Blogging | The Brainzooming Group - Part 16 – page 16
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For some people, it is a natural move from in real life personal relationships to social networking. Their social networking success can come from an instinctive or learned knack for what and when to share the right amount of personal information to make positive connections without boring people or seeming too self-obsessed.

Others, who take a more cautious approach to their lives and personal relationships, cannot imagine WHAT they could share online about themselves while still maintaining a professional image.

Social Networking by Sharing Kitteh Pictures

I was having this discussion with a cautious business owner recently who has social media presences established for the business, but struggles with what to share to both establish professional expertise and make personal connections via social networking. My point was even in a business-to-business setting, people buy from other people. PERSONAL relationships matter in real life business development, and they also matter when you are engaged in online social networking for business development.

You should have seen the reaction though when I mentioned the strategy behind sharing pictures of our cat Clementine (who a Twitter friend dubbed the “Director of Enthusiasm”) on Facebook.

Within a few questions, we found some topics that definitely have the potential for sharing on social networks. The issue is whether this business owner will become comfortable weaving in a more personal feel to social media content.

7 Content Strategy Questions for Building Personal Relationships

If you are struggling with integrating personal information into your social media sharing, here are seven questions you can ask yourself to identify potential personally oriented topics for social media sharing:

  • What do you think, know, and believe?
  • What are your favorite sources of compelling news and information online?
  • What do business associates and clients know about you personally?
  • What do you share about yourself when you meet someone at a networking event?
  • What is intriguing about you and your professional and personal interactions?
  • What is visually intriguing about your life – both professionally and personally?
  • What brands, stores, and places do you talk up to people because you appreciate them?

Certainly, you have answers to these questions. If you are struggling with sharing personal information via social media, the answers to these questions can start to form the basis of your personal content sharing strategy.

Social Networking – When and How Much Personal Information

The next big questions to ask and answer are how soon and how much to share personally?

You have to do what works for you, but if you are reluctant to share personal information online, the answers to these last two questions are “sooner than you think” and “more than you want.”

So now that all the questions are answered, it is time to started sharing and building personal relationships to let people get to know you better in an online professional setting! – Mike Brown

 

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If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!”

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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Saturday, November 10, 2012 marked the fifth anniversary of the Brainzooming blog. These five years have produced, in round numbers, more than 1,300 blog posts and 400,000 words of content on strategy, creativity, innovation, and social media topics.

Sometimes I love the Brainzooming blog. Sometimes I dread the Brainzooming blog. But I learn from the Brainzooming blog weekly, whether those are blogging lessons I actually do or those that sound wonderful, but I never seem to implement fully.

Here is a mix of each of those types of “what to blog about and how” blogging lessons from the past five years, with a particular emphasis on ones that have not warranted full blog posts yet.

What to Blog About and How – Do as I Do Blogging Lessons

  • Use WordPress for your blogging platform. You cannot beat the availability of (typically free) WordPress plugins to add features to your blog.
  •  Unless you are dedicated to creating and maintaining (WordPress) blogs, work with someone who works with WordPress all the time to support and update your blog.
  • Just start blogging and do not wait for things to be perfect. Start writing, and you will get better at writing as you write more.
  • Even if only for yourself, have in mind an audience persona for your blog along with a simple guideline for what topic areas will be a focus for your blog.
  • Learn about the fundamental elements of SEO and keywords as early as possible. Scribe is a great tool to help you improve at SEO as you write and publish blog content.
  • Take pictures all the time of things and situations that fit with your blog topics. It is nice to have the flexibility of a variety of images to choose from for a blog post.
  • Learn some basic skills on photo editing software so you can use your images multiple times and still keep them fresh.
  • List posts are fantastic. List posts attract readers, and if you do them right, they are relatively easy to write in a pinch.
  • Keep a separate document file of all your blog posts.
  • Read a few strong blogs regularly, but occasionally (i.e. once every week or two), and swap different blogs into the rotation. If you read anything too frequently (at least for me), it is easy to fall into the possibility of mimicking them.
  • Do not forget about your old posts whose content is not time sensitive. These blog posts can still have value, and people will be interested in them.

