Overwhelmed by social media?

social mediaSocial media is fun, but keeping up with the changes can seem like a full-time job.

That’s where I come in!  I can be your Social Media Advisor — a one-stop-shop for what’s new in social media and best practices for integrating social media into the rest of your marketing.

It’s like having an in-house social media expert!  Find out more

Why work with me?

Why work with me?Recommendations are the best source for information about a company.

Past clients consider me an expert in my field and say that I’m a “brilliant, dynamic, creative, energetic, fun person to work with.”.

Contact me to see how those qualities can help your business.

My experience

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Learn more about my 18+ years managing online strategy for clients and organizations ranging from semiconductor associations to international non-profits to major telecommunication companies. From sci.environment to the rise of social media, I’ve seen it all.

Let me show you how online tools can make your organization’s communications more effective.

Feb 15

Going “in house”!

I’m working at Red Hat now, on their internal communications team (intranet collaboration and communication — right up my alley), and love it!  I’d still be glad to give you some advice, but for the moment, I’m focusing my energy here (it is such an exciting company!).

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2013/02/15/going-in-house/

Feb 29

Putting the “social” in Social Media

I’ve been saying for a while now that Social Media is *not* about retweeting your last press release (and, in fact, that using social media for that sort of “push” marketing turns consumers off), but instead about building connections between organizations and audiences and creating networks (of content and connections) that enthrall and enmesh the audience, thereby creating engagement.

I just read an article, Content and the New Marketing Equation, that puts it perfectly: it’s a “move away from promotional content to the delivery of useful, entertaining, or meaningful engagement and experiences through new media.”

Yes.  Why would your audience *want*  to be involved with what you’re sharing?

It all reminds me of a really interesting date I had when I was in college.  There was this guy I liked in one of my classes, so I asked him out (I’ve never been accused of being an introvert!  :-)   He made it clear he wasn’t interested in me as girlfriend material (which I thought was awfully kind of him — I hate being led on) but asked if I wanted to have dinner anyway.   Ermmmm…sure?¹

I approached dinner with some trepidation… I had no simple model for not-date-with-guy-you’ve-just-asked-out, so I was expecting awkwardness and silences aplenty.

There were none, though, as at dinner he pulled out a list of questions — really interesting, intriguing questions².  Things like whether I found infinity or zero a more daunting concept and whether I’d be a tiger or a bluebird if I had to choose one of the two.  Despite the lack of any potential forward momentum, it was a hugely successful date (by my standards), and one that I’d have repeated again (again, even knowing he didn’t like me “that way”).

That’s what good social media is:  it draws you in and engages you even if the provider (for example, a dishwashing liquid or an umbrella) wasn’t “a romantic prospect” (unlike your real life friends who you *want* to be involved with).  Creating that kind of content, though, also requires thought, resources and preparation, as well as a major shift in the way organizations think about their engagement with their audiences.

Or the way I thought a not-date would be.

¹ Of course I paid — I’d asked him out!

² No, I didn’t write down the list — I wish I had  :-)

 

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2012/02/29/putting-the-social-in-social-media/

Feb 07

Riding bikes and other “hardwire” skills

You know how “they” say that riding a bicycle is “hardwired” — that once you learn how to do it, you’ll never forget?

I came across another interesting example of that sort of muscle memory last night.  Adrian had decided that he wanted to make a lanyard, so he did what any self-respecting geek would do:  went to Amazon.com, ordered lanyard cord (aka “tactical cord”), then pulled up a webpage explaining how to make one.

I watched him struggle for 20 minutes or so before I just had to try it myself.  After begging him to just let me show him how (assuming, of course, that I could figure it out again) and being _rejected(!), I was allowed to cut my own lengths of the cord to give it a shot.  Much to my surprise, I really did remember how to do it.  The rhythm of flip over, flip over, flip over, flip over, tuck under was apparently instilled in my hands through many (so many) lanyard-making sessions at camp, and it was now just _there_ for me.

Tomorrow night I’m angling for Ojos de Dios.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2012/02/07/riding-bikes-and-other-hardwire-skills/

Nov 29

Google, how I love thee

So, here’s a Google search on the term “do a barrel roll” — click the link.  I actually yelped.  It’s just delightful that even their “Easter Eggs”  push the boundaries of technology.

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/11/29/google-how-i-love-thee/

Oct 24

An overabundance of choices

Most of the time (and by most, I mean 95%+), I *love* having the richness of the internet’s information available to me. It’s pretty great to be able to know you don’t know something (like whether it’s ok to transport washing machines laying down on their sides) and instantly (or at least as quickly as I can type that into Google) get an answer (pretty much not advised unless you tighten the transport bolts and then not recommended as the weight of the barrel can cause everything to go askew*).

Sometimes, though, it’s too much.  I just want a simple answer, and there isn’t one.  For example, I want to know where to find the best price on the best flooring.  Once upon a time this choice would have been simpler, as the choice would have been Bob’s Carpetatorium or Fred’s Floor-a-rama and that’d have been that.

I’m well aware that Bob’s and Fred’s may not have had, in fact, the most optimal price/value floor, but I’d have thought they did, and that would have simplified my decision-making process.  Today I search for “flooring options” and there are millions of pages (of information) and millions more of shopping (and, of course, none of those options compare apples to apples, or Pergo to Armstrong, as it were).

So I’m overwhelmed.  And I still haven’t decided on floors.  Maybe I’ll call Bob.

* This knowledge proved helpful yesterday when Adrian and I transported his old washer and dryer from storage to our new house and my old washer and dryer to (honestly) the back porch.  There’s another round of transport (new house washer and dryer to our hold house) yet to come.  I know, you envy our glamorous lifestyle, right?

