Tag : social-media

How to create secret Pinterest boards

How to create a secret Pinterest board

Secret Pinterest boards… they’re here!

So, how do you go about creating one of these super-secret Pinterest boards? Follow me…

Say you just found a killer retro aluminum Christmas tree, but you know your significant other would think it’s absolutely hideous. You want to hide your aluminum-tree desires until the very last minute, making this the perfect time for a secret Pinterest board!

You may see a note on the upper left side of your profile the next time you login introducing you to secret Pinterest boards. Click the “Get Started” button to create your first secret board. If you don’t see the note, scroll all the way down to the bottom of your dashboard and click “Create a Secret Board.”

Another way to create a secret board is the same way you would create a normal board, by clicking the “Add+” link at the top of your dashboard. You can set the new board to secret in the board settings (keep reading, you’ll see it).

How to Create a Secret Pinterest Board 1

Click the note in the upper left of your screen

How to Create a Secret Pinterest Board 2

Or scroll to the bottom of your dashboard

Name your board, select the category, make sure the secret option is toggled “on.” Then, choose who you want to share the board with, or leave it private to yourself. In this case, I need my sister’s input on my crazy aluminum Christmas tree, so I typed her name in the box, it showed up since we follow each other on Pinterest, then I clicked “Invite.”

How to Create a Secret Pinterest Board 3

Now when I go to pin things, my new secret Pinterest board will appear in the list of available boards. How do you know a Pinterest board is secret? There’s a little lock to the right of the board name in the pull-down menu.

How to Create a Secret Pinterest Board 4

And just like that, my new super secret “Dear Santa…” Pinterest board shows up at the bottom of my dashboard. So now my sister can let me know how crazy I am for wanting a killer retro aluminum Christmas tree. Even if she thinks I’m crazy, I’m still going to get it.

How to Create a Secret Pinterest Board 5

Secrets, secrets are no fun… unless they’re on Pinterest. Have fun with your secret boards!

Note: Existing boards can not be hidden since people may have already repinned from them. If you make a secret board public, you can not make it private again. You can only have up to three secret boards. Invites to others’ secret boards won’t be counted in this three-board limit.

Want to create a secret group board? Check out my last post on adding collaborators to your Pinterest boards.


Categories: Social media

How to create a group board on Pinterest

Confession: I have fallen in love with Pinterest. Serious love.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where you can tag and share almost any image you come across on the web. It’s driving crazy traffic to retail sites and some are calling it the next social commerce game changer. Marketers and business owners are quickly developing ideas on how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to their own sites.

Some big brands like Whole Foods, Lowe’s and Southwest are have already set the bar high. These brands get it. They get that it’s a space to connect with their most engaged consumers and not just another platform to push every pretty picture of their products in front of anyone who’s looking.

Smaller organizations, even those that aren’t retail-based, have the opportunity to find their own success with Pinterest. One way is by giving fans a look inside their culture by creating group boards, shared by people within the company. Showing your brand’s personality on your boards lets fans connect with your brand creatively and share that experience with others.

There’s also opportunity for people to collaborate on Pinterest group boards outside of business. Planning a bachelorette party with the girls? Have a big family trip in the works? Get a board started and get to pinning.

Whether it’s for business or just for fun, here’s how to create a group board on Pinterest:

1. When viewing your boards, click “Edit”

Click "edit" under the board you'd like to share

2. Select the “Me + Contributors” option. Start typing the name of the person you’d like to add to your group. (Note: You have to be following the person you want to add as a collaborator.)

Add a PInterest contributor

3. Congrats! You’ve just added a team member. Now when your team member wants to add a pin to your new group pinboard, your board will show up in the list along with the boards they’ve already created.

A little group icon appears next to the group name to let you know that’s the group board and not yours. The icon looks like this:

Pinterest group image

How would you use a group board to collaborate with a team? Are you already using one? Have you found value in the group option?

Learn how to make a secret Pinterest board here.

