How Much Confidential Info Do You Share On Social Media?

How Much Confidential Info Do You Share On Social Media?

How Much Confidential Info Do You Share On Social Media?

Recently, I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing happen. When you work in the social media realm, people expect certain things. They expect you to share. And yet, although some of my best friends knew about the terrible event, I did not share it widely.

Connection Does Not Always Equal Friendship

Connection Does Not Always Equal Friendship

Connection Does Not Always Equal Friendship

Being “friends” on Facebook does not mean that someone is truly friends, despite the saying that a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met. If you are squinting at someone’s image, wondering where you met them (or if you met them at all), maybe it’s time to cut them loose if Facebook is your “safe place.”

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Being a Private Person

Are you a private person? Now, I’m not necessarily talking about being an introvert because that’s different. But are you private in your communications online? Would you be ready to share something and then have a relative stranger come up and say “oh, hey, I heard that you fell off the roof while on vacation!” If not, then you might consider not sharing that tidbit, although it’s easy to forget that 100s or 1000s of people could potentially see what you post.

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How to Decide What to Share

Here are a few questions you could ask yourself before you share something:

  • Will this hurt me later?
  • Will this expose a friend?
  • Will sharing this get back to the person I’m sharing about?
  • Could this have any negative impacts?

And here are 9 things you should never share on Facebook, from Post Planner.

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Where to Share

Certain people have places that are more private than others on social media. For instance, I consider Twitter to be the most filled with strangers of all of my platforms. Yours could be Facebook. Or LinkedIn. At any rate, there’s a hierarchy of places for all of us. I might share something in a closed Facebook group before I share it on Twitter.

Some would say that you could share more safely on Twitter, since it doesn’t ask you to share your own or your friends’ information as much. See Facebook vs Twittter: Privacy Issues.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Social Sharing

There are many good aspects of sharing. For instance, you could share a picture that you want all your friends to see. It beats emailing it to everyone! And you can create an album on Facebook or a secret board on Pinterest for those images. By the way, here are Ten Ways to Be Social, from the archive.

The Bad and the Ugly

There are also many, many ways to fail on social media. For instance:

What’s Something You’d Never Share?

I promise not to tell! Leave me a comment. Thank you.

How to Avoid the Five Stages of Social Media Burnout

How to Avoid the Five Stages of Social Media Burnout

How to Avoid the Five Stages of Social Media Burnout

How to Avoid the Five Stages of Social Media Burnout

We’ve all been there: that state of burnout, where every step feels like you’re trying to walk in quicksand, and each new attempt at writing feels like pulling teeth, that feeling that being run over by a taxicab might be more fun. And I’m not even exaggerating!

Identify that You're in Burnout

Identify that You’re in Burnout

Identify that You’re in Burnout

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross identified five stages of death and dying, which can be applied to many other issues, including burnout. Stick with me here. The five stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. If you’re in that first stage, perhaps it’s your friends who are saying that you must go on vacation, get out of Dodge, take a break, or (gasp!) see a counselor.

To avoid being in this stage of burnout, identify it quickly. Listen to your friends and move on!

Separate, but Equal

Separate, but Equal

Separate, but Equal

Being in a social media rut, isn’t exactly the same as the death and dying model, but it’s close. So finally, your friends convince you that you’re in a rut. And you accept it. What then?

Anger Follows

Anger is like a giant Band-Aid® over lots of different emotions. Pull back the Band-Aid® and you’ll see the real emotion hiding underneath. Anger is our go-to, our automatic. However, it’s not very useful, and not sustainable for very long. Who can stay angry for hours or days at a time? But at least if you’re angry, there’s some sense of movement.

To get past the anger, something physically challenging is in order, such as working out with a punching bag or going for a long hike until your legs burn. By the way, here are the 11 Ways that Being Outdoors Can Boost Your Creativity.

Bargaining

Bargaining

Bargaining

Just who would you bargain with if you’re in a rut? Probably yourself. Do you hear yourself saying (to yourself) any of the following?

  • “Oh, I’ll just write this one article, and then I’ll move on to something else.”
  • “If this one post goes viral, I’ll do another one.”
  • “Please let someone “like” this post.”

Not that productive, really.

If you’re already talking to yourself, maybe make it more productive. “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it–people like me!” comes to mind. With apologies to Stuart Smalley–who is so doggone smart!

Depression

Depression

Depression

Yes, you are in a rut. Feel sad, if you must. In fact, you might want to wallow in it even more by looking at depressing quotes (these are from GoodReads). Depression is where the bounce is. That is, once you get there, the only way to go is up. So have a good cry, but make it fast! Because you’re almost through it, really.

