Tag Archives: Digital

2017 Social Media Cheat Sheet

2017 Social Media Cheat Sheet

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The new year is underway and as you set out to execute your business plans it’s always nice to look over your presence online and make sure your business is being represented to the best of its abilities. From the proper dimensions on your profile images to the ideal time to post content, there is a science to this digital world. Fresh from the good people at SWM. Here’s a convenient cheap sheet you can cross reference your activity with to get the most out of all the major platforms. Just hit the jump for the full sheet.

You’ll also want to check out this collection of apps and tools that will add tons of value to your social media activity. I use more than half of these tools and can vouch for them. See the link at the end of the jump.

Continue reading 2017 Social Media Cheat Sheet

A Social Media Assist For Cyber Monday

A Social Media Assist For Cyber Monday

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It’s that time of year when the holiday shopping season officially opens up! After all the Thanksgiving food has settled and the left overs are put away you turn your attention to the mega savings in your favorite store on and offline. This is also an important time for entrepreneurs. Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are made for those whose brands operate heavily via digital spaces. That is where I come in. Are you fully maximizing your online activity? How is your engagement with your followers? There are so many thing people often overlook that can make so much difference in the business they generate. Starting today, Cyber Monday and running until Christmas, I’ve cut my most popular service the Social Media Audit by 33% so for $100 I will dive into your online operations to lay out plans and real attainable goals for you and your business. You won’t be disappointed.

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Management & Consultation

The Social Media Samurai is always ready to help you. Are you looking for guidance with your digital strategy? Perhaps you need someone to speak to your organization about navigating social media in today’s ever-changing business environment? I can provide that and more. I’ve cut my audit service down for the holidays so it’s even easier to get started on the road to more success.

Contact me via contact@thesocialmediasamurai.com

At the very least make sure you stay connected with me across these Internets.

Hit the various links below to follow me on social media.

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YMS 2016 Conference Hits New York City

YMS 2016 Conference Hits New York City

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As fast as you can blink there are new apps, new sites and new platforms for communication and social interaction. No one has there fingers on that digital pulse like the 16 to 24 year old portion of our society. Millennial influence on business is what directs and shapes so many industries and last month in Brooklyn, NY, London-based Voxburner launched a 2 day event focused solely on the thoughts, ideas and business desires of that demographic. In addition to that I had the pleasure of being a part of a panel speaking  on the importance of community management in this new digital market.

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There were dozens of companies represented at YMS and professionals across numerous fields sharing their insights on the current climate of business from mainstream media news trends to creative platforms for upcoming artists. Sprinkled about Industry City, YMS provided refreshments, lounge and work space both inside and out. Free headshots could be had while various brands showcased their latest products and services.

 

I was glad to be there representing Nomadness within the Travel industry for the first time.

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There is so much that took place. Voxburner recaps their event here. Check out the images, sponsors and downloadable presentations provided. I’ll be sharing my panel discussion very soon too.

Curious what businesses the youth are responding to? Check out YOUTH 100.
Curious what businesses the youth are responding to? Check out YOUTH 100.

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The Power of Rejection to Build or Destroy

The Power of Rejection to Build or Destroy

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Three weeks ago I posted a screen shot of one of my email inboxes showing a folder labeled #Rejections. It sparked a nice conversation on how we define success, failure and the path that can lead to either rejection or success. I explained that I use rejection as a motivational tool to continue my press forward. I wanted to bring that topic here and expand on it a bit. One of the major pros of social media is the ability to share and promote your motivational stories. In many cases though these stories seem incomplete. With the ability to be writer, director and producer of our own presentation, it’s easy and quite understandable when many of the ugly details get left on the cutting room floor.

There are countless memes floating around the internet about “The Struggle”. We talk about grind and hustle without really sharing that element in detail. I feel it’s needed to balance the real picture. For every successful event and business accomplishment there is a trail that is littered with obstacles and set backs. It sounds cliche’ but these pitfalls definitely do build the character needed to complete the job. It’s one thing to see the finished product but when you learn how many times that product had to be redesigned or how many people turned that product down and called it a horrible idea, you get better appreciation for what it took to get here.

In my personal journey I’ve had a duel mission of directing smaller businesses toward better digital standing while simultaneously building my own brand. My entrepreneurial background is often something that tradition mainstream business don’t know what to make of. Instead of viewing it as proof of self starting, multitasking and real world experience from the ground up, it is generally seen as lacking structure or uncertainty of focus. Even during interviews I know this is the case. While so much business is transforming and adapting to new ways of communication, there are still many that cling to classic ways of viewing things.  These fresh new professional models of operation aren’t deemed worth stepping away from “what has been working”.

