Category Blog

So, what have you been up to for the last 6 years?

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

Reader, I changed my life. I launched this website several years ago with the hopes of staking out enough of a claim on the internet to change careers. I spent nearly a decade doing traditional and digital marketing within the music industry, as a record label, then as a distributor, and finally as artist management. What I really wanted was to connect people with an idea and a dream to the things that make those ideas and dreams manifest. I have helped musicians, mortgage brokers, small to medium to enterprise businesses, and fitness professionals (among others) make their websites and digital marketing work for them, generating opportunities for them while they sleep. Because I was an employee of an agency for much of this work, I don’t have the ability to add most of them to my personal portfolio.

I’ve also been hosting the OC WordPress design meetup, where we meet once a month on a Monday night to talk about concepts in design. We’re one of four discussion groups in Orange County, CA, and I hope you check us out and come to the meeting that best fits your interests!

After 3 years at the agency, I moved on to be a product manager at a software company, where I love identifying the solutions our customers need and creating plans to build those solutions. But, this means I don’t get to do much with the thing that made all this possible in the first place: WordPress.

So, I’m getting back in the game, because it means I can do something I love and help people at the same time. I changed my life with WordPress; how can I help change yours?

Twitter quietly launches access to account analytics

Twitter Analytics

I read this morning on Christopher Penn’s blog that Twitter had finally launched their own analytics platform — or, at least, made access to account analytics public, though you have to do some digging to get to them.

To access, click the gear icon from your Twitter timeline and select Twitter Ads. Once you’re logged into the Ads platform, you’ll see an Analytics drop-down menu in the top left corner. Click it, select Timeline Activity, and many curiosities will be met. Well, curiosities if you’re also a metrics / numbers nerd like myself. 🙂

The screenshot I included with this post is of my own analytics on @sarahwefald. Nothing too impressive there, though I am impressed with the reach multipliers Twitter tells me I’ve received. I spend most of my time on social media working on building the accounts and brands of my clients, so my relatively small numbers make sense to me.

If you want to get very granular with your Twitter data, this will not be the tool for you. You’ll still need Crowdbooster or equivalent if you want to find out the best times and days for you to post. Enterprise-level analytics companies shouldn’t be shaking in their boots just yet.

So, I guess it goes without saying that if you need me today, I’ll be pulling up the official analytics for all my clients’ accounts.

[Infographic] Optimize your Facebook posts

It can be tough to keep on top of “best practices” on Facebook. I say best practices in quotes as it seems like as soon as there’s a set of standards developed, everything changes and we go back to experimenting to find what works. The nice folks at Salesforce were kind enough to post this infographic online to help us create optimized posts on Facebook, or as they put it, “the perfect Facebook post.”

Basically, keep it short: 90 characters is the recommended limit. Target your post by location or language if it’s relevant, and if you’re going to start advertising your post, do it within the first 24 hours to reach more of your fans.

Source: Salesforce


Twitter launches new music service Twitter Music

Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 6.46.03 PMAbout a week and a half ago, We Are Hunted announced they were joining Twitter.

This, of course, started a lot of chatter about Twitter’s plans in this space. We Are Hunted has been a much beloved music discovery app organizing and charting social media discussion about bands, and offering songs for download occasionally. Friday, the Twitter Music app went public.

Looking at the app this weekend, it seems that Twitter Music has borrowed from We Are Hunted’s design and, like its predecessor, surfaces what bands fans are talking about. Linking a Spotify or Rdio account allows for full-song streaming. What isn’t clear to me, however, is whether Twitter Music will start to offer downloads in partnership with bands and their labels as We Are Hunted did, or whether Twitter Music will have any curated tracklists. It’s also not clear to me whether the charts are determined by raw numbers of tweets in a given time period, or numbers of tweets by particular influencers, or some combination of the two.

Crowdsourcing has democratized a great deal of music marketing, but emerging artists still rely on curation and tastemakers to gain a toehold. I listen to new bands because my friends are talking about them, but my friends’ music tastes tend to be pretty varied. I have favorite music critics whom I watch for recommendations on what’s new and good. I didn’t start listening to Savages because of an algorithm; I saw Sasha Frere-Jones’ Instagram photos and posts to an email list describing how amazing their NYC show was, then looked them up.

