enterprise social media

How to Find Out What Your Community Wants

How to Find Out What Your Community Wants

In our previous post, Architecting Community, we discussed exactly how we think you should go about architecting your awesome community.

In this post, we talk about discovering the wants and needs of your community.



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Find Out What Your Community Wants

Before you go too far in architecting a space for your community, you’d better find out what they want. Of course, if you’ve following along with our posts, you probably have a decent idea based on your listening and engaging. But there’s no substitute from actually getting the input from your prospective community members.

As we’ve mentioned before, you can use Social Media Performance Group’s free Social Media Readiness Survey™ in our book to gather information about your community’s preferences. And your leadership should take an assessment such as the Social Media Directors Entrance Exam from Examiner.com,[3] online or in the book as well. We’re assuming you’ve done all this preliminary work and are ready to really find out if you can provide some value to your community by creating a community site.

While these general surveys can help get you started, consider doing a more in-depth survey to determine what kind of site your community wants. There’s a dynamite post by Jim Cashel on the Online Community Report site entitled, Back to Basics: Want to Know What Community Members Need? Just Ask,[4] that has some great ideas about conducting member research. We’ve adapted parts of it below.

The three most important questions you need to answer by asking your community are:

  • What do community members need from you as the host? What are the member expectations about your level of participation, your effort in developing content, in fostering participation and your commitment to hosting the community long-term?
  • What do community members need from each other? Explore what community members want to get from interactions with other community members
  • What can community members contribute? How are community members prepared to participate?

In addition to these key questions, ask demographic questions to provide context and a basis for analyzing members’ answers. Once you’ve determined your objectives, create a survey and ask prospective community members to help you design the community experience.

Here’s a sample list of questions:

  • Name, organization, title, a brief role description
  • What information sources do you rely on to find out more about the product category?
  • What groups (online or offline) are you a member of related to the product category?
  • What products or services do you use related to the product category?
  • What is the biggest challenge related to the cause you face in your day to day work?
  • How satisfied are you with the level and type of communication you have with [your organization]?
  • Do you currently participate in any of the following social media activities: [list relevant sites]?
  • What information, insight or content do you want to share with other community members?
  • What kinds of information would be helpful for other community members to share with you?
  • If we were to offer the following content or features, please rate how useful each would be to you: [list items you are considering providing such as discussion forums, expert Q&A, video previews, blogs, etc.]
  • Would you be interested in connecting with other members at local, in-person events?

However you get input from your community, you should definitely take what they say to heart in designing your community space. In fact, it would be a good idea to create an advisory board that you can bounce ideas off of as you make design decisions.


Find Out What Your Community Wants is the 158th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 397. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Social Media Performance Group’s Social Media Readiness Survey: bit.ly/smpgsurvey

[2] Social Media Performance Group’s Mobile Social Media Use Survey: bit.ly/c48q61

[3] Social Media Directors Entrance Exam: bit.ly/bDIsrx

[4] Jim Cashel’s Back to Basics: Want to Know What Community Members Need? Just Askbit.ly/dmoDvA

Architecting Community

Architecting Community

In our previous post, What Is Community?, we defined community and got you excited to learn how to architect your own community.

In this post, we tell you exactly how we think you should go about architecting your awesome community.



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Architecting Your Community

You are the experience architect for your community. It’s up to you to create a welcoming place, filled with cool tools people can use to do the things they do when they’re together: tell each other stories, yack, connect, and support each other.

But what kind of community do you hope to design? Physical communities are divided into many categories: urban, suburban, or rural; or neighborhoods, clubs and associations. Some, like the Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC),[1] enumerate an even larger set of intentional community types that are created because people consciously choose to create them rather than, for example, moving into a neighborhood or apartment building because they can afford the rent.

We are drawn to the concept of intentional communities when thinking about online communities be­cause to us, that’s what they are: intentional online gatherings of people with sim­ilar goals and values.

A real-world intentional community is a group of people choosing to live in close proximity because they share a common need, belief, or desire, and who have an intent to share resources. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and are often part of an alternative society, for example, a monastery or commune.

The people in online communities share the idea of intentionality with these offline communities. They aren’t thrown together by an accident of proximity, such as sharing a birth year (high school) or a locality (apartment building). Although people in such situations may find community with those geograph­ically close to them, they usually did not actively choose to be a part of a particular real-world community. People in online communities intend to be together; they take action to join a community that reflects their interests and passions, and stay intentionally.

