Tag Archives: Social Media

Things I Think – Thursday – Please Stop the Madness!

Thinking out Loud!

I saw this article the other day which was 6 Total A**hole Moves People Make When They’re Getting Healthy. I have to say it was spot on. I’ve been thinking of this post for some time because, well I’m really annoyed with some of my Facebook friends.

Oh gosh, yes I said it. I know some of my friends don’t get it, some are very simple and only have family and close friends with whom they interact with. Me on the other hand, I add people daily, most of them are OCR or fitness related and some I’ve never met. Most people can’t comprehend why I do that. Well it’s simple, I meet people and I like to meet more folks with my same set of hobbies. With that being said, people you have to stop the narcissism, I mean really, I know I post a lot of selfies or usies with friends, I know I post where I go and what I do, but Facebook is meant to share your life with people you care about. So I do…but here are the posts I’m getting so tired of seeing and some of you need to reevaluate your existence.

The workout pics & videos EVERY SINGLE DAY.

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Hey, I totally get it, some of you are proud of what you are doing, I completely understand, I am too. But seriously, give me a break. Dear all OCR friends, WE ALL WORKOUT! Yes we do, we basically have to, I don’t need to see it everyday, I mean I know you do this everyday or you wouldn’t be running so many races. I don’t need to see you box jumping, snatching, mirror selfies at the gym, burpee videos, trail running or your workout times from your watch. It’s pretty much a given you do that everyday. I mean you don’t post pictures of you at work “crushing those TPS reports.” Unless you are a trainer and posting to help others or WOD’s (which you need a professional page then) I don’t care, I don’t think anyone does. Please stop it! I would rather know more about you, other hobbies and interests you have. If you are in a relationship, show it for Christs sake, stop acting like you are single. I want to see your family, kids, adventures outside of OCR or races you run. Be real.

IG/Facebook cross posting.

circle-quote5So many of you do this and it drives me insane. As someone who is involved in social media daily (as a job), for the love of God, stop posting on Instagram and pushing it to Facebook. On occasion it is okay, but every single time is just annoying. Okay, I’ll explain, here’s why:

Facebook = sharing your life,

Instagram = sharing your life through pictures.

With that being said, you probably have a ton of the same people following or friends with you on both places. I don’t need to like your pic on FB and then run over to IG and like the same pic. When I see you post from IG on FB, that tells me it’s in both places, my mind automatically says, like it on FB, ignore on IG. I say this because all of us are the same, we all want likes and as many as possible. Yes you know you do, you want a ton of likes, most of us are wired that way, it makes us feel good to know people care about our pictures and thus us.  So…be unique on IG, don’t always post the same pictures, make me want to look in both places, I guarantee you will start getting more likes.

Sponsor Tagging in every picture

circle-quote4Speaking of IG and FB, please, please, please stop sponsor tagging on every post. Seriously!! Again, I get it, we all do. You are either giving us a buyer discount (which you get a kickback) or you are sponsored by them. I understand you might get paid or have to post a quota on social media and I get race pics, I’m okay with that…but come on man, every picture? Really? It kind of goes back to showing me you are more than an athlete and seriously none of you are Amelia freaking Boone or Ryan Atkins and they don’t do it that often. Plus YOU ARE NOT A PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE! There I said it, you are a weekend warrior at best and it pays for this expensive hobby. Stop looking like a NASCAR add, it’s honestly annoying. So if you take my advice and start posting more life pics, please don’t post a pic of your kids school play or your dinner/movie date night and also tell me how I can get 10% off of ORAL IV.

Professional Athlete Pages

circle-quote3Which leads me to the “Professional athlete pages”…seriously stop it. OCR has more pro athlete pages than any other sport ever. Okay I made that up, but seriously only about 10% of the people in this sport actually need them. Plus, nobody cares, I can’t speak for everyone, but I am pretty sure most of your friends will tell you – we don’t like looking at two different locations about your life. What is really funny is when you have to share what you said on your Athlete Page on your personal timeline just so people will see it…isn’t that the reason you created your AP, so you could keep your private life and athlete life separate? Facebook changed the Algorhythms within the past couple of years and fan pages are basically obsolete these days. Even for big brands, unless you are paying Facebook to advertise, less than 5% of your actual fans will see your posts unless they physically click on your page and look. The fan page is useless and again, you really are not a professional athlete or brand and who wants to update in two places all of the time?

