The Social Media Trap

My beef with social media is simple: I follow people I know, people I like, people I look up to, and people I aspire to inspire across social media platforms. I then become frustrated to see the same posts across all social sites.

A picture of a sunset or a product or a person that is perfect for one market is not perfect across the board.

A picture of a sunset or a product or a person that is modified in hopes that it will be perfect across the board still is not.

I will un-follow someone very quickly if everything they post is a mirror of all I’ve seen from them on every other social media platform, and every time I un-follow someone for this reason it actually pains me. I want so badly for them to post unique, site-specific content that gives me a full picture of the person, product, company.

If I’m following a juice company, I’d love to laugh as someone chugs the juice down as quickly as possible on Snapchat. Meanwhile, on Pinterest I’m reading great smoothie recipes with one of their juices as the base. Instagram would present their juice in an ice-cold glass sitting beachside, and Facebook presents an informative yet still visually pleasing picture of the product in full display with the health benefits of this particular kind of juice and this particular brand. Twitter would share news and retweets of folks enjoying this juice all over the world, and YouTube might show a range of professional and amateur videos of people living and loving this brand of juice. This would be a company I would follow across all platforms, and as new platforms presented themselves, I would seek this company out every single time.

This same rationale applies to people, too. Every Snap is not meant for Facebook. Every blog post is not meant for LinkedIn. Every Insta pic is not meant for Twitter.

If you are interesting, followers will seek you out. We don’t have to try so hard for people to like us, they like us because we’re us. Maximize each social media platform for what it is, and enjoy the long term benefits of retention and presenting a broader picture of your life, your brand, and your world.

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Summer Is Reading Time

Summer is such a great time to pick up a book or five and just get lost in reading. There’s something in the mindset of summer that relaxes things.

I love to read year-round, and the library is my very best reading buddy! Although I used to frequent the book stores so much more often, I’ve found so much less guilt in disliking a book if I haven’t spent 15 bucks on it, first. When I find a true gem, I will still purchase it for future reading, highlighting, underlining, etc. But anymore that is a very special book, indeed.

Please join me in reading a little bit extra this summer. Of allowing a few more breaks in the routine for escape into the written word.

If you’d like to keep up with what I am reading beyond those I post or create video content about, you can check out the “Books” tab with quick reviews of what I’ve read most recently, and the ever-growing list of books I’d like to read next. Also, if you have suggestions and favorites, I’d love to hear about books you think I’d enjoy so I can add them to my reading wish list!

Until next time my friends, read on!

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Downsize Redundancy

REDUNDANT

re·dun·dant
adjective
not or no longer needed or useful; superfluous.
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Do you know what I’m finding especially redundant these days? Social media marketing on every scale. The ones who are doing it right post unique, true-to-the platform content across each media outlet. The ones who are doing it wrong put out one piece of content and then replicate it across the board. The Snapchat picture saved and posted to Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram. The Periscope video loses so much when not viewed on its native platform. The Instagram photo is lovely, but friends on Facebook or Tumblr are likely also your friends on Insta, so they’ve seen it.
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So, with so many social media options, how do you choose where to really focus? Marketing experts will tell you that you need to be putting out that social media content, specific to each family or theme that encompasses the platform. However, that means keeping in the middle of the constant stream that is Twitter; taking and editing lovely photos of joy and beauty for Instagram; writing great long-form content on Medium, as well as your personal or business site; streaming worthwhile and polished-but-not-too-polished videos on Periscope and Meerkat; and constantly disconnecting from real-world events in order to capture them (or yourself experiencing them) on Snapchat. Vine, Musical.ly, Tumblr, LinkedIn…the list goes on and, meanwhile, every single hour someone is attempting to build the next great social media platform that will take the world (and your time) by storm.
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When I find, as an example, a YouTuber I really enjoy watching, I then look them up and follow them on every platform I am currently into; pretty typical social behavior. The problem, then, is that I end up seeing the same image, the same funny quip, the same political rant, the same socially aware statement, the same everything across every single platform. So, really, I would have only had to have kept up with ONE of these platforms to have known what was going on.
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Personally, Facebook has become the “necessary evil” lately. I have so many friends on FB and am following so many people, businesses and organizations there that I check it pseudo-frequently. When I do, I usually click off more annoyed than fulfilled because instead of seeing real content, real news of how my friends are doing, real family pictures and goings and doings, I see that XYZ Friend went on a “sharing” binge and all I see are regurgitated posts with some strong social or political opinion for miles of newsfeed.
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Twitter is so packed with info, and is constantly moving (yes, even while I am scrolling and it resets and starts me right back at the beginning…), complete with the actual people I follow AND the people who pay Twitter to suggest that I follow, or the constant ads meant to look like normal Twitter feed items.
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Instagram, in my opinion and even with the latest update, has remained truest to its origin, and generally if I get an ad pop up on my feed, it legitimately applies to me, my interests, and the things I enjoy following on Instagram. In fact, it is so finely tuned, there are many times which those Insta-ads pay off as I follow the paid ad person or business or state or organization.
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Snapchat…snapchat, snapchat, snapchat. Listen, I know Snapchat is the biggest thing going right now, I know it’s fun and I love the filters (especially when Snap isn’t trying to make me pay for the filters, which I absolutely will not do). However, Snaps are meant to be 24-hour, snap-it and forget-it shares that aren’t meant for all social media sites. I understand that since Snapchat doesn’t have an explore option to find others you would like to follow (outside of your current address book), so there’s a certain level of HAVING to seek out and share your snaps or your code to get more followers and share with more people. But, every time you take the moments to snap a pic or a video, caption it, draw on it, apply the filters, or whatever…then, share that same picture or video across other outlets, it equals redundancy. Share your snap code…if others want to follow you, they will. If you share every snap you take across every media outlet, there’s no point in following you on Snapchat, also.
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All of this being said, what I would like to see in my utopian social media world are:
1) unique posts shared only on the social platform that best fits that particular post,
2) focusing on the platform you excel most at or that your style best fits into and own it, and then
3) don’t water down that great message by sharing everything everywhere.
Additionally, 4) that when we are introduced to someone we would enjoy following, take the moment to decide which platform we get the most out of, and follow that person, business, organization, etc. only on that platform.
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I am working on following my own set of suggestions, as well. {What good would it do to not practice what I preach, after all?} Until next time, my friends…
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Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

Focus on Your WHY, WHAT & HOW

 

You may be thinking right about now, “Really, Marilyn? Two posts in a row about making comparisons?”

To that, I respond with a simple, “Yes.”

Hang with me a moment…

When you’re scrolling through your Facebook feed and see other people posing with their new cars or in front of fancy houses or sharing news of landing their dream job with the accompanying insane salary and bennies…do you EVER think, “that could have been me,” or “I work my booty off every day and am stuck and struggling, everything they touch turns to gold,” or “is she EVER going to age?”image

It’s one thing to see completely unattainable and unrealistic Photoshopped magazine covers staring at us over our overflowing grocery carts; we don’t know the celebs smiling back at us. However, when it’s our friends, our family, or our classmates sharing perfect snapshots of their perfect jet-setting life with the perfect kids, still married to the perfect high-school sweetheart and more in love than EVER…It’s a little more difficult to resist the temptation of comparison. Am I right?

Making comparisons in the business world is really no different. If you have an innovative idea, a new spin on an old idea, or anywhere in between, comparisons can kill your biz buzz. If you focus on what the other guy is doing, you’re focusing less on WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. If you’re going to focus on the other guy, just go ahead and let him do the business and you be his customer. If you want to take off and soar on your own wings of innovation, then setting your own path is a big part of the flight plan. Comparison–so it’s said–steals your joy, but it also kills your creativity.

Resist the urge to give a care what the other guy is doing. Resist making comparisons. Resist social scrolling.

You! (…yeah, I’m talking to you…) Do you!!! You know what you do and who you are and what you have planned better than anyone. Focus on doing, being, and creating all that and more!

I believe in you. Do YOU believe in you?

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

P.S. I am still reading Simon Sinek’s START WITH WHY: HOW GREAT LEADERS INSPIRE EVERYONE TO TAKE ACTION. Everyone from stay-at-home mom to CEO’s would benefit from this one. So good!

Weekly Wrap-Up: April 23, 2016

Who can believe it’s already the end of April? I’m pretty sure the ball just dropped in NYC three days ago…

Binge Watching

The kids and I have about 30 minutes every school day when we have nothing to do but sit in a parking lot and wait. We fill that waiting time binge watching Netflix, and this week we’ve been zeroed in on “Malcolm in the Middle.” For old-school me, it’s like a more recent version of “Rosanne;” so wrong but still so, so funny!

Book Love

This week, I got a surprise in the mail from a sweet friend, Jennifer Paddock’s A Secret Word. I am looking forward to diving into this new-to-me (published in 2004) read, as the author is from Fort Smith, Arkansas. My family and I spent eight years living in Fort Smith, so the reference points in the book will be familiar and fun.

Prince & Other Music

Who isn’t listening to Prince this week since his passing on Thursday? I feel for you, I think I love you!

