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Better late than never the Hashtag is now coming to Facebook.  One of the questions everyone on Facebook will be asking is Do You Like?  Before answering that question I think it is only fair to explain what a hashtag is to our friends who do not know.

Hashtag

What is a hashtag

“A hashtag is a word or a phrase prefixed with the symbol #.[1][2] It is a form of metadata tag. Short messages on microblogging social networking services such as TwitterToutidenti.ca,TumblrInstagramFlickr or Google+ may be tagged by putting “#” before important words, as in: #Wikipedia is an #encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
Source: Wikipedia

Looks like Wikipedia will have some updating to do and add Facebook to its description too.

What does this mean for all of us?  It is going to be a great resource for search!  So let the games begin and let me know how you plan on incorporating #hashtags into your Facebook marketing.

Read more on the Hashtag Coming to Facebook via Mashable http://mashable.com/2013/06/12/facebook-hashtag-support/

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Be KindBe thankful, be grateful, be kind…always!  I tell my children that every single day.  Words do matter and sometimes actions themselves speak louder than words.

Children today face new challenges everyday and learning life lessons is one of them.  I always remind my children “don’t forget your manners” and please and thank you go a long way.  Manners go beyond please and thank you as adults.  Whether you like someone or not does not matter however treating people with respect and kindness does.

Has your child ever reached out to you because someone was not kind to them or they were not allowing your child to be part of the group?  I’ve experienced this with tears from a child “…they were mean to me and excluded me and would not let me play with them”…or your child reaches out to you in tears one night because she has been so sad that people she thought were friends were doing mean things to her…or what about being in a place where you are alone because the people around you just don’t want you there or like you?

Sometimes we also come across this kind of behavior when we are adults.  Conflicts arise and attempts for resolution take place.  We as parents don’t have to like everyone and of course can agree to disagree but remember Respect, Courtesy and Kindness…WE KNOW BETTER as we are examples for our children.  I’d like to end this with a quote from Henry James:

Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.

–Henry James

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Less is more in Social Media

Feeling overwhelmed? Google Plus opens its doors (or should I say circles) to the world, Facebook continues to make changes and updates (some of which I am not a fan but that’s for another blog) and Twitter numbers on the rise!  Do you sit there and wonder how am I going to do all of this?  What changes are next and who will be making them?  Keeping up with the changes in Social Media is like Keeping Up with the Kardashians, you just don’t know what’s next!  Today’s blog is about doing LESS:

Listen!  You keep hearing the same thing over and over, Listen…always be listening!  If you aren’t then you are missing the boat.

Engage!  Social Networking is a Dialogue, not a monologue!  Engage in the conversations, ask questions, respond!  If you are going to have a conversation, then do it!

Share!  Build the excitement and become a storyteller and share with others.  Share your stories and information, comment on Tweets, Facebook Postings and Share with everyone in your Circles.

Strategy!  Having a Social Media Strategy is key!  You have to identify what you want out of Social Media and have a plan.  Is it brand awareness, more followers, more fans, leads, sales? Define your target audience!   What are your goals and objectives and how are you going to achieve those goals?  Make sure to Monitor, Measure & Listen!  See how things are working (or not)…if it is not working then you know you have to make some changes and modifications.  As far as measurement and metrics go, make sure you use what is available.  Facebook Insights just launched a new and improved analytics and don’t forget about Google Analytics!  This information is key to your success!

Finally, it all goes back to the ABC’s…always be connecting!  Always be conversational!  Keep in mind, Social Media is another tool to your overall Marketing Strategy!  It should definitely be included in your plan but it should not be the only thing you do!

Today’s blog is brought to you by the friends, fans and followers of Via Key West, the place to find unique gift ideas inspired by the sun, sea and island living in the beautiful Florida Keys and Key West!  It’s Where Funky Meets Fabulous!

