Social Media No-No’s: A Top 10 List

Social Media No-No's

Mojo's List of Social Media No-No's

Last week I reviewed an online audio created by some self-proclaimed “inspirational” dude who goes around the country giving talks on social media and how it can help your association or business. It was almost physically painful to listen to him discuss all of the shortcuts to use to “automate” your relationships and “push” content to friends and followers. He so misses the point. And worse, he’s running around the United States spouting off this drivel. (Can you tell I’m irritated??)

So…thought I’d share our top 10 list of things you should NOT do – even if you hear it elsewhere. And, I think when you see the list and the business reasoning, you’ll agree, too.

10) Don’t jump into social media without a strategy. Please see our previous posts about planning to illustrate this point. You started your business with a plan. You make calculated decisions based on concrete, written goals and objectives. This should not be any different.

9) Don’t focus solely on Facebook, Linked In and Twitter. The social media landscape is rapidly changing, with new applications launching every week. Despite what you might have heard, not every application is for every business. If you need a strategy, a once-a-month mentor or just some initial planning help, call on us.

8 ) Don’t forget to observe and monitor BEFORE you leap.  Rushing into social media without understanding how your brand is perceived is just plain dumb. Monitor your brand before you start conversing. Determine who the influencers are and what your customers/prospects are saying. That will help you get the lay of the land.

7) Don’t focus only on quantitative metrics.  Alas, there is a component to social media that many businesses just don’t understand – the, uh, social component.  Consider qualitative metrics that can help you assess the quality of the dialog and conversation. 

6) Don’t forget to prioritize. You cannot do all things well. It is much worse, as many of you have heard me say in our workshops, to launch multiple social media initiatives only to have them die a slow and painful cyber-death due to lack of nourishment. Choose wisely based on what you need to achieve and do ONE well first. Collect your data, then move to the next initiative. Rinse. Repeat.

5) Don’t try to buy your way in.  Despite what many self-proclaimed “gurus” say, it is less about the number of followers and fans and more about the quality of interaction. You cannot achieve your goals by purchasing followers, buying your way onto Twitter lists or engaging in other nefarious activity that promises quick returns. If you approach your social media strategy this way, you will not be successful in building the kind of robust, word of mouth relationships for which social media is known.

 4) Don’t grab the latest intern and stick her on the project. This is a no-brainer. Understanding the technology is NOT the same as understanding the business strategy and the purpose behind the initiative.

3) Don’t hesitate to look for outside assistance.  Don’t you reach out to mentors in your business community? Have a once-a-month call with your finance or tax expert? Make sure you’re on the right track? This is no different. It’s a fallacy that since the platform is free, you shouldn’t seek customized assistance. Mojo offers monthly calls, group mentoring, online workshops and a suite of content-generation services.

2) Don’t automate your efforts. I am also disgusted with folks advocating automated software and bots that will tweet or post for you or writing a single tweet that populates everywhere.  That is not conversatiion. That is not dialog.  It will backfire.  Do not engage in social media if your sole purpose is to spam and push propaganda out. Please.

1) Don’t make it all about you.  You knew this one was coming after reading #2, right? It cannot be all about your business. It must be about what you need to achieve and what your community members will receive in return. 

Ahhh, I feel better now that I’ve cleared the air a bit. What are your top social media no-nos?  Feel free to share.

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4 Tips to Better NonProfit Website Copy

Better website copy is right around the corner. (photo from FreeFoto.com)

Better website copy is right around the corner. (photo from FreeFoto.com)

Today’s guest blogger is Lindsey Patten, who is our special guest speaker at the July 28th online workshop, Learn to Write Better Nonprofit Website Copy.
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Writing for the web is easier said than done. It’s easy to extol the virtues of great copy, but that much harder to get right down to business. See, writing is something that everyone knows how to do, but everyone doesn’t know how to do it well. So what are some first steps for sitting
down and getting it done?

1. Know your Limitations

If you are in charge of writing the web copy, ask yourself this: Are you up to the task? It’s nothing shameful if you aren’t. It’s more important to assess your writing capabilities and determine they aren’t up to snuff then not and go ahead with the writing anyway. Maybe you are good at one type of writing but not the other. Perhaps you can write the technical side of the issue, but not the emotional side? Whatever the case, know your limitations.

2. Secure your Environment

By this I mean, determine which is the ideal environment for creative juices to flow and make sure you have it. If you don’t wish to be disturbed, shut your office door or go somewhere else entirely. If you are interrupted during writing it can break your whole train of thought and leave you frustrated. Then assess what you do as you write. For me, I like to stand up and pace, running my thoughts through my head before I write them on the page. Some people like to listen to music, others like complete silence. Some like to eat as they write, others don’t. Whatever your perfect environment is for writing, try to replicate it.

3. Spit it Out

Staring at a blank piece of paper or a blank computer screen can be daunting. It’s important to get words, any words at all down on paper/computer just to start you off. It doesn’t matter if its gibberish, you just need to start writing to get into the flow. And then the real words will come. I promise!

4. Get an Editor

Get an editor. A good one. One that will show no mercy on your copy. Yes, sometimes it can sting when you receive back a piece of writing with track changes or red lines all over it, but ultimately this will help you create a better piece of content. It’s important to put your ego aside and at least consider the editor’s suggestions, even if you don’t accept them all.

So there are a few tips for getting started. And remember, writing good copy takes time so don’t frustrated if it doesn’t come to you in the first minute. Or hour. Or even day.

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For more information on Professional Mojo’s online workshops or to find out more about Lindsey Patten, please contact us.

4 Reasons Why Social Media is a Must-Have for Nonprofits

Social Media and Nonprofits

Social Media and Nonprofits

Professional Mojo tweeted an interesting story today from the The Columbus Dispatch that discussed how cultural arts organizations are using social media tools to generate buzz and reach new prospects. With donations down for most organizations, there has never been a better time to explore how social media can make up the ground. Here’s why:

1) Social media tools are free, fast, flexible, and they enable charities to engage with large numbers of existing and prospective supporters, both regionally and globally. The one to many aspect of social media makes it the most cost-effective marketing tool on the planet.

2) Social media gives prospects multiple ways of engaging with their charities of choice. You already know the rule – gotta touch them 5-7 times before it sticks – and reinforcing the message via blog, site, Twitter and more helps achieve the goal of establishing a relationship BEFORE you ask for support.

3) You can share more – more often – about the good you do. The National Wildlife Federation does a great job of Tweeting consistently and innovatively, using photos, video and more to create interest and buzz. This bears repeating – what is better than sharing a video of baby loggerhead turtles trying to make their way to the ocean for the first time! Sure beats just talking about it.

4) Once you’ve established a relationship, leveraging social media may very well increase your online giving. Sites such as http://tweetsgiving.org/ and Twitpay.me have proven that here are easy ways to collect cash online and spur giving.

There’s no time to be old-fashioned about this. Others are in the space and leveraging it for their objectives. The dollars these days are limited. Consider the best ways you can use your existing assets and resources, choose the best vehicles for you and get in the game! If you are unsure where to start, you may want to consider our upcoming workshop, too, featuring Lindsey Patten.

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