The Curator News Feed: May 22, 2015

Great stuff happening on the web this week! We've put together some links we found interesting, as well as some clients in the news. If you read the blog last week, Las Vegas North Premium Outlets expansion was underway, and we've got some more reads to share this week. Check it out below! 

Spotify hoping for ‘millions’ more subscribers thanks to Starbucks deal, Geekwire

Meet…Mayhem, J. Crew Blog, From paper dresses to a gig with J.Crew - I want to be Mayhem when I grow up! - Jennifer 

These Water Bottles Solve A Huge Problem, Refinery 29

An Entire Year's Worth of New (and Revamped) Patios, Seattle Met

How Much Money Bloggers Actually Make On Instagram, Who What Wear

Client Reads

One of the highlights of the expansion at Las Vegas North Premium Outlets its the arrival of The Cheesecake Factory! While this is the fourth location in Las Vegas, it is the first full-service restaurant at the center. - Chelsey

The Cheesecake Factory Opens at Las Vegas North Premium Outlets, Vegas News

Simon Property sprucing up several malls with $1B investment, Retail Dive

Simon Unveils Expansion Plan, Commercial Property Executive

Go Shop Vegas: FURLA Grand Opening, May 23, Lollie Shopping

Portand-based Pendleton Woolen Mills is opening its latest outlet location at Woodburn Premium Outlets -- and just in time for major Memorial Weekend sales! - Chelsey

Pendleton Woolen Mills, The Limited opening at Woodburn outlet mall, The Oregonian

10 non-touristy things to do Memorial Day weekend, Discover SD, Looking for great deals in San Diego? Stop by Carlsbad Premium Outlets and Las Americas Premium Outlets.

Maurices’ Columbia Center store opening on May 22, Tri-City Herald

Maurices Opens New Store At Columbia Center and a New Maverick on Clearwater, The Key 98.3

Simon Premium Outlets Announce Annual Memorial Day Weekend Sales, So Cal City Kids

CB's Nuts grows into a bigger Kingston building, Kitsap Sun

Simon San Diego Premium Outlets’ Annual Memorial Day Weekend Super Sale, Over The Top Mommy

Do This, and Watch Your Twitter Engagement Take Off

If there's still a debate about whether it's a good idea to automate your social media feeds, I'm on the "yes" side. It's the only way I get anything done and still manage to publish. So I get excited every time I find some new trick that makes it easier for me to post and interact on my social networks.

This IFTTT recipe, via Aaron Lee at Post Planner (which, by the way, is a great blog that you should subscribe to immediately), is one of the most useful automations I've found all year. Click the link to let him walk you through the ridiculously easy set up; here's what it does:

[Thomas] Marzano added me to a list called ‘IFTTT Engaging Followers’. ... The cool part is I was added to the list automatically. Marzano told me he created an ‘IFTTT recipe’ that automatically adds users to the list when they mention [him] on Twitter.
— Aaron Lee

I called my list "Active Followers"—call yours whatever you want. I created it a couple weeks ago, and it's become probably the most useful part of my Twitter account. (You're not using Twitter Lists? You should.)

It's effective because it takes away the hardest part about engaging: remembering everyone you've talked to. It's like a digital business card that you can pocket for future reference. Since these people are, you know, responding to you, they're arguably the most important people to talk to on a regular basis.

A couple shortcomings that are easily fixed:

  1. Yes, spammers will get auto-added to your list. Just be diligent about reporting them as spam, and they should be removed.
  2. People you argue with will get added, too. So don't argue. Or, if there's someone you really don't like who keeps tweeting you, block 'em.

I hope this recipe works as well for you as it has for me. Tweet me if you like it, and join my list!

The Curator News Feed: May 15, 2015

Cheers to another week of hard work! This week we have some fun reads found across the web, lots of emoji news (thanks, Jen!) and some serious client coverage. The teams worked on several Mother's Day outreach items for Simon Malls and Swansons Nursery, and Chelsey is in Las Vegas for the Las Vegas North Premium Outlets expansion - check out the news below.

WWF Now Lets You Donate by Tweeting the Emojis of Endangered Animals, ADWEEK

The Best Way To Keep Flowers Fresh, Test Lab, Maybe our office plants just need to go in the fridge. - Brooke 

How to Order Domino's Pizza With a Pizza Emoji, Eater, I'm all about the emojis this week! - Jennifer

How To Decorate Emoji Cookies With Royal Icing! YouTube/SweetAmbsCookies, Delicious YouTube tutorial on making IRL cookie emojis. - Ann Marie

Are Space And Time An Illusion? IFL Science, The next time you're in the throes of some kind of PR crisis, you can take comfort (?) in the thought that not only was it inevitable, it already happened, and is in fact happening right now, along with every other PR crisis you'll ever handle. - Paul

Kevin O'Leary of 'Shark Tank' invests in 27 companies and says the only ones making money have female CEOs, Business Insider, Lady power! - Chelsey

Client Coverage

WHOLE FOODS BEAUTY HAUL, FIRST IMPRESSIONS, & GIVEAWAYHello Rigby

DEL AMO FASHION CENTER EXPANDS EV CAPABILITIESShopping Center Weekly

A SIMPLE SALAD ELEVATED WITH PRETZEL CROUTONS, Bites Reviews You Can Use, J&D's Foods recently launched three new crouton flavors: Pretzel Bread, Tomato-basil, and everything. We had Jaclyn from Bites Reviews You Can Use to try them out. - Anna

FASHIONISTA NOW BOARDING | “Be your own Boho” Manna gets a preview of #LookBookLive with Glamour and GQ, Haute OC

Mother's Day 

Even though Mother's Day is behind us, it's great to see our clients getting recognized for all their wonderful events and programs celebrating the special ladies in our lives over the last few weeks! Highlights include...

Indulge in Mother's Day at the Outlets, NBC San Diego

INDULGE: FASHION + FUN FOR MOMS AT THE SHOPS AT MONTEBELLO, Guest of a Guest

LOCAL LAST MINUTE MOTHER’S DAY FINDS, Hello Rigby 

CELEBRATE MOM WITH SWANSONSAllie Seidel

Best Mother’s Day Gifts In Seattle, CBS Seattle

Great Ways to Celebrate Mom this Mother's Day! Macaroni Kid

Las Vegas North Premium Outlets Expansion

25 fabulous new stores opened at Las Vegas North Premium Outlets this week! Lots of excitement around the new retailers and eateries including The Cheesecake Factory, Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio, Pandora and more. - Chelsey

Las Vegas North Premium Outlets adds 25 new stores, ABC 13

25 new stores debut at the Las Vegas Premium Outlets North, LA Times

Simon Property Group Opens Expansion of Las Vegas North Premium Outlets, Las Vegas NV Blog

Las Vegas North Premium Outlets adds 25 new stores, KTNV

Gorge on 250 Menu Items and 50-Plus Desserts at The Cheesecake Factory, Las Vegas Eater

How Did a Cat Get 743,000 Instagram Followers? We Talked to @IAMLILBUB and Found Out

Pets on Instagram. I follow my fair share of Insta-famous pets, but what makes them famous? Everybody can post pictures of his or her cute animals, but only handfuls are recognizable in the social media world. I picked the brains of the owners of some famous Instagram pets, @iamlilbub (Mike Bridavsky) and @Chloepomstagram (Parker Smith), and discovered some tips and tricks that lead to their success.

Give them a Voice

Mike said a friend of his saw BUB, and said he should start a blog for her. He said he thought it would be a fun, sort-of-ironic thing to do. Initially, Mike made a Tumblr for BUB. He answered questions in her voice because it was funny. Then, he decided to say she was from outer space. Giving BUB a voice and a personality clearly worked. Now, Lil Bub has more than 743,000 followers on Instagram.

"BUB: A rare and stunning specimen of pure innocence and wonder. #lilbub #scienceandmagic"

"BUB: A rare and stunning specimen of pure innocence and wonder. #lilbub #scienceandmagic"

Photography is Key

Parker said quality photography indicates likes (most of the time). She said people are more compelled to like a photo and tag their friends when they see a well-photographed picture, especially one that has meaning.

"Halftime walk in the park #gohawks #inrusswetrust #pom #pomstagram #chloepomstagram"

"Halftime walk in the park #gohawks #inrusswetrust #pom #pomstagram #chloepomstagram"

Mike said there are a lot of things that factor into the amount of engagement that BUB's posts get, but obviously the content itself is a huge part of it. He spends a lot of time getting great photographs and videos, with a lot of variety. He treats her social media as her main source of content. It's sparse, it's good, it's original, it's relevant, and it's simple.

"#lilbub #newyorkkitty"

"#lilbub #newyorkkitty"

Consistency

Parker said an account that is consistently posting quality pictures will gain more followers and likes, because fans know what to expect. Fans want to be a part of the personality that is created within the account. You’re creating a brand, after all.

Mike said people need to be able to remember something about your pet. Once you stick with a consistent theme, it will attract fans.

Go Behind the Scenes

Show them a glimpse of the real stuff. People love real-life, stripped content. Fans like feeling like they get a glimpse inside the daily life of whomever they are following.

"Ran around the mall all day with my human and when we got to the last store, my legs were jello. She just doesn't know when to stop!"

"Ran around the mall all day with my human and when we got to the last store, my legs were jello. She just doesn't know when to stop!"

Mike said BUB's story is integral to her following. She isn't a meme or an internet sensation—she is a real cat with a real story (but also a fictitious one) and a real message. That's why her fan base has consistently grown since it started more than three years ago, and also why her fan base is so committed.

"#lilbub #scienceandmagic"

"#lilbub #scienceandmagic"

Culture

One way to attract followers is to insert yourself into the conversation. These days, pop culture plays such a big role in what’s “trending now”. Take some time to think about what’s happening around you, like Chloe during the SuperBowl.

"#bluemonday in celebration of yesterday's big W! #pom #seahawks #SuperBowl #repete #chloepomstagram #1fan #12 #12dog"

"#bluemonday in celebration of yesterday's big W! #pom #seahawks #SuperBowl #repete #chloepomstagram #1fan #12 #12dog"

Hashtag It

This kind-of ties into culture. One way to grow your pet’s online social media presence and generate content is to use hashtags like #ThrowbackThursday or #TransformationTuesday. There’s always some content you can create out of nothing on a slow day.

Humor

Parker said everyone likes something that brightens their day and makes them feel good. Chances are, if it makes them feel good, they’ll spread the content to their friends to share the positivity!

"Happy #friday #tgif #pom #pomeranian #partyallnight #sleepallday #nocturnal #chloepomstagram #bunny"

"Happy #friday #tgif #pom #pomeranian #partyallnight #sleepallday #nocturnal #chloepomstagram #bunny"

"From BUB's most recent BUBle BATH. #bubath #BUBblebath #lilbub"

"From BUB's most recent BUBle BATH. #bubath #BUBblebath #lilbub"

Relationship

Last of all, a common quality among the pets I follow is their unique relationships with their owners. Showing a genuine relationship between you and your pet will attract followers, hands down. 

What's the takeaway?

Mike said the key factors are consistency; fresh, original content; not over-saturating or over-posting; fewer words and more images; and interacting and maintaining an accessible rapport with your fans.

So go now, make your pet famous! Give them a voice, take amazing photographs, consistently post, and give people an inside look into what makes your pet unique and lovable.

The Curator News Feed: May 8, 2015

What a busy week! We've recapped some exciting news on the web this week, as well as some serious client coverage, including: the Whole Foods Market Chambers Bay Grand Opening, last-minute gift ideas for Mother's Day, an exclusive look inside the new Las Vegas Premium Outlets, and much more. Check it out below. 

Ryan Gosling Vines Himself Eating Cereal To Honour The Meme’s Creator After His Death, Buzzfeed

This Sickening New Tumblr Makes Everyone Famous Into A Ginger, New Now Next

Toms Instagram challenge involves a lot of bare feet, CNBC

Samsung's Funny Mother's Day Ad Reminds You How Bad Your Mom Is at Texting, ADWEEK

Watch Jimmy Fallon, Jack Black Remake Extreme's 'More Than Words' Video, Rolling Stone, Not that we need another reason to love Jimmy Fallon, but... - Chelsey

See the Most Popular Baby Names for 2014, Time, No offense to people named Ethan, or people with babies named Ethan, but creepy Ethan from LOST ruined Ethan for me forever. - Paul

