Marketing From A Woman's Point of View

You Know You Are A Twitter Snob If

There’s been something eating at me lately and I’m going to just say it, because frankly…sometimes I just don’t feel like being Miss Nicey Nice.

Whether you are considered a “social media guru” or are just trying to build your base of followers up, there are several things you can do to really make yourself look like a Social Media Snob.

Warning: this may rattle a few cages.  If you’re practicing any of these traits you may find an uncontrollable urge to leave a retaliatory comment.  By all means, go ahead.  I’d love to hear the ridiculous reasonings behind your skilled strategy.

Here are 10 traits of what I would call a Twitter Snob.  You know you are a snob if:

1.  You have 50k followers but you only follow 100 or so of your other snobby buddies so you can engage in your “We are the group you wish you were in” conversations.

2.  You follow someone only to get them to follow you back then unfollow them to avoid looking like the spammer you are.

3.  You DM someone but don’t have the courtesy to follow them back so they can respond in a DM.  (Hopefully your poor minions respond with a loud @ reply letting everyone know that they can’t reply because you’ve chosen to have a one way relationship)

4.  You never once visit the blog or website of those that follow or mention you to see what they are all about.

5.  You Retweet any post that has your username mentioned (making sure your @username is mentioned again) rather than just thanking the person for mentioning you via a separate tweet or DM.  <—-LAME-O

6.  You use “protected tweets” and allow someone to follow you but don’t follow back.  Seriously? Are you that cool?  How very nice of you to allow someone such a privlege to view your “protected” scrolls of divine tweeting….but if you don’t want to interact, then why approve a follow?

7.  You auto DM your followers to give them exclusive offers to your products that are not selling without a spambot annoying the crap out of everyone. STOP.  Take the time to see if your product might even benefit your follower before spamming…maybe have a two way conversation to ask them.  Wow…what a novel concept.

8.  You send someone an auto DM to say you are different from the rest and promise that YOUR DM is not an auto DM.  They respond to your promise with a bit of info about themselves and you never reply.  Why?  Because you ARE just like everyone else that sends auto DM’s only you’re worse because you are a liar too.

9.  You never answer any of the @replies sent to you…unless it’s sent by someone with over 50k followers or is in your snobby buddy list.

10.  You schedule tweets or hire someone to blast the Twitterverse with your blog posts from the last month without ever adding any conversation to your feed.  Make that 10x worse if your blog posts are all about succeeding in social media.  What is that called again?  Oh, yeah…a POSER.

Okay, I am done ranting.  I think.

We hear it all the time….listen, engage, interact, share…it’s what social media is all about.  Yes, we can drum up business with social media marketing.  Yes, we can sell products online.  NO, it’s not okay to be a one way loudspeaker.  In fact, it is just socially unacceptable.

Enjoy people.  Let your hair down and talk, laugh, and care about others.  You may even build some lasting friendships that carry over to the offline world.  I guarantee you that you will find more business this way and the word of mouth referrals that come from those relationships will far outweigh the spammy crap of a Twitter snob.

Did I miss anything?  What other Twitter snob traits do you find unacceptable?  Share them in the comments below.

To Your Success,

P.S.> You can also test your Twitter snob level by taking the short quiz that Kate Ottavio put together right after I posted this article.  Not sure if my post inspired the quiz, but it’s entertaining none the less.

February 8, 2010   87 Comments

Twitter Proof – Staying Safe On Social Networks

You’re on Twitter and you love it.  You’ve made hundreds if not thousands of Twitter friends that are so fun and helpful.  You share all sorts of things about yourself with your friends, from what you’re cooking for dinner, your birthday, kids birthdays, where you’re going for lunch, to business information like your email, phone number, and Skype name.

You don’t think twice about sharing this information because you’re comfortable online with your friends.  But what about those that aren’t your friends?  All that information you’re sharing is now on  the world wide web for anyone to see…forever.

Don’t think anyone’s checking?  Ask Lynn Terry about publishing your address.  She thought she was safe too until one day when she was surprised to have an unexpected guest show up at her back door!

We’re taught that social networking is about sharing but how do you keep yourself safe from lurkers, spammers and generally not-so-nice people?

