Dude, Don’t Post That to Social Media!

It’s not pretty, but one of my favorite things to share with people when I teach social media workshops is this -

Trying to remove something you’ve posted to the Internet is like trying to remove pee from a swimming pool. It isn’t going to happen.

I remember speaking to soon-t0-be college graduates not too long ago. When I suggested they clean up their social profiles before they job hunt because guess what? Your employers are checking! I saw way too many eyes grow wide.

I really dig the infographic below. It acts as your devil’s advocate during the “Post or Not to Post” process.

Do you check yourself before posting or hit ‘click’ too often without thinking?

 Infographic courtesy of Onlineclasses.org
120820FlowchartFINAL Dude, Dont Post That to Social Media!

 Dude, Dont Post That to Social Media!
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6 Tips for Using Social Media to Grow Your Blog and Business

I originally wrote this post for Alissa over on Rags to Stitches. I’m re-sharing it here as I think there’s a great deal of value for bloggers and businesses seeking quick tips for using social media to grow their online presence.

building community online 6 Tips for Using Social Media to Grow Your Blog and Business

One of my passions is helping businesses build and grow their online social media.

Whether you’re running your own business or building your personal brand, each of these tips will help you better align your goals and make the best use of your time.

In addition to the tips below, I invite you to read my post about SEO for bloggers. If your site isn’t coming up in organic search, how will new users find you?

  1. Research. Let me start by saying you don’t need to be on every single social network. Every decision you make should be based upon research and data. As a blogger you already know the only way to have a community is to be a part of it. Figure out where your readers like to hang out. Are they active on Facebook? Twitter? Read some of their favorite blogs and engage  - comment, “Like”, repost, etc.
  2. Analytics. Once you’ve done your homework, spend some time getting to know your website’s analytics. If you don’t have Google Analytics installed on your site, do it NOW. It’s a free service with incredibly robust data that can tell you where your readers are coming from, which content is most popular and what keywords are driving traffic. I also like to use GetClicky. That’ll tell you down to the IP address who is on your site and how they got there.
  3. Measure. Create a monthly report to track your growth or decline over time. Set a reminder in your calendar to pull data on the 1st of every month. Track page views, visitors, referral sites, top content etc. (If you want to see a sample report, I’d be happy to email it to you). DON’T GET CONSUMED BY THE #S. Do not obsess over how many visitors you have. Quality is way more important than quantity in social media. Use the data to discover what your readers like to see, but don’t write because you think it’ll bring you more traffic. Write because you can’t wait to share with the world!
  4. Twitter is my favorite social media platform. It’s a great way to get information quickly and connect with people you might not otherwise have access to. A few tips – before you write a Tweet, always research to see if the person you’re writing about is on Twitter (include their handle); research to see if a hashtag about that topic exists (#parenting, #sewing, etc.) this will increase visibility of your message; DO NOT AUTOMATE YOUR TWEETS TO YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE! Stick to 140 characters and use bit.ly to shorten your URLs. Also, use Hootsuite to monitor keywords related to your brand or business.
  5. Facebook. I’ll say it again. QUALITY is more important than QUANTITY. Don’t get hung up over how many followers you have, instead focus on making those followers your brand ambassadors. Be a good host – engage with anyone who comments or posts. Engage with other pages by ‘Liking” them or commenting as your brand, and update regularly. Include a picture with your post every chance you get [videos do best on Facebook] and ALWAYS include a call to action. For example, “Please ‘Like’ this post if you dig it.”
  6. Pinterest. Add a “Pin It” button to every post. In your analytics you’ll be able to track how much traffic Pinterest is driving to your site. It’s incredible.
The most important take-away about building community online is learning how to strike a balance between how much you share about your own brand and how supportive you are of other companies.
If you have any questions, or want to discuss any of these platforms in more detail, I would love to hear from you!
 6 Tips for Using Social Media to Grow Your Blog and Business

I’m on AOL Daily Finance Talking about How to Use Pinterest to Save you Money

Pinterest is now the third-most used social networking site. Amazing considering it hasn’t been around for too long, and it’s an invite-only  platform.

I frequently get asked (professionally and personally) -

  • What is Pinterest?
  • How do I use it? I don’t get it …
  • Should my brand be on it?
  • It’s probably not going very last long is it?

While no one can predict the latter, given how wildly successful it’s become in a short span of time, I can’t image it’ll go away anytime soon. In fact, if used correctly, it can become a powerful source of traffic to your blog or website. [We'll talk more about personal branding and social networks later this week.] 

The first thing I tell people (consumers) is go on Pinterest with a project in mind. Otherwise the site can be overwhelming and a total time suck. It’s a gold mine for collecting ideas and developing DIY projects. That’s what I’ve used it for. One of my current projects is the baby’s nursery. I created a (very specific) board on nursery dressers.

Pinterest DIY Inspiration Nursery 1024x475 Im on AOL Daily Finance Talking about How to Use Pinterest to Save you Money

Meanwhile, I scoured Craigslist and local used furniture stores for a cheap dresser. I scored one for $40.