Categories: Branding, Marketing/advertising, Social media

Don’t call me Mr. and other ways to improve your automated emails

Today I received an automated response from Senator Marco Rubio thanking me for contacting him about the recent SOPA legislation. It’s not every day you get an email from a senator, so of course I read through it to find out what he had to say. Too bad the marketer in me wanted to grab a red pen and send this one back to the drawing board.

We’re not going to get into politics here, but I’ve got nothing against Rubio, he’s ok in my book (remember that time he swooped in and saved Nancy Reagan?). I was happy to see an email from him telling me thanks and letting me know about his plans for future regulations like SOPA, but I couldn’t get past a few opportunities for improvement (to put it nicely).

Automated emails are a necessary evil. They’re plain text and visually boring, but there are still ways to go beyond basic. If I were on Rubio’s web team, I’d love to suggest some simple automated email improvements:

1. Titles. If you can’t be 100% sure that I’m a male or female, it would be best to remove the title completely. Tonight I found out a female friend of mine received the same email with the same problem, so chances are it happened to even more. You want to make sure your email is personalized and it grabs the recipient’s attention, but you may run into problems when more than a handful of women are addressed as “Mr.” in the greeting. If in doubt, leave it out.

2. Connect. The reply-to email address (Do_Not_Reply@rubio.senate.gov) made it clear that a response may either bounce back or land in a bottomless email pit – and that’s ok. I’ve been the “Contact Us” responder before and I know how much work is involved, but give me somewhere to go. Give me a link to your Facebook Page, Twitter account, the contact form on your website – somewhere I can go to say “thanks for the email Marco!”

3. Keep it moving. Marco finishes his email with “If I can be of any further help to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.” Fantastic, but again, try to make it a little easier for me to get in touch with you. At the very least, give me a list of where you are in the social media world with links and I may click one or two. I might just even leave a comment and become your friend while I’m at it. You never know.

Plain text emails may be ugly and cold, but with a little bit of TLC, they can help you keep the conversation going.

What do you think? Am I being too critical? Could they have done a little better on the email?

Marco Rubio's email, click for a larger image

Marco Rubio's email, click for a larger image

Categories: Marketing/advertising, Social media

Advice for new communications graduates and other crazy college kids

Graduating. Want a cookie?

So, you're graduating. Want a cookie?

“If I could go back and do it all over again…” – that awkward moment when you realize you’re an adult. Well, almost.

Sparked by a recent email from a friend, I pulled together my top pieces of advice for anyone still in school or new graduates looking to jump into a career in communications. Even if you’re not looking for a communications job, these tips may help you strengthen your chances of finding an awesome gig.

Socialize. Get out there and talk to people – in real life, face to face. Join groups in your local area or in the area where you’re looking to relocate. Even if you’re not physically there yet, you can still connect online. I’d recommend joining the local PRSA chapter, connecting with local professional networking groups (see MeetUp), and checking out some Social Media Club meetings.

Socialize. Tell EVERYONE that you’re looking for a job. Send messages to close friends to connect you with anyone they know who could help in your job search. Post it on your Facebook page, ask people to retweet your job hunting message on Twitter – you never know until you ask, right?

Socialize. Set up profiles on major sites and networks. My top two – Facebook and Twitter. Want to get crazy? Get on Google+, Pinterest and Foursquare. Beef up your profiles with as much professional information as you possibly can. Haven’t worked a “real” job? Post volunteer work, clubs you were involved with, major class projects that relate to the job you’re looking for – anything that shows your strengths and abilities. Showing that you understand how to use all of these online platforms and have a strong online network is a big asset that could make you stand out among a group of job candidates, especially when it’s a communications job.  Having a strong knowledge of social media and how to use it for business is a nice selling point when you’re looking for a job.

Create a blog. And then post to it, regularly. Even if it’s as simple as Tumblr, or a fully-customized WordPress site, have a presence that presents you as a smart, professional, creative person. Put your URL on your resume, in your Facebook info, Twitter profile and Google account information.

Keep it clean. Go through your photo albums and everything you’re tagged in, making sure they’re something you’d be happy to show to a new boss. Google yourself. Anything show up that you aren’t happy about? Good rule of thumb – don’t post it unless you wouldn’t want it published on the front page of the New York Times.

