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Mar 5, 2010

Social Media and Privacy

Excellent question posted yesterday by Alex Giftos that I would like to address:

Hopefully I’m asking a question that many want to know but just aren’t asking.

I have a Facebook account (which most people are using for fun and not business), and I also have a Twitter account.

One of the things that I hear from people I ask to join is that they are concerned about privacy issues. They don’t want their name and all their personal information available to anyone who wants to search for it (you can find your Facebook account on a Google search).

Since joining Twitter at the request of @TheMonavieTeam before our St. Louis Winter Leadership, I have gotten many people following my Twitter account. Many of these people I do not know or have never heard of. When I check their profiles, I see that they are either involved in a competitive MLM or think that they have a training system that is the World’s greatest. (of course, they are wrong. There can’t be two #1 training systems out there….said in jest….said in jest). Sometimes they market a completely unrelated product, and I realize that I’m being added to a list.

How do you protect yourself and your privacy from people who want to take advantage of social media to either steal an identity or just spam you to sell their wares?

First of all, kudos Alex, on the awesome question. I think there are many wondering the same thing. I’ve certainly answered the question at trainings before.

If you are new to Twitter you may see a number of individuals start to follow you that you don’t know. Don’t be alarmed. Individuals and organizations often find other individuals and organizations by doing a search using key words. If you happen to mention one of these key words they will most likely start following you and never do anything more than that, which makes them relatively harmless.

For example, and this may sound more risqué than it is, back in my beginning Twitter days I happened to mention something about the acai berry lotion by Victoria’s Secret on my personal account. Soon enough, Victoria’s Secret was following me along with a few other questionable organizations/individuals. Again though, it was harmless and I never had anyone contact me or solicit any product. Another example is our social media manager mentioned bacon in one of his personal Twitter updates and Denny’s popped up in his followers soon after. Random right?

If you wish to take a few precautions or have been spammed beyond what you think is common here are a few things you can do:

  1. Block that individual or organization from following you or visiting your page– this is under the Actions drop down menu on Twitter and links are posted on your Facebook page as well. The person you are blocking will not be notified.  They can still visit your Twitter or Facebook page by going directly to your URL but your Tweets will not show up in their Twitter feed, and your Facebook status updates will not show in their news feed. You can also report anyone who you feel is spamming or being a cyber bully or for any other reason you feel warrants reporting. Links are provided with every comment. Both Twitter and Facebook discourage spamming and give you many options to report this activity.
  2. Create lists – both in Twitter and Facebook, you can create lists of people and then designate when you update your status or add photos or video with whom you want to share the new content.
  3. Privacy settings – there are privacy settings for nearly every social media platform and while it would be quite lengthy to walk you through each platform here, know that they are easy to find and navigate if you do a simple search. You can privatize your Tweets, making them available only to those you designate; much the same way you can privatize a blog.

Finally, not everyone wants to be as out there as say, a chief blogger for a global company. I realize my personal Facebook page and other social media sites are available to anyone who can Google my first and last name. This is a decision I made before I went live with MonaVie’s social media platforms. I knew I would be found and was open to contact and to date, I haven’t had any negative experiences.

However, if you don’t want your world open to the world, including photos and content about your kids, family, or anything you would consider off limit to the general population, I suggest you set up a second profile/account (ie under a nickname) that you share with only those close to you.

As for spammers and competitors, it’s a managed risk. As MonaVie gains popularity and our communities grow, spammers and competitors will also gravitate towards these communities. Consider it a natural by-product of success. Also, this is another reason we have the Policies and Procedures and adhere strictly to the FTC guidelines. Those with competing interests are watching and will report bad behavior while others (and I’ve found this is definitely a minority group) just wish to antagonize. In the words of my father, “It is what it is…”

While the advantages of social media are awesome, you must realize that nearly everything you put on the Internet can be viewed. Even that credit card information is not safe from the most savvy of hackers. So, be cautious, be professional, be aware and be informed.

