You Gotta Get It To Get It

Two syllables that bring joy and smiles to all who hear them — Net-flix. Netflix is a live streaming Internet service that provides subscribers with hours upon hours upon hours (times a million) of TV shows and movies. Not only is Netflix one of the most amazing entertainment pastimes ever, it also quickly became a great example of successful brand that did it oh so right.

While it’s predominantly an Internet-based product, Netflix embraced all forms of marketing across multiple media channels, all while keeping its look, feel and tone exactly the same. Netflix is always fun and easy; it always makes you happy.

Even it’s traditional Internet advertising, such as the ad below, makes you smile. And how great is that? Oftentimes, online ads are annoying and keeping you from what you really want to see. But Netflix at least makes you giggle.

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Netflix also brings it’s wit and charm to TV, with great commercials that are consistent with its branding. What movie is complete without the climactic run through the airport to stop the woman before she gets on an airplane and flies away forever? Of course Netflix gives you that, but in it’s own special way.

Branding centered around humor and a personable tone could not be more perfectly suited for social media, and of course Netflix embraces that. It has a very strong presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It responds to comments on Facebook and retweets constantly. Whoever manages their social media platforms interacts and engages with users — an absolute must to be a successful business on social media.

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No cookie-cutter emails for Netflix! A spinoff of it’s “Top Picks for [Insert Name Here]” viewing feature, Netflix personalizes it’s email campaigns with not only subscribers’ names, but it also evaluates its offerings and suggests movies and TV shows that are similar to things you have already watched. I probably get these emails once a week, and I eagerly open each one. Not only am I excited to learn about Netflix’s latest additions, but I also love to test and see if it’s really something I want to watch. Guess what, 99% of the time it is. Who doesn’t love getting an email from a business, and you feel like they actually know you? And care about you? Netflix gets top marks for both.

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If you have any doubt of Netflix’s branding prowess, you need only Google “Netflix funny” and look at the images. The hours of TV available on Netflix is only rivaled by the number of hours people have spent creating comics and memes about how amazingly addicting Netflix.

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It’s even hit the pinnacle and Holy Grail in the brand world — the transition to a verb. Not only is Netflix one of the greatest nouns in entertainment, but are there any sweeter words than “Let’s stay in tonight and Netflix?” Admittedly, I sound (and am) slightly obsessed with Netflix. And no, I will never ever under any circumstances reveal the number of hours I have spent watching Netflix, or the number of evenings I have had less than five hours of sleep because I had to watch “just one more episode.” But like its slogan goes, you gotta get it to get. Believe me, once you get it, you will so absolutely get it, and never regret it.

About A Girl :)

Hi there! I’m Diana, and this is my blog. I would like to start openly and honestly, by letting you know that technically merlot is not my favorite wine varietal. However, “You Had Me at Pinot Noir” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. So here we are.

The things I love about life are pretty simple — family, friends, traveling, my job (yep, my job!), consuming scrumptious food and beverages, and learning. My husband, Mike, and I live in Winter Garden, Fla., a suburb of Orlando, where I’m blessed to be near my fabulous mother, and to have the most incredible group of friends. We are a wild and crazy bunch who love each other like family. #trulyblessed

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Just a few ladies enjoying the view.

I work for the global event team, a corporate meeting and event planning company. I’m the program development specialist, which means I work on the planning end of things. I write proposals and contracts, source venues and vendors, design digital and print materials, communicate with clients, manage our social media, attend trade shows, design our print and digital materials, and lots of other fun stuff. Not one ounce of sarcasm here — I really love my job.

Traveling. Boy do I/we (hubby and friends) love to travel! Top spots always include Chicago and New York, but a Napa girls trip is definitely in the works. Another perk of my job is that we plan events all over the world, and oftentimes I travel for our larger programs. My upcoming fall 2015 trips include Las Vegas, Miami and Washington, D.C., so I’ll be racking up those frequent flyer miles!

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Mike and I absolutely love visiting Chicago! The above pics are
from Willis Tower, which will always be Sears Tower to me.

Learning is one of my favorite hobbies. In addition to obsessive Internet and old-school book reading, I’m also a traditional graduate school student. I attend the greatest collegiate institution in the world, the University of Florida. Go Gators! I’m in the social media program, and the vast majority of the content on this blog will be for my Intro to Multimedia Communications course. I’ve been a gigantic UF fan for a very long time, and love visiting Gainesville and going to football games whenever I can. Blue and orange — best colors in the world!

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Is it Saturday? Is it fall? Chances are extremely likely I’m somewhere cheering on the Gators!