Stop living in the past!

circle-quote1So you want some advice on how to use Facebook and Instagram? Well for starters, stop living in the past. It all started with Throwback Thursday, then it was Flashback Friday, now I see Way back Wednesday & Memory Monday. People please stop it! Start living in the present and future, stop living in the past and showing me the same stuff you already did. Plus there are rules to Throwback Thursday, the first being that your pics need to be at least 4-years old! Yes those are the rules! Not last week or last month or last year. 4-years people! This was started as a way to show great pictures of your youth, those pics which some of us have still on real actual photographs, and Polaroids. Those pictures before everything went digital. Come on get creative, there are 52 weeks this year, pick past holidays, birthdays or when you lost your first tooth! (Yes I have that one)

As for the other days, just stop it. You can’t be remembering things everyday, it makes me feel like you hate your life and all your good times were in the days of yore.

Put your shirt on!

circle-quote2To some of my friends, please put your shirt on! Yes, to all my bromance bro’s, for all that you hold sacred in this world, put your shirt on.  Don’t get me wrong, your abs look great, your pecs are on point but COME ON MAN! I understand all the race pics, but then you add in your workout pics (even the staged ones where it’s so obvious you took off your shirt for a picture), and your running pics and any other pic you take where your shirt is off! If people like you, they will like you with a shirt on, trust me, we all love you for your personality! I liked your running picture yesterday without a shirt on and the day before that and the week before that. It’s snowing outside and you have no shirt on…seriously? Maybe it’s because I’m uncomfortable posting pics without mine on, but come on, not every pic.

Okay my rant is over, I have been sitting on this stuff for awhile and my head just exploded and it feels so good. I know people probably block my feed, I get that, not everyone cares about my races and I tend to post a crap ton of race pictures. I also try to keep it real and post other things about my life, I do have other hobbies other than running and racing believe it or not.

My Name is Travis and I talk to strangers.

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Social Media Rehab?

By: Travis E. Blythe

Is it possible, could there be such a thing? With all of the other type of rehabs becoming so popular these days, I.E. celebrity rehab, sex rehab (ala Tiger Woods) and video game rehab, is Social Media rehab far behind?  I know most of you missed that last statement because you are still thinking about video game rehab.  But that one is actually serious, in a story I heard on sports talk radio last week, a former pro football player Quinn Pitcock quit football with the Indianapolis Colts because he was depressed and was addicted to video games.  I think I won’t be going to work either because my PS3 is calling me 24/7!

Social media is all the rage now days, you may not even know or be aware that you are caught up in it but it started years ago with Myspace and now Facebook and Twitter have seized control of our lives.  Does anyone remember when the only thing on our phone was a phone? I may be dating myself here but does anyone remember having to wait to get home to check an answering machine? Well our phones have it all now a days and if it doesn’t, then there is an app for that.

With that being said, we seem to spend every living minute on our phones doing something, either checking email, sending texts, checking Facebook, sending tweets, watching videos, Etc.  When are we going to find time to actually enjoy real life?  They didn’t call it a “crackberry” for nothing you know.  Social Media rehab is coming to a town near you soon.  I am not sure what is sadder, that as adults we cannot put down the cell phone because we just have to play our “words with friends” or that we are actually putting these devices in the hands of 10-11 years old children.  Really what does a 10 year old need an iPhone for? Did you take away the PS3 and substitute it with a smart phone or are they utilizing them both at the same time?  If you try to tell me that a child at that age needs a phone to have for emergencies then you are ridiculous in my opinion.  We both know the child is going to be texting and playing games on that phone. Whatever happened to the pay phone that I had to use to call my dad to get me from practice?

