Dear Marketer: Your Tweets Are NOT Your Own!

Dear Marketer: Your Tweets Are NOT Your Own!

Are you ever amazed by the willingness of many a marketer to hang on to outdated and ridiculous concepts, even after they’ve been proven woefully inaccurate and even dangerous to the successful management of a brand or business?

I find myself amazed several times a day, sadly.

One of the most amazing, long-lived and ludicrous concepts is the idea that adding, “my tweets are my own,” to your bio somehow gives you a pass on sharing something potentially volatile.

Scott Slams The Silly Disclaimer

Although I’d seen those five little words on plenty a Twitter profile, I didn’t really think about them all that much until I started listening to the Unpodcast, hosted by Scott Stratten and Alison Kramer.

In one of their awesome Moron Mountain segments (bring back the mountain, pretty puh-leeze) they shared this reprehensible social media saga.

Ding, ding, ding! When you share socially, you’re sharing publicly. And guess what? Once you put something out to the public, you lose any chance of pussyfooting around about your intent and purpose.

Privacy is only possible when you keep an idea, concept, tweet, rant or other ridiculosity to yourself!

Once It’s Published, It’s No Longer Private!

Let me drive the point home … it ain’t your own if you choose to share it on a public platform!

Once that idea is published it takes on a life of its own. When you put it out for public consumption it then has the potential to be shared, discussed, dissed, misconstrued, maligned, talked about and even torn apart.

Much like there’s no such thing as a social media marketing ninja, there’s no way to publicly share a thought and at the same time keep it private and protected.

I often post a pithy phrase when I see something that bothers me. I never, however, expect that everyone in my feed will agree with my sentiment. I’m always prepared for discussion and dissension in the ranks.

If you can’t back up your idea, if you can’t handle dissenting opinions and direct discussion, maybe you should rethink that specific share.

You Can Rarely Lock It Down Once You’ve Let It Loose

Once it’s out there, there’s little chance that you can make it completely disappear. It’s been retweeted, screen capped and shared to Facebook, even discussed in a blog post or a popular podcast.

Undoing is MUCH harder than taking the time to think through what you plan to share. It’s MUCH easier and MUCH smarter to choose not to share something if you think it has the potential damage your personal or brand reputation.

A disclaimer isn’t going to deliver you from the potential backlash.

Ownership Comes With Obligations!

While your post has lost all potential for privacy once published, you still own it.

Your name or handle is attached to that original post, and is passed along with each retweet, each share and each screen grab.

Are you ready to own up to an idea that has the potential to create some serious dissent. If not, it’s time to consider shutting up rather than sharing!

Better Blogging: Fluffy And Fine With It!

Better Blogging: Fluffy And Fine With It!

Writing and style. Much like social media marketing successfully, there’s no single, correct, way to get your point across with the written word.

There’s a reason you often see discussions about writing and blogging style. Compare it to fashion, hair or make-up, and you’ll find that the idea of writing style is vast, varied and versatile.

If you follow even one content marketing blog or Twitter feed, I dare say you’ve seen at least one call for tightening up your writing. I thought I’d share why I don’t have any imminent intent to change the way I write.

Here it is, the reasons why I’m not going to embrace the short, sparse, terse writing style embodied by Hemingway and many a blogging expert.

Tighten Up? I Leave That For The Gym!

I write the way I speak. I love words, and use them in even the most casual of conversations. Why shouldn’t I embrace that same style in my writing?

I alliterate and rhyme when I speak, in public or with friends. Why would I stop doing that when I put fingers to keys?

Some might say I ramble. Some might think my intros are a little too long. Some might think I too often resort to eye candy with my use of alliteration, simile and metaphor. And that’s fine! My writing style just doesn’t suit their specific taste.

Yet, I’m still not going to change my writing style or vocal delivery!

Tightening up my blogging style would mean losing the very style that my audience has come to expect.

Staying Loose And Embracing My Unique Voice

If you’ve read any of my Music & Marketing posts, I’m willing to bet you didn’t necessarily enjoy every piece of music I shared. Some songs might have made you want to thrust your fingers in your ears rather than tap your toes.

I’ve often said that if we all loved the exact same things, the world would be a very boring place.

Variety rocks! There’s something out there for all of us.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Embrace #content variety. We all need to sing our story using our own unique voice!” quote=”The content we create is full of variety. We all need to sing our story using our own unique voice!” theme=”style4″]

My social sharing counts and the comments about my writing via my Twitter feed, lead me to believe that I’ve got an audience that appreciates my specific blogging style.