Here are a few tips to keep you safe on sites like Twitter, Facebook and other social networks:

1.  Be Careful What You Provide In Your Profiles

When filling out your social profiles, take account of who you really want to make this information available to.  If it’s not the whole world, then don’t advertise it publicly on your profile.  Supplying your email address may increase the amount of spam you receive. Supplying your phone number could result in unsolicited sales calls, or worse.

If you have a home office, PLEASE do not post your home address anywhere online as your business address. Invest the few bucks in a PO Box rental. When I sent out my first Aweber email I realized that my home address had appeared at the bottom of my newsletter and I freaked out just a bit.  I hadn’t meant for that to show up, so be careful to check what information will show before you send any automated broadcasts out.

2.  You Don’t Have To Divulge Every Detail In Your Updates

Some people love to tell others their every move.  Want to know where John Chow is having lunch at noon?  Check his Twitter stream.  While that may be great for a big guy like John to get a free lunch from a fan…how would a single woman feel to have some creepy guy show up offering her a free something because he saw on her Twitter stream where she’s going to be at noon?  Just sayin… Use wisdom.

Also, remember that the more private information you share about yourself the more chances you are giving hackers to crack your passwords.  If you tend to use your kid’s birthdays, pet’s name, mom’s maiden name, etc., you might want to think twice about sharing any of that.

My best tip?  Use Roboform to autogenerate and remember your passwords.  It comes up with some random number/character passwords that are tough to crack. You should change your Twitter password every so often just to be safe.  And, Roboform is handy tool to keep track of all your millions of passwords and logins. I couldn’t live without it!

3.  Use DM (Direct Messages) or Private Email For Sharing

If you need to give your email to someone, even if it’s a few people, consider sending that through a few DM’s on Twitter rather than just throwing your full email out on the main Twitter stream for anyone to grab.  Whenever I see someone putting their email in a Tweet I cringe.  It’s like asking for your spam filter to work overtime.  Same goes for phone numbers…if you’re giving out your Customer Service number on Twitter that’s one thing, but sharing your cell or home number is just crazy.

4.  Don’t Trust Every Link

With only 140 characters allowed, we are all using URL shorteners to make for more room in our updates. But, some unscrupulous people out there are using shorteners to throw spammy links or even viruses out there.  Be careful what you click on to avoid viruses or phishing scams.  Hootsuite will actually show you the full url and snapshot of the shortened URL before you click on it.  Or you can use an app like Long URL Please to tell you where the shortened link goes to before clicking.

5. Don’t Trust Every Brand

Just because you see a logo you recognize it doesn’t mean the user is associated in any way to the brand.  Twitter has made it possible for anyone to grab a user name, throw up a logo or a familiar picture and look like the real deal.  Do a bit of checking before you start trusting.  Check the URL they link to in their profile for legitimacy. Check to see if the real brand’s website has another Twitter/Facebook profile they advertise on their site directly.  Do they match?  Use your super sleuth skills to hunt and protect yourself.

In general, just think twice about what your sharing.  Treat the Internet like a novel rather than a journal.  Keep your journal private and for the eyes of those you trust only.  Once you publish something online it’s available to other people and all the search engines. You may try to remove a page(s) from the Internet, but someone could have already seen it.  With recent Twitter phishing attacks we should be realizing how important it is to stay safe online.

Have you ever been victim of a phishing scam that you believe began from a social network site?  Have you ever had a strange encounter after sharing personal information online with those you trusted?  Please share with us what your experience has been and any other tips you have for staying safe on social networks in the comments below.

To Your Success,

February 5, 2010   15 Comments

5 Secrets To Promoting Yourself Using Someone Else’s Event

How much do you love mutually beneficial arrangements?  Collaboration is a wonderful way to help yourself and your partner (in whatever form) create a larger following, build your brand awareness and draw from each other’s knowledge base.

But,  have you ever thought about using a live event you are attending as your partner?

We see them on Twitter and Facebook all the time…the invitations to attend live events, whether virtual or face to face, free or fee.  Chances are you have passed a gazzilion of them by thinking it wasn’t worth the hour of your time.  You are wrong!

