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Why I finally deleted Foursquare app

Friday, July 25th, 2014

RIP4squareYou may or may not know this, but I am a social media pack rat. Yes, it’s part of my job to try out the new apps out there and find the ones that are best suited for business, the ones that make your lives better, easier and way more fun. But, I have been hoarding social media profiles for as long as I can remember. I’m fairly certain I still have a Friendster account floating around out there, truth be told.

However, I finally had enough with the “new” Foursquare, better known as the SWARM app. One of the several things that made Foursquare worthy originally, aside from the fun of “earning” badges, was the deals with retail and vendors out there who could get me a free or discounted cup o’ joe, as well as see who else was hanging out in the airport while I waited on my delayed flight.

This new SWARM app that they are pushing everyone who has Foursquare to use is not fulfilling its destiny (and I’m not really even sure what its app destiny is). It lets you know which of  your friends are hanging out in the area, but that’s really it. I hear there are upgrades coming — the old “mayor” status will come back, etc., but I’m not seeing the value here.

While it’s great to see who is hanging out nearby, another feature I liked found in the original Foursquare app was the ability to meet NEW people, and exchange NEW ideas. It was a true networking app. SWARM seems to be a friend app to let you socialize with friends. The “check-in” feature has officially been dropped from the original Foursquare app and switched to SWARM, but the benefits of that have been left behind.

I resisted deleting the app because my fingers actually get twitchy and I start to sweat a little, but enough is enough. While Foursquare has fallen in significance recently anyway, I still found it useful as a way to connect. Alas, no more. I’ll check-in via Facebook and use other discovery apps for the rest.

Rest in peace, Foursquare.

Tags: check-in, discovery app, foursquare, geolocation app, swarm
Posted in foursquare, social media, Social Networks | No Comments »

What a Contest Can Teach You about Your Beliefs, Your Business and Your Audience

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

In early December I launched my new web site. The video on the home page was extremely well-received. I got emails, posts, shares and calls about it. I wrote a post about that here.

It inspired me to create a contest for my audience. It was a challenge to them — Create a video stating what you believe and post it to the Social Deviants Facebook page and you can win a half-day intensive with me.

Here’s what I learned from the “What I Believe” contest:

1. Weight Watchers is now doing a very similar ad campaign. What can I say, I’m a trendsetter 😉 What’s more likely, is that brands are catching on to the importance of beliefs in accomplishing goals, finding like-minded friends and followers and in telling a story that can change one’s world…if not the world.

2. Figuring out what you truly believe can be a challenge. When was the last time you had to speak up about what you believe? Outside of politics-charged forums, we rarely sit down with ourselves and truly think about what it is we believe — about life, parenting, friendship, business, health, money or spirituality. When someone (me) challenges you to declare what you believe in under three minutes, you think “hey, it’s less than three minutes, how hard can it be?” Then you sit down in front of the video camera and come up blank.

Writing out and prioritizing what you believe, especially in this context of growing your business, is essential. I have heard from almost everyone who made a video about how this really helped them get clarity in their lives and businesses.

3. Putting your beliefs out there on video and on the internet can be scary. There is a HUGE visibility piece that comes from taking a stand and making your move on the internet. What if someone doesn’t agree with you? What if they hassle you online? How will you defend yourself? What if no one likes you?

Here’s my response to those questions: Check your ego at the door. Remember that the gifts you were given aren’t for you — they are for others. When you make service of others your priority, you care little about needing to be liked and more about needing to help those in need. Also, like attracts like. Yes, there are goons out there who like to complain and spread negativity, but I have noticed that most people just want to connect with others like them and feel like they are understood.

I work hand-in-hand with clients on building their online platforms, and getting comfortable on video is a big part of that for many reasons:

  • YouTube is second largest search engine
  • video has a 300% higher conversion rate than marketing without it
  • your audience wants to get to know you better to see if there’s a good fit

4. Even people with best intentions will let an opportunity pass or wait until the last minute to act. This contest was over three weeks long. It started way before the holidays. Yet almost everyone who entered waited until the last week, if not the last hours of the contest to do so. Some had technical difficulties, which could have disqualified them because they posted after the midnight deadline (but I’m a softy and let it slide…this time).

