How to Choose a Social Media Manager: Ten Worst Ways

How to Choose a Social Media Manager: Ten Worst Ways

How to Choose a Social Media Manager: Ten Worst Ways

People choose social media manager for all the wrong reasons. Now bear in mind this doesn’t mean you. But many, many other people do just that: they pick based on some emotional reason, then are very upset when their social media manager (“SMM”) doesn’t work out. If you want to hear the positive side of how to choose a SMM, here’s my previous article: Top Ten Questions to Ask Your Social Media Manager. But stick around if you want some of the worst ways to choose an SMM!

Someone Who Doesn’t Engage

Your new SMM should be someone who hates to chat with people. Having short–or long–conversations of people is a hallmark of social media. They should hate dealing with people at all, whether that’s talking on the phone, in person, or on social media.

Someone Who Buys Followers

On the day they start work, your new SMM should plunk down $20, and buy a bunch of followers. After all, you need the “social proof,” right? And if you want to know whether someone has a bunch of fake followers, take a look at this: Who Has the Most Fake Twitter Followers?

Fake Followers

Fake Followers

Someone Who Follows, Then Quickly Unfollows

Maybe this has happened to you. Someone follows you, you follow back, then they quickly dump you. Now that’s a great thing to do! In a bad way, of course.

Someone Who Says They Do it All

Someone Who Says They Do it All

Someone Who Says They Do it All

Most SMMs do not do it all, but you should pick someone who says they do! They will say they know about graphic design and Google adwords and also create and edit video for you. However, they might have someone in their agency who can help with some of those things.

Someone Who Doesn’t Care About Driving Traffic

None of your Facebook posts need to drive traffic to you, right? So having a SMM who doesn’t understand that’s important would be a great (aka bad) choice.

Someone Who's Rude and Entitled

Someone Who’s Rude and Entitled

Someone Who’s Rude and Entitled

You really ought to pick someone who’s rude and feels entitled as your SMM. Because then there’s a lot less work for them to do. When they start work late, they can leave early to make up for it!

Someone Who Steals Images

Someone Who Steals Images

Someone Who Steals Images

Someone who “borrows” images and posts from others without giving any attribution would probably make a fantastic SMM! Always get the consent of the person before using an image, as Sarah Snow Explains in this article.

Someone Who Unknowingly Posts Porn

Someone Who Unknowingly Posts Porn

Someone Who Unknowingly Posts Porn

Someone who doesn’t check what’s behind a pin on Pinterest would make a great manager for your social media! It will certainly be more exciting when you discover what’s really behind that pin! Here’s a swell guide to using Pinterest for Business, by the way.

Choose Your Niece or Nephew!

Choose Your Niece or Nephew!

Choose Your Niece or Nephew!

Surely they’d know something about how to post, just because they’re super young. After all, they can use Snapchat!

Choose Your Admin for the SMM

Choose Your Admin for the SMM

Choose Your Admin for the SMM

Sometimes this can work out, but what about when it doesn’t? What if they don’t have the aptitude for it? As always, leave me a comment! I do appreciate it.

 

Social Media Managers: 10 Secrets to Care for Yours

Social Media Managers: 10 Secrets to Care for Yours

Social Media Managers: 10 Secrets to Care for Yours

Social Media Managers: 10 Secrets to Care for Yours

My friend Amy Donohue recently said it sucks that companies don’t see the value of professional social media. That definitely rings true! Although there is no ideal world, here are some real-world examples of positives and negatives.

For the purposes of this post, there are two different clients: Client A is grateful, sweet, and full of compliments. Client Z is, well, the exact opposite. By the way, you might like this other post, Why It’s Easier to Be Darth Vader Than a Social Media Manager.

Cheerfulness

If you need to send an email to your SMM, a cheerful message goes much farther than a grumpy one.

Client A: Hello, how are you today?
Client Z: Did you get that work done yet?

Sweetness

You Can Catch More Social Media Managers with Honey Than Vinegar!

