Social Sharing: Reduce Rants When You Actually Read!

Social Sharing: Reduce Rants When You Actually Read!

I just got an email, from a “sad” marketer, sharing their sorrow after the accusations and not-so-nice comments they received upon sharing an article that didn’t actually convey their opinions and beliefs.

My initial thought? That happens.

Then, as I continued to read the tale of woe, I realized the “sad” marketer hadn’t actually read the article. She chose to share it based on the title and the image, then unplugged for the weekend. She came back to a shit storm in her comments.

My second thought? Sounds like she got what she deserved!

When You Share By Rote, You Get Rants!

There’s a reason that click bait has become a buzzword. Titles tempt us. They also, far too often, fail to deliver on the idea once you get past the title and into the meat of the read.

To suss this out, though, one must ACTUALLY read the article.

I think we need to coin a new buzzword, or buzz activity might be a more correct moniker … share bait. It’s the title and feature image that screams, SHARE ME.

When social sharing becomes a compulsion to share for the sake of sharing, rather than the careful selection of suitable reads for your peers and prospects, you’ve got a problem!

Can You Back Up The Share?

Consider this. Some of those who see what you share in your feed are going to take action. They might give you a favorite  or like (also not a smart thing to do without ACTUALLY reading that “favorite” content), they might share it too, and they might comment!

Here’s where things can get sticky. If you get called out for the share and you haven’t actually read the article, you’ll get egg (or something worse) on your face my friend.

Being prepared to back up what you share on social media is a topic that should be discussed more openly and often. It goes along with the trust and transparency that have long been lauded as crucial to the social experience.

How long do you think your audience will trust you if you fail to vet and verify the value of the information you’re sharing?

Unsure Share? Don’t Unplug!

The scenario I shared detailing the woes of the “sad” marketer was only made more untenable when she shared a dodgy read and then unplugged for the weekend.

If you read and can relate, before you share, you’ll probably not have any issue. But you might still share a “hot button” article that gets your following a little hot under the collar.

If you’ve taken the time to read and can smartly formulate a response that allows you and your readers to agree to disagree on the specific issue. No read, no real way to get away without admitting you screwed up!

You can’t wander away and leave a potentially hot topic on your social space. You wouldn’t leave candles burning and then leave the house for a three day weekend. You’d worry about fire. Why would you leave a shared article to ignite on your unmonitored social platforms?

Read, Relate & Reap Benefits … Not Rants

Don’t bust out the tired, but tempting, excuse that you’re just TOO BUSY to take the time to read what you share.

It takes minutes to read an article. There’s no measuring the amount of time it will take you to regain the trust of an audience you alienate with a stupid share.

Ever faced the fire after a poorly perceived share? How did you handle the blowback?

The One Thing I Will NOT Do After WordCamp Atlanta!

The One Thing I Will NOT Do After WordCamp Atlanta!

Wordcamp Atlanta Absolutely Rocked!

I had a fantastic weekend full of networking and learning. From the fantastic food to the many new friends made, Wordcamp Atlanta (#wcatl) was a fantastic experience.

The day after a conference or event is often divided between playing catch-up and creating deeper connections with the awesome people you met while attending.

My rainy Monday morning to-do list includes the following:

  • Emailing clients whose projects need updates.
  • Cleaning out the email I didn’t get to read/delete over the weekend.
  • Adding some more handles to #wcatl Twitter list.
  • Connecting with a few folks on Linkedin.
  • Seeing which #wcatl attendees are Google+ geeks like me.
  • Checking out presenter and attendee websites.
  • Checking out presenter and attendee blogs (if applicable) for content to share.
  • Reviewing and setting up some of the tools shared during the weekend presentations.
  • Reviewing and setting up/revising some of the plug-ins shared during the weekend presentations.
  • Making some small tweaks to my own site, based on some of the smarts and best practices shared by event presenters.
  • Doing all of the same for Derek because he’s not the connecter/follower-upper that I am!

That to-do list isn’t complete. It’s actually about double the size, and I certainly won’t be checking off all of those items today, or even this week. But, you’ve now read more than 200 words, and you’d probably like me to make good on my title, so I’ll get to the point.

