Welcome to my Blog

NY Social Light is a place where I will be sharing my thoughts and resources regarding the best ways to leverage online for marketing your brand so you can attract the ideal client/ contact.

3 Steps to Using Facebook as a CRM

One of the first questions I get when presenting Facebook to business pros is “should I approve every “friend” request that I get on Facebook?”. I bring this up here in this post because I am now encouraging creating the largest friend base as possible to drive “Likes” to your business page. The key here is “friend” base management and organization.

Using Facebook as a CRM is both fun and effective- here is my recommendation on how to get started:

1) Review Facebook’s rules on creating lists.
2) Go through your entire friend base and tag them to lists.
3) Incorporate the “Limited Profile” list approach into your plan. These are the people that you would not have “friended” in the past but are collecting now to drive your business page. You can immediately drive those you invite to the Limited Profile list as well as accept requests and immediately tag them to Limited Profile.
I now have an organized list! I go to my categories (Ex: Prospects) and on a regular basis try to naturally build rapport through commenting on their posts. I am also keeping up with their life events and look for ways to transition the communication to a business conversation. An example of this would be the following:
A Real Estate agent sees that a past client just renovated their kitchen through reading one of their Facebook status posts. The real estate agent comments on the post with “Great choice! Here is an article detailing how you have increased the value of your home”. The real estate agent offers value with this action and everyone who has posted to the status before them get introduced.

Here is a post and video from Tech Savvy Agent (great blog for Real Estate Pros to follow!) detailing how to get your lists started.

Use Facebook as a CRM and see how your business benefits from this activity!

Revolutionize How You Stay in Front of Your Contacts

I have 2 training dates scheduled and plan to reinforce the “community” energy across NYC Real Estate professionals and be a go-to resource for them.

In preparing for the session I came upon a new way to view online and make it work for this community. I spent most of last year stepping through the basics of Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter, and how to build your “friend and follow” base. This year I am assuming that most pros are engaged on Facebook and experimenting with Twitter and now they are questioning how to leverage the tools and get a specific return on their time and investment.

My seminar “Keep your Finger on the Pulse of your Prospects with Social Media” centers on contact management through new tools and viewing Social Media from a spectator prospective. Those choosing to post on Social Media and share opinions on Twitter are offering us a license to (for lack of a better word) stalk them! You can see their personal and professional life events, hear what they have to say about a wide range of topics, and check in on how their day is going. Creating a system to regularly stay in front of your past clients’/new prospects’ posts will:

1) Offer you the opportunity to create a rapport, stay “top of mind”;

2) Give you an opening to naturally take an event and segue into a business conversation ex: a new baby can prompt a call about their plans to move to a larger space.

I will be posting details on how to set up a system to efficiently do what I just described so keep posted. Please share your insight!

Planting the Seeds

I am happy to be back and charged up for the new season. I took a digital break in August and this hiatus allowed me to turn down some noise and focus on what I need to do to create the life that I desire.

Hello September! Fall has always been my favorite time of year. I remember thumbing through “Seventeen” magazine and earmarking my “back to school” wardrobe, days of cheerleading practice in the cool air preparing for the first football game of the year. Rebirth, promise, newness are all feelings that come up for me.

I am writing this post as I am driving (actually, sitting in the passenger seat of Bob’s new Cayenne) to an International Rosh Hashanah event. My consciousness in celebrating Rosh Hashanah is one of unity and embracing that the universe is presenting us with an opportunity to set the stage for the coming year. The approach is centered on accepting that our negative actions throughout the year (cause) generate the unfortunate events/ circumstances (effect) that we face in life. There is no outside force that punishes- we are holding the reigns to our happiness and success. Rosh Hashanah offers us the opportunity to take control.

So what does all of this have to do with business and social media? I have worked over these past few weeks to identify what has been keeping me back from achieving my financial potential, my negative habits, poor practices. Really digging deep to the seed level. For example,  “I can’t communicate well” becomes “I need to feel like I am worthy and successful”. Getting to the cause and planting healthy and positive seeds bear the effects of success.

I plan to continue to share knowledge/contacts and do so through posting on this blog and creating videos. I welcome you to reach out to me with your content so I can support you in your endeavors. Let ‘s take this unique opportunity to change ourselves therefore changing the world!

The Power of “Letting Go”

I just got back from an amazing trip to Israel with the Kabbalah Centre. This year’s trip had 600+ people from all around the world gathering to connect to the source with the intent of bringing this energy back to our loved ones and the world.

