If you live in the world of community management, new media, digital journalism and/or online advertising & marketing, then you know how much content your social communities can provide for you. It’s a lot. And it’s a lot to keep track of in each day. So, here’s five quick organizational tips on how to streamline your media day-to-day.
1. Two At A Time, Over Time
Social networks tend to be the first order of business in the morning, along with e-mail. In the beginning, I thought I was being “organized” by opening up all of these tabs at once and going through one by one. Nope. This will cause distraction and social ADD. Choose two (social networks). Your inbox open, plus two chosen networks to focus on, will make life easier and will help corral focus on content you get from these networks and content you need to be publishing on these networks.
2. Twitter Lists
This is my favorite item on this list. Twitter lists are goldmines for content that is laser-focused to your interests. Create a Twitter list that houses the types of influencers you want content from – base this on what you want! For example, I have a ‘Brands & Influencers‘ list that I check multiple times a day. It includes social media influencers, journalists, film critics, podcasters and some comedians. Your list should resemble the groups you hang around when at a cocktail party.
3. Split Mobile and Desktop
Designating networks to devices can help organize efforts greatly. If you associate a network with a device it can help split the mental anxiousness you get from having various things open on your computer (which you shouldn’t if you are abiding by suggestion number one). Try and designate byte-size networks to mobile devices (ie. Twitter, Tumblr, etc.) and larger networks to your desktop (ie. Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ etc.).
4. Gmail Tasks List
Simple. Create a Task List within your Gmail where you write everything. Do not skip even the smallest of tasks. Most of the time, having an effective day is a result of crossing off a large amount of small things. Plus, the functionality of Gmail’s Tasks List is easy and helpful.
5. Try NOT To Use Hootsuite
I understand I might receive some backlash for this one, but I think it is true. I have used Hootsuite for years (ever since it existed basically), but it is a cluttered platform, both on mobile and desktop. Take this suggestion with a grain of salt because these types of platforms are situational to the user. Monitoring social trends, keywords, conversations and scheduling content are key for staying organized, but I highly encourage doing this manually if you have the bandwidth. Knowing each social network’s native layout and functionality is vital and Hootsuite can remove this aspect completely for some.
Mornings are hard. For some, the earlier, the harder. But, they can be enjoyable if done correctly and methodically. Below are five ways to make your mornings a little bit more enjoyable… and productive.
1. Slowly Ingest Caffeine (If Needed)
The most obvious of morning routines, but a much needed one. If you need a respectable amount of caffeine in the morning to get the eyes blinking then by all means, do it. Just remember, not too much, and not too little. Also, take your time with this. Is a sun rising nearby? Then that means you should take a few minutes to sip some coffee and watch that happen. Pretty cool. Pretty healthy.
2. Take Ten Minutes to Respect Your Mind
An overlooked practice, but one that can help clear some cobwebs. Find a unique spot in your house, apartment or office (make sure Barbara isn’t in the office early). Then, sit down (for me it is sometimes in my apartment on the den floor) and close your eyes. Don’t think about checklists, the day, etc. Simply think about taking ten minutes to respect your mind and respect that you got to get up for another day.
3. Read 3 Articles
Once your mind is clear and your blood is pumping, find three forms of reading that are concise, but engaging. For me, film reviews/top 10 lists are always a good go-to. Like above, do not read too much and do not read too little.
4. Find A Way to Thank Someone
This is one that I have just started and, sadly, is a little out of my comfort zone. In the morning, find a way to thank you someone in some manner. It can be a client e-mail, a family member or a friend. Bottom line, making someone else’s day better by a simple “thank you” can not only help their day, but be refreshing to you as well.
5. 20 Pushups, 20 Squats
Easy. Do these either every morning or every other morning. Hulk out.
Writing is hard. It takes practice, discipline and consistent creativity. And the only way to get better at it is to do it everyday. Yes, everyday – well, at least according to Stephen King. But sometimes inspiration does not always strike. Some days we are, for lack of a better term, “blah.” So here are some ways to help get the creative writing juices flowing and get that pen moving.
1. Blog Browsing
Reading others’ writing helps a lot. Not only does it spark your brain to see others’ writing, it helps to see various topics they cover. Be it tech, film, fashion, etc., there is always a blog list for you:
2. Working Out
Probably the hardest on the list, but it does wonders. Working out (especially in the morning) helps clear all mental cobwebs and helps the mind function much better during the day. Work out. Shower. Grab a cup of joe. You will be good to go.
