Social Media Schedules

It’s a new year and time to think about how you will outdo what you did in 2011 for your business.  I’m focusing on social media for this post and you let me know if it helps with your efforts for 2012.  At one time I wrote a blog post about managing LinkedIn in 5-15 minutes a week.  However, the article I found talks about building your social media strategy and breaks down the monitoring and prep work down to tasks you need to do, twice a day, once a week and things you need to think about and monitor on specific days, such as getting involved in industry specific conversations.

But, before I send you on your way to read the article I wanted to tell you what I do to monitor our social media at work.

Once a month I think about the postings for the following month by looking at the rpevious month’s numbers and outcomes.

Twice to three times a month I update all analytics, which allows me to find out if our postings are effective and it also allows me to change things up throughout the month.

On a weekly basis I look at some of the social media platforms that don’t need as much monitoring, such as the LinkedIn corporate page and put up an update that reflects the important highlight of the week.

Finally, daily, I monitor every post that gets posted and see if there are photos that someone may have posted of our products and see how I can incorporate them into a posting that day or week in order to bring some visual aspects to the postings and get people interested and hence encourage them to interact.  Photos and videos always get people excited!

So, now it’s time to learn from Brad Friedman and see what he writes in his article titled, Build Your Social Media Schedule for 2012.

What did you do today?

When the Resume May Not Be Enough

Everyone who applies to a job sends in a resume.  Most people also send in a cover letter and in some industries are asked to show a portfolio.  So how do YOU stand out from the crowd?

When I was applying to marketing positions I would come in with a PowerPoint slide that included all of my social networking profiles. I would bring in samples of my work from previous companies, and if I got far enough, I would present the interviewers with a 30-60-90 plan that outlined what I hoped to accomplish in the job in the first 30-60-90 days.  This showed my interest in the job and that I was ready to get started today if need be.

So what does Alesia Benedict from GetInterviews.com suggest when it comes to standing out from the crowd?  Well, here are her 5 tips:

1. Plan Your Strategy.

“Review all the positions to which you have applied and analyze them for similarities and differences. Compare these trends with your skills, experiences, and goals. How closely does your skill set match with your job search?  If your search appears disjointed or lacks coherence, most employers will consider this as indicative of your future performance on the job! Match your skills as closely as possible to available jobs to maximize your efforts.”

2. Create a List.

“Targeting your job search with specific goals is just as critical well into the process as it was during week one. Writing down your goals can focus your efforts more effectively and help you present a more powerful image to potential employers. Creating a list will also allow you to follow up in person with potential employers, an action that will set you apart from the majority of candidates being considered for the position.”

3. Invest in the List.

“Your earlier analysis of skills and experiences will help you identify any potential areas of training that may help you stand out from the competition. Go beyond the initial job description for the position of interest to learn more about the company’s presence in the local community. Although employers are primarily interested in your on-the-job value, if you are able to engage them in conversations about corporate philanthropy, you are demonstrating a deeper understanding of the company’s values, prompting them to invest in you as well!”

4. Showcase Accomplishments that Align with Corporate Projects.

“A resume is an effective tool to help you open doors, but in order to do so it must be closely aligned with the company’s mission, values, and top-notch projects. Edit your resume so that only the most meaningful accomplishments are included. Many job candidates become emotionally attached to certain achievements, often from early in their careers. But the fact that you earned ‘Rookie of the Year in Sales’ when you were just out of college will do little to land the job. “

5. Go Beyond the Resume.

“Finally, no matter how outstanding your resume is, these days it often takes more than a great resume to land the job. Brainstorm how you can make yourself stand out beyond the resume. In addition to including the personal contact noted above, this step may also include creating white papers that outline potential areas of improvement for the company. Or you may consider branding opportunities for yourself – from business cards to promotional items to lunch or treats for the helpful staffers you have met along the way.”

What did you do today?

The Statistics that Matter

The majority of us love Google Analytics.  I could spend a whole day looking at new information and finding new metrics to look at.  But that would be information overload and at the end of the day I might not have a clear picture of what I was actually looking at.  So what statistics should you pay attention to in order to figure out if your site/blog/social media platform is performing?

Well, Michael Hyatt looks at the number one should pay attention to in his article titled, What Social Media Stats Should you Include in Your Book Proposal?  Now don’t get discouraged, these tips apply to much more than just a book proposal scenario.

