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First impressions used to happen as people met face to face. But in today’s world, people meet others way before that step.

Meeting people and getting to know them used to require both parties to be present. With all this “newfangled” technology, this is certainly not the case anymore. These days, first impressions tend to start with either a Google or Facebook search and a little stalking.

It is important to monitor what any outside person will find when they search you. Here are some tips I have found helpful to keep in mind:

  • Does someone else have your name? Be sure that when people search you, they are finding information about you and not the other 8 billion John Smiths that exist. Do something to stand out. Include your middle initial in your Twitter handle or LinkedIn profile. Use SEO to bump yourself up to the top of a search. Mashable can show you how
  • Clean up your social media. No drinking. No drugs. Easy on the language. Make sure you are always looking over what your friends post and attach your name to. Don’t be afraid to un-tag, delete posts and even de-friend if need be. Don’t let someone else taint your pages.
  • Make sure you are consistent. If you look like a raging lunatic on Twitter but your LinkedIn shows how you run your own business while your Facebook has you saving orphans in Cambodia, outside viewers might be skeptical. Play to your strengths while still being honest.
  • Keep track of where your name is. Set up a search on your Google Reader that shows when new web content contains your name. This will help to stay aware of how people might find you. If you have a common name, this is a good idea to make sure your long lost twin isn’t shaming your name.
  • Ask a friend to take a look. Sometimes we become desensitized to what shows up online. Have people of different ages tell you the first things they notice. Not sure if a photo is appropriate? Wondering if your LinkedIn profile shows off your best talents? An outside perspective always helps.

Another great way to check out how awesome you are online on Klout. By connecting your various profiles, they give you a score based on how influential you are with whatever content you post and how your connections respond to it. I’m still learning how to use it but my competitive nature has me doing all I can to bump up my score.

Klout

What tips do you have to make a great impression online? Let me know in the comments below.

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It was the moment I had been waiting for; the Whole Foods finally re-opened in Upper Arlington, Ohio. Unfortunately class prevented me from being a door buster but I wouldn’t miss opening day. Opening day is a sample-lover’s dream. A promotional item hoarder’s fantasy.

I regret to inform that Whole Foods left much to be desired in the name of marketing practices.

I can’t totally discount the samples and the exceptional customer service. As brands go, Whole Foods is consistently superior in their face-to-face customer engagement.

But what about the other forms of engagement? If I was social media manager…

There would have been a store opening countdown a long time ago. Each Whole Foods has a local account…except for this new one. (If you’re looking for a social media manager Whole Foods Upper Arlington, I’m ready when you are).

With signs and samples throughout the store, there were tons of opportunities to drive people to their website and/or mobile app.

Throw a QR code next to food displays to take people to a how-to recipe link. At the very least, place a Twitter bird in the corner of the chalk boards so we know where to find you!

One of their big promotional events being advertised across every Whole Foods in the country is today’s Parmageddon. It has something to do with cheese and breaking world records- two of my favorite things.

Parmageddon

 

No better time than to ask for people to post their favorite recipes that use Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on their Facebook page. Perhaps a photo on Instagram or Pinterest. At the very least, go for a hashtag.

Internet marketing and social media is only as useful as its user is capable. The world is lazy. It is our job as marketing professionals (ok my dream job- I’m working on it), to lead the horses to water and make it impossible for them not to drink.

We have to make it impossible for them to resist. We have to get in their heads and make them want to be part of our conversation. Social media should never be one way and always be top of mind.

Social media is the new “word of mouth.” We can make our messages spread like wild fire. With technology on our side, we can make content instant and get immediate feedback. Now more than ever we have an opportunity to get creative.

Whole Foods gave people a reason to talk and interact but without instruction on how to do it. All it takes is a “click here” or a “follow us here” and that’s enough to drive media use and inevitably brand loyalty.

What’s the best store opening marketing you’ve seen? Post in the comments below.

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As an official member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (I get a certificate and everything), our meetings provide opportunities to network with professionals in the public relations world or other relevant industries.

Tonight we heard from a blogger who refers to herself as the naked red head. Her hair is in fact red. She did not show up naked. Sarah Storer is a mentor of mine, without whom I’d have no resume, no cover letter, and, if we’re being frank, no clue.

She is a professional blogger. I didn’t know it was such a thing either.

I remember her at my first PRSSA meeting. She spoke about her blog and her Twitter; I hadn’t the slightest idea of what either of those things were at the time.

Naked Redhead Screen Shot

Needless to say she has helped me come a long way in terms of prepping for the professional world. My favorite lessons from Sarah

  • Blogs are great for soul puking
  • The Internet is nice
  • Use keywords on your resume and cover letter; it takes a while before humans actually look at them
  • It doesn’t matter how much content you put out, just make it consistent
  • White space is your friend
  • It is possible to get a job based on a rockin cover letter
  • Use Hootsuite.com and Bufferapp.com to schedule. It will make your life so much easier
  • Send out fewer applications and make them awesome. Quality over quantity
  • Stop freaking out. People keep telling me that; maybe one day I’ll listen

Listening to Sarah talk about how she finds herself with writer’s block from time to time, makes me feel better about my blogging uphill battle.

Tonight’s key take aways:

  • Write about something you’re passionate about
  • Let your blog content be organic (fair warning- what I write about could change any moment)
  • If you want comments, post comments

So the New Year’s resolution (I realize it is February but I make these all the time) is to engage in more interaction. I also have a tidbit of redesigning to do so things are more reader-friendly. Sorry that my font has been too small this entire time. 

I’d love your opinion. Do you have any suggestions on how I can make my blog better?

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I’ve given so much thought to this whole blogging thing. I am officially overwhelmed and have used that as an excuse to not write. Who would have thought that avoiding wouldn’t solve the problem? This seems to be something of a trend in my life. I opened up my Google Reader (hadn’t done that in a while) and felt once again overwhelmed but upon doing a little more reading, I realized that all of my questions and concerns are probably answered among the thousands…yes thousands…of unread posts. 

My latest goal- interact on Twitter. I’ve already followed a number of people in the advertising world (where I wish to be some day).  Hopefully the more I listen and the more I talk, the more gumption I’ll get to actually blog about actual things. I’m also planning on using some photos…I don’t know what to take pictures of but I’ll figure it out. I keep hearing that people like to click on things with pictures which is annoying. Then I realized that I’m  one of those people. 

So I wrote it down, it’s official. Operation be present on Twitter is a go. You as my witness, which is kind of funny because no one is reading this. Maybe one day when I’m a rich and famous and some kid who want to be part of the advertising world Googles me, they’ll read this and laugh. That’d be cool. 

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