Lessons we learned from real life experience in the social media world

Timing – Posting/Sharing the article at the best times will help you get more traffic and engagement. Factoring in the time zones of the target audience definitely helps.

Content Translation – If you want your message to reach a wider audience, a proper translation to native language is a good strategy. Two of our articles have a Thai translation version and it reaches to a handful of a unique audience in Thailand.

The Length of Stay – If we reach the right group of audience, their length of stay on the page tend to be longer as they spend time reading the article.

The length and the content of the post itself matter in attracting more audience. Who wants to read a long post about boring subjects?

Advertising for the articles – When you try to engage the audience with a sneak peak of the content in the post text they would be more engaged and click the link.

Funny and catchy titles get more engagement than the serious ones – even if the subject is not very interesting for your audience, you should create a title that makes them at least smile in order to make them click on the link.

Original content is a key for engagement – for example, creating the video with original ideas and scenes attract people more because they know they will see something new and different from other social media contents.

Targeting closest friends and family is the easiest form of spreading information – the larger the group working on the project or post, the more seeds you have to pump out information. For example, Willamette University students were engaging well with the content because they are in our community.

Graphics such as gifs or movies help adding some content to the articles that can increase visitors time spent on the website.

 

 

How to Survive (and Thrive) in a Professional MBA Program

I’m writing this with being 2 short weeks away from completing my MBA at Willamette.

Throughout the two years in the program, at times, I’ve worked more than 100 hours in a single week between my various jobs and a full credit load.

It’s amazing how formal education can be either the catalyst for growth (in all parts of your life) or make you feel helpless. What will make or break you is how you set yourself up for success. Currently, I’m enrolled in three courses (more than the average load), working multiple jobs and still having a great time. Don’t get me wrong – at times it feels like a death march.

Treepose8 Tips for Surviving (and Thriving) in an MBA Program

1) Get a Hobby

One of the first interview questions I was asked in the interview for Willamette’s MBA Program was, “What are your hobbies?” Seems odd, right? What could this have to do with my ability to be successful in an MBA program.

The answer: A LOT.


I have a hobby that forces me to be social, and present. Because most of the time, I’m putting other people’s lives in my hands.

 

Whether your hobby is a sport or not, having other people on your team or to practice with will keep you motivated and on track. After an 16 hour day comprised of 8-10 hours at work and a 4 hour night class, you need something to look forward to during the week.

2) Take on more, set goals. 

How sad would it to be to complete your MBA degree and feel like you’ve otherwise stagnated as a person? Wouldn’t you rather look back on this time as a period of immense growth? You might call me crazy here, but the saying could not be more true:

If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.”

Keeping busy will only increase your capacity. More importantly, having other goals will help you keep school in perspective. How much does it matter you got a “C” on that one marketing midterm? Not much in the grand scheme. But it can feel like your world is coming to an end if you don’t have other things you’re working towards.

My goals during this MBA program: strength and flexibility. Some of these achievements (like getting my splits) occurred even while studying.

splits and studying

3) Make sleep a priority.

There will be nights (and weeks) when that’s not possible. Take time each week to catch up on sleep at least one or two nights. During this program I averaged 4-6 hours on bad nights. For the most part though, I got 7-8 hours of sleep a night. 

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 10.26.46 AMAnd this was with working full-time, my hobby, friends, teaching, and taking a full credit load. It is possible, I promise.

4) Put pride aside. 

Know your network, and ask for help. An MBA is going to force you to learn about every field of business, so get to know your classmates (or cohort). Know their strengths and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t worry – when it comes to your subject of expertise, you’ll be able to return the favor. 

Also understand your personal network. Never be shy about asking for help because the worst case scenario is that they say no. Not so bad, right?

5) Be selective about who you give your time to.

The people who stick by you through these 2 years will be your best friends and life partners. My cohort alone had 3 marriage proposals during the program. Something in the water? Perhaps.

Getting through any program and working will test your willpower. People who are takers (emotionally and mentally) will stick out like sore thumbs, know when to cut your losses.

6) Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency.

Put your perfectionist ways to sleep because they’ll kill you in graduate school. I’m saying this as a long-term Type A “it must be perfect” personality. Trust me. You may think that is sustainable at first but it will catch up with you and eat away hours you could be sleeping.

Though, this may be taking efficiency too far. Bath studying…it’s a thing.

Multitasking

7) Prepare for the week.

Set yourself up for success every night. Do your meal prep and plan days in advance. Schedule your week: block off 1-2 hour time slots for homework. Stick to it. This is an easy way to get more efficient. Studies show that after 2 hours of working or studying the same topic, productivity drops dramatically.

8) Enjoy it.

This is probably the last time in your adult life you’ll have the luxury of learning in a controlled environment, where your job doesn’t depend on it.

Happy bending  studying!

