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Get to know the hilarious, hard-working, and creative individuals that make up the Creative Consulting family one blog at a time.
Hello, Summerville! Welcome back to the blog writer's desk! Our whole team hopes this blog finds you happy and well where ever you might be. I personally hope that you are relaxing somewhere comfortable, with a view from your favorite spot in your home, or sitting in one of your favorite places in our beautiful town of Summerville. Even though we've had a lot of rain recently, it's helping keep the grass greener longer - and have you been paying attention to the clouds when these storms roll in? There is always a set of silver linings with every season, and through this tumultuous year, I have personally been trying to find as many as possible. What have you been doing this week to find your silver linings? Sometimes it's hard to do that, I understand. When it's hard to do that in my personal life, I try to focus on the silver linings in my day to day work life. One of the biggest ones is that Creative Consulting has been such a constant through a year that you can't count on what might happen in a few minutes, let alone a few days. I have never been more thankful to work for a company that can be just as successful when we are working in the office as we are remote. Thanks to the wonders of Google Meetings, Email, and Hubspot (if you don't know what that is - it's an incredible tool for your company, so look it up!) we were able to adjust quickly to our first shut down. Once we were back in the office, it was like we had just seen one another the day before. That comes with working with such a great team. Being supportive, helpful, and available to one another has also made this year so successful. My silver lining this week is having the chance to go to work, work with such a great group of people, and continue the forward motion in the growth of Creative Consulting.
Welcome back as well to our second to last (gasp!) team feature. Thank you, dear readers, for following along with this journey. While I only have four more blogs left to write for Creative in what's left of 2020, I am excited to come up with my next blog series for 2021. Make sure to enjoy these last few blogs and check-in with what wonderful things will appear next year. I have already started to brainstorm, and I am getting so excited. This spotlight is very unique because I have the pleasure to introduce you to an amazing team member who virtually started the same day that I did. We were both originally hired to be content creators for all of the social media clients, the only difference between the two of us is that she had more social media clients while I had some social media clients and all of my blog clients. I look back and think about those first few weeks we spent together; helping train one another, our first few Monday morning team meetings, and our first Creative birthday. We might have been working together and for Creative for five or six weeks, and we were already helping set up Creative's 5-year birthday party. It was such a whirlwind; we were meeting people who had supported and cared for creative since the very beginning, meeting some of our clients face to face and the FOOD was amazing. That was my first true introduction to the incredible food and sweets that are made right here in Summerville, and even now almost a year and a half after that party, I still look back and crave the finger food and the personalized cookies we nibbled on that night. What is so special about this young woman, is that from the moment we started working with one another, we formed an instant friendship. We started as easy-going coworkers who loved having their desks right next to each other. Now, we have formed a deep bond and friendship that I wouldn't trade for the world.
It is my honor to introduce you to Rebekah McCubbins, the other half of the content creation team. Together with Kelsay, they make sure that hundreds of content posts go out every month. She is incredibly passionate about what she does, about her community, and her family and friends. I feel like every time Rebekah and I work together, she is teaching me about something incredibly important happening in the world, in pop culture, or telling me about an incredible recipe she made for her and her husband the other night. (I am still hoping to try her chickpea curry someday soon!). I love learning about new music, new artists, new companies, new restaurants from her. She is always five steps ahead of me in knowing the coolest and latest trends, and I am so thankful that she keeps me hip and cool. She is also just an incredible source of joy, putting the two of us together can be dangerous - especially during our Monday meetings. You get us going and we can interrupt and pause a meeting in a fit of giggles. I have loved working next to her from our very first days of work. A day hasn't gone by where she didn't ask or offer her support or help before she left for the day, checked in with how I was doing, or asked about what projects I am working on. Get yourself a co-worker who loves and cares as Rebekah does, and you'll understand how lucky you are once you do! Let's meet Rebekah, shall we?
How long have you been working at CC:
A little over a year!
How did you hear about the positions:
I stumbled across the position on Facebook and filled out the application. I didn't think I would get an interview, and I definitely didn't expect to get the position!
