Social Media for Beginners

Everyone’s on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Foursquare these days, using it for pleasure as well as business. Marketing on Twitter is considered so NON-Tech that one of my potential clients called me back to say he had hired a High School student to do his Twitter
Marketing, I said OK, good luck with that….of course 3 weeks later he called back saying he was re-considering using a professional
service to do his marketing…. Hmmm, wonder what made him change his mind?

It only takes a few minute on any Social Media site to see why a High School student would NOT be the best candidate for Social
Media Marketing, there are 200 Million Tweets per day on Twitter (stats) and the United States has ~153 Million people on Facebook
and a Global Audience of 706,590,220 (stats)…. that’s a tremendous amount of streaming data and posts, in order to stand out, you
will need some knowledge on how to segment and target your audience. (i.e. How to Engage).

There are quite a few agencies out there that are willing to help but first let’s go over the basics of Social Media:

Twitter – 140 characters to get your message across, with url link address included in the count. What can you say in 140 characters,
how do I find people, what’s the relevance of re-tweeting and are links safe to click on?

* A lot can be conveyed in a short amount of characters, example…. July 21, 2011 article about Atlantis and NASA,
“Even Without Space Shuttles, US Spaceflight Lives On, Astronauts Say” 68 characters – and you got the message, right….
after adding the link
it adds another 85 characters so we have went over our 140 count by 13… CRAP… but wait, that is what tiny URL’s are for, Twitter
does it automatically for url’s but it may not shorten it enough…. therefore HootSuite, Social Oomph, and TweetDeck…etc are
great options… It will turn a 85 character URL into into 18 characters (HootSuite). So our entire message
about NASA is  87 characters {Even Without Space Shuttles, US Spaceflight Lives On, Astronauts Say}

* How do I find people on Twitter? There are several ways, you can find a friend by their email address or by their Twitter name
(example @data_nerd)… or if you are just browsing a certain interest, you can use a hashtag (#) in conjunction with a search term…
example #SocialMedia brings up all the conversations about SocialMedia (notice I didn’t leave a space between the word or else
twitter would have looked up Social and not Media).

*What’s the relevance of Re-Tweeting? That is 2 fold – 1st – Klout or a measurement of your influence (Klout) as well as PeerIndex
scores are increased when you engage with others (re-tweet), the higher your score the better chance someone will be listening when you post/tweet. 2nd – It shows respect and admiration for other people and gives them confidence in your ability to give others credit.

We all know the type that takes credit for everyone’s post, even Mashable’s Post and after you get to know them you will see that they are probably not worth you following them anyway. Posting, followers and following (what does all this mean??)
For the beginners I amincluding a wonderful link by John Jantsch called “Twitter for Business“.

*Use your own judgement in finding people to follow and be careful about GURUS, I never like anyone calling themselves that
because there is almost more to learn but you make your own call on that one. Another interesting article you should read is
Is This Pond Stocked? Big Fish, Little Fish, and Social Media” by Renee DeCoskey.

*Are links safe for me to click on? Usually but “Be Careful”, some people on Twitter do NOT have “your” best interest at heart, so
see how else is following them, check their Klout or PeerIndex scores or just watch their post for a day… Warning if someone has
5,200 followers and ZERO TWEETS, they are data mining for email addresses (avoid and or block these people)… How to Tweet Safely

*Facebook Business Page… A fully completed profile page speaks wonders to building your credibility and boosting your chance of
someone making a purchase from your business.

How to Grow Your Facebook Page Community


*What about Foursquare? It’s FREE and any Business can join – Wikipedia says it best so click on the hyper-link (bold – underlined)
Foursquare also read How to Use Foursquare for Small and Local Business by Jessica McLaughlin

Well, I guess that’s enough for now… this should get anyone that’s new to Social Media started and it didn’t cost you a
dime, enjoy!

@Data_Nerd (Twitter)


Data mining – Is it for everyone?

