Future Implications — May 13, 2016

Future Implications

Social media will continue to change, whether it is a launch of a new app to communicate with your friends or another innovative social site to post your pictures on.  This can affect a company’s existing social media marketing strategy, especially if they’re not prepared for the rapid changes in social media.

Not only are marketers having a hard time trying to keep up with all of the social sites, marketers are faced with the problem of finding new ways to capture the attention of consumers that have seen just about anything.  The types of content that brands use to engage consumers on social will continue to evolve, but no matter what direction it goes in one thing is clear: effective social media marketing is about building relationship capital with your audience (Weinberg, 2015).  This happens through showing consumers that you can really talk like them and have a conversation with them about the things they’re interested in.

Changes in technology will aide in the ever evolving social media world.  An example of this evolving technology is the ability to now post live video feed on your social site.  Whether it is Facebook or Periscope, this Live feed can bring your followers a more personal and interactive perspective of the event.  The next technology that comes around could enhance the experience even more for a company’s followers.

Humans are becoming more reliant on social media for personal connections. You can go weeks without seeing your friends, but if you’re following their daily Snapchat story, you have an idea on what is going on in their lives.  This happened to me recently when I bumped into a friend I haven’t seen or to spoken in a year.  His first comment was “how was Florida? The weather looked so nice!” My boyfriend looked at me like “wait.. how does he know?” Then my friend said “I feel like I know everything going on in your life because of Snapchat!”  I wasn’t sure if I was creeped out or glad that people were actually paying attention to my Snapchat stories.

Social networks are becoming the center of our daily lives for entertainment and communication purposes and companies are trying to keep up by being active on all of these sites.  It is up to the company to decide whether their target market is on multiple sites or just one site before signing up for every social media account available.  Some companies are trying very hard to keep up with the endless amount of social sites and their website will soon have an overload of buttons, like this:

buttons.jpg

 

Weinberg, T. (2015). What Brands Need to Know About the Evolution of Social Media Marketing. Sprinklr. Retrieved from https://www.sprinklr.com/the-way/evolution-social-media-marketing/

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Viral Marketing Initiatives — May 6, 2016

Viral Marketing Initiatives

Viral marketing is a strategy that encourages individuals to pass a marketing message along to others, resulting in exposure throughout social media.  This could mean endless amounts of shares, re-tweets and conversations, all for free with your marketing message attached.  Even the most skilled marketer might not be able to achieve viral content, but companies have continued to embrace the speed of social media in hopes that their marketing campaigns become viral.

Below are five characteristics and examples of marketing messages that went viral over the past few years that marketers can learn from.

 

Humorous

In 2015 the Squatty Potty was released with a very funny clip of a unicorn going to the bathroom and leaving a rainbow surprise.  At first I thought this video was a spoof of a fake product, but then I realized it was a real product being sold.  If we see a video or a post with a humorous message, we are more likely to share it with others.  This video continued to be shared throughout the internet and had over 10 million views in the two months since it launched (David, 2015).  This super viral sensation catapulted the product to #1 Best Seller in Amazon’s Toilet Training Potties & Seats category (David, 2015).

pic1

Watch the video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbYWhdLO43Q&feature=youtu.be

 

Unique and Memorable

Recently in 2015 the movie “Straight Outta Compton” came out and prior to the movie release, they created a “Straight Outta Somewhere” meme generator.  This meme generator allowed people to fill in the “Straight Outta …” blank with the name of their hometown or even a creative punch line.  Within 9 days of the site’s launch, over 7 million people visited the site, 6 million people created memes, and over the course of two days, #StraightOutta was retweeted more than 15,000 times per second (DeAngelis, 2015).  This viral marketing helped support the movie campaign and kept the audience talking about the movie.

pic2.png

You can still create your own at http://www.straightouttasomewhere.com/

 

Drives Emotion

Save The Children created a powerful marketing campaign in 2014 and it definitely made me shed a tear.  This video shows the point-of-view of a child refugee and powerful imagery of what the child is going through.  With all this emotion circling the internet, of course the video blew up on social media garnering over 51,000,000 views and counting (David, 2015).  Using the video and the hashtag #helpisontheway, Save the Children used this emotional content to gain attention on their cause.