What to Blog About and How – Do as I Say, Not as I Do Blogging Lessons

  • Start with a reasonable and regular blogging schedule. Increase it only for a solid business reason.
  • Perform sufficient keyword research upfront. The keyword research can help focus your topics and writing while generating greater visibility for your content sooner.
  • Have a hidden blog where you feel comfortable experimenting out of sight of your regular audience.
  • The most important blogging rule? ABW . . . Always be writing.
  • The second most important blogging rule? ABCI always be capturing ideas.
  • You can increase your blogging efficiency if you use a kitchen timer and limit how long you spend writing a blog post. This approach might not improve your quality though.
  • Do not share too much without asking for something back from your audience. If you do not recognize the value in the content you share, how can you expect anyone else to recognize it?
  • Build more landing pages with downloadable content. When you are offering strong content, having targeted landing pages is a vital tool for capturing business leads.
  • Create more videos. Videos add personality and identity in a blog.
  • Back up the separate document file of all your blog posts frequently.
  • Do not become too enamored with only one social networking platform to share your blog content. Spread yourself thinner across multiple social sharing sites.

Other Thoughts on What to Blog About and How

  • My best analogy for what it is like to write a blog? Writing a book with a very loose outline and no real motivation to write the book in sequential order.
  • What nobody seems to tell you is the actual writing of a blog post may be less than 50% of the time to publish the blog post. SEO, editing, graphics, tagging, and setting up the social sharing seem to be easily half of my time on a post.
  • Much of what you read about blogging (especially anything on how easy, lucrative, fast it is) is either bullshit, total hype, or not applicable to what you are trying to accomplish. Don’t hesitate to consider this article in that group as well; ultimately you have to do what works for you, irrespective of what anyone else says! – Mike Brown

 

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If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!”

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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A blog post about taking a TV network programming approach to shape your social media content strategy led to questions about tips for what content to re-share on your social media sites.

When it comes to the decision to re-share evergreen content (i.e. a less time sensitive blog post), step one is making sure you have a big enough catalog of evergreen content. Depending on how active your content strategy is going to be on social media sites, you could need fifty blog posts or hundreds of blog posts.

If your evergreen social media content is in place, it’s vital to make sure you’re sharing social media content relevant to your audience at the time it is being shared. You can’t just throw content out there on social media sites your audience will view as old, boring, and irrelevant.

5 Tips to Sharing an Evergreen Blog Post

Here are five tips you can use to increase the probability your social media content still feels “fresh” when you re-share it on social media sites:

1. Share what your audience is searching for currently

If people are finding their way to your blog for specific topics and looking at a particular blog post right now, that is a good indication that particular social media content is still valuable. Check Google Analytics for recent active keywords and review the blog posts getting the most attention right now. We use the Jetpack Sitestats plug-in to monitor what blog posts are getting attention on a real-time basis so we can share links to what’s hot from an audience perspective right now.

2. Share what’s in the news right now

Current headlines are another great indicator of evergreen content to share. If a topic is hitting the business or popular news, it’s your opportunity to feature relevant social media content. For example, we published a blog post when Coca-Cola introduced a short-term redesign for the Diet Coke can. When Coca-Cola later announced the Diet Coke redesign was becoming permanent, it was a natural blog post to share again.

3. Share evergreen content related to what you are currently publishing

Suppose you are running a new list blog post on a particular day. As you share the link for the new content throughout day, alternate links to other blog posts related to your new content. For instance, on the day this post publishes, we’ll be tweeting links on community management and the programming like a TV network blog post. By taking a holistic view to your content strategy in this way, you can create a content theme for the day.

