Author Archives: anisesmith

What Organizations Could Learn From The #VeronicaMarsMovie #Kickstarter

What Organizations Could Learn From The #VeronicaMarsMovie Kickstarter

What Organizations Could Learn From The #VeronicaMarsMovie Kickstarter

What Organizations Could Learn From The #VeronicaMarsMovie Kickstarter

I’ve been a huge advocate of technology, continued growth of technology and our ability to move toward the point where technology would play an even larger role in our lives. I embraced QR codes back in the day when no one even knew what a QR code was, I’ve been working with augmented reality and I have been looking forward to the semantic web.  I won’t even mention my continued outraged that we have not realized our technological potential yet, to the point where we have flying cars. I will feel as if we’ve arrived technologically, when The Jetson’s era of the flying automobiles are standard like sports cars or SUV’s.  I will continue to be a little disappointed that we are still not flying about, speeding above traffic and or zooming our way around traffic jams, as we should be at this point in our lives. I’m not bitter or anything; it’s just an observation.

Well, considering that we are no longer attached to the wall for our phone usage, we carry around pocket-sized computers called mobile devices and we live in an era where said mobile devices have single handedly changed how we communicate.  I can’t be totally disappointed about those advancements but, you know, the flying car thing. In spite of, you know the flying car thing, I am still bowled over by technology and it’s amazing advancements. This is one of the reasons that I continue to be astounded that there are still a percentage of people that have not embraced it yet.  As if anyone would want technology to roll backward to allow those that have not embraced it to wallow in their paper driven comfort zones at the expense of more technological growth, and maybe a few flying cars.  Not bitter. Ok, bygones.

There have been many indications that technology will continue to grow and excel at a quicker rate of speed than ever. The difference in this growth of technology as compared to growth of different industries in the past is that, people, consumers and their unquenchable need to consume information have been driving this technology and social media growth.  People want to share information with their friends, family and colleagues continuously. Social Media platforms have presented the opportunity to do so.

One of the most drastic changes in technology has been the ability for regular, every day people to make a difference by reaching out to people and organizations seamlessly.  Just a few years ago, this would not have been possible. This has had a profound effect on both the people that are reaching out AND the people and / or organizations that have been reached.

This is most evident in how regular everyday folks used their voices online to prompt an action. One of the most amazing displays of social media, used for change happened recently and it was a game-changer because social media was utilized to change a traditional media action.  That action utilized the online fundraising platform Kickstarter to bring back TV show Veronica Mars, which was cancelled after 3 seasons. I never watch the show but that really doesn’t matter. The point here is that THIS was a huge thing. It was amazing example of how; due to social media channels the voices of regular people were heard louder and most importantly prompted an action.

Technology is a given

The power of the people has been a driving force behind social media and has the ability to make tangible changes, when that force and drive are loud enough. The voices were loud and reverberating with the fans in regard to their need to see the series Veronica Mars come to the big screen and that prompted an action.

At one time, when a TV show was cancelled there was just nothing else to be done. There was NO coming back unless the network deemed it so. At best, fans of a cancelled show could try to get a printed petition together and try even harder to get that petition to the powers that be. WELLz, that was then and this is now, times are –a – changin’.

Social Media has given a powerful voice to people that previously had no power to create this kind of change.  Now people have the power to spearhead change, and prompt action, whether it’s getting a petition to The Whitehouse or getting their darling Veronica Mars pushed to the big screen.  In this situation fans felt so passionate about this show that they took matters and fundraising into their own hands by raising the funds needed by way of Kickstarter to get the production of the film moving.

Organizations that remain clueless about the power of the people driving change through social medial should check out the Veronica Mars Kickstarter fundraiser.  Rob Thomas created the project with the goal of raising two million dollars in 30 days and just 11 hours later they HIT their 2 million dollar goal. YES, 11 hours!  Rob’s fundraising team didn’t stop at 2 million dollars, so the fundraising continued. The last time I checked, they were up to $5,702,153. THIS is the power of the people and the power of social media to prompt an action.

Veronica Mars Kickstarter

Veronica Mars Kickstarter

People; have been very social in regard to the media that they’ve consumed and how they’ve share media content with friends, colleagues and family.  The sharing of content has been a powerful driving force behind social media and this is what has made the Veronica Mars Kickstarter fundraiser so successful. This could NOT have been accomplished utilizing traditional media channels and antiquated marketing techniques. Utilizing social media strategically allowed the masses to become the media and they seized that power to make things happen. THIS is why social media cannot and should not be ignored by the many organizations that have been resistant to change.  The power of the people and the share button should not be minimized by anyone, especially organizations in this social media driven era!

Cover of "Veronica Mars"

Cover of Veronica Mars

The Veronica Mars movie project was, I’m sure just one of the many projects to come, that will grow legs and sprint ahead due to the power of social media, community, sharing and the voice of the people.  Organizations must start to recognize the powerful voices of the community and utilize them to reach out to customers, clients and the public at large. The days of marketing teams sitting in their office cranking out pre-packaged messages and making arbitrary decisions are a thing of the past because we do live in a different world now. Those that cancelled the original Veronica Mars TV show, I’m sure are dumbfounded by the power of the people and the use of social media to get this project off the ground.

Organizations must recognize and empower their marketing teams in order to harness the power of social media for the good of the company as well as the good of clients and customers.  Can we say BRAND AMBASSADORS??

Social Media is, now a part of our lives regardless of some organizations that chose to opt out. Advice: Catch up or be left behind and crushed by your competitors.

As usual, I welcome comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. Follow and circle me on Facebook, Twitter or Google +!

