By Cheval John
January 12th, 2018
On my way to another social media breakfast event today and was lucky enough to capture this photo on the bus. As someone said, life is an adventure and I need to continue to wake up early to see this type of sunrise #business #lifeinhouston #travel #gratitude #perseverance #growthmindset #smbhou #VallanoMedia
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Houston has long been known as the energy capital of the world.
It makes sense because the entire city was built directly and indirectly through the discovery of oil in the spindletop area in the early 20th century.
The riches made from the oil boom allowed people to form their own businesses in the growing city.
It even led one former Houston Post reporter Marcellus E. Foster to form the Houston Chronicle in 1901 despite the fact they already had two newspapers in the city with a population of about 45,000 residents at that time.
The Houston Chronicle outlasted the other newspapers to become the official newspaper of record (the Houston Post was bought and shut down by the Chronicle in 1995).
Another result of the oil boom was the creation of the Houston Ship Channel in 1914 which allowed the Port of Houston to become one of the largest cargo exporters in the United States due to connecting with the Gulf of Mexico.
The riches made from the wealthy also allowed them to create the Medical District, the largest area of hospitals in the world, the houston symphony orchestra, the houston ballet and many other places which has enriched the vibrancy of the city.
Why I went through the history lesson of houston you might ask?
Many outsiders only know the city of houston as the energy capital of the world.
They might not understand there is more to this city than meets the eye.
Though the oil and gas industry are the drivers of the houston economy, there are other business sectors which are comparable to other cities in the united states and even the world.
The city has a vibrant music scene where many independent artists create their sound and eventually get discovered by major music labels.
The food industry is very hip as well as they are thousands of restaurants in the city which some have said will take a lifetime to visit.
The above is quite impossible because many restaurants are closing every year while new restaurants are appearing at the same time.
Super Bowl 51 allowed visitors to see the different coffee shops, bars, burger joints, barbecue joints and restaurants the city had to offer.
Visitors also had the opportunity to see the thriving arts and entertainment scene the city has to offer.
They also might have been shocked to know the city of houston is among the few cities in the United States to have the the major artistry of the symphony orchestra, the ballet and the theather based in one area.
Many might be also be surprised to know Houston is among the places where the tech startup community is based.
Matt Mullenweg created this platform in the city of houston in 2003 from a code called b2/cafelog before changing the official name to wordpress.
The non-higher education company which has also been a resource for startups is Station Houston.
Station Houston was created in March of 2016 to help startups connect with potential investors.
They give workshops on pitching to investors, growing your customer base and building a community around your brand.
Houston is also a hot bed for the social media industry.
Since every business sector must be on social media, they have to understand how to grow their audience and their business through this platform.
Unfortunately, people will have a tough time finding work as a social media professional in the city of houston.
According to Conductor, Houston was not even in the top ten for content marketing work and seo work.
It leads back to the oil and gas industry as they are rules and regulations on what you can report and what you can’t due to the competitive nature of the business sector.
Which leads to this point.
CEO’s, executives and C-Suite will have to be on social media in addition to the employees of each of the business sectors because people transparency from each brand.
They can not afford to do business as usual like they did in the past with comments about certain crisis or a change in the business structure with quote “said in a statement.”
Yes, they have to be very careful of what they say because it can become misunderstood by the public.
However, they can let the public know when an event is happening as quickly as they can, “We will answer all of your questions as soon as we can once we know all the details” in a crisis like an oil spill.
Or in the case of Walmart shutting down 63 Sam’s Clubs stores yesterday without giving their workers any warning about their change in direction of the business.
At least the rest of the workers in other stores within Walmart know they will be out of work soon.
“CEOs will no longer be able to avoid social media. They’ll become the company’s biggest marketer by engaging with customers and allies more regularly and showing more behind the scenes and the human side, which will increase sales and brand advocates.”
This further explains that leadership from every business sector especially here in the city of houston must be on social media this year or wind up losing business to their competitors who are already there.
It does not mean for them to just broadcast their message hoping to get a sale on the first interaction.
It means taking the time to build trust with their customers consistently.
So they might be wondering how to get started with building a community with their customers on social media.
And which social media agency or professional corporations and organizations can work with.
Here are the top social media professionals here in houston I believe will be the best bet to guide them in taking their social media activities to the next level.
This list is not in any particular order
Kami is the founder of Zoetica Media, an agency which provide social media services to the health care sector, the non-profits and the travel industry.
She has been a public relations professional for more than twenty years prior to founding her company.
Kami is also the co-founder behind the Social Media Breakfast Houston, a monthly event which started in 2009.
Social Media Breakfast Houston is also live streamed on Facebook.
Known as “PR Kristyna”, she provides workshops and seminars about social media to the non-profit sectors.