Fore more randomness and other fun facts about my crazy-busy Florida life, please don’t hesitate to visit About Diana. It doesn’t cover everything, but you’ll get some fun highlights, like how much I’m obsessed with Netflix. 😉 Messaging and commenting are also encouraged, so have at it!

Thanks & Enjoy!

Diana

Epcot — Socially Speaking

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

This is a test. This blog is conducting a test of Epcot’s social media content. This is only a test.*

*In other words, this information is 100% hypothetical and for academic purposes only.

I am the social media specialist for Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort. (Please reference above statement.*) I’ve put together a comprehensive social media plan for the month of April to promote all the wonderful happenings at Epcot, including the annual International Flower & Garden Festival.

My primary goal is to increase attendance and revenue at Epcot for the month of April as compared to previous years. In addition to heavily promoting the International Flower & Garden Festival to increase its attendance, I also plan to spotlight some of the lesser known attractions and activities to keep people coming back all year long.

As a result of the increased attendance, it’s also my goal to increase food and beverage revenue, particularly at the park’s sit-down restaurants.

My secondary goal is to increase Epcot’s social media following by at least 15%. It’s my hope that through targeted social media marketing, creative hashtags and engaging photos, fans of Epcot will share and promote its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts.

In addition to posting daily on social media, I plan to actively engage and respond to users’ comments and questions, creating conversations and encouraging interaction.

The following is a daily breakdown of social media posts for Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort for the month of April. All photos will be used for all of the social media posts for that day.

April 1

FB — After much consideration, Epcot officials have decided not to continue work on the much-publicized #Frozen attraction that was scheduled to open in Norway in 2016. Instead, the ride will feature Hannah Montana on her Norwegian tour. #AprilFools

Twitter — No more #Frozen in 2016. Instead, #Epcot will move forward with a #HannahMontana attraction in Norway. #AprilFools

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April 2

FB — The Garden Rock Concert Series continues tomorrow with The Orchestra, starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman.” Performances are April 3-5 at the America Gardens Theatre at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. http://bit.ly/1ATGyUr

Twitter — The Garden Rock Concert Series continues tomorrow with performances April 3-5 at the America Gardens Theatre. #FlowerandGarden

The Orchestra starring former members of ELO to Perform at "Garden Rocks" Concert Series

 April 3

FB — You know you want to visit Epcot this month for International Flower & Garden Festival. And what would make the day even better? Dinner at your favorite British watering hole — Rose & Crown Pub! Don’t forget to make your reservation.

Twitter — Enjoying a day at #Epcot? Don’t forget to stop by the Rose & Crown Pub for a pint of your favorite draught beer! #FlowerandGarden

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April 4

FB — Hoppy Easter weekend! Join us at Epcot for the annual Egg-Stravaganza. Search throughout the park for hidden Disney character eggs. Mark them off on your map as you find them, and turn in your complete map for a special surprise!

Twitter — It’s time for Epcot’s annual Egg-Stravaganza egg hunt! Find all the hidden eggs to receive a special surprise!

Instagram — Can you find all the hidden eggs at #Epcot? Turn in your completed Egg-Stravaganza map to receive a special surprise!

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April 5

FB — Happy #Easter! Celebrate with a walk through the International Flower & Garden Festival, and don’t forget to catch this weekend’s Garden Rock Concert Series performance! Oh, and did we mention it’s also Egg-Stravaganza 2015? #FlowerandGarden

Twitter — Happy #Easter! Celebrate the beautiful day at the International Flower & Garden Festival. #FlowerandGarden

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April 6

FB — Start the week off right with a visit to #Epcot! Rumor has it some famous princesses will be at the park today. Stop by Germany to say hi to Snow White, and swing by France to meet Princess Aurora. #PrincessMeetAndGreet #MagicalMonday

Twitter — Start the week off right with a visit to #Epcot! Your favorite princesses will be at the park! #PrincessMeetAndGreet #MagicalMonday

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April 7

FB — It’s going to be a gorgeous evening — perfect for viewing our nightly Illuminations fireworks show. The view from Japan is spectacular! #IlluminationsFireworks

Twitter — It’s a gorgeous night, perfect for viewing the fantastic #IlluminationsFireworks show! #Japan

Illuminations: Japan

April 8

FB — Need a caffeine fix to help get through hump day? Future World serves #Starbucks espresso and specialty beverages, along with artisan sandwiches and house-made Disney sweets.

Instagram — Get your #caffeine fix at Epcot’s Future World, now serving Starbucks espresso and beverages!

