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.

Social Media Public Relations

Handshake specializes in social media public relations, not in social media marketing for social media sales, because the latter use of social media remains unproven as a research-based way to achieve results. 

Social media public relations can create word-of-mouth buzz Research shows that traditional marketing can result in sales, although less so in an age of media fragmentation and in today’s economy.  In contrast, the challenge with social media marketing is that the only results of its effectiveness with regard to generating sales are anecdotal.  Just this month, David Cooperstein, a senior advisor with Forrester, probably the top marketing research firm, said as much:  “So how can we move beyond the abundant proof that social media impacts buzz to proof that social media positively affects revenue?”

I define marketing as attempting to communicate with a specific customer segment in hopes of generating sales, and public relations as offering information broadly to a wide audience in hopes of engaging interest, memory, and mentions to others.

Whether using an offline strategy through traditional means such as hosting a networking mixer, or an online strategy through updating a corporate Facebook page, PR’s purpose is the same:  awareness.  If people are aware of you, they can buy from you.  If they’ve never heard of you, they can’t because they don’t even know you exist.  Awareness can result in word-of-mouth referrals from people who know you to people who don’t.  Is PR buzz correlated positvely with sales? Yes. Does a direct one-to-one-correspondence exist between being known through PR and sales?  No. And that's also not one of PR's claims.

For businesses, I don't see social media as A Good Thing. I'm not a social media evangelist.  I’m not a fan of social media any more than I’m a fan of a hammer.  It has no ethical or moral value.  It’s a tool that works well for certain tasks. 

Handshake is in the “abundant proof that social media impacts buzz” business – social media PR.  While big corporations and big marketing research firms with big budgets are in the process of collecting data about the relationship between social media and sales, we’re doing what social media is really good at – generating buzz and awareness for our clients through social media public relations.

Tired of Cold Calls?

Tired of cold calls? Try a Warm Handshake from Handshake 2.0.

Warm Handshake is a post on Handshake 2.0. And here's what we do to a post on Handshake 2.0.

Handshake 2.0 specializes in social media public relations and marketing. Please see our services and feel free to 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.

Social Media Works to Resurrect Static, Legacy Sites from Internet Obscurity

When people type search terms into search engines, 68% click a search result within the first page of results (iProspect).  That means for 32% of search engine users, results on other pages essentially don't exist.

Google is the top of the top 5 search engines and receives several hundred million search queries each day.

First page matters.  Especially with Google.

For high placement in organic Google search results for single words describing a company's product or service, competition is stiff.  However, to still achieve business results, related terms or phrases will do.

Appearing on the first page of search results for "widget" would be ideal.  "Widget parts" will do.  A person in search of the products or services a company offers can still find them.  And as Brian Clark points out, that's what search engines are for: "quality search results for people."

At the end of our post, A Google Real-Time Search Story – LeBron James Had a Parotidectomy, Too, we highlighted its purpose:  To use social media to bring traffic to a static, legacy, hard-to-find site of high value.  The site was created in 2003 and last updated in 2008: Poked and Parotid – Journal of My Parotid Tumor

We were going for first page results for "parotidectomy." "Parotidectomy scar" would do.

(We very much appreciate Andy Little for allowing us to use his site for this example. No pun intended, but no company had to lose face by us using its party-like-its-1999 site instead.)

A Google Real-Time Search Story was posted on February 11, 2010, 5:30 AM EST. 

A Google search using the term "parotidectomy" shows a link to our post is not on the first page of results, nor is the site we value.  We perused the next two pages since, according to iProspect, "92% of search engine users click a result within the first three pages of search results." Nada.

Conclusion:

One blog post, publicized through Twitter and Facebook, didn't crack the nut of first page search results for our top desired term.

For "parotidectomy scar," the site we value is not in the results on page one, two or three.  Our post – which links to the valued site – was at the top of page two on February 14, 2010, 7:00 AM EST.

Google search results for "parotidectomy scar"
Conclusions:

  • People who want to know what parotid surgery is really like and how bad – or good – that paroditectomy scar will be, will have an easier time finding the site we found provides the best answers to those questions.  "Widget parts," rather than "widgets," will do.
  • We would need to write a 10-page white paper on the SEO heart, mind and knowledge that went into creating the first post, and another one on the social media strategy that went into sharing it.
  • That said, companies who use search engines for business results are vendors to Google.  We can spread our peddler's cloths arranged with SEO ware we consider of high value – web site, blog post, Twitter tweet – but Google chooses based on what it values. And according to Google, that's this:  "The perfect search engine," says [Google] co-founder Larry Page, "would understand exactly what you mean and give back exactly what you want."
  • Google offers an overview of how it determines value.  Google doesn't say, "If you do this, you will be on page one."
  • Google asks of us:  "Create a useful, information-rich site…  Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines."
  • High-quality social media, used even minimally and briefly, can help resurrect a static, legacy, hard-to-find site from Internet obscurity.

