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Mar 1, 2011

Why We Should Stop Throwing Spaghetti Against the Wall

[caption id="attachment_12810" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="The cure for throwing spaghetti? Using your noodle!"][/caption]

Spaghetti throwing, we’ve all done it. OK, maybe not actual spaghetti throwing, but figuratively speaking most of us are guilty, especially when it comes to social media, email or marketing a business in general. So what do I mean when I say spaghetti throwing?

Good question.

You might be a spaghetti thrower if you:

  • Send out mass emails/posts/tweets to people you know (and most likely many you don’t know) about a “great opportunity”
  • When business posts outnumber personal posts -- remember social media is SOCIAL!
  • Link to a “great product” or video on your Facebook/Twitter page with the last line mentioning “if anyone’s interested let me know”
  • Using auto-feeds of MonaVie or other types of content and flooding your social media streams without interacting
  • Cook spaghetti and throw it (this goes without saying)

The Shotgun/Spaghetti Approach vs.  A Strategic Approach

A couple of years ago I was laid off from my job, (a harrowing event in my life, but not unexpected working in the real estate industry in Southern California). With a wife and two kids, this life changing event was one I was not prepared for (who is?) and the job search market was a completely new frontier. One of the first job opportunities I looked into was a great position, with a great company. Before applying for the position, I decided to call the hiring manager about the position. After a few ninja moves and creative negotiations I was transferred to her. She informed me that she had received over 300 resumes to go through and that there were many qualified applicants. My heart sank. I soon figured out, simply updating my resume and posting it to online job sites (which I have done before) was not going to be enough to get interviews, and not only that, the competition for jobs was fierce.  (Cue the self doubt!)

How was I going to stand out?

How am I going to differentiate myself from the competition? (sound familiar?)

I decided to dig in. I read tons of articles. I spoke with an outplacement agency. I delved into LinkedIn (a great resource BTW) and I revamped my resume to try to truly stand out. For job postings I wanted to apply for, I researched the company, the products, and would customize my resume to fit the job position. I would also customize a cover letter as well. The process was slow, and at times I would apply for up to 2-4 positions maximum a day. But a strange thing happened... I started getting interviews. In fact the job I originally inquired about later called me back for multiple interviews (they ended up offering the job to an internal candidate who “changed their mind”—but stay with me here there’s a point coming!).

During this time a colleague of mine, let's call him Chuck (short for spaghetti chucker), who was also unemployed, spoke to me about how his job search was going. His frustration was evident.

“I’ve sent out thousands of resumes and have not received a single interview,” he said.

It was clear…Chuck was clearly throwing spaghetti on the wall hoping it stuck using the age old argument of quantity over quality--you know the same methods of cold-callers. And he really thought he was doing his best, with an “at least I tried” kind of mindset.

The point!

Many who are trying to generate interest in their business "Chuck" out links, offers and other content and hope someone calls us or is interested in some way, or even just comments. But are we really looking to connect with others or are we simply taking the easy way out? Sending out links, emails, Facebook posts, Tweets on any content is easy. Sure it took you some time to post, maybe come up with a little headline, etc. However, do you have someone in mind when you post or do you have everyone in mind? Customizing a message, or telling your story to one person or even a group of people takes time and effort.

Most of the time it is simply not enough to just blast content out to the masses because you think you’re spreading a message to everyone hoping to find someone…when in fact you are connecting with no one, and possibly chasing them away (and damaging your reputation/as well as MonaVie’s in the process).

Over the next weeks we’ll post some ways to :

  • Have a social media strategy for YOU
  • Find quality content
  • Tell a story using content
  • Tell YOUR story using social media and other tools

We also invite you to leave your comments here or on MonaVie on Facebook or  MonaVie on Twitter on what has worked for you and your business.

[caption id="attachment_1138" align="alignleft" width="199" caption="Michael Jensen, MonaVie Social Media Promotions Manager"][/caption]

Dec 16, 2010

Attack of the Twitter Hacks and MonaVie

Today you may have heard about a Twitter spam attack that was due to a security breach of the popular media and technology Gawker websites (LifeHacker, Gizmodo, io9, Jezebel, Kotaku and others). Hackers were able to access more than 1 million Gawker user’s email  and password accounts from their servers, and because many users use the same passwords for multiple sites (like Twitter) they were able to access Twitter accounts and start posting spam. The spam sites they are linking to are none other than acai berry diet sites.

While it appears those who are responsible for the attacks are targeting Gawker, the important take away from this spam attack is to change your passwords or make sure you are not using the same logins for online sites as you do for social media sites. So, I would strongly suggest changing your personal social media login names and passwords (go ahead, put it on your "To Do" list)!

