Social Media Analytics – How to Use Data to Refocus Your Social Strategy

I was honored to receive a request to speak at the PR News Social Media Summit in Huntington Beach, Calif. on Feb 26, 2016. I joined two other illustrious marketers/data analysts, Scott Davis of Weber Shandwick and Didier Rombaut of Cisco, to present on the topic of Social Media Analytics and How to Use Data to Refocus Your Social Strategy.

My section in particular was focused on how to find the metrics that matter to you and your business and whether you require a paid or free social media management tool for the job. I appeared as a representative of Opus Bank, a leading commercial banking partner in the Western region of the U.S.

Just Say No to Negativity or How My Girlfriend Saved My Life

My girlfriend saved my life last weekend.

Not in any dramatic, newsworthy way you might automatically be drawn to imagine, but rather – through a simple mental trick. Maybe it was newsworthy, because it is spurring me to write this post, which could carry as much benefit for someone else as it has for me.

“What’s the trick?”, you’re probably thinking. Well let me tell you what she told me: “Let’s try not to think or say anything negative for one week.” As a perennially glass half-full type of guy, this didn’t sound like much of a challenge to me. I’m also fairly certain no man has ever turned down an offer from his significant other to complain less. So off we went.

What happened next surprised me; actually, it changed me. I hadn’t realized how often I let little things bother me and get in the way of my goals. After the very first day of our mission, I was already starting to see a positive difference. The big bang, if you will, came as I laid down to bed last night. I was feeling somewhat unburdened and optimistic, and was looking forward to a full night’s sleep before attacking the day. Wouldn’t you know it though, I could not fall asleep. I tried everything: shifting positions constantly, turning music on and off, opening a window, shutting the window, drinking some water; nothing was working.

The funny thing is, I didn’t so much mind. What was keeping me up was mentally planning some of the more important things I’ll ever do in my life: propose to my girlfriend, and exchange vows at our wedding. My mind was so freed from all the negative thoughts that had been clogging it up, that suddenly I was able to concentrate on the things that really mattered. The amount I was able to accomplish the following day was mind-boggling, and I’ll be writing a future post about how “Baby Steps Bestow Bounteous Successes”.

Here’s what is funny about this story. Are you ready for this? After finally falling asleep, and getting only four hours of rest, I woke up actually feeling MORE rejuvenated and ready to attack the day than I had in months. I don’t know how to explain it other than this: I’d been spending so much time worrying about things and events I can’t control, that I had allowed negative energy to sap a lot of my creative juices. The result was usually waking up groggy and unmotivated, even though I was getting the recommended amount of sleep.

The overarching message here is simple, though it may sound difficult to some:

Change the way you think.

Crazy, right? Now, I’m not telling you to change your views, your beliefs, or anything like that. Simply make the switch from concerning yourself with negativity and insignificant problems, and focus on the present positives, future goals and past accomplishments of your life.

I’ll be giving my lady a big hug and kiss tonight; because she saved my life.

Lou and I making out

Surprisingly These People Make More Money Than You!

Here is a really interesting infographic I recently discovered over at This image details the average pay across the United States for various jobs/professions.

Next to each career and its salary is a different job from another area. A career that you might not realize makes more money than the other “respectable” job.

Very interesting indeed.

As an aside, I’d like to think that most Social Media Specialists make more than $48,000 a year, but that’s another post entirely.

Thanks to borisbenko and andysmith for their work on this.

Surprisingly these people make more money than you!

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

How to Run a Successful Facebook Contest

I think most of us realize by now the awesome power of Facebook-hosted contests and sweepstakes. If not, take a moment and read this article from Social Media Examiner. When it comes to running a contest or sweepstakes on Facebook, there are many important aspects to consider. You need to be sure to stay on the right side of the law – both Facebook’s and the government’s – when you create your promotion. There are many other little details that can make or break a contest, so it pays to do your homework first.

I recently came across this handy-dandy infographic from the fine folks at ShortStack, and it is a great resource to consult before you dive into creating your next amazing app!

original_Facebook Contest Checklist-page-001

Now you have the tools you need to make your next social media promotion a big winner!

If you have any questions on best practices for running a contest, feel free to contact me directly at sswentek {at} yahoo {dot} com.

Let’s Bring You Up To Speed…


I really need to work on my post frequency! There have just been so many life events happening over the past 6 months, that I’ve gotten buried in the day-to-day aspects.

I think the simplest way to attack this is to create a Top 5 list! So, without further ado, here is: The Top 5 Things That Happened in Sean Swentek’s Life (2013 edition) (so far) (subject to future edits) (in no particular order of importance) (except for #1)

5. I got a great new job at Pacific Dental Services as their Social Media Strategist!
4. My charity, A Walk On Water, is GROWING. We just hit our 1 year anniversary!
3. I got a sweet new whip: 2001 Mercedes Benz S430 — only 39,000 miles!
2. I’m almost done with physical therapy, stemming from my car accident.
1. I met the girl of my dreams! She is a surgeon, and we are in love.

So as you can see, there are lots of amazing things going on right now! I’m just happy to be alive and able to enjoy the best year of my life so far. Here’s to finishing strong 2013!

Life Update March 2013

Well things have certainly gotten extremely hectic, hence the great time lapse since my last post. Some exciting news to report; I will be graduating from Arizona State University in about 5 weeks! This has been an amazing experience returning to school, I’ve learned so much more than I ever thought I would. My personal social media marketing business is progressing well, I currently serve three amazing clients. I highly recommend you patronize their businesses:

  • Cal Coast Fitness – A specialized personal training company with a holistic approach to health and wellness. Cal Coast Fitness Website
  • Vegas Knights – The premier casino party supply company in Southern California. Make your next event one to remember! Vegas Knights Website
  • Southern California Fireplace – Crafting and installing specialty fireplaces and heating systems for commercial and residential. So Cal Fireplace Website

As my internship winds up at Fanscape, I am forced to weigh my options going forward. I have loved my time spent here and hope a position comes available to continue my journey. I have already been offered full-time positions with a couple other marketing agencies; this is going to be a difficult and important decision.

Most important though, our charity A Walk On Water is growing by the minute! We just had an amazing art show fundraiser last week: Moments by Steven Lippman. We were able to raise over $2,000 to fund our next surf therapy event!

All in all, life is amazing right now and I can’t wait to see how the next few years play out…

Awesome Report by Technorati: 2013 Digital Influence Report

Technorati did an amazing job compiling massive amounts of data at the end of 2012 to bring us this report on the state of digital marketing and what 2013 holds for those of us in the social media world.

Click to access tm2013DIR.pdf

My Fanscape Internship – or – How I Refell in Love with Social Media

My first month at Fanscape is officially in the books, and what an amazing experience it has been so far. I came into this experience determined to act like a sponge and soak up as much information and knowledge as I could. The (constantly busy) team at Fanscape has certainly held up their end of the bargain.

It’s amazing to watch the life cycle of a social media marketing campaign develop from idea to reality in such a short time; and these are gigantic projects with massive scope. One of my greatest takeaways is that no matter the size of the client, the relationship and genuine interest in their success is what drives a successful campaign. Something to think about as my career develops…

We serve the client, not the other way around.

We serve the client, not the other way around.

In the beginning…

Congratulations, you have stumbled across my very first blog post!

I look forward to sharing my social media tips, tricks, and stories alongside content about my other “work” in nonprofit organizations.

My business life currently includes my social media marketing work as an independent contractor and my internship at the amazing social media marketing agency Fanscape.

The Fanscape Team

My charitable work, what truly makes me happiest, is my new organization: A Walk On Water. This is a foundation that some friends and I started in 2012 with a goal of bettering the lives of special needs children and their families.

The AWOW FamilyAWOW Logo

Thanks for stopping by!