BlogTalkRadio (www.blogtalkradio.com/viewsfromthetop): I host Views From the Top Mondays & Fridays at 9AM EST. BlogTalk Radio allows me to reach a global audience at all times with the live and podcast versions of my show. My show was recognized as a Top Heavy Hitter Show for Small Business in March 2010. I love the fact that people can listen live or on demand and can interact with me and my guests via phone or chat room. I can dial in from anywhere and I don’t need expensive radio broadcasting equipment. The shows are archived on the site and available on iTunes. It’s low cost and you have the freedom to create your own shows. The only dislike is the restrictions on advertising options.
Linked In (www.linkedin.com/in/adriennegraham): I started using LinkedIn back in 2004 to do recruiting. I love being able to research and connect with influential business leaders, subject matter experts and candidates. I also get to respond to questions and showcase my expertise. The downfalls of Linked In is there is no policing. For all of the rules they have, LinkeIn does not step in to regulate user generated content, so there is a lot of unnecessary spam. But it works for what I need.
Facebook (www.facebook.com/adrienne.graham): I use Facebook for personal and professional use. I like that I can differentiate between my business page (Fan Page) and personal. I use the Fan Page strictly for business. My personal page is blend of personal and professional. It allows people to get to know the real me and feel like they are invested in my business journey and it builds trust. I can share news about other people and give them a chance to resonate with my following. It also allows me to find out what people are thinking and what they’d like to see from my company. People are open to sharing comments and suggestions and I love that the two-way customer dialogue flows smoothly on the site. It’s really about building the relationships. My dislike is that everyone is using it and assuming that everyone is a potential customer. Spam runs rampant on Facebook and makes it harder for legitimate people to use it.
Twitter (www.twitter.com/talentdiva): I love using Twitter. It’s easy to get information, research what people are talking about, and share my knowledge. I do use it for marketing but also to promote others. I started TweetMeTuesdays a few months ago. I put out a call to recruiters and hiring managers each Tuesday asking them to send me their jobs so I can retweet them to my followers. The idea is to put people back to work. I do it for free. I also like that I can segment different lists when I want to follow certain conversations. And I can launch contests, request feedback, and start relevant conversations on business, networking and careers. My dislikes are the spammers and the fact that unless you understand how to use lists and hashtags, it seems like one big fast moving conversation that’s difficult to keep up with.
Cinchcast (www.cinchcast.com/adgraham): I use Cinchcast to send out short audio messages. It’s like an audio version of microblogging. When I have a message to put out but don’t want to dedicate an entire hour block on a show, I use Cinchcast. I love that it allows people to respond (either in text or audio). I don’t have any dislikes just yet.
Viadeo (www.viadeo.com/en/profile/adrienne.graham): I use Viadeo to connect with people outside of the United States. Because my businesses are global, it’s important that I have platforms to reach out to people around the world. Viadeo is a social networking site founded in France that focuses on being similar to Linked In but for the European and Asian continents. I love that I can connect with people abroad and learn about customs, business practices.
Xing (www.xing.com/profile/Adrienne_Graham): Xing is similar to Viadeo except that it originated in Germany. There are a lot of Eastern European and Middle Eastern users. Again, I love that I can reach out internationally and connect with people. My dislike is the groups are limited and I have to translate some of the messages at times.
The social media tools I use most are: Livestream: Great site to use for live video streaming (we’ll be launching next month after 3 months of testing); Miio.com: Newer social media site similar to Twitter; till experimenting with the site; DimDim: Interactive Webinar presentation;Skype: International and national calls and video conferencing; WordPress: Platform for my magazine and my blogs for my website;Ping.fm: Allows me to cross post on almost all of my social networks;Digg: Allows me to share links and stories;StumbleUpon: Also allows me to share links and stories; Bit.ly: For link shortening;Ning: I use for my private social networking forums, such as EmpowerMe.org (pictured); and iTunes: Able to have a back up archive of my radio shows (plus making the show available there gives it more credibility).
More info to help you use social media to achieve your business goals: