Category Archives: Social Media Tips

September Editorial Calendar Ideas and Communications Events

Here are a some ideas to round out your September editorial calendar, plus some events you might like to celebrate or attend.

September Health Observances

There are many health observances and special recognition days this month that you can use to help raise awareness. September is Cholesterol Education Month, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Healthy Aging Month, National Atrial Fibrillation Month, National Yoga Awareness Month, and Whole Grains Month. It is also Fruit and Veggies: More Matters Month. And many more!

Each of these observances is associated with one or more nonprofit organizations or trade organizations, who usually offer associated media kits and promotion ideas, as well as hashtags.

National Preparedness Month

It’s National Preparedness Month, which means it’s the perfect time to review your workplace emergency prevention plan, crisis relations plan, and check on emergency supplies you have on hand, such as water, first aid kit, crank radio, emergency lanterns.

For $5 per person, you could also equip each employee with their own personal Safety Tube, which I think makes a lot of sense if you work in a large office building. Read more workplace preparedness tips here.

If you have a B2B clients, consider working this theme into your social media updates.  Follow @FEMA on Twitter for tips and use the hashtag #NPM.

Hey, here’s an idea: you could also pin your photos of your workplace emergency response kit or drill activity on a company Pinterest board.

Back To School

Back-to-school makes a great theme for informative and how-to blog posts.  Another hot topic is how parents can keep kids safe online.

Advertising Week DC: September 6-12

Saturday, September 6: Advertising Week begins today and runs through Friday, September 12.  You can follow the action @AdWkDC on Twitter.

Grandparents Day: September 7

Sunday, September 7: In addition to suggesting cards and gifts, some ideas: offer an event for grandparents and grandchildren, share anecdotes learned from grandparents and link to your marketing or business theme, or promote your services or discounts for seniors.

Football Season Starts: September 7

Sunday, September 7: Football season kicks off today for DC fans with the opening game of the Redskins vs. the Houstan Texans (in Texas).  Kickoff is at 1 pm, EST.  Like the team on Facebook.

Hey, people like to talk about football.  Find ways to work this football chatter into your Facebook Page updates for your brand, so you can increase your organic newsfeed placements.

Moon Festival: September 8

Monday, September 8: Today is an important day in Asian communities — the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival.  The ancient festival is celebrated with dragon dances, lanterns, mooncakes, and celebrations.

If you’ve never had a mooncake, you must try one!  They’re sweet and taste like flowers.  Visit Eden Center in Falls Church, Virginia to find an authentic mooncake.  Mooncakes are a unique treat to distribute to clients or for your kids to take to school.

Harvest Moon: September 8 – 9

Friday September 8 and Saturday, September 9: The full moon tonight will also be a Super Moon. Read more about this natural phenomenon everyone will be chatting about.

Patriot Day: September 11

Thursday, September 11: Today is Patriot Day, a day for remembrance of the tragedies of September 11, 2001.  U.S. flags are flown at half-mast, by order of the President, and there is a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. EST. A number of memorial events are taking place throughout the DC area.

200th Anniversary – Star Spangled Banner: September 14

spectacular-homeSunday, September 14: Today is the 200th anniversary of our national anthem. This is the day that Francis Scott Key wrote the song in 1814.

There are many events this week in Maryland associated with this anniversary. Follow @starspangled200 and use the hashtag #StarSpangled200

National Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15 – October 15

Monday, September 15: Beginning today, the theme for the recognition month is “Hispanics: A legacy of history, a present of action and a future of success.”  Here is a list of some notable Hispanic Americans.

German American Heritage Month: September 15 – October 15

Monday, September 15: Coinciding nicely with Oktoberfest season, the month for German Americans starts today, with the legally official day of recognition on October 6.  Check out the accomplishments of some famous German Americans.

Constitution Day: September 17

Wednesday, September 17: Today commemorates the day (in 1787) that the U.S. Constitution, the document that is the supreme law for the U.S. and the basis for our judicial system, was signed into law in Philadelphia, PA.

