How to friend someone on Facebook (and put them in a list) Facebook 101 – Part 3

When it comes to communicating with multiple friends in one location, it doesn’t get much easier than Facebook.

You can add family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, your church and people you meet at events and conferences. But the problem you’ll run into is that a lot of times you don’t want to communicate with all of them at the same time with the same message.

In this way, Facebook really sucks.  Everyone is lumped together and their algorithm for sorting who my good friends are vs. my occasion friends vs. my co-workers ain’t the best way to determine who’s important in my life.  But there’s a way to fix Facebook so it is really useful to you and your farm or business.

Setting up your “friends” on Facebook requires some thought but you’ll get the most benefit out of Facebook if you use these simple tips on when “friending” people on Facebook.

1. Search for friends on Facebook

facebook-friend-search

Using the search box at the top of your Facebook newsfeed, simple type in their name and click the magnifying glass.

Now if your friend you are looking for doesn’t come up, there are ways to search for people. If you have the email address or phone number, you can also look up people (if they didn’t change their privacy settings).

You can type “People I know.”

facebook-search-people-you-may-know

And use the advanced search that will come up on the side. It looks like this.

facebook-advanced-search

2. Add Friends

facebook-add-friend-from-search

You can add a friend from search by clicking the Add Friend button

Once you find your potential friend, you can request the friend by clicking “Add Friend”. You should then get a message that says “Friend Request Sent.”

facebook-friend-request

Or if you are on their profile page, you can add a friend by clicking this button.

You’ll have to wait until they approve friendship before you’ll be able to see their status updates in your newsfeed, check out their full timeline or see other things that they may have blocked from the public.

3. Put them into a list

This is very important and it will make Facebook a much better communication tool and resource for yourself (now I know you are thinking I have a “Schindler’s List” but I don’t. But ha, ha, it’s very funny. Feel free to put me on a Schindler’s List if you want to.)

After they have approved your Friend Request, simply go to their profile and select the “Friends” button. A drop down menu should appear.

There are many different choices here.

facebook-dropdown-close-friends

If the “friend” is a good friend and you want to keep close tabs on their activity on Facebook, you will want to select “Close Friends”. This will then add “Get Notifications” – you’ll be notified of most of their posting activity (Status Updates and Shares).

If the “friend” isn’t that close, then I recommend putting them in a list that you will create.

These lists will help you keep track of your friends instead of letting just the newsfeed do with with all your “friends”.

facebook-add-to-list

You can add someone to a list simply by clicking the “Add to another list” in the drop down.

facebook-add-a-1-list

With people that are good friends but not a “close friend”, then I would recommend creating an A-1 list. You can see how I added a friend to my A-1 list.

But if you don’t have an A-1 list, you can easily create one.

facebook-create-new-list

Just scroll to the bottom of the list and create a new list.

Or you can use the “FRIENDS” navigation on the left hand side of the page (it should be near the bottom of our newsfeed page left hand side navigation.

facebook-friends-nav-section

Click on “More” next to “FRIENDS” and you’ll be taken to the Friends page. On this page, you can create a list as well and start adding members.

facebook-create-a-list-page

You’ll see I created an A-1 list and then started adding members.

facebook-create-a-list-members

TIP – Now Facebook will still use its algorithm to determine who your friends are in the the custom list newsfeed but at least you’ll have a better chance of seeing your friends in a smaller list.

facebook-add-to-favorites

After you’ve created your custom lists (like the A-1), then you can click on the pencil to the right of the list and add it to your Favorites section to the top of your left hand navigation. This way you don’t have to search for custom lists. BTW, I know this says remove but it’s because my A-1 is already in my Favorites.

facebook-friends-list-newsfeed

If you notice I have an Interests List called (Farmer Pages), an Interest List allows you to add both Pages and Profiles to the same list and follow it. We’ll discuss that more in a future post.

The lists will also show up on your Facebook phone app as well.  To find a list, just pull your newsfeed down (just like you do when you are refreshing the news) and you’ll see the custom lists there.  The more you use the lists, it will remember to keep those lists near the top.

facebook-mobile-app-lists

Next post we’ll go over how to post and what to post on Facebook.

