Tag Archives: YouTube

Hash It and Tag It: 7 Hashtag Tips for Businesses

It all starts with millions, or even billions of persons punching letters on a screen or on a keyboard. Some are ranting about celebrity gossip, others are talking about the latest episode of scandal and others are just trying to win tickets to that concert that’s been sold out for months.

The one thing that links one person talking about the same thing to another is a hashtag.

So do you know what a hashtag is?

Some of you reading this will be like “DUUUH who doesn’t know what a hashtag is pssh.” Truth is hashtags are widely used whether it be personally or through a business.


For those who don’t….


I bet you’ve never thought of it like this before.

Think of our solar system, all planets move around the sun. Let’s think of the sun as a hashtag, it’s at the center pulling all other users that are interested in that conversation to it. In other words it makes your posts more visible. A person searching for a specific hashtag will see all posts where that hashtag was used.


So as a business it is important to draw people to your topics online. Hashtags are also necessary for tracking the performance of campaigns and your overall efforts. We have been looking and many businesses and brands have been making a few simple and unforgivable mistakes with hashtags.

With that said it’s important for businesses to have a more comprehensive understanding of hashtags and how to use them.

  1. Always Have Purpose

It’s always best to develop your hashtag with a certain objective in mind. While at the same time remembering that hashtags have a specific purpose online. Picking a hashtag from thin air could be a major waste of time and would not have any use to you based on your objectives. Whether it’s to link conversations or for tracking performance or even just to extend your reach, this step will help you to choose the right hashtag for your business.

  1. Keep It Simple

When it comes to hashtags it is always best to keep it simple. When creating a hashtag it needs to be easy to spell and easy to remember. The longer the hashtag the harder it is to follow, let alone to use; especially on twitter where you only have 140 characters.

Bad campaign hashtag


This hashtag definitely swept us away. It’s a miracle it didn’t take up the entire 140 characters.

 Good campaign hashtag


See the difference? One is easy to spell and easy to use, the other is just…painful.

  1.  Keep It Unique

The hashtag you come up with should be unique to your brand or situation. There’s no use choosing a hashtag that is already widely used. Keeping it unique helps you to control the conversation surrounding your brand, as well as, to track conversations, performance and effectiveness of your campaign.


We created this tag for our client in the Cayman Islands; it is a perfect example. It named the event with an easy to remember and unique hashtag. That was used exclusively by persons engaging with the event.

  1.  Proof Read It                                 

You really are doing yourself and your business a huge favour by checking over your hashtag. Read it, write it…Sniff it if you have to. Anything that can be misread or misinterpreted, will be. It also helps to capitalize the first letter of words in a hashtag.


Talk about leading fans somewhere else! Here’s an example of a hashtag that was used to mean one thing to the user, but clearly has another meaning to the world. Save the date (#STD) becomes a nasty transmitted disease with one click. Yikes!!

  1.  Consistency Is Key

So you have a nice well thought out hashtag and you would like fans and followers to jump on it like ants on a piece of cake, right? Well all you have to do is use it. Hashtags can take weeks or even months to gain traction. So your hashtag has to be included in every single tweet related to your campaign, product, service or topic.

Please for the love of all things good, don’t leave off a letter or misspell anything, because then it becomes a completely different hashtag leading fans somewhere else. We don’t want that at all!

  1. Make It Searchable

After you create that awesome hashtag you’ll need to pair it with another hashtag or a pool of hashtags to get the desired reach. Your created hashtag may be new, so not many persons will be searching for it. This is where trending hashtags and other widely used hashtags come in.

These will give you the reach you need. The idea is to use hashtags you know persons will definitely be searching for. Hashtags like #Sports, #Marketing and #Tips usually do well on Twitter. On Instagram you have tags like #Instadaily, #PicOfTheDay and #Instagood to name a few. Then there are a few gems like #TGIF, #MCM, #TBT, #WCW that are used and searched no matter what platform.

  1. Don’t overdo it

Now that you know more about hashtags don’t go tag crazy and slap all the best hashtags in the world on your post. No!! Only use the best ones that are related to the topic or event. Using #Sports at a fashion show is a sure way to get unfollowed, so don’t do it. Try to keep it at 2 per post on Twitter and Facebook. For Instagram you can use up to 15 hashtags if you want.