Sorry, got a little off topic there for a second, but really those kids are going to need social media rehab by the time they are 18!  So tell me if this is your daily life.  You roll up to Best Buy and before you are out of the car you check in on Foursquare, send a tweet, and post to Facebook all at the same time.  Then some of you even go to Gowalla, Loopt, or Whrrl and do the same.  You leave the store and run over to Chipotle to grab a burrito bowl and you do the whole process over again.  This time you even add a comment on Yelp to tell the world about how yummy it is.  The whole time you are doing this, you are walking extremely slow and your significant other is yelling at you to “put that phone away” or “hurry up!”  I know you have all been there too.  Now we also have texting and driving, hell I bet some of you tweet, check Facebook, and email while you drive as well.  And here I thought the woman putting on makeup while driving was dangerous. I watched a couple the other night at dinner and they never spoke to each other.  They had to be around 21 or 22, and all they did was sit there, eat, drink and text.  How is that fun? I wondered if they were texting each other?

I can understand if it is your job to sit in front of your computer all day and work in social media, but for those of you who utilize hootsuite or tweetdeck, have all of your social media outlets loaded up and just monitor it all day commenting on everything, don’t you have a job? If your blocked at work from facebook, don’t you think there is a reason? No it is not so that you can just do it on your phone. Maybe they actually want you to be productive!

Yes it is soon going to be time for all of us to head off to Social Media rehab.  A place where they take away your phone, your iPad and your laptop.  They make you actually have to communicate to live real people and do an activity without the technology guiding you.  You have to actually play Foursquare with a real ball, read a real book or write an actual letter with a pencil and paper.  Oh my gosh, imagine that?

Yes I am guilty of all of the above; it is difficult but I am trying to put my phone down after 7pm at night and on the weekends.  I did stop tweeting on the weekends (mostly) but now it is September and fantasy football is beginning. So now I can watch football, text, tweet, FB, and play interactive fantasy football on Sundays, oh man that just sounded like I need help.

What a crazy world we are living in, all this technology to stay social and keep up constantly with what everyone is doing.  Yes rehab is just around the corner, even if it is just a holiday weekend!

Talking Foursquare – Over 20 Million Reasons and Counting

By: Travis E. Blythe

I recently blogged about foursquare and how I thought companies could use the program to track sales staff whereabouts.  I still think this will happen should they get savvy enough to realize it is more than just a game amongst friends.  With that being said, I was interviewed on Celebrity Radio earlier this month and they asked me to speak on Foursquare.  I was asked what it is and how can businesses utilize it.  Although I did not touch nearly as much on the topic as I probably could, here is my interview and comments on the subject.

I appreciate all feedback and comments!

Trade Show Marketing 1.1

By: Travis E. Blythe

In an earlier post, I outlined what I thought were the three main steps or stages involved in a trade show conference.  In this section, I am going to talk about the first step.  This is normally called the “Planning Stage”, and hopefully you don’t wait until the last-minute to schedule your conference or trade show.  With that being said, the planning stage is one of the most important stages.  It is here, you create the awareness of your company being in attendance and where people can find you at the conference.

Okay, you signed up to be an exhibitor at the best trade show of the year.  You sold the powers that be, this conference is the “be all to end all” conferences your company needs to be at and needs to have an exhibitor/booth space.  Everyone is usually skeptical (I mean the CEO/President/Owners) because they think they are throwing money away and no one really works a booth or they can’t measure the ROI.  Well, you haven’t met me or my tactics for trade show marketing yet and I can usually always bring home some business.  One of the first items of business is to make sure you post on your website exactly what conferences you plan on attending for the year.  This is important, especially if you have a strong client interaction with your website, some clients may see you going to a particular event they didn’t know about and will thank you.  The second step is to get the attendee list once you pay your money for the exhibit space.

Now that you have the attendee list, item number one is to send out the “Email Blast” to all the attendee’s telling them exactly where they can find you and what prizes you have to offer to get them to stop by.  Make sure you entice with a big-ticket item (something they think they can win) and an awesome give away item (like a cool, hip t-shirt).  Just don’t SPAM the email though, address them individually and don’t let them know you mass emailed it.  There are several programs out there that do this. If not, then send them all separately if you have the resources.  With today’s Social Media taking off the way that it is, you should try to look up all the people you want to target, or all the attendee’s you want business from on Linkedin and Twitter.  Send them invites to connect or follow them.  I would also include in the email ways they can find your company on social media. Engage them to connect with you.

