Facebook is #1 On Birthdays

IMG_4551_2As you can probably gather, I love social media.  Twitter is my favorite, followed by Instagram then Facebook.  I like the content better on Twitter and Instagram but I still love Facebook for staying in touch with family and friends.

On my birthday, Facebook absolutely rules.  I always enjoy checking FB on my birthday and reading all the great messages from friends.  It really makes my day.  I also enjoy wishing friends HBD on their special day and FB makes it so easy.  I wish I could say that I remember everyone’s birthday, but I can’t, so thank you Facebook for doing that for all of us.

Here’s a breakdown of how my birthday messages were delivered:

Mailed Cards: 8

Phone Calls: 2

Texts: 10

LinkedIn: 8

Twitter: 3

Facebook: 119

This is a great example of how things have changed so much in our lives…years ago you would only get a phone call or a card in the mail…now there are several ways to reach out to people to communicate with them.  I LOVED all my birthday wishes and messages no matter how I received them but I thought it was interesting to break them down based on medium.  Which proves that Facebook is King when it comes to wishing someone a Happy Birthday!

What is your favorite way to say HBD?

What I’ve Learned in Vegas

photo_3Happy Sunday morning from Las Vegas! I have been here way too long…started Monday attending a work conference, then stayed over for my son’s basketball tournament.  I will fly home tomorrow morning thank goodness…I am so ready.

This is the second year in a row that I am in Las Vegas on my birthday.  You would think being in Vegas on a birthday would be fun and I know lots of people specifically come to Vegas for their birthday…but its not for me.  I don’t like to throw away gamble my money, I don’t drink that much and the crowds are definitely not for me.  I would much rather spend my birthday at home with my family.  Nice and quiet.

I’ve learned a few things while here in Sin City…things I have most likely always known but somehow this crazy town highlights them in technicolor.

1. Cigarette smoke is gross! I stayed at the Aria at the beginning of the week and their ventilation system is amazing! I am now at the Palms and they do not know the meaning of ventilation.  I am pretty certain I could get lung cancer here playing the slots.

2. Las Vegas is Expensive! I’ve always known this but sometimes it just slaps you in the face. $29 spaghetti and meatballs, $14 bottled beer and $5 bottles of water.

3. People are strange. If you want top notch people watching, then look no further than Las Vegas.  I have seen it all…especially on Fremont street.  Plus sized Elvis, an 80 year old Cupid in very small underwear, dancing girls, dancing boys, and all sorts of roman soldiers and mythological creatures.  And that’s just the folks in costume…people out here can be quite entertaining as well.  For some reason, Vegas encourages people to wear the least amount of clothing possible at all times!

4. Reflexology means torture. My mom is here with me and I told her we should get foot massages, so I pulled up to a place that advertised “Reflexology 1 Hour $25.” Sounded great to me.  One hour later, I am pretty certain I had been physically assaulted.  The therapist was so darn strong and while she walked (yes walked) on my back, all I could think was “I want off this ride!” Later that night, my mom and I compared the bruises on our arms and legs.  Holy cow!

5. It’s so loud in Vegas.  Everywhere you go there is music playing.  Everywhere…it is so bizarre.  The pool at the Palms blasts loud music all day and we can hear it very well from our 32nd floor room.  The bathrooms in the casino blast music and even the restaurants have loud music.  What is the deal? I can barely hear myself think in this place.  We went to the Forum Shops yesterday and even there the music was so loud while you shopped.  It’s driving me insane!

6. It is so dang HOT! I am a southern girl and I know summer heat…this is unlike anything I have ever experienced.  It has been 100+ all week.  That will make you certifiably crazy.

I could go on and on but mostly, you can probably tell I am just really homesick.  My quiet, safe, normal home in Northwest Arkansas.  Vegas is great for visiting but I certainly could not live here.  It is a tourism wonder to behold, millions of people visit every year and the hospitality industry is alive and well here.  I will be back next July because we will play basketball again here…I hope I am recovered by then!

Tell me, have you been to Vegas lately?

The Friday Fab Four

image001Four articles that I enjoyed reading this week!

