Social Media & Blogging: Panel Discussion (Part 1)

Liz Strauss at Successful Blog

Thinking, writing, business ideas … You’re only a stranger once.

July 29, 2010

A Weekly Series by Teresa Morrow

I’m Teresa Morrow, Founder of Key Business Partners, LLC and I work with authors to help manage their online book promotion. As part of my job I read a lot of books (and I love to read anyway!). I am here to offer a weekly post about one book author I am working with and one book I have put on my reading list.

I am mixing things up for my weekly blog post at Successful Blog. I thought I would ask a few of the authors I have highlighted to offer their strategies and tips regarding blogging and social media.

Panel Discussion about Blogging and Social Media

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The panel consists of the following people:

Lou Belcher is a writer, author, blogger and photographer. She is dedicated to meeting the needs of writers and artists in Florida and beyond. Her gallery of her latest photography and fabric art can be seen at Lou Belcher’s Gallery. Ready, Set, Tweet is the title of her latest book.

Billie Sucher is a nationally-known career transition expert, outplacement consultant, professional résumé writer, speaker, author, poet, and prolific blogger for Career Hub. For over two decades, she has provided professional career management services to organizations and individuals (entry-level to executive-level) throughout the country.
Sucher holds a Master’s degree in Counseling from Drake University and numerous industry certifications including International Job and Career Transition Coach, Career Management Alliance Credentialed Career Manager Distinction and William Bridge’s Transition Management Certification.

Liz Goodgold is a marketing and branding expert, speaker, and author, with more than 25 years of experience working for such major companies as Quaker Oats, Times Mirror, and Arco Oil. Currently she is Chief Nuancer and CEO of The Nuancing Group, an identity-consulting firm that helps companies understand the nuances of naming and branding.
Some of her clients include Proflowers.com, Fair Isaac (of the FICO score fame), Univision (largest Hispanic Media conglomerate in the world), and Sharp HealthCare (2008 winner of the prestigious Baldridge Award.)
She also works with a myriad of corporate clients and entrepreneurs for whom she has developed compelling product names, taglines, brand identities, and Internet domains that have generated flawless recall and increased market share.

Deepika Bajaj is Founder and President of Invincibelle, a company empowering women and a diverse, multigenerational work force to thrive in a multicultural world. Bajaj is also co-founder of ActiveGarage, the company behind 99tribes.com, a Twitter discovery search engine, helping people find and discover people who share your interests.
Prior to starting her company, Bajaj spent more than eight years in telecommunications consulting and corporate marketing. She has served on the Boards of various professional organizations, including the National Society of Hispanic MBAs and Women in Intel. The author of DiversityTweet: Embracing the Growing Diversity in Our World, she is at work on a second book about her experiences as a global citizen and what is shaping the new voice of diversity.
Her upcoming new ebook “PINK and Grow RICH” speaks of 11 UNREASONABLE RULES for success for women leaders who live and work in a multicultural world. She speaks and consults on diversity, blogs at www.deepikabajaj.com and writes a column on social media for ActiveGarage.
She is the winner of 2010 IWE Entrepreneurship Achievement Award. Bajaj received a bachelor’s degree from Bangalore University in India and an M.B.A. in marketing from Fordham University in New York.

Let’s Start the Discussion


How long have you been blogging?

Lou: I put up my first blog post on Florida Book News in November of 2007. After that, I started my two other blogs: Brevard Art News and Writer’s Creative Studio.

Billie: Four-plus years! I was invited by Louise Fletcher, founder of Career Hub, to become one of the ‘charter’ contributors to a blog that offers ‘free advice from career experts.’ That was in early 2006, and I have been contributing articles on a consistent basis since that time. I love Career Hub and mostly I love it because it is a way of ‘giving back’ by sharing my knowledge with anyone who will stop by and read it! J And beyond that, the content from its many contributors is solid career wisdom! At the time Louise asked me to start blogging, I knew nothing about weblogs  and with her help and encouragement, I jumped in. I fully credit and will always be grateful to Louise Fletcher, President of Blue Sky Resumes, for getting me involved in the blogging world.

Liz:I have been blogging on and off for 2 years.

Deepika: I have been blogging since 2007. So, it has been close to three years.

What subjects do you cover with your blog?

Lou: Florida Book News covers what’s happening in the book world in Florida. It announces book signings; writers’ conferences and workshops; news about authors and their new books; and information about writing organizations. I also post book reviews from time to time.

Billie: I love to write about multiple career-related subjects, ranging from career transitions and job loss to resume writing, interviewing, networking, job search and personal branding. I write whatever career-wise I happen to be thinking about at the time. I think my first blog took me about five hours between the time I first thought of it (it was about Career Fear) to the time I posted it. Now, I simply write and it takes me very little time to make a post, be it on the Career Hub blog or on my own blog, www.billiesucherblog.com. Just recently, I had the good fortune, thanks to Teresa Morrow’s efforts, to make a post over on www.careersuccessradio.com. That was a rather lengthy post, though, on Career Transition Management, so I am parceling it out in multiple posts.

Liz: Since I practice what I teach, I only write about branding and marketing. I advise all folks to limit their blogging to their niche.

Deepika: I am passionate about blogging about social media, entrepreneurship, travel, corporate culture, marketing, leadership, globalization, diversity, work life balance and tribes.

Why do you blog?

Lou: I started blogging originally to help artists and authors get the word out about their books and artwork.

