Archives for September 2012

How to Turn a Facebook Profile into a Page

I had an interesting question come up from a prospective client the other day. For the first time in a long time, I was stumped! An hour later, with lots of research and exploration behind me, I thought I’d share an interesting feature that Facebook added in March 2011. It was new to me!

Say you have a Facebook profile. You’ve got lots of “friends,” but you don’t know most of them. They’ve simply connected with you because you’re a public persona and they want to get to know you better. I know this happens all the time with public figures.

You joined Facebook for the same reason as everyone else; to keep in touch with family and friends. But then these friend requests started pouring in. Like a deer caught in the headlights, you didn’t know what to do. So you accepted the request or ignored it hoping that it would go away. But then in a moment of weakness, you gave in and accepted the backlog of requests just so that you wouldn’t feel guilty anymore. Right?

Now, your newsfeed is flooded with information that you really aren’t interested in, and it’s making it harder to see those gems from your friends and family that you really do care about. You could filter it, as I demonstrate in one of my YouTube videos, but who has the time to go through so many friends and put them in lists?

Did you know that you can convert your Facebook profile into a Facebook page? What? You didn’t? Neither did I!

Here’s the deal. When you migrate a profile to a page:

  • You do lose the old profile. You have to create a new profile for your personal use using a different e-mail address than your old profile. But if the idea is to clean up the profile, starting with a clean slate isn’t a bad thing!
  • Only your profile pictures and friends/subscribers are transferred over to the page. So, backup your content if you have any interest in saving it. It won’t be accessible later. Note: Depending on the number of friends you have, it can take a few hours for all the friends and subscribers to appear as “likes” on the new page. So, don’t worry if they’re not all there right away.
  • Other than the new likes and a profile picture, your new page is blank. Once again, not a bad issue. Just start creating content. At least you’ll be off to a great start with the following.
  • If your profile is the admin for any groups or apps, assign new admins before you migrate. The page will remain an admin for any pages you’re an admin for, but better safe than sorry; I’d add other admins for pages as well.
  • If you have a username specified for your profile (otherwise known as a “vanity URL”), it will be applied to the new page instead. The username for  my page is “AlewebSocial.” That gives me a vanity URL of http://www.facebook.com/AlewebSocial. Facebook doesn’t allow you to change the username of a page with more than 200 “likes,” so depending on how many people are friends, you may not be able to update the username of the page.
  • From what I can piece together, the name of the new page (the page title) is based on the profile name. Therefore, Joe Schmoe’s profile will be displayed as “Joe Schmoe” for the page title. At least that’s my guess. So, if you want a different title, change your profile name before you update the account. The first name could be “Joe Schmoe’s” and the last name “Awesome New Facebook Page.” You get the idea. I have to admit, I have not tried this out yet, but my guess is that it would work. Otherwise, to change a page title, you have to put in a special request with Facebook, and they don’t make it easy.
  • The newsfeed of your new page will be blank because you haven’t “liked” any other pages yet.
  • Some people may be put off by becoming a fan when they thought they were your friend (think old high school classmates, family members, etc.). So, anticipate a drop-off in “likes” soon after the conversion.

Making a page is definitely the right answer, even for personal brands. You need to be in conformance with Facebook’s terms of agreement, otherwise, you risk them shutting your account down.

But there are other reasons for it too. For instance, Google indexes pages, but not profiles. In addition, pages allow much more functionality than profiles do, including adding apps for a mailing list, creating events, etc.

I hope this helps! Since I haven’t had anyone volunteer yet for me to convert their profile, I’ll share someone else’s video of the process for you to see what it looks like.

If you decide that you want to go ahead and try it yourself, just sign into your Facebook profile and go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php?migrate to get started.

So, what do you think? Is it time to convert your Facebook profile to a page? Let us know below if you’re daring enough to do it!  😀

We Wrote a Book — And the Miles It Took to Get There!

