More advice from new #bloggers

A year ago I shared advice from my social media class, 4 weeks into blogging about how to succeed at blogging. I am back, this time with advice from new bloggers 6 weeks into their new passion!

I think that bloggers six weeks into the craft have an interesting perspective: they have tried a variety of approaches but blogging is still new to them.

Some of the suggestions mirror a year ago; others are new. Here is advice from the 32 students in SMM 388-01:

Blogging class 2

On Blogging

  1. Try not to be too formal –  a grammatical version of your spoken voice may be ideal.
  2. Get more PERSONAL in the posts.
  3. Use personal pictures.
  4. Use video!
  5. Sweat the details: grammar, look, small paragraphs, good pictures.
  6. Spend time on TITLES.
  7. Benchmark other bloggers.
  8. Draw a picture within your writing.
  9. Choose your illustration before you finish writing

On Sharing Content

  1. Tag your WordPress posts; use #hashtags on your Twitter and Instagram promotion.
  2. Don’t be afraid to use in-person word of mouth promotion – tell your friends to read your blog!
  3. Repurpose content whenever possible. You can blog on Linkedin.

On Getting help or support for blogging

  1. Collaborate with other bloggers.
  2. Find a mentor who is a great blogger.
  3. Reach out to other new bloggers. Form a support group.
  4. Pay attention to feedback and activity – evolve!
  5. Get to know the influencers in your niche.


What is missing from this collection? What would YOU add?

Posted in Blogging, Content, Higher education, Social Media Marketing, Teaching SMM, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

A Coffee Conversation with a Social Marketer

A while back my daughter and I were having coffee with Caitlyn Scaggs, the founder of Blue Mobius Marketing. At the spur of the moment, I had Kiki record a snippet of the conversation on blogging and content marketing.

I think you can see why I like having her guest lecture my classes.

Posted in Blogging, Content, Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Social Media Marketing, Teaching SMM, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Advice from New Bloggers

blogging-2The students in my social media marketing classes must blog for 12 weeks. After 4 weeks this term I went around the room in one of the sections and asked for tips or tricks they have picked up on blogging, using WordPress, or sharing content. Each student came up with a unique tip or trick. I collected them below.

On Blogging

  1. Start writing the post, THEN do further research.
  2. I now select my picture before I finish writing the post – it helps tie it in.
  3. I watch YouTubes about blogging for inspiration and ideas.
  4. Look at trending topics for ideas.
  5. You are not writing an essay: Envision an informal conversation with a reader.
  6. I start writing before I complete an outline: sometimes I am surprised where it leads!
  7. Edit carefully and then have a trusted friend read it carefully.
  8. Continually brainstorm for ideas: never run out!
  9. Try video.
  10. Keep fresh by rotating media. Video. Write. Podcast. Repeat.
  11. If it is a timely topic…don’t wait for tomorrow. Get it out even if you must stay up.
  12. Make your posts personal and emotional.

Using WordPress

  1. Double-check all links – bad links are a turnoff.
  2. Set the controls to auto-post my new articles on my social media.
  3. Use tags aggressively: experiment with “long tail” tags.

Sharing Content

  1. Don’t forget to promote your blog in person! It doesn’t have to be online.
  2. I seek out other bloggers, social media groups, and forums on my topic.
  3. Actively promote content on Twitter.
  4. Actively engage other bloggers and content creators.
  5. Select a day and time – be consistent with posting.
  6. Share other people’s content; they may share yours.
  7. Snapchat isn’t great for links, but I post a pic of my new article.
  8. Don’t be afraid to promote to old friends and family on Facebook.
  9. Email can be a great place to promote a post.
  10. Pinterest isn’t just for weddings, recipes and decorating.
  11. Have a thick skin – promote on Reddit!

I think it is interesting to see their tips from 4 weeks…

What would you add?

