What Yelp’s New Mobile Reviews Capability Means

Yelp-logoWith their latest 7.0 app update, Yelp asks you to sit down, because this one’s a biggie. In their words you can now “visit any business page, tap “add review” and go bananas.” That’s right―Yelp has added the ability for your customers to write a review in the moment, on their mobile device, via the Yelp app. Please, ladies and gentlemen, don’t go bananas. Yelp responsibly.

A few things that this could mean:

  1. Optimist – More happy Yelpers will more readily share their opinions with local businesses due to the easy nature of typing up a short but sweet review on their mobile device. (bring on the Autocorrect typos.)
  2. Pessimist – Open the flood gates of angry people. Hell hath no fury like a mobile Yelper. Now that people can easily leave reviews in the heat of the moment, without first cooling down and hopefully rationally approaching a situation (or forgetting about it entirely), 1-star review hell will break loose.
  3. Realist – There will likely be some occasional anecdotal instances of both the above, but largely things will remain the same. Elite and consistent Yelpers will continue writing their reviews, possibly more often since they can do so immediately. You may see more people hanging around the table or salon, tip tapping away their experience into their phone, but I don’t expect to see a massive influx of changes to reviews.

Here’s what it should not mean, however. All business owners should not encourage their employees to download the app and write bogus reviews for their business. I have no doubt that Yelp has thought this through, being that it’s taken this long for them to add such functionality to their app, and have put some sort of safeguards in place (geo-tagging or GPS functionality, perhaps?). Don’t be that business. It always turns out badly.

What do you think of this new, obviously overdue addition to the Yelp app? Good, bad, ugly? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.

A Career in What You Love Ain’t So Easy

I’ve never been fired from a job. Up until recently, I’ve kind of considered that a badge of honor. It meant that I was never bad enough at a job that someone couldn’t bear to keep me on, that I wasn’t hard to work with, or, let’s face it, that I wasn’t unlucky enough to be at a job that had to severely downsize. I’ve only failed hard once, and that was when I tried to sell knives. Kudos people who can make a living at that stuff. I couldn’t hack it. Recently, however, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts. Some of them have featured great speakers like Seth Godin, C.C. Chapman, and Mitch Joel, who’ve all talked about how much they’ve learned by failing. Have I failed myself by not failing? Have I not pushed myself far enough out of my comfort zone cocoon and simply made it too easy? These are the questions I’m stuck with at the moment.

This about sums up my carrer direction

This about sums up my carrer direction

It’s easy to say “Find what you love and get paid to do it.” There’s very little out there that tells you how to find what you love to do, if you’re not exactly sure what that is. This is my boat. I have no idea what I love. Some people innately have a passion for something that drives them toward a goal. I just sort of move forward in a general, indistinct direction. I haven’t found that *spark* or that aha moment. I’ve been pretty apt at most jobs I’ve tried my hand at, and I’m a quick learner. You can’t really look those skills up on LinkedIn and narrow a job search, though. They’re skills that everyone wants from an employee, sure, but they’re not an interest. Not a passion. As a community manager, I love the social aspect of social media, but I’m not a numbers guy. Trying to calculate metrics and ROI and advertising dollars sort of makes my head spin. It makes me question my longevity in the industry of social media as businesses continually want proof that this will bring money in the door, and community managers become more intwined with marketing manager roles.

Failure IS an option, as it turns out.

A different way to look at failure.

So I think I’m going to try things, and if I fail, I fail. They don’t have to be big things. Maybe a blog post that I just want to throw out into the word will fail. Maybe acting on an idea to see if it sinks or swims. Failures that move us forward, I think, don’t have to be large, life-altering fails. Just something to help us make forward progress. I guess I’m understanding that we have to give ourselves permission. And that’s hard. As Chris Brogan said in his short podcast I recently listened to, you just have to do it, and it doesn’t have to be perfect every time. So there you are. Be imperfect. Go fail. I guess we’ll all be better for it. Let’s discuss how this works out for us respectively, ok?

What about you? Have you had some failures that have made you better? Are you struggling to find our aha moment? Share your perspective below.

Thanks for reading. Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.

Sometimes, you have to blog naked.

Nope, I didn’t stutter. You heard me right. Sometimes, you simply have to blog naked. Let me explain.

Maybe don't go quite this far...

Maybe don’t go quite this far…

I’ve been blogging for just over a year now. Each post is not only an opportunity to share the things I know and am interested in, but also opportunities to learn and grow as a blogger. Some of my posts are carefully crafted, pined over for weeks of adding notes into Evernote or saving and resaving as drafts. Some post ideas come to me in the shower, and I’ve literally sat down at my computer still wrapped in a towel to get my ideas down before they leave me. That’s kind of the idea behind this post.

Laptop in shower

I don’t recommend this method. At all.

Not all your ideas have to be carefully crafted. Many of my most successful blog posts have been rather off-the-cuff, and written more in the moment. An idea strikes me, or is really timely, so I just get it in a format I feel good about and send it on to the world. Maybe that will work for you, and maybe it won’t. When an idea hits you, however—act on it. Waiting until later may reduce the salience of your idea, or potentially have it lost altogether. I highly recommend some sort of idea-saving tool like Evernote, or even just your portable device’s notepad feature (most have them). I’ve even considered putting a dry erase board in my shower, so I can jot down ideas when they come to me in the shower (as they so often do!). So yes, sometimes you have to blog naked to make sure that your ideas are getting out into the world. Go do it!

Do you have a recommendation on an app or method that works for you? Share you thoughts and ideas with a comment below!

Thanks for reading. Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.

What does a Twitter ‘favorite’ mean to you?

I love Twitter. With my oft short attention span (which I blame partly on the vast barrage of information/distractions/GIFs that social media throws at me), the 140 character limit is a fun way to engage in quick conversations. It’s also led to some amazing digital and real-life dialogues with people I’d never have imagined (more on that in an upcoming post). Alas, there are still things that I don’t understand. One of them is Twitter’s favorite button.

Favorited Tweet on Twitter

They like me! They really like me!

Not too long ago, I read an article speculating that Twitter planned to either lose or completely overhaul the functionality of the Favorite option. That’s either still in the works, or was complete heresay. Regardless, favoriting seems to hold different meanings to different people I’ve asked, and thus I often don’t know how to respond when someone favorites a tweet. Twitter describes this function as such:

Favoriting a Tweet can let the original poster know that you liked their Tweet, or you can save the Tweet for later.

That seems to be a general consensus. It’s the equivalent of the ‘Like’ button on Facebook. It can also be a list of people you want to catch back up with, but aren’t sure you want to follow just yet. It’s also a less public high-five than retweeting, so it works if the content isn’t quite what you’d like to present to your audience. Still others use it as a curation collection tool, putting together tweets they enjoyed to share later. How do you use the Favorite button?

As a follow up question, do you feel obliged to do anything else after someone favorites your tweet? Reply with a thanks? Does it encourage you to check out their account, potentially to follow them? Or has it become so blase that you hardly even recognize a favorited tweet? Do you favorite tweets as some nefarious, reverse psychology method of trying to get them to notice YOU, and follow you (you sneaky, sneaky devil, you!).

Tell me what you you think. What’s the voodoo that you do when it comes to Twitter and favorting? Also, if you want to see some of the other stuff I don’t understand about Twitter, check out the ridiculous business in my formerly weekly Found Tweet Friday posts and my post on Twitter spammers stealing your tweets.

Thanks for reading. Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.

How Converse Won My Love During SXSW

I absolutely love the opportunities that social media can provide us. A mere twenty years ago, it would have been a rare occurrence to connect with anyone internally at a major company. With social, communication lines are more engaging, and often times more human, than ever before. Nothing could be more evident than my experience at SXSW last week.

Converse shoes free from SXSW

This is what free swag can look like!

My girlfriend and I were waiting in line for a Fader Fort show, presented by Converse. She was very excited to catch Solange Knowles (very talented younger sister of Beyonce, who put on a great show). I biked to meet her directly after I got off work, and we joined the forever long line after picking up wristbands. As is my standard, I checked in to the venue. Upon checking in on Foursquare, I was provided with the information of a sponsored hashtag for the event that would allow me the possibility to win some swag. As we social media nerds do, I immediately tweeted using the hashtag to announce my presence at the event, expecting nothing more than perhaps a retweet later or a thanks for enjoying the event. What happened next made my entire week.

