Thursday, February 14, 2019

Exploring Social Images & UGC - Guest Post by McKenzie Gregory

    Looking for some inspiring tips on bringing publicity to your posts and photos? McKenzie Gregory from has some great tips on gaining views by using user generated content. Most everyone these days has a mobile phone that takes good photos you want to share with others. Whether it be of the food you just ate, the location you are visiting, or the outfit you tried on, you want to post it for all to see and get their opinions on. When visiting a restaurant, you may want to share a quick review on the service received and the food you ate, or a share about your experiences from a place of entertainment. Whatever it may be that you are sharing, you want to get that post out into the world and hope for it to become popular. Utilizing hashtags are a great way to publicize your post, as well as tagging the location. This helps those that are looking for specific things to reach your image and look further into it. There are many helpful tips in the article below. Read all about user generated content and how you can work with it to get your posts into the world and expand your page views.

*Guest Post by McKenzie Gregory from

Learn how to harness the power of social images and UGC

"Today's consumers aren't so convinced by your glossy, professional food photography. 
Why? Better phone cameras and the popularity of social platforms like Instagram mean we all have unprecedented access to photos from people's real-life dining experiences. This type of user-generated content (UGC) has become a force to be reckoned with in the restaurant industry. Did you know that across all ages, 55 percent of consumers trust UGC over other forms of marketing? Or that only 15% of people trust recommendations from brands, while a whopping 84% of people trust recommendations from people?
Capitalizing on user-generated food photography should be a no-brainer for the modern restauranteur. Developing a UGC discipline allows you to build a loyal following of brand advocates. It encourages engagement and produces a steady stream of incoming content, minimizing your own day-to-day workload. And, perhaps most importantly, it promotes authenticity: A diner is much more likely to trust a friend's photo of your menu item than the images they'll find on your website.

Practical ways to use curate user-generated images

• Search existing posts by hashtag or location. You may already have a ton of ready-to-use UGC—you just haven’t found it yet! Search Instagram by location and any hashtags you think your customers may have used to reference your restaurant. If you find anything you like, ask the user for permission to repost it on social or feature their image in an email. More often than not, they’ll be thrilled about the recognition.
Nashville favorite The Grilled Cheeserie often reposts customers' photos. 
• Promote a hashtag to begin collecting content. If you want to begin curating content relevant to a specific campaign or menu item, develop a unique hashtag that customers can use to indicate their participation. Be clear about how you plan to use the content and promote the hashtag in key areas: on your website, in your emails, at your brick-and-mortar store, or through social media influencers. To encourage adoption, offer some sort of reward (a chance to win a gift card or a special dining experience, for instance) to those who participate. 
Choose social influencers over professional photographers. Rather than paying a professional food photographer to capture images of your menu items, contact influencers from the local food scene. At Venga's recent Hospitality Roundtable, St. Elmo Steak House shared this example: 
"We headhunt awesome Instagram content creators in the area. They use the equipment they already have to capture photos of our restaurants and menu items, and for every photo they send back to us or post themselves on social, we give them a gift card. It's significantly less expensive than a professional photo shoot, and we come away with authentic, high-quality photos from people with far more followers than us."
Instagram celebrity Doug the Pug often features restaurants in posts to his over 3 million followers. 

Why invest time and resources into social and UGC?

One of the biggest challenges that come with using social media or influencer marketing is difficulty proving ROI. There's no way to track the path to purchase from an Instagram post, so how can you show management what you're doing is working and providing value to the business?
1. Track your website analytics. Here's an example from Emma customer The Palm said, "For so long, our typical customer has been in the 45-65 age range. Since we've become active on social media and begun engaging with that audience, we can go into Google Analytics and see that we've attracted way more website visitors that belong to a younger demographic and expanded our audience significantly."

2. Develop a brand personality. These days, choosing a restaurant isn't just about price and menu items—with so many options available, diners need something more to attract their attention. By engaging with current and prospective customers on social, you begin to develop a unique brand personality that helps you stand apart from the competition. 
3. Get in front of more people and reduce ad spend. Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful marketing channels you can utilize in the restaurant industry. Encouraging your customers to share their experiences with their own networks means you'll get your name in front of more people without having to pay for it through social or display advertising. "

About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Daily Goodie Box - January 2019

 Disclaimer: I received the following product(s) in exchange for my review. All opinions my own.
   I got the chance to review another Goodie Box, this time for the month of January. It was filled with all kinds of things I've never tried before! From Beverages to snacks, and body to teeth care. Keep reading to check it out!

Karma Wellness Water - Immunity Booster. This was a very cool drink to try. The top contained all of the flavoring and vitamins, and when you're ready to drink it, you push the top down and it all flows and mixes to shake up. It was an Immunity Booster in the flavor of acai pomegranate The taste reminded me of a watered down koolaid, very berry like and refreshing. This drink contains so many immune fighting vitamins, as well as zinc, and berry and tea extracts. A great drink to keep your hydrated, and perfect for those that have a hard time drinking straight water!

Don’t Go Nuts - Whitewater Chomp Bar. This bar was delicious! The oatty flavor the granola carried mixed with the creamy white chocolate chips were perfection. I loved snacking on this granola bar, also love that they're made free of nuts, in a nut free facility! This makes it an excellent snack to bring for school snacks. It's organic, gmo free, and gluten free. And each bar contains 14g of whole grains!

Shrewd Food - Brickoven Pizza Protein Crisps. These crispy protein balls are coated in a nice seasoning that has the flavor of pizza, but once I got past the flavor, the texture honestly felt like I was chewing pieces of foam. It wasn't too horrible, so it can be a great snack for indulging in after a workout. It really packs in a lot of protein at 14g per container.

Tiger Balm Active - Muscle Spray. I love how easy to use this spray is. You just spray it on the area where your sore muscles are and you're good to go. This is much better than having to get your hands messy with the original rub. Plus I find it smells better, with an added mintyness from the menthol. It helps my achy muscles feel better too!

Rustic Maka - ILLUMINATE Activated Charcoal Whitening Tooth Powder. This was my first time using an activated charcoal on my teeth. I loved the idea of it naturally whitening, but I don't like the mess this powder causes. It also left my gums feeling weird. The powder is made of a blend of Bentonite and Kaolin Clay, baking soda, spearmint and peppermint powder for taste. I never did actually taste the mint in this, but it was definitely an interesting thing to try!

CUSA Tea - Premium Instant Tea. I enjoyed trying each of the teas, as the flavors were great and I didn't have to wait for the tea to brew. My favorite flavor was the Oolong Tea. Mixed with some cream and sugar, this tea tasted great! Next in line was the English Breakfast tea, and last would be the Mango. I loved trying each tea, as it was like a little treat to indulge in.

Blister Balm -  Protective Lip Treatment. This is an interesting lip balm, with a very minty cool feeling once applied. It rolls on easily, and it's like a soft oil to moisturize the skin. It is made to delay future cold sore outbreaks and help relieve chapped and cracked lips. It also helps keep lips from drying out in the cold and windy weather.

What product are you most interested in trying?  

Join the Daily Goodie Box to receive your own set of products to test! 

Daily Goodie Box. It's more than just Free Samples!

I received a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions my own.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Cleaning Home With Seventh Generation's Multi Purpose Wipes

 Disclaimer: I received the following product(s) in exchange for my review. All opinions my own.

   Seventh Generation Multi Purpose Wipes are perfect for keeping your home clean. They are 98% USDA Certified Bio based and made without dyes or synthetic fragrances. They let off a beautiful garden mint scent that is made from essential oils and botanical ingredients. Since these wipes are all-purpose, you can use them for several cleanings areas. On kitchen cupboards and counters, across your appliances, in the bathrooms, on the kid's toys, and so much more!

     I love keeping multiple areas in my home clean, with Seventh Generation's Multi Purpose Wipes.  They clean everything and leave behind a fresh minty smell that is so calming. I use them on my kitchen countertops and cupboards, to get all those sticky messes off. I also like to sanitize the door knobs and even clean up messes on the floor. These wipes are truly great and I just love that mint scent! My new favorite go-to cleaning supply! 

 Visit Seventh Generation for more products and information!

I received a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions my own.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Starting My Day With RISE Brewing Co Lattes

Disclaimer: I received the following product(s) in exchange for my review. All opinions my own.  

   I recently had the chance to try Rise Brewing Co Lattes, a cold brew coffee that originated from New York. Their coffee has been grown at a high altitude in the Chanchmayo Valley in Peru; made all organic, with purified water. It is 70% less acidic than standard coffee, naturally sweetened, and has no artificial add ins. Each can is complemented with a Nitrogen infusion, which gives the can a nice 'pop' and the coffee a smooth texture with a creamy top.

   The variety pack I received contained the following flavors: Mocha Latte, Classic Latte, Oat Milk Latte, and Original Black.

