• Fantastic heading. Opened my appetite for this really good potato. Great analogy. Works if you work it which you seem to do. However, I’m still scrabbling in the dirt trying to find my potato. Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Penelope!

      Glad you liked the title of this one. I don’t know what is it about the summer months, but they always have me thinking about food. Maybe it’s all those backyard barbeques my family used to have when I was growing up. And we used to bake the most luscious potatoes on the grill. 🙂

      Don’t worry …

      I know you’re going to find your potato! Just keep hanging around your fellow bloggers — they’ve got a nose for potatoes! 😉

      Thanks for the visit,

  • Great analogy, Melanie. Of course you are a big sweet potato person! Having several social media platforms is ideal but you can always just start with one and build up relationships there first. Since it’s all about relationships, quality is better than quantity.

    • Hi Jeannette,

      “Quality” trumps quantity any day of the week!

      I consider you a sweet potato, too. 🙂

      Thanks so much for the visit,

    • P.S. I’m SO excited about your book! Congratulations, Jeannette! I guess that psychic was right 12 years ago. 😉

  • Hi Melanie,

    I came across here from reading Diana Simon’s interview with you on her blog.

    I have to admit it was the title of this post that did it for me. I just love it ! After reading your post I can add that your title certainly also delivers what it promised.

    Apart from loving catchy post titles I am also a sucker for analogies. I was a school a teacher and I found analogies were always my best teaching tools especially when it came to communicating more complex concepts.

    What comes to mind here is that social media is a bit like making mashed potatoes (one of my favorites by the way). You have to get the mix proportions just right combined with a consistent effort to arrive at a light, fluffy and tasty result. Your post certainly provides some great pointers in this regard.

    I agree with you that bloggers are some of the neatest potato people around. The way I find best to strengthen these relationships is to extend the relationship beyond just meeting at each other’s blogs. This means also interacting on other platforms.

    Thank you for a stimulating read Melanie!


    • Hey Marcus!

      Diana is doing a bang up job with her blog interviews and now I’m blessed with a visit from you as a result of her creative efforts. It’s a wonderful life!

      You were a school teacher? That’s pretty cool. Just wondering if you’ve connected with @BobTheTeacher yet on Twitter? Bob Jenkins was a teacher, as well, in his “other” life. Look him up because he’s an amazing online marketer who’s a lot of fun and I’m sure you two would have a lot to talk about! 😉

      Blog post titles are the golden ticket, aren’t they?

      Keep this under your hat but I won’t write a single word without settling in on a title first. And sometimes it takes me days before I’m completely satisfied. Sounds insane, I know. But I’m a recovering perfectionist. Oh, keep that under your hat, too. 🙂

      Love how you relate mashed potatoes to social media!

      “You have to get the mix proportions just right combined with a consistent effort to arrive at a light, fluffy, and tasty result.”

      Yum! I’m loving social media more already!

      So excited to see you here and thanks for your wonderful comment,

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  • Hi Melanie,

    Underground potatoes is an apt analogy for the meaty gems we uncover online. Mixed metaphors aside, I’m grateful to have discovered some I regularly interact with. Relationships have grown and some of us are actively seeking ways to cook up something!

    I read an article on one of the popular sites, written by a guest blogger, in which he asserts that online relationships weren’t really real or important. He probably hasn’t developed any to a level beyond social acquaintance, but if he ever does, he’ll change his tune.

    You mentioned joining groups on LinkedIn. I belong to a few but I’d like to have your opinion on some good ones to connect with. Talk again soon.

    • Hi Vernessa,

      Oh, that poor soul you read about. He just doesn’t “get” it.

      ” … he asserts that online relationships weren’t really real or important.”

      Really?! Is this guy human?!

      Got a hunch he’s going to eat those words … or be eaten alive by the people reading his post. 😉

      LinkedIn …

      Who would you most like to connect with there, Vernessa? Come back and give me some clues.

      In the meantime …

      I wouldn’t hesitate to join “Online Visibility Boost for Entrepreneurs”, hosted by Denise Wakeman and “Coaches and Consultants for New Horizons”, hosted by Kathleen Gage. Two winners!

