Takeaways From Social Media Marketing World

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The conference wrapped-up yesterday and I just have to say, it was fantastic. It was very organized and included a lot of incredible speakers with a breadth of specialities.

There were so many wonderful conference sessions, but I had three favorites:

  • Empowering Your Employees to Become Your Brand’s Best Advocates
  • How-To Build a Strong Google+ Presence In 30 Days
  • How-To Become a Social Media ROI Rock Star

Each of these sessions was so full of incredible information, I plan on reading the corresponding books by each speaker to learn more.

Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype by Jay Baer

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How to Measure Social Media: A Step-By-Step Guide to Developing and Assessing Social Media ROI by Nichole Kelly

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Google+ for Small Businesses by Lynette Young

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Google+ is something that I recognize is an area where I need to grow in my knowledge and experience. This social tool began to grow in its popularity during the three years while I was ill. I’m incredibly grateful to have learned so much this week.

I’m feeling excited to return to work next week and begin implementing some of the strategies I learned.

Well, I only have one experience to go on now, but I have to say, conferences are pretty awesome. This one actually really reminded me a lot of my time in j-school, which was wonderful because in many ways I miss that intensity of learning every day.

Looking forward to the next one!

 

Gaining Confidence and Mad Skills

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Got to bed too late last night, so that made for a bit of a rough start to the morning. Thank goodness for good coffee and lots of it. Shout-out to Social Media Examiner for providing legit coffee. This Portlander thanks you.

Met some lovely women from Annapolis, MD during breakfast. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by people who all think like I do. In my job, I’m the one-woman PR & social media girl. To be surrounded by so much innovation and collaboration is thrilling.

There were a handful of WOW moments today. Here are two:

It started with the keynote address right after breakfast where our speaker, Michael Stelzner talked to us about the importance of podcasts. This is honestly something that hasn’t been on my radar at all. Currently, only six percent of marketers currently podcast. As he made his case for podcasts, he told us that all the major car brands are now designing in Apple CarPlay which will sync with your car with you iPhone. The popularity projection for podcasts is significant over the next 10 years, making now the perfect time to jump in. Since I work in higher-ed, I think this could be something that we could totally do. Excited to see where this goes.

While I attended some incredible sessions today, my favorite by far was “How to Turn Your Employees Into Your Best Social Media Advocates,” by Jay Baer. The wow quote: “Ninety eight-percent of millennials are more likely to engage with a friend’s post than a company’s post,” said Baer. I honestly didn’t even tweet very much during this session because I was taking notes so furiously. (Later I found out the slides are available. Whoops!) This is something I definitely plan on researching more and proposing a plan to my boss. Also, planning on picking up Baer’s book, Youtility.

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Additionally, attending this conference has confirmed something for me.

I’m an introvert.

This may surprise some of you. I’ve just had a lot of practice when it comes to networking and socializing. I’m an only child, so I’ve been in rooms full of adults my whole life.

The key is that I don’t get my energy from people, I get it from being alone. When you’re surrounded by marketers and there is literally not a moment in the schedule for a “break,” it can be a bit much for this introvert. In between each session is a “networking break.” The thing is, I feel like when I network, I need to be ON. I skipped both networking breaks today and it was honestly the best decision. During the first break I networked on Twitter and during the second one, I sneaked in a power nap. Score!

I’ve found it’s important to manage my energy and not overdo it. Which is why dear readers, I’m off to sleep. Time for the ultimate recharge. I’ve been dreaming of my pillow for the last hour.

Tomorrow I’ve got a full day including two informational interviews.

Ciao!

That One Time I Unnecessarily Freaked Out

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This afternoon I arrived in San Diego, registered for Social Media Marketing World and settled into my room. Had lunch down by the water and even sneaked in a cat nap. Before I knew it, it was time to get ready for the evening’s event: A networking dinner aboard an aircraft carrier, The USS Midway, in San Diego Harbor.

As I was getting ready, it hit me- I’m about to get on an aircraft carrier with more than 2,000 strangers.

Freaking out moment

Freaking out moment

OMG.

Then I started sweating, second-guessing my outfit and calling my friend Mary-Anne in a panic for a pep-talk.

After she reassured me, I turned on some T-Swift, put on my favorite lipstick and took a deep breath.

I got this.

I can do this.

One person at a time.

Just say, “Hello.”

Surprise! It was awesome! First, there are quite a few people here who are also on their own and many more who were happy to make a new friend. It was a whole crew of marketers! Why did I expect anything less?! Where there are marketing people, there’s a party.

I made some new friends, toured an aircraft carrier and had a delicious dinner. I’d say it was a success.

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Standing on fiberglass looking down into a storage area of the carrier. Eeek! Looooong way down.

