Social Media Insights

I meant to post this almost a year ago. It was a Social Media type interview someone did with me who was starting a blog, and then the blog disappeared. This was like 3 or 4 years ago. I edited it a bit cause, Google Plus wasn’t around and now that is my primary Social Media Network focus. Neither was Instagram. 

How Has Social Media Benefited Your Business/Personal Brand?

Social media is perfect for anyone who wants to control their brand’s message or create a network of support and be heard by thousands of targeted individuals, with the potential to reach millions. If you are not utilizing social media to its full extent, you are missing the opportunity to grow your own voice.

Social media and social networking are the fundamental building blocks of my personal brand and my company Finger Candy Media, LLC. I use social media as though it were my own broadcasting station and through consistent social networking, including blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google Plus.

How and Why Do You Use Twitter?

I use Twitter for fun and to discover new and interesting people, places, and things. Strategically, I align myself with people in my industry or stations that are playing my clients’ music.

Nowadays, I follow a lot of entertainment industry folks, cause they entertain me.

When it comes to following back, I don’t have a lot of rules of engagement. I honestly follow people I think are interesting and that I am genuinely interested in.

Do You Think Using Your Real Name (or Surname) in Your Twitter ID (or Any Other Profile ID) Is Good or Is Using Your Company/Brand Name Better?

I come from a traditional media background where most people use a “stage name,” but I personally feel that my many years in broadcasting have helped me build and brand my own name, which I continue to use.

What Tips Do You Have Concerning Providing Good Social Media Content?

When it comes to content, I look for interesting articles, blog posts, photos, videos, and people and share these findings with my audience. The information I look for and distribute is a direct relation to the things that interest me and in turn that seem to interest many of my followers, based on the number of RTs, re-shares, +1′s likes etc I get.

I take my role as a person who cares what I pass on to people very seriously. I wouldn’t share something with my audience that I didn’t personally find fascinating.

When it comes to news, I use twitter feeds to direct real- time news from trusted sources to my Twitter stream. I say trusted because I have worked in and around news and news delivery for a long time and get my raw data news from the Associated Press (AP). I also get content/news from All Access, Full Throttle Country, Kris Country, Chris Brogan’s website, and a few other industry-related blog feeds.

UPDATED 12/3/13
(I actually don’t automate ANYTHING anymore. If you see me tweeting, I am online, no tweets I am not there. But I don’t see anything wrong with it. I just my stream to be me engaging folks and my strategy has changed over the years.  I also don’t post of bunch of articles and/or things from other people just so they will share my stuff. I share what I am passionate about and hope that people who want to share my stuff are passionate about it. I don’t think that there has to be a quid-pro-quo, like I used to.  I know I share people’s stuff, who have no idea who I am, but I like what they say so.)

How and Why Do You Use Facebook?

I use Facebook in a more personal way than other social media platforms. I keep it close to my chest and tend to connect primarily with real-life friends, family, and clients.

UPDATED 12/3/13
I recently opened my Facebook up for people to be able to “follow” me and I am still trying to decide what I think of that. But for the most part, it’s a lot like Twitter and Google Plus in the “open-source” sense. I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

How and Why Do You Use YouTube and What Advice Would You Give to Anyone Wishing to Put Together a YouTube Video?

I don’t make a lot of videos, but my clients do. Here are a few tips for attempting to make a viral video that I pass along to them:

  • The more homemade your video looks, the better it works.
  • Your videos should only be 30 seconds to three minutes max.
  • Be very clear and specific about what you are doing.
  • Where possible, your video should be entertaining. Funny stuff seems to spread the quickest.
  • Make it look as spontaneous as possible.
  • Tell everyone about it.
  • Get it out to friends with lots of followers.
  • If you don’t succeed, just keep trying.

I am still making my way into using online video. It’s become a part of how I get information, and I am trying to integrate video into my personal marketing strategy. The potential of online video is obvious: It could be your big ticket.

What Advice Can You Give to Newbie Bloggers?

If you’re serious about sharing your ideas and beliefs and building a stronger relationship with others, you need to add blogging to your marketing tools. You can also use blogging to provide more content to your Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Here are the reasons why I think everyone should be blogging consistently:

  • Blogging shows what you are about, along with your passion and ideas about what you do.
  • You can bounce ideas off others and get feedback about projects you are working on.
  • You provide content to the rest of the Web. I have my blog picked up by news feeds all the time, and I use other people’s blogs to get my point across.
  • You can get great analytics from your blog to see what sites are feeding it.
  • If you have varied interests, you can bring them all together in your blog.

How Much Time Do You Spend on Social Media Activities Each Day and How Important Do You Think Social Media Time Management Is?