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Categories: Blog, Social Media

Feeling overwhelmed? Google Plus opens its doors (or should I say circles) to the world, Facebook continues to make changes and updates (some of which I am not a fan but that\’s for another blog) and Twitter numbers on the rise!  Do you sit there and wonder how am I going to do all of this?  What changes are next and who will be making them?  Keeping up with the changes in Social Media is like Keeping Up with the Kardashians, you just don\’t know what\’s next!  Today\’s blog is about doing LESS:

Listen!  You keep hearing the same thing over and over, Listen…always be listening!  If you aren\’t then you are missing the boat.

Engage!  Social Networking is a Dialogue, not a monologue!  Engage in the conversations, ask questions, respond!  If you are going to have a conversation, then do it!

Share!  Build the excitement and become a storyteller and share with others.  Share your stories and information, comment on Tweets, Facebook Postings and Share with everyone in your Circles.

Strategy!  Having a Social Media Strategy is key!  You have to identify what you want out of Social Media and have a plan.  Is it brand awareness, more followers, more fans, leads, sales? Define your target audience!   What are your goals and objectives and how are you going to achieve those goals?  Make sure to Monitor, Measure & Listen!  See how things are working (or not)…if it is not working then you know you have to make some changes and modifications.  As far as measurement and metrics go, make sure you use what is available.  Facebook Insights just launched a new and improved analytics and don\’t forget about Google Analytics!  This information is key to your success!

Finally, it all goes back to the ABC\’s…always be connecting!  Always be conversational!  Keep in mind, Social Media is another tool to your overall Marketing Strategy!  It should definitely be included in your plan but it should not be the only thing you do!

Today\’s blog is brought to you by the friends, fans and followers of Via Key West, the place to find unique gift ideas inspired by the sun, sea and island living in the beautiful Florida Keys and Key West!  It\’s Where Funky Meets Fabulous!

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Categories: Blog, Social Media

Friendships don\’t happen over night, they happen over time and guess what, relationship building in social media also takes time!

Let\’s talk about Twitter!  For your information I love Twitter and have made great friends on Twitter!  Have I met those friends face to face, some yes and most no.  They are global!  The friendships I have developed on Twitter did not happen over night, they happened over time!

Time is the key word.  How much time you invest in the relationship is very important.   Let\’s talk about Twitter!  First thing in the morning send a tweet out and say Good Morning!  You will be surprised at how many people respond with a Good Morning to you.  Listen to what other people are talking about and retweet a post.  FYI people love to get their tweets retweeted! It\’s a way to get noticed and connected.  Thank everyone who mentions and retweets your posts.  Last but not least, don\’t just post a tweet and forget about it.   You would not just walk away from a conversation you started, would you?  Keep tabs on your Twitter account throughout the day, retweet, ask questions, comment and ENGAGE!

Facebook is all about sharing information!  What you share and how often you share is important for both Business and Personal Facebook Pages, remember a LIKE can also turn into an Unlike.  Keep tabs on your audience by looking at your Insights and Analytics (only available for business pages.)  You can see what\’s working and what\’s not.  There is great information Facebook is sending you so make sure to review it.

Relationship Building is just that, building a relationship.  It takes time!  Start by getting social!

Twitter: Tweet and Retweet
Facebook: LIKE, Share, Engage
Google Plus: Give it a +1 and Share with your Circles on Google+

My last thought regarding Relationship Building in Social Media is don\’t put a time on it, put time into it!

At the end of my blog I would like to invite all of my friends to visit Via Key West “Where Funky Meets Fabulous” and check out the unique Key West Gifts inspired by the place I call home, Key West, Florida!

 

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How well you listen and how you respond makes a difference to your success!  That is true both online and offline!

First things first!  Listen, I mean really take time to listen!  Get involved and connect with your audience .  If you are on Twitter, Listen, Retweet, and Respond.  A Retweet is key and so is thank you.  On Facebook make sure you acknowledge every person that comments on your wall and hit that LIKE button to let them know it.  It’s important to keep in contact with your audience and continue to engage in conversations.  Acknowledge, don\’t ignore!

