30 Days of Pinspiration

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Pinterest recently launched a ’30 Days of Pinspiration’ campaign on their site highlighting pinners, brands and non-profits as we build up to the holiday. The campaign is featured on the website as a separate link or tab up at the top and once clicked, the viewer is presented with an advent calendar style page. Each day will feature a different pinner, brand or non-profit and it will not be revealed until that day.Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 12.33.53 PM

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 12.34.05 PMSo far, Pinterest has used Katie Couric, who launched the campaign as the first featured pinner, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn and Parents Magazine, among others.Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 12.34.33 PM Each pinner, brand or nonprofit is supposed to feature content that talks about what inspires them this holiday season and that correlates to their board on Pinterest. For example, Katie Couric’s Pinspiration comes from her holiday Traditional Family Recipes. Since it’s start on November 2, the campaign will continue until the New Year) Katie Couric’s post has been the most popular with 1.4K likes on Facebook and 143 Tweets referring to it. While Pinterest has come up with great content for this campaign, it doesn’t seem as if that many people are engaging with it on other social channels.

 

Since Pinterst is itself a social media channel, it is hard to examine how it exists through other sites. It has a page through App Center on Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 12.35.28 PMScreen Shot 2012-12-03 at 12.35.50 PMFacebook which basically describes what it is and allows you to go to the website. Pinterest does have a Twitter handle (@Pinterest) and it seems like they only tweet about once a day and it seems like most of the interaction comes from fans retweeting or favoriting their tweets, not too many of their followers are generating conversation from their tweet. The ’30 Days of Pinterest’ campaign has used the hashtag #pinspiration to attempt to create some engagement on Twitter. According to Twazzup.com, #pinspiration has been generating approximately 7 tweets per hour, which doesn’t seem very high of a number for how many people are on Pinterest altogether.

 

Pinterest is using their ’30 Days of Pinspiration’ to show how many different types of pinners, whether it is an individual, a brand or a non-profit organization. To me this seems like a smart move since now that Pinterest has become a more established social platform, brands and organization and celebrities are trying to tap into this resource and see what kind of benefits and interactions they can get out of it. Second Harvest Heartland used their Pinspiration opportunitiy to discuss how around the holidays, we should be doing even more for those who do not have food. Using different sorts of people or organizations, like using Pottery Barn vs. Honeslty WTF to using Dale Partridge (founder of sevenly.org) is a great way to not only inspire individuals and get more interaction going, but to also showcase how some brands and nonprofits are using this new platform. Maybe after this campaign, more brands and nonprofits will join the Pinterest club.Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 12.34.24 PMScreen Shot 2012-12-03 at 12.28.00 PMScreen Shot 2012-12-03 at 12.34.16 PM

 

Overall I think this is a decent campaign. Pinterest obviously took advantage of the visual quality and aspect of their brand, which we know, is what gets the most interaction and engagement going. I was surprised that not as many people were interesting with the posts, but I think this might be hard to track since I wasn’t able to find how many people repined things off of the boards featuring in the calendar. I think the idea of this campaign is something that other brands should adapt, and I’m sure many brands have been doing campaigns like this. Having a campaign that features a calendar gives people something to look forward to or anticipate. Especially in the height of the Christmas season people are counting down the days until the holiday and they are looking for inspiration for holiday gifts.

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Social media has scientific and social benefits?

 

imagesWhile most of us are used to using social mediafor social interaction and engagement, studies show that there may be scientific and social benefits as well. Researchers are now starting to look through social channels to track infection and disease outbreaks. According to a Socialmediatoday.com article, “Back in January the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene reported that tweets and other public ‘status updates’ were a better way of determining the spread of cholera in post-earthquake Haiti than official channels”.

This is interesting to me because so many people think that social media is a waste or time or just a distraction for people. Some people think it is just a place to chat with your friends or stay in touch. Now as more and more people are becoming involved and engaged, we are seeing more benefits of these cites. After reading this article and understanding that researchers are using data from social media to track disease outbreaks shows that we are only just beginning to understand the benefits that can come from social media.

Coca Cola’s Social Media Policy

Coca Cola has a fully developed, separate document that contains their social media policy and details it between people who are considered online spokespeople, agency associates and just general company commitments. I think this is a smart idea because then they can be more specific in when people should not comment on specific conversations and when they should.