I see a lot of potential in Twitter Music and will definitely be playing with it more in the coming days and weeks. However, I’m uneasy about the notion that something as warm and organic as finding out about new bands may be at least partially reduced to cold, detached data calculations.


Thanks to Stephen Phillips, We Are Hunted founder turned Twitter engineer for Twitter Music, a little clarity on where the new app generates its charts:

Why it’s actually better to stop focusing on 100%

We are a nation of overachievers, so I get it when people look at me like I have three heads when I say you may be doing yourself a disservice by trying to do or have it all.

But the fact remains that waiting until something is perfect in order to take action usually means that no action is taken at all, and I’d rather have three heads than get nothing done.

I wrote before about having trouble finding the motivation to finish my portfolio website and start the blog that you’re reading now. I found my motivation by making it a game of writing 30 blog posts in 30 days. I had the website partially finished, and if you look at it now, there are portions of it that are just placeholders, and some things don’t work the way they should. Developers at startups talk about their MVP – minimum viable product. This website is my MVP.

In other words, this website is about 80% to where I want to end up. It’s far from perfect, but it does enough that I’m able to participate in the 30-day blogging challenge. If I had waited until the site was “perfect,” who knows how long it would have taken to be finished…if I finished it at all.

100% is the enemy of “done.” Get just as far as you need to get in order to start taking action. It’s better to have the project 80% done but already providing returns for you (financial or otherwise) than to wait too long and have a project that’s 100% there but giving you 0%.

Keeping up with your own social media when you’re a social media professional

The saying goes that the cobbler’s children are the worst shod. As a marketing professional heavily involved in social media, I prioritize my clients’ social media feeds over my own. This shows, quite glaringly, in my fits and starts of sharing content and resharing the great posts that others create, and in the bags under my eyes when I do finally have the time and inclination to buckle down and contribute to the online community that has given so much to me…at 2 AM. No one wants to be the one everyone sees posting like a madwoman in the wee hours of the morning. Thankfully, there are a lot of great tools out there to help organize and streamline the approach.

Most important in my toolbox is Buffer. Buffer is an app that acts like a bank where you can compose messages for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and whenever you have the inclination. Once each post is saved, Buffer will automatically send them out at predetermined times. I have mine set to post four times a day, but you can set it up to post less often or more often. This way, I can plan out days of content when the house is quiet at night, and post it on my chosen networks while I’m doing work for clients during the day.

The pitfall of Buffer, though, is that it’s a broadcasting tool. I built my first community on Twitter by having conversations with music writers. Many of those writers (and friends of those writers) became good friends offline as well. To find new and interesting people, I look at Klout’s topic lists for “influencers,” and I look at the Twitter accounts of people I admire and follow some of the people they look up to, and I read and respond to what they have to say. Twitter is often misused as a portable RSS feed. Engage others, or perish.

It’s always a good idea to play games with yourself. For a long time, I felt like I had nothing worth saying in a blog format, and I was dragging my feet on getting my portfolio in shape. One day, my friend Oscar posted in the Social Media Mastermind of Orange County Facebook group about a blog challenge for November – 30 posts in 30 days. I signed up, and all of a sudden I managed to have a functioning website up with blog posts on it. I already wanted to be more active in my community online. Now I have some peer pressure to keep me honest.

I’m experimenting with Triberr as well, after hearing about how easy Triberr makes it to find great, relevant content worth sharing, as well as getting your content in front of people who might find it relevant and interesting in turn. I’m looking forward to seeing how this experiment turns out.

In the end, though, the key to making all of this work is consistency. Without it, I am working solely for my clients and not for myself. Noble as that may sound, you can’t get water from a dry well. The stronger my personal community is, the higher quality of work I can do for my clients, and I strengthen my community by actively participating.

Follow me on Twitter to see how all of this turns out!