A Community Benefits Your Customers & Your Brand

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Online communities are essential no matter your business.  In addition to offering a great customer service solution, I will discuss three additional reasons why you need to create and nurture your own community.

Customer Service:

My graphic above shows why a community is the full-service solution to customer service.  Phone queues are hell for customers to get through and expensive for companies to staff properly.  Videos and knowledge base articles eliminate the queue, but if they do not cover the customer’s specific issue and you do not allow (or respond to) questions, your customer still has a problem.

A community is a perfect solution: fast engagement for customers, easy to staff for the company, answers become a searchable knowledge base, and customers may ask follow-up questions.

Connect With Your Customers:

Customers who care want your brand to succeed and love companies who listen and engage.  Active community participation also shows your brand’s personality and provides faces.  Along with discussion and questions, build focus groups and invite members to participate; receive product ideas and improvement suggestions from the people using your product or service.

Customers Become Advocates:

Potential customers learn about your brand by what is happening in your community.  What is the tone?  Is your brand engaged?  Are your current customers singing your praises?  People come with questions, problems, and stories: the results will set your brand apart from your competition.  Customers who care will sing your praises and even share your community with others; people love to talk about a club they belong to.


We are all slaves to The Google Monster.  We spend money and time optimizing websites with keywords and blogs.  Websites become stagnant and although they may have the right keywords, blogs are often too company focused (why we are awesome) & go unread by customers.  What the Monster really loves is keyword-rich content that is always updating; your community members provides this each day, all day.  An addition, because discussions & solutions are customer focused, they are not only consumed, they are SHARED.

So, why have you not built a community?

Please share your comments and questions.




Twitter May Not Be For You


I really enjoy and utilize the connections and conversations I have on #Twitter.  I believe it is a wonderful platform for customer service, marketing, SEO, and general learning.  But… (you knew it was coming), it’s not going to work for every brand or product.

What works for one audience does not guarantee success for another.

1.  Ensure you are looking at your metrics and results.

2.  Test other platforms.

3.  Experiment with content types.

What people must understand about Social:

1.  There are NO silver bullets (platform or content type).

2.  Relationships and conversations matter (and take time to build).

Let people know who you are.  Ask questions.  Give answers.  Entertain and add value.  Always measure your efforts.



Graphic credit to Clapp Communications

Reactions Are Not (quite) Engagement

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Don’t get me wrong, I love getting a Like, emoji, or gif of approval to a post, blog, or Tweet, but reactions are not as valuable as comments or questions that may lead to further conversation.  I have written about the importance of engagement before; this blog will discuss how to engage.

The graph above shows some engagement data from a Facebook foodie group I manage and I find the difference between Comments and Reactions amazing.  Getting positive reactions to posts let’s people know their content is valuable, but questions and comments are what brings a community together.  Lets have a quick look at community types and how you can increase engagement.

Instagram: Interaction is Liking the picture or video.  Take the next step and leave a comment or question – if you are the poster, @mention the person in the comments with a thank you.

Twitter: Like Instagram, you show approval to posts with a Like or heart.  Don’t stop there: reply to the tweet with a comment, emoji, or gif.  If you really like the content, retweet it with a comment why.  When you get a question or comment, respond; if you get a retweet, send thanks.

Facebook / Community: Communities allow for very deep conversations as it their formats make it easy to have 1 to Many conversations.  Jump into that conversation and leave your $.02: engage the original poster as well as others who contribute.

Leaving a positive reaction is great; I am asking you take the next step and actually engage with a comment or question.  As a social mentor of mine, @JoelRRenner ‏, says: #JustBeSocial

I look forward to your comments and questions.




Craft Beer is the new Golf


I spent a fantastic afternoon at the Treehouse Brewery this weekend.  If you enjoy outstanding beer and conversation, I suggest a trip to their beautiful facility.  This is not an ad for Treehouse Brewing or their exceptional beer; I am suggesting that meeting for a craft beer is a wonderful opportunity for conversation and networking.  First, let’s look at the tail of the tape:

  • Round of golf: $70 per person (not including)
    • Clubs
    • (lost) Balls
    • Beverages during play
    • Post-round lunch or dinner
  • Beer at Treehouse: $7 with a 2 beer max
  • 18 Holes of golf takes about 4 hours
  • It takes significantly less time to enjoy 2 beers; conversation controls the time
  • Some clients or team members may not like to play golf or feel uncomfortable with their ability so they may be timid to agree to a round.
  • Craft Beers, especially Treehouse IPAs, are extremely tasty and popular
    • Even if you do not drink, The Treehouse Brewery is a beautiful setting with comfortable seating and live music; oh, there are food trucks too.  You may have the conversation without alcohol.

