Branding: Creating the Brand Story

Posted on September 7th, 2016 by REFUGE Categories Blog

By Brandon Palmer

If you are an entrepreneur, work for corporate America, or are involved in the marketing field, you’ve probably heard of branding, and more importantly, developing a brand story. Here’s the real question, what is this elusive brand story everyone keeps talking about? Well, a brand story may have as many definitions as the number of people you ask. However, this blog will delve into our understanding of a brand’s story, and why it matters. (more…)

Fashion Forward: How Digital Media is Changing the Fashion Industry

Posted on August 24th, 2016 by REFUGE Categories Blog

By Tiffany Huynh

Constant communication is crucial in today’s world. We’re all fixated on being “plugged in” and on allowing our friends and family to know where we are, what we’re up to, and even what we’re wearing at any given moment. This has only been made easier thanks to online platforms. (more…)

Canvas: Facebook’s new Immersive ad Experience for Mobile

Posted on March 16th, 2016 by REFUGE Categories Advertising

By Vlad Vidaeff
The good old days of Facebook are long over.  The days where Facebook’s algorithm made it easy for brands to reach consumers with a significant reach are long gone.  Facebook’s current algorithm makes it essential to use Facebook advertising for successful advertising campaigns on the social network.  This blog will discuss Canvas, the recent full-screen ad experience built for mobile. (more…)

Go big or go home: Twitter Shoots for the stars by Eliminating 140-Character Limit

Posted on February 24th, 2016 by REFUGE Categories Analytics

By Vlad Vidaeff
One of the aspects of Twitter that has made it so iconic and different from any other social media platform is its 140-character limit.  Along with creating the use of hashtags, the character limit has become synonymous with Twitter.  It has also had a major impact on how users and brands communicate on the platform.  Due to the character limit, you have to be concise and brief in getting your message across.  All of this is set to change.  Twitter has announced that it will axe the character limit and institute a new character limit of 10,000 characters as early as March.  This blog will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this major change as well as its impact on marketers. (more…)

Twitter’s Conversational ads: Facilitating Interactions Between Brands and Consumers

Posted on January 27th, 2016 by REFUGE Categories Advertising

By Vlad Vidaeff
Twitter recently introduced conversational ads that “make it even easier for consumers to engage with and then spread a brand’s campaign message.”  Historically, polls have been one method that marketers use to conduct market research.  From the consumer’s perspective, polls and quizzes are often a fun activity.  Who hasn’t taken one of BuzzFeed’s fun quizzes at some point or another?  Twitter’s conversational ads take aspects of polls and adjust them to the social media setting.  This blog will discuss the framework of conversational ads and how they can be of benefit to brands. (more…)

The Insider’s Guide to Webinars

Posted on November 4th, 2015 by REFUGE Categories Blog

By Vlad Vidaeff
I have been a huge supporter of webinars for quite some time.  After graduating with my MBA, I had an advanced understanding of marketing from a theoretical perspective.  However, most of the day-to-day skills that are necessary to be a successful marketer are not taught in business school.  Instead, I gained these skills in large part through on-the-job training.  To accelerate my development, I used webinars to gain exposure in areas where I was lacking.  Case in point, SEO.  I used webinars as a source to gain exposure to SEO.  As the field of marketing continues to change, webinars are a great way to continue learning and sharpening your toolset.   Personal stories out of the way, this blog will serve as your insider’s guide to webinars.  We will give you some practical tips on starting a webinar as well as the many benefits of this medium. (more…)

Mobile-Commerce is making a Big Splash on the Hospitality and Tourism Industry

Posted on February 27th, 2015 by Jordan Suresky Categories Advertising


Businesses today are thriving on setting a goal maximizing Self-serve technologies. These technologies are becoming more prevalent forms of communication. These forms of communication are can be B2C or B2B.  This is especially true with the advent of the numerous social media platforms.

A mobile-app using SoLoMo Technology to reserve a hotel.


For example, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly discusses a perspective on M-Commerce’s impact on intermediation. There are two terms that have been provided, the first being consumer engagement technology (CET) and the second being SoLoMo Applications. SoLoMo is an acronym that is abbreviated for a set of M-Commerce applications that satisfy customer’s social, location, and mobile-based needs.  The most widely used examples of this technology include apps such as Foursquare, Yelp and similar sites where users can check in at a destination point to their inner circle. This technology was innovated by a company with the same namesake in Wisconsin. The hospitality and tourism sector is benefitting from this type of technology in that it is easier to practice loyalty-marketing techniques. In terms of careers within the hotel segment, knowledge and successful execution of m-commerce is also significant.

The MGM Grand is an example of a hotel utilizing m-commerce technologies.
The MGM Grand is an example of a hotel utilizing m-commerce technologies.

The IHG Group, for example that runs multiple brands such as Intercontinental Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn are looking into what are called SMS Marketing personnel. These key people are responsible for driving those automatic text messages you may see when you check into a hotel or if your folio (bill) is ready to view.


