Ragan’s PR Daily posted The 36 Rules of Social Media, an infographic created by Fast Company.

Do you follow these? Are there any you disagree with?

I like to keep #12 and #33 in mind: #12 because accepting failure comes with the territory when you’re working with an ever-changing and context-based medium – try predicting everything when building a new brand’s social media strategy. It’s pretty difficult/impossible#33 I enjoy as a mantra for marketing and business in general. It’s important to remember that your brand (if it’s a successful one) represents not only your product or service, but the people who use it. Your fans should interact with, and ultimately have a hand in generating content for your brand. Think of it as a 21st century take on “the customer is always right.”

Week 3: The Klout Experiment (Why One Bad Week Won’t Sink You)

This week, I learned that a downturn in engagement isn’t always a bad thing.

Every week, I document my Klout Experiment: a vain and foolish attempt to match Sarah Palin’s Klout score of 72 by January 1, 2013.

Generally, you’ll find me nerding out about all things Social Media, but I’m also looking for full-time work in Social Media. So, reading recent articles on the importance of Klout and other social scoring tools in recruiting got me thinking about the ways in which we determine our online influence.

Each week, I record the results of my Klout Experiment in a weekly social media engagement digest.

As we learned last week, my efforts to increase frequency across platforms proved ineffective, reducing my score to 60 from a glorious, glorious 61.

This week, I’ve actually managed to damage my score further, as I’m left this week with a measly score of 59!!!

After discovering my score decrease and short-circuiting my Macbook with bitter, bitter tears, I took a moment to re-consider the weight online brands put on their social influence scores..

What I realized is that a Klout score only reflects a small snapshot of my network’s engagement. So what if I miss the mark one week? Presumably, the measly 59 Klout points worth of engagement is from people who’ve enjoyed my overall online persona, before this week. Those followers will stay with me unless I start posting way too much on social media or I post something that really pisses them off.

The conclusion I came to about my decreasing Klout score applies to businesses, too: wavering metrics don’t mark failure, but a learning opportunity. And the fans who stick with you are the most evangelical, and thus the most likely to help you reach future benchmarks. 

How have you or your company leveraged a bad week? 

Week 2: The Klout Experiment (Why Twitter Might Not Be Worth It)

In my Klout Experiment, I attempt to match Sarah Palin’s Klout score of 72 by January 1, 2013 and record my findings.

Somehow, despite my best efforts to increase frequency and vary use of my social media outlets, I lost a point this week! I believe this may be related to how I divided my attention between Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare this week. I only posted on Facebook 4 times this week, as opposed to the 24 posts I had last week.

I decided to increase the frequency and interactiveness of my professional Twitter handle this week, replying to and RT’ing a few tweets from local comedians and Social Media Marketing bloggers. Although your Klout score accounts for only engagement (likes, comments, replies, RTs) and not frequency, I figured that tweeting more would help boost my score by potentially boosting engagement.

Getting traction on Twitter takes far more frequency (and great content, of course!) so  my hunch about increasing Twitter activity to increase my social influence score was partly correct: 1% of this week’s score originated from Twitter interactions, whereas last week’s score was 100% Facebook. But, that new Twitter contribution did not make up for a lack of engagement on Facebook and ultimately, my Klout score suffered.

Do you or our company think Twitter is worth the time and extra output?  

Twitter Gaffe

Staying Relevant On Twitter: A Checklist

Yesterday, I had the good fortune of noticing and deleting the following tweets I had scheduled for two of my clients: a curated month-old article on how to deal with “Supply Chain disasters” and a link to a report that named India as the leading consumer of green technology in 2011.

Why delete these posts? Because the word “disaster” has a heavier meaning in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and just that morning, Cyclone Nilam ripped through Southern India.

Twitter Gaffe

Image Credit: Salon.com

As the social media administrator for 3 separate brands from widely disparate industries, I have similar social media brushes with death almost daily. Like any content strategist, I schedule the bulk of my clients’ tweets in advance. However, if accidents like Celeb Boutique’s awful Aurora Twitter Fail have taught me anything, it’s that updating based on relevance is a high priority in the fast-paced world of social media. Not doing so can mean sacrificing quality, diplomacy, or worse, accuracy.

So how can I avoid generating insensitive or inaccurate content and stay on top of current events and industry news without being glued to the news, the blogosphere, and my Twitter feed for 23 hours a day?

Here is my must-have check list for maintaining frequent and relevant online content:


  • Give your editorial calendar a once-over (10 mins)

If nothing else, this is great for spelling and grammar (yes, that still matters!)

  • Take a look at Twitter trends (10 – 15 mins)

You never know what might come up – maybe a celebrity has worn something truly awful to a red carpet event and your working for a fashion blog or a designer. Also, don’t be afraid of a little snark… it’s what secretly fuels Twitter. Can’t think of what to write? Feel free to RT, but only as a last resort.

  • Take a look at the headlines (10 – 15 mins)

Reading the news can save you from accidentally tweeting something that may alienate a large portion of your audience.

  • Take a look at celebrity gossip/pop culture sites for top stories

May I suggest: Buzzfeed (WTF and Viral tags), PerezHilton, or Gawker 

  • Check Google Alerts

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend making google alerts for your brand name and industry

  • Check Google Reader

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend getting the RSS feeds for any and all industry blogs you read. It saves lots of time and screen space.

  • Get offline!