Not only did Converse tweet me, they offered me a free pair of Converse shoes. I’m not one who wins things often, so this alone made me geek out. I was instructed to DM them with information so they could provide me a contact. This is where thing reached the level of super awesome. I was given a number to text message, allowing me to find the person who would get me free shoes after we got in. I did, however, I noted that we were in a line that was moving at the pace a snail could have easily topped.

Twitter conversation with Converse

How it all went down.

Rather than giving me a blase “Well, we hope to see you if and when you get in,” Converse obliterated my expectations. They told me to get out of line and meet a guy at the entrance. They were going to let us in, simply because I tweeted their hashtag. There was a strong possibility that we were going to miss Solange’s performance (see a clip below) with the look of the line, and an increasing number of badge holders showing up, but we were able to get in, get settled on a spot, and enjoy her whole performance. My girlfriend was thrilled with the show, and I was thrilled that I got some new kicks. All this thanks to the direct line of communication that social media provides. Guess who could be labeled a brand advocate for Converse now―this kid. Way to go Converse.

Have you had a similar experience, whether at SXSW or otherwise? What kind of awesome interactions have you had with a brand via social media? Share your story in the comments below!

Thanks for reading. Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.

The Internet Is Out of Control This Week

SXSW announcments galore, major changes to the things you know and love–ladies and gentlemen, the internet is out of control this week.

First off, I had an awesome SXSWi experience. I met some awesome folks and I’ll be writing a blog post about that soon.

If you haven’t heard already, Google has announced that it’s getting rid of Google Reader. It’s not worth their resources anymore, so you have until July 1st to get it together and aggregate elsewhere. For the full story, click below.

Also, just when you thought you knew Twitter’s format, it’s changing things up. You can now use line breaks. This could be awesome, or it could make your Twitter feed the most annoying thing on the planet. Let the unfollows begin. More information below:

OH, and then Facebook was all like “Hey guys, what about me? I’ll start working on allowing hashtags!” The internet is no longer as we knew it.

 

What do you think about these two developments in social media? Has this week completely disrupted your work flow, or could you care less. Share you thoughts with a comment below!

Thanks for reading. Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.

A Blogger not Blogging

Confused  Face

Mind…boggled…

If you’re a blogger, I don’t have to tell you how difficult it can be to keep pumping out interesting and relevant content. I haven’t posted in a while. Partially, it’s because I’ve been swamped with a gazillion other things, and partially because I’m having an existential meltdown. These things happen, I suppose.

Whenever I work out, I listen to podcasts: Marketing Over Coffee, The Human Business Way, The Content Warfare Podcast, Social Media Marketing, and others. Sometimes, I have no idea what they’re talking about when they dive too deep into the true marketing and analytics side of social media marketing. I’m a people person. I love the people and social side of this digital stuff. The numbers and ROI and analytics are all things I’m struggling to pick up. Recently, there have been a slew of interviews with Seth Godin and C.C. Chapman, both promoting their respective books. These interviews have been inspiring, invigorating and terrifying…

Podcasts worth listening to

Some of my favorite podcasts from geniuses on the internets

Both of these guys are pretty into the human side of things. They also tout the mantra of “find what you love, and go make money doing it!” I love that. It’s brilliant. It’s obviously the key to happiness. Just one problem…what if you have no idea what you want to do with your life? How do you commit gung-ho to something when you have no idea what it is? This is the conundrum that I find myself in.

I write this blog. I feel I’m ok at it. I’m not terrible, but I’m no Mitch Joel or Chris Brogan and don’t believe I ever will be. I work in social media as a community manager. I’m pretty good at it. I write some content that gets engagement, and I love the interactions when it does happen. I’ve worked in retail and was pretty good at that, often loved by my customers. Nothing ever seems to fully click, however. I never feel like, “Yes. This is what I should be doing. This is that gratifying thing I’ve been searching for!” Now, I’ve never been fired from a job, so maybe I’m not experiencing Seth Godin’s idea of having to fail to succeed. How does one push oneself into new and dangerous territory, when you just don’t know where to start? This, readers (all, like, 8 of you), is the situation I find myself in. Any advice for a lost soul? If you made it to the end of this post, and my existentially grasping questions, thanks for hanging in there. I’ll get back to writing about social media soon.

Thanks for reading. Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.

LinkedIn – Killing it with kindness

Did you get an email this past week naming your LinkedIn profile as a top 1, 5 or 10% most viewed?

