Recipe: Easy & Basic Caramel Apple Pecan Bars

Bundle up and head to your nearest apple orchard, because we’re in the mood for baking!

To continue with the basic theme, Anne and I decided to treat you to one of our favorite Pinterest recipes that will have even your harshest critics coming back for seconds.

We present: Caramel Apple Pecan Bars, a recipe courtesy of The Gunny Sack!

To get started, you’ll need:

  • 1 Spice Cake mix
  • 1 Stick butter, softened
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Granny Smith (green) apples
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

Extras:

  • Ice cream
  • Caramel sauce (we used Smucker’s Simple Delight Salted Caramel Topping)
  • Chopped pecans

Get Cooking:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F
  2. Combine cake mix, egg and butter and mix well in a medium bowl
  3. Line a 9 x 13″ pan with parchment paper and grease
  4. Pat the cake mixture into the pan
  5. Peel and chop the apples
  6. Combine apples, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together in medium bowl and mix well
  7. Distribute coated apples evenly over the top of the cake mixture in pan
  8. Top with chopped pecans
  9. Drizzle whole can of sweetened condensed milk
  10. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes
  11. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream, caramel sauce and chopped pecans

…and voila! Just like that, you’ve mastered the art of baking!

Can’t get enough basic? Master these four digital elements to give your strategy the face-lift it needs this fall!

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How to Incorporate Holidays into Your Social Strategy

Every day it seems like someone is celebrating something on social media. From National Lumpy Rug Day (May 3) to National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day (November 12),  you can find just about anything that relates to your brand. And while those days may seem totally ridiculous, for some brands, it’s a creative way to interact with its audience members.

For instance, a carpet or rug company may want to run a promotion for National Lumpy Rug Day on May 3, promoting a discount to replace your lumpy rug with a new one.

But with so many national days to choose from, we realize it can be overwhelming. So, below are TAG’s tips on how to utilize national holidays to promote your brand and connect with your audience.

Why?

Before you begin implementing, we think it’s beneficial to know the advantages of utilizing national days in your social strategy.

According to Crowd Spring, 78% of consumers believe that companies that are focused on custom content are more trustworthy than companies that post generic content.

I’ll use TAG as an example. Donuts are part of our culture here (hence, Donuts & Digital), so instead of posting some generic picture we found on Google, we actually bought donuts for the office and created our own content. Creating your own content will make your brand seem more authentic, and thus, more trustworthy.

How?

While it’s always good to wish your audience a Happy Halloween or a Happy Valentine’s Day, choose holidays that relate to your brand and company culture.

Oreo actually does a really great job of leveraging national days to create custom content, while still promoting their product.

Oreo_Daily_Twist_Ad_Campaign

 

Do’s & Dont’s

National days are a great way to showcase your brand’s personality on social media, but don’t use it as a crutch for your strategy! If you decide to celebrate a national day every day, your audience members will begin to see through it and tune out your messaging.

A good rule of thumb would be to choose one or two national days per month that:

  • Directly relate to your business
  • Showcase your brand’s personality
  • Provides your audience with an interesting takeaway
  • Creates an opportunity for dialogue between you and your target audience

If you are celebrating a more-common national day (i.e. National Pizza Day), be sure to use the #NationalPizzaDay hashtag to reach the maximum amount of people.

Get Started!

Utilizing national days in your social strategy has never been easier. At TAG, we really enjoy NationalDayCalendar.com  which allows you to see what people are celebrating today, tomorrow, this week, or even two months from now if you’re feeling really ambitious!

Another great tool we would recommend is Sprout Social’s Complete Calendar of Hashtag Holidays for 2017. It’s definitely a more narrowed look at national days throughout the year, but it tells you which is the correct hashtag to include in your post.

Want more? Contact us today so that TAG’s team of social media experts can develop a social calendar that’s custom for your brand!

 

How to Utilize Pinterest to Grow Your Business

How to Utilize Pinterest to Grow Your Business

Currently, there are over 100 million active users on Pinterest. That means that there are more than 100 million users who could potentially interact and engage with your content. What has turned into the go-to place for individuals to collect and organize everything they love, now offers businesses an ideal platform to showcase and market their products—especially if their products are visually appealing. Could your business benefit from Pinterest? Keep reading to find out!

Advantages of Pinterest over other social platforms

  1. Pins have a longer lifespan than posts or tweets: Because over 80 percent of pins are classified as “re-pins”—compared to 1.4 percent of tweets that are re-tweeted—pins have the potential to reach more users over a longer period of time. While the average lifespan of a tweet or Facebook post is measured in minutes or hours, the average pin can come up in user searches months or years after it was originally pinned. And because Pinterest is commonly used to help users plan for big life events—like a wedding, baby or new home—pins chosen by these users are likely to be active for longer periods of time.
  2. Search with Lens: Pinterest is trying to close the gap between its app and the real world, and it’s that much closer to doing so with Lens – a search function that allows users to upload pictures of items from their camera roll or in real-time and will, in turn, deliver like items or ideas. For example, you see some lady at lunch wearing these shoes that you just have to have. Take a picture of them, upload it to Pinterest using Lens, and Pinterest will find items that look like those shoes and will even populate other clothing items that would pair well. Or, if you’re at home and you’re wanting to make dinner with a particular spice, take a photo of it and then upload it through Lens to get recipes that include that ingredient! Lens makes it easier for both you and your customers to find what they’re looking for. The easier it is for your customers to find you, the easier it is to make the sale.
  3. Drive consumer purchasing behavior: Because Pinterest is visual by nature, businesses can use their products to catch the eye of potential consumers with fun, visually-engaging content. Pinterest acts as a product review platform, shopping catalog and customer advice column all in one convenient location, which means that (if done correctly) businesses can market their products and close deals all in one space. In fact, 25 percent of customers reported buying a product or service after discovering it on Pinterest, and admitted to only buying products once they could see the product in real life settings—like through photos on Pinterest!
  4. You set the terms: Thanks to its pinning board capabilities, Pinterest allows businesses to get as specific or as broad as they would like. You can set up a tightly defined board that only covers one product or service that you offer, or you can create general lifestyle boards—the choice is yours. Users also have the power to follow only the boards that they are interested in, which makes Pinterest more appealing because it does not require an “all-or-nothing” attitude—like Facebook or Twitter.

Is Pinterest right for your business?

  1. Visual appeal: Are you selling a product? Is it a visually-appealing product? Do you have high-quality, web-ready photos of your products? If the answer is yes, yes and yes, then chances are, Pinterest is right for your business. The trick to a sound Pinterest presence is quality over quantity. Remember, if you want your audience to engage with and respond positively to your photos, you must make sure your photos are clear, concise and of the highest quality.
  2. Gender split: Is your target market mostly female? 85 percent of current Pinterest users are female, so if your business predominantly targets women, Pinterest is the place for you.
  3. Industry dominant: Just like all marketing platforms, certain industries will benefit more from one platform than others. Due to its visual nature, industries that benefit from Pinterest include fashion, event planning, home and lifestyle, flooring and health and beauty.
  4. Social presence: Does your business already have a Facebook or Twitter account? Pinterest works best if you are able to cross promote your boards or pins on various social platforms, so before you create a Pinterest account, make sure you’re up and running on other social platforms, as well.

Pinterest is a wonderful tool businesses can utilize to capture their audiences’ attention, and communicate with essential target markets—plus, it’s fun! Here at TAG, we love Pinterest, and we’re ready to help you utilize its capabilities to its fullest potential to help your business skyrocket in the marketplace. Are you ready to become a Pin-master? Contact us today!