There is such commonality with offline intentional communities that elements of FIC’s mission state­ment[2] might form a good starting place for your company community’s mission. Here are these elements trans­formed and adapted for online communities:

  • To embrace the diversity that exists among community members
  • To build cooperative spirit within and among community members
  • To facilitate exchange of information, skills, and economic support
  • To serve as a reference source for those seeking information about our products
  • To support education, research, archives, and publishing about our products
  • To increase global awareness about our products

Like offline communities, online communities also tend to fall into categories, and one could argue that as many types of communities as there are offline, there that many and more online. And like lots of concepts we’ve examined in this blog, every pundit has his or her list. Here’s a short list of categories of communities to consider along with examples for each type:

  1. Social/Leisure – Communities where people come together socially to talk about games, sports, TV, music. Also included are emotional support communities who exist to help people who are who are living through similar challenges such as loss, disease, addiction, or financial circumstances. Examples:
    1. Sports team sites (I Am A Trail Blazers Fan[3])
    2. TV show sites (Screen Rant[4])
    3. disease support groups such as the Crohn’s Disease Support Group[5]
  2. Place/Circumstance – Communities brought together by external events and situations such as geographic proximity or a common life experience or position, such as being alumni of a particular school, or members of religious or self-help organizations. Also included in this category are communities defined by age, gender, race, or nationality. Examples:
    1. DukeConnect[6]
    2. Mayo Clinic[7]
    3. The Twin Cities Online[8]
  3. Interest/Purpose – Communities of people who share the same interest or passion or a common set of objectives. Charities, political parties and unions can form communities driven by purpose as can people who like shopping, investing, playing games, making music, or taking a class. Members of a fan club, hobby group, or professional organization, amateur woodworkers, and parents are other examples of people who might belong to communities of interest. Examples:
    1. Social Media Breakfast,[9]
    2. Prince.org[10]
  4. Action/Collaboration – Communities of people trying to bring about change, whether it be political, social, religious, technological, or environmental. Members’ bias is toward action in solving real-world problems. Self-improvement communities fall into this category along with job clubs and referral networks. Collaborative communities such as the Linux, AJAX, or Java communities where members actually build software together are good examples. Another example is innovation and ideation communities, especially within the enterprise, where members solve problems, improve products, and are bound by a common goal. Most customer relations and support communities also fall into this category. Examples:
    1. LinuxQuestions.org [11]
    2. Pepsi Refresh Project [12]
    3. GE: Ecomagination Challenge [13]
  5. Practice – Communities of people who are in the same profession, undertake the same activities, or who pursue the same vocation or avocation. These communities are distinguished from communities of interest by the degree of dedication they exhibit. For example, amateur airplane pilots may exhibit more dedication than hobbyists who enjoy scrapbooking. Example:
    1. Nursing Community Center[14]

In addition to these categories of communities, Rob Howard of enterprise collaboration software company Telligent outlined styles of communities in a post[15] on Mashable:

  • Direct Community: These are communities owned and managed by a company typically running proprietary community and enterprise collaboration software solutions. Examples include the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s community website, Starbucks’ blog, or Dell’s support community. The organization is responsible for running and managing the community and benefits from rich data and user profiles created within that community. These also would include private B2B and internal employee-targeted communities.
  • Managed Community: These are communities started and managed by the organization, but run on consumer-facing social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Examples here include the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s Facebook Page, Starbucks’ Flickr group pool, or Dell’s presence on Twitter. The organization is responsible for running and managing the community, but does not necessarily benefit from the rich data and user profiles created within the community. Typically, the facilitator of the community (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) benefits the most from the underlying data.
  • Participating Community: These are communities started and managed by individuals or groups of users, typically on consumer-facing social networking sites, but sometimes also with proprietary software. An example here would be a fan site for Microsoft’s Xbox or an independent Porsche enthusiast group. Typically the organization whose products or services are the topic of discussion can participate, but has no authority or access to the data created within the community.

It’s obvious that all these qualities of communities can be, and often are, combined in a single site. If you decide to create your own community site rather than using a third party site like Facebook, you should consider all of these aspects.


