Expectations management

Expectations management

(woman explains to her mom why her blog isn't getting a development deal, even though a Twitter feed just became a TV series)

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Free Social Signal ebook: 10 Ways Your Blog Can Provide Real Value to You, Your Organization and Your Brand

Ebook cover: 10 Ways Your Blog Can Provide Real Value

For anyone who's been told to cut the blog from their communications proposal...

...for anyone who knows their social media activities could pull more of their own weight on the bottom line...

...for anyone who wants to take their blog from the experimental stage to having real-world impact - and real-world value...

...we have something for you.

Today we're launching Social Signal's first ebook, called 10 Ways Your Blog Can Provide Real Value to You, Your Organization and Your Brand.

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Dipping a toe

Six tools for trying social media on for size

Free puppy

Last week, I mentioned BC Hydro's Deb LeRose, and the brilliant opening slide in her social media presentation: the one that shows a free puppy and a baby. Her point is that, like many social media presences, each is supposedly "free". But you have to look at the long-term cost, whether it's feeding your dog... clothing and educating your child... or maintaining an effective, engaging social media presence.

So what if you're not sure you're ready yet?

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Free as in puppies

One way or another, organizations have to pay for their social media presence

Free puppy

One of the great things about the clients I've been lucky enough to work with is how smart they are. Case in point: BC Hydro's Deb LeRose, who - among many other things - helps the company's many departments and business units understand social media.

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Blog ROI: Homemaking

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 10, giving your online conversations a home base

House key (red)

Visiting someone else's place is great. You eat their food, drink their imbibables, and meet their guests.

But eventually to host a gathering at your own place takes hold. You want to choose the hors d'oeuvres, cue up the playlist and invite your own friends -- in your own home.

It's no different with blogging. True, your organization can go quite a ways in engaging the online world by commenting on third-party blogs. But if you want to be serious about joining the conversation, you'll want a place of your own: an online home for the conversations you want to have.

And while you have no more control over where those conversations ultimately lead and what other conversations may start than you do when you're hosting a party, you're the one who sets the agenda. And it's your voice that sets the tone and pace for your audience.

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Blog ROI: Open wide...

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 9, Embracing openness


There's a convergence going on: some big social and business trends that have one thing in common - the word open.

Whether it's open-source software, or enormous information repositories that are open to be accessed and sometimes even edited by anyone, or the growing requirements for transparency on the part of organizations and governments, your customers, supporters and audience are expecting you to be open to them.

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Blog ROI: Training

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 8, skills development

Training wheels

Social media should be a no-brainer. After all, it's all about conversation and relationships - and in fact our conversational instincts can serve us well in blogging, podcasting, social networking and other social media channels.

Instinct alone, however, won't suffice. You need skills, knowledge and experience to succeed in social media – from tech chops, to the unique demands of various social media venues, to the social nuances of dealing with conflict between online antagonists.

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Blog ROI: Psst! Pass it on!

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 7, turning readers into messengers

Mouth-to-ear whispering

When you're talking about yourself, your brand or your organization, you may have first-person credibility... but you also have a pretty obvious conflict of interest. Add that to the growing distrust of advertising and public relations - in fact, of institutional communications generally - and you have a challenge.

These days, your audience is putting much more trust in their personal networks: their friends, family, neighbours and colleagues. When they hear a personal message from someone they know, it punches through in a way that organizational communications can't.

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Blog ROI: Storytelling

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 6, telling a story over time

Typewriter: It was a dark and stormy night

Not every story fits in a few neat paragraphs - especially stories that are still unfolding. Maybe you're taking on a major advocacy project. Adding a green roof to your office building. Or tracking an intern's apprenticeship in the skills and culture of your industry.

Either way, you have a story that can engage readers over an extended period: weeks, months or even years.

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Blog ROI: Firefighting

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 5, crisis communications

Firefighter battling blaze

You'll never find your communications skills put to the test more strenuously than during a crisis. Even the best of organizations feels the strain when a crisis hits, whether it's a scandal, a service interruption, a product recall or a natural disaster.

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Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.