Tag Archives: social media

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Instagram’s Newest Up-Coming Feature

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Instagram’s current shopping format.

Instagram, a social media platform that we all know and sometimes love, has recently announced plans to include a new shopping feature in it’s app. This new “Checkout” feature will allow users to purchase products from within the app rather than navigating through the retailer’s own site via tag from the post. 

Instagram will mainly benefit by making commission on each purchase, and businesses and consumers will also benefit because of the simplified purchasing process and a better way to connect with each other. 

Although brands will be charged a fee by Instagram to use this feature, they will have the option of using posts, stories, or designated shopping “Explore” tabs to make their products purchasable. Because many brands rely heavily or even solely on Instagram to market products and generate sales, this feature creates the opportunity to reach more customers and drive revenue. Even high-end and luxury brands are involved in the beta testing phase of the new feature, including Dior, Prada, and Burberry in addition to brands such as Nike and Nars. 

In Instagram’s current shopping format, by tapping the post you are redirected to the brand’s own website.

With this being only one of numerous unknown changes that Instagram has in the works, consumers will begin to see a shift in the way that the app is used. No longer will it only be a place to browse through the content of your favorite brands and post pictures with friends, but it will essentially be a marketplace that offers you the opportunity to purchase products you may not have seen in the first place. 

Some critics are concerned that the “Checkout” feature will drive consumers away as the app becomes more commercialized. However, with any form of change there will be fans and there will be adversaries, so time will only tell whether or not consumers respond positively to the new feature, or decrease their use of the app. 

What are your thoughts? Do you think this new feature will be useful and make purchases easy? Or will it keep you from scrolling through your feed as often as you do now?

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The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media

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We have arrived at an age where what internship or job we are going to get and how we are going to get them consumes our thoughts. What can we do to stand out and gain these companies’ attentions? As these worries fill our minds, most of us have stop to think – can employers see what I am posting on my social media? We have all heard the long lectures of not posting anything inappropriate or unprofessional on social platforms, but do jobs actually check for it?

            I decided it was time to do some research and turn these questions into answers. Since 2016, “social recruiting” has gone up 60%, meaning almost 70% of employers screen social networks before hiring. This does not mean that the best option is to ghost yourself from social media. Research also shows that 50% of employers are less likely to consider a candidate who is not findable online. It is best to take this knowledge and use your social media as an advantage. Let the employers find you and become impressed with what they see! Display a professional attitude, great communication skills, or even the countless activities you have been a part of and maybe even mentioned on your resume. Another big way to use social media to land a job is networking. Connect with others in your industry, such as through LinkedIn groups. This helps build your social capital and raises your amount of engagement with a positive and professional approach.

            Long story short- as fun as it is to reminisce on the good and even bad times, it is best to keep your personal life off the web. You never know if what you are posting could hurt your own or someone else’s future.


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Phone Eats First: Which Athens Restaurant Takes the Cake?

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The time has come. One of the eight amazing restaurants I’ve reviewed over the past couple of months must finally be crowned the winner of Best Social Media Marketing. I must admit, it’s a tough decision. How do you choose one when all of them ultimately taste so good? Is it Five Bar? No wait, what about South? But then there’s always the newbie, Maepole; they have so much potential! Ok no, I know which one it is…the classic of all classics…Mama’s Boy!!!

That’s right, ladies and gentleman, you’re go-to-brunch spot is the winner. There’s no way I could justify not choosing them considering the fact that they have the largest reach and garner a great amount of attention compared to the other restaurants we’ve looked at. Maybe they have their food to thank for that, but what’s fair is fair. Let’s take a look below at some of my favorite Instagram’s of theirs from the past six months or so.

I mean, come on. It’s 11:00 on a Monday night and I’m considering leaving the comfort of my apartment to wait in line for Mama’s Boy to open tomorrow. But then again, it’s freezing cold outside so I take that back. If you haven’t gone to check out all that this delightful restaurant has to offer then you haven’t truly lived. Just be sure to bring some good company to keep you occupied while you wait for 2 hours in line to get seated.

I’ll be seriously disappointed in you if you’re reading this post and haven’t already left to go follow @mamasboyathens on Instagram. I promise you’ll regret not doing so, but your bank account won’t.

