Tag Archives: social-media

Costco Vs. Sam’s Club

Let’s look at two warehouse clubs standings in the social media world and compare it to real world business status. We will look at social engagement and reach data and compare it to the dry daily business attributes and see if there is any correlation.

Summary (as of 5/18 @ 4pm Pacific):

Social Media Metrics Costco vs Sams

Source: Topsy, SocialMention, Twitter and Facebook official pages.

Dry Stuff:

Image

Analysis: In terms of wharehouse retail sales Costco is the King and dwarfs the retail giant’s Walmart’s similar efforts. In Social Media perspective results are a little mixed.

  • In overall strength (ratio of mentions to all sources) and total reach Costco trumps Sams club. But in passion and sentiment the numbers are reverse. But looking closely, the passion number can be raised if you have fewer people who are fans and are vocal. With larger unique authors its harder by design. From this perspective, Costco doesn’t do a bad job with 10% less ‘passion’ with double the unique authors.
  • Topsy data continued to show superb strength for Costco with mentions in 117.4k tweets vs that of Sams club for 24k. It also own in overall score of 80 to 74 (overall score is basically a representation of sentiment on twitter).

Based on Topsy score I expected Costco’s twitter account to be trumping Sam’s Club. I’m was stumped! @Costco has zero tweets w/ 2.6k followers. Then @CostcoTweets is at 23k followers but 4 tweets! @costcotravel is more repectable at 1.4k tweets and 2k followers. None of the costco accounts were twitter ‘verified’ accounts. Sam’s club had a verified account with 16.1k tweets like 58k or such followers. Costco is reasonably active on Facebook with social activities like #CostcoSelfie campaigns. But overall the data seems to indicate that Sam’s club is much more organized and more present in its Social Media channels than Costco. To be fair, Costco has some divisions within like Costco Travel who really want to connect with users and are active on Facebook, G+ ad Twitter.

Thus what dominates in real world business doesn’t necessarily guarantee similar wins in social media world – that takes some work!

 

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Millionairclub – Providing jobs, food and other essential services to Seattle’s needy

Organization: Millionair Club

Website: https://www.millionairclub.org/

Mission: Since 1921 the Millionair Club Charity has changed thousands of lives by providing jobs and other essential support services to individuals who are homeless or unemployed in Seattle and King County.

Goals: http://www.millionairclub.org/about-us

Social Media:

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MillionairClubCharity  [679 likes]
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/millionair_club  [1680 following, 680 followers]
  • Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MillionairClubChar  [7 Subscribers]
  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/millionair-club-charity  [146 followers]

Giving Page: http://www.millionairclub.org/Ways-to-Give

Millionair club claims that it is funded entirely by private donations and 90 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to program services.

They don’t have a specific target they are trying to reach. Anyone who can donate or participate seems to be welcome to contribute. However, their social media presence is extremely weak and seems to be an afterthought.

 

 

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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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Playstation vs. Xbox in the Social Media Space

Playstation and Xbox have long dominated the console gaming industry, and both were around for a long time before the rise of social media. How are they adapting to the new world of social media?

PS3vXBOX

In nearly every category of social media penetration, across five of six channels (the five between the gaming divisions themselves) and nine of eleven metrics – Sony’s PlayStation division outshines Microsoft’s Xbox division. In only two metrics does Xbox currently lead: one is in number of tweets, where at 61.7K tweets Xbox has more than for times as many as it’s rival. Both companies’ posts across the whole spectrum of social media outlets they participate in are heavily dominated with product marketing. Perhaps most disappointing, especially given the youth demographic so sought after in this industry, is that both companies seem to use the same messaging and images across all channels.

On Instagram both feature the colors of their logos in many of their pictures. Playstation’s photos tend toward blue and violet hues:

PlayStation on Instagram

 

While Xbox’s pictures tend to include frequent use of bright green:

Xbox on Instagram

As well as a few slightly more interesting images than they post on their other social media sites. Playstation’s pictures tended a bit more to the avante-garde compared with Xbox’s more commercial style.

But overall, like their products, controllers, and release schedules – these two entities are far more alike than they are different in their channel participation and content, which makes Playstation’s impressive 267K “talking about this” on Facebook (456% more than Xbox) an indication that either they have a product that their fan base is particularly excited about or Playstation fans are just a chattier bunch. On that note, I think it’s time to fire up the PS4.

