Pro Tips to Hash-Tagging

Pro Tips to Hash-tagging

Hash-tagging gets your business’s name in “the know.” In a basic sense, it gives you a further reach, and a further reach means more followers.

The Hashtag


For a small company to make a big impact in a community, it needs to keep online content, especially hashtags, local. That doesn’t mean every hashtag needs to include the town or state you’re operating in, but it should definitely be included in at least a few. It’s all about your audience and target market, how they think and where they are.


If your service is lawn care, there’s no point posting “#couch #lion #lamp,” right? What would that do for your business? Absolutely nothing. Again, think about what is relevant to your current audience and the audience you are want to target and attract.

Out of the captions

Hashtags will help you get views, but you also don’t want to annoy the audience you already have. There’s not much worse than a tweet or Instagram post that’s mostly, if not all, hashtags. Use the hashtags strategically. Reply to one of your tweets or comment on your Instagram posts with them, it’s just as effective if not more.


Twitonomy: View the top 10 hashtags of any twitter user. Simply search their twitter handle and discover their frequently used hashtags. Want to know what a successful company in your industry is tweeting? This is an easy way! Another top 10 hashtag tool but based on a key word. Have a post about #art but not sure what related hashtags to tweet with it? Use to find out hashtags related to #art.

Twitter’s tailored trends: One of the most basic and free tools to figuring out what to tweet. The hashtags in the trending section on twitter are based on your location and who you follow. Your audience is key to your business, so knowing what they’re tweeting and care about will help you develop your tweets.

Supported platforms

It’s rare for a social media platform to not support hashtags. However, here are four social media sites where hashtags aren’t just supported–they’re used.

Facebook: Facebook is one of the newest social media sites that has added hashtag support. Hashtags link posts to a list of posts, by friends and non-friends, with the same hashtag.

Instagram: You can both link to and search hashtags on Instagram. Both will lead to two groups of Instagram posts with that hashtag in it: Top posts and most recent. It will also show related hashtags on the top of the page, a useful tool if you are stuck on other hashtags to add to your post.

Twitter: The first social media site to implement hashtags into their site. Twitter tracks trending hashtags, are used by journalists, for government updates, and to cover political and entertainment events. Twitter’s use of hashtags is more of a #livefeed. When searching a hashtag, there are three ways to filter the results: all, top, or people you follow.

Pinterest: Pinterest hashtags mark and search for content. Clicking on hashtags in a pin description directs results that contain the same hashtag.





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How Emotional Intelligence Will Lead to Success

InMark isn’t just a company; it’s a team that works thoroughly and efficiently to reach company and individual goals. One of those goals is team bonding and building. It’s a key aspect to the success of inMark and, really, any company, organization, or group that is shooting for the stars. One way inMark Media maintains team relationships is through emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to react to situations with control, empathy, self awareness and social awareness in a way that maintains relationships, is motivating, and self-regulating. In other words, it’s people skills. Yes, technical skills, IQ, experience using software and job-specific skills are all necessary for employment. But, what truly makes an outstanding leader outshine a good leader? Emotional intelligence.

It’s like working out

Emotional intelligence requires you to rewire your brain’s innate impulses and habits. Let’s look at an analogy:

Say you work out 5 days a week, every week, for 2 years. After two years, you’ve established discipline. You’ve trained your body to act a certain way, to change, and to develop. It probably wasn’t easy in the beginning to leave work and go straight to the gym or wake up at the crack of dawn to get on the treadmill. But, after 2 years these actions feel like the other aspects of your everyday life. You’ve created a habit!

That’s the whole concept behind emotional intelligence. The only difference? You’re ‘working out’ your mind instead of your body. Some people are naturally more self-aware or in-tune with people’s emotions, so developing emotional intelligence won’t be a struggle. Others are born into unfortunate situations and have deep-seeded family issues. These people may require more practice and mind training.

But, Regardless of our emotional brain makeup, we can consistently learn and develop emotional intelligence through plasticity, a “term that neurologists use to describe the brain’s ability to change” [1]. Over time, these practices will become intrinsic habits.

It creates trust

Understanding and maintaining control of your emotions will help you subdue the urge to act on an emotional impulse. Every human has emotions. They are our first reactions to any situation we are in. Gaining control of our emotions is not pretending they don’t exist; gaining control helps us accept our emotions and work them into our favor. Will you get mad that you weren’t offered the job you had been dreaming about? Probably. Should you slam your fist against the wall 15 times to let that anger out? Probably not.

Obviously, that’s an extreme example, but it gets the point across. With emotional intelligence, you understand your emotions, and you’re able to react to situations in a mannerly way. This is especially important for leadership positions. Leaders who are attempting to establish an environment that fosters success and improvement need to acquire employee trust. It’s human nature to be drawn to situations and cultures where we are treated fairly and equally.

