Category Archives: Social Media

Should building your brand require human sacrifice?

In trying to build my brand I’ve been grappling with SEO, growing more confused by the day,wondering if perhaps finding my people would require me to sacrifice a live chicken or something. All that changed this morning when I saw a tweet by Scott stratten  @unmarketing with a link to a post entitled how-scott-stratten-kicked-my-ass by a woman named Amber Naslund , who I immediately followed on Twitter after reading her post!

Why are we writing & for whom?

Amber talks about her real self, her passions, she candidly shares how getting one single negative comment caused her to start altering her presentations, she stopped joking, picked safe topics, never let a curse word fly, in short she conducted herself so as to not offend & in the process she stopped having fun! She’d made a human sacrifice of herself in order to avoid offending others!

Building a brand or an altar to the Google Gods?

As I read Amber’s words I felt like she’d clubbed me with a baseball bat! In my quest to  find my people, to build my brand  I’ve fallen into the trap of writing to not offend, to please as many people as possible. The result? a pleasant enough little blog just like thousands of other pleasant little blogs ! Boring inane pap written to appeal to the masses & totally devoid of the snark that wins me friends in real life & on Twitter! In the name of building a brand, of trying to get a bit of Google page rank I’ve made a human  sacrifice of my personality .Depriving myself of the company of real people who I can really relate to !

I don’t think we’ve met yet

I’m Jean, I’m a card carrying, Boston Irish ,tree hugging liberal who cares deeply about a lot of things, if protecting kids, showing compassion for the mentally ill, caring for our environment  bothers you probably won’t like me. If you don’t like computers and think Geeks are boring you’ll  want to click your back button now. If you hate cats, dislike scented soap and get your panties in a bunch over the occasional use of a well placed curse word this site isn’t for you! If you hate chocolate & gourmet foods (you need a CAT scan) then the ShoppinQueen isn’t for you either! What good is building a brand, a community filled with people if you don’t like them and fear they wouldn’t like you either if they ever saw the real you?

Starting again

Thank you Amber Naslund ,your post really hit me hard today & has probably rescued me & this site from drowning in a never ending stream of  self produced bland vomit . No more human sacrifices from this gal!

Who are you writing for?

Are you writing totally for you? Are your posts aimed at reaching like minded people or are you guilty of sacrificing yourself all in the name of building a brand? I’m eager to hear your thoughts & experiences with this issue!

Are my reviews really worth less than $10?

Blogher10 044

There’s something bothering me here & I really need to write about this to get it off my chest. At the recent BlogHer10 conference there were many great companies that purchased booth space for which I am very grateful! Follow up emails are now starting to stream in from various brands, respectful, fun emails for the most part..except for an email that has me sitting here fuming the more I think about it. The brand doesn’t even address me by name, just “hello” they included a pile of press attachments about their product clearly intended for use in posting a review (you send me that stuff AFTER we’ve agreed on a review)  after I email you back in confusion because I didn’t receive your product but merely dropped my business card in your booth’s raffle bucket, you email me back advising that you gave product info along with the product and just wanted to know if I intend to post a review on my site and oh you can do a giveaway while you’re at it as you got a few extras you can pass out to my readers. Hello? even if I was willing to do this, how can I review a product that I never tried?

Make your Expectations very clear when passing out samples

Passing out samples at a convention is different than approaching a site owner & asking “if I send you this product will you review it?”  IMHO accepting a sample at a convention should not obligate anyone to write a review of anything & if a brand’s PR people feel that accepting such implies a contract or obligation they should spell that out clearly when the blogger is accepting the sample! The emails I received while they did not DEMAND a review made it very clear that the brand fully expected one in exchange for passing out samples at BlogHer10.

My efforts & time have value,please don’t demean me!

I am a very new, very young site, I am grateful for any interest a company shows & always eager to discover new stuff to share with my readers. However hearing that a brand wants me to do a full review, including using their press releases as well as posting, promoting & overseeing a giveaway all for a product with an ARV of under $10? This does not make me feel the company in question values women, it does not me make feel valued as a product reviewer, nor does the offer make me confident that this company “gets” social media. What this offer did do was to leave me feeling hurt, insulted & with a marked distaste for the brand in question.

Don’t be THAT Brand!

I understand that companies have PR budgets, I know that marketing is a serious, complex business involving many charts, graphs & the oft touted “demographics” However I recently had an experience that’s left me feeling unsettled, at the request of my young adult son, I reached out to a brand he loves. Now, I seldom reach out to Brands, I usually just focus on writing/tweeting about companies, products I love. My intro to the Brand was polite, it contained no requests for anything other than the idea that a mother/young adult son combo in Boston were interested in exploring a social media relationship with them.

Their response “We’re sorry but you are frankly way outside of our age demographic, our products and advertising are not meant to appeal to senior citizens.”

I literally sat here gasping for air, yes, I am over 50, yes I’m too old to wear a bikini and no I won’t be riding a skateboard anytime soon. But… I have 3 young adult children all of whom are social media savvy,young adult children who like receiving birthday, Christmas gifts, young adult children who still rely on dear old Mom for assistance in getting that latest greatest pair of sneakers,jeans or electronic toy. Baby Boomer women are a group who command considerable spending power & with that power comes a lot of social clout!  Social media can help propel an awesome product or lovely company to greatness or it can sink them to the bottom of the sea. What do you want Baby Boomer Moms to say about your company? How do you want your brand to be perceived by the women who will be pulling out their credit cards to treat their kids to your things? So don’t become know as THAT Brand, the company that refuses to reach out to potential consumers of all ages, from all backgrounds, don’t discount the power of Baby Boomer spending power!

A simple “thank you for your interest but at this time we don’t feel we would be a good fit” could have preserved our relationship ie: middle aged mom who buys your things for her kids but I didn’t get that and so, you won’t be seeing anymore of my $$. Simple politeness, never goes out of style, never loses it’s luster with age! Oh and one more thing to think about, my son, that young adult who loves your stuff? he’s decided to buy from your competitor next time “they dissed my Mom? Not cool”