The MonaVie Collateral Damage

But for MonaVie, this issue goes even further. The hackers are using spam and are doing so at the expense of the acai berry  because they think of those who market these type of sites are jokes. And why are they a joke? Because these acai sites and those that market them are known for spamming social media sites constantly and buying annoying ads on websites. Look no further than my recent blog post about our social media guide to see a version of this type of spam. Of course the acai diet sites and other companies using the acai berry are not MonaVie, but as the “premier acai blend” MonaVie does not come away unscathed.

Change the Perception

Over the past year we’ve used social media and provided advice on how to communicate effectively and personally using these platforms. Why? Because when we don’t we are no better than the acai sites that spam the social media platforms. So while there’s no way we can control what others not associated with MonaVie can do, MonaVie distributors can decide how they will act online and if they’re going to be a part of the problem or try to CHANGE the perception (notice our most recent blog posts are a great place to start!).

I vote for CHANGE!

Leave a comment if you have ideas or ways to make our online communications more valuable and less spam-like!

[caption id="attachment_1117" align="alignleft" width="0" caption="Michael Jensen, Social Media Promotions Manager"]Michael Jensen, Social Media Promotions Manager[/caption]

Nov 15, 2010

Farmville, the Golden Rule & the Real You

For those of you who frequent Facebook, you may have run into, oh…I dunno, about 100,000 Farmville posts in your Facebook feed (btw..there are over 80 million players!). For those not familiar with Farmville, it’s a virtual farming game with animals, crops and all the fixins, that about 10% of all Facebook members play. (BTW…A co-worker here at MonaVie said his Mom is addicted, and she actually sets the alarm to feed the “virtual” animals at 4 a.m., then goes back to sleep—Yikes!). You may have clicked on a Farmville post (you're not off the hook either Mafia Wars!) and even started to play the game, OR...if you’re like me, you were constantly annoyed and had to hide it in your Facebook feed.

The Golden Rule

Since one of my jobs here at MonaVie is monitoring our online presence, every day I see what is being said by you and by others about MonaVie. The good. The bad. The ugly. Almost daily I  think how can we communicate with others online more effectively? Are we essentially showing up in our friend’s feed like a Farmville post, or other spammers? How would I want to be communicated with? I kept coming back to the Golden Rule as an answer to that very question. Before you post on social media channels, have you asked, "Is this how I'd want to be communicated with?"  I asked myself what characteristics do I look for when connecting with someone (and I suggest you make a similar list—do it…do it now!) and quickly wrote down the first things that came to mind (start writing!). My quick initial responses were:

  • Authenticity – someone who is real/honest
  • Trustworthy
  • Interesting
  • Common interests
  • Pleasant, humorous, positive
  • Helpful

The Real You

I recently shared the article “Will the Real You Please Stand Up?” on MonaVie’s Twitter feed and is a rather thought provoking article that questions if we are the same person online, as we are face-to-face? So who are you really? Do people know you as MonaVie, or for the real you? Are you a person or a brand first? After writing that list, I realized, those qualities are ones that I want others to perceive in me! My next question was, so how would others be able to find out that I have these qualities? I realized that to make real connections it’s not going to happen in one post, or even 10, but that it takes time, and am I patient enough to get there? Are you? Comment below and let us know how you connect with others!

[caption id="attachment_1138" align="alignleft" width="201" caption="Michael Jensen, Social Media Promotions Manager"][/caption]

Nov 1, 2010

MonaVie’s Guide to Social Media – Have you read it?

A few weeks ago while on Facebook, I found a link to one of my favorite social media books and authors, Chris Brogan and Julien Smith (BTW…I highly recommend their book Trust Agents, and following them on Twitter @chrisbrogan and @julien).  To my disappointment,  the first post on the Facebook site was a spammed post for an acai weight loss product.  Now while the authors admittedly don’t monitor this page regularly and allow anyone to comment, the irony of the situation is what really caught my attention.  For anyone who has read their book, or their blogs, would know that they preach the importance of establishing trust for business purposes using “non-sales-oriented” tactics that result in creating deeper personal connections. How ironic was it to see a spammed message, from none other than an acai product? (Seriously…who ordered some of that product?)

