Des Moines Social Media Fair [PHOTOS]

Last night I had the opportunity to attend and speak at a downtown Des Moines social media seminar organized by the Des Moines Social Club. I’d like to take some time to thank everyone who was able to attend, as well as the other professionals who spoke at the event. I’d also like to thank Laura Gaulke and the Des Moines Social Club for organizing the event. Here are some photos from last night:


Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

If you want to learn more about who spoke at the event and what they talked about, click here.

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Husband, Father, Entrepreneur, Social Media Strategist, Speaker, and always learning.

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5 Embeddable Resources You Could Be Using To Enhance Your Blog And Keep Visitors Coming Back For More

For a lot of businesses, the idea of blogging can be scary. It’s easy for a CEO to decide that his or her company needs to have a blog. For most blogging platforms, the setup process is fairly simple. In fact it only takes a matter of seconds. The hard part, however, comes when the person who has been put in charge of running the company blog realizes they have no idea what to write about. So what’s the secret to running a successful, interesting, valuable blog that keeps people coming back for more? It all comes down to two things: strategy and creativity. That’s it.

Here’s the deal: Blogging isn’t hard. It just takes a little strategy, and a little creativity. Blogging is a must for all companies. Joe Soto, CEO of One Social Media, said it best at a recent social media luncheon that he spoke at following New York Times bestselling author Jeffrey Gitomer’s sales seminar. When speaking on the topic of blogging, he said: “If you don’t have a blog, you’re not taking your business seriously.”

To help you come up with effective blog strategies, AND to help you boost your creativity, I’d like to share 5 embeddable resources that will help you enhance your blog and keep visitors coming back for more.

1. VYou
Site:
http://vyou.com
What it is:
The concept behind VYou is simple, yet ingenious: Ask a question about a topic—get a video response. Click here to learn more.
Strategy Tip:
Set up a VYou account and start interacting with your clients. It provides a great opportunity for organizations and companies who want to start connecting with customers on an entirely new level. Invite people to interact with you on VYou by embedding your profile in a blog post.
Cost:
Free
Example:

2. ISSUU
Site: http://issuu.com
What it is: ISSUU is the leading digital publishing platform on the web. It’s a site that allows you to upload and share publications.
Strategy Tip: Create a profile on ISSUU for your company and start uploading your brochures, reports, case studies, and any other marketing materials you have. Then embed your publications into a blog post on your company blog.
Cost: Free
Example:

3. Prezi
Site: http://prezi.com
What it is: A new way to present information. Prezi allows you to take your personal or corporate messages, meetings, and speeches to the next level by helping you create visually-stunning presentations.
Strategy Tip: Set up your account on Prezi, then spend some time learning how to use it. In the meantime, share other presentations that you come across by embedding them into your next blog post. Search for a topic that relates to your industry.
Cost: Free
Example:

4. Twitter Search Feed
Site: http://twitter.com/about/resources/widgets
What it is: A Twitter widget that allows you to create a live stream of tweets based on a specific search term.
Strategy Tip: Search for a word(s) that relate to your industry. Help keep your clients and future customers informed by embedding a Twitter search widget into your next blog post.
Cost: Free
Example:

5. LiveShare by Cooliris
Site: http://www.cooliris.com/yoursite/express/builder
What it is: A new way to share YouTube videos, Flickr photostreams, Facebook photos, and more!
Strategy Tip: Use LiveShare by Cooliris to share your company’s YouTube channel with your clients. Embed the LiveShare app into your next blog post.
Example:

Hopefully these ideas will help get you started. At the least, they will help you drastically improve your next five blog posts. Just use one resource per blog post and share them across all your social media sites. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the positive feedback you receive. The key to using your blog as an effective resource for future business is all about value, and in order to provide value on your blog, you need to invest in two things: strategy and creativity.

Still have questions? Ask me on Twitter. I’m @robwormley.

Rob Wormley

Rob Wormley

As a social media specialist, Rob thrives in situations that require constant creativity. On days when Rob isn’t working hard to create, maintain, and strengthen relationships online, you might find him spending time with family, browsing through his nearest bookstore, or sipping on a cup of coffee at his local Starbucks.

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How To Create Buzz About Your Business Using Social Media [VIDEOS]

Did you miss an episode of our weekly TV show “The Social Truth“? Fear not! We’ve uploaded all of our archived shows onto our YouTube channel. You can go to the site and check them out, or just watch them in the handy player right below. Make sure to tune in every Wednesday at 3pm CST. You can watch at www.onesocialmedia.tv OR right on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/onesocialmedia. We talk about the hottest issues in social media, give you training to optimize your own networks, and answer any questions you might (ask on our Facebook and Twitter pages) have as you try to navigate the digital world.

