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For the April 2014 edition of the #HbgWingUp, the gang journeyed to Moe’s Bar and Grill on Gettysburg Road in Mechanicsburg.  Moe’s history for wings is very well-known, as they are multiple-time champion of Harrisburg Magazine’s Best Wings contest held every year.  This made it the perfect place for the Wing Up crew to try!

The crew itself is growing by leaps and bounds.  At last count, we filled the back dining room with 15 wing fanatics.  Maybe next time we should warn the establishment as the #HbgWingUp is developing a life of its own!  Considering it was a Saturday night, the place was relatively busy.  There was only one server so that led to some rumblings about slow service.  I even went to the bar to order a drink and was refused service by the bartender because I had an open tab at the back table!

That aside, the group all sincerely enjoyed the time with one another, but especially enjoyed the wings.  Moe’s has 12 different flavors of wings to choose from.  They range from sauced favorites like hot (or suicide) to a dry wing like Old Bay or Cajun.

 

A little bit of deliciousness!

A little bit of deliciousness!

I went with a saucy wing (Hot Honey BBQ) and a dry wing (Cajun).  While the Hot Honey BBQ was not anywhere near the heat level I was looking for, it still had a quality flavor that I would order again.  I was looking for quite a bit more kick as I’m not a fan of regular hot wings.   I love the heat in wings, but hot sauce itself usually lacks in flavor, and is just hot for the sake of being hot.  The dry Cajun wing was the star of the show, however!  I usually like my wings to have a lot of sauce, but wanted to try the wing itself to get an accurate idea of the flavor.  I can’t tell you how much I loved it!  I also was able to trade a wing out with a friend and her Old Bay wing was just as quality as the Cajun.

To top off the evening, Saturday night is Moe’s Wing Special.  For $11.99 you receive a small bucket of wings that is enough to feed two slightly hungry or one really hungry patron.  My advice would be to split your small bucket and get half of your wings sauced and half dry (with either Cajun or Old Bay).  You will not be upset with your selection!

Long known in the area for having some of the best wings around, Moe’s certainly didn’t disappoint the #HbgWingUp crew for April.  While the service wasn’t the greatest we’ve seen, the wings certainly lived up to their reputation as some of the area’s best.  Also, if you haven’t had the opportunity to join us, make sure to stay tuned to our Website (http://www.hbgwingup.com) or follow us on Twitter (@HbgWingUp) for all of the details about our next outing.

Paul M. Miller
Professor, Central Penn College
Social Media Editor, KollisionMedia

pmiller@kollisionmedia.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

Yesterday I had the opportunity to read an interesting article entitled “I Lost my Dad to Fox News” by Edwin Lyngar and it spoke to me somewhat.  This was not because of any specific political ideology I have, but because of the latest (and most fun) class I’ve had the opportunity to teach, Media and Politics.  I’ve always had an affinity for the media (as a Communications MS), but my love for politics has been evident since my college years.  I minored in Political Science, have volunteered on campaigns in the past and have always done my research when voting season rolls around.   This class was perfect for me to teach.

Before reading this blog piece, it’s important to read the article, as I don’t want to summarize it.  Any summary would not do it justice.  (The article is located at:   http://slnm.us/s7tyt23).  Also, I want to preface this article by saying I will not be adding any of my personal political commentary here, just a discussion of our present-day media.

The idea behind the blog piece is that our older generations are being influenced (to say the least) by the propaganda empire that is FOXNews.  I’d like to discuss several reasons why this is happening:  media conglomeration, demographics and gatekeeping.

The first reason that our older generation relies on FOXNews is media conglomeration.  Whether we like it or not, our media is owned by six major companies.  This leads to a multitude of problems, but one of the major problems with this is the bottom-line.  If these companies don’t have advertisers for their product, they don’t make money.  There is an inherent problem with media ownership in our present landscape.  News is no longer out to serve the public interest, it is to sensationalize stories to become more appealing to the viewer.  Why is this?  A viewer is now a consumer and therefore a potential customer for advertisers.  News quality is not what is important, making money is.  And while I’m sure this is no surprise to anyone, the problem is not likely to go away.