Short & Succinct Sometimes Lacks Story

We read to learn, to stay on top of the latest industry news, tech and more.

But we also read to be entertained. We read to feel an allegiance with an idea or a writer. We read because we seek stories.

If you mess too much with your blogging style, cull and cut out all that makes it colorful, you’re often left with just the bits and pieces, words, paragraphs, punctuation, sans story. And there’s little sharing when you snuff out the story, at least in my experience.

My Blogging Is Fluffy AND I Feel Fine!

You can ignore the advice of experts, real and faux, if it doesn’t suit your audience. You ABSOLUTELY SHOULD ignore the advice of experts if it doesn’t suit your audience.

Maybe you’re a little wordy. But if your words have the fun, flair, feistiness and/or fluffiness that your audience adores, there’s no flipping reason to make a single change to your writing style.

Yes, you need to spell check, you need to consider, carefully, the placement of commas and other punctuation. But when your style is genuine and inherent to your business and brand, you need not shorten, tighten or edit harshly.

I’m not a fan of hairless dogs or cats. I like ’em fluffy, despite the mess and the need for more frequent vacuuming. My writing style is much the same. Fluffy, a little messy, even a little fly-away. But, you know what? I like it. And so do my readers. So? Fluffy it shall stay!

Testing The Timelessness Of Your Twitter Shares

Testing The Timelessness Of Your Twitter Shares

I hate to see Twitter used improperly. As it’s my favorite social media platform, and the place I spend most of my networking and content curation time, it really grinds my gears to see the prolific promotion of out of date information and ideas.

Evergreen Erodes Over Time!

The idea that content can be timeless is great. But we’re too quick to tie a bow on what we consider evergreen, ever valuable content.

Here’s the deal. Evergreen trees are living things. Yes, they live long and fruitful lives. But they don’t live forever.

Same goes for your content! It isn’t immortal. Your content is going to eventually lose life and luster.

It ain’t evergreen forever!

I Thought This Article Was About Twitter?!?!

It is, it is. I promise. But it’s also about how you share content with Twitter.

The fast pace and short shelf life of a tweet often causes sloppy sharing, and that really bugs me. It seems to me that when you’re trying to make the most impact in the shortest time frame, you should take the time to share smartly. To me that’s just common sense.

When you’re attempting to showcase expertise and knowledge, it’s imperative that every link you share actually brings value when it’s clicked and read.

So, you might ask, how do I ensure that my shares are smart and savvy and seriously showcase my value to my audience?

READ Before You Share. EVERY TIME!

When it comes to ensuring you’re not sharing sadly out of date information, there’s one single, simple, golden rule. READ before you retweet!

No matter how trusted the author or site, you’ve still got to vet the content for viability and value before you spread it around.

Firehose? Face Feed Fallout!

My Twitter feed is a fast, frenzied, frenetic place. And I love it!

What I don’t love so much? Seeing your smug mug taking over a full screen of my feed that spans minutes, sometimes even seconds.

Spread that shizz out, tweeps!

When you scatter-shoot your shares this type of “hey, see how often I’m tweeting” fashion you make it hard for your audience to deduce which of the shares is worthy of the click. You create confusion and frustration. Do you generally choose to do business with someone who leaves you confused and frustrated?

I’d bet the answer is a big, fat NO!

Tweet For Twitter!

That might sound a little simple and you might want to call me Captain Obvious, but hear me out.

How often do you see a tweet that’s 140 full characters of hashtag frenzy, plus a shortened link.

#every #word #has #a #hashtag

What the heck is the article about? You can’t read the title in the link, as it’s been shortened to allow for more hashtag hurrah!

If you want your tweets to target your audience in a timely fashion, you need to ensure you take the time to craft that tweet.

I dare say that crafting a terrific tweet, a tweet that draws clicks and prompts retweets, is an art form. It takes skill, testing, trial and tribulation.

So, Can Tweets Really Be Timeless?

Yes and no. I know, the only worse answer is “it depends.”

One of the best things about Twitter is its speed. That speed means it’s often a-okay-hunky-dory to share an article or an idea more than once. In a smart fashion, of course.

But when you’re using Twitter as a means to promote the content you’ve created, which is one of the main reasons many of us interact on Twitter, you have to factor in the timelessness of your content before you can calculate the timelessness of your tweet.

Content care (content audits, rewrites, reposts, etc.) goes hand in hand with creating a great Twitter strategy.

If you want to fill your Twitter feed with timely and timeless content that creates trust and respect for your expertise, you’ve got to create a content strategy that keeps that content timely, valuable and viable.