One interesting aspect of the social media policy is that they encourage associates and agency affiliates to get in on the positive conversations. They also state that they want everyone to be transparent in all online interactions so that the interactions are genuine. I like how they give their employees the freedom to comment when there are conversations revolving around the company, but I think it was even smarted for them to mention that unless a person is a certified online spokesperson for Coca Cola, they are not at liberty to comment on any negative interactions that they come across. I think this will save a lot of awkwardness and backlash for the company and it also eliminates the company sending out mixed messages, like a different tone from a spokesperson and a different one from an angry or offended employee.

Overall, Coca Cola incorporated their five personal company commitments that should carry over into the social world, which I liked because it shows that they are staying true to who they are on and off the Internet. Their commitments include: transparency, protection, respect, responsibility and utilization.

I think overall, this social media policy is very consistent within itself as well as the company as a whole. I see Coca Cola as a fun brand and I enjoy that they give their employees a chance to engage in online communications as long as they are practicing common sense and following the guidelines.

The only recommendation I have would be to comment on the way in which employees can interact with positive conversations. I think it should be more explicitly stated that they are to disclose who they are. I think they also should make it a point to tell the employee to relate that information right away to an online spokesperson. I think that the guidelines are generally broad which might leave some room for doubt in some employees’ eyes and end up getting them and the company in trouble.

The need for a social media policy is tremendous. So many times we talk about in class and in my other classes of social media mishaps that people posted on accident and so forth. There are instances of an employee posting a personal tweet to a work account, of an irate employee trashing the company or another coworker and even examples of people creating fake accounts. It is becoming increasingly important for businesses and organizations to address these issues in a proactive manner as social media if becoming more and more integrated in everyday agency life.

Using Pinterest for Job Recruiting

As we all know, social media is being used in unique and different ways everyday. Pinterest is the fastest growing social media platform and not it is being using not only by consumers for leisure or for brands to create a personality, but now companies are going to be using this platform to entice potential employees to apply for a job. The data shows that people respond the most to pictures and what better way to create hype or excitement around something that create a completely visual world around it. According to the Mashable article, “Using Pinterest for Job Recruiting”

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, Sodexo Co. is one of the companies who is utilizing this platform to do just that.

I think this is very interesting. We are seeing social media being used in every aspect of life nowadays and it will be interesting to see how it will affect the job-seeking markets. As job competition is already extremely high, maybe utilizing social media will help that or it might make it even more competitive.

Instagram Stealing the Spotlight

Most of us are aware that Pinterest has become a useful tool for visual brands, we are now seeing an increase in brands using Instagram to engage with audiences and it is becoming more popular that Pinterest. According to an article on PR News “Instagram Picks up Steam as an Engagement Tool – And the Press Digs It”, Instagram was counted as the 44th most visited website in September 2012 while Pinterest came in at number 50, according to according to Comscore 50 most visited websites. What surprised me most was not that brands are becoming more involved with Instagram but that even B2B brands are getting in on the action. The article highlights a law firm who utilized Instagram to promote and engage with its audiences about its move to a new building on Capital Hill, they titled their campaign “30 Days of Capital Hill” and it included photographs of their last 15 days in their old building and the first 15 in their new building on Captial Hill. While the campaign only resulted in about 13 followers to their Instagram account, they received a lot of press coverage on their campagin and relocation. Including headlines from e-newsletter Legal Bisnow: “Law Firm Construction Turns Hipster”  and coverage in  The Wall Street Journal, ABA Journal, Politico and more.

What interests me about this new take to Instagram is that brands are becoming very creative in creating valuble and visual content that consumers will actually find interesting. We learned in one of my Public Relations campaigns classes that people are most likely to read information when it is accompanied with visuals, this is true for press releases and advisories and now i think it is holding true for the social media realm. It will be interesting to see in the future how brands will create value with this tool and how they will translate it to a profit or ROI.

Case Study: Sephora’s ’15 Days of Beauty Thrills’

The well-known beauty retailer, Sephora, is a brand that I personally love and is seen as a retailer that is always on the cutting edge of new industry trends. In April 2012, Sephora sought to completely redesign their website for a more user-friendly interface and to reflect their ideals as a brand more directly. In order to provide fan traffic to the new site and draw attention to it in a savvy and chic Sephora was, they decided to engage Facebook members in their ’15 Days of Beauty Thrills’ campaign. Since this redesign and campaign, Sephora has seen a lot of success. According to Mashable.com, they have seen “a 300% increase in mobile shopping and 70% of its mobile traffic comes from iOS devices. iPad traffic to the company’s homepage was up 400% in Q1 from 2011 to 2012 and 20% of traffic to the site comes from mobile devices”. However, Sephora did see a drop in engagement after the ’15 Days of Beauty Thrills’ campaign was complete. Sephora has positioned itself to be savvy in both beauty industry trends as well as technological advances as they coin themselves as being “where beauty meets intelligence”.