What do you do for CC:
I write social media content and manage the social media accounts for some of our clients.
What is your favorite part about working for CC:
Collaborating with the most talented people! Everyone here blows me away daily with their creativity.
What have you learned since you worked at CC:
It sounds cliché, but I feel like I learn something new every day. I think the biggest thing is that Stephen and Meg have been super transparent about the business side of CC, and that has allowed me to learn so much about business!
What is your favorite part of your workday at CC:
Any time that I get to collaborate with the amazing creatives I work with! Everyone here at CC is so sweet and so talented, and I love working with them.
Favorite memory at CC so far:
A little while after I started at CC, we hosted a 5th-anniversary party for the company. It was such a fun time! I got to know my still-new coworkers better and met some of the incredible business owners from around the Lowcountry.
Favorite Summerville Small Business (besides CC):
There are so many! I love the chai latte and baked goods at Coastal Coffee, the candles at ETC, and the macarons at Swank!
What is your educational background:
I majored in English and History and minored in Religion. I finished my Bachelor's degree at UofSC in 2019, and I plan to continue my education in English and get my doctorate in the future.
What are your hobbies:
Reading, Cooking, Embroidery, and Video Games!
What is your favorite book, color, song, movie:
Book: I've read so many that it's impossible to narrow it down to one, but a book I recently finished and loved is The Weight of This World by David Joy. It is a beautiful, haunting story that sheds a light on the reality of poverty in the South. I highly recommend his books!
Movie: V for Vendetta, The Princess Bride, and The Devil Wears Prada are all amazing, and I've recently become obsessed with Midsommar and The Day Shall Come!
Song: Right now I really love Water Me by Lizzo, but there are truly way too many I love!
I was homeschooled all the way until I got to college.
I am currently working on a set of small embroideries of sushi.
I have strong opinions about practically everything, especially the Oxford comma.
Thai food, soul food, and sushi!
Favorite Restaurant in Charleston/Summerville:
I love Pad Thai 1. They're right around the corner from our office, they're so sweet, and the food is delicious. I also recently discovered Alicia's Soul Food, which makes the BEST mac and cheese I've ever tasted!
Favorite things to do in Charleston/Summerville:
Shop, eat, and spend time with family and friends!
Reading this interview, you can just feel Rebekah's kindness, good heart, and passion. Reading back through this, it was even more of a walk down memory lane. Ironically, she and I had very similar experiences with our applications and first interviews. We both applied on Facebook and didn't think we'd get an interview. With my background in performing, I am so used to sending in my resume and information and not hearing back, so that's kind of what I expected. Thankfully, Stephen and Meg had a much different plan for both of us. We were also both so convinced that we tanked our interviews, but Meg and Stephen had a different idea about that as well, thank goodness! I am so excited to see what other incredible things Rebekah is going to do with her time working with Creative and in every venture of her life. Spoiler alert, I have seen sneak previews of her sushi embroideries, and they will make you crave a California roll they're just so incredible! Many thanks to Rebekah for taking the time for letting me interview her, and for sharing these wonderful insights about her and her time with Creative. I have loved sharing this with all of you. Coming up in December, readers, you will get to read the last team feature (until new team members join us!), which will be the blog writer's interviewer herself! Until next time Summerville, find the silver lining in your life, and stay caffeinated!
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Chatrooms and Instant Messanger dominated the early years of the internet and created some incredible connections. They also created some very dark and dangerous moments. With Facebook constantly evolving and the need for a connection with others becoming more important, are we seeing the rebirth of a safer forum space online?
Remember the very first time you joined Facebook? You were able to connect with your friends and family members as you were heading off to college, staying in touch with friends at the moment, or reconnection with friends and relatives you might not have seen in over thirty years. Facebook, despite its sometimes challenging marketing systems and the roadblocks it places on small businesses, can be an amazing tool. Through the pandemic, we have seen this even more so. While we were at home we were able to see the news, see our friends, shared truths, shared things that made us laugh, and shared things we believe in. There is a reason why Facebook is such a successful platform and why Mark Zuckerburg has become the businessman he is today. From its humble beginnings in 2004 when we were all friends with Tom Anderson (please look that up if you don't remember) to now employing over 48,000 people, the way Zuckerburg intended communities and gathers to appear has evolved into something much different than planned. In this blog, we will be discussing how Facebook groups could be bringing back the culture of forums, and if this is a positive thing or not.