I participated in last year’s trip and embraced working on “letting go” as my correction, something I needed to address to advance in life. I have a natural tendency to be impatient, to control HOW I would connect to happiness.

I have learned that when we get our ego out of the spotlight, happiness finds us. Happiness found me last week, Tuesday August 3, 2010 at my wedding in Tiberius.

The entire process is a testament to the beauty you connect to when letting go. Bob proposed to me on Sunday July 25th (a week before leaving for our trip). Our teacher Benjamin shared that we had the opportunity to have a ceremony in Israel and we opened ourselves to this happening. We ordered our ring on Friday afternoon before leaving.

The specifics (where, when, how) were not shared. Meanwhile, a simple white dress presented itself to me while shopping in Tel Aviv the Sunday that we arrived. I picked up a pair of “blinged out” white Havianas and my super talented friend Rachel Brown styled me with her jewelry.

We were told on Tuesday afternoon that the ceremony would be that evening at Decks Restaurant which sits on the edge of the Sea of Galilee. We arrived and were blessed by The Rav, danced in circles, lifted on chairs, witnessed fireworks from boats that took us out for dancing.

The evening is etched in my memory forever. As James Van Der Beek stated (he was married in Israel 2 days before us): “For us, there was tremendous freedom in not having to worry about the food getting cold or the DJ playing ‘YMCA’ again!” I feel the great merit of having this night as the beginning of my life with Bob and the energy behind this happening was my finally “letting go”.

4 Steps to Champion Your Cause on Foursquare

As those of you who follow me know, I love to use Foursquare to share great eateries, services and locations with my friends and followers. I have recently been challenged to research and develop how this fast growing application can excite those who support causes to share their passion on Foursquare and in turn connect others to their supported cause.

In this example I am going to use Yehuda Berg’s cause to drive the message that is the theme of his book The Power to Change Everything. The book description directly from Yehuda is the following:

“From best-selling author and noted teacher and speaker Yehuda Berg comes a thought-provoking call to action on our current global crisis. Positing that our collective abdication of responsibility — in every facet of our lives, including business and the economy, the environment, government and politics, healthcare, education, and religion — has contributed to the problems and challenges we face, Berg asserts that taking responsibility for our actions (or lack thereof) and their consequences is the key to achieving change for the better. Berg urges readers to access the power within each of us, using the principles of Kabbalah, in order to create the consciousness shift required for lasting positive change.”

With the above message in mind I am proposing a system that will encourage “Ambassadors of Change” to check in with “Change Agent Headquarters” as they discover new challenges and post their ideas for creating lasting positive change.

The logistics:

1) Create a venue on Foursquare called “Change Agent Headquarters”. This should be done on a mobile device (go through the check in process, type in “Change Agent HQ”, scroll to the bottom of the screen where you will be prompted to add a new venue.) The address in this process is optional.

2) Sign in to http://Foursquare.com on a computer and claim this venue as being yours to manage (go to venue, button on right). You will be taken to “Foursquare + Your Business”.

3) Foursquare will verify that you are the business owner- the cause needs to be backed up with a web page connecting it to a business, overview and contacts.

4) Create specials around check ins. For this case we would encourage people to share an item of awareness Ex: user in San Francisco can check in to “Change Agent HQ” and share a link about a green event being held in the city.

You can offer rewards for levels of check ins. 10 check ins can be rewarded with opportunity to meet a key person on the leadership team, etc..

The bottom line is that we are making it fun to share positive/ sharing activities and news and connecting our Foursquare friends, Twitter followers and Facebook friends to a movement that they may choose to delve deeper into.

Please share your thoughts on this approach and offer contact details if you get this going for your specific cause. Changing the world one check in at a time!

2 New Knees & the Struggle to Share in 720p HD

I was so excited to have sat with my Mom today and shoot a 4 minute video with her. She shared her amazing experience with Dr. Michael Bronson at Mount Sinai hospital after undergoing a double knee operation (yes, 2 knees at the same time!) in February of this year.

Before her big day we researched knee replacement and came upon Jane Brody’s piece that described her experience. I was reluctant to share her story with my Mom- it was problem ridden and down right negative.

Sally’s (my Mom) experience was buoyed by the power of positive thinking. I saw the effect of “mind over matter” and my Mother’s experience reinforced my certainty- this approach to life is what we all need to embrace.

