We Have a Facebook Page?

24 Jul

There are several companies, organizations and even people that may not know they have a Facebook or Twitter account. For those that are aware of social media being done on their behalf, do you really know who is controlling the page and what they are saying to your customers?

I believe that social media pages can be a good way to get to know your customers, raise brand awareness and increase sales. However be sure to follow these rules when creating any social media account (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.):

  1. Know who controls the accounts. Be sure that you know who set up the page. Make sure that  they are following your companies mission and goals.
  2. Create a Facebook Page. Pages are much better than a group or friend. A page is something you like, but a group is something you must join. Also the advantage of a page is that comments are coming from the company. On a group page, comments come from the people in the group. So an individuals profile picture shows, instead of your company logo.
  3. Be an administrator. Make sure that more than one person has administrative rights and passwords to your social media pages. If the person that set up your accounts leaves the organization, they may shut down your pages, disparage your company or just leave it with no updates.
  4. Check on your pages. You may be a busy business owner, but make sure that you take time to see what is being said on your pages. You need to make sure that the person is promoting your company in a positive light
  5. Always be social. No one likes to be bombarded by sales messages. It’s almost like having spam in your Facebook or Twitter feed. Talk to your customers, see what they like or dislike. Have a contest or post some pictures of an event. Just do things to keep your customers engaged. It’s best to come up with a plan or have someone (like me!) create a social media plan for you.
  6. Create an account anyway. Even if you don’t have plans to enter the social media field anytime soon, be sure to claim your name early. It’s disappointing to find out that the name you want is already taken. Or even worse, to find out that someone has claimed it to say bad things about you.
  7. Check what’s being said. Search social media sites regularly to see what people are saying. Although Comcast has been given high remarks on their responsive social media, you will find that almost the same number of people like the “I hate Comcast” page as the official “Comcast” page. This may be a way to address problems before they get too far. Remember that an unsatisfied customer tells six people, while a satisfied one may tell one.

The reason I say these things is because of an experience I had with one of my favorite local sandwich shops. I was on Facebook one night when the sandwich shop sent me an instant message (this is not possible if it is a fan page). The guy running the page then proceeded to hit on me, though it may have been flattering, it gave me a weird feeling about the people that may be working for this company. I also second guess going in there now, because what if the creepy guy recognizes me? So those are my social media rules. I have created, managed and developed plans for several companies and individuals.

I’m Twittered Out

15 Jul

For quite a while I was on the Twitter bandwagon. It’s a great source of information, from news to technology to just keeping in touch with friends. And although I still send the occasional tweet, I don’t log into the site very often anymore.

It was almost like information overload. I followed several different news organizations, other public relations professionals and other businesses in my industry. Plus a few of my favorite movie or television stars (but of all the stars I felt that only @Alyssa_Milano actually sent out quality tweets). When you start to follow a few hundred people, the feed is going so fast that you can barely keep up with all the messages.

Then you find yourself using tools like TweetDeck and HootSuite to group people and keep up with different subjects or groups of people. Tweets are typically short, 140 characters or less. But often these tweets link to a site with more information on the subject. Then you spend some time looking at links, retweeting stuff that you found interesting or replying to comments that other people may have said. Next thing you know, you’ve lost an hour or so.

And since there is always so much information, you find yourself going back to find older posts. I saw the signs of addiction. Tweeting at least eight times a day to make sure that I stay in people’s feed. Sometimes scheduling tweets to make sure I didn’t miss peak hours. I’d also spend tons of time looking for interesting things to post.

I often used Twitter as part of my social media strategy at my job. Twitter can be a great marketing tool, if you know how to use it. The people that are just sales pitch-y and not informational or conversational, can be quite irritating. Twitter is a great way to get at early adapters. Twitter is also one of the few social media networks that has a primarily middle aged male demographic.

While I think that Twitter is a great service, at least temporarily I’m not going to be as active on Twitter. But you can still follow me if you’d like @LHaliburton.

