6

As much as people (maybe even you) crave hard and fast rules about what to do and not do in social media, it’s kind of like the Wild West. When the rules aren’t defined, it comes down to whether you want to try and take the law into your own hands. That’s true even for things (such as blatant plagiarism) you’d think would have been clearly spelled out years ago.

One of those situations happened recently.

I wrote an article right before Thanksgiving on “16 Social Media Tactics for Building an Audience” which was republished on several websites, only two of which have my okay to share Brainzooming content.

When one my articles is republished (or there’s a new one written for another blog), I create a Tweetdeck search on the main words in the title. It allows me to track any mentions of the article since many such tweets won’t appear in a standard @mentions search.

The “social media audience” post search uncovered a guy who had begun tweeting the 16 tips, one-by-one, over a several day period, with no attribution or links back to me or the Brainzooming blog. In other words, plagiarism.

After looking at his Twitter profile (and seeing he worked for a prominent Christian ministry organization), it seemed clear he wasn’t into serial plagiarism.

The cursory investigative work prompted me to post a tweet to ask how others would suggest handling the situation. The range of responses was surprising, to say the least. From mildest to wildest, they included:

  • Be flattered and know that your Twitter credibility is higher than that and be satisfied.” @SaraSocialMedia
  • Be grateful. Anyone interested enough to search will find your post. It’s a list post, not literature.” @GrahamHill
  • “Send this to them…RT @Lotay Give credit where credit is due.” @MarkVanBaale
  • Call them out, perhaps? If they don’t respond, ask your followers to RT their posts with attribution to you?” @RoyGrubb
  • “Call ‘em out! That’s theft. Attribution is so easy, especially on Twitter.” @KatyWrites
  • Let us at him.” @EAlvarezGibson
  • Bust his balls on it with a blog post. I would call him out, and then tweet it at him.” @NateRiggs
  • Out them, block their ISP, tell them to stop publically, pull down the post, tweet your points w/ your post link, etc.” and “Want us to kick ‘em in the shins?” @TheGirlPie
  • Hire the Twittenator.” @A_Greenwood

Talk about a range of responsesfrom “take the high road” to down-in-the-dirt, post-modernist gun slinging.

What did I do?

I followed the guy on Twitter, he followed back, and I sent him a DM. I told him about seeing him tweeting the post and suggested some type of credit or link was in order.  He responded by saying he’d do that and thanking me for both the reminder and the original post.

What’s happened since?

Nothing. He stopped after the first five of the 16 ideas, and in tracking his Twitter stream, it doesn’t look like he’s ever gone back and tried to provide any credit.

In the end, this wasn’t a big deal.

In fact, the bigger lessons for me (and hopefully for you) are the benefits of setting up multiple searches to track mentions about your content, and the fact you can depend on loyal friends to readily form a cyber-posse and help you deal with lawlessness on the web!Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we’ve developed  integrated social media strategy for other brands and can do the same for yours.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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6

Whether creating social media content for yourself or for an organization you support, here’s an easy-to-use strategic thinking exercise for generating relevant topic ideas. Consider three vital areas:

  • What do you Think?
  • What do you Know?
  • What do you Do?

Consider your target audience’s needs and interests as a backdrop. Then use Think, Know, and Do as starters for three mind maps to help explore a range of social media content ideas.

Working with Nate Riggs at Social Business Strategies, we used this exercise with a business-to-business service client recently as part of developing content strategy for its collaborative blog. The organization’s new social media team generated nearly 140 separate topic ideas in just 15 minutes. We accomplished this by having small groups rotating among the mind maps and building on ideas already generated. We had the team use a variety of other exercises as well to quickly generate more than a year’s worth of blog topic ideas in a very short period of time.

Think, Know, Do.

What do those three words suggest for potential topics about you or your organization?Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we’ve developed  integrated social media strategy for other brands and can do the same for yours.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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1

From our slightly twisted comedic friends at the Funny Eye for the Corporate Guy blog, here’s a cartoon analysis of reindeer and Christmas music from the Funny Eye resident economist. Venn diagrams, Rudolph, and Christmas music? Economic-based Christmas humor doesn’t get much better.

To see more economic cartoons and quotes full of holiday humor, you can check out the Funny Eye for the Corporate Guy blog.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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3

These life lessons certainly apply during the holiday season. But importantly, they’re life lessons which can help you embrace a more positive, successful perspective every day of 2011 and beyond.

  • Recognize your personal limitations and become successful despite them.

  • Your greatest challenges can be the seeds of your greatest successes.

  • Humility can never be overrated.

  • Serve first. Serve second. Serve third. Now, what do you want to do next?

  • Nice manners will make up for most (if not all) of your shortcomings.

  • Bad manners just make all the other marginal stuff you try to get away with seem all that much worse.

  • Sure you’re busy. Give yourself and the other people around you a break and take time to be pleasant. Don’t let “crazy busy” be your excuse…or your epitaph.

 

If you’d like to add an interactive, educationally-stimulating presentation on strategy, innovation, branding, social media or a variety of other business and life lessons to your conference event, Mike Brown is the answer. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how Mike Brown can get your audience members Brainzooming!