This leads to the second reason that FOXNews influences our older generation, demographics.  For those of you that don’t know, CNN leans left (democratic) and FOXNews leans right (republican).  There are many reasons why this may be, but demographics plays a key role.  There needs to be a news outlet that supports the older generation’s ideology. That doesn’t mean that FOXNews even believes what they broadcast; it means that there is a large segment of the population that wants to hear the news spun in this manner.

I don’t want to bog this piece down with a lot of Communication theory here, but one theory that needs to be discussed in this piece is the Uses and Gratifications theory.  Basically, this theory discusses that as news consumers, we will almost always seek out information that is in line with our viewpoints, regardless of who says it.  I gave this example in class:  If you are pro-life on the abortion issue, you seek out information that supports your pro-life standpoint.  Let’s say there are two articles about the topic, one pro-life, one pro-choice.  Even though the pro-choice article could have been written by someone with a doctorate that is very knowledgeable about the topic, you would still side with the pro-choice article even though it may have been written by someone with little or no education.  You do this because it reaffirms your own views on the topic, not because the person writing it is educated.  Twitter is the modern-day example of the Uses and Gratifications theory in play.  We follow those that have the same or similar viewpoints as we do and don’t follow those that do not share our viewpoint.

That said, there are large segments of our population that believe certain things about our country. One is the democrats, one is the republicans.  It’s well-known that the media typically leans to left because the democratic party is often progressive in their ideology.  Younger people tend to be more progressive in nature, while older people are typically more “stuck in their ways”.  FOXNews understands this and intentionally spins their stories to be in line with that republican ideology.  They want those watching their news to agree with their views and make it seem that the “liberal media” is against the republican party.  But really what they are doing is simply shaping their news to the demographic that they serve.  Take a look at some of the “experts” they bring to their programs.  Most of the experts will agree with the spin of the topic of the day.  If they do not, they are berated by the host or simply cutoff totally.  They do this because there are advertisers out there that need to hit this demographic.

The final reason that FOXNews influences our older generation is gatekeeping.  Gatekeeping refers to those people who have extreme power to determine what news makes the broadcast.  Imagine the power the owner and producers of FOXNews have.  They get to determine for a large segment of the country what news is worth being discussed.  One key thing to remember is that the news media doesn’t necessarily tell how to think, but what to think about.  So if all day FOXNews goes on and on about how Barack Obama’s new Healthcare plan is responsible for holding back our economy, those watching these newscasts will tend to believe what they are hearing over and over.

To me, this is the same reason that political radio talk-show hosts are rarely (if ever) moderate.  They have to appeal to certain demographics that the station is seeking.  That in turn determines what news will be broadcast and what spin that broadcast will contain.  I understand there are exceptions to some of the things I’ve mentioned, but media studies must generalize certain points.  I’d contend that the gatekeepers for FOXNews don’t even believe what they are saying (and the journalists most certainly do not), but as long as the overwhelming majority of the audience believes what is said, they’ve done their job.

Unfortunately, this trend will not change.  There was a comment in the article that FOXNews will die when the demographic passes on, but I don’t agree with this statement.  As we grow older, our ideologies change as is what is important to us as a human being.  FOXNews understands this and will alter their broadcasts to reflect what is important to the demographic that they seek.  Don’t count on FOXNews going anywhere anytime soon.

Paul M. Miller
Professor, Central Penn College
Social Media Editor, KollisionMedia

pmiller@kollisionmedia.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

LinkedIn: The Time is Now!

I have been afforded a fantastic opportunity at Central Penn College. Other than the fact that I love my job teaching future generations of professionals, I get to make up for a huge void in my college career. This Tuesday, February 25 at 4pm, I am moderating a workshop at Central Penn College entitled “LinkedIn: The Time is Now!”.

For those of you who are fans of my blog, you may remember some references I made to shortcomings in my college career. To refresh your memory, I feel that my education did not provide me with adequate job search skills in today’s landscape. This said, this may have stemmed from a few different reasons:

1. I didn’t seek out the available resources.
2. Social Media was only just beginning to enter the landscape when I graduated (and no one ever used Myspace for a job).
3. The job search has changed drastically over the past decade.

I don’t want that same mistake to happen on my watch. I’ve already moderated a workshop at Central Penn College entitled “Social Media and the College Student” where I discussed the right and wrong ways to operate on social media for the present college student. I received an unbelievable amount of positive feedback from that workshop, but many comments said “I understand LinkedIn is important, but I don’t know why”. It is from these comments that I felt I needed to address this question.

