I like social media marketing because I’m always learning and experimenting. The main ingredient of a strong social media strategy should be innovation.
Recently, I shared on MedVet’s Facebook pages a recipe for dog treats, as part of a larger Halloween Pet Safety campaign. I got the idea from another animal hospital’s Facebook page and saw the high levels of engagement their post was getting. So, in Canva, I made this graphic for Facebook and added this post to my content calendar in Google Sheets. I made sure to give credit in the lower right-hand corner to the blog where I got the recipe from.
Sharing a treat recipe was something MedVet had never done before. I knew our audience loved pet safety tips, education, and helpful insights. From tracking the best performing post each week, I knew those types of posts had performed well in the past. I was pretty confident this recipe would be something of value to our followers and would be appreciated. My hypothesis paid off and the post was a success across our 24 Facebook pages, getting as many as 63 shares! I hope to share other treat recipes in the future, perhaps themed for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
I want to talk about the Halloween Pet Safety social media campaign I ran for MedVet. Campaign Goal: Increased brand awareness. Make sure MedVet is top of mind for pet owners in case their pet faces an after-hours medical emergency. We will measure the number of post shares.
Over October 20-31, our goal is to see a 15% increase in the number of Shares on all Facebook Pages
From September 20-30, 2019, we saw 286 total Shares on Facebook across all our Pages, so our goal was to see an increase of 43 shares, so we aim to see 329 Shares.
Campaign Results: On November 3, I looked at the analytics to see how many Shares across all our 24 Facebook Pages these Halloween Pet Safety posts had gotten.
I used HubSpot to schedule the posts and track the success of the campaign. In HubSpot, I marked each post related to this campaign “Halloween 2019” so I could easily pull a report only on posts for the campaign
We far exceed our goal of 329 Shares. We got 845 Shares!
Purpose: To use our emergency veterinary expertise to educate pet owners about the dangers of pets accidentally ingesting chocolate.
Our desired reaction from the campaign was for users to share the Facebook post with their friends and family. We also want them to remember the key idea that MedVet is open 24/7 in case of a pet emergency and provides expert
Opportunity: Become the trusted source for accurate and easy-to-share pet safety information on Facebook.
When: October 20-31 on MedVet’s 24 Facebook pages
Target audience: Pet owners and those who currently like a MedVet Facebook page
Tone: Knowledgable, expert, pet-loving
Even in small amounts, chocolate may cause serious health problems if ingested by your pet. Chocolate toxicity can
cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, heart failure, seizures, and in some cases even death.
While chocolate is a favorite treat of ours, it can be harmful, sometimes fatal, to our canine companions. With
Halloween right around the corner, please remember to keep all chocolate and other candy, such as raisins, sugar-free
candy, and sugar-free gum, safely out of reach of curious noses!
Dogs and cats are particularly sensitive to a chemical in chocolate, coffee and tea called theobromine. Theobromine is found in very high levels in bakers and dark chocolate. If a dog eats a lot or is a smaller dog, milk chocolates can
cause problems too. Be careful when you have chocolate in your home and keep your four-legged friends far away from Halloween baskets this year!
Mistakes happen. No matter how many eyes are on a graphic, typos can slip through. On a recent Facebook post, I misspelled the word “breathing.” (Literally, an act I do all day long, I messed up the spelling.)
I made the graphic in Canva, which often doesn’t play nice with my Grammarly and Google Chrome spell checkers. Still, the typo was totally my fault. The crazy thing is this graphic was seen by my boss, my boss’ boss, the corgi’s owner (I sent it to her to get her permission to use Noodle’s photo) and my fiance Nate. Nobody caught the typo–except one of our Facebook fans.
I noticed the mistake when I was reviewing the Facebook notifications. A woman named Tina had commented on the post correcting my mistake. My reaction was to treat this the same way I would in real life if I had mispronounced someone’s name right after meeting them. I own the mistake and apologize. So, I sent the woman a private message on Facebook to let her know I saw her comment, I admit I made the mistake and I’m sorry it happened.
I’m not able to fix the graphic on Facebook without hiding or deleting the whole post. I don’t think the typo is bad enough to do that. I’m just mad and embarrassed at myself.
The irony of this all is that this scenario happened to me, with the roles reserved.
I noticed a typo in a HubSpot blog post this morning and tweeted about them to let them know.
I have yet to hear back from HubSpot and they haven’t fixed their typo.
I renewed my certification in Google Analytics. I last took the test in 2017 so I was due for a refresher. I completed the Google Analytics Beginners course first then the Advanced course within Google’s Analytics Academy. I learned the most from using the demo account and being able to practice the concepts I was learning.
I’m excited to apply this knowledge to my organization’s Google Analytics.