Attending live events are not just about learning from whomever is presenting a session…oh no, it’s much more.  It’s a chance to use that event as your podium and your launch pad to prove your social media know-how.  But there is a method to follow in order for that mutual beneficial arrangement to work for you, as the attendee,  and not just for the event.

5 Secrets To Using Someone Else’s Event To Promote YOU:

1. Tweet Value: This absolutely has to be number 1!  Have you ever read some of the tweets from live events?  People will talk about lunch plans, how their feet hurt, their private conversations with friends that have nothing to do with the event at all, and use the event hashtag for everyone to follow.  STOP IT!  Just like any social network, it’s fine to toss in a few personal notes to give readers a sense of who you are outside the virtual world, but the majority of your updates should offer some sort of value.  Just do it without using the hashtag.

Your goal should be to use Twitter as your notepad to send out bits of valuable pieces of information you’re picking up during the session.  You will find yourself paying closer attention to what is being taught because you are digging for hidden treasure to share. When you send out tips from panel experts you are not only establishing yourself as a resource, but you’re proving to be a VALUABLE resource.  People will follow you to keep getting great notes from the seminar.  I have often had event Speakers send out a tweet to their followers to follow me for more notes from the event when they need to go offline.  Now I have the attention of all their followers.  See how this works? Be the one that is providing the most value and people will recognize that.

2.  Use Twitter Handles: When you’re tweeting out that valuable info be sure to credit the source.  By using their handle you’ll be letting them know you find value in what they are teaching (and we all want to be loved), you’ll be letting your followers know this person is also worth following (they will love you), and the Source usually thanks you with a tweet of their own…leading to their followers seeing YOUR name mentioned by them and possibly a new follower of your own.

NOTE:  Event Organizers –>Pleeease make sure to add Twitter handles for important peeps to all promos, bios, links, presentations, etc. to make our life a little easier.

3.  Use Event Hashtags: One of my favorite things to do when I can’t attend an event is to log in to TweetChat with the event hashtag and hunt for good stuff being sent out by attendees.  If you are using the event hashtag your tweets will be seen by others that are not even following you.  I’ve found many new friends this way and picked up lots of new followers. Using the hashtag to retweet some of the notes being tweeted from attendees gets your name associated with the event even if you’re not attending.

4.  Link Love: According to Dan Zarella’s report The Science of ReTweets, nearly 70% of all ReTweets contain a link of some sort.  People love to share links and people love freebies.  One of my top retweeted posts was a link to watch the live streaming of Blogworld.  Remember, one of the tips from the experts on marketing events with social media that  shared with us by Warren Whitlock was, there are always people that are not at the event that wish they were.  Cater to them.  If a speaker offers a free report from their blog to attendees, send out the link.  Provide value and you will be retweeted and valued as a great representative for the event.  By the way, you can get a copy of Dan’s full report the Science of ReTweets here.  It’s worth some study!

5.  Be A Little Off The Wall: When you’re at an event there is always some down time to cut loose and have some networking fun OUTSIDE the virtual walls.  Or so you think when you’re downing that 5th shot of Patron…but, there is always some savvy person there to snap that picture or video & post it for all the social networking world to see.  Such as top affiliate marketer,  Tim Jones, chowing down on the biggest burger I’ve ever seen in a Fatburger eating contest.

The "Real" Tim Jones in a Fatburger Eating Contest at Blogworld 09

Everyone wants to know what goes on behind the scenes or what someone is really like behind their perfectly designed website.  By tweeting something hilarious or off the wall you’re sparking a conversation and causing a smile or two.  After all, you can have all the followers in the world, but if you never have a conversation with them it’s worthless.  Just don’t get carried away or tread too heavily on someone’s boundaries.  You’re not Perez Hilton.  ;)

Those are my top 5 secrets I use.  Events are fun and can be very valuable in many ways.  I hope you thought this was valuable to you and you start seeing events in different way.  If you have any tips of your own that you use, do tell!

