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Social Media

Ask Jackie Anything: Questions from a Recent Social Media Talk

Ask Jackie Anything PR Questions I spoke last week at the Northwest Arkansas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America during a social media talk – answering questions as they got lobbed at me from the super smart folks in the room. I thought I would relay what those smarty pants were thinking about and how you could apply it to your business, organization or destination.

We’ve been doing pretty traditional (newspaper) marketing for our nonprofit, but I’m thinking of expanding it what would you do online? The ONLY thing to consider is WHO is your target market. I work with clients to figure out exactly who they want to experience their product, company or destination. Drill down on who they are, what do they drive, where do they go, what music do they like – we name them and have fun with this. Then when you have your target customer then you can figure out where to be online.

Are you trying to attract young people? Get on Snapchat. Are you appealing to women, artists and mom’s? Get on Instagram. Do you want to reach a lot of people through sharp targeting? Use Facebook. Looking to go into music streaming? See if Pandora or Spotify will do a small ad run with your organization to test it out.

The big deal is don’t do ALL of the things. Do the things that your target customer would be doing.

How would you navigate an Instagram take over? Well, our Main Street does these with TRUSTED partners on the regular. If I was a large corporation I would do one of two things: I would have a shadow from corporate help a store manager or other trusted partner post on Instagram by working together OR I would have them send them by text quickly to be approved before posting. All of that said, there would be a conversation and understanding of the TYPE of things that you are looking for on the account. Just think HOW powerful it would be to see the life of the folks that work for you or are part of your organization for 24 hours. Those real life moments are precious.

Alright, but what if something goes terribly wrong? Well. That can happen. Let’s be honest. Not everyone has your sense of humor, visual eye or wants to tell the stories that you want told. IF something terrible happens – delete it and post an apology immediately. Be real about it. Stuff happens.

How do you use Facebook groups? I am using Facebook groups to build teams and advocates. It is one the of STRONGEST platforms I’ve seen in a long time to get people talking, motivated and part of the bigger conversations. It doesn’t replace meetings, but it adds to the work that is being done in between meetings. It also is a great place to talk about specific ideas, projects, ask questions, crowdsource. Plus, you can do Facebook Live events right in the group that just are seen by the group. How cool is that!?

Those were just a few of the questions I answered. I HIGHLY recommend joining PRSA in your area if you job is related to communications (and if you are doing social it is). Looking for a speaker for your organization or conference? Email me. Let’s talk.

Facebook, You Suck, Damn You

You don't get to rent space in my mind with a few shitty words typed on Facebook. You don't. I'm not going to let you. First, let me say that this is my fault. Also, let me say that this may be a little ranty. I apologize now, but I just think it needs to be said. “Facebook, you suck.” There. I said it. You totally came in and tried to ruin my holiday yesterday with your unwarranted comments and ideas and I’m so dumb I almost let you. No. We aren’t breaking up, but there will be boundaries and long talks about our relationship. It’s just how it has to be. I’m sorry.

The Set Up

So, I take this AWESOME digital sabbatical Saturday night to Sunday night, I reenter my social life like a pro that evening, the Monday, a holiday, I do a little peeking around Facebook and that is when I see it – a comment that isn’t quite throwing poop on my shoes, but is aimed to cause harm to my heart/work/integrity/mission…

So What Happened?

I let it stew in my head for a little while. I felt bad about myself. I was disappointed in the person who wrote it. I was sad that no one defended it. I hated myself a little.


Yep. One stray shitty comment and I was down for the count (or at least ruffled and mad). I let that get under my skin, make me forget all the good I have done, and lose track of the moment I was in. One comment. Unbalanced me.

Then What?

I asked my husband what I should do. He said ignore it and move on. It’s their issue. It’s petty. Small. Rude. I have MUCH bigger fish to fry (or kebabs to grill – which is what we were doing) and that although I saw it, I know it is out there, it isn’t about me as much as it’s about them.

Gah! I KNOW that. I know that when people throw mud into the fan they are just seeking attention and for it to stick somewhere and usually I am able to dodge it or just move to the side. But if I had never SEEN it (this is where I’m mad at Facebook) I could have just been in my day – enjoying it.

Here’s the thing. If someone has an issue with something I’ve done, me, the organizations I work with or life in general I am SUPER accessible. You can text me, call me, email me, send me a personal Facebook message, Tweet me… I’m not invisible and I will respond with all of my listening ability.

If you just write random shit on someone else’s long thread of shit I can’t respond intellegently or kindly or with my whole self there – it isn’t the forum. You have poisoned the water and I can’t dip in there. Honestly – I HAVE NEVER SEEN (yes I’m yelling) ACTUAL CHANGE HAPPEN from a Facebook thread. I HAVE seen change happen from personal connection, actual meetings, work plans made, connections connected – all those things. I have even seen actual change happen in FACEBOOK GROUPS dedicated to a cause, idea or project. If you REALLY want change you have to put ENERGY beyond typing things online. Change = Work. Even Ghandi did things. He didn’t just sit there. He took his shirt off and adopted the dress of the “lower castes” in order to show solidarity – he did action. I can’t believe that he would expect change if he just wrote things on Facebook.

