Services

Handshake Media, Incorporated is a communications technology company offering public relations and mobile services to our business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients.

Public Relations Services
Our own social media business news channel and business network, Handshake 2.0, stars at the center of our online and social media public relations services. Our clients’ expertise is featured on Handshake 2.0 with new developments in entrepreneurship, best practices in business principles, business models, innovation, and the latest on company leaders and companies, from start-ups to moguls. Handshake 2.0 synthesizes the personal, the social, and the technological, adds the fundamental business risk reduction principle of “It’s who you know,” and shares our clients’ corporate messages in multiple, well-established social media channels and mobile applications, resulting in “word of Handshake” leads and referrals for our clients’ companies.  Read more.

Mobile Services
Handshake Media Mobile, a division of Handshake Media, Incorporated, offers corporate mobile products and mobile application development services. Read more and view our mobile portfolio.

Advertising Services
Handshake 2.0 is the it’s-what-you-know, it’s-who-you-know, gotta-know, gotta-be-seen online business network.  Get known and get seen by giving goodwill through Handshake’s unique offerings.  Read more.

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We invite you to join Our Clients.

Questions?  Contact us.

Real Handshake

Allen J. Fuller, III and Anne Giles Clelland
Allen J. Fuller, III, photographer, and Anne Giles Clelland, CEO of social media public relations agency Handshake Media, share a Handshake 1.0 at Art To Go at the YMCA at Virginia Tech.

Online business associates through Twitter, email and Facebook, this was the first time they had met in person.

What We Do to a Post on Handshake 2.0

What do we do with a post on Handshake 2.0 for our clients?  We make it a "handshake" and extend it far and wide.

The content of our clients' posts on Handshake 2.0 share insights, news and developments of interest and value to others about their companies, leaders, people, products and services.  A blog post provides strong strides for a company's social media footprint and increases a company's chances over a static web site for listing in search engine results.

So, here's what we do.  First we publish our client's great content in a blog post on Handshake 2.0.  We've used our own post on Foursquare for this example.  Here's a screenshot of the top half of the post on Handshake 2.0.

A warm handshake from a post on Handshake 2.0

We then publicize the post on Handshake 2.0's Facebook page.  In the right side of the above screenshot, you can see a mini-version of the post in a Facebook widget.  Here's what the post looks like on Facebook itself:

We share Handshake 2.0 posts on Facebook.

We next use bit.ly, the URL shortener, to create a Twitter-friendly length for the post's URL.  The URL for the post in this example is a whopping 66 characters. 

http://handshake20arc.wpengine.com/2010/04/mayor-of-handshake-20-headquarters.html 

Add to that our 11 character Twitter user name, handshake20, and we're left with only 63 characters in which to create "value added" content. In seeking business results with a Twitter update, every one of those 140 characters count.

Bit.ly shortened the long URL to this short form of 20 characters:  http://bit.ly/dknelI

That left us plenty of room to share the post with a Twitter "tweet":

We share Handshake 2.0 posts on Twitter.

Different people like to receive information in different ways – that's media fragmentation – so different potential customers, clients, partners, vendors, investors, you name it – "reside" in many places online.

In each of the social media venues we've covered - Handshake 2.0, Facebook, Twitter – Handshake 2.0 interacts with, and has relationships with, lots of different people.  Individuals in those groups, interested in the content we share, click on our links and share the content with their contacts. 

What we do to a post on Handshake 2.0 populates the top of the sales funnel by reaching an online handshake out to invite those online, wherever they are, to visit our clients' web sites.

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We invite you to use Handshake 2.0's specialty – a Warm Handshake - custom-designed and value-priced to invite your potential customers and clients to want to know more about your company by visiting your web site.  Please read more about a Handshake 2.0 Warm Handshake for your company.

Elements of a Call-to-ActionTweet

In the class I taught for the YMCA at Virginia Tech on how to use social media in business (Social Networking For Businesses: Tweaking and Tweeting the Social Media Marketing Mix), the question that came up over and over was how to use to Twitter to drive traffic (foot-traffic/people, not clicks) to events in specific locations.


As with other forms of direct marketing, there’s a formula for success. This Twitter update – termed a “tweet” – posted by @getolympus contains all the elements a “call-to-action” tweet requires.


Zkqcalltoactiontweet




Related Tweets posted by @getolympus helped to create more buzz and get more followers (highlights are mine):

Giving away two Olympus E-P1’s between now & 10/23/09, but you’ll need to follow @getolympus to know how to win! #ep1


Tell your friends! Giving away two Olympus E-P1’s between now & 10/23/09, but you’ll need to follow @getolympus to know how to win! #ep1


If u are in NYC this Thurs we’ll to be demoing the E-P1 & partying at the free #gdgtnyc launch party! Sign up here: http://tr.im/gdgtnyc

Twitter is free and easy enough to use that you can experiment with, and track, the number of tweets, style of wording, frequency of posts, and timing between posts to track which one or ones generate the best results. Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up with something worth tweeting about!


