#KnockIfOffNow: 10 Twitter Habits That Need To Fly The Coop 

twitter bird

With something like a bazillion users, Twitter is a hugely diverse forum for jokes, news, shameless self-promotion, mean comments (hi trolls), conversations surrounding tv/ films/ games, making new digital friends and customer service complaints.

Whatever your reason for frolicking around the Twitterverse, please remember that we’re all children in the same online playground, and there are some behaviors that need a giant time-out.

time out

1) Look at me, look at me, LOOK AT ME!

When your entire feed is composed of “I wrote a blog post” and “I wrote another blog post” and “I wrote an even better blog post” and “I won an award for my latest blog post,” it’s hard to look past your egocentric stream.

me

2) Checking in to every location you visit.

After Foursquare came and went, I figured the only purpose of geolocation was to help sexually active Grindr and Tinder users to find one another. Otherwise, why check into a location? I understand if you check into a concert venue because you’re PSYCHED to see so-and-so band, but why check into a Starbucks, or into your office? Are you that thrilled to be there? Or are you just trying to prove that you leave your house?

check in

3) Giving a hashtag to every day if the week.

A scrumptious sexy food pic on #TacoTuesday or an embarrassing 6th grade photo for #ThrowbackThursday = good fun and amusing. But observing #MotivationMonday, #WorkoutWednesday, #FollowFriday, and #SundayFunday and every single Hashtag Holiday…perhaps you can consider #StopItSaturday. Can we all agree to simply celebrate just ONE Hashtag Holiday per week?

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4) Speaking of hashtags, #you #don’t #need #to #use #a #million #of #them.

Hashtags are like cocktails – in moderation they’re fine, but if you indulge too much, you become a public nuisance.

hashtags

5) Anyone who wishes everyone a Happy Hump Day, or a Happy Monday, or a Happy Friday. 

hump day

6) Brands who tweet because they think they should.

As a brand, you’re not giving your followers any sort of value by saying “Happy Columbus Day from our team here at Staples!” #ThinkBeforeYouTweet

worst tweet

7) Cluttering your daily Twitter feed with 83 retweeted articles.

I totally support retweeting an article that you find funny or useful or interesting. But when you barrage your followers 15 times a day with nonsense like “5 Ways To Advertise On AOL” and other industry-related garble, you’re clogging up the Twitter ecosystem by attempting to prove that you’re intelligent and you can read. Exercise some self control and limit yourself to 1 or 2 of these “smarticles” each day.

smart

8) Spewing hatred.

There’s a world of difference between a thoughtful debate and trash talking/ trolling/ mean-spirited vitriol.

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9) Worthless/ spammy stats.

“My best tweets this week came from…”
“My Twitter account is worth a gazillion dollars, how much is your worth?”
“Here’s who followed and unfollowed me this week…”

I suppose this calls for a “congratulations?” <cue sarcastic applause>

twitter spam

10) Clickbait.

“The man saw  a stick on the road. When he picked it up, you won’t believe what he found…”

Please stop sending out clickbait into the Twittersphere. If an article or blogpost has to hide its main point behind a taunting title, it likely wasn’t worth the energy you expended by clicking your mouse.

clickbait

A Blast Of Atomic Proportions

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Sometimes an occasion comes along that’s so epic, so atomic, you can only do one thing – throw a party at your favorite 60s retro bar, Now Boarding.

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Freddy Nager, founder of Atomic Tango (and my friend/ mentor/ fellow cat enthusiast) decided to embrace his inner Don Draper and celebrate his website relaunch with a touch of midcentury magnificence.

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango, a digital magazine for creative professionals, features funny and intelligent musings on marketing, media, and (my personal favorite!) martinis. In fact, I’m thrilled to be a contributing writer – I’ll be bringing you the best cocktail recipes around town, so be sure to check in each week for #MartiniMondays!

2_Daywalker Lemonadejpg

I wanted to know what inspired Freddy to rebrand Atomic Tango, so he put down the glass long enough to kick back and dish out the details.

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

How did you come up with the name for Atomic Tango?

First I had three martinis… No, seriously, I first set four criteria:

1. Easy to remember
2. Easy to spell
3. Easy to pronounce
4. Easy to get (no buying off domain name squatters)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

That last requirement requirement ruled out almost every one-word name in the universe, so I went for the compound name. I started with “Tango,” since it meets the first three requirements and represents what I think is the sexiest dance in the world. More relevant, the expression “it takes two to tango” can refer to “agency + client” or “creativity + strategy.”

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

For the other word, I selected “Atomic” because I love atomic-era design — i.e., mid-century modern, which I wanted to celebrate before Mad Men was even a show. The two words sounded good together, the name was available for a website and a trademark, and Atomic Tango beat out my other choice, which was “Artesian Brewing Company.”

But that’s another story. Plus, the name had the flexibility to be anything, not just a marketing agency.

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

What inspired you to relaunch Atomic Tango as an online magazine?