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See the video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBQ-IoHfimQ&feature=youtu.be

 

Simple

This is one characteristic that is probably the most important! Keeping your marketing message simple (and it doesn’t look like you are trying too hard) can always help your marketing initiative go viral.  During the Oscars in 2014, Ellen was tasked by Samsung to take a selfie on her Samsung phone with Meryl Streep, but the selfie turned into an amazing celebrity-packed picture.  This simple picture was tweeted by Ellen and two days later and it had 3.2 million retweets and nearly 14,000 web pages had embedded the tweet, which at that time had been seen 32.8 million times (Goodwin, 2014).  This photo definitely helped the campaign to advertise Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3.

pic4.png

Unexpected

In 2013 there was an unexpected blackout during the Super Bowl.  Along with the blackout came an unexpected tweet from Oreo, “You can still dunk in the dark”.  Oreo’s real-time social media marketing stunt won a prestigious Clio award and had lasting effects around the advertising industry (Cassinelli, 2013).  With the most expensive commercials being playing during the Super Bowl, this unexpected tweet seemed to have the most impact.  This post helped encouraged other brands to focus on real-time events and showed that even the simplest and unexpected tweets have the most impact.

pic5

When you create a viral marketing message, you want to make sure your post includes one of the characteristics above to pull the viewer in and make them want to share.  Your images should be real, touch on a current event, speak to your audience in a manner that is relevant to their lives, and perhaps pull an emotional string or two in order to be successful (Shupe, 2014).  As long as your marketing campaign is creative and simple, you too can create a successful viral social media marketing campaign.

 

References

Cassinelli, A. (2013). 13 Best Social Media Campaigns of 2013. Postano. Retrieved from http://www.postano.com/blog/13-best-social-media-campaigns-of-2013

David, E. (2015). Top 10 Influential Social Media Campaigns of 2015. Adhere. Retrieved from http://www.adherecreative.com/blog/top-10-influential-social-media-campaigns-of-2015

DeAngelis, K. (2015). 5 Insanely Clever Marketing Campaigns That Went Viral. Waterfall Blog. Retrieved from http://www.waterfall.com/blog/5-insanely-clever-marketing-campaigns-that-went-viral/

Goodwin, D. (2014). 5 Best Viral Marketing Campaigns Of 2014. Momentology. Retrieved from  http://www.momentology.com/4040-5-best-viral-marketing-campaigns-of-2014/

Shupe, R. (2014). Creating Viral Social Media Marketing Campaigns. Business to Community. Retrieved from http://www.business2community.com/marketing/creating-viral-social-media-marketing-campaigns-0835606#2hd1Vq11cruGac4W.97

Differentiation — March 10, 2016

Differentiation

Pepsi and Coca Cola are one of the oldest and most famous rivalries today. These two soft drink giants compete for the top spot when it comes to who has the best cola drink, the best advertisements and the most consumers. The latest competition between the two is who has the best social media presence. Pepsi and Coca Cola both embrace the social media environment and participate in multiple social media platforms. These social sites include Twitter and Facebook, and the companies make sure they excel in both.

Currently Pepsi has 29.3K Tweets and 2.97M Followers and Coca Cola has 205K Tweets and 3.2M Followers. When it comes to social media, every company wants to have the most followers or the most likes on their pages. With Twitter and Facebook become more and more popular, companies take advantage of this “free” advertising and continue to collect more followers.

cokepepsi

Just because a company has millions of followers, doesn’t always mean that their social media strategies are in place. Some companies push to get the most followers, but don’t end up retaining them. You need to have conversations with the consumers and build a relationship in order to gain their trust (and their sales). More than 40 percent of all consumers want to make closer connections to the brands they use (Agresta and Bough, 2011).