If you have any tricks on using lists in Facebook just let me know and I’ll add them here.

Taking Google Glass and #Dairychat to the 2013 Joint Annual Meeting of NDB, NMPF and UDIA

I got my Google Glass on Friday and was able to take it to the Joint Annual Meeting on Monday, Nov 11 and spend the next three days teaching social media and talking with dairy farmers.  It was an awesome experience (my first time at Annual Meeting and hanging at the Arizona Biltmore) but the best time was letting the farmers try out Google Glass.

Most people were amazed at the ability to take photos just by talking to glass.  I have 111 photos from the event and most are me looking at them while they are taking photos of me.  So silly.  Now I know to pull out my phone and take shots of them.

photos-from-annual-meeting-google-glass

The classes I taught were well attended and I got a lot of great feedback of what I should be covering in the future.  Special thanks to all those farmers that signed up for the training and then started using the tools. Many used the hashtag #dairychat for the meeting. Check out the dairychat tagboard below.

dairychat-tagboard

Can’t wait for next annual meeting.  Gonna be a lot of fun.

How Should You Change Your Facebook Security and Privacy Settings? – Facebook 101 Part 2

person-of-interest-facebook

Image courtesy of CBS “Person of Interest” Facebook Pgae

There are plenty of concerns about Facebook privacy – and rightly so, you are probably going to share more information about yourself and your family, friends, coworkers, and your farm, then on any other platform.

I love the show, “Person of Interest” on CBS. It tells the story of a man who’s built a machine that spies on every person in the U.S. looking for terrorists. But after the man turned the machine over to the govt., he is now resolved to try and save the people that the machine predicts are going to die but the govt. doesn’t care about. Loss of privacy is the basis of the show.

With Facebook, you are giving it a lot of privacy if you choose to engage but if you understand a few basics then you shouldn’t have a problem with privacy.

I get asked this a lot but identity theft (as far as I understand it) happens mostly via banks and credit card companies than Facebook – they may find some information on you but all they really want is your username/password to your financials (which usually isn’t found on Facebook).

If you are worried about groups targeting you and your farm, I would also say that I have not heard of a single case of the group using their social media profiles to target physical addresses. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen – but what I would say is that if you have a large social media presence you are actually more of a threat to them because you will have so many people come to your (online – defending and promoting) aid if you have a issue on the farm.

First things first.

All the privacy and security settings in the world will not protect you if you say bad things on the internet. In fact, Facebook is one of the worst for keeping these things to yourself.

As my friend Katie Pinke of The Pinke Post  loves to say, “I don’t say anything on the internet that I wouldn’t want my grandmother to see.”

I completely agree with this statement.
Don’t go there.
Don’t argue with people.
Don’t flame others.
Be nice.
Be helpful.
You can voice your opinion about injustice without berating and crucifying others.

Remember you are in front of your audience, their audience and the entire Facebook public. And you can always walk away if it isn’t going well.

Facebook-101-step1-drpodownSo let’s get into the Security and Privacy Settings so change a few things that will help protect your privacy but not completely cut you off from the rest of the world that may benefit quite a bit from hearing your wisdom about farming.

1. Click on the Gear to get to your Settings

2. Select Account Settings

3. Select Username

Facebook-101-step3-select-username

Change the username to something more appropriate than what Facebook gave you – if they gave you a long list of numbers (back in the day they did this).

4. Change Your Primary Email

Facebook gives you an email address like don.schindler (at) Facebook.com. I switch to the email that makes most sense to me.

That should be it for this screen unless you have an email address associated with a university. If so, you can set up one of their networks.

5. Go back to the left navigation and click Security

facebook-101-security-settings

6. Click “Secure Browsing” and make it “Enabled”

This will help protect you when you are using an open network like a coffee shop or airport. It helps keep people from hacking your account.

