Demystify Facebook & Instagram Marketing To Rock Your Online Presence!

Are you a musician, band or singer-songwriter who has been struggling to understand how to get any real traction with your social media marketing campaign? Do you have a Facebook page and an Instagram account but you just can’t seem to get any significant engagement from your fans and have no real idea how to use those platforms to expand your audience? Well, I have just the stocking stuffer for you this Christmas. Let me help you to demystify Facebook and Instagram marketing so you can rock your online presence!

It has been a long time coming but I am super stoked to FINALLY announce the availability for purchase of my Facebook & Instagram marketing guides, in PDF format, on my website now. For only CDN$9.97 (via PayPal), you will receive some very helpful and up-to-date information that will demonstrate how to effectively utilize both Facebook and Instagram for marketing and make you a pro at using them in no time!

Facebook Cover

70 Tips For Rockin’ Your Facebook Page

If you’re having trouble decoding the mysteries of Facebook Pages, this guide is for you! Christine Bode of Scully Love Promo has created an easy-to-read, numbered list of 70 ways that you can take your Page from demo to mastered.

CLICK HERE: https://scullylovepromo.com/services/products/ and follow the simple instructions to purchase this 8 page e-book and download the digital PDF file through PayPal.

CDN $9.97

 

Instagram CoverWhat Musicians Need to Know About Instagram Marketing

If your target audience is under the age of 35, you need to be on Instagram! Find out how to use this incredible mobile phone app successfully to give more exposure to your brand and your music in Christine’s easy-to-read, point form guide. #instasick

CLICK HERE: https://scullylovepromo.com/services/products/ and follow the simple instructions to purchase this 7 page e-book and download the digital PDF file through PayPal.

CDN $9.97

(Cover images created by Donna Wood of Enovations Designs.)

You don’t have to be a musician to receive benefit from these guides. They will assist anyone who is using Facebook or Instagram for marketing purposes and just can’t figure out how to get the most out of those sites. Always remember that with social media marketing, the emphasis should be on SOCIAL and not MARKETING. Be sure to adhere to the 80/20 rule and make 80% of your posts social, offering value or entertainment to your fans, allowing them to get to know you better, and keep your promotional (hard sell) posts to 20%. Your goal is to build relationships and make friends.

It’s time to demystify Facebook and Instagram marketing and rock your online presence! YOU CAN DO IT!

Why You Should Use ManageFlitter To Help You Manage Your Twitter Account

ManageFlitter My favourite tool for managing Twitter accounts is ManageFlitter. It helps us to figure out who we’re following on Twitter that is either inactive or not following us back and it allows us to unfollow up to 100 people per day with the free version of the service.

A commercial version of ManageFlitter was launched in February 2011 by a company called Melon Media in Sydney, Australia, whose chief executive officer is Kevin Garber.

I love this tool because it’s so easy to use and the free version is sufficient for the bulk of ManageFlitter users. You simply go to www.manageflitter.com and sign in using your Twitter account. Be sure you’re signed in to Twitter first so that you can allow ManageFlitter access by authorizing them to pull in your data. You click the red Start button and ManageFlitter pulls in all the people you’re following on Twitter. Then you go to the Manage tab if it doesn’t direct you there automatically, which it often does. From there you can see in the left column, tabs for who is Not Following Back, who has No Profile Image (I don’t follow accounts without a profile image), which accounts are Non-English and who is Inactive. Generally, I click on Inactive first and if someone hasn’t tweeted in a month, I unfollow them. Then I go to Not Following Back and unfollow those accounts held by people who aren’t following me back.

My strategy is to work regularly on searching (using keywords or #hashtags) for people or organizations on Twitter that I’m interested in or who my clients would be interested in and then put them into Lists via keywords to later help filter their feed and find those people more easily so they can talk to them. I will also follow people recommended to me through shoutouts and hashtags like #FF (Follow Friday) or #MM (Music Monday), etc.

Once a month I use ManageFlitter to see who I’ve followed who is inactive or not following back and I unfollow them because let’s face it, they won’t be of any benefit to me. You can always choose to continue to follow a certain amount of Twitter accounts held by those who won’t follow you back because they’re celebrities, news sources or leading specialists in their field because you value the content of their tweets, but I think you should keep those to a minimum in order to keep your ratio of following to followers more even and therefore more appealing to others.

ManageFlitter’s Account Search feature is also excellent for defining who you’re looking for on Twitter and it will pull in a list of people you might want to follow based on the parameters of your search. Click the Refine tab to get the whole form and fill in what’s relevant to you. It always tends to pull in those who have heaps of followers first. As you know, sometimes those people won’t be the ones to follow you back. Always look for their ratio of followers to following to make your decision before you follow someone and make sure they tweet regularly. You can follow people directly from ManageFlitter too.

