Twitter!

Twitter is a kind of new avenue of social media for me. I opened my twitter account earlier this year and am still learning the ropes of how to use it. I mostly just follow my friends, my favorite celebrities, businesses and of course TV shows. I think some my followers have good information to share, but I think twitter is just a short, cut to the chase version of Facebook. I feel like twitter isn’t used in the way that it was intended and this is because twitter users were most likely Facebook users first.

For some of my friends I follow on Twitter I also follow on Facebook and Instagram. What seems to be happening is that they post the same information in exactly the same way on all three social media platforms. This is kind of irritating to me because I don’t want to hear that they broke there toe in a tweet and see a picture of it on Instagram and then hear and see it on Facebook. It seems to be an “abuse” of the use of social media.

I think that twitter would be better used as a news-broadcasting source because it is a quick way to receive information and people will look at it because they already do to look at their friend’s tweets. I would like twitter more if there were more meaningful tweets on it rather that Miley Cyrus’s latest half naked selfie. Most people think that twitter will last a lifetime like David Carr explains in his New York Times article “Why Twitter Will Endure”. I don’t really agree with David Carr’s idea of thinking that twitter is going to outlast other social media because it is the inner workings of the Internet. Twitter, just like MySpace, is just a fad and soon another social media will make its début and Twitter will be another part of social media history.

Feed USA & Target!

Most Americans think that the people that are starving in the world are at a distance from us, but in actuality they may be living right next door or down the road. Did you know that 1 in 6 Americans are affected by hunger? According to the United States department of Agriculture, nearly 17 million children are living in food-insecure households and more that 50 million Americans do not have dependable access to enough food due to limited money. People in America are starving and we have the opportunity to help them.

Project Feed USA has teamed up with Target to sell products to feed America. They have items ranging from water bottles to clothing, all which provide hungry Americans with food to fill their bellies. Each product has a tag that says how many meals you will provide by purchasing the product! How beautiful is that! I was at Target yesterday and looked online and the project Feed items are on sale because they need to make room for holiday displays. The good news is that Feed USA will still honor the amount of food distributed from your purchase. I encourage you to go help out. You might find some Christmas and Birthday gifts for your friends and help out a good cause at the same time.

Here are some pictures of items I saw at Target; there is also a larger selection at –> http://www.target.com/c/feed-usa/-/N-55tua

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Lauren Bush started project Feed in 2006. She designed and created the Feed reusable bag to help the United Nations World Food Program’s (WFP) School Feeding program. She brought food to places around the world such as Asia, Latin America, and Africa. The bags were reusable grocery bags that had “FEED the children of the world” and the number ‘1’ to signify that each bag feeds one child in school for one year. By 2007 they were able to feed 60 million students in the WFP School feed program. In 2008 FEED created a nonprofit organization called the FEED foundation that supports programs that help to eliminate hunger around the world. Lauren decided this year to focus on the U.S and that is how they came up with the different items to sell in Target stores across the country. There are many ways to help this great foundation. You don’t have to purchase items you can donate your time and volunteer. Here is a link to some of the volunteer opportunities I found in Albuquerque from their website –> http://www.thefeedfoundation.org/volunteer-opportunities.asp#.

“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal” –Albert Pine

KG

Businesses and Facebook: The happy medium that will keep your fans at like!


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(Photo from: Medibeauty.biz)

Businesses on Facebook are great, they allow you to get new information from your favorite brands and maybe enter some contests and win some free stuff. The question is, what happens when they start filling up your wall with content? You go and hit that very like button that you hit when they first made their page and bam, now they have lost your interest. It seems that there needs to be a happy medium between loading down your follower’s page and posting once a year. Personally I think that the Facebook audience is catching on to these businesses schemes and aren’t even pressing like. They either had a brand take over their page before and think “I don’t want to do that again” or they see Facebook as a way of relaxing, not a place to be advertised at. If businesses want to keep the interest of their follower they need to change it up and keep it interesting.