Posted in Blogging, Content, Higher education, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Teaching SMM | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Worst Ad Performances of SuperBowl 51

tmobileI tweeted the Superbowl commercials for my social media classes #SMM4RU and for Wharton Future of Advertising #WhartonFOA. I am glad that I did, as I might not have stayed for the fourth quarter heroics otherwise!

I rated the four worst commercials as:

  1. T-Mobile: 50 shades of stupid
  2. T-Mobile: 50 shades of stupid II
  3. KFC Gold: I didn’t understand the message and didn’t care
  4. Busch: When you swallow those bubbles they have to leave somewhere…

50 shades of gray wasn’t really that cool two years ago. And the SuperBowl is still family programming. What was it like to explain those ads to your 10-year-old? My takeaway: Verizon is DOMINANT and T-Mobile is desperate.

Maybe Busch should have teamed up with Fabrese….

There were two commercials that really attracted my attention,  but whose sponsor I cannot remember.

  • Who was the domain company for JohnMalkovich?
  • Who brought up the issue of 4 years of bad hair?

I appreciate the entertainment, but there may be a problem with an ad if I find it memorable but don’t know the sponsor.

Finally, who were the worst performers as companies? I argue that two stand out:

  1. Anheiser-Busch: by my reckoning with three expensive fails:
    1. Busch – passing wind;
    2. Spuds M. – back from the dead (eerie but not a zombie); and
    3. Roots – the guy who founded our company before his offspring ran it into the ground and sold to foreigners… came over from Europe (a current issue, get it)?
  2. T-Moble: We are being dominated but don’t like it. The Justin Bieber commercial seemed to appeal to some viewers, though.

Mark Schaefer posted an article that called the A-B Roots ad “pandering.” I had been considering it an ineffective example of newsjacking, but I think pandering works better.

How can major companies spend 8 (or 9?) figures sums on efforts like this?

I should note that there is certainly room for disagreement. ABC News declared that Budweiser and T-Mobile were among the winners of the Superbowl. The companies – and their ad agencies – pouring over the analytics will have the best sense of what worked.


So what do you think? Did I leave a deserving bad one out of this discussion??


Join the discussion on #WhartonFOA next year…


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Whither Twitter? Save the little blue bird!

Twitter is losing money. Improvements in the platform are rare and rarely make a splash. Somehow the pioneering public messaging service missed the huge private messaging market – and Facebook has the leadership position. Salesforce decided not to buy them.

In addition there are the stories of bullying on the platform. And much of the non-bullying activity seems to be by BOTs, Trolls, or brazen hawkers.

The founding team and management of Twitter is legendary: at least one book has been written about the dysfunction of management. Twitter’s pioneering in live streaming seems ready to be squashed by Facebook; they recently closed Vine which was eclipsed by a Facebook subsidiary, Instagram.

There has been a lot of speculation on the future of Twitter, as noted by my favorite tech and innovation cartoonist, Kiki, in her review of 2017 Social Media Trends.



How to make Twitter fun again!

A recent trending topic on Twitter was #How to make Twitter fun again:

My suggestions were to aggressively block BOTs, trolls, and haters; try an upgrade to make DM into a messaging platform; and post videos on “how to have fun on Twitter.”

Is Twitter truly at risk in 2017: What the press says

A sampling of what the business press says (with links):

Wired: Twitter in 2017 Either Learns to Thrive or Dies | WIRED

A struggling company isn’t easy to turn around. But at some point, you have to ask: Is Twitter going to make it? Twitter is in even worse shape then a year ago. Management is a mess; but it does have a core of loyal users

Fortune: What Twitter Needs to Do in 2017 |

Roll out improvements. Deal with trolls, fake news and bots. What about that edit button?

Why do some people think Twitter is shutting down in 2017? – BBC News


A thoughtful blog author was sited in several of the articles:

A Billion Dollar Gift for Twitter Anil Dash, Medium Twitter

Here’s the short version of his article:

  1. Show you can consistently ship new features
  2. Directly handle abuse and tell the world what you’re doing
  3. Stop using meaningless metrics as your measure of success
  4. Provide specific tools for each of your types of users
  5. Decide if you give a damn about developers or not

[I RECOMMEND READING THIS FULL POST – hit the link above!]

