Alexandra Samuel's blog

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Just browsing

3 tips to make better use of the Firefox browser


My MacBook Pro is in the shop -- a virtually painless experience, BTW, since I now have all my files on DropBox. That meant it took just a few minutes to have access to all my files on my temporary computer.

But for just a few days, I didn't bother customizing all my apps the way they're set up on my usual machine. That means that instead of loading my iGoogle home page as my default for all new Firefox windows, I actually see Firefox's default -- a version of the basic Google search window. Look what caught my eye:

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Craving social media

New resources to help entrepreneurs get started with social media

CRAVEbusiness Presents SHOP Symposium_09.png

The SHOP Symposium that CRAVE put on today was bursting with fantastic women entrepreneurs whom I've long admired as a customer, member, or as a drooling window shopper. I was already a fan of Escents (my eternal source for hostess gifts), Uptown Giftbox (which packaged the awesome gifts at FWE's recent dinner) and Gumdrops (where I've found great rainwear gifts for friends and family). Small Business BC, FWE and yoyomama have had my back at work and at home.  Now I'm also excited about dressing my children in Style Kid, getting myself dressed in Frocks, and getting undressed to my Smart Ass underpants.

All these great businesses and organizations are looking at how social media can help them use social media to reach their customers and strengthen their brand. In our social networking panel, and our small group Q&A, I offered some suggestions on the tools and tactics that can help organizations make the most of social media.

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6 essential social media tools for your business or organization


If you're asking how social media can help your business or organization, you should start by answering four questions that will give you a strategic framework for decision-making.

But if you're itching to get a handle on this social media thing, and want to open your eyes and ears, there are a few tools we recommend as assets to virtually any organization. I've listed these in the order I'd recommend adopting each one.

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4 questions to answer before you get started (or move forward) with social media


Many organizations want to know how to get started with social media, or how to take it to the next level. All too often, the answer they get is the name of a site or platform: Create a Twitter feed! Set up a Facebook page! Build your network on LinkedIn!

While it can be very helpful to know about different platforms, no one platform is right for every organization. To make good choices about where to spend your social media dollars, you need to be clear about what you want to get out out of social media, and how you're going to do it in compelling way.

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Reflected glory or borrowed relevance?

Forrester, Social Signal on finding online passion for your brand

Mirror ball

Unless your customers care so passionately about your brand or product that they pay for the privilege of wearing your logo, they probably don't care enough to be part of an online conversation about your brand. If you're anybody other than Apple, Nike or Coke, you're probably going to need some other basis for convening a conversation that connects you to your customers.

That's the insight at the heart of a blog post I published last week on Harvard Business Online.

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Your brand in 140 characters

17 tips for using Twitter to grow your business

"Take me now, you magnificent beast" is well under the limit

In 2008, companies woke up to the power of Facebook as a way of engaging customers, building brand, and selling their products or services.  Today, the hottest new marketing tool is Twitter: a social network that consists entirely of people exchanging 140-character messages with their friends, family and colleagues.

Just like black-and-white photography can reveal depths you’ll never see in colour, the short length of a Twitter message encourages new levels of creativity and effectiveness in marketing.

Don’t believe me?  Here are my top tips on getting started with Twitter…and each is 140 characters or less.


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Making love with social media

How the social web can nourish your most personal relationship

Mouse heart

When you work on something really hard together and enjoy the successes and challenges with each other, and then get through it not just whole but stronger—you realize how blessed you are, how much love you have together.

That sentence could describe my feelings about working with Rob on Social Signal. People are often amazed that I'm able to work with my husband, and ask us how we do it all: the business, the kids, the marriage. I'm amazed at all the people who can hold those threads separately.

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I just blogged to say I love you

Inviting positive customer feedback

Apple Survey Thank-you

I had a great customer care experience yesterday.  I had entrusted my MacBook Pro to the wonderful folks at Mac Station, our favourite Apple retailer and service center. But the drive replacement wasn't covered by warranty -- because Mac Station couldn't find a record of my AppleCare coverage. We quickly realized that my warranty hadn't transferred from a previous Mac, and that Apple would need to step in to complete the transfer. Mac Station gave me the Apple number to call, and I set to work.

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It takes a village to build a world-changing social media presence

Building your social media team

Your social media team

Social media can help to engage customers, build brand, raise public awareness or support internal collaboration. Precisely because of its breadth of impact, it's not obvious where it fits in an org chart: In marketing or public relations? Communications or customer care? I.T. or H.R.?

Developing an effective social media team requires more than finding the right box on the org chart or figuring out where that community moderator should sit. It's about identifying the goals for your social media program, the competencies needed for successful execution, and the gaps you need to fill.

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Today in the Globe & Mail: Alex on the business of social media


Today's Globe & Mail included a special supplement about MBA programs, with a feature story on why and how schools are incorporating social media into the curriculum. "Within minutes or even seconds, online chatter can span continents, conveying positive spin or the kiss of death for a product or company," reporter Diana McLaren writes. "Business schools are adapting to the rapidly shifting relationship between companies and consumers."

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Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.

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