To Your Success,

P.S.-> I’m wishing all of my US readers  a very beautiful Thanksgiving tomorrow with many warm new memories and traditions to carry on for generations to come.  I am thankful for all of you and your support throughout the last year.  My readers ROCK!!
P.S.S-> Another note of thanks goes out to Natalie MacNeil, the wonderful blogger at She Takes On The World,  who included me in her 30 Women To Follow On Twitter which made ForbesWoman yesterday!  I can now officially say that I was featured on Forbes. :)  Thank you Natalie & ForbesWoman for your recognition.

November 25, 2009   37 Comments

Virtual Event Marketing With Social Media

This week we’re continuing on with our event marketing with social media series to drive home the I promised you a series on event marketing with social media and I’ve got a great article I’m working on with tips from experts in the field.  The thing is, I really want to make it an article packed with value and it’s taking me a bit longer than I’d planned.

So…in the meantime I found this excellent video with Jason Falls on the effectiveness of social media in event marketing.  Jason’s worked as a social media strategist with some top names including several Fortune 100 brands like NASCAR, Jim Beam and Humana and really understands the power of social media in event marketing as well as brand awareness.

Spend a couple minutes listening as Jason shares how to use Twitter, hashtags, and updates to draw more attention and attendees to virtual events.   Then come back tomorrow for that post I am working on where we’ll cover face to face events as well as virtual. You’ll be glad you did!

This video is an interview that InXpo did with Jason Falls.  InXpo conducts privately-branded virtual events, such as Trade Shows,  Career Fairs and Corporate Events, as well as Audio and Video Webcasts.  I did a little searching and discovered on Virtual World News that Inxpo is now heading up virtual trade shows for Marketing Profs, so I know they must be good!  I have a call in to their office to do short interview as well.  Hoping to hear back soon so I can add that to this series as well…just another reason to keep checking back!

To Your Success,

P.S. ~~> Don’t miss the next article on event marketing with social media that  I’ll be posting this week, you find it packed with personal tips from social media experts like Mari Smith, Warren Whitlock, Jason Falls & a some other great names!!

November 17, 2009   6 Comments

Hit and Miss at Blogworld 09 – Who Rocked It & Who Dropped It

As a newcomer to Blogworld I had a few preconceived ideas of what the event might be like and what I would like to take away from the event.  I’m not totally new to live events, just new to the blogging community events.  Here’s my own rundown on what I felt was a hit or miss at Blogworld 09:

HIT: Without a doubt, Jim Kukral did an outstanding job at moderating & running the monetization track at the event.  People come to a session based on the title and what they think they are going to get out of it.  Jim did an excellent job of keeping the panelists on point and wasn’t bashful about asking the panelisst, “yeah, that’s great…but what does that have to do with ___?  Our audience want to know about ____“.  I know I appreciated the effort and the expert input Jim put in to make sure our expectations were exceeded.  Thank you Jim!

MISS: There were points of the Closing Keynote that were funny, but we should have walked away feeling inspired, confident and ready to take on the world. I was totally shocked at hearing the f-bomb dropped by Guy Kawasaki several times.  I always looked at him as so professional that it was funny the first time… then just seemed like he was trying to fit in with the crowd. I agree with Darren Rowse & David Risley that it should have been done at a different point in the expo & a little less raunchy for this type of event.     I was sadly disappointed with the Chad Vader interview/performance.  I love Chad Vader and was looking forward to it, but there was nothing more than a few words.  I had heard how funny the Bloggess is and knew she relies on her shock value to get laughs, but the reference to drug & alcohol dependency was a bit too far even for me.

Darren Rowse & Brian Clark Blogworld 09

HIT: Brian Clark & Darren Rowse were so very impressive during the Super Panel Site Review.  Brian was always prepared within seconds with insightful tips for each of the bloggers that came up asking for a review of their site.  Both he and Darren were quick to point out creative ideas and strategies for monetizing blogs –  from where to look for niche leads or how to tweak what was already being done to perfect a strategy – They both offered real help that could be implemented right away.  It seems even the already successful bloggers  wanted the advice from this panel as Michael Martine of Remarkablogger & Timothy Sykes both stepped up to the mic.  It was cute when Darren was quick to share with Michael that bald men with glasses tend to do well. ;)

