The Winner of Diva Marketing MNS Sponsored Branding Tip Contest Is ..


Pink boaChelsea Aures @chelseaaures. Congrats! and toss of a pink boa to Chelsea.

The Challenge: Provide a tip on how to use social media to support branding ~ Social Media Changes the Branding Game post

Our guest judge was BL Ochman of Whats Next? Blog.  BL's reason for her decision ~  Constant self-promoting is transparent. If you've been a useful and helpful part of the online community, people are much more likely to cut you a break when there is a problem.

Chelsea aures _ msn winner branding Chelsea’s  Branding Tip: I really think using social media has a lot to do with telling the story of the brand and interacting with consumers or clients. There has to be some level of communication involved in social media. it is not just a way to have a conversation, but also to share ideas and collaborate. 

Chelsea is attending Dr4Ward’s social media theory class at Syracuse University. Guess Dr4Ward (Bill Ward) is doing some right in his class! I think Chelsea should get extra credit, don't you?

Check out our next contest and you too could win $100!

Challenge: Drop a tip about how a small business owner can use social media to create awarenss PRE Launch. You can go personal branding route or not .. your choice. Guest judge is the small business diva Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends.

The contest ends this Friday , 10-7 .. so click right over now

Diva Marketing Turns 7!


SevenYear Itch I was thinking of calling this post "The 7 Year (Blog) Itch." Although a blog is not a marriage, in a funny sort of a way, it is a commitment. And relationships are built through posts and comments. So perhaps not so strange?

And at year 7 it's a good time to look back at where you've been and think a bit of where you might go. 

Yes, girlfriend, Diva Marketing celebrates 7 years .. belatedly. Diva entered the blogopshere May 24th 2004 as an experiement. I had no intention of keeping this bebe going for more than a few weeks. I mean, I had a website, what did I need with a blog?

However, within days people began to reach out and welcome me. People like Yvonne DiVita, Dana VanDen Heuvel, Michelle Miller, Tris Hussey, Paul Chaney, Anita Campbell, Bill FlitterStephan Spencer and then Rajesh Lalwani, Marianne Richmond, Elisa Camahort, Nettie Hartsock Geoff Livingston, BL Ochman, Shel Israel and so many more who are still part of my life.

There were few books or workshops about blogs. These were the people who I learned from .. who I skyped & emailed long into the night and who changed my sleep habits for life! 

I quickly realized that blogs were way different from static websites. And so I continued Diva Marketing because I was having too much fun to stop. 

Along the way Diva Marketing changed from a concentration on general marketing and branding to a focus on how to use social media to support brand values/promise by creating and nurturing relationships.

That's what happens with blogs. They morph and change to reflect the interests of the author and the community. 

Diva Marketing turned into a sandbox where I could play with new ideas - In The Moment Marketing, test concepts - Corner Grocery Stores Relations (one day I'll write a book - Everything I know about social media I learned from my grandma!) and learn together - Crowd Sourced Posts with the social media and marketing community .. you! 

Take a 7 for 7 walk down memory lane with me and look back at some of the highlights of Diva Marketing. If it's cocktail hour shake up your appletini or if not Diva-birthday cake pour a cup of java.

#1 - GourmetStation, my first blogging client, launched one of the earliest blogs tied to a commerce site. Founder Donna Lyons Miller bravely agreed to share our learnings on Diva Marketing. The innovative character blog Delicious Destinations was blown up by the "purest" blogerati who later agreed we were right on target. 

Lessons Learned - All initatives must reflect the brand value and promise. Take risks but do not waiver on the mantra of social media: transparency, honesty and authenticy. Work with creative people are willing to take a risk and who believe in you. 

#2 Jupiter Research, the influence of a community of marketing bloggers changed the way this company worked with bloggers, the methodology information it released to the public and developed guidelines for how its PR agency would interact with bloggers. Back-story 

Lessons Learned: One voice, that joins with a larger community, can make a difference and even impact the internal processes of large organizations. 

#3 Blogger Relations Pulse of the Industry research study explored blogger relations from the point of view of 3 audiences: bloggers, agencies and brands. 99 people offered their opinons. Their insights are the basis for several organization's blogger relations programs. 

Lessons Learned: The 5 big take aways remain valid today and expand into social network content providers as well. Take Aways: 1. Know who I am and target my interests. 2. Provide value to me and my community. 3. Tell me about you. Ethics and transparency count. 4. Treat me and my community with respect. 5. Establish a 2-way conversation. 

#4 Social Media Marketing GPS I wrote the first business book based on Twitter interviews; I used Diva Marketing to tell the story. The book is written in 12 chapters and takes you from the what and why of social media to ethics, strategy, tactics, blogger relations and a few case studies. Well over 10k downloads from people all over the world. 

Lessons Learned - Traditional publishers told me the concept wouldn't work. David Meerman Scott suggested I test it by turning it into an a free eBook. Next time I'll ask for eMail addresses .. perhaps a buck a book might be a good idea too (smile!). 

#5 Forbes acknowledged Diva Marketing as one of the best blogs on social media and marketing written by a women. 

Lessons Learned: It's sweet to be given a high sign by a prestigious media company .. but you're only as good as your last post. 

