moda vivendi

I'm just talking to myself. We do that sometimes, me and myself.


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Peter Pan Phenomenon

I don’t want to grow up.  Wait, don’t close the page!  Hear me out!

I’m not saying that in a Peter Pan way (well maybe that’s partly it).   I’m saying that in a state-of-mind kind of way.  I heard a while ago, and keep hearing now, that in order to be creative, you can’t lose your wonder of the world.  I feel like that’s especially true for people in creative fields, be it writing, advertising, designing, or even landscaping.  In my probably-very-biStarased opinion, there are too many people who are rigid, unforgiving, and unyielding.  That harshness turns into skepticism and eventually cynicism.  Once you hit that point, well, forget it.  Try as you might to be good at what you do, the magic is gone.  You’re stale.

True, you have experiences that you can’t “un-experience” that shape who you are as an adult.  I’m not saying to forget those experiences because that is what makes you you.  But if you hold on to that little bit of wonder, remind yourself that there are silver linings to every cloud, great things will happen.  Creativity will flow and you’ll be able to keep your sense of child-like enthusiasm.

Sometimes I feel like there are so many people my age who are leaps and bounds ahead of me.  I feel like there’s the expectation for me to be an over-achiever and head-and-shoulders above everyone else yet I’m just average.  I drive to an average office in an average car, sit in an average cubicle with an average computer, have average coworkers whom I averagely tolerate..you get the idea.  It’s hard to do great work when it feels like there’s something or someone keeping you down.  Don’t become complacent and a “boring adult” – hold on to that bit of wonder that makes you try harder, believe more, desire something better.


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Social media needs to be social

This was originally posted over at theBrewRoom blog.

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that social media is, in fact, social.  Every time that certain car commercial comes on (you know, with the rep reading tweets and their hashtags), someone in the room with me asks, “What’s a hashtag?”  It’s a link to all the tweets in the world with said hashtag.  Then the inevitable, “But…..why?”  So you can see what people are saying (and jump into the conversation, of course)!  We’re so focused on using the Internet to throw information out into the universe that we forget the best way to use it; no one wants to be talked at, they want to converse.  Social media, and the marketing that goes with it, is virtual word of mouth.  It’s a conversation.  There are peoplBill Lumberghe constantly talking with and engaging other people.  If you want your business to be successful, you need to engage as well.

Let’s say I work somewhere like “Office Space.”  I have 3-5 on any given day asking me to tweet something, usually a promotion.  Of course, they all think  their message is the most important one to disseminate (so it must be posted NOW).  Well, when you overload people with text and they aren’t getting anything meaningful out of it, guess what will happen to your message? It’ll get tuned out (or they’ll just unfollow you period).  Now, when Lumbergh comes back 5 minutes later to ask if anyone is talking about it, he’ll be let down because the answer is no.

Long story short: be social.  Show you care about the community that you’ve built:

  • Ask questions.
  • Answer questions.
  • Include comments when you retweet whenever possible.
  • If you need to promote services or events, do it in a way that’s natural and not pushy.
  • Mention people to get the conversation going if you have a piece of information that you think is of interest to them (just don’t be spammy; no one likes that).

And don’t forget to “listen” to the conversations.  It’s a two-way flow of information.  Don’t expect to get a response if you are not responding yourself.


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Should Your Business Use Tumblr?

**Please note: I originally posted this on theBrewRoom blog. Head over there to see it in all its glory!

What happened to Tumblr?  It has a couple hundred (million) users, but even then, it seems like it was almost a flash in the pan.  According to WSJ, Tumblr was recently purchased by Yahoo to bring a social networking presence to the company that is mostly used by an older customer base.  A Google Trends search makes it pretty clear that it’s the forgotten middle child of social media.  (Does anyone else appreciate the irony of using Google to report on something Yahoo-related?  Fickle internet..)  So even though it’s hovering in the shadows for now, should your business use Tumblr?

Tumblr’s users are in a younger demographic.  If you’re Newsweek Tumblrmarketing to that younger crowd, this could be a great tool.  But even if you aren’t marketing to a younger crowd, you can utilize Tumblr in an effective way.  Most notably, if you have highly sharable, visually appealing content or snippets of interesting text.  Newsweek, among others, does a great job of this.

It is primarily a visual platform; if you have pictures to share, this is great.  So why not use Facebook or Instagram?  Well, my friends, you can cross-post.  And you can reach more people than just those who follow you.  If someone likes your content, they can “reblog” or share it on their own Tumblr page, and so on and so forth.  So how is it different than Facebook?  You can tag your pictures, similar to Instagram, and let the viral nature of Tumblr do its job.