Groups are something that has become such an integral part of Facebook, to not be included in one is strange. According to The Atlantic, more than 400 million Facebook users are involved in a group of some kind. This popularity has lead Mark Zuckerburg, the creator and founder of Facebook, to start focusing entirely on Facebook groups. His goal, reports The Atlantic, is to create a small network of communities that would be the equivalent of a "living room" letting you interact with anyone you want on the popular platform safely and privately. But, there is more to Facebook than just your traditional Facebook groups. There is also another very popular platform on Facebook, similar to groups, that is dominating its servers. This is called the tag group. You will see these tag groups appear as bold catchphrases or sayings that are tagged in the comments of any picture, post, or video on Facebook. These tag groups can be about or linked to any catchphrase, saying, or any idea possible. Once you join them, a tag group is similar to a subculture. It can be used in a positive way to combat ugliness found on Facebook and can bring you together with likeminded individuals. You can thank these tag groups for supplying you with tons of random memes, strongly opinionated posts, and videos from strangers that you might love seeing on your feed - or not! Facebook is home to thousands of these tag groups. Some view them as a great place to safely share your option, while others are now viewing them as new ways to be a bully, according to Intellectual Takeout.
Although you might not be a huge fan of some of the content that appears on your page when you purposefully or even accidentally join a tag group when you find one that's perfect, you find a welcomed escape from the internet world around you. You are seeing what you want to see, and you're able to share and talk about your options with other liked minded individuals, more often than not, in a very safe way. Does this ring a bell to you? Sounds like the early days of chat rooms and forums! You can use these groups to your advantage, tagging them in the comments of a post so those in your tag group can see it, providing a laugh or support from another group member to prove a point. According to The Atlantic, these tag groups offer a sense of comfort and can allow you to meet like-minded people in a safe zone, getting rid of the bad reputation that chat rooms carry when it comes to meeting people. They allow you to take comfort in knowing the bonds you're creating are with individuals who share a core understanding because you both go looking for the same things. It's what brought you to this group. Chat rooms are open ground for anyone to walk in and take advantage of someone because the only thing they have in common is the chat room they both logged into.
It looks like, even though the platform is very successful, Facebook is not connecting to the popularity of these tag groups. They aren't as supported as users might suspect them to be, especially since so many of the platform users are now apart of tag groups. Facebook has recently gone after meme tag groups for too much activity, making groups impossible to find or even deleting them. With such a huge part of the Facebook world being edited, affected, and changed - what could this mean for those who love these groups and have depended on them during the pandemic? We are also interested to see if these tag groups are going to be recognized as regular groups are if their popularity continues.
There is still another side to the tag group. As good as they might sound, you might want to take them with a grain of salt. As much as we love a great tag group that supports equal rights, funny animal pictures, and positive quotes to get your day started, there are just as many tag groups that support some very questionable, hateful, and potentially violent ideals as well. It's connecting people who believe in anything and everything. Could this be a positive thing? Is that why Facebook is wanting to create their own versions of groups and tame the rampant growth of tag groups? It looks like the future will be the one to decide that! What do you think? Do you feel that tag groups are harmless, annoying, or something that needs to be paid attention to? Comment below and let us know what you think!
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In our most recent blog posts, we've talked about the importance of why you should be using stories and live streaming in your company's workflow. This blog is going to be dedicated to actual tips on how to make these videos and what you need to be thinking about while you do!
We've made it to May, Summerville! Our quiet little town turned into a ghost town as the pandemic set it, but it is turning back into a vibrant and beautiful city as we all slowly open our doors again. We are so thankful to see so many of our fellow small businesses open their doors again and return to full operation. We know this has been a difficult time for our amazing town, but getting back to a sense of normal proves just how tough Summerville is! While we work to get back up to speed, we do encourage you to continue to stay safe and smart. We are still in this together!
