When Social Media Hands You Lemons…Make Jam!

When Life Hands You Lemons...Make Jam!

When Life Hands You Lemons…Make Jam!

We’ve all had those weeks when nothing goes right. Maybe it’s because Mercury is in retrograde. Maybe it’s someone having a bad day and taking it out on you. Maybe it’s none of the above. For some reason, you get lemons.

Staying Positive Feels Impossible Sometimes

Sometimes, being positive and upbeat can be nearly impossible. Every post on social media gets little engagement. Your Twitter feed gets hit by spammers, and Pinterest is deader than a DIY coffin made out of Mason jars and upcycled pallets. Whatever. You still have to be positive because that’s the kind of person you are–even if you do feel demotivated.

Turn Away from Social Media

Turning away from social media and doing something completely different for a day or two (or three) is just what the doctor ordered at times like that. For instance, making jam. You can always force it into a blog post later (ahem!). And besides, it’s July and there are beautiful Blenheim apricots. And also: when you’re done, you get jam.

Detour from social media for a few minutes…

It’s not a complete detour, though. To tell the truth, I found this great apricot jam recipe on Pinterest (where else?). It has no pectin, and only three ingredients (the results are pictured above). You’ll have fun making it, and you could even share it with friends that you met online, if you figure out a way to get it to them.

Then you could post a picture of them eating it on Instagram. All your other friends would be jealous. But nobody posts food pictures on Instagram, right?

Nature Can Keep Your Thoughts Positive

Nature Can Keep Your Thoughts Positive

Hiking and Fresh Air

For me, hiking and fresh air and trees make me feel refreshed. You might have your own ritual that turns you from bitter to sweet. Writing is another way to process, especially if you have “introvert tendencies.” Turning that bitter into sweet is something we all have to master occasionally.

From Bitter to Sweet

I’ve found that staying with the negative feelings long enough to let them surface and dissipate is the best in the long run. Nobody can say how long that will take, or what will come up. Eventually, enough time passes and the bitter becomes sweet again.

The Happy File

Another way for me to turn around the negative is to go to my Happy File (yes, it is like a Happy Place–thank you for asking). I’ve got a file with great and uplifting things in it. One is a hard copy file, and the other is a board on Pinterest that reminds me of all that is good in the world. Also, I like the idea of reframing negatives into positives, as the third point in this Entrepreneur article, How to Train Your Brain to Stay Positive, outlines. And looking at my Happy File or board makes me smile–even if it’s the middle of the night and I’m up with a bout of anxiety.

What Do You Do with Your Lemons?

Do you have an easy way to get out of a funk? I’d like to know…maybe I could borrow an idea or two from you. Please leave a comment!


LinkedIn: Top Ten Tasks (and Power Tips)

LinkedIn: Top Ten Tasks (and Power Tips)

LinkedIn: Top Ten Tasks (and Power Tips)


LinkedIn now has over 225 million users, with 100 million of those in the United States. Execs from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn users. Although LinkedIn has been the sleeping giant of the social media world, it has recently taken steps to be more interactive, giving users the ability to post rich media like videos and images.

Once the shy guest at the social media party, LinkedIn has blossomed, with 40% of LinkedIn users now checking in daily. LinkedIn is not the place for breaking news like Twitter, groovy pictures like Instagram, or delightful how-to images like Pinterest. But LinkedIn has quietly bloomed—by spending a little time on LinkedIn, you will be richly rewarded. Here are Top Ten Tasks and Power Tips for Pinterest and Twitter, by the way.

Here are some top tasks for you to tackle on your LinkedIn profile. For the more advanced, skip to the “Power Tips.”

Add a Professional Photo to Your Profile

Did you know that profiles with photos get seven times as many views as profiles without them? Make sure the photo is of you—not a cartoon avatar, not a photo of the cute new puppy, and not one standing next to your new car. A photo of you, smiling, looking professional is the best image for you on LinkedIn.

Power Tip: Add logos of major media outlets that have mentioned or published you below your photo. Brian Horn suggests “As seen on” with the logos right underneath your picture.

LinkedIn: Top Ten Tasks (and Power Tips)

LinkedIn: Top Ten Tasks (and Power Tips

Update Your Status

Your LinkedIn status is the place to show that you’re engaged and up to date. Here’s where you can brag a little about a recent post you authored, a book that mentions you, or an upgrade in your job skills.  Have an upcoming event? You can post it here!

Power Tip: Engage people by mentioning them. Type in the @ symbol followed by the name of the person. LinkedIn will auto-populate the name of the person. Often, those mentioned will like, comment, or share. This is important because it extends your reach and your posts will be seen by others. Note: do not overdo the mentions.

Connect, Connect, Connect!

LinkedIn recommends that you have at least 50 people in your network. If you have your colleagues’ email addresses, you can send a connection request.

Power Tip: Don’t use the default connection request, especially if you’re sending a request to someone you barely know. Give that person a reason to connect! For instance, “we keep running into each other at networking events, and I thought it would be fab to connect here, too.”