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The influence of social media on the supercar wars.

Ferrari S.p.A. and Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. are two Italian powerhouses that need no introduction. Teenage boys (may be, girls as well) and adults alike have had posters of one their machines up on their walls growing up and probably still lust after the latest, greatest engineering and design miracles that roll out of their doors.

Growing up, I had posters of the Enzo Ferrari; the 12-cylinder beast that was so magnificent, they named it after their founder! My boyhood dream came true a few years ago when I drove an F430 convertible, whose V8 engine was based on the same Ferrari-Maserati engine that debuted on the Enzo Ferrari, on a race track.

The power that supercars from these 2 iconic companies wield on the hearts and minds of men hasn’t diminished one bit even to this day. As we wait and watch for more news on the latest offerings by these companies, their social media channels have become an unfailing, authentic and engaging font of information for those who covet these cars. So, let’s review the social media channels that are utilized by Ferrari and Lamborghini.

Ferrari:

Ferrari engages with their customers very actively via 5 channels: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Flickr and LinkedIn.

Overall, their tone is to tout the exclusivity, dominance of Ferrari in the luxury supercar category and the F1 race circuit, not only at present but also in the past to convey a sense of pedigree, heritage and continuing excellence.

Almost all of their posts are cross-posted (with the exception of those on FB), in some cases in Italian and English. They also provide plenty of “meat” to their fans on these sites by setting up Hangout sessions with race car drivers, Ferrari fan surveys and by sharing their “official point of view” directly with their fans. All of these aspects attract heavy participation from the fan base.

Noticeably, Ferrari appears to be missing on social media channels that are popular in the Asian market, such as Weibo and i.youku.com (even though they experienced double digit growth in Japan in 2013).

Lamborghini:

Lamborghini, on the other hand, have a presence on Weibo and i.youku.com as well, in addition to the channels that Ferrari engages in. This makes sense as China is their second largest market behind the US. For a company that sold 2100+ cars in 2013, Lamborghini does have a robust social strategy. However, it isn’t as well coordinated as Ferrari’s.

Overall, their tone is to focus on the extreme, uncompromising design and the sensual, provocative nature of their cars. They have also tried highlight their technical superiority and the luxury of their cars, albeit ineffectively.

A majority of their posts are cross-posted and I believe they have an opportunity to further customize their content. Their Twitter page is outstanding for its effective use of hashtags; however, ironically, the same is lacking on their Google+ page!

Lambo fans don’t appear to be as actively engaged as the Ferrari hordes are. But, then again, Ferrari has been around 4 decades more, is still the most recognized name on the F1 circuit, actively got on social media channels starting 2006 and sells at least 3.5X more cars than Lambo does!

I did find it interesting that neither car company has a blog where they can share their opinions in a detailed and transparent fashion. On the other hand, the customer base in the supercar segment is so small and well understood that any means of opinion sharing/advocacy is probably unnecessary via a blog. Fans are just as happy and engaged by being able to share and participate in celebrating the exclusivity of these exquisite machines!

Here’s a summary of their participation on each channel:

 

Channel

Ferrari S.p.A.

Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

Facebook

  • 13M Likes, 115K talking about this page.
  • Officially maintained page focusing on personalizable content, store merchandize, car videos etc.
  • Very little cross-posting.
  • Some content posted in English and Italian.
  •  7M Likes, 93K talking about this page.
  • This is also an officially maintained page focusing on tour updates, race results etc.
  • Most content is cross-posted.
  • Posts in English only.

 

Twitter

 

  • Multiple Twitter pages: F1 page, Magazine page, Store page, Race page, Museum page.
  • Scuderia Ferrari (F1 page) leads with ~0.8M followers. (@InsideFerrari).
  • Cross-posting of content indicating a unified strategy across properties.
  • All pages promote a sense of heritage, pedigree, extol the current machines, broadcast race and tour results, present new Ferrari store merchandize etc.

 

  • One twitter page (@lamborghini); however, actively following many influencers including auto enthusiasts, actors, musicians, car magazines etc.
  • 0.4M followers.
  • Tweets feature race results, merchandize, specials at stores, website features, car shows etc.
  • Effective use of hashtags to categorize posts.
  • Overall, this page promotes a sense of exclusivity and coolness.  