The Character-Based Leader - Tara Alemany https://alewebsocial.comWhen the idea was first brought up early in 2011 for the Lead Change Group to write a book, we had no idea what we were getting into. There was some thought that with a large group of contributors, we could go from concept through writing, editing and publishing in three or four months.

Ultimately, twenty-one of us got on the bandwagon and committed to the project. As time drew on, some of the original participants had to drop out due to other constraints on their time. But the vision persisted and the project moved forward.

No one in their wildest imaginings could have anticipated that this project would ultimately take over 16 months to complete.

Can you imagine the consequences of a project at work that took 4 or 5 times longer than the planner had anticipated?!

Of course, none of us had the luxury of working on the project full-time. We all had other responsibilities, and progress was made much like that of a fire brigade. Each of us took as much or as little responsibility as we were able at any given time, and pitched in to the best of our abilities. When we needed to drop out of the line for a time, that was completely understood and respected by the rest of the team.

That’s the thing I love the most about my fellow Lead Change Authors. We made every effort to share one vision and use one voice, supporting a core belief that character-based leadership matters.

Individually, when we expound on what that means, you will get different responses, because each one is filtered through the lens of our own beliefs and experience. But in the end, we all believe that character-based leadership matters, and it matters significantly enough to spend countless hours dedicated to nothing more than birthing a book.

Today, this book has seen the light of day. And like the proud parents we are, we’re busy celebrating its launch, enjoying thecongratulationsof friends and family, feeling a bit tired, shaken and very relieved.

It’s been a long road to reach this point. It took more effort and heart than any of us ever imagined. Yet, now that we’re here, it all seems so very worth it.

What we’ve created is a book that’s inspiring. We’ve each made each other think in new and different ways about what it means to be a Character-Based Leader, and I hope that what we’ve shared will make you stop and think too.

What would happen in the world around you if you applied more character to your leadership? If you mentored your followers in more meaningful ways? If you reached out to help the people around you find their own way in the world?

What we’ve given you inThe Character-Based Leader: Instigating a Leadership Revolution… One Person at a Time is a sampling of our own experiences. It tells of the strengths and weaknesses we’ve identified in ourselves as we’ve tried to become the changes we want to see in the world. We are flawed at times, but striving to improve.

It is my hope that as you read this book, you will be inspired by what we have shared to make your own difference in the world, in whatever way you are uniquely suited to do.

If you want to learn more about the book, you can purchase it on Amazon. If you’re interested in helping us promote the book, we have a Resources page filled with tweets and status updates we’d love for you to share. And if you’re interested in reading a free sample chapter, that’s available here.

Thanks for joining us on this journey!

The Fun Side of Social Media

Tara Alemany, the Bubble Lady, having fun in TanzaniaYou know, the fun thing about social media, whether you are using it for business or for pleasure, is that it can be an awful lot of fun. There are online events intended simply to be silly, that take us out of our shell and allow us to feel like kids again for a little while.

For instance, on Friday nights at 11 PM ET, there’s the TweetChat #slumberparty hosted by the lovely @DabneyPorte. It is often accompanied by creative hospitality, pillow fights, stolen Diva jets, great music spun by Wayne, and general merriment.

But once a year, there is the annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19. This celebration is enjoyed by celebrities like Dave Barry, and everyday folks like you and me.

This year’s celebration is the 10th anniversary of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, otherwise known as “ITLAPD.” With over 82,000 likes on their Facebook page, this online party is a well-attended one.

Yet its popularity and extends beyond Facebook. Their website talklikeapirate.com has a Google page rank of 6 and an Alexa ranking of 259,871 worldwide and 37,696 in the US. The banter and merriment make people want to join in the fun, and this translates to traffic.

For the fact that the majority of their activity is limited to a couple of months a year in the lead up to September 19 each year, that’s an incredible accomplishment.

So as you think about your business, what kind of fun and merriment can you bring to it? This extends beyond contests and polls, which bring limited one-time traffic, into the realm of entertainment. Take for instance the Old Spice viral videos that came out a couple of years ago with the Old Spice Man. They were shared far and wide because of their humorous nature. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself and create a fun environment. Take yourself too seriously and you’ll be considered an old fuddy-duddy. Nobody likes hanging out with a fuddy-duddy.

