Author Archives: Jennifer MacDonald

Tweetdeck rises from the dead, LinkedIn helps you find the right college and Facebook wants you to Poke

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This week’s Social Media Recap has multiple updates from multiple social networks.

Facebook has made embedded posts available to all users as of this week. Facebook has also added a search tool to their poke feature making it easier to find people you want to poke.

LinkedIn has launched University Pages. A LinkedIn spokesperson said it’s  “the first step towards a longer vision to help students, parents, and university faculty get a head start on career mapping.” LinkedIn also redesigned their Group Pages this week.

Twitter added context to tweets by attaching related headlines to help you follow conversations on twitter easier. They also brought Tweetdeck back from the dead with new functionality. Unforuntely, while launching their new updates they suffered a security breach from a hacker. Make sure you revoke access to all 3rd party apps that are connected to your Twitter account.

What did you discover this week?


The new YouTube & Instagram video apps, Facebook’s newsfeed changes again and more

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This week’s Social Media Recap is chock-full of news! YouTube co-founders have launched a new video app, MixBit, which lets you record 16 seconds of video, edit and format the content. However all content you upload is public for others to remix and use so be careful of what you record!

Instagram now lets you upload videos from your photo library, you no longer have to record your video in the app. It seems that uploaded videos can be longer than 30 seconds in length, which is great news.

Facebook has made changes to it’s newsfeed algorithm again and for once they’re using fancy names to promote the changes. Story Bumping & Last Actor are supposed to make it so you see more of the updates you want to see in your newsfeed. This should be good news for Business Pages.

Twitter launched photo galleries in search, and LinkedIn updated it’s mobile app to allow you to apply to jobs directly in the app.

Is your head spinning yet?

Travel back in time on your Facebook Newsfeed, and Google pulls the plug again

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This week’s Social Media Recap is focused on Facebook. Facebook launched a cool new app yesterday called On this Day, which lets you view your newsfeed on this day one year ago. Facebook also announced embeddable posts so you can now share your Facebook posts on your website or blog to help you gain more followers and increase visibility for your content. Although, Facebook isn’t just an innovator they are also an executioner. Facebook has officially killed the Questions tool for Pages.

Google also killed something this week, and pulled the plug on their Google Local app in hopes to push everyone to use the new Google Maps app.

What did you discover this week on your favorite social networks?

Monitoring will affect every dollar you make

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You’re now using social media to market your business, great job! You’re one step ahead of your competition.  You’re constantly posting relevant, helpful information online to your followers and you’ve been growing your communities. Wow, you’re  a rockstar – well almost. Are you monitoring those accounts?

If you’re publishing great content and you have built a following for your business then chances are you’ve receiving comments, and if you’re not receiving comments you’re definitely receiving likes. Are you saying thank you? Have you responded to those comments that are asking questions, such as how much do you charge for a home inspection?

Here are 3 reasons why you need to respond:

1. Leads:
Responding to comments and thanking your visitors for liking your content will keep them coming back. You’ll be showing an appreciation for their efforts and in turn they will hopefully share your content to help increase visibility for your business. Also you’ll start to build a relationship with these followers and they will be more likely to buy/purchase from you since you have proven that you are an expert in your industry wit that great content you’ve been sharing.

2. Reputation:
Responding to comments and showing appreciation for your followers proves that you are an actual person, not just a robot posting information to the universe. When new followers visit your page(s) they will see that you are active, knowledgeable, and a professional in your industry. This greatly improves your online reputation, as opposed to when a new visitor stumbles across you, you haven’t updated your page in a month, and you have neglected to respond to comments. Remember, 63% of people are more likely to buy products from brands who integrate social media.

3. Customer Loyalty:
After a customer purchases one of your products/services you’re asking them to keep in touch with you online by liking your Facebook Business Page, following you on Twitter, etc. Great idea! However, if you’re asking your customers to connect with you online then you need to give them a reason why they should do so. You’ve previously improved their everyday life with your product/service, now you need to continue to do so online by sharing helpful tips & information. This way you can ensure repeat business and hopefully future referral business.

Have you acquired a new customer on a social network?

Facebook Advertising, Do’s and Don’ts

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Have you been thinking about using Facebook Ads to promote a new product or service, or maybe promote a post on your timeline to gain more visibility for your business page? Before you hit that submit button you need to be aware of Facebook’s Advertising guidelines, or  your ad may not get approved.

Yup, Facebook approves every ad before it goes live, they guarantee to do so within 24 hours if you submit your ad on a business day. Usually it only takes a few hours for your ad to be approved and start receiving clicks and impressions. Here are the guidelines you need to know so you do not get stuck in “pending approval” mode.