Standing on fiberglass looking down into a storage area of the carrier. Eeek! Four to five stories down. Yes, that’s a mannequin down there. They were all over the ship and were around ever corner. A little startling at first.

So excited for tomorrow. I’ve got a whole day full of conference sessions on social media strategy. Can’t wait.

Stay tuned! I’ll be posted each day of the conference (through Friday.)

Preparing For My First Conference

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On Wednesday morning, I leave to fly to California where I will be attending my first conference EVER! Now, to be fair, I’ve attended many conferences before…but as an intern. I’ve ordered lunch, ran errands, ran through downtown Denver (which is harder than one initially thinks) to pick-up my boss’ prescription before the pharmacy closed and many more non-glamorous tasks. This will be the first conference that I will be an attendee. Like a real grown-up professional. Legit.

Today I’ve been preparing. Printing out the conference schedule and speaker bios and organizing a binder which will hold all these details and more. I’ve also been researching the speakers for each conference session I’ll be attending.

So excited to network and to learn more strategies to be a more successful professional.

I’m still in the process of one last detail-outlining my networking goals. While I was still in college, Mindy Lockard, etiquette expert, came to the PR firm I worked for and talked about how to network successfully. She mentioned something that has always stuck with me, networking  goals.

Before every networking event, I make a list of goals, usually 3-5.

For example:

  • Exchange business cards with five people
  • Have a meaningful conversation with Mrs. Smith and leave a good impression
  • Move conversation groups every 5 minutes

I don’t let myself leave the event until I’ve completed each and every one of my goals.

Now, these of course vary greatly depending on the size and duration of the event. For a two-day conference, there’s lots of room and seemingly endless amounts of time to accomplish my networking goals.

For this conference, I’ve decided to make a list of 5-10 people that I want to be sure to connect with. This can be a casual conversation, or a brief chat with others, but with those people I want to give them my business card and connect on LinkedIn. Additionally, I’m making a list of 2-3 people that I want to invite to coffee, drinks or invite to sit together at breakfast or lunch one day. These are people who I want to have an informal informational interview with.

I’ll be honest and say that at this point, I’m pretty overwhelmed and no where near finalizing that list. Thankfully I have tomorrow off work, so that should help.

Now, back to packing, updating the software on my iPhone and iPad, drinking another cup of coffee and finishing some laundry.

Feeling Like A Real Grown-Up Professional Over Here

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OK, don't worry. I won't be bringing more than one suitcase. (Photo from Levo.com)

OK, don’t worry. I won’t be bringing more than one suitcase. (Photo from Levo.com)

Ok…you guys. BIG news. I feel like a real grown-up professional, because…I’m going to a conference!

Yes, I’m having a nerd-out moment.

Deal with it.

I’m going to a conference and I will be an attendee, NOT an intern. This is major.

First things first. What will I wear?!

After that, there’s more to learn. Those of you who’ve done this before, please share with me your tips for what to wear, how to prepare and general tips for success at a conference. Help!

Eeeeeek!

Kristina’s Reading List

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WeeklyReading

Talk Box: LinkedIn Etiquette
Thanks to someone who totally crossed the line, Jessica Williams from Prichard Communications breaks down what’s appropriate on one of my favorite social networks in this interview on KGW.

Salaries in digital and marketing fields expected to rise
Good news folks! If you work in marketing or digital communications, you should see a salary bump in 2014. *happy dance*

Oreo Commercial
Let me count the ways I hate this video. To be honest, I feel very content in my singleness, but this makes me want to eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and trow the empty pint at the TV. What do you think?

Stunning And Amazing: Northern Lights Wow U.K.
Last week, the Northern Lights came out in all their beauty and strutted their stuff across the heavens. SO beautiful. Take a moment and soak in the beauty of these photos.

The Official Best Dressed at 2014 Oscars
While the “official” list lives at enews.com, here are my top faves:

LUPITA NYONG'O

LUPITA NYONG’O


CATE BLANCHETT

CATE BLANCHETT


JENNIFER LAWRENCE

JENNIFER LAWRENCE


CHARLIZE THERON

CHARLIZE THERON

What have YOU been reading lately?

What’s caught your eye?

Four Tips for How-To Get Back Up

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So…this happened last night.

Photo from SportsCenter

Photo from SportsCenter

Just like that, in an instant, you’ve fallen. All those early morning trainings, those nights you went to bed early, that piece of cake you skipped, all suddenly account for nothing.

That’s what happened last night to snowboarding legend, Shaun White.

According to NBC News, “White’s Olympic gold medal reign came to a stunning end Wednesday at the halfpipe final in Sochi. The two-time Olympic champion landed in fourth place in a down-to-the-wire contest that ended his attempt to make history.

