#Hootersknowsfootball Campaign

Branding Strategy: Hooters of America

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This project is for educational purposes only. Information included is hypothetical and not aligned with the views of the company.

For our purposes portions of this project revolve around the 2016 Super Bowl with the two teams being the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers.

Company Analysis

What is the company about?

Company slogan: Hooters Makes You Happy!

Company Standpoint:

Hooters makes people happy. Their All-American Hooters Girls exist to provide genuine hospitality and exceptional service. Hooters strives to achieve this consistency throughout the company.

History of Hooters of America, LLC: About Us

Six businessmen with no prior restaurant experience created Hooters because they wanted a place “they couldn’t get kicked out of.” Hooters creates an atmosphere that allows its customers to come relax, hang out, and escape their busy lives. The restaurant combines good food, upbeat music, and attractive women to create an environment for all to feel welcome.

The first Hooters Restaurant opened in Clearwater, Florida in 1983. The beach-themed restaurants are casual and continue to feature many Hooters’ original concepts. Catering to sports fans and guests alike, Hooters is known for their spicy chicken wings and their globally recognized Hooters Girls.

The company has grown to more than 6,000 employees working in over 430 locations with 32 percent of Hooters management teams and corporate staff being female.  Hooters has dealt with a lot of criticism for hiring only females as Hooters Girls and Hooters Girls Behind The Bar. However, the company does welcome men for other positions such as hosts, kitchen staff, and cleaning crew. In the U.S., the majority of Hooters restaurants are located in the eastern half of the country with most establishments in Texas and Florida.

Who is the target audience?

Primary Market:

The most frequent clientele are males between 30 and 45 years of age, this is the primary market and the loyal base that Hooters aims to retain. Simply stated, men come to Hooters for the Hooters Girls. Every aspect of the Hooters brand is designed to entice.  This includes the orange shorts that hug the hips and perfectly crease the lower body, the cleavage bearing tank tops, styled hair that is always worn down, glamour makeup, and high socks (although Hooters recently implemented lower socks to appear more modernized). For years, Hooters has used the combination of attractive females, sex appeal, greasy food, cold beer, and sports to lure middle aged men into their establishments.

Occupation: Business professionals, sports athletes, business owners, independent contractors, blue-collar workers.

Social Media: The primary market is limited in social media engagement. Most use Facebook to keep up with friends, admired Hooters Girls, and brands. The occasional few may follow Hooters on Facebook, but most limit their interaction with the Hooters brand to the HootClub App to receive monthly incentives. Engagement occurs primarily through smart phones, which can be utilized in the restaurant.

Family life: Married, married with family, divorced, and single.

Likes: Upbeat environment, beautiful women, hands free or hassle free service, reasonably priced food, and cheap beer. Most follow brands like the NFL, NCAA, MLB, UFC, Masters, and ESPN networks.

Dislikes: This market dislikes refined bars with stuffy and impersonal service.

Hobbies: Fishing, hunting, racing, recreational sports, golfing, and beers after work with the guys.

Secondary Market: Millennial Males 20s to 30s

Millennials have carried the stigma that Hooters was a bar stuck in the 80s with a dark vibe, leg warmers, and wings with a side of heart attack. This thought process began to shift with recent partnerships such as ESPN , UFC, and DraftKings. [supporting article]

Occupation: College students, part-time workers, and entry-level employees.

Social Media Engagement: They are very engaged in social media, especially sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Because this market is known for multitasking, engagement exists through smart phones. Members of this market would be most interested in the Facebook and Instagram pages, as most of the calendar photos and events are marketed through those avenues.

Likes: This group is drawn to upbeat environments, eclectic or hip music, sports bars, food priced on a budget, cheap beer, and entertainment.

Dislikes: Members of this market dislike the mundane. They seek entertainment at a value price.

Incentives: Hooters offers an opportunity for males in this age group to mingle with Hooters Girls of a similar age. The expanded late night appetizer menu and liquor bar allows for late night gatherings to watch sports or simply hang out. Hooters unique partnership with ESPN grants opportunities for tickets to NCAA tournament games, the Super Bowl, concerts, and other prime market events.

“We are very different from that tragically hip nightclub that people go to…you can come the way you want. It’s just fun. And people leave with a smile, and that’s a really good reason for us to exist.”

Dave Henninger, Former Hooters CMO

SWOT Analysis

Strengths:

  • The original brand in the “breastaurant” industry.
  • Has built a reputation since 1983.
  • The chain offers higher food quality.
  • Social media presence expands to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube. The brand is actively engaged on all platforms.
  • There is excellent traditional media placement with ESPN during high-profile games.
  • No cover charge for UFC fights.
  • The number one restaurant with Budweiser in terms of sales.

Opportunities:

  • Consumers are looking for sports bars for football and basketball season.
  • Hooters has ample opportunities to host draft parties due to sponsorship with ESPN and DraftKings.
  • There are opportunities for integrated marketing in stores that are in proximity to stadiums, collegiate areas, festival markets, and sporting communities.
  • Hooters can promote sports like horse racing, NASCAR, golf, and biking that other sports bars tend to neglect.

Why should Hooters utilize an IMC strategy?

Although Hooters is the original brand, they face major competition in their niche market. Twin Peaks, Tilted Kilt, Bikinis, and Kerr’s Wing House all threaten the market share of the “breastaurant” industry. In order to maintain their prominence in this segment, Hooters needs to be consistent and effective with their marketing strategies.

Hooters is constantly under a microscope due to the risqué nature of the brand. Therefore, it is imperative that this type of brand maintains a consistent identity. There are many false accounts that are often mistaken as a company website that do not portray the views or ideals of the company. According to Insight Marketing, integrated marketing “creates a cohesive identity for your business (your brand image) and a positioning that customers will recognize and relate to any content.” It is continued that, “this should extend beyond the traditional marketing to everything you do: your sales, customer service and customer retention.”

Because Hooters is a flagship brand, it is placed to a higher standard in terms of consistency and quality. Hooters patrons expect above standard customer service, a consistent taste of product, and a unique experience at each restaurant. Because of these standards, customers will additionally expect a marketing campaign that is synonymous with the brand, easily identified, and can be used as a quick resource for information. The purpose of integrated marketing will create a cohesive experience that starts with the corporate team, funnels into marketing channels, and it is extended into operations.

Top brands throughout the world are those who find success in integrated marketing. This is referenced through the Walt Disney Company, where guests can expect a magical experience at the theme parks, their resorts, through merchandise, or through their social media channels. Disney has achieved this through consistency in messaging, voice, consumer expectations, and proactive customer service.

In order to successfully identify a brand’s voice, a company must be aware of their purpose. Forbes recommends 10 questions that an executive team must answer before starting any type of marketing strategies.

What does your company do?

We exist to make others happy. The purpose of Hooters is to provide an oasis where guests can escape their problems through enjoying a beer, football game, great food, and exceptional customer service.

Why did you start (at) your company?

I started with Hooters because it is a unique brand that has existed since the 1980s. Hooters is consistent in their messaging and purpose. It is one of the few brands that places an emphasis on communication and fun.

Why do people visit your website?

To see the latest events at Hooters, including calendar shoots, Hooters Girl events, sporting events, and philanthropic work. This is also a primary source for restaurant menu information and a platform for online ordering.

Who are your customers?

Our primary clientele is the male market between 21-45 years old. However, we do open our doors to everyone from men, women, and children. Hooters is a comfortable environment to enjoy a beer with the boys or have family time.

Why do people choose your company over competitors?

The Hooters Girls! The Hooters Girls have always been the flagship of the Hooters brand. However, customer service and consistency are the driving factors behind our expansion and longevity within the industry.

What other brand voices do you admire?

We admire companies like Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Disney, and Panera Bread. These are all companies that place a high value on customer service and consistency throughout the organization. These are trend leaders in their respective categories and are often included in the most recognized brands throughout the United States and the world.

If your brand were a person, how would you describe him or her?

If Hootie were real, he would be a huge sports fan. He would be dependable, charismatic, light hearted, and a prankster. He is knowledgeable about various subject matters, appreciates good quality, and is always up for a good time.

How do you want people to feel when they visit your website?

We want our guests to feel entertained. We want to provide a platform for fun, sports knowledge, great food, and exceptional hospitality. When guests visit our website, we want them to feel that they are amongst friends rather than viewing a corporate entity.

Can you describe your company in 3-5 words?

Delightfully Tacky Yet Unrefined.

What do you love about your job?

We exist to make people happy. An experience in any of our restaurants has the ability to turn around a negative day or further influence a positive perspective.

Closing Remarks

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Since 1983, Hooters has established themselves as a leader in the hospitality industry. Their Hooters owl and iconic Hooters Girl image is recognized globally. It is clear that there is no need for Hooters to shape their identity, but there is the need to modernize it. The Hooters brand is synonymous with a playful fun that often edges socially and politically correct boundaries. They are “delightfully tacky yet unrefined.”

This thought process needs to consistent through their social media operations. Hooters possesses the tools, the platforms, and no shortage of pretty girls to fill their sites. It is now imperative that Hooters completes a successful IMC campaign to maintain their status as a top leader in the bar industry. In a competitive niche field and with numerous brands replicating the concept, there is always the risk of appearing outdated. Hooters biggest challenge will come through keeping a 80s brand relevant in a modern world.

This can be achieved through effective marketing at high-level events, increased consumer engagement, and interactive content. Hooters needs to up-play their partnerships with ESPN, Draft Kings, and relationship with commentator Jon Gruden (former Hooters cook). The social experience should lure consumers to #stepintoawesome.

You only wish your team looked this good!

