Tag Archives: Friendship

World of Mouth Begins With Personal Circles

Small business owners do a worthy job in connecting with clients and potential customers through their marketing efforts, but where they can fall short is when their personal networks are neglected. Many people find it uncomfortable to keep their friends and family in the loop of what is occurring with their business.  There is a sense that if you are already in my inner circle, you must certainly know what it is that my company does or what my role is. Unfortunately osmosis and transfer of information does not occur and very few people have clairvoyant capabilities.

Recently I have had several encounters with friends and professional colleagues, who while knowing what I do in general, really were rather clueless in terms of the full services that my company provides and the depth of my experience and background. I preach to clients constantly that we are living in a “World of Mouth” universe; it only makes sense that I practice what I preach by updating my personal network on my company capabilities. To do anything less, would be counter to what I believe and that is that peer recommendations from trusted sources are key influencers to purchase behavior.

In the spirit of sharing, please find the latest C3 Newsletter below. It contains an article that talks about the heart of C3 and our social media marketing services.  I plan to have monthly Open House sessions on Google+ Hangouts for people to stop by and chat about burning social media and business questions. Stay tuned for more information!

C3. Creating Connections Consulting Social Media Services
C3 Services- Click on image for full newsletter.

Until we meet again, stay happy & healthy!

Michelle

Chief Social Media Strategist and Founder of C3: Creating Connections Consulting, LLC
Procter & Gamble Sales & Marketing Veteran (15 yrs)
Xavier University, MBA

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Should We Be Facebook Friends??

I have been thinking a lot about Facebook strategy as the number of Facebook Friend Add Requests on my personal Profile increase for me.  My strategy for Facebook (Profile) has been crafted as a way for me to communicate freely with the people on my Friend list. I am not on Facebook (Profiles) to connect to people I don’t know or vaguely know. I’m not there to make strategic connections that would enhance my business relationships. I certainly do not want to connect to any of my clients. I have a Facebook Page for these connections.

Many Faces of Michelle Beckham in text images
Who Am I?

My simple goal with my PERSONAL Facebook Profile is to connect with those people who are the absolute closest to me: family, extended family, friends from back in the day who knew me when and can truly say that I haven’t changed a bit, professional colleagues with whom I have bonded/connected and who click with my inner core and have become very good friends.  I want to connect with people who get the true essence of me.  I want to exist in a perpetual state of “letting my hair down” on my Profile.

Part of my personal strategy is compartmentalization. When I am walking in the business world- my talk focuses on the business walk. I don’t mention family. I don’t mention kids.  You won’t find me saying a single thing about family life on Twitter or on my Facebook Page (Business). You won’t know that I have climbed the Great Wall of China, been a Girl Scout Leader or was the Secretary of a large school’s PTO Board. This is neither a wrong strategy nor a right strategy, it’s just my strategy. Believe it or not, I’m one of the most private people on the planet and this works for me.

If you are connected to me on Facebook (Profile), then you will know that I feature and talk about my kids constantly. Some of the colleagues-turned-friends may be annoyed at times, but my goal is to share news with a vast number of family members and relatives who look forward to hearing about these topics.  I am not a Cincinnati native and don’t have legions of relatives living in my neighborhood as so many of my Cincy-born friends do, so perhaps they don’t get the need to broadcast. I had one Cincy native friend actually leave a bible quote as a comment after a post I wrote about something my daughter had achieved- hinting at the sin of pride or something like that.

Everyone has their own strategy for using Facebook. They are all different and I respect each person’s choice.  So next time you get miffed about what you see in your news feed, think about this post and dial the friend down in your news feed settings, or perhaps examine whether you truly should be Facebook Friends after all…..

Life Unplugged: Make the Most of Your Off-line Relationships

I just followed a tweet by Julie Niesen (@winemedineme) to an article written by Cincinnati Enquirer Sports Columnist, Paul Daugherty, that is not only exquisitely written, but it will break your heart. He writes about the death of his good friend Joe Acito and what happens when there are no more tomorrows.  (The Joe Acito Line, 3/25)

Paul’s column applies to everyone, but I believe even more so to we, digital media early adopters and social networking enthusiasts who tend to remain plugged in 24/7.   Paul’s advice to us is this:

“Take the time. Make the time. Do not let work or errands or trivia get in the way of seeing your friends. Don’t let anything get in the way… There will always be… another Traditional Media column, another piece for SI.com. There will never be another round of golf with my friend Joe Acito”.