Images & Source via: Kickstarter

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Power Up Your #LinkedIn Profile [Slideshow]

Power Up Your #LinkedIn Profile [Slideshow]

Power Up Your #LinkedIn Profile [Slideshow]

Power Up Your #LinkedIn Profile [Slideshow]

LinkedIn is one of the absolute best resources online for pursuing a new career, advancing in your current career, networking or exploring partnership opportunities. There is no greater business focused, social media platform that allows you the opportunity to connect with such a wide range of business people.

I recently spoke to a few young people that were looking for new employment opportunities and they were ALL unaware of the potential lurking behind this powerful career platform. So, I started explaining to them how important it was for them to have a presence on LinkedIn.

Anyone that is in the market for a job or even if a person is just thinking that they will be searching for a new job or opportunity, LinkedIn is the BEST place to start their search. With most employers using social media as an avenue to search for employment candidates, chances are that these employers will start with LinkedIn. So, it is imperative that one should make sure their LinkedIn Profile is up to par and powered up!

LinkedIn can often be overlooked as a part of the jobs search process, because it is rather business oriented as compared to traditional job boards. This platform should be used in addition to traditional job boards. I would even go so far to say that LinkedIn should be used as the primary source for job search because it adds a social and networking aspect that traditional online job boards just do not have.

One of the benefits of LinkedIn is that employers tend to pay way more to list jobs on LinkedIn than a traditional job board. This is an indication that they are willing to do what is necessary to find the best candidate for their available positions.  Companies that are willing to invest more to find great talent will be more likely to offer greater benefits, treat their workers better and do more to make sure that they hold on to their employees because they value them. YOU want to be that candidate and ultimately be the employee that is valued.

So, take a look at the slide show below to give you tips on how to Power Up Your LinkedIn Profile!

As usual, I welcome any comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. You can find me on Google+, Facebook and Twitter, circle and follow. I welcome dialogue!

Superbowl Commercials and How @TIDE Did IT RIGHT

Superbowl Commercials and How @TIDE Did IT RIGHT

Superbowl Commercials and How @TIDE Did IT RIGHT

Superbowl Commercials and How @TIDE Did IT RIGHT

All of my friends are very familiar with my Bleeding Green love for The EAGLES. Due to this I am not overly enthused about The Superbowl, mostly because The Eagles haven’t played in a Superbowl for quite a while. No, I’m not bitter or anything.  Bygones.  So, due to The Eagles perpetual no-show in the Superbowl for so many years, I usually resign myself to indulging in the halftime show if there’s a good act and watching the fabulous commercials.

Well, this year The Eagles looked pretty good even though they didn’t make the Superbowl. I’m not bitter or anything. So, I decided to create a cool Eagles tribute video during the Superbowl hoopla. In addition to video creation, I resigned myself to watching some pretty darn fabulous Superbowl commercials and was actually looking forward to it. I was especially looking forward to the GoDaddy commercial, which was due to show a woman quitting her job live. Considering that 71% of people hate their jobs, this would have been an interesting thing to see.

Did I say that I look forward to the Superbowl commercials because The Eagles usually aren’t playing in the Superbowl? Did I also say that I wasn’t bitter about that? Well, guess what? MY Superbowl commercials were “Leaked” so now my total Superbowl experience has been altered. No EAGLES, No commercials and a halftime show that was high on the “Meh” list.

The marketing teams that decided to “Leak” the commercials, due to the buzz created last year from the leaked commercials by way of social media channels to create a similar buzz may have done themselves a disservice. The creativity of this move was nonexistent.

Tide, on the other hand took creating a buzz to another level with the rocking use of Vine and Twitter. Tide created a fun and amazing line of videos referencing the Superbowl, yet still promoting their product.

What Tide did is an indication of the path that some of the more creative companies will be utilizing to take their marketing strategies to the next level. Companies that really GET where new media marketing is going, will start to utilize much more creative avenues and leverage the many digital marketing platforms that are available to promote their brand.

A slow clap can go either way @Carmax. @Tide is here for the messy ones #GetsItOut #SB48

Mind your wings, please. They can be dangerous @VW @Tide #GetsItOut #SB48

Bear in @beatsmusic ad has serious moves. Our bear? Not so much. Watch out for big bad stains. @Tide#GetsItOut #SB48 

Adding a puppy to the family @Cheerios? Beware of puppy stains. @Tide #GetsItOut #SB48

So, kudos to TIDE for rocking social media, displaying the new direction of marketing and showing that THIS is how a creative digital team get down!

As usual, I welcome any comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. Follow me and circle me, Google+, Facebook and or Twitter. 

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4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse

4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse

4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse

4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse

There will always be companies that are innovators, adapters and sadly those that are incapable of seeing the future of industry. This is the business equivalent to natural selection, unfortunately.

America was once driven by the production of goods and as we transitioned to a more service oriented country, there was an evolution of sorts.  There were companies that adapted and some that didn’t do so well.  Those companies went the route of the steel mills in Allentown, Pa. The decline of a primarily production oriented world to a more service oriented world took a while to totally decline, but the transition of traditional to digital, that we are living through now is moving at a much faster pace toward its demise.

