Month: October 2013

Don’t Take the Social Out of Social Media

Chanda Temple, Mitzi Eaker, and Jennifer Warren shared their web wisdom
at the See Jane Write social media panel discussion, I Tweet, Therefore I Am. 

On Tuesday, Oct. 29 See Jane Write Birmingham and See Jane Write Magazine hosted I Tweet, Therefore I Am, a panel discussion on social media featuring public relations pro Chanda Temple, Mitzi Eaker of the social media consulting firm Mitzi Jane Media, and Jennifer Warren of Alabama Social Media Association (ALsocme).

The evening’s conversation ran the gamut as we discussed Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google + and LinkedIn. We discussed blogging as well. The focus of the panel was how people can better use social media to promote their projects including their books, blogs, and businesses.

Ironically, the major takeaway from the night was that the best way to sell yourself on social media is to not focus so much on selling. Instead focus on building relationships.

Don’t treat social media like traditional advertising, Eaker advised. Build relationships with people and they will sell your product or service for you, she said.

Eaker used an apt analogy to further explain her point. If you’re going to a party and you’re wearing a great dress you snagged at a great price, you don’t walk through the door and immediately announce where you found your dress and how much you paid. Instead you mingle and work the room, and as you do people begin to comment on your fabulous frock. And then you share where you bought it and for how much. Approach social media the same way: network and mingle and as you do people will comment on how inspiring, entertaining, or informative your tweets, posts, and status updates are. Then you let them know there’s more where that came from on your blog, in your book, or through your business.

While all three panelists agreed that scheduling tweets and posts through tools like TweetDeck and HootSuite can be a great way to manage your time, they also all agreed that live tweeting is essential. Authentic engagement is a must. Thank people for retweets. Respond when someone asks you a question.

Temple declared during the discussion, “I work HootSuite to death,” but she also shares plenty of live tweets especially when she’s attending events. Pay attention, listen, and then tweet out little nuggets that interest you, she said. Temple is known for her inspirational and informational tweets about business and Birmingham. On Facebook you can also expect amusing posts about ABC’s hit TV show Scandal on Thursday nights.

At events like Tuesday’s panel discussion it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, to feel as if you need to run home, sign up for an account on every social media platform that exists and devote hours each day working on your online presence. Temple’s advice, however, was simple: pick one or two social media outlets and strive to excel there. And later, if you choose to, you can move on to trying other tools. Eaker added that when choosing the platforms on which to focus be mindful of where your audience is. For example, if you’re trying to reach people who love fashion and food, Pinterest may be a great place for you to invest your time.

All three panelists said they find value in having a presence on LinkedIn. Keep this profile very professional, they said. In your headline explain what you do instead of simply giving a title. Use a professional headshot. Be sure your information is current and complete. Warren also advised checking your LinkedIn profile regularly looking for ways to improve it. You want your profile to present your best self, she added.

Warren also urged the audience to step away from the computer sometimes. Face-to-face networking is still important, she said. ALsocme, for which Warren serves as a board member, provides excellent IRL networking opportunities. And, of course, so does See Jane Write!

Be sure to visit on Monday for an article by novelist Stephanie Naman on social media tips for authors.

It’s Almost Time to #bloglikecrazy


It’s about to be that time again; it’s almost time to blog like crazy!

Last year I challenged the women of See Jane Write and some of my other blogger buddies to “blog like crazy.” The challenge was simple: for the month of November post new content to your blog every day. That’s a new blog post every day for the 30 days. Sure, it sounds simple, but if you’re a blogger you know that posting every day is a lot easier said than done.

But many ladies of See Jane Write gladly stepped up to the challenge, posting daily and sharing their posts in the See Jane Write Birmingham Facebook group and on Twitter using the hashtag #bloglikecrazy.

Starting Nov. 1 we’re going to #bloglikecrazy again this year. I hope you’ll join us. You don’t have to be a member of See Jane Write or live in Birmingham to participate. You just need a blog and willingness to write.

