Aug 212012
 

As a social media marketer and online brand positioning strategist, I have had extensive experience building online brands and social media campaigns for companies. These companies range from solo entrepreneurs to small local businesses to national corporations to international entities.

Over the course of my experience, I have found that my favorite group to work with is the solo entrepreneur. Mostly because I enjoy seeing their eyes light up as they figure out how DOABLE social media marketing and online branding is! For the folks who have more time than money, it is exciting to realize how much of their marketing, customer service, and brand positioning can be done for free online.

This blog is for you – the solo entrepreneur. If you are willing to learn how to do the work yourself, I am here to help you learn how to use social media to drive your brand online. Let’s get started, shall we?

Apr 222012
 
Twylah - Social Media Tools

You may be asking yourself, what the heck are these wacky words? XeeMe? XWeek? Twylah? Are these even real words?

Yup, these are real words! Two of these words are the names of two social media tools and the other word is the name of a social media event. If you are involved in social media marketing, you may be interested to know a lot more about all three of these wacky words. :)

XeeMe is my favorite social media presence tool. It is used to organize and promote all of your social media presence links. You can see all the reasons I love XeeMe here at XeeMe-A Great Social Media Presence Tool  I think everyone in social media should have a XeeMe.

Twylah is my new favorite twitter platform. It takes all of your existing tweets and puts them into a format that is SEO friendly, social media friendly, and so very eye-catching. To see all the things I really love about Twylah, check out my last post New Features Make Twylah A Social Media Must-Have Tool

XWeek is a an event where the leaders and power-networkers of XeeMe focus on a learning about and promoting a specific emerging social media tool. XWeek takes place every other week to help social media marketers make the most out of social media, and to stay at the forefront of emerging social media technology. You really should take advantage of XWeek. It is free and awesome and you get to know great social media networkers and the CEOs of some really slick social media tools.

This week’s XWeek focus was on “Twylah” by Eric and Kelly Kim.

On April 18th, there was a webinar with Eric Kim. On April 19th, there were two twitter chats with Kelly Kim. XeeMe power-networkers also wrote blog posts about Twylah, made List.lys, and did a  video interview. The privacy policy of Twylah was analyzed, and, most exciting of all, there were new features in Twylah announced.

My personal experience with this week’s XWeek was awesome.  I was able to meet and speak with Eric and Kelly both. They are both really great people. I was able to truly understand Twylah and to have my eyes opened about what an amazing tool it is. The social media addict part of me loves it for its social value, while my SEO side is totally geeked out about the possibilites to marry twitter socialness with search engine optimization.

I want to close out this Twylah focused Xweek by urging everyone in social media to get a XeeMe and their Twylah. XeeMe’s are easy to obtain and take a little bit of time to setup. Twylah is a bit tougher to get but is an absolute zero effort breeze to set up. I am pretty confident that if you say request your Twylah invite and let Kelly or Eric know via Twitter that you heard about Twylah from XWeek, you will receive your invite right away.

To show you the values of XeeMe and Twylah – I am closing out this article with links on behalf some of the XWeek supporters. Connect with them through their XeeMe. You can see their Klout, their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other profiles on their XeeMe. Get to know what they talk about via their Twylah. Maybe they are interested in the same things you are and you can make another great social media connection.

But before I close, I want to let you know that the next few XWeeks are already scheduled and planned.

Upcoming XWeeks
Qwikr.me – week of April 30 <–Sign up here to take part in the next XWeek!
Connect.Me – week of May 14
Favo.rs – week of May 21 

Please sign up for these social media services (Qwikr.mr, Connect.me, and Favo.rs) and become familiar with them. Join us for the related Xweek and speak directly with the owners and power users of these platforms and explore any questions you have or learn about best practices.

I really hope to see you during the next XWeek with Kimberly Reynolds of Qwikr.me starting on April 30.

And now, to close, some XWeek supporters and their XeeMe/Twlah links. If you have a XeeMe or a Twylah link, please feel free to add your links below in the comment sections. **If you put your comment in the COMLUV comment section, you can use keywords after your name in the name box and receive a link to your latest blog post.**

DON’T FORGET TO PUT YOUR OWN LINKS IN THE COMLUV SECTION!

Apr 192012
 
Twylah on XeeMe XWeek: Social Media Tools

TWYLAH IS MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY TWITTER

Twylah is a true social media tool ripe with SEO and social media awesomeness. And, they just added some truly awesome features that make it even more awesome. Awesomer, if you will.

And the bonus part: Twylah is EASY. Like hands off, do nothing easy.

Maybe your experience with Twylah was like mine. When I first saw Twylah, I was like, “Oh, pretty page for my tweets! Sweet!” I didn’t get it. I didn’t know why I needed it. I just signed up for it and pretty much forgot about it.

But during XWeek, I have been able to see Twylah through the eyes of its founders, Eric Kim and Kelly Kim.  I finally feel like I “get Twylah”.

And, now that I “get” Twylah, especially with the features I’m telling you about in this post, I have realized that I “need” Twylah.

TWYLAH – THE SOCIAL MEDIA TOOL WITH  SEO AND SOCIAL MEDIA BENEFITS

With Twylah capturing my tweets and putting them into the gorgeous format that they do, my Twylah page contains enough keyword  rich content to be absolutely delicious to the search bots. My tweets don’t just disappear into the ether in 8 seconds (like they do on Twitter) – they find a home on my Twylah and stick around for a while! Long enough to shake hands with Google and tell Google how totally awesome I am. :)

BUT, LET’S TAKE THOSE SEO AND SOCIAL MEDIA BENEFITS EVEN FURTHER

So, it is awesome that my tweets are indexed and formatted on a gorgeous page and that they can now flirt and hang out with the google bots.  I am trying to get MY SITE hanging out with the bots. Not Twylahs! (No offense, Kelly and Eric Kim of Twylah.  Sorry. It’s the truth!) How can Twylah help Google notice my website even more?

Well, with two minutes of work in my cpanel and another 2 minutes to send an email, I am able to move my Twylah from it’s home on Twylah to its new home on Social-Drivers! YUP. HERE. On my site! http://tweets.social-drivers.com. Haha, so come play over here Google!

Did you go see my Twylah page on that link?  Isn’t is so great how it has a link right at the top that says, “back to Social Drivers”?? My Twylah page didn’t have that before! But now it does, and it is on my site, which I totally appreciate.

Oh yeah, and for more Google yumminess – my Twylah has google analytics. Sweet, huh??

But we’re not done yet.  (Ginzu knife commercial flashback, anyone?)

EVEN MORE SEO AND SOCIAL MEDIA BENEFITS FROM TWYLAH

Here is a new feature which has me totally stoked. I can now add a widget to my blog which brings some of that Twylah goodness to every post on my site. I am sure you noticed that terrific, keyword dense “trending for @mindykoch) widget on my page. That is from Twylah. Aren’t those keywords great? Yeah, those are all things that I want this blog and my online digital identity (my professional brand) to be known for. SEO. Social Media. Marketing. And Twylah gives me that.

