B2B Social Media – The Dos and Don’ts

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Social media – you either love it or hate it when it comes to using it for business. There are incredible benefits when your SM manager uses it correctly but it can bite you in the B2B-behind if used incorrectly. It’s free and it’s fun, what could go wrong? You don’t need a million examples to know that many businesses have made social media mistakes that have cost them money, or worse, their reputation. Here’s an introductory list of a few dos and don’ts before you take up Tweeting.

DO:

DO use hashtags. They are a way for followers to easily find your content when searching for a related topic. Live tweeting an event or launching a new campaign are a few examples where creating and using a great hashtag can really help your engagement. Two hashtags is the sweet spot.

DO keep it clear and concise. The most effective social media campaigns are the ones that don’t NEED to use all 140 characters explaining it. Use shortened links (bit.ly tracks the engagement on them for you) and interesting verbiage – explanation will come when they are interested enough to learn more. No one goes to social media to read paragraphs, they go for silly and creative content.

DO stand out. Doing what everyone else has been doing is a sure-fire way to fly under the radar. Using different methods for whatever your industry is to reach your target is a great way to set you apart. Different colors, phrases, and plans work well.

DON’T:

DON’T use hashtags incorrectly. Your followers will immediately recognize you are not social media educated and write you off. Too many hashtags, random or irrelevant hashtags, or politically incorrect hashtags are just bad. #No #One #Wants to #Read #This and it looks a lot like spam.

DON’T be too serious. This is seen way too many times with B2B social media. We get it, you aren’t selling silly string and you are a serious million dollar company. But like I said before, people don’t look at Twitter for a long sentence about your product, that’s what your website or LinkedIn is for, right? Have a little humor. An easy way to do this is just take a look at the #Trending bar on the left side of your Twitter timeline. This shows what users are interacting with. Pick an appropriate one and tweet away.

DON’T use negative content. Again, another way to show your followers you have no idea what you are doing. A great thing to see (and my great I mean “cringe worthy” – please note sarcasm) is when companies go the inappropriate route. I once saw a post that literally made me face palm with it’s rude language and sexual content. Don’t be that guy.

Hopefully you find a few of these useful and do the B2B social media world a favor by knowing how to use it. Tweet away!

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5 Simple & Forgotten Ways To Reduce Anxiety and Stress

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5 Simple & Forgotten Ways To Reduce Anxiety and Stress

“Giving something life can remind us how the very Earth we live on thrives on the same basic needs and we are just molecules and atoms – made from the same matter these plants are.”

As someone who has experienced anxiety throughout my childhood (unbeknownst to me) and through college, I sometimes have to dig deep to find things to ease my worry that don’t involve expensive foods or adventures. To anyone with a disposable income, I highly recommend brunches (maybe a mimosa or two) by yourself with a great book or a casual trip to New Zealand’s South Island.  But for those who are just trying to fake it ’till we make it, here are five simple ways to bring down your stress levels and achieve a bit of balance.

  1. Gardening: Before you write me off as an old 22-year old Grandma, just hang on. I started planting random things that made me happy and the small simple joy it continues to bring to my life is something I will never forget. Right now, I am growing sunflowers, snap peas, tomatoes, bell peppers, a few mums and a succulent. I may have killed one or two before I got the hang of it but every day I go outside with a bit of water and I promise you – I ALWAYS smile when I see the growth. Picking out the right soil and patterned pots and actually using a seed relaxes the soul. Giving something life can remind us how the very Earth we live on thrives on the same basic needs and we are just molecules and atoms – made from the same matter these plants are. Isn’t that at least a little amazing and soothing to think about? Pro tip: Succulents are super easy to take care of and peaceful to gaze at.
  2. Self-help reading: The phrase “self-help” is enough to make any 20-something year old run in the opposite direction and I too would be doing the same if my doctor had not recommended a book. I figured out after reading two that they are not all awful, dry books. I began by identifying what events throughout my life I felt contributed to my anxiety and stress and researched the best books about that particular topic. I also stumbled upon a general self-help/self-love book by the founder of the To Write Love On Her Arms oranization, Jamie Tworkowski, called “If You Feel Too Much”. Just after reading the title I knew I needed to read this book, and if you are anything like the ball of emotions that I am, I highly recommend it. What both of the books I’ve read had in common focus on you being just a human being who happens to feel a little more than everyone else does. If that is not an accurate description of living with anxiety, then I don’t know what is.
  3. Writing: Of course I’m a writer so I enjoy writing, but I picked up a little habit (thanks TJ Maxx) that I think absolutely helps calm me down. For around seven bucks I bought an “I’m Grateful For…” journal. It’s a tiny, adorable journal I keep on my nightstand and even when I’m having the shittiest of days, I can always find something to write in it. When I feel a freak out coming on, just glancing at that little journal reminds me I have a damn roof over my head, shoes on my feet (fashionable ones at that), a career, and family and friends who care about me. If you live in America, you are most likely fortunate to have these things too (even if sometimes it doesn’t feel like it) and writing little reminders of this help chase away worry ghosts.
  4. Stargazing & Cloud-watching: I remember being around seven or eight and laying in the prickly island grass with my best friend on our backs. We would lay there for hours, long enough to forget the uncomfortable grass, and would find images in the clouds. If we couldn’t find any, we just watched, tranquil, as they floated by until they formed into something we could recognize. As I’m writing this, I feel that is a wonderful metaphor for surviving through the struggles we find ourselves worrying about – trying to find something familiar, something we recognize and love, in the middle of all our worries. And if we can’t find anything, we just step back and remember we have these huge, fluffy white clouds drifting by – and just wait for something we recognize. Something we love.
  5. Adult Coloring Books – Can we just take a moment to say BLESS whoever made this a thing? I’m sure it was a plethora of fantastic humans. Buy a good pack of colored pencils or markers and create a comfy environment for your brain to relax and focus on the colors. Don’t worry about staying in the lines. For me, I put on an acoustic playlist, snuggle into a pile of pillows and comfy clothes, and put my phone away. Focusing on nothing except for a beautiful array of patterns and colors does wonders for a messy brain. I’m not sure why we stopped doing this after childhood but it has not lost it’s luster. There are even swear word coloring books for the days you absolutely just CANNOT with people. Create your own serene space to settle in for down time.

