Very insightful and well written.

UGA Filmmaking Union

According to my television, it finally seems okay to be “weird” and a woman in entertainment.

Last year, Mindy Kaling transformed herself from an annoying-but-beloved caricature on “The Office” to star, series creator, and head writer of “The Mindy Project.”

Amy Poehler earned writing credits for arguably the smartest, most poignant, and best episode from last season’s run of “Parks and Recreation” (“The Debate”).

 Lena Dunham was catapulted into the spotlight by creating, directing, and writing for her surprising (but well-deserved) hit HBO show, “Girls.”

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Kristen Wiig made “Bridesmaids,” and Tina Fey began preparing a graceful exit from her seven-year run as real-life writer and show protagonist Liz Lemon on “30 Rock.”

Think of “comedy,” and these women or the shows they write come to mind almost instantly. They create or portray strange, relatable characters. But where were they before their ascent into fame?

Like many of us, they were…

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The Secret Hook: How To Engage and Keep Your Customers

You’ve probably heard that millenials and Gen Y as a whole is the “trophy generation,” meaning they think the mere act of participating in something should result in an award. Many grew up with teachers and coaches that gave them a trophy for virtually everything.  You may think of this as coddling or ridiculous, but businesses and higher education would benefit if they would stop fighting the “helicopter parent” mentality and show some appreciation not only to Gen Y, but to their customers as a whole.

Celebrities are the best at this. Take this scenario: Kim Kardashian will occasionally retweet a fan’s comment. Fan freaks out. Tells all her friends on Facebook & Twitter. However many friends that fan has, now knows about Kim Kardashian and is more likely to see who she is and what she does. Conveniently, there is a direct link to her new perfume on her Twitter profile. Coincidence? I think not.  That is the mark of a savvy businesswoman. By the simple act of recognition, her follower becomes an even more avid fan, and new followers may engage with her social media presence that might not have done so before.

You may be thinking that you’re not a celebrity, so obviously the same scenario couldn’t happen to you. I’ve got a few examples that would beg to differ, however.  This phenomenon is an example of a new trend in consumer behavior: recognition. They want to have their questions answered. Be featured on your social media pages. Thanked for sharing your posts. Feel like someone is paying attention to them period.

My definition of recognition is a little broader than the trophy concept. It’s showing your customer respect. Respect for their opinions, showing that you listen, and demonstrating that you act based on what you heard.

How do you show that you’re paying attention to your fans?

The Secret to Creating a Successful Social Media Campaign

Yesterday I flew to Las Vegas for the National Association of Colleges & Employers annual conference and I couldn’t help but be excited.  Why? It’s because I was a finalist for a marketing and branding award for the UGA Career Center’s social media strategy.  This post isn’t about that award, but it inspired today’s post:   the secret to successful social media campaigns.

You can look at case studies all day long, but being successful in the social media realm has a few core truths that hold true regardless of your industry or organization. These are:

  1. Listen.  It sounds so simple, but that is the first step towards a successful campaign.  Listening means not only listening to your audience, but to also listen to your competition.  How are you stacking up? Are you showing your audience that you even care that they’ve chosen to connect with you?
  2. Plan.  Any successful campaign must first have set goals. You’ve heard of the old saying “if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never know one when you get there?”  Determine if you want to increase followers, foster conversation, identify prospects or some other goal.  Try to set a few at first to make sure you don’t get too overwhelmed.  Creating a calendar of content (keep in mind you can likely recycle this later!) can help you stay organized and ensure your messages are consistent and appropriate.
  3. Recognition.  There’s a reason why women from teenage girls to middle age women beg their favorite celebrities to retweet them or tell them happy birthday on Facebook.  On some level, we all crave for attention, some more so than others.  Going along with listening, are you paying attention to the questions your audience is asking?  Are you highlighting your top followers and fans to acknowledge them?
  4. Monitor.  Keep track of where you stand in the beginning and check in monthly or weekly.  If your audience isn’t paying attention to the dry articles you’re sending out, try posting pictures or asking questions.  You might have to try a few different things before you see what sticks.

It can seem overwhelming when you get started, but if you take the time to plan upfront, it’s easier to make sure you’re on task in the middle of your busy times. Remember, the more you use it, the better you’ll get!

