Life Saver: How your phone could save your child from drowning

gracieinwater
Gracen Green, Age 3

I don’t remember how old I was.

I know I was just tall enough that my hand was by my right ear as I held my mother’s. I remember all the neighbors gathered around on the sidewalk talking in groups. The firetruck and ambulance were very loud. There was chaos. I remember being scared. It was Mrs. Adams’ house. She was my mom’s friend and something was very wrong.  I remember seeing a stretcher rolling out from the gate to the ambulance. On it was a little boy being resuscitated. As it turned out, Mrs. Adam’s nephew was found at the bottom of the pool in the middle of a pool party.

That story, however, had a happy ending. He survived and went on to lead a very normal life.

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My brother Billy’s nephew was not so lucky. Just a toddler, he died after spending at least 7 minutes submerged in the backyard pool when another child forget to lock the pool gate.  He is not alone.

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drowntweet1

It’s preventable tragedy like those above that led a group of dads to turn our obsession with technology into technology that can save lives. Yep, there’s an app for drowning now. More on that in a moment– but first if you think drowning is no longer a problem in this world — think again.

According to the CDC, 10 people die every day from unintentional drowning. Of those ten people dying every day, 1 in 5 are children 14 years-old and younger.  Future inventors, teachers and leaders of the world. Three hundred lives a month — lost to something completely preventable.

DROWNINGINFO

So back to that app.

My family just recently built a pool in our backyard. We are outside people, living in the south and a dip in the water can mean all the difference between hot summer misery and saving grace!  I am also the mother of a one and a half and three year-old that don’t know how to swim just yet. They love to be anywhere near the water like their mom. Mom is also a tech-geek. So when my mother mentioned she heard about a new app and bracelet for pool safety, I was intrigued.

I started to research and there are all kinds of products on the market but I wanted something that would be tied to my phone. The reason? As a journalist, my phone is never within 3 feet of my hands. (Yes, it’s a problem…maybe a slight addiction but that’s another story, another article).

In my research, I came across iSWIMBAND. I wanted to give it a try so I spent the $40 buying it online to test it out. Given that drowning is still such an issue and protecting our children is tantamount, I wanted to share my experience here for other moms and dads and caregivers. I have no ties to this company, am not being paid for this and the observations and thoughts are 100% my own.

The iSWIMBAND Story

Untitled Infographic

Sadly, the inspiration behind iSWIMBAND was born from tragedy. Three dads got together and created Aquatic Safety Concepts LLC after one of their children’s classmates drowned at a park. The 9 year-old was believed to be under water for 5 minutes. He survived but apparently will deal with neurological problems all of his life. Shockingly, this all happened despite lifeguards, camp counselors and even parents watching the water that day. 

The founding “fathers” spent 8 years collaborating with safety professionals and engineers creating safety systems for commercial facilities. Once we became a smartphone addicted world, the dads wisely adopted that technology for people like you and me.

What is iSWIMBAND?

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It’s a relatively simple device that connects through your phone via bluetooth. It’s a small package that comes with an instruction book, one monitor, a wristband, a larger band and a clip.

**Mommy Note #1: Don’t even try the headband if you have a normal child 5 or under. It will be on the ground before you know it.

Luckily there is a wrist and a clip option. For my 3 year-old, I called it *jewelry* and made a big deal about her new bracelet! (Laugh all you want- it worked!) I do think the clip was rather genius though for older swimmers who wear goggles or the ability to clip on a waistband, etc.

The technology is pretty simple. You set up an app on your phone, you create a profile for your child and you’re off.

**Mommy Note #2: I’m kind of an organizational freak. I like my apps a certain way and I don’t like clutter. If you have more than one little person in your world, good news: the app can monitor up to 8 of these devices.

One other cool thing about this device that is worth mentioning – it’s not just for the non-swimmer. So it’s not just a tool that sends out the alert the minute it gets wet — UNLESS YOU WANT IT TO. If your child can swim, you can program the device to alert you if there is an unusual lack of motion. I’m not going to break down all the ins and outs, you can read about them here. I am a visual person though so if you are like me, I included a little slideshow for you.

The point is it’s a device not just for drowning prevention but swim safety. I like that.  Here’s a look at the device in action courtesy of iSWIMBAND:

In the end, no device is going to take the place of a watchful, focused eye.  As moms and dads, we have to be ever-vigilant. Technology is just another tool in the parenting tool box and as hard as this job is– I’ll take it! There will always be critics when it comes to aesthetics (“iSwimband Looks Dorky”) or pricing or motivation and as with anything, the best Mommy Note is to do your research.

I know I always will because I have two very good reasons to.

Bonus: [View the story “The iSwimband Conversation” on Storify]

Notes: This article is a multimedia assignment for my Social Media & News class at the University of Florida. The article was researched by me online, in social media, and through experimentation with the iSwimband. I created the Infographics, the slideshow, and all photography was taken by me. The official iSwimband video is provided courtesy of the company from their media kit. I did have a video interview set up (complete with news crew) with the iSwimband COO who happens to live in Atlanta but he canceled the night before due to unexpected out of town travel. We were not able to reschedule in time to make this deadline. My target audience for this is anyone who swims or has children/family who swim. My focus for viral opportunities/shareability would be the strong mom-blogger contingent interested in safety for their children in these summer months. After some research I would use #PoolSafety #Pool #Drown and #iswimband in my social sharing because most information regarding this topic seems to be aggregated there.

