Tag Archives: Facebook

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Filed under 2014 Causes, Social Media Strategy for Companies

Volunteer Match

volunteermatch

Volunteer Match is an organization that connects volunteers with the cause they would like to work with.  It makes it easier for people to give back.

–Does it look like they follow a content calendar?

It definitely appears that VM follows a content calendar.  While there are definitely posts on their Facebook and Twitter that are specific to that date or time, the majority of the content could be preplanned.

–How many people contribute to the social channels?

It is tough to tell how many people are running the content.  The social media presence could certainly be driven by only one person.

–What is the message they are getting across?

Most of the content on VM is there to try to inspire people to take the jump to volunteer.  Certainly most of their audience is thinking about volunteering, but their specific goal is to drive their readers to take the next step.

–Who are they trying to reach?

A majority of the pictures posted show young volunteers and they are more active on Twitter than Faceboook.  Their target audience is probably age group 18-35.

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Filed under 2013 - Post 2

CHRISTIE’S vs SOTHEBY’S; Who wins the social bid?

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http://www.christies.com                                         

https://www.facebook.com/Christies    90,251 Likes

https://twitter.com/ChristiesInc     47.2K Followers | 4,552 Tweets | 9,840 Following

http://www.youtube.com/user/christiesauctions    3,216 Subscribers

http://www.weibo.com/christies   0 | 26,721 | 1,206

http://tvs.youku.com/christies

https://plus.google.com/+christies/posts   816 Followers | 237,861 Views

http://christiesauctions.tumblr.com

http://instagram.com/christiesinc   610 Posts | 28,520 Followers | 253 Following

https://www.pinterest.com/christiesinc/   45 Boards | 4,623 Pins | 16 Likes | 7,312 Followers | 274 Following 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/christiesauctions/sets/

 

VS  Image

 

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http://www.sothebys.com

https://www.facebook.com/sothebys    83,556 Likes

https://twitter.com/sothebys     33.7K Followers | 3,924 Tweets | 839 Following

http://www.youtube.com/sothebys    3,593 Subscribers

http://weibo.com/sothebyshongkong   120 | 53,355 | 1,072

Youku – n/a

https://plus.google.com/108065664091826437632/about   434 Followers | 2,710 Views

http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/sotheby’s   (only for posts tagged #sotheby’s)

http://instagram.com/sothebys  520 Posts | 19,136 Followers | 115 Following

https://www.pinterest.com/sothebyshomes/   35 Boards | 899 Pins | 32 Likes | 778 Followers | 100 Following

flickr – n/a

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It seems like Christie’s is bidding up on majority of the social media platform, except for the southeast Asia region where Sotheby’s seems to be more active.  Based on a quick review of content and engagement, Facebook and Twitter seem be the most popular channels for both auction houses.  Christie’s content on YouTube is more current and relevant from a subscribers’ perspective whereas Sotheby’s last post was a month ago and their channel is not as user friendly.  Sotheby’s Pinterest site is primarily focused on their real estate business whereas Christie’s resembles their core auction business.   Interestingly, their Instagram sites are very similar to one another.  Sotheby’s website includes an “All blogs” section that includes detailed write-up and photos from various special events.  This could be a great way to engage followers, but it seems to be utilized as a one-way communication tool.  In general, there is more marketing than engagement by both Christie’s and Sotheby’s, but Christie’s seems to ahead in the social media game thus far.  

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Filed under Social Media Strategy for Companies, Uncategorized

You are what you drink… Monster vs Pepsi

monster vs pepsi

As energy drinks have changed the way we think about soft drinks, they have also changed the way beverage advertising and social media is done.  It is interesting to compare the two different approaches from the new school of soft drinks, Monster Energy to the tried and true traditional, Pepsi.  Both are represented on all of the major social media websites, however each uses the outlet for a different purpose as they target a different audience and choose to spend their advertising money in totally different ways.

Approach:

Pepsi uses social media in much the same way as they use their website, as a way to get more eyes on their advertisements.  Although they have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, they only promote the first two.

Pepsi.com website

Flipping Through Pepsi’s social media pages feels much like flipping through the pages of a magazine.  Post after post are just traditional product advertising.

pepsi facebookpepsi twitter

Going to the Monster Energy webpage you get a totally different feel.  If you didn’t know what Monster Energy is, you wont find out here.  The webpage is not made to promote the drink, but the lifestyle.  On the front page they give links to all of their social media websites not once, but twice.

Monster homepage

Just like Pepsi, they do a good job of keeping the same branding and feel of the webpage across their social media outlets.  However; Monster continues their promotion of the lifestyle as opposed to their product.  Monster may be spending big bucks on print advertising just like Pepsi, but it doesn’t show, they consistently show off the money they are spending to sponsor events, extreme athletes and party girls.

Monster Facebook Monster Twitter

Numbers:

Even though Monster certainly promotes itself as the cool kid on the block, their numbers don’t necessarily back them up.  Pepsi still dominates on followers, likes, talked abouts, and views even with less posts.

pepsi vs monster

Who Wins?

The question of who wins is tough to answer, Pepsi makes more net income in one quarter than monster made in sales all last year, but that also means Pepsi should have a much larger budget and following.  Also as the “next generation” of soft drink drinkers grow up, will they still want to look at magazine adds, or guys doing backflips on bicycles?  If Pepsi wants to keep their advantage they may have to change the way the talk to the world through social media.

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Filed under 2013 - Post 1

DEERE vs. CAT: who will win the “likes” of ‘merica??!?

Hey TMMBA’ers, Andrew here… I was originally going to post about the marketing channels in use by Grumpy Cat and Colonel Meow, but sadly the Colonel passed away tragically on January 30th. You can read about that here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/chelseamarshall/in-memoriam-of-colonel-meow

So I chose John Deere and Caterpillar instead. Why you ask? Because I’m a little boy at heart and TRUCKS ARE REEEEEEALLLY REALLLLY RAD, OK?

JOHN DEERE

I started out my adventure by stumbling upon this little article about John Deere, the Original Content Marketer: http://marketingland.com/is-john-deere-the-original-content-marketer-2-49138. In it, it describes how John Deere started a magazine called The Furrow in “hopes of being a resource for their customers.” Here’s another which covers the topic: article: https://todaymade.com/blog/history-of-content-marketing/

After that, my expectations were sky high for John Deere. Unlike CAT (see below) finding John Deere’s landing page and corporate statement about social media or content is very hard, but finding evidence for how it uses social media is not: http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2011/11/john-deere-uses-social-media-to-feed-the-hungry.html

  1. Twitter (68k followers): Multiple Twitter accounts. @JohnDeere, @JDCLASSIC, @JohnDeereJobs, etc. and they have TONS of handles. Looks like they encourage certain employees to have twitter accounts. And John Deere Argentina. ¡Seguinos! Very fun, videos (even at the expense of Deere). Charity (lots of focus on charity golf)
  2. Facebook (2.1m likes): Much more focus on product than on Twitter. Stories about “’merica” and heartland farmers. Compared to Twitter, JD doesn’t seem to spend as much time on Facebook shenanigans.
  3. Instagram (11k followers): Like Facebook only more sepia toned.
  4. Google+: No visible or consistent presence on Google+
  5. YouTube (30,957): Not only is there a central John Deere YouTube channel, there is one for each country. Broken down between Agriculture, Construction, Forestry and Expos, Deere really pushes it’s product to the forefront.
  6. LinkedIn (109,300 followers): Less frequently updated than CAT. Less focused on employment. Highlighting it’s placement in Employer lists and highlighting some executives.

CATERPILLAR

Caterpillar has some tough shoes to fill. I started by finding a social media website http://www.caterpillar.com/en/news/social-media.html (which was really easy to find, +1 for CAT) and participates in Facebook (241,665 likes), Twitter, YouTube (18,577 subscribers), Google+ (1.6M views) and LinkedIn (174,353 followers).

Caterpillar seems to focus its content on the different channels even though there are articles shared across the board.

  1. LinkedIn: Leans on “rags to riches, American Dreams” story. The first article on LinkedIn is about Bill Naumann, “From Machinist Apprentice to Chairman of the Board”. Heavy emphasis on “Shaping America” and Employment.
  2. Google+: Heavy emphasis on Sustainability and the word “Global” is much more prominent in the marketing.
  3. Facebook: A little more “fun” (some memes) but overall focus on company messaging, and again Sustainability
  4. Twitter: Similar to Facebook, frequent posts. Bright and colorful, mostly cool pictures of trucks. Cross posting with NBC (“Are you watching @NBCDreamBuilder right now? Look for the Cat machines! #DreamBuilders). Cross posting with YouTube.
  5. YouTube: YouTube seems to be ground zero for CAT. It’s a place where there is high visibility to Expos, Safety, Sustainability and corporate videos.

