Where am I with Google+?

Good question. I have an account. I have some circles. I have some friends in them I think. I have done some +1s. I’m still none the wiser with it to be honest.

Then I read this http://thinkdifferently.ca/differently/google-has-the-holy-grail-of-social-apps-and-is-waiting-for-users-to-realize/#comment-5. And it made me feel better.

So, I will be spending some time with my Google+ account and I plan to put into practice what I learnt back in February on the BTEC for Social Media. Now…where are my notes?

Say it on camera

People buy from people. It’s a well known fact. If you’re selling online, whether it’s a product or service, testimonials can have a significant impact on turning a prospect into a customer. Words are great, but moving pictures are better. Here’s one I made earlier for Status Social following our intensive three day kick-start to the BTEC Level 3 Award in Social Media for Business. Enjoy 😉

Doug Richard’s School for Startups

Yesterday I met ex-Dragon Doug Richard and he gave me some straight forward, extremely useful feedback on a branding question I had. I jumped at the chance to ask him during a break at the Web Fuelled Business bootcamp at Sheffield’s Megacentre. He basically told me what I already knew, but to have it confirmed was music to my ears and ego.

The bootcamp was a superb event – and free! Doug and ex-Amazon executive James Dening conveyed an astonishing amount of information on all things web from SEO, SEM, SMM, E-commerce, Exporting, Adwords, Adsense, Remarketing and more!

Some of the bootcamp info reinforced my recent BTEC in Social Media for Business and some elements were completely new – how exciting: new stuff! Remarketing was especially relevant as I’ve just started an Adwords campaign. Remarketing basically drops cookies onto the computer of people who’ve previously visited your website and so when they next fire up a browser and visit a relevant site, your remarketing-targeted ad will, as if by magic, appear to them. This will keep happening until such times as you decide to switch it off. Well worth knowing about, don’t you think?

Fire the intern!

One of the hot topics of discussion we had today on our Social Media BTEC course, was who would you put in charge of corporate social media communications? Would you outsource to a specialist who would ensure the dialogue is professional? Would you get the MD or CEO to do it who probably knows little about the media but a lot about the company? Perhaps leave it to the IT geek with access to the latest apps? Or are you more likely to let the intern handle it because they spend their life on Facebook anyway?

Many social media disaster case studies exist (Nestle on Facebook, Kevin Smith and Southwest Air on Twitter and more http://mashable.com/2011/12/31/social-media-disasters-2011/) and have put the fear into some companies which prevents them from properly engaging social media. So how can we protect firms from making these mistakes and stop the knee-jerk sacking of the intern reaction?

The answer, as I see it, is advanced training for those who will be in charge of the social media interaction and a solid social media policy which is rolled out across the company, ensuring staff understand the company’s stance on all things social network related and what will and will not be acceptable behaviour.

You probably already have an email and internet usage policy, so now is the time to build your social media policy. Try the Policy Tool for Social Media. Let me know how you get on.

Social Media for Business

At the end of day two on my BTEC course, I’m learning so much my brain hurts a little. The content is relevant to everything I need to hone my social media skills and ensure I can provide a solid offering and clear strategy to fit a company’s marketing mix. It will, of course, constantly evolve due to the nature of the beast that is social networking, but I’m in good hands with mentors Mark Saxby and Martin Broadhurst from Status Social in Derby. Really looking forward to tomorrow and learning about Google+.