Social Media Inspired By CREWTeens


Inspiration can materialize at the oddest moments. We round a corner and Zap! something unexpected takes hold of our hearts and imaginations. That's exactly what happened to me a few weeks ago.  

I walked into a classroom at the Drew Charter School in the East Lake area of Atlanta .. very Hot'lanta today! .. fully expecting to meet a group of smart teens. However, 3-hours later I walked out of the building inspired and energized. The students in the East Lake Foundation's CREWTeens summer program were beyond just smart .. they were amazing! 

My dear friend Mary Dugenske - the awesome director of marketing & communication - invited me to be a guest speaker for the Tweet This program. The course explores how social media and the digital world are impacting advertising, marketing and journalism. Jana Broadie, the instructor, not only brings heart but soul and humor to the class.She's created an environment where learning is interesting and fun. 

The assignment that I was given was to help the students understand the differences, and similarities, of using Twitter for personal and business purposes. We started the session off with a jar of jelly beans to demonstrate that the same could be different. Of course in order to really get the concept many jelly beans had to be consumed!

A lot of the students were using social media from Facebook and Twitter to YouTube, MySpace and Ning. While munching on jelly beans we explored why. The reason: to keep in touch with friends. At the end of morning we came to the conclusion that brands had a similar purpose to be involved in social media. The reason: to connect with customers.

Some of the most significant dfferences we decided were that brands develop a strategy and content direction. We talked about the importance of knowing who you wanted to talk to (identifying customers) and how to add value while representing the brand. All in 140 characters! 

East Lake Foundation CREWTeens Tweet This

View more presentations from Bloomberg Marketing/Diva Marketing.

Yup .. you never know where you'll find inspiration. Could even be from a tweet by a CREWTeen student. Worthy of a RT, don't you think?


Read more about the East Lake Foundation in an interview Mary Dugenske did with Diva Marketing.

Twitter Twisted Recipes For The Fourth of July


Peachtree road race 2010 t shirt  Celebrations for the Fourth of July are wrapped in tradition. In Hot'lanta the 41st Peachtree Road Race again closed Peachtree Street in Buckhead through Midtown to accommodate 55,000 runners, joggers and power walkers. 

Tonight there will be over 800,000 people, with blankets and picnics at the Esplanade on the Charles River, who will enjoy a night of Boston Pops, fireworks and @craigyferg

There will also be millions who will turn on the grill and kick back with family and friends. Kids will be running through sprinklers, jumping into pools or building sand castles on the beach creating their own memories of the day.  Fourth of july charles river  

Although the day is framed with the familiar there are often a few new elements that occur. Maybe it's a surprise guest to your BBQ. Perhaps it's an unexpected fireworks design. Or did you set a new time for the Peachtree? 

  • Social media is a little like that. It takes the traditions of strategy, segmentation, customer insights, branding, service and wraps it in something new .. authentic digital conversations.

To celebrate the Fourth of July I've taken a few of my favorite traditional recipes and added a dash of social media spice by turning them into Twitter recipes. This July 4th Twitter Menu also includes a few recipes from foodie tweeters - Martha Stewart @marthastewart, Julie Tharalson @foodierd, and Lucy Waverman @lucywaverman. Enjoy! 

Twitter recipes_2
Twitter recipe_ h20 mellon  
 Read more - Martha Stewart's Twitter Recipes complied by Diva Marketing.

Classic Black Dress Posts


Last Sunday night I was chatting with a few hundred people about blogs on Mack Collier's popular Tweet Chat #blogchat. 

What's a tweet chat? Glad you asked. It's simply people tweeting on a designated topic, at a specific time, and using a unique identifier - called a hash tag (#blogchat) - so the conversation can be easily followed online.  

#blogchat is always fun with lots of ideas generously exchanged among colleagues from all over the world. @mattchevy offer a great suggestion that I found so simple but elegant .. like the classic black dress.  

Blogchat_june 20 classic black dress_2 

Some people might call Matt's idea an "evergreen post; this is Diva Marketing after all and I prefer  - "Classic Black Dress Post." Girlfriend, think Coco ChannelThe little balck dress never goes out of style.

