Inbreeding – The Social Way

We Southerners always get a bad rap. Whether on TV, in the movies, or some dip shit that says out loud and to your face, “Hey, don’t all you southerners intermarry? Is your uncle really your daddy?”

So to clear the air, not all southerners marry their cousins.

I was thinking one day and pondering how I came to be connected with so many folks around Cyberville and noticed a wonderful thing. Here’s how it works:

I connect to Joe Blow. Three days later Joe Blow’s connection John Q. Public sends me a connection request because he sees that I’m a friend of his friend Joe, and he respects Joe’s opinions (for the most part) or sees some comment I made on Joe’s FB or Twitter stream that he decides he too, would love to connect with me. The next thing you know, not only have I made friends with Joe and John Q. and have been engaging with them in conversations and content sharing – I have reached out to their friends Tom, Dick and Harry and they have obliged me in connecting…and so on, and so on.

I now have this awesome community with whom I engage almost on a daily basis. Shootin’ the sh#$, sharing their blogs and links, and just plain ole getting to know them.

A waste of time, you say? I beg to differ.

You see, I have made many friends online, many acquaintances that know about my business, what I’m passionate about, what rocks my boat. They also know how much I care about them because I share their shit too! In fact, I make a habit of it.

When the time comes that they themselves or someone they know needs my services, or they want me to blog for them about my area of expertise, they are already connected with me and have organically grown this relationship – all they need to do is ask. I’m not having to cold call them (which is so a thing of the past) but they are just about one click away from me.

If you’re not building a solid online community of engage-rs (not just those selling you their wares) you’re totally missing out. And I believe I have the coolest online friends ever – whether that turns a profit or not.

Stop evaluating this according to ROI and start building relationships.

And for Pete’s sake, stop asking me if I connect to every Tom, Dick or Harry – I just told you I do.

If you want to read more on inbreeding in America – check out “When Cousins Get Married.”

Maybe it’s time to dumb down our Social HR presentations

social 101When it comes to adoption of Social tools into our organizations some folks may be a little behind in adapting. That’s okay, because that was us at one time or other.

I have spoken at my share of events and conferences especially in regard to technology and social tools in the workplace. Something I have to keep in mind is that “Not everyone is on the same level playing field.” We’re all at different levels of adoption and knowledge of these things. And that’s okay.

At a few recent events we (those of us who have been involved in social and technology longer) seemed to have forgotten this and really seemed to have taken it over the top of the heads of the attendees.

Sometimes we talk to our audiences in our own language and they’re sitting out there looking at us like a young calf looking at a new gate.

I try to remember when presenting that it’s best to “keep it simple, stupid” – because you don’t want to lose your audience completely.

When holding social presentations there will probably always be a mixture in the crowd of the following:

  • Those that have no clue about social adoption (as it regards internal collaboration and social media at work)
  • Those that understand the need for adopting but have no idea how to begin
  • Those that think these tools should never be incorporated into the cubicles and spend tons of dollars on “how to block it” at work
  • Those that have jumped in and are getting their feet wet
  • Those that have fully adopted technology (mobile, internal tools, etc) and have seen great success

This will more than likely always be the case. That being said, it does make it difficult when presenting to this kind of crowd. Perhaps it’s best when planning our events to segment our presentations into (a) (b) and (c) groups instead of lumping them all together.

At one of my most recent events I had a few folks (ladies) come to me in the lady’s room afterward to tell me Thanks for talking on a level we could understand. Most of us aren’t up to speed and you kept it simple and very easy to understand.”

HR is rapidly advancing in social technologies but we must remember to share on a level that folks can understand not only in the need for incorporating these tools, the benefits and ROI’s but also share the “Here’s how to do it” as well.

Cause let’s face it – we can pretty much Google stats and the “WHY you need to do Social” – am I right?

Photo Credit: JohnHaydon

Stats for Social Media at Work (Infographic)

Happy Friday, folks. Hope your week has been spectacular. Since it’s my daughter’s birthday weekend, I thought I would share with you again this Infographic I created on Social Media in the Workplace from last year! Enjoy and have a pleasant weekend.

