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Don Schindler

Executive Reputation Coach & Digital Marketer

Tag: don schindler (page 3 of 5)

Lost in a social media world – what should I be doing online?

Recently, I traveled to NY to visit a client and help them with one of their learning websites. The business I did there was fine if uneventful but what happened on the way back to the LaGuardia really opened my eyes to how lost people can get in an online world.

First thing I blew it on was the directions. Instead of taking the time – and I have some being stuck in a hotel room in the middle of nowhere in New Jersey – I worked on a few projects and watched some TV. I could have easily gone to Google Maps or something and gotten directions but I didn’t. Instead I decided to trust my original Google map that got me to the business in the first place and just reverse my way back. That was big mistake.

Second, while leaving in plenty of time, this is NY and I should have realized that there is never enough time if you are traveling in New York City. Too many people. Too many accidents. Too much frustration – there’s never the right signs. I don’t know why I trust highway signs. Even though their entire reason for existence is specifically for directions – I always seem to get better instructions from billboards.

Thirdly, I trusted my mobile phone map which just isn’t big enough and it’s practically impossible to see especially when you are trying to use it in lunch hour traffic in the city.

So on my back I got frustrated while stuck in traffic on the GW bridge. This frustration clouded my judgment when it came to reversing the directions – should I go east or west? It says west but… And then I got lost. Badly. I got stuck on a interstate that didn’t have an exit for ten miles – are you kidding? Then when I got off to turn around, there was no entrance ramp on the other side. I was now in the belly of city and not on an artery. I was doomed.

Then in frustration, I put the wrong location in my phone and my phone proceeded to give me directions that got me further lost. I was sure I was going to miss my flight.

So I called my wife and through her soothing and calming voice and her Google map, I found my way back to LaGuardia and I actually MADE my flight. Thank God to because the next one was six hours later. A two-hour trip became four.

How did I get so lost? I’m usually one of those people that have a good sense of direction and I know my way around.

I got lost because I failed to take the necessary steps to plan my roadmap. I didn’t have the right directions. I trusted my gut instead of going with a plan. Then when things didn’t work out the way I wanted I got frustrated and used helpful technology in the wrong way and it messed me up even worse.

So what does this have to do with social media and your company? A lot actually.

The big one…is that if you are LOST IN A SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD, you need to have a real good plan of where you want to go with your social media online presence. There are many routes to go but you should know which is the best one for you and it should be mapped out and on the wall. Here is where you are at. Here’s where you want to go. Stick to it.

You could easily do a blog, social community, twitter, forum, widget, video, podcast, photos, facebook, myspace, etc…but does it really make sense.  How would you know if you’ve never done it?

When it comes to the online world, don’t trust your gut. Trust your research. Many, many people will call you and tell you that what they are doing is the right way – maybe the only way. You may like them. You may trust them. But don’t. Call the references. Check out the work. Do a search on them. Ask them lots and lots of questions about their methodology. They should have a plan customized for you.

Technology is not the answer. Just because it is cool doesn’t mean that it really does anything for you. You have to understand the technology (not in a bits sort of way – but what it is capable of and how it will work for you).

If things are going badly, contact someone you trust and listen to them. Their perspective can bring a whole new light to the subject you are stuck on. They could possibly guide you out of the mess you are in if you let them.

I’ll go back to NY just like you should go back to social media (if you’ve gotten burned in the past) but I’ll do it with a good roadmap (like the ones MediaSauce creates), lots of research, and access to a trusted source.

BTW, this came out today on social media. Customers want you to talk to them through it. Don’t ignore it because of the past.

Do iphone users tweet or do twitter people have iphones?

Just a random survey thing.

[polldaddy poll=”898261″]
You can leave a comment below if you feel like it.

Erasing an online consumer complaint from your search results – Part 2 of Power to the Consumer

So here’s the secret.  You can’t.

You knew that was coming, didn’t you?  But there are ways to push the complaint farther away from your site and out of your search results.

The first thing I would do.  Go after that customer, face to face, and see if you can correct what happened.  Now some people would say that there are people who are never going to be happy, no matter what you do.

I would disagree and say, “You really don’t know that until you are face-to-face with that person.”

Too many times I’ve seen emails and comments start flaming because when it comes to digital communication it is easy to forget there is another human being on the other end of that discussion.  It’s almost like we are flipping mad at our computer and just letting them have it.  But once they are in person or on the phone, the anger settles and people can talk in the right TONE to one another.