If you have a Twylah, you can get your widget code by logging in and go to resources. SO, GO DO IT!!

And, just so you know, this is “HOT OFF THE PRESSES” newness here. As of the time of this writing, Twylah hadn’t even sent out the email informing its members of this option. So, depending on when you read this, you may be the first to know about this! Fun, huh?

BUT WAIT, I’M NOT DONE YET :)

I know. Your head is spinning and my post is too long. (My posts are always too long! GAH!) But it is true. There is more Twylah goodness to know about.

I am talking about the POWER TWEET. They are like Tweets. With Power. Which, I am sure you can see is much better than tweets without power.

So, this morning I sent out a tweet about “XWeek” – which is an event going on this week where my number one favorite social media tool, XeeMe, introduces us to other awesome social media tools.  Like Twylah. This week it is “All Twylah, All The Time”. So, I sent out a tweet that said

“It isn’t over yet! You have time to join us on #XWeek as we get to know #Twylahhttp://twy.la/IpnGnX (Please RT!)”

I sent that tweet from my Twylah at http://tweets.social-drivers.com and used the “Power Tweet” option at the top. What happened when I sent that power tweet?

I created an entire page of content for my site! Keyword rich and a long lasting!! Just from sending a tweet! Check it out! Take the link above and see where it goes! (While you are there, do take the link to sign up to participate in XWeek. It is free. And brilliant.)

AND NOW THE ICING ON THE TWYLAH SOCIAL MEDIA TOOL CAKE.

Twylah is set it and forget it. Worst case scenario, you just join Twylah and let Twylah take over from there. Simple and great. It works for you in the background even if that is all you do. You never have to touch it again.

But, with 4 minutes of work on your end, Twylah moves all that goodness onto your own site on a subdomain. (Then it can be set it and forget it again.)

And, with another 2 minutes of work, Twylah moves that goodness onto your main domain in a widget. (Once again, after that – set it and forget it automagic goodness.)

Or, to really maximize your Twylah SEO and social media goodness, in the time it takes you to send a Tweet, Twylah builds you a keyword rich content page on your own site.

I hope I have been able to share with you how great I think Twylah is. I am so glad I finally “GET IT”!

A few last minute marching orders, if you will! :)

1. PLEASE COMMENT ON THIS POST **IN THE COMLUV COMMENTS SECTION (not the Triberr comments section)** AND LEAVE YOUR LINKS TO YOUR TWYLAH AND TO YOUR XEEME IF YOU HAVE THEM! I WOULD LOVE TO HELP PROMOTE YOUR LINKS! PLUS, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE DOFOLLOW, YES, I SAID, DOFOLLOW LINK TO YOUR BLOG AND YOUR BLOG POSTS.

2. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, please do so on the side panel. I have several beta invitations that I gained access to this week that are new and on the hush hush!! You get to be the early adopters!

3. Come join us on XWeek as we explore more about Twylah.  Here is what is going on for the rest of the week! (ALSO – PLEASE SCROLL DOWN BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY COMMENTS
 TweetChat HashTag: #xweek – Thu April 19
We are running two Tweet-Chats together with Twylah co-founder Kelly Kim:
- Thursday 4/19 afternoon 4PM PST / 7 PM EST / 9 AM (Friday) Sydney time
- Friday 4/20 morning 9AM PST / 12:00 PM EST / 6 PM Central European Time.

A great way to ask questions directly to the leadership team from Twylah and get to know experienced users.

Join the twebevent/tweetchat

Blogposts
Some of the most experienced XeeMe Power Networker includingMindy Koch with her blog Social Drivers and Michelle Harris with her blog Digital Business UK as well as the XeeMe team will post some latest experience and background information about Twylah. This way you will get some great additional insight!

Video Interview
Together with the new ‘Social Media Television’ from Olaf Kracht we will conduct a video interview with one of the executives. Even more to learn about Twylah.

Product of the week
As product of the week, we reviewed privacy policy and other aspects of Twylah. You can see it all on our Social Media Directory

 

 Mindy Koch
See my entire social presence at http://xeeme.com/mindykoch
Apr 152012
 
Social Media Pillars

My very good friend (and I don’t mean that lightly), Michael Q. Todd has challenged me to write a blog post about my social media experience and how I am doing in “The 7 Pillars of Social Media“. If you are a fan of his already, then you are familiar with this concept. If not, here are the 7 Pillars, as I understand them. You can get a much better explanation from Michael at http://www.michaelqtodd.com/7pillars

  • Pillar 1: Be Niched – Get Focused!
  • Pillar 2: Be Savvy – Smart Tools!
  • Pillar 3: Be Likable – Great Content!
  • Pillar 4: Be Social – Consistently Interactive
  • Pillar 5: Be Real – Location, Activities
  • Pillar 6: Be Sharable – Promote Others
  • Pillar 7: BE GREAT – GO BIG!

Now, Michael Q Todd is a social media rockstar.  His Klout is 80 and mine is 62. His Kred is 943 and mine is 749.  So, obviously, Michael knows quite a bit more about social media than I do. If he says these are the 7 Pillars, then I am going to listen to him!

Social Media Experience

Personally, I feel like I am doing pretty well. I am active on multiple social platforms, I have great communities that support my efforts, and I am no slouch when it comes to the mechanics of social media. What really counts to me is that I have GREAT friends that I have met through social media and I feel like I am always meeting new, wonderful people.  That is the part of social media I love.

I am most active on Facebook, Facebook groups, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also active about commenting on blogs I support.

I am moderately active on G+, Klout, Linkedin, Tumblr, and Empire Avenue. I hit those several times a week but not daily.

Social Media 7 Pillars

As for the 7 pillars, here is my self-assessment about how I am doing.

Social Media Pillar One: Niched

OKAY This blog is all about my social media experiment. I try things in social media, and I write how those efforts affected my blog traffic and my personal brand.  I think that this blog is very niched. My social media presence fits in line with this as well. I do also discuss SEO but that is part of my niche since I work in SEO and Social Media every day.

What I could work on: I probably need to spend time cultivating my personal brand blog and not just this niche one here.  Hmmm, something to think about.

Social Media Pillar 2: Tools

STRONG – This is probably one of the areas I am doing GREAT in. I am VERY savvy about social media tools and social media platforms. I am a real gadget girl and I love to try out the newest social media platforms. I like to be an early adopter whenever possible. In fact, as part of this experiment, I get early beta invites to many different social media tools/platforms. If you would like to be informed about the beta invites when I am, sign up for the Social-Drivers newsletter.

Social Media Pillar 3: Content

For this blog: SO-SO. My content is not consistent enough. I have so many clients that I serve during the week and I am constantly creating content for them. By the time I have created content about “dentist, bankruptcy, real estate, glass repair, personal fitness, carpet cleaning, shutters” – I don’t feel like writing another article for myself!