YouTube

 

Ferrari World:

  • Started this channel on November 21st, 2006.
  • 175K subscriptions, 40M views.
  • Content is posted on at least a daily basis, if not more.
  • Very active follower participation. Anywhere from 2K-1.3M views of each of the 1.5K videos.
  • Clearly stated intent to focus on exclusive content (curated and raw) and “share Ferrari’s official point of view”.
  • Videos on the current line-up of cars, F1 tests, driver interviews, races, auto tours, unveilings across the world and special features on all things Ferrari.

 

Lamborghini:

  • Started this channel 2 years ago.
  • 116K subscriptions, 8M views.
  • Content is updated infrequently (6 days to 2 weeks apart).
  • Relatively active follower participation. 2K-0.4M views of each of the 127 videos.
  • The intent of the YouTube page isn’t clearly stated, but it focuses on new videos of the current car line-up.
  • Videos feature unveilings across the world, tours, races, official teasers and promotional videos.
  • Unique element: A web series focusing on an adventure of 3 Lambo enthusiasts prior to the launch of the Huracán.

Google+

  • 89M views!
  • Effective use of cross-posts and hash tags.
  • Content focuses on unveilings, tour progress, race results, promotional videos and fan surveys.
  • Google Hangouts with F1 race drivers have generated a lot of interaction from fans!
  •  26M views.
  • Several posts have been cross-posted; however, hashtags have not been used effectively to highlight key callouts.
  • Content focuses on tour progress, recent news, store specials, promotional videos etc.
  • A couple of Hangout events have been hosted, with moderate attendance.

Flickr

  •  Incredible close-up photos of Ferraris on tour.
  • Effective use of sets.
  •  Not supported.

Pinterest

  •  Not supported.
  •  Incredible close-up photos of Lamborghinis on tour.
  • Effective use of boards.

LinkedIn

  • Updates on Ferrari’s latest job postings, new land development, new design awards, women at work, deals with other companies etc. Good focus on prospective hires.
  • Informative and engaging.
  • Some posts have been cross-posted here as well, indicating a well-managed social media approach.
  •  Updates on design awards, “Top Employer” award, “Ethical company” award, design excellence etc. Good focus on prospective hires.
  • Informative and engaging.
  • Almost no cross-posting. Appears to be managed in a silo.

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

Image

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

 

Image

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

—————————————————————————————————————-

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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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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Social media in the travel industry, Booking.com v. Expedia

The travel industry is a naturally social environment, with travelers regularly sharing their adventures, opinions and deals with their friends and family.  Travelers are also typically sophisticated consumers, with a strong sense of value and a deep passion for what they do.  This seems to be the perfect community to engage via social media, and it is instructive to evaluate the social media strategy of two of the largest players in that industry, Expedia and Booking.com.

Expedia, Inc. – Has an actively managed social presence developed as a part of an overall social strategy kicked off in 2011, this strategy includes the creation of a media consulting practice for online travel agents

http://digiday.com/brands/how-expedias-got-serious-about-social/

Booking.com – Has had a historically acrimonious relationship with social, but one which they recently realized must be actively managed; they are currently treating social media as a secondary marketing channel, effectively hosting their social presence as a store-front for people to ‘stand around’ in the hope that they’ll become customers.

http://www.tnooz.com/article/booking-com-view-from-the-top-new-ceo-on-big-data-social-flash-sales-and-google/

http://www.tnooz.com/article/social-media-is-either-overhyped-underhyped-or-somewhere-in-the-middle/

These two different approaches to social media play out in the firm’s strategy and tactics:

How many social media channels do they participate in?

  • Expedia – Many with an integrated strategy, including Twitter, Facebook, Slideshare, YouTube, various blogs, Social presence on Expedia.com, phone apps, Tumblr, google+, Pinterest and the like.
  • Booking.com – Only the largest, treating them as store fronts which may drive traffic to their sales property, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and phone apps.

How often they participate in those channels?

  • Expedia – Constantly, including a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly communication calendar which includes many different communication channels and engagement types, from broadcast messing to interactive chats.
  • Booking.com – Daily automated Facebook page pushes and tweets

How engaged are their communities?