#6 Diva Marketing was almost acquired.What a trip it was when I received an eMail from the X Man that a large blog network wanted to buy Diva. 

Lessons Learned: Keep exit strategies open. If you want to sell your blog you must own your domian and build on a platform like Wordpress that makes it easy to transfer content. 

#7 All The Single Girlfriends Building on the experience from Diva Marketing, social media consulting and training I launched a new social destination. All The Single Girlfriends is the first community focusing on single women 40+ and those who are "single in spirt." 

Lessons Learned: The social/blog space if much more cluttered than when Diva Marketing opened its virtual doors. The competion to build community, even in a niche market, is intense. It takes consistency and time .. and the kindnesses of friends. 

Bonus! Along the way I met amazing people from all over the world. Many of those people were kind to share their insights about social media with us in interviews and Diva Marketing Talks podcasts. The support you've given has added joy to my life. This milestone belongs to you .. and perhaps Max too!

Lessons Learned: The power of social media is the relationships created through your involvement in real interactions with real people. 

So, girlfriend, where do we go from here? 

It Takes A Village To Grow A Blog .. Along With Your Girlfriends


 Friends hugging fundraiser blog Subtitled: You Gotta Have Friends!

A few months ago I was chatting with Jeff Hillire, president of the Atlanta hot, interactive, agency Enguage, about, you guessed it .. social media marketing. I mused (do you like that word? I rather do.) that it might have been fun to work with a brand or large agency.

He smiled his too wise smile and said something that went like this, "The innovative work you've done in social might not have been possible within the politics of a large company."  Hmm .. never thought of that.

So with no one to tell me No! on Valentine's Day I launched another innovative social media initiative. All The Single Girlfriends, or as we fondly call it -- atsGf. I am excited to tell you about this adventure and to get your feedback. The back-story.

Unlike Diva Marketing and the eBook Social Media Marketing GPS atsGf is a run for the roses. Our goals are to monetize and capture the niche of single girlfriends 40+. In doing so we hope to provide a platform for women to tell their stories and voice their opinons in ways that reinforce there is no one right way to be single. Oh and by the way, brands and advertisers we have more disposable income than our mommy sisters. You're missing a huge opportunity .. pay attention to us too. 

Okay, you might be thinking, but Toby there are hundreds of women communities on the web what makes All The Single Girlfriends so special?  Think .. The View for real women who just happen to be in the demo (single and 40+ smart, savvy and no way boring .. but fabulous!)

It's girlfriends-talking-to-girlfriends about what Gf dish about .. relationships, love, careers, family, sex, dreams, challenges, loss, new beginnings and just life. What is amazing is the posts are from the heart stories interwoven with smart.  Banner  

There are about 20 GF authors and growing. The Gf authors bring diverse backgrounds, a range of ages, passions and experiences. As important each offers a unique idea of what it means to be single after the big 4-0 birthday.

If you've been around the marketing social media web you'll find some of your friends: Yvonne DiVita, BL Ochman, Jody DeVere, Sunny Cervantes, Connie Reece, Elana Centor, Jacki Schklar, Jane Genova, Tish Grier, Marianne Richmond, Susan Cartier Liebel, Mary Schmidt, Kelley Connors  .. and me! 

However, there are girlfriends with a passion to be part of this new venture who are new to the social world: Debra Pearlman, Dorothea Bozicolona-Volpe, Maggier Buerger, Bonnie Simon, Polli Graham, Rebecca Crichton, Tani Wolff. 

But back to Diva Marketing. The focus at Diva is to help you learn about social media often through my own trials and challenges. Here are my first two lessons learned or perhaps I should say relearned:

1. Let's call this the startup syndrome on a zero budget. It takes a village to grow a blog when there is no brand awareness . Your social media pals can certainly help with a jump start but it takes time and creativity to build new relationships in a new social "village." Going viral over night is usually a lucky fluke.

2. Let's call this Nancy White, Full Circle, was right. Several years ago Nancy told me that when a social site is set free to the world it is no longer yours ago. If you're lucky, your commuity will make it its own.; in doing that your vision or concept maybe changed. Hold on tightly .. it's a ride not for the faint of heart.

Come visit us on All The Single Girlfriends, Like us on Facebook and Tweet along @atsGf. Would love your feedback and ideas. I don't know where this one will go but I promise to keep you posted!

Since this is Diva Marketing .. a toss of pink boa Pink boa

to Marianne RIchmond who has been my cohort and the web GF.

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34 Hot Tips on Increasing Facebook Followers (or Likes) From AMA Boot Camp Marketers


AMA Social Media B2B BootCamp image In 2004, the American Marketing Association asked to develop a workshop on blogs. Blogs: Marketing Beyond The Website, was an amazing experience. We took that Hot Topic program to 6 major markets in 10-months. Along the way, I developed a passion for helping people understand that 1st blogs, and now social media, is a credible and critical part of a marketing strategy.

Seven years later, I'm still facilitating training for AMA, as well as, other organizations and companies. I believe even more strongly that social media helps develop & nurture stronger real relationships between customers/prospects/other stakeholders and the people within the organization.

If you develop for the the long-term, you gain insights that can be used to increase bottom-line profits.

