Success With Social Media

I have been asked many times, “What is my ROI when it comes to social media?” Most of the time I quote statistics from Facebook or Twitter but recently realized I have my own case studies to quote.

In 2010 I interned with DRC Sports, an event management company,  and one of my tasks was to increase social interaction Facebook page in an effort to get more participants. To test the effectiveness I  promoted a race that they (DRC Sports) were putting on with hopes of hitting the 500 person mark. In one week we increased the number of likes by over 100 people and were able to gain 92 (Total of 587!) more participants in this particular race. In terms of $ the 92 people all registered at a cost of $90 per participant which totaled $8,280 in extra revenue brought on by social media. This $8,280 only reflects the money gained in 1 race for a company that puts on 40-45 races a year. The potential in increased revenue for DRC Sports through social media is well into the 6 figure range!

More recently I started working with called, DENTALWORKS USA. The company is a workers compensation claims processor with a national network of dental providers. I was initially brought on to help create a Social Media presence along with develop an e-mail marketing strategy to let the insurance companies know that the company existed and was ready for business. Originally the business planned on launching their services in August but subsequently launched 2 months early due to the outstanding response we got from our first e-mail newsletter. To date DWU is processing claims daily with providers all over the country. In terms of ROI the company was able to launch 2 months early speaks wonders to the benefits of social media.

If you are curious about how to be more successful with your pages or are looking for someone to manage them for you, give me a call at 352-304-3217.

-Darrin DeTorres

DENTALWORKS USA

I have recently started working with this start up company to create a social media / e-mail campaign in order to raise awareness about their growing business. We have had great success in the beginning due to the fact that the first e-mail campaign sent out generated business and caused the company to launch over a month earlier than expected!

 

The importance of higher education in today’s society

The importance of higher education in today’s society

In today’s modern society, “would you like fries with that” is not a term that will put money in the bank. Times in America are changing and with this change money is getting harder to come by and unemployment rates are skyrocketing. The days of getting hired through connections are long gone. In our modern society employers are looking for people who have the most to offer and this is why a higher education is more valuable than gold.

According to dictionary.com a higher education is defined as; education beyond high school, specifically that provided by colleges and graduate schools, and professional schools. Higher education can also be achieved through vocational and technical schools. Education past high school is important because America is a post industrial society and being a post industrial society means that a great number of jobs are done using one’s mind instead of using one’s body. Having a high school degree in America might qualify you for a job at as a janitor where as having a college degree will guarantee that you will not have to clean up everyone else’s mess.

Obtaining a degree from a college or obtaining certification in a certain specialty is like making a very low risk investment. The money and time that is put into obtaining one of these can guarantee to produce high dividends. An article on Forbes.com, a very well known financial website, shows that the average salary for a full time worker, between the years 1997 and 1999, with a four year degree was $52,200 versus the average salary of a person with only a high school diploma was only $30,400. The article also shows the unemployment rate for a person with their bachelors degree in 2001 was 2.1 percent versus a high school graduate unemployment percentage of 4.2 percent. The differences in pay make a huge difference throughout a lifetime. If taking into consideration that both the high school graduate and the college graduate work until they are 65 the college graduate will have made $815,800 more than the high school graduate while also working four years less because of the time spent in college. That means that investing in a college degree has the potential to bring a dividend of $815,800 without even taking into the consideration the benefits that come from higher end jobs; like retirement packages, stock options, and free healthcare.

Some people might argue against higher education stating that it is too costly or hard to obtain. These people are obviously not trying hard enough. In America there are scholarships out there to help ensure people can make it through college. Filling out the FAFSA can potentially bring in thousands of dollars alone; on top of that most states have incentives for a student’s success in high school. Florida is one of the states that offer a great opportunity for students; by maintaining a GPA of just 2.7 a student has the opportunity to get 75% of their college paid for. Saying that college is impractical for cost reasons is just an excuse people make to justify why they do not go. People out there who do not take advantage of higher education through these scholarship programs are really throwing away great opportunities. There are countries around the world that do not offer higher education to anyone except the rich, that is why in America we need to take advantage of this cheap educational system.