Down the Rabbit Hole: My Trip Through Second Life

 We looked at Digital Ethnography this week for my University of Florida Masters Degree program specializing in Social Media. For an assignment, we had to spend at least two to four hours in Second Life. This exercise is purely academic…

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I’m a beach gal. Born in southern California, my childhood is threaded with moments spent swimming at Newport, Santa Monica and Huntington Beach. When I was in Junior High, my family took our first big vacation together to the island of Oahu. I fell in love with Hawaii and as an adult have had a handful of occasions to return with friends and my better half.

It’s not just an island, it’s a lifestyle. An awesome one too.

So I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my journey down the rabbit hole of Second Life was not a beach-less one. In fact, I could visit some of the greatest beaches in the world– and I did. My adventures extended beyond the sand in my toes though…

Meet SloanFierce

SloanFierce, Second Life
My alter ego

* 26 years-old, Aspiring singer

* Waits tables by day, sings in clubs by night

* Only child, parents are dead

* Single

I’m sure there is some psychology to who I chose and what she does but I really wasn’t focused on that. I was more about getting in and checking out this world.

Where I Went & Who I Met

If  you have never been to Second Life, it is alarming at first because you just get dropped on an island. When I first arrived, I was surprised by how self-conscious I suddenly felt. Then again, I was dropped right next to a naked man who literally kept running into me. (Possibly a fellow student learning their way?!)

I was worried about interacting with others and proper etiquette. Being able just to function in Second Life is a little challenging at first but once I learned to move and fly, I was off.

I changed my clothes but that was a process and a half. I am sure it was because I was new but there were just so many options. Too many if you ask me. So I checked out the categories for newcomers. I entered “The Shelter” where people were friendly and willing to help. There were several bulletin boards teaching basic instruction and of course, shopping.

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The Shelter…a safe haven for new citizens

From there, I wanted to go exploring to places I have been and places I have never been. I wanted to see just how “real” the experience would be. First stop: Miami Beach. It was exactly as I recall Miami Beach to be…complete with the constant thump of techno music.  Next stop: Rio ~ A place I have not been.

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A trip to Rio

I walked around and talked to some people but I don’t speak Spanish and found that most people did during the time I arrived. I ended this trip into Second Life at Machu Picchu. I have never been there and always wanted to go. I flew around for perspective and walked a lot. I hung out with the Sherpas and alpacas. It was fun but certainly not the real deal.

I logged in the next morning to round out my experience. I spent $10 to buy $2500 Linden to see what a commerce experience in Second Life entailed. Upon completion of the transaction, which I did via PayPal, I was immediately informed that there had been market fluctuations in the Linden and a credit would be applied to my account (Nice touch Second Life).

Day Two was a little stranger. I decided to explore what I will call the darker side of Second Life. I went to the Adult sections to a place called Hathian. It was a bit much. You walk down a gray and black maze with various billboards advertising sex toys, pornography…even brutal S&M depicted with photos of black and blue women. The corridor ends with an elevator that takes you down to The Crack Den. The Crack Den was a whole different city scape with fires burning in abandoned cars, prostitutes on every corner and an occasional home. I walked into one and was promptly told to get the hell out—it was private property. So I did. I also got the hell out of The Crack Den! (Slide Show below ~ Warning: Adult Content)

From there, I went to Temptations Resort. Bad Idea. Not even worth discussing.

I checked out Featured Events, more new citizens places and even walked the streets of Italy. In the midst of all of this, the system kept crashing and pushing me out. I logged back in and when I did, I was dropped in the middle of what I will call Naked Land. Take a look (and this is with some creative cropping for a safe-for-work image):

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I still don’t know where I was. I asked what was going on and mentioned I had just been dropped here. That was met by laughter from other SIMS. I was told it was “rolling restart day” and that many SIMS were restarting which can affect the Second Life experience.

What Do I Think of Second Life

I have mixed opinions on Second Life and in the end, it all comes down to the intention of the user. I can see so many benefits from many areas I explored. I went to Indiana University. I climbed a beanstalk. I went to the John King experience and lived like a pirate. I walked the streets of France and refreshed my ear to the sound of my second language. I revisited Bondi Beach…a place I have been to in real life…and recalled pleasant memories. I see the educational value of Second Life with its ability to pull in people to learn and discuss. I see the imagination stimulation for a child to climb a beanstalk or be a pirate. I see the possibility for someone without means or sick or unable to travel to explore real places and have some rich experience.

I also see the Rabbit Hole. I put earphones on and immersed myself in it. There are so many little touches that enhance the experience drawing you in deeper. Native languages are spoken in the background when you travel somewhere international. Music and ambient noises compliment the location: NPR plays in the background while touring a nuclear plant, HawaiianRainbow.com plays the ukulele while you stroll Oahu. People are having intimate conversations and when you move near, you hear every word. I even witnessed a marriage proposal. When you capture an image, your avatar snaps a photo and you hear the camera. When you chat with someone, your avatar types. The beaches come complete with crashing waves, porpoises squeaking and the crunch of the sand.