What do you think about the future of Twitter?

I have already stated my recommendations for improvement above. I love Twitter and consider it irreplaceable. I have met so many interesting people on Twitter. If Twitter were to disappear I would still use LinkedIn for networking and my professional activities. And I would probably scan Facebook for baby pictures, pets, and vacation pics… But where would I meet the fascinating people I have befriended in Twitter?

Fight the BOTs, trolls and bullies. Test new features regularly. Hire a sane management team. Try to turn DMs into messaging. Add the edit button. Develop an easy Twitchat tool.


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New Student #Blogs – Check them out!

The students in my Wintermester Social Media Marketing class are on a blog sprint. They are supposed to produce 8 posts and build some sort of audience in only 3.5 weeks for a blog about their passion!

Why not check them out? Here are some new student blogs to sample:

blog-craftsAre you a Do-It-Yourself-er? Crafts and Cream Puffs discusses a wide range of DIY from fixing things to cooking. This cherry dessert looks pretty good…




Thrift and Flip talks about the hobby of “thrifting” at Goodwill or online for bargains or for profit. The first two posts discuss where and what to thrift.

Music Blogs


This blog could be called my life on the guitar. What was the origin of the electric guitar?

Music A-Z talks about a different genre every week. So far Jazz and the Blues have been discussed.

Sports and Fitness Blogs


Two Wheels talks about the ins and outs of biking. Early posts have included choosing the right style and size bike for you… (Keep that bar at least a half inch below you!)

World Class Hunter discusses the issues involved in deer hunting and being prepared for the start of the season.

Mblog-fitnessen’s fitness blog takes on big issues like: Should you diet? and Cutting versus bulking. Just in time for your resolutions!


blog-skiWhy I Ski. A look at the sport and the bloggers love of it…



Fashion Blogs

blog-fashionKaci’s Fashion World is written by a student with a passion for fashion. Her three posts are about her personal link to fashion, Micheal Kors, and Kate Spade.



This blog is called Passion for Fashion. How has fashion evolved? Why are there cycles in fashion?

Posted in Blogging, Higher education, pedagogy, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Advice to my son on working from home

My son just took a job with a fast growing online firm where he and most of his colleagues work online from home. I had worked from my home office for a while with a company headquartered in Berkeley during the dot.bomb era. So naturally I offered him some unsolicited advice about being a “home warrior:”

  1. Network. Network. Network. Make it as personal as possible.
  2. Have clear OFFICE space.
  3. Locate that office space as far from fridge as possible.

I asked my tweeps for other suggestions. One Twitter friend, @sdtapex, warned me that flextime and telecommuting had led to near disaster in his company. Eight others added suggestions:

  1. Plan your day and stick to that schedule. (Am assuming that office space is without a TV!)     — Raghunath Koduvayur (@MarketingRags) August 5, 2016
  2. When unmotivated, I wear business attire. Helps me feel more like I’m working, less like I’m lounging at home   — Justin Campana (@Justin_Campana) August 5, 2016
  3. Develop a routine – perhaps clothing related – to clearly identify which identity is current. What says “I’m at work now?” — John Bordeaux (@jbordeaux) August 5, 2016
  4. Have clear office hours to go with clear space — Kris Bulmer (@jkbulmer) August 5, 2016
  5. Set regular “working hours,” get a good headset — ednoles (@ednoles) August 6, 2016
  6. Make sure that the family understands the rules. #WorkFromHome — Fatherhood Factor (@FatherFactor) August 6, 2016
  7. Get involved in a local professional organization to ensure F2F contact! — Amy Doonan Cronin (@AmyDCronin) August 6, 2016
  8. Set appropriate work hours. I started working from home & set my own hours. Ended up waking up late and staying up too late — Christopher Church (@chrishchurch)

So with the help of Twitter I am up to 11 suggestions for the home warrior!

