CATEGORY: Social Media

Rembrandt: Social media branding made easy

Have you ever created a new brand only to find that social media handles of the same name were already taken? Not a fun experience.

If you’re very ambitious, you might check ahead of time to make sure your brand name is available across all platforms. While we give you serious props for that, there are likely more valuable ways to use your time than jumping from social platform to social platform, trying out different handles. But we have some good news: There’s a tool that will handle social media branding for you.

YouTube, you lose? The surprising video platform that gets the most views

At, we make a lot of videos.

We rely on them to sell products, share information, and bring joy. But we also relied too much on YouTube as our sole source of video exposure. It’s an easy trap to get caught in: YouTube is a subsidiary of Google, and the two of them together are search engine beasts. Google is the #1 online search engine and YouTube is #2.

The one thing these internet giants lack is engagement—or at least the engagement you want. YouTube comments can be the internet’s bathroom stall of conversation.

Name Apps: 4 social media tools to simplify your life

Social media is one of the most important ways to reach an audience nowadays. Whether you are promoting a business service or your latest blog post, a solid social media strategy is an excellent way to increase your content’s exposure.

But maintaining five-plus social accounts, responding to questions and comments, and tracking the performance of your posts all the while can be tricky without the right tools. Rather than scrambling to monitor your accounts individually, there are a number of social media tools that can simplify your life.

As we continue with part two of our Apps highlights, (see the first post here!) check out our favorite social media tools.

4 Ways to Help Your Brand Conquer Social Media


One of the most difficult aspects of social media marketing is how overwhelming it can appear. There are countless ways to position your brand online, which makes it difficult to figure out how to tackle websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Tumblr. You and your brand can begin conquering social media by having a fundamental understanding of four social media tactics: engagement, creating quality content, being pure and original, and constantly experimenting.

3 social media tips for your WordPress blog


You’ve worked hard to create quality content for your WordPress blog or website, and now you want to make sure people actually see that content, right? One channel for distributing your website’s content will obviously be social media, but WordPress themes can be hit or miss when it comes to presenting you with great social media integration options. Here are some basic guidelines for giving your WordPress site a better social media presence, and some suggestions for plugins that will get the job done.

How to: Use Vine to Extend Your Brand’s Social Media Reach


Vine is a social video app that was developed by Twitter and launched in January. The app is effectively a video version of Twitter because it only allows for you to create brief 6-second looping videos. At first it sounds boring, but it gets oddly addictive trying to create a perfect looping clip. Vine seems to be doing well and catching on fast because, just like Twitter, it’s an extremely simple concept that’s very easy to use.

Twitter just announced that Vine has crossed the 13 million, which shows just how fast the medium is growing. Twitter also just released Vine on Android yesterday which means that almost everybody who uses a smartphone has the ability to create a quick 6-second video story.

A new medium always brings marketing challenges to light, which is why we decided to give you a few tips on how to effectively use Vine to promote your brand:

American Express is Killing it with their Digital Media Strategy

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American Express went from having almost no social media presence to having an extremely strong one in just a few years. The credit card giant is continually launching carefully crafted social media promotion after social media promotion, allowing the brand to build a strong and passionate online community of cardholders.

American Express is active on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+ — and is continually experimenting with new and emerging social networks.

The credit card company doesn’t just randomly post content. Instead, they carefully tailor each message targeted toward users on that specific medium.

Mashable spoke with Leslie Berland, SVP of digital partnerships and development at American Express, to learn about how AmEx develops its online strategy:

Customer Service is at the Core of the Strategy

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American Express began using social networks back in 2009, but didn’t really utilize social media until a bit later on. The company launched its social media initiative with a Twitter account called @AskAmex. The handle focuses on answering customer questions and concerns. Soon after the launch of @AskAmex, @AmericanExpress came to fruition.

Berland explained to Mashable, “Our mission is to be everywhere our Cardmembers and merchants are. To engage with them, service them, deliver unique value that’s shareable and create seamless digital experiences that surprise and delight.” She added, “We spent a great deal of time listening to the community. The community interests and feedback defined our strategy.”

Celebrating Small Businesses

The American Express social media strategy appeals to both consumers and businesses. AmEx goes beyond its core mission of enhancing the customer experience online by also creating content that appeals to merchants.

An example of how American Express reaches out to small businesses is with the Small Business Saturday campaign it created. AmEx used both online and traditional media channels to promote its Small Shop Movement. The company encouraged consumers to head over to their favorite local business on Small Business Saturday to makes purchases between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Berland told Mashable that the program was a huge success, explaining, “In 2011, more than 2.7 million Facebook users ‘liked’ the Small Business Saturday Page –- more than doubling the 1.2 million Likes in 2010. Nearly 195,000 tweets were sent in support of Small Business Saturday in November, many leveraging the hashtags #SmallBusinessSaturday and #SmallBizSat.”

Another example of American Express reaching out to small businesses is when they partnered with Twitter to open up the Twitter self-serve advertising platform to cardholders. To promote the partnership, AmEx offered up to $100 in free advertising for the first 10,000 businesses to sign up.

Yet another example of AmEx working to help small businesses is when they partnered with Facebook to create a contest where five small businesses were given a Facebook makeover and $20,000 to grow their businesses. This was part of the Small Business Saturday initiative.

Transforming Corporate Culture

Social media often forces companies to rethink corporate culture. Some companies embrace social media, while others resist and fight it (see Amy’s Baking Company). AmEx decided to embrace social media, hunting down every opportunity imaginable to increase its social media influence.

Berland explained, “The digital transformation occurring at American Express cuts across many business units, and it has to because of the breadth and depth of our business.” Adding, “From customer service to merchant services to our entertainment and travel business units, to corporate affairs, as well as our newly formed digital partnerships and development team, social media is a company-wide initiative.”

American Express was founded in 1850, so it’s anything but a new company. With over 160 years of business behind them, the company continues to evolve. The most current business trend that AmEx is embracing is figuring out how to mature in the digital space and figure out how to build a true member community online. Community and membership are at the core of the American Express business model and it shows by the way they strategically utilize the growing digital media landscape. The friendly, inclusive, and easy-going vibe that AmEx shows online makes people want to be part of the American Express experience.