Sweetness

You can catch more social media managers with honey than with vinegar! Does this even require examples? Sigh. Here’s the wiki on how to be sweet, by the way.

Apologize

If you screw up, say so. And I will do the same. See “Be honest.”

Give us the Benefit of the Doubt

Give Us the Benefit of the Doubt

The Benefit of the Doubt

We really do want the best for you and your business. So please give us the benefit of the doubt. After all, if you win, we win. We would not try to hurt your business because that would be like cutting off our nose to spite our face.

Gratitude

Are you complimenting your SMM? Even a small pat on the back, such as “Great job!” “loved the image you chose for that post!” can spark your SMM to do more and better work! You’d like that, right?

Client AI’m so grateful to you for setting us up with a righteous look across all SM platforms; thank you-thank you for making us hot!
Client Z: Nothing.

Honesty Goes a Long Way

Honesty Goes a Long Way

Honesty

Recently, two clients did not pay on time. Most SMMs won’t be happy about this. Here’s how to handle it if this ever happens to you as a business owner. Be honest and tell us when to expect payment. And then follow through.

Client A: “I’m soo sorry for the delay!” Checks will go out on the 15th. (They did.)
Client Z: “It’s been so hectic around here…Court costs for $xxx are going to be a waste of money so just hang in there a few more days…”

Honor the Relationship

Honor the Relationship

Honor the Relationship

If the relationship is the most important thing, then treat your SMM like a human being. Tell the truth. Focus on the positive. Rinse and repeat.

Respect

This goes along with relationship. The Golden Rule applies! Not just treat others as you’d want to be treated, but treat others the way you want to be treated. Calum Curry wrote a great post: Always Respect Your Social Media Manager.

You Are One of Our Clients

We’d love to work on your account all day long and not sleep, but we do need sleep. We can’t always get back to you within 10 minutes as we are in meetings, doing research, and writing blog posts.

It's Just Us

It’s Just Us

It’s Just Us

Often, we are solopreneurs (sole entrepreneurs), without a huge agency behind us. Though we know how to look big online, we don’t have an army standing behind us. That’s how we can customize your images, your posts, your tweets, etc. Not to be dramatic, but a stinging comment or late payments can really hurt.

Family

This one is a bonus, and goes along with relationship building. telling the truth and giving compliments. Although we don’t expect you to invite us over for Thanksgiving dinner, a little warmth and consideration is greatly appreciated.

What’s Your Gripe?

Are you a social media manager or consultant? How do you like to be treated? Or, if you’re on the other side and work with a consultant, what’s that like? Leave me a comment! And thank you.

Why It’s Easier to Be Darth Vader Than a Social Media Manager

Why It's Easier to Be Darth Vader Than a Social Media Manager

Why It’s Easier to Be Darth Vader Than a Social Media Manager

Star Wars has been around for decades and people still love it. One of the iconic characters, Darth Vader, has to be nearly at the top of the Star Wars totem pole. You’d think that Darth Vader has a tough job. But it’s not as tough as being a social media manager!

Getting Dressed

Getting Dressed

Getting Dressed

Every day, Darth Vader gets up and puts on an all-black outfit. He gets a black helmet, a cool black cape, and humongous boots. Social Media Managers (SMMs) have to consider what to wear every single day. Although we own a lot of t-shirts, that’s not the best thing to wear all the time.

Put on a Happy Face

Put on a Happy Face

Put on a Happy Face

Does Darth Vader worry about putting on a happy face? Never! In fact, his smart phone doesn’t even have happy face emoticons!

Backtracking

Backtracking is a good way to present a topic in the cinema sometimes. So here’s the backstory.

Recently, a couple of my friends singled me out as a good person to write about Darth Vader and being a social media manager (see the tweet above). So here you go, Robert Nissenbaum and Adam Fout!

Darth Vader gets full benefits

Darth Vader gets full benefits

Benefits

SMMs have to buy their own benefits, while Darth Vader gets full medical benefits (including dental and vision) through the Star Wars Medical Trifecta!

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

You’d think people would respect social media managers more. However, people have changed their names to Darth Vader because of the aura of toughness that Darth Vader has. Do little kids want to be social media managers when they grow up? As if!

Profitability

Profitability

Profitability

Darth Vader, of all Star Wars characters, has been called the most profitable. You could probably not compare his profits to those of an SMM. Well, you could, but Darth Vader has a lot more zeroes in his paycheck.

Content Writing

Content Writing

Content Writing

Darth Vader has multiple scriptwriters. Social media managers have to write their own content, including headlines. And sometimes those headlines can be a real pain in the asterisk to write!

Stand-ins

Stand-ins

Stand-ins

Darth Vader has up to twelve people to help him out, including multiple people for his voice. And nine different actors played Darth Vader! Social media managers don’t have stand-ins, unless they have a team to assist, which is rare.

Grumpytosis

Grumpytosis

Grumpytosis

Darth Vader gets to be grumpy and gruff all the time. Social media managers need to have an upbeat, positive attitude. By the way, here’s my article Social Media Managers and Insomnia. Sometimes being upbeat all the time leads to insomnia.

Legend

Legend

Legend

Yes: That would be @DarthVader’s account on Twitter! 423,000 followers. Is there one for social media managers? I think not!

What’s Your Gripe?

Leave me a comment! Tell me if it’s easier to be Darth Vader or you!

 

Ten of the Worst Social Media Managers

Ten of the Worst Social Media Managers

Ten of the Worst Social Media Managers

Last week, you might have read my post about Finding Your Next Social Media Manager. If you search Google to find a good Social Media Manager (“SMM”), you’ll find all kinds of advice. However, bad advice is rare! Just kidding.

Here, then, are ten types of terrible social media managers. These people put in the extra work to be really, really bad. And if that’s not enough for you, here are some Bad Social Media Manager Secrets.

Does your candidate send Twitter DMs like this one?

Does your candidate send Twitter DMs like this one?

The Direct Message Twitter SMM

The most terrible SMMs send direct messages on Twitter like “Follow us on Facebook!” or “Buy my book!” for no reason. And a link. But the very best of the worst? Those ask you to connect in two places, along with cute emoji, before you’ve even read one of their tweets! Now that’s going the extra mile!

Does Your New Social Media Manager Say She's an Expert?

Does Your New Social Media Manager Say She’s an Expert?

The One Pin Per Board Pinner

This SMM is on Pinterest and has boards with one or two pins each. And they should call themselves a Social Media Expert. After all, since it’s on the Internet it must be true!

The "Social Proof" SMM Buys Followers

The “Social Proof” SMM Buys Followers

The “Social Proof” SMM Who Buys Followers

Having “social proof” is a good thing, right? And followers are so cheap! For $59, you can get thousands of them. Never mind that they’re bots from Indonesia, thousands of miles away from your local brick-and-mortar business. Your new SMM prospect should recommend that you buy followers.

Does your SMM Post from Facebook to Twitter?

Does your SMM Post from Facebook to Twitter?

The “One Size Fits All” SMM

Your new friend should never change their tone of voice, and should use the same post on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, whatever. If the post is too long for one platform, it can break right in the middle of the sentence. As long as lots of people see your posts that’s all that matters.

The UnSocial Social Manager

Your new BFF should never engage with anyone. They can ignore comments, shares, retweets and save themselves a lot of time. There are only so many hours in the day, after all! If you want to know why brands are still using broadcasting in social media, Emma Pauw can tell you why.

The Drunk Poster Sometimes Deletes Posts the Next Day

The Drunk Poster Sometimes Deletes Posts the Next Day

The Drunk Poster

Drinking and posting is the hallmark of a very successful bad SMM. And then deleting all the bad posts and arguments the next day? Even better.

Is Your SMM a Debbie Downer?

Is Your SMM a Debbie Downer?

Debbie or Danny Downer

Your SMM should be heard muttering at all hours that “nothing will ever work.” Things always go from bad to worse, people can’t be trusted, and Murphy’s Law always prevails.