ManageFlitter also has a Power Post feature under the Engagement tab that enables you to preschedule your tweets to go out at peak times throughout the day. You can use Tweroid to help you to determine what times are best for you to tweet to reach your optimum audience. You can connect your Facebook account and LinkedIn account as well so that you can preschedule posts for them.  You can program in a Recurring tweet as well. I’m not sure how many tweets you can preschedule at once with the free version but you can probably do quite a few. You can ask ManageFlitter questions using their Support form under the Dashboard tab.

There are many additional features you can get including Analytics if you pay to upgrade your account but I find that for my clients’ purposes as well as their budgets that the free version is fine.

All you really need to help manage your Twitter account is ManageFlitter. Check out their blog for more great tips.

50 Tips For Rockin’ Your Facebook Page

50 Tips for Rockin' Your Facebook Page

  1. Define your objectives for your Facebook page (i.e. to generate new leads, offer customer service, increase your brand awareness, network or connect with fans). You need to know what you want to achieve by using Social Media.
  2. Choose the right type of Facebook page for your objective with the correct category and fill in the Basic Information section with as much pertinent information as possible.
  3. Choose a main promo photo for your profile photo (dimensions 180 x 180 pixels) that you’ll use for all your social media sites, as well as a dynamic and complementary cover photo (dimensions 851 x 315 pixels).
  4. Select a unique, catchy name for your Facebook page.
  5. Connect your page to Twitter by signing into your Facebook account and Twitter account at the same time. Go to https://www.facebook.com/twitter and follow instructions.
  6. Install customized Welcome apps on your Facebook page.  Provide a compelling free offer to engage people and encourage them to LIKE your page (offer a free report, eBook, video, discount or coupon).
  7. Use a Reveal tab on your Welcome app (a reveal or “fan gate” will increase your likes by 20-30%).  A reveal tab is a graphic that entices your visitor with a FREE offer but they have to “like” your page to get the free offer.
  8. Link your employer on your personal profile to your fan page.  Go to your personal profile or Timeline and click on the About link under your main profile photo.  Click on Edit – Work and education – and type the name of your Facebook page in the box that asks, “Where have you worked?”  A dialogue box should appear for your page.  Click on it and it will be pulled in as your employer.  Type in the title of your position and how long you’ve been in it, etc.  This will create a live link on your Timeline that will direct people to your Facebook page.
  9. Ask questions on your Facebook page to get comments.  Click on the Offer, Event + tab in the status update dialogue box and choose Question.  Ask something.  You can also add poll answers if you like.
  10. Write fill in the blank sentences on your Facebook page to get comments; i.e. “If I could go anywhere in the world for my honeymoon, I’d go to ______________.”
  11. Be consistent on your Facebook page and post regularly; i.e. at least once a day.
  12. Exchange links.  Team up with a friend and share your pages on each other’s pages and personal walls (and exchange likes for likes).
  13. Participate in Facebook Fan Page Friday networking events.
  14. Post a status update and invite people to check something out on your fan page.
  15. Ask people to share your status update!  It’s a proven fact that if you ask people directly to do something for you, they will be more likely to do it.
  16. Incorporate status tagging.  Share content from someone else’s page and give them the credit for it by typing the @ sign and then the name of the person or page that you wish to tag. A pop-up box will appear with suggestions as you begin to type. Click on the right one to pull it into your post and it becomes a live link.
  17. Post photos!  They have the highest weight or most virility so use them for 80% of posts.  Text based status updates are also highly viral.
  18. Change your cover image often.  You can’t include your website URL, contact info or a direct call to action in your cover image, but you can use images, graphics & text to think of other ways to promote your business.
  19. Pin your important posts to the top of your page.  Do this by hovering your cursor over the top right corner of your post box and click on the pencil icon for Edit or Remove.  Choose Pin to Top and your post will remain at the top of your page for 7 days or until you change it.  Keep it fresh and rotate.
  20. Highlight posts on your Facebook page.  Do this by hovering your cursor over the top right corner of your post box and clicking on the star icon that says Highlight.  This will make the post the full width of your Facebook page and it will really stand out.
  21. Add more Milestones!  Click on the Offer, Event + tab in the status update dialogue box and choose Milestone and fill in the information requested.
  22. Add a Facebook Fan Box to your website. Link to plug-in: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like-box/
  23. Install Facebook Comment Boxes.  You can find out how to here: http://www.ruhanirabin.com/easy-steps-to-facebook-connect-comment-box-how-to/
  24. Run a contest!  Be sure to follow Facebook’s promotion guidelines at https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php – use WildFire app – http://www.wildfireapp.com/
  25. Make your own Facebook LIKE sign – http://www.whatcounts.com/fbsign/
  26. Install a Fan of the Week app and offer prizes to the winners.  Simply type Fan of the Week in the Search box and it will bring up the Fan of the Week for Pages app.
  27. Get fans to tag photos of any live events you’ve attended or hosted and ask fans to tag themselves in the photos.  Do this by clicking on the photo so that the photo appears in a larger format on the left side of the page and the description and comment boxes appear on the right side. Hover your cursor over the bottom of the photo and click on Tag Photo and then type your name in or the name of the person who is in the photo.  If they’re your friend on Facebook, you’ll see a drop-down box to click on.
  28. Do you use a newsletter to regularly market your business?  Make sure that you’re including your links back to all of your social media profiles on every correspondence that you send out.  If you use MailChimp or Constant Contact, you can install a customized app for those providers to your Facebook page.  If not, you can use the Static Iframe Tab app.
  29. Include a link on your business card to your Facebook page.
  30. Did you know that you can shorten your Facebook URL by using fb.me or fb.com?  For example; http://www.fb.me/scullylovepromo or http://www.fb.com/scullylovepromo. Use the shortened version to save space on your business card!
  31. Use WiseStamp to create an email signature that incorporates all of your social media icons with clickable links – http://www.wisestamp.com
  32. Use your Facebook page link when you’re commenting on blogs.
  33. Always provide a watermarked link on all your videos linking back to your Facebook page and/or include the link to your Facebook page in the description section of your video on YouTube at the very beginning of the description.
  34. Understand Edgerank and use Edgerank Checker – http://edgerankchecker.com/
  35. Use Facebook Insights to track results and analyze demographics.  Insights can be found in the Admin Panel on your Facebook page.  Click the link to See All to view them.
  36. Monitor your insights!  Find out which posts were the most popular and what countries and demographic that you’re popular with.
  37. Use targeted Facebook ad campaigns – https://www.facebook.com/advertising – if you don’t know how to create one, Scully Love Promo can help you!
  38. Use Promoted Posts!  For as little as $5 you can promote a post on your Facebook page that will be seen by not only the people who have liked your page but also their friends.  The post can be targeted and will be seen by fans in the top 3-4 countries that have liked your page. Promoted posts often result in additional likes for your page for a minimal investment.
  39. Create Interest Lists and add the Facebook pages that you’ve liked to them so that you can keep track of them by keyword or subject.
  40. Use a Google calendar to create a posting plan for your Facebook page for every day of the week.
  41. Invite your Twitter fans to your Facebook page (include your FB URL in your Twitter bio).  A great way to entice people to share your content is by giving them an opportunity for added exposure by offering them something in return; i.e. “It is PAGE sharing day! Come and share your PAGE URL on my fan page @ http://www.facebook.com/ScullyLovePromo.”
  42. Invite your customers to your fan page – have stickers made that provide the URL and say “Like us on Facebook” that you can affix to every sales receipt.
  43. Use Woobox to apply thumbnail photos to apps that have their own unique URL – http://www.woobox.com/
  44. Check your Notifications.  Try using http://www.hyperalerts.no/
  45. Try special offers using the TabSite app.
  46. Install the Suggest To Friends app.
  47. For those of you are a bit more technically savvy, use Wildfire’s iFrames for Pages – http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/03/07/wildfire-iframes-pages-welcome-tab/
  48. Use Snagit, a screenshot program that captures video display and audio output. Get a tutorial here: http://www.techsmith.com/tutorial-snagit.html
  49. Use Likealzyer to gain insight into how you can improve engagement on your Facebook page: http://likealyzer.com/
  50. Know where to seek Help on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/help/

