American Heart Association Go Red For Women…on Pinterest – Case Study 2

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One of the most prominent leading causes of death in women is heart disease. To be honest, I wouldn’t have known though that. Usually, breast cancer holds the top spot in people’s mind as the disease that affects women. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who had this notion because the American Heart Association decided to launch a campaign to help raise awareness. The Go Red for Women initiative just over 10 years ago. However, to even further raise awareness the AHA took to Pinterest.

 

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I think that this was a great move for a couple of reasons. The first being that Pinterest is popular among women, there is no denying that idea. A stereotype that currently exists surrounding the social media platform is that women use it for planning weddings and finding new recipes. This is a totally false concept, but I saw screw it. The AHA made a great decision to spread its campaign to Pinterest and upload a lot of content to it. Another great reason to expand to Pinterest was because of the visual element. People have a innate desire to look at pictures and visual images. AHA places text tidbits underneath each of the photos.

 

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Obviously, the AHA has seen some success with the expansion to Pinterest. They almost have 3,000 followers and garner plenty of activity on the social media platform with follows, pins and repins:

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The tone that the AHA uses on Pinterest is another strong suit. It is strong, empowering and inspiring. Check out the bio description they have at the top of the Pinterest page

The AHA’s Go Red For Women movement was created by women, for women. Because our health is non-negotiable, because we have the power to save our lives, and because the best force for women is women.

The boards that the AHA has assembled consist of a great variation. Boards topics range from food (healthy recipes to help improve heart conditions, healthy treats and “thoughtful food”), exercise tips, heart themed food and of course anything red.

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 Sure, some of the photos don’t really have to do anything about heart disease, but that doesn’t mater. It is all about raising awareness and engaging the ones affected by the disease.

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Overall, I think this campaign is sending a powerful message and using Pinterest to facilitate that message is an excellent idea. The AHA plays to its strength on this campaign and this effort adds to the message it is trying to convey. I learned from this campaign that given facts and stats isn’t the only way to raise awareness and inform. Well done, AHA. 

Case Study – Four Seasons’ Ingnite the Spark Campaign

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Earlier this fall, the hotel and resort company, Four Seasons, began a new campaign that was focused on romance to increase guests’ decision to stay at their locations. The campaign, which is mostly driven by social media, is called The Spark.

Reason behind the name of the campaign – they want you to #IgniteTheSpark with your significant other and reclaim a desire for another via travel.

The campaign uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and its own website. The campaign has a heavy emphasis on Instagram and Pinterest, with couples who have taken trip posting their pictures or the brand showcasing their what the package’s experience could provide if the consumer purchases. The Four Seasons came up with the hashtag – #IgniteTheSpark to be used on all of their platforms.

Because the campaign was just launched in the past couple of months, it is difficult to judge overall success of the campaign. However, the Four Seasons has seen a tremendous growth on the majority of its platforms, including Twitter (reference below): 

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Overall, the brand’s social media presence is overwhelming, but that is not a negative critique. When people are looking to spend a lot of money and take a trip like the one the Four Seasons is suggestion, research becomes a big component. Having a lot of content is welcomed. For the purpose of this case analysis, I will be examining their microsite that they created for this campaign.

An offsite of its main website, the Four Seasons’ The Spark site (technically an online magazine) is well put together with loads of information and direction. People don’t know what they want when it comes to vacation, so the more details the better. 

The site has a very romantic vibe to it and offers a call to action to take a romantic get away with another person (similar to the hashtag they created for the campaign). The site has about five different pages, including a quiz that you can take to help figure out what you’re looking for, Instagram page with vacationers pictures and another page of photos (professionally done), but include reviews taken from people’s Facebook.

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I am a big Image

I am a big fan of the quiz and Instagram sections of the site. The quiz appeals as engaging to the customer. It makes them feel like they are being helped on a very personable level, without having that weird feeling of divulging too much information to another person and feeling judged. It is great engagement and a great way to establish a connection. The Instagram page is awesome. You, the guest, become the content creator.