 

 

 

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XYZ Company Analytics Document

XYZ Company Facebook Analytics Analysis

The following post is for educational purposes only

XYZ Company is a theoretical brand, based on a real company, premised on heating and air conditioner systems.

Synopsis

XYZ Company’s success is highly reliant on paid advertisement. Organic reach is minimal and lacking in user engagement. When analyzing engagement alone, most interaction is due to likes, with minimal comments, and a scarce amount of shares. After analyzing the company’s Facebook page, most of the comments are follow up questions, with a great majority related to pricing options. On the rare occassion that content is shared, it tends to be related to contests or giveaways.

In reviewing the published posts, it is apparent that the posts are reaching an audience, but the content is not encouraging engagement. This would suggest that the content is not interesting or related to the viewer base. Furthermore, XYZ company struggles to lure viewers away from the timeline. Between June and November, most Facebook visitors kept their focus on the timeline. A very minimal amount of visitors clicked on reviews or external links. Based on this assessment, there is the potential to build a presence on social media, but the content needs to be more interactive to keep interest.

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In reference to IMC, there needs to be a greater effort to integrate content throughout all channels. Once all of the channels are linked together, the brand will become more cohesive in appearance. This would entail blog posts that drive readers to the website, Youtube videos that are promoted across Google+ and Facebook, or articles that increase a business’ status as a subject expert. Social media channels need to be consistently monitored to answer all questions, comments, concerns, and praises. Consumers relate customer service directly to the appeal of a brand.

Lastly, there needs to be a consistency in brand appearance. This means including a color scheme, font, and visual imagery that are easily identified. All profile pictures should be consistent, a short biography should be included in all platforms, and all social channels should include linkage to the company website.

Key Findings

In reviewing the data from 10/31/15 to 11/6/15, total page likes were up 1.2% from last week, and engagement increased 446.7% from the previous week. However, post reach was down 34.5% from the previous week. It is promising to see more engagement and the creation of fans, but reach is equally important. If reach continues to increase, there is potential for dialogue and impressions to increase. More touchpoints are directly linked to more opportunity.

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Overall, page likes have shown a steady increase throughout the year, which is a sign of building business. There was a quick increase in followers from early June to mid-July with a jump of around 100. This is most likely due to increased business in air conditioning during the summer months. Pages likes slowed down after those months. It would be interesting to track the winter months to see if heating sales promote higher page likes.

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After a brief analysis, the amount of net likes is inconsistent. Overall there is a trend upwards, however, there is also a great percentage of stagnation. Of the activity monitored through June to November, there were 79 net like points (or markers). 28 showed no increase, 49 increased, and 2 decreased. On average, this calculates to an increase of roughly 62%, a 35% lack of gain, and 3% decrease. I would not say the decrease is a point of concern at the moment. The amount is small, which suggests that a couple of people may have found the page irrelevant or users left Facebook. However, the goal is to decrease the stagnant number and strive for constant increase.

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These likes are also derived from a variety of sources. Ads overwhelmingly dominated the source of likes, followed by a relatively equal distribution from page likes, on your page, and page suggestions. Based on the graphic below, there would be multiple days where likes would not be conceived if paid advertisement was not in place. Although paid advertisement is beneficial to marketing, there should be growth from organic advertisement as well.

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Those who like the page are predominantly women at 57%, followed by men at 43%. The most affected demographic for women is between the age of 35-44 (17%), followed by 45-54 (13%), and 55-64 (12%). For men, it is almost evenly distributed between 25-34 (12%), 35-44 (11%), and 45-54 (10%). The age demographics are synonymous with the average age of homeowners, which starts around 25 years of age. Prior to that, the demographic typically lives with their parents or in apartments that are maintained by the company. As far as geographic region, most of the fans are in the United States and in the New England region, which is relevant to the company. A point of concern would be to inquire why the reach is highest among an age demographic for women (18-24 years) that is not applicable to the target market? This could be translated to wasted marketing dollars and ineffective marketing.

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Improvements

As a business owner, I would be concerned with the scattered amount of reach displayed in the analytics. According to these charts, the reach can range from 83 to 1.7k. This is a highly marginal gap. It is understandable that promotions and certain products may provide more reach, but this is excessive. The marketing tactics and chosen advertisement may need to be examined to see how target markets are being pulled.

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The greatest opportunity for improvement resides on the Facebook page. First, the widget button should be moved further up on the left hand side of the page. Because they have perfect reviews across the board, this is a great assett to promote.

The analytics show that the most viewes are around 12pm, 3pm, and between 6-8pm. As a media manager, views should be scheduled around these time frames. Currently the posts are scattered in time increments. As a start up company, timing should be consistent. Also, air conditioning may want to be promoted more towards the hotter part of the day and heaters towards the evening hours. This would keep content relevant and directly related to viewer’s needs.

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The visual content on Facebook is relevant to the brand, but is mundane to the viewer. While air conditioners are impressive pieces of equipment, after one or two the viewer’s interest is most likely lost. There should be more integration of articles, personal testimonies, facts related to heating and cooling system, and general information that is relatable to the clientele. This will avoid the Facebook channel from presenting itself as a product catalogue. This will only lead to top down conversation. Outside articles will also drive traffic and perhaps lead viewers to the website or to scan additional reviews.

On their website, XYZ Company advertises that they have a Facebook and Google + account. The Youtube channel needs to be incorporated into the widget. The Youtube channel consists of three videos that are between 12 and 19 seconds, some without voice over. These videos simply display an air conditioner after it has been installed. The videos do not provide a lot of content for a user to engage on, especially with no sound bites attached to the video. It is likely that the user has no idea what the content is about. In addition, all videos should include a description and link to their company website. The company website is listed once throughout the channel and is not embedded with a link. An embedded link would promote a greater chance of clicks.

The Google+ page promotes the same videos that are featured on the Youtube channel. There are also many pictures that derive from the Facebook channel, which keeps content consistent. On this channel, XYZ Company should integrate a company description and also include a link to the Facebook channel.

Integration of Other Channels

There is a lack of integration between the channels this company utilizes. The main website offers widgets at the top of the screen for Facebook, Google +, and email. With most posts on Facebook, the company includes the corporate website in the body of the post. While it is a great start to include the link, there must be content to drive traffic toward the website. Otherwise these efforts will continue to be overlooked.

The website features two unique features which can be integrated into the Google+ and Facebook channels. The first is the blog. Although the blog has one post, it has the potential to be built. Blog posts could relate to how climate influences mood, sporting events, households, products, finances, etc. An example could be a blog post on how to adjust temperatures throughout the day to keep electricity bills lower. The second feature is a quick appointment scheduler that is platformed through the website. This feature should be integrated into posts about certain products, pricing options, and specials. This allows a viewer to see a promotion, schedule a quick appointment, and as a bonus they are now on the company website! Long term thinking would be to incorporate the schedule planner into an App.

What are some future campaigns or posts that could be effective? How can they integrate in their other available online or offline channels?

XYZ Company promotes their products with the promise of providing excellent customer service. This should be integrated into the marketing strategy. It would be interesting to provide short Youtube videos that show an independent case process (how something is installed in a home) and include a testimonial from the customer. The viewer can then see the process, along with a review on how the product will benefit them. This Youtube video can then be shared through Facebook, Google +, and integrated into the website. For offline, this has the potential to be produced as a television commercial and the testimonial can be included in a radio ad. Furthermore, the testimonial also has the potential to be printed in print publications.

Based on reviewed analytics, the company received the most engagement through mentioning brand name products (Lennox, Mitsubishi, New American) or promoting a contest. An example of a contest could entail a user to submit a story or Youtube video detailing their “horror story about broken air conditioners” (potential for Halloween) to the Facebook channel. I’m sure most people have had an incident where the cooling or heating system went out for the day. These stories would be shared through the social media channels and the winner would be highlighted on the channel and throughout the company website. This would inturn create more visually appealing content. This contest could be promoted in local newspapers, radio ads, or as a public service announcement on a television station.

Travel Reviews

Please note this is a sample post and is for educational purposes only

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Thank you for making the Hyatt Regency Orlando your home away from home! I would have to agree that those quick Florida storms can be a hassle, but they certainly beat those New York winters that you are accustomed to! As a New Jersey native, I can relate. All of our rooms offer beautiful views of the Orlando skyline and Florida marshes, but I am happy to add a pool-view preference to your account.

I am glad you enjoyed the B-Line Diner, the homemade ice cream is a must, especially for little ones. The strawberry is my personal favorite. The Fiorenzo is one of our most popular restaurants and can become crowded very quickly. May I suggest making your next reservation around 6pm to avoid some of the dinner rush. There is also Urban Tide, which offers a variety of coastal flare dining.

I’m pleased that you and your family enjoyed one of our three pools. Be sure to check out some of our golf and tennis activities on your next visit. For your convenience, i’ve included a link to our spa services that include 80 minute deep tissue and Pennington sports massages. Also, feel free to contact our concierge upon your next arrival, we would love to assist you in creating a cost-effective strategy for parking and transportation to the theme parks.

Again, we thank you for being a valued guest. We look forward to seeing you soon. – Dara, Public Relations, Hyatt Resorts

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Hi there! I am sorry to hear about your past experience, but I would like to give you some news about recent renovations to our resort.

First, we have installed platform beds which means no more sharp edges. In addition to room remodels, our bathrooms include state of the art showers with multiple-setting shower heads that are certainly rust-free! Our pool area is also newly renovated with cabana chairs for enjoying that Florida sun. But, don’t worry we have installed a cover over our parking box to keep your fingers safe from the heat. I’ve included a link to take a virtual tour of our new grounds! As you can see, we still overlook the inner coastal with stunning views of the water.

I am proud of the staff that we have hand-selected to ensure our guests have the highest quality experience. We would love to have you back to enjoy our beautiful Fort Lauderdale beaches or shopping on Las Olas Boulevard. We also have an outstanding restaurant, The G, that sits along the inner coastal. Please feel free to reach out to me at dara@hiltonhotels.com to share more about your past experience or ask any further questions. Thank You! – Dara, Public Relations, Hilton Resorts

Social Media Platform for Disney’s Epcot

Epcot for the Holidays

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This post is hypothetical and intended for academic purposes only

Monthly Goals: The month of December at Epcot is contingent upon the success of the celebrity speakers at the Candlelight Processional, the holidays around the world theme, and promoting general admission to the park. It is my goal as a Social Media Director for Epcot to create an atmosphere of holiday festivities throughout the December campaign. This includes visual imagery of holiday decor, restaurants, themed-characters, shows, merchandise, and events. Through carefully planned marketing strategies, we plan to increase park attendance by 10% and merchandise sales by 5% for the month of December. The intent is to align Disney magic with the atmosphere of the holiday season.

  1. On each day the Twitter account will tweet out the guest speaker of the Candlelight Processional that evening. Posts will be generated around 2pm to give enough time to allow travel and planning to Epcot. Hashtag will include #holidayears (which is a cute spin on all-ears or information). Posts will also be distributed through Facebook and Instagram on the first night of the celebrity appearance to detail the days they are scheduled to narrate. On Twitter, the handles of the celebrity narrators will be referenced if they are active Twitter members.
  2. On days that Epcot offers extra magic hours, there will be a tweet sent from the account. Tweets will be sent around 6 or 7am for morning hours and 6pm for evening hours. Hashtag will be included as #extramagic. These leads are exclusive to Twitter.
  3. I attempted to limit Twitter to two posts per day. Which is why some days will have two posts on Twitter and then individual ones on Facebook and Instagram. On days with less content, there will be more of cross-promotion. There are some days where holidays will account for three Twitter posts. Twitter will always include hashtag #epcotholidays, which is the hypothetical campaign for the month of December. Facebook and Instagram will include hashtags #epcotholidays, #epcot, and #holidaysaroundtheworld. These encompass the campaign and the intent of promoting holidays around the world, which is a narrative for the theme park. Twitter includes less hashtags due to length reasons.

Dec 1

Twitter: Bring in Dec w/ extra magic hrs 9:30-11:30pm @Epcot #extramagic

Twitter: Don’t miss @ActuallyNPH moderating the candlelight precessional  Dec 1-3 http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook and Instagram:

Neil Patrick Harris will be narrating the Candlelight Processional December 1st through 3rd. Don’t miss out! http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #epcotholidays #candlelightprecessional #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Dec 2

Twitter: @ActuallyNPH will be moderating tonights Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter 

We promise he won’t bite. Meet the Nutcracker at Disney’s Epcot Norway Pavilion. #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

Twitter version: We promise he won’t bite! #epcotholidays

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Dec 3

Twitter: Don’t miss out on some #extramagic from 8-9 am at Epcot.

Twitter: Last chance to hear @ActuallyNPH at tonights Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears #epcot

Facebook and Instagram

With which tradition do you ring in the holiday season? #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Dec 4

Twitter: Tnght thru Dec 6 @WhoppiGoldberg will narrate the Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook and Instagram:

You’ll love her just as much as Minnie does! Don’t miss Whoppi Goldberg as the narrator for the Candlelight Processional Dec 4 & 5th. http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Dec 5

Twitter: Don’t miss @WhoppiGoldberg at tonights Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter:

Make some room for Mickey in your stocking. Check out Mouse Gears at Disney’s Epcot for your holiday treats #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

Twitter version: Mouse Gears has all the Mickeys to stuff a stocking! #epcotholidays

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Dec 6

Twitter: Scandal fans check out @JOEtheMORTON narrating the Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 Dec 6-8 #holidayears

Facebook and Instagram

Scandal’s Joe Morton will be the guest narrator for the Candlelight Processional on December 6th through 8th. We promise he will leave his B6-13 agents at home. http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

From the Disney family to your family. Happy start of Hanukkah! #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

Twitter version: Happy first night of Hanukkah! #epcotholidays #hanukkah

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Dec 7

Twitter: Catch @JOEtheMORTON at the Candlelight Processional b4 he returns to B613 http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Sit back, relax, and let our chefs at Chefs De France prepare your special holiday dinners. Oh yeah, Little Chef may help out a bit. #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

Twitter: Little Chef has got something cooking at Chefs De France #epcotholidays

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Dec 8

Twitter: Rise n Shine @Epcot xtra magic hours 8-9am #extramagic

Twitter: Check out the soft side of Scandal’s @JOEtheMORTON at the Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Instagram and Facebook

A candlelight dinner package is the perfect way to enjoy the season. Make the memories last. http://bit.ly/1xmuNX2 #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Dec 9

Twitter: SNL’s @AnaGasteyer will moderating tonights Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook and Instagram

Don’t miss Saturday Night Live’s Ana Gasteyer as she narrates the Candlelight Processional tonight through December 11th. http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Do you know the original story of the Pere Noel? Visit Epcot’s Holidays Around The World to learn the history #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

Twitter Version: Do you know the story of Pere Noel? #epcotholidays

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Dec 10

Twitter: Stay up late @ Epcot xtra magic hrs 9:30-11:30pm #extramagic

Twitter: Experience @AnnaGasteyer narrating tonights Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook and Instagram

Brrrr it’s cold outside. Grab a hot chocolate to warm up #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Dec 11

Twitter: Last chance to see Wicked’s @AnnaGasteyer narrate the Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

Sorry Pluto, all the positions for Santa’s reindeer are taken! #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

Twitter version: Sorry Pluto all the reindeer spots are taken! #epcotholidays

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Dec 12

Twitter: See ABC’s @meredithvieira at tonights Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook and Instagram

The talented, Meredith Vieira will be narrating the Candlelight Processional December 12th through 14th. http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

If only all poinsettias could make Florida their home. Come enjoy the sights of Epcot’s own poinsettia garden for National Poinsettia Day #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld #NationalPoinsettiaDay

Twitter version: Happy #NationalPoinsettiaDay #epcotholidays

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Dec 13

Twitter: See the talented @meredithvieira as the shares the story of the Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

What is your favorite Disney treat to share this holiday season?! #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

Twitter version: What’s your Disney holiday treat? #epcotholidays

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Dec 14

Twitter: Last chance to catch @meredithvieira as the host of the Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

We don’t mean to brag, but we can really light up the night sky. Be sure to check out Illuminations of Earth at Disney’s Epcot #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

Twitter: Epcot sure does light up the sky #epcotholidays

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Dec 15

Twitter: Early bird catches the xtra magic @ Epcot 8-9 am #extramagic

Twitter: ABC’s @americaferrera will narrate the Candlelight Processional tonight http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 Dec15-17 #holidayears

Facebook and Instagram

The lovely, America Ferrera of ABC’s Ugly Betty will be narrating the Candlelight Processional on December 15th through 17th. http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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These Canadians sure know how to rock around the tree. Join in on the fun at Epcot’s Canada pavilion. Be sure to bring your flannel, it’s chilly outside! #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Dec 16

Twitter: Don’t miss Ugly Betty’s @americaferrera at the Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Attention pin collectors! Don’t miss out on your holiday-themed pin this year #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

Twitter version: Holiday pins now available. Get crackin’ #epcotholidays

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Dec 17

Twitter: Check out Disney’s dark side @ Epcot xtra hours 9:30-11:30 pm #extramagic

Twitter: 1 more night 2 c @americaferrera at the Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook and Instagram

You can’t help but sing along all through December at Disney’s Epcot #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Dec 18

Twitter: Grey’s Chandra Wilson will host the Candlelight Processional Dec 18-20 http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook and Instagram

Grey’s Anatomy’s own Chandra Wilson will be the guest host for the Candlelight Processional on December 18th through 20th. http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

The lights sure do shine bright tonight #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

Twitter version: Epcot shines bright tonight #epcotholidays

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Dec 19

Twitter: Grey’s fans catch Dr. Bailey @ tonights Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Come design your favorite car on Test Track. You can put it on your wish list #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

What car is on your wishlist? #epcotholidays

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Dec 20

Twitter: Lst chance 2 c Chandra Wilson @ Candlelight Processional b4 she rtrns 2 saving lives http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Visit Mr. and Mrs. Claus before they head to the North Pole #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

The Claus’s do Disney #epcotholidays

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Dec 21

Twitter: @danieldaekim will host the Candlelight Processional Dec 21-23 http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook and Instagram

Lost and Hawaii Five-O’s Daniel Day Kim will be hosting the Candlelight Processional December 21st through 23rd. http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Cookies and milk anyone? You don’t have to share if you don’t want to. #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

Twitter version: Cookies and milk anyone? #epcotholidays

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Dec 22

Twitter: Grab ur coffee & catch xtra magic hrs @ Epcot 8-9am #extramagic

Twitter: Hawaii 5-O @danieldaykim will narrate tonights Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook and Instagram

Tis’ the season. Reserve your seat at Le Celliar Steakhouse for the hoidays. #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Dec 23

Twitter: Lost fans don’t miss @danieldaekim at tnghts Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Warm up your vocal chords. The gang is going caroling around Epcot. Join in on the fun! #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

Twitter: Let’s go caroling #epcotholidays

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Dec 24

Twitter: @edwardjolmos will narrate Christmas Eve Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook and Instagram

Edward J. Olmos will be hosting the Candlelight Processional December 25th through December 26th. http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Don’t let Stitch influence your fate on the naughty or nice list. Stay on Santa’s good side this Christmas Eve! #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

