Ad-Ventures with Instagram Video


I’m pretty sure you’ve heard by now that Instagram now supports video clips…if not, well, they do, update your app. Of course when the news broke I was at work – but, plus side of working in social media at a super fun company? You immediately spend an hour making silly videos and then writing a blog post about it…

Just a few weeks ago Vine announced their move to Android and witnessed the sharing of its videos on Twitter surpass shares of tweets linking to Instagram (2.86 million vs. 2.17 million)…Read more over at Red Door Interactive.

IG video

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Ice Cream Party!


A few weeks ago, Nicole wrote about the fantastic social media and on-the-ground efforts of American Airlines when she left her wallet on a plane. I thought I would follow her awesome social media effort post with one of my own.

On April 16th a coworker told some of my team about the Ben & Jerry’s truck that was roaming around San Diego delivering free ice cream until the end of April. Obviously, getting this truck to stop by our office became my live’s priority at the time and I started Tweeting my pleas.

Begging for free ice cream on TwitterFriend Sarah also heard of the awesome ice cream giveaway and we teamed up to get the truck to Downtown San Diego, figuring it could hit both our offices in one day. You can image my intense excitement when only 3 days after my first tweet  (ok, I admit I posted a few more tweets & retweets in that period) I received this message:

I'm getting free ice cream!At this point I’m thinking free ice cream from a fun mini delivery truck is a 100% sure thing. Sadly, April came and went with no little blue truck pulling up to our office. Sarah, unfortunately, also missed out on the frozen, creamy goodness and let me know on Twitter.Complaining on Social MediaYes, yes, my last Tweet there may have been a little over the top but…it got the job done. Within minutes I had a DM waiting for me asking for my company’s address and how many people we had in our office.

Ben & Jerry's RocksA few days after that and Sarah and I both had 10 – oh yes, 10 coupons for free pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Do you know what that lead to? AN ICE CREAM PARTY! I went and redeemed every one of those coupons for a variety of flavors, including some of their delish frozen greek yogurt flavors, and had a little party in the office. It may not have been as fun as delivery truck pulling up (and definitely more messy) but in the end Ben & Jerry’s made me a super happy-camper.

Yummy Ben & Jerry's

And, FYI, if you’re in the Los Angeles area @BenJerrysWest will be serving your area through the end of May – get Tweeting!

What to Post: Social Media During a Crisis


No matter where you were last week you felt the effects of the tragedies in Boston and West. You didn’t have to have someone you knew running in marathon or living in Texas, once you heard the news life seemed to stop. But, fortunately, and unfortunately, the Internet and social media don’t stop.
There were some fantastic online and social media efforts on the part of the Boston Police Department (@Boston_Police) who kept the public up to date with correct information and by dispelling any rumors and hearsay about the investigation, and Google who announced their Person Finder to help those in distress find their loved ones. And, of course there were also those social faux pas, mostly caused by scheduled posts that weren’t turned off (like Kim Kardashian’s).
Kim Kardashian Tweet
So, what should you do and keep in mind while posting on social media during a crisis? We’ve compiled a few best practices:
  • Stay current and knowledgeable on all current events (which should not only be during a crisis, but at all times while working in social).
  • STOP all scheduled posts IMMEDIATELY. No one wants to hear your brand’s message at this time and online viewers will be ultra sensitive (rightly so) to any posts that are out of place or are even relatively “pitchy.”
  • Offer to help. But only if you actually have the ability to offer valuable assistance that could truly and positively affect someone. Heck, a simple Google Drive Doc gave hope to many people in Boston.
  • Offer condolences. But don’t feel the need to have to post. You want your voice to remain authentic and real, don’t just become one of the crowd due to obligation. Your readers should know your brand’s tone and know it came from the heart.
  • Go dark. There’s nothing wrong with saying nothing if you have nothing to say – sometimes tragedy is too much and there’s nothing you can do to address it.

Social Media Today Tweet

I Can’t Keep Calm…


I GOT A JOB

Yup, you read that right! I landed myself a job!

