21 Killer Tips for Social Media Content

Social Media is one very intimidating aspect of marketing that technologically challenged entrepreneurs continue to find overwhelming. The truth is, Social Media does not need to be so technical to begin with. It should be more social as the name suggests. Think of Social Media as a way to let your customers “in” on how your brand thinks and how and why it functions to serve a need.

Social media has a lot more to do with branding than it does technology. If you start with that fact then perhaps you can stop feeling overwhelmed. Think of it as your own newspaper. You have to publish something on a regular basis – daily, bi-weekly, weekly, or monthly. You have to give your clients enough content to read, inspire and motivate with intent to inspire brand loyalty. Newspapers have different sections including current events, lifestyle, sports, politics, classified ads, celebrity news and more! How can you deliver a well-rounded branding message using your social media as a “newspaper” for your clients? What kind of content will this “newspaper” deliver?

This is why social media is more about branding than it is technology. Don’t get me wrong, once you get used to the idea of posting consistently, there are plenty of technological aspects that you can learn to measure the success of your efforts and/or automate some of your content. If you consider yourself a “newbie” then let’s start with understanding how you can leverage your social media to your advantage.

First thing’s first! Social media is not a place for hard sell. People are quickly turned off by that. People generally do not like to be sold but they are ready to buy something they believe will make them feel good, look good, or make life more efficient. As an entrepreneur who relies on sales, you can use social media to inform, educate, inspire, and motivate your potential existing and potential customers of why they should choose your brand. Is it environmental friendly? Is it better quality? Better price? Locally made? Whatever the reason might be, it is your duty to communicate that information in several different ways. I once heard that an average person has to receive the message seven different times for it to register. If you have a message, create seven different ways of delivery and utilize different social media channels.

I have listed 21 different ideas you can adopt to help activate your social media pages. Remember to post when you think your customers are most likely browsing on their phones. Before work, during breaks, after work and before going to bed are generally the best times.

  1. Research any national holidays and participate in a trending conversation about it. Quirky Holidays like Backwards Day or Dark Chocolate Day also make interesting post topics. Make it relate back to your brand. If you are selling dessert then jump on the bandwagon of strawberry days, ice cream days, or dessert days by all means!
  2. Quote any famous thinkers, authors or entrepreneurs. Post a photo of them and tell your followers how you can relate to the quote. Did that person or quote inspire you or help you take a big leap in life? Your followers want to know.
  3. Share more information about the functionality of your product or service. Share something most people may not know about what you sell. If you sell cupcakes, perhaps you use interesting ingredients? If you sell any hardware, maybe your customers need examples of when it could be useful.
  4. Post positive reviews from your clients and thank them for taking the time to share their experience. Most people love to be featured… with their permission, of course.
  5. Join in on any hot topic trend and share your thoughts as it relates to your brand personality. Is it the Grammy’s? Super Bowl? Halloween?
  6. Share any useful information from credible sources like Forbes, Entrepreneurs, Business Insiders and etc… Was there a recent statistics about women who drink coffee every day? Share what you find interesting!
  7. Weigh in on any current events but never lose the essence of your brand in the process. Most brands stay away from political opinions but others are very outspoken. For example, GQ has been very vocal about their opinion of President Trump.
  8. Tell your followers stories about your humble beginnings or about how you thought of creating a product or service. People love to know more about the “how”.
  9. If you author a blog, you can repurpose some of your old content and add quotes from your blogs to a stock photo or any photos you’ve taken at your own events.
  10. Post live videos at your events. People want to see what happens behind the scenes.
  11. Repost any content from your followers. It will make them feel special and it will give you a chance to showcase one of your customers. Engage them in conversations!
  12. Spice things up by using apps to edit your videos or create GIFs or “Boomerangs”.
  13. If you are on Instagram, try to use the same filter to create consistency with the quality of the photos that you post.
  14. Take photos of your products in the most creative setting. For example, if you sell jewelry, take photos of your jewelry next to a Starbucks cup, on a baby, in a garden, or hanging on a branch of a tree.
  15. Participate in hashtag conversations like #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) or #TGIF.
  16. Share random cute photos just to grab attention and offer something different on your timeline (i.e. cats, dogs, and babies).
  17. Create a contest and encourage your followers with a great incentive to participate and engage in this contest.
  18. Ask you followers for their opinion relating to any current issues, your brand or your product. Even a simple voting request can really engage your followers. Ask them whether you should buy a red couch or a white couch. Ask them which name sounds better.
  19. Share new information on anything. It can be about your product or something you saw on TV or read on the newspaper?
  20. Take photos at events you attend and share it with your followers! Keep in mind that you should never share bad, blurry, and dark photos. Always polish them with an app. Click here to view my recommended apps. 
  21. Instead of posting flyers of your sale, post your product and use the content space to share the message about the sale. Facebook is very strict about your graphics only having 20% text. The less text on your graphic, the better.