Like most things, hashtags take a lot of thought and a bit of planning. Follow these 7 basic tips and save yourself the trouble and embarrassment of a poorly thought out hashtag.

Shoot us a comment with the funniest or weirdest hashtags you’ve seen.

Balance or Separation: Managing Professional & Personal Social Media Pages | Part 1

Displaying social.jpgHave you ever made an error in posting something on a professional account that was meant for a personal account? 

Do you have two separate twitter accounts, one for personal views and the other for professional?

Is there or should there be a social media etiquette guide for personal accounts?

Do personal accounts need filters?

Is trolling from professional accounts a good thing?

What type of personality should professional accounts have?

Are you sinking in your online presence?

Personal …. Personable …. Automation. Who do your followers want to see?

Is striking the balance necessary for you or your followers?

Do you use social media at work?

Is it against the work policy to use social media on the job?

Is two accounts too much?

Do you follow a business owner’s personal account to (a) hear/read/watch about his business, (b) get to know him personally or (c) both?

To build your best online presence, do you have to be separate people?

As you can see, this blog post had me in a whirlwind of thoughts, and piecing it together even more difficult. So yes, one blog post on this topic won’t do. As one’s social presence evolves, and the necessity and use of it almost inseparable – how do you plan to cope? Can there be a balance in your personal and professional social media accounts? Or is there the need for separation of these two personas?

(Small) business owners are faced with this challenge more than regular employees who are not obligated to devote their lives to their job/career. But then CEOs are the faces of the companies (they don’t even own) and are (more often than not) subjected to the scrutiny and watchful eyes of their followers. Journalists might feel the need to separate their lives to ensure that newsworthy posts are not lost among the traffic of mundane tweets.

How do you decide what goes where? Or are we now boxing everything and shelving them, living by the phrase “there is a time and place for everything”?

pic for blog

In today’s post, we will examine the pros and cons of striking the balance of managing both professional and personal accounts in one. We will then do Part 2 of this post, with the pros and cons of separating both personas.

Pros of Balancing

  • Individual is able to consciously streamline and control the type of content in their online presence.
  • Individual is able to show a personable side that followers may not see otherwise.
  • Less stressful, in trying to actively maintain multiple accounts
  • Transparent lifestyle. Who you are in person is who people will see online.
  • Followers are interested in both your views on professional and personal encounters.

Cons of Balancing

  • Highly unlikely that you can do this effectively. One persona possibly professional will dominate the social media platforms.
  • Lines of interaction may become blurred, between professional and personal conversations. Not everyone is able to make a smooth transition between the two.
  • Hard to build and maintain personal relationships when all and sundry are able to follow and connect with you.
  • Possibility of becoming so filtered, that you are borderline automated.
  • Possibility of having no filters or limits, that views expressed could affect business interactions.

Even in writing the pros and cons, things got complicated:

In striking a balance with the management of your social media accounts … does that mean using one user name for all platforms and split each persona across the platforms: Facebook (personal), twitter (personal & professional), linkedin (professional), youtube (professional), pinterest (professional)?

Or does it mean balancing both personas on every single platform, so all information posted can be shared across any online interface?

For the purpose of this blog, we took balance to mean the latter, but the above question is still valid, as balance is defined as “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.” Now if you use 6 platforms and dedicate half to personal interactions and the other half to professional, that seems about balanced to me. What say you?

As we continue to have this discussion, feel free to chime in on the pros and cons mentioned, answer any of the questions asked at the beginning, or share your general views/experiences on the topic.

Until next time …. are you balancing or separating?

Gleaner vs Observer: Who’s Better On Social Media?


Nine months ago, we measured the social media presence of Jamaica’s top newspapers – The Jamaica Gleaner and Jamaica Observer – to see which company was doing the better job. Jamaica Gleaner had won the social media brands war over Observer last July.

Read more

In this issue, we have updated our statistics and will re-assess the brands. Will Jamaica Gleaner retain their win? Let’s find out.



