Brandon Stanton created Humans of New York in the summer of 2010. I admire his goal of photographing 10,000 New Yorkers; however, I am absolutely amazed at what his project, which I’m sure he thought he would just share with a smaller group than the world, has turned into. Countless people have been photographed and inspired the world with what they had to say.

Is HONY the next, big thing in marketing? Possibly. I don’t think Target will approach Brandon Stanton anytime soon to launch a campaign.


The image paired with a paragraph or quote from the subject of the photo proves powerful (check out this CNN story). 45 minutes post campaign launch, $100,000 was raised for Mott Hall Bridges Academy, a middle school in a New York neighborhood.


But LOOK at the final result:


Yes, that’s 1,419 percent funded.

This Social Media Examiner article helps us understand and articulate the success of HONY, exemplified in its following and the Mott Hall Bridges campaign. Here’s a few tips I think HONY is working (as in, WERKING or doing really, really well):

Build a story around your product

This seems to be the core of HONY. Why do people care about what people in New York look like? Yeah, it might be fascinating for a short amount of time, but HONY is more than just the image alone. The person in the image always has a quote or story to share. Because we relate to one another so easily by shared experiences or stories, each story told on HONY is sure to relate to a lot of people. People in New York are the same as people in Arizona or people in England. They experience love, pain and joy. We want to know we aren’t alone, and we love people who we can relate to.

Give your photos legs by making them shareable

HONY does this well by making images easily shareable on their website and on Facebook. The more shares, the more views, the more people reached. This was likely a vital factor in the success of the Motts Hall Bridges campaign. The CNN article said donations came from 105 countries and all 50 states. The picture got around to say the least.

Engage prospects, customers and the public in your efforts

Brandon reached out to HONY’s following for the campaign. HONY took things to another level – instead of simply posting photos and having the public share them, he provided a photo, a situation and a call to action.

Through the campaign, Humans of New York unique and solid influence on social media followers has proven to be effective in marketing and fundraising efforts. How do you think they will use their platform in the near future?



Photo Sharing As Marketing TooI


I’m sitting at Panera Bread, eating late lunch, wondering what to write about. I know the chapter is about photo sharing, but nothing comes to my mind. I stare off into space, take my phone out and decide to take a picture of the delicious cinnamon roll that’s right in front of me. Sadly it’s my fiancé’s cinnamon roll, not mine. I “spice” up the picture on Instagram and post it.

DING. DING. DING. I can write about how restaurants use photo sharing sites as a marketing tool. Whether it’s the restaurant sharing the images, or customers – IT’S CALLED MARKETING.

How many times, in one day, do you see people taking pictures of their food and #foodporn it? I’m sure if they are at a restaurant they’ll also #PaneraBread it. That’s what I did. When you look up the hashtag PaneraBread, you wouldn’t believe your eyes. It’s like people live at that place. They take pictures of EVERYTHING.

See the second picture from the left…that’s mine 🙂


Aaron Allen talks about how restaurants use photo sharing in different ways, including contests and behind the scene looks. But restaurants also can simply encourage you to tweet, or share your meal on Instagram, by reminding you with a little tri-fold on the table. By encouraging their customers to post and share images of their food, they basically get free marketing. In fact, they make money off of us marketing their food.

Panera Bread posts pictures of their menu items, as well as memes that include food in the image.


Applebee’s rolled out a new menu, the Pub Diet, and they encourage customers to post their pics of their new Pub Diet.

Screenshot_2015-02-18-17-02-48(1)I find it incredibly interesting how many of us take pictures of our food and post it. If the image looks good, you’re more like to go to that restaurant, or buy the food that was hastagged.

I’m going to end this post with a screenshot of my Instagram. I post about food, including supplements – which to me are food.


Happy Instagramming,


Don’t Forget About Instagram!

Instagram is a fairly new social media network (so new it’s not even in our textbook!) that has grown immensely over the past few years. With a huge amount of users, Instagram is definitely in my top five of the most important social media sites… and yet, it still seems to get overlooked. Many brands and companies have a great presence on Facebook and Twitter, yet seem to completely ignore Instagram. Instagram is basically just a photo sharing app, yes, but it’s so much more than that! I think many people don’t see the point of Instagram because you can easily share pictures and more on  Facebook or Twitter. There are many benefits to Instagram, though. Here are just a few:

1. Building trust and personality – This is the most important benefit! Instagram gives you a chance to show your company in a very informal, relaxed environment. According to koozai, showing the day-to-day business of your company gives a personal feel and shows your customers you’re more than just a name. Getting involved on a personal level with your audience really makes them want to get involved with you!

