Journal #12: It’s All About Me: Branding & Strategy

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It’s All About Me:  Branding and Strategy

all-about-me

Discuss in your journal blog, what are you doing to establish your personal brand online? What could you be doing better? What do you plan to do in the future? What strategies will you employ?  


Personal Brand: 

My personal brand.  What can I say?  I’ve always been one to worry about how I appear to others and online is no different.  My friends thought I was weird when I originally locked down my 6a00d8345275cf69e2014e87df8ad5970dFacebook profile like Fort Knox and then, they soon followed.  Friends also wondered why I made them ask for my approval before they posted a picture of me in any online capacity in the days before there were so many tagging and timeline removal options on Facebook.  I would remove friends’ comments on my wall or take down any picture that portrayed me in a light that I found, or thought someone might find, “unbecoming”.

As time has gone on and employers began social media searches, I have realized how important this is, among other things, to my professional brand.  In addition, my career paths have changed as times have changed and maintaining a positive professional brand, both on and off line is more important than ever before.  In addition to portraying myself in a professional light, I must maintain a public persona and brand that is both knowledgeable and social,  In order to work in the liberty movement, grassroots organizing, political public relations, and digital activism.

Numerous Strides:

My personal and professional brand has made numerous strides just by creating and maintaining two blogs this semester.  These blogs have made me more noticeable by encouraging me to branch out from my old Facebook fallback and have given me more things about which to create social media posts.  In order to further establish myself, I have attempted to make frequent posts to both blogs but know that TN liberty will require me to do so on a more consistent basis.  I have also become a more active Twitter user and in doing so, have begun to clean out and balance my “followers” to “following”.  On Twitter, I have chosen to keep my profile public in all forms and now that I’ve learned about what a non-balanced follower to following ratio could portray, I have made steps to remedy the situation.

personal_branding_social_mediaDue to my extreme time limitations and the amount of work it will take to promote and execute TN Liberty in the manner it deserves, I have decided to focus most of my attention on this blog for the time being.  This summer, I will have more time to maintain and promote TN Liberty on a consistent basis.  After graduating with my Master’s in December of 2014, TN Liberty will become my main focus and a larger part of my branding.  However, for the rest of this semester, it will remain a side project.  That being said, after noticing that I have gained for than 650 views on this blog, I purchased my name at .com and .org.  I am now using www.robinspielberger.com for this site.  Unhappy with having to use “libertytn” instead of TN Liberty as a WordPress domain name, I also purchased www.tnliberty.com.

In order to grow my career and secure a position working within the liberty movement, I have to make sure my social media presence is one that shows knowledge, passion, education, self-control, personality, the ability to unite and connect, and consistency.  In addition to the aforementioned branding , I have outlined the strategy and metrics for my social media presence, designed to make my personal brand more effective in Journal #10:  Do You Like Me?  Check Yes or No.

 

Engagement Strategy:

As for my engagement strategy, I am working on promoting my posts for this blog and TN Liberty through various social media channels and sites.  I have also begun using Twitter, Tumblr, InstagramFoursquare, and Yelp on a more consistent basis in order to supplement my Facebook profile and professional Tennessee and Mississippi Leadership page.

images_main-image-for-social-media-engagement-strategyI am also keeping track of which blog posts get the most views so that I can see what my audience is most interested in reading or viewing.  So far, It is obvious that my What Liberty Means: TN Liberty video garnered the most engagement, reach, and views but I am interested in seeing what other types of posts could potentially gain new followers and if they same strategy works for all sites or if each site requires a different strategy.

Currently, I am working on garnering a Yelp  following by consistently “checking-in” and writing at least one review a week, so that I can develop my personal brand in a more well-rounded way.

I am also trying to become a more consistent and active Twitter, user and while doing so, I am testing the phrasing of blog promotion to see if just the mention of an interesting post on my blog is enough to gain a new follower or if a direct ask is more productive, as well as monitoring what kinds of tweets are more likely to get retweeted by my following.

On the most basic of levels, I feel that my increased and more consistent social networking activity on both blogs, my Facebook profile and page, Twitter, Yelp, and Foursquare, as well as peripherally on LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest, should allow me to increase my number of followers and make my online brand stronger. It has been shown, that the people with the most popular personal brands are keeping up with their topics and followers and posting with consistency.

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Journal #10: Do You Like Me? Check Yes or No.