I hope that she inspires you and we welcome anyone who is considering this operation to reach out to us!

Now, for the geek part of this post. I was sooooo disappointed today to find out that I could not upload the 720p HD video that I shot from my new iPhone 4G to Youtube! I even tried doing so on wifi (thinking AT&T had imposed network limitations) and still had an issue. The best solution for this iPhone to Internet exchange that I found was Pixelpipe (my issue with the video today was that it was over the 200mb limit for Pixelpipe mobile upload). My FlipHD to Youtube is a much more elegant process than the iPhone- so disappointing!

Please share your findings if I am missing something here, I’d love to learn from your experiences.

The 360p version (HD to follow once I figure it out!):

5th Post- Shopping for Your Ideal Client on Twitter

Welcome to my 5th installment in the 30 days to Success series.What I am going to share today will sound so simple and many of you may already be doing this. I am bringing this approach to your attention because a friend at Social Brand It! turned me on to this method and I immediately started to connect with my ideal audience.

People expose their preferences with each product or service purchase that they make. A consumer who will pay for quality in NYC probably works out at Equinox, follows celeb chefs like Mario Batali, orders wine from Wine Library and reads The New Yorker. I looked around the room at The Mermaid Inn while dining on Friday evening with my friend Patti Levan and said to her “wow, the clientele here is a great demographic for your real estate business”.

No,  I’m not suggesting that you run around a the room of that “tony” restaurant and hand out your cards. Social Media has made this connection easy. Here are simple steps to connecting to your ideal client using Twitter:

1) Identify luxury brands, service providers and events in your area (if your business is local like real estate). Start following them.;

2) Stick to areas that you actually “tweet” about. I am an avid Foursquare user (where I post dining tips)  so following restaurants on Twitter and in turn the specific restaurant’s Followers works- my content will be of interest to them.

3) Twitter posts location when they have it for an individual so if local people are your target then stick to these people.

So next time you find yourself at a new venue filled with people of interest take note and check to see if the venue has a Twitter following. Your next client may be waiting for you here!

Bring it On- Why Confrontation is Good for Us

I wanted to share a concept that has me thinking and retooling how I approach the people in my life. So many of us avoid confrontation, keep from “rocking the boat”, and in general work to stay safe and comfortable. I recently took an amazing class with Benjamin Malul which was centered on why avoiding confrontation keeps us from success and why it is a harmful choice for the world on a whole.

The definition for “Confrontation” in Webster’s is: : the act of confronting : the state of being confronted: as a : a face-to-face meeting b : the clashing of forces or ideas : conflict c : comparison <the flashbacks bring into meaningful confrontation present and past, near and far — R. J. Clements>  There are so many ideas regarding “what is confrontation and the best way to conduct one” with The Live Strong blog suggesting a direct, assertive, angry confrontation is the best approach!

My realization is that confrontation, when approached properly, delivers major clarity and “unblocks” us as individuals. A recent confrontation of mine centered around a subject that persisted as a murky area for the benefit of the person I confronted. In setting a safe stage and addressing the subject that was long overdue I gained so much more than if that particular topic got resolved. I connected to their agenda, assessment of me and the future of our relationship.

My partner Bob, who is a very experienced business man, shared that confrontation, to him, is not about resolving a topic in most cases. The topic is rarely put to bed (unless the parties do not have a relationship like two people in a car crash resolving how to move forward with the insurance reporting). He agreed that direct communication in a way that does not evoke a defensive position will be all you need to understand where you stand with another person.

So get busy with setting that confrontational appointment and be direct.  If you believe that we are influenced by our astrological signs, then take a look here regarding how to approach that roaring Leo ;-).

Confronting someone will free you to take yourself to the next level which ultimately benefits the collective. Please share your thoughts on the subject and recent confrontations by sharing this post and commenting!

4th Post- Tips for Pruning Your Twitter Tree

It’s been 2 weeks since I started my “30 Days to Success” series and I have increased my Twitter “Follower” account by 25%! I did this by following tips in Posts 1, 2, and 3. I deem this “measurable” as successful in that those following me are REAL people within the verticals I have identified (Social Media experts, Real Estate Professionals and Entrepreneurs to name a few). My future posts will speak to where you ultimately want to get to which is to start conversations and promote click activity within your posts. For now, let’s focus on this valuable community building exercise.

