5 Ways Millennials Can Use LinkedIn

5 Ways Millennials Can Use LinkedIn

As a member of the millennial generation, I have become well versed in the language of social media. So much so, that colloquial such as “hashtag” has been integrated into my speech.

However the one outlet of social media that I feel my generation neglects is LinkedIn.

For millennials who are naive to LinkedIn it is essentially a social networking site used by professionals to connect with one another. It has been proven by many companies to be quite successful in promoting their brand and mission. It has also been revolutionary in the workforce during an economic recession by forming connections all across the world without the expense.

To many, it may seem as though LinkedIn is just for (dare I say it?) old people.  However this is a fallacy. There are incredible benefits to young professionals who properly use LinkedIn, especially when entering the work force.

However, in order to reap the benefits, you must utilize it to its full potential.

Don’t be shy

Have a clean cut and professional picture of yourself. If an employer can put a name with a face, then you already are more memorable than those who have a mysterious grey avatar.

Make it personal

When completing your profile, make sure you make it unique to YOU. Add skills and experience that are important and personal. Showcase your accomplishments and make yourself stand out.

Keep it current

Attempt to refrain from jobs you may have had in high school that have little to no relevance to the future job you hope to land one day. Saying that you gained some wicked biceps from scooping ice cream at the local ice cream shop might be a good thing to leave out.


What is social networking without connecting to people? After all, LinkedIn is essentially a professional Facebook. However it is important to realize that in order to maximize your presence and professional outcomes, you must be picky about whom you connect with. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn is not a place to connect with someone who is a friend of a friend. Be smart about who and what you connect with.

Use it

Intimidating though it may be, using LinkedIn is the only way it will benefit you. Showing that you are active on LinkedIn gives employers the notion that you are engaged and aspire to have your professional career skyrocket.

Being in your mid to late twenties and entering into the “real world” can be unnerving. The thought of moving back in with mom and dad petrifies you, but so does the thought of being on your own. Make it easier on yourself and do what you do best, socialize and network, and you will profit from the benefits of a successful career.

Do Your Posts Scream “Buy! Buy! Buy!”

Do Your Posts Scream -Buy! Buy! Buy!--As a marketing major, I spend most of my spare time looking at blogs and browsing Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to catch up on the latest marketing news.

Overtime, I’ve started to notice most companies use their social media accounts to sell their products or services. I know you’re thinking of course they do, why else would they be using social media? I agree, companies should use social media to create brand awareness and recognition. However, the problem comes when companies only post content trying to sell their products.

Promotional messages and advertisements try to reach consumers 24/7. As a society, we cannot watch television, browse the internet, or even check Twitter without seeing an advertisement. Advertisers are also trying to come up with even more inconspicuous ways to advertise products because the old methods aren’t working anymore.

Consumers have become annoyed with the constant promotional messages and they have begun to tune them out. Think about it, when you’re watching TV and a commercial comes on, most people get on their phones or run out of the room to get a snack. People drive by billboards barely looking at them and when commercials come on the radio they just switch the station. People do pay attention to ads but they use social media as an escape.

Consumers primarily use social media to connect with friends and catch up on the latest news. People tend to divert from posts using hard sales tactics to get them to buy a product. For example, I used to follow a local hair salon on Instagram. They would always post photos showing haircuts they did with a caption about calling them for an appointment. I eventually unfollowed them because I felt like I wasn’t getting anything out of their posts.

I’ve also been following a beauty company called Birchbox on Instagram (see below). Their posts are informative and interactive. They’ll post pictures of products and ask their followers what other products they would suggest. Their posts range from tips and tricks, to contests, to different hairstyles they think their followers should try out. Some of their posts promote products they sell in their shop and most of the time I’m more inclined buy them because I trust the company. This trust comes from feeling that instead of just trying to sell me a product, the company has my best interest at heart.

Since consumers are turned off by blogs and social media accounts that scream “buy buy buy”, how can you use social media to your advantage?