I hope these 21 tips can help you finally create content for your social media pages. Maya Angelou once said that “you never run out of creativity because the more your use it, the more you have!” Don’t worry about running out of ideas. As soon as you open that door, more ideas will flow! Best of luck!

Please let me know if these tips help you in any way! I would really love to know. Connect with me on Instagram or Twitter: @sweeney_mae.

JCPenney versus Beyonce haters… who won?

After BEYONCE posted her pregnancy photo, JCPenney caught a lot of “shade” from people saying that it looked like an awkward JCPenney photo or how she has millions but got her photo taken at JCPenney.

Guess what JCPenney did? They used Beyonce’s lyrics to “clap back”! They quoted some of the tweets adding “Twirl on my Haters” or “Ya’ll haters corny”.



Hours later, JCPenney was featured on a few business blogs including Fortune.com , Dallas News, Daily Mail, and more for their creative responses. Some even tweeted “whoever is running JCPenney’s twitter needs a raise!”

Then today, JCPenney released a snap chat filter resembling Beyonce’s photo background and tells everyone to go to the nearest JCPenney store to access it.


So, who won? The Haters or the Hated?

This is an example of how  you can capitalized on trending topic to potentially boost your brand visibility. Great job JCPenney!

As an entrepreneur, keep your eye on what’s trending and don’t be afraid to jump in the conversation.


7 Deadly Sins in Marketing

Marketing is a very well established principle and one that has been practiced before it was even called that. If you think about it, the ancient world has definitely used advertising tactics when promoting a gladiator fight, a chariot race, or some royalty celebration.

The similarities of entrepreneurs’ problems to another used to surprise me. I have finally accepted that most entrepreneurs are marketing challenged and that’s when I decided that I’m going to use my spare time helping others improve their understanding of marketing so they can avoid being discouraged.

Being discouraged is the worst state in an entrepreneur’s journey. If you are frustrated and often confused, just remember reading this blog and find comfort in the thought that the entrepreneur next to you is also figuring it all out.

This blog is to help you understand the consequences of poor marketing strategy. I hope that you find it helpful and feel free to contact me for more information or discussion.

Here goes the 7 deadly sins in marketing…


The best thing about research is that we no longer have to make a trip to the library to search the archives. Google is definitely our best friend but sometimes, we pretend otherwise. Get in the habit of checking facts or existing examples before you start working on any project.

Before you plan an event, look for ideas. Before you create a brand message or campaign, search for examples. Before you introduce a company or product to a new market, study the demographics and learn from previous events and competitors in that market.

When conducting your marketing research, you need to answer the following questions:

  1. Has this project/product been done before?
  2. If not, what similar projects have been implemented? If yes, what were the results?
  3. What did their marketing collaterals look like? How could you make yours better?
  4. How many people attended their event?
  5. What are the reviews on Yelp and on Facebook for your competitors?
  6. What is the demographics of your market? What are their characteristics?
  7. What are the major and well attended events in the market? This should give you answers as to what types of leisure activities the residents in that area are interested in? This is important to know so you can plan an effective community outreach.
  8. What are the trusted local brands and stores in the market? What do they have going on?
  9. Search Instagram or Twitter using your market’s location and get an idea of what conversations locals are engaged in.
  10. What are the top local charities that residents trust and support?

These are just some examples of what you can research to help you formulate the best plan for your launch or your new campaign especially if you are penetrating a new market.


Whether you are in charge of marketing or you’ve hired a company to perform the task, metrics must first be established. If you want to print flyers for your business, for example, you must first research to see how successful flyers look. Then set some goals and deadlines that you’d like to accomplish with these flyers.

If you want to create a flyer for simply for publicity, you should consider taking it a step further and include a coupon. The coupon serves as a way for you to measure your ROI. If you manage a frozen yogurt business planning for a grand opening, you should consider creating a bounce back coupon instead of a plain informative flyer. This offers a way to measure how many people were converted into customers.

Note: A bounce back coupon is a term used describing a promotional marketing collateral offering discount that can be redeemed at a later date. In essence, you want your customers to come back for more.

Note: Sales made using the coupon on the flyer (minus) Cost of flyer (equals) your ROI.

When you plan to reprint the same flyers and the last batch of flyers are still at large without an expiration date, it would be wise to use a different color or code for your next batch. This offers a way to measure your ROI separate from your first batch of flyers especially if you modified it in hopes to improve the redemption rate.

If you’re planning a special event to boost sales then your marketing strategy should be measured by the sales at your event. Unless of course you’ve created coupons that you distributed at that event then the sales from using those coupons should also contribute to your event’s overall ROI analysis for this particular event.