HIT: Micah Baldwin was another hit in my books.  As the Moderator for the session “Measuring and Building Online Influence”, Micah let everyone know upfront that there was a hashtag for that session that he would be watching.  Through tweets he was able to gauge how the audience was feeling about the flow of the session and keep things on course.  I loved his cut through the crap statements that hit you square between the eyes, like “If you’re a jerk, social media will make you look like a bigger jerk” and “Trust is consistency of action. If you’re a dick all the time, I can trust that you’re a dick”

MISS: The video session “Work With Whatcha Got” was a miss in my books only because the title was a bit misleading. One of my goals this weekend was to pick up tips on how to start using video more, but I am coming in with no experience.  This title sounded like it would show me how to use the equipment & know-how I already have to be successful.  Lee & Sara O’Donnel ran the session and Sara admitted up front that she had been drinking too much and had just woke up only mintues before the session. (See my note below about the party scene).  The session wasn’t what I expected but covered more advanced topics like audio/visual filters, costumes, and specific cameras recommended. This was definitely not for beginners.  A little more detail in the description of the session would have been ideal.

Dave Taylor Blogworld 09

HIT: Dave Taylor & Chris Pirillo did a great job in their session “Are You Getting The Most Money Out Of Your Blog”, as did Tim Jones.   Chloe Spencer didn’t say much for the entire session other than a few words about AdSense…a slight miss, but I know it’s tough to jump in when someone else is totally rocking it with their answers already.  Loved Dave’s input on diversifying income streams on your blog and appreciating even the $5/day streams.  ($5/day will buy a new laptop per year…but I doubt he’s working on one that cheap)  Chris Pirillo always adds his energy & that makes the session more engaging.   His tips like “Be a content DJ & remix your content into new products” and how You Tube sky-rocketed his online success were great.

MISS: These are just a general misses that hopefully Blogworld organizers will pick up.  A few suggestions would be

  • MORE POWER STRIPS! This is a blogging event.  Everyone comes with laptops that run on electricity.  We should have had strips running taped down under at least the first couple rows of tables for charging.  No one wants to miss a session to charge up in the New Media Lounge.
  • Better panelist bios including websites and Twitter names! We are a twittering society, but we can’t acknowledge the speaker if we don’t know their user name.  Keep them posted on the screen or at least in the online or event program guides.
  • More female panelists! There are plenty of professional female bloggers that can speak at events to give a woman’s leadership perspective.  There were very few at this event  that were in sessions other than mommy blogging or social media.  If you were a woman that is not part of the mommy blogger group and you did not have the social media pass you were SOL.  How about Yvonne DiVita, Valeria Maltoni, Lena West, Lynn Terry or Michelle Miller? All successful bloggers that provide excellent content that have nothing to do with mommy blogging. I respect mommy bloggers.  I’m a mom.  I love my kids.  But, I don’t blog about them… I blog FOR them so we can maintain a quality of life,  as do many other women bloggers.
  • Less club scenes for networking at night.  Not all of us want to hit the Vegas clubs and get off on that scene.  The Hilton BBQ on the last night would have been nice, but many people (myself included) were heading out of town right after the closing keynote and had to miss it.  Why not save the clubbing for the final night for all the die hards?  Vegas can be about class & luxury, not just night clubs and partying.  Just sayin…

All in all, the networking was the hardest for me to tackle, and the most important part of the conference I took away with me.  Sure, there were great panels and expert tips being shared…but honestly, you can get all that online.  The face to face is what this is all about, and I get that now. Going it alone was a good experience for me, forcing me to step out of my comfort zone.    So, if you’re nervous about going to big events or feel like you won’t fit in, come talk to me and work through it.  I can honestly say that this event will be a life changing one for me.

If you attended Blogworld this year what are your thoughts?  If you didn’t attend this year, is it something you plan to do in the future or how do you feel about live events?

To Your Success,

P.S.  ~> Don’t forget to check out the new online white elephant party coming to Facebook in early November!  AlbinoPhant is sure to be fun and a nice way to share the holidays with loved ones far away.  You’ll have the chance to choose your gifts from Amazon & have them shipped directly to your family and friends…that is AFTER you’re done teasing, bantering, stealing gifts and laughing together.  I had a great time representing AlbinoPhant at Blogworld and I’m sure you will create an experience to remember even from a distance.