It’s “Social” Media, not “Selling” Media

Obviously, such products and their “marketing” have tarnished the MonaVie “crown-jewel” a bit, and it is our hope and desire to make sure MonaVie does not perpetuate such behavior. For that reason, we have made a conscious effort to make sure the MonaVie Facebook page, Twitter page and BlogMV is not a spamming free-for all, but rather a platform for us to communicate with one another, interact with all of you great distributors and provide value. It is also our hope that our distributors will reciprocate that behavior in your own online communications. One of the greatest analogies I heard discussed when approaching social media, was to pretend you were invited to a social gathering. Your friends, co-workers and family are all there. Just before everyone sits down to eat, someone grabs the microphone asking everyone at the event if they want to buy some juice? What do you think the reaction would be?  Yet, some are approaching social media platforms when posting status updates with similar statements, simply because it’s easy, hoping just one person randomly has interest.

So what's in the Guide to Social Media?

Last week we announced the release of MonaVie’s Guide to Social Media on MonaVie on the Move and made it available in the distributors’ Virtual Office Document Library and on BlogMV (look to your right…now back at this blog post). It is our hope that you will all download and read the document, hug it and hold it close, never letting it go. Within the document are items we feel are important for you to know, and find valuable as you maintain an online presence such as:

  • An introduction to social media and social media platforms MonaVie is currently using (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube).
  • MonaVie’s 9 Rules of Social Media Engagement (social media etiquette).
  • 5 Tips Every MonaVie Distributor Needs to Know about the New FTC Guidelines – which provides important details on testimonials and endorsements that all distributors need to know.
  • In the future, we will update this document as needed. We hope you will use this document and remember its content as you proceed to post anything online that is MonaVie related and to also inform your fellow distributors as well. If there are any questions, comment below or feel free to contact Shante (shantes@monavie.com) or myself, Michael Jensen (michael.jensen@monavie.com).

    Can’t wait to talk WITH you (not at you)-- at the party!

    MJensen

    Michael Jensen

    Social Media Promotions Manager

    Jun 7, 2010

    Calvin Becerra: A-ha Moments and Achieving Success Again and Again

    Calvin Becerra is the youngest Black Diamond in MonaVie history and his rise to such a rank is a true test of determination and willingness to hit the ground running, spending every waking moment when not working a tradition 9-5 job building his prospect list and enrolling new distributors.

    “You have to be willing to work,” said Calvin. “Many are not willing to do that.”

    Work was what took him to the rank of Black Diamond in a mere eight months after enrolling in MonaVie. However, just because you hit Black Diamond, doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing thereafter. In Calvin’s case, Black Diamond was a starting point and launch pad for many lessons learned – lessons he has gladly agreed to share with us through a series of videos highlighting his own “a-ha” moments and best business building tips.

    [caption id="attachment_1326" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Calvin on stage during 2009 Anaheim Regional"]Monavie-Anaheim-Regional-09-3633[/caption]

    But first, let’s get back to Calvin’s story and lesson number one, which starts where his last Black Diamond documentary left off…

    Lesson #1: Do not take your foot off the gas pedal and expect your business to build itself, especially if you did not build that business with a strong foundation.

    Calvin learned this the hard way. Shortly after hitting Black Diamond he said he decided to take a step back and enjoy the fruits of his eight month labor.

    “Where I went wrong is I took my foot off the gas and coasted for 5-6 months and it takes that long for people to lose faith in you,” said Calvin. “If you’re not doing anything then your people won’t do anything – your people are always watching you.”

    Calvin said he stopped doing tasting parties, he stopped enrolling and he stopped leading.

    He also experienced his first “jumpers” or those who left MonaVie for seemingly greener pastures and admits to having his own doubt and wondered if he should do the same. Luckily he took good friend and fellow Black Diamond Todd Hartog’s advice and put “principles before profit.”

    Eventually his volume dropped to that of an Emerald (15,000 points) from Black Diamond (150,000 points), which to many a loss far less significant would have meant throwing in the towel but to Calvin, it meant an opportunity to rebuild and to do it on far more solid ground. But first, he sought the advice of other MonaVie leaders, gleaning as much information as he could get his hands on.

    And then he went back to work, making himself a student of networking, and rebuilding his organization from the ground up, this time with some key principles in tact.

    He became a prolific enroller, sponsoring 50-60 new distributors in the next year. Also, instead of being the sole leader within his organization, he encouraged his people to organize and sustain their own groups and tasting parties and to ultimately take charge of their own businesses.

    Which was Lesson #2: When building a network, key principles must be locked in from the ground level and leaders forged or success is fleeting.

    “What I realized right away is that relationships had to be molded and while I had achieved success my people were still just finding their way and if I didn’t build that community within my team and forge those relationships their businesses and subsequently my business would fall apart like in the past,” said Calvin.

    Since then, Calvin considers the importance of empowering people right up there with enrolling.

