Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Oct 19, 2015
Two weeks ago on my business blog I wrote a post saying that I don’t fully give everything away when I’m writing my blog posts. I give away a lot of information, that’s for sure. What I don’t give away is a lot of implementation techniques. I also give advice that’s at a surface level; after all, every person and situation is different, so I can only give global information. For more specific help, I have to be contacted; that’s what a consultant does after all.
In last week’s post talking about how we all need to promote ourselves on social media, I mentioned that I would be giving a more detailed account of some of the things I’ve been doing lately that seem to be helping me get over the hump as far as being better known. In this post, I’m going to be giving a lot of detailed information away, as opposed to what I mentioned above. You might ask me why; don’t bother because I’m about to tell you.
I’m not going to lie to you. Doing what I’ve been doing is going to take a lot of work and a lot of time. If you’re efficient, it won’t take as much time, but it’s still going to take a significant bit of your time in general. Also, you can’t do all of it at once, although some of it you can.
I’m going to cover Twitter today, part of which I’ve mentioned before as it pertains to Twitter and Tweetdeck, but I’m going further now than I was. At a later date, probably next week, I’m going to cover LinkedIn and Facebook and how they relate to some of my blogs; how’s that for a full cross promotion?
The one place I’ve been deficient is Google Plus, so I’m not going to talk about it in this article. Heck, even I can’t do it all. Maybe another time; we’ll see.
Let’s get started with Twitter. I’m not going to repeat what I wrote in that previous article about it, so if you want more details, the cost to you is going to be a little bit of effort in going back and reading it; while you’re there, think about commenting on it as well. 🙂 I will start off by saying that I’m still using that process; I’ve just expanded it a lot.
Back then I had a list of 20 posts from this blog and 20 posts from my business blog. At this juncture, I’ve expanded that a lot… I mean a lot! lol In my Word file I’m up to 9 pages of links that include articles from those two blogs, my other blogs, and interviews I’ve conducted that are on my YouTube page. I only go back as far as the blogs will accept comments; that means this blog only goes back 1,000 days, but the business blog will accept comments going back 5 years. That’s to limit spammers, who love putting things on older posts (suckers lol).
But wait; there’s more (a homage to products bought on late night TV) lol. I have a second file that’s about 8 pages long of quotes from the early years of my business blog (which I’ve been writing for 10 years) that are geared towards topics I cover there that will help me reach an audience I’m looking to touch base with. Many of them have hashtags related to the topic, some don’t, but overall they’re another important asset I use.
If you’ve read the other article, you understand the need for the blog posts so let me explain the quotes. A lot of people love inspirational quotes. If you go to Twitter you see them all over the place. However, a lot of people not only are automating the process, but they’re all posting quotes by other people, famous people whether you know them or not. Almost no one is posting their own original quotes, and I think they’re missing out on a major opportunity. Not that I don’t also share some of those things (I’ll be coming back to this), but I also share a healthy dose of me; turns out I’m pretty quotable when I look back. 🙂
The first thing I do is decide the starting time for my daily posts. I start them a different time every day of the week… well, Monday and Thursday start at the same time, as do the posts on Saturday and Sunday, but otherwise I diversify the time. Trust me, the only people who are going to notice it are those who read this post; go ahead, share it and I’ll bet a lot of people still won’t notice it.
The reason Monday and Thursday started at the same time came about because I was writing two posts a week for this blog; since I’m not doing that anymore I could have changed the time up, but I’m leaving it alone for now because it makes programming everything else mentally easier to do. Tweetdeck is my platform of choice, but I’m assuming you can do the same on whatever you’re using.
This part is manual but it needs to be. If I write a new post, it’s the one that gets posted first every morning. Those are scheduled to automatically go out when published, since I write them ahead of time so I can plug them into their slot. There are 5 days and I have 5 blogs, so each blog has its day. If I don’t write a new post for any particular blog I pop something else in there.