What other elements do you think are essential for social media campaigns?

 

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Laura is a Career Consultant and Social Media Coordinator at the University of Georgia and a Social Media Coordinator for the Georgia Association of Colleges and Employers – GACE.  She also works as an independent Social Media Consultant.

As a self employed Social Media Consultant, Laura provides customized presentations and consulting services on various topics such as Hootsuite, bit.ly, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.  She teaches social media strategies to various audiences and has been asked to assist with social media coordination for clients that include employers, college departments, state and regional associations, human resource departments, college career centers, and individual users.

In her role as Career Consultant at the University of Georgia, Ledgerwood manages the Twitter account for the Career Center which ranks second in the nation for total followers in the college services/career center category.  She is credited with the creation of the content for the UGA Career Center…

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Hootsuite Analytics

As promised, I’m going to go through why Hootsuite analytics have been so useful in helping me to measure the effectiveness of the UGA Career Center Twitter Account.

Let’s go through the quick steps of how you can get the exact report that’s show above:

  1. Select the 3rd icon from the top in the left vertical tool bar that looks like 3 bars.
  2. Click on “Quick Analytics” then “Ow.ly Summary Stats.”
  3. This automatically creates the graphs that you see in the center of the above screen.

If you scroll down the page, you can see it starts to identify the top posts with most clicks.  You may be surprised to find (as I was), that the content students click on the most may not be the career articles you are posting.  A little variety and sharing of useful information outside of career may increase the engagement with your audience.

It isn’t immediately apparent on the surface all of the implications these statistics have. You can even become a paying member to get more in depth statistics, but a lot of information can be told from this alone—

  1. Students ARE paying attention to the tweets  that are streamed on the homepage of www.career.uga.edu as evidenced by the “Top Referrers” graph.
  2. I can also infer trends of popular topics from the “Most Popular Links” section.  These statistics are only for the month of December, and what is being clicked on seems to be anything other than specific to the job search.  Perhaps students are checked out at this point or focused on their exams.  Perhaps this could be a new addition that I could add to my tweet strategy—adding “nice to know” information rather than only career information.
  3. The line graph at the top gives you a hint as to which days your audience may be most engaged with your content.  Large amounts of clicks could imply that you are posting a popular topic, but part of the popularity may also be that you aren’t tweeting that at 8 in the morning.

All in all, it’s important to try a few different strategies to see what works. You may also want to revisit older ideas that were deemed “failures” to see if perhaps the timing was off or you may need to identify new ways to appeal to your audience.

That’s it for now, but Happy Holidays Everyone!!

How HootSuite Changed My Life

I am so excited that by this time next week I’ll be in Savannah presenting at the Southern Association of Colleges & Employers (SoACE) annual conference on Hootsuite & bit.ly.  These two tools have helped me not only save a lot of time, but to use the time I have more efficiently.  I thought I would share just a few quick tips and useful information on why I have found Hootsuite so useful.

First, it lets me schedule future posts for Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn. I may only have 15 minutes during my day to check the social media I manage for my office, but I can schedule the times I would like for posts to go out that day or later on in the week.

Second, Hootsuite has built in analytics that count the number of times users click on your links when shortened through their url shortner, so that helps me identify popular topics and gives me an idea of what my audience finds engaging.

Here are a few quick  steps to get you started on Hootsuite:

Step 1: Create a free account by going to http://www.hootsuite.com

Step 2: Add your social media sites by clicking on the “Add” buttons that pop up on the first screen (see the picture below)

Step 3: Create a post in the “Compose Message” box and select the account you would like the post to be sent to by selecting the appropriate account in the drop down menu beside the “Compose Message” box.

Step 4: Click on the calendar icon in the “Compose Message” box to set the specific dates and times you would like for your content to be posted.

These simple steps have helped me save so much time and helped me to figure out what I was doing right, and what I needed to work on more.  Now I can make sure important content not only gets out to my constituents, but that it gets to them at the right time.  AND I can measure how much buzz it stirred.  It’s great!

In my next post I’ll talk more about what you can do through Hootsuite analytics.  Check out the picture below to check out my  Hootsuite account that streams multiple social media sites!