Twitter version: Stay off the naughty list this year, unlike stitch #epcotholidays

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Dec 25

Twitter: Stay up w the reindeer @ Epcot xtra magic hrs 10:30-12:30 am #extramagic

Twitter: See the Christmas Edition of Candlelight Processional w @edwardjolmos http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Share your favorite Christmas presents with us! Merry Christmas from the Disney family! #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld #merrychristmas

Twitter version: Share your favorite present…#epcotholidays #merrychristmas

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Dec 26

Twitter: Lst nght 4 @edwardjolmos narration of Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

We’ve got our money on Mickey! #NationalBoxingDay

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Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Happy Kwanzaa from the Disney family! #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundthworld #kwanzaa

Twitter version: Happy Kwanzaa from Disney! #epcotholidays #kwanzaa

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Dec 27

Twitter: L.A. Laws @blairunderwood will host Candlelight Processional Dec28&29 #holidayears

Facebook and Instagram

Blair Underwood of L.A. Law will be narrating the Candlelight Processional December 28th and 29th. http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

If you want to skip the fruitcake and grab an ice cream. We won’t tell. #nationalfruitcakeday #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

Twitter version: We say skip the fruit cake and eat ice cream! #nationalfruitcakeday #epcotholidays

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Dec 28

Twitter: @blairunderwood will narrate tonights Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

So many countries. So many stories to share. Join in on the holiday celebration #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

Twitter version: So many countries. So many stories to share #epcotholidays

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Dec 29

Twitter: wake up, Sleeping Beauty, and head to @Epcot xtra magic hrs 8-9 am #extramagic

Twitter: @amygrant will narrate the last 2 Candlelight Processionals http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #holidayears

Facebook and Instagram

The talented Miss Amy Grant will be hosting the final two Candlelight Processionals on December 29th and 30th. http://bit.ly/1o2krL7 #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Mickey and Minnie are all spruced up for the holidays. Check out our gardens at Epcot #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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Dec 30

Twitter: Join @amygrant 4 the last Candlelight Processional http://bit.ly/1o2krL7#holidayears

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Treat your prince and princesses to a magical breakfast with the Disney princesses at Norway’s Akershus royal breakfast #epcotholidays #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

Twitter: Breakfast like a princess #epcotholidays

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Dec 31

Twitter: Head to Epcot to celebrate world peace to bring in the New Year! #newyearseve #epcotholidays

Facebook and Instagram

Happy New Years Eve! Bring in the holiday with world peace and magic. #epcotholidays #newyearseve #epcot #holidaysaroundtheworld

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LDI Trade Show Analysis

Social Media Analysis For The LDI Trade Show

Note: the following is for educational purposes 

How are they using social media channels prior to the show, during, and after?

Prior to the event, posts were primarily utilized to offer insight into new shows, early viewing of select products, and discounts for pre-booking.

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During the trade fair, the platforms were utilized primarily for product promotion. This is evident especially on the Twitter account, where products are showcased throughout the day, often one after another. Furthermore, there are also invites to cocktail parties, events, and behind the scenes footage of many of the displays. There are also in-depth articles about the designers. It is also important to highlight that LDI made the effort to include many of their tweets in Spanish to reach out to different demographics.

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As of now (9pm on 10/25), the last Facebook post was six hours ago. The event is over, but there are still no thank you mentions or quick summaries of the conference. As a social media manager or event coordinator, all social media sites should be current and sponsors and attendees should be promptly thanked. Twitter, on the other hand, is more up to date. There have been two posts recapping the trade fair and thanking those for participating. One is a retweet from an attendee, which links back to the participant experience. In the next few days, it would be beneficial to offer behind the scenes footage, interviews, and perhaps share short videos to recap the experience.

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What channels are they using – which seem to gain the most response?

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The LDI conference website encourages users to follow them through the mobile application, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube, and RSS feed. The two most active feeds are the Facebook and Twitter accounts. Posts are published multiple times throughout the day on both channels. The Youtube and Linkedin feeds are not utilized at all.

Engagement is extremely low on both the Facebook and Twitter channels. Overall, the Facebook channel evokes a slightly better responses, but it is limited. On Twitter, there are many posts that produce no shares or likes. A great majority of the posts are limited to a handful of likes and one or two shares. At 3,764 and counting followers, this is not a good average.

The Facebook account is currently at 5,090 likes. The most popular post, is currently at 32 likes, 2 comments, and 13 shares. Even though there is some engagement, the numbers are still low for a following in the thousands.

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As demonstrated below. The first image is sourced from the Facebook page on October 19th. Four days later, the post has yet to generate any likes or shares. This is even more shocking as the post is related to a giveaway, which typically draws in viewers. The second photo is pulled from the Twitter account, which shows two posts back to back with no likes or retweets.

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What type of content are they posting? Registration? Promoting Vegas? Photos?

The LDI show demonstrates no shortage of content. Through their Facebook and Twitter accounts, information is pushed out multiple times a day. In my opinion, they are actually veering towards pushing an overwhelming amount of information, as some may be unnecessary. Too much content can sometimes confuse a site visitor and cause them to overlook other pertinent information. Therefore, I think companies should keep a max cap on the amount of information that is posted.

Content is related to product reviews, product placement, new exhibitions, designers, top events in Vegas, and shows for participants to attend. Overall, the social media channels generate all the information needed to have a great experience. The general intent of content is to create awareness of new events, special discounts, and new products. This should create excitement and increase awareness. In turn, this will produce a better experience.

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Are they using hashtags, retweeting, highlighting certain booths, events, etc?

The LDI social media platforms do an adequate, but not excellent job at sharing information that is posted. On Facebook, there is no use of hashtags incorporated into their posts. Twitter on the other hand, relied on the hashtag #LDI2015. As a social media director, it would be beneficial to simply share Instagram posts to Facebook, as it will include hashtags from the original post. Secondly, although it is a great start to have one hashtag throughout the whole conference, I would like to see more. Hashtags could also include product information, genres, company sponsors, and other vital information to be categorized in different conversations.

LDI also utilizes the retweet feature on Twitter. Most of the retweets are sourced from companies who have a booth in the show. As demonstrated below, these companies push out new products, information about classes, and helpful tips. This strategy is beneficial in integrating other companies into the LDI brand. This helps create a sense of community within the trade show.

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How are sponsors being promoted?

As a sponsor, I would be somewhat disappointed in the media advertisement that is given. On the main webpage, sponsors are given space on the right hand side towards the middle through a scrolling feed. Therefore, if a guest is just glancing through, they may actually miss some of the sponsors. In addition, the sponsors are not recognized on the social media sites. Although there may be promotion for sponsors at the actual event, I would like to see more integration through social media. In any case, sponsors are key to the development and financial components of any event. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure they are given maximum exposure to solidify their participation in the following year.

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The LDI social media platforms did a fair job at promoting the booths and upcoming events. Posts were usually distributed a couple hours before an event started to gain enough awareness. In most cases, at mentions were included to showcase the Twitter account for the booth participant. Many of the posts also included a preview sample of the material and some included timing information if access was limited.

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Can you find other examples of IMC? i.e. Conference noted in a print newsletter etc?

The best example of integrated marketing occurred through Live Design Online. The website included social sharing tools, a resource center, information on installing the mobile application, and even sessions on demand. The sessions on demand integrated short videos that detailed some of the more advanced performance stages in the world. Further sessions demonstrated how high tech video production and lighting are combined to produce special effects. In addition to video, there are also links to articles that may be of related interest. There are links throughout to share articles, photos, and videos through an individual’s social media channels. Overall, this website did an excellent job at integrating all relevant material to the trade show.

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Is branding consistent? Explain.

Yes, branding is consistent on all channels. To start off, the LDI icon is used in the corner to establish that it is the right company page. This is evident across all platforms. As demonstrated below, the color scheme is also similar with grey and white across. I would suggest utilizing the same background photograph. There is a slightly different backdrop on the channels, so it takes away from the fluidity.

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The content is very similar on both the Facebook and Twitter channels. Photos are shared on both websites, which makes both easily recognized as a company platform. The Twitter account includes a larger amount of pictures, but one is able to find all Facebook photos on the Twitter account.

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What’s a highlight that stood out to you?

I was very impressed by their mobile application. According to the mobile application description, it features an exhibitors list, floor plan, special events, gear gallery, and PRO training. The application is available for Apple, Android, and even Blackberry products. Most impressive is the ability to add in a scheduling tool. This feature allows a user to browse session options and add them to an agenda.

Inside the application, there is a built in RSS feed to read and distribute articles. There is a built in map, special features button, and the ability to register a badge to the conference. A proximity feature alerts users to events in their near location. In addition, there is the ability to share events and information through Twitter, Facebook, and email.

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What’s something you felt was missing from their social media effort?

The LDI Youtube channel is not utilized at all as a platform. According to their channel, the last video was uploaded 10 months ago, which highlighted video from the conference in 2014. There are only five videos total on the channel, but some of them do have a few thousand views. If utilized correctly, it is evident that traffic can be drawn to the page, but at the moment it is underwhelming. A conference preface video, small conference documentaries, sponsor interviews, and other video content could be posted and shared through social media.

I also felt this way regarding the Linkedin channel. When one follows the link from the trade show’s primary website, they are directed to an almost blank page. There is no content and no evident room to explore further. There is an opportunity to join the LDI network, but it has taken time for the process to be approved or denied.

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I was also disappointed in the fact that I never received a newsletter. I attempted to register through the main website, but it was never received through my email. Perhaps this is a glitch in their system.

