Heineken Sheds Light on it’s Current Marketing Focus


There has been much talk about what the future of TV will look like. Is TV going away? Well, Heineken seems to be taking its dollars away from TV and into top dogs, Facebook and Google. Their objective is to focus on reaching as many people as possible and they believe digital is the answer. It helps to look at what big name brands are doing to get a clearer picture of where things are headed. 

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Using Facebook Live to Engage with Followers

Facebook Live

Facebook live is a relatively new feature. Social Media Today talks about how to use Facebook’s Live video features to engage with your audience. People are said to spend up to 3 times longer watching live video than other forms of video. Facebook live is generating a lot of engagement and here is a synopsis of how you too can engage with your followers this way.

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Intel Technology and The Olympic Games

Intel Technology and The Olympic Games

Intel technology and the Olympic Games have big news! Intel, an American multinational corporation and technology company just announced a worldwide top partnership through 2024 with the Olympic Games.  This will be a good opportunity for them to show off their newest technology. These technologies include virtual reality, 360-degree video, artificial intelligence, drones and more in hopes to enhance the high-profile sports event.

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The Social Media Competition

Social Media Competition

The social media competition is in its all-time prime. Snapchat and Instagram entered the market around the same time over 6 years ago. Since then, we have seen the never-ending competition between the two. One would think that Snapchat stories would be dominating Instagram because they “started it”. However, this is simply not the case. 

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Instagram’s Lack of Transparency

Instagram's Lack of Transparency

Instagram is an ideal platform for advertisers due to its lack of transparency and ability to provide native advertising. It can be difficult to differentiate between paid and unpaid content, especially when it comes to the vast number of influencers and sponsors. To be more honest and forthright with consumers, Instagram is testing a feature similar to Facebook’s.

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Converting #Selfies to Sales

How often do you post about your most recent travel adventure? Travel junkies that post their adventures not only make their friends jealous of their exciting trip, they’re also creating copycats. Although traditional word-of-mouth is still the most prominent source of travel inspiration, Facebook and social media are becoming popular in inspiring consumers to book their next vacation. 

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In a Snap: How Brands Can Use Snapchat Better

When Evan Spiegel first introduced Snapchat in September of 2011, his intentions weren’t anything close to digital marketing. The smart phone app was originally a senior design project for one of his capstone classes at Stanford University. Since its birth, it’s grown and evolved into an across-the-board digital giant. Snapchat has become a part of everyday life for Millennials and several big brands have already taken advantage of this opportunity to market their brands to an attentive audience.

Who’s on Snapchat?

Big and small brands alike are advertising to their fans on Snapchat. Here are just a few:

  • Taco Bell
  • Mashable
  • McDonald’s
  • Free People
  • General Electric
  • GrubHub
  • Brothers Bar and Grill
  • American Eagle
  • Acura
  • Rebecca Minkoff
  • The NBA
  • Heineken
  • Riffraff Boutique

Tips for brands engaging through Snapchat

Familiarize yourself with the app
Snapchat has undergone several changes since its first launch, so understanding all the bells and whistles is essential. Some features you should be aware of are:

  • Drawing Feature—Readily paint and draw on your snaps with all the colors of the rainbow, except for black and white. To draw in black, simply select the pencil and drag all the way down. For white, click and drag all the way to the left.
  • Time—You have the ability to select how long your Snapchat will last. Before you send a snap, select 1-10 seconds for viewers to see it before it disappears.
  • Filters—To acquire the six different filters, capture your snap and swipe to the left.
  • MyStory—MyStory is a new feature within Snapchat which allows you to send a snap to all your contacts. Once a snap is sent to MyStory, users have the ability to view the snap as many times as they want within the next 24 hours. Didn’t mean to send that? Don’t worry, Snapchat lets you delete snaps from MyStory.
  • Video—To make a video snap hold the capture button down to record. When finished release and send!


 Example of black and white colors used to draw. 

Identify your audience
Like any marketing campaign, knowing your audience will help you create direction. Put yourself in your audiences’ shoes. What do you think they would enjoy seeing? Remember Snapchat only allows up to 10 second videos at a time, so think wisely. This medium is also meant to be casual, so the content of your snaps should be easy to understand. I would also recommend researching other brands on Snapchat to get a feel for what they are doing.

Use the Video Feature
The video feature makes snaps more personable and real. Try tying your snaps together by stringing multiple videos together.

Don’t be spammy
There is nothing worse than receiving spammy content on Snapchat like “Enter to Win” or “Use this Code.” Try to avoid spamming your followers with coupons and tell them rather about contests and deals in a creative way. For example, send snaps of behind-the-scenes tours, highlight employees or give a how-to demonstration.

