6 Useful Apps For Everyday Productivity


Need a little help with improving your day-to-day performance? From time tracking to document organization, these resources can help you get—and stay—dialed in all day. Check out our favorite productivity apps that you can install now on your iOS or Android device.


This app puts all of your email clients in one place. It also lets you track whether an email has been read, which is useful for when you are waiting on a response before taking action.

Key Features:

  • Read Receipts - Receive a read-status for every email you send. Know exactly who read your email with individual mail tracking.

  • Snooze - Set your emails to come back to your inbox at a more convenient time. Snooze emails, not productivity.

  • Undo Send - Pull back that email blunder you just sent. This is especially useful when you’re on mobile and need to reply in a hurry.


It's where work flows. Slack acts as a middle ground between email and instant messaging. You can easily send messages or files to a group or individual in a very organized manner.

Key Features: 

  • Communicate with your team and organize your conversations by topics, projects, or anything else that matters to your work.

  • Message or call any person or group within your team.

  • Share and edit documents and collaborate with the right people all in Slack.

Improving Focus


This app is a timer that uses the Pomodoro technique, where you work for a set period of time and then take a short break. The Pro version comes with time tracking and reporting for clients.

Key Features:

  • Manage your tasks in intervals.

  • Track your progress throughout the day, week, or custom period.

  • Allows for fast and easy goal tracking.


The Pocket app allows you to save all of the articles you want to read at a later time. It will even read the articles out loud to you. Pocket is great for the commute to and from work.

Key Features:

  • Boasts unlimited storage.

  • Use tags to quickly get organized.

  • Listen to your articles with Text-to-Speech.

  • Save with one click using Pocket’s desktop browser extensions for Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.

For Everyday Life


Once telemarketers get a hold of your cell number, you feel doomed every time the phone rings. Truecaller saves you the annoyance by blocking telemarketer calls. It claims to block over 2 million spam numbers.

Key Features:

  • Automatically identify spam and fraud calls before you pick up.

  • Filter junk SMS automatically.

  • Enter any number to lookup name and other contact info.


Meditation can do wonders for your mental clarity and productivity. Calm makes meditating easier by offering dozens of guided sessions on their app.

Key Features:

  • 80+ Sleep Stories: adult bedtime stories guaranteed to lull you to sleep.

  • 7 day and 21 programs for both beginner and advanced users.

  • Brand new Daily Calm every day: a new 10-minute program added daily to help ease you into the day or unwind with before bed.

5 Twitter Chats Marketers Should Follow


A Twitter Chat is an organized Twitter conversation around one unique hashtag. Generally, the pre-arranged chat is moderated and focused on a particular topic. It's a great way to build a community, create exposure for your brand, and stay up-to-date with various trends in your industry. Check out which Twitter Chats we think are useful for marketers and content creators alike.

1. #ContentChat

#ContentChat is a Twitter chat discussion that encourages content marketers and creators to share their experiences and relevant insights with each other. The weekly chat is hosted by Erika Heald Mondays at 1 p.m. EST.

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 12.10.29 PM.png

2. #SocialROI

Manage Flitter hosts a Twitter chat series every Tuesday at 5 p.m. EST with topics ranging from Search Engine Optimization, content marketing, and social tips and tricks.

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 12.45.15 PM.png

3. #HootChat

Twitter users can follow along with Hootsuite's #HootChat every Thursday at 3 p.m. EST. This discussion group is hosted by different experts every week, sharing valuable insights to help boost your social media strategy. This chat is one of the more popular groups, generating thousands of mentions when live.

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 12.52.50 PM.png

4. #EcomChat

This Twitter Chat focuses on e-commerce and digital marketing best practices. Hosted by experienced digital professionals, James Gyrd and Dan Barker, Twitter users can connect with this group every Monday at 8 a.m. EST. People of all levels and interests are welcome, whether contributing or simply listening.