      Huge crop of “potato people” on LinkedIn. 🙂


  • Melanie, you crack me up. Between your meet and potatoes and my brownie post, we can serve a full meal!

    Awesome analogy and I appreciate you for the wonderful starchy potato you are.

    By the way, my dad use to be a potato dealer, so I am quite familiar with all the benefits potatoes offer. In fact, you have inspired me to go out and look for some more potato people. Thanks!

    • Looks like we’re both thinking about food these days, Daphne. 😉

      Glad you enjoyed this analogy and you’re one of my all-time favorite spuds!

      Have fun in your search for more potato people!

  • Potato People … LOVE that analogy, Melanie! It really does point out just how different and how many varieties of ‘spuds’ we have in our social world.

    Getting them to surface, grabbing their attention long enough and best of all, connecting with them is truly what ‘cultivating’ your social tribe is all about.

    Really enjoyed how you incorporated the ‘potato people’ into our social media world. The message is clearly on point and easy to remember!

    • Cool, Lynn — glad you liked this analogy!

      I don’t know why, but I’ve been relating everything to food these days. I wrote a post for We Blog Better that addresses the issue of “The dreaded lunch bag let down blog” and I had commenters talking about Portobello mushrooms. 🙂

      We definitely have many varieties of spuds in our social world — offline and online.

      And you’re 100% right …
      “Cultivation” is the key!

  • Hi Melanie,

    Your posts always put a smile on my face. How on earth did you come up with the term “potato people”. You should get an award for the most creative blogger LOL.

    That aside, I agree about the being social on different platforms but sometimes it is just all too time consuming. At the moment, I am mainly using my blog, twitter and facebook.

    I have met so many cool people online including you and the members of the TLC Club rock! I also do a feature series about bloggers I have met online to know more about them. 🙂

    • Without a doubt, Diana — you are a way cool potato person. 🙂

      Sticking to three or four social media platforms is the best way to fly! We all have different kinds of time constraints that limit how much social media we can “actively” get involved in every day.

      What you can do, though, is …

      Set aside 15 or 20 minutes each week to set up profiles on various SM sites so that you at least own a piece of the real estate there. Even though you don’t participate on a regular basis, there’s always a chance someone searching the internet will find you in those locations. Does that make any sense?

      In you’re interested, here are some GREAT places to create profiles:


      Take a peek at the profile I created on About.me as an example:


      You are a very special “spud” in my book! 😉

      • Hi Melanie,

        I didn’t even know of those places you had mentioned. It makes sense to own your real estate and I have already setup accounts on several social bookmarking sites. I love your profile on aboutme.com – recovering perfectionist LOL – that sounds like me!

        Thanks for those ideas 🙂

        P.S. You are up to bat this Sunday! Really enjoyed reading the interview all over again.

        • It’s Sunday, Diana, and I’m at home plate holding my bat. Hope I hit a home run on your blog! 😉

          Many thanks for having me as your featured guest. I had tons of fun answering your questions and sharing some photos with your readers!

          It makes me feel really great knowing I could pass along some resources to further your online visibility. And I’m glad you liked my About Me page. So simple to create.

          Can’t wait to see yours!! 🙂

  • Melanie youre my number one spud 🙂
    Thanks for the invaluable tips. I wanted to ask you about podcasting, you mentioned audio acrobat and cinch. Once you have recorded it on there do you broadcast it on itunes or some other podcast directory to spread the tubers?

    • Maureen,

      Did you know? …

      Potatoes are a great source of vitamins, even supplying vitamin C, which is essential to help maintain healthy connective tissue and heal wounds.

      You are the #1 Potato in helping to heal the internal wounds of those who are grieving. Your gift is so precious and so unique. I don’t know another potato person who’s as extraordinary as YOU.

      Podcasting …

      Yes! After you record your podcast, you can embed it on your website or blog, share it on social media sites, as well as broadcast it on itunes. And WordPress actually has themes they’ve developed specifically for podcasters.

      Although itunes is the biggest and most well known podcasting platform, there are others that are really cool like Podbean, Blog Talk Radio, and Podcast Alley.

