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The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.


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7 Days of Blogging – The 4-letter Word

 

beachWow. As much as I am enjoying writing my 7 days of blogging, my self-imposed challenge is not going well, timing-wise. I have discovered quite quickly just how important it is to PLAN AHEAD! I thought for sure I’d have the time every day to write a blog. How hard can it be? Well, I discovered quickly that TIME is a huge factor in blogging. This is why blog #4, is about that new 4-letter word: blog.

I did some research, and I know that I am not the only one who struggles with finding the time to do it right. It is important to supply good content, not just writing about “nothing”. Yes, I know, Seinfeld made millions being a show about nothing, but little old me or others who are trying to carve their niche, are finding out quickly that there are millions blogging, but not everyone is being read.

“Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.” 

This Benjamin Franklin quote is spot on, and I’ve also heard that when you start your own blog, be prepared to have two months worth of writing done in advance. This is so that if you get into a time crunch (as I did) you have content ready to post. I truly thought, an hour or two of writing a day, “This will be fun!” But unfortunately I did not take life into account and sometimes other do priorities pop up. Unexpected asks that are just as, or more important than the timing of your blog post.

I am also struggling with what is my blog going to be about? Many claim that a streamlined process and a focused topic is the only way to go. But what if I prefer to muse on life? To tell stories about my pets or crazy travel experiences? To share a good recipe once in awhile? Or simply how I feel about something at that moment in time? Musing on everyday life is preferred by me for now, therefore that will be my start. That decision has been made at least. I want to brand myself and I would like to blog, but it has to be “me.” TBD (“To Be Determined” – I don’t always know acronyms or sometimes simply make them up, therefore don’t assume others know them!) there might be one or two versions of “me” in regards to branding myself!

Luckily there’s some great advice out there. Julie Deneen writes, “Developing an online presence is like building a sand castle at the water’s edge.” Having built a few sand castles in my time, I can relate to that statement! I perked up when I saw her advice about the six word brand. Hmmm, choosing six words to describe me? Then from those six come up with six more words for each that can be more specific descriptions and/or variations. This is how to build my brand? How do I pare it down to six? TBE (“To Be Explored” – now that’s an acronym I just made up, see how I am?) in the future because the wheels are turning as to how you can make things tie in better when you have base words to work from.

Of course this all smacks of planning and organization, but I’m discovering that is what is needed to get good at blogging. Some of you may scoff, “Pishposh! If one can truly write, it comes easy!”

PISHPOSH

Well, my future blog will have to be “me” and I state again, the biggest lesson learned for me this week was about timing and preparation. Therefore, before I launch, I will do some serious planning, writing, brainstorming, re-writing, scheduling, re-writing, and figuring out how to showcase different things in different ways across different platforms.

When you walk the right beach, you are always bound to find a few gems. So yes, the stories will come, but even if you have them, if they aren’t written and that deadline pops up, you may find yourself exclaiming another 4-letter word!

~Christine Dietsche

 

 

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NEW RULES FOR MARKETING

ImageThe marketing mix, known as the 4P’s of product, price, placement, and promotion, is changing. A simple Google search for the 4P’s of marketing brings up 4P’s, 5P’s, 7P’s, and 4C’s. The Harvard Review suggests SAVE – solutions, access, value, and education. This approach reflects a market where services are gaining more of the market share, technology is knocking down walls, and the focus is on the customer. ImageI have also seen the 4C’s of Social Media (different than the 4C’s of Marketing) listed as content, conversations, community, connections. Or is it content, context, conversations, and connections? ImageOr content, conversations, community, and conversions?? ImageWhat the heck??? How do we decide which one to follow?

The good news is that having so many choices out there, at least one should fit your purpose. And when they are reviewed, they have the same basic principles. The 4P’s, it appears, have become a bit dated with the growth of a rising service- and online-based economy. Change is inevitable.

Advertising and press coverage are no longer the only way to get attention. People now want information-based “advertising.” They don’t want a hard sell; they want somewhere to get answers to their questions and on their timeframe. Social media allows companies to communicate directly with their consumers. It is now possible for small businesses to succeed alongside, or without the help of, large corporations. If you are unique or have something people want, you can now get noticed with minimal investment. People can self-publish, set up online stores, and create their own niche market with minimal resources. Amazon, EBay, and Etsy, among others, allow people to market their products directly to their customers.

Newspapers, radio, and television are no longer the only source for information. Up to the minute reports are often broadcast by new media and are able to quickly provide a human aspect to the story – the Arab Spring and the Boston Marathon bombings are prime examples. Bloggers are now accepted as part of the press corps and are often responsible for breaking stories overlooked by corporate, traditional media. Reaching out to and including alternative media sources is a viable option to getting your story told.

To successfully communicate with your audience, use an authentic voice; business casual and conversational. Tell your story or the stories of your clients, but remember that people don’t want spin or propaganda; they want information and facts with which to make their own, informed decisions. You also want to make yourself available in order to create the human interaction and personal responses people are looking for.

The rules of marketing matter. New media has not replaced the old rules, but requires additional rules that fit with the differences in the way information is communicated. New rules, new media, new connections.

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Selecting The Right Channel And Making It Meaningful For YOUR Audience

The first step in choosing the right channel for any organization is to ask questions. Here is a brief sampling listed below:

Ask these questions :

1. What will be or what is the voice you want to publicly display?

2. Who do we want to connect with through Social Media?

3. What do we need or want to accomplish through Social Media?

4. What content do we as an organization want to get out?

Once you can answer those questions you are well on the way. this is a short guideline to help gauge your content going forward.

How to have your organization remain meaningful and relevant

I always have a saying that states “I come from love”meaning-I put love in everything I do. Can your organization state the same? Be ready and willing even if, only amongst your staff to take a self-inventory and know the answer to the age-old question of Why?

Listen, You know better than others that receive your message why you matter, count and remain. So connect  to that passion, look back to why you started (mission statement) then your message will remain relevant (look to your goals and objectives)

Quick Tip:  Every three months cross check your objectives, goals, mission with the messages you send. Check In! Are they in line?  Do they need a Band-Aid, Ointment or an appointment (see my other posting)

JKT