authenticity in Social Media

Business Book Club: Enchanted

When my friend Karen from The Media Mesh decided to start a business book club, I teased - mostly because I am one of the worst culprits of buying business books and then never actually getting through them.  With the club as incentive I got through the first club book and am  now happy to tell you what my take on the book was. If you’re interested in finding out about being a part of the book club, check out Karen’s site.

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions - Guy Kawasaki

The book (as per its web site) ” explains how to influence what people will do while maintaining the highest standards of ethics. The book explains when and why enchantment is necessary and then the pillars of enchantment: likability, trustworthiness, and a great cause.

My take

Be real

It’s a great book that reminds us to be real, genuine and helpful.

A lot of it seems like common sense, but sometimes I think it takes spelling things out obviously to remind us just how important these things are.

It’s the whole “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar” thing that I strongly believe in.  You get much further in life by being kind and friendly than by being angry and pushy.  Kawasaki simply outlines the how and why with some great examples.

Great practical tips

Kawasaki spends a lot of the second half of the book giving ideas on HOW you can be enchanting, sometimes bringing in specialists (like Mari Smith, a Facebook expert who I really enjoy) to talk about areas he realizes others know more about.

Again, a lot of what he said is common sense, but it’s nice to have what you’re doing reinforced, or to have a reminder to be doing it.


I enjoyed the book and was able to create a relatively easy to do list for myself from it.  I like that I walked away feeling good about how I do things.

My one real criticism of the book were his case studies.  He closes each chapter with a real life example of enchantment.  For some reason I found the examples weak.  I don’t know if he was going for something very attainable and realistic, but instead they felt to me like random examples pulled from a small sample selection.

Personal examples

That being said, here is an example of how I’ve been enchanted by a company.

Mabel’s Labels is a Canadian company that creates sticky labels “for the things kids lose”

In the summer of 2010 I attended a blogging conference in New York City.  As I waited for my flight home I tweeted that I was sitting at the gate on my own killing time.  One of the four founding partners of Mabel’s Labels saw my tweet, happened to be taking the same flight and found me at the gate and introduced herself to me (we had never met).

We sat and chatted for almost an hour, mostly not about business, and although I’d heard of the company before my estimation and personal feelings for the company sky rocketed after this interaction.  Since then, I have interacted with this same partner on twitter many times, as well as other partners of the company and their social media representative (they are all very responsive!) and have seen just how fast and authentic they are at engaging with their customers online.

Do I think it’s realistic for the owner of a company to spend time with every potential customer? No. However, I have since become a big advocate of their company, use their labels exclusively for my kids, and brought them in as a sponsor of a conference that I ran in my own city.  I believe in them and spread their word, and that came from someone responding in a really enchanting way to a tweet I sent out expecting no response.

Here is an example of how I WASN’T enchanted:

A few months ago I was planning a vacation.  I put out a simple and general question on twitter about one of the decisions I needed to make about that vacation - one that anyone who had been on a similar type of vacation could answer.  Someone referred me to a travel agent on twitter and when I asked her my question and told her I had already booked the vacation through another channel, she told me that I should then talk to that person for any answers to my question.

Her unwillingness to answer my question because I was not her client gave me such a bad feeling that I now have little desire to work with her in the future.  In fact, when I needed further help with the same vacation I went through another agent despite probably having gone with her before the interaction.  A little bit of “free” and “friendly” advice can go a long way to being enchanting.

I hope you check the book and Karen’s book club out - both are worth your time.  There will also be a twitter chat on January 11 from 8-9 using  #mediameshbbc.

I’d love to hear examples of how you’ve been enchanted! 

“You catch more flies with honey than vinegar”,

Read more:

Social SEO and You Part 3 – Twitter

 I’m thrilled to have Brandon back for part three of his Social SEO and You guest post series (post 1 and post 2), this time about Twitter. Enjoy!

Brandon is a consultant, business marketing grad, strategist, house music junkie, avid reader, speaker, and coffee fiend. He likes to make and break stuff, currently working in the Light Apps division at Corel and the CEO of his own start-up Incentify.