I know a new business that launched their YouTube video series with their blooper reel, instead of their commercials. They ended up generating a lot of interest in their YouTube channel before they ever put up a single commercial for their brand, simply because they were willing to laugh at themselves. Once they started putting their product commercials, they already had the attention of a rapt audience.

So in honor of making social media a bit more fun, here’s a brief video tutorial on how to change the language settings in Facebook to “English (Pirate).” The same technique can be used to change the Facebook language settings to anything else you choose as well.

So, give us an “Arr!” below, and scrawl somethin’ tellin’ us what your favorite way is to have fun with social media.

A Leader’s Legacy

This was originally posted on the Lead Change Group’s blog on June 25, 2012. Reposted here as part of the Evangelical Seminary’s Leadership Synchroblog campaign.

Legacy - https://alewebsocial.comI have a friend who I think is pretty neat.He’s always got a smile on his face, laughs easily, and doesn’t take himself too seriously. Kids love him. He’s a committed husband and Dad, as well as a humble man of faith. He makes learning new things fun, even when they’re challenging. He’s got a servant’s heart, yet is a strong leader, and he volunteers his time to his community and neighbors.

During a recent weekend trip with this friend and some others, I realized that everyone who knows him holds him in high regard. I’ve often wondered what people will say about me when I’m gone. (Strange, I know – but it’s part of being intentional about the legacy I want to leave.) It became apparent that my friend has been building his legacy for years already, and it’s a strong and solid one!

When it comes right down to it, though, haven’t we all?

The path we follow through this world intersects with others’ along the way. We make an imprint upon everyone we meet, no matter how large or small. When we hold a door open for someone else or send a friend a card for no reason, we are touching someone else’s life. It may not be the same impact as when you rescue someone from a burning building or help a child gain confidence, but we can’t go through life without affecting those around us.

And sometimes, it’s the small actions that have the biggest effect. Just plain being there when someone needs a friend, putting yourself in their shoes for a time, sharing simple words of encouragement and understanding – it all adds up to the legacy we leave.

What legacy areyouleaving as a person and a leader? Are you being intentional about it, or just letting it develop over time based on random acts and decisions you make? Better yet, does everyone you know hold you in high regard or are there relationships that need mending?

As leaders, we need to be aware of those around us, but more than that, we need to be aware of the effect we have on them by our actions and our inaction.

To become a leader with a legacy you can be proud of, here are a few action steps to point you in the right direction.

  • Imagine listening in at your own funeral. What do you want to hear people remember most about you? And what did you inspire people to aspire to? That’s going to become your goal.
  • Assess where you stand in relation to that goal now. If you need help with this, ask a trusted friend or mentor.
  • Identify what skills, characteristics and habits you need to start establishing now to more clearly achieve that goal.
  • Begin a program of self-improvement to better incorporate those behaviors into your life.
  • Periodically reassess both the goal and where you stand in relation to it.

We are works in progress until we die.Unfortunately, for most of us, we have no idea whether today’s the last day or if we have another year, 20 years or 50 years. Yet, a legacy waits for no one. We’re making one right now, whether we’re intentional about it or not. Is it something we can be proud of, or does it still need work?

The time to begin is today. What’s your legacy going to be?

What Does It Take to be a True Hero?

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. They can be young or old, black or white, rich or poor. If you look up the word at dictionary.com, you’ll see this is the first definition:

a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.

9/11 afforded many people the opportunity to look within themselves and find the hero within. We all have that quality within us. It’s that drive that enables us to put the needs of others before our own in times of trouble or sadness. That selflessness becomes a mark of maturity, demonstrating that we’ve learned a vital lesson. The world does not revolve around us.

Take a few minutes this day to watch this video, reflect upon it’s message and look within your own heart and mind.