 

 

What To Do When You Reach 5,000 Friends On Facebook

facebook-67361_640As a social media manager, one of the most common dilemmas that I see my clients face is what to do with people who put in friend requests after they’ve reached Facebook’s 5,000 friend limit.

So what do you do if you’re ultra popular and have many friend requests that are sitting in the queue that you haven’t been able to accept?  Scroll through your friends’ list and privately email at least 100 that you don’t really know and who never communicate with you, with a short message (copy & paste) politely explaining the friend limit dilemma and ask them to join you on your Facebook page where they can also message you privately.  Clarify that you’d like to leave space for people that you know who might join Facebook and want to connect with you.  Then unfriend those people by clicking on their names, the Friends button on their personal Timeline, and Unfriend.

That way, when people you actually know put in a request, they won’t get the message that says you can’t accept any more friends.  I then go through each request, click on the person’s name and look to see whether they allow a message and send them a friendly email asking them to join my client on their Facebook page while providing the link to it.  You can only send approx. 60 messages at a time before Facebook warns you, but you won’t lose the chance to connect and this is a good way to grow your audience without having to pay for an ad campaign.

Alternatively, if you click on your friends list from your Timeline and scroll through it, you will often find friends that have no photo.  If you click on the link to their name you’ll see: “This account has been deactivated. Only you can see Alexis on your friends list. You have the option to unfriend Alexis?” (example).  You then click the live link that says unfriend [person’s name] and then click Remove From Friends and OK.  This will get rid of many people who count as friends on your list but who aren’t using Facebook.  Yes, this is tedious, time consuming work but you can hire someone like me to do it for you!

