Who knew social media was funny?

I’ve mentioned here that I’ve been getting into using social media to make my website and blog better known. It’s been a bit of a struggle for me. I’ve avoided it — with the exception early on of some LinkedIn activity — because it’s so time-consuming. Writing an article for a website, a post to my blog and different blurbs for four different micro-blogging social media sites is just too much for a daily ritual. Especially since I’m also in the middle of developing a e-book project and a video course. Plus there’s the research. And that’s only the writing part of my day. Hey, I need time to eat and exercise, not to mention getting some occasional sleep. I hope once I get a system established, it will be easier.

But my complaint is the complaint of most small businesses. And we now know it is a typical complaint because iContact.com did a survey recently about it recently. (http://blog.icontact.com/blog/icontact-survey-uncovers-love-affair-with-facebook/). They are also running a contest for the best video submission that tells why you love or hate social media (http://social.icontact.com/icontactPeople.) People have all kinds of different reasons to praise or complain. If you’re interested in making a submission, you’ve got until December 5, 2011. Considering that you stand to win $10,000 for a first place (1 prize for “love,” 1 prize for “hate”) you might want to send in your opinion.

I discovered this stuff earlier today while I was researching for an article I wanted to write on the difficulties of social media for small businesses. I got sidetracked by finding the contest and then clicking on one of the submissions out of curiosity. I know better, but I just couldn’t help myself. Distractions like this are like catnip to the ADD brain.

Nevertheless, I found the wonderfully funny video I’ve embedded for you below. I’m a bit late in the day getting to blog about it. First I had to put it on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Then I had to email it to my brother and my sister. Oh, please, don’t get me started on complaining about email. I still have to write that article on small business and social media.

Enjoy the video: “Social Media is for Loosers.”

Social media, getting started and HootSuite

I finally got around to getting my act together with social media. When I got a Google+ invite, I established a profile and started exploring. I liked the format and easy of use. It seemed much more understandable than Facebook.

I had tried for years to put up a Facebook page, but never quite “got it.” Nevertheless, I knew I needed to be there as Superperformance.com. After I started working on a Google+ profile, I went ahead and figured out how to establish a Facebook page.

Although I got on LinkedIn several years ago, I didn’t find it exciting or helpful. But I’m impressed with the ways it’s changed and will also be re-establishing my presence there.

I figured that all of this could get to be overwhelming work without a good tool to put it all together. I also knew that there were such tools. Because I’ve read a number of books with in-depth information on social media and also because I took a refresher tutorial through my favorite tutorial provider, Lynda.com. (Yes, I recommend them highly, and no, I don’t get any compensation for recommending them.)

One of the tools recommended in their videos was HootSuite. It took me a couple of days to figure out exactly how to use it. Part of the problem was that I had a browser crash while getting HootSuite connected to my Facebook account and missed out on selecting my page instead of my profile. But, I found a good tutorial elsewhere that got me on the right track: “How To Use HootSuite with Facebook.” It’s on The Blog Designer Network — http://theblogdesignernetwork.com. The site is a bit “girly” but the content is good.

What’s important, though, it that HootSuite is a great tool. It has a free version. And it will save lots of time and money.

I’m only just starting my social media odyssey. Stay tuned. I’ll be updating you on the useful tools I find in my process of becoming “socialized.”

Ask more profitable and productive questions

This morning I was checking my iGoogle page and found an excellent article in the CNN news gadget: “The question on everyone’s mind,” by By LZ Granderson.

In short, he says the universal question upon meeting someone new — “What do you do for a living?” — has changed from a simple way of finding something interesting to talk about to finding a way of measuring his or her financial and social worth.

He’s right. Worse than than what he describes is the logical extension that most people prefer to talk to people who they believe will be of some practical use, rather than someone who may merely be interesting.

Despite all the “social networking;” despite all the constant contact with their “peeps” on smart phones and the web, so many folks are simply trolling for great contacts. Contacts with successful people who can help them be successful. Rather than relationships that can make them better people.

As a society, we’ve forgotten about being truly social. Everything is about what is of profit financially or in terms of status. We no longer connect with people; we look for “people-objects” to use to get ahead.

You may ask what this has to do with human performance or productivity. I will answer: a great deal.

If you are a manager, how do you build a great team from a pool of employees who are competing with, trying to outmaneuver or trying to use one another? How do you get cooperation for the best interests of the organization, when there is no longer any care about or loyalty to the organization? When the only thing your employees care about is what the organization and others can do to profit them right now.

If you are a careerist or an entrepreneur, you likely have spent some time developing your “elevator speech.” You want to present yourself in the best possible light in the fewest words. You hope to be prepared if you are lucky enough to run into a possible employer, mentor, client or customer. How does that work if you are being measured by what you are already worth financially and socially? How can you present yourself effectively to get ahead if no one is interested in you unless you’ve already succeeded?

No matter how productive you are, no matter how high your performance level, no matter what that indicates for your future potential, how can that help you succeed if you live in a society where you have to show current success, status and profit up front? Before anyone who might help you is interested in talking to you? Because they want to believe you can help them first.

This disregard for anything but profit and status is also undermining good “social marketing.”

We’ve been given a great opportunity as careerists, entrepreneurs or business organizations to gently capitalize on the old adage that “people prefer to do business with other people they know and like.” Sites like Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn provide access to an audience that might come to know and like us. And therefore hire us or do business with us.

Yet so many users of those sites are forgetting the process is a social one. One that takes a while. One that means actually being friendly and interesting. Actually interacting with others in ways that help, regardless of any particular business interest. A process of becoming known and liked as an individual — or, in the case of an organization, a group of individuals — with a name(s), face(s) and real life(lives). A process of sharing. Not a process of using.

Perhaps we need to ask better questions than “what do you do for a living?” It’s not wrong to want to make profitable contacts, but it is important to remember that everyone wants to be valued for himself or herself. We all want to be individually measured as worthy of regard and respect by our abilities, virtues, strengths, fine characters.

Maybe we should ask questions like: “What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done today?” or “What would you do if you could do any work you wanted to do?” or “When you meet someone new, what do you think is the most important thing to know about them?” Maybe we should ask questions that show who the person is rather than how high his status or success. Maybe we should care about the answer. Because it might be the most profitable, productive thing we can do.

And don’t forget to read Granderson’s article.