In October, I wrote a blog post about foods pets should avoid eating. We’d found that on social media these pet-education posts, especially seasonally related perform very well. We didn’t have much fall-specific content so I set out to write this blog post.
What: Seasonal Pet Education Blog Post
Where: MedVet’s blog on their website and shared on all 25 hospital Facebook pages
When: Written and published in early October 2019
Why: The goal of the blog post is to build trust among pet owners that MedVet is leading specialty healthcare and is a trusted resouce during pet emergencies. We want to increase the amount of time people spend on our website so the CTA at the end of the blog post is to read similar pet education blog posts we’ve written.
When we shared this blog post on social media, our goal is to drive users to our website. Once they are on our website, we want them to learn more about MedVet and keep us top of mind for their pet’s emergency and specialty needs.
The blog post was reformatted and repurposed to become a print handout for each of our 24 hospitals. I only wrote the text, I didn’t design this. Our amazingly talented graphic designer, Ashten, designed this in Adobe InDesign.
Fall is such a festive season but it can be a bit of a tricky and scary time for pet-owners. How can I keep my dog safe this Halloween? What do I need to keep out of reach of my cat? MedVet’s team of board-certified veterinarians want to educate pet-owners about how to keep their dog and cat safe this fall.
Let’s play a game of Trick-or-Treat! Guess if the food listed is a treat that’s safe to give your pet or if it’s a trick, meaning something harmful you should not give to your pet.
(On the live blog post, these are hyperlinked to take you to the right spot on the page.)
If your pet eats a grape-flavored product (found in some pet products and synthetic grape-flavored medications) no need to worry, that’s not toxic. Most products are made with diluted grapes, not enough to cause any alarm.
Like with grapes, raisins are not safe for cats or dogs. Raisin toxicity can cause severe kidney damage leading to acute kidney failure with lack of urine production. If a pet has consumed raisins, they might show symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, foul breath, lethargy, or loss of appetite. Make sure to keep raisins in a sealed container in a locked drawer or pantry, out of reach of your cat or dog.
Both raw and cooked pumpkin is safe for dogs and cats. Pumpkin is a great source of fiber and can help relieve constipation and diarrhea. Adding a tablespoon of pure pureed pumpkin to a pet’s regular food can be beneficial for pets with upset stomachs. But, do not give your pet the leftover jack-o-lantern or the pumpkin stem, skin or pulp. Pumpkin stems and leaves are covered in little sharp hairs which can cause irritation in your dog’s mouth and intestinal tract.
Chocolate can be poisonous for both dogs and cats. Even in small amounts, chocolate can cause serious health problems if ingested by your pet. Chocolate toxicity can result in vomiting and diarrhea in addition to tremors, increased heart rate, heart failure, seizures, and in some cases, death. Generally darker chocolates are more dangerous than milk or white chocolates. Keep your trash out of reach of sniffing noses because chocolate candy wrappers can also be a serious hazard.
Sugar-free candies contain a chemical called xylitol, which is harmful to pets. This artificial sweetener is highly toxic to dogs and can cause low blood sugar and liver failure. Xylitol is found in some chewing gum, mints, baked goods, cereals, jellies, jam, pudding, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Always read the label carefully because you’d be surprised what products have xylitol in them. The effects of xylitol in cats are not fully understood so we recommend not giving your cats sugar-free candies.
Apples are an ideal snack for pets. Apples are a good source of antioxidants as well as Vitamins A and C. They are high in fiber, which can help with a dog’s digestion. They are great for overweight or geriatric pets who may have a lower metabolism. Make sure to remove the leaves, core and seeds from the apples because they can contain cyanide. Also be sure you’re using fresh apples. Consuming rotten apples can be harmful to dogs.
Trick or Treat
This answer is a bit more complicated. Must dogs absolutely love peanut butter. However, make sure the peanut butter doesn’t contain xylitol, which is a chemical that’s highly toxic to dogs. Look for unsalted peanut butter with no added sugars. Peanut butter can be a great treat, high in protein and healthy fats. Like with any treat, make sure to give peanut butter in moderation.
Leave the peanut butter for your dogs. Cats should not be given peanut butter. It’s not toxic to them but it doesn’t provide them any nutritional benefit. Your cat is a carnivore that wants to eat animal-based protein, not a plant-based protein, like peanut butter.
Make sure food in your kitchen is stored out of your pet’s reach. To discourage pets from exploring in the kitchen, don’t feed pets table scraps or allow them on the counter.
I attended the Together Digital national conference on Thursday and Friday. It was jam-packed with informative sessions, case studies, and panels. I got to hear from some of the most talented, motivated and compassionate women in the marketing industry. Part of what makes Together Digital so unique is that members commit to 12 Asks and 12 Gives each year. This can be anything from asking if anyone knows anyone at a company you want to work for all the way to giving members an audit of their LinkedIn profiles. When women ask for help and give support to one another, we can build each other up. The group has been instrumental in shaping my career.