Every week it varies, but I am a workaholic. I have more than 30 clients, so my day is divided among all of them. I generally spend 33% of my working day on my personal content, 33% on maintenance for clients, and 33% on monitoring others.

Jessica’s Top Tips for Social Media Success

• Have a direction and start with a clear statement of goals. For example, are you looking to connect with others or drive traffic to a website? Determine your key metrics before you get started and pick three solid metrics to track (for example, Web/blog traffic, number of targeted followers in a certain time, sales conversions).

  • Before you begin, worry about social media tools last, not first. Tools will change. (Remember AOL, Yahoo!, MySpace?) If you have a solid strategy for who you are trying to reach, it will translate across all platforms.
  • Understand how your target audience uses social media (by gender, age, geography, and so on). Are they on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, blogging, YouTube, LinkedIn? You need to be where they are.
  • Create an interesting bio. This is your headline and might be your only chance to catch someone’s attention. Include your website/blog URL.
  • Use a great photo if possible, but if you have to use a logo, make sure it is clear and gets your brand message across effectively.
  • Use the background space on your Twitter profile to incorporate your logo or things you are interested in.
  • Remember that content is king, but consistency is his queen.
  • Devote time to social media housekeeping and maintenance. If you want results, start with 30 minutes a day. Post in the morning and then check in the evening. These are also the highest-usage times of the day, early morning and early evening.
  • Promote Twitter on Facebook, Facebook on your blog, YouTube on Twitter, and so on. Add social media platform participation links to your business card, letterhead, vehicle wrap, broadcast, and print media. Consistently talk about it when you are out in public.You can even add social media applications to your cell phone. Try running social media- only promotional offers and put a deadline in place to track the sales.
  • A social media plan should mirror your marketing plan, complement your traditional media goals, and engage consumers while providing meaningful, relevant, and personalized content direct to your consumer. Once you have identified your purpose, you will have a clear strategy direction for social media optimization. Try not to over think, but do act with purpose.

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Dead End Decisions

Long time no see… excuses from me; haven’t been making time to free-style blog.  Had to re-prioritize other areas of my life, and been doing a lot for my other blog/business Country Music Chat.  With that said, I miss this. I love creative, reflective and editorial style writing. I’ve always tried to share, not just my digital journey and Social Media experiences, but the search for my own “True North-ey.”

dead end ahead



Managing Social Media During a Tragedy

We’re standing on the edge of a new frontier with social media.  Every step we take, every advance is new ground and we’re all learning as we go.  That said, we also have to figure out how to handle tragic events as they unfold.

By now we’ve seen it happen on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr and other social media outlets.  Everyone is going about their days posting pictures of cats, silly memes, ecards, and businesses are promoting their services/wares.  There will be a few posts and like a stream turning into a river that bleeds into the ocean, the platforms are flooded with the news that a major tragedy is unfolding somewhere.  On social media, it doesn’t matter where you live or where you’re from, everyone emphasizes with the victims and mourns with the surviving families.If you use social media as a business tool for marking yourself or a product, this is a time to go into action.  Posting cheerful content announcing that you’re marking your homemade bright yellow flip flops down by 50% while everyone else is posting candles and prayers for the fallen has become the social media equivalent to wearing white after labor day.  You don’t want to do it.

Here is a guideline for handling your business social media accounts during a tragedy:

1. Delete scheduled tweets/posts for the next 24 hours at least.  People will be focused on the tragedy unfolding and seeing your business plugging along as usual with the same old posts makes you seem callus and uncaring.

2. Don’t use the tragedy to promote yourself.  Yes, some people do this to farm for new followers.  A simple post/tweet stating, “The Yellow Flip Flop Company is thinking of/praying for the people of (tragedy location)”.  You acknowledge the tragedy and show your viewers you are in tune with current affairs.

3. If you have to promote, don’t use the disaster hash tag in your posts.  I shouldn’t have to say this, but I’ve seen it happen often enough to make it number three on this list.

4.  Selectively post.  I’m not saying don’t post anything, but there are ways to keep your social media presence going quietly.  Linking disaster relief fundraisers, starting your own fundraiser, announcing that a certain percentage of sales will be donated to a disaster relief fundraiser are tasteful.  Sharing which news sites are reliably posting correct information and what posts have been deemed untrue can help.

If this wouldn’t work for you or your business, a media blackout the first day or two may be a good idea.

5. Gauge your audience.  You can tell watching your feeds when your audience is over the worst of the shock and things are slowly getting back to social media normal.  A few cat posts or jokes will show up.  The tragedy won’t be the number one trending topic.  Watch your followers and start posting again, slowly at first, then work your way up to  normal schedule and tone over a couple days.

