The Conversations Around Us

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Book Review: “likeable social media” by Dave Kerpen


Our next book review is of Dave Kerpen’s New York Times best seller “likeable social media,” subtitled “How to DELIGHT YOUR CUSTOMERS, Create an IRRESISTIBLE BRAND, and Be Generally AMAZING ON FACEBOOK (and other social networks).”

As the subtitle might convey, Dave has a lot to say about how to do social media right. He begins early in the book by sharing an analogy about being at a cocktail party. As with any party, you encounter a wide variety of people on social media networks; those who are great story tellers, and those who bore you to tears. Then, Dave boldly asks which person you want to see again, or maybe even do business with.

We all instinctively know who we want to hang out with at a party, but as businesses, we tend to ignore some of the most basic niceties of human communication. We forget to listen, to ask questions, and to engage with people.

Dave reminds us of the elements that make people likeable, and applies them to businesses as well. His first chapter looks at the importance of listening, and to never stop listening. From there, he stresses the importance of knowing your demographics, as well as where and how to find them, then putting yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself, if you were your customer, what would you want?

Each chapter focuses on another aspect of likeability and how to apply it online; things like being authentic, honest and transparent, taking responsibility, responding to comments people make (both the good and the bad), providing value to the people you engage with, inspiring people with the stories you share, and integrating social media into your customers’ experience.

There’s not a lot that’s new in Dave’s book. Any child who has ever been taught their manners learns the same thing. Listen. Say “please” and “thank you.” Put yourself in the other guy’s shoes. Ask questions. Be nice. If you’ve done something wrong, apologize. Don’t be pushy or bossy. Play nice with others. Don’t run with scissors. (Well… That’s not really in the book, but you get the idea!)

However, Dave puts all of these simple things together in the context of developing a likeable social media presence for your business, even if you are hampered by regulations that hinder your ability to participate in social media. A significant benefit of using social media comes from listening to what people have to say, showing appreciation for their praise and concern for their frustrations, offering guidance when and how rules allow.

One thing I particularly liked is that at the end of each chapter, there are action items that help you to apply what you’ve just learned to your own unique situation. For example, Chapter 12, called “Share Stories (They’re Your Social Currency)” suggests that you write down your company’s founding story, and package it for easy consumption on social networks. This is more than writing a bio for your profile, or an “About Us” page on your website. This is about sharing the story that captures your unique “Why,” and it can be a very engaging and compelling connector between you and your audience.

It’s for this reason that I believe there’s something in this enjoyable book for everyone working with social media; both the newbie and the experienced veteran. So, if you’re looking for an engaging read that inspires you to be more likeable, I highly recommend reading Dave Kerpen’s “likeable social media.”

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Book Review, Business, Facebook, Twitter | , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: “The Final Summit” by Andy Andrews


I first “discovered” Andy Andrews when he started following me on Twitter. (He’s @AndyAndrews.) Exploring his website led me to The Noticer Project, a nationwide movement to “notice” the five most influential people in your life. From that point onward, I was hooked on everything he did. I’ve since read all of his books, heard him speak in person, watched many of his videos, and always look forward to his next project. So, I was thrilled when his publisher, Thomas Nelson, gave me the opportunity to review his latest book.

The Final Summit book coverSo, let me ask you this… If you were able to travel through time meeting some of the greatest leaders throughout history, what would you hope to learn from them? In Andy’s book “The Traveler’s Gift,” the main character, David Ponder, gets just such an opportunity at the absolute lowest point in his life. Through the course of this New York Times bestseller, he meets King Solomon, Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, Columbus, Anne Frank, Joshua Chamberlain and the archangel Gabriel to learn The Seven Decisions for Success that shaped their lives.

David then spends the next 28 years applying The Seven Decisions to his life and business, benefiting himself, his family, and countless other people around him. His success hit a snag at one point, only to rise to even greater heights as he embraces Truman’s lesson that “Adversity is preparation for greatness.”

In the sequel, “The Final Summit,” David Ponder’s world has once again been shaken. His beloved wife, Ellen, suddenly and unexpectedly dies in her sleep, and he’s at a complete and total loss without her.

It’s at this point that David learns that all of history’s Travelers are being gathered together for one last summit meeting that he is to lead, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Centuries of greed, pride and hate have sent mankind hurtling towards disaster, and far from its original purpose. The question is simple, “What does humanity need to do, individually and collectively, to restore itself to the pathway toward successful civilization?” The answer? Only two words… But can the greatest minds in all of history find the right ones? Continue reading

May 31, 2011 Posted by | Book Review, Leadership, Resources | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Hashtags Demystified…


A friend of mine called me up earlier today and said “Can you tell me about this hashtag thing? I really need to understand it for my business, and haven’t a clue where to start.” Rather than keeping the information between “just the two of us,” I decided to write a quick post and show you just what hashtags are capable of doing.

Hashtags are a quick and easy way of organizing information on Twitter. Due to some tools that allow you to post on multiple social networks at once (like Hootsuite and TweetDeck), you’ll find hashtags used on other social networks as well, but they were first used with Twitter and there are Twitter-related sites that make them extremely powerful. Thus, the examples I use in this blog post will all be Twitter-oriented.

So, first – What is a hashtag? Wiktionary defines it as: A tag embedded in a message posted on a microblogging service, consisting of a word within the message prefixed with a hash sign (#).

