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Social News Roundup | July 31, 2015


1. 6 Pinterest Marketing Tips You Can Use Today


Photo courtesy of Social Media Today

Only five percent of U.S. businesses are active on Pinterest, despite the platform proving effective in driving sales. Check out the six tips for optimizing your Pinterest profile here.

2. 6 Quick Tips for Using Social Media to Boost SEO


Photo courtesy of Social Media Today

Maintaining a robust social presence can help you improve your SEO.  Using hashtags, gaining followers and using external inbound links can help boost your rankings. Find out all of the ways to use social media to better your brand’s SEO.

3. 4 Best Practices for Brands Partnering With Short-Form Content Creators


Photo courtesy of SocialTimes

Influencer marketing has expanded beyond the blog space, and is now a powerful tool for targeting Millennials on many mobile apps like Youtube, Vine and Instagram. When partnering with these short-form content creators, tips like giving them creative freedom can lead to a more effective campaign. All four best practices can be found on SocialTimes.

4. Report: Social Media Apps Are the First Used Each Day


Photo courtesy of Social Times

Opera Mediaworks has released a report detailing engagement on various apps at different points in the day. While news and information apps presented the most loyal users, social media apps were the first apps accessed each day. Find the full report here.

5. How Can Brands Use Snapchat? [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Photo courtesy of Social Media Today

Although advertising efforts on Snapchat have been limited thus far, brands can join the bandwagon and target teens through contests and behind the scenes footage.  Check out the complete infographic on Social Media Today.

Why 8 Seconds Can Make or Break Your Social Media


Do you find yourself getting distracted when you’re scrolling through your social media feeds and rapidly jumping from one platform to the next? You are not alone – in fact, humans have a smaller attention span than goldfish! If your brand’s content doesn’t snag your audience’s attention in 8 seconds, you may be losing out on potential followers. 

Screen Shot 2015 07 24 at 4.55.27 PMPhoto courtesy of Social Times. 

Platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat have recognized humans’ short attention spans, and are implementing new features to display targeted and engaging content at the top of people’s feeds to ensure that their eye’s don’t wander.   

With users now able to choose which friends and pages they want to see at the top of their news feeds, it’s important to make sure your brand is at the top of their list. A surefire way to engage your brand’s followers and attract new ones is to add rich media to your posts. Humans are visually inclined and according to Social Times, content that includes visuals produces 180% more engagement than content without them. So spice up your statuses by adding a quick ‘how-to’ video or demonstrative infographic.

However, visuals won’t successfully captivate followers without strong text to accompany them. Catchy and informative language goes hand-in-hand with imagery – calls-to-action are a must. This action-based language creates a sense of urgency, promoting the user to click on your page and engage with your brand. 

twitter cta 6.03.00 PMPhoto courtesy of Social Times. 

Another thought to keep in mind to retain users and obtain new ones is to keep your content fresh, authentic and original. While it’s important to maintain a brand voice that is consistent with your company’s objectives, you can experiment with a wide range of content to see what generates the most interactions, such as a rap battle to showcase your company’s culture or a funny video to demonstrate how to use your company’s product.

The stakes are high when it comes to online engagement. People are quick to move along when perusing their news feeds, so make sure your content is targeted and eye capturing. Eight seconds is a small time frame, but it can make a huge difference for your brand.  

Social News Roundup | July 27, 2015


1. 3 Creative Ways to Use Twitter Hashtags to Promote Your Business


Photo courtesy of SocialTimes

Many brands make use of relevant hashtags, but hashtag strategies such as encouraging loyal customers to create content can elevate your brand’s presence. Learn all three hashtag tips here.

2. How to Create Compelling Live Broadcasts with Meerkat or Periscope

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Photo courtesy of Adweek

Brands can benefit from being early adopters of live streaming applications Meerkat and Periscope. SocialTimes reveals how to create compelling content on both of these platforms.

3. How to Write Great Copy for Every Social Network [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Photo courtesy of Social Media Today

Each social media platform requires carefully curated content and unique language in order to spread the right message. Find out how to enhance your brand’s copy from this infographic.

4. What Brands Can Learn from Customer Conversations on Social Media


Photo courtesy of SocialTimes

Social media is more than just an advertising tool—conversations on social can enlighten brands of what consumers want and can be used to increase customer satisfaction at a lower cost. Discover the full potential of customer conversations on social media here.

5. Can a Facebook Page Replace a Small Business Website?


Photo courtesy of SocialTimes

According to Facebook, there are currently 40 million active pages for small businesses. Many small businesses wonder if having a Facebook page is enough. Well, apparently it isn’t. Foregoing a website may cost your small business, and here’s why.

The Paradox of Being Plugged In


Some of life’s most precious moments can pass you by while you are staring at your phone. With multiple social media channels available at our fingertips, sharing, chatting, tweeting and engaging with others has become second nature for many and is hard to turn off.

Smartphone in hand, people now seem to spend more time snapping the perfect photo for their Instagram or filming for their Snapchat stories than enjoying real-time events and experiences. This addiction to technology is becoming increasingly widespread – especially among millennials.

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Photo courtesy of Social Times. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for using these social platforms to see the world from new perspectives, and I’m not one to pass up a golden Snapchat opportunity. But at a certain point, these channels can detract from real life experiences and hinder genuine interactions.

YouTube guru and American film director Casey Neistat recently developed an application that helps you enjoy life’s moments through your own eyes and your phone, simultaneously. The social sharing application Beme lets you record moments in your daily life through motion activation rather than by having to stare at your screen and hold down a record button.

This function could be extremely useful at concerts – just press your phone against your chest to activate the motion sensor and start recording. The platform also includes similar features to Snapchat, where each moment is fleeting and can only be seen once. A crucial point of differentiation is the reaction feature, which, unlike favorites and likes, allows people to respond to moments with a selfie. 

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Photo courtesy of Mashable. 

The paradox of being “plugged in” versus “living in the moment” is one with which many people (including myself) struggle. How many times have you been at dinner and checked your phone for that text message from a friend? Or been waiting in line and scrolling through your phone to avoid an awkward wait time or encounter with a stranger?

Forward-thinking brands such as Ringly have come up with wearable solutions to allow you to focus on what is most important. The emerging brand’s slogan: “Put your phone away and enjoy the moment.” Ringly’s “smart ring” will vibrate when you receive a text message or an email so you can leave your phone in your purse.

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Photo from Ringly website. 

While it may be nearly impossible to unplug completely, it’s important to look up from your phone every once in a while and enjoy life through your own eyes rather than your screen.  

Social News Roundup | July 17, 2015


1. Report: Sporting Events and Concerts Are the Most Social


Photo courtesy of SocialTimes

Live events are becoming increasingly social. While sporting events and concerts see some of the highest engagement, many other types of events also have users sharing branded content. See how to expand your brand’s reach at events here.

2. Facebook Eyes Music-Streaming Service (Report)


Photo courtesy of SocialTimes

News reports say that Facebook is looking to adopt a music system that will help rights holders find their music videos for removal or for profit. Sources state that the service will eventually expand into audio streaming. Find out more on SocialTimes.

3. Facebook's Latest News Feed Change Lets You Pick Who You See First


Photo courtesy of Mashable

Facebook has introduced a new feature: the ability to select who appears first on your news feed. This feature, “See First,” lets users select the friends and pages whose posts they would like to see on the top of the news feed. There are also options to unfollow users, reconnect with people you’ve previously unfollowed and discover new pages. Learn more here.


4. Snapchat Update Puts News Before Stories From Friends

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Photo courtesy of Mashable

The Snapchat “Stories” page now places its news content and live content above your friends’ updates. The change is a push to increase engagement with the app’s curated content. Discover the recent update on Mashable.

5. How Do Facebook, Twitter Users Consume News? (Report)


Photo courtesy of SocialTimes

59 percent of Twitter users and 63 percent of Facebook users consume breaking news on the respective social media channels. More details can be found here.

6. Millennial Marketing Tips From 4 of the World's Biggest Digital Platforms


Photo courtesy of Adweek

Four of the most popular social media platforms give brands advice on how to target Millennials, noting an emphasis on influencer marketing and local campaigns. Learn more from these key players here.

Fast Response to a Fast Food Scandal


Subway has chosen to part ways with its fifteen-year spokesman, Jared Fogle, due to his alleged connection with a child pornography investigation. Since an FBI raid at Fogle’s Indianapolis home on July 7th, the fast food chain has removed all mention of Jared on its website and social media channels.

Most people with a TV have seen Jared appear in Subway ads, many featuring an oversized pair of jeans, since the beginning of this century. In 2000, the chain hired Jared after learning of his two-sandwich-per-day diet that helped the overweight college student lose almost 250 pounds.


Photo courtesy of Business Insider

It is impossible to know when a crisis will break. Companies must be ready to tackle the situation at hand and do what’s best for their brand—and with the advent of social media, do so more quickly than ever. When news broke of the search at Fogle’s home, Subway became a trending topic on Twitter, and many waited for the restaurant to make a statement. Subway acted promptly, and as seen in the tweet below, the chain and Jared "mutually agreed" to pause their partnership by late afternoon on Tuesday. Untitled:Users:renegade:Desktop:Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 2.44.55 PM.png

Photo courtesy of Adweek

Despite the scandal, crisis management experts say that Subway is handling the situation as best as it can. First and foremost, it was important that Subway came out and said something. “Jared” has an inherent association with the Subway brand, and keeping customers aware of the situation was necessary. If Subway fired Fogle immediately, it would cement him as guilty. As of now, Fogle is not guilty of committing a crime, and the fact that Subway and Fogle “mutually agreed to suspend their relationship” keeps the door open for a future reconnection.

The reality is that when people think of Subway, they often think of Fogle. He’s even part of Subway’s brand proposition: that consumers can derive health value from its food. However, the fact that this relationship has come to a halt, coupled with an overly saturated market and other problems Subway is facing, might mean that the company is due for a rebranding and/or repositioning in the near future.

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Photo courtesy of Business Insider

Subway can also capitalize on positive press to deflect some of the attention from the Fogle crisis. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, for example, were recently spotted eating at a Subway,. This couple, known for being socially aware and parents to six children, might send a message to customers that Subway is the family-friendly choice. Subway can benefit from this type of press, as well as creating new associations and emphasizing new potential values for its consumers.

While every crisis is different, Subway carefully articulated its statement and has put itself in a position to keep moving forward. For brands both big and small, when a crisis strikes, it is important to act quickly, but to also make sure that all possible scenarios are evaluated.

Social News Roundup | July 10, 2015


1. When to Post to Facebook and Twitter for Maximum Responses


Photo courtesy of SocialTimes

Klout and Lithium Technologies found that maximum engagement for Twitter and Facebook is between 7 and 8 p.m. Discover more social media posting strategies in this SocialTimes piece.


2. Visual Media Changes How Humans Consume Information (Infographic)


Photo courtesy of SocialTimes

Humans are processing information differently with an increase in consumption of visual media. For example, 81% of people skim articles instead of reading them online. Find out how brands should evolve in this infographic.

3. 4 Recommendations (and 1 Calculation) to Improve Social Media Engagement


Photo courtesy of SocialTimes

One way to improve your brand’s social media engagement is to have a deeper understanding of your audience. Check out the other ways here.

4. Facebook’s New Floating Video Feature Lets You Scroll While You Watch


Photo courtesy of Mashable

As if our attention spans weren’t already too short, Facebook now lets you watch videos while you peruse your newsfeed. Find out the full scoop on Mashable.

5. 10 Characteristics of Killer Twitter CTAs You Can Use Today


Photo courtesy of SocialTimes

Including a call-to-action (CTA) in your tweet can help your brand increase engagement with its audience. Discover  ten attributes to keep in mind when prompting your target to take action.

6. Mobile Draws Stronger Neurological Responses Than TV (Study)


Photo courtesy of SocialTimes

A recent study by Facebook IQ and agency SalesBrain showed that our proximity to the mobile screen makes us more attentive than when watching TV. Check out this and other key takeaways for marketers here.

Moms and The Mobile-Market


Ever find that perfect pair of shoes while scrolling through Instagram? Realize you’re about to run out of diapers and don’t have time to get to the store? Dilemmas like these are now easier to solve as a result of the increasing popularity of mobile shopping. The online retail marketplace is expanding, and some savvy brands are jumping on the mobile shopping bandwagon as quickly as they can.


Photo courtesy of Mashable

While the primary source of online shopping is still a laptop or desktop computer, 15% of purchases happen on mobile, and that number is increasing annually. is capitalizing on the early adopters of this shopping habit: new moms. Studies show that mothers have almost three-fourths of the purchasing power of a household; in order to establish brand loyalty, especially for a commodity like diapers, targeting Moms is the key to repeat purchases.

To cater to this target and ease the transaction of a mobile purchase, has a mobile app tailored to single-handed use, as well as offering same-day delivery. Moms who are up late at night on the app will see messages such as “Working the night shift? Us, too!”