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 12.53.26 PM.png

5. #LinkedInChat

Every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. EST, Con Patrick Sweeney moderates a Twitter chat on topics around LinkedIn. This discussion is open to anyone who has questions about LinkedIn, complaints about LinkedIn, and best practices for networking. 

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 12.55.09 PM.png

Have you participated in a Twitter chat? How did it help? Let us know in the comments below!

4 Key Elements of Event Marketing


Event marketing is becoming an increasingly popular component of PR campaigns. Live events enable in-person interaction and feedback between businesses and customers who, in turn, can try out potential products first hand and post about their experience in real-time via social media.

PR teams are increasingly being called upon to help in all aspects of event marketing, from initial planning and invitation distribution to providing on-site support and building online hype. Cover your bases ahead of your next event by knocking these four key elements out of the park. The result will be a successful event that your brand can build upon.

Traditional PR

Writing a press release for an upcoming event and publishing it on a news wire seems basic, but it does the job of spreading the word. Reaching out to relevant reporters and inviting them to cover the event is also important, as well as adding events to local online calendars, event round-ups, and daily newsletters.


A simple tool like Canva is perfect for designing an eye-popping invitation or event poster, ensuring that it captures your business’ brand elements and voice. Designing can also include advising on the overall flow and vibe of the event. If there’s food, should it be a buffet or passed hors d'oeuvres? Are talking points needed for a speech? You should be in full event planner mode and consider any logistical details needed on-site in advance of the event.

Social Media

Posting across social media channels ahead of an event as well as live posting to your accounts not only shares details but lets attendees know what hashtag to use and which social media handle to tag during the event. Creating a Facebook event page is also a way to gauge interest and expected attendance if there isn’t a formal RSVP process. The event page can also serve as a sounding board for potential guests to reach out with questions.

Influencer Marketing

Oftentimes influencers themselves can be guests of an event. Even if they are, partnering with a relevant influencer to promote an event is a great option. It increases awareness of your brand to a highly-focused niche audience that you already know will be interested in your business.

Ready to plan and execute the next big event for your business? Let us help! Contact the Social Ape Marketing team today to get started.

4 Tools For Building Facebook Messenger Bots


So, what exactly are messenger chatbots? Chatbots are a simple form of artificial intelligence that you can interact with via a messenger app. But don't let that intimidate you! With the right tools, chatbots are super easy to create and are a powerful way to generate more leads and sales online.

Facebook Messenger Platform

Did you know 64% of people are messaging more through Facebook Messenger than they did two years ago? Well, now you can start building your own bot directly through the platform’s landing page. The Messenger Platform allows businesses to deliver automated customer support, e-commerce guidance, content, and interactive experiences. This feature gives bots the ability to make contextual content suggestions based on the conversation. The option appears in Messenger once user has interacted with the bot.


Chatfuel is a do-it-yourself solution that gives anyone the ability to build a full-featured chatbot for Facebook Messenger in a matter of minutes. Using a simple drag-and-drop interface you can start experimenting with your own bot and become an expert at it within a very short time. 

You can use Chatfuel to create any conversational experience in Facebook Messenger. Think of personalized content delivery, marketing, e-commerce, and trivia! 

To give you some ideas, take a look through this list for examples of chatbot experiences built on Chatfuel (it’s best to use a mobile phone with Facebook Messenger application to try them out).


Manychat allows you to instantly chat with your target audience in real-time. Automatically send messages, videos, audio files, links, content, and replies to collect relevant information so you can provide excellent customer service and close sales faster. Check out their handy guide on messenger marketing and automation with ManyChat chatbots.


This tool helps you build chatbots for apps like Messenger and Telegram, and it's quite easy to learn. Because you don't even need any coding knowledge, it’s quite easy to learn. Answer a few questions and a bot will generated automatically. Choose from easy-to-use templates for sharing blog content, Facebook Stories, interactive games, and quizzes.

How to Crush Your Next Influencer Marketing Campaign


Influencer marketing is quickly becoming one of the most popular and effective methods for brands to reach a large, highly-focused audience and increase awareness about their products and services. As additional data is published on the success of these kinds of partnerships, more executives are putting marketing spend towards creative collaborations with influencers.

