Please watch our video clip on #hashtags…

were made popular by Chris Messina in August 2007 with his
and I quote
“how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp (msg)?
All of the social media platforms such as
have since adapted the popular
Many businesses use the
on their social media platforms to promote
An example would be the BC Childrens Hospital jeans day event
An annual fundraiser where everyone is encouraged to purchase a button or lapel pin
and wear it with their jeans to show their support to the BC Childrens Hospital.
You can purchase the buttons at any of these participating retailers
The jeans day event includes contests for individual, corporations, and schools. To enter you use
to post your entries on
The next BC Childrens Hospital
day is Thursday April 27, 2017
We hope you
and show your support.
Please support BCCH and

References within the video clip:




Earned Media

Earned media is when customers endorse their brand favourites through positive, and sometimes negative, online engagement. A customer may take the time to write a positive review on a social media site; they make take the time to give a hotel or restaurant a 5 star rating online; or they may simply create a post to social media ranting or raving about their recent experiences.

Brands cannot force their customers to provide positive earned media, hence the name EARNED MEDIA. That reason alone gives potential customers the trust that what 9 out of 10 current customers have raved about is true. For example when Starbucks or Tim Hortons beings in their seasonal Pumpkin Spice Late and you see all the raves about the month of October because your family, friends, and acquaintances can now go and buy a Pumpkin Spice Late it makes you wonder, Are they really that good? Should I go buy one? More often than not you will find yourself standing in line to buy that Pumpkin Spice Late everyone has been raving about.

Anytime you can get people to talk about your brand, good and bad, it is earned media. As long as people are talking about your brand you are earning media. Although not all of the earned media can be or is positive it is how you handle those small percentages of bad earned media that can advance your brand. When a customer has a poor or bad experience with your brand you can be sure that it will be posted all over their social media platforms. If you can genuinely handle those instances with respect and honour you may have the opportunity to increase the level of respect customers have about your brand. No bad experience has to stay as a negative with your brand. Take that frown and turn it upside down.

In my opinion no earned media is bad media, as long as people are talking about you it gives you the opportunity to enter into a new customers life. The good earned media will always be positive and productive. The bad earned media gives you the opportunity to prove to your current and potential customers that you have the will to correct any wrongs that may have occurred. The way you handle this type of situation can be the deciding factor between losing a customer or gaining a life long brand loyal customer. Always find the good that lies in that bad because there is always a decision you can make that may be the deciding factor in your brand reputation.

Earned media is exactly that, earned recognition from your customers. Always keep in mind that you have the power to be the final influencer on how those customers will promote your brand with earned media.

Social Media Marketing

With the new social media platforms available brands are able to build brand recognition and brand awareness quickly. Although it may be quick not all of them survive through social media. There are things you can do to survive and that entails engaging with your customers and playing off their emotional responses.

Social media marketing is a great way to reach out to your target market and get them engaged in your brand and provide them with information to solidify brand recognition. When consumers see other consumers engaging on social media it is spreading your brand recognition. If you can maintain enough engagement you are ensuring that potential customers are seeing what you and your brand have to offer and it is a good way to persuade potential costumers to become of your brand family.

There are many posts that I have seen on many social media platforms that give me the desire to see what their brand is about. One of the main actions in marketing is to create the interest to make a potential customer take positive action with your brand. Once they have taken that action they are given the opportunity to develop their own opinion. If their opinions are positive you can bet that they to will engage with your brand on social media increasing the possibility of new customers experimenting with their ‘norm’ and becoming a brand user.

Social media is place where many brands take advantage of the high user rates and use contests and give aways to promote their brand or event. You can see many brands accept photos and such, linking through the popular #hashtag, as one way to enter into a contest. The contest rules are usually posted on one specific web page or social media and contestants can enter one various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. More often than not, Pinterest is the tool selected to bring all the contestant entries together from all the other social media sites. This give the contestants the opportunity to view other entries and will give users an idea of how big the social media contest really is.