I could curate more content on my blog but I don’t feel that fits my niche here. I should consider my blog another one of my clients and put it into my daily work rotation!

Social Media Pillar 4: Social

So-So. I can do better. I need to be more interactive for sure. I think I am doing well but I know I can do a lot better. I try to RT people, thank them for sharing my content, and to share other content regularly. I also try to like and comment on FB and blogs as much as I can. I am sure I can do better though.

Social Media Pillar 5: Real

Good-ish! I feel like I am VERY real. However, I don’t use Foursquare, Instagram, and other services enough to let people see into my real life. I also can do more with my facebook profile to be more real.  I think I am VERY REAL in who I present. I can just be more open about it.

Social Media Pillar 6: Sharable

Good! I like to promote other people. I really do. I really do think I share a lot and when I produce content, my content tends to get shared. I think I share others and that others share me quite well. I believe I am shareable.

Social Media Pillar 7: GREATNESS

Work in progress! I am not there yet – but I am working on it!! My mind and heart are definitely open to the thought of greatness!

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MY SELF-ASSESSMENT??

Those of you who know me and visit my blog – what do you think of my self-assessment? Was I too kind on myself? Did I look at myself through rose-colored glasses? Was I too harsh? What do you think I am doing well in the 7 Pillars?

Which pillar is your weakest?

Please make a comment below and tell me!

 

The photo above is used via creative commons license. It can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/globevisions/460888153/

Want to connect online? See my entire social presence at http://xeeme.com/mindykoch

Mar 012012
 

Social Media Experiment Update 5-1: first the explaining, then the monkey resuscitating.

On December 16, my son came to me with a list of reasons justifying why he strongly felt the need to be pulled out of public school.  He begged me to please homeschool him.  I was not the least bit interested in adding homeschooling to my already full plate, but I promised him that his dad and I would look into the situation.

After a week of deliberating and investigating, we reluctantly concluded that he did need to be pulled from his school, and that I would homeschool him after the holidays end.  He’s in the 7th grade and we were genuinely fearful about adding such a grave responsibility on to our (mostly MY) shoulders.

Homeschooling completely threw my life out-of-order.  I started from scratch and dived in with gusto and determination.  Life dramatically went out of balance as my son and I experimented with what curricula worked for us and what didn’t.  Optional projects, such as this experiment, social media time, and a few other side projects fell to the wayside as I focused solely on my son’s homeschool and my paid client work.

I felt guilty and horrible about the lack of attention to the side projects, but also confident I would get a groove going and would add them back into my life as soon as I could. I continuously needed “one more day” to get my life in balance.

That changed when I decided to consider my monkeys.

A few days ago, I was reminded of a Ken Blanchard book I read a long time ago: The One Minute Manager Meets The Monkey. Brilliant little book, it is my favorite of the One Minute Manager series.  The general premise is that we all have responsibilities (projects needing the next step completed) on our backs.  Monkeys, if you will.  Often, we run around with “other people’s monkeys” and end up ignoring our own.

I pondered my situation and decided to take a pulse on my monkeys; I created a list I termed “Mindy’s Monkey Management”.

I listed the monkeys on my back:

My “Healthy” Monkeys:

My “Other People’s” Monkeys: <–quite a bit of my son’s homeschool and my parenting choices fell in this category.

My “Hungry” Monkeys:

My “Dying” Monkeys: <–This, of course, was where “Social-Drivers.com – a social media experiment” had to be listed.

I was at a crucible moment with my “dying” monkeys list.  I decided these monkeys either needed to die or thrive.  One or the other.

I realized that I LOVED this monkey (the social media experiment) and I wanted this monkey to thrive.  I needed to get rid of a lot of other monkeys so that I could properly feed and care for this poor, dying one.  I triaged my lists thoroughly.  I moved all the other people’s monkeys to their rightful owners and put some monkeys on a mostly automated feeder requiring a lot less work from me.

Now, I felt comfortable that I could resuscitate and care for this beloved monkey like I truly desired.

So, if my dear social media friends are willing to welcome me back, I would love to come back into your social media lives and to have you back into mine.

Dec 162011
 
Help carry the social media experiment message

For the first month and a-half that I have conducted this social media experiment, I’ve focused solely on laying the foundation to promote a blog solely through social media. If you were to check the dates of my blog posts, you would  clearly see I haven’t adhered to the standard blog launch advice of “publish fast and publish often“.

In fact, I have done the opposite. “Publish fast and often” advice is great for SEO purposes for blog launching, but since I don’t want SEO to dramatically affect my experiment results, I have intentionally published less often.

In fact, during this time, I haven’t focused on promoting my blog much at all.  Instead, I have focused on building relationships from scratch with many, many people and have become part of seven different marketing cooperatives (or tribes) where other people promote my blog in exchange for me promoting their blogs.

It has been great fun connecting in these “tribes”. I am thriving in the SOCIAL part of social marketing. I have met some amazing people, I have gotten to know completely new resources, and I have grown a solid foundation for the social media experiment I am conducting. Honestly, it has been a blast so far.

The phrase “I would rather have 1% of the efforts of 100 people than 100% of the efforts of 1 person” takes on a true meaning when marketing like this. I honestly feel that is what I have right now. I actually do have access to  about 100 people around the world willing to tweet, share, and stumble my blog on my behalf and it feels GREAT!

Because of these relationships I have built, I am confident that when I make a blog post, if it is a share-worthy, I have 7 tribes of people primed to promote my new post for me!  It is AWESOME and I truly do appreciate the efforts of all my new friends who share my content – on Twitter, on Facebook, and most importantly, on my blog.

  • What do I give these awesome people in return for promoting my blog posts for me?
    • I do the same for them.
  • Can any blogger do this?
    • Absolutely.
  • Should bloggers do this?
    • I think so. 
  • Is this hard to do?
    • No, not at all!  In fact, it is quite fun.
  • Does it cost?
    • Definitely. Like all things in social media – the cost is TIME. I don’t know who coined the phrase “social media is free like a free puppy” but that is a brilliant analogy. A free puppy comes with steep care and opportunity costs.  That is exactly how it is in Social Media. Each of these resources exerts a time cost on me.

So what are my current 7 resources (or tribes) where other people promote my blog posts?

  1. Empire Avenue Communities (free – but have to play a social stock game)
  2. Facebook Groups (free – some are invite only)
  3. XeeMe (free and can include free membership in an active power-networking Facebook group)
  4. Triberr (free but invite only)
  5. TribePro (free with paid versions)
  6. JustReTweet (free with paying options)
  7. My Fans/Friends/Followers (free)
I will cover these groups briefly:

Resource One: Empire Avenue

Empire Avenue is a really fun social stock game that forces you to address your social media activity levels. What I find fascinating about this game is that it can completely change your social media activity level. Random tweeting becomes regular tweeting. FourSquare becomes part of your errands. Pictures now become Instagram photos. It is a fun game where your social media activity levels are the product.

