Top Five Mistakes Individuals Make on Social Media

Sally Struthers

Sally Struthers

After extensive research (time on Twitter) and deep study (that insomnia period between 2 and 4AM), I have compiled a list of the most common mistakes made by individuals on social media. I feel I should cite my sources so here goes:  Linda.  (Man, citations are a royal pain, aren’t they??)

Now, sure, we’re not all on social media for the same reasons. Some are here to network, to increase influence by building and engaging with people.  Some are here for shenanigans. Sometimes these two groups behave differently, and that’s OK. That’s what makes it interesting and fun.  Occasionally, the rules for all are the same, regardless of why we’re here.

Don’t cry, Sally. I’ll make this as painless as possible. 

1. No profile picture or, even worse, a horrible profile picture:

Your profile is part of your online identity.  It’s a key component to how people connect to you virtually. Now, I get it – we can’t all be beauty queens like Sally here. But, girl, work that selfie!  Show your smile, your personality, your quirk. Problem with a double-chin? Don’t worry – I have an angle!

Shenanigans people: so you want to remain anonymous, huh? We’re OK with that. Find something that speaks to who you are, even if it’s not your face. Find a cartoon character or a brand or an item. One of my favorite Twitter people uses a drawing of her made by her toddler. Another friend uses Yosemite Sam. Your favorite wine label. A killer high-heel shoe.  There is something out there you can find to help people make a visual connection, even if it’s not with your adorable face.  And Brandon??  Um, no.  Not that. Please.  I’m sure yours is lovely – I don’t need to see it.

2. Profile empty or incomplete:

After the visual connection of a picture, the content of your profile is the next most important thing. Whether it’s LinkedIn or Twitter or Jive – tell people what you’re there for, give them a reason to connect with you.

Shenanigans people: same deal, dawg. Make it edgy or funny or sweet. Just don’t make it mundane.  Anything but mundane. Most importantly, be original.

3. Locked-down privacy:

If you’ve chosen to engage on social media, you have to give ’em something. If you are so locked down nobody can see anything, you are sending a “No Trespassers” sign to those who may want to connect. Perhaps that’s your intent – far be it from me to judge.  To me, it’s kind of like going to church and when someone reaches out for the ‘Peace be with you’ handshake, you turn wearing a sign that says “I’m not here for the interaction.”  Put out a little bit of a welcome mat if you’re coming to the party.

Shenanigans people: let me in! Sometimes it’s the tightest locked accounts that have all the good stuff! You are the back room at the club where one has to be tapped on the shoulder and invited to get through the green door. You make us all curious, and a little nervous. Keep it up!

4. Taking without giving:

Social media is built on a system of give-and-take.  Sure, that big account doesn’t give you the time of day, even though your mama thinks you are a brilliant, shiny, unique snowflake.  But that doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t pay into the system. Don’t worry about him – worry about yourself. Didn’t your mama ever teach you that? If he jumped off a bridge… well, never mind.  If you’re a taker – there to pimp out your content only without ever giving back to somebody – eventually people will be turned off by that.  I like using a rule-of-three.  For every 1 thing I push out, I take time to appreciate at least 3 things pushed out by others. Or maybe 10. Sometimes 20 or 30.  I like to give! It makes me feel less needy and greedy.

Shenanigans people: you’re attention whores – just accept it, make peace with it, and let your freak flags fly. Just kidding – this rule applies to you, too.  Give more than you take.  Good rule for humanity in general.

5. Over-reliance on the Like:

Yeah, we all use the Like a lot. It’s important – don’t get me wrong. It says “I was here.” It might say “I agree.” Or maybe just “I saw this.” and, go figure, sometimes it even means “I like what you shared.”  But what if the world devolved into a place where all people gave was Likes?  IT’S NOT ENOUGH! We all want interaction, the conversation, the discussion, the debate. Occasionally take time to engage beyond just the Like. Occasionally leave a comment or ask a question.

Shenanigans people: you’re there for the feel-good whoosh of attention and interaction. A Like isn’t enough for you – you want that deeply felt LOL or contemplative Haha.  It means something, man. A Like is one click. An LOL is only 3. Won’t you give 3 clicks to make an under-appreciated sit-down comedian feel better about himself? You can make a difference! Please give. (You read that while picturing Sally Struthers wiping a tear away, didn’t you? I hope so because that’s what I intended. CAN I GET A HA-HA?? This level of comedy doesn’t come for free, you know. Time to pay the piper!)