There were so many awesome sessions to choose from at the conference, I found myself wishing I had a time-turner like Hermoine’s from Harry Potter. I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of the key takeaways I learned from the conference.
Kickstart Your Organic SEO Strategy by Caitlin Boroden, Director of SEO, Catchweight
– SEO is the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic. The three pillars of SEO: Technical SEO + Content + Digital PR (link building). I think of this as a pyramid with Technical SEO on the bottom.
– When you’re doing an SEO Audit it can feel overwhelming at the amount of stuff you need to fix. Conduct an Impact vs Effort analysis for when you have a laundry list of changes needed. This will help you map out what tasks are high impact- low effort, etc.
– Make sure to use smaller image sizes on the website so the page can load quickly.
– Be sure to fill in meta descriptions and alt text to help it be understood by Google. Each page should have H1 tags.
Creative ways to drive email conversions by Amanda Scarnechia Manager, CRM & Consumer Data of Scott’s Miracle-Gro
– If you don’t have the data, ask for it. Scott’s Miracle-Gro wanted to let their audience know about a new product they had for people with an irrigation system. They didn’t know who in their database had an irrigation system so they sent them a short one question survey in an email. Ask your audience a basic question.
– Write at a fifth-grade reading level or below. Average American reading level is about seventh grade.
– Apply the learnings from other departments. Maybe your paid social media team has already figured out what copy works for your audience and you could borrow that in your email campaign.
– Set the agenda. State here’s what we’re going to cover. Set the time for the topics. Email the agenda the day before.
– Talk about the bigger picture first before diving deep. Start with the big picture. Don’t just start in the middle. Give context and orient them.
– Help them make decisions. Using analogies to communicate complicated concepts in a way that’s commonly understood.
– Repeat their vision back to them, helps them feel understood and heard. Then say we have two options, here are our recommendations.
– Know your leader and how they want to be presented to.
Social Marketing & Media Case Study
– You can create buyer personas for each social media platform like a Facebook persona or Instagram persona.
– 78% of users who follow a brand on social will visit their physical store.
– Provide social media training during the onboarding process to teach posting best practices. Have your social team teach the sales team how to use social selling correctly. Provide content the sales team can share, teach them about a complete LinkedIn profile, educate them on what a Facebook business page looks like. Do a yearly audit of sales reps social profiles.
– Make social-first content. Reframe social media to be a business driver. A/B test to learn what your customers really want.
– Facebook is the best place to reach Moms. Moms are online for support and community.
– Bad social media goal: Grow your social media following. (That’s not specific nor timely.)
– Good social media goal: Increase purchases on our website from Instagram by twenty percent by the end of the year.
– In your social media photos, have a clear focal point. Make your product pop. Show the product in action. Show how to use the product, explain what it is. Product demos. Real customer highlights.
And that’s a highlight of some of the things I learned from the Together Digital National Conference in Columbus, Ohio on September 19-20, 2019.
I messed up at work today. It wasn’t a little whoopsie goof it was a big, ohmygosh-what-have-I-done moment. I am not proud of it at all. Heck, I’m really embarrassed about it. But, I want to challenge myself to take the high road, be mature, reflect and learn from it.
Earlier that morning, a colleague had asked to meet with me about the Contact Us form on the website. She asked if we could make some of the fields required or make some changes to it. I thought to myself, yeah that should be a simple fix. I’ve never messed with that form in our WordPress before and I knew nothing about it. But I was confident it wouldn’t be that hard and I would be able to figure it out. I log in to WordPress, find the form, make some changes, and send a test form to myself to double check the changes took effect. Nothing happens. I send another form. Still nothing comes through. Aw man.
I start to wonder what’s going on. I update the plugin in WordPress thinking maybe that was the problem. I go to lunch, come back and still neither of my test messages from the website have worked. The form is broken. I dig around WordPress and see a Deactivate button and I think that means “revert to a previous version of the plugin, like before I updated it.” I don’t think it means “delete all form data and all forms.” I press the big red button.
I realize that I’ve deleted our website forms and the past submission data. I’m horrified. How could I have done this? I dig through and realize the forms are not backed up anywhere, there’s been no internal record of what the forms were, which ones they were, or anything. I realize this is not something I can hide or fix myself.
I call my boss on the phone because she was driving out of town. She picks up the phone and asks “Is everything alright, Debbie?” and I say “No. I made a really big mistake and accidentally deleted the forms from the website. I was working too quickly and didn’t know what I was doing and now the Contact Us form is gone. I’ve called IT and am planning to tell the rest of the team.” My boss said things would be alright and told me what steps I needed to do next.
