Friday, April 29, 2011


Too Much Information.

Last week, I saw a tweet that promised to tell me 30 things I should not reveal on Social Media if I clicked on the link.

Since I've clicked on this guys links before, I clicked on this one and read his story that looks like it came from 2008, but is just as relevant today.

Sometimes I think list like this are not needed, but then again, I see people putting their phone number on their Facebook Wall, or talking about how they hate their boss, and I realize common sense in social media isn't common.

Here's the first 10:

30 Things You Should Not Share on Social Media
  1. What chicken you are plucking or cow you’re milking on Farmville on Facebook
  2. How many you have killed on Mafia wars or where they are buried.. again on Facebook
  3. Party photos showing you inebriated or a hand placed where it shouldn’t be
  4. That you are having a party.. you might get more guests than you counted on
  5. Photos revealing you flirting with the bosses wife at the annual work Christmas party
  6. That you are having an affair
  7. That you are thinking of having an affair
  8. Complaints about your boss
  9. That you hate your job and want to leave.. you might get your wish.. involuntarily
  10. Don’t share photos or an event that reveals that you were not sick that day at work

Click here for the full list from Jeff Bullas.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Where's your Hub?

Drew calls it a Hub.

I call it your Home.

As in Home Page.

I own

It is my home page, and 99% of the time if you search for ScLoHo, my home page at is the first listing.

Just as I planned.

I have 4 active blog sites that are updated weekly, some as often as 35 updates each week.

I am on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook with daily updates too.

But I really want people to start at to get the complete picture.

Drew explains why this is important:

Build your digital footprint in a hub and spoke model

Posted: 18 Apr 2011 06:39 AM PDT

Screen shot 2011 04 18 at 8 14 36 AM
The hub/spoke model. Click on it to enlarge.

Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company, a small retail shop or an individual consultant trying to be found — everyone is concerned with being findable on the web today.

And with good reason. It’s the 21st century — so when we want to find anything or anyone, we Google it. Being findable in relevant search queries matters to businesses (and people) big and small. And to achieve that — you need a strategy.

We recommend to MMG clients that we build their web of content creation in a hub/spoke model. You need to have a core or hub for all of your social media activity. One place that is the repository for your core content. In my case — it’s this blog. It’s home base — containing the bulk of the content I have created. It’s where I link out from and it’s where I want people to ultimately land if they’re searching for marketers, marketing agencies in the midwest, Iowa advertising agencies etc.

You can have lots of spokes…but they all build off the same hub. If you look at the diagram I’ve created for my own model (clearly not an art director!) you’ll see that both online and offline activities all point back to the blog.

The logic behind this is pretty straightforward:

  • You want to point all your links and backlinks to the same place — the spot you want Google to drive people to.
  • You don’t want to spread out the Google juice — you want it concentrated on your hub location. The more links and juice pointed at the same place, the higher your ranking.
  • You want people to find your best thinking, depth of knowledge and most authoritative voice — typically a blog or website.
  • You want the search engines to drive people to where they can actually connect with you — human to human.

I’m not suggesting for a minute that everyone should have a blog. You know I don’t believe that to be true. So for some businesses, it might be your corporate website. It might be your Facebook fan page. It might be a Squidoo lens page.

You need to look at how/where you’re going to be spending your time online and then carefully build your strategy around choosing a home base and building off of it.

Don’t dilute your online efforts by not having a smart strategy about how and where you want to be found.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5 Twitter Tips for Business

Today's guest post is from

Are You Getting Twitter Right?

"Building a brand through social strategies doesn't happen overnight," writes Maria Pergolino at Marketo's blog, "it requires a sustained commitment using effective strategies for engagement and relationship building." Even as Twitter celebrates its fifth anniversary, however, many businesses still get it wrong.

Here are a few of Pergolino's tips for getting it right:

  • When you see a tweet that your followers will appreciate, hit the retweet button. Retweeting is a win-win-win strategy that shares relevant content, shows respect to the author of the tweet and gives him/her exposure throughout your network.
  • Report news and provide links to original content. As industry news breaks, pass it along to your followers. And, she says, "be sure to include links to your own content from newsletters, B2B blogs, white papers and other sources in your tweets."
  • Use hashtags for enhanced Twitter searches. A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a # sign (for instance, #marketingprofs or #sxsw) that makes it easy for non-followers to find your information. "Research tags already in use," Pergolino suggests, "and utilize them in your B2B social media campaign."
  • Interact with your followers. Respond when they send @ replies, comment on their tweets and send a quick "Thanks for the RT!" when they retweet you.
  • Use lists to categorize tweeters you follow. Lists not only create an easy way to scan tweets by subject but also let the people on those lists know that you consider them go-to experts on a particular topic.