Users want to feel like they are getting something out of your posts and businesses need to focus their content on interacting with users. Posting consistently and interacting can make a world of difference. So if one of your followers comments or replies to your post, respond to them or ‘favorite’ the post. Most companies make the mistake of being a pusher instead of engaging with users and creating brand loyalty.

How do you keep your posts from screaming “buy! buy! buy!”?

Ask Mandy Q&A: Tips for Social Media Time Management

Ask Mandy is a weekly Q&A blog series. To ask your question about social media, please click here.
Don’t miss out on our weekly Q&A! You can subscribe to receive these via email here.


Join me in raising your hand if you’ve gone onto Facebook to check on a page or logged into Pinterest and 3 hours later come up for air and have gotten nothing done!

Sadly, we’ve all been there.

The question I received recently had to do with time management –

How can I effectively manage my social media time?

There are many ways to answer that question, so here are my tips to more effectively manage the time you have for social media…


Yes, I know you’re being told to NOT do this, it is perfectly okay to automate some of your social media actions. You cannot automate real-time interactions and engagement, so keep that in mind. HootsuiteSprout Social and Buffer are three popular scheduling platforms.  All of these allow you to schedule posts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus.

What do I suggest?  Take about 1 hour, once a week, to schedule your content for the next week.  You can then spend the rest of your time responding and interacting!


If you have a goal to blog 1-2 times per week, dedicate time each week to spend writing and scheduling those posts.  This will save you from the “oh crud” moment you have when you realize you are suppose to have a post up in 12 hours!  WordPress sites have scheduling functions within them to schedule a post for the future.

The plan ahead suggestion applies to more than just blogging – plan ahead as much as you can for everything.  This will keep your organized and in a routine.


Yes, I did just say you do not have to do everything.  Many businesses think they need to have a presence on every.single.platform when in reality, they don’t.  If you know your target market posts on Facebook more than any other, then concentrate on that one.  There is no sense in wasting your time updating 5 or 6 social media platforms when your customers are only on Facebook or Twitter.

Concentrating on those platforms that your target market is on and forgetting about the rest will free up a lot of time.  Trust me, it easy to lose time on these platforms – just stick with what works!

Also, outsource the things you aren’t great at. This could be bookkeeping, graphic design, even blogging. You’ll save time and energy and stress.


Decide how much time you want to spend on each platform and then set a kitchen timer or an alarm on your smartphone to buzz when your time is up.  For example, if you want to set aside 30 minutes per day on Facebook, set the timer to start when you do and then it will let you know when your 30 minutes is up.  At that time, move on to something else.  I know of several who do this and swear by it.  Placing a time limit can force you to concentrate on what you need to do and get it done.

By implementing these tips, you will find your time better managed and your product increased.

What tips would you give to better manage your time?  Comment below, I’d love to hear them!


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Living in the Moment with Social Media

living in the moment with social media (3)Recently I heard the argument that my generation, that of the millennials, spend too much time ‘capturing’ the moment as opposed to living ‘in’ the moment. We are too caught up with making sure our social media is depicting the fun we are having instead of fully experiencing the fun.

As condescending or negative as this argument may appear, I believe it is 100 percent valid.

But, is this a bad thing?

My generation has grown up side-by-side with social media and have developed hand-in-hand. As social media created more outlets for sharing, we developed the skills to use them. As social media offered ways to feed our narcissism, we were happy to oblige.

However, is this truly narcissism or censoring our social media to make it seem like we are having a great time 24/7?

Yes and no.

An article by Nina Friend in the Huffington Post states ways Millennials can take back their lives. In her article, she states “we [millennials] care more about our cyber selves than our actual selves” and that “we have the ability to remove unattractive photos from our Facebook timelines so our friends only see us when we look good.”

