#GramTHELOVE❤️️

I don’t know about your thoughts on the matter, but my social media feeds have been kind of depressing lately. It seems like there’s no escape from the negativity and opinions surrounding the volatile political climate that’s dividing our nation and the world. While I could sit here all day and go on about the issues that I’m passionate about and share my political views, I’m not going to. That’s not to say they aren’t important or valid, but for me it’s time to shift gears because I just can’t take it anymore!

SO I’m choosing to use my social media platform to share some LOVE leading up to Valentine’s Day and I hope you’ll join me! The idea is very simple. Take a picture that conveys or invokes a feeling of LOVE, and ‘gram it between now and Valentine’s Day.  Tag the photo with #GramTHELOVE❤️️, maybe write a short caption that tells the story of your image, and let’s hope the trend catches on! I still believe that love trumps hate in the end…

Head on over to my Media Melanie Instagram to see my LOVING posts leading up to Valentine’s Day! Who knows, maybe I’ll even give one lucky ‘grammer a special prize…

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Evaluating Your 2016 Social Media Marketing

At the end of each year, it is important to reflect and take stock of what we have done and accomplished. This is important in all aspects of our lives, our businesses and our marketing efforts. Reflecting and evaluating helps us to improve and grow our businesses and operations.

It can be overwhelming to evaluate and measure everything at once, so today we recommend taking a moment before you dive into 2017 to take stock of your creative social media marketing. It’s time to see how CRAFTY you’ve been…

Three steps when evaluating

1. Review all social media posts
Questions to consider as you review your social media posts on all of your platforms:

How many of your posts are creative?

How many are information only?

Which posts received the most engagement?

What days and times were your most successful posts made?

Which posts spurred the most customer transactions?

Which month or months of the year did your social media receive the most attention?

Use Google Analytics, in-app social insights (how nice is it to have Instagram analytics now) and third-party social measurement tools to your advantage and let the numbers speak for themselves.

2. Be ruthless
Look at your social media marketing honestly. If your engagement and transaction numbers are low, be honest with yourself. Review your content, your post timing, and the responses (or lack thereof) from your audiences. Social media marketing can be challenging, but be willing to adapt and experiment to discover what works for your brand, while also keeping in mind that what works for one brand may not work for another.

3. Ask for help
After you evaluate your social media content from the year, think about what you have learned and how you can improve. Do you know what do to next? If the answer to this is “no,” then it is time to seek help. It is not always easy to see where you are making mistakes or areas in which you could grow, and this is where a professional can help! Media Melanie offers a variety of social media and online marketing tactics to grow your social following, increase engagement, monitor your brand, and craft imaginative and inspirational content that will get noticed.

Next, set three strategic goals to improve your creative social media marketing and implement those within the first quarter of 2017. I recommend these:

1. Feed your brain creative content each morning
If you want to produce creative social media content, you must consume good creative ideas! Set aside 20 minutes each morning to read literature, learn how to draw, or listen to a TED Talk. Exercising your creative muscles is essential to your success.

2. Follow creative social media accounts
Let others inspire what you do! Find social media accounts that have brands that you respect and admire and that are also successful at engaging their audiences.

3. Experiment
Try different types of posts, use different language or switch up the times that you post. Sometimes you never know what will resonate most with your audience.


I hope that these tips inspire you and help you improve your marketing efforts. Best of luck with your social media marketing in 2017!

Social Media Revolution

This is some pretty powerful stuff, and the numbers are changing daily. If you aren’t yet harnessing the power of social media for your business, what are you waiting for? Contact me today for a complimentary social media audit. If video is what you need, Media Melanie can help with that too.

Post Something REAL

Do you compare your life to friends and celebrities who post perfectly polished (read: often contrived, filtered, edited) photos on Facebook or Instagram? In today’s day and age, social media can play a big part in self esteem. We see those “perfect” digital lives cross our newsfeeds and sometimes put them on a pedestal. “Facebook — when used as a surveillance device — leads to a greater risk of feelings of envy. And the more those feelings of envy increase, the more likely it is for a person to start feeling depressed.” —PsychCentral.

When we start feeling these moments of envy, it’s important to remind ourselves that not everything is as it seems. Just because it might look like it on Facebook, life isn’t all unicorns and butterflies for everyone else. The grass ain’t always greener. There’s always more behind the scenes. Life is real, it’s messy. It’s a sink full of dirty dishes from the night before, a toddler temper tantrum in the middle of the grocery store, spilling an entire cup of coffee all over yourself while driving, a broken dryer and piles of laundry around the house, or dropping your iPhone into the toilet or a glass of water.