October 19, 2009   10 Comments

20 Tips For Best ROI In Social Media

In Social Media the Return on Investment (ROI) is based largely on the influence you have upon your group of friends. If you’re just starting out in social media, you may not have much influence built up at all, because it all comes with trust.  You can build trust or borrow it. If you get a referral or nod from a power influencer or firestarter, you are borrowing their trust.

An example of influence at work: Your yoga instructor friend is amazing, you watch  as she teaches with grace and peacefulness everyday. One day she comes in and tells her class who her guru was and recommends a cd or book by them. 90% of that class is going to go buy or at least investigate her recommendation. Why? Because she has built your trust and you see her success, so you are influenced by her recommendation. It’s the same in the online world. To build your return on influence you just need to build trust or  identify who the influencers are and develop those relationships so you can borrow from the trust they have built with their network. Social networking has made his ultra simple to do.

Here’s my top 20 Tips for the best ROI (Return on Influence) in Social Media

1. Learn how to recognize the influencers and firestarters on each of your social networks. You will be needing them to help build your ROI.

2. Make it your goal to get to know the influencers and build more than just a business relationship with them. Please don’t just bombard the top people on your network with ridiculous requests to back you when they don’t even know you.  It’s like walking up to a someone you’ve never met at a bar and asking them to have sex with you.  Be respectful.  Build relationships and trust…you’re in it for the long term relationships not the one night stand.

3. Be Real with people. When you are first entering a new network, be real. Don’t be fake & brown nose it just to get in with the “in” crowd. They will see it.

4. Listen. To be a better marketer you need to be a better listener. Have you ever had a relationship that ended because the other person never seemed to listen to you? That rate is times 10 in social media because it’s easy to click & unfollow.

5. Care about others. Goes right along with listening, but you need to SHOW you are listening. Take notice of the needs of others and talk to them about it. This is where you may be able to recommend yourself or another.

6. Don’t be all about selling. Those that have been online a while know who’s there to market & sell, and who’s there to build relationships. Remember, your goal is to build relationships with the influencers. They smell SALES PITCH coming a mile away, and some will call foul the moment they do. That is NOT good for your ROI!

7. Use the “Me Too” ideal. We all prefer to buy from people we relate to or that are like us. You like Dexter? Me too! (Yes, I am a huge Dexter fan. I plan my Sunday’s around football & Dexter!) Be yourself & be relatable to.

8. Be Human. Showing your individual likes/dislikes, talk about what you’re in to. There are so many choices out there in social networking. What makes you different and relatable to others?

9. Don’t be the Karen or the Brian in your group. If you’re a Dane Cook fan you know what I’m talking about. There is always one person in your group of friends that no one really likes. They may let them hang around, but When they leave, everyone talks about how that one person sucks. If you’re not familiar with Karen or Brian, watch this video & you’ll get it. (Warning: Dane Cook is hilarious, but you’ve got to be okay with the f-bomb and a few dbag references) ;)

10. Value the attention when you get it. People are starved for time and we are generally thinking about 5 or 6 things at once as we pretend to give something our full attention. If you manage to capture some attention from your group don’t squander it, and don’t constantly ask to be in the spotlight. Value the attention you’re given because we are giving something we really don’t have much of.

11. Find lovers of your services or products. Anyone can pay for advertisement, but what if your friend told you about something they sponsoring, no incentive involved? Isn’t that more compelling?

12. Make & develop relationships with various types of people. I know the whole “target market” and “stay in your niche” is being screamed by those calling themselves organic followers. But, we are talking about the person that anyone can turn to when they need a tip on how to find a good photographer, dentist, or even babysitter. Be the one to turn to in several walks of life.

13. Keep your connections alive. You don’t want to slack off and stop communicating and then one day when you NEED that person go back and ask for help out of the blue. Stay close to your network.

14. Guard and protect your network. You want to share & help promote your connections, but you want to stay within your circle of trust. Your friends will appreciate it when you keep Karen to yourself. ;)

15. Don’t focus on the numbers. A short term marketer or sales person only sees the number they need to hit or the volume they need to produce. Social media is about long term relationship building. Make it your goal to build lifelong connections.