Social Media; If you can be offended, you will be!

Whether it’s email, Facebook, Twitter – putting something in writing sometimes can bite you in the rear! It doesn’t have the same affect as if you were talking to that other person – in person.

You can type out a status update and it be completely meant one way and taken in a completely different context and blown out of the water! It happens all the time.

I am probably evil because in knowing this, I sometimes use it to create (on purpose) one to contemplate “Does she mean this in this way, or that?” I ride the edge.

We have to be so careful these days what we post online in our communities as to “not offend” those in our space – whether it’s discussing race, politics, religion or if someone is tall or short. I have offended more than my share of folks in my community and have learned valuable lessons.

Sometimes there will be those who can never be pleased no matter what we share – even if it wasn’t meant for them, they will be offended. They’re soft-skinned.

I think if you’re going to put yourself out on social you need to take everything with a grain of salt. Toughen up! Not everything is about you, your gender, your race, or whether you’re a giant living among small people.

People share all kinds of stuff online from what they just ate to photos of them eating it, talk about their crazy families (okay, maybe I’m the only one that does that), to boasting about their achievements – and I could go on and on.

My point in this post is we are getting way too stressed out and offended about the most idiot stuff.

Perhaps it’s time for you to pick up the book “Don’t sweat the small stuff” once again and give it some thought. Why are you allowing these dumb postings to aggravate you and get you all out of whack?

I think this is on my mind right now because of what we all dealt with during the elections. Folks were cursing their friends, blocking, deleting like it was going out of style – just because they couldn’t agree.

Guess what? You’re never going to agree 100% of what folks share. Get over it! Life is too fragile for this kind of BS.

The great thing about online activity is if you don’t want to hear that person go on and on about whatever – you can block, delete or hide them or their updates.

Now, if we could only do that in person.

Photo Credit: APainfulTruth

What’s your Social Media Drug of Choice?

The other day I decided to participate in a #TwitterChat that I had been wanting to participate in for awhile now, but never made the time.

Overall, it was great and I made several new online connections but there was one thing I didn’t get.

There were a few folks totally pooh-poohing Facebook for anything other than staying in contact with their family and close friends saying that it just didn’t make sense and they didn’t see any benefit.

Well, I tried to share my love of Facebook to them, but was totally disregarded. Probably because of the fact that it was my first time attending this particular chat. Surely it couldn’t be that I didn’t know what the heck I was talking about, but who knows.

Many still don’t see the value in using Facebook for anything other than sharing pics and status updates with their family and friends. They actually don’t see the use in having a Facebook business page (which, I still have my doubts about and the jury is still out there on that one). But I do get the value of engaging on Facebook with your peers and the possibility of gaining valuable friendships with potential clients.

When I started on this journey of social media, I started of course with Linked In, then Twitter, while starting two blogs. I then of course went to Google+, Pinterest and Instagram, like the rest of ya’s. I started engaging (that’s key) with those whom I wished to connect, those who held influence in my industry, those of my peers and those who created outstanding content.

I then started taking those relationships over to Facebook, connecting with them there (slowly but steadily) and taking those relationships to a whole.other.level. Each platform has its own feel and allows for different strokes for different folks and has its own personality, so to speak.

Facebook appears to be one of those platforms that allow you to share more personal  updates, funny stories, family photos, to create everyday engagement that can’t be done in 140 characters. And it’s like any other platform, it’s not suppose to be about you cramming your wares down someone’s throat, it’s about building valuable connections, whether you sell anything or not.

Since I have taken my circle of trust connections over yonder to Facebook, I’ve created an awesome community that pretty much stays in touch daily, even if it is to hear about someone’s kid going to school and them having a melt down because of it. I can dig that. I admit, I’m a Facebook junkie and I’m on there constantly. Just ask my friends.

And when we all get together IRL (in real life) it’s as if we haven’t missed a beat!

So what’s your social media drug (platform) of choice?

