Category Archives: Professional

Latest Reads: Week of March 5

Lots of fun announcements this week, and upcoming next week. Here are a few of my favorite latest reads.

Facebook Timeline for Brand Pages NOW (via Social Savvy Geek by @SocialSavvyGeek)
This week, Facebook announced that they were rolling out Timeline for Brand Pages. If you haven’t seen it, log into your Facebook page and do a preview. Also check out Mashable’s Facebook guide and Facebook’s guide to Pages

Why Should a Social Media MBA Exist and Why the Corporate World Needs to Take Notice (via Neal Schaffer)
I’m happy to see this article  by Neal Schaffer from Windmill Networking about the importance and introduction of social media in university settings. A couple of weeks ago, I was at the Food & Agricultural Communications Symposium, working with students on social media execution for a live event, that was also live streamed. It was amazing to see their lightbulb moment as they saw the value of social media (a personal engagement tool). For a follow-up to Schaffer’s Feb. article, check out Part 2: How Social Media is Introduced in Universities.

The Rapid Rise of Pinterest’s Blockbuster User Engagement [Infographic]  (via Mashable)
I continue to call Pinterest a time vortex, and looking at the recent infographic on Pinterest’s adoption, I’m not the only one. For any site owner, time on site of HUGE importance, but as we look at not only Pinterest’s unique visitors (nearly 12 million in January 2012), we see continued trending on time on site. Ninety-seven minutes and 48 seconds per user. Pretty incredible! Now, I’d like to see original posting numbers, engagement and transactions! 

Beyond Tools, Marketers Must Focus on Content (Jeremiah Owyang, Altimeter)
I always appreciate content from Jeremiah Owyang and Charlene Li. So many times, marketing forgets the meaning behind compelling content. Content becomes a machine-like process, where we develop something brochure-like and boring, and the distribution is through processes we’re comfortable with rather than distribution channels that our readership prefers. Check out the post and corresponding slide deck.

8 Useful and Easy Video Editing Tools (Small Business Trends)
I was looking for an easy and quick video editing software last week and landed on this site. 

That’s it for me! Send suggestions if you’d like to be included.


Relationship-Building: Transitioning Online to IRL

Social media is a philosophy. It’s how we engage as human beings. It’s doing the right thing. And it’s being open, honest and transparent. But, it also has its pitfalls. At the end of the day, it’s all about relationships.

Well, Women’s Health magazine says there are 15 defining moments of a relationship. A relationship online or IRL (in real life) still has milestones we have to reach. But transitioning from online to IRL is not easy. We, as humans, crave deeper connections. Do you consider it dating someone if that relationship has only been online? Honestly, I wouldn’t. It might actually be a little creepy. So, how do you bridge to that — the IRL relationship?

I’m no expert, but here are a few tips I’ve found along the way.

Be at the right place, at the right time.
This is the hardest tenet, but it also means you have to seek out opportunities too. Sure it’s coincidence that you may be on a plane with someone you. Someone wise once told me, you never know who you’ll sit next to on that next flight. And time and time again, I’ve been amazed by just taking out my headphones.

Face to face / voice to voice.
That first phone call is a little unnerving. Reacting in real-time and in more than 140 characters. As we would online, listen first and invest in the relationship. Working with bloggers and customers, what I’ve learned is take more time listening to how their day went, what they are looking for and then working to propose a solution.

Don’t force it.
I admire the people who can just walk up to someone and talk to them. But often when I stick around, I’m turned off by the cut to the chase mentality. Don’t walk into a room thinking what can you do for me, but what can I do for you. The key here is to be genuine and a little self-less.

Be open to expanding your network. 
The key is – be open. I’ve met some incredible people through networking online – primarily Twitter. From chatting about my favorite TV show (insert plug for Fringe here), learning social media trends and best practices, or professional career coaching – I’ve been floored by the broad network of people.

Commit and invest.
You get out what you put into it. So spend the time and invest in those relationships. I know we get busy, hell – I haven’t posted for months, but when you can, carve out some time to invest. That one person you worked with on one project for a client, may end up being a lifelong friendship. Use the tools to maintain the relationship. I use Twitter and Facebook to keep in touch with both my online and IRL friendships.

Do you have tips you’d like to share?

An Easy New Year’s Resolution: Get Snipping

With every new year comes new year’s resolutions. Traditionally, at the top of the list each year, you’ll find losing weight (yes, it’s still on mine), saving money, and getting a better job. But this blog post isn’t about New Year’s Resolutions, it’s about lasting ones.

Image courtesy of

A few years ago, my friend Kong introduced me to vision boards and I’ve been hooked ever since. In my recent post about Pinterest, I talked about how I got my kick at boards and how Pinterest can be a nice online tool. But, if you’re looking to do one thing in the next couple of months that’s fun and inspiring, break out those old Elle and InStyle magazines and start cutting and pasting – the old fashion way!