16. Treat your network like a garden. Tend to your group, check on them to see if they need some motivation to grow, some TLC after a long day, or to celebrate after a new opportunity blossoms into a success!

17. Understand how the influencers work and imitate what they do. Watch their every move and how they communicate with their network. Ask yourself how they got to be where they are at. Who are their influencers? (This does not mean plagiarize)

18. Attend live events. Nothing replaces the face to face contact and personal connections you will make when you are rubbing elbows with someone. Virtual relationships are great, but mix it up & solidify those relationships by going to local meetups and large events. Are you headed to Blogworld next week? If not you are missing a tremendous opportunity!

19. Don’t be a bore. Let your personality shine and you will find the influential connections come much easier. The firestarters have been around a while and they have seen it all. Be different, be fun, be yourself. Relax and enjoy making friends, you’ll come across as a cool person to know & easy to recommend.

20. Don’t be a social litterbug. If you’re going to create social profiles on every network out there and only visit them once, then your profile has just become online litter. It clogs the system. Don’t just ping your updates to a bunch of sites, but go back and communicate with each network. Otherwise, do us all a favor and just delete the profile.

Those days are over where you could just build a store or a business and expect people to come in drones. With so many choices out there for services and products, we all want to know who we can trust. Who can we buy from and know we are getting a good return on our buck? We want someone we know to recommend a place to go or who to trust. Why? Because we already trust our friends.

Trust is the deciding factor. All the advertising in the world, all the marketing, press releases, and awareness campaigns will never measure up to the influence of a recommendation from a  trusted friend. So begin building your return on investment by building your influence. When you nurture your network you will see it expand and you will see the rewards.

What are some of your tips for great ROI?  What other factors besides trust do you see as big factors in social media?  Please share them in the comments.  Your opinions and suggestions are always welcome!

To Your Success,

P.S. ~~> Speaking of Blogworld…BlogWorld & New Media Expo Founders, Rick and Dave, wanted to give everyone a 20% Off Coupon Code for some extra last-minute savings. Use Code RICKNDAVE20 for an extra 20% off your pass to BlogWorld & New Media Expo or any Partner Program

October 7, 2009   24 Comments

Social Media Rules Of Engagement – 10 Concepts For Understanding Online Communities

The ‘rules of engagement’ of social media are somewhat vague, but pretty simple to figure out if you just apply a little bit of common sense.  Consider what an essentially normal relationship is and implement the same ideas behind them when engaging in online communities. The key thing to remember is that this is social media – people are looking online for opportunities to interact and exchange information or content with similar, like minded people.

In social networking, most are unlikely to be interested in your latest sales pitch, and most are definitely not interested in promotional hype. They want interesting, fun and entertaining, informative, quirky, addictive… whatever floats their boat. When it comes to social media, you’re not just sending out a message, your inviting a response, and what you get might not be quite what you’re expecting. You need a plan to engage in social media marketing, but you also need to be flexible and respond to the online communities you’re jumping into.

Here are some very basic Social Media Rules of Engagement:

1.  Be Transparent

Your honesty (or dishonesty) will be picked up right away in social media communities. If you’re a corporate blogger, use your real name, identify the company you work for, and be clear about your role. If you have a vested interest in something you’re writing about (like an affiliate or a sponsored review) be the first to point it out rather than waiting for someone else to “uncover”.  It’s never a good situation when you seem to be hiding something, even if it was completely innocent.  My personal mantra goes like this:

“Be true to yourself and who you are in your marketing, online and off. People can see right through any BS even online. You’ll build trust, and trust equals loyalty.”

2.  Be Judicious

If you’re writing about a topic that you’re not completely familiar with you should make this clear to your readers. Don’t get yourself into trouble with trademarks, copyright, fair use, or trade secret disclosure laws.  Respect private brands and keep yourself out of court. If you’re writing about your employer/corporation outside of their internal community you might want to use a disclaimer something like this:

“The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent ‘Your company’s name’  positions, strategies, or opinions.”

