Words with Friends®

My word is invalid?!

Like Alec Baldwin, I’m addicted to Words with Friends. I can’t help myself. When I see a row of jumbled letters I get a rush of excitement and a compulsion to create the best words I can out of those letters. I’ll challenge people on Facebook that I don’t normally talk to just so I can feed my craving with minimal waiting between plays. In fact, I have a game going on right now against my favorite cousin, who lives in Brazil.Read full post...


Friends, Schmiends – Making Social Media Count

Engage visitors in relevant conversation to bolster existing client relationships.

The top 35 banks on Facebook reach a mere 0.6% of their base, according to a study by Retail Bank International. “If you exclude the three top-performing banks, the average drops to one in every 525 customers – only 0.2% of their base.”

The numbers point to three interesting challenges financial institutions face in crafting their social media outreach. First, not everyone who “likes” your page is or will become a customer. Second, measuring your outreach effort is more complex than counting friends. Third, lenders are missing countless opportunities to engage valued audiences.Read full post...



Accidental tweets are easy fodder for journalists.

Have you ever posted something you regret on your Facebook or Twitter? Maybe you posted an inside joke on someone’s wall that was supposed to be for their inbox. Or you tweeted a quote after a long night out that wasn’t as funny in the morning. Or — my personal favorite — you searched for someone on your Blackberry Facebook app, without realizing you posted his or her name as your status?Read full post...

Facebook, why you gotta play us like this?

Sean Parker: You may have a point, but you’re also missing the point.

Just like any morning I opened my eyes to my alarm gave a quick stretch and rolled over to my smart phone to quickly enter cyberspace and start my day. Naturally, I had to check Facebook first to see what mindblowing information I had missed in the past eight hours (priorities straight). As I scrolled through my app a plethora of status updates came through bashing the book for changing its layout.Read full post...


The Leader of the Facebook Pack

Part 3: The Leader of the Facebook Pack

The first three posts in my Facebook news feed this morning were:

  • A video of my neighbor’s new puppy (cute!)
  • A picture of the beach in Greece where my best friend is vacationing (jealous!)
  • A rant on the morning commute from a high school classmate (unintentionally hilarious!)

On the surface, these posts have nothing in common. So how did Facebook decide they should be in my “top news” feed? In a word: EdgeRank.Read full post...

Facebook PR Strategies for Small Budgets

Part 2: Facebook PR Strategies for a Small Budget

Kohl’s department store has more than 4.8 million Facebook “likes,” a following largely built during a 2010 campaign that let fans vote for which 20 schools should receive $500,000 each. The company gave away $10 million, but gained a groundswell of good feelings and a legion of new fans who now receive the company’s updates every day.

But take heart — you don’t need a multimillion-dollar budget to build a Facebook following.Read full post...

Your Facebook cheat sheet

Part 1: Your Facebook cheat sheet

Facebook. One out of every 13 people on earth is on it. More than half of all social media traffic in the United States comes from it. It’s no wonder that it has become a component of every good PR strategy.

But unlike traditional media outlets, with their long histories of best practices and protocols to follow, Facebook and other social media outlets change the rules often by the day. The whole process of setting up a page, recruiting fans and interacting with them — not to mention making the whole thing valuable for the client — is new territory for many PR professionals.Read full post...

Facebook helps pay it forward

Everyone "likes" a good deed

Barb and I spent an amazing weekend in New York last month. We saw a lot of shows, including one at Carnegie Hall. Later, while enjoying dinner across the street, we realized our camera had slipped out of Barb’s purse while we were watching the show. We called Carnegie Hall and they told us they’d keep an eye out for it. We called again the next morning, but no luck. So we told ourselves, eh, it was an old camera and we wanted a new one anyway.Read full post...


A new definition of “online social networks”

How much do online marketers really know about you?

How much do online marketers really know about you?

“How did Facebook advertisers know I think James Franco is hot?”

Have you ever wondered if Google employees read your email? You’re not alone. Audience targeting in online advertising may seem creepy when you don’t understand how it works. And it’s even more threatening when the investigation of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! by data-protection agencies across the world is all over the headlines.Read full post...

Silence is not the answer.

Become involved (and strategic) with social media.

Become involved (and strategic) with social media.

Fear is a terrible thing. Especially when it causes healthcare systems to back away from using a potentially powerful communications tool. When it comes to using social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter, healthcare systems tend to fall into two categories. The first suffers from significant fear regarding negative feedback that may come from using such tools. This group also struggles with how much time it will take to make this a successful venture. The second group is “gung-ho” and jump into the pool before they check to make sure it’s been filled with water.  This group tends to throw every possible press release, article and “approved” message they can find onto their social media channels, only to realize they’ve created a one-way conversation.

There is a better way.Read full post...

The right tool for the job

Finding the right online tool.

Finding the right social media tool.

My husband is a carpenter, so he’s into tools. As a social media guru, so am I. Whenever we come up with a project, we immediately start thinking about what tools we have and what we may need to buy. We’ll scour yard sales, flea markets and the Internet to find just the right compound miter saw or three-phase plasma cutter — often to the detriment of the job itself.

Though perhaps not as exotic as a four-foot finger brake or Pittsburgh lock-seam hammer, the most exciting social media tool is video. Healthcare professionals are learning to take advantage of video along with everything else in their toolbox, as this online marketing blog explains. Surgeons have used Twitter, for example, to tweet out live procedures from the O.R. — the first being a surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from someone’s kidney. Universities such as Stanford are using video on Facebook for question-and-answer sessions between professors and students. Mainstream media is now plugging into social media for obvious reasons — mainly because they know their audiences are plugged in.Read full post...

You can’t forget strategy when talking about social media.


Applying strategy is critical to social media success.

Applying strategy is critical to social media success.

99 ways to use Twitter?

There are plenty of articles on the Internet that outline the 17 ways to use Twitter or the 32 ways to use Facebook. If your approach to social media has been to start with these types of articles, you may be focusing too quickly on tactics without an appropriate social media strategy. Tactics without a strategy are particularly bad because they often end up being ineffective, hard to measure and mask real opportunities a more strategic version of the tactic may provide.

Because social media tools are so accessible and seemingly easy to use, a planning/strategy phase is often skipped, perhaps also in part because the realm of social media seems so complex. Because there is no clear place to begin, there is a tendency to start with tactics, a fatal mistake.

How to approach the problem

One technique for approaching a problem that seems complex is to break it down into a series of simpler problems. This is a great approach when it comes to the social media landscape. Instead of looking at a list of 50 ways to use Twitter, it makes more sense to look at a smaller list of ways to use social media in general.Read full post...

What’s the story, morning glory?

What happened to old-fashioned communication?

What happened to old-fashioned communication?

Remember “The Telephone Hour” from the early 1960s Broadway show and movie Bye Bye Birdie? The song depicted a teenager talking to a friend on the phone, then that friend talking to another, and so on. This was — and may still be for many Boomers — the quintessential method of communicating. One friend tells another a story, and then a third friend hears it from the second.

These days, many Boomers communicate via Facebook — its fastest-growing demographic is people over 45. I have embraced Facebook myself. I enjoy catching up with friends and family, seeing photos, learning what’s going on.Read full post...