I didn’t spend a great deal of time in the seedier side but I can see where curiosity would pull in someone who has never tapped into that environment. The sex and crime and grit feels very real because no detail is spared. It is rare that my eyes left the screen. When I am working or surfing, I often get distracted and look up or out the window. In Second Life, I found this didn’t happen. When I finally logged off and looked up, my eyes hurt, I was tired. There were many nice people but it just all seemed too much. It is just real enough to be sad.

So What of SloanFierce?

By the end of my journey through Second Life, I was ready to return to real life. I’m very aware though that the naked man and the newly engaged couple and the pirates are still inside there, living their lives. Just like Sloan ~ my personal alter ego and tour guide. So I did what any responsible girl would do. I plopped her down in the sands of Hawaii, left her with the meditative crashing waves, singing dolphins and the sweet sounds of the ukulele.

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Power to the She…& to the SEO

Assignment Snapshot: Pick a favorite multinational company and create a list of 10 keywords you think should be associated with that company and its products. Do a Google Search of those keywords and see where in the results (if at all) you find the company you selected. Go to the company’s site and review their coding to see if any of the words you selected appear on their homepage

If you know me, have read this blog at all or seen some of my discussion posts for the Social Media Masters Program at University of Florida, then you know I am an aspiring yogi. It started after the birth of my first child when I was very overweight and fighting the baby blues. I’ve written about this journey in the Namaste section of this blog so I won’t dive into it here. Part of that journey though, was discovering the Athleta brand. They are yoga clothes for normal people like me. While in my head I may look like this:

yoga pretty

The reality looks more like this:

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SO WHAT IS ATHLETA?

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 According to Athleta, they are  Gap Inc.’s premier fitness and lifestyle brand in the rapidly growing women’s active apparel market. Athleta offers high-quality, stylish, and functional apparel, footwear, and accessories across a  wide variety of sports and fitness activities, including crossover apparel and casualwear. Athleta products are found online, in stores, and through catalogs.  Athleta, the premier name in women’s fitness  fashion, values inspiring an active lifestyle from yoga to running to cross-fit. Athleta values motivating others and tapping into our collective power as women. Their slogan or tag line is Power to the She. Athleta was founded in 1998 in Petaluma, California. It started as a catalogue business that grew into online sales and was purchased by Gap Inc. in 2008 for $150 million. Since Gap Inc. acquired Athleta, they have opened  over 80 brick and mortar stores. (as of September 2014)

Ten keywords or keyword phrases for Search Engine Optimization:

  • Womens fitness clothing
  • Womens yoga clothing
  • Discount yoga clothing
  • Womens fitness fashion
  • Yoga clothing
  • Running clothing
  • Athletic clothing
  • Yoga pants
  • Sportswear
  • Yoga brands

I performed a Google search of each keyword phrase. The gallery below shows each result (click on image for larger view):

Athleta chooses to pay for Yoga Brands, Yoga Clothing, Womens Yoga Clothing and Athletic Clothing. Priority appears to be expansion and fighting the perception that they are only a yoga brand based on their purchase of the top spot, left rail for the keyword phrase “Athletic Clothing.” They still clearly emphasize yoga based on these searches and you see they paid for a top right rail spot for the keyword phrase “Womens Yoga Clothing.”

In reviewing their homepage, some of the keywords appear directly on the page visible to all. First, in the title of the site captured above the URL (see below) you will see “Womens” “Yoga Clothing” and “Run Clothing”.

The words “Fashion” and “Sport” also appear on the homepage. Looking at their site, they are really focused on performance, style and versatility. If I were going to redo my list, I would consider adding these in but with clothing or fashion also included.

In looking at the site’s HTML and alt tags, I found the following (click to view larger image):

Under metadata the description reads:

“The ultimate performance apparel for women. Shop Athleta yoga clothing, running clothing, swimwear & more online and in stores. Clothing designed and tested by and for women athletes.”

The metadata description is formatted well for SEO based on some of my choices. Below you will see the keywords that Athleta uses in the metadata above. The bold ones align with my choices above :

  • Athleta
  • athletica
  • womens yoga clothing
  • swimwear
  • running clothing
  • athletic clothing
  • workout clothing
  • exercise clothing
  • swimwear
  • tankini
  • bikini
  • one piece swimsuit
  • yoga pants
  • yoga tops
  • running tops
  • running shorts
  • skort
  • golf clothing
  • tennis clothing
  • special sizes
  • petite sizes
  • plus sizes
  • tall sizes
  • organic cotton
  • tights
  • yoga tights
  • run tights

They wisely use a common misspelling of their brand “Athletica”, the importance of which was discussed in lecture this week. Given the look and layout of their homepage, I would also consider adding performance wear and athletic style to keyword phrase choices.

Overall, based on this metadata and my Google searches, Athleta does a nice job capitalizing on SEO for the customer they want to target.

For me, the love affair is about comfort and price. I’m not a size zero and I want to practice without being half-naked. Athleta clothes accomplish this for me and I’m grateful for that.

Boring But Important: Email Analytics & Facebook Insights

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 Assignment Snapshot:  Analyze the attached Facebook Analytics and email analytics from a real company.  Review the provided analytics, and tell us your thoughts. Background: ABC company* is health-oriented and in  the Central Florida area. In addition to this Facebook page, ABC company has a Twitter account, Pinterest page  and YouTube channel. ABC Company also sends out a bi-weekly e-newsletter. You are looking at analytics for  their Facebook page during the time period noted on the screenshot (the email stats are from an email  sent on May 21, 2013). Based on the provided analytics and what you learned about IMC, provide a synopsis  of what you are looking at for both their Facebook page and email campaign. Any key findings? Where could  improvements be made? How could other channels play a part in boosting results? What are some future  campaigns or posts that could be effective? *Company identity withheld for the purpose of this project and this project is purely for educational purposes.

