Social media marketing for your business and How It can be used to share and curate content (Part 1 of 3 Part series)

Social media is the art of narrative; it’s the art of liking, sharing, curation, creation, and media.

You are reading part one of a three part series.
Part one explores the role of social media in your business.
Part two will go over Sharing on social networks
Part three will dive into Curation on social media sites.

In the future I plan on adding a fourth part “creating content,” but that is not started yet and may take some time to finish. At this time I am starting to shift my resources from curating and sharing to content creation.

What place does social media have in your business?

“What does social media mean to your business” is more than a rhetorical question. How you answer will determine how you use media. Your answer will establish the role social and other forms of media play in your business’s processes, structure, and culture. Your business’s narrative shapes and is shaped by your company culture. No matter how clever your marketing/media strategy is, if it’s not aligned with your company’s culture it has a less than good chance for success.

Business Narrative
A narrative is what defines and differentiates your business from its competitors. Within your narrative is your unique selling proposition.

Many companies think too narrowly about media and especially social media. Of course it does depend on the needs of the company. But even businesses that only want simple social posting can get much more out of social (digital/new media) than they are aware of.

Instead of thinking only about posting the same things on all your social networking sites try to think in broader terms. There may be good reasons for posting the same thing on all sites, but you need to know what they are and why you are doing it.

Online social networking can be thought of as interacting with others. Being social is a big part of social media. Often a major element of an online social strategy is sharing, curation, content creation, and posting media on sites where you can interact with your fans. All of these elements can help with lead generation and ultimately sales.

Being Social Over Lunch With Social Media Influencer Chris Voss and his Husky
Being Social Over Lunch With Social Media Influencer Chris Voss and his Husky

Thinking of your content as both social and media may be helpful when deciding on what content to use in your digital marketing and promotions. Are you posting useless dribble or are you posting to attract your target audience? Are you being intrusive and clobbering your audience with unwanted advertising?

While broadcast TV may not always be of the highest quality, they do try to air somewhat entertaining content. Entertaining is subjective and can include educational content and news.

What kind of information will your customers find useful for understanding how your product or service can help them. When I had a dog training business I tried to give potential customers a taste of what they could expect from working with me. I have quite a bit of information on my websites, I gave away a free puppy training booklet, and I had an inexpensive online training course where people could sample how I worked and what we would be doing with in-home dog training.

I am starting to develop resources for my promotion/media business so that I can help others in my new niche in a similar way. I plan to write a book about my experience of starting and bootstrapping a business at a time in life when most folks are retiring. I hope to chronicle the business journey from start to finish. This site will be part of that journey, so if you are at all interested you may want to follow this blog. I am also working on documenting my 7 step program oriented toward business and marketing.


Incentive The Contingencies Of Reinforcement by Skinner

The media you create should have some incentive for your target audience. Understanding your audience is paramount to creating engaging content. Incentive is the foundation of my marketing trilogy. Without incentive there is no interest. The other parts of the marketing trilogy, attention and acceptance, are special attributes of incentive. Attention allows you to engage with your audience. Acceptance involves earning the trust needed to move forward with the sale.

In today’s market customers are currently doing much of their research online before contacting a company. Social outreach and promotion can help generate interest when people start their research. This is thought of as filling the top if the sales funnel. The proper use of social media can also help build trust, thought leadership, and demonstrate expertise. Trust does become more important towards the the middle of the funnel and towards the end when the purchase decision is made.

Who is doing your social media and how important are they?
Your social outreach talent/personnel can range from low value staff to creative staff that are versatile enough to be integrated into your business’s strategy team. Those involved with a business’s daily social media are in a unique position to provide critical business insight and intelligence. Your social staff can be used like the unorthodox troops mentioned by Sun Tzu as necessary for a winning strategy.  In The Art Of War Sun Tzu said “in battle one engages with the orthodox and gains victory through the unorthodox.” Sometimes online marketing is like a battle. Even if you don’t use unethical unorthodox methods you should be aware of them. If you’re to do well without a big budget you must be able to come up with ethical unorthodox methods.

I do think digital marketers should use standard promotional tactics. However, social media/digital marketing staff should always be ready to use more unorthodox (and ethical) methods when the opportunity or need arises.

Learning the market and the social landscape.
Those in social can act like anthropologists as they pursue the study of humans in their natural online habitats. This can become even more fine grained by the comparative study of different online cultures.

I used to spend a month every year watching the wild dogs in Taiwan. This is the realm of the ethologist.