Pepsi and Coca Cola are great examples of two companies that engage with their consumers on a daily basis. Through comments, tweets and re-tweets, the two brands communicate directly with the consumer creating a relationship that was rarely seen before social media. Through the use of social media, organizations can breed loyalty in their members by interacting regularly with them, befriending them, and empowering them to make a difference (Blanchard, 2011).

Pepsi and Coca Cola take advantage of their widespread popularity and are always sure to mention any current promotions or contests on their social media pages. They are also capable of using their sites to aid in the launch of a new brand or introduce a new flavor and can then receive feedback from the consumers. With the goal of having more followers leading to more consumers, Pepsi and Coca Cola continue fight for the top spot of not just the best cola drink, but the best social media giant.

 

References

Agresta, S., & Bough, B. B. (2011). Perspectives on Social Media Marketing. Cengage Learning. Books24x7.

Blanchard, O. (2011). Social media ROI: Managing and measuring social media efforts in your organization. Indianapolis, IN: Que.

Best Practices for Blogging and Tweeting — June 23, 2015

Best Practices for Blogging and Tweeting

Being able to reach the consumer directly through blogging and tweeting is a retailers dream.  Having the capability of displaying marketing messages and specific products right to the customers, can help any retailer reach their ultimate goal; more sales.  According to Twitter’s site, retailers are in the top brand categories that people want to hear from on Twitter (Alfonsi, 2013).  Any retailer looking to connect with their customers and talk about products and shopping must be able to embrace social media and start conversations about their brand.

NRF_charts_blog-06-sm

So what are some best practices when putting out information about your brand and product?  Let’s first look at your competitors.  By looking at the conversations already going on with other companies, you can see what they’re tweeting and what’s trending.  This can help retailers that are just beginning their social media sites.  Listen to what your competitors are tweeting about and how they engage their followers (Alfonsi, 2013).  See what hashtags are being used or look for industry trends through keywords.  Listening before you tweet can help you develop and create the most appropriate (and fun) posts to your future and existing customers.

Once you have your followers engaged and interested in your content, it is time to respond back.  Social media relies on conversations so it is important to jump in and be part of them (Bolsinger, 2014).  Social media users love to share their feedback and ask questions.  It is important to embrace this form of speaking directly with the consumer and respond in a way that is both professional and helpful.  Don’t talk to your followers as customers, talk to them as new friends that are trying to discover all about you and your brand.

Lastly, keep the conversation going.  You know you have a great posts and content that people love, but when followers stop seeing tweets they’ll think you’ve forgot about them.  At the same time it is also important to understand that if you don’t have a strong message, don’t tweet at all. Your followers won’t pay attention if your tweets lack authenticity and power (De Buele, 2014).  Bottom line, every twitter page is unique and it is important to define your “online personality”.  Following the best practices to tweeting and blogging can only enhance your success in the social media world.

References

Alfonsi, R. (2013). NRF Annual Convention: Four tips for small retailers on Twitter. Twitter. Retrieved from https://blog.twitter.com/2013/nrf-annual-convention-four-tips-for-small-retailers-on-twitter

Bolzinger, K. (2015). What kinds of content to publish and share. Moz. Retrieved from https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-social-media/best-practices

De Buele, S. (2014). 6 Tips to Boost Your Twitter Conversations. Social Media Examiner. Retrieved from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/6-tips-boost-twitter-conversations/

Social Marketing Brands and Risk — June 19, 2015

Social Marketing Brands and Risk

In today’s marketing and advertising world, it isn’t enough to have just a website. Businesses need to be able to create, run and maintain a social media site or sites in order to be successful.  If your brand still does not have some sort of social media site, you better make sure one is in the making.  If you do decide to create a social media site, there are some challenges and risks that come up when taking your brand social.

Let’s look at the ways of how social media can add value to your brand.  For retailers, it is a must to be present on multiple social media platforms.  Retailers need to be able to embrace the power of social media by using sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  One of the main reasons for having a social site is the direct communication with your target audience.  Part of what makes marketing with Facebook and Twitter so great is the interaction you get to have with your customer base – you can read their tweets and status updates to get insights into their daily lives (The Content Factory, 2015).  You can use this information to learn about your customers and shape your marketing campaigns.

