Are the Kardashians Social Media Gurus?

For those of you Kardashian skeptics, I’ve got a story for you.  I must confess, I’ve been a fan of the Kardashian clan for a long time now, probably began watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians and the multitude of spin offs about 4 or 5 years ago and have not been able to stop since.  Besides the unbelievable drama that goes on within that family on their reality shows, I have began to individually follow each member on their social media, primarily following their Instagrams.  Now, when you follow 7 members of the family on Instagram (Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Rob, Kendall, Kylie and Kris), if becomes apparent that the family that everyone pins as superficial really have a marketing strategy going on.

Take this week for example.  Second youngest sister in the family and supermodel, miss Kendall Jenner, signed with cosmetics company Estee Lauder to be the face of their new campaigns.  While it’s obvious that she would promote this on her personal Instagram, it was impressive how supportive and tactical the rest of the family were.  Each member of the family, one by one, reposted her Instavid throughout the day, being careful not to overlap with each other.  That way, a super fan of the show like me who follows everyone, would not have any chance of missing the news.

Kendall Jenner instantly boosted Estee Lauder's Instagram followers by 50k shortly after the news was announced.

Kendall Jenner instantly boosted Estee Lauder’s Instagram followers by 50k shortly after the news was announced.

The family uses the same tactic each Sunday when a new episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashian airs – ensuring none of their loyal fans forget to tune in.

For a reputation of dumber-than-average individuals, I think they’ve got their well-oiled social media machine down pat.


Top 5 Benefits of LinkedIn



The infamous LinkedIn….the one social media platform that we all dreaded setting up at one point or another.  Let me convince you why it’s worth the leap in my Top 5 reasons you need LinkedIn:

1) It’s the new place to find a job.  Based on your skills and keywords that you include in your LinkedIn profile, recruiters can search for attributes of their ideal candidate and find them on LinkedIn rather than recruiting the old fashioned way.

2) You can tell your story.  Unlike an ordinary paper resume which must be short and sweet, your LinkedIn profile has no word limit.  It gives you the chance to show your personality and story, and to constantly update little milestones that have added up to your success!  You can also upload your personal blog posts or projects that you’ve done to prove to recruiters that what you say you can do is true and you’re not another “perfect interviewee gone wrong”.

3) You can find and stalk your favourite companies.  Have a dream company that you’ve always wanted to work for, but never know when they’re hiring?  Connect with the company on LinkedIn and you’ll be that much more likely to know when a job posting appears.  Connect with recruiters from these companies to show your eager interest.

4) You can start building your professional network.  Are you the type of person that groans every time someone mentions the word “networking”.  I know I am.  LinkedIn allows you to start building your professional network the easy way: simply by pressing the connect button.  Now you’re able to build your professional circle without the stress of coming off as awkward or saying the wrong thing.

5) Have your peers endorse your skills for you.  Once again, the proof is in the pudding, my friends!  Having others vouch for your skills rather than you simply stating that you are a “social media expert” or “excellent baker” seems more trustworthy.

So, there you go!  I hope I have you convinced that your next personal project is setting up your LinkedIn profile.  Go forth, young professionals!

(for your reference below, I have attached a guide to build your perfect LinkedIn profile)




Forming Your Christmas Email Marketing Campaign


It’s the most wonderful time of the year…almost.  Well, it’s the beginning of November and the #psl (pumpkin spice lattes) are gone from Starbucks, replaced by the infamous red cups.

With the Christmas joy comes the spirit of giving and…a Christmas email marketing campaign?

Yes, people.  Time to take advantage of the shift in weather and happy spirit of your customers and carefully craft your Christmas campaign to get your fans even more in the spirit.  Here are my tips for crafting your perfect Christmas email marketing campaign.

1) Make it feel personal and special.  Nothing feels better than knowing or feeling like someone truly cares about you.  That’s what your customers want, to feel as if they’re not just another number.  Give them something special, a gift of some sorts, to encourage them to do what you want (maybe buy a gift for xmas at their store with an exclusive discount – only available to email subscribers!).  You have their name on file, so use it.  Look at their previous purchase history and tailor the email to the correct group of people.  This is where you may have 3 slightly different campaigns sent out to different types of customers. Jcrew 1

2) Pump up the festivity.  It’s Christmas, for goodness sakes!  Show some enthusiasm, make some puny jokes (but please not overused ones – I’m talking checking your list and checking it twice) and get your customers in the festive spirit.  If you’re the reason someone starts getting into the Christmas spirit, they’ll forever remember that.

J.Crew's Christmas Email

J.Crew’s Christmas Email

3) Redesign your template in holiday style.  If you normally use a certain template design, alter it a bit so regular readers of your email marketing campaigns notice that this one is special and are more likely to be intrigued by it.  You can even do something as simple as using the same template format and changing the colour scheme or adding a little string of christmas lights at the top.  Be creative!

Those are my tips! Happy Holidays everyone xx


Are Youtube Stars the New PR Agents?