Kristyna also does some live streaming surrounding tips to using social media to build an audience.
One of the best advice a person can follow from her is this: “Do not post the same content to other social media platforms because each of the platforms have different audiences and it comes across as lazy” #paraphrased.
Kristyna worked as a social media volunteer during Super Bowl 51 last year.
Rebecca is a social media professional who provides services to small businesses.
She is also a certified evernote consultant and businesses who needs helps with this platform can find her.
Rebecca is the founder of Social Media Day Houston, a one day event which brings together speakers on different social media topics and is indirectly part of the global Social Media Day event which was started by Mashable.
She also had the opportunity to work as a social media volunteer during Super Bowl 51 last year.
Kristy is a former journalist and producer, who is the Vice President of Public Engagement for Drive West Communications.
She is also the creator of #chatsnap, the first twitter chat talking all things surrounding snapchat.
Kristy has done some snapchat takeovers including one for her former employer, KTRK-TV, a Houston media station.
She has also been featured on top blogs including Hootsuite and Social Media Examiner.
Ken is the founder of Watson Knowledge Services, a agency which provides small businesses with social media audits and consulting.
His main expertise is instagram.
Ken started #chatgram, the first twitter chat about all topics surrounding the instagram platform.
He also worked as a social media volunteer during Super Bowl 51 last year.
It is the parent company of Blog Elevated, an annual conference which brings together speakers on topics surrounding blogging.
They also co-host #blogelevated, a twitter chat which is an extension of the conference and was featured in Hootsuite’s blog.
They have spoken at Social Media Day Houston last year.
Eric is the Digital Director for Go To Marketers, a Canadian based company.
He has spoken at Social Media Marketing World twice and was featured in media outlets like Forbes and The New York Times.
Eric has also been the guest speaker at Social Media Breakfast Houston and has build a strong online presence.
Anh is the founder of Amplified Marketing, which provides services for mid-sized organizations.
She is also the co-host of #mobilechat, a twitter chat about topics surrounding mobile technology.
Anh has made appearances on Livestream Universe and has spoken at Social Media Breakfast Houston.
Madalyn is a twitter expert who has build communities via Twitter Chats.
She was among the first to live tweet at a conference event when Twitter was in the early stages.
Madalyn hosts #twittersmarter, a chat about topics surrounding twitter.
She is also the host of #socialroi which recently celebrated it’s one year anniversary and is produced by Manage Flitter.
Madalyn has made many appearances on many media outlets including Al Jazeera and the Huffington Post.
Jillian is an instagram expert and influencer.
She blogs at Cup of Charisma, where she shares tips on fashion and social good.
Jillian is also an account supervisor at Integrate, an award winning digital agency.
She was among the speakers at the inaugural Hispanicize Houston event last year.
Jillian has spoken at Social Media Breakfast Houston and was featured in the Houston Chronicle.
Basya is the founder of Pink Cilantro, a digital agency which focuses on social media and data.
The company has worked with brands like AT&T.
She has spoken at Social Media Breakfast Houston about data focused social media.
Ashley is the founder of Mouth Marketing, LLC, a marketing agency which provides consulting to small businesses and startups.
Their specialty is LinkedIn because they have grown their business through the social platform.
Ashley has spoken at Social Media Day Houston in 2016 and 2017.
Aimee is the founder of The Black Sheep Agency, a marketing company which works with non-profits and for profit businesses who does social good.
She has been recognized by the Houston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 in 2014 and has been featured in media outlets including the Houston Chronicle, Fast Company and the Huffington Post.
There you have it, the list of social media professionals who I believe will add value to your corporation and organization.
Did I miss anyone who you believe should be on this list? You can leave your comment below.
By Cheval John
We have heard predictions of how twitter was going to be bought by a major media company by a certain time.
We also heard how Twitter was not relevant anymore because they were not “growing” in user base.
Some saw twitter as a place where people spam others hoping to make a sale.
I can understand what they mean due to the constant automated direct messages from people who are asking to like their business page or subscribe to their blog.
The truth is twitter has always been relevant since it began in 2006.
Just because they have 330 million active users compared to Facebook’s almost 2 billion users does not mean Twitter is not important.
No other social media platform (with the exception of snapchat) have come close to where you can interact with anyone in “real time.”
There is a level playing field when you can chat with a celebrity or with an “influencer” any time you want to on Twitter.
Those who think Twitter is not relevant are missing a huge opportunity to stand out from their competition.
They do not realize the majority of journalists from media organizations have Twitter accounts.
Most of them will share another side of themselves and also interact with their fans.
The smart entrepreneurs will take the time to build a relationship with the journalists on Twitter and sometimes see the behind the scenes of what they are working on for a news cast.
