Tag Archives: social media

My Annual Social Media Detox (part 2)

After an amazing 9 day detox, I’m officially back on the net. Today I turned my smartphone on and after buzzing for half an hour from notifications, texts, and the rest I realized that…. (drum roll) I don’t miss social networks. Honestly, I have zero desire for opening Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and WhatsApp (especially WhatsApp #SorryNotSorry). I feel present, happy, and curious. Folks, tell me, this is what 1989 felt like?

From my second detox I learned new things. Let me share my Millennial widsom with you:

  1. If you want to do it right- leave the social media you are most addicted to. In my case is Instagram (#uglycry)
  2. Tell your loved ones about your detox- its duration, your whereabouts, and how YOU will contact them in case of an emergency 
  3. Bring activities with you- reading (I’m in the middle of The Name of the Rose and Aromatherapy), writing (ideas, poems, dreams, phrases, columns, and comics!), Sudoku, photography, printed magazines (I’m trying to read all those that finish with Mexico- Vogue Mexico, Nylon Mexico), you name it.
  4. Plan activities- I’m boring so I went to museums, libraries, and historical buildings. But you can do a restaurant tour, climbing, exploring, clubbing, you got the idea.
  5. I’m less self conscious about my looks- I didn’t took my mirror out, reapply my makeup or made second thoughts about my outfit #BodyPositivity y’all
  6. My neck and shoulders feel amazing – #OhYes

But oh boy, everything has a begging and an end and I HAD to turn my phone on. However, Smartypants had a plan. 

  1. Select two goals for work and two for you personal errands. Focus on them. Period. Your energy is finite, for me mornings are my go-go time.
  2. Connect after you finished your second task/goal. For me it was to write four versions of the same column I’ll published (I’m #OCD and my coworkers are probably #OCD too). After I finished them all I checked my texts, WhatsApp, and e-mails.
  3. Give yourself small rewards: getting a cup of coffee after replying THAT e-mail, putting some music, arranging your folders (yes, it’s a prize for me).
  4. Set interaction rules, for me it is Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest once a week (let’s see if I can keep it up), no replying during lunch and workouts, deleting apps I no longer use and stop with all the crazy notifications!!

Day 1 of #PretendIs1995 was a success. I’m aiming for at least a month. Dear readers, please be happy, both offline and online.

My Annual Social Media Detox (part 1)

Pretending it’s 1989 is harder than I thought. To start with, I didn’t lived, so I can only pretend. My reference is Taylor Swift’s album and my parents memories. How did they lived without electronics?! Turning off my phone was the easy part, to have lots of available time was hard. No social media, no texting, no fidgeting with my Motorola.

I took out my book, “Il Nome della Rosa” by Umberto Ecco and read for a while. I realized that I haven’t put on Instagram my new book or my cute sneakers. The light was perfect, I also had a funny caption and a couple of hashtags written on my head.

Why did I promised my hippie self that I would do this half digital detox? I am using an iPad and only five applications, WordPress being one of them (obviously). I’m trying to unhook to my other devices, but it hasn’t proved easy. I am a digital native after all.

“Social media have not only shaped our face-to-face interactions but also our thinking process.”

I am sad of how much I crave getting digital attention instead of enjoying some quality time with my folks. These past six hours made me realize (again) how addictive our smartphones are. As a millennial I love technology and social media, but as a yogui/reader/nerd I KNOW is not healthy to be glued to them.

This is the second year I’ve done it. The first time I picked Uber, Instagram, Gmail, TripCase and Facebook as my apps. This year is Uber, Google Maps, Prisma, WordPress, and TripCase. I’ll keep you posted on my sui generis detox.

5 Ways to Know If You’re an Instagram Addict

This application has found a solid group of loyal followers and has been used as an strategic  social network for different brands and businesses. Below is my non-extensive list of five behaviors or characteristics to know if you have fallen in love with Instagram.

Instagram, Monica Arreola, blog, addict, social networks

1 – You check this app more than the others (Facebook’s getting jealous)

2 – Before taking the photograph you try to figure out if it’ll fit in the square frame (group pictures are the worst)

3 – You think all your photos look better after the filters

4 – You have a hard time choosing the filter and if it looks better with or without a frame (it’s an art)

5 – Your name is Monica Arreola (acceptance is the first step)

Instagram and Pinterest for your company? Yes, please


Social media in business
Social media in business

Expanding your brand doesn’t necessarily means increasing the number of followers in Twitter, it means having a broader reach: how many people saw your Facebook post, your tweet, your LinkedIn discussion, the event’s photo?
In this Millennial era companies are on the “formal” social media, but what about the other ones? Instagram, Pinterest, Flipboard are image based platforms that can bust the number of reached people.