When you have the proper time to plan for the conference, study the schedule and whether you will have time to entertain clients.  Find out what current clients or potential clients are going and set up dinners.  There is nothing worse than to arrive to a conference and have nothing lined up or trying to do it the same day.  Most everyone will have plans and you will end up waiting for everyone to return before you can engage and entertain them.

The next part of the planning stage, which is important is packing up all the materials you will need to be successful.  The number one item is obviously the business card.  Make sure you have all of your company’s literature, a nice 1-page graphic of the prize you are giving away, a bowl for business cards, business card holders, pens, and what I like to call the contact sheet (for those who forget or run out of business cards).  Because I never trusted the other sales reps who attended the trade shows with me to be as responsible as I am, I usually brought all the stuff with me even though some of it is packed inside the booth already.  Somehow the trade show booth fiery always lost or broke something.  Also, don’t forget to have all the “swag” shipped to your conference so you actually have stuff to give away.

One last food for thought is to make sure you have booked your travel.  Scout ahead of time to see if you need transportation from the airport (if flying) or if there is a shuttle to conference site. Show the boss you saved money by booking 2-3 weeks out. Same for the hotels, most conferences offer a conference rate to stay at the hotel where the conference is located or one relatively close.  I understand there maybe cheaper places to stay just down the road, but remember you have to be traveling back and forth sometimes and it can be a pain if you are 5 miles away.  Especially when you are lugging around supplies, laptops or want to change your clothes when the exhibit hall closes for the day.

If you follow these steps, you should be very prepared for your conference or trade show and ready to conquer!

Enjoy your conference and safe travels!

Next up Trade Show Marketing 1.2 – The Show

Things I Think – Thursday 3/18/2010 – SXSW Edition

Nothing says good times like a road trip!  Since Austin, Texas is a mere three-hour and some change drive, the plan was simple, road trip to South by Southwest (SXSW). I have looked forward to this for months, I was not even sure I was going to get to go, then in the 11th hour I got the nod. Since everyone in the industry kept saying how fantastic this event is, my mouth was watering for the experience of SXSW.  It was like nothing else, geeks, techies, directors, actors and musicians all descending on little ‘ole Austin, Texas for nearly two-weeks of good times.  Since I was a SXSW virgin, I was hoping the event would take it easy on me.

So we loaded up the Broscalade pointed the GPS south and mozied on down highway looking for adventure.  Why is it that the first leg of the road trip is always the best? Jamming out to some great tunes and having great conversations, versus just loud music and 20 min naps on the way back.  So we jammed to Rob Base-It Takes Two which was our mantra for the trip (did I just date myself?), drank some coffee and energy drinks all the way down, and arrived ready to rock.

So here is what I think about SXSW. As a whole it is a great concept, there were a bunch of people and cool things happening.  But, I think most of the class sessions were over rated.  It seemed more to me like social media for dummies than anything else.  Although I left some very dumb classes (Zombies, Vampires, & Monsters: Fostering Loyal Genre Communities), I did manage to learn a ton from some of the good ones. One of the more interesting sessions was about Citizen Journalism. I thought a Jerry Springer episode was going on or we were being punked, because the arguments which ensued were comical to say the least.  Are journalist really worried about a blogger like me or citizen journalist taking their job away? I guess so, they were pretty heated, I was waiting for the chair to get busted on someone’s head.  Good Times!

I have a few favorite quotes from the long weekend so I thought I would post them.

  • Hey man you dropped your shank
  • You can never have too much flatware when out in Austin
  • What is it Amateur night? (friends dragging limp body of a friend)
  • It’s kind of like a dating website without the dating
  • I wasn’t that drunk was I? No, except for the part when you fell down
  • We are kind of like Entourage, no I am not Turtle! (and the Not-It’s begin for the “Turtle” designation)
  • Yeah, Brogan didn’t make the list of celebrities to earn the “Name Dropper” badge – Foursquare Dennis Crowley

I got really excited when I saw through my twitter stream the “The Oatmeal” was in town.  I hit him up a couple times and told him I wanted to meet him.  No I am not a crazy stalker guy, I just thought his stuff is really funny and since he is from Seattle, it would be cool to meet him.  Yeah, about that…he dissed me.  Didn’t even get an acknowledgment. Oh well, one day he will be asking to meet me because I am that cool (yeah right), in the meantime, still check out his website The Oatmeal.