So for those of you that have this same question on your mind, I encourage you to attend this workshop. If you are looking for work, are about to graduate from college, or simply want to have an all-star profile, I encourage you to attend this workshop. I want to help.

 In the time that I’ve been writing this blog, my life has gone in many different directions.  I’ve become very social-savvy,  if you will, to the point that I now represent 10 different small businesses in the Harrisburg, PA Metro Area.  I have become Social Media Manager at a very successful company, KollisionMedia (http://www.kollisionmedia.com) and I write for the company’s blog (http://www.kollisionmediablog.com).  I’ve also written articles for The Central Pen Blog as well as other various websites over the past year.

But something happened to me in 2013, however, that may change my life forever, I was hired as Part-Time faculty at Central Penn College.  Teaching has always been a dream of mine going back to my decision to go to Graduate School at Shippensburg University in 2005.  My journey has been quite interesting to say the least. 

Since completing graduate school in 2009, my job search was one of dismay, disappointment and heartbreak.  I interviewed for a variety of jobs that I should have had no issue getting, but somehow I never got that call.  As it has been well-documented on my blog, the Social Media Summit was one thing I look back at as life-changing.  So, with a few lucky breaks and proper networking, I was able to land my dream position as a Communications and English professor at Central Penn College.

In my time here, I’ve learned an immense amount, but also have had the opportunity to understand what being a professor is all about, helping students achieve their goals.  I’ve never had so much delight then when I see a student “get it” whether right in front of my eyes or in their work.  It makes me look back at professors that I’ve had in the past and make me wonder.  I wonder things like:  “It really seems like that person was just collecting a paycheck” or “Wow, this person really made me who I am today”.  I hope that my students look back at me years from now and think that I in some way impacted their lives for the better.  In my opinion, this is the true job of a professor; to help young students live up to not only their potential, but goals they have set for themselves.

Obviously, I wouldn’t be who or where I am today without a few specific individuals in my life.

My fiancé, Jackie – Jackie has been one person that has always been there for me.  I can’t explain enough how important she is to who I am today and how I got here.  Also, we are just under one year from getting married!

My family – My story about my family is similar to others.  I had a great family that supported me, but when I came home with bad grades they obviously were upset.  At times, I wished they’d just get off my back.  In hindsight, however, I’m so glad that they didn’t or else I may not be where I am today.

Dr. James Laux - Dr. Laux was one of my favorite professors as I spent time at Slippery Rock University.  He taught me so much about Communications, but also taught me a lot about life as well.  In my opinion, he was solely responsible for making me into the person I am today, and for that I am eternally thankful.

All of my colleagues at Central Penn College – I have had the pleasure of meeting many fantastic academics here at Central Penn College.  People that continue to push me to be the best professor I can be.  I appreciate everyone’s willingness to answer questions, assist me when I have problems, and to guide me through issues in class. 

I had an opportunity last week to do my first Workshop “Digital Media and the Job Search” last week at Central Penn.  Not only was it a rousing success based on attendance, I was able to get amazing feedback from my colleagues and students who attended.  I want to make sure that this group of students doesn’t go through the same struggles that I did.  I want them to feel the way that I do someday, having a career and a family that you love.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This week marks the end of my second term as a Professor of Communications and English at Central Penn College, but it also marks an amazing opportunity for a great friend and colleague, Daniel Hooven.  Daniel and I met at Slippery Rock University back in 2002 at WRSK 88.1 FM, the campus radio station.  In the time we were there, we co-hosted “The Low Blow Show” as well as getting the opportunity to meet and interview the Legend, Mick Foley.

My journey to my current position has been similar to Daniel’s.  I was fortunate to get an opportunity at WLER 97.3 in Butler.  Everything about it I absolutely loved.  I was fortunate to learn under one of the most influential people in my life, Bob Cupp.  When my internship ended, I had to decide if I wanted to follow my dream of radio broadcasting or pursue higher education.  I decided to give up on my dream and come home to continue school. 

That is a decision that I think about every day of my life, for many reasons.  For one, Graduate School is not cheap.  Ever since graduating in 2009, I’ve (on almost a daily basis) thought about the mountain of debt I incurred.  Since graduating, I interviewed for job after job with no success. 

