Summer and Social Media

Summer is here (yay!) and for most of us, this means vacation time too (double yay!). Before going away, I spend a lot of time researching what to do, see, eat, buy at my upcoming destination, the last couple of years my favorite source of information is social networks and my connections there.

One of my favorite weekends away, was when I was going to Copenhagen, Denmark last fall, and asked my Instagram and Twitter feed what to do there.

I got so many great suggestions – dining places, must-sees, book cafe’s, best coffee, best view, (@XCEriksson even sent me his personal map with all his favorites), and could almost have spent the whole time there doing things suggested to me!

Check out my Snapshots from Copenhagen

(P)inspiration
Another go-to source is Pinterest. I love love love to look up my destination (or the dream destinations) and pin away.

Check out my previous post: Pinterest Travel Inspiration

Social Shaming
Another thing social networks is good for, is social shaming, and vacation time is no exception. Have you ever been frustrated by your fellow travelers carry-on luggage? Well, then the hashtag #CarryOnShame is for you!

Digital Detox
Instead of posting #InstaGo photos, checking in to Foursquare and sending Snap’s of everything happening during the summer, vacation can also means time to unplug and log-off for some. Maybe it’s time for a digital detox?

It sure is!⭐️ Nok en nydelig dag i Oslo! 😎 #StakkarsOss #Oslove

A post shared by Marianne Granum (@mariannemixi) on

I’m goin’ to Miami
As for my summer vacation this year, I’m going to MIAMI ( tipple yay!) followed by a cruise in the Caribbean sea. While the cruise days almost plan them self (Hello sundeck), I’m super-grateful for any recommendations for things to do / see / visit / eat / but in the Miami area! 🙂

Where do you get your vacation inspirations?

Instagram downtime – What to do?

Instagram downtime - My catAs many of you propably noticed, Instagram had some problems earlier today. Many users (me included) could not post content or view the latest content posted by others.  It´s in  times like  this, I realize how addicted I really am to Instagram!

Here´s how I (tried to) go by without Instagram:

1 .Closing the app (- no effect)

2. Signing out of the app (- still no effect)

3. Turning off my phone (- nothing)

4. Deleting and re-installing the app (- still nothing – at this point I`m getting really upset – after all I do have photos of my cat, my food and skyporn to post!)

5. Check Twitter to see if I’m the only one to have problems (- Discover the #InstagramIsDown hashtag, and somehow feeling a little better)

6. Googling for answers (- not found)

7. Complaining on Twitter (- like everyone else)

8. Ending up uploading a photo of my cat and me to Twitter (- hashtagged #Selfie – which surely cost me some Twitter followers)

9. Hanging around at EyeEm (- for like 5 minutes…)

10. Instagram working again (- YAY – posting photo of my cat)

 

How did you survive the Instagram downtime? 🙂

Social Media Spring Cleaning

Marianne Granum - Social Media Spring Cleaning

Spring is here, representing renewal and a fresh start – why not use this time of year to clean up your digital presence too?

Here are my 3-steps to a Social Media Spring Cleaning:

Review your strategy – what is working and what is not?
You can treat your social media activities like you treat your closet. Just like reviewing your closet from time to time and changing, adding or taking out cloths from the closet, you should from time to time also review your social media activities and campaigns, your goals, strategies and results. What worked out and what did not? What should be changed and what should you still be doing?

Explore new networks
Are there any new networks generating a lot of buzz now, or a network that is still under the radar that you happen to know about? Look into how these can benefit your personal or professional brand. My new favourites are Vine and Snapchat, which both present a lot of new opportunities and exciting use cases for your company and /or personal brand.

Update bio and “About me/ us”
Did you get a new job or more responsibilities, learned a new skill? Got a new cool hobby you want to share? Did your brand get a new feature, a new product or a new partner? A lot happens in a year, make sure others know about it. Remember to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date too.

Your turn – what did I miss? What are your best tips for cleaning up your social media presence?

Vine Videos for Twitter – Make a Scene

Vine is a video-making app for iPhone and iPad app. It was recently acquired by Twitter and allows you to share videos right in your Twitter feed – no links to click, no need to leave your feed – Pretty great, huh? There is a catch though, just like Twitter, Vine wants to keep it brief, the videos can only be 6 seconds or less!