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/10/24/an-overabundance-of-choices/

Sep 19

On being “liked”…

Social Media changes all the time and in order to keep up, I subscribe to quite a few mailing lists.  Most of the time I read and move on, but every once in a while there’s something that’s so *wrong* (yes, on the internet) that I have to say something.

Today’s gem was:

“What are clicks among friends?
Alot [sic] of folks lately are out liking FB fan pages in exchange for the owner of that page liking theirs as well. Nothing wrong with that, keep in mind that most will not return the favor. I will, guaranteed!” [name deleted to protect the clueless].

My response:

“For what it’s worth, I do think there’s something wrong with that! It’s uselessly attempting to game the system and is no more reflective of a real relationship than the scores of “linkback” schemes that were all the rage in the 90’s (before Google made that a Bad Thing by penalizing the behaviour).

“Like” pages you actually “Like”. “Friend” people you know. Anything else is the digital equivalent of gushing over how much you like something you’ve never even tried at a cocktail party in order to try to win someone’s friendship, and that’s just plain tacky (IMHO, of course). “

 

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/09/19/on-being-liked/

Sep 12

I’ve seen the future…

…and I’m a little in love with it.

Adrian and I recently set up an account at Coastal Federal Credit Union (their GoGreen checking can pay up to 2% interest — w00t!) and I went there the other day to deposit a check.  Surprises abounded:

First, their teller windows (and lobby) are open until 7pm (and I think from 7am, though, to be honest, I didn’t really read that part, since I am “not a morning person” in an almost cliche way).

Second, their teller windows are staffed by virtual tellers (looked a lot like the picture to the left)!  There’s a screen and a video picture of your teller (mine was Carol).   I have no idea where she was, but from that moment forward it was rather like a traditional drive-through arrangement, except:

  • I could reach the window
  • I could understand everything she said (no fast-food-style squawky speakers)
  • When I put my check down, it was into a little slot like an ATM (I have to confess I did miss the SWOOOSH of the pneumatic tube)
  • And, of course, she was not 10 feet away (I presume.  That would have been sort of silly)

Wow.  Just plain nifty.  It would’ve been quick too, had I not spent so much time saying:  “This is soooo cool! ”

I will also confess that having watched too much sci-fi — and this week’s Dr. Who — I also had a bit of difficulty remembering that she was a real person and not just “Interface.”

 

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/09/12/ive-seen-the-future/

Jun 23

Delightful UI suprise

20 px

Image via Wikipedia

Driving to Raleigh the other day, I noticed the new, easy-to-spot “lane paintings” on I-40. They’re large (4-5 feet across) and look just like the shield that is used to denote interstate highways.

It’s *great*! It makes it SO much easier to tell which lanes stay I-40 and which ones become Wade Ave.! I am all for increasing information density when possible and this was an easy way to do so.  YAH Raleigh!

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/06/23/delightful-ui-suprise/

Jun 12

My turn in the helicopter!

IMG_2804 by lintqueen
IMG_2804, a photo by lintqueen on Flickr.

And here I am, taking my turn at the helm during the helicopter lesson.

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/06/12/my-turn-in-the-helicopter/

Jun 12

Helicopter lessons

IMG_2319 by lintqueen
IMG_2319, a photo by lintqueen on Flickr.

Adrian is about to take the helm during his helicopter lesson at NC Rotor and Wing.

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/06/12/helicopter-lessons/

Jun 10

Growing pains…

It’s an odd (and somewhat unsettling) thing to realize that my web content is spanning two sites.  I’d like to hurry up and get the migration done, but I also know I need to do the proper housecleaning before porting content — when you’ve been online since 1996, you accumulate a lot of driftwood.

I always tell organizations that I’ve worked with that diluting your message can be nearly as harmful as not having one, so clearing out the clutter (particularly in the main pages of the site) is a must-do.

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/06/10/growing-pains/

Jun 05

Wonderful Bela Fleck show

The best part was that it was his original lineup, so Future Man, Victor Wooten (both of whom I had seen before) and Howard Levy (who I hadn’t) joined Bela — wow! I have never heard harmonica playing like Howard Levy… there were times he was playing harp and if I closed my eyes I’d have sworn he was playing sax, the notes were so clear and distinct. At one time, he did a little solo bit where he played Ode to Joy… I was about 20 seconds into enjoying it before I realized he was playing all the parts — the slow chord progression that’s normally played by the left hand *and* the more “active” melody played by the right.

I wondered for a moment whether he was somehow looping it (he wasn’t) or using two harps (he wasn’t)… my jaw dropped open and I wished dearly for my Tivo so I could have “mooped” back to the beginning to watch again now that I knew it was *all him*.

And getting to meet ALL OF THEM afterwards…HEAVEN! (I did ask Levy how he did it — he said he uses his tongue to block the center part of the harp then blows the chords out the left while using his lips to control the melody on the right!)

 

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/06/05/wonderful-bela-fleck-show/

Jun 02

cute pomeranian puppy (India)

sleepy by lintqueen
sleepy, a photo by lintqueen on Flickr.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/06/02/sleepy/

May 30

Fresh Start

It was about time I switched from the advertising-laden Livejournal over to something more flexible and less annoying.  I’m hoping to import some of the content from LJ, but that’ll have to wait until I have at least the basics set up here.  Thankfully, I’ve at least spec’d the configuration of) WordPress sites before (and set up a really basic one), so this is more of a “let’s see what I can do with it” thing.

(Does everyone post an equally boring first entry just to ensure that everything is set up correctly?)

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2011/05/30/fresh-start/

Dec 13

Adrian and I are engaged!!

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2009/12/13/adrian-and-i-are-engaged/

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