Elaine Heinzman

Content Strategist and Information Architect

3 Last-Minute Holiday Tech Gifts

We acknowledge that it’s late in the gift-buying game, so if you procrastinated on your shopping for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and/or Three Kings Day, Matrix Group has got you covered with three options for the gadget geek in your life.

Nixplay Iris digital picture frame

The Nixplay Iris is a sleek, high-resolution digital picture frame that you can update from your smartphone. It connects to Dropbox as well as the major social-media and photo-gallery platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Picasa, Flickr).

If your parents love to see the most current photos of their grandkids, you can use the Nixplay Mobile app to update the images they see on their Iris. Bonus: Click the Nixplay link above for a voucher code to get free delivery in time for the holidays.


Nonda ZUS phone charger and car locator

The Nonda ZUS looks more like something out of the new Star Wars film than a phone charger, but it has another, even better superpower: It automatically saves your car’s location whenever you park.

Are you the kind of person who can’t remember where you left your car? Use the ZUS app to find your vehicle, and connect your phone to the ZUS so your phone can recharge. 

Rocketbook WaveThe Rocketbook Wave is a traditional spiral-bound notebook with some pretty unconventional twists. It comes with a Pilot FriXion pen, which you use like a regular pen to take notes (and which you can buy in office-supply stores everywhere). The Rocketbook app lets you scan those notes and upload them to whichever cloud service you use (Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, Evernote).

The coolest part: When the Rocketbook Wave is filled up, you microwave it to clear out all the pages and use the notebook over and over.

Sherrie Bakshi

Director of Marketing and Social Media

Integrating Visual Social Media Platforms into Your Communications Strategy

Recently, I did a webinar with Matrix Group CEO Joanna Pineda on “How to Integrate Visual Social Media Platforms into Your Communications Strategy.”  Visual social media platforms like Instagram, Vine and Pinterest are becoming dominant forces in the social media world. Man looking at web pages

More and more companies are jumping on the visual social media bandwagon, using these platforms to:

  • Introduce new products
  • Promote events and causes
  • Give followers an inside look into their corporate culture
  • Or, simply inspire.

My Favorite Campaigns

Organizations are doing some cool things on social media! You can’t help but get inspired! Here are a few of my favorites:

  • UNICEF’s Really Want These Campaign: To help raise awareness of child poverty worldwide, UNICEF took to Pinterest through the eyes of Ami Musa, a fictional 13-year-old girl from Sierra Leone and the basic necessities that she wishes for that many of us take advantage of every day … running water, shoes, food and going to school.
  • InStyle’s Instagram Feed: I have been an avid reader for more than a decade, so it’s no surprise that I follow the magazine on social media.  This feed is an example of how organizations are using the photo-sharing social media site to showcase everything from promoting products to giving an inside look inside its corporate culture.  InStyle also hosts contests to engage its followers.
  • Congressman Jared Huffman’s Vine Videos to Protest Against Cutting SNAP: Using common food products, Congressman Huffman’s team created these simple videos to communicate the impact SNAP cuts will have on millions of Americans.  The concept is simple; the creativity involved in producing these is amazing!
  • Food Marketing Institute (FMI)’s Supermarket Facts Video: My team at Matrix Group created the first of a series of videos showcasing facts about the supermarket industry. The first video focuses on how often American consumers visit the supermarket and where they’re shopping through fun infographics and animation.

Tips for Integrating Visual Social Media Platforms into Your Social Media Strategy

When it comes to determining which social media platforms to add to your current social media activities, which ones should you include? Before you jump on the visual social media bandwagon, consider the following:

  • Review your current social media strategy and see which platforms (s) will help you fulfill your established goals.
  • Once you’ve determined which platforms you want to include, make sure you create a posting schedule and have the staff resources to manage it.
  • Get inspiration from other organizations.  Take a look at what other organizations are doing on visual social media networks to inspire some creativity.
  • Once you’ve created your profiles, start building your following. Promote your social media presence on your traditional and online communications. Also make sure you add followers and engage with them by commenting and liking their post.
  • Monitor and refine your posts on regular basisMeasuring activity should be part of your social media activities.

Need help in with your social media strategy or interested in a social media training for your staff? Contact Sherrie Bakshi, Director of Marketing and Social Media at sbakshi@matrixgroup.net.

Leah Monica

Director of Marketing

Favorite Social Media Tool: Hshtags.com

It’s official. Hashtags have taken over. They seem to be everywhere these days – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, Vimeo, Google+, Vine. They’ve even made their way into spoken language, but don’t get me started on that.

You probably know that creating and promoting a hashtag for your annual conference, trade show, or other event is a social media must. It also creates an easy way for you to follow the conversation. Yet, keeping up with all of the posts across many platforms can be exhausting and time consuming. Plus, it can be hard to see the larger conversation when you are looking at each platform individually.

That’s where one of my favorite social media tools, Hshtags.com, comes in handy. Hailed as the “Google of social media”, Hshtags.com aggregates and displays all of the posts, across multiple platforms, that are tagged with your hashtag. Right now, Hshtags.com will pull from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo, Flickr and Tumblr. It’s rumored that they will incorporate Google+ and Vine in the near future.

To see how it works, let’s take a look at what people are saying about the upcoming Super Bowl. Enter the hashtag #superbowl and:


Ta-da! A quick, easy look at the current buzz surrounding the big game.

Another cool feature? Hshtags.com allows you to filter your results based on type of media – text, picture, video – or social media platform.

Hshtags filter

And if you sign up for an account, you can also make lists and save hastags to those lists.

hshtags lists

#WINNING (Sorry, I couldn’t resist…).

What cool social media tools have you discovered recently?

Staff Favorite: Plume

Trying to keep up with your Twitter feed? Plume is a client for Android that comes in both free/ad and paid versions, and it’s really customizable. plume logo and iconography

The thing we like best is that Plume fixes the problem of returning to your timeline after an absence and then having to scroll down to the last tweet you’d viewed. Everything’s still in chronological order, but Plume automatically starts where you left off so you don’t have to dig for it!

Have you found other nifty apps for Twitter or other social media?

Sherrie Bakshi

Director of Marketing and Social Media

Blogging Will Not Replace Journalism

Recently I attended Twitch Communications, one of the many events hosted as part of Social Media Week DC 2013. This was my first social media week event (I wish I had the opportunity to attend more), but I have to say I very much enjoyed it. panel

The event was a panel discussion moderated by Amanda Littlejohn (@amandamogul), CEO of Mopwater PR. It was a good discussion on how social media has changed Journalism.

Since I started my communications career more than a decade ago, I have seen it evolve significantly thanks to technology, but the core values continue to be the same, and that’s the same for journalism.

Stacey Samuel (@sss2128), producer for CNN, made a statement that really struck me, “Blogging will not replace Journalism.”  I believe this is so true. Yes, bloggers can be very influential but it cannot replace news. Here’s why:

  • Bloggers are not reporters.  Bloggers talk about their passions, they provide their opinions on issues, share personal perspectives. They tell stories but on a much more personal level.
  • Blogger relations is not the same as media relations. Many PR people approach bloggers the same way they approach reporters, but that’s the wrong approach.   If you are looking to build momentum behind a cause/issue, use bloggers to help support your cause.
  • Journalists will continue to tell the news.  I definitely agree with Stacey Samuel. Bloggers have their role in the media world, but it cannot replace true journalism.

As I mentioned above, it was my first Social Media Week event and the only one I got to attend last week. I would have loved to attend more, but I am glad I did not miss this one.

Did you attend any events during that week? Which ones?