What you’ll need:

  • Magazines, catalogs, newspapers
  • A cork board (I recommend this approach, but you can also use a poster board)
  • Scissors
  • Tape or push pins
  • Marker
  • A positive attitude of fun! (it’s all about perspective so don’t walk into this thinking it’s dumb or silly)

Visually break your vision board into a few areas that are  important to you like your home, your relationships, your career, your finances, your environment and your dreams. Dedicate a square section of your board to each of these sections.

Be intentional about what you put on your vision board as things that you want in your life. It doesn’t have to be material things but the meaning behind those things. What do the images make you feel? What do you want in your life?

Think about long-term and short-term goals. You want to include things that you can achieve in a short time frame (1 week-3 months). Celebrate those short-term wins! To celebrate that you’ve achieved something, take it off the board and celebrate that moment. Hell, have a glass of campaign and toast yourself.

Place the board somewhere you look at every day and that is private to you. The last thing you want is judgment from others for things that are important to you, so share it with people who will support you.

Keep in mind that your goals will change, and when they do, acknowledge it and remove it from the board. That’s the beauty of a bulletin board over a poster board. You can always reserve the right to chance your mind. I reassess my board every two weeks.

And the most important thing — believe! You must do good, be intentional and believe that good will return to you. Yes, cheesy I know – but it’s the mantra I have to believe and live by. So far, so good.

Hope these tips are helpful! Happy snipping!

HOW TO: LinkedIn Profiles for Beginners

Over the past few months, I’ve seen friends jump jobs to explore new careers, start a career for the first time, and sit stagnant in a job wishing they had a career. Tis the end of the year and with 2012 comes new year resolutions and goodbye to last year’s not-so-fabulous moments (or wonderful moments as well). As for me, I was one who took an opportunity to explore something new. It’s going quite wonderful, thanks for asking. [insert wink here] For those of you who might be wondering, “Where the hell has Laura been?” I’m here to say, I’m alive and well! I started a new role at Pioneer Hi-Bred, managing digital and social media. It’s been a fun, thrilling and challenging adventure these past 2 and a half months, and I’m excited for what 2012 has to bring for me and hopefully, some great work I’ll be able to bring to the company.

But after about 75 days have past, I started to realize – I haven’t been active in my personal social presences, and I barely did anything to my Twitter Page (with minimal tweets at best), Facebook Page (well, I did get my Timeline up and running), Tumblr (does staring count?), and LinkedIn profile! So, this morning, I set out on a mission. Re-activation social media commenced! For friends in professional fields, step one is to update your LinkedIn profile. What I realized in my conversations with new colleagues and friends, is that there are spectrum answers as to how and if they have a LinkedIn profile. So to get us started, let’s take a gander at LinkedIn.

Because infographics are awesome, here’s an infographic on the value of LinkedIn (in case you were wondering)…

More infographics: 12 Awesome LinkedIn Infographics in 2011

Getting Started on LinkedIn

So, you want to get started now? Here are 3 easy steps!

1. Create a Profile.

2. Find People. Make Friends.

  • When you add your previous employers, you’ll get a list of suggested people. Scroll through and start adding folks! SocialMediaExaminer gives a few how-to’s.
  • When following people, try to write a personalized note in your request, especially if you don’t know them very well. It’s a nice touch and gives a reference point to why you’re connecting.
  • Don’t always think with a “what’s in it for me?” mentality! I hate when people connect with me because they want something. Let’s date before you try to push the envelope.
  • Join groups, that align with your business goals. Check out Miles Jennings’ LinkedIn Blog for some good tips.

3. Engage Regularly.

  • Take part in the groups you joined. I don’t do this enough, but there are some great discussions happening, and it’s a great way to stay connected.
  • Ask and give recommendations. Everyone loves getting a pat on the back, and in order to receive, you should give. Chris Brogan gives some good tips on LinkedIn recommendations. Check it out.
  • If you don’t know someone’s email address, LinkedIn is a great way to try to connect with them. But remember: don’t go crazy with it. No ones likes a stalker.
  • Use tools! Hootsuite’s LinkedIn stream makes it easy to follow discussions and see what your connections are up to!

If you’re thinking, ” It’s just more work for me!” or “There’s not enough time in the day!” My response would be, “It’s only ‘more work’ if you think of it like that. You get out what you put in, so give a little and have fun!”

What about you? Do you have tips for LinkedIn?

For those of you managing a LinkedIn Page for your company, check out this great article: 5 Sure-Fire Signs Your LinkedIn Company Page Sucks

If you want to connect with me on LinkedIn, go to:

Social Woes: Has this ever happened to you?

The setting … a contemporary venue, the soft sound of beats overhead, and a loud bustle of voices in every direction. You stand quietly, scanning the room for a familiar face. Alas a gentleman in a nice suit approaches you and you’re wondering, “How is this really going to go?” And he introduces himself…

Ever been in this situation? How have you handled it?