I Will NOT Be Adding Any Wordcamp Attendees to My Mailing List Without Permission!

Sadly, this is a topic I’ve written about recently, and fairly often in my content marketing past.

My email address and my inbox are sacred. I choose what enters that inner sanctum (to a point of course, I’m trying to create dramatic effect here). I choose which lists to join.

Spamming me will certainly put you on my radar, but not in the most positive of ways, In fact, I’m going to mark you with a yellow card and keep a close eye on you. A second misstep will get you ejected from the game. Yes, I’ve played quite a bit of soccer!

Permission Is Paramount!

We’ve talked briefly, between sessions or over lunch. And I absolutely do want to get to know you a little better. I took your business card or asked for your Twitter handle for that very reason.

And that’s the key. I asked. I did not assume. It’s about choice and willingness on both sides of this new relationship.

You can choose not to follow me on Twitter. You certainly don’t have to connect with me on Linkedin or add me to one of your Google Plus circles. I can follow you and even share your content without taking away your choice.

But if I manually add you to my mailing list, eschewing the opt-in process, I’m taking away your choice. I’m invading your space under an assumption that you want my email content. It’s like me walking up and taking a bite of your conference chocolate chip cookie (they were FABULOUS, BTW) without asking. At the very least you’re going to look at me askance. At worst, you may very well slap my hand or face!

My Inbox, My Choice!

Don’t assume and don’t presume. If someone wants more of your content or wants that content delivered via their inbox, they’ll take the required steps.

I’ll be signing up for a few mailing lists today. I’m also pretty sure I’ll be opting-out of some lists to which I never opted-in. It’s part of doing business the digital way. But it shouldn’t be.

Treat me with respect by treating my inbox with the same regard!

Social Media Smarts: Walk What You’re Talking!

Social Media Smarts: Walk What You're Talking!

I fairly often write about the idea of walking the talk. It’s a concept that many a social media and digital marketer has looked at and discussed. Each month we’re bombarded with new and increasingly ridiculous ways to get ahead and fast and easy. There’s no fast and easy when it comes to building a solid and smart presence online. If you fail to walk the talk and choose to engage in less than legitimate practices, it will follow your brand and your business like a dark cloud for some time to come.

That being said, why are so many new and even established social media marketers drawn to these shady tactics? I’m sharing a few of my thoughts with you today.

They’ll Never Notice | Those Rules Don’t Apply to Me:

Though I probably shouldn’t be, I am still shocked to see how many supposedly socially savvy “names”, be they big or small, feel that there’s nothing wrong with blatantly ignoring the unwritten rules of social engagement. It’s not as blatant as it used to be, of course. Remember, way back when, all of the ridiculous ruses to add contact information to cover images on Facebook? Right? Wrong. Those pages lost my like. Did that impact them much? Probably not. But I see the same things happening lately, whether it’s blatant disregard to stated terms of service or individuals simply engaging in gray area, murky tactics that leave many a marketer with a bad taste in the mouth.

Consider this. Daniel Newman of Millennial CEO recently launched a discussion regarding the practice of tagging a multitude of followers in posted memes and motivational quotes. This isn’t a photo in which any of these individuals actually appear. It’s generally a quote layered over stock photograph or a cat or dog meme. While I admit to not being a big fan of either kind of post in general, I’d not take offense if a colleague or peer chose to cater the occasional meme post to me.

And there’s the problem. It’s not catered to me or occasional. The individuals who engage in this practice do it daily, if not multiple times daily, and they randomly tag as many of their followers/friends as they possibly can. Why? Reach. Pure and simple. Which is? Selfish! Pure and simple. You’re not looking to reach out to me with a thought. You’re looking to increase the likelihood of your post getting seen. It has nothing to do with me. In this instance, you’re using me and everyone else you tag as a tool. Not cool.

Too many unwritten, but well understood, rules are being ignored. And certainly not just on Facebook. The tagging things happens on Instagram, A LOT. And there’s my favorite, the asinine auto-DM. How many times do we need to write about the woes of idiotic automation? Twitter isn’t the culprit, you are.