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Without Andy Little's initiative to write a blog in 2003, and his permission in 2010 to use his site for a case study, this demonstration of how individuals, organizations, and companies can use social media to share their information, ideas, expertise - even kindness – with the world would not have been possible.  Both professionaly and personally, I extend to him my heartfelt thanks.

We’re a Company on a Mission and We’re Doing What It Takes – Twitter Lists Included

"The mission of a manufacturer is to overcome poverty by producing an abundant supply of goods… The mission of a manufacturer is to create material abundance by providing goods as plentiful and inexpensive as tap water. This is how we can banish poverty, bring happiness to people's lives and make this world into a paradise."

– Matsushita Konosuke announcing in 1932 a 250-year plan to implement his vision for the company that would become Panasonic

According to eMarketer, "Marketers must connect business goals to social media objectives."

What would Matsushita Konosuke's social media objectives and strategy have been given his business goals?

A company with a vision may need a Twitter List In Making the List – Branding on Twitter, Z. Kelly Queijo quotes Ryan Paugh, Co-Founder and Director of Community, Brazen Careerist, Inc.:  “Twitter Lists are a great way to bring like-minded people together. If a brand wants to create a community around their product then a Twitter List is a great way to help make that happen.”

We're a company on a mission. We've got business goals, a brand and a product, and a vision for community. If a Twitter List can make things happen – our #1 social media objective - then we're making Twitter Lists. 

Handshake 2.0 isn't exactly a product, but it's an enterprise of Handshake Media, Incorporated, part of whose vision is the creation of affluent communities through regional economic development.  Our current contribution to that development is social media public relations and marketing initiatives.  We've specified how we think a regional social media economic deveopment initiative would look and work.

We've got a pretty simple logic to our vision.  The better companies do and the better individuals in those companies do, the more people they can hire.  Handshake 2.0 showcases companies, and people in companies, to help them do very well.

We've started "collecting" the like-minded – the corporate leadership – in our region in Twitter Lists.  We're tossing our stone into the tap water pool beginning in Blacksburg, Virginia and the surrounding New River Valley of Virginia.  The "where" doesn't matter, however. Any region, industry, organization or collaborative could do the same or for other purposes. Let the ripples begin!

Our Twitter List logic is simple, too.  People do business with people they know.  Our Handshake 2.0 Twitter Lists introduce the members of the corporate leadership on Twitter in one locale to each other.  The existence of the List is an opportunity to introduce this leadership to others on Twitter.  We know each other a bit better than before. 

Let's do business.

Let's work on that mission.

Handshake 2.0's Twitter List of Company Founders

Handshake 2.0's Twitter List of Business, Company, and Corporate Executives

Are you on our lists?  If you're not, please let us know to add you!  Please DM us at Handshake 2.0 on Twitter.

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Graphic: Z. Kelly Queijo

Size Matters – Your Social Media Footprint

Size matters. How big is yours - your social media footprint? Here on Handshake 2.0, the topic of enhancing a social media footprint as a means of getting found on the Web has been addressed many times. Authors of these posts have encouraged readers to Google themselves to find out how they rank in search results both as individuals and as the businesses they represent.

Engaging in blogging, using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedInand other social media tools have been recommended as strategic moves to increase prominence on the Web. While all of this has been solid advice for any Web marketing and/or social media strategy, the relevance increased significantly when, in December 2009, Google announced it was changing its traditional search methodology to include real-time search. Search engines Bing and Yahooquickly followed Google's lead.

Now, it's not just a company's web site that gets indexed by search engines.  Updates to Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Facebook Fan pages are indexed immediately after they are posted. And, according to an article by Adam Ostrow on Mashable, real-time search also works on some mobile devices.

Activity in social networks not only increases a company's Web presence, it now impacts how Google ranks an individual or a company in search results. Size matters – businesses and individuals with the bigger social media footprint are more likely to be discovered on the Web.