Facebook’s Promoted Posts

I don’t like the fact that Facebook is finding more and more ways to charge us to use it for marketing purposes, but that’s just the way it is.  They know how powerful they are.  Unfortunately, most of the posts that we administrators make on our Facebook pages now are only seen by a very small percentage of the people who have actually LIKED our pages. According to Zynali Marketing Solutions, “The average newsfeed distribution of a post from a page is 16%.  That’s correct, 84% of the people who are a fan of your Facebook page, are not seeing your posts.”  So we now have to pay Facebook to display our content in the News Feeds of people who are already connected to our pages.

Facebook introduced Promoted Posts earlier this year.  If your Facebook page has over 400 likes, you have the option of paying for a Promoted Post.  Make sure it’s a post with valuable content that you really want to push so that many more people will see it.  A Promoted Post doesn’t have to cost a lot.  Start with paying $5 or $10 to see how many extra people will end up seeing your post.  This could be for an upcoming event, special offer, new book, CD or product launch, crowdfunding campaign, etc.  You can choose to promote a post that you’ve already made but it can only be up to 3 days old.  Once you’ve created a Promoted Post, you should pin that post to the top of your Facebook page for maximum visibility.

Please take a few minutes to watch the video at this link so that you will understand what I’m writing about and bookmark this page so that you can find it in the future: https://www.facebook.com/help/promote

Good luck with your Promoted Posts!

What Musicians Need To Know About Social Media Marketing

This afternoon I was writing to a musician client of mine about social media marketing tools that I think are important for musicians to implement and utilize regularly and decided that I would share my advice (that comes from working as a social media manager for 3 years) with you.

The first thing a musician needs when it comes to marketing is a professionally designed website that looks really striking and contains lots of useful information including a bio, tour dates, blog, mailing list, photos, music and video files. It should also contain easily identifiable icons that link to your other social media sites and/or social plugins for Facebook LIKE boxes and Twitter streams.

Next to Google, Facebook is the number 2 site on the Internet, followed by YouTube. So, a Facebook fan page (or business page as they are also known) is really important! Definitely more so than MySpace which is dying a slow death – I’m witnessing the fact that musicians are deleting their MySpace profiles every day now as I monitor my clients’ accounts.

You should post on a Facebook fan page regularly and be sure to add any new press, photos, videos, links, etc. whenever you can, but not necessarily all at once. It’s good to space out your posts so as not to inundate people. If you can do some video blogging or have a good quality video made of you performing, that would be most beneficial too. Having a YouTube channel and building it is very useful. Using Twitter is a way to reach people who may not be on Facebook as some people tend to prefer it because of its simplistic and real-time format (it’s also easier for those who want to, to remain anonymous).

Social media marketing never ends and it’s not going to go away either. If you want to increase your public profile, you have to do it. That’s where people are these days…online! If you want to connect with people who may be able to help your career, you have to do it. It’s all about being social though so that part is really important. It’s more important to engage with others than it is to market yourself (says Scott Stratten, author of UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging). Your website should do that beautifully.

If you don’t want to spend money on a website right away, at the very least, you can create a dynamic Facebook fan page (or have someone like me do it for you!) complete with a customized BandPage tab (my favourite music application on Facebook, although ReverbNation’s My Band is also excellent) that can act as a landing page for people who haven’t LIKED your page yet so that they can hear your music before they decide whether they like it.

You always have to give people a reason to keep coming back to the page too. The BandPage needs to be updated with your tour dates so that people know where to find you and music samples should be changed once in a while. You should provide contact info, up-to-date bio, photos, .MP3 files of your music, any links to videos with you in it or links to all the sites that you’re currently on, tour date information, your influences and other artists that you admire, copies of any press or reviews, and info regarding your mailing list if you have one. You should also decide whether you want to market yourself as a band, solo artist, session player, or instructor, etc.

The end of the year might be a good time for you to send out CDs and one sheets to many different music festivals that you might be able to play at across the country for the following year. You could set up a Twitter account that you can use to start following people who have similar taste in music to your own and to start following music publications, bloggers, festivals or venues that you might be interested in playing. Connect with the owners and organizers that way and you may land some gigs. It CAN work but you have to WORK it.

As a social media manager, my job is to get people up and running on the sites that would be most suitable for them, teach them how to use them effectively and monitor them regularly for any email or comments that need to be responded to while deleting the junk. I can also help build the numbers by cross promoting between Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (as well as other social media sites that are beneficial to musicians). I provide other services as well and you can read about them here.

