Content Creation & Social Media Advice: Don’t Force It!

By |2016-10-12T16:51:07+00:00October 13th, 2015|Content, General, Strategy|

One of the most difficult things being a content producer is, duh, producing content. Whether you are under a deadline, asked to write about something that you aren't passionate about, or your content creation engine is simply stale, getting inspiration to write about something...anything...can be like getting blood from a stone. Content writing should be inspired, otherwise you risk coming across as forcing your writing. And your audience is savvy to this.   Content, whether in the form of writing, photos, videos, or what-have-you, is what fuels social media. Social media allows for content sharing, audience development and engagement, discussion, feedback (even negatively), and subsequent idea generation. Content cannot exist without this. But if your content is not compelling, doesn't tell a story, lacks substance or is simply boring to your audience, you might want to avoid sharing it, or at least, re-work it. The worst thing you can do is just write to have a bunch of words on a screen or piece of paper. Many so-called content "gurus" or "rock stars" make their living by churning out written words laden with keywords or SEO-optimized phrases. While this does potentially accomplish something, by gaming ranking within search engine results for example, if you read these articles, they sometimes lack compelling substance - something that sparks and idea or reaction from the reader. Don't get me wrong, there definitely IS a place for this type of content within a business's content and social strategy, but it shouldn't be the sole source of content. A good content creation strategy should have a balance of content types, whether it is visual or written. Also, it obviously depends on the business type. A consumer brand's content [...]

How a New Website or Redesign Can Help Refocus your Business

By |2016-10-12T16:51:07+00:00October 24th, 2013|Content, General, Strategy|

If you are feeling that you need to shake things up a bit in your business, consider doing a new website or redesigning your existing one. Seriously. The process of re-architecting your web presence is a form of catharsis and rebirth. It can help you fine-tune your existing marketing messages, focus your unique value proposition and re-define your visual identity. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" you respond. That is all well and good, but if you don't take a few risks, the rewards don't come as frequently. In fact, the exercise in re-evaluating how people interact with your business on the web can actually help you refocus your business to better help them. This site, HTD Strategies, is new as of October 2013. Prior to that, it was just a figment of my imagination, a concept and a dream. And then something clicked and ideas moved from my synapses to the digital bits and bytes you see before you. Ideas became reality. While this is an accomplishment, for me the entire process of focus and definition was more rewarding than the actual end result. So I got to thinking, why did it feel so good? As with any project, its completion is extremely satisfactory. There is nothing better than putting a check in the box, after all, we are all ruled by to-do lists, project plans and action items. But as I reflected back on the past couple of weeks, I realized that the process of designing a new website (or redoing an existing one) is actually quite critical to businesses. It's as important as repainting a dingy room or mowing the lawn or building a new addition on your house. Not only [...]

Using Twitter is like Fishing

By |2016-10-12T16:51:09+00:00October 1st, 2013|General, Social Media, Strategy|

I'm an on and off fisherman, mainly fly fishing; I worked in a few fly fishing shops in my youth (gasp, I'm not THAT old, should I say "youth"?). Also, recently I installed Flick Fishing for the iPhone and have spent numerous hours on my commute trying to hook fish. Well, that go me thinking. Since part of my job as a Technology Evangelist is to grow my social network so that I can do my job even better and reach even more people, I spend a couple of hours a day (in fragments) working with Twitter. (For those of you who don't know what Twitter is, watch this video as it explains it well.) As I try to communicate about various technological items from software to hardware to other services, I find that sometimes people understand things better through analogies. So here is one to ponder: Using Twitter is like Fishing. Here are some ideas why I think this is: Size matters You have to choose the right "gear" Lures & Baits Catch & Release It's a challenge and a sport It's a social yet individual activity "Casting" is an art Landing the "big fish" Practice makes perfect Navigating the waters Ponds, streams, lakes, oceans Let's go into this a bit more, shall we say, go into deeper waters. Size Matters - with Twitter, there are always people who are jockeying to get to the top and catch the most fish (have the largest Twitter follower count). Some of the big fish out there are Barack Obama (146,500 followers), Kevin Rose (78,000) and Leo Laporte (66,000). These "fishermen" have really forged their way to the top using a variety of techniques [...]