7. Click “Login Notifications” and make sure you set it to “Email” or “Text/Push Notifications”.

facebook-101-login-notifications

This way you’ll be notified if someone is trying to log into your account from a different browser, phone, tablet, etc…

8. Recognized Devices and Active Sessions

These two areas will help you understand what has logged into your account last and where. If you have any active sessions from areas that you are unfamiliar then you should delete the sessions.

The other areas you can look into and Facebook does a good job of explaining them so I won’t do it here.

9. Click on Privacy

facebook-101-privacy-settings

10. Who can see your future posts?

This should be public. You can always change this on a specific post if you want only a certain list of friends or a specific friend/s or just yourself.

11. Review all your posts and things you’re tagged in.

This will link you to the activity log where you can review everything that you have done on Facebook – all your posts, likes, shares, comments, etc…

12. Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or public?

This feature was developed so people could limit all of their old posts from “friends of friends” and “public” to switch “friends”. In other words, hid their past from anyone that wasn’t already a friend. I don’t recommend this unless you have damaging images and posts out there and you want them all invisible to the public.

13. Who can send you friend requests?

I marked this as everyone because I want to be able to be “friended” even if someone isn’t connected to one of my friends. This will not keep you out of search results – people just won’t be able to friend you if they aren’t a friend of one of your friends.

14. Whose messages do I want filtered into my Inbox?

I would recommend the “basic filtering” which means that most Facebook email messages will get to you.

15. Who can look you up using the email address you provided?

Now I give out my email address a lot for people to connect so I have this marked to public. If you want just “friends of friends” or just “friends” to be ale to do this you can.

TIP: Sometimes young people don’t want to be found by their parents on Facebook – they use an alias – but if you have their email and they haven’t changed this setting, you can find them on Facebook using this tool.

16. Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?

Same answer as the email address.

17. Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?

Now this one is going to be different for me vs. you. I’m open on the internet and I want the search engines to find my information. You might not want that. So if you are worried about Google finding your information, then you might want to uncheck the box.

Next blog post – Timeline and Tagging (Facebook 101 – Part 3) Coming soon.

How do you sign up for Facebook? Facebook 101 Social Media Training

First, what is Facebook and why would you care to use it?

Facebook is the world’s largest social networking website – it connects over 1 billion people (1.26 billion October 2013). In the US, the numbers are smaller but daily active users are at 128 million people or 36.5% of the US.

Facebook makes it easy for you to connect with family and friends as well as your customers. You don’t need to know how to code to put up photos and videos or just tell everyone what you are doing or how you are feeling.

Facebook is another way to be found online as people search for you and your business. Having an active profile (your digital representative online) can keep you connected, feed you the news that you think is important as well as what your friends think is important, and let you learn what others think about farming, agriculture, your business and their food.

There are other great features like joining topic groups, chatting with friends, emailing with customers and playing games or using applications.

So are you ready to set up a profile for yourself?

facebook-sign-up

0. Sign Up Page

You can create an account for free. All you need is your email address and a digital photo or two of yourself. It’s going to take a few minutes to do but it’s really easy.

Step-1-facebook-profile-info

1. Fill Out Info

This is pretty self-explanatory. Facebook would like you to fill in your schooling. Why do they do this? This helps them find people that you may know already.

So if you say you went to school like me at St. Vincent High School from 1984-88 then they will find people in Facebook already that have that on their profile. Same with college or the Armed Forces.

Step-2-facebook-choose-interests

2. Choose Interests

This is how you can begin to build your newsfeed. Now I would recommend skipping this step. Why? Because these Facebook Pages will definitely fill your newsfeed up fast.

I would rather skip this and then go back and add Facebook Pages (after I teach you how to set up Interest Lists for these pages vs. your Newsfeed). So skip it. Or not. Your choice.

Step-3-facebook-add-profile-pic

3. Add Your Profile Pic

I always recommend using your face to start off with. Now there’s no reason you can’t have fun with your profile picture down the road but to start off with it, it should be you and you should be able to be recognizable.

You’ll be able to crop the picture if need be using Facebook’s tool. The size is 180 by 180 pixels but it will shrink up quite a bit in the comment section of the newsfeed – I believe that it will be around 25 by 25.