The Po!nt: Remember that Twitter is a social network. High follower numbers are nice, but you'll achieve the greatest benefits when you engage in relevant, productive conversation.

Source: Marketo.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Which One?

As you are starting your Social Media Adventure, I hope you don't feel overwhelmed by all the choices of social media platforms...

But if you do, here's some advice in the form of a chart from Drew's Marketing Minute:

Social media cheat sheet 2011

Posted: 13 Apr 2011 07:19 AM PDT

Screen shot 2011 04 10 at 11 59 05 PM
Social Media Cheat Sheet 2011

As I continue to travel the country, teaching people how to integrate social media into their marketing efforts — the most common question asked is: Which social media tool/site is the best?

And of course, my answer is an unequivocal — it depends. The crowds sure love that!

Like any marketing tactic — the effectiveness of it is based on what you’re trying to accomplish. Social media is no different. Which is why, about a year ago, I was so happy to share with you a cheat sheet that ranked different social media tools as good, okay, or bad…based on the goals you had. (Created by

The goals were/remain:

  • Customer communication
  • Brand Exposure
  • Traffic to your site
  • SEO

The social media cheat sheet has been updated. I think you’ll find it very valuable as you access where you should spend your social media resources (time, money, attention) in the coming year.

You can download a full sized PDF by clicking here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Merging Online with Face to Face

Before the Wii, there was a lot of criticism that video games were creating a fat and lazy generation of social and physically inept kids and young adults.

I've also noticed concerns about social media creating non-social hermits who can only communicate by text, tweet, or updating their Facebook status.

I'm sure there are a few of those around, but my experience has been the opposite.

Last week I took a road trip to Indianapolis, about 120 miles from my home in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The purpose?

I wanted to attend a mini-tweetup that was an informal gathering over dinner organized by Randy Clark.

The first time I met Randy face to face we were both panelists for a Social Media Fort Wayne Breakfast and he made the trip to town in blizzard conditions the night before. Randy, Kevin Mullett and I grabbed a late dinner the night before and formed a real traditional friendship.

My travels to Indianapolis last Thursday were in bright, sunny weather. I decided to combine business with pleasure and scheduled some meetings during the day with a couple of clients and future clients.

That evening as the 5 of us gathered and ate fried pickles and other goodies from Scotty's Brewhouse, I was thinking about how Randy was merging the online world with the offline world and keeping it real.

The focus of our conversation was, how can each of us help the others, or as Randy would say, what do you need, how can we (as individuals) help.

Several ideas and thoughts were exchanged.

This was not a bragging or competitive gathering, although for a few minutes we compared Klout scores.

(I found it surprising that others knew my Klout score and theirs and I had no idea what mine was since I had not checked for a few weeks.)

My challenge to you is to use social media to expand your world, not just for money, but for relationships.

I will be taking another trip to Indy next month to hang out with a few more of my twitter friends and make some new ones, and like this trip, I will combine it with some business meetings before hand.

And I also want to introduce you to people I've mentioned in today's update.

First the 5 who met for food and friendship:

Randy Clark.

Allison Carter.

Don Kincaid.

Kit Wessendorf.

and me, Scott Howard.

I also need to mention the place we met, Scotty's Brewhouse, in downtown Indy

Two others:

Kevin Mullett Kevin has volunteered to keep the Social Media Breakfast Fort Wayne organized and is the one who introduced me to Randy.

The April #SMBFW is tomorrow morning. Click here for info:

And Amy Stark. Amy is one of the first people in Indianapolis that I met through Twitter, and we grabbed lunch and while I was in town last week.

Coming Tuesday, I've got a chart that lists the pros and cons of the most popular social media platforms so you can decide which is best for you and your purposes.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Facebook Video

Sunday I found this Facebook approved behind the scenes look at Facebook. To wrap up our Social Media Adventure this week, here it is...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The UnControlable

One of the biggest challenges for traditional marketing people is to get their hands and minds around the Social Media concept and transform it into a money making machine.

The business and marketing world is built on a model that measures Return On Investment, commonly know as R.O.I.

We used to accept that somethings cannot be accurately measured in the short term, only after the fact, sometimes only on a month, or a quarter, or a year later.

Rarely was heard the question, "What's the R.O.I. of a new sign on the building?" It was just a common practice, that if you are going to have a location, you need a sign.

Many things over the years have changed this thinking to the point people saying we measure everything. But just because you have access to more info, doesn't make the information reliable, accurate or of value by itself.

