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The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.


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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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late gamer

Having purposely  ignored social media for years, I find myself at a point later on in years where I can no longer hide. It’s here and I must play. It is the way of the world  and  I am late in the game. How do I find the nuggets I need,  pass go or land on Broadway ? I knew long ago the world was not flat, yet I fell off somehow. I got lost in time.

Frankly, I have viewed social media for the nosy and inquiring minds needing to know other people’s business. Now I  understand it is for other people’s business and mine’s too. What a revelation.  I am slowing moving away, or should I say being persuaded that social media will not bite me. I will not be eaten alive by millions of people I will never have coffee with in the café, will never call me  on my birthday or send me a card and will not care whether I exist at all. I am just a tiny fish swimming in  a huge sea and sink or swim I must. One little fish in a pool of information for good or not so good.

Low and behold, I will come late into the game of social media embracing it’s good aspects and spitting out it’s toxics wastes( sometimes it reeks of things I will never get used to). Whatever the case may be, I too am a player  in the this thing I call the game.

Lastly, I’m giving a shout out to friends who embraced the game much earlier and is quite savvy and adapt at maneuvering  their way around social media. They have mastered their particular channels of which I am late entering. I already have my feet wet and my taste palate anxiously awaiting to learn so much more and to pass a class. In fact, I wonder if it were not for class  would I pass social media for life.


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Viral Videos: How do they Become Viral Anyway

viral happens by Will Lion

viral happens by Will Lion

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have watched a lot of viral videos, some are good some bad. They have even started TV shows based entirely on viral videos (Right This Minute) and it got me thinking, how do these videos become viral? Why do people flock to watch them? Then I went on a quest to find some level of explanation, for myself and you of course.

So many hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and only a handful becomes viral. In 2011, Kevin Allocca, trends manager at YouTube mentioned three things that make videos viral:

Tastemakers are people that introduce the larger audience to new and interesting things. These are people that are well known or in a position that they already have a large audience and when it’s picked up, the video/message spreads. for instance, Jimmy Fallon tweets a video, then all his followers start watching the video which then spreads across the social platform.

Creative communities of participation are a group of people who share the video as a big inside joke or just as a conversation piece and start talking about it and doing things with the video, like mimes. The audience is not just enjoying the videos anymore, people on social media are beginning to participate in what they watch which is leading to more of the video getting lots coverage.

Unexpectedness means that no one could predict it. It might be just a weird old video one day and then a year later, it could become the most viewed. I will say it’s all luck, just plain being lucky.

All these things mentioned earlier points to one major thing: “The audience defines the popularity, (Allocca)”. I have personally came to a conclusion that viral videos come about just as the name implies, like a virus. You don’t’ know when you are going to catch it (virus) and when it hits you, it hits you hard plus it might linger for a while.

Enough with my long virus analogy; what I’m I trying to say? Don’t aim for your videos, blog post or any other social media shares to go viral. Aim to share great and entertaining content and who knows who might catch it.

Please comment with any ideas or what you feel are some of the reasons videos go viral


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7 Days of Blogging – The 4-letter Word

 

beachWow. As much as I am enjoying writing my 7 days of blogging, my self-imposed challenge is not going well, timing-wise. I have discovered quite quickly just how important it is to PLAN AHEAD! I thought for sure I’d have the time every day to write a blog. How hard can it be? Well, I discovered quickly that TIME is a huge factor in blogging. This is why blog #4, is about that new 4-letter word: blog.

I did some research, and I know that I am not the only one who struggles with finding the time to do it right. It is important to supply good content, not just writing about “nothing”. Yes, I know, Seinfeld made millions being a show about nothing, but little old me or others who are trying to carve their niche, are finding out quickly that there are millions blogging, but not everyone is being read.

“Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.” 

This Benjamin Franklin quote is spot on, and I’ve also heard that when you start your own blog, be prepared to have two months worth of writing done in advance. This is so that if you get into a time crunch (as I did) you have content ready to post. I truly thought, an hour or two of writing a day, “This will be fun!” But unfortunately I did not take life into account and sometimes other do priorities pop up. Unexpected asks that are just as, or more important than the timing of your blog post.

I am also struggling with what is my blog going to be about? Many claim that a streamlined process and a focused topic is the only way to go. But what if I prefer to muse on life? To tell stories about my pets or crazy travel experiences? To share a good recipe once in awhile? Or simply how I feel about something at that moment in time? Musing on everyday life is preferred by me for now, therefore that will be my start. That decision has been made at least. I want to brand myself and I would like to blog, but it has to be “me.” TBD (“To Be Determined” – I don’t always know acronyms or sometimes simply make them up, therefore don’t assume others know them!) there might be one or two versions of “me” in regards to branding myself!