If you would like to manipulate your photo, there are several free photo tools like picmonkey.com or autreplanete’s social media image maker.

facebook-newsfeed-account

4. The Welcome Screen

This is not what you’ll see when you come back into Facebook. Essentially they are just trying to show you how to find friends, privacy settings (which will we go over in detail in another part of Facebook 101, how to update your profile, etc…

1. Facebook Logo – this will get you back to the newsfeed.

2. Search Box – this will help you find Facebook friends (people), Pages (places or things), Groups (people hanging together on topics) or Events (events you may have signed up for or want to sign up for). This is also a Search Graph which allows you to search for multiple things at once like “People who like” etc…

3. Friend Notification – this will have a number by it if you have Friend Request.

4. Email Notification – this will have a number by it if you have emails waiting that you need to read.

5. Newsfeed Notification – this will have a number by it if you have newsfeed notifications. A newsfeed notification is if you posted something and someone commented on it or if you have tagged people to be notified if they have posted on their wall or if you’ve been tagged in another person’s post. Notification try to keep you aware of activity within Facebook.

6. Home button – same as the Facebook logo on the left side.

7. Find Friends – this is available only in newer profiles. Once you add friends, this will disappear over time.

8. Your Name – This will take you to your profile page.

9. Privacy Shortcuts – this will take you to a quick FAQ drop down of privacy and security issues.

10. Gear – This will drop down will allow you to do several things like change from your profile to a Facebook page (if you control one). You can see how to create and manage advertising on Facebook. This will allow you to create and manage applications (if you have that set up). Then it gets you to your Account and Privacy Settings. We will go through those in detail in another post. You can also Log Out, get Help or Report a Problem.

11. Profile Pic, Name – this will take you to your Profile Page. Edit Profile link will allow you to edit your profile page.

12. Navigation Bar – This navigation will allow you to do many things in Facebook.
This bar will change over time as you start to use different application and products within Facebook.

Under Favorites

Facebook Tip – if you want to add or remove a navigation link under the favorites section – just roll over the link and you’ll see a little pencil pop up to the left. Click on the pencil and it will ask you if you want to remove from Favorites or just Rearrange the Order.

  • Welcome – this link will take you to the page you see here. This will disappear after you’ve been using Facebook for a while.
  • Newsfeed – this link will take you to your main newsfeed where you will see what your friends and liked pages will be posting.
  • Messages – this link will take you to your Facebook email system. There will be a number here of how many messages you have in your inbox.
  • Events – this link will take you to the Events page. It will show if you have any Invites from other Facebook Friends and also display a calendar of Events that you and your Facebook Friends are attending. It will also show you all the upcoming birthdays of your Facebook friends. A number will appear next to the link to showcase the number of invites you need to respond to.
  • Photos – this link will take you to your photo section.
  • Browse – This link will take you to search and allow you to find more friends. Mine took me to a search of friends who are from my hometown and now live near by me in Chicago.

That’s it for now.  In the next post (Part 2), I’ll go through the Privacy and Account Settings.

Did I miss anything? Do you need more explanation about a specific part?

How do you do a digital audit of your website and social media? Part 1: Website

When you sit down to do a digital audit, it’s helpful to have your marketing communications goals and objectives in hand so you can see if your digital properties are laddering up in some ways to your farm or business’ overall goals.

To me, your website is always your digital home on the web (don’t trust social networks like Facebook or Twitter to keep your “home” intact – glitches can completely remove your presence) and is probably the best place to drive your target audience if you want them to take a specific action – in other words, your CALL TO ACTION.  What’s your CALL TO ACTION?

Call To Action

Call To Action on Truth or Dairy’s blog is sign up for email

While a digital audit can help you see what is going on with your digital properties, you need to make sure that your CALL TO ACTION is easy to see and act upon for your target audience.

You need to be clear on your CALL TO ACTION on all your digital properties. This is done visually as you look at your properties whether it be a website, blog, facebook page, or youtube channel.

The web is very fluid and you need to be ready to change what you have.