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy is a blog-reading, report-writing project manager. In his spare time he enjoys reading a good thriller, drinking a freshly brewed cup of coffee, and spending time with his wife.

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Social Media Beyond the Grave

It was only a matter of time. Social media has had an impact on virtually every other part of our lives. Eventually, we had to get here. Death is part of life, and social media was bound to come in contact with it at some point. We have two examples for you today of how the two have collided.

A company called Quiring Monuments in Seattle, Washington has started offering QR codes on headstones. This actually started in Japan a few years ago, and has finally made it over here to the U.S. The company puts a small QR code in the bottom corner of the headstone which links to a personal page on the company website that contains a picture, obituary and any memories family members have chosen to share.

“Similar to a personal Facebook page, a Living Headstone archive site contains information you and friends can add about your loved one, such as: an obituary, family heritage and history, photos, comments by friends and relatives and even a map to locate the memorial in the cemetery.” (source)

Here’s an example the company has posted on their website. Click on it to go to the “memorial” page, or just scan the code yourself.

Facebook has also recently taken measures to answer questions about what happens when someone with a Facebook profile passes away. With a base of 500 million people and growing every day (including among the elderly population), this problem is bound to come up more and more. As a response, they are now “memorializing” profile pages for those who are deceased. What does this mean?

Basically, Facebook preserves the account, keeping the profile and wall accessible for people to post and continue to view pictures. It functions as on online memorial site viewable to friends and family of that person.

These examples may seem strange to you, but they are merely another way that social media truly is integrating into every facet of our lives. In five years (and probably less), you will likely see much of the same and even more.

What do you think about social media beyond the grave? Chime in here, or on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy is a blog-reading, report-writing project manager. In his spare time he enjoys reading a good thriller, drinking a freshly brewed cup of coffee, and spending time with his wife.

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How To Improve Your Writing For Social Media (In 140 Characters Or Less)

 
 
 

To see the real-time stream of these tweets on Twitter, click here.

Rob Wormley

Rob Wormley

As a social media specialist, Rob thrives in situations that require constant creativity. On days when Rob isn’t working hard to create, maintain, and strengthen relationships online, you might find him spending time with family, browsing through his nearest bookstore, or sipping on a cup of coffee at his local Starbucks.

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10 Reasons Why Your Competition Is Beating You On Social Media

Although you might not want to admit it, I bet you’re paying attention to how your competition is doing on social media. Have you noticed lately that their social media profiles are growing a lot faster than your company’s social media profiles? It might be because of one of these ten reasons:

1. Your competition has a presence on multiple social media sites. While you’re spending all your time updating your company’s Facebook page, your competition is busy sending out tweets, uploading YouTube videos, connecting with potential leads on LinkedIn, creating a new album of photos on their Flickr photostream, and updating their blog. Your competition understands the importance and value of building an online brand presence through the use of multiple social media platforms.

Create a presence on all the popular social media sites

2. Your competition is updating their social media profiles consistently. Your competition’s social media profiles continue to grow because they continue to provide consistent, valuable content to their followers. They have maintained a loyal following thanks to the consistent updates they post on their social media profiles, and have even started attracting new followers. 

3. Your competition is going out of their way to invite customers to connect with them on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Are you telling the customers who walk into your door about your social media presence? Is it in your brochures? Your quarterly newsletter? Your email signature? On the back of your restaurant menu? Your competition is going out of their way to invite customers and prospects to connect with them on their favorite social media sites.

4. Your competition is posting a variety of content. Your competition isn’t re-posting promotional text from their website. They are creating Facebook photo albums of their last corporate event. They’re finding interesting links that relate to their industry and sharing them with followers. They are uploading client testimonial videos and behind-the-scenes video tours to their YouTube channel. Your competition is posting content that they know their followers will like. They aren’t worried about leaving out the promotional text from their website, because they are attracting new customers by providing value.

Create a Flickr photo gallery and share it on Facebook

5. Your competition is cross-promoting. Your competition is telling their Twitter followers about their Facebook page. They are ending every YouTube video by inviting viewers to connect with them on their other social media sites. They are embedding their Facebook page feed into their blog. They understand that their LinkedIn connections might not ever realize they have a Flickr account unless they occasionally share links to their Flickr photostream on their LinkedIn profile.