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April 9

FB — “It’s fun to stay at the YMCA!” The Village People are performing live as part of the Garden Rock Concert Series. Performances are April 10-12 at the America Gardens Theatre at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. #FlowerandGarden http://bit.ly/1ATGyUr

Twitter — The Garden Rock Concert Series continues tomorrow with The Village People from April 10-12 at the America Gardens Theatre. #YMCA #FlowerandGarden

Instagram — The Village People perform April 10-12 as part of the Garden Rock Concert Series at the America Gardens Theatre. #YMCA #FlowerandGarden

New! The Village People to Rock 2013 Flower Power Concert Series

April 10

FB — Don’t miss The Village People tonight at the America Gardens Theatre! Performances are April 10-12 at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. #FlowerandGarden http://bit.ly/1ATGyUr

Twitter — The Garden Rock Concert Series continues tonight with The Village People from April 10-12 at the America Gardens Theatre. #YMCA #FlowerandGarden

April 11

FB — Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Why not take advantage of these awesome Florida resident discounts? You can save money on everything from a one-day ticket to annual passes! http://bit.ly/1E4ECgu

Twitter — Live in Florida? Then take advantage of these awesome FL resident discounts! http://bit.ly/1E4ECgu

April 12

FB — Looking for a fun, unique dinner experience? Wow your friends and family with reservations at a cozy Canadian chateau right here in Florida — La Cellier Steakhouse at Epcot’s World Showcase.

Instagram — An absolute must-visit, La Cellier Steakhouse at Epcot’s World Showcase is Florida’s No. 1 Canadian restaurant. #InOurHumbleOpinion

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 April 13

FB — Have you met Duffy the Disney Bear? Mickey’s teddy bear has arrived at Epcot’s World Showcase Plaza, and he can’t wait to be your friend! #MagicalMonday

Twitter — Have you met Mickey’s teddy bear Duffy? He is quite the world traveler, and now he’s arrived at Epcot’s World Showcase Plaza! #MagicalMonday

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April 14

The flowers are in bloom at the exquisite International Flower & Garden Festival at #Epcot. Swing on by and smell the roses. #FlowerandGarden

Twitter — Come stop by and smell the roses at Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival. #FlowerandGarden

Sorcery at EPCOT's International Flower and Garden Festival 2012 Main Entrance Topiary

April 15

FB — Whew! #Taxes are done, and it’s time to celebrate. Why not enjoy this gorgeous day traveling around the world at Epcot? There’s someone in England who can’t wait to make your acquaintance! #MeetAndGreet #FlowerandGarden

Instagram — #Taxes are done and it’s time to celebrate! Why not travel the world at Epcot? Someone in England can’t wait to make your acquaintance! #cheers #MeetandGreet

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April 16

FB — #Swoon! Starting tomorrow, Grammy-winner Jon Secada is performing live as part of the Garden Rock Concert Series. Performances are April 17-19 at the America Gardens Theatre at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. #FlowerandGarden #JustAnotherDay http://bit.ly/1ATGyUr

Twitter — The Garden Rock Concert Series continues tomorrow with Jon Secada from April 17-19. #JustAnotherDay #FlowerandGarden

Instagram — Grammy-winner Jon Secada performs April 17-19 as part of the Garden Rock Concert Series at the America Gardens Theatre. # JustAnotherDay #FlowerandGarden

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April 17

FB — Don’t miss Grammy-winner Jon Secada tonight at the America Gardens Theatre! Performances are April 17-19 at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. #FlowerandGarden #JustAnotherDay http://bit.ly/1ATGyUr

Twitter — The Garden Rock Concert Series continues tonight with Jon Secada from April 17-19. #JustAnotherDay #FlowerandGarden

April 18

FB — It’s a gorgeous, magical weekend! Why not celebrate by purchasing an annual pass, so you can experience all the fun and wonder of the annual International Flower & Garden Festival? Did we mention Jon Secada performs tonight? #FlowerandGarden #JustAnotherDay

Twitter — Celebrate this magical weekend with an annual pass to #Disney! We promise you don’t want to miss the #FlowerandGarden Festival!