The Overposter

This person posts 60 posts in the space of five minutes, then nothing for two days. What’s wrong with that, you might ask?

Is Your SMM Inflexible?

Is Your SMM Inflexible?

The Inflexible SMM

Why would your SMM ever change his or her strategy on social media? Just because Facebook reduced its reach, or Pinterest added promoted pins, or tweets got indexed by Google? Pffft. No reason!

Does your SMM Use Klod to Measure Influence?

Does your SMM Use Klod to Measure Influence?

The Klod Watcher SMM

Your new bestie should always watch their influence ranking on sites like Klod (not its real name). That’s what real SMMs do, don’t they?

Your Turn!

What did I leave out? Let me know in the comments! Thanks!

 

Finding Your Next Social Media Manager

Finding Your Next Social Media Manager

Finding Your Next Social Media Manager

Wikipedia is not going to help you much with finding your next Social Media Manager (“SMM”). In fact, Wikipedia can’t tell you anything about how to choose an SMM. Google can help to some extent, if you get your search terms correct, and focus on a good headline. (By the way, if you’d like to know about writing headlines, those can be a pain in the asterisk!) So what can help you? Here are some ideas.

1. Don’t look under a rock. Hint: Those are worms!

If you want to find a good SMM, you might want to look around on social media. Check on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or wherever you’d like to be posting. See if the person you’d like to hire is posting there, too. Their posts don’t have to be perfect (because, after all, they’re busy with clients), but they should have some posts of substance.

2. Check out their websites and social platforms.

Most SMMs have a website, although I know some fab ones who don’t. Check out their testimonials and what other people are saying about them. If you can’t find anything, you could ask for testimonials directly. See whether their website has been updated in, say, the last two months. It should be active. And of course, check out their social platforms.

Check out websites and social platforms

Check out websites and social platforms

3. Read their blog.

Does your SMM have a blog and do they post about social media? That would be a good thing, especially if you need help with blogging. Is their writing clear? Do you like their style? If they’re writing about Twitter, for instance, do they include particulars that you like?

When you read a SMM's blog, do you like the particulars?

When you read a SMM’s blog, do you like the particulars?

4. Look at their writing skills.

These days, many SMMs have degrees in writing or related fields. If you want your SMM to do a bit of writing for you, a degree in English could be beneficial. Or perhaps experience writing. Some SMMs, myself included, have a background in technical writing. If you have a particular grammatical mistake that bugs you, such as the abuse of commas, check their work for that. Here’s a list of 10 Common Grammar Mistakes (“lose” and “loose” are often confused).

5. Ensure that they embrace “social.”

Broadcasting your message over and over (and over!) is old-school marketing. Make sure that your SMM enjoys interacting with others. Saying hello, while it sounds simple, usually causes others to say “hello” back! Engaging with others on social media is the fastest way to an engaged and engaging account on any platform.

Ensure that you SMM embraces "social."

Ensure that your SMM embraces “social.”

6. Ask them some questions.

For instance, ask about their least favorite platform. That should help you get some idea of what their favorite platform is and isn’t. Also, ask which subjects to avoid. There are many more questions you can ask.

Ask about their least favorite platform

Ask about their least favorite platform

7. Your SMM should be excited at your success!

When you make sales, or when your posts are shared with lots of people, your SMM should be happy for you! They should have in mind a vision for you and for your success. After all, it’s in both your interests that you should succeed.

Finding a good social media manager shouldn’t be this hard, right?

With overpriced agencies and undervalued CMOs, it’s a serious challenge to find that juggernaut to pave the way for your future marketing strategy. Do you have a successful story where your SMM has developed your online presence into what you wanted? We would truly like to hear about your experience(s).