For all aspects of life

Emotional intelligence, as a tool and as a way of life, is important to all aspects of

ultimate succession. Whether you’re acting as a leader to your employees, a father or mother to your children, or a teacher to your students, an advanced emotional intelligence creates habits that allow you to act properly. ‘Book smarts’ are important. But, understanding the emotions of others creates an environment that fosters productivity and success.





5 Localized Marketing tips for Small Businesses

The desire for local products is booming. Location searches that include words like “near me” “closest” or “nearby” According to Google Trends data, have increased 34 times from where they were in 2011. Of those searches, 50 percent visit a store within a day of their search, and 18 percent make a purchase. A company’s online presence, especially when targeting local costumers, is proportionate to their success.

  1. Embrace and promote testimonials

People are all about local. A “home-grown” product or service naturally attracts local potential customers. But, only if you can reach them. Testimonials are your way in to the local market.

When Sue hires you to paint her house, and then loves the job you did, she’ll most likely rave about your company to her friends. Now, imagine if you asked her to submit a review of your company on your website or Facebook page. Her praise will turn from a few local friends to a few hundred Facebook users.

Reviews are basically free advertisement. Even if you receive a bad review, a quality, well worded reply can turn the review into your favor.

  1. Create SEO content

Local content is local views which are local customers. Sounds simple, but if one of the three are absent, then so are the other two. To get the costumers you want, you need to answer the questions they have. Their issues are your issues.

Sue’s Painting company wishes to improve her site views. To do this, she wants to post SEO content to her page. So, she goes to her followers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and asks “What questions do you have about paint brands?” or “What questions do you have about using primer?”

When Sue gets costumer questions, she writes articles that answer their concerns. This will generate more views, which in turn generate more sales. Make sure the articles are interactive and easy on the eyes. See Tips for SEO Writing for more information.

  1. Stay active on social media

According to Pew Research Center “around seven-in-ten Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information and entertain themselves.” In total, about 69 percent of Americans use social media. That’s over half of all potential markets. Obviously, social media activity is important, but localizing your activity is a whole different battle.

Local hashtags on Instagram and Twitter can help with exposure. If you’re trying to promote your business to the local White Plains, New York market, you might want to use hashtags like “#Westchester” or “#WhitePlains.” Social media is free to use, so check out what hashtags your competitors are using, too.

Geotags are another tool that will increase the success of your social media content. Geotagging, according to Social Media Examiner, “is the process of attaching geographical data to photographs, videos, websites, status updates and even emails.” It can be done on multiple social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. Having a Geotag for your company lets other social media users tag your company’s location in their posts, too. AKA, even more exposure to your company!

  1. Advertise to your potential market only

If your target market are women aged 15 to 20, why would you advertise to 70-year-old men? The same goes for location. If your market is local, then target local. Promoting your business in a newspaper that spans multiple counties and states is a waste of your time and your money. Will costumers 3 hours away actually travel to your dental practice? Probably not. You’re better off focusing on a realistic radius. Like we said before, people love local.

Supermarket advertising is a great way to enhance your brand’s local recognition. The average person goes to the supermarket 2–3 times a week. That means if your company is advertising in the local supermarket, you’ll get an average of 3 exposures to your brand per person per week (pretty much guaranteed.)

  1. Get involved in the community

No matter the quality of your product or services, people love to support local businesses that support local causes. That’s why your business’s success will greatly increase with community involvement. Donate to a local 5k, run the 5k as a company, sponsor a volleyball team, serve on a board, or volunteer at a food bank.

People like to feel good about the choices they’re making, and the same goes for buying your product. So, promote a month long awareness or donation month, or give a dollar of each sale to a local cancer event. Whatever you do, keep it local.



Oneonta Increases Organic Stone Fruit Program in 2017

After an uncommonly cool spring, the Pacific Northwest is experiencing a later stone fruit season this year. But officials at Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers say harvest is bringing both great quality and increased volume, particularly in organics. The Wenatchee, Wash.-based grower-shipper expects the season’s volumes to be up 20-30 percent over last year with harvest starting around June 20 for organic and conventional apricots.

Grown in the Yakima region, apricots, nectarines, peaches, pluots and Italian prunes from Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers will meet late season demand as other areas wind down. This year’s chilly spring set the stone fruit bloom back two to three weeks compared to 2016, but the overall crop is maturing beautifully and abundantly, according to Scott Marboe, marketing director, Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers.

“We are expecting volume increases of 20 to 30 percent, especially on our apricots,” Marboe says. The apricots will ship through mid-August, and peak promotion time will fall during the first three weeks of July. The company is packing the fruit in its increasingly popular pouch bags.

Bruce Turner, national marketing representative for Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers, notes that organic apricots have made significant gains in popularity, and OSRG is both planting new trees and converting existing acreage to organic.