April 23, 2014 July 17, 2013

Increase (%)

Jamaica Gleaner 150, 158 likes25,934 talking about this 28, 583 likes10, 992 talking about this 425.3 % likes135.9% talking about this
Jamaica Observer 106, 300 likes14, 600 talking about this 13, 080 likes1597 talking about this 712.7% likes814.2% talking about this

Jamaica Gleaner continues to have more likes and persons talking about their page than Jamaica Observer. However, over the period Jamaica Observer had a much greater increase in numbers than that of Jamaica Gleaner. Observer had a 713% increase in likes compared to Gleaner’s 425%. There was an 814% increase in persons talking about Jamaica Observer compared to the 136% increase in persons talking about Jamaica Gleaner.

As noticed last July, regular updates are made on The Gleaner’s Facebook page, with trending news stories being dominant. Posts continue to be paired with visuals which is a recommended technique used to keep fans engaged. Generally, fans seem pleased with the Gleaner’s offerings on the page.

gleaner 1
Photo posted on April 23, 2014 received 206 likes, 47 shares, 21 comments



The persisting problem from last year, of mostly sharing the links of stories from their website, continues to prevail on Observer’s facebook page. Again, there are virtually no likes/comments/shares on these posts. They should notice the stark difference when they make posts with engaging and captioned photos.

Observer - fb
(left) Shared post from website had 7 likes, 2 shares, 0 comments; (right) Captioned photo post had 327 likes, 34 shares, 13 comments



April 23, 2014 July 17, 2013

Increase (%)

Jamaica Gleaner 103, 820 followers 75,889 followers 36.8%
Jamaica Observer 97, 247 followers 71, 213 followers 36.6%

Both The Gleaner and Observer continue to show that they use the same strategy, of posting links to their news articles, not quite 24/7 but very very very regularly, on this social media platform. They had an equal increase of followers by 37% over the period.

It can be noted that The Gleaner uses hashtags for almost every post, which is a twitter technique used to engage, manage and track conversations with followers. Yesterday’s featured Gleaner hashtags were: #GleanerTop5, #GLNRjainvite, #GLNRbudget, GLNRSuperMom, #GLNR180, #GlobalJamaica.

gleaner- twitter
Embedding videos is also a technique used by Gleaner on twitter

Observer on the other hand, isn’t much of a hashtag user on twitter, but they have linked their Instagram account to twitter, which facilitates the sharing of photos across both platforms. This allows their followers to get pictorial updates with some of their posts.

observer - twitter


Company April 23, 2014 July 17, 2013 Increase
Jamaica Gleaner 12, 966 subscribers

11, 602, 126 views

7, 628 subscribers




Jamaica Observer 7,269 subscribers

8, 883, 888 views

4,535 subscribers




Jamaica Gleaner continues to dominate Youtube, with increases of 70% in subscribers and 37% in views, when compared to Observer’s 60% and 25% respectively.

On YouTube The Gleaner is the clear leader here with almost double the amount of subscribers and over 1 million more views than the Observer. Both brands use the medium to give subscribers and viewers short snippets of current news stories.

Gleaner is able to be more visible on youtube with regular updates from featured playlists like: The Gleaner Minute, Jamaica Now, Erica’s Edge, Corporate Coffee, Parliament Report.

gleaner- youtube

Observer doesn’t have a dedicated web series or make regular posts. This is noted in the below screenshots,a comparison of last year and this year. Nothing has changed in the uploaded videos for these sections.

Screenshot from 2013 blog post
Screenshot of youtube page from 2013 blog post
Screenshot of current youtube page
Screenshot of current youtube page



April 23, 2014 July 17, 2013

Increase (%)

Jamaica Gleaner 2649 followers 292 followers 807.2%
Jamaica Observer 3629 followers 28 followers 12,860.7%

On Instagram The Gleaner now has less followers and is less active on the mobile photo sharing site than The Observer. Observer has over four times more posts than Gleaner, with a 12,861% increase in followers compared to last year. Gleaner increased their followers by a mere 807%.

Last year, Gleaner clearly outbranded Observer. But this year, the race is to the finish line. While Observer is the clear leader in Instagram and Gleaner is the clear winner on Youtube, we have a tie for Twitter. So the deciding factor is the Facebook platform. Should Observer be declared the winner of Facebook for their superseding increases, or should Gleaner get the win for consistently being more engaging in their posts (getting more overall likes, comments and shares) and still maintaining more followers and persons talking about the page?