I’ve hit that wall numerous times. Many a great interviews has taken place that didn’t go anywhere because they viewed me as a gamble vs the person with the more conventional background even if it’s clear no one understood the role and had the genuine passion for it like me. How many people Instagram or Snapchat the meal they’re having when they get that email (because they never call anymore) to say they went with another person. Who really posts about feeling of frustration when you’re in negotiation with a potential client and they just pull out at the last minute to attempt to do what you were offering them on their own for free?

No matter what space you’re in if you’re building your own business you’ve been here. It may be financial woes, self doubt, lacking support from the people you expected from, whatever it is always find a way to pull the lesson out of it. Any and everything on this journey can be a stepping stone upward. This is why I share my story in such an open manner. It’s not just to present a rags to riches tale but it’s to truthfully show that this is not easy. It not the romanticized story you are led to believe via these internets. The process isn’t for everyone and for those that it is for, it will break you down before you reach the grand prize.

All of this goes back to one of my most simple rules. We do not have control over all that happens around us but we always control how we react/respond to it. Never forget your power and keep on pressing forward. Your rejections are often your greatest assets.

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Mary Meeker’s 2016 KPCB Internet Trends Report Sheds Light on the Future of Digital Marketing

Mary Meeker’s 2016 KPCB Internet Trends Report Sheds Light on the Future of Digital Marketing

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There are an endless amount of people delivering advice and guidance about how the Internet is evolving and what he next moves will be to heighten digital business. To me there has to be a balance between the data and the narrative. Many things said across social platforms pick up stem but they aren’t actually true. To that extent I was diving into the KPCB Internet Trends Report from Mary Meeker for 2016 and there is a ton of info about today’s internet activity that would be well applied to your strategies going forward. I’m still going through the report but you will be glad you took the time to do so as well.

After the jump are a few of the standout points along with her recent interview discussing the report, which you can get access to at the end of this post.

Continue reading Mary Meeker’s 2016 KPCB Internet Trends Report Sheds Light on the Future of Digital Marketing

THE STORY OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA SAMURAI – DIGITAL NOISE & CROWDED SPACES

THE STORY OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA SAMURAI – DIGITAL NOISE & CROWDED SPACES

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In American Gangster, Denzel Washington portrayed infamous Harlem kingpin Frank Lucas. In one of his most memorable moments, Lucas exclaims that “The loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.” In essence, the statement spoke to the human condition and desire to be seen, heard and noticed in all his glory. The lesson Frank was teaching was that in being the loudest in the room you are affirming a level of insecurity about yourself and inviting unwanted attention.

While the circumstances in my world are not nearly as extreme as Frank’s, It can be said that presently I am in a room where different rules apply. In the digital business space the goal is to get attention and hold it. To do so many must be the “loudest in the room”  or risk irrelevant status. This is a difficult way to operate for me. I genuinely believe and understand that the need to stand out is vital. So, many people are now claiming expert, guru, manager status in the world of social media. It’s amazing seeing the growth in this field but it can be equally frustrating when it’s clear that folks aren’t putting in the leg work to truly understand the field they’re now dealing in. Shock and Awe is an often used marketing tool but it doesn’t replace actual knowledge.

The same way I encounter businesses that still view digital marketing as just being on “…the Facebook and the Twitter.” I meet folks trying to sell services without really knowing what it takes to be effective. It’s like someone who spends a day watching basketball highlights on YouTube then tomorrow is trying to offer basketball skill coaching. You don’t get good at this via osmosis. You have to actually get out there and do the work. You can’t just sell folks on the promise of more likes and followers.

Social Media is truly just entering young adulthood so who knows what it’ll be in a few years but it’s established enough that it should be respected just like any other profession. I’ve been on the ground floor and building my brand value well over a decade and even now it’s still an uphill battle getting business to understand what I do. Classic business thinking is clashing with the new views and ethics of a shrinking digital world and many aren’t fully sure how to adjust to that.

Personally, this puts me in a tight position of being one part entrepreneur, yet also striving to sharpen my skills outside of that space. It’s one thing to create a brand and slowly bring value to it but I understand business in the bigger picture. There is worth to be gained by  taking a role with an established company and applying my ability to their business model. It’s a 2 tier attack of proving to be an independent self-starter while displaying mainstream corporate dependability. It’s a strategy that will only open the future up for greater opportunity. The hang up is just getting in that door because the reality is that many businesses give a side eye to freelancers and consultants.  They fear they are not truly committed to the long-term goals. Guess I’ll have to prove them wrong. I have no time to waste and a Legacy to protect.

