Sunday, July 26, 2015

S'mores Dip

If you haven't seen the video on how to make S'mores dip, then you've been living under a rock. I've seen multiple friends attempt this recipe this summer. Some with success, others, well... 

I decided I had to try this! I did make this without a cast iron skillet. I used square glass Pyrex dish lined with aluminum foil (easy clean-up). Also, this makes a lot so be prepared to share with a group.

S'mores Dip: 
• 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips,  
• 1 bag Marshmallows,  
• 1 box Graham Crackers,  
• 1 baking dish lined with aluminum foil.

Directions: Pre-heat PAN in the oven to 450 degrees. Take pan out of oven and pour chocolate evenly on the bottom. Place 1 layer marshmallows on the top. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until marshmallows have turned golden brown. (You need to watch it because it can easily over cook)  Take out of oven, serve with graham crackers.

Try it yourself and tell me how it turned out! I heard this was also good with peanut butter cups :)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Meerkat or Periscope?

Live video streaming on the Internet is nothing new. Over the years we have seen tons of services come and go including,, Ustream.TV, Qik... Even YouTube joined the game and introduced a live video service.

So, what makes Meerkat and Periscope so special? They are both mobile focused, simple, interactive and integrate with Twitter. They are perfect options for those folks that may want to do a quick live shot from an event, or maybe a quick Q&A. News outlets have definitely jumped on the bandwagon. They are using the services to share exclusive live footage while gathering news stories. This truly gives a social option when it comes to LIVE breaking news. 

So, which one should you use? 

Both services have a chat option. With Meerkat, the chat actually puts your interaction into a tweet to the person you are watching. On Periscope, the chat is seprate from your Twitter feed. 

Both services allow you to save your video. Periscope gives you the option to share your video with your followers for 24 hours after you posted it (very snapchat like). Meerkat lets you download the video to your phone so you can share it on other services. 

Periscope has become a popular service for celebs and news sources thanks to the Twitter connection. Meerkat has really attracted the average streamer with a few blogs and popular sites. The UI for periscope is very simple, just a list of videos. The UI for Meerkat is image focused and looks more like a social network.

So which one will win? Periscope is owned by Twitter and I suspect updates and further integration with Twitter. Meerkat has the opportunity to really stand on its own. However, I could totally see it getting bought by a bigger social network. The answer, it's too soon to tell.

Which one do you prefer?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Year, New Algorithm

It's a new year which means changes on Facebook. No, I'm not talking about the privacy policy changes or that post about owning your content (STOP SHARING THAT). I'm talking about the dreaded algorithm.

This year is no different. Facebook has rolled out updates that decide what will show up in your news feed. 

What is the algorithm? In simple terms, it is how Facebook picks what content shows up in your News Feed. The algorithm decides the content based on your engagement, who you are friends with, pages you have liked, popularity of posts, and many many other factors.

Facebook adjusts the algorithm slightly throughout the year, but whenever we enter a new calendar year, they tend to make a big change. Sometimes this affects the average user, but typically it is the business that have Pages that suffer from the change.

This year brands and pages have been hit hard. In order to guarantee post views and engagement it's going to take more than just putting great content out there. 

Here are a few tips to help with your post reach:

1.) Post Video
Facebook recently decided to push their video service. Its always been there, people just didn't use it. In an effort to push (force) people to use the service, Facebook made adjustments to the algorithm that gives videos uploaded directly to Facebook priority. 

2.) Multiple Photos
Photos have always done well as posts on Facebook. This year, it's a little different. Instead of just posting one photo, you will need to post multiple photos to each post to get the best reach. Posts with 3-4 photos seem to do the best.

3.) Avoid Promotional Verbage
Unless you plan to "boost"/advertise the post, avoid using promotional verbage. That includes certain call to action words, such as "watch," "tune in," "check out," etc. Instead, focus on telling your story. Make posts conversational. Ask questions!

4.) News & Trending Topics
Last year, the big push from Facebook was to increase the reach of certain links, like news stories or posts related to trending topics. This year is no different. Before you post certain content, do a little research on the way others may be wording a trending topic. Using similar wording, tags and hashtags will increase your reach. 

5.) Avoid "Click, Like, Share Baiting"
Clicks, Likes, Shares, we want them! That's a huge part of our job as social media strategists. But, if you are using wording that encourages people to "click the link to see more" or "Find out what happened..." Facebook is cracking down on your reach. This is part of Facebook's new push to make a better news feed. Your click baits might work, but your audience doesn't really "like" it.

Lastly, remember to always tag other pages if you mention them. This always gives your post an extra boost, plus it's the social thing to do. ;)