Archives for August 2012

What’s Your Social Media Foundation?

Pam Moore - Marketing NutPam Moore at Marketing Nut published a blog post last week entitled “My Promise to You Social Media Friends.” In it, she related how the recent passing of her Granny made her reflect on how thankful she is for the relationships in her life, including those with her blog readers and social media friends.

She concludes the piece with a very revealing set of questions. I wonder how many of us ever truly consider them as we tweet, share, post and blog. They are:

What is your foundation for social media? What are your beliefs? What promises are you living or do you need to make to your social media friends?

If you’ve ever written a business or marketing plan, the answers to these questions should be a part of it. And those answers should be consistent with how you implement and use your social media accounts.

For me, both my company and my online interactions are guided by a biblical passage found in Ephesians 4:29.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

I believe that everyone of us has unique gifts and abilities. When we use our gifts to contribute to the world around us, the world becomes a better place to live in.

My particular gift is to take complex ideas and communicate them in ways that are easy to understand. I did that for over 20 years as a technical writer and trainer. I’m doing it now as a speaker and consultant. And that is why this blog will always be used to educate my readers, providing you with useful information that builds up your ability to market your product or service online.

I wholeheartedly believe in the old Chinese proverb:

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

I know that a lot of my readers are do-it-yourself-type people, whether by nature or due to financial constraints. While Aleweb is here to serve your social marketing needs, we will always have a firm commitment to teaching you how to fish as well.

So, to echo Pam’s questions… What is your foundation for social media? What are your beliefs? What promises are you living or do you need to make to your social media friends? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

How to Calculate Your Social Growth

I’m reading Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform, at the moment. What I love about reading material fromknowledgeableexperts is that it makes me think more in-depth about ideas I don’t normally consider.

How to calculate your social growth - http://alewbsocial.comI’m often asked by clients about which metrics they should be noting. It doesn’t matter if they are an author or speaker looking to build a platform, or an entrepreneur looking to get found online. The question is always the same.Which metrics are important?

My reply is often this. The metrics that are important differ depending on the goal you’re trying to reach. Without knowing that goal, collecting data is almost pointless.

But here’s a metric that Michael pointed out that jumped out at me, because it’s more of a self-reflection. It’s the percent change in the last twelve months. This can apply for a website (as in Michael’s example in his book), or a social profile. It reflects the rate of growth in the last year.

Understanding this number helps you to recognize how effective you are at doing what you’ve set out to accomplish. Whether you’re building a platform or increasing visibility for your brand or product, you need to build a following, and that starts with creating relationships with people who value what you have to share. Whether or not they are coming back to your site on a repeated basis, and whether your information is finding it’s way out into the Ether is a huge part of that. But time spent on the site also has an effect on:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Subscriptions
  • Sales

Here’s an excerpt from Michael’s description that explains how to calculate the percent of change in the past twelve months:

Here’s the formula: unique visitors in the last thirty days, minus your unique visitors for the same period twelve months ago, divided by your unique visitors for the same period twelve months ago, multiplied by one hundred.

A similar formula could be applied for a Twitter profile, Facebook page, LinkedIn account, etc. so long as you have the numbers needed for the calculation.

Looking at my own site, I’ve had a 347% increase in my website traffic since November 1, 2011. Unfortunately, I don’t have a full year’s worth of data yet, since I migrated my website in October last year. But in another couple of months, I will. The main point here is, I must be doing something right, and that’s encouraging to know.

If we base our assessment of our success on the number of comments we receive, it can seem like our efforts are getting us nowhere. But knowing that my message is being heard and noting that my page/visit count is also going up means I have more people coming to the site and they’re digesting more of what I’ve shared. And they’re doing that because they value what I have to share. In the process, relationships are being built as we engage with one another, content my readers value is shared within their networks, and more people are being helped by what I have to offer.

That makes the effort worthwhile.

So, how about you? What are you doing to influence and monitor your social growth?

Do You Have a Social Media Will?

[10/29/2015 Update: The government article referenced below
has since been taken down, although the content is still relevant.]

I know… I know… This post is a bit off topic for my usual social media writing. I’m not going to teach you today how to do any neat things with your social profiles. I’m not going to recommend new sites or tools to play with. (Well… maybe I’m not). Instead, what I’m going to do is pose a very important question.

Do you have a social media will?

You may be wondering to yourself, “what the heck is she talking about?” But bear with me for a minute. In April 2012, the U.S. government updated their Personal Finance article about writing a will. Their updated recommendation got a lot of folks in the social media world buzzing because they added a section about writing a “Social Media Will.”