Two examples of the extreme change and fast transition from a traditional to digital world is the release of the Beyonce album, or I should call it the Beyonce Digital Project because that’s what it was. Some are saying, what’s the big deal and who really cares. WELL, we all must take notice because the release of the Beyonce Digital Project was a game changer in the music industry. This album release will change how marketing is done moving forward and this change will not be limited to just the music industry. At one time artists had to go through a series of procedures and promotions to push a new project. Beyonce’s release flipped the script on the entire industry in a mind-blowing move that totally blind sighted the industry. She used the brand that she built by way of social media, to be her own team of brand ambassadors willing to plop down their hard earned money to grab that digital release. In this bold move, Beyonce went directly to the consumer, cutting out any and everyone in the process by releasing her music directly to iTunes to be downloaded digitally. THIS was HUGE and changed the game more that we could ever imagine.

The second instance that displayed a step in a digital direction was Paramount dealing the deathblow to film, as we once knew it.  Paramount will be the first movie studio to go all-digital with the distribution of their films. THIS IS HUGE! At one time, Paramount would release films in 35 mm format, which costs around $2,000.  Now, due to going digital with the future releases of film, they can release films in digital format at around the $100.00 price point. The kicker here is that although this format is cheaper for the movie distributor, the smaller movie houses will incur the brunt of this move at least initially. These smaller and probably mostly independent movie houses will have to shell out upwards of $70,000 to become digital ready. This again, is a huge demonstration of the “adapt or die” philosophy, which will impact some business in an adverse way.

Both of above examples are an indication that we are at the beginning of a full blow digital revolution.  Organizations should take notice of the changes that are happening before their eyes, some will but many won’t. I’ve actually noticed that some organizations are not embracing digital at all but in fact, they are moving back to their toasty non-digital comfort zone.  All indications point toward a mostly digital world so it’s advantageous to embrace the change sooner rather than later. Progress is never comfortable but is inevitable, ready or not.

Although the changes that are happening within organizations are not as extreme as the two examples that I spoke of previously, companies still must adapt to a world that is moving closer to all digital. Below are four relatively simple things that can save your organization from the #DigitalApocalypse.

Concentrating on Content:

Concentrate On Content

Concentrate On Content

There is an ongoing debate about content; it’s effects on SEO, if it should be called Content Marketing and more.  Who cares about all of the back and forth and the correct phrasing, WHATEVER!  What matters is that without content, moving into 2014, you will most definitely be screwed.

The importance of content is irrefutable, you must have it and it must be GREAT. Content will effect your entire digital marketing plan, your social media strategy, your SEO and more. Content creation has become a $118.4 billion industry. Those numbers alone are an indication of the importance of great content. So prepare to become a publisher, outsource your content marketing or essentially become invisible online.

If you think about the importance of content creation it is very logical, if you produce more quality content it increases the amount of content that is available to be indexed by Google. This is especially important after the Hummingbird changes with Google, which was a game changer for websites, indexing and SEO.

NOW, it is just not enough to grab your local black hat SEO dude that promised to get you to the top of Google and have him buy some back links for you. In fact if you do that, you may not need content for quite a while, because Google may penalize your website or your website could even be banned.

At one time the black hat SEO route, to increase search rank was a method that could get results, if only for a short while.  Even if the results were temporary it would allow your neighborhood black hat SEO dude to run out his 3-month contract while looking like the magical SEO guru. NOW that is not enough, so black hat SEO dude may have to step his game up.  The folks over at Google are pretty darn smart and are hip to those tactics. The days of black hat SEO are seriously numbered if not extinct.

Leaving black hat SEO methods behind in favor of content creation is a great route to go and it’s an above board method of increasing rank with Google without the risk of being penalized. Content creation will allow companies, small and large to compete on a level playing field, for moving up in search ranking with Google. No matter the size of the company, if they produce great content and if they push that content by way of their social media channels THEY will reign supreme in the relevance game with Google.

Content is truly KING for a variety of reasons:

  • Great content allows you to present your company as an authority in your industry, increasing your rank on Google.
  • Content will increase the likelihood that people will link to your website, this solves your back link issue. Hence, increasing your rank with Google.
  • Great content shared on social media was not thought of as important a few years ago, but those days are over. Social Media is extremely important and sharing great content on social media channels allows you to appear “likeable” and this will increase your rank with Google.
  • Great content with effective keywords increases your on page optimization and guess what? It will [let’s say it all together now] increase your rank with Google.

The takeaway about content:

There is NO easy button, no guru to bail you out and no work around. YOU must start to produce great content if you want to become relevant enough with Google to increase your ranking. Google is a business, just in case that has slipped the minds of folks. As a business it is their job to produce the best results for search queries because this allows them to generate ad revenue and to STAY in business. Gaming the system is not the best route to take at this time with Google. So guess what, either make a decision to dedicate yourself to the work needed to create great content that is worthy of being pushed higher in search ranking or your competitors will.  It’s very simple.

Focusing on Mobile

Focusing on Mobile

Focusing on Mobile

Mobile is not going away, primarily because we have evolved beyond talking on the phone that is attached to the wall. Beyond just the telephone aspect of your mobile device, it has essentially become a pocket-sized computer that forward thinking organizations are using for targeting a previously untapped demographic.

At one time it was just enough for organizations to have a website that displayed the brand, company name and address. Then we progressed to having a Facebook page with a company brand and relevant content. NOW it is not optional but imperative that organizations have a mobile presence as well.

With the decline of desktop and laptop sales the increase in buying trends for mobile and tablets are hard to miss. I actually had a conversation with a Director of Marketing at one of the largest organizations in my area that said, “We do not need a mobile presence.” My mind slammed shut with a final, “Conversation Over” as she was obviously living through a #DigitalApocalypse.

The takeaway about mobile:

It doesn’t matter if you decide to go with a responsive design or traditional mobile design. It is, however imperative that your company’s online presence be viewable by mobile and tablet, this is no longer an option.