CONCLUSION:

Both CAT and Deere seem to care about social media and focus exclusively on a few channels. I’d argue that it seems that Deere feels like it’s their “duty” to carry on the mantle. Deere’s emphasis and focus on Twitter is really stand out. It’s confident and playful, and the interaction by the company employees and fans keeps it relevant and fun. The content strategy on Twitter seems to rely heavily on outside or user generated content.

CAT is trying to sell the image of a more adult and professional company, one that relies very heavily on the “hard-working American” aesthetic, and it comes across in their entire web presence. CAT, appropriately, had a MUCH larger tie in to LinkedIn, focusing heavily on the company’s core values, personal stories, and highlighting the best from its posts on Facebook and the like.

What surprised me the most was that both have an extremely strong connection to YouTube, which I guess isn’t surprising now that I think about the product and the ways that YouTube extends itself into the expo space, even with very expensive contribution and farming equipment.

Also interesting was the lack of interest in Facebook. It seems more like a formality to both companies than a pure investment.

I only had a few hours to play around in this space with either, but in the end, Deere’s concentration on Twitter and YouTube kept me reading. It was actually fun, and it seems like they have fun with their brand and are not sticklers for their “fans” taking it and running with it. That they have a lot of devoted fans (even those that create memes) says a lot for the power of their brand and their social media presence. I spent about 30 minutes wandering through Deere’s Twitter page which ultimately also connected me into the Instagram page (and then on to Facebook).

My take aways were that both companies seem to care about their social media and content presence, but really focus on Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. It’s way more than an exercise for Deere, it seems like it is a broad commitment to their community (which these days includes a heavy social media aspect). CAT seems to devote time and effort to YouTube and LinkedIn, so I think they are very focused on channels that provide them with value. Both update frequently. With different emphasis on Twitter and LinkedIn depending on the company. Facebook and Google+ seem to be almost afterthoughts.

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Filed under 2013 - Post 1

Are Facebook Analytics “Creepy?

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In a word, “yes.” Facebook Analytics are definitely creepy. 

A Facebook group can tell the age of the people that are visiting its site. These groups can tell not only what posts you comment on, but also the posts that you repost or even just the posts that you view. At a first glance, this would sound a little bit creepy to a facebook user. 

However, these analytics can be quite helpful to many of the involved parties. Once a Facebook group gets past the barrier of 30 “likes,” Facebook will start providing the group with free analytics. It calls these “Insights.” Facebook Insights tell the administrators more about the visitors to their pages than most facebook users would imagine. They can see reactions, audience reached, and audience demographics on a post by post basis. 

While some would argue that this is dipping into the realm of breaking personal privacy, I would argue that facebook does a relatively good job of what they call “anonymizing” the data. While “anonymizing” isn’t actually a word, facebook does do a good job of it, to the point where unless a customer “likes” a page, the group administrators cannot actually pick them out as an individual.

Also, these “insights” can do quite a bit to help improve facebook content at large. 

Facebook sees analytics as a good way for their customers to see how engaging different posts are and a tool that will help their customers hone their content to deliver more effective posts. In turn Facebook will benefit because with their feedback, groups start posting more interesting content. This free service is not just to help these groups, it is to improve their overall content and make Facebook more exciting.

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SimplyMeasured, where free means “free” + value add.

sm1

“The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away.”

One of the more annoying things about this project has been all the partial trials, and the “oh, well, if you really want something useful, that’ll cost” business models.  I’ve spent too much time setting up accounts where I constantly ran into the the dead end of “oh, want analytics, that’s a premium account feature.”  Grrrr….arrrg!

sm2

That’s why I was so satisfied with SimplyMeasured.  It’s not that they, too, don’t have a revenue model, or a premium account, but they are very upfront with the free stuff.  And the free reporting tools are great, useful, and they give them away without holding a gun to your head to force your demographic data from you.

