How Twitter Went from a Fad to a Trend

In this  video episode of Karen McCullough’s Lessons from the Road Karen explores the difference between a fad and a trend.

A Fad is something new that people are doing while a Trend is a new way of doing things.

Trends rise slowly, whereas fads spike—and  die out— quickly. Take Twitter – Twitter has been called the pulse of the planet — Twitter is best friends with  Katy Perry, Ashton Kusher, LeBron, the Arab Spring, journalists, freaks, geeks and  even the Pope. But it didn’t start off with a bang when is was created by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass and launched by July 2006. It was a really slow go until January 2009 when a man named Janus Krums was on a ferry when US Airway flight 1549 had engine failure and landed in the Hudson.  He snapped a photeo and posted it on Twitter sending it out to his 170 followers…and it spread and spread across the world.  Krums along with Twitter scooped the media.

It has beed said that this one incident made Twitter  the #1 the source of how many get their news each day.  Is Twitter a Fad or a Trend?


Freaked-Out about Technology? Lesson I learned from a Gen Y

I remember when I first started putting Power Point into my keynotes. I freaked out  when projector couldn’t find my my Mac and I had to go it alone …Then I added music and I freaked out when the sound was so soft the audience strained to hear Ice Ice Baby …Then I added video to the Power Points and I freaked out about the quality of the movie…

I guess I am a technology freak.

Then, last year I started working with Crystal Washington, a Gen Y social media and marketing guru creating Socialtunities workshops, and I learned that at times technology fails…get use to it! If you don’t try new ways of doing your presentations and keynotes you are not growing. Today the audience is forgiving when it comes to technology. Everyone knows that at times technology will fail. – Just keep on learning, growing, and trying new technology! Thanks Crystal…

BTW Crystal is offering an advanced Social Media Webinar for business owners, sales manages and professionals who  want to learn  how you can better leverage social media to connect with powerful influencers, attract clients, and get sales. Read all about is here – just click on classes…Crystal has helped so many grow their business with social media that she now has her own segment on Fox. She is the real deal!

Thanks Justin-Social Media Tip: Hang out where your customers hang out!

I remember when Gen Y- Justin Bieber first came on the pop culture scene back in 2008 and I honestly thought it was a joke…I mean really, a mom videos her 12 year old son and posts it on YouTube for his friends to see…and POW he’s discovered by Scooter (What kind of a name is Scooter?) Braun, a talent manager?

Well I guess I was wrong on this one!

YES!!! That’s how it happened!  The power of YouTube put him in front of millions of crazed pre-teens and teenage girls and they made him famous in what seems like an instant!  Actually it took about 3 years to build his brand on YouTube.

Fast forward to June 4, 2012
Did you see the June 4th issue Forbes where Justin Bieber became the all-time youngest person to appear on the cover? Forbes ranked him 3rd most influential celeb right after Jennifer Lopez and our beloved Oprah! Not only is he young and famous but he got their really F-A-S-T! Since 2009 he has sold over 15 Million albums grossing 150 million.


So how did he do all of this so fast? Social Media!  He simply hangs out where his fans hang out… on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Here are some amazing Bieber stats :

•    @JustinBieber has 25+ million Twitter followers—more than any person on Earth except for  Lady Gaga.

•    On Facebook he has 45,750,364 likes · million likes (fans ) –  more than Mitt Romney’s and Barack Obama’s put together.

•    Justin’s YouTube channel was the biggest in the world before he even had a record deal

•  Justin’s first performance at Madison Square Gardens in New York City sold out in just 22 seconds.

•    (Now he’s branching out) Justin has sold 1 million bottles of his nail polish line, “One Less Lonely Girl.”

•    Justin’s perfume Someday made $60 million worth of sales in its first 6 months.


So what’s the big take away from all of this. Actually there are a few


1. Social media, and the internet are  HUGE! And…before you jump in on everything,  you have to know your customer and where they are hanging out! Otherwise you are just wasting your time! Do you know where your customers hang out? Find out and make sure you are there, constantly working  on your brand…and getting noticed.

2.  Engage with your customer. Spend time responding, answering, re-tweeting, sharing their content  and asking questions.  Focus and use your time wisely!

3.  We are all in the business of SALES- you may be a teacher, scientist, and HR director or a musician…today we are all in the business of self-promotion. How and where are you promoting YOU?

4. Loyalty is not dead! Keep growing your fan base!

5. oh… and maybe you should start videoing your kids!

My Top 10 Favorite Podcasts

Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, WNYC’s Radiolab– my Favorite Podcast!

Last week I shared that I listen to audio books and podcasts during my daily walks and that podcast listening has increased my walking time to over an hour. And, the stories help me be a better keynote speaker and storyteller!  Many of you contacted me asking me to share (they are all on iTunes) my favorite podcasts…

so here goes!

