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Neal Schaffer

The founder and editor-in-chief of Windmill Networking, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professionals strategically leverage the business potential of social media. A Forbes Top 30 Social Media Power Influencer and creator of the AdAge Top 100 Global Marketing Blog Windmill Networking, Neal is a popular social media conference speaker who is also known for his two award-winning and critically acclaimed social media books: ”Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing” and “Windmill Networking: Maximizing LinkedIn.” As a leading social media strategist, Neal has created social media strategies and coached implementation for companies ranging from a Fortune 50 software company to a Grammy-award winning musician with one million social media fans. Neal on Google+


Neal Schaffer's Posts

Social Media for IT Professionals: 7 Trends to Follow

Social Media for IT Professionals: 7 Trends to Follow

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of CDW. All opinions are 100% mine. Recently I had a chance to present on social media for IT professionals at the 2012 SOTEC conference. I made the point that, with the advent of social business, every internal department deserves a “seat at the table,” and it would be the responsibility of IT executives to make decisions that could determine the fate of their company’s social media implementation. To help those in attendance, and based on my social media consulting experience, I presented on the following seven trends that are …

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Social Media Marketing for Medical Practices

Doctors using Google Plus Hangouts? It could happen sooner than you think!

  This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the medical websites provider Officite. All opinions are 100% mine. One of my good friends is a family doctor who owns a medical practice. One day she had an “aha!” moment: One of her new clients found her on Yelp. My own doctor is now slowly venturing cautiously into Facebook, and do a search on Twitter for dentists or search Google Plus for family practices and you might be surprised as to what extent medical practices are beginning to embrace social media marketing. We all know that the Internet has …

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REAL Content Marketers have an iPhone App – So Here’s How to Create One!

REAL Content Marketers have an iPhone App – So Here’s How to Create One!

  When it comes to content marketing tools, iPhone Apps don’t often rank highly on the list. Most content marketers would consider blogs, white papers or videos as the biggest items in their content marketing toolbox. But when you look at the modern landscape of online users and potential prospects, the impact of mobile devices is hard to ignore. So many people are using iPhones and other smartphone devices to find information. Shouldn’t you be providing mobile app content to meet their needs? Consider this food for thought. 82% of U.S. adults are active cell phone users, and 42 percent …

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Guy Kawasaki and 10 Experts Chime in on the Value of Google Plus – and How You Can Start to Leverage It

Guy Kawasaki and 10 Experts Chime in on the Value of Google Plus – and How You Can Start to Leverage It

  To look at Google Plus today is to look at the Twitter of yesteryear – and that is where our journey begins to understand the value of G+ – and how you can start to leverage it for your business or yourself. I remember joining Twitter in late 2008 and entering a community of acronyms that I didn’t understand and an atmosphere that, to be honest with you, seemed a little intimidating at the time.  I didn’t see its immediate value and ended up unplugging from the platform for a few months.  In fact, most professionals that I met …

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Being Negative in Social Media is Plain Old Bad Social Business

You are in complete control if you want to be positive - or negative - in social media.

  I may have a different perspective on the importance of positive sentiment analysis because I’ve often been called “the ultimate positivist” by my friends and family.  I’m the type of person who will try to find something positive, no matter how small it might be, out of a negative situation.  I tend to believe that this has helped contribute to my having mostly positive engagement with the tens of thousands of business people I have engaged with over the last few years whether through social media conversations or social media speaking.  The purpose of this post is now to …

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6 Good Reasons to Upgrade to HootSuite Pro

Six good reasons to upgrade to HootSuite Pro. At $9.99 a month and a risk-free 30-day trial, what have you got to lose?

For many professional social media users, social media dashboards are a personal matter. Sometimes we have no choice and we use whatever dashboard our company has invested in for our business, but sometimes we might use something else for our “private” use. For more and more enterprises implementing standard dashboards, this is sometimes becoming a social media monitoring with added engagement solution such as Radian6 and Sysomos or a “true” dashboard product built for engagement such as Vitrue or Argyle Social. But as I mentioned in my Top Twitter Clients post, HootSuite is currently the social media dashboard used most …

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6 Social Media Community Management Tips from a Digital Marketer Turned Community Manager [Interview]

Tanya McTavish, digital marketer turned social media community manager, shares her social media community management tips.

