Social Media, Clients and My Philosophy

photo credit: Darren Lewis
photo credit: Darren Lewis

As you all know, I am what I call a Social Media Gal. What that means for me is I get to work and play in this space for a living. What I enjoy most is sharing my knowledge with others through both community events and client interaction. Seeing those light bulb moments happen when an audience or a client recognizes the value social media could have on their business or cause is what I enjoy the most.

My philosophy when it comes to social media is that the folks with the boots on the ground should be the ones telling the story. We all know social media is not a “set it and forget it” tool. It is more like a newborn infant which needs to be watched and fed often. This “boots on the ground” philosophy does require the entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations I work with to invest in what I call the Three T’s:  Time | Team | Tools.

Time

Discoverability meetings, staff training and education, profile optimization, design, page creation, social media guidelines, response flowcharts et al., all take time to explain, understand and implement. Anyone who is delving into this social media needs to understand which platforms will work best for their needs, the use and languaging for each platform and how to participate in the space effectively.

Team

One of the decisions a company will have to make is who will be responsible for monitoring, posting and responding on their social channels. I stress the importance of this position so that they understand that every tweet, post and comment is a direct representation of their brand. This is not something that should be taken lightly nor maintained long term by an intern or someone who “will get to it when they have time”. So, making sure they have the person or team who can actively participate is key to the ongoing success of a company’s social media outreach.

Tools

The tools are fairly simple: computer, smartphone, tablet and of course internet access. Make sure your team members are equipped to represent and respond. You do not need all three to succeed, but removing barriers to access is important. You can post, audio record, live video stream, photograph and more all from a smartphone. I know some folks run their entire business from their phones. We are truly living in the Age of the Jetsons.

 

Not everyone I speak to is ready for this kind of commitment  That’s ok. There are plenty of companies that provide social media services who will do all the heavy lifting for you. They create, post and engage with your followers and fans on your behalf as if they were your brand. When I come across folks who want to hire me to “do it for them”, I smile politely and tell them, “I’m not your gal.”

Each company has what I call a unique flavor. In my mind the customers who frequent your company know how your receptionist answers the phone and how your team talks, walks and interacts with them on a daily basis. If your online presence doesn’t also reflect that same flavor then there can be some disconnect.

So, it should be no surprise that when I work with a client they are someone who subscribes to my “boots on the ground” philosophy and have put the Three T’s into action. In my line of work, I am fortunate in that I can be selective and choose the clients I enjoy spending time with and projects which interest me. One of the clients I have been working with for the last few months is Linda Elliott of Elliott Connection, LLC.

LInda Elliott, Connections Expert
LInda Elliott, Connections Expert

Linda contacted me when she made the decision to delve into the world of social media after she saw me speak at a local event last year. We had seen each other at events throughout the year so I already knew we got along. However, it wasn’t until we sat down to have our discoverability meeting I knew we would be a perfect fit. Linda is a Connections Expert and has a unique talent for finding the perfect partnerships for her clients. Personally, I would describe what she does as an elegant introduction. To experience it is to understand it. Once you have, you will never forget it. I know I never will (more about this in a future post).

As with all projects, you spend months building the platforms and training the team and then there is the moment when they are ready to go live. It is a true pleasure to share the news that today Linda Elliott is launching her Power of Connections blog. Wander over there, take a look and let her know what you think. As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

 

Social Media Webinar thru Educating For Success

If you look to the right of my blog you’ll see a section titled, “The things I’m doing, The places I’ll be”. Underneath is a list of events with dates. Some I’m organizing like Barcamp San Antonio and others like “Five Web 2.0 Tools” I’m simply an attendee. Either way these are events I believe in and if you are interested in the whole New Media, Social Networking, Podcamp/Barcamp thing you might want to consider taking a look.

Rhea Perry One of the things coming up this week is a 3-part Social Media webinar series I’ve partnered up with my long-time mentor and friend Rhea Perry to teach.  Rhea is a homeschooling entrepreneurial mom who holds seminars/training courses all over the country teaching parents and their teenagers how to become financially free. She does these events through her company, Educating For Success. Due to the knowledge and training folks have received from these events there are quite a few Dads who have left Corporate America behind.

Educating For Success

I’ve been a member of her Entrepreneurs at Home Yahoo group since 2003, attended a few of her events both in person and virtually. She is an energetic dynamo who has a real passion for helping families gain control of their own financial destiny. For this and many other reasons, I am honored to introduce Social Media to the Entrepreneurs at Home group,

On  June 25th at 3pm CST the first of the 3-part series on Social Media Sites will begin. The second class will be on July 2nd and the last class on July 9th.  Each class will be held on a Wednesday afternoon, recorded and accessible at any time to course participants. If you’ve been wanting to discovery Social Media and wonder how or if you can utilize Social Networking for your business or group then this course is for you. Course participants will not only learn the background of Social Media but interact with one another on  the Social Networking sites. Since I’m a big believer that “doing” is important in the learning process, the first people we will interact with will be fellow Social Sites Class participants.

Since I’m a fan, I highly recommend taking the time to get to know Rhea Perry and discover for yourself the amazing things she is doing to encourage entrepreneurial families. Head on over to the Educating For Sucess site and do take a peak at her blog. She calls her posts “Rheavings” and I think after you’ve read a post or three you’ll understand why ;-D

Training for the San Antonio Rock-n-Roll Marathon: Nike+ Style

San Antonio Rock-n-Roll MarathonAs of yesterday a group of us have kicked off the start to our training for the San Antonio Rock-n-Roll Marathon. With November 2008 just a mere 10 months away, I for one am going to need every moment to train. Especially considering the fact that I haven not spent any serious time running since the last half-marathon in October of 2006. I have gotten gluttonous in my ways and it’s high time to shake off the excess (literally).

To spice things up there are six of us who are using a Nike+ Challenge for motivation. It started on January 2, 2008 and ends January 31, 2008. Each month the challenge will change. From Most Miles Run to Longest Time Run to First 100 Miles etc… The challenge this month? Most miles run within the month.

Our group is wide and varied even though our challenge members are all ladies . We live in 2 states and 3 cities. We have a full marathoner,three half-marathoners, a non-runner and someone who runs but has never participated in a marathon event before. Our ages range anywhere from the late 20’s to the mid 50’s. Our careers run the gamut from professional to dental to entrepreneurial to philanthropic.

Regardless of these differences, we are united in this common goal: To stand at the starting line on race day. We will not run the same pace. We will not finish at the same time. We will train individually. There will be times we will have the opportunity for a joint training session. But for the most part the next 10 months we spend training together will be online.

I hear the trash talk has already started.