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The best part is that everything is real – You can visit these places in the Instagram photos, you can experience that adventure and that couple in the photo can be you…because it was someone else who took the trip. Their Instagram page is nearing 7,000 followers, which I believe to be a very good number. That is either 7,000 satisfied guests or 7,000 potential guests looking at pictures. (Obviously there could be a mix in those numbers, but that;s how I see it). More importantly, they are updating it with content consistently. There followers or just “passer-bys” get a glimpse at paradise. Updating all their social platforms has been a strength of the campaign.

From this campaign, I learned that social campaigns can be very costumer-orientened, like to another level then what the standard has become. You can personalize a costumer’s experience when they are checking out your brand. You can also empower them. Everyone loves to feel empowered. By taking the guests reviews of Facebook and posting their Instagram photos, you give them the keys to the car and let them pick up fellow consumers along the way. 

SHOW Me What You Have to Offer. Instagram and Millenials

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According to Mary Manzo and her thoughts about Instagram that she shared via socialmediatoday.com, I (yeah, I am going to speak for the entire millennial/gen-Y population) am a very visually oriented person.

Manzo claims that our generation has its own category when talking about social media. She might be on to something. Manzo uses a great phrase to illustrate her point by referring to us as “digital natives.” We have known nothing else, but technology and social media. This ever-changing atmosphere that we live, well, that’s normal to us. Therefore, the next task, as Manzo points out, is how do brands find a way to not only reach us, but have an influence on us.

Instagram.

The photo sharing application is they way that brands will reach our generation. Manzo believes this to be true because of the point I raised earlier – we like images over text. (She is totally right, by the way.) In reality, we are making it easy for marketers to figure us out. We are all on social media channels and what every we are posting or sharing is most likely our interests.

Manzo worked with the Coca-Cola Happiness truck, a truck that travels to different cities and interacts with consumers (many of them millennials). She found he theory of Instagram to be correct and also came up with a few observations she accumulated from the trip:

  • Be genuine when uploading content and creating captions.
  • Make it fun, millennials will turn away if they feel that they are interacting with robots or spam.
  • Utilize hashtags to reach and target new consumers. It is a great way to find users that are already posting about your product and having conversations regarding your brand.
  • Link all the accounts that are related to your brand. Just because a user is on one social media platform does not guarantee that they will be on another. By distributing your content through all your channels you are spreading the message further in distance.
  • Do not forget about your followers, no one wants to feel forgotten– this should be a two-way relationship.
  • Finally, make it about them. This is their brand as well and they want to feel that connection.

Again, Manzo is correct. Not only to brands have to interact with us via images, they have to do so in a way that relates to us. Brands are attempting to build relationships that will last and it has become evident the way in which they built the relationship with out parents won’t work with us. Makes you think what they will have to do when our generation is no longer the focal point. Social media, ever changing.

Social Black Friday

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Yes, people are crazy.

And Black Friday shopping is our time to shine. Emerging out of the turkey-induced coma and getting up off the couch to stand in line at shopping centers to take advantage of mega deals and absurdly low prices. If you are one of these Black Friday shoppers, I mean no disrespect, but c’mon…. I digress.

Silverpop, a digital marketing technology provider that unifies marketing automation, email, mobile and social, recorded social data to figure out what the most popular words mentioned, places checked in at and at what time.

According to this article from Mashable composed by Brian Anthony Hernandez and the data collected, a digital word cloud reveals that “coffee,” “deals” and “sale” were among the most popular words used on Black Friday.

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In addition. the top 10 retailers that had the most check-ins went as followed:

1. Target
2. Walmart
3. Best Buy
4. Macy’s
5. Apple Store
6. Sears
7. Kmart
8. Costco
9. Sam’s Club
10. Walgreens

There was a spike in check-ins from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Thursday evening, before dropping off after midnight. Only to rise again, starting at 8 a.m. on Friday and remaining relatively high for the remainder of the shopping day.

While looking at this data is interesting, I think it also could serve as a major purpose. Black Friday is a social phenomenon. Operative word being social. People are compelled to let the social media world know that they are out on Black Friday participating in the mayhem. While they are out they want to take advantage of the best deals around, so social media outlets become their guide to shopping. People are looking for stores tweeting their appealing door-busting deals or for other people sharing their experiences at other stores. A lot of social influence taking place.