What's Your Favorite Emoji? The Atlantic, If The Atlantic asked me, my favorite emoji is the Mine is high five. - Ann Marie

Client Coverage

Grad Gift Ideas, Good Day Sacramento

The Shops At Montebello: Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas, That's It Mommy

Made For Mom, To Vogue or Bust

A Floral Affair: Crafting The Perfect Bouquet, Seattle Refined

WATCH: We surprise another local teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week, Q13 Fox

Your First Look Inside the New Las Vegas Premium Outlets North, Las Vegas Eater

May 9th - A day for mom to Indulge at Northgate Mall, Seattle, Rave and Review

Stoneridge Mall hosting moms with special event today to celebrate Mother's Day, Pleasanton Weekly

Mother Daughter Fashion Show, Fox 5, Looks for Moms and daughters just in time for Mother's Day from Fashion Valley - Noelle

Gabriela Artigas Trunk Show in Silverlake; Fun for Moms in Montebello; More! Los Angeles Racked

WestJetMagazine, Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto is featured on page 18 of this month's WestJet Magazine

Whole Foods Market finally arrives in University Place, The News Tribune, Whole Foods Market celebrated the first store in Pierce County this week. - Ann Marie

Cleaning up my body care products (plus $50 Whole Foods gift card giveaway!, Hello Day Blog

The Area's Newest Whole Foods, Open Today, Has A Sit-Down Pizzeria  Inside, Seattle Eater

Scenes from San Diego

It's nice to be able play tourist in your own city. As a native San Diegan, sometimes I need to take five from my day-to-day and really take a look around at the beauty that's in my own backyard. So here are my favorite curated scenes from my hometown, and Curator's second home.

Downtown San Diego views after a storm.

Downtown San Diego views after a storm.

La Jolla on a warm day.

La Jolla on a warm day.

Hot air balloons on the horizon in North County.

Hot air balloons on the horizon in North County.

View of the boardwalk and shoreline from the Crystal Pier Hotel in Pacific Beach.

View of the boardwalk and shoreline from the Crystal Pier Hotel in Pacific Beach.

Patriotic florals at the Flower Fields, next to the Carlsbad Premium Outlets.

Patriotic florals at the Flower Fields, next to the Carlsbad Premium Outlets.

Skyline views from the 19th hole in Balboa Park.

Skyline views from the 19th hole in Balboa Park.

Looking to visit San Diego? Tweet us your travel plans @CuratorPR!

The Curator News Feed: May 4, 2015

April showers bring May flowers! This week we put together a list of what's happening around the web, as well as some great client reads - including Glassy Baby's Light the Bridge event, and Whole Foods Market's Floral Affair.

Think With Google, Think With Google, Find trends, data insights and creative inspiration for marketers - Chelsey

You Can Now Hashtag Emojis On Instagram, Buzzfeed,  Emojis + hashtags =  <3 - Brooke

Chipotle is now GMO-freeCNN MoneyOur client Whole Foods Market has been leading the charge, fighting for GMO labeling and consumers' right to know what's in their food. In an interesting sign of what's to come, Chipotle finalizes the process to phase out GMO ingredients - Ann Marie

Fashionistas Had to Post 26,000 Tweets to Crack Open This Mysterious Orb, ADWEEK

Here’s What Happens When You Color Instead of Watch TV for a Week, Brit+Co, BRB - going to get a coloring book - Chelsey

Lake Michigan Is So Clear Right Now You Can See Shipwrecks Through The Water, Buzzfeed, Cool, but also creepy - Chelsey

Client Reads

Whole Foods Pearl: More of a Beer Resource Than You May Think, Beer Musings From Portland

Ft e15- LOOKBOOK Live, Adrina Rose

1,500 Glassybaby To Light I-90 Bridge Friday Morning, Seattle Refined

#Seattle: Pipe + Row Sidewalk Sale, glassybaby Lights the Bridge & More, Fresh Jess

Glassybaby's "Light The Bridge" event, KING

Does your mom rock? Ann Peavey, Swansons' Mother's Day contest got a nice little shout out from Ann Peavey! - Jennifer

Illuminating I-90, Mercer Island Reporter

Volunteers on I-90 'Light the Bridge', KING

Glassybabies light up the I-90 bridge to help cancer patients, KOMO

A Floral Affair

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 9.54.19 AM.png




The Curator News Feed: April 24, 2015

Is it really almost May - where does the time go? We must be having too much fun. If you want to join in on the fun, feel free to check out our latest news roundup below. This week, we've included some of our favorite reads, as well as some awesome client reads.

