#GEInstaWalk – A Geek’s Dream Adventure

General Electric leads the social media industry by creating opportunities for individuals to create a personal connection to its brand. For example:
  1. They invite world-renowned artists to visualize illustrations through the imagination of a child.
  2. They post historical facts and images on their Pinterest page, and when I posted a personal comment on one, I was amazed when GE personally responded to me.
  3. They lead the social media industry with #6SecondScienceFair (profiled earlier on my blog here: Vine User-Generated Contests: Best Practices and Case Studies)
And, most recently, GE is giving individuals the opportunity to see some of their most impressive innovations in-person and to share the experience with friends through Instagram. Coined #GEInstaWalk, GE asked for individuals to comment why they would like to visit GE wind turbines in-person in Cape Cod, MA. This is my response:

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Top 10 Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes (that Actually Taste Good)

sexybeastDustin found out in 2011 that he has a gluten allergy and must eat gluten-free. His allergy isn’t as severe as individuals with Celiac disease (who can become very sick from only a few crumbs of gluten), but it does wreck havoc on his body. We both work full-time, so when he first began eating gluten-free, (I’m embarrassed to admit) he mostly relied on eating out options. Gluten-free takeout options were widely available in Atlanta.

When we moved to Albany, NY, the options for eating gluten-free takeout were no longer as widely available. It was cold at night, and it wasn’t as easy to pop around the corner for a quick bite to eat. I also had some much-needed time off during a transition between jobs, so it was the perfect opportunity for a fresh start.

And, it worked. Continue reading

The Move to the Northeast: 10 Unexpected Surprises in Pictures

We're settling in and warm!

We’re settling in and warm!

Before we moved from Atlanta, GA to Albany, NY, Julia Cantor recommended Dustin and I document our expectations for the big change. She knew we had no idea what we were in for, having lived in the Albany area in college and having made a big move on the east coast (Boston to Atlanta to join Engauge) herself. And, she was right!

But, even though we didn’t know what to expect, we are much happier and more settled than we anticipated to be by this time. Dustin has started his job, and I start a new one on January (more to come on that). We love the area (I tell ATL people that Albany resembles Decatur to give perspective) and have even found a church we love.

A quick roundup of 10 highlights, learnings and surprises:

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Top 4 User-Generated Content Curation Tools for Brands

Even Woody is creating user-generated content

Even Woody is creating user-generated content

Brands know that users share content. In fact, users create and share original content more than any other time in the history of civilization. And, brands understand that there’s an opportunity to surface and collect content related to the brand experiences. Yet, brands have not yet harnessed this behavioral trend at any meaningful scale. Some of the difficulties are related to legal ambiguities. And there is just so much “stuff” out there; it can be hard to know where to begin.

In response to this opportunity, marketers have created tools to help brands sort through the clutter. And, we’ll soon reach the tipping point in which it is not the exception, but the rule, that brands leverage user-generated content (UGC) as a key content source within their strategy.

Here is a quick roundup of some of the tools in the space that are designed to surface and filter the best of user-generated content for brands: Continue reading

Fully-Animated GIF’s in Twitter News Feed? Yes, Please.

I know. Very exciting.

I know. Very exciting.

Whether it’s debating their pronunciation, animating GIFs in Keynote presentation, or searching for the perfect birthday GIF on We Heart It (hat tip @KaitlynDennihy), I love GIF’s. However, I recently tried to upload an animated gif natively within a Twitter post. And realized I couldn’t. While a Twitter user’s profile image can be animated (example; hat tip @DustinRThompson), a native photo in a post cannot be animated.

But, the internets that share my love for GIFs figured out a workaround. Continue reading

Social Media Advocacy: Facts and Statistics

I’ve become tired of the “How are advocates different from influencers, and who is more valuable?” social media debate. Anyone else?

However, advocacy in social media fascinates me, including understanding the behavior and the business value of advocates. Chad Bryant, a colleague at Engauge, and I are in the process of compiling a point of view “Skinny Paper” for Engauge on the power of user-generated content and advocacy. Below are some facts and stats, which are sneak peek excerpts of the working version.  Continue reading

Big Changes, Moving, and Gratitude

Jackets we bought on clearance, thanks to advice from my small group (thanks, Tiff!)

Jackets we bought on clearance, thanks to advice from my small group (thanks, Tiff!)

Big changes ahead. Dustin, my husband, and I are moving to Albany, NY this Fall (mid November). While any move to another area is significant, this transition is huge for us in particular because we have never lived outside of the South (I’ve never lived outside the state of Georgia). While we are bracing ourselves for the change (immersion by winter!), we are also very excited about the opportunity to move to a brand new part of the country and continue to develop our relationship as a new married couple. Continue reading

Eureka Celebrates Powerful Experiences

Eureka_10-23Eureka is in the final stages of a Facebook contest that honors their fans’ most powerful experiences. The entries are submitted, and fans can vote for their favorite of the top 10. The finalists who accrues the most votes will win a Mazda Miata! Some of the stories from the top 10 are related to performing random acts of kindness, taking care of others, donating to others. Continue reading

Vine User-Generated Contests: Best Practices and Case Studies

Vine is a mobile app through which users can upload videos that are 6-seconds or fewer. Since it emerged at the beginning of 2013, brands have creatively flocked to the platform to use tell visual stories, show off their ability to operate with the limited time frame, and capture viewer interest. Brand’s have the opportunity to enlist user-participation within Vine.

GE's most popular VineCase study: GE’s #6SecondScienceFair Continue reading

Will Social Media Be a Career in Five Years? Two Social Marketers Debate

evolution of marketingForbes contributor Jason Nazar recently posted a tongue-in-cheek article that reflects on the nativity of today’s youth and shares advice from a 34-year-old to Millennials: “20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get.” (Thanks to Ashley Sanders for sharing with me.)

One statement of the 20-part list sparked debate amongst the social team: “social media is not a career.” Nazar elaborates, stating that social media careers will not exist in five years, and that social media is “a means to get more awareness… not an end in itself.” Caroline Kamerschen, a former Engauge intern, and I dig into the topic. Continue reading