You can find him @BrandonWaselnuk

I want to start this post with a nice be caveat, Twitter and SEO are a pretty big unknown for the most part, there’s lots of news/research/posts that both say Twitter does and does not help your SEO. Therefore this post will cover the areas in which there are some pretty proven facts on it helping your website’s SEO as well as a lot around how to help your ‘Twitter SEO’ meaning – Helping you get found on Twitter, which will help you personally lead people to your site.

Key Factors

Here are three quick facts on Twitter and how it relates to SEO:

  • The more @replys you get to a tweet, the higher your SEO – Now the debate is on whether this just helps that tweet become more relevant in Twitter (proven fact) and if it also helps the link inside that tweet (unknown at this point)

  • The more retweets you get, the higher your SEO – Same rules as above

  • Make your Bio Count – This is a huge deal, it’s not only how you represent yourself to others but it also plays a pretty big role in SEO, Google actually indexes your bio. Therefore if someone Googles your name it’s very likely you’re Twitter will pop up and they get that bio blurb, it’ll also help your website (if you link to that in your bio) etc.


How to Create Success

A lot of you who are good with Twitter will recognize most of these points, they are simple yet many overlook these easy guidelines sometimes.

  • Allow for ‘Quote retweeting’, try to keep tweets to 120 characters to allow, basically when people want to add their own message on your tweet. Eg. “Amazing graphs! RT: @blah….”

  • Use Link shorteners such as Hootsuite and for metric tracking and to reduce character spend

  • Above all be ‘real’; twitter is a giant conversation so be conversational, you wouldn’t want a dude on the street wearing a sandwich board to offer you a flier with coupons? So don’t do it in Twitter

  • Use appropriate hashtags (#awesome) for reach expansion, but don’t get crazy with them!

  • Get out and help others, retweet them, respond to them, they’ll pay it back

  • Try to spread tweets out over the day, often tweet just never ‘bulk tweet’ (5 posts at the same time for example)

  • Promote Blog sites as it’s an easy glide path for twitter users, from short conversations to longer opinions where they can still comment and engage


Build ‘Followers’, Links, and PageRank

Twitter internally links your followers to your profile; therefore higher PageRank followers give your page a boost as well. Meaning, if you have high clout big names on Twitter following you, it’ll boost you in the process. FYI PageRank is basically Google’s term for the spot at which your page shows up in a Google search.

Thanks a Ton

I hope this helps you out a bit and I love questions so if you have any please leave them in the comments and I’ll answer to the best of my abilities!


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Case Study : Project Priceless

I first heard about Project Priceless when Jordan attended Social Capital this summer…  She was a month from her wedding day - a wedding mostly funded through donations, barter and DIY!

One of my favourite parts of their story is that Jordan and Brian were able to do what I love most about social media - bring online community into the real world.  They had people they had never met before starting this project at their wedding LIVE TWEETING it. I love that so much!

I asked Jordan if she would answer some questions about Project Priceless for the blog because I found the project so fascinating.  I think what made it so successful was not simply that they were willing to give publicity to the businesses who were helping them out but that Jordan and Brian are so authentic in the way they portray themselves online (which is authentically fun, quirky and lovable) that people genuinely like them and want to be a part of what they’re doing.

People scrambled to be a part of their story and having recently gotten to meet them in person and have a chance to really start to get to know them, I’m not surprised at all!

Tell us your story

Brian and I got engaged in October 2010. We’d faced some major life events, including some layoffs, so we knew we wouldn’t be a in place to put together a wedding.


The original concept for Project: Priceless was simple: get some former brides and grooms to help us out by offering up their wedding decorations and other leftovers. We started a blog, figuring that family and friends would help out and would be curious to see what we crafted together. It was only a few weeks, though, before the community came a-knockin’: both strangers and businesses heard about us through the press, social media, and word of mouth. Once that started, it only made sense to start offering a trade: anecdotal blog entries about our participants, in exchange for goods and services. The individuals without businesses just enjoyed being mentioned, and the commercial participants found that P:P had enough clout to drive traffic their way.


