Beware Instagram Follow Unfollow Backlash: A New Kind Of Fail

Beware Instagram Follow Unfollow Backlash: A New Kind Of Fail

Beware Instagram Follow Unfollow Backlash: A New Kind Of Fail

Recently a couple of different accounts on Instagram followed me, waited for me to follow back, then unfollowed me. They were both major fails and here’s why.

Here’s another person writing about same issue, from Summer, a blogger: 5 Key Reasons to Stop the Follow/Unfollow Nonsense. She really hits the Instagram nail on the head!

An app for homeowners.

An app for homeowners.

An App for Homeowners

If you have a business that targets homeowners, then you probably want to follow those homeowners on Instagram. So when an app for homeowners followed me, I found their business to be pretty interesting. I followed back. I started reading their posts, and was nearly ready to sign up for their service.

Then they unfollowed me.

Then they unfollowed me.

Then they unfollowed me.

Pretty silly, right? Now maybe the person who did the unfollowing wasn’t the business owner. Could be they hired a social media manager who decided that I wasn’t their target demographic.

However, they just lost a sale!

So don’t do that!

You don’t know how long a sale will take. You can’t predict that it will take two weeks, or two months. If someone is following you back and liking your posts, in my opinion you want to keep that kind of follower.

And to unfollow people to inflate your numbers doesn’t help your bottom line.

 clothing store photo

A Clothing Shop

Here’s a second example. This clothing shop is nearby. I’ve been there many times, and have spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars there. So when they followed me, I happily followed back. Because I love their clothes!

Then they unfollowed me. Now, here’s the thing. Not only do I not want to go there any more, I don’t want to buy anything from them any more!

And I’ll bet I’m not unusual.

So be very careful when you play the follow-unfollow game. Because you worked hard to gain that customer. So don’t let an idiot of a social media manager lose your customers by pushing a button and trying to gain followers.

The follow-unfollow game can definitely impact your bottom line!

By the way, if you’re looking for a social media manager, here are three articles for you:

Following and Unfollowing on Instagram?

Have you had the follow-unfollow issue on Instagram? How did you deal with it? Leave me a comment! Thank you.

clothing store photo

How to Engage on Social Media: Instagram

How to Engage on Social Media: Instagram

How to Engage on Social Media: Instagram

This is part of my series on How to Engage on Social Media: The Complete Guide. Last week’s post was about engagement on Twitter.

Instagram is Serious Business

Some people think that Instagram is all pretty pictures–which it is–partly. But Instagram is also a serious business, with 28% of adult Internet users on board. People mostly use Instagram on their smart phones, unlike certain other platforms, and with more and more people moving to using smart phones, Instagram can only become more popular.

Why Use Instagram?

  • Instagram has the highest engagement rate between brands and customers of any platform, according to Forrester.
  • If someone follows you, they will see your posts, unlike Facebook, which has become “pay to play”
  • People are becoming more image-centric, and Instagram is the land of images
  • More people are on their phones and Instagram lives on your phone
  • People are more engaged on Instagram
  • Great for local businesses, since you can target using hashtags (see below)
  • Instagram is simple and fun!


There are so many ways to use hashtags on Instagram. I like to bury my hashtags in the first and second comments of a post. There are quite a few ways to use hashtags:

  • Location-based hashtags. Any city, state, country, highway, or area can be turned into a hashtag. Search the people nearby and see which hashtags they’re using. For instance, #SantaCruzMountains is a favorite of mine for finding people near where I live.
  • Topic hashtags. Use the topic of your post as a hashtag. If you’re an SEO, expert, for instance, you could do #SEO or #SearchEngineOptimization.
  • Hashtags that work across industries. For example, #tbt or Throwback Thursday works for any brand.
  • Self-deprecating hashtags. These are my favorite! Use a hashtag to make a comment about your own post or yourself. #facepalm and #sosnarky, for instance.

Once you use a hashtag, click through and see who else is using it and like or comment on other posts. Be assertive and don’t wait for people to come to you! Go see who else is out there and be friendly. Do a Google search on hashtags in your industry and then experiment.

