Help Your Social Media Manager Help You

JulienRio.com_social-media-smartphone-choicesThis blog is all about writing when there’s something to say. Usually, I choose to write either my own revelations or ponderings from a personal stance, but this post is business related with a personal twist, if you will. I’m a certified social media professional, and it is from this perspective that I write this blog. Ladies and gentlemen, please allow your social media manager to do their job. It is a simple request, and you may think you are not in the way of them being effective and efficient, but I challenge you to reconsider as you read further.

Do you…

  • freely give needed information to your social media manager so they have something to post?
  • keep them in the loop of upcoming projects, events, etc. for the purpose of future posting?
  • do they find out social media worthy news when everyone else in the general public does?
  • post yourself when you’ve hired them to do it?

Social media managers are here to make you look great on social media and be your voice across your chosen platforms, but you have to help us out here. Unless you would prefer we have free reign over what goes out over social media on your behalf, a true partnership must be formed.

Anyone can post something, but a social media manager understands the strategy behind the posting – the when, where, why, how, and what of it. They know which platforms will best serve you. They know how to vary the same post to give a fresh look each time it shows up in a timeline or news feed. A social media manager monitors the engagement of your accounts and can pull analytics for them and make a plan of action moving forward. However, none of this can be done if they are on the outside looking in. Yes, we have a responsibility to check in and ask questions, but at the same time, if we’re not really familiar with the business, we may not know what to ask at first. Here are few tips to help your social media manager help you.

  1. Plan, plan and plan some more! I write social media strategies and action plans, and if my client is going to work with me, we will have to revisit and revise this plan often based on analytics. If a strategy has been written for you, don’t simply put it on a desk and hope your social media manager implements it. You have to be in on the master plan too.
  2. Talk to your social media manager. We don’t know unless you tell us. Carve out time periodically to check in with your social media manager. I know social media, but I may not know your particular business, so communication is vital to my learning. Once I have working understanding of what you do and what you need, then it won’t be necessary to talk as often as is needed in the beginning.
  3. Make sure there’s a content calendar in place. Organization is a must. Try not to deviate from what’s planned to be posted unless something major comes up that will trump the plans. Review that calendar as often as you can, but the main person who should paying attention to it daily is the social media manager.
  4. Be patient. As I stated, a social media manager knows the best times to post based on your target audience and when that audience is hanging out perusing their social media. If you don’t see your post first thing in the morning, don’t take it upon yourself to post it thinking your social media manager dropped the ball. Which leads me to the next tip…
  5. Trust the ability of your social media manager. No explanation needed here…

I love what I do, but I also get frustrated because some of the pages I manage lie dormant because I have no idea the direction the client wants to go. I could still post something, but “willie nillie” posting is fruitless. Also, if what you’re posting is one-dimensional, meaning it’s the same kind of thing lacking variety worth engaging with, it is also fruitless. There’s so much more to what you have to offer (I hope); only showing one aspect of your business isn’t going to help you. Social media managers, here are some tips to help yourself when in a situation where it seems you can’t do your job in a more excellent manner.

  1. If communication is vital, then you might have to initiate the conversation. Business owners and individuals are busy doing what they do, and having a social media manager is relatively new to them.
  2. Ask questions and get answers. Ignorance is not bliss when you’re trying to manage social media.
  3. Take action. If you have anything to go on, use that to generate relevant posts for your client. Be creative and keep them in the news feeds.
  4. Educate the client. They may not know what they hired you to do. Tell them.
  5. Create a questionnaire for the client prior to your initial meeting, so you have an idea of what they expect and what their goals are. Even if they aren’t accessible, you’ll at least have a basis to begin.
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need to be successful. If you truly need something from your client (logos, special graphics, headshot photos, etc.), ask for it.

These are a just a few things I’ve encountered on this new journey into social media management. It’s no longer a casual hobby for me that I just happen to be good at. I take my role seriously and want to be the best manager I can be for my clients. Again, I say, let’s all work together because together we all win!