I personally have “liked” many companies on my Facebook and what I can say is a big no, no is constantly having contest. If you have a contest going on your page every week then people are going to get disinterested in purchasing your product and get the mentality that they will just enter every week and are bound to win. If you are giving away your products too frequently then people start to think it’s not worth buying.

Businesses think that Facebook another advertising tool to flood the mind of the consumer, but the difference is that the consumer has the option to turn it off. What I think businesses should do with their Facebook is use it to interact with their customers. The great thing about Facebook is that is gives a “human” aspect to your company in which you can directly communicate with people that buy your products. If companies posted questions about what the consumer thought about there products/services or what they could do to better them then the consumer might think that the company actually cares about their opinion and like them more. Keeping your customers interested with interesting post is the key to having a successful Business Facebook page.

KG

Everyday items that GIVE BACK!

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While at the checkout at Wal-Mart I was looking at some gum to pick out and this one particular package caught my eye.  This gum was in a cool looking tube and screamed buy me. This gum is made by a company called Project 7 and is super cool. With a little research I found out that the gum I purchased helped give back to the Earth in the way of a band new tree. How amazing is that! I am sure we all buy gum in the checkout, how cool is it to do something with your purchase instead of just profiting the gum companies.

Now you may be thinking, planting a tree what is that going to do for anything? Well what you may not know is that “more than one acre of rainforest is lost every second. From global warming to the extinction of plant and animal species, the consequences of deforestation are broad”(Project7.com) by buying project 7 gum you give back to the Earth and plant a tree back on the Earth.

This company not only sells gum but also coffee, water bottles, mints, and apparel that benefit many great causes. Some of these causes are meals for hungry Americans, Schooling for those in need, clean water projects, counseling for children of war, and Malaria treatment. Their name, Project 7, stands for the seven areas of good that provide with the sale of their products. Tyler Merrick started the company in 2007 and has done so much good for the world. Watch this small video from Project7.com so you can see what has been done.

Here is what Project 7 has given to date:

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(Photo: Project7.com)

Tyler Merrick said, “If people are going to buy things. Lots of things. Then let’s use those things they purchase to help change the world around us. Let’s make everyday products for everyday people to solve everyday problems around the globe.” It is a glorious thing that he has done. Made everyday products for a cause. So next time that you are on an isle, look for Project 7’s products. You are going to buy something anyways it might as well be something that could change someone’s life.

Not all products have made it to Albuquerque’s selves but here is a link to the website where you can purchase all of Project 7’s great items and also learn more about what they do for the world –> http://www.project7.com/ .

Cheers,

KG

Video and Organizations: The Impact of Good Storytelling

Videos can have such an impact when they are combined with compelling images and a touching story. They can make you happy, sad, or provoke you to take action on something. Great videos do most of these things. I have always been interested in charities and one thing they know how to do best is make videos. Have you ever been at home watching TV and then all of a sudden you see a commercial for abused animals or hungry children and they pull on your heartstrings and make you want to take out our checkbook. That is because the beauty and art that went into that video not only are pictures flashing before your eyes but a story telling sequence that makes what you are looking at relatable to your life in some way. Even if you were never a hungry child you want to sympathize with them and make their life better.

This week I watched a video on the CharityWater project. It was about a little girl named Rachael and how for her 9th birthday she wanted to raise money to give clean water to people in Ethiopia. She came short of her goal but wanted to keep collecting so that by her next birthday she could do it. She died in a tragic car accident a month later and her story went viral with the help of her mom. They raised 1.2 million dollars and on Rachel’s 1-year anniversary Rachel’s mother and grandparents went to Ethiopia to see what impact Rachel’s wish had on the people.

Over half a million people have seen this video since it’s posting in July. Why was this video successful? This video didn’t have many words but strong visuals mixed with a strong melody that made it moving and beautiful. It didn’t ask for a donation but instead inspired you to be like the nine-year-old girl. That is what made it successful.