1. 12 Most Basic Ways for Beginners to Rock Twitter –Becky Gaylord (T is my fav social media channel…these are great for newbies)

2. How Productive People Build Their Habits–Jacob Shriar

3. Receiving the 12 Gifts of Problems–Leadership Freak (surprising, but actually quite true)

4.Mark Twain’s Top 9 Tips for Leading a Kick-Ass Life–Henrik Edberg (Love his quotes)

Discover

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

 

The Friday Fab Four

image001Here are four articles I found interesting this week.

1. What No One Ever Told You about Work-Life Balance–Michael Hyatt

2. 27 Ways to Get More Sh*t Done–Laura Schwechrl (Love #25)

3. Google Hires A Star-Studded Team of Hackers to Fix the Internet–Jay McGregor (What won’t Google do?)

4. 4 Things You Thought Were True About Managing Millennials–Amy Gall0

Social Media Engagement

For the most part it seems, everyone is on some form of social media.  If not, you are probably either living under a rock or actively refusing to get on social media.  For many, social media is a great way to stay in touch with friends from long ago and across the street.  It’s also a great source to stay up on current events as most breaking news breaks on social media today.  It’s a great avenue for sharing photos of loved ones and places you are visiting and it is also the place to tell the world what you are up to on any given day.

I believe most social media users are all pretty good at posting content.  Whether it is what they are having for lunch or linking to a blog post they wrote that morning.  There is definitely what I call “over sharing” on social media…I don’t really need to see your post surgery healing or your rants about your ex-husband.

What frustrates me most about social media users is that while they are good at posting, they are not always that good at engagement.  In order for social media to work properly, users and brands need to engage with their followers not just post content.  It’s like this, what if you stood on a street corner in Manhattan NY and yelled into a megaphone all day just spouting off your thoughts.  That is exactly what some people do on Twitter or Facebook.  Social media only works if you engage.

It is important to engage in conversation on social media.  If someone replies to your Facebook post or your tweet, it is only courteous to respond even if it is just to say thank you.  There are brands who get this concept very well.  This past  weekend, I was traveling with my son’s basketball team and I tweeted a photo of the boys eating at Firehouse Subs before the game, here’s what happened:

photo

This was a Saturday and still someone on their social team was on twitter watching. That is great engagement and guess what, we ate there again on Sunday!

Just read this article this week about Hyatt hotels and their @HyattConcierge program.  They do a really nice job of not only posting content but being there for customers on social media 24/7.  Now, this isn’t easy I realize…Hyatt Hotels is a huge company and they have a huge team handling their social media but it is what I expect from a large company.  Small companies do not have the staff to man social media 24/7 but that doesn’t mean you can’t get back to someone as soon as possible.  It’s always good to like, retweet and favorite content from your customers.  If you are a small operation, I think your customers understand that it might be 24 hours before they hear from you but make sure they hear from you. If you are an airline…you better have staff get back to someone within the hour or this could happen.

It is important to remember social media is about being ‘social.’  If someone on the street were to say “good morning” to you, you will most likely say “good morning” back…it’s no different on social media.  If you want to grow followers it is all about give and take.  If someone follows you on twitter and you can determine this person is not a bot, then it’s perfectly acceptable to follow that person back. The ‘favorite’ button on twitter is a great way to say “great tweet” or “I like what you are saying.”  If you think your followers would be interested in the tweet, then a retweet would be appropriate.  The same is true for Facebook, like a post, like a comment or share the post with your friends.

It is that simple! So make sure you are not just posting content but engage with the social media universe as well.  You will not only grow your followers but you might meet someone new.  Plus it makes social media more fun.  So engage already!

 

 

The Friday Fab Four

 

image001Here are four articles I found interesting this week.

1. The Ties That Bind–Dana Hazels Seith (A must read!)

2. How to Start a Conversation You’re Dreading–Peter Bregman (Very good advice)

3. Consistency Pizza: How to Find the Perfect Volume, Quality, Voice and Topics in Your Marketing–Kevan Lee (Love everything Buffer writes!)

