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7 Questions to Ask Before Launching a Social Media Program

September 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm PST
Success can come in many forms. Three very different success stories. Listen to the replay for details.

This week, Partner Velocity (Cisco’s program to help partners’ marketing efforts) held a one-hour webcast to help you get started with social media.

It’s a topic near and dear to my heart, so I led the webcast and provided some guidance for beginners and more advanced practitioners, tips, and tricks to help launch a social media presence.

If you couldn’t make it, don’t worry as there’s a replay available. Be sure to listen to this replay and attend the next two webinars in the series: you’ll be entered to win a US$2500 marketing consultation.

Head to the Partner Velocity site for details, and to register for the next two sessions (Social Media for Events and Creating an Integrated Campaign).

Here’s a quick recap of the topics covered in this week’s session “Building a Successful Social Media Program”:

  • How to develop a listening strategy
  • How to define and segment your audience (and create content for each persona)
  • Tips and tricks for engaging with your audience
  • Ways to design a measurement/metrics plan
  • And finally, some key takeaways and next steps

Keep reading for my seven questions to ask before launching your own social media program.

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How the Role of the Social Strategist is Evolving

June 18, 2012 at 3:36 pm PST

Social business is about using diverse social technologies to easily connect with one another. In my previous video blog post, we learned some present and future trends within this realm, and how it’s evolving. Let’s continue that train of thought and delve deeper.

Let’s Get This Social Media Party Started

According to Industry Analyst Jeremiah Owyang, “the social business space is still very immature, and things are just heating up” (Owyang, “Social Business: We’re Just Getting Started”). As more and more companies jump on the social media bandwagon, it’s essential that they remember to holistically integrate social business into the corporation. Before getting started with social, Jeremiah recommends conducting an internal analysis of your organization to figure out which of the 5 organizational models your company is currently in and which you aspire to be in. Afterward, employees must realize that incorporating social into their business is likely to be a slow process since it’s much of a major cultural change that their company will undergo.

The Role of the Social Strategist Amidst It All

Many people know that social media is not free – it requires a lot of time, money and people resources. One of the key players that constitute social business is the social strategist. As this realm continues to develop, how will the role of the social strategist change? Will it disappear or become further embedded into a corporation somehow? We wanted to hear what “social media guy at LinkedIn” Mario Sundar (@mariosundar) and Jeremiah (@jowyang) thought about this topic. Watch this short video recapping their words of wisdom:

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6.5 million password hashes suggest a possible breach at LinkedIn

LinkedIn is believed to have suffered a password hash breach (updated: LinkedIn has confirmed the breach), thanks to a forum post that quickly caught the attention of security researchers on Twitter and other social outlets. The posted archive contained a 270+ MB text file of SHA-1 hashes, and forum discussions suggested that it was related to the popular business-centric social site.

At the moment, little is known and speculation is running wild. LinkedIn has not finished investigating whether they have been breached, however many security pros are confirming for the media that the SHA-1 hashes of their passwords are found in the file. The file is constructed in a hash-per-line fashion, with no evident plaintext that suggests it is anything other than passwords (such as usernames, etc.). However, it’s possible that anyone gaining the original access to hashes had or has access to additional details.

I obtained a copy of the hash list, produced a SHA-1 hash of my old LinkedIn password, and did indeed find it in the list. I have also spot-checked several other hashes posted by security pros on Twitter, and have found them as well. Given the nature of my own password (16 random characters comprised of A-Z, a-z, and 0-9) the likelihood that my SHA-1 hash of my password (that was unique to LinkedIn) would be present in a file that did NOT come (at least in part) from a source that had access to hashes of LinkedIn passwords is statistically impossible.

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5 Ideas for Leveraging LinkedIn for Business

I was recently asked by a Cisco partner which social platform was better for B2B marketing – Facebook or LinkedIn?  My response went something like this – We’re all using Facebook to connect and share with our family and friends and with 800 million users, Facebook is hard to ignore, but do we really want our professional networks and personal lives to intermingle to this extent? There is always the option to create a separate Facebook page solely for business purposes. However, these types of pages are more likely to be successful for B2C companies where the target audience is already a regular Facebook user and  the product or service they’re selling is a lifestyle fit.

On the other hand, LinkedIn is a social platform designed specifically for the business professional.  It’s used by over 160 million people worldwidewho did nearly 4.2 billion professionally-oriented searches within the platform in 2011 and are set to surpass more than 5.3 billion this year. If I only had $10 to spend on social marketing and I had to choose between LinkedIn and Facebook, I would choose LinkedIn. The audience is more targeted, more qualified for the B2B technology market we focus on and the platform offers many ways to engage with this audience.

Here are five thoughts on how to maximize LinkedIn for business:

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Online Meetings and Events: Tips for Making Them Better with Social Media

While your next online meeting may happen on WebEx, that doesn’t mean it’s the only channel you should use to make your meeting successful. Social media can be a wonderful compliment to your meeting or event.

Here are a few tips for using the most popular channels in your meeting mix.

Facebook
If the meeting is public, Facebook is great for posting pre and post event information. Before the meeting, post the invite with registration information. Post event, post a blog or screen grabs with links to the recording or a post-event whitepaper. To reach new people, consider a Facebook advertisement. It’s easy to target your reach and control your spend.

Twitter
Twitter is a great channel for driving pre and post event traffic to your site: ahead of time for registration and afterward for the recording. But Twitter is also an excellent way to engage folks during your meeting. By creating a “back-channel” conversation, you can get feedback and ideas from participants who may be too shy to speak up during the meeting. You can also grab great sound bites during the meeting and tweet them so others will be drawn to your content. Use hashtags to extend your reach.

LinkedIn
Publicize your events on LinkedIn to attract a business following. Make sure your company page is up to date and turn on the status updates feature that works very much like Facebook. You can also create a LinkedIn group to create a special interest Read More »

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