This can save them from ending up in the journalists’ spammer list because most companies still use the dreaded press release in order to get placement in the media outlet.
If they share the journalists’ article consistently to their audience on twitter, the journalist will notice.
Unfortunately, most corporations and organizations uses twitter as a broadcast only channel to promote their events to the journalists on the platform.
They think the golden days of advertising still works today.
When they do not see the quick results from their tweets, then they whine like spoiled brats wondering why their campaign is not working.
They also will blame Twitter and tell everyone it is not worth the investment because they did not see the results they were hoping for.
That is probably why they thought social media was a fad because it clearly went against the conventional wisdom of advertising.
And why small businesses, mid-sized businesses and even micro-businesses will always win because they are using Twitter to build a community around their brand.
One of the methods they use to build a community is hosting a Twitter Chat.
A twitter chat are conversations with like-minded people surrounding a hashtag.
Think of it like a focus group that happens every week.
The topics can range from social media marketing, how to build a successful blog, or how to host events if you are in the event planning business.
The brands can use these twitter chats to learn more from the community.
They can even get topic ideas for their blog.
Most companies produces a recap from the twitter chats on their blog and feature the best answers from the participants.
This is another way for the company to highlight their community and share their expertise with their audience.
This is the cherry on the cake for the participants because they are contributing to the twitter chats and also getting exposure to the host’s blog audience.
The participants in turn can share the twitter chat recap to their audience on social which gives the brand exposure to prospective clients.
They can also create a press page on their website featuring the recap from the brand’s blog.
It’s a win-win for both the twitter chat host and the participants.
For those who are looking to run a twitter chat in the new year, here is a list from the most successful twitter chats.
#TwitterSmarter: Thursdays at 1 p.m. eastern time
Twitter Smarter is hosted by Madalyn Sklar, a podcaster, business coach and houston social media power influencer.
She started the chat in mid 2015 after her podcast by the same name became very popular.
The chat talks about ways to use twitter wisely and has a plethora of guests.
Twitter Smarter also became very popular due to the number of participants who are there on a regular basis.
Another reason for the fast growth is Madalyn has hosted another twitter chat for five years surrounding the Go Girls Community prior to starting Twitter Smarter.
#ContentWritingChat: Tuesdays at 11 a.m. eastern time
Content Writing Chat is hosted by Express Writers.
Topics surrounds putting out quality content, having a content calendar, seo, etc.
This chat also features guests who shares valuable information to the community.
Each month, they have open forum in which they ask the community tips on improving their content.
#ChatGram: Tuesdays at 1 p.m. eastern time
Chat Gram is host by Ken Watson, a houston social media power influencer
This is the first twitter chat surrounding the use of instagram.
Participants share on topics like the importance of instagram stories and how to spot bots.
The chat also has guests who are experts on instagram.
#ChatSnap: Wednesdays at 2 p.m. eastern time
Chat Snap is hosted by Kristy Gillentine, a former journalist and houston social media power influencer.
This is the first twitter chat all about snapchat.
Participants attend this chat to learn about building a community on snapchat, how businesses can benefit from snapchat, etc.
This chat also features guests who are experts in all things snapchat.
#MediaChat: Thursdays at 10 p.m. eastern time
Media Chat is hosted by Aaron Kilby, vice president of sales and marketing for Artisan Colour.
Guests have included experts ranging from social media to live streaming.
#WinnieSun: Wednesdays at 2 p.m. eastern time
This chat is hosted by the co-founder of Sun Group Wealth Partners, Winnie Sun.
It features different experts from the finance industry who share tips on managing your money.
Topics also surrounds social media which Winnie Sun has leverage to gain the right clients for the company.
#BlogElevated: Mondays at 10 p.m. eastern
Blog Elevated is co-hosted by Bobbie Byrd and Lisa Stauber.
Topics range from improving your blog to using live streaming.
The twitter chat is an extension of the blog elevated conference which brings in speakers who are experts in blogging.
Both co-founders are houston social media power influencers as well.
Did I miss any twitter chats from this list? You can leave your comments below.
By Cheval John
With the new year beginning today shows we have an opportunity to start fresh and grow more professionally.
I am determined to fulfill the plans I created on my vision board here.