6. Your competition isn’t afraid to answer the hard questions. If you’re afraid to answer the tough questions that people might post on your company’s Facebook page, don’t be. Your competition isn’t afraid. In fact, they encourage their followers to ask tough questions, because they see it as an opportunity to strengthen their online reputation. Instead of ignoring or deleting tough questions that show up on their Facebook page, they’re being proactive. They’re taking the time to come up with a helpful, thoughtful answer that will show people how much they care about their customers.

7. Your competition is customizing their profiles with recognizable brand designs. You might understand the importance of presenting a consistent brand design when promoting your business in the physical world (you have a standard design or logo that appears on your flyers, your company shirts, your store sign, and your press releases), but you’re not (successfully) incorporating your company’s consistent design into your social media profiles. Your competition has taken time to design visually-interesting, customized designs for all their social media profiles.

Customize Your Social Media Sites

8. Your competition is taking time to listen to advice, suggestions, and other helpful comments. Your competition is not only improving their online reputation by listening to advice and comments made by their followers, but they’re also using these comments to improve their business in general. They value the interaction that is happening on their social media profiles, and they are using suggestions made by followers to evolve their business in the physical world.

9. Your competition is utilizing social media tools to become the expert in your industry. Where are your potential customers going to learn more about your industry? If you think it is your website (or your competition’s website), you are wrong. Your potential customers are learning about your industry on places like Facebook and Twitter because it’s easy for them. Your competition understands that. That’s why they are going out of their way to provide valuable content and information to people on their social media profiles. They are becoming the experts in your industry.

10. Your competition has support from employees, clients, and other businesses in the community. Your competition is succeeding on social media because they have support from every employee who works for the company. Every one of their employees is promoting the company’s social media profiles in email signatures, at meetings with potential clients, and everywhere else. Your competition also has support from clients. They even have support from other businesses in the community who are interested in building a relationship online with them.

Interact with other businesses in the community

If you want to start seeing better numbers on your social media sites, implement some of the strategies that your competition is implementing. Use this list to beat your competition on social media. Become the expert in your industry. Invite your customers to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and any other social media site you use. Listen to what your followers have to say. Update your profiles consistently, and provide value. It’s worth your effort and your time.

Still have questions? Ask me on Twitter. I’m @robwormley.

Rob Wormley

Rob Wormley

As a social media specialist, Rob thrives in situations that require constant creativity. On days when Rob isn’t working hard to create, maintain, and strengthen relationships online, you might find him spending time with family, browsing through his nearest bookstore, or sipping on a cup of coffee at his local Starbucks.

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How Social Media Has Changed the Reading Experience

New Kindle features allow you to rate books on Twitter and Facebook instantly.

What happens when you combine one of the world’s oldest practices with one of the world’s newest? While the practice of reading has been around for literally thousands of years, social media has exploded onto our planet in the last five years or so, and that’s being generous. So how do these worlds converge? Until recently, they haven’t very well. It’s been more like oil and water than peanut butter and jelly.

Amazon, a leader in combining reading and technology, has managed to find ways to create a happy marriage between two of my favorite things.  The Kindle has a new function that allows you to share on Twitter or Facebook a rating of your books as soon as you have finished them. The device also allows you to electronically highlight your favorite passages, and immediately share them via your social networks. This means you can share the wisdom of whatever you’re reading instantly, versus taking that extra time to manually type or write things out.

With hash tags and search functions, you can also instantly see what other people are saying about whatever book you’re reading or want to read. With uStream you can do online live reviews, something we’ve done a couple times here at One Social Media. Anyway you cut it, the social web is affecting the very concept of what it means to read a book and learn from it.

Social media has also changed some of our reading habits. Recent studies are showing that social media may affect attention spans, making us less able to focus while working (or reading, perhaps). This coincides with Amazon releasing what they call Kindle Singles. These are short stories written by well known authors and published electronically by Amazon that come at a cheaper price than full-length books. The company realizes that shorter attention spans means books (and even chapters) must reflect that if they are going to continue to be profitable.

There has been a lot of talk recently about how technology has changed reading, but not much talk about how social media itself has changed reading. When you dig a little bit, you’ll find that it has, and will continue to in the years to come. In what ways have YOU seen this happen already?

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy is a blog-reading, report-writing project manager. In his spare time he enjoys reading a good thriller, drinking a freshly brewed cup of coffee, and spending time with his wife.