I’m a magazine lover — I used to seek out new titles at magazine stands, which were community hubs that existed in medieval times. One of my favorite discoveries was Wired magazine — I bought the very first issue, and have been reading the publication cover to cover ever since. (I’m just kicking myself for not keeping all the early issues. Who knows what that collection would be worth?) Wired masterfully covers the intersection of culture and technology in an accessible and even engrossing way.

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

And that made me wonder: why does deathly sterile Silicon Valley have such a cool magazine and vibrantly creative L.A. doesn’t? Sure, we’ve got the Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles magazine, but one’s a jargon-laden trade publication and the other a lifestyle mag for trophy wives. No publication exists that covers the lives and thoughts of the everyday creative professionals who drive this city — people like my colleagues and my students.

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

I wanted to cover marketing and media like Wired covers tech — without the technical details or gossip. I started doing so with my blog for Atomic Tango, and now I know so many talented writers, such as yourself, so creating a magazine made sense. Plus, it beat managing the business side of an agency.

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

What can readers expect to see on Atomic Tango?

Colorful perspectives on marketing and media from people who actually practice it for a living — no ivory tower academics, and no pure fine artists hoping to strike it big. Nothing against those folks, since I have friends in both camps, but I think there’s an audience for articles by people with both hands-on expertise and experience in creative professions. Plus martini recipes. The media industry has been fueled by creative cocktails for generations. Hence the slogan, “For those who stir the imagination and leave the competition shaken.”

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

What’s next on the horizon for Atomic Tango?

Not just articles but products — designer T-shirts, music, books, hopefully even a bottled beverage. I’ve been helping companies grow their brands for years. I’m curious to now see how far Atomic Tango can go.

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

And finally, we’ve got to give a shout out to the best outfit of the night, courtesy of Ashley Tolusic (Business Development Guru and local genius) for her throwback to Peggy Olsen.

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

peggy

Special thanks to all who made this event possible, and to all who attended!

Venue: Now Boarding
Photography: Chris Panagakis Photography
Food: Tony Spatafora, Dish It Out!
Spirits & Atomic Tango Cocktail: Alex Goode, brand representative for The Botanist Gin and Mount Gay Rum

Official Atomic Tango cocktail recipe:
1.5 ounces Mount Gay Black Barrel
.5 ounces The Botanist Gin
.75 ounces agave syrup
.75 ounces lime juice
6 mint leaves
3 drops Sriracha
Top soda

This drink is so good, you’ll just want to take a big bite out of life.

Atomic Tango Launch Party (July 25, 2015)

It’s No Secret: Working With Great Brands Satiates Your Soul

whip_stick

Anyone who works in a creative field knows the feeling. The one that slowly buzzes throughout your body after you’ve finished a project that you’re truly proud of. Whether it’s acting, designing, writing or making sculptures out of popsicle sticks, you’re filled with pride and you bask in that warm glow of accomplishment.

pop

But then, you submit your work to your boss/ client/ colleague/ popsicle judge, hoping they’ll share in your sparkly enthusiasm.

They don’t.

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They don’t like the way you performed that scene. Or the way your red logo is “TOO red.” Or how you described something in your script. Or the brand of popsicles you went with.

You feel deflated, just like Tom Brady’s fooseball. (Sorry, too soon?)

football 2

But you realize that maybe your work wasn’t well-received because your boss/ client/ colleague/ popsicle judge doesn’t quite “get” it. Or maybe they’re afraid to do something different. Or perhaps they’re hesitant to let a little personality shine through. They probably hate taking risks.

Then there are the kind of brands that you always hope to work with, like Secret Squirrel.

secret_squirrel_logo

They’re a local family-owned business that makes incredible cold brewed coffee.

secretsquirrel_2

And they’ve got an inspirational story.

SecretSquirrels_AllProducts

Owners Trevor and Rebecca Smith are the epitome of successful entrepreneurs.

These self-proclaimed coffee lovers would often experiment with different ways of creating and enjoying their favorite drink. The duo built Secret Squirrel from the ground up and embarked on a grassroots marketing campaign. They began selling their products at a local farmers market and quickly developed a community of cold brew loyalists.

Now Secret Squirrel is partnered with the largest independent natural foods distributor and just rolled out a new line of dairy-based drinks. (Yummy Hint Alert: stay tuned…more recipes are in the works.)

secret-squirrel-cold-brew-bottles-thumb-620x412-60182

I had the pleasure of working with Secret Squirrel recently, and I admire them for a myriad of reasons.

Trevor and Rebecca have created a great, approachable brand that invites people to be a part of their world.

They don’t hide behind an anonymous corporate wall.

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Their website is a welcoming digital experience with fun facts, pretty pics, and a rad recipe section, complete with boozy brew beverages!

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And they absolutely love interacting with their customers.

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Best of all, they clearly have a spectacular sense of humor.

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Oh, and their coffee is downright delish!

It’s so refreshing to see brands like Secret Squirrel. I know that as they expand and grow their empire, they will continue to be an inspiration to people like me, and to other businesses. I’ll drink to that!

What’s In A Name?

Look, I’m not cocky. I seriously doubt anyone would describe me as egotistical. In fact, I’m rather self-deprecating and 95% of the time, I despise even looking in the mirror. But the other day, I admit it – I googled myself.