Skills borrowed from Ethology, the scientific and objective study of animal behavior, are useful for observing online social behavior. These observations can then be applied to marketing objectives.
Skills borrowed from Ethology, the scientific and objective study of animal behavior, are useful for observing online social behavior. These observations can then be applied to marketing objectives. The photo shows a pack of feral dogs hunting rats.

I use these same observation skill in my job as an experiential marketer. While I have enjoyed engaging with and observing people over the last three years I now think it may be time to move into something new. There are new jobs I would like to dive into, but it seems like a new business is more realistic.

By Incorporating observational skills with the reinforcement theory of behaviorism we can come up with some new insights, solutions, and approaches. However, this formula is still missing a component.  The missing link that makes information useful is mythos. Mythology is born from narrative. Many people will not be able to incorporate new information into their lives without a compelling narrative.

Using observation, reinforcement, and narrative as points of reference can lead to the development of new products and promotions. These three points of reference are also used for implementing new sales and marketing programs, lead generation systems, and thought leadership.

While I may talk about these three areas as points of reference in relation to marketing they are only components of the 7 primary points of reference in my 7 step program.

Some of the areas your social staff can monitor and influence are:

  • Trends
  • Keeping up-to-date on technology
  • Keeping up-to-date on social platforms
  • Search Engine Optimization – Someone good at social should be useful for SEO as well
  • Depending on style guides they can differentiate one business from another
  • Gain market insight and build competitive intelligence.
  • Can bring some social clout to the company from their personal online footprint. (it is often easier to build social trust from a personal profile than a business profile.)
  • Network with other people in the industry, social, and media
  • Creative integration of all the various digital marketing components
  • Help integrate online promotions with offline
  • Research products, people, and businesses

Social media is not easy and it takes time, often a lot of time. It’s not unusual for me to spend over 10 hours a day working on social networking. I spent up to 16 hours a day to build the over quarter of a million member Dogs community.

Google Dogs Community
Google Dogs Community

Many people fail to realize how much time is involved in doing social well. When Google Plus Communities were new I worked quite diligently to build the Dogs Community into a thriving spam free place for dog lovers to post their dog’s pictures and make new friends. It was not uncommon for me to spend  over 16 hours a day interacting with members and promoting the community to outside social networks. That group now has over a quarter million members. I no longer spend that much time on social media but I still spend a good chunk of time being social.

There are a lot of articles about using online tools for managing and curating social content. In part 2 and 3 I’m going to tell you a little about how I do most of my social sharing without using a lot of fancy tools at all. I believe that social is more about relationships and stories than what kind of tools you use. I do think automating the social process can make it a bit less social.

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New Google Plus Profile Insights Panel Analytics Dashboard First Impressions.

I am extremely happy that the Google Plus team listened to the G+ user base and added analytics. The new G+ analytics in found in the Profile Insights Panel. More information about accessing it is at the end of the post. In the past I have used a guesstimate to figure out the number of shares, plus 1s, and comments I receive.

Classic Google Plus (Old Google Plus)
The new notification system that has been used for several months makes it more difficult to get a feel for the number of shares. Having shared posts grouped according to collections has lead me to estimating the number of shares by taking into account what was normal in the past. Using past references is not entirely accurate because I feel Google plus interaction has decreased since the New G+ has been introduced.

The way I used to estimate my interaction is first add all the shares I receive in a day and multiply it by 2. Before the new G+ notification system I would add all the shares for the day and roughly count how many old posts were shared. Often the total number of shares on old post would exceed the number of shared new posts.

I don’t have any numbers for comments in the past on the classic interface. Generally I was  only aware of comments for the day and didn’t try to account for comments on old posts.

To get the number of views I would simply track my estimated views by watching how much the views increased each day. It used to change at specific times during the day. Sometime it would change twice a day, but the usual pattern was once a day. I think Google plus was doing some experimenting with this feature before we got the system that is in use now.

Website traffic from G+
When posts linked to one of my websites I would get about the same amount of traffic or more from old posts as I would from new posts. Traffic to the site averaged around 1,000 to 1,500 visits a day from my social media.

While this is not a huge amount of traffic I thought it was interesting that it was only coming from my social media accounts. I had search engines blocked on that site.

More than 95 percent of this traffic was from Google Plus. Most of the traffic was from my most active collections/communities. Compared to my larger collections, traffic from my less active collections was minuscule.

Posting from my website gave me a much better picture of the engagement dynamics on Google Plus posts.