Any more???

Posted in Mobile computing, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Are you a social salesperson? Really?

Are you a social salesperson? All the cool salespeople are! LinkedIn now has a measure to ssi72let you know whether you are: the social selling index (SSI).

The tool must be valid – when I checked it recently I scored 72, which puts me in the top 2% of my industry, according to LinkedIn.

You can check your score – here.

Do I sound cynical about the new index? Well… it was developed by LinkedIn and it measures your content sharing, engagement, profile quality, amount of searches, and communication (including paid inMail): all on LinkedIn. In other words it really measures the extent to which you use their product!

I also believe that influence-measures such as Klout have had a roll in making social media less personal by encouraging everyone to over-post and over-share. The “Hawthorne effect” is powerful in social media – behavior will change when it known to be measured. (For example, I pushed my SSI up from 65 to 72 by posting blog posts twice last week in anticipation of this article.)

Why it may matter

LinkedIn is THE professional network and has been shown to be the the most effective platform for lead generation. The four components of the index are logical for a social seller:

  1. Self-branding,
  2. Search (prospecting?),
  3. Engagement, and
  4. Relationship building.

LinkedIn claims that “Our research shows those with an SSI over 70 see two times the new clients approached, meetings secured, and opportunities gained than those who lag behind.” In a case study of the use of the SSI at Microsoft a sales manager for the software firm claims that for every “ten point increase in SSI, his team sees an average of 4.3 more opportunities.”

It may be self-serving, but the SSI index may signal your effectiveness as a social salesperson.

Again, can check your SSI score – here.

And an article from LinkedIn on how Microsoft uses the SSI index.





Posted in Digital Marketing, Klout, LinkedIn, Selling, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Effective Titles: Once more with feeling!

Titles drive the engagement of a blog post. Established bloggers such as Jeff Bullas suggest that you spend just as much time on producing the title as you do writing your post.

In his excellent book on how to deal with content shock, The Content Code, Mark Schaefer reiterates the 50% of time rule and suggests using some of the online title analysis tools to help with title development.

This graph is from aBuffer_headlines_Charts_numbersn interesting article from CoSchedule titled Proof that Emotional Headlines get Shared More on Social Media. Using the emotional index (based on percentage of emotional words in title) titles with an index score of 28 were shared five times as often on average as titles with an emotion in the high teens. Titles in the 38-40 range were shared TEN TIMES as often!


Last week I posted anTitle article on LinkedIn about problems generating ideas using  group brainstorming compared to individuals. I was disappointed with engagement on the first day and decided to take a look at the title. “Ideas come from Individuals” described the article and had a solid emotional index score of 25% as measured by the analyzer on the Advanced Marketing Institute page. The title was classified as “intellectual.”


I then Title2experimented by adding a comma and two words – “, not groups” – to the original title. The emotional index doubled to 50 as shown in the next screen shot, which seems the ideal score. In addition the new title better described the article and showed up as “empathetic” and “spiritual” as well as intellectual!




I changed the title the next morning and something unusual happened… the viewership on days 2 and 3 exceeded the views on day one!


Take the time to get the title right!!!


Posted in Blogging, Content, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Rant on Twitter!

These Tweets, directed to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, are from Malcolm @Gladwell – who has previously described the NFL as an “abomination,” due to CTE and physical maiming of its players…

I first saw these collected Tweets in a USA Today report

They were Tweetted about a minute apart… (Pictures and minor commentary mine…)

Oh sarcasm… I think I see where this is going!

RIP Ken Stabler, Earl Morrell, Dave Duerson, Frank Gifford, John Mackay, and so many more


So nice of the Foundation to pay off the mortgage – hard to live in Tuscaloosa on $7 million a year…


DavisBuild us a new stadium and guarantee revenues or we will move to LA… or San Diego… or Oakland… or London … Shanghai? (Al’s spirit lives on..)



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