However, is not the only online retailer to streamline the process of mobile shopping. Amazon’s mobile app is one of the most popular and is used by nearly half of Millennials. Etsy’s, Forever 21’s and Wanelo’s mobile apps have also become extremely popular among the 18-34 demographic. Grocery store Peapod also released a new mobile app this past week.

Additionally, shopping has become integrated into the experience of social media, with the introduction of buyable pins on Pinterest and "buy" buttons on Instagram. Having the ability to purchase directly from social media platforms, as well as shop on-the-go from your mobile app, makes nearly instant gratification a reality.

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Photo courtesy of Forbes

So, what entices users to make the switch from their traditional shopping methods? As seen in the graphic above, users choose to shop on their mobile devices primarily because they are easier to navigate than the mobile site, and for discounts and pure price incentives.

Would introducing a mobile app for your brand help facilitate and add value to the consumer experience? If so, you might benefit from investing in the mobile marketplace.

Spice up your social strategy – sports teams are some of the best in the game


Sports teams are an instant starting point for conversation. When I see someone wearing a Warriors shirt in line at a coffee shop, I can’t help but talk to them. Similar interactions occur in the online domain. Social media provides an essential avenue for bringing strangers together with a little friendly banter. Indeed, sports and social media go hand-in-hand; watching games typically generates active participation, and for many, this means taking the conversation off the field and online by tweeting, posting, sharing, and commenting.

In a recent campaign, two New York soccer teams held a Twitter battle where the team who had the greatest Twitter presence secured an opportunity to light up the Empire State Building in its team colors. Both soccer squads circulated the twittersphere, with fans tweeting either #NYCFC for the New York City FC or #RBNY for the New York Red Bulls. While the New York City FC was ultimately the victor, the contest had positive externalities other than illuminating the city in one team’s colors; this campaign fostered genuine interactions and generated free exposure.

Twitter hosted a similar campaign for the Super Bowl XLVIII, in which fans would tweet their predictions for the winner of the match-up between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos. Turns out that Twitter was right – the hashtag champion was also the winner on the field.  

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Photo courtesy of Twitter Blog. 

Through calls-to-action and engagement opportunities, these platforms are practically begging for participation, and sports is an easy topic to get people talking. In another targeted campaign, Facebook used the NBA Finals as an opportunity to spark status updates.

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Photo courtesy of Social Times. 

This social strategy is a smart one because it pinpoints a popular event that the user is interested in, and invites him or her to respond by presenting the question: What’s on your mind?

Sports fans are in fact some of the most active social media users. In a recent survey of 10,000 women regarding the 2015 Women’s World Cup, 99% were considered to be active participants on social media, and 61% said they intended to use social media for updates on the action. 

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Photo courtesy of Social Times. 

With 73% of those surveyed using Facebook as their primary platform, this channel would be a great place to focus your brand’s next marketing effort. Kick off your campaign with calls-to-action – a crucial element in driving engagement.

The strategies behind these social campaigns can be extended beyond the realm of sports. Brands can utilize social channels by prompting customers to share their opinions through hashtag competitions, Instagram photo contests and polls. Get creative! If you score on social, chances are your brand will be a winner offline too! 

#LoveWins and So Do These Brands


The morning of Friday, June 26th, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. By 3 PM that afternoon, there were 2.6 million tweets using the hashtag #LoveWins, and that number has now surpassed 6.2 million.

President Obama’s tweet regarding the ruling incited the viral movement.

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Photo courtesy of International Business Times

Many brands capitalized on this momentous occasion and made use of real-time marketing, both on social and elsewhere. Jell-O curated Twitter content that was fun in the spirit of the occasion (see below). Other brands like Target, Ben and Jerry’s, MasterCard and many more quickly created branded, and often rainbow-colored, images and GIFs to share on social. Even Hillary Clinton intelligently joined in on the virality, appealing to her left-wing supporters by tweeting a photo with the caption “Proud” early on Friday morning.

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Photo courtesy of AdWeek

Uber joined in on the trend with a subtle rainbow tail to show that a driver was available on the app. This nod to Pride Month made for a simple but effective marketing strategy that had users sharing pictures of the Uber app on various social media networks.

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Photo courtesy of AdWeek

However, Chipotle’s "¿Homo Estás?” tweet and coupons did not go over as well with its audience. Some disgruntled Twitter users felt as if Chipotle’s attempt to market in real-time was insensitive.

Brands should learn from these real-time marketing masters, as well as from some of their mistakes, and keep an eye out for the next trending topic to join in on, keeping in mind that the most effective messages were simple and tugged on the heartstrings.

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