Archive for the 'Social Networking' Category

25
Sep
13

Social Media Marketing: What Brands Can Learn From “Mother Monster”

What could your brand do with 40 million followers on Twitter?  What about 45 million?  Celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber send out tweets daily to this amount of followers, while their fans continuously respond with compliments, love, and devotion.  So, what can brands learn from these enormous celebrities about how to create an engaging and interesting social media presence?lady-gaga-social-media-tactics

 1—Create A Culture

“Little Monsters” may be a little to eccentric for a company to call their customers, but the united culture is something to strive toward.  Lady Gaga has managed to turn her fans into a loving, supporting culture.  “Mother Monster,” as she’s called, has given her fans a home, and a sense of belonging.  Customers, consumers, and users are all terms that are too disconnected.  A brand should show their customers that they have a subculture that their buyers belong to; a family they didn’t even know existed until they started using your product and service.  Make your customers be proud to be your “little monster.”

 2—Believe In Your Message, But Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Sarcasm is now a language within itself.  Sarcasm and humor demonstrate personality, which is crucial to a company’s social media presence.  You want to offer a human aspect to your accounts so fans and followers know they aren’t just engaging with a robot.  Lady Gaga is never afraid to poke fun at herself, her songs, her crazy sense of fashion, and the world around her.  Showing personality helps followers relate to your brand’s voice and feel like they know you.

LittleMonsters-Private-Beta 3—Encourage Collaboration

Shockingly, the people that know your customer base the best are your customers!  Lady Gaga took notice that her fans were just as artistically inclined as her, and opened up her own social network, LittleMonsters.com.  This site has provided a community for her monsters to share their art, while also creating relationships based on acceptance and their love for Gaga.  Opening up an opportunity for customers to use their creativity with your brand can help build loyalty towards your brand.

What are other celebrities that companies should learn lessons from?  Or what are other lessons that can be learned from the big names in music, movies, and TV?  Share with us in the comment section below, and also on our Facebook and Twitter!  Also, check out how we create brand cultures on social media at WeiseIdeas.com.

11
Sep
13

Social Media and September 11th: Small Memorials, Big Impact

Social media has allowed us to remember September 11th through not just major memorials, but small ones, that have just as much impact. Platforms ranging from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram provide an outlet for memorials for those tragic events that touched all of our lives and indelibly changed our nation.nypd

Last year, New York Police Department was able to honor the different officers whose lives were lost during the attacks on the World Trade Center.  The Twitter account posted the names of the officers, as well as their end of tour date; 9-11-01.  These updates served as a reminder of the many public service workers who gave their lives to help citizens of New York that fateful day.

Twitter and Facebook have provided other unique venues for the public to share their emotions and stories in this continuously busy world.  Last year, Twitter was trending with stories of where each user was when they found out about the attacks.  Different age groups were able to illustrate the spectrum of emotions felt when the news of the attacks first broke.  Younger users told how they were in kindergarten class during the attacks, and had no idea what exactly had happened.  While the older population was able to see the news in their office or on their way to work.

September11In addition to a platform for stories, the Internet has become a place for remembrance in lieu of expensive and time-consuming memorial services.  Life unfortunately does not stop on difficult anniversaries, but that does not mean Americans cannot share their thoughts and prayers for each other.  A simple status update or tweet provides a short moment of silence, when the day doesn’t allow for a memorial service.  According to social media experts, these brief mentions have also helped to increase awareness of the importance of any day, which might have been forgotten years later.

Whether it is a moment of reflection, prayer, patriotism, or remembrance, social media has forever changed how Americans will commemorate September 11th, and all that was lost on that day.

How else have you seen others using social media to commemorate 9/11?  Tell us in the comments, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  Be sure to visit our website and learn more about our agency and all that we offer in social media.

