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Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Mind

Life regularly presents us with choices for which we are not prepared. Sometimes the decisions we make bring about a less than desirable effect on our daily lives. Often we wish that could change our mind, and sometimes we can. I’ve never been one to look back at things with remorse, but I suppose we all have things about our past that we would like to go back and change.

I’ve been on Twitter for a long time. Over time I have used many tools to help manage my account. My all time favorite tool was the original Tweetdeck. It let my make columns of all my different streams, it gave me the ability to schedule posts, the interface was very nice looking, and most importantly it was easy to use. You could install it on your desktop and let it run in your background, which I did daily.

tweetdeck

tweetdeck

Like most things, Tweetdeck got competition. As Twitter grew, tons of new similar services popped up, and I tried LOTS of them. The all did similar things, and I didn’t really like any of them better than Tweetdeck. The only one that stuck was Hootsuite. They rolled in some additional features that Tweetdeck didn’t have. Tweetdeck started getting very sticky, and would crash constantly. It finally got to the point where I couldn’t even get it to open, very frustrating. There for a while I used booth, but eventually stopped using Tweetdeck and started paying for Hootsuite. I was so done with Tweetdeck.

Over the next couple of years my followers grew, I made great connections, and Twitter was really starting to create opportunities for me. During that time Tweetdeck was aquired by Twitter. I saw the headlines but didn’t pay much attention. Why would I? They had there chance with me, and they blew it. I loved their service, was loyal to it, and was rewarded with a poor product in the end.

Then something happened last year. That was when I found myself on site at a live Twitter chat. I was using Hootsuite and several of my colleuges were wondering how I was keeping up in real time? I wasn’t. One of them asked why I didn’t use Tweetdeck, and I explained the story to them. They then told me that since Tweetdeck was aquired by Twitter that it was functioning better than it ever had! I didn’t believe them. How could it be? I gave it every chance in the world. There was NO WAY I could be wrong about this. I would see things written about it from time to time, but wouldn’t pay any attention. I had already made up my mind about them.

Finally I took a step back and tried to be objective. I went to the web browser, typed in my old login info, and vióla, it rocked! This is a true case of switchers remourse. The product I loved, and then hated, was now back on top. What was I to do? Well, I didn’t send Hootsuite packing. The facts were that now I had a few networks of people I worked with that were using the platform, so I couldn’t totally get rid of it, but that’s okay. Now I use both platforms everyday, for different purposes, obviously. I just wish I hadn’t waited so long to give it a try again, because in some ways it makes my life so much easier. 

The moral of this story is to never be afraid to change your mind or viewpoint about something. No one ever wants to be wrong. We spend the majority of each day trying to calculate correctly, hoping we make good decisions, but the fact show that we don’t always. Sometimes, admitting you were wrong, or changing your mind is the most enlightening thing you can do.

Disclosure: This is an ad for Verizon’s #SwitchersRemorse campaign. As a member of a very cool team of influencers for Verizon Wireless I received compensation to think of this story and write about it.

Summer Travel Tips for Mobile Technology

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I received the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with line of service from Verizon. No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise positive feedback. All opinions are my own.   

Summer is in full swing, and everyone is busy. Desert, beach, or mountains we all have favorite places we like to visit in the summer time. Raise your hand if you could use some travel tips. Almost everyone will travel somewhere away from home this summer, and when you do there are some things you need to know to help it go smoother.

It’s always important to think ahead. Now more than ever we rely on our smartphones to do that. But what happens when you phone dies? No more pictures, posts and checking in with at work. There are lots of portable power solutions, but my favorite has been the Motorola Power Pack Slim 5100 . It’s a little power pack that is roughly the same size as my phone.  I’ve charged as many as three mobile devices before having to recharge the pack. It does seem to take longer than being plugged into a wall outlet, but who cares when you don’t have a wall outlet? A mini USB charging cable can be pulled from the power pack to charge most smartphones.  It also features a full size USB port on the side, which means it’s compatible almost any tablet as well.

motorola power pack slim 5100

motorola power pack slim 5100

 

A lot of us have kids who are old enough to take trips by themselves, or with friends. Unsupervised travel can be a parents worst nightmare. When our stress and their freedom collide, there are a few solutions. Technology now can allow us to feel connected on these trips, while allowing your children to have their space. Check in regular face-to-face with services that are free or already included with your mobile device or plan, such as Skype (Android)  or FaceTime (iOS). Sometimes visual check-ins are just what it takes to maintain your peace of mind, and let them know that even though they are gone you are still there for them.