When I graduated from College, I spent years trying to convince everyone of the
wonders of data mining and Econometrics. Now it seems data mining is nothing
more than a buzz word, the Social Media gravy train that everyone is hopping on
board. Unfortunately for them and fortunately for me, analysis and data mining
are not for the faint of heart. Terabytes and yes, even Petabytes of data are no
joke and data CAN NOT be continuously updated without an ETL (extraction,
transformation and load) process of which, non one is talking about. Wait till
everyone find out how long it takes to load data and then to have it perfect is
an even bigger challenge (META DATA ROCKS). I feel confident that someone like
myself will always be in need but my concern at the moment is how much time will
be wasted while everyone figures out that data mining and analysis are not as
easy as you think, no matter what tools you have. Google Analytics is free but
not everyone is using it correctly, data mining will suffer the same pain….
Data will be lost forever because some novice user did something wrong in the
coding of the ETL or analysis process. But alas, all me and Analytical Solution
can do is wait for experience to win out over hype. Wish me luck!


Social Media

We all have seen the hundreds of post and blogs dedicated to Social Media and I think it’s wonderful but please keep in mind; it is time consuming to engage your audience and you must be sure you have the right potential “buyers mix” or you’ll never be more than an interesting tweet or post.

Social Media is a wonderful way to introduce potential consumers with your product and or services. But doing a little research 1st, will assist you in improving the future of your sales/engagement. There are many “Self Proclaimed Gurus” out there screaming that they can get you 100,000′s of follower, well that would be great if they were 100,000 followers that were interested in your product or service but that isn’t the case. What I want to convey is that by being behavior-selective, geo-targeting and product-targeting your audience you can increase your sales and ROI. So, what do I mean by that? If I am selling products for older customers then I need to find them, right? How? Data! If you have your own data great, email your Analytical department and have one of your analyst start working with your Social Media department. Your analyst (if experienced) will be able to data mine your internal transactional data and find “your target audience” to engage with through Social Media. What if you don’t have an “Analytical department” or a “Social Media department”? I would recommend you use someone similar to myself, or learn how to do it yourself. I would love to assist anyone out there interested in either hiring Analytical Solution as a Consulting Company and or a Trainer. Regardless if you are a CMO or a C staff member or just a Small to Medium Business Owner, analytics can greatly improve your ability to find and engage with the “right” customers.

An example of Twitters potential for engagement ( “On Twitter, we saw a 500 percent increase in Tweets from Japan as people reached out to friends, family and loved ones in the moments after the earthquake”). Amazing that within hours, millions of tweets and post were sent to a captivated audience begging for more information. Families were reunited, others avoided harm all together thanks to a well timed comment from Social Media.

T.V. and Radio are in AWE of the power of “engagement” and I think most of the world is too. Let’s use this wonderful tool but let’s use it Smartly, Responsibly and with Ethics. Remember that it’s your “Name” or “Company” that is being put out there for millions to see. Have fun, make someone laugh, tell them something interest and you’ll have a person ready to listen to more about what you sell or promote.

A couple of examples of how analytics are used:

‘Grocery Stores’
The stocking layout in a grocery store has been designed to increase the dollar amount you purchase. Cereal is not next to milk, so you have to walk past other tempting items to buy both. This was designed using the analysis of data from shopping receipts.

‘The Love Canal’
In short, a neighborhood was worried about a high number of birth defects among their children. A statistical analysis found that there were no statistical significant difference in the number of birth defects in the neighborhood, compared to similar neighborhoods.

A scientist took up the case and instead looked at the number of birth defects in houses built on top of a filled-in canal, compared to other houses in the neighborhood. The result jumped out at them and revealed that toxic waste had been dumped in the canals. Waste which was now causing birth defects

The morale: When you crunch the numbers and do a thorough data analysis that combine different data (health records and geographic info in this case), you can discover significant things right in your back yard! The data of your business can hide clues that you’d never discover in your day-to-day activities. At the same time, it shows that it’s important to listen and work with the guys on the floor, which sense and see things that others higher up can’t.