13
Aug
13

Social Media Marketing: Chipotle’s Method to Their Faux Hack Madness

Last Sunday, Chipotle’s twitter account, known for having one of the most social, appeared to have fallen prey to the works of a hacker.  @ChipotleTweets released a stream of tweets that appeared to be a list of commands to Siri about directions, google searches, and texts. Tweets

Later on during the week, Chipotle admitted to the public that the twitter hack was just a publicity stunt tied to their 20th anniversary campaign, “Adventurrito.”  This announcement received mixed reviews from critics and fans, saying that the fake hack broke the trust of their customers.  This move is not that uncommon, with MTV and BET faking account hacks for publicity only a few months ago.

There is no doubt that the fake stunt increased Chipotle’s publicity; they gained 4,000 followers in a day, as well as publicity all over news and social media sites, but is this success worth their deception?

When it comes to faking account hacks, a real one is a nightmare for community managers to imagine.  But, a planned hack gives off an air of shameless self-promotion, leaving fans and followers feeling foolish.  Social media has helped many brands come closer to their customers, but alienating them on these sites can destroy their long built reputation.

 

chipotleChipotle was able to shy away from alienation and deception by giving their hack an underlying purpose; Adventurrito clues.  The puzzle of the day that Sunday was about the ingredients in Chipotle’s guacamole, so some of the tweets that appeared to be Google searches and texts were actually hints on the puzzle.  Chipotle has been hiding clues for their Adventurrito puzzles across all media, so the purpose of the hack was to follow along with these other hidden clues.

Instead of harmful tweets that might look even worse on the brand, Chipotle made sure their tweets were planned well, shying far away from anything hateful or controversial.

Planned social media hacks can appear to be bottom of the barrel self-promotion, but if executed with a deeper plan, such as clues for a contest, Chipotle is helping their customers, along with themselves.

Was Chipotle’s fake Twitter hack a terrible misstep in their otherwise untainted social media reputation?  Or was it a creative reinforcement to their Adventurrito campaign? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below, and on our Twitter and Facebook!

08
Aug
13

Social Media Marketing: American Eagle’s Skinny Skinny Jeans Touches Millennials

Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, brand engagement is at an all time high.  Some brands have dormant accounts, rarely posting anything, while others have been able to turn their brands into personal, interactive and dynamic engagement tools.  The latter has been able to increase revenues and sales, while also building a positive brand image.  These lively accounts also provide a unique opportunity for followers, giving them exclusive information on the company, sales promotions and contests, as well as first looks at new products on the horizon.skinny-skinny-jeans

American Eagle Outfitters, a clothing store for the millennial market, was able to leverage their social media followers into customers when they brilliantly pulled off a hip, funny April Fools practical joke.  On April 1st, American Eagle made the announcement that they were producing the next big thing in fashion; spray on skinny jeans.  The “skinny skinny” jeans came in a spray can, and were going to be the tightest jeans in the market, following the trend in the millennial fashion world of skinny pant-cuts.  American Eagle produced photos of models, male and female, sporting the new jeans, as well as videos of the jeans in action.  The lighthearted joke received significant press coverage, increasing their exposure, and was a great success to their established brand image of a hip, young company with a fun side.

old_spice_internetOther brands, like Old Spice, have also been able to turn their brands into exciting sources of brand engagement.  Old Spice used their famous “Smell Like A Man” campaign model, Isaiah Mustafa, for an interactive Q&A with Twitter followers.  Followers would tweet their questions, and within minutes would receive a YouTube video response from Isaiah Mustafa and the Old Spice team.  Old Spice’s interactive accounts have made them the leader in body wash and deodorant sales.

It is clear that when used for its purpose, social media networks of brands can produce increased revenue and brand perception.  Social media is able to bring brands closer to their consumers and reinforce a continued brand experience.

What do you think of American Eagle’s April Fool’s gag?  Was it a positive use of brand engagement like Old Spice’s?  Let us know in the comments section, as well as on Twitter at @weise_ideas and Facebook!

18
Sep
12

Managing Crisis Communications in the World of 24/7 Citizen Reporters

Old school public relations is no longer effective in the world of 24/7 social media information, so there should be no expectations that traditional media management will be effective in a crisis. However, until you are in the throws of a crisis, you never really know what or how much exposure you will be managing. Take this opportunity to learn from those of us who have been there. Our sleepless nights can be your handbook for future success.

