{Creative Hashtag Marketing} Crumbs Bakeshop Latches on to Throwback Thursday #TBT | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

A Creative Use of Hashtags for Marketing

Review: Flipboard
Courtney · Thursday, August 1st, 2013 at 1:01 pm in Advertising · 0 Comments

In a creative display of hashtag marketing, Crumbs Bakeshop latches on to the popular hashtag for Throwback Thursday, #TBT, by offering a different throwback cupcake flavor every Thursday.

Wait…Hashtags for Marketing?

A hashtag consists of words or phrases (with no spaces), preceded by a pound sign. For example, #SocialMedia or #HashtagMarketing, are creative ways of signifying that this post is about Social Media and Hashtag Marketing.

Hashtags are used to tie various social media posts together and relate them to a topic. Topics are sometimes connected to an event, brand, TV show, sports, or just about anything.
Originally, hashtags were created on Twitter, but today they can be used on Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Vine.

By clicking on a hashtag in a social post, that social network will automatically search (Read: curate) posts from its own network and display a feed of other messages / posts using the same hashtag.

Why This Hashtag Marketing Strategy is Great for Crumbs?

Like most hashtag strategies, users are called to hashtag their social media posts with #TBT.

It works a little something like this:

  1. Cupcake lovers visit Crumbs on Throwback Thursday.
  2. They partake of a throwback flavored cupcake.
  3. And then they post their photo and message to the social networks of their choice with the hashtag #TBT.
  4. Other users who are curating the #TBT hashtag will see glorious cupcake photos from Crumbs, and hopefully scurry on over to Crumbs and buy cupcakes!

Can you think of any other hashtag marketing strategies? What do you think makes that hashtag marketing strategy so great?

Review: Flipboard | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

Build Your Own Social Magazine.

Review: Flipboard 2.0 – Customized Magazine Feature
Courtney · Thursday, August 1st, 2013 at 4:22 am in Apps · 0 Comments

The Social Magazine Flipboard offers a Build-Your-Own Customized Magazine Feature. Flipboard is your personal magazine, filled with the things you care about. Catch up on the news, discover amazing things from around the world, or stay connected to the people closest to you–all in one place.

News from Inside Flipboard boasts:

And, for the first time, you can collect and save articles, photos, audio and video by organizing them into beautiful magazines. These can be private, or if you want to connect with like-minded enthusiasts, you can make them public and share them on Flipboard and beyond. Now everyone can be a Magazine and an editor.

Sounds great to me!

Continue Reading →

Google+ Local for iOS Shutting Down on August 7th. | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

First Google Reader, and Now Google+ Local Shuts Down

Google+ Local for iOS Shutting Down
Courtney · Monday, July 29th, 2013 at 8:37 am in Apps · 0 Comments

The social app Google+ Local, launched in 2011, will be shutting down as a standalone app on August 7th, 2013.

What The Heck Was Google+ Local?

Google+ Local was an iOS-based app that offered several review and location discovery services such as place recommendations based on the user's friends and location, as well as Zagat summaries. The app seemed to be quite similar to Yelp, with a stronger focus on a user's geolocation.

If you are one of a few who actually used the Google+ Local for iOS app, you shouldn't worry too much. In true Google form, Google has already begun incorporating a few Google+ Local features into Google Maps. The app's most popular features will more than likely be available in Google Maps.

Google seems to be shutting down several services in an attempt to beef up their popular services and streamline their features. It just makes sense. Google shut down Google Reader earlier this month as well. One awesome service is much better than one great service and one subpar service. Besides, we already have Yelp.

Simplenote for Your Marketing Lists & Branding Ideas | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

Simplenote for Marketing Lists & Branding Ideas
Courtney · Friday, July 19th, 2013 at 7:56 am in Apps · 0 Comments

Keeping a running list of the tasks you have to get done can make your life significantly easier, provided you use it regularly. One of the most important reasons for keeping a to-do list is to provide organization. And organizing your tasks with a list can make everything much more manageable.

Use Simplenote for Marketing Lists & Branding Ideas

Simplenote is an easy way to keep quick notes, marketing lists, branding ideas, and more. And for the past two years, I've been using Simplenote (@simplenoteapp) to keep track of almost all of my lists. I'm able to create a list on simplenoteapp.com, and access it on my iPhone using the Listary for SimpleNote application on my iPhone.

Sharing Grocery Lists & ToDo Lists with Simplenote

What's awesome about Simplenote is that you can share lists easily. You can share grocery lists and todo lists with anyone you choose. Once you've created your list, you can share with any email address. The person that you share the list with is then able to open the link from their web browser and make changes to the list or notes that you've made. Alternatively, if you have business, all of your users can utilize the same password to access lists that your team is working on. Sounds like a Simplenote Enterprise solution / opportunity, Automattic.

Simplenote Feature List

  • Keep notes on the web, your mobile device, and your computer.
  • Keep a shared grocery list with your family or roommates. Or publish some notes from your class or meeting.
  • Use simplenote to keep track of your business ideas, and marketing stuff.

