10 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Social Media

It’s spring! Time to freshen up your social media and get organized.

There is nothing that ruins a social media campaign faster than disorganized passwords and log ins! 
At least 90% of my clients keep me waiting for days while they try to remember and find their passwords and log ins (or even remember which social media sites the are on). It’s a gigantic waste of time and money that can CRUSH your product launch. This happens to small solo proprietors and big brands alike.

1. Create a shared Google Document or spreadsheet for storing the names of your social media accounts, emails and passwords. Don’t forget the passwords to the email.
2. Invite all the members of the team into the document who will need access to these accounts. 

3. Then, create one company email address specifically for all of your social media pages. (Not the email of an employee who might leave). Remember to record that password too.

4. I recommend one password for all your social accounts. Keep it simple and memorable as your Social Manager has to type this in all day long, several times a day, and you’re paying her by the hour!

5. Set a reminder on your calendar every 6 months to change the passwords and update the spreadsheet and team.

6. Name every social media page the exact same name (preferably the actual name of your company, film, book or product) and reserve the URL for it. (Example: http://www.facebook.com/mycompany.) Check to make sure you’ve reserved your private URL so it’s not taken by another brand. 

Before you even name your business, book, film, band or product, check Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, WordPress, Domain.com and Instagram and make sure your name is actually available on all of these pages. It can be embarrassing if it’s not.
7. Use a service like Buffer to organize all your accounts.

8. Don’t use a Yahoo or Gmail account as your one email address — it needs to be http://www.yourcompany.com because some social media tools will only let you use a business email to establish your account. When an employee leaves, or you stop using an agency, please remember to change the passwords and remove the admins. (I am still an admin on about 23 pages for projects I no longer work for, including clients who died and companies that no longer exist but still leave their Fan page up.)

9. Try a tool to clean up the deadwood inactive followers from your Twitter following. I like “Unfollow” and “Crowdfire.”

10. Add a tab on your spreadsheet with the names, emails, social accounts and phone numbers of each person on your marketing team involved with your social media. 

You just saved your team hours of future frustration! 

It’s not PR anymore — it’s Social PR. Your PR program and Social Media must be intertwined.

Social media is just a natural evolution of the tools we started doing PR with in the beginning of the computer revolution — email and databases.

Now instead of keeping your list in email and a database, your contacts are in Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

This should be brain dead obvious, but I still see clients separating PR from social media, and often attaching a much higher dollar value to press coverage or PR than an effective social networking strategy.

Social media should be integrated with your PR strategy.

You should be including the press in your social communities on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and LinkedIn — and they should be learning your brand’s story, bit by bit, day by day, one post at a time.

These days, most of the press contact I do is directly via Facebook instant messages or Twitter direct messages — not email. I can’t even imagine separating PR from social media.

Sure you announce the “big news” with an advance press release or a big event — but you’re now telling your story in real time to an audience that includes the press and customers.

Facebook and LinkedIn are just your new Rollodex.This is how you find customers, build loyalty and keep them. This is also how you find influencers and the press, build fanatical loyalty and keep them on your side.

Social media is now the front line of your brand.

1. Your network is your net worth.

2. Business is now all about customer relationships.

3. Branding is now all about storytelling.

4. Marketing is now all about building communities. The first step to launch any business now is to first build your community. Then you tell your story to the super connected connectors who lead other communities.


PR is still important — but in the social media era you must intertwine it with your social media program for success

I think that PR and social media are not separate and are in fact, today, the same thing.

Social PR blends traditional mainstream print/TV/radio news media Press Relations with Social Media content marketing — to reach influencers.

It also means, simply, that your “friends” on your social network also happen to be reporters, freelance writers, columnists and editors and they “discover” the story ideas you share on their news feed. (This is kind of like sending out a press release only much faster.)  I also pitch editors via Facebook or Twitter.

I build relationships with press and influencers. Some of them are traditional print or TV press. Others are simply well connected on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram — but have influence equivalent to or greater than that of traditional media.

Over time, we create authentic, engaged communities who will be advocates of your brand. Who tell your story. Who spread the word for you. I believe in telling a story so compelling that the press call you.  The best press coverage always happens this way — pull not push.

Social media and PR are all about connections.

If you have just 1000 friends, and they each have 1000 friends, you can reach 1 million people with your network.

Think about it — you can reach 1 million people with a single post now.

That is the most amazing marketing bargain in history.

You can reach 1,000,000 people within a few minutes with great post on Facebook -- if it gets shared and syndicated. Only a few newspapers can reach that many readers (such as the New York Times or LA Times.)
You can reach 1,000,000 people within a few minutes with great post on Facebook — if it gets shared and syndicated. Only a few newspapers can reach that many readers (such as the New York Times or LA Times.).
You influence other influencers who reach other influencers. who spread the word. This exponentially amplifies your message.

There is no other way to do this — and all of the leading social media experts leverage their personal relationships on behalf of clients, just as publicists have for decades.


Reach early adopters

The way you get a paradigm shifting or disruptive technology launched is by first convincing the early adopters.