Always be thinking of building with the future in mind – what is hot right now with Google is Social, Local and Mobile (SO-LO-MO).

In the future according to the experts, instead of the battle over what’s in your hand and in front of your face (computer vs. mobile phone vs. tablet), it will be your voice and what’s in your vision (think Google Glass and screens that respond to voice and motion).

But what you need to worry about now is your digital footprint (digital footprint is the results people get when they search for your farm/business/name in Google or on the social networks)  and how your digital properties are performing.

Let’s start the digital audit:

First, you need to pull together a list of all your digital properties.

Do all the ones you know and then make sure you do a search through Google with your keywords and names to make sure nothing else pops up. You might find things you didn’t know about or that someone else might have created for your farm or business. And it’s always good to have searches running on your farm or business with talkwalker.com alerts (free service).

Once you have that in place, we’ll begin was analyzing your websites and blogs.

Google Analytics

google-analytics-image

You should have some sort of analytics on your websites. I recommend google analytics. If you are using Urchin, you need to switch over. Your web person should know how to put google analytics on your website or you can do it if you can access to the code – depending on the blog system they should have a plug-in for this.

I have three training classes (posts) on Google Analytics:

How Should You Set Up Your Google Analytics Dashboard for Your Farm or Business

How Do You Set Up A Goal in Google Analytics

How to Read Google Analytics

I’m not going to go into the details here but you should have a sense of your traffic, time on site and bounce rates.

The overview can help you here but be aware it’s really not the whole story. What you are looking for here right now is trends.

Are people using our CALL TO ACTION?
Are we going up or down in visits?
How about time on site?
Where are people leaving the website?

Google Webmaster Tools

webmaster-tools-search-queries

You need to have your web person set you up with Google Webmaster Tools – this will help show you things like Search Queries (Google Analytics won’t show this anymore if people are logged into Google when looking at your website), Crawl Errors, how many inbound links to your website and how to optimized your website.

The information you really need here is do I have any errors, what are my search queries keywords and how many inbound links do I have?

webmaster-tools-inbound-links

Also, who is linking to me?

You should benchmark this number and then try and grow it in the future. The more inbound links you have the better you are – but just stay away from black hat link building techniques (don’t buy them and don’t submit to useless directories).

It will also show you where you are ranking on Google search engine research pages for keywords – it other words, how are you showing up?

Xenu

xenu-screenshot

Xenu’s Link Sleuth checks Web sites for broken links.

Link verification is done on “normal” links, images, frames, plug-ins, backgrounds, local image maps, style sheets, scripts and java applets. It displays a continuously updated list of URLs which you can sort by different criteria. A report can be produced at any time.

Probably one of the best tools out there for link checking and it’s free!

Open Site Explorer

Open Site Explorer

I use Open Site Explorer to help benchmark the performance of the website.

Copy the metrics on domain authority, page authority, linking root domains, etc…

Much like Google Webmaster tools this will help with showcasing who is linking to you but it will give more information on the sites that are linking to you.

The stronger those sites are, the more power they transfer to your website.

MajesticSEO

majesticseo

MajesticSEO will give you a lot of great information as well much like Opensiteexplorer but you’ll have to login.

Marketing Grader

hubspot-marketing-grader

This is Hubspot’s free marketing grading system and it will give you insights into how the website is performing (0-100 is the grading scale).

The information they provide is pretty self-explanatory.

While they provide some nice insights, be aware they are trying to sell you a product and will probably reach out to you when you use the tool. I do think that Hubspot is awesome but I don’t know how much help they would be for you right now.

SEO Audits are great things

Here’s a great article on how to do this yourself from Philip Petrescu, CEO and Co-Founder of Caphyon, How To Perform a Complete SEO Audit for your website.

This is a very thorough article and I love all the insights and how to fix ideas he has. Definitely worth checking out.

Speed of your Website

google-site-speed

The speed of your website is very important to users and Google. The search engine could downgrade your website if it is not running at a fast enough pace or if a script is slowing it down.

Use the Google Developer Speed tool to benchmark your website. It will also give you a Performance Grade, Load Time and Page Size.

