Snapchat as a Marketing Tool

Posted on August 31st, 2016 by REFUGE Categories Advertising

By Giselle Cartagena

The power of social media and its effect on our everyday lives is prominent today. The usage of such on a personal level can be an easy decision but what triggers uncertainty can be integrating it as a business strategy for a company. One of the most intriguing networking outlets is Snapchat. The four-year-old outlet stands with 10 billion views per day and growth of 400 millions users per day, vastly surpassing the historical growth rates of legendary sites like Facebook and Twitter. This marks an impressive opportunity to approach an undiscovered target market and to increase brand awareness for any business. This blog will provide an overview of the marketing opportunities Snapchat offers for businesses. (more…)

LinkedIn: How does it Stack up with Social Media Engagement

Posted on July 27th, 2016 by REFUGE Categories B2B

By Brandon Palmer
LinkedIn has been called the Facebook for professionals. Unfortunately, a platform designed for business has not quite garnered the interest that many would have hoped. With that in mind, this blog will discuss the viability of LinkedIn as a crucial part of a firm’s social media marketing strategy. (more…)


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.

Engagement Increases the Bottom Line

Posted on August 21st, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Americans spend an average of 1,700 hours a year working, according to This is quite a lot of time in a person’s year, so why not make it enjoyable and productive. In fact, a rather recent study by Towers Watson shows that employees that engaged at work are much more productive. Thus, as a business owner, it would behoove you to create a positive and engaging work environment. Take a look at Google’s headquarters for an extreme case of offering employees reason to engage at work. Arcade games, gourmet food, massages on request, nap rooms and swimming pools are a few of the luxuries Googlers enjoy while working for Google. Let’s take a look at how to achieve engagement at the office on a smaller scale.


A Caring Culture


To make sure employees feel the company cares about them, create one-on-ones between mentors and mentees and group activities focused solely on communicating with one another on a personal basis. If employees feel detached and unsupported then it can threaten quality and productivity. There are four types of effective behavior that were determined by a Harvard Business Study as important for employees:


• Giving feedback and reacting to problems with compassion and assistance
• Displaying support for employees and supporting subordinates in alleviating tense situations, keeping everyone informed and disclosing personal information
• Acknowledging good work both publicly and privately
• Requesting the opinions of subordinates and acting on them


Trust and Bonding


Trust in the workplace is often repaid with honesty and employees contributing more hours of work in the long run. As long as the work gets done, allowances can be made in schedules, not necessarily adhering to the 9 to 5 schedule. Find a common ground among team members and arrange an outing or activity that everyone will enjoy doing together. For example, if everyone enjoys art, get everyone together to visit a local art museum one evening.


If you would like to find out more on how to actively engage your employees, check out this article in Make all those hours spent together enjoyable and you will see productivity and office morale jump to new heights!


Millennial Marketing

Posted on June 28th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog


The Millennial Generation is “the most talked-about, researched, marketed-to generation ever,” according to Melissa Lavigne-Delville, Vice President of Strategic Insights and Culture Education at NBCUniversal. Presently, small businesses must focus on real-time content and deliver a big impact upon consumers in the Millennials’ world of social media and digital devices. It is becoming harder and harder to stay relevant for modern businesses, so we’ll offer a few tips to success at marketing to the Millennials.


Keep on Talking


Your business has the opportunity to connect with customers on a whole new and faster level through online real-time interaction. Social media is a great way for businesses to reach personally and emotionally on tablets, smartphones and computers at all times.


Social media is a double-edged sword.  When a consumer comments on your business’ Facebook page, asks you a question on Twitter or emails you, then they expect a fast response. Your business must deliver at the sake of hurting their image as a prevalent business.


Leverage the Data


It is now possible to analyze real-time data, such as “retweets” and “likes” and use it to evaluate information at an astounding rate. By doing so, you can find your business’ place in the conversation and stay culturally relevant. For instance, “If you’re selling autos, you might be tracking how many times you generate a test drive in a dealership,” remarks Jay Palter, a content marketing strategist and personal brand. Read more here.



Gaining followers, friends and “likes” is only important in the long run if it somehow affects your business’ ROI. We can now see how people got to a website and what they went on to do online afterwards. If we can quantify that, then we can we can measure it against our goals. The key is to develop a clear social media campaign with specific objectives, maintain an online presence and target your actions according to the results!

What makes Twitter #important?

Posted on May 23rd, 2013 by admin Categories Blog


Twitter Logo

Twitter is an entirely different form of social media compared to the other social media platforms out there today. Although Twitter users often use the social media platform as a way to share their basic day-to-day thoughts, Twitter can also be used by businesses to target desirable clientele. In fact, many Twitter users are highly educated, with over thirty percent of users holding four-year degrees. People are increasingly turning their attention to Twitter as an up-to-date source of news and information. Click here to read about one example where Twitter had a huge impact on the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq.

Get Personal

Twitter has become a worthy customer service tool because it allows brands to engage with consumers in conversation. Aside from that it also makes it easier for companies to go viral and link to consumers.

Twitter is all about connecting with customers and engaging them in conversation. If you are not going to be interactive and attentive to your Twitter account, then your Twitter campaign will be unsuccessful. Consumers are drawn to relationships that feel personal, which relies heavily on the assurance that you will see and respond to their tweets almost instantly.

Go Viral

Becoming viral is always a goal when engaging in a social media campaign. While Twitter does not guarantee that this will happen, it does make it simpler with the use of the retweet button.