Final tip, don’t wait to get started on all of this until you graduate. All of these resources are out there and most are free (if not, grab that student discount), so you can start building your network and reputation before you need it. You never know who you’re going to meet or what incredible opportunity could be around the corner.

What are your favorite career-related tips to share with recent college graduates? What are some you would add to my list?


Categories: Branding, Public relations, Social media

Friends on Facebook

Santa goes social this Christmas

From Siri helping Santa make all of his 3.7 billion appointments to Best Buy “Game On” jabs, the big dude in boots and red jacket is making appearances all over this year’s holiday tech ads. So far, my favorite isn’t actually an ad at all, but a fun song and animated video created by Baltimore-based agency, MGH. Better yet, you can buy the song on iTunes and your purchase will go to help Ronald McDonald House Charities.

And yes, I hope Santa checks in to my house this Christmas.

Categories: Marketing/advertising, Social media

Social media for nonprofits workshop with PRSA Miami

Last week I had the awesome opportunity to help a group of South Florida nonprofit professionals at PRSA Miami’s yearly nonprofit workshop. Agustina Prigoshin and I teamed up on the workshop to give our group of Miami nonprofit pros a better understanding of the social media tools out there, how to manage content and start thinking about crisis management.

Due to the overwhelming response to the workshop, both in the number of signups and in attendee feedback, organizers Mihaela Plugarasu and Heather Radi-Bermudez are going to work on setting up a follow-up session in November. Please stay tuned for details.

I’m still pretty new to the workshop and presentation game, but last week’s group made me feel so at home and were so eager to learn that my nervousness subsided quickly. Of course, I still made sure to wear a shirt that came up to my neck to ensure that all my blotchy redness was well hidden.

Giving back by volunteering my time through workshops and even one-on-one consulting and training is a rewarding way I’ve found to stay connected down here in Miami. Whether you have the means to make a donation or not, donating your time and expertise is a great way to enhance the work of someone else and feel good doing it.

Here are the slides from our presentation. Please contact me with questions, thanks!

Categories: Public relations, Social media

Someone at KFC deserves a raise

Twitter bird stencilOr at least a hefty finders-fee check.

In case you missed it, the NBA is in a lockout as of July 1 and it looks like players are going to have open schedules over the next few months. While the NBA sorts out everything, Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade did what many of us in the social media world do when we need something – post it on Twitter. Dwyane Wade asked his Twitter followers for help finding a job with a simple tweet: “any1 hiring?”

Someone on the KFC social media team, who is nothing short of genius, spotted the tweet and quickly offered him a job. John Cywinski, general manager of KFC U.S., wrote a letter to Dwyane, acknowledging the tweet and asking him to come work for them for one day and they’ll make a generous donation in his name to Colonel’s Scholars, KFC’s college scholarship program. Hey, without a full-time job, he might just have the time.

Here’s the brilliance in all of this:

1. Out of the millions of tweets that are posted on Twitter daily, someone on the KFC social media team picked up on Dwyane Wade’s one, teeny-tiny post. Ok, yes, they may have had a strategy behind all of this – which would be even more genius. Someone at KFC thought – “Let’s capitalize on these NBA superstars having free schedules for the next few months and find a way to get their attention.”

2. This KFC genius knew that back in the day Dwyane Wade worked at KFC. Who knew? Maybe this team is really genius and they have a master “celebrities-who-used-to-work-here” list that someone keeps tabs on.

3. This KFC genius put two and two together, then had the smarts to bring the idea to their general manager and write the letter to Dwyane Wade, making him an offer that’s hard to refuse. I don’t know what Dwyane’s public relations team has in mind for his brand and if KFC fits with it, but it’s hard to see how one day at a drive-thru window for a whole lot of money for charity could hurt.

Dwyane hasn’t responded to KFC’s job offer. Whether it becomes reality or not, I say kudos to KFC for coming up with the idea so quickly and  putting it out there.

