Monthly Archives: April 2011

Giving some Social Media Love

Social Media Love – It’s the new free love. Let’s start with a little mood music while you read:

Yeah baby.  Social Media Love. You can spread it around. But you’ve got to give it to get it. Retweet, Share, Like, Digg, Tumble, there are dozens if not hundreds of ways to share the love on Social Media. After years of self discipline to not click banners and pop-ups, Social Media has us clicking again.

But sharing the love sometimes means sharing other things as well.  I got phished yesterday on Twitter. Phished? I was lured to click a link that turned out to be SPAM. Not only was it SPAM, but it immediately used my Twitter account to Retweet the same message to my followers, and made my Twitter page inaccessible. A quick  restart of my computer and changing of the password seems to have solved the problem.  The original link clicked was one I saw on the Twitter feed of a trusted friend, who in turn got it from another very trusted source. So like STDs, online SPAM or worse can happen to anyone.

But don’t let that deter you from spreading some Social Media Love. I share the Love on Facebook by helping friends promote their events and projects. I Fan their pages, and Like/Share their links.

On Twitter, when I find something that ends up in a blog post, I try to be sure to thank that person both on Twitter and in the post itself. Once a week, I also review my follows and send Thank You’s for those as well. It’s a way to promote other people that promote you by sharing your Tweets (read: your message).

Read something with a great quote that wont fit on Twitter? Tumblr! Tumblr is a great micro-blogging site that allows video, links, pictures and text.  You can add an RSS feed, like the one from this blog, or add things on an ad hoc basis.  It’s a great for things between a 140 character Tweet and a regular 250+ word post.  I’m still new to Tumblr. I find it a good place to quote articles and make snarky remarks.

Social Media Love, just like the song says,

The more you give
The more I want
And Baby that’s no lie!

So help a sister out. Spread some Social Media Love. It may just come back to you.

Now get up and dance like nobody’s watching!

 

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“Like” to “Share” a Good Message?

In case you hadn’t noticed, the ever changing landscape that is Facebook made some updates  recently.  Like and Share are now one in the same. If you “Like” something, all your friends will know because it appears on your wall.

In February  Vadim Lavrusik of Mashable wrote,

Though users may now think twice about hitting the button, given how prominently it will appear on their walls and in their networks’ newsfeeds, it should ultimately increase traffic to publishers’ websites.

This is both helpful and challenging for online publishers. Now that the change has had a few months to take hold, the second guessing that Lavrusik mentions may very well also have taken hold.

What does this mean for projects trying to get their message out via blogs? Engaging content is essential. It’s not enough to just string words together for the sake of having a blog. Your words have to mean something to the person reading them, enough so they want to “Like,” (read: share) them with others.

Because the internet does not encourage long form reading, online writers face the challenge of telling the story in 500 words or less. Most readers will opt for the less. This means every word counts.  In some ways this is a good thing. It eliminates the use of superfluous language that already has a place on late night infomercials.

IMHO, one of the best ways to learn how to say more with less is to Tweet. How much can you say in 140 characters, including an abbreviated URL?

Using Twitter can help teach good word choice and which words are important. For a real challenge try Tweeting without the aid of acronyms such as the one used to start this paragraph, (IMHO=In my Humble Opinion).

Engaging content requires effective language. And effective language could encourage your readers to share your message with their friends resulting in more site traffic and more support for your project.

Write about what you like in your blog, but keep in mind what your readers will Like.

 

Special thanks to Social Media Delivered for their tweet that led me to the Mashable article above.

 

 

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PDF and HTML Newsletters on their way out?

In the mid-summer eve of the Computer Revolution, it was always easy to tell who had just gotten to the party. They were the one’s who created documents in multiple fonts and overused italic formatting. Having more than the option of 10 pitch or 12 pitch Pica and going beyond the capabilities of a dot-matrix printer made a big difference. Desk-top publishing became a skill, and countless Newsletters migrated from the mimeograph to the printer as a result.

As newsletters evolved, and desktop publishers learned some basic rules about design, the mode of the newsletter began to change. Printing 1000 copies of an 8 page (2 – 11″ x 17″  scored and portrait folded) was a big production. Once printers started requesting the final draft in PDF format, savvy publishers realized that these PDF’s could also be sent by email.

And so it was for quite some time. But the thing about being savvy, is that it also applies to readers as well. Thus, with more and more email being read on smart phones, the PDF and the newer incarnation HTML newsletter sent via listserve by email may no longer be an effective mode of delivery. What should information wielding projects and organizations do about smart phone email readers?  And what about the instant gratification modes that are Facebook, and Twitter and other Social Media outlets?

Well here’s a few ideas:

  • Consider re-imagining your newsletter.  If you blog, there’s no reason why you can’t send out an email via your listserve with teasers and links to recent articles.  The trick to this is making sure that you provide ample links on your website to get to the related articles. If using WordPress, consider using the Related Post Slider plugin. It’s free!
  • If you use WordPress, try using a mobile Plugin such as WordPress Mobile Edition
  • Simplify – if you use a listserve program such as Vertical Response that creates an HTML online version of your newsletter, go easy on the special fonts and graphics This gives your reader options on where (online) and how they read your message.
  • Use Social Media as teasers for your newsletter. The great thing about twitter is that you can use it to promote different aspects of your online newsletter. Most newsletter have between 6 and 12 item. That means each newsletter has the potential for 6 to 12 teasers that can be staggered on Twitter to get readers to your site.

Special thanks to Amy Gahran who inspired this article with her recent tweet:

agahran Amy Gahran @KimDushinski: Lovely graphic-rich HTML e-mail newsletters don’t work well for mobile users. #kdmcmobile

 

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Filed under Consulting, Message, Tools