Many of my faithful readers know what happened next:  social media.  I was fortunate enough to meet Chris Dessi and Rachel Strella and they inspired me to begin a new chapter in my life.  This chapter helped me achieve my new goal, becoming a college professor.  Because of my hard work and perseverance, I am now able to wake up in the morning and be happy with my job, something that I couldn’t say even last year.

Next TNA Social Media Manager?  I say yes!

The Next Impact Wrestling Social Media Manager? I say yes!

 

 

Which brings me to my good friend, Daniel Hooven.  He now has an opportunity to interview with Impact Wrestling to be their Social Media Manager, a position that would be another “dream” job for me, but the next step in a future for Mr. Hooven.  I truly wish him the best of luck in the interview process, but keep in mind Daniel, that just because this door may not open, that doesn’t mean all is lost.  To be honest, I don’t see any way that he doesn’t get this job.  He is intelligent about social media and the second screen, knowledgable about wrestling and how to promote it and an amazing speaker.  If they don’t hire you, they may as well bring Hogan back to be their champion.

So Dan, I wish you the best in your interview, but remember the best things come to those who wait.  Is this your time? #HireHim

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@kollisionmedia.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b

The following piece will help you understand how to write an effective blog piece as well as how to build a following, maintain an audience and grasp writing in the digital age.

In today’s present job landscape, blogging is one of the greatest things you can do to leverage your position as a potential job candidate.  There are several reasons why this is the case.  When you apply for a job, often times you are in a battle with tens to possibly thousands of other people vying for that same position.  Blogging is one way that you can take the upper-hand over many of your “opponents”.  It is a way for you to be seen as an expert in your field, but also allows possible employers to see that you are willing to go above and beyond.  Most people are not forced to blog; they do it because they like to write about certain topics.

Starting a blog is easy.  There are numerous free blog-hosting sites at your disposal (Hubpages, WordPress, Blogger.com, etc.).  Take the time to research each and determine which is the best option for your future blog.  When you choose a site, get to know the tools available to you.

Once you have chosen a site, you should think of a topic(s) that you want to write about.  For college students, something specifically related to your field of study will not only help when it comes time to search for a career, but also add an excellent section to your resume.  If you are looking for inspiration, refer to people who you look up to in your field for ideas.  Often your professors can help point you in the right direction by giving you a list of topics. 

Understand that it is critical to blog about things that are important to you because you should never look at blogging as a chore.  You want to sound excited and offer your readers something of value.  Don’t rehash articles you read; try to create a fresh and unique perspective.  Reach out to your network for help, as most people are extremely interested in helping you succeed.  When starting out, try to keep a common focus.  While branching out is okay sometimes, your readers will begin to expect certain things from you.  Veering too far off topic may be more detrimental than beneficial.

Consistency is one of the most important things about blogging.  As you build your readership, your audience will begin to expect posts from you.  Your first piece that you write should introduce yourself, your focus and your frequency.  If you think that you would like to blog weekly, tell your audience.  If that is too much of a commitment, try bi-weekly or monthly.  You don’t need to add stress to yourself by having to constantly create content, and you always want to make sure that what you are saying is relevant.

After writing your blog, share the link on your social media channels.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the feedback that you get almost immediately!  Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are some of the best and easiest ways to drive traffic to your new blog. 

Another way to drive traffic to your blog is by posting in LinkedIn groups.  If you are writing a blog about a specific topic, find a LinkedIn group that is similar to that topic.  For example, if your piece is about social media for small business, look for a small business owners group or a social media marketing group.  You can quickly make a post to the group discussing what your blog is about and why the user should go to your post and learn more.  This can be a way to bring people from out of your network to your blog, but also a way to add new influencers to your network.

I would highly encourage anyone to start a blog.  If you are a student, blogging can help by putting you above other applicants after graduation and give you an added aspect on your resume.  If you are someone looking for work, blogging can help potential employers see you as an expert in your field.  If you are someone happily in a career, blogs can help enhance your standing as an authority figure to your peers.

Here is a blog start-up check list:

1. Research Blogging Sites

2. Formulate a Topic

3. Determine the Frequency of Your Posts

4. Write/Edit/Revise your Post

5. Post the Link on Your Social Media Channels including LinkedIn Groups

6. Revise Your Strategy Constantly

7. Repeat steps 4 – 6

Good Luck!

