Tag Archives: Comments

Let Me Count the Ways

4 Jan

Apparently, I’m not the only person who occasionally neglects other parts of her life for the chance to do something social online. I will not reveal my sources to protect the guilty. However, I’m not going to chide all of you and myself for this. I’m not saying we don’t deserve some scolding, but I prefer to think creatively.

First off, let me say that I want to find that staircase with several musical friends and play Fur Elise on it! Then, I want us to count the ways we love social media.

  1. Friends–if we tried to spend as much time face-to-face with our friends as we do with them on social media it wouldn’t work. Social media, particularly mobile social media, lets you have your friends with you all the time even when it wouldn’t be feasible for that to happen physically.
  2. Interactive–Why is a piano more fun than an escalator? One reason is that it reacts to us. You step on it and it makes a noise! We thrive off of interactions and social media lets everything be interactive, even things that are usually static such as eating, running on a treadmill, and even waiting in line.
  3. Recorded–perhaps it’s just ego, but we all love to have a record of what we do. This is a big feature of the new Facebook timeline.
  4. Commentary–not only can we record what we do we can provide commentary for what everyone else does!
  5. Global–this isn’t a feature of every social media platform, but it is of quite a few. It’s one of the reasons I love Flickr and Google+ so much and one of the bonuses of Twitter.

All 5 of these things make social media fun. As the video showed us, people will almost always choose fun even if it’s more effort. So, how can we take these features of social media and make them features of things we procrastinate doing? I’m not asking how we can we put housecleaning, exercise, and bill payments on social media, but how can we make these activities friendly, interactive, recorded, commentative, or global? (Yes, I just made up the word ‘commentative’.) How can we make our unwanted tasks fun?

Let’s take Exercise first.

Recording exercise generates excitement about the activity. It motivates  you to hit the gym just so you can record it! Also, you can keep track of your progress and reward it! Means of recording exercise are pretty well known and they do help significantly. I prefer iOS apps that combine food diary with exercise log. Please post links to your favorite books and apps for recording exercise.

I think we Americans think too statically about exercise. A treadmill may not sound like fun to you so you hop on Facebook instead, but what about swing dancing? Swing dancing is done with other people and is very friendly and interactive, like social media. Does horseback riding in the beautiful outdoors sound better than the lap pool? It’s interactive and challenging and all around fun for some! Beats Twitter any day! Besides we can tell Twitter about it afterwords.

Last, how can exercise be global? I practice a style of Okinawan karate. Just my dojo’s organization has schools in Taiwan, the Philippines, Guatemala, Texas, and all over Oklahoma! There’s an even bigger world when I look outside my organization to other karate kai. Another way exercise can be global is through flash mobs on global holidays!

Come on! Who doesn’t want to do that?!

Next, let’s hit Cleaning.

I have started taking a picture of my desk every time I clean it. I usually then post it to Flickr or Facebook. Then everyone compliments me and says I did a good job. What did I do? I recorded it and opened it up for commentary!

My aunt for many years cleaned her kitchen while talking to her best local friend on the phone who was doing the same thing. A friend makes any task more enjoyable, whether you have them over to help or race each other in separate locations.

Can cleaning be global? Have you ever heard of spring cleaning? That’s an entire hemisphere doing the same thing as you! How many other people are putting away Christmas lights on January 1st? Just search for it on Twitter and find out!

What are you procrastinating doing right now by hanging out online instead? Brainstorm here how to make it fun and then maybe we’ll all go do it!

Do You Have A Comment, Sir?!

21 Dec

I’ve been posting a lot about social media from a business standpoint lately. Let’s shake it up slightly by talking about a way to build your personal professional reputation online. Don’t worry–this is not another how-to plug for LinkedIn. I’m thinking of comments.

You can do a great deal of engaging without having your own blog or Facebook page by posting insightful comments. I have found this to be the best way to engage other experts and professionals in a field. Think about it. You have to know a lot about something to actually write something interesting about it. An ignorant person or a bad writer can make fireworks boring on paper. If  you find an informative, entertaining blog in a subject your profession touches on, you have probably found an influencer. Second, it’s almost as good as brownies when it comes to worming your way into someone’s heart. Anyone who creates reacts like a puppy to beef jerky when it comes to comments. Third, it develops a relationship and keeps your name in front of people–and in a format that has a link to your business too!

What should you comment on? Depends on what part of your online reputation you’re trying to build. Are you trying to connect with former or potential customers or with other professionals in your field? If you have the time I would recommend both. For example, my blog and social media consumption has two main categories: local and marketing.

I’ve talked about the local scene some before. It is very important that I be up on the local scene. It’s my customers’ customers! What are they talking about? What are they doing? What do they like and dislike? Bloggers aren’t average usually, but they’re quite often trend setters. In social media there is a lot crossover between staying up on the local scene and building relationships with potential customers.

Marketing blogs are just for my own education. I want my skills to stay sharp and up-to-date. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’m just following social media blogs. I follow Julie Walraven even though Magic Bottle Marketing does nothing with employment services because Julie uses social media masterfully. And she’s a wonderful person. I follow Jessica Miller-Merrill and Rayanne Thorn because Xceptional HR is a leader in its field (HR) for social media. And because Jessica’s an Okie.

What should you say? I am assuming you are all kind, decent human beings who would never post a spammy comment asking someone to click on anything. You should…

  • Comment more than one sentence. ‘Sweet’ and ‘Cool’ are not real engagement.
  • Ask for clarification or application. Better yet, provide an application or example yourself!
  • Say what you liked about the post.
  • Ask a further question.
  • Relate an experience that confirms or contradicts the article in a succinct manner—they only care how your cat relates to the post, not actually about your cat.

Guy Kawasaki wrote a post specifically about comments on Google+, but I think a lot of it can be applied to any platform.

If you have personal interests that don’t match your business consider using two accounts for comments. I use my personal accounts to comment on friends’  stuff and political blogs. I’m not doing anything I’m ashamed of–it’s just a matter of brand building. I have a personal brand in politics and I don’t want to dilute it or Magic Bottle Marketing’s brand by blending them.

Now, a confession.  I have not fully applied all of this post to myself. You can all hold me accountable now!