So you want to work in social media … Welcome to my inside scoop

I am a career chameleon.  I have worked many years in the rewarding field of education as a Psychologist, Sign Language Instructor and Interpreter,  Parent and Teacher Trainer and much more. I LOVE the milieu of education.  It is one of the most “warm fuzzy” careers you can have because you are able to make a difference in the lives of students on a daily basis.  Yet, it also can be stressful (very) and with the add on of responsibilities outside of the prevue of education being placed on teachers, many educators are leaving the field.  To some degree that was me – ten years ago.

Admittedly,  I was ready for something ELSE.  Something that wouldn’t result in burn -out.  As it so happened around that time I  developed sign language products to help novice learners, especially parents and First Responders.  I used social media to market these products and amazingly – they sold like hotcakes!   YES!  This was the catalyst that I needed to find my “second” career. And, due to  crazy twists and turns in my life,  I landed into the world of social media.

Fast forward, now I want to take this opportunity to share (and educate) others about what I have learned working in social media this past decade.  Consider this the “inside scoop”…

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Photo: Pexels.com

 

Point 1:  To  have a social media career is to know that social media as a career is not about making random fun posts but about constructing a well thought out strategic plan for 1-3-6 months – at a minimum. 

This is a profession that is not for the weak of heart or for someone who requires a lot of sleep.  The first step is to become educated.  What are the nuances of each of the most used and requested social media platforms?   My advice – learn about them and their algorithms and analytic programs.  Become an on-going student of media and marketing  as these are professions that change on such a rapid basis that it may make your head spin.  And lest not forget about the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations.

Sidenote:  If you are involved in social media for pay or product – this is a must read! Start by clicking here for FTC guidelines for brands and influencers. 

Take away: A career in social media is not about the “posts” but the strategy behind the posts. 

Point 2:  Posts should be meaningful and client/ product centered.   

When you work in social media, unless you are a key influencer and are making a living doing so, chances are you are working for a client representing a brand.  It is important to remember that you (or your agency)  have been contracted or employed by a brand to work on their behalf.  This means that your focus is on the client.  Every day you will be looking at their competitors, curating related content, creating eye-popping engaging posts, and analyzing the impact of your campaigns.  Unless you are instructed to be part of the campaign – your face (literally) needs to be out of the picture.

Take away: Focus on your client if you truly are a media strategist.

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logo of Mixi.jp

Point 3. There is social media in other countries. Know what is popular there. 

The mistake we often make in social media in the USA is thinking that the only social media platforms “worth” anything are the ones we use here in “Old Glory”.  Not true.  If your brand wants to connect with an international audience then you need to familiarize yourself with these (among others),  too: MIXI (Japan) and  Youku (China).

 

Point 4: Social Media is a profession.  Don’t dilute it by working for free

If you have read this far chances are you want to work in social media and that means  needing to getting PAID.  No one will take you seriously if you give away all your expertise.  This also doesn’t help grow social media as a profession.  Gratis work for an occasional friend or non-profit is considered “ok” – but be cautious.  And, you are worth more than just a few dollars for your knowledge.

 

Point 5: Get professional liability insurance. 

 

This is a profession where you most likely will be a freelancer. Suppose that you work for a client who feels your strategy “didn’t work” and wants to now take you to court for “breach of contract”.  I highly recommend having liability insurance and also a legal team to help you – “just in case”.  While there are many good insurance and legal service companies / individuals, I use  Legal Shield   for legal services and  HISCOX  for professional liability insurance coverage.

 

Point 5: Be CLEVER!  Use your own content or give credit where credit is due!

Almost every person has a cell phone.  It also is one of the most important “tools” a social media manager can own in their personal arsenal.  BE CLEVER! Use great apps and computer programs to architect  social media campaigns with animation, gifs,  video, images, graphs and much more that will be “eye popping” and keep your audience engaged!

Most importantly – give credit to where your content was curated.  If the photo is not your own – let people know that! If the quote you used was authored by someone else- make sure you acknowledge them.

Sidenote:  Favorite programs include RELAY,  CANVA, RIPL, LUMYER and TYPORAMA.  All are apps and RELAY  and CANVA  have desktop versions.

Q8 What havent we asked that you would like our twitter audience to know @Cadefoundation #CADEfoundation (camille provide link
Sample Twitter Chat post made using an adorable stock photo by Pixabay for the                       CADE FOUNDATION

Point 6: Have Fun!

