Sharing the Holiday Spirit: NYPD Officer Gives Boots

It’s amazing the type of giving that takes place during the holiday season, and how responsive people are to it. This is quite evident from a recent image that creeped up on social media this past week of a policePicture 24 officer assisting a homeless man by giving him boots and socks on one cold November night. This image, according to a PR Daily article, has gotten, “more than 500,000 “likes,” nearly 187,000 shares, and tens of thousands of comments.”

Additional news outlets, The New York Times and USA Today covered the story and posted it in their online news sources. All three articles, from PR Daily, The New York Times and USA Today were just published yesterday, November 30, and already they have been liked, shared, tweeted and re-tweeted by individuals. This just goes to show how effective social media can be in getting news out very quickly.

I remember seeing this image on Twitter the other day, and I thought that it was very touching. You don’t see this type of behavior, or it is usually not captured and shared like this one was. This particular image has spread so rapidly over the past two days, I hope this act of kindness from a police officer will model a sense of giving not only during the holiday season, but throughout the months and years to come.

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Case Study: Duracell and Holiday Smiles

The holidays are a time for carols and good cheer for many, but for others it is a time for stress and panic. This can be especially true for parents and kids of impoverished families, who sometimes do not have enough time or money to buy gifts.  This year Duracell is trying to relieve some of the stress by teaming up with Hasbro and Toys for Tots to create more “holiday smiles” this season by donating to kids in need.

The breakdown of the campaign is this. Followers on Duracell’s social channels have the opportunity to enter to win the exclusive must have toys for the 2012 Holiday Season, including Duracell batteries. In addition to the toys that are being won from followers, for every entry that is received, Duracell is giving away batteries to Toys for Tots to help power the electronic toy donations.  “It’s a fun, easy way for you to help give back and #PowerSmiles this holiday season!” Through this application on Facebook, followers can enter to win some of the most sought after toys this holiday season.

The campaign is being launched on all of Duacell’s social media channels guiding individuals to their Facebook page where the entering takes place. Duracell created a Facebook event that started on Thanksgiving Day and runs through December 20. The commercial for the campaign is on YouTube and aired on November 21. Additionally, Duracell is sending out tweets on Twitter periodically about the event and what consumers could potentially win, with the hashtag #PowerSmiles.

Duracell is a not a company that you would think had a large following on Facebook and Twitter, but that is the opposite. Duracell has over 30,000 followers on Twitter with just over 1,400 tweets. They seem to tweet 4-5 times per day. They also have over 2 million likes on Facebook with nearly 70,000 people talking about them. They post on Facebook 2-3 times a day. Now, since the campaign has started, I assume that they will post more on all of their social media channels, with the content being toys being used for the promotion. Both Facebook and Twitter have the same consistency with messaging, especially with their profile pictures and photos on the sites:

These stats indicate that Duracell has already made an impression to consumers with social media channels, and they have the potential to reach a number of individuals with their message. I suspect with the incentives and an interactive campaign such as this, they will gain substantially more followers by December 20.

On November 21, Lucy Hale, star from the hit ABC Family television show Pretty LittleLiars, helped Duracell unveil their campaign to 150 kids with toys from the campaign, with batteries included, to a school in New York City that was affected by hurricane Sandy. An article released November 27 mentions that Duracell is looking to, “to power 500,000 smiles for families in need with the help of consumers.”

An additional article mentions the same things as the previous article. In addition, Bill Grein, Vice President of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation said “… having a toy that’s ready to go with batteries you can trust like Duracell can be so crucial in helping ensure a child’s holiday joy.”

Since the campaign has just started, there is not a lot of data to be analyzed, but as of right now, nearly 1,900 individuals have accepted an invite to the Facebook event. This does not include the individuals who check the page every day for possible toys that they could win and have not responded to the event. Taking those numbers into account, it could very well be that they already have 2,000 people participating in the promotion. If all of these individuals enter every day, that is a lot of batteries that Duracell will be donating.

I think that there is a lot that companies can learn from Duracell. Especially during the holiday season, people are looking to give back to the community in unique ways that may not be donating money or toys, and Duracell came up with the perfect way for people to do that. They have been utilizing Facebook and Twitter effectively to reach their targets with the message they want to get across. Consumers are not just entering to win the “cool” new toys for the holiday season, they are helping other in need with each and every entry. It gives the impression to the nation how people can be focused on their giving, but also the rest of the community for the holiday season.  I just really liked this campaign, and I think that Duracell is doing a great job in what they are promoting. It will be interesting to see the results at the end of the campaign.

Posted in ADPR4300, case study, Duracell, holiday smiles, social media, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Social Media Policy: Nordstrom

With the growing engagement of social media it is almost a requirement for companies to address the social media use of their employees. The structure of the social media policy for Nordstrom is part of a larger organization wide guideline for employees. It is encompassed in a section entitled, “our policies,” which include privacy policy, returns and exchanges and a number of other smaller, but important things that employees should know about Nordstrom’s.

