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Well the official count down to Christmas has begun! Can you believe it’s already December? Neither can we!

School is almost out for the kids, and summer is here (well it’s supposed to be…um.. Melbourne, we’re looking at you) but best of all the Holiday Season is officially upon us which means it’s time to celebrate and get creative.

1.Get into the festive spirit

The holiday season is all about spending time with the ones you love and what better way to celebrate then to chill out on the couch with some popcorn and a glass (or two) of wine watching a feel good holiday movie.

With so many movies out there it’s hard to just pick one to watch but don’t worry, Kelly from Be A Fun Mum has got you covered with her list of the Top 20 Family Christmas Movies.

From Elf to Love Actually there’s something for everyone and with Christmas fast approaching its time to get started with checking each one off the list!

Screen Shot 2016-12-05 at 12.49.38 pm

2. Get Crafty

With another year of school almost over, this means kids are eager and ready to kick into holiday mode.

If you’re stuck on ideas to keep them busy, why not get them involved in the Christmas decorating.

My Poppet has created these simple DIY Cereal Box Christmas Trees that are fun for the kids to make and look gorgeous around the house.

They’re fun, easy and will make your house feel festive and bright during the Christmas season!

While you’re at it, why not see what else you can create with items from around the house and share your ideas in the comments below.

cereal-christmas-tree_featured-600x450

3. Add a personal touch

‘Tis the season of giving and this year why not try something from the homemade  Gift Guide put together by Bake Play Smile with the help of a few other blogger friends! A homemade gift adds a personal touch to the act of giving and is a fun way to get through your loooong Christmas gift list.

How about some homemade Baileys Irish Cream- sounds delicious right? Or maybe some Candy Cane White Chocolate Fudge?

The only problem with these gift ideas is you’ll want to keep them for yourself so make sure you make one extra, for taste testing purposes, obviously.

10-Quick-Easy-Homemade-Christmas-Gifts

4. Simple Hosting

Sometimes the thought of hosting a Christmas shindig can be a little daunting. It’s easy to get so caught up in worrying about everyone else having an amazing time that it becomes a day of stress for you, the host.

Fear not, Love Swah and Pearl from Pretty Mayhem are here to save the day with their tips on How To Host An Easy Holiday Party.

Five easy steps for a stress free day that ensures you as the host, enjoy the party just as much as everyone else!

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5. For the Sweet Tooth

What is Christmas without the sweets? It’s alright, we all have a cheat day (or week, or month) over the Christmas season.

Create Bake Make has a delicious collection of goodies for Christmas day including a twist on the classic Chocolate Ripple Cake- Mint Maltesers Chocolate Ripple Cake. YUM!

Mint-Maltesers-Chocolate-Ripple-Cake

Or keep it traditional with this delicious Easy Gingerbread Recipe which has the added fun of decorating, a perfect holiday activity to do with the kids.

Keep an eye on our amazing bloggers over the next month as they share tips, tricks and yummy treats for the festive season.

Words by: Stef Gordon

 

Adriana Barro
Nuffnang Community Team

Momentary video content and candid shots of the present moment are at the forefront of social media today. With social media giants Snapchat and Facebook fighting it out for the top spot it’s hard to recognise the benefits offered from the different platforms; Snapchat stories, Instagram Stories and new entrant Messenger Day.

 

 

Insta VS Snap

Snapchat

Snapchat stories is the OG platform for capturing and sharing spare of the moment photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Snapchat is impulsive, fun and captures behind the scene action and live interactions in real time.

Geo-filters, face mapping filters and the ability to draw, add stickers and add text to images or videos give snapchat a fun and creative edge that is very appealing to the millennial demographic.

With features such as filters, drawing and stickers, it also offers a chance to get creative with your content. Better filters and customisation keep snapchat in the competitive space.

Instagram versus Snapchat

Instagram Stories

It used to be that Snapchat was where we would share the less perfect, spare of the moment snapshots of everyday life, Instagram was where the picture perfect shot was shared. With the introduction of Instagram Stories, Instagram is now moving into the the realm of spontaneous image and video sharing. So now people can see how much effort actually goes into that flat lay…

Instagram stories has created debate within the social media world over how similar it is the snapchat as it offers an almost identical service to snapchat on top of the original functions of Instagram.

With over 300 million daily active users, Instagram stories offers a wider reach and has a wider demographic appeal.

A new feature of Instagram stories that is ahead of the game is the ability to include a link in an Instagram story.