Have you been playing with adding Facebook and Instagram videos into your workflow since we shared so much information on why you should be doing so in our last few blogs? Have you been even more daring and tried live streaming on either platform? Remember, now is the perfect time to use these tools to your advantage. You can stay in touch with your followers, keep them up to date with when you might be reopening, what safety precautions are going to be taken, what might be changing, and check-in them in real-time! This gives them a true sense of connection when they get to see the real you in a very real, not directed or perfectly edited, live video. Let them fall in love with all the reasons why they love your company and brand all over again! So, throw away your fears and worries that your videos or live streams won't look right, that they won't look good enough, or you'll look funny. That will never be the case. You are a professional who is passionate about your company and brand. The rest just takes a little planning, practice, and care. Follow these tips and suggestions to make seamless and effortless Livestream videos that you will be proud of and will no longer dread doing them!
Livestreaming is accessible for everyone and is an incredible tool to connect you with your audience in seconds. You want to inform them, connect with them, and converse with them on a real human level. You need to put in a little work and practice before you press record, making sure that your phone is charged and that your mom's call won't disrupt the video. But if you follow these simple steps, your Livestream videos will be outstanding. Don't hesitate! We are starting to make moves towards some sort of normalcy, so get back to what you're good at - running your business! Use this tool to show off what you do best, and why you enjoy doing it. We are here for when you need us, Summerville! We are so impressed with your resiliency and are proud to be apart of the Summerville family. Stay safe and be well everyone!
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We promised more information on the importance and joys of adding Facebook Stories to your workflow, and so we are going to deliver!
Hello again, sweet Summerville! Welcome back. We hope you and yours are staying safe and healthy. Keep washing those hands and practicing social distancing! If you have the chance, we also encourage you to support local businesses as much as you can right now. So many of the staples we love that are Summerville through and through need your love and support. Get carry out, pick up some coffee, and visit your favorite local artist's websites or Etsy pages! Every little bit helps right now, and we encourage you to pay it forward. If you'd like some recommendations about some of our favorite local businesses, please don't hesitate to reach out to us! We have been enjoying our fair share of our favorite Summerville things thanks to delivery and pickup!
Now, let's jump back into some work. Our last blog kicked off our blog series discussing the importance of Facebook Stories. We just had so much to share - we couldn't limit it to just one post! Even though we are all smartly practicing social distancing, one of the many ways we can all stay connected is social media. We can stay close and remain in contact with as many people as our hearts desire thanks to social media. This is why it is so important. You can remind your audience that you're still here, you still care about how they're doing and that you and your company will still be here when all of this is finally over
YOUR CUSTOMERS; THEIR NEEDS
We've touched on the topic of customer experience and service multiple times throughout our blogs in the last few months. The importance placed upon it needs to become one of your top priorities. Good customer service is one of the top digital trends for 2020. How to listen and connect with your clients needs to evolve and grow over time. We love being heard, and we all love when our opinion is valued and listened to. Stories, videos, and going live on Facebook gives your client an in-person opportunity to give and voice their opinions. It opens up the floor to more of your followers to join in on the conversation and to agree and disagree with their peer's needs or opinions in a safe and productive environment. Take what your followers say to heart. If they aren't opinions or needs that you feel are in your companies best interest, that's ok. But acknowledging them means a lot to your customers. You can create images and stories to hype up announcements, new products, sales, and exciting events they can all attend - either online or hopefully soon, in person. When you go live on Facebook, you can see the comments your follows are making in real-time and you can physically respond to them. What an instant connection! You can answer questions, solve issues, express gratitude, and connect with your audience in real-time. This frees up time that you would be spending answering these questions and concerns via email or phone call, allowing you to get back to work.
