Google Analytics Certified!

I’ve been using Google Analytics (GA) for about six years but I wanted to learn more about this powerful tool so I signed up for a Udemy class to help me pass the certification. Even though I’ve been using GA for years, there were features I haven’t been using to their full potential which makes me excited to put into practice. Passing the certification was a great way to kick off my 2019 professional goals!

About the certification:

“The Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) is a demonstration of proficiency in Google Analytics that is available to any individual who has passed the Google Analytics assessment. Qualified users will be effective at leveraging Google Analytics within their organizations and at helping others to do the same.”

google analytics individual qualification - veronica solomon-1

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Why I Ain’t No #FollowBack Girl

I’ve been using social media in my personal life and career since 2010 and there’s a practice I’ve seen over and over again that irks me – following then swiftly unfollowing to increase follower count. If you have Twitter or Instagram, you probably know what I’m talking about. You get a notification that you have a new follower and you decide to “pay it forward” by following back only to notice that a day or two later, your follow count has actually decreased. What’s up with that?

I see it all the time on my personal accounts as well as the ones I manage professionally. It’s unavoidable. After all, you can’t prevent people from following you (or requesting to follow if your account is private) but man does the immediate unfollow annoy me. I got so fed up with it recently that I downloaded an app called FollowCop to see who these sneaky followers/unfollowers were. I connected several accounts and started unfollowing these unfollowers with vengeance, my finger tapping away and my eyes glued to the screen. It was strangely cathartic.

The funny thing is though, I didn’t unfollow everyone who had dropped me like recalled romaine into a garbage bin. There were actually some accounts that I genuinely enjoyed their content and decided to keep following. This experience has made me confront how I react to new followers and the type of content I follow. In effect, it’s made me become more mindful. I shouldn’t be following back because it’s the nice thing to do and it’s “only fair,” I should be following back (or following anything in general) because it’s something that adds value to my life whether it’s by making me laugh, think, or feel.

Another thing I’ve come to realize is not to take unfollowing personally, in particular, from people I know IRL. I was surprised to see that people that I had gone to school with and certain relatives no longer follow me. I wondered – do they not like me? Did I post something offensive? Was I annoying? But instead of asking myself those questions, I should be asking, why does it matter and why do I care? I no longer keep in contact with those ex-classmates and distant relatives so there isn’t really any point in seeing their photos in my feed. They’re essentially strangers and I shouldn’t be upset because they don’t care to see what’s going on in my life.

The only thing I can do is be my authentic self and if that attracts followers, cool! But if it makes others unfollow, go right on ahead. There will be no hard feelings. My takeaway from this experience is to approach social media (and really anything else I consume like food, music, movies, books) with more mindfulness and to reject being a #followback girl in order to win some followers. If I follow you, it’ll be because I like your content – nothing more, nothing less.

“Textovert” and the Rise of New Words

I came across a word the other day while scrolling through my Twitter feed that made me stopped what I was doing and think about portmanteaus – two words mashed together to make a new word that combines the meaning of the original two. That word, as you can probably guess, is “textrovert.” (Which, by the way, seems like more and more people are becoming these days, am I right? Don’t get me wrong, I love to text, but if either of our texts start to resemble college essays, let’s just pick up the phone and call each other. It’s quicker, easier, and less annoying to respond back. But I digress…)

I have an affinity for portmanteaus. “Hangry,” the combination of hungry + angry, is a particular favorite of mine. And have you ever heard of “cinemagraph“? That’s another word I discovered in my Twitter feed! It combines “cinema” and “photograph” – basically it’s like a high quality GIF but more refined in its imagery, message, and purpose.

I think portmanteaus are fun because they make language more interesting, and they give us a deeper understanding of how our language, culture, and technology influence each other. Maybe since I work in marketing and love to read, I tend to notice the changes in our lexicon more than others. Then again, it’s probably us pesky marketing people coming up with these new words to begin with! 🙂 Wherever these new words come from, it’s undeniable that as our world continues to grow, change, and evolve, so will our language.

So, what about you friends? What are some of your favorite portmanteaus?

The Truth Behind Social Media – “Instagram Husband” [Video]

I think a lot of guys (and girls) can identify with this video. “Instagram Husband” by The Mystery Hour is a satirical poke at social media that does a great job of showing the ridiculous lengths most of us go to capture the ‘perfect’ shot showing off our ‘perfect’ lives.

I know I’ve been guilty of taking too many photos instead of just living in the moment.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that not everything – even if it’s a special moment – needs to be documented and shared online. I’m not trying to bash anyone that loves posting to social media often, but if much of your self-worth is based on how many likes, followers, or shares you have, then it’s probably time to question how social media is benefiting you.