The trick is to not stress about social media…if you can update your Facebook (which can also be set to go out as a Tweet) fan page twice a week, that would be great. If you can spend one hour a week on Facebook and one hour on Twitter for starters…you’ll notice the benefits of it. Just go on the sites and engage with the other people who are there. Artists who are really successful with their social media marketing probably spend an average of 10 or more hours a week on their social media profiles. It takes time. But it’s worth it! If you feel more comfortable having a beer or a glass of wine while you’re doing it…so be it. Just remember that social media engagement is similar to being at a cocktail party: mingle and talk to other people about the things you have in common. If you’re a wallflower and don’t talk to people, you’ll never make beneficial connections. (I have to remember this myself when I’m at parties and social events because I can be shy in person when I don’t know the people.)

Above all, have FUN with social media marketing and don’t try to hard sell anyone. Just make sure that the information is available, be approachable and let it be.

Twiends – Just Another Social Media Gimmick!

Twiends.com is a tool to help you build your followers on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. You can set up an account with them for free and will earn 50 free seeds right away but this will only apply to your primary account. If you try to set up an account for another user on your computer, the program reads your IP address and you’re able to set up the account, but you will not receive any benefit for having done so.

Seeds are used as currency to sell to people for following you. Twiends wants you to purchase packages of seeds from them for prices that vary from 75 seeds daily for $9.95/wk up to 20,000 seeds for $279.95. You can set your rate for how many seeds you offer people, but offering them 2 seeds is the minimum limit.

Twiends asks you to fill in your profile and add your social media profile URLs that you want to draw attention to and then you have to fill in 5 keywords that will assist the program in finding followers for you who have common interests.

I’m a small business owner with no budget but I’ve been using Twiends free service for a couple of weeks now and the service does work. I was able to increase my Twitter followers and members on my Facebook fan page by a wee bit and I’m grateful for that. However, the free portion of it isn’t terribly useful unless you’re prepared to spend hours earning seeds by following other Twitter users, liking Facebook pages, and watching YouTube videos and then sift through the detritus of people that you really aren’t interested in following anyway. Of all the people who use my seeds to follow me on Twitter, a very, very low percentage have stayed with me and an even lower percentage were actually people who I am interested in following. I will not follow anyone who doesn’t have an interesting bio to accompany their Twitter profile.

Twiends offers you free seeds periodically via email and today I was offered 250 seeds for writing a review about the program on Review Centre.com. It took two hours for the 250 seeds to be used up by people who either started following me on Twitter or liked one of the Facebook pages that I administer. I got email notifications that 59 people started following me on Twitter, but after 2 hours, I only had 40 extra followers. I gained 9 members on my Facebook page but I’m certain they won’t all stay with it.

You will lose followers on Twitter and fans on Facebook just as fast as you gain them because they’re not really screening you based on their interests (they just want to earn seeds for their own accounts) and I suspect for the most part you waste your time and your seeds. Some people have liked my Facebook page and then unliked it within a few minutes later and my seeds have been wasted. But then again, some people have actually stayed with the page for at least a week. It’s up to us to give them content that they’re interested in, after all.

This past week I also tried the free trial offered by Social Oomph which is a tool to help you to boost your productivity on Twitter by allowing you to schedule your Tweets ahead of time, and send auto-welcome DMs as well as auto-follow for $3.97 per month which is pretty cheap if you have a budget. I was able to find out who is actually following me on Twitter and I sent a large percentage (by hand, not using a DM auto-responder as that wasn’t part of the free deal) of my artist followers a request in a direct message to join me on my Facebook page in order to get to know me better. I had a pretty good response to that but some people were still suspicious and I was accused of spamming by one person. That wasn’t my intention. I am offering all artists the opportunity to post about their work on my page because I believe in the power of cross promotion and of actually trying to help others through networking. I enjoy sharing information about artists that I like and I also provide links to some great social media tips by experts in the field. I have gained a few more members for my page but it will remain to be seen whether or not they stay with it and actually participate.

I investigated these free trials to satisfy my own curiosity about them in order to find out if they actually work. Yes they do. But they’re not really free. Between Twiends and Social Oomph, I would recommend Social Oomph, for its capabilities, but to upgrade to a Professional account, you have to pay $29.97/month. I think that would be a better way to spend your money than to waste it on buying packages of seeds on Twiends which for all intents and purposes is basically just another social media gimmick from people who want your hard-earned cash and your ROI with this program just isn’t worth it.

My Interview With LinkedIn Rock Star Mike O’Neil

LinkedIn Rock Stars Mike O'Neil and Lori Ruff

I recently wrote a 5 star review of Rock The World With Your Online Presence: Your Ticket To A Multi-Platinum LinkedIn Profile by authors and LinkedIn expert trainers Mike O’Neil and Lori Ruff (The LinkedIn Diva) who are based in Denver, Colorado. They are both entrepreneurs, expert social media teachers and incredibly warm, friendly and dynamic public speakers and Mike O’Neil agreed to talk to me about LinkedIn, Integrated Alliances, Classic Rock and rocking the world with social media.

Mike, how long have you been a user of LinkedIn?

