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With Earth Day coming up this weekend (April 22nd yo!), there are plenty of ways to celebrate and advocate for our planet.

Here’s to the universities that made the tassel worth the hassle! Whether you’re a recent graduate or getting ready to celebrate your 50th reunion, your chosen place of matriculation plays a huge role in your life. At SocialToaster, we’ve had the privilege of working with dozens of universities across the country. While we are able to assist schools with a plethora of various marketing needs, Giving Days and SocialToaster have proven to be a winning combination.

Comedian, and older brother to Eddie Murphy, passed away this past Thursday of leukemia. While growing up in the shadow of a famous sibling is never easy, Charlie carved his own path.

We hope everyone had a successful April Fool’s day! If you need a laugh today though, check out this list of some of the best (and some of the less inspired) pranks recorded on the web from last Saturday. From Google’s “PacMaps”, to the viral ‘neverending letter’ prank this couple played on their mailman, April Fools 2017 was pretty fun.

We’ve all been there. You’ve spent time, money, and resources on producing great content for your company blog, only to have that content seen by just a handful of people. Sound familiar? You know you need to increase the eyeballs on the content to actually make it worth anything, but the thought of committing even more money to boosting and promoting every post puts a strain on the ol’ ticker (and marketing budget of course). If only there was a group of individuals who were invested in your company AND actively wanted to promote it. Enter employee advocacy.

This week, Peggy Whitson floated out of the International Space Station and set the record for the most experienced female spacewalker. A veteran of two earlier space station visits, she surpassed the previous record with a spacewalk time of 53 hours and 22 minutes. NASA is also in the process of establishing a port on the station to accommodate commercial ships being built by Boeing and SpaceX. Keep it up Dr. Whitson!

The music world, and the adoring public, lost a legend in Chuck Berry earlier this week. The rock n’ roll legend died on Saturday in his Missouri home. He passed away at the age of 90.

This past Wednesday, people around the globe celebrated International Women’s Day. The day was filled with everything from celebrations of gender equality victories to demonstrations reminding us that there is still work to be done.

Nothing brings people together like good food. And that is exactly what Better Than Bouillon intends to do! Its Creative Cooks Club campaign is stirring things up with innovative recipes that will whisk you away (Get it, the puns practically write themselves!). The central aim of the campaign is to create a consumer invested program that targets females, especially those hard-working mothers out there, who are looking for a new, fun, and exciting way to cook up their favorite Better Than Bouillon products. The goal is to encourage members to share the recipes and meals they made with their friends, family, and the rest of their social media following.

This past Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony was a grand event as expected, but boy did they save the most exciting moment for last.

The scientific discoveries this week are LITERALLY out of this world! Seven earth-sized planets have been discovered in the constellation Aquarius, only about 40 light years away from us. The planets orbit the star TRAPPIST-1.

Among many memorable moments from The Grammys this past Sunday, Beyonce’s gilded (psuedo Virgin Mary) performance wowed the crowd. Queen Bey was indeed glowing in her golden costume (and pregnancy) as she belted out two tracks from her Lemonade performance during the show, and the reception of her performance made the choice for Album of the Year (Adele’s 25) seem surprising to some.

Considering buying some stock in Snapchat? Make sure you get the right company. Much to their chagrin (we’re sure), it seems that a group of not so savvy investors mistakenly bought up stock in a mobile dating app start-up called SNAP Interactive Inc. (we’re thinking this is a case of mistaken identity, no?). In fact, this kind of mix-up is not uncommon. Tweeter Inc.

There’s more than just Big Games and Groundhogs that make February one of the the best months out there. We’re talking about Black History Month.

Cat Meme. That’s probably all we’ll have to say to put a smile on your face today. But when cat memes mix with pro sports, the elation is taken up another notch. Fans of the Philadelphia 76ers have created a #raisethecat sensation in response to their team’s victories. The trend started with Sixers rookie Ben Simmons, who regularly posts pics of himself and his kitty. From there, a Philly fan named Dennis Grove noticed and took it to the next logical step: he added the hashtag.

The Golden Globes were this past Sunday, honoring achievements in TV and film this year and providing us with a Jimmy Fallon & Celeb musical number a la La La Land (say that 10 times fast). As a testament perhaps to a universal sympathy for stories of dreamers, La La Land did indeed take home quite a few awards.

Despite the fight waging against Obamacare, Bernie Sanders is here to remind us of a promise that Donald Trump made during the campaign to not cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. .

