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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

On 2:12 PM by Rachel Preston Prinz in , ,

One of the things I tried, and failed, to prepare adequately prior to my TEDxABQ talk was how my message would be shared with the world, by people who I wasn’t expecting would care.

I learned some tips and tricks in the past year that I thought I might share with you, that I hope will help you to get ready for what happens when we “get noticed” by the worldwide TED community, our new “fans” and aligned organizations. I have put it in the form of a List of Things to Do here, in the order of the importance they played in my own experience. I offer these as suggestions, and will try to walk you through the process of doing each task so it can be as quick and easy as possible.

  • Step 1 – WEBSITE – Part 1             Have your website completely up-to-date, including and especially your email/contact information. If you do not yet have a website, and don’t want to build one, skip to Step 2. Or, maybe your idea isn’t website-worthy – it may be just one aspect of many things that you do.  If this is the case, build a page on your company or personal website that relates specifically to your talk. Trust me on this. You WILL get googled, and thus, traffic. You might as well harness the energy of those that are interested in your message. On my page on our company website, I included a link to the video, a link to the TEDxABQ page, as well as the text of my talk and all of the images. I also included links to everything and everyone I talked about in my talk. This led to many new connections, especially for people who like to ”go down the rabbit hole” (research) and I even got a firm in Korea two new interns in the process. Here’s a link to that page: http://archinia.com/tedxabq2011.html
  • Step 1 – WEBSITE – Part 2             Then, highlight your specific TEDx page, your TEDx sponsored page, and twitter and similar connection media on the front page of your website. This builds connections and helps the search engines find you. 
  • Step 2 – FAN PAGE          Go to Facebook and create a fan page for your business, self, cause, or idea. The link to create a fan page is https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php . It’s pretty intuitive. Then, make a plan to post 1ce a week. Research indicates that posting, with a photo, at 1 PM and 4PM during weekdays drives the most traffic and engages the most users. Post regular updates about your work, or the press, or the collaborations that result from your talk. Be sure to post a profile pic of yourself speaking at TED once you get those and your name. That helps people know they are in the right place. Post a link to your Facebook fan page on your website page if you have one.
  • Step 3 – TWITTER             I do not recommend twitter for anyone who doesn’t like spending a fair amount of time on the web. Only do this if you are really committed. Twitter happens in another language, almost, and it can be intimidating. Be sure to follow your TEDx event’s twitter account so you can post directly to them, and they to you. The basics of twitter are: Using the # sign before a word means you are posting about that subject. example:  #Water means anyone who searches for water will find your post. Using the @ symbol directs a tweet to a specific person or organization. example:  @Archinia will post your tweet to my attention. Everyone will be able to see it, but I’ll know you are talking to me, and be able to respond. Here’s an example of one of my tweets from TEDxABQ, where I posted a video of Robb Janov’s rehearsal…
Here's a secret taste of why you shouldn't miss #TEDxABQ tomorrow! @RobbJanov yfrog.us/9exonapcgkorjw

If you choose to use twitter, you can help grow other speakers ideas like this. And they, yours. You can also track what other people are saying about your ideas and your talk, and get an idea of how far and wide your message goes. It’s a great tool. Just a bit tricky at the outset.

  • Step 4 – COLLABORATIONS         Are you working in a “big idea” area that others are working in? Contact those organizations, businesses, or people and let them know what you are doing. Then, list them as “aligned organizations” or “game changers” or whatever you want to call them on your web page, add them to your fan page’s favorites on facebook, and follow them on twitter if you go that route. Interact. Share their successes, and ask them to share yours. They can be great allies for your cause. 
  • Step 5 – DAMAGE CONTROL       I’d love to say that TEDx ideas are awesome and engaging and everyone loves them. But that’s just not true, or realistic. When your post in uploaded to youtube, it becomes its own being, and not everyone who views it will like you, the way you look, or your idea. It is not uncommon, in fact, for “trolls” (people whose sole purpose in life seems to be to try and insult people online) to come on and say “this is stupid” or “s/he is an idiot” or variations thereof. There are two keys to surviving this: 1) Don’t take it personally and 2) use it to grow. I handled critiques of my talk by adding a positive and non-engaging comment on youtube, and the sites my talk was cross-posted to, that said

“Hi! I've been getting requests for "what building was that" and I wanted to let you know the TEDxABQ page (at www.archinia.com) has all the slides & you can read what I wanted to say (telling the history of and suggesting ideas for the future of NM architecture in 9 minutes was a challenge!), you can also get links to every photo as well as the design firms I talked about, and get the lists of tips and tricks for how to improve the way your home and office work for you right now! C U there!” 

and I have not received ANY other comments, despite my talk now being seen by an additional 3,500 people. I have gotten some great notes following up and saying thanks for sharing more info from the people who felt they needed to be critical too.  Megan Kamerick will talk about this in her TEDxABQWomen talk, after she received some VERY negative reviews once her original TEDxABQ talk was accepted to the main TED site, and she may have some more helpful tips to add to this. 

So, that’s what I have for you. I hope that this helps you take this idea and run with it. 

Using social media and the net can be as successful as you want it to - it’s all a matter of how much energy you put into it. I recommend planning at least 3 hours a week to address comments and post updates for the first 6 weeks after your talk goes live on youtube. After that, the time requirement drops pretty significantly, except when people post links on their pages and twitter to your talk. Expect an additional hour for each new cross-posting.

All the best!!