If anything, they got picked up across all the major news outlets, online and off. Other players’ PR reps would be smart to keep watching. If Dwyane Wade continues to stay silent on the KFC offer, somebody else could always slide in and steal his thunder – hey, maybe even create a fun charitable war.

What do you think about the KFC job offer to Dwyane Wade? Do you think it was genius or just luck?

Leave a comment, I’d love to hear your take on it.

Categories: Public relations, Social media

Want to keep your content fresh? Toss a couple zombies in it.

Zombies are coming


Ok, so I’m a month late in announcing that the 2011 hurricane season is officially here. Funny thing is, when you’ve been living in South Florida for long enough, nobody really bats an eye at the start of hurricane season (unless there’s a gargantuan hurricane in the Atlantic, then maybe we pay attention).

Every year on June 1, we’re hit with a barrage of messages – from handouts at Publix to non-stop excitement across local news channels – that we need to be prepared TODAY, RIGHT NOW for a major hurricane. Truth is, most of us don’t lift a finger during the first month of hurricane season. Our procrastination ends up biting us in the ass when we realize we haven’t lifted a finger and we’re dead center in the destruction cone of a monstrous hurricane.

Herein lies the major challenge – how do you get people to listen to the same information year after year?

Easy. Turn it into a zombie apocalypse.

This year was a little different that past hurricane seasons. Instead of delivering the same old, same old messages on hurricane preparedness, the CDC was able to get the public to listen by framing the information around an event that would later go viral – the zombie apocalypse.

The CDC posted the information on a Monday. The site crashed that Wednesday.

Think people got the message?

When you get past the craziness of the message, it turns out preparing for a zombie apocalypse and preparing for hurricane season are pretty similar. The CDC recommends:

Make an emergency plan. Stockpile food, water and medicine.

Have a utility knife, duct tape and battery-powered radio handy, along with some changes of clothes and bedding.

And keep some cleaning supplies handy, along with key personal documents like a driver’s license and birth certificate.

The CDC also recommends having basic first aid supplies handy for a hurricane or a pandemic.

Only difference – one zombie bite and you’re dead.

Luckily, we don’t have to worry about the zombie apocalypse just yet. Hurricane season, on the other hand, is an unfortunate truth that everyone in the Southeast needs to be prepared for.

Whether it got your attention, or made you wonder why the hell everyone is talking about zombies all of the sudden, I say kudos to the CDC for finding a creative way to turn the same old messaging on its head.

Did you tune into the zombie apocalypse messaging? Did you make the connection between zombies and the CDC’s messaging strategy? Do you think it worked?

Categories: Marketing/advertising, Social media

Social media management tools – what to choose [graphic]

Looking for a social media management tool to help manage your Twitter account(s)? There are A LOT out there. Just take a look at the graphic below from Brain Solis and JESS3. I’ve tried Tweetdeck and Twhirl, but really love Hootsuite. You may have to try a few to figure out what works for you, but that’s ok. Most tools are free (I’ve personally never paid for one), so poke around, download a few and find what works for you.

Social media management tool diagram

Social media management tool diagram

Categories: Social media

One strong belief (held by my inner geek)

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

#Trust30 Day 3 prompt by Buster Benson:

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?

Here’s where my inner geek really comes out. I don’t come from a family of geeks, the man I married doesn’t have even a slightly geeky bone in his body and I can maybe name two good friends who tweet with me on a daily basis.

So what? Who cares? Why does it matter?

To answer today’s prompt – the belief I possess that I don’t share with family or friends is that the web is an awesome place where you can make lasting, valuable connections. Even if you’re living across the content from each other, two people can make a connection that can deliver value to both people – whether that’s in the form of friendship or business relationship.

The inspiration for this belief comes from personal experience. I’ve been able to make connections with people, using Twitter specifically, that could have never conceivably happened without the platform available. Twitter, more than other platforms, provides the awesome opportunity to talk to and connect with people you admire and respect.

Unlike most of my friends and family, I’m a social media hippie. I believe that social media can help anyone make lasting connections and find mentors in places you wouldn’t normally have access to. It’s only through using the tools and working on those connections, in person if possible, that you’ll get the most out of them.

Categories: Social media, Writing