Tag Archives: social media

Six Tips to Clean up Your Social Media

We’re well into the New Year and people are either making good progress with their resolutions and goals or they’ve dumped them. Now that the pressure to make resolutions and lists has eased up a little bit, think about setting some realistic social media goals for the remainder of 2016. Here are a few ways to clean things up so you can get the most out of your interaction on social media this year:

1. Dump inactive accounts

If you’ve got stale accounts now is a good time to either revive or ditch them – especially if they’re linked to your blog or website. Maybe you thought it was a great idea to try and make Google+ work for you and it just didn’t pan out. That’s fair, but if your G+ profile is displayed prominently on your homepage and you never use it, a new reader may get the impression you’re not serious about what you do.

Use or lose. This is a good time of year to skinny down and decide what you really need.

2. Check the links on the home page of your blog or website

Hopefully you have “follow” buttons for all the social media channels you’re active on displayed prominently on your home page. (If not, remedy that because you’re missing web traffic, business and connections!) Make sure all links work: your “follow me on Pinterest” button should take people to your Pinterest profile, your Instagram button should go to your Instagram feed, etc.

Make sure the links aren’t broken and that accounts are active. This is a good thing to add to your quarterly to-do checklist. If you have a Twitter feed linked to your homepage and you haven’t tweeted in three months, either remove the link or make targeted efforts to start using that account. Stale accounts send the message that your page or business is lagging (see #1.)

When was the last time you cleaned up your #socialmedia accounts? Here's how: Click To Tweet

3. Make sure your social share buttons work

The worst mistake you can make as a blogger or website owner is making it difficult for readers to share your content. If I finish reading something and think, “Wow, that’s awesome,” and I see Facebook and Twitter share buttons, I’m motivated to share your content with people in my circles – and you’ve made it really easy for me.

If your share buttons are absent, the average reader won’t hunt for them. And yes, you need share buttons in addition to the “follow me on social media” buttons.

4. Clean up your profiles

Your profiles across all media accounts associated with your blog or business should be consistent. The tag lines should be the same. Your avatar should be the same. Your Facebook and Twitter cover pages should be the same (or at least very similar) to your blog or website’s cover. If you have a logo or particular colors and fonts you use on your website, those should show up on your social media accounts.

Your end result is to project a consistent brand across your digital spaces. While you blog cover and social media covers may look slightly different, the same colors, fonts and logos should be present throughout, which gives readers the visual clues that it’s your material.

Evaluate your #socialmedia accounts for brand consistency across the board. Click To Tweet

5. Evaluate connections

Are you interacting with the kinds of accounts you need to be following to reach your goals? Follow people you enjoy or learn from and don’t miss opportunities to connect with potential clients, mentors and co-collaborators. If your Twitter feed is full of accounts you have no interest in interacting with then it might be time for some cleanup, followed by some targeted searching of accounts you do want to interact with.

6. Set goals

Do you want to focus on growth? More engagement? Connecting with brands? Learning to navigate a new platform? Consider setting monthly or quarterly goals.

Plan your year of conquering social media in easy-to-manage increments and then celebrate your success! Happy cleanup and don’t forget the social in social media!

Jill Robbins is a published author and award-winning writer, speaker and wine snob. She writes regularly on her blog, Ripped Jeans and Bifocals. You can keep up with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Influencer Marketing, Shopper Marketing, Shopper Social Media, Content Marketing, Collective Bias, 12 Ways to Kill Authentic Content

5 Tips for a Big Game Social Media Touchdown

This article by Collective Bias Co-Founder/CCO, Amy Callahan, originally appeared on Huffington Post.

More than any other day of the year, marketers eagerly await for one – the Big Game. With last year’s Big Game drawing nearly 115 million viewers per minute, marketers should not be sitting on the sidelines during the game.