Through managing recent crisis communication situations, we have compiled valued lessons to share with our fellow communication professionals.

1. The media cycles with the moon

The news may not sleep, but fortunately, reporters do. Unfortunately, however, when the sun is down in one country, it is up in another. Be prepared for the cycles of the media. Within the first four hours of a recent international crisis we could predict the media cycles and when the influx of calls would come. Europe was first to call, followed by the east coast and Canada. Not far behind were the Central, Mountain & Pacific time zones. Many of the national outlets had LA offices covering the shooting, so we knew what time frame they were working on. We also knew our deadlines for follow-up and how to juggle interviews based on the time of their news broadcasts.

2. Social media will kill a good plan every time

There is nothing like a media black out to be exposed by Twitter. In a recent case, it was celebrity visits that were leaked. The visits were uplifting and incredibly appreciated, however keeping these visits “quiet” was all but impossible thanks to our world of social media. Expect tweets and Facebook photo posts to trigger an onslaught of media inquiries and induce the media to show up for their own photo opportunities. Arguments with reporters suck, so be prepared with how to answer questions you “can’t answer.” It’s a terrible position for a PR person to be placed in, but it is guaranteed to happen.

3. There will be audiences you have not yet thought of

The best laid communication plans will include all potential audiences. What I have learned is there will always be others you have yet to anticipate. Audiences on the periphery of your circle will have different motivations, and can innocently and inadvertently derail your primary messaging. They exist because they have access to communication vehicles that were not part of the news cycle a decade ago. Once they begin their own campaigns, you need to have a communication plan that deals directly with their needs and determines how to appropriately manage these additional audiences.

A crisis is a crisis because it is difficult to manage. Communication professionals train to deal with the challenges and are invaluable during a crisis, but even the best of us will all be tested and tired until the worst has passed. Expect the challenges, the long days and a lack of sleep. Bring an extra phone charger, plenty of coffee and call in assistance when you need it.

If you are interested in hearing more about crisis management, Tracy Weise will be speaking at the Colorado Health Care Communicators event on September 26, 2012 and again at the PRSA Colorado Springs Chapter on October 11, 2012. Or feel free to reach out to us at www.weiseideas.com or email Tracy at tracy@weiseideas.com.

15
Aug
12

MOLOSO: Rewarding your loyal customers through mobile and social media

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We’ve heard it over and over again: social media is a great, cost effective way to drive traffic into your business and create better brand awareness.

But what about the people who already know and love your brand? It is time that you show your loyalty customers some love.

First, ask yourself what makes your loyalty customers special and what do you want to accomplish? Do you want them to buy more or buy more often? Knowing your goals and the personality of your target audience is key is determining how likely they will respond to your attempts to reward their loyalty.

Second, do not forget about your social-loyal (SOLO) customers. For example, I am a huge SOLO customer of Dunkin Donuts. I follow them online and as soon as the Denver franchises open I will be a loyal buying customer. Here are a few ways to make your loyalty customers feel special:

Texting: Life revolves around our mobile devices. It has been shown that 73% of Americans send and receive text messages. This is a personal way to reach your loyal customers to offer them exclusive time-sensitive offers, notify them of their membership status and bring them in during your slower hours. Check out these examples:

  • Nail Salon: Monday & Tuesday special: free member only upgrade!
  • Frozen Yogurt: You only need 3 more purchases to qualify for a free 10 oz yogurt!

Facebook, also known as the face of social media, visually advertises your business, and allows you to interact with your followers. Loyal customers want to feel special, and through Facebook you can have conversations with them, give away specialty membership contests and reward loyal customers from their Facebook Check Ins.

Also, do not assume your loyal customers know all of the services you provide. Use Facebook to further advertise add-ons, special events, catering, monthly specials and new offers. If they are following your page, they are interested. They will be excited to know they can get more products and services than they may have thought.