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Ben Rector: A Fan’s Biggest Fan

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If you ever ride in the car with me for longer than ten minutes be prepared to listen to at least two or three Ben Rector son- … albums!  His catchy tunes and simple yet truthful lyrics land Ben Rector a spot as one of the artists that I return to again and again for songs guaranteed to put a smile on my face.  And while looking at his social media pages I discovered that songwriting isn’t Ben Rector’s only strength.  While on his most recent tour promoting his Magic album, he has undertaken the practice of creating regular social media content for each show that he performs.  What is this content you ask?  A video of the fans cheering that, while seeming like a simple task, acts as a successful marketing tool in two ways:

  1. Makes fans feel appreciated– by having a video dedicated solely to them, fans will feel appreciated for spending their time and money to go to a show.  One of the best things an artist can do is acknowledge that their success is a result of the loyalty of their fans and the support they give the artist.  Similar to how country duo Dan + Shay posted pictures with fans, by posting videos of his audience, Ben Rector makes them feel special, and a part of his success, and therefore maintain the artist-fan relationship.
  2. Helps spread word of tour– a video is something that can be very easily shared on Facebook, and by incorporating his fans into the video Ben Rector is creating content that fans are more likely to share with others (because who wouldn’t want to brag a little bit about the fun they had at the show???).  With each sharing of the video, the number of individuals who hear of the tour increases.  Each of Ben Rector’s fans have their own audience on Facebook, and it is those individuals who will be reached as these videos are shared.  Through the videos, their curiosity may be peaked to further discover who Ben Rector is and when his next show will be.

Creating useful content does not have to be complicated.  Ben Rector perfectly demonstrates this through these videos.  He is able to have some fun and connect with his current fans and reach out to a new audience through the use of a single post.  Now that is something to cheer about!

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Changing the Chamber- Week Eight

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I have been working at the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce as the “new” Social Media Coordinator for about three months now. Time really does fly when you are having fun. Though I enjoy this position, it can also be stressful when I think of ideas for content and they don’t pan out. I am constantly trying to think of new ways we can improve our content and gain more followers.

For Instagram, I have mastered story content but am struggling for actual feed content, which is really more important. We have not had any ribbon cuttings or events for me to post about, and all of my other content ideas have not panned out. I know that I need to start making some changes to my strategy and focusing on different types of content to post than what I originally wanted to. This past week, I posted a  Halloween graphic on our Instagram story that encouraged people to tag us in their pictures for a chance to be featured on our page. I wanted to share fun pictures of our members on our feed, but I only got a couple of tags and those were not suitable for our page. I also posted a story congratulating the UGA football team on clinching the title of SEC East Champions. One part of the story was a graphic that the UGA football team account posted and the other was a post link to a video they posted with Kirby Smart celebrating in the locker room with his players. It is a very hype and hilarious video that I thought would make us look more fun for sharing. I know that I have struggled with our Instagram feed, but I do have some more ideas for this week and into the future that hopefully will pan out.


On Facebook, I posted the same Halloween graphic and also encouraged people to tag us in their pictures for a chance to be featured on our page. I got hardly any responses on Facebook, as well. I am excited to learn more about Facebook algorithms next semester in the Digital Marketing Analytics class because I can see that we are not getting as much reach as we should be. Some posts also get much more than others, which I would like to fix. I also need to find a way to get our followers to become more interactive because that will also help our posts, and page, get more attention. I have still been doing daily new member posts because we have several new members join every week. I also posted about a new offer for a health insurance plan available to all Chamber members. That post is both informative and will hopefully showcase an example of some of the special benefits that our members receive that will influence non-members to want to join. I also posted a great article about one of our members, Beau Shell, and his business ventures. I am constantly looking for ways to showcase our members and show our support, and this article was a great to do both.

On Linked In, I posted the same article about Beau and his business. I also posted about our upcoming Diversity Summit that we are helping sponsor alongside the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. I am still struggling to gain followers on LinkedIn. I assume that most people still do not realize that they are following the wrong LinkedIn page, but I have plans to change that soon.

I have definitely had some recent struggles in this position, but I have come up with some ways to overcome them and am excited to move forward in this position. I do not want our social media to be good, I want it to be great, and that is going to take some great ideas.

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Phone Eats First: How Trappeze Pub Markets Themselves Via Social Media

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Trappeze Pub is my all-time go to restaurant here in Athens. Whenever someone doesn’t know what they want to eat, I always throw out Trappeze as an option. It’s cozy, friendly, not too expensive, relatively fast, and most importantly delicious. Don’t get me started, though, on the fact that they took their chicken bacon ranch sandwich off the menu…I’m VERY upset about that. Don’t get me wrong, they have some pretty amazing alternatives, but nothing can compete with the CBR.

I’ve been following Trappeze on Instagram for a long time now and I am a loyal follower of theirs. It amazes me that every time they post I think they’re next post can’t get any better, but somehow it does. What I love most about their posts (besides how delightful their food looks) is the consistency in every one of their pictures. The plates are always placed on one of their wooden tables and typically features a beer that they serve on tap. The colors are warm and inviting and their pictures aren’t overly edited. Look at the picture below. It features breakfast as well as lunch/dinner. There’s healthy as well as comfort food. The food is colorful and perfectly placed within the frame.

