Future Implications

Social media is rapidly effecting how consumers interact, buy, and view their favorite brands. Let’s admit it folks! Consumers now hold a large amount of control over the success and failure of consumable products.

After reading an article by Michael Castro of MAKESociable.com I found the three changes in the social media sector to be very accurate and necessary for the evolution of marketing, advertising, and public relations industries. The three changes Castro ruminates on are as follows: increased audience segmentation, direct monetization of social networks, and improved metrics.

Social media is evolving and growing. More than ever people have options to go anywhere to live digitally. I think companies have to get creative when it concerns traffic and organic buzz. According to Castro:

“As more and more social networks pop up, brands will have to consider a more segmented audience. Just as you wouldn’t only advertise on NBC, you don’t want to only be active on one social network. It will become more important to research where your target audience is spending their time and then tailor your social media marketing strategy to go where the customers are.”

Marketing proffesionals  can no longer rely on traffic to flow freely to their content. Simply posting a link to your Facebook or Twitter landing page won’t get you the desired hits. To be realistic people are picky and want options. This will create new problems for companies that lack original content and lack brand awareness amongst their target audience.

The other two implications are already taking off and beng used by popular social media platforms, such as Pinterest.

Monetization of social media is being seen through Facebook. Companies often provide coupons to those who like and or follow. This trend will allow consumers to have an acute shopping experience. However, this change will also make it doubly harder for brands to pinpoint how social media backing can correlate to sales.

Segmentation through social media will be important for brands in that it will allow for consumer habits to clearly advise how to handle new trends, why quality control feedback is poor, and when  peek consumer buying season approaches. In a nutshell, knowing your metrics will be a science, an all inclusive snapshot of how your target market sees and interacts with your brand. Castro advises that analytics will be an unavoidable tool that every marketing professional will eventually use in order to gain perspective:

“Cutting edge CRM platforms such as UberVU can now provide brands with something called “Sentiment Metrics”. The future of social media insights is going to be all about sentiment metrics. Simply finding out how many mentions your business had doesn’t mean much to a brand marketer. New technology can actually rate the sentiment of each mention as positive, negative or neutral”(Castro, 2013). Knowing the smallest of details regarding consumer feedback will allow for a more robust view of your brand and future success.

However, as social media and analysis tools  evolve there is a conclusion that still exists: technology and people both have created a society that included an evolving and increasingly  impersonal communications style that has flourished. However, as people try to fight new efforts and desire to “un-plug” they are unable to do so because we all know someone that has a digital persona. Do you think that traditional forms of communications are obsolete or will new technologies incorporate modern touches to fading modes of communication?

SOURCES:

Mastro, Michael. “Future Implications: What The Future of Social Media Means for Your Business.” MAKEsociable. MAKESociable.com, 16 June 2013. Web. 31 Mar.

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DIY-Viral Marketing

Within this world of selfies, hashtags, and info-graphs people consume, connect, and recycle ( not all in that order) at high rates. Now, when news goes viral it happens quickly, without warning, and sometimes for no respectable reason. If you can tap into how your customer relates to your brand the world “going viral” will be a piece of cake.

According to StickyViral.com, “Facebook has the biggest lead generation for both buyers and sellers. 77 percent declared they had made customers through Facebook”. So part of going viral is knowing how to “speak to your customer is key to getting any campaign noticed. Consumers are so over just shopping. They want to know that when they do so it is an experience and something worth talking about and sharing.

Blendtec went viral becasue they showcased their products in a funny and very real way. Though IPads aren’t normally blender friendly Blendtec entertained and informed consumers.

 FIVE VIRAL TACTICS

Content is King: Honda leveraged Pinterest fans and potential Honda buyers to pursue their dreams and get paid while doing so. This campaign was so popular because it used the power of great content buy consumers and one of the fastest growing and useful social media tools((Pinterest) to engage consumersHonda Pintermission

Emotional Connection: Dove used real women to describe themselves and have a sketch drawn from that description. The sketch artist the completed his own version of the same women. Dove Real Beauty hoped to shine a light on how women hold themselves in a low esteem, only seeing flaws, versus what the campaign was made to do, inspire real beauty. This type of viral marketing is both personal and insightful without being harsh and or cold.