1.  WNYC RadioLab: Is my favorite because I love the way they put it together. It’s a patchwork of people, sounds, and music all centered around One Big Idea which is a blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.


2. This American Life: Remember when you were a kid and after lunch, the teacher read you stories? Well if that was your favorite time of the day then you will love this podcast! There’s a theme to each episode, and a variety of stories on that theme. It’s mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always.


3. Here’s the Thing: No matter what they say, I happen to love Alex Baldwin! In this podcast he interviews cool people taking us inside their dressing rooms and their lives! My favorite so far are the interviews with Chris Rock, Lorne Michaels and Kristen Wig.


4. The Public Speaker’s Quick and Dirty Tricks for Improving Your Communication Skills: Lisa B. Marshall is the Public Speaker and she is really good. I love her voice and her tips have helped me rock it on stage. Worth the listen!


5. The Splendid Table: My mouth waters during the entire show! It’s for people who like to eat and like to cook!


6.  Ted Radio Hour Podcast: Based on my favorite the TED Talks (20 minutes) given by riveting speakers on the world-renowned TED stage, each show is centered on a common theme – such as the source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or inexplicable connections.


7. Stuff You Missed in History Class: Since I slept through most of my high school history classes…So all of this info is new to me!  This podcast is interesting and explores some of history’s most fascinating people and events.


8. Freakonomics:  Steven D. Levitt is an economist. Stephen J. Dubner is a writer. They co-authored Freakonomics, a book about cheating teachers, bizarre baby names, self-dealing Realtors, and crack-selling mama’s boys. This is the place where all that stuff continues to happen.


9. The Moth: The Moth Radio Hour features the most beloved tales and the stories behind the stories. As you can tell I love stories and they help me become a better speaker. The Moth debuted in 2009 and is now airing on more than 200 stations nationwide.


10. Planet Money: Who doesn’t need help managing their $$$$?

Happy Listening!

How Each Generation Uses Social Media

Social media is no longer viewed as “kids stuff” and the social media pioneer days of My Space are long gone. Today Boomers, Gen X & Y ,corporations, brands, organizations, and associations are all embracing social media.  We are realizing that social media is a fantastic way to engage with family, friends, customers and future customers.

Everyone may be on social media but not all the generations are using “The Big 4”- Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube– in the same manner. If you are trying to target a certain market with your social media efforts this may help you understating who is doing what on social media. If you watch  to the video you will  get a better understanding  how the each of generations are engaging in social media.

A few months ago I did a webinar with digital marketing strategist and social media junkie Chris Rash  where Chris shared  this chart showing the 7 user levels of social media.

Are you a Social Media Spectator, Joiner, Collector, Critic ,Conversationalist, a Creator …or are you all of the above!




The Generations and Technology- Lessons from the Road Video

Last week I traveled to Rockwall, Texas to speak to the Texas Association for School Nutrition. The conference theme Connecting with the 4 Generations was a perfect fit!  They asked me to speak on the impact technology has on each generation and how using social media can improve business and communication in the new generations! (Don’t forget Gen Z !) As you will see, technology did not kick in in full force until 2000! It’s easy to see why many traditionalists and boomers are a little challenged with social media.  It’s time for many of us to go back to school!

Social Media Workshop for Speakers,Coaches,Authors and Consultants

December is historically a “slow” month for many Speakers, Consultants, Coaches and Authors and it’s a great opportunity invest TIME in Growing your Business. Crystal and Karen have created this program customized for Speakers, Consultants and Authors and will share secrets and time-saving tips that will help you book more business, sell more books, and create a social media marketing plan positioning you for success in 2012!   93% of marketers use Social Media for Business…do you?

In this 3 hour session designed for  Houston area Speakers, Authors, Coaches and  Consultants. Karen and Crystal will share:

  • Their LISTS: Who to follow;  Bloggers, Bureaus, Influencers
  • Getting more web traffic
  • How to get an immediate overflow of followers. (Advanced Social Media)
  • How to “set it and forget it” – A posting strategy that will save you hours while driving content
  • How to measure your Social Media progress
  • How to get “the right” followers  and a list of who to follow to grow your business
  • How to sell more books using a powerful tool that few authors know how to leverage. LinkedIn is one of the best-kept book marketing secrets in the publishing world –
  • How to get noticed by the “right people”

The Best Part- EVERYONE will leave with a physical social media strategy- a simple to follow action plan to guide you to success!

twitter birds

and lastly we will share

  • The #1 social media tip you must do when you are in front of an audience that will grow your following and visibility faster than you can imagine.
Thursday December 8

8:30 – Noon                                                                                                                               Houston Council – Lecture Hall

303 Jackson Hill- Houston 77008

Early bird $79.00

Limited Seating

Register Today

National Speaker, Author, and Branding Expert, Karen McCullough

Social Media Consultant and Social Media Speaker,Crystal Washington

together they will show you how to Grow Your Business with Socialtunities!