While the posts featured above perfectly exemplify what Trappeze is doing right on their Instagram, the posts shown below appear a bit drabby and uninviting in my opinion. First off, the pictures are too similar. They only feature dinner plates, and to be quite honest the first two pictures don’t look super appetizing. The pictures are taken at the same angle and only show the wooden table in the background. Lastly, the beers are a tad repetitive. I’m being nit-picky here, but I want to be fair and point out what Trappeze could work on avoiding in the future.

Currently, Trappeze has exactly 3,000 followers and is following 290 people. They don’t trump Mama’s Boy all-time high of 8,500 followers, but I’m not totally disappointed in this ratio. Can it be better? Yes, especially considering the fact that Trappeze has so many things going for them in this hip college town. I haven’t seen a post that’s received over 103 likes, which isn’t horrible, but most of their posts don’t receive any comments at all. If Trappeze could just get their employees to like and comment on almost every post of theirs, more people would definitely begin to see it pop up in their popular page.

What a great way to end my series of reviews for these delectable restaurants. Don’t forget to tune in next week to see who takes the cake for the best Instagram!!

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Movie Review: The Social Network Edition

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In this film, money, intelligence, and a lack of personal skills equate to loneliness. Mark Zuckerberg is arguably the most intelligent young entrepreneur alive, but the journey to get there proved to be alienating. Without communication and personal skills, it is not possible to live a happy and honest life. Subsequently, it is also hard to be successful. Looking good on paper, which is exactly how Zuckerberg operates in this film, will not suffice. He lost friends, lied to people, went through multiple lawsuits, and almost lost everything due to his inability to work with others, be selfless, and not so arrogant.

Although this film is a huge example in regards to a lack of personal skills, every single person can learn from it. Success does not bring likability. Life cannot be fully lived on or behind screen. Although digital is taking over, it is so important that all people still value those interpersonal skills and know how to have face-to-face interactions, work on teams, care for others, and share success. Too often, I see so many people absolutely enveloped in their own profit and the top is lonely. And just like Zuckerberg losing his girlfriend, friends, and business partners—it’s also lonely getting to the top without the right mindset. Do not get me wrong, Facebook is an extremely profitable idea and deserves all of the credit, but it’s important to understand the journey. I do believe the underlying theme of this film circles around that journey, the losses, and the importance of doing things the right way, together. Do not lose sight of what really matters just because of money.

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I Watched #140 Characters, a Documentary

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Though an older and short documentary (a little under half an hour) #140 Characters, a Documentary tells about how four different people used Twitter.  One for business, another for networking, another for fundraising, and another for a personal relationship.  The documentary does much with simple voice overs from the four people.  Focus is then put on the user stories rather than any advanced cinematography or techniques.

Twitter’s power to grow an audience quickly and easily shines brightly along with its ability to accelerate interpersonal relationships speed of growth.  Twitter’s positive impacts are highlighted with any downsides not mentioned, so the documentary is biased but not in any outright malicious way.  The users stories are extremely impactful and instill hope in the platform’s use for good.  Overall the documentary highlights the positive merits and uses of Twitter and demonstrates a time where social platforms brought people closer rather than divided them.

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The More You Know – Instagram & Spotify

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As many people have discovered, there are a few different ways in which you can now connect your Instagram to Spotify. This is possible through the use of Instagram’s story feature, which provides users with a variety of ways to create and share music socially. Below are three ways anyone can add music to the mix with their social posts.

1) The “Music” Story

When you swipe over into the story section of the app, multiple options appear across the bottom of the screen. These options determine the form in which the media will be created for the story. Options such as, “Normal,” “Boomerang,” or “Live” allow users to create a variety of different content types to share at limited times. The “Music” option connects with Spotify to allow individuals to search for a song, look through popular songs linked to stories, or scroll through songs grouped by mood or genre. Once a song choice has been made, users can then listen and select the 15 seconds that they want to play during their new video post. Finally, the video can be recorded with the chosen music overlayed. The song information is displayed on the screen in a rectangular box but can be re-sized and placed wherever the user wants it to appear on the screen with their video.

The “Music” Option on Instagram Stories

2) The “Music” Sticker

If users wanted a song to play over a new photo, pre-captured photo, or pre-recorded video, the “Music” sticker can be utilized. This sticker is another feature that allows Spotify to be connected to your story to add a musical element to your posts. To use the sticker, choose the media you wish to post (photo, video, text, etc.) and then open the stickers panel found in the top right corner. In the stickers panel, the “Music” sticker can be selected which will open the music search and selection screen. This screen is the same as the one used in the “Music” story option section and offers a wide variety of music that can be overlayed on top of your selected media. Simply choose a song, re-size or re-locate the sticker to fit where you want it, and then post!

