How to Communicate with Gen Y, the Facebook People

I love having a computer with internet access to everyone in the world (it seems), and having a cell phone so that I can be reached by my children anywhere I go.

I also love the fact that they have cell phones so that they can be reached anywhere they go . . . well if they pick up the call.

There is, however,  a level of frustration that comes with cell phone use – for instance, the child who texts, and doesn’t talk.  If I’m in the car driving to pick her up from work, she’ll TEXT me with her location.  I’m not going to read her text and drive, so I’ve got to wait for a red light, or pull over.  So the decision is: Do I wait til I hit a red light, and then learn I’m going in the opposite direction from where I should be going?  OR Do I pull over only to find that she’s at Smoothie King, next door to her work?

The real question is, Why didn’t she call? She drives, she knows I’m driving and shouldn’t be reading text messages, so why not TALK?

I’m convinced if she needed 911, she’d text h-e-l-p.

Client Spotlight: Dr. Thomas Alexander

Dr. Thomas Alexander is in my client spotlight today . . . And I want to thank him for giving me a shot at being his social media manager. Tom came to me as a referral from AniciaB because he wanted to update his blog.

He has great information on health and well-being, but he wanted a better presentation and social media interaction with his patients and the world. He knew his blog could reach a lot of people and Anicia wanted to see that he did it right.

Harmonia Wellness then

His blog did need a lot of work.  In fact, I just started over with a new url, ThomasAlexanderMD.Com, and a whole new look using the thesis framework.

Anicia had designed his new business card, so that was the starting point for everything.  We tweaked the design of his blog together til it had the look he wanted and then set out to replicate that look in his newsletter and his Facebook page.

It wasn’t always easy.  Because I’m publishing a book called The Secret Art of RockStar Buzz, I used the phrase “blog like a Rock Star” a lot.  So with that in his head, and Anicia extolling the virtues of Facebook “Fan” Pages, one day he threw up his hands and said, “I don’t want to be a RockStar!  I don’t want to be a celebrity doctor.  I want to connect with people and help them.  His motto is:  Inspiring Excellent Health.

He totally meant what he said.

I had to rethink my strategy . . . blogging like a RockStar might not be the goal of everyone I wanted to work with.  It is a phrase I identify with, but everyone who knows me will describe me as, well, a little bit out there.

I’m not so artistic as to be missing an ear, but I do think creative types (me being on of them) aren’t just regular guys.  I wrote a post called “I don’t want to be a RockStar” in honor of Dr. Alexander, because he had valid points and I had to honestly re-evaluate my approach.

When we got past the vernacular, which was the real problem, we went back to work on his blog, his newsletter, and his Facebook page, all of which I’m proud.

We used mail chimp for his newsletter, it is free up to 3,000 mailings, it is slick, incorporates your social media and keeps track of mailings, deliveries, and click throughs, so Dr. Alexander knows how effective his email campaign is.

He is faithful to his commitment to send a weekly newsletter every Wednesday and his numbers are going up nicely.

He posts articles regularly at ThomasAlexanderMD.Com and I’m happy with the numbers of hits he’s getting with a brand new blog.

We’ve just published his Facebook page, so I’d ask all of you to look it over and click that like button! He may not want to be a celebrity doctor, but he does want to connect with as wide an audience as possible.

Twitter is next on our list.  I’m getting him on TweetAdder so that he can focus his followers, and focus on their needs.  His twitter is http://twitter.com/tomalexandermd, so you can sign up to follow his tweets now.

Dr. Alexander takes questions in his comments section of the blog, through direct messages on twitter, and through the contact form on his site, so pick his brain.

Client Spotlight: Indulge with AniciaB

Okay, I’ll admit it, AniciaB is my oldest daughter (See the family resemblance?)

So that is how I came to do her blog, IndulgewithAniciaB, which is about fashion, design and style as seen by AniciaB.

Anicia has a successful business as a designer, having done consulting for high profile clients like professional athletes, movie stars, musicians, and entertainers, but her publicist, Jerry Shandrew wanted her to widen her audience; introduce herself to the masses, so to speak.

So, our focus for Anicia was the blog, Indulge with AniciaB, updating and innovating her Facebook page; giving her true Twitter habits to focus her followers, starting a newsletter to garner email addresses, and incentivizing them to join, and finally, implementing the AniciaB YouTube Channel.

We worked on the blog design for four or five weeks, trying things we liked (and trying some things we found we didn’t like) until we found the combination of color and white space that she wanted. From there the design for Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and her newsletter were shaped to be complimentary to the blog, but innovative and attractive in their own right, and most importantly functioning at peak for her social media campaign.

Her staff had designed a very, very good plan for her blog, incorporating “Diva Deals” every week for pretty remarkable bargains in really pricey couture; giveaways for people who signed up for the newsletter and a serious publishing schedule for posts.