Social media is personal – do it your way. But make sure you are sending the signals you intend to be sending and behaving in such a way that is consistent with what you wish to get out of it.  If you want the connections and interaction, then perhaps one of these tips will make you think differently about your profile or what you give in to the system.

But hey – if you’re an enigma, a fiercely private person, anti-social… well, maybe consider one of these for your profile picture:




Social Personification of an Entity

WhatAboutBobWhat a dry title for a post, eh? Maybe I should call it “The Lizard that Sells You Car Insurance”.

But this post isn’t about lizards because ewww. It’s about “those people” – the nameless, faceless people that run an entity or a function. Nameless, faceless people are always suspect. Those idiots at the DMV (for those reading who are not US-based, that’s the Department of Motor Vehicles), for example. Nameless, faceless people are often idiots who are blamed for bad things.

Guess what? To someone out there, you are part of a nameless, faceless group. Think of it in terms of your work-life. Those idiots in IT. Those idiots in Accounts Payable. Those idiots in HR. (Just a bit of advice – never utter “Those idiots in Payroll” where you may be overheard. Bad, bad idea. Don’t mess with Payroll!)

One definition of personification is making the inanimate come alive. We see it in advertising all the time – the Geico lizard, the Pillsbury dough-boy, the Jack-in-the-Box who sells us cheeseburgers.

What I’m talking about is a little different than that. I lead a group who are sometimes referred to as “those idiots in Purchasing”. Hi, nice to meet you. I’m the head idiot. I’m talking about the personification of a group or entity. Bring that group to life!

The truth is that Purchasing or IT or HR or AP are all made up of people and probably 87% of them are definitely not idiots. Nobody knows that, though, because they just see it as one big nameless, faceless entity.

Enter Social Business.

Social business is personal – it’s not just a company or a department or a function. It’s the people behind it – the names and faces of many non-idiots. It’s letting customers (internal and external) see those faces and learn those names and it’s about creating engagement, connection, understanding, and trust.

In my experience, when your group is nameless and faceless, no one has any trust in what they are doing. You could have the most brilliant minds ever steering the ship, but if nobody can see that captain or the crew, they think the ship is being tossed about on a corporate ocean at the random whim of the prevailing winds. They will not believe in the course you have set until they see and know the people who have set that course and are steering that ship.

Social business allows us to do that. Quit hiding behind a generic entity name. Encourage the captains and crews to step out on the deck and say “Hi, I am the captain of this ship.” or “I am the crew member who manages the sails.” or “I am the crew member who monitors the stars”. (That is the extent of my sailing knowledge all poured out in that metaphor. I learned all I know about sailing from the movie What About Bob. In other words, not much. Hey, I’m from Missouri – we don’t sail on the Mississippi, people!)

My team at work has gained significantly in awareness, engagement, understanding, and trust since my company has implemented the Jive social business platform. We have made ourselves visible and vocal. We’ve put on our listening ears and we’ve collaborated with our customers. We have helped and guided and explained. It’s not like I expect a point to come where we will no longer participate in this way – it will be ongoing. But – and this is the important part – the more people we reach, the more visible we are, the lower the number of people who refer to us as “those idiots in Purchasing”. They know our names and our faces, they know we are steering the ship and adjusting the sails and watching the stars.

Trust is the golden cup here. Social business via Jive is the means by which we achieve it.

Emoticonfessions of a Social Media Person

emoticon crowdI started my online-social-networking life back in the mid-80s before such a term existed. Heck, back then the Internet hadn’t yet made it out of the science labs and universities. Windows v3 wasn’t yet launched and there was no such thing as the world wide web. Back then, we used 1200 baud modems and our regular phone lines and we dialed up to local Bulletin Board Systems (called BBS’s) because local calls were free and long distance calls were expensive.

I was a BBSer. I worked for a small computer company, and the technicians were all glorious geeks who opened up this world to me. I took my 1200 baud modem home to my IBM XT clone with its RGB monitor and I plugged it into the phone jack on my wall.

Back then, we used :- ) and ;- ) and they didn’t automatically turn into  and . Text smileys were all we had, so we got creative with them, and we liked it that way.


In social media today, the graphical emoticons have expanded and number in the many thousands. They are common on instant messaging platforms and other social sites. Some people love them so much, they make their content rain down with emoticons. Others – not so much. They see them as unprofessional, even juvenile.