Luckily there’s some great advice out there. Julie Deneen writes, “Developing an online presence is like building a sand castle at the water’s edge.” Having built a few sand castles in my time, I can relate to that statement! I perked up when I saw her advice about the six word brand. Hmmm, choosing six words to describe me? Then from those six come up with six more words for each that can be more specific descriptions and/or variations. This is how to build my brand? How do I pare it down to six? TBE (“To Be Explored” – now that’s an acronym I just made up, see how I am?) in the future because the wheels are turning as to how you can make things tie in better when you have base words to work from.

Of course this all smacks of planning and organization, but I’m discovering that is what is needed to get good at blogging. Some of you may scoff, “Pishposh! If one can truly write, it comes easy!”

PISHPOSH

Well, my future blog will have to be “me” and I state again, the biggest lesson learned for me this week was about timing and preparation. Therefore, before I launch, I will do some serious planning, writing, brainstorming, re-writing, scheduling, re-writing, and figuring out how to showcase different things in different ways across different platforms.

When you walk the right beach, you are always bound to find a few gems. So yes, the stories will come, but even if you have them, if they aren’t written and that deadline pops up, you may find yourself exclaiming another 4-letter word!

~Christine Dietsche

 

 


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People use the Internet and social media to find information – provide it! If it is difficult for people to easily find information, they will quickly move on to another option. A web presence has become a necessity for businesses to succeed. Today, the first thing we do to find information is not to go to the Yellow pages or the encyclopedia, but to search the Internet. If you ask a friend for a recommendation, you are likely to ask via social media and, when given a recommendation, you will be told to “check out their website.”

I know some people will disagree, but I firmly believe that if you don’t have a presence on the web, you lose credibility. Before you start engaging on other social media, make sure you have a website up and running and that it contains the information that people will look for – in a user-friendly format. Have a restaurant or café? Make sure there is at least a sample menu. People want to know (depending on the sort of business) about the company, your mission, hours, directions, contact information, prices, specials, happy hours, special events, community involvement, links to partners, where to go for help, staff, management, board members, FAQs, interesting facts, how to get involved, press releases, etc. What questions are you asked on a regular basis? What information is most requested? Unless there is a privacy concern, consider putting this info on your website.

Once you have your key information source available (your website), take your business to applicable social medias. Do your homework to determine the best options for reaching your particular audience and then add one or two channels at a time. This will allow you to keep your media responsibilities manageable. Make sure your website and media sites link to each other, making the search for information as seamless as possible. Keep your information up-to-date and post regularly.

The Internet and social media have made it possible to be almost anywhere and everywhere. Make sure your potential and current customers, clients, supporters, and fans can find you quickly and easily by using these available and affordable communication tools.


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WHERE TO START

Each of these is, of course, dependent on the type of business, organization, or mission.

  • What are you looking to achieve on social media?
  • Look at what channels are being used by similar businesses.
  • Create an account, then sit back and “listen”. Search for relevant keywords and follow the conversations. Get a feel for the channel before posting or commenting.
  • Decide on what “voice” you wish to use for your posts. Even if you have multiple people making posts, they should all be following the same format, goals, and tone.
  • Develop questions that support your goals and objectives.
  • Ask friends, relatives, and regular, recognizable customers for their thoughts and preferences.
  • Survey your current followers for thoughts and ideas of what they would like to see. What channels do they prefer? What are their likes and dislikes?
  • Use focus groups.
  • Listen to the responses. Each answer provides insight and can bring new perspectives.


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Who Are You Personally & Professionally In Social Media?

 

Who are you personally? Who are you professionally? Who are you in social media? This question is becoming even more vital as our lives become more public through social media.

It’s an issue that’s important to me because as I transition from one career to another, I’m trying to figure out how much of who I am personally is important to my new profession. I’ve spent months agonizing over how much of my personal self to share with my professional and public self. Does it matter that I’m an avid “The Big Bang Theory” fan? Would this be the one connection that sets me apart from others? What makes me different from anyone else who could do the very same work?

What does Google and the results say about my conundrum? There’s no consensus that I can find. Some articles say to keep personal and professional separate. Others say to build a brand that combines the two. Indeed, it is an individual decision.

I did find an article worth mentioning. One about.com article went in depth about the options.

You can check it out here.

http://mobileoffice.about.com/od/softwarewebapps/a/managing-social-media-profiles.htm

What am I going to do? For better and for worse, I am who I am. I’m going with my brand “Dawnerd”—a combination of my old college nickname “Dawner” and my adopted brand—that of a “nerd” which happens to be part of the new nickname. I plan on using different social media for separate personal and professional matters.  Facebook is personal. LinkedIn is professional. I also am fully aware that both worlds could collide at any time. It’s a risk I’m willing to take in order to be true to who I am.

What are your thoughts on this? I look forward to reading and responding to them.