In our post-holiday daze, it’s time to start making resolutions and thinking about what's important in the New Year! It's also the time of year to snuggle up to someone you care about, and many are finding solace in one term from the Oxford Dictionary’s shortlist for 2016’s “Word of the Year” - the Danish term “hygge” (confusingly pronounced “hoo-gah”), essentially a verb form of cozy.

With the New Year just around the corner, here are some updates and developments you can expect from your iPhone in 2017. Apple is sure to take note of the iPhone’s 10th birthday in the coming year, so it’s likely you can look forward to some big changes. Among possible developments, many are speculating about what the newest name will be, wireless charging, fancy new colors and plenty of advanced optics and speed.

In the wake of this year’s election, the power of internet and technology has certainly been an important and contentious topic. In some recent findings, there seems to be substantial evidence to suggest D.N.C. interference from Russian Cyberpowers.

This past week, the Army Corps of Engineers made the decision to deny the allowance for the key portion of the Dakota pipeline that would run through the territory of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, endangering their land and drinking water. After months of protests and demonstrations, the people of Standing Rock and their supporters finally have a victory to celebrate.

After Thanksgiving, you might still be recovering from politics at the table and compounded food comas. But, before you lose the holiday momentum, remember that Christmas is right around the corner. Impending decorations and retail sales wouldn’t let us forget that.

In the aftermath of the election, Facebook and Google have come under fire for accusations that the prevalent propagation of fake news on their platforms helped to influence the outcome of the election.

After months of gruesome campaigning, America has elected Donald Trump as president. The country must now face the reality of a Trump/Pence White House.

With election day drawing nigh, tensions are drawing high. According to the most recent New York Times/CBS polls, the race has settled back into a close contest, with Hillary Clinton narrowly in the lead. The poll includes the vast number of Americans who have taken advantage of early voting and have already cast their ballots.

It’s time to get organized with those crazy stunts you’ve been thinking up for years, because there is now a finite amount of time that you can justify your foolish actions by saying that you  “did it for the Vine”. Following a suspicious Twitter announcement that the company was restructuring, it was then announced that Vine will cease to exist within a few months.

Wednesday night was the third and final Presidential debate of this year’s election. Sad to say, they didn’t get much better as they went along. While many agree that Hillary Clinton was the “winner” of this debate, it seems that democracy and maturity were among the losers with the debate unravelling into an “I know you are but what am I” moment when Hillary called Trump a puppet of Putin. The GOP candidate ladies and gentlemen.

This past Sunday was the second Presidential Debate, and by all accounts, it was fairly grisly. Here are some highlights, if you missed it. Even with two moderators, the debate saw its fair share of candidates loudly talking over each other and their time limits.

This past week, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana and Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia sat down for their first and only Vice Presidential debate. Challenges were shot back and forth, defenses of the respective presidential candidates were demanded and subsequently attempted, and hashtags were inspired. In perhaps one of the most memorable lines of the evening, Gov.

Things are continuing to speed up in this year’s presidential campaign. On Monday, the conversations were kicked up a notch with the first debate of season. Of course, the public debate continues as to who won the actual debate, but shots were certainly fired in both directions (and it may be relevant to note that the fact checker on Hillary Clinton’s website saw a lot of traffic). There were ultimatums on tax return releases, speculations on the D.N.C.

The Queen City made headlines this week as protesters took to the streets over multiple nights following the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by Police on Tuesday afternoon.

You can hear him now - in Sprint commercials! Sprint Wireless recently rolled out a new ad campaign featuring the “Can you hear me now?” guy from Verizon’s 2002-2011 ad campaigns.

The CYHMN guy (known to his family as Paul Marcarelli) is now touting Sprint as the “50% cheaper than Verizon and almost as good” wireless provider. With a pitch like that, you can be assured that Sprint’s ad dollars are being well spent.

When it comes to your Superfan base, the more the merrier, and any holiday provides the perfect reason to keep reminding your fans to bring more friends to the party! Whether you have the day off or not, all holidays, from Arbor Day and Halloween, to St. Patrick’s Day and the local Harvest Festival, promote community, togetherness, and bonding (you know, sort of like your SocialToaster program).

This week marks the return of America’s favorite sport (no, not you Lawn Mower Racing). Football Season is back! As Americans again commit their Sunday to helmeted gladiators, one can’t help but dream that this is THEIR year.

Remember when we said all prizes come in different shapes and sizes, depending on budget, audience, etc.? Let’s take that thought process a step further and, repeat after us: “Not all prizing has to be physical, material things.” If the idea of using a physical “gimme” makes you nervous or will blow your marketing budget, go ahead and scratch gift cards, t-shirts, and stickers off of that list of yours and focus your attention on digital downloads.