Warning: The Empire Avenue social stock game is addictive and time-consuming.  I have had to learn to play it efficiently.

Do I recommend it?  YES. Some of the best connections I have made in social media I can directly attribute to my time playing Empire Avenue.

The real networking (in my opinion) happens in the communities and when you extend the connections from the game to other social platforms.  I actively interact on Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Youtube, and Linkedin with people I met on EA. You can promote your blog on your profile, in shout-outs, in the communities, and in shareholder missions.

Use the communities and the shareholder missions to have people at the ready to market your blog posts for you!

Resource Two: Facebook Groups

Many of the people I interact with in my Facebook social media promotion groups are people I met through playing Empire Avenue.

Each group has daily or weekly missions to promote group members YouTube channels, Twitter profiles, Facebook fan pages, blog posts, or whatever other social media promotions are needed.

It does take time to promote other people every day, but the benefits are so worth it.  It isn’t just networking – it is building friendships.  And while I am promoting their content, they are promoting mine.  NICE!  (Every group I am in does let you control whether to actively participate in the promotional tasks every day.  Not many people are able to do them all, all the time.) These groups are GREAT.

If you aren’t a member of any Facebook groups like this, and you are an active blogger/Tweeter/Facebooker, – let me know if you want to to be invited to a group. Send me a direct message on twitter at http://twitter.com/mindykoch.  If you aren’t following me on Twitter, you will need to follow me first to send me a direct message.

Resource Three: XeeMe

Through my experiences in Empire Avenue, I was introduced to XeeMe and its owner, AxelS.  I have thoroughly discussed XeeMe in my blog post about XeeMe as a Great Social Presence Tool . I am a huge fan of this social media tool.

Here is how XeeMe counts as one of my social media tribes:

Other XeeMe members help promote each other and connect with each other through our profiles. I have included my blog in the “What’s Up” section of my XeeMe social presence organizer. When other XeeMe members promote my XeeMe for me, they are also promoting my blog and all my social media profiles.  It truly does help to drive traffic here.  I have checked my Google Analytics and using XeeMe works.

Also, there is a great power-networking group on Facebook where we help each other promote our XeeMe profiles and meet other users.  I have made contacts through XeeMe and the power-networking group specifically that I can count on to promote my blog posts and they know they can count on me to do the same.

Resource Four: Triberr

My fourth tribe is Triberr.  Triberr is completely composed of tribes of people who have mutually agreed to promote each others’ blog posts.  It is free but is invite only.  As you build your other social connections in Empire Avenue, on Facebook, and Twitter, you should meet some triberrs who, if impressed with you, will invite you into one of their tribes. That is what happened for me.

In all honesty, I was interested in Triberr earlier but was turned off by the automated promotion of fellow tribemates content.

What if my fellow tribemates’ content was lame?  What if it was completely off-topic from what I usually discuss?  What if it was off-color? I don’t swear and I don’t want to automatically send any tweets that have swear words in them.

So, despite my interest in Triberr, I stayed away from it.

Recently, Triberr changed their format to have manual sharing.  Much better, in my opinion! As soon as I found someone in one of my Facebook groups looking for new tribesmates, I jumped at the chance to be in Triberr.  I have truly benefited from my membership there and have met quite a few social media marketers that I had not yet crossed paths with and as a result, I have expanded my social reach nicely.

Resource Five: TribePro

TribePro is an interesting place.

It seems to mostly be inhabited by network marketers and thus I have access to a completely different group of people to share my content. Because they are marketers, many of them write content that is worth curating and does match my brand enough that the time spent there is worth it.

TribePro is very free-flowing.  I have complete control of the content I promote and much of it I don’t.  A lot of the blog posts aren’t applicable to my current brand. I have found some great gems though in there.  Great content, great marketers, and many people committed to promoting one another.

It is nice to reach a completely different group of people like I do in TribePro because I currently have quite a bit of overlap in my Empire Avenue communities, Facebook Groups, and Triberr.

(Full disclosure – I joined TribePro a while ago but didn’t do much with my membership.)

Resource Six: JustRetweet

JustRetweet is a very new service that is similar to Twiends. What I really like about JustRetweet is the quality bloggers who are behind the service. I heard about JustRetweet from Gail Gardener of GrowMap.com who I completely respect.  She is one of the joint venture partners of this service. Ilene Smith of BasicBlogTips.com is involved and active there as well. The service is VERY new and I believe it will grow and become more robust as more quality bloggers get involved.  I don’t see any downside to trying out the service at this time.

Most of the members of JustRetweet are people I don’t cross socially cross paths with; so again, I am gaining access to a completely untouched part of the twitterverse by using this service.  The site is too new to have attracted spammers and junk accounts and blackhatters trying to autobot game the system like you can see with other services.  For that alone, I am enjoying JustRetweet.  I suggest giving it a try!

I wanted to support this blossoming service so I did pay to be a featured member in November and December.

Resource Seven: Fans/Friends/Followers

Besides TribePro, this last resource is the other one that wasn’t built completely from nothing as part of the launch of this experiment.  I have given you full disclosure of my fans/friends/followers numbers from the beginning of this blog and update you every 15 days as those numbers change.  I have done little to intentionally build these numbers during this phase of building my “social media share wheel”.  I do have some pre-existing followers/friends/fans who I can count on to promote my content but most of my current interactions on Twitter and Facebook are with people I have met since launching this blog and who are in the other hubs.

I am including this resource because I believe that every social marketer should be able to count on their friends/fans/followers to help pass the word about their quality content.

So there you have it! My current seven killer resources to have other people promote your blog post!

Lest it sound Machiavellian ,and as if I have been on the prowl for people to promote my blog posts for me, I want to make it clear that I have made true, sincere genuine friendships and feel great loyalty and gratitude to everyone that I cooperatively promote with. I feel privileged to have met the people I have met and to have made the connections that I have. 

Now you know what I have done (besides recovering from my neck injury and working in my local business marketing company) for the past 45 days to launch this blog. If you have any questions about any of these tribes (or this post), please let me know in the comments!

Mindy Koch
See Me Entire Social Presence Online at XeeMe.com/MindyKoch 
 
Photo used by Creative Commons License. Found on Flickr: Crowd Surfer by Portland Mike
Nov 302011
 
Social Media Blogger Warnings

This tongue-in-cheek post is about social media blogger “Pain in the Neck” warnings and not about digital identity or what I have done so far to grow my blog traffic like you probably expected.

~If English is not your first language, tongue-in-cheek means “not serious” or “in humor”.~

Unnecessary Social Media Blogger “Pain in the Neck” Warnings I Could Have Used…

Fellow social media blogger, you probably already know that blogging is hard to do WELL when we fell “UNWELL”.  Creativity is hard when we are in pain. Not impossible, I know a few bloggers who live in chronic pain.  But for pain wimps like myself, it is certainly the un-preferred way to blog.  Some injuries seem to lead to chronic pain, like back injuries or neck injuries.  Hence, some pain in the neck warnings.

