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Grace Williams

Digital Marketing Download: Beyoncé Knowles, CES 2015

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Whether it’s social media CMOs, a boy and a dog, or a super-fan and her favorite celebrity, social media has an uncanny ability to connect. From the heartwarming to the humorous, below are our three favorite digital marketing related headlines from the past week.

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Twitter Advanced Search

How To Use Twitter Advanced Search

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Previously limited by name, handle, or hashtag, Twitter advanced search now allows users to search the social media platform’s entire index of tweets – all the way back to 2006. The new and improved search functions launched back in November and its database includes hundreds of billions of tweets (and is growing by several billion each week). With four ways to search, and a seemingly endless combination of keyword phrases and queries, Twitter advanced search has the potential to overwhelm the end user. Search with success using one of the following methods.

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3 Ways to Leverage User-Generated Content

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user-generated content

Agencies and brands across the world are quickly learning that the most compelling (and cost efficient) way to collect content is straight from the source. That’s why user-generated content – stories, photos, and videos produced by end-users and consumers – has become immensely popular among brand managers, social media executives, and content marketers alike. But once it’s procured, what do you do with UGC? We’ve got three ideas that will get your wheels turning.

  • Populate your product pages. In an effort to fill website product pages with keyword-rich copy, it can be easy to overlook the inclusion of one of the most valuable pieces of UGC there is: the product review. Whether good, bad, or ugly (that’s another conversation), the incorporation of unique, detailed product reviews on your website is invaluable when it comes to consumer education, but especially search engine optimization. Because comments on a website are indeed content, search engines like Google will evaluate them for long and short-tail keywords, which will in-turn increase the ranking of your website for certain searches. Furthermore, first-hand product reviews allow potential purchasers to better understand the product’s functionality versus jargon-packed verbiage. The end result? Higher conversion rates at a lower cost.

UGC STAT:  51% of millennials say consumer opinions found on a company’s website have a greater impact on purchase decisions than recommendations from family and friends.

  • Create compelling ad copy. Seeing is believing when it comes to customer buy in, which is exactly why lots of brands are beginning to incorporate consumer quotes and peer photography directly into their advertisements across the digital space. As Social Media Today put it, adding user-generated content into your ad efforts helps to provide “social proof” for consumers. Basically, it helps them realize that “if someone else uses this product and likes it, then I will probably like it too.” Over time, this will eliminate the need for a second opinion prior to product purchase – a win-win for both consumers and marketers.

UGC STAT: Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising with 70% of global consumers surveyed online indicating they trust this platform.

  • Increase engagement on social media. For social media managers that want to create an engaging community online, interactive and genuine material is a must. It encourages product use, empowers buyers to share, and allows consumers to feel like their stories are being heard – all of which add up to create a successful social media campaign. Take for example T-Mobile’s Breakup Letter campaign, which asked users to write a custom break up letter to their carrier and share it via Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. When all was said and done, over 80,000 T-Mobile branded breakup letters were posted to social media – a smashing success.

UGC STAT: On YouTube, user-generated content get 10 times more views than brand-owned content.

Want advice on wrangling your customer base to share compelling stories via social media? Contact Lindsey Groepper and ask how an integrated marketing campaign can change your brand for good. 

Digital Marketing Download: Twitter’s Fabric, Retroactive Product Placement, and Facebook’s Real Name Policy

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Your weekly dose of 15-second digital marketing goodness, brought to you by BLASTmedia.

Twitter to launch new app development platform, Fabric 

In order to keep the peace with third-party apps after cutting off access to its API, Twitter plans to launch a new app development platform call Fabric. Twitter would like to collect more mobile data from users by embedding in more mobile apps. If Fabric is launched, Twitter sees this as a variable option to obtain this information.

Universal Music Group & Mirriad announce retroactive product placement

Universal Music Group (the world’s largest record label) is teaming up with UK tech firm, Mirriad, and Havas, a multinational advertising agency, to provide its artists with a new revenue stream: ads in videos after they’re shot. Here’s how it works: Mirriad’s digital product placement technology scans existing videos to identify blank surfaces to insert advertisements or products. Then, Havas inserts their clients, such as Dish TV, Grand Marnier and Coca-Cola, in retroactive ads in Universal artists’ music videos airing on TV, online and mobile.

Facebook changes ‘real name’ policy & apologizes to LGBT community

Outrage spurred after multiple Bay Area-based drag performers had their Facebook accounts shut down for using aliases as opposed to “real names.” After refusing to back down on the policy once due to security purposes, the social network eventually gave in and now allows for user to create profiles under any “authentic name” that they choose. Facebook has since apologized to those affected, as well as the entire LGBT community.

Want your Digital Marketing Download straight from the source? Follow BLASTmedia on Instagram.

What’s New In Social Media: August 2014

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social media

Facebook and Twitter always seem to be at the forefront of social media news. And while Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram certainly have news of their own to share, we wanted to highlight some of this month’s most talked-about topics. From Twitter’s new shopping service to Facebook’s widely feared Messenger app, here are our top four social media changes to keep your eye on:

Android users speculated about Twitter’s new shopping service after spotting a “payments and shipping” option in the settings of their app. Does Twitter have plans to add mobile payments and automatic shipping to their long list of capabilities? We think yes. Although the “payments and shipping” feature is not yet functional, it sure does lead us to believe that e-commerce is on Twitter’s radar (and their semi-recent acquisition of CardSpring only fuels our speculation fire). 

Facebook phased out chat, and everyone freaked out. In an effort to steal all of your personal data (I’m kidding), Facebook recently started pushing all chat users to download the Messenger app. Here’s the bottom line: Facebook’s Messenger app does not ask for anything different than the regular Facebook app. On top of that, it’s not much different from any other messaging app on the market (See: WhatsApp, HeyTell, Keek, Snapchat, etc.). If you’re one of the worried, read this article from Mashable. It explains why Facebook needs access to your contacts, texts, microphone and more.

Embedding tweets on Twitter became a reality for desktop users. After launching embedded Tweets for mobile back in June, Twitter has finally made the process available via Twitter.com. Simply copy and paste the link to the older tweet into your new tweet and voila! It’s social media inception, and it makes modify tweeting a heck-of-a-lot simpler. And yes, it works through Hootsuite as well.

Facebook banned incentivizing users to ‘Like’ Pages. Among a few other changes to their terms of service, on August 5 Facebook announced that ‘Like’-gating third party app content will be strictly prohibited beginning in early November. The reasoning behind the change is valid – creating meaningful connections between people and Pages. The result for businesses, on the other hand, is less encouraging – one less tool for boosting Facebook Page growth without spending ad dollars.

Get social media news delivered to you on a weekly basis. Check BLASTmedia out on Instagram and follow our Digital Media Download series for quick snippets of info that will keep you on the forefront of the ever-changing social media world. 

What’s New In Social Media: May 2014

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Social Media

From @mention-based music charts to multi million dollar mergers, the month of May brought big-time change to the world of social media. Read on for the highlights, and stay tuned to BLASTmedia on Twitter for real-time updates.

Facebook stated asking questions about your relationship status. With the added functionality of “Ask,” you can now inquire about the relationship status of your most illusive FB friends. This begs the question: will Facebook turn into the largest dating site the world has ever seen? If that sounds dramatic, just take a look at the numbers. Facebook has 1.3 billion active monthly users, while Match and eHarmony have just 11.6 million combined. Only time will tell…

And listening to your conversations. With their new audio recognition tool, Facebook can now identify what movies you’re watching and what music you’re listening to. While it may sound a little like “Big Brother,” it’s nothing we haven’t seen before (See: Shazam). The goal is to get you to post more often, without forcing you to share that you’re listening to “Someone Like You” by Adele for the 15th time in a row. Which brings me to my next point…

They also prioritized explicit posts in your News Feed. Explicit posts, as described by Facebook, are those posts that you choose to share on your Facebook Timeline (typically by opting in via a “post this on Facebook button”). Opposite of those are implicit posts, or automatically shared app updates from apps like Spotify and goodreads. Moving forward, Facebook says that your News Feed will contain fewer implicit stories, and more user-generated content.

Twitter struck a $230M deal with Omnicom. Over the next two years, Twitter will work to integrate their already-existing ad platform, mopub, with Omnicom’s programmatic ad purchasing unit, Accuen. The deal ensures ad rates and inventory access for Omnicom agencies, and improved pricing and targeting options for the rest of us.

And rolled out real-time music charts based on hourly mentions. Billboard’s new Trending 140 Chart integrates seamlessly with both Twitter and Spotify. With options like “Tweet this song to help boost it’s rank” and “Listen to this song on Spotify,” the interactive music list is surely boosting engagement across all platforms. Not to mention, it is likely the most up-to-date music billboard ever created.

Can’t keep track of the latest happenings in the world of social media? Let us lighten the load! Contact Lindsey Groepper today to learn how your brand could benefit from our social media know-how. 

3 Places You Can Use Emojis, and 3 Places You Can’t

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With the recent rollout of emojis for Twitter’s desktop version and the addition of Yelp’s emoji search function, it’s safe to say that emojis are becoming an integral part of the Internet landscape. And even though world-class companies like Twitter and Yelp are hopping on the emoji train, there are still some platforms that remain completely emoji-free. Want to know if your salsa dancing lady or red stiletto heel will show up as the emoji it was intended to be as opposed to a little black box? Read on for a list of pro- (and anti-) emoji platforms.


  • Smartphone. From sending song lyrics using exclusively emojis to speaking in code with your bestie, the uses for emojis on your smartphone are practically endless. They allow us the freedom to express emotion without having to worry about spelling mistakes or embarrassing mispronunciations (because, grammar is hard). 
  • Twitter. It’s no surprise that Twitter for mobile has been emoji friendly for quite some time. New to the game, though, is emojis for Twitter on the web. Earlier in April, Twitter announced that they would no longer discriminate against the tiny picture characters that we love so much.


  • Yelp. That is right; you can now use emojis to search on Yelp. Simply type in a picture of your favorite food and voila, your favorite restaurant will appear right before your eyes. It’s practical magic, it’s everything you’ve ever wanted, it’s innovation at its finest. Okay, maybe not. But it is pretty awesome.


  • Across Smartphone Operating Systems. iPhone users have access to emojis. Android users have access to emojis. All is right with the world! Right? Wrong. What happens when the aforementioned bestie isn’t using the same operating system that you are? As it turns out, you may have trouble getting your emoji message across.
  • Embedded Tweets. Creating emoji-laden tweets? Easy. Embedding emoji-laden tweets onto your blog? Well, that’s a whole different story. Currently, emojis only show up as black and white boxes when embedded onto a website or blog, but we’re assuming that Twitter will resolve this in the near future.


  • Google. If I can search using emojis on Yelp, then I want to search using emojis on Google. That is all.  

Looking for an extra pair of eyes to help you stay on top of the latest social media trends? Contact Lindsey Groepper to learn how your brand could benefit from our emoji expertise.