Cleverly, the only thing they want is for you to like/follow them on the social media tools you’re using.  I think that’s a brilliant marketing campaign, they increase their market penetration and reach by leveraging their grateful users, and the user gets a good set of analytical tools for free.  A very reasonable and equitable win:win.

sm4

Effective: Adding to the granularity of the the free reporting tool’s usefulness is the output on which posts were most effective (or not), and the number of engagements they had.  That data’s available on the fist page, easy to read, and by being so, it makes it quick to convert immediately to action steps that will increase your audience.

sm3

Exports: Their reports are not only viewable, they are exportable in a number of formats, Excel and PowerPoint being the most useful. That means you are just a couple clicks away from translating that data into into presentation format or drilling down into it with charting tools and database querying.

Competitive Comparison: Want to know how you stack up against your competitors? Want to see how their campaigns are doing and what’s been effective for them? Want to know what bombs and what rockets without the trial and error?  Yes, they’ve got reports for that too.  Immediately you can track the how your engagement compares with your competitor, and more importantly, why? The “why” means you now have an action plan for success in your hands.

sm5

Organizations that don’t play the smoke’n’mirrors, bait’n’switch games with me are the most likely to get my loyalty and business.  If they have to hide their prices from you until you’re nine-tenths through the process of creating an account; or they say they’re going to give you a trial, but it’s crippled; or they claim there is value in their free tools, but you find, it’s uselessly shallow, these are the orgs that I walk away from.

If they play these kind of games up front in your business relationship, just think how they’ll be when you need a customer service agent, or have a billing dispute.  No, transparency and clearly defined value proposition with no games is the way to earn my business and I’m happy that SimplyMeasured really delivers.

SimplyMeasured:  Take the tour http://simplymeasured.com/tour/

Eriel is:

http://www.eriel.com

http://www.eriel.com/resume

http://www.erielnash.com

http://www.shayne.ac

http://www.shaynenash.me

http://www.linkedin.com/in/eriel

http://www.facebook.com/eriel.nash

http://www.twitter.com/erielnash

http://www.gplus.to/eriel

 

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Filed under 2013 - Post 3, Analytics

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Crowdbooster

“Offers social media analytics with suggestions and tools to help you improve your online presence.” Founded in 2010, Crowdbooster was originally free with the idea of eventually developing more robust analytics to entice paying customers. But by 2012, they opted to eliminate the free option (instead offering a free 30-day trial) and launched 3 paid plans ranging from $9/month to $99/month. This change allowed them to focus on developing features that were intended for paid subscribers.

Crowdbooster currently supports Facebook and Twitter. Once you connect your accounts, you can view a simple dashboard that provides aggregated KPI’s for each of your feeds. But what I liked most about the dashboard was the fact that the graph provided a simple representation of reach and engagement.

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To the right of the dashboard, there is a recommendation about the ideal times to post (and schedule) future posts to maximize reach.

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Finally, through the Engage view, you can see, per channel, your “Top Fans” (Facebook) or Top Retweeters and Influential Followers.

 Image

Crowdbooster is easy to get up and running and relatively intuitive. I would like to see some correlation between the Facebook and Twitter feeds over the monitored period of time. 

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Filed under 2013 - Post 3, Analytics

An API as an analytics tool? You must be kidding.

An API as a tool, really?

When most people go to buy a new car, they do not expect the dealer to hand them a kit so they can build their own, even if the directions are really good. Therefore, it’s understandable why anyone would question how an API can be qualified as an analytics tool.

To get to the point, customized development does not need to be expensive, extensive, or extreme. Rather, I’d posit that a few meaningful analytics which matter to an organization are much more useful than a sea of useless data points. If an API is easy for developers to use then it’s conceivable that custom development for analytics needn’t cost an arm and leg. Moreover, many companies already spend capital for other social media-related development, such as SEO. Therefore, I say if the API is easy and powerful enough, companies should be encouraged to explore hiring (even temporary) staff to create customized analytics pipelines.

With that in mind, I want to examine the Facebook APIs with an eye to whether their ease of use makes them a candidate for development projects, even in small organizations.

Facebook APIs

Facebook has a number of APIs available for public use, including:

  • Graph API
  • FQL
  • Ads
  • Chat

Each one of these APIs is specifically targeted for a set of features. The Graph API, for instance, is designed to give HTTP-based access to the Facebook Social Graph. The Chat API, on the other hand, is designed for integrating with Facebook chat.

The Facebook APIs all work differently, which is a downside; however, this allows the APIs to change over time without impacting each other. For instance, a change in the chat API won’t mean the Graph API has to change necessarily. Since all of these APIs are HTTP-based, integrating with them is relatively painless because the transport layer (HTTPS) is stable, widely used, and very easy to use.