Another reason why higher education is important is that anybody who gains an education beyond college has the opportunity for upward social mobility. A college degree is a great way to get a foot in the door at many respectable businesses. With a degree the earning potential at these places can be virtually endless causing an upward shift in class. In our country it doesn’t matter who you are, the poorest of proles can easily become one of the richest in the upper class with a good education and the right amount of work ethic.  The benefits of becoming part of the upper class will include having smarter friends, being able to live in nicer neighborhoods, and having a better school system available for the kids. The benefits from the money alone should be enough to make people want to go to college after graduating from high school.

Although money is a very important reason to obtain a higher education, it is not the only one. A higher education can be both mentally and spiritually rewarding as well. There are a lot of people who will subject themselves to four years of college and thirty years of student loan debt for a job that will barely put food on the table. These people are teachers. Teaching is a selfless job that educated people to for the strict benefit of the country. By gaining a higher education normal humanitarians can be very helpful in shaping America’s society. These teachers ensure that America will be prepared when the young students become adults. By gaining a higher education the teachers are able to pass on their knowledge for generations to come.

The knowledge gained through education will also help to keep America a huge player in the international scene. A survey done involving 601 government officials, business leaders and college deans found that 97 percent of them thought that higher education is important to the well-being of the American society.  The world is always changing and in order to be at the head of these changes we need people with higher educations to be the ones making the technological breakthroughs, we need our doctors to be the ones who can make the delicate medical procedures, and we need our politicians to be able to make crucial domestic and foreign policy decisions that will keep us at the top. Without these educated people the American society as we know it would be in trouble. Education is one factor that differentiates a third world country from a global super power.

Higher education can be considered a great tool for everyday life too. People who have a higher education are easier to talk too. No one likes to admit it but there is a stereotype about drop outs and high school only graduates, the stereotype is that they are unintelligent. Most people would rather hear the lectures of a graduate then the rants of the unintelligent. By having a degree a person is able to show that they are qualified to talk about the subject of their studies.

It would be ignorant to say that it is impossible to succeed in life without having a higher education. Bill Gates, for example, founded Microsoft with a couple of friends in his garage after dropping out of college. Today Microsoft is one of the biggest Multinational cooperation’s in the world and Bill Gates is one of the richest men on Earth, his net worth being about 58 billion dollars (Luisa Kroll). Most of us, however, are not in the same boat as Bill Gates and that is why there is a need for higher education. By having a degree in anything the opportunities for a job increase exponentially. Coming out of high school there are few jobs that offer better than minimum wage, having that degree from 4 years of college or even having that certification from a vocational school can allow people to get jobs as doctors, lawyers, teachers and so much more. The degree helps to even the playing field between a normal person and those who are similar to Bill Gates. Having an education might not have been important in the creation of Microsoft but it is definitely essential today to the well being of the company and its financial future.

To conclude, having a higher education in America is important to both the individual and the state. Having a higher education ensures that a person will be able to get and maintain a job that is both financially and socially rewarding.

My Resume

2848 NE 14th Avenue · ocala, fl 34470

352-304-3217 · DeTorres1@gmail.com

Darrin M. DeTorres

Highly-motivated individual with proven success in both sales and marketing. Advanced knowledge of the sports industry in many facets including retail, event management, coaching, collegiate recruiting, and marketing. Experience consulting with different entities to create new initiatives that drive traffic and increase brand awareness.