Revines, Video Channels, and Capture Widget in Vine for Android Update | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

Revine like you ReTweet

Revines, Capture Widget, Video Channels on Vine for Android Update
Courtney · Friday, July 12th, 2013 at 7:13 am in Apps · 0 Comments

After having spent a great deal of time attempting to make its Vine for iOS app as competitive as Instagram, Twitter has made some improvements to its Vine for Android app.

Revine like you ReTweet

Android users now have the ability to Revine content in the Twitter stream.
To Revine a Vine (video) that comes across your Twitter stream is similar to ReTweeting content that comes through your Twitter stream. The original Vine is still intact.

Twitter has also given Android Vine users channel categories for video discovery, a few new camera tools for shooting videos, and a quick capture widget for the Android home screen.

The Vine capture widget is a shortcut icon installed on the Android home screen which lets users shoot video instantly.

Twitter Bans Auto Follow and Bulk Follow | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

Auto Follow Doesn't Make Users Feel Special

Twitter Bans AutoFollow BulkFollow Terms
Courtney · Friday, July 5th, 2013 at 11:54 am in Developers · 0 Comments

Yesterday Twitter published changes that have been made to their Developer Rules Of The Road, which outlines best policies, practices and philosophy for third party development and innovation on the Twitter platform.

Auto Follow & Bulk Follow are Banned

Among the changes made to Twitter's TOS was the ability to auto or bulk follow through third-party applications. Twitter developer Sylvain Carle has outlined the changes in his blog post.

We have also clarified some restrictions: hosting datasets of raw Tweets for download is prohibited, and automated following or bulk following is also prohibited.

At least he lead with the “perky” positives before driving home the “limiting” negatives.

What is Auto Follow on Twitter?

Auto Follow is a following technique commonly used in marketing plans – where brands use a third-party app or software to automatically follow a user that mentions their brand, or hashtags their brand name, or when the user starts following them.

But, it looks like #AutoFollow of the Famous #FollowBack Crew will die unless people manually follows the users that follow them.

What is Bulk Follow on Twitter?

Bulk Follow is different than Auto Follow in that marketers follow more than one user at a time. Some marketers may wait until a particular day of the week, like Follow Friday (#followfriday) to start following the users that mentions their brand, or hashtags their brand name, or have followed them since the previous Friday.

Popular Auto Follow Services Will Be Affected

There are quite a few popular auto follow services that will be affected by the change.

Just to mention a few:

  • InstaFollow
  • Twollo
  • Twollow
  • TwitterMass

It will be interesting to see both if and how their services will change.

How Does Prohibiting Auto Follow Affect Business Marketing?

Those brands who once guaranteed a follow back of those who follow their Twitter account will have to take extra steps in following those who follow their brands. Whereas brands could employ third-party apps to Auto Follow, they'll now need to employ a human to physically follow in order to achieve the same result.

Social Media Inventor Biz Stone Issued A Patent for Twitter | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

"Look Ma, I'm officially an inventor..."

Twitter Issued Patent (IPA)
Courtney · Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 at 5:28 pm in Developers · 0 Comments

Social Media Inventors Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone were finally issued a patent for Twitter today, after having officially filed for the patent in 2007.

Biz Stone confirmed that the patent was issued earlier today, and provided the following statement:

“Like many companies, we apply for patents on a bunch of our inventions. We also think a lot about how those patents may be used in the future, which is why we introduced the Innovator's Patent Agreement to keep control of those patents in the hands of engineers and designers.”

We'll see how the social media industry reacts to such a broad patent combined with such a unique and equally broad promise to avoid litigation. Twitter has very publicly promised to only use patents defensively. Twitter's patent holds claims on virtually any service that allows messages to be sent to a large group of un-addressed recipients who follow the sender. Continue Reading →

How To Backup Instagram Photos | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

Third-Party Apps To Help You Backup Your Instagram

Backup Instagram Photos With Instaport
Courtney · Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 at 3:32 pm in Social Media · 1 Comment

Here's how to backup Instagram Photos.

There are two services you can use for this, both of which make it easy to retrieve all of your Instagram photos.

Backup Your Instagram Photos With Instaport

All you have to do is head over to Instaport.me and sign in with your Instagram account. You can then choose whether you want to download your photos directly onto your computer in a .zip file or simply export them to Flickr, another very popular photo sharing service that Instagram leavers are turning to.

If Instaport is offline, use GramGrab. Instaport is currently being overloaded with users who are unhappy with the Instagram Terms of Use.

Backup Your Instagram Photos With GramGrab

The alternative to Instaport is Gramgrab, which lets you browse through your photos, view details about them and download them to your computer.

If you're still using Firefox, install the “Download All Images” add-on to download all of the images on the page that GramGrab gives you.

If you're awesome and using Google Chrome, you can use the “Image Downloader” Google Chrome Extension to download all of the images that GramGrab gives you.

Save Your Favorite Instagram Photos With StickyGram

If you're not concerned about saving all of your Instagram photos, and you'd only like to save your favorites, try StickyGram.

StickyGram will turn your favorite Instagram Photos into magnets for you to save and look at daily!

