Understanding Blogging & Social Media

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Marketing and consumer behavior

Its been a year and a half since I started blogging. When I began I was a battered and bruised warrior, on a mission to recover from an accident. Today, I’m still that warrior with a weakness in one area and stronger in others. Whatever makes us weak can be complimented by increased strength developed elsewhere.

If blogging was my day job I would fire me(smile), or I would give me several warning letters! Consistency has not been something I can be marked favorably on. Instead, healing has been my all-time job, and once I accepted the position, there are benefits for the gains I have been making. You must be fully committed to whatever you pursue if you are seeking excellence.

Benchmarking against the performance of theory and others, can severely weaken one’s ability to grow when it comes to healing. An excellent doctor once admonished me by saying, “Your body knows itself. It tells you when it needs help. How can you tell it, it does not, when it shows its distress through pain and inflammation?” Thus I eventually listened to my body, giving it time to recover. With blogging I decided to listen on several publishing platforms, to understand what drives readers and followers to choose one over another.

Readers, followers, bloggers

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Blogging is much more than sharing stories via words posted online. “One must be keen to listen to be good at blogging, because its about a conversation.” This is my understanding of blogging from my experience. Businesses have been reaching out to have this conversation. Bloggers tell a story with their reading/viewing customers, which can help influence the decision-making process. In fact, social media influencing has become a major marketing strategy across most commercial industries. Competitive advantage is gained or lost through reviews of ‘rants and raves’ ( Trip advisor ,Amazon, and others) on the customer experience — experienced!

People blog because they believe they have something they wish to share with the world. For this sharing to be effective, an audience that is willing to read and respond is necessary. Responding can take the form of ‘liking’ and that can be compared to someone listening to a singer and clapping to show their appreciation. When the audience starts singing along with the singer, its the beginning of ‘engagement’ and a beautiful conversation. The standing ovation can be associated with the sharing and commenting on the blog which stirs emotion.

Marketing and the Blogger

In marketing we learn that different markets require different strategies. Our target market will be made up of several types of consumers, and the ones we focus on will be those we believe we can convert to buyers. If our research is contaminated by bias, or misinformation, then, when the product is offered the results will dispute the research. Personal blogging can be like that.

Some bloggers will start without a clear plan. As they develop confidence in their skill, they may be guided by the topics which stimulate discussion and sharing from followers. Many times , bloggers do not see their readers and followers as consumers, and are disheartened by the results after publishing. Bloggers should have a basic marketing strategy to ‘get the ball rolling’ based on their objectives and goals.

Blogging and social media communication, requires some general understanding of marketing and consumer behavior to be effective. You don’t need to be qualified to listen , you simply need to be ‘open’ to listening. Blogs are important as stated in ‘Principles of Marketing, Kotler & Armstrong. 2006,p561. Pearson, 11th Edition’, “Blogs have voice and personality. They’re human. They come to us not from some media-genic, anchor-bot on an air-conditioned sound stage, but from an individual.” This is one of the reasons why we experience strong emotions, when bloggers use their pen, sharing their truest opinions and beliefs. When a reader takes the time to respond passionately whether in agreement or disagreement, the blogger has been effective.

In his latest article on Inc. ‘Here’s how to properly align your sales and marketing teams in 2017′, John White states, “ Social media has caused a blur in activities that are now both sales and marketing related…” As bloggers we should align our blogs (sales product) with marketing to increase our readership. When I started to think of blogging as a product I’m selling to my readers, the way I write and share took on a different meaning. My followers create a market for the words I’m ready to share!

I have found this blogging journey to be quite fascinating as I take apart the traditional thoughts and theories on marketing and consumer behavior. Social media is a dynamic communication tool, which requires ongoing participation and interaction, for the analytics to make sense!

Have I stirred a flame with embers glowing — please share your thoughts via comments. Thanks for being awesome!

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You can find me on: Twitter https://twitter.com/DLE41 or email:dwordslayer@gmail.com

Credits: Images: free-letters.com, metalholic.com, pixabay.com

© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Originally published  at The Marketing and Growth Hacking Publication on April 03rd, 2017

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The Social Media Follower: Following Communication

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a6438-followers2b2It was surprising to me that I love using social media. Social media is communication. Its about technology and integrating it with your message, to transmit feelings and points in a manner which can be as interactive as the tools used. That’s my definition.

Merriam Webster says it this way, “ Social Media are forms of communication (as websites for social networking and microblogging)through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages and other content as videos.”

I never thought I would ‘get it’ so quickly (many years), because I was actually concerned about privacy, security of websites and the destructive capabilities of the unknown. Awareness of safety measures made it easier to jump in and enjoy the experience.

There are somethings we forget about humans when we are caught up in the latest technology blitz or hype. Not many people like to ask questions. They don’t like asking for several reasons which include the fear of sounding ignorant, dumb or stupid. Communication tools and social media channels are things which demand questions to be asked, because they change so frequently. Here are some examples of the words which ‘tripped me up’, before I asked questions and investigated their meanings;

  1. Algorithm — This sounded like math or algebra, and I was convinced it would be hard to understand because I’m awful at math!

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary its, “a step by step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end, especially by a computer.” Thus, its like baking a cake and knowing what proportions are needed so it won’t flop! If my teachers taught math as food I’d be a grade A student.

