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The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.


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Social Media Can Also Improve Relationships

Social networking (and other technological advances) has altered how we stay connected to friends, make purchases, network with colleagues, and find out what’s going on in the world. It has been known to destroy relationships by rekindling past flames, beginning covert affairs, replacing face-to-face intimacy with imaginary online closeness, revealing too much information, and cyber-stalking to ease or confirm jealousy.

Some things to remember that will help keep relationships running smoothly online (and offline) are:

  • Anyone involved in a committed adult relationship shouldn’t be afraid to be public about their status on Facebook or other social media sites.
  • Your partner should be your friend on social media sites. If you can’t see what each other shares publicly online, this could be a sign of impending trouble.
  • Reminisce only briefly with past loves. Anything any more than that could put distance between you and your significant other.
  • Never vent personal information online when you’re angry. In fact, never do it offline either. Give yourself time to assess the situation and address it without pointing blame.
  • Online content is permanent! Even if something posted is deleted (and forgotten), it isn’t really. Nothing ever permanently goes away, and you don’t want it to resurface when you least expect it.
  • Don’t over-share. A better way to learn about people is to have face-to-face conversations. Also, don’t publicize every little detail about your relationships and personal life online.

Often, social media does couples more harm than good. However, social media can also be a positive thing that fortifies bonds between partners. Social media is a great way to connect and encourage loved ones during the workday, or whenever they are away. Anytime you can stay connected and increase communication will benefit a relationship.

Here are some fun ways to stay connected and put a smile on that important someone’s face during times when you are apart. Use social media to:

  • Remember the good times by reminding them of a special moment you shared.
  • Express thankfulness for kindnesses they’ve shown you and for their friendship and love.
  • Make them laugh with a funny meme or other online content that you think they will enjoy.
  • Just say “Hello” or send a smile (emoticon).

A celebrity who does an awesome job of showing his wife how much she means to him and is an inspiration to us all is Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad. He just might be the most perfect husband ever, complimenting his wife Lauren Parsekian every chance he gets. Read about this very-much-in-love couple here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/03/aaron-paul-wife_n_4032479.html. Awwwe!!

Remember—you have the power to build and maintain quality relationships. The golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” is excellent advice; it is as powerful now as it was c. 2000 BC, “Now this is the command: Do to the doer to cause that he do thus to you.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule)

What are you waiting for? Go reach out to your special someone!

—Laura

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13 Ways to Increase Your YouTube Views

YouTube-icon-full_colorThere are a few simple things you can do to make your videos stand out and get more views. The next time you get ready to upload a video, follow these tips:

  1. Quality is quintessential
    If you want your video to do well, it… Has. To. Be. Good. The more interesting your content, and the more creatively you shoot and edit your video, chances are better of viewers liking and sharing it.
  2. Titles, tags, and text
    Use keywords in your titles, and also include them in the video’s description and tags. This will make it easier for your video to show up in searches. In addition, you can caption your videos (YouTube can do this automatically—sometimes with very funny results—or you can do it manually. You can even edit the automatic captions). Anywhere there is text, it is searchable.
  3. Timely topics
    Upload videos about current trends or news topics. Videos based on world topics, parodies or covers of popular songs, spoofs of celebrity gossip, and product tutorials or demos are a few examples of view-worthy videos.
  4. Create continuously
    Your subscribers and viewers look forward to your future videos. Create content regularly. The more videos, the more views. They don’t have to be lengthy; approximately 80% of online videos are less than one minute long.
  5. Authentic concentric
    Commit to authenticity from the start of your video to the final edit. Your video should reflect what you consider to be important. You can’t predict what will resonate with others, but you will have a style and content your viewers can rely on and you can be proud of.
  6. Produce playlists
    You improve your chances of getting views by putting your videos together in a playlist. After one of your videos finishes playing, the next one in the playlist will automatically start. Also, playlists make your YouTube channel more user friendly, as videos are organized into logical groups.
  7. Sharing is caring
    Use Facebook and Twitter to tell your friends and followers about your new video. Post something interesting about its content in the message. You can do this more than once—just be sure to change the message content.
  8. Respond rapidly
    When you receive comments, respond as soon as you can. Thank viewers for watching, answer questions. Respond to all comments, both good and bad. Engage with your viewers.
  9. Advise the audience
    Tell your viewers to take action. Ask them to leave a comment, like your video, share it on Facebook, or do whatever you want them to do. State it in the video, or write it in the description.
  10. Add annotations
    Take advantage of YouTube’s annotations feature in the editing area. You can use annotations to let your viewers know of additional information important to your video, make something more clear, or give a call to action (like subscribing). You can put annotations anywhere you want on the video.
  11. Location, location, location
    Post announcements of your new video (see tip #6) everywhere you can online, and embed your video on your blog, website, etc. and allow others to do the same. When a video is embedded, it plays on the site where it’s located, but it’s played through your YouTube channel.
  12. Game on!
    People love contests and being rewarded for something easy—like watching a video. Let your fans know that when your video reaches a certain number of views, you’ll release a follow-up “secret” video or other exclusive content. You can even involve them in coming up with ideas for your next video.
  13. Google+ presence
    What you do on YouTube ties into your Google+ profile. Videos you upload show up here, as well as your replies and any comments you make. If you want to develop good YouTube viewership, you should be active on Google+. Add new people to your G+ circles, follow some pages, and start interacting. The more people you connect with, the better.

