Socialnomics with Suzanne Downing

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Skype: 5 Social Tips for Professionals

Are you ready for your next professional Skype call?

Use these 5 social tips for beginners to Skype with confidence.

1. Make eye contact. Social rules are no different in Skype than in person. But what is “eye contact” in the Skype world? It’s simple: the camera. Think of the person on the other end as a Cyclops. Although it is socially acceptable to look at the person on-screen when they talk, when you talk, look at the camera. Keep Skype “eye contact.” It’s just polite.

2. Brand your background. Pay attention to your background. Dirty laundry? Jimmy Hendrix poster? Clutter? Think of what your surroundings say about you. Use a warm colored background, not white. (White washes you out and says, “Hey, look at me and my police mug shot.”) Brand your background. Make it on purpose. Make it simple. Make it professional with no bright lights.

3. Wear Skype friendly clothes. Avoid patterns and the color white. Naturally, our eyes gravitate to white. You want the person you talk with to look at your eyes and teeth, not your shirt. As a rule of thumb, the first three buttons of your shirt should be visible. If not, you will look like a floating head. Comical, yes. Professional, not so much. Ladies, the same social rules apply. Dress modestly. And yes, if you want to wear your PJ pants and no shoes and socks (for the work-at-home crowd), feel free. No one will never know.

4. Test your technology. New to Skype? Then test it out with family, friends or colleagues for connection, sound, and video. Make sure your Internet connection is solid. Sometimes wi-fi can drift in and out. Nothing says, “I’m not prepared for this call” than technological disruptions. Know how to troubleshoot before you begin.

5. Choose a professional Skype account name. Use a variation of your first and last name. It is professional. There’s no need to get fancy. Something too weird or personal could raise concern. Think about it, would you want to have a professional conversation with “itsfiveaclocksomewhere,” “motherofalldrugaddicts,” or “officedivaforlife,”? I guess it depends on your business. Most likely, the straight and narrow is professional.

Happy Skyping.

Socialnomics: a perpetual wave.



Social Brand Monitoring: 3 Quick Wins

Yes! People talk about you and your brand across the ever-expanding World Wide Web. It’s like the question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it does it make a  sound?”

Brand monitoring is simple. People are talking about you and your brand. You want to know what they are saying. You want to be proactive, capitalizing on key influencers and responding to negative comments.

When trees fall…you must be there to hear them!

You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars for an agency to monitor your brand. Here are some FREE sites that do the work for you.

Brand Monitoring: 3 Quick Wins

1. Google alerts is simple. Just type in a keyword or phrase you want to receive alerts for (email or RSS). Then, Google’s fancy virtual spiders crawl through blog posts, news articles, videos (You Tube), and even various social groups to spy for you. They report back via email or your RSS fees so you know what people are saying about you and your brand. I have alerts set up for my organization via my Smartphone. So when I’m on the go, I am connected.

2. Yacktrack is a searchable site. Just type in your keyword(s) and Yacktrack does the work for you. It searches sites like Blogger, FriendFeed, Stumbleupon, and WordPress blogs. So when people comment about you and your brand, you can join the conversation. Yes, you can search social media sites too using the “Chatter” feature. Just type in keywords in the search and Yacktrack will notify you when someone mentions your brand.

3. Social Mention also searches blogs, news, You Tube, Flickr, Digg, Delicious, microblogging services (Twitter), and allows you to track any mentions of you and your brand. Social Mention is easy to set up and use.

So start listening to what your constituents are saying about you and your brand! It’s easy.

However, what you do with the information you get is also key. Make sure you have a strategy in place to handle both positive and negative brand feedback.

Socialnomics: a perpetual wave.

Creative meshing of social and traditional media

Think about it. When was the last time you actually sat through a TV commercial and watched the entire commercial. Most likely you sent a text message, played Scramble with friends, updated your Facebook, or tweeted about the show you were watching.

That is exactly what TV shows are banking on. They are on to you. They are listening.


The “Tweet” TV generation is here. Now you can  watch Drop Dead Diva and discuss what’s happening in real-time on your mobile device right on the couch. You can make new friends interested in the ongoing suspense of Grayson not knowing his ex-fiance is inside Jane’s body. Will they ever discover the true love or will Jane’s guardian angel always stop them from being together? Why not tweet about it?