To take an influencer marketing campaign from A to Z and to do it well, follow these four steps to keep your eyes on the prize.

Set Clear Campaign Goals

What does this particular project aim to do? Is your brand focused on using this campaign to build awareness of your product or service, or are you set on driving website or foot traffic? Consider revenue. Is this your number one goal? Ultimately, your endgame will affect several key factors as you map out your next steps — budget, partners, marketing materials, etc.

Target the Right Partners

When harnessed properly, influencer collaborations can allow you to get in front of a highly-focused niche audience. Take it back to Marketing 101. Who is your ideal customer? What is their demographic? What other brands are they buying? Start there. If you’re focused on driving the sale of outdoor power tools, chances are you don’t want to waste time reaching out to foodies or fashionistas. Focus on identifying the movers and shakers in DIY, home renovation, and woodworking.

Be Clear in Your Ask

Upon beginning outreach to potential partners, take time to craft clear, concise messaging that makes it totally black and white when it comes to what you’re looking for. How can this engagement be mutually beneficial for both your company or brand and the influencer? How will you achieve it? What are your expectations as far as photography, content, and timing? If your messaging is muddled, there can be a lot of time wasted in unnecessary back-and-forth. Be efficient.

Engage, Engage, Engage

From start to finish, make it clear to influencers that you’re excited about any and all collaborative efforts. At the end of the day, you absolutely should be! Be genuine and intentional about every piece of communication. Authenticity is key during all stages — outreach, follow up, and even when resharing the user-generated content. Reposting content (per your contractual terms) is encouraged!

Did we miss something? Let us know or reach out if you’re interested in learning more about kickstarting your next influencer campaign. Contact us here.

These 6 Podcasts Have Taught Me A Lot About Business & Marketing


As podcasts continue to gain popularity within mainstream media, I find myself discovering an abundance of podcasts that are incredibly helpful as a business owner and marketer. Even though these podcasts are valuable and you’re sure to learn something from each episode, they’re also unique and enjoyable to the average listener.

Planet Money

Not into economics? No worries. You’ll still love this podcast. (The episodes are actually radio episodes from NPR’s Planet Money show repurposed as a podcast.) Planet Money breaks down simple economic issues in a way that is understandable and interesting. Most of the stories can easily be applied to business or marketing as well.

My favorite episode is titled “Why the Price of Coke Didn’t Change for 70 Years.” It’s an incredible story (that I assume most people don’t know) about how Coca Cola struggled to increase the price of a glass Coke bottle from 5 cents for seven decades. Listen to it here.

How I Built This

How I Built This is sure to be one of the most popular business podcasts to date. Also an NPR podcast, HIBT is hosted by Guy Raz, who is a phenomenal interviewer. These episodes are about an hour long each and provide insight into the minds of some of the world’s greatest business leaders. Each interview dives into the personal background of each interviewee and tells the story and struggles of companies like Five Guys Burgers, Spanx, AirBnB, and JetBlue.

Once you listen to one, you’ll listen to them all. Trust me. Some of my favorite episodes are Whole Foods, Spanx and Kate Spade.

Marketing School

This podcast series is hosted by two marketing veterans, Neil Patel and Eric Siu. Each day they release a new 6-8-minute episode that touches on a specific marketing topic. Marketing School does a great job of covering varied marketing topics such as SEO, Email Marketing, Podcasting, PR Crises, Blogging, and more. This podcast is great for short drives to and from meetings as the hosts get right to the point and offer valuable information with tried-and-true examples.

Want to learn how to create the perfect Instagram video ad? Listen here. Considering hosting a conference? Learn more here. Ready to make money by podcasting? Listen here.

The Influencer Podcast

This podcast is a tad bit niche, but it serves up great content for those who are interested in learning more about influencer marketing. Julie Solomon interviews folks who are either working with influencers or those who are considered an influencer themselves. I like this podcast because once you listen to an episode, you realize how detailed the world of influencer marketing has become in such a short time. One of my favorite episodes of The Influencer Podcast is an interview with an attorney who now only writes influencer contracts and advises influencers on how to legally structure their business. Cool, right? Listen to that episode here.