Acceptance and Rebranding

Could rebranding be far off? Or some kind of reinvention, at the very least. Here’s an article about rebranding your startup that could help you get started. It’s important to get your entire team together to think through the elements of your brand that need to be retooled.

How Do You Avoid Social Media Burnout?

Or maybe you’re there now. Are you? Leave me a comment! I’d love to talk to you. Really, I would.

How to Turbocharge Your Blog Post Production: What You Need to Know

How to Turbocharge Your Blog Post Production: What You Need to Know

How to Turbocharge Your Blog Post Production: What You Need to Know

 

Every startup has heard that they need to update their website in order to stay relevant to Google and the little bots that crawl around on the interwebs. But how many of them actually start blogging? Very few, unless forced! Don’t ask me how I know–I just do.

You Can Do it!

You Can Do it!

You Can Do it!

So, how do you get started? Here’s a pep talk: How to Create a Wonderful Blog Post in An Hour. Know that you can create something in an hour. That’s the most important thing to keep in mind.

Make an Editorial Calendar

There are many ways to create an editorial calendar, and I’d opt for the simplest if you’re just starting out. A spreadsheet on Google, shared by the entire team would probably do it. Here are some examples:

If You Can Speak, You Can Write

If You Can Speak, You Can Write

If You Can Speak, You Can Write

 

My blogging buddy, Bridget Willard, taught me that and I’ve never forgot it. If you don’t think you can write, start by speaking. You can get help with cleanup (that is, editing) later. Don’t worry too much about that for now.

Break it Down

Break it Down

Break it Down

As my friend Randy Clark explains, writing and editing use different sides of the brain. So do your writing first, then your editing. Don’t edit as you go for a faster experience. You might want to get some great examples of blogging at Randy’s blog about car wraps. And Randy’s book, How to Stay Ahead of Your Business Blog Forever, on Amazon is a bargain!

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Research First

Research your topic before you dive into the writing. Or, if you’ve already started writing, create space where the researched topics need to go. For example, you could say something like add backup link here, and then keep writing. Since researching and editing use a different part of the brain, you can keep your creative juices flowing if you write this way.

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Make an Outline

What do you want your post to be about? Create an outline before you start. Write a header first (here’s a post on How to Write a Headline That People Will Want to Click), then at least five paragraph headings. End with your call to action. Now go back and fill in each of those five paragraphs with two or three sentences.

 

 

What Ifs

What Ifs

What Ifs

Secret confession time: I hire both an editor (when I need one), and a full-time graphics person. I’ve been writing for years. Give yourself a break and hire it out if you don’t want to do it. Focus on your strengths!

  • What if you have bad spelling and/or grammar? Hire an editor!
  • What if you aren’t artistic? Hire a graphic designer!
  • What if you are a terrible writer? Hire a writer!

Blogging Buddies

Blogging Buddies

Blogging Buddies

As mentioned earlier, a blogging buddy is a gift you can give yourself. Find someone else to inspire you. The blogging buddies idea can catapult your writing! Brainstorm ideas, and talk to your buddy when you’re stuck!

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The Reward System

Like anything else, it’s good to give you or your team member a reward at the end of a successful session. Recognition is also an excellent idea, as outlined in an article from the Next Web: Rewards and Recognition: Two Highly Effective Ways to Reward Your Employees.

Start the Next Post Early

My best blog articles have been sitting on the back burner for days. I like to write in 15-minute chunks, sometimes once a day, sometimes twice. If you start your next post, it can simmer for awhile. Even if you think you’re not thinking about it, you really are! And don’t procrastinate, since that way madness lies!

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How Do You Speed Up Your Writing?

Or do you speed it up at all? Maybe you’re more the type of writer who grinds out words one at a time. Let me know in the comments! And thank you!

 

Ten Simple Ways to Choose the Best Social Media Platform

 

Ten Simple Ways to Choose the Best Social Media Platform

Ten Simple Ways to Choose the Best Social Media Platform

There are so many social networks these days. If you’re new to social media, or you’re a startup and you’ve been busy with other things, how do you choose the best one? Here are some ways you can get through the maze of choices you have.

Pick from the Most Popular Networks

Pick from the Most Popular Networks

Pick from the Most Popular Networks

Don’t go with that social network your cousin started as his senior class project. There are only 14 users, and besides, there are still a boatload of bugs! Choose from the most popular ones:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
Where's the Competition?

Where’s the Competition?