I think the younger Debbie would’ve waited to tell her boss until her boss somehow found out about it from another person. I think I would’ve been so ashamed, terrified and embarrassed, I would’ve scrambled to keep it a secret and try to fix it myself (which I could not do.) I think my younger self would’ve cried in the bathroom, thought about blaming someone else and called my parents for help. I don’t want to be that person.
I had to tell my boss’ boss and the Chief Information Officer what I’d done. I wanted to just crawl into a hole and not come out. How am I supposed to be this super adulting digital marketing pro when I made a huge effing preventable mistakes like this? This isn’t a typo, it’s a disappearance of part of the website.
I texted Nate and that helped calm me down a bit and remember I could get through this. He works as a software engineer and so was able to understand what had happened and brainstorm some solutions with me.
I called our website developer and spoke with them about what had happened. Dealing with the mistake took all afternoon.
Before I left for the day, I emailed my boss and her boss a recap of what had happened, what I’d done to try to fix it and questions I had. I of course apologized again for causing such a mess in the first place. I wanted to keep them informed and own up to what I’d done.
What helped me stay calm in a moment of personal crisis was remembering what I’d read in the book Ask a Manager. She talked about what to say to your manager when you make a mistake. I loved this book and took photos of my library book and saved them in a Google Doc.
The author Alison Green advises after you make a mistake, let your manager know immediately, explain clearly what happened and how it happened, take ownership and responsibility and explain how you’re going to make sure this never happens again.
I’m going to learn more about WordPress and until then I’m going to stick to the WYSIWYG editors and stay the heck out of the plugins or anything else I am not 110% confident in.
It’s exciting to travel to such a huge conference in the marketing industry. I’d wanted to go to Inbound someday and am thankful MedVet gave me this opportunity. I’m going to take so many notes to bring back to the team.
The kick-off welcome session tonight was by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of that book and movie you’ve heard of: Eat, Pray, Love. I admit I haven’t read any of her books or seen the movie with Julia Roberts. I started both and couldn’t finish. So, I was hesitant that I would not enjoy nor get anything out of her session. I didn’t have much to base that assumption on, I just pessimistically had a negative assumption.
But, she really inspired me. She spoke from her heart about how writing has always been her passion. She moved to New York City to fulfill her dream of being a writer but was working so many odd jobs to pay rent that she didn’t have time to write. She told this to a mentor and the mentor looked at her and stated:
“What are you willing to give up to pursue the life you’re pretending you want?”
She then asked her more questions to prove her point: “What’s your favorite TV show? What are you reading? How was brunch with your friends this weekend? What’s your next vacation?” She was indicating that if Liz had time for those things, then she had free time to write. It was a matter of prioritizing. She needed to make her dream of being a writer her number one priority.
Then Elizabeth Gilbert talked about Relaxing. She said that this word is underused and undervalued. When you Google “relaxing” she noted that images of hot stone massages are mostly what appears. If you’re waiting to relax once you’re rich, sorry but rich people are stressed too.
She described a friend she met who whenever someone asked him how he was that day he would respond with “It’s gonna be alright.” He wasn’t answering their question (in fact, he was creating a new question) but there was something relaxing about his demeanor. He kept his shoulders lowered, didn’t get fired up easily, and took time to listen to others. I admired that guy and after her talk noticed myself trying to bring down my shoulders, take a deep breath and relax.
She said that in a herd of horses, the alpha is a strong mare who keeps the other horses calm. When she is calm, that behavior spreads. She remains calm because nobody messes with her. The other horses know they must ask permission from before approaching. her. She doesn’t need approval from any other horses nor does she let their fears or worries affect her. It was quite a relatable message from the animal kingdom.
Going off of that, I loved most what she talked about when she said you need to figure out your priorities. Draw a circle around you and protect that.
She described a moment in her life when she found out her partner was terminally ill. She canceled speaking engagements, canceled appointments and flew home immediately. She looked in her email inbox and deleted all the nonimportant emails, even if they were unopen. She prioritized her partner.
Now, I’m not going to go that extreme, but it got me thinking about what my priorities are. My first thought was Nate, Emily, and my parents. The people I care most about in the world and who know me better than I know myself. Then I wanted to add in some non-human priorities like: Honesty, Writing, Humor, and Creativity. I know I want to live a life where I can have Nate, Emily, and my parents with me. I want to live a life where I can be myself, tell the truth in my writing, be goofy sometimes and try new out of the box ideas.
So not only did Elizabeth Gilbert totally prove wrong the assumption I had, she helped me think more about my priorities and what’s important to me right now. Thanks!