I’m A Little Guy So It Won’t Hurt Anyone:

Remember all of the contest criminality in Facebook’s past. Sadly, many a marketer didn’t learn from that. Contests continue to be a gray are where tawdry tactics taint what the sanctity of social. Pinterest has rules. Instagram has rules. Why can’t certain individuals play by those rules?

Looking beyond contests, let’s consider spam. I’ve been delivered a rash of ridiculously spammy messages on Linkedin lately. When did that become acceptable? It hasn’t!

I too often see newer social media marketers engaging in these tactics, hoping to get ahead. It’s not easy to get started in this business. When you have a low follower count, you might not be seen as the real deal by many who call themselves social media experts.

But is cheating or gaming the system really gaining you an edge? Thinking that you’re small and no one will notice if you engage in less than smart and savvy marketing practices is silly. Nothing on social ever really goes unseen. What happens if someone you really admire, someone you’d like to work with, sees what you’re doing? You can’t do anything that will make it unseen.

Follower Fixation | Failure to Follow:

How often do we see big name experts with tens of thousands of followers who only follow a minuscule 2-300? I see it all the time. What do I “see” when I see this? I see someone who doesn’t see much value in keeping abreast of the thoughts of others. I see someone who is interested in broadcasting their own content and ideas rather than sharing the best content and ideas with their followers. I see someone engaged in a one-way broadcast rather than taking part in a conversation, someone interested in shouting rather than listening.

Love for Sale | Also Known as Back Scratch Fever:

Likes, connections and the act of circling aren’t commodities to trade like baseball cards or beanie babies. I can’t tell you how many times a day I see something resembling this statement in my feed or in private messages:

I have just liked/connected/circled you, and I would really appreciate it if you would return the favor.

Yeah, ummmmmmm, your business and, thus, your online presence is all about parakeet grooming in Redwood City, CA. I have three cats and I live in Tucker, GA. Where’s the draw, the value, the impetus for me to like your page? And if I was even slightly intrigued, that message, which is basically begging, would quickly change my mind.

Reciprocity does rule in social media marketing, but there’s a right and a wrong way to go about it. There are no favor connections. Real reciprocity requires social savvy and smarts on both sides of the relationship, as well as mutual respect. I certainly don’t respect messages like the one above. Who would?

The One Way Highway: Also Known As Me Me Me Me Me!

This behavior shows up on every platform, so there’s really no hiding from it. It showcases itself in a variety of ways, including:

  • Blast Posting | Feed Takeovers | Digital Diarrhea – you know, 15 tweets within 15 seconds, etc.
  • Inspirational Quotes with no “introduction” or follow up from the poster as to why they find them important. So, why should I?
  • Caption this photos trying to take advantage of the extra engagement that photos are prone to get, except the photo is lame and has nothing to do, whatsoever, with your business or your audience.
  • Fill in the blanks of the same type in order to get the most “reach”.

My little list barely skims the surface. So come on, help me “fill in the blanks” a bit. What gets your goat when it comes to the “names” that seem more intent on remaining a name than in actually working within the proper social circles. Everyone loves an opportunity to clear the air and even get a little rant on, so have at it!

In closing, I continue to remove the “Like” from a lot of Facebook pages, unfollow a lot of Twitter accounts and even disconnect from a handful of Linkedin accounts. Did my own numbers plunge? Nope. On the contrary, they’re rising – even on Facebook! People like seeing someone take a stand, even a small one. If we each take these small stands, we will “save” social. If we all walk the talk, every day…it’s going to get us to a valuable and viable destination.

Seriously? Steve, Show Some Social Sensibility!

Seriously? Steve, Show Some Social Sensibility!

Two different marketers named Steve sent me automated Twitter DM’s, asking me to connect on Linkedin.

My response to this less than stellar and smart social media method.

I’m Shaking My Head, Steve …

We’ve been connected less than five minutes. On Twitter, arguably one of the most informal social networks when it comes to reaching out and connection building.

I admit it, I reached out to you, setting this whole thing off. I followed you on Twitter. We’re both marketers, I spend a lot if time and energy on Twitter … I guess I figured you might be a good bet for a connection that might lead to some conversation, discussion and maybe some shared ideas.