But is this really a new concept? Think about radio campaigns. They lead you to a website to give money. Now, they lead you to a blog or a Facebook page. Or, they reward you for tweeting or texting. Think about American Idol voting by text message. That was only the beginning. Look at Twitter hashtags like #americanidol or #thevoice. Using social and traditional media will only continue to get more creative over time. And it should. The way we interact with media is ever-changing.

During the Superbowl, you can win prizes by entering sweepstakes through social media. This is clever. It makes you listen to the advertisement. Hey, if I can win a giant TV by listening to a secret word or phrase, I just might pay attention during the game. Although, I have to admit, Superbowl commercials are some of the best! I watch them anyway.

Remember the Haiti earthquake? Text to give produced millions of dollars in revenue. People followed updates via social media sites, not just traditional TV.

Look at newspapers and how they reach their readers. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I picked up a paper from my front porch step. Antiquated? Sadly, it is.

The possibilities are endless.

Use your creativity to engage your customers online. Spend the day brainstorming. Then test away!

Socialnomics: a perpetual wave

3 SEO Quick Wins

So you have a website with rich content. Once people get there, they stay. But how DO they get there?

That is where SEO (Search Engine Optimization comes in…) Make your social media sites strong and always link to your website. It’s a socialnomic strategy. A circle. All roads lead to what brand you present to the world. Make it count. Track results. Use these tips.

3 SEO Quick Tips


If your site content doesn’t change often, your site needs a blog because Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. search spiders like fresh text. You should Blog at least three time a week with good, fresh content to feed those little crawlers. (Looks like I need to step up my game on Word Press!)


When link building, think QUALITY, not quantity. One good, authoritative link can do a lot more for you than a dozen poor quality links, which can actually hurt you.


No actual human wants to read a jam packed keyword article. And now, Search engines (as they are ever-evolving) want natural language content. Don’t try to stuff your text with keywords. It won’t work. Search engines look at how many times a term is in your content and if it is abnormally high, will count this against you rather than for you. Google is getting smarter (imagine that) and they are on to all the keyword stuffing and tricks.

So get to work! Post more frequently on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, create one. The more links to your website the better. On your Facebook, link back to your website. Do this, too, with Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, and more!

Socialnomics: a perpetual wave.

Kickstarter “Fund and Follow Creativity” an emerging social trend

Think of it as an online “Sharktank.”

Kickstarter gives anyone with a project, the opportunity to get that initiative funded by those who choose to (and patrons receive something in return). A crowdsourcing platform for would be inventors called Quirky lets the best product ideas rise to the top and then helps them get produced and sold while the “inventor” takes a cut. Air BnB turns homes into hotels and travelers into guests, providing both parties with an opportunity to make and save money. These examples may point to a new future reality where economic value is directly negotiated and exchanged between individuals over institutions.

So now with the click of a mouse, you can get in front of stakeholders through Kickstarter.

A Kickstarter example: KNUT A WiFi enabled device with interchangeable sensors and a mobile app. has initiated more than $46,000 in funding with just 70 hours to go. This is 184% funding. Emerging trend? You be the judge.

Thanks, David Armano for sharing this content. Good stuff!

15 Shocking Social Media Stats

Shocking? Well, not really. It is the reality we live in. The more I see these kind of stats, the more I am un-shocked at the behavior of the human race. What I take away…you should get your brand out there where people are. And…from these stats, it confirms your customers are spending their time on social platforms. You want to be where your customers are, right? You want your brand noticed. You want to create a buzz in these circles. So, for all those Baby Boomer and Traditionalist executives you are trying to convince that social media is important, pass these stats along. It is no longer a matter of should we be out there on social media, it’s a matter of where and how. If you are not, you will be left behind.

15 Shocking Social Media Statistics

  1. One in every nine people on Earth is on Facebook ( This number is calculated by dividing the planets 6.94 billion people by Facebook’s 750 million users)
  2. People spend 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  3. Each Facebook user spends on average 15 hours and 33 minutes a month on the site
  4. More than 250 million people access Facebook through their mobile devices
  5. More than 2.5 million websites have integrated with Facebook
  6. 300,000 users helped translate Facebook into 70 languages
  7. People on Facebook install 20 million “Apps” every day
  8. YouTube has 490 million unique users who visit every month (as of February 2011)
  9. YouTube generates 92 billion page views per month (These YouTube stats don’t include videos viewed on phones and embedded in websites)
  10. Users on YouTube spend a total of 2.9 billion hours per month (326,294 years)
  11. People upload 3,000 images to Flickr (the photo sharing social media site) every minute
  12. 190 million average  Tweets per day occur on Twitter (May 2011)
  13. Twitter is handling 1.6 billion queries per day
  14. Twitter is adding nearly 500,000 users a day
  15. Google+ has more than 25 million users

Socialnomics: a perpetual wave.

