Welcome to the Ampersand Blog

The peeps at Kel & Partners have a lot to say. After all we are public relations and social media zealots who thrive on sharing interesting news and great stories with the public. The Ampersand Blog is really the voice of our Peeps – the kick-ass team of people that work at K&P. Whether it’s a story about the way PR works NOW, the social media universe, our families, beloved pets or quirky travel experiences, you’ll find it all right here. You may laugh, you may cry, but the best part is you’ll leave feeling “wicked smaht” as we like to say here in Boston.

Archive for the ‘social media’ Category

  • Facebook

    Julia McGovern | Wednesday, October 30, 2013 12 Comments

    Twitter Feed Now Includes Photos, More Fun

    Twitter update includes photos and videos in feed

    Remember the days of texting your tweet to 4040 from your flip phone under the desk in third period English? That tweet was only text. And only 140 characters of text.

    Since then, Twitter has turned into a virtual laundry list of links that lead you off channel into the wild, wild West of the World Wide Web. Are you clicking on a link that will lead you to a photo? To a video? To a news article? To porn? You’ll just have to click the link to find out.

    Well yesterday, Twitter announced that users will now see images and videos directly in their timeline. The experience is similar to the likes of Facebook, Instagram, or Vine.

    https://vine.co/v/hDntvwpnenh (via Twitter’s Vine)

    Moreover, Favorite, Reply, and Retweet buttons are more readily displayed between all tweets. No more are the days of needing to click on a tweet to engage with it.

    The barriers have been lowered for interacting with tweets. This is huge for brands who seek retweets of their content in the hopes of virality. On a channel where sharing was already as easy as one, two, three (scroll, click, retweet), we now have sharing as easy as one and two – just scroll and retweet. Imagine the speed at which visual content will be shared! It might have just given me chills.

    Quick recap: Twitter took the most sharable content on the internet, visual content, and made it even more shareable.

    Visual is now vital in content curation. Facebook, Instagram, Vine. The once text-focused channel of Twitter is a whole new playing field for brands.

    Happy scrolling to all users who no longer have to click through to their content! What does Twitter’s update mean for you?

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  • Facebook

    Julia McGovern | Wednesday, October 16, 2013 9 Comments

    The FYI on Twitter’s New DM Settings

    Extra, extra, Tweet all about it! Listen up! Twitter is rolling out a new option and you’d be a liar if you said you didn’t like options. Historically, you could only send direct messages to someone who was following you, and you were in turn following back. Now, Twitter allows users to choose whether they want to be able to receive direct messages from any follower. With the click of this box, you open the door to all sorts of visitors, both welcome and unwelcome:

    DM Opt-In Checkbox

    DM Opt-In Checkbox

    What does this mean for you as an average Twitter user?

    It does NOT mean that you’ll automatically be receiving boatloads of spam. You have to remember it is an opt-in feature. In fact, I don’t think this will have much impact on you, Mr. Average Joe Twitter User.

    What does this mean for you as a manager of a brand handle?

    Marketing blogger, Jim Connolly, sums it up better than I can: “People complain all the time about bad customer service experiences over Twitter. Now, those grievances can be dealt with privately from the business end.”

    Only community managers will know this pain…that of a 140-character-or-less complaint coming in about your client. The pain of then having to inconvenience your displeased customer by asking him/her to take an extra step to DM contact information so you can take it offline, knowingly putting the fact that there is an issue on blast. All we, as a community managers, want to do at this point is do something for this guy, not ask them to do something for us.

    After this Twitter update, as long as the displeased customer is following you, you can remedy the situation in immediate privacy right off the bat, without the gaze of your followers, and without inconveniencing the user. It opens the doors for immediate customer service and instant private management of whatever situation.

    Will you open up your Twitter account to allow direct messages from any follower?

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  • Facebook

    redheadmeag | Wednesday, August 28, 2013 No Comments »

    Heyo! Facebook announces major changes to how contests can run on YOUR Facebook page

    Our social media Peeps could barely sleep last night. We know you’re asking “why?” In the “new changes announced every minute” world of social media, it takes a lot to get us THIS excited. But this is pretty huge!

    Late last night, Heyo broke some EPIC news: Facebook announced a loosing of restrictions on how contests can be administered on the site.  We’d like to take a moment to give solid props to Heyo on this one. When  we received the late-night email blast, we checked our fav in-the-know media sites (Mashable, TechCrunch, Business Insider) and couldn’t find the news anywhere else.  But a quick check of Facebook’s Page Guidelines confirms the news, and our world will never be the same.