Please Forward this to and speaker, consultant or author you know that lives in the Houston Area!

Social Media not just for Gen Y! Boomers Join In!

Social Media is not just for Gen Y! Heads Up…Traditionalists, Boomers and Gen X,  social media is also good for you too! You’ve probably heard it said over and over, “Social Media is the game changer.” but, you may not  really know what that means?

Here are just a few of the benefits of Social Media.

  • It allows  YOU to “get found” by potential employers and clients.
  • Provides you an opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competition.
  • Drives traffic to your website, blog and business
  • Enables you to join circles of influence that you otherwise would not have access
  • Allows you to keep up with your competitors
  • Deepens relationships
  • When done correctly it builds your brand and reputation as an expert

Socialtunities is here to help!

If you want to learn how to engage in social media correctly join Crystal Washington and myself for an all-day Saturday event covering Online Branding, LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter for Business! The Date: September 10th, the locations Houston Heights area…Read more

We’ve sold out 3/4 workshops and have received amazing praise from our attendees.

We also received something else
– tons of emails from people who wanted to attend, but could not make our weekday workshops so we are doing a full day on Saterday September 10th in Houstn.

Read more here

We are creating a community that embraces all the generations as we become comfortable and excited about social media!

Five Social Media Tips – Building the Foundation

Congratulations! You are now on Facebook and many of you are Tweeting! (Follow me!) So, here are five tips that will help you grow a following and leverage your  social media opportunities for your business and your career.

1. Stop talking, Start Listening
and then Start the Conversation.
Find out who your followers are and what they are interested in hearing. Ask questions, do research, and then listen. If you want to find out what people are saying about a certain topic in real time go to Once you have an  idea of what people are interested in,  start the conversation.  Tag people in posts or on twitter and bring them into the conversation.(Here’s how you tag: “@”and their profile name in Facebook “@”and their user name in Twitter) To learn more about Facebook and how to tag – here.

2. Get an area of Expertise and then and Brendon Burchard says,  Claim and Master your Topic. Create a topic- focused social media and content marketing strategy that builds your brand.   Brendon says, “Make sure that your topic is something that you are passionate, want to read and learn and write about, and that you are willing to live and breath for the next five years.”  Get an area of expertise (a topic) then focus and stay the course.

3. Quality over Quantity…
Unless you are a big-time marketer, it is  better to have fewer friends and followers that you share ideas, and  acknowledge than  a gazillion people who you know nothing about nor do you care about… and then they stop following in a couple of weeks, anyway! Build relationships, grow connect and chat-it-up with your friends and followers!

4. Patience ~ Persistence ~ Passion (Thank you Gary V)
Social media and content marketing success do not  happen overnight.
You have to  commit to the long haul if you want to  achieve results- be patient! Create a Social Media ritual and do something every day. Try and put at least 30 minutes into your social media every day. It is better to do a little each day than a lot once a week or month.  And then, show us your passion! Get us excited about you and your ideas. How can we get excited about you and your ideas if you’re not excited?

5. Develop a Sharing Mindset, The Baby-Boomer’s nature is to hide and keep for self…Gen X started this concept of sharing and giving it away(Remember your Mix Tape?). Today Gen Y not only gives it away but they remember to honor the messenger. Be giving and share and remember…There is enough rock for all of us!

Day 11 of the 30 day challenge…I need a Pep Talk

A few weeks ago, Crystal Washington invited me to join her in a 30 day blog-fest. I accepted the challenge thinking it would be hard but doable. Well, I may have been wrong on the doable part! It is day 11, and I am so done! 19 more  long days to go and I am not sure I have it in me!  If you know me that might surprise you, but hey have you tried blogging 11 days in a row?

So tonight I am having a glass of a really good cab, it’s 10:15, and I have to pack for a 5 day trip to Anaheim, and…I am here at the computer trying to get out a relevant, thought provoking blog! Not gonna happen…

The truth is, I have a whole list of things I could blog about, but non of them interest me tonight. That’s the funny thing about blogging, it’s kind of like when you laid out an outfit to wear on Sunday night for Monday morning’s work. When you got up on Monday morning you did not want to wear that outfit…well, that what my “wanna blog about this” list look like to me tonight.

So I am going to go to bed, set the publish time for tomorrow  and hope that I have a better attitude tomorrow.

and…(I like to brake all the rules and start a sentence with and) hey, if there are any committed bloggers reading my post, please give me a pep talk!