2016 has claimed another legend, this time in the form of comedy God Gene Wilder who has left this world at 83 years young. The star of the best two Mel Brooks movies and our version of Willy Wonka (#sorrynotsorry Johnny Depp) passed away due to complications with Alzheimer’s earlier this week.

Not every brand or client can award the biggest and best(est) prize ever. We understand that all prizes come in different shapes and sizes, depending on budget, audience, etc. If you’re looking for some inexpensive - and yet still exciting - “out-of the-box” prizes, we have some ideas that’ll keep the wallet in-check but still create a buzz among your Superfans and get them excited to engage with your brand again.

Sports fans are some of the most dedicated and enthusiastic fans in the world. Seriously, we’ve all seen it. The Canadiens in Boston.

Rio Round Up: Week 2

  • Ryan Lochte: Michael Phelps’ sidekick and three other U.S. swimmates were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning by thieves posing as police officers. The thieves forced the swimmers, who were all in U.S.

Allow us to introduce Madeline McDowell, our super of the week!


Title:
 Account Manager
 

Super Power: The ability to know a little bit about everything thanks to Wikipedia.

It’s that time of year, when kids cringe and parents celebrate, it’s almost time for “Back to school, back to school, to prove to dad that I’m not a fool…” While grades and studying may be tops on Mom’s list, most kids will agree that picking out the right backpack, choosing the right school supplies, and of course planning out the new year’s wardrobe are the real reason for the season.

Allow us to introduce Neiman Outlen, our super of the week!

Title: Junior Account Manager

SocialToaster works with brands big and small, but #ICYMI we also work closely with agencies. By partnering with SocialToaster, agencies can innovatively set themselves apart from the competition while providing more value to their clients. As we all know, more value means more client security and revenue!

Are you ready for Rio?! Let the games begin! The biggest Summer sporting event in the world begins with the 2016 Opening Ceremony tonight, which by the way isn’t a live event. Keep an eye out for U.S.

Allow us to introduce Mark Tress, our super of the week!

Title: Lead Generation Representative

The Olympics are the biggest sporting event in the world so when the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro start (despite getting off to a rocky start), athletes won’t be the only ones competing.

Remember when we talked about transitioning your SocialToaster program from short-term to long-term? And we said, “Everyone that joined during the contest is there, ready to be utilized as your promotional army for as long as you want!” Well it’s time to utilize!

It happened, it finally (and quite shockingly) happened. Donald Trump officially accepted the Republican party’s nomination for prez. This is not a drill people! It’s been an eventful week for the GOP, who have been partying in Cleveland all week for their national convention.

Allow us to introduce Erick Gil, our super of the week!

Title: Graphic Designer

Prepare and beware America! SocialToaster is multiplying like John Travolta’s chills. We have officially expanded from our Baltimore headquarters to both the City That Never Sleeps and the City of Angels. New York City and Los Angeles! And in all honesty, those of us in Baltimore are a tiny bit jealous, because it certainly doesn’t suck to be working in either of those cities everyday (Kidding, we love B-more!). To understand our “jealousy”, we’re going to give you an inside look into what our two new offices are up to.

 

84 people were killed and dozens more were injured in an attack in Nice, France on Bastille Day, which is basically France’s Fourth of July. A man driving a large truck loaded with weapons and grenades rammed into a crowd of people watching fireworks. The truck was going about 25 mph and the driver was eventually shot by police.

Allow us to introduce Zach Reid, our super of the week!

Title: Director of Partnership Marketing

Is the electricity industry really all that electrifying? Shockingly, Bounce Energy will make you believe so! This Texas-based electricity provider, along with the help of SocialToaster, is using innovative ways to connect with their local audience, spread the word about energy efficiency and increase their online presence. This brand will enLIGHTen you on how being fresh and relatable with creative content allows you to connect with your customers. (Brace yourself: this post contains so many puns it hertz).

Within two days of each other, two police shootings have left two African American men dead. The first shooting took place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday night when Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was fatally shot after an altercation with two white police officers.

So your SocialToaster short-term contest or sweepstakes has run its course. Now what? As a great marketer once said, or at least we think so, “Don’t be sad that it’s over, be happy because it’s not stopping!” Just because a sweepstakes is over, doesn’t mean that your SocialToaster program is complete! It’s actually just the start. Everyone that joined during the contest is there, ready to be utilized as your promotional army for as long as you want!

