Mistakes Will Happen

In the past few weeks we have been discussing a lot about how easy it is for businesses to make mistakes online and how those mistakes can severly damage the reputation of the business and or that of the individual responsible. Rebekah Radice recently wrote a blog titled, “Facebook Mistakes Small Businesses Make (and How to Fix Them).” The blog post focuses on how small businesses mistakenly use Facebook. Rebekah starts off by basically saying that mistakes are inevitable, that small businesses have and will make mistakes on Facebook. I can’t help but agree with her. I think any time a human is responsible for an action, it leaves the door for mistakes to happen. Humans make mistakes. It’s part of our nature.

However, the main idea of the blog, is the Facebook mistakes that go unnoticed. It’s not so much the obvious mistakes such as  inappropriate comments, but the behind the scenes marketing mistakes such as missed opportunities. There’s nothing worse than missed opportunities when it comes to marketing. It is important to take full advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. “While Facebook continues to change the rules, you must make the most of every opportunity.”

According to Rebekah, the first Facebook mistake small businesses make is not completing the “about” section. She mentions that this area is one of the top places fans will visit. This is very true. This is the first place the fans will go to when they visit the page because they want to know what you’re all about. If there is little or no information in this part of your page, the people will be discouraged and left uninterested. The next mistake brought up is lack of variety in content posted. “Would you be able to tell your story through a simple status update? Probably not.” Rebekah makes a good point that the use of graphics and videos can help engage the audience and keep them coming back for more. Different media types can also attract new audiences. The next mistake is one that directly relates to social media marketing. “Not using Facebook insights.” This involves not checking your stats including audience statistics, interaction, and content engagement. These are metrics that should be looked at and kept track of so you as a small business, can determine what worked best and can continue to head in that direction. The last mistake is one that I’m not quite sure if I fully agree with. It deals with the cover photo or lack there of. Rebekah’s argument is that the cover photo gives you the chance to immediately convey the details about your company to anyone who visits your page. I personally don’t think the cover photo carries too much importance. I believe it generally goes unnoticed and people could careless about what your cover photo is or says. But for the most part I do agree with Rebekah and her thoughts on missed opportunities that business tend to make on Facebook.

http://rebekahradice.com/facebook-mistakes-small-businesses-make/

What’s Next?

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with college over the past eight years, as I think most students do. There have been a lot of emotions as well as a lot of memorable moments. But as graduation day inches closer and the journey comes to an end, I cannot wait to be done and begin a whole new journey in my life. I’ve thought a lot about my post graduation plans and as the  days go by, I’ve started to put that plan into action. Most of the steps I have started to take largely involve social media.

My first step was to create a Linkedin profile. I had heard from multiple people in the professional world that it would be a good idea to join Linkedin now that I am about to enter into this world. I was informed that it is a good source for networking and connecting with the people and businesses that could be valuable when trying to start my career and finding a job in my field. Since joining Linkedin, I have connected with top social media experts, joined social media groups, and followed a few major brands that I am interested in pursuing a career at.

I’ve also used other social media channels such as Twitter to reach out to this particular audience. I’ve searched out people that I want to start interacting with to ensure that they become familiar with my name and face. I have also tried to increase my Twitter usage as well as on my other social media sites to show that I understand social media and actively use it. Since my future career will be surrounded by social media and depend on my ability to use it, I need to prove to those potential employers that I have experience with it and know how to use it effectively. For anyone entering into the business world or looking for a new job, social media can be an easy way to get in contact with the people who can help you along the way. For me personally, as someone trying to start a career in social media, it plays an even bigger role in my pursuit of success.

Think Before You Post

There have many cases of social media misuse that resulted in major reputation damage for some popular brands. Any time a person is responsible for producing content, you run the risk of something being said that shouldn’t be. Mistakes like this can happen due to lack of knowledge, misinformation, unstable emotions, or just pure stupidity as was the case with APS Superintendent Winston Brooks. Both cooperate brand and individual reputations can easily be harmed from a single Tweet. It’s important to be aware of how quickly information on social media spreads and how many people can see it.

No one can deny the power of social media. With its universal capabilities and influential stature, it’s no wonder that it can cause a number of social and ethical issues. The best solution is using caution when getting involved with social media and the Internet in general. You never know who’s going to see your post so you should always think twice before clicking. Think about what it is you are about to say and if you really think it is appropriate. If it’s something you think will offend some people or could hurt someone’s feelings, you probably shouldn’t be posting it on social media for the world to see. Some thoughts should just be kept to yourself. I know sometimes in the heat of the moment it can be hard to bite your tongue and keep your opinions to yourself but it’s better than having your whole online reputation tarnished because you just had to post that comment. Venting online is never a smart idea. Especially for a respected professional. Keep your private life and business life separate.

We have discussed professionalism through out the past few weeks and I think a good way to avoid misusing social media is to fully embrace what it means to be a professional. A professional acts like a professional in every situation, always being aware of their actions and the consequences they can have. If you want to keep a good online reputation and the respect of others whether you’re a large global corporation or a normal citizen, be aware of who your audience is and what type of affect your words can have.

An Active Life is a Happy Life

Staying active is not only good for your health but it’s good for you mind too. Being active can mean many different things. Physically, staying active keeps you in shape and your body healthy. It can keep you looking young as well as feeling young. Exercise is important for everyone no matter what your age is. Our body are meant to move around and experience physical activity. There are many ways you can stay active such as playing sports, biking, hiking, or even just by going on evening walks through your neighborhood with y  our family or your dog.

Staying active can also mean keeping your mind active. Learning new things everyday and constantly challenging yourself and your ability. Doing activities that require a lot of thinking can help prevent mental diseases or prolong normal ability. Brain stimulating activities like reading, doing crossword puzzles, and even playing certain games are like exercise for your brain. It works out the muscles of the brain and keeps it young and alert. This type of activity is just as important as physical activity when it comes to your well being.

