Instagram’s New Feature, Instagram Direct

Marketing, Social Media
Introducing Instagram Direct from Instagram on Vimeo. If you use Instagram to establish meaningful connections with your customers, prospects, fans and followers, your job just got a little easier. Instagram, the popular visual communications network that was founded in 2010, introduced Instagram Direct last Thursday, making it possible for users to send photos and videos directly to up to 15 of their followers. How cool is this new feature? Cool enough for none other than Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian to have used it already to promote the Kardashian Kollection, their line of fashion, jewelry and more. For reposting one of their promotional messages with the hashtag, #KKDIRECT, 15 of their followers were awarded an exclusive, “behind the scenes” pic from the 2014 Kardashian Kollection campaign shoot. While it’s too…
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How I Was Surprised and Delighted by Pretzel Crisps on Twitter

Advertising, Branding, Business, Marketing, Social Media, Sudbury
Anyone in marketing knows what it means to surprise and delight your customers and prospects. It means to reach out to members of your target audience in an unexpected manner, providing them with a positive brand experience out of the blue that leaves them with a favorable impression of your products and services. It’s a proven, age-old strategy that every brand and business should leverage once in a while, one that I was on the receiving end of recently, compliments of Pretzel Crisps. That's right, several weeks ago – November 11, to be exact – I received an unsolicited tweet from Pretzel Crisps complimenting me on my Twitter bio and offering to send me a free gift pack. I didn’t know what I had done to deserve such a treat,…
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An Outdoor Ad That Stopped Me in My Tracks

Advertising, Branding, Marketing
My friends and followers know how much I like to share pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, many of which I take during the course of my long runs. These pictures are taken almost everywhere I go, from the trails of the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge in Sudbury, one of my favorite places to run, to the streets of Boston, where I log plenty of miles after work during the week. Honestly, if I had my druthers where to run and shoot pictures, it would have to be a toss-up. I like the variety of my routes. I see as much color and scenery while running in the city as I do in the country. One of the pictures I took in the city recently was of this wicked…
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Do You Thank Your Customers Enough?

Branding, Business, Marketing, Public Relations
As a longtime Boston Red Sox fan, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the 2013 Major League Baseball season. After all, my beloved Red Sox not only became the 11th team in history to go from worst to first in the division the very next season, they won their eighth World Series title, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in a riveting, unforgettable six-game duel for the ages. Not to mention the fact that I was there to see the historic series-clinching game in person with my brother, Tom, at Fenway Park last Wednesday night. Talk about unforgettable memories. But as closely as I was paying attention to the Fall Classic this year, there was something else that stood out to me while I was glued to the TV…
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The Red Sox Rock (Not Just on the Field, But on Twitter, Too)

Boston, Boston Red Sox, Branding, Marketing, Social Media, Twitter
To say I’ve been a big Boston Red Sox fan for a long time would be an understatement. Yup, I’m old enough to remember The Impossible Dream season of 1967, when the Sox went to the World Series for the first time since 1946. In those days, I looked up to players like Carl “Yaz” Yastrzemski, Jim Lonborg and Rico Petrocelli. Those guys were revered baseball idols and real-life heroes to a small Little League ballplayer like me with a young, impressionable mind. Over the years, I’ve stuck with this team through thick and thin, cheering them on year after year, rooting for Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, Dwight Evans, Mo Vaughn, Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and a whole cast of larger than life superstars to go…
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How to Use TweetDeck to Schedule Tweets and Monitor What’s Important to You

Business, Marketing, New England Direct Marketing Association, Social Media, Twitter
I was happy and honored to speak recently at the New England Direct Marketing Association’s Marketing Technology Summit. Moderating a discussion on the “Tools and Technologies for Social Media Success,” I was fortunate to have Jamie Pappas, Director of Brand Communications and Social Media at Akamai Technologies, and Eric Andersen, Senior I/T Architect at IBM Interactive, alongside me. My topic was how to use TweetDeck to schedule tweets as well as to monitor lists, hashtags and individual accounts. I’ve been using TweetDeck for a long time to keep up with the activities of others on Twitter and maintain my own steady presence on the channel. It’s a tool I rely on day in and day out to communicate with my followers and listen carefully to those whose tweets I just can’t miss. One tactic…
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A Sign of Smart Marketing

Advertising, Branding, Business, Marketing
I haven’t gotten my flu shot yet this year, so this sign certainly caught my attention, but not just because it seems way too early in the season to be worrying about coming down with the dreaded influenza. The marketer in me thought it was such a great idea to offer those who get their flu shot at this CVS/pharmacy on Brighton Avenue in Allston a 20% Off Shopping Pass. After all, people who come into the store to get vaccinated aren’t necessarily thinking about meandering up and down the aisles. But if you give them that discount along with the needle, they’re certainly more likely to buy a thing or two on their way out the door. It’s a good deal for the customer and a great strategy by CVS. It’s…
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Crowdsourcing Photos to Engage the Audience at a Live Event

Boston, Marketing, Social Media
I was very happy to have the opportunity to attend the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series recently with my wife, Barbara. After all, what could be more exciting than watching some of the world’s best divers jump off the roof of the Institute of Contemporary Art building some 92 feet or so into Boston Harbor? But besides the enjoyment of watching these guys somersault, tumble, flip, pirouette, spin and fly through the air to the water below, I was particularly impressed with the coverage at the scene of the event. First of all, the announcer had a ton of energy, which went a long way toward keeping the crowd of spectators into every moment of this extreme sports spectacle. He may have been loud and a little over the top, but his enthusiasm…
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What Brand Apps Can Learn from RunKeeper

Apps, Branding, Business, Marketing, Social Media
At a recent networking event, I was talking to someone I hadn’t seen in a while about how great it is to keep up with each other through Facebook. I enjoyed the conversation, except for a remark he made about the fact that I share so much about my running regimen via RunKeeper, a very cool app that not only makes it easy to track your runs and other fitness activities, but distribute the details to your friends. “What’s with you and RunKeeper? Do I really care how many miles you’ve run?” Those weren’t his exact words. But that’s what I heard. The impression he gave me was that he could care less about something that means so much to me. Ouch. The truth is, though, everybody else in my social…
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