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Do You Like Me? Check Yes or No

Do-You-Like-Me

1. Create a list of specific goals you have for your social media presence, tailored to your needs and what you have learned so far about what works and doesn’t work with your topic area. 

 
2. Decide what metrics you will be collecting about your blog/social media presence that will measure progress toward those views, using the readings for guidance. Make a specific list or spreadsheet. Begin collecting this info on a regular basis. 

 
3. Create some kind of challenge for yourself and describe it on your journal blog. Maybe you will try to post a photo on Instagram every day. Maybe you will try a “30 days of blogging” challenge, or similar. Maybe you will try to write a post at least once a week. It’s up to you, but the first step in boosting your metrics is learning to create a regular stream of content. 
 


 

Metrics.  Measurement.  The Numbers.  The Scores. The Who’s Who proof that we all seek to obtain. These are the things that a media maven’s online life depends upon and thus, I suppose I will have to start making sure my metrics are towing the line.

I’ve always wanted to be famous.  Popular.  Someone Important.  Anyone, really.  Just as long as everyone knew my name.  At age 6, my parent’s friends would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  My answer was always the same:  “I want to rule the world.”  I may have grown up, changed, and become cynical but deep down the answer remains.  I’m just a girl who wants to rule the world.  My parents were so very pleased (yes…that’s sarcasm) that Madonna was my idol and I dressed in lace and mini skirts, followed by pointy bras each year for Halloween from the age of 6 to 13.  What can I say – I’m a believer in finding a costume that works and sticking with it.  So much for my originality.  I guess my personality was original enough though.

Today, my idol has changed.  Yes…breathe that deep sigh of relief.  My idol is someone who should be respected – not for the clothes he wears or the songs he sings, but for his passion, his beliefs, his courage, and his dedication.  So, yes.  I still want to rule the world.  Although now, my dream doesn’t involve twerkin’ it to the top, it involves activism and continuing the fight for liberty and freedom.  In order to grow my career and secure a position working within the liberty movement, I have to make sure my social media presence is one that shows knowledge, passion, education, self-control, personality, the ability to unite and connect, and consistency.

From now on, I must begin making realistic goals for my social media presence and measuring them with….consistency.  There’s that word again and as you read on, you will see it a few more times.  I have extensive knowledge in the How-To section of Social Media and Social Networking but have only showed consistency when it came to my personal branding on Facebook.  It’s time that I shared my passion with the other networks with the same….consistency.

 

My Goals: 

1.  To become an active and consistent Twitter user.

2.  To increase my number of Twitter followers.

3.  To balance my followers to my following on Twitter.  (Every time I say or type “Following” – all I think of is the Joe Carroll cult on the FOX show “The Following” and it creeps me out)

4.  To actively read tweets from Liberty-Minded and digital media professionals in order to remain current on topics pertaining to those fields, to promote myself, and to encourage engagement.  In order to be noticed as someone knowledgeable and serious about these topics, I must make myself known on a consistent and professional basis.

5.  To increase the number of Retweets that I receive on Twitter.

6.  To increase the number of followers on both my personal blog (this one) and my tn liberty blog.

7.  To increase the engagement level of my followers on both blogs.  Currently, I can tell that people are following me through Twittermy Facebook Page, and on both blogs but no one is leaving comments.  This is frustrating and I hope to figure out a way to remedy this situation.  However, I have noticed for years that the liberty-minded typically don’t leave comments or engage unless they want to argue.  So, it may be better to let “sleeping dogs lie.”

8.  To use Foursquare & Yelp with more consistency.  I find that I always “remember” people who appear often on my Foursquare notifications.  They seem to be people always in the know – the ones who have the best patio tables on sunny Saturday afternoons and have already tried the new restaurant or hotspot in town.  This used to be me, before the days of grad school and prior to that, the days of traveling the state for weeks at a time.  I have become accustomed to staying home more often but do go to these places occasionally.  However, when I do, I forget to check-in, leave a tip for others, or write a review.  It’s time I changed that.

9.  To continue to provide a unique point of view for my audience on both blogs, Twitter, and my Facebook page.  I bring something to the table that many who are currently active on social media and in the liberty movement do not – experience organizing and training youth YAL and SFL groups and garnering new support for these groups, candidates, and the movement.

10.  To continue to increase my Klout score.  This positions me as an expert in my field and although I already have a medium high score on Klout, I would theoretically like it to move to the high 70s at a minimum.  Currently, I have a 64.  In this SocialJ7330 class, only Burton Bridges and Carrie Brown have higher scores with a 65 and a 71 respectively.  Other “celebretarians” in my network have scores in the upper 70s to upper 80s.

