Social Media & Digital Advocacy
My session at Cervivor School went well! The only hiccup was not having my phone camera directly on me during the Periscope, but I've gotten a ton of great feedback and almost 60 live views...which was awesome!! Professionals and other speakers are asking my advice and want to follow up. I even had a couple folks talk to me about lung cancer. Good Day.
When Partnerships End
In the business world, when a partnership ends there's a lot of fan fare. Someone closes their doors for good, one company gets bought by another, or people go their separate ways. There are usually contracts and letters of dissolution or maybe a partnership was only for an agreed upon project or length of time.
Today my partnership ended with EmpowHER Blogger Network. THEY came to me late in 2010 to ask me to blog for them. At that time I let them know that I was writing for LUNGevity and my active site "An Advocates Perspective" and they were ok with that. In fact, they encouraged me to content share and post about what we were doing at LUNGevity and what was happening in the lung cancer world. They wanted me to blog about current lung cancer topics or trending issues, and I did. Each and every time I referred back to LUNGevity.
I'll admit I haven't blogged since the summer for their site. My career has me travelling very often and the fall is incredibly crazy for lung cancer organizations- most of our events and many regional HOPE Summits were happening from May until November.
Today I decided to ante up and upload 3 new blogs to the EmpowHER site. Afterwards I posted them to all my social media platforms and asked our supporters to share. Less than an hour later my 3 latest blogs were deleted. Here is what they said
You can go here http://www.empowher.com/users/iamkatiebrown and see my previous blogs and how ALL of them since 2011 refer to LUNGevity.
I take it this partnership has abruptly ended. Wow.
Some business leaders and organizations are failing at social media and don’t even know it. It’s easy to live and work in a silo. It’s easy to attribute those one-time likes as a measure of your success, but don’t fool yourself. Social media is vast and fluid. While it’s forever changing, some things, common practices, still remain the same. While you may not hear or read complaints, it’s very easy for users to ignore, hide, unfriend or un-follow you.
Here are some tips on what you should and should not do.
Some business leaders and organizations stretch the truth about various things. Don’t post something that isn’t 100% true. We will find out and then your credibility will be shot.
I followed you because I was already a fan. One ad or self-promotion a week may be fine but don’t let that be ALL that you ever post or I will unfollow you or unlike you. If you put a personality to your page, add some great content and a bit of humor, I will share your stuff and you will get new fans.
Don’t steal other people/organizations/brands stuff. Just don’t do it. Give credit where credit is due. Reposting other people’s stuff is fine as long as you give them credit for it but putting a post, photo or idea out there like you created or own it when you poached it is just stinky and people will remember that about you.
Don’t posts negative things about other groups, businesses or brands. All that does is make you look bad. In fact, just don’t post anything negative at all. Remember that everyone loves animals and unicorns.
DO Post Quality Content.
I realize the majority of your content will be about you or the brand, but your social media page should have a personality. You should share important things and humorous things and eye catching graphics and emotionally driven content too. Our lives are multifaceted and your page should be too.
DO answer me.
This is critical if you want to keep followers and fans. If I take the time to post a question or concern on your page, you need to take the time to answer me. Hire someone to do it if you have to, it’s called customer service. Turning off posts by others on your Facebook page doesn’t get you off the hook. If you see something posted about you on Twitter or if you get a private message, you need to answer or at least acknowledge your constituents.
And finally, for those of you who have personal page accounts on Facebook to “relate” to real people, your fans, etc… start relating to them! I have a great example of an organization’s president who has about 2k people on his “personal” Facebook page. If you are one of those 2k people you may have felt quite special at one time. Then you took time out of your day to post some words of encouragement or congratulations on the promotion or new baby or maybe you posted a happy birthday and that ‘friend’ couldn’t be bothered to type a thank you or give you a simple thumbs-up.
Remember when Facebook and Twitter first burst onto the scene?
In a matter of moments you were connected to every friend you ever had in your lifetime, you connected with world and international news reporters and celebrities and suddenly you were “in the know” about everything you were interested in.
I was “friends” with Oprah Winfrey even though I had never met her before. I gave opinions on news stories and those reporters answered back and followed up on their stories. I was able to tell a brand that I liked or disliked something and have someone respond that they had heard my concerns. Wow. Social media was like the internet on crack. (Disclaimer, I’ve never used crack by the way so I hope the reference makes sense)
Then Facebook morphed and changed with many upgrades and additions. Now there were different distinction to pages and interactivity was limited by page and account settings. Add in edge ranking (I could speak on this for an hour) and social media business users started to self-promote more and interact less. Pages on Facebook were pushing the same content onto Twitter without having someone present to monitor Twitter to answer any tweets or engage their followers. The age of social media management tools began and with one click the same content could be cross pollinated across multiple social media platforms.
At its start, social media shrank our world into 140 characters or entertaining images. A thumbs up and a share button kept us connected to family and friends and personal interests across the globe. Scrolling down your news feed or twitter feed kept you informed on global and local news as well as celebrity gossip.
It’s still that way for the most part. Instant information is the amazing thing about social media. But the connectivity isn't the same. The world of social media is growing larger. Page owners (business leaders, brands, celebrities) don’t respond to posts as often as they once did. Most posts are self-serving and the feeling that you are “in the know” just isn't there anymore.