Architecting Community is the 157th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 396. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Fellowship for Intentional Community: bit.ly/aaicT9

[2] FIC’s mission statement: bit.ly/dlH7Fi

[3] I Am A Trail Blazers Fan: bit.ly/pG2sGK

[4] Screen Rant bit.ly/ruSzsF

[5] Crohn’s Disease Support Group: bit.ly/aDvyMR

[6] DukeConnect: bit.ly/pLHUqI

[7] Mayo Clinic Community: bit.ly/oTd4JN

[8] The Twin Cities Online: bit.ly/r2jX17

[9] Social Media Breakfast: bit.ly/r3Gaa0

[10] Prince.org: bit.ly/npd3r2

[11] LinuxQuestions.org: bit.ly/oC0zy1

[12] Pepsi Refresh Project: pep.si/od3R4V

[13] GE: Ecomagination Challenge: bit.ly/pTbqna

[14] Nursing Community Center: bit.ly/qPXAH7

[15] Mashable’s How Businesses can Harness the Power of Online Communities on.mash.to/pmqSFN

What Is Community?

What Is Community?

In our previous post, Building Your Community, we began a series on building your community by giving an overview on what an online community really is.

In this post, we offer up our definition of community and preview our next posts on architecting one.



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What is Community?

We think we probably beat this one to death in the post Community, so go ahead and re-read it if you aren’t quite sure what community is.

You’ll recall we defined community as:

A group of people with a shared purpose in a longer-term relationship in which all voices can be heard, and which evolves over time based on where its members want it to go

So that’s what you’re trying to architect.

So You Say You Want a Community?

First ask yourself, “Why?” We assume if you have decided to take the step of creating your own community space that you’ve done your homework. You’ve found your community where it is. You’ve evaluated the quality of the interactions and of the places, and you’ve determined there’s something missing, something you can provide. You’ve honestly decided you need to make a contribution — not to mold or lead, or bend others to your will, but to contribute and provide value.


What Is Community? is the 156th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 394. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances

Building Your Community

Building Your Community

In our previous post, On Beyond the Major Social Media Sites, we wrapped up our look at the major social networking sites and recommend some other sites and social techniques for you to use.

In this post, we begin a series on building your community by giving an overview on what an online community really is.



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Building Your Community

“Community happens when people feel
they’re among like-minded others and when
they feel their contributions matter.”

Social media expert Chris Brogan

OK, you’ve slogged through all the advice we’ve blogged in our “Be A Person” series, and you’ve decided you’d like to create a standalone online community for your enterprise. Well, we’ve got bad news for you: You can’t.

Sorry. We hope we haven’t led you on by titling this post as we have. Community is not some­thing you can create because a community belongs to its members and, as Chris Brogan’s quote says, community happens. You can start a community, but the members will create the con­nections that build and sustain it. You can nurture a community, but the members will decide how long it lives and where it goes.

It’s like a party.Three Guys Bored at a Party

You can invite the guests.

You can provide the venue, buy the food and drink, hire the band, and send out the invitations.

But you can’t make them have fun. The way that those who show up interact will determine the party’s success, not you.

Sure there are things you can do to increase your odds of a successful party: fly everyone to Paris; hire Cirque du Soleil to perform; and give everybody a Dolce&Gabbana bag full of expensive gifts. But you can’t ensure that everyone will have fun. And you can’t ensure that the party will never end.

It’s the same with community. People come of their own volition, share only if they’re inclined to, and will leave if the conversation gets boring.

One of our favorite thinkers about community, Amber Naslund, Director of Community for Radian6, lays it all out succinctly:[1]

You cannot create a community. It creates itself.

Strong community leaders, in my view, are there as the experience architects.

It’s our job to translate, to interpret, to build bridges and give them chairs to sit in. But ultimately, the community builds and sustains itself, with us nurturing it along the way.

If you’re ready to move beyond your need to control your community, the next step is to decide what it is you want to build, um, architect.


Building Your Community is the 155th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 393. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Quoted in the comments of Chris Brogan’s seminal 2009 blog post, Audience or Communitybit.ly/cs2ogx

On Beyond the Major Social Media Sites

On Beyond the Major Social Media Sites

In our previous post, Promote Connections, we finished our series about blogging by discussing how commenting can get your blog found in the sea of millions of blogs.

In this post, we wrap up our look at the major social networking sites and recommend some other sites and social techniques for you to use.



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On Beyond

OK, over the last 153 posts, we’ve covered the major social media sites and given you lots of advice about how to use them for your business. But there are tons of other sites out there that you may find useful. If you don’t believe that, mosey on over to KnowEm and feast your eyes on the more than 550 sites they can help you sign up for automatically.

Not only are there scads of interesting social sites out there, but here are a few utility sites and techniques that you can use to improve your usage of blogs and your other social media efforts.