11.  Finally, for my personal brand – I want to make sure that I show another facet of my personality.  I love liberty, freedom, the Constitution, and Ron Paul but that is NOT all of who I am. I love television, media studies, event planning, traveling, being a foodie, seeing and being seen, fashion, Tiger Basketball, the organic lifestyle, whitewater kayaking, animal rescue, and babysitting my best friend’s 7 yr old boy and that involves knowing some awesome spots in the city for afternoons without mom.  It’s time I began writing stuff on this blog about these topics as well.  I want to show that I am unique and bring a multifaceted personality to every table.

 

How I am Going to Do This: 

1.  By working to increase my social media presence in general, my followers should increase as will the attention paid to my blogs. This will happen through making a consistent and focused effort to open Twitter every single day and adding new posts to both blogs at least 2-3 times per week.  I would also like to continue the Photo365 Challenge for the entire 365 days as it seems to have helped me gain a good number of followers on my personal blog. (See challenge below),

2.  I will spend some time using http://tweepdash.com/ in order to clear out some of those erroneous people that I have collected and followed on Twitter, over the years.  This should help me balance my Twitter follower/following numbers, especially if I am able to increase the number of Twitter followers through my other strategies.

3.  Increasing the number of Retweets that I receive on Twitter should come fairly easily when I begin to use Twitter consistently, read more posts on issues pertaining to my aforementioned topics, and begin to write more original tweets.

4.  I also want to spend some time with http://www.Hashtagify.comhttp://www.tweetlevel.com, and http://www.topsy.com as well as http://www.followerwork.comhttp://www.tweeple.comhttp://www.Twitonomy.comhttp://www.tweept.com and http://www.FriendorFollow.com  to see if I am missing any influential Twitter users in my following list.  Once I am able to spend some time using these free Twitter metrics tools, I will be able to narrow down the list to just the ones that are most helpful.

5.  I will also start to use http://www.Followerwonk.com and http://www.Topsy.com in addition to http://www.Klout.com  to make sure that I am and continue to be positioned as an expert in the liberty movement, tn liberty, and digital media.

6.  Next, in order to make sure that my messaging is reaching people beyond my current following on Twitter and thus, helping me gain new followers for Twitter and my blogs, I will use http://www.Tweetreach.com and http://www.twtrland.com.

7.  I will also use the Google AnalyticsGoogle Alerts, and the WordPress.com Stats to keep watch on my metrics such as acquisition, engagement, reach, growth, CTRs, and new followers.  By watching these stats on my blog, I can figure out where the traffic is coming from – Google, Google+, FacebookTwitter, etc.  I can also make sure that my reach is hitting the numbers that it needs to on Twitter and Facebook so that It can help the blogs grow.

8.  Finally, I will be making a concerted effort to use Klout on a daily basis, along with TwitterFoursquare, and of course, Facebook.  I also hope to begin writing a review for Yelp at least once a week – I don’t want to get too crazy here and theoretically, I would like to begin posting numerous stories to my tn liberty blog on a daily basis.  First, I am going to spend a few days finishing the site and making sure that all important information has been added and is correct.

I am also going to need a lot more time.  I have the passion and the content but the time is my only limitation.  There is just not enough of it in my life.  I have heard some say that if you want to be a hugely popular blogger, you’d almost have to quit your day job and spend all of your time, blogging.  From my experience, this is pretty much true.  Before grad school, I used a good number of hours during the day focusing on my networking and social media presence.  Now, there just isn’t enough time to even say hello to family.  So…many of these things will have to wait.  However, I feel that I have increased the avenues by which I can connect to people and have some good ideas for forthcoming content.  One day I’ll blog by the beach.  One day….just not today.

 

Challenge: 

1.  To continue the Photo365 Challenge for at least through 365 days

2.  To open Twitter at least once every single day for 30 minutes, retweet influential people, and   write at least 2 original tweets on both of my aforementioned topics.

3.  To open Klout each day and share stories from within it’s system to help increase my score

4.  To write at least one short review a week on Yelp and REMEMBER to check-in on Yelp and Foursquare consistently.

5.  Eventually, after this semester of grad school, I would like to post at least 2 stories a day to tn liberty.



 

Journal #9: Location, Location, Location – It’s Where I Am

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Location, Location, Location – It’s Where I Am

Experiment with using at least one of the location-based checkin services for one week. It may be difficult, but in doing this, remember to try to find ways to, again, be relevant to your topic of focus. Leave some tips for others. Reflect on class blog on the experience; what do you see as the best opportunities for journalists and public relations practitioners in this space?