Here are some articles from trusted sources to inspire you to make this year the best ever:
Social Media Marketing Trends: Planning for 2018 [#SMTLive Recap]-Emma Wiltshire of Social Media Today
Unwavering Focus Is the Super Power of All Elite Entrepreneurs-Angela Kambouris, Contributor for Entrepreneur.com
New Media Equals New PR Opportunities for Business Owners-John Pilmer, Contributor for Entrepreneur.com
30 Habits, Qualities and Secrets That Lead to Success (Infographic)-Rose Leadem of Entrepreneur.com
HOW THE HECK DO YOU RESHAPE THE WORLD ANYWAY? : THROW AWAY THE PREDICT SCRIPT.-Victoria Taylor, Founder of Untwisted Media
By Cheval John
The type of energy you give determines how you will succeed in life. If you are complaining about everything, you will draw other complainers which will not take you very far in life. If you are grateful for all of what life has brought you (including the trials), you will bring the right people who are already successful in their lives because they have achieved their goals. Always have an attitude of gratitude #business #lifeinhouston #travel #growthmindset #VallanoMedia
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As we are drawing closer to 2018, I want to leave you with some advice.
DO NOT COMPLAIN
When things are not going your way, the first thing you would do is complain.
It seems like the right move because you think you are voicing your concern.
The problem with complaining is it takes away your focus on being appreciative of the journey to your desired success.
Complainers will always find an excuse to why they can not succeed in their lives.
If you want to be at the next level in your career and business, do not complain.
ALWAYS HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
Having an attitude of gratitude helps you to see the blessings you already have despite the difficult times.
You might think it is the end of the world if your computer goes down because you need it to run your business.
If you have access to a computer at a local library and they have free wi-fi, you are rich because you can run your business from the library
When you see the blessings in the simple details, you can enjoy life and worry less.
AVOID THE COMPARISON TRAP
You might feel down on yourself because you are comparing yourself to someone who is further along in their business journey.
Or seeing photos on social media of people seemingly enjoying their lives and thinking “Why can’t I have a great life like theirs.”
You do not know the years of hard work that person did in order to be where they are at.
When you see them achieve a milestone like getting featured in a major media publication, celebrate their win.
They have shown you anything is possible to achieve your dreams of a better life.
So instead of comparing yourself to other people, focus on your own business
BE LIKE THE EAGLE
An eagle do not run away from the resistance of winds because they understand the wind helps them to fly further than anyone else.
When you are going to the next level, you are certain to get some resistance.
For example, if you want to start a business because it makes sense to you, family and friends will try to talk you out of it.
They do not understand why you would want to leave a “stable” company.
Though they mean well, you will have to leave them behind because they are comfortable in their lives.
When you pass the trials and tribulations in running your business, you know that you are an eagle because you see that you can handle any situation.
START SETTING SOME GOALS NOW
If you set specific goals on what you want to accomplish in your life and business in 2018, you are already ahead of your “competition” because many just wander aimlessly in life.
Some goes a bit further by creating a vision board of what they want to accomplish in the new year.
They would spend time writing out the end goal on the vision board first because it allows them to see what steps are needed to achieve that specific goal.
They also know to celebrate the small wins because it will boost their confidence and get them closer to achieving their end goal.
You have what it takes to succeed in your business and your lives.
While you might think you have not achieve anything this year, keep this in mind.
If you are putting in the effort and seeing some progress, you have already succeeded because you are way closer than you think in achieving your goals.
Progress is much better than perfection.
Do you agree or disagree with this post? You can leave your comment below
By Cheval John
When you think you have figured out a social media platform, all of a sudden, they change the algorithms.
Now your social media campaigns have very little impact for your business due to the pesky algorithms.
Your try to learn from experts on how to “beat” the algorithm so you can get back to the glory days of organic reach.
Social media are rented land.
If you are building your business solely there, you will have problems.
The old e-mail is still important despite the growing importance of social media because it is your real estate.
When you build your subscriber base through e-mail, you can withstand any algorithm change in social media.
Which lead to the dreaded pop ups.
Pops ups are like the annoying commercials which interrupts your show because the advertisers are trying to get their product out in front of the viewers.
You are reading a fantastic article on a blog when all of a sudden, a pop up appears in the middle of the article asking you to subscribe to their website.
Some believe popups works because they will get more e-mail address.
The tactic of using the popup is very bad and it shows a person or company are very desperate for e-mail address.
That is where the social listening comes into play because you can see what people are chatting about on a daily basis.
The social chatter can give you ideas of what you can write about on your blog.
When you write quality content consistently, your audience will feel inclined to subscribe to your blog.
Over time, you will grow your blog organically through building your e-mail lists.
Even more important is the same people will share your content on social media to their audience which will bring more traffic to your blog.
This is the boomerang effect of building your e-mail lists the correct way instead of using the lame tactic of the popup.
If you decide to go the route of using the popup, you will end up losing the prospective customer in the long run.
Here’s An Additional Article on Avoiding Popups:
4 Easy Ways to Get More Subscribers (Without Using Annoying Popup Boxes)-Julia McCoy, Founder of Express Writers and Contributor To Search Engine Journal
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