Where’s the Competition?

Check with other brands like yours. If you sell makeup, you probably want to be on Instagram and Pinterest because they are good for visual  brands. Additionally, Pinterest’s audience is largely female. If you sell real estate, Facebook and Twitter might be better choices for you. Again, see what your competition is doing.

Is Your Demographic There?

Is Your Demographic There?

Is Your Demographic There?

Please don’t say your product or service is “for everyone.” The narrower your audience, the easier it is to choose a social media platform. If you don’t know, Pew has a terrific explanation of the Demographics of Social Media Users. For instance, many CEOs are on LinkedIn, but not on Twitter. So if CEOs are part of your demographic, you’d be better off on LinkedIn.

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Choose the One You Like Best

You’re more likely to post frequently if you choose the place you like to go. I’m a firm believer that if you really learn to use a platform, you can get tons of traffic there. My brother, who had a plumbing service, had tremendous success with Yelp, for instance. Since it’s locally based, having good reviews on Yelp can be valuable to a local business like a plumber or electrician.

Pay Attention to Where the Action is!

Even if you really like the platform, if people post and run, that’s probably not a good option for you. For instance, Google Plus doesn’t seem to attract and hold people’s attention for very long. If you must be on a platform without much action, monitor your efforts and see if it’s worthwhile. Use your analytics to check out what’s working and what’s not. Here are analytics for Twitter, in case you’re wondering.

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Realize That Social Media Isn’t Free

Sure, signing up is free. But will you be available to post? How much time can you give it? If you can’t give it the time it deserves, hire someone to do it for you! Ahem. I might know of someone! And should you do your own social media? I don’t think so!

LIGHT WORK photo

Get a Reality Check

Hire a social media manager for an hour or two to brainstorm your proposed choice. That might be the boost you need to get started. And you’ll feel that you’re on the right track if you do. Otherwise, have someone take it over for you, after you’ve worked out a strategy together. By the way, here are ten worst ways to hire a social media manager!

Check That Your Name is Available

You want a similar name across platforms. You may need to change the name you use slightly across platforms, but make sure that you use a recognizable logo on each.

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Set up Social Accounts

Even if you don’t use an account, grab the name so you can use it later. I call that squatting. Later, when you’re ready to start using it, it’ll already be there for you. If you don’t grab the account, someone else might nab it!

Be Successful with One First

You don’t have to start all your social media platforms at the same time! Get one ball in the air before you start juggling with three. And you might not need or want a second ball, depending upon your success! Startups in particular can do a staggered start.

LIGHT WORK photo

How Did You Choose to Get Started?

Leave me a comment and let me know! Thank you.

 

 

 

The Best Way to Quick Success? Follow the Fun!

The Best Way to Quick Success? Follow the Fun!

The Best Way to Quick Success? Follow the Fun!

We’ve all had the experience of being at an amusement park, wondering which ride to try next. The carousel? No–that’s for little kids. The Zipper? No, that one always smells funky (and when you see it, you know why!). Ah, but there’s always one ride where people are screaming and laughing their heads off! That’s the one you want!

The Roller Coaster

My favorite ride always seems to be the roller coaster. Even though it’s also the scariest ride and is over fast, it is, hands down, the most fun. The Giant Dipper at Santa Cruz Boardwalk is a wooden one, and the creakiness of the ride makes it scarier, for some reason. You feel like you could be thrown off at any moment and attacked by seagulls.

Post with Fun in Mind

My brother always went for the fun in life. He ran after it, and created fun wherever he went. That’s how you should think about posting on social media, too. Make it fun for everyone. People will want to stay, talk, and share if you make it fun.

Hashtags Make it Fun

One reason, in my humble opinion, that Instagram has become so popular is not only because it’s simple, but because it’s fun. Part of that fun is the way that people use hashtags. By the way, if you haven’t read about how to engage on Instagram, you might want to check it out. You can use hashtags in other places such as Twitter, too, but the over-the-top way people use them on Instagram? Priceless!

Memes and .Gifs

Yes, as a business you’re not “supposed to” use memes and gifs. But if they get people talking, why not? If you’re on Twitter, you can easily attach a .gif and send it to a bunch of friends. Again, it’s simply and silly. These days, silly has become an endangered species on social media.

Post with no Outcome

Sometimes it’s ok to post without expecting anything. You might want to share a favorite Netflix show, for instance. By the way, have you seen the Netflix original series Abstract: The Art of Design? Really fantastic! But I digress. Sure, you’re always supposed to have a Call to Action (“CTA”), but maybe your goal is just to connect with people.

