Social Media Personality: Burger King Trolls McDonalds On Twitter

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Social Media Personality: Burger King Trolls McDonalds On Twitter

There wasn't a ton of new channel updates this past week, so we wanted to share with you a great example of how having a defined brand personality on social media helps increase organic engagement with your customers. Before we dive into the Burger King example, there are a lot of other brands that do very well without having to be so outlandish. Going rogue isn't for every brand, but having a personality that caters to your audience will help with your channel increase your organic engagement. Once you deeply understand your audience, you can then determine what kind of content your audience likes to see on their timelines.

As we all know, fast food chains on Twitter troll each other throughout the year and troll their own followers as well. This week BK turned it up a notch by creating a campaign to sell whoppers for a penny if you ordered a one within 600 ft of a McDonalds location using the BK App. The launch of this campaign was the tweet you see above and that got a lot of attention. It was hilarious, and worth noting how hard a brand can go on social media. 

The reason al lot of fast food brands communicate like this on Twitter is because the most amount of trolling happens on Twitter. The platform lends itself to that kind of personality. Go check out what BK posts on Instagram, very different tone than Twitter. 

Let's Get Social V5

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What's New?

Instagram Drops Hot New “Questions” Sticker

Instagram has been working tirelessly modifying their app to keep up with the needs and wants of their users. As of recent, Reddit AMA’s (Ask me anything) were the best way to go about asking your favorite brands and content creators all of your questions. Instagram has taken note and subsequently dropped their new “Questions” sticker. What this function will do is allow content creators to interact and engage with their audiences better by allowing them a tab to ask questions on in the creators story. Questions will be go directly to the creators inbox where they can choose to answer them and post the response publicly or ignore them. This lets audiences get more in tune with who they’re watching and allows the creator to be more engaging with their audience. How do you intend to utilize this new function?

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Channel News

Facebook Launches New Function for E-commerce

Have you ever been scrolling through Facebook and you come across a item a company advertising that makes you think “Oh this is cool, I wonder how I’d  look in this?” Wonder no longer as Facebook is dropping new augmented reality system for there ads allowing you to virtually try on their items. Mainly being used for cosmetics, clothing and accessories, this new function will bring up your camera and virtually add whatever item you’re looking at onto you. Now, for anyone who has ever shopped for anything online you know that things don’t always come as advertised whether it be not fitting right or an item being not as described. These new AR Ads will eliminate confusion that goes along with purchasing products online and will hopefully increasing purchasing orders for brands who market on Facebook.

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Best in Class

PopTart USA Tweets Something You’ll Never Believe

The biggest news in the social media marketing game as of recent has got to be Pop-tart USA’s Twitter. Pop-Tart has been making headlines recently because their Twitter account is making people stop, absorb, shock, and engage. Their most recent Tweet depicted their new Pop Tart Flavor Frosted Strawberry and Drizzled Cheesecake alongside a tropical looking cocktail with the caption “Calm down, it’s a virgin like you” and people lost their minds. Not only has the tweet gone viral with 46,000 retweets and 133,000 favorites but people are quote tweeting it with their own caption and reaching 100,000+ retweets and favorites. The reason this got so hot is the sheer shock factor of calling their audience all virgins and having it NOT blow up in their face. People love the humor behind it as Pop-Tart USA has successfully carved out their ideal voice on Twitter and have people coming back just for the laughs. This is the pinnacle of social media success as it starts a dialogue revolving around their brand and brings awareness to their social media accounts as people wait for more!

Let's Get Social V4

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What's New?

Facebook Updates Story Feature

Facebook has unrolled a new update that allows users of their story function to archive stories for reuse or to post on other forms of social media later. Facebook has been notoriously late to the game on updating their story function as Instagram has already implemented this tool six months ago. This new feature is important for marketers due to the growing popularity of Facebook Stories as of recent. For brands not yet utilizing Facebook stories, it will prove worthwhile to give it a shot as it costs nothing to post stories, we call that free marketing.