The other thing to do is to go to those sites that have your complaint and explain your side of things.  Tell them how you’ve tried to work this situation out.

But if you can’t fix it, you can out-content them on search results.

If you have only one website on the internet (your singular web presense) on the internet, this is going to be very hard.  Because you essentially have only one link or two links that will come up when there is a search for your company.

But if you have multiple web presences…say a YouTube Channel, a Flickr account, a Twitter account, an outside blog or multiple blogs, a facebook page, a myspace page, then you have a chance.

Now what I would do is start pushing lots and lots of content out on the web through these different channels – and there are a heck of a lot of more of them than I mentioned.

Also, don’t do it all at once.  Space it out.  Get stuff up there at least once a week.

Other things you can do is change your static site frequently.  I don’t care if it costs you money because you built a site without a CMS.  By not changing your content, it just sits there and Google has no reason to re-index your site.

Get involved in other people’s conversations on their sites.  If you are scared of the internet, then talk to someone who understands it and can help you.

The bottom line is get more active on the internet and you can drive them down on the search results.

This is also not a great idea in theory – I’ve done this before with companies.  It does work.  But make sure you understand this.  The same rules that apply to you, also apply to the consumer and that’s why when you step it up – they can as well.  So it’s better to just work it out together and not go through this mess.

Good luck.  And if anyone else has some ideas on how to do it, let me know.  I would love to hear them.

BlogIndiana and Blogging Basics – Yep, I’m an alternate

I was asked this week to help fill in a BlogINDIANA.

I guess they had a few speakers have conflicts and they hit up MediaSauce for some help.

We’re always happy to help.

Right now, I’m pretty sure I can bang my way through the discussion because that’s really what blogging is all about.  A discussion instead of a statement.

But if you have any questions, you would like me to answer while I’m there – you can post them here on my blog and I’m answer them there.

I’m sure I’ll have follow up after the discussion next week.

I hope to see you all there.

What the heck is Princeton Premier or how Social Media can make or break your company’s internet presence?

So I got this email…

Don Schindler It is my pleasure to inform you that you are being considered for inclusion into the 2008-2009 Princeton Premier Business Leaders and Professionals Honors Edition section of the registry. The 2008-2009 edition of the registry will include biographies of the world’s most accomplished individuals. Recognition of this kind is an honor shared by thousands of executives and professionals throughout the world each year. Inclusion is considered by many as the single highest mark of achievement. You may access our application form using the following link: http://princetonpremierbios.addr2.com/url/416876/2fa84429/ Upon final confirmation, you will be listed among other accomplished individuals in the Princeton Premier Registry. For accuracy and publication deadlines, please complete your application form and return it to us within five business days. There is no cost to be included in the registry. If you’ve already received this email from us, there is no need to respond again. This email serves as our final invitation to potential members who have not yet responded. On behalf of the Executive Publisher, we wish you continued success. Sincerely, Jason Harris Managing Director Princeton Premier

_______________________________________________________

Click the following link to update your information
or stop future mailings.
http://princetonpremierbios.addr2.com/mailprefs/f920fa/2fa84429/

Princeton Premier
23-35 Steinway Street
Astoria, NY 11105

I’ve been on the net working professionally for almost ten years now so this just screams BS. But you never know, so I spent a couple of minutes just to make sure.

Google search…ouch. The first entry isn’t even them. It’s a Yahoo Answers questioning who they are. But the answer isn’t that good so I go back to Google and check out the other links.

The official site is the second link.  You never, ever want that to happen. I go to the site. It’s not that professional and looks like a scam.

Then I go back to Google and start checking out the blog entries. There are plenty of them and finally I get to one where they actually dive deep into the site and find out it costs $100 to join and you don’t get the money back if you are unsatisfied with the results. I really appreciate the time I saved by reading instead of filling in the blanks.

Now, this example is easy to show how consumers like myself can find out what is legitimate online pretty easily.

But what if this happened to your small company? What if an upset customer blogged about you and their entry was showing up before yours in a Google search?  It’s like your worst customer sitting outside your doorstep telling everyone that you suck and they should not do business with you.

That’s the number one thing I hear about social media and opening your company up to it? What if a customer complains? What if they write bad things about me on the site?

Well, next blog I’ll explain why I see it as a good thing and how to try and drive a bad entry off a Google search.

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