If you’ve followed Masters of What? for any time at all, you’ve learned that ever since snatching up that MBA I’ve been furiously searching for my “Big Girl Job” (you can read more about my pursuit in some past posts). But today I’m here to reveal that starting Monday I’ll be a full-fledged team member at Red Door Interactive.

Doing what, you ask? Well, I will be the newest member of their Cross Channel Marketing team as a Social Media Coordinator working with some great clients and helping on some exciting social campaigns (you can check out some of RDI’s clients and past campaigns on their site).

So, enough about me. Let’s turn this back to a new-pro, business learning situation. How did I land such a sweet job with a killer company? Internships. That’s right folks, all those internships you’re looking at PAY OFF!

If you’ve done your appropriate online-stalking of my LinkedIn profile you know that I spent the Summer of 2011 as an intern at Red Door. Well, as of January 2013, I was back as an intern (albeit in a slightly different role as social media intern). So, make sure you’re always keeping your eye out for available opportunities and staying in contact with past connections – that’s how I even found out RDI needed someone in their social department (thanks, Anne!).

Want to start your career at RDI? They’re looking to fill a few positions. If you know a stellar Senior Paid Search Specialist or a Senior Interactive Copywriter, be sure to send them the lead.

I Have a Valentine!


I got a Valentine! Did you? Ok – it wasn’t from some hot stud muffin but instead, my tried-and-true bestie, Nicole! And to sweeten the offer she sent it via social media – look how she makes my heart melt 😉

If you didn’t know yet, you can send REAL gifts via Facebook. None of this virtual or poking nonsense but real-life goodies!

Facebook Gift 1

So, one day I was happy to see a little notification on my Facebook (I always get excited when I get a notification because it means I have received virtual attention – which is what Gen Y thrives off of). When I clicked on it I was lead through the process of redeeming my gift!

One aspect that was interesting was that you could make tiny changes to the present. Nicole picked these milk chocolate salted caramels for me, but since she obviously doesn’t know me well (and all of the health benefits from dark choco) I switched it up and got the dark chocolate.

facebook-gift-swap

Although she spaced on my love of dark chocolate she knew me well enough to know I wouldn’t turn down candy. Not sure if your recipient will love your gift? No worries, I was given the option to TOTALLY swap out my gift! I’m not sure if the sender would be notified if you do swap out your gift (Nicole assures me she did not get the notification that I changed my chocolate choice).

Has your Valentine sent you a gift? What’d ya get? Do you think you will be sending any gifts on Facebook? I ventured and sent Nicole a gift. I settled on a gift card after passing up the $50 bottles of wine you could ship!

Getting to know the RDI Team through Graph Search


As you may or may not know, Blake spends part of her time working at Red Door Interactive. This past week she wrote this fun post for their company blog about Facebook Graph Search. Check it out:

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As you’ve probably heard, unless you’re living under a rock with no wi-fi, Facebook recently launched its Graph Search. Our own Social Media Strategist, Anne Buehner, even wrote up a piece a few days ago outlining the “Next Steps” for brands (you can read the post here).

So now that the business-side has been taken care of and we all have a plan to either update our privacy settings or enhance the visibility of our brands, the fun can begin. Read more…

The Hiring Scale…


So, numero UNO on a lot of New Year’s resolutions lists is: FIND A NEW JOB! Right? It’s not that we don’t all like the jobs we’re at, but everyone wants “big-girl-jobs.” No, a “big-girl-job” has nothing to do with the teeeeny bit of blubber we added over the holiday season, instead a “big-girl-job” is one that has CAREER potential. Somewhere that we love working at and in return they give us health bennies (I mean as of last week, Nicole and I are BOTH in the 25-club, which means 1 more year – or less – until we’re flying solo with healthcare).

Anyway, after that long segue, right around Jan. 1st, I saw a Tweet touting the “Hiring Scale” by WANTEDAnalytics. As it was a slow night Internet-stalking people, I decided to give it a go. The tool immediately calls itself “the fastest way to fill or find a job.” Yes, I am sure there is some puffery afloat, but obviously I’m now expecting results and I will be CMO somewhere quite soon. If you’re expecting some rigorous application process, never fear, you’re only a measly seven steps away from the perfect career.