Deal-making and team building is all about relationships, and relationships are built on trust.  The warm weather has finally arrived, even if Treehouse is too far a journey, gather your team or invite a client to enjoy tasty beverages and the conversation that follows.




Optimize Your Twitter Profile

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My recap and answers I provided for the 4/5/2018 #TwitterSmarter chat hosted by @MadalynSklar and guest @dmboutin.  Join the conversation every Thursday at 1pm EST and build your Twitter chops.

Q1: Why is it important to create a perfect Twitter profile that attracts followers?

  • Your Twitter profile create a first impression and even trust
  • Your Twitter profile gives others insight into who you are
  • Your Twitter profile tells people your experience / talents and how you can help them

Q2: What are key features to highlight when creating a look and feel of your Twitter profile?

  • Key features to highlight: clear picture, hashtags (not too many), links to your site or LinkedIn
  • Key features to highlight: Personal interests and fun facts
  • Key features to highlight: professional skills – here is what I know and how I can help you
  • Key features to (not) highlight: Ninja, Rock Star, The book or speech you are selling

Q3: How can a pinned tweet help you drive more traffic to your content?

  • Pinned tweets are great and eyes naturally go to the top of the feed
  • Pinning is great, but ensure you rotate the content

Q4: What are your tips for including clickable elements in your Twitter bio?

  • What are your tips for including clickable elements – hashtags, but not too many
  • What are your tips for including clickable elements – a link to your website, blog, or LinkedIn

Q5: How can your Twitter bio help you grow your email list for your business?

  • Link to a Google Form

Q6: What are your top tips for making the most of the 160 characters in your Twitter bio?

  • Provide insight into who you are as a person, what you like, what you do professionally
  • The last 4 hashtags in my bio are meant to create connections & get me found in searches
  • Don’t waste valuable space selling – make connections & build trust first
  • If for a corporate account, what does your company do and how can you help your target customer
  • Utilize hashtags to get found in search

Q7: What are some of the biggest mistakes people or businesses make with their Twitter bio?

  • Avoid the “Egg”

Thanks you were a great guest and thanks to the Tweet-Boss .  Thank you for reading and hope to see you at the next #twittersmarter chat.  I look forward to your questions and comments.


Conversation Builds Your Network


Having conversations, being present, and engaging on social media are more important than Follower count and are the keys to success.  Tweetchats are a fantastic way to find great people to have these conversations with; this blog will discuss some of my favorite tweetchats.  Please give them a look, jump into a conversation, and build your network.

#ContentChat – Monday 3-4 pm EST hosted by Erika Heald @SFerika: This chat brings together content creators and content marketers to share their challenges and best practices for solving them.

#BufferChat – Wednesday 12-1 pm EST hosted by Buffer @buffer: Join this chat to discuss social strategy, platforms, and growing your audience.

#SproutChat – Wednesday 3-4 pm EST hosted by Sprout Social @SproutSocial and Vera Flores @sproutvera: Discussions around relevant topics and challenges that social media and community managers face.

#TwitterSmarter – Thursday 1-2 pm EST hosted by Madalyn Sklar @MadalynSklar: As the name suggests, this chat is about all things Twitter and Twitter marketing.

#HootChat – Thursday 3-4 pm EST hosted by Hootsuite @hootsuite: From tools, to strategy, and best practices – all things social media.

I participate in these chats because they are hosted and attended by knowledgeable people and relevant to my career.  If these do not interest you, don’t worry, there are many chats out there; do some research and find those that do.  No matter which one you choose, I recommend using TweetChat to follow and participate.  Hope to chat with you soon; I look forward to your comments and questions.




Twitter Analytics – Know Your Audience


When most consider Twitter analytics, they think of a custom campaign measured by utm codes and Google Analyitcs, but are you also utilizing Twitter’s built-in tools?  When was the last time you clicked the Analytics tab from the dropdown of your profile picture on the top right corner?  Hopefully this blog will introduce you to some Twitter-tools that will increase your reach and engagement.

Analytics opens with the Home tab to give you an idea of how your tweets are doing.  What are you Tweet impressions (the number of times your tweets have been seen), what was your Top Tweet, are you getting mentioned by others, and who is your Top Mention.  Keep track of this data month to month and ensure you are reaching out to your Top Mentions.


After Home, I click the Tweets tab: are people really seeing my tweets, are they clicking on hyperlinks, and are they taking actions: retweets, likes, and replies.  This tab provides  insight to reach and most importantly engagement.


Next is the Audiences tab: there is so much good stuff here, explore and see what is important to you and your brand.  This data can be toggled by audience: All Twitter Users, Your Followers, or Your Organic Audience.  Once you have chosen the audience, dig into the data types.



Take the time to review all this great data and learn who you are tweeting to, what they like consuming, and what tweets encourage their engagement.

I look forward to your questions and comments.