Social Media Week Chicago 2013 – Wrap Up!

Social Media Week 2013 has officially wrapped up here in Chicago and I’m happy to say I survived, barely!!  It’s these conferences and idea sharing sessions that inspire me and get me re-invigorated.  I met some wonderful people and I have to say that these people are not just colleagues, but friends!

As I reflect back on the week, I wanted to share some statistics…

Maybe some of you can relate??!!

I walked a total of 16.8 miles

Monday – 5.9 Miles

Tuesday – 4.2 Miles

Wednesday – 3.0 Miles

Thursday – 3.5 Miles

Friday – 30 feet

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Out of 185 #SMWChicago Events, I attended 25 Events.  Some I registered for, some I crashed!

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I cultivated 2 painful foot blisters

Happy Feet

I wrote 13 pages of notes

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I sent 71 Tweets

Unknown-3 Unknown-2

This was my most popular tweet.

  • Responses  4
  • Retweets  3
  • Replies  1
  • Reach  122.3k

I gained 43 followers on Twitter

I followed 84 new accounts

I was mentioned 86 times

I was retweeted 26 times

75% of my followers are Men

My Sprout Social Account gave me all these statistics!!  I love their platform!!

Men between the ages of 35 and 44 are the leading demographic

Twitter-Stats

I drank 8 cups of Starbucks coffee

home_img1_starbucks

My most precious belonging was:

iphone-5-wall-usb-charger

Finally, I introduced one very weary British attendee to Ranch dressing and Garrett’s Chicago Mix Popcorn…

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thumb_600Have I forgotten anything??

exhaustedI’m exhausted!!

An Open Letter to Facebook… (Let’s Face it, this is a Blog-o-vention!!)

Dear Facebook,

We need to talk!!  (Famous dreaded words!!)  We have had a love affair for many years!  I love so many things about you.  I love that we know the same people, you remind me not to forget my friend’s birthday, you’re there for all the funny moments and all the sad moments.  You are a big part of my life, schmoopie, on both a personal and professional level.  I spend more time with you than my own family.  (Yikes!!)  But, I’ve been noticing some changes in your behavior over the last few months, so I’m staging this blog-o-vention!!  I’ve been unhappy with the information that you’ve been “feeding” me for sometime.

Breaking News

When you made changes to my timeline or to my wall or to my messages, I didn’t complain, I was happy about the change, change is good!  Right??  (Right!!)  So, I have to ask, what the heck is going on with your “News Feed”????  (Sigh…)

It’s time I put my foot down about what you call a “News Feed”!  What, in the name of Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, is going on here??  Sheesh!!  Why are old (And I mean Ancient!!  At least 8 hours…) stories showing up at the top of my News Feed?  (Seriously??!! Yes!!)  I know that when people comment on a story that is older, your algorithm throws the story at the top of my “News Feed”.  For heavens sake!!!  When I check my News Feed, I expect to see “News”!!  Not a story from 8 hours ago!!  That’s what we call, “Old News”!!  See the definition of NEWS below as provided by a google search…  Notice option #1??  Hello??!!

News Definition

Yes, I know that I can change the feed to reflect either “Top Stories” or “Most Recent”, however, changing the filter to “Most Recent” doesn’t mean that you get the “Most Recent” news!  Yet, I still get news stories from the 2006.

So, my dear, we have to make a change to the way we operate.  Let’s keep the “News Feed” the “News Feed” and not the “History Feed”!!  There are a lot of options out there for a gal like me.  But I’m not ready to give up on you and I don’t want anyone else to give up on you either!  Please, Facebook, make my “History Feed” a “News Feed” again!!

With Love,

Marina C.

Socialty

Your Favorite Criminals Coming to a Pinterest Feed Near You!!

When I’m on Pinterest, I’m usually prepared to see lamps made from sea shells and mason jars, the season’s latest make-up trend and some cool home decor.  However, there’s a new trend for Pinterest on the horizon…  Be prepared to see your favorite wanted criminals in your feed!

Social Media Wanted Poster

I was scrolling through my Twitter news feed the other day when I came across a post by my local police department…

Joliet Police (JolietPolice) on Twitter

The police department is using Pinterest to highlight their wanted criminals!!  Brilliant!

I did a little more digging and found an article in the Chicago Tribune that talks about the progressive move by the Joliet Police Department.  The Joliet Police Department regard their Pinterest Board for Wanted Criminals their own most wanted list.  They also have boards for missing persons and a board for people they’re trying to identify.  Check out all their boards here.  While you’re at it, check out our Pinterest Boards!!