1. Instagram Stories - Creating

Messenger Day

New to the market of spontaneous image and video sharing is Messenger Day, an extension on the Facebook Messenger app.
Messenger Day is still in the testing stages and was only launched in Australia in October, it being tested here before being launched in larger markets such as the USA.
Still in the early stages, Messenger Day hasn’t taken off yet as it doesn’t differentiate itself from other competitors or offer benefits for its use.

Do you use any live stream platforms? Which do you like better? 

 

Words by: Stef Gordon

Adriana Barro
Nuffnang Community Team

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It’s not every day that you get an opportunity to be a part of changing the world as we know it today. For the month of November, Nuffnang is supporting the Movember Foundation and we hope you will join us in helping to stop men dying too young.

We live and breathe Social Media, and we are strong believers that we can make a massive difference with all of our influence collectively by doing the following:

  • SHARE – Spread the word about this movement through Social Media with #Movember
  • BLOG – Let your followers know how they can get involved
  • DONATE – Donate to our Movember Page

There are a number of ways you can personally get involved and show your support:

  • GROW: (men) Grow a Mo, save a Bro! This November, grow a Mo, or publicly challenge someone to do it to raise awareness for Men’s Health.
  • MOVE: (women) Take the Move Challenge and beat your personal best. Move is whatever you make it: from the big (racing to the top of the tallest peak around, riding __kms for 30 days) to the brave (facing the fear of learning how to surf) to the slightly outrageous (working out in costume, a workplace Ping-Pongtournament
  • HOST:
    Mo Bros and Mo Sistas know how to get creative and have a good time. Whether it’s a golf tournament, band night, or a dinner party – this Movember, get together to raise funds, make some noise, and stop men dying too young.

 

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Why Movember?

Men are facing a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. They are dying too young, before their time. We’re taking action and we need your help.

Our fathers, partners, brothers and friends face a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. Men are dying too young. We can’t afford to stay silent. That’s why we’re getting behind this cause and taking action.
Movember is the only charity tackling men’s health year round, addressing some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
Independent of government funding, in the 13 years Movember have funded more than 1,200 men’s health projects around the world. By 2030 they hope to have reduced the number of men dying prematurely by 25%. Movember needs YOU, to help drive sign ups this year, spread the word and fundraise while focusing on the HOST, MOVE or GROW initiatives.

If you have any questions, or would like to be a part of Movember please email producttalk@nuffnang.com.au We have a brief, press releases, creative assets + more. We appreciate your support and time!

Love,
Team Nuffnang xx

Adriana Barro
Nuffnang Community Team

At Nuffnang, we’re massive fans of all things Disney. We grew up watching the countless number of classic films, and learning to memorise the iconic storylines. As we grow older, we still heavily anticipate the release of every new film, which are always full of loveable characters.

With the school holidays just around the corner we’re excited to check out Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, in cinemas now in 3D.

Pete’s Dragon is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot. Who just so happens to be a dragon! Elliot has the ability to disappear, breathe fire and fly…so we’re sure children will be truly enchanted by him. The quality of the live action animation will have audiences of all ages believing in the reality of the mesmerising fantasy.

The creative execution of the film is a true winner in our eyes. The visual designers of Elliot have clearly studied and observed the fond relationships between people and animals. In fact, Pete and Elliot’s relationship closely resembles that of a boy and his dog. Perhaps this explains why we fell so in love with Elliot’s characteristics. By the end of the film you will become so invested in the storyline that you will leave the cinema, desperately wishing Elliot were real.

The film is a tale of mystery, friendship, family and love. We don’t want to give too much away, but if you’re partial to a slice of ‘Disney magic’ then this is the perfect film for you and your family.

A highlight of the film is the amazing cast, including Oscar® winner Robert Redford, and Bryce Dallas Howard of ‘Jurassic World’.

It’s the perfect movie to watch as a family as it provides the opportunity to open up to a world of imagination and delightful characters. While you’re busy rushing around this school holidays, switch off and tune into the fantasy of Pete’s Dragon.

Check out the trailer here.

Sonia of Life Love Hiccups, Kelly of Be A Fun Mum and Cheree of Oh So Busy Mum had the pleasure of watching a preview of Pete’s Dragon. Read their thoughts on the film, characters and school holiday entertainment tips in the links below:

Life Love Hiccups

Be A Fun Mum

Oh So Busy Mum

Amber Holyoake
Nuffnang Community Team

So, you’ve got your blog up and running, you’ve got some great content and you’ve set up your social media accounts after deciding which platforms work the best for you. If you haven’t, and aren’t sure if Instagram is right for you then check out our post about choosing your social media platforms here. If you decide that Instagram is right up your alley then read on!

