Author Archive for Heather Horsey

03
Apr
12

What’s Easter without a little chocolate?

 

ImageThere are few holidays that are not centered around chocolate and/or desserts, and Easter is no exception.

Mars M&Ms has grasped this reality and flung it into a new mobile marketing advertising campaign to drive sales for the coming holiday.

The M&M mobile ads capture attention with phrases such as, “Make every basket complete. M&M chocolates for Easter,” according to Mobile Marketer. Once they tap on the ad, users are educated on how to incorporate the candies into their Easter dessert recipes. It drives the consumer to a mobile microsite where they are greeted by the infamous M&M characters and step-by-step recipes.

The brilliance of the mobile marketing is its capability to drive on impulse. People who receive the ad when they are already out and about have it fresh in their mind that they should not only buy the candy, but they should do so because they have a recipe that they need it for; making the purchase a necessity, not just a desire.

Next to Valentines Day, Easter is the biggest chocolate buying holiday, and these ‘virtual end caps’ are a bright idea for the spring season.

What recipe will you make with the pastel M&M candies? Give in, it’s Easter.

26
Mar
12

I’ll have a burger please, with a side of social networking

If social networking hasn’t become the craving of the century, I don’t know what has.

Not only are people fascinated with how communication has turned into an interactive dialog, but whether they are finding friends on Facebook, tweeting their every move on Twitter, or now marketing their own customized burgers in the new frenzy that 4food has created, they are finding every excuse to play on the social media playground.

The restaurant, 4Food, in midtown Manhattan has brilliantly introduced a way to make creating your own burger an interactive experience.  Like some other build your own burger joints, the patty comes in a variety of meats (even veggie) and you can chose every aspect of your meal, from bun to sauces.  The donut shape of the patty is eye catching, however, leaving a hole in the middle of the patty for you to fill with a variety of “scoops” ranging from mac and cheese to Thai eggplant curry.

What sets 4Food apart is the marketing privilege the consumer acquires after their creation (from the 140 million combination possibilities) is complete.  Through 4Food’s accounts on FacebookTwitter  and their blog, you can name and market your personalized burger.

After you have marketed your creation, you earn a royalty every time that burger is ordered at 4Food.  The $.25 payment is credited to your account on 4food.com.

The learning curve is small, but fun for customers who currently use the provided iPads to order at the restaurant, and will be able to order on their smartphones in the near future.

The exposure that this new burger joint is experiencing purely at the fingertips of their customers is remarkable.  Social networking has driven itself to virtually take the legwork out of marketing for you, purely for free…how is your business using the power of social media to expand?

 

20
Mar
12

And it Has Changed…Again.

Just when we all have gotten used to the “new” look of Facebook, the beast has evolved once again.

It seems that Facebook is trying to keep people on their toes with the endless face-lifts, and while most of us struggle to figure out how to simply maneuver to view photos, businesses are using the new Timeline to their full advantage.

How you ask? Here are a few perks of the new Timeline that will get your company ready for the switch:

  • Cover photo and profile image

Instead of just one small image to represent your brand, you can now also use another image as your cover photo. This photo spans the top of your page and is the background for your smaller profile image.

  • Large pinned posts

 Timeline will not allow you to create a default-landing page, however you can manage the posts that appear on your wall.  By moving a pinned post to the top of your wall, you can keep the most important and intriguing information and images in the forefront.

  • Ability to set company milestones

 The Milestone section of your Timeline can update your fans about big events in the life of your company.  People can visually see the history of your company and relate past experiences to themselves and other companies similar to you.

  • Facebook Offers

 Similar to the Facebook Deals seen on the old Facebook format, the Facebook Offers are sent out to your fans via the news feeds.  Not only is this more visible, but it is more personable when they click to claim the offer and it is sent directly to their email.

Whether you are a new company or a mature one, the new Timeline can help to increase awareness of your brand and expand your network.

Give it a go, and let us know how the re-facing of Facebook is working for you, or if you need help adjusting- give us a call!