Mobile Friendly

hubspot-mobile-device

Google is not happy with multiple website for mobile and would rather you just have one to meet the needs of mobile users. That’s why going responsive in a redesign is a great idea.

But you need to see how users are seeing your website on their mobile phone so I suggest using Hubspot’s Mobile Device Lab so you can see how your website will render on different devices.  Not everything is represented here.

If it’s hard to navigate, it could cause people to leave the website without doing anything (bounce) and hurt your rankings.

There are probably a bunch of things I’ve missed in the audit (you know like checking different browsers, etc…) so feel free to hit me up with this information.  I’ll add it in if it’s valuable.

Next post will chat about digital audits on your social media presence.

Creating Your Digital Legacy For Future Generations

Grandpa Les Schindler 1938-1939

Grandpa “Les” Schindler on the farm around 1938-39

My grandfather (Leslie “Les” J. Schindler) was born January 1, 1918 and passed while I was in grad school – Nov 16, 1998.

He was a farmer and mechanic. On the farm, we had a dairy cow, about 40 head of cattle and we planted corn and soy beans.

Growing up I spent a lot of time on back fender of his tractor until I was old enough to drive one (I think around 6 or 7).

Then we would spend the days following each other around the fields. He would be cutting hay. I would be conditioning. He would be baling. I would be stacking.  He would be picking. I would be unloading the corn.

I learned a ton from him – about hard work, perseverance, and a few mechanical skills. I miss him a lot. Especially now that I have a family of my own. It would be great to understand what he thought about his situation and how he dealt with life’s ups and downs.

But he didn’t leave a lot of things behind. Great memories for sure, but nothing really written down.

If he had I would go back to those writings quite a bit.

I would look to what he said and how he said it. I have just a few of those grandpa quotes I remember – one of my favorites that he would say to grandma at the end of night when company had overstayed their welcome.

“Come on, Mother. Let’s go to bed so these people can go home.”

He had a twisted sense of humor.

I wonder if he had the ability to write down his everyday thoughts, would he?

Would he have been a blogger?
Would he had tweeted about the farm?
Would he had shared about the house and barns he built by hand?
Or the animals he cared for?

Probably not. But if he would have created the text, the pictures, the video, the vines, whatever it was – I would read it all, over and over. I respected the man quite a bit but I don’t remember much about what he thought. I just have a few pictures and a bunch of hazy memories of my childhood.

When I think of the opportunity that social media has given me, it kinda blows my mind. You have any opportunity to share with generations that only a handful of people have done in the past.

You can give you minute-by-minute updates of your life in real time. You can follow and learn as much as you want from others.  It’s amazing how connected and documented we are now. We all have audiences – and these audiences actually care about what we are writing.

Facebook as Digital Diary

What do you think about these digital tools documenting your life?

But it’s more than that.

We are essentially writing the books of our lives with ongoing commentary of friends and family and, maybe some detractors as well. That’s a lot different than a normal diary.

Yes, I keep in mind very well the people that are in my social networks when I’m sharing information. I want them to respond to me and I want to be a value add to their days. But I also need to keep in mind my future generations. The sons of my son, the daughters of my daughter’s daughter.

They will be influenced by what I say here because this will be my only voice after I’m gone.

I say all of this not because I want to scare you into deleting your Facebook account. We have all probably vented a few times too many, gone off on a rant or posted photos that could be taken out of context.

No, I say this, because I want you to keep sharing. I want you to pass along your wisdom to future generations and share with them what it was like to live at this day and age.

The stuff you do daily is actually very important.  If you are farming and sharing that information, there’s a good chance that the people who stumble across your blog or Facebook page or twitter profile aren’t connected to that lifestyle.  The daily stuff is new to them and very interesting. It’s not something they experience everyday.

And when generations look back like we do at the 1800′s when people were documenting their lives to share with others via mail but our future will definitely want to look into the past for insights. The sunrises you saw, the work you were passion about, the people you spent time with, the adventures you have are all part of this crazy social media world and it will be available forever to them.

