Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Day at the Zoo

We got up early on a recent Saturday and arrived just as the Cincinnati Zoo was opening a few minutes past 9 a.m. It made me chuckle a little to see all the strollers popping out of minivans simultaneously. We easily found shaded parking under the solar canopy and headed straight to a watering hole for a rainbow slushy. Don't judge.

Having a zoo membership is the best way to experience all they have to offer by taking off the pressure to see it all in one day. My son and I leisurely strolled at our own pace for a couple of hours. It's also nice that our membership covers parking and unlimited rides on the Zoo Train. See Membership options

Another great membership perk is free or discounted admission to more than 100 zoos... something I definitely plan to take advantage of this year. I have never visited any zoo besides our own here in the Queen City!

It's so worth while to get to the zoo early. Not only did we get great parking and avoid crowds, all the animals seemed very active. The polar bears were splashing and thrashing, which reminded us of one of our favorite books.

After visiting the giraffe exhibit, we headed to the Cheetah Encounter show, which I found impressive. Before watching cheetahs race through the yard--the main event--the guides brought out several other animals including an ocelot and a giant porcupine. The guides bantered back and forth and promoted the zoo's cell phone recycling program by having a red river hog demonstrate.

I can't wait for our next early morning trip to the zoo.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

It's Elementary: Improve Engagement with 3 Basic Rules

Content marketing and strategy is all about engagement. The more you engage users, the more results you will see, whether you want to move more product or generate buzz. Great content is important, but don't forget these very basic rules in the process!

1. Use correct spelling and grammar.
A few years ago, I was in the market for a new daycare. I found the website for the nearest and newest "learning center" but I never called or even emailed because the site was full of spelling errors. When a friend asked about the facility, I shared my concerns. If you want to be taken seriously, increase sales or create more conversation, there is no escaping the need for proofreading.

2. Mind your manners.
Play nice and your friends will come over more often. Thank new followers and users who share your content. Answer all questions, even the tough ones. Also, remember that your online persona is a reflection of your true self and the business or organizations that you represent. Check out this post for more on social media manners.

3. If you want something, ask for it.
We mastered this before kindergarten. Stop grunting, pouting and hinting. The last step in closing a sale is to ask for the business. Likewise, it's proven that asking for engagement yields more engagement. Examples of asking include:
RT this plz
Please "share"
Tell us...

The most clever and creative strategy in the world will fail if these rules are forgotten. Besides, wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone followed these rules?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Mom's Favorite Milestones (So Far)

We celebrated another milestone this week with the end of kindergarten. I have been reflecting on all that my son has accomplished so far and thinking about some of those moments that have made me smile.

"I did it, mom! I tied my shoe!"

"Mommy, can I marry you when I get big?"

"I love passparagus!"

"Mommy, you are the best cook ever."

"Mommy, you are the best."

"Did I do good, mom? Did you see me catch the ball?"

"Will you cuddle with me?"
What have been some of your favorite parenting moments?