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What do you do at Addison Clark?
A mixed assortment of things! While my "official" title is Marketing Manager, I tend to dabble in various activities, like SEO tracking, account management, and playing on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest (and by playing, I mean working... what can I say, social media is fun for me!). Mostly, though, my number one job duty is to keep Andrew and Jeff on task!

What’s your favorite thing about your job?
There's something new every day! Whether I'm working on a new print project, social media posting, or pay-per-click campaign, each day is different and out of the ordinary. I also adore my team - hands down, they are the best coworkers a girl could ask for!

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What do you do at Addison Clark?
My job revolves around writing – from blog posts to web copy to 140 character tweets. On a daily basis, I deal with social media marketing, email marketing, copywriting and blogging – a writer’s dream job.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I love dealing with social media on a regular basis. It’s fun to see customers interacting with brands they love. I also love being able to articulate our clients’ stories using social media.

Name three things you’ll find on your desk at work.
A framed picture of me and my husband on our wedding day. We got married in May of this year and I still haven’t tired of looking at our wedding photos again and again (…and again), so having this on my desk makes me particularly happy. You’ll also find a mug for hot tea and plenty of Sharpie pens.

Pinterest! Five years ago Pinterest didn’t exist. It wasn’t a word, a thing, or even a thought. In the last few years, though, the visual social media site has become one of the most popular go-to platforms in the world of event planning. With over 25 million users today, most of whom are female, Pinterest has become a hot spot for wedding and reception ideas. In fact, Pinterest estimates that there are tens of thousands of user-created wedding boards across the site, many of which are created by women who aren’t even engaged or planning a wedding. Like millions of other users, I turned to Pinterest for ideas and inspiration when I started planning my own wedding this year. Throughout the process, I realized that there are many ways in which businesses can utilize Pinterest in the same way that brides-to-be do. Whether you’re planning a wedding or an office event, Pinterest can be a very useful planning tool. One of Pinterest’s best qualities is that it is visual. By pinning a variety of pins onto a single board, I was able to visualize how details would look together. It was also helpful to have all of my ideas in one place where I could easily share them with family members and vendors, so that they too would have a visual of the look and feel of the event. Likewise, Pinterest is a great resource for businesses to use in order to gather feedback on projects. Instead of having long meetings to brainstorm and discuss, why not use a visual approach? Pinterest boards are a great way for employees to actually see their ideas coming together. Another useful aspect of Pinterest is that everyone can contribute. I come from a large family so it was no surprise that everyone wanted to offer their ideas and suggestions during the wedding planning process. Pinterest makes it easy to let others in on the plan. I invited my mother and sisters to pin to my wedding boards. This way, when they came across a cute decor idea, hairstyle, or bridesmaid dress they could pin it themselves. In a business, getting the staff involved in major decisions is a great way to let them share their thoughts and opinions. Encourage employees to pin their own ideas and suggestions to a particular board. Pinterest is a valuable resource when it comes to searching for wedding vendors. One of the best things about having so many brides on a particular social media site is that they’re able to share their caterers, DJs, wedding officiants, etc. Many pins are linked to these vendor’s websites, which allowed me to contact them directly. The next time your business hosts an event, consider creating a board to showcase the event. You can pin pictures of the event’s key speakers and link them to your Web site or to those of the speakers. You can also give your sponsors a little extra exposure by creating a board filled with your sponsors’ products and services. Not only does this showcase the types of relationships your business has, but it provides a great resource for others businesses or interested clients. Finally, remember, that Pinterest is a public space. I was cautious about pinning all of my wedding ideas on Pinterest, because I didn’t want wedding guests to see all of my ideas before the big day. Pinterest solves this problem by offering Secret Boards that are hidden from the general public. You’ll still have access to all the great features Pinterest offers, but you can keep your ideas on the down-low until the time is right. Happy pinning!
  How creative can you get in 6 seconds? Vine, Twitter's newest app, is forcing businesses and brands to consider this question when it comes to sharing their stories. The video sharing app, launched by Twitter earlier this year, allows users to combine photos and video into a 6-second creation they can share on Twitter. One reviewer described it as "Instagram meets Youtube with a dash of Twitter." The app quickly gained steam after its launch and is already one of the 100 most popular free apps for the iPhone. Perhaps the biggest reason for its success among businesses is the opportunity it offers to market oneself in a completely new way. Six seconds is not a lot of time, but you may be surprised how much content you can fit into six seconds. There have been many articles floating around recently on how to best use Vine to market your business. We have gathered a few of our favorites to share with you.  