   Rise Mocha Latte has a creamy taste and texture. It reminds me a bit of an unsweetened chocolate pudding flavor. The organic low fat cocoa powder gives this drink a lightly sweetened chocolate sense with a soft mocha aroma. It is dairy free, made with oat milk, which adds to the creamy smooth texture. It also contains sunflower oil which gives it a hint of nuttiness. This drink contains 15g of sugar and 1g of protein, this latte has 150 calories and is equal to 1 cup of coffee.

    Classic Latte has a slight underlining sour taste, yet slightly sweet and creamy. It is made with organic skim milk and cream, with a sweet cafe aroma. It contains 17g of sugar and 6g of protein, with 125 calories it is equal to 1 cup of coffee. 

   Oat Milk Latte has a strong oats flavor and aroma. It is very similar to the mocha latte, without the added cocoa. It is also made with sunflower oil, giving it a hint of the sunflower nut. This drink is dairy free, made with oat milk and contains 12g of sugar, 1g of protein, and is 130 calories. Also equal to 1 cup of coffee.

     Original Black is just as it sounds, straight black coffee. The color is beautiful and the top froth is as perfect as the others. The coffee itself has a very bitter taste and pungent smell. Made of only organic coffee beans and purified water, it is equal to 2 cups of coffee.

 Which flavor do you think I liked the best? The winner for me is... the MOCHA LATTE! I loved the creamy, natural chocolatey flavor this one carried. Even better, that it's dairy free! So next time your in the store and spot RISE drinks, I suggest any of the latte drinks! They hit the right spot and give you a little sweetness to get your day going. 

 Find more flavors at, as well as apparel! 
And for a limited time, get free shipping on all products!

 I received a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions my own.

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Cow Said Neigh! - Book Review

 Disclaimer: I received the following product(s) in exchange for my review. All opinions my own.

The Cow Said Neigh - A Farm Story - written by Rory Feek and illustrated by Bruno Robert, is an adorable children's book of animal chaos on the farm. Each animal wishes that it could be something different, so it starts making a different animal noise. It begins with the cow who wishes he could run free like a horse, so he begins to neigh. The horse hears the cow and decides he would like to be a duck, so he can lounge in the pond all day. The duck would like to be a sheep, the sheep would like to be a pig, and so on so forth. Every animal makes the sound of the next animal it sees, with the last animal being a cat that says hello, the farmer hears this and decided the only thing he can do is.. moo like a cow! Which brings the story into a full circle of silly animal sounds! 

I love the illustrations and cute flow of the story. Kids will have so much fun reading along and making the animal sounds as they go. This is a great book for preschoolers learning about animals, and it will bring laughter and fun to every reading session!  

You can find The Cow Said Neigh available for purchase on Amazon or at the Faith Gateway Store, available in either hardcover or board-book.

 This review is made possible by BookLook Bloggers, in providing me a copy of the book 
in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Join Me at The Culturelle Clubhouse!

   Are you looking for a place to chat about your kids health and support their digestive and immune systems, while getting your opinions heard and entering fun giveaways?

 The Culturelle Clubhouse is the place to be! By signing up, you will get the opportunity to try products for free, join discussions, answer surveys and share information directly with Culturelle!

Join me at The Culturelle Clubhouse to learn about offers, giveaways and keeping our kids and babies healthy all year long.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Tales of The Kingdom - Book Review

Disclaimer: I received the following product(s) in exchange for my review. All opinions my own.

   Tales of the Kingdom, written by David and Karen Mains and illustrated by Zhivko Zhelev, is 84 pages full of inspirational stories of multi-ethnic modern fairy tales to teach children and adults. Each story teaches on morals with good and evil, and the significance for trusting in God.

   There are 12 chapters filled with different characters looking for their worth. From Scarboy and his brother, Little Child, in The Enchanted City. They try to escape the evil of the town, and find what they were looking for in the end. Then there's the Girl Named Dirty who lived with pigs and boasted on her dirtiness. She wanted to make a change after she realized she didn't want to live in filth after all. There's the Baker Who Loved Bread who began to share his bread with others once the King explained the pain he feels when others hurt. There are so many other characters... All of the stories work together and form a metaphorical interpretation of stories in the Bible. It's packed full of adventure and lessons with teaching behind each. I enjoyed the illustrations each story carried, though the book was really hard for me to get interested in. I didn't find the stories very appealing, though you might if you're interested in a science fiction-esque genre. It is said to compare with books such as The Chronicles of Narnia and Pilgrims Progress. The art was my favorite part of the book, as it was done with great detail and color.

You can find Tales of The Kingdom available for purchase on Amazon also visit for more books and information.

This review is made possible by BookCrash,  in providing me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.