27
Feb
12

Move over Facebook, there is a new social media channel in town

Pinterest has turned the act of “pinning” into a downright obsession among its 10 million users, providing never-ending pages of images that suck you in and leave you scrolling for more.  Needless to say, this site has taken procrastination to the next level.

Maybe it is the ease of pinning a variety of interests to your own boards that other people can “like” as well, or maybe it is just simply enticing because of the wealth of diverse images at your fingertips.  In any case, the female fan base has found reason to take up pinning as their new hobby.

Not only is Pinterest surpassing Facebook, Tumblr and the like in driving traffic to top websites such as marthastewartweddings.com, cookinglight.com, and self.com but according to The Week, it is doing so at an exponential rate unseen in other social media channels.

Once an image is repined, it is exposed to an entire new circle of people.  A cycle of advertising exposure that is essentially never-ending.

It makes sense, then, that businesses should jump on board this speed train.   And that, my friends, is exactly what is happening.  Because when it comes down to it, this is target marketing at its finest.

Businesses considering Pinterest can:

  1. Create their own pin boards that represent their company and their values. Think past and future designs, products, interesting product uses, ect.
  2. Smaller companies can even go as far as pinning interests that its employees have, making their company more personally relatable.
  3.  Add pin buttons (similar to the Facebook “like” button) to their website so people surfing their site can follow their boards on Pinterest.
  4. Feature new and upcoming products on these boards so the company can get a feel for the popularity based on the number of repins.  In short, it is test marketing without the legwork.

Obviously Pinterest is a great social media channel for any company who is advertising products that can be represented visually (food, magazines, fashion, automobiles, home improvement, art, etc.).   But it doesn’t have to stop there.  For instance, travel agencies can use visually enticing beaches or monuments to capture attention and fitness centers can use images of fit models to make people stop, think and click for more.

When it comes down to it, the basic psychology is this: people want to share their interests, but more importantly they want what everyone else has.  The higher the repin number, the more appealing that product becomes and the more attention it gets.

What do you think about Pinterest and how is your company including it in your social media efforts?  Have you pinned today?

27
Jan
12

Super Bowl Advertising Preview

The average cost of a commercial for the Super Bowl is around $3.5 million this year, and NBC pretty much sold out its ad inventory by Labor Day. With the DVR changing how we watch TV and creating commercial skipping, television advertising seems like a dying media. So, why do advertisers mortgage the farm to get an ad for the Super Bowl?

Fewer events are more hyped, create as much fanfare, attract more interest from celebrities, politicians and average Americans than the Super Bowl. And live is still how viewers like to watch sports with the NFL leading the sports pack in fan base size. Last year’s Super Bowl had an astonishing 110 million viewers – definitely worth mortgaging the farm.

Therefore, we wanted to preview some of the spots that we think will be real highlights this year.

Volkswagen

One of the highlights last year came courtesy of Volkswagen as they unveiled their commercial, “The Force,” which featured a young Darth Vader and a new 2012 Passat.

Volkswagen may have replicated its 2011 success with a memorable ad for the  Super Bowl XLVI. They have a teaser (yes – an ad of an ad) for this year’s Super Bowl commercial, which includes dogs barking the Star Wars theme and is named “The Bark Side.”

As a dog lover, and Vizsla owner (top row-center), I for one am excited to see this ad.

Sketchers
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, will be guest starring in Sketchers third-consecutive Super Bowl ad. With expectations lowered after last year Kim Kardashian commercial, Sketchers can only improve, right?

It turns out that this particular ad features racing greyhounds that lose to a tiny dog wearing Sketchers.

Doritos
In my opinion, Doritos has been throwing multiple game winning touch downs with its “Crash the Super Bowl Contest” for the last couple of years, and this year looks to be no different. Here are some of the top contenders.

Sling Baby
What do you get when you mix a baby in a swing, a mean grandmother and a bratty kid taunting them both? A great commercial.