The internet generally and now Social Media specifically has feed this addiction to wanting to justify work by stats.

I do it, others do it, we judge, we tweak, we might pull the plug on something, all because we are demanding measurable, quantifiable results to justify a commitment of time, energy and dollars.

Coming up Friday at noon on ScLoHo's Social Media Adventure, I have a 20 minute film for you to watch that perhaps will show you why Social Media is more than R.O.I. In the meantime, I have a piece from Seth Godin that continues on today's topic:

The four horsemen of media--here comes tiny media

The first is when you talk about yourself. Directly to people who care to hear you out.

The second is when you pay someone to carry your message. Media for hire, we call it advertising.

The third is when you cajole the 'editorial' side to talk about you, with authority. Publicity is often worth more than advertising, but it's pesky in that it doesn't perform on demand.

The fourth, the fourth is all the rage right now. That's when unanointed kings of tiny media, when bloggers and tweeters and others talk about you.

Why do we persist in believing that these four have much in common? They don't. Being confused about which is which is expensive, or worse.

You know you're in trouble if someone on your team says anything like, "But how do we do this quickly? And at scale? Is there a way interns can churn through names? We have money to spend, hurry!"

There are some that would be delighted if PR and social media would just own up and start playing by the rules of advertising. In other words, you ought to be able to buy this sort of buzz. It's more efficient, more convenient and more predictable.

Of course, it doesn't work that way. Buying your way into the fourth horseman doesn't work. Professionalizing it doesn't work so well either. What works is making something worth talking about.

As it should be.

If you're hoping that this now important form of media is going to sit there and promote your average stuff for average people made in bulk but pretty cheap product merely because you're used to paying media companies to run ads... I think you're wasting a lot of time and money.

This goes deeper than that. You'll need to take that money and change the product and the service instead.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Learn for (Other Peoples) Mistakes-Part 2

Today I have another guest post from Drew Neisser that appeared in Mediapost.

5 More Social Media Mistakes & How to Fix Them by Drew Neisser

When Oscar Wilde observed, "Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes," he was clearly anticipating the age of social media. Mistakes abound, some minor, others calamitous but all offering guidance for those who choose to learn from them. Here are five more that I've observed, with suggestions on how to fix or avoid altogether.

#6 Ignore social media

One in three big brands, across a wide range of sectors have yet to commit significant time and resources to social media. Highly regulated industries like financial services and pharma are particularly cautious given the lack of clarity offered by regulatory bodies like FINRA and the SEC. Other laggards are taking the ostrich approach, hoping that social media will just walk on by and leave them in peace.

Ignoring social media for whatever reason simply won't cut it. Doing so means the conversation is happening without you, eliminating your opportunity to respond to the negative, reinforce the positive and or close the door to a competitor who is more socially adept. If you are afraid your customers will say bad things, you're probably right but rather than turning a blind eye, engage your detractors with honesty and fix the problems.

Ignoring social media also means you'll have no means of fighting a social media fire if one erupts. Domino's Pizza found this out the hard way when two young jokers thought it would be funny to make a video of themselves putting cheese up their noses and then onto a customer's pizza. With no social media channels in place, Domino's HQ floundered and sales dropped nationally. Meanwhile, Ramon DeLeon, the GM of six Domino's in Chicago, used his long-developed social channels to put out the fire in his area, rallying his fans and growing his sales.

#7 Limit employee access at work

A lot of companies restrict employee access at work to sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, afraid that productivity will drop. As such, there is a limited understanding of the channels themselves as well as the business opportunities that they can create. So instead of having thousands of eyes and ears to watch, listen and learn, the knowledge remains concentrated and the opportunities limited.

The simple truth is that companies that want to make the most of social media need to have a lot of social people across just about every department. The benefits of this open approach are far reaching, allowing the organization as a whole to cast a broader net to catch fresh ideas, important trends, hidden prospects and even future employees.

One company that has benefited from this open approach is the behemoth IBM. Realizing a few years ago that their clients hire IBM because of IBMers, they made an all-out push to become a social business. Presently, IBM has over 30,000 employees on Twitter, over 200,000 on Facebook, over 200,000 on LinkedIn and over 35,000 bloggers. Add these to internal networks and a 75,000 strong community of ex-IBMers and you've got a massive community that creates and shares content with unrivaled speed and agility.

#8 Selling too hard

For most brands, social media is not the ideal place for the hard sell yet that hasn't stopped many from trying. I heard a marketing director of a hospital call Twitter "a dumping ground" and a seasoned direct marketer describe social as "email on steroids." Typically the result of trying to sell too hard too fast via social channels is nothing -- no engagement, no interaction, no referrals, etc.