I don’t know about you, but for me after a day in front of the computer I just want to relax a bit and see what people have been up to, so I go to Instragram where I can just skim over the photos, or to Pinterest to give me ideas of what I can wear tomorrow or Flipboard to see the pictures associated with the main news’ headlines. It doesn’t require a lot of effort and you’ll remember names and brands.

Taken from Mdgadvertising
Taken from Mdgadvertising

A clever move is when a company has several social media accounts, for example I follow my favorite cloth brands and newspapers on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. That way I won’t miss any important update, piece of news or alerts, even if I don’t go to all the accounts. And maybe you don’t know but Instagram has more users and 15 times more interaction than Twitter.

PR News recently published an article about the use of these social media, an important point the author, Matthew Schwartz made: don’t try to make a soft sale. I wanted to point this piece of advice because for me was obvious but maybe for an stressed social media manager might seem doable. It’s always better to demonstrate how the products or services work and if a user is interested in more, he/she can go to directly to your website.

My advise is: invest time and resources on image based media if you can but don’t neglect the other ones. The goal is to increase your reach not to be a ghost in every single social media.

The ten commandments of social networks

Taken from Pinterest
Taken from Pinterest

1.You shall love all your enterprise social network accounts

It does do you any favor bragging about your presence in every single social media if you only update half of them. Upload contents on a daily measure or close the ones you can’t manage.  Use it or lose it.

2. You shall name your blog/brand/magazine/discussion in a creative and professional way

That hilarious name you came with while waiting in line at Starbucks may not be the best option for the new magazine for the company. The name would stop being funny when you have to put it in your résumé or your business card. Think twice.

Taken from Pinterest
Taken from Pinterest

 3. Keep the tweets and posts in a holiday theme (when appropriate)

Know your audience, look for their holidays and celebrations. People spend twice as much time on the social networks during their days off, which is translated to double exposure.

If you get the figures and statistics (which is key for keep doing a good job) of your reach, interaction, likes and retweets you’ll notice that the most popular content was the one published during the holidays. Embrace the festive spirit.

 4. You shall not repeat the same stuff like a mantra

Publishing the name of the company and their multiple perks every 5 minutes is dull and your followers will get bored. Try to publish also interesting articles, trends and white papers. Remember that being in charge of the social networks doesn’t mean creating publicity. Facebook is not Macy’s catalog.

 5. You shall not send the same content more than once

Followers are not dumb. Detecting a copy-pasted tweet or post is really simple. Especially if it was send early that day. I get surprise that a lot of newspapers and magazines do this, because they are very familiar with the release of media.

The only thing that a manager would achieve by using this prehistoric strategy would be losing followers. Nobody likes spam.

6. Use a powerful call to action

Don’t program the release of all the daily contents at the same time. I get that our job is to give an statement and get a position in the social networks. But anyone will be shocked by having an avalanche of posts, tweets and videos release exactly at 11:22 am. FYI: a day has 24 hours.

 7. The content shall follow grammar rules

A typo is comprehensible and forgivable. But is not if the subject and the verb are in a different tense or gender. Read the content several times and make sure at least these two elements are correct. Typos are ok. Analphabetism is not.

Taken from Google
Taken from Google

8. You shall not use slang

A few weeks ago I read some tweets by a multinational company that said “be an administrative ninja, buy our product.”

So embarrassing.

The generation in tune with the American culture and between the ages of 10 and 25 will understand what you are saying. For every other segment of your followers was an unclear message. Evidence: I read it to my mom and she didn’t get it. I beg you, social media/community manager, make your contents look as if they are coming from a reliable source. Don’t forget that you are responsible for the image of the company. Jokes and memes are for 9gag.

9. The content you send shall be clear and to the point

Use words and concepts you understand. I have met people that does know how to use adjectives in their native language, but they think is “cool” to throw one or two in each sentence. It looks like if they spend the last half an hour browsing a dictionary and choosing random words for their next conversation or post.

Short and clear is always better than crammed and unreadable. Less is more.

10. Your content shall be attractive

Whether it is a LinkedIn discussion, a video on your YouTube channel, a tweet from the company account or a post on Facebook, make your content attractive as Las Vegas lights and not boring as a small town in the middle of nowhere. Enhance your text with photos, pictures, hashtags, videos, vines and links. And then shine bright like a diamond.


Twitter: @MonArreola

The author

I grew up with the social media (I’m from the Millennial generation) and I also work with them. Nothing described in this column is fictional. I’ve seen it. This post was written for community managers, PR like me or people interested in the subject.