4. Is Work-Life Balance Even Possible?–Jacob Shriar (Just wow.  Shame on you Elon Musk)

 

 

Reply All…Let’s Not!

ive-never-been-held-hostage-but-ive-been-on-a-group-text-feb05Have you ever been on one of those never ending ‘reply all’ emails?  Absolute agony.  People, it is 2014 why can we not figure out how to properly use the ‘reply all’ function? To me, reply all simply means “cover your ass” because that is usually why someone uses the ‘reply all’ function.

Just the other day I explained it like this…person A. (let’s call him Jack) Jack needs an answer to a question and so he emails the 8 members of his team hoping that someone in that group will know the answer.  (Jack could also pick up the phone or {God forbid} walk to someone’s office but I will save that for another blog post) Perfectly fine for Jack to email the 8 staffers but here’s what usually happens next.  Person B. (let’s call her Sally) Sally immediately replies all with the answer to Jack’s question thus winning the make believe game in her head that you must be first to reply all! Then person C. (…Bob) Bob also replies all with the answer just mere seconds after Sally and so on and so on. Meanwhile person H. (YOU) gets out of their meeting and has 48 emails in their inbox…WTH?

In this instance, NO ONE should reply all.  Jack is the one who posed his question to 8 people, only Jack should suffer the 8 email responses not the other 8 people.  Now I know what the reply allers will say “But how do we know if Jack got his answer if we don’t reply all?” That is Jack’s problem, not anyone else’s.

Once ‘reply all’ starts it’s contagious thus making one simple email turn in to several.  Who has time for that? Aren’t we all aspiring to “Inbox Zero?”

Here’s another ‘reply all’ scenario.  If you are putting 50 email addresses in the T0: or the CC: area you are doing it wrong! And guess what this leads to? Someone replying all accidentally to all 50 people in your email. Disaster.  This is a nightmare situation for the 43 people who didn’t care one lick about the original email to begin with.

Reply all is a very delicate tool, one that must not be taken lightly.  Today we feel empowered to email anyone, anytime and that has lead to poor email etiquette in my opinion.  I myself am trying to pick up the phone more or talk face to face with people because I believe (much like the handwritten note) people appreciate human contact more than another email in their inbox.

The next time you get the urge to reply all…stop and either just hit reply or pick up the phone and say “hello.”

Here’s a great article about how to mute reply all emails.

What I am Reading Now–July

index Business Without the Bullsh*t, 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know…this is my book for July.  A lot of good information in this book and it will be a book that I will keep close to my desk to use as a reference.  I plan to read it cover to cover but the author suggests that you can pick the book up and read a chapter when a question or issue arises.  It’s very well written and I like that at the end of each chapter James gives a summary of what was discussed in the chapter.  Another book I think would be good to have in hand to highlight pages but I also think I will download it to my iPad.

 

From Amazon:

In BUSINESS WITHOUT THE BULLSH*T, James explains how to clear the clutter from your work life so you can achieve real and lasting success. You’ll learn how to:

  •                     Earn the respect of your peers
  •                     Find and keep your dream job
  •                     Use layoffs to build your career
  •                     Give unforgettable presentations
  •                     Neutralize workplace bullies
  •                     Nail that all-important email
  •                     Achieve lasting career security

Full of the bluntest secrets from the most successful workers, BUSINESS WITHOUT THE BULLSH*T gives you the essence of what you need to know to achieve a successful and meaningful career in the business world.

The Friday Fab Four

image001Here are four articles I found interesting this week.

**Happy 4th of July and Happy Birthday to my Mom!

  1. Why ‘Millennial Bashing’ in the Workplace Needs to Stop–Dan Kadlec (Collaboration, Teamwork, Flexibility..Oh my!)

  2. 10 Tactics to Better Work-Life Balance–Fizzle (Zero-base calendar…interesting)

3. 5 Unusual Ways to Start Working Smarter, not Harder–Belle Beth Cooper (Naps! I’m a huge fan of naps)

4. Mean Tweets: Dallas Cowboys Edition–Jessica Gioglio (Oh no, I hope Romo doesn’t read one of mine!)