My Year in Review

country music cmchat 2014

Words cannot even begin to describe how amazing 2014 was, not just for Country Music #CMchat, but for me personally, so we made a video. Take a walk back down the 365 day memory lane that is in our rearview mirrors of 2014.

AND thank you EVERYONE including Fans, #CMchat Community Members, Contributors, Artist Management, Labels, Publicists, Social Media teams for making this an amazing year filled with over 10 BILLION IMPRESSIONS made online with #CMchat!   Each and every one of you. You have stood by us, believed in us, and supported us over the last year. We can’t wait to continue to be one of your leading sources of Country Music Infotainment and Community in 2015.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you

to the amazingly talented Polly Burokas (@PollyBurokas) for putting this “Year in Review” video together for us, making us all cry ugly tears of joy, and reminding us why we do what we do every single day. Also, a very special thanks to our friends and Country Music #CMchat family members, Two Story Road, for lending us their song “Ever Gonna Be” and for this very special project.

Here’s to 2015!

Country Music #CMchat 2014 Year in Review

Get involved with Country Music #CMchat in 2015!


Join @FLAGALine for a Country Music #CMchat Twitterview 12/11

This is not a drill. I repeat, this is NOT a drill. We will, in fact, have Brian Kelleyand Tyler Hubbard, collectively known as This is not a drill. I repeat, this is NOT a drill. We will, in fact, have Brian Kelleyand Tyler Hubbard, collectively known as one of country music’s most popular and decorated duos, Florida Georgia Line, for a Country Music #CMchat Twitterview Thursday, December 11th, at 12pPT/3pET. That means that just days before this twosome hits the stage as the hosts of the INAUGURAL American Country Countdown Awards, produced by Dick Clark Productionsand sponsored by Samsung Galaxy®, they will take time out of their schedule to sit down with all of us and spend some time talking about the big gig that awaits them!

RSVP to receive a reminder the day of the event.

florida Georgia Line twitterview

The easiest way to participate is right here on our website! Just use this link to help segregate the tweets and show the ones with #CMchat in them: it makes the Twitterview much easier to follow. You’ll be able to see the conversation in real-time, at your own speed (it’s adjustable) and the #CMchat hashtag will automatically appear on your tweets. A lot of people also participate by using, Tweetdeck, &/or Hootsuite.

Country Music #CMchat is giving away a pair of tickets for The ACC Awards. That means you and a friend could be sitting at Music City Center on December 15th, watching the very first Dick Clark Productions ACC Awards show LIVE. Enter to win here.  And, hey! Don’t let entering to win tickets deter you from buying them. Here is the link to get your tickets today!


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.

Follow Jessica


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

GUEST POST from Danielle Bowers

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. (more…)