What's a Hashtag?

I discuss my experiences while exploring a career in Digital Marketing, as well as anything else that catches my attention.

I'm a Mainer, turned Seattleite, who then ventured into NYC. After 6 years of exploring I’ve finally come home to Maine.

You can learn more about me, Jennifer MacDonald, here: http://bit.ly/rkurJT
Posts I Like

Use LinkedIn to grow your career by unveiling your Personal interests and likes

This week’s Social Media Recap is short and sweet. I mention in the video that I’m probably your 2nd favorite video blogger; I also mention that I assume @Nik_Nik is your favorite video blogger. Although, that does raise the question, who do you think publishes the best video blogs in the blogging community? 

LinkedIn redesigned personal profile pages a while ago, and with this redesign all users were able to add a cover photo to their personal profile. However, I just received access to add a cover photo to my personal LinkedIn profile this week, go check your LinkedIn profile page to see if you have the option as well. I’m not a Premium LinkedIn user; this was slowly being rolled out to all users.

Since this new feature is available I wanted to remind you marketers to make sure and add your personal side to your professional side. In other words, give your followers a sense of who you are in your tweets, posts, videos, etc. No one wants to follow or connect with a robot so make sure to talk about your favorite city, vacation spot, and even what your two-year-old said that made you start rolling on the floor laughing. These are the things that help you build relationships with your clients, prospects, and co-workers; these are the things that will build those connections and help grow your career/business. 

Do you think I talk about my personal interests enough online?

Social Media News: Facebook Newsfeed changes, Pinterest for iOS8 and a new platform to help your family. 

This week’s Social Media Recap has a few updates, cool extensions and one free beta product. Facebook has a big presence this week; they have launched Facebook Media, which is similar to Facebook for Business. Facebook Media is a resource for media outlets looking for more efficient ways to utilize Facebook. Check it out if you’re looking for some creative ideas for marketing your business on Facebook.

Additionally, Facebook has made changes to the newsfeed again “showing more timely stories from friends and pages.” Now Facebook’s News Feed ranking will look at two new factors to determine if a story is important; Trending Topics and the time and length of engagement on posts.

With all of the new tech updates announced by Apple recently, and iOS8 being released this week, there are a lot of cool new features to help you share your favorite content easier. Pinterest is now integrated into iOS8, and you can now share photos to Pinterest the same way you share photos to Twitter and Facebook from your camera roll. This is great for community managers who are always plugged in, and might want to share some content while they’re on the go. 

Do you have multiple tabs open in your browser during the workday? Wouldn’t it be awesome to see a gorgeous image every time you open a new tab? Pinterest tab for Chrome is your solution; if you install this extension in Chrome you will see a new beautiful image every time you open a new tab in your Chrome browser. My challenge is to actually wait 10 seconds and look at the image before typing in a URL. 

I’ve recently learned about a new software platform, and I haven’t seen anything like it on the market before, its call Red Folder. This platform is “web-based application, which allows users to place their life’s information in a highly secure environment for use whenever and wherever.” Red Folder enables you to leave your footprint to those you love after you’re gone, as well as the need-to-know information for your family right now. Red Folder is in beta, and it’s free to signup until Monday so go sign up TODAY and let me know what you think. 

Will you starting Pining more images from your iPhone with iOS8?

Social Media News: ecommerce is taking over Twitter & Pinterest, plus organic Video counts for Facebook

This week’s Social Media Recap has some big news for retailers, and any business that sells their products or services online. Twitter is slowly rolling out their new "buy" button, which is embedded in a tweet that features a product or service. Twitter stated “part of the motivation just has to be to make the whole advertising process easier, to prove the returns and the conversion rates." That sounds great to me, although Twitter advertising has never been affordable for small businesses and I’m anxious to see how much this new button will cost brands.

Pinterest has released new notifications with their recently launched News section. Now, Pinterest will function almost like the Facebook newsfeed; Pinterest users will get notifications about the people and brands they follow. This is one more way for you to get your products and services in front of a new audience, now when someone who follows you interacts with your brand’s pin that person’s Pinterest friends will receive a notification mentioning your brand. 