New Google Plus
I find that there are some discrepancies between what the New Google Plus analytics report and what I count on my profile page. The culprit could be what we find in the bottom left of the Profile Insights Panel where it says “New data may take up to 48 hours to appear.”

I think the difference between what is reported on the profile page and on the dashboard is too large even for the 48 hour gap.  I will need to watch this more closely over the next few weeks and see if I can find a pattern.

Google Plus Stats New data may take up to 48 hours to appear
Google Plus Stats New data may take up to 48 hours to appear

The numbers – Profile Posts
On my profile page I counted 46 posts while the New Google Plus said I made 18 posts.

Post shares
Post shares are one of the metric I pay particular attention to. I find there is quite a difference from what I counted and what was reported on the G+ Insights Panel dashboard. I counted 325 shares of posts made in the last 7 days, this does not include the shares of any older posts. The G+ dashboard says 120 of my posts were shared in this time period.

I know that the number of shared posts, both new and older posts is less than it used to be. I have not been paying that much attention to my older post shares until I started writing this article.

While my older posts still get shared quite often the amount of older post sharing is way down. My new estimate is that they should account for somewhere around 100 to perhaps 150 additional shares. I think the new notification system is probably better and more streamlined, I simply need to get used to it. I’ll need to watch my numbers over the next few weeks to get a better feel for what is now normal. There could also be a bounce if my G+ friends accept and start using the new Google Plus at the same rate as they did the classic G+.

Plus 1s (+1s = the Google Plus “Like”)
Plus 1s are useful because liked/plussed posts often show up in the Plusser’s social stream. This means that the plus 1s/Likes quite often go out to the person’s G+ social stream of friends and follows. I think plus 1s are an important part of the Google Plus experience and expand your G+ footprint.

When I counted the number of plus 1s I came up with 4957. Google’s Insights Panel analytics said I received 2,642 +1s. Again I only counted the +1s from the last 7 days, I did not account for +1s for older post in this number.

I counted 469 comments and the dashboard said I had 260. I usually don’t keep track of the number of comment I have. I just try to look at all of them and respond to as many as possible.

I think the views count has always been more of a vanity metric, but I have used it to get a feel for Google Plus as a whole. It kind of helped Gestalt the Google plus posting experience, as did the old Ripples. The old total views is not a feature of the New G+. I looked through my files to see if I could find screen shots of two recent days in a row. I did, but it looks like they were all after Google stopped supporting the views feature. I can tell you how many views I used to get. At the height of G+ collections I would get between 200,000 and 300,000 a day with 500,000 views not uncommon. If I remember right, some days I would get more than 800,000 views. Over the last couple of month it seems to be around 100,000 to 250,000 views a day.

The image shows the view count from two days in 2015

Google Plus Views Received In A Day - From 12-8-15 to 12-9-15
Google Plus Views Received In A Day – From 12-8-15 to 12-9-15

As you can see G+ dash board says I receiver 300,785 views. I will start using these numbers, but I am questioning how accurate any of these are, old counts and the new one too.

Surprisingly the profile follows is pretty much what I would expect. The collection follows are also in line with what I would expect.

How to access the Profile Insights Panel Dashboard
You get to your Profile Insights Panel Dashboard by clicking on the tree dot menu which will open the “Your Influence” drop-down box.

Google Plus Analytics Three Drop Icon
Google Plus Analytics Three Drop Icon
Google Plus Profile Insights Panel Down
Google Plus Profile Insights Panel Down

click on the drop-down box and you’ll be in you private dashboard. You can change the time range for your analytics in the upper right corner of the Profile Insights Panel Dashboard.

Google Plus Profile Insights Panel Dashboard Time Selection
Google Plus Profile Insights Panel Dashboard Time Selection
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First impressions of The New Google Plus on my most active account

The New Google Plus is still the best social networking site available, but now it requires more effort to use.

I have been using the New Google Plus interface on a separate account for several months. On that account it seems to work fine for me. However, I don’t post much on the new G+ account and I don’t get very much interaction.

When using it on a very active account the story is much different.I believe Google Pus is still a superior social site, but now it takes more work to use it.

The Good
First let’s talk about what I do like about the new User Interface. I think it is quite nice for scrolling through content others have shared. The new look should make it convenient for content discovery.

Ever since the introduction of collections I‘ve thought content discovery is one of the reasons more people would be using Google Plus. Collections contain curated content from individuals you more or less trust to post quality.