LITTLE BLACK DRESS Please enjoy one of Diva Marketing's Classic Black Dress Posts - August 31, 2008

life just happens.  However, every once in awhile when you round a corner, when you least expect it, you bump into something  that causes you to pause. No where is that more magical than in New York City.

Peny_parkBig bronze pennies leading to whimsical art, created by local sculpture Tom Otterness, was one of the many little surprises that my friend Kate introduced me to during our walk along Rockefeller Park (Battery Park City) this weekend. I found it interesting that the name of this wee park is The Real World but the children call it Penny Park. I couldn't help but think .. what's real and what is play and how as adults we loose our sense of wonder and miss the moments of delight.

It's only a description of what I see in New York: the constant clash between people walking on the same street, living in the same world. I see small vignettes of meaning, but the connection between the events is beyond my understanding. Tom Otterness

Later that night Otterness' words would ring true for me. In a NYC taxi my aunt lost her purse. Panic set in as she was told by the 311 operator that due to the holiday weekend no one would be able to help her for 7 long days. Her lost money and cell phone were not so much a concern as her identification. How much of a hassle would it entail to get through TSA security? Life can be so complex.

The cabbie had found her purse. Taken the initiative to call several people from her phone list who in turn called family who was with my aunt. Happily ever after occurred when this good samaritan took time out from his job to return her pocket book.

I see small vignettes of meaning, but the connection between the events is beyond my understanding.

What might this have to do with marketing, or branding you may ask? In my way of thinking it is a reminder that be it taxi rides or art it's the people who we touch .. who we connect with who matter.  For me social media marketing is making that happen more so every day. Because business is personal.

eBook - Social Media Marketing GPS: A New Media Roadmap For Creating A Social Media Strategy


Cover  Sometimes you just have to color outside the lines. Sometimes you stumble. Sometimes you soar. Sometimes people wrapped in the status quo just don't get your ideas. Sometimes you find people who believe in your vision.

My story. Last summer I invited social media marketing pros to explore with me a new book genre. I wondered if a real business book could be written using Twitter as the major content platform and distribution channel. 

  • I am excited to launch Social Media Marketing GPS, as free eBook, in celebration of Diva Marketing's 6th blog birthday! My mom's birthday! and Shel Israel, who wrote the Forward and is recovering from heart surgery! Social Media Marketing GPS is the first business book based on Twitter interviews.

What is it about? Social Media Marketing GPS is based on Twitter interviews with 40 of the smartest people working in social media. The book begins with an explanation of why include social media and moves on to cover ethics, tactics, research, metric, branding, sponsored conversations, blogger relations and even a few case studies. Additional content wraps around each of the 12 chapters creating a process for you to use to develop your social media marketing plan. 

Table of Contents

Foreward: Shel Israel

Introduction: Toby Bloomberg

Chapter 1: Why Social Media?
Interviews with
Paul Chaney, Ann Handley

Chapter 2: The New Enterprise Direction
Interviews with
Geoff Livingston, Marc Meyer

Chapter 3: Social Media Research: The 1st Listening
Interviews with C.B. Whittemore, Joel Rubinson

Chapter 4: Social Media Ethics
Interviews with
Wayne Hurlbert, Mack Collier

Chapter 5: Strategy First
Interviews with
BL Ochman, Rajesh Lalwani

Chapter 6: Tactics Second:
Blogs, Twitter, Social Networks, Podcasts, Vlogs,
RSS, Widgets

Interviews with
Julie Squires, Yvonne DiVita, Connie Reece
AV Flox,
Nancy White, Neville Hobson, Jim Turner, Roxanne Darling,
Bill Flitter,
Nick Burcher, Marianne Richmond

Chapter 7: Social Media & Branding
Interviews with
Dana VanDen Heuvel, Beth Harte

Chapter 8: Blogger Relations
Interviews with
Susan Getgood, Elisa Camahort

Chapter 9: Sponsored Conversations
Interviews with
Scott Monty, Melanie Notkin

Chapter 10: Metrics That Make Sense
Interviews with
Peter Kim, Kate Niederhoffer

Chapter 11: Solving Business Challenges
Interviews with
Lionel Menchaca, Frank Eliason,
Donna Lynes Miller,
John Maley

Chapter 12: Relationships 1st, 2nd & Last
Interviews with
Tim Jackson, Liz Strauss, Lucretia M Pruitt,
Kimberly Coleman

After Foreward: David Meerman Scott


Who is it for? It's a genre for the 24/7 marketers who don't have time to read a tome but must understand social media in order to do their jobs. It's for people who want insights and information bite-size and actionable. It's for business professionals who want a quick refresher and innovative ideas to take their current strategy to the next level.

I invite you to download the eBook; and if you find value please pass the link to people in your network and in your social networks. I'd love your thoughts on the genre, the book, social media and how to promote the it. If you tweet the hash tag is #smgps.

Please enjoy the companion podcast series sponsored by the American Marketing Association, Social Media GPS, where I interview many of the contributors from the book. In keeping with Twitter's 140 character format, interviews are about 14 minutes long .. because 140 minutes is way too long and 140 seconds much too short. As a special treat each interview begins with the marketers reading some of their tweets. So here we have another new genre .. tweets on tape!


Media Release

Martha Stewart's Twitter Recipes


This weekend I was writing a post about how people are using Twitter as a marketing tactic (coming soon). As often happens I got lost in the research. This time the sidetrack was on @marthastewart. Girlfriend, did you know she's posting 140 character recipes? Before I knew it I had copied most if not all of them.

For your cooking and dining pleasure a tweet merged blog cooking post!

Sidebar: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Marketing VP feel free to "steal this idea" and post on If I were the social media diva at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia a cute twitter recipe book would be in the works complete with tweet recipes from our followers. Perhaps I'd turn it into a video cook-off contest. What a great idea Toby ;-)

Martha stewart twitter avatar

 Martha Stewart's 140 Character Tweet Recipes

Soups. Appetizers. Others

Soup appetizers other  












A Twitter-book .. No April Fools Joke


Forthsia The first day of April maybe April "Fools Day" but to me it marks the start of spring and new beginnings. The world seems to call out .. take a chance .. throw off your winter jacket and dance in the rain or watch as the yellow Forsythia bush blooms bright yellow flowers.

So I listened to the Spring Sirens and took a leap into something new. I'm writing a book. On social media marketing. But not just a 'regular' book. A book written on Twitter. This book will be built on using 140 characters per line. It will be quick ideas but woven together that flows in a consistent book "read.".

However, it will be "traditionally" formatted with a Foreword, written by Shel Israel @sheliisrael, and chapters. Each chapter will include a one question interview with industry experts who will tag their tweets - #smgps The # allows for easy search for tweet inTwitter search.

If that's too confusing or if you want to go back and read it at your own pace I've created a dedicated blog.  Social Media Marketing - A Twitter-book . #smgps.

My goal is to create a resource for marketers where the social media marketing community can contribute their insights as well. Call it an experiment in crowd sourcing. Can it work?  Wil it work? I don't know. Some Tweeters have said it will fail in less than 140 seconds; others think it's cool and has value; others have a wait and show me stance. For me, social media is all about trying new ideas. So I thought why not? 

This quote by Erica Jong was part of the Introduction and captures what it's all about. On a fool's spring day or with a carefully structured marketing strategy. - "The trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more." I extend an invitation to join me on this adventure.

Interview with David Saranga, Israel Consulate: A Twitter Press Conference


Israeli Consulate logo In December 2008, the New York Israel Consulate held the first government press conference on Twitter and in doing so public diplomacy took one more step into social media.

The purpose of the 2-hour open conversation in 140 characters was to engage and provide the public with a platform where citizens' questions about the Gaza situation could be addressed directly by @DavidSaranga, Consul for Media and Public Affairs at the consulate General in New York. In addition to the running tweets from the press conference, updates were posted on the Consul's MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube pages.

