Author Archives: Apprentices

Inbound What?

When I first met Keely, I could not even tell you what the phrase “inbound marketing” even began to mean. Now, it is the only way I can function. Inbound marketing is so different from the traditional, “old” form of marketing. It really should penetrate the way everyone looks at marketing.

I have never been great at explaining things, I am more of a just get it done person. Instead of trying desperately to help you understand exactly what inbound marketing is, I found this awesome infographic from Mashable.

Enjoy and hopefully you can learn something awesome! :)

Branching Out Early Into New Media

Over the last few years, major brands have gone from social media skeptics to true believers, embracing Facebook as a new way to reach and interact with audiences. Big brands have a track record of being hesitant to embrace emerging media, and become major news stories when they finally adopt a presence on the next big thing. There can be a down side to waiting. Unfortunately for brands that are just hitting their social media stride, as Facebook celebrates its tenth birthday, there is already talk about its decline. Users are already shifting to new applications and ways of communicating that may or may not have any staying power. As audiences continue to migrate from one social media outlet to the next, brands shouldn’t be afraid to follow and step out into the new, unknown territory. 

A few weeks ago a friend asked me if I come up with all sorts of cool hip ideas at Riggs Partners, as if because of my age I have a magic ability to use social media in the hippest way possible. My answer, in short, was “no.” Here’s why. The goals for connecting with people are the same no matter the medium. Whether it’s because of the way we communicate, or the way people listen, that part of the equation doesn’t seem like it is going to change any time soon.

A recent New York Times article noted that Aristotle had the recipe for viral media marketing figured out in 350 BC. Just as Aristotle’s methods of appealing to logic and emotion made his speeches more memorable and persuasive, modern social media, and any media for that matter, works the same way.

Aristotle, the original social media master.

Before there was Zuckerberg, there was Aristotle.

Having a strong brand position can be key to success, but as long as a brand stays true to its message, as new frontiers open up, brands shouldn’t be afraid to branch out into them. A quality message will be effective no matter if it is on Myspace or Snapchat. Advertisers should take solace in the fact that even in a noisy medium, where everyone has a voice, the cream of the messages will still rise to the top.

Learning From Experience

For many students, an internship is the goal. You can’t get a job without experience. You pray that someone will find your qualifications appealing and hire you. For me, I got an internship and so much more. I have worked under Keely (and now Riggs) for about a year and a half now, and I am still thankful every day for this opportunity. This internship has evolved into much more. Most millennials would call it my first “big girl job.” This being my first real and lasting experience in the real world, I have learned so many things. I thought for my first blog post for Riggs, I would share those things to everyone out there. Hopefully someone will find these helpful, or maybe even relatable.

  1. Click on a link before retweeting it to your audience.
  2. You will mess up. It’s okay, just learn from it.
  3. You will learn more in one week in an office than you will in an entire semester of Marketing 350.
  4. Puppies make everything better.
  5. You will stop considering your co-workers as terrifying, and start considering them as practically family.
  6. Office celebrations are the best.
  7. CreateAthon will be the most exhausting yet rewarding moment of your 20 short years.
  8. Some people won’t take you seriously. Prove them wrong.
  9. Not everyone knows what twitter is.
  10. Facebook will outlive all of us.
  11. Do what the client wants you to do, even if you don’t agree.
  12. You will probably cry when your first friend at work leaves for another job. Try to be happy for them.
  14. Some of the funniest things ever heard will come from The WECO.
  15. Coffee fixes everything.
  16. If someone knows your name, it IS a big deal. Be happy.
  17. You won’t get anywhere without hard work.
  18. Respect is earned.
  19. You will rather go to work than class.
  20. You don’t know everything, and you won’t.
  21. Directory Listings are evil. They are an obstacle you must take head on.
  22. The things that are the hardest and take the most time, are the most satisfying things to finish.
  23. Be positive. Complaining won’t change anything.
  24. You will dread summer and winter break. You have to leave your family and you will feel out of the loop.
  25. Be thankful. Not everyone has this opportunity.

These are only a few of the thousands of things I have learned from working here. It is kind of one of the best places ever.


Mary Cate

Twitter Isn’t Facebook, Or How I Started A Conversation With 1200 People

Twitter’s celebratory IPO debut reignited a common conversation among my family and friends. “I tried to join Twitter, but I just don’t get it.”

I admit, when I first joined the social network in 2007 I didn’t really get it either. Who should I follow? Where were all my friends? Most importantly, what am I supposed to tweet about? My account sat neglected for a while. Then one day, it hit me. My biggest problem with Twitter? It’s not Facebook. Once I accepted this truth, my entire experience changed.

Here are four steps I took to solve my Twitter conundrum.