She Meets Herself

SELF REFLECTIONHave you ever wanted the person you long to be to meet the person you currently are? It can be a great truth to come out of such a meeting IF it could happen. All we have is the mirror, but that still shows us as we are in the flesh. What if that window showed you what you could be? Just think about it. We all have been placed on this Earth for a purpose. Is the current you walking in that purpose? Would you love to know how life would be once you actually are living in that purpose? “She” runs into “Herself,” and this poem plays back the conversation.

SHE:

Hey! How are you?! Been a long ti…
You just gonna walk past me like that?
Here comes another passerby.
Hey! Yea, you…
Well, fine then! I don’t need you either.
Why don’t these people know me?
I know them well.
I just looked in the –
Hey!
Wait! Wait! Come back!
I need   to   talk   to   you.
Let me look again.
I see me.
Maybe, I’ll just make eye contact.
Maybe, they don’t recognize my voice.
I have been away for a while.
Another just passed me too.
I left a long time ago, but surely I haven’t been gone so long I’m unrecognizable.

Wow, FINALLY, someone who knows me.
Wait…what?
I look like a girl you know?
What’s her name?
And I look a lot like her?
They say everyone has a twin…I guess.
She has my name though…wait!
Identity theft…
Can I ask you something else?
This girl who looks like me; where can I find her?
Why don’t these people know me?
I know them well.

Knock, knock, knock
My body is a concrete block.
Say something…anything…don’t just stare at her
Who IS this chick who just answered MY door?
Let me check the number again.
Do you know me?
You do? I gotta be dreamin, so I’ll just go with it
I’m sorry to just stare at you, but you look so much…
Like me; yea.
May I ask your name?

HERSELF:

My name is yours.
My life is yours.
My beauty is yours.
My gifts are yours.
I look so much like you because I AM you.
You relinquished control of yourself a long time ago.
I signed the paperwork and left with everything.
Hope
Love
Freedom
Deliverance
Sound mind
Courage
Oh yes, I took it all.
Why?! Well, you didn’t really fight for it.

I bought me some FIERCE red bottoms
and strutted right down to MY house.
You can’t wear a heel, can you? No matter…I can.
Huh? What’s that?
Oh yes, MY husband is here, and uh…MY child is too.
Of course this is real honey.
Don’t get upset with me…
You left with what you came with.
You can’t fight hope with despair.
You can’t expect self-imprisonment to knock out freedom.
Panic and fear? No match for sound mind and courage…
Clearly, you didn’t want this life, but I sure did.

I am your beauty; fading in your mirror –
Blossoming in mine
I am your gift; unused and untapped in your world –
I am your wellness; unattainable goal in your mind –
Fully realized in mine.
I am your peace; sleepless nights in your bed –
Lullabies in mine.
You see, you still have just enough to have it all back.
Enough what? Must I guide you through it all?

FAITH!

Your life isn’t over; that’s nowhere near the plan.
YOU made it the plan, but that plan, dear, is CANCELED.
Look at me!
I’m telling you, this is yours and it’s waiting for you.
I had to get out because you were crowding her royal highness with the blah blah blah.
But I also had to get out so you can see where you’re going,
And know you WILL get there.
Nothing is holding you.
No negotiator needed.
You are NOT a hostage.
So shall we live?

Welcome home Us!

Miracle at Exit 33

One may call it a pure coincidence, but I call it a miracle. Nobody but God could have performed the feat that took place on January 16, 2010. It was going to be a normal day. I told my daddy I was coming to Aiken because I wanted some crab legs, so I packed up Xavier and we headed out.

It’s misty outside and cloudy…great sleeping weather. I felt it hard – sleepiness was falling upon me like an avalanche. I tried to call some friends who I know would talk me the rest of the way, but they weren’t picking up, so I placed my phone back in the cup holder. Xavier, who was 2 at the time, was out cold in his car seat. The next sequence of events happened really fast, but felt like I was moving in slow motion.

I was startled by the grating sound of my car tires riding along the grooves on the side of the interstate. My location was 2 exits from the Aiken exit. Over-correction led to fishtailing in the middle of I-20 which led to running off the road which led to my SUV overturning a few times and landing tires up.

