run your own social blogging raceDon't jump on Google+ yet as it's not going to replace Facebook. Actually, you better get on Google+ today or you are going to be left behind.

You must have a Twitter account but only if you are under five foot three inches and wear purple shoes on Friday.  If you are wearing your purple shoes and you are not too tired then make sure you setup your new Facebook page on Friday but don't launch it until Saturday at noon.  Don't tweet before 10 am if you are with your kids and not over the lunch hour unless you are eating spaghetti.

Would you follow these directions? Well I certainly hope not!

You are the CEO of your business and life!
Take what you read, hear and watch with a grain of sanity.

Anyone can blog!
There are millions of blogs on millions of topics. Within seconds you can find thousands of blogs on any particular topic via Google.

A blog is a way for people to inspire, educate, engage, encourage, share, dream, and communicate.  Blogs provide a platform for the writer to share what they think, know, believe  or don't believe.

There are no requirements to launch a blog. No test to take. No exam to pass. You can write what you want when you want and it's up to your readers to decide if they want to read it and when.

Don't take yourself too seriously.
As a reader be careful not to take any blog, news site, Google+ post, Facebook post or LinkedIn discussion too seriously.  Take it with a grain of sanity.  If you don't like it move on. If you are so inclined to comment, then comment.

My blog is filled with a combo of tips, deep thoughts of platforms, engagement strategies, transparency, social branding and more. I keep an editorial calendar aligned with our go to market strategy and plan that supports business objectives.

However, I also keep space for the dynamic conversations and topics. I often write about issues I am seeing with clients we consult with and the things that keep me up at night. I may blog about what I think social platforms are or aren't. I will offer my opinion on what I think you should do or not do with marketing, social media, brand and business. Much of this comes from experience and what I am seeing causing businesses to succeed or fail in the online world.

Be inspired to “think.”
My goal is not that you take my every word literal or that you take action on everything I write about or suggest.  My goal is that I inspire you to “think.”

Yes, I write about the tactics of social media, the hows and what you should do.  However, my passion is to talk about the art of social media and business. I am fascinated with the way people behave in social circles, the way they respond to tweets, follows and blog content.  Just as with any art, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Social media is similar. There is both art and science. At the core of social media is the connection of people via conversation. I am going to connect with people different than you are. There is no right or wrong way to connect. It's what you feel in your heart that matters.

Make your own decisions.
You don't need to agree with every piece of content you read.  Just because we have different opinions doesn't make either one of us wrong or right.  I have met and nurtured wonderful relationships with people across the social ecosystem that started with a blog post or topic we had differing opinions about. We have agreed to both agree and disagree and often times these awesome peeps have changed my thinking and I let them know such!

So what should you do if you are a newbie? How do you know what is truth and what is opinion? The truth is most all blog content is opinion.  There is no right or wrong way to engage and connect with real people. Yes, many (including myself) write posts with tips on how to engage, how to start conversations and how to not look like a twit on twitter for example. Just be sure that you look past the bullet point that rubs you wrong or the etiquette tip that you are guilty of. Realize everyone is different and the writer is simply stating their opinion, take it or leave it.

Blogs are not dictionaries of definitions. They are organic, historical documentation of life, business and the real world. Blogs house debates, likes and dislikes. They are dynamic. They are fluid and they are real. Why? Because they are written by people and often times about people.

12 Tips to Run Your Own Race in the Social World

1. Have an open mind. From the first sentence you read of an article be open to a new way of thinking.

2. Be positive. Toxic thoughts can discourage your day faster than a cup of coffee on a white top. This doesn't mean you have to pretend to like you like something when you don't. It simply means you avoid being the constant complainer on the social block that has nothing good to tweet, post or talk about.

3. Set objectives. What are your objectives in spending a morning of reading content online? Are you wanting to be inspired? Are you looking for specific content? Are you researching your audience? Set goals to maximize your time and keep focused.

4. There is only one social media plan that works. The only plan that is going to work is the one that works for you and your business. I can tell you how I tweet, what I tweet, when I tweet, what I post on Facebook and how I do it. However, my audience, my personality, my content and my style may be 100% different than you. Take what you want from me and the million other blogs out there. Apply it the best you can to your own business and life.

5. Work your agenda, not your neighbors. Just as stated in #4 above, the only plan that will work is the one you write for yourself. Don't follow the agenda of your neighbor, best friend or favorite blogger. Leverage them as appropriate but keep your goals and objectives close.

6. Don't  judge a blog by it's cover. Don't judge a blog by it's header or it's widgets.” Many good bloggers are running on tight budgets. They may be fabulous writers but may lack design skills. You could lose out on some of the best content if you judge only by looks.

7. Understand the context. If the content is about a tactical how to guide then don't expect it to include a strategic plan. Same goes if it's an article on integrating social media into business don't expect a detailed “how to get Twitter follower” instructions. Take note to if the content is serious or humorous. Is it a rant of opinion or a how to guide?

8. Have an opinion. Just as it's important to have an open mind, don't be afraid to have an opinion.  If you are a blogger don't be afraid to voice your opinion boldly. Expect differing opinions and possibly even trolls to come buggin'.  The more your readership increases the more people are going to disagree with your opinion. Don't let it scare you off or drive you to thinking like the crowd.

9. Be confident! Be who you want to be tomorrow, today. Bottom line, believe in yourself or nobody else will!

10. Don't fall into the toxic tweet trap. We've all seen them, the peeps who tweet and complain all day about everybody else's opinions and content yet they offer very little in value of their own. There is probably a reason that they are negative. It's usually the ones who haven't written a blog post in six months. Similar to the “hang with 9 brokes and you'll wind up the 10th” analogy the same goes for hangin' with negative versus positive people.

11. Enjoy the ride. It's your business and your life. Make the most of it. Enjoy the gutter crashes, the dark alleys, the tweeters who are lights of inspiration in your life and the posts that make you laugh, cry or angry. Make the most of each tweet, relationship and opportunity to connect with real people.

12. Take a lesson from this Dr Seuss inspired quote: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.”

Your Turn

What are your thoughts? Do you find  yourself getting confused or consumed with differing opinions and thoughts. What do you do to make sense of it all? What recommendations do you have for folks who are struggling with such?