  1. Product Demonstrations. Rather than writing an in-depth tutorial for a product your business provides, why not create a quick Vine video to show off your product and its abilities?
  2. Record headshots of all your employees into one video. People want to associate a face with a company or business. A 6-second video introducing your staff is a creative and friendly way to gain followers.
  3. Capture office atmosphere. Give your customers or clients a glimpse behind the scenes. Let them know the kind of company they are dealing with. A fun video that captures your office environment would be a great way to introduce your brand or business to potential customers.
  4. Cover trade shows, speeches or just about any event you attend. Promote events your business or brand is involved in with short clips and pictures of the event.
  5. One word testimonials from happy customers. A stop-motion Vine video with customers holding a sign with one word that describes their experience with your business would be a unique way to share testimonials.
  6. Finish your video with a call to action. At the end of your Vine creation, be sure to let your audience know to follow you on Twitter, like your Facebook fan page, share the video with their friends, etc. Vine is just a tool to promote your business. Be sure to take advantage of this.
After creating your videos, be sure to share them. Vine gives you the option of posting your video to the Vine community, Twitter or Facebook. You can add a caption to your video or categorize it with hashtags. To read more about Vine and ways in which it can benefit your business, follow the links below: Sharing Your Message in Ten Seconds or Less How 15 Real Businesses Are Getting Creative with Vine for Marketing 14 Ways A Business Can Use Vine for Marketing 5 Ways Marketers Can Use Twitter's Vine App to Drive Social Media ROI  
In an effort to continually improve on my social media skills, I've been really diving into Google Plus (or simply G+) as of late. I was one of the early adopters of G+, when you still had to have an invite to use the social media platform. I was so excited, and I (like many) thought that Google Plus was going to be the next big thing. Then it became open to the public, and... still not many people I knew signed up for it. When I realized I was getting more friends on Facebook than G+ when it was supposed to be gaining momentum, I basically gave up on it. Some time has passed since those days, and more individuals and companies have established themselves on this platform. New features have been added recently and needless to say, my interest in Google Plus has been renewed. Not only is it my job to know and understand as much about social media as possible; I really just feel that many things deserve a second chance (darn my bleeding heart!). So let's dive in to the new and improved G+, shall we? *Please note: This is an introduction to Google Plus, which I interpreted by perusing my personal account, and should be used in conjunction with your own experience with G+ (not as a replacement for it). When you log in to Google Plus, you are taken to the Home screen. This is where you are able to create your own post and view recent posts of others. The layout of G+ is relatively easy to follow, once you get into it. I stumbled a bit at first, but it always takes time to get used to anything that's new to you. On the right hand side of the Home screen, you'll see topics that are trending on G+, recommendations of people/businesses for you to follow, and other information that may be relevant to you. The left hand side of the screen is where your main options are. Going down the line: Profile- Pretty self-explanatory. This is where you set up your profile (+You) that everyone will see. You can upload a profile pic, a cover photo, get a snapshot of who is in your Circles (we'll come back to this), and see all of your past posts. Explore- As Google+ puts it, this section is, "What's hot and recommended." Popular posts will be on display here, as well as posts that Google believes you will be interested in (based on your Google Plus habits, who you follow, what you post, etc.). Again, you will see trending topics on the right and suggestions for you to follow/Communities to join (more on that later). Events- If you are hosting an upcoming event, you can create, share and invite others here. You can post photos for the event and view it on your Google calendar. Others that are invited to the event can also share posts and videos. Communities- This is one of the newest features on Google Plus. In a nutshell, a Community is basically a group that you can join that appeals to your interests. Once you join a Community, you can post or comment on posts. It's a fun way to communicate with people that you may not necessarily know, but share common ground with. For example, some of the Communities that I have joined are "Animal Lovers," "One Upon A Time Fans," and "Joke of the Day." You can also create a Community, if you are so inclined. Photos- This is where you can establish your photo settings. Set up instant uploading from your phone, view your photos online, and choose which photos and videos you want to share with whom. Circles- The best way to explain Circles is simply that they are groups of people organized to your liking. You will start G+ with four pre-made Circles: Friends, Family, Acquaintances, and Following. You can delete any of these Circles, and create new ones- you have the freedom to organize any way you choose. One person can only be in one Circle at a time. What's interesting about this is when you post, you can choose specific Circles that you want to share with (if it's a more personal post) or you can share with ALL of your Circles. Make sure to pay attention to which Circles you're sharing with whenever you are posting! Local- This is a neat tool to use if you are trying to find a business near you. You will automatically see "Recommended places near ____________(your current location)." In this section, you can view/write reviews and recommendations, and you'll see a few offers for locations near you that have paid to be in this space. Games- Find games to play, and see what people in your Circles are playing. Hangouts- A Hangout is basically video chat session. It does not have to be one-on-one; you can invite up to nine people at once to join in. You can view past Hangouts that have been made public on this page. There are apps you can access to make your Hangout sweeter, including YouTube and Google Effects. Pages- If you manage multiple Google Plus Pages, you can access them all on this page. You have to be given administrative rights in order to have the Pages show up. So now that we've gotten through the instructional portion, let's take a look at some of the ways G+ can be used as a business tool. 1. If you are in the business of social media like me, you'll enjoy using a fresh platform and learning all about it. 2. Google account holders will find that it integrates nicely with their Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, etc. 3. The organization of Google Plus is really helpful (once you get used to it). Being able to post to certain audiences is a key feature that other platforms don't offer. 