New Instagram User Terms Grant Limited License and The Right To Sell Your Photos | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

New Instagram User Terms - Effective January 16th
Courtney · Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 at 1:17 pm in Social Media · 1 Comment

Instagram shocked users with an update to its terms of service that will let the company sell users' photos to other companies.

Instagram’s New Terms of Use

The new terms of use, effective January 16, includes a controversial change in users' rights section.

“A business or other entity may pay” Instagram to display users' photos and other details “in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

Yes, you read that correctly.

Based on the written terms, as of January 16th, 2013, Instagram can sell your {read: our} photos to companies, and not pay us a dime.

Can You Opt-Out of The New Instagram Terms?


If the terms are not changed, effective January 16th, 2013, if you have not deleted your Instagram account, you are giving Instagram permission to sell your photos to companies, and they will not be required to pay you a dime. You will be granting Instagram a “limited license” for use of your content.

If the terms are not changed by January 16th, 2013, and you continue to post your photos to Instagram, you are accepting these new terms of usage.

Can I Somehow Bypass the New Instagram Terms?

The only way to effectively “opt-out” of these new terms is to delete your Instagram account.

Further, the new terms state that you will waive your rights to a class-action lawsuit or class-wide arbitration. In this, Facebook is protecting itself from your having an issue with these terms and suing them, as a group. As a group, individuals can pool their financial and legal resources to make a larger impact. In most cases, if you sue as a group and win, Facebook will have to pay every Instagram user who falls within the class who is suing. Instead, the terms require that if you have a problem with the execution of these new terms, you must file a lawsuit – as an individual. Based on this, it would be much easier for Facebook to “take you down” by having your case dismissed as an individual who “agreed to the terms of usage”.


Do The New Terms Apply to The Photos of Minors?


“If you are under the age of eighteen… you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision.”

Let's see how many parents actually say, “Yes”.
And when you think about the number of parents who would actually saying “Yes” to this, think about the number of children under the age of eighteen who would actually ask.
Yeah. Think about that.

What If My Instagram Account Is Private?

Well, that sort of matters…

“Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, except that you can control who can view certain of your Content and activities on the Service as described in the Service's Privacy Policy, available here:http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/.

Fine. I’ll Make My Instagram Account Private. Duh.

That's good for you.

Except as otherwise described in the Service's Privacy Policy, available at http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/, as between you and Instagram, any Content will be non-confidential and non-proprietary and we will not be liable for any use or disclosure of Content. You acknowledge and agree that your relationship with Instagram is not a confidential, fiduciary, or other type of special relationship, and that your decision to submit any Content does not place Instagram in a position that is any different from the position held by members of the general public, including with regard to your Content. None of your Content will be subject to any obligation of confidence on the part of Instagram, and Instagram will not be liable for any use or disclosure of any Content you provide.

And should Instagram find an “issue” with anything you've posted, based on their own definition of whatever that “issue” might be… according to their terms… on any given date or time, they can terminate your account.

Violation of these Terms of Use may, in Instagram's sole discretion, result in termination of your Instagram account.

Where things get interesting is that, even if Instagram terminates your account, they can do what they want with your content. The rights they granted to you, are no longer your rights.

Upon termination, all licenses and other rights granted to you in these Terms of Use will immediately cease.

Give It To Me Straight. I Don’t Like To Read.

Well, if Instagram really wanted to use your content, whether or not your account is private or not, they could. They could simply terminate your account at any time, and keep the content that exists, and use that content as they please.

Oh. And you could only gain access your content with a court order.

Hey! Don't shoot the messenger.

Will The New Instagram Terms Be Changed Before January 16th?

Based on the news and social media attention these new Instagram user terms are getting, they'll probably change them just enough to make users feel comfortable, by removing the more drastic of the terms, which includes those photos belonging to minors and / or containing minors.

How Do I Delete My Instagram Account?

Learn How To Delete Your Instagram Account.

Social Media Advice on Sending Holiday Cards | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

Social Media Holiday Cards
Courtney · Monday, December 17th, 2012 at 7:05 am in Social Media · 0 Comments

I'm actually a fan of sending and receiving Holiday Cards through snail mail.

Snail Mail Holiday Cards add a personal touch to a Holiday that is now filled with online shopping!

Here are some words of Social Media Advice on Sending Holiday Cards from Baratunde Thurston, former digital director at The Onion and author of the book “How to Be Black,” and Deanna Zandt, the author of “Share This: How You Will Change the World with Social Networking.”

ZANDT: …I'm just not a fan of eCards because it's so easy to send an eCard that it just doesn't mean anything.

THURSTON: And it's so hard to receive mail…


THURSTON: …that it means too much to me.

ZANDT: Yeah. (Singing) You say tomato and I say…

THURSTON: And I say banana.

Read and Listen to the entire conversation here: Social Media Advice: Sending Holiday Cards

As funny as it is, this interview offers two perspectives of sending Holiday Cards.

social media holiday cards 640x178 Social Media Advice on Sending Holiday Cards social media

How do you feel about sending Holiday Cards? Do you prefer eCards? Or do you prefer snail mail Holiday Cards?