If you’ve hired a third party marketing service provider then they should typically have metrics for their proposed service. If not, then it is your duty to establish the metrics before they begin their work. You want to be clear on what it is they need to accomplish and how you can justify paying for their services. Sometimes, the metrics isn’t a monetary value. Sometimes all you want is 1,000 more clicks or 100 more comments or 10 more click thrus to your website. Your metrics should not stop there. You have to challenge your strategy turn clicks and comments into dollars.

One of the common errors in this process is expecting too much, too soon. Let’s take for example a salon that had little to no social media engagement. The first few social media metrics should focus more on increasing engagement for the first two to four months. As a business, you have to earn the buy-ins of your potential customers on social media first. They have to understand your message, witness your consistency, and have clarity on what your offer and core competencies are. The first two to four months should be about showing examples, reviews, “before and after”, and other informational photos or videos about hair or beauty in general. Remember that people don’t want to be sold to but they are always ready to buy.

After the first two to four months of adjusting and perfecting your social media content, you can then start soft selling and adding marketing metrics to your methods. How many of your customers are really coming from the digital efforts that you are making? Set a goal to see at least one new customer per week from your social media efforts at first. Then continue to drive that conversion rate of followers versus actual customers.

Another way to take it a step further is to always strive to improve your ROI. If your first campaign yielded $1,000 ROI then shoot to yield $1,500 on your next ROI analysis. This is one way to prove that what you are doing is working and that your business is growing.


Let me break it down to you gently… according to smallbiztrends.com:

  • 97% of online adults age 1-64  say they have visited or used a social media network within the last month.
  • Internet users have an average of 7 social accounts, up from 3 in 2012.
  • Around 1 in every 3 minutes is devoted to social media and if they aren’t on there to keep up with friends, they are reading news or simply passing time.

Why would you not want to be a part of this daily cycle?

If you’re on social media for personal reasons and not investing your time learning how to use it for business then you are doing yourself a disservice. It is not because you do not know how. It is because you refuse to invest your time. Notice that I used the word invest and that’s because there is definitely a return in the equation.

Understanding social media is vital. Everyone is doing it and it has been successful for those who have learned it. Don’t be that person who finally figured out social media when everyone else has moved on to the next trend.

Keeping up with the trends is important in the marketing world. Society loves to keep up with the trend and your business must be flexible enough to follow the right trend. Social Media has been the main trend in the last few years. It has brought us different micro-trends like Facebook business pages, Twitter hashtags, Instagram stories, Snap Chat, Vine, YouTube and so much more. Apps have been created to help supplement your social media content like photo editing apps, video editing apps, image animation, Flipagram, filters and geofilters, automation and more! Read my blog on the top 10 apps you should download to help you with social media management at sweeneymae.com.

People are always fascinated by what’s trendy. They can’t escape it. Given that not every trend is the right fit for your brand, you should find a way to stay on top of it and consistently evaluate quickly if you should jump on the bandwagon or not. One of the best ways to keep up with the trend is to follow national and trendy brands. Subscribe to newsletters that can give you access to what is new in your market or your industry.

Keep up with the right trend and don’t get left behind. Avoiding social media and digital trends will only make you that much more behind in comparison with your competitors. Furthermore, you may lose prospective customers and visibility if you are not utilizing the social media space simply because your competitors are!



Defining your brand and target market is one of the first tasks you must accomplish at the start of your business. It is and should be a part of your marketing plan. Most entrepreneurs rely on the fact that they know who their target market is and don’t feel the need to articulate it in writing.

Defining your target is more than just saying that they are “women age 35 – 60”. You need to be able to eloquently tell a story about who they are, what they do, how much they make, what kind of lifestyle they live, what they do on their spare time, what means of communication they use, what they believe in, what other brands they align themselves with, where they live, who their friends are, what possible reason they have to purchase your product, and so much more.

Some entrepreneurs would admit that they’re target is anyone who would want their business. The problem with that is you are robbing yourself of the opportunity to communicate specifically to your audience when you advertise. If you don’t know who you are talking to how could you possibly know what to say?

You need to elaborate a story about your target market as a reference for your employees, your possible investors, your contractors, and even for yourself. It’s so easy to get lost in the day to day activities of your business and forget who you are really serving.  That’s right, I said “serving”. As a business, you have created products that serve a specific demographic and it’s easy to lose sight of who they are if you don’t have it written down.

Also keep in mind that you are allowed to have multiple target market. If you have a clear distinction between your targets then you must describe them separately and include different tactics for both audience. The more you are able to customize your message, the easier it is for your audience to be able to relate to you. This is called market segmentation.

Think of it like this, your target market speaks a foreign language and you need to be able to communicate in a way that grabs their attention. You wouldn’t speak Chinese to a German crowd, would you? Same goes for your audience, a 22 years old woman will most likely communicate differently than a 55 years old woman. They’re not even in the same generation!

