Social Media

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.

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!

Why Writers Need Social Media

Sponsor Spotlight: Mitzi Jane Media

What’s your social media strategy?

If you’re having trouble answering that question or perhaps even wondering what a social media strategy is, you may need to give Mitzi Eaker of Mitzi Jane Media a call. 

Mitzi Jane Media is a small organization of social media strategists and content providers that work with small businesses, nonprofits, and bloggers to make their creative vision of growth a reality.

Writers and small businesses need social media to stay connected to their readers and/or customers,” Eaker says. “Social media not only allow for writers and small businesses to share what is important to them with their following, but most importantly, they hear directly from their customers as they engage them in community online.”

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, blogging, and online forums and polls are just a few of the ways writers and business owners can see firsthand how their followers engage with their work or purchase their products. 

At Mitzi Jane Media, “we work hand-in-hand with each client to establish a strategy that really fits their brand, their purpose and goals, their skill set, and the time they have to do social media within the budget they have allocated,” Eaker says.

Head over to See Jane Write Magazine for 5 Mistakes You May Be Making On Social Media.

Why Writers Need a Professional Head Shot

One example of the many photos my hubster has had to take.

“I need you to take a picture of me.”

I say those words to my husband about once a month and not because I’m a fashion blogger or incredibly vain. Whether it’s for an article I’m being featured in or an advertisement for a conference at which I’m speaking, about once a month someone asks me to send them my head shot.

But I don’t have one.

So I make my poor husband play photographer, which is not fun for either of us because I hate having my picture taken.

“The more work you do and the more exposure you get, the more people will ask you for one,” said Alison Lewis, founder and editor of Healthy Travel Magazine and Ingredients, Inc. “It’s great to have in your back pocket!”

Writers may need a head shot for a book cover or blog or for speaking engagements.

“Even if you don’t need one regularly for work, your LinkedIn profile photo should be professional,” said Birmingham-based blogger Tanya Sylvan. “That’s people’s first impression of you, and you don’t want it to be negative.”

In addition to blogging, Tanya works in advertising and contributes to See Jane Write Magazine. She a busy and popular woman who probably needs a head shot. In fact, I even asked her for one when putting together the See Jane Write Magazine contributors page.

Sherri Ross Walters, a writer and the founder of Birmingham Girls Club, is another person whose portrait is probably in high demand.

“I have never had one, but the more connected and exposed people get and become, the more I’m finding a single, universal head shot is super helpful and convenient in recognizing people…myself included,” she said. “I need one!”

I need one too!

Enter Lynsey Weatherspoon, one of Birmingham’s best local photographers.

Lynsey has generously offered to meet with the women of See Jane Write for brief headshot sessions for the cost of only $75. She normally charges $350 for a head shot session, so this is the deal of a lifetime. The sessions will be held the afternoon of Sunday, July 21 on Morris Avenue in downtown Birmingham. (You’ll be sent more details on the location.)

You can sign up for your slot here.

Now go pick out your outfit!

Eric Guster on Being a Blawger

Sponsor Spotlight: Guster Law Firm, LLC

eric guster
Eric Guster
Being a blawger, a clever term used to describe a lawyer who blogs, can’t be easy. Trying to  explain the law in laymen’s language has to be tough. But Eric L. Welch Guster of Guster Law Firm, LLC, loves to blog nonetheless.
“I enjoy explaining the law and educating people about the law in layman’s terms,” Guster says. “There have been times when I’ve explained a complicated issue and people thank me for removing the veil and making it easier to understand. I believe if you know your craft, there’s nothing wrong with going that extra step to help others understand it.”
Guster’s Birmingham-based firm that concentrates on serious injury and wrongful death cases and criminal defense. Guster started his firm in 2001. Two years ago Guster started blogging about law cases on his firm’s website. In 2012 he became a legal expert for NewsOne and earlier this year he started blogging for
Guster Law Firm
If you follow Guster on Twitter @ericguster or on Facebook then you’ve seen his tweets and status updates about the highly controversial George Zimmerman trial. But Guster says he also uses social media to show his personality.
“I’m very personable and I’m dedicated to the people I serve. That personality comes through not only in my work, but also through social media and blogging,” Guster says, “Social media shows my serious and fun sides. I tweet, Facebook and blog about a variety of things. Usually, something I say is going to connect with someone.”
Learn more about Guster Law Firm here.