The world needs more heroes. Where can you step up and make a difference in someone’s time of need? Whether it’s volunteering on your kid’s soccer team, mentoring a fatherless child, serving at a local soup kitchen, helping someone out financially, visiting with an elderly neighbor, or something completely different. When average people step up to fill a need, coming together and pulling together, they can accomplish amazing things.

As the narrator, Tom Hanks, shared:

The great boatlift of 9/11 became the largest sea evacuation in history, larger than the evacuation of Dunkirk in World War II, where 339,000 British and French soldiers were rescued over the course of nine days. On 9/11, nearly 500,000 civilians were rescued from Manhattan by boat. It took less than nine hours…

Don’t live your life wondering “Should I have?” And don’t wait for tragedy to strike to call up that inner hero. You have the ability to make the world a better place today.

I’d love for each of my readers to share whatever they’d like in the comments below, whether it’s their memories of how 9/11 affected them, or how they are inspired by this post and video to step up and commit letting their own inner hero loose. For those of us who lived through 9/11/2001, the world was forever changed. But we have it within ourselves to continue that change, embracing the spirit of self-sacrifice that made us proud to be Americans, to make a positive difference in our communities today.

Are you going to step up to the challenge?

How to Really Listen

Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't. ~ Bill NyeI have a client, a winery, who is short-handed for the next month. Since I really enjoying going to this place, when they asked if there was anyway I could help them out by working there a couple of days a week for the next month, I said “sure.” It’s an exciting time of growth for this business, and I enjoy being a part of it.

Today, I was “manning the shop” all alone when an older couple came in for a wine tasting. Being an early Friday afternoon, the place was quiet, and I was able to simply enjoy engaging in conversation with them. Over the course of the next hour, we shared stories about our lives back and forth with each other.

As the husband went out to the car to load their purchases, the wife stayed a talked awhile longer. She confided how much she valued the time I had spent with them. Her daughter had just remarried, her grandson had gone to college and her granddaughter was starting a new job at a local hospital. They have been a close-knit family, living on the same property for years, in and out of each other’s homes on a daily basis, and now this grandmother was feeling “an empty nest, times three!” The sorrow and grief in her eyes was heart-wrenching, and I was grateful that we’d had that time alone to just enjoy one another’s company.

As I was thinking back on that experience this evening, it occurred to me that so few of us really know how to listen. There was a moment when this woman was leaving the winery where our eyes connected, no more words were spoken, but she knew that she had been heard, and her thoughts and feelings mattered to someone else.

In social media, where we don’t have the opportunity to make eye contact, and listening can echo back like an empty chasm if you don’t make your presence known, how do we let someone know we’re listening?

I had another instance earlier this week where I’d seen someone’s name flit through my Twitter feed whom I hadn’t spoken with in a long time. So, I reached out and sent her a tweet, asking her how she was doing. This led to a private (DM) conversation where she shared that Life had been rough of late.

The best way that I could show I was listening was to actively participate in the conversation, but always keeping the focus on her. It’s so easy to want to relate our own experiences with a topic. But sometimes a person just needs to be heard. When using social media, oftentimes it’s feedback (or the much-bantered word “engagement”) that let’s us know anyone is even listening.

Here are some tips on how to demonstrate active listening in social media:

  • When someone needs to talk, let the conversation be about whatever it is they need to talk about.
  • In real life, eye contact and touch show that we’re engaged. Online, substitute a private message or directed contact to let the person know you are there, you are listening and you care.
  • Don’t steer the conversation to yourself. Instead, be genuinely interested in what the other person is saying.  If you can’t be genuinely interested, perhaps it’s not the right person to be deepening a relationship with.

These tips aren’t for every conversation you have online. But it’s important people know you care about more than the product or service you are selling, and that you’re a real human being capable of engaging, feeling and being authentic.

Online friendships can remain at a superficial level for a long time. But when we take the opportunity to deepen those connections, perhaps even bringing them offline, it’s amazing what can happen. What tips do you have for connecting with individuals in real and authentic ways?