Can you think of a new way to start using social media sites??  We’ve got our thinking caps on…

Zombie is the New Vampire

With the popularity of The Walking Dead and the Zombie movie Warm Bodies and no decent vampire series on t.v., Zombie’s and a potential Zombie Apocolypse are all the rage!!  Social Media has taken notice and so has Socialty!!  Here’s a nifty info-graphic to feed your Zombie need.  Personally, I’m on the hunt for a vampire info-graphic, but I digress…

 

zombie-infographic

Who’s your favorite Zombie to avoid?  I do my best to avoid the Zombie Bride…  scariest of the all!!  brrr…gives me the shivers!!!

Rules to Live by, When You’re Making Up the Rules as You Go Along

Before the Jaws theme plays us off the stage and before I fall into a blissful slumber, we wanted to post a short blog about the “Rules of Social Media.”  Well, really an info graphic about it…  Because, well, you know at Socialty, we LOVE, and I mean LOVE, a good info graphic.

<<Pause to watch Adele sing>>

As I post this blog, I’ve been re-reading the info graphic and thinking about the rules listed on the graphic.  These are not just “rules,” these are solid business practices that are habit.  There are no second thoughts about any of the rules below.  Remember, they are not suggestions, they’re Rules to Live by, when we’re still making up the Rules as we go along.

Social Media is a constantly changing beast.  What’s your favorite rule blow?  If you could add a rule,what would it be?  We want to hear from you!!

Rules of Social Media Graphic

Hey, Small Businesses!! Are you sure about that??

Socialty loves info graphics!!  So much so, that we have a whole board dedicated to info graphics on Pinterest!!  I recently found this info graphic about social media that I found interesting.  Many small business owners know “just enough” when it comes to social media.  However, they may miss their target audience by focusing on the wrong social media outlet.

The following info graphic may point you to the correct site, but navigating the site and using it properly takes a skilled hand, like Socialty.  You all know what we do, right?  We handle all your online marketing and reputation management for your small business.  When you’re ready for the next level, contact us, we know what you need!

Follow us – Like Us – Plus Us – Stalk Us – We dare you!!!

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

LinkedIn

Google+

infographic-how-to-brand-yourself-an-expert-on-social-media

Twitter Trends and Tragedies of 2012

Everyone can harness the amazing capabilities of social media sites like Twitter to strengthen a business. Let’s look at the top Twitter trends from last year.  And… Just when you thought you were done reading 2012 re-caps, here we are with another!

Lauren Leto, the creator of the website Texts From Last Night, once said, “Twitter provides us with a wonderful platform to discuss/confront societal problems. We trend Justin Bieber instead.” It’s funny – unavoidably, spirit-crushingly true, but funny nonetheless. The truth is that mass communication tools have always been very powerful. Yet they have probably always been wasted on spreading trivial news and gossip. The telephone changed the world, connecting people across vast distances … so they could exchange recipes or gossip about extramarital affairs. If you look back at human history, you likely can find that letters delivered by horseback, hieroglyphics, and maybe cave paintings have been misused by someone to tell someone else something that was unimportant.

Social media “is what it is,” as my father liked to say (about pretty much anything). It’s up to each one of us – and yes, that includes you – to harness its amazing capabilities into something useful. Socialty can help you make the most out of Twitter, and many other social media services. We help clients leverage social media into something that works for you and works to strengthen your business.

Let’s take a look at the top Twitter trends from last year.

Among the famous people who started their own Twitter accounts in 2012 are soccer legend Pele (@pele), rock icon Neil Young (@neilyoung) and Pope Benedict XVI (@pontifex). According to ABC News, on December 10th the Pope had 608 thousand followers, and that was before his account’s first tweet. One month later, 1.4 million and counting.

Twitter has 140 million active users, and 1 billion tweets are sent about every 60 hours.

The most retweeted message of 2012 was from Barack Obama, who sent “Four more years.” and a picture of his wife hugging him. This low-key celebration of his re-election as President of the United States was retweeted over 800 thousand times and favorited by 300 thousand users. A distant second was pop singer Justin Bieber’s heartfelt message “RIP Avalanna. i love you” when a 6-year-old fan he had befriended died of brain cancer. The message had 224 thousand retweets.

ABC News listed several “Conversations of the Year,” topics that drove messaging through the roof in 2012. These include the aforementioned U.S. national elections, the Summer Olympics in London, and the February 11th death of singer Whitney Houston.

