Next week is going to be busy: a class and a webinar!

Linkedin Centipedes at 2010 Bay to Breakers.

I have two things coming up next week and decided to share them here!

On Tuesday, I’ll teach a class on LinkedIn for business.

On Thursday, I’ll lead Lunch & Learn Teleseminar: Social Media 101 With Regina Walton – Sponsored by FCN & NAGC.

I’m just excited for both. Check them out!

Now I have to get some lesson and presentation planning in.

Photo courtesy of smi23le on Flickr.

Social Media 101 – A class for beginners (don’t be a Weiner)

Next week I’m teaching a class called “Social Media 101 – A class for beginners (don’t be a Weiner).”

(Yes, it’s a silly title.  I was feeling playful when I was planning the class. Also, I realized I could do it now or not do it at all as the joke would be passé by the time I taught the class and, ta da, I was right.)

The class will be on June 29th from 7pm to 8:30pm at Hive @ 55 in Manhattan.

It’s a class that is specifically for people who are new to the social web or who have a little experience but want to learn more.  Here is the class description:

This course will cover the basics of the social web. You’ll learn about the big 4 social media sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. You’ll learn the best ways to navigate these sites. You’ll also learn what to watch out for regarding security and privacy.

The goal is for everyone to leave the class with a Twitter account. You’ll follow a few people and send your first tweet. If we have time, we’ll also send retweets and a direct message; even if you don’t send them all during this class, you’ll leave knowing what those terms mean. The price includes handouts.

This class is for people who simply haven’t taken the plunge and want to know the basics of the social media landscape before diving in. What’s required? Please bring a laptop or tablet (iPad or Android tablet) and be ready to learn. This class is a beginner level course. If you’re already doing your thing on the big 4 social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube), this is going to be boring to you.

The plan is I’ll talk for about 30 to 40 minutes but the rest of the we’ll work on getting you a real Twitter account, so you can jump in.  Honestly, even though the concept is basic, I find that people learn best when they’re in it.

I’m really excited because I do miss teaching. I’ve had a chance to do a handful of presentations on the social web and have gotten great feedback.

If you’re in the NYC area and would like to take it, you can sign up here: http://skl.sh/mJPpmE

Also, if you know someone in the NYC area who you think would be interested, I would love it if you shared it with them.

Thanks and have a great weekend!

Nielsen Report on Advertising Effectiveness on Facebook

Keeping my promise to get some content out there, here is an interesting report about the effectiveness of ads on Facebook.

What’s interesting are the stats on engagement. Basically, when friends are “fans” (now when they “like” a page), it’s more trusted than when it’s just a number. That makes sense, and I have to admit that when I see a friend has joined a brand page on Facebook, I’m much more likely to click over and possibly join.

I hope you find the report helpful and feel free to leave a comment.

Oh no! Facebook Goes After Seppukoo!

For me, this is more funny than bothersome.  However, I guess if you’re Facebook then hearing about a service that lets people ritually kill off their accounts is something you want to discourage.

It’s so bad that Facebook has issued a cease and desist letter to the folks at Seppukoo.

Here is the info from the Seppukoo homepage:

Seppukoo.com is under attack
Les Liens Invisibles wants to inform everyone that on Dec. 16th, Facebook inc., after it has blocked any attempt of seppukoo from this website and has blocked/deleted all seppukoo.com information into the whole facebook network, has now threatened legal action against us in order to stop the suicide pandemic.Curiously, Facebook lawyers appeal to the user right to privacy to annihilate our facebook unsubscribe service.

The Seppukoo.com staff rejects every false pretence about phishing or malitious use of personal datas and pubblically invites Facebook’s developers to meet us and see in first person what kind of informations we save and how we care of them.

Les Liens Invisibles is now considering all the possibilities to come back ASAP. Thanks to all the people who are supporting us in this moment.

Read the full cease & desist from Facebook.

Updates (Dec. 22nd): “The “Les liens invisibles” group will delete all of the information on the http://www.seppukoo.com website only if the owners of such information request it, but not if facebook does so.”