Engage with followers
Show your followers some love! Send snaps back or encourage them to send you snaps that you can modify to snapback. Another way to engage with followers is to offer special promotions for those who snap at you. Lastly, engage with followers by providing exclusive deals to those who follow you on Snapchat.

            Mashable uses Snapchat to unveil the new Blackberry Passport


Taco Bell recently gave their followers a video tour of their headquarters.

Have you used Snapchat for your brand? What are some tips you suggest for a fool-proof Snapchat marketing campaign? What are some of your favorite brands on Snapchat?

5 Tips on How to Market Your Business on Instagram

Instagram has certainly made significant strides within the past year, but the most common question people have is do I really need an Instagram account for my business?… And what the heck do I even post?

Instagram is a unique way to connect and engage with your audience using visual images. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is a more visual experience for users. Here below, I have complied a list of five tips if you’re looking to market your business on Instagram.

  1. Connect your Instagram account with your other social media platforms.

When first setting up your Instagram account—or if you already have one—be sure to connect your account to your other social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr and Flickr. By connecting to your other accounts, you can post simultaneously to all platforms and therefore syndicate your visual content.

Connecting your social accounts to cross-promote your content is also a great way to gain more followers across all social media platforms. If someone follows you on Facebook and sees you are also on Instagram, they will most likely connect immediately.

  1. Use Hashtags

The hashtag feature on Instagram is very similar to the Twitter hashtag. I recommend almost every post include a hashtag, especially when you are new to Instagram. Just like on Twitter, when clicking on a hashtag you are able to explore similar posts. This is a great way for your brand to get noticed.

When using the Instagram hashtag, it is important to understand the popular, daily hashtags:

  • Monday: #MCM (Man Crush Monday)
  • Tuesday: #TransformationTuesday
  • Wednesday: #WCW (Women Crush Wednesday)
  • Thursday: #tbt (Throwback Thursday)
  • Friday: #FlashblackFriday
  • Saturday: Hashtags have the day off
  • Sunday: #SelfieSunday

These hashtags may or may not be appropriate for your brand, but using them in a playful way is great for engaging and gaining followers.

If you are feeling really brave, I recommend you create your very own hashtag. A great example of this is an Arkansas boutique, Riffraff. They’ve done an excellent job of engaging their customers on Instagram by establishing the hashtag #riffrafflove. When purchasing from their store they encourage you to use #riffrafflove on an Instagram post with you wearing their product. With the hashtag they are able to connect with customers. Just look—there are 8,565 posts using their homemade hashtag!

photo 1photo 2


For simpler hashtag recommendations, stick with three things: location (#Indy), product (#cupcakes), or industry (#bakery).

  1. Engage, Engage, Engage

Instagram is the most informal social media platform out there. Followers are looking to your account to tell your story. One of the best lessons I learned in my college sales internship is, “People love to buy, but they hate to be sold.” Instagram isn’t the place to post your latest ad, but rather post that “ad” in a unique, visually pleasing way.

  • Encourage your followers to post their own photos using your hashtag
  • Follow your followers
  • Like followers’ photos
  • Comment on followers’ photos
  • Ask questions
  • Run Instagram contests
  • Be sure to give call to action!


  1. Be creative with your content.

As I’ve already mentioned, Instagram is extremely informal—so your content should be also. Determine how you would like your brand represented and run with it. Here are a few content ideas:

  • Include behind-the-scenes images
  • Showcase employees
  • Play into the fun National Holidays
  • Show off your product in creative ways
  • Celebrate milestones
  • Use the video feature

Another one of my favorite brands to follow on Instagram is Jars by Dani. She sells homemade jars with all different kinds of cake flavors. What I enjoy most about dani_beckerman is how she creatively highlights her jars in posts. She makes her product visually pleasing, and her images can make anyone’s mouth water!

photo 3photo 4


Here are a few additional content tips:

  • Be sure your posts are creative, playful, and not mundane.
  • Don’t get caught up in using the same filters, shake things up every now and then to spark interest.
  • Your content should inspire customers and potential customers.
  1. Master the Caption

Being able to post awesome pictures is one thing, but being able to master your caption will take your post to the next level. Clever captions that make your followers look at your posts longer are essential to creating a successful Instagram campaign.


Is your brand is directed toward millennials? Then you better have an Instagram account. Figuring out what works for your business on Instagram may take time, but once you create your persona and get the hang of posting you can become an Instagram master in no time. However, if you don’t feel you have the time to dedicate to creating a successful Instagram profile, I recommend reaching out to a digital marketing firm to take care of your needs.