3.  Be Smart

Make sure your efforts to be transparent don’t violate your employer’s privacy, confidentiality, and legal guidelines. Before you plaster that company report all over the web, be sure to clarify if it was meant to be private or kept internal. Or, if you want to write about the competition make sure you know what you’re talking about. Be smart about protecting yourself, your privacy, and confidential information. What you publish is widely accessible and will be around for a long time, so consider your content carefully when you participate in social networking.

4.  Perception is Reality

In online social networking, the lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred. Just by writing on a subject you are creating perceptions about your knowledge and expertise in that area. This can work for you or against you depending on how you write.  Social media has become the new sweat equity.  You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on advertising if you know how to communicate and create an authority figure perception. On the other hand, if you’ve identified yourself as an employee for your company, be mindful of the perceptions you’re creating of your employer – good or bad.

5.  It’s a Conversation

Talk to your readers like you would talk to real people standing in front of you or on the phone.  Don’t be afraid to bring in your own personality and be open about what’s on your mind. Write your content to be open-ended and inviting a response to encourage comments. Invite other bloggers into the conversation by citing and linking to their post on the same subject. You are creating relationships and they may visit your blog and join in by commenting on your blog just to thank you for the link love.

6.  Are You Adding Value?

This is probably the most important rule of social media engagement.  The best way to get your blog or conversations read is to write things that people will value. Social communication should be thought-provoking and build a sense of community. If you’re helping people with their knowledge or skills, build their businesses, do their jobs, solve problems, or understand something better—then you’re adding value.

7.  Create Some Excitement

It’s a big world out there and there are plenty of voices and opinions to listen to. Look for important contributions to the world and to the future of technology or your personal industry.  Be the first in your online community to create a public dialogue on an issue or put your spin on an existing one. There’s always new innovations or news to discuss and write about, it’s our job to try and bring excitement to it.  If you walked past a newstand and all the headlines were about the same subject, what would make you choose one publication over another?  Ask yourself how you can stand out from the crowd.

8.  Be a Leader

There can be a fine line between healthy debate and an argument. You don’t necessarily need to respond to every criticism or jab. Try to frame what you write to invite differing points of view without being disrespectful. There’s something to be said about stirring up controversy and even negative publicity can attract attention in social networking.  However, some topics—like politics or religion—slide more easily into sensitive territory. So be careful and considerate. Once the words are out there, you can’t really get them back.

9.  Did You Screw Up?

If you make a mistake, admit it. Be upfront and be quick with your correction. If you’re posting to a blog, and you choose to modify an earlier post, your readers will appreciate you making it clear that you have done so. We are all on a learning journey and mistakes are part of life.  By being honest about your goofs you’ll build your value,  not lose it, and you may even put a smile on someone’s face…quite possibly yours!

10.  Before You Hit Enter

If you’re about to publish something that makes you even the slightest bit uncomfortable, don’t shrug it off and hit ‘Enter.’ Take a minute to try and figure out what’s bothering you, then fix it.  Ultimately, what you publish is yours—as is the responsibility. So be sure.  Remember, what you publish will be around for a long time once it hits the web.

I’m sure there are more rules of engagement in social media that I have not included here.  What are some of your own personal rules you follow or wish others did? Share them below in the comments!

To Your Success,

PS~~> If you like this post, consider bookmarking on one of your favorite social bookmarking sites.  You can just click on one of the icons below to take you to some of the more popular sites.  You’ll be building your social authority and helping others (including me) in the process!

September 23, 2009   23 Comments

How To Use Twitter Chat To Establish Yourself As An Authority In Your Niche

With the fast paced and diverse messages constantly being sent over the Twitter feed how do you narrow down the conversation to discuss and focus on your niche?   The challenge is not i, n finding what is hot on Twitter right now, but in how to create a buzz around your brand or niche and position yourself as a leading authority in that trend.  By using simple #hashtags, creating live chat room events and promoting your chat you can do just that.

The chat room is your platform and soapbox, so to speak, that you will use to share your expertise in a more controlled environment.  Your goal is to the establish yourself as the Leader by providing the largest amount of relevant interaction and knowledge on the subject at hand. Much like you see top commenters on blog posts, your Twitter name will be seen as top contributor on tracking sites or Twitter search and will position you as the authority while providing name recognition.  Follow these simple steps to begin: [Read more →]

June 3, 2009   10 Comments