Along the way, I've conducted workshops for hundreds of people all over the country. Very nice people. Very smart marketers. Recently, I had the pleasure of working with the AMA Las Vegas Chapter to present a 1.5 day intensive boot camp on using social media in a business-to-business environment. 

Something special happened during our time together. We created a "social media" experience offline. People shared experiences (personal and business) and in doing so we learned from and with each other. We tackled many issues including -- How to increase your Facebook following. The participants generously agreed to share the results of our brainstorming. 

34 Tips On How To Increase Your Facebook Following

Create Awareness .. they won't come unless you tell them

1. Include in email newsletters. Write a special introduction article. Include links on all eZines. 

2. Add to all employees' eMail signatures

3. Add to all employees' business cards

4. Add to website in 2 locations. Above the "fold" with bold icons and on the footer which runs across the entire site.

5. Send eMails to people not part of eMail data base.

6. Add the URL to All traditional collatoral materials

7. Add the ULR all advertisements

8. If you run broadcast ads mention the url .. don't just say,"Like us on Facebook."

9. Use other social networks to send people to your Facebook page. Use Twitter to direct to an expanded conversation.

10. Install Facebook "like" box on your website and/or blog.

11. Add link to your LinkedIn page

12. Use your unique Facebook URL. Note: you need 25 "likes"

13. Add a "like" button to your blog posts

Content Matters .. make sure it is more selfless than selfish 

Sidebar: Thanks to WIlliam Crozen for the term selfless content. 

14. Create "selfless" or "what's in it for me" content. Information about the brand and company take 2nd place.

15. Develop unique "platform appropriate" content. 

16. Foster partnerships among clients and thought leaders 

17. Invite your community to join in an extended discussion.

18. Reach out to indivduals you know who would be interested in specific conversations.

19. "Talk" to people don't "message me"

20. Include "Facebook only" content that is not Tweeted or on other of your digital properties

21. Include videos and photos

22. Explore contests or give aways. 

23. Step out from behind the logo and talk people-to-people

24. Support a nonprofit

Think Outside The Box .. if you position this as a way to build your learnings it's easier to take a risk or two. 

25. Add a "buck slip" with invoices if paper or a link if eMail

26. At your next conference bring a laptop and show the site

27. Explore using QR codes

28. Create a landing page 

29. Analyze metrics

30. Consider running targeted Facebook ads

31. Actively participate in Facebook discussions e.g., comment, like .. friends make friends

32. Don't forget to participate on your own page!

33. Add a tab to collect opt-in eMail addresses

34. Include the url in the bottom right corner of every slide that you develop for presentations and speeches

Toss of a pink boa to the awesome AMA Las Vegas B2B Social Media Chapter and workshop participants Pink boa

@forestersusdiv @nathan_casper @pinkjeeptours @naescorp @profcharlotte @noblestudios @lindsayalford @inthezone23 @skyhighmktg @AMALV

Alan Fox, Independent Order of Forester . Nathan Casper, Shift4 Corporation . Lindsay Alford, Noble Studios . Charlotte Allen, SFASU . Kathyrn Loos & Michael Markvosky, Haws Corporation . Erin Reed, Crowe Hortwath . Brittany Smith, Pink JeepsSara Ure, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville . William Crozen, ModernLV . Josh Kozinski, Sky High Marketing

What are your hot tips on how to increase your Facebook following. Please drop your insights in the comment box below .. lets grow this list and continuing the learning. 

Toss of a pink boa to Lya Sorano forthe edit help.

How Do You Build B2B Relationships Using Social Media?


The miracle is this: the more we share the more we have. Leonard  Nimoy

Crowd source
One Tip Crowd Sourced Question

No one holds all the answers. Especially in social media marketing, or as some people refer to this brave new digital word as, new media. When you think of it how could she?

The tools like Twitter, Facebook, and geo location services such as Foursquare are nano seconds old. "Traditional" social platforms such as blogs, podcasts and video are two nano seconds old. Marketers are still learning how to talk to people without the benefit of their brand veils. 

I thought it would be interesting to crowd source a series of  "How do you do it .. 1 tip question posts." I reached into my social networks for answers.

People, with diverse backgrounds and experiences, generously shared their insights. The result is an invaluable learning for us all. Toss of a pink boa to everyone who is keeping the spirit of social media alive .. sharing knowledge.

How Do You Build B2B Relationships Using Social Media?

Add value through insights and content. That's how a good b2b relationship could start. - Cheers Rajesh Lalwani BlogWorks @rajeshlalwani

Whether for a business or an individual, powerful relationships are formed when social media is used to transform lives, whether by being responsive, connecting people, providing better service, creating better value or just by making someone smile. "What are you doing to make my life better via social media?" - Arun Rajagopal ArunRajagopal @arun4

Stop thinking of it as A "social media relationship" -- it's just a relationship, with a real person, who wants attention and appreciation. - Andy Sernovitz, author Word of Mouth Marketing Blog: Damm I Wish I Thought of That @andysernovitz

Be genuine and understand why you are talking to that particular person understand ones own business before you enrage with others Get a grip on what mediums one is using. - Anon

Consistency and persistence. Too many times, in the digital world, people are so hot and heavy in the beginning, then it all trails off like Summer Camp -- you fall madly in love and promise to keep in touch forever and then time passes. The real digital relationship honors go to the company that can leverage the CRM -- someone who can remember anniversaries and birthdays, if you will. Also, the relationships that are being constantly mined and "exploited" versus the ones that are kept aside like wine: in the cold for years.

In networking, there's a difference between collecting people and building relationships. If I met a mommy blogger and we hit it off, I am not going to say, "I have her in my pocket but I am not going to leverage this until the time is right and I have an important story."

That's true exploitation. That's a parasitic relationship. Intimacy is symbiotic. Intimacy is a muscle that must be exercised.

Intimacy doesn't just mean that if I buy you a steak at Morton's you're going to owe me a story.

Also, one must also remember that most digital relationships don't need to be intimate and can simply be transactional. That in order for people to really be able to connect, you need to connect lightly or hard.

Anyway, the biggest mistake that most people in the digital space make is not to "use" each other shamelessly... 

Generally speaking, this can't be done in-authentically. Either way, you need to find something you love about that person, no matter how small, and try to make the relationship about that real thing -- and it can be just the meta thing of social media.

Oh, and this all comes down to the fact that people love doing favors. It is actually rude not to ask the people around you for help, for love, for attention, and for a favor.

Oddly, people tend to love each other more the more they feel beholden, connected, and in each-other's debt.

I meet too many people who have a bunch of A-list bloggers they have met, they have the card for, but they never connect to them because they're holding off until they need something very badly -- sort of like a safety net. 

Like 11th hour conversions, they never tend to work out the way you would expect them to -- and generally fail. Who would want to fall into a rotten safety net? - Chris Abraham Abraham Harrison

Be the real and authentic you. To nurture and develop trusting relationships, a person has to be authentically themselves, This includes being ethical and honest in everything they say and post on social media, just as an every other aspect of your life and business. - Wayne Hurlbert Business World @waynehurlbert

Give consideration to the differences in HOW one can connect and why different strategies are necessary . This content is copyrighted by  - fjk @vitalingus   

Share what you admire most about their business in general, or their latest news. Use details when possible, not just an overall "like." They'll feel appreciated for their thoughtful strategy and work and they will appreciate you for it. - Melanie Notkin Savvy Auntie @SavvyAuntie

Use what I refer to as the "cord of three strands" principle -- on an individual basis, connect with another person on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. That way, you get to see their business side, personal side and what they're thinking about at a given moment.  – Anon

Use social media to stay top of mind by creating conversation around what your B2B client is interested in - without trying to sell! - Becky Carroll Customers Rock @bcarroll7

Do your research and find out where your interests intersect. - Bonnie Sahin Bonnies On It @Bsashin

Make them laugh. – Jackie Schklar Funny Not Slutty @funnynotslutty

Understand the power of the "Re" --- Retweet, repost, share, blog about others businesses to demonstrate that you follow and care about the other businesses news, events, progress, etc. Be sure to take the time to tailor your "Re" to match your customer/reader's interests as well as your business goals. It demonstrates that you read and thought about it. –

.. and my thoughts. Creating relationships in the digital world is really no different than in the offline world. Good ones take time to build. My 3 of 1 tips: 1. Provide selfless content that speaks to the needs of your comunity and not your brand. 2. Keep in touch with an @ tweet, comment or status up. 3. Give a little of your none business self. - Toby Bloomberg Diva Markering @tobydiva

Let's keep the leanings growing. How do you create B2B relationships using social media? Plese share your insights in the comments. 

 Tip Crowd Sourced Question Series

How do you take the fear factor out of social media?

How do you put soul into your blog posts?

Is social media a strategy or a tactic?

What are your scariest thoughts about social media?

Who Is Reading Your Blog May Be A Delightful Surprise


Dandelion_seeds_being_blown The very smart Nancy White, Full Circle, once told me .. when you send your blog or community site into social cyber space it's never totally yours alone again. Girlfriend, it doesn't matter if you're writing on social media topics, manufacturing equipment or dirty martinis (3 olives please!).

However, if you're very lucky sometimes the people who "read" you and become part of your digital world are a delightful surprise. That's exactly what happened to Diva Marketing.

I write about social media marketing, how it impacts branding and can be used to build stronger relationships. As expected marketers pop by and people who are curious about new media. The creative elements and tonality attract women and men who want their learnings served up with a little fun and a dash of irreverence. 

The segment that was delightful surprise is young college women. How do I know? Found reviews and mentions about Diva Marketing from following links in from my stats. 

Recently, Amanda Schwartz, Barnard College '13 reached out and asked if I would write something for Barnard College of Columbia University's newspaper The Bulletin " .. about social media and its role in the job search process... I was honored.

By the way, Amanda could give some PR pros a lesson or two in how to approach bloggers. She was respectful, identified who she was, detailed what she wanted and most of all her request was relevant to what I do; and she even followed-up with a thank you. Toss of a pink boa to you Amanda!  Here's what I sent her written with a dash of Diva style .. of course.

In today's world, as well as tomorrow's, your digital image is becoming as important as your offline style.  Not only for your friends but for prospective employers and mentors. Why not take advantage of social networks and blogs to build relationships beyond your best friends or your latest crush?


A presence on LinkedIn or a blog, that profiles your talents and passions, can supplment an interview. It can also give you an advantage if a prospective company chooses to research a candidate even before she steps through the door. 