Examining GovLoop

Details On The Platform

According to the GovLoop‘s mission statement, the purpose is to, “inspire public sector professionals to better service by acting as the knowledge network for government.”

Breaking Down The Sections:

Training

The training tab promotes events that are either “in-person” or “online.” These events are all industry related and include a brief description, along with information about the moderators or attendees. Registration is an easy click away and the event can also be shared through Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, or email. Archived events are also recapped in the event that an event was missed.

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Resources

The research tab is divided into sub-headers of guides, infographics, research briefs, and video archives. This online site offers a vast array of information on a variety of subjects that include: acquisition, analytics, big data, BYOD, career, citizen engagement, cloud, communications, congress, cybersecurity, digital government, DoD, finance, GIS, human resources, IoT, leadership, learning, miscellaneous, mobile, open data, project management, social media, tech, uncategorized. The information is easily accessible, much like an online database. The highlight is that much of the information is sourced from industry leaders or research firms, so the information is all credited.

Topics

The site is broken down into topics of career, communications, and technology. Within these individual tabs there are opportunities to explore blogs and mini discussions among industry leaders around the world. The blog posts are often in-depth topics that relate to “hot topic” issues that trending in current events. The small discussions may offer insight into common questions or promote events in cities around the world.

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There is a separate blog that includes sponsored insight from Christopher Dorobek. According to his website, Dorobek was “an anchor of the DorobekINSIDER on DC’s Federal News Radio and the former editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week.”

Jobs

The jobs tab offers some really unique options. Here a user can search for career opportunities by keyword and various locations. A member can add their own jobs or share job promotions through Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook. There is a further option to incorporate an email to have jobs of interest directly sent to an email address. Furthermore, there are links for resume tips, career guides, and expert advice on interviews. There is also a pier diem calculator and a salary calculator to calculate salaries for government sector workers.

Community

The community platform offers open forums for discussion between members. There are thousands of topics with thousands of replies. These are boards that offer a great deal of engagement when information is sought. However, my one critique is that discussions are not common enough. Some discussions range back a few months without comment. This would suggest that there needs to be more push from other social media channels to drive traffic to the boards.

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As displayed above, posts and responses are often detailed. This is reflective of an academically engaged board. The intent of these boards it to stimulate ideas, therefore, content is often abundant and question driven.

Academy

GovLoop offers a variety of courses for its members to partake in. This can range from data fundamentals, public speaking, and editing tips. Although these courses may not be nationally accredited, they offer knowledge that can be applied to multiple facets of government and public service. These courses are also resume boosters and can be incorporated into an individual’s Linkedin site.

Target Audience:

According to the main website, GovLoop has over 200,000 members. In A Fed Cyber review, it is stated that members are, “all either in or around government (state, local, federal).” Their target audience is of all age ranges, but directed at those who are involved in public service. The experience can range from interns to experienced legislatures.

What are your overall thoughts?

Overall, GovLoop provides many services and promotes a few impressive partners. According to their “About Us” section, “GovLoop works with top industry partners such as ESRI, HP, Microsoft, and IBM to provide resources and tools, such as guides, infographics, and online training and educational events.” As someone who worked in government, I think that the site offers a wide index of knowledge that is beneficial to those who are interested in current events and legislation. The discussion boards and blogs are beneficial to molding thoughts and enhancing ideas.

Does it stand out from other major channels (why and how?)

This site is unique because it is a partisan platform. There is no tilt towards a political party affiliation, therefore, ideas are shared with healthy debate and without slant. The site incorporates news from media channels like CNN, Fox, Huffington Post, and multiple other news organizations. Information is sourced from a variety of sites, which creates engagement and broadens opinions. The primary reason that it stands out is due to the combination of user generated content, discussion, networking, and the library of content.

How could proximity marketing be incorporated?

Government specific locations could use proximity marketing through GovLoop by promoting events, town hall meetings, and location services. When traveling through new cities and towns, members can be alerted when they approach a government building or an open public event. It is highly common to be unaware of town hall meetings and even the location of local legislative offices, this could assist in general awareness.

Colleges can use this service to promote lectures or events that are related to public service, government, or historical reference. If students are wandering through campus they can take part in open lectures or meetings in the area. These meetings can further be discussed in blogs or forums through GovLoop. An example would be if I happened to be on Rutgers campus, I would receive an alert of all public lectures related to government that would occur throughout the day.

What other social channels could tie in to improve the IMC approach?

GovLoop already has a Facebook page with 18,751 member likes. The site posts on a consistent basis, often daily. All articles lead back to their website, which should generate traffic. GovLoop should primarily utilize their Twitter, because the site is useful in sharing information, news, and current events. This would also simultaneously promote GovLoop as an industry leader if they are consistent in promoting attention grabbing topics on Twitter.

Elected officials would be wise to incorporate GovLoop into their primary websites. GovLoop offers a lot of knowledge, information, and access to industry beneficial information. I would suggest that an elected leader should post a blog at least once a month to offer their insights on a subject or perhaps suggest and gauge feedback from their constituents. If the intent of government is to lead the public, this would be a great platform to generate ideas and gather research information. These leaders could then tweet, Instagram, or post the link on their social media platforms to lead their viewers to the GovLoop website.

GovLoop would be an excellent partner for a presidential debate. Questions could be pulled from the discussion boards and blogs. These could then be distributed through the news’ organizations social media handles that are moderating the debate. Because this site is centered around policy, it would be a great platform to generate questions from those looking to shape public policy.

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Midterm Project: Twitter

Twitter

Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar-Selfie is the most retweeted tweet of all time with 3,338,397 retweets, according to Guardian.

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What is a tweet? “A Tweet is an expression of a moment or idea. It can contain text, photos, and videos. Millions of tweets are shared in real time, every day.”(source)

What type of channel is this: 

Twitter can be described as a social community. In the text Social Media Marketing, Tracy Tuten and Michael Soloman describe a social community as, “channels of social media that focus upon relationships and the common activities people participate in with others who share the same interest or identification.”

To further subcategorize, Twitter would be identified as a “microsharing vehicle.” Social Media Marketing describes a “microshare” as “a sentence, sentence fragment, embedded video or link to content residing on another site.” This aligns with the 140 character limit that Twitter imposes on its users.

History of Twitter:

Twitter was created by three individuals: Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, and Biz Stone. Their intent was to create a web platform that resembled text messaging. On March 21, 2006 the first tweet was sent out that read, “just setting up my twttr,” from user Jack Dorsey. This idea tied into the name’s origin of Twitter, which means “a short burst of inconsequential information” or a “series of chirps from birds.” Twitter, perfectly suited the application’s intent of sharing ideas in short, concise thoughts. Interestingly enough, other names that were considered included “Friendstalker” and “Dodgeball.” (Socialnomics, The History of Twitter)

How Does It Work?

Mashable’s “The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter” does an excellent job at breaking down how to get started.

Key Terms:

  • Tweet: “A 140 character message”
  • Retweet: “Resharing or giving credit to someone else’s tweet.”
  • Feed: “The stream of tweets you see on your homepage.”
  • Handle: A personal account name.
  • Mention (@): “A way to reference another user by his username in a tweet.”
  • Direct Message (DM): “A private, 140 character message between two people.”
  • Hashtag (#): “A way to denote a topic of conversation or participate in a larger linked discussion. A hashtag is a discovery tool that allows others to find our tweets, based on topics.”

Steps on how to create a Twitter:

  1. Signing up. In the initial sign up process, users can create a handle. A handle should identify with the brand name. In this step users should create a profile picture that is consistent with the brand logo. This should help consumers identify the official platform of the brand.
  2. Create a biography: This biography should include a brief summary of company information. Links should also be provided to the company’s primary website.
  3. Find users to follow: When acquiring a friends list, a company should follow other businesses, interests, or individuals that relate directly to the brand. This could include colleagues, competitors, or market industry experts. Mashable notes that, “Twitter will give you better follow suggestions based on the industry/fields associated with your interests.”
  4. Join in on the conversation. A company can start the 140 character tweet based on a topic of interest in hopes of initiating a conversation. However, Mashable suggests that @mention tweets might be a greater tool in joining the Twitter world and establishing presence. Mention tweets increase the likelihood of engagement and increase the chances for tweets to be recognized.
  5. According to Mashable, retweeting should be “thought of as quoting someone or citing a source.” Brands should only retweet posts that align with their identity and aid in spreading a message of interest.
    1. A retweet can be sent from simply hitting the “retweet” button on a user’s tweet.
    2. Or: “Simply click to expand the tweet, copy and paste its text, and then create a new tweet by clicking the compose icon in the top-right of your profile page. Be sure to include the letters ‘RT’ and the handle of the person who originally tweeted the information.” This option gives a user the opportunity to comment on a post before retweeting it.
  6. Hashtags should be utilized in tweets to identify your message with a greater subject matter or conversation. This not only increases the visibility of a tweet, but further categorizes it.
  7. Direct messages allow two users to directly engage in conversation. Although this is private conversation, it is important to remember that direct messages can always be shared with the public. Direct messages can aid in customer service to further discuss a detailed matter that users may not wish to share fully in a public forum.

What Are Its Features?

Twitter has many helpful features that aid in narrowing down target markets and promoting advertisement.

The “Who To Follow” feature offers suggestions of other users that a company may be interested in following. Companies can use this information to find like-minded customers who may align with the brand or offer suggested competitors to follow. Furthermore, Twitter also offers the “Find Friends” tab that accesses email accounts and even Linkedin. Social media managers should strive to connect with all colleagues through this feature. It is even possible to link Twitter with consumers who are subscribed to a company’s email server.