There is valuable information here for stores to use for planning their Black Friday shopping experience for next year. It wasn’t surprising to see “deals” and “sale” work their way into the conversation. But coffee? That was a litter different. Maybe next year, stores make it known they will be giving away free coffee to anyone waiting in line or the introduction of a partnership that if you buy something at store X, you can get a half priced coffee at coffee shop Y. Possibilities are all around.

Creating something beneficial from studies and data like this one really go to show how unique and special social media can be, and how influential.

Social Media Policy Analysis – Best Buy

Best Buy Social Media Policy

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For my analysis of a social media policy, I examined Best Buy’s rules and guidelines concerning its beliefs on social media. The policy was easily found online and is more than likely easily attainable for employees of the organization. As a company, Best Buy is an industry leader and the brand holds a lot of weight in the technological consumer world. Therefore, a well thought out social media policy is expected.

It seems that the policy itself is its own document and separate from other employee guidelines outline by the organization. With that being said, much of the behavior that is mentioned in the policy is similar to the behavior expected by employees when acting offline. 

“Guidelines for functioning in an electronic world are the same as the values, ethics and confidentiality policies employees are expected to live everyday, whether you’re Twittering, talking with costumers or chatting over the neighbor’s fence.” – First line in the organization’s social media policy.

Having a consistent expectation of behavior online and offline is a great way to eliminate any gray lines in terms of standards. It also reinforces helps reinforce beliefs and standards that the company values in its employees.

HIGHLIGHTS

 The tone and the language that Best Buy uses in its policy is amazing. Typically, these type of guidelines and policies can have such boring and indirect feel to it, but Best Buy is the opposite. The policy features bullet points on “What You Should Do” and “What You Should Never Disclose” Having this short and to-the-point format helps to highlight what an employees can expect. Best Buy, for the most part, keeps the language light-hearted (Don’t tweet you are a vice president, when you are not a vice president) and the use of the word “you” instead of saying “employee” helps to create a better connection in the employer-employee relationship.

 Another highlight from the policy is that it is all basic common sense. The company wants its employees to be ethically and morally correct in its social media actions. If you’re going to tweet about Best Buy, you must disclose your affiliation. Also, it wants information that is learned at work (or anything that is not for public knowledge) to not be disclosed to the public. All of this is simple enough to follow. Common sense.

 Something that I don’t typically consider a highlight, but do in this case, is the practice of saying that your opinion does not reflect your employer. Because Best Buy is such a large corporation that could face repercussions if something negative was being said by an employee, Best Buy would not face as harsh of repercussions because it is known that what is being said online is not in the opinion of Best Buy, but rather just an individual.

LOWLIGHT

 It is very broad. There is a good generalization of what Best Buy expects regarding social media, but I feel that there is much left out. Probably because the company is so large it just gives basic expectations. However, there is an email link at the bottom of the page that allows employees to email if they have any questions.  

One aspect I would change in Best Buy’s policy is with the addition of examples. I think that providing examples of situations where questions might arise would give employees a better idea of how to conduct themselves if they are every faced with a similar situation.

Overall, I think the policy is great. I think that it sets a standard bar of what the organization expects and if there are any questions, an employee can get an answer. I haven’t heard of any problems Best Buy has had with social media and its employees, so apparently this policy is working. I wouldn’t mind having this as a social media policy if I were an employee at Best Buy.

 
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The Three Magic Words of Social Media

Realtors make the claim that the big three things in their business is location, location and location. Well, in a somewhat similar fashion social media usage, especially for a larger company, comes down to a three word philosophy, also…Engagement, engagement and engagement.

It’s burned in my brain, but for good reason. Think of all the engagement experiences you might have had during your time/use on twitter or Facebook, and not just with companies. There is a sort of unconscious appeal that we get when we engage with others. In most cases, it helps us to progress towards a common goal, fix a problem or locate information (Obviously, there are exceptions.) It’s a thing of beauty.

This study that I found on Mashable sparked my post.