Hiring Scale

Step 1: Fill in your Keyword (MARKETING for me) and your ideal location (SAN DIEGO)

Step 2: The Hiring Scale will tell you if you should expect your job search to be harder or easier than the national average (suck it, I’m on the easy-street to CMO – told ya!)Hiring Scale 2

Step 3: Find out your competition and opportunities

Step 4: Review your options (basically all those jobs you’ve seen out there already)Hiring Scale 3

Step 5: See your proposed salary expectations vs. the National average (so, I shouldn’t be expecting anything less than $63,000 – HA)

Step 6: See all the companies that have just hired somebody for the position you’re looking for. Awesome, Qualcomm just hired someone – why are you rubbing it in my face?Hiring Scale 4

Step 7: Go to all those places you were already looking for jobs an apply to something

Yup. This is what happens when you’re desperate to get ahead and LOVE online surveys….you get nada…nada damn thing. I’ll end this post with a hearty, GOOD LUCK to all you job searchers out there and please share any job seeking pitfalls that you have run into!

Our New Year’s Resolutions


It’s that time of year again! Time to make resolutions for the new year that we’ll forget in two months. But this time it’s different for us, this time we’re putting our resolutions out on the internet (with a million other people) in the hopes that we’ll actually keep them, or inspire someone else. Oh, yes, this is breaking one of our “Social Media Pet Peeves” (see the blog here), but screw it, we’re allowed to break our own rules!

Ok, so here goes:

  1. Eat Healthy, Work Out, Feel Better About Ourselves Obviously we’re jumping on the New Year’s bandwagon for this one, but it’s a good goal. We’re aiming to tie on those running shoes more often, start thinking about what we eat, and get bikini-ready. I mean we live in San Diego, we pretty much need to be bikini-ready all year long. A few apps that will spur our momentum for this goal are: MapMyRun, Nike Training, MyFitnessPal, Pandora, and Songza.
  2. Join Relevant Clubs – There MAY have been some monetary gifts given this Christmas (the “curse” of being our age – too young to not get gifts but too old to think of something original). What better way to spend our new found cash stash than join a few clubs in our area. This is an opportunity to stay engaged with people in our professions as well as receive some discounts on networking events!
  3. Attend Networking Events Once a Month – So, now that we’re joining these clubs and receiving discounts on events, we better be going! Whether they’re free or fee-based we’ve historically had great times at these events and want to make sure we keep attending (even if we’d rather be chillin’ in our PJs)!
  4. Read Books That Will Help Us Grow as Young Professionals – After finishing grad school it’s really difficult to want to read another book about market research or engagement tactics, but we need to stay fresh! School gave us the insight to see the “ideal” way to act in our professions. It may not always be that way but it’s good to remember the basics, and be given some new insights on a regular basis. Our goal is to read one professionally focused book between pleasure reading. A girl can only get so much insight from Cosmo or the latest trendy read.
  5. Become More Engaged With Co-Workers – We both have some great professional  changes coming in the new year. Our goal is to be more engaged in our new work environments than we may have been previously. We’ve seen the power of “knowing someone” and our goal is to get to know the people around us and learn anything they have to teach us.
  6. Plan Upcoming Blogs Further in Advance – We have become very bad at this. In our first months we had blogs lined up for multiple posts. Being able to write with no pressure and having ideas and written blogs on hand made posting easy. Our resolution is to have at leas 2 pre-written blogs on hand in case there was no inspiration in any given week.

Well, those are our goals. In the coming months, we’ll see how successful we are at them. What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Have you been successful at keeping them in the past?

DIY Christmas


We’re poor. Like the “just starting out, eating Ramen noodles” kind of poor. We really wanted to get in the Christmas spirit this holiday season without spending too much money. In our ideal world we would’ve hit up the Apple store and bought 50 iPad Minis for all our besties, or possibly even some Swarovski-bling. However, that is most definitely not the situation we are in. So, in order to cover all the holiday giving for our super awesome group of gals, Nicole and I decided to throw a holiday party – DIY gifts included.