On the other hand, I have found groups on all social sites, if not highly moderated, full of so much useless information it’s hard to find anything that resembles quality content. Most unmoderated groups have an extremely high amount of noise and very little good content. At the moment I think following social accounts of individual’s is the way to discover useful content.

The Very Good

Update 1/30/2017
I really like the new spam filter for comments. It does catch most of the really bad spam.  I can’t monitor the profile 24/7 so it is nice to not worry so much about having my friends and followers exposed to the bad guys.
End of update

There is a new analytic in the New G+ that look nice. I have not had a chance to really dive into it yet. I did notice that the new stats might be at odds with the numbers from the vintage version of G+.  I do miss the total number of views. While that numbers may not have meant a whole lot, it was useful for correlating views to shares.

I plan on writing about the new analytic later in the week.

The Not So Good
The new UI is much slower to use. Selecting photos from posts is a little clunky. On my computer I can only go through photos forward – no back – and then I end up on a blank screen before I get back to the first photo.

Google Plus Photo Selection Blank Page
Google Plus Photo Selection Blank Page

There are now more steps to select the collection for a post.

You will need to click The See more if you curate a broad range of posts.

Google Plus Select Collection Menu
Google Plus Select Collection Menu

You will be taken to the menu with all of your collections and you can then select the one you want.

Google Plus All Collections Menu

I can’t have my screen big enough to easily read my notification, which means I need to read them at a size that is not as efficient .

Google Plus Preferred Screen Resolution
Google Plus Preferred Screen Resolution
Google+ Required Screen Resolution
Google+ Required Screen Resolution

The screen size does not seem like a big difference. But the bottom screen size make it harder to read notifications.

New Google Plus 1-25-2017
New Google Plus 1-25-2017

Conclusion – the new Google plus makes it harder to post and harder to respond to comments.
I am hoping a more streamlined posting system can be developed. Or they could support the old G+ alongside the new- maybe call it G+ desktop (good for desktops) or G+ easy (Easy to use) or G+ vintage Aged to a comfortable degree of convince.) Or just use what we’ve always called it Classic Google Plus

I believe Google Pus is still a superior social site, but now it takes more work to use it.

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Digital media in 2017 will social media change this year?

What changes can digital marketers expect in 2017?

New media, new forms of social, and the evolving digital landscape.


  1. Dark social and 100 percent mobile apps will become more popular
  2. The rise of voice search
  3. Video will grow to a point where it begins to lose its effectiveness. To quote Gary Vaynerchuk “Marketers ruin everything.”
  4. The rise of social media sites created by youngs and super youngs.

Bonus question
Will people start to leave Facebook?
I did an article about how I plan to use social in 2017. Although this could change, and in fact it already has. I am working on a new article about alternatives to Facebook as I’m experimenting with a few of these social websites. I could simply give you a list and a little history about the different sites, but you can get that a lot of places online. I want to let you know if I find them useful and if I think they would be useful to others.

New Google Plus for everyone on January 24, 2017
In order to make time to explore new sites and crate more content I am going to need to change my workflow on my favorite Facebook alternative, Google Plus. I get a lot of engagement on Google Plus. It’s not uncommon for me to spend over 6 or even 8 hours a day interacting and growing my Google plus communities. I am certainly not complaining, I do enjoy my Google Plus friends. However, at this time I believe I need to make time to create more content and spend just a bit less time curating content. As I write more I have cut the number of hours I spend on the G+ platform.

For me community development has been a passion and a focus ever since the very early days of Google Plus. However, with G+ forcing everyone to the New Google Plus on January 24, 2017 I am reorganizing how I manage and respond to comments and other types of engagement on the platform. I am still committed to the platform, but I think the new UI will change my rather intense workflow.

I don’t think people will leave Facebook, but I do think many will start looking for better content and less noise.
There are some interesting news apps that are coming online to curate news. I believe these are in response to the fake news that was and to some extent still is prevalent on Facebook.

I have notice a decrease in engagement across my social accounts over the last several months. There seems to be an overall  trend of moving from social media sites to mobile platforms. While most social sites have mobile apps, I think some of the old social traffic is moving to mobile first/only platforms. I believe one trend we’ll see in 2017 is the rise of dark social. I imagine that dark social will be more difficult to track than other forms of media.

Prediction 1 is that dark social and mobile only apps will become more popular and social media websites will lose some of their user base.