Social media has the unique power to teach us things that we didn’t even know we wanted to learn about, so don’t waste your time focusing on other people. Focus on yourself! Learn something. Grow. Connect. Most importantly: KEEP IT REAL. It’s great to put your best face (selfie) forward, but try to unleash your inner self once in awhile. It feels good to let it out.

Here is my challenge to you: #PostSomethingREAL. Be creative…go beyond a #nofilter #nomakeup selfie. Really dig deep. Don’t be embarrassed. Let people know that you’re not perfect. What’s the worst that can happen? I’ll be posting mine this week…

#postsomethingreal media melanie

Production Crewing in San Diego

I love what I do. There is definitely truth to Confucius’ saying, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to see my name in “the words” as I used to call them before I knew they were actually called credits.

My wish finally came true. After spending a few years as Production Manager for a San Diego ad agency, I earned my first two official TV show credits on ESPN’s Homecoming with Rick Reilly featuring Tony Hawk, and from 4 episodes of What Not to Wear, TLC’s longest running primetime series and one of the longest running makeover shows in television history.

One of my production credits from Season 8 of "What Not to Wear." The show's final episode airs in October 2013.

One of my production credits from Season 8 of “What Not to Wear.” The show’s final episode airs in October 2013.

Since then, I’ve started my own Social Media & Web Marketing business and have worked as a freelancer on a number of TV commercials, promos, web videos, a documentary, and am currently part of an Effie Award-Winning campaign as the Field Producer (and Casting) for Walmart’s TV commercials in San Diego (The Effies are the advertising equivalent of the Oscars to motion pictures). Click here to watch one of the compilation videos on Walmart’s YouTube channel.

Click on the photo to watch these compilation videos on Walmart's YouTube channel.

Earlier this summer, the San Diego Film Commission closed its doors. While I am by no means equipped to offer anywhere near the scope of services that the 38-year old organization (who will be dearly missed) did, I can still alleviate some of the burden on productions coming to shoot in San Diego. When you hire Media Melanie to crew a production, you’re getting the piece of mind that comes with the knowledge of an experienced producer with extensive local contacts for equipment rentals, crew services, casting, and more.

I’ve worn many hats in the production arena:

  • Media Traffic Coordinator
  • Production Assistant (PA)
  • Wardrobe Assistant
  • Office PA
  • Production Coordinator
  • Production Manager
  • Casting Producer
  • Field Producer
  • Producer

One of the things that all of these roles have in common is knowing who to call for what. Need a jib? I’ve got you covered! What about a camera package? Exceptional DP? Editor? Hair & Make-up Artist? Wardrobe? Eager PAs? Craft Services? You name it, I will make it happen.

Interested in learning more? Contact me today!

Shopping for Flooring in a Sequin Dress

While watching daytime TV today waiting to see the commercial I just produced, I couldn’t help but notice what the talent was wearing on a local business’ ad. If you look closely at the photo below, you’ll see a handful of young people adorned in some very interesting outfits. It made me wonder who was behind the choice of wardrobe. If I had to guess, I’d say the client.

A good TV producer should always provide input on wardrobe when shooting a commercial.

Shopping for flooring in a sequin dress.

Wardrobe Matters

I’ve worked in the TV production industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I’ve had quite a bit of experience with wardrobe. When I worked as Production Manager at a San Diego ad agency, one of my duties was purchasing wardrobe for talent. A couple of years later, I was a freelance Wardrobe Assistant on a McDonald’s commercial, and have since dealt with wardrobe on various spots I’ve produced. While I may not be the most stylish person in my own wardrobe choices, I know what looks good on camera. The strapless striped dress, sequin dress, formal dress with a big pink bow, and the other outfits pictured above are the opposite of what I would have chosen. I wonder if other people watching the same ad had a similar reaction, because my first and immediate thought when the commercial came on TV was, “Seriously? They are really wearing that?”

Image vs. Authenticity

When making a TV commercial, it’s important to tell an authentic story while also maintaining the right image, whether that image is classy, casual, family oriented, value driven, or whatever. I have a few theories as to why the business chose the talent and wardrobe they did for this particular commercial.

Perhaps they wanted to reach a high-end demographic. If that was the case, they should have used older talent who potential customers can relate to, and then in turn dressed them in clothing that they would actually wear when shopping for flooring (MAYBE a notch above that). That being said, they should also consider a different media buy because this commercial aired during a pretty trashy daytime talk show that I wouldn’t normally watch.

Maybe the business wanted to showcase family in the commercial to promote family values. I get that! But putting them in clothing more appropriate in church or at a school dance doesn’t really make sense. Dressing up is always fun and it has its place, but not in this particular TV commercial.

