The Adrenaline Flow of Social Media Marketing

I subscribe to a wonderful magazine The Writer, which always publishes interesting articles about various topics related to writing. One of the perks of the magazine for me is when there’s an article by journalist, Kay B. Day.  Kay writes a column, Web Savvy, which focuses on writing for the Web, including news of internet trends, developments and technology.

In her recent column, Kay writes about covering events live at your web site.  As she says, “…most days, technology is a blessing and the latest plus is being able to cover a event live from your web site or blog.”  Her column focuses on two tools, Cover it Live which lets you embed a live coverage tool in your blog, and Widget Box which enables people to find, make and distribute web widgets for blogging, social networking services, and personal websites.

At one time Kay worked with wire copy for United Press International.  She describes her experiences using these tools, as feeling reminiscent of the way she used to feel when she covered UPI news stories.

“Covering events live really draws visitors—it’s all about the immediacy. There’s no doubt this is a technology blessing for sure, especially for bloggers who are trying to build a platform and who are eager to use the latest tools to do so…the process is just plain fun.”

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been very excited to be working with video for our youtube channel, and audio from some recent events we’ve been at.  Reading this article today really drives home the point for me that you can’t get too comfortable in the social media marketing world.  As soon as you think you have a handle on it, there’s always something else just waiting for you around the corner–vying for your attention.

I need to carve out some time, to go exploring. But that’s okay, because for me, it’s the media adrenaline flow.  In case I haven’t told you lately–I love it.

photo credit: flickr, jasontheaker
(what an amazing photo!)

Social Networking Website Profiles, Sometimes Easier Said Than Done

If you’ve found yourself joining more social networking websites these days, then you’ve likely come across the variation of requirements for profile pictures; as if we didn’t already have enough things to think about.

I only came across the site pictrit after spending an inordinate amount of time (and that’s saying it nicely) trying to get a rectangular logo to look okay on the newly revised facebook business profile. But wow, finding pictrit felt like I found a gold mine.

Resizing Profiles

Maybe I’m telling you something you already know, but to drive home the point, here are the website profile size requirements for a few of the social networks you may be currently using or considering:

48 pixels x 48 pixels

130 pixels x 100 pixels

140 pixels x 185 pixels

48 pixels x 48 pixels

80 pixels x 80 pixels

Not only does pictrit provide the dimensions for 22 commonly used social networks and 4 forums, it has a tool which resizes the images for you right there on the spot. I followed the link from pictrit to ImageShack, a site which not only resizes images but also urls and videos.  Their chart includes sizing for avatars, thumbnails, websites, email, and more.

If you’ve got enough time left over in the day to take your profile education for social networking websites one step further, check out 5 Creative Ways to Hack Your Facebook Profile –lots fun and interesting information there.  Sorry to write and run, but if I’m going to hack my facebook profile by the time I turn in tonight, I better get going!

Keeping up with the Social Networking Joneses

I spend several hours a week reading RSS feeds and the links which come in via Google Alerts. In my opinion, in order to blog on a regular basis, it’s helpful if you enjoy reading as much as writing.

This is where social bookmarking comes into the picture. As I’m reading each week, I bookmark urls to our delicious page, linking to posts which have made an impression on me. By linking to the pages, I can easily share the resources with my colleagues, our readers, my online and offline friends. When another delicious user bookmarks the same link, you can click on their page; and voilà, it’s like opening pandora’s box, being able to access material you may never have come across.

Blog Writing

A blog post doesn’t need to be very long; in fact, 350-500 words is a good length.  But how you acquire the information to write interesting content, will tack on a few more hours per week. If you’re serious about keeping up with the subject matter of your blog, the reading and research requires ongoing time and commitment. If you’re in a business environment, it likely will become (if not already) someone’s job.

This week, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about social networking–and while I’m still digesting the content and implications for use in business and personal pages–I thought I’d come up for air a minute, and share with you.

I’ll be back next week, with some further insights.  For now, put your feet up and enjoy.

Recommended Social Network Readings for this Week:

Nielsen’s new report, “Global Faces and Networked Places: A Nielsen Report on Social Networking’s New Global Footprint.”

AllFacebook’s post, How to Develop a Facebook Page that Attracts Millions of Fans

And Facebook Pages Product Guide (like reading a manual but pretty important)

The Blogger's Voice

In their recent eBook, Corporate Trends in Social Media Marketing, Chris Brogan (New Marketing Labs) and Mike Lewis (Awareness, Inc.), discuss the results of a survey they conducted with marketing executives about their plans for adopting social media.

Brogan and Lewis surveyed 623 marketing executives at mid-to-large sized organizations, and interviewed executives from 5 large organizations who have adopted social media as part of their marketing strategy.

According to Brogan and Lewis, organizations would like to adopt best practices which are focused around building some form of external community. While they cite seven categories for community-building—corporate voice, enthusiasts, innovations, user generate content, loyalty, peer support, and association/subscriber—for me Corporate Voice, is the one I think of most often when I read posts and write them.

Brogan and Lewis define Corporate Voice as, “A group blog allowing organizations to speak to their market in a personal, ‘humanized’ voice and receive direct feedback.”

Writing teachers talk about the importance of voice all the time. In the book, Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer, by Roy Peter Clark, he says, “Of all effects created by writers, none is more important or elusive than that quality called voice… And they want that voice to be authentic….” Clark quotes his friend, Don Fry:

“Voice is the sum of all strategies used by the author to create the illusion that the writer is speaking directly to the reader from the page.”

Clark says writers should test their writing voice. “Read your story aloud to hear if it sounds like you.”

Blogging is the perfect medium for human, authentic voices.  With zillions of blog posts vying for your reading attention, content needs a real voice if it’s going to stay—King.

photo credit: Flickr _william’s photostream