Dark Social is one change digital social media we can look forward to in 2017
Dark Social is one change digital social media we can look forward to in 2017

Digital personal assistants
We will see an increased number of searches done on digital personal assistants.
With Google, Apple, and Amazon all pushing their personal assistants I think we’ll see an ever increasing rise in the use of these devices for getting answers to life’s questions. Digital assistants will provide opportunities for some websites and businesses. They will also create some unpleasant consequences for others. I don’t think any of us know exactly how voice search will affect our online footprint, but we have some really good guesses. For one thing I believe that it will become an even more competitive environment with only one winner per search. It may be helpful to linguistically seed search terms through branded promotions.
Prediction 2 The rise of voice search

Video will grow in popularity and may reach the saturation point. I believe that 100 percent video content plays/models will reach a point of diminishing returns within 3 years. This will mean that video will be looking for a sustainable business model in the coming years. This could be the year that we see peak-video. I hope I am wrong on this one.
Prediction 3 video will grow to a point where it begins to lose its effectiveness.

Mineral millennials
Businesses will continue to target the under 34 year old demographic and  discount older net citizens. Marketers will treat this group like rare and valuable minerals to be mined and the rest of humanity as the matrix rock that needs to be discarded. There is a trend to love those under 34 and  rather dislike people over that age. I think we will see several social startup created by very young people. I can see this making some sense when they target the younger demographic. But I think we will also see this trend of “youngs are hot olds are not” trying to promote products, services and websites to older adults as well. From what I can see almost all businesses prefer very young celebrities as the ideal archetype for message distribution. Doesn’t everyone believe in and trust the judgement of a 12 year old?
Prediction 4 the rise of social media sites created by youngs and super youngs.

If you would like a free 15 minute, old fashion phone chat to talk about marketing and/or video, just reach out and contact me.
As always I am wishing everyone the very best.
Andrew Ledford
My Google Plus

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Art In The Making – My Projects For Fun And Profit

Can Art And Marketing Be Best Friends?
I tend to be a little on the messy side and a picture of
Pablo Picasso I recently posted on Google Plus inspired me to take this picture. I was inspired by the messy sate of Pablo Picasso’s room. It gives me inspiration that my creativity has more valued than I think.

I do believe art can be an effective form of marketing. What do you think? Is it just spiritual inspiration or is art the engine that drives promotions?

Art For Promotional Art Art Projects Waiting to be Created and Assembled - Its Art In The Making
Art For Promotional Art Art Projects Waiting to be Created and Assembled – Its Art In The Making

I am getting close to having my most recent performance art project done. That project is running into some technical difficulties. I hope to work through the design issues as soon as I have a full day off when it’s not raining.

I think I am going to need an adult walker as a performance platform. So, if anyone in the Southern California area would like to donate a walker with wheels, brakes, and a seat, please get in touch with me. It also looks like I am going to need a load bearing harness or vest as well. After experimenting with a backpack I think I will use a traditional Japanese sash instead of a load bearing harness.

One project is almost done and now it’s time to start thinking about the next project. What will it be?

There are two projects I am thinking about doing. The first one combines video and local travel with making art. I am thinking it may have an experiential/performance element as well.

The second art project is a lot more sophisticated and would require a big commitment of time. I anticipate that the second project idea would be almost 100 percent experiential/performance based. I believe the second project would take a considerable amount of time to complete.  However, it would be a fun performance/exhibition for me and has the potential to be a high profile project.

One of my longtime friends says I have a lot of cool and creative ideas and she would like to see at least a few of them manifested into reality.

At this time I am planning on using art to fund the start up cost for my business which includes the New Media Mingle site. I think we can find not only inspiration but also precedence for this strategy in Japan’s history. After the Tokugawa period the new Meiji Government needed to bring Japan up to modern standards as quickly as possible.  At that time Japan used art to support their emerging industry and to gain recognition on the world stage.

As my projects come online I will be sharing them on YouTube.
Stay tuned to this station for further instructions.

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Is Social Media Losing Users?

Social engagement is down across my social sites – what’s up with that? This is a very short post documenting some of my observations about social media for the last part of 2016 and the first part of 2017.

Have other people noticed that social engagement is down for the first part of 2017? I am not getting as much engagement on Google plus, Twitter, or LinkedIn. LinkedIn use  to be one of my top referrers. I did not get one site visit from my last post. I have also not received many comments or likes on LinkedIn. This lack of engagement on LinkedIn is not a normal pattern. For the last 6 months plus LinkedIn engagement has been fairly high. Now I am lucky to get one interaction every few posts.