As we take a step back and examine where we are in terms of social media progression, it could be argued that we are still in a transition phase. Maybe the latter half of that phase, but still transitioning nonetheless. One way that it is evident we are still in the transition phase is they way companies are using social media, and that’s as a one way street of communication.

Using Twitter and Facebook as a publication site, as opposed to an engagement location, is just a turn off. It makes it seem like they are commercials or advertisements for the brands, and that’s the last thing we as users of social media want to see.

Sling Digital, a Twitter advertising optimization service, monitored the engagement of 31 of the Fortune 100 companies to see where they stand. Here is how the results panned out:

As you can see, these large brands don’t necessarily have an overwhelming amount of followers, but the amount of people talking about them is greater. Sling Digital studies showed that companies like Walmart, Target and Comcast have been garnering conversation on social media sites. Engagement being done by the companies the driving force behind that.

It got me thinking about my own personal experience on social media. What gets me to interact with big brands? Usually, it is either extremes of really great or really poor service. How can brands start finding that middle road? Engagement with their followers. Brands should ask questions on how to improve their customer service, how customers are using their products or what are the customers likes/dislikes about the brand. Create a relationship. Show that you care, it goes a long way. This engagement practice will help us continue in the societal transition of social media.

Are you an engager on social media?

Who is Educating the Youth About Social Media?

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During my daily search on Mashable, I sorted through the all the current event materials (at the time it was countless posts about social media and the hurricane storm Sandy), before stumbling upon this post by Andrea Smith and college admissions officers looking at applicant’s online profile.

 

In her article, Smith notes that according to the 2012 Kaplan Test Prep survey of college admissions officers, schools are searching information about potential students via their social media profiles….ALL PROFILES. Everyone has heard the horror stories of kids getting in trouble for material they are posting to Facebook, but it seems that fewer high schoolers are as conscious about their other social media platforms (i.e. Timblr, Instagram and Twitter).

 

According to the survey, admissions officers’ Google and Facebook searches of applicants increased by seven and one percent from the last year, respectively. Findings yielded vulgar language, underage drinking and essay plagiarism.

 

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Is this a fair tactic for admission officers? On the one hand, this eliminates some bad eggs from the bunch and is a great way to maintain a universities prestige. Do the posts over shadow the accomplishments an individual has made over their high school career? Admissions officers need to figure out how much weight this tactic should carry.

 

I almost feel bad for some of the kids applying to schools now a days. This is one more thing that they have on their plate. Sure, I am facing a similar situation with prospective jobs on my horizon, but I am more mature, wiser and social media-knowledgeable than eighteen year olds. I have been lectured on the impact my online footprint can have. I would venture to guess that more than 3/4 of high schoolers have never been through any form of social media training or been explained the impact an online post carries.

 

Will be interesting to see how this trend progresses. Does this mean we, as a social media advocates, should start opening our youth’s eyes with social media training at a young age? Where does the responsibility to teach the youth how to use social media fall?

 

Reditr: Organization is Enhancing the Reddit Experience

Command “t” gets a workout each time I visit the Reddit site. Sometimes you need those mindless 10-to-15 minute sessions where you just check out what is on the web. Reddit.com is the gateway that brings hundreds to thousands of stories to one location, giving users a one-stop place for links to news stories.

The one problem, well besides the fact that those 10/15 minute sessions turn into an hour, is that Reddit is messy. Every time I go to the site, I find myself hitting that classic combo of “command” and “t” to open up a new tab.

According to Christine Erikson’s Mashable article “Reditir is Like TweetDeck for Reddit,” those days might be over.

Some students have developed a way to eliminate the constant back-and-forth clicking with their creation called Reditir. The new platform clearly draws its inspiration from Tweetdeck, with its multi-column dashboard design.

Instead of clicking on each link and having to open a new tab, the image, video or story will appear in the column to the right. The new design will give people the options to create more personalized feeds, which will allow for more-user friendly navigation of the site. You can stay on the one page THE ENTIRE TIME. Awesome! Here is an example of the personalized feed and the content from the link opening on the right side.

“This design structure enables the user to have quick access to a staggeringly large amount of content, all easily navigated via a simple column design,”

Says one of the creators of Reditir.