Twitter also offers a “Twitter for Business” section that promotes suggestions on how businesses will succeed on Twitter. Through this weblink, users will be guided through tips on how to gain website traffic, gain relevant followers, and drive application downloads for mobile devices. Furthermore, Twitter offers tutorials, webinars, blogs, success stories, and a Twitter for small business account that offers unlimited ideas.

On Twitter, promoting advertisement is key. Options can range from promoted tweets, promoted trends, and promoted accounts. Those new to the Twitter world should begin with the “start advertising” feature that allows businesses to develop advertisement based on location and budget.

Twitter offers a wonderful “search” feature. Businesses can search keywords, business names, trending topics, categories, and tweets in a certain geographic location.

The “Lists” feature is a useful tool in breaking through clutter. At times, the amount of accounts that are followed can become overwhelming. The lists feature enables a user to select which accounts will always be seen in their live feed. For example, a business like Hooters would select Tilted Kilt, Twin Peaks, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Kerr’s Wing House to always stay in tune with their competitors information.

Don’t forget about analytics! Twitter offers a wide range of analytics and advanced search engines that are completely free to use for subscribers. However, there are other sites that offer both free and paid services that break down analytics, followers, and catalogue tweet history. These sites include: Topsy, Tame, HootsuiteRadian 6, We Follow, Social Mention, and TwXplorer.

Lastly, is a list of keyboard shortcuts.

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Information sourced from Gigaom Research, “10 Twitter Features You Might Be Missing.”

Who is the Target Audience?

According to a Pew Research Study, 24% of men and 21% of women are Twitter members. Among diversity, 27% of the black race and 25% of the hispanic race have a Twitter account. Twitter captures a younger market with the highest rates among 18-29 year olds (37%) and 30-49 year olds at (25%).

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In relation to businesses, Twitter captures the younger market, both male and female. According to the We Are Social Media article, “Most Twitter accounts are outside of the U.S. but in the U.S. itself, users tend to live in urban areas and suburban areas mainly. Twitter is also made up of mainly college graduates. Compared to Facebook, more users on Twitter make more than $75k or $50k -$74.9k.”

User Numbers?

Twitters’ website promotes that Twitter has 316 million monthly active users, 500 million tweets sent per day, and 77% of accounts are located outside of the United States.

Growth?

In recent years, Twitter user-growth has actually decelerated. According to Bloomberg, “For the fourth quarter, monthly active users increased 20 percent from a year ago to 288 million, compared with 23 percent growth in the prior period. The company said the introduction of a new mobile operating system from Apple Inc. and integration issues cost it 4 million new users.”

As demonstrated in the Tech Crunch Infographic, “Here’s Twitter’s Slowing Growth In One Chart,” the numbers are veering dangerously low to zero growth. The four million bump increased the total monthly follower count up from 284 million to 288 million from the third to fourth quarter.

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Integration with other channels?

Twitter evoked the evolution of “citizen journalism.” It has become commonplace for individuals to learn of news or current events through Twitter. This has created a power shift. Often times, news is reported before news organizations are aware. This causes journalists to rely on social media for leads, follow ups, and often sources. This has led many news sites and journalists to develop personal Twitter handles to stay in tune. (Socialnomics, The History of Twitter)

According to a Gigaom article, Twitter can be easily integrated through other channels using Twitter widgets, a “follow me” button, or the tweet button. Twitter widgets allow for a live stream to be displayed in a company website or blogging site. Another option is to include a “follow me” button on a website or blog if there is limited room or a live feed does not wish to be displayed. This may also be appropriate under a profile section.

The Tweet button is utilized for sharing information. Consumers should be able to directly tweet articles, advertisement, coupons, specials, or relevant information that they feel is beneficial to their network.

Mobile friendly?

According to Twitter, 80% of active users access their Twitter accounts from a mobile device.

The Twitter application is available on both IOS and Android devices. The Twitter applications on both devices allow users to connect with the interface in real-time. This is important as most information shared through Twitter involves events that happen outside of the home.

Who is using it effectively?

In order to be proficient and effective in Twitter, a business must market based on creativity and engagement. With only 140 characters, a point must be made quickly and clearly in order to capture further attention.

According to Twitaholic, the top five users on Twitter are as follows:

  1. Katy Perry with 76,302,101 followers
  2. Justin Bieber with 68,248,118 followers
  3. Barack Obama with 64,747,349 followers
  4. Taylor Swift with 64,195,315 followers
  5. YouTube with 55,508,509 followers

In Forbe’s “10 Lessons From The Top 25 Companies On Twitter,” Mark Fidelman breaks down the success behind each company.

  1. Brenden Hampton, CEO of @Notebook, said “‘Because we understand how to create engagement in our niche categories, we have a fitness page that is more engaged than Nike.”
  2. Lila King, Senior Director at Social News @CNN, said “‘Instead of State of the Union, we created a ‘Tweet of the Union and built a database of members from the House and Senate.'” “This clever social media campaign connected brand CNN with the country’s most influential politicians and created a lot of buzz and Twitter engagement.'”
  3. Perkins Miller, EVP of @WWE, “‘We’re in the business of telling stories, 52 weeks a year. When our talents get out there and our fans watch their stories, they just flock to Twitter to continue the conversation.'”
  4. Robert Michael Murray, VP @NatGeo, “has learned that Twitter can be used to create a community around important scientific discoveries and causes.”
  5. John Yembrick, Social Media Manager @Nasa, frequently engages with industry influencers in entertainment communities because they “can have a dramatic impact on your engagement levels.”
  6. Richard Clarke, Managing Editor @Arsenal, “It’s all about connecting fans to the teams and players.”
  7. Tom Fishman, Director of Social Media @MTV, “We have a huge content machine around celebrity news, music and shows and Twitter is a great way to broadcast and follow up in an engaging way.”
  8. Fishman continues to “Tell a great story and bring your partners along for the ride.” This he defines as strategic partnering.
  9. Patrick Starzan, VP of Marketing @funnyordie, “Giving people access helps them feel more a part of the Funny or Die community – with behind the scenes pictures and etc.”
  10. Melissa Rosenthal Brenner, Senior VP Marketing @NBA, “It’s all about the fans and the players, ‘we want to include them in almost everything we do online.'” This is demonstrated through NBA’s awards that are fan-voted through social media.

The full infographic can be viewed on Mashable here.

Twitter’s success is contingent upon engagement. Businesses will benefit from engaging in open dialogue and contributing to content. Companies should have a voice in the opinion and perception of their brands. At the end of the day, the companies that are most engaged and involved with their consumers will build the greatest brand loyalty, recognition, and following.

To learn more please visit the following Prezi presentation

Social Media Analysis: Hooters, Ben & Jerry’s, NASCAR

Hooters

Google+, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter

Do they take an IMC approach?

Of the three brands analyzed, I think that Hooters does the best job at using an integrated marketing approach. Their imagery is consistent across all platforms. Their messaging is clear, brand driven, synonymous with the corporate theme, and easy to follow. All channels are integrated well and drive traffic back to the corporate website. Hooters is highly involved with daily sporting events, contests, their partnership with Draft Kings, and updating their consumers of specials or restaurant events.

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Are they consistent in their messaging and imagery?

Hooters does an excellent job with following consistency with their theme, tone, and imaging. Currently they are promoting breast cancer awareness month, so there is pink highlighted on all of their pages. Their images are all consistent between channels, so it is easy to recognize that it is the official page of the corporate brand. With a controversial company, it is very important to verify what exactly is the corporate website to avoid imitation sites. The only page that differs is the Google + account, which features videos and limited photos. The Google + site seems to primarily promote their Youtube channel, but the images and videos are not consistent with the other sites.

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Is content up to date?

The content is up to date. Hooters updates their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook on a daily bases. Posts are related to sports games, holidays, or current events. The Google + channel is the only channel that is not consistent in updates. The posts on the Google channel are not dated, therefore, it is difficult to deceiver when the content was created.

How do they drive users to the other social channels?

There is not a lot of effort to drive engagement from one social media channel to another. All of the channels contain the same messaging, so a consumer will gather the same experience no matter which channel they decide on viewing. They are highly successful in driving traffic back to the company website through corporate sponsorships such as Budweiser promotions, Draft King fantasy football, or ESPN fantasy football.

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Are hashtags used regularly?

Hooters utilizes hashtags on their Instagram and Twitter page, but not on their Facebook page. Even on the Twitter and Instagram page, the hashtags are not largely used and not included on every post.

Any other items of note?

Overall, I think that Hooters does a wonderful job with their social media channels. They are easy to follow and the content is consistent. It is extremely important for Hooters to maintain professionalism as a brand in order to combat stigmas. Hooters may actually benefit from posting more content that portrays Hooters Girls in their normal atmosphere rather than model related posts. This makes the brand appear more real. I think it makes the brand more approachable and in line with the “Hooters Makes You Happy” mission statement.

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Ben & Jerry’s

Google+, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter

Do they take an IMC approach?

They are on the cusp of a really successful integrated marketing campaign. They are most successful in driving users back to their main website. All of their sites offer a wide variety of user-engaged activity. This includes retweets, personal Ben & Jerry’s stories, or recipe submissions. They also frequently promote videos and articles that support their mission statement and company beliefs. Overall, they are successful in shaping their reputation and applying content onto all channels. However, they should be more successful in promoting contests and stories through all channels simultaneously. With the opportunity for consumers to create their own ice cream flavor, there is ample space to drive traffic. The key is keeping content consistent, otherwise consumers will get lost in clutter.

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Are they consistent in their messaging and imagery?

Ben & Jerry’s is successful in keeping their imagery consistent. All of their pages have a cream and white colored background, this is beneficial in allowing imagery (their ice cream) to stand out. They follow through with the standard image of the blue and white sky and the cow that is synonymous with their brand. However, there is not consistency between the actual images posted. Most messages do center around ice cream, but the same post is not featured on all social media channels.