It is no secret that my work in social media includes being a social media correspondent. The opportunities I have been afforded has allowed me to meet, greet, interview and often become friends with many who are in the entertainment, tech and media verticals.  People often think “all I do” is work as a social media correspondent.   It has been a “ton of fun” to create campaigns and events that are high profile or to attend them as a social media reporter/ correspondent.

Below is a sample of where you may have seen my “work” as either an attendee or correspondent.

The US FESTIVAL 1982:  I had the pleasure to work with ICON Television and Music to help build their social media presence and create an event for their official film premiere. This was an exciting event as the film’s story is about a two weekend musical event solely paid for by Steve Wozniak, one of the founders of APPLE.  (Check it out on Amazon and other online stores.)

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Photo by Louise Sattler during US FESTIVAL 1982 Premiere

 


 

SUPPORTING SOCIAL GOOD CAUSES with SOCIAL MEDIA

RACE TO ERASE MS GALA

Below you will see photographs I have snapped from the ORANGE CARPET at the 2016 annual gala for ERASE MS.  I simply love this organization and am proud to have donated my time to help them promote about resources for those with Multiple Sclerosis and the medical advancements made to help those who have been diagnosed with this disease and related disorders.

 


iPain Foundation Gala

The iPain Foundation helps those who have chronic disorders, such as Lupus or RA.

 


Nyle DiMarco Foundation for Sign Language Support for Parents and Deaf Children

 

This foundation is near and dear to my heart as helping families to learn how to communicate with their Deaf child with sign language (ASL)  has been one of my  life-long career goals.

 


Last thoughts…

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I love covering travel events – such as the LA TRAVEL and ADVENTURE SHOW

In closing… I hope that this article has enlightened those who wish to pursue a career in social media.  And remember that this career is not for everyone.

The educator in me wants to leave you with some last nuggets of information:

  1. Follow reliable online tech and media outlets (Mashable is one of my favorites)
  2. Join groups that help to educate without judgement on Facebook and especially, Linkedin.
  3. Remember with social media, like with almost everything else – is dependent on knowing your business by being educated.  In other words… education does matter!

Good luck! And remember life is too short – so do what you love.  I am lucky… I get to work in both EDUCATION and SOCIAL MEDIA!

~Louise

Retro Bill – Teaching character, safety and acceptance to school children and organizations

I first met Bill Russo, aka Retro Bill, at a movie premiere that spotlighted the impact family and school emotional abuse and bullying have on an entire town.  The movie, White Rabbit, seemed to truly resonate with Retro Bill on more than a professional level.  After reading and learning more about him, I realized that his background perhaps was similar to that of many, many people.  So, without further adieu I share you my interview with actor, spokesperson, speaker and now my friend, Retro Bill!

Q1:  Hi Bill – Been almost two years or so since we met via a mutual friend,  tell me are you native to California?
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Boy Scouts, a Tree Fort, Cornfield Mazes, Little League Games and then many trips to the BIG CITY – Chicago! 
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Q2:  How would you describe your experience as a student?  What were your challenges? What did you enjoy about learning or school?
  In some respects, school was GREAT! In other respects…TRAMATIC. I seemed to get bullied a lot:  “You’re TOO nice! You’re a WIMP!  You’re too skinny! You have buck teeth! You have pimples that look like Volcanoes.” I did my best to let the put downs roll off my back (“Like Water on a Duck” my Grandma said).  I always had a soft spot in my heart for the other Boys and Girls being bullied, and I would talk to them (Cheer ’em up) and or just let them know “You’re Special Just the Way You Are” (very Billy Joel) and “You’ve got a Friend in Me” (very Toy Story).

 

Watch clips of Retro Bill

WATCH RETRO BILL MEDIA CLIPS

 

Q3: You are gaining quite a reputation for bringing educationally sound programs against bullying to schools and other organizations. Tell us more!

 

I have had the HONOR of being the International D.A.R.E. Program’s “Safety & Self-Esteem Buddy” for 20 years.  This PRIVILEGE has given me the chance to work with Police Officers throughout North America.  I have delivered my Motivational Good Character based/Anti-Bullying/Healthy Life Choices Presentations to Elementary, Middle and High School Students in all 50 States, and throughout all of the Provinces of Canada. Which has put me currently in a position of being one of the most in-demand.  Motivational Speakers for Youth (K-12th Grade) in North America.  And, my friend Leeza Gibbons has Publicly declared on national television that she feels, “Retro Bill is primed to be the 21st Century’s Mr. Rogers!” An HONOR to be sure!