This obviously cause some challenges – how can you get your message through in 6 seconds? Is there really any use of a 6 second video? Sure there is, I think Vine can be used in multiple ways, for creating and sharing content such as:

* Create short tutorials
* Trailer / teasers of longer videos
* Present sneak-peaks of products
* Show behind-the-scene footage before or during an event
* Showcase highlights from a fashion show, trade show or conference
* Shoot short updates from your workplace
* Make a short-film
* Create an animations
* Show off your cooking skills and share your favorite receips

Have you tried Vine? What do you use it for?

My Instagram Tour

Judging from the search terms you use to find my blog, a lot of you visit me searching for information, help and facts about Instagram. So I thought I’ll make it easy for you and make a collection of all my posts about Instagram here. Welcome to my Instagram Tour!

Let’s begin the tour by establishing what Instagram is: a free photo-sharing program & social network mainly accessed through a smartphone app. Before sharing your pictures, you can edit, add filters and effects to them. In the uploading process you can choose to share the picture in multiple other social networks as well, such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Once the picture is uploaded, all your followers, and anyone that search for the hashtags used, can see, like (heart by double-tapping) and comment on it (privacy settings are available). Instagram has a dedicated user / fan base (IG’ers) which mostly refer to Instagram as IG, and arrange Instagram photowalks and get-together with other IG’ers.

More info can be found in my Instagram guide posts: Instagram (My very first post about Instagram! *Nostalgia*) and Insta-lovin: A 101 Guide to Instagram

Next stop, hashtags. Just like Twitter, Instagram supports hashtags (#Keyword) to categories content, make it searchable and capture a feeling or say something about the content. More about hashtags in my post Instagram Hashtags: How does it work and why should you use them.

Let’s continue by looking at some numbers. In April 2012 Instagram contained more than 1 billion uploaded images and had more than 40 million users. For more stats, have a look at Instagram by the numbers.

All the widgets and add-ons make Instagram even cooler, you can do almost anything with your IG photos! Print, make postcards, fridge magnets and photo books. Gramfeed (and similar services) lets you view your photos from the web (not just your smartphone). Instalook lets you discover IG photos taken around you / at your location. You can even open your very own virtuell gallery, the Instacanvas. Another cool add-on is Statigram, giving you a full overview of all the stats about your IG account, and IG in general. Statigram also provides an overview of trending topics:

Because of it’s visuell features and large user base, Instagram can be an effective marketing channel for businesses. Companies and brands can engage with their customers and fans by e.g. hosting hashtag contests or asking for the customers best picture about their product. In my post Don’t say it, show it, you can read more about images as part of a marketing strategy. The Instagram For Businesses Blog also has a lot of examples of good usecases for companies. I for one love the Instagram campaigns Tiffany & Co have been running, for more info check out Tiffany’s #TrueLovePictures.

I’ll end this post with a warning, Instagram can be very addictive! If you think you or someone you know suffer from an Instagram addiction, you can see the signs in my post How to Spot an Instagram-junkie.

Did I miss any stops on my tour? What else do you think is worth knowing about Instagram?

I’d love to see your IG photos, look me up on Instagram (@Mariannemixi), or share your username below! 🙂

Instagram Hashtags – How does it work and why should you use them?

If you’re on Instagram, you have probably noticed that there are several Hashtag strategies (just like Twitter, IG lets you lable your pictures using the # icon , this makes it both searchable and says something about the picture) out there.  Some people don’t use any, others use too many ( e.g. #Take #a #look #at #the #pink #dress #I #bought #today) and others again highlight a few ( e.g. Take a look at the #pink #dress I bought today).

In my opinion, the last strategy is most valuable. Although I’m not a fan of the strategy of using a # in front of every word, I can see a big boost in the number of likes / hearts when I add a couple of tags to my pictures.

My top ways of using hashtags on Instagram:
* Hashtags are a great way of spreading your pictures, as they make your pictures more visible and findable for people with the same interest.
* Capture / communicate the feeling you had when taking the picture.
* Enter a competition – Lots of brands /companies have their own IG account, host competitions and encourage people to add their tag(s) when uploading a suitable picture.
* As part of an event – similar to live-Tweeting and live-pinning, IG can be used to spread information about events as they are happening. E.g. I see a lot of people now making a hashtag for their wedding.

How to you use hashtags on Instagram?