Currently Sephora’s social media presence is pretty good, while there is definitely room for improvement. They seem to be very active on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. What I like about their social media use is that most of their tweets of status updates do not get people to try and buy their products, for the most part they are giving beauty tips and tricks. This, to me, makes them seem more reliable as a beauty-consulting retailer and makes them look more credible in keeping up with trends in the industry.

 On Facebook, they keep to their image and have edgy photos as their cover photo while sticking with their logo as their profile picture. Currently they have 4,259,462 likes while there are only 99,756 people on Facebook talking about them. As far as engagement with their Facebook fans, Sephora does a good job of creating interesting content that they change up constantly, however, they need to continue the conversation when their fans interact with their posts. In certain instances, Sephora will engage in a conversation to offer product help or if there is a problem with someone’s order, but I think there is great opportunity for them to monitor what the fans are talking about more even when they are not product complaints. Although when an individual posts to their wall they are very timely in responding and providing excellent customer service to the best of their ability.

 The content on Twitter closely matches what they put out on Facebook. They are currently at 751,408 followers and 300,138 following with 3,656 tweets. There interaction and engagement seems to be a lot less on Twitter than on Facebook, with their most popular tweets being retweeted an average of 60 times. It also doesn’t seem like they engage and respond to conversations happening around them on Twitter, the only interactions are retweets and favorites on the part of the consumers.

 As many beauty product retailers have the benefit of being very visual brands, Sephora is no exception and therefore they have an extensive Pinterest page that abounds with season-sensitive beauty tips and boards, as well as boards dedicated to ‘how-to’ videos, sweepstakes, tips, and products they love. I think their Pinterest page is pretty extensive and seems like it provides a lot of information for consumers to look at without being bombarded by ads promotional material.

 When Sephora wanted to drive traffic to their revamped website, they created the ’15 Days of Beauty Thrills’. Basically the campaign that launched in May, included the brands that which Sephora sells in stores to create specific deals for people who were fans, friends or followers of Sephora. Each day their would be a ‘mini thrill’ that was a free product with a purchase and a ‘big thrill’ that was often entering to win big prizes and trips, like a trip for two to L.A. and the entire Urban Decay eye shadow collection. Liking the brand page would grant the fan access to the new deals and thrills at midnight, providing incentive. If fans clicked on the campaign to enter the big thrill or claim their mini thrill they would be then directed to the newly updated Sephora website giving them exposure to all of the enhancements made to their home headquarters. Julie Bornstein, Sephora’s SVP of digital stands by this campaign targeted to increase web traffic/engagement with the new sight and said “we grew our fan base about six times our normal growth rate, and we saw bigger lift in sales than what we normally see on Facebook”. While the campaign is now over, part of it lives on through Fan Fridays where Sephora fans get the first scoop on offers and free gifts with purchases.

What I like best about this campaign is that it offered a free gift with purchase to fans as well as giving an incentive to enter to win a bigger prize at no cost. Although sometimes I don’t think free gifts with purchase are enough to get customers really excited and jazzed about a brand, with beauty products women are always looking to try the next new product or get their hands on a sample of an expensive face cream. Another issue I had with this campaign is that for someone to participate in these thrills and deals they already had to be a fan/follower/friend of the page. To me, this limits interaction and possible reach but for a campaign through social media, I think that is the best they can do without spending a lot of money on commercial and magazine ads for a short lived campaign.

What I found I liked most about Sephora’s overall social media presence is that they seem to take an interest in what consumers are concerned about. They do not just push out information on new products and when their next sale is, while those things are important, they also look at what their fans and followers think and care about outside buying new products. For example, they give tips on how to clean your brushes or how to apply a smokey eye or scary Halloween make up. To me, that makes a brand stand out and I am more likely to check their page from time to time to get useful information and updates that I will actually use.