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While everyone’s journey with anxiety and stress is unique, I discovered going “back to basics” does a perfect job of keeping me grounded and in control of my personal worries. Remembering we are just ONE person, ONE body of atoms, living on ONE planet, in the empty, silent space of just ONE galaxy, means remembering the worries and stresses we are muddling through now will disappear one day and our positive energy will continue throughout the universe. Deep breath.

 

5 Exercises to Get Your Perfect Summer Booty (That Will Actually Work)

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More often than not, articles that claim to have magic exercises to “target fat” are full of exercises fit for a 7-year old gymnast. First things first – YOU CAN NOT TARGET FAT! This is a myth that runs around Pinterest and Facebook, capturing the attention of women who still believe there is an easy way around weight loss. Well here is the hard truth ladies – there isn’t. However, there are plenty of strength-training exercises that focus on working a particular set of muscles (like the glutes), thus resulting in fat loss in all areas of the body. Do not be afraid of weights, they are your friend! Using these exercises, plus appropriate cardio twice a week will give you results (if you’re eating healthy as well). One more thing: don’t forget to do some dynamic stretches before trying these! Injuring yourself is no joke.

So here is a solid plan you can follow at the gym AND at home (with weights of course).

Cable Kickbacks

  • At the gym: Find an adjustable pulley and either a single grip handle or ankle strap. Move the pulley to the lowest level and place your foot in the handle/strap. Using a lower weight and leaning a bit forward, grab the machine in front of you and push the cable out behind you in the “kickback” motion. As you warm up, feel free to add more weight.
  • At home: Using a resistance band, get down on all fours. Holding one end of the band in both hands, hook your foot on the other handle and “kickback”.

Deep Back Squats

  • At the gym: Find a squat rack, NOT a Smith Machine. Look it up if you don’t know the difference! Using the bar only, bring your shoulders and body under the bar, put your hands 6-9 inches away from your shoulders, push up and un-hook the bar. Walk back, and while keeping your back as up-right as possible, lower yourself into a squat (take off your shoes if you need to). Your feet should stay flat and shoulder width apart, your depth should have your legs at less than a right angle. With all of this said, if something hurts, STOP. If you can not go low, don’t. Listen to your body, especially when you begin to add weight.
  • At home: Basically using the same guidelines as above, except hold dumb bells or something heavy to your chest as you squat.

Dumbbell Straight Leg Deadlifts

  • At the gym: Find a spot in the mirror (move it or lose it, dudes) and grab two dumbbells of whichever weight you want to use. With your feet shoulder length apart and dumbbells at your sides, slowly lower the weights down in front of you. Aim to keep them as close to your shins/quadriceps as possible the entire time, and pull back up to your returning position. Remember to stick out your booty as you do this to avoid turning this into a lower back workout, keeping your legs only SLIGHTLY bent. You’ll feel this in your hamstrings, which are equally important to getting a great booty!
  • At home: Do the exact same, without worrying who’s looking at your great butt!

Hip Thrusts

  • At the gym: Doesn’t this one sound fun? Find a yoga mat and a lightweight barbell. Lay flat on your back on the mat, with your feet flat on the ground out in front of you. Place the bar on your lower abdomen. You should be able to tell where a good spot is, it is not supposed to hurt so make sure it’s not resting on your hip bones. Keeping your feet in the same positions, push the bar up by thrusting your hips nice and awkwardly. Lower the bar back down and repeat.
  • At home: Laying on a mat or carpet, simply replace the barbell with a single dumbbell or something heavy.

Side Step Sumo Squat

  • At the gym: Say that 3 times fast! Using the same squat form as number 2, place your feet shoulder width apart and while holding a dumbbell to your chest, step sideways into a wide squat. Your feet should be slightly turned out along with your knees.
  • At home: Absolutely the same as at the gym. Easy peasy.

 

So there you have it folks, 5 booty-building weighted exercises that will shape, lift, and build your bottom! It is suggested you perform 4 sets of 10 reps on each exercise to get the full burnout. Happy squatting!