Here is my confession: I love them. I recently let my freak-flag fly where emoticons are concerned in a blog post on my company’s social platform. I did it a little tongue-in-cheek (that means I was going for levity, if the phrase doesn’t translate globally). In fact, since I am often going for levity, perhaps that is why I feel the need to use them. Making a comment with a  and making the same comment without the  can yield very different results. I believe in using humor in the workplace and humor can be tricky with written word, so these little images help me not to be misunderstood – not to be taken seriously when I don’t intend to be serious.

Following my posting of that blog, a few people commented on use of emoticons. I was all ready to take grief for it, but the response was pretty much positive – people feel they add clarity, even levity.

I’ll confess further: I occasionally use them in business emails. Oh, not emails to customers, not anything official. I wouldn’t mind using them more, but I’m conservative in this regard. I use them to thank someone or say good job or even happy birthday. I have my own little folder of my favorites:

On the Jive platform at work, people see me use this one a lot, as I am the (self-appointed) queen of our social-network:


People closer to me have likely seen some of these:

wow2thank-you-smileyprettypleaseplanefeedbackcongratscheersbirthday2centswinkpleasepick meluvhelp2bow

Some of the ones I love, I don’t use at work much, even if they accurately depict my mood in any given moment:

YAPYAPwaitingwhoopviolintapfoottantrumsumpinstomprolling pinsighnananonofingerwagdeadhorseboltbitenailsbackoutangry rant

You can see how annoying it could be if someone overused them. Where emoticons are concerned, less is more, I think. Use them sparingly if you’re going to use them.

I thought it might be an interesting discussion. Do you use emoticons at work? Do others use them? Is there a negative perception of them when they’re used? Do they have a place in business?

Sound off! Or just share your favorites – a picture is worth a thousand words, right??

Brand Fan > Customer

Red-Lobster-Remodeled-RestaurantFact: Everyone selling something wants customers.

The corollary to that is we’re all selling something. Right here, right now – I’m trying to sell you on my savoir-faire.  On my writing, my business acumen, my social-business jen ne sais quoi.

On my amazing grasp of the French language.

When you’re selling something, what is the most important thing to have? A great product? An impeccable reputation? A good-looking sales force? 


Surely the most important thing to have is customers, right?  RIGHT?

Maybe not.

Way better than customers are brand-fans. A customer will buy something from you and use it, but a brand-fan will become an extension of your sales force.  Even better – a horde of brand-fans become a groundswell of Crowd Marketing.

I’m writing about what, in essence, Malcolm Gladwell meant when he talked about The Tipping Point.

Companies are trying to figure out how to create that groundswell and find that tipping-point. I’m afraid you won’t find the secret formula here, even if you read to the bottom, mostly because there isn’t one secret formula. There are, however, some overarching concepts that seem to hold true for those who have achieved this highly-sought-after phenomena.  

Often, the brands that reach this nirvana weren’t primarily trying to make money – they were trying to provide something they truly believed in. They come across as genuine and 3-dimensional. In other words, they aren’t used-car-salesmen with overstated promises and an in-your-face sales style to the point where you avoid them like the plague. They care about you, their customer. Even if they don’t care about you as one individual customer, you see evidence they have shown care for other individual customers, which makes you think they probably would care about you if they had the chance to interact with you about something.

Here’s what many brands don’t get about social business: it’s not about overt selling on Twitter or  any of those social media platforms.  It’s about building your reputation in those places; winning individuals to become brand-fans.  We get to experience brands out there and see who they are, how they act.

And if they win us over? Watch out.

Because social business isn’t about Brand A selling to Customer B by tweeting a 15% off promo code.  Social business is about Brand A winning the heart of Customer B so that Customer B goes to Facebook and tells his 400+ friends “You have GOT to try this niche beer made by the local microbrewery! They are such a cool company and their beer is awesome!”

Let me tell you a story…

I participated on a message board in 2001 on a community site called ePregnancy that no longer exists.  It was a community for expectant mothers, allowing us to band together and compare our pregnancy aches and pains, ask questions, share hopes and dreams.  The forum we participated on was called Due In January and starting around the end of December, we all produced tiny humans – a few of us got more than one – and we moved, together, to the next stage in our journey.

Shortly after that, a couple dozen of us managed to assembled in one city and meet each other in person. The other 100+ members of the forum followed virtually on the message board while we shared photos and stories and wished they could have made it.  Here’s what it looked like:

the babies

Those babies are all turning 12 this month and we’re plotting to get together again and recreate this photo with a bunch of surly pre-teens. We’ll let you know how that goes.  Us moms are still together on a private message board community and still comparing our aches and pains and hopes and dreams.

There is a reason I am telling you this and it ties into social business and social selling. Hundreds of times over the past 12 years, I’ve seen the dynamic play out where one of the 100+ women comes into the community with a glowing endorsement for something, and each time, a subset of the community gets inspired and runs out to buy that thing.

When these January 2002 children were babies, one mom bought the Fisher Price Ball Blast toy and reported back how great it was and how much her little punkin-schnookums loved it and next thing you knew, there was a stampede of mothers who were desperate for ways to occupy their little punkin-sscnookumses and willing to try anything who ran out to buy it.

Next thing you knew, we had an army of small human beings learning to blast plastic balls all over the place and some of us  (perhaps only 1, ahem) eventually regretted chasing those stupid little plastic balls everywhere.

But I digress.

There have been many stampedes like this over the dozen years we’ve been together. Anything from make-up to books to gadgets to toys to kitchen appliances. I have been the follower of these endorsements, and I have been an endorser more than once.

Brand-fandom takes a happy customer to the next level – to become an endorser.  I don’t mean a person who writes a recommendation on Amazon, although that’s a good thing for brands to have too, but someone who stands in front of a crowd of people he or she knows personally and puts his or her stamp of approval on a product or service. The more third-party-endorsers (TPEs – it’s a thing, for real – GOOGLE IT!) a brand gets, the better its product does.

I’m no marketing person.  I don’t have Social Media in my title.  I’ve never worked doing PR.  But I know this much is true: the goal for any business is to convert customers too brand-fans, or it should be.  The methods?  Quit trying to sell so hard and instead try to build your reputation.  Engage. Earn trust. Answer questions. Solve problems. Make people laugh.  You cannot buy these fans, they must be earned.  There are no short-cuts.  Engage authentically.  Care about your customers and their problems.  Laugh at their jokes.  ‘Like’ their endorsements of your products.  Get social, bi-directionally.  Don’t just push your sales-blitz-promos out to them and wonder why it’s not effective.

I don’t follow many brands, but one exception is Mr. Clean because he makes me laugh and he never does a hard-sell on me.  You can bet there is a part of my brain that has a feel-good response to Mr. Clean and when I walk down the cleaning aisle at the supermarket, the fact that he’s given me occasional smiles with his humor mean his products have an advantage in my decision-making process.


Therefore, I know that brands that are funny without doing a hard-sell are effective on winning me as a customer and potentially brand-fan.  I also know that brands that interact with me garner my goodwill.  A handful of times on Twitter, brands like Red Lobster and SlimJims have responded to my tweets that mention them.  I didn’t @mention them or tag them in the post, I merely mentioned their products in a silly tweet and they replied in an upbeat, friendly, and engaging way.

I won’t lie – it was a little bit of a buzz for me.

When brands interact with me in a positive way – without trying to commoditize me as a customer –  it creates an infusion of good feelings.  I like them better than I did before.  Hey, they noticed me, they talked to me. ME, little me! Wow.  Imagine more and more of that.

The truth is that I am already a brand-fan for Red Lobster. I plan to be buried in a casket filled with Cheddar-Bay Biscuits. I have taken a lot of grief for it over the years, but I sing my endorsement of their delicious biscuits from the rooftops.  I’m not ready to be buried in a casket full of Slim Jims yet, but I do feel fond of them and who knows what the future holds. Watch this space. Or the obituaries, maybe.

My most recent encounter is my favorite one yet.  Just last month, I made a joke on Twitter where I tagged two brands.  I never expected a response to the joke but one of the two brands did and this little teeny-tiny interaction totally made my day.  I love them for it.  I installed their app on my phone.  As such, I’m more likely to share their content on my social networks.  They won a little piece of my heart is what I’m telling you (even though they didn’t think my comedic genius was worth some Mountain Dew and Cheetos, which I vehemently disagree with!).


moutain dew

Let’s stop for a moment and reflect back on Malcolm Gladwell, shall we?  His book is subtitled How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.

Companies all over are trying to force content to go viral.  They develop great content and have armies of people who pimp it out and, often, it falls flat.  What if Cheetos or Mountain Dew had jumped into this social-conversation with me and the Cheezburger brand?  What if it kept going? What if it got more hilarious? What if….

