Can a Social Media Manager Quit Social Media?

I've had it with social media and I'm thinking about quitting. Well, kind of. Let me explain. As a public relations professional, I naturally started managing social media for my company in 2008. My role in social grew, while my role in public relations became less as the focus shifted. The past few years have seen so many changes. I love the excitement and learning new things. But the negative side can make anyone lose focus, especially if you're online 24-7 like most social media managers. Here are some of my biggest social media gripes and how to fix them:

Brands posting for a negative response. 
This is probably comparable to the any PR is good PR tactic. I *was* a Facebook fan of one of my favorite Websites. But, they consistently post images of one celebrity they know will get a response, a negative response. They'll post "Doesn't *celebrity name* look cute," or something similar. And, after watching their feed for days, you know that they know their post will bring out the keyboard courage internet trolls slamming her/him. Social media managers, at least in my experience, are under the gun to get more likes, more comments and more eyes on posts. But at what cost. Content is key...don't lose your audience or forfeit your company values for more likes. Figure out how to get there positively!

Private people putting private people in the public eye. 
It's one thing to post your own dorky selfies-that's you posting about yourself. I'm okay with that. But, when did it become okay to take random photos of people, post them on your social media site and make fun of them. Yesterday in my Instagram feed, a grown man posted a photo of an older woman and a young girl...making fun of their clothes. When did this become okay. Granted, this has been going on a while, just look at the People of Wal-Mart Website. But before, I could just ignore the Website. Now, it's everywhere, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. We are a bullying society, yet we say we say we take a stand against bullying! Uh, I don't think so. We all have the power to make this simple change-just put the camera/iPhone/Android down.

Brands not responding at all. 
And, okay this one doesn't really make me want to quit social media. BUT, it does make me want to help these brands! If you're going to be on social media, BE on social media. I recently found out about a new product through a promotion they did with a tech site. I had a question about that product that I couldn't find through Google, so I reached out to that company first through it's Website support with no response, then to Twitter with no response, then to Facebook private messaging with no response, then to the Facebook wall with no response. In the past couple of months, this has happened to me twice. If you can't keep up with social media, don't be on those sites. Now, I know it's hard...but if you have to scale down, do one thing and do it well.

Ultimately, the truth is that I just can't quit social media. It has helped me through the pain of losing my beloved dog, reconnected me with my 5th grade best friend, given me insight into the lives of people in a different way and given me an outlet for creativity in a new way. Although I don't know how my role in public relations or social media will change in the next five years, I'm hopeful.

Get Organized While Charging Your Tech

iPad charging, check. iPhone charging, check. Kindle charging, check. MP3 player charging, check.  Location, all over my house equaling cords everywhere.

Admittedly I am a neat freak. Before I go to bed, I clean my house, put away any dishes and plug in any of my tech tools that need a charge before the next busy day. As my list of tech tools has grown, so has the location they are plugged in around my house: my kitchen, bedroom dining room and living room.

To some, this won’t be a big deal, but add another person and their tech tools into the mix and you have cords everywhere. My solution to this was simple: I needed a charging station. I needed to organize my cords. A quick search online pulled up many options. But, I also needed to factor in that I also wanted one that was aesthetically pleasing and wouldn’t stand out in my house. I ended up choosing the Bedford Smart Technology Large Recharge Station from Pottery Barn. Beautiful and on sale.

The charging station is 12” wide, 12” deep and 6” high, which isn’t small but it fits comfortably on one section of my dresser in my bedroom, next to a 32” flat screen. My favorite feature is the built in power strip plug-in with 6 plugs available. This was a must-have for me, since many (like a similar from Wal-Mart) seemed not to come with it. The four holes allow cords and wires to be hidden but conveniently placed for easy-access to charging. The charging station also features a pull-out drawer, where I keep my flash drives and extra iPhone covers. 

Social Media by the Numbers

I am a huge fan of statistics and numbers for social media-it really puts into perspective the amazing growth we have seen over the past couple of years in the digital arena. Here are a few from Socialnomics that amaze:
  • Over 50% of the world’s population is under 30-years-old
  • In 10 years over 40 percent of the Fortune 500 will no longer be here
  • Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.
  • If Facebook were a country it would be the world's third largest and two times the size of the U.S. population
  • 1 in 5 divorces are blamed on Facebook
See the rest of the list and the video here.

Pretty as a Picture

Apple named Instagram the app of the year for 2011 and I agree 100%. It is by far my favorite app for three reasons: photos are quick and easy to post...they tell the story, I can follow people in cities that I dream about visiting then favorite them for future reference, and finally, you are connecting in a new, personal way. 

I started an account for my company, which hasn't been a huge focus for us due to lack of time (although I HATE saying that). A great brand I follow is "katespadeny" where I enjoy photos of New York, the manager of the account at work or at photo shoots, as well as their products. Of course it is easy for such a fashionable crew to find pretty things to post, but check out "generalelectric" and you will see that you don't have to have color, purses and the background from an amazing city to tell a story through your photos. 

I have been using the app at an increasing rate personally and just started a 30-Day Photo Challenge, which you can read about here. Just today at 11:30 p.m. there are over 2700 photos tagged for the challenge. Makes me think of the fun that large and small businesses alike could have with the site.  

It will be fun to watch the site grow and how businesses find new and exciting ways to use it. You can find me on Instagram by searching "amberpresley" but beware, I post a lot of Yorkie photos! 

Foodspotting Across Austin! (Repost)

Originally posted on the Keller Williams Realty Blog when I was their PR & Social Media Manager
Coming to Austin for Mega Camp, another event or just to visit KW…and just not sure where or what to eat? Well, we are here to help! Austin is full of amazing restaurants and there are so many choices. To make it a little easier on our guests, we created a Food Guide on Foodspotting. So, first things first, what is Foodspotting?

Foodspotting is a unique local guide where you can find and visually see what people have "Spotted" at restaurants-to see what looks good to you or discover something new. Maybe you would never try the Pasta with Clams, but it looks so good that you can't pass it up (that's me)! It is a great way to visually see what looks tasty, instead of reading through reviews. Basically it is social media heaven for foodies! There are three ways to participate: as a food seeker or as a foodspotter, or in my case, as both.