When thinking about advertising during the Big Game, one of the first things that comes to mind is the millions of dollars spent on 30-second TV spots. For companies without that kind of spending power, social media can be an equally powerful opportunity to gain brand awareness with viewers during the big game. According to a survey by Crowdtap, 65 percent of Big Game viewers are likely to interact with brands on social media about Big Game-related content. This means brands have the potential to interact with nearly 75 million people through their social media channels during every minute of the game. With this in mind, it is essential for brands to create a strategic social media game plan for the Big Game:

Make your #socialmedia strategy ready for the #BigGame! Click To Tweet

  1. Be complementary and relevant.

It’s more about brand presence rather than promotion during the Big Game. Brands should strive to be the go-to game counterpart by providing timely and entertaining posts. The Big Game is one of the largest events spurring use of “second screens”- meaning users are online talking about the game as it is happening. A big play? A funny commercial? Make sure your brand is a part of the conversations around that content without trying to blatantly plug your products or services. Take Charmin for example: during last year’s game, the toilet paper company jumped on Coca-Cola’s #MakeItHappy train with a hilarious tweet right after the soda giant’s commercial aired. Lesson learned: relevancy is key; self-promotion is certainly not.

  1. Show some personality.

During the 2013 Big Game, Oreo’s legendary “dunk in the dark” tweet went viral because of its quick wit. Viewers are not going to stop and read overly promotional posts. They will, however, tune into humorous, entertaining posts that mirror a trending topic and resonate with your target audience. According to the survey mentioned above, 85 percent said humor was the number one element likely to make them remember a Big Game commercial. This sentiment can easily carry over to social media where a funny post (branding included) can go viral in minutes.

  1. Monitor and interact with your followers.

Like in football, social media strategies should have an equally good offense and defense. Keep an eye on the topics your followers are talking about and don’t be afraid to join the conversation. Your followers are not just a number: social users love when a brand enters the mix with a prompt tweet, and that will be amplified even more during an event when so many are online. Social media is where people are able to interact and react to what is happening on their TV screen. These social users are your followers for a reason – talk to them! A prime example? T-Mobile. The phone company was ranked as the #1 engaged advertiser during last year’s game, meaning they responded back to the most people on social.

  1. Proofread and stick to the brand voice.

Live-posting during events requires a keen grammatical eye and deep understanding of your brand. Try to avoid any unfortunate misspellings that could cause social media disasters and damage your brand. Every post should be in tune with your brand’s values and goals. Depending on the brand, most social media “risks” like JCPenney’s infamous #TweetingWithMittens will not go over well. Don’t risk becoming one of the brands that end up on those yearly lists of “Top Social Media Blunders” just because you needed to post something quickly.

  1. Don’t forget about pictures and GIFs.

On average, tweets with images receive 18 percent more clicks, 89 percent more favorites and 150 percent more retweets. This is because visuals are easy to digest and break up the typical play-by-play textual posts. It’s also an easy way to get your brand imaging included without being too promotional. Right after New England’s game-winning move last year, Cheerios tweeted a simple but incredibly clever photo that also proved to be a game-winning move for the brand. Success is in visual simplicity.

Enlisting a social media strategy that is equal parts personal, visual and timely will be the recipe for success come February 7th. As long as you stick to your brand voice and avoid plugging your products or services too much, your brand’s Big Game day should be full of touchdowns.

Score a touchdown during the #BigGame with a well-planned #socialmedia strategy. Click To Tweet

Forget Impressions: How Marketers Can Rethink Their Social Marketing Metrics

This article by Brad Lawless originally appeared on CMO.

We all know that social media evolves more rapidly than any other channel. But the measurement of social media has failed to keep pace with the production of social media content.

The impression, first deemed a meaningful metric, has proved insufficient in the measurement of social media reach and engagement. Content publishers with large followings can manufacture impressions by simply publishing more content. The impressions prove meaningless if half of those potential viewers aren’t online when the content appears–or more importantly, aren’t engaging with that content.