Sware by Facebook: Grey Poupon utilized Facebook to access your personal page and sift through your friends, personal messages, and photos to determine if you belonged in the “society” of Good Taste. For people who enjoy Facebook games this should have appealed to them. Grey Poupon Society of Good Taste

Solve a Problem: Blendtec managed to make blenders interesting but also accessible to all age groups. I’m confident that one of the reasons the campaign did so well is because it instantly solved a problem that many of us had never thought about. Will my Ipad survive this beating? The answer obviously was no.

Be Original: Old Spice used their Old Spice Man, Isiah Mustafa, to respond to various question on social media. Already, known for being half man and half horse, the Old Spice mascot gained over 7 million views to date. At the end of the day people want to laugh and share the gift of laughter with their friends, millions of times over.

Though going viral is now associated with all things related to social media, people want to feel, more than anything that content is genuine and not forced. Please realize that to be funny, reflective, or even triumphant brands have the to take the power to access the deepest happiness and fears within their consumer and wait for the appropriate responses.

RESOURCES:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2014/02/24/top-7-reasons-your-content-goes-viral/

http://stickyviral.com/rapid-publisher/facts-and-statistics-about-viral-marketing-your-jump-off-point-for-2013/

http://www.ignitesocialmedia.com/social-media-examples/15-viral-marketing-examples-campaigns-past-5-years/

Differentiation

The process of differentiation is not rocket science! To be a successful brand, in today’s market, brands need to embrace the idea that white noise is the enemy. Not to be dramatic but customers can sense a fake a mile away. According to SocialMediaToday.com, ” [brands] have become publishers, and when you think about it, in order to survive, we need to share unique content across different channels or at least learn how to repackage it so that it doesn’t sound like the same thing we just said on another network.” Publishing unique and innovative communications are a large part of the relationship building process that begins to form between customers and brands. However, consumers have now gained more power and even more authority over how  a brand is perceived. Blogging and Tweeting are just some of the activities that consumers have taken in order to showcase their love for brands. 

That being said consumers have the potential to become brands themselves and the companies that they choose to interact with have to be willing to interact and exchange ideas in order to support sales, boost retention, and create organic buzz around marketing initiatives.

Two brands that have taken total advantage on social media are JustFab and ShoeDazzle. These two brands have a heavy hand in the shoe market and utilize the “power of celebrity” in order to drive their brands initiatives. ShoeDazzle.com and JustFab.com are two online show stores that give consumers the freedom of shopping exclusive shoe styles being offered at very low prices. ShoeDazzle and Just Fab utilize all the mainstream social media tools in order to strengthen relationships with customers and build brand awareness. 

However, both brands utilize their resources in various ways. With over 2.8 million Facebook like, JustFab beats ShoeDazzle who only has about 2.1 million likes. Yet, they utilize their pages in unique ways. Both allow their customers to post pictures of the products they receive. this allows their customers to start conversations about the brand or product. Yet, ShoeDazzle is a more focused approach to conversation and is overall less cluttered. ShoeDazzle also does not post everything and always has links to new products under pictures. This minimalist approach allows the brand to feature special styles and customers to pin point what they like. However, I noticed complaints in various places on JustFab’s Facebook page. Even though white noise is highly detectable, bad press should also be used in order to learn from mistakes, and not just ignored. Facebook pages should be monitored and mediated. If not new potential consumers may get the wrong type of ideas about the quality of brand which can deter them from making purchases. 

Another point of interest was the blog by ShoeDazzle. In terms of fashion, visuals are key, not only do customers want to see products, but they want to see how they will look in real time. ShoeDazzle does a great job of focusing their weeks post on specific topi or people while also featuring a new product or piece of information. The visuals are vibrant but also understated and does not resemble a large corporate or impersonal tone. Check out The Platform to see for yourself. Yet, I enjoyed reading The Fab Life because it includes contest and price updates that or more likely to reach a larger audience while they are perusing a blog rather than window shopping for fabulous shoes. 