2. Gaining a competitive advantage – Again, koozai talks about how only about 2% of businesses are on Instagram, which is crazy! However, this gives you a great advantage. Take advantage of what other people are not. Your brand is going to stand out a lot more if you’re one of the only few actually getting involved with your audience and letting them get to know you on a personal level.

3. Reaching Target Market – This is a huuuuuge one! Instagram has a very specific user base of people mostly between the ages of 18 and 30, so anyone with a target audience of that age group should absolutely be taking advantage of this. Young people everywhere are all over Instagram, so it’s important to get on there and connect with them if they’re who you’re wanting to target. In fact, I’d say that that age group is probably most prominent on Instagram. Facebook has a wider age range, with older people logging on more and more every day, and Twitter is also starting to spread to the older age group. Instagram is the only one that still is mostly the “young crowd”. Take advantage!

Not only does Instagram have all of these great benefits, but it is simple. That is how photo sharing is better on Instagram than Facebook or Twitter. On those sites, you have to scroll through tons of text posts and links to see the occasional picture, but on Instagram, that’s all you see! Sure, there’s the occasional long caption, but it’s placed neatly below the photos and it’s easy to scroll through them and find what you want. The search feature is also really great, because you can see what your followers are up to, also. So if you’re not on Instagram yet, what are you doing?!


Don’t Forget the Pic!

Photo sharing has been around for some time now, however, not everyone has come to use it to its best abilities.  When I was first introduced to the photo sharing concept I only felt as though it would be used to share funny pictures to friends and family.  However, as I get older and social media evolves, there is so much more to photo sharing.  Yes, it is always fun to see goofy pictures that your share with you on facebook, instagram, or twitter, but it is time to expand your horizons.

Photo sharing has become a huge marketing tool and some don’t even realize how helpful it can be.  By just posting a picture along with a few comments explaining what is going on in the picture allows audience to become more intrigued.  Not only is this very helpful to businesses, but it is one of the easiest things to possibly do now days.  There is no need to carry a digital camera and computer around in order to upload pictures on the internet.  As long as you have your smartphone and your social media apps, you’re good to go.

This article I found describes the age we live in as the “camera in everyone’s pocket.”   This just goes to show that smartphones are used to create a different buzz every minute.  The article goes into explain the three phases of the visual culture and language.  The article also gives six reasons as to why a user should include images in their post.

The six reasons focus on the statistics that come from post and their feedback.  I personally think that adding photos to your social media post will catch more eyes than just words.  In 2015 everyone wants to see proof, they want to see what things are looking like, they want to see that actual picture to make sure it matches with the picture that they made up in their head.

At this time, when it comes to social media, the images MATTER!  It could be the deciding factor.  Your audience could keep on scrolling past your 140 characters, or can be intrigued by the perfectly angled picture you attached to the post.


Is Your Audience on Instagram? Probably.

Instagram within an Instagram

Instagram within an Instagram

Sharing photos online is nothing new. My Facebook is full of embarrassing proof that seventh grade me figured out early on how easy it is to upload pictures–and that was ages ago.  Yes, photo sharing is easy, but the way we share today is changing at a more rapid pace than it used to. Right now, Instagram is the place to be. It is still highly used by younger generations, but it is following the footsteps of Facebook in the way that older users are starting to catch on. Is this social media giant the place for your company to be? There’s a good chance.

Just today, as I scrolled through Instagram, it recommended that I follow “BeerYoga,” an account dedicated to beer and yoga. If that’s not a niche audience, then I don’t know what is. Let this be a good sign for your business however, that if there are enough yogis out there who like to sip a brew while they stretch, then your audience is probably on Instagram, too.

This blog post by Carrie Kerpen gives us the pros and cons of being a business on Instagram. The cons list may look longer, but the pros still outweigh them. Instagram posts do not allow links in their content, nor can you use it with programs like Hootsuite, but Instagram also boasts a more engaged audience than any other social media site except Facebook.