#DigitalApocalypse is the disastrous phenomenon in which individuals; organizations and entities have selected NOT to embrace our new digital world.

Analytics

Analytics

Analytics

I will be the first person to tell you that I am not really a numbers person, but what I should say is that I am not a numbers person when those numbers have no relevance to my interests.

I took a web Analytics class in grad school, I absolutely loved it and I was immediately HOOKED. This was a tough class for some but for me, the concepts immediately clicked.  I think this is because I saw how beneficial these concepts would be moving forward. When I saw the heat maps and demographics I fell in love, in fact it was love at first sight. Oops I’m so sorry, I’ve digressed terribly.

One thing that I immediately loved about analytics then and what I still love about it now is that it shows the data. You know where your visitors are coming from, you know how long they’ve stayed, you know which pages and content they’ve focused upon.

I can never express the importance of analytics enough; because analytics display your success and bring attention to areas that you may need to focus upon more, in graphic details. If your brain rejects the word analytics think of it in terms of measuring your results, because that’s exactly what analytics are. Analytics measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, your efforts, and your time. They allow you to see what’s happening, what you are doing successfully and what you need to improve upon.

The takeaway about analytics:

You can have the most beautiful, fancy website with all of the bell and whistles imaginable, but if you have no data to analyze the successfulness of your web campaigns, your website is essentially worthless. This applies to traditional websites and mobile websites alike.

Increasing Your Google+ Usage

Increasing Your Google+ Usage

Increasing Your Google+ Usage

There is so much back and forth about Google+, it always has been and probably always will be.  I was a part of the original beta team on Google+, as were most of my digital marketer friends, so of course I have always been a huge advocate of the platform.

Google+ has been improved upon since its original debut!  The layout has improved substantially, Google integration has greatly improved and it has grown its user base.

Although the improvements to the look and feel of Google+ have been spectacular what is more impressive is that content posted on Google+ show up in search results.  This is why I don’t understand the push back about this platform. Why would we NOT want our content to show up in search results, after all that is WHY we are there right, why we are online, why we work so hard to increase our exposure, right? Increased exposure means more business and more sales, which is after all what most web presences are all about.

The takeaway about Google+

If you want more exposure on Google start using Google+, it’s just that simple.

Wrapping up:

Digital Marketing is a game changer on a worldwide level but organizations must have the ability to recognize the change and adapt in mid-stride sometimes, due to the quick nature of the changes. We are living through an exciting time for those involved with digital marketing and those that are willing to embrace the change. Lets all embrace the many changes that I anticipate are ahead and enjoy our brave new digital world.

As usual, I welcome any comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be found on Google+, Facebook or Twitter, so please circle and follow.

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10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

2013 is coming to an end, therefore it’s time to analyze, evaluate and make changes going into the New Year.  We all make resolutions about, health, wealth and happiness so why not include changing our employment situation. This is especially the case if you are one of the 71% that hate their jobs.

When I wrote the article, 71% of people hate their job; I was astounded by the response to the article.  I was more surprised that there were so many people that were unhappy with their employment situation.

Sometimes people can feel stuck in a situation due to a variety of reasons and they become very reluctant to make a move, so they just grin and bear it.  It seems that there are up to 71% of the population that are willing to grin and bear it.

Guess what people, we are moving into a new year so NOW is the perfect time to make changes in your life.  More people need to be a part of the 29% that LOVE their job instead of the 71% that hate it.

We are now living in a very digital world, so now we need to look at new ways in which we can gain the edge in competing for jobs. If you are a Digital Marketer, you may find yourself consulting, working for an organization or both.  Sometimes as digital marketers, we do not effectively market OURSELVES as a BRAND and that is very important.

If you are in a more traditional industry, chances are you are NOT marketing yourself as a BRAND either.  In this increasingly digital world, all people that are looking for new opportunities should start to see themselves as brands so that they can compete in this tough job market. Most people are using some type of social media recreationally. So, if you are involved with social media even socially, these ten tips will be perfect for your 2014 strategy for grabbing your dream job.

Whether you are a digital marketer or just someone looking for a new career path, it is imperative that you see beyond your present situation and come up with a creative way to change your career path.  The first step is visualizing yourself, not as JUST a person trying to get a job, but as a brand. It is very important that you think of yourself as a BRAND and you should market yourself accordingly.

A huge part of viewing and marketing yourself as a brand, is maintaining a very visual digital marketing footprint separate from the brands that you work with, if you are a digital marketer.  It is GREAT to work in this ever-growing digital marketing industry but as digital marketers we must maintain our own digital marketing persona totally separate from the organizations that employ us or that we consult with.  So, it is very important that we continue to develop and grow our own individual personal brand and digital footprint.

If you are NOT a digital marketer you should start to incorporate some branding content into your personal profiles. It is very important that all people see themselves as marketers, if only to market oneself to the world in seeking a new or better career path.  It is more important than ever to utilize social channels for career advancement in addition to traditional résumés and this is primarily due to the growing importance of our digital footprint.

I’ve read on numerous occasions that traditional resumes are very close to becoming irrelevant because our entire digital presence is available online for all to see.  More and more recruiters are utilizing the digital presence of employment candidates to get a better feel for potential employees before they even read resumes.  This is one of the reasons that we must make sure that we have a positive and flattering digital footprint and that we continue to develop our own personal brand.

