The Social Scoop

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Welcome to the Social Scoop, a series that shares what’s happening in the marketing world each week. Here’s the latest…

Snapchat Challenges Facebook
Snapchat is building their advertising technology to rival Facebook for web time. With nearly 7 billion views of videos daily, snapchat is a rising advertising platform.

Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide
Trying to build a business? Read up on these 7 tips to find out how to survive your first year.

Changes to Twitter Timeline
Twitter announced that like facebook, they want to try organizing the timeline by relevance instead of reverse chronological order.

Conversational Ads
Twitter introduces new conversational ads which will help increase consumer engagement by using call to action buttons with custom hashtags.

Keep up with the Trends
Because social media is constantly changing and updating, it’s hard to stay on top of the trends. Read up on these tips for this year’s social media marketing trends.

The Social Scoop

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Welcome to the Social Scoop, a series that shares what’s happening in the marketing world each week. Here’s the latest…

10 Times Longer Tweets
Twitter is talking about raising the character limit from 140 to 10,000. This will change twitter as we know it.

More Than Just Beauty
L’Oreal will launch its #worthsaying campaign during the Golden Globes to empower and encourage women to talk about anything they feel is important.

The Future of Social Media
New platforms are constantly popping up. Which social media sites will we be seeing more of this year?

Consumed by Phablets
Usage of ‘phablets’ (smartphones with large screens) is rapidly increasing. Phablet popularity has changed the way consumers use apps on mobile devices.

Mini iPhone
Rumor has it that Apple plans to release a new, smaller version of the iPhone in April to accommodate consumer complaints about the size of the iPhone 6.

Boss Lady: Samantha Betley

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Samantha Betley, creator of Lock and Key Confectionery, a stylized chocolate confection company. Samantha shares with us her decision to start her own company, the inspiration behind her amazing hand made chocolates, and advice for women looking to enter the world of entrepreneurship.

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1. Tell us a little about yourself and your career.
My name is Samantha and I am the owner of Lock & Key Confectionery. I have always loved creating in the kitchen, so when it came time for college, I excitedly attended Johnson & Wales University, where I earned a degree in Baking and Pastry arts. After school, I worked in several bakeries, focusing mainly on specialty and wedding cake decorating.

2. When did you know that you wanted to start Lock & Key Confectionery?
I started Lock & Key after my childhood best friend (another Boss Lady, Lily of Lily B & Co.) suggested it, actually. I had taken some time away from working in the baking world, but as we discussed the ideas of chocolates and stylized desserts, something just felt right. So, I jumped back into it by starting my own stylized chocolate company!

3. What was it like to leap from employee to entrepreneur?
I exercised some personal creativity as an employee, but nothing comparable to the level that I am creating with Lock & Key. Every decision is mine, and the direction this business takes is all up to me. That can be scary, but I try to focus on how empowering it can be! I am learning to have confidence in the decisions I make, regardless of their outcome, and I think that’s a big part of being an entrepreneur and a Boss Lady!

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4. Describe a typical workday.
My workday varies depending on the orders I have, but my typical day involves email filled mornings, meetings or deliveries in the afternoons, and then working in the kitchen during evenings and overnight hours. It is a bit of a crazy schedule, and very different than any other job I’ve had before, but it has really worked best for me so far!

5. Has it been difficult expanding your business over ecommerce?
Online business has been really important as I’m expanding Lock & Key. I’m learning that maintaining a relationship with customers online requires more effort than sales in boutiques or in person, but keeping a regular presence through emails and social media helps bridge the gap.

6. What inspires your passion for desserts and creative design?
I think I take inspiration from a lot of places. I love going to farmers markets and hunting through spices, fruits, and nuts to find ideas for flavor combinations. Also, going back to the basics can be inspiring, so I will sometimes read through old books and notes from baking school to spark ideas. But when I am in the kitchen, it’s listening to music that keeps me motivated and inspired the most!

