Tag Archives: social media

Two Simple Tips For Building Brand Community

What makes a community? This week I was on a social media panel at MIT Sloan, where we began the conversation with this topic – community building. How do you use social media to build a community around your brand?

There are two key words that come to mind when I think of community:

  • Helpful
  • Resourceful

It’s easy to broadcast on social media, but if you’re looking to build a community and advocacy around your brand, lead with these two values. Be helpful – post tips, tricks, and hacks – tell people how they can do things better or easier. Be resourceful – build up your thought leadership around key subjects that you know are important to your connections. Offer insights, experiences or opinions. Be thoughtful. When people know they can rely on your for quality content, they will continue to come back to your channels. You have become a resource to them.

Another simple approach is to think about walking into a party in your new neighborhood. Let’s say you’ve just moved in. If you want to become a part of the community, you don’t barge into the party loudly broadcasting how great you are and pitching people on what you do. You’d likely take the time to introduce yourself, get to know what matters to your neighbors and, if appropriate, offer up insights on things you have in common, sharing your experiences.

Online isn’t really all that different. Brands lose sight of this. Just because you can broadcast on social media doesn’t mean that all you should broadcast is information about yourself. Brands especially need to take care with how they establish and build community. It’s okay to share information about your products and services but in the end, by being a resource and offering ongoing information about topics related to your business – and to what your audience cares about – you will develop stronger relationships.

For more on this and other social media tips, check out the video from the panel. Bobbie Carleton of Innovation Women was our amazing moderator. Thank you for the opportunity, Bobbie!

 

Thank You For Voting Me A Small Business Top 100 Influencer Champion

I had a great time at last night’s Small Business Influencer Awards Event in New York City. It was a nice opportunity to meet others who champion the small business community. From accountants to social media mavens, journalists to CEOs, the room was full of lively people, stories and camaraderie. (Ramon Ray, host and producer (among other things) was especially inspiring and energetic!)

I encourage you to look through the list of other Top 100 Champions – you may find new customers, partners or vendors – or maybe just a great mentor. I can personally recommend, from experience, Constant Contact (for email newsletters), AMEX Open (community and resources), Dropbox (for storage and backup), Hootsuite (for social media management like a pro!), Vistaprint (great printed collateral), and many of the individual Pros like Aliza Sherman, Brian Moran and Ted Murphy who give their time, insights, advice and counsel to many small business entrepreneurs daily.

I’m honored to be a part of such a supportive community, and proud to be a small business owner myself (for 15 years and counting)! If I, or my agency, can help you in any way – business plans, digital content, marketing/pr, sales and marketing materials, training services, social media management and training, etc. – please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

In the meantime, support small businesses in your area!

#38 of #365LifeLessons: Life Isn’t Perfect, But @SteveTobak Says It Can Be Successful – And Happy

My last blog post over the weekend was a facetious response to a conversation happening on my Facebook page. The conversation centered around how open one should be on social media – should we treat it like a holiday card and pretend that everything is always good – only posting the highlights of life? Is it okay to admit when we’ve got troubles? Why do people Vaguebook? With the cross of business and personal relationships, the opinions vary.

I’ve been asked many times – especially in interviews about being a female entrepreneur – how I manage to be so open and honest with some aspects of my life while also running a business. I remember at a conference a few years ago, one woman said she really admired how I talked about having kids – as though admitting that fact would be hazardous to my career. She said it inspired her to open up to clients “a little” and admit she has children. (That issue is a whole other blog post topic.)

Like everyone else, I’m just trying to live a balanced life. I don’t have all the answers and a lot of times I need inspiration, too. I found this interesting list of Six Ways to Be Successful & Happy, including “Quit trying so hard to get somewhere; Build Real Relationships and Do One Thing at a Time” by Steve Tobak at Inc Magazine. I thought it was a fascinating list, one which fits into the theme of building both a successful work and personal life. Consider it today’s lesson.

What I’ve Learned, What I’m Learning – #365LifeLessons

Celebrities: Maybe They Really *Are* Just Like Us!

A few days ago a big hubaloo was caused on Twitter when @mrskutcher signed up – aka Demi Moore. Yes folks, it really does seem to be her, as indicated in several news stories yesterday.