Defining your target market should take as much effort as designing your brand. After all, you wouldn’t be successful without your customers. Once you have defined your target market, your next step is to establish a list of ways on how you can successfully reach them. How can you design a campaign or strategy that can get them to invest in your product? How will your product improve their lives? Why would they buy into your company?


Your brand message is the foundation of your company. Why does your company exist? Why would anyone purchase your products or services? What does your company stand for? What type of personality will your brand embody? What are your core values? What type of employees are you looking to hire? How do your products and/or services compare to others (brand positioning)? If your brand message is vague, it will make it difficult for your employees to sell, for your partners to help, for your customers to refer others, and most importantly for your business to grow.

Your brand message is the image that you create for your potential customers because perception is reality. When someone new visits your website or social media pages what image do they see? What tone of voice does your brand use? The first question you’ll need to be able to convey right away is what is your service or product then who is it for or what problem does it solve? With so many distractions online, customers want to be able to identify those two important messages before spending any more time on your website or social media pages. The next message that you need to convey is why your service or product is better than your competition (positioning). What is your competitive value? Is it better service, nature-friendly, charitable, or cost efficient?

You can also include your tagline or mission statement within your brand message. Another important element is creating a personality for your brand. This can help determine the tone of voice you use on your website and social media content. Will your brand use trendy lingo, comedic tone, or formal/professional tone? Your brand message and positioning will set the tone for the rest of your company. It can help you determine what type of employees to hire, what kind of organizations to collaborate with, what type of events to host, and most importantly, what type of service to offer.


The fastest way to lose your customer is through inconsistency. Customers expect consistent delivery of your brand message, quality of your service and products. Imagine having someone follow you as you drive to a destination. It would be difficult to follow if you are inconsistent with your speed and direction with sudden turns and lack of turn signals. You can really loose them and worst, they may give up following you and just turn around and go elsewhere.

Social media makes it more convenient for customers to provide and share reviews about your business. Customers are more apt to spend more time elaborating a bad experience over a good one.  They will film and post a video to discourage anyone else from doing business with your company in the future. Customers take their treatment very personal because they understand that they can take their money somewhere else and choosing your brand means you have an obligation to serve them. When customers’ feelings are hurt, they

When your brand message is inconsistent, your customers will get confused and confusion is the prelude to frustration. Be clear on what your brand is about, what you stand for, what you promise to deliver and deliver what you actually promise.

Inconsistency is also reflected in the little things like the flyers you create, the social media images your upload, the type of information you publish. Have you ever stopped to appreciate the fact that Target or Walmart store layouts are similar across the country? You know what you are getting yourself into when you enter their store. You spend money buying concert tickets to your favorite celebrities because you know what to expect. You are scarred for life the moment they disappoint you. If you are super loyal, you will keep giving them chances but think about what it took to get someone to be in that superior level of loyalty? I bet it took years of consistency. Customers will not give you loyalty after one, two, or three amazing experiences. You are lucky if customers even show you loyalty these days. There are just so many options available and your best chance of customer loyalty is delivering consistent high quality service, value and product.



The most common and silent misconception, I find, is that small business owners think that budgets are only for established corporations. I referred to it as silent because no one really says it out loud but that is the sense I get when I advise people to set a budget.

Start with $100 a month if you’re skeptical. What’s $100 in one month anyway? You probably spend that on coffee, junk food and other frivolous things. Besides, marketing expenses are write offs for your business. Start with $100 per month for your digital marketing budget. Use that money to boost your posts on Facebook, Instagram, or try Google ad words.

Be strategic with how you are spending your marketing budget. At first you won’t really know what will work so feel free to try something and be sure to track the results. At the end of your campaign ask yourself what did your money kick back in return? Did you gain more likes? Did you receive more inquiries on your services? Did you get more sales? Did you meet more new customers at your event? Keep a record of how much you spent, what you spent it on and what the return of your investment is. Keep making adjustments until you gain more confidence with what works for you and it won’t be because you are guessing. It will be because you have tried and tested it. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing exactly what you are doing and that there’s a method to your madness. You will only reach that point if you allow yourself to go through a trial and error phase.

Marketing is one of the largest principles in business management. It involves a lot of creativity and patience that most entrepreneurs just don’t have time for. By remembering the seven (7) deadly sins that you must avoid, I am confident that it can help improve your ROI.

Top 3 Things Business Owners Must Improve

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Most business owners are challenged with the basic principles of marketing. Too many skip the process of building a business and marketing plan. Most fail to realize that without a plan, profitable opportunities may be missed due to lack of goal planning. Without quantifiable goals businesses find it hard to stay focus.

Beyond profit goals businesses should also consider expansion, talent procurement, digital impressions, brand campaign launch events, calendar of promotions, competitive advantage, social media calendar, community relations, public relations, training, email marketing, mobile marketing, strategic partnerships and more!

