Monthly Archives: January 2009

How to Build an Impressive Social Networking Presence, Beginning With Facebook

Couldn’t have said it better myself:

Professional and social networking sites like LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, and Squidoo are effective outlets for finding new readers, but it is easy to find your message spread thin if you don’t choose the right strategy. Many businesses settle for sparse profiles on various sites, never discovering the other powerful marketing tools many of these social networking platforms have to offer most of them for free.

To avoid the scattershot approach, choose one or two social networking sites that fit your business well and invest the time to maximize your presence in them. Let’s explore what that might look like if Facebook is one of your choices.

Prepare your best information before you start.

Avoid the “I will go back and fill that in later” trap. Have all your necessary information on hand, ready to copy and paste on the spot. Complete a worksheet containing:

1. Key Terms:

Make a list of your best key terms and weave them into the rest of your worksheet items. Key terms are one, two, or three word terms that someone might use if they were searching for your business in a search engine.

2. General Information:

Your Name

Business Name

Email Addresses

URLs

Instant Messaging screen names

3. Biographical and Descriptive Information:

Short bio (50 words)

Longer bio (100 words)

Short company description (50 words)

Longer company description (100 words)

Business mission statement

4. List of Products

I based these worksheet items on a typical Facebook profile and page. If you choose a different social networking site, examine some completed profiles and base your worksheet items on them.

Create an account and thoroughly complete your profile

If you haven’t already, get a Facebook account. Completely fill out your profile using your worksheet. Under the relationships tab, choose “networking.” You can skip the personal and education tabs for business profiles, but there is no harm in filling them out. If you have an existing account, upgrade your profile information using your key terms.

But don’t stop there!

Facebook, like most good social networking platforms, offers many marketing opportunities for businesses some for free. You can find these by clicking the “Advertising” link in the footer of the Facebook site, or by following this link: http://www.facebook.com/business/.

Since I can’t cover all of the marketing tools in one article, let’s focus on my favorite: The Facebook Page. It’s my favorite not only because it is free, but because it makes use of the many diverse Facebook applications.

Facebook pages are specifically for marketing a business or a product. They offer a way for a business to represent itself to the Facebook community in an authentic way. Facebook users can search pages the same way they search for people within the network community.

Create your page by going to “Page Manager” in the left sidebar of your Facebook profile, or by following this link: http://www.facebook.com/business/ and choosing Facebook Pages. Choose the best category for your business.

Use key terms in the name of your Facebook page!

It seems that the actual page name is the only text on a Facebook page that is used in a search. With that in mind, use at least two of your best key terms in your page name.

Populate your page with all of your best worksheet information. You may have only a few seconds to catch a reader’s attention, so put your best key terms forward.

Once your page is in place, add applications to help represent your company in your own unique way. To find applications for your page, click on “Applications” in the upper left corner of your page, or search for them here: http://www.facebook.com/apps/.

Applications are not difficult to install and are usually very easy to set up. Use this general rule of thumb when choosing an application: If you can’t figure out how to set it up after the second try, find another one. There is often more than one application available to accomplish the same task.

Applications Top Picks:

My Flickr (http://apps.facebook.com/myflickr/): Display photos from your Flickr account using this application. These photos can include logos, product photos, photos from events, etc.

Upcoming (http://apps.facebook.com/upcoming/): Add all of your events to upcoming.org, and you can easily display them on your Facebook page with Upcoming’s Facebook application.

YouTube Box (http://apps.facebook.com/videobox/): Allows visitors to play your YouTube videos right on your Facebook page.

Simply RSS (http://apps.facebook.com/simplyrss/): This allows you to display up to eight RSS feeds on your Facebook page and display the feeds from your business’s main site and newsrooms.

Implementing these applications creates an interactive page that also gives visitors a personable look into your business. To see all of these applications in use on one page, visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dalton-Publishing/9792568507.

Note: If you use a particular application regularly, consider donating to the application’s creator they do not get paid to develop these applications.

Promoting your social networking presence

Now that you have invested the time in creating an impressive presence on Facebook (or whichever social networks you chose), go the extra mile and research how you can promote your new presence both inside and outside of the network. Here is a link to Facebook’s promotional guidelines: http://www.facebook.com/pages/manage/promo_guidelines.php.

Of course, invite everyone on your mailing lists to join your network and visit your sharp new page!

Don’t turn your back on your investment

Remember: The social Web is a fickle place! You need to keep your content dynamic and interesting in order to encourage people to return to your page, or to recommend it to their friends. Do this, and you will see better results than those who just move on to building their next profile. Once you have a good, healthy presence in one community, use your experience to move on to your next successful presence.

About the Author:

Deltina Hay is the principle of the companies Dalton Publishing and Social Media Power. She has worked in programming and Web development for 25 years. Ms. Hay’s graduate education includes computer science, applied mathematics, and psychology. If you’re looking to tap into the power of social networking and social media, check out www.socialmediapower.com

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/computers-articles/how-to-build-an-impressive-social-networking-presence-beginning-with-facebook-465034.html

I don't need a lawyer; I just have a quick question.

Today we have a guest post by North Carolina attorney, Rick Rutledge, Jr. Rick and I have connected through participation on the ABA’s Solosez listserv. If you are an attorney or “legal” I highly recommend you join the conversation.