It was by far the best plan I’d ever seen anyone have before they started posting.

She began assembling a panel of experts who also contribute to her blog,

Dr. Thomas Alexander, another client of mine, writes on health and well being, and Deborah DePiano (the “face behind the faces”) a skin specialist who’s clients include Courtney Cox, Alicia Silverstone and Christina Applegate.  For AniciaB’s readers, Deborah shares the secrets that she normally saves for faces you see onscreen.

We are working the giveaways into her Facebook page, so her “fans” know they’ll see the best stuff there first, we’re adding  the special sale items to her Twitter stream, so bargain hunters will get those notices when they’re mobile and can take advantage of them immediately.

I enrolled her in Tweet Adder so she could focus on growing a twitter following that is interested in what she has to say rather than 10,000 followers whose main post is “I got 1,000 followers in one day using twitterpop” or some other shady twitteresque program. Why add to the noise? Anicia has a message to get out and she knows who her audience is. The point is to focus her campaign to those people who are avidly interested in style, couture, glamour and help them achieve their goals n every way possible.

She actively participates in the community she has created, responding to questions from her readers, giving advice on hair, clothes, party extravaganzas. We’re integrating Facebook apps into her blog to increase the interactivity of both and enlarge her community. The feed from her blog feeds links into Facebook, not just headlines, so her readers have developed both on the blog and on Facebook.

So, my advice to you?  “Indulge with AniciaB!”

Track your social influence

This is a fun site, and we all need more cool ways to waste time on the net, yes? Oh, yeah.

So the Influence Project lets you establish a baseline and then spread your influence, and they will keep up with your level of success.   They have a slick interface, you can sign on with Facebook and track your influence . . . First thing I’ve seen on facebook in a long, long time that I really, really like . . .

http://fcinf.com/v/b6r8

Internet 101: Flash vs. HTML

I continue to be amazed at the dollars people will throw at a website (especially a flash based website) with absolutely no idea what they’ve asked for and what they are getting. Or the disparity between the two.

Perhaps that is the reason those blog-in-a-box sites actually make money.  If you don’t know what you want, and really don’t know what you can get, those flash sites catch your eye (and hook your pocketbook) because they are such great eye candy.

And you think  “. . .  everyone who sees them will ooh, and ahh and want whatever it is I’ve got. . .”

Maybe they will.

Those people who see them.

And that’s the problem isn’t it?  Google doesn’t index movies.  The videos on YouTube and Vimeo are tagged with searchable information that will allow viewers to find you in the gazillion websites out there competing with you.

That gorgeous flash website you’ve got?  Does it have meta tags?  titles?  keywords? Text?  Spend the next ten minutes reading hard core SEO articles and then figure out how your site is ever going to have a visitor that didn’t type in (one letter at a time) your url.

Ain’t happening, baby.

And all that business you expect to get off the net?

Ditto, it ain’t happening either.

You like flash?  I love flash.  By all means use pieces of it.  But just like a site that is all text, no color, no pictures, no nothing, it isn’t going to get the job done for you.

But at least the text site that is boring will get indexed in the search engines; readers will be able to find it and actually visit.

. . . the flash site? Say it with me, it ain’t happening.

Tom Peters and Lady Gaga?

Lady GaGa and Tom Peters in the same post?  It seems like the perfect match to me.

I’ve just finished Tom Peter’s book, “Brand You” and if anyone has taken his advice and made it her mantra, it would be Lady GaGa, The Fame Monster.

Brand You, was originally published in 1999, and I’ll admit I may be behind in my reading.  But it is fresh and new to me, and still topical.  After all, aren’t each of us working to promote ourselves at whatever we do, or whatever we want to do?

If you know of Lady GaGa, you know she has created a persona that almost everyone recognizes, whether they care for her or not.

[pullquote]I’ve just discovered GaGa, too, in my usual, sideways, circuitous route . . .  I’ve seen photos of her outrageous costumes and heard of her latex clothes, which seem to be talked about a LOT more than her music.  I don’t have a taste for latex, and the red veil sort of put me off, so I didn’t pursue intimate knowledge of l’gaga.

Looking for something to watch on hulu, since I’ve seen everything netflix has to offer, I watched an episode of Glee and it happened to showcase the fame monster.  I immediately hit YouTube, and fell in love with this woman.

I like the songs, I like the video, I love the name, The Fame Monster.

[/pullquote]

Tom Peters has written numerous books on self promotion, his latest being “The little BIG things; 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence.”

And,  they all are in the same voice. Be really, really good at what you do, and be really, really, really good at letting the world know you’re good.

Hence, the Fame Monster/Tom Peters connection.