If you've been putting off starting a corporate blog, using Twitter or making a video and posting it to YouTube, maybe now is the time to do so.

How competitive are you? Would knowing a competitor appears in the top level of search results ahead of you because they use Twitter or have a YouTube channel be reason enough to enlarge your social media footprint?

From Handshake 2.0:  Creating corporate social media channels and keeping them updated with high quality content got even more mission-critical when Google announced its new search index Caffeine on 6/8/10: "Searchers want to find the latest relevant content and publishers expect to be found the instant they publish."

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Z. Kelly Queijo is the founder of SmartCollegeVisit and a frequent contributor to Handshake 2.0. You're invited to follow SmartCollegeVisit on Twitter, @collegevisit.

Should My Company Use Online Video Marketing in 2010?

Our customers are online watching videos.  And videos are coming up in their search results.  If they type in search terms related to our company's products and services, does our company show up in the list?  Do our competitors' companies?  Uh-oh…

"U.S. users streamed 41 percent more video content in August 2009 than they did during the same period in 2008, according to data from ComScore."
– ClickZ, U.S. Online Video Consumption Grows Considerably Year-over-Year

"Online video reached another all-time high in August [2009] with more than 25 billion videos viewed during the month, with Google Sites accounting for more than 10 billion."
– comScore, Google Sites Surpasses 10 Billion Video Views in August

"More than 167 million viewers watched an average of 167 videos per viewer during the month of October [2009]."
– comScore, Hulu Delivers Record 856 Million U.S. Video Views in October During Height of Fall TV Season

"In fact, YouTube not only had 50% more searches than Yahoo web search (3.918B vs 2.629B) and 180% more searches than Bing (3.918B vs 1.399B), but the number of searches at the online video giant made up almost 28% (27.95) of the total searches on Google sites for Dec. 2009… 23% of YouTube’s total visits for December (130.3Million according to compete.com) originated from Google search…"
– ReelSEO, YouTube Search Accounts for Nearly 28% of all Google Searches

"More marketers will increasingly embrace online video advertising, supported by the twin boom of video streams and video ad networks."
– eMarketer, 2010 Predictions Roundup

"…video marketing is poised for a huge year in 2010. The reason is clear: video simply engages people in a way that static text and images cannot. There are dozens of studies that show the power of video to boost customer interaction, drive sales, encourage viral sharing, and build brand awareness."
– Patrick Moran, Mashable, 5 Tips for Using Video to Grow Your Business in 2010

Whether we're ready as companies for online video or not, our customers are.

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Added 6/6/2010: From Mashable: Online Video Will Push Internet Traffic to Quadruple by 2014.

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Handshake 2.0 offers a social media video production and publicity package that covers all the bases.  We help you create your videos, put them on YouTube so they're search-friendly, then publicize them on Handshake 2.0, Facebook and Twitter.  The videos are yours to use on your site, on your blog, or wherever you'd like for best business results.  Feel free to read more.

We're walking the talk, too.  We made The Handshake Video and I keep making videos, on bad hair days and good ones, to continue to share our online passion for what we're doing online.  Here's what we're passionate about.

Living Online with Your Target Audience

Are you a business owner wanting to target a specific audience? Whether your business is local or global, social media tools can help build strong connections to your target demographic once you know where they live – online, that is.

Based on the number of registered users, the Nielson Company reports the top 10 social media sites (in millions) are:

Top Online Member Communities, 6/09, from The Nielson Company

The MySpace audience consists primarily of youth in the 12-24 age group, while on Facebook, the 25-34 and 35-49 year-olds are the highest indexing age groups.

LinkedIn's audience is made up of business professionals across industries and Twitter represents the fastest growing social media site with a 1,928 percent increase in unique visitors over last year.

The beauty of these and other social media tools is that they can also be used together to engage or listen to your audience. (For an example of a blended outreach across the great divide in media fragmentation, see Shaking Hands with Media Fragmentation, Handshake 2.0.)

If advertising is the preferred method of outreach, then you'll be happy to know that according to a report by Comscore, social networking sites account for more than 20 percent of all online display ads. Here again, MySpace and Facebook, combined, top the charts delivering more than 80 percent of ads in the social media category.

 If you're thinking, "Yes, but I still need to reach a local audience," not to worry. Facebook uses IP (Internet Protocol) addresses as well as registered user profile addresses to determine geographic location to target ads by location.

Once you know where your audience lives, you can live there, too, and open the door to new opportunities for your business.

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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.