4. Share what the crowd is pointing to that’s popular right now

If you have vibrant Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or other presences on social media sites, you can readily scan them to see what topics people are writing and asking questions about currently. Check especially for topics and content others are re-sharing most frequently in your social media streams. The Google Trends is another option to see what searches are most popular currently. Take advantage of these cues to find comparable topics among your archived social media content to match current interests within your social media circles.

5. Share content that hasn’t been but should be popular

Just as certain TV shows are critically acclaimed but struggle to find an audience because of timing or other factors, the same can be true for a particular blog post. Perhaps an older post on our blog you really believe in didn’t receive the attention you thought it should have when originally published. Take advantage of future opportunities to share the post again and see if it catches on with the audience at a different time.

What other tips do you use to shape your content strategy and decide what evergreen content to share?

If you are sharing archived content from your blog as part of your content strategy, what tips and input do you use to make sure blog posts you’re sharing are relevant right now? Do you take any other steps to freshen evergreen content you share? We’ll put together a follow-on blog post about steps we take to keep even evergreen content fresh.  – Mike Brown

 

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If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!”

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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A fundamental part of effectively building a social media network is positively and beneficially interacting with other social media users. Another part is being able to successfully  ask members of your social media network for assistance and participation – either collectively or individually. Doing this successfully directly relates to the social media etiquette you display when you’re making a big social media “ask” of your audience.

There are clearly better and worse ways to ask your social media network for action. And based on requests we have received lately, there are a variety of basic social media etiquette practices social media users (even prominent ones) don’t know, selectively follow, or choose to blatantly ignore.

11 Keys to Seeking Social Media Network Help

When it comes to seeking help from your social media network . . .

  • If you solicit people in your social media network to leave comments on your new blog post, be prepared to check for pending comments throughout the day and APPROVE them as they are made.
  • When asking your social media network to “Like” or “Follow” your new social media presence, start sharing content in advance so your social media presence looks like an active one.
  • If you’re going to direct message someone to prompt them to retweet your important new social media content, make sure the link you include works – every time.
  • When you request guest blog posts, offer some direction on who your audience target is and provide activation support within your social media network after the guest post appears.
  • If you want to become a guest author on a blog, first show up and participate on the blog (or other social networks where the blogger is active) instead of simply making a request out of the blue.
  • When writing a guest post for someone else’s blog, don’t send the same post to multiple bloggers.
  • If you ask for a review of your book, webinar, or speech, be willing to adapt to a blogger’s writing approach (and actually supply the discount code you promise will be available to the blog’s readers).
  • When throwing out a question on Twitter or Facebook to other social media users, be ready to interact with members of your social media network who respond.
  • If you insist on sending an auto-direct message to someone who newly follows you on Twitter and include a question in the tweet, follow them back beforehand so they can respond to you with a direct message.
  • When asking someone within your social network to do something for you, do something for them first.
  • Use “please” and “thank you” liberally – even if it means sending someone another message (or two) to say them.

There are certainly more than these eleven social media etiquette tips, but these provide a solid foundation for cultivating greater social media network success.

What other social media etiquette tips would you add?

What social media etiquette miscues do you see when people make requests via social media? And what successful social media etiquette practices do you appreciate within your social media network?  – Mike Brown

 

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If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!”

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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A social media guru was on Twitter bemoaning the content strategy where people auto tweet links to already published blog posts on social networking sites. He was wondering aloud (as much as one can wonder “aloud” on Twitter) if these people did not have any new ideas to share.

Since I share non-auto tweeted “From the Archives” Brainzooming blog links as part of our social media content strategy, I was intrigued to see how others reacted. For the most part, people challenged the social media guru, saying already-published blog posts can still be quite relevant. They enjoyed both seeing reminders to valuable information they had missed and readership from people checking out their own older blog posts.

To me, this was just another example of a social media guru calling out something he does not do as “wrong” because he “allegedly” does not do it.