The sad truth is that “they” won’t come just because you built it. It takes a serious amount of tenacity to bring people into your place of business. You’ve got to nurture your business for survival. You have to network and build strong community partnerships because people buy from people they like.

In my years of helping businesses elevate their marketing strategy, here are the top three common challenges they face.

Business owners need help in managing their online presence. We used to rely on yellow books but that is now a thing of the past. Your online presence is important because (according to the Global Digital report) there are 7.395 billion people in the world and 3.4 billion are online – that’s 46%!!!

In America, there are 997 million people and 665 are online – that’s 67%!  These numbers are undeniable. Don’t get me started with social media users and the percentage of smart phone users. Let’s just say that online marketing HAS to be a part of your plan.

The question you must ask yourself is how much to budget for online marketing per month. What’s $100 per month if it could put your business in front of a few thousand select and targeted viewers? Newspaper and other print advertising are slowly phasing off the market. TV ads and radio ads are immeasurable unless you’re offering a promotion that you will be able to track.

Business owners need new ideas to attract more clients. To attract new clients, you must do things you’ve never done before. Try going to your competitors’ stores to study what they do that you may be able to replicate. Follow top brands on social media with intent to improve your own. Take better and more thoughtful photos of your products and write better posts. Invest in social media advertising to reach people in your target market. Run ads continuously for as long as you want people to learn about your business. Social media ads should be a part of your marketing budget.

Attend your local Chamber of Commerce networking events and if you are good at public speaking, volunteer to speak at local Rotary Clubs or college classes.

Coming up with new ideas is a lot easier when you are exposed to new environments. Meeting new and like-minded people can help inspire you.

Business owners need to restructure their brand image and message. Consumers buy from companies they trust. Branding is the journey of building trust between product and consumers. To build brand trust, a company must be consistent, honest, informational and must stand for something. You have to communicate well using various platforms such as social media. Fortunately, nowadays, social media is readily available to everyone. Imagine what it must have been like 20 years ago when social media isn’t easy and getting the word out was more tedious and expensive?

Take the time to build a strong brand message. Read up on other companies “about us” section and create something that you can be proud of. After creating your brand message, be sure to always reflect that in everything and every posts you publish online.

Create a list of core values for your company. This is a list of values that you want your employees to abide by. It’s also a great list of values to stick to when evaluating what opportunities would be worth exploring. Decide what kind of message you want to relay through your social media channels. Aim to make a positive impact in the lives of your consumers.

Clients who need help most likely need brand restructuring and more brand exposure. It’s easy to lose sight of the basics once the life of your business takes off. It’s important to spend time creating a marketing plan to help guide you to success.

AWARD-WINNING… what it means to me.

2015 was a year of recognition for many of my hard work. Earlier this year, at the annual ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) convention, I received 2 awards. The Silver MAXI award for Marketing Excellence and the U.S. Community Support Award for the West Region! Both awards were for the health and wellness program that I’ve developed at SouthBay Pavilion to help fight obesity in the community. The program, MALL-MENTUM includes four (4) free weekly fitness events, a bi-annual health fair, and other occasional fitness demos. Zumba Fitness, KOGA Fitness, Line Dancing, and Zumba for Kids are offered weekly at the shopping center with over 200 participants every week.

The MALL-MENTUM program stemmed from a prom dress drive in 2011 that was unsuccessful due to the fact that many of our teens are obese and the 80+ dresses that were collected for low-income Juniors and Seniors did not fit most of the candidates. The U.S. Community Awards was a competition among other major malls in the West Region and I’m so proud to have been chosen as the recipient.

In November, The Multicultural Motion Picture’s (MMPA) presented the 7th Annual “Lady In Red, Diamond Rose Awards” Gala which celebrated and recognized twelve deserving women for their contributions to the entertainment industry, media, philanthropy and community service. Denise O’Brien, CEO of Dome Entertainment served as the beautiful Co-Host for the exclusive event held at elegant Spice Affair Ballroom in Beverly Hills, CA.

The Multicultural Motion Picture Association (MMPA)’s 7th Annual “Lady in Red, Diamond Rose Awards” is a weekend soirée stated Jarvee Hutcherson, President of MMPA. The prestigious Diamond Rose Awards were presented to the following honorees: Munni Irone (Philanthropist Award), Dr. Cherilyn Lee, Phd (Health Care Award), Dr. Estella Sneider (Media), Sweeney Mae Montinola (Community Service Award), Consuella “Connie” Mackey (Community Service Award), Sue Wong (Fashion Award), April Sutton (International Global Award), Tata Sara – aka Tatyana Sarycheva-Kuzmina (Non Profit Organization Award), Tereza Mkhitaryan (Non Profit Organization Award), Lea Michelle Cash (Non Profit Organization Award), Dame Shellie Hunt (Motivational Speaker Award ) Jacqueline Nunn (Creative Arts & Crafts Award.