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Channel News

Instagram Continues to Update Stories Function with Q&A Feature


Instagram continues to update their stories function and drop a new update during the holiday week. Now, select users will be able to add Question and Answers type text boxes in their story. This is important because it will drive engagement and consumer interactivity to a companies post. The responses are sent to the poster in a private message where they can connect with their consumer on a personal level. Instagram has been pumping out new features left and right and with the popularity of “story” based taking on new heights with user activity, it’s becoming more and more important to keep up with the latest tools.

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Best in Class

Facebook launches “Keyword Snooze” to Help User See What They Want

Facebook has started testing a feature that will allow users to to mute specific words that would appear on their Newsfeed for 30 days. If you snooze a word, you won’t see it on your feed for 30 days, this effects posts from friends and organic content from appearing on your feed but will not block paid ads. The past few months has not been easy on Facebook with the Cambridge Analytica and most recently, a bug that unblocks people Facebook users have blocked beforehand. With this new feature, Facebook hopes to instill in their users heads that they are still in control of what they see and what they share. The main focus of this feature is for political content that could be triggering to viewers.  

Let's Get Social V3

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What's New?

Facebook Launches New “Brand Collab Manager” Option to Influencers with Brands


 It’s no secret that companies are reaching out to social media influencers more and more to support the companies brand and further their reach. With this knowledge in mind, Facebook has come out with their new Brand Collab Manager dashboard feature which will highlight potential influencers that could best support your brands message. Personalized lists of influencers will be calculated based off of your own specific promotional requirements. Each influencer will be given a % rating based on compatibility with your brand and its specifications while also showing the influencers reach and category. Creators will be able to make brand profiles complete with intro video, to do so, creators will need to sign up for Brand Collab Manager.

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Channel News

Instagram Stories Reach 400 Million Daily Active Users

Instagram continues to produce quality metrics in showing that their social “Stories” feature now gets 400 million daily active users, up from 300 million last November. These numbers show that Instagram's story usage is now growing faster than Snapchat’s, the originator of the “story” function. Social marketers should take this information into account when planning out their social media strategies. Instagram stories are a great way to further your message and drive engagement on your channels. When Instagram first launched their stories function, it could surely have been classified as a flop but with proper research and development they have turned their story function into one of the top growing vertical content consumption method on social media today.   


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Best in Class

Instagram Launches Video Chat

Instagram launches their video chatting capabilities in their messenger portal for friends and brands to connect. With Instagram stories being interactive and becoming a destination for viewers, the video chat functions purpose is so users can just "hang out,' according to Mark Zuckerberg. The reviews of the feature have been positive,  if Instagram can grow their FaceTime to compete with Apple's FaceTime function remains to be seen. 

Let's Get Social V2

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Twitter News

Twitter Launches New Site to Optimize Business

Have you ever wondered how to maximize your potential on Twitter but weren’t sure which resource to use? Look no further as Twitter has eliminated the middle man by launching their own help site called Twitter Media. The site was made and is packed full of resources and guides which outline and break down how to use Twitter’s many tools and functions. Whether you objective is to boost your reach, gain followers or increase engagement, Twitter Media’s got you covered. For those new to Twitter, these tools will provide in depth views into managing and optimizing your account. Veterans of the Twitter-verse may find this guide to be a tad beginner but there’s always more to be learned.

Channel News

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Instagram Hits 1 Billion Monthly Users

Instagram had 800 million monthly active users in September and this week the platform reaches the billion club. Instagram is a channel that steadily grows and continuously tries to offer new tools and features to support its users for optimal use. 

While Snapchat’s daily user count grew just 2.13 percent in Q1 2018 to 191 million, and Facebook’s monthly count grew 3.14 percent to reach 2.196 billion, Instagram is growing closer to 5 percent per quarter.

Hitting the 1 billion user milestone could put pressure on Instagram to carry its weight in the Facebook family and bring home more cash. Facebook doesn’t break out Instagram’s revenue and has never given any guidance about it. But eMarketer estimates that Instagram will generate $5.48 billion in U.S. ad revenue in 2018, up 70 percent from last year. It reports that Instagram makes up 28.2 percent of Facebook’s mobile ad revenue.

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What's New?