Following a powerful performance in the halfpipe qualifier, White attempted a series of ambitious moves that he couldn’t cleanly land. He wiped out on the first of two runs at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, putting him in second-to-last place with a score of 35 out of 100.”

The previous night, he guaranteed his ticket to the finals, scoring 95.75 out of 100 on his first of two runs.

When asked what the viewers could expect in the finals, White said, “You heard the rumors,” he said. “I’ve been working on some big tricks.”

“One of the big tricks turned out to be the “Yolo” which ended his Olympic reign.”

What a rise and what a fall.

A fall can be literal, physical, emotional, relational or professional.

The truth is, a fall can happen to any of us at any time. Terrifying, isn’t it?

We plan our lives out, we train for things, but we truly don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or even in the next hour for that matter. Sometimes how we fall is in our control. When it’s not, it’s all the more painful.

Here are my top four tips for getting back up after a hard fall:

  1. Be grateful. In the moment following your fall, this is the LAST thing you’ll feel like doing. But do it. Think of one thing you’re grateful for. Here’s one- your last breath. It can be that simple.
  2. Be humble. In reality, you’re blessed to have made it this far. Don’t blame others. If you’re Shawn White, don’t blame the weather. You’re an adult and you chose to ride that halfpipe. Own it and move on.
  3. Be flexible. You never imagined this would happen, so who know’s what tomorrow will hold. Stay positive and keep pressing forward. As C.S. Lewis once said, “There are far, far, better days ahead.” You might end up in a place you never imagined, but it might be way better than you imagined.
  4. Be bold. The night before his now famous fall, White promised even bigger tricks the following night. Some might say this is pride, but I think that there is a way to live each day so boldly (with humility) that will leave you with no regrets.

The Purpose of Calling Cards

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Historically, calling cards were, “first employed in 15th century China and later used by the aristocracy of 17th century became popular with England’s nobility and rich in the 1800s,” according to American Stationary.

Today, calling calling cards are used for a variety of purposes and by a variety of people including: tutors, freelance workers, babysitters, stay-at-home-moms, college students and young professionals.

For the young professional a calling card is a great networking tool to use before you have a job (where you’ll get business cards.) When you meet someone at a networking or social event, or by chance, you can hand them your card. It’s one of the many little things you can do that can set you apart from other young professionals. 

You should include the following information on your calling card:

  • Full name
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Blog (if relevant and if you keep it updated)
  • Twitter handle (same as above)

Lastly, have some fun putting these together!

“Your calling card should reflect your personality. When someone puts your phone number into their cell, they may look at this entry some time later and fail to remember much about you. A calling card should include something to jog their memory.”

When designing your card, keep it gender neutral. I’m a pretty girly girl, but I chose a mustard yellow with a sage green with script font. Not pink and gold glitter, even though I was tempted.

Now, where to order your cards…

Vistaprint- If you’re on a tight budget, then this is the only place I suggest ordering your calling cards from. Two hundred and fifty cards for $10. As my mother would say, “You can’t beat that with a stick.” No, no you can’t mom. The only hitch with Vistaprint is that their templates are average. In order to get a really great looking card you’ll need to upload a design.

Now, if you’re able to splurge a bit, here are some other suggestions that are really quite lovely:

Zazzle- This is where I ordered my last batch of calling cards from and I must say, while they’re a little more, they’re totally worth it. The quality is exceptional. These cards will run you around $25 for 100 cards. Not bad. The predominant benefit of using Zazzle is that they have really beautiful templates, so if you’re no graphic designer like me, this is the way to go.

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MOO- I know several people who swear by Moo‘s calling cards. These cards will cost you at least $40 for 100 cards, depending on the design and style. That’s the thing with MOO, you’ve got seemingly endless design options.

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Crane and Co.- If you’re a trust fund baby or you have a tree with money on it in the backyard, then by all means my dear, order your cards from Crane. Crane Stationary is hands-down the most sophisticated and most incredible stationary on God’s good earth. It will cost you about $1 per card.  They are letter-pressed and are printed on 100 percent cotton paper. My goodness, they are beautiful.

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Once you order these, you’ll be surprised by how frequently you use them. Sitting on a plane and strike up a conversation with a fellow journalism student? At the end of the conversation say how nice it was to meet them and hand them your card and say, “Here’s my card. Let’s stay in touch.”

When handing in a job application, or writing a professional thank you note, include one of your cards. It’s all about re-enforcing your personal brand.

You never know when these situations will arise, so always keep a good supply ready with you wherever you go. I even keep some in each of my evening handbags. Never know who you’ll sit next to at the ballet!

Do you use calling cards?

How have you benefited from their use?

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