4. Businesses can benefit from some of the features, such as Local, Events, and even Hangouts. Think about how cool it would be to host a seminar related to your business through a simple Hangout chat on G+! 5. Adding G+ to the social media mix is another way to reach out to current and potential clients; the more social media platforms you are active on, the less chance you have of isolating anyone in your customer base. The biggest issue with Google Plus that I see is that it just hasn't seemed to catch on as a major player in the social media world yet. It's true that G+ now has more than 100 million active users, but when I use my personal page, I feel like I'm hearing crickets every time I post something. Granted, I'm still building up my Circles, but I can't help but wonder if other individuals and businesses feel the same way. I have found that there aren't a lot of local businesses on G+ for my area. I have been able to follow several chains that have a presence on Google Plus, but I was really expecting to be able to add some of the businesses in the Local section to my Circles and I wasn't able to. That section seems to mostly be for ads and reviews. Google Plus has a long way to go to become major competition to certain other players in the game, but it might be advantageous to start using it now as it is still in growth mode. Does G+ fit into your business plan? That's for you to decide. Written by: Jocy Vuiller
In my profession, daily use of social media is accepted AND expected. I plan my posts, strategizing for each of our clients in addition to representing our company brand. I get the luxury of both work and play on social media, and I have been involved personally with this form of networking for quite some time. I signed up for Facebook when I first found out about it, back in my first semester of college. It was a time when you were required to have a .edu email address to create an account. I've seen many changes in the social media world since then; the growth and expansion of Facebook, the demise of MySpace, the rise of Twitter, and the power of photos on Flickr and Tumblr, to name a few. Many people don't think twice about what they're doing on social media. In general, a personal social media account is a space that belongs to the individual. Sure, there are certain unspoken rules that should apply to everyone (don't post pictures of you throwing up on the street corner after a long night of drinking, avoid nude photos- you know, follow common decency). However, being active on social media is so common, no one really considers that certain groups may be getting left out of experiencing social networks to the fullest. I found an interesting article detailing one profession that walks a fine line in the social media universe, and that is teachers. Not only do they have to deal with constant friend requests from current students, they have to be careful about everything they post in a public forum because so many of their students are on Facebook. Student-teacher relationships are frowned upon in any capacity, and privacy controls can only do so much. Can students and teachers share a particular social media space? That is an ethical question that has led many teachers to seek out other platforms for social media that are catered to educators, such as: Edmodo- A social learning site that, "provides teachers and students a secure place to connect and collaborate, share content, and educational applications, and access homework, grades, class discussions and notifications (Edmodo website)." The purpose is strictly educational, and the network provides a safe and secure environment for connecting with peers and colleagues,   as well as students. edWeb- A networking website strictly for educators. Similar to LinkedIn, it offers, "a community to connect with peers, share information and best practices, spread innovative ideas, and provide professional development (edWeb website)." This doesn't mean that teachers can't benefit from using the typical social media platforms. For example, the article points out that Facebook and Twitter are great sources of technology news that can be integrated into the classroom. However, because teachers feel limited on how active they can be on more well-known social media platforms, opting to join one of these specialized networks is very appealing. Read the full article here. By: Jocy Vuiller
As social media becomes more and more integrated into our daily life, our friends have the privilege of knowing what we’re doing at any given moment, what music we’re listening to, what we’re eating, where we’re eating it at, and exactly what our opinion is on that new Parenthood episode. The issue of over-sharing on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook has been discussed over and over in the past few years, but what about how we are supposed to respond to all that over-sharing? Alex Knapp, a writer for Forbes, brought this subject up recently when he saw on Facebook that one of his office mates was listening to a certain band. He looked the band up and began listening to their music. This is when he found himself in the middle of a social media etiquette predicament. Should he thank his office mate for introducing him to a new band that he really liked? Would that be creepy? Should he not say anything and continue listening to the same music as she did? Would that be even creepier? What if she didn’t know that what she was sharing on Facebook was “public”? What if she didn’t know she was sharing at all? Knapp woefully wished for a Miss Manners of the social media world to plague with these questions. Sharing on Facebook has reached a point where not everything that is posted is voluntary. Outsider apps, such as Spotify and Pinterest, will post what song you’re listening to or what recipe you’ve repinned automatically. While most people are aware of their privacy and sharing settings, not everyone is knowledgeable of the fact that the miniscule details of their lives are being posted on the Internet for “everyone” to see. (“Everyone” as in their office mate whom they added out of politeness, their crush from high school whom they added so they could browse through his/her wedding photos , their best friend’s brother’s girlfriend whom they added because…heck, they don’t even know why they added her!) Either way, these are the people who are being updated with details of other people’s lives, a little treat they have at their fingertips thanks to a pretty little thing called social media. How are we supposed to respond to that? Is it simply accepted that everything that is posted on social media networks is meant for public consumption and, therefore, okay to discuss with family and friends? Or do social norms prevail and real life manners apply? Miss Manners, where are you when we need you?