This is the second in a series of interviews (read the first one here) with community managers who are responsible for the execution of social media within their company. What can other community managers, those who want to become community managers, as well as social media professionals learn from their experiences? If you are a social media community manager and would like to be interviewed for this blog, please contact Neal. Community managers have become one of the most important resources a brand can use to market online. With a focus on connection, brand advocacy and social media response, a community …

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Social Media Community Management Advice from Shakey’s Pizza [Interview]

Angelique Toschi, Consumer Engagement Specialist, Shakey's USA, Inc.

Social media community manager’s are a rare breed of individual, fulfilling a role that simply didn’t exist until recently and, at many companies, may not have their roles and responsibilities firmly defined. This is the first in a series of interviews I plan to have with community managers who are responsible for the execution of social media within their company. What can other community managers, those who want to become community managers, as well as social media professionals learn from their experiences? If you are a social media community manager and would like to be interviewed for this blog, please …

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13 Experts Chime In on Klout’s New Algorithm to Determine Social Influence

Does Klout's latest changes to their scoring algorithm raise the art of influencer marketing to a new science?

Social influence matters to businesses. After all, the promise of influencer marketing that engaging with those who have “influence” in social media can help to more effectively sell more products or quickly gain significantly more brand awareness is the holy grail that any business would want to chase.  As more users join and spend more time on the various social media websites, and as more companies ramp up their social media marketing budgets, we can only assume that social media influencer outreach campaigns will increase. That’s why whenever the most famous of the platforms measuring social media influence, Klout, announce …

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Six Reasons Why WordPress Bloggers Should Switch to WP Engine Website Hosting

Six Reasons Why WordPress Bloggers Should Switch to WP Engine Website Hosting

After reading the title of this blog post, you correctly assumed that this blog and website is hosted using WP Engine (WPE). After going through four different website hosting services, Windmill Networking made a strategic switch to WPE – and we haven’t looked back! I wouldn’t want to recommend a service as vital as website hosting without having some experience under my belt – as well as reasons to provide you – so now that it has been six months since the switch, it’s the right time to report back to you all on my experiences. If you’ve ever had …

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10 Tips on How To Create High Quality Content for Blogs, Newsletters, and Other Content Marketing Initiatives

10 Tips on How To Create High Quality Content for Blogs, Newsletters, and Other Content Marketing Initiatives

Content marketing is more important than ever, and some would argue that it’s the most efficient way to boost your SEO these days. Content is also an excellent engagement vehicle.  Furthermore, creating good content for your website, blog, and newsletter is key if you want to continue to attract customers to your digital assets. How so? It’s because if you have something worth reading, it’s worth spreading and your readers and customers will be the ones bringing people to your site. Plus, amazing content makes your site more valuable to them and they’ll return to it time and again – …

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LinkedIn Group Moderation Rules: 5 Steps to Managing a Successful Community!

LinkedIn Group Moderation Rules: 5 Steps to Managing a Successful Community!

I always say that LinkedIn Groups are the biggest public forums for professionals on the Internet, because they are! Where else can you find more than one million groups, with the largest one “Job Openings, Job Leads, and Job Connections!” having more than 900,000 members! The potential for professional networking – and developing business – is unique when compared to other social media sites. Why LinkedIn Groups Require Moderation It didn’t take long for Internet Marketers, Affiliate Marketers, and others to figure this out, and over the past year many a LinkedIn Group has been bombarded by a combination of …

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What is the Sentiment Analysis of YOUR Social Media Presence?

What is the Sentiment Analysis of YOUR Social Media Presence?

As social media marketers, we are always interested in comparing the sentiment analysis of brands that we represent – and potentially using that as one metric to track the success of our social media programs.  Unfortunately, that is only one part of the picture into how we are viewing your brand. Every employee that has your company name in their Twitter bio is part of how we view your company. Every employee that shares status updates on LinkedIn can be found using LinkedIn Signal. Every employee that has a blog in which your company name appears can be seen as …

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Who are the Top 15 Thought Leaders in Social Media Today?

