Element Associates Social Suite – #EAEvents at #BBNYC

Last week, I attended Blogger Bash in NYC – it was amazing! The event was split into smaller parties and sessions and I was lucky to be a part of the Element Associates Social Suite (#EAEvents) because Element Associates very generously donated sponsor space to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

Here’s a quick overview of the #EAEvents Social Suite party:

Bloggers attending were the first to see the new Miii jewelry collection by Joseph Nogucci. Miii bracelets are crafted from semiprecious stone beads and gleaming rhodium-plated magnets designed to bring all of your bracelets together in a perfect arm stack. Like individual charms on a bracelet, each Miii commemorates a specific milestone or memory. Those in attendance may have also seen me wearing a Joseph Nogucci oragami paper plane necklace – now sold out.nogucci_stackedbracelets

COVERGIRL provided beauty services as well as COVERGIRL Colorlicious Lip Gloss samples to the bloggers attending.


Bloggers received samples of Washdrops, an award-winning green car wash solution. Washdrops uses only one bucket of water—no hose or rinse is required to get a beautiful shine. Washdrops is ideal for school and non-profit car wash fundraisers too!

Best-selling author Lauren Willig was on hand to sign her new book, Midnight Manzanilla. I saw her table set up before the event but I’m bummed that I didn’t get a chance to meet her.  That’s because the Alex’s Lemonade Stand was swamped and I didn’t have one spare second to leave – a good thing, truly.

I did get a chance to check out the super fun Wubble Bubble Ball though! It looks like a GIANT bubble but plays like a ball. It can be found online and at Target stores nationwide for $19.99. (More to come on that later!)

Best of all, #EAEvents also focused on social good!

Smokey Bear, who celebrates his 70th Birthday in 2014, posed for photos and shared birthday cake. Did you know that 9 out of 10 wildfires are started by humans?Smokey Bear still plays a key role in educating the public that “Only YOU can prevent wildfires.” Wish Smokey a Happy Birthday by signing his online card.

AutoTex Pink encouraged bloggers to help “Wipe Out Breast Cancer.” A donation is made from each purchase of AutoTex Pink wiper blades to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. AutoTex Pink wiper blades are available in pink or in black with a pink ribbon online at www.thecequentstore.com.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation served icy cold lemonade in exchange for donated tweets and instagrams.  The generosity of the bloggers who stopped by to chat was simply inspiring. Not only did they share  social media love but I also walked away with $32 in donations even though I didn’t ask once for cash donations. Best of all, several bloggers have already signed up to host ALSF stands of their own or joined Alex’s Million Mile – Run.Walk.Ride. happening this September, National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Special thanks to Sisy of Mamá Latina en Philly for stepping in to help in more ways than one!

Me at #BBNYC – Photo courtesy EatSleepBe.com


How to Geotarget and Gate Facebook Posts

Did you know that you can geographically target Facebook posts on the Facebook pages you manage? You can also target by Gender, Relationship Status, Educational Status, Interested In, Age, Location, and Language.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do geotarget your posts.

How to Enable Geo-Targeting

First, let’s enable geotargeting in your settings. By default, this setting is usually turned off. Go to your Page Settings (click on “Edit Page” and choose “Edit Settings” from the drop-down menu.) Under the “General” tab, go to “Post Targeting and Privacy” and turn the feature on as shown below.



How to Geo-Target a Post

Write your post as you normally would. Click on the cross-hairs icon:


“All Locations” are included by default:


Click on “Add Targeting” and select “Location”. Here you can also see the options to target posts by other audience characteristics.



Select “Country”, “Region or State”, or “City” and type in where your target audience is located. You can add as many as you want:


Once you “Choose Locations” you’ll be brought back to your post where you will see an estimate of how many people your post will reach. You can also choose to include additional targeting options at this point.


You’re ready to go! Hit “Post” – your post will now be targeted to the personal timelines of those in the regions you selected! Those not in your targeted regions won’t see the post in their timelines, however,  should they visit your page/wall, they will be able to see it on your page.

Should you want to prevent people outside of your targeted locations from seeing your post, even when they visit your page, you can gate the post.

How to Gate a Post

Gating posts allows you to control who is able to see your post. You can gate posts by Location or Language.

First, click on the “Public” next to the “Post” button:


Add the locations of where you want to limit the visibility of your post and save your settings:   geotarget_facebook5

You’re ready to go! Hit “Post” – your post will now be viewable to only those in the regions you selected! Those not in your targeted regions will not see your post, in their personal timelines or on your page/wall.  Even if someone who can see it shares the post, only those within the selected locations will be able to see the shared post.


NetZero 4G HotSpot and Wireless Service – GIVEAWAY!

Do you remember NetZero from back in the day? I do! My mom was all over their free dial up service back in the late 90’s. But since the dawn on Cable and FiOS connections I haven’t really thought about dial-up or NetZero and I honestly didn’t know if they still existed.

Well they do, and they’ve joined 2012 in style with a new 4G wireless service.

My mom passed away in ’04 but I have a feeling she’d be just as excited about this new service as I am. I’m pretty sure she would have signed up as soon as I told her about it because NetZero is staying true to their name and offering plans that start out at $0.00 per month.

They pretty much have a service plan that will fit every budget and usage need.

In case you are wondering what 4G is … well, think of it as broadband on-the-go. A fast wireless Internet connection that you can take with you anywhere that there is coverage. And there’s coverage across 80 cites and metro areas so there’s a nice chance that you are covered!