If you have suggestions that you wish to share, please do. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

Mar 4, 2010

Are you LinkedIn? 6 Ways to Connect Using LinkedIn

So what is LinkedIn?

For working professionals, the preferred social networking site in the world is LinkedIn, essentially the online Roledex…on MonaVie. At first glance you may think of it as a website that simply stores contacts and their info…and you’d be right-ish. But LinkedIn can be so much more and is really all about networking and making connections, which is really how network marketing works. The site boasts more than 40 million users in more than 150 countries and connects professional colleagues (past and present) with similar interests and industries.

So just how do you connect? Here’s 6 ways:

  1. Participate. To play the game, you gotta be in the game. I'm pretty sure at least one of my high school coaches told me that. Create your profile and be as complete as you can as others will most judge whether they want to connect with you based on your profile. This includes uploading a professional picture.Linkedin
  2. Start getting “LinkedIn!” Once you have filled in your profile and work history you are ready to start connecting with others. The easiest place to start is to look at your past and previous relationships, perhaps your address book, etc., and when you do find people you know, invite them to join. Once you have filled out your profile, LInkedIn will then start to suggest people you should connect with based on your information (much like Facebook suggestions). You can also search for individuals or also search through companies to find employees you can connect with.
  3. Join groups or start your own. Once you’ve gotten your feet wet with connecting with the people that you already know, you can start to look for new connections. A great way to do so is to join a group that interests you or to join groups your friends/colleagues have joined.  These groups can be searched by industry, alumni, corporate, networking, etc.  When joining these groups, you will be able to select if you want to be notified of activity from a group and also select if you want to allow others to message you from the group.  You can also create your own group as well very easily, and can be geotargeted to a location or even a language. The owner of the group can limit access by approving each member or open it up to everyone who wants to join. Owners of groups can view member email addresses, but it should be noted this should not be abused.
  4. Recommend colleagues. Is there someone you’ve really enjoyed working with/for within your network? LinkedIn allows users to provide recommendations for those you know or have worked with in a professional capacity. This is a great way to connect with others you have appreciated in the past and many will reciprocate with a recommendation of you.  This is the beauty of connecting on LinkedIn as it further enhances your profile and will strengthen your connections. *Think Attitude of Gratitude Challenge!
  5. Show your expertise! If you have a skill, interest, or just a question you would like answered, LinkedIn allows its users to connect in various ways. One is through its Answers section, where users can pose questions and members can answer. The key to this is first growing your network to include as many people as possible. Asking the question is easy and can be customized and targeted to specific members within your network, by topic and by location/postal code or country. Questions/Answers are archived, so there is a lot of information for users to take advantage of. If you are going to get into discussion about MonaVie, be sure you identify yourself as a MonaVie distributor. 

As you can see from my profile, I'm about as new as the next person so I'll be joining you in building my connections through LinkedIn.

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

Feb 23, 2010

Using Social Media Channels Efficiently?

Based on some of the discussions we’ve seen on our Facebook pages, as well as conversations had during events, many responses revolved around not having time to be active on Facebook and on Twitter, (or other social media channels).  And I hear you on that one! Who has time for a lot of things other than working, working out, family, friends, colleagues and trying to eat and sleep every once in awhile? But what if there was one tool that you could use that allows you to post and track your Facebook feeds AND your Twitter account(s) as well as others like MySpace or Linked In? What if you don’t have to login to multiple websites? There are some excellent tools that do just this, and are available for free.

I heart free.

So…if you want to keep up-to-date on Facebook, and also keep track of what myself and others are “tweeting” on Twitter, this is a very simple way to see it all in one place using social media management tools.

Most of these applications are typically web-based (Seesmic and Hootsuite) that you will simply need to sign up, provide your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. login and password and you are ready to roll. Tweetdeck is the exception as it is a desktop application that needs to be downloaded , provide login details and users will simply need to open the application. So not hard to do considering the pay off!