Comparison is the thief of joy – Theodore Roosevelt

With the Internet and social media, it’s so easy to get caught up in how we are better or worse than everyone else. That kind of thinking, however, can drive us crazy! The next time you start getting down on yourself over someone else’s seemingly perfect life, remember these two things: not everything is at it seems, and the only thing that controls your happiness is you.

Nifty Infographic on SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be tricky to understand from anyone outside of internet marketing (and even for many INSIDE internet marketing). That’s why when I see fun, comprehensive content that helps explain what it is and how it’s done, I geek out a little and feel compelled to share it 🙂

Original story: Red Square SEO

Designed by: Creative Meerkat
seo-abc1

Content Marketing Tool I Love: Canva

canva-design-tool

Humans are visual creatures, and if you’re a writer that is faced with the graphic dilemma, you have probably experienced panic at one time or another on how to get good looking, original graphics and images to help make your content more shareable. Look no further than Canva.com! I use Canva all the time for work and personal use because not only is it FREE, there are so many templates and designs you can use, and customizing your design is easy and user-friendly. You can also use premium layouts and graphics for only $1, which is pretty cheap considering the quality they offer.

I particularly love to use Canva for adding a special touch to blog posts whether it’s within the article or when I’m sharing it on social media. I’ve also used it to make cover photos for social media profiles like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube. And recently, I started to explore some of their other templates to create marketing collateral at the company I work. They have so many design layouts, sizes, graphics and fonts, it’s made my job as a content marketer a lot simpler.

What are some tools you like to use for creating graphics?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are my own and I received no compensation from Canva.

8 Ways to Lose Twitter Followers

worst types of tweeters

There are tons of articles on how to gain Twitter followers but have you ever considered what can make people unfollow you? Or worse, never following you to begin with? I’ve been on Twitter since 2010 when I created my personal account and have managed businesses’ accounts. Let’s just say that over the last five years, I’ve seen the good, bad, and downright annoying habits of Twitter users. Here are some of the types of people I’ve come across on Twitter that I feel give the social platform a bum rap.

  1. The Desperate Followbacker: Usually this well-meaning but transparently desperate person has #teamfollowback or #followforfollow on their bio profile. Instead of creating meaningful exchanges with others, they beg and plead for followers.
  2. The Constant Retweeter: Retweets are a valuable tool for a marketer but if that’s all you do, then what’s the value of following you? Instead, I’ll go follow the person who’s actually putting in the work of writing the tweet in the first place.
  3. The Ghost: When I see a business account that never tweets, I can’t help but think that they’ve wasted an opportunity to expand their brand simply by participating. What’s the point of going through the trouble of creating a profile if you’re going to end up leaving the party as soon as you get there?
  4. The Plugger: We get it, you’re excited about your new product, project, cat, whatever. And you should be! But you don’t have to tweet about it 24/7. Change it up a little. Don’t tweet the same message over and over again. Instead, use different but related hashtags and search out people who are tweeting about the topic and respond to them. You’ll be surprised about the conversations you can start – and the followers you can gain.
  5. The Troll: The dreaded trolls…you’ve probably heard of them or have encountered one. It should be obvious that being a troll won’t gain you followers (or the kind of followers you want) but if you happen to run across this agitator, don’t give them a second of your time. The best thing to do is ignore them and block if necessary. However, don’t mistake criticism for trolling. If the person has a legitimate concern, even if it’s written harshly, you should respond back like the professional that you are.
  6. The Acronymer: Squeezing your message into 140 characters is hard but that doesn’t give you an excuse to throw the dictionary out the window. One or two acronyms can be helpful in making your tweet more concise but any more than three and it’ll start to look like your cat walked across your keyboard while you went to get a glass of water. You shouldn’t make it feel like work to read and understand your tweets.
  7. The Link Dropper: Similar to the Plugger, however, the Link Dropper takes it a step further – they literally tweet a link with no context whatsoever. Maybe they’re being lazy or trying to be mysterious (kind of like Pandora’s box but with a link?), but for me, I roll my eyes and keep scrolling until I find something interesting to read.
  8. The Rapid-Fire Tweeter: There’s no value in sending 5+ tweets in less than a minute unless you’re reporting a live event. Sending out too many tweets at once can run you the risk of saturating your followers’ feeds to the point where they get annoyed and unfollow you. Or, prospective followers get turned off because they know their feed will get backed up by your gushing stream of tweets.

At the end of the day, the best way to gain followers is to talk about something you’re passionate about, be yourself and get a little creative. Having good grammar never hurt either! Are there any Twitter habits or types of users you’ve seen that get under your skin? Would love to hear from you!

Note: This article was originally published on LinkedIn Pulse http://bit.ly/1UhmuG4