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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31

It’s pretty common knowledge that implementing an effective social media strategy takes time. That makes tips on how to maximize your social media productivity, such as those shared by Todd Schnick, co-founder of #Innochat, on his strategy for allocating your time very valuable. Todd’s recommendation was to divide your social media participation time into thirds, with 1/3 of your time within each category:

  • Observing / listening in others’ social media outlets
  • Participating in others’ outlets through commenting, guest blogging, etc.
  • Creating content and being active within your own outlets

Ever since Todd shared that concept in early 2009, his social media productivity strategy has been front and center in my mind (and ensconced in my social media strategy presentations). The truth is I rarely come close to this balanced approach since creating Brainzooming content definitely represents the majority of my time.

One way of improving your time allocation though is by investing your effort in activities which contribute to more than one of these categories. The following list includes some of the multi-category approaches I have tried.

13 strategies to maximize your social media time efficiency

1. Use tweets with your original content as input to create a blog post. For example, this blog post on 5 personal strategies started as a series of individual tweets.

2. Comment on another blog and use the comment as the basis for an original post on your blog.

3. Do a post comprised of comments (or links) other people have shared on Twitter you’ve found valuable.

4. Incorporate Twitter-based responses you’ve received from others on your content / ideas / tweets into a blog post.

5. Write a post inviting guest posts for your blog, then tweet links to your invitation post to solicit guest bloggers.

6. When you come across someone interested in topics related to your blog, ask them to do a guest blog post (and refer them back to the post in #5).

7. If you write a guest post for another site, do a complementary post on your blog pointing your followers to it.

8. Participate in Twitter-based chats on topics of interest (#Ideachat – Monthly, 2nd Saturday at 9 am ET) and use your comments during the chat as the basis for a blog post.

9. Create your own Twitter chat linked to your blog topic to benefit your audience.

10. Use answers you’ve created for LinkedIn Q&A or other discussion groups as starters for blog posts.

11. Write a response article to a blog post you’ve come across via Twitter, RSS feeds, etc.

12. Use what people on Facebook, Twitter, or other networks are talking about as the inspiration for a post. Be sure to include links to the original conversation, including letting the people you’re referencing know about it so they can promote it within their networks.

13. Answers to reader questions can be reformatted into blog posts. This post was originally an email response to a reader’s question about how to strengthen his social media participation without taking too much time from necessary business development activities!

What are you doing to maximize your social media productivity? Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we’ve developed  integrated social media strategy for other brands and can do the same for yours.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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3

I’ve already been told The Brainzooming Group “World Headquarters” is going to have a document clean-up and organization day near the first of the year. It’s been a long-time coming, I know, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be any less of a chore. I’ll admit to retaining a lot of project documentation materials.

Quite frankly, I successfully go back to and use previously developed models and outlines from previous projects quite a bit. Before leaving the corporate world, I was handed a quick-turnaround assignment to develop a strategic marketing communications plan for a very infrequent business event. Interestingly, we had done a strategic plan for a similar situation years before. I was able to retrieve both paper and electronic copies of the document, creating an updated strategic marketing communications plan in only a few hours.

Long story short, if you can retrieve a project document when you need it, the strategy of retaining your past project documentation pays off in enhanced efficiency.

But in thinking about the decision making process for which documents to throw away, maybe these strategic guidelines I’m creating for myself will be helpful to you if you struggle with the same situations.

Here’s my strategy for three types of project documentation I’m planning to jettison:

  • Old Reference Material – In fast-developing markets, a lot of reference material simply isn’t relevant anymore. With changing business dynamics, the usefulness of historical studies and reports is likely deteriorating at an accelerating rate. The trick is figuring out which reference materials are worthless and which can still be good future inputs.
  • Anything that Can Be Retrieved on the Internet – There’s no need to house a lot of secondary market research information that’s easily obtainable via the web. I’ll be clearing out historical project files and simply searching to find updated information if I need it in the future.
  • Forgotten Work – If you can’t remember the work, and it’s not part of a filing system, you aren’t going to be able to get to it when you need it! You might as well work from memory and take the extra time to address it with a fresh perspective when it counts.

Let me know if you have any other tips!

I’ll be printing this post out and keeping my document retention strategy close when combing through and making decisions about the many boxes of old project documentation files waiting for me!  – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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4

Does your organization have a defined social media policy? The mechanics behind creating a social media policy are an area where The Brainzooming Group, in collaboration with Nate Riggs, President and Lead Strategist of Social Business Strategies, has developed strategic thinking exercises to identify key social media-related issues. These are essentially the do’s and don’ts to be considered in defining a social media policy.

We’re always refining our strategic thinking exercises to make them more situation than category-based. As a result, they’re moving toward the form of, “What should happen when something else happens?”

Based on our experiences, some of the situations your social media policy ought to consider include:

  • What should take place when a customer complains?
  • What do you want to happen when someone takes exception to your point of view?
  • What are the differences when one of your social media team members is using social media professionally vs. personally? What about when it’s an employee not on the social media team?
  • When is it okay to share and not share content about work that you do for customers?
  • Are there times when norms on social media transparency contrast with your organization’s culture?

That’s a sampling of the situations we’re addressing with clients to create social media guidelines.

For us, the watchword for developing a social media policy is simplicity. In that vein, I wrote a guest post for Nate Rigg’s blog on the world’s simplest social media policy. If you don’t have some type of social media guidelines in place right now, this will be a helpful starting point, especially related to social media content sharing.

What situations would you add to shape the most effective social media guidelines?Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we’ve developed  integrated social media strategy for other brands and can do the same for yours.


Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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