And of course staying active can mean everything in between. An active life means always being active in anything you do. You should always be actively trying to improve yourself. Everyday you should wake up wanting to be a better person than you were yesterday. You should be actively striving for your goals and doing everything you need to in order to reach them. You can even be active in your community. Getting out there and standing up for what you believe in. Nothing ever changes if nobody gets out there and makes it happen. The people who create change are the ones who choose to be active and put in the effort. Being active is a positive and respectable quality to have. It gives you something to do and look forward to. Any type of constructive activity will have an influence on your mood and overall attitude about life. It not only improves your life but the lives of the people around you and that feeling alone can bring you great happiness.

What it’s Like to Be a Social Media Specialist

http://www.digitalsherpa.com/blog/the-typical-day-of-a-social-media-specialist/

The topic of this blog post by Sarah Mincher is the job of a social media specialist. This is the job and career that I want to pursue once I have graduated from school. I have to admit that up until a couple months ago, I did not know there was such a thing as a social media specialist. Of course I knew of social media and the use of social media for marketing but I didn’t know some organizations hire someone specifically to handle their social media content.

I decided about 2 years ago, a little more than half way through my college career, that I wanted to go into the marketing and advertising field. So I started taking classes to get a degree in communications which would allow me to pursue a career in that field. From these classes I learned how important a social media campaign is for organizations in this day and age with the evolution of technology being what it is. I’ve learned how to incorporate social media into a marketing strategy and how to reach your target audience. However, I didn’t learn to much about creating social media content for an organization or how an organization should interact on social media channels. Then I took a class called Social Media Topics and the contents of the class were exactly that. One of the main discussions of the class was the position of a social media specialist.

After learning about what it means to be a social media specialist and what the job entails, I was completely intrigued and know I wanted to be that person. I already have a love for social media and an interest in marketing and communicating an idea to an audience, so why not do something that combines both of these things!

In this blog, Sarah, a social media specialist, describes a typical day in her life. Reading this blog just got me even more excited for a future doing this job. I love how she starts off with “I absolutely love my job.” I can hear her enthusiasm about what she does through out the post. She definitely enjoys her job as a social media specialist and I can see why!

Building an Effective Website

Branding is essantial for any company if they want to be successful and have an edge in the market. Branding goes hand in hand with marketing and is equally as important when it comes to selling a product or idea. BrandInsightBlog is a branding blog that offers advice and ideas for branding your business. I read a post from this blog titled, How to create a website that works for your brand by John Furgurson. This particular post focuses on branding through your companies website.

Ferguson says it is possible to have  a “branded” website and still sell products. “You really can have a website that performs well AND presents a strong brand message.” I agree with John on this thought. I think if you do it right, a website can deliver a message that represents the brand image as well as induce purchases and customer activity. He goes on to explain the 4 critical elements of website design and effective web development that works for both branding and selling.

1. A concept.

Like Furgurson, I agree that a concept is the foundation for any website and is an essential element. The concept through words, images, and technical features create a first impression that can with capture the audiences attention or loose it immediately.

2. A clear call to action

This is a clear idea of what action you want the audience to do.These actions will lead them around the website and to the place you as a company want them to go.

3. Differentiating elements

Separating yourself from your competition is the best thing you can do in any situation. Especially in marketing. According to Ferguson, “A good story is your best differentiating element. As the old saying goes, facts tell but stories sell,” I think he makes a very good point. Stories are unique and help make the experience more personal as well as interesting. John mentions the idea of using a game as a differentiating element. I have seen this concept before and I agree it can be effective if it is appropriate or relevant for that particular  brand.

4. Reasons to believe

Here it mentions incorporating facts and market research to back up claims as well as testimonials and customer reviews. I think this is an important section to include in the website. I am one of those people who likes to read reviews from previous customers to help with making my decision. Reading these facts along with comments from actual people that reinforce the facts, can have a huge impact on peoples decision. Like John says, “People make emotional decisions, but they often need facts to justify what they’ve already decided.”

A company’s website should both be “branded” as well as aimed towards the consumer market and these 4 main elements are all needed to work together in achieving the best design to do this.

http://www.brandinsightblog.com/2015/03/27/how-to-create-a-website-that-works-for-your-brand/

What Does it Mean to Be a Professional?

To me a professional is someone who is knowledgeable and experienced on a specific topic. It is someone who has earned the trust of others and the right to be called a professional. With the technology we have now, it is easier for people to take on the role and jobs of a professional. Technology has made it so you can work from almost any where and still provide a service. But these people might not always be the most professional. Even though it is easier to access the professional world today in the 21st century, and sometimes it doesn’t take quite as much education to be considered a “professional,” I would still describe a professional as being knowledgeable, respectful, and abides by the rules put in place for them.

A professional is expected to uphold a certain level of standards. This is a very important quality of a true professional. This is how trust is earned. A professional should always act in a professional manner and be cautious of who could be watching. When an employer or client is looking for a potential prospect, they look at that person’s reputation and how professionally they act and react in situations. A person’s reputation and character are closely related to their professionalism. You can tell a lot about how professional a person is by how they act in their every day lives. A professional will always have their profession in mind when making certain decisions.

As someone who is going to be entering the professional world very soon, this is an important concept to remember. For me personally, this means to always act in a professional manner especially when it comes to things like social media and other public platforms. This includes both speaking professionally and interacting with people of the same standards that I myself want to be associated with. You can still have a personal life but you should remember that what you do in your personal life can and will reflect on your professional life. There should be a separation between the two. Part of what it means to be a professional is keeping your own personal opinions and beliefs out of your work.