Warning One:  A social media blogger should not ever ride an ATV off of a cliff.  And then crash into a tree.  Onto branches 40 feet off the ground.

That probably should go without saying. However, I ignored this common sense warning and did just this very thing summer of 2010. Yup. Slid in some mud while riding a trail down a mountain. Drove right off the precipice of a cliff and into a tree. Got my ATV stuck on some tree branches. Luckily, I held on or I would have fallen on logs and boulders below. I actually did do this. Crashing the ATV isn’t the tongue-in-cheek part.

This little activity does not do much to enhance your ability as a social media blogger superstar. I mean, sure, it gives you an interesting story to write about from time to time, and might earn you a little social media blogger sympathy, but really, as a social media blogging technique it is highly over-rated. So, no matter what advice you receive in any social media blogger marketing resources, I recommend you ignore any parts that suggest you ride an ATV off of a cliff and crash into a tree. In fact, avoid any crashing altogether. Crashing tends, as a rule, to be bad.

In case you are someone (like myself apparently) who needs to have that social media blogger “Pain in the Neck” warning spelled out for you specifically, I thought I would mention it. Hence, this post.

Warning Two: A social media blogger should take care of his or her injuries promptly.

Ever since deciding to use tree branches as an airplane runway to land my ATV on, I have had a neck injury. Minor thing. I mean, really. Does a social media blogger even actually need a neck? Other than fill out a turtleneck, what do they really do? Surprisingly, I learned from my injury that the stumpy-looking thing holding up my head should be well-cared for and is actually quite useful.

Had I taken care of my injury promptly, it probably wouldn’t have been so bad. However, I let the fact that I felt stupid override the fact that I also felt injured. Six months later, my husband got tired of hearing me complain about my neck and urged me to go in to the doctor for more than just pain medication. My doctor referred me to physical therapy.

I now know that physical therapy is much less effective if the injury isn’t fresh. Ah. That would have been good to know. Or that could have been common sense. Which, as we can see from my violation of rule one, I seemed to lack during this whole scenario.

12 weeks later, I finished physical therapy with minor improvements. For instance, I could now shrug my shoulders when indicating ”I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea to land an ATV into a tree” without screaming in pain. People cover their ears less when you tell the story this way, which improves the storytelling considerably.

I was, fortunately, able to still pull off being in too much pain to possibly push a heavy Kirby vacuum around for a few weeks before my husband caught on that I was no longer screaming when I shrugged my shoulders. He decided that I probably could vacuum. Darn physical therapy.

I bring up the need for getting injuries treated promptly because the social media blogger professional (such as most of you reading this) tends to get used to sitting in front of computers and can forget from time to time that there is a wonderful thing called reality that has “doctors” and “physical therapy”. Amazing but true. If injured, we should use these “doctors” so we can get better as quickly as possible and return to being the online social media blogger butterflies and reality recluses that we were born to be.

So don’t forget social media blogger “Pain in the Neck” warning two – take care of injuries promptly!

Warning Three: A social media blogger should avoid getting re-injured if possible.

Two weeks ago, my neck was feeling a tad stiff and sore. I took a break from my social media blogger work and decided go to the mall. My husband suggested I use one of the little kiosk “10 minute masseuse” services. If you don’t have these in your shopping area, then you probably don’t live in America where shopping is so exhausting and we are so unfit that we need to sit in a massage chair and get a personal massage to continue a shopping spree. (That is tongue-in-cheek. I have never actually seen someone get a massage from these places. Until the story I am about to tell below, I had never had one of these massages. I have often wondered how these places make any money.)

I informed the masseuse that I had a neck injury and that he needed to be delicate in how he massaged me. He said “Sure, sure” and proceeded to massage my neck as if it was his life’s mission to give my neck muscles the relaxed elasticity of melting hot taffy. I, in my social media blogger naivety, assumed he knew what he was doing.

I know now that his “Sure, sure” meant “Lady Social Media Blogger, I don’t speak English but thank you for your $10 dollars.  And now, prepare to be in excruciating pain for the next few weeks.”  

Kind of reminds me of how one of the software programmers from India that I worked with said “No problem, no problem” which actually meant, “Holy Cow! Big problem, Madame Social Media Blogger, MAYDAY! MAYDAY!”  That is why my review of his work said, “Working with you was No Problem, Prashant!”

Anyway, so my masseuse didn’t speak any English. I am not sure he was even a certified masseuse. Unless certified masseuses usually have a billy club that they beat you on the shoulders with. Since I was face down in the chair, I can’t say for sure that is what he did, but it is certainly what it felt like.

I have been in agony ever since. Stuck in bed agony. Not leaving the house agony. “Why is this pain medication bottle empty now?” agony.

Which is certainly not a productive state for a social media blogger. This is why I share this useful warning with you. If you are a social media blogger: heed this warning and avoid getting re-injured. And while we are on the subject, you might want to avoid 10-minute-kiosk-masseuses who don’t speak your language and who have billy clubs.  Just a tip from one social media blogger to another.

(In case you are wondering, yes, I did call the mall and complain.  Some very responsible sounding 17-year-old told me she would take care of it. I am sure she is taking care of it right now.)

Before I move on, just want to recap social media blogger “Pain in the Neck” warning three – “Neck injuries suck.  Neck RE-injuries RE-suck”.

Warning Four: A social media blogger should have posts already written and scheduled to run in case of injury.

Uh. Yeah. I don’t even know what to say to this except to say a social media blogger mea culpa. I should have had that set up. I even have the awesome editorial calendar plugin I love that helps to see all scheduled posts.  (Note to self – use your common sense and your awesome tools.)

Not being prepared in case of emergencies is a total pain in the neck. Different from a literal pain in the neck like crashing an ATV into a tree, but still, figuratively, it is a pain in the neck.  So this totally counts as a social media blogger “Pain in the Neck” warning.

It is very important that we have posts in the pipeline ready to go out whether we can blog or not. Again, this is a common sense warning that I should have followed like all the other ones in this post – so mostly I am preaching to myself. I am sure you are too smart to make any of these mistakes.

I hope these unnecessary social media blogger “pain in the neck” warnings will come in handy for you someday. They probably won’t as they are mostly unnecessary. Except the last one. That one is pretty good.

If you want to follow social media blogger “Pain in the Neck” warning four: always have backup posts – I do suggest the social media blogger friend: the editorial calendar plugin. It is free and you can get it from that link, but I would just go to “Add New” Plugins in your dashboard and upload it from there.  It is really handy to see when your pre-scheduled posts are going to be published.

Bonus Social Media Blogger “Pain in the Neck” Warning:

If you haven’t become a part of a social media blogger community, you may find that no one notices that you aren’t posting or that you have a pain in the neck. I am very grateful to all my fellow social media blogger friends who have expressed their well-wishes and who have continued to have my back by marketing on my behalf while I have been laid up. You all rock!! You know who you are!! Also, thank you to Ross Copping who sent me an insanely sweet get-well-soon e-card. I am blessed to have all my social media blogger buddies!