A Different Point of View about Your Content Strategy on Social Networking Sites

My philosophy on sharing already published blog posts was shaped by a long ago NBC slogan for its summer reruns: “If you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you.” Sharing previously published social media content seemed a natural since:

  • There are well over thirteen hundred historical, not particularly time-sensitive, blog posts on Brainzooming
  • An incredible number of people globally have Internet
  • There’s a slightly smaller, but still incredible, number of people who have never been to the Brainzooming blog

Maybe it is also because my dad managed a television station, but beyond the NBC slogan, I have clearly gravitated toward a TV or cable network model for shaping our social media content strategy.

For all the discussion you hear about old models not working in this completely new era of social networking sites, TV networks have been experts in attracting eyeballs through providing compelling content for decades. To a great extent, the content marketing model simply extends a TV network model to other organizations as they become content creators, aggregators, and sharers to build their own audiences.

A TV Network Model for a Social Media Content Strategy

In light of this connection between content marketing and TV network models, think about how each of these TV network programming strategies could shape your organization’s content marketing strategy across social networking sites. To make the connections more apparent, “programs” has been replaced by “content” in the list below. Remember that as you consider how TV networks:

  • Offer content 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Feature both their own content and content developed by others
  • Run content of varying lengths
  • Provide a mix of both current and timeless content
  • Program content that interests people
  • Stop running content audiences are ignoring
  • Do a lot of storytelling
  • Offer a mix of new content and popular older content
  • Offer exclusive live, as-it-happens content to attract larger audiences
  • Have multiple complementary channels offering both some of the same yet also different, more focused and concentrated content
  • Syndicate their own content to appear on other channels they don’t own
  • Run advertisements for others, themselves, and for public issues (public service announcements)
  • Create multiple celebrities / personalities to help attract an audience
  • Mix both serious and silly content
  • Sometimes counter program directly (i.e. an evening newscast at the same time as other networks) and sometimes completely differently
  • Have series you can see once and completely understand
  • Have series with running storylines where you have to see what’s before and after to completely understand
  • Feature competitions – sports, game shows, reality shows, etc.
  • Appeal to both the lowest common denominator and audiences with more sophisticated tastes

How Many of These Are You Applying in Your Social Media Content Strategy?

By my count, The Brainzooming Group is using eleven of these social media content strategy ideas regularly across the Brainzooming blog, Twitter, and Facebook. How many of these nineteen ideas are you incorporating into your social media content strategy? Are there other things you see TV networks do that have a place within your social media efforts? – Mike Brown

 

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If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!”

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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When I ran into mutliple-time Brainzooming guest blogger Alyssa Murfey at TEDxKC, she mentioned her recent passion project. Her excitement as she described it was infectious. As a result, I asked her to share why it’s important to have a passion project with Brainzooming readers, as she’s done today. When not working on her passion project, Alyssa is a social media analyst and email marketing manager for emfluence, a Digital Marketing Agency. A native Kansas Citian, Alyssa is a regular on the local food, event, and, and music scene. Here’s Alyssa!

The Importance of a Passion Project

Just as the transition from college to the real world teaches you, applying the skills I learn from my job to creating a passion project on my own continues to be an eye-opening learning experience. My passion project, a blog called House of Femme, is a work in progress. A co-worker/friend and I developed the blog together and pushed it live about six months ago. We aim for House of Femme to be a healthy living online magazine about being a modern gal that works and plays hard. It’s our way of sharing and exchanging knowledge.

In some ways our “house’ is like a fixer-upper: we’re constantly turning a corner to find something else that we want to improve. There are ups and downs, but my pride in sharing ownership in the project never changes. The lessons I continue to learn from this experience make me want to shout from the rooftops:  if you have a passion project opportunity, pursue it!

And if I were to shout from the rooftops about how you would benefit from tackling your passion project, it would sound a little like this…

Learn the Potential of Your Strengths

In my job, I may wear a hat or two as I work on various marketing campaigns, but never do I touch all aspects of the horse and carriage involved. When you (and a partner, if you’re lucky like me) have to manage everything, you can get lost in the abundance of the details. There are so many tiny pieces that play into making the puzzle whole. I have to take on many roles to make sure things are a success: photographer, copywriter, event planner, etc. As a result, I have to extend beyond my usual comfort level and knowing my strengths and discover what my strengths could be.