Tag Others

If your business has a company outing or if you’re with someone else who has an Instagram account, upload a photo and tag that other business or person. This is a great way to get a conversation going. And you can use it in conjunction with another idea, such as Throwback Thursday, to double your interaction! For courtesy’s sake, you might want to ask before posting a picture of someone else.

instagram media photo


Comment on other posts, and tag the owner, especially if the account has many followers. Often people don’t check their own comments, so tagging ensures that they see your comment. Anything, such as “I love this picture.” “This reminds me of…” “I love that park, too!” can be good conversation starters. Often one word, such as “Beautiful!” works, too.

Captivating Captions

At the very least, tell us where a picture was taken. Often, I skip by posts with no captions. Something about a picture with no caption makes me think it’s fake. Do you think so, too? But a wonderful image with a great caption? That can be very powerful. And some of the best Instagrammers use Instagram to tell a story. For instance, @thecuratedfeast uses Instagram to educate. Their posts are packed with information about food history.


If you really appreciate one of your followers, use their photo, especially if they’re a big fan of your product. One of my favorite accounts is Cutco Cutlery, and they often ask people to use the #shareyourslice hashtag for a chance to be featured. Could you do something like that?


Contests are an exciting ways to get your followers engaged. You might ask them to like your own or another account, tag someone who might like that account, for a chance to win a book or a trip! The @Whole30 people are very good at generating engagement this way.

Who Do You Find Engaging?

Leave me a message in the comments! I promise to engage with you!



Social Media: Spotlight on the Speed of Change

Social Media: Spotlight on the Speed of Change

Social Media: Spotlight on the Speed of Change

People have complained about information overload since, well, since there were people. And I suspect that before homo sapiens, cro magnon man (and woman!) were also complaining about too much change.  Now that social media is here, change is happening faster than ever.




With the advent of social media, we can find out about our relatives’ health, life changes, and new pets instantaneously. And even if we don’t want to know, we hear about political opinions. By the way, here’s a fun piece about the latest election: Albert Einstein and the Menace of the November Election. Even on Instagram, which is the best place for introverts, in my opinion, people are yelling–YELLING!–about politics lately. Ugh.




Change produces stress, and there are some types of stress that are in the Good Camp. Promotions at work, getting a seven-letter Bingo in Scrabble, or learning that you won the Lottery could be in this category.  As Elizabeth Scott outlines in When Stress is Good for You,  you don’t need to worry about all kinds of stress. Acute stress is particularly harmful. We humans like some things to remain stable, and not to have shifting sands under our feet.

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram--Oh, My!

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram–Oh, My!

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram–Oh, My!

Just as all kinds of stress are not alike, not all social media platforms are created equal. Let me explain. Twitter moves fast and can catch you off-guard with its constantly moving articles, memes, and newsy tidbits. Facebook can be a rabbit hole of articles about cats who think they’re dogs (and dogs who think they’re cats!), and people ranting about every possible first-world problem.  The videos and sponsored posts can move quickly as well. If you want a more peaceful social media experience, Pinterest and Instagram are much quieter–without tons of ads or newsy posts screaming at you to pay attention.

Reframing Information Overload

There are a million rabbit holes and tasks that call out to us. There are parties and business events. And there is that little voice that says “you should…”. For myself, deciding what I could do versus what I should do makes all the difference. Did you know that there’s an Information Overload Awareness Day (October 18)? And an Information Overload Research Group?

silence photo

Meditation and Quiet Time

Everyone needs some time to completely withdraw from the world, whether that’s through meditation, yoga, or simply quiet time in the car. For all you introverts out there, here’s Six Facts About Introverts and Social Media That Will Impress Your Friends.

silence photo

How Do You Manage the Speed of Change?

Do you withdraw from the world or does being involved and “on” 24/7 excite and exhilarate you? Leave me a comment! And thank you.



Donald Trump’s Prison in the Depths of Social Media Hell

Donald Trump's Prison in the Depths of Social Media Hell

Donald Trump’s Prison in the Depths of Social Media Hell

Many news articles about Donald Trump describe remarks so horrendous that his PR team later tries to rewrite what he says, explaining how his remarks were “taken out of context” or that he was “joking.” When the news is horribly negative, (and it usually is), then it was “meant as a joke.” And then social media, controlled as it is by the “liberals,” takes the negative comment and makes it worse. If I were on Donald Trump’s social media team, I’d be worried about having to continually reframe The Donald’s words.

Has Social Media Helped or Hindered Trump's Slide?

Has Social Media Helped or Hindered Trump’s Slide?