Sure, you can use this as your sole website for your business, but I like to think of Tumblr as an extension of your brand identity.  The users are a little edgier, a little more tongue-in-cheek, a lot more visual, and therefore more likely to share things they find visually appealing on Tumblr.

The simplicity of this platform is also appealing and so is the ability to curate content.  But to see my full thoughts on that, head over to theBrewRoom (you know you want to)!


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Five Things: My Social Media Marketing Essentials

This week’s Five Things, I bring you my five social media marketing essentials that I can’t live without.  I’m sure you already use them, but if you don’t, look into it (or ask me to do it for you!)  This is by no means a complete list of every tool I use, just the ones I use daily.

1. TweetDeck – Oh how I love TweetDeck.  It is my go-to dashboard for Twitter.  It’s a seamless extension of the Twitter site.  Want to know every time someone checks into your business through Yelp?  Type in the keyword search “[your business] yelp” and it’ll automatically populate a list for you.  Tracking a hashtag campaign?  Type it in.  Yes, HootSuite offers this as well, along with their own great offerings like built-in analytics, but I prefer TweetDeck to manage multiple Twitter accounts for it’s ease-of-use and clean styling.

HootSuite2. HootSuite – Of course, HootSuite made it on this list.  As I mentioned, HootSuite does offer their own analytic reports for use about every social channel they support (we’re talking all the big players here), integration with Google Analytics, URL click stats, and the ability to make custom reports from their data.  While that’s all mighty fine and dandy, tend not to use HootSuite for tracking but for managing channels, like the five Facebook pages I work with every day.  Any more than that, though, and you’ll have to get a paid account.

3. Commun.it – A clean follower list is a happy follower list.  You can get that with Commun.it.  A basic (aka free) plan will be sufficient; upgrading to pro is just more of a good thing.  Commun.it allows you to see who has engaged with you the most, whom you need to respond to, and suggests who you should follow and/or unfollow based on recent interactions.  On the basic account, you can also track up to three keywords, similar to TweetDeck’s search function, but shows you “top influencers,” or people who use those keywords the most.  It will also suggest that you engage with a particular user based on their use of/relation to your keywords.  It’s a fascinating tool and I’m only scratching the surface.

4. Google Analytics – Yep, Google Analytics is making an appearance on here.  From learning which page your customers are Google Analyticslanding on to creating custom dashboards brimming with just about any metric you’d want to look at, this program will you just about anything you’d like to know about your website traffic.  I’m a particular fan of Visitors Flow.  It tells you on which page people begin, where they go from there, if they drop off, and the percent of each.  As well, you can filter which segment you want to analyze.  Want to know where people go after they come to your site from Facebook?  Segment for “Social.”  Not sure if you keywords are performing?  Boom, set for keywords.  Again, I’m only scratching the surface.

5. Bit.ly / Delivr I use bitly to shorten and track websites that I share with social channels.  I use Delivr to create QR codes (are QR codes over? Yeah, probably, but some people still like to use them for convenience).  Both will show you how many clicks you get, when, and where.  Bitly will tell you who else shared a bitly link to that content.  It will also show you clicks on that link versus clicks on your other links; this is helpful if you’re testing click rates.

Honorable mention to Twimbow because it’s cool.  It’ll organize your Twitter account based on color.  One color for DMs, one color for mentions, etc.

So that’s my short list of things I “reach for” (“click for”?) every day.  What can’t you live without?


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Things to remember when posting for your business

**Please note: this was first posted over on theBrewRoom blog.  You can check out the full post (and more) there!

Inspired by a list published on AdAge.com by Simon Dumenco, “9 Media Things That Should Be Immediately Regulated,” I hereby give you my list of 7 Things That Should Be Immediately Regulated When Posting For Your Small Business (or any sized business for that matter) on social media accounts.  Posting for your business can be tricky to navigate at first, but it gets easier with practice (and remembering these reminders).  Please note: there is no particular order because these are all important.  Well, except for No. 1.  That’s pretty important.

5. Henceforth, your posts shall only contain one punctuation character in a row.  I get that you’re excited, but use your words, not your exclamation points.  Exception: ellipses…

4. Henceforth, you shall not ramble.  The ratio of number of characters per post to percent of increased engagement varies between Ragan, Short Stack, and Linchpin SEO infographics, but they all will tell you that posts clocking in around 100-150 characters (3 lines of a Facebook update) see more interactions on Facebook.  Similarly, about 80-100 characters are ideal for a tweet.

