48% of companies don’t encourage social media networking

It’s been my experience that the majority of people who don’t use and understand social media in conversations about its use typically focus on what could go wrong – rather than how social media could be used to help a business.

I have talked for years of how social media provides an opportunity for your people to become an ‘army of marketers’ promoting your brand and products via these channels. For this to successful you need to start with trust, trusting your people to be professional in their interactions along with providing them with guidance on how to get the most out of these channels.

As this infographic shows many companies are still missing out on these opportunities by not encouraging and enabling their people. It also shares the benefits you can get when your people are trained and confident to network on social media.

48% of companies don’t encourage social media networking - infographic

Christopher Wellbelove

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Now anyone* can blog with Posterous

When talking to politicians and business people about improving their presence on-line the most often response I receive is ‘I do not have the time’. With Posterous they no longer have an excuse.

Many are put off by long sign up forms, email authentication, resizing of images and general complication with getting to know how a blog that they sign up to works. The needing to be at their PC to write their post and upload the pictures can feel like another job on the endless list of to-dos where everything else seems to take a priority.

Now with Posterous all of these barriers have been removed. If you can use email you can use Posterous. Within minutes you can quickly and easily be posting photographs, messages and just about anything else you want to your own page on the site.

To start you simply email anything you want to appear to post@posterous.com (words, photos, mp3s and files) putting in the subject line what you want to call the post.

You will receive an email back straight away with links to view your post, edit your post and the ability to set up a username and password. Here you can either just carry on with the automatic website address that was generated following your email or change to something you prefer. It really couldn’t be easier.

When you are ready you can add a profile photo and some information about yourself, but everything you do is so quick and simple to use.

If you already have a blog with blogger or WordPress, twitter, flickr and other social media sites you can synchronise these so that when you email Posterous the appropriate content will be uploaded to your other sites. If you don’t then whatever you send will be added to your Posterous page.

You could in effect never ever visit your own blog on Posterous, though after just one visit to customise you could never come back again by simply emailing your content. Now even the busiest, and technophobic, business people and politicians can do that!

For a while I had been wondering if I could manage a fifth blog for more personal stuff – I guess I will now at Wellbelove’s Posterous.

* with email

Blogging for business

I recently, through Friends reunited, caught up with a very very old friend. When I knew her she was still a school girl but now is married to a fireman, has three children and also owns her own manufacturing company.

So clearly a hugely busy person, so how does she have time to bring up the children, run her business and be part of a couple? How does anyone who runs a business find time to benefit from really benefit from what the internet can offer?

The Internet offers huge opportunities to both engage and maintain your relationship with current customers and develop new prosperous relationships with a wider audience.

The company website is dead

You may ask why someone who is involved in developing company and organisations websites would say something such as ‘The company website is dead’. I am not sugesting that Johnson & Johnson or Procter & Gamble should close down their websites. What I am saying is that both small and large companies need to look beyond their website to social media to engage with a wider audience.

A company or any organisation who only looks and develops their website is like a shop keeper who forgets to open the shop door in the morning and doesn’t see the customers passing by because they cannot get in – or a call centre that only provides its phone number to a small percentage of the potential people who could call it [and possibly buy something!].

Why is blogging so good

Good blogging can really provide your audience with useful information, help them learn more about you and your organisation and demonstrate a human side to what otherwise may just seem a corporate block.

Search engines love blogs, they often trust the information more than company websites and by having content on other platforms such as this (wordpress) it means that when individuals search for information that you are writing about within the same place they blog they will find you – and what is great is bloggers are more likely to engage in a conversation on-line and thus create more content.

Business blogging do’s….

Write frequently (once a week (pref) or month good – once a year bad)

Write with an audience in mind and provide useful content

Be open to, and not scared of, criticism – you can always demonstrate how good you are by writing a post about how your responded where your organisation failed

Business blogging don’ts…

Promise to do something on your blog and not do it

React bad to criticisms online – do not be defensive

Write purely sales content and marketing messages

So my friend has started blogging, and I trust she will write some insightful information. Her first blog asks Why don’t people want to save money… hopefully some will be saving money with her soon.