Friday Fab Four

IMG_5432Today is a very special Friday…he’s back!! Enjoy these four articles, I will be busy binge watching House of Cards.

1. How the Mayor of Pittsburgh Hired the Most Diverse Staff in the City’s History–Debra Smit {Nice job Pittsburgh!}

2. How a Great Company Culture helps with Customer Loyalty–Jabob Shriar {it’s all connected!}

3. Use the 52-17 Rule to Maximize Productivity–Denis Lelic {sitting is the new smoking}

4. Meet the Tweet-Deleters–Kevin Roose {Interesting…and I almost agree with this idea}

Hey Brands, Pay Attention!

megaphone manDo you get frustrated when you tweet or facebook a brand and they ignore you?  I get frustrated too.   Social Media is not a one way street especially for brands. If a consumer tweets a brand, good or bad, the brand needs to respond in some form or fashion.

Many times, I will tweet an article about a brand and tag the brand with a positive congrats or message—–>crickets.  It surprises me every time.  Not all brands, but a lot of them are totally missing the boat.  I’m not saying I need an ‘atta girl’ every time I mention a brand, but a favorite would be nice. According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, 90% of consumers would recommend a brand after interacting with them on social media.  Ninety percent, people! On the flip side, brands fail to respond 75% of the time on Twitter and 85% on Facebook.  This unacceptable.

Look, I’m the first one to tell you that social media management is not easy and I do it for a living.  I constantly stay on top of my client’s accounts all day, every day, so as not to miss a customer interaction.  Brands need a person or team dedicated to this everyday as well.  Social media does not take time off, ever.

The marketplace is so competitive now and brands can’t afford to overlook anyone.  There are brands doing this very well, Southwest Airlines, Garrett’s Popcorn, Chipotle, etc and they have huge social media teams that monitor their social media 24 hours a day.

For those brands who are not monitoring, they are really missing a key component to the B2C relationship.  Consumers are human and they want to be treated like a human being even by a brand. If a brand can accomplish this well, they will build loyalty with the customer.

For those brands spending millions of dollars on ads and marketing…as this article will tell you, it’s about loyalty.  Ads don’t create loyalty. If you want loyalty, thank your customers on social media.

Have you interacted with a brand on social media? Was it a positive or negative experience?

What Would You Say in Your Oscar Speech?

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.I love an awards show and tomorrow night is the king of awards shows, the Oscars! I love the red carpet pre-show and I love the entire show from start to finish.  Each year, I print out a ballot and my boys and I fill it out and see who gets the most picks correct.  Some years, I am really good and some years I totally miss the boat…like the year with The Artist, totally didn’t watch that movie or think it would win anything and it did.

I love a good Oscar acceptance speech too.  Who could ever forget Cuba Gooding, Jr’s speech, so emotional, or Sally Field’s, “You like me, you really like me.” I love when the actor is surprised and filled with emotion. I always have anxiety for the actor if they have a famous mate and they forget to mention them…i.e. Hillary Swank! I don’t like when the person seems unaffected by the win or makes the speech really short and or fills the speech with politics.  I just want to see the real person in the biggest moment of their life tell us how they really feel.

So every year, I wonder what I would say in my Oscar acceptance speech.  I know that I would definitely thank all the wonderful people in my life and hopefully not forget anyone.  I would thank my ‘team’ because you know, if I’ve won an Oscar, there’s a huge team that helped me get there.  I would hope to tie something personal to the win.  If you know me, you know I would have to make sure not to drop an f-bomb! (I love when people accidentally cuss on live tv, it cracks me up.)   What would it be like to be there in front of millions of people, not to mention the biggest movie stars in the world, and have the composure to deliver a great speech? I’m certain I will never know but I always wonder this during the show.

So, you’ve just won the Oscar for best actor…what would you say in your acceptance speech?

Friday Fab Four

IMG_5432Happy Friday! It’s cold here in Arkansas and I am definitely ready for Fridays on a warm, sunny patio, drinking beer! Until then, here are the four best articles I’ve read this week.

1. Who Really Had the Best Movie Career after ‘SNL’–Walt Hickey {did you see the 40th special? so good}

2. Meditation Booms as People Seek a Way to Slow Down–Mary Macvean {I downloaded this to help me meditate}

3. How Medium is Building a New Kind of Company with No Managers–The Review {this is exactly how my company will be when it grows…holacratic}

4. 7 Millennial Traits that Baby Boomers Need to Learn–Evan Burns {thought this was good but I wouldn’t just say it’s millennial traits…GenX has traits that BBs could learn too}

Snow Day Policy

snoopsnowWho doesn’t love a snow day? The world literally slows down for a bit and kids (and teachers) rejoice.

Do you rejoice as well or are you more stressed on a snow day?  For many, a snow day means a day working from home.  For others, it’s a stressful, agonizing day because their workplace either has no snow day policy, a policy that isn’t clearly defined or they work for someone who doesn’t believe in snow days.

