Make It Happen
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Connection

Perhaps you know an Ali or a Hymie.

Ali is just finishing his degree in biology. Hymie is 92, and sits on a stool in a restaurant all day, watching people come and go. Both Ali and Hymie share two things: a back-story and a lesson.

Each summer for the last three years, my wife and I have stayed at the same hotel while visiting the Montreal Jazz Festival. Each time Ali was at the desk checking us in with a smile. Each time asking us a question or two.  Not only did he know his job, he knew that his job was far more than just checking customers in. After three years, we finally asked him about his background, and learned about his studies and aspirations.

Hymie and Randall at Goody's DinerHymie, it turns out wasn’t just a customer: he founded the restaurant, Goody’s, some 60 years ago, and today it is run by the 3rd generation of his family. He doesn’t “sit”, he runs the restaurant , surveying a dynasty, making sure that all is up to his standards. He’s a fascinating person, filled with history, pride – and a sense of humour.

If you are active blogging, tweeting, or posting on Facebook or LinkedIn, you probably appreciate others’ comments, likes, and shares. What we often don’t appreciate, however, is that each person who is reading your post also has a back-story, and they also have a lesson, if only we are open to it – or ask for it.  To be relevant – online and off – we must find a way to tap into these.

This week’s action plan: It’s easier in the real world than online, but this week, look for your Ali or Hymie, and take a few moments to engage them on their terms, not yours.

Postscript: In a previous post, Who is your Mahamood?, I covered another experience that made me think about lasting impressions and the impact we can have on the lives of people you meet.

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

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

 

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Have you ever been disappointed with the engagement level of your blog?  Have you decided that this year something “better happen”, to make it all worthwhile?  If so, you’re not alone.  Here are 17 ways drive more users to your blog, and increase their engagement with it:

  • Write great content.  If you write poorly, or have uninteresting, uninsightful posts, people will never return.
  • Focus your topic.  You will attract a more loyal following if your topic is keyed to your target audience.
  • Be consistent.  Write using the same style, length, posting frequency, and posting date/time.
  • Be controversial. Very few people are interested in commenting on a dry (or vanilla) post.
  • Move beyond words.  Embed pictures and video within the blog itself.  It looks more interesting, and research shows that people are more apt to read a post with picture(s).
  • Team blogs.  Sharing a blog with a colleague is a great way to generate some variety. It also means that two people are promoting the blog.  A secondary benefit is that each team member can respond (like/share/comment), providing an “instant” base level of activity.
  • Tweet a value-added Headline.  If there really is value in the Tweet, then it will be retweeted.  And it will draw people to your blog
  • Use your email list.  Send an email talking about the post with an intriguing click-through link.  Send a direct message to your LinkedIn and Facebook contacts as well.
  • User your groups.  Post a summary of the blog in relevant LinkedIn groups.  If you post in irrelevant ones, you’ll get instant disengagement – and worse.
  • Auto-syndicate.  Connect your blog to LinkedIn and Facebook, so that your blog appears on your profiles.  Users will participate on those platforms directly, as well as on your blog.
  • Empower others to syndicate.  At the bottom of every post, let people syndicate the content through to their favourite social sites.  (AddThis.com and ShareThis.com)
  • Hold a contest.  Nothing like a little competition to drive activity.
  • Share your stage:  Ask others to be a guest blogger, taking your spot from time to time.  They’ll pull their readers with them, exposing yourself to a completely new set of people.
  • Share others’ stages.  Ask to be a guest blogger on someone else’s blog. You will pull these new readers back to your blog, if you are relevant enough.
  • Connection/integration with overall marketing plan.  The blog – and all social initiatives – shouldn’t stand alone, but should be integrated with all of your other marketing activities to achieve a specific goal.
  • Improve your Search Engine Ranking.  Ensure that people can find your blog when they search for it, by ensuring that each post contains the right mix of keywords.
  • Ask for comments.  Don’t end your post with a conclusion – ask your readers what they think, what their experience has been, or whether they agree.

This week’s action item:  Beyond the obvious of improving the engagement level on your own blog, this week, respond to this post with one or two ideas of how to improve social engagement.

More on Blogging:

The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

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Active Listening

by Randall Craig October 14, 2008

If you are in a meeting, and the speaker seems to be repeating themselves, is it their fault… or yours? While it is true that communication is tough, could it be that they are repeating themselves because they “see” that you aren’t listening? They reason – sometimes subconsciously – that repetition brings retention. To signal […]

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