One aspect of the policy that caught my eye was the focus on being humble. They said in the guidelines, “Our number-one goal is to offer each customer great service, but we’re certainly not perfect and we do make mistakes. Let’s stay focused on working to deliver great service instead of bragging about it.” I think that this is a very interesting point to mention because it shows how they want their customers to view them and that view is to be humble.

Another interesting point they make is they encourage their employees to use social media for Nordstrom, and to search for new opportunities to reach customers. I think that this shows that they are focusing on the innovation and the future of social media, and not just copying the platforms that other stores use to engage with customers.

Most of the language that is used is professional, but some of it is not. They use the word “cool” in a section regarding caution online. With the importance of the content of being cautious, this does not seem as professional to me as it could be. Maybe they are trying to be more relaxed because these guidelines are for social media and not as important as something else. I would think a company with the brand image and as well-known as Nordstrom would make sure that all policies are professional and consistent with the brand image.

Overall, I think that it is a policy that gets the point across about how important social media is for the organization. The only thing that I think needs to be changed is the professional use of language that is used with consistency with their brand image. Just because social media may not be the most important aspect of the company, they still need to show to their employees what it means to be associated with Nordstrom’s and the consistency of the brand image that is held by employees and customers.

Having a social media policy is essential for any company because it lays out how important social media is for a business. Companies need to utilize social media platforms, and sometimes people can be careless with their words and actions. Just like a crisis in traditional forms of media, one comment or post on social media that is insensitive could cause a larger crisis and depletion of equity with consumers if not handled correctly. A social media policy allows protection for not only the business, but for employees and customers as well.

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Content is Key: Steps for Development of Social Media Content

In class recently we talked about content and how to effectively reach target audiences with the content that you have. Dennis Jenders, Laughlin Constable employee and Marquette University professor,  said that there are four C’s to content planning: Content, Channel, Connections and Commerce.

An article that I found relates to Jenders breakdown of content generation. In it, Paul Chaney talks about a four-step process to making a social media content strategy. He views the four steps as:

 

  1. Determine Content Focus
  2. Determine Content Type
  3. Determine Posting Frequency
  4. Develop a Content Calendar

These four steps correlate with everything that we learned about in class. Content focus shows that the content needs to be beneficial and consistent with the company’s image. The content needs to, generate engagement with the customers, showing that you have some sort of special knowledge and be consistent with the mission of the business.

Content type is focused on figuring out which channel the company is using to reach its target. It mentions in the article how, “Due Pinterest and Instagram, social media has become increasingly visual.” This indicates that companies have to take into consideration, when generating content for their channels, what customers like to see and that might determine which channel they use.

Post frequency is a major aspect on content that companies have to consider. Chaney mentions two key aspects, post at the optimal time and keep important things first in the post. He mentions that between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. are the optimal times to post. That is when the most people are on the social channels and are likely to share and like the posts and potentially share it with others.

Finally, developing a content calendar is beneficial because it helps to organize posts and content in a easy to manage calendar that everyone working on the project can see. Jenders talked about how having everything ready months in advance allows posts to be shifted around based on a natural disaster, or some other event.

Chaney talks about at the end of the article how content is still king. He mentions four reasons why:

  • Set you apart from your competition;
  • Help establish you as an expert, and a thought leader;
  • Keep your business top of mind with consumers;
  • Provide the leverage needed to keep your customers coming back time after time

Having content that is engaging and worthwhile for the target to read, and share, will likely result in increased profits. With all of the clutter in the media nowadays, content that truly catches the attention of the audience will be beneficial in more ways than one. The only tricky part, is developing the content that engages the customer.

Posted in ADPR4300, content, social media | 2 Comments

Pinning for Viral Posts

Over the summer I interned at a small boutique. One of my many jobs was to set up and manage their social media, most specifically Pinterest. My boss had the mentality that just because her store was “on” Pinterest, that would bring tons of people to her site and store to shop the variety of goods that she had. I realized that just because she had content on the site, did not mean an automatic increase in her sales. As I was searching for a topic for this week’s blog, I came across this article on PR Daily.

I wish that I had seen the article over the summer. I struggled every day that I pinned new content with the thought that everyone is not going to see all the merchandise that they have, and how could I change that. It says in the article that a pin goes viral and shows up on the main pinboards after 1,000 pins.  I didn’t know the strategies to use to make sure that people did see it.

In the article, Jessica Turner talks about how to make pins on Pinterest go viral. The lists seven steps:

  1. Write your post as a list
  2. Use text on the photos
  3. Add a “Pin It” button beneath the photo you want to be pinned, and write a smart, searchable tag for the caption
  4. Write a post that is timely
  5. Ask friends who are active on Pinterest to pin your content
  6. Push the post out via social media, multiple times over an appropriate period
  7. Remind people of the posts after the initial “peak” period

These tips will aid in the promotion of the pin to get 1,000 repins or more. We haven’t talked about Pinterest yet in class, so I’m not sure about what other strategies there could be to help make a pin go viral. I think Pinterest is a great way for a company to get their merchandise out there. It gives another avenue for people to see products in a way that could be personable to them. With friends who also have pinboards, I feel like potential customers are more willing to trust a friend on Pinterest, than a post on Facebook. There can be problems with Pinterest and fake posts, but in the long-run, I think if used effectively and honestly, it could help drive a lot of traffic to a company’s website.