So?!?! Was this article about Twitter or content marketing?

Both. They go hand in hand!

ENOUGH! There Is NO Single Best Time For Social Media!


ENOUGH! There Is NO Single Best Time For Social Media!

Why is it that so many awesome things are endangered or facing extinction – the black rhino, the Iberian lynx, the Tasmanian devil, numerous native tree and plant species – but we’re flipping bombarded with craptastic social media marketing advice?

I’ve had it. Enough already! To quote Popeye …

That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more.

What’s got me on this tear?

The publish and promotion of social media articles and infographics “sharing” the best time to post for maximum reach, reaction, engagement and more.

There are SOOOOOO many reasons these articles and infographics grind my gears, but I don’t really have the time to write a novel and don’t think you’re game to read tens of thousands of words on the subject. So, I’m sharing just a few!

Let’s Talk About Time Zones!

So, let’s think about this. Let’s say we’re told that 9:23 AM is the BEST time to post to Twitter (I’m just making this up, of course).

But is the 9:23 AM Eastern? Central? Mountain? Pacific? And that’s only spanning the time zones that cover the continental United States. What about daylight-saving time?

You get my drift, right. I’ve never seen an article or infographic detail the differences in “best time” social media sharing based on audiences that span multiple time zones. Most people running a digital business find themselves with a following that spans countries, if not the globe.

9:23 AM for me, in my EST space, is 6:23 AM for my family and friends in California (PST). While many of them are early risers like me, there’s no guarantee that they’re sitting ready and waiting to see what I’ve posted as the sun rises on their day.

Wow, That’s A Wide Window …

The most recent “best time” share, the one that prompted this article, shared lots of best time information for the big social media platforms. It detailed the “best” times to post to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin and even Google+.

Then, and this is what I found ludicrous and laughable, the author turned his back on those “best” times and touted a smart posting window that stretched from 9 AM to 7 PM. What?

[clickToTweet tweet=”The ‘best time’ to post to #socialmedia channels spans ten hours? #captainobvious” quote=”The ‘best time’ to post to social media channels spans ten hours? Well thanks for the info, Captain Obvious.” theme=”style3″]

A ten hour window is pretty wide. You wouldn’t accept that from a service provider. Imagine if you were getting cable TV installed and you were told the installer would arrive between 9 AM and 7 PM. No bueno.

It’s not one bit different when you’re lead to believe you’re going to get the golden goose and finally know the absolute bestest single time to post a scintillating social share for your audience. Even less bueno!

Let’s Look At Lifespan!

The lifespan of a single social media post depends on so many factors. The platform. The size of your audience. The speed and breadth of that audience’s feeds. The time of day your audience is active. The popularity of any hashtags used. The addition of a visual prompt. The value or vibe of the post itself.

The lifespan of a tweet is different than the lifespan of a photo shared to Instagram. The likelihood of you seeing a specific Facebook post is different than the likelihood of you seeing a specific Google+ or Linkedin post.

And, digging a little deeper, you can’t easily compare the lifespan of one tweet, post or share with another. Did they have the same hashtag? A photo? Was it a conversation starter like a question or a link out to your content?

The Scariest, But Most Honest Answer To Social Media Timing Questions …

It Depends!

That response might sound wishy-washy and passive aggressive in other applications, but when it comes to the “best” time to post social media shares in order to “best” impact reach and engagement, it is the BEST answer.

Because the best time for my audience might not be the best time for your audience. Even within my own circle of influence, the best time for my audience in June might be vastly different from the best time in January.

It’s all about putting in the time and effort to craft the kinds of social media shares and posts that suit the needs of those you’re trying to reach. Then you gotta monitor your most important metrics to see what works and what doesn’t. And you’ve gotta do that over and over and over again.

Social media marketing isn’t a set it and forget it kind of endeavor. The practice, the strategies, the tactics evolve over time. As do the “best” times to reach your audience.

I can get on board with a one-size-fits-all scarf. It make sense. But there’s nothing sensible about a one-size (or time) fits-all solution for social media marketing.

Perseverance Is Powerful Until You Push Too Far!

Perseverance Is Powerful Until You Push Too Far!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to do business with a pushover.

While I am the client, and I want my own opinions to be heard, I also want to know that the “expert” providing me with a product or service is actually able to back themselves up as an expert in their field.

Persevere With Purpose!

As a designer, as well as a marketer, I have pretty strong ideas about all things design and marketing. I believe there are right and wrong ways to go about building a brand and marketing a business online.

I do, however, have to factor in that my clients and prospects have strong ideas about their brand and the best ways to market their business. I can’t ignore their wants and needs. Certainly not if I want to continue to work with them in the future.