Visibly shaken, I never lost consciousness. The first thing I did was, of course, look for my child. I saw stuff scattered outside of the truck and panicked. However, the car seat did its job and Xavier was dangling from it held in tight…completely unharmed (miracle #1). In extreme pain, I looked around me and saw fire in the back of my vehicle. For a split second, my thoughts were I’m going to die. My son and I were going to die. I did all I could do…I called on Jesus to please help us. I could NOT do this by myself. I could NOT get out of this car by myself. It took all I had in me to drag myself to his seat and get him out. At that very moment, all these strangers gathered around a now burning car. I heard one call to me, “Ma’am, do you need help?” I quickly replied yes! Xavier crawled to another stranger and they took him away to a car and he was a safe distance from the vehicle. Now, for me.

They pulled me out of the car, and this is how God works. Stranger #1 – 1st responder; stranger #2 – a trauma doctor; stranger #3 – a nurse. It was January, so it was cold and rainy. They had blankets and knew exactly what to do. Another group of folks called 911 and my husband as well as my parents. Xavier and I were taken to the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

The miracles don’t stop there! The cop said my vehicle burned to ashes in less than FIVE minutes. He was expecting to identify corpses when he arrived on the scene not knowing that he ran past me on the ground because my “angels” already got me and my son out safely. After tests, x-rays, CT scans, etc., I had NO broken bones and only deep contusions. You can’t tell me God wasn’t at work all up in and around this accident. I didn’t even get charged because the officer said I’d been through enough.

Coincidence? I think not. Every time I ride down I-20W, I’m reminded of the miracle that occurred at Exit 33. The silver lining in this experience is the realization that God still has a purpose for me on the Earth. When He has his hand on your life, nothing can keep you from your purpose. It may be delayed in coming to fruition, but if God said it, He will bring it to pass. My son and I have life yet to live, and an accident of this magnitude doesn’t always have a happy ending. I’m truly thankful for each day I’m granted as that’s another day to work in my passion and purpose. It’s another day to pursue my dreams and reach for His promise.

8409-ea_miracles_happen when god steps in design

Jigsaw Person

When a puzzle is all put together, it displays some kind of image, but the lines indicate that it can be taken apart again. Some people choose to tape it up and frame it so it remains in-tact for years to come, but even taped up, the puzzle is still fragile, so you have to be careful when handling it. When visitors walk by and see the masterpiece puzzle, they simply admire the pretty picture not thinking about the state the puzzle was in prior to its framed glory. Everyone looks beyond the cracks because it’s presented so well.

A puzzle left on a table for pure decor will eventually start to wear or curl up on the edges. Someone bumps the table and it shifts. It may not come apart, but it’s out of sync and maybe a little lopsided. A small adjustment will make it appear back to normal. Puzzles don’t tend to have much value other than for some brain exercise and entertainment purposes. It just goes back in the box, and no one ever gives it another thought.

Well, someone apparently misplaced a piece, so NOW when the puzzle is put together, it’s never really complete because a part is missing. The picture it made is without a part needed to make it whole. What do you do? I mean, it’s JUST a puzzle. Throw it away and get another one. Who wants a puzzle with a missing piece? That missing piece will bug the crap out you, right?

But wait. There are jigsaw people walking this Earth. They are well put together, but do you know the box they came out of? Did you know how many pieces they were in? This isn’t some kiddy puzzle where there’s 5 or 10 humongous pieces and you know exactly how to make it right. This is a complex being with a back story fresh out the box. Some of their pieces were lost. Some of their edges were starting to wear out. YET, they still walk wholly broken. They couldn’t be framed and preserved, but they still LOOK pretty. Come closer though. Really study the jigsaw person, and you will see the lines are there. The lines that separate their pieces are there. Pieces like…

  • abuse
  • guilt
  • shame
  • arrogance
  • insecurity18214-life-isnt-about-finding-pieces-of-a-puzzle-its-about-creating
  • distrust
  • anger/rage
  • sickness
  • despair 

BUT those pieces come together and present…

  • joy
  • happiness
  • confidence
  • self-reliance
  • strength

Jigsaw persons are complex. Much thought has to be put into how to approach the living conundrum. Handle them with care because you never know from which box they sprang forth. You’ll never know if a piece is missing, but even if it is, you can’t throw them away and get another box. There are no other boxes. You only get one shot at the jigsaw person. No frames – but on display. No tape – but still fragile.