Words to heed. Words to live by. It’s Friday- go unplug and connect with your friends and family. Trust Paul, you won’t regret it…..

Facebook Takes Tagging To A New Level

Not sure if I missed this new feature on Facebook due to my focus on the Page (Business/Fan) changes that launched on 3/11/11 or perhaps it was buried in some secret memo, but I happened to stumble across a new tagging capability this week. I’m not sure what my feelings about it are at this point, since this is fresh news for me, but as always, I see both the positive and negative sides to the application.

Facebook users now (eff. 3/11/11) have the ability to use Tagging within comments and not just Status Updates on Profile or Page Walls.  Tagging allows you to bring up a list of your direct contacts (friends), Events, Pages, Groups and Apps by using the “@” sign. There is still a limit of six tags to an update or comment and the tags are hyperlinked to the actual Profile, Page, etc. where your “privacy” settings determine what others can see (to a point).

In the social/digital community that I exist in, my friends and colleagues have known for years that there is no such thing as privacy on the web.  This new capability should help to really underscore that truism. As a purveyor of social networking sites, social graphs and their culminating social currency and having been raised in the marketing giant world of Procter & Gamble, I totally understand why enabling others to join a conversation is crucial to the spread of the message and the fostering of increased interaction.

But there can be a dark side to this capability.  Let’s examine a negative use scenario:

Let’s say Rick is venting about his ex, or boss or neighbor in a Facebook status update and his Facebook Friend Joe thinks it would be funny/malicious to comment on Rick’s post and Tag the ‘vented-about person’ into his comment due to his Friend connection with them.  Rick is not friends on Facebook with the person he is venting about, but Joe is, and due to their connection with each other all three parties come together in one moment of potential fire-works.

As more and more companies (and divorce attorneys!) search for information about potential hires or employees online, then we can clearly see how tagging could be used to someone’s detriment.

As a parent and advocate of raising Digitally Responsible Teens, it has been my personal passion to help educate parents, kids and school administrators on social networking safety and reputation management.  Some teens abuse online networking sites and use them as bully pulpits to tear down other teens, often anonymously.  Just delve into the postings that go on at Formspring.Me. Some of the things I have seen posted there about other kids go far beyond teasing and enter the realm of bullying and slander. Tagging will be added to my discussion points as I bring my Social Networking Safety/Reputation Management Program for Teens to area parents and schools.

So just a word to the wise, know that everything you say on Facebook can potentially be seen by anyone in the world……

Robbed at Christmas, but It’s Still A Wonderful Life…

Robbed at Christmas
Open message to the thieves that robbed our house and several others in the neighborhood prior to Christmas:

I hope that the gifts that were earmarked for family and friends and slated to go under the Christmas trees on our street bring you some sort of comfort.  I can only imagine the desperate times you must be experiencing that would entice you to track and follow a lone UPS driver as he made his rounds late on a Friday night. Running up the driveways, careful to avoid the 4 inches of white snow blanketing the grass, he breathed hard as he hurried to finish his route in order to begin his own Christmas preparations.

Perhaps you lay hunkered down in a parked car making a note of each house that the brown jacketed driver stopped at. Or maybe you had an accomplice who tailed the truck and wrote down addresses (although, how you could read them in the dark is beyond me…..wait….they must have been illuminated by the hundreds of Christmas lights brightening our homes). In any event, your heart must have been pounding in anticipation.  Knowing that you needed to score; yet not wanting to get caught.

You were so bold that some of the neighbors were actually at home at the time that you slinked off with your bag full of goodies. These are desperate times I know.  I give of my time to help many in my community who have lost their jobs, and in some cases their homes. My family has given generously to several food drives and gift tag collections at our church.  My son, along with several boys from his homeroom, have sponsored a family of four for Christmas.

So knowing that this is the worst economy in decades, I understand why you would stoop to such a despicable act.  But you know, when it came time to wrap the gifts on Christmas Eve and I realized that yet another shipment had been stolen on that same delivery day (thanks UPS tracking service!) and it was too late to replace the items in time for Christmas, I just felt sad…..