 

The people that decide to “play” Foursquare can immediately see a difference in the way they participate in their social environment.  One could conclude that, a major side effect of playing the game is that it inspires users to lead more active and interesting social lives.

The impact that is created by everyone “checking-in” – even just once – has a huge advantage and positive or negative effect on every single business around you.  Positive tips and statements are essentially free advertisements and negative ones are warning to the business that they could be in trouble.  You’re simply letting your family, friends and colleagues, as well as anyone connected to you on other social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, know where you are enjoying  or not enjoying yourself.  If everyone multiplies a single check-in by the thousands of other participants who each regularly update their location status, you’ve essentially put experience on a map in a social way.

I’ve been a long time user of Foursquare and go through bouts of remembering to check-in and then forget about it for semi-long periods of time before I suddenly become addicted again.  It’s a cycle for me but typically it starts when I’m traveling.  For some reason, I remember to “check-in” more often when I am on the road or in a different city than when I am just out and about in my hometown.  After discussing Foursquare in class, I began “checking-in” and have been better with my consistency.  I have even gained a couple of new mayorships, including the neighborhood of Humes Heights and actually stole one from our very own @Brizzyc, although admittedly she stole in back within a few days.  She’s fast on that check-in!  I arrived at the Crews Center only minutes after her and she had already reclaimed her rightful title.

Typically, I use Foursquare because i am addicted to getting badges and seeing what new badges are out there but I  rarely use it for reviews when I am not actually “checking-in” somewhere.  However, I’ve checked to see if anyone has left a tip for what they thought was yummy at a restaurant I have never been before.   I hear that people get all sorts of free stuff but honestly, I have never received anything free from Foursquare.  I get offers for American Express all the time and have seen where the mayor of certain restaurants will get a free appetizer or cocktail.  Do you know how many checkins it takes to become mayor of anyplace worth eating?!?!  So, on that note I hear that Yelp businesses offer free things for just checking-in on the Yelp app and from now on, I will be taking advantage of that in order to see what’s out there.  I won’t be letting Foursquare go though because I still want to earn my level 4 beach bunny badge this summer!  I also wrote a Yelp review for the first time this week.  It was about best friend’s son’s birthday party experience at Putt Putt Golf & Games (& LaserTag).  You can read it here.  I typically don’t write reviews on sites because I always want them to be some sort of amazingly insightful, creative, and well-written piece of literature.  However, I think I  may give it a shot more often because there are many awesome businesses that I frequent who deserve someone to at least give them a thumbs up, 5 stars, or a short sentence or two.  Who knows, maybe i’ll become a Yelp elite.

I think people working in Public Relations and/or Advertising should add Foursquare and Yelp to their list of review sites to monitor on a daily and weekly basis.  If you’re running a business or responsible for what the community thinks of a business, then you need to know everything that anyone says in regards to said business.  Foursquare and Yelp tend to be good gauges of the community’s sentiment towards your establishment.  I constantly use Yelp when looking for new places to eat when traveling – it’s an unbiased review.  That being said – you need to filter like anywhere else on the internet.  If someone gives a restaurant 1 star and explains that it was because their food didn’t arrive within 10 minutes of them sitting down, read some other reviews because these people could easily be “those” type of people.  Or tif someone complains that the menu is overpriced – check the menu – the reviewers may have been looking for something different and wandered into a restaurant without checking the prices or their budget may be different than yours.  Most reviews on any site need a good pair of eyes and a person using common sense to sort through.  Finally, I think that one could use Foursquare to see what places are popular.   If you happen to be a journalist, PR practitioner, or advertising professional, you could then write a story about this establishment, see for yourself what they may be doing that you aren’t if you’re responsible for a similar business’ community outreach, or check out their advertising to see what is working in a certain area or specific demographic.  Knowledge is power people and that includes ALL knowledge.  Know what is happening in your town or wherever you may be – you will never know when this will come in handy!

Journal Post 1 – Social Media Use

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Personal & Professional

Social Media Use

“In your first post, answer the following questions:  What social networks of you use most often?  How or why do you use them?  What do you find interesting or important about social media (e.g. why are you taking this class?)”

In terms of social networks, I used to say I used them all but then realized that there are thousands out there that I didn’t know existed and some that I still don’t know exist, i’m sure.  So, to give an exact answer to this question we must start with a list. I love lists, don’t you?

