Why I Play Around with “Silly” Facebook Apps

April 30, 2008

There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t hear someone complain about some of the “silly” Facebook apps. Some experts believe that these apps are going to be the death of Facebook.

I tend to disagree with that type of thinking. And here’s why.

I see many of these apps as being similar to water cooler talk at the office or gossip in the office cafe. If these things were banned work would be very dull and uninteresting to a lot of folks. That’s kind of the way I see a lot of the “silly” apps on Facebook.

For a while, I thought they were nothing short of ‘time wasters,’ and wouldn’t dare get involved in them. Then one day I had an Ah Ha… and began to recognize the social phenomena that was taking place as people ‘poked’ each other, or ‘knighted’ you, or ‘sold/bought’ you, or any number of other possibilities.

I concluded that these “silly” apps were just another way to communicate or get in touch with people that you can’t see or talk to.

There are several that I take part in, while paying close attention to how much time I invest in them. My favorites are (Lil) Green Patch, Be a Billionaire, Super Poke, Send Good Karma and Bless You.

I typically get involved in these when my brain is toast at the end of the day and I’m too exhausted to think. Total time spent is at most 20 mins. But I believe it’s time well spent because I’m reaching out to people.

I’m actually competing with a few friends in Be a Billionaire app – getting close to being a billionaire($847 million net worth). In the Lil Green Patch, I’ve save 52 square feet of rainforest.

So, go ahead… lighten up a little. Let a friend poke you once in a while. LOL

Cheers!
Jim

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Meetup in Philly

April 30, 2008

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I finally had a chance to connect with two  of the many persons that I’ve had virtual conversations with while networking online. Last time it was my Lil’ Sis Marj from Germany. Thanks to many of you who went over and showed her some love. LOL

Today, I’ll tell you about another friend I met a few weeks. I’m sure you’ve seen her buzzing around the socialspehere – her name is Dr. Sally Witt.

Sally is a multi-skilled, multi-talented person. We’re connected on all of the major social media sites. I’m most familiar with her BlogTalkRadio.com shows. You can find out more about her broadcasts at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/drsallywitt or by visiting her Facebook profile.

Two weeks ago she contacted me about being on one of her broadcasts – for an hour. I’m not real big on talking. As a writer/copywriter, I’m a lot more comfortable with the written word rather than the spoken. But when pushed, I’ll grin and bear it.

We played phone tag for a week before she finally caught up with me while traveling to Philly last weekend. It just so happened that we were on the same highway – the PA Turnpike – traveling toward each other. We decided that she and her husband would meet me at my hotel.

Once they arrived we headed to the local Sbux for coffee and tea. And for more than an hour, we had a grand ole time. Little did I know, Sally had a hidden agenda – she wanted to do a video interview to use as a promo for our upcoming broadcast. I found out when she asked the Sbux crew if they could turn the music down because she was going to be doing a video interview.

Somehow, I managed to weasel my way out of the interview by committing to get my own laptop cam and we would do a promo interview later.

Nevertheless, we had a great time talking about ways to network and build strong online communities. How to engage people. How to partner with other movers and shakers in this niche.

Since Sally does a lot of coaching sessions using the free Skype service, I learned an entirely new way to conduct coaching sessions with clients that will make my job much easier.

One of the major things I picked up from her was the importance of using multi-media tools – such as audio, video and podcasts.

I knew all along I needed to start using other forms of media, but until you get the opportunity to sit and chat with someone about the pros and cons of doing different things, you never make any positive actions in those directions. So video, here I come.

On June 17 I will be  Sally’s guest on her radio broadcast discussing how to build social communities on the new media and of course we’ll discuss how to monetize those efforts as well. So, stay tuned for more about the upcoming interview.

In mid-May, I will also be a radio guest with another good buddy I met through social networking. You’ll get all the details later.

If you’re into podcasting, video production and you have hardware and software resources or experts you can recommend, please do so by leaving a comment below.

