Archive for social networking

Social media never disappears

Dunce-cap_BW (2)

Willful ignorance doesn’t help your cause

Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media outlets have become the predominant way of communicating and establishing commercial and personal brands.

Wearing my hat, for example, exposes me to a targeted audience. Blasting its image via six social media accounts increases my visibility exponentially.

However, once something’s published online it’s impossible to erase. So I’m VERY careful what I publish so it doesn’t come back to haunt me later.

Consider this recent item on LinkedIn:

“Damn…the NFL been around longer than our government. We’ve had 50 Super Bowls and only 45 presidents. I didn’t know that.”

She wasn’t kidding!

Her millennial friends agreed with her, while others provided unsuccessful civics lessons.

Logically, someday this woman will want a job. Potential employers will GOOGLE her name and discover today’s conversation.

Meaning today’s willful ignorance could easily endanger tomorrow’s opportunity.

This judgmental attitude isn’t just mine. Business owners following the feed said “WOW!!!”; “The scariest thing is…they vote.”; and “Your education is what you make it, Princess.”

This subject’s appropriateness for business-oriented LinkedIn also raised temperatures. One executive observed “Actually it’s perfect…helps with candidate vetting.”

Here’s reality for you: Anonymity no longer exists in today’s world.

Meaning if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Whether you’re branding a business, non-profit, or yourself, be sure your marketing plan includes a healthy dose of social media.

But remember potential bosses, clients and partners will not only examine your recent postings, but everything you’ve ever written.

And those lurid pictures of you getting drunk, while funny now, will haunt you in 20 years with questions about your character, judgment, and intelligence.

So some unrequested advice for my young friend on LinkedIn: Poor communication skills don’t bode well for being able to market yourself in the future.

Because even though Millennials grew up comfortably sharing their every move with the world at-large, with many not recognizing the importance of privacy, their bosses probably feel differently.

There are six generations sharing the workplace today, and older generations control much of the employment and financing opportunities.

Their discomfort with a “Let it all hang out” attitude may encourage them to penalize anyone unable or unwilling to be “professional.”

It isn’t necessarily fair. But as a business owner, I know it’s a realistic view of today’s world.

Speak up, Sonny!

This morning I got my dog’s hair cut.

Buddy Weinberg desperately needed a haircut!

Buddy Weinberg desperately needed a haircut!

From across the parking lot a friend saw my hat and shouted “It’s impossible to miss you!”

It’s the power of marketing…finding ways to stand out of the crowd.

Regular readers know that the average American adult is bombarded with 5,000 marketing messages every 24 hours.

As consumers we erect virtual walls around ourselves to block out the onslaught. Marketers are tasked with finding ways to break through those walls.

Simple equation, right?

Still, what do you do with someone who doesn’t want to talk about themselves?

Consider my client Suzy. She’s brilliant, talented, and extremely photogenic. She knows her business inside and out, and has contributed hugely to her employer and her industry.

So I naturally nominated her for the Business Journal’s WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS award…and she protested.

“I haven’t done enough,” she cried.

Now I protested. Because if I waited until she felt she’s done enough to warrant an award, Suzy and I will both be VERY old.

In these days of political bombast, when commercials are shouting at us from every direction that this one is great and that one can solve your problems, there’s more reason than ever to build those walls around ourselves.

And on one level it’s refreshing to find people who are humble. They put their heads down and work, never seeing the promotional opportunities from their productivity, talent or physical beauty.

They’re blessed with the “Aw Shucks” gene.

Yet surviving New York City’s rough-and-tumble taught me that being shy doesn’t equal good marketing. You need to stand up and shout who you are and why it’s important to pay attention to you.

And if you’re not comfortable doing so, you need to find a guy with a megaphone and a big mouth.

Yes, someone like me.

Because failure to promote yourself in your professional community means you’ll disappear from view.

You’ll find promotional opportunities all around you. They easily include speaking at conferences, posting columns to an ever-expanding LinkedIn universe, and schmoozing at Chamber of Commerce events.

Then relax. Even if you don’t win any awards, merely staying visible will introduce you to new friends and sales prospects.

And since so much success is based on whom you know…

Getcher Free Puppy Here!!

puppy_love_theme-201597-1230259247Millions of US pets need adopting. Regardless of the breed or age you’re seeking, petfinder.com has it.

That’s where we discovered Buddy, a sweet terrier/bichon mix found walking the streets. Given the inexpensive preponderance of man’s best friend available at this web site, I never understood why one would spend thousands at a pet shop.

Still, my family and I would regularly visit the Escondido Mall pet shop to sigh over the dogs from Midwestern puppy mills. Then we’d go home with new appreciation for the furball patiently awaiting us.

When that pet shop closed, I suggested the Humane Society open a storefront there to give away animals needing adoption. Economics and logistics prevented the idea’s implementation, but the universe apparently welcomed it.

Today a shop called Escondido Pets sits at the same site. While the majority of their inventory is expensive, the front dozen slots are dogs available for adoption.

For around $100 a family can walk out with the sweetest faces and personalities in town. These are dogs that have lived in unpleasant situations who’ll never forget the value of a loving home.

The store manager advised me they’ve placed about 100 dogs since the first of this year.

By no coincidence, the dogs being adopted also need leashes, collars, cages, dog bowls, snacks, and toys. All are available there for immediate purchase.

Which means unloved animals are getting homes and the store is increasing market share while doing something admirable. Even if their other dogs are from puppy mills, Escondido Pets deserves kudos for helping unwanted pooches get adopted.

Regardless of what you sell in your own business, somewhere there’s a worthy cause that’ll benefit from your involvement and participation.

Try collecting spare change at your cash register for the March of Dimes. Or contributing goods and services to a silent auction at your church.

Regardless of how you get involved, customers will quickly link your name with the wider good you’re doing. They’ll also think of you first when they’re looking to do business in your category.

Helping those most in need is worthwhile year-round. Even if it cuts into the bottom line short-term, it’s potentially profitable over the long-run.

Because let’s face it: giving is good for the soul.