Wednesday, June 24, 2015

#DisneySMMC Portland Babble.com Editors, Andrea & Megan

Sorry to leave you waiting for more from the Disney Social Media Mom Celebration in Portland. I had to run a fundraiser for girls camp at my church on Saturday and it kept me very busy! 

BUT now, let's talk about the next speakers at #DisneySMMC Portland. Our next speakers were editors at Babble.com Andrea Roxas and Megan Sayers.

Andrea and Megan spoke about building relationships with other bloggers and with our audiences (that's you, guys!) using different social media platforms. I loved that they gave excellent tips about the top 4 big  platforms: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. (There are obviously lots of other platforms out there, but these are the big 4 they covered).

Here are the tips for each platform:

Facebook
  • Use short, clear, engaging copy
  • Experiment and analyze
  • Post more than just links - try shareables and other native upload
Pinterest
  • Vertical Image
  • Text Overlay, for context
  • Descriptive copy that tells a story
  • Use Guided Search to find out which keywords are most valuable to layer in to your pin description.
Twitter
  • There's no such thing as "too many tweets."
  • Tag, tag, tag!
  • Tweet on trending topics, but through the lens of your brand
Instagram
  • Photo quality is key
  • Keep your look consistent
  • Share your photos on other social platforms to drive engagement
When using social media make sure to identify your strengths and spend the most time on the platform that will benefit you.

Building relationships with other bloggers is all about forming meaningful connections. Here are some ways to do so:
  • Don't be afraid to cold email
  • Suggest mutually beneficial ways to connect ( like social swap, crowd-sourced content, guest posts)
  • Approach it as a relationship, not a favor or business transaction
Probably my favorite part of their talk was about building your audience. They told us to find our people! (Beckee's note-you are my people and thank you!!!) Some ways to "find your people" when you are blogging include:
  • joining communities
  • scoping social media
  • going to blogger events
  • Look for similar blogs, not necessarily the biggest blogs. Look for quality over quantity.
One last bit of advice from Babble was to Branch Out! Do so by pitching to larger sites (find a direct contact, and tailor your pitch to that site).

Other platforms they think are up and coming and will be focusing on more at Babble are You Tube, Periscope, and Snapchat (for younger audiences).





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Saturday, June 13, 2015

#DisneySMMC Portland: Victoria Lim schools me on photos and video

Our third speaker at the Disney Social Media Mom Celebration in Portland was Victoria Lim, former journalist, current managing editor for Walt Disney World Public Relations. 



She completely schooled me on taking and using photos and videos on my blog. I can tell you right now that you will find I am still learning and have not mastered the tips she taught me. Obviously.

BUT I am trying. And just in case you are wondering how to improve your photos and/or videos, I will share some of the things I learned! 

She was fully aware that most of us these days use our phones for our primary photo and video camera. She keeps with her a bag of gear. Some of the things she has (with her phones) include: a selfie stick, bracket, gorilla pod, mini tripod, portable chargers, pouch of mini lenses, and a mic. 

AND she gave us some "Visual Guidelines," summarized below

Basic Guidelines to Maximize your Mobile
  • Clean your lens!
  • Steady your shots.
  • Try Different Angles
  • Zoom with your Feet
  • Hold your phone Horizontally not vertically! (still working to remember that one...oops!)
  • Be purposeful in shooting
  • Don't tilt or pan unless purposeful
  • Use Airplane Mode (this makes sure you do not get a video ruining phone call during filming-GENIUS hack there!)
Guidelines for Interviews
  • Be mindful of ambient noise
  • Be mindful of wind
  • Where do you want interview subject to look
  • Again, I will note-use Airplane Mode!
Aside from the great advice, Victoria also gave us fabulous insights on Apps we may want to use. I have only had the chance to try a few of them, and I do not have an iPhone, so I have not tried any of those. I am an Android girl! 

However, I though I would share all the Apps she suggested:

  • Dropbox (I use and love Dropbox!)
  • Disney Memories HD
  • Show Your Disney Side (I believe only on iPhone)
  • PicCollage
  • PhotoGrid
  • Magisto (for Video)
  • Videolicious (on iPhone)
  • Cute Cut
  • We Video
If you want to see my early attempts at using some of these apps, see below.

