The Social Gnome’s Hoard

Welcome to the Social Gnome’s Hoard, a collection of this week’s most interesting finds from the Social Gnome’s internet travels.

Week of May 23, 2012:

Social Gnome hoard image

Today we’ll start with some great blogging tips that I’ve come across from blogging masterminds across the web.

Christopher S Penn, Awaken Your Superhero
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  • In his blog post “Closing techniques are for content creators, too” Christopher S. Penn discusses methods for closing your blog post and encouraging engagement. Simply stating “Comment below” or “What are your thoughts” are not enough to get real engagement. You will see my slyly changing my tune thanks to this brilliant marketer.
A simple plan for writing one powerful piece of content per week
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  • Another great piece of blogging advice that I cam across this week was courtesy of Pamela Wilson’s article on Copyblogger titled “A Simple Plan for Writing One Powerful Piece of Online Content per Week.” If you’re pressed for time and can’t come up with something brilliant every day like, say, Mitch Joel, then this article offers some insight on how to come up with something worthwhile on a weekly basis. Definitely worth a read if you blog but are short on time.
Six Sinister Blog Time Wasters from Pushing Social
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  • Speaking of those who are pressed for time, Stanford at Pushing Social provides a list of “Six Sinister Blog Time Wasters” to help you in streamlining your blogging process. Some of them are so delightfully simple, you’ll wonder why you weren’t doing them already. Probably because you were too busy worrying about other things on you to-do list. Worthwhile tips for bloggers of any skill level. blog post on Google's Knowledge Graph

  •  Hubspot delivers a blog post about the most recent change to Google’s search engine: Incorporating what it calls the Knowledge Graph. This upgrade is meant to make Google search more human-like. It will be looking at your search terms not as a string of characters, but actually in relation to what the words mean and what they are related to. It is concurrently creepy and brilliant, but should provide better results as well as better suggestions.
BuzzFeed Ways to use items
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  • On a non-business note, Buzzfeed had a great post on “35 Lifechanging ways to use everyday objects.” Some of these you’ve likely heard of before, but there were a few in here that even surprised me. Did you know that eating marshmallows can help soothe a sore throat? Could there BE a better remedy? I submit that there can NOT.
Is Google+ engagement equivalent to a ghost town?
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  • Ladies and gentlemen, there is a lot of hate out there for Google+. It is tough to be a raving proponent of it when they are articles like this. Fast Company likens Google+ engagement to a ghost town in the article by Austin Carr “New Google+ Study Revelas Minimal Social Activity, Weak User Engagement.” Now, I love Google+. Sure, I’m not as directly connected to it as I am with Facebook and Twitter, but I really don’t understand these statistics. Maybe I just follow really active users, but let me tell you: when I have my Social Media Contacts circle selected for my feed, it’s all I can do to keep up with the stream. Videos and blog posts and articles and funny pictures galore. If there’s no engagement, I’m not seeing it. I’ve been known, on more than one occasion, to mute posts because I get tired of getting updates on all the responses. I simply think that Google+ is where all the cool kids are hanging out, and the others just don’t get it. Yeah, I said it.
Your Favorite Martian song Douchebag
Image from – YourFavoriteMartian
  • Finally, on a little more of a personal note. I would like to dedicate this video, by the hilariously sarcastic and satirical Your Favorite Martian, to some of my neighbors. Those cat-calling tools who shout at every woman that passes by their nasty apartment, begging them to “Come in and party” with them. This song and video, “Douchebag,” goes out to you. You’ve certainly earned it. (Warning, if you watch any of the other videos by Your Favorite Martian, some of them may be offensive to people. You’ve been informed.)
  • Have you seen the Google Doodle for today, May 23? It’s an interactive synthesizer in honor of Robert Moog’s 78th birthday. He is the inventor of the Moog synthesizer and is responsible, inadvertently, for things like techno, dub-step, and Flock of Seagulls (though I don’t think we can thank him for the accompanying hairstyles). Play with it. It’s really cool and allows you to record. Let the synthesizer geniuses go crazy!

So there you are. Another weeks’ worth of noteworthy, interesting or just funny content to keep you in the know. Did I miss anything great that you came across? Were you surprised by any of the 35 uses of everyday objects? Let me know with your comments.

Now go get your social on!

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Found Tweet Friday

Found Tweet Friday!

May 18, 2012

Welcome to the Redlight District of Twitter

I spend a good part of my day using Twitter to find potential customers for my clients. I use the Twitter search function and locate people talking about relevant things that could translate to needs my clients’ products or services could fulfill. During this digging through the nonsense, the marketing messages, the slang and abbreviated hashtags, I find some pretty ridiculous tweets. Many that make my jaw drop. It never ceases to amaze me how many people forget that their tweets are completely public while they treat their Twitter conversations as if they were private. Some of those are simply too offensive or gross (not to mention misogynistic and lewd) for me to bother posting, but below are a collection of this week’s gems that I just had to share. My occasional commentary will be the parenthetical portions. Enjoy!