In December, I received two awards one from the Black Chamber of the City of Carson, for Marketing Excellence and the other from MAXX Promos as one of the TOP Filipinos in Los Angeles in the field of Marketing.

I’m extremely humbled and honored to have been recognized by many organizations that I’ve assisted in one way or another. As an ‘Award-Winning’ Professional, I am committed to upholding the standards to which I have grown accustomed to with my career, my craft, customer service, and in developing my relationships with organizations I work with.

Receiving recognition and winning awards mean that I have an obligation to continue mentoring the younger generation through my career and showing them the essence of tenacity, determination, and work ethic. Everything we do has a cause and effect, whether its something small or great, our actions contribute and affect the society one way or another. We have to hold ourselves responsible for the quality of our lives and the lives of our future children. We have to lead by example and know that we are being watched by more people than want to. Social media has greatly extended our capabilities of reaching the masses and we have to be mindful of the content we release into the world. Receiving awards is not just for show, it is a symbol of respect and acceptance of a greater responsibility that is my legacy and could potentially change the world.

I wish to bring happiness, laughter, motivation, and inspiration to as many people as possible. As an immigrant (now U.S. Citizen), I dedicate my awards and achievements to other immigrants that speak more than one language, who had to struggle (or are currently struggling) to fit in and compete with millions of other people who have more advantages and resources. I never would have imagined to be where I am today. I still have a lot of work to do but I am happy to know that I’ve come so far.


SWEENEY MAE SOCIAL MEDIAAs a Marketing Professional that often speaks, coaches, and teaches social media classes, I have certain apps that I often use both on my iOS and my Android phone.

If you are even just a little bit familiar with social media management, you know that images, videos, and purposeful posts are the type that receive higher engagement rates. Not only do you have to be strategic with your posts but you also have to make sure that you are branding everything or most things that you are putting on the web.

These top 10 apps are my favorite apps. Some of these apps are exclusive to one phone system but in due time, I’m sure these are all going to be available on both systems.

 1. Instasize for iOS and Instashot for Android. These used to be exclusive for the respective phone systems they’re now available on both. These apps can save you from having to crop parts of your photo to fit on Instagram’s perfect square rule. If you haven’t yet realized, the best size for Instagram is a perfect square size. Stop cropping and start “instasizing”.

2. Flipagram. I am growing to like this app more and more every day. The number one feature is the slideshow function. You are able to select a number of photos, select the music, choose the speed, and the length of the slideshow. The best part is that they have a top 40 hit selection of music available for use. Sometimes, Facebook automatically removes these posts due to copyright issues but 15 seconds on Instagram hasn’t been a problem.

3. Repost App available on iOS and Android. If you love Instagram, you will love this app. This allows you to repost any favorite photos or videos on Instagram. There are image and video editing functions within this app. Reposts will automatically have a logo at the bottom of the photo but you can purchase an upgrade to remove this function.

4. Add Watermark for android and Ezy Watermark for iOS are great apps for branding. You can now add your logo on every photo that you post on social media. I recommend that you save a .png version of your logo, send it to yourself, and save it on your phone. Files with a .png extension are images without a background.

5. Videoshow for iOS and android and iMovie for iOS are video editing apps. What I love about these apps is the friendly user interface. You can trim videos, add music, filters, and design templates to your video. It also allows you to splice in photos as well as stickers and texts. The sticker function on Video Show allows you to upload your own logo and add it to your video. The iMovie doesn’t have the sticker function but it has beautiful templates, transitions, and text on video options.

6. Stumble Upon app is available both on iOS and Android. This is a great app for content curation.  When you open an account, you will be asked what your favorite topics are and you can then browse articles, blogs, fun tests, photographs, videos, discussions, and other interesting topics about subjects of your choice, I try to follow industry topics such as marketing, business, social media, graphics, as well as fun topics like recipes, DIY projects, etc.

7. Flipboard is a great tool to stay up to date with current news and topics. You can be one of the firsts to share the latest news about technology, entrepreneurship, art, stocks, products, and etc… If you have an android phone, it’s usually already a part of your pre-downloaded apps but iOS systems can download it on the app store. Who needs newspapers when you can just flip through the news? Oh, did I mention you can customize the type of news that appears on your feed?

8. Latergram app allows you to schedule multiple posts on instagram. It is said that it currently only allows up to 30 scheduled posts but I’m sure that will change soon, if it hasn’t already. The cool thing about this is that you can actually log on from your desktop to upload photos for scheduling! https://www.latergram.me/

 9. Font Candy on iOS and Photofy on Android in my opinion are the best apps to use when branding your photos. All those beautiful photos with quotes, texts, and inspirational sayings can be created with these apps. Both apps have great selection of fonts, filters, stickers, and frames. At the time of download, these were exclusive on both systems but they could possibly be available on both phones now.

10. Magisto and Animoto are my top two “trailer maker” apps. What that means is that these apps can create videos with amazing designs (templates) good to serve as your trailer or your recap video from an event or any activity. They are both available on iOS and android. With Magisto, it automatically creates some kind of trailer for you after you’ve taken so many photos in one sitting/day/venue. I recommend either one. They are free to download but you have options to pay for high definition video. If you need any of the videos for presentation. I personally have annual subscriptions to both as I use video as a marketing strategy for all of my projects and events. This doesn’t mean I eliminate hiring a videographer for professional presentations. It just means I can create beautiful videos on the go!

Here’s a fun bonus:

BONUS: Phhhoto app. It’s not an image and it’s not quite a video… it’s a GIF maker. What is a GIF? It is a burst of photos automatically spliced together in a consecutive order for a fun and funky way to share moving photos. Try it! It’s fun and free!

Well there you have it! These are the top apps I use on a regular basis that makes my social media management part fun and part easy! You have to equipt yourself with tools that will make it fun and easy for you to provide content to your followers. Do not forget that as much as you spend time to post, you must make time to engage with followers as well as review your analytics data if available. All of the mobile apps are free to download but some of them have in-app purchases available. Don’t be afraid to spend a few dollars to make your posts look better. Remember that people correlate the quality of what you put out there to the quality of your brand.


Planning events require high level creativity not only with coordination but as well as with collaboration. A skilled event producer is also a skilled networker. Someone who knows how to utilize their “rolodex” when needed.

Another important aspect of event production is marketing. Marketing includes a plethora of practices and principles that can help achieve attendance or profit goals.

When planning events, you must not neglect the importance of Marketing.
Here are a few questions you should keep in mind when planning your next event.

1. Who’s your target audience and how can you reach them?
What type of audience do you seek? Who’s needs are you fulfilling with this event? What is their income range? What platforms must you use to increase the visibility of your event and your message?

Will it be through print ads, social media, radio, tv, or all of the above? If you choose social media, there are numerous ways to target your audience with which you have to decide your demographic choices. What age range, what zip codes, and etc… which social media platform will be most useful for your visibility? Are you familiar with the statistics of the platform of your choice

2. What strategy are you going to use to effectively convey your message.
Will it be a series of photos, a social media contest, an advertisement, attending other events, a public announcement, a celebrity endorsement, a political endorsement, a community movement, print ads, direct mail, or social media?
Will the platform you choose efficiently present your message?
The message is just as important as your event. Ultimately, you are targeting audience that are like-minded. It’s not about casting the widest net. It’s more about casting an accurate net.

3. What does your promotional calendar (leading up to your event) look like?
A great event deserves a strategic plan. A part of that plan should be a calendar planning out your promotional campaign. What messages should be pushed out on what date? Which flyers should be posted on what date? What announcements should be scheduled to keep the excitement going? When should press releases be distributed?

4. Who are your event partners and how are you going to leverage those partnerships?
You should always seek partnership from other complimentary businesses and organizations in the community. Find a way to help them by being a part of your event. Select those with a big following so their followers may attend your event as well. To do this, you must expend efforts in creating campaigns for the partners you choose. If you wish for them to promote the event, it will be up to you to create materials for them to use for promotion.

Remember that everyone wants to feel important and the more important your partners feel, the more they will gravitate towards your event.

This is your “baby” you should not rely on anyone else to care for the success of your event as you do. Don’t assume that your partners and volunteers will voluntarily promote and know what to say. You must give them a list of post ideas and photos to choose from. Or simply ask them to share your posts.

5. How are you going to encourage partners, volunteers, and staff to take ownership of your event and promote it on their social media?
It’s not easy to rely on your volunteers to promote the event on their social media which is why, you must find a beneficial reason for them to promote your event.
When you have meetings, encourage them to post by spending quality social media time. Perhaps on the first 15 minutes of your meeting, you should ask everyone to post something about the event. Make it happen. Don’t leave it up to them to do on their spare time.

6. Who is in charge of social media during the event?
As the producer of the event, you need not be isolated on a corner doing social media tasks. Assign 1-2 people in advance to take care of live postings through out the event.
Social Media managers are just as important as photographers.

7. How will your event improve your audience lifestyle? Or how will it solve their needs?
Your message must convey that their needs are being met. Afterall, that’s what all these big corporation and brands do. They show you things you didn’t know you needed!
What is their takeaway?

8. How will you continue the excitement after the event?
Your job is not done after the event. Now you must continue to build the buzz at least for one week after your event. Release the photos from the event, repost any photos posted by your attendees that night using your hashtag. Present the results. Publicly thank the key players and any specific attendees. Basically, re-live the moments and make those who didn’t attend feel like they missed out and use that moment to promote your next event.

