Social Networking For Food Bloggers


Welcome to the BlogHer Food '11 live blog of the Vocation: Effective Social Networking for Food Bloggers panel

sara kate gillingham-Ryan
David lebovitz
jaden hair
toby diva

panel introduced themselves in 140 characters

What does social media
DL:no rules for social media, integrate it into your life, no rules, no handout for this one
JH: community
SK: next step to journalism, a way to push blogging sensibility to the next level, fully interactional, another limb that we use the written word as writers
JH: no social media strategy, about community and connection, dont like words social media
TD: need strategy, builds relationships, talking to ppl that understand what we do
JH: I do have a marketing strategy, but i dont with relationships, my metrics are money and growth
DL: I became friends with these ppl from the internet, i dont have a strategy, my strategy is to have fun and to write things that interest ppl

who believes social media needs strategy- in agreement with David, obvious when bloggers are calculated
doesnt matter what you call it, how you think you were able to build audience with social media

SK: using twitter and FB, try to be consistent, push out stories-tweet or fb, autofeed is heartless and obvious, fb visually driven, twitter stories that are performing well
help and get help, share, inspire, entertainment factor- used to gather around water cooler no Fb and twitter, FB traffic wise does better, do not automate

JH: 3 rules for twitter- if i tweet it has to be useful or entertaining or both #2 promote others, it is my responsibility to promote others #3 connecting with my friends- dont tweet cell phone #
twitter vs FB, grabbed on to twitter because it is more my style, DL convinced to interact more on FB, totally different level of interaction, to show, email as method of communication

DL: do everything the wrong way, dont look at stats, Fb is #1 source of traffic, twitter 14 but have more twitter followers, uses twitter like RSS feed, link out on Fb, turn off computer at 9pm, say things
on twitter that wouldnt say on site, dont follow me unless you are interested

JH: 10% of tweets have to do with steamy kitchen, promote others, FB is promoting site

DL: if you start marketing they stop following, pet peeve of social networks

JH: pet peeve, people on twitter who only follow a small number, philosphy on twitter- try to follow every single person taht follows me, sign of a respect, can choose to wave back but to not follow is to turn your back
hoot suite to organize twitter, auto follow, helps keep a pulse on what is going on twitter, attention on most important msg

SK: i dont follow back everyone that follows, i feel like they are saying that they like hearing what i am saying, more of a time management thing, try to keep my tweets about food and cooking

DL: exit only strategy, follow ppl but dont absorbed everything, I cannot tweet back, i had to make peace with that, you choose who you want to follow

TD: do you get a lot of DMs?

DL: love DMs

Audience:I send Thanks for Following Me if i am really excited

DL: if you want to do that, chance to say something funny

Audience: I delete if i get an auto reply

TD: do you hv criteria for who to follow

SK: i follow ppl who will inspire me, I look at who they follow, if I dont follow it doesnt mean that i wouldnt want to hang out with them, it is about cooking, writing, feeding ppl, try to keep it as clean as possible

Audience: other types of social media

DL: huge fan of flikr, very passive, interesting way to communicate through photos. There is no reason to use other ppls photos, do not get any traffic from flikr

JH: i used to use flikr until i forgot to pay fee and pics were gone, youtube bad energy, i view weekly email, twitter, FB. Email newsletters are hand compiled, not just a feed, i respect the fact that i am in your email inbox

SK: you think about what is going to work, what am I trying to do, whats the point, 30 yrs ago media was one thing- you publish and then it is read and then it dies, email is more intimate and the action of opening, digital equivilent of sending a letter

Td: you dont own Fb or twitter but your blog and email are your own

Stumble upon and pinterest

Dl: hate stumle upon, dont like band on screen

JH: stumble upon used to bring traffic has dropped, more diffused, what is real value of traffic spike- sharp spike fall just as sharply, you want to slowly build readership

audience: you put in waht you get out of it- stumble upon group working together

DL: i stumbled upon one day and got a $300 bill from server

JH: any time i get a massive stumble, notice what page is getting stumbled and edit page, if i have 200,000 ppl coming to site today then what can I do to convert the reader

TD: are you integrating FB with blog, like

JH: slows down site

DL: getting rid of it

audience: do you use Share this

yes, more widgets you use the slower your site

DL: how many times do you think ppl share your blog on FB?

SK: ranges, small icon at top of page, space is a blessing

DL: i think link buttons are good

audience: new blogger, using Fb, feel like Twitter is a running treadmill, how do i get one, what metrics should i use

DL: what is improving

audience: I look at new followers, repeat commenters

JH: how i just started on twitter, I did not know who was out there, I use tweet spinner, mimic follow, auto follow, metrics- are different for everyone- page views, how many pages they view, how long they stay on site

SK: how you link that to your twitter is different, it has to do with personality, for me I did twitter organically- follow everyone in my office, jamie oliver, alice waters, slowly grew, for me that is the only way to make it manageable
twitter is a completely different kind of writing and reading

DL: bond with people here, there is no rule, if you dont have anything to say dont

audience: external tools like newsletter

JH: i used to use feedblitz, free because it is free, now I use mad mimi, I view my time in your email inbox as sacred, mad mimi is free up to a number of subscribers

DL: yilp- hate interface but it is cheap

TD: mail chimp is free

SK: emma is great not free

DL; always do things with the idea of growing

JH: start as you intend to grow

audience: talk about how traffic patterns change with using newslewtters

JH: my traffic spikes with newsletter

SK: chart beat is a great tool to follow traffic, when i press publish i go to chart beat to watch, i write one piece a week with a lead and a photo with link to follow, leave something for them to click through

DL: I use newsletter as a letter to everyone, about books I read

JH: I find that people come monday mornings and friday afternoons

sk: our traffic varies, if a post goes viral there is no telling

audience: what are your feelings about blog aggregating sites

JH: i try to be very generous in my reader, 70% shows up in reader

SK: we try to be conservative because we publish 15 posts per day

JH: search is a big metric, how well do I fair in search results

SK: twitter is the playgorund for my work, the most important thing in my work is to remain authentic

TD: authenticity- how cAN YOU be yourself

Audience: in addition to being autherntic, monetizing

DL: i have a very long tail approach to everything, do waht you do and eventually it will be successful, dont think about monetizing

SK: I want ppl to follow me bacuse they like me not becuase I have put in key words. Twitter is me when I am having a casual conversation, gym for me- a place to work out my words, on your blog you have more space so you can be more formal

JH: authenticity and congruency

audience: Fb is very personal thing for me, trouble making a page for my blog

JH: dont put all your eggs in one basket

DL: i am really into instagram, very visual, ppl tend to respond

TD: one big take away would you like to leave? One tip for new bloggers and one for other bloggers taking it to the next level

SK: dont worry about metrics so much, just go forward, they cant drive everything you, when you are authentic ppl are going to like it and for ppl taking it to the next level-interacting, sharpening your blade

JH: take out metrics and SEO out of your vocabulary, get used to your blog, SEo witll come naturally

DL: judge your success by quality not quantity, for the next level- spend money to make money, that was the biggest turning point in my blog rebuild was $7000 and the next week readership doubled

TD: if you are new understand who you are talking to and your direction, your voice will change in evolve and on the next platform up dont be afraid to do something new

Brenna Fisk
Aunt Bee's Garden