Work experience

01/2010-Present, DistancePreps.com                                                Jacksonville, FL

Social Media Manager

  • Responsible for managing company web site and social media
  • Responsible for building consumer awareness and increasing revenue
  • Responsible for securing sponsorship by selling advertising space
  • Responsible for creating content
  • Responsible for writing articles relevant to the industry

10/2009-11/2011, Jacksonville Running Company                             Jacksonville, FL

Store Manager

  • Responsible for managing company web site and social media
  • Responsible for building consumer awareness and increasing revenue
  • Responsible for inventory management
  • Networked and consulted with community stakeholders to create new initiatives and drive consumer traffic

05/2007-01/2009, McCall Communications (Sprint Dealer)              Ocala, FL

Sales Lead

  • Responsible for securing new contracts and upgrading existing ones
  • Responsible for inventory management
  • Responsible for educating customers and troubleshooting service issues
  • Responsible for diagnosing and repairing mechanical problems
  • Responsible for training employees to meet quotas and use ordering systems

education

1/2009- 4/2011                 University Of North Florida          Jacksonville, FL

Bachelor of Science in Communication

         With a concentration in Advertising

1/2007- 12/2008                 CFCC                                                      Ocala, FL

Associates Degree in Business

 

                                  9/2006-12/2006                  Embry Riddle                                      Daytona, FL

Business Major

Competencies

Management Experience, Strong Negotiation Skills, Strong Verbal and Written Communicator, Ability to Build and Maintain Relationships, Goal and Result Oriented, Exceptional Integrity, Ability to Learn Quickly, Ability to Exceed Quota, Ability to Train and Motivate Others, Ability to Plan and Execute, Extremely Focused, Team Player, Proficient in Computer Programs such as; Power Point, Word, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Excel

PERSONAL and Professional Activities

  • Cross Country Coaching Assistant- 2 Years
  • Amateur Race Photographer
  • Avid runner and triathlete
  • Small Business Owner

Here is my VisualResume made in PowerPoint

Goodbye Jacksonville

Those of you taking the time to read this probably know that I just recently lost my grandfather, who lived in Ocala. He and my grandmother have had custody of my two younger siblings (9 years old and 15 years old) for the past 4 or 5 years and because of his death I feel I need to move closer in order to make things easier on my grandmother. Wednesday, November 23rd will be my last day, so now is as good a time as any to say farewell. In order to keep things easy I’m dedicating a paragraph to each group I feel I need to say goodbye to. (Co-workers, Bosses, Resolution, Training partners, Coaches, and high school runners)

Co-workers

Guys we’ve all had our ups and downs these past 2 years and I realize I sometimes can be a pain in the ass. Thanks for always putting up with me regardless of what was going on at the time. We’ve all had the moments at work where we’ve thought “whats the point?” But for every one of those we’ve had 100 more that makes us happy to be there. There is no doubt in my mind that the store and its employees will have a lasting impact on the Jacksonville Running Community and I’m happy to say that I’ve got to be a part of that.

Jo, Owen, and Ted

Thanks for bringing me on and letting me be part of the JRC family. Ted-we didn’t always agree on how things should be done but I appreciate you always letting me give input into things and respecting my opinions even though you didn’t have to. I look forward to helping you guys at the Ocala Marathon, so make sure you call me up! Jo and Owen, I feel I’m a better person by simply knowing both of you. Jo- Thanks for being such a good training partner and friend. Owen- Thank you for always pushing me to be better and supporting me in my plight, you are doing a great thing for Jacksonville and when its all said and done I hope your enthusiasm for the sport is able to spread throughout the state.

Training Partners/Fellow Club Members/ Running Family

Without you guys I no doubt would probably weigh 300 lbs. I appreciate every phone call, wall post, and text message that forced me out the door to put in the miles. Thank you for putting up with my off color humor, my repetitive stories, and my complaints about the little things. Make sure you keep putting in the work and enjoying every step.

Coaches 

Thanks to all of you for taking me in and treating me as if I was part of the team. I have the utmost respect for each and everyone of you and hope that I will someday join your ranks in changing peoples lives. I had a rough home life in high school and without my xc family and coaches I think I would be much worse off. So make sure you continue staying positive and keep the kids wanting more, you never know the lasting impact you might have on your runner’s lives.

High School Runner’s

I am no doubt blessed to be able to watch you grow as not only runners but also as people. Continue listening to your coaches, working hard, and chasing your dreams. I will continue to work with DistancePreps with the hope that we will continue to cross each others paths. If any of you need any advice on college or need help figuring out the paperwork feel free to e-mail me at ddetorres1@gmail.com and I will help out to the best of my ability.

