Write in an authentic, human voice
Use meaningful titles
Publish on a regular basis. Target once a week at minimum.
Enable and monitor your comments
Link to other sites
Give credit where it’s due (pictures, text quotes)
Syndicate and re-use text
Blogging Tip #4 –Tag and Bookmark
Adding quick buttons to "add to del.icio.us“
Making sure pages include a list of relevant tags
Adding tags to pages first on popular social sites
A “tag” is just a word(s) that describe content. Tags that describe the content Easy to bookmark and add to Social Media Sites
Blogging Tip #5 – Put Policies in Place
Put together some policies and guidelines like the following examples:
Topics in which The Company is involved in litigation or could in the future: (i.e. policy, customer disputes, etc.)
Non-public information of any kind about The Company, including, but not limited to, policies and strategy
Illegal or banned substances and narcotics
Pornography or other offensive illegal materials
Defamatory, libelous, offensive or demeaning material
Private/Personal matters of yourself or others
Disparaging/threatening comments about or related to anyone
Personal, sensitive or confidential information of any kind
Understand that when you or someone is talking about your company, not only does this reflect on you but if there are not clear guidelines, you could be at risk .
Great Post on Policies and Guidelines from Raj Malik