Use Social Media To Improve Your Job Search
Use Social Media To Improve Your Job Search  produced by Gumtree

There are pluses and minuses to having your entire online persona for all to see. The biggest plus is that you are always visible; the biggest minus is that you’re always visible. LOL. This is the primary reason that we must be aware, more than ever about the types of content that we display on our digital marketing channels. So it is imperative that we have a strong personal brand and a positive digital footprint. Take a look at the ten steps below, to help develop your personal brand:

Anise Smith logo

Anise Smith logo

1.  Logo: Create a logo for your brand. My brand is Anise Smith, so the first thing I did when I started to develop my brand almost five years ago was to have my name created in logo form.  If you are creating a new logo make sure you have it created in 3 different formats.  Have your logo created in EPS format, which allows it to be duplicated for print and web, PNG for use when you need a transparent background AND jpg for general use.

2.  Uniform Branded Look: You should have a consistent branded look across all of your social media channels.  So create your Facebook cover, Twitter layout and other digital collateral with the same branded look.

Create A Uniform Branded Look On Social Media

Create A Uniform Branded Look On Social Media

3.  Facebook: CLEAN up your Facebook profile! I have seen some things in my daily virtual travels that would definitely be viewed as negative. If you want to promote a positive personal brand YOU MUST start with presenting a positive Facebook image.

I am connected to my father, teenage son and many family members on Facebook, so I only share information that I would share with them offline.  This is a great way to mentally keep your content clean and shareable. Don’t post information that you wouldn’t share with your grandparents, parents or children. If you wouldn’t yell it across the dinner table during a family meal, DON’T post it on Facebook. PERIOD!

Before you hit the POST button, think about how an employer would view your post. If there’s even a question of how your post would be viewed by employers or just followers in general, DON’T hit POST.  Better yet, picture your grandma peering over your shoulder while you’re writing your post. If grandma wouldn’t approve, don’t post.

Facebook is a huge part of branding yourself and you should use it wisely. Assume that ALL potential employers will check your Facebook profile, because they probably will. So it is best that you put your best foot forward starting here.  After you clean up your profile, showcase yourself. This may involve loosening some of your privacy settings to showcase certain areas of your profile.

  • Make a cover photo that showcases your talent. Facebook covers are 851 × 316.
  • Add your employment history, in the work and education section.
  • If you attended college, utilize the education section to add information about your school.
  • Use the project area to add the projects that you’ve worked.
  • Facebook just added a section for professional skills; add your skills in this section.
  • Don’t forget to use the contact us section to add your website, blogs and social media channels.

Facebook can be utilized almost as a resume if you add the right content and if you are a little creative.

Branding Yourself Using Facebook

Branding Yourself Using Facebook

4.  Twitter:  This is a great avenue to showcase your knowledge and to present yourself as an expert in your area, which is very important in creating a brand for yourself. Having a great Twitter profile allows you to make amazing connections while building followers organically, both of which are crucial to your personal brand.  So make sure you are utilizing this channel and showcasing your capabilities to your followers and potential followers.  If you are unfamiliar with Twitter start practicing keeping your verbiage short, because you only have 140 characters to make your point. So, you must use them wisely. To get started check out these easy steps:

  • Create a header for your Twitter layout, it should be no larger than 1252 × 626.
  • Create a Twitter background with your contact information. Twitter backgrounds are 1920 × 1200.
  • Display a presentable image of yourself.
  • Add a descriptive; yet brief bio using 140 characters.

The importance of Twitter cannot be overlooked in the process of branding yourself. Studies have shown that recruiters from the top employers in the country, are using Twitter as a way to recruit top talent. YOU want to be considered the top talent and you want to be noticed by these recruiters.  So Twitter is essential!

5.  Google+: There has always been some controversy about the importance of this platform. I’m not exactly sure why, since it is a GOOGLE platform. Most know that Google is pretty darn awesome.  So, needless to say I’ve been a fan since the Beta release! Another reason to get acclimated to Google +, Facebook has been losing a bit of steam recently so it is very important that you create a profile on Google+. Additionally content shared on Google+ shows up in search results. Enough said!

*Note* You can schedule your posts for Google+ and other social channels.  I’ve used a few but I find that, Buffer is the best scheduling platform available.

6.  Blog: I am really partial to WordPress but the most important thing is that you have a blog, which you contribute to regularly. So, select the platform that you are most comfortable with. [Wordpress, WordPress, WordPress, hmm, did I suggest WordPress?] A blog allows you to present yourself as an expert in your field utilizing your own content AND it allows you to provide this content to your social media channels.

Additionally you can create a page on your blog for your online resume. A web version of your resume allows you the convenience of sending a link quickly from pc, tablet OR mobile device directly to anyone that is interested.

Also, make sure that your blog is viewable by way of mobile device. So many people are mobile that it’s almost mandatory that your blog be viewable by mobile device.  This also offers you the unique opportunity to respond to emails from recruiters and send a resume link right from your mobile device, within seconds. WINNING!

7.  Triberr: If you have a blog YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST be a part of Triberr. If you are not familiar with Triberr, you need to become familiar quickly.  Triberr is THE BEST platform to utilize if you want to get exposure for your blog. This platform is second to none!

So, Triberr in a nutshell: It’s a platform that allows exposure of your blog through mutual sharing of content.  As a part of Triberr you would join tribes of interest. After joining the tribe(s) you would then connect the RSS feed of your blog to the Tribe. This allows your tribe mates to share your blog content to their Twitter followers.  Additionally all of your tribemates will have their blog RSS feed attached so that you can share their blog content with your Twitter followers.

The Triberr platform allows you to multiply the reach of your blog through the mutual sharing of content. This platform is Google Juice for blogs and if you have a blog you need to be a part of Triberr, period. Check out Welcome to Triberr and the Guide To Getting Started With Triberr.