Story telling is one of the greatest ways to reach out to an audience. People love to hear stories and to relate to them. Ira Glass, host of Public Radio International’s “This American Life”, has great advice on how to do storytelling in video and audio successfully. He says that your first videos are probably not going to be very good, like the CharityWater video, but that with practice and time they will get better. He says that in his job at Radio International he goes through many stories a week just to get the right one with the right feel.  All stories have a sequence of events and those sequences of events should be shown in the video or audio. Even if they may be minute details they give the story momentum and make people want to keep listening/watching.

With all this being said you don’t have to be a charity to put out a good video or story. Storytelling can be used for any organization; you can tell the story of where you have come and where you want to be and that story will make people relate to what you do. As Ira said you can’t expect to master a video at your first go, but with practice your video will make an impact.

KG

Fun, color, and exercise, all for a good cause!

Runs have always been a good way that charities have raised money. In the past few years they have become seemingly popular and a lot of fun. Now days it’s not just about getting a team making some t-shirts and running around a course for a good cause. Now it is all about the tutus, fanny packs, bandanas, and of course the color. That’s right I said color. I did my first color run in April called Color Me Rad and I had so much fun. Now let me explain it to you. When you get to the run in a perfect white t-shirt and colorful tutu (of course) you do some light stretching and then you’re off past the starting line. Music in the background, everything seems like a normal run and then you get to a color station and volunteers toss colors all over you. By the time your finished you are all covered in multiple colors and now have a cool color splattered t-shirt to keep as a memento.. I just love the idea of it; fun with your friends and money towards a great cause.

I did my second 5K-color run called the Black Light Run August 31st. This run benefited the UNM Children’s Hospital “Children’s Miracle Network”. This great charity uses money for research, training, purchasing equipment and to help pay uncompensated care for children in need. What a great charity to support. On top of helping children the black light run was such a blast. The run started at 8pm at the Balloon Fiesta Park and had back light zones with neon color powder to make you glow bright at the finish line. Once you finished the run the fun wasn’t over, you went to pick up some color packets and join the dance party. Local DJ’s got the party started with some great music to dance to and everyone threw the color in the air and let it fall down all around. All in all it was a great time, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Here are some pictures:

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I don’t want to tell you about these fun runs and not tell you about how you can do them yourself. In three weekends September 28th there is a Mud’n Color 5k in Moriarty, NM. You can still sign up and participate with this link –> http://mudncolor5k.eventbrite.com/  . The wonderful charity that this run benefits is ACCH (Albuquerque Christian Children’s Home)! This charity does great things for the local community, they help neglected, abused and abandoned children find a new caring family and home. This run seems really exciting with an obstacle courses and even prizes at the finish. I encourage you to sign up if not for the run this Run for one in the future. If I see some scheduled I will post a link.

Have a wonderful week!

KG

Social Media Experts, are they worth it?

socialmedia(Photo from http://joinlarsenglobal.com)

The position of Social Media professionals have become more abundant over the past couple of years, but some companies are opting out on having one on their team. Why you ask? I think this is due to the fact that companies don’t understand what they do with Social Media. Social Media professionals aren’t just punkie kids that have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and  a Reddit account and use text speech to chat with their friends. A social Media professional is someone who has there fingers in all aspect of the web and have created such a strong following that they are a trusted source to the public on whatever they say. Most of these professionals have degree in marketing and know how to mold a company into being diverse enough to have a presence on social media and gain more attention from the people that access that media.

Social Media is so huge right now any company that isn’t on social media is really seen as outdated. Places like Facebook and Twitter have so many people on them daily, companies are missing out on that already captured audience. Now I am not just saying that companies should go out and make a Facebook and then do nothing about it. They have to be active and constant on social media. A Facebook is gong to do nothing itself but if you post new products and contests on them then your captured audience is going to interact with you and know who you are. This is not an easy task. Running a business is hard enough; this is where a social media professional comes in handy. While you are busy keeping books and taking care of customers, a social media professional can take the time to make sure you stand out and have a strong social media presence.

Times have changed and it isn’t just about answering the phone anymore to give customer service. Its about being on avenues people know and love and being there for them 24/7.