Other important moments for the Twitter service in 2012 involved the boundaries of human life on our planet, and the exploration of another. Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking skydive from the edge of space was one of Twitter’s “Conversations of the Year,” according to ABC News. Other notable tweets that were viewed by millions included live images of Hurricane Sandy – tweeted to Earth from astronauts aboard the International Space Station, live updates of the NASA mission to Mars as Jet Propulsion Laboratory tweeted from the shuttle’s command center as the Curiosity rover touched down on the Red Planet, and a tweet by film director and part-time adventurer James Cameron – sent from over 35 thousand feet under the ocean during a dive to bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Another cool look back at the top trends on Twitter in 2012 was published by the blog at HootSuite. (HootSuite is a Canadian social media management system that helps users to manage multiple social media accounts.)

HootSuite pointed out that 2012 on Twitter was all about passion, patriotism and battles, with the Summer Olympics and the U.S. elections as its two main examples. I think we all read some heated and grouchy if not downright mean messages. According to HootSuite, election Tweets peaked at over 320 thousand per minute, as the blogger asks us “Should the traditional saying, ‘no politics at the dinner table’ apply to Twitter as well?”

But HootSuite also noted that events like Hurricane Sandy, in which people are afraid or even helpless in the face of disaster or tragedy, show that Twitter and other social media can be a source of support, info and news. “In the aftermath of Sandy’s massive destruction, social became a channel for the world to help and send warm thoughts to those left in the dark,” the blog said.

I think we all should remember Twitter in 2012 for being a way people deal with and make it through life’s difficulties, just like in years past and during important global events. (The Arab Spring Uprisings leap to mind.) In 2012 we saw widespread power outages in and around New York City and other northeastern metropolitan areas – and we also saw simple gestures of kindness and solidarity like store owners stringing together “power strips” and giving free electricity access to passersby. The iPhone, Android smartphones and other “smart” devices proved their value to many, as we saw thousands of people who otherwise had no way to contact far away friends and family, using social media as much as they used simple phone calls as a lifeline. In 2012 we again saw Twitter used as a way for ordinary citizens to communicate with authority figures. Small-town mayors and other civil servants monitored Twitter and responded to questions, complaints, and even the occasional pleas for help, with the touch of a few buttons or a few taps on a touch-screen monitor.

Twitter in 2012 was also a major source of information for consumers. Tech products, like the Apple iPhone and iPad, drove major spikes in tweet traffic as tech experts and clueless “newbies” alike talked back and forth about upcoming items, when they’d be released and whether or not they were worth buying. Likewise, corporations continued to learn that a fan-base on Twitter can turn from a powerful help into a harmful critic if social media managers aren’t careful. Blogger Seth Fiegerman at Mashable compiled “11 Biggest Social Media Disasters of 2012” – among them:

  1. McDonald’s attempt to get #mcdstories trending, only to have the hashtag hijacked with fast food horror stories
  2. Snickers candy bars being eaten by British celebs in Twitter pics, which wouldn’t have been bad if the company knew that it’s illegal in the U.K. if it isn’t revealed as a paid endorsement
  3. Chick-Fil-A’s founder’s anti-same-sex marriage stance, which ignited many flame wars across social media
  4. Chick-Fil-A’s subsequent related controversy over whether or not the company created a fake Facebook account to defend the company after a Jim Hensen’s Creature Shop Puppet toy recall (ironically, a fake online accounts is called a “sock puppet”)
  5. American Apparel’s attempt to turn Hurricane Sandy into a promotional opportunity, offering 20% off for those in states affected by the storm, in case they were “bored.”

So with the old year behind us and 2013 well underway, we at Socialty hope you’ll remember to the highlights and lowlights of 2012 from Twitter and other social media platforms. And if you haven’t already, contact us to provide you with top-of-the-line social media services for your business. We provide high-quality content and account management, so in 12 months when you look back at 2013 you can say “I’m glad I had Socialty in 2013 to help keep our business growing!”

 

Sources for “Twitter Trends and Tragedies of 2012” were:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/12/top-twitter-trends-of-2012/

http://blog.hootsuite.com/twitter-trends-2012/

http://mashable.com/2012/11/25/social-media-business-disasters-2012/

 

 

Keywords:  Twitter, social media, 2012, HootSuite, business, ABC News, Socialty Inc., Hurricane Sandy

 

It’s Better To Have a Short Memory On Social Media

“They said WHAT?!” 