Disney Memories HD

This app is too, too fun! I took a photo of me and Wes from Hawaii a few weeks ago and gave it some Disney magic below;


You can take a new picture or use one you already have, then you can ad dit to posed pics, or add stickers and accessories, and you can fancy up the style as well. It is a little like Instagram Disney style. Lots of fun for the Disney Fans like me!

PicCollage

This App is a quick easy way you could throw together a meme or something. You can pick one or more pictures and you can add stickers, text, backgrounds, etc. It is quick and easy to figure out and I can see using it a lot in the future. Here is my quickly thrown together pic of me and my Sawyer (from LOST):

Ahhhh....Sawyer.

PhotoGrid

This is one of the absolute easiest programs ever to be able to make a photo collage and more it around to look like you want it to. I took several of the pictures from the #DisneySMMC Portland and I threw this together:

It took about a minute total to make this and I love it. Super easy! Super cute!

Magisto

On Magisto, I picked some pictures, a theme, and a song, and it put together the video for me. No choice in the order of the photos or how they come up, but what a quick easy way to show off a lot of cute pictures! I chose Disneyland photos from various Disney trips from the last year, used a fun "memories" theme, and used a song I love from my own device (Happy). Here's what Magisto came up with:

video


So.Cute.

I have downloaded Cute Cut and We Video, but have not had the chance to test them out yet! I will let you know more about them when I get the chance!!!

I am really looking forward to using a lot of these tips and apps to upgrade my blog a little bit! I really appreciated all the great info from Victoria Lim!! 


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Thursday, June 11, 2015

#DisneySMMC #Portland: Disney Rocks! Tyler Slater & Erin Glover's talks


At the Disney Media Mom Celebration in Portland I was super excited to hear first thing from Tyler Slater, who does "Disney Destinations PR and Social Media" He was one of my two favorite speakers. I loved, loved, LOVED hearing all about the great stuff happening in the world of Disney Destinations. Plus I am pretty sure that is Tyler and I got to hang out at all, we'd totally be BFF's. He seriously has the best job ever and he is a super nice guy that obviously realized how awesome his job is. 

So, a few exciting things going on that you may or may not know about:
I have to tell you a little more about a couple of these exciting events, the first of which is the Disneyland Diamond Celebration. 
In case you haven't heard, Disneyland is celebrating it's 60th anniversary this year! There are some absolutely amazing things they have done to celebrate! Besides tons of new merchandise, there is a lot of new and improved entertainment! There is a super upgraded firework celebration with state of the art projection mapping, a new Paint the Night lights parade, and a new World of Color show celebrating Walt Disney and hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. Check out more on all of that here. 
The second event I have to share more about is the amazing new show coming to the Disney Cruise Line: Tangled: The Musical. I cannot even express how amazing it looks, so I will just share with you the Behind the Scenes video Tyler shared with us. Watch it then thank me later for sharing it! :)

I was literally trying to plan my next Disney adventure before Tyler was even done talking. I just love Disney and love knowing all the amazing adventures out there to experience with them! But the best thing I took from Tyler's speech was this quote by Walt Disney:
(In case you can't read the picture, it says "When you believe a thing, believe it all over-implicitly and unquestioningly." --Walt Disney)
The second speaker at the #DisneySMMC in Portland was Erin Glover, Director of Social Media for Disneyland Resort. 


Erin spoke a lot about what goes into running the Disney Parks Blog. The main point from her speech that struck me was the idea that that to be successful at this, you have to figure out what is unique to you! Ask yourself the following questions: What is unique to me? What do I have access to that no one else does? What can only I say?  

She spoke about using your unique gifts and access to find your voice. She made the point that they realized early on with the Disney blogs that what they had that was unique and what they had access to was backstage and after hours at Disney, access to imagineers, and other cast members. So, what is it that I have access to, what is uniquely mine?

Erin showed us a recent video about the Box Hat Ghost's reappearance at the Haunted Mansion after 46 years. (See her article about that here. It includes the video!)
I'll share more about the fantastic speakers at #DisneySMMC tomorrow! 
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#DisneySMMC on the road in Portland!