Instagram Launches New IGTV for Long Form Video 

Eager to join the party, Instagram has dropped its latest update in the form of the new IGTV. Instagram TV will be a new way to follow your favorite celebrities, brands, and friends on social media. Anyone will be able to upload hour long videos straight to IGTV which is accessible through the Instagram app or the new standalone IGTV app. The new function will also give users the ability to subscribe to channels the same way YouTube runs their subscription function, notifying subscribers to when their favorite content creators post. Currently, Instagram is not implementing ads into their IGTV app but ads should be expected in the future. Instagram also isn’t going to be paying creators for posting content but are expected to build a monetization option for creators and possibly ad share revenue.

Let's Get Social V1

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I.H.O.P Ignites a Massive Tweetstorm Over Recent “Name Change.”


I.H.O.P, or I.H.O.B as the franchise has newly proclaimed, has been trending on Twitter for the past few days after their dramatic reveal that the new “B’ stands for burgers. The reveal led to the Twitterverse promptly losing their minds with people on both sides of the fence. Other notable burger companies also took note such as, Wendy’s, Denny's, Red Robin and Whataburger all taking jabs at the new player in the burger game. The news also prompted responses from celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen and Quest Love which alone garnered over 165,000 retweets. Safe to say, the name change surely got people talking about I.H.O.P, whether the burgers will be a success or not remains to be seen.

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Apple retreat from monitoring Facebook Likes to perpetuate ads.


Amidst the ever growing fear from consumers that they’re online information isn’t safe, Apple steps up to the plate in a big way. With Apple’s Safari 12 being newly implemented on all their products, Safari users will now be able to opt in or out of sharing their information with plug ins from Facebook such as the “Like” button and comment section. This update is only relevant to Apple’s search engine, Safari. All other search engines such as Google Chrome and Internet Explorer, for all twelve people who still use Internet Explorer, will not have such features available.


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Instagram revamp ad algorithm, what you need to know.


With Instagram being a main tool used by marketing professionals, the reengineering of Instagram's ad algorithm is crucial information to have if you wish to best reach your target market. The three big factors involved in ad placement are, according to Instagram, interest, timeliness and relationship. Interest being how much the site thinks you care about a post based on post viewing behavior. Timeliness referring to newer posts being more popular than older posts and relationship that refers to how close you are to the person who shared the ad, whether or not you both are tagged in pictures or comment at each other. With these ideas in mind, how will you best target your audience?


Looking For 24/7 Community Management

If you're not monitoring your social media channels 24/7, you could be missing out on new business opportunities and (equally as important) customer service issues. When is the last time you contacted a brand via their 800 number? You will get a faster response from a company via Twitter than calling and or emailing with strong community management and a true monitoring / engaging plan. Even though the community manager isn't the customer service expert, just having an open line of communication with a brand is comforting enough for a customer to have some sense of "this issue" will get resolved somehow. 

Social media is a 24/7 job and is the vessel that can help give your brand credibility, consumer trust and ultimately drive revenue for your business. Fresh Content Society offers 24/7 community management services and is a trusted reliable source to keep your channels active on weekends and off hours. 

Here's how we can help your business with 24/7 community management: 

  • Create a custom response grid 
  • Around the clock (24/7 community managers) 
  • Customer service liaison to your brand
  • Monitor and reply back to incoming messages, wall posts, replies and comments 

Great 24/7 Example: Recently I had an issue with my Dyson vacuum. I reached out via Twitter and within a hour there was a response from Dyson. Oh yea, I messaged them on a Saturday. The response came from overseas and they said they will get back to me on Monday when a U.S. representative was available. On Monday, there was a response back. After some back 'n forth, they sent me a replacement piece and I can go back to cleaning my house. Not once did I call, email or go to a store. All communication happened via Twitter. Dyson is a great example of solid 24/7 community management. 


Social Media Manager Salary

Social Media Manager Salary

A social media manager salary all depends on experience. As with anything, you get what you pay for. In 2013, the average salary for community managers was $57,733. Glassdoor set the national average salary for community managers at $51,971. Indeed’s average clocked in at just $49,000. This is accurate for a social media manager salary.

A social media manager (a community manager) doesn't always include a social media strategy. A social media strategist can be paid anywhere from $70,000 - $100,000 per year. A social media Director can be paid from $100,000 - $150,000 per year depending on how many channels and how active the community is.

