Tag Archives: social media

The Internet and Real Relationships, by Randy Mitchell

Ever since Al Gore famously invented the internet (Ha Ha), the personal information we share through our computer keyboards has exploded like the world’s arsenal of nuclear bombs firing off at once. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. have each grown at such an astonishing rate that oftentimes these websites periodically shut down for a while trying to catch up with their increased demand. We all frequently post, like, befriend, tweet and whatever else in an attempt to share and promote our opinions and viewpoints, each vying for that coveted piece of the super information highway. And there are us bloggers–the ones who really try displaying our inner emotions. According to Wikipedia, as of February 2011 there are more than 156 million public blogs in existence. My friends, that’s a bunch of fingers dancing along some plastic letter and space buttons!

When I started my social media campaign to promote my book and website, I knew absolutely nothing about how to proceed. I worked with someone who specializes in just this sort of thing, and off we went into the wild blue yonder spreading the word, that I, an unknown personality, had a story to tell and product to sell.

The blogs I write, usually every week, are now read by hundreds of people on a routine basis scattered across several websites. I know, because we all have the unique ability of seeing these numbers as they happen. It’s been lots of fun doing this, and has given me the opportunity to try something I never thought of before–the successful creation of a new, part-time career.

I would venture to guess that virtually every person reading this also has more than one social media account. It doesn’t matter where, because the fact that you have them says something on its own. You see, when you hit that “create account” button a magical thing happened: you opened your life up to the whole world to notice. Shortly afterward, you started searching for people to connect with.

At first, they were those you knew personally: family members, best friends, old college and high school classmates, co-workers, etc. Then, you started getting friends and follower requests from those you’ve never even met, more than likely looking for a professional connection. No matter the reason, suddenly and miraculously, you glance at your network numbers one day and notice you’ve added hundreds of people knowing very little about them, not to mention, never meeting them personally.

Like so many, I read other writers blogs. I really enjoy the creativity which goes behind each and every one. There’s tons of gifted talent online, and you don’t need to walk inside Barnes & Noble and buy the latest bestseller to find it. It’s out here, and at everyone’s fingertips. Sometimes, I find myself reading the comments underneath different articles. Most are appreciative and congratulatory; some are often negative and critical.

Which draws to mind: Who are these people, really: the writers and those who post? What do they actually think? What are their true beliefs? Are they only writing what looks good or popular to say, therefore appearing socially and politically correct? If you met them in person, would you actually enjoy being around them or bolt for the door screaming to yourself, “Whoa, not exactly what I expected!”

Ever since I started participating in social media, I’ve had lots of personal exchanges from those I connect with, and it’s been great. Two which come to mind are one who’s a mega-bestselling author and another that had their book made into a movie. I asked for, and they followed through with some wonderful advice. They graciously gave me their time and counsel without ever even meeting them, although I would jump at the chance.

The people we all meet through social media can be priceless, but we should all guard against replacing them with real relationships, therefore substituting bona fide flesh and blood for focused words on a screen–it kind of goes along with my opinions on replacing personal communication with texting and e-mailing, it just isn’t the same. I for one would love to have a huge party someday with each and every friend, follower, fellow blogger, and whoever else I’m connected to on the internet. To spend time with them, place a hand-in-hand, watch their mannerisms, and listen to the tone of their voices as they speak. It would be an amazing adventure to actually see and sense what brought us all together inside Al Gore’s super creation (once again, Ha Ha).

Now log on and let’s connect, I’d love to meet you!

Randy Mitchell

Mr. Mitchell lives in Dallas, Texas and has spent most of his career as a commercial airline pilot. He’s an avid blogger, movie fan, martial artist, and lover of all things Dallas Cowboys. His first romance novel, Sons in the Clouds, is currently available wherever e-books are sold.

See Randy’s website, The Inspirational Writer.
Connect on Sons in the Clouds on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Watch the Sons in the Clouds book trailer.
Books available online at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony Reader Store, Apple I-Bookstore, and KoBo.

See Randy’s guest blog from April 26, The Balance of Happiness.


Filed under Branding & Platform, Guest Writers & Bloggers, Social Networking

The line in the social media sand – that’s your integrity

Do your followers and FB friends trust you? Or are you handing out candy like a soccer mom on Halloween?

I have long been an integrity-driven social media envoy. I don’t like your fan page just so you can reach 500 friends or because you have a bet with another writer. I won’t tweet your book if I haven’t read it (or if I didn’t like it).

I share blogs that I find helpful, inspiring, and insightful, not because I made a deal with the blogger. I tweet books and blogs I have read, not because someone said, “I’ll tweet your blog if you tweet by book.”

So, do people trust you? Or do they look at your list of tweets and see you promoting 50 books every tweet cycle?

I drew a line in the sand quite some time ago.

Is it time for you to draw a line in the sand?

Don’t be a Social Media Mercenary, by Therese Pope, Zenful Communications

I’m a fan of seasoned marketer and entrepreneur, Seth Godin. I like how he weaves an inspirational message in between the lines of his articles. Seth wrote an interesting article this week that focused on the dangers of “trading favors” when it comes to social media. This paragraph especially caught my eye:

“The problem occurs when the trading of favors become mercenary, when alert individuals start manipulating the system for personal gain. Suddenly, every favor is suspect, measured and not at all generous. Suddenly all the likes and links and blurbs become nothing but currency, not the honest appraisals of people we can trust. It means that bystanders have trouble telling the difference between honest approval and the mere mutual shilling of traded favors.”

He brings up a great point. Social media brings out the “mercenary” in people. Do your followers REALLY like your blog? Are fans just “liking” your page because they want to win an iPad?

For small businesses or anyone who sells a product or service online, take Seth’s words to heart. Before you retweet or like, think about your intention BEFORE you click the button. Social media has turned into a popularity contest…”how many likes do you have?” And do 500 likes on your Facebook page really mean anything at the end of the day?

Before you start begging people to like your Facebook page or follow your blog, think about Seth’s message of trading favors. Social media is about helping other people, and sharing information without asking anything in return. My advice for 2012: don’t be a “mercenary” on your social media networks. Don’t go into social media thinking that people owe you a favor, because they don’t. An aggressive “me-me” approach won’t get you far with your marketing…or your online reputation.

Therese Pope

About Therese Pope, Zenful Communications

Therese Pope is a digital media buzz-icist, copywriter and owner of Zenful Communications, a boutique marketing communications company in northern California. She helps small businesses and book authors create a positive online buzz around their brands. Her specialty areas include: buzz marketing/social media campaigns, content marketing, and online reputation management. She frequently contributes online reputation tips for The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and Carol Roth’s Business Unplugged™ blog.

Check out Therese’s blog http://www.zenfulcommunications.com for more helpful online marketing and publicity information.  Connect with her on Facebook or LinkedIn.


See also Wendy Reis’ Like Fests – Real Value or a Shade Dishonest?

Opening photo – Mensatic via PhotoBucket


Filed under Branding & Platform, Guest Writers & Bloggers, Social Networking