Archive | That’s Good RSS feed for this section

Guilt Free Social Media

5 Apr

Moose as captured by OakleyOriginals on Flickr

I like to make people happy. I like to see them laugh. So imagine my dismay when in what has been a perfectly relaxed conversation I bring up Google+ or blogging or Twitter and the person looks like a dog caught being naughty. Apologetic excuses for how often they post or whether they’re even participating start tumbling out. “NoI’mnot and IknowIshouldbe but Ijust <awkward pause> haven’t been able to get into it that much butIhearit’sreallygreat.” It almost makes me regret bringing it up.

Here’s another scenario. Some of my friends don’t have a lot of time for personal use of social media so I’m always happy to see that they’ve posted something new. I know it’s a big deal for them to get to sit down and send a message out to us and I’m honored that I get to read it. What does it say 75% of the time? “Sorry I haven’t been on much.”

And then I scream at my computer screen!

Seriously, is that all you have to tell me?! Why did you bother posting then?!

Note: this blog post pertains only to use of social media for personal reasons. None of these apply to a business’ use of social media.

If you have been feeling bad about neglecting your blog or favoring one network over another or not trying the new kid on the social block, today is your lucky day.

I am hereby declaring your emancipation from social media guilt!

Yes! This is your get-out-of-jail-free card! If anyone ever tries to guilt trip you you can point them to this page! Here’s why you shouldn’t be guilty.

1. Relationships are what matter

As long as you’re still communicating with your family and close friends in some manner, why do you have to do Facebook or any other social network? And not all relationships need communications on minute happenings.

2. Networks are a matter of preference

Not even businesses need to be on every social network, so why should you? If that’s just your thing (ME! That’s my thing!), fine. If not, don’t let my activity make you feel guilty! That’s certainly not why I do it! Find a network that you enjoy and that works for you and just stick with it.

3. Social media should be fun!

Picture by ADoseOfShipBoy on Flickr

 

You have enough work already! Communicating with friends should be a pick-me-up and not a chore!

So, there you go! Enjoy your new-found freedom and let’s party!

 

Advertisements

Facebook Insights

17 Jan

Few things delight my nerdy little soul as much as a graph of a useful metric over time.  I prefer line graphs, but a pie chart can be fun, too. Graphs are definitely the strong point of Facebook’s Insights for Pages. I think even the Cinderella story benefits from some graphs, this one courtesy of Kurt Vonnegut.

What Facebook Insights could benefit from however is some clearer terms.  Here are some I find the most confusing. Hopefully, my explanations help.

People Talking About This

This is a plain and simple interaction metric. It is a sum of unique users who liked, commented, or shared your post. The fun thing about this number is that it displays itself to all your page visitors right under your tabs list on the left.

Virality

First off, does anyone know how to pronounce this?

This percentage metric tells you how many people interacted with your post (liked, shared, or commented) out of how many people saw your post (either directly or through their friends.) In other words, it takes the number for ‘People Talking About This’ and divides it by the ‘Reach’ number.

Story

At first the term seems to imply that it’s a post from either you or one of your fans, but it’s not. A story is generated whenever someone interacts with your post in anyway. You can think of as what would show up in the ticker feed. As we said above, it’s also the ‘People Talking About This’ metric.

One term I was not able to get a handle on was the metric ‘Engaged Users’. Facebook says it’s a frequency of clicks on your story. This is more than just story generations, but definitely less than ‘Reach’. The interesting tidbit I found by clicking on individual posts’ ‘Engaged Users’ numbers is the number of people who have given negative feedback, usually a hiding of the post. This still left questions though because the ‘Engaged Users’ count was still higher than the sum of the negative feedback number plus ‘People Talking About This’ number.

Before I go onto which metrics I watch carefully and do happy dances over, listen to Don McMillan’s comedy sketch about Power Points. His commentary on graphs is gold. “Power Points caused the mortgage meltdown!”

The power of social media are relationships and the conversations that drive them. Therefore, I value the ‘People Talking About This’ metric, even though it’s a mouthful to say. You can get a quick idea of this from the Insights Dashboard (what you see when you first click on Insights), but you really should go its own individual graphs. There you can see…

  • Demographics of people who interact with you. On Cole Butler for Sheriff‘s page I found out that even though the gender split for likes of the page is 64% female and 34% male (where’s my other 2%?), interactions are done by 58% female and 40% male. So, even though Cole has more female likes than male likes (possibly because Facebook has more female users), the males are more likely to interact.
  • Side-by-side comparisons of interactions and the viral reach those interactions provided. This gives you an idea of how deeply you reach into interactive fans’ networks and how influential your fans are. I wish there was a way to overlay these two graphs.

There will be more posts about this topic, I”m sure. We haven’t talked about Edge Rank yet! Stay tuned!

Let Me Count the Ways

4 Jan

Apparently, I’m not the only person who occasionally neglects other parts of her life for the chance to do something social online. I will not reveal my sources to protect the guilty. However, I’m not going to chide all of you and myself for this. I’m not saying we don’t deserve some scolding, but I prefer to think creatively.

First off, let me say that I want to find that staircase with several musical friends and play Fur Elise on it! Then, I want us to count the ways we love social media.

