By Rachel Crandall on April 14th, 2014 | Comment on this post

We all know social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are some of the best marketing tools for a business. But what happens when tweets go wrong?

Even though you want tweets to look effortless, each one of them should be well thought-out. You want to look at a Twitter campaign from every possible angle and get the opinions of others before it goes live.

The following companies may have had the best of intentions, but their tweets will forever be known as some of the most epic social media fails.

1. AT&T uses a tragedy to sell phones

On the anniversary of 9/11, AT&T tweeted a photo of one their smartphones in front of the New York skyline, with lights representing the World Trade Center. The caption read, “Never Forget.” Americans’ have not forgotten the tragedy and they certainly do not appreciate a company exploiting that tragic event by utilizing product placement in a tweet meant to commemorate 9/11.…

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By Lisa Nielsen on April 14th, 2014 | Comment on this post

professional developmentHave you ever been inspired by a great conference keynote speech? A workshop presenter that your school or district hired? Do you want to share your ideas, be useful to others and make some extra money? Have you ever wondered how that could be you some day?

Well, it can, but it takes time to position yourself to take your show on the road. Below are some suggestions taken from what I’ve seen work for successful speakers and professional development providers.

  1. Know what you want to be known for. Pick your focus. There should be just be one or two things you are known for as the go-to person. This should guide your identity in all your profiles/bios and there should be keywords that you use that become tied to who you are and what you stand for.
  2. Engage on Twitter. Find other people doing your work and who are the audience that would invite you to speak.
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By on April 11th, 2014 | Comment on this post

A collection of stories from SmartBrief publications and around the web…

“One last thing before I go…”: This retirement speech by James Kidney, a former trial lawyer at the Securities and Exchange Commission, made waves this week for the shots he takes at the sometimes sheepish leadership at the Commission and revolving door ambitions of some staffers. “The revolving door is a very serious problem. I have had bosses, and bosses of my bosses, whose names we all know, who made little secret that they were here to punch their ticket. They mouthed serious regard for the mission of the Commission, but their actions were tentative and fearful in many instances. You can get back to Wall Street by acting tough, by using the SEC publicity apparatus to promote yourself as tough, and maybe even on a few occasions being tough, if you pick your targets carefully.”

Kidney’s speech includes a few more daggers like the one above.…

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By Drew Marshall on April 11th, 2014 | Comment on this post

To drive innovation, you sometimes have to “break” to achieve your breakthrough.

Tesla Motors is a perfect example of a company that disrupted its industry, despite the risks inherent in innovation. Founded in 2003 as a “boutique” automotive company, Tesla soon focused on the fringe electric car movement. When the financial crisis hit, Elon Musk came close to losing both Tesla and SpaceX. After General Motors and Chrysler went bankrupt, Musk found it almost impossible to raise another round of funding. Following the acquisition of $465 million in low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009, Tesla was able to file an IPO and begin trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Tesla’s subsequent efforts have been revolutionary. The company introduced a transformative driving experience to the market and continues to drive down the cost of electric cars — all under the guise of a 100-year-old mode of transport.

This type of innovation requires risk, and when growing from a startup to a stable, process-driven enterprise, the willingness to allow something to “break” is often lost.…

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By on April 11th, 2014 | Comment on this post

Millennials, those born in the 1980s and 1990s, are a key demographic for wealth managers because of the generation’s size. But they also present a challenge for advisers. Millennials are leery of investing after experiencing the Great Recession and are more focused on reducing debt and increasing savings than their parents. Courting this generation was the topic of “What do Millennial investors want from their financial services firms?” panel moderated by Steven M. Samuels, managing director of the client solutions and segments group at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, at SIFMA’s Private Client Conference Thursday in New York City.

Advisers are wrong to assume Millennials are radically different from their parents, said Michael Liersch, director of behavioral finance for Merrill Lynch. He conducted a survey of Millennial investors and found that two-thirds have similar values as their parents. He also discovered in his research that Millennials are not as anchored to technology nor prefer self-directed investing as much as advisers often think they do.…

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