Like a Kid in Disney World

14 Jul
Disney World

The castle is beautiful at night

Even though I’m turning 30 this year, I finally got to see Disney World, the most magical place on earth, and I was excited. Everything was beautiful. I felt like a big kid enjoying the parade and stepping through Cinderella’s castle.

I’ve been to Florida several times before. Visiting places like Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Key West, Tampa and Orlando. And even though I’ve been to Orlando before, I never visited Disney World. My first trip to Florida was when I was 18 and I went to Orlando.  At that age, I felt that I was too old to go to Disney. I did go to Universal Studios, but mainly because it was much cheaper than a Disney World ticket.  Every other time was for vacation, but I never returned to Orlando.

The funny thing is, my dad actually took me. He wasn’t really in my life as I was growing up. And never really took me on a vacation, except to Sea World in Ohio. So this was a great time for me. We rode some rides together and looked for Mickey so I could take a picture with him. We walked the entire park and rode Space Mountain, which was much cooler than I expected.

I was pretty disappointed however, that I didn’t see Mickey or Minnie. I saw them in the parade and I thought there would be tons of them walking around, but apparently they only come out during the peak season (I went in February). I saw Tigger, but there was a pretty long line to greet him. And even for it to be off-peak season, there were tons of people around and I knew I’d hate to see it during peak season. I did like that for some rides, if the line was long, you could get a pass to comeback at a certain time. This was great for rides like Space Mountain where the line was over an hour and a half long. With the pass we only waited 15 minutes.

It would be great if everyone could experience Disney at least once. I can see myself one day saving to take my children there. But I think that many children (and adults) will never get the opportunity to see Disney or meet Mickey in person. First, that place is terribly expensive. Disney consists of five theme parks and it would take at least three days to see everything. A one day pass to see one park is $80 and the hopper pass (to go between all five parks for one day) costs $130. Now imagine taking a family of four there for three days – that would be over $1,500! And that’s just the park. There’s still travel, lodging, food. It’s almost impossible for many families to make that trip. Even those cool Mickey ear balloons cost $10.

I hope one day they make it affordable enough that most families will be able to see the most magical place on earth.

Did He Really?

14 Jul

So I spoke earlier about this guy I met online and things seemed to be going well, when out of the blue I got a text that said not to bother him anymore. See Dating Ass #1.

About three weeks after that crazy text, I got a text then a call at 2:30 in the morning. I ignored them, but then got another text saying it was important and he called again. Thinking something may be wrong, I answered. He asked why I hadn’t contacted him. I reminded him of the text and he said that he didn’t send it. I told him to call me later and let me get back to sleep.

He didn’t call the next day, but on Saturday sent a text at 7 a.m. I replied later that day and asked if knew what appropriate hours were. When we spoke again I asked about the text and he swore he didn’t send it, but that he did get my message that said “why?” I asked why he didn’t respond to that, but he had no real answer.

So for the last couple weeks he has started calling and texting again, even though I have expressed my anger over the first text message. I mean seriously, I’m almost 30. I’m not completely stupid. I know if he didn’t send the message, that a girl he’s seeing probably sent it. My phone has never sent me mysterious text messages before attached to a contacts name.

What Happened to Courting?

14 Jul

Back in the day, my great-grandmother talked to me about how my grandfather courted her. He picked her up from her home. Spoke with her parents. Brought flowers or other gifts. They sat in the parlor and talked for hours.

Most men nowadays don’t even bother. Many think a horn honk outside is just as good as coming to the door. Men barely give gifts, unless it’s a special occasion, and that’s usually only if you have been dating a while. I know some guys that break up around Thanksgiving, just to get back together after New Year’s so they don’t have to buy holiday gifts.

But I wonder why men changed? Was it the technology? Did the telephone, movies and television make one-on-one conversations unnecessary. What about the feminist movement? Women trying to be equal to men and saying they can open their own doors, pay for their own meals. Did we make men feel like we didn’t need them?