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Country Outfitter: Case Study

Country Outfitter is an online cowboy boot and western apparel store that, according to their Facebook site, “knows country.” This company was started in 2011. Over the past month, they introduced a campaign tactic to drive more customers to their website. They launched this tactic on Instagram called. “Photo a day”. “Photo a day” encouraged participants to take a photo every day of the month. Each day had  to do with a specific category. They were then urged to post and tag the photo on Instagram. Contestants who did this continually during the whole month of October were entered to win a $200 gift card to the country outfitter store on November 1.

A look at their current social media indicates that they are striving to become a social business. Their Instagram following is not strong, only about 10,000 followers.  Assuming that word of the “photo-a-day” contest will get spread, that should bring more followers to their Instagram page.  From a look at their Instagram photos, they seem to post on Instagram every week or so. Depending on the week, I saw one week with two posts and other weeks with just one. Most of the posts are ads of the boots or models wearing the merchandise they carry. Some of the posts were more unique, showing the warehouse where all of the boots are kept. The numbers that indicated that the majority of the posts on Instagram photos got at least 200 likes and most of them had 400 likes or more.

Country Outfitter has over 1,400 followers on Twitter with just over 600 tweets. They seem to tweet at least once every day. Additionally, their Twitter feed shows that they respond to customers tweets and take an interest in what they have to say, whether those are concerns or comments about their merchandise.

Even though they do not have a large  following on Twitter, they seem to make up for that with Facebook fans.  They have over 3.2 million likes on Facebook. They tend to post three to four times a day on Facebook. Additionally, they have boot giveaways on Facebook.

Relatively speaking, this company was just started a year ago, and they already have a good fan base on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In addition, they also have an account on Pinterest. This analysis of their social media shows just how this company came into the business with a social media aspect in mind. Since the business is only online, they have to do a lot to reach out to current and potential customers. I’d say that they are using social media to the best of their advantage right now, and I have a feeling that they will continue to adapt to the growing changes of social media platforms.

On the blog that is on their website, they talked about how successful the month of October was with this campaign, that they want to introduce it again for the month of November. These are the categories and directions for the month of November. I think that extending the tactic for another month will be beneficial for them to continue to gain more followers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

The specific campaign post shows how excited Country Outfitter was to launch a tactic like this. They said in the blog, “We’re officially on the Instagram bus here at Country Outfitter and we’re kicking it off with an October Photo-A-Day contest!” This type of speech gets the audience excited about the contest, and I would think, cause lots of word-of-mouth around the social media scene regarding the contest.

The blog post that announced the winner from October said that there were over 35,000 photos for the staff to go through and pick the favorite. This statistic indicates that thousands of people participated in the challenge, and were excited to participate. Since Country Outfitter said that the October challenge was so successful, more are expected to participate in the November challenge.

There is so much to learn from a brand like Country Outfitter. They have kept the engagement with their customers regarding the contests that they hold, either on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook. They have proven to be well on their way becoming a social business, just from all of the different forms of social media they use. Most importantly, they listen and stay connected with their customers. Engaging in something unique like a photo contest is a fun way of utilizing Instagram to its full potential and getting buzz out there about the brand. It is about having the customers feel valued and creative. I think that this is a perfect opportunity for them. I believe that they will continue to expand their social media usage to creatively and effectively communicate their message and brand to their targets. It will be interesting to see what they come up with next.

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Voting: Assisted by Social Media

For months United States citizens have been bombarded with political campaign ads putting down or degrading competitors and explaining why that certain someone is the best choice for you and for middle-class America. There have been so much smear campaigns this election than previous elections, or maybe I have not paid as much attention to previous election campaigns. Regardless, the season is coming to a close, which I think most people, including myself, are thankful for.

One of the pressing questions in my mind has been the relevance that candidates find the vote of the younger population to be. In some aspects, as Bob Al-Greene says in the article, Facebook Inspires Young Voters to take Action, “For the younger demographic of new voters, social media can be a push to the ballot.” I believe that this is true, social media can be, if used effectively, a strategic mechanism for candidates to use to gain support from a younger demographic. But, form my own observation, I have seen less social media activity for this election compared to the previous 2008 election, and both campaigns seem to not focus on young adults.

An interesting infographic that was associated with the story showed just how pivotal social media can be for a campaign. Some of the numbers indicated that:

  • Young Americans are more active on Facebook than in politics
  • 98% of young adults, ages 18-24 use some sort of social media regularly
  • only 48.5% of young adults voted in the 2008 election, but that number was more than in 2004, with over 2 million young citizens casting their vote in 2008

A study was done at the University of California that looked at the relationship between a social message that was sent to voters during a congressional election in 2010. Three  important findings were reported:

1- A social message encouraged user to vote in the election

2- Data found that users who received the message were more likely to vote

3- This small action turned in about 600,000 more votes

The use of social media is essential in gaining the vote of a younger demographic, but the question of a candidate’s views of the importance of the vote from a younger demographic, has still got me wondering.

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