Many have mobile applications that can be downloaded (for free) depending on what kind of phone you have (Tweetdeck and Hootsuite have iPhone apps, while Seesmic has Android and Blackberry apps). All have URL shorteners as well that will compress URL addresses into a compact link allowing users to maximize the number of characters on Twitter. With that being said…here are a few I would recommend:

Tweetdeck – www.tweetdeck.com One of the most popular and easiest to use is Tweetdeck. You can keep track of multiple social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and Linked In, as well as multiple Twitter accounts. You could even do a search of someone you want to follow and you will then see posts of everything they tweet. The website has a very intuitive list of features to answer any question you may have. You are able to comment, tweet, retweet, follow, favorite, view and share pics and videos, upload pics, etc. iPhone application is available. I personally like Tweetdeck’s layout best, although it does not have the ability to schedule tweets nor the statistics that Hootsuite offers.

Hootsuitewww.hootsuite.com Hootsuite has come on the scene very quickly and offers a few variations that Tweetdeck does not.  With Hootsuite, you can schedule tweets or even Facebook postings well in advance. So if you live on the West Coast and wanted to schedule a posting for friends or followers on the East Coast (or anywhere in the world), you can create a post and schedule it to post at a designated time. Or, if you have an informative tweet that bears repeating, you can also schedule your tweet hours or days in advance. (Remember to not abuse this function, spamming or repeated salesy tweets are not good etiquette!) Hootsuite also has statistics available that enable users to see how many people clicked on their link, which is useful to see just how effective you are as a tweeter.

Seesmicwww.seesmic.com -- Seesmic is also a very popular choice and has some features that the other browsers do not. The main difference is that Seesmic is available for desktop like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, but they also feature a web based version (Windows).  Seesmic also just came out with Seesmic Look, an application that can be downloaded and is targeted at users who may not be on Twitter, who just want to see what their favorite brand, celebrity, etc., has to say, but in a format that is more entertaining, and users need not have a Twitter account to use the application.

So why are these tools valuable?

Hopefully I have been able to explain the reasons why this could be a time saver, but also a great way to track and interact with your friends, followers, MonaVie and anything/anyone else.  For those of you who are not on Twitter or hesitant to dive in, this is an extremely easy way to learn and just listen to what is being said on Twitter. Plus, you can post and view your Facebook feed as well!  In fact your homework for this week is to download one of these applications and take it for a test drive. I look forward to hearing how your assignment goes!

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

Feb 17, 2010

A Year of Miracles: Des Moines, IA

Two more stories from the recent Kansas City, Missouri city meeting.

Several individuals chartered a bus and traveled from Des Moines, Iowa, including JP Richarson and Angela Garrison. Here are their stories, their whys, their miracles:

What is your miracles for 2010?

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

Feb 12, 2010

A Year of Miracles: Lily Anderson

Lily Anderson

Lily Anderson was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in September 2009. On Wednesday, February 10, one day after spending time with Dallin and Karree at the Atlanta Georgia Tasting Meeting she and her mother, Jennifer, received news that her bone marrow test results are cancer free, news that Dallin and Karree shared with much excitement in their last post here on BlogMV.

At Dallin’s request, I contacted Jennifer last night to find out more details and put this little gals journey into the proper context. Here are some of the details shared:

Upon being diagnosed last September, 90 percent of Lily’s bone marrow was cancerous. That’s nine out of 10 cells. Jennifer said that since then Lily has undergone six rounds of chemo, which is the most they typically do for individuals with cancer for fear of damaging vital organs. Lily had already lost one kidney due to the multiple rounds of chemo and the risks were high. Furthermore, after round five, her bone marrow was still 25 percent cancerous and doctors told Jennifer and Lily that a sixth round would most likely NOT destroy all the cancerous cells and that they would look at other methods of treatment.