The celebrity-like nature of Youtube stars these days is extraordinarily powerful and companies on the forefront of public relations and marketing strategies are taking advantage.  In what could be said is the peak of content creation on Youtube, Conde Nast is latching onto this heightened following of Youtube Stars by offering them hard to pass up deals where they will sponsor them in return for them starring in various series on their Youtube channel.  Adding a Youtube star and makeup guru Kandee Johnson to the marketing mix allows Conde Nast to draw from a large die-hard following of over 2 million fangirls who idolize anything that the star shows interest in.  The intelligence behind this strategy is astounding, because the ideal customer is one who is fully immersed in all the nooks and crannies of the brand, and die hard fans become immersed quickly.

Alfie Deyes, Youtube daily vlogger and content creator.

Alfie Deyes, Youtube daily vlogger and content creator.

Quantum of the Seas, a new cruise ship in the Royal Caribbean collection just launched a first sail media cruise, for only press to explore all of the innovative features of the new ship.  The ship was host to some incredible attractions, such as a roller skate rink, a surfing simulator, and a ride called the “North Star” that rose many meters up into the sky while the boat was sailing.  Insane, eh?  Well, Royal Caribbean also caught onto this trend of Youtube Stars and invited daily vloggers Jim Chapman and Alfie Deyes (you can watch his vlog here) onto the ship for a free 2 day all inclusive cruise, where they were encouraged to vlog as much of their trip as they wanted, generating interest from their millions of viewers.  Again, companies like this are really catching onto the new trends of reaching a loyal, target audience.  Genius guys.


Top 5 Benefits of Hootsuite

Here’s my top 5 reasons by you need to start using Hootsuite, for those of you find it difficult to keep up with all of your social channels or if you are thinking about working for a digital marketing agency.

My Hootsuite Dashboard Setup

My Hootsuite Dashboard Setup

1) Social Media Management.  With the help of one dashboard, Hootsuite allows you to keep up with multiple channels and account for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other channels that you or your client may use.  No logging in and out necessary.  Seriously, this saves SO MUCH TIME!

2) Keyword Searching.  Want to see who’s talking about your company or a topic your company is interested in?  All you have to do is click “add stream” and type in the keywords into the search entry and you will be able to keep track of all the good and bad said about your company.

3) Geocode Searching.  If you want to see who’s talking about a specific topic in a certain geographic area, say who’s “hungry” or who’s looking for a “yoga” studio, you can search these keywords and use the geocode taken from google maps that you are looking for within a certain km radius.  How cool is that??  If you find people talking about something they’re looking for, you can go ahead and tweet them on your company’s account and let them know what you have to offer.

4) Post Analytics.  If you have Hootsuite Pro, you can generate many reports that display how well or badly your posts have done on Facebook and Twitter.  You can see which ones had the most engagement, click rate, and were generally most successful.  This way you can stop what’s not working and continue what is.

5) Scheduling Posts.  If you manage a company that posts on Facebook and Twitter multiple times a day, it is often useful to use the scheduling option that Hootsuite is so well known for.  You can type up multiple posts, schedule them in the publisher calendar and don’t have to always be working away on your laptop all day.  Time management, people!

So there you go.  I hope I have you convinced that Hootsuite is for you.  I certainly refuse to go back to the old days where

The Reality of Facebook’s Algorithm

If you’re a Facebook page manager, I feel your pain of constantly wondering how to get around Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm.  It feels like organic reach is just decreasing at a constant rate these days, and engaging your followers can seem like the task that can never be conquered.  To make it easy for you, I’ll walk you through Facebook’s decision process.

organic reach

Steady decline in organic reach of Facebook page posts, from Feb 2012 to Mar 2014

First of all, let’s think like the typical Facebook user.  If you first signed up for Facebook in its beginning stages, you probably remember the thrill of it being the new social media outlet where friends and family could keep up to date with what each other are doing – not a space for companies to utilize marketing tactics.

Facebook is well aware of its users becoming overly frustrated with the commercialization of the site, with the ability for pages to boost their posts and have their advertisements show up throughout news feeds.  Yes, it is the choice of the user to “LIKE” the page in the first place, but it often gets tiresome when advertisements mix in with friends’ activities.

Knowing this, Facebook has continuously altered its algorithm to weed out posts that convey push advertising, but it is okay with posts that are brand and community building that offer a chance for engagement.  These are the posts that consumers are really interested in.  So when developing a post schedule, make sure that you keep the majority of posts, around 80%, sans advertising and post regularly (avoiding spamming people – 3 posts a day MAX) to ensure that your posts will no longer diminish from news feeds from now on.

Good luck digital marketers!

Why Letting Your Customers Speak is Key

When starting your own company, everything about that company is your baby.  From the service or products you provide, to the design of the logo.  So when someone insults your company, you may feel like giving that so-called “hater” a taste of their own medicine by retaliating with a snarky comment.