Social media has made the photo album obsolete. Why would I, an average person, waste time and money to capture photos, print them, and organize them in a photo album I can only share with those I come into direct contact with to? I wouldn’t. And being that the virtual photo album has replaced that of the physical, why would anyone keep bad pictures? I cannot think of one instance of my parents keeping bad photos in their albums, so why should my generation do the same? Yes it can be perceived as narcissistic editing, but we are not the first generation to do so.

With the ease of sharing and uploading, my generation uses social media as the new diary and photo album. We can share what we want with ourselves and the world with immediate gratification. Yes, there is a bit of Pavlov’s dog experiment where with each upload, we like to receive the notification, but what it really comes down to is ease of access and recording our lives for later, nostalgic review.

Friend continues in her article saying we need to “focus on the experience, not the reaction” with reaction referring to the social media response to our depictions of what we are doing. If anything, I am a prime example. I take pictures on my phone all the time because I never know when I will want to relive the experience or show someone what I saw later. Is it necessary to take pictures all the time? Probably not. Have I been asked by my own family why I take so many pictures? Definitely yes. But maybe one day I’ll upload them in a fit of nostalgia or I’ll think of the perfect caption and upload the picture to social media so I can share my experiences with others. Regardless of my picture taking, I guarantee I’ll brainstorm a caption for approximately five minutes before uploading to ensure the most amount of people appreciate the fact I am sharing an event in my life through the form of ‘likes’.

Friend makes very valid points such as if you find yourself doing something just to prove to others that you did it, rethink your intentions. Now this is where it gets tricky. Yes social media has taken the new form of diaries and photo albums as far as recording our day-to-day activities, but this goes back to the Pavlov narcissism we’ve developed thanks to “likes,” “favorites,” etc.  [Tweet “As long as we can upload our lives with ease, we will be victims to the notification in some form in a bitter sweet combination of necessity and narcissism.”]

From my interaction with other generations personally, I have found that millennials are leading the crusade into virtual recording, Generation Z (those born after 2000) are following the example of the Millennials and getting involved with social media at younger ages (sometimes before double digits). Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) is constantly playing catch-up. Trying to maintain the same proficiency as the younger generations to maintain a sense of being tech savvy and youthful. Lastly, Generation Baby Boomer (1946 – 1964) and the Mature Generation (1927 – 1945) share some of the ‘catch-up’ traits of Generation X, but mostly only keep up with social media – if at all – because their siblings, children, or peers have pressured them into using it because they feel like they have to.

The above description is exemplified at all of my family functions. My cousins born in the 80’s and 90’s check our social media or tweet about the occasion, those born in the 2000’s talk about pop culture and Instagram, my dad and his siblings discuss the ease of access of Facebook and keeping in touch with old classmates/keeping an eye on their own and each other’s children – my dad proudly resisting the ‘need’ for any form of social media, and my grandparents sharing the Facebook page my aunt made for my grandma but having no clue how to use it other than scrolling and accidentally ‘liking’ something from time to time.

The generation prior to us took photographs, we take (profile, Facebook, Instagram) pictures. The generation before us kept journals and diaries, we maintain blogs and tweets. The argument is not whether we are living in the moment or not. As technology has progressed to virtual foundations, so have our tools to record our lives.

The Hashtag Milestone

I recently went to a wedding that made me realize the practicality and cool-factor a simple hashtag could have.

At the wedding, guests were encouraged to take pictures and not just take them, but share them. The bride came up with a hashtag for everyone to use on their Instagram posts of the wedding. The hashtag created a forum for sharing and contributing between the wedding attendees and a way for those unable to attend to keep up with the festivities.

Instead of wondering if our distant relative would ever develop the pictures they were taking and hope we would eventually see the physical copy, everyone was able to receive almost instant gratification by simply checking the hashtag.

This hashtag also made it easy for the couple and attendees the security in knowing if they liked someone’s pictures but didn’t know their name, they could simply search for the hashtag at any time and easily find them again.