Keep in mind that just like the shoes you choose to wear, from cute boots to fun flip flops Filp flops summer
, how you develop your "digital personal brand" sends a message too. The language you use, the story you tell, the images you include are all are pieces of your online puzzle. Remember that Google (and other search engines) have long memories so create for the long-term.


Although social media offers an exciting way to showcase your talents and experiences eventually you'll take online offline. The personae that you develop must authentically represent "you." 


Best of luck in your career adventures.



@tobydiva Diva Marketing

Lesson Learned: Do more than look at the numbers of your analytics .. follow the links of referrals.

What have been some of "delightful surprise" segments of your community?

How Do You Take The "Fear Factor" Out Of Social Media?


You learn more quickly under the guidance of experienced teachers. You waste a lot of time going down alleys if you have no one to lead you. W. Somerset Maugham

Just One Crowd Sourced Question

Crowd source Before there were books or conferences about social media .. before there was Facebook or Twitter people tried to make sense of marketing in a digital world by tapping the experiences of those who were exploring the (then) innovative ideas of blogs and RSS. 

We met in late night Skype chats exchanged emails and posted our thoughts and questions on blogs. We learned from each other. I can not think of a more generous group than those who live in the social media world.

In the spirit of Somerset Maugham, I thought it would be fun to crowd source a series of how do you do it posts. So I did what any good social media marketer might do, I tapped my social networks. 20 Marketers kindly shared their thoughts on the 2nd question in the series: Just 1 Crowd Sourced Question.

The funny thing is we continue to learn from each other within our ever expanding digital worlds. Enjoy!

  • Question: How do you take the "fear factor" out of social media?

First of all, you have to uncover the fear. Is it fear of writing? Many people feel they aren't good enough writers. Is it fear of comments? Is it fear of time? Once you know what the issue is, it's easy to tackle. For writing - a quick demo of the conversational style of blogs and social media works wonders.

If it's the fear of comments - well, why do you fear comments? You can manage them but... teaching people that a complaint is a gift, takes care of that. If it's fear of time, a simple editorial calendar and the understanding that you can prepost everything - even on Twitter, helps people relax. ~ Yvonne DiVita, LipSticking  @lipsticking

Start with talking about objectives first and tools depending on objectives. Emphasize results are measureable and measuremet can be matched to business goals. ~ Shashi Bellamkonda, Network Solutions @shashib

The fear factor in social media stems from not understanding how social media works. Instead of seeing social media as a conversation, it is often views as tools, technology, and broadcasting. To remove the fear factor, it is important to show people that social media is about talking with others, and building relationships through sharing conversation. When the human aspect is considered, rather than the technological aspects, the entire idea of social media becomes a natural part of life. ~ Wayne Hurlbert, Blog Business World  @WayneHurlbert 

We need to remind people that they have a digital footprint regardless of whether they use social media. Choosing not to participate is no guarantee of staying below the radar screen, even if you'd prefer to keep a low profile. ~Bonnie SashinBonnie's On it @bsashin

Educate, inspire, and make it personal. Adding a little fear helps too, by showing what their competitors are doing and showing them what will happen if they keep sticking their heads in the sand. ~ David Berkowitz, Marketer's Studio  @dberkowitz

Oh, please, just dive in! There are, for sure, opportunities to commit faux pas (and plenty of helping hands along the way for quick recovery), and far more to share, connect and become regarded as the expert you are. Fear? Not in this arena!. ~ Lya Sorano The Oliver/Sorano Group

I guess the biggest fear is saying something dumb & then knowing your great great great grandchildren will be able to read it online with all their friends. ~ Anon

I find it's less "fear factor" and more "I know I need to be doing social media, but how? I don't have time for this. Can't you just do it for me?" We're all trying to do more with less and keeping up with social media (being consistent) and learning the fast changing tools are the biggest hurdles.

Assigning dollar values to fans and followers, sharing case studies of success, and showing ROI on campaigns makes it an easy sell. ~ Angie Robar, LinkedIn 

I suppose I should be more afraid. ;-)

Start slow. Listen at first. Test the waters with retweets and/or sharing cool/interesting content (videos, blog posts, news). I post things about Startups, Technology, and stuff that's very personal. I'm posting as me, not as a brand. And I'm trying to live authentically both IRL and online.

As Chief Chick of StartupChicks, I do represent a brand. A brand that I built almost entirely on Social Media. And I do occasionally think twice about what I am personally posting, and if it could possibly look impact that brand. And I have deleted a post for this very reason. But, for the most part, I don't really worry about it. My friends and followers have come to know ME through this platform, and if I don't always say the exact right thing or have a typo... they'll understand. After all, they are my "friends". ~ Jennifer Bonnett,  Chief Chick, StartupChicks @startupchicks  Founder, Nexpense @jen_bonnett 

Find out how they feel about cocktail parties and water coolers and remind them that its really just the same thing. ~ Anon

I blogged about exactly this! ~ Joel Rubinson, Joel Rubinson

I guess the biggest fear is saying something dumb & then knowing your great great great grandchildren will be able to read it online with all their friends.

