Hi, I’m Hope and I’m a digital media strategist specializing in search engine marketing, SEO and PPC. Although I’ve been on Twitter since 2008 and a blogger since 2007, I’ve been a social media sinner. Yes, I’m one of those people who posts actively for awhile and then disappears. But though I may commit the occasional social media sin, I’ve always been a (good) natural family living parent, #clothdiapering, #bfing, #cosleeping, #babywearing, supporting #smallfarm local agriculture, and of course espousing my #blw like there’s no tomorrow! I founded Amiable Interactive to help stewards of the environment, small businesses, and mamapreneurs thrive in the digital space.
How do you walk the talk re: social media?
In this information age we live in, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed by everything there is to keep up with! What I’ve tried to do lately is find focus. In social media, the process I’m starting recently is:
- Choose sets of blogs and people I’d like to engage with, whether because I’m inspired by them, can learn from them, or would like to join with them and help them.
- Choose a few topics that truly move me.
- Use tools to bring out my focus:
- Create columns in TweetDeck that allow me to focus on lists of twitterers and topics I’m interested in, like my http://twitter.com/hopealso/green-news list.
- Create a priority folder in my Google RSS Reader with blogs, LinkedIn answers and Google Alerts.
It’s an evolving process but it seems to be slowly helping with the “clutter factor”. In the past, I’ve tended to drive with Step 4 — just start creating and talking and doing! With so much out there to motivate me and spark my interest, I found myself spinning my wheels a bit. What I’m learning now is that, like anything else, social media is like a garden. And “Within structure, there is freedom.”
What one practical tip can you recommend regarding the use of social media?
I’d say if you’re new to social media, find a few active twitterers or bloggers whose style and attitude you really dig and follow them actively. (In the ancient world of online forums and lists it’s called “lurking”.) I always like to remind myself (when I forget) that you can really learn a lot by listening! I think for most people getting involved in social media is pretty intuitive once you spend some time taking it all in.
A nice starting point for business people who like to write but aren’t ready to start a full fledged blog is something like Quora, a nice, friendly business community centered around Q&A. LinkedIn groups and answers comes to mind too…
What do you think is the perfect age?
Trick question! How’s this for a marketing answer: You can’t optimize for age as a KPI — it’s not actionable! I bet you really just want to know how old I am. I’m 40, and it’s just peachy!
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Spreadsheets. It’s true. My 15 year old gives me a real hard time about it. What’s mom doing? She’s put something new into a spreadsheet and she’s over there laboring over it with her eyes glazed. My favorite thing to do lately is use conditional formatting to add meters and color coding to data! Everything goes in a spreadsheet. Site maps. Keyword performance. Meal plans. Summer rental homes. When I briefly succumbed to a MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) years ago I ran a business in-game and kept all my virtual product data and virtual sales figures in it. What a girl geek!
What are you really good at?
Understanding needs. I tend to have a lot of clarity in summing up a situation and deciding what needs to happen to make things good.
Name one thing you will never understand.
I would say my life’s struggle will probably be learning to release attachments while also striving to do good. That’s why it’s been so important to me to found Amiable Interactive. Being a both a perfectionist and an idealist, it seems to help me find a bit of release just focusing on simple things like helping others and being nice. There’s never been a better time or a harder time to follow the maxim “Keep it simple, stupid.” Somehow I’ll find a way to combine my performance-optimized spreadsheets with an inner simplicity and a green-oriented sensitivity toward “less is more”.
Share something on your mind lately
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about integrity and transparency as they relate to marketing, especially in green marketing and health & wellness where I’m focusing. There are some that argue that the internet has ushered in a new era of transparency between businesses and their customers — and certainly social media plays a big part in that. Yet the temptation to “greenwash” runs high, especially with the simultaneous rise of data-driven marketing, which pushes marketers to deliver persuasive messages that drive immediate revenues. Social media may ultimately be the “great balancer” between the old school “brand positioning” mentality of advertising and the new school “direct response” mentality of search. It may prove to businesses and marketers that while we can influence brand perception, it’s got to be the real deal or it won’t cut it. It’s an exciting time of rapid change in marketing, and given how much of our world is paid for by advertising, we’re in for a wild ride!