In Web 2.0 parlance, this would mean that you

  • have developed a community
  • engage your audience
  • interact with your community

ALL the time.

and, as a “Fame Monster” you are actively engaged  in promoting yourself in some or all of these fame machines:

  • Your Blog
  • facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Article writing
  • email marketing
  • newsletters
  • free reports

If not, I hope you’ll become a regular here . . . sign up for the newsletter, get the reports, get the RSS Feed.  I want to help you in your quest to become a Fame Monster! And the best Brand You ever.

And for fun, heres l’gaga.  Bad Romance . . .  Reportedly the MOST watched YouTube Video of all time: Total Views: 238,152,814

Is there too much Twitter?

You’ve heard me bitch about the noise that I find on twitter . . . the post Friend or Follow being an example of my efforts to clear noise on my twitter screen.

So in the hope of giving you more ways and means to sort through the twitter-chatter, here are some other Twitter tools to check out.

TweetChat

… helps put your blinders on to the Twitter-sphere while you monitor and chat about one topic.  You choose a hashtag and enter a TweetChat room.

I like the “put your blinders on to the Twitter-sphere” part, but a TweetChat room?

Twitterfall, a take on waterfall, I guess . . .

allows you to select a trending topic, which you can do via search, making lists of groups, and even drilling down to geolocation . . .

A tool I find really helpful for cyber stalkers who would prefer to roam the real earth, geolocation tags.

And after doing all this on Twitterfall, they say you can then login to your twitter account to view your timeline, mentions, and direct messages, subtly implying that their tool will get you mentions and direct messages . . . .

TweetGrid

is a powerful Twitter Search Dashboard that allows you to search for up to 9 different topics, events, converstations, hashtags, phrases, people, groups, etc in real-time. As new tweets are created, they are automatically updated in the grid.

Talk about stalking ability . . . you do not need a twitter account to use TweetGrid.

It was designed to be a “drive-by” service, meaning that anyone can use it without needing to register or log-in first. Just open TweetGrid, choose a grid layout, and off you go! You will, however, need a twitter account to tweet from TweetGrid, but anyone can use it for searching twitter.

On the off chance that you may have wrongly presumed any of these are affiliate links, let me assure you they aren’t. And really, do you think they’d pay me for this kind of press? Somehow, I don’t think so.

Rock on, Kiddos

Wake Up!

I feel like we’re in the midst of the movie Vanilla Sky, where everyone is telling Tom Cruise

. . . Wake Up

Bush gave billions to the banking industry in order to salvage the economy, placing the country in a deficit of $1.2 trillion.  Trillion.  That’s dollars, buckos, Trillion.

The $247 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was established to stimulate the economy by making money available in the way  of credit to businesses and individuals.  There weren’t any rules with the money, no contracts, only expectations.  It was 2008, we had no clue what was coming and Bush came up with a knee-jerk reaction to throw money at the problem, expecting that the banks would follow through and offer credit to the people and the econmy would stumble back to its more pleasant recent past.

Fast forward to 2010, and Damn!  Lending fell.  According to a USA Today/American University study, Outstanding loans to business and plain old people fell 9.1% for banks with TARP funds.  (6.2% at banks who didn’t receive those funds)

Paychecks got larger at the TARP-assisted banks!  With all the hoorah about bonuses at banks and on Wall Street, those guys got more money – the average pay for TARP assisted banks went up 9.1%; non TARP-assists?  1.8% increase in salaries.

And they opened more branches!  I don’t know why, they weren’t there to make loans to the neighborhood.

. . . Wake Up!

Henry Paulson, Treasury Secretary AND the former chairman of Goldman Sachs was making decisions on who got the bucks.  And how many billions went to Goldman?

Here we are in 2010, and now we want to question what they did with the money?  And investigate Goldman and others?  Where were these brainiacs in 2008 when they were handing out money like the banker at a big-ass Monopoly game?

The people who are trying to fix the problem either don’t get it yet, or don’t care and are still taking care of their cronies at the expense of the American public.  If we, the American public sit back, forgive me, fat, dumb and happy, and this continues, we’re going to become less fat, and considerably less happy in the coming years.

Again, it is my opinion that if  you do bad business, your business fails.  It doesn’t get a gazillion bucks to stay in business with no obligation to the customers it has harmed.

I’m telling you, it is worse than sleep-walking.

I don’t want to be a Rock Star!

You’re kidding, right? You don’t want to be a Rock Star?

I had an interesting talk with a client, who gave me a whole new appreciation of English as we know it.

I don’t want to be a RockStar!  I don’t want ‘fans’ ~~ I’m not a celebrity, and I don’t want to be.

As I explained to my slightly testy guy, I realized that I’ve adopted a vernacular meaningful to me (and other people in my life) but not necessarily to the people I want as clients.