Melissa Barker


Read more from the Digital Drinkers 

10 Back Flexibility Stretches | 15 Stretches for Splits, and Tips for Sharing Your Practice | 5 Secrets to Flexibility Training, and Building a Following | Surviving a Beer Fest    | Investing In A Home, Part 1      |     The Portland Trail Blazers Brand      |   Training For My First 1/2 Marathon


References

National Sleep Foundation (n.d.). “How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?” Retrieved on 25, July 2016, from: https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need

 

Why The Willamette MBA Program Was Right For Me

Willamette Fall
After making the decision to attend graduate school, I did the usual research of soliciting advice from other professionals, my own catalog list of local universities and of course went to the fall back of any question, Google.  Given the auto populate, you can see others have sought Google’s advice as well.
There are 12 different MBA programs available in the Portland area so it was hard to narrow it down to Willamette. Here are some of the criteria that I used:
  1. Cohort style – Building a two-year long relationship with other professionals creates support and life long bonds.
  2. Executive Program – Being able to attend classes at night was a requirement to keep with my work schedule. This program is designed for working professionals. The ability to apply concepts immediately is key in retaining and understanding the material.
  3. Structure – The schedule is set for you for the whole two year program (including books), which eliminates figuring out registration and the complications of which class to take next.
  4. Reputation- Willamette University has continued to be recognized by several organizations, including Forbes for being an outstanding MBA program.
  5. In 2015, Forbes ranked Willamette’s MBA Program number 60 on their bi-annual list of the “Best Business Schools.” Willamette was the only Oregon school to make the list. Read the original article here: http://bit.ly/2avL22g
  6. Dinner – Small thing, however, not having to plan or buy dinner every school night is a good thing. After a long day of work, it’s nice to have someone else do the cooking and the dishes. Whole Foods catering anyone?

Books on a Screen?

I’ve always loved books. As a child, I read a dozen books each week. I read outside, inside, in the car, in the dim light of evening and well into the night. I was an English major in college, which exposed me to a whole different world of literature. I love memoirs and post modernist fiction, cookbooks and newspaper comic collections, and have favorites from every genre. I talk about reading a lot, so naturally, I am frequently posed with the question “how do you feel about ebooks?”

I am not a voice in the chorus of “save our hardcovers!”  I also, however, love having a shelf full of tangible books that I can gloat over, lend out, and dust. Just kidding, I never dust. I recognize the visceral experience that a paper book gives. I have many a fond memory that revolves around thumbing the pages and slamming the cover shut at the end of a gripping tale. It has been interesting, as an adult in this era, to watch the transformation of the printed word. There is something to be said for defending our precious, strained eyes from yet another screen. A book will never run out of battery. If you leave it in a train station, you don’t have to remotely delete your personal data. You cannot press flowers between your favorite stories on your e-reader.

However, I’ll shout it from the rooftops. I love my Kindle. http://cdn.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/eBook-Intro-Logo.jpg?b34c28

The grown up child-me, whose carry-on luggage was just a backpack full of books, loves the ability to carry hundreds of volumes at any given time in my purse. I like the instantaneousness of my electronic books. The joy of acquisition is amplified by the idea that I’ll be able to read that book whenever and wherever the fancy strikes me. While I don’t get to go fight the lines in the excited crowd for a midnight release, which was a great part of the excitement for new Harry Potter books in my youth, I am still very excited that I will have Harry Potter and the Cursed Child delivered to my e-reader immediately on July 31st.

The dawn of the e-book brought about a wave of fear from bibliophiles everywhere. However, the data seems to say we have nothing to fear. While there has been backlash of the digital age (RIP Borders and B. Dalton), it seems that we are in a happy middle point. Phillip Jones of The Guardian said it beautifully in his post on the relationship between e-books and printed books “[readers] have proved to more promiscuous and more flexible in what and how they read than anyone predicted.”

What are you reading?

If you want to read more Ruckus MBA blog posts, you can find them here!

5 Marketing Lessons from HBO’s Silicon Valley

(Warning: Spoilers)

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HBO’s Silicon Valley is a hilarious hit show that may, or may not, represent the real Silicon Valley. It just grabbed 11 nominations for the upcoming Emmy awards. It is no doubt great TV, however, within the show, there are real marketing lessons.

1) Be customer-centric not product-centric

Many innovators believe their products will sell themselves. A “build it and they will come” mind set. Most of the time this is not true.

Pied Piper created revolutionary compression software. However, it’s incredibly complex, hard to integrate, and all the work is behind the scenes and not visible to the consumer (Gourville, 2006).

2) Have Vision

Every company needs to be able to explain their product effectively and efficiently. It is important to provide an easily understood picture of your brand and demonstrate value to the customer (Gupta, 2014).

Throughout the series Pied Piper and Hoolie have trouble articulating the product to anyone who is not an engineer. They don’t have a good vision for the product they want to create, just the technical background specs.