I schedule blog posts initially with two hour periods of separation. The reason I do that is because every new post gets shared the first week at least 5 times (if I like it); sometimes more often. Well, almost every post; the one I wrote on September 11th this year was shared 3 times on that date and hasn’t been shared again. It was for a specific date and reason; those posts and sales posts follow a different standard.
The reason I space posts out 2 hours apart is because it gives me the opportunity to plug these posts into those other slots, since I’m usually scheduling everything 2 weeks in advance. Since this blog starts on Monday, it’ll get posted 5 more times during the week, including later on Monday night. If I really like it, I’ll pop it into a slot during the weekend also, and possibly a couple of times the next week. Otherwise, I don’t have an extended schedule for the new posts; I just plug them in when I feel like it.
I use a manual process is because Twitter won’t accept the same post more than once in a 24-hour period if it’s identically written. I also don’t put hashtags on the original posting of it; it would make my titles look messy. So, it gives me the opportunity to add the hashtag later on and either move it around if I need to or just make sure the posts are scheduled further apart than 24 hours. For instance, after I’ve written this post, I’ll be able to go ahead & paste it 5 other times into Tweetdeck for the week and be done with it, since I’ve already scheduled the other blog posts for the next two weeks; whew!
By having a file of older posts with the hashtags already in place, it makes the process of putting them in Tweetdeck move pretty fast. Popping those links in takes me between 30 – 45 minutes. The only slowdown is if I select a day where I want to revisit some of the newer posts, which I don’t have on the file because some of those I want to highlight more than what I have in my file. The file always goes in order based on which blog I’m sharing. The two most voluminous come from this blog and my business blog; that would figure since they have the most posts.
Now, you could just do that and stop there… but I don’t. I mentioned my quotes file previously. Now it’s time to schedule some of my quotes into Tweetdeck. I’ve also added some of my favorite quotes from other famous people and, well, characters from entertainment I like. Most of those quotes are those others aren’t using all that often so, in a way, I’m keeping up with my originality goal while giving some people names they might recognize like Dumbledore, Captain Picard and Yoda; y’all know them right? 🙂
These quotes I only schedule 4 times a day except for Mondays. I space them out 4 hours apart, but I also schedule them 30 minutes after a blog post. Let’s use Thursday as an example. The first post will go out at 9:45 and the first quote will go out at 10:15. Then there will be a quote at 2:15, 6:15 and 10:15. I never post anything during the times I know I’ll be trying to sleep, but since I stay up late, often I’ll post something live if I’m on Twitter at that time. I schedule those out two weeks in advance as well.
That might take me anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes because every once in a while, for some of my shorter quotes, I’ll go through my archives and add an image to the quote. If you have at least 22 characters left, you can add an image. If you have enough characters left and you want to add a topic specific hashtag, do it. That’s how you’ll best reach the audience you’re gearing something to.
Whew, that’s a lot of work isn’t it? Sorry kids but we’re not done; not even close! This is where many people mess up, but I’m not going to let you do it. If I did, then I’d be contributing to the noise I see on Twitter and I’d hate myself. Remember, even if it’s supposed to be about you, it’s not ALL supposed to be about you.
Next, it’s time to go through my Twitter lists to see what’s going on and what people are sharing. I have 4 specific lists: Friends of Mine; People I Want To Follow; Syracuse Folks; #Leadership.
The first is a listing of my online friends whose posts I want to share on Twitter more often than others. I don’t share everything, and, so you know, if I’m sharing a link I always go and look at the post to see if I think it’s fine before I share it; my reputations on the line after all. I always start there, and it’s not an overly large list of folks.