3. Henceforth, you shall not post willy-nilly.  Everyone (yes, everyone) will tell you to make a schedule of posts and stick to it.  It’ll keep you organized, keep you on point, and ensure that you post essential messages without becoming overbearing (and annoying).

2. Henceforth, if you must automate posts, know who/what/where/when.  Don’t be the person tweeting your two-for-one BBQ Nite when something devastating (or joyful, but mostly devistating) happens.  Make sure you know what’s going where and when.  Try your best to make a quick change should you need to.

1. Henceforth, you shall be interested in others.  As John of YaJagoff will tell you, social media is losing the “social” aspect.  He’ll also tell you that you can get more people interested in you by showing interest in them.  Think about the last time you were faced to endure time with a “me” person.  It’s a turn-off, yeah?  Don’t be that person online.


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5 Reasons You Hate Your Job (Redux)

I’d like to preface this by saying I like my job about as much as the next person.  Usually I’m doing something that I think is helping the company.  I have worth!  I have talent!  I have stress-relief balls all over my desk! (My favorites are a light bulb and a penguin.)  But this “article” that I read is just begging to be satirized.  It’s called “5 Reasons You Hate Your Job.”  I’d tell you to go and read the full thing here, but let me break it down for you.

You’re Unorganized

I’m proud of my organizational skills.  Okay, my desk at home looks like a hoarder and a pack rat got together and threw up all over it, but in the grand scheme of things, it could be worse.  And at work, I’m the best, most color-coded, Type A, Post-It-Noted person in the office.

So really, maybe I’m too organized.  There’s no clutter to make me crazy so I am crazy in other ways.

You’re Stressed

Reason number two is because “I’m stressed.”  Well, yeah, of course.  When you are told to re-do something 10 times and it turns out that Version 1.0 is the winning choice, or they ask you to do something 10 times and your contributions still aren’t implemented, you tend to get a little frustrated.

You’re Not Taking Care of Your Body

Actually, I’m training for a half marathon.  If I want to eat a cookie, I’m eating that cookie.  Next!

You Don’t Like Your Colleagues

The author suggests that I understand that they have personal lives and stresses in those personal lives, just like me.  Okay, I understand that for them, but why don’t they understand that for me!?  I don’t want to be at work while you stand around and eat your cookie.  Do that at home, not on my time.  I eat my cookies at home after I train for a marathon.  See, I’m understanding.

Your Finances Aren’t In Order

That’s why I have a job..to make money.  So I’d say my finances are getting in order.  They aren’t as tidy as my organizational skills, but I balance my check book.

I’d like to offer my own 5 Reasons You Hate Your Job:

  1. You’re Given Too Much Work and Not Enough Money (Look, that kills Reason 1, 2, and 5)
  2. You Don’t Like Your Colleagues (That one was pretty spot-on the first time around)
  3. Your Business Casual Clothes are too Binding (Casual Friday should be Casual Every Day That You Have to Put On Real Pants Day)
  4. You Have to Wake up Ridiculously Early (I’m a morning person, but not a crack-of-dawn, before-the-birds-are-chirping person)
  5. There Isn’t Enough Coffee or Whoever Made the Coffee Today Must Have Put Ashes in It (It isn’t that hard people. I know I was a barista, but come on, this is a home-brew machine, it doesn’t say “Go gather a unicorn’s tears and fill the water reservoir with them” on the instruction booklet)

And sometimes there are days when you only have 1 Reason You Love Your Job:

  1. Your Chair Swivels


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What my professional personal ad would say

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to branding.  When I say branding, I mean marketing and branding, not the thing you do with cattle and other property.  If a company wanted to brand me, I think I’d run away, but it depends how good the benefits package is.  I’d really like to market myself in order to either increase the likelihood of being hired in a full-time capacity.  (Shameless plug: if you know of someone in the Pittsburgh area who is looking for a copywriter, I’m your gal.)

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here’s what my professional personal ad would say about me.  I have a few options, so let me know which is best and I’ll take out a Craigslist ad in the help wanted section. Or, put it on LinkedIn.  That’s probably a better channel..

23, eager to learn, interested in writing, baking, coffee, and long walks between my desk and the copier. Looking for someone to fund my Post-It habit.

Young candidate seeks the right company. Me: copywriter, designer, blogger. Familiar with InDesign and social media advertising. You: able to provide me with a cubicle, a working computer, and things you need me to do. Not afraid to play on a company softball team (hand-eye coordination needs work first).

Advertising hopeful looking for the right company to unleash my creativity on the world. Will work for Starbucks gift cards and Nutella.