Foursquare came/saw/kicked apps! Yes the Foursquare group lead my their Fearless leader and Co-Founder Dennis Crowley brought their own ball, invaded Austin and took on the local favorite Gowalla.  I am sorry Gowalla, but you were TKO’d again this year.  Everywhere you went you heard people checking into this class, creating the line to get into a class or event or how to get this badge and that badge. I ended up with 8 out of 16, may I suggest Mr. Crowley you add a “See the Bats” badge for next year, I couldn’t convince anyone to check them out.  Did I mention that I ran into Mr. Crowley while in line waiting for…ahhh just in line and he is actually a cool guy.  I was asking the secrets of obtaining an elusive badge and he actually told me. I then proceeded to tell him my thoughts on how to make Foursquare better…

I also was able to meet Mr. Mashable himself Pete Cashmore, I even had a cool picture to prove it.  Unfortunately the SXSW Camera monster ate it and I am afraid it will be lost forever.  He actually asked my thoughts on social media and we were conversing until these two chicas (not even very hot) so rudely interrupted for their picture. Can you believe the nerve of them? I mean really, I was talking out of my ass to MASHABLE!!

So, all in all I thought this conference was just…okay, maybe 3 out of 5 beakers.  I think they had too many classes going on at the same time and none of them were ever repeated. So,you basically had to choose and if you picked wrong, then you had to haul ass across the convention center, cross the street to the Hilton, up the escalators 2 floors and get to another session.  At least it felt that way to me.  I never walked so much in my life, me feet still hurt! I think the SXSW producers purposely held the nightly events across town from each other to keep the rickshaw bicycle guys employed. But I am cheap so I walked everywhere.  I met some great people and future leaders of our country (yes I have faith in all of you!) as well as learning about what is to come for 2010…Location, Location, Location.

My name is Travis and I talk to strangers.

Is Your On-Line or Social Media Marketing Like a Texas Snowfall?

By: Travis E. Blythe

If you live in Dallas or the DFW Metroplex, you can pretty much count on having snow fall at least once a year. In most areas of the country, this is not a bad thing and usually it is not anything to worry about.  However, if you live in Dallas you are very familiar with the nightmare which encompasses our yearly snowfall. Most of us weigh the options of whether or not to travel and venture out into the city.  People who are used to snow and wintry conditions usually fail to understand is that we don’t have salt trucks, we don’t have snow plows, what we do have are a few trucks that are able to dump sand and dirt over the top of the snow and ice that accumulates. We all know that is really not a solution for the problem, but rather a temporary fix to get through the problem.
 
Has your online marketing turned into a nightmare? With all of the buzz surrounding social media and how to effectively utilize it within your business model, are you reluctant to travel out into it?  Are you worried that you do not have the tools to properly engage your clients and potential new customers?  Are you putting a little “dirt” on the problem hoping for a quick fix to get you by?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, maybe it is time to invest either your time or your finances to learn how to effectively approach your social media or online marketing efforts. Normally when you head out into the cold, snow and ice, you make sure you are prepared.  You check your tires, make sure you have plenty of gas, you dress properly and then hope for the best. Your marketing strategies should also have plenty of preparation.  You need to make sure that you are ready to launch the campaign in order to make it successful, you have the time to invest, and you utilize all the tools available to you.
 