Grinch via Coaster500@photobucket

My husband and I resumed our Christmas Eve tradition of  putting out cookies for Santa and wrapping the remaining gifts while watching “It’s A Wonderful Life”.  But then as I watched George Bailey react to the kindness of the Bedford Falls community as they poured into his house on Christmas Eve and gave of the little that they had in order to help save the Bank, I realized that stolen gifts won’t remove the true spirit of Christmas.

The true spirit of Christmas today, no matter your beliefs, is love.

Love of family.

Love for friends.

Love for the communities in which we live.

So as the little bell on the Bailey Christmas tree tinkled and ZuZu said,

“Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”

a solitary tear rolled down my cheek and I gave thanks for the wonderful people in my life. Stolen gifts are just things that can eventually be replaced. No thief in the night can steal love….

Fast forward to Christmas morning:

A friend of my daughter’s saw her Facebook status about the robbery and she and her father drove over this morning to bring us a special gift. They wanted us to have something special in our time of loss.  Words can not express my appreciation for such a kindness- leaving their own family on Christmas morning to come and share with ours….

It truly is A Wonderful Life…

God Bless!

Experiencing Ignite Cincinnati for the First Time

Photo via http://www.ignitecincinnati.net/

I experienced my first Ignite Cincinnati last night and it was an amazing event held at the historic 20th Century Theater in Oakley, a suburb of Cincinnati.  Ignite is a very cool concept where people share information on a chosen subject or passion and deliver a five minute presentation with 20 slides or less in 5 minutes with the slide deck on auto-pilot and advancing every 15 seconds.  No notes, just the presenter and the slides.

380 people showed up to watch 16 presenters show slide decks representing their passion.  For some, like  Brad Thomas, it was the Cincinnati Street Car, while Cincinnati Enquirer columnist, Laura Baverman, spoke about her life-changing work with kids and the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative. Others shared passion for ideas that became businesses like Chris Frutkin’s Green Heat concept for OTR.  Comic Jordan Cooper kept the crowd laughing with his piece on “How to Handle a Heckler”.

There was plenty of time for networking, an open bar, and an after-party.  It was very cool to see so many friends from different realms of my life all converged in the same place under the same set of old time chandeliers. Good friend, Julie Sweeney arrived early to snag a primo table for our group of social media “bad girls” including Anne Castleberry and Debba Haupert of Girlfriendology.

Michelle Beckham & Julie Sweeney taken by Anne Castleberry

I will definitely be back in February for Ignite Cincinnati #5, and who knows, maybe it will be me up there on stage under the lights….

Until then, here is the #1 Ignite Video of all times: “How the Hell Did Matt Get People to Dance With Him?” by Matt Harding. I had seen some of the dancing videos, but never knew the story of how it all began.  Take a look and then check out one of Matt’s Dancing Youtubes below.

New Media Cincinnati: Where Everyone Knows Your Name

Imagine being at a point in time where a revolution is occurring around you. Perhaps you were an early entrant in the community; one of the early adopters of digital technology. Maybe you happened to work for a company or agency that had the proverbial crystal ball on the Web 2.0  Tsunami that was coming. Or maybe you were a person who heard the chatter and wanted to increase your knowledge for personal use.  Add in an evangelist with knowledge, passion and guts to dare differently who extended invitations to people from all points above to come together to share and to learn. Imagining that scenario would put you at ground zero of the digital community: New Media Cincinnati.

New Media Cincinnati

That evangelist would be Daniel Johnosn, Jr.. Every month for the past three years, Dan has organized and extended invitations to people all across Cincinnati from various walks of life to come share and learn with each other.  From these monthly meetings, great friendships have been born; clients and service providers have connected and companies incorporating digital/social media have been launched.

The best way to describe attending an NMC meeting is to conjure up the image of the ‘80s t.v. show Cheers. NMC at the Pub is the place to go because everyone knows your name (especially if they check the Eventbrite list for the Twitter handles and follow prior to coming!!). Seriously though, it is a place to come to be among friends.  There is no competition, no snarkiness, no prima donnas- just a place to share what you know and ask questions without feeling like you’re a misplaced Web 1.0 jockey.

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