Has Social Media Helped or Hindered Trump’s Slide?

Like many others have postulated, it seems that The Donald may never have had any intention of being president. His comments are so envenomed that it’s unfathomable that he could ever really win. The Huffington Post has even suggested that Clinton take a break from campaigning, as doing nothing could help her win. And recently, Michael Moore, who just last week said that Donald Trump would probably win the presidency, now says that Trump “never actually wanted to win the presidency.” How has social media helped or hindered Trump’s rapid decline?

Mistakes Are Magnified on Social Media

Mistakes Are Magnified on Social Media

Mistakes Are Magnified on Social Media

At one time, maybe as recently as ten years ago, some of the things a candidate said could go unnoticed. The microphone wasn’t always on, as it were, and nothing would happen if a candidate made a faux pas. But now, with everyone having a cell phone, Facebook, and Twitter, any misstep is sure to spread faster than the Zika virus. So the magnification of any mistake can make the error look far worse than it actually is.

Google Trends: Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

Google Trends: Donald Trump and Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

Trump and Google Search

Although the number of Google searches might not indicate where the Donald ranks, it’s still interesting. As recently as March of 2016, the New York Times indicated that “Google Searches Point to a Strong Showing for Donald Trump.” Near the end of July, 2016, the Huffington Post reported that the search term “Donald Trump treason” showed a spike. And then there’s this interesting article about Trump responding to video claiming that Google skewed search results to be more pro-Hillary. And if any publicity is good publicity, then Trump is getting his fair share of Google searches. Although a search on “Donald Trump treason” which was recently trending doesn’t seem to bode well.

Twitter Fails

Twitter Fails

Twitter Fails

On the Twitter front, Forbes recently published an article about  Trump’s Twitter account, “We all know that Mr. Trump’s use of Twitter rivals the Kardashians’. He has amassed over 10.7 million followers and sent over 32,000 tweets.” By any account, that’s a huge number of tweets. But is Trump’s presence on Twitter helping him when many of his tweets show such negativity?

Big Data and Tweets

Big Data and Tweets

Big Data and Tweets

To me the most interesting article about Trump and social media is this one that covers Trump’s tweets. Read the text analysis from the data scientist David Robinson, who does a comparison of the data from two different phones (Android vs. iPhone). And he claims that only some of the tweets, those from the Android, are from the Donald himself. And those tend to be the angrier ones.

Fascinating stuff.

David Robinson goes on to say: “Trump’s Android account uses about 40-80% more words related to disgust, sadness, fear, anger, and other “negative” sentiments than the iPhone account does.”

From the Horse’s Mouth

Trump complains on Twitter that newspapers can say whatever they want:

Sadly for Trump, when he tries to outwit his detractors, he seems to always lose. He may have so many followers because people want to see him stick his foot in it. And then threaten to sue. See the excellent article Top Trumps: Seven of The Donald’s biggest Twitter fails, including a few tweets of Trump defending his hair. Seriously? Yes.

Meanwhile, on Instagram

Over on Instagram, Trump has been waging a campaign ad trying to target Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky debacle. His campaign tries to insinuate that Hilary Clinton doesn’t protect women. Wired Magazine says that Trump is “winning” on Instagram by being himself, “But here and there you see the often unsavory linchpins of his campaign: the bullying, the bravado, and the bull crap. It’s unfiltered, every bit as sophomoric and occasionally vulgar as his rallies and tweets.”  Of course, that was back in March. Now it’s August.

Maybe it’s true, as Liz Krokin says in the Observer that Tech Companies Apple, Twitter, Google and Instagram Collude to Defeat Trump. Still, could any of Trump’s detractors do any worse damage than Trump has to himself?

Your Turn

What do you think? Is the deck stacked against Donald Trump? Or is he spiraling out of control all on his own? Leave me a comment! And thank you.


Trump on Instagram




How to Lose All Your Followers on Social Media

How to Lose All Your Followers on Social Media

How to Lose All Your Followers on Social Media

I almost called this “The Wonderful Art of Subtraction on Social Media,” because sometimes the best thing to do is to subtract. That is: unfollow, unfriend, and mute. After all, everyone wants more, more, more followers on social media. Isn’t that the whole point? Not always! Sometimes less is more.