  • Google AlertsA Google Alert is a saved search that you can set to periodically email you results or, if you prefer, you can subscribe to the results via RSS. Set up Google Alerts to track terms related to your product category and your target prospects’ names, for example. You can set various preferences such as the type of item (news, blog, video, and so on), the frequency of notifications, and how many results to send.
  • Social Bookmarking Sites — Use Reddit, delicious and Digg to bookmark interesting sites you come across. This is useful especially if you use multiple computers, but an added benefit is you can make your bookmarks public, thus increasing the odds of attracting like-minded people.
  • FriendFeedFriendFeed, now owned by Facebook, helps you keep track what your friends are posting on several online media. It allows you to create private groups to share information, pictures, and videos with.
  • Expert Sites — Consider joining expert sites such as Squidoo and About.com to build your reputation as you share your expertise. These mostly volunteer sites are a treasure trove of tips and tricks on pretty much any topic. They are great places to showcase yourself as an expert.
  • Curation Sites — Curation is one of the hottest trends in social media today. Sites such as Scoop.it, Paper.li, Storify, Pinterest, and others enable you to collect and comment on articles and images you find interesting. Martin Smith of Atlantic BT has a nice roundup of interesting curation sites. The key to using these sites is to be able to tell a story. Just reposting  material without creating a narrative adds little value and will deliver little value for your business. Karen Deitz is a master at telling stories. Her motto, expressed in an article on Paper.li, is Whoever Tells the Best Stories Wins.
  • Location-Based Sites — Sites like FourSquare and, to a lesser extent, Instagram aim to exploit the benefits of local social networking and mobile computing.[1] Some may find them creepy or dangerous, but they are a growing segment of the social computing universe.
  • International Social Sites — We’ve been talking about the top sites for the US, but there’s a whole world out there that isn’t American, and lots of people flock to sites like Orkut and Qzone.

    • Orkut, owned by Google, is extremely popular in Brazil — making up 52 percent of users — while roughly 20 percent are from India and 18 percent from the US. Orkut’s age demographics run young. More than 70 percent of users are 18 to 30 years and a whopping 57 percent are in the 18-25 age group.[2] Orkut has roughly 33 million users.
    • Qzone is a Chinese site founded created in 2005. Although there is a free option most Qzone services are not free. In 2012, Qzone had 597 million users.

There’s lots, lots, lots more out there that we could discuss, but let’s turn the last, and perhaps most important, posts in this series — all about building your own online community.

Next up: Building Your Community


On Beyond the Major Social Media Sites is the 154th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 393. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Mashable’s section Location Based Social Networksbit.ly/9AK7Vh

[2] Orkut demographics  www.orkut.com/Main#MembersAll

Promote Connections

Promote Connections

In our previous post, Write to be Found, we continued our series about blogging by discussing how content can get your blog found in the sea of millions of blogs.

In this post, we look at now commenting can increase readership.

Tips for Commenting

In addition to the techniques we’ve discussed in the past few posts, another way to promote your blog is to pay attention to the people who take the time to comment on it.



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You should regularly review your comments, and:

  • Respond to all commenters
    • Acknowledge the comment
    • Add your own comment if appropriate
    • If the comment is negative, encourage further discussion
    • If the comment is spam, feel free to delete
  • Click on commenter’s links — when they check their referral statistics, they’ll see that you visited their blog
    • They may be more likely to return to your blog
    • They may start commenting more
    • It helps draw them into a relationship 

Next up: On Beyond the Major Social Media Sites


Promote Connections is the 153rd in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 393. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances

Write to be Found

Write to be Found

In our previous post, Publicize Your Blog, we continued our series about blogging by discussing how to get your blog found in the sea of millions of blogs.

In this post, we look at the content of your blog can increase readership.



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Content is King

As we have mentioned many times in previous posts, the best way to be found is to write content that appeals to your community, as well as to search engines. First decide on the keywords that your community might use to search for your post. Then, use those keywords throughout the post. Use them in the title, the first few lines, and throughout post.

Another good idea is to use images liberally in your posts. Believe it or not, for some blogs, most visits come from Google Image Search.[1] If you’re not familiar with Image Search, it’s easy to try it out. Google anything. On the top of the page, to the left, you’ll see a list of links, beginning with Web, which is the default Google search type. Click Images. Not only do you see a page full of images that match your search terms, but you can choose from several ways to narrow your search, by size, type, and color. When you mouse over an image, Google displays its size and the site it’s hosted on. Click on an image, and Google sends you to the site.

