content marketing

Lecturing at SCU: online social networking as a contemporary business practice

Name a company, professional person, business or brand that you follow on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest or get email newsletters from. How did you come to follow that source and what do you like about being in touch? How do you interact (customer service, community, feedback on product, promos, education, entertainment)? What brand or business are you aware of on social media not doing it well or otherwise making big mistakes? These are some of the questions I asked two business classes at Santa Clara recently.

IMG_4811 In fun, interactive hour and a half sessions, I encouraged the students to become independent scholars on the topic of digital marketing and social networking since it's a topic moving at the speed of light and will never be able to be covered properly at the pace of traditional textbook publishing. IMG_4817

To supplement the student's rudimentary and out of date textbook chapter on this subject -- MySpace was listed first in section about social networks -- I shared my favorite cutting-edge sources for all things social networking and digital marketing:

  • tools like Slideshare and Twitter chats like @MarketingNut Pam Moore's #mktgchat,
  • relevant ters like content marketing, social curation, social discovery and double opt-in, and
  • thought leaders in the space who produce free newsletters, webinars and other content that the students can subscribe to and learn as it happens: Brian Solis, Bryan Kramer,  Jay Baer's ConvinceandConvert, Chris Brogan, Derek Halpern's Social Triggers, Shelly Kramer, ConversationAgent, Chris Garrett, Sonia Simone, Olivier Blanchard, Tara Gentile, Meghan Biro and Brian Clark.

I suggested the students can also make a Twitter list of digital marketing leaders and easily dip into what these players are discussing and with whom.

Thanks for the invitation to lead the digital marketing discussion for two of your business classes, Tanya Monsef Bunger! Your students are inspiring. Several have fledgling businesses, and many are aware consumers watching closely which businesses engage them online in meaningful ways, and which companies are failing to use digital tools to foster closer connection with their market.

Was pleased to be able to award a very participatory student, John, with a signed copy of Porter Gale's Your Network is Your Net Worth. Enjoy it!

And extra thanks to all the students of Contemporary American Business Issues for your participation and feedback, including Cindy, Armand, Jerica, Liv, Anabel, Brynn, Mariam, Meaghan, Alex, Marc, Paulina, Alec, Nicholas, Josalvin, and Ashley.

My Advice To 40,000 Professional Services Pros On How to Make Your Digital Strategy Sustainable

Thrilled to contribute my perspective to this month's "Ask The Expert" column on how to combat digital overwhelm in the business-to-business (B2B) space. Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 2.45.34 PM

I answer this question from the community of executives and services professionals:

"I’m mentally exhausted from my social media responsibilities. What can I do differently with my digital strategy to make it more sustainable? Automation? Passing it to the intern?"

As you can imagine my approach and method for sustainability hinges on making your engagement with your online social networks one that nourishes you rather than depletes you.

Your network should delight and challenge you; bring you fresh insights and curated news you can use; it should activate you and engage you.

Once you start receiving true value from your network by curating your connections, you’ll have a better sense of how to provide value in return.

As your online communities begin to sustain you, participating in them will become sustainable.

 

Thanks to my fellow editorial pro Meryl Evans (who I met on Twitter many years ago!) for the invitation to share my perspective with the 40,000 subscribers of this 11-year-old newsletter for consultants, lawyers, accountants, architects, and other professional services professionals.

Repurpose (Poorly Performing!) Content To Refresh The Conversation

"I recommend recycling poor-performing posts," suggests social media trainer for entrepreneurs Karen Clark. "Give a post at least a month or more, but by then it is OK to re-post the content, but in another way." I love Karen's advice here.  It's in line with what I am trying to practice with my own content: conserving, reconstructing, evolving, syndicating, and refreshing the conversation. You don't need to reinvent the wheel. Try working with what you've already created. And, just because it didn't catch fire the first time doesn't mean it has no value and no one is interested.

The more you slice and dice the material, and incorporate insights from traffic data, repurposing your content can be a way to split-test headlines, post times, social media services, images and all sorts of other factors that make a difference between engagement and obscurity.

Mapping Your Complex World

Have you tried mapping the complexity and richness of your life (and career) with an overlapping Venn diagram?

Here's what turned up when I did one for GlobalNiche -- you can see all the relationships of our personal and professional influences and communities as we operate at the intersection of content, culture, and identity.

There's power in your diversity, how you combine your worlds, and the hybrid result!

If you've attempted a Venn of some part of your life, you're invited to share it on the GlobalNiche Facebook page here.

Insights From Last Season's Mastermind Sessions

My fellow admin in the Creative Entrepreneurs & Social Media group at LinkedIn prompted us for insights from last season's private mastermind sessions. "List one thing you applied using the feedback you received and the results you witnessed after putting it into practice," writes Tara Agacayak. "If you did not have the opportunity to present your case study, you are welcome to list one thing you applied that you learned in the process of this mastermind that has brought you results."