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Is content up to date? 

The last Google + update was on October 9th and on average posts are updated once per week. Instagram is updated daily. The last Facebook update was October 2nd and is updated on average once per week. Twitter is updated once per day and often multiple times per day.

How do they drive users to the other social channels?

For the most part, Ben & Jerry’s seeks to drive traffic back to their primary website. The company utilizes contests and their viewpoints on current events to generate interest. They do not directly encourage viewers to visit their other channels, but they do promote tweets and posts that their fans submit to the company.

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Are hashtags used regularly?

They do not utilize hashtags well on their accounts. Twitter is the most successful with incorporating hashtags. Yet most of their posts only include one or two per tweet. Hashtags were not readily available on either the Facebook or Twitter page. Ben and Jerry’s could use hashtags to platform an individual’s favorite ice cream. It would be a tool that could build communities through the love of a certain ice cream flavors. Followers of #cherrygarcia or #halfbaked would likely reference these hashtags through their late night ice cream adventures.

Any other items of note?

Ben & Jerry’s is one of the few companies that voice their opinions on social issues. After a brief overview of their social media sites, it is clear that they are deeply concerned with issues involving politics, climate change, and fair trade ingredients. Although, I do not think it is always wise to be involved with political or social issues, they do a good job of promoting their opinions without being obtrusive or overwhelming.

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NASCAR

Google+, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

Do they take an IMC approach?

Nascar makes a valiant attempt at using an integrated media approach to their content, but they fall short of being successful. There is a lot of content being driven in different directions. Most of it is geared towards the individual Nascar drivers’ accounts, the Nascar website, or Youtube channel. There is a severe lack of consistency with the content across all channels. Scattered messaging correlates to a messy social media platform. Therefore, it is difficult to follow and will most likely cause a loss of interest or understanding. Nascar should also take advantage of sweepstakes and promoting more events featuring giveaways with the drivers or race tickets. There are many opportunities that are missing from a successful IMC approach.

On a brighter note, Nascar does an excellent job with community involvement that generates awareness to a variety of foundations that the sport supports. Community involvement should be integrated through all social media channels. There are multiple examples of community involvement on the individual channels, but it would be beneficial to drive this message consistently through all sites.

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Are they consistent in their messaging and imagery?

The social media accounts associated with Nascar are very scattered. There is an abundant amount of content and imagery, especially on race day. Their social media feeds offer many live updates from the race. Their social media feeds are beneficial to loyal Nascar fans who understand the sport and know the drivers very well. However, if one was new to learning Nascar, it would be overwhelming to understand the brand from glancing through social media. Aside from live race time updates, there are many images of drivers from different teams. Posts are often distributed multiple times in an hour.

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As far as social media templates go, Nascar is consistent with their profile picture that displays their “Chase The Cup 2015” slogan. This helps users to establish that this is the corporate page. There is also a consistent color theme of red and white, with the exception of Twitter that has a white background. It would benefit Nascar to also stick with one background picture for all platforms just to maintain consistency in theme.

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Is content up to date?

Nascar does an excellent job at uploading content to their social media channels. Their Google+, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts are updated on a regular basis and often hourly. On race day, their posts can be as often as multiple times an hour.

How do they drive users to the other social channels?

The key to success of the Nascar social media channels is through the loyal fans that follow drivers. Their strength is in offering polling questions where fans guess at who will win or place in certain events. This drives users to other websites or social media channels to vote. Nascar does a lot of promotion that integrates the individual driver’s accounts with the main Nascar sites. Most of their posts on Facebook and Twitter are linked to videos or commercials that support individual drivers. This is successful for those who want to learn more about specific drivers, but not beneficial for those who wish to learn about the overall Nascar brand. Content should be more geared toward the history of racing or individual races.

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Are hashtags used regularly?

For the most part, there is at least one hashtag incorporated into the majority of Nascar’s posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Google + also features the use of hashtags, but it is not on every individual post.

Any other items of note?

Nascar needs to find a way to filter through the clutter to promote successful social media channels. It is understandable that Nascar would like to promote all of their drivers, but it should be balanced and properly maintained. You cannot effectively market several drivers at multiple times during the day and expect an audience to maintain the knowledge. A good strategy may be to have the 43 weeks of Nascar drivers where one driver can be promoted through all channels simultaneously for one week. This would keep interest and provide a cleaner content platform.

Secondly, during race days the content is very cluttered. It is difficult to decipher what is happening during the race due to the overload. Race day should be limited to congratulating pole starters and winners. An idea would be to have a live feed through their main webpage or an their Nascar mobile application, similar to live football and basketball featured on ESPN. The social media channels could then simultaneously provide the link for viewers to follow along.

Blogs of Interest

Blogging Site: Ask A Manager

Ask A Manager Logo

Type of Blog

This is a semi-professional blog. There are multiple posts throughout the day and a favorably sized engagement base. The site is not directly linked to any brand or company in particular, but is promoted by Alison Green, who is a private business consultant.

Purpose

The sites’ purpose is to create an open forum where employees of various companies can discuss questions about their career growth, development, and struggles with a business consultant and other users who engage in the blog.

What makes it unique

The site is spearheaded by a former manager and business consultant, Alison Green. She offers a safe-haven where users can post anonymously about concerns they are having in the workforce. She offers honest non-bias advice and even allows open-forums where followers can openly engage in conversation with one another. No topic is off limits as matters range from work related issues concerning family life, sexual harassment, inappropriate work behavior, references, etc.

How it reflects the brand

Ms. Green does not directly reveal the companies for which she has managed or consulted for. In turn, she is branding herself and her philosophies. She describes this as “I believe in being brutally honest with yourself – about what matters to you and how much, about what you can and can’t change, about how you’re going to respond to the things that you can’t or won’t change, and about reality in general. this is the recipe for a happy career and happy life.” Through building a community that follows her advice, she is simultaneously promoting her own expertise and reputation. This is detailed in her “About Me” section.

What drives traffic to the blog? 

The “Ask A Manager” blog drives traffic to the site through sharing techniques. There are direct links to follow her through Twitter and Facebook. On these sites, she cross references her blog topics and also offers other opinions and posts throughout the day. This only increases her exposure and adds validity to her advice.

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Users who follow the blog have created a user-organized Linkedin page. The community is compromised of 2,178 members, who have no direct affiliation with Ms. Green, but are a fan of her columns and advice. This is a private group and users must be admitted to join.

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There are options to subscribe with an RSS feed, email, to posts or to comments. She also includes easy to use links on how to ask a question, comment, or book mark a favorite post. She also includes a wide selection of options for users to share posts to their own media channels.

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Is it a successful blog and what is missing?

This is a successful blog. The content is original and users are proactive in engagement. Her open thread conversations generated upwards of 1,000 comments and her individual blog posts consistently create feedback and follow up questions.

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There are ample opportunities to follow Alison on multiple social media sites and for users to share content that is useful through their own media channels. Blogs are subdivided into categories that make content easier to find. Articles are followed by sharing options and suggestions on similar reading. This blog is ample for longevity as content will continuously be refreshed. New issues will continue to arise especially with the advent of new technology.

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The site could benefit from tags. There are no tags attached to any of the posts, this would further amplify her SEO strategy. The site could also benefit from outside references. Ms. Green could incorporate colleagues that she has consulted for that may offer outside and differing perspectives.

To incorporate integrated marketing, Alison Green could promote giveaways of her books through her social media channels that direct viewers to the blogging site to subscribe.

Are there advertisers? 

On the top and towards the side of the website there are paid advertisements. Currently, my screen is showcasing local jeep dealerships in the Carolina area. The advertisement is outside paid advertisement that is directly linked through the blogging platform that she utilizes. Outside recruiting companies would benefit from linking with this blog, as many users are seeking opportunities.

She also utilizes self publication, where books that she has authored and co-authored are promoted.

Ask A Manager Self Advertisement

Blogging Site: Oh My Veggies!

Type of Blog

This is a recreational blogging site that focuses on the vegetarian lifestyle. It is not directly linked to a brand or company and posts are on a daily basis.

Purpose

The purpose is to offer a platform where vegetarians can learn about meal recipes, meal preparation, and tips that contribute to their lifestyle.

What makes it unique

Oh My Veggies focuses on vegetarian meals that contain real ingredients. They do not publish recipes that are made from artificial or processed material.

How it reflects the brand

Their “About Me” page contains that, “Oh My Veggies is a vegetarian food blog with a focus on easy recipes with fresh, seasonal ingredients. We don’t do fussy, we don’t do complicated – our goal is to share delicious meal ideas that anyone can make, from novice cooks to experienced foodies.” This blog posts are a direction reflection of this philosophy as the recipes are natural, easy to follow, and easily prepared.

What drives traffic to the blog? 

Oh My Veggies is successful in linking their social media to the blogging and main website. There is a Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest page that all incorporate recipes that are featured through the blog. All of their social media sites are actively engaged with daily posts and a significant following. Twitter ranks at 4,662 followers and Facebook carries 387,327 likes. Their Pinterest account is the most successful with over 163,ooo followers. This makes sense, as Pinterest is used as a platform to share recipes.

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Oh My Veggies also offers a “Potluck Community” where users can join and submit their own recipes. This in turn creates a loyalty to the site and establishes itself as a community for vegetarians to share ideas. They are shifting and allowing users to be the curators of content.

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Oh My Veggies also utilizes RSS feeds, subscription services, and sharing options after each article. Users are easily able to share recipes with their social media followers, which would increase the curiosity of those who are not familiar with the site.

