Social media ain’t for the faint hearted

March 7, 2011 at 7:30 am | Posted in social media | 12 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
social media

It takes wisdom to conquer social media.

Recently I was asked to meet an entrepreneur who wanted to ‘do’ social media.

On the phone, it soon became obvious he had BIG expectations of the outcomes, but no understanding of the process.

This was fine: I don’t know how to run multi-million dollar factories. It was wise for him to seek advice.

However, as we’re both very busy people, I didn’t want to waste our time. So I composed the frank (nay, brutal) email below.

To his credit, this man is now working through my documents and preparing the answers I seek.

When I do meet him, I expect we’ll proceed in leaps and bounds.

‘Dear Fred,

Betty tells me you wish to harness the power of social media to promote your new products.

This is doable, but not easy.

In two years of studying social media daily, I’ve learned that it’s a demanding, fickle, content-hungry, slow-burning beast of a strategy.

When it works, it really works.

But you have to put in.

To this end, I must see if you can give me what I need to help you.

If you can deliver, we can do business.

If not, it’s best we don’t waste our precious time.

Here is your mission, should you choose to accept it:

  1. Cast your eye over the following blogs and tell me which one/s (if any) you like and why:
  2. Complete the attached blog post questionnaire.
  3. Read the other attachments and tell me what you think of how I operate.

Being a writer, I need your responses in writing.

I can then review them carefully to ask you intelligent, relevant questions when we meet.

Naturally, refusal won’t offend.

Better a clear NO now than a fuzzy future MAYBE.

I look forward to your frank response.

Best regards,

P.’

Watch this space!

Paul Hassing, Founder and Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire.

Advertisements

17 Blog improvement ideas

January 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Posted in social media | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Small changes can make a BIG difference. Photo by rwpeary.

A while ago I was asked to critique a blog. While many of my suggestions were client specific, there were some I thought you might find useful.

This list shows the sort of feedback I can give on your blog.

  1. Changing/rotating banner pics are a nice touch. A small explanatory caption for each would be even better. Especially for first-time visitors.
  2. Once you delve into older posts, it can take time to get back to the start. It’d be nice if clicking the banner pic returned readers to the home page.
  3. Captions on post images would satisfy scanning readers, intrigue deeper readers and generally draw more people into each post.
  4. An avatar (profile) pic of unusual dimensions makes it hard to use in other social media applications (which will crop it).
  5. Clicking your avatar should lead to your bio.
  6. Inconsistent capitalisation may distract some readers from your message.
  7. Responding swiftly to comments can elicit others and build readership and community.
  8. Clicking the post photos makes them much bigger than expected (or needed). This could disadvantage readers with slower internet connections.
  9. Given this blog’s many components, a three-column design like this could work better than a two-column design.
  10. ‘Rollover’ comments (which appear when you put your cursor over a link – see my blogroll on the right of this page) let you know what you’re getting into before clicking through. Some people prefer this.
  11. Are you on Twitter? I couldn’t find a way to follow you. How do you announce new posts to the world?
  12. One post had two hyperlinks. One was embedded, the other wasn’t. The former is neater and should be used consistently.
  13. One photo acknowledgement took two lines, where one would suffice.
  14. Abbreviations (it’s, we’re, don’t) would make the tone friendlier (and the writing shorter and easier to read).
  15. Many of the photos are so beautiful, it’s a shame to have them so small. Putting them above the text would solve this problem.
  16. Some posts contain many passive constructions. The active voice is shorter and more ‘up’.
  17. Bullets are great. If you can left align them, they’ll remain distinct without looking cramped or consuming too much white space.

Was any of that useful? You can probably see I’m bringing my copywriting expertise to bear on the content.

And why not? Blogs are just another vehicle for interesting, relevant messages expressed in perfect English.

Did you want anything explained more fully? Just leave a comment; I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

Reach out

January 2, 2010 at 10:50 am | Posted in social media | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Photo by Janesdead

If you find a blogger who mentions your products or services, leave a comment or get your representative to do it.

Most blogs let you add a link (also called a URL – short for Uniform [or Universal] Resource Locator) back to your site when you comment.

This is good for creating fresh visitor traffic and improving your online search ranking performance.

It  also shows that your organisation is active in the social media space (and therefore ‘switched-on’ in the minds of Generation Y and younger audiences).

Better still, if your competitors don’t follow your lead, you may open a point of difference that they can never close.

Your social media participation may also prompt blog owners to ask you or your representative for content – or even an interview.

At this point, you can start steering the conversation your way.

Finally, consistent online participation by you or your rep provides a contact name for anyone with good or bad news to impart.

Thus, each blogger your cultivate is like a listening post in no-man’s land. The more you have, the better your field intelligence – which is vital for the battles ahead.

By promoting good things and resolving bad, you build and optimise your brand many times faster than has ever been possible.

Business Blogs

Turn forums into temples

December 29, 2009 at 11:13 am | Posted in social media | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Photo by David Paul Ohmer

When searching online for the names of your organisation, products or services, keep a sharp eye out for forums. 

This is where people gather to praise, study, discuss or revile what you do. 

Often, you’ll see requests for help or information which the forum’s current participants can’t fulfil. 

According to Groundswell, if you provide a forum with free tips on how to solve outstanding problems with your goods, users will worship your brand and spread the word. 

You can do this task yourself, or delegate it to a product-savvy eager beaver in your organisation as a special assignment. 

The results may pleasantly surprise you.

Business Blogs


Entries and comments feeds.