Since I cannot examine all of the Facebook APIs, I want to examine the Graph API in a bit more detail to see how it works and whether organizations at all levels could use it.

Exploring the Graph API

As the Facebook documentation notes, the Graph API is the primary way way that data is retrieved or posted to Facebook.

I headed over to the Graph API documentation page to get started. To bootstrap anyone new to the API, Facebook provides the Graph API Explorer to facilitate tinkering with the API in real time. In this example, I asked the Graph API for my basic information.

Graph API Explorer

If I want more information, I simply need to provide an access token (relatively easy to obtain) and then modify my HTTP request; for instance, to also get my “about” and “birthday” fields, my query to the API is:

100001847806312?fields=about,birthday

That is incredibly easy! With the proper access token, it’s possible to obtain many users’ fields and walk through their social network. It’s not possible to go beyond that; however, you can get most of their “friend circle” data which could potentially be very handy.

You can also use Facebook Query Language (FQL) to find data. For instance, this query will return the IDs of my friends.

fql?q=SELECT uid2 FROM friend WHERE uid1=me()

My thoughts

The Facebook Graph API was extremely easy to use and I do not think it’s unrealistic that a business could hire a small amount of development time to get custom analytics designed specifically for their business. For instance, a Graph API integration could link my customer list with Facebook accounts so I could tell when someone has moved; maybe I am a cupcake shop and I want to send them a free treat when they are engaged.

There are and will continue to be countless options for analytics tools on the market. I’d question, however, whether buying (and in many cases an expensive) an off-the-shelf tool will really be the best option for many companies.

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Filed under 2013 - Post 3, Analytics

AgoraPulse: Put the CRM into your Facebook Page

agorapulse01AgoraPulse is focused just on Facebook, and whilst HootSuite is great for all around, multichannel monitoring and scheduling, AgoraPulse digs deep into your Facebook page and gives you very granulated feedback on your campaigns and provides a great toolkit to raise your profile’s interactivity.

1)  Applications:

agorapulse02

You have options for quizzes, photo contests, sweepstakes, rewarding top fans with acknowledgement, coupons and more.  It seems to me that some of these approaches violate Facebook policies, but AgoraPulse has somehow gotten around the fine print as they are used by given top marks by many legitimate business (Virgin, PlayStation, McDonald’s) and reviewers (AllFacebook, AppAppeak, SocialMedia Examiner).

2)  Statistics

agorapulse03

Get the stats on your fanbase over time (when you’re losing, and when you’re gaining). Measure the impact of your posts, so you know when you’re putting them to sleep and when they’re engaging with your PR teams.  You can even get data on your competitors by comparing your page against theirs, and track your Facebook ROI.

3)  Moderation

agorapulse04

AgoraPulse gives you some great tools to monitor and moderate your account when you’re not sitting in front of your managing devices.  You can keep comments in purgatory until you approve them to mitigate “flamers” damage, monitor and flag key words as priority responses when you get back, and get instant notifications to your mobile devices.

4)  Qualifications

agorapulse05

AgoraPulse gives you great tools to classify and export the data on your fan base with the data collected from your apps so you can target them specifically in your next ad campaign, or give your top fans special consideration and acknowledgement.  Most excitingly, you can export your opt-in fans into your CRM system to add them to your traditional marketing channels as well.

For confidentiality reasons, I won’t post the results of AgoraPulse from our page, but I want to comment on what I’ve found useful so far.  I like the idea of seeing when (time window) your posts are most effective, I like the statistics on what was your “best reach” and “worst reach” posts.  I like the idea that they have algorithms (adjustable) that will predict the generated value of your page based on the interactivity you are getting.  It has a great calendar that is very helpful to see when and how many posts are being added.  You can see who your top fans are, and what they are saying at a glance.  And their overall dashboard start page is easy to read and provides key metrics at a glance.

Yes, AgoraPulse is only tied into your Facebook social media presence, but like so many other tools that just give you an overview summary, AgoraPulse does an outstanding job of converting your otherwise hit-and-miss attempts to capitalize on that channel and really brings home the statistics you need to optimize your Facebook teams’ contribution to your bottom line.

Eriel Nash is:
eriel.comhttp://www.eriel.com

http://www.eriel.com/resume

http://www.erielnash.com

http://www.shayne.ac

http://www.shaynenash.me

http://www.linkedin.com/in/eriel

http://www.facebook.com/eriel.nash

http://www.twitter.com/erielnash

http://www.gplus.to/eriel

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Filed under 2013 - Post 2

Facebook Pages Manager – Manage your pages on the go

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How many times have you unintentionally posted to a page you own using your personal id from your mobile device? How many times have you intended to analyze “the reach” of a certain post but landed on a page where Facebook tries to get your credit card details?

If you have faced these problems and many more on your facebook mobile, Facebook Page Manager app will come to your rescue.  The page manager app is available for free on Apple Appstore and Android Playstore. However, you guessed it, it is available for 99 cents on the Windows store

I have been using the pages manager app on my android phone and on my iPad for the past few weeks and I have a love, hate relationship with it.

 

What I Love: It serves my basic purposes such as posting photos and updates to my page, quickly analyzing the reach metrics for a particular post and getting a summary of the page metrics such as  “Total Likes”, “People Talking about the page” and “Weekly Total Reach”. You cannot do many of these using the main Facebook app on your mobile device. Though I have not managed more than three pages, Facebook claims that one can manage up to 50 pages using its Pages Manager app. This feature is pretty useful for people who own multiple pages. Another great feature about the app is – the notifications and messages are not cluttered with everything – When you select a page, you can view notifications and messages relevant to that page. The best feature of this app is that you can schedule posts – This is not very intuitive though. When you click on “Update Status”, there is a small clock icon that lets you schedule posts for future. You can also view all your scheduled posts.

Imagefacebook_pages_manager_scheduling

What I Hate: While there are many features that I love about the app, I do think it needs a lot of improvements. First and foremost, it does not allow you to tag people or locations – I consider these as very basic features and it is a shame that the app was released without these features!. While you can view admins, you cannot add/remove admins.  Also many of the page specific analytics such as likes/reach trend, likes/reach demographics, check-in information etc.  cannot be accessed through the app!! The thing that I hate the most about the app is the lack of a search feature within this app!

In summary, I think this is a great idea and has a huge potential to help admins manage their pages effectively. However, in its current state, the app seems to be half baked. It experiences network timeouts while posting pictures and due to lack of features, you will find yourself going to the main facebook app or to the browser on your laptop in order to effectively manage the pages you own.  Facebook really needs to invest more in Mobile!

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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

Evolution of a Store (and Strategy) – Chuck’s Hop Shop

Residents of Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood have watched Chuck’s Hop Shop evolve before their very eyes. What was once a ramshackle bodega that one would not let their children (or mother’s) enter, is at present one of Seattle’s largest and most beloved beer destinations. When Chuck took over the space he added some fresh paint, better lighting, and overall made the store more welcoming. Still, it was a convenience store with an interesting, if modest beer selection. Over the course of the first two years shelves filled with Hostess and Frito Lay snacks were replaced with more refrigeration cases and beers from across the globe. Chuck would partner with local breweries for special tasting nights. The interesting environment combined with his friendly demeanor found patrons wanting to linger longer and taste the interesting beers. Soon Chuck brought in beer on tap, for sale in growlers or to consume in the store. After just over two years, the shop has transformed into a neighborhood pub/7-eleven/community gathering spot. The place is always packed, and with neighborhood kids and dogs also welcomed, has a frenetic energy all it’s own.

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Chuck’s social media strategy followed a similar transformation. Initially their presence was limited, as Chuck’s seemed to still be figuring out what they wanted to be. The uniqueness of the transformation was just the kind of thing social media helped spread. Many wanted to share their pleasant experience in such an unusual space. Through local neighborhood blogs, Yelp, and Foursquare the secret slowly got out. Now that attracting customers was no longer an issue, Chuck’s social media strategy transitioned from passive to active, adding greater value and building a community outside of the store. Chuck’s inventory changes daily, and keeping customers abreast of new products keeps them coming back into the store. Given the high amount of alcohol consumed in the store, the need for food options beyond Doritos was addressed by inviting local food trucks. Seven days a week, a different food truck is parked in Chuck’s lot. Given that food and beer changes daily, Chuck’s has little challenge with sourcing content for their Facebook or Twitter pages. Daily updates ensure that customers never forget that Chuck’s is nearby.

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Filed under 2013 - Post 1, Uncategorized