Expedia -

  • Facebook=1.9M likes, 4k active communications
  • Twitter=21k tweets, 200k followers
  • YouTube=18k subscribers
  • Phone apps=10s of millions of downloads

Booking.com -

  • Facebook=1.8M likes, 56k active communications
  • Twitter=14k tweets, 42k followers
  • YouTube=6k subscribers
  • Phone apps=10s of millions of downloads

 

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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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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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Minilytics

Minilytics is a free Facebook analytics tool, a mini version of PageLever by Unified (Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PageLever, Twitter: @PageLever). PageLever is a full suite of analytics for Facebook.

Minilytics gives you answers to common marketing questions about your Facebook page. At any time you could seek answers for up to four questions. The website claims that new questions are added frequently. I tried this tool for our social campaign’s facebook page Plastic Free Seattle (Twitter: @pf_seattle), and got quick answers to four
questions

1. What’s my best performing post last month?

Minilytics identifies the best performing post by analyzing the reach, user engagement, people talking about the post and the overall virality of the post.

PlasticFreeSeattle_Minilytics_1

2. How much would it cost to quadruple my reach?

Minilytics computes what it would cost to quadruple the reach based on the current organic (without ads) reach of the posts. The only issue I saw here was that Minilytics reported a $0 cost to quadruple the reach, which I’m attributing to a significantly low current reach with our campaign.

PlasticFreeSeattle_Minilytics_2

3. Which recent posts should I have promoted?

Minilytics identified 3 posts from the most recent 100 posts that we should have promoted. It bases this computation on the overall level of engagement with the posts. Minilytics also provides an option to promote those posts with PageLever or Facebook.

PlasticFreeSeattle_Minilytics_3

4. Who should I target my promoted posts to?

Minilytics looks at the reach of your posts and people talking about your posts and identifies the demographic group that engages and creates more stories about your page and its content. Minilytics provides an opportunity to promote using PageLever or Facebook.

PlasticFreeSeattle_Minilytics_4

Minilytics also generates a one-page report with the results for these four questions

PlasticFreeSeattle_Minilytics_5

Overall, if you’re wanting to take a quick look at how your campaign and posts are trending on Facebook, Minilytics provides a quick and easy tool for making sure you’re doing the right thing. You can always go pro with the full version, PageLever by Unified

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Filed under 2013 - Post 3, Analytics

Free and Worth Every Cent

I took a run at Tweriod to see what the user on-line profile looked like for our GeekHealth Twitter followers. After authorizing Tweriod to access our Twitter account, the web site told me to wait for up to an hour for the results to be compiled. I was optimistic that it would take less than an hour, since we have a pretty small, fairly new following. I was wrong. It took over an hour for Tweriod to analyze the 1412 followers on our account, and compile a report.

Upon receiving the notification email, I logged back into Tweriod and pulled up the stats. It turns out that most of our followers are online between 6am and 5pm, and this is when we should send out tweets for the most impact.

tweriod1

That’s some meaningful insight! In a slightly more granular view, there were specific hours when we could have more impact. Apparently geeks only read tweets when they’re at their computers, working, not during their lunch break, or when they’re sneaking an afternoon snack.

tweriod2

There may be more value in the Premium version, but I can get excited over the free demo.

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Filed under 2013 - Post 3, Analytics

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

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

Boost Your Crowd with Crowdbooster

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Crowdbooster is a nice and simple social media analytical tool that helps you to manage your social media effectively. It helps you to know how effective your post was. It also helps you to know if people were talking about your posts. In addition, it can tell you if your follower or fans increased after certain posts.

Basically, Crowdbooster, can help you to determine how effective your tweets and Facebook posts are. You can use Crowdbooster to analyze the performance of your social media posts and tweets.

Crowdbooster features:

  • It can help you to achieve an effective presence on Twitter and Facebook.
  • It can show you analytic that are connected to your business and your social media strategies (impressions, total reach, engagement, and more)
  • It has tools and it provides recommendations to help you to take action to improve your effectiveness.

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Crowdbooster can help you to do the following:

  • See your instant and visual feedback about your performance using the Real-time Twitter and Facebook analytic dashboard.
  • Track the growth of your audience
  • Know who loves most and reciprocate the love.
  • Take actions based on intelligent alerts and recommendations.

