Fashion Week used to be a ultra-exclusive event reserved for the fashion elite. The public had to wait for the print publications before they could see the coverage, images and commentary related to the year’s premier fashion event.

However, with the arrival of the digital age, the fashion industry as a whole, and Fashion Week, has been democratized. Fashion bloggers now have front row seats at the the top shows, and fashion lovers around the country consume every moment of Fashion Week via live streaming, Twitter, blogs, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest and more.

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sports and social mediaFall is in the air, and with it comes the nation’s annual rite of pageantry and mayhem known as the college football season, which kicks off this Saturday and is sure to be a spectacle across multiple media – including digital and social.

Social media has been a game-changer for all kinds of businesses. This is especially true for sports teams, who seek to deliver real-time engagement with sports fans eager for interaction. Like major consumer brands, many sports organizations have already tapped into the power of social media in order to increase fan loyalty and deliver a significant return on investment.

With this in mind, major collegiate organizations have been learning how channel these dedicated, vocal and emotional fans on social media and leveraging the passion they share on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social networks. Turning that loyalty into ticket, memorabilia and other sales makes it essential for sports organizations to not only be present on social, but also to use fan-generated content to further these goals.

It’s no longer enough to simply push promotions out to social media and passively read what fans are saying. The real opportunity is to channel these interactions into a productive digital activation. Collegiate sports brands must create a powerful feedback loop of interaction between the sports organization and its fans that builds community and engagement.

Embracing Social as a Marketing Channel

It’s hard to imagine that just a few short years ago (in 2009), the SEC actually considered banning social media at sporting events, before adopting a much more realistic and beneficial not-for-profit social media policy – allowing fans to post updates and pictures, as long as they made no money doing so.

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The following is an excerpt from my recent post published on CMS Wire. Read the article in its entirety.

cms wireIt wasn’t very long ago that publishers were responsible for the creation, curation and distribution of content. They held the keys to what was said about brands, products, trends and more.

But with the rise of the digital age came entire platforms available for new voices, new influencers and a gigantic publishing mechanism for both brands and the consumers they are trying to reach. In today’s marketing landscape, brands have become media machines — hiring former journalists and writers and producing, publishing and sharing vast amounts of their own content as a means to show thought leadership, increase awareness and find and retain new customers.

In addition, with online, mobile and social platforms making publishing easy, consumers can easily publish photos, share thoughts and curate their own audiences. This has given everyday consumers the ability to influence and connect with large audiences without necessarily having the platform of a traditional publication.

With so many digital properties and platforms — blogs, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, etc. — available as outlets for unique and shared content, today’s consumers are more influential and integral to brand marketing campaigns than ever.

In fact, it has become essential for brands to account for and then capitalize on the voices of their audience to amplify and lend credibility to their campaigns.

Not only does a brand’s content, advertising and marketing materials have to connect with your audience, it has to inspire them to share it, talk about it and in some cases, even participate in the campaign.

Many of today’s marketers have been asking: does a campaign become more credible and authentic once the consumer is involved?

It seems the resounding answer has been yes.

>>Read the rest of the story

talking2Despite being talked about by marketers for the better part of the last 5 years, social media marketing is just now reaching a point of maturation for many of the large brands. What started with strategies of simply figuring out what to post to get the most likes and followers, many brands are now looking to how they can fully embrace the various social platforms to truly connect with customers and drive sales and revenue. And brand loyalty.

Today’s major question posed by marketers using social is not “how do I get the most likes?”, but rather “how do I connect and engage with consumers in a meaningful way that helps business objectives?”.

In today’s marketing landscape, not only does a brand’s content, advertising and marketing materials have to connect to its audience, it has to inspire that audience to share it, talk about it, and in some cases, participate in the campaign.

Does a campaign become more credible and authentic once the consumer is involved?

It seems the resounding answer has been yes.

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goldAs I wrote in “Brands as Publishers and How It’s Changing Marketing,” more and more brands are turning into media machines in today’s marketing landscape – producing, publishing and sharing vast amounts of their own content as a means to show thought leadership, increase awareness and find and retain new customers.

However, as more brands commit themselves to extensive content marketing programs, there are also more brands who look towards curating and republishing content that has not been authored by them. This not only can help cultivate and engage a brand community, but can take the pressure off marketing teams to produce huge amounts of content at all times.

With the rise of many social network sites such as Reddit and Pinterest, individuals collated pieces of content from around the web and build engaged and loyal audiences who share interests or are seeking knowledge on a particular topic.

Just as individuals naturally curate, so do publishers. As Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute was quoted in a Guardian article: “Content curation has been around since the dawn of the publishing industry. The job of the editor was to take the best information from around their industry and present that information in a manner that makes sense to readers.”

Now that brands and consumers are publishers themselves, the act of curating this vast amount of content being posted online can be used in marketing efforts. As I wrote in “Using Consumer-Generated Content to Fuel Marketing Campaigns,” many of today’s brands are now curating and then incorporating consumer content into websites, billboards, television commercials, ecommerce sites and retail displays.

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Come work in our beautiful office, where a 20 foot visualization wall will be your digital playground

Are you a talented frontend engineer looking for an exciting new gig? Our Portland office is looking for a senior engineer to join our UX team of designers and developers.

Here at Postano, we’ve been busy building dynamic, creative and, quite frankly, awesome social visualizations for some amazing clients, and now we’re looking for a new face to come help create more of this awesomeness.

You’ll help create cutting edge animated sequences from dynamic data for leading brands. Our installations are embedded on websites, projected at events, integrated into mobile apps, and installed in retail locations. This is cutting edge work and we are looking for a developer to join our team and extend our visualization products with your solid javascript and HTML5 skills.