All of the major players in the universe of social media claim to believe in information-sharing. After all, that's the basic premise of social media. However, it's apparent that the big boys do NOT wish to share with each other. Business is business- and if that means going to war with the competition, much to the dismay of the users, then bring it on. This is exactly what is currently happening with Twitter and Instagram. If you haven't heard yet, Twitter and Instagram, two of the world's biggest social media powerhouses, have all but completely severed ties with each other. The two companies used to play nice, working together for the sake of the users that love both sites. For example, I used to be able to post a photo to Instagram, and that photo would link automatically to my Twitter account in a lovely harmony of social media sharing. Now, it seems those days are long gone. A look at the timeline of events for both companies will shed some light on where the situation stands today. July 2006: Twitter is launched as a new social media website, priding itself on 140 character limits for each update. Over the next 6 years, it becomes one of the most popular social media websites in the entire world. October 2010: Instagram is launched as a social media site specifically designed for publishing photos  and allowing the user to apply pre-programmed filters to said photos. The site BOOMED over the next year and half, leading to... April 2012: Instagram is acquired by Facebook in a sweet $1 billion deal. With Facebook behind them and Twitter still allowing them to link accounts, things were definitely looking up for Instagram, when... December 5, 2012: Instagram photos no longer display correctly on Twitter. This is due to Instagram attempting to redirect the Twitter card (the app on Twitter that allows you to view Instagram photos) to the Instagram website. Then... December 9, 2012: Oh, I'm sorry, were you trying to view an Instagram photo on Twitter? Not gonna happen. Instagram officially turns off support for Twitter cards as Facebook (remember, now the owner of Instagram) announces  they no longer support them. It is still possible to tweet a link to an Instagram photo, but the photo cannot be viewed on Twitter anymore. December 10, 2012: In a not-so-shocking twist, Twitter introduces filters for photos, a la Instagram. At this time, there are nine filters on Twitter compared to 20 filters on Instagram, but that number will surely increase as time goes on. Here we go. So it appears that the nice-nice is over as Twitter assumes the position to take Instagram down. Twitter has many users and is clearly the king of micro-blogging, but Instagram has the full support of big brother Facebook and a potential 1 billion+ users behind it. In this competition, who can own the space better? There will likely come a time when Twitter and Instagram users will find themselves at a crossroads, and we will need to decide which service is better for us. It is too soon to guess who will emerge victorious, because both websites will inevitably undergo changes in the coming weeks and months. When the time comes, we'll get to be the judge of who survives-- and who falls. It will certainly be interesting to see what the outcome is! Check out these articles for more information about the feud between Instagram and Twitter. http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57558128-93/instagram-photos-disappear-from-twitter-feeds/ http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2012/12/10/instagram-vs-twitter-time-users-pick-sides (Time for Users to Pick Sides) http://news.yahoo.com/twitter-instagram-filter-wars-arrived-235658503.html
Social media has had an incredible impact on our society. We are able to communicate very easily with someone who is halfway across the world from us. We can express our feelings in a very personal way without the directness of face-to-face contact. That is why now, more than ever, we turn to social media as an outlet for expressing grief, happiness, and just for the sake of satisfying our interests. There's so much that we can learn about a person, just based on their social media content. For example- on July 20, 2012, a horrible event rocked our country, and especially the Colorado suburb of Aurora, where 12 innocent people were killed in a shooting at a movie theater. One of the victims was a blogger and aspiring newscaster named Jessica Gwahali. Soon after that day, I read an article analyzing grief and social media, and the author discussed how she had been reading Jessica's blog, Twitter, and Facebook pages. It was astonishing how many new Twitter followers Jessica received after her death, and the tweets were full of sadness, expressing sorrow for the loss of Jessica's life. Through social media, the author of the article - and thousands of other people - were able to feel connected to Jessica after the tragedy, even though they did not know her personally.  