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Social Media for Non Technical Leaders

May 22nd, 2009

While attending local Chamber of Commerce meetings here in North County San Diego (Carlsbad), we have come across several business owners who often ask us exactly what social media is and more specifically, what software or mechanisms do they need to use to build a social media presence.

We wanted to create a video that better explains social media at a “grass roots” level for the non technical person to understand.  You could call it “Social Media for Dummies” if you want but it’s for all those folks that keenly aware of the social media buzz but know very little of the mechanics and software used to create and deliver social media. You have to crawl before you walk and walk before you can run. This video starts off at the crawl stage. The video is in two parts below.

Part 1

Part 2

Video Transcript (Part 1)

So what is social media? At its most basic sense, social media is a shift in how people discover, read, and share news, information and content.

Traditional media is one way. Using mediums like newspaper TV and traditional static webpages, communication flow from the organization to prospects and customers in one direction.

So what makes social media different? Social media is a fusion of sociology and technology. Transforming monologue one to many into dialogue many to many.

So social media allows for two-way conversations. Using mediums like Facebook, forums blogs and even Twitter. organizations can communicate back and forth with customers and prospects.

Social media craze: social media has become extremely popular because it allows people to connect in the online world to form business and personal relationships.

Recently in the news USA Today reports that Wells Fargo and Bank of America have begun to “tweet” using Twitter with their customers about everything from bank fees to product features. Discover Financial, American Express and Citigroup have launched Facebook or MySpace pages. Some banks even put marketing videos and YouTube.

1:50: Today’s most popular social media technologies

Let’s take a look at each one and depth. First, the blog.

What is a blog? A blog is a (contraction of the term weblog) is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.

The state look at a typical blog structure.

Remember, a blog is nothing more than a webpage. It generally has a title or purpose somewhere near the top. A logo perhaps, links to other websites, and traditionally, a blog has an archive list of articles. Clicking on the article will bring up a blog post in detail. In addition to the post itself, blogs typically provide a place where the user can type comments related to that post.

Probably the most popular blog engines right now are Blogger and WordPress. So here’s a sample style blog that we just looked at. In this example let’s pretend we’re using WordPress as our blog engine. This is simple style one. And with a few clicks of the button, you can change the background or position of the elements on the blog. Here’s yet another style. The blog software makes it easy for people to adjust the blog style and settings without actually programming.

Common reasons for blog. It’s a great way to document your success stories, you technical expertise, new developments, and communicate to your customers or subscribers. You can provide your own editorial articles (which is a popular use for blogging). And most blog software comes in comes complete with built-in visitor statistics.

To create a blog account, simply sign up with an entity that provide you with a blog such as WordPress, decide on the template format, provide some basic information, provide a few starting articles – the blog can be hosted directly with WordPress or can be downloaded and used on your own Web server. It takes approximately one to four hours to set up a blog.

4:18: Twitter: What is Twitter?

It is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users updates known as “Tweets”. “Tweets” are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length which are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have subscribed to them known as “followers”. Let’s take a look at an example Twitter page.

Here we have the CNN Twitter page. It consists of the username, a custom picture or logo, and then the updates below also known as tweets. They provide a place for you to put your website, a short bio, and it keeps track of statistics such as followers, who you’re following, followers, and updates. Here’s a button to find other people on Twitter and you can find by keywords that are related to the subject you are either an expert at or interested in.

Here’s another example Twitter page. You can put your own background here and here’s where you type your updates – simply type the update and click update and you’ll begin communicating on you Twitter page.

So common reasons for a Twitter account: It provides instant communication to followers between your blog postings. You can provide small tidbits of information on applicable subject matter, some brief announcements, it allows you to communicate to people you don’t know but have a common interest with. It helps drive traffic to your own internal site and/or blog. And you can ask questions to your followers as well as ask questions to the people you follow.

So to create a twitter account, so please sign up with a twitter.com, create a short file and upload a picture, start treating, and it takes approximately 15 minutes to set up.

Video Transcript (Part 2)

Facebook: What is Facebook?
Facebook is a website whereby you can create your own web “page”. Facebook pages are generally for individuals. Facebook “groups” are generally for organizations.
So let’s take a look at some Facebook attributes. You have a logo, a buyout, contact information, the fans, and other links down here. In this area you have the wall, which is a general bulletin board of things that you are posting and other information such as photos, you can put videos here, notes, and those tabs are customizable. Here is where you would type an update and share that update with your fans.

Another nice thing about to facebook group page is that it provides group statistics.

So common reasons for a facebook group account: provides an online group gathering place, Great way to announce upcoming events. You can bring prospects and customers together under one roof. Share thoughts, techniques, advice with the group And provide richer content such as pictures and videos. It also allows for status updates like Twitter. And another nice feature is the built in visitor statistics.

So to create a group they spoke account: you would sign up with facebook, submit the necessary info, pictures and video. It takes approximately 1-2 hours for the initial setup.

1:38: YouTube. What is YouTube?
YouTube is a video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips. Users can set up their own “channel” for all their videos.

So let’s take a look at a typical YouTube channel page. You have of a channel title, channel stats, a connection area, and featured videos. Like the Facebook group account, the YouTube channel has something called “insight” which gives you statistics on the visitors that come watch your videos.

So common reasons for a YouTube channel: Video has preferential treatment with the search engines. YouTube is the most popular video website. It’s one of the easiest ways to distribute a video. The videos are hosted using Google’s bandwidth and scalability. Videos can be embedded on a website or linked to via a link. The video controls are automatically added to the video. And again, the built-in visitor statistics is a handy feature to have.

