Monthly Archives: July 2013

Social Marketing Basics

Where do I start?

The first step is to set up company profiles on each major social network in order to secure your brand identity across the web.  Don’t get overwhelmed with every single site out there though; just start with the major top 10.

Next, make sure your branding look online is consistent with your overall marketing goals.  Remember, social media isn’t a quick solution to anything.  Set reasonable goals, be patient, and most important; be consistent.

Also, use human resources.  Just because social marketing doesn’t cost a bunch of money, doesn’t mean it doesn’t take work.  Assign the social voice to people who care about making your brand shine.   Keep track of who is posting what, where, and when in order to stay consistent.

Finally, link everything together.


What do I do know?

Now you’re ready to create content, and be sure it’s good.  Tell your story in an interesting and compelling way that will draw customers in.  You want people who are searching for you and those who don’t even know about you to be equally attracted to your content.  Good content can be created different form, from a blog post, to a video or interesting picture.

Alright, now that you’ve posted great content, expect comments.  Engagement is so important here because this is real, online interaction with your customers.  If they are taking the time to say something, take your time to answer- even if it’s a simple “thank you”.

Finally, build your online presence with new connections.   Every new connection is a potential customer.  After all, social media is about being social- the more people you meet, the better!

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Social Media & First Dates

Last week I talked about social media in my sister’s relationship with her new boyfriend.  Now let’s talk about mine.  Before you go on a first date with someone, do you friend request them?  Over the weekend, I met someone new who asked to see me again.  While drinking my Monday morning coffee this morning and beginning my daily e-mail and social media check, there it was: A Facebook friend request from my future date.

Too soon?  If we become friends now, he has the opportunity to find out all of my interests, likes, and recent activity before we speak again. There are 3,000 pictures of me including some with my ex, me as a baby, my sisters and mom, etc.  On this first date does he pretend he doesn’t already know that I grew up riding horses?  That I just drove across the country from Florida to move to California? Or-  How I look in a bathing suit?

What if he sees something they don’t like?  Can your social media presence affect your dating potential?

I haven’t accepted the friend request, and don’t plan on doing so until after the date.  Don’t we want to get to know each other face to face instead of through the Internet?  When do you think it is appropriate to send that friend request?  Before your first date, right after your first date, or after multiple dates?  Ahhhh, as if dating was already stressful enough!

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Social Media Magic


There is no magic formula when it comes to social media, no big secret those with a big following are keeping. But there are key ingredients to social media success that you need to implement to get the results you’re looking for. I think of them as the three C’s, and without them, a social media campaign can be entirely forgettable.


People log onto social media to connect with you and learn something new. I bet you have great story that needs to be told. Each post you create is another chapter in the that story. People love a good read and they stay loyal to their favorite authors. You want to be one of those authors. Provide a reason to come back and look for your posts, become their favorite author. Write cool content, engage in the conversations that happen around that content, and watch your social media presence expand.


It’s what makes you stand out.  The competition for followers is tough; so get creative in your content.  Include a funny video or interesting photos to keep your visitors engaged.  Social media allows you to express yourself, so take advantage of it!


Social media is not just about relationship building, it’s about relationship sustainability. One big fail of many bloggers and other social media users is their inconsistent posting. A single post on Facebook followed by nothing else for several weeks is 100% guaranteed not to increase traffic to you. If people are coming back to you, they expect to see new content. Talk to them on a regular basis through questions and comments, and make the conversation relevant. Sustain the relationship you have with your followers.

Like I said, there’s no magic way to make social media success work faster.  But by implementing the 3 C’s it will.  It takes focus, planning, and little mental elbow grease.  But with these  tips, you will find your social media presence increasing, and on the path to long-term success!

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My Social Media Vacation Challenge


Do you let social media affect your day?  Before Facebook and Twitter, if someone was talking about you (or ignoring you) you might not hear about it for a while – or ever.  Unless you overheard a conversation at school, a friend told you, or you spoke to that person directly, how could it affect you?

Now, with social media, everything is happening right in front of you.  If someone posts a nice (or rude) comment about you, you’ll see it.  If the tweet you thought was so brilliant is never retweeted, you’ll know. So in essence, social media can make or break your day – if you let it.

