Category Archives: Social Media

Social media marketing is rapidly increasing and people are hopping on the bandwagon. However, Ryan has been at social media marketing since its early days. He has worked for Ignite Social Media which is one of the world’s leading social media firms. Additionally, Ryan provides expert social media consulting helping small business learn how to succeed with social media marketing.

Excited Shopping Woman

Understanding Your Consumer – A Day in the Life

The critical difference that sets an amateur marketer apart from a branding aficionado is their ability to get into the mind of their consumer. Recently, as I have worked on creating a new app, I have discovered that possibly the greatest way to design an extremely effective user experience is to figuratively become the consumer or end user.

After much conversation, whiteboard drawings, sketches, mock-ups and revisions, the uCondition team and I decided we would go back to the drawing board on our damage billing interface. We wanted to reach our consumer by marketing an experience. As a result, our team decided it would be prudent to step into the mind of our target audience by creating short stories called “A Day in the Life.”

We reached out to an individual who fit the profile of the end user and asked them to write journal entries based on their daily interactions prior to using our app. The journal entries showed raw frustration of life without our electronic room condition reporting app. By reading these journal entries, our team was able to pinpoint the greatest needs of our consumers by just stepping into their shoes and seeing through their eyes. It allowed us to analyze our end user’s behavior by hearing their needs first hand.

When we went back to the drawing board, our sales team, design team and development team all had a renewed perspective on our mission and goal. Because we took the time to understand our consumer’s behavior, we were able to develop a user experience that fulfilled the needs of our end user.

Cure for Cell Phone Addiction

5 Cures for Cell Phone Addiction

Hi, my name is Ryan and I am addicted to my cell phone. I’m not going to deny it. For the last 40 hours, I have been without a cell phone. It has made my life super interesting. Despite the fact my computer was in full operation, I still felt completely disconnected and even anti-social without using my cell phone. Without a phone I had no clock, no guitar tuner, did not regularly check my email, didn’t make dinner plans because I couldn’t text or call, could not find the cheapest gas, could not check the stocks or weather, did not save money from a foursquare deal, couldn’t check my bank account, did not have my calendar, lost my to-do list, could not look at a map if I got lost, could not take people’s information and the list goes on and on.

During the time without my mobile phone, I really began to worry about how many different areas of my life were wrapped up into a small little device. I knew I was addicted, but I began to wonder if cell phone addiction is okay (in moderation, of course) or if i needed to find the cure for cell phone addiction.

The Cell Phone Addiction Cure

Addiction in general is not a good thing. Being addicted means there is a certain level on dependency on something, whether a substance, a person, or in this case a device. Below are some quick and easy steps to breaking your dependency on your cell phone.

  1. Turn off pointless notifications. Do you really need to be alerted every time you get a new email or a new DrawSomething picture or a new word on Words with Friends? I didn’t think so. Turn off all pointless notifications so the only thing your phone buzzes or beeps for are text messages and phone calls. Everything else is useless and pointless.
  2. Get a watch. So many people use their mobile device as their clock that they totally avoid the need for wearing watch. Unfortunately, when you pull out your phone to check the time, you may see a notification on Facebook because someone liked your status. Before you know it that notification turns into a full-on stalking of that friend you haven’t talked to since middle school. If you get a watch, then you won’t have to pull out your phone and get sidetracked.
  3. Put it away. If you have pockets, a backpack or a purse, put your phone in it. Be social when you need to be social. Whenever my phone is sitting on the table or beside me on the couch, I am so tempted to look at it just because it is there. Once I flip it over to look at it, I start getting paranoid and begin checking it more and more.
  4. Ignore the buzz, break the urge. We totally fall victim to classical conditioning with the vibrating or beeping of our cell phones. As soon as we are aware that we have a notification we immediately reach in our pockets or purses and pull out our cell phone to see what the latest news is. Next time your phone buzzes, intentionally leave it in your pocket. Resist the urge to pull it out. Soon it will become second nature.
  5. Get your friends involved. As with anything in life, we need running mates. These running mates are people that support you on your journey of life. Tell your friends that you want to break your cell phone addiction. Hand your phone to your friends or tell them to correct you every single time you reach for your phone over the course of a meal or an afternoon of hanging out.

Hopefully those five ideas will help to rid your cell phone addiction. We live in a day where so much can be done literally by the palm of our hands and our little mobile devices. Yet, despite their convenience, they are really impeding on social relationships and are becoming extremely rude and obnoxious and most of all addicting. Take these five easy steps to curing cell phone addiction and it won’t take long to notice that you actually can function without always being attached to your cell phone.


