Friday, August 28, 2009

FINGER CANDY FRIDAY "Turning Vice to Virtual” by Jessica Northey

With the exception of some online skill enhancement classes most of what I know about Social Media has been baptism by fire. And here is MY secret: I am a ‘social gamer!’ Politely defined as someone who spends much of their leisure time playing or learning about different online games, add total strangers and you got me. This goes way beyond chess, scrabble or monopoly and my poison is Mafia Wars. If you are on Facebook you have probably heard of this game from Zynga. I have tried a few but really enjoy Mafia Wars. I have over 11,000 REAL people in my Mafia and access to over 17 million monthly active users…..even my Mother is playing Mafia Wars. I will share with you what I have learned about Facebook through the trial and errors of Social Gaming. You can surely see how these can easily apply to your brand. I joined add groups and Mafia discussion boards but now I get over 100 friend requests a day by people referring me. Unfortunately Facebook only lets me have 5000 ‘friends’. I use group and fan pages to stay connected. I pay attention to what people are saying and categorize friends geographically, common interests. I also turn the SMS alerts on for people I want to engage and keep track of. Here are some things I learned from Facebook: -You can’t initiate ‘add friend’ too fast or aggressively, or your account gets suspended and sometimes terminated, even if they were suggested to you by other friends or they tell you to add them. When you see the pink box warning you will know you went to faast. At that point you have to stop entirely or you can lose your account. So as a radio station lesson #1 on Facebook, you will have to bring the audience to you. -Differences between a Fan Page and a Group Page (really wish there was a highbred of these two.) They both have different functions. You can send out a notification to all the users of a Group Page and it goes to their Facebook email inbox. With a Fan Page the notification goes to your stream and can be easily missed. You can’t use Facebook email from Fan Pages but you can send an RSS feed to a Fan Page. Fan Pages are visible to unregistered Facebook people and are also SEO indexed. -You can adjust who sees what about you. For me I own a Social Media Firm along with a Domain Registration business and want it to be highly public so I let a lot of stuff just hang out there in terms of email, work number, website, wall posts, pictures, other friends etc. I don’t worry so much about strangers accessing info as much as the chaos and problems that more likely come from people you know i.e. jealous significant others, co-workers. REMEMBER THIS: Virgin Atlantic fired 13 of its cabin staff after they criticized the airline and some of their passengers. “Following a thorough investigation, it was found that all 13 staff participated in a discussion on the networking site Facebook, which brought the company into disrepute and insulted some of our passengers.” It amazes me that some people still think social networking is their own private blog where they can throw other people, places things under the bus so keep this in mind. -You don’t have to be personal to be personable. I like to control how much of my personal life I put out there but it’s hard to hold back when you are having a bad day. I just try to share and learn from others, after all you have to give it away to keep it. I try to pass tricks and tips I learn on to others, it’s just how I roll. I have helped dozens of people set up Twitter accounts and Facebook pages. I continue to learn about different industries and how to use the benefits of Social Media optimization. -Integrate and incorporate Social Media into the rest of your Web strategy. I have everything linked together. Twitter links to my website, website links to my blog, my blog goes to an RSS feed that I run through an API optimization and it all comes back to my Facebook, Twitter et al (20+ social media platforms.) Much of my Social Media plan is automated. I only have to come up with one original thought a day  Jessica is the Social Media Editor for Full Throttle Country- an interactive idea sharing and new media on-line service for Country Music Radio Programming. She specializes in big ideas and is known for her ability to create complete marketing campaigns and bridge marketing partnerships. Her company Finger Candy is a Social and New Media Design Firm. Visit 559-349-5933

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