This simple hashtag technique of using #(last name of couple)wedding worked amazingly for this event and introduced me to a concept I had never really thought of – creating an event specific hashtag. Yes, I have seen this done for award shows and other television broadcasts and trends, but I never thought of making one for a life event, or something I was doing.

Does this open the floodgate for what I see as my major life events? #LastFirstDayOfSchool #MyGraduation, #ACarruthWedding, etc.? Will this create a new trend of people hashtagging everyday events as well, or has that already happened? #AlexsFirstBlogPost #InternsUnite #Blessed.

Regardless of where the trend goes, the event-specific, even personal event, hashtag is here to stay, as exemplified by the countless blogs and articles dedicated to teaching others how to make event specific hashtags and where to find popular ones. Below are just a few of them.

A Hashtag Directory:


How to make an event specific hashtag: http://memarketingservices.com://tradeshowsocialmedia.com/event-hashtags-a-guide-to-using-them/

How to build a hashtag to gain event engagement:

http://memarketingservices.com://blogs.constantcontact.com/product-blogs/social-media-marketing/hashtag-event-engagement/ AND http://memarketingservices.coms://business.twitter.com/tactics/use-events-engage

Hashtag Strategies for making them:


How to use hashtags: http://memarketingservices.com://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/32497/How-to-Use-Hashtags-on-Twitter-A-Simple-Guide-for-Marketers.aspx


It seems as though whether you are at a conference, a retreat, a sporting or entertainment event, or even personal milestones, there is a hashtag for it encouraging group interaction and sharing.

It’s so easy to live in the moment these days. I wonder what it will look like in 10 or 15 years? How are you using social media to live in the moment?

Ask Mandy Q&A: Top WordPress Plug-Ins

Ask Mandy is a weekly Q&A blog series. To ask your question about social media, please click here.
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Blogging should be a mainstay in any business. It does not matter your industry, blogging will help you be seen as an authority in your field. When you start out blogging, there are a few choices to consider – which platform do I want to use, WordPress, Blogger or something else? What kind of look do I want it to have? How often should I publish? These are all decisions you have to make based on your goal in blogging.

In my honest opinion, WordPress is the way to to. It’s user and social friendly, there are so many theme options to pick from and their support is great. Most major websites are built on WordPress. Once you choose this platform to go with, you have to choose plug-ins to use. This leads me to this week’s Ask Mandy question, submitted by one of our community members –

I’m starting a blog, was curious if you have a set list of preferred or needed plugins that you use, or recommend, is there any kind of system or resource you have used to install them on your blog?

I will start of by saying I am only experienced in WordPress – I’m sure there are plug-in type things to install on straight HTML or Joomla sites. That being said, here are the top WordPress plug-ins I use –


This is the ultimate spam comment blocker. It’s free to use and will keep your comment stream spam-free.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

There are several SEO plug-ins out there, but this one is my favorite. It’s very easy to use and I love the stoplight grading system it gives you for each page and post.

Revive Old Post (formerly Tweet Old Post)

This plug-in is the reason Twitter is the #1 driver of traffic to my website. This plug-in will tweet out, on the schedule you decide, older posts that you have written, constantly keeping your content out there. Of course, this only works for evergreen content, so you’ll want to exclude those that are time-specific.


Filament is the owner of Flare, a social sharing plug-in. See the neat bar on the left of my screen where you can share this post across the web? That’s Flare. It’s easy to set up and you have several placement options and social network options as well.


Disqus is one of the many commenting plug-ins available for WordPress. You can use the one given to you in WordPress or you can add one with some more oomph. I like Disqus because I can keep track of comments on my site and other sites I’ve commented on that use this.

Simple Social Icons

Every blog or website needs to have your social links on it for people to connect with you on the web. What I love about this plug-in is the customization. You can match your business colors and make them various shapes.

Of course, there are thousands of plug-ins to choose from and I have more than these 6 on my own site, but these are the ones I make sure are on my clients’ sites as well. When you use WordPress, they are all single-click installation so there’s no upload to an FTP server. You simply click “add new”, find the one you want and click “install”.