THE THREE PRIMARY EARLY ADOPTER COMMUNITIES:

  • Technology early adopters
  • LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability)
  • Transformational consumers

These are the three groups of people most likely to adopt and try a new idea or trend — and then spread the word about it.

You need to reach pundits, journalists, bloggers, reviewers, investors, analysts and influencers who spread the word to early adopters. The “I am the first on my block” trendsetters, hipsters, techies who dare to try new ideas.

Influence the influencers.
The secret to a successful product launch? Influence the influencers, beta testers, reference customers and early adopters. Like these folks willing to camp out for the new iPhone.
Via this selectively curated group of exceptionally networked people. (Malcolm Gladwell in “The Tipping Point” calls them “mavens” and “connectors”) I can reach millions in a few minutes.

Connect other connectors.

To “go viral” you need to reach other connectors who are connected with other communities outside your own.

Social networking is just like face to face networking. The whole point is to have a network that reaches other networks.

You are most effective when you network outside your network into new circles:

cropped-unify-community-influence-chart.jpg
How social media works: You are connecting different social networks and communities in order to generate huge influence. Generally each of these communities has influencers. The point is to identify the influencers and influence them so they spread the word to their networks for you
You can either pay for this with Facebook advertising — or do it manually by having relationships outside your network. I believe that doing a combination of both is most effective.

Holacracy and Facebook — are we creating a global brain?

Holacracy and Facebook — are we creating a global brain?

visibility shift

For three weeks this summer, I was totally off the grid and more or less out of touch while immersed in a permaculture workshop near Mt. Shasta. Permaculture, which literally means “permanent agriculture”, is a systems design theory that can be applied to sustainable agriculture, architecture and community design.

While it started 40 years ago in Australia, permaculture is just now starting to hit a “tipping point” and emerge into mainstream media consciouness. (As it did recently when an actress Ellen Page talked about her permaculture workshop on the Ellen De Generes show.)

Our workshop, produced by Living Mandala, focused on teaching the fundamentals of permaculture in the context of training future leaders of intergenerational ecovillages and intentional communities, so we learned about new systems of organizational management.

As we sat in a beautiful outdoor classroom in the forest, organizational management coach and “evolutionary strategist” Shiloh Boss…

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IN 2014, SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE MEDIA

Ignore social media at your own peril -- it's not going away.
Ignore social media at your own peril — it’s not going away.

SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE MEDIA

A marketing pro I ran into at my local cafe the other day looked over my shoulder as I was updating a Facebook Fan page and said:

“Most of social media is pure bullsh*t for my clients.”

And he’s right…for his old school, 65+, out of touch clients who don’t even have smart phones, still read a print newspaper and are still carrying a DayTimer — social media is a waste of time. (However, as of this writing, the 70+ age group is catching up and is now the fastest-growing demographic on Facebook.)

For a few, select businesses, like lawyers, (unless they deal with high profile cases that generate publicity), or people with government or corporate jobs (unless they are company spokespersons), or arms dealers, or private detectives or schoolteachers who want to protect their personal privacy, or anyone with a security clearance, or anyone doing something illegal, it’s better to keep a very low Internet profile.

But for most businesses operating transparently, social media can bring you an unprecedented new level of visibility. And for CEOs, filmmakers, artists, musicians, performers, workshop leaders or anyone who produces events — it’s mission critical.

Remember, if you ignore Social Media it won’t go away. And the conversation will still be happening without you.

Social media is a lot more than “just posting” stuff.

It is so frustrating when clients say:

“But all you did was post on Facebook.”

Social media posting is not “just posting”. It’s work.

It involves writing, fact-checking, content creation, branding, strategy, graphic design, editing, headline writing, proof reading.

It is journalism, marketing, advertising, PR, customer service and branding rolled into one.

It is the front line of your brand. The most visible tip of the iceberg of everything your company or you represent.

Posting for yourself, for fun, might mean taking a fuzzy photo of your lunch with your smartphone and sending it off for 3 “likes” from your best friend, your Mom and your Aunt in Iowa.

Posting for a client means a memo to suggest your idea of shooting a photo of lunch, a strategic timeline, hiring and negotiating a photographer, scouting a location, hiring the model and stylist, traveling to and attending the half day shoot, managing a graphic designer who lays out the “content”, submitting it all for approval (five times), another meeting, a conference call to discuss all of this, and somewhere down the line, posting the photo of lunch, tagging it, sharing it to groups, asking partners to share it to their pages (more conference calls), responding immediately to the comments from the crowd (“it’s too fattening!”), managing the conflict resolution and controversy, and summarizing the results in a status report. Whew. That took a week.

“Just posting”….Behind each post is time spent creating strategic plans, meetings, conference calls, research, emails, memos and status reports.

“Just posting”…mean reading the posts YOUR community makes — so you can understand the community, retweet and repost their content.

“Just posting” means hundreds and thousands of hours reading up on the news about the latest tools and technologies.

“Just posting” is a lifetime spent building a personal social network to leverage.

“Just posting” means travel and time spent at live events, taking notes, reporting, Tweeting, Instagramming, videotaping and photographing to create more content for you.

