Ten Best Practices for Social Media


I have been lucky enough to speak to some amazing groups including the attendees of the State of Florida Prevention Conference and looking forward to speaking on a great panel with Deanan Goldasich http://www.wellplannedweb.com/blog/ and Kevin McNulty http://netweave.posterous.com/ eWomen Network Tampa and the Supermomprenuer Conference in New York at the end of October. 

If you have heard my presentation you will remember that the key is to have fun, be authentic and be yourself in the social space.  I share often how critical it is for business owners to stop being intimidated by people whom make social more confusing than it has to be. The question I get asked most often is: What are social media best practices? So I thought I would share them here with you:  These are the ten best practices that we stress to everyone if you are diving in the social space.

  1. Be Authentic: If your service rocks GREAT if it doesn’t, don’t act like it does.  Be who you are and be honest with your upper management and real about your corporate culture, everyone isn’t Starbucks, Zappos or Apple.  Play to the strengths of your brand and the experience for the customer.  If you have crappy service, why not have a little fun with that and use social to make your service better.  Being who you are makes all the difference.
  2. Be Active: This is active not spammer active but get in the space, say something when something needs to be said, share when you can, give good nuggets of information there is no golden rule for the frequency.  Get in there man.
  3. Build: Fan bases do not grow overnight, unless you are Lebron James.  It takes time, always pay attention to social and always seek to build your fan base with PEOPLE that love your brand, quantity is important but it isn’t the only thing that is important
  4. Don’t make people keep guessing: What I mean by this is don’t make people wonder what the heck you are talking about or when you are going to share again, if your last post as February 12th you might have a problem, if you “test” out different messages without a common theme
  5. Share and share alike: Stop being selfish, social is about sharing.  If you competitor, the one you don’t hate is doing something cool then share it…karma baby
  6. Dynamic (don’t use one method): Don’t just write blogs, vlog, podcast use methods to speak to people in different ways we all learn differently
  7. Fish where the fish are: Use the socials that people you want to speak to are going to, simply said Facebook has over 500M users but some niche socials may be perfect for your brand.  Know where to go
  8. Understand engagement tips: We blogged before about don’t be that guy who tries to Friend everyone after one meeting, you seem like a stalker. 
  9. Harness WOM: Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising, harness what good people are saying about your brand and get them to say it online.
  10. Commit to one thing/stop multi-tasking: Oprah said you can have it all just not all right now, and she was right, focus on one platform and grow from there if you are strapped for cash and time, you can be successful.

LeBron and Social

Meet America’s newest social media giant, though that may be a bit of an understatement. At 6’8”, 250 pounds, and as reluctant as could be to venture into this far-reaching virtual universe, NBA superstar LeBron James was allegedly persuaded by buddy and fellow NBA player Chris Paul to join Twitter earlier this month and immediately captured the attention of just about the entire planet. The buzz and speculation started instantaneously: would this be where James would tell the world his latest and greatest news, the court king’s announcement of his signing decision?

James launched KingJames on July 6, and nearly 400,000 followers latched on for dear life. And when James spoke that Thursday evening under the hot, bright ESPN network lights, EVERYBODY came running to listen: at their televisions, at their computers and on their cell phones. (For those living under a rock, he signed with the Miami Heat.)The occasion marked yet another example of how celebrities are integrating social media into their marketing and communications with fans, employing the game plan to get the message quickly and directly to the source they are targeting: in this case, the NBA ticket-buying public who loves James oh so much…except in Cleveland perhaps (just guessing).

Cincinnati wide receiver Chad Johnson, better known on the field as Ocho Cinco, notoriously tweeted away one season to the delight of his fans but when he found himself on the dance floor participating on Dancing with the Stars, he watched those follower numbers multiply, garnering even greater attention and attracting a broader following (just shy of a million).

So perhaps most of us don’t have quite the steady following as a court king or star football player but that doesn’t mean we can’t use social media in a similar fashion: make major announcements about our business or product lines and connect with our patrons in such a way that builds trust, loyalty and support for all that we do.

Look at your own business right now. How could you use social media in your own game plan to propel your brand?

Loopt Star: A Digital Loyalty Card For Your iPhone

Loopt Star: A Digital Loyalty Card For Your iPhone.