It is pretty comical how the “local residents” in Dallas-Ft. Worth tend to drive when we get our annual snowfall or “wintry mix”, as they call it. Since this happens once a year for a maximum of two days, no one has any experience in driving in snow, ice, and slush.  This makes it even more hazardous to the rest of us that do know how. I am always amazed at how I see people get stuck for driving too slow, or they can’t go up a hill because they are driving to slow. I thought it was common sense to utilize traction when driving on ice, but here in Texas apparently it is not.  When you approach how you want to market yourself, you should also be experienced in what you are doing and know what you want to accomplish. We all have several “pains” from the previous marketing experience or the latest efforts.  Don’t get caught going too slow when it comes to your social media and online marketing. You need to make sure you are 100% invested in seeing it through otherwise it will be a waste of time and money.  The last thing you want to happen is to start your social media campaign and stall half way through because you didn’t have the tools to execute or you “ran out of gas” along the way.  Make sure you have the traction you need to gain the optimum results you are looking for.
 
I could go on and on about the six ways for this, the six things for that, what to do to get started and how to go about your marketing efforts in order to be successful.  However, the plain truth is, you should consult someone who is experienced in this field. You could spend all day shoveling snow out of your driveway, or you could use a snow-blower and have it done within the hour.  After all, you are a business owner and the proverbial phrase “time is money” definitely applies here and your main goal is to find creative ways to increase revenue and build your business.
 
With a new year looming around the corner, are you prepared to get back out on the roads? Are you ready and prepared for a successful marketing plan? Don’t just sit at home and wait for the weather to clear.  I guarantee your competitors are not waiting.

Is Your On-Line or Social Media Marketing like a Texas Snowfall?

If you live in Dallas or the DFW Metroplex, you can pretty much count on having snow fall at least once a year. In most areas of the country, this is not a bad thing and usually it is not anything to worry about. However, if you live in Dallas you are very familiar with the nightmare which encompasses our yearly snowfall. Most of us weigh the options of whether or not to travel and venture out into the city. People who are used to snow and wintry conditions usually fail to understand is that we don’t have salt trucks, we don’t have snow plows, what we do have are a few trucks that are able to dump sand and dirt over the top of the snow and ice that accumulates. We all know that is really not a solution for the problem, but rather a temporary fix to get through the problem.

Has your online marketing turned into a nightmare? With all of the buzz surrounding social media and how to effectively utilize it within your business model, are you reluctant to travel out into it? Are you worried that you do not have the tools to properly engage your clients and potential new customers? Are you putting a little “dirt” on the problem hoping for a quick fix to get you by?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, maybe it is time to invest either your time or your finances to learn how to effectively approach your social media or online marketing efforts. Normally when you head out into the cold, snow and ice, you make sure you are prepared. You check your tires, make sure you have plenty of gas, you dress properly and then hope for the best. Your marketing strategies should also have plenty of preparation. You need to make sure that you are ready to launch the campaign in order to make it successful, you have the time to invest, and you utilize all the tools available to you.

It is pretty comical how the “local residents” in Dallas-Ft. Worth tend to drive when we get our annual snowfall or “wintry mix”, as they call it. Since this happens once a year for a maximum of two days, no one has any experience in driving in snow, ice, and slush. This makes it even more hazardous to the rest of us that do know how. I am always amazed at how I see people get stuck for driving too slow, or they can’t go up a hill because they are driving to slow. I thought it was common sense to utilize traction when driving on ice, but here in Texas apparently it is not. When you approach how you want to market yourself, you should also be experienced in what you are doing and know what you want to accomplish. We all have several “pains” from the previous marketing experience or the latest efforts. Don’t get caught going too slow when it comes to your social media and online marketing. You need to make sure you are 100% invested in seeing it through otherwise it will be a waste of time and money. The last thing you want to happen is to start your social media campaign and stall half way through because you didn’t have the tools to execute or you “ran out of gas” along the way. Make sure you have the traction you need to gain the optimum results you are looking for.

I could go on and on about the six ways for this, the six things for that, what to do to get started and how to go about your marketing efforts in order to be successful. However, the plain truth is, you should consult someone who is experienced in this field. You could spend all day shoveling snow out of your driveway, or you could use a snow-blower and have it done within the hour. After all, you are a business owner and the proverbial phrase “time is money” definitely applies here and your main goal is to find creative ways to increase revenue and build your business.

With a new year looming around the corner, are you prepared to get back out on the roads? Are you ready and prepared for a successful marketing plan? Don’t just sit at home and wait for the weather to clear. I guarantee your competitors are not waiting.

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