18 12 / 2012

Wake up and smell the social ROI

In my 3 years as a social community manager, there is one question that has plagued me: “What’s the ROI of social media?” If you are a fellow community manager, social media strategist, or other similar role; you probably understand my discomfort and are nodding your head in agreement right now.

@kristanehr, writer of The Marketess blog shares an example of her typical conversation regarding this subject. 

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You see, the trouble with determining the value of social media is that it’s difficult to “measure”. People don’t go onto Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest to buy. They go on to browse. Which means it’s challenging to quantify a like, share, retweet, mention, favourite, or pin (although people are trying to create formulas every day). What ends up happening is that companies are left blinded, not really aware of what exactly they are getting from being on a social platform.

Krista’s conversation got me thinking about how valuable social media actually is. The more I thought about it, the more advantages came to mind and the more I felt the need to share my winning answer with the world.

So how do I calculate the value in social media? 

  • Post likes: Getting a like on a Facebook post means that your content is interesting. The user likes it. It’s your job to figure out why and what that can mean for your brand. 
  • Comments: Comments on a post are one of my favourite interactions to see. Not only do they provide insights on what products they are interested in, but they can also be feedback on products and services users like/dislike. Plus, Facebook comments can also reflect whether a user had a positive or negative experience with your brand.
  • Praise: Recommendations on Facebook are great because they show that people are satisfied with what you offer. By writing a recommendation, users are declaring a company’s best qualities. It’s a form of promotion that gives your brand credibility and trust. 
  • Brand awareness: When users “share” your content, they are sharing it with their friends. This means that your brand just got a whole bunch of eyes on it that it wouldn’t have before. Sharing gives your brand the potential to increase its reach with just one click.
  • Communication: This is by far the most beneficial factor in having a social media presence. By asking the right questions, you can have conversations with your online community and gain an insight of who they really are. 
So here’s my bottom line: Social media for many brands is an untapped resource. Companies and advertising agencies are now able to see how effective their traditional advertising is just by posting it on a social media platform and monitoring the conversations. This new medium holds the potential to acquire feedback, create ideas, share news and so much more. That alone gives businesses more than any traditional medium has ever been able to offer.

05 11 / 2012

You Know You’re A Creative When…

I believe that no matter what agency you’re at, or what kind of creative work you do - we are all part of a community. One that supports and inspires each other to create great work. So as I was coming up with my own ideas for this list, I asked fellow creatives to participate in this blog post and fill in the rest of this sentence “You know you’re a creative when…” 

Here’s what we came up with: 


THANK YOU to everyone who gave me their suggestions. And for those of you who want to add to this list, leave a comment below! 




21 9 / 2012

I found this children’s book called “Just Josie and the lucky number 7" by Emily Gale. It’s a story about a little girl named Josie who has a friend named Zac, a loving sister named Lilly and a BIG idea. Sounds just like me! (Minus the spelling errors of course!) 

I found this children’s book called “Just Josie and the lucky number 7" by Emily Gale. It’s a story about a little girl named Josie who has a friend named Zac, a loving sister named Lilly and a BIG idea. Sounds just like me! (Minus the spelling errors of course!) 

01 8 / 2012

Something I thought up a while ago and wanted to share with all of you.
Designed by the talented Shannon Vanderlinde @shanvanderlinde.

Something I thought up a while ago and wanted to share with all of you.

Designed by the talented Shannon Vanderlinde @shanvanderlinde.

16 5 / 2012

Part 3: Me, myself and I

With my list complete, I’m ready to start my Happiness Project. I’m not sure if I will  cross off everything on my list, or how long it’s going to take me. But that’s OK. To me, the important thing is that I’m committed to giving it a try. And if I succeed in trying my absolute best, I’ll be happy with that.

  

08 5 / 2012

Part 2: Me, myself and I

"It is by studying the little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible." Samuel Johnson

In Part 1, I covered all my professional goals; things I could do to achieve more happiness in my career. But when it comes to quality of life, there’s so much more to it than work (or money, or recognition, etc.) A lot of times the littlest thing can put you in the best mood or vice versa - and that one moment can affect your entire day.

So I’ve added a series of small goals to my Happiness List to help lead me to some great happiness.