No one likes a blowhard and there is no quicker way to be unfollowed, unliked or just plain ignored than by tooting your own horn with relentless monotony. On the other hand, if you take your mother's advice by "yacking less and listening more," you'll have lots more friends, friends who will be very interested in learning more about you when the time is right.

Keep in mind that 50% of the people who "like" or "follow" a brand, do so because they hope to get beneficial information or offers. Curate your content carefully, a bit like you might on a first or second date. Once the friendship is secure, feel free to put forth relevant offers. Skittles, in particular, has benefited immensely from an entirely soft sell approach, amassing over 15 million fans on Facebook in the process.

#9 Multiple voices

Perhaps because it is so easy to create content, some marketers feel it is okay to present completely different brand voices even on the same channel. A smarter approach is to establish your brand point-of-view upfront and to employ the various channels like instruments in an orchestra, creating a harmonious and synergistic effect. Defining what you are for and what you are against, will not only give you direction for execution but also it will give you permission to engage with your consumer on your subjects of mutual interest.

Among the best examples of this approach comes from an unlikely category -- feminine hygiene. Targeting young women 14-24, Kimberly Clark launched a new line of tampons called U by Kotex. Going against the usual euphemistic approach, U by Kotex established a clear POV with a "bold honest attitude towards all things period and to call BS on everyone who doesn't." This POV permeated advertising and social media, helping the brand grab 20% market share and remarkably appreciative fan base.

#10 Misalignment of platforms and goals

With so many different social media platforms to consider there is the natural temptation to try a bunch of them. This temptation is further reinforced by the seeming absence of costs to use these platforms and the presumed "cool factor" a brand may think their getting by using them. The simple truth is that not all of these platforms are right for every brand especially when you consider a particular brand's objectives.

Dell has been particularly adept at aligning the platforms with specific business goals. Dell's gathers customer feedback and crowd-sources new product ideas. Recognizing various uses for Twitter, Dell has a variety of accounts including @DellOutlet for deals on refurbished computers and @DellCares for customer support. Dell's Investor Relations team was among the first to use, a presentation-sharing site, to present quarterly earnings. And their 24/7 "Social Media Command Center" ensures that customer complaints are heard and addressed regardless of the channel.

Final note: Recognizing that James Joyce may have had it right when he said, "A man's errors are his portals of discovery," I do hope you'll make a few of your own and share your discoveries with us all.

Drew Neisser is CEO and founder of Renegade, the NYC-based social media and marketing consultancy that helps client cut through all the nonsense to deliver genuine business growth. A long-time believer in the transformative power of "marketing as service," you can find Drew's musings on and

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Learn for (Other Peoples) Mistakes-Part 1

Today I have a guest post from Drew Neisser that appeared in Mediapost.

5 Social Media Mistakes & How to Fix Them by Drew Neisser

Experience is a great teacher but why not learn from the mistakes of others and save yourself the trouble? Attending lots of conferences, I'm occasionally struck by all the lessons -- good and bad -- that are readily available. At one such conference recently a marketing exec presented a case so flawed it was truly inspiring, pushing me to chronicle the 5 most common social media mistakes in glorious detail.

#1 Thinking of social as just another media channel

They say that to a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To a marketer, every new opportunity looks like yet another place to hammer home their message. Donnie Deutsch, the former mad man, just last year at the 140 Characters Conference compared the arrival of social with the arrival of cable TV in the 1980s, calling it "just another media channel." Having sold his agency to Interpublic in 2000 for $275 million and enriched himself further as a talk show host, Donnie can be forgiven this seemingly innocuous oversight. But daily marketing practitioners can't afford to do so.

Media channels like TV, cable or otherwise, deliver a monologue, in which advertisers shout with the hope of being heard; promise with the hope of getting a sale. Social media is a conversation in which the brand must first listen and then offer something of value in order to gain an invitation to interact. Social media is not about selling, it's about providing a service that engages, enlightens or entertains. It's about listening really carefully and responding with equal regard.

American Express listened for six months before they set up their first Twitter account. Through a careful listening campaign, Avaya was able to beat its competitors to the punch, identifying leads and new product opportunities. Virgin Media's London-based "tweam" turned a complaining Stephen Fry into a staunch advocate, helping the cable company to engage with Fry's more than 1.5 million followers. All three of these examples stress the importance of listening -- something that traditional media efforts did not require or allow.