Now that that’s clear, let’s move on. Oh! Wait! It didn’t make sense? Okay. Let’s try again. Continue reading

May 7, 2011 Posted by | Employment, Resources, Twitter | , , , , | 4 Comments

From Bud to Boss: Secrets to a Successful Transition to Remarkable Leadership


If you’ve read my blog before, you’re aware that most of my posts have to do with growing your business. Past posts have talked about how to get found online, making connections with others in person or using social media, and the challenges of being an effective solopreneur. Since I’m also a contributing author for the Lead Change Group’s blog, you’ll sometimes see cross-over pieces touching on character-based leadership here as well. In today’s post, these worlds collide and the result is Remarkable, if I do say so myself! Whenever I get to write about my favorite subjects at once and read a great book, it’s a win-win situation! Kevin Eikenberry, a member of the Lead Change community, is launching his latest book “From Bud to Boss” tomorrow, and a request for reviewers went out a couple of weeks ago. Many of us in the community are helping to #buildthebuzz about this book using our collective blogging and social media talents. Even if I wasn’t enthralled with the way this book is being marketed (which I am), this book is definitely one I’d recommend. Kevin and his co-author, Guy Harris, have created an instruction manual that belongs in the hands of every new leader on the planet (and in the hands of some more experienced leaders too). Continue reading

February 14, 2011 Posted by | Business, Leadership, Resources | , , , | 2 Comments

Should I Upgrade My Facebook Page Now or Wait?


If you’re an admin of a Facebook page, you will soon be invited to upgrade your page to the new format. Just as profiles were recently redesigned, Facebook is redesigning pages as well. Here are some thoughts to help you make your decision.

Thankfully, Facebook offers you the opportunity to preview the upgrade on your specific page before actually making the change. I highly recommend that you do that. It will help you understand where some familiar things have been moved to (like your tabs will no longer appear at the top of the page; instead, they’ll be along the left-hand side as navigation links). It will also help you preview your landing page to make sure it still works properly. Right now, there seems to be a bug that affects some landing pages, but not all. With this bug, the content of the page is being truncated so that information on the right-hand side is cut off. The width is still supposed to be 520px, but seems to be shortened by as must as 30px for some pages. Continue reading

February 11, 2011 Posted by | Business, Facebook | , , | Leave a comment

5 Tips on How You Can “Warm Your Leads”


There are three types of leads we all deal with in our businesses. Hot leads are those folks who are ready to buy NOW. Warm leads are those who will be ready to buy soon, but aren’t quite there yet, often due to time or money constraints. And Cold leads are those individuals who are never going to buy from you, no matter what you do.

While it’s easy to “cherry pick” the Hot leads (and you should definitely do that), the majority of our business is in converting our Warm leads into Hot leads. So, how do you “warm your leads?”

Here are 5 simple ways to do just that: Continue reading

January 7, 2011 Posted by | Business, Sales | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Do Your Customers Love You?


Relationships take time and effort, regardless of what kind they are. But did you know that there are tools that exist that can maximize the effect of your marketing efforts?

In the past, marketing was left to the venues of radio, TV and printed forms of media (newspapers, magazines, and junk mail). Then clever people created VCRs (followed by DVRs and TIVO) that allow us to tape our favorite programs and skip all the advertising. AM/FM broadcasting was abandoned for Syrius satellite, podcasts and BlogTalkRadio. Magazine and newspaper circulations continue to dwindle in favor of online news outlets. Continue reading

November 2, 2010 Posted by | Business | , , , | 2 Comments

9 Easy and Inexpensive Ways for Businesses to “Get Found”


Image from Photobucket.com

I was recently asked the question,

What are some easy and inexpensive ways for companies to get their name out to the public?

This all depends first on what you have to start with. Do you have a website? Do you have an existing client list? Does it include e-mail or mailing address details? Are you starting totally from scratch? What industry are you in?

Off the top of my head, here’s what I’d do…

  1. Add your business listing to Google Places.
     
  2. If you have an established business, search for your business/product/brand and find all business directory listings in which you appear. Claim each one, and ensure that your listing is appropriately categorized and that the keywords are optimized.
      Continue reading

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Business | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Essence of Self-Leadership: Start with the End in Mind


Tim with his Daisy Air Rifle

My 10-year-old son, Tim, has been passionate about the military and weapons of war for years. He’s grown up knowing that his aunt was serving in the Armed Forces, and taking every opportunity he could to learn things from her. He loves watching historical, military documentaries and sharing interesting details with me.

As he’s gotten older, he has become increasingly adamant about wanting a BB gun, specifically, a Crosman Stinger S32P Airsoft Tactical Carbine. However, I’m missing that chromosomal gene that thinks this all sounds neat. So, it’s been a bit of a battle in our household for years. Sounds a bit like “A Christmas Story,” doesn’t it? “You’ll shoot your eye out!”

About a year ago, his friend, Luke, got a BB gun and Tim got to shoot one for the first time. That fueled his fire further, and became part of his argumentation whenever I said “no.” “But Luke got one!”

In speaking to Luke’s mother, Laura, I learned that she too had been totally against the whole idea, but he had saved up the money himself and so she had allowed him to get it. Continue reading

September 14, 2010 Posted by | Leadership | 4 Comments

Dancing As Long As I Can


Tango Pictures, Images and PhotosI recently came across an essay in NPR’s “This I Believe” series that was written by Robert Fulghum, author of “All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” The piece was entitled “Dancing All the Dances As Long As I Can.” In it, Fulghum speaks of a passion of his, dancing, and what it means to him. He relays a recent enthusiasm for tango, and his initial intimidation to try it. However, he thought back to an earlier time when he’d chosen to “stay on the sidelines” when the dancing began after a village wedding on the Greek island of Crete. Continue reading

June 15, 2010 Posted by | Comfort Zone, New Experiences | , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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