Google image search

Use Images in Your Blog — Google Image Search

Google bases its search on the content of the page containing the image. Including, and captioning, images in your blog adds another way you can be found.

Next up: Promote Connections


Write to be Found is the 152nd in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 393. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] According to the blog Pictures of Cats org: Google Image Search builds Trafficbit.ly/dCwj1p

Publicize Your Blog

Publicize Your Blog

In our previous post, Getting Your Blog Found, we continued our series about blogging by discussing how to get your blog found in the sea of millions of blogs.

In this post, we take an in-depth look at how to publicize and advertise your blog in an effort to increase readership.

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Publicize Your Blog

In addition to the general recommendations we made in the series of posts beginning with Get Found you should:

  • Add links to your blog on your Website
  • Add your blog to your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook profiles
  • Add your blog address to all your communications
  • Embed videos from your YouTube channel in your blog
  • Run a contest on your blog
  • Ask your supporters to blog about your blog

Publicize Your Blog — Techie

If you or your staff is a bit more technical, try these ideas:

  • Add your blog to blog directories such as:
    • Technorati
    • Daypop
    • Blogdex
    • Popdex
    • Blogrolling
    • blo.gs
    • weblogs.com
    • pingomatic
    • Robin Good’s list of blog directories[1]
  • Enable each post to be its own page
  • Set your blog to send pings to search engines via Ping-o-Matic[2]
  • Install Email This Post or other plug-in that enables readers to send the post to a friend
  • Turn on your site RSS feed and encourage your community to subscribe to it
  • Be search-engine-friendly

Advertise Your Blog

There are lots of places to advertise your blog on the Web. One that is quite affordable is a site called StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon belongs to a category of sites called social bookmarking services. Others include delicious and Digg.

StumbleUpon has more than 10 million members who use the site to, well, stumble upon new and interesting sites they might not have otherwise found. Members can rate pages, and when you use the site, StumbleUpon delivers pages or emails that have been explicitly recommended by friends or members with similar interests.

That’s great, and it’s a great site to subscribe to so you can find interesting topics to blog about. But you can also use StumbleUpon to place your blog or Website in the recommendations that members see.

You can create a StumbleUpon ad campaign for your whole blog or a single post. You can target the audience by selecting dozens of categories, various demographics and/or geography. When users click on the ad, the traffic comes directly to your site. It’s a pay-per-click service, which means you pay only for actual views of your site. You can also set spending limits to control your budget, and there’s no minimum spend requirements.

What’s even better is the cost: 10-25 cents per visitor.

StumbleUpon reviews all ads and accepts only those that meet their content guidelines.[4]

Next up: Write to be Found


Publicize Your Blog is the 151st in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 386. At this rate it’ll be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Robin Good’s blog list: bit.ly/aynbLz

[2] Ping-o-Matic: bit.ly/9LO88F

[3] Hubpages’ Advantages and disadvantages of each blogging platformbit.ly/8YOKCy

[4] Stumbleupon’s content guidelines: bit.ly/oIh3Ac

Getting Your Blog Found

Getting Your Blog Found

In our previous post, Good Blog Topics, we continued our series all about blogging by discussing some great topics to blog about and some rules for great posts.

In this post, we take an in-depth look at how to get your blog found in the sea of millions of blogs.

AttributionShare AlikeSome rights reserved by bisonblog

Getting Found

There are millions of blogs. How are you going to get found? The first way is, of course, to write compelling, valuable content that matches what your community is searching for on Google and other search engines. If you’re not doing that, you’re not likely to be able to attract many readers no matter what else you do.

The second-best way to get found is to get linked to by more-influential blogs. Build relationships with respected bloggers in your community. (We talked about this in the post Study Existing Online Communities and in Synergistic Promotion Activities). Link to them, comment on their blogs, and engage with their audiences.

One common way bloggers collaborate is to guest-author posts on each other’s blogs. This has the benefit of offering a blog’s audience a change of pace, and can result in increased readers for both blogs.

Recently, however, a powerful new way to promote blogs was introduced: the Facebook Like button. As we discussed in the post Add a Like Button to Your Website, this new replacement for the old Share button can help your Website or your blog go viral. Typepad, a popular blog hosting platform, reported in mid-2010 that the installation of Facebook’s new Like Button on the sidebar of a blog boosted bloggers’ referral traffic from Facebook by up to 50 percent. For some blogs, adding the Like button to the blog’s footer boosted traffic from Facebook up to 200 percent.[1]

Blog referrals from facebook likes

Figure 1 — Referral Traffic from Facebook Like, 2010

Combining the Like button with a campaign on Facebook can boost traffic even further. This way of coordinating your efforts between social sites, described in the Triangulate Your Social Media Presence post, can yield big dividends.