3. Start An Unusual Conversation
This is always a good one. Start a conversation with a fellow employee, friend or boss about an idea, strategy or plan regarding your industry. It never hurts to toss ideas back and forth, even if for only five minutes or so. Conversing equals stimulation of the brain.
4. Movie Trailers
My personal favorite, the movies. Visual imagery mixed with music and storyline is a great way to get the wheels turning. Because writing, in almost every fashion, is storytelling – some stories are better than others, but the goal is the same: to effectively unfold engaging content coherently. See here some movie trailer inspiration.
Going inline with the above in terms of visceral stimulation, Vine does help you get ideas. Some of the content is crap, but there are good accounts that always have content worth viewing. See some of them below:
- Now This News, Will Sasso, Fast Company, Mashable, Samsung, Puma, Oreo, Etsy
Recently, 60 Minutes broke a story that featured Amazon’s new Prime Air system (aka drone delivery). Now, this system is not yet in place and actually won’t be for a few more years. But knowing Jeff Bezos, that process could be sped up pretty quickly. Amazon’s progressive delivery system deserves points for its forward thinking, but is it a realistic option?
Why It Could Work
1. Customer Convenience: doorstep deliver is a plus. Think groceries, holiday shopping or surprise birthday deliveries.
2. Appeal/Publicity: Bottom line, it’s cool. There is natural appeal to this system and seeing it take place, especially if you they setup a system where surprise gifts can be delivered to others when they are home.
3. The Brand: Amazon is a solid brand with majority-favored positive sentiment. They may not be Zappos level yet, but they are well-branded enough it could help this train move down the track.
Why It Couldn’t Work
1. Territory: The big question everyone is asking, what ground will this process cover? According to Bezos, this should not be too much of a hurdle, as major cities will be covered along with certain mileage outside of these areas. Now, realistically I am not sure how well this will work out on various levels. Even with major cities being covered, that still leaves a lot of open territory not being covered which will end up in angry [potential] customers, thus driving negative sentiment.
2. Various Moving Pieces: This is a highly technical process that will probably require heavy staff and maintenance/management. That in itself is a stressful situation, and one that could equal potential breakdowns, missed deliveries and possibly drones crashing into houses!
3. Is It Genuinely Helpful (Or Just Cool)? This is the question I have been asking myself: is this actually a helpful system? Maybe for hyper-digital locals, but I just can’t see it being that much different than regular delivery or fast-tracked delivery. Yes, it has appeal, but is it really needed? This is the first we are hearing of this from Amazon so it is hard to understand a value proposition just yet. But my mind does wander.
It’s November. Yes, it’s already here, again. And the holidays are always (at least somewhat for us) a time of family, friends and relaxation. And in today’s world, having access to media during these times actually helps bring the moment to life even more. For some purists that may be hard to understand, but I think it is true (depending on how much is used). So, below find three ways that media can help make your Thanksgiving holiday even better.
1. YouTube for the Little Ones
Ever since my niece was born YouTube has been an essential part of our bonding. How is this possible you ask? Well, easy, she loves Sesame Street and YouTube is the perfect medium to access it in byte size chunks. Over the years, this has become a “thing” and has helped make the holidays even more fun and engaging. Need a quick list of children’s YouTube channels? Check them out below:
- Baby TV
2. Capturing the Moment, Digitally
This one is simple. Be sure to have your iPhones, Galaxy’s, etc. charged at all times to capture the moment. Create social media albums not just for your communities, but for your actual family (yeah, those humans around you!). Want to try and capture the moment [semi] professionally? Use apps like PicFrame and Diptic to get the best formatted visuals that will be perfect for any photo album.
3. Virtual Relaxation
Cooking might be one of the most stressful parts of Thanksgiving so having a media outlet that helps relax the nerves is always welcomed. Be it music or a virtual fireplace on the kitchen counter via iPad (my personal favorite), the holidays are about recharging and relaxing. So let media help with the below app suggestions:
- 8 Tracks
Again, see the above list as a helpful addition to real life Thanksgiving interactions. Nothing, ever, replaces face-to-face interaction and engagement. Oh, and real fires in fireplaces are always a must.
With the daily integration media makes into the news world it is no surprise that organizations are stepping up their games and adjusting how they present content. Many are doing this well, Newsweek, International Business Times and Circa are all shining examples. But there is one organization that stands out more than the others. Below are content examples of how Now This News is dominating this arena on Vine and publishing stories in the uniquest of ways.
1. Creative Delivery
2. Fast, Concise Info. We Want
3. Harnessing Influencers as Ambassadors
4. Covering in Real-time