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We had fist practiced our DIY holiday gift with painted mugs†. Each of us had 6 mugs we dotted, and swooshed, and painted in all kinds of fun ways. Then the question of WHAT TO FILL THE MUGS WITH arose. After perusing Pinterest for a bit we landed on the idea of Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix†. Coupled with a shot of Kahlua from BevMo and a cute ribbon these gifts were done!

Source: penniesonaplatter.com via Blake on Pinterest

Now back to the party planning details! We wanted to have everyone leave our party with a favor and we decided that painting 2o Dollar Tree wine glasses was the PERFECT idea! 5.5 hours later*, we decided we may have taken on more than we could handle. However, the glasses came out adorable and once we came to the conclusion that the beauty of hand painted glasses are the small imperfections on each one, we loved them. When party night rolled around, I wanted to make sure we were really in the Christmas spirit (and we had something for our guests to drink out of their new glasses), so I decided to make mulled wine! I found Ina Garten’s recipe (pinned below) but we modified it a bit†.

Source: foodnetwork.com via Blake on Pinterest 

All-in-all our DIY Xmas turned out fantastic. We had cute gifts to give everyone and even received a few during the white elephant exchange!

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† Recipes and the modifications we used:

PAINTED MUGS/WINE GLASSES

A big thanks to Little Miss MBA for the inspiration on this one.

Our 20 hand painted beauties.

Our 20 hand painted beauties.

  • Glass Mugs/Wine Glasses
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Q-Tips
  • Wine (Optional)

Take the mugs/glasses and clean them with the rubbing alcohol (this gets stinky!). Now set all your inhibitions aside and paint those suckers. We decided our fav pattern for the season was red, green, and white dots made with the Q-Tips. Drink wine as needed to get you through this process. Remember, they’re not all going to come out perfectly, that’s the beauty of DIY Christmas!

SALTED CARAMEL HOT CHOCOLATE MIX

  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract – No modification here but this is still the most vanilla extract I’ve used in one recipe.
  • 1 1/2 cups good quality Dutch cocoa powder – We ended up using an entire Hershey Cocoa box plus a little extra. Yea, yea, it’s not “Dutch” but we figure if you don’t like Hershey you’re not deserving of our delish mix.
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons fleur de sel or good sea salt (My preference is 1-tbsp) We had no clue how to find this, so we used store-brand (plus, we’re on a budget here!). ONLY USE 1-TSP!!!! PLEASE! Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
  • 1 cup dry milk powder – WHERE THE HECK can you find dry milk powder that does not come in 1,000,000 lb packs? We ended up using powdered coffee creamer – at $2.24 it was a much better deal
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar – And the Dollar Tree comes through again! We used almost double this amount 😉
  • 10 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips – We splurged on the chips. Ghirardelli all the way.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Heat the 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar in a large heavy pan, over medium heat, without stirring. When the sugar begins to melt, take the handle of the pan and swirl it to melt without burning. The sugar might seem to crystallize, but it will eventually melt to a deep amber color. (Can take 10-15 minutes, so be patient.) This took WAY longer for us – be prepared.

Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the vanilla. Whisk the caramel until smooth again, then immediately pour it onto the lined baking sheet. Allow it to spread without touching it. Set aside and let the caramel harden, at least 1 hour.

When ready to make the mix, use the back of a large spoon to tap the caramel several times into small broken pieces that can fit into the feeding tube of a large food processor. Turn the processor on, and while running, feed the caramel pieces into the tube so the processor pulverizes the caramel into a fine powder. Continue to add the pieces, a few at a time, until it is completely powder (a cloud of caramel dust will float out of the tube). Turn the processor off and follow the next steps to complete the mix. As usual I didn’t read the recipe fully when we started to make this…I don’t have a food processor. This was an excruciatingly long process with my immersion blender and various attachments.