I’ve worked in these situations and as a result, I always dreaded a snow day.  Every morning these thoughts go through your head…Is the office closed or opening late? What will I do with my son while I work? Can I drive my car on the bad roads? What if I wreck? It can become a very stressful and debilitating day for an employee. The workplace needs a clearly defined policy and no matter what, it needs to stick to that policy.

I’ve seen companies with really good snow day policies, for instance, one place had a policy that if the local school was closed then the office was closed.  This is great because not only is it very straightforward, but the employees who are also parents can rest assured they won’t have to deal with child care issues.  Other companies open later to allow traffic to flow and snow to melt, this is also good.  Regardless, have a policy that is clearly defined and be reasonable with your people.  Some people are terrified to drive on snow and ice so be understanding if they ask to work from home.  Some employees can’t wait to be the first ones out on the snow…good for them but don’t compare those employees against those who don’t like to drive, everyone is different.

I believe that if you instill a great culture in the work place every day, you won’t have to worry about snow days…not only are your employees probably happy and content but they will be more apt to actually do work from home and/or brave the elements to get in to the office.  This is what you want most of all, employees who want to work even on a snow day because the workplace culture is so good and trust me, this is what employees want as well.

Here’s a great article: The Adult Snow Day is Dying, and That’s Sad. 

Friday Fab Four

Friday FabHappy Valentine’s Day Eve! I read this week that Americans will spend $18.9 billion on this holiday…WTH people?  What are we buying?? That is just crazy to me.

Here are four articles I read this week that got my attention, hope you enjoy!

1. How ‘X’ became the Universal Symbol for a Kiss–Amy-Mae Elliot {very cute, xoxo}

2. How One Stupid Tweet Blew up Justine Sacco’s Life–Jon Ronson {great article on social shaming and what not to do on social media}

3. Taking Up (the Right Amount of) Space–Jodi Beznoska {Jodi is a friend…her blog post touched me}

4. The Unofficial Goldman Sachs Guide to Surviving Valentine’s Day–GSE Elevator {pretty funny}

Can You Find Love at Work?

Untitled designIn honor of the Hallmark holiday…let’s talk about love at work.  No, I’m not talking about hooking up with a co-worker! I’m talking about loving your work.

My keychain says “Love What You Do, Do What You Love” simple enough message but not always easy to accomplish. Maybe you don’t love everything about your job, only a few things…that’s ok.  Focus on those things about your job that you do love.

We’ve all been guilty of wasting hours of time griping about those aspects of our job that we absolutely despise.  Bad boss, lazy co-workers, less than stellar work environment, slow internet, inflexible hours, and asinine policies. (I’m sure together we could go on and on with this list.)  It’s not healthy to focus on the negative…even at work.

Take a few minutes and think about what you do love about your job.  Is it rewarding?  Do you have a friend in the office that you look forward to seeing everyday? Do you enjoy creating spreadsheets/reports/widgets/presentations etc?  Is your boss motivating and supportive? Is the office space inspiring and pleasant?  Whatever you love about your job, focus only on those things.  Let the negative thoughts go.

If you cannot find one single thing to love about your job…then it is time to find a new job.  We spend a lot of time at work so it’s very important to find something to love about work.  I know it’s not always easy, I know many people who work in horrific circumstances…but you must either find the silver lining or move on.  Maybe, it’s as simple as moving to a new department at your place of work.  Many times, a change of scenery can help tremendously.

Do you manage people?  Then ask yourself, do your employees love your management style or love the job they are doing?  Maybe as a manager you struggle to find things to love about your job, but you can directly affect whether or not your employees love their job and you.  Managers can be great buffers against negativity and inefficiencies…you just have to be willing to do so.  Here’s a great article on 10 Ways to Show Your Employees You Love Them. 

So when all the flowers, candy and balloons start showing up at the office on Friday…use that as a signal to list the things you love about your current job.  Are the things you love about your job enough to keep you happy and motivated? If the love outweighs the hate then you can probably make the best of the situation.  If not, then while you are in transition to find a new job, focus on those aspects you do love and make sure you take those with you to the next job.

Can’t find one single thing to love at work? Time to start looking for a new job to love.

Friday Fab Four

IMG_5432Happy first Friday of February! I hope it was a productive week for you and now that the weekend is almost here….you have time to read these great articles I picked just for you.

1. You Should Know Your Parents’ Social Media End Of Life Wishes–Jake Swearingen (Sorry, not exactly cheerful but something we now have to think about in the social media age…you should think about your wishes as well)

2. $3 Tip on a $4 Coffee? Gratuities Grow Automatically--Hilary Stout (I’ve certainly experienced this)

3. Creative People Say No–Kevin Ashton (Not just for creatives…learn to say no)

4. Why It’s So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos–Nick Stockton (Aha! Now I know…)