2. SEO — This one took a while for me to figure out, but my first impression was it had to be a verb in whatever content you wrote online. (LOL)

Webopedia states, “SEO is short for search engine optimization. SEO is a methodology of strategies techniques and tactics, used to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine.” eg. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. Let me say it this way – if you want someone to find your location you would give directions, sometimes referring to a map or drawing a sketch of the area. SEO is the map/sketch with general directions. As you get more specific with the details, its easier for someone to find you. That’s why SEO is important. It makes information easier to be found when searching online.

3. Followers — This one should have been as easy as the generally understood meaning, which was what I assumed it to be. It is not.

Merriam-Webster states, “ one in the service of another. Fan, devotee.” Social media followers are different from followers whom you lead, and are doing as requested or observed. No way. Social media followers are thinkers who use access to you and your network to expand their own. For many its a one-way relationship without reciprocity. Ideally, it should be a two-way flow of support and sharing.

Having 10K or 100K followers will not guarantee you supporters. You have to build a relationship. This is like having a customer who follows the activities of your company because you sell the Toyota brand of vehicle, and they like cars. Many followers may check out your cars but its the one who engages with you , who may become a customer or refer you to others in his network. Increased engagement, will grow the value to each other in the relationship.

4. Bots — got this one right because I thought it had to be something with robotic features. Bots help with automation which is a process of sharing information and giving feedback , through the use of software, designed to help improve service virtually. I’ve seen them in action and though I’m not keen on talking/writing to anything which is not human, they do generate responses which are quite relatable. Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and any other bot are all here to stay, so we might as well make them welcome into our world!

Experience it

Social media makes it possible for strangers from worldwide locations to meet virtually, through various channels with speed and efficiency. Its easy to have face to face communication with folks because there are so many options, and they are constantly being upgraded. Building quality relationships are easier through the use of ‘real-time’ interaction via Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Twitter, Snap Chat, and a host of other computer and mobile apps.

Your followers can eventually become your close friends / business associates. Gamers interact and share as they engage in their online sport with those they follow and others. Even with all this access, the traditional emotional barriers ( human qualities) are there to be overcome. Trust still has to be established with followers and the site where you meet, for the relationships to mature into more than a collection of addresses.

Am I a social media follower?

Yes I am. I’m following many folks I will probably never physically touch, but the potential for a planned meet-up is also possible. Through blogging and sharing my words you will learn about me and my interests. I’m inspired daily by the writings of many of my followers. Our humanness and diversity keeps us engaged socially online. Maybe one day we will meet. Until then, I’ll see you when I power up on my blogs, medium, twitter, beBee, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Goggle+, tumblr, and others.

Does my experience mirror your understanding? Maybe I’m wrong, what do you think?

If this resonates with you, let me know.  Please share your thoughts via comments. Thanks for being awesome!

email:dwordslayer@gmail.com
Credits: merriam-webster.com ; webopedia.com ; pixabay.com

© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2017. All Rights Reserved

Originally published  at The Marketing and Growth Hacking Publication on April 6th, 2017

Blogging and that’s my Jazz!

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Get Ready…

2016 – is a year I take chances and challenge myself to do something different.I need to! My present has changed – life happens and the choices are “Live, live, live.” So here I am jumping into something with uncertainty.
A few months ago I started blogging on LinkedIn and it has helped me to find solace and a place of peace in my words. I read and commented, engaged and enjoyed sharing with many wonderful people from different places all around the world. Now I understand its a whole new world my eyes and mind had never seen. It has life and can breathe. Social media and social communities are an evolution in technology and has been here for some time. I just caught the train via LinkedIn rail and my journey has fully started. No more standing in line!

Get Set…

Taking a step to share what I normally would to a sales team in person via a blog takes a lot of planning. The first week of two minute daily posts, are done and the images to bring them to life are happening as I type.  Referring to my messages and the reminder to make it mobile ready from Jim Murray looks back at me. It’s back to the visual test on my mobile and there are some positioning issues to clean up. Finally its done and I’m happy.
You can take what you want from all experiences. We have a wealth of knowledge literally at our fingertips and I am very thankful for all the support and encouragement which got me going.

Writing my thoughts, feelings and life experiences are one thing. Sharing what I consider my ‘practical business smarts’ is another. The career and work experiences are different. They are practical and easy, because I like to break everything down when I’m learning.

My two passions are now on display for the world to receive, reject or be indifferent to. I’m passionate about people and find great joy in personal development and growth of others. I’m also passionate about business and making money. Can both passions find a way in words- I will soon find out!

Am I vulnerable -sure I am.
Am I unsure -you bet your socks I am! I have nothing to lose, and my gut says someone will need my words to help them daily with their work & life. 

Imagine, I can be the sales/ operations/ marketing manager you always wanted to get your team revved up and my words are right there at your finger tips.

Why two minutes you may wonder – that’s the attention span I need committed daily during the early morning cuppa! The longer posts will be once or twice a month based on feedback.

Go…

I have 2 blogs – Dwordslayer  with Blogger and donnaluisawordslayer with WordPress. During the past two months I’ve been testing and learning about both platforms.
With Blogger you had a taste of my “Christmas Nostalgia”.
I’m living this year and  will share my passions. My challenges are still there, but my fire is renewed and its ready to burn!
The first bit of advice from “Lets Talk”  is called “#Get Off Your Hashtag”
Thank you for your feedback and engagement!
© Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.