Same Old, Same Old

Lately I’ve grown tired of seeing the same stuff day after day, month after month. On Twitter, the accounts that spew quotes are the worst. My friends Mitch Mitchell and Terri Nakamura have been tweeting about it. How do those accounts get so many followers when all they do is broadcast quotes all day long?

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Spew quotes all day long.

Unfriending on Facebook

On Facebook, if I don’t remember where the heck we met, or if we haven’t had a conversation for a couple of years, off you go! I’ll bet they don’t remember me, either (even if to me, I’m the queen of the universe!). Wiki has a great list of reasons you might have been unfriended on Facebook and how to get over it.

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Being offensive and way too personal is a good way to be unfriended. Right now, the political rant is also a great way to lose friends.

mall crowd photo

Photo by abodftyh

Unfollowing on Twitter

On Twitter, if there’s too much salesy stuff, and too many boring tweets, same thing: they get muted or unfollowed. Muted if the volume is too high and unfollowed if the tweets are tasteless. Partly the fault is mine. I may not have taken a good, hard look at the account when I first followed or followed back. But sometimes accounts change, too. Here are some Twitter Best Practices, by the way.

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Drunk tweeting off topic is a fast way to lose followers. Also, sending direct messages asking for money is a fast path to being unfollowed.

Disconnecting on Pinterest

Sometimes people post about too much of one thing, and it gets boring. Or, as in the case of someone I unfollowed this week–too many “sexy ladies dressed as animals.” Yeah, I know. Weird. I kept unfollowing one board after another, until finally–no boards at all! What a great day that was. If you want a primer on Pinterest, you might like this one: Pinterest: Top Ten Tasks and Power Tips.

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Pin only photos of sunglasses. Or stuffed animals. And you’ll lose followers. Try it!

Getting Unlinked on LinkedIn

Like Direct Messages on Twitter, sending salesy messages before getting to know someone is a no-no on LinkedIn, and a great way to lose followers. Today I got an email from someone I’d never had contact with asking me to buy their IT services. See ya! If you want to know how to prune the rose buds on LinkedIn, here you go.

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Send a lot of salesy stuff, before getting to know someone.

Insta-Unfollowed on Instagram

On Instagram, a really great way to be blocked is to leave a comment on someone else’s post saying “follow me.” Don’t you hate that?

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Say you sell followers in a message on someone else’s post.

 freeway photo

Who Have You Unfollowed Today?

If you’ve unfriended, unfollowed, or blocked someone today, why? I’d love to hear from you!



How to Recycle Content the 10 Best Ways

How to Recycle Content the 10 Best Ways

How to Recycle Content the 10 Best Ways

Since it’s almost Earth Day, it’s a good time to talk about recycling your content on social media. It’s also a very good time to prevent your brain from exploding. Recycling your content, as it turns out, is a very good way to prevent your brain from exploding. If you need other reasons to keep your brain from exploding, you might want to read: Content Curation: 5 Killer Reasons It’s Your New BFF.

splash on wall photo

Photo by Caden Crawford

Start with Your Blog

Your blog is like the torso of your efforts. Everything starts there. The “limbs” are the different social platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. You may be a starfish, with five arms, or an octopus with eight limbs. Or maybe you’re a mollusk, with only one leg. But I digress. Create your content on your blog, with plenty of nice, fat keywords.

Recycling Tip: Go back to your older blog posts and see which can be rewritten. A slightly different slant can give new life to an old post!

toast breakfast photo

Tweet Your Post

Not only should you tweet your blog post, but if you’ve done your homework and gotten some social capital, ask for people to retweet. “Please retweet!” you might say. And then pin that tweet to the top of your Twitter feed so anyone coming there can see it. If you don’t have social capital, this is an excellent post on Reciprocation from my bud Bridget Willard.

Recycling Tip: Retweet your own tweet later. That’s right. When the initial excitement of that tweet is over, retweet your own post again. You could use a different headline and a different image. Or not. Up to you. Guy Kawasaki repeats his posts, and here’s Guy’s strategy.

Pin on Pinterest

You do have a blog board on Pinterest, don’t you? If you don’t, make one right away! And then pin your blog post there. You might also want to join a group board so that you can pin your wonderful writing there, too. Here’s how to join a group board.

Recycling Tip: If your pin doesn’t get repinned the first time, pin it at a different time and delete the first pin. Make sure you’ve added your key words to the description. You could also add it to a different board, at a different time.

italy photo

Photo by Moyan_Brenn


Facebook is a little trickier, unless you post a lot every day.

