Author Archives: roncornell

Absolutely Pin-tabulous

pinterestI just don’t “get” Pinterest.  I know there are a lot of people that LOVE “pinning” photos of products, memes, recipes, baby pics, blah, blah, blah, but I haven’t figured why. It seems any of these objectives could be achieved by a quick Google search and you’d probably get better information. Regardless, I started to use Pinterest for my work because I was told it would become a great lead generator for traffic to our website. Well, I’m still unsure how that all works but I gave it another go with our Entre 528 and used GeekHealth to establish an account.  We launched six weeks ago and I needed to analyze the data to see what it means, how can I improve engagement and what do I need to do to get to the next level. So, I checked around for any tools to help with analyzing my acidity and surprisingly there are very few tools to begin with and none that I found were all that great.

Here are the few that I found and tried out with varied results:

repinlyRepinly & Pingraphy

These were only helpful in navigating what is popular at the moment (apparently Elephants and Babies are hot this week) and how to post pins to increase popularity. They weren’t that helpful in developing sound strategies around how to get more followers and to drive traffic to your brand or increase brand awareness. They both also allow you to “schedule” your pins in the same way that Hootsuite or Buffer allows you to schedule Twitter and Facebook posts.  Neither were that helpful as a business but I think good for a management tool if you are going to use Pinterest a lot as a consumer.

PinReach

Highly recommended from all the review sites, but seems to have gone out of business. The website is up and running works, but doesn’t allow you to register anymore. Boo! A big fail.

Pinpuff

This actually was the most helpful in terms of measurement and potentially providing some valuable information for businesses.  You can actually get a “Pinfluence” score simply by adding your Pinterest handle.  It scores you on reach, activity and virality of your boards and pins.

Check out GeekHealth’s profile and how we got a 23 out of 100 Pinfluence score.  Final thought––meh.  It isn’t that great and doesn’t provide much value beyond how to get a better score and perhaps more engagement.

geekhealth

Note: Pinterest actually just launched it’s own analytics service (but for businesses only) and sounds more promising than any of the tools currently available on the market.

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Filed under 2013 - Post 3, Analytics

Can an Effective Social Media Campaign Save Jones Soda Co.?

jones holidayJones Soda Company, the once popular Seattle beverage brand has fallen on hard times.  However, you probably wouldn’t know that based on recent activity on its social media channels.  It has a focused and active online marketing strategy, befitting its image as the beverage of choice among the young and hip.  The strategy puts the customer front and center on its website rather than relying just solely on connecting through conventional channels, e.g.: Twitter, Facebook, Google+.  If you evaluated its strategy only on the measure of followers on Twitter or likes on Facebook you would conclude it was a mediocre effort of an uninspired campaign.  No doubt, having over 1 million likes on Facebook is nothing short of amazing for a company that only did 17 million in revenue last year, but even Sunkist has over 3 million.

First, some context.  Jones Soda Co. is not doing well financially. The company has been through a rough couple of years with revenue dropping from around $40 million in 2007 to under $17 million in 2012, taking an almost $3 million loss. It finished last year with a devastating “delisting” on the Nasdaq with its stock hovering around 40 cents from a high of over $30 in 2007.

What Jones Soda is Doing Well with Social Media

The company is active on Facebook and Twitter and promotes its various brands, new product launches and event campaigns through these channels, actively engaging customers on a daily basis.

It has developed a customized social media strategy on its website that encourages fans to post photos of their favorite moments with Jones Soda.  It’s looks like an impressive effort that has a lot of potential, but hard to tell how active fans are and if there is any dialogue between fans and company.

What Jones Soda is Not Doing So Well with Social Media

Some of the content is dated. In fact, a huge disappoint occurred earlier today when I visited the blog page. The last entry was from 2012 promoting the movie, “Snow White and the Huntsman.” The entry before that one was from September 2011.  Having old content is sometimes worse than not having it at all, especially for a brand trying to seem trendy, young, fresh and in the moment.  Fellow TMMBA colleague, Pranav Nambiar’s blog article on which social media strategy works best, cites a study that concluded “blog content posting” as the most important tactic to use for effective B2C campaigns. If this is true, Jones is making a big mistake by not updating its blog content. I even went so far as to tweet the company with the following exchange occurring:

jones soda

While I can forgive the obvious error in grammar (it’s Twitter!), I don’t think the tone was the best way to answer a customer. Granted, I was kind of being a jerk by pointing out the old blog, but the answer back should have been more playful and should have not taken 5 hours to respond.

Social media IS marketing and when cuts happen, marketing budgets are often the first to go and the case with Jones is no exception. Jennifer Cue, Jones Soda’s current CEO, stated in their 2012 Q4 earnings call that, “During the latter part of 2012, we needed to align our operating expenses to the company’s capital resources and the size of its current business. We eliminated top-heavy corporate overhead along with marketing expenditures that did not fit our brand image.”  This all happened around the time the blog entry stopped, which is probably not a coincidence.

Can social media save a company? Probably not. Can it add value to a cohesive and structured marketing campaign? Absolutely.

You wouldn’t think I’m a fan based on my most recent post (yes, shameless plug) trashing the soda industry on GeekHealth!  But, I truly hope Jones Soda Co. is able to weather the storm and make it, as I AM a fan (who DOESN’T like Tofurkey & Gravy Soda?!) and occasionally enjoy their products—especially on an Alaska Airlines flight!  If you are a fan as well, help them out by following them on Twitter and like them on Facebook!

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Filed under 2013 - Post 1, Content Tips, Social Media Strategy for Companies