Add the rest of the ingredients, except the chocolate, into the food processor with the caramel powder. Replace the lid and process until smooth. Add the chocolate to the bowl and process again until the mixture is a fine powder.

Store in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place for up to one month. To serve, stir 3 tablespoons mix into 1 cup hot milk.

MULLED WINE

Ingredients (we doubled the recipe)

  • 4 cups apple cider – We used 6 cups instead of 8, anymore and we thought it tasted too apple-y. Go figure.
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon – We used 2 bottles of a Cab (more wine – happier party attendees!).
  • 1/4 cup honey – We only used 1/4 cup for the doubled recipe, I don’t like things too sweet.
  • 2 cinnamon sticks – I LOVE spices, I threw in 5.
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced – We stayed in line and used 2 for the doubled recipe I now want a fancy zester to add garnishes.
  • 4 whole cloves – Trader Joe’s did not have cloves so we didn’t use any out of pure laziness on my part of not wanting to hit-up another store.
  • 3 star anise – EWWW I hate the licorice flavor, I left these out too.
  • 4 oranges, peeled, for garnish – I just used the 2 oranges I had to squeeze – again, I need a fancy tool to make ganish.

Directions

Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve. <– Forget that. Throw it in a crock pot and forget about it!

*I may have deluded you all a bit here in order to make the story better. The 5.5 hours included painting all of the 20 wine glasses, making the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix and packaging said mix.

Social Media Self-Assessment


As I typically do on any given night, a few evenings ago I was virtually stalking connecting with people via Facebook. One of my friends posted a link to a site called Zeebly that scans ALL of your activity and “analyzes your life on Facebook.” Obviously, I immediately HAD to see my stats and went to the site and ran the Social Me application.

I was extremely excited as I watched my data be crunched and all of my old Facebook posts scanned across the screen. Of course I sent my results to Nicole and within minutes she had sent me hers. So now let’s compare our results:

Blake:

Personality Traits:

  • Ambitious & extroverted

Interests:

  • Education, beverages, social media, the internet, marketing, travel, food

Fun Facts:

  • I use more words per sentence than 95% of people
  • I am more spatial than 88% of people

{Click on the images to see our full results & run your Social Me}.

Blake's Zeebly

Nicole:

Personality Traits:

  • Ambitious & optimistic

Interests:

  • Fashion, travel, community, shopping, education, research, movies

Fun Facts:

  • Nicole uses more words per sentence than 93% of people
  • Nicole uses less punctuation in her writing than 86% of people
  • Nicole is more optimistic than 87% of people

{Click on the images to see our full results & run your Social Me}.

Screen shot 2012-12-06 at 7.47.07 AM

So,

20121206-111809.jpg

This is what happens when you give a Beagle French-bread. She won’t leave.

Now we’re confused. Nicole is on her way to get a Ph.D. in Public Relations, an area incredibly focused on writing and language, but she uses less punctuation than 86% of people? Also, if she talked about these specified “interests” as much as this program says it would take up 102% of her posting content….I mean, I know I’ve seen a good amount of posts about food, but that’s not even mentioned! My “interests” also add up to 102% (suspicious) but I know I have divulged an exorbitant amount of information about my incredibly cute dog, Brooke (see picture!)

Being social media obsessed, Nicole and I, often use the “latest-and-greatest” in social media scores and we’re often left perplexed at the outcomes. I mean I’m currently listed on Klout as being Influential about Republicans and money – as a broke Democrat it makes me laugh. MUCH more accurate is Nicole being an Influencer about cookies and drugs…yup sounds about right.

Basically, we know these sites can’t predict our personalities or how incredibly awesome we are to follow and friend on social media, but it does teach us valuable lessons on how our sarcasm doesn’t come across online. I mean one Tweet about Girl Scouts being the drug-dealers of cookies or a sarcastic rant on how you would frivolously spend money if you had it, brands your identity on online ranking sites.

OMG, Really?!

Coming soon to Zeebly? A “Friend Matcher” tool which will show you “how compatible you are with your friends.” SOOOOOOO excited to see if Nicole and my 20+ year relationship will be verified by this online tool.