Q4: Where would you like to be with these programs in one year, 2, 5?
I have such a HUGE FAN BASE!  And I’ve been doing this so long, my FANS are ow at an age
where THEY’RE HAVING KIDS!  I am ready (and the demand is high) for more DVDS, 
a National Television Show (maybe as a Host dealing with issues Kids K-12th Grade are
dealing with…  Sort of a Dr. Drew for Kids!) I also see a SeriusXM Radio show in the
future that would play “Retro” (50’s, 60s, 70s and 80’s music) in between Interviews and
my providing Advice and Motivation.  It would be loads of fun to tie-in some of the music
with the advice… EXAMPLE: Let’s say I answer a call or email that asks, “Why does my
Mom ask SO MANY questions!?  Why won’t she let me go to a party that is unSupervised
by adults.  Does she not trust me!?”  My advice (pro-Mom of course) would then lead
to, “She LOVES You!” And, cue the Beatles “She Loves You!  Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”
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Q6:  How can we help?
Putting the word out!  Schedule RETRO BILL for assemblies at your schools!
Rural. Urban. Public. Private. Christian Schools. Catholic Schools. Jewish Synagogues
(for Children’s Studies), Charter Schools, Kindergarten through 12th Grade… I have 
Messages for ALL Ages!  And my Messages RESONATE and make a POSITIVE 
IMPACT! Additionally, I am primed and ready for a “Hollywood Agent” who can
help me capitalize on ALL that I’ve done and built! I have over 100 Letters of
Recommendation on my website from Teachers, Principals, Superintendents,
Government Dignitaries and News Agencies touting my appeal and connection
with my fan base. I’ve got two Award-Winning Children’s dvds already successfully
in the market place.  I have a media reel (viewable at my website) with Celebrities
and News Agencies across America singing “Retro Bill’s” praises! I just need
that “contact” that can put Retro Bill in mee
tings with Media Decision Makers!
I’ve spent 20 years of my Life doing the leg-work to build the Brand (including
over 37,000 Likes on Facebook). 
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Q7:  Must ask –  If you could design your “favorite kind of day” it would be….?
Waking up to sunshine.  Being able to get out of bed of my own ability.
A fresh cup of coffee. Tasty breakfast. Perfectly blown dry pompadour.
At least ONE Retro Bill Show in the day, connecting with Kids and hearing
from them that I “Made a Positive Difference!”  The day would end in casual
clothes, hair spray and gel washed out (ala, “hair down”), a walk on the beach
as the sun sets… A quiet dinner with friends. A quick soak in the jacuzzi
and fall asleep by a crackling fireplace while listening to easy listening
jazz and sufring the web via my laptop. AMEN.
Retro Bill and Louise at SPAGO Beverly Hills
Retro Bill and Louise
Q8:  Social media – Your favorite platform and why?
So far, one of my FAV Social Media platforms is Facebook (as I’ve got over 37,000
Likes and it’s kind of cool to be “Verified!”)  I didn’t even start my Facebook Fan Page
until a few years after Facebook had been on-line.  For a while I refused to have Facebook
or Twitter because I wanted my young Fans to know they didn’t need to be involved with
Social Media to be Cool or have their Own unique identity.  POPULAR and HIGH
DEMAND from my Fans (AND their Parents) finally inspired me to post a Twitter
and Facebook page. I also love Twitter (although I got my Twitter page up years
after Twitter had been around, and so, I’ve been behind the curve on Twitter as
far as Followers are concerned. Having said that, I LOVE TWITTER (as in a quick 
glance I can easily check what’s going on with the People, Places and Things I’m 
interested in…or FOLLOWING.  
Q9: What ELSE do you want yor audience to know?

It’s probably no surprise to many that (unfortunately) many States, Cities, Schools,
Law Enforcement Agencies, etc are hurting financially.  I mention this because
over the last year (in particular) I have daily received emails or calls from 
Law Enforcement Officers, Principals, PTA Presidents, Teachers, etc who say,
“RETRO BILL our Kids LOVE YOU!  YOU are their FAVORITE Speaker! UNfortunately
we don’t have ANY funds to bring you back this year to speak to our Kids.”
EVERY SINGLE call or email stating this breaks my heart : ( So, I would
ask your Audience to consider helping me find an Angel Investor, Corporate
Sponsors, and (as previously mentioned) Hollywood Representation to help
me keep “RETRO BILL out there making a Retro-riffic Positive Impact!”

Here is Retro Bill’s “About Me” – How clever is this introduction! To meet and greet this amazing edu-tainer in person and even better to bring him to your organization – click here! 

 

 is revolutionizing children’s edutainment  and motivational speaking for the restaurant  lodging  and airline  industries!  Retro Billhas put fun into safety, self-esteem and character counts education for  Kindergarten through 12th graders for the past 13 years, and he is also highly in-demand for his  customer service/hospitality presentations for working adults.  Retro Bill is on the road 300 days a year and is seen live by over 1 MILLION  American and  Canadian fans annually!

