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
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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.                

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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? 

Social Media Update: No more transparency on Facebook with a new anonymous login, Pinterest guides you, Snapchat goes private and more

Today I have seven updates for you in the world of Social Media Marketing, and not all need an explanation so I’ll keep this short and sweet!

One big announcement this week is Facebook’s new Business Manager tool for marketers. This new tool will allow agencies to manage all of their client’s Facebook pages, Ads and Campaigns in once place and under one login; while also assigning permissions to other users on their team.

Another big announcement from Facebook this week was revealed at their f8 conference on Wednesday. Now when you want to access a site/app and they ask you to login through your Facebook login you will be able to choose to login anonymously instead.

Also, with this announcement Facebook is adding more options to your Facebook login for 3rd party apps and websites. You will be able to select what you want to share with that app by unchecking boxes, such as your friend list. This has been available in the past but not with every app or website, now Facebook says they will ensure that you always have these options for privacy reasons.

Pinterest made the news this week as well with their new Guided Search. Now when you use the search box on Pinterest they will guide you with multiple options for your search term. For example, if you type plants they will show you options for indoor plants and outdoor plants to help refine the results you see. 

Other updates this week include:

- Google’s new +Post Ads Now Available to Brands With 1K+ Followers
- Pinterest Launches ‘Pin It’ Button For WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr
- Facebook and Storyful launch new ‘newswire’ for journalists
- Snapchat adds Text Messaging & Video Conferencing 

Are you going to stop sharing all of your social activity outside of Facebook by using the new anonymous feature? 

Social Media Updates: Asking for Likes on Facebook is a No-No, New LinkedIn Groups layout, Vine messages and Vingle

Happy Friday, this week’s Social Media Recap has a little bit of everything in terms of new functionality, brand hazards and new apps.

Facebook has been revamping their network consistently over the past few weeks. I mentioned previously that Facebook would start targeting posts from Facebook Pages as Spam that use the language “like this” or “share this.” This week I’m sending a friendly reminder to remove that language from your Facebook updates.

LinkedIn has transformed their Groups layout and now it is much easier for you to stay up to date on what’s happening in the LinkedIn Groups you belong to. Using LinkedIn Groups is one of the best ways to do business development on LinkedIn, as well as networking for your career so I would recommend joining some new groups today!

Twitter has added Real-Time notifications to their desktop version, and for those of you community managers who don’t have a budget to purchase Social Media Monitoring Software this should help make your life easier.

Vine is jumping on the Snapchat train by incorporating Private Messaging in their app. If you’re a brand on Vine and you have followers who constantly engage with you, this is a great way for you to show your appreciation to them by offering them a coupon code or a sneak peak at your new collection.

Have you heard of Vingle? It’s a new social network that helps you find other people who share the same hobbies as you do. It looks pretty cool so check it out. 

Did you hear about Facebook’s new Nearby Friends feature? 

Designer Eyewear for every Woman: Glasses & Sunglasses 

I’m extremely excited to introduce you to the new Essential Collection from Rivet and Sway. These new glasses & sunglasses are “a collection of classic styles designed to accentuate your ambition and help tell your story.” Talk about a perfect tagline for a woman!

One of the reasons I love Rivet and Sway is their goal is to have every woman look fabulous and feel confidant in their specs. You should look good everyday, whether you’re at the office or at happy hour. Most importantly, you should also feel confidant.

In this video I review 3 new pairs of glasses, and 2 new pairs of sunglasses. I also offer you my perspective on how these frames work for someone with a heart shaped face like myself. In the video thumbnail above I am wearing the Ivy frames, in case they catch your fancy.

Don’t forget that Rivet and Sway is FSA approved, and most insurance companies will reimburse you for your purchase. Also, you can get 10% off your order with code JENNIMAC at RivetandSway.com

There’s no reason to wait, order 5 pairs to try on at home today, invite the girls over for a fashion show and find your new frames! Remember, there is no obligation, you do not have to buy the frames after your home try-on order.

Please share a photo of your frames with me when you receive them. You can tweet me, or post a comment here on my blog. I’d love to check them out and hear your thoughts.

Do you think your current glasses fit your face?

Social Media News: Google+ promotes the Rockstars, LinkedIn Redesign for Company Pages, New Reporting, and Photo Tagged Tweets

Hold onto your seat belts, we’re going to have a fun ride today! This week’s Social Media Recap has three updates and one “coming soon” feature. 