    He also decided to get himself grounded. He found just that when he met his fiancé Shannon, and as a new father he appreciates the strength and support of a strong partner who keeps him focused.

    [caption id="attachment_1327" align="alignright" width="199" caption="Calvin and Shannon on Black Diamond Destination in Bora Bora, Tahiti"]calvin_shannon_3154[/caption]

    He also got behind the MonaVie brand, not just the products, this time around.

    The MonaVie brand is about more than products,” said Calvin. “It’s about success and strength.”

    Finally, he launched himself into the social media platforms, learning as much as he could and using the content generated on MonaVie’s Media Center, BlogMV, Twitter and Facebook pages to fill his own Facebook and Twitter accounts. He used the social media platforms to first, build relationships, which eventually lead to prospects and new enrollees, including most of his leaders in his international business.

    “If you are not using these tools, you are missing out,” said Calvin.

    And his goal moving forward is to share his lessons learned, as well as, reignite the US market and recreate the excitement felt at the beginning of the MonaVie birth with the help of Senior Vice President Jeff Graham.

    Oh, and to secure his Black Diamond status and beyond month after month.

    “I had to rebuild over 135,000 points and I did it and that means anyone can bounce back from less – you just have to be willing to go back to work,” said Calvin. “I am proof that success can be achieved over and over again.”

    To view Calvin’s first installment in a series of “Tips and A-Ha Moments”, visit the MonaVie YouTube channel. Feel free to comments, questions and video responses

    Mar 25, 2010

    MonaVie meets Milano

    As the Social Media Promotions Manager for MonaVie, I get the privilege of working with Shante and the rest of our Marketing team and have been following you all on BlogMV, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and it truly is exciting. One of the projects I helped spearhead was MonaVie’s involvement with Alyssa Milano’s UNICEF Haiti Tweet Challenge that I discovered on of all places…Twitter!

    Alyssa had been involved in the Haiti Relief efforts from the beginning and partnering with UNICEF and using the power of social media and Twitter, the challenge was afoot! The idea for MonaVie to take on this challenge was pitched to our executives, and they all loved it! Within a half an hour, emails were flying back and forth to make this a reality at the Anaheim Regional, and MonaVie responded by not only matching the amount, but doubling it! I was lucky enough to be able to communicate our efforts to Alyssa and she was very grateful and many of you saw her tweet “@monavie” to her 740,000 followers numerous times as other companies donated as well. She was also grateful when we sent her a case of (M)mun!

    Last week, I was able to go to Hollywood and attend a taping of her new pilot show, “Romantically Challenged” and able to meet her in person. The taping of the show was in the same studio as Seinfeld and is directed by Jim Burrows, who also directed Cheers, Friends, Frazier and Two and a Half Men. We were able to get “VIP” seating and sit with Alyssa’s family and friends (one of whom I later found out was the Co-founder and Chairman of Twitter!). For those who have never seen a taping of a TV show before, it truly is an experience as it usually takes over 4 hours to just shoot a 22-minute comedy (and yes my face was hurting from smiling so much!). The show was very funny, and it was their 6th and final taping as the show will await its final fate from ABC (we’ll be sure to pass along details if/when the show airs!).

    After the show, we were escorted onto the set where the cast and crew were having a party and we were extremely fortunate to be able to meet Alyssa and others from the cast and take a few pictures as time was short. Alyssa was very friendly and accommodating and was kind enough to tape a little video message as well.

    For me, this experience highlights two things: 1) the amazing MonaVie culture and 2) the power of social media. While I was fortunate to be able to pitch the idea, I was amazed at the reaction of our wonderful leaders and their vision to run with it, inspire others to donate and to set the bar high to double the amount. The generosity of MonaVie distributors and its employees was also on display as many of you answered the call, which is why MonaVie and the MORE Project are so successful today.

    In regards to social media, I think a point that often gets lost in all the excitement of these new communication platforms, is that it’s a tremendous channel to simply listen. Many have a perception of Twitter or Facebook that it’s a waste of time, or they don’t know what to say. Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s OK to not say anything; in fact, I encourage you to not say anything until you’re comfortable or find a way to add value to the conversation. There are opportunities to reach out to others if we are willing to listen, to learn and to then interact. This opportunity is evidence of just that. What’s even better was actually meeting Alyssa face-to-face to make this experience even more memorable for me, and now hopefully for you too.

    Here's more behind the scenes from my day:

    Michael Jensen
    Social Media Promotions Manager, MonaVie

    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.

    Share it!


    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.

    Share it!

    Shante sig short.jpg018

    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

    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

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