The story continues…

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Social Media Skills – Are You Connecting Your Sites w/ IFTTT ?

Social Media Skills – Are You Connecting Your Sites w/ IFTTT ?

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We all know that the digital world is connected. Your Tweets link to sites. Your IG posts can link to Facebook. Snapchat visuals can be saved and used on other platforms. To survive today your service can not be isolated from the other spaces of the online world. ITFFF which stands for “If This Then That” is an online service that customizes reactionary commands between your various online activities. It’s a must have function and I’m going to tell you why.

The interesting thing about how these sites connect is that they often aren’t as efficient as they could be. Understand that while an Instagram want to be linked to your Facebook or Twitter, they number one goal is to bring people back to the Instagram site. To this end notice that when you link IG to Twitter the resulting tweet doesn’t include your image. You get a preview of your caption and a link back to IG. It’s frustrating but understandable. IFTTT solves that issue. While some may consider it playing down to folks shorter attention spans the  fact is you want to cut steps needed to share content. Instead of the native tweet that IG will produce IFTTT offers actions, that they call “recipes”, that automate a tweet with full image to your Timeline from Instagram.

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That’s just one of a hundred ways you can streamline your online work. In addition to that keep in mind IFTTT is not limited to just social media, there are recipes for Google, LinkedIn and WordPress. IFTTT is also expanding to offer connection with music services, home electronics and even your car. Some of the new more extensive services require payment but it’s totally worth it.

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Customization is the wave of the future. The goal is to make your world seamlessly connected and under your control no matter where you are. Take some time to visit IFTTT and rest assured you’ll find more than a few things you can use to improve your digital experience.

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New Record Label Angels Like Rebels Add Nitty Scott To New Experimental Crowdfunding Platform

New Record Label Angels Like Rebels Add Nitty Scott To New Experimental Crowdfunding Platform

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Hip Hop continues to spread across the globe as the prominent expressive culture of the modern age as well as a massive economic force in a wide array of business fields. With that being said, the actual process of making money directly from the sale of music has been in flux from the moment Napster’s digital audio sharing concept became reality. Today, only a small percentage of artists can bank off the revenues that album sales generate. This issue effects artists both on major labels and in indie situations. Regarding the indie/unsigned music makers of the world, Angels Like Rebels is presenting a new option.

ALR is taking the idea of crowdfunding as a way to more directly put artists and fans in control of future success.  Starting with a select group of invite only talents, ALR is in the midst of an initial funding round where fans of these respective artists invest in the them  for a variety of perks and incentives. From actual album downloads to VIP one on one access, the more you put in the more you get, theoretically.

In short the people fund the artist. If funded to a high enough level the artist officially joins the label and they promise to put out at least X amount of albums, merchandise and live shows to fulfill what fans funded and of course to push the artist to greater heights.

As many of you know I’ve followed the happenings of New York MC Nitty Scott who recently announced her addition to the Angels Like Rebels campaign. At over 2000 supports and nearly $30K she appears on her way to another career advancement. 2 years ago she successfully crowd funded the video for her Kendrick Lamar assisted “Flower Child”. so she’s no stranger to this path. The Bae God has a very supportive following. This also reveals how strategic her recent release of new music and new visuals is now that we see what she’s doing with ALR.

Roughly a decade ago Koch Records emerged with a new label structure that prominently promoted that it’s artists saw at least $7 per album sale. This was unheard of by industry standards.  While that amount was a bit inflated not accounting for certain expenses, an artist with a well established indie base and grass-roots marketing could pull a nice profit. Jim Jones was one such artist that get in while things at Koch were lucrative vs dealing with a major label.

I guess the real question that remains is can Angels make good on its claims? The concept sounds great.They promise that artists retain their musical rights and creative control. In addition marketing and promotional support, as well as digital and physical distribution is promised. It’s an ongoing discussion what the true role of labels should be in this internet age. We know what Industry Rule #4080 says, so will ALR be able to deliver? Should one of their artists truly blow, it’ll send waves though the industry. It could be Ms Scott. At the very least Nitty has never been afraid to take a chance. We’ll just have to wait and see what this Angels x Lil Buddha collaboration results in.