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5 Simple Things You Can Do To Improve Your Facebook Page

One common question I often hear from businesses and organizations who are new to social media is, “How do I measure the success of my social media efforts?” It’s a fair question to ask in my opinion. Answering that question, however, isn’t always as easy as asking it. What’s hard for many businesses who are new to Facebook to understand, is that the success of their social media efforts shouldn’t (and can’t) be determined solely by the number of overall ‘likes’ their page has. There are many other factors that need to be taken into consideration when trying to measure the success of a Facebook page, or a social media campaign in general. Sometimes it’s important to recognize the quality of interaction that exists on a Facebook page, rather than the quantity of users who ‘like’ a page.

What I mean by that is this: you might not have as many Facebook fans as you would like, but what you do have is a number of loyal Facebook users who continue to consistently interact with you on your Facebook page. If you’re getting caught up in the numbers, you’re probably not paying attention to the great interaction occurring on your page. Measuring the success of your social media efforts sometimes requires you to ignore quantity (the number of ‘likes’ your page has), and instead focus on quality (the interaction from loyal fans).

I understand, however, that ignoring the numbers isn’t always easy for some businesses and organizations to do. For that reason, I’m offering five simple things you can do to improve your Facebook page. Here they are:

1. Add Value: I just got done reading a great new book about social media by author Jeffrey Gitomer, who explains that “the purpose of your online presence (especially on social media) is not to sell, it’s to attract people who want to buy” (Jeffrey Gitomer, Social BOOM!). Wise words coming from someone who is actively creating valuable content on his social media sites. It’s important to understand that people who connect with you on Facebook aren’t necessarily interested in buying from you (at least not right away). What they are looking for is value. They want to connect with you because you have something to offer to them besides your latest product. You have insight. You have advice. You have knowledge. You have expertise. Start offering valuable content on your Facebook page, and you will not only see an increase in the amount of people who ‘like’ your page, but you will also see an overall increase in the interaction that occurs on your page.

2. Add Variety: If you aren’t sharing photos, videos, or links on your Facebook page, you shouldn’t be surprised that your numbers aren’t where you want them to be. Providing consistent updates on your page is great, but it can only do so much. You need to start sharing other forms of content with your Facebook followers. Upload photos from your last event. Upload customer testimonial videos. Share interesting links, or links to your blog with your Facebook community. Once you start adding variety to your Facebook page, your numbers will most likely go up, and the amount of interaction occurring will also increase.

3. Engage When Your Followers Are Listening: Knowing when your followers are listening can be an extremely effective way to increase your Facebook numbers, and improve your Facebook page. If you’re wondering why no one is ‘liking’ or commenting on content that you are sharing on your page, it might be because you aren’t engaging with your followers at the right time. Your followers aren’t always logged into Facebook at the same time you post an update. I recently read a great report from Buddy Media that looked at the best time of day (and best day of the week) to share content on a Facebook page. I was surprised with some of their findings, and I’m guessing you would be too. I encourage you to download the report yourself if you are interested in learning more about how to engage when your followers are listening. There are a lot of great graphs like the one below that will help you understand their findings:



4. Cross-Promote: Your Twitter followers might never know that you have a Facebook page, unless you tell them. The people who visit your company website won’t look for you on Facebook, unless you show them you are there. Your company needs to make sure every separate audience you have online—your website audience, your blog audience, your newsletter audience, etc—knows that you have a social media presence. You need to cross-promote whenever you have the opportunity to do so. Cross-promoting is one of the easiest ways to increase your numbers on Facebook, because you are inviting people who already interact with you others places to join you on Facebook too. Need examples? Click on the photo below to see all the ways we cross promote on our site.

5. Respond: One of the best ways to improve your Facebook page is to respond to questions your followers ask you on your page. Ignoring hard questions is the easiest way to lose Facebook fans and damage your online reputation. If  you have decided that you want your company to have a presence on Facebook, then you need to be ready to address questions or concerns that your followers have. It’s easy to delete a question or comment from an unhappy customer and move on, but it won’t help you in the end. Your Facebook followers will think much more highly of you if you actually take the time to answer their questions, and let them know you care. Responding to questions or comments on your Facebook page will show other non-fans that you have something to offer them that your competition doesn’t. It’s worth it.

I hope you are able to take at least one of these five tips and start incorporating it into your Facebook page. When you do, come back to this blog post and tell me if you saw any changes! I’d love to read your comments. Just remember, measuring the success of your social media efforts isn’t always about the numbers. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to think about the quality of interaction on your page, the loyalty of your followers, and the value you are providing to your Facebook community.

Still have questions? Ask me on Twitter. I’m @robwormley.