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So I’m the creative type. I like imagining and visualizing and stretching ideas into really cool things. It’s why I swan-dived into television storytelling. In that world, Nielsen is the almighty judge, jury and executioner or savior. While I am not someone who wants to spend all the minutes of my hours of my days mired in data, I do understand it is a necessary evil. It is also the best indicator as to whether or not all that artsy-fartsy, creative juju I’m so in love with doing is worth a damn to YOU.

It’s no different in social media which brings us to this week. You will see the data I am analyzing below in thumbnails. You can click on them to enlarge. I have also included them within this entry. The gallery works better on some devices, the large photos on others.

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Synopsis & Key Findings    

The Facebook Insights data presented represents a period of time leading up to and including Memorial Day Weekend. The “Overview” numbers at the top reflect the last seven days of data. The program does this by default. The line charts below it represent May 6 through May 25, 2013. The “Reach” reflects data from April 28 through May 25. The “Talking About This” reflects data from April 28 through May 25.

Additionally the data shows a synopsis of posts for the week of May 27 through June 2.

For the purpose of this exercise the Bronto email data is from an email sent on May 21, 2013 not December 19, 2012 as the report itself reflects.

         THE DATA: Overview Page

Overview Page: Facebook Insights analytics from a real company
Overview Page: Facebook Insights analytics from a real company
  • During the time of this data, the company’s page received 880 total likes, up .69% from the previous 7 days.
  • The Friends of Fans is up 1.31% to 340,325. This metric show an estimate total of potential audience when counting the friends of those who liked this page. This metric was deemed not very useful and was removed in July of 2013. Basically, a page would only reach this amount of people if ALL their fans engaged with the post and then by extension…all their friends saw the post.
  • The People Talking About This is down to 46 total, a drop of 50.54% from last data period. These are the people that liked, commented or shared a post from this page or basically engaged in some way with the page.
  • The weekly total reach for May 19 through May 25 is up 39.83% for a weekly total reach of 5,740. This is not only the page, it includes ads and sponsored stories.  This could reflect people looking for a fitness club while potentially traveling to the high tourist area for the holiday weekend. There is further data to support that which I will address in other metrics.
  • The overview page also reflects data for 8 posts the week of May 27 (Memorial Day) through June 2. These vary from inspirational messages, reminders, promotion and encouragement.
  • The reach of the posts increased midweek as we moved away from the holiday reflecting the possibility of people returning to their exercise routine. Additionally, while the reach was lowest on the National Cancer Survivors Day, the virality of the post was the highest in terms of ratio percentage. People love a cause.  
  • The reminder to honor the soldiers for Memorial Day had a strong reach of 477 and the 2nd highest number of engaged users in that 14 people clicked on it and 8 of those people took the time to share or re-post or comment on it.
  • The two Group Fitness posts for May 28 and 29 had high reach numbers with the 29th reaching the most people for the week. In turn, those two posts had the 1st and 3rd most engaged users in direct numbers with the post on the 29th leading to the highest numbers in People Talking About This.
  • Overall, trying to get people to participate in Group Fitness, the holiday and the national campaign garnered the most attention.

         THE DATA: Reach Page One

Reach Page One: Facebook Insights Analytics from a real company
Reach Page One: Facebook Insights Analytics from a real company
  • The key finding here is that the site engages women predominantly to the tune of 60% with the biggest group being 25 to 34 years old and the next largest group being 35 to 44. Depending on the goals of this particular company, you could develop a campaign to target more men without losing women or you could continue to focus on a deeper engagement with women. 
  • I would be curious to know whether the country, city and language data reflects as much diversity in a non-holiday week. I imagine these numbers are high during the summer and other peak travel times. 
  • Orlando is a hot holiday destination so it is no surprise to me that numbers outside of Florida are high during this time. People could be looking for a workout facility while traveling for the holiday weekend.

         THE DATA: Reach Page Two

Reach Page Two: Facebook Insights Analytics from a real company
Reach Page Two: Facebook Insights Analytics from a real company
  • The color dotted lines at the top of the page reveal how the page is reaching people. Viral and Organic lead the way with Viral performing at a higher number. Viral means that a user viewed your page and then pushed content out to their own feed. Organic is when someone just sees your page as is. Based on the flat line for paid content I am assuming no ads were purchased during this time frame.
  • The bar graph on the top right reflects the unique visitors to the page with nearly 3 thousand unique visitors coming to the page once during the data period. The bottom line reflects the amount of time unique visitors frequented the page for the given time period. 
Reach: Facebook Insights Analytics showing page views, highlighting uniques
Reach: Facebook Insights Analytics showing page views, highlighting uniques
  • The dotted lines at the bottom of this page (above) show page views for the period and highlight which ones were unique. The views including uniques see a spike when the bi-weekly email is sent out. 
  • Most of the traffic comes in from search with the most entering from Google. the second source is a virus/malware page. The other 2 non-search referrers are email and one from a digital publishing platform, possibly a blog.
  • The timeline is the most popular feature of the page above all else with the profile and photo streams also showing strong engagement. 

