Social Media & Connection | Meeting Maya Angelou

by CHERYL GNAD on May 28, 2014

1x1.trans Social Media & Connection | Meeting Maya Angelou



Social Media & Connection

When I met Maya Angelou she felt like – “An old friend of mine. We connected!”

Today began on a sad note. She was someone I’ve admired deeply, who now had died. Maya Angelou!  Funny thing. I considered her – a friend. I thought, “She’s an old friend of mine! I felt her love. We connected!”  But she was a hugely well-known writer, poet, actress, entrepreneur, civil rights leader, movie producer and mother , if not more. 

Why did I feel like she was a friend? Let me share a short true story.  About 6-8 years ago, I was a struggling Direct Sales Rep. I had great fears of contacting, cold calling and meeting new people to invite into my Direct Sales business. I knew that “practice makes perfect”, so I went out to “practice” to become “perfect”. (That, in itself creates lots of tension and anxiety!  To become “perfect”?).  During my lunch break I went to an area ritzy shopping center to find “people”.  I noticed what appeared to be a chauffeur wiping down a  dark limousine.  Hmmm, I wondered who came in that car? Soon, it moved up to a store entrance and out came someone to retrieve a walker and they went back in. I was curious who this was! So I entered in this fancy decorator home goods/plates/tableware store to see. I pretended to be shopping (I definitely felt out of place) and then I HEARD this voice! I KNEW and recognized it! I had heard it as a narrative voice, as a reader, and as an actress! I thought it couldn’t be! As I rounded the shelving I came to see that it was  — Maya Angelou!  Well dressed and pointing out plate ware to see to her personal assistant! One other lady approaches and is greeted warmly by Maya, and they talk. I had a decision to make. Do I mind my own business? or just go up to meet her too?  I chose the latter.

I stood by, at the fringe of this conversation. At the right moment, I stepped forward and began to introduce myself. (YIKES, what does one say to her? I didn’t want to sound stupid !) Maya turned and our eyes met. Her eyes were excited, and very welcomingly warm! She extended BOTH hands out to me and as I meant to shake with one hand, she grabbed with BOTH of hers and said “I am so very pleased to meet you!”  I felt like we had known each other for years and just found each other again! I was feeling – cherished!  There was a connection! We chatted for a short. I wanted to stay and chat more, but what does one ask such a great lady? I found it! “Tell me. I love all of your work. What project are you in the process of doing or just finishing that I might look forward to. I’d love to hear about it!” I felt I had made a return connection. She had to think for a bit, then said she had just finished producing a movie for TV called (I think) THE HARLEM BOYS CHOIR, or something very close! She said it should be showing in the next couple of months.  We talked about self-awareness and self improvement, then she had to leave.  The other lady and myself, stood there listening with great awe and admiration! We knew we were visiting with someone so very special!

Why was this visit important? Today, Maya Angelou died yesterday, May 27, 2014. But her Legacy of who she was has stayed with  me. She portrayed herself as a REAL person. She met me and “cherished” the extended hand that greeted her. She obligated herself in sharing a part of herself for the betterment of others during that visit. She made a “connection”. In fact, from reading her books, she did those very things consistently throughout her life. She learned how to make others feel important where they became important and in so doing, SHE became important! She allowed the connection.

The lesson here is to understand how you are perceived when you meet people! As an avid social media marketer, I have had to share myself with the hopes of being able to become memorable and attractive enough for others to want to do business with or through me! I learned from my experience in being greeted by Maya Angelou, how to greet others so warmly that they immediately feel comfortable and relaxed in my presence. I wanted to make connections too. Maya was a 10 minute experience of welcoming. Do I do the same? Maya left me with what she treasured. I walked away feeling like I was blessed. I knew I needed to do the same.

Today, social media is a incredible tool to touch people’s lives! Governments are changed because of social media influences. Friends made online come OFF line and are made secure! Encouragement abounds there. Just as all of the positive influences are there, so are the negative. People’s lives can be and are destroyed because of what is said on social media! But just as people’s live are enhanced, so are businesses!

One of Social Focus by CG’s goals is to give the kind of help to businesses and individuals of ways to grow and become enabled doers. Each have goals to grow and become better, but many fail because they forget who is to benefit more – their own pocket books or other’s lives?

I will be writing articles/blogs on this subject about that connection with your audience. How to make social media that “warm double handed” hand shake online, where people will want to stick around to get to know you better so that THEY can receive some benefit of the relationship. So if you are a business product or service, this means you serve them first and they will return to serve you! There are so many posts and blogs on HOW-TO “get” more customers, and “make” sales happen. There will be some technical, and a lot of personal grooming to be the kind of person we all would want to do business with. It will help you to make “a connection”.

Stick around! Share this article and let’s create an excited group of like minded folks. Be sure to come over to my Facebook Page,, to introduce yourself, to connect and so we can start to make a great relationship  – that “double handed” hand shake is waiting for you there!

May God bless you this day!