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7. What is your most successful form of marketing?
My most successful form of marketing is probably Instagram. It has proven to be such an integral part in introducing new items and engaging customers. I love the ability to interact with people through sharing images of what I am working on, and hearing feedback almost instantaneously has been incredibly helpful in marketing products.

8. Are there any blogs or magazines that you routinely read to stay on top of your industry?
I really love Cherry Bombe Magazine! It’s always filled with amazing articles and stories, and features some of the most creative women in the food industry – so what’s not to love?!

9. Are there any Boss Ladies you look up to?
I think the Boss Lady who instantly comes to mind is my mom. She is the type of person who always sees the positive in any situation, and she’s incredibly hardworking. I think both of those attributes make a fantastic boss, and when I am doubting a decision or have a question about anything, she is the first person I ask!

10. Do you have any advice for women looking to start their own business?
I think starting your own business can be really intimidating, so I think that speaking and engaging with other entrepreneurial women can be really inspiring and encouraging. Don’t underestimate the power of asking for help or a little advice!

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More on Samantha:

Website | Facebook | Instagram

Lake Tahoe Adventures

What better place to spend the holidays than in a true winter wonderland? Heavenly Valley is a small town nestled in the mountains on the south side of Lake Tahoe. It’s a great family destination with tons of activities for everyone. The center of town is full of shops, restaurants, spas, casinos and a skating rink. Its main attraction is skiing and snow boarding of course but whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or not, seeing the views from the top of Heavenly Mountain are a must. If you don’t like skiing they have a sight seeing lift that will take you up the mountain to see some of its amazing views of the lake. I have only visited Lake Tahoe in the winter but I hear it’s also a great travel destination for the summer too. There are a ton of activities to do on the lake like boating, water sports, kayaking, hiking, and beaches. Here are some of my favorite photos I took during my stay:

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The Social Scoop

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Welcome to the Social Scoop, a series that shares what’s happening in the marketing world each. Here’s the latest…

Bizarre Social Media Phenomenon
This may be one of the most bizarre things we have ever seen on Instagram but it gained her almost 30,000 followers and could make her rich one day.

Better Social Graphics
Adobe just launched Adobe Post, a free iPhone app that helps users quickly and easily create professional looking graphics.

Google+ Updates
Google+ released a series of updates including a reorganized dashboard and a new stream to help marketers reach viewers more efficiently.

Top 10 TV Shows
MVPindex analyzed social media engagement to determine the top 10 most talked about TV shows. Where does your favorite show rank?

100 Trends of 2016
Keep your eye out for these trends to pop up on Pinterest this year.

New Social Media Tools for 2016
These new tools will help you streamline your content and increase your social media efficiency and success.

2016 Interior Design Trends: Featuring Brandywine Sotheby’s

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A new year means new trends, particularly when it comes to interior design. There’s a captivating feeling when a space consists with of-the-moment decor. Taking a look at the year ahead, we’ve put together a list of what to expect in 2016 and how you can transform a room from boring and outdated to chic and modern.

1. Wood ceiling beams and reclaimed wood are two major design trends in the new year. Expect for both to stay around for a while as they add history and texture to the room, making them a timeless staple for any home.

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2. Glass pendant lights are a subtle but intriguing way to add style and function. You’ll see them a lot in both kitchens and bathrooms.

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3. Using textures like fur, woven rugs, brick and wood add detail in the best way possible. Natural materials are having a major moment and will continue to be prevalent throughout 2016.

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4. We saw barn doors used a little this year to create a rustic, charming look. Expect for them to remain popular because they are extremely efficient and add character.

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5. Patterned flooring sets the stage for a visually interesting room. It can add pop and compliment almost any space; small or large.

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6. Pantone just released their colors of the year: Rose Quarts, which is a soft pink, and Serenity, a pale blue. Both are tranquil enough for wall colors and decorating accents throughout your home.

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7. The use of bold stripes adds depth and brings a new dimension to a straight and narrow style space. Don’t be afraid to mix with other patterns.

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8. Metallics like brass, copper, and gold, together or alone, will add warmth and a touch of glam.

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Images via Brandywine Fine Properties Sotheby’s International Realty: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9