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It’s been a full year since my book, “18 Rules of Community Engagement,” was published and I feel like sharing my excitement here on the blog that inspired it. I didn’t write the book to get rich (well, that wasn’t going to happen even if it was my purpose) but to put something out there that community managers could relate to and that could  help them with their day-to-day struggles as they tried to master a domain that had not yet been mastered at all.

The three years I spent launching and growing the GOLO community were probably the most exciting, exhilarating, yet draining and insane years of my career. It was a real emotional roller coaster and I honestly felt like I had very few places to turn when I was most frustrated.

But the point of this post is to share this milestone and also thank everyone who provided testimonials for the book and those who reviewed it early on. Many thanks to Peter Shankman for the wonderful Foreword and Mitchell Levy, the publisher who believed in my idea.

And to those who posted the following reviews, again…many thanks.

Also, I’m giving away free copies to the first three people who let me know in the comments area that they’d like one.

Thanks again to everyone who reads this blog. Your support has meant more to me than you will ever know.



Have you heard about Facebook’s newest blow to Fan page administrators?

It basically punishes those with fewer than 10,000 fans, keeping them from sending users to customized tab pages which they may have been using for a promotion of some sort or a specific call-to-action, making  the Wall or Info tabs the only options.

Okay, punish may be a strong word, because they can BUY ads that send people directly to these custom pages,  but it still  seems like the little guy is getting it good with this latest move.

I absolutely understand that this is Facebook’s platform and they can do with it what they very well please. But changing the game midway never seems fair, and they’ve been doing it a lot lately.

So, unless you have 10,000 fans you  cannot send them to your own customized landing tab as your default page. So much for using creative methods for growing your fan base without paying for it through ads.

Simply put, I think this is quite lame. Not only is it lame, it’s a kick in the teeth to those who are working hard not only for themselves and their own brands but for Facebook as well. They’re advertising these pages all over the place, sending people to Facebook.

Here is the blurb that was posted on the Facebook developers forum yesterday, which I found on All Facebook (I’d encourage you to go over and read some of the 83 comments):

Hello all,

We apologize for not messaging this earlier. Facebook recently made a change requiring that Pages be authenticated before enabling the ability to set a landing tab beyond Wall or Info.

To be eligible for authentication, a Page must have greater than 10k fans or the Page admin must work with their ads account manager. If you are already working with an account representative, please contact that representative to begin the authentication process. If you do not work with an account representative, you can use this contact form to inquire about working with an account representative.

Also, for advertisers who don’t have a representative or 10k fans, and want to run ads and land users on a specific tab, you can still do so with standard Facebook ads by making their Destination URL as the URL incl. your tab. Unfortunately, this currently will not work with “Fan” ads.

Matt Trainer

I think this will make it much harder to attract new fans. But it also says a lot about building your community in a space other than your own. I know it can be expensive and with everyone throwing around the stat about Facebook being the fourth largest country in the world, were it indeed a country, it’s hard not to gravitate that way.

However, putting all of your eggs in the Facebook Fan Page basket may not be the best thing to do, unless of course you can round-up 10,000 fans.


Creating contests using social media oftentimes seems like the easy way out. Yes, contests are low-hanging fruit in  many cases, but thoughtful contests that incorporate a great deal of engagement can make lasting impressions, cultivate brand ambassadors and benefit everyone who gets involved.

I just read about a new contest being launched by  Boar’s Head that will seemingly do all of the above. It’s more than a ‘create a recipe with our product and you could win’ contest. It goes a bit further, requiring participants to use EverRoast as a main ingredient, name their creation, and upload a photo of the completed dish to Facebook.

That’s right,  they actually have to cook it.

The contest, aptly named  ‘EverRoast Dare 2 Prepare’ sounds like a winner. I plan to bookmark the page myself and visit regularly in search of some great new recipes for the summer.

They’re encouraging participation by rewarding the  first 150 entrants with a limited edition chef’s apron, making it possible for more than just the finalists and subsequent chosen one to emerge as winners.

I hope to see more of these multi-faceted community-building contests. Anyone can launch a contest, but not everyone can get it right and build positive buzz along the way.

Full press release…

Read the rest of this entry »

When you handle social media initiatives for one organization, it is easy to develop linear thinking. Even when you follow the trends, stay on top of all the latest developments and devour all the social media news you can stand, you still tend to apply it to your own company or think about how certain tactics can work for your industry.

This is certainly not the case for everyone so please don’t take offense. I know when I worked at a news organization I was very focused on how we could adopt social media or better yet incorporate social media into our products to better serve the needs of the readers and viewers. I did think about other industries, mostly because I was intrigued at what they were able to accomplish when mine couldn’t even come close. But that was the extent of it.

Now that I am social media manager at a communications agency working with a myriad of clients from very different industries, my horizons have broadened. I think much more deeply about strategies and tactics.  I am challenged in ways that sometimes make me extremely exhausted but I know I am better for it.

I think a lot more about regulated industries, because many of our clients fall into that category and their barriers to entry are real.  I am grateful for all the work the Dachis Group has compiled in that regard. Research is much more important to me than it ever was and I often dissect it into small pieces. Read the rest of this entry »

This is a cross-post from my company blog.

Blogger outreach is serious business. But it is also hard work. If you underestimate the level of research and personalization needed to do it well, you will fail. Okay, maybe you won’t fail, but you will limit the level of success that could potentially be obtained with a thoughtful, smart and engaging strategy that is not about you as much as it is the individual blogger and his or her audience.

The term “blogger outreach” is being thrown around a great deal, and from what I can tell, many see it as an extension of media relations. Well, it isn’t. Not from my perspective. And here’s why my perspective is valid:

  • I worked in broadcast, print and online news for 16 years, many of them as an assignment manager who received and discarded tons of pitches from PR professionals.
  • I am a blogger who is pitched from time-to-time.
  • I managed an online community that was quite averse to outside marketing.

You still with me? Good. Allow me to highlight two key differences in reaching out to journalists and bloggers.

Journalists require minimal personalization. What I mean by this is you can send 15 journalists the same press release. As long as you know the topics and industries they cover and you align your pitch accordingly, you can send a blast with very little personalization.

You have to know much more about a blogger before you pitch. With bloggers, topics and industries are not enough. You have to ask yourself these types of questions, and then find the answers before you even begin to craft the pitch: Read the rest of this entry »

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This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.


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