These are guidelines, not rules or laws.  How you handle your social media during a tragedy is up to you, but be aware that people are watching.

What are some of the guidelines you use for Social Media Management during crisis situations, or is this something you’ve thought about?


Why Y’all Love Country So Much #CMchat

by Jessica Northey 

I haven’t done a blog post here for few months, my excuse is that I been a little busy over here.  I also discovered Google Plus Hangouts and have been spending more time doing Video Conversations, LIVE event coverage and integrating Live Streaming “Hangouts on Air” with Country Music Chat on Twitter aka #CMchat. 

According to, #CMchat has made over 1.5 Billion impressions since it started May 9th, 2011, just on Twitter. That blows me away, and is proof of how mainstream’ers are falling in love with Country Music, and not just as genre but as a lifestyle brand. Reality Shows, Primetime TV, pop music crossovers, clothing, musicians migrating to format from other genres, you don’t have to be a fan to see that this happening. (more…)


Weeding Between Your Ears

by Jessica Northey 

First of all…HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!

I wonder how much of what I write and post is actually “Social Media” in your eyes?  It’s distributed via Social Media, but it’s just my thoughts.  I really do hate to give advice, but seem to love to give my opinion, and yes it’s true, I can be a bit bossy.  However, I am not the type to write, ‘how to’s‘ that try to sell and/or tell people, ‘this is what I think you should do‘; that’s just never been my way.  Mostly because after 15+ years experience in traditional media I recognize, there is NOT one right way to do things, and the minute you think you got it dialed in, everything changes.

Just consider my thoughts as experience talking.

I am not perfect. I am not a qualified therapist, nor do I consider myself to be some kind of guru in the Social Media world. I am just a girl who dreamed up some ideas, and fearlessly went after them.

The point of this post is somewhere between your two ears. The garden, that is your mind. Some years ago, I starting saying “I need to pull some weeds” when I had thoughts that made me feel uneasy or uncomfortable in my own skin.  I would shamelessly, talk to a friend/family member, and pull them weeds out of my head!  There is so much power in telling someone *safe* your crappy thoughts, and getting them, the heck out of your brain. I caution you, be very selective with who you talk to. Not everyone is trustworthy, and you may want to hit up a professional, or even a member of the clergy when stuff seems just too big.

Like the way you approach gardening in your yard, here are some basic tools I try to use to keep sane, online and off:

-Some dirt is harder to grow in
First and foremost being around toxic people is not conducive to growth, and pretty much guarantees some crappy thoughts. I was once involved in a friendship that was sold to me as love and support, about 3 months in, realized it was bullying and adhering to this person’s way of thinking. NO BUENO, and  guaranteed to produce weeds. When you see red flags, pay attention! Someone who tells you, “don’t trust this person”, “don’t talk to that person”, or tells you other people’s secrets, is probably telling yours!

-Don’t feed the weeds.
When you give too much attention to negative thoughts you are taking away from the positive ones.  Obsessing about things you have no control over doesn’t help either. You do the best work you can do, plan the plan, and then let the outcome be what it is meant to be. Sounds a little zen, but really works like a charm.

-Pull from the roots
You have to be willing to dig deep, and pull that sucker out….and then throw it away.  The key to letting go IS letting go. It is always a process and pretty much everything I let go of, usually has claw marks.  But I am getting better at not “should’ing” on myself, or carrying around BS that’s not mine. Not gonna lie, it can be hard. Just surround yourself with people who support you.

-Cut back  at the top
Sometimes you can’t get all the way to the root, but you need to get the weed before the “seed rain” begins. Look at the situation, write it down and weigh out the pros and cons.  When you take inventory you can make a decision about how much more of your time you want to invest.

-Let the Sunshine in
Most plants need sunshine to grow. You can look at the bad things that happen and chose to wallow in the darkness, or make a decision to learn from it and become a better person.  I chose to believe there is way more good in the world if you just look for it.  I try to stay really close to the people who have positive energy, and if you look at any of my Social Media streams, you will see who I talk to a lot and retweet/repost/reshare a lot. Those are my peeps and the sunshine in my life!

-Water the stuff you want to grow
This is similar to sunshine, and sounds like a no-brainer, right. Just know, if you look for it and are open to it, you will attract good things into your life!  You can’t just “wish” thing to happen. You have to work. I hear people say all the time, “how come all these great things are happening to other people and not me.”  Maybe they just worked harder than you, or it was their time. You can’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides and if you are, and want what someone else has, you have to be willing to do what they did. FIND those people, WATCH those people and LEARN from those people. The proof is in the walk, not the talk.

HEY LIFE…..bring it on!!!!!!!