Billie: One reason: I love to share information – it’s that simple…you never
know whose life you might touch through your words, your thoughts, your ideas. Not everyone can ‘afford’ a career counselor, consultant, coach, resume writer, etc…so this is my way of sharing information in a venue that makes sense to me. I expect nothing in return….well, I guess I do enjoy a comment every now and then!

Liz:
~To boost my on-line brand, presence, and visibility
~To increase search engine results
~To broaden my reach
~To recycle and reuse the information in all sorts of other media
~To stay fresh and current

Deepika: It is medium for me to express, share myself, share my experiences, insights and work with people. Most importantly it helps me develop my skills as a writer. When I started to blog, I thought I would stop at some time – but I think this is one of those things that grow on you. I am hooked.

And the fun is really to amplify some work from my network or role models – it is one place I can highlight who are the people I trust, follow and respect.

The real kicker is that I could share from my entrepreneurial adventures to cooking mishaps – I could be fully human and share from a wide range of experiences that entail living a full life. You can bring your entire personality to it. And have your community respond and connect with you “meaningfully”.


What is the one blogging tip you have to share with others?

Lou: The main blogging tip I give to others is to keep it short. When writing for the web, it’s important to write short segments. You only have a couple seconds to grab the attention of the reader and it’s good to make your blogging conversational, interesting and easy to read.

Billie: Be your very best authentic self online and write like you speak.

Liz: Write amazing, sexy headlines! Compare Financial Planning 101 to 7 Surefire Ways Guaranteed to Save You Money!

Deepika: Share Authentically – say things as they are. Don’t try to look good or make an impression. Your readers will find out that you are faking it – there is no bigger turn-off than ingenuity.

How long have you been using social media (twitter, facebook, linkedin) for your business?

Lou: I’ve been using Twitter longer than Facebook, but now I use them simultaneously.  I think I’ve been using them for almost two years.

Billie: Blogging: Four+ years
Twitter: since March 2010;
LinkedIn, about two years.

Liz: I was quick to start building my LinkedIn network and still chuckle today when someone accepts an invitation that was extended 2 years ago! I’ve only been on Facebook about a year and still mastering its power.

Deepika: Two years now. I have also launched a website www.99tribes.com that helps twitter users discover other twitter users that share similar interests.


When it comes to social media— do you prefer one platform over the others?( facebook, twitter or linked in)

Lou: I wrote a book (Ready…Set…Tweet! A Speedy Guide to Twitter) about Twitter, so I guess I should say that I prefer it. It’s a quick and easy way to reach a large group of people with your message.

Billie: Love Twitter…(and blogging)…I like how one can write a blog post, make a tweet with #in about your post and in seconds, it updates on LinkedIn. (Is that a social media trifecta?) J  Whatever it is, I like how it all works together to share a message.

Liz: I tend to be a LinkedIn girl because it is all business all the time; I find it easy and straightforward.

Deepika: I found that you can tie your blog, twitter, linkedin and facebook. So, by just focusing on your Blog you can create value for all your networks. I believe that it is important not only to have presence in all these platforms but also to focus on strategically using them to create a engaged community of users who drive value from what you share.

No one is interested in your lunch menu or your feelings – What people would like to find is something that helps them take care of their business, family or personal development concerns – it is about THEM not YOU.

Why do you like one of the others?
Lou: After I set up a page for Florida Book News on Facebook, I began using it more. When I post an announcement on the blog, I go to Facebook and let people know about the posting. They work well together.

Billie: Love Twitter because of its brevity – it’s quick, fast, now…also love how it has ‘made me’ become a ‘crisper’ writer, thinker in sharing information…and mostly, I love it because you can deliver brief chunks of information in a bite-sized format to help #jobseekers learn. (At least that is my purpose on Twitter for 99% of my tweets.) The job search is #overwhelming for many….I like how #Twitter necessitates keeping your message short/sweet within the 140 character confines. In my newest book, *Happy About the Career Alphabet, An A – Z Primer for Job Seekers of All Ages, 800+ Fast & Easy Tweet-style Tips* I wrote all 805 A – Z entries as #tweets to make it easy for job seekers to amass a large volume of knowledge about career search in a minimal amount of time (about 60 minutes) …plus I understand from my clients, this tweet-style book is very easy to read on Kindle!

Liz: Answered this question above.

Deepika:I prefer an integrated version and so particularly don’t like one over the other. I do believe video/youtube is one platform that it not used to its fullest potential.
I believe in building communities and tribes and they are focused on “shared interests” NOT “preferred platform”. People use these tools to connect but want more meaningful and personal interactions to develop lasting relationships. So, my focus is to help build relationships that last and any tools that fits the vision works.

What is one social media tip you have to share with others?

Lou: I think the best advice for social media is to be generous. Talk about others and promote others more than yourself. Post valuable, informative, entertaining information and people will follow you.

Billie: Don’t be intimidated by it…jump in, learn, do – find your voice!   In my opinion, social media is a tool, a resource… and simply a part of doing business in the 21st century. #Thanks @TeresaMorrow!

Liz: Specialize your status update to the channel. For example, sharing my traveling schedule on Twitter makes sense so that folks can attend one of my speeches in another city, but it’s less valuable on LinkedIn. On other sites, It’s all about value: share ideas, suggestions, views, or your expertise.

Deepika Social Media can be overwhelming but it has created a tremendous opportunity for anyone to be a leader. There is no test to pass, no permission needed. Before you needed millions of dollars to get on Television. NOW you need ten dollars to create a video. So, if you care about something, you can get up and lead.