This day used to be known as “Citizenship Day” before Congress changed it with legislation in 2004. 

The legislation mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions (including all public schools and universities that receive federal funding) provide educational programming for students on the history of the American Constitution on this day. Also, all federal agencies must provide education about the history of the Constitution to their employees on this day.

Did you know that? I did not know that!

Independence for Scotland? September 18

Thursday, September 18: Today, Scots will vote on the Independence Referendum to decide if Scotland should split off from the United Kingdom and become an independent nation.

After the controversy over their advertising campaign, I don’t know if the Brits stand much of a chance anymore!

Talk Like a Pirate Day: September 19

Friday, September 19: Arrr!  Avast, matey, today is International Talk Like A Pirate DayEverything you need to know is right here. You know what would be fun?  If everyone in the office also DRESSED like Pirates.  You know you want to do this.  Think of the Facebook pictures and video potential here!

But if you just can’t bring yourself to do it, then try this: change the language setting on your Facebook profile for today.  Go to your account settings, and under “Language,” select: “English (Pirate).”

Don’t worry, no one else will know 🙂

International Day of Peace: September 21

Sunday, September 21: There will be a moment of silence for peace at noon today. Learn about the other ways you can promote peace through this recognition day, sponsored by Pathways for Peace. Follow @PeaceDay on Twitter and use the hashtag #PeaceDay.

Fall Begins: September 22

Monday, September 22: Today is the first day of autumn and also the autumnal equinox, a day when sunrise and sunset occur 12 hours apart.

UN Climate Change Summit: September 23

Tuesday, September 23: Learn more about this environmental event taking place in New York City today. Use hashtag #climate2014 for updates.

Rosh Hashanah: September 24

Wednesday, September 24:  Beginning at sundown and running through September 18, Rosh Hashanah is an important Jewish observance that marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year and the start of the High Holy Days. The traditional greeting is to wish people “Shana Tova,” or “a good year.”

Google’s Birthday: September 27

Saturday, September 27: Happy Birthday, Google! The company turns 16 today.  A good day to share SEO tips, or check out and share the Google Doodle 🙂

Museum Day: September 27

Saturday, September 27: On this day, many museums will offer free admission. Spotlight a museum that is important to your brand or industry, or if you are a museum, showcase your museum today with events, photographs, and video.

World Heart Day: September 29

Monday, September 29: The World Heart Federation sponsors this observance that emphasizes advocacy and healthy heart choices. Use the hashtags #worldheartday and #heartchoices, and share the video and other resources. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfhB3NJ8uTU

Fill your calendar with these August events and notable dates

6-JHY3311_606Whew! Congress is out of town! I thought they’d NEVER leave.

Let me let you in on a little secret, my content-generating friend. No one, self included, wants to talk about anything remotely work-like this month. Not in DC, and not online. Nobody is working. You know it, and I know it.

So have a little fun with Twitter, Facebook, and your blog this month.

NOT TOO MUCH FUN. I said, a LITTLE fun.

Hey, it’s President Obama’s birthday! See: that’s fun.  And the pig races at the Arlington County Fair.  Free admission at the National Parks. And the Hard Crab Derby – friend, it does not get any more wholesomely fun than that.

You know what never gets old? Besides Elvis? Racing blue crabs, that’s what. Now if you can’t somehow link your brand to a crab derby, and make it sound almost relevant, then you’re not the social media genius I know you are.

I mean, you can do this. I have faith in you. Now get to work, slacker. Read the rest of this entry

Important July dates

320px-Siena_Palio-Fahnen_20030815-360Sure, ANYBODY can tweet about the 4th of July.

But how many people are going to talk about International Kissing Day? Or the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona?  They might get the Tour de France, sure, but the Palio?

Nah, YOU got the Palio!

You are going to OWN Twitter, my friend. Will they ever be surprised!  Prince George’s first birthday? The Monty Python reunion debut? Comic-Con? Who knew you were such a cultural chameleon?  You trendster, you!