I still get a good amount of engagement on Google Plus, but even that is down slightly. Recently I have not had time to plus and respond to all of my comments on G+, so I can understand not getting as much engagement there.

However, I have noticed that my Tumblr stream is sparse compared to what was normal. So It’s not just me, but a lot of other people are not posting or engaging as much as they were 30  to 40 days ago.  Is this going to be the new normal? The only social site where I am getting more engagement is StumbleUpon. If anyone would like to follow me on StumbleUpon I’m at

Even the social sharing in my Tumblr stream is way below the number of posts that have traditionally been shared. Is social media losing active users across the board?
Even the social sharing in my Tumblr stream is way below the number of posts that have traditionally been shared. Is social media losing active users across the board?
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Case Study – Four Day Improvised And Off The Cuff Social Promotion

Case Study – Four day improvised and off the cuff social promotion for the Tim Russ Band
This was done sometime ago and I am just now getting around to publishing it. I wanted to document a very short and extemporise promotion I did for a friend on my different social media accounts. This started because I wanted build a private arts and entertainment group where my friends who are artist, musicians, and producers could support and promote each other.

I think that this kind of promotion can be improved with some pre-planning and coordinating our efforts across social. If I had a bit more time I would have thought about sending an email with a bit of information promoting the event.
I started posting on a Tuesday when I saw the post on Facebook.

Day 1
The Tuesday posts consisted of reposting on Facebook and then scheduling a post on Twitter using Hootsuite.
Facebook = 1 like
Twitter = 54 impressions and 3 engagements

Social sharing started when I saw thier post on Facebook
Social sharing started when I saw thier post on Facebook

I received a message from the band that they had a new event page. I thought this would be more friendly to sites that are somewhat anti Facebook, including a new experimental site I have started to use.
On Wednesday I began posting with more intention. I posted to my favorite social network Google Plus, and then to my other social accounts LinkedIn, Twitter, Mind, and Facebook. Mind is a new social network that at the beginning of this experiment I had only belonged to for about 3 days, at that time I only had 1 follower. I used some of my points on mind to “boost” or promote the post. I started with 13 views and then did another 50 promoted views. After the promoted posts I had 197 views. In the evening I did another 36 promoted views. I ended up with 295 views. Most of my posts on this site get around 12 views. This leads me to believe that the boosted/promoted posts get more views than what are paid for. I am still trying to learn how best to use the site. I think this site will become too spammy to use as it matures, unless they do something to control the people hurting the user experience by gaming the system and/or using it for trashy promotions.

On the second day I used better hashtags on my twitter post and received a beneficial retweet that hit the target market. This retweet earned a like from another band that does quite a bit of local marketing and I believe has developed something of a local fan base. I wish the band members would have reach out and connect with this band. In the future it could be beneficial for cross promotion. Some of the two band members have met at community events, so this would have been a great time to build up that relationship.

On Google I posted to my Art collection. Google Plus Post This is one of my least popular collections/groups. I also reposted it to a local Long Beach G+ community.
On LinkedIn I posted to a Long Beach group and a travel and tourism group that I belong to.
On day two I also posted to my Facebook fan page and then shared that post to my personal stream.

Day 2
Mind = 295 views out of these I paid for 99 boosted views
Twitter = 65 impressions and 6 engagements this included 1 retweet + 3 likes
Google = 4 plus1s on profile page & 1 plus1 in Long Beach community
LinkedIn = 0 interaction
Facebook = post was clicked on 5 times and there were 7 reactions, comments, or shares it reached 19 people.

Day 3
On Google Plus I did a new post in the Star Trek community
On Facebook I posted on my personal timeline and mentioned a friend who has a well developed follower base of Star Trek fans. He was out of town so this did not work as well as I was hoping. I also pinned the previous day’s post to the top of my fan page. In addition I did a post on StumbleUpon. I have not used StumbleUpon before, so I don’t have much experience on the platform. I was hoping to use StumbleUpon more for discovery, but it is a little too slow and clumsy for how I search for content. I opened the account hoping to develop a network on the platform, but I now don’t think I will use it much. Perhaps I will find a use for it as I get more experience on the platform. (Update – I am now getting fairly good results when I post to StumbleUpon 60+ page visits on a new post and some post earn a steady stream of traffic. I think at the time of publishing this post StumbleUpon has become the largest source of referral traffic for this site.)

StumbleUpon is now one of my best sources of referral traffic
StumbleUpon is now one of my best sources of referral traffic

I used 200 point from my mind account to promote the post on that platform.