April 19

FB — It’s Sing-Along Sunday! Better head down to the Rose & Crown Pub in England to grab a pint and enjoy smashing tunes from pubs around the U.K.! #Epcot

Twitter — It’s Sing-Along Sunday! Head to the Rose & Crown to enjoy smashing tunes from pubs across the U.K.! #Epcot

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April 20

FB — Did you know you can pre-purchase a Disney Dining Plan? When booking your vacation, select one of our plans for a convenient and affordable way to enjoy snacks and meals throughout #Epcot and #Disney. #MagicalMonday http://bit.ly/1AUjFjG

Twitter — Which #Epcot restaurant is your favorite? Pre-purchase a Disney Dining Plan and you can try them all! #MagicalMonday http://bit.ly/1AUjFjG

April 21

FB — Did you hear? We’re expanding the oh-so-popular Soarin’ and #ToyStory rides to cut down on wait times! They’ll be completed in 2016. Annual pass, anyone? #Epcot

Twitter — Breaking news! Expansions are underway at #Soarin and #ToyStory to cut down on wait times! #2016 #AnnualPass

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April 22

FB — Happy Earth Day! Come celebrate at the beautifully earthy International Flower & Garden Festival. We’d love to have you! #EarthDay #FlowerandGarden

Twitter — Happy #EarthDay! Come celebrate at the International Flower & Garden Festival. We’d love to have you! #FlowerandGarden

Instagram — Happy #EarthDay! What better way to celebrate than at the International Flower & Garden Festival? We’d love for you to stop by! #FlowerandGarden #FlowersInBloom

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April 23

FB — The Guess Who are performing live as part of the Garden Rock Concert Series. Performances are April 24-26 at the America Gardens Theatre at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. #FlowerandGarden #TheseEyes http://bit.ly/1ATGyUr

Twitter — The Garden Rock Concert Series continues tomorrow with The Guess Who from April 24-26. #TheseEyes #FlowerandGarden

Instagram — The Guess Who perform April 24-26 as part of the Garden Rock Concert Series at the America Gardens Theatre. # TheseEyes #FlowerandGarden

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April 24

FB — Don’t miss The Guess Who tonight at the America Gardens Theatre! Performances are April 24-26 at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. #FlowerandGarden #TheseEyes http://bit.ly/1ATGyUr

Twitter — The Garden Rock Concert Series continues tonight with The Guess Who from April 24-26. #TheseEyes #FlowerandGarden

April 25

FB — There’s only three weeks left of the International Flower & Garden Festival, which makes this weekend perfect for a visit! #FlowerandGarden

Twitter — Only 3 weeks left of the #FlowerandGarden Festival, making this weekend perfect for a visit! #FlowerandGarden

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April 26

FB — When was the last time you traveled the globe? Why not start your week with a quick trip around the World Showcase? #Epcot

Twitter — Let’s travel the globe! Kick off your week with a quick trip around the #WorldShowcase! #Epcot

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April 27

FB — What’s your favorite attraction at #Epcot? Test Track? Captain EO? What about Spaceship Earth? Or maybe it’s the incredible Disney-themed topiaries that are part of the International Flower & Garden Festival? #FlowerandGarden #MagicalMonday

Twitter — It’s #MagicalMonday and we want to know which #Epcot attraction is your favorite. Ready … go!

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April 28

FB — Craving something magical for dinner? Why not make a reservation at Teppan Edo in Japan at the World Showcase? Every seat has the perfect view of Teppan chefs creating traditional Japanese dishes before your eyes! #Epcot

Twitter — Visiting #Epcot soon? Why not make a reservation at Teppan Edo in Japan at the #WorldShowcase?

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April 29

FB — April is almost over, which means the International Flower & Garden Festival is winding down. But don’t worry! There’s still time to see this magical annual event! #FlowerandGarden

Twitter — April is almost over, which means the #FlowerandGarden Festival is winding down. Don’t forget to plan your visit before it’s too late!

April 30

FB — The International Flower & Garden Festival has been an #Epcot tradition for more than 20 years, continually getting bigger and better! This year’s festival will be held through May 17. #FlowerandGarden #tbt

Twitter — The International #FlowerandGarden Festival has been an Epcot tradition for more than 20 years! #tbt

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Muck & Crushed

Let’s start with Muck. Muck Rack, that is. In its own words, “Muck Rack’s mission is to make journalists, PR pros and marketers more successful.” I think that’s a very noble and worthwhile mission. Sure, my opinion is slightly biased as I majored in journalism and was a journalist for eight years, but still, it’s always worthwhile to help someone be successful.

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Muck Rack is a social media website for those in the writing, PR and marketing fields, and it’s comprised of two parts. Part one is for the writers — journalists, bloggers, freelancers, etc. — who are able to create a profile page that essentially becomes their portfolio, where they showcase and sell their work, communicate with colleagues, and find job opportunities.