Ads must always:
-apply appropriate targeting.
-comply with the Pages Terms that are generated through Page posts, and promote a sweepstakes, contest, competition or offer.
-clearly represent the company, product, service, or brand that is being advertised.
-lead to a functioning landing page that does not interfere with a user’s ability to navigate away from the page. 

-comply with all applicable local laws if promoting or referencing alcohol. 

Ads must NOT:
-include images comprised of more than 20% text.
-never use targeting criteria to provoke users.
-offend users, be false, deceptive or misleading or contain spam.
-contain or promote illegal products or services.
-promote the sale or use of adult products or services.
-be shocking, sensational or disrespectful, or portray excessive violence. 
-promote or facilitate the sale or consumption of illegal or recreational drugs, tobacco products, or drug or tobacco paraphernalia.
-promote the sale of prescription pharmaceuticals.
-promote the sale or use of weapons, ammunition, or explosives.
-constitute, facilitate or promote illegal activity.
-insult, attack, harass, bully, threaten, demean or impersonate others.
-contain “hate speech,” whether directed at an individual or a group.
-target to minors that promote products or services that are illegal for use by minors in their jurisdiction. 

-Ads that receive a significant amount of negative user feedback may be removed. You can help ensure that you will not receive negative feedback by advertising good, relevant content to a targeted audience for your business.

I recently wrote a post discussing the 7 things you need to consider before using Facebook Ads. which you may find helpful for learning how to target your ad to the right type of Facebook users for your business.

Have you had success using Facebook Ads? Tweet me @engage121 or comment below to let me know!


Foursquare makes your friendships stronger by enhancing their check-in feature

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This week’s Social Media Recap is devoted to Foursquare. Have you downloaded the new app yet? It will show you how you can now check-in your friends, instead of just mentioning them when you check yourself into a location. This does sounds great, although I’m worried that people will check-in their friends when they’re not actually with them just so their friends don’t miss their check-in, you know bragging rights.

Have you used the Foursquare Time Machine yet? I mentioned it here a few week’s ago. I’ve love to know what you think of the app!

How do you find influencers in your local area to help grow your business?

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Influencers is the new buzzword in digital marketing, and everyone preaches about building relationships with online influencers but no one shares tips for how to do so. Well today I’m going to change that.  Yes, building relationships with influencers can greatly grow your business because it puts your brand name in front of new eyes, and especially those in your local area. If you’re a small business owner, or franchisee, this is a must add to your marketing strategy. But how?

First define your goals; do you want to get more people to visit your restaurant or local shop? If so, you need to find people who talk about your industry in your local community. For example, if you own a restaurant you should you should begin by searching Google for “good food in Norwalk, CT.” If you own a boutique you can search for “fashion, Norwalk, CT.” Your search results will show online business listings that match that search but there should be URLs that link to relevant online content. Some of these URLs will hopefully be blogs that belong to local bloggers. If you do not find any blogs, there should be a few local news organizations in your area that are publishing this type of information. If you look in the comments section on these sites you can probably find a few people who seem knowledgeable about your industry.

Do not have fear if you didn’t find any blogs, you can head to Twitter and
do the same search there. Go to and search for fashion or food and target your search to your specific geographic location. If you’re an Engage121 user you can easily do this in your Explore tab, and save the search for later. Your results should show some tweets that are relevant to your industry. Click on the profile picture in those tweets, and check out the bio of that person who tweeted the relevant information, as well as scroll through their tweets to see if this is a subject they discuss often. Don’t forget to click the URL they have in their bio, it might be a link to their blog.

You can repeat these steps on every social network. Now that you’ve identified a few key influencers in your local area, what do you do next?

Here are 4 steps for building relationships with those influencers:

  1. Start interacting with them online. For example, if they are a blogger make sure you read their content often and comment on their posts to show that you find their information valuable. Make sure to share your thoughts on the content they publish. In time they’ll see that you are a repeat visitor and will take interest in you, and show their appreciation for your comments.
  2. Share their blog content on your own blog, your Facebook Business Page, Twitter account and tag them on other social networks they use. I refer to this as “scratch their back, and they’ll scratch yours.”
  3. Once these influencers start interacting with you, and it’s a 2-way conversation, invite them to visit your local establishment because you would love to meet them in real life (IRL).
  4. Once you get to this step you’ll have formed a relationship with this influencer, and you need to continue to do the 3 steps above. If you have not seen them mention your brand online, feel free to offer an incentive. Some people will argue against this point but if you’ve gotten to this step I personally think its ok because they know who you are, and you are no longer a stranger. For instance you can offer them a free product or gift card that they can raffle off on their blog.  They’ll love this because it will help them increase blog traffic, and it will help you gain more brand awareness and hopefully new customers. 

