Thursday, May 23, 2019

Week 17 - Post A - Final

As I mentioned several times throughout the semester, I am a reluctant social media person. When I started my radio show in 2002 at a traditional brick and mortar station, where I am still today, there was no FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram or Blogs. What we had back then were forums and discussion boards. Banner ads were a big deal and selling advertising on eBay worked well for ads on websites, forums, and for my radio show.

When FaceBook came along I wasn't that keen on it. I liked my little world of radio, website, and weekly newsletter, it served me well and I got two book and TV deals from it. I've really shied away from social media because I am very private and don't need to take photos of my food at dinner. I will take a scenic photo while on vacation but, that's about it.

Taking this class I've learned I can utilize social media for my business without leaving myself too personally vulnerable until I get comfortable with the medium and settle in. Ironically, though you can learn a lot of personal information about me listening to my show. Perhaps, because I feel safe and comfortable on-air as it is my true "home". The social sites seem so intimidating because it's so easy for people to say snarky things hiding behind their keyboard.

This class has been good for me to explore the different aspects of social media sites. They definitely each have their own personality and appeal to distinct demographics. As I think back, I remember enjoying YouTube videos. I'm doing a test project right now for Catholicism is Cool where I am using a teleprompter and recording the Daily Mass reading and Gospel. I'm excited to try this and see how I can grow it. Also, posting the video on my FaceBook Group and uploading the audio to

The biggest challenge for me over the years was deciding where I felt comfortable online and decided yesterday to try Catholicism is Cool videos and repurpose them across several platforms. The challenge is in recording seven at a time and editing in lower thirds then scheduling them to be posted Monday through Saturday every week. I looked at the competition and there are a Priest and one other lay person or group. Open field!

In summary, there are so many different platforms that as my co-host Richard says, "You have to figure out where you want to play online and who you want to play with." With that said, going back to my online roots of radio, YouTube, and a newsletter and repurposing onto my blog then tracking my progress and tweaking what isn't working. Also, be a shark and keep moving!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Week 16 - Post A - Creating My Strategy

Wow, the semester is coming to a close. I really enjoyed walking through the paces of learning about social media. A co-host of mine is a social media and e-commerce guy and he would always ask me, "Mary, where do you want to play and who do you want to play within your business?"

It took me a while to understand the concept but, now after this class, I get what he means. Going through the assignments and trying a few of the platforms it was interesting to note which ones would work for Go With Your Gut and Catholicism is Cool. These two topics are based on podcasts, books, and online courses so I don't feel they are as strong for Instagram because they are not as visual. I can make memes to complement my content and that will get some attention but, typically I stick to recording a podcast, transcribing it for a blog post, and posting on my site and iTunes. With that said, FaceBook and Twitter seem the logical sites for now. I can see the Zoom interviews and other videos of my content to reactivate my YouTube channel. I like YouTube, too.

I would choose to boost posts on FaceBook as a strategy from the class. My ad on Twitter didn't yield anything but, I don't really have a strong enough presence for that. I like Twitter for some weird reason and will continue to dabble in that.

I remember really liking analytics when I had my MomsTown company. I like getting in the weeds with data. Even when I send my newsletter out I like to see how many clicks, opens, bounces, etc... and I've noticed when I send the newsletter with specific headlines I'll get a 50% open rate, if from nothing other than curiosity. Full disclosure, I don't send it very often. Mostly to my vacation rental guests and I include a podcast, local events in town, and special rates. I do get click-throughs on the podcasts and always get a booking for my rental. Hmmm, why don't I do this more often?

The biggest take away from the class was that I need to incorporate social media as a strategy on a consistent basis and that needs to be thought out and scheduled.

If I plan to batch content and schedule it to go out I believe I could spend a portion of one working day to do that and be done for the week.

Record a podcast. Transcribe it. Edit for a blog post. Post to FaceBook with a link to the podcast. Post to Twitter with a link to the podcast. Send a newsletter once a month with a podcast.

One other thing I know from past experience is to engage each subscriber as much as possible. For instance, when someone signs up for my newsletter I should reach out to them with a simple "Hello, thank you for subscribing." Also, what is effective is a shout out on my show. That worked really well to ingratiate listeners.

Thank you for a great class.

Week 13 - Post B - FaceBook Ad Options

In the past, around 2005, banner ads were very popular and on the right forum or website, they were quite profitable. Then banner ads seemed to take over websites and seemed to have fallen out of favor.

I think I would feel most comfortable with creating an ad for Facebook and actually watching the traffic from both FaceBook and Instagram. When I create a meme and put it on Instagram I do get a response but, I haven't taken it too seriously to watch for results.

Moving forward, I am going to schedule posts for both social media sites that promote both Go With Your Gut and Catholicism is Cool. If I schedule 5-7 posts ahead of time then it is easier for me to stay in the zone and focus on one thing. I call it batching, and it works well for me.

Week 16 - Post B - Group Members Blogs

I reviewed and commented on the following in my group:

Aime Saloman

T. McGhee

A. Macias

Week 15 - Post B - My FaceBook Analytics

I wrote four different blog posts and boosted them with an ad. For each blog post, I tried to be descriptive enough to get them to click through and read it. My reach was the strongest number and I'm disappointed in my engagement. I need to look into how to increase that number.

I placed an ad to see what would happen. I didn't niche my demographic so it seems I just did a scatter approach for a potential audience. I also read that my reach included both the number of organic and paid viewers which is not giving me an accurate picture of either.

I've learned that consistency and frequency with my posts is probably the most important aspect to my social media efforts. I believe if I do both then my audience will let me know by what they click on, or not click on, what is of interest to them.

I need to make an editorial calendar and schedule my posts for each week, I think that's the only way to boost awareness of my brand.

Week 15 - Post A - Google Analytics

When I have tracked my Google Analytics, I wanted to see how many people would visit my site, how often, and most importantly how long they stayed on my site. For my school blog there isn't much information but, for my personal blog and my past business blog, understanding the users who visited was important to me to see if I was providing useful content. I would also dive into the demographics of those to find out their interests and if there was something we could add to the content to fill a need.

I was also interested in how often they returned to the site. If I posted a blog post and a podcast, it was important to know if they found it through the newsletter links. After a while, I would see which topics were more popular than others and if a guest had promoted their segment.

The most interesting for me is the session duration. Perhaps, it's my ego, however, if someone clicked on a podcast and only listened for a minute or so that would help us shape our content. The most helpful of course is if they listened for longer periods we felt we were on the right track and could convert them into more engaging visitors and purchasers of our products.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Week 7 - Post B - Scheduled FB Posts

I created and scheduled three FaceBook posts for my Go With Your Gut page. I really liked this assignment and know I will do more with this.

Week 17 - Post A - Final

As I mentioned several times throughout the semester, I am a reluctant social media person. When I started my radio show in 2002 at a tradit...