Without impressions, what should marketers, and the brands and retailers who rely on them, use to understand the value of social campaigns? People taking meaningful actions with content that matters most. Consider the following three tips for rethinking metrics around your next influencer campaign.

Set Goals Against Engagement

Social engagements, meaningful actions people take with content, serve as effective proxies for purchase intent. People have a finite number of seconds in any given day, and they make a powerful statement when they choose to give some of that time to your brand or product.

A simple “like” indicates approval for your content. Pinning that content to an inspiration board or sharing it with friends demonstrates endorsement of that content and the product it features. Savvy marketers seek to replace impressions with engagement, as this metric shows hand-raising action versus passive listening.

Savvy marketers seek to replace impressions with engagement, as this metric shows hand-raising action... Click To Tweet

To benchmark your engagement factor, ask yourself this: If a consumer pulled up your brand’s Twitter feed tomorrow, what would it look like? Would she see a stream of promotional marketing content filled with jargon and industry buzzwords, or would she see a feed full of dynamic conversations and valuable content?

You must audit your social channels in order to understand how consumers connect with your brand. Evaluate social streams in the same way you would consider an actual friendship: Is the brand helpful? Insightful? Do I enjoy its content?

Measure Niche Content Campaigns  

Once we understand how a given customer interacts with branded content, marketers can abandon the spray and pray approach to target a smaller number of consumers through more relevant, niche content campaigns. Marketers should A/B test different niche campaigns to better understand what type of content moves a customer toward engagement.

For example, if a Kraft customer doesn’t like bacon, Kraft should ensure bacon content doesn’t end up on his screen. Instead, Kraft can curate images and inspirational recipes of cheese shreds that resonate better with the sub-segment of non-bacon shoppers. It could also test a content campaign with another bacon alternative in order to identify what type of content resonates best with that group of shoppers.

Swap Page Views For Time Spent On Page

Page views alone, much like impressions, no longer carry the weight they once did when it comes to social media marketing. Along with page views, we should focus on the amount of time shoppers spend on that page viewing content. The longer the potential shopper spends with your branded content, the more engaged he becomes with that product or service and moves closer to action.

Page views alone no longer carry the weight they once did when it comes to social media marketing. Click To Tweet

Time spent on page can also help brands track and ultimately predict how shoppers will interact with specific content and content topics. Imagine how much more efficient media spends become when a marketer knows that a $100,000 social campaign will garner a specific number of page views with a specific time spent on post and guaranteed social engagements.

While we can’t tie the value of a tweet or pin directly to a sale yet, we can be sure to use the right metrics to measure impact. First we must stop focusing on digital impressions alone. By goal setting against engagement, evaluating niche content campaigns and measuring time on pages over simple views, marketers can more accurately measure the value of their social media marketing campaigns and learn to spend their marketing dollars more wisely in the future.

5 Content Marketing Ideas to Increase Engagement

Written by Erin Smith 

A study by Microsoft determined that we now have an attention span of only eight seconds — less than a goldfish! What does this mean for your readers? Your marketing has to catch them quickly! The key to engaging readers of your blog is to make it extra easy for them to connect with your content.

Ask an Easy Question

A call-to-action or simple question makes it a breeze for readers to engage because you’re literally telling them what to do! Questions that ask for personal recommendations (Have you ever been to Maui? What are the best Valentine’s Day gifts you’ve received?) or poll the audience (Try making these hot chocolate twists tonight! Which hot chocolate type was your favorite?) are highly engaging. People love to put in their two cents!

Use Popular Hashtags

When Tweeting, Instagramming, or posting your content to Facebook, hashtags can make sure your content shows up in more feeds. Try to incorporate appropriate hashtags within your Tweets: “Is the cold starting to get to you this #winter? Try this #hotchocolate #recipe to warm you up!” For Instagram, use a small description (perhaps with an easy question for your audience!) and then create a comment with popular hashtags — up to 30! Look up current popular hashtags for your niche, and use them when you post related content. When users are searching for a #hotchocolaterecipe, yours will pop right up on their feed!

Create Highly Pinnable Images

The most popular pins on Pinterest are vertical, so stick with that winning formula for your “hero” shot. If you only have horizontal images, create one vertical collage image using an editor like PicMonkey. Add a text overlay with the title, which helps pinners easily notice your amazing content — and re-pin it! When posting content on Facebook, you can even add a link to a pin, with a caption like “Pin It for Later: [insert pin URL]”. Make it as easy as possible to re-pin your image, and more people will follow through!

Keep It (a Little) Mysterious

Without getting too vague (which can easily wander into “click bait” territory), leave out just enough of the important information to make your readers want to click and find out more. Use a message that keeps them guessing:  “We just got back from Hawaii!  Check out my very favorite activity from our trip in this new post! [link to post about hiking in Maui] Want to know what keeps me warm on winter nights? [link to hot chocolate recipe].” We’re curious by nature, and tapping into that curiosity builds interaction.

Create a Series

Keep readers coming back for more by writing a series of posts. Break up a large topic or the content from the week-long trip into a several shorter and more focused pieces. Throughout each post, create clickable links to the other related content, and provide a list of clickable links at the bottom of the post. Readers who stumbled on your awesome post about hiking in Maui will want to click on the link about Maui’s Best Restaurants too!

Of course, the best way to encourage interaction with your content marketing is have great content! Think about what’s in it for your readers, and create with your audience in mind. By using these tips, you’ll see your following continue to grow, bringing your amazing content to more delighted readers.

About the Author: Erin is a teacher, blogger, wife, and doggie-momma living in SW Florida. You can find her at www.SouthtoSouthwest.com, a travel and lifestyle blog about life, love, and living out of a suitcase. Erin writes about holding down the fort at home and helping her business-travelin’ husband use up those sky miles. Stop by for easy recipes, crafts and printables, and travel tales from all over the world!

3 Apps for Planning Your Black Friday Expedition

It’s the day after Thanksgiving. You’re still full from multiple plates of casseroles and pies. You’ve been having dreams (or nightmares) of shopping crowds and checkout lines that seem never ending. But you can’t turn down a day of deals; you crave the clearance stickers and percentage off signs. You get up, get your most comfortable crowd-fighting gear on and take on Black Friday.

Black Friday has the opportunity to be overwhelming to consumers, but 51 percent of US shoppers say they love the excitement created around Black Friday deals, according to hhgregg’s annual shopping survey. In fact, two-thirds of Millennials even report getting a rush out of Black Friday deals. The notorious shopping day is becoming more popular with groups of all ages, especially Millennials.

Shoppers are looking forward to Black Friday more every year, but it always helps to have a few shopping tips in reserve. There are several apps available to help Black Friday shoppers prepare, organize and find additional deals while saving time.

TGI Black Friday 2015

TGI Black Friday 2015 is the ultimate shopper’s guide to navigating Black Friday deals before ever stepping in the store. The app allows you to view deals by store, category, general coupons or by using the search option. Most major retailers are featured on the app including Target, Walmart, Macy’s, Best Buy and more. You can even compare prices online and create a shopping list to mark off items as you buy in-store.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 2.41.20 PM

Black Friday

FatWallet’s Black Friday app allow you to plan out your shopping trip by viewing ad scans of your favorite stores and brands. Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday deals are also included in this app. Want to know what time a store opens on Black Friday? This app can tell you. Don’t want to shop in-store? You can purchase Black Friday deals through the app.

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The deals keep getting better on Black Friday, but the traffic gets worse. Waze is a real-time traffic app that keeps you updated on the best routes. Accidents, road closures, stopped police officers and other hazards are reported through the app alerting you as you drive. You can also share your route with friends to notify them of your ETA and location, a perfect tool for meeting up with friends for a day of shopping.  