You may be wondering why you should bother blogging every day. Some people believe that writing daily can kill your creativity or result in sub-par content. While I believe there is some truth in those statements I also believe in the power of practice. Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones explained this notion best:

This is the practice school of writing. Like running, the more you do it, the better you get at it. Some days you don’t want to run and you resist every step of the three miles, but you do it anyway. You practice whether you want to or not. You don’t wait around for inspiration and deep desire to run. It’ll never happen, especially if you’re out of shape or have been avoiding it. But if you run regularly, you train your mind to cut through or ignore your resistance. You just do it. And in the middle of the run, you love it. When you come to the end, you never want to stop. And you stop, hungry for the next time.


This summer I exercised every day for 30 days as I was working to complete Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred workout plan. This meant that one night, after a very busy day and an evening spent at a friend’s birthday dinner, I had to exercise at 10:30 p.m. with a belly full of Indian food. But I was determined not to skip a day. That month I likened exercise to brushing my teeth and in November I’ll do the same with blogging. You don’t skip brushing your teeth because you’re too tired or too busy, do you? (I sure hope not.)

I believe that choosing not to write simply because you don’t feel like will, in the long run, hurt your craft because you won’t learn the discipline and dedication necessary to succeed at writing.

You may be thinking, “But what if I have nothing to write about?”

Don’t worry. I have you covered. Head to See Jane Write Magazine for prompts for each day of #bloglikecrazy. Now, you don’t have to follow these prompts to participate. But these suggestions are here in case you find yourself experiencing blogger’s block and staring at a blank computer screen.

If you plan to participate, visit the See Jane Write Magazine announcement of #bloglikecrazy and leave your name, blog URL, and Twitter handle in the comments section of that post.

Let’s get ready to #bloglikecrazy!

I Tweet, Therefore I Am: A Social Media Panel Discussion


social media bandwagon
Image by Bruce Clay, Inc. via Flickr/Creative Commons
Whether you’re a blogger, entrepreneur, journalist or author, social media should be part of your personal marketing strategy. Social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google + can help business owners connect with current and potential customers, authors and bloggers connect with readers, and journalists connect with editors and sources.

On Tuesday, Oct. 29 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. See Jane Write Birmingham and See Jane Write Magazine present I Tweet, Therefore I Am: A Social Media Panel Discussion. This event will answer the questions you have about social media and help you determine how to make social networking work for you.

I Tweet, Therefore I Am: A Social Media Panel Discussion will be held at REV Birmingham’s SocialVenture, 5529 1st Ave. South in Woodlawn.

The event costs $5 in advance, $10 (cash only) at the door. You can purchase tickets here. The event is free for official See Jane Write members. (Click here to learn how to become a member.)

Topics we’ll discuss at the event include:

– best social media practices for business owners
– how social media can boost your blog traffic
– how social media can help freelance writers land paying gigs
– social media tips for authors
– the Alabama Social Media Association

Ultimately, you can determine the topics of this discussion by leaving your questions about social media in the comments section of this post.

This event will also include time for networking and a brief Q&A session with our panelists.

Our panelists include:
Chanda TempleChanda Temple worked for 20 years as a reporter, covering people’s stories. Now she promotes people’s stories as a public relations pro. Currently, she’s director of public relations for the Birmingham Public Library. One of the ways she builds buzz is via social media. For tweets of inspiration, being better in business, information about Birmingham events and more, follow her on Twitter at @chandatemple.

Mitzi EakerMitzi Eaker of Mitzi Jane Media consults with individuals, businesses, and organizations in online marketing strategy. She walks beside her clients from teaching basic social media skills to coordinating complex website projects. Mitzi lives in Inverness with her husband Shane and two boys where she enjoys running and teaching children’s small group at The Church at Brookhills. Follow her on Twitter at @Mitzi_Eaker and @mitzijanemedia.

Jennifer WarrenJennifer Warren is the business director for the Music Opportunity Program a 501(c)3 string education nonprofit. She received both her Masters in Business Administration and her B.S. in Management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Jennifer volunteers her time with the Alabama Social Media Association as a Board Member, the Homewood Arts Council as Secretary and At-Large Representative, and Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity as a Province Advisor. She currently plays with the Red Mountain Chamber Orchestra and serves on their Board of Directors. Follow her on Twitter at @JennWarren85.

A special thanks to our sponsors:
Hamer Law Group LLC and REV Birmingham’s SocialVenture.

Remember to leave your questions about social media in the comments.

See you Oct. 29!