Use Privacy Settings

When you’re looking for a new job (or happen to be in stealth mode for another reason), use the privacy settings to shield yourself from prying eyes. The privacy settings are on a drop-down menu 

Power Tip: Turn off “activity broadcast” so LinkedIn doesn’t send announcements to everyone each time you edit your profi

Fill out the Summary

On LinkedIn, you have more space than you would on a paper resume, and that includes the old-school summary section that everyone once had on their resumes. Don’t overlook this important piece of your profile.

Power Tip: Search for people in fields similar to you to see what keywords their profiles contain. When you do the search, notice who comes up first. Think of LinkedIn as a mini-Google, where you would like your profile to rise to the top in the search engines! The same thing is true in search on LinkedIn—you want to be listed at the top in a search for your keywords 

List Hobbies and Volunteer Work

List Your Hobbies on Your LinkedIn Profile

List Your Hobbies on Your LinkedIn Profile

Maybe you have a soft spot for rescuing cats. Maybe you enjoy working with kids or volunteering for a church. Whatever you like to do in your spare time is important to the person who wants to connect with you.

Power Tip: Make a particular effort to include volunteer work in your area of expertise. And even if it doesn’t seem relevant to you, include it anyway. You never know what people are looking for.

Join Groups

There are over 1.4 million groups on LinkedIn—that’s enough groups for just about anyone! If you want to be noticed, join groups. Listen to conversations or just lurk for a while if you want to know how people relate to one another. Every group has slightly different dynamics.

Power Tip: Once you’re familiar with how a group operates, you may want to start your own group.

Give Recommendations and Endorsements

On LinkedIn, Giving an Endorsement Just Takes a Click or Two

On LinkedIn, Giving an Endorsement Just Takes a Click or Two

Endorsements are very simple to give—just a couple of clicks and you’re done. Recommendations, on the other hand, take a little more work, and so will be more appreciated. If there’s a colleague who has really stood out for you, give them a recommendation.

Power Tip: It’s not necessary to thank people for simple endorsements, since they take so little time (in my opinion). But I would thank someone who gave you a recommendation because of the extra consideration that goes into them

Updating Your Profile

Occasionally, you may want to update your profile. When you do, turn off the “activity broadcast” feature so that all your followers don’t get inundated with each little change.

Power Tip: Customize your profile URL if you haven’t already by going to Settings > Edit Public Profile > Customize Your Public Profile URL.

LinkedIn Mobile

While the desktop version of LinkedIn has the most features, having the mobile app can let you connect with people on the fly at networking events. 

Power Tip: Simply search for the person you’ve just met on the mobile app, connect, and you won’t have to worry about losing a business card ever again.

How Much Time Do You Spend on LinkedIn?

I’m curious if LinkedIn’s new changes have you spending more time there. Please leave a comment letting me know!




Is it Time to Quit Facebook?

Is it time to quit Facebook?

Is it time to quit Facebook?

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of rumblings about how bad Facebook is for brand advertising. I’d always heard grumbling, but this was something different. The grumbling has now turned into action: my social media manager (“SMM”) friends have been leaving Facebook to spend time elsewhere. Some of them have told their clients not to waste their money.

Behind the Scenes with SMMs

Then, a couple of days ago in one of the SMM groups I’m in, someone posted Eat24’s goodbye letter to Facebook. It was hilarious (and by the way, @Eat24 rocks on Twitter, so go follow them there!). It also made me think. Yes, we all know that Facebook is a business. Yes, we all realize that at some point we’d probably have to pay to play. But is it worth the cost? And what about for personal use? If we can’t see our friends’ posts because of an algorithm change, should we just ditch Facebook and head over to Google Plus or Twitter or Instagram?

Facebook’s Response

In response to Eat24’s goodbye letter, Facebook rep Brandon McCormick posted a defense (not really a defense in my opinion but that’s another post), and the story was picked up by Huffington Post.


I don’t have all the answers to what’s happening with Facebook, but I can tell you that my reach has dramatically decreased. I have 959 fans on my page, and of those, very few see my posts any more. There has been a big change since January of 2014. Of my SMM friends who are bailing, they’re not all managers for tiny brands–some of them are rewriting strategy for huge brands, too, and drastically cutting back on their Facebook use.

Reactions to the Change in Reach

Eggs in One Basket

Eggs in One Basket

Some of my SMM friends have decided to post more, some have quit Facebook, and some have decided to spend money on promoted posts. Personally, I’ve posted a bit less now–just once daily, and hardly ever twice a day. But I’m not taking all my eggs out of the Facebook basket just yet. I don’t think this story is over, since just about everyone is on Facebook–including my friends, your friends, and your customers if you’re managing Facebook pages.

What’s the Bottom Line?

If you’re willing to spend a few dollars on Facebook to ensure that people see your posts, it’s still a good value. Consider a small fee, like a dollar a day. If your business has no budget, then spend your time somewhere else. But Facebook is still a behemoth with a massive audience, and there’s nothing else like it. Agree? Disagree? Please leave me a comment!