“Just posting” means responding to people and forwarding their concerns to the client is a 24/7 job. It is never a 9 to 5. A conscientious social media pro is at work while on the bus commuting, while eating in cafes, and anywhere the iPhone is in range.

But you’re right. All I did was post.

Thank you for listening.

You get what you pay for.

Personal branding: Think like a search engine. It’s all about attraction

Cover of "The Secret (Extended Edition) [...
Cover via Amazon
When it comes to marketing and promoting yourself or your business, think like a search engine.

A search engine is all about the Law of Attraction. It is about Pull not Push.

Search engine marketing is about creating content with specific key words and waiting for it to be found by the exact people seeking it.

You do not knock on doors. You do not act desperate, begging for attention.

You simply be your best possible and most attractive self and calmly put that out into the universe … and wait.

In the “new age” movement, the work of Abraham Hicks and the blockbuster book: “The Secret” talk about this law of attraction in terms of thoughts. “What you feel or think is what you will attract.”

A few weeks ago, I was thinking of the exact client I wanted. This client was at an event I was present at but I missed the chance to introduce myself to them. The next day, they emailed me and sought me out. As Depak Chopra says: “There are no coincidences.” I drew that client to me. They pursued me.

Of course, I did not just “think” of this client — I had already spent my lifetime building the skills and relationships for the job. Months in advance I redesigned my website, my business cards, the description on my Facebook profile, the way I dressed in public, the photos I chose to show on my page. I was ready when they called.

On the Internet, in our marketing, we do not “feel,” we write.

What and who do you want to attract?

Who is your dream customer, your dream client?

You don’t ask for a job. They “get” to hire you … if they’re lucky!

You don’t beg for the customer to buy. They “get” to buy your product if they’re ready for it.

What are they searching for? What is their wildest fantasy? What solves their problems?

What does that person look like? Who are their relationships? Where do they hang out?

Tailor your communication. Be exactly that.

In your face to face communications, in your marketing, your website, your Facebook posts, use the “key words” and phrases, the clothes, the colors, the “search terms” and emotional cues, the graphics, images and colors that attract customers, clients and opportunities to you.

Let me know how this is working for you.

Social media marketing isn’t free — you get what you pay for

0fe856038a37ce3f84af53823c5afb99I get at least one inquiry per day from someone begging me to help launch their product, their festival, their conference, fix their online reputation or get them better SEO results for their site.

But 9 times out of 10 people somehow think that because Facebook is free, getting someone to post for you is free. Everyone wants it. Nobody wants to pay for it.

If you want quality social media, expect to shell out as much as you’d pay for a web designer, graphic designer, publicist, branding agency or writer. If you’re paying $150-500 to go out on a mail list to reach 10K+ people, well, you should pay the same to reach 10K people on Social Media. It’s more valuable.

We’re getting you customers — customers you can see, know the names of, know every possible demographic detail about. It’s exponentially more valuable than buying an email list. We’re giving you a way to interact with people — that’s so much richer than a one-way ad.

Social media has tipped — everyone realizes they need it. They just still have a trouble grasping the concept that it’s they need to pay for it.

1. You need a strategic plan or it’s a waste of time. 9 out of ten clients who approach me do not even remember what social pages they have, or the passwords. Having a ton of neglected, half-baked You Tube channels and un-tweeted Twitter pages does not impress anyone. Do it right or don’t do it at all.

2. You need to support it with great branding. logo, website, name, packaging, video and advertising. Get your act together on all fronts before you start blasting it out to the public.

3. It’s not free and it’s not cheap. A good Facebook post that gets engagement can take 30-60 minutes to research, write, tag and post — longer if there’s original content like photography, video or an infographic.  You need to post 3-5 times a day. That can take someone a full 8 hour day on all of your channels–more if you want to approve all the content they produce.

4. You’ll need to supplement it with a Facebook ad campaign, video, good banner design and online branding, contests, apps and services that cost money. If you can’t afford these things, maybe you need more funding for your business before you decide to do a social media campaign.

5. It takes writing skills, wit and good taste. I find that journalists, photographers and other content creators are the best at social media, because it’s about storytelling. Talented creative is rare — and costs money.

6. It has to be proofread, spell checked, high resolution and not look junky. That means it takes time and care, and you’ll need to hire educated, thoughtful, creative people.

7. It takes technical skill. Building a Facebook page takes more knowledge than using WordPress or building a website. By far. Just because billions of people use it, lamely, does not mean that using it intelligently is going to be easy.

8. It’s a specialty. You really need to specialize in this and do it all the time to stay on top of the technology. It changes every day.

9. There is still this myth you can farm social media out to interns or outsource it.  Or worse, just by a bunch of fake followers for $5 on Fiverr. This is the front line of your brand and you’re going to trust it to someone entry level?

10. If you want to reach consumers under 40, you need to be online. Period. Statistics and marketing research have consistently shown that younger people, especially Millenials, don’t watch much TV, listen to broadcast radio, read print media or read email anymore. They’re glued to smart phones — and social media.

So if you paid for email campaigns and lists, TV ads, print ads, Google ad words, and PR — expect to pay for qualified, experienced and competent social media too.