I told him that “Blogging Like a RockStar” doesn’t include sex, drugs or rock’n’roll.  It is a phrase I’ve adopted that means one blogs like a professional, blogs and gets ‘buzz’; blogs and creates ‘google-juice. I consider it just more Web 2.0 jargon, as is the “Fan Page” on Facebook.

Ironically, FaceBook, in naming its company pages ‘Fan Pages’ has furthered that impression of performance-related media – that of a celebrity, or  . . . RockStar and not  an ordinary (or extraordinary) business page .

They (FaceBook) needed to name them something, and that’s what they picked. It is unfortunate, because by design it is a methodology designed for businesses in order for them to grow and nurture their own community within Facebook. They’re moving away from that name, but it is what we’ve got, and millions of FB users know what it is and what to expect from it.

So, I bid you, Blog like a RockStar! and get those Fan Pages at Facebook!  Become a star in your own right, whether you’re rockin’ or not.

As always,

Rock On!

10 Essential WordPress PlugIns for the Bones of your WordPress Blog

You’ve begun to blog – do you know the PlugIns you really need to keep your blog working the way you want it to work?

RockStar Buzz recommends these PlugIns be installed before you begin to publish.  If you’re already publishing, check the list to see if they’ll help you maintain your site optimally.

Broken Link Checker Author: Janis Elsts

Monitors your blog looking for broken links.  Do you want to go through your 404 error reports?  Nah . . . You want to click on a link on your dashboard and correct the errors you find on the Broken Link Checker report.


 

 

Login LockdownAuthor: Michael VanDeMar

If you’ve ever had your blog hacked and seen things you didn’t put up, things you don’t want on your blog, or worse, watched your blog disappear to a virus, you may have already heard of Login Lockdown.

If not, you’re a lucky person, and you can get this plugin before anything happens to your blog that you don’t intend.

Plugin homepage

 


 

PS Disable Auto Formatting Author: Hitoshi Omagari

Do you hate WordPress automatic formatting?  Hate trying to fix the html?  Just want to blog, and be done with it?

This is the ticket!

PS Disable Auto Formatting stops automatic formatting of WordPress cold  and modifies the html source generated by the visual editor.

 


 

Secure WordPress Author: Frank Bültge

Secures your blog in a myriad of ways.  Removes error-information on login-page; adds index.php plugin-directory, removes the wp-version, removes Really Simple Discovery, removes Windows Live Writer, removes core update,  plugin-update, and theme-update information, and  fhides wp-version in backend-dashboard for non-admins.

PlugIn Homepage is in German . . . English translation is wordpress download page above.

 


 

Tiny MCE Advanced Author: Andrew Ozz

This plugin adds Advanced HR, Advanced Image, Advanced Link, Context Menu, Emotions (Smilies), Date and Time, IESpell, Layer, Nonbreaking, Print, Search and Replace, Style, Table, Visual Characters and XHTML Extras.

Plugin Homepage

 


 

Google Analyticator Author: Ronald Heft

Google Analyticator adds Google Analytics lcode to your WordPress blog, eliminating the need to edit your template (and eliminating the possibility that you’ll kill your theme, or expose your code, or both!  Yes, this is the voice of experience – I’ve screwed up my blogs a thousand different ways . .  )

Plugin Homepage »

 


 

WP Database Backup Author: filosofo

I dunno if you’ve ever lost you entire blog – perhaps a year or more of work . . . In my case it was several years . . . Don’t risk it!

Get WP-DB-Backup, schedule the backups for the frequency with with you add posts, have it email the backup file to you.

No, I don’t trust my backups to the server . . . I’ve a dedicated server at GoDaddy, and I email my backups to myself.  That means I have them, and I can get my work back if it disappears.  And yes, Virginia, it can disappear without a trace.

Plugin Homepage »

 


 

WP Spamfree Authors: WP-SpamFree, WebGeek

I know, Akismet comes with WordPress . . . I happen to prefer WP-Spamfree.  Is powerful and almost entirely eliminates blog comment spam, including trackback and pingback spam.

And, there is a counter that  keeps track of all the spam it has blocked.  I assure you, it will be a staggering number relatively quickly.

Plugin Homepage »

 


 

WP Page Numbers Author: Jens Törnell

Readers move around easily with page numbers - improves SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as well, which is always good, by creating a better inner link structure.

Plugin Homepage »

 


 

FeedBurner Feedsmith

You can’t download this plugin from WordPress, but have to go to Google and create there.

Your blog has an RSS Feed now, FeedBurner will dress it up, give you tons of ways to publicize your blog via your feed, and offers a clean, neat email version – and that’s why I love it!

So add the ones you will, let me know what you like and what you don’t and why . . . and as always, Rock On!