Recycling Tip: Use #TBT (Throwback Thursday) or ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) to repeat old posts. And add some different text, for heaven’s sake!

orbit photo

Email Marketing

Remember that blog post? Take pieces of it and put it into your email newsletter. Maybe use a different image, from further down in the post, and add a sentence or two.

orbit photo


Instagram has been taking off the last couple of years, with more people using it.

Recycling Tip: Regram your own posts, and change up the hashtags. Of course, recycle the hashtags, too!

loch ness photo

Photo by Moyan_Brenn

Google Plus

There’s some disagreement as to whether Google Plus is still relevant. Many Social Media Managers think that it isn’t. Most agree that it’s a ghost town, and that posting there helps with SEO.


Videos are one of the best ways to get attention from your audience. Short videos, in particular work very well on social.

Recycling Tip: Chop up your video and reuse it in different ways. You could take a one-minute video and create three or four shorter videos.


LinkedIn is often described as the “sleeping giant” of social media.

Recycling Tip: Share one of your favorite posts in a LinkedIn group at a different time.

 denali photo

Recycle Your Images

If you’ve created terrific images, you could recycle them. For instance, you could make a calendar from Instagram photos. Or Create magnets from Pinterest images.

Recycling Tip: Use this link, which friend Kittie Walker shared on Twitter (follow her on Twitter ~ @avidmode), to recycle your images from Instagram.

How Do You Recycle?

Do you recycle? How?

kyoto photo

Photo by Moyan_Brenn


Social Media in 60 Minutes a Day

Social Media in 60 Minutes a Day

You’re creating your new app, your new software, or your new restaurant. You’ve been at it for months. Suddenly, you look up. Oh no! You need social media. You have to spread the word! But you have nothing! What to do, what to do?  After all, 72% of all internet users are now active on social media (Jeff Bullas).

Top Traffic Generators

Look at the Top Traffic Generators

  1. Facebook has 1.44 billion monthly active users, of whom 65% are daily users (VentureBeat)
  2. Twitter has 316 million monthly active users (Twitter)
  3. LinkedIn has 300 million users (Forbes)
  4. Google+ has a few million active users (TechTimes)
  5. Pinterest has 50 million users (Mashable)
  6. YouTube has 1 billion monthly active users (Social Media Hat)
  7. Instagram has 300 million monthly users (CNN Money)


Consider Your Demographic

And please don’t say it’s everyone! Are they Millennials? Women with college degrees? Of a particular ethnicity? This article from Pew Research gives an excellent overview. Then consider where that person shops, eats, and lives. Ask five people who would use your product or service how they use social media. A short survey could help. Don’t forget to consider the visual aspect of your business. That is, is it very visual or not at all visual? If it’s very visual, Pinterest and Instagram are good choices.

Consider age, gender, ethnicity, as well as interests and level of techno-savvytude.

Pick Three

Pick Three

Choose the three that appeal most to your target audience. Let’s say you’ve picked Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. The easiest way is to begin with the one you already know or use.

Narrow Your Choices to One

Narrow it to One

Start with the platform you already know to hit the ground running. Say you’re already a Facebook user. Set up a business account. Set up your profile, business hours, and physical address if you have one. Then: 1. Post when your fans are online, 2. Use large, beautiful pictures. 3. Use Facebook’s native scheduler.

Choose Daily Topics

Say you’re going to post five times a week, Monday through Friday. Let’s say you have a restaurant, for instance.

Your daily topics could be:

  • Monday: DIY food, specials
  • Tuesday: Behind the scenes with the chefs, nutrition
  • Wednesday: Wines and beer that goes with food
  • Thursday: Comfort food
  • Friday: Why people deserve to have dinner out, Happy Hour


Rinse and Repeat

Once you have Facebook under control (it will take more time in the beginning, naturally), add Twitter to the mix. Then add Pinterest. Now spend 20 minutes per social platform (use the same or similar topics). Schedule some posts and engage with people. Of course, this is greatly simplified. Facebook is not Twitter is not Pinterest. But you get the gist.

Still Stuck?

Hire a social media manager. Here are some things ten of the worst social media managers do. Make sure yours don’t do any of them. Let me know what else you’d like to know in the comments!