It’s important to balance your beliefs with those of your client. Certainly, there will be times when you have to take a strong stand. No matter what a client wants, it’s never okay to engage in spamming. That’s just one example. But you must carefully choose your battles.

Is it worth losing a potential repeat client because you differ in opinion on the best shade of blue? Perhaps. That’s really up to you. But compromise is key when you work in the design and marketing fields. Because there are no one-size-fits-all solutions, no single “right” way to proceed, it’s important to be patient and understand the perceptions of your client before you persevere. Compromise and perseverance in balance make for better business.

Back Your Beliefs Without Being A Butthead!

I don’t agree with ALL of the advice shared by my peers. And I don’t expect my peers to agree with every bit of advice I share.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Or design a website. Or put together a social media marketing campaign.

As an expert, it’s expected that you’ll push to do things your way. Your clients are paying for your expertise and experience. They want to know that you have a clear plan for moving forward.

But no project moves forward without a misstep or two, an occasional detour. It’s how you handle those missteps, those differences of opinion, that create the balance the builds a brand, that designs a killer website, that launches a successful social media campaign.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Working with a client won’t work if you adopt a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude.” quote=”Working with a client won’t work if you adopt a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude.”]

When you continue arguing well past the point where you should be agreeing to disagree, simply because you want to push the buttons of those whose views differ from your own, you’re taking perseverance a step too far.

When you’ve built up a grudge against an individual with whom you just can’t agree and you decide to stick it to anyone, even people you’ve never before connected with, who happens to agree with or side with that individual, you’re taking perseverance a step too far.

Working With Clients Should Be Win-Win!

If you look at compromising with clients as a loss for your business, you’re probably not going to be in business very long. Clients expect you to work with them, rather than against them! Same goes for your social media connections. They want conversation, not shouting matches and pouting when you don’t get your way.

While I certainly exercise my right to tell a client when I think something they want isn’t a good fit, I never go into a project thinking it’s all going to go my way. That’s not how collaborative efforts work.

Thanks Mean More When They’re Thoughtful

Thanks Mean More When They're Thoughtful

Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for the RT.

Thanks for following.

Each thank you listed above is certainly a small token of appreciation and acknowledgment.

But if you’re anything like me, and I’m pretty sure there are other snarky, sassy, tell-it-like-it-is marketers out there, you might feel that some of this recognition and reward feels a bit “by rote.”




1. routine; a fixed, habitual, or mechanical course of procedure:
the rote of daily living.
2. proceeding mechanically and repetitiously; being mechanical and repetitious in nature; routine; habitual: rote performance; rote implementation; His behavior became more rote with every passing year.

Sadly, it appears that thank you messaging has become a simple repetitive response for many.

Hop Off The Appreciation Assembly Line!

It’s great that you are thanking me. I appreciate it. But there’s so much more you can do to make your appreciation more appealing and at the same time advance your connections to the next levels, creating a more engaged audience and eventually even a peer network.

It’s great that you took the time to add my name to your note of thanks. But, c’mon now. I’ve known some of you for quite some time. Tacking my name on the end of your generic thank you message isn’t enough to give me the warm and fuzzies.

There are so many ways you can ramp up the recognition and reward those social shares. You’ll look like a rock star and you’ll be much more memorable and generate more authentic and tailored appreciation of your own.

Tailor Your Thanks, Try These Tactics:

1. Ask Me A Question

Questions open doors to conversation. Even in a measly 140 characters. Especially in a measly 140 characters. I see more questions answered on Twitter than on any other platform.

(ASIDE: Don’t you just hate it when you ask a question and someone likes it?!?! Seriously? I don’t want you to like it, I want you to flipping answer it!)

When you’re just getting to know me, you can simply ask how my day is going. If you follow my blog, you can ask a question about a topic I regularly write about.

Consider asking me to share something exciting going on in my biz. It’s a great way to show interest and it just might invite an opportunity for you to share some of your own big news.

2. Color Me Complimented

A considered compliment can be a quick and quality means of creating conversation and connection.

Considered compliment? Yes. While it’s nice to occasionally be told you rock or that you’re awesome, you can soon see when someone shares that sentiment with everyone who shares, follows, likes.

A considered compliment requires a little deeper digging, showing that you actually spent a little time trying to get to know the guy or gal upon whom you wish to bestow the compliment.

Is their cover image really creative? Tell ’em so!

Compliment their creative and catchy bio. I get ever so many quick messages and mentions of my perpetually peppy state – powered by caffeine and loud music (referenced in my bios).

