Hello there. You have caught me while I am on vacation!  I will be out of the office May 20-31st and will not be posting here.  However, if this is your first visit, there are plenty of articles to read, take a look and see.

In addition, I have scheduled some posts on my other blog Twitter-Go-To-Gal, so when you are done here, head on over there as well!

In marketing there is the classic teachings of the 4 P's, the elements that make up the core activities undertaken by a person or a company. These are: product, pricing, placement, and promotion. These four elements make up the marketing mix and are used to create a marketing plan.

In social media, a communication plan or strategy is still needed. And amongst the social media circles it is nearly universally agreed, the elements of a good social media strategy consist of the 5 C's: conversation, community, collaboration, contribution and commenting. (Just Google "5 C's of social media" and you will see what I mean!)

So let's break it down:

Conversation- as I mentioned before, social media is a two-way method of communication.  Traditional marketing communication is one-way and consumers have gotten pretty good about tuning it out.  Social media is about engaging others in conversation as well as users conversing with each other about you (user-generated content). 

One of the golden rules of conversation is listening. Listen to what the other person is saying, really listen. Don't think about what you are going to say next, that is not really listening. Listen to what people like, want, and need. Only after you understand and digest these will you be able to add value..to contribute.

Contribution: This means adding value, being helpful. The social media universe is very karmic in nature. You will get back ten-fold what you give. Last week I saw this great video from Angela Jia Kim, Co-Founder of Savior Your Success. In it she talks about her rules as well as emphasizing Give-Give-Give-Get.  It is not about "what's in it for me" it is about being a resource and adding value.

Contribute to the conversations going on around you. Every social media vehicle allows for contribution whether that is Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, Blogs, you name it. Whatever you put in, you will get back. Give enough value and you will build a community of fiercely loyal advocates.

Community: You've listened to the conversation and engaged in them with active ears. You have provided value to your users, customers or followers. Now you are building a community. This community of people are your brand advocates, your supporters who are loyal and who promote you or your product through word-of-mouth and other social media methods. 

Do not abuse their trust. Once you have your community continue to engage and stay involved. Continue to be a resource providing tools, ideas, products that will help others fulfill a need. A community is a powerful thing. And opens many opportunities for collaboration. 

Collaboration:  Your advocates are the ones that know you best. They are also part of other circles of influence that you may want to tap into. Collaborate and partner with others to learn more effective methods to communicate and extend your reach. Collaborate with others to broaden your portfolio and gain insights. Ask questions, test ideas, raise awareness.  Working together is always better than working alone and the end result will be more viable.

Commenting:  This is core to all the other C's. Your comments should add something to the conversation. Do not comment just for the sake of commenting. Good commenting raises your credibility, shows your personality, communicates your core values, it is a reflection of you. Be cautious, you cannot take anything back, make sure you really want to commit your words to the webosphere - they are permanent.

Comments are also very karmic. Visit other sites, other platforms and comment where appropriate to contribute to other communities besides your own. The comments you leave will not only help others, but it will also lead new people to you!

Lastly, whatever comments you contribute to the conversation will endear you to the community and encourage future collaboration.
Have you seen those lists of the top 25, 36, 48, even 100 Twitter tools? Do your eyes glaze over and head roll back when you reach 21 and 1/2? Me too!

I decided the best thing to do about that is to take them one at a time. And that's exactly what I am going to do!

I have launched the blog, located at http://www.TwitterGoToGal.com.

Come check it out whenever you like, I will be adding info on tools and tips several times a week.


Liz Strauss is a legend. She is a social media strategist, coach, and a community builder. And in the community she built, she is the pillar. She only has one rule and that is "be nice." She speaks softly, yet wields a big stick. And that stick is heavy with the weight of authenticity and genuineness. Liz strongly believes in the power of relationships. One person at a time, and everyone having something special that makes them unique that makes them interesting.

Liz is famous for commenting. Liz responds to nearly every comment on her blog. She hosts a weekly "open mic" night every Tuesday evening. She comes with a question and opens it up for questions and comments.  She has 80,000 (yes 80,000) comments on her blog. She believes in the golden rule and she practices it.

In 2007, she (and her partner, Terry Starbucker) decided to bring the people of her community together at a conference, it was called SOBCon. I had the pleasure of attending SOBCon09 and the experience was life-altering. I was in the room with blogging veterans, business veterans, and new business owners like myself. But it did not matter what "tenure" you had online, everyone was treated equally. Everyone was authentically nice, and the level of information that was shared in those two and a half days was exceptional.  May of which I will be sharing with you.

And today, quite unexpectantly, Liz honored me with the badge of achievement, which I will now proudly display.

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I first learned about Lijit at a blogging conference in February. I didn't pay much attention because I thought it was a paid service. As a small business owner who needs to manage expenses like everyone else, it did not seem like a must-have. But as the posts started stacking up on my personal blog there were times when writing new posts that I wanted to link to an older post, and that started to be a pain. So I went over to the Lijit website and checked it out. And you know what? It's free!

Lijit is a free search tool that can be easily added to your blog, and you can set it up to search any site you have, but not only that but you can add blogs on your blog roll too as well. That is part of the concept, to provide search to sites that you trust. People don't have to worry about what is going to be on the other end of the link that they click on. The search results will be from a trusted source and it provides further legitimacy (get it...lijit..) to your content and the content you endorse.