I see your Facebook Likes going up up up. They name you among the cognoscenti, in hushed and reverent tones…

Your editorial calendar is on fire! It’s hot hot hot!

Just like July in DC. There’s a blog post topic for you in here somewhere, I just know it.  Now get to work.

P.S. Don’t forget little Misty of Chincoteague…

July
Jul 1 – Monty Python reunion debuts, London
Jul 2 – Palio di Siena (1st race), Italy
Jul 4 – Independence Day
Jul 5 – Tour de France begins
Jul 6 – International Kissing Day
Jul 7 – Running of the Bulls, Pamplona, Spain
Jul 7 – Fortune 500 ranking world’s largest corporations
Jul 12 – “Super” full moon
Jul 14 – Bastille Day
Jul 21 – National Ice Cream Day
Jul 22 – First birthday of Prince George (UK)
Jul 24 – Comic-Con opens
Jul 28 – 100th anniversary of World War I
Jul 29 – Eid al-Fitr
Jul 30 – 89th Annual Pony Swim & Auction (Chincoteauge, VA)

Why bother with YouTube? The benefits of online video

I was asked to answer a Quora question about the benefits of YouTube. Here is my reply. You can read more specific details about the benefits of YouTube on the Fletcher Prince Slideshare account
Fletcher Prince on YouTubeAs you may know, YouTube has been around since 2005, and since then, there have been tremendous benefits to posting on YouTube, but those have changed slightly over the years, as YouTube has changed. The incentive for posting depends on your objective. I’m just going to address the benefits and not the caveats and potential drawbacks for the purpose of this answer. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, by the way.

YouTube dramatically increases your visibility and by extension, credibility (as long as your videos are well done).  My clients have definitely seen benefits from posting videos on YouTube, as have I.

Benefits for Businesses

If you have a business, posting well-executed, relevant, informative and brand-enhancing videos on YouTube is a low-barrier-to-entry marketing tactic that will increase your search engine results online and is a proven reputation- and business-booster. CEOs turn to YouTube to gather information on businesses.

Having a presence on YouTube can differentiate your business from the competition online and the videos are easy to add to your business website.
Not only can you showcase your products or services, you can extend the value of your products or services by providing additional and helpful information to your customers or would-be customers.
I think one good rule of thumb is to try and keep your content 80% helpful/informative and 20% promotional.
Benefits for Nonprofits

If you have a nonprofit organization, YouTube has demonstrated results in leading to additional support and funding. People are visual and naturally respond to the power of storytelling — there is no better way to tell the story of your mission than with video.

Keep in mind that YouTube has a program for nonprofits and acceptance into this program will provide you with branding and advertising benefits at no cost to the organization.
Benefits for Individuals
If you are an individual, depending on your objective, YouTube can be a fun way to share your interests and passions, and make connections with other people who feel the same way, or who might benefit from your expertise. I’ve felt a great sense of accomplishment by sharing my tips for raising a child with autism on YouTube and people from all over the world have reached out to me for advice. That makes me feel like my struggle has had a wider purpose.

And YouTube is a form of creative expression. Most people find creative expression gratifying, whether it’s through art, music, writing, dance, etc . Creating videos is just another way of sharing what you are about, your experiences, and what matters to you. A very human impulse 🙂

Conclusion

Those are my thoughts on the benefits of YouTube. You can find more tips on the Fletcher Prince Slideshare page. Remember, YouTube is a powerful medium and the adage “Anything worth doing is worth doing well” definitely applies to YouTube video planning and production! Thanks for asking me to answer this question and let me know if you have any other questions about YouTube!

 

Social media inspiration for June bugs

summer-wallpaper7-1024x768What? You don’t know what to blog about? You don’t know what to tweet about?

Don’t tell me you don’t know what to FACEBOOK about!

No worries, skippy. Here’s a list of can’t-miss conversation-starters for the whole month of June.  From the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival to Fortune’s 500 list, to the World Cup and the first day of summer, you’re bound to find some inspiration in these trending topics.

Now, stop daydreaming about the beach and get back to work!

June

Jun 1 – Happy Birthday, Morgan Freeman!
Jun 2 – Fortune 500 America’s largest corporations announced
Jun 2 – On this day in 1924, U.S. citizenship was granted to all Native Americans. Does anybody else think this was a weird move? Weren’t they here first?
Jun 3 – Happy Birthday, Anderson Cooper!
Jun 4 – The U.S. Secret Service was formed today in 1778.
Jun 6 – 70th anniversary of D-Day
Jun 6 – Celebrate Fairfax Festival – all weekend! Check out All-American Rejects and Cheap Trick!
Jun 7/8 – Dupont Kalorama Museum Walk
Jun 12 – US Open (golf) begins
Jun 12 – World Cup (soccer) begins, Brazil
Jun 14 – Flag Day
Jun 14 – Washington Soap Box Derby (Capitol Hill)
Jun 14 – The U.S. Army was formed on this day in 1775.
Jun 15 – Father’s Day
Jun 18 – Last Day of School (Fairfax County)
Jun 18 – On this day, Virginia became the first colony to adopt a bill of rights, in 1776. Thanks, George Mason!
Jun 21 – First Day of Summer
Jun 23 – Wimbledon begins
Jun 25 – Smithsonian Folk Life Festival – featured countries are China and Kenya
Jun 27/28 Choctaw Nation festival – Museum of the American Indian
Jun 28 – Happy Birthday, John Cusack!
Jun 29 – Ramadan

 

Important May dates

Howa0294FifiSandWhat to tweet…what to blog…what to do…

You won’t lack for inspiration this month!  From the Mother’s Day and the Kentucky Derby, to the anniversaries of LinkedIn and WordPress, the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner and Cannes, content and engagement ideas for Facebook updates, blog posts, and tweets abound.

If you have not yet been to the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race, you must go. I guarantee it’s even more fun than the Gold Cup, fun as that is (also, it’s free).

Here are some conversation-ready dates to add to your editorial calendar in May.

May
May 1 – May Day
May 2 – National Cathedral Flower Mart
May 3 – Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race
May 3 – Virginia Gold Cup
May 3 – Kentucky Derby
May 3 – White House Correspondents’ Association annual dinner
May 4 – International Firefighters Day
May 4 – National Music Week begins
May 5 – Cinco de Mayo
May 5 – Teacher Appreciation week begins
May 6 – Buddha Day
May 6 – LinkedIn’s 11th Birthday (2003)
May 8 – World Red Cross Day
May 10 – National Train Day
May 11 – Mother’s Day
May 14 – Cannes Film Festival opens
May 17 – Preakness Stakes (Horse Race) Baltimore
May 18 – International Museum Day
May 25 – French Open begins
May 25 – Indianapolis 500
May 26 – Memorial Day
May 27 – WordPress’s Birthday (2003)

April events to celebrate

light+it+up+blue+autism+awareness+day+2010It’s a beautiful spring day in the Washington, DC area. I hope you get outside for a bit!

From World Autism Day to William Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday to the White House Easter Egg Roll and the Smithsonian Craft Show, content and engagement ideas for Facebook updates, blog posts, and tweets abound.

Here are some conversation-ready dates to add to your editorial calendar in April.

April
Apr 1 – April Fool’s Day
Apr 2 – World Autism Awareness Day (wear blue today)
Apr 6 – Volunteer Week begins
Apr 7 – U.N. World Health Day
Apr 10 – Smithsonian Craft Show begins
Apr 12 – National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Apr 13 – Palm Sunday
Apr 13 – National Library Week
Apr 15 – Tax Day
Apr 15 – Passover
Apr 15 – Birthday of Leonardo da Vinci (1452)
Apr 15 – Lunar eclipse
Apr 16 – 50th anniversary of the first album released by the Rolling Stones (1964)
Apr 18 – Good Friday
Apr 20 – Easter
Apr 20 – Virginia Historic Garden Week
Apr 21 – White House Easter Egg Roll
Apr 21 – Boston Marathon
Apr 21 – Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday
Apr 22 – Earth Day
Apr 23 – Administrative Professionals Day
Apr 24 – Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
Apr 25 – Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival
Apr 26 – USA Science & Engineering Festival (DC)
Apr 26 – The 450th birthday of William Shakespeare
Apr 29 – International Dance Day
Apr 29 – Solar Eclipse today
Apr 29 – Tony Awards nominations
Apr 30 – Children’s Day

Happy Birthday, Facebook!