On the flip side, PR and marketing professionals are then able to easily search through the writers’ profile pages to not only find potential employees, but also to track what’s being said about their companies. They can also pitch story ideas to writers and receive alerts about relevant industry information. I would call that a win-win.

Much of the Muck Rack is free; however, just like social media giant LinkedIn, there are quite a few really great features that are only available if you purchase a Pro membership, including advanced searches, media lists and alerts. Alerts are especially fun. You setup search parameters — keywords, business name, topic, phrase, hashtag, username — and then Muck Rack sends you an email any time those search parameters appear in a Tweet, linked story, published article or social media profile.

The downside is that membership does not come cheap. Muck Rack Pro starts at $179 per month and caps out at who knows what, because the crème de la crème of memberships is Enterprise, which is quoted upon request and customized to a user’s individual needs. The high cost is definitely the biggest drawback to the social media site.

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Will Muck Rack survive? Absolutely. Industry-specific social media is growing rapidly in popularity. Muck Rack a niche social media site that already has more than 30,000 journalists, bloggers and freelancers registered, and it’s utilized by some major big-dog companies, including reddit, Mail Chimp, JP Morgan, BuzzFeed and even Facebook. It fills a definite need. As a former journalist and occasional freelancer, I can tell you writers are inundated with story leads and press releases. As a PR or marketing professional, you struggle to have your release seen amongst all the clutter. Muck Rack gives industry professionals a chance to build and form relationships, and get a foot (or even just big toe!) in the journalism door, which might have otherwise been locked shut. You’re all on the site because you want to be great at your job, and colleagues appreciate that about each other.

If I need a writer, who am I more likely to use? Someone who randomly emails me, or someone I “met” on Muck Rack and feel like I know, even just slightly, and has been verified by Muck Rack as a professional (yep, they do that).

Alternately, writers definitely don’t take every job they’re offered. But if we’re “friends” on Muck Ruck, chances are I’m going to seriously consider your offer, because I know you’re legit and maybe I like your profile.

Muck Rack has a decent presence on Twitter and Facebook, but proximity marketing is going to be a challenge, as so many of its users don’t have a brick-and-mortar business. My suggestion would be to send people within a certain distance of any media outlet notifications of a great article, story or blog that came to fruition because of Muck Rack.

Another potential moneymaker for Muck Rack would be to partner with blogging communities, such as the ones mentioned in this article by abcdblogging.com. It would be a great way to find new writers and to have bloggers provide some free publicity.

Twitter is a huge component of Muck Rack and the social media channel on which it seems to be most focused. It’s also no secret that journalists and bloggers love Twitter. It’s completely acceptable to post incessantly, and it’s where breaking news happens. Plus, everyone believes everything on Twitter. I mean, how many celebrity death hoaxes do we have to endure? But hey, that’s reality — the masses flock to Twitter to find out what’s going on in the world at that second.

Muck Ruck would be smart to partner with Twitter for cross-promotion, as well as offer added benefits for users, such as Twitter trainings or webinars.

Now, since you’re reading this, I obviously, well, wrote this; so I’m obviously, well, a writer. And you may be wondering, do I use Muck Rack? I do! I’m not quite ready for a Pro membership ($179 a month, really?!), but I do enjoy the site and it’s easy to navigate. However, two big recommendations — lower that monthly membership fee and create a mobile app. Come on, I need something new to peruse while I’m bored at the DMV.

Bonus Round! 

This post is all over, and you might be wondering what the heck “Crushed” had to do with anything. Or maybe this post is so long you forgot it was in the title. Either way, please indulge me while I give you the briefest of brief explanations of Crushed, a niche social media platform for (drum roll please) … wine enthusiasts!

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Crushed is an iPhone-only app where wine lovers can create a profile, and then share photos of and comment on wines they love, hate, discovered, can’t find anywhere — it’s all wine, all the time.

Of course I’m a member (was there any doubt?), as it combines two things I absolutely love — wine and taking photos. The bulk of the app is users sharing photos of wine and giving their thoughts, and then other users can comment on the photo or give a “Cheers!,” as well share the picture on Facebook or Twitter. If they aren’t already, I recommend a Crushed blog and Instagram partnership should be in the works. After all, the main component of the app is photos of wine bottles.

Wine isn’t my profession, but it’s definitely one of my passions. A little-known tidbit about me is that I’m considered becoming a sommelier. So who knows, maybe one day Crushed will be another of my niche industry social media platforms. A girl can dream.

They Do Them All (social media, that is)

J. Crew  

J. Crew is a fabulous (in my humble opinion) American apparel company that sells everything from clothes to shoes to accessories to phone cases to wedding dresses and more. It utilizes multiple forms of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.