P.S. Wondering if you are an Instagram addict? See the signs here.

Can You Impress the Penguin?

Social Job Recruitment is a new way companies can attract eligible candidates and come across as a fun & creative place to work. I love the way Penguin Press UK has mastered this, with their “Can You Impress the Penguin?” – Ad, that has gone viral on Twitter these days. Some snapshots:

Check out the complete ad here.

How would you impress the Penguin? 🙂

Insta-lovin: A 101 Guide to Instagram

It’s hardly a secret that I’m an Instagram fangirl, if you read this blog somewhat frequently you might even have grown tired of all my Instragram talk ( I dedicated my love to the picture-sharing-service here, here and here). Today I felt like doing more than just talk about how great Instagram is, and actually show it. So I have put together a little Instagram 101 guide.

*Insta-heart it

To indicate you like someones photos, you can click the heart icon below the photo. Liking (or hearting) is a key feature of Instagram, and serves as both giving reconginitons to others and saving the picture so you can easily find it later (stored in the “photos you’ve liked” tab on your profile).

A faster way of adding a heart to the picture, is double-clicking it. A pretty basic tip, but it saves you a lot of time if you are browsing to a large stream of photos.

*hashtags and mentions

Like Twitter, Instagram lets you add hashtags (#) to your updates.
Hashtags makes it easier to categories your photos, and helps others finding your pictures. If you e.g. search for #cupcakes (I tend to do that a lot!), more than 400 000 pictures pops up.

Hashtags are also used to enter contests and shout-outs.

To interact with other IGs, Instagram lets you – again like Twitter, mention others using a @ and the username of the IGer you are talking to.

*Create photo magic

A key feature to why Instagram’s popularity keeps on growing, is the fact that it enables everyone to take great photos. With all it’s filters and features, you almost can’t go wrong.

The photo to the left is taken with the Camera+ app for iPhone. To the right, the same photos is given som Instagram magic.

To make this effect, simply to as follows: 1, upload to Instagram, 2,tap the sun icon ( low left corner) to add brigther colors, 3, tap the drop icon and select the radial / round shaped icon to make one area of the photo focused and the rest blurry.

*Insta-Widgets

To add even more value to the Instagram experience, check out some of the numberous widgets and services such as statigr.am for all your Instagram statistics and pingram.me to showcase your IG photos the Pinterest way.

With Instacanv.as you can showcase and sell your IG photos in your very own online gallery.

What’s your best IG trick?

Online Help for a Great Summer Vacation

Summer is here, which (for the most of us) means that vacation time is near. To get the most out of my spare time I turn to social media and online services, which are great resources in planning and executing traveling plans. Here are a couple of ways I use these resources before, after and on vacation:

Lately Pinterest has served as a great travel inspiration for me, in the early phase of traveling planning I check out the pictures of the place and make dedicated traveling boards.

I always ask for activity suggestions on Twitter, and have received some pretty sweet tips of places I might have missed otherwise. Following the local tourist office, you can pick up tips and stay on top of events happening during your stay. Some of the local must-do/see/buy might have their own Twitter account too, like the amazing Creeme Brulee Cart(!) in San Francisco.

For the best deals and a complete overview I always book my flights and hotels online (I almost can’t believe “offline” travel agencies still exists, is anyone still using those?). Seat Guru and similar services makes sure you get the best seat possible. Even though I’m in a love-hate relationship with Trip Advisor, I always have to check out my hotel options here before booking anything. Bad service, dirty bathrooms, nasty breakfast buffet? Trip Advisor has made me change hotel plans more than once.

On location, Foursquare (in addition to gaining neat scores and badges) is great for picking up recommendations – when checking-in somewhere I always read the tips other visitors has left. Menu recommendations are a great way to discover hidden treasures on the menu.


Chocolate Fondant from The Edge, Oslo – the best in town!

As an eager hobby photographer and Instagram-Addict, I spend a lot of my vacation time taking pictures. To me, the best part of going somewhere new is exploring all the hidden gems and unique locations – every place has them, it is just a matter of finding them! Once I find them, and “shoot them, I upload them to Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest – Who knows, maybe my pins from Milan can inspire someone else going there, or give advises on where to go and what to see? Never the less, it is a great way to save vacation memories and share them with friends and family.

What is your best tip for vacation preparations, online or offline?

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