7655276690_51e104dd07Can you believe it? Facebook is ten years old today.

Mark Zuckerberg — along with co-founders Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin — launched Facebook while attending Harvard University in 2004.

Facebook now employs more than 6,300 people all over the world. The company has an annual sales revenue approaching $8 billion, with a net income of $1.5 billion.

Just how popular IS Facebook?

There are more than a billion Facebook users, and guess how many people use Facebook on an average day? 757 million! To give you an idea of how many people that is, that’s more than twice the total population of the United States. And 81% of those users are outside of the U.S. and Canada.

Facebook factoids

Facebook is the second most visited website on the Internet.  Here are some interesting new stats from Pew Research Center…

  • Despite what you may hear to the contrary, teens 12-17 are still quite active on Facebook.
  • Half of all adult users on Facebook have more than 200 Facebook “friends.”
  • The average number of Facebook friends among adults is 338.
  • 64% of Facebook users visit the site every day.
  • 44% of people “like” something their friends post at least once a day.
  • 31% comment on a post at least once a day.
  • As many as 25% of Facebook users say they never update their Facebook status.

Facebook Pages

Facebook Pages was introduced in 2007, presenting brands and organizations with a way to engage with followers. That’s when we started our Fletcher Prince Facebook Page and started building branded Facebook Pages for our clients.

Do you have a Facebook Page? The average number of fans of a Facebook Page (in the category of Pages with 1,000 followers or less) is now 327, up from about 130 a few years ago.

The top five brands on Facebook in the U.S. today are Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon.com, Samsung Mobile USA, and Subway. Wal-Mart also has more “Likes” (what we used to call fans) than any other Page on Facebook.

Nonprofits do well on Facebook. 57% of Facebook fans say they liked a nonprofit on Facebook to show their support of the nonprofit to their friends. But 43% un-liked a nonprofit if it posted too many updates asking for money.

President Barack Obama is the politician with the most fans/likes on Facebook. Eminem is the celebrity with the most fans/likes, and Family Guy is the show with the most fans/likes. The most popular museum on Facebook is the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).

The day that gets the most engagement on posts on Facebook Pages is Thursday, with photo updates getting the most likes of all (results vary, depending on Page category and content). Updates that pose questions generate the most comments on Facebook Pages.

Editorial calendar helper: content inspiration for February

conversations heartsWhat to tweet…what to blog…what to do…

You won’t lack for inspiration in February! Sure, in January it was all about the cold. But February… from the Super Bowl to Valentine’s Day to the Winter Olympics and Social Media Week, content and engagement ideas for Facebook updates, blog posts, and tweets abound.

You know what I mean: you take a special day or event and riff on it. Don’t go all crazy. Use these as conversation starters on Facebook, or blog themes.  Surely there is something in here that will be relevant to your brand (and your followers), if you’re a little bit creative.

Here are some conversation-ready dates for every single, blessed day in February.