Intro to Instagram

As of January 2016, there were over 5 million active Australian Instagram accounts, making it the 4th most popular social platform in this country, after Facebook, Youtube and WordPress (source). Since it began 5 years ago, Instagram has gained over 400 million users, with over 80 millions posts published daily (source). But why is Instagram so popular? Instagram is a visual platform which allows people to show off their images and videos; it does one thing and it does it well.

Sandy structures

A photo posted by Noah Stammbach | Australia (@zeebachi) on

There are many limitations on Instagram that aren’t seen on other platforms, but that is part of it’s appeal for a lot of people because it encourages organic content, not sharing others’ content. Users can only see one feed at a time, meaning only one photo/video, and can only upload content from their phones. The banning of third party apps means content can’t be scheduled or shared within the app easily, forcing people to publish real-time.  

Instagram: what is it good for?

All of these factors means Instagram is a great platform for sharing unique, original content to an audience who want to see what you’re creating, not just content you’re sharing from other people. It’s great if you want to build a visual representation of your work, connect with others who share similar interests and engage with a relevant audience. Instagram works great for: – Travel bloggers -Foodies -Models -Fitspo -Makeup bloggers -Fashion bloggers -Famous pets

The downside to this is it’s harder to share content from Instagram. Unless you link Instagram to your other social accounts, you can’t share your Instagram content to other platforms. You also cannot share content from other accounts outside the app, unless you manually take a screen shot and send it to someone.

Some of Instagram’s newer features have been making it easier for businesses to use Instagram, including the ability to have multiple accounts logged in at one time, Insights, a contact button, and sponsored posts. This means it’s now easier for you to keep your personal account while turning your blog account into a business one to keep track of all those important numbers.

Instagram and your blog

With that all in mind, how can you use Instagram with your blog?

  Unlike Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and other social platforms, it might not seem as easy to use Instagram with your blog, but don’t let that put you off!   Instagram only lets you share one hyperlink in your profile; you can add links in comments or with photos, but people can’t click through from those links, they have to copy and paste them into a web browser. This means the stream of traffic going to your blog will be filtered through the one link, so choose your hyperlink wisely! 

Instagram may not provide you with a huge influx of traffic to your blog but it is a great platform for sharing your content and engaging fans. Think of it as the pretty store window, enticing people to come in and find out more about your brand. If they like what they see they’ll enter through the front door (the door represents your hyperlink in this metaphor) and look around at all the great content you’ve got on offer.

As previously mentioned, it’s now easier to be a business on Instagram, which is perfect if you’re treating your blog like a brand (which we’d recommend if you’re wanting to grow your blog and monetise it). By turning your Instagram account to a business account, you’ll make it easier for brands to get in touch with you and see a whole lot of in-app insights that aren’t available to personal accounts.

If you aren’t keen to change it to a business account you can still get insights, you’ll just have to use third-party apps like Squarelovin or Union Metrics. These both offer free services, where you can review your posts, see what people are engaging with, who are your top followers and more. There are plenty of other services out there is you wish to pay to get more in depth insights.

How to grow your Instagram following 

Don’t be afraid of hashtags! Some people love them, some people hate them, but they’re a great way for people to find your content. Make sure you use hashtags that are relevant to your content and the audience you want to attract. Morgan Timm makes a compelling argument for using hashtags here. This can also be a great way to find fans. If you want to get new followers, you can’t just rely on your current following. Liking and commenting on people’s photos is a good way to get their attention, and if you’re finding these people through hashtags that you use then chances are, they’ll be interested in your content.

Be consistent! Make sure you’re posting regularly, and at a good time. Union Metrics, Squarelovin and other Instagram tools show you when you get more engagement, so try and stick to posting at those times. If you’ve consistently been posting about food for the last couple of years and you suddenly hit your audience with a bunch of cat pictures they’ll be left confused and potentially annoyed. If you really want to start changing things up, start slow and be prepared to see a dip in followers. When you keep your content consistent, your overall feed will start to look better and be more appealing to new visitors. 

Be everyone’s best friend! As mentioned before, if you’re only posting content, and not engaging, how can you expect anyone new to see your content? There are plenty of large accounts which pay bots to grow their accounts, but this cheapens your brand and can ruin your integrity. You can spot when someone has used a bot, it might be a comment completely unrelated to your photo, or a simple emoji. When you’re engaging with people to encourage them to follow you, try and make your comments meaningful and relative to the image. Comment pods are a way of helping other bloggers out with engagement; find other bloggers in your area/niche to create a comment pod, where everyone shares and supports each other’s content. 