Hiring Sr Web Developer/Programmer

Tampa based social marketing firm is seeking a Sr Web Developer/Programmer. This position will play a significant role in developing strategic, compelling online marketing opportunities to help our clients achieve their business objectives.

 Essential Duties and Responsibilities

1.      Supports creative department when designing new websites.

2.      Supports clients when managing existing websitess

3.      Supports internal staff when dealing with the Company’s social sites and websites.

4.      Supports internal account managers

 Other Duties and Responsibilities

1.      Manage day to day client website/blog updates

2.      Develop and maintain content management systemss

3.      Troubleshoot client websites.

4.     Work with teams to integrate social media platforms with exisiting sites


 Intellectual:  analytical, design, technical skills, problem solving, project management   

 Interpersonal:  customer service, interpersonal, oral communication, team work, written communication

Leadership:  quality management and solution oriented

 Organization: diversity, ethics, organizational support, strategic thinking

Self-Management: adaptability, attendance/punctuality, dependability, initiative, innovation – judgment, motivation, planning/organizing, professionalism, quantity                                    


 To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  1. Bachelor’s degree (B. A.) from four-year college or university; or eight years related experience and/or training; or Equivalent combination of education and experience.


 1.      Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations.  Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals.  Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public.

 2.      Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs.

 3.      Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.

 4.      To perform this job successfully, an individual should have knowledge of WAMP, XAMP, or MAMP,- PhpED or similar IDE, Visual Studio, FileZilla or similar FTP Client, FireBug, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, Microsoft Office, Windows XP, Vista

 5.      To perform this job successfully, an individual should have knowledge of Advanced to Expert level php programming experience (both procedural and object oriented up to php 5); Advanced to Expert level MVC design pattern experience; Experience with php frameworks such as CodeIgniter, Kohana and CakePHP;  Experience with MySQL; Experience with PHPMyAdmin; Advanced level JavaScript experience;  Experience with javascript libraries/frameworks such as jQuery or MooTools; Expert to Master level experience with XHTML; Expert to Master level experience with CSS; Expert level experience coding the website presentation layer using modern techniques; Experience validating websites to the W3C standards for the document type (ex. xhtml 1.0 tansitional, strict or HTML 4.01) being used; Experience with on and off page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with the technical ability to implement on-page SEO using current best-practices;  Experience with Google Analytics; Advanced level experience with XML creation and consumption; Experience with Social Media; Experience with Blogging platforms such as WordPress and/or Blogger; Knowledge of open source content management systems;  Should have some knowledge of other programming languages as they relate to web development (ex. C#.net/Vb.net and classic asp)


Lessons from a Cow

On Thursday, March 18, Chick-fil-A® Manager of Media Integration Chuck Bradford spoke to the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Tampa Bay Chapter. Bradford’s responsibilities include developing media strategies for the restaurant, conducting individualized market assessments and identifying marketing opportunities. After Bradford’s insightful presentation on the evolution of Chick-fil-A®’s award-winning “cow campaign,” I asked Bradford how Chick-fil-A® is integrating social media with its traditional marketing and advertising campaigns. A Tough Nut to Crack Bradford noted that social media is not only a new venue for marketing, but it’s also one that constantly changes. This flux makes social media “a tough nut to crack.” Bradford says, “We’re still trying to figure it all out and I don’t know that anyone else has really figured it out either.” Yet Chick-fil-A®’s approach to social media indicates a truly wise vision. Bradford said that Chick-fil-A®‘s Facebook page isn’t even run by an employee. Although the corporate office supervises the content, a “raving fan” in Boston runs the page on a daily basis. “It’s really about letting customers talk to us, and talk to each other,” says Bradford. That philosophy also means that Chick-fil-A® doesn’t consider social media as part of its advertising campaign. Where Social Media Really Fits I’d argue, however, that social media may not be an advertising vehicle for Chick-fil-A®, but it does fit in with their advertising and marketing objectives. The company strives to avoid the trappings of “ads,” the gimmicky, redundant and controversial have no place in a Chick-fil-A® store—or on the company’s billboards. Instead Chick-fil-A® opts for authentic, engaging advertising that people truly love. The same holds true for the company’s social media; Chick-fil-A®’s online community is active and vocal, with over 244,000 fans on the “Craving Chik-fil-A then realizing it’s Sunday” page. On February 11, 2010 the push to reach 100,000 fans began, and since then the fan base has more than doubled. The last administrative post drew 90 comments. Meanwhile, Tim Hawkins’ song “God Bless You Chick-fil-A®” has nearly 24,000 views on YouTube since it was posted February 25, 2010. Clearly Chick-fil-A® could offer some social media lessons to other businesses who crave online fans the way we crave Chick-fil-A® nuggets on Sundays: It’s not all about you. Many businesses are “pushers,” simply promoting themselves and their services. But social media is about bringing value to customers, beyond what they already get when they patronize a business. True fans seek you out, not the other way around. Case in point: the “Plant City Needs a Chick-fil-A” page has more than 2,300 fans. A social media following grows organically for companies that offer great products that people love. Listen to those voices: How did Chick-fil-A® find that raving fan in Boston? They paid attention to what was going on in the online community. Then they acted on it, empowering their fans to create the kind of online community they wanted. Like traditional marketing and advertising, any corporate social media campaign must resonate with current and prospective customers. Executed well, traditional and online marketing dovetail beautifully, building a cohesive and comprehensive campaign that rests on the company’s core values.