Thing is, I knew that would happen. It’s in our nature to put off until tomorrow what could be done today. I had amazing people tell me they were so excited to have the opportunity to work with me and couldn’t wait to create a video, but come crunch time, they fell short. I also knew that I would find some way to reward every single person who showed up. I was going to do something small like this blog post where I mention everyone. However, I was so moved by the videos received, everyone got their own strategy session. Don’t ya wish you’d made a video? If it’s important enough to do, it’s important enough to Do It Now.

5. Teaching goes both ways. I learn something every day from my audience. I was inspired by these lessons:

  • From Torrey Shannon: Hardships are blessings in disguise and criticism can mean you’re doing something right.
  • From Jeannie Spiro: No one should ever have to settle and it’s possible to move through fear and doubt and come out on the other side.
  • From Ellie Lara: That in addition to taking care of our carbon footprint, we must nurture a positive carbon thought print
  • From Kym Chartrand: Confidence is gorgeous and curly hair has a special power.
  • From Liz Cerami Taylor: Turning 40 is a call to action and that you should do things you’re terrified of.
  • From Diane Michel Untz: That hurt people tend to hurt people, that music is one of the most important and effective ways of healing, that those who had a rough start can still have a great finish and those who think it can’t be done should move over for those doing it.

Congratulations to Diane Michel Untz of Nashville Unleashed for submitting the winning video. And thank you to everyone who shared what they believe with me. You are truly social deviants and I look forward to your strategy sessions!

Tags: internet marketing, personal branding, social deviants, social marketing, what i believe contest
Posted in Advice, Coaching, marketing, Social Networks, youtube | 2 Comments »

Welcome Videos, Social Marketing and Why You Shouldn’t Follow Your Dreams

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

The new and improved Social Deviants web site launched a few weeks ago. I worked with two teams of web designers and developers to create what I hope represents not only my vision for Social Deviants, but yours, as well. I wanted it to look great, of course, but I also wanted it to be a living, breathing expression of what I believe about what I do for a living and the kind of people I work with.

That’s why I agonized over the welcome video. Soooooo may web sites these days throw up a welcome video that’s lazy and ineffective, and really says absolutely nothing of value to the people who visit the site.

“Hi, I’m so-and-so. Thanks for visiting. To get your free report on X that will change your life and make you millions, sign up for my newsletter.”

I’m bored of seeing the same video with a different talking head on every forgettable home page. I have hundreds of free reports and MP3s that have done little to endear me to the person or company who own the site or add any value to my business.

That’s why I decided to do something a little different with my home page “welcome” video. I’m still a talking head, but I tellyou what I believe not only about social marketing, but about life, regret and why you shouldn’t follow your dreams. Quality service and products that are useful and valuable matter, but people today want to know what a company believes in. That’s even more crucial when there’s a personal brand behind the shingle.

If social media is about relationships, I want you to feel like you know at least something useful about how I think. If that strikes a chord with you, maybe you’ll dig deeper, get to know me and other social deviants on Facebook, Twitter, this blog and through my newsletter. Perhaps you will understand that what I can help you do online is bigger than your business. I help you take big ideas and turn them into big messages so that you can make a difference, make money and make your mark.

What do you believe? Make your own video and upload it to the Social Deviants Facebook page.  On Friday, December 30th, I’ll be picking one lucky person to receive a half-day intensive (via Skype). We’ll delve into your online strategy and get your 2012 brand, business and marketing on the track to EPIC. All I ask is that you keep them under three minutes, and please keep them PG-13 😉

Tags: branding videos, makreting videos, social marketingg, website video, welcome videos
Posted in brand, marketing, social media, Social Networks, Start-up/Entrepreneur | 1 Comment »