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Filed under 2013 - Post 3, Analytics, Uncategorized

Twitonomy: Twitter #analytics and much more…

logo_300x105I think I have found an analytics page. One that is simple to use and I don’t need to sell my 3rd child to get. The process is simple. Just input your twitter account and allow Twitonomy access to the account and in less than a minute you can find out all relevant information that one would need all on one page. The top of the page has tweet history such as tweets per day, user mentions, links, replies, and hashtags. Followed by your tweet history displayed in a chart. What impressed me the most about twitonomy was the “Users” section where I could go and find out who my more popular users are by listing: users most retweeted, users most replied to, users most mentioned, and #hashtags most used. Oh and did I mention this is listed along with a colorful pie chart! Further information showed activity per day, per hour, and platforms most tweeted from. All information easily displayed so that I can visually see where my tweets are going and to whom. I initially analyzed simplymeasured which provided a great display of high level information such as keywords, followers by time zones, followers by # of followers (yea I had to think about that one too…), users by # of followers, and user by total tweets. Like I said all high level, nothing to gain you insight into getting to the details of users and the demographic of your user base. Twitonomy also allowed me to visually see on a map where all my followers were located so that I could further gain insight into what areas of the country and the world my messages were getting to and where I needed to focus more. Twitonomy did require a paid monthly or one-time subscription to be able to obtain more information. Definitely worth a try.

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Filed under 2013 - Post 3

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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Add rocket power to your blog with Jetpack!

I have a blog, now what? Who is reading my blog and how much traffic do I get? How can I optimize my blog? Is it easy to allow people to make comments? 

wordpress-jetpackIf you’ve ever started a blog, some of these questions are likely very familiar. There’s an exciting new tool from WordPress which makes running a blog much easier by boosting what blow authors get out of the box with WordPress – Jetpack.

One of the awesome features of WordPress is its extensibility via plugins. Plugins have traditionally allowed blogs to do everything from easily capturing analytics with Google Analytics to facilitating feedback via feedback forms. In the past, however, there was no single plugin which tied together so many additional features many blog owners commonly want, including:

  • Notifications on blog events, such as comments and new posts
  • Statistics of blog readership and where readers are coming from
  • Subscriptions allowing users to easily see new blog content
  • Galleries for images and other rich media
  • Contact forms which allow users to contact blog owners easily
  • Mobile themes which make WordPress sites look great on mobile devices
  • JSON API which allows blog owners to integrate with their site

The group behind the WordPress platform created the Jetpack plugin for WordPress which contains many of these commonly requested and much-needed features all in one simple to use and easy to install package. As a WordPress Blog owner myself, I can attest to the utility of having one plugin handle so much of the work needed to expand the usefulness of my WordPress blog. To underscore how awesome Jetpack is, I want to call out three of its nice features.

Statistics

Knowing your blog’s audience is extremely useful and Jetpack makes it easy to caprture how many people visit your blog and from where they come. The following example shows the Jatpack statistics for this very blog; notice how detailed and accurate the metrics are.

Jatpack Statistics

No Google Analytics needed here. Jetpack makes it easy!

Comments

Jetpack allows visitors to WordPress blogs to log in via their commonly-used social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to leave comments. This powerful feature makes it easy for users to interact with your content without burdening them to sign up for your site.

Jetpack comments

Mobile theme

Mobile device use is growing immensely year over year and it’s very likely any WordPress blog will see more mobile users over the next few years. Instead of painstakingly designing CSS and XHTML which works on desktop clients and mobile browsers, the Jetpack theme automatically renders your site whenever it detects a mobile device. This means anyone on an iPhone, Android tablet, Symbian phone, or other mobile device can easily access your blog content.

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Filed under 2013 - Post 2

Simplified Video Capture with Vine

Taking Video using your mobile phone is really not a new phenomenon. Ever since a video camera was integrated into the first phones, there has been an app that can take video. However, Vine seems to have hit the sweet spot of exploiting people’s curiosity and desire to share, with the emergence of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Vine chose to share video in a very specific way, in a 6-second video loop that can provides virtually the same viewing experience on mobile devices as well as on web browser. This makes it easier on the viewer since they don’t have to download multiple of megabytes (and use up their data plan) just to see their niece dancing to the tune of Thrift Store. Most people would see the 6-second clip and get the gist of the whole video. This is especially true during the Boston Bombing where most people wanted to see just the moments when the bomb explode, or exactly the moment when the bomber was handcuffed. Simple 6-second video clips would do just fine, reduces the complexity where more mobile devices can view the video, and it is integrated with Twitter and Facebook to make social network posting super simple.

With many companies struggling to provide content for the social media channels, there is no better time for Vine app to fill the gap and be the hero for all social media managers.

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Filed under 2013 - Post 2

Do you know what they’re saying about you?

By: Ayman Kaheel

In this age, you can’t ignore how you, or your brand, are mentioned online. You need to be in the know of how you are mentioned fast enough in order to respond; responsiveness is no longer optional. To that end, one of the services that I find very useful is Google Alerts. Google Alerts are email updates sent to you when Google finds new results, such as web pages or blog posts, which match specific query terms that you have specified to the service. You can use this service to monitor a developing story, keep current on a product or an industry, or find out what is being said about your company or product.

google-alerts

Unfortunately Google Alerts service fails miserably in monitoring social media, because of the real-time nature of the social media. This has led me to try to find an alternative: “Mention“. Mention allows you to receive alerts real-time whenever your search term is mentioned in social media or in the web.

mention

Mention claims it monitors millions of sources in 42 languages. The sources covers a variety of social networks, news sites, forums, blogs, and search results.  Any time you, your brand, or your company are mentioned in one of these sources, you get alerted on your mobile or PC.  As you can imagine, online sources are full of noise generated by homonyms and parasites. Mention has developed a machine learning system, based on user behavior and on spam removal methods, to recognize these sources and remove them.

One of the cool features of Mention, is “smart actions”, which basically allows users to create a set of actions based on rules, similar to email rules, to react to your mentioned automatically, like retweeting a positive tweet about your product. Pretty cool, huh?


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Filed under 2013 - Post 2

Confessions of a Redditor

reddit-alien

So what exactly is Reddit?

Some say Reddit is the seedy underbelly of the internet – a wretched hive of scum and villainy.  A place who’s only function is to suck workplace productivity and birth memes.  Others see it as one of the greatest online communities ever – a place where you can learn literally learn anything about anything, or have the Physicist Neil Degrasse Tyson drop by to chat.

I tend to fall in the latter camp – I came up on the internet when browsers were in the their infancy, and the most common way to get online was to access BBS (Bulletin Board Services) sites.  These were the very earliest online communities, and Reddit is very much a descendent.

At it’s core, Reddit is a social news site. Community members post links to websites, newstories, and images on the internet – if the community finds value in the item, it will receive “upvotes” – the more upvotes an article receives, the higher it’s ranking on the page.  The most coveted spot is the landing page of the site called the “frontpage” – which can garner millions of views on Reddit’s heavily trafficked site.  Upvotes also earn the user “Karma” – a type of metascore that shows the Reddit community that you typically post good stuff.  Conversely, stories of poor quality or items created to generate controversy and comments (called trolling) will receive downvotes and rank lower on the page.  This type of self curation works amazingly well, and should be a little familiar if you have ever visited Digg.com.

Reddit is also hugely diverse in in its’ content and members can actually create their own community sites within Reddit (called subreddits) that can cater to virtually any interest or taste.  Popular subreddits include TIL (Today I Learned) where users share new facts that they picked up, and AMA (ask me anything) where people with interesting occupations or celebrities will drop in and answer questions from the audience.

According to Quantcast, Reddit has an average audience size of around 22 million users per month in the US – this is a sizable audience.  Interestingly enough, Reddit eschews most traditional advertising – they serve some house ads, and allow 1 promotional post per page (always clearly marked).  In 2010, Reddit started to offer premium features called “Reddit Gold” which members can purchase for $29.99/year.

Over the past year, Reddit’s cachet has been growing by leaps and bounds.  Steven Colbert is a self professed redditor, and the AMA subreddit has become a powerful social media and marketing tool.  During the 2012 elections, President Obama did a celebrity AMA and answered questions for half an hour – during that time, Reddit saw over 200,000 visitors – a new record.  Since that time, it has become common for anyone promoting something  – whether it be a product, movie, or president to do an AMA.  Reddit is the new digital town hall meeting.

Obama-Reddit

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TweetAdder: Automate your Twitter Account

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TweetAdder is a powerful marketing tool that allows its users to use the full potential of Twitter. Most importantly, it automates the repetitive tasks associated with marketing in Twitter. It works similar to followerwonk in targeting a specific segment of people, but it goes beyond that by automating following those people.