Find Your Own Resources

When working for a company, one is often blessed with an abundant supply of resources. Sometimes, as in my case, you don’t realize how many resources you have until you are forced to find the connections and talent on your own. There’s no, “Well, the blah blah blah department handles that.” You handle it!

Recognize The Skills of Others

When forced to find your own resources, you begin to tap into what’s available around you. Doing so, you start to realize the strengths of your friends, your colleagues, and your family. I’m constantly amazed by the people around me. Some of these people I see every day and yet, had no idea what talents they possessed. For instance, when we discussed during a blog meeting we were lacking hair and beauty posts, my little sister’s perfectly coifed fishtail popped into my mind. She styled her hair for a couple posts, and now she’s our youngest “House Guest Contributor”! I was honored to showcase her talents on the blog and as a middle schooler, apparently, it’s pretty cool to be featured on a blog. Win-win.

Have Passion

“If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.” – Benjamin Franklin

Passion makes the world go around, and if you love what you’re doing, the hours just fly by . . . happily. This final reason doesn’t require much explanation. A life full of passion is gold. So, pursue your passion project, stretch your boundaries, and find out why it’s worth it. – Alyssa Murfey

 

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Since early 2012, I have been writing a weekly feature on executive business and professional development topics for an executive briefing publisher. Within a daily executive intelligence briefing format focused on global events, the piece I write provides tips and suggestions for more effective strategic leadership.

One benefit of being on the hook to create a weekly, thousand-word article on topics I write and present about all the time is it’s sharpened my skills as I repurpose social media content. There are many reasons to not simply take what I’ve previously written and submit it as an article for the executive intelligence brief. The alternative is to find productive and effective ways to repurpose content that is already written.

If you are producing any amount of content across multiple channels (whether within one company or for multiple organizations), being very effective and efficient at being able to repurpose content is a valuable skill to develop.

7 Ways to Repurpose Your Social Media Content

Consider these seven techniques to repurpose your social media content for sharing within new channels, with different audiences, or at alternative times.

1. Consolidate a list post

We have all written list posts with more items than were required. After further reflection on these long list posts, you will like find ways to consolidate a few (maybe many) of the items on the list. So, consolidate away and write about new and fewer combined items on your revised list.

2. Ungroup and expand a topic

Pick one topic inside a multi-topic blog post. Pull the topic out from the remainder of the social media content and start writing in greater depth about it. Unshackled from having to account for the broader number and variety of topics in the original post, you can focus your exploration to create dramatically different content.

3. Reorder or regroup content

Take social media content you have already written and re-arrange its current flow into something new. This could include a different order for content to incorporate into the new piece or you can take specific sections in the original piece and integrate them as new topic sections.

4. Use headings from the original content to launch your rewrite

If your pre-existing social media content includes specific section headers, use the section headers from the earlier piece and begin writing from scratch about topics related to the previously used sections.

5. Integrate current news with the content

Look for a current news story or up-to-date issues you can integrate into pre-existing social media content to freshen it up dramatically. This type of repurpose technique provides a new introduction for your older social media content or can suggest new points of emphasis given the current environment.

6. Write two versions from different angles

When you write an article there are often multiple angles you could pursue. Start writing from a similar set-up but write in two different directions. Writing  two different pieces on the same topic but covering different aspects with different levels of depth is an ideal way to generate multiple pieces of new content at the same time.

7. Mix and match to create new content

If you already have considerable amounts of social media content on one or more topics, it is possible to create new content through pulling ideas from multiple older blog posts. You can put the extracted content together in new ways to make different points or uncover new ideas.

How are you trying to repurpose social media content?

What ways are you finding to repurpose social media content and generate additional content in an extremely time-efficient manner? – Mike Brown

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming email updates.

 

If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!”

 

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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