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Is it a successful blog and what is missing?

This is a successful blogging site. Between the Potluck community and the active blogging page, there is an ample amount of material. The recipes are subdivided by seasons, holidays, allergies, time of recipe, and other options that allow users to easily navigate through an abundance of material.

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There is clearly a high level of engagement and interest in the community. Each recipe has comments and opinions regarding the recipes that are published. It would be interesting to gather how many subscribers the blog carries, as it is not readily accessible.

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Tags are missing from all of the blog posts. The site would greatly benefit from adding tags that relate to the meal concepts and vegetarian options. This would assist with those who are searching for specific recipes through search engines.

Their marketplace promotes giveaways with sponsored companies. It would be ideal to cross promote these giveaways through social media platforms or through subscription services.

Are there advertisers? 

There is a lot of advertisement incorporated into this blog! It is almost overwhelming. First of all, there is a great deal of push advertisement from companies like the Home Depot, Disney, and the Marines that runs down the side bar. This is obviously paid advertisement that is linked to the blogging platform.

There is also targeted advertisement that is intended to appeal to consumers of this blogging site. Companies like Amazon and Zoku offer product placement that would assist in meal preparation for many of the recipes. If one does not have a crock pot, no fear, Amazon does, and if you upgrade to Amazon prime you can get it the next day!

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Furthermore, there is also a marketplace incorporated into the website. In the marketplace, there are opportunities to purchase products from brands that Oh My Veggies promotes. Pop up coupons also appear throughout blog posts to further drive these companies. You can also purchase their cookbook through the marketplace and website, which features ready to eat meals from the freezer.

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Blogging Site: Rutgers Student Blogs

Type of Blog
This is a recreational blog. Multiple authors (who are students) publish on different subjects, on an almost daily basis. All blog posts are related to student life at Rutgers University.

Purpose

The purpose is to assist new freshman and current students at Rutgers University with issues concerning academics, student activities, recreation, sports, and other common topics that plague students around campus.

Multiple Blog Example

What makes it unique

This blog is unique, as it is told from the perspective of students at Rutgers. It is comprised of alumni, upperclassman, and freshman.

How it reflects the brand

Students are the heartbeat of any college campus. This blog is directly allowing students to speak out about issues concerning university policy and student life. The quality of student life directly reflects the appeal of the university. In theory, prospective students should utilize this blog to shape their opinions and influence admissions decisions.

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What drives traffic to the blog? 

In a search for “Rutgers Student Blogs,” this site is generated first. This is largely due to the fact that it is incorporated into the admissions site, which drives a great deal of traffic to the university. Second, the title of the blog is also “Rutgers Student Blogs,” so it is aptly named for students who may be searching for this type of content. All posts do a great job at incorporating a tag cloud of significant length, this in turn amplifies the SEO results. Furthermore, the site also offers an option to incorporate an RSS feed.

Rutgers Blog Tag Cloud

Is it a successful blog and what is missing?

Overall, this is not a successful blog. As Rutgers alumna, I would agree that the content is accurate and actually helpful. Many of the blogs also include external links to websites that share products or information that are useful to the subject matter. Being a freshman on a larger student campus can be overwhelming, so it is beneficial to have an advice column from students that have been through or are currently adjusting to problems. Having alumni advice offers solutions to age-old problems that we at Rutgers call the “RU-screw” that plagues all students. Incoming freshman may encounter different problems, as things change from year to year, so it is nice to have different perspectives.

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 Rutgers Post With Links

Generating a university-controlled blog has advantages and disadvantages. The content is naturally going to favor the university, as it is directly linked to the admissions site. However, those seeking more raw information, are more likely to read an off-campus blog, like Reddit.

This blog is lacking in user engagement. Most posts have no comments and there are only limited ways to share content. One option is through email, which is not synonymous with how students share information. There are also options for “kick-it!” and “DZone it!” Both are sites that I am unfamiliar with and furthermore, neither of those links are in service. The site would benefit from incorporating a widget with social media tools. Students would then share content that is useful, which would generate more traffic to the site.

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This site would also benefit from partnering with The Daily Targum. The Daily Targum is a university run newspaper that is heavily read by students at Rutgers. Blog posts could be incorporated into the student newspaper, which is published on a daily basis. Links to the blog site could also be incorporated into The Daily Targum’s website.

The primary social media handles of Rutgers University would also be able to share blog posts through the sites, as it is a university-sponsored blog.

Are there advertisers? 

The blog features no outside advertisement. Rutgers should partner with local businesses to offer advertisement or coupons for new and current students. This could include university bookstores, restaurants, and merchandise shops.

Classic Marketing & Social Media Marketing

Scheduling Marketing: Long-Ranging verus Spontaneous

To be successful in the field of marketing, companies should strive to blend both traditional and social media. In an Adweek article, Tom Doctoroff, CEO of JWT Asia Pacific, explains that, “our goal must be to align yin and yang – or “top down” (broadcast) and “bottom-up” (interactive) platforms. When digital and traditional creative are conceived separately, brands lose focus, which confuses people.”

Doctoroff continued that, “marketers spend more than $250 billion a year on broadcast advertising.” Although most of us are consumed in our social media realms, we are continuously surrounded by traditional media. This ranges from product placement in television shows or movies, billboards, print media, and high profile television advertisement. The influence is often so subtle, we are unaware of its impact.

Traditional media can be a costly, time-consuming, and a tenuous task. Companies risk wasting years and spending millions on a campaign that doesn’t resonate. However, if one finds success, traditional marketing can make a lasting impact. Budweiser’s Super Bowl campaign is one of the most effective forms of a classic marketing strategy. According to USA TODAY, in 2015 this became “three in a row for Anheuser-Busch and the 13th time in the past 15 years that Anheuser-Bush has won USA TODAY’s Ad Meter ranking of all the ads by a consumer panel.” This is through a combined “61 commercials that cost advertisers up to a record $4.5 million per 30 seconds of airtime.”

Budwieser maintains a strong traditional media strategy by continuing a successful storyline. During a Social Code interview, Senior Digital Marketing Manager for Budwieser, Chris Jones, said they found success in following “the emotional message of true friendship, and it created a lot of positive customer sentiment.” Budweiser’s kept their signature Clydesdales, while introducing a new puppy character to their brand. Through building on positive emotion, customers were able to recognize Budweiser in the same light. I know i’m not the only individual who teared up during their Super Bowl commercial!

The “Lost Puppy” commercial garnered enough success for a successful campaign, however, Budweiser was effective in continuing the conversation through social media. As shown below, the Twitter post generated over one million views. Jones continued that, “we knew there was an opportunity to scale activation and evolve this into a 360 campaign, which we did with the addition of robust influence strategy, retail components, and other elements.” If traditional and social media are simultaneously intertwined, there is an opportunity to engage conversation far longer than a 30-second commercial. Dialogue increases the brand’s value and reputation.

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Spontaneity, on the other hand, if used in the proper context and diction can be refreshing. In the moment messaging is commonly distributed through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. Compared to traditional marketing, spontaneous marketing does not allow for planning. A company can run the risk of an ill-timed message, improper language, or a rushed product, which can damage a brand’s reputation. However, if done properly spontaneous messaging is real, authentic, and often times the most connected with the consumer.

In 2014, Beyonce released her new album via Instagram without any prior notice or strategic marketing. According to Forbes, the album “sold 828,773 copies worldwide in just three days. That marks both the largest single week ever in the U.S. iTunes store, and iTunes’ fastest-selling album ever.” Her strategy was different than most album releases. Companies typically spend months and millions of dollars on promotion. Her strategy required no funding. The shock factor also compelled those who were inquisitive to buy the album, share their purchase, and talk about it through social media platforms.

Surprise!

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Direction of Communication: Unidirectional versus Bidirectional/Dialogue

For any relationship to be successful, a two-way communication strategy needs to be followed. Classic marketing relies on top-down messaging, which is no longer effective. Customers do not want to be force-fed information or rely solely on the voice of a brand. Consumers want to be engaged through social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, Pinterest, etc. Their opinions should be included in product design, improvement, customer service, and all decisions involving marketing. The company’s voice should parallel that of the customer.

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The Twitter account for Jeep represents a classic form of communication. Jeep has already established a brand that is built on handling rugged terrain and adventures. Their Twitter account reinforces this reputation, but their account does not resemble a personalized experience. Jeep is missing an opportunity to engage an audience of Jeep lovers who thrive on sharing their experiences.

For the upcoming Labor Day weekend, Jeep chose to post an image related to canoeing. Jeep should have used this opportunity to ask fellow Jeep owners to share their Labor Day adventures, since the holiday is built around beach trips, camping, and mountain travels. A huge part of owning a Jeep is sharing adventures and building a story within a community. There is an opportunity to build a narrative.

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Reebok and Burt’s Bees are two companies that directly engage in social media with their customer base. They are direct in answering questions, assisting in finding products, and addressing concerns. Most questions that are posed to the brand are answered within a reasonable amount of time, therefore, the consumer does not feel ignored. Furthermore, as demonstrated in the Reebok example below, the brand is also asking follow up questions, which compels the consumer to share more thoughts. This not only personalizes the brand, but solicits direct feedback from the consumer.

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In theory, engagement humanizes a brand. Consumers develop a relationship which leads to brand loyalty. Two-way engagement encourages conversation and dialogue. In turn, this promotes an increase in customer service value. After a relationship is established, companies can promote products without appearing forceful. Product placement becomes a friendly recommendation rather than a corporate payout. Consumers suddenly are grateful to have the suggestions of Burt’s Bees on their next travel adventure. They are no longer a company, but in their network of trusted sources.

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