There isn’t an obvious theme to this week’s Friday Five Links post. But I suppose if there were, it would be (to riff off the Talking Heads standard) “start making sense.”
One post that has kept coming back to my attention for more than a week now was Shelly Kramer‘s Why The Company You Keep Online Is A Big Deal [And How To Fix It]. In a way, the title makes you go, “Duh. Of course.” Except for the fact that too many people – people who should know better (or, at least, have staff who should know better) keep falling prey to the same “Get more followers on Twitter/likes on Facebook/Instagram followers/whatever new metric of the day” scams out there. See, it’s really really easy to buy followers. But that becomes obvious pretty quickly. And then you become a joke. And too often, people hire some random social media “guru” they find on Twitter and that’s all the person does, because that person doesn’t know how to build a legitimate following, either. Loved this line from Shelly’s post, which pretty much says it all: “The logical conclusion is that whomever @WillEvansShirts really is wanted to look credible on Twitter, but didn’t want to bother actually spending any real time being credible.”
Another smart friend out there is Sam Fiorella. “The Sanctity of LinkedIn Contacts” should be required reading for anyone who has an account on LinkedIn. I’ve seen people who are part of the LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) collective on the platform, and I’ve never really understood that. What’s the point of being LinkedIn with someone you don’t know in any way shape or form? Now, I have accepted connections from people I’ve had conversations with in groups. And have connected with people I’ve met at networking events. But I’ve been a lot more selective about that, even, in recent years. As Sam says, “There’s an unwritten rule that your professional contacts are those you know or have worked with. People that you can either recommend or not — and provide a reason for in either case.” The true value of LinkedIn is the networks of the people who use it. If those networks lose their individual value, the platform can, as well, over time. Don’t get me started on the one-click endorsements, either.
Kami Huyse had a great post about “How Unexciting Brands Can Rock Social Media.” I always find it interesting when people try to say that this brand or that brand can’t possibly be on social media because it’s B2B or it’s boring, and why would anyone care? First off, the people who work for those companies and brands are people, and so even if you’re not trying to reach customers as you would in a B2C company, you’re still trying to reach people, no? And there are examples upon examples of “boring” brands that do terrific jobs on social. Who’d have thought that Caterpillar, the heavy machinery company, would have such a huge social footprint? But they’ve cracked the code and figured out where to use video, where to use Facebook, where to use Twitter, and on and on. As Kami points out, “Social media which is well planned an implemented can be advantageous for niche topics.”
Let’s face it. Small businesses don’t have the vast resources of multinational brands. That doesn’t mean they can’t take a cue from the big boys when it comes to marketing on certain platforms. Megan Totka, guest blogging on #FriendOfTheLabNYC Realtime Report, looked at how small businesses could use small video to get their messages out there, in “Small Business Marketing: How SMBs Can Leverage Vine and Instagram Video.” This statement pretty much summed it all up for me (but click through & read – lots of great tips in there!) “… Microvideos are ideal for SMBs because they don’t require the time or editing costs of traditional video. Furthermore, they level the playing field – a Vine or Instragram application is the same in your hands as it is in the hands of a Google or Apple exec.”
A while back, I shared an article about how striving to be No. 1 isn’t always the right choice. So I greatly enjoyed this post by Bob LeDrew on Liz Scherer‘s award-winning menopause blog. While it’s not the type of site I usually look to for these link roundup posts, which focus on marketing, social media and community, I had to share Bob’s “Reach for the Middle.” Bob talks about his history of cycling and how he doesn’t get upset when he sees someone younger than he zip past him on a $7,000 rig. We have, Bob points out, enough obligations in life. We need to learn to enjoy the things we do for enjoyment. “Dedicating my life to becoming a top-notch cyclist wouldn’t make me enjoy it more. In fact, it might reduce my enjoyment.” It’s important to kick back sometimes and simply enjoy things. Bob enjoys cycling. On many weekends, my husband and I take our dog on a seven-mile hike. Sometimes we finish in 2 hours. Sometimes in nearly 3 hours. But you know what? We always enjoy it.
What made sense to you this week? What didn’t?
Photo of $5 bill by thefixer via Flickr Creative Commons.