Hashtag Wins and #Fails

Hashtag Wins and #Fails

Hashtag Wins and #Fails

Recently, someone asked about hashtag etiquette. How do you use hashtags, and if you’re using them to do a search on Twitter, how do you know they’re legit? What’s the difference between a search done with a hashtag or without a hashtag? Would you use hashtags differently on Facebook than on Twitter?

What Is a Hashtag?

If you haven’t used a hashtag before, simply add a pound sign (#) before a word. On some platforms, that word now becomes searchable. It’s a great way to organize an idea. For example, #SanFrancisco, like so, is now a searchable term. You can click on it and you’ll see other tweets and posts (depending upon which platform you’re using). If you’re new (or even if you’re not), Mashable has an excellent Beginner’s Guide to Hashtags ~ recommended reading. That said, a hashtag can make a search easier.

Hashtags on Facebook

Let me say that I’m not a huge fan of hashtags on Facebook. Most people seem to overuse them and just annoy everyone. When Facebook allowed users to employ hashtags in June of 2013, they opened up a Pandora’s Box, in my opinion. People go crazy with them and they don’t mean anything. Most of the social media managers I know don’t use them and find them annoying in the forums where I’ve heard discussions. If you overuse hashtags on Facebook, you even run the risk of being hidden. And the last thing you want to do is be unfriended on Facebook.

Hashtags on Twitter

Hashtags on Twitter are a whole other ball of wax. Hashtags originated on Twitter, so they make sense on Twitter. You can use them to organize a search, to make a sarcastic remark, and more. Personally, I use Twitter for the occasional joking remark, and using hashtags in this way sometimes separates the newbies from more advanced tweeters. This use of hashtags is more for entertainment or to set the tone of a tweet.

Hashtags are useful in organizing Tweetchats, which are discussions about a certain topic, usually about an hour long, held on Twitter. For instance, #KidneyChats is on Mondays evenings and #POCChat on Monday mornings, are a couple I recommend. Used in this way, a hashtag lets you see what the other participants in a chat are discussing. And by the way, if you click on the embedded tweet, above, you can see some of the top tweets about #KidneyChat.

As a brand, a hashtag can be quite useful to add authority. Many brands have their own hashtags. They may also start a tweetchat using a hashtag to get people talking about a specific topic.

And in case you didn’t know, hashtags weren’t always a part of the Twitter lexicon. The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating article on how hashtags came to be.

Other Supported Platforms

Hashtags are used on Pinterest as a way of searching, just as they are on Twitter. On Instagram, certain hashtags are used specifically to describe photos. Google+ lets you search from Google to Facebook or Twitter using a hashtag, too.

How Do You Use Hashtags?

Do you like them? Find them irritating? Think they’re too nerdy? Let me know in the comments! Thanks!

Social Media Meetups We’d Like to See

Social Media Meetups We'd Like to See

Social Media Meetups We’d Like to See

Have you signed up to get email from Meetup.com? If so, then you get a few emails from them every day, showing you some meetups that you’d supposedly be interested in. “20-somethings partying the night away” and “Hikers Who Speak Tagalog” could very well be in the same email.

What’s a Gal to Do? Create her own meetup, of course! Here are some of mine. Feel free to create your own, and then send me an email!

Tweeters Without Washing Machines or Change



We could meet at a public laundromat or any place where we could get change. We could take turns watching each other’s laundry, folding, telling our worst laundry stories, and tweeting. Hashtag: #MismatchedSockExchange

Not a 20-Something

Let’s be frank. We’re tired of Millennials. Let’s get together and not talk about Millennials. They’re not invited. If anyone can figure out how, we’ll make a video about something non-Millennial-related and post it on YouTube. No one will watch it, but still.

Seriously Old School

Do people tell you you're a Luddite?

Do people tell you you’re a Luddite?

Do people tell you you’re “old school” or a Luddite? No, me neither! Do you still have an aol account that you cling to like a security blanket? Do you think Twitter is only for talking about food? Perfect. You have found your people. And when people show up to this meetup, thinking it’s about social media, their phones are taken away, and they get a lecture about the evils of social media.

iCanHazCheeseBurger Meme Lovers

Because how can there be too many pictures of cute cats? Or jokes? Or stories about cats? And yes! You can bring your cats if they have their own carriers. We’ll each share our favorite icanhazcheeseburger meme. And make our own memes.

Overposters Anonymous

When you can’t sleep, you post. You post closeups of your face, your tattoos, your kids, your kids’ butts, you post when you’re drunk and when you’re high. You go to a lot of restaurants and you post pictures of food, perfectly lit. Sometimes you Instagram said pictures. Sometimes you post from Instagram to Facebook or to Twitter. You know who you are. You disrespect underposters.

Those Who Put Tape Over Their Webcam Viewers

Is this you? I didn’t think so. Could be, though. Really? That’s not you? It seems like it could be you. Ok. It’s not you. But you do think there are aliens living among us, right? Thought so.

Is There a Meetup You’d Like to See?

Let me know in the comments! Thanks!


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