When you are an individual living in a small community on the west coast you do not always consider that someone in another country has taken the time to enter the ssame social media contest that you did. This is why it is a good idea to have intertwining links to as many social media sites as you can, considering they are also being used for the same contest or event.

I would suggest having multiple social media platforms available to your customers to use and engage in a fun activity. The more fun you can make it the more successful your earned media can be. Good luck and have fun creating your next social media marketing campaign!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is how we define the activity or process that improves search engine rankings. Each time an individual types in search words the search engine, such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo, the words then go through their ranking system to determine which web pages are the “best” to display to the searcher.

When the search engines rank and select the pages to be displayed they are looking for interesting and authoritative pages to display because they want the searchers to return and continue to use their search engine. If Google was to show its searchers unrelated, or poor quality, pages in the search results they would lose their reputation and searchers would look elsewhere, to places like Bing or Yahoo, when they want to find information online. Google as the search engine does it job by effectively ranking good quality pages and providing them to their market. It is up to you to create and ensure that your web pages have the quality that Google likes to promote. The Search Engine Optimization so complex that it has its own periodic table that explains the key concepts you need to know to successfully optimize search engines.

In order to successfully utilize search engines you and your brand must create and develop good quality web pages that provide searchers with the appropriate information they are looking for. If you cannot create the good quality for the searchers then the search engines will give you a low rank within their system and the unfortunate reality is your web page will not be at the top of the search list and your web site visits will not increase.

Of course, as a web page owner, you have to option to pay for ads to be at the top, or bottom, of a search page but you should also want have a good ranking in the “free” searches as well. If you can pay for an ad on Google, good for you this will increase traffic to your web page and possibly increase profits for your company. Now on the other hand, if you can be one of the sites at the top of the free search list then it is a compliment to the quality of the content of your web page.

In the end it is all up to the web page developer to create and input the high quality material that will get your web page as close to the top of the list as you can get. That is what the search engines are looking for when they distribute their search lists because they are also a brand and want their brand to be reputable.

Domain Names

A domain name is an extension of your online presence, it is how your website will be identified on the Internet. Your customers will be able to find you online when they search and type in key words contained in your domain name therefore it is very important to consider words that are specific to your brand. Selecting the right words will increase traffic to your pages, how can you go wrong when the rights words will increase views and contribute to your brand recognition? You can’t! So select wisely.

There are many domain extensions, such as .com, .ca, .org, .net, .cn, .uk, .social, etc. and it may be advisable to register your domain name on several domain extensions. If you are creating a domain name, for instance AGphotography.com, and you only register on the .com domain extension anyone can register AGphotographs.ca and potentially ruin your brand. Therefore, it is important to put thought and effort into creating your domain name and then determine if it is in your best interest to register on any other domain extension.

Of course there are many brands that must register over many domain extensions because of the size of their brand but for many start up brands it may not seem so obvious. There are many things start up brands must consider, for example expected growth rate and cash flow, because when a brand is just starting out the cash flow is very limited but if you grow faster than expected and another brand registers your .com domain name on the other domain extensions they have the ability to hold your domain extensions hostage and demand a large ransom.

It is very important to consider words related to your brand and register them as well, even if you do not plan to utilize these domains it is important to have them under your control so others do not have access to them. If someone does register a domain name that relates to or sounds like your domain name you have lost domain name control. Is the effort to keep costs down worth the risk to allow others to have leverage over you and your brand? Like mentioned previously AG photography.com is how I registered, if I had thought things through I would have registered AGphotography.com and .ca plus I would have also registered AGphotographs.com and .ca even if I had no intention of using all of the domains to grow my business. At least if I had registered all of those domain names no one would be able to buy and control them.

Although your domain name is an extension of your brand and its products it is important to keep it simple. Although you must ensure your domain name is related to your business keeping things simple will give you an advantage when potential consumers are searching online and some of the words they are searching describe your brand. Keeping it simple increase the possibility that new consumers will land on your page and make a purchase.