Come out to play with your customers.  Build your reputations. Build goodwill and trust. Build an army of super-fans who love you because you made them feel good and they will sing of their love from the rooftops and, hey, if something goes viral? Great!  If not, you still did the right thing.

You still did the right thing.

Me? I’m selling you my words.  More accurately, I’m giving my words away in order to sell myself.  Is that even legal?  I’m just trying to save up enough to fill my casket with Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits.

Your move, Slim Jim. 

Savoir Faire is Everywhere!

saviorfareI see you, Social Media People, I see you.

I see you, Community Managers, Marketing Directors, Communications Experts, Engagement Specialists, SEO Consultants, Social Media Developers. I see you all.

But I am not you. I am merely a Sourcing person working for a big global company. I’m not “in” social media.

Or am I?

The truth is, I am. And that guy over there in IT Services who writes a blog and answers people’s questions on the company’s internal community? He’s in social media. All of HR have been forced to be in social media whether they wanted to or not because, hey, it’s appraisal season! THE WEIRD GUY IN THE MAIL ROOM IS IN SOCIAL MEDIA, TOO.

And Geoff from Accounting? Well, not yet but watch out – we’re coming for you, Geoff!

I’m in Sourcing and I manage an area called Sourcing Operations. If you have time, I’ll take you through a 78-slide PowerPoint deck telling you exactly what that means. I’m guessing you don’t have time – especially now that I’ve mentioned my PowerPoint deck. It’s OK – you don’t have to understand my job. I’ll just be over here crying in the corner. Not even my mom understands my job.

aintnobodygottimieThe point I want to make (hey! don’t rush me – I’m getting there!) is that the tools and processes my team manage touch up to 65,000 employees. Oh, sure – we offer training sessions and e-Learning and there is a company help desk, but do you think they have time for that? Ain’t nobody got time for calling the company help desk.

There was a day when a cauldron of soup cooked all day over the hearth fire. Nowadays, if we can’t hit the 1-minute button on the microwave and have hot soup, we write a sternly worded letter to Campbell’s, usually in 140 characters or less (fewer).

These days, we have the attention spans of gnats. It’s not our fault – we have so much coming at us so quickly! Chicken, egg, who knows. So those of us in the business who are not Communications or Marketing or Community Management or SEO Optimization Specialist – we’re in social media too, because business is social.

Social media – it’s ubiquitous! (But you guys already knew that, because you’re so smart!)

(See, Mom? All that time you said I wasted on Facebook and Twitter – it all paid off!)

The truth is I’m shocked you’re still reading this. What’s up? Are you waiting for a venti mocha skinny no-whip vanilla latte with your name on it to be passed up onto the counter? Is that how I’ve gotten your attention for so long? No worries – I’ll not look a gift horse in the mouth. (If you think I just called you a horse, I respectfully say neigh – I did not. But we have gone off track and I bet you’d like me to rein it in.) (See what I did there?)

The point of this blog is to say I’m not one of you, but I am, and that’s why I’m here. While I may not have any of those fancy social-media words listed above in my job title, I need to be able to reach people, connect with them, engage them, and so I am in social-business. Just like you.

Hi, my name is Linda Doty and I work in social media. My mom still won’t understand what that means, but you do.

Nice to meet you!



How do YOU make pizza? (a.k.a. getting social in the workplace)

pizzaDoes your company have a social media platform?  If they don’t, chances are they will soon.  There are some pretty cool platforms out there for use in organizations of all sizes.  And even if your company isn’t using one yet, chances are the tools you already have (e.g. SharePoint) are seeing more and more elements of social media added to them.

My company implemented Jive ( in 2012 as our intranet platform and I have made good use of it in my role since then.  Given that I lead an area that requires massive dissemination of information, large-scale change-management, and ongoing education of 60,000 people in over 100 countries, a social media platform is a godsend.  Plus, fun!

Not everyone feels as I do, though.  So many grumble about it.  “Oh, THAT? What a time-waster. I have work to do!”  Even worse, “I don’t let anyone on my team waste time using social media at work!”

PROFESSIONAL ADVICE: Don’t be a Luddite, bonehead! It’s coming, and it’s coming big.  Start using it now before the gap becomes too big for you to get over.  Remember that boss you had who thought e-mail would never catch on?  Don’t be that boss.  We WILL point and laugh at you if you do.

I was recently asked to present to a group of communications professionals in my company about effectively embedding social media into one’s role. My first response was “Someone wants to listen to me talk? GREAT – game on! I’m SO there!”  Because, in case you haven’t noticed, I like to talk.