I want a guy that opens doors for me, calls me just to say “I’m thinking about you”, and brings me flowers just because. Though I like a guy that asks where or what I want to do, I also want a guy to make some decisions. Don’t always ask me, you choose something. Show me what you like to do. Don’t ask me out and then expect me to call you on the night of the date. And be considerate. I’m tired of guys that want to take you out after 10 p.m. I think a guy is only thinking of one thing at that time of night.

So can anyone tell me where the men are that still act like gentlemen? And preferably men in my age bracket.

Unemployment Sucks

16 Jun

Well it’s been a couple of months without a job now. I figured once I had my degree that I wouldn’t have to worry about being unemployed again. What I failed to realize that one of the first budgets cut at many companies are the marketing and communications budgets. It doesn’t help that I’m in the Metro Detroit area, an area with the highest unemployment rate in the country.

In the last few months, several public relations and marketing firms have either closed or been downsized. Because of the area being so dependent on the auto industry, so were many of the firms. When Chrysler pulled their account from BBDO, the ended up closing their Detroit and Windsor offices (almost 500 marketing professionals without jobs). Campbell Ewald recently lost their largest account, Chevrolet. So I wouldn’t be shocked to see lay-offs coming from them soon.

My first month or so was okay. It was nice to have my life back. I had been working over 50 hours a week for almost two years. But now I’m getting bored. My house has been organized. Papers have been filed. Pictures have finally been hung and scrapbooks completed. So I really don’t know what else to do with my time. I can’t do much, because I’m starting to dip into my savings, since unemployment isn’t even half of what I use to make. But I am amazed at how I’ve been able to cut expenses to live within this new budget.

I’ve applied for several jobs, each week I spend hours filling out these long resumes online. So far I’ve only had a couple of interviews and have yet to find a job. The market is so saturated right now. There are people with far more experience than me and willing to take less money right now. So it leaves people like me, just past entry-level, with not a lot of options.

So now I’m trying to decide if I should leave the Detroit area. It’s been the only place I’ve known for all of my life. But I may find more luck somewhere else. But once you’re unemployed, it’s hard to look out-of-state. It takes money and resources that I really don’t have since my savings is starting to go to paying bills.

Or do I take a job that’s not in my field. It has taken me so long to get my degree and I truly enjoy public relations and marketing, but I may not find anything in that area. A few people can find me some clerical jobs, but I thought once I had a degree I wouldn’t be taking phone messages for other people any more. It seems like this would be a delay in my career goals, but at least I won’t be dependent on unemployment and I would be making more money.

Online Dating Ass #1

15 Jun

Starting talking to a pretty decent guy online. For the first couple of weeks we spoke on the phone for hours and sent several text messages everyday. Everything seemed like it was going to be great. When we first started talking, he said he had to go out-of-town for about two weeks. So that delayed our first meeting.

A few days after he came back, he called me and wanted to meet up like right then. Unfortunately, I already had plans and told him that I usually needed more notice. Plus, my profile clearly states that I’m a busy person.

The text messages started coming less frequently, and he completely stopped calling. When I asked what was going on he said he was out-of-town again and busy with work. I was cool with it. I had my own things to take care of in my life.

Unexpectedly a couple of weeks later, on a Sunday afternoon, he sent a text saying lets meet at a downtown bar. Well once again, I already had plans. He then said that I was the one procrastinating on wanting to meet. I told him the ball was in his court since he was always of town or busy with work. When I asked if we could meet during the next week, he said he was leaving town on Wednesday. I suggested Monday or Tuesday before he left, but he said he was going to be busy with work.

We didn’t have communication after that. On Friday, I sent a text to say hi. His reply was “dude don’t text me no more”.  I mean seriously!?!? I’m positive I didn’t do anything, except not be available at the drop of a dime when he wanted. So, if he didn’t like that, then he shouldn’t have answered my profile that stated “busy, independent and spends a lot of time with family and friends”.

I’ve learned that I’m not changing myself for any man. I am looking for someone who will accept me for the person that I am. Don’t expect me to be available for you when ever you want.