Leaving the past in the past is hard to do in any area of life, but it’s one of the most important strengths of successful businessmen and businesswomen. If another company or individual has written something negative about you on social media, it’s beneficial for you to work out the differences and move forward.

It’s ok if you personally dislike certain comments and it’s ok to disapprove if another firm conducts itself in an unethical way, but that behavior always reflects poorly on them. Don’t make it worse and don’t let emotional responses get in your way. Making money, attracting new customers and expanding your own business are your important goals. Regardless of problems on social media, take a deep breath and move forward.

One of the most famous businessmen in the world is Ted Turner, the founder of American cable television channels TBS, TNT and CNN, former Vice Chairman of Time Warner and former owner of the Atlanta Braves and World Championship Wrestling sports organizations. For decades, Turner held a grudge against rival media mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose businesses include cable network FOX News.

In 2003, after Turner called Murdoch a “warmonger” and criticized FOX News during a speech, British newspaper The Guardian recounted that their decades-long rivalry had begun during a 1983 yacht race, when a boat sponsored by Murdoch crashed into and sank Turner’s boat. Turner was so enraged that he had challenged Murdoch to a fight, offering to televise it. “When Mr. Murdoch launched Fox News in 1996 as a direct competitor to CNN, Mr. Turner said he was ‘looking forward to squishing Rupert like a bug’,” The Guardian continues. “He also compared his rival to Adolf Hitler. ‘How do you make peace with a mega-maniac?’ Mr. Turner once said of Mr. Murdoch.”

Like many of us, as years go by, Turner has softened. Known as a staunch supporter of environmental causes, as a land preservationist, and as a philanthropist – he once gave $1 billion to help the U.N. create the United Nations Foundation charity – Turner said on his 70th birthday in 2008 that he had made peace with Murdoch. Turner had read that Murdoch’s company NewsCorp “was going green” and had sent Murdoch an encouraging and congratulatory letter. Murdoch wrote back and the two eventually had lunch together at one of Ted’s Montana Grill restaurants.

In any business, not just at the heights of international corporations, learning to leave the past behind and move forward is a sign of true professionalism. It doesn’t matter if you’re running your own small business, managing social media on behalf of your boss, or just trying to get along with customers on Facebook, you will face conflict. It’s how you deal with conflict that matters. Most importantly, you must strive to leave the past in the past. Do what is needed for your business today. The first step must be taken every morning when you get out of bed, and that is to let go of animosity, negativity, and hard feelings. Start fresh!

Source for The Guardian article quoted above:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2003/apr/25/newscorporation.pressandpublishing

Source for Turner’s 2008 comments (Fora.tv video):

www.dailymotion.com/video/xgk3yp_ted-turner-and-rupert-murdoch-bury-the-hatchet_news

tags: professionalism, business management, conflict resolution, small business, Ted Turner, Rupert Murdoch, CNN, FOX News

When it’s time to “cut the cord” we’re here to help…

Life isn’t always fair, and if you’re a business owner we’re sure you know that the business world is a lot like life. You have to deal with a lot of different problems, you have to be prepared for a multitude of possibilities, and a business will usually go through a crisis or twelve every year.

Socialty wants to relieve some of your stress by helping to expand and maintain your business. Having a website and using social media platforms make the playing field more level for small business owners around the world. Your online presence helps you to foster good relationships with your customers and to spread the word about your brand to new people.

Twenty-five years ago it may have been sufficient for your parents to write down names and numbers in a Rolodex or to input them on an Excel spreadsheet. (Raise your hand if you remember Lotus 1-2-3!)

Social media services like Twitter and Facebook can help you build your clientele, but then it’s also critical that your business plan and budget include making the effort to work on the upkeep. Maintaining your existing customers as repeat visitors is usually tied to consistently updating your social media accounts, and that’s where Socialty can give you some expert help!

You don’t live in your parents’ business world and nowadays almost every small business can benefit by using social media. But sometimes it’s hard to take that first step. One legitimate concern is “Am I spreading myself too thin?” If you can’t find time to utilize Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, perhaps the best choice is to get a pro to do it on your behalf. Sometimes you want to get it done, but it’s a matter of money. However, as the old saying goes, you “have to spend it to make it.” And although social media may seem like a waste of time to some people, there are mountains of studies and plenty of evidence that the SMART, WELL-MANAGED and PREPARED business managers are catching up with the rest.