Man’s Best Friend
Dog-themed entries always grab my attention. This entry features a dog trying to cover its tracks and a human that can apparently be bought off for just a sack of Doritos.

The Voice
A promo for “The Voice” that will be aired during the Super Bowl, for a series that premieres directly after the Super Bowl, will at least create some conversation at the water cooler on Monday. The spot is titled “Vokal Kombat,” so I can only assume that it features Christina Aguilera ripping Adam Levine’s head off, vocally that is.

So, we are interested to know, what commercials are you most excited to see and , more importantly, do stellar commercials make up for a Super Bowl that is heavy on defense or one-sided? Let us know here on The Side Note, or on Facebook (Facebook.com/WeiseCommunications) or on Twitter (@Weise_Ideas).

18
Jan
12

Six Ways to Jazz up a Pitch

Journalists are very busy and get thousands of emails a day. So, even very well targeted news pitches can be overlooked. However, how can you break through the clutter and get your pitch read?

Here are a few tips of how to break through by jazzing up your pitch:

  1. Have a great subject line for your email or introductory sentence for your phone pitch. A subject line with six words or less is key.
  2. Pitch your story as a process story. If your content is not particularly interesting, how did you get to that point and is that more interesting? This might be particularly useful for research-based stories. Did you use any unique processes to achieve your results?
  3. Pitch your story to an unorthodox beat. Are you pitching a biking story, how about tying into fashion, food or business related to biking instead of the typical sport beat?
  4. Tie into a tread, and I am not talking about fringe boots here. What IS the media covering and how can you be a part of it? Today, if you have a way to tie into SOPA or PIPA, your chances of getting coverage are greatly increased. Or, how about a story about the ubiquitous Tim Tebow?
  5. Leverage your existing assets. As any good communicator could tell you, half of our jobs are to repurpose and reconfigure old content, coverage and concepts. Do you have a company mascot and a yearly contest? Can you tie the two together in an interesting way?
  6. Make it a multimedia pitch. Use video and photos. Pitch on Twitter and Facebook.

Make your pitch interesting to read, view or listen to, and you just might break through.

Got other ways to jazz up your pitch and break through? We would love to hear your comments – here on The Side Note, @Weise_Ideas on Facebook.

 

13
Dec
11

Avoid embarrassment: implement a Social Media Policy

Regardless of your company size, a social media policy to control the way your team communicates with online audiences is critical to the success of your business. Now that Facebook and Twitter have become an important part of doing business, it’s time for your company to craft an up-to-date and flexible social media policy to protect your company’s reputation both online and off.

Your policy must have a clear objective and should clearly define what employees can or can’t do on social media. Make sure that the objective is practical, reasonable and applicable to all who are participating in social media for your business. However when it comes to your company data, confidential information is an asset and everyone has the responsibility to protect it. If the social media policy is violated, ensure you have reasonable responses. Depending on the degree of damage or violation, you can go from disciplinary actions like suspension, termination, or even civil or criminal penalties.

Back in September, Microsoft employee Joe Marini tweeted about a Nokia Windows Phone. The trouble was, the phone hadn’t been released yet. This upset his bosses, and Marini ended up leaving Microsoft.

In 2008, Virgin Atlantic took disciplinary action against 13 crew members who participated in a Facebook discussion that “criticized Virgin’s safety standards and insulted passengers,” according to the Guardian. The comments were promptly removed, the group was fired.

When crafting a policy, be sure to:

  • Remind employees to familiarize themselves with the employment agreement and policies included in the employee handbook.
  • State that the policy applies to multi-media, social networking websites, blogs and wikis for both professional and personal use.
  • Tweets or posts should not disclose any information that is confidential or proprietary.
  • If an employee comments on any aspect of the company’s business they must clearly identify themselves as an employee and include a disclaimer, that should be something like “the views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of (your company’s name).”
  • Tweets or posts should not include company logos or trademarks unless permission is asked for and granted, and must respect copyright, privacy, fair use, financial disclosure, and other applicable laws.
  • Employees should neither claim nor imply that they are speaking on the company’s behalf.
  • Require approval on corporate blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, etc., when the employee is posting about the company and the industry.
  • Reserve the right to request the certain subjects are avoided, withdraw certain posts, and remove inappropriate comments.