Why is the media writing on the fact that Demi Moore and her husband Ashton Kutcher – aka @aplusk on Twitter – signed up on this popular micro blogging service? Well your guess is as good as mine. But I found it really interesting that Mrs. Kutcher used it to turn the tides on the media yesterday with this Tweet and Twitpic:

Demi Moore's Twitter Page

Demi Moore's Twitter Page

Alleged paparazzi

Alleged paparazzi

This is interesting in light of the tech and business industry chatter about social services and communities, such as Twitter, being a “traditional media killer.” Do celebrities have the power to make that possible for Hollywood gossip rags as well? Imagine if more celebrities shared their own photos and comments in this manner – seeing a glimpse of how they really live would be way better than US Weekly’s interpretation of their lives. And with no one to buy those magazines because we’re all getting “front row seats” on Twitter…well…? It’s a big dream but not impossible.

All this begs the question, without all the glitz and Photoshop capabilities, would celebrities really embrace the opportunity to end the paparazzi frenzy?

Celebs on Twitter include many other musicians, actors, reality TV stars and blonde socialites – from Solange Knowles to Jerry Rice to Lauren Conrad and her “Hills” crew.  Even Perez Hilton has joined – to keep an even closer eye on his subjects, perhaps.

Been busy, just not here

I haven’t written here lately because work has been taking off like wild fire, I’ve been traveling a lot and I’ve been writing on other blogs, including a new one: This Mommy Gig with two other women I met online at Twitter. We’re adding other women, too, and giving “working mom” perspectives from around the country. I am taking my mommy rants over there, as a) being responsible to someone else makes me do a better job and b) it’s more fun with a team.

You can also read me here:
Training4Dublin – my Marathon Training blog with my husband as we train for the Dublin Marathon in October 2008

Women For Hire’s Be Gutsy Blog – run by ABC’s contributing Workplace Editor, Tory Johnson (I’m “Balanced Woman”)

PerkettPR’s PerkettPRsuasion – my own company’s blog on PR, social media, technology, client, industry and agency news

Or connect with me here:

Facebook

Twitter

Linkedin

I’ll be back here if the mood strikes me and it’s a topic that doesn’t fit into one of these other blogs.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you on the other sites, too.

Total Transparency Is Overhyped

The whole issues of transparency in social media, networks and the like is driving me crazy. People keep blogging about being transparent and open but I think you have to keep it in context.

There have been some good blogs about this – for example, Penelope Trunk once blogged about her twenty-something business partner and the fact that he had personal photos of himself partying on his Facebook page. She talked about the age difference and how his generation is just “like that” and us Gen Xers need to lighten up. But uh, here’s the thing, some people – I would guess younger folks – have a lot less to lose. Perhaps he is just starting his career and doesn’t realize the impact total openness could have on it. Perhaps he doesn’t have a family to support or a mortgage to pay. If he loses a job for something he did or said on the Internet, he can probably get another one pretty easily without a lot of personal strife.

Transparency does not mean let it all hang out. It means to be honest and straight forward – as much as it makes sense. Don’t set up a flog or post comments under the guise of being someone else. Don’t establish a presence on social networks, communities or blogs and post comments or act like you are simply a loyal customer of some company when you actually work for them. Being transparent means being honest and open in this manner – identify yourself as an employee, or a client as a client, before posting comments – not showcasing your Friday night forays for all the world to see.

The Forbes Top 25 Web Celeb list yesterday also reminded me of this. My favorite “celeb” highlighted was someone I’d never heard of – Heather B. Armstrong. Besides being an amazingly honest, open and engaging writer, she talks about how she was fired in 2001 for blogging about people at her job. For her, total transparency meant unemployment. And even though – now – the road she was forced down as a result has paid off, it’s a one-in-a-million shot for the same outcome for most bloggers. (Despite that we’ve all come a long way since 2001…and she talks about how she had to learn her lesson on “boundaries” of transparency after hurting her family with early blog posts.)

She’s lucky – because now that she makes a living as a blogger, she can be totally transparent. And she is – and it works brilliantly. But for the rest of us – who still have to answer to clients or employees or employers – the total transparency of our opinions, thought and actions is something I question – and again say “all in context.”