         THE DATA: Talking About This

Talking About This: Facebook Insights analytics from a real company
Talking About This: Facebook Insights analytics from a real company
  •  It’s no surprise given reach that the most engaged users are also women in the 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 age range. They speak English and the cities with the most activity are in Florida.
  • The blue dotted line reflect the days and numbers that users or followers of the page are engaging. The green shows the reach to users who were exposed to your page from a post by someone else. These numbers also seem to spike in relation to the bi-weekly email campaign. 

THE DATA: Email Analytics

 Bronto email analytics from a real company
Bronto email analytics from a real company
  • The delivery rate for this email is strong but given the little spike seen in the Facebook page coinciding with the email newsletter, I would have expected the open rate to be higher. 
  • Hard bounces reflect things like an invalid email address or the email flagged as spam. Soft bounces are considered more temporary such as a server issue or a full mailbox. It can be an early indicator of an abandoned email though.
  • My greatest takeaway from this is that clearly this newsletter isn’t full of compelling content worth sharing.

Improvement Possibilities

I think one improvement possibility is looking at the content in the newsletter. Clearly it is not driving people to share it. First…is there social share buttons in the email? If not, I would add them. Then start to take notice of the social share and social view stats.

With the email open rate being low and the click rate being lower, I would take a look at subject lines. Do they give your regular user a reason to open it? Then look at your links. Do they give your user a reason to click? That’s an area that can easily be focused on with no cost and could help with Facebook numbers.

Looking at the male to female ratio, this company could have a day of the week where they devote a post campaign targeted to men to elevate those numbers.

Group Fitness seems to be of high interest as well. I would consider creating more Group Fitness opportunities and posting about them.

Since there did not appear to be paid content driving traffic based on the data, the company could look at buying ads in high tourist times as a good destination for the fitness-conscious traveler. Google search was the biggest external referer but an ad could drive that number up more. If there is a budget allowance ads could be purchased of Facebook to attract women looking at various fitness pages.

How Twitter, Pinterest & You Tube could play a part in boosting results & Future Campaigns and Posts

The Twitter  account could affect these results by including a link to Facebook with every tweet. I don’t know how many Twitter followers this company has but if you send a tweet offering something with added value by clicking on a link, you could increase traffic. Fitness people are dedicated and some are even fanatical. They like added value. Promise 5 tips to something or 3 ways to something…

Additionally, you can make the same promise via twitter by getting fitness people to subscribe to the email and boost those numbers. Again, fitness people want good information delivered to them. It’s a chance to create a loyal social following who may never set foot in your business but values your content.

We know that women love Pinterest. We know that women are engaging in this Facebook page and that it is reaching more women than men. Pinterest could definitely be playing a role in that if this company is good at maintaining its content on Pinterest. I would continue to focus on that added value for the fitness person. The company could use Twitter as its mechanism to drive traffic to both locations. It could diversify its content by making the Pinterest page about fitness fashion and nutrition. It could post that information for users and have a board for users to post their content.

The company could then use the Facebook page to highlight specific exercise, fitness, workout tips, etc. Keep the Facebook page focused on the workouts, exercise and events at the company. Keep Pinterest for fashion and nutrition and DRIVE to Facebook for the other content. Twitter becomes the catch-all referer with links always included.

Finally, if there is a You Tube account then there is a Google+ account. That is a default of creating a You Tube account. First, I would make sure the Google + page has content. We all know this is great for SEO to have something on Google+.

You Tube could be used as a place to demo/provide tutorials on various fitness activity. The videos can then be posted to Facebook. With You Tube being owned by Google, the company could properly tag videos with key words  increasing the chance that search for such tutorials or fitness content  would land people on the Facebook page.

One final recommendation for this company…start a blog. Promote the blog in email and on Facebook. Fitness is a GREAT area for blogs and as I said, fitness people are passionate about their fitness! It’s a good opportunity for this business to make itself into a content source. When you are a business in a HUGE tourist location, the chances that you are going to have a handful of temporary brick and mortar clients is high. So why not capitalize on that and make yourself a source for fitness expertise? You keep the travelers loyal to your brand. You build your local base. You continue to expand and grow. It’s a win-win.

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JUST FOR FUN

Simple. To the Point. Pretty much sums up where I am at this point in the semester!

I'm getting better at not doing this...
I’m getting better at not doing this…
My fear for my kids...
My fear for my kids…
justforfun3
This conversation pretty much plays out in every newsroom I have been in.

It’s #Magic Kingdom All August Long!

Week 9 Assignment Snapshot: Plan the hypothetical posts for Disney’s Magic Kingdom social media pages (Facebook & Twitter). –the theme park, not the overall Disney brand – for the month of August 2014.

 

“There’s so much that we share, that it’s time we’re aware, it’s a small world after all…”  That song is one from my childhood. I grew up in Anaheim Hills, California. That made me a very lucky girl because I was in the shadow of Disneyland. “It’s a Small World” was a childhood lullaby.

Perhaps because I grew up near Disneyland or because my travels never took me there, I have never been to Disney World, Magic Kingdom or any of the parks that encompass this childhood (or the child in all of us) wonder.  That makes this blog particularly interesting because it is one of discovery.