As you know I’ve been preaching video since 2010 and now there’s one more reason for you to start using video in your marketing efforts. Facebook will now show everyone view counts on publicly posted videos from users, Pages, and public figures; for FREE. This is great news, especially for me since I do not share this video on a Facebook business page but my personal profile page. This is also one more way you can show your C-suite the ROI of video marketing. Don’t forget to include a call-to-action in your video so you can easily track the conversion rates for that video.

What type of items will you purchase on Twitter?

Analytics are here for Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter; Facebook changes the newsfeed again

This week’s Social Media Recap is going to make all of you marketers very happy, especially those of you who do not have a large marketing budget in your organization.

Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter have all released Analytic dashboards for businesses. The best part is that you do not need to be an advertiser in order to see your analytics. All of these updates are rolling out slowly so you might not have access today but be patient because all of this amazing data is on its way!

I forgot to mention in the video that Facebook has also released some new analytics/insights, which will be rolled out over the next couple of weeks. Now when you create a Facebook Event you will see insights about that event on your event page, such as the number of people who have seen the event not just those who RSVP. Also, you will have more options to promote that event to attract more attendees. 

Due to analytics, Facebook is changing the newsfeed again. They are now penalizing pages for Click-Baiting, what does that mean? Watch my video to find out! 

Are you currently using an #SMMS, or a tool that allows you to report on the success of your social media efforts?

Social Media News: Pinterest is the new customer loyalty app & Foursquare is the new Yelp

This week’s Social Media Recap has two big, FUN, updates. On another note, I wont be here with you next Friday as I will be on vacation and will not have access to the internet. I am not following best practices for blogging, if you know you are going on vacation find someone to guest blog for you while you’re away or schedule a post to publish while you’re on vacation. Remember, always keep your followers satisfied and they’ll keep coming back. 

Pinterest has made sharing pins easier. Now, when someone shoots you a Pin, you’ll be able to reply with a message or send a Pin back! This is a new great feature but what I think is the biggest update for brands is being able to send Pins to more than one follower. Building a loyalty campaign on Pinterest is now super easy.

Foursquare has unveiled its redesigned app. As I mentioned previously, the check-in feature on Foursquare was removed and is now available in the Swarm app. Foursquare itself will now recommend venues based on your interests and past check-in history. Make sure you’re constantly monitoring reviews that your customers leave about your business on Foursquare.

Are you excited to share your favorite Pins with multiple friends?

Follow subjects on Pinterest, Save posts on Facebook, Google makes life easy and more 

This week’s Social Media Recap highlights updates from the last two weeks. Pinterest has added functionality so users can now follow interests not just people. This is great news for businesses that are using Pinterest to sell their products/services. Your pins will now be shared with a new audience without you having to pay to promote them to that new audience. 

Facebook has a new feature, a save button, and one that actually benefits users not just Facebook. You can now save posts that you see in your newsfeed and go back later to read an interesting article or be reminded of that creative marketing idea.

LinkedIn has added more advertising options to their platform with Direct Sponsored Content. You can now sponsor posts that were not published on your Company Page. In other words, you can promote your content on LinkedIn without publishing it to your followers first. 

Google has two big changes that you need to know. First, they have removed the “real name" requirements from having a Google account; you can now use your business name for a Google profile. Second, Google’s new Pigeon update puts local search results front and center especially Yelp business pages. 

When was the last time you checked your business listing on Yelp or Google?

Google goes nameless, Twitter analytics for everyone and a music messaging app 

This week’s Social Media Recap has big news for brand managers, and a cool new app to help you make your friends laugh. 

Google+ is no longer requiring you to use a real name in order to have a Google account. This is great news for brand managers who might not have tied their Google business pages, such as YouTube to their personal accounts.

Twitter has released a new organic tweets dashboard for advertisers, although you do not need to be an active advertiser to see the analytics you just have to sign up for Twitter ads.

Facebook has launched Ads Managers for mobile, and you can now manage all of your Facebook Ads on a mobile device. Are desktops even being used anymore?

There’s a new messaging app in town and it doesn’t use 6-second videos or photos, it uses song snippets. It’s called La-La and you can chat with friends in the app, or send a friend an SMS who isn’t currently using the app. I don’t know about you but if my friend randomly sent me a text of a snippet of “Ice Ice Baby” I would probably LOL. Check it out; it’s free in the app store.

What news this week about your favorite social channels got you excited?

I recently co-organized Social Media Day here in Maine with my co-worker, Laurel Getz. There were many lessons learned, lots of hours burned but overall a successful outcome.                