So, if you want to survive as a social media blogger with a pain in the neck – be part of a community.  They will help you hang in there!

Thanks for reading my tongue-in-cheek personal post.  The next posts will be how I am using social media so far and social media blogger experiment update 3.

If you didn’t see it, you can view social media blogger experiment update 2.

Mindy Koch
You can see my entire social media blogger presence at http://XeeMe.com/MindyKoch
 
The photo “No ATV’s” by Peter Blanchard is used by Creative Commons License. (Social Media Blogger Warnings)
Nov 022011
 
XeeMe - A Great Social Presence Tool

For a few days now, I have been using a great social presence tool to organize and connect all of my social media profiles: XeeMe.  Pronounced “See Me”.  I love this tool for several reasons: it organizes all my social profiles, I can easily customize it, it helps me to connect with other social networkers, and it has excellent tracking built in. Oh, and one more reason I love it.  XeeMe is the first social presence tool I have ever used that was interested in MY success.

XeeMe – A Great Social Presence Tool to Organize

As far as I can tell, and Axel will hopefully correct me if I am wrong, but XeeMe can organize an unlimited number of social profiles. Organize. Unlimited.  Awesome.

It is currently configured with nearly 200 social media platforms already. Plus, any additional platforms I need to add, can be added easily with a customizable “other” link.  The platform doesn’t limit me in any way.  I added my NaNoWriMo profile to my XeeMe even though it isn’t currently setup to work with NaNoWriMo.  It took me just a few seconds to do it. Piece of cake.

What is especially handy is that XeeMe doesn’t limit me as to the number of profiles per social media platform I can add! I have multiple blogs. No problem.  I have several Facebook fan pages. Not a big deal because I can add as many Facebook pages or groups as I need to. Whatever social profiles I need to organize, Xeeme can organize them.

In addition, XeeMe takes organizing my social profiles even further than just giving me a place to store my profiles. I can control HOW they are organized.

My social profiles don’t have to be organized alphabetically.  They aren’t stuck in a list in the order in which I entered them.  I have full control over the order they are listed.  I just move my profiles around with a simple drag and drop.  Plus, to help me organize my social profiles even further, I have three tabs I can put my profiles on.  I haven’t used all three yet – but if I wanted to, I could put just my preferred profiles on the “front tab” and the plethora of “barely used but still kind of used” social profiles that we all tend to gather on another tab. Up to me.  I can display my profiles in whatever format works for me.

I also love that if I don’t want to add all my social profiles, but just want to add a few, I can do so without it looking like I have an incomplete profile.  I have had that problem before on other social profile organizers. At the moment, I only have 14 profiles set up and I am quite content with that.  I know I will add more profile later but for now, I am happy with my current setup.

I am happy because I have been able to set up my XeeMe in a way that suits me.  I just love that XeeMe allows me to control how I organize my social presence.

XeeMe – A Great Social Presence Tool I Can Customize

I am a huge fan of how much I can do more than just organize my profile.  I am able to truly customize it.  By customizing, I am not talking about “ooh, I can choose the color of my background” or “ooh, I can use a picture in the background”.  I can do those things for sure, but those aren’t the customization capabilities that impressed me.

I can control the description of each profile. You can see in the picture at the top of this post that I have chosen to put “I Follow Back :D ” in my Twitter description.  (I am curious to see if that gets more clicks than what I did have there which was “@mindykoch”.)  I can put whatever I want there.  The description next to my Twitter button description can be blank, it can say “Twitter” or “@username” or “FOLLOW” or anything else I want it to say.  I could even say “Follow” in French or German or Hungarian if I wanted to.  Or knew how to.  It is just so handy to have full control of the verbage in my XeeMe.

But here is what REALLY knocked my socks off:  XeeMe doesn’t force me to use a specific link format. Some other social presence sites only let me input my username and then the computer code inserts my username into a pre-formatted link. While XeeMe does give me a simple version option where I could do that, I don’t HAVE to use the pre-formatted link.  If I want to, I am able to completely delete the pre-formatted link and put in whatever I choose.

I learned I can put in any url I want when I couldn’t get my Google+ link to work with the Google+ traditional format. I had to use the “gplus.to” link instead and it worked just fine. That was when I realized the possibilities. If I wanted to, I could use a trackable link. I wouldn’t really need to because XeeMe tracks things for me, but the point is – I COULD.  I could use a bit.ly link or a google analytics trackable url and my XeeMe would handle it just fine.  How is THAT for cool?

XeeMe – A Great Social Presence Tool to Connect

Something I really like about XeeMe is that I am able to focus on promoting one link to cover all of my social media connections and my XeeMe visitors can select the networks that are the most interesting to them.  I don’t control where we can connect.  My XeeMe visitors do.

Now, you can’t tell it by the XeeMe profile on this blog (because that is just a mini-XeeMe) but on my real XeeMe, my visitors can see in a glance whether I am very active on their preferred network or whether I am not very active there at all. With each profile, I can let them know – yes – I am here regularly. It really puts the key information in front of the XeeMe visitor. If they see I am active and it is one of their preferred networks, awesome.

Also, through tracking, the creators of XeeMe learned that the average XeeMe owner makes THREE social network connections when a someone views their XeeMe.  What a great tool to connect! It is like the “one tool to rule them all” of social profiles!

XeeMe – A Great Social Presence Tool to Track

XeeMe has some excellent behind the scenes applications and tracking.  So much so, that it is strongly encouraged to have people find my Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn profiles through the XeeMe interface.  That way I can track the clicks.

Plus there are some great tools in the back of my XeeMe.  I didn’t even realize these tools were there until yesterday but they allow me not only to track my links, they also allow me to track several goals and plans to connect with social media key influencers.  There is so much more to XeeMe than I realized when I signed up.

XeeMe – A Great Social Presence Tool to Reach Goals

My favorite think about XeeMe though, is the passion of its creator, Axel Schultze. Axel is what makes XeeMe special. He doesn’t just view XeeMe as his product – he views the success and happiness of the XeeMe member as his product. He promotes XeeMe member profiles. He has created a facebook group to get to know the members and to ask them what XeeMe can do to help them succeed. He is constantly updating XeeMe with new social media platforms.

He has also built-in some neat applications in the back of XeeMe to help reach goals of connecting with people through Flights and Focus apps.  It is quite cool what is back there.  I honestly don’t know what half of it does but it is pretty darn cool!

Another thing he does is create special social networking events called XBX to help a group of XeeMe members meet their personal 45 day goals. XBX stands for Xee and Be Xeen (See and Be Seen) and the purpose is to have XeeMe members network for other members. What social media platform are you a member of that does that?? That cares about your success? Your business goals? I have never seen it before.

The XeeMe members who aren’t part of the XBX event still follow along in the facebook group and learn how to move from networkers to power networkers so they can reach their business goals as well. Frankly, I think this is the next evolution of a social media platform. This is truly SOCIAL media. The platform doesn’t just help you connect with each other, the platform helps to drive your success. I have never seen that anywhere before and I am so glad that I am a part of the XeeMe family.

