How Social Technologies Are Changing Cities for Small Business


As a special treat, today I talked with Kelly Scanlon, Thinking Bigger Business Media, on Talk Radio 1510 AM. We covered social media for the first 15-20 minutes and social technologies and cities for the second. It was a lively, enjoyable, and I hope informative, conversation. Whew, the time flew! 

Heres the recording:  

In terms of social media, I am strictly a user, an architect who avidly uses social technologies. Folks at the Social Media Club of Kansas City like Lisa Qualls @lqualls, Jeff Smith @jeffisageek, and Shelly Kramer @shellykramer are my generous and brilliant teachers. I shape the info I learn from them and many others so that it works for architects and small business.

My rundown, in brief:

Regarding social media and networks:

  1. The key term is community. Social networks are engaged participation. You don’t just push promotions; you become part of a community, or actually, many communities. They eliminate geographic differences.
  2.  Three sites dominate the business side of social networking: Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In. 
  3. Facebook, the motherlode site, is a huge reunion of all your family and friends all mashed together from birth to present time, each sharing photos, life details, and items of interest. You will find people you lost track of and keep up with folks you don’t  see every day. As a business or as a government agency, you need to set up a fan page and tell all your business associates so they can become your fan as silly as that may sound. It will take a few hours and then requires daily checking, commenting, and regular posting. 
  4. Twitter is the pulse of news and information  around the world. You  find people and ideas; every day I talk to people on at least three continents, probably five. They have recommended me, engaged me to speak to groups, put me in contact with key folks, and shared a mountain of information; I reciprocate.  I have helped people get employment, new business, new contacts, and information. For me, it’s a search/research site with a multitude of friendly expert guides. Use Addictomatic for intensive searches. Alltop supplies constant updates on most topics, and its founder Guy Kawasaki and his team tweet at an insane pace. Twitters a wide open field a completely public space. Kelly and I chatted about a couple of famous business faux pas on Twitter. Youll find me on twitter most days.
  5. Linked In serves two functions for businesses. First  off, it’s a  business card. Many folks will look you up on Linked In after you meet or even before a formal meeting in preparation. Its essentially an expanded business card, close to a resume. Secondly, the special interest groups host discussions for various industries and issues. Youll meet other folks in your area of expertise. Linked In is more private because you have to know someone or be connected or introduced to them to become linked.
  6. To get started, set up contact information on these 3 sites twitter takes about five minutes, the other two a couple of hours. Make connections which will take initially some more hours and then you will maintain it. and figure on daily checking. A cross section of people from your business should represent your company. The point is, its marketing and business development communities, yes. But its also building technical communities and areas of expertise. Business owners want to meet other business owners. Architects want to meet other architects. And then we also want to meet other people in different fields. For example, I follow a lot of scientists. And they also follow what I do because of my work in futures and forecasting.
  7. Bottom line on social media for business: its essential. And its not just a one-time event. Its a new way of knowing your industry, your city, and where you and your business fit.  Look up my tags on delicious, at  key word: socialmedia, socialmedia+, twitter, facebook, twitterbiz, and a personal favorite: twitterstories. Youll find hundreds of links. I know, you want just one. Start with ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, ChrisBrogan, and Problogger.

Regarding social technologies and cities: I gots to go folks, so will return to summarize key points on second half. Friday eve festivities have started. In the meantime, I hope youll listen to our conversation. It begins a few minutes into the recording. 

And what did I really seriously forget? As an expert, blog. Period. It another amazing tool that will get you in touch with so many people and ideas. You can begin with Posterous, as I did, to get your blogging legs so to speak. As a business, you need to add it to your website as soon as you are ready to use it regularly either you or your smartest and brightest people. Just identify who is talking for the company; its not a monolith, for goodness sakes. It’s the best of all of you grouped into a business. That’s transparency and people will find your business far more engaging if you are open.

Kelly is an amazing resource, heres a brief bio: “Eye on Small Business” is a weekly radio show that highlights successful small business owners and small business issues and resources. Broadcast from Kansas City, host Kelly Scanlon interviews small business owners who share the secrets behind their success. She also talks with business experts who share tips that help small businesses grow to the next level. Kelly Scanlon is the owner and publisher of Kansas City Small Business Monthly, Inc., a media company that connects growth-minded business owners with the information and resources that can take them to the next level. Delivery vehicles include a monthly magazine, an annual resource directory, three Web sites, a weekly e-newsletter, a weekly radio show, an annual awards gala and educational workshops and networking events.