LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Livingston Technology Committee recently hosted a Social Media seminar, “Listen, Engage, and Build Relationships—Learn How to Make The Most of Social Media to Promote Yourself and Your Business.” Attendees learned how to build their social networks with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The event was led by Mike Ramer, a national trainer for the recruiting industry.

Ramer started off his presentation by asking the audience, “What is Your Story?” He indicated that we all have stories and that in today’s online world many of our stories are now readily available online via the information posted. Ramer said that people should look at themselves as a brand and really think about what and how they share information. He said it is important to make sure that the information shared is consistent in terms of the headshots and vanity URLs used over multiple social media platforms.

“The world is wide open and it can be confusing,” said Ramer. “We are in the third inning of a nine-inning game—the game is not over and we can still get on the bus and make it to the game.”

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Next, Ramer asked how many people in the audience had Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles and he asked who knew about hashtags. About one-third of the audience indicated they were familiar with all four.

“Why do we want to go on social media sites?” asked Ramer. “We do it to listen, engage and build relationships and the three Cs of social media are conversation, content and community.”

“The web has opened up the whole world,” said Ramer. “It is like an egg has been cracked and cannot be put back together—it is transformative. It is driving people crazy with all of the data available and people and companies are always trying to get their arms around it all.”

Ramer called on a few people in the audience to provide their names to be Googled. A few of the attendees were quite surprised to see how many listings there were with their names.

“The human race is changing and your life is now digital—your online presence will last way beyond you,” said Ramer.

“Even your definition of “friends” is changing,” said Ramer. “While I have 2200 “friends” on Facebook, I can count my real friends on my hand.”

The audience laughed.

Throughout his discussion, Ramer explained the differences between Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

“LinkedIn is like going to the office—it is a professional network where people are looking for jobs and sharing expertise; Facebook is like going home but it is changing as the business world is shifting there too; and Twitter is like going to a bar—there are a lot of 140 character micro blasts of communication going on there,” said Ramer.

He explained that a good way to engage people on social media is to ask questions and said that to get responses via email people should ask questions in the subject line.

Ramer also explained how to build up followers and engage people on the social media platforms.

“On Facebook, you need to “like” statuses and things people say and write comments to engage people,” said Ramer. “On LinkedIn, you need to give and get testimonials, join groups, participate in discussions and invite people you meet to connect, and on Twitter you need to write interesting things, and follow people because most of the time they will follow you back. The rule of thumb is that if you follow ten people on Twitter, three to five will follow you back. Imagine having 2,000 followers and the power you will have with each tweet running in each of their feeds.”

A member of the audience said, ‘It is like stalking and gives me a creepy feeling.”

“If you don’t like it you don’t have to participate,” said Ramer. “I am not here to sell you on social media—I am just showing you what you can do with it.”

“Who wants so many followers?” said another participant.

“There are filters for privacy,” said Ramer.

Another woman said, “I used to feel that way, but decided if I can’t stop people from following me—I will join them.”

The audience laughed.

The Livingston Technology Committee is currently seeking new members and monthly topic suggestions and speakers. For more information, send an email to: