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Trick or Treat

Posted on October 29, 2012 by Active

All Hallows Eve – love, love, love!! Halloween has always been one of my favourite ‘holidays’, with the exception of Christmas, of course – presents trump candy!

Anyway, personally being one of those people that love watching scary movies all alone, past midnight, with all lights off, a bowl of popcorn and the blankets pulled all the way over my head, because obviously if some supernatural being was going to pop out of nowhere my flimsy blanket would be all the protection I would need, duh, Halloween is a natural fit.

When I was younger Halloween was all about costumes and candy, still kind of is, however the concept behind All Hallows Eve has always been of interest to me and I have always been interested in the traditions behind it, such as carving Jack-o’-lanterns, games like bobbing for apples and Halloween costumes.

Below are a few of my favourite tidbits about Halloween that I thought you might find interesting –

Bobbing for Apples

In ancient times, the apple was viewed as a sacred fruit that could be used to predict the future. Bobbing for apples is one of the traditional games used for fortune-telling on Halloween night. It was believed that the first person to pluck an apple from the water-filled bucket without using their hands would be the first to marry.

If the bobber lucked out and caught an apple on the first try, it meant that they would experience true love, while those who got an apple after many tries would be fickle in their romantic endeavors. Another myth was that if a girl put her bobbed apple under her pillow on Halloween night, she would dream about her future husband.

Read more…

Instagram: another powerful Social Media Tool for Business?

Posted on October 22, 2012 by Active

The power of social media in today’s world is inevitable, especially when it comes to building a brand and creating brand awareness. We’ve all read about the remarkable success that websites like Facebook have brought forth to emerging brands, start-ups, and even major corporations. The underlying fact that an existing or potential consumer is able to interact with a specific brand/service anytime online makes for a strong marketing tool.

This is highly relevant when it comes to young adults, who are constantly on the lookout for innovative and fun ways to interact with a brand – and the more that a brand attracts their attention, the higher the brand’s visibility. Let’s look at Instagram for instance, which is a “fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures.” Certain brands can incorporate this effective tool to reach out to consumers. I truly believe that people, more than ever, are learning about brands and interacting with them through visual cues as opposed to traditional texts that serve as a key messaging tool. With Instagram, posting pictures is literally the only option that a user has. For this reason, I think that people will remember what they saw (in this case, a brand’s products, the team members, etc.) and so they will become more likely to be aware of what the brand does.

This notion is also personal at some level, creating sort of a trust between a company and its consumers, thus lessening the distance that exists in between them. Even though this is achievable through Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, there just seems to be something difference about Instagram given that it solely relies on pictures and nothing else. However, this of course is not the case for all brands out there – I think it’s highly relevant for tech companies, e-commerce, and the hospitality sector for example. Let’s take Belkin as an example, one of our fun Clients whom we have the pleasure to PR for – their iPhone/iPad accessories, keyboards, etc. are all a range of products that can be Instagrammed!

Not only will audiences remember their products, but also the funky filters that can be added to the photos will make the products look even more interesting than they already are. It’s interesting to see the pace at which some companies are already using Instagram to their advantage, reaching out to consumers and target audiences at an ever-increasing rate. And while Instagram is not as popular as Facebook or Twitter, it does have a lot of potential in terms of heightening brand awareness. Additionally, Instagram (like Twitter) integrates the hashtag (#) option – so brands can use this for instance to promote their products, events, and their brand as a whole.

Finally, Instagram is exclusively available on handheld devices, which people nowadays presumably spend more time on than their personal laptops. Thus, accessing a brand becomes so practical for consumers – and companies in return can use this powerful tool to positively amplify their brand image.

Follow Active PR on Instagram: activepr is our user name. Or follow the feed from our Facebook page.

Social media and brand storytelling

Posted on October 1, 2012 by Active

“Social media isn’t the end-all-be-all, but it offers marketers unparalleled opportunity to participate in relevant ways. It also provides a launchpad for other marketing tactics. Social media is not an island. It’s a high-power engine on the larger marketing ship.” – Matt Dickman

Here are some tips and ideas for your brand social media marketing sharing:

  1. When offering a contest at a live conference event, think about adding QR codes to the name badges. The QR code could contain a link to the competition – whether it is a simple sign up to the contest or “liking” of a Facebook fan page or to create new Twitter followers.
  2. Use paids ads in Facebook to accelerate successful content.
  3. According to the Pew Research Center’s Project for excellence in journalism, Facebook is among the leading drivers of traffic to 21 news websites. When sharing a good media story, don’t forget to plug it and link back to the page.
  4. The secret behind making it into friends “top news” feed is based on an algorithm” known as EdgeRank. Use words like “today”, “exclusive”, and “limited-time only” to increase your brands fan page EdgeRank.

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