With a few weeks distance behind him, I asked Mr. Saranga if he would look back on the experience and in retrospective share some of the marketing/PR lessons learned. My thanks to him and to the staff of the Department of Media and Public Affairs who kindly responded to my request. A special shout out to Noam.

Note: Diva Marketing is not a political blog but one focused on social media marketing and branding. My questions and Mr. Saranaga's responses reflect that positioning.

The Office of the Consul General in New York serves as the focal point of the Consulate. While it oversees all departments within the Consulate, the Lishka (bureau) primarily functions as the liaison between the State of Israel and the various centers of power and influence that encompass the New York Metro area such as national and local organizations, the offices of public officials and business alliances.

The role of the Consul General is to promote the positive image of Israel in the media and the surrounding communities by keeping them abreast of the most updated information on Israeli prominent personalities and developments.

David_saranga_Israeli Consulate David Saranga, Consul for Media and Public Affairs at the consulate General in New York.

Prior to joining the Consulate in New York, Consul Saranga served as Deputy Spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel, and was responsible for contact with the foreign media. He was a Manager of the Direct Marketing Department, Visa-Israel Credit Cards and worked as National Sales Executive at Kidum Ltd. Consul Saranga has been engaged as an academic since 1989, when he worked as a Teaching Assistant at the Hebrew University. Subsequent work has included one year as Director of Studies and Lecturer in Marketing Management at the Open University in Israel.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Using Twitter as a media conference forum was innovative and brave. Why did you choose to go in that direction?

David Saranga: We have been involved in online work for some time, through our blogs (isRraelli and IsraelPolitik) and our presence on MySpace and Facebook.  After reading about Twitter, we felt that the tool held a lot of potential for communicating with people online. 

Firstly, we can “focus” on one person, but many people can tune in as well. This way, even when we are answering one person, other people are still taking part. 

Secondly, Twitter is a site where people are increasingly going to talk, so we wanted to join the conversation where it was happening.

Toby/Diva Marketing: How did you achieve buy-in from the consulate and other stake holders?

David Saranga: The diplomatic staff here has really come to understand the value of web-based content and of social media. We told them how important a presence on Twitter could be, and they were hooked.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What were their main concerns? What were yours?

David Saranga: We were all mainly concerned with how many people would ask questions and whether we would be taken seriously.  When we first joined Twitter and mentioned the “Press Conference” idea, we started hearing opinions that we might not answer so-called “hard” questions.  So we needed to make sure that we answered as many questions as we could, even and especially the “hard” ones. 

Toby/Diva Marketing: Where did most of the engagement come from?

David Saranga: While our Twitter following has been quite varied, we seem to have attracted people interested in learning more about the Middle East and people who work in new media, public diplomacy or both. It was quite interesting to see the range of people with whom we have had very rewarding interactions through Twitter and/or as a result of such efforts.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What lessons did you learn from the first Twitter press conference?

David Saranga:

  • Our biggest lesson was the importance of making ourselves available to people through a medium they understand. 

We are aware that this issue raises a lot of emotions, and we wanted to give people the opportunity to talk with us in an unmediated fashion. Many of the questions we received were thoughtful and inquisitive, and we were happy to share our point of view on what can be touchy subjects.  Israeli Consulate Tweeting

It was also important for us that we could expand answers on our blog. While we could give only short answers online (due to constraints imposed by Twitter and by the sheer number of questions*), we did want people to know that we cared about their questions and wanted to give them the full attention they deserved.

*Note: Twitter allows only 140 characters per tweet.

Photo of staff of the Department of Media and Public Affairs tweeting at the press conference.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What was your biggest surprise?

David Saranga: We were really surprised by the amount of interest we generated. We started this whole project figuring we would get a few people to tune in. When our “followers” count began to rise precipitously, we realized we were on to something much larger.

Many more people than we anticipated were interested in having us take part in this conversation. The mainstream media got involved, too. We got coverage in the New York Times, Le Figaro, the Guardian, and other news outlets around the world. We were truly astounded.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What would you do differently next time (will there be a next time)?