How Does Social Media Affect The Adoption Process

Written by Blake Reynolds and Sharon Williams 

Social media, with it’s many layers and webs of connection, has changed the game when it comes to keeping families updated, supported, and in-the-know. The bullet points of stale life-updates that have formally been relayed over the telephone, are now embellished and brought to life through sharing photos, videos, and day-to-day experiences through outlets like Facebook, Instagram, or blogging.

With over 1.5 million adopted children in the United States, representing 2.5 percent of all U.S. children, we know that families no longer look the same as they did 50 years ago. On any given day in the U.S., more than 423,000 children are in the foster care system, and nearly 115,000 of them are available for adoption, just waiting for the right family to find them. Social media is changing the way many families are approaching the process of adoption and how they are connecting with their new extended families. In fact, studies show that roughly two thirds or 67% of social media users say that staying in touch with friends and family members is one of the main reasons they use social media sites. Social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Google Hangouts, Instagram and Periscope have allowed personal stories to be seen, read, and shared by those in our networks (and beyond).

Whether it’s a fundraising effort to raise the last few thousand of your adoptive fees, or finding a support group with other families that have adopted, social media has made our world much, much smaller. We asked several adoptive families a few questions about how social media affected their journey of adoption.

How does social media affect your adopted family?

Candace and Justin Evans set out to adopt Mathias from Ethiopia in October of 2013, and now, 2 years later, their adoption has been fully funded, this little boy is growing up connected, and his parents are raising him supported by networks of other adoptive parents; all these things are in some way due to social media.

“During the beginning stages, social media was an amazing tool to get the word out and get people excited. To this day, the most traffic I’ve had on social media was due to adoption updates and people getting excited about our progress. One of the best things social media did for our family was connect us to others going through the adoption process. There is a great tribe of adoptive families and I can be connected to them all online.”

This connectivity, this shareability, has changed the way we see into another person’s life. Instead of face-value, social media opens the door into another person’s day-to-day life, struggles, highs and lows, etc. This kind of transparency is what families and friends value as they observe your journey. Social media makes that a daily reality.

Do you have extended family and friends that are brought closer because of social media?  

Lori from A Day in Motherhood shares her story about how she connected with her birth siblings after being adopted at the age of 8. She waited her entire life to reconnect to her birth family and now uses social media as a way to stay connected to their lives.

While exact numbers are not known, anecdotal evidence suggests that increasing numbers of adopted people and their birth families are finding each other through social networking sites.

How has social media connected you to individuals or support groups to help you during transition or hardship (big or small)?  

People need support in all seasons of life and circumstances. The process of adoption is no different. You may find that the people who have always walked with you cannot be the support you need in this area. Finding people with similar experiences is a pivotal part of your journey.

Matt from MattandTodd.com says that during their first adoption, they used Yahoo! Groups and Twitter to find other people who were either going through or had recently gone through the same process.

“We formed some pretty strong relationships because of our connection through those platforms. Many of these families are people I’ve never met, but we’ve stayed close over the years because of our common stories and experiences. In the past few years, there has been a shift to private Facebook groups, Skype, Google Hangouts and Instagram where families are connecting.”

The adoption process is something that people are fascinated with but don’t always understand. Social media offers outsiders the opportunity to observe the process… all the ups and downs of the journey!

Matt also shared with us how his blog has created a community of supporters around both of their international adoptions, saying “Some of my best friends are fellow adoptive parents that we’ve never even met in person. We were connected over social media and now sustain our friendship through the same platforms.” Candace Evans also shares that sometimes she “finds herself in tears texting some of my social media (adoptive momma) friends during the hard parts of adoption and cheering with them to celebrate the wins!”

How has social media been used as a means to spread awareness and raise support?