 

 

In closing, it would be my hope that Retro Bill gets to fulfill his dreams all while helping to keep your kids safe, organizations and  school educated and continue to sprinkle #SocialGood wherever he goes!

Thanks my friend!

 

Kindness, Social Good and Sweetness found in these Valentine’s Day Cards (Review)

I don’t often review holiday specific products on this blog.  However, there was something intriguing about Peaceable Kingdom’s  Valentine’s Day card collections that piqued my interest.

First, they are A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E!  Not only do they have some weight and substance to them (unlike the store bought ones I use to give my kids to hand out in school), but they come with messages that are thoughtful, yet not too “sappy”.

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The “foodie” in me loved the Scratch and Sniff Valentines (Chocolate scented – a bonus!).  They are large enough to go through the US mail without being lost, but small enough to not be overwhelming in a backpack. The box that I received had the standard classroom quantity-  28 cards and 28 envelopes (kinda wish they would add one extra envelope for boo-boos).

The second pack I received was the more interactive Lollipop Valentine’s with “Moustaches and Lips”. These are a hoot! Imagine dress-up for Halloween blended with the sweetness of Valentine’s Day! Again, 28 was the quantity.

 

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Not just for kids!

Here is an “out of the box” idea for the grown-ups who read this blog. These Valentine’s are not just for kids! Imagine how fun it would be to put some out in your office lounge or at your organization’s meeting? Not only are they a fun discussion starter, but they also show that your place of business or group has a sense of humor sprinkled with compassion.

 

About Peaceable Kingdom 

Before I tell you how to get these delicious cards – let me delve more in to the company itself.  Peaceable Kingdom is “my kind of company”. They are dedicated to #SocialGood. In fact on their “about page” they go in to length about their commitment to being ecologically friendly as a “green company.” 

Peaceable Kingdom’s company mission or “promise” says it all…

The future, as they say, is in our hands. We consider this every day in everything we do so that our children and their future may be as healthy, as peaceable, as our kingdom today.

Also, they don’t just create speciality cards as they are big in to the board game business. Their website also helps promote game inventors, creative kids and much more. People in the San Francisco Bay area who are interested in being a  GAME TESTER can learn more via their website. 

Where to buy?

Direct purchase can be made here via the Peaceable Kingdom website.

On Amazon you can get the Scented Valentine’s for a very reasonable $5.99 (and if you have Amazon Prime that is even better!)  Click here for the direct link.

For the Moustaches and Lips box click here. They are priced at $12.99 but are both a lollipop and clever designs.

Follow on Twitter Peaceable Kingdom and Facebook. 

Have fun!

Which blog posts were the most popular and favorite of 2015?

Today a question by a blogger was posed on WORDPRESS“What was your favorite post that you wrote in 2015?”  That is a tricky question.  The posts I enjoyed writing or felt had the most “impact” were within the “social good or philanthropy”.  But, interestingly the post that had the most direct readership (from WordPress directly vs. a “third party”) was a fashion blog – a topic I rarely discuss.

So – which blogs made the list with readers and which were my favorites here on Where Learning Meets Laughter? 

WORDPRESS READERS FAVORITES:

Most popular:  A Perfect Fit Every Time – Meet Fitlogic! #Giveaway

Lesson learned here:  a giveaway helps a blog to be read

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Close “runner- ups”: 

Multiethnic Arms Raised Holding ADHD

A Letter to Teachers with Students who have ADD/ ADHD also was very well received.  (and similar blogs about learning disabilities were nearly as popular.) I also must admit these blogs were on my “favorite” list, too!

 

MY PERSONAL FAVORITES

Dear Burlington Times was written in March 2015 as a response to a published letter to the editor titled: “Signing Specialists are a Distraction”, by  a Mr. Muccolini. Apparently their reader had taken issue with sign language interpreters who help convey information during public and media events, but “distract” hearing people.  (Sigh) After Mr. Mussolini authored his letter to the editor my Signing Families inbox was beyond full with requests to “do something” – so I did.

My response was passionate and very well received.  Sadly, Mr. Mussolini or the paper issued a response to my letter to the editor. At least I had the gumption to “do something” – social good triumphed!

 

YouTubers with hearts of gold and mad social media skills!