      Podcasting is fun! I think you’d really enjoy it. 🙂


  • Melanie, thanks for your wise tidbits. You are so right about not tackling it all. In the last 6 months I’ve flipped my switch on and blog and FB–feel Linked In would be good too but I feel exhausted thinking about it.

    This meat and potato gal still does best when she tawks over coffee. Looking more at video’s cause it might be easier.

    You have a real presence and I feel ya and find you trust worthy, smart and kind.
    For me, if I wouldn’t want to have a drink or a meal with someone from what I feel –I pass. You pass the meal and drink test and more. Thanks for the sage advice and sharing.

    • Thanks so much for your kindness, Alyse, and I’m jazzed to see you here today!

      I know exactly what you mean when you say …

      ” This meat and potato gal still does best when she talks over coffee.”

      I think networking and building relationships is SO much easier face-to-face. That’s why we have to work even harder online when trying to earn someone’s trust. It ain’t easy! I’m glad to have passed your “meal and drink test”. LOL! 🙂

      Appreciate the visit and come back any time,

  • Melanie I really enjoyed this post and thank you for the link to Kiesha’s post.
    You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself and I look forward to following your blog posts.
    Our little Thai village silk business has been greatly helped by being involved and sharing/helping others on Linkedin and Facebook. It’s amazing how people will reach out and share.
    we have lots of work to do on our blog posting but we have made a start.
    Thank you for sharing this excellent information

    • Hello Amnuai and great to see you here!

      Happy you found some value in this little post and it sounds like you enjoyed Kiesha’s pearls of wisdom on how to have social media success. 🙂

      I’m excited to hear how well your silk business is doing, in part, thanks to the efforts you’ve made on LinkedIn and Facebook to build relationships and promote your biz. Kudos to you!

      I definitely agree with you here …

      “It’s amazing how people will reach out and share.” 🙂

      Thanks for joining the conversation!

  • I’m really wanting some french fries now! LOL! Melanie you are the sweetest potato!!! Great advice you are giving! I love the idea of podcasting! It takes a lot of putting yourself out there to all the social media networks and staying on top of things. It’s a lot of hard work but well worth it! And well worth meeting all the neat potatoes out there!

    • Hey Jen!

      Go ahead … have some french fries! 🙂

      I’m glad you’re going to look into doing some podcasting. Every time I get a little whim to do an audio recording of a blog post, it’s always very well received.

      There are four different podcasting platforms that are super simple to use — Audio Acrobat, Cinch (dot) fm, Audio Boo, and iPadio. Check them out if you haven’t already.

      “Staying on top of things” takes a special kind of potato — the “perseverance” potato! 😉

      Thanks for stopping by,

  • Melanie, I love this! If I think about this I think of myself as a potato that is trying to get out 🙂

    I loooooove potatoes, especially chips…yummy… hahaha

    I was actually thinking of podcasting for literally months now and just never get around to doing it. I don’t want to get a professional to read it cause that defeats the purpose but still not comfortable enough to just talk like that. Although I never shut up in person, I am so hard on the “interviews” online….

    • Hey potato pal! Great to see you here, Brankica!

      I was a literal basket case, a complete nervous wreck when I sat down to record my first podcast. And guess what? I “speak” for a living!! Is that a hoot, or what?! 😉

      I have to admit, though, it’s a whole lot different being in front of a group of people (“live”) where you can make eye contact and move around the room versus speaking into a microphone to a group of invisible people.

      Like any other new activity we tackle, it’s simply a matter of “repetition”. Believe me, that second podcast you record will be a gazillion times easier than the first!

      Ya just gotta DO it. And your readers will love hearing your voice.

      “Interviews” are another bug-a-boo and here’s the quirky thing about me …

      I would MUCH prefer to be the interviewER rather than the interviewEE when it comes to audio interviews. I’m always fearful someone will ask me a question I’m not prepared to answer, my tongue will get tied, and I’ll come across as some nincompoop.

      I never shut up in person, either. 🙂


  • Okay, my stomach is officially growling! I really love this analogy! It does often feel like all the “good people” are hiding underground and are totally unavailable. But the truth is, if you just get out and interact with people, you’ll begin to see that they were never really that far out of reach in the first place.