If you hire a social media marketing agency, such as Fresh Content Society, rates for engaging a social media manager range from $1,000 / social media platform to $5,000 / social media channel per month.

The first point to consider is your own business. If you are seeking a social media or community manager for a large, high-profile enterprise company, then a candidate will expect a higher annual salary. For example, Glassdoor listed the salaries for several prominent tech and Internet companies. The average community manager pay reported at Google was $68,169, while Yelp’s community managers reported $69,039 and Electronic Arts’ reported $69,482. Social media managers would expect to see a similar scale; in fact, the role received average pay of $85,999 working at Samsung Electronics America.

If you’re running a smaller operation that won’t be as demanding for the community manager, however, then applicants might be more comfortable with the rates toward the lower end of the scale. In general, pick a rate that will align with your own budget and hiring practices.

Social Media Content Calendar

The importance of a social media content calendar is to ultimately plan for success. Having a social media content calendar will help you not miss important dates, integrate your other marketing programs to be cross-promoted on your social media channels and to ensure your social media channels are active. When developing a social media content calendar, it's important to include the following: The day, time, platform, copy and image. A social media content calendar can work across all your owned platforms, including: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, LinkedIn, etc. 

Here's what a social media content calendar looks like:

Date: 9/9/16

Time: 7:00 a.m.

Platform: Facebook

Copy: Comment below with your favorite soda pop. 

Image: Coke and Diet Coke can

If you need help creating, developing or publishing a social media content calendar, please get in touch with one of our social media experts. 


How To Contact A Social Media Influencer

Finding a social media influencer is not easy to do, especially if you don't have a current relationship with the social media celebrity. This process is very tedious and patience is a virtue. Identifying a social media influencer requires a ton of research and vetting out who can help add value to the conversation. Before even exploring who's out there, you must create an objective and determine what the goal is for engaging a social media influencer. It's also good to figure out what the metrics are to measure the impact of the social media influencer campaign. In addition to the goal, it's important to understand what social media platform is most important to the particular activation. An influencer should be somebody who has authority in the space and is an expert that can help drive awareness and engagement to the social media influencer program. 

A number of social media celebs will have an agent or manager representing them to vet out business opportunities. Could be WMA or United Talent event. Influencers will sometimes post their contact info (or their managers info) in their social media profiles under the about us section on Facebook, Twitter Bio, Instagram Bio, etc. You can always google search "celeb name and manager". Otherwise you can try and search for "celeb name and press releases" and connect with their publicist to help you get in touch with their agent. This is a process and could take a long time, but eventually the contact info will surface. There are a number of automated influencer outreach/engagement platforms, but I find them to be too expensive and doesn't deliver many qualified influencers that can really help take the program to the next level. 

The good news is social media influencers want to get paid for tapping into their communities they've built, and they deserve the money. Social media influencers want to be accessible and they should be more transparent with their biz agent info, but it's hard to sift through millions of emails especially it's from fans and not biz opportunities. 

If you need help identifying, negotiating and engaging a social media influencer, get in touch with one of our social media experts to help with the planning and execution of the influencer program. We have a lot of experience helping brands with their social media influencer management and seen a lot of great results. 

Social Media Contest Do's and Don'ts

Running a sweepstakes or giveaway on social media is a great tactic to increase your fan acquisition, brand awareness and engagement. There are rules to the game and best practices to consider when planning/launching such campaigns. If you are interested in creating a social media sweepstakes or giveaway for your business, get in touch with one of our social media experts to discuss the options. 

Do make it simple to win. People, on social media, don't want too many barriers of entry when entering a contest. Making it easy to enter the sweepstakes will prevent confusion and increase your chances of participants. 

Do set a budget and timeline to promote (boot/sponsor) posts to reach more of your audience existing and new. For each platform, ensure you follow the creative specs/guidelines. If you don't you'll have to redo the creative assets and it's not a pretty process. 

Do follow Facebook's (and other social media platforms) rules and policies. Here's Facebook's giveaway rules:

Do establish official sweepstake rules (term/conditions).  (see below) 

Do have your sweepstakes partners promote the sweepstakes to garner more reach and engagement. 

Do test your Facebook tab or any microsite before going live to ensure all your tech details are working properly. 