**P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about Influencer Marketing, check out our upcoming THRIVE Talks event on March 14! We’ll be chatting with a panel of influencers and those who work with influencers to learn more about influencer marketing in Charlotte. Click here to learn more.

Business Wars

Time to get nerdy! If you’re like me, you’ll love the Business Wars podcast not only for the reminiscence of familiar household company names, but also for the intricate detail into which the hosts of this show dive into the competitive stories of large corporations. Each episode (many of these episodes are part of a larger series) dissects these companies, their history of competition, and why one may be more successful than the other.

For example, this episode of McDonald’s vs Burger King is fascinating.

Recode Media

Even if you’re not a media buff, you may still enjoy the Recode Media podcast. The podcast is a series of interviews with some of the world’s leading media moguls. The questions are often hard-hitting and very insightful. By listening to Recode Media, you’ll learn more about why some media companies are failing, what they’re doing to try to remain relevant, and how the media landscape is evolving.

One of my favorite Recode Media episodes is an interview with Wired’s Editor in Chief, Nick Thompson. The interview was released just as Wired launched their new paywall. Thompson explained why they switched to a paywall, instead of a free site. It’s good stuff. Listen here.

Are there other podcasts that have helped you to learn more about business or marketing? Feel free to send us an email with your favorites!

5 Ways to Nail Your Next Pitch


Pitching to media is one of the key elements of public relations. Cultivating relationships with media, identifying compelling stories, crafting the messaging, and finding the right reporter to help tell that all lead up to kicking things off with a polished pitch.

With inboxes flooded with press releases and pitches, it’s important to make your outreach stand out among the rest. Here are a few of our top tips:

  • Get to the point. Reporters are busy and are likely to hit delete if they see a novel in their inbox. Don’t spend time on fluff. Your note should be clear and concise.

  • Make it personal. If it’s your first time reaching out to a particular journalist, take a line or two to say hello and introduce yourself. Show the reporter you know their work by referencing an earlier piece they wrote that relates to your pitch.

  • Do your research. Don’t you hate it when you get an email that’s completely unrelated to you, your work, or your day-to-day? Journalists don’t like it either. Take the time to do some digging and make sure the reporter covers the topic that you are pitching.

  • Proofread your work. It sounds simple, but a rogue typo can immediately turn a journalist off to your note, no matter how compelling your pitch. Along the same lines, double check that you have spelled their name correctly. Believe it or not, it happens!

  • Follow up appropriately. Your follow-up strategy and timing can sometimes be more important than the initial pitch itself. If a pitch gets no response, wait a few days and then follow up. Be mindful of current events and happenings that may be taking priority in the news cycle. Try offering new information or linking your pitch to what’s happening in the news. Be helpful, not pushy.

Looking to build a solid public relations strategy for your business? The Social Ape Marketing team can help! Contact us today to get started on your next PR campaign.

6 Simple Tips For Businesses on Twitter


Getting your business account to thrive on Twitter is a demanding task, so it's never a bad idea to learn some new tips and tactics to set yourself up for success.

1. Share Content You Enjoy

Sharing content that makes your Twitter account a valuable one to follow is an easy way of gaining followers. Share content that you enjoy and that is relevant to you.

2. Use Rich Media in Your Tweets

Using rich media in your tweets such as photos, videos, or GIFs make your tweets visually appealing to your followers. Tweets from businesses that contain images are more likely to get retweeted by your fans.

3. Schedule Your Content

When you plan in advance, you can better stick with your social media strategy rather than tweeting on the spot every time. Best practice for posting on Twitter is to post gradually and consistently on a day-to-day basis. Use scheduling tools, such as Buffer or Hootsuite.