3. Mention A Me Too!

I often connect with other music loving marketers and I often engage in short, sweet but lively discussion on music and how I tie it into marketing.

Many a marketing bio adds in a little personal pulse, and reaching out to those who share your passions, interests, hobbies and beyond professional pursuits is a great way to show that you’re a human being, not a link sharing robot.

4. Return The Favor Reward

First of all, sharing anyone’s post or article should never be considered a favor. Favor likes, favor shares, favor connections only have one person in mind, Y-O-U. You’re hoping that you’ll get a return share to return your own favor. So NOT social.

That being said, there’s nothing wrong with checking out the content shared by that lovely lady or generous gentleman who recently share your killer content.

Make sure you READ IT before you share it. And make the room to state the WHY of your share. Why? Because it can continue the artful appreciation and create more conversation, which leads to connection, etc.

How Do You Add Thoughtful To Your Thanks?

I’d love to know how you hop off of the appreciation assembly line and take thanks to a more thoughtful level.

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Sanitize Your Social Media Streams And Connections

Sanitize Your Social Media Streams And Connections

Do you ever take a quick run through your Twitter feed, through the article shares and random musings, and wonder why the hell you’re following some of these people?

Ever run through the posts in one of your Google+ circles and feel disgruntled and disappointed by what you find?

If you answered yes to either of the questions above you’re not a bad person. You’re not a sorry or sucky social media marketer.

What are you? A human being! A person with your own specific feelings, opinions, and ways about doing the things that make your business and brand the kind of success you seek!

Connections Ain’t Forever!

You don’t marry every person you’ve ever dated. If you did polygamy would be legal and legitimate.

So, it makes sense to consider that connections aren’t necessarily necessary forever.

People change over time. You’re not the same person you were ten years ago. You’re not the same person you were two years ago. Heck, if you’re a Gemini like me, you’re probably not the person you were two minutes ago.

Change is human. Change happens. Your connection needs and requirements will change over time.

When the connection changes so much that it’s no longer valuable to you, it’s time to cut the cord.

Sanitizing & Streamlining Your Feeds

We spend varying amounts of time carefully cultivating your connections and the content that shows up in your various social media feeds.

I spend a lot of time monitoring and managing my feeds, because I want them to work for me, not against me. I want my feeds to inspire me. To inspire me to take action, to prompt an idea for a new article, to get me revved up to rock a new product or service initiative.

Sometimes I look to my feeds to learn. Sometimes I’m looking for killer content worthy of sharing.

And yes, I am running a business. So I look to my feeds for opportunities to take the right connections from interested party, to interested prospect, to paying customer!

No matter what I’m looking for, it’s my job to ensure my feed, my connections, continue to deliver. If they’re not delivering, there’s no one to blame but myself.

Nix The Not So Awesome!

If it no longer interests you, it’s time to consider taking action.

Not too long ago, I removed several of the marketing “powerhouse” sites from my feeds. Why? Because the content shared had been said and resaid, hashed out and rehashed, so many times that I no longer felt I was learning anything new.

Instead I’ve carefully cultivated connections with newer, hungrier, more willing to push the envelope and put themselves out on a limb, marketers who aren’t rehashing what’s already been said and said well.

To round out this read, I’m sharing some broad, and sadly stereotypical (stereotypes come from real people and real situations, peeps), connections worth culling categories. Wow, say those last four words three times fast!

Once A Big Deal And Hanging On With Both Hands!

Many a marketer made a name for his/her self during the boom time of a specific platform. Some of them have weathered the changes well and are still sharing incredibly valuable and viable information.

Sadly, that’s not true for all of them. Some are hanging on for all they’re worth, and the ideas and content they continue to share is well past its sell-by date.

Clear ’em out. Leave ’em on a list if you feel the need to continue cultivate their favor as a influencer, but take them out of your active sharing and reading rotation.

Mr. Or Mrs. Mememememe!

Piggybacking on the hanger-on described above is the “all about me” social sharer. Everything they share comes from their OWN website. They’ve created hashtags specifically for their own “killer in all instances” content, along the lines of #normanknows or #sabrinasays. And that hashtag is on every share, every fifteen minutes, 24-7-365.

So NOT Social!

They aren’t going to look beyond their own borders, so it’s time to banish them from your feeds.

The Arguing For Argument’s Sake A-Hole!

I’m all for some delicious discussion and dissent. I am quick to take on the devil’s advocate role. I love the opportunity to discuss deep topics with my peers.