Official rules must always include:

  • “No purchase necessary.”
  • The alternative method of free participation.
  • Geographic area of the sweepstakes and/or who is eligible to participate in the sweepstakes.
  • Opening date and scheduled termination date of the sweepstakes.
  • Complete name and address of the sponsor and promoter of the contest.
  • Number of prizes, the accurate description of each prize, the retail value of each prize and the odds of winning each type of prize.
  • Whether all prizes offered will be awarded and how the prizes will be awarded.
  • Manner of selection of winners and when a determination of winners will be made.
  • Where and when a list of winners can be obtained.

Don't contact winners via Facebook Messenger or on Facebook (comments) because that is against Facebook LAW. You'll have to contact the winner via email or phone to notify them of their winnings. 

Don't forget to make the prizes worth entering. The better the prize, the better the results. Don't make the prize cash because there are a lot of hurdles to jump through. Giveaway an experience, free product/service, etc.

Don't forget to write a social media content calendar before the contest launches to ensure you're putting out the right messaging to people to engage with your status updates, tweets, posts, etc. 

There are a lot more do's and don'ts. We hope you enjoyed a few free social media tips and we hope we can help you manage and or grow your social media communities in the very near future. 


How To Use Facebook Live Video

Are you confused on how to use Facebook's new Live Video feature? Facebook rolled out their new Facebook Live Video feature to allow users to live stream video directly on Facebook. Live streaming is becoming increasingly popular on social media and it's a great to increase interaction between you and your fans. Great to use when you have events, a guest speaker, or simply want to connect with your fans in real time. If you want to use this function, you'll need use it on your mobile device through the Facebook App (IOS APP or Android app). 

To start a live broadcast:

  1. Log into the Facebook iOS app or Facebook Android app
  2. Tap  at the top of your Timeline, News Feed or Page
  3. Tap 
  4. Write an optional description for your broadcast
  5. Tap Go Live to begin your broadcast

When you want to end your broadcast, tap Finish.

Your broadcast can be no longer than 30 minutes. When you end your broadcast, it'll stay on your Timeline or Page like any other video.

Note: You can block viewers during a live broadcast by tapping the profile picture next to a viewer's comment and then tapping Block. You can unblock someone that you've previously blocked. 

Snapchat For Business Use

When using Snapchat from a brand POV, it's always good to establish an objective and strategy. Snapchat is a FRESH platform to promote in real time and it's very interactive. It's a great way to build customer relationships and provide consumers a real time look into your brand and culture. Snapchat does skew a younger demographic, but it's expanding and rapidly. 

Below are 5 good strategies that can be implemented from a brand Snapchat. 

#1: Provide Access to Live Events

Snapchat is a great for real-time content because it can give the audience direct access to live events. You can use it for product launches, trade shows or one-of-a-kind events, etc. Snapchat gets your audience excited because you’re providing a different, more authentic view of what’s going on at the event. 

#2: Deliver Private Content

You can also use Snapchat to provide special content to your audience that they might not receive on other digital platforms. Think of something unique to surprise your community of followers.

#3: Offer Contests, Perks or Promotions

Everyone loves social media giveaways and promotions, so think of ways you can keep your followers coming back for more. For example, you could offer promo codes or discounts to the fans who watch your entire Snapchat story, or ask them to take a snap while holding your product.

#4: Take People Behind the Curtain

With Snapchat, you can provide behind-the-scenes content to your community, which helps create and engage a strong following. Show off your company and make sure to have fun with it. Capture birthday parties, Friday afternoons or company outings. The sky’s the limit on showing how your brand differentiates itself with company culture.

#5: Partner With Influencers

Just like with Instagram and other social channels, social media influencers on Snapchat can help spread brand awareness and reach. By partnering with influencers, you can spread awareness to a demographic that’s hard to reach through traditional media.

Tips To Build An Organic Social Media Community

Building an organic social media community takes the right resources and a dedicated Community Manager that lives and breaths the community. Below are 3 tips that can be easily implemented when designing a social media strategy for your communities.

1. Create Real Relationships From Social Off-Line.

As we know in B2B sales, an important step in “getting to the sale” is to have the in-person meeting once all the details have been worked out and agreed. You can reach out on social media to someone all day, but until you talk to them, you don’t really know their agenda, interests, influence, or personality. I make it a habit to take at least one new LinkedIn connection , one person I follow on Twitter in my lists, one new circle in my G+ community, one new Facebook friend off-line each week. I do the best I can and work a very aggressive schedule. Even a 15-minute phone can create a start to a beautiful working relationship.

2. Take Social Customer Service Seriously.

In social media, your customers are literally at your fingertips. Whether you are B2B or B2C, you have the opportunity to impress your customers every day. Any messages in Facebook should be attended to within an hour, if possible, especially if you are in a B2C business, and then 15 minutes. You want to win some organic customer love? Reach out to those that follow you on Twitter, those that like you on Facebook, and send them a nice Happy Birthday on their birthdays (super easy to see on Facebook), watch what interests they have beyond your brand (hobbies, passions), and think about what you can offer that suits those interests.

3. Truly Engage

Engaging with your social ecosystem means a number of things, all of which the world of digital marketing and content marketers have been trying to figure out for years. Let’s make it simple. To engage means to align with the interests and behaviors of your audience. In some cases, this may in fact mean sharing funny photos and compelling video. In others, it may require sharing sound research and whitepapers with quantified results. Once you do have an actual following, if even small, it means to support and share your followers’ content, to respond to their comments, to help them in what they may need help in. To engage in social media is not unlike supporting your in-store customer or having a real discussion with your B2B lead and really listening to what is important to them.

These are just three of the many ways you can start to organically build an organic community in social media. Social media marketing is not an overnight sensation, unless of course you are a YouTube music star, and even then stars need to follow these rules to support their fans. In social media, as in any other area of digital marketing, and especially B2B marketing, a great barometer of success is how qualified your networks really are. When you approach social from an organic development standpoint, quality is a natural result.

2016 Social Media Trends

Nine out of 10 U.S. companies are active on social networks, according to LinkedIn.  

Social media has become a necessary business tool for companies big and small. There are now more than 2 billion active social media users around the world, according to a LinkedIn article about upcoming social media trends. More people are now regularly using social media than the populations of the United States and China combined, and the number is growing at a clip of 25 percent a year. Social media companies know that businesses are increasingly taking advantage of their services and are making changes accordingly. Facebook introduced more targeted advertising and a new feature called "Facebook at Work," which is currently in the trial phase. Social media advertising is expected to grow. By 2017, social media ads may account for 16 percent of all digital ad spend globally, the LinkedIn article states. In 2015, companies spent nearly $24 billion on social media advertising.

Here are 5 2016 social media trends to be privy of. What do you think will be popping next year? Please feel free to read the full article on Fresh Content Society's blog here: 

1. Live video streaming
2. Real time content posting leveraging current events
3. Social media paid media support (advertising) increasing in popularity (Instagram especially)
4. Building one-on-one relationships with customers
5. Social commerce (being able to buy product/services from social media platforms)

Live Video Streaming - Now that Facebook added the live video streaming functionality, we'll see an increase of this with brands, especially with sports and lifestyle properties. I think Periscope is here to stay and live video streaming will be popping in 2016. 

Real Time Posting - Scheduling content will always be important, but brands are going to be ready to be nimble and post in real time leveraging real world events that pertains to their brand to be able to offer up value and or insight to their community during current events.

Social Media Advertising - This idea is being embraced more and more since the cost of advertising is so low. Still haven't been able to TRULY track sales through social media, but there's no question to the exposure to the cost is very beneficial to a brand's social media community. 

Super Users - Being able to connect with your customers everyday via social media is special, but being able to really get to know your customer and engaging with them directly and personally is going to take the relationship to the next level. Wait for it, it's happening. 

Social Commerce - Going to a website (e-commerce) is so 2015 to purchase products from your favorite brand. Buy buttons on social media will appear and consumers will be able to exchange money and products all through social media. I think it'll start as a link and then the capability of buying direct on each platform is coming soon. 


Did we miss anything? Comment and we'd love to hear from you! 

