Tag Archive | Blogging

Your company is Tweeting, Facebooking, and Blogging. So what?

So, your company is on Twitter, Facebook, and has started a blog. So what?

Are you connecting to the right people? Are you seeing any results from your efforts?

Every self-proclaimed social media mogul says “listen first,” then speak. I agree, but where do you listen, who do you listen to, and how do you listen on SM?

I usually pick a “target audience” every few days and concentrate on building a relationship with them.

For example, let’s say your company wants to sell Zen Gardens to stressed-out CEOs. (It was the first thing I saw when I looked around my desk).

Step 1 – Connect. First, I suggest checking your database for all CEOs  that your currently working with. Run internal searches to see if any of them are on social media. It’s important to connect with people you already know, and see who they are connected with. Done that already? Then, how about running a boolean search (you can use this one) on Google and find CEO’s on LinkedIn that are also on Twitter.

Step 2 – Listen. How do you listen on social media? All those people you just connected with in Step 1, now it’s time to listen, not in a stalkerish way, but in a way that knows what’s going on in their world. Are they asking questions you can provide input to? Can you help sponsor an event? Do you have common personal interests/goals? All of those things are conversations to be on the lookout for. I like using Twitter Lists on TweetDeck so I can put people into categories and quickly monitor what that group is saying. By quickly, I mean scanning through their tweets once or twice a day.

Step 3 – Interact. I think this is where many companies potentially drop the ball.  They get their SM sites going, then, like Field of Dreams they hope customers will come. Building a true social media platform takes a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit. Always thinking of ways to interact and build relationships.  A few basic examples: comment on a blog post, RT their information, support them in their speaking engagements, just interact with them! People on SM love when their content spreads.

Step 4 – Give. I like to use the word give because relationships never work if your a “taker.” So, give to your connections. Provide meaningful content via a blog or Twitter feed. Support their efforts whether speaking or blogging. Could they benefit from knowing another one your connections? Introduce them. Do you have an event they might be interested in attending? Invite them. Let your connections know that you are not all about you.

Step 5 – Engage. Now that you’ve had meaningful interactions with them, it’s time to pull the “relationship” even closer. Maybe they could guest author on your blog about the stress CEOs are facing. Or you could sponsor a series of Webinars for other CEOs. I’m making this up but you get the point. Your goal is for them to become an advocate of your SM efforts and of your organization.

I’m not claiming to be a sales expert. But, most sales people would agree that the best “deals” are done with those who they’ve built a solid relationship with. Social Media is a great tool to lay the foundation for a good relationship.

If all of this stresses you out,  I’ve got a Zen Garden with your name on it.


3 Overplayed Songs – That I love Anyway

The other day I came across Plinky.com. A site I’m sure a lot of you know, but was new to me. The concept is to ask you a question to help spark a creative writing topic. I experience “writers block” quite often, and my MATRIX teammates are always telling me that they would like to blog, but aren’t sure what to write about.  Plinky might work for you, or might not, but the concept is good.

The question I was asked was “Name three overplayed songs that you love anyway.”

So here are my current three choices:

1. OAR – Shattered

2. The Script – Breakeven

3. The All-Amercian Rejects – Gives You Hell

What are your choices for the most overplayed songs (but you love them anyway)?

If Plinky isn’t cutting it for you, here are a few more tips to help relax your writers cramp.

How to add to the conversation

“Adam, I just don’t know what to write about.”

I hear that all the time from colleagues or friends that are on the fence about blogging, but haven’t jumped into the pool yet.  When I sit down with them to plot out some ideas, I usually begin by encouraging them to setup Google Alerts so they can see what others with similar interests are saying.

For some, reading other authors posts will: spark an interesting idea of their own;  allow them to see other writing styles; or show them how other bloggers can take ordinary events and write a topical blog post about it.

Another reason to read other’s blog posts is to add to the conversation on topics already being discussed. For example, lets say you are in the staffing business. You might be an expert at giving interview/resume tips for job-seekers. Why not read what other industry experts are saying and add to their conversation?

Maybe someone wrote a blog about 10 Interview Tips That Will Land You a Job. You can add to that list by providing additional tips that you feel are just as important but the original author left off. Of course, you will always want to link back to that blog.

I saw a video today by Darren Rowse of Problogger that explained 11 ways to add to the conversation. And by “the conversation” he means what others are Blogging, Tweeting, YouTubing, or simply just talking about. He provides 11 great ideas that will help you engage in conversation with others in your industry. And let’s face it, the more you engage in conversation, the more you learn, and the more positioned you can become as an “industry expert.” Plus, you can make some great friendships.

“I’m a blogger”

I still remember when I started my first blog. I was so excited. I could think of a million ideas to write about and was sure that I would never hit a “creative wall.”

Four weeks in, and I was at a complete loss of things to share. The honeymoon was over and the initial excitement of being a “blogger” (I thought it sounded so cool) was gone. Now, I was just a guy with this internal pressure to post something.

So if you are thinking about starting a blog, or have one but are becoming stale and unenthusiastic, here are a few tips to spark some creativity.

  1. Lists– Top 5 lists are easy to read and always attract traffic.
  2. Photos – Post a photo related to your blog niche.
  3. How-To’s – Show your readers how to do something.
  4. Link – Have you read an article that you find interesting? Write a short blog post and link to it.
  5. Recommendations – Write-up a recommendation to your favorite book, website, movie, restaurant, etc.
  6. Interview – People love interviews. Interview an expert in your field and share it on the blog.
  7. Video – Most of the time, a video draws more traffic than a written post. So interview someone or show a how-to in a video format
  8. A Personal Story – Everyone loves a personal story. Did you have something funny happen to you today? Did you attend an interesting seminar? Share your experience from the event.

Two final suggestions:
1. Don’t cram too much information into a single post. Pick one topic and stick with it. It makes the post easy to read. Plus, then you can expand your other thoughts into future posts.

2. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to meet a deadline. Sometimes you just don’t have any creative thoughts. Inspiration comes at odd times, and you can’t predict when you will have a brilliant thought. But when you do, write it down quickly so you don’t forget it. Even if it is at 4 AM (done that). Because you might forget it in the morning.

Want more helpful blogging ideas? Here’s a link to “101 Great Posting Ideas