Many adoptive families are turning to online fundraising platforms such as GoFundMe and Kickstarter, in addition to standard methods, to raise the money needed to fund their adoptions. These same families use social media to educate their friends and families of their needs and to receive donations from people who may have never heard about the adoption due to distance.  

Candace Evans says she kept everyone updated with a financial goal chart, explaining “I think people really got on board with us and were rooting for us”.

Social media, with it’s many layers of networking, has made this world of adoption feel less out-of-reach and more obtainable. With support groups, fundraising awareness capabilities, and the simple confidence you feel from encouraging comments on posts, social media outlets like Instagram, Facebook, and blog networks have made our world a little more connected.

How have you used social media to help you connect during an adoptive process?  

Helpful Links:  

>> Advice and guidlines when usuing social media in your adoption process: http://www.adoptionstar.com/adoption-and-social-media

 >> Using social media to promote your adoption: http://adoption.com/using-social-media-to-promote-your-adoption

>> Additional Resources:  http://www.adoptivefamiliescircle.com/

About the Authors: 

Blake Reynolds is a creative with hands in design, photography, blogging, and marketing. Blake’s love for all things visual has embedded in her a desire to use design, photo, color, and aesthetic to communicate a message creatively and effectively. Her passions lie in using creativity to inspire others around her to become more of their truest selves, walking out confidently in their own unique purpose and ability. Connect with Blake: thecolourjournal.com  

Sharon Williams has been blogging since 2009 and understands that it takes a community to become a better blogger, writer and photographer. Sharon grew up in the rolling hills of central Kentucky where she continues to live with her husband and three kids. She enjoys hiking, working in the flower gardens and continually improving her photography skills.

Connect with Sharon:  www.hobbiesonabudget.com; @hobbiesbudget

The Truth Behind Why Bloggers Blog

Written by Jo of Jomygosh.com

Money. Swag. Book deals. TV shows. It’s undeniable that some bloggers have made it big. Really big. Take The Pioneer Woman, who has an empire including cookbooks and a television show, Tucker Max of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell fame, or Lisa Stone, the founder of BlogHer.

It’s really an enticing dream: you build something, you get discovered, you get paid. It’s the American Dream for the 21st Century.

It’s no wonder that many people assume that bloggers are in it for the cash. (Or, at the very least, that we’re all handsomely paid!)

But the reality is much, much different. I’d posit that most bloggers—probably the vast majority of them—begin blogging for reasons that have nothing to do with money… or fame… or fortune. In fact, I posed this question to a group of more than 600 bloggers and not a single one mentioned financial gain or success as a motivating factor.

To Share

There are the bloggers who started writing because they wanted to share what they make with the wider world. I’m in that category! I began blogging after my fiancé deployed to Afghanistan. I was alone, sad, and addicted to making silly and elaborate care packages. I didn’t realize that anyone else would want to see them… but I wanted to share them anyway, especially since the care packages were fleeting. They would take hours to shop for and make, and then, once I handed it over the counter to the mailperson, it was gone. Taking photos and posting them online gave me a wonderful sense of accomplishment and gallery to look back on.

To Teach

There’s something that all of us can teach someone else… and some bloggers have gone online to teach. Alicia from Two Kids and a Blog (twokidsandablog.com) loves to quilt and shares that passion with the world: “I wanted to teach a younger generation to quilt using amazing fabrics and having a blog has given me access to the best fabric and biggest fabric companies!”

To Write

Many bloggers start their blogs to have a platform dedicated to their writing craft. Pam from The Coastie Couple (thecoastiecouple.com) began her blog exactly for that reason. “I’ve always loved writing and blogging gave me a chance to do that daily.” Jodi (jodisgoing180.com) “started blogging as a creative outlet” because she wants to publish a novel. Her blog keeps her true to the daily discipline of writing daily. Kristen from If the Saddle Fits (ifthesaddlefits.com) uses her blog as a place to write… in a different way. “I originally started blogging because I felt like all the academic writing I was doing for college was changing the way I wrote in general and I didn’t like it. (I started out pre-Law),” she says. “I wanted a place I could write with personality (and attempt to be funny) without so much guidance, but could still share for feedback.”