Overall, both brands are formidable opponents and have numerous similarities. Both have sizable Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts, though Shoe Dazzle has almost 89,000 followers on Twitter, more than 40,000 more than JustFab. ShoeDazzle does cater to people shopping in a higher price point, shoes range of over $100. Where as Just Fab has a lower price point of under a $100. Both employ Chief Stylist that have experience and clout within the Fashion industry too. Kimora Lee Simmons heads JustFab. Rachel Zoe was recently named the new head of ShoeDazzle. As a consumer what is more important to you? Quality, buzz, celebrities, social media clout or good old fashioned brand appeal?

Sources:

http://www.justfab.com/celebrity-style.htm

https://twitter.com/JustFabOnline

https://www.facebook.com/justfab

http://www.youtube.com/user/JustFab

http://pulse2.com/2013/12/20/justfab-has-raised-15-million-99280/

http://www.shoedazzle.com/about_us

https://twitter.com/shoedazzle

http://instagram.com/shoedazzle

http://allthingsd.com/20130109/shoedazzle-taps-rachel-zoe-as-new-celebrity-spokesperson/

http://www.wwd.com/retail-news/direct-internet-catalogue/rachel-zoe-named-shoedazzle-chief-stylist-6573825

Hot and Heavy with Mashable

For the past few weeks. I have been using various resources to complete my weekly blog posts. But the biggest source of inspiration has come from Mashable.com. I have used this resource for mostly story ideas relating to apps, you tube happenings, etc. However, I feel it necessary to say thanks!

I enjoy things that are random. I will admit that I am the one in the office laughing at the cute cat videos. However, when looking for new material for this week I found an advise article that really captured the essence of why Mashable.com is so amazing. It’s almost September and people are rushing to buy school clothes, supplies, and get their children back in the class room. However what we forget is the golden rules of navigating how to survive school.  One of the most random reads I came across, on Mashable.com, was 12 People To Avoid on the First Day of School.

The article or collage of don’t all explained what not to do and who to avoid when going to school this Fall. My top piece of advise was:

#11. The Creepy Professor, who you may admire,  but may want to keep your distance to avoid the following from happening)

Rl0ve

These pieces of advice are just part of the charming tidbits Mashable has to offer.

It gets better! If that wasn’t enough Mashable is also chock full of good ideas and frequented by consumers that are plugged into what people are saying and doing when it comes to social media, marketing, advertising, etc. Mashable.com has created a new app that can predict stuff.

To elaborate: it can predict viral stuff.

android app

They can explain it better than I can, “When our Mashable Velocity algorithm predicts a story is about to go viral, we’ll send an Android notification to all the folks who have installed the app. But we have to warn you, it’s pretty addicting. Just promise us that you’ll read the one story you’re notified about, and then you’ll actually get back to work”. No more fishing through Twitter, Digg, etc to find the trending story or happening of the day. Mashable has you covered. Though some stories are super random, cute, inconsequential they also find a way to bring and create tools that will actually help in consumers everyday lives. Though, if your boss was to catch you looking at cat videos, surfing Mashable, or using their mobile app to find more fleeting information, they would not be too happy you could always blame it on your love and passion for all things random. That might work. 25.345% chance of working and you not getting fired. Pink sware.

Wait there’s more, just in case, if you didnt get caught:  http://mashable.com/2013/08/17/25-top-mashable-resources-you-cant-miss-2/

Fancy Yourself a Ghost Hunter?

When I see a story linking ghosthunting with a phone app I have to do some research. And If you’re wondering, I do fancy myself a ghost hunter ( only while watching Ghost Adventures) of course.

Huffington Post points out:

Technology is often the enemy of superstition, but a new iPhone app aims to convince you otherwise.” Often people forget that ghost hunting is a real high tech hobby. Though some believe that you have a “six sense, or intuition, and  knack for this now kitch past time developing a phone app that marries both technology, superstition, and ghosts is actually pretty clever.