#2 Leaving social media to the "twinterns"

Because social media is still in its infancy and second nature to Millennials, the tendency has been to put the social media reins in the hands of a person fresh out of school or the intern with the most friends on Facebook. One senior marketing exec told the author of Facebook for Dummies Paul Dunay that she was absolutely thrilled to have hired a "twintern" to take care of her brand's Twitter account. A startled Dunay reflected later on his blog: "When did it become okay to just give anyone off the street the keys to one of the most important assets you have ... your brand!"

The risks of this approach have become readily apparent. Nestle, a brand that has come under repeated attack by activist groups like Greenpeace, only made matters worse when junior staffers responded flippantly to negative posts on its Facebook Wall. More recently, a junior staffer at a Detroit-based social media agency lost his job and the Chrysler account for his agency, when his snide response about Detroit drivers went out on the Chrysler Twitter feed. There are many such stories and all smack of immaturity and inexperience.

Now don't get me wrong -- I have nothing against interns, and in fact, they can play an invaluable and cost-effective role monitoring, reporting and even ideating responses. That said, we would never rely on one to manage our own social media interactions any more than we would let them lead engagements with our clients. If you start to think of social media like your customer service activities, then you, too, will seek pros to lead the way.

#3 Ready, fire, aim

Perhaps because it's so easy to set up a Facebook page, start a Twitter account and throw up a video on YouTube, many brands did just that, without much foresight. Many of these pages languish sadly like falling trees with no one there to listen. When a customer or prospect sees these pages, the message is, unfortunately, clear: Here is a company that doesn't have its act together. Such ill-planned approaches are a potent reminder that "hope is not a strategy."

Like boxing, social media looks pretty simple to the untrained eye, but who among you would dare jump into the ring without a lot of preparation and, better yet, a real plan of attack? In social media, preparation is essential to avoiding an accidental knockout. Brands must commit significant resources, and equally important, have a process in place for managing customer interactions, establishing an escalation policy when complaints arise.

In the past few months, several brands including Dell and Gatorade have made headlines by establishing a "command center" for their social media activities. Listening and responding with equal care, these brands have also established social media policies for employees and their customers, defining what each should expect from the other. These centers are staffed 24/7 and reflect a growing appreciation for the need to treat social media as a strategically guided weapon.

#4 Don't define success

Consistent with the ready, fire, aim mentality often brought to social media, it is not surprising that success is rarely defined at the beginning. With only 23% of companies having a strategic plan in place for social in 2010 (MarketingSherpa), many more were just jumping into the water, not knowing which way to swim or how far to go.

Ironically, defining success in social media isn't all that hard, especially when put into the context of the overall business goals. Boiling this down to basics, every business needs to do two things to survive, acquire customers and retain them. And typically, the better you are at retaining customers, the easier it is to acquire new ones. Well, sure enough, social media can do both of these things in highly measurable ways. (These are not the only uses for social, but these are the ones the c-suite cares about the most.)

Kinaxis, a Canada-based supply chain management company, has used a combination of blogging and community building to nearly triple Web traffic and lead generation. U by Kotex has developed a highly engaged fan base on Facebook that, in combination with provocative advertising that went viral on YouTube, has helped it grow from 0% to 20% share of market.

#5 Isolate in one department

Because social media often starts as a subset of one department or another, there has been a bit of a battle for control at numerous companies. Many departments can make a compelling case for ownership -- Marketing because it understands the voice of the brand, Customer Service because it is trained to interact with customers and Corporate Communications because blogger and influencer outreach feels a lot like PR.

These battles are unfortunate and have often left social isolated and restrained by the perspective of just one department. However, as Bonin Bough of PepsiCo explained at a recent conference, "It's not about ownership, it's about leadership." To be successful, social media initiatives need to be led by an individual or team of individuals that can rise above a particular department and then tap into all the requisite disciplines, including IT.

Twelpforce, the groundbreaking Twitter-based help desk from Best Buy, provides a great example of how these cross-disciplined programs can come into being. Originated in the marketing department, the Twelpforce application was coded by an internal IT team. The Twelpforce itself is made up of 2,600 Best Buy employees from all over the company, including customer service. In its first year, the Twelpforce responded to over 42,000 customer inquiries at a remarkably low cost-per-interaction and remarkably high c-sat rate.

Drew Neisser is CEO and founder of New York-based Renegade, the digital and guerrilla agency whose "marketing as service" philosophy helps clients make more out of less year after year. A long-time believer in the transformative power of brand experiences, you can find Drew's musings on and Reach him here.

Part 2? Wednesday at noon.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Should Your Business have a Twitter Account?

First we heard, Facebook is just for kids.