Learning how to get people to retweet your posts is a crucial part of using Twitter.

Hashtags provide multiple services. They connect users with the same interests, permit brands and companies to target a specific audience, and allow for conversations to be started between companies and clients.Hashtags are important because they are central to having your updates connect and searchable by other users. Twitter also cuts through the “noise” of social media. You can easily search a keyword with a hashtag in front of it, and it will produce posts with your specific interests.

These hashtag campaigns were extremely successful.

Twitter, in conjunction with other social media outlets, will help you build your brand and gain loyal customers.

Prepared Boston Police were On Spot Online during Bombing Aftermath

Posted on April 24th, 2013 by admin Categories Social Engagement

The impressive work of the Boston Police responding to last Monday’s bombing extended to its social media presence as well.  As Yar Bar-tur’s article on Mashable points out, the success on social media was not a new thing for the BPD.

The 40,000 followers that the Boston Police had on Twitter prior to the bombing was the result of time and effort invested into community relations by the department.  Since engagement with its constituency had already been established, the BPD online was prepared to communicate effectively via social media during this crisis.

A few highlights of Boston Police Department’s online activity:

Correcting errors in reporting- As events unfolded last week, information was flowing freely through social media and traditional means.  The BPD monitored the information diligently and used its presence on social media to make sure that as many people as possible had accurate information.  For example, shortly after the bombing took place, the Boston Police Department announced via Twitter that, contrary to various reports, no arrests had yet taken place. This announcement was retweeted more than 11,000 times.

Letting readers know what they need- When police began closing in on one of the suspects, some sources were tweeting information from police scanners that had the potential to put officers in danger. The Boston PD firmly but politely tweeted a reminder that such information should not be publicly shared. This tweet was retweeted more than 20,000 times, further supporting the department’s efforts.

Leading the investigation- The department was on top of things online throughout the crisis.  They distributed good information and negated bad information in a timely manner.  They were so effective in fact that when the bombing suspect was finally apprehended, local reporters waited on a tweet from the Boston Police Department before making the official announcement.

The ability of the Boston Police Department to engage so effectively with its online audience during this highly stressful time, is evidence of the level of preparation that the department had made prior to the crisis under the leadership of Police Commissioner Davis and his team.  The Department’s investment into actively using social media to connect with its community reaped big dividends during recent events.

How did you use social media to follow the events in Boston last week?  Share in a comment below.


When Searches Go Social: The New Facebook Search

Posted on January 23rd, 2013 by admin Categories Advertising

It’s been about a week since Facebook launched its new Graph Search. Now you’re able to find people or companies not only by their name, but also by their interests, things they’ve liked, photos they’ve posted and places they’ve visited. Now the question becomes what can we do as marketers to stay in search results?


Get Organized

Are there some holes on your business page? Have you only filled out the necessary information to create a Facebook page? Well now is the time to start getting descriptive. Be sure to comb through your page and fill out every detail, no matter how insignificant it may seem. As says, “if you aren’t categorizing yourself, Facebook will make decisions for you, or you won’t be featured at all.” Since the search is so focused, make sure your page has your company’s physical location as well. That way if someone searches for “jewelry stores my friends like in Houston, TX’, they will find your page.


Say Cheese


When creating posts for your page, think in photos! Try to convey your big two for one anniversary sale in photos of the sale items or old photos from when your store opened rather than just writing about it. When post photos, make sure to fill out the description and tag people only when appropriate.


I Like It


As Bill Faeth, a writer for Business 2 Community, points out, your total number of “likes” will eventually become a way to survive. For example, the person searching for “a shoe store my friends like” to find your store, one of their friends must already like your page. Keep your followers happy by interacting. This could mean creating a weekly contest for your page or having a poll on favorite products. These small posts will help engage your followers and keep them on your Facebook page.

For more information and tips on the Facebook Graph Search, check out this blog on and this article on If you’ve tried the beta version of the new search, let us know about it in a comment below.


Building Trust: Gaining Social Media Followers

Posted on December 26th, 2012 by admin Categories Campaigns

You’ve worked and slaved over your social media accounts to cultivate your followers and grow the number of likes, but it seems like nothing is working. Well it’s time to try something different instead of posing funny pictures of cats. Here are sometips to grow your likes and get everyone excited about your brand or company.


Make It Your Online Portfolio


Social Media Today’s writer, Pam Moore, suggests posting examples of your work to establish you know what you’re doing. These examples can range from past projects your company has done to testimonials from current and past customers to links to blogs that have referenced your work. Pam also suggests that you should “walk the walk.” Do what you say you’ll be doing for your clients. For example, if you’re an interior designer then post examples of furniture ideas you’ve done in your home. It doesn’t have to be as detailed, just show you can do it.


Engage Your Fans


You’ve probably heard this but reach out to your fans! Ad Age’s guest blogger, Riley Gibson, writes companies should look to their pages “superfans.” These are the people that religiously liking, commenting, or retweeting your posts. One of Riley’s suggestions is to reward your superfans. Thank them for reaching out to your company/brand and message them a discount code. By doing this nice thing for a fan, you’ll make them more likely to share your account with their friends and followers.


Kristy Barkan with Social Media Today advises to let your personality shine through your account. People will like or follow your social media account not only because they like your company/brand, but also because they like what’s going on the page. Kristy also suggests not going overboard with the business push. If you’re posting product after product, your followers will most likely get bored and unfollow.


We hope these tips help you on your social media hunt. If you have any tips on building your followers, please share it with us in a comment below.