Click here to read the full article. Social media is not just an outlet for grief- it's a place where many exciting, personal announcements are made. Lately, I've noticed many major life-changing events blowing up my newsfeed: engagements, weddings, pregnancies, you name it. It's no wonder, really, because social media is a great way to get the news out to the world in one fell swoop, without having to worry about telling your friends in a certain order! Celebrities are at the forefront of sharing exciting news through social media. Instead of a traditional press release, Lady Gaga used Instagram to share some important news with her fans; she posted a photo of her new tattoo, which states the title of her next album. We are a 24/7 society, meaning that most people are very focused on satisfying their interests RIGHT NOW! Because social media is immediate, if you've fallen behind on a piece of news, it won't be long before you find out. There is one problem that this poses- spoilers. A perfect example of this was Twitter during the Olympics. Since the games took place in London, everything that happened live was broadcast hours later in the United States. In the meantime, spectators to the Olympic games were Tweeting events in real time, thus taking away the element of surprise for many people. As a result, expressions of anger and frustration were posted on Facebook and Twitter when big reveals were made. However, that is the chance we take when living in the land of social media. I always wonder how newcomers to social media networks will react once they discover what all the fuss is about. A friend of mine resisted the social media movement for years. She finally gave in and  joined Facebook in June. She's already up to well over 300 friends, she posts every day, she has uploaded more photos than I have on my own page-- and I feel like I'm getting to know her better now that she is on Facebook. No matter how we choose to express ourselves through social media, we can all agree that it's a movement that has become an integral part of our daily lives. What will you be sharing today?

Get the most from your Data

                Acquisition, engagement, and outcome are important aspects of creating a marketing and public relations strategy for your company and your website. You have to begin with a plan, but once you obtain results, how do you know where to start with deciphering those analytics? Many people know that they can use Google Analytics to their advantage, but they don't know what they should be looking for. The goal of having a website is to engage customers and potential clients, right? You want to be able to drive a client to your website, but once they get there, what is going to compel them to stay? You can probably think of a few things that will drive you away from returning to a website, whether it is a flashy pop up, or an advertisement with loud music. There is nothing more annoying than a website that has 15 advertisements pop up before you even get to the homepage. If that's the case, I will most likely not be a returning visitor to that site. In gaining engagement, you have to consider the ideas, organization, and visual elements that make your customers feel like they can depend on your website for valuable information from a reliable source. Once you have a good visual aspect, and your site seems generally easy to navigate, you might want to start monitoring your site traffic in order to see where you can make improvements. Google metrics can seem a little confusing at first, but mashable.com has broken down the three main statistics: "The three key engagement metrics in Google Analytics are:
  • Pages per Visit: This is the average number of pages a visitor views when coming to your website. The more engaging your site is, the more inclined visitors will be to continue clicking beyond the entry page.
  • Average Time on Site: This refers to the typical amount of time visitors spend on your site, despite whether they continue to stay on the page they came in on or navigate elsewhere within your domain.
  • Bounce Rate: This represents the percentage of single-page visits to your site. It gives you a sense of how many visitors left your site from the entrance page rather than clicking further into your site as compared to total visitors. Like Pages per Visit, Bounce Rate can help you determine the performance of your entry pages based on the actions visitors take (or don’t take) after they’ve arrived on your site."
You can then use these tools to decide if your website is user-friendly, or if you need improvement on the links that navigate through your website. Take into consideration a few questions: is the content on your site is useful to the customer, and does the content on a specific page match the keywords in the links provided? Using these questions and numbers in sync can be a surefire way to improve the quality of your web traffic.  Depending on your goals, it will be up to you and your company to decide which of these insights, metrics, and features are going to be the most useful to you. However, it provides a highway to strengthen your marketing techniques, write better-targeted ads, and improve keywords to increase customer traffic through your site. Source: http://mashable.com/2012/01/04/google-analytics-guide/   Written by: Heather Via
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