When you get to spend time at a Vanity Fair event with iJustine, Tyler Oakley and Joey Garceffa it is a day like no other! These YouTube sensations taught me a lot about social media from the eyes of millennials.  Have to admit I bow with respect to all as they are accomplished authors on top of having loyal fans and profitable YouTube channels.  It was a pleasure to meet them during OSCARS 2015 (actually, I had met Justine prior, but we didn’t have a chance to really connect until last February.) Here is my blog about this fun and funny experience! 

 

#SocialGood

When I get an opportunity to promote a #SocialGood cause or company that is dedicated to helping others, it makes my heart sing. Here is a list of many of the social good blogs I penned from 2015.  Please take a minute to get to know  these fabulous people dedicated to helping others in our communities and worldwide.

#SocialGood blogs

 

Thanks for reading any or all of my random musings on WHERE LEARNING MEETS LAUGHTER!

And, please share with me your favorite blog posts (here or elsewhere!)

 

 

 

 

 

“Then they came for me…”

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This post may be one of the most controversial posts that I have ever written. But here it goes…

This is a photograph of a poster I purchased at the  Holocaust Museum more than a decade ago.  “I didn’t speak up … and then they came for me”.

I interpret the words of  Pastor Martin Niemoller  as an important lesson. We need to be the voice for the voiceless.  We should never forget humanity and to help the less fortunate. For if we do… then what?

Yet, I am afraid that  many of us might have forgotten, as now we are filling our social media timelines, newspapers, magazines and on – air programming with comments that are often unkind words towards others or filled with vile protests. How can that be when the United States is a human tapestry full of cultural richness?  The majority of who are reading this blog can trace via Ancestry.com their roots to a place across the great oceans of this world.  And, while most of us were not refugees,  we are largely the decedents of immigrants who may have left their homelands due to oppression or in times of war.

Related: 2013 the US accepted 2/3 of the worlds’ refugees

I know that my ancestors arrived during what we may call  “different times”.   Before the 9/11 era. Before the Paris bombings a week ago.

However, the concern a parent has over the welfare of their child is a concept that is timeless.  The hunger of a child is just as upsetting and real in 2015 as it was in 1915.  A parent who loves their child will stop at nothing to protect them.  Mothers and fathers will persevere and risk great danger solely because they are motivated by love and a dream to find for their family a safe harbor where they can raise their family in peace.

So when the refugees from Syria arrive in California  I will show my support and greet my new neighbors. I will find a way to bring food and other supplies to help out these families that have traveled so far and experienced so much adversity.

My helping those from Syria also will not mean that I am turning my back on the needs of those who are already in my community. I promise you that.  In fact feel free to join our family as we help the FRIENDS MOVEMENT feed the homeless on Thanksgiving Day.

And if you wish – check out these websites that are ways to help refugees from all over the world be safe.

SAVE THE CHILDREN

INTERNATIONAL RESCUE ORG  (providing help to those already in California)

Thank you for being a reader of my blog.  Happy Thanksgiving to all –

xo

 

 

Are you a #SocialGoodBlogger?

social good blog

I recently was referred to by a potential client as “One of those mommy bloggers”.  It made me take pause for more than a moment before I replied,”What!?”  (It also crossed my mind that perhaps in this person’s opinion “mommy bloggers” were less credible than any other type of blogger and not worthy of doing business.)

When our conversation was over I started to wonder about all the women I know who are great mom bloggers. They are dynamic, smart women and many are amazing entrepreneurs, as well.  However, unlike many of my friends and colleagues who are mom bloggers, my blog doesn’t seem to fit in to this “traditional”  category.

So, now I need to figure out if I am not a “mom blogger” then what kind of blogger am I?

Education blogger?  Lifestyle blogger?  Random thoughts blogger? Other?

Then it dawned on me that perhaps, I am a  “Social good blogger”.  I would like to think that I am someone who dedicates much of her time writing about causes and events that help others. My intent has been to make connections and create a safe virtual environment where people can share, learn and laugh.  Most of all, I hope that my blog inspires others to help within their own communities.

I am not sure if “social good blogger” is a real blogging category. What do you think? And, let me know if you consider yourself also to be a “social good blogger” by commenting below or simply tweeting me (@LouiseASL) with the hashtag #SocialGoodBlogger. This way we can connect!

~Have a groovy week and may our virtual paths cross soon!

#WorldMSDay is May 27, 2015

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Tomorrow is a day to focus on Multiple Sclerosis– the disease most commonly known as “MS”.  It will be a day for us to applaud researchers, doctors, and organizations who dedicated themselves to helping those with the disease by seeking cures and advancements with treatments.  Moreover, we will honor those with MS who fight the disease daily, their families and friends.

Please go to this blog for resources about MS.

Thank you.