Note: Guy Kawasaki dared me to do this. I couldn't resist.
At the BlogHer 2013 conversation keynote with Guy Kawasaki and BlogHer cofounder Elisa Camahort Page, Guy shared this tantalizing secret to his social media success:
The secret to my success on social media is a woman named Peg Fitzpatrick... what she does is she takes my Google plus stuff and looks at what else is interesting, and she, shall I say, enhances me. And so now you know that behind every successful man on social media, is probably an amazing woman. So that is Peg Fitzpatrick. And one more thing. Don't you dare freaking try to steal her from me. I will make it my life goal to bury you if you try to steal her from me. She does not have email. She does not have a cellphone. There's no way to get in touch with her.
Who could resist such a dare? The name Peg Fitzpatrick stuck with me and was still lingering in my mind a few days later, when her name appeared in my HuffPost News feed. Peg was writing about BlogHer . So I did the unthinkable. Sorry Guy, I reached out to Peg Fitzpatrick. Please Guy, don't hunt me down, don't worry... I can't afford Peg. Woman to woman, I just wanted some of her smart advice and thought it would be cool to share it with thousands of other savvy bloggers who will eat up her wise words.
Guy Kawasaki's keynote at BlogHer was inspiring and empowering to the almost exclusive female blogging audience. In his authentic, positive, conversational way, Guy encouraged bloggers to try new things, and to look at old things in a new way. He shared his wisdom, gave great advice, talked about his own work/life/family balance and his book APE for aspiring publishers and entrepreneurs. You can read the entire transcript here.It is packed with great advice. If you missed a minute, you missed a lot.
To follow are my questions, answered directly by the coveted, glorified, mysterious, spark-starting, positive-vibe-producing Peg Fitzpatrick.
Q: In Guy's keynote, he said, "There is no scenario under which you should not use your blog and your social media presence to build a marketing platform." For the newbie just getting started, are there any tools you can recommend to ease her entry?
I would make sure that your blog is set up with social sharing buttons and an easy commenting system. If people can't hit a share button, they'll leave without sharing. I use the WordPress plugin Shareaholic Sexy bookmarks and LiveFyre for my commenting system.
For social sharing, I love Buffer. It lets you plan ahead and look at analytics for your shared content. You can set up your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts through Buffer. They also have a great blog with social media tips.
Q: For the experienced social media maven/ blogger, what should she be doing now in social media to expand her audience?
The biggest thing these days is social SEO. Social media activity such as likes, tweets, shares and +1's are counting towards your Google search ability. You can improve the Google search ranking of your blog by having more social media activity. Look at social media as an extension of your blog to help more people find your great content.
I would recommend using Google+ to help build your Google social search. It creates a great platform for your blog and you can find people who are interested in your blog focus. There are many photographers and foodies killing it on Google+.
Q: What is the minimum amount of time a blogger should spend per day on social media? And what tools do you recommend to increase efficiency?
That's a really tough call, it depends on how many platforms you are using. You should be able to work on your social media in three small chunks (morning, mid-day and evening) so you can post or share something new and respond to people who have tweeted you or commented on a post. Set a time to work on it and don't get sucked into something that isn't productive if you have writing to do. I usually go on Pinterest at night after I've finished everything else so I can pin and browse without cutting down my productivity.
Q: Guy credited you for being his social media thought leader saying, "I don't want this to be the Peg Fitzpatrick session, but what happens is Peg Fitzpatrick sends me an email saying you got to try this and that's when I try it.'" What is one thing you think bloggers should be trying right now?
The most important thing for bloggers to do is to get their Google authorship set up on their blog. Getting proper author rank isn't the most fun thing but it's the most important thing you can do for your blog.
The last "ohhh check this fun thing out email" from me was about Friends + Me; you can share your posts from Google+ to Twitter and Facebook with Friends + Me. You don't have to share to both but sometimes you might want to. You can use certain hashtags to control the flow of content, it's very easy to customize it.
Q: What do you recommend bloggers read right now? Via books or online?
I read a lot of blogs on how to blog like Problogger and CopyBlogger. Two books I've read and would recommend for bloggers are Blog Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho and Born to Blog: Building Your Blog for Personal and Business Success One Post at a Time by Mark W. Schaefer and Stanford A. Smith.
Q: Guy struck me as being a very likable guy, great smile, sense of humor and I loved his positive approach and candor. What do you like the most about him?
The things you mentioned, of course, but I appreciate that he treats me as an equal. I haven't seen or heard of any other social media professional admitting to having a team of people or person that they work with, even though most of them do. People assume that Guy has a huge team of people working behind the scenes but it's mostly he & I. When you get to a certain level of success, you need help with email, schedules etc. It's just a necessity. I never say that I work for Guy, I say that I work with him. It's a subtle difference but I think it represents it more accurately.
He's one hundred percent transparent and open which is brave and refreshing. We have a lot of fun working on things but are equally as serious about everything that we do. Guy is very generous and giving as well. I like to say I have the best job in the world.
Q: How long have you been loving social media, starting sparks and producing positive vibes? How did you hook up with Guy?
I've been using social media for about four years now, the last three years on a professional basis. I think I've been starting sparks and producing positive vibes a lot longer, I am the same on- and off-line.
I met Guy on Twitter when I tweeted that I started a book club online and we were going to read Enchantment first. He tweeted me back saying he'd love to come to my book club and it was a great Twitter chat. We trending nationally on Twitter, over the Tony Awards. This was my first #MyBookClub chat and I've been having them once a month for the past several years. It's a great way to connect with others who like to read and I've learned a lot from all the books I've read. From #MyBookClub, Guy & I kept in touch and he was really supportive of my collaborative blog, 12 Most, that was new at the time. He wrote a guest post for it and shared some of our content. We stayed in touch and I worked behind the scenes on What the Plus and APE and I have a chapter in each of them. I've been working for him directly since about January of this year.
One interesting thing is that we live on opposite coasts so everything that we do is done remotely.