If you’re providing great content on your own blog and promoting your social networks in your store then you might not need to do these steps. However, make sure you connect with your offline customers, online and build relationships with them to secure customer loyalty and guarantee repeat business.

How did you find influencers for your business?

How iOS7 will impact your Business

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Apple held their developer conference, WWDC, today in San Francisco to reveal what’s next. The biggest announcement for me was iOS7, although they do have a new desktop computer, Mac Pro, which sounds amazing.

iOS7 has many new, and very cool features. Many critics are saying that the updates reveald are just cosmetic but these cosmetic upgrades greatly inprove productivity, and usability for iPhone, iPad and Mac users.

How will iOS7 impact your business? Here are 3 things to consider:

1. Mobile will rule the world:
In terms of mobile web share alone, iOS has 60% — far and above the competition, and 600 million iOS devices have been sold. If you don’t think your customers are using iOS you’re wrong. Make sure that your website is mobile friendly, and especially your blog. If you are sharing the content you are creating on social networks it needs to be accessible through a mobile device. WordPress is a great platform to use.

2. Siri now shows web search results direct from Bing: 
Why does this matter? If someone asks Siri about your business, whether it’s for your contact info or website,  you need to make sure that your online business listings are accurate. Search your company name on to see if the results are accurate.

3. Design matters:
If 60% of mobile users are using iOS and experience the user-friendly, sophisticated interface design daily on their smartphone or tablet they will not want to switch over to an archaic layout that has poor user-functionality to read your information. Make sure your website, blog, Facebook business page, etc are attractive to your viewers and keep your followers engaged.

Technology is propelling our lives forward at incredibly fast rate, don’t let your business get lost in the dust. Are you an iOS user?

The Future of Social Media Management

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On Tuesday at Engage121 we held a company wide meeting to discuss Social Media Management, in its current state and how we predict it will change in the future.

The different perspectives shared on the subject were very interesting. There was myself… the typical user, the sales guy, the client service rep, the software developer, accounting team & our CEO. My takeaways from yesterday’s conversations were not new revelations for me, but it was the first time I realized that people in non-marketing roles share my thoughts and perspectives.

The future as we see it:
1. Social Media Management needs to be fast,  easy and intuitive – including great overall user interface design!

2. Social Media Management absolutely needs to be linked to selling more stuff for a brand or local business.

3. There are now several levels of responsibility with any given organization – and we need to focus on all users and their individual needs. For example, the CMO requires reporting (does this work or not), the publisher wants it to be fast & easy, the sales team wants a social CRM which shows that the social activity contributed to a purchase, and so on.

4.  There is now a need for software that no only allows publishing, engaging and measurement but also curates content for the user. At Engage121 we have built a content curation platform, and it will be interesting to see how others follow suit, and how this process transforms to fit the user’s requests.

Along with my comments, I wanted to share thoughts from my colleagues.  Below are the takeaways from a member of each department within our company. Comment below and tell me what you think the future of Social Media Management looks like.

If we are to truly help Franchises or Corporations that support local commerce, we must provide social business solutions that enable “local business growth.” As an SMMS provider, our future success will be determined by every additional slice of pizza, ice cream cone or dress sold – by local businesses, through social media. —Mark D’Andrea (Marketing)

It’s clear that the Social Landscape is continually evolving, and it’s hard for businesses to keep up with the newest sites or features that appear.  The best SMMS will insulate their customers from these changes so that they can focus on their business. —Dave Whalen (IT)

Our discussion made clear that we now have the technology to connect social media success to the business outcomes. Our challenge today is to package and market that technology to clients in a manner than can be easily understood and deployed. —Jon Victor (CEO)

In selecting a SMMS, companies shouldn’t look at just big brand names or a list of features and functions.  Instead, they should focus on how the SMMS fits their business structure, and work with them to define and track goals and objectives. —Steve Paster (Sales)

My biggest takeaway from yesterday’s exercise was a renewed sense of importance regarding local social media. I am excited to assist in developing an innovative software platform that will ultimately help small business owners leverage social media to their advantage.  —Parthena Aprea (Client Service)

Facebook rolls out Verified Pages and Time Range targeting for Ads

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It’s Social Media Recap time and today I have a treat for you! You’ll have to click play to see.

This week Facebook secured both updates, they finally rolled out Verified Pages and Profiles for big brands and celebrities. Good job Facebook, Twitter has had this function forever. You can not request to get verified, Facebook has to reach out to you.

Facebook has a new feature for advertisers, and one that I’m very excited about. You can now allows target your ads to those who have recently interacted with Facebook. For example, you can target ads to those users who recently checked into your shop or restaurant over the weekend. This will be the great way to follow up with attendees after your host an event.

What did hear in the news this week about your favorite social networks? Comment below if you like my sunglasses.