 

YouTube is an amazing community! Good luck to you and post great videos!

—Laura


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5 Things I love About Social Media

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I started using social media several years ago and I went on a social media hiatus. After I began using social media again, I have discovered some things I like about social media right now.

  • Social media is my number one place for inspiration and brain storming. When you’re into fashion like me, I keep up with what’s trending in the fashion world because it is forever/rapidly changing. I can also find out great new ideas and ask suggestions on how to do something.
  • Social media is my entertainment hub. I find out and explore new artists, music, videos, books and lots more. All which are accessible through YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.
  • Social media is my news board. Twitter is a great source to get fast news on just about everything, sometimes even at a faster pace than the traditional news platform.
  • Social media is a place for me to have my own voice. Home and work might not be enough for you to express yourself. With social media you can say what you want and have friends who are millions of miles away, but you can interact with on Twitter and Facebook. You might be uncomfortable speaking in public, but when you are online you are free to speak your mind. Being an introvert doesn’t really matter because you are in the comfort of your own home.
  • Social media is free!! , well after you pay for your internet subscription. Majority of social platforms out there do not charge people for using it. Who wouldn’t like free stuff? Social media being free makes it a great source to promote your brand for almost nothing, if done right.

I love all the opportunities social media gives me, from it being free to being my source of inspiration. I’m sure you have the things you love about social media. Please comment below with some of the things you love about social media.


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A Traveler’s Guide Through the Social Media Universe: Part III

Thus far, we’ve been discussing the main characteristics of social media and it’s channels, but before we travel any further, we’re going to take a brief detour and discuss a subject of crucial importance: online etiquette. While many choose to ignore them, you must know the proper ethical and morale customs when visiting and engaging on social media. If you don’t, you may just run into disaster  or humiliate yourself, and your guide most certainly does not want that.

Whether by choice or ignorance (or perhaps  both), many of those surfing through cyber-space opt to blatantly disregard the importance of treating others with genuine respect. Sometimes they get away with their poor behavior, but not always. Nonetheless, their examples are not to be followed. Consistently apply these codes of conduct and you’ll be able to navigate through even some of the roughest social media scenarios:

  • Be honest and transparent: If you’re not, your friends and followers will become distrusting and resentful.
  • Engage authentically – People can read through plastic attitudes, so you’re best off not faking it.
  • Truly listen – One of peoples’ greatest needs is the need to be truly heard.
  • Understand your audience – Knowing who they are enables you to better both them and yourself.
  • Avoid profanity  – This  universal rule goes without saying.  Keep the conversation classy.
  • Don’t be a troll – Only people with retched self-esteem use social media to abuse others.
  • Do not delete comments – This applies to companies because of the first rule of transparency.
  • Know all legal perimeters – This is the best way to avoid the nasty surprise called “lawsuit.”
  • Respond quickly – Social media’s speed is quicksilver. Do your best to keep up.
  • Do your homework – As much as you can, research social media and its trends. Become an expert.