Be human, not robotic!  Bring out your personality and ditch the automated responses!  People want to hear from you and get connected.  I recently did a presentation in front of a group of Key West Hotels and members of the Florida Keys Lodging Association.  TripAdvisor is key to this audience.  A growl and frown from some in the audience but I knew they were listening!  We discussed responding to all TripAdvisor comments.  The key to success is 100% response for this group.  My first tip to this group was don\’t just respond to the negative comments, respond to all.   It may take time but let the audience know they are being heard.

Being Robotic just doesn\’t cut it! My second tip is all about being human and responding.  Don\’t just send an automated “…thank you for your reply we appreciate your comments and management is looking into this…”  Scrolling down and seeing the same response just makes me think you didn\’t hear what I said and you really don\’t care!

Respond to All Comments!  Responding to even the good comments can make a difference!  I am pleased to share with you an email I received from one of the attendees at that seminar.   The sale was made because of listening and responding to everyone.  Below is shortened version of the email this company received:

“I wanted to let you know that I selected Old Town Trolleys  this coming weekend not only because of the very positive reviews (TripAdvisor.com) but specifically because I could see in the responses to the reviews that Piper reads each one, responds to both positive and negative comments, and seems to genuinely care about the service your company provides. Kudos to her!! Please let her know that her comments are noticed and do make a difference in customers\’ selection of your company.”

Kudos to Piper and Old Town Trolleys for not only Listening but also Taking Action!  We all need to take time to listen a little bit more carefully online and offline!  That\’s it for today!  Enjoy the weekend and greetings from beautiful Key West, Florida!

Florida Keys Update  Via Key West:
Key West Fall Festivals include Key West Brewfest, Womenfest, Key West Poker Run, Fantasy Fest, Parrot Heads Meeting of the Minds, Key West World Championship Race  and more!

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Social Security is key to social success!  Today it\’s all about being secure on the social networks! Is your Facebook Account Secure?  Do you know how to tell?  I just found this out yesterday and need to share this important information with you on Facebook Browser Security.  Check your URL on Facebook.  Http: vs. Https: makes a huge difference.  One is secure and one is not and if you answered “not” then your account can be hacked.  Stop what your doing and please check it and if you are not secure then let\’s fix that right now.

Secure Your Settings!
Go to your Facebook page and follow the steps below:

1.  Go to Account
2.  Account Settings
3.  Security
4.  Secure Browsing
5.  Enable Secure Browsing
6.  SAVE and Finish

Recently I noticed a change on how Facebook was “suggesting friends for me.”  I was getting a filmstrip of photos (some of who I knew and others I did not) front and center and “in my face” on my Facebook Page.  I am not a fan of this at all.  I did go and hit the x to remove that strip but again, what was Facebook thinking.  I can pick my own friends, thank you.

I\’d like to also mention and thank Shelly Kramer for her post today Facebook Privacy Breach: 2 Settings You Need to Check Now.  The more we keep informed and Secure the better off we all will be in the future!  Take a moment to read Shelly\’s blog post on this issue as she also includes information on Mobile devices, mobile contacts and your Facebook Account.  We all want to be connected but make sure it is Secure and the connection you want! Security is key to your Social Networking Success! When I hear news you can use I\’ll make sure to share and keep you updated and not outdated.

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Categories: Blog, Facebook

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking in front of 83 members of The Lodging Association of the Florida Keys and Key West.  The topic was “So Much Social Media, So Little Time.” To all my friends in the Industry that attended, Thank you!

The Social Suite along with Ryan and Joe from Romanelli Communications  had a conversation in front of the Lodging Industry on Social Media in Travel and Tourism.  I was so excited to speak in front of this group as I had the pleasure of working in the industry in Sales and Marketing for a collection of Key West hotels.  For me, I was speaking in front of new and old friends and understood  how time is big factor in day to day operations.  Adding Social Media to the list of things to do can be overwhelming, especially if you don\’t understand it.  I\’ve attended many presentations where all the speakers did was talk about Social Media and tell the people attending you have to be doing it.  Nobody every told them how.  My goal was to SHARE information with them on Social Media and show them what they can be doing now to Get Social!