My advice: do not take social media too seriously. Online interaction forces you to find out about things interpersonal communication might not subject you to. If you spend too much time with something, it’s bound to have an impact.  Don’t let social media effect how you feel, because you’ll end up on an emotional roller coaster that seems impossible to get off.

My challenge to you: take a little vacation away from social media this summer.  I love social media just as much as the next person, but everyone needs time away from the things they love, right?  Trust me- you’ll come back to your Facebook feed feeling refreshed.  At the beginning of summer I drove across the country from Florida to California.  On 1-10 West through Texas there is zero phone service and believe it or not- I survived the 10 hour day without Instagram!

Do you accept my social media vacation challenge?

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Swoonin for Relationships

swoonIt’s not official until it’s Facebook official. I’m talking relationships- and over the weekend my sister became “FBO” with her new boyfriend, meaning they listed that they are in a relationship together. The story of how they met is pretty interesting. A couple of months ago I was approached by Swoon, a new app that had just been launched on Android to do some promotional work. Swoon is an anonymous hot-or-not phone app for discovering people in your area. Their tagline is “find out who’s crushing on you”.

Basically, if you like the photo of the person you, you click the check mark. If not, you tap the X. If both sides liked what they saw, a connection is made, allowing you to chat on the app.

Since I have an iPhone, I had my sister download the app on her Android (it’s since been released on iPhones). She started swooning, and made a connection with her now-boyfriend. After chatting on the app, they exchanged Facebook information and became friends on the social networking site. Eventually they exchanged phone numbers, met, and the rest is history. Now I’ve met him, our friends have, and even my parents. It turns out we both graduated from the same University too (Go Gators!).

It’s amazing to see how social media has changed the way we meet people and form relationships.  There is no doubt social media makes it possible to discover people we may have never have had the chance to find.  Whether it be a professional or personal relationship, I think when used correctly, there are so many opportunities to make a connection!

Have you ever used social media to meet someone new?

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Call to Actions on Social Media

Social media is about making connections, starting conversations, engaging your audience, and building relationships.  Know what else is?  Sales.  These days marketing decisions are made based on relationships, peer reviews, word-of-mouth, and personal recommendations.  This kind of information is being searched and communicated through social media, and your business must be on it and available to respond.

Remember, your small business is competing with every other small business on social media.  You must make your audience an offer they simply can’t refuse or run the risk of being overlooked.  Without a call to action, your social media is just branding.  Implementing a call-to-action, or CTA, in your social media marketing campaign will make a big impact on your business and goals.  Below are four tips on creating successful call to actions.

1. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want

Sometimes the best way to get what you want is to ask for it!  This establishes you as an authority in your field, and people trust authority.  Pick a goal, make it clear, and work on getting your audience to take action towards this goal. In social media it is acceptable to ask for a share or follow, or even something more direct like “buy my product”.

2. Customize your call to action base on the social media platform

Now that you know what you’re asking of your audience, make sure you  choose the correct words to spread the message.  If posting on Twitter, use their language of “tweeting” and “retweeting”.   If on Facebook, stick to “like”, “comment”, and “share”.  Google uses “+1” for their posts and “circles”.  Your offer must make sense based on the social media platform it appears on.. Consistently using the correct phrases will add to your credibility.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of visuals

Make your call to action stand out visually.   Social media users are always scanning their feeds, only to stop at posts that catch their eye.  Enhance your presentation and use interesting video or images so your posts aren’t overlooked.  A call to action supplemented with a compelling visual aid is the best way to grab your audience’s attention.

4. Maintain a happy medium

Balance your call to actions with quality shares from other trusted sources.  Always remain in the conversation, engage with your audience, and remind them that you are a real person too.  People like authenticity, so let the personality of your business shine through.

Remember, everything on social media happens out in the open.  By successfully integrating call to actions in your marketing, it creates unlimited potential.  Think about how many times Facebook has told you about a business your friend just “liked”.  That business could be you.

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VMAs on Vine & Instagram


Tomorrow MTV is announcing their VMA nominations exclusively through videos released on Vine and Instagram. MTV is among many brands to use social media marketing platforms, but their the first award show to do so.