The ever so popular #hashtag was revolutionized by Chris Messina in August 2007 with his twitter tweet “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?” Since that time the #hashtag has been adapted to other social media platforms such as Facebook, Pintrest, Instagram, Google+, and any other digital platform you can think of.

#Hashtags are a beneficial tool for businesses as they Increase Brand Awareness and create online engagement with your Target Market; Build Relationships with your Target Market because you can click on a #hashtag and see what your market is talking about and are interested in; as well as Increase Brand Loyalty by providing insight about your brand and allowing them to learn more about your brand history.

The great thing about #hashtags is the can be created specific to you and your brand. Although there are some General Rules you have to freedom to be as creative as you would like. You can create a #hashtag built specifically for your brand and then have sub-#hashtags for #contests,#giveaways, or #events.

Many brands today take full advantage of the use of #hashtags as a way to increase and promote their brand. One specific promotional use is through #contests, #giveaways, and #events. Most of the big name brands such as Starbucks, Disney, and Charmin, to name a few, use #hashtags to promote their brand during their #contests, #giveaways, and #events. When a brand is having a #contests they use the #ContestEntry words as a way for participants to enter, and view other entries, on a social media platform. The #contest developer will find a way to bring all of their social media platforms together for contestants to view the rules of the contest and the other entries.

When a Brand makes a decision to have a #contest, #giveaway, or #event and exploits the social media platforms to their advantage they are also reinforcing their Brand value to their Target Market and potentially reaching out to new customers through brand recognition. There have been many times when I have been on a social media platform and have seen many #contests throughout my news feed. Those #contests have helped me realize how many of my family and friends use a specific brand and in all honesty it has embedded brand value within me and on many occasions I have sampled various brands based on those values my family and friends have for the brand.

So yes, in my opinion, a #hashtag is a very beneficial tool that is used positively in todays marketing world. It helps brands bring their target markets together in a fun way while promoting their brand to potentially new consumers. So when you are looking to increase brand awareness and recognition it may be worth it to incorporate #contests, #giveaways, and #events into your marketing strategy. Yes, of course, those #contests are added expenses for your brand but I believe those costs are heavily outweighed by the positive expansion you will have.

#GoodLuck in your efforts to increase brand awareness and recognition, I am sure the right #hashtag will increase the your brand popularity.

My Gladstone’s

My name is Angeline, I married my husband Charles on June 21, 2003.  We have 4 children, Gary 17, Jordan 16, Charles Jr 10, and Shannon 10.

We started our family in 1997 and relocated back home to Bella Bella to raise our family.  In August of 2013 we moved to Nanaimo so I can return to school at Vancouver Island University.

My husband Charles is a hard working man who loves to take care of his family.  As I am busy with school he takes care of all household duties.  Without this support my school work would not be a priority.  Charles loves the game of basketball and plays for a Masters division team, 35 and over, he also coaches 2 teams, an intermediate division, under 21, and a junior division, 17 and under.

My son Gary is a senior at Dover Bay Secondary and is playing for the sr. basketball team he also plays for a local junior team.  After graduation Gary plans to look for work and wait one year before he continues his educational goals.

My son Jordan is in grade 10 at Dover Bay Secondary and also plays for the sr. basketball team he also plays for a local junior team.  Jordan has not yet made an educational goal decision but he has been working with his planning teacher to accomplish this.

My son Charles is in grade 5 and attends McGirr Elementary.  Charles is not in the same class as his sister this year, this is a first for them, but he does enjoy being able to work independently from her.  So far this is working for them.

My daughter Shannon is also in grade 5 and attends McGirr Elementary.  Shannon enjoys being independent and welcomed the opportunity to be in a different class than her brother.

I have many nieces, nephews, and god-children that I hold near and dear to my heart.  Family is built around our children and I would not want to live any other way.

Thank you for taking an interest.