I joined LinkedIn January 14, 2004 and am officially LinkedIn user #125,841. Someone invited me to join LinkedIn one day and I said, “why not?” It was a year or so until I really started doing much with it.

How long did it take you to become a bonafide LinkedIn expert trainer and all-around LinkedIn Rock Star?

I was probably using LinkedIn a good 2 years before I thought I had passed up most of the other users I knew in terms of what I could do with it. They say it takes 10,000 hours of relevant experience to be an expert. I’ve been an expert for a while now. Still, I am continually learning from trying new things and from others, especially from Lori Ruff. I was just early to the show and that helps a lot, especially in terms of devising broader scale strategies.

What was your profession before you got involved with LinkedIn?

I have always been involved in technology – physical networking with computers, Telecom, Internet and all. I was simultaneously very involved in social networking, running hundreds of B2B business networking events in Colorado over the years. Looking back, it was a logical extension to move into Social Media (although it didn’t really have a name back then).

What is Integrated Alliances and when was it formed?

I formed Integrated Alliances in 2003 after being laid off twice in less than 2 years from technical sales positions with big Internet and Telecom firms. I was in regular corporate America for many years and then, seemingly all of a sudden, I was a burgeoning entrepreneur. I learned a lot about all types of networking over the years and that is what really makes Integrated Alliances so social at the core.

How did you meet and end up working with Lori Ruff?

Lori contacted me on LinkedIn to inquire about bringing the Integrated Alliances brand and LinkedIn training to Charlotte, NC. We were already in a handful of U.S. cities at the time. She signed on to launch IA in Charlotte and came to Denver for her week long train the trainer certification work. I picked her up at the airport and it wasn’t long before she was a full-fledged member of the executive team and very near and dear to my heart. Lori is amazing.

If you could give readers just one valuable tip about LinkedIn, what would it be?

Get a great looking and highly optimized profile before you do much else on LinkedIn. Find a knowledgeable LinkedIn user/friend and spend some one on one personal coaching time together. A coffee shop or a bar works out quite well for this. You pick up the tab.

Tell us about the experience you had writing your first book and what your plans are for future volumes of the Rock The World series?

The big part about writing the first book was actually getting it finished. Without a deadline, it just pushes out and out for years and years, kind of like restoring a classic car in the back yard.

The second eye opening part was the book process and book business itself. It is much less about writing than producing, at least at the end. “It’s a lot more than an eBook” is what one author I know likened the Book vs. eBook comparison to this analogy – “It’s the difference between having a baby and babysitting.”

Rock The World With Your Online Presence: Your Ticket To A Multi-Platinum LinkedIn Profile is a book about “how to strategically apply LinkedIn to BUSINESS and to YOU, the business person.” What is the new book called and what will its’ focus be?

Our new book, Rock The World with Social Media – The Ultimate Social Media Guide for LinkedIn Users, is a direct result of our Rock The World tours promoting the first book. More and more, the questions we are fielding are more about the OTHER platforms and how they fit in for LinkedIn business users like us. We happen to know quite a bit about the topic so the next book topic was sort of handed to us.

The Rock The World series will have many books, CDs, DVDs, videos and products supporting all the major formats including iPad and Kindle.

Who are your all-time favourite classic rock artists?

In terms of bands and their music it has to be Pink Floyd, The Who, Steely Dan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Counting Crows. I have lots of ticket stubs from seeing these bands in concert.

For musical artists, probably Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp and Melissa Etheridge. I have lots of ticket stubs here as well.

What are your three favourite concerts of all time?

Best favorite concert has to be Pink Floyd (multiple times), followed by U2 (multiple times) and the US Festival in ’82 in California. I even have a jersey-type T-shirt from the festival. Just look at this abbreviated line-up:

Day 1 – The Police, Oingo Boingo, Talking Heads, Ramones, B52’s

Day 2 – Santana, The Kinks, Eddie Money, Tom Petty, Pat Benatar, The Cars

Day 3 – Grateful Dead (6am), Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffett, Fleetwood Mac

Can you talk about your public speaking engagements and cross-country tour?

Well, the tours seem to quite naturally mirror a rock band or even a comedian that is out on tour, except for the vans and buses. We tend to have a local “handler” in the cities we speak and train in. The primary place we look for “our kind of partners” is with the individuals that run the “Linked to City” LinkedIn Groups. We run the “Linked to Denver” and “Friends of Colorado” LinkedIn Groups for example. People seek us out as a result.

It still feels we are “yet to be discovered” when touring as we don’t have the limos, opening acts, and all yet. We do have T-shirts, a CD series coming and even some groupies now!

Lori Ruff and I really enjoy couchsurfing (or staying with our local online friends) when on tour. We meet amazing people that way and we get insider knowledge of the places we visit. We host lots of couch surfers in Denver as well.