Prior to this hard sucker-punch to the music and arts, I was soaking up the sounds of Punch Brothers. Such diversity in sound. Such great lyrics and musical range. Once the world gets beyond Prince’s passing, I’ll be back to PB!

In Honor of Earth Day

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” ~Native American Proverb

Post From the Week I Most Want YOU to Read

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is winding down, but our passion for preventing sexual violence, rape, incest, and the like cannot pass with the passing of the month. Please check out my post: HEROES IN TEAL, and please watch the videos, and be inspired to knowledge rather than depressed. Let’s tackle issues like this with a survivor mentality over a victim mentality!

 

Heroes In Teal!

Not everyone is comfortable with being in the limelight, especially around really personal, sensitive issues like sexual violence. However, everyone who admits –even to just one person– that they have been a victim of sexual violence is a hero! Every person who has ever been victimized and lived to tell about it is a hero!

The woman interviewed in the following series of newscasts is a family friend of ours.  I met her when I was a small child, about the same time she became a survivor of sexual violence. Because I was so young at the time, I don’t know how much Sally spoke about her abuse when it occurred, but I know NOW she is a hero on the front lines, making people aware that sexual violence happens right under our noses and that it needs to stop NOW.

Here are some scary stats on Sexual Assault, according to the website for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network  (RAINN.org):

  • 1 out of every 6 American women (17.7 million women) and 3% of American men (2.78 million men) have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
  • 44% of victims are under the age of 18, and 80% are under the age of 30.
  • On average, the age a male is most likely to be the victim of sexual assault is age 4; the age a female is most likely to be the victim of sexual assault is age 14.
  • Every 107 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted.
  • Approximately 4/5 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim, and 93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker.
  • Approximately 50% of all rape/sexual assault incidents occurred within 1 mile of their home or at their home.
  • 43% of rapes occur between 6pm and midnight.

EFFECTS OF RAPE: Victims of sexual assault are:

  • 3 times more likely to suffer from depression
  • 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide
  • 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder
  • 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol
  • 26 more likely to abuse drugs

In all of these gut-wrenching statistics, I see picsart_04-19-05.39.08.jpgheroes. Not only have the people these statistics represent gone through unspeakable pain that couldn’t ever be represented by a number, they are heroes for reporting the abuse to someone they trust. Without reporting incidents like sexual violence, statistics wouldn’t be available, the word wouldn’t be spread, and actionable steps to prevent and give support for the survivors of sexual violence wouldn’t be possible!

I implore you to open your hearts and your eyes, and to learn more about sexual violence. Given these staggering statistics, all of us know at least one person effected by this, and rather than face our judgment, let’s let them see our show of support and love. These men and women are heroes!

If you are in the Indianapolis area, I invite you to get involved: Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault via their website and Facebook page.

Elsewhere in the country, there are a plethora of similar organizations with the common goal of ENDING SEXUAL VIOLENCE! Find one and get involved!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

One more thing worth sharing, and also including my friend: Breaking Our Silence PSA by The Forces and Voices Project

This is Sally’s story:

Connect with Marilyn…ALL OVER THE WEB!

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr…it’s ALL here!!! TEN ways to connect with ME so that no second of your life can avoid me 😉

MUSIC: “Sunflower” by Topher Mohr and Alex Elena; YouTube Audio Library

Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

Keep up with Marilyn Horton and all of the Chronicles of life all over the interweb:wpid-20131210_155445.jpg

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And I’m on Vine, too! @MarilynHortonDotCom

YouTube: The News of NOW!

super bowl blackoutWhen there was a blackout during this year’s Super Bowl, I wasn’t watching the football game, but I was watching YouTube and found out about it instantly!

I’ve never been much of a news buff–primarily because in my Pollyanna-like existence I prefer to avoid some of the gloom and doom that surrounds both world and local news. However, keeping my head buried in the sand isn’t all that smart, either.

So, I like to get my news in highlight-version…through YouTube! IF it’s critical, it’ll be posted on YouTube. IF it’s newsworthy, it’ll be posted on YouTube. IF it’s the newest, funniest trend and people are going to be talking about it, tweeting about it, making t-shirts and Pinterest pics out of it, it’ll be posted on YouTube!  IF it’s not all that important…it will likely still be posted on YouTube, but that doesn’t mean I have to click and watch the video. All my news, usually in 90 second blurbs–AWESOMENESS!!!

I can pick and choose what I want to see. I can catch 80% of the news just by scrolling through the headlines without even having to watch every video. And, I can watch a handful of my favorite newscasters and stations all from one source without also battling remote-control-wars with the family. All On YouTube!

YouTube: Like Twitter through Videos!