BlogHerFood 11: Don't Be Afraid of the S Word "Strategy"

05/25/2011

BlogHerFood 11_2 I often say that the blogosphere, and now social networks, are comprised of many worlds. Each world has its own community norms and of course citizens. My main drag is social media marketing biz. I've been hangin' for several years, have made some great friends and even feel fairly comfortable "socializing" with people who I don't know.

Last week I had a unique and wonderul opportunity to venture into a social media village that I'm on the fringes of .. Food. Once upon a time I wrote about food for BlogHer and on my new social destination All The Single Girlfriends Friday is .. Foodie Friday complete with recipes, memories, reviews, wine. Great fun .. do check it out!

So when Elisa Camahort Page asked if I would be part of BlogHerFood11, as a member of the programming committee and as the moderator of a panel on social networks, it took less than a nano second to say, "Shut up Girlfriend!"

One of the interesting things about stepping into a new world, is you don't know the players. A-list people are quite the same as Kathy Griffin's On The D List folks. As a new comer you make judgements based on kindness, sharing, knowledge exchanges and the humor of the momement. On the other side of the street, sometimes hangin' with friends, ego or yup .. kissing up gets in the way of meeting new people. But I digress .. that's a post for another day.

Food Bloggers Rock .. and how they can party! We danced the night away at the closing party at Atlanta's Tabernacle. Thanks to BWS for the photo.BlogHerFood Dancing

The discussion I led, with 3 uber food bloggers, Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan, David Lebovitz and Jaden Hair ranged from defining social media to tactical applications of Twitter and Facebook to content. 

David Lebovitz told us that he believes there are no rules .. that social networks should just integrated into your life.

Love how Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan uses Twitter .. for casual conversations to work out words like a gym. While for her, since blogs have more space, they seem to be a more formal communication platform. 

Jaden Hair shared her 3 rules for Twitter: 1. Tweets must be useful, entertaining or both. 2. Tweets should promote others and 3. Tweets connect with friends.

What I found interesting was Not creating a strategy for social networks seemed to be the theme for several panelists and audience members. Jadin told us that although she did have a marketing strategy she doesn't when it comes to relationships (as it involves social networks). 

To misquote Shakespeare ~ Me think thou dost protest too much.

Perhaps they call it by a different name or to stay with the Shakespeare theme "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Unless you are born under a lucky star, to grow a site to the extent and success that David, Jaden and Sara Kate have accomplished takes some thought and planning. In my book, yes, in social networks too. 

For my new Foodie Friends like ..

OvenLove  GarlicGirl Another Marvelous Meal BreadExperience Jennifer Chandler EvilShenanigans  TheQueenofTarts  CopyKat

SoupChick MarysBites  RetroFood LifeChef Return To Sunday Supper

LoraKrulak TheBetterFishBlog  CatchingPearls MamaSays

.. and those who are new to social networks and want to build out your presence in the Food World, Business World, Fashion World .. or any where else don't let the "marketing" terms trip you up. Don't be lulled into thinking that if you Tweet or Like or Comment it's enough.

You have your profiles up on the social networks. Now what do you do? Here is an easy 4 Step Social Network Strategy. Ooops Girlfriend, said that "s" world .. strategy again!

1. Content Direction - Take this from your blog which is based on your passion and interests. For example, if you write on vegan issues you probably won't be passing along information about pig roasts. However, you might drop a tweet or update or post about the health issues concerning pork.

This also includes the "voice" you use. If you want to be the "Lady Gaga Bad Girl of Food" your tweets will reflect that as well. 

Dropping a few tweets and updates about the mundane helps people know who you are beyond your content.

Frequency. There is no magic answer but try different times of the day/night.

2. Audience - Develop a sense of the people who Follow or Like you. If you write about desserts your followers will be people who share that passion. Click into their Twitter stream, Facebook pages and LinkedIn profiles to learn their interests. 

Even though some folks might love your topic, often their social network content won't reflect the focus of your content. Reach out and ask what they'd like you to offer.

It goes without saying, content your audience finds valuable will bring RTs and comments leading to .. you got it .. more quality Followers and Likes. The challenge is find out the What (as in what do they want and like?).

3. Success - You define what this means. Is it building relationships? Is it expanding your awareness? Is it finding resouces? 

How will you know when you succeed?  The answer may not be in the number of Followers, Likes or Connects. By the way don't get caught in the bigger is better trap. "Who" is more imporant than "how many."

If you want to build relationships pay attention to the people who RT (re-tweet) and the Likes on specific Facebook updates and Linkedin commnets. Reach out to these people through your @s RTs and comments in their streams, as well as in yours.

4. Have fun and don't get overwhelmed. Take a clue from David whose strategy is "To have fun and to write things that interest people." 

Keep in mind that understanding the what and the how of strategy do not take away from the Fun!

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Comments

There is no doubt that the internet has forever changed the world in which we live. So it can only be expected that it would change the way we sell and marketing our businesses globally. Staying connected with customers will definitely give good results.

Posted by: Virtual Business Assistant on May 26, 2011 1:03:55 AM

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Posted by: Internet Marketing Services on Jun 1, 2011 1:56:10 AM

I totally agree with this statement that "Develop a sense of the people who Follow or Like you. If you write about desserts your followers will be people who share that passion. " because it is very important to build a rapport with your audience so that there will be a two way communication. You must always appreciate them and make them feel they are priceless.

Posted by: Internet Marketing Review on Jun 1, 2011 7:32:59 AM

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