Of course, this core 10 ethical principles don’t cover every detail, but they provide strong guidance. Stay consistent with these rules and you’ll protect yourself from doors of disaster you don’t want opened, as well as opening up doors of opportunity you don’t want closed. Try to memorize these core ethics before we move onto part four. Until next time, safe travels!

 


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A Traveler’s Guide Through The Social Media Universe, Part II

Let’s pick up where we left off – popular social media channels. The next one we’ll be reviewing is Twitter. This channel can be likened to a noisy, popular night club. These are the main facts you need to know about the Twitter channel:

  1. Social network which allows personal and professional users to set up basic profiles and “Tweet” (send/receive messages), pictures, and/or videos confined by a 140 character limit.
  2. Users can also “Retweet” others’ messages, pictures, and/ or videos.
  3. Users have the option of tagging to “Follow” others to boost social interactions and stay updated on other users’ tweets. The same principle applies vice versa.
  4. Users also receive notices via a “Notifications” folder.
  5. Hashtags (pound sign preceding brief text) links to other sources as well as potentially attracting more followers.
  6. There’s an ongoing newsfeed of “Current Trends.” Users can opt to click on hashtag links to view more information about those trends.
  7. Last but not least, there’s the “#Discover” where Twitter searches out and filters trends the user might like.

Now, let’s examine our third social media channel – Pinterest. Figuratively speaking, Pinterest can be likened to both a playful art gallery. Pinterest’s essential elements include:

  1. Users set up personal accounts to collect, share, and store pictures/videos on virtual bulletin boards.
  2. Users “Pin it” (use web content to upload personal content) and “Repin” (import from other peoples’ boards) media content to various personal “boards” (different categories).
  3. The “Pin Feed” suggests content users might like and use.
  4. Each media image opens the door to other related information and entertainment.
  5. Users can both invite Pinterest friends to their boards and follow other Pinterest members.

Our fourth social media channel, Linkedin, can be likened to a job fair or office setting. LinkedIn’s primary components include:

  1. Professional networking site where users set up profile pages displaying their professional background, skills, and interests to find jobs and/or business opportunities.
  2. Users network with each other by establishing “connections.” There are three degrees of connections (One refers to a direct connect while the other two are indirect).
  3. Users can endorse each other (verify job skills)
  4. Users can “like” and “congratulate” each other on their achievements.
  5. Users can see who has previewed their pages.
  6. Users can also join professional groups and clubs.
  7. Employers can use LinkedIn to post jobs and search for potential workers.

We’ll come back and explore some more popular social media sites soon, but right now, let’s become familiar with the nuts and bolts of these four channels. While you’re doing this, be sure to also check out YouTube tutorials for each of the four channels to help you learn visually as well (There are quite a few.)  Of course, each of the social media channels help centers to assist you as well. On a final note, be sure to explore these additional educational resources before we move on to our next blog:

 

-Cheryl Bokon


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A Traveler’s Guide Through the Social Media Universe: Part I

For those of you who are unsure as to how to navigate with the social media universe, I’ve provided here a concise traveler’s guide to help you get started on your virtual travels. I will not only highlight four of the main social media channels, but I will also help you plan your journey as well as offer additional resources, should you need them. (Some information will be included here, but be sure to check out ongoing continuations of this blog. As of right now, I’ve posted part two as well.)

For starters, what exactly does the world of social media entail? Google, an encyclopedia for many of us, aptly defines social media as websites and applications enabling users to create  and/or share content as well as participate in social networking on computer or mobile devices. 1 Expanding on this, Christina Dillon, social media author, lists the ten main attributes of social media: 2

  1. Interactive: Users must be able to interact and engage with social media channels and others.
  2. Changeable and Evolutionary: Because it’s founded on both technology and social factors, the only constants about social media are change and progression.
  3. Professional or Personal Representation: Your profiles and posts create an online impression / reputation of you and/or your business brand.
  4. Personal: Social media is also individualistic because people can directly communicate to others and vice versa by posts and profiles on their own accounts.
  5. Social: With its constant levels of online socializing, be it local, national, or international, social media is also very community-oriented.
  6. Helpful: Social media is overflowing with useful information.
  7. Sounding Board: For better or worse, social media provides quick feedback on how people are responding to you and/or your company’s actions.
  8. Testing Platform: While you should exercise caution, social media provides great opportunity to test out new ideas and projects.
  9. Soft-Selling: In other words, your persuasive tactics on social media must be more passive and subtle; wooing over your audience and satisfying their needs / desires before yours are the most important elements of soft selling.
  10. Entertaining: No matter how informative a resource may be, most would not stay tuned into social media if it wasn’t for its many fun factors.