The second is the most transient list I have. There are a few people who will always be on that list, but it’s the list I use to alternate people in and out of that, for the most part, I’m connected to on Twitter. Sometimes there’s something I’m not connected to that’s not local that I’ll put in there for a while, just to see what type of thing they’re posting. If I like it, they stay; if not, I remove them and put someone else in. The one permanent person in that list that I’m not connected to is Neil deGrasse Tyson. If you don’t know who he is… why not?!?!? Go look him up; I consider him the smartest and most eclectic person in the world today. However, this is the 3rd list I look at.
The second list I look at is third in the line, that being my local Syracuse peeps. This includes friends of mine who may have moved out of the area but I met them here. It’s a bigger list than the other two, but they don’t post a lot of stuff for the most part, and usually by 11PM they’ve stopped posting for the night; wusses. lol
The last of my created lists is my #Leadership list. Every post that’s on Twitter that uses that hashtag shows up here. This gives me a rotating list of people, most of whom I don’t know, who are posting things I like to see. If I like it, I’ll share it.
The last list I look at is that all encompassing list of everyone I’m connected to. At this juncture that’s about 1,150 people; whew! And yet, it’s not as daunting as you might think it is; I’ll tell you why based on the next step.
I do a couple of things with these lists. First, I open up a Notepad document. For the first 3 lists I mentioned I go back over a 24-hour period and look at everything that’s in those lists. Since they’re not voluminous, it doesn’t take as long as you might think. For the leadership and home columns (the column where everyone I’m connected to is called Home; not sure if I called it that or not lol). I only go back 30 minutes. Trust me, there’s so much content that 30 minutes is plenty to look through for both of them.
Tweetdeck allows me to use the mouse to copy whatever’s in the box for those people and paste it into Notepad. I mentioned earlier that if there’s a link to a post I open it up and look at it. The secondary reason for doing that is some folks paste without having the links shrink, and copying doesn’t retrieve the entire link. So, if I like it and want to share it, I have to copy the link from the browser and replace the truncated link that showed up in Notepad. I accumulate all links I want to share this way.
The second thing I do is just go ahead and share some of those links while I’m looking at them. I do this for a lot of the local links so those folks will see that I’ve shared them during the night; it seems to make them happy when they wake up. lol If I share them once, I don’t share them again. By copying and pasting later I get to control what they look like, but if I share them immediately they’re formatted differently. Thus, if they’re retweets and I want to give those folks credit, I have to type in their Twitter handles if it’s live, but if I copy it then I get their Twitter handles on the file.
How I schedule these depends on how many I get. This is the one area where I might have to revisit the columns at least one more time during the week. I’ll post at least one of these once an hour, and at an “off-time”. Every post of mine is scripted based on either ending in “0” or “5”. The others can be at any time of the day, at long as I’m awake, but the caveat is that there has to be at least 10 minutes of separation, more if I can get it. This regulation doesn’t apply to anything I’m sharing while live, but if scheduled I stick to this rule. Because of the live sharing, I end up somewhere close to a 50-50 split; that’s pretty fair.
If during a period where I’m scanning the columns I end up with a lot to share, then I schedule way out. If not, I’ll revisit that again during the week, possibly a couple of times, and plug them in. Because I know what my general posting schedule every other day, I can actually post some of these in before it’s time to post my blog articles if need be.
Yet, I’m still not done; what else is there?
Because of the time I’ve spaced out, it allows for new content I might create independent of the blog posts. For instance, if I’ve posted an article on LinkedIn, I schedule that. If I create a new video, that gets scheduled. I advertise my products, mainly my two books at least 3 times a week for each of them. I pop my Facebook business page link in there every once in a while. I also pop in articles for two other sites I write for, my accountant and my consultant’s group. I don’t write weekly for them, so they’re easier to plug in later on. Finally, if I get ambitious and have more than one post on a blog in a week, I’ll still have lots of space left to pop those links in.