  • Chick-fil-A: they offer their catering information (seemingly less known to the public) and (to date) have 2.4 million people talking about their page, and 6.2 million likes

Foursquare: Nearly half (46%) of American adults are smartphone owners as of February 2012. Foursquare is an app that lets you ‘check in’ at the businesses you frequent. If you go to one place more often than your friends do, you become the “Mayor.” The race to become the Mayor gives customers incentive to go, and to go repeatedly. You can further emphasize this incentive by offering the Mayor free products, upgrades, discounts and invites to exclusive events.

  • Arby’s Mayor special: they get to sit in the “4Square Mayor Booth” and get to taste test new sandwich offerings. They also get the special badge on their Foursquare profile.

Twitter: Tweeting may have less impact on purchasing behavior, but is a great outlet to educate your loyalty crowd. Customer service via Twitter is also useful because it will reach a vast number of customers and show them that you are concerned with their happiness. Exclusive offers for free products can also be advertised through a link to sign up with your membership or by registering to join your clientele base.

  • Morton’s: Peter Shankman tweeted to his 150,000 followers, “Hey @Mortons – can you meet me at Newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, Thanks :)” – and they did!
  • Subway: incredible customer service through conversations with their followers regarding what they like and dislike.

With 12 million Americans using social media daily, you have a high probability that your loyal customers will be reached and appreciative that you have taken the initiative to thank them for being loyal. A little appreciation will keep them coming back, and more importantly, spreading a positive word about your business.

What advice do you have for businesses that are trying to reach their loyal customers? Give us your thoughts from the loyal customer point of view on Facebook at Weise Communications or on Twitter @Weise_Ideas.

18
Apr
12

How franchisors capitalize on social media – help your baby prosper

Its free, its accessible, and it reaches billions of people.  Social media is providing three key factors that should be putting dollar signs in the eyes of franchisors.

Being active in your marketing efforts while maintaining control over how your brand is portrayed is a key for franchise success. Creating awareness, engaging customers, building customer loyalty, and boosting sales are all goals for franchisors, and social media doesn’t just accomplish these things; it does it with a smile.

Smashburger, a fast-casual, gourmet burger franchise is a prime example of how a small business can catapult into the big leagues via social media. Birthing from three Denver locations, this restaurant became a smash hit with its expansion to 150 locations nationwide. With more than 77,000 followers on Facebook, reaching out to bloggers and their tweeting prowess, they have solidified the social media tools for expanding a franchise.

Just how did they do it?  Here are a few suggestions they have for your franchise success:

  • Get on the same page as your customers

People like to talk about themselves and what they want and like.  Give your customers the chance to feel like they are a part of how your product or service is expanding. Use queries relating to feedback on a new product or answer their questions and complaints. If your franchisee is going to prosper, they have to listen to the desires of their target market. Take these examples from Smashburger’s Facebook and Twitter:

 

  • Make your interaction enticing

Posting information about a new product or service can be effective, but allowing the customer to be a part of the decision is even better.  Trivia contests, voting pools and giveaways allow the customer to feel like their opinions are creating your brand.  Interactive coupons also keep customers engaged and coming back to your page to check out what is being offered today; keeping your business in the forefront of their mind.  Smashburger called out for votes and shared a link where they could vote to help their burger make it to the final round of the Dallas Morning News Burger Madness bracket:

 

  • Keep it interesting

Consistency in updating your social media profile will keep people interested.  That said, humor and playfulness should not be overlooked. Simply creating a chuckle from your customer will improve their retention of the message you are conveying.  Check out how Smashburger used humor to reach their customers:

 

Moral of the story, if you aren’t using social media you aren’t gaining the best exposure for your businesses. It is an opportunity to engage customers and that engagement can lead to loyal customers. Be sure to allocate enough resources to effectively manage your social media presence. Your franchisee will thank you. And even more importantly, they won’t go rogue.

A big thank you to Bre Wolta for her research and help uncovering Smashburger’s social media success.




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