Here are a few tips we recommend for making sure your Social Media Day event is a success.

1. Know your Audience
No matter where you host Social Media Day, whether it’s a large city, such as NYC or a small town in Maine, you’ll need to build your event around your attendees. This includes the content, sponsors, giveaways, contests, and promotion. Ask yourself who will come, who are we promoting the event to, how and where will we promote the event, why should people come? Those answers will help you build a solid plan and strategy for your Social Media Day event.

2. Decide what type of experience you want to create 
What do you want your attendees to remember? Is it the delicious food truck food or the take-away one of the speakers mentioned on stage? If you want to throw a great party invest in a band and lots of booze, if you want to provide content bring in good speakers. Also, no matter what experience you want to create you should provide some entertainment for your attendees. Consider having a photo booth, which is fun and gives the attendees something to share on social media, it’s a win-win. 

3. Submit a proclamation request
Mashable started Social Media Day five years ago, and they state that in order to be recognized as an official Social Media Day event you will need to have a proclamation request recognizing the day in your city. Although, sometimes it is hard to receive a proclamation request, most cities will offer it, but some may not, so be prepared for both outcomes by planning in advance. If you can not obtain a proclamation request list your Social Media Day event on Mashable’s website so residents in your area can easily find where they can celebrate Social Media Day in their city.

4. Reach out to the Social Media Influencers in your city
This is especially important if you’ve never hosted Social Media Day. Depending on your location and format you could quickly find competition from others in your area for hosting this event. Reach out to those influencers and ask them to be involved in the event, this way you can own the venue, format, promotion, etc for Social Media Day in your city. 

5. Secure a website for event registration and information
First you’ll need to claim the venue for Social Media Day in your city on Mashable’s website, if you haven’t already. Second, I would recommend securing the URL for Social Media Day [city] if possible. Third, create a Social Media Day [city] twitter account, if you have resources available to help you. Lastly, if you do not secure a URL for your event, and would like to do online registration I suggest creating your event registration site on Eventbrite.

Eventbrite is extremely user friendly, they have social plugins integrated, and they provide you with branded HTML emails to send to your contacts and invite them to your event. You can also create discount codes for the press, influencers, clients or anyone else you want to attend but shouldn’t have to pay. Eventbrite also has great reporting options and many other awesome metrics. The platform is free to use except for a small processing fee for each ticket sold, which you can either have deducted from the money you collect or add it to the ticket price. However, I found out that if you allow a 3rd party application, such as PayPal to administer payment, you will be charged a fee for using Eventbrite. 

6. Promote, Promote, Promote
Now that you have created an online presence for your event you need to start promoting it. Use the Social Media Day [city] twitter account to engage with locals in your area, retweet them, reply to them and invite them to the event, etc. I also recommend creating a Facebook Event that is tied to the company Facebook Business Page of whoever is hosting the event. This is the fastest and easiest way to attract residents in your local area to attend your event. You only need one person to RSVP for many people who live nearby to learn about your event. 

7. Encourage social media use during the event 
Make sure you create a Hashtag for your event that attendees can use online, before and after the event, to share their thoughts and excitement. We used #SMDayME on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. Displaying the live Twitter feed of that hashtag on a large monitor at your event will definitely catch the attention of your attendees. In addition, running Twitter contests at your event, which include the hashtag will also help you generate buzz online. 

8. Just cause the party ends, doesn’t mean its over   
Keep the channels you’ve built for the event active and continue to engage with your audience. You can continue using the Social Media Day [city] twitter account, as well as the hashtag, to attract attendees to next year’s event. Make sure to share photos from your attendees on all of the social networks, and ask them to tag their friends. This will increase the reach for your event exponentially, remember everyone loves to see themselves featured online. 

What are some of the ways you promote your events and keep attendees coming back year after year?

Social Media makes hosting Events easy and successful

This week’s Social Media Recap is all about Events! Facebook has revamped their Events app and now has “Events for You.” This new feature will recommend events in your area that should interest you based on your like activity and the prior events you’ve RSVP’d to on Facebook. This is a great opportunity for business owners to get their events in front of local residents without having to pay Facebook to promote their events. 

When hosting events do you make sure to create an event hashtag, and ask all attendees to include the hashtag when they share photos and posts while they’re at your event? If you don’t then you need to start.

