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Social

*On Monday January 25th 2016, social media and the world celebrate #CMAD, which is short for Community Manager Appreciation Day. I have so many friends on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn & Snapchat who work as Community Managers, and I wanted to write something that speaks to their immeasurable value to the brands that they work for. Keep engaging, never stop building relationships and always be social... Happy #CMAD!* What. A. Day. Some seemingly mindless banter on Twitter has exploded into a broader conversation across your industry and your customers are busy expressing their happiness with your products and the service you provide. People are literally tweeting your competitors and advocating on your behalf, explaining why you're the brand to beat. They're sharing their views in Facebook groups, causing your page views to skyrocket and filling your Inbox with orders. Your mentions on Instagram are blowing up, with many users reposting some of your latest special offers. How did this happen?! Simple. Your Community Manager engaged your followers and connections and BOOM! They took care of the rest.

Apps have become modern day lifelines. Consider this: in 2014, the way we do business changed forever when Internet usage on mobile exceeded desktop usage for the first time ever, with accessing content and information leading the way for reasons why. With mobility empowering the workforce more than ever before, offering your customers (and employees!) a great experience with your brand on their smartphones is non-negotiable. As somebody who spends a good hour or two on LinkedIn each day, my hopes were high when I first heard about ‘Voyager,’ in a presentation from CEO Jeff Weiner during Talent Connect Anaheim 2015. Aptly named after the 1972 NASA mission that sent a man-made spacecraft further than any other in history, the revamped app represents a dramatic overhaul from both functionality and design standpoints. Things just work better and look slicker. This idea of helping LinkedIn “[go] further than [they’ve] ever gone before” definitely intrigued me. Up to this point, I always felt as if I was on a weaker version of the desktop when I browsed LinkedIn on my smartphone. In fact, over time, I would rather wait to hop on my MacBook after-hours instead of using the app during my lunch. That’s the opposite of what you want your customers or members doing in 2015. Nonetheless, after spending a few days using ‘Voyager,’ I am happily immersed and excited to see how this new mobile experience impacts my efforts on LinkedIn. A quick watch of 'The Making of the new LinkedIn app Project Voyager' should give you a sense as to how much energy and how many hours were spent in development. Here’s why I feel this launch is a huge move for LinkedIn as we head towards 2016:

Spending a good chunk of my spare time in the digital universe, I’ve seen things get downright ugly between mutual connections.

Whether it stems from general frustration, differences of opinion or flat out cheap shots, online beefs go from 0-to-100 real quick. Why aren’t we treating each other better? Frankly, it’s an incredible thing that I’m able to wake up each day and engage in conversations across continents, spanning time zones, all with a few simple taps on my iPhone. So how come the marvels of modern technology can’t transcend or put a muzzle on hostility? Personally, I think people forget that social relationships are the same as relationships in “real life.” Friends on Bridge I find myself in conversations where I feel inclined to add the words “from Twitter” or “on Facebook” after I use the word “friend.” It’s a bizarre thing, but it happens regularly. And frankly, it got me starting to question why I do that…? We’ve become so used to differentiating between our real and online lives, and yet those who have built positive and productive communities understand that digital friendships are a huge part of their everyday. I mean, asides from bots and spammers, these are still other human beings behind these accounts… so why aren’t they as important as the colleague I see in-person each day? It all boils down to several misconceptions about the concept of building and maintaining relationships on social media. And frankly, some of these are the basic fundamentals of human communication! Nevertheless, it’s time to dispel some of the most commonly held myths surrounding your relationships on social:

My autumn has been hectic. Insane, really. And boy, do my social media channels reflect it! Although the jam-packed days have provided me with a ton of positivity and inspiration, they haven’t left many moments for timelines, snaps, feeds or apps in general. I’m hesitant to call my recent lull on Twitter an intentional hiatus, but regardless, I’ve used the time to reflect on what I enjoy about the platform… and what I don’t. There’s certainly no prescribed list of “do’s and don’ts” that every Twitter user is expected to follow. But I suspect many would agree with me that certain unwritten rules should (and do) apply. Here are a few Twitter turnoffs that might be costing you connections, hurting your online reputation and weakening your social media strategy.

These past few weeks have been crazy. I won 1st overall at the World Yo-Yo Championships in Tokyo. Spent some time basking in my victory by the pool at the Ritz Carlton South Beach in Miami. I crossed continents and toured a vineyard in Bordeaux, France. Hitched a ride to the Big Apple and people-watched while strolling through Washington Square Park. I threw a cut on and went to Bike Night in Fort Worth, TX. I went blueberry picking in Sharon, MA... and STILL had time to make it to Hunter's 4th Birthday Party in Fresno, CA. Okay, so maybe I didn't literally do all these things in all those places... But it sure feels like I did! That's the power of Snapchat, which is quickly cementing itself as my favourite social media platform out there today. With a legitimate community that is honest, supportive, creative and genuine, my "Snapchat Fam" is everything that's right about social... all in 10 seconds or less. So what is it about Snapchat - the platform that a lot of people "just don't get" - that has helped it become part of my daily ritual? Are there certain qualities about the UX itself that make it more enjoyable to consume content on? Of course, I have my reasons for loving the time I spend viewing Snapchat stories and creating snaps myself... but I figured I would ask my community for some assistance.