Within two weeks, we had 1,000 hits on our blog; in the first two months we had 9,000 hits. By the end of the project, we had over 70,000 hits, and over 150 offers of items and services.

Wedding tattoos. credit:

What social media channels were most successful for you and how. Was Twitter the primary source?


We actually didn’t really get going on Twitter for the first couple months of the project. We’d see traffic coming off twitter, but we just didn’t understand the appeal of the thing. I started a twitter account just to be able to keep track of who was tweeting about us, but it wasn’t long before I fell in love with the simple communication of it. Looking back, I wish we’d jumped on the tweet wagon earlier.


The blog grew through twitter and facebook primarily, and through a lot of networked individuals. Most people who participated in the project had heard about us through someone they network with (fellow crafters, work colleagues, classmates, etc). We got a ton of people through good ol’ word-of-mouth, but most people who started talking about us had read about us online somewhere.


What did you learn from the experiment? (I love her answers - I want to turn some of them into blog posts they are so fabulous. :))


Well, first off we learned a lot about social media and how it works for marketing. There’s a big mental shift that has to happen when you’re looking to take your social media practice from playtime to work time. I’ve spent over ten years thinking up cheap and innovative ways to market causes and campaigns for the non-profit sector; social media was an organic progression for someone who’s used to having no budget and only time to invest.


We learned some inalienable truths:


-Rookies are often more fun and flexible…while also making more ‘rookie’ mistakes, obviously.


-There’s a ratio of worry-to-money-to-time when planning a major event: where you save on one, you pay with more of the other two.


-The instant and ‘real time’ nature of social media means that networking is intense, constant, and sometimes not well-worded; a thick skin and a quick apology are must-have tools.


-Social media has made tighter social and network circles. People are in constant contact, building more intimate relationships with colleagues. This is a blessing and a curse. It’s a little bit like taking each group of industry professionals and sticking them in the house on Big Brother: there’s drama, intrigue, and a real need for diplomacy.


-Unlike traditional media, which is usually seen as a bit of a monster, social media is viewed as the ‘feel good’ form of marketing. This made it a very good fit for our project, which was all about feeling good, doing good, and creating something fun.


-What you save in money when you employ social media, you will pay for with time.


-No matter what you do, or how careful you word things, there will always be an internet troll out there. He may have minions. They may all hate you. They are a natural part of the circle of new media.


-Spend time seeking out and interacting with people who do something better than you do. Follow good news-spreaders, trend-namers, and Kevin Bacons: people who are connected with everyone.


We also learned that we love love love doing this. When the wedding ended, fans begged us to continue, and we obliged. We’ve loved adhering to the principles of DIY, COMMUNITY, and ECO-ECONOMY, so we decided we’d spend time blogging a new Project: Priceless blog—the Nest—all about our newlywed journey. We’re cooking food, upcycling furniture, taking classes, and interacting with indie businesses, in a much larger and flexible format than the wedding project could offer. It’s exciting and should make for some great reading.

Adam Pap photograpy:

Do you think this is something people could continue doing or would the novelty wear off?


We get this question a lot. The truth is, we never intended to build a model for others to follow precisely. We just knew we wanted our wedding to be something really different…for it to reflect our sense of adventure, and for it to be a full-out project.


It would be difficult to emulate our project exactly; there have been other weddings in the past that utilized one aspect or another that we used, but none we found that incorporated very facet as we did: social media channels, promo for trade, DIY work, barter, eco-economy, and budget-friendly…not to mention, a new concept we’ve been calling ‘community symbiosis’: indie business supporting people who support indie business.


We’ve got tons of advice to share with other would-be brides and grooms, though, and we suggest that couples choose specific aspects of our project to try for themselves. The main concepts are DIY, COMMUNITY, and ECO-ECONOMY: every couple can implement some aspect of these themes.



Visit Jordan and Brian at their new blog where I am certain we’re going to see many more exciting things from them!


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