    So, what’s changed, and what’s the big deal?

    Historically, in order to host a contest on Facebook, page managers were required to utilize a third-party platform. With a bevvy of affordable and easy-to-use tools out there, this one wasn’t hard to manage (unless you weren’t familiar with the rules and were penalized for hosting a contest without this important step – yikes!). By opening up this restriction, Facebook is enabling the less “socially savvy” business owners to engage with their fans in a new and exciting way on Facebook, and eliminating the need for well-designed tabs to host a cool giveaway.

    The biggest change is that no longer are page managers’ hands tied in using “Facebook functionality” as a method of contest entry. Want people to “like” a post to enter to win? Now you can! Want people to comment with feedback in order to enter your giveaway? Do it to it! And want to announce your winner on Facebook so all of your fans can see that you do in fact choose winners? THE FACEBOOK WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER!

    While you cannot use “timeline activities” for contest entry (such as  ”share this post to enter”), Facebook has given page admins a great new tool in providing meaningful, engaging content to your fans.

    We’ve already got our wheels turning on how we’ll roll out contests for clients with these new changes in place. What do the changes mean to you?

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  • Facebook

    Julia McGovern | Monday, June 17, 2013 9 Comments

    What Type of Instagrammer are You?

    You can tell a lot about a person by scrolling through their Instagram feed. Take a look at my recent Instagram photos:

    Do you think I like cats? Well you’re wrong because I love cats. I have accepted that I’ve pigeonholed my Instagram presence as a Catstagrammer for life. It is what it is. Do any of these other classic Instagrammers sound familiar?


    When I think of the most skin-crawling part of the human body, it’s a solid tie between ass cracks and feet. Belly buttons are a close second. I’m happy to say I’ve never seen an Instagram of an ass crack or of a belly button. So what’s with all these feet close ups? Why, people? I do not want to see pictures of your crooked toes and bunions.

    Hashtag Wh*re

    You know this one. #The #one #who #hashtags #every #word.


    Isn’t there an ABBA song that goes “Mama Mia, here we go again?” That’s what I mutter to myself when my friends with babies Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, I think your baby is really cute in his footie pajamas. And I thought he was really cute in that last picture you uploaded of him. And the last one. And the last one.

    Selfie Fanatic

    I’m guilty of this so I feel entitled to mocking this genre of Instagrammers. If you’re going to #selfie at least get creative. Put away your duck faces and reverse peace signs. I pride myself in my selfie creativity. I’ve taken selfies in the reflection of Christmas ornaments, watches, and liquor store security cameras.


    This is the user who rapid-fire-uploads back-to-back photos every 5 seconds for the span of 10 minutes. Consider your feed flooded.

    Food Porn Addict

    Unless Gordon Ramsay himself prepared your dish, you should be eating it, not taking a picture of it. The dish is going to go cold by the time you pick your filter, type out #foodporn, perfect your caption, and post. Also pictures of soup are only cool if you’re Warhol.


    This is Instagram after all. The whole point is that we are seeing and sharing what is happening in our world instantly. Some Instagrammers only use their account to recycle FB photos from the glory days of college or their innocent toddler years. #TBT is the proper place for these photos, but you shouldn’t only be posting on Thursdays. I’ve already stalked you on FB and seen these photos of you. No need to bring them to Instagram.


    If you have to type it out, then Tweet it. Instagram is about the experience of photographs, not text-packed status updates.


    Listen, I love to see my photos receive likes. But your like means nothing to me if you like every single one of my photos, and every other photo on your feed for that matter. Is nothing sacred? Get out of here with your distribution of a false sense of approval!


    Don’t know what a Catstagrammer is? Follow me at @therealjuliamcgovern for more info.

    What type of IGer grinds your gears? What type of IGer are you – c’mon be honest!



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  • Facebook

    kandpeeps | Friday, June 1, 2012 13 Comments

    Can you imagine a world without Facebook?

    My eyes were glued to the TV as I watched Mark Zuckerberg ring the NASDAQ opening bell and expose his company to further public scrutiny. For many looking to make a quick buck off of the IPO, Facebook has thus far looked like a dud. With stocks plummeting, critics of Facebook are proclaiming “I told you so” and quickly writing off this American success story. I can’t wait to tell the speculators “I told you so.”