Mind = 360 new views
Twitter = 36 views 1 engagement I do have to say it had a 6.9 percent engagement rate which is the highest engagement rate for the last 20 posts.
Google+ = 2 Plus1s on profile page 2 Plus1s in Star Trek community, 1 plus1 in Long Beach community
LinkedIn = 0 interaction
Facebook = 1 like, and 1 share on profile and 2 shares from fan page and 3 more engagements and 1 more post click. As of the second day the post reached 25 people.
StumbleUpon= 0

Day 4
The only promotion I did on this day was 200 promoted views on mind .com.

Mind = 532 new views and  2 up votes
Twitter = 16 new views, 0 new engagements and a 5.5 percent engagement rate which is still the highest engagement rate for the last 20 posts. But it is now getting closer to the engagement rate for an earlier post promoting the band. I have not been tracking the stats on the earlier post, but it looks like they have improved slightly.
Google+ = 1 Plus1 in Star Trek community
LinkedIn = 0 interaction
Facebook = The reach has expanded to 26 people on fan page
StumbleUpon= 0

For me Google Plus is best sources of quality website traffic
For me Google Plus is best sources of quality website traffic

I could have done more for this band if they would have provided more content. A post a day would have been nice. It would have also been great if we had official bios on all the band members. The band is built around a famous cast from the Star Trek series and that is why I was posting to Star Trek groups. But other band members have their own talents and personas that I think would be of interest to the indie music community. Here is the Tim Russ website for those of you who are interested

This was a good experiment and it was at the beginning of my use of two social platform I have not used before. StumbleUpon gets the thumbs up and I think it is a useful platform for social promotions. Minds, well that one seems to not be so good. I am still playing with it, but I have had no meaningful interaction on that platform so far.  On you can get a lot of views, but those views do not seem to be at all useful.

I did enjoy tracking the engagement from this very improvised bit of social media use. I plan on doing another one of these case studies with one of my own post. Having access to website traffic does give some important numbers that are missing from this four day experiment.

I have found that website visits are much higher than recorded/reported site statistic would indicate. I often get quite good site traffic from Google Plus even if I don’t get much engagement on the post itself. The same is true for StumbleUpon and to a less extent LinkedIn. When I was doing quite a bit of experimenting with social traffic I found the same was true of Facebook too.

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What are your marketing and promotional plans for 2017?

Business building, marketing, and promotional plans for 2017?
Along with a lot of other people I am preparing for a new year of promotional and entrepreneurial activities. 2017 looks like it will be the year I actually start the New Media Mingle business. The website has been up for a while, but I haven’t really started the business yet. I am still in the audience building and fundraising phase. I am happy to say that I now have an audience for at least one of my video shows. Now I just need to raise the funds to go back into production.

During 2016 I did get to conduct an experiment sending traffic from my social media to my website. One of the critical things I learned from this experiment is that I can already drive enough traffic that it will crash my site. The second and most important lesson learned is that without a revenue stream I cannot afford to host a site that receives all of my social traffic.

For 2017 I also have identified a funding strategy that I plan to implement once I get up and running. Although it will take quite a bit of effort and some time to put into place. I’m hoping the new income stream can start in six months or less. Although I am also aware that I suffer from optimization bias and there is  good chance it will take longer.  I have observed that optimization bias is a common problem of the self employed and entrepreneurs, However, without it, much would never get done.

My Special Project 2016-2017 will be an important marketing experiment for the New Year
Building my Special Project. My Special Project 2016-2017 will be an important marketing experiment for the New Year

It should be no surprise that I’m planning to use a somewhat unorthodox promotion strategy in the coming year. The plan is to stick with my commitment of organic traffic. I still have no plans to do paid advertising. This year Facebook has been further depreciated as a promotional platform. I do not plan on giving FaceBook much weight in my social strategy this year. I have already start posting less on Facebook than I have for most of 2016. However, I will probably start a page for the new project there as well.

I am thinking of doing things a little different than what everybody else is doing. If everyone is using best practices it seems that those with the most resources to implement standard tactics best will win. What I am looking for is a way where someone without financial resources can win against those with bigger budgets.

I am still on the organic traffic quest. Perhaps I am living in the past when content was king and could build traffic and sales. However, I think there is still a way to get organic traffic without spending a lot of money. To succeed at building organic visits may not cost dollars, but it will cost. There has always been a hefty price to pay for organic traffic in time and effort.