Resolution

Thanks for constantly inviting me out and never judging me on my beliefs. You guys/girls have made me feel better about going to church again. The trip to North Carolina opened my eyes to things and has changed certain aspects of my life. If I’m ever back in Jax on a Tuesday night I hope I’ll still be welcome to attend the service.

To Everyone Else

Its been fun……….

My Future

Work

For those of you wondering I most likely will be going back to work for Sprint until everything gets figured out. I will also be trying to build my Social Marketing business, so if you subscribe to JRC’s e-mail or any of their FB pages and feel I can help someone you know a referral will be appreciated!

Training

I will continue to train for the 1/2 marathon in Ocala on January 22nd. If you haven’t run this race, it’s a definite must. I will also be back up in Jacksonville on February 4th for the Step Up 5k. If you are free that day make sure to come out and support the event, it’s FREE and helps raise money for a good cause.

Thanks again everyone who has made my time in Jacksonville a good one. Ocala is only 2 hours away, so make sure not to be strangers!

Darrin DeTorres
ddetorres1@gmail.com
352-304-3217

Creating a simple RSS based Android Application

I was recently going through one of my favorite social media sites, Mashable.com, and I came across an easy way to make mobile applications for Android phones and iPhones. The web site is called AppMaker and it allows you to make free applications using RSS feeds. In this article I hope to show how easy it is to make an mobile app and will be doing so for this wordpress blog.

Step 1– Sign up for an account. If you need help doing this consider e-mailing me because this is the most simple step.

Step 2– From the AppMakr Dashboard find the Create New App and lets get started

Step 3– Choose the platform you are wanting to build the App for. For Tutorial purposes I am creating one for Google’s Android platform.

Step 4– If your site has an RSS feed just enter the URL, click Create App, and let the AppMakr works its magic.

Step 5- Choose a picture for both the App Icon and the loading screen. You can upload them yourself or can choose the ones that are automatically pulled from the site.

Step 6- After choosing your pictures click save then click the “tabs” tab. Here we will load URL’s that will be displayed as news for the application. For this tutorials purpose I used my twitter feed and separated the categories in my wordpress. There are other things you can add but I’m trying to keep it simple.

Step 7- Make sure you save your progress then click the App Info tab and enter the information provided.

Step 8- Again, save your progress and then click the publish tab. After pressing publish you all you need to do is press build app and wait.

Step 9- After pressing “Build App” and waiting a few minutes refresh the page and an option to e-mail yourself the final product should show up. E-mail it to yourself and enjoy.

In theory the e-mail link should allow anyone who has Android to download the application. If you want to publish it to the Market Place for Android, you’ll need to sign up for a developer account and pay a $25 registration fee. For tutorials sake I will stay away from the market place, if you want to download the app it can be found by click HERE. You can also just type in http://tinyurl.com/3rjk52v your web browser on your mobile phone.

If you want help building your own Android App and can’t figure it out feel free to e-mail me at ddetorres1@gmail.com to discuss what you are looking for and to receive a quote.

Social Media Means Money for Businesses

This is a paper I wrote for my Broadcasting class on the benefits of Social Media for business.

Like the title suggests, there is money to be made and money to be saved for businesses through the use of social media. Social media is a growing sector of the Internet and has over taken porn as the number one activity on the web.

Onlinematters.com defines social media as; any for of online publication or presence that allows users to engage in multi-directional conversations in or around the content of the website.  For a business this is huge, because over half of the country’s households have the Internet, which gives them access to tell multitudes of people what they think or feel about something. A person in Miami can have a bad experience at a store and if they choose to post their story, people in Denver can hear about it within the matter of minutes.

For most of us we see social media and social networking as a way to meet new people and stay in touch with friends. Businesses see social media in a different light. Businesses are online to make friends with the hopes that these people will tell their friends. Some people call this word of mouth marketing. For businesses this is an effective way to reach people without spending much money. Most forms of social media are free to join and easy to use.