Social media can only benefit you if you use it the right way.  Failing to update your site can portray your business as not current or up to date in other areas, like customer service.  If you can’t update a Facebook page, why should your customers believe that you’re on top of your game anywhere else (Jones, 2013).  It is a lot of work to manage and continually update your social site so if the upkeep isn’t happening, you’re better off not having one.

The Content Factory (2015). 9 reasons social media marketing should top your to-do list.  The Content Factory. Retrieved from http://www.contentfac.com/9-reasons-social-media-marketing-should-top-your-to-do-list/

Jones, K (2013). 5 reasons why you should not be on social media. Marketing Land. Retrieved from http://marketingland.com/5-reasons-why-you-should-not-be-on-social-media-52585

Mobile Applications — June 9, 2015

Mobile Applications

Many retailers are turning to mobile applications to increase sales, retain current customers and create new ones.  With over 75% of U.S. mobile users who own smartphones, retailers need to be putting their best foot forward in the mobile industry (Siwicki, 2015). There are millions of applications available, but the applications that have the most success are the ones that engage users in multiple ways.  What are some apps that you use on a daily basis? Out of these apps, which are retail related?

starbucks

One of the best examples of a retailer based app is Starbucks.  Their app is multi-functional, engaging and easy to use.  Starbucks has set the tone in building a successful mobile application by focusing more on their customers and less on their brand.  With a loyalty program built into the app, users can accumulate points and receive special discounts and free drinks which lead to future visits.  Starbucks understands the importance of developing an app in making it efficient and easy to use.

On average, customers pay for a purchase using a smartphone 7 million times per week, with mobile payments now accounting for roughly 16 percent of total transactions (Halzack, 2015).  With the ability to purchase items from the app and accumulate points all in one place, it makes the Starbucks app one of the top retail apps available.  Starbucks sees 11% of its sales volume directly from the mobile application (Quora, 2014).  What also makes the Starbucks app great is the information the company receives from it.  Starbucks can learn the buying habits of the customers, the type of drinks and items being bought and what promotions or marketing tactics that can be used in the future.

This type of marketing through mobile applications is still developing, but companies need to be able to experiment with different mobile apps to see what works and what doesn’t work for them.  Focusing your marketing offerings around the desires of your customers and the values provided can help develop trust and loyalty with your audience like Starbucks.

References

Halzack, S. (2015). Starbucks has managed to get you addicted to its coffee — and its app. Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2015/01/23/starbucks-has-managed-to-get-you-addicted-to-its-coffee-and-its-app/

Siwicki, B. (2015). Mobile, mobile-only, mobile apps, smartphones: enough said. Internet Retailers. Retrieved from https://www.internetretailer.com/2015/03/27/mobile-mobile-only-mobile-apps-smartphones-enough-said

Quora (2014). Why is the starbucks mobile app so successful?. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2014/06/13/why-is-the-starbucks-mobile-payments-app-so-successful/

Social Media Application in the Retail Industry — June 5, 2015

Social Media Application in the Retail Industry

Retailers across the country are using social media tools to showcase their brand, vision, mission and personality and above all – reach a wider audience (Traf-Sys, n.d.).  They can learn more about what the customer wants, create a boost in popularity or even develop ideas to further improve their marketing efforts.  All sorts of tools are used to engage customers with a brand, but sometimes retailers are more interested in the bottom line.