So if you are like me, you may need your bearings first. How about a little tour of Magic Kingdom 2014?

We have a couple of goals this month for our Magic Kingdom Social Channels. First, we are making August the month of the Hashtag. With Google now allowing hashtag search we want to capitalize and use #MagicKingdom every day in August. Keeping our calendar of events in mind, we are organizing a hashtag theme each day of the week:

#MondayMeet&Greet~ To capitalize on our many meet and greets with the faces of Disney, we want to pump up participation this month.

#TuesdayTours ~ Every Tuesday in August we will showcase a tour available at the Magic Kingdom.

#WildWednesday~ We’ll use Wednesdays to showcase our fantastic rides.

#TBT ~ It is already a popular hashtag, why shouldn’t the Magic Kingdom get in on the action? We’ll share a classic image and ask people to share their Magic Kingdom Memories.

#FantasylandFriday~ Since we just made some big changes to Fantasyland, we will showcase something from Fantasyland each Friday.

#SavingsSaturday~ We will offer special discounts each Saturday for a certain window of time. It will only be posted on Twitter and Facebook so park patrons will need to log in to see what the offer is.

#SundayFunDay~ Show us your Sunday Funday. We will walk around with Mickey Mouse taking pictures and posting them on Facebook and Twitter  each Sunday in August with #SundayFunDay. We encourage park patrons to do the same using #SundayFunDay. Below you will see mock examples of what #SundayFunDay could be.

Friday, August 1

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 Summer’s winding down but it’s still hot! Parents need a break while your kids play? Let them blow off some refreshing steam at Casey Jr. Splash’N’Soak #FantasylandFriday #MagicKingdom

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 Need to blow off steam? At least make it refreshing! Come beat the heat and CHILLCasey Jr. Splash’N’Soak #FantasylandFriday #MagicKingdom

Saturday, August 2

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 Welcome to August! Each Saturday we will be offering a discount on Facebook and Twitter. Log in and save! Today you receive 10% off the price of admission when you buy your theme park ticket between 2pm and 4pm. Mention#SavingsSaturday #MagicKingdom 10%

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 Receive 10% off price of admission when you buy your park ticket between 2p and 4pm. Mention #SavingsSaturday #MagicKingdom 10%

Sunday, August 3

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 Mickey Mouse found the Millers from Saginaw going Mad Tea Party in the all new Fantasyland #SundayFunDay #MagicKingdom —INSERT PHOTO TAKEN OF THE MILLER FAMILY RIDING THE MAD HATTERShow us your #SundayFunDay!

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 The Green Family of Atlanta getting their Captain Jack on! #PiratesLeague #SundayFunDay #MagicKingdom— Show us your #SundayFunDay! INSERT PHOTO OF GREEN FAMILY AT THE PIRATES LEAGUE ATTRACTION

Monday, August 4

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Ever wonder what the main Mouse is doing backstage? Now’s your chance to find out. Come meet Mickey at Town Square Theater while he works on his tricks. The best magic happens when you give him a hug! #MondayMeet&Greet #MagicKingdommickey-mouse-at-town-square-theater-00

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Watch him pull a rabbit right out of his hat! Come meet Mickey Mouse backstage at Town Square Theater #MondayMeet&Greet #MagicKingdom

Tuesday, August 5

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Are you a super sleuth at heart? Then the Family Magic Tour is for you! This ain’t your momma’s tour! Gather clue after clue in this awesome, interactive adventure through the Magic Kingdom. Sign up today! #TuesdayTours#MagicKingdom

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50% Guided Tour 50% Scavenger Hunt 100% Awesome See Magic Kingdom like never before-Disney’s Family Magic Tour #TuesdayTours #MagicKingdom

Wednesday, August 6

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 Magic Kingdom is many things but some…it is about the rides! All month long, we’re taking you on a ride through your favorites.  We kick off our first #WildWednesday with Space Mountain! (You want a fast pass? Skip to 3:14!)

Ready to ride? The real deal awaits – Buy your tickets today!  #MagicKingdom

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 It’s#WildWednesday Each Weds in August we take you for a ride on one of your favorites! Hello Space Mountain!  #MagicKingdom

***Video will be posted on our Facebook page. We will push Twitter followers through a link to Facebook. The bold text (non-hashtag) is where the link will be.

Thursday, August 7

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TBTIts a small world 1971

It’s a Small World – October 1971

 Getting in on the Throwback action! Share your Magic Kingdom Memories. Check out 1971. 

#TBT #MagicKingdom

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We all have our Magic Kingdom Memories. Share Yours! #TBT #MagicKingdom 

Toll Plaza at the Magic Kingdom, January 1972

Toll Plaza at the Magic Kingdom, January 1972

Friday, August 8

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If you want to dine with Cinderella and her princess friends, act now. The Royal Table will be closing soon for a little renovation! You can still dine like royalty between now and January 2015 ~ Details here: Cinderella’s Royal Table #FantasylandFriday #MagicKingdom

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 Act now before it’s too late!  Cinderella’s kitchen closes soon! Cinderella’s Royal Table #FantasylandFriday #MagicKingdom

 

Saturday, August 9

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 20% off any item $50 or more at Big Top Souvenirs in Fantasyland between 4p and 6pm Mention #SavingsSaturday #MagicKingdom 20offgraphic