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When it comes to IMC and consistency, J. Crew is right on the money. The branding and imagery is the same throughout all its social media platforms, oozing class, style and quality. After a visit to J. Crew’s Facebook page, be ready to find the nearest yacht and set sail to Tuscany.

The content on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ is all fairly similar, with maybe a unique post on one of the platforms occasionally. Instagram and YouTube have completely unique content that doesn’t usually correlate with the other sites.

The redheaded stepchild of the group is YouTube, which isn’t quite feeling the constant-update love. The last time a video was posted was two months ago. By comparison, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are updated daily, often more than once a day. Not coincidentally, Twitter, the social media it’s most acceptable to post excessively on, receives the most action, with plenty of Tweets per day, including Twitter-only content and contests.

Rather than acting as Internet BFFs, all of the social media channels seem to only be out for themselves, and really do nothing to direct readers to each other. All of the links direct users to J. Crew’s primary website, which then of course has links to all of the retailer’s social media platforms.

One thing all of the channels love is a good hashtag. But really, who doesn’t?! As long as you follow hashtag etiquette — keep them short and sweet, and no more than two or three, I beg you — there is nothing wrong and everything right with hashtags. J. Crew utilizes them well, with different hashtags featured on each platform. For example, Facebook and Google+ use them sporadically, usually to describe a photo, but not really anything consistent. Twitter and Instagram use them more frequently and consistently to advertise a particular item — #accessoryfix, #jcrewwedding, #weartowork. Again, the slightly neglected YouTube has no hashtags to speak of. Poor YouTube.

BMW

“The ultimate driving machine.” And its social media isn’t too shabby either. Luxury car company BMW utilizes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube (and Tumblr!), and does a wonderful job of giving each it’s own content and personality. The slight exception to this is Facebook and Google+, which have approximately 99.8% of the same content. So for the sake of saving space, let’s call them … GoogBook.

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BMW is consistent and utilizes IMC among its social media platforms. Not surprisingly, all of the posts feature a beautiful car front and center; however, beyond that, BMW is able to use similar-feeling backgrounds, focus, aperture, washes, etc., to make each photo feel uniquely BMW. Every post exudes luxury, high class and high performance. The car is always the star, but the other aspects of the photo never disappoint.

GoogBook and Twitter are great about directing users to YouTube, which is undeniably the best form of advertising for BMW. While the photos are beautiful, it’s video that really gives you a true appreciation for how luxurious, fast and high-end the vehicles truly are.

Instagram is kind of its hanging out on its own and doesn’t really direct anyone anywhere. However, it gets a lot of love from BMW, with more posts per week than GoogBook and YouTube. Instagram is a very close second to Twitter in regards to number of posts, although neither are utilized every day. BMW is more of a 3-5 posts a week kind of company — across all platforms — with GoogBook and YouTube being on the lower end of the scale.

BMW comes in first place for its hashtag use across every single one of its social media platforms, including the often-neglected YouTube. It consistently hashtags #BMW everywhere it can, and holds weekly promotions such as #MMonday and #FanFriday. #BMWStories featuring real BMW owners is another big one, and even has its own category on BMW’s YouTube channel. Also, just in case a user only cares about one particular model, those are hashtagged, as well — #X5, #M1, #435i, etc. The hashtags are content and consistent, and one of my favorite aspects of BMW’s social media strategy.

BMW, the ultimate driving hashtagging machine.

TOMS

Not only are TOMS incredibly comfortable shoes, but for every pair purchased a new pair of shoes is given to a child in need — for life. TOMS recently branched into eyewear, coffee and bags, the purchase of all result in TOMS’ trademark “One For One.” TOMS’ social media presence includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest (sorry, YouTube!).

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TOMS earns major kudos for unique content on each social media site — each one has its own unique content, as if one employee is dedicated to each platform. Even Facebook and Google+ are completely different, which I’ve come to find is very unique.

However, it’s important to note that while the content is unique on each site, it’s also incredibly consistent. Every status update, Tweet, photo and video make you feel happy, relaxed and ready for a beach vacation. TOMS definitely has a style, and every single post reflects that consistently.

TOMS is also consistent with its posting. Twitter is updated extremely frequently, with as many as 10-15 posts per day. Facebook is daily; Instagram is 3-5 times a day; Google+ is twice per day; and Pinterest is daily, with almost 7,000 pins total. TOMS is one social media-lovin’ company.