5 Community Management Best Practices

Great community management starts with having a great (and dedicated) social media or community manager. Additionally we still see lots of communities being launched without well thought out content or adoption strategies. These are paramount to success so be sure to define both before launching anything!  Post that there are many ways to get a community off on the right foot and help it to grow to meet its full potential.

Here are a few of the best practices we apply:

  1. Recruit key influencers and advocates. This is easily said; however you should implement a social listening strategy to help find those individuals that best suit your needs. You can do this by selecting key words that most resonate with the nature of your brand. Here is a great example of the power of influencers.
  2. Implement sharing and referral functionality to facilitate word of mouth.
  3. Implement a system that rewards contributors (gamification). Check out how Ford has embraced this concept.
  4. Be transparent and honest with new and existing users at all times.
  5. Provide excellent content that is open and free. Learn more about content and experience: Content is King, Experience is queen.

10 Instagram Tips and Tricks

Instagram smashed through the 200 million user mark in March, so it doesn't seem to be suffering too badly from the surfeit of competitors taking it on. Whether you're an Instagram newbie or an old-timer on the network, these 10 tips should give you a few fresh ideas about how you can get the most out of the app.

1. Save your originals

The photos Instagram uploads to its network and shares with the world are 612 x 612 pixels in size. If you want to access a higher resolution version (for uploading to your website perhaps) then you can find these on your phone or tablet.

On Android, full-size pictures are automatically saved in an Instagram folder in the gallery; on iOS, they are added to your camera roll. In both cases, make sure the Save Original Photosoption is activated on the settings page (it's turned on by default). Note that the maximum resolution that Instagram will save pictures at is 2048 x 2048 pixels, irrespective of your device's capabilities.

2. Embed your photos on the Web

Just taken an Instagram shot that's so inspiring you want to share it on your blog? Find the post via Instagram on the Web, click the menu button (three horizontal dots) and choose View Photo Page, then open the menu button again and select the Embed option. The code that appears can be pasted anywhere else on the Web to showcase the picture, and you can embed images from other Instagram streams just as easily as your own. Each embed comes with a link back to the photo on the Web, and it only works with public Instagram accounts—content set as private cannot be shared.

3. Take time with your edits

Did you notice the more sophisticated editing tools that Instagram added last month? Not only can you adjust the strength of each filter for the first time (press again on the selected filter name to see a slider), you can also access a host of extra options too.

Use the Shadows option if part of your picture is a little too dark, or open up the Saturation slider if you want to turn the strength of the image's colors up or down a notch. A gray line appears underneath edits that you've already applied, so you can easily retrace your steps if you want to go back to the original settings.

4. Save your favorites to Dropbox

We make no secret of our admiration of IFTTT, the online app that pulls together all kinds of services and tools. There are many different ways you can use Instagram with IFTTT, from sending your pictures to Twitter to keeping track of images at a certain location.

Add Dropbox into the mix and you can build a recipe that saves all the Instagram pictures you favorite to your hard drive, which is a great way of building up a collection of the best snaps you come across on the network. The 640 x 640 public version of each image is the one saved to your Dropbox account.

5. Manage your photo map

Every time you share a photo to Instagram, you have the opportunity to add it to your photo map. As we've explained before, you should always be wary when sharing the location of your pictures, but the feature can be useful for grouping images together or charting the progress of a particular trip. To review the pictures you've tagged with a location, tap the map marker symbol on your profile page—the subsequent screen shows where your photos are pinned and enables you to remove the attached location information, should you want to. Remember that public geotagged photos will appear on that location's page within the Instagram app.

6. Pick your hashtags carefully

Think twice about why you're hashtagging your pictures: is it to get them seen by more people or to add them to the mix at a public event? Pick hashtags that are too common and they'll get lost in the flood, so keep them relevant and use them sparingly. It's also worth browsing through related hashtags already being used on Instagram to see if there are niche hashtags or even official hashtag streams relevant to your images that you didn't know about. Be specific, be relevant and be observant is the advice from Instagram staff when it comes to using hashtags.

7. Make more of your profile

Your profile is the first page that strangers see when they're checking out your Instagram feed, so make sure you give them a few good reasons to tap the Follow button (if indeed you want any more followers). Say something about yourself, what you do, and the types of photos you'll be sharing (as it may not be obvious from the first few pictures in your feed). Make use of the website field to direct visitors to your full portfolio, your Twitter feed or anywhere else that's going to help convince someone that you're worth a follow. You'll be Insta-famous in no time... probably.