1. Unique visitors per month.
2. Page views per month.
3. Percentage change in the last 12 months.
4. Average number of comments per post.
5. Total number of blog subscribers.
6. Total number of Twitter followers or Facebook fans.

Read the article to get the full scoop on these tips.

What did you do today?

How Are You Managing Your Time?

As Joe Mathews, Don Debolt and Deb Percival write in their article titled, 10 Time-Management Tips That Work, “Before you can even begin to manage time, you must learn what time is. A dictionary defines time as ‘the point or period at which things occur.’ Put simply, time is when stuff happens.

There are two types of time: clock time and real time. In clock time, there are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. All time passes equally. In real time, all time is relative. Time flies or drags depending on what you’re doing.”

The article goes into talking about how you use the time you’ve got.  Are you watching the clock constantly or are you just going through the day and getting done what you set out to do?  We all have days that are full of meetings and those that drag on, especially during the holiday season.

I manage my time with the help of NUMEROUS to-do lists.  I’ve got one for all of my projects, one for a particular list of projects, one for 30/60/90 days projects and another for things that just pop up.  Is that crazy? Maybe, but I know what I’m setting out to accomplish each day.  Thinking that you have something to achieve, regardless of how big or small, in the next two months might be overwhelming and sometimes makes you think you’ve got a ton of time to do it in.  When in reality, those  hour days all blur into one continuum and unless you have accomplishments along the way, you may never get around to your final task.

I think that by far my most favorite quote from the article is the following: “There are only three ways to spend time: thoughts, conversations and actions.”

How are you spending your time, and more importantly, what did you do today?

Bethenny’s Tips

As you may know, I went to see Bethenny Frankle on her first SkinnyGirl Night Out tour in Lowell.  She shared gossip, Jason and Julie stopped by but most of all Bethenny shared what helped her bring out her inner SkinnyGirl.  After years of weight obsession and dieting she came up with her own tips which she share in her Naturally Thin book.

Here are 5 of her 10 dieting tips:

1. Your Diet is a Bank Account
2. You Can Have It All, Just Not All at Once
3. Taste Everything, Eat Nothing
4. Pay Attention
5. Downsize NOW!

As helpful as these tips are, I did want to share her newest tips from her newest book, A Place of Yes.  For those of you who watched, Bethenny Getting Married? this is the manuscript she worked so long and hard on and then threw into the bonfire because she had to re-write it all.

As the book title states, these are the 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life.  Do with them as you see fit.  Below you will find my interpretation for what they mean to me.

1. Break the Chain- It doesn’t matter what happened in the past.  Break the chain and begin again.
2. Find Your Truth- Just because something worked for someone else, it does not mean it will or should work for you.
3. Act On It- Whatever it is, finding a job, finding a man, moving…act on it and don’t look back!
4. Everything’s Your Business- If it involves you, it’s your business.  Act on it or fix it if it’s broken.
5. All Roads Lead to Rome- There isn’t just one way to do it, find your truth and get to where you want to be.
6. Go For Yours- You don’t need to have what everyone has, find what makes you happy and go for it.
7. Separate from the Pack- Two heads may be better than one, but sometimes it’s best to break out and find your own success.
8. Own It- Whatever you may have done, own up to it.  Whether it’s a mistake or a success, you did it.
9. Come Together- Bring those individuals closest to you back in your life.  Make sure to keep quality and not quantity friendships.
10. Celebrate- once you have achieved your goals…celebrate!

How will you use Bethenny’s 10 rules?

What did you do today?

Job Search Resolutions

How was everyone’s snow day?  I hope no one had to deal with down power lines and trees crashing over their roofs.  Although the shoveling was much harder this time around than the day after Christmas I still thoroughly enjoyed myself.  You can see some of my pictures along the right hand side of my blog.

Now that we are almost at the end of our second week of the new year let’s talk about sticking to our resolutions.  As always, everyone’s typical resolution is to get healthy or lose weight.  Unfortunately, it looks like people are already beginning to fall behind on their exercise.  Case in point, the Tuesday after New Year’s the gym was PACKED at 6am, as the week went on, there were less and less people showing up.  I’m here to tell you, don’t give up on your resolutions!