Before you do that, step back, take a deep breath and assess the consequences.  There’s that saying that “any publicity is good publicity” – which in this case could be true.  Obviously it’s a bigger issue if the majority of your audience is harsh on your company, but if it’s only one or two customers, don’t sweat it.  Everybody gets bad press sometimes, and at least people are talking.

Owner of Union Street Guest House, Chris Wagoner’s joke of charging $500 for a bad hotel review went viral recently when he sent out a public apology.  TripAdvisor, the website that the bad review was posted on, was outraged by this punishment as it completely went against what the site is all about, encouraging its users to give honest reviews.  So for Union Street Guest House, what was simple a bad review, turned their reputation upside down and the company could face a lack of trust from its future hotel stayers.


Learning from Chris Wagoner’s mistakes, here are 2 tips when responding to bad press about your company:

1) If the reviewer is an honest customer with a bad experience, consider replying to them apologizing and hoping to make their experience better next time.  This will make them know that you care about each and every customer, not just the happy ones, and will provide them with an invitation to try the company’s services again.

2) If the reviewer is a “troll” or a “hater”, someone who specifically goes on websites to write bad, untrue press, ignore the comment.  Other readers can see through these guys anyways.


What’s So Great About Bloggers?


How are bloggers able to captivate such a substantial audience? Nowadays, consumers are more swayed to buy products by bloggers than the companies themselves.  For what they are, essentially normal people writing about their lives and experiences, bloggers have developed an extreme amount of influence to the consumer.

 1) They have a voice – literally and figuratively.

After getting to know a blogger over time, you essentially put a voice to the words on the page and feel as if it’s a friend you’ve known for a long time.  Sooner or later, you become attached to this writer as if they are a trusted professional or friend whom you look to for advice about a specific topic.

2) They’re honest. 

Sure, we’ve all heard about sponsored posts.  Those posts where you’re wondering how much money the blogger got paid by the company to positively advertise and review their products.  For the most parts though, bloggers realize they’re doing their readers a service: telling them the truth to save them the costs of buying a product that just isn’t worth the splurge.

3) They know the industry.  

Since bloggers are sent free stuff and get invited to events all the time, they have exposure to trying way more products or services than us normal folk.  This allows them to get the general gist of what’s out there in the market so they can accurate gage whether a product is better than average or just terrible.


Beauty Blogger Essiebutton shares her knowledge of the best mascaras on the market.



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Here’s my take on how well J.Crew fares on the 7 C’s of Web Design:

Context: 10/10

Functionality is on point, with clear headers and dropdown menus. Easy links to contact information, social media platforms, and an easy to use search bar. The front page is an aesthetically pleasing changing image from J.Crew’s monthly style guide.

Content: 9/10

Tons of images. For each piece that is sold on the website, there are multiple views, on and off of the model. On the left hand side panel, there’s a series of articles that you can read about new products, often what keeps me coming back every day.

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J.Crew showcases multiple views for each piece. (Love this pant for guys, btw!)

Community: 6/10

The website features a company blog, with insider information for those die-hard fans. Upside, they’re all sharable. Downside, no option to post comments on a forum. You can also sign up for emails which offer exclusive promos.

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J.Crew’s Company Blog

Customization: 6/10

Upon entering the website, it asks for your email and password. Signing in allows you to store your shopping wish list and it will also tell you the status of any online orders that are currently being shipped.

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J.Crew Customized Home Page

Communication: 9/10

Under the “contact us” tab, the website lists various ways to contact the company based on your need or request. The “very personal stylist” feature allows you to email a stylist if you have any product questions or size issues.

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The Very Personal Stylist service.

Connection: 8/10

Clear links to all social media platforms and to its other brands, J.Crew Factory and Madewell. Although they do collaborations with other brands, there are no links to any of their websites.

Commerce: 10/10

This site definitely caters to professional online shoppers. It offers various payment options including PayPal, credit card and gift cards, and multiple order confirmation screens before payment goes through.

Overall, I am very impressed with the J.Crew website.  If you haven’t already, check it out!

All images taken from the J.Crew website.


Verizon Dabbles into Real Time Fashion

Listen up guys.  This might be the coolest tech meets fashion news you’ve heard to date.

In September’s Fashion Rocks concert in New Yorks City, where artists like Usher, Nicki Minaj, KISS, Pitbull, Miranda Lambert, Jennifer Hudson, Luke Bryan perform, Verizon did something unreal.  The company looked at online conversation and trending topics around music and fashion words and based on how much a topic was talked about, its colour changed in Verizon’s pattern.  Verizon monitored the conversation every 30 seconds, making this a truly real time pattern.  A live stream backstage at the show showed how a colour of a trending topic would change as soon as it hit a certain level of trend.  

Trending topics

After the show, Verizon released an interactive version of the fabric, so viewers could match the colour codes to the topic chart and see which conversations were most popular at which times of the show, looking back on what real time conversations were generated.  Verizon then had the fabric printed and announced the Project Runway winner and designer Christian Siriano was going to put together a garment with the fabric.

Christian Siriano

The final fabric

Now how cool is that.  Tech meets high fashion and music.  Amazing.