On Tuesday June 9, I got the opportunity to attend the Disney Social Media Mom Celebration on the road in Portland. There is so much to share about it that I will put it in several posts. But I wanted to give you an overview of the amazing conference.
My drive into Portland which should have taken about 2 hours 20 minutes ended up taking just over 3.5 hours. So.Much.Traffic. Luckily I had planned to arrive an hour early so I could socialize. I missed the socializing, but made it (a bit frazzled) right as they were about to begin. Luckily, the Disney magic greeted me immediately and I was no longer stressing the hassle of getting there! 
The room was beautiful! Every detail was given the Disney treatment! I quickly grabbed some breakfast and found an available seat with some really nice ladies (who ended up being presenters!) 
The first video pulled me in and made me feel like I should rush to the  Disney parks immediately. The first speakers were Disney cast members and they just added to my excitement! In case I haven't mentioned this before, I am a huge, HUGE Disney fan. My family has had Disneyland passes for 3 of the last 4 years, and we will be renewing them again this month! :) We have been to Disneyland several times, but none of them have been since the Diamond Celebration began. Now I cannot wait to go again! 
Tyler Slater, Who does "Disney Destinations PR and Social Media" spoke first. Followed by Erin Glover, Director of Social Media for Disneyland Resort. These two have dream jobs-they are living my dream! Tyler gave us a lot of info about different Disney locations. Erin talked a lot about what it takes to do the Disney Parks blog and gave us some great advice for our own blogs.
Next up was Victoria Lim, former journalist, current managing editor for Walt Disney World Public Relations. She gave us some excellent advice on making and using videos. I learned a lot from her and cannot wait to try all I learned.
After Victoria, we heard from Andrea Roxas and Megan Sayers, editors at Babble.com. They had a ton of excellent tips for how to interact on different social media platforms. 
Our next speaker was author, Marianne Richmond. She talked a lot about finding out own voice and knowing our why! She was excellent. My favorite part was when she spoke about finding your Brave and creating a courage team! More detail on this in a later blog post.
Our last speakers were my breakfast buddies, Kathy Cano-Murillo, the Crafty Chica, and her daughter, Maya Murillo of Maya in the Moment. I loved listening to them talk about the family aspect of all this. It was inspiring to me and has me thinking of ways to include my kids more in what I do.
Our last guest didn't say much but he made huge impact and I just love him! Here's a picture of him with me: 
All in all I am so grateful I was able to attend! I loved it and hope to attend again. I will be using what I learned and reclaiming my blog as my own. I have been looking for my voice for a while now, and I think it is becoming more clear for me. More coming soon!!!
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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

#DisneySMMC On the Road...Here I come!!!

If you know me "in real life" or even on line, you may be aware that I LOVE Disney. All things Disney. In fact, my family has had Disneyland annual passes for a number of years because we love Disneyland so much.

Well, one of my dreams as a blogger has always been to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. What is that you ask? Well, It is an annual conference held by Disney at Disney World (Once it was at Disneyland). This is not a conference you can apply for or register to attend, it is one where a small number of select bloggers are send invitations to travel with their families to Disney where they will have the opportunity to  learn, network, and get more involved in the Disney social media.

On top of the annual conference at Disney World (or Disneyland), Disney has begun to have Disney Social Media Moms Celebrations "On the Road". For the past few years I have been applying for these On the Road day long conferences. This year I had not planned to apply, but a blogging friend pointed out that the first stop this year is Portland (and I live a few short hours drive from Portland).

So, quite some time ago, I applied and promptly forgot. Then something magical appeared in my email while I was in Hawaii:

The email started with "Congratulations!" I was invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration on the road!

So, After much schedule rearranging, I will be spending next Tuesday, June 9th at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration! I cannot wait to take you blog readers on the journey with me! I plan to post as I can and to tell you all about it!

Until then though, I'll just have to find other ways to show my #DisneySide! Here are (way too many) pictures of the "Beckeesdeals" clan showing our Disney Side:

























Hope you have fun showing your #DisneySide!!!


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Omaha Deal: Family Fun Center XL

Hello! I have a few awesome things to tell you about today. One is an awesome deal in Omaha right now. 

When we lived in Omaha during medical school and residency, we were always looking for fun, inexpensive family activities. One place our kids LOVED to go was Family Fun Center XL. However, it was not what I considered inexpensive. In fact, it was quite a splurge! 