1. Do your best not to say anything dumb. 
2. Take comfort in the fact that it's unlikely that our great great great grandchildren will know how to read anything longer than "lol". 
3. Dance like nobody's watching. (They're all too busy worrying about how dumb they look.)
~  Tsufit, Author, Step Into The Spotlight! Tsufit

Use email marketing as a point of reference. Every new channel comes with the fear factor, and the best way to control / learn them is to get in the game. Use email marketing as a point of reference. Every new channel comes with the fear factor, and the best way to control / learn them is to get in the game. ~ Anon 

Demystify the barriers to participation, lower the expectations, be crystal on the need for communication, ~ Marc Meyer, Direct Marketing Observations  @marc_meyer 

To take the 'fear factor' out of social media, I relate it to a person's own online habits e.g. ever read a review on Amazon? look for a how-to video? conduct a search for a local retailer? etc. Most are engaged in some form of social behavior (online) without even realizing it. ~ J Schmitt @cloudspark

 To overcome this fear, start by working w/ someone experienced in social media who will (patiently) help you get familiar & comfortable with SM as a consumer - i.e., show you blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., and then help coach you to join in the conversation/community. ~ Sybil Stershic, Quality Service Marketing @sybilqsm

Being true ones purpose of being on line. Passion mission business Act from a place of love not fear. ~ Anon

Like everything, most fear is related to ignorance or a lack of understanding and education. It is about education of social media for those afraid of it. ~ Jim "Genuine" Turner, One By One Media  @Genuine

Just do it. ~ Steve Woodruff, Steve Woodruff @swoodruff

First I acknowledge that the fear can be well based - bad things happen online, as they do offline. Then I provide analogies for what we do offline in fear situations, e.g. have legal advice, get accountant's advice on financial matters, don't go down dark streets in strange cities, or even into dangerous areas in our own cities or at particularly risky times, have good HR policies in place to cover behavior issues.

Then I say it's just another area for risk management for contemporary companies. Then I say there is no shortage of models, templates and expert advice available (e.g. the social media guidelines explicitly available for copying, in Brian Solis' Engage p196ff). It's a bit of an intellectual approach so it is probably not going to help the people who want to luxuriate in their fear and/or often proudly trumpeted ludditism :). ~ Des WalshDes Walsh @deswalsh

Dragon slayer women .. and my thoughts. Before you can conquer any dragon you must first answer two questions. 1. Why are you afraid. 2. What exactly is your dragon?  

Your responses to the first question will lead you into the culture of how your organization currently conducts business. The insights you discover will lead you to a better understanding of not only your marketing/pr/sales/research strategies; as well as your internal employee culture. 

To answer question number two .. well you've taken the first step by reading this post. Learning as much as you can about social media is the secret sauce. Toby Bloomberg, Diva Marketing @divatoby

How do You take the Fear Factor out of social media? Please share your insights and learnings in the comments.

More Just 1 Crowd Sourced Question Posts

How do you put soul into a blog post?

Building Social Media Business Relationships With The Mundane


Twitter_no wall snips
What does watching football games, a fractured foot, a party gal, a nap, late night lattes, a hotel PA system and eating cheescake have in common? Twitter tweets of course.

Girlfriend, now you might be saying, "Toby, I rest my case. That's exactly why I would never think of tweeting for business. Who cares if I'm eating cheesecake or staying at a hotel with an annoying PA system?" 

  • Social media does not have walls. Hold that thought.

For my 2 cents, the special sauce of social media, and now social networks, is the opportunity to build and sustain relationships. From a business perspective that usually means customers/clients, prospects, colleagues, vendors, the media, analysts and shareholders. Did I miss anyone? Oh yes, the gate keepers! Lots of people who have hugely diverse interests. 

I spend a lot of time trying to make sense of how do you build business relationship in today's digital world. One day, it occurred to me ..

  • Social media does not have walls. Hold that thought.

This quote from Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone, sheds some light and understanding on what makes a business relationship either online or offline.

"Everything that you want to achieve in life is with and through other people. Making friends with people you meet is the first step toward getting what you want and you do that by getting to know everyone on a personal level—even business contacts.

There is no such thing as a business relationship—there are only personal relationships in a business context that you are fearful of creating a personal relationship with."

Well .. I'm not so sure about the fear factor, though it certainly can be an issue. However, getting to know people on a personal level resonates with me. It also reinforces my concept of the Corner Grocery Store Relationship where the shop keeper didn't just know her customers by name but was an integrated part of the larger community.

Hang with me a bit more. 

If we were doing business together and I met you in your office, or even at your favorite coffee shop, there would be visual clues that would provide insights into your world .. personal and/or business. Those visual clues would give me the opportunity to find common ground that goes beyond my product or service.  If I were savvy (and of course I am!) I would use those clues to share with you how we are more alike than different. At the end of the day, all things being equal (more or less) people like to do business with people they know and like.

A couple of examples:

My friend and colleague Merrill Dubrow, CEO of M/A/R/C, has a huge Red Sox banner on his office wall. Wicked cool .. a Boston and baseball connection.

Photos of your family vacationing on the beach might lead to a sidebar conversation about our mutual love of the ocean. Perhaps I'd tell you about my family time at my cousin's home in Hull.

We're enjoying a cup of java at your local coffee shop. You take out your iPhone to take notes. Why, I have an iPhone too. We talk about our favorite apps. 