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@kollisionmedia.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

Over the last few months, I’ve finally had some good fortune come my way.  The opportunity to be an Adjunct Communications Professor at Central Penn College has been an amazing experience thus far.  I hold out hope that I will continue to teach there for many terms to come.

There are some things, however, that have been challenging to me.

1) Social Media is the way young people communicate.

While I am far from a social media expert, I still think that my level of social media knowledge is much higher than the average individual.  I’ve been running successful social media campaigns for all of my clients over the past year and have an increasing presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  That being said, I can help businesses, but can I help the students learn more about social media?  Every Communications class should have some form of discussion about social media and how these Communications students can and will use social media in their future jobs.

2) Teaching Communications classes is challenging due to the constant stream of new technology.

The book that I’m using to teach my class is called Media Programming:  Strategies and Practices.  While it does a wonderful job being current and even has an online portal for constantly updated information, the field of communications technology is constantly changing and will continue to do so.  It is certainly my responsibility to stay current on things that could impact not only my class but the communications field in general.

3) My College Classes included no Social Media instruction.  I will not make that mistake as a professor.

Looking back at my time (specifically at Shippensburg University) in college, I quickly realized that not one of my professors ever mentioned social media, even in passing.  Granted, I graduated in 2009 when Social Media was just beginning to become relevent, but I still look at it as a disservice to my education.  Everything that I know about social media I learned myself, being very fortunate along the way to meet two amazing Social Media professionals, Chris Dessi and Rachel Strella.  Even though my current class has no mention of social media anywhere in the course description, relating social media to the subjects we discuss in class will help the students understand how important it is to the field of communications.

4) Colleges and Universities must be proactive when teaching social media.

Just because college-aged students have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts doesn’t mean that a) they know to use it properly and effectively and b) understand how important social media is in finding a job or c) how leveraging social media will directly impact their future career.

Central Penn College does a fantastic job understanding the importance and value of social media and how we as professors must integrate social media discussion within our classes.  I look for many colleges and universities to expand classes to include social media related courses for students.

I am proud to be the new Social Media Editor of Henchmen’s Wing Sauces.  I recently began a Facebook Fan Page (http://www.facebook.com/HenchmensSauces) and a Twitter Handle (@HenchmensSauces) to help begin a social media strategy for this emerging company.  Help us spread the word about these new pages and expect the latest news, events and recipes from Henchmen’s Wing Sauces!

At Henchmen’s Sauces, the quality is the most important thing that goes in to each bottle of sauce.  I recently sat down with Blaine and Keith Hench to discuss their new venture, bottling their sauces and getting them out to the public.

- How did you get started with Henchmen’s Wing Sauces?

Henchmen’s Wing Sauces began when we worked at our family restaurant for 26 years, Ye Olde Ale House.  We were one of the first establishments in the Harrisburg area to not only serve wings, but make our own hot sauce (as well as many other sauces) to use on these wings.  It took us quite some time, almost a year, to perfect our signature hot wing sauce.  We then began experimenting with a variety of other sauces, which we look forward to bottling in the future. After our family decided that the restaurant would no longer operate, our first mission was to bottle our famous wing sauce.

 For a brief history of the “Buffalo” Wing, go to this blog piece from Smithsonian.com (http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/food/2013/02/a-brief-history-of-the-buffalo-chicken-wing/)

 - What awards have you won?

Ye Olde Ale House and Henchmen’s Sauces only entered three different competitions over the years.  Our first competition was the establishment formerly known as Wanda’s.  Not only was in an awesome experience where we got to meet a lot of our fans and new potential customers, we actually won the competition.  That allowed us to travel to the state competition in Altoona at the Altoona Curve’s Stadium.  This was a much different set-up as opposed to what we had already entered.  First of all, it was a 2-week competition.  Week 1 we were able to set-up wherever we could find a spot within the stadium.  This week was amazing for us!  We fared very well, getting a lot of positive feedback from new and old fans alike.  Even the 2-Time Defending Champion actually told us that our wings were better than his were!

From the high we left week 1 with, was the low that we left week 2 with.  In the finals they lined us up in alphabetical order starting at the entrance of the park. Needless to say with a name of Ye Olde Ale House, we were at the end of the line and sat empty for the first 2 hours. After it was over, we had people telling us that we deserved to win and it was not fair the way they had it set up. At the end of the day, we were proud of our product and learned from the experience.