3) Have a targeted marketing strategy

Michael Porter defines strategy as: “the creation of a unique and valuable position, involving a different set of activities.” A good strategic position meets the needs of a targeted group of people.

Pied Piper doesn’t have a specific type of product offering, or demographic to sell to. Richard wants to serve all the needs of everyone. This is too broad, and is ultimately unsuccessful. Many of the problems they face with launching their company could be fixed with a targeted strategy (Porter, 1996).

4) Listen to Market Research

Unbiased, thorough, and strategic market research can help a firm segment their potential customers, and tailor their products to customer needs to create value (Dolan & John, 2015).

Pied Piper and Hoolie constantly believe their products are perfect. All of their market research (the little they do) tells them their products are too complicated, not user friendly, or not working properly, yet they don’t listen. Pied Piper sends their beta to only engineers, who love it, but the first few end customers that try it, are turned off.

5) Don’t Cheat

Just don’t.

 

$More Marketing Insights from TEAM MONEY$

Steph Curry and Kevin Durant Can Play on the Same Team and Still Sell Sneakers

Good Blogging Review

Work Cited:

Dolan, R., & John, L. (2015). Marketing Intelligence. Harvard Business Publishing.

Gourville, J. (2006). Note of Innovation Diffusion: Rogers’ Five Factors. Harvard Business School, 2.

Gupta, S. (2014). Creating Customer Value. Harvard Business Publishing.

Porter, M. (1996). What Is Strategy. Harvard Business Review.

 

FLASH! PETA SHUTS DOWN POKEMON GO EVENTS IN PORTLAND, OREGON!

Pokemon Go BallThe controversial organization, PETA (Protection for Equivalent Theoretical Animals), has managed to rally citizen support to protest and block several Pokémon Go events scheduled in Portland, Oregon, on the basis that monsters qualify as “theoretical animals” and that Seekers, in pursuit of points, status and otherwise basic irrational and illogical storytelling opportunities, will resort to irrational, illogical and virtual fantasy activities as they prey on innocent virtual creatures unable to defend themselves.

LET OUR POKEMON GO GO!   jail pokemon

Signs of Pokémon Go monsters contained in squalid cages and fed items with virtually no substance are popping up everywhere. Worse, in a demonstration of how low seekers will fall, “monster-fights” reminiscent of the dog fights that got old basketball players almost arrested have been seen in the back alleys of one of America’s greatest cities.  The conditions are perceived as horrible, with poor monsters gripping bars and crying out for their families.  In a worst-case situation, a baby monster was separated from its mother before it could flee its hunters.

pokemon#2Other groups attempting to capitalize on the event have even started a “slave labor” camp for captured monsters, selling them on Craig’s List for virtual bucks.  Enslaved monsters are expected to ensure harsh working conditions while captors and seekers seduced into this unsavory world go out in pursuit of even more monsters.  It’s an awful situation as wild and carefree monsters are struck down in the middle of their natural habitat, with little time to defend themselves from the “slaying ball” that is used to swipe them away.  As one concerned citizen reported, Pokémon Go monsters are even starting to show up in  historically human red light districts.  Poor PokemonRepublicans across the country are in an uproar as questions of equality for animals and citizens’ concern for these imaginary creatures takes priority over what they have long considered to be a more important agenda while Democrats are looking to expand universal health care programs to include Pokemom Go Monster Dads, Moms and kids alike.

GETTING EVEN

As the Pokémon Go phenomenon has exponentially accelerated in the last few days, pokemon fieldreports of Seekers getting creamed is also increasing, to include (most recently) a group in Salem, Oregon that found themselves standing in the middle of Liberty Street in the front of the firehouse, trying to climb up the fireman’s pole in search of an evasive and illusive creature.  Seems that Seekers may not be using a lot “upstairs” as they look for PokeStops and through Lures out to grab yet another poor, defenseless monster.  But, the monsters are starting to get creative and gang up on Seekers.

In yet another unreported incident, four ridiculously cute monsters threw their own “lure” out to catch a few unsuspecting Seekers.  Using the guise of a broken paw, one monster lay await in a green circle as the Seekers approached.  Just as the swipe of the ball was about to happen, three other monsters ran out and jumped on top of the Seekers, scaring the bejeezus out of them, causing them to lose their phone and of course, their corresponding identity. (Anyone looking for a Samsung XII should call the local authorities).   It’s only a matter of time before massive uprisings between man and beast lead us all to lock ourselves in our shelters and wait to see who wins.

RELEASE OUR POKEMON GO!

PETA, founded by M.N Sterious, an 84 year old member of the Portland community, is dedicated to the protection of virtual reality of any form.  M.N. Sterious planned and coordinated the Portland Pokémon Go blockade using age-old wisdom combined with helpful hints from Google search engine.  Demands for a release of all caged Pokémon Go monsters must be met before the blockades are removed.   As in all things fantastical, the PETA group has staged a virtual hunger strike with hopes to gain attention of those who are oblivious to this ridiculous condition.   It certainly grasped this author’s attention!