Sorry. I got off in a rant…

So, this is my fault. I let you into my head. I can’t do that and continue the sustained progress I am making in my work and life. You don’t get to rent space in my mind with a few shitty words typed on Facebook. You don’t. I’m not going to let you.

The question is how am I evicting you? Honestly, talking to may husband helped, but I can’t go look at it. It’s like being a rubbernecker at an accident waiting to see gore… it’s painful, but you want to see it. This reaction, this idea, has to end for me. I can’t do it… it isn’t good for my heart and soul. So, I will write about it, when I’m stupid enough to stop and read it, using a concept from Brene Brown:

The most effective way to become truly aware of our stories is to write them down, so get your thoughts on paper. Nothing fancy—you can just finish these sentences:

The story I’m making up…
My emotions…
My thinking…
My body…
My beliefs…
My actions…

For instance, you might write, I’m so peeved. I feel like I’m having a heatstroke. She thinks I’m incapable. I want to hurl a stapler. 

I’m also not going to look… or I’m going to try my very hardest not to. If you need me you can contact me. If I can help, I’m there. If I can’t, I’ll direct you to the person who can. That’s the best I can do.

And Facebook… I’m beginning to believe we aren’t evolved enough, trained enough, hearty enough yet to handle all that we see within you… and I’m still mad at you!

Digital Downtime – A Report on the Second One

digital downtime DSC_0379 DSC_0383 DSC_0384 DSC_0386 DSC_0388 DSC_0390 DSC_0392 DSC_0394 DSC_0395 Another Digital Downtime and I feel like I am a “do all the things master”! Give me 24 hours uninterrupted and I can do everything… things I put off for years. It’s amazing and I’m a little in awe of it. Why have I been living my days tied to the NEED to check in on humanity over and over (really check in on my ego to see how many of you LIKE me. Sigh.).

Digital Downtime Part 2

I started on time this time 8:37PM and I took notes because honestly it gives me a place to focus. Here’s what it looked like this time around.

7:45PM – Walked the dog around the cemetery for 45 minutes and then dropped him back home and endured a trip to Walmart – my fifth ring of hell.

9:11PM – Did a yoga session before going to bed – new app, didn’t like it as much as I like FitStar.

8:10AM – Rain

9:30AM – Mauled by an overexcited dog as I try to read. Coffee is spilled across me.

9:45AM – Laundry. See above.

10:15AM – Set hourly alarms on my iPhone for my photo project. My plan is to use my DSLR to capture what is happening every hour.

10:30AM – Husband comes in and says we are stuck. Rain flooded our low water bridge and even he wouldn’t cross the creek. Darn. No errands/distractions.

10:45 Make a list of things to do in no particular order:
Planner update
Clean out office closet
Make coleslaw
Yoga – a longer session
Paint new background on current project
Start a new collage
Clean out glassware
Make an event kit for on the go
Clean off desk
Contour drawing practice – not my favorite, but I want to get better
Replant succulents
(Note: crossed out means I did it.)

12:20PM – Office closet done. Wow. It’s been a mess for years and now it looks amazing.

12:45PM – ESDN t-shirts repacked and labeled.

12:53PM – Event kit made. Lunch, really just a small snack.

Time does seem to just splay in front of you when your day is your own and you aren’t beholden to virtual ties.

3:05PM – Planner, bills and desk – oh my!

3:23PM -Now what?

3:29PM – Pens organized. Agh!!

I wonder if there will be a time when I’m not uncomfortable with free time.

Dinner, finally the water goes down and I can escape to walk the dog, finish my book, watercolor painting, contour drawing, and a full kitchen clean.

A Gut Check In

So, how did the digital sabbatical really go? Better. Much better this time. I made that list and it gave me a place to come back to. I had two moments where I felt stuck/bored, but I just went with that and moved onto the next thing to do. It felt less like filling time than exploring what I could do with my time.  Which felt great.

What About After?

Last week I numbed out immediately after the time with Facebook. It actually felt like doing a drug. Seriously, my brain numbed. So, this week I KNEW that I needed a plan. At 8PM I took Franklin for a walk (luckily we could get out) and my phone alarm went off at 8:35 just as we were getting back into the car. I drove home, cleaned the kitchen, and then went to bed and read. No phone checking. I just let it go and it felt better. Like I wasn’t rushing into a really loud party after doing a silent retreat… I eased myself into it and checked social media late this morning and then got off.

Biggest Take-Away

My world is right here. Sure, I can go check in on the tangental connections I have, but I can walk away. My two cents are always needed. The work is in front of me and not in the casual comment I put online and to be present right here… well, I need to be present. Let’s see how next week goes!

A Funny: The Things I Wanted to Google But Couldn’t:

Areal flooding – why isn’t it area flooding?

How often to actors have real sex in scenes? This was brought on because my husband is watching Tell Me You Love Me on Amazon and, well, the sex scenes are hot.

I want to ebay bic pic clicky pens.

I DO want an Ikea craft cart and another black and white rug.

I need a new computer/teacher bag.

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