If you would like to have a XeeMe profile, you can get one free at: http://xeeme.com?r=Fx41EoGro0GP 
If you would like to connect with my via my XeeMe profile, you can connect with me at http://xeeme.com/mindykoch

Please connect with me on at least 3 social media platforms. I am most active on Twitter, Facebook, my FB Fan Page, and Empire Avenue but am active on many other sites as well. I look forward to being able to Xee you as well and to connecting with you! If you decide to use my XeeMe profile to discover three sites you can connect with me on, please let me know if the comments below! If you choose to get a XeeMe profile, please let me know in the comments as well!!

Nov 012011
 
Social Media and Social Media Events - NaNoWriMo

I want to take advantage of any timely social media events happening to help me gain momentum as I launch my blog. By doing this, I am able to use the momentum, word of mouth, and social camaraderie created by the event to help create some momentum, word of mouth, and social camaraderie about what I am trying to do here with Social-Drivers.

This is especially useful for me because I am a very social person.  The energy created by being part of a social media event while I am launching my blog translates into energy to stay focused and enthused about my project and helps to fuel the speed that I can attract readers.  It also helps to me to find advocates for my success who will help spread the word about what I am doing here.

It might certainly would prove useful for you to consider doing the same for your blog as well.

There are always social media events happening, it is just a matter of keeping alert to timely opportunities.  Some quick ideas for social media events to consider: twitter chats, meetups, conferences, online contests, and being a participant in a training program.  At the end of this article, I will give you a list of tools you can use to help you identify a social media event to get involved in that will help you launch your blog.

Two Social Media Events in One

One huge opportunity I am taking advantage of is National Novel Writing Month, #NaNoWriMo, which takes place every November for the entire month. It began in 1999 with a mere 28 people. Now, it is a massive global social media event that people participate in year after year.  Seriously, a ridiculous amount of people take part in this every year.  

The timing coincides PERFECTLY with what I am doing here.  I am starting this blog on November 1st and am looking for a social media event to be participate in and it is harder to find a bigger event than NaNoWRiMo.

Interestingly, it wouldn’t have even occurred to me to join NaNoWriMo, because I am not planning on writing a novel.  I am writing a blog.

Luckily, I saw a compelling tweet in my twitterfeed:

“How to Write a Year’s Worth of Posts in 30 Days http://www.problogger.net/archives/
2011/10/29/how-to-write-a-year%e2%80%99s-worth-of-posts-in-30-days/”

Well, that certainly caught my attention since I was, at that very time, thinking about launching this social media experiment blog. Thank heavens I was paying attention to my twitterfeed!

I read the post and was VERY intrigued! In the post, Kelly Kingman, a guest blogger at Problogger.net, discussed using NaNoWriMo to create 50K words worth of blog posts (instead of a novel) and participating in NaNoWriMo as a Rebel.  I loved this idea! It sounded perfect for me for several reasons.

  1. It would force me to create a lot of content for my blog.  Content is good!
  2. It would give me a social peer pressure situation to enjoy while I met my blogging goals.  Social Pressure is great for me!
  3. It would help me to invest in the success of other bloggers and for them to invest in my success as well.  Awesome!
Participating in this social media event would be an all around win-win scenario for me! Sweet!! From the minute I read the post, I knew I wanted in!

I hopped back onto Twitter and reached out to the author of the post, @KellyKingman, who I had never met, to find out more about this concept of writing 50K words worth of blog posts.  She and another cool twitter gal “@bookchiq” reached out to me, told me it was called #contentpalooza and told me how to join them.  (#Contentpalooza is niche social media event happening within the framework of a much larger social media event.)

Apparently, I could follow along with KellyKingman via her Facebook page: http://facebook.com/kellykingmanmedia or I could join the Facebook group “Contentpalooza“.  Well, of course, I wanted to join the group!  That is part of the advantage of being involved in a social media event, after all!!  To enjoy being SOCIAL!

(Just as a side-note – do you see how awesome social media is??  I saw a tweet on Twitter (one social media platform) that lead me to a blog post (another social media platform) that taught me something new that lead me back to Twitter where I conversed with the blog author and another fan about how I could join them and that lead me to a Facebook (a third social media platform) where I am joining other people interested in working together to meet a common goal. Voila! In very little time and with very little effort on my part, I am now connected to people all across the world to work on a common goal that helps me succeed.  It blows my mind how awesome social media is!)

What was truly even more awesome was that this was now TWO social media events in one!  I could participate on the official NaNoWriMo forum for the Rebels, for my home region, and on Twitter.  I could also participate on Facebook and Twitter with the Contestpalooza focused participants.

The Contentpalooza group opened on the first day of NaNoWriMo, November 1st, and already the Contentpalooza participants were buzzing with activity.  Word counts, blog sharing, tool tips, and cheering each other on.   As fellow social media event participants, complete strangers were connecting instantly over a shared challenge.  What a slice of Internet heaven for bloggers needing to create content!

My local region group, Maryland, also had a Facebook group for NaNoWriMo and I was thrilled to see lots of action there as well.  And Twitter was a buzz with participants. Some had even set the goal of writing the 50K words in one day!!  (Using the hashtags #50KKillMeNow and #50KDay)

That looked so hard that my  goals look so easy by comparison.  My goal was to write 50 posts in 30 days with each post being approximately 1000 words long.   Truthfully, to accomplish this, I will have to silence my inner critic and be content to write a post and to not get bogged down by trying to write the perfect post.  Also, if I try to make every post score an SEO Score of 100%, it may truly take forever to write all that.  If I try to make each post perfect, I won’t accomplish anything else the whole month!  So I will probably be sacrificing some quality in exchange for quantity.  I don’t love that – but I don’t hate it either.

I have learned from my  husband a valuable lesson that sometimes “Quantity is a quality all its own“.  My husband learned this during his first tour in Iraq. He worked for a Colonel there who taught him this. They worked in military intelligence and had to keep the entire division as up-to-date as possible about possible targets and possible threats. The Colonel wanted to make sure that the division commanders always had as much information and that it was as up-to-date as possible. He would often remind the team of his mantra, “Quantity is a quality all its own” and urge them to keep everyone as informed about everything as possible.

That is the mantra I am telling myself as well as I focus on my 50K words.  ”Quantity is a quality all its own.”  I can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  I will just have to hit publish (or schedule it on my editorial calendar) and move on.  I have too much to test and to let my inner editor take over!

My bigger goal of course is to use these social media events to launch my blog and to help me reach my goal of 200 unique visitors as soon as possible.

So those are two of the social media events that I am participating in.  If you read this post soon enough, you can join the challenge and be a #contentpalooza #nanowrimo participant with me!

If not, let’s see if we can’t find the perfect social media event for you!