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Note from Handshake 2.0:  A Formula for Business Results Using Twitter (.pdf), a white paper from Handshake 2.0, may be of interest.


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Z. Kelly Queijo writes about business and technology, people and their passions.  She is a frequent contributor to Handshake 2.0. You’re invited to follow her on Twitter at @zkellyq.  As a blogger, she received an Olympus Stylus Tough 6000 on loan to test.


Graphic by  Z. Kelly Queijo

Social Media Sales Funnel

Media fragmentation scatters the marketplace like a bag of marbles spilled on a kitchen floor.  Target market groups disperse.  Some settle into niches, some skitter into unreachable places, and some continue to roll into the unknown.

In an age of media fragmentation, reaching target market “marbles” takes time.  In an age of social media, target market “marbles” have to be invited back into the bag.  That, too, takes time.

Time costs money.  To cut costs, how can companies automate the target market marble-collection process?

In some ways, the sales funnel automates it for us.

Parametric Social Media Sales Funnel Created Using Wolfram's Mathematica

According to the sales funnel theory, while many prospects may fill the large opening at the top of the funnel of the conversion-to-sales process, only a few reach the narrow opening at the end of the process and become customers by buying a product or service.

When I go to a business networking meeting, let’s say with 100 people present, I may be able to shake hands with 10.  If my handshake-to-conversion ratio is 10 to 1, from that business meeting, I may get one new client.  The sales funnel allows only the few to emerge from the many.

According to Wikipedia, a quarter of the world’s population has Internet access.  A quarter of 6 billion people is 1.5 billion people.

When I add a post to a blog, or an update to Twitter, or a video to YouTube – offer new information online in some way – I reach out a virtual handshake to a potential 1.5 billion people.  With a 10 to 1 handshake-to-conversion ratio, I may get 150 million new clients.

Offline, I may meet 100, but online I may meet 150 million, simply by offering new and useful information?

Dozens of factors limit this simple metaphor and simplistic example and make the numbers inaccurate.

But the concept is sound.  Offline I connect with the few and online I connect with the many? 

That’s a lot of marbles entering the sales funnel.

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Parametric Social Media Sales Funnel image created using Wolfram's Mathematica by Alex Edelman.  If you're interested, here's a high-resolution .pdf of the Mathematica Notebook.

Shaking Hands with Media Fragmentation

In our post, Media Fragmentation – What's a Company To Do?, we posed a version of this question:

In an age of media fragmentation, when the marketplace no longer congregates conveniently in the Roman Forum or in front of a broadcast television show to receive the information we want it to have about our company's products and services, but, instead, travels to distant "lands" both online and off, whenever and wherever it wants,  how do we let our potential customers know about what we're offering in case they might want to buy it?

We offered this answer:

Be everywhere.

Be everywhere?

Can a company really "Be everywhere" consistently and effectively? if we're talking about high-impact companies – small companies with extraordinary revenue growth plus expanding employment – possibly.  For start-ups or small companies on the way to high-impact status?  Probably not.

And yet…

We can offer a one-year case study on a start-up company's efforts to address media fragmentation and "Be everywhere" – or as close as it could get – to reach its target market.

The case study subject?  Handshake 2.0.

This site launched in July, 2008.  As a business news and public relations site, it serves as an information distribution channel for the clients of its founding company, Handshake Media, Incorporated, and an information source for its audience.  (Handshake 2.0 could be added as #31 on Ken Ray's list of 30 consumers' choices for media.)

From a theater full of empty seats, the site now has an audience of thousands

How did we do that?  Where we "everywhere"?  No.  But when a fundamental business principle is "It's who you know," and a fundamental online business principle is "It's still who you know," we did our best to be as many places as possible, reaching out a handshake of greeting to those who might want to know us and to whom we wanted to know.

Here's where we extend a handshake from Handshake 2.0.

Blogs

Handshake 2.0
Anne Giles Clelland's founder's/CEO blog

Social Media / Digital Media

Handshake 2.0 on Facebook
Handshake 2.0 on Twitter
Handshake 2.0 on TwitPic
Handshake 2.0 on FriendFeed
Handshake 2.0 on YouTube
Handshake 2.0 on SlideShare
Handshake 2.0's RSS feed subscription
Handshake 2.0's AddThis link

Print

Founder Anne Giles Clelland writes a monthly workplace advice column, "Getting a Grip," for the business news publication Valley Business FRONT.  After the column appears in print, it's posted on Handshake 2.0.