The article continues to explain that,” Spirit Story Box, a 99-cent iPhone app launched recently by Roger Pingelton and Jill Beitz, of Greenwood, Ind., claims to detect and message nearby ghosts and spirits.  By using  iPhone , the app can track certain environmental elements and examine values within the device. Of course this all hinges on whether the spirit feels compelled to “interact with your handy dandy IPhone app.

Now, this quirky gem of an app may not win you any cool points with your friends. But you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have the chance to communicate with spirits “beyond the grave”.

spirit story box

spirit story box

Read the entire article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/10/spirit-story-box_n_3727714.html?utm_hp_ref=technology

LALLAPALOOZA LIVE FROM YOUTUBE

Think you have to live in Chicago to catch the Lallapalooza? Big fan of Steve Aoki, Vampire Weekend, The Cure? Well You Tube and Lallapalooza have teamed up to bring the goods.

This is a significant triumph for music lovers. The best thing is that all you need is an internet connection. As a genxer I think that this is something that I never thought possible or even thought that would be viable where money is concerned. Though illegal downloading is still a big issue I think that more companies and musicians should think outside the box to bring their fans more live performances without them having to shell out 100’s of dollars.

What other relationships do you think could be forged to ring musicians and music lovers closer to the music that they love?

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

SOURCES:

http://www.webpronews.com/lollapalooza-live-streaming-on-youtube-this-weekend-2013-08

Oscar De La Renta Premieres Fall Line on Instagram!?!?!?

Oscar De La Renta Premieres Fall Line on Instagram!?!?!?

What would happen if social media and Oscar De La Renta had a baby?  Well, the impossible has happened.  Oscar  De La Renta  has chosen to release his Fall 2013 fashion line over instagram! I can hear all you tech savvy … Continue reading

Twinkies Are Back!?!? And I Say Yes!(Insert Fist Pump)

(Enjoy the music below)

Twinkies are back. Yes, your number #1 comfort food filled with cream filled goodness is back. The demand for the now low calorie snack was to high to ignore. Twinkies are now available to purchase nationwide. However, one would have to wonder if Twinkie always had plans to  come back with a BANG!

Starting-ebay-bid-for-a-single-twinkie-is-5-000-7b92bd9b85

That being said the popular snack will still bring back memories of 3rd grade lunch table trading cookies and sandwiches for the most coveted food, the Twinkie. It was shock. Wasn’t it? When I heard that Twinkies was bankrupt, and only after 10 months that they would be closing down their historic doors I was surprised at the outcome. Twinkies, much like Oreos, Spam, or any other food staples around since the “dawn” of time many had become attached to. The definition of comfort food was no longer available in my grocery story isle.

Mashable.com posted an article over viewing the various effects of the Twinkie inevitably leaving shelves on a very real level. The article highlighted that many people, who may have been coming of a Twinkie high, took to Ebay to even sale Twinkie:

” According to prices set by the sellers on the auction site, if you want a piece of air-puffed, sugar-soaked, corn-fed American history … it is going to cost you.

Here’s what’s currently up for sale and bid on eBay:

According to a USAToday.com Twinkie is now advertising a lean and lighter weight to probably lure in customers who thought the snack was better off dead. The snack used to be a total of 150 calories now they are a manageable 135 calories. I doubt health aficionados will begin to eat Twinkies but they have made an effort to revamp their brand image. Great work Twinkie!

Part of their success, in part, is owed to “Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co. after Hostess Brands said it was closing down in November. The firms are known for fixing up struggling brands.Hostess has said that Twinkies will remain the same price, at $3.99 for a box of 10. Retailers may charge different prices, however”.

As homage to the historic company, its loyal customers, and the feverish buildup to its reemergence Twinkies displayed the famous cake on a billboards across the country.

Here is a tweet of one of them: View image on Tumblr website

Twinkies new tagline leading up to the release, 7.15.2013, was both witty and appropriate for the occasion “The sweetest comeback in the history of ever”

Sources:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/07/15/twinkies-release-smaller/2517709/

http://mashable.com/2012/11/16/ebay-twinkie-hostess/

http://mashable.com/2013/07/15/twinkies-are-back/