A Busy Person’s Toolkit for Social Media

April 14, 2009

social media bible

Are all the choices and options for social media making you dizzy? As a business person are you wondering if social media is a useful tool or a productivity disaster as employees or you personally ‘waste’ time on line? As a job seeker, are you looking at social media as an answer to all of you problems.  As a parent are you concerned about who your kids are connecting with and why?

With all of the choices, opinions, strategies, and continuous change – who wouldn’t be dizzy!

OK, here comes the BIG disclaimer.  I am NOT a social media expert.  I do not claim to be, do not want to be, and probably never will be.  What I am is a business owner and executive who never has enough time.  So I use technology for what is is, a tool.

Every tool must have a purpose, and in the case of social media, its purpose is to start and continue conversations.  Conversations are what I am good at. Conversations identify issues, uncover strategies for change, bring us up to date information, and keep us connected. 

So lucky for me, I have friends and associates who ARE experts.  I started a conversation with them and they helped me put together a toolkit that accomplishes what I need to do and then looked over my shoulder to make sure I did not mess it up.

In my case, my tool kit looks like this:

Purpose Tool/Profile
Connect with Business Contacts and Showcase Qualifications Linked In
Online Resume so Search Firms and Companies can Hire Me Linked In  and Bright Fuse
Sharing information and making updates to multiple profiles by cross linking accounts*.  One for business info, one for friends.  Note – never sell to friends if you want to keep them connected. Personal Twitter
Company Twitter
Online address book and place to share and receive updates from business associates on business interests and activity Plaxo
Stay connected with Friends – share info, ideas, updates, and fun stuff.  Facebook
Share more detailed thoughts and ideas, build your brand, have longer conversations, publish articles on line, comment on other peoples ‘conversations’. Blog TypePad
Blog WordPress
Share Videos of yourself or others making a difference You Tube
*  Time Saving Tip – Set up a Business Twitter account and a Personal Twitter Account.  Connect your Linked In, Plaxo, Facebook, etc. to the appropriate RSS feed.  Then from HootSuite you can access both accounts – post updates – scan for news, replies, etc. and do it all quickly from one dashboard. You can even schedule your Tweets so it looks like you are always engaged even when your busy elsewhere. 🙂 HootSuite.com
*  Time Saving Tip – News Sites Consolidate information and so do some powerful Tweeters, newspapers, and magazines.  AllTop let’s you pick the blog sites and publishers that you want to watch and puts them all on one page.  Examples of Major Tweeters also provided. AllTop and tweeters: @GuyKawasaki, @Time, @WSJ, @NYTimes, @PhxPublisher, @AZBizReporter

So now that you have had a peek inside my Social Media Tool Kit, think about what you want to have in yours.  Here are some great resources to help you decide what tools are right for you…

Want a manual?  The Social Media Bible by Lon Safko and David K. Brake.  (John Wiley and Sons) releases May 4, 2009 and is the most complete guide on the subject ever published.  It’s a complete reference with 840 pages!   Don’t worry, it’s well indexed so you can find what you need.  I just ordered my copy on line for early delivery on Amazon.com (<$20) and saved myself a trip to the book store…

Want a Symposium:  Check out the  CABIT Symposium (coming up April 23 and April 24th at ASU for the all the latest in Collaboration from Social Media to Cloud Computing.

Want a Class?  Jennifer Maggiore owns a firm specializing in development and management of Social Media campaigns.  Her experience includes both the private and non-profit sectors for small businesses and national organizations.  Jenn is offering hands-on classes to help you get started in the ASBA Computer Lab this month.

Want a Club?  Check out the Social Media Club Phoenix  founded by local social media icon Francine Hardaway of Stealthmode Partners  

Want a tutor? Local Experts like Steven Groves at Steven Groves.com and Dave Barnhart of Business Blogging Pros might be just what you need.

Want a complete end to end corporate social media solution?  No Worries.  Reach out to Lisa Ellis at Metro Studios or Ben Smith at The Lavidge Company and they’ll fix you right up.

Ok – one last gasp on the subject.  How long does all this stuff take?  Well,  learning the ropes and the initial set up takes some doing, but like a tool chest you can add pieces one at a time.  Once you have your tool kit, just slot some social media time in your schedule.  An hour in the morning (to read what’s happening in world and post a few comments) and a half hour at night to check back in does the trick for me.  I wish I could get through my emails half as fast.  🙂

Stay Tuned…

– Joan Koerber-Walker

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Like Finding Water in the Desert…

March 12, 2009

Oasis in the Desert courtesy of Environmental Graffiti.comToday, a friend asked me how my quest for capital was progressing? 

My answer – Like finding water in the desert

But the more I thought about it, the more apt the analogy became.  You see there is water in the desert, it’s just hidden under the sand.  That’s how oases are formed in nature.  The winds of change shift the sands until the water table is closer to the surface.  Then, even in a desert, things begin to grow.

Lately for some, it may feel as if the winds of change are blowing sand right in your face.  The trick is to look for the opportunities that may be lying underneath the surface as you see the sands shifting.

There are oases out there.  Here are some examples:

  • A friend of mine sent me an email tonight.  She owns a great and growing company.  She asked for a favor…can you help me find a key employee for my company.  I called a few friends who might be a fit.
  • Another friend in La Quinta, CA  has a new book out and started a radio show to help people look at their careers.Career Secret Sauce and the Career Mechanic. 
  • Over coffee, I got to meet with the guys who run AZ Weekly. They have a great concept and are growing circulation like crazy.  We brainstormed how they could grow more AND save money.  Hopefully it helped.
  • My social media expert friend, Steven Groves ,is coaching me on how to navigate the social media desert and use it to build a brand.  If he can teach me – he can teach anyone!  If you need help, ask Steve!
  • I found a really cool deal, but I need to access capital to make it work.  Friends from across the valley have offered to help me.  We just might make it too.
  • And as I talk to others about my really cool deal, I get to learn about their opportunities…and help them connect to others who can help them.
  • And so it continues…

“Opportunities out there, just below the surface…like finding water in the desert.”

–  Joan Koerber-Walker