I know this is sacrilege, but sometimes talking to friends, family, and coworkers in person can give you nuance and context in a way that just can’t compare to your best friend Internetz. If you’re feeling especially stuck, schedule a walk to the water cooler or a midday coffee date with your chattiest friend.

All-Star Klout-Off!

The Klout Experiment – Raising My Klout Score by The New Year

As a Social Media Strategist or as my mom puts it,  “professional Tweeter,” I pride myself on not only finding and engaging online influencers, but being one myself. It’s my humble opinion that in order to engage your brand’s most active users, you must walk a mile in those users’ shoes.

After reading Seth Stevenson’s remarkable piece on the growing ubiquity of the Klout Score – and its importance as a professional and personal tool – I attempted to take stock in my own online influence by taking a look at my somewhat inactive Klout account:

  • I could only register one of my Twitter accounts. I have 2, but the one associated with my main email address (and thus searchable by potential employers) is only 2-months old. So I went with my personal account, which has more followers.
  • I’m a Facebook addict – this is where the bulk of my new points derived
  • I’ve just started to use Foursquare. I absolutely love it and have earned quite a few “first check in” badges. I only have about 9 friends, though, which has more of an influence on my overall score.
  • Linkedin is a resource for me as a young professional, but sadly, I linked my Klout to the Linkedin page for my previous employer and have lost access to enable me to revoke permissions.

After this narcissistic digital dissection, I decided I needed to dig deeper. I needed to figure out exactly what it would take to become the kind of influencer my future employer(s) need to engage. As an individual with a Klout score of 61, I’m taking my cue from the job-seeking subject of Stevenson’s article, and conducting a weekly experiment:

I will try to raise my Klout score to 72 by January 1, 2013.

Why 72? Well, according to Wired.com’s infographic, Sarah Palin’s people have managed to get her that score.  Since I tend to tweet for brands and individuals far less cuckoo-bananas than Ms. Palin, it would actually pain me not to match or exceed her publicists’ Klout score.

All-Star Klout-Off!

At least I have a higher Klout score than the Aflac duck.

So, here’s to (completely amateur) scientific inquiry!

Do you track your Klout Score? Tell me in the comments!

Why I’m Watching a Viral Vid from 2009

While waiting for a ferry to Toronto Island a few weeks ago, my friends and I overheard a gaggle of teenagers singing this with unbridled enthusiasm: “At the red houuuuuse: where black people and white people buy furniture!!”

We couldn’t believe what we were hearing. Presumably, neither could they when they first stumbled upon the youtube sensation from which the song originated… in 2009.

What intrigued me wasn’t the initial popularity of the video – which generated over 2 million views in 1 year – but its resilience. The kids singing this ironic jingle couldn’t have been older than 16. Their spoiled 13 year old selves could have been streaming this video on their new 2009 iPhone 3Gs all those years ago, but as the vid’s current views top 4 million, it’s likely they found it more recently through searches, social media sharing, or Youtube recommendations.

Why is this a genius concept for a commercial? Its content defies context. A simple furniture store jingle exalting the joys of racial equality can be surprisingly relevant in any number of contexts. Obama had only been in office for a year when this video was originally posted, so its popularity could be attributed to the issues of race and race relations Americans were discussing at that time. But the video could easily be embedded in any number of satirical columns, humour lists (think Buzzfeed, Cracked, or College Humor), or any other content related to 2012 presidential race, low budget commercials, song-writing, race-relations, furniture, or the South.

Digital content doesn’t need to be high concept or high budget to go viral: if it’s funny enough, it will beg to be shared beyond the context in which it was created!

Increase Blog Traffic, Online Content | Bay Business Help

Increase Blog Traffic, Online Content | Bay Business Help

Simple, straightforward advice on how to stay current and searchable when blogging for SEO. Another tip: subscribe to “events” RSS feeds to keep up to date on local happenings and holiday celebrations.

Strategic Tweeting and the Art of Monitoring

As someone who has used Twitter in a personal and professional capacity for more than 3 years, it has taken me a while to learn the nuances of monitoring. Creating strategy based on analytics is a tough task, and finding out who tweets and retweets when is really only half the battle. Here are a few things I’ve learned to keep in mind when tweeting strategically:

Tweeting at peak times is only targeting an already-captured audience. As in, when I look at a brand’s analytics from the past month and find that their followers engage most around 2pm mid-week, I must rememeber that tweeting the content they like at those times will, at best, retain those who are already following and engaging.

Segment your followers. That being said, it is important to figure out who of your already-engaged followers are clicking through your links or visiting your website at 2pm mid-week, and who of your followers are actually tweeting at or retweeting your content. Depending on your goals, you may want to segment your followers and tailor your content accordingly. For example, if you want to increase brand awareness through growing your social media following, you will want to target the active followers (the ones who tweet or retweet your brand); if you want to get more ad traffic or click throughs on your website , then you should target those who end up on your website through social media shares.

Ask “Why?” Finding out the who, what, and where about your active followers will more than likely help you create decent content they’re willing to read, or even share. But you must also ask “why?” Finding out why followers retweet certain kinds of content at a certain time of day will help you figure out exactly how  to curate the best content, every time.

Rinse, lather, (don’t always) repeat! Beware of turning your newfound understanding of the who what and why into a formula! Look to your blog for creating evergreen content, but try to tweet new and even more engaging content that occasionally flouts the proven trends. Without alienating your current followers, tweeting something a little off the beaten path might help your brand discover and activate new audience segments.