Gini Dietrich

Blogging: What Inspires You?

By Social Media

Gini DietrichMy friend Gini Dietrich is such a jerk. She’s the only blogger I’ve ever known who can write a blog post about absolutely nothing and get more than 350 comments. So while I’m seething with professional jealousy, I’m also thinking about inspiration, and the process I go through when I’m stuck and can’t think of anything to write.

For the most part, I rely on my feed reader. I read other posts and ideas bubble up; before I’ve finished my reading I have several ideas for future posts.

I go offline a lot, too, reading magazines and books, making notes or even, sometimes immediately creating a first draft of a blog post.

Lately I’ve been trying a few other avenues to boost creativity. I’m curious, though . . .

What do you do to find inspiration?

P.S. Gini, you know I love you!


Social Media Motivation: The $100 Solution?

By Social Media
Jaggers Communications social media workshop

Photo credit: www.cramerphoto.com

Over the last few years, I have asked a lot of really smart people how they have inspired others to get on board with social media on behalf of their companies.  On the phone I’ve grilled both Gini Dietrich and Elizabeth Sosnow on this topic and they both had helpful advice.

One of the first answers to my question came from Shel Israel, who said “you have to seduce them into it.” He’s right, of course. But it is not always easy to identify what’s going to make someone get interested in contributing.

My friend Janet Driscoll Miller of Search Mojo was talking about this very topic recently and she noted the same approach endorsed by others in the field who have been successful.

The approach is this: when it comes to encouraging staff members to contribute to a business’s online presence, the only — and really the only — way to be successful in doing this is to make it part of each employee’s job responsibilities. Furthermore, everyone I’ve asked finds it necessary to tie bonus compensation to social media contribution. One firm rewards the employee with the highest ranked blog post for the month with $100 cash.

If, as one firm owner found, money doesn’t motivate, then pulling the hard-core card does; if someone’s not pulling their weight, it’s going to come up in performance reviews.

It’s too bad that for some employees they don’t “get it” and find their own passion, particularly if they’re marketers. It’s sad that some people have to be bribed to do their job well. The tide is bound to turn, however, as employers place a more and more significant emphasis on an employee’s role as an ambassador for the company.

If you’ve dealt with this issue within an agency or any company trying to develop content for the social web, what have you found to be a successful form of motivation? What have you tried that doesn’t work?

5 Ways Social Media has Worked for Me

By Social Media

I was reading my friend Ken’s post about his community and all the amazing ways the members of the community have come together to help one another.

I have a deep appreciation for the benefits I’ve received from being a part of an online community. I know how much having a broad social network has helped me develop new business and assist others to find jobs and other opportunities. I, of course, realize the benefits of being a content creator and have enjoyed the payoff in the form of friends, great working relationships and the kind of support that has lifted me up and given me confidence, fresh ideas and inspiration.

Here are five personal stories of my social media success:

  1. One of the longest-term clients I’ve had knew me first because of my personal blog (where I used to write a lot more about social media till I had this blog). She was delighted to learn that I lived and worked only a few miles away from her business. A mutual connection in our social network introduced us and the rest is history.
  2. I am very good about keeping my online social network up-to-date, entering new contacts into LinkedIn and connecting with new people I meet at conferences and networking events as soon as I can. This practice has led to speaking engagements and the introduction to new clients. I’m also pretty committed to providing recommendations to others on LinkedIn, allowing me to also receive endorsements from others with whom I’ve worked. It’s a wonderful boost to my business to have these online “testimonials” about the work I’ve done.
  3. In a wonderful mash-up of more traditional media and social media, I’ve worked with a local affiliate of three television stations as a blogging expert and social media correspondent as well as providing guidance as a consultant to the news staff of the stations. This mutually beneficial relationship has allowed me to develop relationships with a wide local audience and helped the television media use a social presence to expand their reach and build more solid relationships with their audience, a very gratifying experience indeed.
  4. On Twitter, I have met, followed and learned from many people in my industry. A few of these have included Gini Dietrich, Jay Baer and Ken Mueller. I’ve contributed guest posts to Spin Sucks and to Inkling Media’s blog, helping me increase my reach to new audiences. Not only that, but all three of these people are dear friends whom I’ve enjoyed knowing, reading and talking to often.
  5. There’s the misguided perception among the uninitiated that is that the social media active live their lives online. Those who aren’t engaged online seem to think that those who are conduct all communication via Twitter, Facebook and other online networks. What they’re missing is the moment that two people who have known one another well via an online relationship meet in person for the first time. Kismet! Joy! Bonding! A relationship cemented with a handshake or a hug. One of my favorite instances of this is when Self-Made Mom and I kept e-mailing and Instant Messaging (this was in a pre-texting era) to find one another across a room full of hundreds of other women bloggers (“I’m wearing polka dots!”) until we spotted one another and beamed the smiles of people who were already friends.

When people wonder if social media and social networking “really works” I can answer that with real stories of my own (and these are five of dozens that I have and love to share) and those of clients with whom I’ve worked.

I continue to be surprised and delighted by the connections and re-connections formed via social media, like the opportunity coming from a high school friend and another coming in from my sister’s college roommate — don’t discount the reach of your entire network. You just never know where the next opportunity will come from.

Tell me: what are some ways social media has worked for you?

Come for the SEO, Stay for the Relationships

By Social Media

I’ve been at this social media bit for awhile. Longer, in fact, than we called it that. Long enough ago that the word blogger was whispered, like it was cancer.

I’ve adapted to new tools and the updates of existing tools and every day I’ve learned something new. One thing hasn’t changed through all of it though and it’s this: what really matters here are the relationships.

Sure, I might focus my content in a specific area to generate new visitors. I might narrow the focus again to try to attract people who might be interested in my help. But I guarantee it’s the relationship that is formed from the interaction between visitors and content producers that keeps people involved in the conversation.

I read the blog posts of people I’ve talked to on Twitter. I have followed the blogs of people I’ve met in person or heard speak at conferences. I’ve struck up conversation with people because others follow them and talk to them. I’ve been thrilled to pieces when one of the big guys in my industry have replied to something I’ve said.

When there’s something geographically, philosophically, politically, etc. I see that I think will be of interest to them, I share it. They often do the same for me. When there’s something that will benefit them, I reach out. The favor is often returned.

I’ve made real, true friends in this online space, some of them I’m closer to than my own colleagues at work (or at least interact with more often). People I admire and respect — people like Ken Mueller, Matt Ridings, Stephen Bolen (who totally had my back during kayakgate), Eric Kelley (who is totally getting some Gooey Butter Cake from me this week!), my BFF Gini Dietrich and my newest friend Paula Berg.

Today’s food for thought? Don’t lose sight of the big picture when you’re mired in SEO and content development. It’s the people you meet along the way that make all the difference.

Moderating Blog Comments: The Discussion on Spin Sucks

By Communications

Oddly enough, I’m only posting this to drive you to another blog post on another site. I really want you to read this post: Moderating Blog Comments on Spin Sucks, the fight against destructive spin. Pay attention to the conversation unfolding in the comments themselves. It is a discussion worth your time and consideration.

The handling of blog comments – to moderate, to not moderate and all that resides between the two – has long been discussed. Many of us have different opinions on the topic. Personally, I don’t moderate, meaning, I don’t approve or delete comments before they appear — they are automatically published and if the comment is in violation of my comment policy, then I will remove it later. I’ve only had to do this once in about seven years of blogging so for me, it works.

I’m interested in this conversation though, and how Livefyre, the tool helping the conversation happen, will change the way we interact using comments on blogs.

Join the conversation — what do you think about moderating blog comments?