What I’ve Learned From: May

I knew this was going to go by fast. I think I mentioned this in one of my older posts but I take this time to reflect on the past month because it’s my way of slowing down and being intentional about my growth.

What I like to do, now that it’s a series on my blog, is I like to read what I learned from before. I think the biggest takeaway between April and May is: learn to embrace what’s uncomfortable and unknown but always remain grounded in who you are and the path you’re on. 

A lot of things happened in May. Well first, I moved which is honestly a lonely experience. I talk about it more in this post. Moving, in a nutshell, is lonely. I am so used to having all of my close friends within a few miles of me. I don’t have that luxury anymore and honestly, it’s been hard for me. It’s helped me grow but its unknown and uncomfortable but things are getting easier. I think it’s testing my patience, for sure. It’s helped that I travel to see my friends and my person or they come here. My childhood best friend even came to visit one weekend so it’s been easier because of that. But during the week, it’s been necessary TK time.

A lot of newness this month. I’ve learned to embrace it and absorb it. I moved May 5th. I write this on June 3rd, the day before I start my internship (big girl job, woot woot). So I’ve almost been here a month and it’s gone by SO fast.

I like exploring cities and I’ve gotten more comfortable putting myself out there. Even though I am a pretty extroverted person I get so much anxiety walking up to people and starting conversations with them. But when you’re new somewhere and you aren’t interacting with new people everyday you need to put yourself out there and make friends.

I think I’ve realized that there are some things and people that need to stay in your past. You need to be able to close a chapter and just move forward. It takes a lot of strength to remain present but it’s always for the best. People will come and go but you can’t settle for what you feel is wrong. This is the whole idea around being grounded in who you are.

I’ve sat down and talked to a lot of new faces this month. It’s scary and intimidating because a lot of these people were either older than me, smarter than me, more experienced than me. I fell into this trap of thinking that I wasn’t good enough to even sit and talk to them when in fact, I was I just needed to trust that I deserved to be there. I decided that instead of trying to gain something specific I would just open my ears and mind to what they had to say. But I’ve learned so much from listening. Is Anyone Really Listening? Yeah, I am. I think my biggest goal was to become more confident in what I’m doing. You need to trust that the path you’re on, despite what everyone elses may look like, fits your goals and ambitions.

I’m lucky to have someone close to me (cough cough Jason) who unconditionally supports what I do and who I am. I’ve never really had that before. What he’s taught me is that there is no one that will trust in your ability more than yourself. I see that reflected in everything he does. He is so grounded in who he is and what he’s doing it makes me want to have that level of security within myself.  He has a side hustle like I do. It’s inspiring to see someone work so hard at their craft and also show so much support for yours. It’s been one of the big reasons why I feel so grounded because I know what I am doing is great and requires a lot of work so I don’t need to explain that to someone. I can go on and on about how amazing of a person he is but seriously, having someone in your corner no matter how much you pride yourself on being independent, matters. We all want to be seen, heard, and understood. He does that and beyond.

I always say that the most unconventional paths lead to a lot of amazing lessons. This is so true. I’m slowly getting out of my comfort zone in a way that I haven’t been used to in the past. Embracing the newness of a new job, city, or even just a new mindset makes you evolve as a person. It’s SCARY but necessary. I’ve done a lot of amazing things towards my professional career goals this month.

Some highlights

The Steminist Campaign
Taking on a new client
Learning more about Charlotte’s identity, culture, and people.
I cut my hair and I feel like a whole new person.
I attended Charlotte’s 30 Under 30 Event
Stepping out of my comfort zone and learning to be okay with it
Staying true to what I feel is right for me in this moment.
Actively practicing self-care.

The Do’s And Don’ts of Hashtagging

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Hashtag this…hashtag that… we’ve all heard it before. Hashtags are a pretty big part of our social media culture and really help drive your business forward. It was even added to the Oxford dictionary in 2010. 8 years later and they are still being used as a strategic marketing tool to gain followers, improve engagement, and create relationships with other brands similar to yours. Using hashtags is one of the ways to gain new traffic onto your posts but there is an unspoken social media etiquette to follow.