Then you pounced and pulverized my protocols. Yep, you messed with my mojo.

I Take Social Seriously

I’ve talked about this before, in an article where I discussed the difference between taking social seriously vs. literally.

I take social media marketing pretty seriously, as it’s a big part of my livelihood, of course. I understand that there are varying levels of formality and permission attached to different social media platforms.

Twitter, in the overall scheme of things, is fairly informal. It’s very easy to connect with individuals with whom you’ve never had a single conversation. It’s a simple click.

In my, probably less than humble (I’m just being honest), opinion, Linkedin should be anything but informal. There should be some reason, some meaning, no matter how small, behind each connection attempt.

Like what?

  • Did we both attend an industry or local networking event?
  • Do we often engage in discussion in the same social media groups and forums?
  • Do we have a client or colleague in common?
  • Have we had even the barest of bare bones conversation ANYWHERE?

If I can’t answer yes to any of those questions, I’m loathe to try to connect on Linkedin. I’d feel pushy and spammy.

Others may choose not to adhere to the same strict guidelines. Although, really, I don’t think anything I posted in bullet points is all that strict or stern. Instead I’d say it’s sensible.

In fact I often get the “dreaded” default connection message from individuals on Linkedin. Depending on who it is, and the industry in which they work, I might just connect despite the less than personalized approach.

But, and this is a pretty BIG but, that default message came via Linkedin.

Simmer Down, Steve!

It’s quite possible that one, or both, of the Steves who messaged me had the best of intentions. But you jumped the gun, dudes!

Can’t we let our Twitter connection marinate a little bit before we add to the recipe?

Let’s share a few tweets back and forth. Can we see if we’re a good match on Twitter before we deepen the relationship and go on a road trip to other social media venues.

An auto-DM that you send to everyone who unwittingly chooses to connect with you on Twitter? It doesn’t make you look on-top-of your social media game. It makes you look like someone who doesn’t care enough to take part in real time. It’s robotic, and not really very social at all.

And, immediately asking me to connect on Linkedin, which I consider the most formal of social media platforms? Way too soon!

Share Your Thoughts With Steve!

So, did Steve do anything wrong? Or am I just overly sensitive and snarktastic? If this could have been handled a little more socially, I’d love to know what advice you’d share with our DM delinquent. Take it away in the comments below!

Dear Big Name Marketer: Thoughts From A Small Timer

Dear Big Name Marketer: Thoughts From A Small Timer

Yesterday I received an email from a quite well known (at least in digital marketing circles) social media expert. That’s really nothing new, as I’ve opted in to several newsletters to help keep me as up to date as possible on all things social and digital marketing.

This email though, really got my hackles up. Got me feeling a little bit ranty. In fact I unsubscribed from the list.

I do have to thank this marketer, perhaps with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek, for the idea for this post, however!

So, dear big name in the biz, this small timer would like to share a few thoughts with you.

Don’t Assume I’m An Idiot!

Consider your list carefully. While you might have your fair share of absolute newbs, it’s also a good guess that you’ve got some marketers with a smaller following, who are still fairly well established in the field.

With that in mind, stop with the schoolmarm shares. We don’t need you to smack our hand with a ruler for silly infractions. Why not? We’ve been in the trenches long enough to know better and your assumption that we don’t is ridiculous.

Dig in a little and share some useful professional knowledge, something beyond the basics that showcases your unique understanding of digital marketing practices and showcases your online clout. I mean, you’re an expert, right?

Your Way Is NOT The Only Way!

And shockingly, what works for you might actually make others shudder.

I can’t tell you how many “experts” I see resorting to sharing mindless fluff like the motivational quote, ridiculously off topic question, and cute cat meme variety.

Don’t get me wrong, I engage in the occasional #Caturday post and discussion, as I love my sweet feline beasties. But every day? No way.

I’m following you to gain some insights into better marketing practices and ideas. I can get motivational quotes and silly photos anywhere.

You certainly wouldn’t create a strategy for a client that included an overabundance of cute and kitsch rather than the sharing of interesting, informative and intelligent information that might actually result in leads and prospects? Would you?

Practice What You Preach!

if you can’t walk the walk, you shouldn’t talk the talk. Cliche? Yes, but also very true. And a tenet that many a smaller marketer will hope that you follow.

Don’t boast the benefits of the 80/20 rule then let me see your Twitter and Google+ feeds full of ONLY your own posts.

If you preach the idea that you should show appreciation for shares, then NEVER acknowledge those shares? You look like an ass. There, I said it. If you’re that busy, hire a staffer to monitor your mentions.

If I share your article every day, I don’t feel that you need to thank me for each and every one, but an occasional favorite and a short and sweet “thanks for sharing” message will go a long way to keep me sharing.

Shockingly, we notice when you don’t. And then we pay even more attention the next time we share!

Embrace The Real Idea of Evergreen!

We already talked about not filling your feed with only your own articles, but I’d like to take that one step further.

If you’re going to share only your own stuff, be up front about it. And more importantly, make sure the content is still timely, relevant, and – above all, CORRECT.

Sharing old articles about Facebook can REALLY showcase your lack of effort. Facebook has made so many changes over the years that you simply can’t just set up automatic sharing of all of your archived articles.

If a newbie reads it, they might do something that at present violates Facebook terms of service. And if a smaller, but smart and savvy marketer sees it, they’re going to ding you for sharing out of date information, not-so smart automation practices, and maybe even some hubris.

With That Being Said …

Let me state, loudly and proudly, that there are plenty of big name marketers more than worth their big name. These peeps know who they are because they walk their talk daily.

They engage in conversation and discussion with the followers who seek out and share their content and do not belittle those with whom they are conversing.

They respond to blog comments with a unique reply specific to the individual commenting.

They create new, unique, and compelling content each time they publish. There’s no rehashing of ideas already well discussed and debated.

I avidly follow many a big name and do my best to read and share (always read before sharing, even trusted sources) the articles and posts that appeal and resonate with me and my audience.

But to the big names that aren’t so savvily social, won’t you take a minute to think on what I’ve shared?

Social Media: Is It Really Our “Right” To Immediately Complain?

Social Media: Is It Really Our "Right" To Immediately Complain?

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it at least sixty-seven times (I don’t think I can come close to claiming 1,000 or 1,000,000) … I have a reputation for the rant.

I admit it, I don’t try to hide it. I’m up front and open about the fact that my writing style often employs language and tone that comes across as a rant.

That being said, you might have noted that my rants don’t call out actual individuals or companies. In fact, they don’t name any names at all.

Instead, I call out actions, rant about decisions and idiotic ideas, and try to create discussion around various topics, rather than various people or brands.

You might be shocked to know that I rarely tweet or post Facebook messages when a product or service lets me down.

Private vs. Public

Everything I’ve ever been taught about business and effectively handling conflicts says you absolutely DO NOT spout off in public. You take the time to step back and discuss negative issues in private, while you share any good news with the group.

I consider most social media discussions, if they’re not undertaken within private messages, to be public conversations. I prefer, whenever possible, to discuss outages, failure to deliver and other less than stellar customer service actions or customer experience woes in private. Generally by email or chat. I’m not a fan of the phone.

Why Private?

Why not just let my rant rip across social media channels?

Call me crazy, but I don’t think even big brands deserve to be bombarded with negative press, delivered across social channels, until I’ve got the complete picture.

Was the outage or disruption caused by a hacker’s attack? If so, the brand is already under enough pressure trying to find and deliver the correct fix. Do they really need to waste resources addressing the tweets of overly pissy peeps?

When it comes to digital services, from website hosting to mention monitoring and social scheduling, we have to consider hacks, especially the dreaded DDoS attacks. Should your site ever undergo that kind of attack, don’t you hope your clients understand and don’t immediately blast you via Twitter, Google+ or Facebook?

Service With A Smile?

I applaud companies like A2 Hosting and Buffer for keeping their clients well informed when they suffer attacks that take down their system and stymie the services we’ve all come to rely upon to run our digital businesses.

I do not applaud the companies that ignore the disruptions and don’t keep their client base informed about what they’re doing to remedy the situation.

Service with a smile means sometimes you have to smile through the pain of whatever you’re dealing with and provide the proper information to your clients and customers.

Social media makes it very easy to keep us informed. Tweet it. Share the situation on Facebook and Google+. Take a picture of whatever’s broken and share it on Instagram.

If you keep us informed and let us know you’re actively engaged in the fix, we’re less likely to complain.

Take It To Social?

Do I ever take my complaints to a social level? Yes, I have had to do so on occasion.

Why? Generally because the company ignored my attempts to get the situation sorted privately.

At that time, I take to Twitter and try to deliver a message that states the outage is affecting me, and my own clients, and I’d appreciate a heads up as to whether or not a solution is coming any time soon.

Sadly, this tends to FINALLY get me a response.  Even more sadly, it’s generally a too little, too late apology or lame excuse. Something that doesn’t beg much love for the brand, if you know what I mean.

How about you?

How soon do you take complaints social?

Connection Confession: You’re Really NOT All That!

Connection Confession: You're Really NOT All That!

I can already feel it. This could be it. This article just might be the one that lands me in more than a little trouble!

With a title like the one above, this article could go in so many different directions. But, in order to keep on topic, I’m going to focus on one key issue that I see far too often on Google+ and Twitter.

I got the idea for this article ages ago, after seeing Jimmie Lanley’s fantastic 12 Most article, 12 Most Crippling Mindset Hurdles on Google+. When I read the 12th mindset hurdle I wanted to clap out loud and pat Jimmie on the back for saying something I’d been thinking for quite some time.

But, since I don’t always flesh out my article ideas right away, I stewed on this one for a while. And the more I thought about it, the more I pondered several disturbing conversations from my past, on Twitter chats and in Facebook groups. And I knew I had to take it a step further.

Weird People Are Circling You?

So, someone new wants to make a connection with you? Great, that’s the basic premise behind having a presence on social media platforms. Connections that hopefully build and grow into relationships that provide the means for collaborative efforts or more.

But that newest connection? He’s weird and you just don’t like it.

What makes him weird? His name? The color of his skin? His native language. The very fact that it’s a him, as you’ll note I haven’t once mentioned a her?

I’m calling out bullshit!

Ever consider that the white bread American name you find so normal might be “weird” to him?

This is not something I see only amidst my digital marketing peers (just some of them, thankfully), although – sadly, I’ve seen way too many threads that discuss how horrible it is that weird men are trying to follow them or make a connection on Google+ or Twitter. When the same topic started cropping up from clients, especially those just starting out and trying to build connections and following, I knew I couldn’t let this article idea sit fallow any longer.

So, here’s the simple truth …

Ladies, You’re Not All That!

The Asian, Arab and African men trying to make a connection with you on Google+, Twitter, even Linkedin? They aren’t all bedazzled by your online charms. They aren’t all hoping to make you their beautiful American brides!

Shockingly enough, many of them have some of the same business interests that you do. You know, interests like marketing, social media, SEO, tech tools, start-ups, etc.

And while their connection attempts might not be perfect, that’s not an issue solely attributed to their sex and nationality. I’ve seen plenty of white, middle-America men and women send out generic connection requests on Linkedin, haven’t you?

Creepy isn’t defined by any race, nationality, creed or gender. Creepy is just creepy. And, being completely honest, the only creepy come-on I’ve ever received on Google+, or any other platform, came from a good old boy, straight out of America’s heartland. It was icky. GACK!

It’s Just A Connection!

As Jimmie so smartly stated in the article I linked above, you don’t have to return the connection if it feels off. You don’t have to add him to any of your circles and you don’t have to follow back on Twitter. You can easily ignore his connection request on Linkedin.

But consider why you’re doing it before you decide that the connection isn’t a good one. Does he share content you find relevant? Does he take part in some of the same groups and communities that you do? Could it be that he’s just a dude that shares some of your business and marketing interests? More often than not, I think, you’ll find that to be the case.

Are you really SO vain that you think that every male of a certain ethnicity wants to ask you out on a date? Honey, you’re really NOT all that and a bag of chips.

Social Smarts: Rant With Relevance

Social Smarts: Rant With Relevance

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, only occasionally poking your head out when Anton or Derek publish an article, completely missing everything I’ve ever published, you already know that I have a reputation for the rant.


verb (used without object)

1. to speak or declaim extravagantly or violently; talk in a wild or vehement way; rave.

verb (used with object)

2. to utter or declaim in a ranting manner.

Rant With Relevance

I’m not going to deny that I frequently rant, but my rants are delivered with careful intent and purpose. Ranting simply to rant soon loses any appeal.

A well intentioned rant is a vehicle to deliver knowledge. It’s a means for generating discussion. The intent is to entertain while you educate, in a punchy fashion. The purpose is to bring to light a mistake or misconception in the hope of enlightening the reader to other options.

If your rant isn’t relevant, meaning it doesn’t offer up solutions to the issue that caused it, you’re using the power rant with nefarious intent. You’re hoping only to draw eyes to your site. It’s click bait.

Your audience is smart, they’ll soon be on to such tactics and it won’t bode well for you.

Rethink that Rant!

Even with the proper intent and purpose behind the rant, they sometimes go awry.

You might want to reconsider your rant if:

1. It’s a topic already really well ranted by your peers and colleagues and your rant adds nothing new or interesting. There’s nothing like latching on to what’s popular and hanging on with a death grip. Wait, actually – that’s not such a good idea!

If it’s been said and done, it’s been said and done. Possibly better than you could say it yourself. Possibly by someone with a very large following that has spread it far and wide. If this is the case the discussion you are hoping to generate has already taken place. You’re simply rehashing what worked for someone else.

If you can’t add to the argument with your own unique perspective or offer a unique solution, you should rethink that rant!

2. The article upon which you’re ranting actually agrees with your opinion. Yeah, YIKES! We often see this in our busy, fast-paced industry.

I blame it on those who don’t actually read an article or post in full before they decide to go off. I also blame the pervasive need to craft incendiary titles. Titles which often have absolutely nothing to do with the final idea presented by an article or post.

Once again, we’re talking click bait, even though it’s often well intentioned.

It’s important that you read the ENTIRE article, from start to finish, before you decide to go off on a tear and show your audience that you’re ever so much smarter than the original author.

Failure to do so could leave you with egg on your face, as we’ve seen time and again that the provocative title doesn’t always match up with the content delivered.

3. It’s absolutely irrelevant to your audience. We get it, you’re a diehard. A fanatic. An enthusiast. From college football to healthy living, we all have something not tied to our business that we embrace effusively. And of course we want to bring our friends, family and peers on board.

The problem, though, occurs when we use our business vehicle (not the company van, I’m talking about your content delivery systems – your blog and social channels) to deliver our rants (or raves).

Our followers signed on or signed up hoping to receive our business expertise. While there’s nothing wrong with sharing some, even a lot, of who we are outside of our business, the focus must remain on the relevant topic. The topic which gained you the audience in the first place.

When we start using our business blog and social channels too often to champion causes and deliver rants relating to slights to our favorite TV show or soccer team, we shift the focus. If that focus gets hidden too deeply, we lose our hold on the very group seeking our expertise.

Have you ever seen a well intentioned rant go awry. What happened? Did our rant about rants manage to stay on topic?


If You Don’t ASK, There’s No Yes or No!

At some point in your social media or digital marketing career, you’re going to face a time when you need to ask a bigger name in your industry to help you.

It can be scary to ask, for anything. We get that. Being told NO is never nice.

But if we spend too much time prevaricating and pausing because we’re worried we’ll get a negative response, we just might miss out on some fabulous and, hopefully, mutually beneficial opportunities.

If I Don’t Ask, I’ll Have No Guests To Interview!

After a less than well-planned first outing as a podcaster I’m settling into a partnership with Brooke Ballard of B Squared Media to launch a new podcast. Part of any such endeavor involves asking our peers and colleagues if they’ll take part in an interview.

Brooke and I spent almost an hour making an initial “ask” list. And while the making of the list was exciting and almost intoxicating, we’re not fool enough to think we’re going to “land” everyone we ask.

There are many reasons someone might say no to your interview request (or any other request, but we’re attaching this to our podcast launch, so we’re talking interview requests). Those reasons might include:

  • He or she has a full plate at the time of your request.
  • He or she would like to see if the venture proves successful before they sign on.
  • He or she isn’t sure your audience is their audience.
  • He or she isn’t sure your audience is big enough at the time of your request.
  • He or she may feel that your connection isn’t deep enough to grant the request.

I think the final reason happens more often than we’d like to believe. Why? Because far too many social media users consider the simple act of clicking follow to equal an actual connection. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Connections Take Time. Relationships Take Even Longer!

Clicking the follow, friend or like button is just the first step. The road to creating real connections that last and have the potential to become even longer lasting relationships is a long one.

That initial click is only the beginning of the connection. Trust and respect are earned over time, never with a simple click of a mouse or quick send of a less than well planned DM.

It’s important that you take the time to converse, share and get to know your connections before you presume to ask them for anything. Otherwise they’re rightly going to assume that your reason for connection was simply personal gain.

Want a YES the next time you ask?

Any and all requests will have more merit have a better chance at an affirmative answer if you take the time to create a real connection.

Of course you have to ask the question before you have any chance at any response at all, be it yes or no. And yes, as we already shared, the act of asking can be a little bit daunting. But it shouldn’t be.

Why not? Because you’re a smart and savvy user of social platforms who understands that it’s about the relationship and the respect long before it’s about the request!

What do you think? Have anything to add to this conversation? We’d love to chat it out in the comments section!

Take Back Twitter: Ditch The Dumb DM!

A while back I wrote an article about the kinds of responses I’d love to send to ridiculous automated direct messages sent on Twitter. It was, of course, written in my regular tongue-in-cheek, snarky fashion, but I hope it offered up a few truths.

Yet the dumb DMs keep on coming. Not that I really thought one article was going to put a stop to the practice.

Let’s Take Back Twitter!

Maybe if we band together and share some more ridiculous examples, we can slowly turn at least a few of these challenged souls away from making this their response to any new Twitter connection.

Some “stellar” examples from my feed and my responses:

Thanks for the follow. Due to spam/viruses on DMs, I prefer mentions. I don’t reply here. Cheers!

Yet sent to me via, you guessed it, DM!

Welcome & Thanks for Follow. Please Retweet my tweet at:
Thanks in Advance

Yeah, we just connected. Do you think we could actually say hello and get to know one another before you try to drag me into retweeting your crappy service to my followers. It’s not going to happen, EVER, but at least ease into it. Sheesh!

Welcome to our design world! Let me know if you’d like a website. Send me a message here, or email.

Perhaps you could have taken the 2.5 seconds necessary to verify that we, indeed, are web designers!

Thanks for following. I will surprise you with interesting tweets!

As if everyone else in my feed is an utter moron throwing the same old uninteresting and craptastic tweets my way!

Hi gotweetsgo, Thanks for Connecting, Hope you are doing great. I do website designs for €99. Need one get in touch

Not only couldn’t you take the time to suss out that I’m a web designer, but you also want to undercut my pricing so that you win all of the cheap bastard business! Have at it!

Thanks for following me! I greatly appreciate your support! Have a look at my books at -via @justunfollow

Wow. We haven’t even exchanged names and I don’t know your sign, but you’re already hawking your latest book? Smooth!

Hi Go Creative Go!, Could we partner on gear reviews? … or 555-555-5555

Guessing this fellow thinks that because we provide social media services for a bicycle components company, we’re also ready to review all sorts of sports gear. Not so much.

Hi Go, We’ve succumb to G+, mind giving a follow and +1? … Tks!

I’m not impressed that you think I’ll be impressed that you’ve “succumbed” to Google+. Perhaps you should have asked me what I thought about the platform (I’m a fan) before you put the kaibash on me connecting with you there, or anywhere else. Unfollow! Oh, and spell out thanks for pity’s sake. We’re not 13.

Have any stellar examples of stunningly stupid DMs arrived in your Twitter inbox lately? We’d love for you to share with us. And, of course, include the snarky reply you wish you could send in response!