Beginning at 8 am ET, eight videos, one released per hour, will surface for the #RoadToTheVMAs campaign.

The VMAs is celebrating their 30th Anniversary show in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center on August 25th. MTV has over a million followers on Instagram and 100,000 on Vine. These video apps are perfect for targeting MTV’s young, hip, social-media-loving audience.

Do you think this is as genuis of an idea as I do? I honestly don’t have time to watch TV, so I would miss any commercials MTV aired releasing these nominees. I do, however, always manage to find time in my work day to check my Instagram and Vine feed (okay, okay- more than a couple times).

I’m looking forward to seeing how the videos turn out, are you?

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Trayvon & Zimmerman Online

What started as a small story in Sanford, Florida (my hometown) rapidly grew on the Internet and became a nationwide topic. In Febuary of 2012, George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in what he says, was self defense. I remember listening to the local news cover it the next morning, and not thinking much into it. Sanford doesn’t have the best reputation, and the story didn’t surprise me.

According to the Miami Herald, “Among the first to publicize the story was nationally syndicated radio host Michael Baisden, who sent a message to his 65,000 Twitter followers and 585,000 Facebook fans: “Unarmed 17-year-old boy shot by neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, FL outside of Orlando.”

Once the Internet caught wind of the story, the situation was played out and fueled on by social media. Imagine my surprise to be in California the summer of 2012 and watching my little hometown, Sanford, dominate headlines across the country.

It never slowed down. Over the course of the past three weeks of trial, Instagram was flooded with users posting pictures of them in hoodies or with skittles and ice tea, with the hashtag #blackout or #justicefortrayvon to represent Martin.

The case came to a close on Saturday night with a not guilty verdict. Martin’s parents were not present in the courtroom for the announcement and took to Twitter for their response seconds following it:

The reaction to the verdict took over social media, with Trayvon’s name dominating the hashtags, along with #manslaughter, #florida, and #sanford trending on Twitter.  Facebook newsfeeds were also flooded with anyone and everyone’s opinion on the matter.

Did you voice your opinion on the verdict on social media?

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Online Identity Theft

Sometimes it’s easy to forget the negative consequences that can come from a social media presence.  Even I am guilty of being quick to share what I’m eating, who I’m with, and where I am, with basically anyone who wants to know!  The truth is, as much fun as it is to share, always remember there is such a thing as too much. It’s important to always be weary of the type of information you’re putting out there.

A chilling video was just released in an online campaign today about Internet crooks from the advertising company Duval Guillame.  The video chose a real victim, found his information online, and used it to easily take over his life.

Was this a reality check for you as it was for me?  This could happen to anyone.  Like I said in one of my previous posts on privacy, remember to be viligant with personal information. Doing so well help you to continue to have a safe and happy online environment!

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Facebook Graph Search

Search “Friends of my friends who like Starbucks and Horses and live in San Francisco, California”


As of yesterday, the above search will yield Facebook results thanks to Graphic Search.   If you thought it was already easy to Facebook stalk your friends, crushes and exes- this just made it even easier.  Basically every move you’ve ever made on Facebook, whether you liked a band, photo, lyric, or movie, can be tracked with the new Graphic Search.  My search above led me to one result, a girl that I’ve never met, who Facebook expects me to connect with.

When I typed in “Search photos of my friends at the Grand Canyon” all of the pictures from my recent roadtrip with my sister were layed out before my eyes.  Whether you or someone you know shared it, you can look it up. It’s now easier than ever to find exactly what you’re looking for without digging.  Ofcourse, Graph Search is only as powerful as your Facebook friends willingness to share information about themselves, in the form of the like button.

According to Facebook, Graph Search is meant to “make your community feel smaller”.  Right now you can search people, photos, places and businesses but ultimately Mark Zuckerburg wants it become “a resource around the world”.

My advice?  Now is the time to double-check your privacy settings.  Limit old post settings and photos to avoid embarassing moments of the past resurfacing.  And you also may want to be a little less click-happy when it comes to the “like” button.  What do you think about Graph Search?

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