There are a bunch of players in the game of social media, but there are a few that stick out more than the rest. The big names include the social networking site Facebook.com, the microblogging site, Twitter.com, and the regular blogging site, WordPress.com.  These three sites are widely used by businesses to engage their customers and also promote their business.

Facebook is the biggest name in the social media business. The site has over 500 million users worldwide. Users are able to meet people, share photos, create events, interact with friends and businesses, and basically share every detail of their lives online. Because of everything that Facebook has to offer, people are spending great amounts of time on the site.

Businesses are able to use people’s addiction to Facebook to their benefit. Companies that use Facebook are able to create pages similar to the individuals pages. The pages that are created cost nothing for the businesses and allow them to add friends in order to create awareness.  The features of the site are beneficial because one of the major hassles of business is trying to get people to recognize the brand. By having Facebook businesses are able to save the advertising money for other areas of the business and create that recognition all at the same time.

Once a business adds friends to their page, there is an enormous amount of things that can be done to engage the customer. Through Facebook companies are able to keep their consumers updated on the newest products and latest deals without having to advertise them through the regular forms of media. By using this as a way to get information out, businesses are able to hit their target market directly. Businesses can also use the site to get suggestions from their customers and ask for referral business.

Free tools to promote business are not the only things that Facebook offers. As a way of funding the site, Facebook allows people to advertise on the sidebar of the page. The advertising on the site is great because companies can pick what type of people they want to reach and how much money they want to spend. This way of advertising is better than TV and radio advertising because the business is able to hit the exact person they want without wasting money on uninterested people. Businesses are greatly benefited through the use of this social networking site

Another big name in the social media circle is Twitter.com. Twitter is a microblogging site where users have 140 characters of space to post whatever they want. People choose to follow friends they know and businesses they frequent in order to stay up to date with the times. Not all people use Twitter though, from polls in various college classrooms, Twitter is one of the least used forms of social media by students. Businesses, however, use Twitter all of the time.

Twitter, like Facebook, allows companies to keep their customers current with products and deals. Twitter is also a great place to conduct customer service and offer ordering services. Businesses like Best Buy allow their customers to ask questions through Twitter and they have trained staff that will answer the questions as soon as they can.  Another business, Coffeegroundz, in Houston, Texas uses Twitter as a way for customers to place to-go orders. Both companies are great examples of how companies can take a free service made for individuals and use it to interact with customers and ultimately make more money.

The last of the social media giants we will talk about is WordPress.com. WordPress is a blogging Web site that allows users to create their own personal page and write in it like a journal. Besides writing, WordPress allows users to upload photos and videos, and also make comments on other blogs.

Businesses can use WordPress as a way to get more into depth about things going on with the company. People on Facebook and Twitter aren’t interested in reading the technical parts of products or the news associated with the businesses and that’s why there are limits to the information that can be posted. With WordPress a company can post all the specs of their new product, how the product works, and who uses their products.

For a basic blog site there is no cost associated with the space. Bigger companies that require more bandwidth and have a higher rate of traffic, however, can pay up to $12,500 a month. Companies who use WordPress usually use it in conjunction with Twitter or Facebook because the blogs aren’t as easy to follow by themselves.

Businesses are able to receive great benefits through the use of social media tools. Most of the tools nowadays can be accessed through mobile phones, which gives the companies a greater chance of interacting with their consumers. TV, newspaper, and radio advertising are still prevalent in the industry, but will probably all suffer as businesses become more technologically literate. If you are in the area of advertising or public relations and have never used these sites, it might be time to pick up the computer or pick a new field of study. The use of social media by businesses will only grow, learn it now or get left behind.