Tweet Scheduling Service – BufferApp Review

I am always on the lookout for apps that will help increase your effectiveness on various social media platforms. Recently, BufferApp, a tweet scheduling service caught my attention. Previously I shared three tools to maximizing effectiveness on Twitter, one of which was an app called Timely. Though I’ve religiously used Timely for quite a while, there have been some serious features lacking to making it an effective service for scheduling tweets. And along comes BufferApp.

Tweet Scheduling Features in BufferApp

  • You can easily adjust tweet times
  • You can add photos to your Buffer feed which is also a huge plus.
  • Buffer can be linked with Tweriod to provide accurate times for tweeting.
  • You can connect your account for URL Shortening
  • You can rearrange the order of your tweets with a simple drag-and-drop interface.
  • Buffer comes with tons of third party extensions including ifttt, Social Bro, Tweriod,, and more!
  • Great analytics with reach, clicks and reaction data.
  • You can add team members (for a small fee)
  • At the most basic level, BufferApp lets you schedule up to 10 tweets for free.

Overall, I highly recommend that you try out BufferApp for free today!

Tweet and Retweet

Quotes That Will Get Retweeted

People always want to write tweets that will get reweeted. Writing the perfect tweet is both an art and a science with plenty of research pointing out what works and what doesn’t. However, when people are new on Twitter, they seem to just want me to give them a packet of quotes that will get retweeted so they don’t have to put in the work themselves. Honestly, you are more likely to be retweeted with your original content, but if you are not creative or don’t have time to think of pithy one-liners, borrowing someone else’s quotes can be helpful. So, below I have included some quotes that have been retweeted a lot.

10 Quotes for Getting Retweeted

  • ‎”Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.” – Helen Keller
  • “No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank
  • “The best way to be an outstanding leader is to learn something, do it and then teach others.” – @ryancvet
  • “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal.” – Thomas Jefferson
  • “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.” – Seneca
  • “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
  • “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren G. Bennis
  • “You’ve got to dream! Dreams are just realities in rehearsal. Who is to say that those dreams can’t come true?” – @ryancvet
  • “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

Obviously these 10 quotes are not guaranteed to get you retweets, but they’ve worked well for me! Good luck using those quotes to get retweeted!

Pinterest Logo - Using Pinterest for Business

How to Use Pinterest for Business Marketing

The newest mainstream social network, Pinterest, has been around for a bit of time now. In social media years, it is a teenager. Though the social network has been gaining a lot of traction among females in their late teens through their young thirties, it has more recently started to see a diversification in the demographics of its membership. With the user base of Pinterest growing, people are trying to figure out how to use Pinterest for business and marketing.

Panera Uses Pinterest in Marketing Strategy

If you subscribe to Panera’s email list, you probably received an email featuring their recent use of Pinterest for marketing. Panera’s campaign, that ended Friday focused on getting people to create a board on Pinterest called “Make Today Better.” Contest participants were encouraged to pin at least 10 items to the board including the image you see to the left.

Unfortunately for participants, this contest was complicated. Panera then required all board-enteries to be posted to their Facebook Page. From there, winners were chosen to receive $50 Panera gift cards.

Watching this campaign from day one to its completion was interesting. It seemed that a lot of users didn’t name their boards the correct name or forgot to put their board on Facebook or just missed the concept altogether. The conclusion? Using Pinterest for marketing can be quite complex.

3 Tips for Using Pinterest for Marketing

So what can you do to use Pinterest for marketing? Here are a couple ideas:

  • Create Something Repinable: Create content, whether it is an infographic or a stunning photo, with a tagline, watermark or slogan to promote your company that is repinable. You can basically have individuals Pin your ad for free.
  • Create Product Boards: Market your business by creating products on your brand’s Pinterest profile. These boards could include artsy, well photographed shots of your products in action. Be sure to watermark or somehow indicate your business on the images so if it is repinned, individuals know where the art came from.
  • Engage: Like any social media marketing strategy, it is important to engage your audience. As I often say, “Social media is about interaction, not reaction!” You want people to interact and engage with your brand, not just Like your Page or Follow your Tweets. You want people to engage by liking, commenting or repinning your pins!

Since Pinterest is fairly new, I would love to hear of some campaigns or strategies you have used or have seen that have worked well!


Exploring the New Facebook Page Insights

Once again, Facebook has made a pretty major change, however this isn’t one that is affecting everyone, just Facebook Page owners. Facebook has implemented new insights for Pages.

Several weeks ago they rolled out the “Talking About This” feature that was public to everyone and appeared right below the total fan count for a page. Now Facebook has extended the “Talking About This” into their insights.