Back to the idea of social media does not have walls.(Finally!) In the  digital world there are no walls or cues. While we might begin our online relationship because I find the information you post is helpful to me, I still don't know who you are as a "real person."  

However, if among the value added content that you share with me in your Tweets, blog posts, LinkedIn messages, Facebook updates, or where ever we hang out together, once in awhile you drop something you are providing "cues" that help build our relationship. 

10 Tips To Decorate Your Social Media Walls

1. How personal is personal? - How much of "you" should you include in let's call them "coffee tweets" depends on a two factors: your comfort level and the culture of your organization. While some people maybe okay with chatting about their new bebe other people may be concerned with a safely factor. 

2. Pets can add that fun dimension. The Diva Marketing community knows I often include my dog Max in posts. The first time I met someone at a conference, who asked not about me but about Max, I knew there was a relationship brewing.  Max dec 07_1

3.Travel both for business and pleasure can not only give you interesting content. How about a post about a great meal and excellent service or a tweet about the TSA .. er that might be a different blog. 


4. A tweet or Facebook update while you're watching the Super Bowl. 

5. The weather. What you're doing during the snow storm or how you're spending the 1st day of spring.

6. Your latest venture into the kitchen along with a photo of those yummy cookies or cake disaster.

7. Your tennis team's ranking. 

8. Kids do say and do the funniest things. If you're comfortable sharing in pubic think capturing it on video.

9. What you're doing for your coffee break or lunch hour. I don't mind a few of those either. I just might be inspired to have a bagel instead of a muffin. 

10. What are your suggestions?

When asked about Twitter's vision, CEO Dick Costolo said, "Twitter is about connecting for a purpose, not just connecting." If you're purpose in using social media is for marketing or business, a little of the mundane can help bring the humanity to relationships. 

 Sidebar: Tweets borrowed from @thomsfrey @urvkish @banteringblonde @shbbll @designsponge @michaelhyatt @shellykramer

How Do You Put "Soul" Into A Blog Post?


Crowd source When it comes to learning about how to succeed in social media, one of the most valuable type of posts is the multiple insights shared by people who are in the trenches.

I thought it might be interesting and fun to crowd source a series based on just 1 question. So I did what any good social media marketer might do, I tapped my social networks. 19 Marketers kindly shared their thoughts on the 1st question .. 

  • Question: How do you put "soul" into a blog post?

Never lose your sense of humor. We're marketers, not pediatric brain surgeons. A lot of the time a funny photo or drawing can add a little levity to an otherwise serious topic.~ B.L. Ochman What's Next Blog @whatsnext

 Realize that we all have both personal lives and professional lives. Use that knowledge to bring the passions of your life into your work-related blog. For example, I'm a huge music fan and frequently write about music in my "work" blog. What are you passionate about? Use that as fodder for blog posts with soul.~ David Meerman Scott WebInKnow @dmscott

Be yourself. If you're snarky, be snarky. Compassionate, be compassionate. Funny, be funny. Don't try to be something you're not or the world will know in just a few tweets.~ Susan Cartier Liebel Solo Practice University @scartierliebel 

Robert Frost said, "No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader." While writing the initial draft of a blog post, then, allow your ideas to get away from you and surprise you.

Push yourself to think about unexplored parts of the story. Write about images that appear to you for reasons you can't explain, and then try to explain them. Explore and experiment and have fun, before you bring you bring in the internal editor to smooth things out. ~ Mark Levy Levy Innovation @levyinnovation

Be frank about what you don't know and don't understand ~ Des Walsh DesWalsh @deswalsh

My tip is a quote borrowed from a billiard's player I once knew. He said, "Study long, study wrong." While things can't be quite as extemporaneous these days, I still feel that being too cerebral with a post is a way to suck the life out of it.

In other words, some of the most soulful posts are those written without too much editing or over-thinking.I used to say blogging was a "shoot from the hip, speak from the heart" style of writing. ~ Paul Chaney  My Amplify @pchaney

Bring your personality and opinion to the table.. you can have marketing goals, but people don't want to hear marketing speak. They want to hear  you speak about what you think about ideas and opinions of the day. ~ John Cass @JohnCass PR Communications

Rather than reporting or writing about a topic , write how you "feel" about a topic. Speaking from your heart brings out your passion and helps you connect and resonate with readers better. ~ Jody DeVere Ask Patty @askpatty

Isn't the answer in the question maybe? Bare your soul... or at least be transparent and passionate in what you write. ~ Marianne Richmond Resonance Partnership @marianne

Be present without pretense. Call it soul, authenticity, your voice, your thing, your mojo - it doesn't matter. What matters is you've got to own it and to do that you have to know yourself.

Take some time to reflecton who you are, what you care about, what revs your motor and why. Get to know your inner compass and you'll begin to feel it when you're getting off the path, when you're overworking it, phoning it in, or just being "on message" without meaning. 

