Apple Social-Hub

Anytime Apple launches anything it makes waves. And the launch of the iPhone 6, 6+, and the Apple Watch this September was no different, except for Apple’s digital strategy. For the first time ever Apple created an online social hub where they livestreamed the announcement as well as aggregated user-generated content around the hashtag #Applelive. This was a big step for a company that historically has stayed away from social media. Continue reading

Make Social Shoppable

One of the most prevalent questions asked to marketers is the return on investment of social. Brands and individuals alike are constantly striving for more followers or likes, but how does having a certain number of Facebook friends actually create a profit? With competing metrics on the value of a retweet or a follower, many question the actual ability to–or value in–calculating the ROI of social.

User generated content provides the perfect opportunity to connect the dots between fans and brands. A new feature on the scene is shoppable links. By directly adding product attribution to social posts in a social hub, marketers can create an easy path to e-commerce or information pages and make social shoppable. Here are some of our favorite ways to utilize this new feature in any given industry. Continue reading

5 Creative UGC Campaigns

Brands are getting more and more creative with their social media campaigns and the best ones are using user generated content (UGC) to further their reach. UGC has enormous potential to take a normal activation and give it fresh life with content that a brand or agency would never even think of. UGC campaigns are also more authentic and personable making them more likely to be shared with family and friends.

Take a look at 5 recent activation that put a creative spin on UGC:  Continue reading

user generated content campaigns

There is nothing hotter in the world of marketing right now than user generated content (UGC) campaigns. Advertising agencies and brands worldwide are trying to tap into the immense power of their fan/customer base and use their authentic and original content to power their marketing campaigns.

Take a look at ten of the best user generated content campaigns: Continue reading


We’ll be recapping the major themes we saw at SXSW this year in three installments, view Part I here and come back tomorrow for Part III.


Justin Garrity, SVP of Postano, and Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, Co-founder and COO of Digital Brand Architects, presented yesterday as part of the SXSW Interactive conference to a packed room on how brands are using user-generated content to fuel their marketing campaigns. Together they highlighted brands that are finding unique ways to leverage consumer conversations into marketing strategies and integrating user-generated content into brand building. Continue reading

Large social media display boards have become a mainstay at conferences in the past few years and for good reason. They are great for highlighting tweets and photos from conference attendees and promoting social content around shared discussions.


But without careful moderation, they are ripe for abuse.

Such was the case at the Agile2013 Conference in Nashville Tennessee this past August. The conference organizers had 5 large screens that showed tweets with #Agile2013.

A conference attendee posted to the infamous 4chan /b/ board asking fellow readers to cure his boredom by hijacking the twitter boards and tweeting ridiculous/offensive/pornographic tweets and photos using the #Agile2013 hashtag. The twitter boards were immediately filled with extremely inappropriate content for the entire conference to see.

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hashtagThe first twitter hashtag was introduced just over six years ago on August 23, 2007. Oh, how the hashtag has grown and has become a critical element of engagement for brands to promote participation.

Humble Beginnings
Hashtags had been around before 2007. IRC used them to mark topics and groups that were available across the entire network. So when #barcamp used it in 2007, it was with the same idea: find a way to span the network and quickly find something. Twitter itself caught on in 2009 when they started hyperlinking all hashtags to instantly search on that tag.

                                                  Twitter’s first hashtag

Hashtags can be used for, well, everything. They can create a way to classify posts, functioning as metatags. They are often used to end a post with a side comment or sarcastic twist. But hashtags are most powerful when they facilitate participation, joining strangers together around a central idea, or amplifying an event to a much broader audience. Continue reading

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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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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