 “Most of the new organic apricots are the Robada variety,” says Bruce Turner, national marketing representative, Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers. “Our warm days and cool nights produce great eating stone fruit with exceptional color. It really is the best eating fruit available.”

“The organic apricots are packed in the Starr Ranch Organics label and high color varieties will packed in the Gourmet label,” Turner says. “The Gourmet program was brought back due to the high demand from last year. Only the best color and best flavor is packed in this label, and consumers can’t get enough of them!”

Peach harvest is expected to begin around July 20, and the season will go to the end of August. Organic peaches will start Aug. 5, Turner says. Peak promotion time for the fruit will be the middle weeks of August.

Both organic and conventional nectarines are expected to start July 25, and they will ship through the end of August. Turner says best promotion time for nectarines will be the first three weeks of July, and that a new organic white nectarine has been added to the mix this year. That variety will start Aug. 20 and finish the first week of September.

Conventional Italian fresh prunes will start the first week of August and finish the end of the month, and the last stone fruit item to ship from the company will be an organic pluot. The Flavor Grenade variety will start Sept. 1 and run for two weeks.


ShopRite and American Bone Health Launch Calcium Challenge

ShopRite Supermarkets and American Bone Health have partnered together to offer “The Calcium Challenge,” a free interactive event to educate shoppers about the health benefits of eating dairy and calcium rich foods. The Calcium Challenge will be hosted at select ShopRite supermarkets during the month of June, and led by the grocer’s team of registered Retail Dietitians. 

The Calcium Challenge will feature interactive events such as trivia-based card games, product samples, handouts and coupons.  “While most people are aware that calcium is a mineral that makes our bones strong, many of our customers are unsure of exactly how much calcium they need to meet their daily suggested requirements,” says Stephanie Perez, RD, retail dietitian supervisor at ShopRite. “By hosting an in-store event such as The Calcium Challenge, we can work with American Bone Health to educate our shoppers about calcium’s benefits and inspire them to incorporate calcium-rich foods into their diets.”

In addition to American Bone Health, the event is also being supported by Cabot Creamery Co-operativeLACTAID Brand, and the American Dairy Association North East.

“When we speak with consumers, most of their questions are about calcium,” says Kathleen Cody, executive director of American Bone Health. She reports that studies show that only about 25 percent of Americans meet their recommended daily allowance of calcium every day – and many shoppers are confused about where to find the best sources of calcium for themselves and their families.  “There is a real and pressing need to educate consumers about the importance of calcium. We’re looking forward to working with ShopRite’s team of in-store dietitians to clearly convey the importance of enjoying calcium-rich foods and products in our diets.”


Conagra Brands Names Mindy Simon Chief Information Officer

Mindy Simon, vice president of global business services (GBS), has been promoted to chief information officer of Conagra Brands, effective June 1, 2017. Simon will report to Dave Marberger, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Conagra Brands, and will succeed Gerrit Schutte, who announced his plans to retire from the company. Schutte will remain with the company until October 2017 to assist with Simon's transition.

"Mindy is an important part of the Conagra Brands organization, as she possesses deep knowledge of the business. The breadth and quality of her work during her time at the company uniquely qualifies for the CIO role," says Dave Marberger, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Conagra Brands.

Since joining Conagra in 2000, Simon held a variety of roles in finance and information technology. Her responsibilities included analyzing economic indicators and tracking major commodity markets in finance and in IT, leading technology transformation across the organization. Most recently, Simon led global business services, including customer order management, accounts receivable, accounts payable, data management organization and vendor management organization.

"We have an incredibly talented team and it is an honor to lead the organization. I'm confident that we will continue to deliver great results as we support the evolving needs of Conagra," says Simon.

Simon will be based in Omaha, Neb. She also serves on the Greater Omaha Chamber board of directors.


SpartanNash Offers Double Up Food Bucks Program

SpartanNash is again offering its Double Up Food Bucks program to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) customers at 17 Family Fare locations throughout Western, Southern and Northern Michigan in 2017.

The Double Up produce incentive program is a public-private partnership pioneered by Fair Food Network. Today, Double Up programs are active in more than 20 states with support from federal, state and private sources.

For each dollar of fresh produce SNAP customers purchase using their Bridge Card and SpartanNash’s yes loyalty account, an equivalent amount of dollars will be earned and placed on their yes account. Shoppers can then redeem the Double Up dollars for free fruits and vegetables at participating Family Fare locations, with a maximum dollar-for-dollar match of $20 per day on their yes account.

To increase SNAP customers’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables, SpartanNash and Fair Food Network are expanding the Double Up program this season. SNAP shoppers can now earn or redeem Double Up dollars on any produce at participating Family Fare stores, including Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables. Michigan produces a wider variety of fruits and vegetables than any other state in the country, other than California.