So what are the best social platforms for retailers? Of course you want to incorporate the one where you can show the most pictures, simple enough.  Social sites like Instagram and Pinterest are used to create visually simulating and appealing images, where users can browse endlessly through clothing and products.  This makes any retailer easily accessible through multiple social media platforms.

likeit

Instagram is retailer’s ideal platform to showcase their product.  With the popularity of Instagram growing at a rapid rate, retailers are trying to find a way to turn followers into customers.  One useful tool that has emerged is called LIKEtoKNOWit.  This Instagram shopping tool helps top-tier style publishers share shoppable posts with followers (LIKEtoKNOW.it).  With this new and innovative program, followers can receive information of the product they liked directly to their email.  With the information sent to the email, followers are directed to the website where they can purchase the item.

insta

The most recent tool being introduced to Instagram hasn’t even been launched yet.  According to a recent article by Seth Fiegerman, it mentioned that social media sites are experimenting with specific shopping buttons.  These buttons include “Buy It” and “Shop Now”.  Recently Pinterest and Instagram both announced plans to introduce “Buy It” and “Shop Now” buttons, respectively, with the promise of convincing their millions and millions of users to shift from browsing to shopping on the social networks (Fiegerman, 2015).  This new function might be preferred over the LIKEtoKNOWit app since you will be able to shop directly on Instagram.  For Instagram and Pinterest users, the amount of sponsored ads has the possibility of rising.  Since users can immediately purchase an item from that posting, it’s definitely a desirable capability that businesses are looking for.

In the past, retailers have accepted that the average shopper isn’t flocking to social media to purchase.  With the use of these two tools, retailers can not only learn from their followers, but they can create a buying experience as well.  With the ever-changing world in social media it is important for each retailer to embrace the different technologies and social media platforms that continue to develop.

Fiegerman, S.  (2015). Buy buttons everywhere. Mashable. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2015/06/02/buy-buttons-everywhere/

Traf-Sys (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.trafsys.com/how-to-leverage-social-media-in-your-retail-store/

Top Social Media Tools — May 25, 2015

Top Social Media Tools

toolbelt

Social media is one of the most effective ways for a marketer to reach an audience.  With all the different social media sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, it is important for marketers to understand how to manage these sites.  Having the proper social media tools is a necessity for marketers to efficiently manage all of their social media sites.  Marketers must be able to know what types of tools are available and what types of tools will work best for their business.  Here I will discuss several important tools that are a necessity for these social media gurus.

hootsuite

Hootsuite is a must have for any business that has multiple social media networks.  It allows you to schedule messages and tweets, track brand mentions and analyze social media traffic.  It can help you manage up to 100 social networks to launch campaigns across multiple channels, promote your brand, help customers, and more.  Hootsuite offers a free, pro and enterprise solution for managing social profiles, enhanced analytics, advanced message scheduling, Google Analytics and Facebook insights integration (Zeevi, 2014).

uber

UberVU is an analytical software that can help companies pinpoint which social networks drive the most clicks and traffic.  A brand can have hundreds or thousands of likes, but those likes aren’t translated into sales.  By using this tool, it can help redefine the exposure of your brand and help identify the best way to reach a specific target market. Just last year Hootsuite acquired uberVU because of the amount of data available and because of its social analytics platform that they have.

tweet

Tweetdeck is another social media tool that specifically manages Twitter accounts. TweetDeck’s interface consists of a series of customizable columns, which can be set up to display your Twitter timeline, mentions, direct messages, lists, trends, favorites, search results, hashtags, or all tweets by or to a single user (Wikipedia, 2015).  Just like the other social media tools mentioned, TweetDeck can also schedule tweets for a future delivery.

With the use of these three tools for monitoring social media sites, a business can ensure that the proper information is being delivered to the target audience and feedback can be seen almost immediately.  Having social networks is a necessity these days for any business so you need to make sure they are run correctly.  The most important part in using these tools is the feedback that comes from it and ability to use that feedback to improve future practices.

References:

Wikipedia (2015). TweetDeck. Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TweetDeck

Zeevi, D. (2014). The best social media management tools. Dashburst. Retrieved from https://blog.dashburst.com/best-social-media-management-tools/

Hello! — April 30, 2015

Hello!

Hi there! My name is Amy and my blog will focus on all different aspects of social media.  Social media continues to evolve and it is important to monitor these changes through analysis and evaluations.  I hope my posts help give you an understanding of the massive impact of social media.  Enjoy!

-Amy

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