  • Get more sleep: This is a big one for me. Even though I know that an adequate amount of zzz’s would benefit me, I’m a total night owl. I write blogs at midnight, jot ideas down at 3am and stay up till all hours watching shows on my laptop. Every time I wake up late I’m automatically in a bad mood. (Example here)
  • Do more yoga: I am an beginner in yoga. Mostly because I get into spurts of going on a regular basis and then completely stop. I don’t go for such a long period of time that I have to start the learning process all over again. It’s a vicious cycle with minimal shavasna. 
  • Go to church: I generally used to always feel good when I attended a service. In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with having faith (whatever you choose to believe in). 
  • Read for pleasure: I have a stack of half-read books in my possession. The Book Thief, Atlas Shrugged, The Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy, The HelpImagine: How Creativity Works, The Hunger Games - I want to read and enjoy all of these, one by one.
  • Make someone else’s day brighter: Have you ever heard the phrase “Happiness is contagious”? I know that for me, doing something that makes someone else happy puts a smile on my face too.
  • Put “Pinning” into practice: Pinning on Pinterest is fun and interesting, but I want to actually try doing something on my “Love to Try This” board. 
  • Go on a vacation: This is another big one for me. My need to be a hardworking individual has often trumped vacationing. But without time away, I’m losing out more than I’m gaining.

Have you thought about making a Happiness List? Part 3 might give you a more visual way of sticking to your goals. 

24 4 / 2012

Part 1: Me, myself and I

This blog series is all about me. But it could also be all about you. If you feel like you’re lacking focus, motivation, stamina, creativity or all of the above - please continue reading. Hopefully, we’ll both feel happier by the end of this series. 

I’ve started to read this book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben. It’s a story of one woman’s decision to create more happiness in her life and how she developed a 12-month plan to do it.

Although I’ve had this book in my hands before, it’s only now that I’ve finally decided to open it up and give it a read. For the last little while, I’ve been feeling kinda blah. Not unhappy by any means; just not quite as happy as I could possibly be. And since I really want to kick this mundane emotion to the curb, this piece of literature couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. 

Ironically, I began outlining tasks and goals to increase my level of happiness on my own before I even started reading this book. And even though I’m only on Chapter 2, I’ve already seen some of my goals on her list (which leads me to believe that I’m on the right track!)

So, I’ve decided to make my own “Happiness List”. And since my creativity; my passion; my work, is one of the most important things in my life, it takes precedence on my list. 

 Here we go: 

  • My Book: My portfolio is my creative soul bound in leather. It holds all my best ideas, campaigns and real agency work. But since its been a few years since I’ve done anything to it, it’s getting stale. And stale creative is like stale food. Yuck.
  • Ad Exposure: I want to immerse myself in the advertising scene and find the time to really absorb it. I don’t look at ads enough. I don’t read as much industry news as I should. I don’t know what ads win awards and the names of new agencies out there whose creative is kicking ass. These are answers I would like to know.
  • Appreciating the Classics: Advertising is moving so quickly towards digital, interactive and social, that traditional media is trailing behind. Don’t get me wrong, I love the direction that advertising is going - i just don’t want to forget the good old days. The classic mediums that made me want to get into this business in the first place. There is so much to learn and so much to love when you take a look back.  

Although these goals basically cover all of my professional aspirations for a new found happiness, I realize there’s much more to jot down. There are so many small things that can greatly elevate one’s mood. The small things in life really do help me in big ways - and that deserves some major appreciating.

So what are some small things that I can put on my list that can help bring me great happiness? Stay tuned for Part 2. 

What things would be at the top on your Happiness List?

07 11 / 2011

#MeInAHeadline

Headlines. If I could write them all day long, I would. Taglines come as a close second, but in my opinion they don’t have the same thrill that comes with creating a headline. As a copywriter, headlines are my FAVOURITE  thing to write: it is your FIRST piece of content on the page - and the FIRST (and sometimes only) thing someone will read. It will either make the reader want to read more, or make them look away. In an instant, this one sentence can either be remembered or forgotten.

Headlines are pretty powerful stuff. If you louse it up; the ad, homepage or article won’t stand a chance at attracting your audience. 

 So what are three things a headline should do/have? 

  1. Grab attention
  2. Be effective 
  3. Have a message 

If you’re making an ad that’s headline-driven or copy-heavy, this becomes significantly important. You need to make sure that the headline is strong enough to carry the idea on its own, without any help from a graphic. 

After making hundreds of headlines for brands over the years - I came up with an idea to craft a headline that would reflect another kind of brand. One that is the most challenging of all. (The mother of all brands if you will.) I wanted to come up with a headline that captures “me”. 

But is it even possible? Headlines only reveal one insight. It’s what they’re good for. It’s what they’re made for. I have so many quirks, characteristics and qualities that make me who I am, so how can I narrow it down to just one? 

Copywriters (myself included) are taught to continually dispense ideas until one good one finally comes out. I find that I normally have to get the garbage ones out of the way until I get into the good stuff. 

To ad students all over the world, it’s rare that the first idea you have is actually golden. Keep going. Trust me.

In light of this, I’ll be starting a project for “myself” called #MeInAHeadline where I will be creating original headlines that in some way, shape or form encapsulates me. And where am I going to post these revelations? On Twitter: the social media site where only the concise and clever messages make it.  

You can follow me to see the headlines I come up with and in turn learn a little bit about this copywriter who loves to write…headlines. Among other things.