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 20% off any item $50 or more at Big Top Souvenirs in Fantasyland between 4p and 6pm Mention#SavingsSaturday #MagicKingdom 20offgraphic

Sunday, August 10

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Joe Frank from Columbus, Ohio getting his haircut and working on the High Notes at the Harmony Barber Shop!  Hey! He’s not a professional?! #SundayFunDay #MagicKingdom —Show us your #SundayFunDay! —INSERT PHOTO OF JOE WITH MICKEY GIVING HIM A TRIM–

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 Who needs Tom Cruise? Craig McMillan of California satisfied his need for speed! #SundayFunDay #MagicKingdom Show us your #SundayFunDay  –INSERT PHOTO OF CRAIG PUTTING TAKING HIS HELMET OFF POST DRIVE

Monday, August 11

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Summer heat got you burning up? Let it Go! Come chill with Anna & Elsa at the Princess Fairytale Hall. Sign Up Now! #FROZEN #MondayMeet&Greet #MagicKingdom :frozen

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Cool off from the summer heat with Frozens Anna & Elsa at Princess Fairytale Hall. #MondayMeet&Greet #MagicKingdom frozen2

Tuesday, August 12

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 Did you know there is an entire underground beneath the Magic Kingdom? Tunnels and hidden places used for all kinds of interesting things while you walk above on your Disney adventure. Now you can explore these hidden gems: Keys to the Kingdom Tour #TuesdayTours #MagicKingdom

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 Know what a Utilidor is? It’s a big Disney secret and one you can see for yourself: Keys to the Kingdom Tour #TuesdayTours #MagicKingdom

Wednesday, August 13

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 It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears, it’s a world of hopes and a world of fears. It’s also a world with cool HD cams which is why  we can bring you this week’s #WildWednesday ride: It’s a Small World! #MagicKingdom

 No trip to Magic Kingdom is complete without THIS. It IS a small world after all.#twitterWildWednesday #MagicKingdom

***Video will be posted on our Facebook page. We will push Twitter followers through a link to Facebook. The bold text (non-hashtag) is where the link will be.

Thursday, August 14

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Tomorrowland 1971

Tomorrowland 1971

Taking you back to 1971 – Share your Tomorrowland memories! #TBT #MagicKingdom

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Actress Amber Riley - 2010

Actress Amber Riley – 2010

It’s Thursday, time to tap your photo archives! Share your #TBT memories! #MagicKingdom

Friday, August 15

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 Ready for a concert for the ears AND eyes? Donald Duck is ready to be your guide…just grab your Opera Glasses and join us for a concert experience like no otherMickey’s PhilharMagic #FantasylandFriday #MagicKingdom

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 What has a 150ft wraparound screen & 3D magic? Mickey’s PhilharMagic See & sing classics like never before#FantasylandFriday #MagicKingdom

Saturday, August 16

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 Free drink with purchase of $10 or more at Columbia Harbor House in Liberty Square between 11a – 12p Mention#SavingsSaturday #MagicKingdom

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Free drink with purchase of $10 or more at Columbia Harbor House in Liberty Square 11a -12p Mention #SavingsSaturday #MagicKingdom

Sunday, August 17

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Sisters Avery & Grace from Florida didn’t make it through the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular but Mickey snapped this photo with them…bet they are having sweet dreams! #SundayFunDay #MagicKingdom —Show us your #SundayFunDay —INSERT PHOTO OF MICKEY SITTING BEHIND THE TWO SLEEPING GIRLS

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 Progress report looks good for the O’Harra family of Indiana #SundayFunDay #MagicKingdom – Show us your #SundayFunDay —INSERT PHOTO OF THE FOURSOME ON THE CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS–

Monday, August 18

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We all have gadgets and gizmos aplenty, but not like Ariel’s! Come meet the Little Mermaid at her Grotto and be a part of her world! #MondayMeet&Greet #MagicKingdomariel

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Time to beat the summer heat Under the Sea with Ariel at her Grotto. Come be a part of her world! #MondayMeet&Greet #MagicKingdom  ariel2

Tuesday, August 19

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 They once hauled sugar cane in Mexico…that is until Disney Scouts spotted them in 1969. Want exclusive access to the 4 antique steam trains before the Magic Kingdom opens? The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour #TuesdayTours #MagicKingdom

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 Loco 4 locomotives? Exclusive access to Disney’s Water-Powered Work Horses! Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour #TuesdayTours #MagicKingdom

Wednesday, August 20

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“Send us a message from somewhere BEYOND!”#Wild Wednesday brings you The Haunted Mansion

#MagicKingdom

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 Before there was Blair Witch Project, there was THIS #WildWednesday #MagicKingdom

***Video will be posted on our Facebook page. We will push Twitter followers through a link to Facebook. The bold text (non-hashtag) is where the link will be.

Thursday, August 21

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Christmas at the Magic Kingdom

Christmas at the Magic Kingdom

It’s hot out there people! Let’s beat the summer heat with a little Christmas in August. Share your holiday memories from the Magic Kingdom! #TBT #MagicKingdom

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Cinderella gets ready at the Magic Kingdom - 1971

Cinderella gets ready at the Magic Kingdom – 1971

Did you ever come in your princess best to the Magic Kingdom? What about your kids? Share your #TBT best dressed! #MagicKingdom

Friday, August 22

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  Heigh Ho! Heigh Ho! RESERVE before you goAre you ready to rock around like never before? All aboard the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It’s open for business in the New Fantasyland!#FantasylandFriday #MagicKingdom:

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The NEW Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!