Those of you looking for work, rejoice!  The economy looks like it is picking up and more people are hiring.  Learn from every phone screen you have and from every interview you go on.  I truly have to say that I interviewed at some great companies but I could not be happier with what I am doing right now.  I not only get to play with social media and put in my two cents but I also get to plan and manage trade shows!  Maybe some of you, who read my blog regularly, might say, “throw fashion in there and it looks like this is THE job for you.”  Luckily, just being back in the workforce I get to play with all of my old AND new work clothes so it’s like exploring a part of my closet that I hadn’t seen in 16 months!

So what do the writers at Doostang suggest you resolve to do in the new year if you are looking for work?  Let’s take a look:

1.Resolve to build out your professional network.  Hold yourself accountable and vow to meet a certain number of people – say, two – per week.
2. Promise to yourself that you’re going to really make your job search a full time job, and set a goal for yourself as to how many jobs you will apply to each week.
3. Decide to have a happier, healthier year by taking up a hobby or volunteering.  It’s hard to sit in front of a computer all day and search for a job, so commit yourself to an activity or join a group that meets once a week…
4. Commit yourself to learning a new skill or subject matter.  Use your free time to broaden your mind, and consider taking up something that will allow you to bring more to the table at a new job…
5. If 2010 was a rough year for you as far as job search goes, consider seeking the aid of professional services that will look over your resume or coach you on how to perform in an interview.
6. Make a resolution to build your online presence and leverage social media channels to get a job.  Sign up for various social and professional networking sites, and craft an image that you want employers to see.
7. Perhaps the most important resolution is to find a way to stay positive, even though you may be feeling anxious about not having a job.  A positive person will be more productive, will exude enthusiasm and confidence to hiring managers…

Thank you Doostang team for your great advice!!!

What did you do today?

P.S. Read the whole article: New Year’s Resolutions for Your Job Search.

The 12 Days of Blogging

In honor of the 12 days of Christmas I am sharing my favorite 12 blogs with you:

1. The Long Hard Road to Employment.  “16 months, 457 job applications, 93 rejections…”

2. SEO and How it Will Help Your Company. “…if you don’t optimize your site for certain keywords it my never get found.  Being found is something that’s very important for a company, especially one that is starting out.”

3. Top 20 Interview Questions. ““Bare in mind that the interview starts from the minute you walk into the building until you leave and are out of sight. Don’t think that just because you have left the meeting room, you are “off the hook.” You need to maintain an image of confidence, enthusiasm, competence, reliability and professionalism throughout.”

4. The HIRE Act-Encouraging Employers to Hire the Unemployed! “The HIRE Act is aimed at providing hiring incentives to restore some of the jobs lost in the latest economic recession. The goal is to help put Americans back to work as soon as possible. Business owners that hire qualifying workers sooner rather than later will get the most out of the tax credits, as the tax credits diminish over time, disappearing completely by January 1, 2011.”

5. Fall Office Fashions.  Nothing more I can say than…I love clothes.

6. Old School Interview Tips-Step 4: Interview Questions. “Yesterday I promised to share with you what I believe to be one of the hardest interview questions…”

7. Questions to Ask During an Interview.  “…the interview should be a dialogue and not a monologue….”

8. The Future of Social Media. “…I was happy to come across an article outlining the next 5 years of social media…or at least what this one writer thought the next 5 years might bring.”

9. Non-Compete Laws, the Ugly Part of Contract Work. “With the economy still in the dumps, those of us who are required to sign non-competes find ourselves in a pickle.”

10. How to Successfully Use Facebook for B2B Purposes.  “Here are 5 tips for a successful Facebook page.  Your company can’t succeed without these!”

11. Resume Gaps. “…although I am not an HR director, here are my tips for how to fill gaps in your resume…”

12.The Job Search as It Relates to Dating. “the job search is a lot like dating. And here is why…1. When you look for a potential person to date, you, nowadays, explore your options in clubs, bars and sometimes even on line…sounds a lot like, networking and looking on job boards…”

Merry Christmas and…what did you do today?

Winter Activities

With Christmas right around the corner here are my favorite Christmas/holiday activities:

1. Seeing the Nutcracker ballet. It’s one of my favorite activities around the holidays and I still plan on seeing it sometime this winter.

2. Skiing!  I love getting out there for my first run of the season.  Check out the best ski deals around New England: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont.

3. Sign up for the first night and get discounts on such performances as the Nutcracker!

4. Check out the ice sculptures at the Boston Common, Copley Place and Northeastern University.

5. Ice skate on Frog Pond!

What did you do today?