"Sourcing and selling local Michigan produce is a key strategic priority for us,” says Larry Pierce, EVP, merchandising and marketing for SpartanNash. “In fact, we are working to increase the number of Michigan farmers from whom we purchase produce, as well as the total number of Michigan products sold in our stores. We have an extensive reach in our local growing communities, sourcing a wide range of fruits and vegetables from more than 250 Michigan farmers. We strive to offer the best selection of locally grown produce in our retail stores and to our more than 350 independent customers in Michigan. This ‘local’ commitment includes our local growers and producers as well as our local communities through programs such as Double Up Food Bucks.”

This is the fourth year SpartanNash has offered the Double Up program at select Family Fare Supermarkets. This year, the Double Up program is being offered from April 2 to Dec. 31 at the following 17 Family Fare Supermarket locations:

Grand Rapids

· Leonard – 1225 Leonard, NE in Grand Rapids

·Fulton Heights – 1415 E. Fulton St. in Grand Rapids

·Rogers Plaza – 1148 28th St., SW in Wyoming

·Burlingame – 2900 Burlingame Ave., SW in Wyoming

·Breton Meadows – 4325 Breton Road, SE in Grand Rapids

·Kentwood – 6127 Kalamazoo, SE in Kentwood

Southern Michigan

· Hastings – 902 W. State St. in Hastings

· Lakeview – 45 East Columbia in Battle Creek

·  Pennfield – 1603 Capital, NE in Battle Creek

· Urbandale – 1525 W. Michigan Ave. in Urbandale

· Marshall – 15900 W. Michigan Ave. in Marshall

· Albion – 1406 North Eaton in Albion


· Butternut – 993 Butternut Dr. in Holland

·  S. Washington – 1185 S. Washington in Holland

Northern Michigan

· Rose City – 2626 N. M-33 in Rose City

· West Branch – 2206 S. M-76 in West Branch

· Harrison – 1570 N. Clare Ave. in Harrison

“Double Up Food Bucks is helping low-income families stretch their food dollars while improving their diets and supporting Michigan growers,” says Oran Hesterman, president and CEO of Fair Food Network. “SpartanNash has been an instrumental partner in scaling Double Up in grocery stores. They understood early on the power of this project as means to better serve its customers and the broader community. We are thankful for SpartanNash’s continued commitment to this project, including strong and growing support of Michigan growers. ”

Last year, 80 percent of all Double Up dollars earned at participating Family Fare stores by SNAP customers were redeemed.

In 2014, SpartanNash became the first major grocery retail chain in Michigan to support the Double Up Food Bucks program. Since then, the company has invested more than $100,000 to ensure the success of the program, the majority of which was spent on refining point-of-sale systems to make it easier for SNAP shoppers to earn and redeem Double Up dollars for fresh produce.

To date, SpartanNash has partnered with nearly 100 community organizations, including Grand Rapids Public Schools, Feeding America West Michigan, Spectrum Health Healthier Communities and the Heart of West Michigan United Way to inform communities – in both English and Spanish – about the Double Up program.


Associated Wholesale Grocers Partners with dunnhumby and Aptaris Solutions

dunnhumby, a customer science company, and Aptaris, an enterprise marketing and promotions management technology innovator, have entered into a multi-year agreement providing their integrated enterprise promotional planning, price optimization, modelling and forecasting system to Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), a retailer-owned cooperative serving more than 3,800 retail stores in 36 states. The new agreement extends AWG’s existing contract with Aptaris for enterprise promotional management and now also adds dunnhumby’s customer science and advanced promotional modelling and forecasting system. This end-to-end solution is designed to improve customer loyalty, grow top line sales and improve overall profitability across AWG’s member retailers.

“We are excited to extend our partnership with Aptaris and gain the benefits of dunnhumby analytics and data-driven insights,” says Dan Funk, executive vice president of marketing and merchandising for AWG. “The new dunnhumby-Aptaris solution will expand our capabilities to better support our members and their sales success within the markets served. We look forward to providing these updated offerings to our members with the dunnhumby suite of services through this new partnership.”

The dunnhumby and Aptaris integrated promotions solution delivers advanced analytics and forecasting enabling AWG's members and marketing teams to better define promotional tactics, deal negotiation, funding/tactic simulation and scenario comparison. AWG members will now have unprecedented visibility into total category promotional plans with pre- and post-analytics that translates to optimal promotions and pricing for increased revenue.

“In today’s competitive marketplaces across the U.S., AWG understands that it takes more than just exceptional quality for retailers to thrive,” says Ted Eichten, price and promotion capability director, North America for dunnhumby. “AWG members and marketing teams can now take advantage of our advanced customer science and data-driven insights to deliver a better customer experience and be more competitive in their markets.”