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 Heigh Ho! Heigh Ho! RESERVE before you go– You just might miss the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train! #FantasylandFriday #MagicKingdom

 

Saturday, August 23

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 15% off 2 tickets to the Family Magic Tour when you buy 4 for a tour TODAY Mention #SavingsSaturday #MagicKingdom web_15off

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 15% off 2 tickets to the Family Magic Tour when you buy 4 for a tour TODAY Mention #SavingsSaturday #MagicKingdom web_15off

Sunday, August 24

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 It’s the place to be this summer if you can catch the train. Looks like the Bognar’s from Boston made it to the station on time. The threesome talked Mickey into going for a ride on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train! (It wasn’t too hard to convince him!) #SundayFunDay #MagicKingdom –Show us your #SundayFunDay — INSERT PHOTO OF THE BOGNAR FAMILY WAVING FROM THE TRAIN WITH MICKEY

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 It’s 3pm, do you know where your kids are? They’re HERE#SundayFunDay #MagicKingdom —INSERT PHOTO TAKEN AT PARADE

 

Monday, August 25

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 Let your hair down with Rapunzel! Make your dreams come true with Cinderella! No ball gown needed at Princess Fairytale Hall but Glass Slippers Optional! #MondayMeet&Greet #MagicKingdom: cinderella

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Find ‘Happily Ever After’ w/ Cinderella & Rapunzel (No Glass Slipper Needed!) Come 2 Princess Fairytale Hall #MondayMeet&Greet #MagicKingdom rapunzel

Tuesday, August 26

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 Are you a history buff that loves all things Disney? Would you like the chance to enter Magic Kingdom before anyone else does? Go on a 3 hour journey through time and meet the man behind the mouse: Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour #TuesdayTours #MagicKingdom

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 Discover the Man Behind the Mouse: Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour #TuesdayTours #MagicKingdom

 

Wednesday, August 27

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 Summer may be winding down but the heat is still ridiculous! Forget the sprinklers, the pool’s been done. You want to beat the heat? Take our raft for a spin. 

#WildWednesday brings you Splash Mountain! #MagicKingdom

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 Forget the pool. The Beach is dull. THIS is the only way to beat the heat. #WildWednesday #MagicKingdom

***Video will be posted on our Facebook page. We will push Twitter followers through a link to Facebook. The bold text (non-hashtag) is where the link will be.

Thursday, August 28

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Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco - 2013

Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco – 2013

Have you celebrated a big occasion at the Magic Kingdom? Share them with us #TBT celebration-style! #MagicKingdom

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 Magic Kingdom is the place to celebrate. Share with us your #TBT occasion! #MagicKingdom 

The Magic Kingdom Under Construction! Our #TBT from 1971 is a reason to celebrate ~ 43 years of memories!

The Magic Kingdom Under Construction! Our #TBT from 1971 is a reason to celebrate ~ 43 years of memories!

Friday, August 29

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 You can become part of the story. “Deep in the depths of Magic Kingdom park lies a legendary world—New Fantasyland—that’s been long hidden from our view by a curse. It’s a place where mermaids sing, beauties tell tales, beasts roar and elephants fly. To discover—and break—the curse on New Fantasyland, visit Finding Fantasyland #FantasylandFriday #MagicKingdom

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 You think you know Fantasyland? You don’t know the NEW Fantasyland. Now you can experience it from home!#FantasylandFriday #MagicKingdom new-fantasyland-explore-fantasyland

Saturday, August 30

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 Be Our Guest for dinner mention#SavingsSaturday between 8p & 9p for 10% off your meal #MagicKingdom

 

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 Be Our Guest for dinner mention #SavingsSaturday between 8p & 9p for 10% off your meal #MagicKingdom

 

Sunday, August 31

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Mickey was a little starstruck in Frontierland today and the Country Bear Jamboree were a little nervous! Country stars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw brought their family by for a little jam session! #SundayFunDay #MagicKingdom —Show us your #SundayFunDay–INSERT PHOTO OF TIM MCGRAW, FAITH HILL AND KIDS WITH MICKEY-

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 A tutorial in progress?? Look who Mickey found at the Country Bear Jamboree – Faith, Tim & Family! #SundayFunDay #MagicKingdom –INSERT PHOTO OF TIM MCGRAW, FAITH HILL AND KIDS WITH MICKEY-

  Week 9 Assignment Snapshot: Plan the hypothetical posts for Disney’s Magic Kingdom social media pages (Facebook & Twitter) –the theme park, not the overall Disney brand – for the month of August 2014. This is just a reminder that everything above this is hypothetical. I did reference the Magic Kingdom calendar so some of these events are accurate or may align with the Disney information. This post is in no way affiliated with Magic Kingdom or any of the Walt Disney World properties. It is an assignment for the University of Florida Masters Program in Social Media. If you would like to know what is going on at Walt Disney World just click here!

 

Just For Fun: In this week’s Just For Fun, I take you back to my childhood. I mentioned at the top of this blog that I grew up in the shadow of Disneyland. My favorite ride was Big Thunder Mountain. Here is a little journey through Big Thunder Mountain! (fast forward to :44 if you just want to get to the ride):