A former journalist turned magazine publisher (and later food blogger), Ed has over the past 10 years used blogging, Twitter, Facebook plus a strategic approach to content curation to grow his profile and circle of influence within the hospitality industry.
According to Ed, having a blog is a “good centre point” for any plan because it’s your own space, and then you magnify it with social media.
Own your own platform
You want to own your own platform, he says. You want to blog on your own website, on your own domain, adding that ideally it is visible on the home page of your website.
What perhaps sets Ed apart from other bloggers and opinion leaders in the food and hospitality industry is the fact he’s willing to “ask difficult questions”, something he learned on the job as a journalist.
“I’ve always been very happy to write more confrontational things,” he says.
Twitter changed the game for Ed in 2008-09 – he says the platform really accelerated what he was doing, particularly connecting with industry people, chefs and the like, at in-person meet-ups, or ‘tweet-ups’ as they were known.
But interestingly, while Ed is still highly active on Twitter, he has been getting significant traction on his (personal) Facebook page.
“If you said to me three years ago I’d be getting a large proportion of my news from Facebook, I’d have told you you were mad,” he says.
Which leads to our next point: Content curation.
Ed is a masterful content creator but these days he’s becoming a serious content curator (I wrote about the power of content curation last week).
Indeed, while I’ve known Ed for a while, it was his content curation efforts that really made me sit up and take notice of the knowledgeable resource he had become.
It’s easy to share links to interesting content, but it’s another to judiciously select the right content and then add value to it with a comment or two, putting your unique take on a particular article or issue that may be percolating within your industry. And this is where Ed excels.
Important to have a view
The beginning of the process is to subscribe to a range of online publications via RSS so you get one feed, or stream, of stories and information, making it come to you rather than having to go out and chase it. Ed says this is a habit that has served him well over the years.
When it comes to content curation, “you’re using your expertise to say what’s good and bad,” Ed says. “It’s important to have a view.”
Reputation Revolution Episode #40
In chatting with me for Reputation Revolution, Ed discusses the effectiveness of issues-based marketing, why he intends focusing more on LinkedIn this year, and how it’s “really important to get out and meet people … and social media enhances that”.
He says top bloggers would spend two to three times the writing of a blog post promoting it: “Amplification (of your content) is massively important.”
And don’t forget email, Ed says.
“I think email in 2015 is more important than email’s ever been before.”
Ed also explains how Twitter and Facebook “have opened up these amazing opportunities to advertise to email lists”, and why he loves the WordPress plugin CoSchedule.
CONNECT WITH ED
- @tomatom on Twitter
- Instagram – @tomatomelb
- tomatomedia.com.au (website and business blog)
- tomatom.com (personal food blog – ‘The insiders’ guide to food and drink in Melbourne. Since 2005.’)
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