BUT I saw in my email today that there is a great deal for Family Fun Center XL on Daily Deal Omaha today. Here's the Deal: You can get Three Buffets and three $5 Game Play Cards for $19.50. Click here for that deal.

OR check out the Family Fun Center XL webpage for LOTS of specials, coupons and discounts! 



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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

More to come...

Wow, I can tell you, being President of 2 major organizations (PTO and a church organization), on top of being a mother of one and STILL feeling like I am new in this area (having moved here about 18 months ago) makes for a busy lady. My blog has taken the back burner...very back, hidden and seemingly forgotten. 
However, it has not been forgotten. I have not known what to do with it and have wondered on that often. I have decided to jump back in, but not as often. I plan to share and giveaway great products I really love, I plan to tell you about my experiences traveling with 5 kids and how I (try) to save money doing it, I'll tell you about the local fun stuff (on the cheap) and I will still share any FANTASTIC deals I hear about. 
I don't promise to write every day, but I promise to share the best stuff!!
Here's to a new Beckee's Deals plan...
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Monday, August 4, 2014

$29.99 complete pair kids glasses from JCPenney + $30 Gift card #Giveaway

I received a JCPenney gift card for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

UPDATE: This promotion has been extended through September 15!!! YEAH! More time to get those glasses for the kiddos!

You can imagine that if I am posting something right now, it must be good, right?! Well, it is good! It is GREAT actually if you are a parent whose children wear glasses.

I have 5 kids, and 3 of them wear glasses. This has turned out to be a very expensive thing for me. I will tell you that between their glasses, contacts, and other things, I have spent over $1000 this past year. Yes, you read that right over a THOUSAND dollars for 3 kids glasses.

So, when I was approached with the opportunity to get a full pair of glasses for a child for $29.99, I jumped, JUMPED at that chance! And the great thing is that this deal is one you can ALL get for your kids as well!!!!!

How you ask? Well, just head over to JCPenney Optical where they have this awesome Back to School Promotion on kids’ prescription eyeglasses running through August 31st (NOW extended through September 15). Want to know what the $29.99 can get you? Here is what it can get you:


  • Complete pair of Kids' designer eyeglasses for $29.99
  • Offer includes any kids’ frame up to $120, FREE impact & scratch-resistant polycarbonate lenses, FREE UV protection and FREE eyeglass protection plan for any school-aged child 16 & under. 

I have to admit that I was hesitant about this deal. It seemed too good to be true. But I headed over to the nearest JCPenney (which for me is an hour drive away) with my oldest son to get him an extra pair of glasses. I already had a prescription (the eye exam is not included). I brought my mom and my XiaXia (Yiya-Grandma in Greek) with us. 

As we walked in I saw this sign:

Then I knew it was for real. Ender and I talked to an employee that was there about the deal and asked her what we needed to do to pick the frames. She told us that any frame in the store (ANY) that is $120 or less is included in the $29.99 price. If we wanted to get a more expensive frame we would just pay the difference. So, as an example, if he chose a $140 frame then our final cost would be $49.99. Then she let me know that the lenses included impact scratch-resistant polycarbonate lenses, FREE UV protection and FREE eyeglass protection plan. (But she warned me that if my son's eyes were a higher prescription, there may be an additional charge depending on how high.)

Then she let us look around. We tried on a lot of glasses:





 I told my guy he had to stick to the $120 or less frames, and given that budget, he picked the following pair:


Not the ones I would have chosen, but he loves them!

We even got my XiaXia to try on a pair. You can just call her the Retro XiaXia!

After we picked the glasses, we sat down with the lady in the optical department and she measured Ender's eyes:


Then we ordered the glasses and I paid. I used the $30 gift card I got from Mom Spark Media and ended up with a penny left on it!

We had a great experience and plan to return before the promotion ends on August 31 to get extra glasses for my other 2 children that need them, as well as for my 16 year old brother. What an awesome deal!!! Go find the nearest JCPenney Optical location to you here.

On top of this great deal for all of you to take advantage of, I also get to give away a $30 Gift Card to JCPenney!

Please use the giveaway tools form below to enter the giveaway (It will end on Friday August 15)


I received a JCPenney gift card for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.



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