Read the full reply.

If you want to stay updated, please, subscribe to our newsletter, and we’ll keep you posted.

Here is a video that they’ve provided that walks you through deactivating your account on your own.

However, that’s probably not as satisfying as a ritual suicide. Plus, with using Seppukoo their  “how to” page says you can reactivate your account, “3. reactivate your Facebook account just logging again to Facebook (boo!!!).”  If you can reactivate, what’s the rukus about?

This is the first I’d heard of Seppukoo, so I hope Facebook realizes they’re giving this site press.  I also hope that they don’t decide to go after the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine simply because it cracks me up. Check this out from their FAQs:

What shall I do after I’ve killed myself with the web2.0 suicide machine?

Try calling some friends, take a walk in a park or buy a bottle of wine and start enjoying your real life again. Some Social Suiciders reported that their lives has improved by an approximate average of 25%. Don’t worry, if you feel empty right after you committed suicide. This is a normal reaction which will slowly fade away within the first 24-72 hours.

Social media suicide should be a choice!

Update: January 4, 2010 – Alex over at The Next Web, where I also write, published a post about this. Yep, Facebook has also gone after The Web 2.0 Suicide Machine.

That’s just crappy.

Here is a link to that post: Facebook Bans Ye Olde Web 2.0 Suicide Machine – No Account Killing For You

More links:

Social Media: New Year’s Eve Style

Well, at least they’re on it. However, there is no way on this Earth that you’ll catch me in Times Square this New Year’s Eve. It’s already insanely cold out there.  That’s the beauty of social media!

I don’t have to be there. 😉 If you will be there, bring your iPhone!

NewYearsEveWebcast.jpgThe Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment aren’t dropping the ball when it comes to incorporating social media into the upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration, as they will offer a six-and-a-half-hour Webcast via TimesSquareNYC.org, Livestream.com/2010, or Facebook.com/TimesSquareNYC, as well as on a special site for iPhone users, The New York TimesGadgetwise reports.

The Webcast will follow five separate story lines and cover the international participants, the history of Times Square through photos, the story behind the bloggers and other information, and viewers will be able to post photos and comment via Twitter and Facebook, according to Gadgetwise.

Repost: How to Engage your Facebook Fans

It’s been over a month. I know! Over a month.

My apologies, but I’ve been busy working, and that’s an excellent reason to be busy 😉

Part of the work I do is social media management, I thought this was an interesting enough presentation to share. There are a few small grammatical errors in it, but the basics of what they’re discussing is good enough to overlook the small kinks.

Check it out:

Facebook becoming big friend of small businesses

I thought this was an interesting article. I’ve been running on both cylinders, so I saved the link so I could post it here. The title captures it. Facebook is a friend to small businesses. You really don’t need it if you’re a large brand. However, even large brands see the value of having Facebook fan pages. If you’re a small business and you’ve got to realize that Facebook now has not just college students. Facebook now has your friends, your parent’s friends and, much to the dismay of many, your parents. The bottom line is your customers are on Facebook and they actually join Facebook fan pages.

Facebook is a virtual gathering place where people can catch up and talk. A lot of that time is spent sharing links and talking about their favorite things. If they know a business they like is on Facebook, it’s very likely they’re support it as a fan.

Here is a story from the LA Times about how this is working for one business.

Facebook becoming big friend of small businesses

 

Firms are building fan bases on the social networking website and using it to connect with customers.

FacebookCharles Nelson, president of Sprinkles Cupcakes, manages the Beverly Hills company’s pages on Facebook and other social media websites. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / October 14, 2009)

 

Charles Nelson, president of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the Beverly Hills baker to the stars, doesn’t have a Facebook profile. Nelson, who works seven days a week, has no time for chatting online with Facebook friends.

But Nelson is logged on to Facebook all the time. That’s because more than 70,000 people have declared themselves fans of Sprinkles’ Facebook page, which has its own “vanity URL” at www.facebook.com /sprinkles.