There are two significant new metrics you will notice, they are the Friends of Fans and the People Talking About This both being added on the dashboard. The Friends of Fans metrics is a very significant metric that gives much insight into your potential reach. This number will show you how large your fan’s sphere of influence is. Many fan pages have small bases of fans either geographically confined or confined by interests. As this Friends of Fans number increases, it shows that you and your Facebook Page have a bigger shot at reaching a larger crowd.

Another new feature is the “Virality” metric. This measurement tells you how much your posts, photos and videos spread. This insight measure how much your post was shared or commented on and how great of an influence you post had on your Fan’s friends. This is a number to strive to increase. As this number grows, the likelihood of your Fan Page membership increases.

There is a little Insight into the new Facebook Page Insights!


Twitter’s Activity Tab and What it Means for Marketers

As you many have noticed, Twitter got a bit of an upgrade. Your @Mentions tab is now gone and has been replaced with two new tabs, “@” and “Activity.” Though it may seem like a subtle update at first, this is a major renovation that has made Twitter social in a whole new way.

The New Twitter Activity Stream

Interaction on Twitter was mainly limited to retweets and mentions. There was really no way for people to be kept up to speed on tweets getting marked as a “Favorite” or even to see who your friends started following. Now, like Facebook, Twitter has implemented the “Activity” stream which is extremely similar to the Facebook News Feed. It shows you who your friends recently followed and allows you to follow those people right from the Activity stream. Overall the Activity feed is supposed to show you the snapshot of what is going on with the people you follow on Twitter.

The @ Tab on Twitter

Another huge features is the “Mentions” tab being replaced by the “@” tab. This tab now shows everything that has happened in direct relation to your Twitter handle. It will tell you everything that is going on with your account. It tells you who has recently followed you, who has @-replied to you or mentioned you as well as who has marked your tweets as favorites and who has retweeted your tweets.

What this Means for Marketers

Whenever a social platform gets updated, it’s important to analyze how the new features can be maximized for social media marketing. One of the big things the Activity feed does is that it allows your followers to see who you started following, what tweets you retweeted, who you replied to and who you favorited. That being said, the biggest word of marketing advice I can offer is be careful, more now than ever about how you interact on Twitter because people are more likely to see what you are doing without having to look quite as far. At the same time, leverage this public display to your advantage! If you want to make people see what you’re up to, interact a lot so you appear frequently in their Activity timeline.

Overall Thoughts and First Impressions on Twitter Activity and @ Tabs

Quiet honestly, while I think Twitter made a move in the right direction as far as making Twitter even more social and interactive, I feel the features were poorly implemented and quite confusing to use. I have a hunch Twitter will reevaluate some of their changes and continue to tweak the streams until they have perfected their new features. The biggest issue is the user interface and the ease of use of the new features. It looks cluttered and is very confusing.

What are your thoughts on Twitter’s new Activity tab and @ Tab?


When to Use Hashtags on Twitter and Google+

The misusage of hashtags on Twitter irks me! Hashtags are a phenomenal tool that can be utilized in social media marketing to build a successful online strategy. Recently though, I have seen brands attempting to implement hashtags for everything. For example, a local restaurant converted everything on their menu to hashtags while a local realtor converted every house on their roster to a hashtag. Is there anything fundamentally wrong with this strategy? Absolutely not. However, going on a hashtagging rampage is not the best solution either. This article is going to explore the proper and improper usages of hashtags on Twitter and Google+ for brands and businesses. Hashtag principles for individual and personal accounts differ from the strategies talked about in this post.

What are Hashtags

Hashtags are an excellent tool that can be found on both Twitter and Google+ as well as several other social networks. These hashtags (# + word/phrase/code = #hashtagoverload) can allow people to “tag” their posts or conversations so that people discussing similar subjects can network with one another and ultimately connect based on similar interests. Hashtags also allow individuals to get involved in conversations with people discussing like-topics.

When and When NOT to Use Hashtags

  • DO USE hashtags to tag a tweet or a post with something relevant. Let’s say a tweet comes down my timeline and it is a brilliant idea hashtagged #innovation. Maybe I want to see more brilliant ideas so I click the hashtag link. I am brought to a page with anyone that has tagged something #innovation. If you also used #innovation in your tweet, I am likely to see your tweet, click through to your profile and possible follow you.
  • DO NOT get cutesy with your hashtags. Let’s say instead of using #innovation, you wanted to be clever and use your own hashtag #innovativebrilliance. Well, good for you! You created a new hashtag, but no one is going to find you profile or see your tweet because no one else used that same hashtag. Use something common.
  • DO USE hashtags to represent a campaign. If you are launching an ongoing discussion or campaign, use hashtags to denote when you are talking about that idea. For instance, the #LYproject has done a good job with this!
  • DO NOT always put your own hashtags in your tweets. One of the biggest turn-offs in social media marketing is when brands constantly do self-promotion and selling. That is not what people are looking for when they follow you. Constant self-promotion a surefire way to lose your following and get them unengaged. I mean, what is appealing about following someone that only talks about pushing their own initiatives all the time?