Brands Need to Tread Lightly With Twitter's New DM Feature, ADWEEK

Mashable’s community-first Instagram strategy is paying off, DIGIDAY, Here's a look at how Mashable runs its Instagram account (which has quadrupled in size in the last year) - Paul

#EatSeattle and #SeattleFood, Keridwyn Deller, Seattle food lovers unite! - Chelsey

PANDORA, Facebook, So sweet, Pandora! - Chelsey

Dropbox’s Collaborative Note-Taking Service, Dropbox Notes, Heads Into Beta Testing, TechCrunch

Leandra Medine Is Now A Hilarious Beauty Vlogger, Refinery 29, Anything directed by Toast is a win in my book! - Chelsey

73 Questions, Vogue, Vogue's 73 Questions videos may not be new, but they are fun and entertaining. Plus I love how the interview style is spontaneous and fast-paced. - Jennifer

Chipotle delivery is happening. Life has never been more complete, Mashable, This just made my day. - Anna

Client Coverage

Earth Day: How to Plant Succulents, NESTNOSHPOSH

More Of The New Brands Coming To Downtown's Premium Outlets Expansion, Vegas Chatter

Coachella fashion 101 with Bianca Rae, KESQ

Stylist shares maternity fashion picks for any occasion, KING

glassybaby ‘Light the Bridge’ Event | Seattle, NESTOSHPOSH

Lilly Pulitzer for Target: Much Ado About Nothing on the Shelves

Image source: Glitter & Grills

Image source: Glitter & Grills

Lilly Pulitzer is not simply a brand, people. It’s a sun-drenched, poolside lifestyle. So when Target announced its latest design partnership with the iconic American resort wear brand back in January, the news made quite a splash.

The Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection would be the latest upscale collection offered to shoppers at a more affordable price point. Previous designers to work with Target included Philip Lim, Zac Posen, Jason Wu and Missoni. 

I’ve never owned a Lilly piece in my life, but I’ve always thought the prints were fun (in moderation). I wasn’t planning to be part of the Lilly Pulitzer for Target frenzy, when the collection launched in stores on April 19, but curiosity got the best of me. Here’s my minute-by-minute account of the retail launch. 

Sunday, April 19

7:50 a.m. After a big family celebration, my whole family is sleeping in. With one eye open, I check Facebook. I see a friend in St. Louis lamenting about coming home empty-handed from the Lilly launch at Target. 

7:51 a.m. My curiosity is piqued. St. Louis is 2 hours ahead. My neighborhood Target doesn’t even open for a whole 9 minutes. And heck, no one in Seattle even knows what Lilly Pulitzer is! 

7:55 a.m. I grab my keys and head out the door.

8:10 a.m. I pull into the Target parking lot. No crowds. Just one woman slowly walking toward the door, wearing camo sweat pants and carrying her recycled shopping bags. 

8:11 a.m. I gloat to myself thinking I will get ALL. THE. LILLY.

Not so fast. As I enter the store, I see about 10 women zooming through the (otherwise empty) store with carts overflowing with impossibly bright items. If there was a limit on items per customer, no one told these women. It is roughly 12 minutes after the store has opened and they have all but picked the store clean. I walk to the women’s department and the are three dresses left on the rack, all hanging from an XXL hanger. I turn around and see four women standing at the one, small Lily display in the children’s section. I head over to listen to their conversation. Each of the women is holding items that seem to be the wrong size for their needs. But they clutch them tightly, knowing that the moment they put them down someone else will snatch them up.

“I’ll just buy this size 5, I guess,” says one woman holding the cutest white eyelet tank top.

“How old is your daughter?” asks another woman?

“15 months."

The group sees a clerk walking down the aisle and asks him if there is any inventory in the back. He literally laughs. I wander over to house wares — all Lilly items are gone. In cosmetics, there is an end-aisle display with about 4 beach towels, quite a few cosmetic bags and sad number of accessories. I find a few things (I didn’t need, but feel compelled to buy) and then head out. 