Some of the Quick Tips and Tools we discussed were:

1.  Google Places.  Sometimes we forget to make sure we are updated and not outdated.  It is important to make sure your Google Places information is set up with correct information, photos, videos, specials etc.  Monitor information every couple of weeks to make sure content is up to date!
2.  Set up Google Alerts- See who is talking about you and see who is talking about your competition!
3.  Facebook – Make sure to secure User Name.  You need 25 fans in order to do so.  Pet Peeve alert!  One of my biggest pet peeves in Social Media is when a business is not set up correctly on Facebook.  Please remember its about Quality and not Quantity!  Make sure your business is set up correctly on Facebook.
4.  foursquare – If you are a hotel, restaurant or business, take a minute and set up foursquare specials and allow your guests to check-in!  One bit of advice, make sure to educate the staff on what you are doing because the last thing you want is someone to walk away and write a bad review because your staff didn\’t know what was going on!
5.  Be Aware!  Be aware of who is talking about you.  Listen, Engage and Respond!  TripAdvisor, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs!  We know people are talking in real time so take the time to listen and respond.
6.  SHARE! Remember to share local community and destination information with your friends and followers!  It\’s about the share, not the sell!  Promote others!  A perfect example of using Social Media to promote others is Via Key West uses Thursday as a day to promote their Fans!  It\’s FANtastic Thursday and if you are a fan of Via Key West on Facebook you get to promote your business!
7.  Add Social Networks to email signatures, website, e-marketing campaigns etc.
8.  Facebook & Twitter: Engage, Ask Questions, Respond to posts and remember to say thank you with a Retweet or Like.  A simple thank you will work too!
9.  Management:  Hootsuite or Tweetdeck available to help you manage multiple accounts and conversations!
10.  Be Human, Be Real! It\’s all about being social so when I say “be human” and “be real” that\’s what I mean.

I hope these tips are helpful to you.  Remember, Social Media is all about being Social!

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Categories: Blog, Social Media, Travel

Today I\’ve decided to dedicate my post to Travel!  I live in beautiful Key West, Florida.  I live in paradise!  Wikipedia defines paradise as a place in which existence is positive, harmonious and timeless.

There is not one day thParadise Via Key West at I don\’t say to myself, how beautiful and how lucky am I to live in paradise!  It\’s more than the art, history, culture, fishing, diving, snorkeling and water adventures.  It\’s the people!

If I had to define Key West it would be “A small town with a big heart”…that\’s my Key West!  Yes there are festivals and events…oh so many festivals but did you ever wonder why the festivals are so important.  It\’s about giving! It\’s about the cause! Don\’t get me wrong, all of the Key West Festivals are fun, funky and fabulous however I\’d like to go a step further and take a look behind the scenes.  For example, four upcoming Key West Festivals and Events are: Key West Brewfest, Phil Peterson\’s Key West Poker Run, Fantasy Fest and the 20th Annual Meeting of the Minds: Parrot Heads in Paradise Convention!  Bikers, Jimmy Buffet Fans, lovers of Craft Beer, and Fantasy Fest visitors we welcome you to paradise!   All of the events listed above are taking place not just for fun but for a specific cause!

I\’ve said it before and I\’ll say it again, “Key West is a small town with a big heart.”  The beauty behind the scenes is the people that live here create this special environment for you the Key West visitor.  Small businesses, restaurants and Key West Hotels and Resorts not only prepare for the guests arriving for these events but they are also supporting these not-for-profits by making contributions via sponsorships, donating rooms, donating time and making financial contributions to the organizations.  Thousands and thousands of dollars are raised each year!

So next time you visit Key West remember it\’s about the people and it\’s a small town with a big heart and take a moment and look at what charitable organization is benefiting from the festival or event you are attending!

Let me know when you plan your next Key West Vacation and Holiday!  In the meantime visit the fun, funky and fabulous artisans Via Key West!

Let\’s get Social! Give it a thumbs up, retweet, Google+1 and share with your friends!

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