Cheryl Gnad of Social Focus by CG


Original Photo by: Florian Berger  -  Creative Commons License (
To read some of Maya Angelou’s inspirational tweets, go to:
 32 Tweets of Wisdom From Maya Angelou


Books of Maya Angelou’s, all worth reading. Here is a short list:

The Official Website of Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou: The essential reading list


Learn the Magic of Word of Mouth Marketing

by CHERYL GNAD on May 14, 2014

1x1.trans Learn the Magic of Word of Mouth Marketing

Learn the Magic of Word of Mouth Marketing

“There is one thing worst than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” ~ Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)

All businesses love hearing from a new customer that one of their customers recommended their products or services. This is Word of Mouth.  That means that their service or products were so memorable to someone when they did business with them that the customer felt they needed to share that pleasurable experience with someone else! Businesses would love to cultivate more of those “recommendations” or “Word of Mouth” endorsements. However, many are missing a prime opportunity.

With the advent of social media marketing and mobile marketing, going “viral” has the potential of going sky high in activity in the next few years! ARE YOU READY for it! You aren’t if you haven’t learned how to create a “buzz” online by making relationships with your potential customers. By making a good relationship, you make a friend. By making a friend you create trust. By developing trust you gain your customer. By providing great customer service and put quality service and products into their possession, you create “Word of Mouth” referrals, recommendations, or endorsements! Wow! This does more for your business in advertising than any other advertising form! You can’t saturate the TV airways, newspapers, magazines, billboards enough to counter act the effect of a good “Word of Mouth” recommendation gone viral! The only way to “up the anty” is to get that Word of Mouth happening online – in your social media!

Conventional Word of Mouth

  1. It consists of interpersonal communication which sets it apart from mass communication such as advertising.
  2. It’s about commercial content and commercial entities such as companies, products, services and brands.
  3. The communicators are non-commercially motivated so communication is perceived as unbiased, genuine and honest.

What’s different these days is that you can directly tell your friends via a multitude of different online mechanisms (Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare etc.), tell – or ‘write’ as it is these days – it once, reach more friends with a single effort, and reach more people some of whom you don’t even know.

Electronic Word of Mouth

  1. It uses the internet so information is passed on a written text, images or even movies.
  2. It can reach a multitude of people at the same time so it has a greater potential of becoming viral                                                                                                                                                                                     Electronic Word Of Mouth presents a window of opportunity for businesses  Posted by Barbara Kremers on Thu, Oct 18, 2012

 So now, you can see that the use of Electronic Word of Mouth is by far more powerful! So how are you going to create that buzz, or word of mouth action!? Why would anyone want to even mention you? First let’s see what causes someone to get involved enough to talk about you. Here is a list of some reasons:

-          People love to share about things that they are doing. If they are happy about those activities or not. (Especially if they are not happy! This is Negative WOM!)

-          People seek advice from others. Those who have an experience will share.

-          People would rather seek out the information from another BEFORE looking online for that information. Again, experience or personal knowledge beats out printed advertising. This is your opportunity to build trust in you with your clientele. Work diligently to KEEP your customers, and they will share about you more readily!

Work out your strategy for Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM)

  1. Find out where others are talking about you online. If you are doing your job, someone IS talking about you. Go there and listen in.
  2. Find out WHAT they are saying. What topics are “buzz-worthy” – start using those topics for your next campaign of “buzz-worthy” information for them to share.
  3. Monitor these interactions regularly. Have the right tools that will help you analyze whether the talk is positive or negative. Address the negative and promote the positive. (Check out if you are a large company)
  4. Include social sharing buttons on your websites! Make it easy for others to share your information and create some “buzz” for you!
  5. Provide buzz-worthy content – give them something to talk about, and share. Make the content where it will evoke a great amount of response! Use specific keywords in your campaigns in order for your audience to use. They will show up and you can see what is working and what is not. (See #3).
  6. Understand where your customers are! Social media is your best tool, but where in social media are they (YOUR customers) residing. Your audience may not be on Linkedin or Twitter, but maybe heavily in Facebook and Pinterest. Are you there? If you audience mentions you by your handle, chances are great that they expect to hear from you. Engagement is your next move…..
  7. ENGAGE!!!  You won’t be able to dictate the WOM talk, but you can monitor and shape it to become more effective for you. You definitely can build the friend to trusted advisor to provider of services/product relationship path! Make sure you know how to travel that path. Skipping or mismanaging the steps can cause the customer to fall away before they ever “walk in your front door” to buy!

Lastly, here are a few quick tips to try to stay in the game of creating Word of Mouth –

-          Look on the web for people talking about you

-          Create a blog

-          Keep a reminder to find buzz-worthy topics

-          Provide incentives for those who do Word of Mouth for you

-          Ask for the recommendation (i.e. Google Recommendations!)

-          Make your “talkers” feel special!

-          Do something unexpected

-          And best of all — DO SOMETHING WORTH TALKING ABOUT!


Learn more on how to do Word of Mouth Marketing with Social Focus by CG -

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