As the day drew nearer, it occurred to me I’d be talking to people in Communications about how to communicate. That’s when I panicked and rocked in the corner, because I am quite certain that they are all much more savvy about this stuff than I am.  It’s like having baked a cake a time or two and being asked to speak to a professional bakers about making a cake.  At least in that case, I could console my anxiety with cake.

Still, they were going to let me talk and I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity!  I just needed to know how to package my message in a way that let them know I didn’t consider myself an expert in their field.  I went with pizza.  If I can’t have cake, I’ll at least have imaginary pizza.

Talking to people about how I leverage social media at work, to me, is like giving a lesson on how to make pizza.  There are a million ways to make pizza – pan pizza, flat-bread, wood-fired, Chicago-style, New York style, St. Louis style, calzones, pizza rolls, et al.  And there are an endless array of toppings that can be combined in new and interesting ways to change it up.  Sauces, types of cheeses, seasonings… I could go on and on.

Hang on, be right back – going to run and get me some pizza.

I told my Communications audience that I was merely showing them how I make pizza.  It’s not the only way, it’s just one of many ways.  I’ve learned a few things about making pizza along the way and I planned to share those lessons with them.

The presentation went well, and because one of my golden rules is to write something once and leverage it over and over, I thought I’d share with you, my esteemed blog readers, what I talked with Internal Communications about.

  • Social Media at work *IS* a business tool!
  • Promoting your message has value to you, your boss, your department, and the company.
  • In a geographic- and time-zone-diverse business world, social media bridges gaps.
  • Better collaboration is built upon relationships of trust, which are build upon many small interactions that add up over time. Social media accomplishes that.
  • Not only will your company and department benefit from your engagement, but you will too.  Connecting with new people could lead to opportunities for you and increase your satisfaction in your job.
  • Don’t think you have to ‘keep up’ or read it all on your workplace social network. You can’t.
  • A good approach: carefully choose a few people, blogs, or groups to follow closely and contribute to them regularly with comments, likes, questions, answers, etc. 
  • Create custom-streams (a feature in Jive) to make it easy to dive deeper into certain areas. 
  • If you blog, be sure to share and promote your blog posts in other places. A stand-alone blog is hard to get going. Once you write it, you have to pimp it out.
  • Don’t be afraid to extend yourself – participate in different areas of the business with people you don’t know. It’s OK. Really. Jump right in – the water is fine!
  • Link to others – people, groups, blogs, within your material.  That’s how you feed into the system – you’ll get back what you give.
  • Manage your online reputation.  It’s a public, written record. Don’t post what you don’t want your boss or boss’s boss or boss’s boss’s boss to read. 
  • It’s good to share our humanity with each other – we need not be all business, all the time. Be human, flaws and all.  Don’t be scared to be vulnerable, ask a question, share an opinion.
  • Some communications are written in a formal business style and always will be. Find the places where you can let your personality shine in your writing.  That’s what people connect with!
  • Write it once, get it out there, then leverage the heck out of it.  Writing and publishing it are just the beginning. You get value from it by continuing to shine a light on it.
  • It’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. Do a little bit here, a little bit there – it adds up over time!

These bullets were the pepperoni of my pizza-making presentation – some people ate them up and some people discarded them altogether. Perhaps some thought I was a little too spicy.  It’s merely my view of things, based on my pizza-making experience, and as with everything, subject to debate, disagreement, or adulation.  (I’m quite partial to adulation, by the way.)

In the session I delivered to the Internal Communications group, there was a lot of discussion about how to get the engagement of your readers.  My view is that social media is personal.  While we write formally for business quite often, we should find times and places to share less formally – to let our personalities come through.  When we tell our story, we should think about how we want people to feel, give them a way to connect emotionally to the story.

When you think back on advertisements you’ve seen over the years, which stand out?  Are they the ones that made you laugh? Cry? Sigh?  What about the ones that just gave you the dry statistics – do those stand out, even if grammatically correct and flawless according to Strunk and White?

One of my favorite quotes comes from Maya Angelou:


In my free time, I am available for social-media coaching for the mere price of a slice of pizza.  Or cake.


Share some tips about how you make pizza. What has worked for you?  What have you learned along the way?  Even if you don’t make pizza, if you are merely a consumer of pizza, what are your favorite approaches?  And keep in mind, pizza is a metaphor – although if we want to talk about actual pizza, I’m down for that, too.