Written by Kristin Masters

How do you measure social media success?

How to determine the best social media metric is a question that comes up a lot but STOP, do not let C-suite, bloggers, Twitterers or your ad agency tell you what success looks like. Which begs the question why listen to me? Well because I know what I am talking about that’s why. Social media’s effectiveness should be measured based on how it integrates and supports your brand, advertising and marketing strategy. And don’t forget how it can be used for INTERNAL communication. Social media should not have a standalone strategy. It should be a portion of your overall marketing plan, and it should function in a complementary but unique voice—unique to your brand and the medium. There are a few important questions you need to ask. First, what you are trying to do in the social media space? Determine your benchmarks for success. INTEGRATE it within your marketing and communication plan. Determine your best fan building strategies. Determine a process for content management and monitoring. Next, while there is no barrier to entry in social media, meaning you don’t have to pay a fee to sign up for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube etc. does not mean it’s free. You should allocate a percentage from each of the following budgets: 1. IT 2. HR 3. Direct Mail 4. Web/SEO to pay for social media or better yet, ADD (gasp) to your advertising budget. What percentage? Stop asking general questions! You are not a cookie cutter business are you? Good…then take a look are HARD look at your goals, budgets and allocate from there and a good starting point is AT LEAST $1500/month. What is an unrealistic social media expectation? Listen, we are all swimming in the big pond now. That means determine your benchmarks, determine your plan and go. But don’t pull a metric from the air and then cross your fingers and hope. ADAPT to the medium, be engaged and aware. Integrate, communicate and think about what’s in it for someone else. Isn’t it like Zig Ziglar says? “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Ballywho Interactive Hiring Staff Writers

The content writer will work closely with a team that includes other writers and a Community Manager.  Exceptional communication skills—both written and verbal—are mandatory.  Primary responsibilities include creating content for corporate entities in the healthcare sector, including blogs, microblogs and other materials as needed.

 The content writer reports to a category editor and is responsible for prompt, thorough reporting of progress, deadlines and challenges.


  • Compose original, engaging healthcare-related content for various social media platforms such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter
  • Adhere to best practices for each platform
  • Communicate effectively with clients regarding content focus, necessary revisions and approvals, procedural updates and other aspects of their campaigns
  • Assist the Community Manager in creating a fan-building strategy for each client
  • Execute the fan-building strategies as needed
  • Contribute to the creation of internal materials (for example, marketing collateral) as needed
  • Maintain a customer-centered focus during client interaction




  • Firm grasp of different social medial platforms and their applications
  • Clear, concise writing style
  • Dedication to accuracy
  • Ability to evaluate the quality of research sources and conduct online research
  • Self-motivation and –direction
  • Deadline oriented
  • Ability to take direction and constructive criticism well



  • Bachelor’s in a relevant field such as English, Journalism or Marketing



  • Strong background in written communication; web, public relations or marketing is preferred.
  • Extensive understanding of best practices for web communication, social media and SEO
  • Working knowledge of the healthcare industry and familiarity with medical topics

 For more information send resume and writing samples to info@ballywhointeractive.com