8. Share more widely

Instagram can plug into plenty of other social media services, so make use of these links and share your photo-taking abilities with all those people who don't have Instagram installed. At the same time, you should avoid spamming your friends across multiple social networks too often—you can turn the sharing options on or off for each individual photo, once you've established the connections.

Unfortunately, Instagram pictures are no longer shared as native images on Twitter, but you can use this IFTTT recipe as a workaround. Facebook integration is very straightforward, as you would expect, with linked pictures duplicated in an Instagram Photos album.

9. Learn from the pros

Mix up your contacts list by adding in a few Instagram experts and professionals alongside all of your family, friends, and favorite celebrities. You'll soon pick up ideas for how to use lighting, scenery and the various filters available in the app just by studying the work of the experts. Try road tripper Foster Huntington (909,995 followers), the National Geographic's Ira Block(52,072 followers) or CNN journalist Jethro Mullen (900,800 followers at the time of writing) for starters. Keep your eye on the Instagram blog too, where staff members and expert users sometimes share tips on getting the best pictures you can (such as this post on macro shots).

10. Add extra apps

As Instagram is able to load in photos from your phone or tablet as well as take them with its own camera, you can add some third-party apps to the mix. Plenty of apps (such as Diptic for iOS or Photo Grid for Android) will let you create photo collages within one Instagram image, while dedicated camera tools (like Camera+ or Camera Zoom FX) can really take your snaps to the next level before you even open Instagram.

You can invest in some extra hardware too, to get more out of your phone's camera lens—everything from fish eye attachments to tripods can help improve the quality of your Instagramming.

Any other handy Instagram tips we missed? Include them below!

Periscope App Best Practices

Content publishers and brands are broadcasting real-time video and gaining large audiences using Periscope, Twitter’s new live-streaming video publication tool. As communicators, it’s essential that we know how to use platforms like Periscope (and Meerkat) to good effect, both for the brands we represent and our own learning and development.

The use of emerging platforms should always be a component of a healthy integrated marketing mix, (click to tweet) and Periscope can be a great tool for generating awareness and engagement for a host of marketing activities. Your audience wants to be part of your brand activities but, more often than not, can’t be there in person to do so. Here are a few instances in which you may want to consider deploying a Periscope campaign:

  • Photo shoots
  • Ambassador interviews
  • Conferences/panel discussions
  • Product demonstrations/reviews
  • Shop and retail tours
  • Press day access
  • Behind the scenes

I’ve been avidly watching and creating my own Periscope broadcasts over the last few weeks and developed the following basic guide of how to use the tool.

Here are my 15 Periscope best practices:

  1. Have the right equipment—a rig or a tripod, a full battery and a smartphone or tablet with the app installed—if you don’t have the equipment you can find it on Amazon
  2. Make sure your smartphone is fully charged
  3. Make sure you have wifi or a 4G connection from the place you will be broadcasting from
  4. Appropriately title your broadcast
  5. Have a call to action in the title so people know what to do or ask when they open the broadcast
  6. Share it socially with your followers and friends
  7. Be consistent with hashtags and other conversations or broadcasts you are performing at the time
  8. Hold your smartphone vertically — changing to landscape doesn’t recalibrate the broadcast and you end up with a weird viewing angle
  9. Use the top 3rd of the screen—commentary will block the view of what’s going on if it’s switched on
  10. Flip the camera, if you are interviewing yourself or talking to the audience have the camera facing you—if you’re shooting a scene, make sure you flip the camera
  11. Be aware of mirroring—if you are filming with the front camera, text and other gestures will appear mirrored and make it difficult for the audience to see
  12. Ask questions of the audience—everyone loves to give their opinion
  13. Answer questions in real-time to avoid frustration
  14. Encourage positive feedback by asking your audience to double tap to agree if typing isn’t conducive
  15. Remember Periscope is a mobile-first application and that your broadcast will be global. With that in mind, you may get unusual questions—luckily  you can pause commentary and block offensive users—those pesky trolls are everywhere!