Success Ness! (The Distant Cousin of Twitter's Long Forgotten Fail Whale)

1. In the words of Keely Saye, I got down with OPC (Other People’s Content.)

Twitter is not the place to post status updates. Ok,  I talk about myself, but Twitter should be a two way conversation. Today most of my tweets fall primarily into a two categories: Phish (my favorite band) and Live Music, in general. Most of my  followers and the people I follow share my passion for these topics. We exchange content found on the web, debate the merits of our favorite jams, and occasionally gather at concerts for “tweetups.” So how do you start your own conversation?

Find your passion(s). Follow people who share  content you love – not just celebrities, but anyone consistently tweeting greatness. You can use the #Discover link to find them. Want to talk turkey? Here you go.

In fancy Inbound Marketing speak this is called content stalking.Retweet the content you like, favorite it, or send an @reply to chat with the tweeter. Let them know you appreciate their content. People love being appreciated. In fact they love it so much, many of the people you retweet are likely to start following you back. But in order to start a conversation, they have to be able to find you, which leads us to step 2.

2. I went public.

Since the dawn of social media I’ve been warned to keep all of my profiles on lock down. While I do keep my Facebook account fairly private, when it comes to Twitter I take a very different stance. Anyone can find, read, and reply to anything I post on Twitter. But, I also adhere to the Julie Smith Turner Golden Rule Of Twitter Smarts: Don’t tweet anything you wouldn’t want your mom to see.

When you open your feed to a variety of perspectives, the conversation is a lot more interesting. Soon you’ll need to find an easier way to keep up.

3. I found an app for that.

Downloading an app to your phone or tablet is essential for optimum Twitter enjoyment. It’s the best way to experience the network for what it’s meant to be, a continuous stream you can jump into any time. I’ve personally grown to love Twitter’s official app, but I’ve tried several different platforms including Tweetcaster, TwitBird, and Echofon.

After a few years of active Twitter conversation I began to feel like I was missing something: all of that great content I loved discovering. Where did it go? Well, turns out it was still there. The problem? I was following too many people, and I wasn’t really interested in everything showing up in my feed. So I made a decision.

4. I stopped following accounts I don’t enjoy.

Twitter isn’t Facebook. Try not to take it personally if someone unfollows you, and don’t be afraid to unfollow people who aren’t sharing content you love. If the conversation becomes diluted with too many topics, it can  come to a complete stop when you find yourself overwhelmed.

How do I know a great tweeter when I see one?  These people (and brands!) are tweeting content that fits my niche, gives me something to think about, and is generally uplifting. They’ll get my follow. No trolls or spammers allowed. The best accounts on twitter are run by people who’ve figured it out. Twitter isn’t Facebook. Crowd participation is encouraged.

A Little Less Snark Goes A Long Way: Celebrate Snark Free Day

Last week, during our traffic meeting, Kelly shared the PRConsultants Group’s upcoming Snark Free Day (today!) and invited us to join her in living one day free of making catty, snide comments. “Well, I guess I won’t use the Internet that day,” someone joked, and we all laughed understandingly.

In all honesty though, the folks at Riggs are quite low on the snark scale. Whatever you do, don’t confuse snark and humor. Trust me, the Weconians will have you in stitches if you spend enough time across the bridge. From Nate’s wry life advice (apply at your own risk) to Courtney’s impromptu renditions of What Does the Fox Say, we laugh all day long. (I won’t even get into the consequences of having the warped minds of Julie Turner and Michael Powelson in the same building every day.)

My favorite thing about the nonstop banter? It isn’t mean spirited. And that’s the major difference between funny and snark.

I, myself, am a recent convert to the snark-conscious lifestyle. I won’t say snark-free, because hey, I’m human. Snark happens. But about a year ago I came to the realization my own snarky attitude was totally out of control. Now, this wasn’t some grand moment of spiritual truth, but rather the typical life event leading to the question, “Why me?” A so-called friend threw some snark my way, and my feelings were hurt. Real bad. Sure, I had my moments where I was only able to see her more prominent witch-like qualities, but eventually I had a true a-ha moment. I was attracting snark, because I was frequently snarky.

Recognizing my own snarky tendencies had some unexpected, but positive, consequences in my life. As I curtailed my own urge to say something snarky, mock someone else’s fashion faux pas, or share my disdain for someone else’s perspective, I noticed a change in the other people in my life. The snarky ones quietly went their separate ways. My Twitter feed became more interesting, and my Facebook feed less argumentative.

Most importantly, offline, my friendships are so much better. I can count on my snark-free friends to have my back. How do I know this? Once I made an earnest attempt to kick the snark, an amazing thing happened. I found a way to articulate what was really going on, and finally I had friends who listened. Judgment free.