  1.     Facebook
  2.     Twitter
  3.     Tumblr
  4.     Facebook Pages (admin for 9 pages – 4 of them aren’t active)
  5.     WordPress (as you can see here)
  6.     Instagram
  7.     Foursquare
  8.     Klout
  9.     Storify
  10.   Snapchatsocial-media
  11.   Google+
  12.   YouTube
  13.   Hey Tell
  14.   Yelp
  15.   Urbanspoon
  16.   LinkedIn
  17.   Academia.edu
  18.   Buzznet
  19.   CaringBridge
  20.   Classmates.com
  21.   Couchsurfing.com
  22.   delicious
  23.   Flickr
  24.   Flixster
  25.   Myspace
  26.   Meetup
  27.   LiveJournal
  28.   MyLife
  29.   Pinterest
  30.   ReverbNation.com
  31.   SocialVibe
  32.   StumbleUpon
  33.   Xanga
  34.   Circle.com (I think it is now FullCircle.com)
  35.   Bump (no longer a site – sold to Google, I think)

So now that we have a list of all the social networking sites that I have used, still use, or have used at some point (at least enough to know what it is and have an account) we will break it down.  Let me start by saying that some of them I didn’t even consider to be a social networking site until I looked it up and found that they were indeed social networking sites and some, I didn’t remember I had used until i read a list of all social networking sites.  It was a pretty interesting list too – check it out by clicking here.

Okay – so the sites I use on a regular basis are:

  1.     Facebook
  2.     Facebook Pages
  3.     Twitter
  4.     Tumblr
  5.     WordPress
  6.     Snapchat
  7.     Instagram
  8.     Foursquare
  9.     Klout
  10.   LinkedIn
  11.   Pinterest
  12.   YouTube
  13.   Yelp
  14.   Urbanspoon
  15.   Meetup
  16.   CaringBridge (sucks to add to a “use often” list btw)
  17.   Flickr (will be using it a lot more now)
  18.   Academia.edu
  19.   delicious
  20.   HeyTell

Now we’ve learned that I use 20 social networking sites on a regular basis.  Wow – I think I’ve just learned something about myself and where all those extra hours of time i used to have available, have gone.  The missing time felt like the random 1 sock and its missing partner from the load of laundry in the dryer phenomenon until now.  So – no longer a mystery.

So, if we break those down again into the social networking sites I use on a daily basis we have:

  1.     Facebook
  2.     Facebook Pages
  3.     Twitter
  4.     Tumblr
  5.     WordPress
  6.     Snapchat
  7.     Instagram
  8.     Foursquare
  9.     Klout
  10.   LinkedIn
  11.   Pinterest
  12.   YouTube

Hmm… that’s  still a lot of sites, but significantly less when you consider that I’ve linked many of them together so 1 post is distributed among them.

I use them mostly for personal connections and networking.  I know that sounds simple and maybe it is to most but to me – i have to remember what different things to post to which sites because some are personally funny posts, some are professional posts, some are networking posts, some are Liberty and Freedom posts, some are conservative posts, some are liberal posts, some are TN specific, some are posts for the Computer Science department page at the University of Memphis, some are for the Young Americans for Liberty group/page at the University of Memphis, etc etc etc.

If I had to pick the one site that I use most often, it is Facebook to include Facebook pages and groups, followed by Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare.  The others are more of additions and by-products of those.  Pinterest, I used a good amount this past summer because I became obsessed with the DIY information and began to refurnish all the furniture in my house and create those awesome pieces of art that normally cost a lot of money if purchased from Crate and Barrell, Pier 1, and other specialty stores – you know the ones of which I am speaking.  Anyway..now that I’m in grad school – i have several half-finished pieces of furniture to include my coffee table and a craft room full of spray paint, paint, glue, sand paper, and other miscellaneous arts and crafts items I long to use again one day.  Until then…it sits there, looking at me.  A window into the free time I once had.

I’m excited to take this Social Media Class because I hope to pick up a few tips and tricks that I wasn’t aware existed or that I haven’t mastered.  This class will also force me to update my blogs and pages more often and with more consistency, as well as create those blogs that i’ve been meaning to make, in order to enhance my online presence.  Although my online presence is not that bad – i’m ranked pretty high on Klout (obligatory popping of the collar had to be done).  Anyway, I hope to have a professional “portfolio” of sorts at the end of this semester.