It’s very important to clean out the base of people that you are following for many reasons. One practical reason is ridding yourself of spam posters, repeaters and those just trying to sell to you.  Secondly, Twitter introduces limits to your account once you are following 2,000 people or more. From the Twitter Help Center: “When you hit this limit, we’ll tell you by showing an error message in your browser. You’ll need to wait until you have more followers in order to follow more users—basically, you can’t follow 10,000 people if only 100 people follow you.” I recently attended a seminar where the expert shared that this ratio is 10%. If you are Following 2100 people then you must have at least 1,890 Followers.

I have started to spend at least 30 minutes a week on “Pruning” the group of people that I follow on Twitter. I have checked out applications like Friend or Follow and the manage friends function at Social Oomph (this site is a paid application that is super rich in features but one that may be too much for many at the beginning stages of network building). I recently stumbled on Echofon and downloaded the Pro mobile version (one $4.99 charge for both my iPhone and iPad) and I am very pleased with the user interface and functionality.

I plan to jump onto Echofon for my iPad (they have a free Mac version where you can do the same) as much as I can to do the following:

1) Go to the “Users” tab where Echofon neatly displays thumbnails of all of the people following you in alphabetical order;

2) Click on each thumbnail and browse their stats. The Echofon window tells me everything I need to know so to make the right decision about the person I am viewing.  I choose to unfollow those who fall into these categories:

a. They do not follow me (where they are not a celebrity I like to stalk or a news feed that provides daily content)

b. They have not tweeted in weeks (they are not active therefore not connected to me)

c. Their tweets are spam-like, repetitive or just uninteresting

d. They do not fall into any of my “List” categories (more on lists in future posts)

3) For those who I choose to continue following I categorize by placing them in a list that I have already created in Twitter. I urge you to get in the habit of immediately placing new people you follow in a list so to make your content browsing and community pruning activities as efficient as possible.

I am now at a ratio of 932 Followers to 1193 people that I follow. I plan to take this 28% differential down to 12% over the next week using the above approach. The auto-unfriend capability that some apps provided in the past is gone due to Twitter penalizing this type of activity.The above may seem too manual to engage in but well worth your time and effort.

Please share your process for achieving a healthy Following/ Follower ratio so we can all benefit from the Twitter platform!

3rd Post- Staying Engaged on Twitter

Here we are at the 3rd Post in the 30 Days to Success series. If you have followed the 1st Post and 2nd Post recommendations for getting a qualified base of Friends and Followers  then you are well on your way to mastering Twitter.  This post is all about supporting you through these beginning days and ensuring that you keep the moment and avoid the pitfalls that most people face early on.

Mashable’s post “How to: Help new users stayed engaged on Twitter” is a “spot on” piece which identifies the problems which force newbies to stall or even give up on Twitter.  I highly recommend that you read this article and push on through so you can soar using this amazing Social Media medium.

Here are the reasons people disengage with my recommendations noted:

1) People only follow those that they know

In the beginning of my Twitter engagement I used the Twitter tool that reviews your Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn and results is a list of people that I knew who were already on Twitter. I immediately began to follow them. Many within this group were not active and posts were lifeless. My turning point: I happened upon active Twitter people like @hungrydomaine and I began to follow who they followed and would strike up conversations with them. This resulted in my breathing life into a once listless Twitter stream!

2) They only follow celebrities

Reading Lindsay Lohan’s ramblings and watching conversations fly between Ashton and Demi are fun activities. After a while you feel like a voyeur and a feeling of unworthiness and frustration begins to surface after mentions or conversations you start with them go unanswered. I started an Entertainment list and fed my desire for celebrity banter while parsing this activity from the base of people that I  focused on interacting with.

3) They are not having conversations

I must say that starting conversation was a very intimidating thing for me. The “@” and “#” symbols took getting used to. In time I would answer questions from people I knew or request recommendations with great success. Jump in and join the conversation!

4) They don’t think they are interesting

I remember the days when I felt like “who really cares about what I have to say”. My perspective changed to one of sharing and I got in the groove of tweeting.   Sites like PopURLs offer great articles to share and the location based application FourSquare has literally put me on the map in NYC and is a great mobile tweet interface. The key is to start sharing and to get mobile with Twitter. Install your favorite client (more on this in future posts)- mine is Hootsuite for the iPhone.

Have patience, persevere and start having fun. There is no wrong way. Please share your Twitter turning point with us!