But there’s a certain kind of connection that creates disharmony with dissent on a dangerous level. This connection can’t let anything you post lie. He or she argues with you about EVERYTHING.

Being disagreeable isn’t the same as engaging in a smart dissenting discussion.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Deep six the connections who engage with you only to enrage with you!” quote=”Deep six the disagreeable douche-canoes who engage with you only hoping to enrage with you!”]

The My Way Or The Highway Huckster!

Social media and digital marketing isn’t a static field. Honestly, something changes daily, if not hourly. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions. There’s no single way to sell, no single way to be social, no single way to share or connect.

You don’t fall prey to spammy offers that suck up space in your busy inbox. You delete them.

Do the same with the less than legitimate social shares you see about the ONLY way to successfully market your brand or business.

How About You?

When’s the last time you streamlined your streams, culled your connections or freshened-up your feeds? It’s time!

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You’re Not The Social Media Silverback!

You're Not The Social Media Silverback!

Have you ever been involved in a discussion, via a social media channel – maybe in a Twitter chat or in a Google+ post, when a single party decides they’re running the show and will slap down any detractors?

If you haven’t experienced this, you’re lucky. And I dare say your jig is up. It will happen soon.

I’ve coined a phrase for that type of behavior: Social Media Silverback Syndrome


noun sil·ver·back ˈsil-vər-ˌbak
: an older adult usually dominant male gorilla having gray or whitish hair on the back

In gorilla society, the silverback rules all. He decides the pecking order. He decides where the group sleeps at night, where they go in the morning to forage and he gets to mate with all of the ladies.

The silverback rules with an iron fist, and he’s quick to raise the fist at any signs of dissent in the ranks. He chases and chastises those that don’t do his bidding in a timely fashion.

For the silverback to fall a more dominant male must beat him in battle.

Unlike gorilla society, the silverback isn’t always the oldest, strongest, most dominant (has the most followers, the most shares, etc.) member of the group.

Social media silverback behavior is showcased by men and women alike. Young and old, big followings and small.

Leave Your Alpha Male (Or Female) Attitude At The Door!

Don’t reprimand those you feel are beneath you in the social order. You’re not the dominant male (or female) of Google+ or any other social channel.

It’s perfectly A-OK hunky dory for you to disagree with a post or discussion topic. It’s not at all acceptable for you to intimate that any individual taking part in the dissenting side of the discussion, “doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”

Your opinions aren’t facts, even if you believe you have the numbers to back them up. Opinions are often about feelings and personal preference. You’re allowed your feelings, I’m allowed mine. We may not share the same feelings. And that’s okay.

It’s not okay to tell someone their opinion, their feeling, is incorrect, outdated or stupid. Especially in a public forum. This kind of chest beating bravado has no place in a social media discussion.

NOTE: This advice goes both ways. If you post up a topic for discussion, you should expect just that. And discussion often brings around dissenting opinions. Don’t post an opinion if you’re not ready and willing for that opinion to face some friendly debate.

Want to try to sway them, though – like you, they’re adamantly standing their ground? Take it private!

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good dissenting opinion. I love the chance to openly debate. Go ahead and engage in discussion, even heated discussion. But you’ve got to be open, honest and direct. And you must be able to agree to disagree!

And here’s one just for the fellas! Stop correcting the womenfolk when they use “feminine” terminology which you feel “degrades” your vaunted and lofty position within your industry.

Twitter Chat Tyrants NOT Wanted!

I see this kind of behavior far too often in Twitter chats. A single individual attempts to shine the spotlight on themselves, struggling to show themselves the expert on any and all topics discussed.

It doesn’t matter that, generally speaking, the chat organizers have invited a specific individual to play the role of expert. These tweetchat tyrants are intent on one thing – proving that they are more knowledgeable than anyone else taking part in the discussion.

They create their own mini-chat, usually drawing a small handful of attendees away from the intended discussion, trying to add to their own clout and following.

Seriously? Stop it!

Want your chance to shine as the undisputed champion of the chat? Ask the chat owner if you can co-host a future chat. Dive into the discussion and embrace the group, don’t detract from it.

Corrections Can, And Should, Be Shared Privately

Occasionally you’ll see a typo, improper word choice, a link to an outdated stat or some other small error.

If your intent is to help, then it’s perfectly okay to point them out, PRIVATELY.

Take it to a DM, PM or to an email message.

It’s time to put the hammer down on the power play that is the public address of simple errors.

Beware, Too, The Marketing Matriarch

Stepping away from the gorilla example, I want to look at elephant society briefly.

