Sunday, August 21, 2011

Social Media Tips: To Use or Not to Use

Social Media is one of the most exciting avenues to not only reaching, but also influencing your target audience.  During my recent training gigs, when organizations were asked if they used some form of social media, they all yelled YES WE DO!  When asked why they used social media the responses took on a whispering of reasons.  Mostly, organizations admitted that they used social media because everyone else seems to be using it. Other answers included:
·      Board told us to start using it
·      To raise money
·      To increase our pool of new supporters
·      To enhance relationships with existing audiences
·      To round out their communication mix of creating awareness
·      A staff member said that we should

Social media links are being used in magazines, attached to articles and advertisements for just about everything. They also said that the news media uses it at the end of their broadcast to let you know that you can follow their news by becoming a fan.

The biggest concern that my workshop participants continue to have is how should I use social media? Most organizations clearly stated that social media was comprised of Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. Please be aware that these are the best known and the largest social media sites today. They were quite familiar with these three machines.  They were rather surprised when I shared many other modes of social media transportation with them, which by the way caused them think even harder about photo and video sharing sites that they have been curious to try out.

This month, the President of the United States announced that he was now using Foursquare to let people know where he is or has been.  So much for the secret service fellows eh? In our workshop we addressed a few video and photo sharing sites and how to upload and embed those videos into your documents. Many were familiar with Shutterfly ( Flickr ( and Snapfish ( and Tumblr (

In terms of video and photo sharing, my workshop participants were pleased to be able to create You Tube accounts and upload files and videos.However, they were overwhelmed with excitement when they were introduced to Animoto, a site that formats your photos into a beautiful slide show/video with lovely music that is available for your selection. It also allows the user to upload their music. The results were magnificent and participants couldn’t wait to create an account. Check it out when you get a moment at

Interested in learning more about social media? Check out The New Social Learning: Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media by Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner. Click on the following link to download your very own copy at:

Check out Dropbox ( while you are at it too. A great way to store your documents. If you need an invite, just email me and I will send you an invitation to join.

Next time – Promotions West will be sharing Twitter Tips that will help you with your tweeting. Any ideas out there please leave your comments and they will be greatly appreciated.

Social Tools Increase Employee Interruptions

Collaboration and social tools designed to increase productivity are actually
costing businesses millions of dollars per year in lost productivity, according to a
survey of more than 500 U.S. employees conducted by online market research firm uSamp (United Sample) and commissioned by social email software provider harmon, i.e. Nearly 60% of work interruptions involve email, social networks, text and instant messaging, or switching windows between applications.  According to the report, 45% of employees work just 15 minutes (or less) before getting interrupted.

During the upcoming days and weeks when you are sitting at your desk, make a list of the number of times that you get interrupted by co-workers, phone calls, emails or other types of disturbances.  Ever wonder why it’s so challenging to get through that well designed “To Do” list. Very often I have to transfer my to do items to the next week.

According to USamp collected data, the follow are common workplace distractions listed by activity.  I am sure that the list of activities in our busy lifestyle will continue to increase. Let me know some of your daily distractions.

Phone calls
Processing emails
Toggling between apps
Talking with Co-workers
Facebook, personal web searches
Instant messaging
Text messaging
Ad hoc meetings
Web searches