In case of emergency you can always use the  Verizon Wireless’ Family Locator to find your teen and put your mind at ease. For a low monthly fee, this feature allows you to locate your family members at any time on a detailed map and even provides turn-by-turn directions on how to get to their locations. You can also be alerted by text or email when your teenager arrives or leaves a location to ensure you always know they’re safe.

There are lots of other accessories and apps to help you in your travels, but these are the ones I’ve used the most. Now get out there and enjoy your summer!

Fliphound Brings Outdoor Advertising into the 21st Century

Disclosure: As Fliphound brand ambassador, I received a free trial of their service. No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise positive feedback. All opinions are my own.

If you are a small business owner, or if you buy advertising for businesses, please read this full post. For those that don’t already know, I am a small business owner. Like most of us out there, I’m always trying to find ways to reach new customers. The best new service I’ve seen is called Fliphound, and it is bringing outdoor advertising into the 21st Century.

Just to give you an overview Fliphound, it is a trusted online marketplace for purchasing and selling digital billboard and outdoor advertising. The service is great for marketing and social media professionals to leverage digital outdoor space as part of their online advertising programs. Users can advertise, manage, access creative, create and publish digital content on digital billboards, from the comfort of your own home or office. Imagine how you run a Google Adwords campaign. Now imagine publishing content on a digital billboard just as easy. THAT is why I think Fliphound is so ideal right now.

Fliphound is a privately held company and is headquartered in my home town of Wichita, KS. To date, they managed and executed more than 20,000 campaigns for more than 500 advertisers since going live in May 2013. Fliphound was the first company to market with a real time buying solution, they were first to offer day parting to online buyers, and the 1st to offer a mobile application for online buyers (IOS and Android- Jan 2015)

Now let’s discuss how it works.

Step 1: Determining your objectives and target audience

The first step for business owner or marketing professional is to determine what you want your ad campaign to accomplish. Are you: opening a new store location? – launching a new mobile app? -promoting a sale? Or – trying to build more brand awareness? Once you agree on your business objectives you can determined what campaign is most suited for your business and can attract and engage your target customers.

Fliphound provides market and geographic data and functionality that allows advertisers to target and reach certain customers or audiences. Capabilities are in place for businesses to advertise using different strategies, in a specific neighborhoods or near certain points of interest for example.

If you need additional help you can always reach out to the Fliphound staff or establish a chat session for help. I can tell you first hand that they are very helpful and have great customer service.

Step 2: Finding Boards

The next step of creating your campaign is selecting boards to bid on. You can browse available boards at any time from the Find Boards page. Specific details on each board and the number of drivers who pass by each day are available by for each billboard. Once you’ve got your boards, you can start building a campaign.

fliphound campaign

fliphound campaign

Step 3: Building a Campaign

Now that you’ve selected your boards, you’ll need to specify how much you’re willing to pay or bid for each flip (i.e. each time your ad is shown). You can also set options for all the bids in your campaign such as start and end dates or which time of the day you want the campaign to run. Remember you can turn campaigns off or on at any time.

Step 4: Uploading Creative

After you’ve set your bids and specified options for your campaign, the last step before your ads go live is to upload them!

Make sure to check the dimensions of the creative you’re uploading to be sure that it will fit on the boards you’ve selected. Once approved by our team, your bids will go live!

Step 5: Monitoring Campaign Effectiveness

Fliphound allows you to monitor your campaign in real-time and provides complete transparency to monitor the effectiveness of your campaign when and at any time you want. Fliphound analytics show you the number of motorists you reach, the number of messages you display (by board, campaign, etc.) and other metrics in real-time.The system is so simple and easy to use.

It’s that simple, really! As you can see, this is a very powerful tool. Imagine the control of a digital billboard campaign at your fingertips. This is exactly why I think Fliphound is going to change the way marketing is done as we move into a future where tech is king. If you have additional questions, please ask in the comments section below. It’s also helpful to watch this 2 Minute video about Fliphound: