The Dark Side of Social Networking

Have you ever seen the TVseries “Tales From The Darkside?” Well unfortunately there are some social networking tales from the darkside you might want to know about. Don’t get me wrong I teach social media, I use social media and like everything else something good can always be used for bad.

My goal is to make folks aware and use the power of social media not run away from it. I say that because some reading this may say, “See I told you not to mess with that stuff.” but social networking should be approached the same way we approach offline networking. You would not take your clothes off in front of a webcam just like you would not expose yourself, I hope, at a cocktail party.

So I decided to share some warnings and alerts that I have gathered for you. Read them and just be aware. Share any dark tales you may have that can help someone else.

9 Hidden Dangers of Social Networking

I simply adore the Dolans. They have, over the years, provided consistantly great financial advice, so when they speak I do listen.

So What Do IT Folks Think About the Darkside of Social Networking?

This post is interesting because it provides 2 slide shows sharing how to stay safe on social networks and places the IT folks use.

 

Social Network Dangers

Of course PC World stays on top of things. So this article has great merit.

 

Share more, please

Baby Boomer What Will You Say at Thanksgiving When…

Baby boomer what will you say Thanksgiving when someone at the table asks you, “Why in the world do you  hang out on that computer? ” “Don’t tell me you are also one of those folks that do the Twitter thing, Why??

Now, even if you are not planning to eat with anyone Thanksgiving Day someone is bound to be totally shocked that you, a baby boomer, does stuff like social networking, marketing etc on the computer.

So get ready, by sharing right now what and why you are doing on the computer. What makes you, that special baby boomer spend time on the computer?

Frankly, I hope to help serve food at my moms senior center. Then will sit down again with family.  I will probably bring the subject up about the mental sharpness you can  get with blogging.

I really want to teach seniors how to blog.

Baby Boomer Business Owner-What is Your Social Media Marketing Saying?

Are you making mistakes with your SMM? (Social Media Marketing)

I am honored to have Pam Lontos, a Public Relations Specialist as a guest blogger today. She has a powerful message on Social Media Marketing for every baby boomer business owner who has taken the plunge into the world of social media.

The Top 5 Mistakes of Social Media Marketing

By Pam Lontos

The Top 5 Mistakes of Social Media Marketing
By Pam Lontos

As a business owner, you already know the importance of utilizing traditional PR – print, radio and TV exposure – to keep your name circulating in the marketplace. Now, however, there’s a new PR outlet you need to become familiar with. It’s called Social Media Marketing, and when combined with your traditional PR efforts, Social Media Marketing can help you penetrate the marketplace with your message quicker and easier than ever before.

What is Social Media Marketing? It’s utilizing the various social networking sites to enforce your brand and market your business. A social networking site is simply an online meeting place. Think of it like an eHarmony or Match.com for business people. On such sites, people can post a profile with the hopes of meeting other like-minded professionals for business reasons.

According to the Nielsen Research Group, social networks and blogs have moved ahead of personal e-mail among the most popular online activities people engage in. Additionally, USA Today reports that the time spent on these sites is growing three times faster than the overall Internet rate. More than two-thirds of the world’s online population now visits social networking and blogging sites.
Knowing this, it’s clear that if you haven’t yet engaged in Social Media Marketing, the time to start is now. But before you do, you need to be aware of the top mistakes businesses make with this PR outlet so you can avoid them and get the biggest return for your marketing investment.

Mistake #1: Having more than one face on the Internet.

When you’re engaging in Social Media Marketing (called SMM from here on out) you’re really building your image from the ground up. The goal of SMM is to virally spread parts of your image across the Internet. The word “parts” is important. Basically, you’re starting with a holographic image of yourself in the virtual world. You then need to break that hologram apart and find the appropriate places on the Internet where you can frame certain pieces of that hologram.
When someone looks at all the pieces at the various sites, they should be able to put them together to see a single whole. They should not see multiple images of who you are, as that would ruin your credibility. Therefore, if you have multiple Facebook accounts, for example, your personal one has to be hidden and by invitation only. You don’t want that other image out there confusing people and possibly diminishing your reputation.

Mistake #2: Collecting friends.

SMM is how you create instant buzz on the Internet by getting the same message out over and over. It’s spreading your message and getting yourself branded so you can get more business. Social networking, on the other hand, is about making friends. For example, you’ve likely seen someone on LinkedIn who has 25,000+ contacts. That’s great, but what do you do with all those contacts? Remember, just because you have a phone book in your office doesn’t mean you can open the book at random, pick a name, and call them for business.
When you collect a contact, you’re supposed to be opening the door to exchange information and build a relationship. Think of it as relationship marketing in the 21st century, and the same rules apply. The only difference is that you’re building the relationship online rather than over coffee.

Mistake #3: Putting out the wrong messages.