After the event is over, it is time to start sifting through all of the posts and photos that were shared online with the event hashtag. You can use this data to build a reporting document to show your C-suite how successful your event was, and wouldn’t it be great to include photos that were shared on Instagram from attendees? I just discovered an app called Instaport, which lets you download all of the photos that were shared with a designated hashtag during a certain time frame, and it also saves the images with the Instagram account that originally shared the photo. No longer do you have to take screenshots of these photos on your phone one at a time. Another reason why this app is great, if you decide to host the same event next year you can now easily showcase photos from last year’s event to attract attendees to come to this year’s event. 

How often do you host Events to help grow your business?

Facebook’s new app, Video tools, Twitter GIFs and more

This week’s social media recap includes updates that were announced within the last two weeks. There are a few fun updates, and definitely some need to know information:

1. Twitter now supports GIFs

2. Facebook launches Slingshot

3. There’s a new website to help you find your next blog title 

4. Emoji icons will soon take over your smartphone

5. Google+ has supercharged its insights for page managers

Not discussed in this video are a few other updates that I want to bring to your attention:

6. YouTube launches Creator Studio, which includes new video editing tools for users

7. Facebook redesigns their Page Manager app and launches their new larger ad format

What was the biggest update you heard online this week?

Social Media News: Facebook Video Ads now offer you more for your money, and Twitter tracking helps you find customers

This week’s Social Media Recap has three updates for you marketers. First, Facebook is removing the “Page Post” naming from their ads. No longer will you have to say four letters to designate which ad you want to use, Page Post Photo Ads. Now you will only have to say Photo Ads, welcome to the American language Facebook!

Facebook has added more features to their video ads; you can now track video views. Additionally, you will be able to target your ads on Facebook to people who have viewed your videos. This is a great new option for all you marketers, as you know video is the best way to get your message across to consumers.

Twitter has launched website tracking tags, which work in a similar way to Google AdWords that show you ads for products that you recently search for on Google. However, this feature is only available to advertisers on Twitter. This new advertising option on Twitter will recommend that users follow your Twitter account if they have searched for products/services online that are relevant to your business. This is a great way for you to get your brand in front of your target audience without having to bombard them with ads. 

Did I miss anything this week that was announced from your favorite social network?

Social Media News: Facebook has Menus, No more 3rd party apps & Social Media Day Maine

This week’s Social Media Recap is going to knock your socks off! First up is some big news for restaurant owners; Facebook is now letting you add your menus to your Facebook Business Page. When new people find you on Facebook the last thing you want to do is drive them out of Facebook to learn about your business, this is a great way to keep them on the platform and interested in your venue.

On the flip side, Facebook is now going to show fewer updates that are posted through 3rd party apps. What does this mean? If you share your status updates to Facebook through Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or Foursquare this could affect you. If you’re an Online Community Manager do a test by sharing some updates natively in Facebook and through a 3rd party app to see which posts get more engagement.

I am extremely excited to invite you to Social Media Day Maine! If you are not familiar with Social Media Day, it is a global event that was created five years ago by Mashable. We are hosting the event here in Falmouth, ME at TideSmart Global and everyone in the state is invited. We’ll have guest speakers, food trucks, and live music, ping pong, Shipyard beer, giveaways and more. It is going to be a unique networking event that you won’t want to miss! Early Bird tickets are only $10, and they include 2 drinks tickets, plus all proceeds will benefit a local charity. 

Will you be joining me on June 30th to honor the digital revolution that will be happening around the world?

Social Media News: Facebook listening, LinkedIn Ranking, Yelp Videos

This week’s Social Media Recap includes updates that launched this week on your favorite social networks, and one update that is rolling out in the upcoming weeks. 

Facebook released a new way for you to share your status updates. You can now allow Facebook to listen to what you are watching or listening to and if they recognize the song or movie a short clip of that media will be included in your status update for your friends to preview.

LinkedIn is now ranking your profile against other profiles from people who work at your company, and the people who are in your LinkedIn network. This new score is based on how many times your profile has been viewed in the last 30 days. 

Google+ Stories and Movies will make it easier for you to share your photos and videos. Google+ will now present you with a story of all the photos and videos you uploaded when you were on vacation when you return home. 