Here’s what the NetZero Hotspot device looks like:

It’s small enough to conveniently fit in any bag or larger pockets so you can take it with you anywhere. The HotSpot device allows up to 8 simultaneous devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.) to connect to it. There’s also a small NetZero device call the “Stick” that looks and plugs into your laptop like a USB drive and gives it wireless Internet access. You can’t share access like you can with the HotSpot though.

And yes, I named my hotspot, Hermes, and that’s the password in parenthesis. If you are within range you are welcome to hop on! :)

That is, unless you WIN YOUR OWN! Because, as the post title suggests, I do have a GIVEAWAY for you!

[Hermes = Greek god of transitions and boundaries. Quick, cunning, and moved freely between the worlds. Protector and patron of travelers. Seems appropriate, yes no?]

You can win your very own NetZero 4G HotSpot Device PLUS 3 free months of Platinum Service. Yep, that’s their top-of-the-line $49.99/month plan.

I know Santa will be bringing lots of tablets, laptops, and smartphones to families everywhere this year. In fact, he already brought a couple of Nexus 7‘s to our house and couldn’t resist delivering them early despite my weak protests.

Your family will LOVE having fast Internet access wherever they go for all their portable devices. For a chance to win, follow the directions in the form below. There are several simple ways to enter, pick whichever ones you want to do.

If you don’t want to take your chances or wait head on over to NetZero today and grab a HotSpot for yourself. (Psst, they are on sale right now!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* I am being compensated by NetZero to host this Giveaway promotion.

Small Businesses Embrace Social Media Marketing

Vertical Response just released an interesting infographic. They surveyed 462 small businesses on how much time and money they spend on social media activities, including finding and sharing content on popular social networks and blogging, and what tasks take the most time.

Bottom line, more small businesses are catching onto social media marketing and are spending more resources on it.

Forty-three percent of respondents spend six or more hours per week on social media activities for their business.

Nearly half of the small businesses who blog spend up to three hours per blog post on at least a weekly basis – time that, prior to having a blog, would have been used on other business activities. Some spend even more time per post. And they should! As easy it looks, a good quality post doesn’t get slapped together in a few minutes.

A company truly invested in social media marketing will then spend more time promoting the post that just took hours to prepare on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, etc.

Small businesses are recognizing the increasing importance of generating content for social media.

Of course, everything comes at a cost, whether that be time or money. So the question now becomes how small business should spend their time and money on social media?

The answer will be different for everyone. It could be a complete DIY job, hiring an employee or contractor to focus on social media, consulting with a social media expect for training, or completely outsourcing to an agency.

Blogger Beach Bash in Avalon, NJ

I was super thrilled to be invited to the first Blogger Beach Bash hosted at the Golden Inn in Avalon, NJ.

And the reason was purely selfish. My son is 3 and I hadn’t taken him to the beach ever before. What better way to do it than with a bunch of bloggin’ friends!

Unfortunately, the X-man ended up being terrified of the ocean and after the first ankle-deep wave he would have nothing to do with it. He wouldn’t even go near the wet sand. And it was H-O-T. And we traveled 2.5 hrs to get there. And I bought a swimsuit (on clearance for $50), a swim suit cover, beach towels, toys, etc. Ugh!

Then he had to go potty and we had to trudge all the way back to the hotel. That’s when I started to overheat, get cranky, and was about to pack it up wondering why I wasted my time and money. Tried to call the Other Half for moral support and basically ended up yelling at him for [being a douche and] not coming. You’ve been there, right? I’m not the only one, right? Some days this mommy stuff really gets the better of me.

Regrouped and cooled off in Luigi’s Pasta restaurant which is attached to the Golden Inn and served the breakfast we mostly missed earlier due to traffic.

Headed back out just in time to see Sandman Matt from the Travel Channel’s hit show, Sand Masters, start his sand castle building lesson and demo. We also received The Can You Dig It Sand Tool Super Deluxe Sand Sculpting Kit. Can You Dig It Sand Tools - deluxe kitThis kit has everything you need to build awesome sand castles like the masters, including an instructional DVD.The DVD might be the best part of the kit if you are sand-castle-building-clueless like I was. We’ve watched it twice. It’s cheesy but full of tips and super helpful.

I can’t wait until the X-man is older and not afraid of the ocean. I’m imagining lots of kickass sand castle building in our future!

After learning the art of sand castle making we headed back to the Golden Inn for a beach side lunch. Next was the Golden Inn’s pool area.

It was X’s first time in a big pool (I know I’ve totally been depriving the poor boy). I was prepared for a big freak out and thought we’d be leaving soon because I took him to the Y a few months ago thinking we’d try swim lessons. He was terrified of the pool then. I mean shaking and grabbing on to me for dear life even though we were just taking a tour.

Well, guess that’s all gone because he had NO fear and we stayed in the pool for HOURS! Seriously. I was shocked. And as a nice bonus I could actually chat with other moms for a few minutes here and there as we moved about the big pool or sat in the kiddie pool. The pool ended up being the best part of the day.

Worth all the earlier stress and trouble?

As we were heading back to the car: “Mommy, I’m going to miss the beach.


Except next time remind me to treat myself and stay over a night or 2. In fact, I think I need to head back to the Golden Inn for one of the Girlfriend Getaway weekends and REALLY treat myself!

First time with his toes in the sand!
Sand Master Matt Long at work.

Learning from the expert! Sandman Matt teaches us the art of sand sculpting.

Shout out to the other event and goody bag sponsors:

The Painted Home
Jordan Schneider Financial
Suddenly Safe & Secure Systems
Visit AC
Honest Tea
Pop Chips
Truly Custom Cakery
Bai Drinks
Boogie Wipes