Dresser Makeover Before Im on AOL Daily Finance Talking about How to Use Pinterest to Save you Money

I shared my Pinterest board with Manfriend, we brainstormed a few ideas together and then he ran with it. Below is the work in progress. We’re reusing paint we have from the Child’s room from 3 years ago. I can’t wait to show you the finished product!

Dresser Makeover inprogress 768x1024 Im on AOL Daily Finance Talking about How to Use Pinterest to Save you Money

To see how other people are using Pinterest to collect ideas and ultimately save big bucks on projects, check out the article on AOL Daily Finance. 

 Im on AOL Daily Finance Talking about How to Use Pinterest to Save you Money

Product Review: Simple Skincare

Simple Skincare Klout 1024x1024 Product Review: Simple Skincare

A week ago I had never heard of Simple Skincare until I received a happy surprise from Klout in the mail with a sample of Simple facial wipes and moisturizer.

I took horrible care of skin throughout college. I rarely removed makeup after all-nighters or parties. It wasn’t until 5-6 years ago that I started to take better care of my skin (and myself overall ).

I remember reading a quote from a 40-something-year-old whose sole advice to her younger self was “Take care of your skin. Your 40-year-old self will thank you.”

I’ve never been married to one particular skincare product. I’m lucky in that I don’t have sensitive skin, so I’ve always bounced between brands.

Now that I’ve been using Simple Skincare wipes and moisturizer for more than a week I’m in love. 

Unlike other makeup removers I’ve used in the past, these wipes feel gentle and are not at all oily. The moisturizer is light and smooth.

Target Simple Skincare 768x1024 Product Review: Simple Skincare

I’ve had such a positive experience I stocked up on my recent trip to Target. I was happily surprised to find how affordable the brand is!

Thanks for the Klout perk – you have a new fan!

Have you used Simple Skincare before? What’s your favorite skincare brand?

*This post is not sponsored by Klout or Simple Skincare. As a recipient of a Klout perk, I’m in no way paid or expected to write a review of the product. 

 Product Review: Simple Skincare

Create Your Own Digital Infographic

WhatAboutMe 629x1024 Create Your Own Digital Infographic

I originally saw this post on one of my favorite blogger’s website, The Baochi Banter.

Intel just launched an online tool that enables you to create your own infographic about your online activity and behavior.

You plug in to your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and it spits out an image of your digital life, including topics you post on the most and what time of day you’re most active.

Intel believes I’m most interested in fashion, since according to this, my favorite words  are:

  • dresser
  • pretty
  • sale
  • store
  • deal

The insights aren’t incredibly robust, but it’s a neat tool for exploring your personal brand and looking at your social activity.

Head here to create your own!

 Create Your Own Digital Infographic
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Are We Creating a Socially Inept Generation?

Left out Are We Creating a Socially Inept Generation?

source

I’ve spent the last few months “cleaning up” my Facebook account, deleting about 100 people. Initially I was going to use my girlfriend’s approach and only keep people whose phone numbers I own, but I soon realized I have a few travel-related contacts  that I enjoy getting updates from.

I also realized I was connected to people I was never truly friends with (high school anyone?), who I’ve never once communicated with via Facebook, or who I’d rather connect with via LinkedIn for professional communication.

I sent personal messages to everyone I removed and included my email address and phone number as preferred ways to stay in touch. Surprisingly, when I told close friends and colleagues I was focusing my “social” energy elsewhere, the response I received was “Me too!” or “I’d love to quit Facebook, but I can’t.”

Don’t get me wrong. I think there’s great value in social networking . I personally love connecting with brands online.

The neat thing about Facebook is it allows you to stay in touch very easily with close friends and acquaintances, but it also keeps you close to people you might not be as connected to in real life.

I recently read a report by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, Washington D.C. that explored how the use of social networks relates to trust, tolerance and community engagement.

Findings | Facebook on an average day:

  • 15% of users update their own status
  • 22% comment on another post or status
  • 20% comment on another user’s photo
  • 26% “Like” other user’s content
  • 10% send a private message

Another interesting factoid is that frequent Facebook users tend to be more trusting of other people.

I suppose if you’re open to sharing your life online, you’re generally more trusting than the average yahoo. 

Also, the number of people using social networking sites has doubled since 2008. 

Does this mean we’re more socially connected?

I believe we are definitely more connected - I get most of my news updates via Facebook and Twitter  - but socially, I’m hesitant to agree.

Most of us have become so dependent on social updates that we can’t remember the last time we actually picked up the phone to catch up with a friend or sent a card… just because.

As I watch my 2.5 year old daughter navigate my iPhone without any issue, I worry that her generation may never learn how to live without technology nor learn proper social etiquette, like sending a hand-written thank you card or the importance of eye contact.

Are we creating a socially inept society? Is technology bringing us closer or pushing us further apart?

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