LinkedIn, invitation, top viewed, profile

Makes you feel like a big deal. Nothing wrong with that!

This small gesture from LinkedIn, to celebrate hitting the 200 Million mark, not only reinforced the preexisting network, but created a ton of buzz. People were proudly posting on their other social sites what percent they fell in, friends chimed in whether they received a notification, and suddenly LinkedIn was on the lips and in front of the eyes of social media users everywhere, whether they use LinkedIn or not. They did it all without a new technological development, without sinking thousands of dollars in a new ad campaign, they did it by saying “Hey, you. Person that’s part of our network. Thanks for being awesome.” Sure, haters gonna hate and say “They sent that out to millions of other people,” but that’s irrelevant.

Jay-Z, LinkedIn, problems

But LinkedIn ain’t one!

I just wanna say “Oh you didn’t get an email? I feel bad for ya son. I got 99 Problems, but LinkedIn ain’t one!” What matters to me, is that they sent it to me, and reinforced my usage of their product. This is perhaps an idea that others should take and run with, whether it’s with customer or employees. A little appreciation can go a long way.

What do you think? Did you get one of these emails, or did you see a lot of others talking about the fact that they did? Chime in below in the comments.

Thanks for reading. Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.

Found Tweet Friday


Found Tweet Friday!

February 8, 2012  (The Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, as well as Opera Day!) Back after a long hiatus!

Welcome to the Redlight District of Twitter

I spend a good part of my day using Twitter to find potential customers for my clients. I use the Twitter search function and locate people talking about relevant things that could translate to needs my clients’ products or services could fulfill. During this digging through the nonsense, the marketing messages, the slang and abbreviated hashtags, I find some pretty ridiculous tweets. Many that make my jaw drop. It never ceases to amaze me how many people forget that their tweets are completely public while they treat their Twitter conversations as if they were private. Some of those are simply too offensive or gross (not to mention misogynistic and lewd) for me to bother posting, but below are a collection of this week’s gems that I just had to share. My occasional commentary will be the parenthetical portions. Enjoy!

****Warning: Some content may be inappropriate for young or easily offended readers****

Found tweets:

  • My sister’s favorite rapper is Will Smith. I’m pretty sure her favorite ice cream is a block of ice. (Ouch, that was harsh…)
  • Got arrested for possession of #swag last night (Sure, I’ll bet the officer was all like “Whoa, buddy. You need to tone down that swag!”)
  • Yes dad. Please continue feeling up your girlfriend and the dinner table. (Doesn’t get much more awkward than that…)
  • When you eat food that’s too hot and start breathing like a retarded dragon. (Though I don’t condone the word, I know this feeling exactly…)
  • oatmeal taste like dick hair (The hell? What kind of oatmeal are you eating?)
  • Mum needs to wash my hair for me like now (#FirstWorldProblems)
  • Sure. I’ll have three glasses of red and go hurl myself down the side mountain on waxed up planks of wood. Great idea. Super safe. #skiing (That’s a good point. Sounds dangerous, yet intriguingly awesome.)
  • At the beach today. Some lady was burning her wedding dress in a bonfire. Gee, I wonder why things didn’t work out. #boiledrabbits (What?? Where did that hashtag come from?)
  • I feel you. My car is dying. I need to let him/it go, but…I just can’t quit him. #BrokebackCar (Some loves you just can’t turn off…)
  • I never eat yucky beef… seems I accidentally eliminated horse from my diet too #result

There you are folks! Obviously, some weeks will be less interesting than others, but I hope you enjoy it. Also, if you ever see any great tweets worth pointing out, send them to me at robzaleski1@gmail.com and they might make the list!

Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.

Facebook and Twitter are at war for your voice

microphone, talk, messaging, voice, recordingWith the latest mobile update, Facebook now allows you to record video within the app, as well as send voice recordings through the messaging function. This could be in response to Twitter’s Vine app (which allows you to record up to 6 second video clips and post to Twitter, but is currently dealing with the inevitable porn problem) or at least explains why Facebook recently blocked the app from accessing Facebook to find friends. This war for your attention, and now your voice, is far from over between the two social media platforms. Expect to see more from both, especially in the mobile front, to garner more of your attention and time. Below is an article from Geek Wire with some more information:

Have you started using Vine to record and post video to Twitter? Do you think you’ll use the new voice function in your Facebook messages? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading. Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.