8.  LinkedIn: Is probably the most important step you can take to meet contacts, extend your network and place yourself in the faces of recruiters searching for your expertise! Make sure you have a presence on Linkedin, make the proper connections, get endorsements, join groups and totally embrace this platform.

MOST companies in search of top talent will be actively involved with LinkenIn, so make sure you have a GREAT profile and keep it updated.

  • Use keywords in your headline and through out your profile.
  • Use an appropriate profile photo.
  • Complete your entire profile.
  • Add slideshows, links and blog posts to display your skills.
  • Share professional content that is relevant to careers or your industry.
  • Monitor your profile because you can see who has been checking you out. If you have a visit from a person of interest, visit their profile. They will now know that you have visited their profile and this may allow you to spark up a conversation.
  • Follow companies that you have an interest in because you may be able to connect with people of interest at that company.

Linkedin is one of your most valuable resources you can utilize, if you want to change your employment situation.

9.  YouTube: Videos are a GREAT way to showcase your talents. So create a 2 Minute video to showcase your capabilities.

  • Add keywords to any and all videos that you create because this will help Google to index your videos.
  • Add your video to your website or blog.
  • Share your video on your social media channels.
  • Add your video to your LinkedIn profile.

10.  BrandYourself.com: Allows you to monitor your digital footprint as it displays on Google.  You will get a report if any of your digital marketing channels have gone up or have fallen down in ranking.   This service is GREAT because it allows you to see how your brand is displayed on Google according to rank and it is FREE!

BrandYourself.com

BrandYourself.com

Are you currently utilizing any of these platforms to brand yourself? Are you using different channels? Let me know!  As usual, I welcome any comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be found on Google+, Facebook and Twitter, circle me and/or follow me.

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Social Media, Education and Social Good

Social Media, Education and Social Good

Social Media, Education and Social Good

Social Media, Education and Social Good

 

I have been working within the marketing industry for quite a while and I’ve witnessed many changes, all of them very exciting. The transition from marketing by way of traditional means, have evolved into a new digital phenomenon that rivals, if not surpasses the Internet boom.

 

Social Media has allowed us to reach out to many beyond our borders, and this is huge for business but also great for those with an interest in doing good.  Social Media has demonstrated that it can be a vehicle to drive social good more than any channel that I’ve seen in the past. This is exciting because it brings together those that want to be a part of social good projects with those that are in need of help.  This is win -win for all involved, the creator of the project and the recipient of the project.

 

As much as I love social media I feel 100 times more passionate about education. So, a short while ago I realized that there was no reason that these two worlds should NOT collide. What better way to make that happen, than by creating a new project that allows me to merge the two things that I love most?

 

I founded Urban Freshman a short while ago, it is a new organization geared toward providing valuable resources for parents and teens to help prepare them for higher education. I felt compelled to create this resource for a variety of reasons. As a mom to a new high school student I feel as if the American public school system is lacking, education has not moved into the age of technological advancement to the degree that is needed to compete and budget cuts to some inner cities will adversely affect our young people for many years. ALL of these reasons and more, factor into why this resource is needed and why I created Urban Freshman.

 

The digital world is growing, people are more plugged in than ever and this includes kids and parents. In spite of this our current public school systems are not fully preparing our kids for the future.  [Take a quick peak at the slide show below]

 

I know that I cannot change education on a global level but I can provide the information needed for kids and parents to make informed decisions about higher education by way of Urban Freshman.

 

Although I called this a social good project and I guess technically it is, but for me I feel like I MUST do this! I feel a need to do something beyond complaining on social media about education and how it needs to improve.  Additionally I feel as if every work experience that I’ve had, has led me to do something beyond the 9-5 and to contribute to something that has the capacity to help so many.

 

In closing, we should all try to use the wonderful and global world of social media to make a difference in some way, because now due to social media, we have an opportunity to make a difference on a unparalleled level.  Also, if you know a parent or teen that would benefit from Urban Freshman, please share.

 

As usual, I welcome all comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be found on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ , Follow me!

 

 

 

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QR Codes: Because Why NOT?

QR Codes: Because Why NOT?

QR Codes: Because Why NOT?

QR Codes: Because Why NOT?

 

Three years ago on September 13, 2010, I uploaded a video about QR codes and I got a lot of confused questions that pretty much translated to, “What The Heck!!” At the time I was still learning about this technology, because it was still new to the United States.  I would consume as much information as I could, with the goal of learning more about this cool “new” technology.  In some circles I became the “GoTo” person for QR Code technology.

 

 

As my excitement grew I started to notice more and more of this technology out there. QR codes were on everything, people had them on their websites, online catalogs and more. I was guilty of this as well, until I though “Hey, wait a minute….” This is all wrong. That is when I started to understand that this technology is being utilized in the “hey new shiny object sort of way” but it was not being used as effectively as it could have been.  That’s when I realized that the usage of QR codes might not ever reach its full potential because in some instances they were being used incorrectly.

 

My findings:

  • There is no reason to add a QR Code to your website because people are usually on your mobile or traditional website when they are viewing the QR Code.  So if you had plans of using the QR code to direct them to your website, they are already there, there’s not need. Don’t use QR codes on a website to direct them to your website.
  • QR Codes that are geared to open to a website should ALWAYS open to a mobile website, not a traditional website. We all know by now that a traditional website may not display properly on a mobile device.  There ARE NO exceptions to this rule.
  • QR Codes should NOT scan to “Download my catalog” because most of the time people have scanned a QR code with their phone. Absolutely NO one wants to use all of their data to download your HUGE PDF catalog to their phone.

