Friday, February 24, 2012

Do you know what people see about you online?

5 Ways To Take Back Your Reputation On The Web | Fast Company

Monday, February 20, 2012

Baby Boomers and Social Media

The statistics are constantly changing about which demographics are growing on which social networks, so I won’t even bother looking it up now to publish for this article – because it will change tomorrow! What doesn’t change, and what is harder to measure, is the possibility of personality having more to do with social network adoption than age.

It was enlightening for me to be in a session with non-twitter users when they were asked what they thought of the twitter wall in the room. (For those of you who have not seen it, a screen in a session will be dedicated to the conversation happening on twitter about the conference while it is happening.) One attendee commented that the twitter users seemed very narcissistic. This was the perfect a-ha moment for me because what she was feeling went beyond the typical complaint of "I don't want to know what you had for breakfast". The twitter community at this event had been using the event's hashtag for socializing. They were complimenting each other, teasing each other and sharing pictures of each other. However, to someone outside of that circle, it would seem narcissistic.

One session I attended talked about generation Y using social media for personal gain and generation X using it for professional gain. As a general rule, I think this is true. Baby boomers signed up for Facebook initially to keep tabs on their kids and so their original motivation was personal use. Many of them struggle with the idea of using Facebook for professional networking. I would say that if you are “friends” with people in your industry and truly have relationships with them, why would they be any different from friends outside of work? It will be interesting to test out Google+ Circles to see if this solves this dilemma for them. Most baby boomers are not interested in Twitter because they have not seen a strong enough reason for them to explore it. Until you feel like you are missing out on something, you are going to keep your distance.

These are the stereotypes that are easy to make. However, if you do some research about your stakeholders and which social networks they are using, you might be surprised.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Branding vs. Personal Branding

...Developing a personal brand is no less rewarding or intensive than product branding. Daily effort must be made to increase one’s network, refine one’s messaging, and foster relationships that lead other professionals to trust and refer business.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Are you learning from your peers?

The reason we attend industry association conferences is to learn best practices so we can make our own events better. Are you paying attention to how your peers are using social media at these events? Your attendees will not necessarily use social media in the same way your peers do at our industry association conferences. However, it might be worth noting how the community has evolved.

Now that I have attended two of the major association conferences in our industry, I can compare and contrast the communities. The first thing worth pointing out is that the most influential tweeters can be found at both events. They typically attend more than one professional development conference on a national or international level. This might seem obvious because if they are successful networkers offline, then they are probably successful networkers online. Is the same true of your constituents?

Our industry is also lucky enough to have a “non-partisan” hashtag on Twitter. This means that there is a place for us to have conversations on Twitter that is not tied to one of the industry associations. This has connected the people who only attend events sponsored by one association, or are not able to attend any of these professional development conferences. Are you paying attention to the hashtags that your constituents are using or are your organization’s hashtag the one they go to?

Over the past four years, there certainly has been a migration of people on and off Twitter in our industry. The use of “non-partisan” hashtags as well as industry association hashtags has an ebb and flow to it. The early adopters got the party started, but like any other trend, once it was not the newest thing anymore, they started slowing down the participation. Other folks figured it out in the mean time and if they were able to see a positive ROI for the time spent there, they continued to participate. Your constituents may be found at any point in this continuum. 

Are you monitoring their activity so you can make informed decisions about what your event should be providing?