I do plan on developing an Instagram account this year. Yes, I know it seems like I am late to the party. But I have not had a need for Instagram until I get my new special project off the ground. The new project will be part of the new marketing mix I am planning to use next year.

12/25/2016 My Christmas Present From Google Plus 150,000,000 views
12/25/2016 My Christmas Present From Google Plus 150,000,000 views

I do plan on continuing to favor Google product in 2017. I still believe that Google plus is the last true great social networking site left standing. Although I enjoy Tumblr, Yahoo seems to be implementing changes to that site to make it less user friendly. I am planning to continue using Linkedin as well. I am also toying with the idea of repurposing some articles on the LinkedIn publishing platform. LinkedIn seems to require a lot of effort for a somewhat modest bit of traction.  I do think the quality of people on LinkedIn make it a worthwhile platform to invest in. LinkedIn may also become more valuable after Microsoft takes over the platform. It looks like these three social platforms will still be important parts of my social strategy for 2017.

I have not been active on YouTube for a while. I think 2017 will see my renewed interest in YouTube and perhaps other video platforms too. YouTube continues to be the big player in online video. Even though other platforms are eating into YouTube’s market share. YouTube is still holding its own and will be quite important for my plans over the next year. Short form video platforms may become useful with the development of my new special project as well. Once a well established revenue stream is developed I would like to start publishing video on another video platform in addition to YouTube.

In 2016 Twitter has been disappointing and I am probably going to discount it a bit in my general strategy. But, I think I will start a new account for the new project. Twitter still seems like a good way to let people know when I will be making a live appearance.

StumbleUpon is a useful platform I started using in 2016. I am not sure how traffic will convert from  StumbleUpon but it does drive a lot of page views to this site. I am surprised that it has proven to be a good source of steady traffic. I thought it would only bring traffic from post for a day or two. However, I find that it can provide a steady stream of traffic even for old posts. I plan on using this platform more in the coming year.

Content has always been a central focus of my online promotions. 15 years ago it was much more effective. At that time content was the promotion. Now it seems each piece of content needs its own promotion. I have quite a few articles written from last year that were never published. I didn’t want to publish an article here and there without an organized publishing schedule. I have started posting a few articles as subject categories that will be added to later in the year.

What I do plan on doing is focusing on my readers, friends, and fans. Different platforms will be used for the various functions of building the new brand.

I do think newer and more trendy platforms will play their part in my 2017 promotion plans. However, they will mostly be a place for user generated content created by fans and spectators. I guess you can think of this as my dark social strategy. It’s not easy to control or measure. However, it can be influenced.

The state of SEO.
I have not decided on a SEO strategy. Somedays I relish the challenge of getting on the first page of SERPs and other days I want to avoid the traditional battle to the first page. I am not sure if extremely good SERPs placement will help in what I am trying to accomplish. It is always a fun metric to refer people to when you have the first place listing, but I am not sure that will matter in the long run. I am thinking of not implementing any real SEO strategy and seeing if I can still get ranking. I will probably still write with SEO in mind, but I won’t actively try to manipulate positioning.

Special Project 2016-2017 In December I realized I need to do a Redesign to main part of the Special Project
Special Project 2016-2017 In December I realized I needed to do a Redesign to a main part of the Special Project

As the year progresses I plan on writing about all of these platforms. More importantly I hope to also tell why I am making some of the distribution and platform choices. Why choose older establish platforms over the newest shiny social thingy?

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Tim J. Lewis at the Robotics Society of Southern California October 2016

Tim J. Lewis at the Robotics Society of Southern California October 2016
I had the good fortune to visit with Tim J. Lewis at the Robotics Society of Southern California. He was demonstrating some of his Halloween creation while giving us some history and tips about animatronics and their development at Disney. Tim worked on many of the most famous animatronics at Disney including Pirates of the Caribbean, the Lincoln presentation and my favorite the Tiki Room. He also worked on the crypt keeper on Tales from the Crypt.

Me and Tim Lewis with his animatronics cat
Me and Tim Lewis with his animatronics cat

While I am good at getting living creature to do all kinds of interesting things I am a novice at animating the nonliving. My first project is going to be a puppet. However, I’m working on learning to animate these fictional creations with the help of little computers, servos, pneumatics, and motors.

Me and Tim J. Lewis a Disney animatronics engineer
Me and Tim J. Lewis a Disney animatronics engineer
The magic inside animatronics
The magic inside animatronics
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Where Marketing and Entertainment Mingle