Social Media: 7 Ways Your Business Can Connect with Locals

Want to Find Locals with Social Media?

Want to Find Locals with Social Media?

What is the first thing that someone looking for you would see if they looked for you online? Would they see a sadly abandoned account, and hear crickets? Would they get an ad telling them to sign up for a free newsletter? Would they hear an anthem from the 80s? Or would they see a finely tuned profile that appeals to their local audience? If your business depends on locals, here are a few ideas to use on the big social media platforms to magnetize your presence.

Have Apps on Your Phone

Because everyone is online these days, going from online to offline should be seamless. That means having apps on your phone so that when you meet someone, you can immediately connect and continue the conversation online–on their favorite platform. And when you “e-meet” someone, you can hopefully continue to talk offline.

Reach out to Your Audience: Post Local Events

Maybe you have a meetup, like my friend Ruby Rusine does, and you’d like to get more people to attend. You could post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and then tag people who might like to attend. Or **gasp** pick up the phone and call a few people in the area.

Create an Event Board on Pinterest

On Pinterest, have your own event board and take photos which you upload. You can then add a url to the pin to send people to your website for more info. Don’t forget to change the dates when you have a new event!

Post About Local Events

Post About Local Events

Twitter Local Search

You can use Twitter’s search on your city. For instance, let’s say your business is in San Francisco, California. By searching on either San Francisco, #SanFrancisco, or #SF, you can get local news, traffic reports, etc. There might be a big event that you’d like to attend, or maybe there’s a news story you want to share. Advanced search has even more options. For instance, you can search on zip code.

Tweets Near You Integrates with HootSuite and Google Maps

Tweets Near You Integrates with HootSuite and Google Maps

Tweets Near You

A great Chrome plugin is “Tweets Near You,” which shows you other people tweeting near you, and integrates with HootSuite and Google Maps. In the screenshot above, you can see tweets within 5 km of AT&T Park (a fabulous place that you must visit, by the way!) to see the incredible San Francisco Giants and their wonderful social media cafe. But I digress.

Communicate Directly Through Instagram or Twitter

Another way to reach out to your local audience is by communicating directly through Twitter. Restaurants can search on terms like “I’m hungry,” “hamburger,” “I need sushi,” etc. Use hashtags (i.e. #specialdeals, #dailydeal, etc.) to maintain follow through with your client base; they can directly message you regarding your business in real time. A clever business could also use Instagram to search on a hashtag (one sushi restaurant did this with me recently) to find people who already love whatever they sell.


Although Facebook has recently throttled its traffic, almost everyone and their mom, sister, cousin, and grandma is there. Social Media Examiner has a terrific article with tips about filling in your profile and appealing to locals.

Get Traction through Local Visibility

Get Traction through Local Visibility

Be Found

Just as you can find others, you want to ensure that you are found, too. So make sure to optimize your profiles everywhere, and keep the content fresh. And if you need someone to help you, you could read my Social Media Managers: Top Ten Questions to Ask When You’re Looking for One.

Have You Been Found? Or Has Someone Found You?

I’d love to hear your story about being found online if you have one. Really!



Transform Your Brilliant Content: Ten Ways to Recycle Content

Transform Your Brilliant Content

Transform Your Brilliant Content

Ten Ways to Recycle Content

Ever had a great idea that you weren’t sure how to share without making all your friends crazy? Sure you have! You have one of those right now…sitting in your back pocket. That idea for a Portable Solar Dog Grooming Truck, for instance, needs to be seen. Or that website for cats who take selfies (you even bought the domain and a GoPro!) just begs to be released unto the world. But how?


Your website is the basis of all great ideas. This is where the ideas live. Use your blog to expand your brilliant idea, adding pictures, drawings, and video, if possible (more about video below). Once you’ve written about your idea, you can begin to spin it into other formats. This is where the fun begins!


Yes, you’ll need to tweet about your great idea. Take different snippets, add different pictures, and voila! A blogpost of a few hundred words can become many tweets. Don’t forget to pin your newest post to the top of your Twitter feed, along with an image. Twitter has become more and more image-centric, so take advantage.


Speaking of images, you can pin your blog post to your blog board (here’s my blog board, by the way). Include search terms so that people looking for your topic can find it. Anything with cats and selfies, or cute, wet dogs has to be on Pinterest. Unless it already is!