Social media is becoming more and more organized, which is just setting a foundation for social media to grow to the next level. This idea is just one example. I think that this design will give the Reddit site more credibility and will soon be used for more than just mindless searching of the internet.

Let’s keep on eye on this one.

Facebook is Now Tracking You

I remember when Facebook was just a simple way to connect and network with those you know. Times were simple.

Facebook is a whole different ball game nowadays. You can chat, video chat, companies can advertise on the sidebar. It’s wild.

Advertising has been a growing trend over the past couple of years on Facebook. Usually, after you “like” something on the site, advertisers will target you based on your interests. That’s all fine and dandy, especially since you were the one that made the effort to actually like the product, brand or etc.

Just over a month ago, Facebook gave permission to marketers to match users’ email addresses and phone numbers with their own data profiles. Basically, they can now target you on the social media site even though you haven’t “liked” something. It’s starting to feel like the new version of telemarketers.

Now Facebook is working with a data mining firm to show marketers that their advertisements on Facebook are actually working! A report is being made that will show if a person bought something after seeing it on Facebook. This has marketers drooling.

This opportunity that Facebook is providing marketers is giving them reason to put more effort into their ads. Before you know it there will be complex, innovative ads on our Facebook timelines because guess what, apparently that is what we want to see.

In this mashable article, experts say that after the research was completed marketers are getting $3 for their companies for every $1 spent on Facebook. That is unreal.

One concern I see arising from all this is privacy issues. People offer a lot of material about themselves on Facebook and the purpose is not for marketers to use as mining data. It will be interesting to see if there are any repercussions from this new announcement.

Here is a statement from a Facebook representative on the situation:

We are working with Datalogix to help advertisers understand how well their Facebook ads are working. We also do this through our partnerships with companies like Nielsen and comScore and through our own advertising tool. We know that people share a lot of information on Facebook, and we have taken great care to make sure that we measure the effectiveness of Facebook ads without compromising the commitments we have made on privacy. We don’t sell people’s personal information, and individual user data is not shared between Facebook, Datalogix or advertisers.

 

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Klout – What/Why/How

What is Klout?

Without doing any research on it, I dove in head first and signed myself up. Only allowing the site to connect with my twitter, it told me my Klout score was 41.

Am I awesome, or do I suck? Was my first thought. Clearly, I should have done some research on Klout.

Klout brands itself as “The Standard for Influence” — The site provides a measurement, on a scale of 1-100, of users online influence on others. You can connect on almost every social media platform and Klout uses analysis algorithm to give a score.

After reading Wired.com’s article “What Your Klout Score Really Means” I have come to see the desirability a little more clearly. It can essentially be viewed as a compass for social media users, allowing them to see who is important on social media (or in life), who are the people that make a splash in social media, who will influence others with their posts.

Think about the people that influence you in your daily life. You want to be more like them, act how they act, eat what they eat, watch what they watch and etc. – therefore you value their opinion. Those individuals are your role models, you’re more inclined to see what they post and take it to heart.

High Klout scores highlight the people who drive action.

In Wired’s article they give an example of how the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, which had the 17th most Facebook friends in compared to other Vegas hotel/resorts, jumped to the third most-popular and raised its Klout score to one of the highest in the Vegas area. How did they do that?

Clerks at at the Palms looked up guests Klout score and decided to give some of the guests with higher scores more perks, like room upgrades. Those clerks knew the guests that received to the royal treatment would take to their social media outlets and give good, free pub to the hotel. Genius.

Klout isn’t the one doing the influencing, but rather it sheds the light on those influencers. Like I said, it’s the compass. It points you in the direction to people that will be making a splash with their posts…good or bad.

I think for the most part people will always be inclined to do what celebrities do, but in my opinion, Klout showcases how anyone can be an influencer with their social media usage. Just another way social media is flexing its muscles in our lives.

Tips to raise your Klout score (via Twitter), according to Klout product director Chris Makarsky:

  1. Tweet more
  2. Concentrate your tweets to one topic instead of spreading yourself thin
  3. Develop relationships with high-Klout people
  4. Be more positive than negative in your tweets