Social Media Peeps – Who are they? How to Find Out – Part 2

To continue the Q&A with Justin G. Roy, Director of Social Media at Nichols College in Dudley, MA. You can read Part 1 where Justin talked about Twitter, who’s who, legit and offering real information and substance. Justin knows social media. In this post he goes beyond Twitter to talk about how a person represents themselves on the web and what it tells you about them.

Disclaimer: Yes those that know us, know Justin and I are friends. But we also have a great deal of respect for one another – for our work, content and voice. So lest you think this is a post from the mutual admiration society, take a look at Justin’s social media work. He knows of what he speaks. You can find Justin tweeting for himself @JustinGRoy and @Nichols_College and on his blog. You can also follow me on Twitter @BTalisman. Please share your thoughts and ideas, we’d love to hear them.

BET: What does looking at someone’s website or blog tell you about them?

JGR: More than I can write! Honestly, it’s 2010 and if you do not have a URL for me to browse to you have lost me. You do not need to be a technical genius to build your own website on Go Daddy (or any of the others) or a blog-website combo on WordPress. If you really cannot build one, ask your network and barter with your strengths – somebody once offered me a home cooked meal (with her family) in exchange for help setting up a WordPress site (the meal/deal was amazing).

When I browse to a site (website or blog) it needs to be clear who you are, what you do, whom you work with, and how to contact you (I know a self-proclaimed social media consultant who has the beginner template on WordPress and no Contact page). Those are simple and basic tabs on a website or blog and really should be there. The design should be pleasing and easy to read; I once came across a site that was a red background with orange type – after I realized my computer screen was not on fire, I closed that page.

I am always amazed at how many consultants (especially marketing or branding or social media consultants) there are out there who use the basic or standard template for their blog. Please have some creativity and change templates (there are plenty of free ones out there), learn widgets, and make it easy for me to sign up to receive news (that’s Marketing 101 in college).

Last and probably the most important: how current is the site? We might not have all the time in the world to update our own business, especially if you are an entrepreneur, however the news section on your website should not be over 6 months old or your last blog should not be from last month. If not, then it’s telling me that you have absolutely nothing happening in your professional life – converts to the “why should I hire this person” question. As always, there are some great examples out there of people who call themselves social media gurus (or encourage others to call them) whose blog has not been updated in months; one who prides themselves on hosting networking events has not updated their events in over a year – there is no excuse for that.

One more….run spell check…seriously. And know the difference between two-to-too and other grammar issues!

BET: Does it matter if they represent a company v. personal brand?

JGR: Like it or not, everybody out there is a brand; whether they are corporate, nonprofit, education, government, personal or whatever brand we can imagine. It’s what I tell my students – even if you are out on social networking using it as an instant messaging service or an online planner for what is going on Thursday night – you are projecting your personal brand to your followers. Right, wrong, brilliant or not sure but their followers at the time are demanding the information.

Specifically if they are a brand, I might be a bit more critical of their twitter stream and activity. Personally I like to follow brands, I think their message is important, we should listen to them, and they have a lot to offer – but I am choosing to listen, which means they don’t have to “sell” me as much as they might think.

Brands should realize that we, as consumers, have chosen to engage and interact with them – so interact darn it.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

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