Each day on the website, Sprinkles announces a secret word, such as “ganache,” or “bunny,” or “tropical,” or “love,” and the first 25 or 50 people to show up at any of its five stores and whisper that word get a free cupcake.

“On Facebook, we can ask our customers what’s the next location they want,” Nelson said. “What do they think of our next flavor? It’s an amazing way to communicate with our fans.”

Facebook is not just for friends anymore. The free social networking site — blocked in many workplaces as a potential time-waster — is increasingly becoming an inexpensive marketing tool for small businesses.

Sprinkles is among a growing number of mom-and-pop businesses taking advantage of a relatively new program on Facebook, one that allows them to claim their name, become visible even to folks who aren’t on the site, and stay in close contact with their customers. The business, in effect, can act like any other person on Facebook, posting status updates and seeing what its fans are doing.

Facebook doesn’t break out figures for small businesses but says it has 1.4 million business “pages,” with an average of 100 fans per page. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in a speech in New York last month that every day, 10 million people become fans of pages. (Many of those pages are for random concepts, such as the beach, or laughter, or even one called “I don’t sleep enough because I stay up late for no reason,” which has 3.5 million fans.)

Businesses need to go where their customers are, and increasingly these days, that’s on Facebook and other social media sites, analysts say. More than 300 million people have signed up for Facebook, and half of them visit the site every day.

“Over the past two years, we’ve seen this increasing uptick in businesses realizing that their customers are on Facebook,” said Tim Kendall, Facebook’s director of monetization product marketing. “If they can create a presence in Facebook that allows customers to connect with them, it can be a way to strengthen that connection and also to find new customers.”

Plenty of other sites are also wooing small local businesses. The review site Yelp, Citysearch and a host of Yellow Pages sites are all making a push.

And typically, businesses don’t stick to one site such as Facebook. Instead, they spread their presence across the social media landscape, including MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn. Increasingly, these sites connect with one another so that a status update on Facebook becomes a tweet on Twitter, or a blog post could be pushed out to several sites.

“Companies don’t have a lot of resources to create their own website,” said Jeremiah Owyang, a social media analyst at Altimeter Group. “Using these sites where the customers already are in their communities makes a lot of sense.”

Janet Rothstein, who runs a jewelry shop in Beverly Hills, used a company called MerchantCircle as her gateway to the online world, and she has since obtained a Facebook vanity URL for her page, where she has 63 fans. Having an online presence in so many places increases the odds that when someone searches on Google, they will find her.

Facebook is increasingly finding itself a rival of Google. It believes it can offer more relevant search results because the content is coming from people you know and trust, especially in the hotly contested field of local advertising.

“We are naturally really well-positioned to create a lot of value for local businesses,” Facebook’s Kendall said. “When you think about how you learn in the off-line world about local businesses and services, which cafe, which dentist, you learn a lot of that from the people you trust and are friends with. Facebook is able to streamline that process a bit.”

Yet Google remains the king of search, and Facebook says its pages frequently turn up in the Google search results.

That’s important, said Avichal Garg, a former Google employee who now owns PrepMe, a Palo Alto company that offers online test preparation.

His Facebook page drives traffic and sales because “it ranks well in search and people use search for companies they haven’t done business with before,” Garg said in an e-mail, noting how Facebook has brought in about 5% of his new business. “Facebook is a trusted domain so people click on it and when they see the faces behind the company name, they know we’re legitimate.”

“Having the vanity URL and presence on Facebook and Twitter really help,” Garg said.

Social media help companies take control of “the Google resume,” said Adrian Lurssen, a vice president at JD Supra, an online legal site based in Marshall, Calif. When people search for your company — or for what your company sells — you want your site to turn up in the first 10 results, or the first page Google delivers.

Nelson of Sprinkles agrees. Fans of his cupcakes (actually, his wife, Candace, is the pastry chef) shower Sprinkles with praise — and word-of-mouth buzz. Their Facebook friends all see when they comment on Sprinkles’ page. “You’re looking for customers but you’re really looking for advocates,” Nelson said. “We’ve never had paid advertising in five years of being open.”

business@latimes.com

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