Social Media Managers: Top Ten Questions to Ask When You’re Looking for One

 

Social Media Managers: Top Ten Questions to Ask When You're Looking for One

Social Media Managers: Top Ten Questions to Ask When You’re Looking for One

Your startup has finally gotten some funding and you know that you have to find a social media manager (“SMM”). Where do you start? You could ask a few friends, or you could look on the Internet, but how do you make sure that you’re getting good value? Here are some questions that I wish people would ask me!

What is Your Philosophy About Engagement Online?

This question is designed to weed out the “post-and-go” people. Some social media managers are more in the “broadcasting camp.” That is, they’ll find the most efficient ways of blasting out your message without thinking about your audience. And that’s not very social, is it?

Who Answers Questions or Comments on Social Platforms?

Some SMMs expect you, the client, to do that. It’s good to have a strategy in mind before you need one. Will they call you when clients ask questions on your social media platforms? Will they text you? Will they answer any questions? How much knowledge do they have about your field or product?

Do You Have a Favorite Platform?

These days, many SMMs specialize in a particular platform. They might be great with Pinterest, or use Twitter, but dislike Facebook and Instagram. So ask if that SMM has a favorite to see if they might have a strength.

What’s Your Least Favorite Platform?

Top Ten Questions to Ask Social Media Managers

Top Ten Questions to Ask Social Media Managers

If the SMM says they “love all of them” that’s kind of like a waiter saying “all the food is great.” Maybe it’s true that they love all platforms, but the “least favorite” question could get you the answer you’re looking for. Nobody likes to say they have a “weakness.”

How Do You Work with Your Clients?

Some SMMs like to do everything with no input from their clients. Others like daily, weekly, or monthly input. Some expect to meet in person and others won’t ever want to meet in person. Find out what the expectations are.

What Topics Do You Suggest That We Avoid?

For starters, I usually suggest avoiding politics, religion, and sex. But if your startup has a dating app, you will want to talk about sex. So make sure that you’re on the same page with the SMM that you decide to hire.

What If There’s a National Emergency?

Companies of all sizes, including startups, get in trouble when there’s an emergency, such as a school shooting, and the SMM doesn’t know what to do. Make sure that everyone knows what to do. I suggest posting something sympathetic–if anything at all–and then going silent. Nobody cares about whatever you’re selling when there’s an emergency.

What Happens on Weekends and Holidays?

Some brands stop posting on weekends and holidays. Others post even more. Your business might be a seasonal one. Let your candidate know what you would like.

What Does Success Look Like?

To be successful, your social media strategy needs to be specific enough so that you can measure it (such as a minimum number of daily posts), but not so specific that it squashes all the motivation out of your SMM. Learn how to demotivate employees in my previous blogpost.

Questions?

Are you an ambitious startup looking for a social media manager? Because I know someone (*ahem*) that you might like to talk to!

 

Twitter: Top Ten Terms (and Power Tips)

 

Twitter: Top Ten Terms

Twitter: Top Ten Terms

I’m teaching a class this week on Twitter to an audience with some people who are unfamiliar with Twitter. Every social media manager also has favorite power tips to go along with these terms. Here are my top ten “must-know” definitions, along with some “power tips.”

Tweet

Every update you post to your followers on Twitter is called a tweet. Every tweet has a 140-character limit (including your handle). Remember: Your tweets are public and searchable by anyone on Twitter, even if they don’t follow you, so be careful about what you say. Deciding what you don’t want to tweet about is as important as deciding what you will tweet about.

Engagement

Engagement means responding to and conversing with your followers and others on Twitter. Most successful accounts engage on Twitter daily.

Power Tip: Monitor who follows you, who @mentions you, and engage with those people daily. These are the things I do when I first log into Twitter.

Retweet

Twitter is for sharing things that your followers might find useful, interesting, or entertaining. The “retweet” is a manifestation of this. When you see a tweet that you think your followers would be interested in, hit reply, copy and paste the tweet, then send.

Power Tip: If you just hit the “retweet” button, often people will not “see” the tweet, especially if they’re using a third-party Twitter application.  If there’s space, you can add a comment, such as “Great Idea!” Here is how to send a perfect retweet.  