Be sensitive to the idea that everything you write about has a common denominator: you! So don't be afraid to be present in the process. ~ David S. Cohen Equation Arts @davidscohen

I think soul means heart and depth. To bring that soulfulness to your blog it  needs to occasionally be personal. Not the every day experience level of personal, but that story that gives you pause. Was it embarrassing? In hindsight is the answer clear? Should you share *that*? If it could be of value to even one person, then yes.  ~ Katie Bromley @KatieRBromley

Write what you are passionate about. ~ @AYPcom

Stick with what fuels your passion and let that enthusiasm shine through in all that you write.~Teresa Caro @TeresaCaro

Don't try to create an overly authoritative voice - be yourself and write as you wouldspeak to a friend. The best blog posts make me feel like I just had an intelligent conversation with a friend. The ones who are haughty and lofty in tone lose me within the first few sentences.~ Amanda Thompson Dachis Group  Travel Blog @mercerthompson

I add soul by being honest. Honesty doesn't mean being snarky, which seems to be a trend these days. Honesty is about giving people an insight or an "insider's perspective" that they can't get by reading the WSJ, the Times,ADWEEK, MEDIAWEEK or any other traditional publication. ~ Jamie Turner 60SecondMarketer @60SecondTweets

Write in your own voice and let your own personality shine through. ~ David Reich Reich Communication @davidreich

Keep in mind every post might be the first post someone reads so make it amazing - Rob Petersen Barn Raisers @robpetersen

One infallible way to add "soul" to your blog is to have a humorous or non-traditional About or Biography page.  Some people use a page that includes a list such as "10 things about me" or "7 things you may be surprised to know about me" or something along those lines. 

Other people write a humorous biography.  Still others write a very personal story about why or how they started the blog.  Whatever it is, be sure to include something about YOU -- your passions, your values, your beliefs, your hobbies, your family, even your favorite foods or your dislikes.  Share a little about YOU and it will make your blog memorable. ~ Anita Campbell Small Business Trends @Smallbiztrends

Let your passion shine through to distinguish your point of view. Like-minded individuals will be attracted to your honesty.  Let your voice be heard and don't forget the funk (aka, spirit and wit). ~ Terry Starr Dice @dicerecruiting @dicenews

Make each story or post you write unique to you using active verbs and capturing your curiosity and passion for the subject.

In college, I took a modern dance class that based on piece on Tennyson's The Eagle. I'll have to demonstrate it for you. The last part of the poem and dance capture what needs to happen for a blog post or any performance for that matter to have 'soul.' Thanks for the question. As usual, you got me thinking. ~ CB Whittemore Simple Marketing @cbhwhittemore

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;

Close to the sun in lonely lands, Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls; He watches from his mountain walls,

And like a thunderbolt he falls. ~ The Eagle by Tennyson

.. and my thoughts: Putting "soul" into your blog posts is like playing jazz. Once you understand the basic notes, step out of your comfort zone and explore something new with your community. Play the tune together where you share another side of what makes you .. you. ~ Toby Bloomberg Diva Marketing @tobydiva Jelly's last jam

Let's keep the conversation going .. How would do you put "soul" into your blog posts?

Beware! The Social Media Dog Strategy Mentality


With over 13,500 views on YouTube, my dog Max thinks he's a social media rock star pup. Shh.. don't tell him there are videos with millions of views and he is at most a blip on the celebrity circuit. It would hurt his feelings.  Max multi color  

In all honesty, Max doesn't really care if 13,500 or 13,500,000 viewed his cute video. Max is a dog. Max is not a brand. For him quasi social media star status is good enough bragging rights at the doggy park.

What is disheartening is many organizations/brands have similar, let's call it a "Social Media Dog Mentality" where cute and counting are the extent of their planning process. Tweets and Facebook status updates fly into cyberspace that are little more than "cute" spins from a marketing campaign. Success is determined by the number of likes, followers, connects, comments or views rarely taking spam bots into consideration or if the "right" people are engaging. 

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking at a conference, sponsored by Connuntelligence, about how to build a social media strategy. I presented a 3 phase model that might be helpful to you as you build your social media strategy. 

If your organization is new to social media, or if you jumped in without an enterprise direction,  I would encourage you to spend some time on Step 1: Align the Enterprise

Our customers' expectations of how they make purchasing decisions (peer reviews, online conversations with peers and with the people behind the brand) are changing. That change impacts every traditional customer touch point e.g., customer care, sales, marketing. Business units that rarely, if ever, had direct customer contact may find themselves center stage.

Step 1: Align the Enterprise .. Develop the Social Enterprise 

Face the Gorillas in The Room, Determine the impact on the enterprise, Determine cultural compatibility, Identify social media champions, Inform all your staff  

Step 2: Build the Strategy

Objectives/goals support business outcomes, Conduct social media assessment audit, Conduct industry and competitive analysis, Identify target audience, Ensure Brand consistency, Determine tactics and Content direction, Determine metrics for success

Step 3: Create Awareness

Cross promotional, Social media, Traditional marketing

I'm happy to share the deck with you - below. Thanks to Dorothea Boziconlona-Volpe for her help transcribing the participants' comments about Barriers. @socialespinonage

Puppies are fun and a Social Media Dog Strategy Mentality may be great people talk at meet ups or tweet ups. However, it is not a business strategy. Max sends woofs to you!  

Social Media Strategy In 3 Steps

Learn more about Social Media Strategy in my ebook Social Media Marketing GPS and from the companion podcast series, Social Media GPS,  sponsored by the American Marketing Association.