To Document

Heather (sugarnspice-life.com) began her blog to document the stages of her home’s building process. Amber (airingmydirtylaundry.com) blogs because “my memory is awful and I knew I’d eventually forget everything. Having posts from a few years back is amazing—I can read and be like, ‘Oh right! I remember that!”  Others begin blogging to keep in touch with family and friends, to keep a log of a life-changing event (like a move to a different country), or to keep a journal of the cute (and not-so-cute) the kids are doing or saying.

Obviously there are many, many more reasons to start a blog than just these. What were yours?

About the Author: Jo is the creator of Jo, My Gosh! (jomygosh.com), a popular military spouse and significant other lifestyle blog. Her work can be found in military spouse digital and print publications. She is currently collaborating on an ebook for Millennial military spouses and significant others. Find her on Facebook (facebook.com/jomygosh), Twitter (twitter.com/jomygosh), Instagram (instagram.com/jomygosh1, and Pinterest (pinterest.com/jomygosh1) and say hi!


The Rise of Emojis

Written by Charlotte Cahill

After the recent debut of new Emojis on iOS 9.1, I was inspired to dive more into emojis and how they’ve become a universal form of language!

Fill Me In:

An emoji is an emotional intelligence platform in real time, helping to depict sentiment, using facial expressions. Even further, they have been developed to include animals, weather, transportation, holidays, food and many more categories!

What about them?

Emojis are rapidly growing in popularity, as consumers and marketers are trying to align their strategies to allow people to interact with their brands by using them. In addition to social media powerhouses like Facebook using emojis, we’ve also seen consumer brands incorporate emojis, as well as sports networks, hospitality industries, and even political campaigns!

How Are Brands Capitalizing?

Social Media Powerhouses:

  • Facebook is testing out a set of reactions for the “like” button. This will allow for users to express more emotion behind their feelings of “like.”
  • Twitter has been one of the more popular social channels that brands are choosing to interact with consumers using their brand specific emojis.

Consumer Brands:

  • Coke became the first brand to take an active role in their own emoji, running alongside their “Share A Coke” campaign and hashtag. They commissioned their emoji rather than approximating another existing emoji.
  • Dominos recently started a campaign to enable customers to order pizza by simply tweeting the pizza emoji at the brand.


  • ESPN debuted emojis in sports highlights. While the reporter gave the highlights, emojis accompanied her words, popping up on screen as she spoke through them, keeping viewers engaged.
  • Sports professionals have been seen battling each other over Twitter using emojis rather than teasing and taunting words.


  • Aloft Hotels launched a “Text it, Get it” tool to innovate the hotel experience. The guest texts a string of emojis to the hotel and will receive the item/service ASAP. Menu items range from hangover cures and munchies to phone chargers and even a “surprise” delivery.


  • Hilary Clinton, the self-proclaimed emoji queen, now has an emoji of her own. An entire series of Hilary-themed emojis depict her in different guises.

A New Spin on Billboards

  • McDonalds used emojis on a billboard to display the ever-familiar frustration with traffic during the daily commute and the happiness that results once encountering a McDonalds.
  • New Relic beat everyone to the punch by using the ever popular and somehow charming, poop emoji. The billboard reads “Life’s too short for [poop] software.”

Who’s using Emojis?

A recent study found that 30% of consumers use emojis several times a day, and another 30% use them multiple times a week (2015 Emoji Report). 92% of the online community uses emojis and while the 25-29 year old age range uses emojis most frequently, there is a rise amongst other age groups, including those 35 and older.

Who doesn’t love Emojis?

After all, it’s just an excuse for grown ups to feel like kids again. We can use pictures to describe how they feel, reminding us of some of our favorite picture books. Not quite sure why they ever phased them out of books as we got older!?