Distribution Services

We used the online news and press release distribution service PRWeb for Business News and Public Relations Site Handshake 2.0 Turns 1.0, 7/23/09, and Rackspace Tech Showcase to be featured on Handshake 2.0, 7/23/09.

Sponsorships

Handshake 2.0 is a sponsor of client VT KnowledgeWorks and an organizer and sponsor of the New River Valley Triathlon.  Our logo appears on those sites, and our brand name appears with links in electronic publications and print publications.

Media Fragmentation – What’s a Company to Do?

When I was growing up in Blacksburg, Virginia in the 1970s, all a company had to do to reach the entire market of the town’s 10,000 residents was put an ad in the Blacksburg High School football program and a radio spot on WJJJ.  If we weren’t at the game, we were listening to it.

I first heard the term "media fragmentation" from Ken Ray of AT&T.  During his Entrepreneurial Summit address - Optimizing Customer Acquisition in a World of Media Fragmentation (.pdf) - Ray presented this slide.

 Ken Ray on Optimizing Customer Acquisition in a World of Media Fragmentation

According to Ray, the market of potential customers and clients had 6 information channels from which to gain information about a company's product or service in 1966.  By 2006, that number had increased by 500% to 30 channels.

In a comScore product release, Dr. Magid Abraham, President and CEO of comScore, neatly defines the "increasingly complex digital media landscape" and its context:  "The past few years have seen the rise of global Internet markets, the emergence of new distribution platforms, and a substantial increase in media fragmentation and niche audiences."

In an "increasingly complex digital media landscape," what's a company to do to reach potential customers when, instead of being in a few places – at the game or listening to it – they're everywhere?

Be everywhere.

Be everywhere?

Handshake 2.0 Turns 1.0 Today!

Fireworks photographs by Z. Kelly Queijo

For one year of joy and excitement – from our launch on July 28, 2008, to today, July 28, 2009 – Handshake 2.0 gives grateful thanks to its clients, visitors, partners, supporters, advisors, writers, interns, commenters…O, the number of people who helped create something from nothing!  In the world of "It's still who you know," we are so glad to know you!  Thank you, thank you!

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"I'm thrilled to be able to say 'Happy 1st Birthday' to Handshake 2.0!  What a novel concept – a business that takes the time to focus and extol the value of other local businesses in the New River Valley!  Everyone at Handshake 2.0 is focused night and day on that one central idea, and everyone in the New River Valley – not just the business community – is better for it.  A very enthusiastic high-five to the Handshake folks, and best wishes for many more to come!"
Jeremy Hart, Coldwell Banker, Townside, NRVLiving.com

"I've been working with Handshake 2.0 for about five months.  I've know Anne Clelland for much longer and admired her drive and enthusiasm, but I did not relate what she did with social media and public relations to my business.  Later, over lunch one day we discussed my business and she offered, 'Let's just try HandShake 2.0 for a month or two for your business.' I'm glad I did.  I've made contacts in my industry I would not have made, there is more 'churn' in the market relative to our service, and our website traffic is up 14%.  Thanks H20!"
Barry Welch, Internet Databases, FurnishWEB

"Handshake 2.0 has been like a partner to 88Owls and a lot of the PR we have received has been largely due to their passion for helping companies, their knowledge of social media, and their exceptional writing skill.  Handshake 2.0 is a stand out."
Allan Tsang, 88Owls

"Where do I go to stay up-to-date on local and regional news? Handshake 2.0, of course! Congratulations on a truly successful year, Anne. I know I speak on behalf of many when I say you have branded Handshake 2.0 as THE GO-TO website showcasing the successes, talent and news of the region."
Lindsey Eversole, VT KnowledgeWorks

"I do enjoy Handshake and promote the site to folks throughout the region as the place to go for the latest in technology blogs.  You are a welcome dynamo in our area."
Sam English, CIE Partners

"Depending one whose statistics you look at, between 20% and 90% of businesses fail in the first year.  Wherever the actual number is, there’s no denying it is tough to survive the first year, and Handshake 2.0’s passing this mark is a testament to both the relevance of its content and the vision and persistence of its founder. The need for a thoughtful Web 2.0 presence is of growing importance in today’s marketplace, as customers and users demand more interaction and updated, useful information.  While helping its customers navigate this new world, Handshake 2.0 also manages to capture a timeless truth – that even in the Web 2.0 environment, it is the relationship that is of ultimate importance.  This is where Handshake 2.0 excels, and why it has succeeded."
Ken Maready, Venture Counsel

"If not for Handshake2.0, I would never have met Tyson Daniel of LimbGear!"
Wade Hammes, FITnoke, fiveFORTY Marketing and Design Group

"Congratulations on year one. You’re certainly a mover and 'shaker.'"
Tom FieldValley Business FRONT