I’m in the car and on my way home at 9 am and my own Lilly Pulitzer for Target frenzy is over. And with reports of the collection being sold out in store and online after 1 hour, it's pretty much over for everyone. The Lilly buzz is all over the news and trending on social media. There’s no doubt this collection was a boost for both Target and Lilly Pulitzer. But, frankly, it seemed like a bust for shoppers. 

How I Keep Up With Social Media Industry News

One of my most important jobs as the Social Media Strategist at Curator is to keep up with what’s going on in the social media industry. It’s an easy thing to overlook, because the task is essentially to read a lot of links on the internet. But it’s also crucial to keep our company and clients informed of the latest innovations and changes to the platforms we use—and the ones we may use some day.

The challenge for me is there is an absolute ton of news out there, and it multiplies exponentially every day. If I don’t stay focused, it can be easy to end up arbitrarily clicking my way through an internet rabbit hole that doesn’t lead to any gained knowledge for me or Curator. So I rely on a few tried and true tactics to stay on top of things in a timely manner.

For starters, I trust that my network will deliver the big news to me.

When someone launches a new social network, or when a change happens to one of the existing ones, I don’t worry about how I’m going to find that news. I’ve spent years building up a network of social media experts, and I know that when the ALL-CAPS-headline stuff goes down, the information will find me.

You don’t need years to develop your network (though it will get better over time as you tweak it to your specifications)—you can subscribe to my social media list on Twitter. Even better, go check out their lists and subscribe to those. A good follow-up to that would be to follow Magic Recs, which sends you DM alerts when people in your network follow someone new or share a particular piece of content.

I schedule time to read about the social industry, and I set a limit on that time.

Like I said, there is a ton of news out there. There is no way to read it all. I put a cap on how long I spend looking for social media news—usually only 15 minutes or so—and I’m absolutely brutal with deciding what’s interesting and what’s not. I use headline view in Feedly and pick out a few stories each morning that pique my interest—everything else gets marked as read.

I’m equally brutal with the blogs I subscribe to—I shuffle things in and out of my RSS subscriptions all the time—and I don’t worry about what I’m not subscribed to. Read what you like, read what keeps you informed, read what inspires you—that’s my attitude.

One last thing: I have a bear-minimum threshold for how much I read each day: One link. If that link sucks, oh well. I treat reading like working out: better to have done a bit of it than none at all.

I bundle social-industry reading with other tasks.

I’m fortunate to be tasked with curating content for Curator’s social media feeds, which means I can do that and knock out my social-industry reading at the same time. When that’s not enough, or when what I’m curating isn’t related to the social industry, I look for the “holes” in my day when I can get a quick read in: On the bus, between meetings, etc. 

I write to myself.

One of my perpetual regrets is that I don’t dedicate enough time to my personal blog, particularly since I spend a lot of time writing to myself. There’s an old saying from someone, somewhere, that if you want to learn something really well, teach it. Writing to myself is my version of that. I’ll write about anything from “what happened in social media this week,” to “how do you do this new thing that Facebook just rolled out,” to “here are a few ways I think one of our clients could use this cool new social network that just debuted.”

Ninety percent of what I write will never see the light of day. That’s OK. I consider it practice—the other 10 percent is game-time stuff. And just like with sports, there’s a hell of a lot more time spent in practice than in a game situation that counts.

Lastly, I ask stupid questions.

One of the intimidating things about a public social network like Twitter (well, my profile is public at least) is that if you ask a question, it’s out there for the whole world to see. It’s a huge opportunity to look like a complete idiot. I don’t care. I’ll tweet dumb stuff that I’m curious about to people who will probably never respond to me because sometimes they do

Even if someone doesn’t respond, someone else might—that’s the beauty of an open network like Twitter. 

In summary, here’s how I stay updated on social media news:

  • Develop a great network that will find the big news for me.
  • Schedule a window of time to read about the industry, and stay within that window.
  • Bundle reading with other tasks, like content curation.
  • Summarize the news I find in notes to myself.

Do you have any surefire ways of staying up-to-date with social media news? Tweet me your tips: @paulbalcerak