Photo Credit: Let’sNotNSayWeDid

In box Blunders; Linked In and Twitter

If you all don’t know it by now, I’ll tell you again. I can’t stand getting sales pitches in my Linked In email or Auto DM’s on Twitter. That’s just not cool. I wrote about some dumb things we all do on social media here on these posts –  “5 Things I Hate About Linked In“, “What NOT to put on your Linked In Profile“, and most recently “The Dumbest Auto Responses on Twitter.

Just this past week, I received more. Even AFTER I reprimanded someone on the very same thing, in a private message. These two items were in my Linked In inbox:

Is this really what we want? All 800+ connections inboxing us and asking us to “LIKE” their facebook page? I think she needs to find a new Marketing rep. This is just not good business. Never misuse your Linked In to do this sort of thing.  Now, that being said, I think it’s okay to send a request on facebook to your facebook connections asking them to “like” your page. They don’t have to do it, and it’s not very intrusive. What do you think?

Moving right along, here is the next one I received -

First and foremost, when I received a connection request from this guy, I wasn’t wearing my glasses and was excited that “Alan Alda” would be requesting to connect with me. Only to find out later, it wasn’t him at all :) Note to self: Keep your glasses on.

Let’s review this one, shall we? 1. If I took the time to personally send all of my Linked In contacts an email with a link to my blog I wouldn’t have time to write the blog. 2. Really? You thought I would enjoy? No you didn’t, you are self-promoting. Just call it what it is. 3. This is lame. That.Is.All. This is a sure fire way to have folks unfriend and unfollow you, in a Minnesota minute.

Lastly, I guess I will continue to receive Auto DM’s until hell freezes over, so here are a few I received as of late:

I don’t want to know about your free gift. This is bad social media practice.

Okay, I’mma give her a chance to rebut, and hopefully she will rethink her strategy. If not, oh well.

If you just have to use Auto DM’s for your followers, simple is the way to go. And don’t use it as a sales pitch like these folks.  The last one is by far the way to go, if you must do it. These are just my thoughts. What do you think? (Photo Credit: ViewFromTheDolequeue)

The problem with “FREE”

I’ve been dealing with giving stuff away for FREE for years now and thinking that sometimes, it’s just not a good idea.

Here’s why:

Point #1 – Let’s say you give away a book that you’ve written to someone that’s not even interested in the topic or what you had to say about it. Chances are, they’ll throw it away or stick it in their next yard sale for a nickel.

Point #2 – If you’re hosting an event in your local area and you decide to “GIVE AWAY” all your tickets, people are more than likely going to register and then become a “no show.”

Point #3 – You decide to continue giving your teenager/young adult every new thing that comes along. They never had to work for it, do chores, or make an investment so they may or may not, take care of the darned thing. Maybe it’s tires on their car, and they run the wheels off, cause they didn’t have to pay for them. Things change when they have to start paying for it all.

My point is, if folks don’t make some kind of investment (mostly monetary) then there is no value in it for them. They don’t have anything invested in it, so they don’t have to show up (like they said they would – after you held a spot for them and so graciously agreed to participate), and they can chunk all your hard earned blood, sweat and tears you put into that fabulous book, webinar, or whatever – because they didn’t ask for it and never wanted it to begin with.

Now, that being said, their certainly are times when giving away freebies come in handy and are totally appreciated.

Let’s say you have someone who has loyally read your articles, commented on your posts, been an all around cool guy in your circle of trust, or perhaps are a new subscriber. Having ebooks or short project giveaways can be a great way of getting your message out there to your connections.

Or perhaps, a connection asks to purchase your book and you decide to give them the book instead. They are already willing to support your work, find it interesting, and want to support you in your endeavors. This happened to me recently while at a conference.

I love supporting my friends and connections in their work and one of the ways in which I like to do this is to PURCHASE their shit (no offense by the shit comment). Their shit, is actually – good shit.

It’s cool to invest in the amazing stuff that your friends and contacts are putting out there. We shouldn’t always want FREE stuff. Chances are, if they gave it to you, you’d throw it in the pile of the other free shit given to you and never read.

Support your connections. Buy their shit and pay for their conferences. (Unless you can get in on it as a blogger) :)