Monthly Archives: January 2011

Helpful Social Media Sites

It seems every time I give a social media seminar, we run out of time before all the questions get answered. Everyone is in a different spot in their journey through the social media jungle, which makes it even more challenging to get everyone’s concerns addressed. So today, I’m sharing 3 of my favorite social media resource websites with you. Use these sites to learn more about social media, and get some of those pressing questions answered.

Mashable:
www.mashable.com

Mashable claims to be “the top source for news in social and digital media, technology and web culture.” They do have quite an abundance of news stories on their website. For social media news, simply click on the Social Media menu at the top of their webpage or log directly onto www.mashable.com/social-media/.

Make it even easier on yourself and “like” their Facebook fan page or follow them on Twitter. Every day you’ll get news updates about social media, from Facebook to Twitter to YouTube and more … all delivered straight to your Facebook page. You probably won’t read everything they share, but you’ll definitely find a few things that peak your interest.

Social Media Examiner:
www.socialmediaexaminer.com

Social Media Examiner is a free, online magazine (a blog, really) to help businesses navigate through the jungle of social media. They offer a lot of good information, from creative ways to increase your fan base to social media reports.

You can sign up for their e-newsletter, “like” them on Facebook (they already have almost 30,000 fans as of this writing), or follow them on Twitter. I’ve noticed they answer any and all questions that fans post on their Facebook page.

Brian Solis:
www.briansolis.com

Brian Solis is an emerging media specialist and blogs quite a bit about social media. What’s unique about Brian is that he’s also a sociologist and futurist. He focuses on social media and its role in marketing, brand management, strategy, and more.

You’ll also find Brian on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. If you don’t like reading articles online, you can watch him in action on YouTube instead. Links to his presence on these social media sites can be found at his website, www.briansolis.com.

Are You Linked In?

We’ve been talking quite a bit about Facebook lately, so let’s turn to another social media site that’s a great resource for business owners and professionals. LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com ) is a great place to network online with people who have the same goals as you … growing their business and expanding their careers.

Similar to Facebook in that you can provide status updates, post photos, share links to videos and websites … LinkedIn is geared toward businesses and professionals. As a pond pro, you understand the importance of networking with others in the landscape industry, and LinkedIn will allow you to do just that.

On Facebook, you’re probably most interested in engaging your customers and finding new customers at the same time. On LinkedIn, you’ll benefit from connecting with other landscape professionals and businesses in your area. You can ask to join any of the groups that interest you on LinkedIn. For example, the California Landscape Contractor’s Association (CLCA) has a group on LinkedIn. Join a group and their many discussions, and soon you’ll find hardscapers or irrigation specialists that can refer customers to you for pond installation. (I happen to belong to a couple marketing and PR groups on LinkedIn and have gotten some great information from others.)

LinkedIn can connect with other sites as well, allowing your LinkedIn profile to become a one-stop shop for pertinent information about you and your business.

As an example, surf on over to my LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferzuri and you’ll see that I’ve connected my file sharing account on www.box.net to my LinkedIn profile. I upload my published articles to my Box account, and they’re automatically pulled into my LinkedIn page. This way, anyone visiting my LinkedIn profile can download any of the articles I’ve written and they don’t have to go to another website to do so. I’ve also connected this blog to my LinkedIn account too!

Another great benefit of LinkedIn is its recommendation feature. You can ask one of your LinkedIn connections to recommend work you’ve done. Personal referrals speak volumes to customers considering you for an installation project. In return, be willing to provide a recommendation for someone who’s done the same for you.

A recent social media survey showed that over 85% of employers today look for new hires on LinkedIn. Employers can post job openings on LinkedIn, while perusing potential candidates at the same time. You’ll want to make sure that your profile is always up-to-date with enough information to paint a picture of who you are and what you do. And if you’re a business owner yourself, make sure you utilize LinkedIn to look for quality employees.

Getting started with LinkedIn is easy. Simply log on to www.linkedin.com and follow the steps to set up your free account. The more information you include in your profile, the easier it will be for LinkedIn to recommend people you might want to connect with on the site. The more you get connected, the more you’ll get your name out there, and the more business you’ll be able to find in 2011 and beyond.