Rob Wormley

Rob Wormley

As a social media specialist, Rob thrives in situations that require constant creativity. On days when Rob isn’t working hard to create, maintain, and strengthen relationships online, you might find him spending time with family, browsing through his nearest bookstore, or sipping on a cup of coffee at his local Starbucks.

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The Best Blogs Are Good Stories

At One Social Media we spend a lot of the time reading.  Whether it is to gain knowledge for our company, our clients, or ourselves we are constantly seeking knowledge.  Blogs are a resource that we rely heavily on.  There are a lot of blogs out there, as of April 1st, 2011 WordPress had 18,856,344 sites.  Now, there are a lot of great blogs, and there are even more terrible ones.

How do you tell the good blogs from the bad ones?  The best blogs tell a story.  They don’t just spit out information in random order and digress on any comment they feel like.  The best blogs have all the same ingredients as the best stories; love, conflict, heroes, villains, and a point.

Here are some tips to translate any blog topic into a story.

Develop your characters.

Characters is a term loosely used for the purpose of this post.  Your characters are the people who are involved in your story.  You can turn animals, people, companies, industries, and opinions into characters by giving them traits your readers can relate to.  If you care enough about these characters to write about them, attach your feelings towards them to their character in your blog.

Follow a story line.

Never just shout out information at your readers.  Draw them in with an intro letting them know the overall concept of your story.  A good intro also lets the reader get a sense for you, the narrator.  From the intro bring them in to the exciting part of your story and finish with a solid ending or a cliff hanger.  The end of your blog should either leave the reader completely satisfied or it should make them think.

Create a sense of urgency, conflict, or attraction.

Any good story revolves around how your characters interact.  Whether it is between the protagonist and antagonist or the hero and the damsel in distress, the relationship between the characters is what lets the reader feel like they understand it and that they are a part of it.  As I said earlier, you can personify anything, but that isn’t enough.  You need to create a relationship or conflict between your characters that is interesting.

Most topics that are blog worthy usually have all of these elements.  It is up to you, the writer, to transform it in to something that people enjoy reading.  Blogs should be informational but they shouldn’t be boring.

Mike Bal

Mike Bal

Hi, I studied advertising, I have a passion for creativity and I love working in social media. I try to write about the combination of traditional marketing, branding, and advertising strategies that can apply and work affectively with social media. I also enjoy music, batman and life.

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Harness The Power Of Business Social Media With Jeffrey Gitomer’s New Book

Today is the launch of Jeffrey Gitomer’s new book, Social BOOM! If you’ve been thinking about harnessing the power of social media for your business, start now by reading this book (Buy the book today on Amazon for a number of special offers! See below for more information). You’ve already waited too long as it is to start embracing all the social media tools that are out there for you to take advantage of. There are a lot of books out there that offer great information on why social media is so important, but very few actually give you the invaluable knowledge of how to put what you learn into practice. When you read Social BOOM!, not only will you understand why social media is essential for your business, but you will also learn how you can start using popular tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube to immediately propel your business beyond the next level.

If you’ve read any of Jeffrey Gitomer’s great books in the past, then you already know how useful and practical the information in his books can be for your business. Social BOOM! is everything you should expect from a Jeffrey Gitomer book, and more. In his new book, Jeffrey Gitomer combines his outstanding knowledge of sales, business, and marketing with the wisdom and expertise of eleven other highly successful professionals from a number of different industries.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to contribute my own chapter to Jeffrey’s book titled, The 15 Imperative of LinkedIn. In it you will find fifteen tips that will help you optimize your LinkedIn profile, and learn how to use your presence on LinkedIn to find more leads, make more sales, and develop more lasting business relationships. To learn more about my contribution to Jeffrey Gitomer’s new book, click here.

Don’t look back on your business in the future and regret not taking advantage of the power of social media. Jeffrey Gitomer says it best in his new book when he writes, “Now is your time to take full advantage of this low-cost (often no-cost), global, and local opportunity” (Jeffrey Gitomer, Social BOOM!).

Buy Social BOOM! TODAY on Amazon for special offers!

Buy Social BOOM! on Amazon TODAY. If you buy the book today, you’ll automatically win a number of amazing bonus offers—everything from downloadable e-books, white papers, articles and videos, to reports, and chapters of best selling books—all you have to do is send your Amazon receipt to Jeffrey Gitomer himself at socialboom@gitomer.com.

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Husband, Father, Entrepreneur, Social Media Strategist, Speaker, and always learning.

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