DOs

  • Cater hashtags to the social media platform you are using. What works for Instagram may not work for Twitter.
  • Be specific- if you’re in a new city, or trying new food. Put #Charlotte or #tacotuesday. Speak to the community you are trying to attract… #millennials #womenintechnology, etc.
  • Use your brand as a hashtag, the more people see it the more your name will get recognized
  • Hashtag brands that are in your photos. If a brand is in some way being represented in your photo or post tag them. Brands follow their own hashtags and if you post about them enough who knows, you may get a brand deal.
  • On Instagram, post a caption THEN comment your desired hashtags. There is nothing more annoying than seeing a bunch of hashtags in one caption. Have it be a separate comment to keep everything looking cohesive. It’s a way to hide your marketing efforts too.

Donts

  • #Dont #Hashtag #Like #This. Don’t use each word attached to one particular hashtag. Hashtags are short and sweet. The longer they are the less likely other people will follow it.
  • Using too many hashtags in one post. Follow the rule: simplicity is genius. There should be around 3-5 impactful hashtags
  • Don’t use punctuation, commas, or emojis. If you tap on a hashtag like this #it’sabeautifulday people will be directed to Information Technology (IT) not other pictures of beautiful days. You can always add additional punctuation at the end of the hashtag its self.

 

Improve your company’s social media presence by incorporating some of these tips into your next posts

Data policies are being updated. This is why.

Your inbox may be looking a little something like this recently. Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and so many other companies are updating their terms and conditions.
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Here’s why

If you’re unaware, the terms of conditions you click “agree” to before you log into a service or do anything nowadays on the Internet lays out, in detail, what that company will or won’t do with your personal information, usage on their platform, and the data it collects from you. Depending on the platform, they will collect different things but for tech giants like Google they can track anything from your late night Google searches to what ads you like or videos you watch on Youtube. We have so much access to data nowadays. So much in fact, as analysts, some of the challenges we face is what to do with it all and what’s important.

Terms and Conditions are written to be super lengthy, wordy, and long on purpose because companies know 1. that you won’t read them because who actually does? 2. the longer, wordier it is the less likely you are to understand it or try to read it. That can be dangerous because companies can sneak in policies that you “agree” to that harm the user and can be a misuse of your sensitive information. As a user, you may not directly see the direct effects of misused data but you should pay attention to how companies use it. Most of the time, companies use your information to advertise or they just sell it to the highest bidder.

Now the reason your email inbox is getting spammed with updates is because of a European Data Governance regulation called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). I’ll spare you the 261-page read and give you the highlights.

The GDPR is going to make sure that companies don’t sneak in documents or terms within their Terms and Conditions that can affect their users. Since companies know that most people don’t read the conditions, the GDPR is hoping to make sure the information is transparent so users know what they are getting into. This is a huge step because information about how you use technology is so important. You want to know who sees your information and how it’s being used. The terms and conditions explain it we just don’t take the time to read it. I’m guilty of it too.

Social Media: The New Marketplace

Check me out on Charlotte Consulting Group where I am a data analyst, content creator, and technology consultant. Stay on top of the LATEST tech news at charlotteconsultinggroup.com

Let’s face it, online shopping is the way most people shop. Most people also love to use social media as a way to learn more about smaller brands that aren’t as popular. We like to follow brands on social media that we shop from, connect with, or even newer ones that we may be interested in. As a smaller business, don’t let this scare you. This is your chance to shine!

If you already use social media to market your company, you can do the same by treating social media as another marketplace. A picture is worth a thousand words and your customers shop with their eyes. You can display pictures of your latest products and services to attract new customers to your site. Have fun and be creative! People are looking to see your unique products.

Keep in mind that your customers will typically shop similar to their friends or followers. By promoting your products on social media you are able to tap into the people behind the followers as well. By treating your social media platform as an online store, your customers have faster access to you and your merchandise. Not to mention, your customers can access you faster! You can speak directly towards customers who have service complaints, need updates on their orders, or are curious about your array of products.

Most social media platforms have tools you can use to promote your company within their platform. You can use paid advertising to get to reach a broader customer base too. If your product stands out it could go viral which means big returns on that investment. Try commenting back on your pictures or commenting on other brands that are related to yours.