You’ve likely seen people put posts on Twitter or Facebook that say something like, “John Smith is watching a great movie and eating popcorn.” Such messages may be fine for personal networks, but for business networks you need to put out messages that are useful to your readers. In other words, don’t talk about yourself. You want to give valuable tips and advice so that the people who read your posts want to repost them to their own sites. That’s how your message spreads virally.
The key is to keep your messages consistent. Remember that people are subscribing to various feeds in order to get your information. They are essentially saying that your message has value. That’s why you can’t do a series of sales tips and then post a couple of your favorite omelet recipes. You have to stay on message, and your message has to be for your readers.
With that said, it is okay to occasionally have a press release type message that says something like, “John Smith is speaking at ABC Convention on employee productivity today.” Such a message does two things: 1) It tells people they might not get a tip today or tomorrow because you’re busy, and 2) It shows that other big-wigs out there think your message is important. It’s a positive reinforcement that boosts your credibility, so long as you don’t do it too frequently.

Mistake #4: Posting inappropriate information.

Don’t allow yourself or anyone on your site to post anything online that you don’t want your most conservative client to see. You never know where something will end up, especially since the nature of the Internet is for things to spread virally. For example, a CEO of a corporation had a picture of himself and his girlfriend on a topless beach in Mexico. In the photo she’s riding on his shoulders with her breasts exposed. For some reason, he decided to post the photo on his personal invitation-only Facebook site.
The only problem is that he was married. His wife (or rather, his now ex-wife) saw the photo. How? Someone on his invitation-only Facebook account thought it was a great picture and decided to repost it on the public Internet. To top it all off, his board of directors got wind of the photo and fired him. Now he’s no longer employable in that field or that position again. The moral of this story: Never post anything on any site that you wouldn’t personally show your own grandmother.

Mistake #5:

Assuming that it is better to have your message in only one place on the Internet.

In the “old days” of the Internet, people believed they had to keep all their content on their own Web site. The theory was that spreading it out ruined your credibility and diminished your reputation as being a unique business. Not so today. In fact, with SMM, the opposite is true. The more places you can get your message to appear simultaneously, the more effective your message will be.

Think of it as constructing a funnel. You want to lay several trails of information, all of which lead to your main site. Therefore, no matter how someone stumbles upon you, as long as they “follow the trail,” they’ll eventually find you. That’s essentially what you’re doing with your Twitters and other SMM messages. You’re putting out kernels of information. If someone wants the next kernel, they have to follow the trail. Eventually it funnels them to one Web site, which is where you wanted them to be anyway. You’re creating an environment where people see your message everywhere. As a result, you now have their attention and you have the opportunity to sell your product, your services, or whatever you’re selling at that point of distribution.
Here’s an example of the power of funneling: Recently Aaron Chronester posted a message on Twitter. Someone saw his post and reposted it on their blog. CNN and the New York Times found the post interesting and reported on it. Because of that exposure, Chronester got a book deal from Simon and Schuster. So, what was his post about? Current events? Global warming? A tell-all celebrity biography? Nope. It was a Twitter post with a unique bacon recipe, as Chronester was trying to get publicity for a barbeque club he belonged to. That’s how powerful funneling your message can be.

Get Noticed with SMM

The marketplace is changing, and you have to change with it. Your name has to be everywhere – in print, on radio, on TV, and on the social networking sites. The more you can get your name and message circulating in the various mediums, the higher your chances of clients seeing your information and ultimately hiring you. Thanks to SMM you can get your message out to thousands of people in an instant. And the results are greater credibility, more exposure, and higher sales – all of which positively impact your bottom line.

Pam Lontos is president of PR/PR, a public relations firm based in Orlando, Fla. She is author of “I See Your Name Everywhere” and is a former vice president of sales for Disney’s Shamrock Broadcasting.  PR/PR has placed clients in publications such as USA Today, Entrepreneur, Time, Reader’s Digest and Cosmopolitan.  PR/PR works with established businesses, as well as entrepreneurs who are just launching their company.  For a free publicity consultation, e-mail Pam@prpr.net or call 407-299-6128. To receive free publicity tips, go to www.PRPR.net and register for the monthly e-newsletter, PR/PR Pulse!

Did You Join Fan Q Yet? -A Word of Caution

If you are planning to join Fan Q just wanted to pass on a word of caution. A few weeks now I have gotten an notification from them with a private message from two folks I know. Now, I know these folks and one in particular, shys away from social networks of any kind. So my surprise made me wary.

The emails have a note saying that it is a private message and if I do not open they will know I ignored them. Well, of course I resented the manipulation. I was about to call one of them and tell them “I am ignoring your message but what is it you wanted to tell me?” Especially since I had just seen them that day.