The “Music” Sticker on Instagram Stories

3) Linking a Song/Podcast/Playlist

The last way in which music can be shared via Spotify on your Instagram story is actually through the Spotify app. A common thing users are doing socially now is sharing and recommending music to their friends and followers. To make this easier and more functional, Spotify and Instagram have worked together to create linking capabilities within the Spotify app. These capabilities allow you to choose the song, podcast, or playlist you are wanting to link, and then “share” it directly through an Instagram story. All you have to do is select the three little dots on the right side of the desired media within the Spotify app. This will open up the options screen, which includes a sharing option. Looking at the sharing options, an “Instagram Story” option appears. Once this is selected, the Instagram app will be opened, you will be brought directly to the story feature, and a square displaying the song or playlist information can be re-sized and re-arranged on the screen and posted to your story. The main difference between linking through the Spotify app versus through the Instagram story feature is that the audio will not actually play on the post if it is linked via the Spotify app. Instead, the information will appear, and friends and followers will have the option to click the “Play on Spotify” button on your story. This will open the Spotify app directly to the song, podcast, or playlist that was linked.

Sharing From Spotify to Instagram Stories

In the end, how you choose to link Spotify to your Instagram story is up to you. All three of these options have various impacts on the content and consumption of your story. For businesses, music linking capabilities provide the opportunity to increase the quality and interactivity of your story to consumers. With this feature gaining more and more popularity, individuals will be looking to their favorite brands to adopt these trends and use them creatively to strengthen their brand’s social image on Instagram. Try experimenting with these features and see which options work best to support your personal or professional brand with music!

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Changing the Chamber- Week Seven

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I am still continuing to change the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce by improving their digital marketing as their social media coordinator. Each week I learn something new and develop a stronger strategy for their social media. My fellow coworkers and I have started coming up with a weekly plan for what I should post, including welcome posts to all of our new members, promoting local events, and reminders. At the beginning of each week, I decide what I will post each day and what social media platform is appropriate for each post.

On Instagram, I posted several stories that were mostly graphics I created myself on Canva. I had hoped to be able to post on our feed, but the organizations I contacted have been extremely slow to respond to me. I posted a story for National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day and encouraged people to use the hashtag #SupportYourLocalChamber. I also posted a story promoting the Georgia Florida Food Truck Rally put on by Glynn County in St. Simons. I posted a reminder for our October Business After Hours event the morning of the day it occurred. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the event to take pictures or post live footage because I was out of town. I also posted a graphic wishing everyone at UGA a Happy fall Break. All of these stories either show us supporting a partner organization or promoting our own event, both of which are our goals. Now, I just need to focus on creating content for our actual feed. My struggle with contacting local organizations has taught me how important effective communication is for a business.


On Facebook, I posted a welcome to all of our recently new members. We had six new members, and I posted an individual post each day for each of them explaining what they did, quoting their mission, and linking their website. I also posted a picture of my boss with a loving message for National Bosses Day. I shared an event from one our members, Academia Brewing Company, that was hosting their One Year Anniversary and congratulated them. I also shared an event from the Lyndon House Arts Center that was having House Party fundraiser for arts center programming. I contacted one of our members, Global Escapes, who was celebrating their 30th anniversary and asked them why they enjoyed being a chamber member. I posted to congratulate them and shared their answer. This post promoted their business, showed our support, and encouraged other people to want to join the chamber with their explanation of why they enjoy it. I also promoted a fundraising event that Hope Haven of Northeast Georgia was having in celebration of 60 years. I posted about National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day on Facebook, the Georgia Florida Food Truck Rally, and UGA’s Fall break, as well. I also posted a reminder for our October Business After Hours event, but on Facebook I shared the event on Monday to allow more people time to plan and RSVP for it. I posted a lot on Facebook this week, but I made sure to spread them out evenly throughout the week.

On LinkedIn, I also posted about National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day. I felt it was appropriate to post here too because it directly affects our organization and encourages people to support us. I also thanked people for all of the support they have given us in the past and will continue to give us in the future. I also shared an article about the founder of one of our partner organizations, Athensmade, and how he is helping educating entrepreneurial students at UGA. That article combined two members that we are deeply connected to, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to support them both at the same time.

We have steadily been gaining followers on Instagram, but much slower on Facebook and LinkedIn. I plan to include the links to the pages in our monthly newsletter that will be sent out at the beginning of November. I also plan to collaborate with my coworkers to help decide a contest that we could have to promote our pages and gain more followers. I am excited to launch a contest and possibly start using paid media on our social pages. It is hard to promote the Chamber when we have such a small budget for promotion, but I think that we all realize how much social media is worth and the impact it can make on our organization.

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SPARKsouthSeptember 28, 2018
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