Google+ is now featuring total Content View Counts for profile pages; this includes Company pages and Personal Pages. Every profile page now includes the total number of times the user’s content has been seen by others. It’s one more way to track your online growth on Google+ and a great way to showcase how much your content is valued to people who visitor your page. Although, if you’re not promoting your Google+ Page and your view counts number is very low you can choose to not feature this number on your page.

LinkedIn has gone big the last two weeks. As of April 14th, 2014, Company Pages Products & Services Tabs will no longer exist. I am as bummed about this as you are but the new Showcase Pages seem like a great replacement, and they will provide you with more ways to promote those Products & Services.

LinkedIn has rolled out a new Content Marketing Score and a Trending Topics Site. The Content Marketing Score will help you measure your company’s success, and the Trending Topics site will give you insights into what successful content looks like, and it’s all for FREE. 

According to LinkedIn the Content Marketing Score "measures member engagement with your Sponsored Updates, Company Pages, LinkedIn Groups, employee updates, and Influencer, posts (if applicable)” and ranks you against your competitors on those same traits.” Until recently, there has been no easy way to measure your marketing success on LinkedIn, and I think this is a great-added feature for companies.

Trending Topics is an interactive tool that surfaces the most popular content on LinkedIn for each different audience and topic segment. Wow, that sounds awesome, and I cannot wait to take it for a test drive. Thanks to HubSpot for the preview of this new tool, and the great summary explanation. 

Photo tagging is here to stay, Twitter has launched Photo Tagging for tweets. You’ll soon be able to add up to four photos in each tweet and tag up to 10 of your “Tweeps” in that photo. The best part is that this new functionality does not count towards your 140 character limit.

Immediately, I thought about how bombarded brands may get with people tagging them, or spammers taking advantage of this new feature but Twitter has already thought of that. You will be able to turn this feature off so people cannot tag you in photos. I’m anxious to see what this looks like in my Twitter feed. 

That’s all I’ve got for you this week. Make sure to come back next Friday for another FUN Social Media Recap! 

Which one of the updates above are you most excited about?

Social Media News: Google+ super-sized, Facebook ROI, Yelp Reviews matter, #FirstTweet and #Whaling 

This week I’ve got tons of fun stuff for you, and some weird stuff. The best part is that I’m bringing it to you in Cartoon format! What do you think?

Google+ is now following the Facebook trend by showcasing bigger photos in status updates on Google+. This is a great opportunity for you to share those awesome photos of your products/services. 

Facebook advertising is really kissing up to advertisers; you can now use conversion tracking on your promoted posts not just ads. This way you can really track the ROI of your advertising efforts. 

I was granted access to LinkedIn’s new publishing feature yesterday and I fell in love. The functionality mirrors most blogging platforms and it is super user friendly. I suggest you give it a try.

Yahoo is now going to be pulling in Yelp reviews about a business alongside search results for that business in Yahoo. Are you monitoring your company’s reviews on Yelp?

Any chance you remember the first tweet you sent when you joined Twitter? I was scared to think about it but I used Twitter’s new discovery tool, #FirstTweet, and I actually impressed myself with what I had first composed back in 2009. Let me know what your first tweet was.

Are you one of the ones who is #Whaling? Yeah, me either but it’s a new trend on Vine. All you have to do is move your body like a whale, check it out!

Any big plans this weekend? Make sure you share photos with me on Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or Facebook. I’d love to see them!

Social Media News: Facebook redesign. Video Ads are here, no more newspaper concept & where are the custom tabs 

This week’s Social Media Recap has three updates for those of you who are an admin of a Facebook Business Page.

Facebook’s Video Ads have now debuted to select advertisers. The 15 second video ads will auto play in a user’s newsfeed. Tip: Make sure those videos are informative and not pitching your company or you’ll be immediately be “unliked” by your followers. 

Facebook’s new layout kills the newspaper concept. Do you remember last year when Facebook released seven ways to filter your newsfeed? You could click on Photos, Pages, Friends, etc. That filter concept has gone away with the new layout for desktop & mobile. 

Facebook’s new Business Page Layout is a magician, as they have made the custom tabs disappear. However, they have ramped up a new feature for Business pages, which is their “Pages to Watch" feature and now there are even more statistics for you to analyze about your competitors.

Did I miss any big updates this week?