All of this again is to help drive engagement and ultimately revenue. The ideal result is that the hotels and its systems are able to read into their guests throughout the customer lifecycle experience (reservation, stay, repeat stay, etc.). This is only the tip of the iceberg however with ‘SoLoMo’ and other related m-commerce advancements that hopefully will have a positive impact on marketing and tourism related organizations.


Social Media Trends to Watch for in 2014

Posted on December 26th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Social Media2013 was the year for Vine, SnapChat and social analytics. Social media marketing is only going to get bigger in 2014. As year-end approaches we want to give you insight into social media trends to expect next year.


1)    Social Video is set to become a big way to market your brand in 2014. Pew Research published a report that states, “The share of online adults who watch or download videos has also grown from 69% of internet users in 2009 to 78% today, and mobile phones have become a key part of the video viewing and creating experience.” Knowing this, you can upload short videos showcasing your brand. Vine is the perfect app to upload videos. The mobile app is free and it allows you six-seconds to post interesting videos. The six-second limit is long enough to interest fans (so long as the content is interesting) but short enough to prevent boredom. Take a look at these corporate Vine videos for ideas.


2)    Twitter’s popularity is on the rise therefore they unveiled a plan for targeting tweets via zip code. Targeting tweets is great for local businesses. They will be able to engage the zip codes that he or she sells in and will have a better chance of reaching their audience.


3)    Google+ will gain steam in 2014! It has the second highest number of monthly users according to Forbes.  It is becoming an integral part of SEO. Google+ integrates your favorite parts of the social media you’re currently using. You can send group messages, ‘hangout,’ and post public status updates, photos and events.


Staying current in 2014 is all about engaging your fans and followers but recognizing that people are busy. Short messages that convey your point will likely increase your engagement and make you a leader in social media. 





Posted on October 23rd, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Advertising


In the digital world that we live in, follow, advertise and market in the newest trend is hashtaging. However, when using hashtags (#) there is a guide one must follow in order to maximize the newest trend in gaining an audience or followers. Yes there is a proper way to hashtag in the social network world, which clearly individuals who do not know the etiquette will hashtag everything, even partial or whole thoughts.


Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon demonstrated the over use of hashtags in a recent skit for Jimmy Fallon’s show.


Although hashtags have been used on the Internet long before social media websites such as: Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter; with its 140 characters limitation, really brought hashtags to their popularity and the forefront. The hashtag is primarily used to group together related posts, topics and categories to one central search. According to Twitter in 2011, reports showed that 10 percent of tweets will include a hashtag.


When you are using hashtags in your marketing and advertising, remember to keep in mind that Twitter hashtags are a powerful social media tool for business promotion and trend tracking. To hashtag like a pro here are some things to remember when hashtagging for your business.


– Keep hashtags brief!

– Hashtags should be directly related to the topic at hand.

– Posters can include more than one hashtag within a single Tweet.

– Hashtags can be and are directly searchable to everyone.

– Hashtags serve a universal purpose however can be perceived differently on different sites.

–  To make an impact, check the popularity of your hashtag before using by going to

– Never use spaces even if there are multiple words in a hashtag. Separate them by capitalizing the first letter of each word.

– No punctuations are required! I.E. commas, exclamation points, periods, question marks and quotations.

– Using numbers is okay.

– Hashtags are being used to set the tone and voice of brands, businesses and individuals.

– Create your own hashtags.

– Use hashtags to generate a buzz. Create a contest, raffle or promotion is a great way to get Twitter talking about your brand.



Above all, Hashtag with context and add to conversations, it will take those tags further or maybe even viral!



Are you using Google+?

Posted on October 2nd, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Advertising

Are you using Google+ ?

If you haven’t heard, the latest movement hitting the social networking world is Google+. The networking service was created in 2011 but is just now gaining the title of the “next big thing” in the digital world. In early 2013, Google+ had close to 360 million active users and is projected to grow even more. If you are not on Google+, here is why you should be.


You can place people into different circles and manage who sees what. You are able to converse with each group on separate topics, making your engagement more personal. In your business you might have certain messages to relay to different target audiences, and this feature allows you to do so without posting a one-for-all message.


Imagine a place that allows you to interact and meet people whom all share the same interests; communities does just that. It connects users with others who are posting about the same topic. You can use this to benefit your business by reaching out to those who already show an interest in what you are offering. You can also plan events within this feature, making it easy to send out invites to just the right people.


Hangouts are where you can catch up with your followers/friends with video, voice calls or share photos. You can have up to a 10-person conference call from all around the world (for free), and share photos and emojis in your conversation. Another great thing about the video aspect is you can pre-record your videos to post to the web at a later time.


Since Google is the creator, your business’s Google+ profile will always pop-up on the top right of the search results.

With the unique features offered, it is no wonder it has millions of users and is the next big thing! Google is creating a new way of communicating with its easy-to-use, engaging social networking site. Now is the time to join, the media buzz surrounding the site is bound to draw in many more users.