Christmas Office Parties 101

We all look forward to this time of year.  Everyone is jollier, more relaxed and is focusing on Christmas and overall holiday cheer.  It’s also time for Christmas/holiday parties.  You may not need to watch your language or behavior while attending a friends’ party but the office holiday party is a different animal all together.

After coming across a number of articles about this topic here are my top ten tips to a successful night:

1. These days parties are less party and more a holiday lunch.  Keep in mind that unless you are told that everyone can feel free to order alcohol, stick to the sodas and non alcoholic drinks.  If you can order a cocktail, do just that, order A cocktail, not ten.

2. Even though everyone is in a jolly spirit and you feel that everyone is bonding, this is not the time to divulge how you REALLY feel about someone in the company.  Keep those comments to yourself and between friends.

3. Holiday garb doesn’t mean that you need to pull out your shortest and sparkliest dress.  Unless it’s a black tie or disco theme, keep it appropriate.

4. Don’t arrive so late that you actually do end up making an entrance.  A) people will think that you don’t respect them and their time B) this is a work affair, you still need to come on time, even if you’re not on the clock.

5. Mingle! This is the time to do it.  Meet and converse with new people.  Just like networking is important outside of work, it’s ten times more important at work.

6. Don’t tell racy jokes.  You don’t want to be remembered for your inappropriate commentary. Although others will laugh, they may question your judgment.

7. If kids aren’t invited to the party simply don’t bring them.  It’s not hard to find a sitter for a few hours.  Enjoy your night out and let others enjoy theirs.

8.  This is not the time to let the hot guy you share a cube wall with know that you are in love with him.

9. Don’t forget to eat!  An open bar does not mean that you have your dinner in liquid form.

10.  Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy yourself.  If you conduct yourself in an adult and respectful manner you have nothing to worry about.

What did you do today?

P.S. Here are the articles I pulled inspiration from:

How not to behave at the office party

Holiday Office Party Don’t, 10 Things You Should Never (EVER) Wear

10 Things Party Guests Don’t Tell You

Holiday Office Parties Do’s and Don’ts

Does Your Boss REALLY Know How Much You Do?

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has thought this thought…can my boss do my job?  Well, our questions may be answered, just flip to Undercover Boss on Sunday Nights at 9pm and you’ll see that most CEO’s are not able to do the work that makes a company tick. Whether it’s being a flight attendant for a national airline, a lifeguard for a regional resort or a chamber maid for a national hotel, the big wigs just can’t cut it.  However, this past weekend’s episode really showed it best when the CEO of Frontier airlines, who lives in a mansion with a giant backyard and two fountains, talks about the struggles the company has gone through and hence has cut people’s pay by 10%…

What does this show us?  We have to keep climbing up, or in some cases, do what we do but do it better than someone else.  The people who make a business run on a daily basis are not the ones who prosper, most of the time.  We may work 10 hour days, put in weekends, sleep with our blackberries glued to our ears but all of it won’t help when it comes to layoffs.  So instead, I encourage everyone to become more visible in their company.

1. Talk to everyone, even the CEO.

2. Ask for projects that have higher visibility and then deliver on a promise to complete the project.

3. Always ask for feedback and ask about what you can do better.

4. Plan out your day wisely.  Sure, phone calls and people may interrupt you, but make sure you get done what you set out to do.  I’d suggest to low ball your task list, that way if you get more done then you’re that much further along and feeling more positive rather than thinking about the 10 things you didn’t accomplish.

5. Never burn bridges!  If I have learned anything at all it’s that you never know who you might meet and whose help you may need to rely on.  As you plan out your career, make sure to pay it forward and then back to those who have ever helped you.

For those of us who are unemployed, we have to become more visible in our networks and on our resumes.  How?  Here are my tips:

1. Reach out to new people on LinkedIn.

2. Expand your skills by taking online classes!

3. Always ask for feedback after interviews.

4. Taylor your resume and cover letter TO the job you are applying to.

5. Keep in touch with your references.  Don’t just call them up when you need them. You hate it when others only call you for a favor, how do you think your references feel if you do the same thing?

Good luck to all of us!

What did you do today?

P.S. Today’s entry idea came from the following article, Undercover Boss: Could Your Boss Do Your Job?