 

QR Codes Should Scan To Mobile

QR Codes Should Scan To Mobile

 

The BEST and most practical use of QR Codes are to tie traditional print media to digital media.  As digital marketers we can sometimes not grasp that everyone is NOT so enamored with the growth of technology as we are. However it is true!  There are still many people that are very print-oriented and QR codes are a great option for that population of folks.

 

So as marketers we must recognize that although we are focused on digital media there is still an opportunity to tie traditional print to digital for clients that still utilize this form of marketing.  QR codes are the perfect vehicle to get this done. As a matter of fact, this is the primary reason that QR Codes should NOT be discounted and should be revisited.  There has not been an equivalent and cost effective medium introduced that is capable of tying together these two media as QR codes can, if executed properly.

 

Although it was once thought that NFC could bridge the gap between traditional print media and digital, it has not materialized as we originally thought that it would. This is primarily due to the cost and complexity of this technology for mainstream populations. Since the need to bridge traditional and digital, QR Codes remain the logical and least expensive way to go, as long as traditional marketing remains even a little relevant.

 

At one time we exclusively used traditional marketing, but we all know that things have change. In spite of this, there has not been a total elimination of traditional print media. So, we can still utilize traditional media to drive traffic to digital channels, creating a bit of a fusion between the older traditional marketing strategies and the new emerging digital marketing strategies.

 

Until the total discontinuation of traditional print media, as marketers we must find a way to tie together traditional and digital mediums for ourselves on occasion and for our clients. QR codes can be a very cost effective way to do this.

 

So lets give some thought to revisiting QR codes, if you’ve worked with them before or venture into something new if you haven’t.

 

As usual, I welcome comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. So follow me me on Facebook, Twitter and/or Google+ and let’s start a QR code discussion!

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Workplace Bullies: It Doesn’t Stop in The Playground

Workplace Bullies: It Doesn’t Stop in The Playground

Workplace Bullies: It Doesn’t Stop in The Playground

Workplace Bullies: It Doesn’t Stop in The Playground

 

It seems that bullying is becoming and epidemic in this country and honestly something MUST be done to stop it!  Bullying within schools that escalate to social channels are quickly becoming a life threatening issue that should to be addressed.  Unfortunately we have become accustomed to hearing about bullying that involves children and teenagers but NOW we are starting to hear about bullying in the work environment.

 

Today, there was an alleged bullying incident reported involving Miami Dolphins, Richie Incognito. This alleged incident caused Offensive Tackle Jonathan Martin to walk away from the professional football position.  Imagine how unbearable the bullying had to be for a professional football player to walk away from a position! The money, the prestige and all that goes along with being a football player AND to just say to heck with it, I can’t take it anymore. Imagine the torment that this young man was going through!

 

Insults transcript via CNN

Insults transcript via CNN

 

This incident is in indication that bullying extends way beyond the classroom and those young bullies grow-up to be adult bullies. This behavior does NOT stop in the schoolyard or classroom it continues right into the workplace. The incident with Miami Dolphins, Richie Incognito and the alleged bullying and racial intimidation of 300 lb., Jonathan Martin is an indication that WE have a bullying problem in this country.

 

Jonathan Martin was able to walk away but so many that are bullied in the workplace are NOT in a position to do so. The bullies at the playgrounds have turned in to the bullies in the workplace that have the power to make or break you as an employee. As a regular working class Joe you have very limited power over the school bully that has grown up and is now responsible for unleashing their terror in the workplace. YOUNG bullies grow up to be ADULT bullies!

 

Bullies within a traditional workplace usually have higher-level positions and wield the power to affect the livelihood of their victims. So instead of the playground beat down that a kid would get, the workplace bully has the power to destroy a career. This could be one of the reasons that 71% of people hate their jobs!

 

Bullies NEED to be stopped, on the playground, in the classroom, in social media and in the workplace. It’s time for change!

 

As usual, if you have comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent, I can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Follow me!

 

 

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6 Digital Strategies to Apply to Your Job Search

6 Digital Strategies to Apply to Your Job Search

6 Digital Strategies to Apply to Your Job Search

6 Digital Strategies to Apply to Your Job Search

 

Technology has changed so many things in our lives and it has been such a quick change that it is almost mind-boggling. One minute we were reading magazines and newspapers, the next minute we are consuming news and information by way of tablet and mobile device.

 

As we move further and further into this technology driven world we must continue to adapt every aspect our lives to stay up with the super quick changes. One of the things that we need to adapt immediately is HOW we search for jobs.  This change may allow us to gain a bit of competitive advantage, which is so important in the job search game.

 

At one time it was enough to post a resume to the job boards and let the recruiters find you. That is not necessarily the case now and this is due to so much competition. Also so many are choosing to go one step further by using digital channels to take their job search to the next level.  Those that are a little savvy are using digital strategies that are usually applied to marketing, to their job search efforts like branding, mobile web, social media and other strategies.

 

A few very easy Digital Strategies that you can easily apply to your job search:

 

Social Media: Before you do anything, clean up your social media profiles because recruiters DO check social media profiles.  So if you have college photos being a pot worshipper, any and all forms of nudity, beer pong and other types of nonsense delete them or make them viewable to only a certain list of people. Also refrain from using profanity laced status updates because NO Company wants to hire a potty mouth as a representative for their organization. If you feel a need to vent by cursing, do so under your breath instead. It’s kind of old school but grumble under your breath, while walking away from your keyboard.