All of this sounds like it takes up a lot of time doesn’t it? Well… it does and it doesn’t. Usually I can knock it off within a couple of hours in one shot or I can break it up over a couple of days on a weekend. Because I schedule two weeks in advance, it gives me the free time I need during the weeks to do other stuff like writing blog posts, marketing my business, creating other stuff, etc. Frankly, by planning I save tons of time while getting my name out there… and it’s all free! 🙂
One last thing; what, you thought it was over? Well, this part isn’t anything you can plan in advance, yet it needs to be part of what you do. You have to interact with people who interact with you. So, anytime someone shares any of my stuff, I thank them. If they make a comment I comment back, sometimes engaging in longer conversations. After all, Twitter really is about engagement, and when other people see that you’ll talk to them they’ll be more willing to talk to you. If they’ll talk to you, they’ll follow you… most of the time anyway. 🙂 By the way, this is my favorite part of using Twitter, and why it’s my favorite social media platform.
I know the question you’re asking me now, and I’m ready to answer it; what’s my ROI, or return on investment?
I haven’t made much money yet; we’ll get that out of the way. I have sold a couple of my books by doing this, especially my latest book Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy, because some folks get intrigued by all the stuff I’m posting, go take a look, and decide to give it a shot. Now if I can only get more than one person to admit that they’ve read the whole thing I’ll be even happier. lol
However, I get a lot of people sharing both my articles and my quotes. I’ve increased traffic on my sites, though not dramatically. I’ve had a lot more people follow me there and I’ve had a few people who’ve connected with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and have gone to see some of my videos. I’ve also had a lot of people adding me to their lists, which is pretty cool as it means they’ll at least see my stuff moreso than if I was just in the general population there.
That’s about as comprehensive as it gets. Yes, it’s work intensive, but it can be a major benefit if you’re ready to do the work. That part is up to you; however, if you actually read all of this I’m going to ask you to retweet it for me so it’s not just me doing it. After all, I didn’t write this particularly epic post to read it on my own. 🙂
If you think I’ve left anything out, or you have any questions, please feel free to comment. Now I’m tired so I’m going to bed. lol
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 8, 2012
Back in January I wrote a post titled Our Reluctance To Market Ourselves. One of the things I talked about in that post was how so many of us miss out on opportunities to get publicity that don’t cost us any money, maybe only a little bit of effort. And I added that I’m the same way often, which is easily true.
Enter HARO, which stands for “Help A Reporter Out”. Its main purpose is to connect reporters with people who might have information they need and the urge to gain publicity. From our end, the non-reporters, we can sign up to receive email 3 times a day with requests from both news and magazine reports to respond to any of the multiple links that may be something that describes us. This isn’t like a job where you respond to things that don’t quite fit what you do but you have the skills for. The needs are very specific, and thus if it’s you, you’ll know it.
This is my second foray into HARO; I don’t even remember when I was a part of it the first time around. I also don’t remember why I signed up to try it again, but somehow I’m thinking I have to blame Beverly Mahone in some fashion because of her talking about PR and getting publicity for your business. After being with it for the last 3-4 weeks, it’s time to ask the question “Is HARO for you?”
As I mentioned, you get email 3 times a day if you sign up for it. The email always starts off with an advertisement, but it’s totally text. I don’t have a problem with that, and you shouldn’t either. Next comes the requests, and I’ve seen as few as 25 and as many as 60. They’re categorized to help you get through them quicker, although it’s possible that you may be able to address the interests in categories that aren’t specifically geared for your business. For instance, I once responded to a query from someone looking to talk to dependents of military personnel who traveled a lot, since I certainly lived that life.
What’s my issue? Including the first time I was with HARO I’ve never had one person ever respond back to me. Now, one could surmise that they found what they were looking for beforehand, and that’s obviously true. Still, how do you feel when you visit a lot of blogs, leave what you think are pretty good comments, and never get an acknowledgment?
You feel like you’ve just wasted your time, that’s what. And that’s how I often feel with HARO. I’ve tried it a couple of different ways. A few times I responded and gave my story entirely, thinking that if they saw everything up front they’d at least contact me to ask for more, whether they used it or not. A few times I’ve gone minimalistic, giving some information but not going into any details, seeing if the “tease” was enough to get their attention.