It starts to sound a bit daunting, but once you get going on Instagram it’s quite addictive! Make sure you’re posting frequently with high quality content that’s relevant to your audience and you’ll be fine. The proof is in the pudding.

Stay tuned for tips and advice on other social media channels!

Amber Holyoake
Nuffnang Community Team

Everyone is capable of using social media as an advertising, marketing and delivery mechanism – however, the trick is choosing the right platform to fit your brand.

With an ever-growing number of communication platforms to choose from, how do you know where you will be most successful in your delivery and where you will reach their ideal audience?

To identify where your brand fits with each platform, it is important to go back to the basics and see what makes each social platform unique. Then, you can leverage each to your advantage.

Now, breathe… we have done it all for you!

Facebook

APMM

Image courtesy of A Poor Man’s Millions

It’s no secret that Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. According to Statista (The Statistics Portal) 1.59 billion people globally are active on Facebook.

It goes without saying that Facebook obtains the largest audience out of any other social media network, indicating the importance of establishing and maintaining an engaging Facebook page.

Facebook isn’t necessarily just about selling products, but about building your brand’s reputation. Facebook helps brands and personalities to build relationships with followers by creating and sharing relevant content and engaging with their audience.

Unlike Instagram, Facebook allows you to share links, articles and photo albums, which engage audiences and in turn can effectively market the brand.

As Facebook’s algorithm continues to change, it is important to experiment with paid strategies to maximise reach and ensure engagement.

Whilst Facebook is an important aspect in growing your brand, it can be even more powerful when used with other social platforms.

Think of it like peanut butter and chocolate, great on their own, but even better when combined!

Twitter

Fuss Free Cooking

Image courtesy of Fuss Free Cooking

Twitter’s continuous flow of information and facilitation of immediate sharing helps ignite instant conversation with your audience. Twitter is a great way to encourage two-way communication between you and your target audiences, and provide a real-time approach.

Although in the past Twitter was chronologically organised, it has now adopted a new algorithm favouring content. As a result it’s important to let your insights help dictate when is best to post.

Twitter’s 140-character limit means information is short and concise, essentially allowing a series of bite-size conversations. To track all of this, Twitter helped to popularise the use of #’s and @’s, now unanimous across the web.

So if engaging with your audience quickly and in real-time best suits your fast-moving brand, get on it!

Instagram

My Poppet

Image courtesy of My Poppet

According to an article printed on Social Media News, Instagram currently has 5 million active users in Australia. With more users joining Instagram everyday, Instagram is ideal for bloggers who deliver visual content.

Fashion, food, lifestyle and travel are great examples of verticals that work well on Instagram. If you’re committed to creating aesthetically engaging content, then Instagram is the perfect platform to experiment with.

Instagram is great for developing your brand personality and is a fun way for your followers to keep up to date! There are a slew of apps ready to help you create the best visual content; to create collages, time-lapse videos and convenient photo editing.

Similar to the combination of wine and cheese, Instagram and Facebook are a match made in heaven! Linking your Facebook business page to your Instagram will allow access to in-app analytics that measure impressions, engagement and click throughs.

With Instagram’s latest ‘Stories’ feature, you are now able to share real-time images and videos with their audience. Think Snapchat, but for Instagram. This is a great way to personalise your brand and engage with your audience.

If you’re up to the challenge of posting regular, visually engaging content, we couldn’t recommend Instagram enough!

Snapchat

Snapchat is unique in that a number of brands are not yet using the platform (unlike Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). Use this to your advantage!

There is an entire untapped audience on Snapchat that you can build a strong relationship with through fun and watchable content. Especially with over 7 million videos being viewed per day on mobile devices alone!

The idea of Snapchat is to unveil and showcase live interactions in real time. Snapchat allows users to send each other images and video that expire after being seen, or last up to 24 hours if added to the users ‘Story’.

Use Snapchat to your advantage to show viewers behind the scenes of your brand and blog. It’s a great platform to humanise your digital presence and build your brand’s personality.

So, which is right for you? As you probably already know, working with platforms that compliment each other is key. Learn where you audience is and target them accordingly. Don’t stress about the in’s and out’s of every platform, focus on creating the best content for your audience and you will be well on your way!

Patrick Catanzariti
Nuffnang Community Team

Instagram @Nuffnang

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