Instagram does not have paid advertising–yet–so this is not a platform where you can pay to get views. What your success comes down to is creativity. Post content that is fun and eye-catching. Make it pretty. Engage with your audience by responding to or even reposting their pictures.

While Instagram is a fairly young social media site that is probably not fully evolved, there are countless people in your audience waiting to be engaged.


Buzzfeed: eating e-books and white papers for breakfast

Buzzfeed is totally rocking the article thing – more so than any newspaper or e-book. They’re the King of the article marketing world and they need a crown.

We all have some wisdom to glean from Buzzfeed, well-illustrated in this article. Main points coming at ya:

  1. Use numbered lists to keep things concise and easy to read

So far I’m winning at rule number one. Buzzfeed ALWAYS (most of the time) uses lists in their articles. They arrange their content in an easy, clear format which appeals to short attention spans (audience: everyone).

  1. Target a specific demographic

Of course there are the articles titled, “21 Little Satisfying Things Every ‘90s Kid Did,” which are obviously purposed to relate and tug at the ‘90s kids heart strings. More genius, perhaps, are the sponsored articles like this one. The thought is that people who love their bed or have trouble sleeping would read the article only to get to the bottom and see an advertisement by Casper mattresses. Buzzfeed is heavily sprinkled with these kinds of sponsored articles.

  1. Create Interesting, Tweetable Headlines

20 Reasons To Hop On A Plane To Argentina Right Now? We Know Why You’re Single? How can you NOT read/tweet those?

  1. Evoke An Emotional Response

Tell stories! Buzzfeed makes people laugh a lot with articles like, “11 Cats Poised For World Domination,” cry for, “Chapel Hill Shooting Victims: A Tale of Love, Marriage And Tragedy,” and say “AW!” with an article like, “11 Truths About Love You Should Never Forget.” Make people feel something.

  1. Keep Producing Content

I follow many blogs and sites like Buzzfeed. It is forever and always a safe bet that Buzzfeed has produced a new article since my last visit; therefore, it stays on my go-to list. It doesn’t fade away because I have to wait so long for new content. After all – with content THAT well marketed and written, you basically have to exist forever and give the people what they want.

Will Buzzfeed run out of things to write about? Will people stop reading Buzzfeed articles? Will there ever be enough cat articles? Not likely.

Buzzfeed on, friends.


Article Directories: to Post or not to Post?

I had no idea what an article directory was until this week. By definition, article directories are a really great idea; you write a short article about something relevant to your field, post it to a directory, and you immediately let your article fall into the hands of thousands of outlets to be published. What a great way to get your story out there without the hassle of pitching it! But after some research, it seems there can be some major pros and cons for article directories.


  • Publishing articles to directories can disseminate your article much more widely than other vehicles can. Instead of taking the time to develop a pitch, research reporters, and make the call or email, you can click a button and your article is on its way.
  • Articles will help you be seen as a subject matter expert. If someone is browsing through a directory looking for information on…let’s say…cooking, and you have a well-written article about cooking, then odds are your credibility will be boosted if the person reads it.
  • You can keep an eye on the competition. It is always good to watch what others are posting and what kind of responses they are getting. Are their posts getting more attention/feedback? What can your articles give readers that other articles won’t?


  • Article directories are outdated. I had a hard time finding research on this topic, simply because it seems no one is talking about article directories anymore.  The most recent article I found (which is over a year old) explained why you shouldn’t use article directoriesThe reality is that article directories have become overwritten with low-quality, stolen or spammy content but many just don’t realize it.
  • Google is moving on. As of the January 2014 article, much article directory spam is getting phased out of the Google search algorithm, which will make it harder for your article to be found (if you choose to post one.)
  • You might not be reaching your audience. If even Google isn’t paying attention to article directories, then your target audience probably isn’t either.

So what do you do instead?

If you decided article databases aren’t the way to get your information out there, try a few other methods:

Blogging- A company blog is a great way to be a subject matter expert and provide content for your audience. This also gives your content the chance to be shared via sites like Facebook or Tumblr. Plus, your content will appear in Google searches.

Website– Keep your website up-to-date and content rich. Engage your audience and become a go-to source for information. Eventually, you can become the top-of-mind source of info in your field.

So while it seems that article directories are falling out of the scene, there are still pros and cons for each side. What must be remembered is that you must assess the needs of your organization to know what is right for you.