Archive for the ‘Using Socia Media for P.R.’ Category

Paid Social Media Content: To Disclose or Not to Disclose Sponsorship? The FTC Weighs In.

May 13, 2016

The FTC says social media influencers should clearly disclose if they’re being paid to endorse a product with language like #sponsored, but the social media world appears to wrestling and even conflicted on how to handle paid endorsements.


It’s a new form of advertising but it doesn’t look like an ad to the average consumer.  In fact, many shoppers now find the latest fashion trends, beauty products and vacation destinations from social media outlets like Instagram and blogs and while many bloggers are paid to show off things “they love” they are not always disclosing that they were paid for “their love of a product.”

Broadcasters and public relations professionals are well aware of the rules of paid spokesperson disclosures, but social media influencers are navigating new waters when it comes to adding “hashtag sponsored” to their Facebook post, Tweet or Instragram photo.  Reporter Jenna Susko of KNBC in Los Angels filed a report on their own investigation into the increased and borderline epidemic of product bombs hitting the social media newsfeeds and raised concerns that consumers are being manipulated by posters who have a hidden agenda.

KNBC Jenna Susko

Check out their newscast on on how the undisclosed brand sponsorships of popular bloggers on social media accounts are raising concerns for the FTC.

Bottom line, if a post is sponsored, it should disclose it in some way.  A natural way to blend it in to the post is to say you’ve “teamed with XYZ company” and only agree to endorse products that you genuinely like so as not to mislead followers and fans.  Others can dislike the product, but if you authentically like it, it’s an honest statement and honesty is always the best policy.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe


Facebook Sees Big Spike in Small Businesses Paying to Advertise, But Is Small Biz Seeing an ROI?

March 2, 2016

For almost a decade, businesses have been able to set up a free fan page on Facebook and reach their customers and clients for free, but in 2012, Facebook introduced a new feature: companies could pay to put their posts onto more peoples’ news feeds. First on “CBS This Morning,” the tech giant is revealing that 50 million small businesses now have pages on Facebook. Three million of them are paid advertisers, a 50 percent increase in just the past year.

Facebook LIKES

Small businesses are paying to use social media, in hopes of boosting their bottom line and a recent survey by Manta, a small business directory, found that Facebook is by far the top social network used by small businesses and delivers the most value. But 59 percent of small business owners say they don’t see a return on their investment from their overall social media efforts including Facebook, Google+, Linkedin and Twitter. Read more

IMPORTANT:  The preceding blog post is shared from CBS This Morning.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe


Five Essential New Tactics for a Successful Tourism Marketing Strategy in 2016

October 7, 2015

Coastal View

[Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Photo Credit: Marianne Schwab]

Thinking about your 2016 marketing plan? Here are five new tactics to help tourism marketers attract more visitors from social media.

Wherever travelers go in 2016, they’ll be using social media to discover the best spots, plan their itinerary, and share their memories with friends.

The challenging (but also rewarding) part about social media is that it doesn’t sit neatly in one place of your visitor’s journey. Instagram might be where visitors first get inspired to learn more about your venue or destination. But it’s also where they learn about a local hike or decide to visit your wine region while visiting.

In this article, I’ll share five tactics that will help you build a successful tourism marketing strategy in 2016. These are based on interviews with destination marketing experts and strategies we see working in the travel industry.  Read More

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:  The preceding blog post is shared from HootSuite.  Five tactics are detailed are on their blog post.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Airlines, Hospitality & Travel Companies Listen Up! Travelers Hate Irrelevant Communications

July 29, 2015

We saw this very interesting blog on Bulldog Reporter thanks to their Twitter feed and since we have many travel industry clients, this is a must share.

Consumers are growing increasingly frustrated with the amount of untargeted marketing offers sent by airlines and travel providers, according to Grounded by Untargeted Marketing: Travelers Frustrated with Airline, Travel and Hospitality Communications, a new survey of more than 500 travelers from travel-focused customer intelligence platform Boxever. In fact, for 55% of consumers and 58% of business travelers, three out of every four travel offers received are completely irrelevant to their needs and preferences.

“The volume of untargeted and poorly-personalized communications sent by travel companies is surprising—especially considering the amount of customer data available to brands today,” said Dave O’Flanagan, co-founder and CEO of Boxever, in a news release. “The travelers we surveyed made it clear that they are not receiving the level of personalized and value-orientated offers they desire, which affects how they plan to engage with brands in the future.”

Read more

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Infographic: Ways to Improve Organic Reach with Facebook

July 1, 2015

Have you noticed a decrease in engagement and audience on your fan page?  According to an infographic from QuickSprout, organic reach has dropped 49 percent since October 2013.

Although Facebook’s algorithm might be responsible for a slowdown in your Facebook engagement and reach, there are things you can do to increase your organic reach. Here is an infographic to teach you how to increase your organic reach.

How to Improve Your Facebook’s Organic Reach
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

So you see, optimizing your organic reach isn’t rocket science and if you use Facebook to analyze your fans, you can gain insights to grow your reach.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

How The World Uses Twitter [Infograpic]

June 22, 2015

Want to know how the world uses Twitter? There are over 270 million Tweeps around the world actively tweeting 140 characters at a time. It’s a great social networking platform for businesses to communicate with their clients or customers, gain new prospects, and even drive traffic to their website or blog.

But just because lots of people are on Twitter doesn’t mean they all use it the same way. This infographic offers some unique insight into demographics on typical Tweeter.

Infographic courtesy of

how the world uses twitter

I hope you enjoyed these Twitter statistics.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe


FTC Puts Social Media Marketers on Notice with New Disclosure Guidelines

June 15, 2015


The U.S. agency updates its FAQ page for endorsement requirements for the first time since 2010. The new guidance could precede a crackdown.

If you hire celebrities or influencers to talk up your brand or if you hold contests with promotional tie-ins to social media, it might be time for a proper-disclosure check up.

That’s because the Federal Trade Commission, the agency that enforces U.S. truth-in-advertising laws, appears to be sending get-tougher signals.

Late last month, the FTC updated the “What People Are Asking” page for its Endorsement Guides for the first time since 2010. The FTC’s basic message — that material relationships read more

IMPORTANT:  The preceding blog post is shared from Marketing Land and contains essential information for all Marketing and P.R. Pros.  The FCC has similar disclosure rules for broadcast media as well.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Eight of the Biggest Social Media Mistakes Brands Make and How To Solve Them

June 4, 2015

What are the biggest social media mistakes that brands make on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? There are many blunders, but here are some of the most prevalent ones and how to solve them.

Pushing out one sided “ads” for a product. Nothing is more of a turn off in the social media world than only promoting your product, brand or service. No one wants to be “sold.”

Not sharing or re-tweeting useful information that is related to the product. Think about ways to be helpful to people so they will want to follow you or your brand and that includes retweeting or sharing info that’s relevant when it makes sense to your product or brand. Share relative industry or consumer info that compliments your product, brand or service. For example, if you have a sports product, tweet, retweet and/or share info on complimentary products or health tips.

Failing to interact with followers or fans and forgetting that the name of the game is “social” media. Social media is not only about how many likes or retweets your posts receive and claiming the metrics as “success.” Support and engage your followers and fans in a genuine and authentic manner. Have fun, be real, but be careful. Don’t overshare or be too casual. Use the unique social media opportunity to connect with product and brand fans and convert them into what Peter Shankman calls “Zombie Loyalists.”

Marianne Schwab and Peter Shankman

Marianne Schwab and Peter Shankman

Not actively managing social media platforms. In today’s 24/7 world, it is imperative that your social media accounts are actively managed to prevent a crisis or to respond to one. There has never been a time in history where a company has immediate access to its customers (and visa versa) and have to hope and pray that broadcast and/or print media gets your company message out during a crisis.   Don’t just issue a press release. Proactively use social media resources.

Forgetting that social media platforms work differently. Social media platforms are not created equal to one another and have different “rules” and personalities. It is important to understand how each one interacts with users to avoid a complete fiasco. Twitter works very differently from Facebook or Instagram and people may use one or all of these resources to connect with their social networks, but they use them in different ways and sometimes for different audiences in their social networks (for example, for family and friends only versus business colleagues).

Not following your local reporters and anchors. Twitter and Facebook offer amazing opportunities to connect and build relationships with reporters and anchors. Be helpful to them and engage them outside of pitching them so that when you do have a great pitch for their publication or program, they’ll know you and respect you because you’ve built a relationship.

Not having an active blog that connects to consumers to steer fans and followers to your social media channels. Blogs are one of the most neglected and overlooked ways to connect with people who love your product or brand. First, if you use search engine optimization correctly, new consumers will find your brand or may be converted to it because you can establish credibility and trust. Second, use the company blog to provide great info that will educate them on your industry (not just your product) and provide complimentary content or resources and make sure the blog is not “faceless.” Designate an expert in the company or several experts in the company to write the blog. For example, if you have a vitamin company and have an R.D. on staff or a CEO who has nutritional credentials, they should share their expertise.

Not being an active social media user. The biggest reason that so many companies make social media mistakes that hurt their brand or product is because they are not immersed in the social media world themselves. You can read about it. You can rely on consultants and experts, but the best way to truly get the most out of this tool is to use it for yourself.