What Tricks Do You Have for Making Your Posts More Fun?

Let me know in the comments! And thank you.

What Story Do You Need to Tell?

What story do you need to tell?

What story do you need to tell?

Everyone has a story to tell. And your business or brand has a story to tell, too. You might already be telling it through the social media posts you decide to share, through the organizations you support, and through the articles you write or comment upon.

Why Do We Crave Stories?

Storytelling makes time stand still. When we hear a story, the outside world goes away during the time we are listening to that story. We want characters with positive attributes, and we want to know what happens to them. We want to care about them and we want to know what happens next.

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Every Business Has a Story

How was your business born? Did you always know what you’d do in your business life? How did you decide to do what you do now? There are probably quite a few stories intertwined in the making of your business. My business began when I started doing social media for myself, and then friends started to ask for help. One of them suggested that I do social media as a business, and I started to get some training. How did your business begin?

Buying is Emotional

Whether you’re selling a widget or a service, people buy on emotion, then justify with data. Most of us make our minds up very quickly. So having a story helps people who might otherwise be on the fence make up their minds. For instance, if I know that the local supermarket also supports a cause that is important to me, I’d be much more likely to go there.

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Politics

These days, many brands have decided to be left- or right-leaning, often with catastrophic results. The on-demand car ride service Uber, for instance, has gone to the right. In response Lyft, the other big on-demand car ride service, has gone to the left. The Uber boycott and subsequent donation by Lyft to the ACLU has people squarely on one side or the other. So far, Lyft’s move has resulted in more downloads of their app than ever before.

Telling Stories About Clients

During #digiblogchat, my weekly Twitter chat, @ChrisLema (follow him on Twitter, by the way!) put an emphasis on focusing on others. “The hero isn’t you,” he says, and I concur. Let potential clients know what they can expect working with you! A happy client story is worth his weight in gold.

Have a Happy Client Story?

Do your happy clients have positive stories to tell about your business? What do they say about your brand? Leave me a comment! Thank you.

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How to Effectively Stand out in a Noisy World

How to Effectively Stand out in a Noisy World

How to Effectively Stand out in a Noisy World

Embracing Your Quiet Nature

By nature, introverts gather their strength from being alone and having quiet time. They tend to turn inwards rather than outwards, toward themselves rather than toward others. With the world becoming noisier, especially with the crazy changes in government lately, what’s an introvert to do?

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The Power of Quiet

What if you didn’t have to compete in the same arena with extroverts? What if the loudest person didn’t automatically win every argument? As introverts, we gain strength and creativity from alone time. Original ideas spring forth from solitude–something that many don’t honor. Here’s my post Six Facts About Introverts and Social Media That Will Impress Your Friends, in case you missed it.

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The Great Blue Heron

Here’s a great quote from the article Leaning Back: The Power of Introverts by Bonnie Marcus in Forbes Magazine:

“Have you ever been to a meeting where people are talking very vociferously about a topic, and there are a lot of individuals engaged. But then, there’s that one person, at the end of the conference table who chimes in, and just nails it. There’s been all this chatter – as one of the introverted leaders told me, he said, it’s like having all these cackling geese. And he says, he sees himself as the great blue heron that swoops in with the compilation, with the concise statement that really sums it all up.”

That person at the end of the table? That would be an introvert. The only issue that others may have is not always being able to “hear” the introvert. Often someone else may mistakenly believe that they themselves thought of an idea that the introvert came up with. It happens.

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Being a Tortoise in a World of Hares

Ritu Kaushal, in her lovely post about Accepting Yourself as an Introvert and Loving Your Inner Tortoise on the TinyBuddha blog, says “As introverts, most of us have heard messages about all the things that are wrong with us. We are too intense, too solitary, not fun enough. We may not have asked our own questions back.”

Questions such as:

  • What’s wrong with alone time?
  • Who says you shouldn’t think deeply about issues?
  • Why not enjoy small groups rather than huge parties?

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Introvert Superpowers

As introverts, our superpowers are thinking deeply and (often) not caring much about what others think. Add to that intuition, forging our own path, and observation and creating deep and meaningful connections with others. And if you need a good listener, then you’re going to want to have an introvert in your corner.