EvolvedRunner.com

After many battles, most lost, I have decided to turn http://www.evolvedrunner.com into a social media and web design company for athletic minded businesses. I am still playing around with a few different options of what I hope to use to create/design websites with so until then I will be forwarding my domain to the blog. For examples of blogs that I maintain just look to the right———————–>

My first brick of 2011

Last night I was able to mark down my very first brick workout of the new year. The day started out pretty poorly, I woke up in time for the mile repeat workout I had on the schedule but didn’t go because I had trouble walking down the stairs. I then overslept my scheduled swim. After such a poor start I decided that I would just spin on my trainer after work.
When I got off of work I jumped on the trainer and decided to go for 45 minutes and then try for an easy 2 mile run afterwards. The 45 minute ride was fairly easy and the last minute was spent with me practicing getting out of my shoes before dismount. I immediately ran down stairs and put on my shoes, total transition time about a minute and a half. When I started my run I kept telling myself to relax, I had just run 1:26:23 for my half marathon and my legs were super sore. Relax, relax, relax was all I kept thinking and I hit the mile and turned around. I didn’t check myh split at this time and just kept going. On my second mile I was a little more aggressive. I was fighting the wind but I wanted to make sure I had a quality run. With 4 blocks remaining I started to break down. The last 4 blocks I concentrated on my form and my breathing, upon completion I clicked my watch……..6:04, the first mile being 6:28.
For this being my first brick and one of the very few I have ever done I was ecstatic with the time. I truely believe that if I can improve my cycling and my swim by September I can have a pretty legit time in Augusta.

Plantars Faciitis-A Quick Look at a Common Problem

Everyday I get asked the same question about Plantar Faciitis and I always give the same advice. These are the steps that I have used to rid myself of the ailment and they are what I recommend to all of my customers. I am no doctor and will not pretend to be. If the condition is too severe to run on go seek professional help.

The first thing I look for when a customer comes in with PF is whether or not they are in the right size shoes. If the shoe is too small it can prevent the foot from having adequate room to swell causing the foot to tense up because there is no room. Running on a tense foot that is unable to naturally spread makes the plantar fascia more susceptible to tears. A podiatrist goes more into this in an article featured in Running Times.

After ensuring that the customer is in the right shoe I start to explain the steps I’ve taken to beat this problem.

1) Keep your calf muscles stretched out.“The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is very tight calf muscles which leads to prolonged and / or high velocity pronation of the foot. This in turn produces repetitive over-stretching of the plantar fascia leading to possible inflammation and thickening of the tendon. As the fascia thickens it looses flexibility and strength.” In the store we have many tools to assist with loosening the calves. They include the foam roller, the stick, and our newest addition the Trigger Point Kits.

2) Warm up the fascia before taking that first step in the morning. This is easy to do if you keep a golf ball or tennis ball along with a dish towel by the bed. when you wake up place the ball on the ground and gently roll your foot over it, by doing so you will break up any scar tissue that might have formed throughout the night and will cause the blood to start circulating through the fascia. Next take the dish towel and stretch your foot and your calves by holding both ends and pulling your foot towards you. By doing this you ensure that when you start walking you aren’t doing so on a tight, un-stretched foot.

2B) Another use for this dish towel is foot strengthening. Place the towel flat on the ground longways and place your heel at the end of the towel. Next, use your toes to bunch up the towel until you reach the very end then repeat this exercise 10x on each foot.  Strengthening your feet is good for many reasons, but for PF it helps you maintain better control of the foot.

3)This one is very easy and needs little explanation. Freeze a water bottle and roll your foot over it, you get the same results as the tennis/golf ball trick with the added bonus of ice.

4)If all of these steps don’t help I have the person try an orthodic for extra support or a Strassburg Sock that will allow the foot to be in a stretched position throughout the night. Both of these are last ditch efforts before sending someone to see a doctor.

Plantar Faciitis is a very common problem that can be treated fairly easily if you take care of it when the pain first appears.  A good rest day and a few dollars invested can save you from costly time away from training and a dreaded trip to the doctor.

I wrote this in hopes that my running friends will have something to look at if they forget the steps I mentioned in the store. Again I am not a doctor, just someone who has suffered through this problem a few times before finally taking the necessary steps to heal. If you have any questions for me feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at ddetorres1@gmail.com