4. Shorten Your Links

There are plenty of free URL shorteners on the market, so take advantage of them. With a program like Bitly, you can tidy up your URLs to display a more visually appealing link. You can also track exactly who is clicking your content.

5. Join a Twitter Chat

Rapidly build your knowledge about your industry by getting involved with Twitter chats that interest you. Twitter chats are not only a great way to improve your own knowledge, but they connect you with like-minded Twitter users at the same time.

6. Twitter Shortcuts

This handy trick is not just for newbies. Surprisingly, many people don't know you can access a whole host of Twitter shortcuts, simply by hitting the '?' button on your keyboard while accessing Twitter on desktop.

Are you ready to take your business’ social media profiles to the next level? Contact us to get started!

Social Ape Launches Support Your 704 Campaign


We’re taking a different approach with this week’s blog post to announce our newest campaign!

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with several local creative businesses to launch Support Your 704, a charity campaign that will present two local nonprofits with a full marketing plan including Marketing Consulting, Photography, Videography, Graphic Design, Print and Website Design.

There are more than four hundred nonprofit organizations in Charlotte, N.C. and many have not been able to create a full marketing campaign due to budget constraints or lack of resources. For each nonprofit selected for Support Your 704, Social Ape Marketing is donating a half-day marketing and public relations consultation workshop; Peter Taylor Photography is donating a professional photography package; Spiracle Media is donating a full-day video shoot; Charm Creative is donating either a brand new logo or a logo design, as well as a brand style guide, social media templates and a direct mail piece or flyer; Allegra Southend is donating a banner or a sign, brochures and envelopes and Arya Creative is donating website design and build. The combined total value of donations is just shy of $40,000 dollars resulting in a $20,000 campaign for each winner.

Applications for Support Your 704 will be accepted until Feb. 20 and winners will be announced on March 4. To apply for the campaign, please click here.

Do you know of someone who works in or is the founder of a nonprofit organization in Charlotte? Please share this post with them and encourage them to apply! We love spreading the word of doing good things in our community.

Image File Formats Marketers Need to Know


The vast selection of image formats can be pretty overwhelming, but there's a method to this madness.

When creating or manipulating graphics, it's important to learn how the different image formats work. These are the most widely-used images formats today.

JPEG aka Joint Photographic Experts Group


  • Feature 24-bit color, with as much as 16 million different colors and color combinations

  • Most widely recognized and accepted image format

  • Works well for most operating systems and is extremely web-friendly

  • Nearly every digital camera uses the JPEG format


  • Tendency to shed off a great deal of information

  • May develop artifacts following a compression

  • Cannot be animated

Why Choose JPEG?

JPEG is the go-to format for online photos. It supports a full spectrum of colors, and almost all devices and programs can open and save to the JPEG format — making it the most universal of the three formats. JPEG files are ideal when you want to keep the file size down and don’t mind giving up a little quality to create a very small file.

GIF aka Graphics Interchange Format


  • Supports transparency

  • Performs modest animations

  • Features lossless quality

  • Works well for graphics with restricted colors


  • Limits graphics to only 256 colors

  • Considered to be somewhat outdated compared to other formats

Why Choose GIF?

Use GIF for simple web graphics with limited colors. GIF files aren’t recommended for files with a large range of colors, like photographs or other detailed imagery. But if you’re working with small graphics, like banners and charts or animations, GIF is the best format for the job.

PNG aka Portable Network Graphics


  • Open-source

  • Created specifically to be patent-free

  • Features lossless compression

  • Arguably the best option for photos going through the editing process


  • Unsuited for standard photographs

  • Produces extremely large files that require a lot of space

  • Unable to support animation

  • Unsuited for all browsers

Why Choose PNG?

Use the PNG format when you need a small file that maintains its original quality. PNG files support millions of colors, plus varying degrees of transparency — so they’re perfect for graphic image files, like logos, charts, and infographics.

Choosing the right visuals also means saving photos in their right format. This is crucial if you want to spruce up the image by changing its color tones or adding text. It's also important to note that licensing is a consideration you must look into.