Well, I love social networking but decided to explore a bit so I googled the network and saw an article that discribed the social engineering technique that was used for Fan Q.

So be alert. Has anyone else had this experiance?

Share Your PowerPoint and Webinars on Slide Share-Social Networking

You can share your business, health, finance, blogging and more messages on a great site called Slide Share.

Here is the description I found on the ABOUT page:
SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations.

– Individuals & organizations upload presentations to share their ideas, connect with others, and generate leads for their businesses.
– Anyone can find presentations on topics that interest them. They can tag, download, or embed presentations into their own blogs & websites.

SlideShare is the best way to get your slides out there on the web, so your ideas can be found and shared by a wide audience. Do you want to get the word out about your product or service? Do you want your slides to reach people who could not make it to your talk? Are you a teacher looking to share your lesson plans? It only takes a moment – start uploading now, and let your slides do the talking!


Some of the things you can do on SlideShare

  – Embed slideshows into your own blog or website.
– Share slideshows publicly or privately. There are several ways to share privately.
– Synch audio to your slides.
– Market your own event on slideshare.
– Join groups to connect with SlideShare members who share your interests
– Download the original file

They also have a BLOG. You must go to the bottom of the page to locate the navigation button. But this is the link. Go there and learn as well as comment. Slide Share Blog

 As many of you may know, I am a trained Community Health Educator and in researching some information I found this site. To illustrate how powerful it is check out the slides that won me over on using Twitter for Public Healh Messages.

I just joined and plan to upload some blogging and presentation skills material.

So, go and check it out. Let me know what you think and when you have stuff up there.

Baby Boomers Are Becoming Experts in Change Because We Still Dream-Join The Boomster Contest

Keep Dreaming!

dream.jpg  

  

Baby boomers are making changes. Often those changes are by choice or forced. By experience alone we are becoming experts in change.  Those changes include lifestyle, career,physical hobby, and other unique changes.

Yet, I am convinced that we are only able to do this because we still hold on to our dreams. We refuse to let go despite the many adaptations we learn to do. Actually those dreams can give us purpose and a way to deal with unwanted changes. I like to call it HOPE. 

Recently I was in the doctors office awaiting a report. I decided after putting a prayer in, to reflect on one of my dreams. Would I give that dream up? Or would I keep going but with adaptations. I knew that I would try with all my might not to stop having hope that my dreams would come true.

Ok, I admit that there are times that I want depression to win in bursting that dream bubble. “Why not just give up”, says an unfriendly voice. Or it may even come from someone you like or love. Ha, you just never know. But if you listen closely there will always be a voice of encouragement. Sometimes it may be just reading about a baby boomer who is talking about a dream that came true. Or it may be something simple like a loved one not having pain that day.

Well one of the premier social networking sites, Boomster.com is running a “one of a kind” contest that involves our dreams until March, 15, 2009.

So go check it out and join the contest today!

May all your dreams come true.

Can You Lose Face on Facebook?

According to the post from Switched YES YOU CAN! This post shares five stories of folks who, unfortunately, had bad experiances with Facebook.

It is wise to pay attention to the lessons from this story. However, don’t run away from social networking. We can embrace it as long as we do it right. Well, at least that’s my opinion. What do you think?

You can read the article here.

Facebook-25 Tips

Just finished reading this excellent post on Facebook Tips from a news feed on AOL. Most of the tips relate to social aspects of the site. Duh, it is a social networking platform. But I was most impressed with the fact that you can set up a webpage on Facebook!

They also share the applications that you should or should not download. I am still not excited about posting on folks walls but that’s probably why I never became an Artist. But my husband wrote on the walls a lot when he was young. And yes, he is an Artist.

Ok, enough ramble check out the Facebook Tips.

Boomer Parties-Face to Face Social Networking

Baby Boomers are used to face-to-face social networking. The advent of oneline networking should not push away or put down the old-fashioned “getting to know you opportunities.

This site, Boomer Parties, is an attempt to increase the connections folks can make with each other, perhaps, after they meet online. It provides resources for folks who want to network in New York City.

This is also a site that I would not use. 30 years of marriage to the same boomer cuts out my social networking as a single.

 

The ABOUT US page says the following:

 

BOOMER PARTIES INC. was created to fill a much needed outlet in New York City for
fun social networking, entertainment and nightlife events for Single Baby Boomers.

Our mission is to bring age-appropriate Baby Boomers Singles together to meet for fun,
for romance and to make new friends while having fun doing it!

Our events include singles cocktail parties, after work get-togethers, weekend parties,
social networking events, dances at upscale clubs, dining-out events, charity events
and mix and mingle type of events in a comfortable age-appropriate environment!

So give a visit to the site. I found out about it when someone from the site posted a comment on my bloggingforboomers site.  If anyone else has some experiance with it please give a review.

Thanks