I would love for my community to chime in with their favorite plug-ins as well! Which ones would you add?


Do YOU have a question about social media for businesses? Simply click here to ask!

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3 Tips to Help You Rock the Linkedin Publishing Platform

3 Tips to Help You Rock the Linkedin Publishing Platform

If you’re active on LinkedIn, the chances are good by now that you’re seeing more posts from people in your network. LinkedIn started rolling out long-form publishing capabilities to its members in February, 2014. Some bloggers started using the LinkedIn publishing platform right away, while others have been watching and holding out for a bolt of inspiration to hit them. Others are even still waiting for their publishing capabilities to kick in. I personally wanted to see how the LinkedIn publishing platform worked, so I jumped in as quickly as I could. I can honestly say that I’m pleased with my results so far.

The LinkedIn publishing platform is user-friendly for writers; if you’re familiar with WordPress, then using the LinkedIn publisher is a breeze. For those who are interested in the analytics side, they are able to see the number of real-time views, likes, and shares for each  of their posts. The hardest part for some may be deciding what and when to publish. LinkedIn, itself, recommends you publish what you know best: your own areas of expertise and professional interests. Writing and publishing your first post is probably going to be the hardest one for you – at least it was for me.

These are a few suggestions to keep in mind as you start on your journey to master the art of the LinkedIn publishing platform.

1) The LinkedIn publishing platform allows you to write as much as you desire.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you should write extra long articles though. LinkedIn is home to a predominately professional crowd. People who read articles on LinkedIn typically have a limited amount of time to browse and scan the titles, and even less time to read those which capture their attention. Many of the other LinkedIn publishers I communicate with agree that the most popular posts they publish through the LinkedIn publishing platform fall into the “snackable content” category. According to Media is Power,

“Content is snackable when it is designed for simple and flexible audience consumption.

Sounds perfect for the busy LinkedIn crowd, don’t you think? Give them the content they want and crave, but know you only have a few minutes to grab their interest. The LinkedIn publishing platform probably isn’t the best place to publish your college thesis or eBook if you’re looking for a receptive audience.

2) The LinkedIn publishing platform also allows you to write as often as you desire

Once again, depending on your audience and your content, you may want to spread out the time between your posts on LinkedIn. Post too often and you run the risk of being perceived as a spammer…and LinkedIn doesn’t take kindly to spammers. If you have your own blog for business purposes, you may want to consider using the same, or similar, frequency when posting on LinkedIn.

Once you do start posting on the LinkedIn publishing platform, you’ll find maintaining consistency is a good idea when it comes to how often you post. I find publishing once a week or so is sufficient for my own purposes, but others choose to post more or less often. Either way, you’ll find a schedule that works best for you. In regards to the day and time of day you post, there is no right or wrong for either. However, it’s usually better to post when you know your audience is online.

3) Many of your posts probably won’t be picked up by LinkedIn’s Pulse app – but always be prepared for when it does happen

Being picked up by the Pulse app has apparently become one of the “holy grails” for LinkedIn publishers. When Pulse picks up your post, it’s seen by potentially thousands of additional members – whether they follow you or not. It’s unclear to me how Pulse chooses the posts it features. Most of the articles I see through Pulse seem to be related to current events, career and job hunting,  and/or topics which encourage lively debates.

I’ve seen other LinkedIn writers ask, “how will I know if my article has been picked up by Pulse”? Okay, honestly, I was the one who posed that question to my LinkedIn group, Writing on LinkedIn. The answers I received were all like, “oh, you’ll know it when it happens, trust me.” And that certainly turned out to be the truth. The first three posts I published through the LinkedIn publishing platform did pretty well, in my opinion. I picked up a few hundred views and several likes for each. However, my fourth post took off like a shot, and that’s how I knew I’d been noticed by the Pulse “powers-that-be.” I must have hit a nerve, because people started commenting and liking the post within minutes of my hitting the publish button. I must admit, it was quite exciting!