Maybe only 3 or 4 people will see it on Facebook unless you promote it, but still. You have to put it there. And the more you post and interact on Facebook, the better the chances that your content will be found.


Create a more scholarly headline to get people to click on that link. I like this example of good LinkedIn headlines, from LinkedIn Makeover.


Why not create a video of your blog post and put it up on YouTube? YouTube is absolutely wonderful, especially if you have a how-to video that needs to be seen.


Pictures of cute dogs and cats! Who could resist? Hashtag it like crazy. That’s how people find you on Instagram, and everyone seems to hashtag everything shamelessly.

Solid Gold

When your content gets a little old, you can bring it back to life. You can rewrite an older blog piece by changing about one-third of it and adding pictures. If you’ve been blogging for a year or two, this is a good way to reuse content.

Create an eBook

Once you have a few posts, you can bundle a few and create an eBook. For instance, you could take your solar idea and bundle that with some other posts you’ve written for a book about portable solar.

Make a Slideshare

If you’re good with images, you could make a PowerPoint that you share with your friends on social media. This could go on all channels, and in this new format, many people might relate to it more. Or you could find someone who could do it for you.


Many people are audible learners, and prefer learning by listening. Or they’d love to listen to you speak your idea. You can have someone transcribe your Hangout on Air or blog post and then use the podcasts for still another purpose.

How Do You Recycle Content?

Each time you switch mediums you’ll come up with some new ideas, which will appeal to a different audience. Some people love video, some like to listen, and some want to scroll quickly through images. What’s your favorite way to recycle?

Social Media Managers: Top Ten Questions to Ask When You’re Looking for One


Social Media Managers: Top Ten Questions to Ask When You're Looking for One

Social Media Managers: Top Ten Questions to Ask When You’re Looking for One

Your startup has finally gotten some funding and you know that you have to find a social media manager (“SMM”). Where do you start? You could ask a few friends, or you could look on the Internet, but how do you make sure that you’re getting good value? Here are some questions that I wish people would ask me!

What is Your Philosophy About Engagement Online?

This question is designed to weed out the “post-and-go” people. Some social media managers are more in the “broadcasting camp.” That is, they’ll find the most efficient ways of blasting out your message without thinking about your audience. And that’s not very social, is it?

Who Answers Questions or Comments on Social Platforms?

Some SMMs expect you, the client, to do that. It’s good to have a strategy in mind before you need one. Will they call you when clients ask questions on your social media platforms? Will they text you? Will they answer any questions? How much knowledge do they have about your field or product?

Do You Have a Favorite Platform?

These days, many SMMs specialize in a particular platform. They might be great with Pinterest, or use Twitter, but dislike Facebook and Instagram. So ask if that SMM has a favorite to see if they might have a strength.

What’s Your Least Favorite Platform?

Top Ten Questions to Ask Social Media Managers

Top Ten Questions to Ask Social Media Managers

If the SMM says they “love all of them” that’s kind of like a waiter saying “all the food is great.” Maybe it’s true that they love all platforms, but the “least favorite” question could get you the answer you’re looking for. Nobody likes to say they have a “weakness.”

How Do You Work with Your Clients?

Some SMMs like to do everything with no input from their clients. Others like daily, weekly, or monthly input. Some expect to meet in person and others won’t ever want to meet in person. Find out what the expectations are.

What Topics Do You Suggest That We Avoid?

For starters, I usually suggest avoiding politics, religion, and sex. But if your startup has a dating app, you will want to talk about sex. So make sure that you’re on the same page with the SMM that you decide to hire.

What If There’s a National Emergency?

Companies of all sizes, including startups, get in trouble when there’s an emergency, such as a school shooting, and the SMM doesn’t know what to do. Make sure that everyone knows what to do. I suggest posting something sympathetic–if anything at all–and then going silent. Nobody cares about whatever you’re selling when there’s an emergency.

What Happens on Weekends and Holidays?

Some brands stop posting on weekends and holidays. Others post even more. Your business might be a seasonal one. Let your candidate know what you would like.

What Does Success Look Like?

To be successful, your social media strategy needs to be specific enough so that you can measure it (such as a minimum number of daily posts), but not so specific that it squashes all the motivation out of your SMM. Learn how to demotivate employees in my previous blogpost.


Are you an ambitious startup looking for a social media manager? Because I know someone (*ahem*) that you might like to talk to!


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