Just like J. Crew, TOMS’ social media channels seem to act independently, each living in its own little world, without directing users anywhere except TOMS’ main website. Maybe it’s a retail thing?

Keeping with the similarities, TOMS seems to pick and choose where to use the all-mighty hashtag. Nearly every Tweet and Instagram photo includes a hashtag, but the rest of the platforms are left out. Instead of one-hot wonders, TOMS focuses on the more consistent brand-related hashtags, such as #TOMSmarketplace, #TOMSRoastingCo and #OneForOne.

Just like TOMS’ products make you feel good, so does its social media. I dare you to take a quick peek at any site and not smile. Happy shoppers, happy babies, happy children, happy moms — all thanks to one man’s vision for giving back. Bravo, Blake Mycoskie, and here’s to keeping the #TOMSmovement alive and evolving for generations to come.

P.S. — Fun fact! All three companies very heavily utilize bit.ly, the extremely useful URL-shortener. If you haven’t tried it, you absolutely should! In addition to shrinking long URLs, it lets you track clicks and better understand your audience. Extremely useful, right?!

Help Me, Help You

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“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Now there was a smart man. It’s true. The key to a successful event is all in the planning. And that’s where I come in!

Hi, my name is Diana, and in addition to my tremendous passion for social media and grammar, I work for a phenomenal corporate event planning company. There are no words to describe how much I love my job. … OK, well actually there are, and I’m going to do my best here, because after all, I do love the written word!

Why Hire An Event Planner?

That’s easy. Do you want to relax and enjoy your event? You bet you do! And that is why you hire an event planner — so that someone else is taking on the stress and hard work, and you have the rightfully great time you deserve. Long before your guests are sipping champagne and munching on mini grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup shooters, I’m working tirelessly to ensure your event is seamless and goes off without a hitch. Oh, and of course I’m making sure it’s the most stellar event your guests have ever attended. You relax; let me worry.

From venue and menu selection to décor and entertainment, I do the hours upon hours of legwork so you can relax and make the fun decisions. I present you the best options within your budget — negotiated to ridiculously low prices because we have fabulous relationships with our vendors — and you pick what you like. Our team shows up bright and early for setup and stays until long after the gourmet candy bar has been raided to ensure everything is executed to perfection. This leaves you free to mix, mingle and enjoy the event.

Keys To Success

The key to great event planning is to not only to be the levelheaded problem-solver during an emergency, but also to anticipate every “what if” and prevent the emergency from ever happening. Is your keynote speaker a coffee addict who can’t function without caffeine? Equip her green room with a Keurig and have another one on standby in case the first one dies from exhaustion. Have a Starbucks Doubleshot conveniently waiting for her onstage next to her water.

Is the forecast 82 degrees and sunny, without a cloud in the sky? Yep, I have 136 ponchos and umbrellas ready and waiting because, let’s face it, sometimes meteorologists are more like professional guessers and flat out wrong.

A skilled event planner will also keep you from making decisions that could wreak havoc on your event. Such as, falling into a pool on your wedding day:

We’re experts in the industry so you don’t have to be. We know what works at what venues, what lighting will be most flattering, what ballroom layout will be most conducive, and what size meeting space you need for three simultaneous breakouts with 80 people each and A/V needs. Don’t stress about guessing, wishing or hoping something will work out or look right. Trust us; this is what we do.

No One-Trick Pony Here

Thanks to my writing, editing and design background, I’m also able to offer logo design, custom invitations, signage, email campaigns — all the fun graphic stuff people love to have customized for their event, but maybe aren’t 100% sure how to do themselves. Sure, that PhotoShop tutorial makes it look easy, but Adobe products can be tricky, and no one wants to be featured on PhotoShop disasters.

 

Don’t Just Take It From Me

I’m so incredibly fortunate to work for a company that has phenomenal clients in every industry — cosmetics, medical, government, technology, retail, financial, insurance and so many more. We have great relationships with our clients, which is proven by the fact they continue to use us event after event, year after year. But please, don’t take it from me. I would be happy to send you testimonials from any client from any industry. In case you can’t tell, I’m a bit of a people pleaser.

Event planning is more than my job; it’s a passion. Combined with my other passions — social media, writing and designing — I’ve found a fun niche profession that makes me incredibly happy every day. I’m one lucky event-planning, blogging gal.

“A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.” — Confucius

Don’t find trouble; find a planner. Don’t find just any planner; find me!