Marianne Schwab and Gary Vaynerchuck

I actively engage on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and it makes a dramatic difference to my understanding of the social media world.   I met Gary Vaynerchuk in 2011 and was concerned that I was late to the social media party and he encouraged me that it was just getting started. I now have a respectable 11,450 Twitter followers (and growing) as @TravelProducer and my travel blog gets a steady 50,000 plus page views monthly. I have also actively co-hosted Twitter parties for #NUTS, #TNI, and #FRIFOTOS over the years in addition to growing other Twitter accounts to thousands of targeted followers easily and quickly.

It’s not too late to readjust your social media strategy to use this exciting media tool effectively for your public relations campaigns and more.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Copyright (c) 2015. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.



The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Goes Viral with Big Results

August 19, 2014

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral and with big results. According to the ALS Association, it has received $15.6 million in donations between July 29 and August 18 (and then more than doubled that number in the next two days to $31.5 million)* from people who took videos of themselves being doused with ice cold water. That’s a phenomenal increase over $1.9 million during the same time period last year.

I first became aware of the Ice Bucket Challenge last week when I was screening an episode of Today Kathie Lee and Hoda and watched Hoda get doused with a bucket of ice water. The next thing I know, I see videos popping up all over Facebook with my friends and family sharing their videos accepting the Ice Bucket Challenge. It was then I started to see the ALS fundraising mentioned (while secretly hoping that I don’t get nominated for the challenge since I’m a real baby when it comes to dousing myself with freezing cold water, so guess I’ll be writing a check).

Celebrities have been accepting the challenge on air in various TV programs which have been digitized and made sharable via social media. Everyone from Oprah to Lady Gaga to Ben Stiller, plus politicians, athletes, and thousands of everyday Americans have been posting videos of themselves online participating in the event.

More than 1.2 million videos have been shared on Facebook showing the challenge between June 1st and Aug. 13th and Twitter estimates that the Ice Bucket Challenge has been discussed in more than 2.2 million tweets.

You can never really know why something goes viral since it is so difficult to cut through the white noise, but social media has played a big role in the phenomenal success of this fundraising promotion and created a synergistic phenom.

Why has this simple idea exploded?

  • Social media has made it possible to spiral viral across all platforms from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others.
  • The challenge is simple, fun and plays to the “I dare you to do it.”
  • The challenge is designed with a continued call to action to keep it moving (the Pay It Forward principle.)
  • It’s for an important and charitable cause – ALS Research – and makes people feel good to help the cause.
  • And let’s not forget the timing. It’s summertime and it’s HOT outside. I don’t know if this would have caught on the same way in January when it’s freezing.

This campaign will be one for the history books as a model for future concepts to get people involved.  Any attempts to duplicate it’s success must be met with simplistic creativity.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge campaign is one I hope keeps growing since ALS has touched my life in a very personal way. My childhood friend, Joe Eades, lost his courageous battle with ALS in April of 2010.  The photo below was taken eight months before and I treasure that visit during a trip to Denver.  The disease had progressed so that he needed a wheelchair for mobility but he was still able to carry on conversations and he was in good spirits.  Joe invited me to join  his family for dinner that night as they ordered in pizza. It was the last time I would see him this side of heaven.

Joe Eades 2009

I sponsored Joe in fund raising activities to find a cure after he was diagnosed and I know he would love the Ice Bucket Challenge. He would be the sort of guy who would enthusiastically accept the challenge and then go on to nominate three more people to accept his challenge and keep it going.


*UPDATE: As of August 28th, reports that they have raised $94.3 Million since July 29th.  A simple idea that snowballed dramatically!

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Copyright (c) 2014. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.


Green Screen is Not Leprechaun Friendly

March 18, 2014

If you’ve ever worked with green screen (and we use it for several projects each year), you know that it is not “leprechaun” friendly, so if you’re a meteorologist on St. Patrick’s Day, just be prepared to get pinched since you cannot wear green – at least you can’t wear it on-the-air.

Maria Molina Meteorologist 03-17-14I saw this fun photo being shared on Facebook today from FOX News Channel’s Meterologist, Marina Molina, that is a great example of the technical problem when you wear green with green screen.

And, for Groundhog Day fans (the movie, not the actual day), how can you forget the scene with Andie McDowell who plays a TV news producer having some fun with the chroma key weather set.


The key to doing the best green screen shots involve not keying a static photo backdrop, but a moving video backdrop instead to provide an on location look and feel along with proper lighting.  All of our travel satellite media tours with Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom, use this technique beautifully.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

Peace and lucky charms,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Copyright (c) 2014. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.