Nope, nada, zip. Now, the site tells you that all these big time news sources use their services in looking for people to talk to and get information from, which is pretty enticing. But when you look at the emails, the majority of what you get certainly isn’t coming from big media. However, I didn’t sign up expecting NBC to come calling to ask me about anything. My hope was to possibly get into a couple of magazines, where people can read what you have to say and hopefully like it enough to look for you online.
So, is HARO for you and me? I’m not really sure yet, but I remember I had the same feeling the first time I left, and I’m getting that same feeling now. I mean, going through potentially hundreds of links and responding to some via email only to hear the sound of a vacant room without the echo as a response… is it worth the time? I’m thinking I learned better methods from Bev’s book How To Get On The News Without Committing Murder, and have made a couple of local contacts because of it.
Still, I’m not ready to let go just yet, so I’m going to give it another couple of weeks to see if I’m getting more irritated or whether I feel it’ll all work out in the end. Right now, I know which way I’m leaning, and I bet you do as well.
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Apr 15, 2011
Later today in my area we’re having a tweetup at a local hotel. This is different than the norm in that the hotel is helping to sponsor the event, whereas normally someone decides where to meet and we just show up there.
The link above will take you to the post I wrote about the upcoming event. I had it show up yesterday early afternoon, since it’s not my event, and of course it gave me something to write about. I waited a couple of hours to see if it would take, then I asked some people specifically if they were going.
To my surprise, every person I asked about it said they didn’t know anything about the event. When I asked if they’d seen the link to the post I wrote about it, they said no and that they each get so many messages that it’s hard to keep up. This also surprised me since it had only been out a couple of hours; what’s going on here.
First I stated that particular thing about my post. Then I mentioned that the news had been on Twitter for at least 3 weeks or so, and that it’s surprising they hadn’t seen it from anyone else. They countered saying maybe they didn’t follow the same people I do, but I knew that to be a crock. Even one of the top social media people from Syracuse University had retweeted the event; I know few people locally that I follow that don’t follow her.
It got me thinking about a lament I’ve written on not being well known where you live. I’ve been attributing a lot of it to the general lack of interest it seems I get from local people via Twitter and how I’d love to be seen more prominently locally, which Twitter is something that affords us the opportunity to do. However, some of the people who were helping to promote this thing are big on social media locally, yet it seems that even their tweets were missed whenever someone was talking about the pending tweetup.
I’ve talked about some people who have high Twitter numbers and wondered whether those numbers really meant anything or not. Of course I tend to think they don’t because I visit many of these people when supposedly they’re starting to follow me and I don’t see many of them engaging with anyone else. I’m always thinking “who wants to continually read links and the like from all these people they don’t know”?
I think the answer is “no one”. When all is said and done, Twitter can be a great medium for reaching out to the masses, but the masses have to be paying attention at the time one puts something out there. For instance, when I wrote my post about how Finish Line treated me as a customer and an affiliate, I really expected it was something that local Twitter folks would jump on to a degree; after all, we have a couple of those stores locally, kind of prominent. It got maybe two local people who said anything, and mostly people who weren’t from here reposting it. I was thinking it was just my voice at the time that people were ignoring, but it seems to be prevalent for almost everyone’s voice.
In an odd way, that kind of points out one of the major failings of social media. Yes, statistics prove that companies that start to employ some social media aspects grow in the number of prospects they can reach, but social media can’t seal the deal, and it can’t help if no one is listening. Even with 50,000 people following, if no one is specifically looking out for you then your message is falling on mainly deaf ears. That’s disconcerting to say the least.
How do we cut through some of the Twitter blather to be seen and heard there? What makes the few people that may or may not have figured it out seen and heard and responded to? I think that’s the next great study; I wonder if I’ll be trying to do it… nah!