Are you wondering why you should be prepared when one of your posts is finally picked up by Pulse? I recommend being ready because when it happens, you’re probably going to receive a lot of comments, likes, shares, and new followers. It’s simply good etiquette to acknowledge your followers and reply to their comments, regardless of whether you’re posting through the LinkedIn publishing platform or another blog site. And people do seem to like leaving comments on LinkedIn posts…some less nicely than others. Since comments are not moderated, you need to be ready for anything.


Have you started using the LinkedIn publishing platform yet? If so, how do you feel about your results so far? I’d love to hear what you think about it.


Related Resources:

LinkedIn Long-Form Posts on LinkedIn – Overview

The Mystery Money Behind Social Media

The Mystery Money Behind Social MediaEvery day millions of people from around the world tap into Facebook or Twitter in order to connect with a great sphere of people in their network. Many of these people are living right next door, some are across the country, and some are even across the world. The growth and expanse of social media has spread like wildfire within the last few years.

To put things in perspective, let us dig into the statistics.

Take Facebook…

  • Facebook alone is home to over 1.28 billion monthly active members.
  • 802 million people log onto Facebook daily.

There is an approximated 34% increase of mobile users from year to year.

Now Twitter, a somewhat younger player in the game of social media, is experiencing remarkable growth as well…

How are these sites like Facebook and Twitter, which are free to users, generating enough income to experience such phenomenal growth? The answer lies in stocks and advertising.

Facebook accrues the majority of revenue from advertising. In fact, it has evolved into a new platform for advertising campaigns. In 2013, advertisers increased their budgets by 40% to reach their targeted audience via social media.

The brilliance of advertising on Facebook is its “Facebook Ad Exchange (FBX)”. Essentially, Facebook controls which advertisements pop up on your page based on your activity. For example if you recently change your relationship status to “engaged”, Facebook then arranges advertisements for bridal shops or flower shops around your area so that you see them appear on your News Feed.

According to Forbes magazine, any purchase of Facebook stock made within the first 12 months after their IPO would have increased in value of 2-3 times, thus meaning the investor would receive a 100-200% return.

Twitter operates on the same basis as Facebook for generating income.  Within the first quarter of 2014, Twitter acquired $226 million in advertising revenue alone, with mobile advertising revenue representing 80%.  They increased their revenue by enhancing the software, opening up to more advertisers, and targeting audiences with advertisements, similar to Facebook. Unfortunately, Twitter has suffered a major loss with their stocks. A recent slump in shares has caused their revenues to decline. Despite the financial set back Twitter is projected to make a comeback, and continue to prove to be a major competitor with the “big boys” in social media.

With social advertising budgets set to increase this year, that just means more money in pockets of Mark Zuckerberg and Dick Costolo.

How does your social advertising budget look for this year?

8 Reasons You’ll Fail at Social Marketing & How to Avoid It

The world of social marketing is cut-throat.

People are jockeying to be on lists, doing everything they can to be at the top of a Google, be the first to break news – you’d think this was the world of journalism (parts are). But it’s not.

Many people will enter this industry and leave just as quickly. Why? Because they set themselves up for failure without realizing it. So how does that happen?

1. Publishing low quality content.

It doesn’t matter if this is on your blog or your social posts, if you do not provide quality to your community, they will leave. Stop writing fluff and give them meat.

2. Not responding. At all. To anything.

I hate it when I comment on a post anywhere and there is no response…ever. You have to be negeved with your community – you have to be present and be active. If not, they will head south like Canadian Geese.

3. It’s 24/7/365 about YOU.

We’ve seen these posts – they are all about “me! Me! Me!”  I hate to break it to you, but it’s not all about you – it’s about THEM – your community. Social media is a place to build relationships with your current and prospective customers, not scare them off.