Earlier this week, three suicide bombers attacked Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, one of the world’s busiest travel hubs, killing 43 people and injuring more than 230.

Allow us to introduce Tamara Khan, our super of the week!

Did you know that there are around 205 billion emails sent per day? So naturally, email marketing has become a pillar in brands’ marketing strategies. But what does it take to make your brand’s emails stand out amongst the rest in a user’s inbox? Your email open rate (EOR) is a key indicator of how well a campaign is performing.

Father’s Day was last weekend and most dads celebrate with a beer in one hand and barbeque tongs in the other. Some other dads had a different celebration in mind. May I present to you...the “Cheerio Challenge!” To compete in the challenge, all a dad needs is a box of Cheerios and a sleeping baby. The goal is to stack as many Cheerios on your baby’s head (or other limbs) as you can. The Cheerio Challenge record is 16 Cheerios in a single stack.

Allow us to introduce Faith Albert, our super of the week!

We all know climate change is happening (unless you’re Donald Trump who just believes in conspiracy theories). During the first part of this year, SocialToaster was lucky enough to partner with the Alliance for Climate Education to spread awareness that climate change exists and is a problem. ACE hosts live, in-school assemblies and empowers youths to take action.

Early last Sunday morning, a 29-year-old gunman open fired at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and injuring 53. Only 30 people were found alive.

SocialToaster Recognized as Red Herring Top 100 Company

SocialToaster helps brands identify, activate and engage social fans and followers

 

On our blog, we have talked about new marketing services that your agency should be offering, we have also shared how agencies are using SocialToaster to offer fan advocacy solutions, but we haven’t talked about the agencies themselves.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a...Facebook profile picture? A professor of human sciences and psychology at The Ohio State University published a study that found that moms are more likely to post photos and updates about their child when they feel pressure from society to strive for parental perfection. The study also found that most moms felt that motherhood had to be their central identity.

Snapchat is more than just a way to show off your digital flower crown for 10 seconds at a time. It’s transformed into a marketing tool that should not be ignored, especially if your brand or client is trying to appeal to the Gen-Z and millennial audience.

A golf course in Florida became a real-life Jurassic Park when a 15-foot alligator casually strolled across the green. Who knew that Gator Golf was actually based on a true story? Golfers quickly grabbed their phones and began to record the gator but luckily, they didn’t have to run for the golf carts, as gator didn’t even pay them any mind. Clearly the gator was just trying to find its ball in the lake.

Allow us to introduce Gabe Pendleton, our super of the week!

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘healthcare?’ If the vision of a somber, sterile, fluorescently-lit hospital popped into your mind, you’re not alone. Medical centers and hospitals are not known for being the most fun or exciting brands. However, one of our clients is proving that idea to be false. They are connecting with their local audience with fun branded content and prizes, and engaging personal communication. Take out your notepad, we’re about to give you the prescription for making a presumed “uninteresting” brand exciting.

Breaking news: according to an article we found on Twitter a recent study says that social media is now biggest source of news for many. This study conducted by Pew Research Center, states that 62% of Americans get all their relevant info from social media platforms. Might not be surprising considering Facebook’s 1.6 billion users spend enough time on the platform that they’re bound to run into some important news stories circulating the internet.

Allow us to introduce Catie Buffington, our super of the week!

 

 

 

 

Countdown to Memorial Day (as of Monday, May 23, 2016): t-minus 6 days! This is not a drill people! We’re unofficially celebrating summer at SocialToaster with Part II of our summer kickoff (check out Part I here). Thinking doesn’t happen during summer so we’ve done it for you! We’ve got 25 ideas for your summer-themed swag.

 

 

 

 

 

The dishware innovations keep on coming. First we saw the zero-waste edible spoons, available in a variety of flavors to suit your taste, and now may we present the plate that does your dieting for you. AbsorbPlate, a new invention from ad agency BBDO Bangkok (and the Thai health administration), will quite literally soak the extra calories out of your meal.

Allow us to introduce Alex Duncan, our super of the week!

Ah, summer time, when the livin’ is easy *sips ice cold lemonade through an umbrella straw*…but social media doesn’t vacation. But no need to break into a sweat, we’ve got you covered with some best practices for your social media during the hot summer months. “Summer posting had me a blast…”

Top story this week, the internet has a collective freakout when Instagram changed its logo and layout without telling anyone. The stealth update was rolled out earlier this weekend with overwhelmingly harsh reviews.