Each and every one of us is a jigsaw, but it is our job to seek understanding and look beyond the lines that separate the pieces of a person. Don’t pull apart the jigsaw person and leave them lifeless with missing pieces thrown to and fro. It is NOT our job to piece them together in the image WE’D like them to be, and if we don’t like the pieces or it gets too hard to put together – just forget it. We can’t bang the pieces with a hammer or shoe (you know how you’d get frustrated with your puzzles) and just MAKE them fit either. Be compassionate, be honest, be kind, be praying…

Love yourself, jigsaw person(s), lines (cracks) and all. Those pieces are just that, pieces. Yes, they make you who you are, but there’s another truth in your whole person. Find that and walk in it. Blessings…

Healing Words

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I share this story in hopes that it will touch someone’s heart and assure them that they are not alone. On the morning of May 17, 2006, I prepared to leave work for my routine ob-gyn appointment. When I got into the exam room, unbeknownst to me, my blood pressure was 150/110. Ok, so??? The nurse practitioner was having trouble finding our little precious one, so she called the doctor in. I’ll never forget his cold, heartless words, “Sorry, but she’s gone.” WHAT DID I JUST HEAR?! He tells us our daughter is gone and then goes to sit in the corner.

On May 19, the day our daughter was stillborn. Our hearts were broken into minute pieces so small a microscope wouldn’t be able to detect them. I pushed through the natural labor and the silence in the room was more like a full marching percussion section. It was real now. She really wasn’t going home with us. We had already had one of the showers. I can’t go home without a baby. It was unreal…this ordeal. I wanted to ball myself up and be thrown away in any trash heap that could be found. I felt like a failure; like I didn’t do right by my daughter. Our sweet Triniti Lauren needed me and there was nothing I could do to save her. I was helpless.

I’m going to blog some more about the aftermath of this tragedy and how grief almost consumed me – well, it DID consume me, but I had to let go. That’s another story for another blog post. I wanted to encourage women out there who have faced this horrible scenario. How you feel is OK. YOU are OK! No one is allowed to tell you how or for how long you should grieve, but don’t allow your grief to transform itself into a living, breathing being. That’s what I did and that thing took over my life. You will have days when you just want to scream and cry, and that too is OK, but remember ALL things work together for the GOOD of them who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. His purpose for me and my husband wasn’t to bring our daughter home, but to propel us into a series of events that lead to an atypical miracle. Her life was not in vain and neither are your precious angels. Here a few Healing Words for me, and I pray it blesses you too.

Healing Words

I’m really having a hard time as of late

Relational Revelations – Loyalty and Stuff

Have you ever wondered…

  1. Why on EARTH are some people so incredibly “clever?” You can usually smell rain before it falls, so most know BS when it’s being delivered, but by all means, continue…
  2. Why do you keep doing doing doing for people, but when YOU need something, crickets? The nature of who you are may not allow you to activate the Golden Rule in a negative fashion seeing as how you keep doing unto them but they have YET to do unto you, so you continue to say yes when you’re thinking you should be saying, “I WISH I MIGHT!”

It gets a little old constantly bending over backwards for people and don’t even get a simple thank you. It gets a little old breaking your back for people who stand on your back and prevent you from straightening up.

It takes nothing to show someone you BELIEVE in them; mind you, I said show NOT say. We have to get out of this disloyal and unsupportive state. DO BETTA! It’s funny though because the people you just knew would be there are the main ones on team incognito. Yet, these same people have horrible memory banks because they will fix their lips to ask you for something and then wonder why you’re being “short.” Chile boo…

I know…(100)

  • I have friends/family who will beat the ambulance to the hospital. I know this because some have done just that.
  • I have people in my life who will let me cry, cuss, wallow if that’s what I need, and then encourage/correct me all in one swoop.
  • Praying for me goes without question. (you see I have this thing with CARS hitting my car, so I stay covered – :-))
  • If I need to run up on somebody (I don’t do stuff like that – #shrugs), they coming too, with bail money (again, I don’t do stuff like that because I can’t do jail – She’s cute, so she can’t do jail).
  • If I can’t make it to get my son from the beast known as the car rider line, they got him sometimes without any prior notice.
  • Love is as love does!