For more information on PETA, look no further.  You won’t find anything anyway.  Meanwhile, stay OFF THE STREETS, OUT OF TREES, AWAY FROM FIREHOUSES…oh yeah – all that advice assumes people are using their heads when playing this game.  That’s where we went wrong!

How to answer trolls when they’re just worried about their loved one.

There are unique challenges to marketing in health care. As a hospital, you aren’t selling a product, and many of your services are not based on traditional notions of demand. Social media marketing in health care is frequently focused on community education and outreach, which makes negative comments extra jarring. A comment about somebody’s son waiting in an emergency room for nine hours stands out starkly against a cheerful post of recommendations for managing your sodium intake this holiday season.

Ragan, a respected voice in health care PR, communications, and marketing gives some great basic tips for responding to negative comments here, but is that enough? Negative testimony speaks loudly against a service experience that many people already resent. Marketing professionals in health care have the opportunity to continue to educate—there’s a reason you may have to wait in the emergency room—as well as use the feedback to inform patient satisfaction initiatives. Indeed, some negative feedback must be addressed, to prevent a snowballing blow to community health. Visible negative comments can lead community members to delay care, or avoid trips to the hospital, which undermines the benefit of having locally available care options.

Amazon: Signaling You to Buy No Matter What the Price

imgresFor over twenty years Amazon has been losing money on every transaction but winning in volume.  The now $100 billion E-commerce giant has eliminated the list price.  For individuals not familiar with the marketing and the signaling theory let me explain.  Amazon signals to the consumer that the item is on sale because the list price is depicted as what the item should sell for in an ideal market.

READ: Amazon Is Quietly Eliminating List Prices

Let’s say you need to get a new Iphone 6 case.  After a couple minutes
searching on line you spot a Crushed Damson Purple / Pink Otterbox Defender Series 6 case with a list price of $47.76 using Amazon Prime but wait, hold on,  just for you …it is now selling for $39.77.  You think to yourself hold on I need to logon to my Amazon Prime account right now and capture this deal before it goes away.  Deep breath you captured the deal and it will be on your doorstep in a day thanks to Amazon Prime.

So what happened, well your primordial brain sensed prey in the form of a deal, your adrenaline started pumping because you are on a proverbial hunt. This is when your rational brain kicked in asking the question “Hey is this a good deal?”  Now your primordial brain trying to appease the rational side of your mind says “ hey dummy chill out we just saved $7.99  from the list price. We got a killer deal!  High Fives all around!”

Now is as good a time to bore you with the details of the Signaling Theory.
In the context of marketing the seller has full knowledge of the total cost
of the item, the quality, the breadth of similar items and the market price
that consumers are willing to pay.  The consumer meanwhile has few resources to compare the item to and in most cases revert to user reviews that have been cultivated by the merchandiser. Information asymmetry occurs where one side as all the information and the other side has little to none.

Back to the iPhone case, Amazon has all the information of what it costs to
buy the purple Otterbox Defender 6 case from the manufacturer. Amazon has calculated the administrative, holding and shipping costs down to the penny. They have metrics to determine product quality and demand for this and all similar iPhone 6 cases, so they know what is hot and what is not down to the tenth of a percentage point (or more).

But what do you know, well, let’s see you can see the list price and the
quoted price on Amazon’s website. You know that users like the product and that you can get it in 24hours if you buy it now.  More importantly, you know that you got a fabulous deal,  a savings of $7.99 is real money.  But did you save money, well that is another question?  It is a relative
question with a nebulous answer.  Yes, you saved money from an artificially high list price, remember Amazon and OtterBox are in the business to make money.  But did you get a good deal? Well, this is where Signalling theory comes into play because Amazon has signaled that you are getting a great deal, and you have accepted the signal without question.

So why does Amazon want to change business as usual,  well to be honest
because we have now been so conditioned to buy almost everything from Amazon that they don’t need to signal that you are getting a good deal anymore? In fact,  Amazon has collected so many data points from you that they know what you buy when you buy it, the frequency that you need it, who you are sending it to, what colors you prefer and the urgency in which you need it.

Like Pavlov’s dog, they have you trained and can predict what shipments to direct to their local distribution centers even before you click send on
your order. Because they have taken all the guessing out of this process,
there can fix the price on the optimal value proposition for the consumer
and Amazon.  To some, this is a thing of beauty but to some, it is very
scary, almost Orwellian.  Rest assured big brother Amazon knows if you have been naughty or nice and will be shipping your Purple iPhone 6 case to you even before you … oh wait the delivery guys here with an Amazon box.   I wonder what it is?