Kick-off meeting, check. Prizing and rules are set, check. Creative assets are in the works, check. Your SocialToaster program is almost ready! Before you begin, you’ll want to make sure you’re familiar with all the best tips and tricks to get the most out of your fans! After all, happy fans make a happy brand. As we’re checking off items on our to-do list and wrapping things up for launch, we’ve gathered some of our best advice practices to help you evaluate and optimize your SocialToaster program.

Big week in the wide world of politics. As it becomes frighteningly clear that Donald Trump is now the presumed nominee for the Republican party, it also becomes clear that his party (and the general public) is not in full support. Speaker Paul Ryan stated that he is “not ready” to support Trump as a candidate, while the rest of the world is seriously concerned about what the U.S.

At SocialToaster, we get to work with a wide-range of fun, exciting brands who run some pretty outstanding programs (and award really cool prizes).

New messaging app Talkshow is becoming quite the spiffy new social media platform. With a clever little concept, Talkshow seems to be capitalizing on what everyone already does on social media (and apparently directly inspired by an online convo between Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran): hosting their own “talk show” of sorts. Through the iOS app, users can go live on any given topic or event and invite their friends (or enemies) to join in with commentary and discussion on their very own Talkshow.

When Brian Razzaque unplugs from his Baltimore-based social media marketing startup, he heads to the ice rink at the Reisterstown Sportsplex, where he puts on a helmet, elbow and knee pads, and shoes with a foam-like bottom.

Allow us to introduce Kara Ashe, our super of the week!

Peace out #Coachella, see you next year! As the Memorial Day Weekend of festival season, Coachella is the unofficial kickoff of festival season. It’s one of the most well-known (and talked about) music festivals of the year.

The world lost a truly iconic celebrity and personality this week, as musician Prince died Thursday at age 57. More than just a musical legend, Prince is remembered for challenging standards of beauty and gender and championing a generation with his freedom of expression.

Allow us to introduce Evan Naugle, our super of the week!

Lights, camera, filter! Instagram has become more than just an online photo album. You can now double-tap GIFs, Flip-o-grams, and of course, videos. If you read last week’s blog post, or if you didn’t you can read it now really quickly, you already know that both Instagram and online video are two major trends in digital marketing right now.

Get ready for a new spin on the adventures of Mowgli and Baloo! Disney has created a “live action” return of The Jungle Book. The film is a feat of computer generated imagery, with the kid who plays Mowgli frolicking around with a host of CGI critters. Seems like a demanding acting challenge, but fair enough as some of these critter’s real-life equivalents are endangered and could be a little bit difficult to work with.

Get to know our amazing team! Allow us to introduce Stefanie Marca, our super of the week! 

Title: Account Manager

Digital marketing is changing more often than your Snapchat filter and since agencies are supposed to be industry experts, your services should constantly be increasing and improving to match these changes. Clients have more media channels than ever, with new ones being added every year. All of these channels represent potential opportunities, but they also all need to be filled with content.

Updates from the world of dating apps: find a new BFF just in time to commiserate about discovering that your S.O. is cheating on Tinder. Popular dating app Bumble understands how tough it is to make new friends in a big city. As such, they added an update to their platform that will help you find more platonic partners, “Bumble BFF.” Introverts rejoice, now there’s no need to go out or venture forward into social events in order to find your new bestie.

The Tesla Model 3 has finally been unveiled. CEO and co-founder Elon Musk opened up orders an hour before the official unveiling, even extending the online ordering process to more countries. Within just 24 hours of the pre-ordering process, the company had 134,000 of their Model 3 cars accounted for. Looks like some seriously high-tech (and affordably sexy) innovations for the auto industry are on the horizon.

Sadly, we lost two members of the entertainment community this week. Malik Taylor, otherwise known as Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest, died this past Tuesday from complications of diabetes, at 45. Tributes from the music and entertainment community poured in over Twitter and other such platforms, showing that Taylor was a truly respected talent and will be missed.

As the campaign moves ahead, Hillary Clinton has held her place ahead in the polls on the democratic front. President Obama recently gave some private advice to Democratic donors, saying that it will soon be time for them to back Clinton as their candidate. Unfortunately for Bernie Sanders, it looks as though some are beginning to lose faith in his prospects. The republican front continues to provide us with ample entertainment.

The new Facebook reaction emojis are finally a reality. Say goodbye to simpler times of “liking” your friend’s status about how their dog just learned to roll over, now you must decide whether you love it, or are appalled, or if honestly it just makes you mad. You’re also no longer afforded the same luxury of liking something ironically and having it remain ambiguous. Personally, we think variety is great, but these options are a little bit stressful.

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