Next up: Publicize Your Blog 


Getting Your Blog Found is the 150th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 384. At this rate it’ll be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Typepad’s article What you should “Like” about Facebook Integration on TypePadbit.ly/936YL9

Good Blog Topics

Good Blog Topics

In our previous post, Creating a Great Lead for Your Blog Part 2, we continued our discussion about creating great leads for your blog.

In this post, we take an in depth look at some great topics to blog about and some rules for great posts.

AttributionShare AlikeSome rights reserved by photosteve101

Good Blog Topics

Once you start blogging, one of your first concerns is going to be, “What do I blog about?”

Chances are you have plenty of possible topics. But what’s going to connect with your community? Once again, you’ll have to figure this out for yourself, but here’s a list of suggestions that may work.

  • Create Top N Lists — Creating blog posts that offer top 10 (or whatever number) lists is a proven winner. It promises a quick, easily-digestible take on a subject. Google the phrase “Top 10”[1] and see 450 million great examples.
  • Top People/Products — A variation of top n lists that adds the promise of celebrity
  • Be Contrarian — Disagreeing with established opinion can be a draw. People often seek this type of alternative to accepted wisdom
  • Be Controversial — But not too controversial. You’re looking to stir up debate, not trouble.
  • Answer FAQs — FAQs are Frequently Asked Questions. Every field has them. If you promise to answer them, people will be likely to read.
  • Ask Questions — One pastor we know uses this as an ice breaker: “What’s your favorite movie?”

If this short list doesn’t do it for you, there are lots of good blog posts that offer ideas for what to write about. Here’s a list of great recommendations:

  • Social Media Content Creation Process[2] by Geoff Livingston of Now Is Gone
  • Discover Hundreds of Post Ideas for Your Blog with Mind Mapping[3] by Darren Rowse of Problogger
  • 100 Blog Topics I Hope YOU Write[4] by Chris Brogan of ChrisBrogan.com
  • 8 Must-Dos For Aspiring Writers[5] by Amber Naslund of Brass Tack Thinking

In addition to these bloggers and their sites, check out Dosh Dosh, Buzz Bin, Ittybiz, Copyblogger, Remarkable Communication, Remarkablogger, and Problogger. [6]

Other ways to find blog topics:

  • Read something new every day
  • Dedicate 20 minutes each day
  • Follow Alltop[7] for ideas
  • Ask people for ideas, especially your community
  • Keep a log of potential ideas
  • Bookmark sites you visit
  • Use Delicious[8] or Digg[9]
  • Read other bloggers
  • Find interesting and relevant photos
  • Use Flickr[10] — be sure to look for the Creative Commons license so you can reuse them
  • Stuck? Try a “Best of” post
  • Remember: Fast is better than perfect, and perfect is the enemy of good

Next up: Getting Your Blog Found


Good Blog Topics is the 149th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 383. At this rate it’ll be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Made you look! Here’s the Top 10 Google search for your convenience: bit.ly/13bn4xK

[2] Geoff Livingston’s Social Media Content Creation Processbit.ly/16RLrRs

[3] Darren Rowse’s Discover Hundreds of Post Ideas for Your Blog with Mind Mappingbit.ly/bk5Au1

[4] Chris Brogan’s 100 Blog Topics I Hope YOU Writebit.ly/c7uaM220 Blog Topics To Get You Unstuckbit.ly/cinHGT, and 100 Personal Branding Tactics Using Social Mediabit.ly/9B04I1

[5] Amber Naslund’s 8 Must-Dos For Aspiring Writersbit.ly/9s82tC

[6] Dosh Dosh: bit.ly/bQFgaB, Buzz Bin: bit.ly/9FCYE7, IttyBiz: bit.ly/bLa2SY, Copyblogger: bit.ly/atrUqh, Remarkable Communication: bit.ly/9M7ZlE, Remarkablogger: bit.ly/cvLuTX, and ProBlogger: bit.ly/dghN9I

[7] Alltop is a blog aggregator: bit.ly/c0DLPn

[8] Delicious is a social tagging site: bit.ly/dzUxVm

[9] Digg is a social tagging site: bit.ly/cGXpV9

[10] Flickr is a photo and social tagging site: bit.ly/cyVvgU