We have been hunkered down here in our downtown Denver condo for a few months as we’re very focused on completing our Rock The World with Social Media book so our radio spots have fallen off a bit. We really kick up big time in November as we launch the new book, probably in San Francisco this round. Having a very active book publisher, combined with some interesting audio CD projects, means we will have the radio spots cranked up to a fever pitch in support of our 2010-2011 Rock The World Social Media Tour.

You mentioned a little bit to me about Rock The World TV. What are your plans for that?

We have become more of a media company vs. primarily speaking and training. That means Radio and TV. For the TV show – which is designed to be enjoyed on a traditional TV and not a PC – it will probably happen around the end of the year. We have a true Hollywood-level producer lined up, the show format is pinned down, and the studio is lined up. Time and a certain radio show (next) are pushing the TV show out just a bit.

We are focusing our immediate media efforts on the September launch of our Rock the World with LinkedIn® radio show on WebMasterRadio.FM. We will be joining our good friend Joel Comm as a radio show host on this channel.

Of course, a major sponsor can change priorities rather quickly. We expect future sponsors to focus on integrated media sponsorships (and partnerships) involving events, radio, TV, live music, blogs, giveaways, spokespersons, etc.

What do you love the most about working in social media?

I get to meet such interesting people and it amazes me how easy it is to find them. For example, I am connected on LinkedIn to Barack Obama, John McCain, Vint Cerf (inventor of the Internet), Barry Diller; 29,000 total.

I really live for the big conferences, where we get to perform in front of large audiences and develop relationships with the other speakers, big wigs and celebrities. We just performed in the main ballroom at the Meeting Professionals International’s annual conference at the Vancouver Convention Center (2,500 attendees from around the world). This is the very spot where the 2010 Winter Olympics were held – amazing.

Aside from LinkedIn, what do you feel are the other most important social networking platforms?

We covered the platforms and tools that we feel are the most important in the Rock The World with Social Media book. The most important from a business perspective are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter followed by YouTube and WordPress/Blogs. We particularly think Meetup and Amazon are biggies to watch. We cover a dozen Social Media Tools in the book and I think Foursquare is probably the most significant.

In what direction do you feel that social media is headed in the near future?

I get to write a lot about the future in the second book and I find it is amazing how much of it is focused on Facebook. It wasn’t planned that way, but they are the future infrastructure of Social Media (if there is such a thing). We throw out the idea of a Facebook word processor, spreadsheet, Facebook phone, Facebook appliance or tablet and a bunch of others in the new book. It was really fun. We might even call it “Facebook – Prediction or Premonition.”

LinkedIn is becoming more like Facebook all the time, but its real value is its database component and who is in that database. Just imagine the consequences of a LinkedIn Joint Venture (or even a merger) with Hoovers for example. I always thought that Microsoft or IBM should buy LinkedIn. How many IT decision makers are there in LinkedIn? Let me see….

Anna Pasternak – On The Couch!

Anna and Wilfred at home with a Russian relative

Anna Pasternak and I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about a new Facebook fan page that has been created as a place to post the links to Anna’s brand new column in the London Daily Mail. We hope that you will join Anna every Monday morning – with your coffee in hand – for “On The Couch”, a column about her sessions with a therapist (Mr. T) and what she learns about herself in the process. You may just find that you will learn a few things about yourself too!

We will post the link each Monday morning to the latest column on the Facebook fan page wall and would ask that you leave your comments on the Daily Mail’s site underneath where the column is published. Of course your comments are welcome on Facebook (as well as on MySpace) and we hope that you will take part in each week’s discussion topic (on the Discussion Board). For the first week, we simply ask the question, “Have you ever had psychotherapy or would you ever considering engaging in psychotherapy?”

While your thoughts and opinions are most welcome, let’s try to keep this a positive place where people can discuss important issues safely and without judgment. Please refrain from using any profanity or from bashing Anna or those who choose to share their experiences. Don’t forget to invite your friends as it’s going to be very, very interesting!

And now without further adieu, welcome to “On The Couch”!

The Truth About Social Media

This morning I was reading a blog about social media on my new friend, Jennifer Chandler’s, Esteem Rising blog and it got me thinking about how much other people are just as overwhelmed by all of the different social media networking sites as I am, and I work with them on a regular basis.

There are a ton of sites out there and each one professes to be the best possible one you could sign up with to achieve your social networking goals, when in reality, they’re created and run by people who want to make the big bucks like the creators of MySpace and Facebook do. Bebo is also extremely popular, but it currently ranks third after Facebook and MySpace and you have to decide how many sites you have time for. Everyone has a different opinion but for a 2010 Social Networking Websites Review, click here and here.

