One year ago, on Memorial Day Weekend, Emily and I were driving across the country from North Carolina to Colorado. The journey went faster than I imagined.
Two cars, two dogs, two bikes, and a great of time to think as we drove across Kansas. I remember being nervous, excited and only once truly panicked about the unknown.
Yesterday marked Emily’s first day on her last rotation as a first year resident and it would be amiss to not take a moment to reflect the last 365 days.
Emily, as expected, has been an amazing as she tackles 80 hour weeks and never ending change between three hospitals (and a clinic).
Three jobs later, I have found a place within IMM that is exciting, never boring and perfect for me.
We have achieved a delicate balance in a whirlwind of change and growth.
As I give myself time to reflect on the past year, I am left proud. Proud of how we have handled things, what we have learned and the direction we are steering this thing called life together.
Here’s to all of you in your support, unconditional love and patience for Emily and I!
Hootsuite is a social media aggregation tool that allows you to connect your key social media accounts within one website or app for easy management. The user interface allows you to flip between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (and many other main stream social sites.)
The best part? You can have your multiple accounts of each of these channels under one log in for free.
For example on my personal Hootsuite dashboard you’ll find:
Anytime I bring on a new client for digital or social media consulting I require them to signup for a Hootsuite account. The basic account is free, allows you to have 5 channels connected. When I am managing clients social pages as a community manager I will use my “agency” level account and be able to add numerous channels. Again, all under one log in.
If you are a company that has multiple people managing your social media channels, each person can have their own Hootsuite account and share the social media channels. This way you can quickly see what has been scheduled, who has responded to a Tweet or message and not be doing double the work.
Checking in without getting lost in time.How often do you login to Facebook to find a photo or message a friend and you are sucked into the timeline, liking posts and then friends messaging you. Next thing you know 30 minutes have passed and forgot why you logged on.
Scheduling social post. There are many uses to schedule social post but timing, work flow and driving traffic are my three main reasons.
• Timing is key in social. When is your audience looking for you? I encourage small businesses to keep an eye on their Facebook Insights and click through analytics from social channels to see when they are receiving their most social driven traffic. You also don’t want to post too frequently. You may have a string of witty, worthwhile, posts but sending them flying within 30 seconds of each other may not help your following. Simply hit the schedule key and move the time forward a couple hours or days to spread those messages out.
• Work flow and keeping a consistent message. For Pearl Izumi Custom I am working on our Employee Spotlight a month in advanced so neither myself or the chosen employee is rushed in the content. I’m able to write in a flow, schedule three Thursdays in a row and they all work from each other. Instead of every Thursday morning remembering to login and get back in the mindset I was in the previous week for this specific employee spotlight.
• Populating scheduled articles in the future. For all my sites once I write any article, I take the short link and create a few different types of messages for FB and Twitter to time out over the next few weeks to continue to drive traffic to that article. I am for different times of the day, and different types of language to hopefully grab differently interested parties checking their social timelines at different times of the day. On articles that drive a decent amount of traffic I often track in excel for that specific website what type and timing of messages drove the most click thru rate
How do you have enough time?”
They often believe I live 24/7 in the social world, online and somehow never leave my house. The honest answer is I don’t have enough time, but with the right planning and tools you can do more in the upcoming weeks than you have before while living a pretty fulfilling, outdoors, lifestyle.
Maybe you have used one or all of the above tools but I bet I have a few tricks or reminders of how to use them together properly. Over the next few weeks I’m going to share a few tools and the ways I use them to streamline and save time.
With the combination of the three free tools mentioned I am able to look, feel and keep up to date with my social channels without being online 24/7. While I encourage you to stay in the conversations if it isn’t a top level of your current marketing strategy you may not have the time to stay engaged daily while running the other key parts of your business (or life.)
If there is a tool you can not live WITHOUT that I did not mention, let me know! I am always looking to experiment and test out new pieces to hopefully add depth to my online portfolio without taking too much additional time out of living my life for today’s adventure.
So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains. - Dr. Suess
A short list of things that have caught my attention to drag Emily to when she has a few hours off!
Specifically the first one I want to venture to is Estes Park
Located 71 miles (114 km) northwest of Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park features 400 square miles (1,036 sq km) of scenic beauty, including Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous highway in the world crossing the Continental Divide at over two miles above sea level. The park has two information centers, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, tranquil lakes, waterfalls, wildlife and horseback riding. Estes Park is a resort town on the edge of the park with restaurants and shops.
Ride the man-made kayak chutes in Confluence Park, just minutes from downtown, right near the REI Flagship store. Confluence Kayaks, Denver’s ultimate paddling shop, offers kayaking adventures on the whitewater chutes at, including lessons, rentals, retail sales, pro outfitting and service.
Red Rocks is known the world over for its summer concert series, but during the day, it makes for a gorgeous hiking and biking destination. The Trading Post Trail is 1.4 miles in length, and goes through spectacular rock formations, valleys and a natural meadow. Some of the terrain is rough, so hiking boots/ shoes are recommended. Also, hikers should be prepared for adverse weather conditions as the weather can change very quickly. If mountain biking is your pleasure, the Red Rocks Trail, which starts at the lower north lot is just the ticket. The trail splits with one segment going north to connect to Jefferson County’s Matthews-Winters park and the other segment goes east to connect to the Dakota Ridge Trail. The Red Rocks Trail continues on to Matthews-Winters, creating a dramatic 6-mile loop.
Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My! Visit this 320 acre rescue and educational Facility, located just 30 miles outside of Denver, where more than 300 large carnivores roam free. One of the only places in America where you can see Lion Prides and groups of other carnivores living in natural habitats.
Just 10 minutes from downtown Denver, the Refuge is a massive re-vegetation effort to restore the land to native shortgrass prairie habitat. More than 330 species of wildlife including bison, deer, and burrowing owls live here seasonally or year-round. Outdoor activities here include birdwatching (majestic bald eagles are regular visitors), fishing, and viewing the amazing bison herd.
Denver’s Downtown Aquarium (700 Water St.; 303-561-4450) has two huge fish tanks. One for tropical fish and one for sharks. On Saturdays they allow people to scuba dive (must have license) or snorkel in either tank. The tropical tank is home to a giant grouper, moray eels, turtles and other species. The shark tank is home to nurse sharks. You only need to bring a swimsuit and a towel; they supply equipment and give you a one-hour orientation.
This teahouse is steeped, almost literally, in history and authenticity. Any of the servers will happily give you the history of the teahouse while you leisurely sip on one of the hundreds of teas offered. Sit inside the ornately decorated house or out on the patio, which is nestled alongside the Boulder Creek. They offer delicious international fare for breakfast, brunch, and lunch.
Lucky for Denver, Boulder is a mere twenty-five miles away, though it feels as you’ve escaped into a pretty, peaceful foothills haven. Most Denverites forget about Boulder because it’s a college town, but there’s so much more to be done here. For instance, during the summer heat, locals rent inner tubes and take them down the Boulder Creek. It’s possibly the best way to spend a hot summer day. Rent tubes at Whitewater Tube Co. and drop in above Ebin G. Fine Park.
Need I say more?
Every Sunday afternoon during the summer