The trick to social media positioning really comes with understanding that customers and clients everywhere are basically alike. They want to be respected, valued and treated like their dollars matter. Using social media is great even if you just post the same boring printable coupon 5 times a month, but it’s REALLY awesome if you can have a lively, thought-provoking discussion about your service, or a fun and entertaining blog article for your customers to send along to a friend!

Your business won’t necessarily need to set up five social media pages across all the different sites. It’s unnecessary and usually it results in less than satisfactory results. Instead you can have Socialty establish a Facebook timeline with a beautiful image gallery, or a popular Twitter feed with a lot of new followers. It takes time to build success and it’s worth it to focus on quality, not quantity.

Whether you want Socialty to help you develop business contacts on LinkedIn or to help with attention-grabbing corporate e-mails, it’s important as a business for your social media to reflect your values and beliefs. That’s the easiest system to build trust and establish real and lasting relationships with customers. Sure, you can see when a longtime client is having a birthday. With Socialty you could also have the ability to rest easier, knowing that every one of the clients who follow your social media will receive a birthday e-mail and a special offer to go with it!

The theme to a long-running sitcom went like this:

“Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.”

So make sure your customers feel like that.

And don’t just charge ahead without a strong plan for social media positioning. On Google search for “social media foul-up” and you’ll get over 20 million results. Stay connected with clients but do so with the confidence that your business won’t be fodder for a funny story starting with, “Hey, did you see that tweet they sent out?” Socialty Inc. can help you KEEP SOCIAL AND CARRY ON!

What can an online presence do for your small business?

As 2013 approaches, the American small business faces as many challenges as it ever has. Finding the right people, getting fair prices, collecting payments, accessing potential customers, keeping up with demand, finding ways to grow, accessing necessary capital, and affording marketing are all issues that business owners may lose sleep over.

However hard it is out there, having a little help can make a big difference! That’s what Socialty is here for. At Socialty we can help you with customer access, leading to new growth, new revenue, and new success! By leveraging social media and letting Socialty help you to manage your company’s online marketing, you can relieve your stress and improve your bottom line.

Perhaps you’ve already set up a Twitter account, a Facebook business page, or maybe you even started a blog. How can you really leverage your Social Media Outlets and make it work for you? How can you use these online tools to attract new customers for your business? Utilizing social media correctly often requires remembering a simple rule of thumb: simply put, your following will mostly include the people who have done business with you. So to encourage repeat business and attract new customers, Socialty can help you set up one, two, or all of the following ideas!

A popular way to leverage social media is an online promotion. Take a product or service and offer a discount to your online fans. Posting a printable 10% off coupon (with the proper maximum value and/or “limited time only” text) could be a great start! Large companies use this kind of incentive to bring customers into their stores and restaurants all the time, and it improves word-of-mouth (“sharing”) advertising from customer to those all-important friends of the customer!

Use your blog or Twitter account to combine a compelling offer with interesting content. If you own a restaurant, for example, you can get Socialty to help you write and publish a weekly message about new menu items. But you could also have an online poll asking for anonymous feedback about a new dish. Or ask followers to suggest improvements, with the best idea tied to a contest or in-store event. Then take pictures and Socialty can “tweet” them to all your online customers.

Always continue to encourage customers to sign up for an e-newsletter or e-mail offers. You can enter the new registrants into a monthly drawing for a free item or discount. Keeping a constant, steady, but unobtrusive amount of information flowing from your business to the social media communities is the key! (And it’s also Socialty’s specialty!) Once established, you want to keep the online relationship active, because whether they’re a daily customer or someone who purchased something once last year, it’s all about the potential return!

Here’s a true story from my own life: as I wrote this blog, I was about to celebrate my birthday. In the back of my mind, I was wondering where my family and I should have a fancy dinner … I logged on to Facebook, and a locally owned restaurant (where I dine infrequently) had announced a menu change. They had shared a .PDF document of their brand-new menu. I viewed it and thought “I’ll have to go back there someday” … but I just went on with my day. A few hours later, I received an e-mail from the same restaurant. It turns out I had filled out my date of birth when I signed up for e-mail offers, and of course, it was an offer for a free entrée! I called my spouse and set up the birthday dinner.

Without these two online social media efforts, would this business be earning money from my family and friends on this occasion? Probably not. It always pays to advertise, and social media can and will provide your business with more and more leads, referrals, and revenue as the years go on.

There are many different methods of using social media to attract people to your business. Contact Socialty and start strengthening your existing online presence today! We help small businesses to utilize all the social media sites and services to improve relationships with customers.

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