Oftentimes you feel like posts coming from leaders and brands are micro commercials…You either turn them off (turn off notifications) or you just start to tune them out.
What It Takes To Volunteer
I wanted to take some time today to write about volunteering.
From my experience and purposes at times I talk about volunteering in the lung cancer community and supporting those affected by the disease, but these tips are pretty universal.
1) Decide what it is you like to do.
This one is a no brainer. Someone who isn't handy with tools won't be the best candidate to help rebuild homes. Someone who can't speak Spanish, won't be the best choice to help in an ESL class in Texas. So think about what it is you like to do and realistically what it is that you can do.
With LUNGevity we have several volunteer opportunities. You can offer peer-to-peer support, you can volunteer your business skills, you can volunteer for a LUNGevity event in your area, you can become a LUNGevity advocate and help raise awareness and spread the word. That's a lot of different ways to volunteer.
2) Find your personal connection.
A personal connection to a cause is why most people volunteer their time, money and efforts. For us, our volunteers are lung cancer fighters, survivors, caregivers, families, friends and co-workers. Everyone has been affected directly or indirectly and feel the need to do more to make a difference. By finding a cause that you have a personal connection to you'll feel rewarded by putting your efforts into that cause.
3) Find satisfaction in what you are doing.
Someone who hates asking for donations or raising money for a cause will probably not be very successful or satisfied in that position. Are you a people person? Do you like engaging others? Can you make a great elevator pitch and are you a salesman at heart? Then volunteering in development, finance, and events will be right up your alley. Every dollar raised is a personal goal and is personally satisfactory to you.
Not a salesman at heart? Maybe you're an event coordinator, someone who can organize a meeting or rally or support group? Every successful event is a personal win for you.
Are you more emotionally oriented? Then you would be the perfect support buddy for someone else in need of mentor ship, guidance and support. You may feel satisfaction bringing support materials and items to a support center or hospital. Helping others thru difficult times is personally rewarding to you.
4) Know when enough is enough and know when to say no.
A pitfall that some volunteers fall into is over extending themselves. They have the best of intentions, volunteer for a number of activities or responsibilities and for some, eventually their work, family and personal lives begin to suffer.
Volunteering may then begin to feel like a burden or a heavy responsibility that they want to be rid of. We don't want you to feel that way.
This may become a problem for the organization you're volunteering for too.
When a volunteer signs on to do something, those in the organization depend on them to carry out their commitments. We place those responsibilities in the volunteers' hands and turn our energies to something else believing that the tasks will be completed. If the volunteer over extends themselves and fails to complete their volunteer hours or tasks, the organization and those they serve suffers. Organizations that offer patient and family support also depend on volunteers. When they don't follow through, the patient and their family suffers. And it's a poor reflection on the organization.
Know your limits. Know when to say no and do it from the beginning. This is key advice for the volunteer and helpful to the organization. We want your help but would rather have your help in bite size pieces than to have things not get done.
5) Lastly, don't be afraid to try.
Reach above your comfort zone and try your hand at helping others, delivering materials or raising awareness, join an event committee or participate in an event just to get your feet wet. Volunteer to share your experiences with someone else who is in need. Make calls, deliveries, or send cards or messages to brighten the day of a patient. Be an ear for someone who doesn't have a support system and who needs peer-to-peer support.
Volunteering can be tailored to suit your lifestyle and life skills and those that volunteer play a vital and priceless role.
There are so many ways in which you can enrich lives by volunteering-
including your own.
Day One, SXSW Interactive
So I'm at SXSW this weekend and many things come to mind...definitely an opportunity to blog about many topics...let's start with social media.
I'm doing the interactive tract which consists of everything online, social, news, everything technology, journalistic and marketing related. Topics range from business branding to whether or not the next presidential debates and elections should be online. It's cool. It's techno. I feel like ET who not only phoned home, he got home and his pad had been remodeled with shiny new bling. It's my internet heaven.
Wait, sorry. I was just interrupted by the Foursquare rep. You know, you use it everyday, and check in and brag or complain about where you're at. 4s is part of your everyday life. He gave me stickers and a button. Cool.
So back to SXSW Interactive.
I feel like the creamy insides of an Oreo cookie. One cookie represents the young reps and freshly squeezed IT, PR, SM or marketing professionals who are eager and bright eyed and learning about branding and social media marketing 101. The other crispy cookie are the over 40s who either created all these internet and social tools we are using or run the companies that use them. Then there's a group like me sandwiched inbetween.
We are the sweet creamy innards of the cookie. We are the pioneers who started using SM for cause related marketing or brand building or mobilizing people for a common goal- before it was cool and while everyone else was virtually farming and using social media to find old flames.
For me, it's been a tool to distribute information and raise awareness, build participants, volunteers and advocates and engage followers who will be active and not passive in our cause. We were the first generation to blog and disseminate internet news and use social media to evoke action and change. We were the first to do it professionally too.
Where was my tiara when I checked into the conference? A sash would have been nice too.
We paved the social media path.
I love social media. It is the vehicle in which I am fighting the worlds deadliest cancer.
It's never been a moment's waste of time for me.
So what has me wondering today, the first full day of SXSW interactive, is if these creamy innards feel the same way I do....
and wondering where their tiaras and crowns are?
The CANCER Blog