You’ll also get to come work in our beautiful mid-century loft space in SW Portland, OR, where a 20 foot visualization wall will be your digital playground.

Here’s more about the job:

What you’ll do

  • Work closely with designers, software engineers, and other developers
  • Build features from the design stage through to production
  • A hands-on role developing interactive experiences with HTML5
  • Architect and maintain a robust Backbone MVC Architecture
  • Write tons of amazing object oriented JavaScript

What you need to land an interview

  • Experience working in a collaborative environment
  • Experience working on a User Experience team or Design team
  • Serious knowledge of Javascript, expert level.
  • You are passionate about building amazing user experiences with “HTML5”
  • Expert understanding of MVC structures and AMD Javascript Modules
  • Experience with SVN and Git

What we’re expecting

  • You’re a highly technical problem-solver, but you appreciate and understand great design
  • You love building great products
  • You’re meticulous, but still able to iterate quickly
  • You have a portfolio (which you probably built yourself) of projects you’ve worked on (some of which are self-started)

Interested in joining our team? Visit the full job description, or email Ryan Parr directly at ryan (dot) parr (at) postano (dot) com.


nine-westIt is certainly not news that social media, our connection to mobile devices and the internet as a whole has changed the way we connect, share and shape relationships with our friends, communities and brands. With the online world moving rapidly and constantly evolving, brands and retailers know the importance of figuring out the social networking scene and its users. However, many major retailers are still refining and strategies for how to use social media to gain more presence in the market.

Today, shoppers are more connected to retailers and brands than ever before. Consumers are  interacting with brands on Facebook and Twitter, by sharing user-generated content, and even by creating videos and blog posts describing products. This creates a new opportunity for brands and retailers to leverage social media across the whole value chain. The challenge these retailers face, however, is determining how to best leverage these ongoing social media conversations into an improved shopping experience.

Asked which technology-related trends are having a significant impact on their business, a leading 71% of retailers pointed to social media, with a majority also citing mobile/online shopping (52%) and mobile/online promotions and coupons (51%) as significant influences (according to a KPMG survey). The researchers note that “brick and mortar stores are now viewed with newfound potential,” largely as a result of new social and mobile technologies.

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social media for eventsHere at Postano HQ in Portland, Oregon our team gets excited about a lot of the great things this city has to offer. Included on this list is the amazing food, beer, great tech scene, and local, live music and artists.

Since we’re a proud part of the Portland community, we always get especially excited when we get to do projects that pop up around town and help support the vibrant creative people who call the Rose City home.

This weekend is one of those times. Postano will be providing social visualizations onsite at the PDX Pop Now!’s summer festival, which is an all ages, FREE weekend event showcasing and supporting local Portland music artists.

Using Postano for Events, PDX Pop Now! will be displaying dynamic content with the hashtag #pdxpopnow at the event this weekend. The music festival is using new poster visualization in addition to creating a social hub on their website.

If you are in the Portland area, come down to check out the 45 bands, food court, games and street fare.

PDX Pop Now! 2013 Festival

July 19-21 // FREE – ALL AGES

@ Eastbank Lot (SE Water & SE Salmon)

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With more than 100 million users worldwide, Instagram has become one of the most popular and most used social networks in just a few short years. Because of the incredibly wide audience who uses the app to snap photos and videos, brands have ample opportunity to market themselves and their products to consumers.

However, there are several key things you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure Instagram success when using it for marketing. First, remember that creating and posting interesting and high quality content is essential. Secondly, leveraging your own and the using photos from your community in the right way will ensure you get more bang for the buck with your efforts.

Some well-loved consumer brands have run extremely successful hashtag campaigns, in which they’ve created their own hashtags and encouraged users to add the branded hashtag to their own photos. Here at Postano, we’ve also worked with several of these brands to aggregate and visualize this user-generated content as part of their marketing efforts.

That being said, even if your brand is not running a specific hashtag campaign, or does not have a large enough following to do so, there are lots of ways to leverage popular hashtags that Instagram users are already using to help give your photos and brand more exposure.

Here are some hashtags you can add to your brand Instagram photos that will help get you likes, exposure and more followers:


Throwback Thursday #tbt

instagram hashtagsAn immensely popular hashtag, there are plenty of ways your brand can use this hashtag in creative ways for marketing purposes.

If you are a fashion brand (read: Instagram and the Fashion Industry) using this hashtag provides the opportunity to post vintage inspired looks, photos from past fashion shows or clothing lines, and more.  If you sell vintage clothing or accessories, you could also add #vintagesunglasses or #vintage to find the audience interested in that part of fashion.

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social and retailShopping has always been a social experience. Before the invent of cameras and emails and smart phones and Facebook, people always discussed their favorite stores, newly purchased items and that new line of dresses at the shop in town.

Similarly, the rise of social media platforms did not start people from coming into a store, taking a picture of a beautiful pair of shoes and sending it to their friend. Social media simply provided an outlet for people to share this information with a wider audience. Whether there’s a social community built around your brand, store, products or not, people will always be inclined to share their shopping experiences online.
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Julie Blakley

About Julie Blakley

Julie Blakley was the Digital Marketing Manager for Postano, where she was in charge of managing everything from content creation to social media to SEO. A University of Oregon Journalism graduate, Julie found herself working in the world of digital marketing and media after college and hasn't looked back since. Five years later, she's applied her innate curiosity (and inner geek) that led her into journalism to the world of tech, web writing, social media and marketing businesses online. Follow Julie on Twitter Follow Julie on Google+