How Social Media is Changing, and How Not to Get Left Behind

Social media and change go hand-in-hand. Facebook puts a 20% limit on the text in your cover photo. Then they take it away. Millions of Twitter followers “auto follow-back” anyone who follows them. Now they can’t. Google+ adds communities, and makes your cover photo huge. LinkedIn adds endorsements, and the ability to @ tag other users. Pinterest adds business pages, and the “people who pinned this also pinned” option. You get the point . . . Veteran social media users roll with the daily updates as joyfully as Pooh Bear greets each new pot of honey. Experts everywhere rush to blog about the latest change and the “revolutionary” effect it will surely have on the way we all do business. In reality, these changes might make things a little better, or a little worse, but they don’t significantly effect our strategy, or how we do business. Until recently, that is. Have you noticed this common trend in recent changes? Here’s what I’m starting to notice with each significant change made by the social media networks ~ there’s a major emphasis on helping users grow relationships. And an apparent desire to make it harder for those just interested in growing numbers. Let’s take a look. What Facebook Wants As you’ve probably heard, Facebook recently changed their algorithm. If you don’t know much about it yet, I highly recommend you check out Jon Loomer’s article on the changes. I agree completely with his analysis. Here, I’ll just highlight how the changes reflect Facebook’s desire to encourage and enable better relationship building. First, Facebook went to its users. Here are some of the questions they...

Has Google+ Gone Facebook With the New +1 Sharing?

It’s no secret that I love Google+. And what I love the most about it is the lack of noise that’s there. Google+ is the social network that makes it easiest to get only the content you want to see. So, I was a little nervous when I first heard about the new way Google+ is handling your +1 activity. I’ve spent the last couple of days reading everything I could find on it, and watching how it works in real life. Here’s what I’ve learned and experienced so far. What’s New at Google+ In case you haven’t heard, here’s what’s up. It used to be that the only way anyone could see your +1 activity on Google+ was to go to your profile and click on your +1 tab. That is, if you have that tab visible on your profile. As you can see, mine isn’t visible, which means no one had any way of knowing what content I had given a +1 to. Yesterday, Shimrit Ben-Yair of Google announced: We’ll occasionally highlight posts that were +1’d by people in your circles And if you +1 a post, we may highlight it to your friends as well Suddenly, your +1 activity wasn’t so private, or hard to find, anymore. Here’s the way it appeared in my stream this morning: What Does it Mean? As with most any change, some people are really happy with the potential benefits, while others bemoan the potential consequences. How you feel about it likely has a lot to do with how you use Google+. Facebook “Like” Comes to Google+ Your first reaction might be, “this...

Google+ Beginner’s Guide to Better Engagement and More Fun

Starting something new is often more overwhelming than it actually needs to be. Such is the case with Google+. Most people are coming around to the fact that they “should” be using Google+. But, an amazing number of those people either “haven’t gotten around to it” yet, or continue to describe Google+ as a “ghost town.” If there’s any truth to that one, then there are an awful lot of ghosts in the world. Today is not going to be about “why” you should be on Google+, but “how” to use Google+ for the benefit of yourself, and others. This isn’t a comprehensive, definitive guide to becoming a Google+ Ninja. That would overwhelm you, and you’d never get started. This is just the basics you’ll need to get your profile up and running and to start having fun. So, let’s go . . . 1. Ditch the Faceless Rainbow Look One of the unique things about Google+ is that virtually everyone has an account. If you use Gmail, you’re on Google+, whether you know it or not. And, if people go to your profile page and see this, they see a person who is technically on Google+, but is not using Google+: The surprising thing is, people with no picture and the default rainbow-like cover photo circle me almost daily. Which means they are at least wanting to use Google+. But what message are you sending when you can’t take 3 minutes and upload your picture and some kind of cover photo? The message that you aren’t participating on Google+. That you aren’t someone who will engage with others. Which means people...

How Small Beats Big in Social Media

  It used to be that your social media goals were all about numbers. Actually, it still is that way for many people. I often see people celebrating their 500th Facebook fan, or 100,000 Twitter followers. The “bigger is better” mentality is firmly ingrained in us. The bad news is, a bigger social media following doesn’t mean bigger profits in your business. The good news is, you can have a small following on social media that delivers big results for you. What you need in today’s business world is not more friends, followers, connections, and circlers. It’s more advocates. You don’t need bigger numbers, you need bolder numbers. You need a small group that’s willing to stand up and advocate for you. They’ve got your back. They’ll share your stuff, sing your praises, recommend you to their friends, and defend you to your enemies. Eventually, this small group will help you build big numbers that actually count. Last time, I showed you an example of how Jay Baer had done a good job of building me up as an advocate for him. As a result, when he sent an email asking me to do him the favor of buying his new book, I did it without hesitation. I told you that I’d share some ways you can have a similar impact on your audience, so here it goes. If you’re going to expect someone to do more than hit “like,” “follow,” “accept,” or “add to circles,” you are first going to have to somehow add to their lives. There are 3 ways you can add to people that will turn...

Are You Killing Your Business With These 3 Activities?

As an entrepreneur, your time is money. And although you may not realize it (yet), your time is more valuable than your money. There’s always more money to be had. Not so for time. So, let me get to the point. If you’re ever going to have the business of your dreams, you’re going to have to change what you do with your time. One of the first things I do with my private coaching clients is take a look at how they’re spending their time. And what I way too often find, from my clients and from other social media conversations, is that many online entrepreneurs are wasting at least 50% of their time. And I don’t mean wasting time in the sense of watching too much TV, or hanging out at the pool or your favorite happy hour too often. I mean sitting down to work on your business with a “to do” list in front of you that contains hours worth of time-wasters. There are 3 things I see over and over again that many people are doing too much of, with little or no return. The first person I identified doing too much of these things about a year ago was me. And when I started replacing these activities, I started reaching my business goals faster. And, I started making more money! I am not alone. And unfortunately, too many people continue to fall into these time sucks. If you are one of those people, today is your day to reorder your priorities. Webinars and “Training” Videos The easiest and most effective way to launch...

3 Keys to Attracting an Engaged Social Media Following

We’ve been talking about how to attract quality people to connect with you on social media. And how that strategy beats the time-consuming task of chasing the numbers. I told you that the best way to attract an engaged social media audience is to put out quality content, consistently. And then connect with others who are happy to help promote your content. Now it’s time to look at exactly how to go about doing those things. What is Quality Content, and How to Create Some A big part of social media is sharing other people’s content. And certainly you want to do that, and do it often. But, ultimately, you’re going to need your own great content to establish yourself as an authority in your market. With content marketing being “where it’s at” right now, it’s not good enough to just write anything and put it out there. Your content has to be quality, or no one’s going to come back for more. When I write, my foundation goal is always to produce something that will make people want to add me to their “favorites.” That could mean subscribing to my list; adding me to their Reader; or putting me on their Facebook Interest lists, Twitter list, or “special” Google+ circle. That’s how you define “quality.” How to create quality content could fill at least a book, but here are some of the important starting points to get you thinking: Be relevant and creative: This can be a little tricky. You want to be creative, and write about things others aren’t writing about. But, you also want to be relevant, and cover...