Now that we have our sauce bottled, we are currently looking into new competitions to enter.  We are considering the Scovie Awards, the Fiery Food Challenge and other local and national competitions to enhance our brand.

Keith and Blaine labeling their sauces for distribution.

Keith and Blaine labeling their sauces for distribution.

- Where are your sauces sold?

Right now our sauce is available at John Gross and Company (http://www.gross-ery.com/) in Mechanicsburg and also through Flavor Palooza (http://www.facebook.com/FlavorPAlooza). We are currently trying to get it into Karn’s, Weis and other local retailers.  Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time, effort and energy to get into established retail markets that would help us expand.  Until then, we have to make sure we find every avenue to get our sauce from warehouse to kitchen table.

 - How did you get involved with FlavorPAlooza? How is your experience with them?

We were contacted by Dan through a mutual friend who has done all of our art work. We have only been doing business with Flavor Palooza for a short while but it has been amazing.  To have Dan and FlavorPAlooza reach audiences that we would not typically be able to reach is truly helpful.  But beyond that, Dan represents similar ideologies as Henchmen’s Sauces; a small, local business that focuses on quality and is made in small batches.  We will be sure to announce on our new Facebook page when and where FlavorPAlooza will be so our fans will always be stocked up with Henchmen’s Wing Sauce.

FlavorPAlooza's Business Card designed by KollisionMedia

FlavorPAlooza’s Business Card designed by KollisionMedia

 - How is your sauce better than the average hot sauce?

The one thing that stands out about our sauce is the combination of flavor and heat.  A majority of corporate hot sauces are hot just to be hot and don’t supply flavor to add to the wing.  Henchmen’s Wing Sauce is the perfect combination of flavor and heat.  But beyond that, our sauce is very versatile and can be used on just about anything.  It can also be used as an outstanding base to build many other sauces from.  We actually have a variety of sauces that we are looking to bottle in the future, once our signature sauce takes off like we know it will.

 - What does the future hold for Henchmen Wing Sauce?

We would like to think big and say it will someday be worldwide. This is a sauce that we are very passionate about. When you make something that you know is better than any other sauce out there, everyone anywhere should have a chance to experience the fully flavored hot sauce that we provide.  As we mentioned above, we are seriously looking into local, regional and national competitions to get Henchmen’s Sauces the recognition we deserve.

 - Is there anything else you would like to mention that we haven’t covered?

We are two brothers who have poured their hearts and souls into a product that we believe is the best on the market. When you believe in something that strongly you need to share it with the world!

Keep up with Henchmen’s Wing Sauces at their new Facebook page and Twitter Feed.

Henchmen’s Sauces Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HenchmensSauces

Twitter Feed:  @HenchmensSauces

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@kollisionmedia.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

Facebook is rolling out its new Newsfeed on the web today and on mobile in the coming weeks.  What new features can we expect?  How does this change things?

The main point Facebook tried to hammer across in todays’ Press Conference is how they are making the social networking site a “personalized newspaper” that is evolving with our needs.  When Facebook started Newsfeed, the interface was not as visual as it is now.  Most people have “little cameras in their pocket” that allow us to take and share photos of the things around us.  They promise that the interface will be more visual and engaging, with a larger area for Newsfeed, larger photos, expanded articles and so on.

Another unique feature they will be adding is a choice of feeds.  Users will have a friends feed, a photos feed, a music feed, and a business feed all in chronological order.  The feeds will be organized based on the frequency you use them as well.  They are also rolling out a major photo album facelift, allowing friends to see more of what we do and take photos of.  Articles will have an expanded section, with larger photos, more detailed descriptions and a more prominent title area.  This will be even more pronounced if you have multiple friends that share the same story.

Check-in’s to Facebook will be more visual and include a larger description of where you are and a map detailing the geography in the region.  They also promise to make 3rd party apps (Pinterest and Instagram were their examples) receive more coverage in your Newsfeed.  They want to wrap-up each day’s news for you from people and places that you like and follow and promise to give us ample coverage of important events, based on how many of your friends share similar stories.