Turns into a 600 million user website. And that's not just kids.

Twitter has had a few detractors too, but for a few days, I've got some guest posts on the subject of Social Media for business use, starting off with this piece from Pat McGraw:

How should your brand be on Twitter?

Posted: 13 Apr 2011 10:52 AM PDT

Twitter Logo by Jon Gossier

Is your business on Twitter? If not, why? And if it is, how have you put your brand on Twitter?

Have you created a ‘corporate account’ or are you putting forth a human face? Are you followers interacting with a logo and a team of employees that respond in the voice of the company – or do you have employees that are content experts representing the company on Twitter?

Social media is supposed to be about conversation and, for me, conversation takes place between people. Now I know Congress says that corporations are people too – but I beg to differ on that, especially when it comes to social media.

I want to talk to people that can help me. And I want to talk to people that I can help. For me, the Zappos approach is appealing because I see the people, interact with the people, and get a sense for the people that make the company what it is – and that impacts whether or not I buy from them.

But the corporate logo/team of people approach works for some companies. They deliver a consistently valuable experience that meets the needs of their audience.

So what works for your company? What approach have you taken and how’s it working for you? What have your key audiences said about your approach to Twitter?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Making the Connections

Wednesday was an interesting morning.

After attending a Social Media Seminar put on by some of my friends at the Asher Agency, I visited a couple more places including friends at the Chamber of Commerce and friends at a couple more advertising agencies, website developers and media buyers.

Everywhere I went, people knew me.

Not everyone of course, but enough that it is now common place for this to happen.

And this is what I believe Social Media is all about.

Put yourself out there. Be yourself. Be kind. Be human. Have fun.



Others are watching you, you cannot pretend without being caught as a fake, fraud or pretender.

You will be found out.

The Social Connections that become face to face connections are priceless.

And now the chicken or the egg questions regarding social relationships doesn't matter.

Do you meet someone for the first time face to face or online?

Doesn't really matter as long as you are genuine.

Next week, we'll take a few days and look at Social Media for Business with some guest posts.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stop Trying to Sell Me Stuff!

Just a little rant from me and a few, okay make that a lot of others:

I don't want a sales pitch from you EVERY TIME you try and connect with me on Social Media.

It's as annoying as a 2 year old that won't stop asking, "Why?" to everything you say.

There is a line between letting me know what you can offer that I might want to buy, and starting every conversation or interaction with a sales pitch.

If you are using Social Media as a Megaphone shouting to as many as you can get to follow you to buy your stuff, you lose, I lose, and the image and perception of Social Media loses too.

There are much better ways to get me to buy your stuff and it is to let me know what you have to offer and also form a relationship through interaction and interesting content that you share with me and others.

This has always been true in real life, face to face relationships, and is even more true in the cyber world.

Be Genuine.

Your comments are always welcome. MLM invites? No thanks.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Real Reason Twitter Lists Exist ?

Tuesday I mentioned how I use Twitter Lists to keep the people I follow organized.

Everyone I follow, I put on 1 or more lists.

However remember that there are very few hard and fast rules regarding social media including Twitter.

There is another way to use Twitter Lists to follow subjects or topics without following the individuals.

Let's take a trip to again:

Twitter users can organize others into groups, or “lists”. When you click to view a list, you'll see a stream of Tweets from all the users included in that group...

Note: you don't need to follow another user to add them to a list; if you want to read a user's Tweets but not see their messages in your main timeline every day, lists allow you to do that. Similarly, following someone else's list does not mean you follow all users in that list. Rather, you follow the list itself.

How do you find a list?

How about creating one yourself:

Adding or Removing People From Your Lists

You can add users (including yourself!) from anywhere you see the list drop-down on someone's profile. This includes the following:

  • People searches
  • Profile pages (including your own)
  • Yours and other users followers and following lists

Check the boxes of lists you want to include that person in. Uncheck the box if you want to remove them from the list.


Or you can do a hashtag search. A couple weeks ago, my wife and I were watching a TV show and we wanted to see what people were saying about it so I added a column to my tweetdeck #greysanatomy.

For the next hour the comments on Twitter went flying by due to the special "musical version" of the show that was airing. I didn't need to follow each individual, just the list.

For more tips and hints on Twitter Lists, click here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How to Follow 1000+ People on Twitter

Twitter Lists is the subject for the next couple of days.

Most people on Twitter have under 500 people that they follow on Twitter.

90 to 95% of the Twitter accounts are following less than 1000.

Then there is the other extreme, those that follow more than 10,000.