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Speaking of Listening

One of the benefits of being a good listener is that there is less expectation during a conversation. An introvert can read between the lines of the your words and hear what you’re not saying, as well as what you are saying. There are other hidden benefits of listening, too. You can get the jump on what others are really thinking. And that makes everyone feel good. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

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Social Media with No Safety Net: Being Unafraid to Fail

Social Media with No Safety Net: Being Unafraid to Fail

Social Media with No Safety Net: Being Unafraid to Fail

Old Familiar Ways

So many people use the all-familiar pattern of headline, link, and hashtag on their social media posts. But what about the age-old art of conversation? Wouldn’t it be more fun to just talk to people for a change? The good news is that you can! The bad news is that it will take more work.

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Being Unafraid to Engage

In case you don’t know how to get started, you could always read my post with multiple parts on How to Engage on Social Media: the Complete Guide. There are sections for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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The Lost Art of Hello!

The important thing is to get out there and say hello! As in something along the lines of:

  • “Hello, I like your profile picture!”
  • “Hello, what’s the weather like where you are?”
  • “Hello, how are you today?”

If the person doesn’t answer back, maybe they’re not used to people engaging, or maybe (shudder) they’re a robot.

Failure to Try

There are so many quotes on failure, but here is one of my favorites:

“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” – J.K. Rowling

If that doesn’t ring your chimes, here are 30 Powerful Quotes on Failure–you’re sure to find one you like.

But I digress.

Begin Chatting

There are several ways to begin talking. Set yourself a modest goal. Say hello to 3 people a day. You might notice others having conversations–you could always step into a conversation that others are having. “Excuse me, but I couldn’t help overhearing…” you might begin. Would that be difficult? No, I didn’t think so!

Get an Introduction

If there’s someone you’d really like to get to know, you could use the old-fashioned idea of an introduction. This works very well on LinkedIn, as outlined in 4 Great Ways to Break the Ice on Social Media.

Blog Comments

If you really, really want to get to know someone, read their blog and comment! Quite often they will answer you and reciprocate. Leave me a comment and see what happens! And thank you.

How to Catapult Your Tweets Farther? Use a Powerful Hashtag!

How to Catapult Your Tweets Farther? Use a Powerful Hashtag!

How to Catapult Your Tweets Farther? Use a Powerful Hashtag!

What if I told you there was a free way to give your tweet wings, and let it travel farther and last longer? Would you want to join that club? I know would! Hashtags have entered popular culture these days, with TV shows, baseball teams, and just about everyone using them to organize searches. If you’ve never used a hashtag before, you might want to check out the basics.

Hashtags are Easy

Hashtags are Easy

Hashtags are Easy

Here’s the skinny: Tweets with hashtags receive twice the engagement of tweets without hashtags. So if you’re considering whether to hashtag or not, that should help you make up your mind! Not only will people follow others who use similar hashtags (for instance, I have #startups in my Twitter profile, and many startups find me that way), but you can reach out to those with the same hashtags as you. Win-win!

Use One or Two: More is Not Better!

Use One or Two: More is Not Better!

Use One or Two: More is Not Better!

If you use too many hashtags, your engagement will go down. One or two hashtags is fine. More than that, and a tweet is looked upon as spammy.

#203K Hashtag for Mortgage Loans via Hashtagify

#203K Hashtag for Mortgage Loans via Hashtagify

Neat Tools to Help with Hashtags

  • Hashtagify – tells you hashtags related to your hashtags. For instance, if you’re a loan broker, and wanted to use the hashtag #203K, you could see what other hashtags you could use along with that hashtag.
  • TweetReach – tells you how far your hashtag has traveled. For instance, I use it during my tweet chat, #DigiBlogChat, and then tell everyone the numbers during the chat (and later on Facebook as well). If you don’t know what a tweet chat is, you might want to check out this post on 101 tips for success with tweet chats.
  • Hashtags.org – tells you what hashtags are trending on Twitter right now. So theoretically, you could catch a trend before it gets big and ride the wave all the way in.

Hashtags As Snark

Hashtags used to be used to sort, group, and categorize tweets. But then one day, not too long ago, people started using hashtags to self-identify, and add an Element of Snark to posts. Now people are using “air hashtags,” and according to some, ruining the English language. So if the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems doesn’t get your metadata all up in a knot, then you might like using hashtags in a snarky manner. #JustTryingToKeepItFun

Click Through

One very effective way to use a hashtag is to see who else is using it. For instance, if you’re using a location-based hashtag, click on it and see who else is nearby! For instance, this weekend is the inauguration. Heck, you could even go to Top Hashtags (dot com), type “inauguration” and see what the top hashtags are if you’re going. Or use the hashtag of your city, county, or state, and see who else is out there.

How Do You Hashtag?

Do you use hashtags? Or do you think they’re ruining the English language? Leave me a comment! And thank you.

 

 

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