4. Little or no social media or blogging activity.

Why start a blog and never publish? Why start a Twitter account and never tweet? In social marketing, you have to show up and be active. Yes, starting that Facebook page was a good idea, but unless you are going to be consistent in posting and using it, just forget about it.

5. No strategy.

Using social marketing for business is tough. You have to have a plan. This isn’t anything new. Attempting to do this blindly will only lead you to disaster. You have to know why you are using social marketing and have everything you do point back to that reason.

6. No social links or social share buttons on website or blog.

I like to use the analogy, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, can you hear it? If you are on social media and you don’t tell anyone you are there, how will they find you? By accident? Same goes for articles on your blog – set up social sharing icons so people can share your great content and let others know you are there!

7. You don’t take what you are doing seriously.

Yes social marketing can be fun, however it’s also a lot of work. You have to take it serious – with all the changes that happen rapidly, you will always be on your toes. You can have fun with it, but you are doing this for your business or someone else’s – it’s not play time.

8. You don’t keep up with the changes.

This one will get you in the rear every time. If you can’t or don’t keep up with the changes you’ll be left behind or worse – get an account suspended. You will not be successful unless you know what is going on.

I have been in this business several years now. The majority of those who started out when I did didn’t make it past year one. Don’t be one of those. Here is what you can do to not fail –

  • Make a goal to provide one quality article each week. We will all publish fluff at some point, but have one, good solid post a week.
  • Take an active role in your community – “talk” with them, ask and answer questions, show them you care more about them than yourself. Be someone they can trust.
  • Be consistent. They say long and steady wins the race and it does in social marketing. Keep at it – you will get there.
  • Have a plan. Write your goals on a piece of paper and plan out how you are going to use social marketing to get there. Having a plan (strategy) will not only keep you organized, it will keep you focused.
  • Continually educate yourself. This is a fast-paced industry. Subscribe to a few blogs and stay in the loop. People will follow and trust those who truly know what is going on.

I love what I do and I hate to see people fail. Doing this type of work for yourself or someone else is not always easy. You will have days that suck – trust me, I do – but keep at it and it will pay off.

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7 Business Books to Read When Starting Out

Ask Mandy: 7 Business Books to Read When Starting Out

Ask Mandy is a weekly Q&A blog series. To ask your question about social media, please click here.

Don’t miss out on our weekly Q&A! You can subscribe to receive these via email here.


I am a book snob. I love getting lost in a book. Even though my favorites are historical fiction, I do love a good business book. I have read several so I was super excited when I received this question –

 What are some good books to read if I am starting my own business?

I could answer this with a list of about 100 but I can’t – this isn’t BuzzFeed 🙂

There are many good books out there that you could read – everything from small ebooks to longer hardbacks. Being a social marketing nut, most of the books I suggest have to do with marketing. You can take some of the social marketing advice and apply it to just about anything – leadership, thoughts, management, etc.

1. Platform by Michael Hyatt

This was one of the first true social media business books I read after I started ME Marketing Services. In this book, Michael talks about having a platform for your business and how to been seen and heard in a noisy world. I would call this, entrepreneurship & marketing 101. He takes you step by step through starting with your product/service, to preparing your business launch, building your base, expanding reach & engaging your community. This is the perfect book to start with.



2. Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen

I first read this book for a book review for the Social Solutions Collective. I really enjoyed this, especially his part about social advertising, which I use to this day. Did you know Dave targeted a Facebook ad specifically to his wife – and she saw it? He illustrated the power of Facebook ads, however that is not what the book is all about. Here is one comment from my review, “The overall theme of the book is to stop talking and listen, to start doing things that make you likeable. Listen to your fan base and customers – get a feel for what they are talking about, what interests them and what they are looking for. It’s only after you’ve listened that you can really start talking.”


3. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerkchuk

This is a great book about social selling. Basically it’s about making little “jabs” to your community, you know, small messages or breadcrumbs, so when you’re ready to make the “hook”, aka sales pitch, they are ready and waiting.