It was mostly out of pure curiosity. Since I’m working on marketing myself as a copywriter/ blogger, I need to know what info is out there. (Also to make sure those provocative photos hadn’t yet surfaced…just kidding mom!) I don’t have the most common name, so normally there’s not too many search results. What I found amused me.

Other than the normal stuff  (my blog, personal website, Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn) I discovered some gems:

Kim Tronics website

I mean, like, not to get my undies in a bunch, but this is a blatant case of bullsh*t. These impostors REALLY should have asked permission to use my likeness. I know my name is awesomely robotic and futuristic but c’mon. Apparently they are an “independent distributor of electronic components” so I understand the appeal of my moniker….but still.

Hilariously random meme

Ok, this one kills me. WHO MADE THIS MEME? Honestly. I will legit give you $25 if you can find out where on earth this came from. Will send you a Paypal or check upon proof of origin.

Some chick’s Tumblr account

So, this gal named Britt is an illustrator from Portland. Good for her! I admire artists. But why’d she have to swipe my cocktail name?

Having said that, I will give her props for her bio: “I am working to understand how to tell a truly great story. I am glad to not have braces anymore.” Good for you, Britt. Good for you. No one likes braces. But you gotta know how to tell a compelling story.

Some awesome Chilean “punk”band

Congrats, boys. You’ve earned a new fan in sunny SoCal. Even though I can’t understand a word of what you’re saying, your spirit definitely translates love into my heart.

And my personal favorite….

Something called Tronic Love

Tronic Love Volume 4 allegedly offers some lovely house music, including one track called “Bitch Lady.”

Hmmmm.

At the end of the day, I guess all we need is a little Tronic Love.

Getting Down To Business…Awesome Shout-Out From The LA Business Journal!

Most of my friends get write ups in my hometown newspaper when they get engaged or have a baby, and I’ll admit, it used to make me a wee bit envious. But now I no longer feel obligated to rock a 3-carat rock or to reproduce, because…

I got a shout-out from the LA Business Journal for my UCLA rap!

#holla

Back in 2012, I earned a certificate from UCLA Extension (GO BRUINS!) for Marketing w/ Concentration In Social Media. One of my classes, Best Practices in Social Media, was taught by PR guru Erik Deutsch. In addition to running his agency, Excel PR, Erik is the 2014 President of the LA Chapter of the PR Society of America. (Fun fact: I’m on the Social Media Committee for PRSALA this year!)

During the fall of 2012, I became super motivated to improve my writing skills. I was still getting used to turning my “poems” or “raps” into something cohesive, something that made sense, and something without f-bombs. I loved Erik’s class. His Powerpoints were great (he often snuck in pics of his adorable doggy), the guest lecturers were interesting, and the assignments were fun. I decided it’d be cool to create a theme song for the class, and viola…

The “Get Jive with 425” video was born. (Side note: the class code is UCLAx425, in case you were confused about the title.)

And yesterday, the LA Business Journal gave Erik and I a nice little shout-out on page 3!

Next goals: make the cover. Make a few spec jingles. Launch the new “Hire Me” video. Have it get noticed so someone will…well…hire me! Then celebrate new job with Girl Scout cookies and a very nice bottle of bourbon 🙂

Now Watch This: Battle Of The Ads

I recently had a conversation with a friend that went something like this:

Friend: OMG I love this commercial.

Me: Which one?

Friend: The one with the cute guy in the suit. He’s sitting with kindergarten kids, and that adorable little girl competes for Cutest Kid.

Me: Oh yeah! T-mobile.

Friend: No, it’s AT&T.

Me: You sure? I’m pretty sure it’s T-mobile.

Friend: Actually, I’m not sure.

Me: Me neither. Let’s get whiskey.

Yes, please.

I pondered this exchange for a couple of days. I found it interesting that we both adored the commercial but couldn’t easily recall the service being advertised.

In today’s vortex of advertisement overload, it’s difficult to cut through the clutter and get your product or service noticed. Companies sink lots of time, money, and resources into making sure their message reaches your eyeballs and eardrums. But if I can’t remember what you are advertising, does it really matter if I loved the commercial?

Hmmm.

Then there’s ads that I’m absolutely obsessed with. These are my top 3 favorites of all time.

Free Credit Report:

Education Connection:

Juicy Fruit:

But…this also raises a good question. Even though I die for these commercials, have I ever visited freecreditreport.com or educationconnection.com? No. Do I ever chew Juicy Fruit? Hell no.

If I wanted a free credit report, I’d email my mom’s accountant for a favor. If I wanted info about a crappy education, I’d go to ITTtech.com. If I wanted gross gum that loses its flavor after 2 seconds, I’d grab a pack of Big Red.

So even if your ad cuts through the clutter and I love your commercial, have you really won the battle? I suppose you could argue that you’re creating “brand recognition” and maybe one day, I’ll purchase your icky chemical chew or useless credit services because you’re “top of mind.” And who knows…maybe I will.

But for now, unless your ad features cats, Christina Hendricks, or a catchy jingle, I’m tuning out.