MT

This means “modified tweet,” which is a retweet that you edited to save space.

Power Tip: To really boost a tweet’s power, add an image.

@mention

When you want to “tag” someone in a tweet, use an @ before their Twitter username (for instance, @Carol_Stephen). Add this mention and they’ll get a notification in their “Mentions.” This serves a dual purpose: they’ll know you are reading their tweets, and you’re giving them credit for finding great content.

Power Tip:

This is a newbie mistake. If you tweet @username without a period in front, only your mutual followers (in other words, people who follow both you and @username) and the person you’re tweeting to will see it in their streams. Add a period or other character before @username so that all of your followers will see your tweet in their streams. 

DM

A “DM,” or “direct message,” is a private message between two Twitter users. It’s different than a public @mention because in order to send a DM, the recipient must follow you. Select companies can send DMs without following.

Power Tip: Do not automate direct messages. Asking someone to “like you on Facebook” after they just followed you on Twitter is antisocial and may cause you to be unfollowed. Many people consider DMs to be spam.

Hashtag (#)

This innocent-looking symbol is a hashtag. Use it in front of other words in a tweet to provide context or to organize a search for specific topics on Twitter. Be careful not to overuse hashtags. More than one or two will turn off your followers. Here are more details about hashtags.

Power Tip: Use hashtags in your own profile to attract followers in a particular niche. For instance, I have #Startups in mine.

Feed

Your home page has a feed of tweets from the people you follow (click on “home” to see them), while your profile page has a feed of your own tweets (click on “tweets” to see your own tweets). 

URL Shortener

Since tweets are limited to 140 characters, services have popped up that shorten website addresses so you don’t use up too many characters in your tweet. These services are called “URL shorteners” because “URL” (Universal Resource Locator) is the technical term for a web address. URL shorteners create short addresses that work just like a longer URL.

Power Tip: Third-party apps, such as Hootsuite, have URL shorteners built into them.

Follower

Check What Your New Follower is Tweeting Before Following Back

Check What Your New Follower is Tweeting Before Following Back

A “follower” is someone who follows you on Twitter and sees your updates on their home feed. Just because someone follows you doesn’t mean you have to follow them back!

Power Tip: Check someone’s top ten tweets to see if they are interesting. You can also add people to a list even if you’re not following them.

Bonus Terms

FF or #FF

#FollowFriday was started by Twitter users as a way to recommend other Twitter users. It happens on Fridays; you can search Twitter for the hashtag on Fridays. Many followers also use #FollowThursday (or any other day) to recommend people.

Power Tip: Recommend one favorite account per tweet, and tell us why to follow that person. For instance, are they funny? Are they super-engaged? Do they have beautiful images? Give us a reason to follow. Otherwise, #FFs can become spammy.

Trends or Trending Topics

Any person, place, thing, or idea that a lot of people are tweeting about all at once is a trend. Find trends on the left side of your Twitter homepage.

Power Tip: Tailor trends by choosing your city or country. If your tweet relates to something that’s trending, use a trending hashtag to identify it and boost your tweet. For instance, if you’re at a San Francisco Giants game, you could tweet a photo and the #SFGiants hashtag–the Giants’ official hashtag. In San Francisco, The SF Giants trend often.

 

The Power of a Complaint

The Power of a Complaint

The Power of a Complaint

Recently, I had an issue with the speed of my Internet service. The issue was: Speed = NOT. So I called my Internet provider. Let’s call them BL&T. 9:30 p.m.: I call BL&T to explain my problem. They say someone will get back to me within 30 minutes and to stay off the phone. So I stay off the phone. (Of course, I guess in case Old Mrs. Persnickety needs the party line to call Doc Crotchety about her lumbago.) 10:30 p.m.: No call from BL&T so I decide to call it a night.

The Next Day

The next morning, BL&T still haven’t called. So I do what any self-respecting, awesome social media manager does: find their customer service on Twitter and send a tweet.

I get a nice and polite reply back, very quickly.