David Saranga: We’re still evaluating the lessons of the first time, so we’ll have to evaluate whether we’ll do this again. We all felt this was an extremely positive experience, and we’re grateful for all the attention and ongoing relationships that resulted. 

Our biggest problem was trying to respond to a flood of questions in an organized fashion, so fixing that issue would be a necessary step before organizing another press conference. That said, we’ve really been having an ongoing press conference since late December, as we are active on Twitter. 

The next thing we hope to arrange is a TweetUp (i.e. meeting Twitter followers face-to-face) in the next few weeks to bring our followers together and help them see other facets of Israel with which they may not be so familiar. We’ve thought of a bunch of ideas (music, art, film, etc.) but want to see what our followers are interested in, too.

Toby/Diva Marketing
: What lessons can you pass on to others who are thinking of using Twitter for their press conferences?

David Saranga:The best lesson we can offer is that you should not be afraid to answer the hard questions that come at you.

  • The best thing to do is to be as transparent as possible and just be sincere in your answers.

Toby/Diva Marketing:  To wrap it up … your thoughts on social media ..

David Saranga: It’s clear that social media is not just a passing trend, but rather an effective way to communicate. It is important for us to maximize the capabilities these tools offer and use them to help us in talking to as many people as possible.

Israel Consulate in Social Media



Blogs: Israel Politk

First Israeli Tweet-up in the making!



Friday Fun: For the Heart, Head & Soul


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Too many wonderful things happening in the virtual world not to pass along from fun contests to help non profit causes to quirky ways to grow your business.

NonProfit - For The Heart

Alex brown_2 Alex Brown is no stranger to social media. In 2005, he created one the first higher ed blogs, Wharton MBA Admissions Blog, He was one of the first to incorporate student blogs as a support tactic when he taught marketing at University of Delaware. But it was his beyond successful blog for Barbaro the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner who was put to rest too soon. One could say that blog changed Alex's life and let to a mission to create awareness about the slaughter horse issue.

Alex Brown Racing is sponsoring a YouTube contest. Videos will be accepted from Tuesday, February 10 to Noon Friday April 10. The grand prize is $1,000 to be donated to the horse rescue organization of choice of the winning entry. Even if you don't enter, stop by and view the entries .. some wonderful videos have been submitted.

The Animal Rescue Site is challenged to sustain its click campaign. A click will help provide food and care to sick pets.  And then because you're feeling so good to have done good go to PawFun and design a t-shirt to show off your own pet. If you hurry you can save 30%!

Small Business Success - For The Head

Ideablob is one of the most innovative uses of combining social media with small business. There are two parts. One:  Within the public forum entrepreneurs ask the business community at-large for advice. Two: The community votes on the best business concept. The $10,000 prize is no small accomplishment to win with stiff competion. The current contest closes on 3-31-09. I had the honor of being one of the featured guest advisors. The site is sponsored, very discreetly, by Advanta.

When if comes to helping small business owners Heidi Richards Mooney is one of the champions. Her online publication and community WE magazine for women, has influenced thousands of women (and men) with its rich content, online conferences and networking support. Heidi recently released the eBook Quirky Marketing Calendar 2009 as a resouce for ways to create fun, innovativemarketing  strategies.

So you've got an idea for a light web-based business and didn't win the $10K Ideablob contest. My pal Dave Williams is involved in a new angel fund venture that might be right for you if you are a small business owners in the Atlanta area. Want to learn more? Shotput Ventures is holding an open house 3-3-9.  If nothing else their Facebook invite page sure looks like it will be good networking!

Looking for a couple more social media and marketing tips ? Check my guest post, in Tsufit's Step Into The Spotlight series.