One thing that was not covered whatsoever in the press conference was what all this means for Businesses that do a majority of social media marketing on Facebook.  While all of this honestly sounds fun and interesting on a personal level, it is my responsibility to understand repercussions for the businesses I represent.  Many of these small businesses do not have the time or will to understand the nuances of Facebook, which is why they turn to me for advice and guidance.  It will take time for myself and other social media professionals to digest these changes and develop (or edit) new or existing strategies to make sure our messages are seen by the most people.

At the end of all of this, engagement will still be key.  I do not believe people will see what you post as much if they don’t engage with what you are saying.  Generating new, fun and unique content will allow more users to see your posts and help them develop into brand advocates.  It remains to be seen how these new features will change the Facebook for Business landscape, but on a personal level, this update seems to have appeal to the masses.

For more information about the updated News Feed:  http://www.facebookstudio.com/news/item/a-new-look-for-news-feed

 

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@kollisionmedia.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

I recently became Social Media Editor of Top Secret Gourmets, one of the most decorated Spice and Rub companies in Pennsylvania. Owners Larry Sayre and Cory Lauer were kind enough to do an interview for my blog.  Top Secret Gourmets promised to do a recipe contest when they reached 100 Likes on Facebook and have recently reached that goal.

What are the rules for the contest and what prizes will be awarded?

The contest is simple, send a recipe using any of the Top Secret Gourmet products in your cooking.  We will cook the recipes and determine which ones we like best.  To enter, simply post the recipe to our wall at http://www.facebook.com/TopSecretGourmets and when we receive 20 recipes, we will declare a winner.  1st place will receive 3 bottles of choice, 2nd place will receive 2 bottles and 3rd place will receive 1 bottle.  The only stipulations are that each person may only submit one recipe and you must Like our Facebook page.

You have said about the potential of online ordering at topsecretgourmets.com. How close is this to happening? What issues have arisen during this process?

We got the informational part of the site up about a year ago. We have the storefront almost finished with just a few odds & ends left. As long as there are no last-minute glitches we hope to have it running by the beginning of March.  There are always technical issues that always come up that are out of our hands. We also have to take into account that we must have enough inventory in place to get started. It’s a good problem to have, but we are constantly updating our awards and now have new product to add as well.

TSGBack

Your newest spice Pirate’s Gold  has been out in large bottles for a short time. When will the artwork be done? When will small bottles be available?

Pirate’s Gold is a mustard based spice that we are very excited about adding to our line of award-winning spices.  A lot of the artwork will be done in a few more weeks. Then, there is the process of getting the new artwork  labels designed for the first time. That takes an additional 3 to 4 weeks. We are hoping to have Pirates Gold out in small bottles by the middle of April. We may also have a Pirate’s Gold Mustard in the works down the line.

You have recently partnered with FlavorPALooza (http://www.facebook.com/FlavorPALooza), a small business focusing on selling other small batch spices and condiments. How did this come about? What are the advantages of having him sell your spices?

4) Our partnership with FlavorPALooza is one that came about out of necessity.  While we have an excellent client base currently, Top Secret Gourmets does not have the resources to hire a salesman.  By working with FlavorPALooza, we have someone knowledgeable and respected in the field selling our products where we can’t be. It has the opportunity to  get our product into a new variety of customers’ hands.

What does the future of Top Secret Gourmets hold beyond what we have discussed? What can your fans be looking forward to?

5) The future is simple. We want to concentrate on what we do great, high quality products with a twist. We don’t cut corners and it shows in the end results. You get what you pay for. We want to concentrate on getting our products out to more people, both on the wholesale & retail levels. We don’t want to get away from what has made our name or our products special. We believe all our products are unique in that they don’t taste similar, yet they are similar in that they all hit the taste buds from the different angles. We don’t want to stray away too far from what we do because that’s when you lose focus. We do plan on eventually venturing back into our Secret Sugars and may also try our hand at BBQ Sauces, Mustards, Hot Sauces, & Marinades.  The only way we go this route is if we can do it exactly like our spices, high quality, unique, with a twist.

Top Secret Gourmets has won a tremendous amount of awards, with all 9 of the spices winning at least one award and many of them winning multiple awards.  For more information about these awards:  http://topsecretgourmets.com/awards

I would like to personally thank Larry and Cory for their time regarding this interview.  These two are some of the most creative people in their industry and look to be destined for stardom.  Check out some of the links and give their spices a try!

Official Page:  http://topsecretgourmets.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/TopSecretGourmets

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/TSGourmets

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@kollisionmedia.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

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