I ALSO know…(lessons)

  • I tend to go all in with my whole heart on things, and it hurts when people aren’t appreciative – perceived or reality.
  • There’s a thin line between being nice and being taken advantage of.
  • I can’t expect people to do for me what I do for them. My former pastor would always say, “The people you bless will never bless you.” I think that’s a pretty extreme definite; however, I understand the statement to mean that when you make the choice to be a blessing in someone’s life, you enter into the act of kindness with the understanding that you may never get that thank you or money back or time spent back or loyalty back, but God is pleased when YOUR motive is pure.
  • Even though I get the above epiphany, there will come a time when there is an “I WISH I MIGHT” rising up in my spirit, and it will be those times when I’ll have to pray and remember that it’s not about me.
  • If the person or persons never “get it;” if they never see your value; if they get “brand new” because you go into silent “I wish I might” status (translation – they text, you don’t answer; they leave voicemails, you delete and never listen to them; they call, you hit reject, etc.) – oh well and whatever. Feel free to move on and don’t sign up for guilt class because they will try to make you an unwilling participant. Again, DON’T sign up for that class; walk away!

I want to say a heartfelt thank you to my friends and supportive rocks in my life. Some have been there since I can remember while others got on my path in college and still others became a part of my world within the last few years and months even. I believe

the “when” of the connection isn’t important – the QUALITY is.

I want to build quality relationships with people I value and who will value me. I want to cultivate a spirit of support and encouragement, and I won’t give less to the friend of 6 months than I give to the friend of 20 years. I’m just not built like that.

THINK ABOUT IT. What is the scale by which you determine which friends get the most out of you (time, resources, shoulder to cry on, etc.) and which friends get the “New Friends” package (occasional texts, a church visit maybe, some Facebook likes while you take X amount of time to “feel them out”)? I mean, really, I want to know! Like for real, for real – what is the criteria?!

Which Face Is This?

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(BEFORE THE PEN) Have you ever dealt with unstable people? You never know who you might get from day to day. Maybe you work or have worked with them. Maybe you’ve dated or were/are friends with them. Look normal if you’re next to them reading this right now – shhhh…I won’t tell (lol). However these “gems” came to cross your path, I’m sure they tired you out as they do most folk. Now, granted, we all have our moments when we aren’t quite “on it,” but seriously, an all day, every day “don’t know what you’ll get TODAY” person is NOT the business. This goes out to all those who are making circles dip and flip, making ovals and wingdings out of a perfect shape. Which Face Is This? Inquiring minds would like to know. Please and thank you…lol

Which face is this?
It’s not the same face I talked to yesterday,
Yet your diagnosis isn’t schizophrenia.
I’m confused.
Which face IS this?

Which lie shall you walk in today?
The one where you say we’re friends,
Or the one where you say call you for anything…
while crossing your fingers praying that “anything” never
shows up on the caller ID?

Which path did you take to reach me?wpid-cb9f51fb35d3b1cd4ccb8bad1fd00bf7.jpg
And as the sermon said, “who in the hell left the gate open?”
Did I let you in because you looked familiar?
Sounded familiar?
Hmmm…ambushed!
Which face IS this?

Which color palette did you hide behind?
Rouge for the rude?
Or maybe blush for the brush off?
Or just MAYbe nothing at all
Because a slice of the knife is a dish best served raw, so
Which face IS this?

Circles can be quite large depending on how you draw them.
Some are not as round as they could be
Because there’s a dip
Or break
Or opening
In other words, some part of the shape is WEAK.

Fix the weakness?
Draw a new circle? Smaller…
Decisions…

(AFTER THE PEN) When you do find real friends, KEEP THEM! Don’t take them for granted. Be there when they call because they would do the same for you without hesitation. I have friends like this, and they are more like my sisters/brothers than just friends. They know who they are and how much they mean to me, but let me say here that I truly appreciate you.image