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5 New Year’s Resolutions Every Young Professional Should Make

31 Dec

Ah, what a year 2013 has been. If you’re anything like the majority of the population, you’re probably looking forward to the new year, and with it, a fresh start. But instead of making the standard resolutions this year, like eat better, lose weight and save more money, try these 5 ideas: 

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1. Forget the Fear: How many things have you not done in your life because you were afraid? Whether that’s going out for a new job, telling your boss you’d like a raise, or even saying hello to someone new at a networking event, it’s time to lose the fear and just do it. Especially if that fear is a fear of failing. Those who have succeeded have done so by being courageous and taking the “risks” that others wouldn’t. In 2014, let go of fear and take a chance. 

2. Make New Friends: A lot of articles going around suggest putting down the phone and living in the now in 2014. I challenge you to take it a step further–put down your electronics and put yourself out there, meet more people, make more friends. Success in many industries, including public relations and advertising, is all about who you have in your corner. Surround yourself with people who motivate, encourage and inspire you. In 2014, make friends with people who are smarter, more successful and more motivated than you are. It will rub off.

3. Work on Your Personal Brand: We live in a #digital world, and because of that everything you do online is going to follow you IRL (in real life). How do you want your boss and future co-workers to view you? Your social media profiles is an extension of who you are–put your best foot forward and show everyone the best you possible. There used to be a thing called a diary, which no one else was meant to read. If you must get it off your chest, put it there. In 2014, clean up your social media profiles and appear more professional in your online activities. (See: “How social media can help (or hurt) you in your job search” via Forbes)

4. Find a Mentor: The most important lesson I have learned thus far in my career is that the only way to achieve maximum professional growth is to learn from someone who has already done it. Find someone already in the job that you want and study from them, ask them questions, take the good with the bad and learn from their experiences. If you’re still a student, use that student card! Kick the fear (see #1) and email someone you admire, ask them if you can take them to coffee to ask them questions about their career. In 2014, find your footing by studying someone else’s footsteps. 

5. Learn to Work Well with Others: Yes, we all hated those group projects in school. But, guess what? Group projects happen every day in real life. In fact, your career will undoubtedly be built on the ability to work well with other people. Learn how to play well with others. Observe how others work and understand how best to communicate with them. Teach yourself how to lead a group, and when to sit back and let others lead. Great leaders know how to bring the best out of those they work with. In 2014, practice collaborating with others to produce the best work you can. You cannot succeed alone. Trust me.

Lastly… HAPPY NEW YEAR! May 2014 be the best year yet.

Have others you’d add? Comment below!

Reputation Management: Yelp and Apple Maps Unite

3 Oct

Unless you live in a world completely disconnected from the media, you must have heard chatter about the newest iPhone and the subsequent software update ios 6. What you may have thought much about, however, is how Apple has stepped up the importance for reputation management in social media. 

The latest iPhone software update has integrated Apple Maps with Yelp profiles. Now, when you search for a location in your Apple Maps app on your iPhone, search results are accompanies by Yelp profiles.

Yelp ratings show up in location search results on Apple Maps

The platform even allows the user to browse through Yelp reviews without ever leaving the Apple Maps app.

Choose the “Reviews” tab to check out what others are saying

Hypothetically speaking, if I am in a new town and want to find a place to get a cup of coffee, I can go into the Apple Maps app and type “coffee” into the search bar. The search results will then show me the nearest places matching that description. I click on the closest one. It has an average rating of three stars, so I decide to learn more about it by checking out customer reviews. When I land on the tab, all I see is negative comments about how poor the service is and how overpriced the coffee is. Obviously I am going to choose to go somewhere else.

To someone who hasn’t worked with brick-and-mortar brands before, it may not be apparent at first the implications of this integration. The main take-aways are:

Monitoring is necessary. This integration makes it so that ever SMB and enterprise-level business needs to dedicate some resources to monitoring its Yelp profiles for negative reviews. Companies should also work to turn those negative reviews into a positive experience by addressing customer concerns and showing that your company cares.

Reviews can impact revenue. With this further integration of social and search, negative reviews have even greater impact to upset revenue. If customers are constantly unhappy and voice concerns, others will begin to avoid your store as well. Studies have shown that 70 percent of people trust online reviews–that can be a fairly devastating decline of in-store traffic OR a fantastic increase in traffic from positive reviews.

Locations need to embrace social media. The marriage of social media and search is an inevitable shift in the way we find and interact with brands. The companies that are going to win in search are those that embrace this idea and invest time in making their locations easy to find through search/social mechanisms.

This integration of Yelp in Apple Maps is just one way that search is being impacted and changed in social. Facebook has even teased at creating its own search capabilities.

Brands need to pay attention to how their reputation is being set on various social media platforms, and actively listen  and adjust to what is being said by customers. The only way to win in this scenario is to take every review seriously and position a company as one that genuinely cares what its customers think.

If you are interested in learning more about search and social, and how brands can utilize various tools to manage their online reputation, Like this blog post and I will write a follow up!