Pundits considered what this might look like and discussed the potential issues involved in writing one. For example, a will is a legal document and, as such, it is a matter of public record. Part of the challenge is, you’re supposed to provide your social media executor with a list of all your social profile user names and passwords along with instructions as to what you’d like done with them. Obviously, you don’t want those as part of any public record!

In addition, good internet protocol requires regularly updating your passwords, and new sites come along all the time requiring new accounts and related passwords. So how do you keep your social media directive up-to-date?

While no one likes to think of their own demise, this topic hit home for me when my fiance died late last year. While he wasn’t “into” social media, he did have multiple e-mail accounts, a blog, and a couple of social profiles out there. He was also moderator of a very active Yahoo Group. I was thankful that he had given me his e-mail password long ago, and that ultimately allowed me to identify and access his other accounts.

It came to mind for me again this week when Tony Robbins’ long-time business partner, Chet Holmes, passed away on August 13, and a friend of mine, Howard Tuckey, posted on Facebook the same day about discovering that an online friend of his had passed away. Howard and I got talking about how some of the friendships we develop online are as real and as lasting as those we have in person, even though we may never actually meet in person. Some even become like family, or “eKin,” to us.(By the way, Howard and I have been online friends since the late ’80s, and we’ve never met — that we can recall — there was that TEXTMOOT we may have jointly attended…)

Anyway, as we discussed how it is that online friends find out about the passing of another, Howard and I thought of a few different ideas. Of course, out of respect for families and legal due process, such announcements should be initiated by the family or with their permission, however, it would be an interesting element to cover in a social media will. Why not, in addition to leaving account names, passwords and disposition instructions, leave instructions as to how friends connected with those accounts are to be informed of one’s death?

So, here’s what I propose a social media will consist of. But please note, I’m not a lawyer and haven’t run this past a lawyer, so there may be some flaw in it. Don’t sue me!

RoboformRather than writing out all the profile names, passwords and instructions for each site, use a tool like Roboform to manage your account information. (You can download a copy here.)

  1. In the Notes section for each entry, specify what you want done with the account in the event of your death, and if and how connections to the account should be notified.
  2. Store the password to your Roboform account with your legal documents in a safe place, making sure that your social media executor knows where it is stored.
  3. Make sure it stays current as you change your Roboform password.

The nice thing about using Roboform in this way is that your account can be accessed from any computer, so long as the person has your account and password info for it. This way, even family members who live halfway across the country can process your instructions without having access to your computer.

Adding HTML Code to Your WordPress Page, Post or Widget

Many WordPress users find it easy to get started because the Visual editor is similar enough to Word that they feel comfortable getting started. But what about those times when you are provided with HTML code to add to your site? If you copy and paste it into the post or page using the Visual editor, it comes out as text, not code. So you lose the functionality of the code, and it ends up looking like this:

<a href="">
<img src="

Here’s how to add functioning HTML code to your WordPress page or post.


The result will look like this:


If you want to add it to the sidebar instead, you have to add a text widget to the sidebar and paste the code in there instead. Here’s how to do that.

To Tweet, Or Not To Tweet

Thomas Comer | B2B CFO R. Comer, MBA, JD, a partner in B2B CFO. Tom attended a talk I gave at a NetworkPlus event in Westport, CT, this spring, which just happened to be of the same name. It’s one of my more popular Twitter talks, “To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Whether Twitter is a Useful Business Tool or a Devious Distraction.”

Without knowing what the topic was that day, Tom had brought along this poem he’d written. With his permission, I share it with you. (Apologies from both of us to The Bard.) 🙂

To tweet, or not to tweet, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of cyber-obscurity,
Or to take arms against a sea of competitors,
And by opposing end them? To log on, to search,
No more; and via Google to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural junk mails
That flesh is heir to: ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To log on, to search;
To search, per chance a “hit” — aye, there’s the rub:
For in that SEO of hope what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this limited liability company,
Must give us pause — there’s the respect
That makes the value proposition so long.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of clients,
The promised referral, the proud man’s brochure,
The pangs of unreturned phone calls, the Internet’s delay,
The insolence of networking, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his laptop make
With a Facebook page? What would consultants bear,
To blog and sweat under a weary life,
But for the dread of something called LinkedIn,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus the hyperlink doth make cowards of us all.

What are your views? IsTwitter a useful business tool or a devious distraction? If you don’t know and want to find out, feel free to give us a call or book our talk for your organization.