My response:

My mastermind question was about monetizing expat+HAREM (and I got tons of great suggestions and debate from you all!). The most impactful thing that emerged was that regardless of what my people will tell me they want (when I send out the survey!), my success will hinge on the idea of partnering with people who have related yet different businesses and have high-quality, appropriate products and services to offer.

I may know something is valuable in my arena when I see it -- but that doesn't mean I have the time or energy to create it from scratch myself. I can be a conduit for that product or service, and in partnering with others I can co-brand the thing. And over time, I can grow my community based on those offerings rather than the free ones -- "a small band of givers rather than a lot of takers".

An example of where you see that impact today is in the "Build Your Global Niche" program I am creating with Tara, the mastermind demo we did this month for the International Pro Women of Istanbul and the tutorial mailing list we started. They are early steps to a larger plan for eH, which is about preparing expat+HAREM readers to be a cohesive, actualized community putting a creative entrepreneur web platform to use in their location (and monoculture?) independent lives. To solve their problems with the very tools that are solving ours. To give them access to the people who ring our bells...and in turn to give those bell-ringers access to an appropriate community for their offerings. Win-win.

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Among the other enlightening, and empowering results reported:

"I have integrated the main social media tools with my website and I have added posterous to the main tools to work with."  (To this I say: that's some integration that not only makes you more visible but also saves you energy in the syndication of content!)

"I re-organized my twitter, creating more strategic and useful lists. I started tweeting other things besides news." (To this I say: I felt your presence on Twitter so much more recently. Kudos for finding a Twitter third party service that lets you do things your way.)

"With your suggestions and guidance I simplified my offerings into two categories - Free and Premium."

"By creating a website for purely professional purposes I ended up getting a great deal more interest in my services on eLance. By redoing the header on my site I find that people spend more time on the website than they had been doing." (To this I say: great you're able to point to those concrete, quantifiable results from the advances you've made (email responses, view time on site).)

"I had a fairly fixed idea of how I wanted my site to be before the session. Afterwards I was questioning every single aspect of it! It really helped to have other people's input, to see where they thought I should head and how to arrange the site. That's the beauty of this group, positive criticism that can change how you approach things." (To this I say: can't wait to see how your site turns out with those added dimensions in the process of creating it!)

"My biggest win has been creating a cohesive visual hub. From that unity, I've been able to start weaving a very colorful picture in images, not just words. Using fun tools like Picasa/Picnik, Animoto (my new fav way to tell stories, which you'll be seeing with my Kickstarter relaunch this month) and taking new photos of our product on Etsy as well as new portraits of our main product - us! - have changed the site dramatically and increased Etsy sales. So, pulling together the visuals our brand projects to the world has been key, thanks to all of you!"

 

 

 

 

Istanbul As Epicenter Of Pro Expat Women & Social Media Tribe?

I just spent an hour on the phone with a member of Professional American Women of Istanbul (PAWI) asking for guidance on using the internet to grow her business. She’s 51, hearing all about social media networking and willing to try whatever it takes. I was sorry to learn she’s spent a lot of time joining professional “e-marketing associations”, as if she’s shifting her business to marketing when in fact what she wants to do is add an online component to her existing business.

“Which automation tools should I use?” she asked, “they’re all talking about automation tools like Seismic and Tweetdeck.”

To automate what, I asked. Content you haven’t created, to put into distribution channels you haven’t forged, leading to niche customer bases you haven’t identified beyond their age and where they live in Istanbul? Cart, horse.

 

“I went to the Twitter site and couldn’t figure out what to do.”

I agree Twitter has a high barrier to entry, but once she’s got it she’ll be accessing all the information she needs to grow her business, and she’ll be learning it from the very individuals who are pioneering this field. That’s the beauty of Twitter.

I'll be leading a panel this fall on social media for professional use for International Professional Women of Istanbul Network. After today's call, now I'll be inviting members of PAWI.

Perhaps this can be the start of a connected, digitally-savvy tribe of international professional women in Istanbul and expat women everywhere.

 

I’m envisioning people in the community self-identifying themselves as “Social Media enthusiasts” or “SM-interested” parties after this panel, and then we can create an actual Istanbul Social Media subgroup for mutual support, skill training and sharing, and more.

I'll suggest the entire panel be proponents and active users able to demonstrate their individual professional development through Social Media.

1. What is social media? Definition, main platforms/tools, overview of its rise to prominence and communication paradigm shift it represents 2. Personal/professional uses of social media including expertise and platform building, professional development, job hunting, collaboration 3. Best and worst practices

BTW TRUST AGENTS by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith is the hot book coming out of Social Media at moment and encapsulates the most progressive thinking on the issues.