    • Hey Kiesha — Thanks for swinging by!

      I’ve had “food” on the brain lately. 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed this analogy and you’ve made a REALLY good point …

      ” … if you just get out and interact with people, you’ll begin to see that they were never really that far out of reach”

      You are most assuredly on my “Potato People” list!

  • Oh to feel witty and wise this morning. Great post Melanie well served for an intellectual meal or a quick snack

    • Hi Roberta!

      And you know what’s really great about potatoes? They’re SO versatile (like you, my friend), you can serve them up for breakfast, lunch, or dinner — or all three! 😉

  • Great advice Melanie! The more “potatoes” you add to your social media mix the better!

    • I’m a big fan of potatoes, Danielle …

      And I’m YOUR fan, too! 😉

      Thanks for the visit today,

  • Melanie, I consider you one of the best potato people out there! you make sure you go the extra nine yards to connect others. Great tips for having more of an online presence! you rock as usual 🙂

    • And you’re an awesome sweet potato pal of mine, too, Martha! 🙂

      Thanks for the kudos and making my Monday a little more magical,

  • I’m all for the meet and meat. And, for sweet potatoes (a root tuber). But, as for the stem tubers, I’ll pass. Never felt an ounce of desire for them.
    And, that goes for those stem collectors on the web. They look at the stalk and proclaim how scrawny it looks, missing all the leaves and flowers (the beauty of the blog and the information they contain). They don’t want to dig deep (root tubers) or become part of the community.
    So, yes, I love your analogy. Thanks for my Monday/Ramadan/New Moon of Av entertainment…

    • Happy you enjoyed this analogy, Roy.

      My mouth is watering just thinking about sweet potatoes and yams — love them both! 🙂

      And these are the potato people we “don’t ” care to meet …

      “They don’t want to dig deep (root tubers) or become part of the community.”

      Good point — thanks!

  • Without a doubt you are one of the ‘potatoest’ people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting online for over a year, Melanie. You’ve provided the starch that thickens relationships and add substance to the meal that’s out online business. I also like to think of you as the gel that holds connections together.

    Interestingly you and I talked about ping.fm before and I never did much with it, but one of the books I read while on vacation this past week was “The Zen of Social Media Marketing.” There is an entire section devoted to the value of ping.fm, which I opened on my desktop just before reading your post. (Great minds thinks alike…..:) )

    One of my goals for August is to spend an afternoon creating a presence of specific social media sites and connecting these with ping.fm.

    I’ve also gone back to going over to Linkedin more regularly and am seeing greater responses and interactions there than I had anticipated. Thanks in part to your introducing one of my posts to two groups.

    Excellent recommendations, Melanie. Thank you for the reminders.

    • I’m so proud of you, Yvonne!

      And I’m thrilled to hear (at long last) you’re going to give ping (dot) fm a whirl. I’ve said it before, but it’s a real convenience and a time saver. i know you’re going to appreciate it more and more as you put it into action.

      Tell us more about “The Zen of Social Media Marketing”. Sounds like it was a great vacation read! Love the title. Any other little gems or nuggets from the book that may entice my readers to take a peek? Thanks!

      I’m also excited you’re going to spend more time on LinkedIn. Lots of people deem it “stuffy” — almost “anti-social” .. but, in fact, it’s NOT. I’m meeting lots and lots of potato people there. 😉

      You’re a potato pal for keeps!

  • I think you’re one of the coolest potato people I’ve met online, Melanie! Great post! I need to be more creative by finding additional platforms. Your blog inspired me to get started! Thank you! ~ Suerae

    • If you found one iota’s worth of inspiration here, Suerae …

      I’ve reached my goal! 🙂

      As far as adding additional platforms to your social media marketing mix …

      My best advice is to stick to 3 or 4 platforms that suit your personality, your lifestyle, and your busy schedule until you’ve mastered them. And then move on and add more, if needed.

      Too many solopreneurs set out trying to work 10 – 12 social media sites at once. That’s really foolish and will lead to disaster. It’s just not humanly possible to build rock solid relationships by spreading yourself that thin.

      You are one of the newest potato people on my list and I’m glad we met!

      Thank you for your kind words,