Being consistent is an excellent tool in branding and leading a successful company. Being consistent creates a subconscious connection between you and your clients and a sense of safety and trust that they can depend on. But, that doesn't mean that everything you post has to be the same. This can draw more of your follows to check out other platforms that you run your social media on, and is another tool you can use to get your customers excited. For example, you might only make announcements about new products, deals, and giveaways on your Facebook stories. But, you hint on all of your social media platforms that to view and learn about these announcements you have to view it on Facebook stories. This can then bring your Instagram or other platform's audience to your Facebook page and vice versa. This is a great way to cross-promote your social media platforms and to keep up traffic to all of your pages. Also, different audiences prefer different types of social media platforms. When creating any story, tailor them to the platform and the audience that prefers it. Not only are you speaking to your audience through your Facebook videos, but you are also speaking to a very specific group and demographic.
IT'S ALL IN THE TIMING
Just like Instagram, Facebook Stories live right at the top of your followers' Facebook feeds. They are the first thing that pops up once the app is loaded on their phone or computers. Staying at the top of their page and in their minds' eyes is very important and effective for your business. This is very similar to putting in the much needed time for SEO and getting your company in the top few results in Google searches. This is why you need real and in the moment, not perfect, videos. The more honest they are and the more you draw in your audience, your stories will remain in a consistent spot in their feeds.
Are you getting excited about the potential Facebook stories can bring to you and your company? We hope so. Even if you're still a bit skeptical, now is a great time to try out the many features Facebook stories can give you. Have fun, be bold, and be honest. Your audience, customers, and fans love and support you for a reason. Let that reason shine through your posts! Don't let your audience forget about you, and don't forget about them. We hope you're doing well, Summerville. We miss seeing you and look forward to enjoying our town together very soon. Stay safe, stay smart, and stay home!
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In our last blog series, we discussed how important and exciting Instagram Stories can be for your company and your ad campaigns. In this blog series, we are going to be discussing the pros of adding Facebook Stories to your workflow!
Hello Summerville! It's been another strange few weeks. We are still open and operating, and very thankful to our clients during this time. We are also very thankful to do our business online and in the safety of our own homes. While we are still very busy, the safety of our clients and employees is at the top of our priority list. How much are you appreciating Google Hangouts, Google Duo, Zoom, Skype, and all platforms of video chats right now? We certainly are! Seeing the faces of our clients and employees right now in this digital fashion is so needed and so important. In turn, making the most of your digital fingerprints and social media platforms for your company is more important than ever before. We are all on our phones and computers more than we have been in the past, for work, to fill up our free time, and to keep some sort of normalcy in our lives. This is the best time to stay in touch with your customers and your audience, while they are sitting there waiting on their phones and computers just like you are. A reminder of your appreciation of them, that you miss them, and that you're thinking of them will be very appreciated and will help your company during this difficult time. It will also help amp you up to business speed once everything returns to normal again. We have just wrapped up our blog series on the importance of using Instagram Stories. We thought the next set of blogs should focus on the importance of using stories on Facebook and its many benefits. And believe us, there are quite a few!
Think of how important and fun videos have become on all of our Facebook feeds, both on our professional personal Facebook pages. For the first time in history, social media is finally being used for what it is created for, thanks to the current situation. It is bringing us all together and keeping us in contact. We need one another more than ever, and having a personal connection via your social media platforms is the perfect way to do so. Why not stay connected to your clients, followers, and audience in a personal way to help everyone stay focused and positive? For the first time in our known history, you get to have face to face personal interactions without asking anyone to leave their couches or homes. As a matter of fact, you wouldn't want it any other way.
Similar to Instagram, Facebook stories are one of the newest ways to connect and show off your brand and company in a very fun and creative way. The videos you post on Facebook stories last the same 24 hours and provide a very user-friendly platform for anyone who wants to create a live video, post a video onto your stories, or upload a video or picture to your stories. Think about it in terms of numbers. Facebook has over 2.23 billion active users every month. That is over three times the amount of users that its story rival Snapchat has. That is a HUGE group of people that could become potential customers and followers, and they are just waiting to meet you!
This is a great place to start! Don't worry, we still have a little bit more to share. That is the glory of a two-part blog! We get to see you again (virtually, of course) and you get to keep on learning! Stay safe, stay healthy, stay smart. We are here for you Summerville. We are in this together and we will get through this together!