What I publish (with Rick’s permission, of course) is an excerpt from his website page entitled “Self-Help / Do-It-Yourself Legal“.

“I don’t need a lawyer; I just have a quick question.”

If you don’t need a lawyer, why did you call a lawyer with your quick question? Perhaps you could have posed your question to a grocery clerk, or your dry cleaner. In the law, there are millions of quick questions. There are very few quick answers.

Nearly every attorney has heard this disclaimer, or some variation on it.

Maybe the caller will call several attorneys, hoping to eventually construct a legal argument on their own, from a string of questions. Often, the questions are based on the answer the last lawyer gave. Or, maybe they’ll just try to keep the lawyer on the phone long enough to get whatever advice or recommendation they’re looking for without paying. However you look at it, it’s what we call self-help. Sometimes it works. Sometimes, it’s disastrous.

You’ve heard it before: You get what you pay for. Attorneys are in the business of giving legal advice and providing legal support. Would you go to your butcher, choose just one pork chop, and hope to leave without paying, because you just needed a snack?

Many attorneys will give an initial consultation at no charge or for a very modest fee, and will almost always screen clients even before the initial consultation to see if there’s even a legal matter at issue.

Let’s face it: I don’t want to charge a client only to discover there’s nothing I can do for her, so I’ll ask questions and explore your answers until we know whether you actually have a problem the law can solve, or at least whether it looks like there’s a chance. Then, if it looks like I can help you, we’ll talk about what it might cost, and then you can decide whether it’s worth it. I will do all I can to solve your problem cost-effectively; if I don’t, you’re not likely to come back. I don’t want a client I can’t help, or a case I can’t possibly win, any more than you want an attorney who doesn’t really seem to care about you.

When you try to squeeze free legal advice out of an attorney, then act on your own, you assume the risk and consequences of what you do. Unless you’re absolutely certain you shared enough information to ensure that the answer you received was correct, you could find out the hard way that some detail you failed to share made a big difference. Most attorneys have malpractice insurance, and they do not want to have to use it. Therefore, they will be thorough enough to be certain that the actions taken or the advice given won’t lead to bigger problems down the road.

When you actually pay for legal advice and assistance, you get not only the answer (short or long) to your “quick question,” you also get research, follow-up, malpractice insurance, years of training, and a detached, objective third-person who can act on your behalf and in your interest, but who can maintain enough distance that emotion won’t get in the way of getting the best possible outcome. That’s why most lawyers hire other lawyers to handle their legal problems.

Remember, too, that lawyers are people like you, with families, mortgages, and student loans. Our time, knowledge, and experience are the products we sell to make a living.

-Rick

***

If you’d like to contact Rick:

Richard J. Rutledge, Jr.
301 N. Main Street, Suite 2503
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27101-3835
(336) 283-0284 Direct/VM

http://www.rickrutledgelaw.com

Do you like my upgraded blog?

I’m serious. Do you like it or do you think its got too much going on?  I really want your honest feedback.  Post your comments below.

Personally, I think it looks better.  It’s more organized and easier on the eye.  I also think it helps reinforce that this blog is an extension of The Legal Connection E-zine, which I have self-published to a growing list of professionals since it’s debut in 2003.  The Legal Connection (or as I like to call it TLCx), has provided information, how tos and recommendations regarding technology, equipment and office procedures for attorneys and legal administrators for close to six years.

In any event, I’m sure I’ll be tweaking this blog as I learn more about WordPress.  As always, I’ll share what I learn – but from this point forward, I’ll share first to TLCx subscribers – then out on the blog and finally through my articles published and picked up by third party sites.

If you’d like to get on TLCx list and be first in the know, look for the sign up box in the right margin and enter your e-mail address.  No other information necessary to be on my list and I swear you will never receive anything but the free TLCx e-zine when you subscribe to the TLCx list (I hate spam as much as you do!)

Sign up now and you’ll receive the next issue (due out shortly and full of techy things you can do with an ordinary phone) AND when you confirm your subscription, you’ll also receive a copy of my organizational system D-A-F-T™ Your Way to Organized!  No charge.  really, really.

Your time and consideration greatly appreciated so don’t forget to comment away….

Keeping Track re: the Wall Street Journal

Great video regarding keeping track of everything from the Wall Street Journal:



Click “play” button then continue reading…

I have long recommended using 37 Signals’ BackPackIt as a efficient means to keep files and information securely stored and accessible from the web. Less than $10 per month gives account holders 100 secure pages to which you can load files, pictures, documents, graphics, collect notes, to dos, and basically project manage from the web. Each page works independently of the others and can be shared independently or be held as private. A basic account also provides you with a web based calendar.

For more information or to sign up:


I am also a big believer in pen and paper. Although I type at a pretty good rate (still), there’s nothing like putting your notes down on paper which helps root them into your brain. I do like the index card/binder clip suggestion; but caution that index cards give nasty paper cuts. For a less stiff option, try the D-A-F-T PocketMod:


What’s a D-A-F-T PocketMod you ask?

It’s one piece of paper, folded a certain way, which gives you an eco-friendly, discreet and practical place for handwritten notes and such. To get your own 2009 D-A-F-T PocketMod, sign up for The Legal Connection E-zine from any page of http://www.legaltypist.com (upper right corner).

If you’d like to learn more about my D-A-F-T system for organization -