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Using Social Media to Connect with Other Entrepreneurs

February 5, 2010 Leave a comment

When you first start your business, it can be stressful and lonely. You have taken a huge risk, have given up a steady income and benefits, and are now all by yourself.

Actually, you are not really alone. There are many others around the world who are in exactly the same position as you. Many of those people have not only ventured down the entrepreneurial road but have become successful. Many of them are delighted to share their stories, insight and advice with you. You just need to know how and where to find them.

This is where social media comes into play. Establishing new relationships nowadays is easier than it has ever been because of the steadily increasing access to information, ideas and people.

Web communities that revolve around entrepreneurship, business and programming are flourishing all over the place. Using Facebook, Twitter and various other social media networks makes it very easy for you to learn new information and to stay connected to other entrepreneurs.

Here are some helpful suggestions on how you can easily share your experiences with other entrepreneurs in order to enrich your professional life.

Follow entrepreneurs on Twitter

Twitter currently has a feature called “Lists,” which allows users to create lists of their favorite users. Many Twitter users take advantage of this feature to create lists of top entrepreneurs and startup business founders. That is an excellent first step toward building connections that are of value. Once you have built your lists, you should reach out to those on your list either by Email or by phone.

Connect with communities of entrepreneurs

There are several places on the Internet where entrepreneurs congregate. Discovering these treasured communities will definitely prove to be extremely valuable for you and your business. You can look at PartnerUp, a site that will assist you in finding co-founders and business partners; TheFunded, which concentrates on raising money for your startup company; and Hacker News, which is an online community site that shares useful articles on startups, human nature and development.

Find local events through social media

Although it can be very productive to connect with people online, it isn’t the same as meeting face to face and shaking hands. Social media can really help you by keeping you abreast of events that you would be likely to attend. A good way to start with this is by using a tool like Meetup. There are numerous meetups that may be appropriate for you and your business. Remember that it isn’t enough to attend a meetup once or twice. Attending meetups on a regular basis helps you to build rapport with people who share a common interest. You can also search for Facebook or LinkedIn events to attend.

Simply reach out to people

Remember, social media is a tool that is designed to make it easier for you to connect with other people. You still need to do the relationship building with other entrepreneurs once the connections have been made. You should use social media to find the people and reach out to them. After that, you will need to go to the next step and start more personal contact, which you will build over time.

Pope to Priests: Thou Shalt Blog

February 4, 2010 2 comments

You know the old marketing adage: Go where your customers are.

Pope Benedict XVI has apparently taken this to heart. In anticipation of the church’s 44th World Communications Day on May 16th, he has issued a statement, The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in a Digital World: New Media at the Service of the Word. In it, he urges priests to use social media for outreach in conjunction with their traditional means of communication. The Pope feels that it’s urgent and necessary to be online, where so many people spend their time — especially young people, a key target demographic for the Church.

Priests stand at the threshold of a new era: As new technologies create deeper forms of relationship across greater distances, they are called to respond pastorally by putting the media ever more effectively at the service of the Word. The spread of multimedia communications and its rich ‘menu of options’ might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the Web, or to see it only as a space to be filled. Yet priests can rightly be expected to be present in the world of digital communications as faithful witnesses to the Gospel, exercising their proper role as leaders of communities which increasingly express themselves with the different “voices” provided by the digital marketplace. Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs, websites) which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization and catechesis.

The Pope obviously knows his social media.

pope Pope to Priests: Thou Shalt BlogHis comments dovetail with the Vatican’s effort in recent years to establish a larger online presence. The Holy See created a YouTube channel last year, offering video and audio clips of Pope Benedict’s addresses, along with news about the pontiff. The recently launched Pope2you portal offers an iPhone app, a Facebook app, Papal videos, and a link to the YouTube channel. The Vatican was on the bleeding edge when it created its own Web site 14 years ago, with access to the Vatican Museums and Vatican Secret Archives; there’s even a section in Latin for classical language buffs. The Catholic News Service, which is affiliated with the Vatican, is no technical slouch either — it has its own Facebook page, featuring news stories, notes, and blogs, with over 3,000 fans.

As CEO of the Catholic Church, the Pope knows the importance of guidelines. He’s clear to his followers about how he wants them to use social media and the message he wants them to communicate:

The increased availability of the new technologies demands greater responsibility… Using new communication technologies, priests can introduce people to the life of the Church and help our contemporaries to discover the face of Christ. They will best achieve this aim if they learn, from the time of their formation, how to use these technologies in a competent and appropriate way, shaped by sound theological insights and reflecting a strong priestly spirituality grounded in constant dialogue with the Lord… In this way the Word can traverse the many crossroads created by the intersection of all the different “highways” that form “cyberspace”.

Regardless of your religious convictions, it’s hard to deny how impressive it is that the 82-year-old leader ‘gets’ social media. It will interesting to see how many priests follow his lead.

Pope Benedict’s call to action is valuable advice for businesses, too. If he thinks that Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and blogging are good ways to spread his message, maybe these tools can help your company. If your firm’s leaders don’t see the value in developing a social media strategy, you can point to His Holiness’s commitment to the social Web as a branding and communication tool.

From: pamorama | January 28, 2010  | By Pam Dyer

Engaging Your Relationships

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Relationship Marketing

Get connected… what does that mean to you? Good question, let me explain what it means to me.

Get connected, is a social media phrase I use to describe the process of dynamic networking for engaging your online relationships. In the past we communicated differently, we connected by meeting face to face, or out in public settings, talking on the phone, sending letters and emails. We focused more on pushing information out with the intended plan of getting the message to as many people, in as short a time as possible.

In today’s virtual multitasking world, old school marketing alone won’t cut it anymore.  Social media has forever altered the marketing landscape.  Relationships are no longer static. We communicate more dynamically than ever before. Information exchanged today is interactive. Subtlety, suggesting we start new relationships. Gone are the practices of broadcasting products and services to markets expecting immediate gratification with, unfortunately, minimal responses. Consumers demand open access so they may ask questions, talk to other customers, read reviews, research comments and find support. They want to know, if you have a Face Book page, an account on Twitter, a LinkedIn profile or a blog for a reason.

I’ve invested a lot of time researching online social media & relationship marketing. The common denominator I’ve found, in all the blogs, websites, social media and online community networking sites is the emphasis on how to get connected. Once you embrace these emerging technologies, you will appreciate the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment felt as you engage your relationships or when you get connected.

This is an exciting time we live in and there is no limit to the ways in which we can get connected. Connecting is the first step in developing relationships. Social media is only a tool. We are going to have to engage if we want to develop our relationships.

I don’t expect to have all the answers; and I am definitely not a so-called “Social Media Guru.” What I am is… a highly motivated professional who wants to learn and share as much knowledge as possible.

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