This is a really difficult one. I think we need more time to declare who was “out-branded” on social media. Ok fine, we’ll choose a winner ………..

In the war of brands on social media between print media companies The Jamaica Gleaner and The Jamaica Observer,  the better brand for a second time is The Jamaica Gleaner. A facebook fan page is for engagement, and Gleaner is clearly dominating. Furthermore Observer created their facebook page long before the Gleaner and therefore should not be caught in this dilemma.

Congratulations to The Jamaica Gleaner on having the stronger overall social media presence to date, and Happy Birthday #GLNR180.



Statistics used for this post were retrieved from the social media platforms on April 23, 2014 between 7:00-7:05pm.

How Restaurants Can Use Social Media To Boosts Business

By Renee Gauntlett

One industry that will never fade away is the food industry. The competition there is the most intense and as a result, marketing and promotions are extremely important to set your brand apart. I’ve said it many times and in many ways that social media is an easy-to-use marketing platform, so why wouldn’t restaurants use it too to help boost business?

Your main purpose of using social media is to interact with existing customers as well as to attract new customers. In doing so, restaurants should promote their products and prove themselves to be better than their competitors. The most popular social media networks for restaurants include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Here are a few tips on how to make the best of your social media marketing efforts.


Offer Specials and Discounts

From time to time, restaurants offer special deals and discount on meals. You can use social media to promote these specials.

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 8.53.57 PM


Promote Menu Items

Restaurants can post the entire menu, the daily specials or just the most popular items. It would be best to post photos of these items which will generate responses from your fans. These photos could also feature real customers enjoying the meal. Take the photos yourself or have your fans submit them.

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 8.56.49 PM


Here is where social proof comes into play… if a certain amount of fans ‘LIKE’ or leave positive comments on a menu items, chances are many more of your fans may be more willing to come in and try it.


Use Employees as Brand Ambassadors

Your very own employees can be your best brand ambassadors. People can be very critical of where their food comes from and if an employee doesn’t eat there or at least enjoy working there, its a big turnoff for potential customers. So use your best employees to help promote your restaurant. Remember, using real people as representatives will add personality to your brand.

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 8.46.47 PM

Encourage Fan Reviews

Though it may be scary at times to ask for reviews because you might not always get the feedback you hope for, but its something to consider when using social media. Ask questions about your restaurant and embrace the responses. Some responses could even help you improve your business.

Give Peaks of Behind-the-scenes Activities

As I said, people can be picky about their food. Post photos or short videos of the behind-the-scenes processes of food preparation to let fans see that you have a family of employees who take care and pride in preparing and serving their food. many customers will be very happy to see these.



Monitor Your Reputation Against Your Competitors

Restaurants can use social media to keep an eye out for any warning signs for problems that may arise in business. These problems may arise in the form of reputation or your competition. Once you know your rank, you will know the next step to take to boost your business.

These are just some very basic ways that restaurants can use social media to help boost business. Feel free to add your own spin and techniques to this list. As I always say, creativity is NECESSARY when using social media. Learn about your audience and give them what they want to see and hear.

Scotia Bank Jamaica vs NCB Jamaica: Who’s better on social media?

A lot of people may think that banks don’t need to have social media profiles. With the rise of mobile and online banking, banks such as Scotia Bank Jamaica and NCB Jamaica are utilizing Social Media. While they aren’t the only banks using social media, let’s see who does social media better between the two biggest names in Jamaican banking.



With 45,754 Likes, Scotia Bank Group Jamaica post frequently including pictures, texts, and links to their website. They also utilize the advertising feature that Facebook offers which helps them to get more likes. They receive quite a few comments from their fans. However, their responses to these comments (though excellent) are few and far apart.

Scotia FB Page


With 15,589 Likes, NCB Jamaica Limited has a lot of ground to cover in the Number of Likes Category. However, their page has a personality that captures information inside NCB and outside in the world around them. One of their recent posts spoke about Emancipation Day. Their posts include text only, photos & links to their website. They receive quite a few comments under their posts & on their page, most of which they respond to. They also feature a lot of giveaways which help to get new fans & keep current fans involved.