TweetAdder has powerful search capabilities. You can search based on the following criteria:

  • Keyword
  • Location
  • Recent keyword used
  • Language spoken
  • Ability to remove profiles with default picture
  • Ability to remove profiles with urls in tweets or biography

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TweetAdder can automate the Follow and Un-Follow operations using very flexible parameters that simulate manual work to prevent Tweeter from suspending your Twitter account. You also can see who you follow and who follow you. You can also tell whether you followed users first or if they followed you first. If you followed them first you can also see exactly what keyword search terms were used to find those users. This can help in seeing what targeted keywords convert into followers best.

TweetAdder provide the following automation features:

  • Automated Tweets post thought the day
  • Post Tweets to Facebook and Linkedin
  • Unique Tweet Generator – creates unique tweets automatically
  • RSS Tweets – Tweets any RSS feed wither from your blog updates, or any other source
  • @Reply Tweets – post a random tweet @someone who posts a tweet directed @you
  • URL shortener – Shorten long URLs automatically
  • Post Tweets with random time delay

Although TweetAdder is powerful and reach of many features, it is simple and easy to use. However, I would recommend anyone planning to use this tool to be careful because you can get your Twitter account suspended easily. Before using this tool, refer to Twitter rules and avoid violating them.

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Filed under 2013 - Post 2, Uncategorized

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

Redbox and the Social Media

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Over the last few years Redbox became a popular destination for movies and video games. It has about 34,600 locations nationwide. Redbox gained its popularity because it is easy, convenient, affordable, and fun. I have been using Redbox for few years and I love it.

Redbox uses the social media like other companies. However, its social media strategy is really interesting. Although Redbox uses the social media heavily, its effort is focused on very limited number of social media channels. Most of Redbox present is in Facebook and Twitter.

One of the things that drew my attention was the way that Redbox engaged its customers using the social media. Redbox engaged its customers by running social media contests and giving away promotions to watch movies for free for their fans and followers in the social media.

In 2012, Redbox launched a social media contest campaign called “Share your love”. The contest is simply to upload photos about sharing the love of Redbox to Brckfish platform using Facebook and/or twitter accounts. In less than 48 hours, they received more than 111,000 engagements and 700 unique photos.

Redbox focus and engaging customers are the main reasons for their success in using the social media. That resulted in increasing their customers during a time when consumers are turning away from subscription movie rentals.

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Screw Computers

If you don’t have a mobile platform, you aren’t going to reach me very easily. It appears as though I am not alone in my discontent with actually booting up a computer just to access a social network. Facebook’s mobile app sucks, but I still use it every day.

Check out this article for an interesting read

For the record, I am aware of the irony evidenced by my using a laptop to create this post…

What are your thoughts on using actual PCs (or Macs, Scott) to access the myriad of social platforms?

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Social Media Strategies: Puget Sound Energy & aFitness App

After my power went out during a storm last winter, I tried going to the Puget Sound Energy website to see if I could find any estimates for restoring power.  I didn’t see anything relevant and I also tried calling, only to encounter a long wait.  I was pleasantly surprised to find PSE on Twitter with regular updates and assisting customers:

Looking a little deeper, I found PSE slides titled, “Social Media Strategy: A Phased Approach”.  My takeaways are the following steps:

  • Listen – practice familiarity with tools to discover and connect with the customer.
  • Engage – create and manage sources of content to share with the customer.
  • Evaluate – utilize web analytics and metrics from social media to measure progress for business objectives.

At a high level, this isn’t so different from the approach taught in the first few classes.  Our focus in class is campaigns, which is a contrasting point and deeper level of granularity that concentrates on specific goals.  One way to think of it is that a campaign is an iteration of executing the strategy.  Building on the PSE phases above (Listen, Engage, Evaluate), our team has performed more designing up front by defining specific goals and planning the social media content.  We also continuously use social media metrics to help shift our efforts for engagement.  This results in a short ‘Evaluate’ phase since we have good awareness of our progress throughout the campaign.

The PSE slides are worth a look.  They show what tools they use and how.   Also notice the consistency across their content sources, such as facebook, YouTube, and flickr.  Finally, I notice some branching out by creating an entirely separate facebook page for energy efficiency.

Hope this is helpful to your social media strategy.  Please share your strategy tips by leaving a comment below.

Thanks,
-Bruce on behalf of The Comrades
facebook.com/afitnessapp
twitter.com/afitnessapp
afitnessapp.wordpress.com

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