4. Social Media Explained by Mark Schaefer

This is the newest book by social media pro Mark Schaefer and one of my favorites. In this book, Mark takes social marketing a step beyond the basic. It’s broken into 3 sections – the 5 most important things you need to know about social media marketing, the 5 most difficult questions you’ll face and a social media primer (this last section is more of a review of the basics). He brings his wealth of experience to show you real examples and situations you may face so you are prepared to handle them like a pro.



5. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson

The classic how-to-deal-with-change book. This book will help you cope with change and help you discover how your attitude attributes to it. With changes happening at a rapid pace, this is something every business owner, new and old, needs to read.




6. The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It, and Win by Cendrine Marrouat

I have known Cendrine for a few years now and she is someone who abides by the quality content creed. Every article she publishes is something you can take and run with. I was honored to be able to get an advance copy of this book and review it. Here is what I said, “The book is very easy to read, much like her previous e-book, The Little Big eBook on Blogging: 40 Traffic Generation Tips. Her newest offering takes the reader step-by-step through the social media strategy process, giving case studies along the way to support her statements.  She touches on everything from figuring out who your audience is to what platforms to use to defining your voice.”


7. How to Make Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

I went through the Dale Carnegie Leadership course a little over 10 years ago and this was one of the required readings we had to do (you should do the class if you get a chance).  This book gives you what you need to network like a pro. It will help you come up with ways to remember people’s names, how to let the other person do the talking and so forth. I will tell you this was written in the 1930’s so some things may seem a bot outdated, but the overall principles are what matters.


I have 2 or 3 more I would love to add to this list, but I’m not finished with them yet 😉 You can still take a look at them – Maximize Your Social by Neal Schaffer & Human to Human: #H2H by Bryan Kramer.

If you’ve read all of these (or maybe not), what other books would you add to this list for new business owners?


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GOAL! Social Media & the World Cup

GOAL! Social Media & the World CupOver the past few years, social media has changed the way people look at sports.

Instead of watching sports channels, people have turned to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to catch up on scores, interact with fans and share their opinions. The social media buzz around the FIFA World Cup is no different. Even if you aren’t a soccer fan, or even a sports fan, it’s hard to miss the hype around the World Cup.

Example: Eighteen million people watched ESPN’s live telecast of the United States versus Portugal game making it the most watched World Cup game in U.S. history. Google even made a reference to undeniable truth that employees aren’t paying attention to work when the World Cup is on. Their Doodle on Monday June 23rd showed a group of letter fans watching the world cup and switching back to a business chart when their boss walked by.

Social media is proving to be a source of digital marketing for the World Cup that has never been experienced before. FIFA has created an Instagram account, and thirty-three different Twitter accounts for the teams. Fans are connected in ways they never have been before and people are using World Cup related hashtags on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

People aren’t the only ones taking advantage of social media when it comes to the World Cup. The tournament is also a great way for companies to get their brand out there, creating brand awareness and recognition.

Example: Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is one of the companies using the World Cup and social media to create brand awareness. Coca-Cola has taken an interactive approach and created a webpage off their main website geared towards the World Cup.

Fans can go and vote on the best goal, listen to Coca-Cola’s World Cup anthem and check out articles related to World Cup happenings. Coca-Cola has also created the “Happiness Flag” where people from around the world submit photos and are a part of a physical and digital flag.  The “Happiness Flag” touches on the emotional side of consumers and makes them feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. To promote the “Happiness Flag” Coca-Cola has created a Youtube video in many different languages. Coca-Cola is one company using the World Cup to promote their brand image around the world and interact with fans via social media.

The social media buzz around the World Cup is only going to get bigger between now and the final game on July 13th. Social media has forever changed the way people look at sports and companies will continue to take advantage of the global phenomenon that is the 2014 World Cup.

Have you used social media for World Cup coverage?


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