9. How will you encourage your partners to work with you again?
Take the time to publicly thank your partners. Also, send them a hand written note. Scour through your vast selection of photos and find photos that could be useful for them and share it. Maybe it’s a photo of a crowded line at their booth or a photo of attendees having a good time at their table. Put yourself in your partners shoes and send them anything that they would be proud to share to their followers.

10. How can you ensure a more successful event the next time around?
Ask for testimonials from your happy attendees and partners. Create a short video that you can use to promote your next event.
Remember to have that post event meeting and keep your notes regarding suggested improvements for your next event. Send your attendees a short survey and consider their suggestions.

I hope this has opened you up to delve more into the strategy of event production and marketing. One thing is for sure, it’s not an easy task! It requires a creative and tenacious mind.




After watching the latest movie about Hercules, I can’t help but notice (right away) the importance of marketing that this movie focused on.

The movie begins with his nephew telling what sounded like tall tales about Hercules and his victory against impossible opponents. Hercules’ nephew, Lolaus, was definitely the PR person of their group.

Lolaus was caught in a bind. Hands and feet tied up on a rope, above ground, with a sharp object right underneath ready to catch him when the rope snaps. The villains agonized him by burning the rope that’s supporting him from what looked like a painful death.  While in agony, all he can talk about was his uncle’s godly strenght. That Hercules will kill them all in one blow.

Hercules finally comes from the shadows and kills many men by himself or so they thought. Hercules traveled with his team and they are all in tune with the marketing strategy of glorifying the tales about him in hopes that the word will spread across the seas and kingdoms will pay them a lot of money for their service. So you see, this approach is very similar to those of us who are building a celebrity brand a.k.a. a personal brand.You need people to speak about you in a way that will earn you respect even before you perform. And even if people doubt your capabilities, they will soon realize that you can deliver above and beyond.

One of Hercules’ fighter, Autolycus, even emphasized to Lolaus that the stories he tells needed to be grander so that when people hear about Hercules from across the seas, they will tremble in fear. This was how they made their fortune, by being independent contractors for kingdoms who needed a strong army of fighters to kill their oponents.

Hercules built a great team around him. His team believes in him more than he believes in himself and they all understood the importance of making him look and sound undefeated. The whole team understood that Hercules had to be the face of their group.Even during battles, Lolaus narrated every move that Hercules and his team made. I love the humor in it.

In building a strong brand, it’s important to be consistent and to tell stories in support of your brand. When the time comes for you to perform, make sure you over deliver. Having a great team is also beneficial but like most start ups, you are doing everything by yourself. Write stories or bios about yourself in third person perspective. That way it doesn’t feel like you’re bragging. Use those stories as content in your ‘about us’ section of your website. Book interviews on podcasts or stay active on social media so you can be first in mind when your services or products are needed. Ask your customers to write testimonials about you and utilize their point of view as a branding strategy.

If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s on Netflix. Tell me what you think about Hercules an his team’s marketing strategy on the comment box below.


I love helping others. I love giving people ideas on how to be creative with their branding message or their business until one day, a person very dear to my heart told me to stop giving away ideas for free. That people need to pay me for everything I come up with. That I’m short-changing myself and doing myself a disservice by freely advising or sharing ideas.

It dawned on me that maybe that person was right? What was I thinking wasting ideas on people who aren’t paying me my worth! So I became fearful with sharing free advice or tips.

Until I came across Maya Angelou’s quote (below). It helped confirm what I knew deep in my gutt that I’m not the least bit worried about the ideas I share or the free advice I give others because I genuinely want to help. I realized after talking to numerous people that I never really get stumped when it comes time for thinking of ideas. My ideas flow like Niagra Falls baby! 🙂

So I stopped fearing that I will run out of ideas and most especially, I stopped fearing that people are running away with free advice because guess what???? I also realized that people who try to run with my ideas don’t really know what to do next, so eventually they need me to execute it!

Join our #12dayquotes challenge. Share 12 of your favorite quotes in 12 days. Also share a story of how this quote has impacted your life.


14 Day Tips Challenge to Boost your Social Media Engagement


I’d like to invite you to join our 14 Day Tips Challenge to help boost your social media engagement.

It’s so easy to join! Simply create graphics for your tips by choosing an existing photo and using a mobile app to add text on your photo. Brand it with your logo, website, name or social media handle and use the hashtags: #14daytips and #thelisttour and post it on all your social media channels. Don’t hold back!

You are an expert in your own field. Don’t downplay what you know because some of the things you find basic or common are new information to others.

I will repost some of the great tips and you will give your followers a reason to engage by liking, commenting, and sharing your images/tips.

Would what do you say? Are you in or are you in?

Watch my video (link below) explaining the 14 Day Tips Challenge in detail.

Continue reading “14 Day Tips Challenge to Boost your Social Media Engagement”