Make It Happen
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If you have spent any time on Facebook (and now, sadly, LinkedIn), you may have been the victim of over-sharing. You are subjected to pointless, and often narcissistic postings, often from people and organizations that should know better.

While the impact on you is wasted time, the posters often don’t consider the brand impact of their actions: Every posting, comment, picture, or video, tugs the brand in one direction or another.

How do you know if you should share (or post)? Before letting people know what you think, what you’re doing, or what you like, consider these guidelines:

  1. Is the post in line with your overall strategy, or is it an “outlier” that is in conflict with the brand.
  2. If you posted similar items 10 times more often, would you feel that the overall impact was still “in brand”? If not, then why even do the first post?
  3. Is your message a sales pitch? While this may be appropriate in some cases, it can devalue relationships from trust to price.
  4. Are you posting too often or not enough? By making this particular post, are you matching the timing expectations of your audience?
  5. Are you broadcasting, or do you seek engagement? No one likes being shouted at – but most are keen to be asked for their opinion.
  6. Are your posts generating likes, shares, and comments? If not, then your posts don’t resonate: either seek another audience, or say something different.
  7. Would you be embarrassed to see the post in the newspaper or on TV? If you’re a bit uneasy, then make a change to the post, or don’t share it at all.
  8. Are you losing friends or followers after your posts go live? If it is intentional because you’re aiming at a different audience – then not a problem. If it isn’t intentional, then losing friends/followers indicates a lost focus. (Read When users Defect, for more reasons why users may be declining.)

This week’s action plan: Stop wasting your time and unfollow, de-friend, and disconnect from anyone who posts time-wasting comments. Then look at your own – and make the changes necessary so you aren’t the one being dropped.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
:  Professional credentials site
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders


Have you ever felt that something was missing with your social media communications? That your Tweets, Posts, and Status Updates were being disregarded – almost as if you are speaking to an empty auditorium? That you may have lots of “friends”, but it seems that they are more absent than friendly.

Sadly, this is too common, and it’s not surprising: just because we can add our thoughts to the social network, doesn’t mean we’re relevant, or that anyone is listening.  We have to earn the right first. Here’s how:

  1. Add value with your content: This value must be in the eyes of your audience. Look at your last three week’s contributions: what percentage are high value?
  2. Keep your focus: If someone has found a home in the community you’ve curated, it is likely because the community matches their needs perfectly. Changing the focus (or losing it) mid-stream means one thing: user disengagement. How tightly focused are your social media efforts?
  3. Ask, don’t tell: If it is going to be a conversation, then be the first to start it. What ways can you do this? (Hint: ask a question.)
  4. Participate elsewhere: Spend time on others’ blogs and social media venues, adding value there as well. At the start, this may be as simple as Liking and Sharing others’ content, but it should also include responding to their thoughts with your own.
  5. Respond: Users need acknowledgement, or they disengage. This means thanking them for their comments, and acknowledging their Retweets, Likes, Shares, and Follows.

Even in the old world of email, we ask for permission before sending things out. If we don’t, we label ourselves as spammers, and achieve the opposite effect.

When we post our blog and status updates into the marketplace of ideas, we must recognize that we don’t have a monopoly, and “the customer” can choose to shop anywhere. Yes, we must find ways to attract people to our social media (and web) sites, but it is more important to keep these people engaged once they arrive. We must first earn the right.

This week’s action plan: Another way to say Earning the Right is to say Earning the Trust. And earning trust happens slowly, day-by-day. This week, find one way to do this, through the content you post. When you do, you’ll find that your audience is no longer the “one missing piece” in your conversation.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
:  Professional credentials site
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders


What catches your eye?

by Randall Craig September 8, 2009

What can we learn from the world of advertising? That ads that are intrusive or annoying might stand out for some, but billions are spent each year, in every country of the world — surely something has been learned that can have direct applicability to us? Effective advertising shares a number of key attributes. Consider […]

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Impactful Presentations

by Randall Craig March 4, 2008

Even though you may be on stage when you are making a presentation, it is your audience that deserves the focus. They don’t care about you – at best they only care about how you can “solve their problem” – at worst, they want to be entertained. Changing focus to the audience doesn’t happen by […]

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Can tigers change their stripes?

by Randall Craig December 27, 2006

Today, I appeared on two very different radio shows. The first was CKTB in St. Catherines, a local market, where the host had a number of specific questions he wanted answered. It was a fast-paced Q and A format on the lunchtime talk show. The second interview was on CBC Radio One, for Freestyle, a […]

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