February

Feb 1 – Anniversary of the first auto insurance issued to an individual in the U.S. (1898)
Feb 1 – David Letterman first appeared on Late Night in 1982.
Feb 2 – Groundhog Day
Feb 2 – Super Bowl Sunday
Feb 3 – The first 45 rpm vinyl record was released in 1949
Feb 3 – Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson died in a plane crash in 1959
Feb 4 – World Cancer Day
Feb 4 – Barbie was invented in 1959
Feb 4 – Facebook’s 10th Birthday (2004)
Feb 5 – Digital Learning Day
Feb 6 – New York Fashion Week
Feb 7 – National Wear Red Day (women’s heart disease)
Feb 7 – The British Invasion commences with the arrival of the Beatles in the U.S. in 1964
Feb 7 – “American Cool” exhibition begins, National Portrait Gallery
Feb 7 – Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony, Sochi, Russia
Feb 7 – Debt ceiling deadline
Feb 8 – Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in 1921
Feb 9 – President Kennedy asked Congress to approve the Medicare program in 1961
Feb 10 – Westminster Dog Show begins
Feb 11 – French President Hollande visits U.S.
Feb 11 – White House State Dinner honoring President Hollande
Feb 11 – Emma Goldman was jailed for advocating for birth control in 1916. Her trial mobilizes support for birth control
Feb 11 – Nelson Mandela was released from prison in South Africa after 27 years in 1990
Feb 12 – Aviation milestone: the first Trans Atlantic passenger jetliner service takes off in 1958
Feb 13 – Washington, DC International Wine Festival uncorks at the Ronald Reagan Building
Feb 14 – Valentine’s Day
Feb 14 – YouTube’s 9th Birthday (2005)
Feb 15 – Cupid’s Undie Run to raise money for the Children’s Tumor Foundation encourages people to run around the U.S. Capitol building in their Valentine’s boxers and underwear 12 Noon – 4 p.m.
Feb 16 – American Intl. Toy Fair
Feb 17 – Presidents’ Day
Feb 17 – Social Media Week DC begins
Feb 17 – Random Acts of Kindness Day
Feb 18 – Free admission to Mount Vernon today (GW Birthday)
Feb 18 – Dale Earnhardt died in a crash during the Daytona 500 in 2001
Feb 19 – Washington, D.C. Independent Film Festival begins
Feb 20 – U.S. Postal Service was created in 1792. Stamps cost between 6 and 12 cents
Feb 21 – Capitol Home and Garden Show, Dulles Expo Center
Feb 22 – Ragnarok, Viking Apocalypse Day (might be a good reason to call in sick)
Feb 23 – DC Fashion Week Show
Feb 23 – Daytona 500 (auto race)
Feb 24 – Voice of America is broadcast for the first time in 1942
Feb 25 – Geneva summit for human rights and democracy
Feb 26 – The U.S.’s 15th oldest national park, The Grand Canyon National Park, is approved by Congress in 1919
Feb 27 – Fortune announces World’s Most Admired Companies
Feb 27 – Scandal resumes on ABC
Feb 28 – Carnival beings in Rio de Janeiro
Feb 28 – Gulf War ended in 1991

Important January dates

07-january1

You’re looking at that big, empty Hootsuite dashboard, aren’t you? It’s like it’s mocking you.

Listen, content-generating person. You can do this. January is just chock-full of trendy topics for Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and whatever else you want to post online.

Get 2014 off to a great start and post away!

January
Jan 1 – Happy New Year
Jan 5 – Downton Abbey resumes on PBS
Jan 6 – Epiphany AKA 12th Day of Christmas
Jan 7 – CES (Consumer Electronics Show) opens, Las Vegas
Jan 9 – Day first iPhone was introduced
Jan 11 – Inauguration of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (Richmond)
Jan 12 – Golden Globe Film Awards
Jan 12 – No Pants Subway Ride
Jan 13 – Restaurant Week in DC
Jan 15 – 13th Birthday of Wikipedia (2001)
Jan 16 – Oscar nominations announced
Jan 16 – Sundance Film Festival begins
Jan 16 – Cardinal Bank/George Mason University Annual Economic Conference
Jan 17 – Restaurant Week in Alexandria
Jan 17 – Michelle Obama’s birthday
Jan 19 – Birthday of Edgar Allen Poe (1809)
Jan 20 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Jan 20 – Fashion Week begins, Paris
Jan 22 – Washington Auto Show begins
Jan 23 – WWPR Annual Meeting
Jan 26 – Grammy Awards
Jan 28 – State of the Net Conference (DC)
Jan 31 – Chinese New Year

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