Thanks.

Jim Turner


A Virtual Friendship Becomes Real

April 27, 2008

It’s amazing how the relationships we build through social networking become so “real.” Although we don’t personally know, nor have we physically met many of the people we ‘friend’ through social networking, somehow those relationship seem very real to us.

I was listening to an NPR podcast recently and there was a relationship specialist on the broadcast discussing this very topic. She was saying that many people develop strong relationships with folks they meet online and these relationships can be as real and as deep as those developed offline.

Yesterday was a very interesting day for me. I’m a big track and field fanatic and I was driving to Philadelphia to watch the Penn Relays – an annual trip for me. While driving along my merry way, my cell rings and the caller ID indicated it was a call coming from out of the U.S.

To my surprise it was from my ‘little sister,’ Marjorie Janczak (Marj) from Germany. Well, actually, Marj is not my real little sister [LOL], but that’s the kind of relationship we’ve developed. Marj is originally from Ghana but now lives in Germany.

I don’t remember exactly how we first met. But I do remember her coming back to post on my Facebook Wall several times after we became friends and that caught my attention. Most folks don’t seek to engage you in that way. So, I initiated an email conversation with her and we connected almost immediately.

Marj has a very unique niche on Facebook. Her thing is online social etiquette. She’s writing an ebook on how to “behave” online, so you can meet more people and hopefully, make more money. She’s even formed a group around the topic called: Oh, Behave!

Anyway, I’ve been offering Marj marketing advice and just helping her in general with stuff related to social media marketing. But I’ve never felt the inclination to charge her for my services. So, this led to her starting to call me her ‘big brother.’

Yesterday, after about three weeks of emailing ideas back and forth, she reaches me on my cell and we talk for about an hour. And it really was like ‘little sister’ and ‘big brother’ meeting for the first time. On one hand it was a little bizarre, but on the other hand it was a pleasing experience.

Of course, we had to end the call at some point and sadly we did. But we were glad we got to hear each other’s voice. She invited my family to come to Germany and visit with her family.

Now, there’s an underlying message within my story that might have slipped past you if you got caught up in the brother/sister part… and it’s this: You never know who that “stranger” is you’re asking to be your friend. It could be the person that is has been “appointed” to help you obtain your big break.

One lesson I learned from my Dad, is that there are no strangers. His philosophy was you should never pass up the opportunity to befriend others, simply because you never know what important role they’re going to play in your little production.

They could become a Star or they may be part of your supporting cast. Then there’s also the possibility they shouldn’t be part of your cast. But you never know – so why not cast your net beyond the people you already know? [That’s another blog for another day – stay tuned!]

Since I decided to apply that philosophy in my social networking, I’ve come to know some incredible people. Many opportunities have “fallen” into my lap so to speak… some of which I will be sharing with you later. Going forward you might want to consider introducing yourself to more people that you come across during your social networking activities.

Ok – so that was one of my virtual relationships that became real. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about another that happened during the same drive to Philly – maybe I should take more rides to Philly.

Best to you!

Jim Turner

P.S. Go by and check out my Little Sister’s Oh, Behave! Group. Tell her Big Brother sent you. [LOL]


Micro-blogging on Steroids

April 20, 2008

A week ago I blogged about how important it was to promote your business or cause through Facebook or LinkedIn  Status line. It’s a powerful, but non-intrusive way to get your message out.

The problem has been, if you have multiple social media sites, as most of us do, it’s a chore to update them on a daily basis. So, if there was a tool through which you could update all of your different sites in one fell swoop, that would be heavenly.

Well, wait no longer, Ping.FM is on the scene to do just that. As I’m writing this post it’s still in the beta stage, but if you plead your case strongly enough they just might let you try the service. [UPDATE: try this code for today, 4/20… “pingfriends”]

Right now you can update your Status on the follow social networking sites through Ping.FM:

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku, Bebo, LiveJournal and Hi5. They’re continually adding sites, so look for that list to continue growing.