 

Portfolio: If you have a portfolio of work, make sure that is online and accessible to recruiters. This allows recruiters to see if the work you’d done is a fit for the position that they are recruiting for currently. The goal is, again, to stand apart from your competition and providing a link to your work will do this.

 

Website: These days even if you do not have a business, you should have a website.  Branding yourself online is so important because it allows you to stand apart from your competition. Before you start your website buy a domain utilizing your name. If your name is John Anthony Smith, try to get the domain JohnASmith.com. This will allow you to create an online presence for yourself, adding information about yourself, projects you’ve completed etc. BRAND YOURSELF so that you stand apart from those competing for the same position. The website allows recruiters to see you beyond what is just listed on your resume.

 

You can easily create a website on WordPress.com but if you are really savvy you could go with a self-hosted WordPress.org website.

 

2 Minute Video:  The power of video is an amazing thing and we see this every day on our social media channels. This can definitely be applied to your job search efforts.  Creation of a short 2-minute video about who you are as a person allows recruiters to get a glimpse of your personality. Your resume can portray who you are in a business sense, but cannot effectively portray who you are on a personal level, but a video can. Sometimes employers are looking for a certain personality type for their organization and a video could demonstrate this to them.

 

Mobile Resume: There is no secret that mobile usage will surpass traditional PC usage shortly. So get a jump on it by adding your resume to your mobile website, if you have one.  If you plan to create a WordPress site, you can create a traditional website OR go with a mobile website using a WordPress Mobile Template.  The GREAT thing about making your resume accessible to mobile users is that you can instantly send your resume in link form to recruiters during the day without accessing a computer.  Recruiters usually contact you during their business hours which is also during a time when you are working. So having your resume on your website allows you to take advantage of a potential opportunity in a timely manner.  The recruiter now has  a copy of your resume until you can send them a print ready copy from your home computer.

 

LinkedIn: Utilizing this resource is ESSENTIAL to moving your job search to the next level.  I’ve read that 74% of recruiters use social media as a way to find candidates. Of those, 94% are using LinkedIn. This is HUGE! So using LinkedIn is essential.

 

 

Don’t just throw up a profile; utilize all of the bells and whistles that LinkedIn has to offer. In addition to your profile, add links to your social media channels, website, portfolio, mobile resume and 2 minute video. Use this platform to SHOW recruiters WHY you are the right candidate for the position that they are trying to fill.

 

The Takeaway:

 

Go out there and be digital! Take your job search to the next level and compete for the position that you KNOW you’re qualified for.

 

As usual, I welcome all comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

 

 

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5 Career Solutions For The 71% of People That Hate Their Jobs

5 Career Solutions For The 71% of People That Hate Their Jobs!

5 Career Solutions For The 71% of People That Hate Their Jobs!

5 Career Solutions For The 71% of People That Hate Their Jobs!

 

I wrote a post titled, 71% of People Hate Their Jobs and I started a bit of a dialogue about how people really feel about their workplace.  It was really astounding, that so many people were unhappy in their jobs.  If I had been asked to guess at that statistic, I would have though maybe about 45% – 55% at the most, were unhappy with their current employment situation.  I would have never guessed the number to be so high, at 71%.

 

This means that in our daily travels most people will encounter one or more of these 71% and their unhappiness with their employment situation could affect our lives. The chances of encountering one of these unhappy people, if we must deal with customer service oriented industries is probably relatively high. This explains a lot!  I am thinking about experiences that I’ve had with customer service professionals, workers at supermarkets, fast food restaurants and it explains a lot.  So, I felt a need to provide some tips that may help those in the 71% feel better about their bad employment situation.

 

The easiest and lamest advice I can offer is to quit your job if you hate it. However,  we all know that in the real world, that is just not an option.  Since this is not an option, an alternate means of coping is the only choice until a better more permanent solution is available.

 

One of the hardest things about being in an unbearable position is the helplessness that the situation creates.  This is the case with a lot of situations not just a job.  The helplessness of living with a job that you hate, is that it is tied to the money that you make, the ability to provide for your family AND the ability to LIVE. We all know that without income supplied by said hated job, life could be so much worse.  So, we can just take the “Take this job and shove it…” option off the table for now and lean more toward solutions that will be beneficial in the short term and long term.

 

A few solutions:

 

Think about WHY you hate your current job, this is the key to making changes. Sometimes, people find themselves in careers that were selected when they were 17 or 18 when they originally chose their college path. WE are so different than we were at 17 or 18 , and with growing up we may find that the choice we made at this age may not be a fit when we are 30 or 40.  So self-evaluation is a great start!

 

Get involved with a cause that you find near and dear to your heart. It can really add a very fulfilling aspect to your life that may be lacking. It will also allow you to distract yourself from your current situation until your situation changes and most importantly, you will feel connected to something that matters to you.

 

Update your job skills, this is always a GREAT thing to do whether you love your job or not. It allows you to stay abreast of what’s going on in your industry and will help with future opportunities. Also,  it looks great on your resume!

 

Return to School is also a great way to expand your knowledge and formally brush up on your skills. Take some time to reevaluate your career choice if you find that your unhappiness is a result of a poor career choice or consider learning more about your present field if you are in the industry of your choice. Either way, learning more can only improve your chances of changing your employment situation.

 

Start a business because it is a perfect time to start and grow a business WHILE you have permanent income. This could prepare you for unexpected and unplanned changes in your employment situation.  It could also prepare you to move away from the 71% that hate their jobs to the 21% that love what they do.

 

In closing:

 

Find what you love and do it! If you are not doing what you love now, continue to pursue your dreams until you are doing what you love!  As usual, I welcome your opinion, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and or Google+.

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