Depending on how active those people you follow are, it can get pretty ridiculous trying to keep track of the conversations and have a real life too. The tweets will just fly by and you will never be able to keep up.

So as my "list" of people that I was following grew, I stopped and took time to go thru every one of them and assign them to a Twitter list.

Go to the help section for details on how to create lists by clicking here.

According to Twitter, you are allowed to have a maximum of 500 per list and up to 20 lists. That would equal 10,000 people you can follow if you put each of them on a list.

Today I'll share with you how I use my lists and tomorrow I'll share with you some of the other ways you can use Twitter Lists.

I have some pretty obvious names for some of my lists like: Newsmakers, Fort Wayne Area, Marketing/Advertising, and some not so obvious names like EE and RF.

My RF list is top secret in that people have tried to guess what it stands for and those that know, want to stay on the list.

My RF list is people that I Really Follow. This limits my 1500 people I follow down to under 500 which is a reasonable number for me to follow.

It is a completely arbitrary list and it changes as I add and drop people from the RF list.

I use TweetDeck on my laptop and Tweetcaster on my Droid to monitor Twitter.

Tweetdeck on my laptop has 4 columns, they are my RF list, @mentions, Direct Messages, and the last column is usually a Facebook Friends Status Update Feed.

So, why am I following 1500 people if I'm not really following everything they say?

Because by following it allows us to have private conversations via Direct Messaging and I'm always shuffling some of those RF people on or off depending on what they are talking about.

One last tip for today about Twitter Lists. Go to your account on to set up and maintain your lists, not a third party application. The third party applications like Hootsuite and Twitter will pull those official Twitter lists for you, but if you only create a list in a 3rd party application, it won't always transfer to your account.

Tomorrow, another way to use Twitter lists that I've found helpful.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Are You Popular?

It doesn't matter how many Facebook Friends you have...

It doesn't matter how many Twitter Followers you have...

It doesn't matter how many subscribers or readers you have to your blog or email.


Because there are ways to "jack it up" and make it meaningless.

I was talking with a friend last week who was concerned that she lost some followers and wondered if she offended them.

I did some checking, and didn't see anything unusual but it inspired me to write this today.

Feel free to ignore any advice from me or anyone else.

Use Facebook and Twitter however you want.

Use all of the social media platforms however you want.

This really isn't a popularity contest.

It is a connection tool, a communication tool, a relationship tool.

And now I'm going to contradict myself.

Everything I have said so far applies to personal Twitter and Facebook accounts.

If you are a business, you need friends and followers.

If you are creating your personal brand, you need friends and followers too.

But you want genuine, real friends and followers. And that will take time and effort.

Like all things worthwhile and lasting.

Coming tomorrow, how to manage over 1000+ people on Twitter.

photo of ScLoHo was taken earlier this year by Kevin Mullett at his office.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Facebook isn't Enough

I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We are the 2nd largest city in the state and soon will have the largest public school system.

The past 18 months I have seen a shift in Social Media participation and acceptance in our city. Most of the activity is on Facebook. I believe that is simply due to the momentum that was building and the exposure that the movie The Social Network gave Facebook.

Next month I'll be doing a presentation on Social Media Networking Beyond Facebook. The focus will be creating a Personal Brand, and using other platforms such as blogs and Twitter.

There are a couple of reasons for this.

By creating a site that is not Facebook, you have more control of the content and customization.

You can still use Facebook, but use it as a communication tool to draw people to your site. That's one of the ways I use Facebook and Twitter and it works. As of last Sunday when I checked the stats on my sites, there were 14,220 visits in the past 4 weeks. That's an increase from around 10,000 views per month in January.

The primary reason for this is using Twitter and Facebook to promote, with links, to content on one of my sites.

More details coming, or contact me if you want to attend.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Blogging Questions: When to Write

Yesterday, I mentioned that I write some of my blog articles before they appear online. Actually, nearly everything I post on one of the blogs is written ahead of time.

I learned a few years ago that maintaining a regular schedule for updates gives your readers something they can rely on.

As a teenager, I had a newspaper route for the afternoon paper. After school I would deliver the paper and everyone of my customers would have their copy before 5pm. They could pick the best time for them to read it, but there was a need to deliver on time and on schedule.

The same is true for many things in life, a regular schedule is attractive.

But since writing and editing a blog is only a part of my daily life, I needed to decide when I was going to write and when I was going to publish.

Both Blogger and WordPress allow you to schedule when you articles will be published.

For those of us using Blogger, click on post options...

Then on the right you will see where you can pick the date and time...

WordPress is similar.