So maybe this post is a little too sentimental. And maybe it’s not “real” enough because I edit out of social media some things that might be a bit too controversial for my future generations and my audience. That’s ok – I’m not and you aren’t – being graded on this.  You can share the controversial – sometimes that makes for lots of discussion – but just remember to be civil and kind.  It’s ok to disagree. It’s not ok to be a jerk.

I just want the future gens to trust me (even if all they know about me is what they have seen when I’m an old man who couldn’t have possibly been young at one time) and know that I thought about them when I was creating. I shared because I cared about them.

So I’m hoping that grandpa would have blogged had he been given the chance.  This way I could go back and visit with him even after he’s gone.

What do you think about future generation viewing our digital profiles? Any issues with it? Does it change how you think about social media?

How to Get Executive Support for an Advocacy Program in 4 Steps

Steve KnoxI’m a huge believer in advocates. I think they hold a lot of power but harnessing that power can be difficult.

Advocacy programs or simply a Word of Mouth program needs resources that right now might be dedicated to other projects.

Convincing the executive team to give you those resources may be challenging so here’s a few simple steps that you can take to give yourself a better shot at getting them.

First, let’s make sure we’re grounded in what an advocate is vs. an influencer. Many people sometimes don’t understand the difference. I love what Jay Baer at Convince and Convert and Zuberance did in the below infographic.

Advocates vs. Influencers via Jay Baer and Zuberance

Advocates vs. Influencers via Jay Baer and Zuberance

1. Advocacy is just a digital Word of Mouth program

If you take into account how people converse nowadays (social media, texting, group chat, Skype, etc…), you need to be part of the conversation. So here’s some examples:

  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin)
  • Reviews (amazon, Yelp, Google, Epinions,)
  • Recommendations Trip Advisor, Yahoo! Answers, Expert or List Blogs)

2. Advocacy directly combats negative information

This is something that is high on every executive’s list. They hate to see bad things about their products and services. If you have advocates then others (not just your marketing team) can go out and champion the company over what others have said. But if you don’t have a good product or service, then you might want to stay off the internet. :)

Yelp Review

3. Advocacy Program Success Metrics must match Business Goals

Don’t go into the executive’s office with terms like follows, likes and sentiment. Go in there with statements tied to Grow Revenues, Reduce Costs and Improve Satisfaction.

You can say things like “we can potentially grow revenues by $$$$ if we have amplification of our messages because we know that if more people are talking about our product online then our sales increase by $$$$”. If you don’t have that correlation set up currently, start working on it.

But you can also say “we can potentially reduce $$$$ by having more effective knowledge management of our product/service online using advocate commentary in our help forum. Right now we employ XX people and they put up XX content pieces a month. With advocates, we could increase this by XXX or something along those lines.”

Advocacy Metrics Must Match Business Goals

4. Advocacy is a big part of the current and future state of digital communications

This step is a bit bigger and requires a bit more work on your part to get across but I believe you’ll be a better communicator if you understand where the future of technology and communications is going.

With the current state, you can go into how the web works and how to manipulate your online reputation using the current methods.

You feed the Internet with:

  • Great Content (websites & blogs)
  • Constant Content
  • Share via social networks

This will work for now but this system is morphing constantly.

For the future state, you’ll need to do a little reading and researching but there are several trends that will help paint a picture for your executives.

Age of ContextI recommend grabbing a copy of “Age of Context” by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. It’s an easy read and will definitely give you some thoughts on how the future is shaping up.

They focus on five trends that are coming together to form this digital future – social media, mobile, sensors, big data and GPS location. I won’t go too much beyond this besides telling you to read the book. It’s worth the time.

I love using examples of these trends in how they are coming together. You’ll find them in the powerpoint.

So after you’ve convinced your executive team to help you build an advocacy program, I always recommend you start with an employee program first.

This way you can cut your teeth on people who will be a little more forgiving about the experience and you’ll really be ready to handle customer advocates in the future.

We’ll talk about the step by step instructions on building an employee advocacy program and a customer advocacy program in the future.

For now, though, do you have any recommendations on how to convince your executives to start an advocacy program?