Who are the Top 15 Thought Leaders in Social Media Today?

Wikipedia defines a thought leader as …an entity that is recognized by peers for having innovative ideas. Thought leaders often publish articles and blog posts on trends and topics influencing an industry. I often get asked who are the true “thought leaders” in social media. In a world of voluminous tweets and blog posts, with many contributors simply compiling lists of other’s content or rehashing of other’s ideas, it really is hard to decipher who are those that are not only recognized by their peers but also have “innovative” ideas with regards to various aspects of social media. An interesting …

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Case Study: Why Every B2B Business Development Executive Should Blog [INTERVIEW]

Case Study: Why Every B2B Business Development Executive Should Blog [INTERVIEW]

In my work consulting, coaching, and speaking to various organizations on how to leverage social media for their business objectives, I sometimes come across some that I feel can be role models in terms of how they utilize social media for their company. The below interview is with one such individual, Abhishek Mittal (@mumblr on Twitter), who is a B2B business development executive with the thought-leading global professional services company Towers Watson. He has become an “influencer” within his industry due to his savvy use of social media, and this had led to him being able to develop business from …

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4 Ways Of Obtaining Thought Leadership on LinkedIn

4 Ways Of Obtaining Thought Leadership on LinkedIn

Successful Social Media Marketing requires being where your audience is, frequenting appropriate social media channels such as LinkedIn, and engaging with platform users.  These strategies give businesses and professionals the opportunity to gain the mindshare of potential clients if used correctly.  Becoming the top-of-mind service provider for prospective customers makes your business the natural place to turn to when they need your particular product or service.  Without a doubt, the current trend of spending more time online, particularly on social media websites, is partially the cause.  Instead of viewing this as a loss of market share, savvy companies are turning …

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Search or Social: Which Is Best For Your Startup?

Search or Social: Which Is Best For Your Startup?

With the rise of social media marketing, everybody is eager to jump on the bandwagon.   This doesn’t come as a surprise, as there are about 900 million active users of Facebook, and that’s not counting the users on other social networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, and Pinterest.  But although a lot of the conversation is on social networks, is it really the only answer to marketing your business?  We’ve seen how established brands tapped social media after working with traditional advertising for so long, but how effective is this for a startup? Enter search engine marketing (SEM).  With …

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Social Media Marketers: Are You Getting Social Media Wrong?

Social Media Marketers: Are You Getting Social Media Wrong?

I just came back from an amazing week in London, presenting at the iStrategy Social Media and Digital Conference and having a chance to listen to as well as meet some of the most innovative minds in social media, including Brian Solis, Alex Hultgren of Ford, and Alexander Koppel of Red Bull Media.  The net-net is that I believe many in social media marketing are getting too caught up in the “ROI of social media” and a short-sighted view of social, forgetting about the much bigger issues at hand. I’ve already blogged about how I see social media as an activity that …

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Why BranchOut, the LinkedIn of Facebook, Deserves Your Professional Attention

Allison Hillman, Community Manager for BranchOut

We are all acquiring a virtual portfolio of social media websites where we have our profiles displayed and are using for a variety of purposes.  While we tend to use LinkedIn for professional networking, most professionals I meet use Facebook in a very private way.  In my recent book Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing, I argued that it’s time for us all to create our “Public Persona,” and in doing so we can utilize LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter the exact same.  Unfortunately, while Facebook has 900+ million users and would be ideal to use to complement LinkedIn …

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5 Creative Ideas to Spark New Engagement in Facebook Timeline for Fan Pages

5 Creative Ideas to Spark New Engagement in Facebook Timeline for Fan Pages

With Facebook’s recent implementation of Timeline for Pages, we are quickly reminded that we have no control over what direction Facebook might take with their platform. Regardless if you are a fan or not of Facebook, however, there is still no better way to reach out and engage with both present and potential consumers in social media than through a robust Facebook Page. The problem is: Are you truly maximizing your Facebook presence to reach your marketing objectives? Many businesses that I meet are not. Maximizing your business presence on Facebook begins with truly maximizing all of the functionality that …

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