If Facebook privacy is a daily concern for you, you can now sleep easier at night. All Facebook users privacy settings will now default to Friends not Public when you share information on the social network.

For all you marketers and business owners you now have one more reason to monitor your business on Yelp. Yelp will now allow users to provide a 3-12 second video review of a business. No longer will that negative feedback be behind a small avatar. It’s time to make sure you are always monitoring your reviews on Yelp, a negative video about your business could go viral in no time. 

A new app allows you to create the background noise you want. Noisli includes multiple playlists such as coffee shop, nature, etc. The best part of this app is that you can layer playlists on top of one another, as well as control the volume level of each independently.

Will you allow Facebook to listen to your daily activities?

Social Media News: Mute your community, Swarm around your city, Target by Job Title on Facebook and Evernote makes connecting fabulous

This week’s Social Media Recap is definitely going to make your life easier as a marketer, and as a resident in your city.

Twitter has announced that they have added a new feature, a “mute" button. You can now mute people you follow on Twitter so you no longer see their tweets, and they will not know that they have been muted. They can still reply to you and retweet your tweets. I personally stop following people who send too many non-relevant tweets for me. I never get offended if someone stops following me on Twitter, your Twitter feed needs to be filled with Tweets that are relevant to what you are looking to learn and people you want to network with. If I don’t meet those requirements I totally understand.

Facebook has added a few more targeting options for advertisers. You can still target your Facebook Ads to the existing demographic information, such as age and gender, and now you can also target by job role, household size, and lifestyle. Here’s one more option for you to try advertising on Facebook, being able to target a niche audience for your business will deliver the metrics you’re looking to report to your C-Suite. 

Foursquare has announced that they are splitting their existing app into two new, different apps. The existing Foursquare app will be rebuilt from the group up, and will no longer include the check-in functionality. However, if you love checking into your local hot spot you will be able to do so with the new Swarm app. I gained access to the Swarm app yesterday and I think it is definitely a great re-design of the existing Foursquare app. 

Lastly, Evernote continues to make my life easier and more efficient. You can now scan business cards in the Evernote app and create digital contacts in your Evernote account. Also, if you sync your LinkedIn account to your Evernote account you connect those business cards with your existing LinkedIn contacts. This makes connecting much easier when you return from a conference or networking event. 

Will you be muting the people you follow on Twitter?

Social Media News: Twitter Shopping, More Facebook Data, New YouTube Branding, Dating on LinkedIn and the Best Photo App Ever! 

This week’s Social Media Recap is more about new, cool apps than it is about important changes to the major social networks. First up is the new #AmazonCart, now when you are on Twitter and you see someone tweet a product that is attached to an Amazon URL you can reply with the hashtag #AmazonCart and that item will be added to your cart on Amazon.com. However there is one catch, you will need to connect your Twitter account to your Amazon account.

Video is here to stay! This week Facebook announced that they would now be including Video Metrics for every video you upload to your Facebook Business Page. Remember, when you include Videos in your status updates on your Facebook Business Page they perform the second best in Facebook’s Edgerank, photos actually perform the best. That means that Video Posts have a better chance of showing up to your followers, as you know only 16% of the people who like your business page actually see your status updates. Use video to diversify your content and give your followers a sneak peak into your company & the amazing people who work there. 

YouTube is also pushing brands to get on the Video train, they announced that you can now add a three-second branding video to the beginning of the videos that are currently on your YouTube channel and those you upload in the future. This is definitely a great addition for branding reasons, however make sure you are short and sweet in your branding video because you only have a viewers attention for one minute maybe two, and you’ll need to secure their attention in those first three seconds. My advice is to make sure your branding video is creative and visually appealing, and definitely speaks to your audience.

For all my single ladies out there, your wishes may have just come true. I was single for a very long time, and I know one of the items on my checklist for dating was that the gentleman had a career. If this criteria fits your requirements then the new LinkedUp! app might be right for you. LinkedUp! is a matchmaking service for LinkedIn users, go check it out and let me know what you think. I can’t wait to hear how many people use this app and if it answers their prayers of finding love. 

Lastly this week I have my new favorite photo app for you, which is called Waterlogue. This is an app that you have to pay for, and it might only be available for iPhones but definitely go look at their website. For all you marketers, this is one more way to diversify your content, be original, and creative to make sure that your followers don’t get bored. 

Which one of these updates gets you the most excited?