    See, I’m a child of the social generation. I’m not a financial advisor, nor am I an expert on everything tech. However, when Google went public in 2004, I could have told you it would be a great investment. When Apple was on the brink of collapse, I could have mentioned that they had the capability of really kicking butt. And with Facebook going public now, I’m telling you that Facebook will be around for the next 50 years.

    The Criticism

    The main critique of Facebook is that it’s just a social networking platform that won’t be able to deliver real value. It’s an understandable stance. After GM ended its agreement with Facebook for paid ads, the very prospect of Facebook ads being worthwhile for businesses came into question. If a large company can’t profit off of its advertisements, how can a small business?

    With 85% of Facebook’s revenues coming from advertisements, weakness in the system is undoubtedly a bit scary.  The roughly 1 billion unique users inhabiting the Facebook-world are still hard to monetize.

    With news of Facebook’s overvaluation, investors are reasonably skeptical towards Facebook’s exact worth. But should they bet against the 800-pound gorilla?

    The Future (my fearless forecast)

    If we take a moment to remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” then we appreciate that Facebook is still gaining its legs. Facebook has already shifted the world.

    After all, it was Facebook that piqued my interest in Public Relations and later Social Media. It was Facebook that filled my college days with event invitations to parties. It was Facebook that started revolutions and unified people against tyrannical governments. When a government completely forbids their populace from using a social networking site, there is definitely something special.

    It is Facebook that is working to determine presidential elections. It is Facebook that connects family members worldwide. It is Facebook that allows users to actively participate in conversations around the World Wide Web. It is Facebook that will continue to change the social landscape for years to come. And it is Facebook that does not yet know its own potential.

    And how will Facebook do it?

    The potential of f-commerce (Facebook Commerce) to track data and optimize it for individual users is mind-blowing. Businesses will be able to reach ~1B users and sell merchandise directly through Facebook. Slowly, users are accepting that Facebook caters advertisements to interest and search history. Once Facebook finds a way to remove the taboo of being a social media site and harnesses its mobile potential, it will explode financially.

    With all the comparisons to Myspace’s gigantic fall from grace, there is one big reason that Facebook won’t fail. It has time.

    Facebook has what all businesses seek: a user base that is incredibly loyal. As much as people dislike the changes that Facebook makes to its platform, they always stay. The prospect of a gigantic user-base and technological advancements prepare Facebook for future progress.

    This preparation for the future will work well as Facebook emerges as much more than a website. Think once again of the two tech companies that come to mind first, Apple and Google. Apple is now much more than a computer company (iPad, iPhone, iPod, iMac) and Google is much more than a search engine (Android operating system, Google+, Google Docs, Google Maps, Google Glasses).

    Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, told investors that ‘the one company closest to being like Apple is Facebook. And just today, Apple announced a partnership to build Facebook into their iOS 6 software.

    So why are we betting against Facebook?

    If you are a business owner, you probably would love the ability to do these things at a fraction of the cost

    • Cater ads by interest and location
    • Sell items to interested parties
    • Create promotions
    • Find new customers
    • Interact with happy and disgruntled users
    • Send messages to followers

    However, Facebook does not just help businesses; it also educates the user on new products and allows for feedback that traditional media do not allow. After all, we trust our peers much more than we trust advertisements.

    In the end

    I’m putting my eggs in the Facebook basket. I’m no financial advisor, but I do see the potential of Facebook to continue to drastically change the worldwide business environment. Does this mean that Facebook will transfer into immediate justification of the $38.00 per share? Absolutely not, but I’ll leave it at this: I’m not betting against the social giant.

    It may be a hunch, but can you see a world without Facebook?

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  • Facebook

    Jenna Finn | Thursday, February 9, 2012 11 Comments

    Stay classy, New England

    This past week has been hard – not just for me, but for all New England sports fans. Sunday’s Super Bowl loss was a hard hit to take – and it was to NY, which only makes it hurt more.  But we have to take it in stride. It’s all part of being a true Boston sports fan. You win some, you lose some. You win big, you lose bigger.

    To make matters worse, a company (who will not be named) decided to pull a PR stunt making fun of Wes Welker. On Tuesday, a mere two days after the event, 900 pounds of Butterfinger candy bars were dumped in Copley Square. A women standing next to the candy was holding a sign. The sign read: “Thank you Wes Welker”.

    Now, here is my problem with this whole thing. That is just too mean. It wasn’t only Wes Welker’s fault that the Pats lost. Isn’t the motto “you win as a team and lose as a team?” Also, there is no way that is funny. Maybe I’m taking it personally because I am still getting over the loss (yes, a week later!), but I don’t see how this PR stunt can be seen positively.