3 Hot Summer Social Media Campaigns

Summertime is the perfect time for brands to get social since everyone wants to share their summer experience with the world — whether it’s a week-long vacation or a backyard BBQ. The excitement of summer gives brands the opportunity to have fun with their customers in a personal way.

Here are three hot summer social media campaigns that could not be ignored. By the way, notice they all are hashtagging it!

CoachFromAboveCoach: #CoachFromAbove

I was made aware of this campaign through Jay Baer’s daily newsletter, Convince & Convert. As a woman, the “Coach from Above” campaign really stood out to me. Coach asked customers to share the view of their shoes, from above, by posting photos on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #coachfromabove. As an incentive, fans had a chance for their photso to be featured on the company’s website. This campaign made for some serious user-generated content because, let’s face it, women love showing off their shoes. I love how creative some women were with their photos. Although the campaign started on Instagram and Twitter, it overflowed to the company’s other social platforms, including Facebook and Pinterest. This allowed for increased exposure and helped the campaign gain even more traction. According to Convince & Convert, the campaign generated over 600 users on Instagram alone during the first eight weeks. This is a perfect example of how brands can engage with their customers in a fun and personal way.


BenAndJerrysBen & Jerry’s: #OMGFreeBenJerry’s

And what would summer be without ice cream? Ben & Jerry’s took their ice cream delivery truck to Twitter and gave their followers the opportunity to receive a free ice cream delivery by tweeting the location of where they would like the truck to visit, along with the hashtag #OMGFreeBenJerrys. Opened to consumers in five cities throughout the U.S., the campaign inspired user-generated buzz about the newest Ben & Jerry’s flavors, such as a video-montage created by a student at the Miami Ad School. It also garnered international attention and recognition for the popular Ben & Jerry’s ice cream trucks.

7-Eleven7-Eleven: AweSummer

7-Eleven used the hashtag #Awesummer the last few summers to share specials on food and treats all summer long. Beginning on Memorial Day, 7-Eleven kicked off their summertime campaign by tweeting their .49¢ Slurpee deal. The following week, they offered followers a link to an app for a free Snapple Ice Tea. The campaign promises to share food specials available at 7-Eleven stores with their followers all summer long. Of course, consumers are also encouraged to share their treat-purchases using the #AweSummer hashtag, which will likely  generate a ton of twitter buzz for the weekly summertime specials.


What summertime social media campaigns do you see popping up this summer?

Share examples on our Facebook page or tweet us at @StrataBlue, or  leave us a comment on what kind of social media campaigns you have found to be successful in terms of getting consumers involved.


8 Tips for Social Media Spring Cleaning

Regardless of what Mother Nature is telling us, spring is here! Winter is a popular time to hunker down and flip on cruise control until the warm weather arrives again. A good social media spring cleaning might be exactly what your company needs right now. You should be doing regular maintenance in the winter, but right now is the time to optimize and revitalize your networks!

  • Make sure all addresses, phone numbers and emails are up to date. This is also a great time to add and update pictures of employees to the website and social media platforms. Adding that personal touch goes a long way. Let the public know how your company has been performing by adding recent awards and client testimonials.
  • Double check that each social media account has a secure password. Frequently updating passwords is an easy way to avoid getting hacked. Don’t forget to remove anyone as an admin that is no longer with your company.
  • Giving your avatar and cover photos an update will refresh your company in people’s minds. Don’t change it up too much or people won’t be able to identify your brand. Make sure that each photo adheres to each specific platform’s settings. A photo that is not sized correctly can turn off potential customers before they even get the chance to dive into your content.

secure passwords

  • Make sure everyone controlling your social media pages is caught up on the new features that social media platforms have recently released. We all know social media is rapidly changing, so it’s essential that everyone is informed and educated about new functionality.
  • Tidy up your fans and followers. Sure those high numbers look great at first glance, but clearing out inactive clients will give you a more polished look. It also allows you to engage with the right people easier. Are you following spammers or people who don’t give you any value? Clean those accounts out to start fresh.
  • Do your goals still align with your company’s? Reassess your company goals in the short-term and long-term. That way, all employees know exactly where your company is heading.
  • Update your contact list and see if there have been any prospects that fell through the cracks.
  • People are creatures of habit. Go over your last few weeks or months of posts to see the ROI. Creating valuable, insightful content each day can be tough; sometimes you need to take a step back and look at the big picture. If your posts are starting to taper off of engagement, get some fresh eyes on them. Get different people in your company to post on certain days. Keep an editorial calendar to prevent double posting content. This will also help maintain consistency throughout your messages.


Nothing is more motivating then a good spring cleaning. That goes for your house and your company. Is your company already sparkling? What other steps do you have on your spring clean list?