****Warning: Some content may be inappropriate for young or easily offended readers****

Found tweets:

  • Was told this weekend is a Mexican holiday…I must ride a wooden stick horse with no pants, wear a fake moustache, and sleep in vomit! (I’m fairly certain those things have absolutely nothing to do with Cinco de Mayo. Ah, America…)
  • Klout thinks im influential about running. I hate running. (You expected Klout to know the real you…?)
  • Give your mom something she really deserves this Mother’s Day: an apology. (Ouch. That’s a dim outlook. Sorry mom…?)
  • Overheard: “That guy should be in a retirement home, ’cause he’s a pervert.” (Sound right. I’ve heard about those old men at retirement homes. They kind of ARE perverts…)
  • Will exchange sexual acts for new house slippers! #anytakers? #oldladytweets? (Boy the standards have gone down these days…)
  • Facebook status: “How short should I get my hair cut?” Comment: “Just cut a mundane-question-that-no-one-cares-about’s worth.” (SOMEone was in a mood…)
  • A dog who attends a flea circus most likely will steal the whole show. (Two drums and cymbal fall off a cliff)
  • To lazy too pee (You get a D- for effort. You’re lucky I don’t fail you…)
  • I always wanted a baby manatee. An adult manatee would never fit in my bathtub (It makes sense, yet is still so ridiculous…)
  • I hope my job’s hair gets sucked into the back of hell’s hair dryer, eaten in a Faustian quiche & twosied out of satan’s bifurcated humdrum (I…just…wait. What…?)
  • Wonder if iron man even irons his own clothes… And what if he’s anemic for lack or Iron? Wouldn’t it be ironic? #epictweet (You have now ruined the word iron…)

There you are folks! I will try to keep this going on a weekly basis. Obviously, some weeks will be less interesting than others, but I hope you enjoy it. Also, if you ever see any great ones worth pointing out, send them to me at

I’m also on the hunt for guest bloggers, so if you’re interesting, have a point of view and a personality, and love social media, send me an email. Bonus points if you like to blog about social media for small and local business!

Now go get your social on!

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Tweaking and Guest Post Request!

Social Gnome hoard image

There will be no Social Gnome’s Hoard this week, as I’m trying to tweak the way I do it. I might perhaps look into a, the way I’ve seen many others doing it. The way I’ve been trying to insert images and my personal notes are just taking way too much time and not looking the way I’d like them to. I’ll be working on that this weekend, and it will be back next week, so fear not friends!

On a side note, I am looking for a guest blog writer to add something new to my blog. I am looking for someone with a personality, insight, and if you have a specific interest in social media for local businesses, extra consideration will be taken. Please submit guest posting requests to with a link to your current blog or writing samples. I will start a queue of guest posters if I get multiple interests that seem like a good fit!

For the time being, here is a funny reading that my literary friend Jake shared with me.


Thanks for reading and I hope to hear from you soon. Now go get your social on!

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What the Gym Taught Me About CRM

First off, I’m finally settled into my new place in Austin, TX. I love it here. The company I work for – Main Street Hub, shameless plug –  totally rocks and takes great care of its customers’ social media presence (and great care of its employees). I was able to experience some of the SXSW madness right outside the front door, which was epic. Things are pretty awesome. Now, on to the business at hand.

What the Gym Taught Me About Customer Relationship Management

Going to the gym has its ups and downs. You typically have plenty of options for machines, free weights, treadmills, yadda yadda. Sometimes, simply being amongst others who are pushing themselves can inspire you to work harder (kind of a form of social proof, if you will). If you are like me, you usually end up finding that one machine that works really well, and always bee-line for it when you see it available. Because, y’know, the other one creaks or doesn’t measure your heart rate, or simply looks like it will break mid-stride and impale you. I don’t wanna die at the gym, do you?

So anyway, one thing that really irks me, and this has happened numerous times, is when I go to claim a machine or bench, and some meathead comes up to me and says, “Hey man. I was using that.” Um, no. No, you were not. You were too busy stroking your ego in front of that mirror on the other side of the gym, flexing and grunting. This machine is mine now. You can have it when I’m done, maybe. *Side note: I usually concede if the guy is a big, scary, aggressive type. Remember that time when I said I don’t want to die at the gym?

Now, here is where I make my tie-in. Gym machines are to people as customers are to businesses. They build you up, make you stronger, and if you abandon them, someone else will gladly make use of them.

This is your customer. All alone…Photo by Ambro

It is 6 to 7 times more costly to acquire a new customer than keep an existing one. Imagine how much more that figure inflates when a customer feels abandoned or ignored by your company and has been wooed by your competitor. Social media allows you many opportunities to keep up with your customers. You can keep an eye out for good or bad sentiment and react accordingly; and the point is exactly that – react. Show your customers that you care about their opinions (the good AND the bad) and they will not only respect you all the more for it, you may actually improve their initial sentiment. Use review and recommendation sites, such as Yelp!, Google Places, and foursquare, to maintain your image. Also, use them to check up on your competitors and claim their ignored equipment. When you see bad reviews of your competitors, reach out to those people (steal their machine!). Suddenly, you look like the friendly gym owner who says, “It’s ok, buddy. I’m someone who would love to pay attention to you. Let me show you.”

On that note, however, don’t be a peacock. Don’t strut your stuff once you feel good about your reputation.  Be careful not to get so caught up in your own affairs that your customers become secondary. Don’t be that guy flexing in the mirror because, as I mentioned, you are then no longer paying attention to your machine. And I’m going to come steal it!

Do you have any success stories, either stealing customers or maintaining your customer base? Share your stories below.

Now go get your social on!