Elephant packs (are they packs?) are led by an elder female. It is her job to memorize the paths to watering holes and places to forage for food. Survival of the pack depends on her getting this right.

Social media packs are different. It’s not simply survival of the fittest. It’s about adapting to the lightning fast changes in reach and engagement and understanding what works for your specific audience.

Occasionally you’ll see the marketing matriarch. This is the old school influencer, holding on tight, with both fists – and possibly her teeth, to past influence and marketing mojo, despite that fact that all around her (or him, though matriarch and male aren’t a match) have moved on. Even more occasionally these matriarchs stand their ground by calling out anyone and everyone that disagrees with them, throwing around the overused and very abused  “hater” moniker.


If you can’t stand the idea of new ways and new mediums, I dare say a career in social media wasn’t a smart choice. While it’s fine to stick to your guns if they work for you, it’s not fine to put under fire anyone who simply dares to disagree.

How Do You Handle Discussion Dynamics?

Strong opinions and social media marketing go together like peanut butter and jelly! Have you ever gotten into a heated debate or discussion? Have you ever felt bullied or slapped down?

It happens to all of us, sadly.

But if you can hang in and remember that opinions are like a-holes, you’ll be able to finish the “fight” with aplomb. Simply state that it’s time to agree to disagree and you can hold your head high!

#SMMsmarts: An Audience Never Forgets!

#SMMsmarts: An Audience Never Forgets!

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “an elephant never forgets.” Maybe you’ve seen the classic cartoon by Max Fleischer?

I’m often inspired by visuals. Sometimes a visual pops a title or idea into my mind. I was searching some stock photos (you do know they don’t have to suck, right? That’s another article entirely) and came across an image that sparked this idea …

Like An Elephant, An Audience Never Forgets!

When you’re building and maintaining a community, you’ve got to keep many things in mind, like:

  • Personalities add color, but can also create conflict.
  • People will always try to test the boundaries of what’s acceptable.
  • Maintaining a robust community is time consuming, so not all the “easy.”
  • Trust is tantamount when it comes to your community spirit!

That last bullet point is really the “golden nugget,” if I can steal my gal pal Brooke Ballard’s catch-phrase, I hope you’ll take away in this read.

Trust Lost Is Nearly Impossible To Regain

Sadly, there are so many ways you can lose the trust of your audience, your community. We see instances shared across social media feeds, infractions by brands big and small, almost every day.

Because we see them every day, it appears these kinds of blunders are barely obvious to the bulk of brands and marketers. Which is rather frightening.

When I’m part of a community, or a member of a peer’s audience, I find the following infractions most daunting:

1. Sharing Craptastic Content

It’s really not all that hard to ensure the content you share actually gels with your audience. Ready for the big reveal? READ before you share! So simple, yet so easy to forget.

When it comes to curating and then sharing killer content with your audience, there are no “trusted” resources. If you don’t read, you’ll get burned eventually, no matter how big the name behind the publish.

2. Dumb “Do As I Say, Not As I Do” Moments

If spamming the community is a no-no, then it’s pretty obvious that you shouldn’t only share your own stuff, every hour, on the hour!

If you expect your community and audience members to act in a certain way, you must lead by example!

3. You’ve Gotta Back It Up

There’s nothing worse than seeing a strong opinion stated, and stated well, then watered down with wishy-washy replies to dissenting opinions.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Do not devalue your smart, strong opinion with a smiley-face emoticon! GACK!” quote=”Do not devalue your smart, strong opinion with a smiley-face emoticon! GACK!”]

When you share an idea, there’s always the possibility that the entirety of your audience is NOT going to be on board. Agreeing to disagree is an art form. It doesn’t mean you roll over and lie dead, diminishing the impact and intent of the idea you felt must be shared.

4. Feeding Frenzy

There’s nothing worse than a hostile takeover … of my social media feed!

The stuff you’re jazzed to share? We’re sure it’s great. We trusted you enough to follow you, thus we think you’re head’s on straight. That doesn’t mean we want to see your avatar fifteen times in fifteen minutes.

Spread the love around, in a timely and tempered fashion, with some smart scheduling. This goes for Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Google+ (and basically anyplace else that delivers information in a feed).

5. Flat Out Bad Behavior

If you name call or are too aggressive and act the ass, your name is soon aligned with that most overused and abused buzzword, “hater.”

While I think the term is overused, it doesn’t mean the behavior is okay. You can’t bully your way into influence or prominence.

[clickToTweet tweet=”You can’t bully your way into #influence or prominence.” quote=”You can’t bully your way into influence or prominence.” theme=”style4″]


Forgiven Is Not Forgotten

Though you might manage to make an appropriate apology for your blunder or faux pas, the infraction will not be forgotten.

Your audience will remember. Though they might forgive the infraction, it will be stored in the vault of their memories. Secondary stumbles won’t be so easy to shake off.

Trust earned is so valuable. Trust lost is a tragedy. Don’t engage in activities and actions that could tumble that trust. Your audience won’t forget.

How About You?

What actions and activities trip your trust meter?

Summer Streamline: Deleting The Deadwood

Summer Streamline: Deleting The Deadwood



  1. people or things that are no longer useful or productive
  2. useless personnel or material
  3. (in writing) unnecessary words, phrases, or exposition; expendable verbiage.

These definitions were pulled from a variety of sources, after this Google search.

As part of my summer streamline initiative, I’m determined to clear the clutter. I’m also determined to delete some of the deadwood that’s clogging up my creative flow.

Ditching Deadwood Clients

This, for many, is the scariest part of a business audit, summer streamline or deletion of deadwood in your business. Many of us still work for what I call legacy clients. Those clients we took on when we were first starting out.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying all legacy clients are deadwood in need of deletion. I still have one or two clients who’ve been with me since the beginning. But, from time to time we find ourselves clinging to a client who no longer fits our brand, our business, our core message.

Often these clients still expect the same low, sometimes too low, rates that you put in place when you first started your business. Sometimes these clients fail to appreciate that your business has grown, as has your expertise, necessitating a rate increase. Sometimes these clients no longer fit in with the niche direction your brand and business have taken as it continues to evolve.

And sometimes, sadly, clients simply don’t appreciate you. Period.

In any of these instances, it’s okay to clear out when the contract is completed. No contract? Give proper notice, just like you would with a 9-5 job.

Your brand and business can’t shine if you’re still hanging on to clients that hold you back. Think I’m crazy? I’m not the only marketer/designer/freelancer with this topic at top of mind!

Deleting The Fluff And Fairweather From Your Feeds

We all have a few folks in our feeds that never interact, never engage, never acknowledge, never appreciate it if you share their fair to middling content.

My question to you, and myself, why are they filling a valuable spot in our feeds?

Clear ’em out and make room for some new ideas, reads and potential for sharing.

I’ve pretty much stopped sharing from the “by rote” generic sites. You know the ones, they regurgitate the same content they’ve been spewing for years and, even though the content’s not fresh, they’re a “big name” so they get thousands of shares.

You know what, if it works for them – and it obviously does, good for them. But, it doesn’t work for me, nor for my audience. So, I don’t follow those sites, I don’t fill my feeds with content that can only be deemed feed fodder, and I don’t add my single share to their thousands.

The same goes for the fairweather “friends” (and the quotation marks are used advisedly) in my feed.

There is, of course, a reciprocal nature to social sharing. But reciprocity, like anything else in business, has to maintain a balance. Sharing that one article that made me take notice of you, that prompted a connection, isn’t enough. When you go silent and pull a runner shortly after a connection, you’re of little value to me.

I’m looking for the reciprocity of shared ideas, conversation, discussion, even a little discriminating dissent.

When I hear nothing but crickets? Time for a connection to cease.

Do Something With Deadwood Content! But, Don’t Delete It.

We all hope that our content, so carefully crafted, will stand the test of time.

But let’s face it. Evergreen isn’t a description we can attach to everything we write. Some content simply becomes clutter. Or worse, if we continue to share stories that are not longer relevant.

It’s time to undertake a content audit, especially if you use a plug-in like Tweet Old Post. Stop automating the sharing of sucky and sadly outdated information!

Repurpose what you can. Consider retooling reads for use on Medium or Linkedin. Archive or even remove (with the proper set-up of a redirect) anything that no longer adds value or, worse, might do a client harm.

Sharing outdated information isn’t just lazy or vain. It’s dangerous. What if a prospect or a client follows your outdated advice and it works against them? You’ve lost a lead or a client. And you can bet your sweet bippy someone else, down the line, will find out and pass judgment about your value as a business and brand.

Yes, content audits are time consuming. But they’re necessary when you need your entire site, home page to contact page, to provide value.

Wondering If I Practice What I Preach?

I’ve fired three clients over the past two months. I’ve been clearing out my feeds, both content and connections, for the last week. Heck, I’m writing a whole series about the process!

I’m intent upon seriously streamlining by business in order to better represent my brand. It’s not easy. Letting go never is. Especially when it comes to dollars in the bank. But sometimes you must sacrifice in order to set yourself on the path for future success.

I’m willing to do so. How about you?