Internet Provider

At this point, I put down the biodegradable spork I am using to stab myself repeatedly in the eyeball. 9:45 a.m.: The BL&T technician calls me, saying he’s on his way over. About 20 minutes later, he knocks on my door, very politely covers his feet with shoe covers, and looks at the router. After looking at the inside setup, he sees that there’s nothing wrong inside my place, so he goes outside to examine the exterior of the building. He comes back.

My Interwebz No Workie

Not the Actual Spork in Question

Not the Actual Spork in Question

He goes to examine the box on the phone pole, which is a distance away (I’m not sure where, exactly). At this point, I’m not angry with the technician, but it’s frustrating because I use the Internet a lot. (As in, how much ice cream would you eat if there were no downside? Answer: ALL OF IT a lot. That’s the definition of how much I need, love, and want the Internet. Which I’m sure you were dying to know because I’m just that fascinating. And humble. And not at all loquacious.) Also: I’ve been out of the office for 3 days and am slammed with tweets which have piled up higher than my head.

Slight Digression

I love the Internet more than this ice cream

I love the Internet more than this ice cream

Let me digress for a moment here. Remember that tweet I sent earlier? It turns out that BL&T deleted it from their stream (although I saved the screen shot, which I present above for your viewing pleasure in case you are not yet familiar with my incredible genius mind).

To take BL&T’s side for one second, I understand that they don’t want their entire stream littered with people ranting. They want Happy Shiny People, who only sing their praises in perfect harmony. And also puppies. But! This issue was on its way to being fixed. Can you see where I’m going with this? If you’re reading this, you do know–since some of my awesometasticness has rubbed off on you. After all, I have an infinite amount.

Instead of deleting the tweet, BL&T could’ve left it up, and shown the resolution. Instead, they chose to delete the tweet.

Ok. Digression over. You forgot that was a digression, didn’t you? So transfixed were you by the incredible storytelling of moi. Anyways, the guy is back now. He says, you’re paying for 6Mbps, but only getting 3Mbps, so you could downgrade and the line would be more stable.

He leaves. I thanked him warmly and did not punch him in the throat. (Hey, where’s my Nobel Peace Prize?)

At least now I had some answers, although still no stable Internet. And obviously somebody over there does know something.

I hadn’t called BL&T yet, when to my delight, they called me! Or actually, they had a robot call me, with a message saying they wanted to “close the ticket.” “Rutrow,” I thought. Close the ticket? Heaven forfend! Closing the ticket would mean all was right in the world of Internet memes (like my favorite: Grumpy Cat). And my Internet connection still had a big owie. Why would they close the ticket? Was night day? Was up down? Did cats not invent the Internet after all? I stayed in Phone Call Treelandia to make sure the ticket wasn’t closed.

Tap Dancing to the 1812 Overture

Tap Dancing to the 1812 Overture

Finally, after 10 minutes of entering phone numbers and tap dancing to the 1912 Overture, I hear the answer to my prayers: “Press zero to speak to a live operator.” Halleluiah! The cavalry will be here shortly! Then this: “We’re closed now. Call us back later.” OMG. Just when you think nobody has a sense of humor any more. When I get my own big company, I’m going to play this same prank on my tired, frustrated customers. Good one, BL&T! When the 2013 Prankie Awards are given out, you will be #1! Foam Rubber Finger!

But Wait! There’s More! Only not yet. How will this end? Will my Internet get fixed? Will BL&T get another nomination for the Prankies? Will the guy in the building next door stop playing that stupid kazoo? Has anyone seen my keys? Tune in next time for some answers. Maybe not to these questions, but you never know. Plus also more questions. And also maybe a recipe for BBQ sauce.

Calling All Spork Breakers

Have any of the rest of you ever been in a never-ending struggle? Are you also in the middle of a pitched battle? And how many sporks did you break before finding resolution? Please leave your rant below!