In today’s world where clutter is the norm and marketing managers are scrambling to get their brands noticed stepping to the side of the lime light just might be the way to get into the spot light. By that I mean before you take center stage understand the basics:

1. Who are your customers and prospects?

2. What makes your brand unique to your customers?

3. Where do your customers hang out?

The answers, to what may first appear as simple questions, become the cornerstone of your successful marketing strategy. Traditionally organizations discovered those elusive secrets through marketing research studies or mining internal data sources. However, social media research or listening to the raw conversations of your customers provides marketers with an additional resource.  Read more at - Step into the Spotlight post

The Arts - For The Soul

The arts are recognizing that social media is a wonderful way to engage and build an audience. By letting patrons glimpse a view from behind the curtain they can but buts in the seats. Broadway is catching on too! Sure have come a long way from when Elisa Camahort, the fonder of BlogHer, launch the blog for 42nd Street Moon (Theatre) in 2004. Jane Fonda is sharing her backstage and onstage experiences on her blog and in tweets. The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta often runs contests on their blogs. Ford's Theatre is on YouTube, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter!

Sl shakespeare twelfth night When it comes to theatre and innovation the (Second Life) SL Shakespeare Company must win the Virtual Tony for innovation. The mission of this troupe of professional actors is to make Shakespeare cool again! The performances take place "in-world" at SL Globe Theatre wich is a virtual reconstruction of the Original Globe Theatre.

The SL Shakespeare Company’s long-awaited open-ended run premiers Sunday, March 1 at 1 PM PST, and will continue indefinitely every Sunday at 1 PM PST and every Tuesday at 6 PM PST at the SL Globe Theatre. Read more at the SL Shakespeare blog.

.. and so we'll let Shakespeare have the final word.

No profit grows where no pleasure is ta'en;
In brief, sir, study what you most affect.

William Shakespeare The Taming of the Shrew

Social Media Three For One


Life gets hectic and sometimes little niceties get put aside and then too often forgotten. VirRosestual roses and  heartfelt belated thanks to Shel Israel, C.B. Whittemore and Denise Scammon for their kindness.

On new years eve Shel Israel, Global Neighbourhoods, ended the year for me with virtual fireworks when he posted our interview in the Twitterville Notebook. Shel's notes will form the basis of his second book. The first, Naked Conversations written with Robert Scobel, has become a classic about corporate blogging. I was honored to be included in the chapter Consultants Who Get It.  Here's a question from my Twitterville Notebook interview with Shel.For more visit Twitterville Notebook.

Shel Israel:  Do you still see social media tools as part of the marketing tool arsenal or has your thinking. umm... evolved from that perspective?

Toby: My philosophy is that marketing is the doorway to the customer and, from that perspective, social media plays an important role in reaching and keeping in contact with a brand’s community. However, I’ve seen companies such as Zappos, Comcast and Dell successfully use social media to support customer service so perhaps there are more “homes” where social media can reside than in marketing. I think customer services should be a part of marketing but that’s another topic for another day. In addition, technical support reps have been blogging for many years yet another residence for social media.

One of the lessons that I’ve learned is social media initiatives have the best chance of success if there is a champion who is responsible for the implementation and also understands and believes that social media is a new way of conducting business. Social media not only influences the way we interact with customers but with people within the enterprise. Developing cross silo communication processes are critical to ensuring that information derived from on-going listening and talking with customers reaches the right internal people. Equally important is letting customers know they have been heard and responding appropriately.

What I’d like to see is social media holding a place of its own at the c-suite table. I envision a Chief Social Media Officer who helps orchestrate the initiatives; where the position is structured more as a jazz leader than a classical conductor. If you know of any organization looking for a “social media jazz leader” let me know!

C.B. Whittemore, Flooring The Consumer, included me in her thought provoking New & Old Social Media Series. I join Mack Collier, Ann Handley, Steve Woodruff, Amber Naslund, Lewis Green, Laurence (Lolly) Borel, Susan Abbott (with more to come!) talking the new conversations in blogs, Twitter, social networks and so on. Here is a a preview of one my answers; for the rest click over to Flooring The Consumer.

C.B.: What 5 suggestions do you have for companies to implement so they can more effectively bridge old media with new media and connect with end users?

1. Begin with a plan that includes goals and success measures. Don’t be afraid to include success measures that are outside the box of traditional metrics. As you build that plan consider how you can use social media to support current old media/traditional strategies. For example can you extend an article in an eZine with a blog post to carry on the conversation in greater detail?

2. Develop a budget that includes dollar and people resources. Build your programs to take into consideration human capital to support the implementation. If you don’t, not only will you be frustrated, but you will fail before you hit the publish key.

3. Understand the limitations and the benefits of the tools, or tactics, before you consider implementing. Listen and watch the rhythms of the social elements (blogs, vlogs, social networks, Twitter, etc.) you are considering before you create your social media strategy.

4. Determine if your target audience is involved in that specific platform. Then if they are listen to their conversations within each of the new media avenues that you want to explore. How are your customers using the platforms? The best Facebook strategy will fall flat if your community is not involved.

5. Bring all the people who will be involved in the project around a table for a strategic “red flag” conversation. The up front investment will save you dollars, time and tears.

Sun journal You never know where social media will take you. Denise Scammon's comment on a Diva Marketing post led to an opportunity to contribute to the SunJournal's special section Women's Journal. My article - Expand your business network through social media was written to help people new to social media understand how simple it is to incorporate blogs, social networking, Twitter, etc. into a busy schedule.

A few tips to help you jump-start building your digital relationship network:

1. Explore a few social networks. When you build your profile, to prevent spam, consider using a different e-mail address from your business or personal e-mail. The following Big Three networks have become the core platforms for many business professionals.

LinkedIn is focused on business networking, making it an ideal first step into social media.

Twitter allows only 140 characters per message or "tweet." Organizations are using Twitter for customer service support, public relations conferences and rapid response answers to questions.

Facebook offers the option to create personal pages and group pages for brand "fans."

2. Don't feel obligated to follow/friend everyone who knocks on your virtual door. Sometimes less is more. Take time to read profiles to help you determine who you want to be a part of your community.

3. Participate in discussions in the same way as you would in the off-line world. Be yourself. Let your personality come through in your words, on videos or in a podcast interview.

4. Adding value to the conversation will reward you faster and better than a continuous stream of promotion about your products or company.

The results: you'll develop a global network that you can tap into for resources, information, support, advice in which you can control where and when you meet-up. Don't be surprised if the connections you make turn into real friendships that lead to off-line meetings!

How To Write Tabloid Blog & Tweet Posts


Less virtual rock throwing was one of my wishes that I discussed with Leesa Barnes on her 2009 Social Media Predictions podcast. Barely three weeks into 2009 and we still have a long way to go.

Back in 2005 - 2007 blog firestorms were common place now it seems T-storms (Twitter storms) are in vogue. This week a nice guy I know was called out because of a tweet he wrote. Since he works for a large agency his tweet was picked up and spun round and round the Blogosphere and Twitterville. It's one thing to call out a company about a strategy you disagree with but quite another to embarrass a person. I thought we in the business social media world learned the lesson that it is people who are behind blogs and tweets not the technology. Guess not.

Okay people if you're going to write Tabloid Blogs and Twits (yes I said twits) .. let's get it right!

Tabloid blogger busted 10 Tips On How To Write Tabloid Blog & Tweet Posts

1. Pick a person who has colored outside the lines.

    Bonus points if he/she works for a large PR or advertising agency or major brand.

2. Position yourself as an expert in social media.

    Bonus points if you have actively worked in social media for less than 3-weeks

3. Critically detail where the person went wrong.

    Bonus points if you include a photo of the person

4. Explain how you would have handled the situation.

    Bonus points if you work in that you are available to consult with the company to help improve its social media strategy.

5. Tweet your blog post including a link to your post.

    Bonus points if your tweet is RT (re-tweeted)

6. Search optimize your post.

    Bonus points if your post is Digg-ed, linked to or stumbled on

7. Create a title that is controversial

    Bonus points if it is search optimized

8. Try .. but not too hard .. to get a quote from the person or organization

    Bonus points if no one responds giving you another opportunity to show how smart you are by telling how you would have handled the situation pre and post "incident"

9. Focus on the most sensational aspects

    Bonus points if you include that in both your posts and tweets

10. What is your tip?

      What would give bonus points?