    Also not funny- “Bradying”. Don’t do it. It won’t make you look cool.

    If I were from New York  I would think differently about this whole situation, but since I am from the great city of Boston, I say back off and let us grieve in peace – no more not funny PR stunts please.

    What do you think? Do you think the Butterfingers stunt was appropriate?

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  • Facebook

    Deirdre Carey | Monday, February 6, 2012 22 Comments

    YMNKM, but I am a SWF, and mom of 2.

    Both my children have cellphones, both text and my teenage son is on FB constantly.

    I consider myself pretty hip. I mean, I own an iPhone, post on FB and wear skinny jeans with UGGS. Yes, I text too.  However, as a writer, it is hard for me not to use proper sentence structure, grammar even when communicating through mobile devices.  I know my lengthy, full sentences (okay, paragraphs), grammatically correct, properly punctuated texts drive people nuts, especially my kids, who I know take one look at a text (novel) from me and actually read it in its entirety.  But all these text & chatting acronyms drive me crazy.

    I have no issue with the ones I’ve known and used since my youth:  BBQ, BYOB, MYOB, FYI, PDQ, TGIF, ASAP, ETC., XOXO (which, BTW, I believe I coined back in the 8th grade as a way to sign all the letters I wrote and passed to my BFF’s in class, and am now wishing I trademarked because everyone uses it today!) And of course, my three favorites: PYT & TLC (thanks to endless hours of listening to my Michael Jackson Thriller album).  And NKOTB (If you don’t know who I’m referring to, then you might not be cool enough to be texting anyway. I’m just sayin’).

    So, in an effort to up my texting etiquette, and have the ability to decode what my kids are saying when I spy on their phones & FB posts, I did what every red blooded American would do,  I turned to Google to find the top most popular text & chat acronyms.

    Here’s my .02.

    YMAK a lot of acronyms, but BM&Y, IDK many!

    KYFC I use acronyms correctly when chatting with BFF’s.



    U may think TPS


    Here are my top 11 (it doesn’t always have 2B 10) new favorites I will use often:

    1)     TNSTAAFL – There’s no such thing as a free lunch

    2)     RUOMCUMHD – Are you on medication because you may have missed a dose

    3)     FCOL – for crying out loud! (An expression my mom used on a daily basis when I was a kid.  That and “I’m going to brain you! WT* does that even mean? IDK)

    4)     GOYHH <insert name> – get off your high horse

    5)     ^5 – High-five (how did I NOT know that one?)

    6)     BISFLATM – But I still feel like a turquoise monkey

    7)     LMKITWFY – let me know if that works for you

    8)     HFAC – Holy flipping animal crackers

    9)     YYSSW – Yeah, yeah, sure, sure, whatever

    10)   RME – rolling my eyes (I will use this one the most!)

    11)   SWAK – Sealed with a kiss (since everyone stole my xoxox!)

    And here is one I’m going making up myself that I hope catches on:

    TSWCOT! – The sun will come out tomorrow! Y? Because it’s positive, it’s upbeat, and I’ve always been a huge fan of Annie the musical TYVM!


    What a GR8 learning experience!


    HTH U2 :)

    10Q 4 reading my post!


    Have 2 GBTW now :(


    PS: Ne1 want 2 add?

    FF to comment.

    No TMI PLS.



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  • Facebook

    Jayne Seward | Tuesday, December 27, 2011 19 Comments


    pin·ter·est (n.):

    A fun reminder of the clothes I ill never afford/fit into, the home décor I will never afford/fit into our small home, the recipes and crafts I am too lazy to ever make, the saying I wasn’t clever enough to think of on my own, the photos I wish I had taken but didn’t.

    If you haven’t yet heard of Pinterest, the virtual bulletin board phenomenon taking the Internet by storm, you soon will.  The food… the party planning… the crafts… Pinterest is slowly taking over my life (but I love it). And I’m not alone in my obsession.

    The site, which launched in March 2010, is still invite-only and yet has managed to rack up over 4 million active users according to its Facebook page. If that’s not proof of an emerging social network, I don’t know what is.

    For those of you who have yet to discover the addictive power of Pinterest, here’s the 411:

    • Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that allows you to organize and share all the inspriational things you find on the web.
    • You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
    • People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and share their favorite recipes.
    • A pin is an image added to Pinterest.
    • A pin can be added from a website using the Pin It button, or you can upload images from your computer.
    • Each pin added using the Pin It button links back to the site it came from.
    • A board is a set of pins.
    • A board can be created on any topic, such as My Style, Recipes For Dinner, or Wishlist.
    • You can add as many pins to a board as you want.