What BatKid Can Teach Social Media Managers

What BatKid Can Teach Social Media Managers

What BatKid Can Teach Social Media Managers

By now, you’ve all heard about BatKid–unless you don’t own a computer, just got back from the Amazon jungle, or live in a cave. Not a batcave–a regular cave! Weren’t you astonished to watch a somewhat small story hit the bigtime and go international? Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we were all happy and excited to hear about #SFBatKid. Some of my friends volunteered to be part of the crowd at Civic Center and many took photos from wherever they were.

What BatKid Can Teach Social Media Managers

We’ve all heard about keeping the end in mind, and for most Social Media Managers (SMMs), going “viral” is what we all look for. But you never know what will go viral, and what will catch the interest of the world. You don’t want to be a bad social media manager, do you?

Positive Stories Outweigh Negative Stories

Despite what you may have heard, people still love a feel-good story. And this one has so many positives to it. We’ve all been hearing about wars, terrible rumors about ObamaCare, and global warming. And a few weeks ago, our country was on the brink of economic disaster. So this story was timed just right (not that there’s a bad time for a story about a kid beating leukemia and wanting to be a superhero!).

People Love Stories

If you tell a story on social media, rather than just describing an event in a dull way, the story becomes larger. You look bigger and everyone gets entertained in the process. If you get people to cry, that’s a transformational experience. And this was the story that left a lot of us (me, too!) crying. Who can’t get behind a kid beating leukemia? And this story caused many people, including yours truly, to overpost and share.

It’s Not All About You

When people are generous, and get excited about a cause, it grows and grows. In this case it was the generosity of the Make-A-Wish charity in their desire to grant Miles Scott his wish of being a superhero that touched us. Twelve-thousand volunteers stepped forward. Even President Obama, who understands how social media works more than most politicians, got involved with a Vine video.

Everybody Loves a Happy Ending

Could this story be any more perfect? It was so adorable, and so overwhelming to the family. We’re all rooting for this little dude. What’s great about this story is that this kid got what he wanted. He got an unforgettable day, and the whole world smiled. This spectacular event can remind us all that the Make-A-Wish charity is full of superheroes.

Secrets of the Social Media Circus, Part II

Secrets of the Social Media Circus, Part II

Secrets of the Social Media Circus, Part II

You may have seen my first post, Secrets of the Social Media Circus, about some of the clowns you might see around on social media. Some of those clowns escaped from that first post in their tiny cars, but I’ve managed to recapture some here. Finally! Considering that they wear such big shoes, they can run (and drive) pretty fast!

Insane Clowns

The Insane Clown is a spammer. She is responsible for those Twitter Direct Messages that say “Have you seen this bad joke about you?” with viruses in links to phishing sites. Do not let this Krazy Klown spray you with social media seltzer water. And do not lean in to smell the squirting daisy on her lapel because that water is clowntaminated. Yes, the insane clown deserves a prominent role–in the Social Media Clown Hall of Fame, that is.

Rodeo Clowns

This clown does all kinds of fancy rope tricks, and will get you roped in, too. Don’t hire these clowns to do your social media because when the bull is charging, you’ll be all alone in the middle of the ring, while your “clownpadres” hide safely in their barrels. While they’re juggling you and their other clients, one of the pins often drops…and that’s when they do their grand finale–their disappearing act. Once the circus is over, you’ll be the one following the elephants with the shovel, if you get my drift.

Harlequins

Harlequins are the predecessors of modern clowns. The translation of harlequin is “demon or hellion.” His main purpose in life is to break laws, confuse people, and do tricks. Sounds like a pretty modern clown to me! And also like a few of the clowns you could meet on any social media platform.

The Nice, Kind Clown

The Nice, Kind Clown

The Nice, Kind Clown

Haha! Fooled you–there’s no such thing! In their hearts, all clowns are evil. There’s even a special psychological term for the fear of clowns: Coulrophobia. We all knew that. Wait a minute. Do you hear that faint honking sound in the distance and the pitter-patter of giant shoes? I was only kidding! Clowns can take a joke, right? RIGHT? AAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!

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