How To Find Social Media Events You Can Be Involved In

Lanyrd – A social media conference directory

Plancast – See what your social media friends are doing

Eventbrite - Find or plan events

Tweetchat Wiki – find twitterchats to participate in

Meetup – Find events (social media or otherwise) you can attend in your area

Mashable Social Media Events - Every week Mashable creates a list of social media events

The important thing is to view each social media event, whether you attend online or in in person, as a way to build your brand, to network, and to find advocates for what you are doing.  Also, be prepared to give back and do the same thing for the other attendees.  It is SOCIAL media after all.  The emphasis is on the social and not so much on the media part of what we are trying to do.

 

Mindy Koch
http://XeeMe.com/MindyKoch
Nov 012011
 
Social Media Experiment

Social Drivers is a social media experiment by me, Mindy Koch, about using social media to brand yourself online.

I am experimenting with social media (not SEO) strategies and tracking their results to determine which social media actions truly result in successfully building an online brand.  As I do this, I am providing step-by-step instructions along the way so you can follow along and test the results for yourself.

You will have complete transparency to everything I do. I will share my metrics with you.  Every social media strategy will be shared openly.  If I fail completely, you will know it!  If I succeed, you will know it and be able to reproduce it!  Every social media strategy or tactic that I try will be monitored and tracked for results and those results will be shared with you.

I want to be upfront about the fact that, yes, I am not well-known in the social media blogosphere, however, I am not new to online marketing or to building a brand online.  I am a local SEO online marketing consultant with my own consulting business.  I do have a modest social media foundation of a Twitter following of 3051 followers, a semi-active Facebook page with 582 friends, and a Facebook fanpage with far too little interactivity even though it has 579 fans.  I do truly hope this gives me a solid social media foundation to launch this blog.  It will be interesting to see how much this helps.

In general though, this blog is starting out like any other blog.  No subscribers.  Not written by a famous blogger.  No team of writers.  Just one person focused on creating a successful brand online using social media and doing it in my spare time.

Obviously, I have no idea if you have a Twitter or Facebook account.  I have no idea if you know how to install and use a WordPress blog.  I won’t be able to talk you through every step in detail because I will be focusing on the social media experiments.  For the basics that don’t involve the actual processes I am experimenting with, I will try to link to solid resources that you can use if you are unfamiliar with these procedures.  You will find the under the page “Resources”.

The main hub of the social media experiment is going to be this blog.  Can I launch this blog in 45 days in a significant way to build a brand online?  That truly is the goal.  Unless I have a blog to speak from, I am not creating content to share via social media. I am merely curating content created by other people.  While many people do this (and I have done this quite a bit in the past), I am quite convinced that to build a brand online, it is important to create your own content.  Hence, the necessity of the blog as the heart of my social media brand.

Launch day of the blog is November 1st, 2011.  It is 1:37 am on November first and I expect this post will be ready to publish later after I wake up and proofread it. At the time of publishing, it will be a solitary post in the vast sea of the Internet just as any other blog begins.  No one knows this is being launched.  I don’t have a team of people ready to help me launch it. I am starting from ground zero like you will be!

So, in just a few hours, this post will be published and the Social Media Experiment begins!

I will quickly summarize what I have done on “Day One” so you can follow along.

Social Media Experiment: Day One

Day one:  build the blog.  This is the the main hub of the social media branding experiment.

I strongly believe in using a self-hosted WordPress blog.  If you don’t know how to do that, there are many great tutorials and resources about how to set up a self-hosted blog on your own domain that you can find through Google or YouTube.  Actually, the instructions on WordPress are pretty darn good.

My day one was pretty easy.  I already owned the domain name and had a mostly empty blog on it.  I bought the name “Social-Drivers” in March of this year on a whim. It seemed like a good name at the time and it has been sitting in the back of my mind since then.  I put up a WordPress blog on this site a bit later and tried a few different social plugins.  I never did anything with the site as I knew that I hadn’t found my “passion” for the project yet.

So – for me – my first day consisted of:

  • Clarified the “passion” for my project.  What did I want to accomplish with this blog?
  • Removed plugins I wasn’t interested in using
  • Added a few plugins
  • Changed the theme

For you, day one would probably be a bit longer.

  • Get domain name
  • Get site hosted
  • Install WordPress blog

You also need to know the passion of your branding project.  What do you want to accomplish?  Also, will you be branding yourself by communicating to your buyers or will you be branding yourself as a voice in your industry?  For example, if you are using social media to brand yourself as a realtor, will you be writing to home buyers/home sellers on your blog or will you be writing to other realtors?

For this project, my goal is to explore social media and to brand myself as a voice of authority in social media marketing and branding.  I am not planning on using this blog to reach out to my future customers.  I have another blog for that and don’t want to mix audiences.  This is my blog to brand myself among my peers.

The plugins that I have installed and activated currently are:

  • Akismet
  • CommentLuv Premium*
  • Easy WP SEO*
  • Flickr Photo Post
  • Google Analytics for WordPress
  • JetPack
  • ManageWP Worker
  • TF Social Share
  • W3 Total Cache
  • WordPress Editorial Calendar
  • WordPress SEO
  • Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

*CommentLuv Premium and Easy WP SEO are both paid plugins.

The rest are free.  I am using W3 Total Cache in it’s default settings.  I set up WordPress SEO by Yoast according to the instructions at How to Setup and Configure the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin

The theme I have chosen is Suffusion.  It is a free theme that I can customize easily.

Next is the first blog post.  Time to welcome my new readers (few that they may be on a first day of a blog) and to explain what this blog is about.

Which I have mostly done already so far with this first post.

I have Easy WP SEO turned on and the primary keyword I am writing for is “social media“.  The secondary term is social media experiment.  At the moment, the SEO score is 73.91% but I plan to have that number higher by the time this post is completed.

When I am done with the blog post and publish it, I will go to my Twitter and Facebook and other social media accounts and let my followers, fans, and friends know about my new blog.  I will ask them to please support my new blog.

Also, I will take advantage of CommentLuv and make 5 posts on other blogs with CommentLuv installed.

When you start your blog, you should do similarly.  Whenever possible, start with the network you currently have.  Hopefully, they will be supportive and will help to spread the word.

 Social Media Experiment: Plans

Just a heads up on a few of the different social media strategies I plan to use test during the social media experiment:

  • Being a guest blogger
  • Participating in twitter chats
  • Twitter updates
  • Facebook posts
  • A contest
  • Lots and lots of content on this blog
  • CommentLuv
  • Promoting my XeeMe profile
I am truly fascinated to measure which social media tactics create desirable results!
In order to follow along with the Social Media Experiment, PLEASE subscribe to the blog and connect with me via XeeMe/MindyKoch to connect with any other social media platforms you prefer.  Also, please share using the share buttons on this page.  I am very curious to measure the results from the share buttons on the blog!
Mindy Koch
Social Media Experiment Photo, “Blogging Readiness” by Cambodia4KidsOrg, used by Creative Commons License.