Interaction with the Author

What emoji do you want to see next? Which brand or retailer would you like to engage with using emojis? Which brand or retailer sponsored emojis do you want to see created?

Tweet your responses to @collectivebias or @char_cathrill and tag your favorite brand/retailer!

Image credit: Anna Hoychuk / Shutterstock.com

Why Influencers Need a Boost from Paid Media

Written by Stacy Barr

Have you ever paid a social media network to “boost” your posts? How about using a program such as Google Adwords? This type of media is known as paid media and if you have been thinking it is only for “bigger” bloggers and companies, you have been mistaken. Even the smallest influencer can benefit from paid media boosts.

As a smaller influencer, you might find that programs like Facebook’s “Boost” or “Promote” feature gives your posts the reach they need to be seen. With enough testing, you can use those paid spots to figure out exactly what type of content your readers want to see, how they respond to other types of content and can even use it to make an extra buck or two. For a smaller influencer who is just getting started, this type of data can be extremely valuable.

For larger influencers who may already have a loyal following, paid media can still pay off for you in huge ways. We are all aware that even on the most open of social media sites, businesses are still only able to reach a portion of their fans or followers. Using paid media can not only help you reach the rest of those people, but can also help you reach new followers. This can be invaluable when it comes to growing your business.

Knowing which posts or sites to use a paid media boost on comes with time and with experience. For some, it will be a killer recipe that has started to go viral on its own. For others, it will be an affiliate offer, an opinionated blog post or even sponsored blog content. The kind of content that you consider boosting will vary from blogger to blogger and company to company.

You might find yourself asking just why you should pay to have your ads seen. Money is tight for most people these days and I can understand the feeling of wanting to know you’re going to get a return on your investment. Let’s look at one of my own ad boosts:     

>> Affiliate offer “A” earns me $100.00 without a boost.

>> I spend $500.00 on Facebook ads to boost the post.

>> Affiliate offer “A” ends the month with $1500 in earnings.

While I spent $500 on the ad, I also made $1500 total on it. That is a $1,000 profit and a 200% return on my investment. If I had not used paid media, I would have likely only earned a bit over the $100 that it initially earned. Instead, I took a chance and was very successful with it.
Paid media shouldn’t scare you. Instead of looking at it as a chance to lose money, view it from an entirely different point of view. It is a chance to reconnect with your followers, to reach new ones and to boost your earnings in some way shape or form. Every influencer that is looking to grow should be using it and the ones who already do, will stand out from the pack because of its benefits.


About the Author: Stacy Barr is the face and brain behind the frugal living and personal finance blog, Six Dollar Family. She lives in East Texas with her husband, daughter, 2 cats, and 2 rescued pups that are almost as tall as she is. Stacy loves helping others save and build a better life for themselves as she has done for herself. In her off time, she can frequently be found in front the television making fun of “B” class movies with her hubby, belting out bad karaoke with her daughter, and of course, saving every dime that she possibly can.

Find more personal finance tips, tasty recipes and or to learn more about Stacy, visit her at www.sixdollarfamily.com

National Breast Cancer Foundation Releases New Early Detection App

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness of the disease. In 2015, doctors will diagnose an estimated 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 40,730 will die from the disease. If detected at an early stage, however, breast cancer can be much more effectively treated.

Early detection results from annual mammograms and routine breast self-exams, but busy schedules and daily distractions often keep people from making appointments and allow self-checks to fall off the radar.

To break through all those distractions, the National Breast Cancer Foundation created an app that regularly reminds women to perform routine breast self-exams and to schedule clinical breast exams and mammograms, depending on age and health history.

The app also has information on risk factors, how to perform a breast self-exam, the location of your closest clinic, signs and symptoms and more!



Since 63% of the female population owns a smartphone, most of us have no excuse to ignore our health and no reason to miss a self-exam or mammogram appointment ever again.