 

 

 

 

Now, let’s move on and explore some of the main destination routes on social media.  Our first social media channel, one of the most successful social media networks, is none other than Facebook itself. Figuratively, Facebook can be likened to a popular coffee shop or restaurant joint where you and your friends socialize.  In a nutshell, Facebook includes the following attributes:

  1. Social networking site in which users set up personal and/or business profile pages which display information about their personalities, behaviors, interests,  dislikes, motivations, and so forth.
  2. Users add “Friends” or “Like” pages to boost their levels of online social engagement. Others can communicate with non-friends or unliked pages as well, but personal security settings made by receivers may limit the degree of access.
  3. Users can send/receive messages, receive notifications and RSS feeds (online content delivery vehicle of news and other web-based information 3), post status updates, upload pictures and videos, share content, create event pages,  and “like” certain posts and pages.
  4. Users can also post and share content on other friends’ profiles.
  5. Facebook’s Events and friend lists are also very useful for professional and personal use.
  6. Entrepreneurs and businesses can also use Facebook’s marketing platform to reach potential audiences and consumers.

Well, we’ve reached our first stoplight. To learn more about  the other three main social media channels and additional resources, read part two of this blog. Thank you for reading and please give me your feedback!

Sources  Cited:

1)  www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=definition+of+social+media

2) www.toptensocialmedia.com/social-media-business/what-is-social-media-10-definitions/

 

3) http://www.press-feed.com/howitworks/rss_tutorial.php

 

 

-Cheryl Bokon


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Miracles and Social Media

With so much darkness engulfing our present day world, it helps to know miracles still happen. When they occur through the mercurial outlet we call social media, they are all the more peculiar and profound. From unlikely animal rescues to finding lost loved ones, miracles on social media can help us  remain faithful to the positive side of a controversial technology commonly misused. On the other hand, one can also argue that people, not social media, are the problem.  Nevertheless, after being flooded with so much negativity via social media, it can still be hard to remember the wondrous opportunities and experiences these types of online networks offer.  So, if you’re in need of a refreshing reminder or just simply curious, please allow me the privilege to share some of social media’s sweeter side with you. Here are a few brief recaps of but three of many social media miracles that have occurred with the past few years:

  • A mother’s Facebook friend felt suspicious of her three year old daughter’s eye condition and prompted her to immediately take the little girl to an ophthalmologist. If she had not acted at the precise time, the girl’s eye disease would have progressed to complete blindness! 1
  • While celebrating the fourth of July, the dog of owner and Texas resident, Linda Duncan, became frightened of the loud fireworks to the point she ran off and got lost. After months of unsuccessful attempts to find her dog, Linda created a Facebook page for her missing pet. After missing for almost six months, in a synchronistic fashion, someone in Oklahoma City saw her Facebook post and found her missing dog. Soon after, Linda Duncan happily drove all the way from Texas to Oklahoma to reunite with her pet. 2
  • Three years ago, robbers invaded the home of Nitesh Bhakta and his family. Upon seeing and hearing the men break end, Nitesh grabbed his laptop and rain upstairs. While he did not have a phone, Nitesh was able to cry for help via a Facebook post. Most considered the post to be a joke or a prank, but one of his friends knew better and called the police. Soon afterwards, the robbers fled once they heard police sirens. As a result, little damage was done to Nitesh, his family, and their home. 2

I hope you’re uplifted by these stories like I am. Read about enough of these stories, and you’ll probably soothe some of your frustrations with social media. While they most certainly don’t eradicate social media’s grimmer side, they can be a powerful cue to remember social media’s potential and beauty. Do you have any social media miracle stories of your own?! If you do, please share!

Sources Cited:

1) www.akhia.com/jan-session/2014/04/this-week-in-social-media-big-takedowns-and-little-miracles/

2) www.eonline.com/news/532976/11-times-people-used-facebook-to-perform-miracles-and-restore-our-faith-in-social-media