"Anne's vision – every business blogs – has the potential to transform our community by creating a sticky online presence, while reinforcing the offline image of our area being the most wired small community in the U.S. Her site is an example of a hybrid media company equivalent to a local version of TechCrunch.com, a Chamber of Commerce, and the newspaper. She is our region's technology reporter and Handshake 2.0 is the community where it all comes together.”
Stuart Mease, host of Connecting People in the RNR, the Handshake 2.0 video series

"In only a year, Handshake 2.0 has established itself as a first-class blog, ranked in the top 0.3% of blogs tracked by Technorati. In addition, Anne Clelland is now the acknowledged regional expert on social media. Very few start-ups achieve that level of market success in their first year."
Jim Flowers, VT KnowledgeWorks

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Photo credit: Z. Kelly Queijo. Camera:  Olympus Stylus Tough 6000 on loan to blogger Z. Kelly Queijo

Drink Up – The Morning After Blogchat with Amy Africa

Coffee is needed the morning after a BlogChat on Twitter. It's the morning after my first #blogchat on Twitter where over 120 people engaged in a dialogue with more than 1000 tweets on the topic of how to increase leads and sales through your blog. The 2.5 hour Twitter event was hosted by social media strategist, Mack Collier, and featured Amy Africa, head of Eight by Eight, a highly successful ecommerce marketing solutions consulting firm.

As with any late night party, coffee is a must on the morning after. Having learned last night that a site needs variety in delivery, the take-aways I'm serving come in several flavors:

The Espresso – a quick shot to get you going: Location-Location-Location. Ask-Ask-Ask. Where your “call to action” message lives on your site/blog is critical and needs to live in at least three places, so you can make the call multiple times.

The Morning Cup – tasty, necessary, but not too filling. Eleven take-aways. Just the right amount to get the day started.

  1. Average users makes all their decisions based on the first screen (not page) they see.
  2. Users see things in pictures, not in text. You need visuals on your blog.
  3. After the second page, the user will only look down the middle column (on a 3-column layout).
  4. When you look at getting action on a blog, think BUTTONS, not just links. Buttons are graphical. Links are not.
  5. Short surveys and polls are an excellent tool for bloggers. Do them often to see if your audience is changing.
  6. Blogs should have a clear way to e-mail you and NOT just a form. If you use a form only, you will lose 1/4 of the people.
  7. Navigation accounts for over half the success of any blog (more so on ecommerce sites). "You get what I give you."
  8. I hate pop-ups. I hate video. I hate noisy sites and I use all of them. Why? Because I am not my customer.
  9. We look to the left when we need help. We look to the right when we are going to leave. Puts things in perspective.
  10. The more they stay, the more they pay. How are you going to get them to stay longer?
  11. Make sure the stuff that's important has graphics. A newsletter sign-up with a visual gets 8x+ sign-ups.

And for the Lovers of Latte Grandes – the full transcript. Click here now (see I learned something, too)!

Z. Kelly Queijo writes about business and technology, people and their passions.  She is a frequent contributor to Handshake 2.0.  Follow her on Twitter, @zkellyq.

Olympus Clicks with Social Media and Me

From Z. Kelly Queijo:

I am a social media experiment.

Aren't we all?  Once we engage in social media – create an account on Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, or Twitter and open ourselves to communication exchange – we have crossed the threshold into the realm of the social and public datasphere where what we post has the potential to be read, shared, and commented on by anyone who discovers us.

I was recently discovered by the Olympus PR team.  It's kind of scary and yet exciting to find out that I, a blogger in Blacksburg, Virginia, wrote something that caught the eye of someone representing a power-house company like Olympus.

What triggered their response? My blog post, Market to Me, Mother of Kids which I wrote as a reaction to the photographs used on the Olympus web page to promote the Stylus Tough Camera.

While I was greatly impressed that Olympus had made a camera that was shockproof, waterproof, and freezeproof, the image of a guy climbing a glacier was not an image to which I could relate. As a mom who often is witness to the torture kids can inflict on cameras, cellphones and iPods, I felt a more realistic, my-world kind of imagery would make me more likely to want to buy.

Turns out Olympus was of the same mindset and, in one of those unplanned, the planets-must-be aligned-moments in life, the day I wrote my post was also the day the PR team released the first episode of a 10-segment video series for the Stylus Tough. Their rep contacted me by email and sent the link to the video. I watched it, then I wrote about it, and I continued to write my own take on how these videos relate to my life as a mom.

Once the social media door is open, how far in we go is up to us.  I opted to continue to engage, and a dialogue and interview with an Olympus Visionary ensued, as did the promise of a loaner Stylus Tough to test myself. So, stay tuned. This journey is not over. I've just crossed the threshold.

Z. Kelly Queijo writes about business and technology, people and their passions.  She is a frequent contributor to Handshake 2.0. You can follow her on Twitter, @zkellyq.