Having 4,592 followers @ScotiabankJM  respond to all tweets they are mentioned in. They actively engage and assist the followers through their tweets. They tweet frequently and consistently often including links to products and photos of posters. They also show followers the 2 ladies that manage the page which gives them a sense of familiarity allowing them to match a tweet to a face.
However, they don’t seem to feature anything other than answering customer questions. There are very few tweets that are not replies (and we all know we only see replies to people we follow) which can make their page seem inactive.

Scotia Twitter


Having 5,235 @ncbja has an active twitter page. Tweets are frequent and consistent. They linked their Facebook page to their Twitter account so most of their tweets are actually forwarded Facebook posts. This helps to keep major messages uniform across all platforms in addition to getting twitter followers to Like their Facebook page. . They RT & respond to tweets they are mentioned in which shows that actually keep track of their Twitter account. However, while it’s good to link your Facebook and Twitter accounts, you should have posts that are Twitter-exclusive

NCB Twitter



With 299 videos and 76 subscribers, the Scotiabank Jamaica YouTube channel features videos of commercials, special projects, sponsored events, corporate seminars & every other thing they can possibly video. Their YouTube efforts are commendable. However, there is very little integration of these videos into their other social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter. Additionally there is no easy to find link to their Facebook and Twitter pages on their YouTube Channel page.

Scotia YouTube


With 42 videos and 34 subscribers, the NCB Jamaica YouTube channel includes commercials, videos showing internal company changes, & videos of competition winners.  They also integrated their other social media account directly into their channel’s banner.  However, their YouTube account is not frequently active with their last activity being 5 months ago, w think it’s time for a new video NCB.

NCB Youtube


Neither brands are on Instagram or Vine



In terms of overall followers Scotia Bank Jamaica has the edge over NCB Jamaica by a clear margin. In terms of Facebook it would have to be a tie because NCB has the better online personality & is better at interacting with fans but their 15,000+ fans are no match for Scotia Bank’s 45,000+ fans. In terms of Twitter Scotia Bank wins. Scotia responds to mentions which is a big thing to twitter followers (who WILL unfollow you if you don’t reply to them) and their personality is felt (especially with them telling us who we’re talking to). NCB’s Twitter account was too robotic, especially because of the lack of supplementary tweets to add to the Facebook-post-turned-tweets. In terms of YouTube, while both Scotia & NCB have very few subscribers, Scotia Bank wins hands down. They have more views and are FAR more active (come on NCB… “Last Active 5 Months Ago” ???).

That means that overall Scotia Bank Jamaica does social media better when compared to NCB Jamaica.

However, to be quite honest both Scotia and NCB have a far way to go in terms of efforts.


Stop relying on the fact that you have a lot of customers. You need to be more hungry for fans, followers, subscribers. Integrate all your social media pages and give them all equal attention. Respond to comments on Facebook frequently and consistently (not just when you see or you feel like it). Tell the 2 ladies managing your Twitter page their doing a great job, but they need to find ways to get more followers (which I know is easier said than done).  Invest in your videos a bit more. Better quality. Better editing. YouTube could be what makes Scotia unique among all other banks capitalize on that.


Your efforts are excellent. However, when it comes to social media, the turtle doesn’t win the race.  Your strategies are excellent but the fans won’t come to you, you need to go to them.

How Businesses Can Use Vine

By Laurelle Taylor

So your business has Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, & Instagram accounts and you recently started Vining…. How can your businesses use Vine? The trick to Vine is to do what people are doing, get people to do what you are doing (start a trend), incorporate humor, lose all formalities and have fun. The challenge is to do it in 6 seconds. If you want your company’s Vine account to be successful you must find away to merge these things with brand promotion…in 6 seconds. Here are a few ways for your business to use Vine.


  1. Product Promotion: Build a hype around your product. You can try things like making them talk, testimonials, demonstrate cool uses & use products to tell a story. Whatever you decide to do, do it different, make it funny & have fun. For example: if your company is launching “Purple” then you could make a Vine showing “Blue” and “Red” falling in love and having baby “Purple”.