Hashtag Best Practices

  • Brands should never put more than one hashtag in a given tweet. It is sloppy, too casual and makes it look like a 13-year-old girl is running your social media marketing efforts.
  • If you have a large, engaged following, you are more likely to be successful with creating and launching conversations around hashtags. If you have a small following and you just feel the urge to use a hashtag, first search some existing hashtags and see which one will get you most noticed.
  • Using a hashtag in every tweet is downright obnoxious, there is no benefit other than making your timeline look more colorful, so use hashtags sparingly.
  • Encourage your followers to use a given hashtag over and over again to make it stick. Put it on your blog, in your Twitter Bio, in your store, on your TV commercial… If people know a hashtag exists for a certain campaign, project, sale, etc., people are more likely to include it when they talk about your brand.
Hopefully some of these tips and tricks will help you utilize hashtags to their fullest marketing potential while not going overkill with hashtags.

Breaking News in Social Media: Apple iPhone 5, Google+, Facebook and more

In the last 24 hours, there has been some breaking news in the social media world. In this article we are going to get the bird’s-eye-view of the breaking social media news including Facebook’s Redesign, Apple Announces the Release of the iPhone 5, Google+ Opens to Public, and foursquare hitting 1 billion check-ins.

Apple Says iPhone 5 will Release on October 4

This is the hottest news item. Apple has said that they will release the iPhone 5 on October 4 according to Mashable.

Facebook’s Redesign

Once again, users around the world have woken up and logged onto Facebook to see an extreme redesign. The main redesign revolves around the home page and the news feed. Users now have a main news feed that highlights top news. Like before, it seems that the top news stories are chosen by people who you interact with most on Facebook and those that have the highest interaction rate.

Additionally, users will notice a Twitter-like feed on the right hand side of the page that gives quick blurbs about what people are doing on and around Facebook. Fan Page status updates are also included in this stream.

Finally, the other big change is the way in which users can share information. Before, there was the “What’s on your Mind” box, now, you have to click either the Update Status, Add Photo or Ask Question button.

foursquare reaches 1 billion Check-ins

After hitting 10 million users earlier this year, foursquare announces that those users have collectively checked-in across the globe over 1 billion times. Check out their video below to celebrate their 1 billion Check-ins:

Google+ Opens to Everyone, Hangouts Go Mobile

Google+ has continued to keep its competitors on their feet by continually improving on their already simplistic and straight forward network.

They recently released Google+ to everyone. You no longer need an invite to join the fastest growing social network.

Yesterday, Google+ also unveiled the all-new Google Hangouts. Hangouts are now available on Android devices so you can collaborate from wherever you are in the world. Additionally, Google Hangout has become even more collaborative. Users can share their screens, edit the same Google Docs and even doodle like a whiteboard. This tool is definitely going to become a valuable asset to teams spread across the globe.

How to Measure True Reach

A key factor to the success of your social media influence is your true reach. You may be familiar with the term but may be unsure of its meaning.  In this article we are going to break down how to measure true reach in social media.

What is True Reach?

The term “true reach” was made popular by Klout and refers to your social media presence and the measurement of how many people you can effectively reach and influence.

True reach is an extremely important measurement that all social media marketers should take into account. Your true reach measures how many total people you influence. Let’s say you have 300 followers, you may only reach 100 of those followers. Identifying your true reach number will help you to figure out your true social influence.

How to Measure Your True Reach

There are a couple factors that go into measuring your true reach:

  • Don’t count the bots: There are hundreds of thousands of bots on Twitter that have been created for various reasons. When calculating your true reach, don’t count these bots or inactive accounts. Why? Well, because you can’t really influence a computer.
  • Who is listening: Those who are actively online while you’re posting and see your content are very important figures to consider in your true reach number. If you have 100 followers and only 20 of them are online while you are tweeting, then you are really only influencing those 20 because the other 80 don’t hear your message.
  • Focus on the engaged users: Another important factor to consider is to those who are actively engaged in what you have to say. Those who retweet you and those who reply or interact with you on a regular basis are your most engaged users. A quick way to boost your engagement level is to learn how to get retweeted.
As you try to build up your social media influence, be sure that you are working hard to boost your true reach. Using those metrics above, you can figure out what you need to do to increase your true reach numbers. Be sure to check out Klout to view your true reach score!