Which makes the most recent news all that more exciting...and amazing. Lily’s bone marrow is cancer free…words Jennifer has been repeating over and over again these last couple days.

The process is not over yet. Lily must now travel to St. Judes hospital and have a bone marrow transplant, then radiation and antibody treatments. Still, these next steps could not have happened before receiving word her bone marrow was cancer free.

This week is a week of celebration for Lily, Jennifer, family and friends. They are so touched by the MonaVie community that has rallied around them, which isn’t hard considering Lily’s fiery and infectious personality. They feel a renewed hope for 2010 and can’t wait to spend time at more MonaVie events, as well as, visit The MORE Project in Brazil, a trip they were planning to take before Lily was diagnosed last year.

Jennifer told me that Lily has a Facebook Fan page, located here and a Care Pages, located at *www.care.com/lilyanderson where they post updates and photos of her progress.

*You must create an account to view this page.

The latest post to her Facebook page reads, “Dear Stupid Cancer .....I just got my bone marrow test results.. NEGATIVE like in zero, ziltch, zip, nada, no mo, your out of here! So with that said please just give up already. Your not going to win this”

Lily and Jennifer, thank you for sharing a bit of your story. We love you! And you are proof that 2010 is indeed a year of miracles. Shine on!

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

Update (February 26, 2010): Lily is now at St. Judes hospital in Memphis, TN. She is schedule to have a stem cell/bone marrow transplant and after will remain at St. Judes until the end of March and then return home first part of April. Due to demand, her mother, Jennifer, will place another order for the yellow Lily bracelets worn by Dallin and Karree. We'll share details when and where they are available. If you wish to send Lily cards or gifts she can recieve them at the following address:

Lily Anderson

535 Alabama Ave.

Memphis, TN 38105

Feb 9, 2010

A Year of Miracles: Houston, Texas

We'll be bringing you more and more stories from the road with Dallin, as he travels to many city meetings throughout the United States. There are so many miracles happening in MonaVie and we want to hear them all! Here we are with John and Jaime in Houston, Texas. Listen to their story:

What is your miracle for 2010?

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

Feb 8, 2010

American Exports

As an American in a shrinking world, I confess that I am not entirely proud of every single U.S. export.  While I love McDonald’s and eat my fair share of Quarter Pounders, I am not sure that McDonald’s represents America around the world the way I’d like to be viewed as I travel.

In contrast, America was founded on the principle that “all men are created equal.”  While we continue to refine—and expand—what this means in America, it is perhaps this principle that represents the greatest American export.

The principle that you and I deserve basic human rights and equal respect, regardless of our skin color, where we were born or where we worship was revolutionary in 1776 when America declared its independence.

MonaVie holds this principle as valid today in our business.  We welcome all, regardless of those things that make us different, to join MonaVie and receive the blessings of health and prosperity that come from living the MonaVie lifestyle.

We also celebrate the great successes of our distributors, especially those who have achieved the most.  Each such leader is an example of MonaVie’s great diversity, bringing unique personal perspectives and values.  We are proud of all that our leaders accomplish by sharing the juice and opportunity.

MonaVie is built on the great American value that all men are created equal.  Personally, I hope that one day, MonaVie will be viewed as the great American export, representing our commitment to share health and prosperity with every people of the world.

Sincerely,

DevinThorpe sig

Devin Thorpe

Chief Financial Officer, MonaVie

Feb 4, 2010

A Year of Miracles: Message from John De Vries and Yone

It's been a whirlwind of a trip to the United States for Yone this last week and in that time she's realized one of her dreams. After wowing us all with her incredible voice at the Anaheim Regional, one audience member, Blue Diamond John De Vries, was so touched by her spirit and talent that he decided that he wanted to do something more...and much more was in his power. As a music producer he had contact with some of the best of the best in the music industry and within a day it was all set - Yone was going to fly to Los Angeles to record her first CD!