Diana

P.S. Want some more insight into my event-planning world? Here’s a little peek at Diana, The Brand.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Blogging

I love blogs. I love writing them; I love reading them; I love finding new ones and researching the people behind them, oftentimes bordering on what some may call “social media stalking.” But isn’t that the point of blogging? To let people get to know you and to interact with people who consider you an expert in whatever it is your blogging about.

When asked to analyze some of my favorite blogs, immediately I thought of Lauren Conrad and The Beauty Department: Your Daily Dose of Pretty. I think these two especially caught my eye partially because of my love of all things television and partially because I love style, but I’m not all that great at doing it on my own, so I love the help. Third on the list is Six Sisters’ Stuff, which I found after Googling for a crock pot recipe. It’s written by six sisters, which I found so intriguing, so I’ve been following it ever since.

All three of these blogs are semiprofessional, and two are group blogs. Lauren Conrad is written by, well, Lauren Conrad, who first found fame on the TV shows Laguna Beach and The Hills. Her blog borders on being professional; however, it’s not her full-time job or main source of revenue. The Beauty Department is co-written by two women, and Six Sisters’ Stuff is written by, well, six sisters.

Lauren Conrad’s blog promotes her clothing line at Kohl’s, as well as other fashion-related products and companies, her book club, and Paper Crown clothing line. She often has product giveaways, as well as recipes and tutorials for healthy living and weight loss. It’s about looking and feeling your best. Lauren is a full-time fashion designer, and that branding is all over her blog. It’s unique because she shares about her personal and professional life, and because she is a bit of celebrity, people want to know about both. People follow her on social media because they know her from TV, which turn into traffic to her blog. From there you can opt-in to her email newsletter, which of course I did immediately.

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The majority of her traffic comes from social media. She heavily promotes her blog on her Facebook account. Her blog does have advertisers, which she showcases as her sponsors.

Like almost everything else she’s tackled, LC’s blog is successful. She posts regularly, sometimes with multiple posts in one day, and she also features guest bloggers. In addition to Twitter, she has links to her other five social media accounts, an easy-to-find subscribe feature, links to Share on social media at the end of every blog, and her content is always new and relevant. Registered users can also comment on her blog posts.

The Beauty Department is also successful, but not to the degree Lauren Conrad is. All of the posts focus on hair, nails and makeup. The two authors, Amy and Kristin, each have their own areas of expertise. The branding is consistent throughout, and very distinct. There are links to their Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube, all of which drive traffic to the blog. The vast majority of their traffic is garnered through social media, which is how I first discovered this awesome website.

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What makes this blog unique is its very streamlined focus on hair, nails and makeup. Nothing else is ever written about, and I love that. If I want a hair tutorial, I know where to go, and the site isn’t cluttered up with other topics. The site is clean and simple, with lots of photo tutorials — definitely fun and easy to navigate.

The women post very frequently, and always new content; and their posts all have social media Share links. The one area they could improve on is guest bloggers — I struggle to think of a time where I’ve ever seen them use a guest blogger.

There are no obvious advertisers, but the writers do highlight and link to products, which sometimes makes me wonder if those companies are compensating the writers. If they wanted to enter the world of traditional advertising, they could. There’s definitely potential for any hair-, makeup- or nails-related business to advertise.

Finally, Six Sisters’ Stuff is just fun. The women live throughout the U.S., and their blog is their way to stay connected. The site is mostly recipes, but they also feature DIY home projects and beauty tutorials. All six women make money from the blog, although it’s not a full-time job for any of them. Their uniqueness comes from the mere fact they’re six sisters — no brothers at all — and they’re all sweet and adorable and good at cooking. Tell me that isn’t fun!

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The majority of traffic comes from Internet searches, although they do have a social media presence. Including the staples — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. But SEO is their bread and butter, with their plethora of new content helping them out with that.

Based on this week’s lecture, you would definitely classify Six Sisters’ Stuff as successful. They post daily, sometimes twice a day; they’re on social media and easily shareable; they create original content; and there’s definitely longevity to their blog. People always need to cook!

The sisters have plenty of advertisers. However, this is the one downside of the site. While the branding is adorable throughout, the ads are a bit overwhelming at times. It would benefit them to design the ads to fit more cohesively into the blog, or maybe limit the amount of advertisers per page.

All three of these blogs are fun and girly, and in some ways guilty pleasures. Who doesn’t love reading about flirty yet edgy style trends, fun braided hairstyles and 14 Heart Healthy Desserts for Valentine’s Day?! Sign me up! … OK, so I’m already technically signed up for all three, but you know what I mean. Check out all three and I promise they won’t disappoint. Happy reading! And have fun with those braids, braids and more braids. 🙂