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The Digital Torture of The Job Application Process

The Digital Torture of The Job Application Processcomputer-break-up

 

 

 

I think it’s safe to say that most of us at one time or another has been in the following situation. You’re searching though the various job posting sites and career sections of companies and suddenly you see it. The ideal position appears and you hit that “APPLY” option. Excitement grows as you start thinking of where your career can go next but before you get too worked up you see the worst thing possible.

Please Enter Your Log In or Create A New Account

Why? Why? Why!?!? Nothing stops me dead in my tracks like coming across this. With all the advancements in technology and data sharing, companies around the globe continue to use this out dated job application method. In all honesty, this may be the only time you ever access this site so being forced to create another account just to express your interest in a job is a such a frustrating exercise.

There’s a method to the madness but before we look at that let’s continue to identify the issues within the current format. So, now you’ve created an account or hopefully were able to log in via one of your social media accounts. (Side note: I’m assuming your social media presence is business friendly.)  The next level in the application maze is the “Upload Resume” page. You are told to upload your resume with the belief/hope that doing so will streamline the sharing of your career history and make this application less time-consuming and more efficient.

Unfortunately by the time you get to the next page your fears are realized as the next set of questions you get are “Please Enter Employment History”.

WHY!??!??!?! Why was it requested of me to upload a resume only to have it manually enter the same info on the next page? Chances are likely that you have a vast and detailed background so entering that takes time. For many of us this is a cold robotic process with very little human element. I’ve been on the over side of the process in having years of Human Resource experience so I’ve seen it. Many businesses still don’t get that the more you can show genuine interest and humanity, the more you get out of employees.

Hopefully should you reach the interview stage whoever you meet with actually comes across like they read your resume and did some research on you, but lets’ flip this and look at the employer side of equation.

Why would such an antiquated process be used when it could so easily be improved? Well here’s the mentally behind it. It’s one part cruel test and one part if it ain’t broke why fix it.

It’s a tried and true belief with many employers that making people go through less than pleasant situations weeds out those that aren’t “serious” and finds out “who really wants it”. The concept is that if you really want the opportunity that a few minutes spent engaged in tedious data entry won’t hurt you. Personally I don’t think that legit interest can solely be measured by enduring unnecessary action. This also leads into what I view as the true reason behind the lack of process evolution, work load reduction.  No one is viewing the applicants as “determined potential workers”. It’s just systemic process of elimination.

If an employer is genuinely looking to engage the best talent available then make an effort to appear vested in the process from the beginning. In the end a human has to review the information before an interview is to take space, so why create a digital obstacle course when you could use that space to ask real questions related to the business. Inquire about goals, likes, dislikes and ambitions that go beyond the generic “Tell me about a time you have to see great customer service.”

Businesses today know that community content is the best to share because it connects to the people. That connection isn’t limited to content alone. It’s needed in talent acquisition as well. The mutual investment in a persons success goes a long way to getting the best out of people. Many companies would do well to remember this when reviewing their hiring process.

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Social Media Week Success and Whats Next For The Samurai

Social Media Week Success and Whats Next For The Samurai

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Another first goes down in my blogging history book as a booming success. Social Media Week NYC has concluded and it was everything I could have asked for and more. I experienced a full week of social media information, innovation, interaction and entertainment. When it was all said and done I came away with new connections to follow up on and strong professional leads to build on. But more than the contacts and data was the confirmation in myself and what I can do.

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There were a lot of crowds to work around and maneuver though. With industry giants like Google and AOL presenting it would take a little creativity to get ahead of the lengthy lines. I won’t give away my secrets but your Samurai definitely slipped into stealth mode a few times.  Overall it was encouraging to see the major brand investment into the growing social media field. There were a lot of social media management programs on the scene. The level of detail these analytic measuring systems go into are very impressive. Being a guy that’s big on communication I learned that you need to be plugged into your email at ALL TIMES during #SMW. You never know when a brand you gave your business card to will shoot out an impromptu invite for an event that evening. AOL, Twitter & Engagor took me that lesson.

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I went into this week with the following mind-set. This was a show and prove event for me. I put my name and a growing brand on the line. Every time I step into the public to do what I do my business is on the line. Collective Bias put faith and resources behind me to cover #SMWNYC. Live tweeting, Instagram presence, follow up panel reviews. Every step I take on this transitional journey I have to earn. I’m only as good as my last event. 3 weeks ago it was my first Superbowl, now it’s Social Media Week. I’m slowing checking goals off my 2014 to do list and as more goal get accomplished new opportunities open up. There are big things on the horizon and I’m excited to share them with you all. Thanks for the support y’all I’m just getting warmed up.

 

Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai

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