As you might have noticed, it was Saturday morning when I was writing this article, but due to the scheduling option, it didn't appear until noon today, Thursday April 7th.

I write when I have the time. I have at least 1/2 of my weekly posts written a week before they are published. Some are updated daily.

My publishing schedule is pretty aggressive with 4 blog sites:

ScLoHo's Collective Wisdom shares some of the best Wisdom and Information related to Sales, Advertising, Marketing and Media from dozens of sources. I update at 6am and 6pm with either a noon update, or a 10am and 2pm update too; 7 days a week.
The Not-So-Secret Writings of ScLoHo, are strictly the words of ScLoHo on the subjects of related to Sales, Advertising, Marketing and Media. This is updated at 7am every Tuesday.
ScLoHo's Really? is a more personal site that also include a Fort Wayne site of the day to promote my home town. This is updated at 6am and 4:08pm 7 days a week.

ScLoHo's Social Media Adventure is devoted to introducing you to various social media tools and tips. This is updated at noon 5 days a week.

I urge my friends and clients to set a regular schedule of at least once a week at the same time and day each week.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blogging Questions: Where to Write

ScLoHo's Social Media Adventure is a combination chronicle, guide, and Q & A forum that is built on my 7+ years of being active in Social Media along with staying up to date on many of the current and up and coming developments.

Because I've been doing this for a few more years than a lot of people I know, I was being asked how to do this and that. So after careful consideration last year, I decided that I would start this site to share some of the basics since 2011 seems to be the year Social Media has finally moved from fringe to main stream.

As our teachers taught us, there are no stupid questions, just questions that need answers.

So ask away!

Last week I was asked by a new blogger where to write his articles, or posts, before he was ready to put them on his site.

The best way is to write them online, right on your blog. Both WordPress and Blogger have options to save your work as a draft without publishing them.

On WordPress, you'll see the option on the right side of the page.

Here's a closer look.

Blogger has big orange and blue buttons at the bottom of the page.

It's a lot easier that writing elsewhere due to formatting issues. (My friend was using Microsoft Word, which if you try and copy and paste, doesn't work very well at all.)

Lastly, why not publish as soon as you are done writing?

Sometimes you need to stop and collect your thoughts or answer the phone!

Sometimes you should sit on your thoughts for 24 hours and read them again before you share them with the world.

Or sometimes, what I do is write ahead of time. I usually have between 30 and 50 blog posts scheduled to post at all times. But that's a topic for tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Create a Home for your Personal Brand (part 2)

Yesterday I introduced you to

Today, another site that you can use to create a home page for your personal brand.

It's . Click here.

And they created a short video...

All about from on Vimeo.

I haven't done much with mine yet except set it up. Click here to see mine.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Create a Home for your Personal Brand (part 1)

One simple way to start creating a personal brand on social media is by having your own home page.

Last year I created mine on and I pointed my domain, to my Flavors page as my home page.

The basic page is free with lots of customizations available.

Click here to create yours.

Click here to see mine.

Tomorrow, I'll share another site you can use to create a personal brand home page.

Friday, April 1, 2011

24 hours of #FF

Right now I'm about half way through 24 hours of #FF.

Time to answer some questions.

What is #FF?

The # is called a HashTag on Twitter. It is a common way to tag a tweet some others can search for it.

#FF has nothing to do with basketball, as in Final Four.

#FF stands for FollowFriday.

FollowFriday is a way to recommend and recognize people that you follow on Twitter.

We used to use #FollowFriday as the hashtag but that's 13 characters instead of 3 and since Twitter limits you to 140, shorter can be better as long as people can understand what you are saying.

I was asked this morning:

@ScLoHo #FortWayne for your 24 hrs of #FF do you stay awake the whole time??

And the answer is:

No, I sleep for about 45 minutes and then tweet another #FF starting at midnight until the last one in the 11pm hour.

I take Fridays off from work because this is so unproductive and it really messes up my sleep schedule for most of the weekend, but by Monday, or Tuesday I can go back to work.

And because today is Friday April 1st, I'm pulling your leg. Welcome to April Fools Day!

Here's how I really do it:

Scheduled Tweets.

Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are a couple of programs you can use to tweet that allow you to schedule tweets.

So last weekend I decided to set up another 24 hours of #FF with a focus on people who live/work in the Fort Wayne area and I scheduled a tweet once an hour. Some Tweets mentioned just one person, most mention 3 or more.

Fridays are usually the busiest day of the week for me so I've discovered that by pre-scheduling #FF, I can participate. I don't do 24 hours of #FF every week which makes it even more special.

That's the truth and I'm sticking with it!

image from