I started my social media experience with MySpace over 5 years ago because I’m a huge music fan. I often discover new, unsigned, indie talent on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and I can almost always go to MySpace and find out more about the musician or band and hear more of their music. I had a lot of fun there discovering new music that I have come to love. It’s also fun to sometimes be able to actually correspond with the artist behind the profile. I used to write CD reviews quite prolifically for PartyinKingston.com (I still do, but they are infrequent now due to time constraints.) and being on MySpace was a wonderful opportunity for me to get to know new artists that I wanted to write about. I am still on MySpace, but don’t spend as much time there anymore, again, due to a lack of time.

A writer friend of mine who is also a singer just wrote a blog on MySpace (where she has a devout group of followers) about the fact that she went kicking and screaming back to Facebook and re-joined, but she doesn’t like it. So this is what I wrote to her:

“As someone who loves Facebook, I’m sorry to hear you say you’re there but would rather not be. I have made the acquaintance of some really great people there and for some reason it just seems easier to leave a comment on someone’s wall or comment on something they’ve posted there, than it is here. I don’t get involved with the applications for the most part and I don’t have to spend time looking for pretty pictures to post on people’s comments and cut and paste codes; all I have to do is type. It’s also a great place to share photos, even better than MySpace in my humble opinion, and the page loading time is way faster than it is here. The more things you embed into your profile here on MySpace, the longer it takes for the page to load and in this day and age when everyone’s busy and trying to network as quickly as possible, MySpace is a little antiquated. You can read the News Feed faster on FB than you can go through everyone’s bulletins or blogs here (and you can’t even see bulletins here anymore if you have over 2000 friends). You can also post links really easily, without having to get HTML code from somewhere else first. You just type in the URL or cut and paste it in, and voila! I think it’s just a more efficient and user friendly social networking platform and the creators are constantly updating it to try to make it better. They also have a very strict anti-spam policy there so you’re almost never bombarded with unwelcome email.

MySpace is great for many things, don’t get me wrong, but you should give Facebook a fair chance. That’s kind of synchronistic that FB suggested your ex-husband as a friend. It’s probably because he’s linked to someone you’re friends with there. It’s just as easy to set your privacy settings tightly and block people who bug you there as it is here, but I have only ever blocked two people in the last 3 1/2 years that I’ve been on it and I haven’t had any of the unwelcome lecherous dating type comments or emails from men who can’t even type or spell one sentence correctly who are constantly emailing me here and asking me to chat with them on IM. No matter how many times I’ve posted that I’m not on MySpace for dating, no one seems to read it. I have found the men on Facebook whom I’ve connected with as friends to be far more respectful and I have many, many real life friends who are on it that I want to stay in touch with and almost none of them are on MySpace. So for those reasons and more, I prefer it there. But I come back here to read your blogs!”

That’s why I prefer Facebook to MySpace, but I have also recently become much more aware of the merits of LinkedIn which I wrote about in a recent blog. I also use Twitter, but not as much, and you can link your accounts on all these sites so that when you update your status on one of them, it is immediately included on all of your sites. A real time-saver! I truly believe that the most popular social media sites, which are Facebook, MySpace and Twitter (closely followed by LinkedIn) are the important ones for authors and musicians to be on if they are trying to promote their work. They are also useful for many other types of businesses and they really can help you to expand your client/fan base.

Authors should also join one of the major book appreciator sites like Shelfari, Good Reads, Library Thing, Book Blogs, Amazon or Chapters.Indigo.ca (which is my personal favourite). You don’t have to be on all of them. Spreading yourself too thin doesn’t really accomplish anything. Believe me, I’ve learned that and am still in the process of making changes to pare down and pay more attention to the people I really enjoy! You can’t be effective when you don’t have the time to get to know the people you’re connected with on all of those social media sites. You have to choose the ones that you like the most or that are specifically geared towards your career (MySpace is excellent for musicians; LinkedIn is excellent for career professionals; Facebook is great for everyone!) and stick with them. And remember that more is not necessarily better. It’s much more effective to have a smaller base of contacts with people you have things in common with and actually correspond with and who show an interest in what you have to say, than a whole bunch of people who are there but you never communicate with.

I have had to join many different social media sites in order to learn about them and work with them for my clients, but in all honesty, the ones I spend the most time on lately are Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn. Twitter is fun for a while. It’s like being a fly on the wall and listening in on snippets of people’s conversations. You have 140 characters to express what you want to say in one post and most people use it to post links to other sites and things that they want you to see. It’s fun to follow some celebrities who have interesting things to talk about (and some of them don’t!) and it certainly is a way to get news quickly by checking out which topics are trending at any given time, but as a means of positive and effective two way communication, you still can’t beat a meeting in-person or with someone over the telephone.

The truth about social media is that it is as effective as you have time to make it be effective. It’s ever evolving and often quite interesting. It’s all about establishing relationships with people you have things in common with and whom you respect and admire and once that relationship is formed, you have the opportunity to tell them about what you do (and like) and about what others do and they just might listen and take your advice. I am constantly learning new things about what to do and what not to do every single day. So as a person who works with social media, I am an ever evolving work-in-progress too.