2010 certainly is the year of miracles in MonaVie.

Listen to John De Vries share more insights:

And just yesterday I had the pleasure of talking to Yone, and in retrospect I should have got an autograph! Here's a message from our superstar before she flies back to Brazil, with Katy Holt-Larsen and Marshall Snarr:

What's your miracle for 2010?

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

Jan 28, 2010

A Year of Miracles: Take the Attitude of Gratitude Challenge!

Contrary to stereotypes of those who participate in social media, most do not sit in their mother’s basement in pajamas and communicate through a keyboard all day…though, let’s be honest, it does sound almost delightful. Just kidding. Maybe.

As distributors…check that…as human beings…you have a chance to build new relationships and enhance current ones through social media.

A study by MicroDialogue, found that 27.6 percent of social media users in the US say social networking has benefited their offline relationships and almost half (48.7 percent) reported they felt communication via the internet was more convenient than face-to-face discussions. Social media has also proven key for some web surfers in expanding their social lives, with 49 percent claiming to have forged new relationships from online interactions and 31.5 percent saying social media pushed them to try things they had wanted to do.

Let me preface the next bit with the words of Dallin and our VP of Marketing Wayne Moorehead, which are, social media does not, nor will it ever replace good marketing, a good business building system or those fruitful (LOL – see what I did there?) tasting parties.

Social media is meant to supplement those best practices and is a new medium to connect and build relationships, which we all know is the cornerstone of network marketing.

Remember Devin’s last blog post where he pretty much says that social media is relationship marketing and relationship marketing is just that…building relationships. And… shouting to the world on Facebook or Twitter “Try MonaVie now…it really works,” does not a relationship make. I know. I’m as shocked as you are. No really, you know this stuff. You know the people who spam you with the same type of sales pitches and why it isn’t working for them.

The reason social media has become a popular way to communicate is because we are all looking for transparency and openness. We don’t want to be sold. We want information quickly and we don’t want anything to feel staged or contrived. It’s about being real. Am I rambling? I’m rambling. Moving on…

Okay, so in keeping with Dallin’s theme for 2010, A Year of Miracles, our first initiative in making miracles – an Attitude of Gratitude Challenge!

Think of each individual you might have on your social networking sites or even acquaintances offline. The challenge is to thank or acknowledge 5-10 individuals every day for the next month. So simple!

You're probably already doing this, so just do it with purpose. It can be as simple as sending someone a direct message, writing on their FB wall, a tweet or email to ask them how they're doing, going to lunch. It can be someone from your upline, downline, etc. Just remember...don't sell.

I'm willing to bet the results will astonish you.

Who's going to take the challenge? Throughout the month feel free to post and let me know how the challenge is going!

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

Jan 12, 2010

2010 Global Kickoff Webcast Goes Straight to DVD!

Due to the overwhelming feedback and requests we’ve received primarily via Twitter, Facebook and here on BlogMV, I am beyond thrilled to report that the powers that be have decided to make the 2010 Global Kickoff Webcast available in DVD format! Whoohoo! Hollar!

The DVD versions will be available in the VO within the next two weeks for a minimal cost and all proceeds will go to the MORE Project. Shout out to Dave Male (from Facebook) for sending in that suggestion!

All, I’m so proud and deeply impressed (apparently I love my adjectives today) with the community we are building through our social media platforms. The webcast was a success because of you! It was a crazy success and at times total chaos but I can only think of how positive the vibes were and how you supported each other and helped each other troubleshoot. At one point my viewer went into buffer mode and for the next five minutes you helped me stay informed by tweeting me play-by-plays of the webcast. Loved it!

Hopefully you’ll feel the goodness or at least understand that your voices are heard! The DVD version of the webcast is proof positive.

I’ll share more details as I get them regarding price, exact date of availability – you know, all the good stuff. Until next time…

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Shante

MonaVie Chief Blogger

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