A Keen Eye

This commercial wasn’t very high-budget, so there was probably no wardrobe supervisor or stylist to purchase wardrobe options ahead of time. I’m wondering who gave the talent wardrobe guidelines (my guess is the client) and who was responsible for letting them go on camera this way (ultimately everyone on set). I would think that the hair and make-up person would have said something to someone, or at least the Director and/or Producer could have suggested a quick trip home to change clothes or to Target to buy some casual options. Or perhaps everybody thought it was just fine, which is the most alarming scenario.

When I work on a commercial, I always ask the talent to bring options with them. It never hurts. Or, on higher-budget jobs, there’s a wardrobe person or stylist who is responsible for purchasing plenty of appropriate options. Either way, there should always be at least one set of eyes on every little detail, ESPECIALLY wardrobe, before saying ACTION! A good TV producer should always provide input on wardrobe when shooting a commercial. There is a way to find compromise with what the client wants and what will produce a quality finished product. It’s all about how you say it!

Speaking of wardrobe picks, there’s the whole “Wardrobe Malfunction” category with TV in general…YIKES! I’m not even going there…but you can read about it here. Have you noticed any commercials with a ridiculous choice of wardrobe? Or am I the only one paying attention to things like this? Tell me!

Need professional video production services for your business, please contact Media Melanie today!

Casting Call for San Diego Moms

Are you a FUN and UPBEAT mom who loves to save money? Would you like to participate in a shopping challenge that may be featured in a local commercial for a national retailer?

I’m looking for REAL MOMS (no actors) ages 28-45 in the SAN DIEGO AREA.

If interested, please submit the following information to mediamelanie@gmail.com with “CASTING” in the subject line:

  1. Name, age, kids/ages, city, occupation (or former occupation if unemployed), phone number and email address
  2. List the three stores you shop at most for groceries, household items, health & beauty, etc.
  3. Include a recent photo

If you fit the criteria, I will contact you to set-up a day/time to create a short casting video.

There will be multiple shoot dates throughout the year.

Please pass this along to your mom friends & family: https://www.facebook.com/notes/media-melanie/casting-call-for-san-diego-moms/10151385637207667

 

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Social Media Contests and Giveaways

I’ve Been Feeling Lucky!

I’m a sucker for contests and giveaways, especially when they involve social media. When I was a kid I used to win grocery store raffles, event prizes and all kinds of random things – bikes, TVs, a video camera, savings bonds… For awhile I thought I had “used up” my lucky streak, but now I’m feeling it again and am just waiting for my next big win.

Not only do I enter to win a number of different online contests, but also I manage and promote them for my clients as part of my social media consulting services. Facebook giveaways and Pinterest contests are great way to grow “likes” and engage fans online. With the right tools and marketing strategy, a social media contest can work wonders for a company or brand!

I recently created a “Contests & Giveaways” Pinterest board to share some of these giveaways with my friends/followers. It’s a great way to put all of my entries into one spot for easy access, especially since many contests allow for daily entry by somehow engaging with the website or blog sponsoring the giveaway. For instance, if you tweet about a contest each day you can sometimes earn extra entries. Being a new mom (check out my Mama Melanie blog), the majority of the contests and giveaways that I enter are baby-related.

My Pinterest Board

My Chance to Win $1 Million?

But then there are the “big dogs.” I heard about the Lay’s Potato Chips “Do Us A Flavor” contest on a TV commercial in July and then saw it gain momentum online.

This contest is the ultimate crowd-sourcing activity, a method of turning consumers into brand advocates. In this case, Lay’s is inviting America to craft their own original potato chip flavors for a chance to win $1,000,000 OR 1% of the potato chip sales generated from the winning flavor over the period of one year. Entrants will be judged on (a) 30% Original and creative; (b) 30% Simple, straightforward and fun; (c) 40% Potential for delicious flavor for LAY’S potato chips. 

Chef Michael Simon and Eva Longoria are the faces of the contest

The three Finalist Flavors as selected by Lay’s judges will be developed and produced as a limited time offering on or around February 10, 2013. America will then vote for the winner using an “I’d Eat That” button instead of the traditional “Like” button on Facebook. In addition to the grand prize, 2 runners-up will win $50,000 each; there are also daily winners during the contest period who will receive $50 each.

I immediately took to Facebook to start creating my own original flavors

Lay’s (known as “Walker’s” in other countries), ran the same contest in other countries. Some of the past winning flavors include: Pickled Cucumber in Serbia, Caesar-salad-flavored chips in Australia and sausage-flavored chips in Poland.

“Builder’s Breakfast” was the winner in the UK version of the contest

The submission period ends on October 6th and the winner will be announced around January 15, 2013. For more information on the contest, read the official “Rules and Regulations” or visit the “Do Us A Flavor” App on Facebook.

What flavors have you created? Share them in the comments below!