  2. Behind the Scenes: Your company can use Vine as a 6 second back stage pass to what goes on behind the Brand/Product/Face of your company. Show them what happens at work that’s unique and cool about your company. So if you have a chocolate fountain during meetings you might want to do a video called “Chocolate Wasted Meetings” and show staff discussing finances while using the fountain. If you put a lot of planning into something you can show them. You could also have a behind the scenes mini-series on Vine. There’s a lot happening at work, surely you can find 6 seconds of awesomeness.

  3. Sneak Peek: Use Vine as a teaser for new products. Just like when a party is coming up there are ads on the radio so why shouldn’t you do the same with your products. So if you launching a ‘new & improved’ bottle then you can do multiple 6 second teaser videos showing parts of the bottles. Take your followers through the entire journey to the launch of your product. You can even include them in decisions about the product by showing options in videos and asking them to like the one they like the most.

  4. Meet the Staff: Use Vine to allow customers to get to know your staff members. Introduce them to the person responsible for the way how your product label looks (graphic designer). Introduce them to the company photographer. Show them the individuality of your staff members… in 6 seconds.

  5. Show Company Persona– Use Vine to show the personality of your company. If you’re company is a hippie all your videos should have some sort of a hippie element. If your company is tech-y then feature a lot of tech things as props. If your company is all about doing it big then all of your videos need to be over-the-top and dramatic.

  6. Participate in Vine Trends: This will help to boost your followers and views and show that your company is not solely about the brand. Let loose a little and join the fun.

  7. Vine Challenges: You can start your own Vine competition for your followers to compete for a prize. This will increase your followers, views and traffic to your Vine (and Twitter account). You can use this as free promotions of your brand and products.

There are a lot of businesses already using Vine and it’s working in their favor. Every company on social media, especially Vine, is viewed as part of the in-crowd and cool. Stay with the times and sign your company up on Vine.

When Vining Remember:

  • Plan Ahead: Think about what exactly you want to do in your, 6 seconds.

  • It’s OK to Stage Your Vines: You can stage your videos. There’s nothing wrong with it. Most highly followed Vine accounts feature staged videos. Some of the behind the scenes videos and meet the staff videos can be slightly staged.

  • Nothing is Perfect: It’s OK to make mistakes… Vines should be fun and you should have fun making the videos.

  • Don’t Force Humor: Not every Vine post has to be hilarious. So don’t be cheesy. Consult with multiple staff members to find out if an idea is funny.

  • Have Fun!

How Multi-Media Helps With Your Social Media Presence

By Kishmar Shepherd

Social media sites and apps are highly image based, therefore it’s only natural that multimedia should play a big part in your Brand’s social media presence.

High quality Photos and Videos could be the difference between thousands of engaged followers and a dead social media account.

But it is not that simple, you have to use multimedia correctly to ensure you provide purposeful content for your fans. Here are a few tips on how you should use multimedia to boost your brand on Social Media.


Keep your pages fresh and interesting.

People like activity on their social media pages, if you have a multimedia team constantly putting out new content your fans will keep coming back looking for more. Be sure that your content is interesting and of a high quality though, otherwise fans will quickly overlook your pages.


Localize the content

Fans also like to see images they can relate to, so forget the stock photos and reposting content from Google. Get out there and create your own local content that your fans can appreciate. Take photos of your store or office, events you attend and places you visit. Your audience will be able to identify with these things and with your brand.


Showcase products

People follow you on social media because they are somewhat interested in your products or services, show them more of this. Post photos of your products your equipment and the people in your business. Upload short videos showcasing what you offer your fans will love it, and it may even boost your sales. After all some people don’t know what they want until they see it


Transmit messages

You can use your multimedia to get a message out to your fans in a unique and creative way. Use graphic designs to promote sales or even a short video. Use photos to show fans items that are on sale, or upcoming promotions. You can also make short “How To” videos, publicly thank a special fan or comment on any topic which is popular through interactive and creative multimedia.


Tell stories

This is mostly done through video but you can also use photos to tell stories. Social media is about being more human and letting your customers see your brand as more than just a business, you can really connect with them through stories. Show the behind the scenes of the business process or of a particular project. Give advice, or make a short video telling the brand story or even share personal stories of employees. This will get your fans more involved in what you do and why you do it.


Social media is all about connecting with people and through good multimedia you can keep your Brand in the forefront of your fan’s minds.