When the guidelines are used correctly this policy can help increase productivity as well as secure your company from social media disasters on the web. What do you think about social media policies? How critical is it for your business? How would implement it? Tell us what you think on our blog, share it with us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

06
Dec
11

Find Blood via Facebook

Most treatments depend on blood. And finding a matching donor can be a problem for many hospitals and clinics around the world.

Now in India, a project called SocialBlood.org is saving lives. The Facebook-powered campaign encourages blood donations and enables potential donors and recipients to make contact with one another through the online forum.

Social Blood connects people who has same blood type. Choose your blood type from the website and join the Facebook group. It’s that easy. After you become a  member of your blood type group, you can invite your friends, post a message in emergency or respond to requests for blood donations.

“A recent post from a man asking for blood for his daughter received 74 responses in 24 hours,” said 22-year-old Social Blood Founder Karthik Naralasetty.

This simple idea of connecting via Facebook is taking social media to the next level. Could your health organization benefit from a similar campaign?

Let us know what you think about Social Blood, we would love to hear your feedback and comments here on The Side Note, or via Twitter @Weise_Ideas or on Facebook.

30
Nov
11

Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit

There are many diets and many work out programs today. People are always trying to find the best way to be healthy. At times trying to whip yourself into shape can seem impossible. Drew Manning is a personal trainer from Utah and he is going the extra mile to show that you can lose those pesky pounds and eat right. In May he started an unprecedented journey that has gotten worldwide attention. He was tired of hearing that he didn’t know what it was like to be overweight or unhealthy. So, he decided to start the journey of fit to fat to fit. He quit exercising and quit following his strict diet. He started eating without restriction and even let people choose meals they wanted to see him eat. After six months of an unrestricted diet and gaining more than 70 pounds, he has started his journey back to fit. Manning appeared on The Jay Leno Show and Dr. Oz where he shared his experience of exercising and breaking his new addiction to Zingers and Mountain Dew.

Manning has taken the phrase “lead by example” to heart. Rather than sitting on the sidelines coaching people about fitness, he is on the front lines showing them by example that it can be done. He is demonstrating an excellent way to communicate. People can understand more when they are shown rather than told what to do. People of all professions can learn a thing or two about Manning’s message.

I for one am looking forward to seeing him accomplish this goal and see the many people he will inspire. You can follow his journey at http://www.fit2fat2fit.com/.

P.S. Thanks to our long distance intern Jeff Larsen for this post.

19
Oct
11

How influential are you online?

Have you ever wondered what presence you have online? There is a way to find out. Klout.com is a website that will measure your influence across your social networks. It takes your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and any other social media sites and gives you a score. It uses variables from these sites such as friends, followers, retweets and posts. It measures these variables and gives you a score in three areas. Your true reach (how many people you influence), amplification (How much you influence them) and network impact (The influence of your network). It then combines the three scores and gives you a final score on a 1-100 scale with 100 being most influential.

Your True Reach is the number of people you influence. When you post a message, these people tend to respond or share it. Your Amplification is how much you influence people. When you post a message, how many people respond to it or spread it further? If people often act upon your content you have a high Amplification score. Your Network indicates the influence of the people in your True Reach. How often do top Influencers share and respond to your content? When they do so, they are increasing your Network score.

I’m sure by now you are at least a little bit curious about what your score might be. You should go play around on Klout.com and find out what your score is. Link it to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, blog, LinkedIn and all your other social media sites to make sure you can get a score for all the sites you use.

Your score isn’t always going to be the same. You may sign on one day and be up a few points because more activity has been going on in your social media world and other days it may be down a few points because of lack of activity. You need to be consistently active in your social media to keep your Klout score increasing.

What is your Klout? Mine currently is 37. Share with us what you think of Klout and if there are other services that you think are more valuable.




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