So to create a YouTube Channel: you sign up with YouTube.com. Upload videos and enter a description and tags for the video. Producing the actual video is harder than distributing it. Producing video does require extra equipment for video such as a digital camera. It takes approximately 1-2 hours to set up a video channel.

3:12: Forum. What is a Forum?
A form is a public meeting place for open discussion of various topics. Online, a forum may also be referred to as a bulletin board or discussion area.

Here we have an example forum. Generally it consists of a title, categories, subcategories, number of posts, and if I were to click here on this subcategory, I would be directed to a page with more details that would show me a page with topics.
So a forum is a great way to organize a block of information on a single page and organize it by category subcategory, and topic. Here you’ll see information on the last post and who created the post.

Common reasons for form. A forum is generally a question and answer format so it’s great for tech support. Many people often have the same question. So you can answer a question once and have many people view that same question without having to answer each one through e-mail. It’s a way for people to help each other rather than questions being handled by the forum provider. By having a forum, you essentially have 24-hour tech support.

So the creative forum, simply sign-up with a forum provider such a simplemachines.org, create your categories, subcategories and topics. Forums can be hosted on your own Web site or hosted by a third party. It takes approximately 2-4 hours to set them up.

4:50: Putting it all together.
If you want to get higher rankings in Google and create more surface area on the Internet, this is one way to do it.

Let’s say you have your website and you’ve created a blog and a forum. Now you create a new article. You post the article on your blog. Post any supporting videos for that blog on YouTube, and then announce the blog article through your Twitter and Facebook accounts. If you have a forum, and a question is answered that a blog article might address, you can create a link from the forum back to the blog article.

We hope that this video has helped you understand a little bit more about what social media is And some of the tools used in social media today.

Author: Categories: Marketing Tags:

Productive Computing, Inc. Introduces New Tools for Customers to Stay Connected.

May 13th, 2009

San Diego, CA – May 13, 2009 – Productive Computing, Inc., a Platinum member of the FileMaker Business Alliance, is proud to announce the availability of a public blog, a technical support forum, a corporate FaceBook account and several Twitter accounts to help customers and the business community stay connected.

 

The blog will cover business editorials as well as technical articles and will serve as a launching point for community discussions on both.  Users can review the new blog site at:

 

http://www.productivecomputing.com/blog

 

The support forum will provide a public area where customers can research and post their support questions and where Productive Computing, Inc. staff members can post resolutions that the entire community can benefit from reading.  Users can review the new technical support forum at:

 

http://www.productivecomputing.com/forum

 

The FaceBook account will provide a “fan” page that will allow users who are comfortable using FaceBook to follow corporate updates and product releases.  Members of FaceBook can become a fan of Productive Computing, Inc. by searching for “Productive Computing, Inc.” once they are logged in.

 

Three Twitter accounts have been established to allow customers and fans to follow the CEO, CFO and the official corporate news outlet.

 

Users can follow the company’s CEO and founder, Marc Larochelle at:

http://twitter.com/MarcLarochelle

 

Users can follow the company’s CFO and cofounder, Keith Larochelle at:

http://twitter.com/KeithLarochelle

 

Users can follow the company’s news broadcasts at:

http://twitter.com/ProdComp

 

“We are very excited to be able to provide and explore these new communication channels for our customers, the FileMaker Pro community and the business community at large.  Our ability to share our experiences and expertise in business and technology is magnified tremendously by using these social media tools and we are looking forward to connecting with and opening dialogs with all our customers.” – CFO, Keith Larochelle

 

About Productive Computing, Inc.

Since 1996, Productive computing, Inc. has created efficiency through automation by helping its clients increase their productivity via custom database development, plug-ins and packaged solutions as well as providing IT support and web development. Its staff of certified FileMaker developers can assist its customers with creating or customizing a complete technology solution to fit their specific business needs.

 

For more information:

Productive Computing, Inc.

950 Boardwalk, Suite 205

San Marcos, CA  92078

(760) 510-1200

info@productivecomputing.com

 

 

Author: Categories: Marketing Tags:

Turn Off “related videos” When Embedding from YouTube

May 13th, 2009

While embedding our YouTube videos in our WordPress blog posts located at www.thebizbros.com/blog and www.productivecomputing.com/blog we discovered an interesting nuance (A.K.A. “feature”). If you use the default “embed” code provided by YouTube, the video will be displayed with the ability for the user to preview “related” videos based on the tags you used when you setup your video on YouTube. This means that while the user is looking at YOUR video, they can peruse other videos not at all related to your video. Although there are times where this might be desirable, there are times where it isn’t.  The following article will show you how to remove the related videos for embedded YouTube videos.

The issue is this:

1) The user has the ability to click the button at the bottom right button (see fig 1).

related-youtube-videos1

fig 1

The user can then select the “related videos” button (see fig 2)

related-youtube-videos2

fig 2

related-videos

fig 3

Then finally, a list of related videos (not necessarily your videos, but anyone’s videos) appears (see fig 3).

The solution to REMOVE related videos is this:
You need to add the “related video” parameter and set it to “0.” So, when you add the embed code from YouTube, add the “&rel=0” at the end of the video name (see the red text in the following example – fig 4):

embed-code

fig 4

When complete, the related videos will no longer appear (see fig 5).

fig 5

fig 5

I found the tip buried deep on the YouTube help website: http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?hlrm=en-in&answer=75301

Author: Categories: Software Tips Tags: