Keys To Being Social: Be Present

IMG_7239.JPGAre we in a race to be noticed?

Do we take time to really enjoy the moment we’re in?

Recently, during a Women In Business Today interview, Kittie Walker of Avidmode brought up an interesting point.

“Networking events aren’t speed dating.” Kittie Walker (24:22)

She makes an excellent point about having deep, meaningful conversations.

Of course, I had to apply that to social media.

I noticed a feeling that I’ve been behind on Facebook. I feel pressure to like and comment and I find myself scrolling – looking for things to like. So I like, and like, and like. Whew. I’m caught up.

What have I really accomplished? Continue reading

Do I want Facebook or Twitter for my Business?

Project 365 #74: 150313 Showing The Ropes

Project 365 #74: 150313 Showing The Ropes by Pete, on Flickr”

It’s a tug of war of sorts.

Facebook copies Twitter. Twitter copies Facebook. This goes on and on. Call it competition, tug of war, or innovation. Regardless, it’s good for the consumer.

Who has the bigger audience? Who has the most spam? Who’s trying to pry into your personal details?

So, I’m a business, which should I use?

I’m always amazed at this question. Why not both?

But if you really have to choose, ask yourself this:

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Who do you want to reach?
  • Do you want to build up one and then the other?
  • Can you devote the time to doing them both simultaneously?
*Disclaimer 1: Twitter and Facebook could change any of what I’m about to point out at any time. This post was written on August 19, 2014.
*Disclaimer 2: It’s hard for me to be objective. Everyone who knows me knows I favor Twitter and my own numbers support that. This is my best effort to present objective pros and cons.

Below I compare Twitter and Facebook by feature. I apologize for the length, but every business has different needs, people who will be using the platform, and how (mobile or desktop) they will use it. You’ll need to consider them all to choose.

First Things First

Facebook and Twitter have entirely different cultures and different rules, protocols, or expectations.

Respect each platform for its own benefits, audience, and culture. I beg you not to connect the two so that you Tweet to Facebook or Tweet from Facebook. Just because something is easy, doesn’t mean it’s good.

You will be judged for being lazy, disregarding either audience, and people will wonder if you’ll ever respond. (Ya, I said it.)

Read: “Social Media: Different Platform, Different Language” by Carol Stephen

Audience Size

According to Facebook, they have “829 million daily active users on average in June 2014.” That’ too large of an audience to ignore this platform. A lot of people have recently said it’s not worth posting on Facebook anymore. I disagree.

Twitter has 271 million active users.

They both have massive, growing audiences. This won’t change. They haven’t jumped the shark or lost out like Myspace. Continue reading

How to Setup a Facebook Page: The work is in the Preparation

You Too Can Be A Guru - How do I set up a Facebook Page?A friend messaged me the question this weekend:

“How do I set up a Facebook Page?”

I cannot believe I’ve never written about it.

Easy Answer:  Go here and follow their prompts.


Disclaimer: These kinds of things change often. This was written August 4, 2014. That is all.


“I have a Facebook account. Do I really need to be a Page?”

If you are a business, church, politician, service, organization, dog or anything resembling any of those, you will want to create a Page.

It’s a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service to use a “profile” as anything other than your true self. It protects the user’s privacy and that’s a good thing.

Start with the Prep Work:

There is more work to prepare than to actually set it up. Like most things in life that are overwhelming, the best approach is to break them into small, achievable tasks.

1. Who is going to manage the page?

Decide beforehand who is going to manage the page. At least two people should be admins (to back one another up). Like I told my friend this weekend, it’s work, make no mistake. Often our friends will ask for our help without fully realizing what this new project entails.

Who will respond to requests? Who will be on standby for answers? It is a big responsibility. The Pages Manager App makes this a bit easier but won’t let you interact with other Pages you like (as of right now).

Learn how to interact with other pages (using a desktop/laptop) on this screencast.

Continue reading

How do I post the “same” content across platforms? Mix It Up Like the Mandrells. #GuruMinute

If you’re old enough to remember the Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters show from 1980, you’ll know what I’m referring to. Otherwise, Google it.

Barbara and her two sisters would do musical numbers and their costumes for each set were similar enough to look coordinated but customized enough for the body type and personality of the wearer. Kudos to the costume designer.

Opening number shows my point exactly.

Barbara Mandrell & the Mandrell Sisters – 1981 – Charley Pride & Hoyt Axton

Take several photos from different angles, use them in collages, add text, embellish according to the platform.

This is how we should approach sharing similar (not the same) content on social media.

But I also refer you to this:

How to Master the 4 Big Social-Media Platforms”  by Gary Vaynerchuk on Inc Magazine

Here’s an example of how I posted on Instagram, Twitter, and our Facebook Page photos from a 1989 project.

They’re similar, but not the same.

See the rest of the Guru Minute videos here.

Everything I Know About Twitter Chats, I Learned At the Dog Park

Chloe at the dog park 1/1/10

Chloe at the dog park 1/1/10

Owning a dog can be a very rewarding experience, especially if you adopt. With a dog you need to pay for the adoption, vet, and license fees. But it’s worth it.

Dog ownership taught me to live for something beyond myself. I have step-children and grandchildren but they grow up. Dogs do not. Always looking for an analogy, I realized this is helpful in social media. Why? The most egregious crime of social is to be self-centered.

Many people start their Twitter accounts and build a small community, interacting as time allows, and that’s great. I’m a huge advocate for Twitter as you can tell by the quantity of posts I’ve written. Your Twitter use can exist without a chat, but the chat is more rewarding.

The next step in your “dog ownership” is to join a chat. It’s unnecessary but more advanced. In many ways that’s like going to a dog park.

Just like dog parks, Twitter chats are fun.

If you feel like you’ve plateaued maybe you have.

It’s great to run by yourself or find a few friends to chat with here and there but going to a Twitter chat is way more fun. It’s just like going to a dog park. It’s a great time to sniff around, smell the smells, explore, and run off leash.

It’s true that you can have small bursts of conversation on Twitter, if the parties happen to be online at the same time. However, during a Twitter chat, they’re all online, active, and present. And each chat revolves around a topic which makes the interaction both focused and engaging.

Twitter chats are exciting because they are live, sometimes the answers are even controversial. Continue reading

If you don’t value yourself, no one else will – Insights from Alex J. Vasquez at WordCamp OC 2014

Alex J Vasquez at WCOC 2014

Alex J Vasquez at WCOC 2014

Value.

What comes to mind? Is it the $1 menu at your favorite quick service restaurant? Is it the cave full of jewels in Desolation of Smaug? Or is it just as simple as a fair trade: money for services rendered?

It’s true that in the service sector, as opposed to the widget sector, price and value are often used interchangeably where the two parties often have differing definitions.

At WordCamp Orange County, Carol Stephen (read her “Awesome Moments” post) and I attended Alex J. Vasquez‘ talk called: “Valuing (and Pricing) Yourself as a Team.”

By the way, you know what blows me away about ? The humility of the speakers and that was demonstrated big time by Alex.

He had a way of speaking that was humble yet experienced. He wasn’t afraid to talk about mistakes or victories. That says a lot about the confidence of a person, especially one who believes we should be just as confident.

Although, I’m not a WordPress developer or even a freelancer, as an office manager for a commercial general contractor, I could not help but see the parallels during the talk. I was encouraged by it. Continue reading

Twitter Followers: Ten Ways to Grow Your Following

"10" Boating Sign at Dana Point Harbor by Bridget Willard

“10” Boating Sign at Dana Point Harbor by Bridget Willard

A friend said, “I am having trouble getting followers for a new client.” Though she was general in her tweet topics (not just self-promotional, she was at a loss.

Here were my suggestions, generalized and tweaked as to not identify the asker.

  1. Make sure you have a completed profile, avatar (logo), header photo, and background. Your Twitter background shouldn’t be clouds. Most of us are choosy and won’t follow eggs. See: “Baby Steps to the Tweet.”
  2. Follow back. Unless they are spam, an egg, #TeamFollowBack, or porn, I follow. One thing I’ve learned in this business is that you never know who is behind the account, who they know, or even where they live. All business is word of mouth and social media just multiplies that exponentially. I have friends all over this country who do accounts that aren’t necessarily local and we talk (and recommend each other).
  3. Nerds like me have lists by geography and topic. Take advantage of the work we’ve done for you. For example, here is the list my primary personality has for my county. Follow those people. It’s a much better way to find new people than buying followers (which is spammy). Continue reading

Retweet Styles – It’s like Jeans; there’s a fit for everyone.

Jean City 2004

Sarah Macmillan (c) 2004 – Flickr Creative Commons

Social media experts are known for their opining.  Like it or not, extreme positioning tends to garner both positive and negative attention.

As a dispensary of “unsolicited advice” I’ve made the enemy or two in my day. My thought, however, is this: why not experiment around?

One thing we can count on in social media is that trends, platforms, and accepted notions change over time.

By now, most people know what I think of Twitter’s Retweet Button.

But there is an element of style in the retweet. Style in tweeting is like jeans – there’s a fit for everyone.

1.  Old School RT

This is traditionally done by clicking reply on a tweet, copying the text of the original tweet, and pasting after the user’s name.  Then you put “RT” in the front of the tweet and click send.

Hootsuite and Tweetdeck (as well as their rival third party apps) have buttons that make this much easier.  In Hootsuite, however, you have to change the settings for this retweet style to be activated.

On Twitter mobile this is called “Quote Tweet.”  I still don’t get why they don’t have that option on the web version, but I digress. Continue reading

Live Tweeting Events – A Great Event Promotion Tool (Updated 7/28/14)

mac-livetweetingLive tweeting at events is quite fun and has a lot of benefits. Most recently I tweeted during the classes I took at Orange County’s WordCamp (#wcoc), June 1, 2013.

Personally, I love it. I type fast, it’s a fun way to sort of force myself to pay attention, too.

Live tweeting a great way to pickup followers, promote an event, and engage with other attendees.

These tips are applicable whether it’s a live webcast, a class, a press event, or a class. Anytime there is a public speech, you can live tweet.

Why Tweet quotes?

Quotes grab us. It’s a great way to tweet out the same content without having the same tweet.

You can tweet from live radio interviews, tweet from archived videos, tweet from debates, etc.

How is this done?

It helps if you can type 60 wpm or more and have an actual keyboard. But you can do it on a mobile device, too.

Update 7/28/14

I was honored to be the Spotlight Guest about this subject for Women In Business Today.

Here is the Video:

  Continue reading

Why I Don’t Use Twitter’s Retweet Button

grumpynoretweetNothing sets me on edge like the retweet button.

Twitter shot themselves in the foot when they took an organic, user-generated syntax (the retweet) and made a button for it.  

Sure, maybe I lose credibility in your eyes because I don’t have an MBA in Marketing but I have been tweeting since 2007 as @gidgey in the BRTB days (before retweet button).

Now, you can take my advice or you bounce from the blog.  But my perspective is always to be a help.

I’ll start with the benefits of the Retweet Button.

  1. People like to be able to say that their tweet was retweeted x amount of times.  Even I have fallen into this trap from time to time. 
  2. Some tweets are just too awesome or too long to edit in order to Retweet.
  3. People claim it curbs traffic on Twitter.  I’m not sure if that’s actually true but I’ll capitulate to the point for the purpose of this post.

Retweet Button & Conversations

Added 8/20/14

See the video:

 

Here are some of the reasons why I don’t use Twitter’s Retweet Button:

It’s Misused when a Reply is Appropriate 

When a “reply” suffices as in a case where “You’re welcome” or “Thank you” are appropriate responses, the retweet makes you look lazy.  Yep, I said it.

Now, don’t get your feelings all hurt, I’m not going to call anyone out and show screenshots or anything.  Just think before you press “retweet.”  Is it the appropriate response?  Remember, Twitter is for conversations, not just mirroring a statement back to the original sender. Continue reading

Ten Ways to Be Retweetable

If You Want to be Retweeted, Be Retweet-able

It never ceases to amaze me how technology cripples our ability to communicate.

(Wait. What?)

Yes, you would think it should be the opposite.

This post lists ways to remind you that you are still a human being even when you have a computer in your pocket.

1. Stop Tweeting from Facebook

Yes. Automation. Specifically, “Tweeting from Facebook” is very easy and popular. But is it the best way to get your message out on Twitter? I say no.

(Save your outcry for politicians or the comment section.)

Listen, I’ve been tweeting since 2007. I’ve seen a lot of new people take up Twitter lately, thinking it will give them instant results like the promise of Sea Monkeys on the back of cereal boxes.

You don’t build relationships by pushing buttons. Continue reading

Keys to Being Social: Humanity

mannequins at oc goodwill

Mannequins at OC Goodwill – Photo by Bridget Willard

“Open the pod bay doors, Hal.” Dave

“I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” Hal

This iconic scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey resonates with us. Why?

The truth is we are consciously or subconsciously both in love with and afraid of technology. Will it someday overtake us? Has it ruined our relationships?

We’re the revolutionaries – the defenders of our culture. How so? It’s up to each and every one of us to retain, protect, and demonstrate our humanity in this digital age.

At what point does automation deprive us of the natural, spontaneous, if not serendipitous, moments of human connection?

Internet Paper Dolls:

As a kid I had the Holly Hobbie paper doll and I loved it. She had the cutest paper doll clothes. But she was more limited than a Barbie. You couldn’t brush or style her hair, only fold over a paper hat. And for sure Holly Hobbie couldn’t go with you to the beach.

When your social posts revolve around one topic, you are two-dimensional, like a paper doll. Continue reading

Keys to Being Social: Focus

wildflower, out of focusSo you have tons of ideas and you’re scattered here and there and oh look a butterfly.

We get it. I get it. Heck. I have three personal blogs for this reason.

Even if you look at the micro, you must focus at least on a topic. This blog is about social media, tactics and strategy, not about photography or business planning.

When it comes to curating an audience around your content, it’s helpful if you focus.

  • What is your passion? Focus on that.
  • What is your best source of knowledge? Hone in on it.

“Easy to say, hard to do.”

Okay, maybe you’re right. I started to worry that this blog had run its course, quite literally. Then I wrote a post, “Keys to Being Social: Reciprocation.” The fact that it sounded like a series, sort of kicked me in gear. I wrote out some titles and have been “filling out the series,” so to speak, since.

Pick a theme: stick with it for 3-10 posts, more even, to help you stay focused in your content. Want a real example? Check out how many posts Carol Stephen wrote referencing clowns. Genius.

Continue reading

Keys To Being Social: Be Friendly

Sometimes my blog posts end up being confessions of my failures and this one is no exception. Perhaps epitomes visit me more frequently after a failing.

Failure:

I was invited to the media preview for the Festival of Arts Pageant of the Masters (#FestivalPageant) June 2, 2014. Though I recognized many people there, I froze. I could not muster up the strength to “say hello to others.” A kindly friend came and teased me a bit about hiding and went back to his group. My sister and mom texted me through that event and I focused on tweeting and enjoying the art.

Redemption:

That weekend, I went to Orange County WordCamp with friends Carol Stephen and Peter Woolvett. Being in a group, it felt much easer to greet others, especially when Peter or Carol did it first.

Saying hello to others can be difficult; especially if you’re feeling unsure of yourself. But with a little bit of help and prompting from other friends, it’s made even easier. Being a receiver of the greeting helps, too.

While waiting for opening remarks right before Chris Lema’s blogging class, we met @Student_OTC. He was a bit surprised that we three had met on Twitter and this year was our second WordCamp together. We got to learn that he’s a web developer somewhat new to WordPress and it was nice to be able to make him feel more welcomed, too.

During those opening remarks, I looked behind me and saw @JenBlogs4U whom I met earlier at Social Media Mastermind OC. Not wanting to interrupt, I sent her a hello Tweet. Later in the day, we ended up sitting behind her and I was able to both say hello and introduce her to Carol.

Carol and I also waved to and met Aaron Hockley whose blog post “Ultimate Guide: Conference Tips and Hacks” was helpful to read. Carol brought a power strip (aka friend maker) to the conference from that post and we were glad to use it. Continue reading

You’re Not The Hero: Insights on Building Community by Chris Lema at WordCamp OC 2014

Chris Lema at WCOC 6/7/14

Chris Lema at WCOC 6/7/14

“Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.”

“Wind Beneath My Wings” by  Jeff Silbar, Larry Henley

In a storytelling mode, the speaker quiets the nervous yet excited chatter in the room within ten seconds as he leads into a story, bringing us in with every word, pause, and intentional inflection.

Until Saturday, I had only heard tales of the blogging Sherpa and WordPress guru, never yet experiencing the inspired smile or sitting next to a gaggle of mesmerized engineers.

The best part of the talk was being reinforced in everything I believe in. That is to say, be a generous person, focus on relationships, care for people, and the rest will follow.

“The hero of the story I’m participating in is not me.” Chris Lema

There is a tendency for “experts” to pass on classes that cover topics “we experts” already “know,” discounting the power of reinforcement learning. Being reinforced by a total stranger who doesn’t owe you anything (emotionally or otherwise) is more powerful than you can imagine.

Do you want to get the most out of your blog?

You can watch the presentation on WordPressTV here.

Live Tweets:

Here are the tweets I sent out during the talk:

Continue reading