    My personal Pinterest repertoire ranges from places/countries I want to visit, sassy manicure designs, and even a board of inspiration for my future tattoo (if I’m ever ballsy enough to get one).

    So whether you want to create a board on crafty DIY projects you find online, or you want to plan your imaginary wedding, I highly recommend checking out Pinterest and requesting an invite ASAP…. Or ask me for an invite! I’m more than happy to help out a future pin-oholic!


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  • Facebook

    Kendyll Messina | Thursday, December 15, 2011 No Comments »

    Santa Has Elves, You Have Social Media

    With the holiday season upon us, it is crunch time for most when it comes to holiday shopping. When you consider the amount of time you spend on Facebook, Twitter, and foursquare why not use your favorite social media sites to help cross everyone off your holiday shopping list?

    It can be as easy as following the brand names you know your best friend likes on Twitter to see what is hot and new for the holiday season, to get some “giftspiration”, or getting a gift card to the bar your brother is the mayor of on foursquare. A lot of stores are also giving great coupons and discounts once you “like”,” follow”, or “check in” at a particular spot!

    It’s super easy to “like” a page on Facebook, but did you know that a lot of pages give exclusive savings and giveaways to their Facebook fans? Check the home pages of your favorite stores /brands and look for a link to their Facebook page. “Like” them, and you could get your brand name gifts for less!

    Not sure how to find the best deals on Twitter? A quick search on popular hashtags such as #deals and #coupons will show you what discounts other people are sharing and talking about. For more, just follow the professional deal seekers! A few of my favorites are @CouponTweet, @retailmenot, and @FabulousSavings.

    When it comes to foursquare, all you have to do is look up the specials near your location, check in, and reap the rewards! You will find anything from a discount off your purchase to freebies!

    By using these social media sites you can save time and money (which we all know is the goal throughout the holiday season!). With the help of social media there is no need to get involved with the masses of people doing their last minute holiday shopping, you can get everything done right from home ( you are more than likely going to be on these sites throughout the day anyway, right? )

    When it is time to open gifts you can sit back and relax while everyone receives exactly what they wanted! Santa may have elves, but you have social media ☺

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  • Facebook

    redheadmeag | Monday, December 12, 2011 6 Comments

    Klout, schmout

    In the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of negative backlash directed at Klout, based on an algorithm change that caused a lot of people’s scores to plummet. As for me, I’ve been a skeptic since I got my first Klout score. Now, I’m no Ashton Kutcher (gratefully) but I’ve been on Twitter for nearly 4 years and consider myself something of a Twitterholic. Imagine my surprise when I got my Klout score -– a meager 30- – and learned that I’m considered “influential” about…real estate?

    Real estate? A happy renter that’s never even been to an open-house, I can’t imagine in what universe I’d be considered knowledgeable on the subject, let alone influential. (Editorial side note – a recent check of my Klout score now has me influential about PR, family and Massachusetts…perhaps thanks to those recent algorithm changes? More info in this article from Adweek: http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/klout-faces-foes-136721)

    As our collective consciousness has evolved past the “my follower/friend count defines my SM self worth” stage of evolution (see posts from Ginny Pitcher and Chris Brogan for more on that), I think we all look for some metrics that will define our status as “rock star.” (I’ve always been a fan of HubSpot’s continuously evolving Twitter Grader –- perhaps because it gives me an A+?) Tools like Klout can either be validation, or useful for those starting out to figure out if they’re “doing it right.” I’m not so sure that Klout is an effective tool for either of those situations.

    A recent post by Hollis Tibbetts on SocialMediaToday has a nice little case study on “gaming” Klout that I think is a pretty clear illustration of what (IMO) is wrong with the service: http://socialmediatoday.com/softwarehollis/385964/exposed-klout-scores-still-garbage-after-all-these-days.

    Maybe my 30 isn’t so bad? Some interesting insights in this piece: “Why I deleted my Klout profile,” (check out the insights under #6), http://socialmediatoday.com/pammoore/389381/why-i-deleted-my-klout-profile

    With the advent of +Ks, I think there’s a chance that Klout’s “influencer” metrics may be improved by some user-generated control. While the site is still technically in beta, I’ll look to see continued improvement that makes what they’re measuring more meaningful. I wonder if by the time they get there, though, anyone will consider it so.

    What’s your Klout score? Are you a fan of the service?

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