  1. Friends–if we tried to spend as much time face-to-face with our friends as we do with them on social media it wouldn’t work. Social media, particularly mobile social media, lets you have your friends with you all the time even when it wouldn’t be feasible for that to happen physically.
  2. Interactive–Why is a piano more fun than an escalator? One reason is that it reacts to us. You step on it and it makes a noise! We thrive off of interactions and social media lets everything be interactive, even things that are usually static such as eating, running on a treadmill, and even waiting in line.
  3. Recorded–perhaps it’s just ego, but we all love to have a record of what we do. This is a big feature of the new Facebook timeline.
  4. Commentary–not only can we record what we do we can provide commentary for what everyone else does!
  5. Global–this isn’t a feature of every social media platform, but it is of quite a few. It’s one of the reasons I love Flickr and Google+ so much and one of the bonuses of Twitter.

All 5 of these things make social media fun. As the video showed us, people will almost always choose fun even if it’s more effort. So, how can we take these features of social media and make them features of things we procrastinate doing? I’m not asking how we can we put housecleaning, exercise, and bill payments on social media, but how can we make these activities friendly, interactive, recorded, commentative, or global? (Yes, I just made up the word ‘commentative’.) How can we make our unwanted tasks fun?

Let’s take Exercise first.

Recording exercise generates excitement about the activity. It motivates  you to hit the gym just so you can record it! Also, you can keep track of your progress and reward it! Means of recording exercise are pretty well known and they do help significantly. I prefer iOS apps that combine food diary with exercise log. Please post links to your favorite books and apps for recording exercise.

I think we Americans think too statically about exercise. A treadmill may not sound like fun to you so you hop on Facebook instead, but what about swing dancing? Swing dancing is done with other people and is very friendly and interactive, like social media. Does horseback riding in the beautiful outdoors sound better than the lap pool? It’s interactive and challenging and all around fun for some! Beats Twitter any day! Besides we can tell Twitter about it afterwords.

Last, how can exercise be global? I practice a style of Okinawan karate. Just my dojo’s organization has schools in Taiwan, the Philippines, Guatemala, Texas, and all over Oklahoma! There’s an even bigger world when I look outside my organization to other karate kai. Another way exercise can be global is through flash mobs on global holidays!

Come on! Who doesn’t want to do that?!

Next, let’s hit Cleaning.

I have started taking a picture of my desk every time I clean it. I usually then post it to Flickr or Facebook. Then everyone compliments me and says I did a good job. What did I do? I recorded it and opened it up for commentary!

My aunt for many years cleaned her kitchen while talking to her best local friend on the phone who was doing the same thing. A friend makes any task more enjoyable, whether you have them over to help or race each other in separate locations.

Can cleaning be global? Have you ever heard of spring cleaning? That’s an entire hemisphere doing the same thing as you! How many other people are putting away Christmas lights on January 1st? Just search for it on Twitter and find out!

What are you procrastinating doing right now by hanging out online instead? Brainstorm here how to make it fun and then maybe we’ll all go do it!

Have I Mentioned You’re My Favorite?

8 Dec

Note: Blog title is a quote from the TV show ‘Reba‘.

Yesterday I talked about leveraging social platforms effectively by not treating them all the same. Here’s a quote from it.

     “I’m not going to dismiss the potential customers on any platform”

But I can’t deny it. Google+ is my favorite. Here’s some of the reasons…

  • Circles—the ultimate privacy answer

Before Google+ we had connections on Facebook that had to be mutually agreeable and once someone was your ‘friend’ they had access to everything on your profile. They have been adding ways around this with Lists, but it’s clunky and difficult even for me. Following someone on Twitter allows you to see all their posts, but it doesn’t require reciprocation on their part. Google+ circles gives us the best of both worlds. I know exactly whom I’m sharing every post with. I follow who I want to and I can group for both my own noise control and audience targetting. More on circles here.

  • Change we can understand!

Google+ is constantly improving, so things do change. Unlike Facebook or even Twitter’s recent addition of ‘Activity’ Tab, changes on Google+ feel like birthday presents or the pleasant surprise of your bathroom remodel being finished overnight. Why do people like changes on Google+ and hate them on Facebook? Because Google carefully explains how each change works and why they change it. Googel doesn’t try to fix what isn’t broken. Google also listens to feedback with these amazing things called ‘Community Managers’ who show up at every single +mention there is even on their evenings off! The entire process is teachable, transparent, and downright fun.

  • Search

It’s Google so I can’t say I’m really surprised. 😉

  • Clean interface

Perhaps my little brain is just easily befuddled, but I find Facebook and Twitter to be visually overwhelming. Google+ and Flickr have the best visual designs I have ever seen for a network. They’re convenient, quick, pleasing to the eye, and customizable.

  • No word limit

On Google+ there is no word limit anywhere—not in posts, not in comments, not in messages. Be as long-winded as you want! This was popular enough that Facebook recently had to increase their word limit, but they still didn’t get rid of it.

  • Automatic credit

On Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest I cringe at how little notice is given to whoever spilled their heart blood to write or photograph this piece of art we’re passing around everywhere. I don’t think people on those networks are disrespectful of authors and artists. I think the platform is set up so that it’s extremely difficult to track down the creator or to credit the creator. On Google+ if I write something you can share it and I am credited automatically. My name and profile are sealed to that post and the only way you can separate it is by copy and pasting. A truly determined thief is hard to stop, but most locks are to keep the honest people honest.

You might notice that I did not mention how amazing the people on Google+ are. They are absolutely wonderful, but they would be wonderful no matter where they were. I’m extremely grateful for Google+ connecting me with them, but Google doesn’t really deserve credit for their pure awesomeness.

There’s a lot more to Google+ such as sharing via email, Hangouts, SEO affects, messenger/huddle, not to mention the amazing Chrome extensions that are growing everyday. What I have mentioned is why I personally love Google+. What are your reasons?