Everyone is in the media business

I’m jumping into chapter two of Levinson and Gibson’s Guerrilla Social Media Marketing.

Great section on realizing that everyone is now in the media business. This is key to remember!

“Today, there are an unlimited number of media outlets. Everyone is his or her own media company.” Remember when big companies could operate unethically and still manage to maintain a good image? There were hardly any media outlets back then. We are now on stage all the time. Anyone can take a photograph or video clip and post it online. Or a product review? They are out there instantaneously, good or bad.

Remember, there is the possibility for someone to have a positive or negative branding experience.

“At that interaction point, armed with their smartphone, camera, or video recorder, they will also have an opportunity to impact the brand. In seconds they will tell the world the truth or just their opinion of what you are really about. We can no longer claim to be one thing in public and another in private; with one click or one Tweet, the world can see our true brand identity.”

What are people saying about you and your brand?

How can you take advantage of the shift in the social media tide?

Embrace that everyone is now in the media business!

HELPER acronym for your social media strategy

Thanks Marketing Twins for sharing the acronym HELPER to “help” with social media strategies.

Here it is in a nutshell.


Have a central hub to drive people to regardless of the social media platform you use. If you have a new product, want someone to sign up for a newsletter, or have free stuff to offer, always lead people to your hub (usually website).

E = Educate

Seek to educate. Use creativity. Use out-of-the-box thinking to relay your message and to educate your audience using all social media platforms. Be visual. Use video. Micro-blog, etc.


Be a leader. Ispire others! Use laughter. Fun goes a long way for viral messaging in social media platforms. Organization stuffy? Seek to add new elements of fun.


Yes. Of course you are promoting your brand. That is what it is all about. But if you haven’t developed a relationship then your promotions will not be as effective as they could be.


Use relevant content. Use content people want to read. Find out what your market wants and give it to them. Engage people. Use two-way interaction techniques. Do your homework. Comment on people’s posts. Engage your peeps!


Build relationships. Some of the best marketing is having others advocate for you. Just because they want too! Start building key relationships in the social world. You never know who someone knows or how big their sphere of influence is.

Guerrilla Social Media Marketing Must-Have Personality Traits

So far, I’m in love with Levinson & Gibson’s Guerrilla Social Media Marketing: 100+ Weapons to Grow Your Online Influence, Attract Customers, and Drive Profits book. And, I’m only 18 pages into the thick of it. What I got so far from the book is a self-evaluation exercise. And I’m sharing a few nuggets of it with you. Evaluate yourself as you read through these social media marketing must-have personality traits straight from the book. (paraphrased by me)


Do you search for truth and verify information? Or, do you chase every trend and new tool? Use Forrester Research,, etc. Watch other guerrillas and innovators. What is their feedback on new tools or technology? Start becoming immune to the hype.


Experiement! Make mistakes! Try new ways of utilizing social media to gain a competitive advantage. Ask yourself “What if” and “I wonder” questions constantly. Let your curiosity be used for you, not against you.


Have a plan in place with a team of experts. Use your energy in the fast paced internet world. If things go bad, deal with it in sprint fashion. Not 24 hours, but right away. How are you at sprinting? Are you fast to respond? Quick to change? Can you be a sprinter?


Technology is the guerrilla social media marketer’s core weapon and compenency. Are you seeking to keep current on all things “techy”? Or, are you a technophobe?  Think about it. How can you immerse yourself fully into all things tech? Always ask, “where are we going? What is the next Twitter or Facebook going to be?”


Do you measure success by profits-not clicks, visitors, or any “cool factors”? Or, do you mistake popularity for profitability?  Remember, your subscibers, friends, or views have to eventually turn into something. Are you focusing on profits? Profit is what guerrilla marketing is all about.