Imagine the power this will give you to propagate your message throughout your social networking world. You will be able to update your networks from anywhere using AIM, GTalk, iGoogle, WAP, iPhone, SMS and emai.

To learn more about this service rush on over to http://ping.fm/blog/

Until next time.

Jim Turner


Conversation Marketing and the New Influentials

April 18, 2008

Are you using outdated marketing methods?

As the world around us changes and technology has its affect on just about everything we touch, media and those that want to reach those who consume it are finding greater challenges than ever before.

It is no longer a world of mass media but rather it is a world of communities of customers and consumers. In an attempt to keep up with the changing world that the Internet has brought, the media world has embraced such things as websites to reach their customers, but it isn’t enough. Consumers have gravitated to social media and that is where Influence is finding a significant home.

Influencers or Influentials are a group of very active consumers involved in “conversation marketing” where word-of-mouth is becoming a significant power in spreading dialog with customers, listeners and viewers. It means creating a conversation with your consumers in which useful information is exchanged so that both parties benefit from the relationship.

For a more in-depth discussion keep reading… http://xrl.in/3a9

Jim Turner


Using Social Networking to Build A Group from Scratch

April 18, 2008

In my last post I talked about how my minor marketing efforts were multiplied by a factor of 10. Essentially what happened is I invited 5 friends to my new Facebook group and within 72 hours the group had grown to 50 members.

Today, it’ been just over a week since I started the group, Social Media Marketing Mastermind.  Now there are 273 members, 62 of which are not directly connected to me – that represents approximately 23% of the group.

That is an example of how your message can get spread using Social Media Marketing.

Interesting enough, as much as this group has grown, I haven’t unleashed any power-packed marketing schemes yet. For example, I haven’t asked group members to invite your friends to join the group, which is a very powerful marketing technique.

So far, I’ve only sent invitations to about 25% of my FB friends. Even though these were my friends, I still sent a brief personalize message to them, including their name, along with a benefit-rich statement as to why they should join my group.

This direct approach is an example of how to use direct response marketing in combination with Social Networking strategies.

I have some big plans ahead to grow this group to a 1,000 members within the next month. It’s a challenging goal. But I feel that using a combination so SMM and direct response marketing, my chances are very good.

I’ll keep you posted.

Jim Turner


Multiply Your Marketing Efforts 10 Times… Using Social Media Sites!

April 12, 2008

Just a few days ago I started a group on Facebook and some surprising things happened – they actually shouldn’t have been a surprise. But during the process of creating this group it became clear to me just how viral Facebook is… viral in the sense of being self-perpetuating.

Here’s what happened – I started creating the group with the idea of first developing a ‘beta’ version of the group, meaning that I would build the group on the run over a period of a few days. I went through the process of setting the group up and in some cases I actually put dummy info in some places.

Once I had completed the ‘beta’ version, I sent invitations to about 4 or 5 real close friends just to confirm that things were working properly, before finishing up the final details of the page.

To my surprise in a matter of 24 hours, over 20 members had joined the group. I was puzzled. How could that be? I only sent invitations to 5 friends. When I looked at the list of new members I saw some that weren’t even in my Facebook network… they were friends of my friends.

That’s when the light went ON.

When my first group of friends joined the group, their activity showed up in their Mini-Feed and their News Feed as well. The News Feed shows up on the friends’ home page. When their friends saw that they had joined my Social Media Marketing group, they decided they would join also.

By the time I had completed the final version of the group and began to promote it, there were 50 members in the group. That means my group had increased 10 times its original size in about 72 hours. Amazing.

That’s the power of viral marketing! That’s the power of marketing through social media website like Facebook.

The learning is that you need to take action on Facebook and other similar sites, so you can multiply the impact of your marketing efforts – in this case by a factor of 10. In case you’re interested in being a part of this fast growing group, you can look it over here: http://groups.to/socialmediamarketing/

See you soon!

Jim Turner