Watch Your Tone

 

During class on Wednesday during Matt Andrews presentation, he mentioned Skittles and talked about their uniquely perfect tone of voice on their social media pages. As I said in class, I love skittles and after talking about it in class i looked farther into their social media presence. This got me thinking about other brands and how they have tailored their voices for social media to create and embody their personality. According to “How 5 Top Brands Crafted Their Social Media Voices” by Lauren Indvik, these are some of the best of the best:

1. Tory Burch

2. DKNY PR Girl

3. Kate Spade NY

4. Lucky Magazine

5. Esquire Magazine

Having a unique brand voice on social media is extremely important and effective and i think most brands realize it. What i think brands struggle with, is finding their own voice that resonates with their audiences and stays true to their beliefs and values as a company while also staying consistent throughout all social media channels and outgoing communications. Once a brand finds what works for them, they should stick to it.

Kate Spade NY, for example, started off with many different approaches when trying to figure out the best way to communicate through social. At one point they use a “tweet writer” that costumers used and wrote a sweet something on when they were visiting and shopping at the store. While that is a cool idea, they decided it was enough for their social content. I was also interested to learn that Tory Burch is the voice of her own brand on Twitter, something that i think is pretty unusual but adds a nice personal touch.

When a brand can make that personal connection and humanize their brand through social media, they become more meaningful to consumers. Every brand and company with half a brain can be on every social media website and can push out mindless information that they think people want to hear. Like Matt said anyone can say “Click like if you…”. But not every brand has been able to find their distinct voice and reach that personal level with consumers that can humanize the brand and actually make us fall in love with them.

Privacy and Location Based Services

Social media has brought about privacy problems that no one imagined were possible. With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare you can virtually tell the online world where you are at all times and what you are doing. Whether it is through Facebook check-ins, tweeting about your location or checking in through Foursquare Location Based Services can either be a huge breech in privacy or a cool way to stay connected, depending on who you talk to.

Personally, I usually don’t mind the use of Location Based Services because i don’t actively use them. I never really check-in places because for me, i don’t really see the point and i don’t want everyone to know my location anyways. While i admit that it is convenient when you have an app and it asks if you want to allow them to see your location, it is easier to do certain things like get directions and find closet locations without having to type in your address all the time. However, i think there comes a point where it starts to get creepy. For example, my sister went to Elmhurst College, which is a relatively small school. There has been frequent incidents where her and her friends check-in places through Facebook and they find that a particular human shows up to find them there. To me, this is beyond creepy and unacceptable. I guess the services such as this are not necessary and so if you do not want this sort of incident to happen , then you can simply not participate. But it makes me wonder, where this issue will be in a few years? How much personal information will be available through social media channels and when is enough enough? Privacy is a passionate topic for my marketing ethics teacher and he constantly is reminding us that, “what civil rights and women’s rights were for the past, privacy will be for the future.”

Myspace Redesign

We all remember Myspace, the place that made Tila Tequila and Taylor Swift famous. And we all know about the redesign that Myspace is planning that Justin Timberlake tweeted a preview video about. The question is, will this redesign be able to bring Myspace back from the dead? I personally don’t know anyone who has used Myspace in years, ever since Facebook has dominated the social networking world. However, after watching the preview video and reading a few articles about the new design, I think it might have some potential.

Specifically, it is interesting that Myspace is not trying to beat Facebook and Twitter for you social interaction but rathe trying to build on your social media self with those sites. You can sign in with your Facebook login and can have access to myspace.

Music is what made Myspace popular, and thankfully they are not trying to change that, but improve upon it. You can still have a featured song play when people are on your profile and you can also make playlists/mixes and connect with artists, search their albums and listen to their music through Myspace. Specific Media, which bought Myspace and are the ones initiated this redesign with the help of Justin Timberlake, is aware that music was one of users’ favorite features of the site and they are working to build on this. I think this a smart approach because they are trying to find what they can do better than Facebook and Twitter and capitalize on it.

The redesign leaves potential for MYspace to connect musicians who are undiscovered and even ones who are, like the face of the redesign, with fans. The redesign is also going to focus on a new area, photography, and do for photo artists what it tries to do for musicians. There is definitely potential for the redesign to be successful, if people are willing to give it a second chance, since the ideas and ares they are focusing on are ones that have not yet been very successful using Facebook and Twitter. Also, because Justin Timberlake is awesome. 

The Museum of Me: Intel’s Facebook Campaign

So in class the other day we talked about the Take This Lollipop campaign and I think we were all equally creeped out by it. I went home and showed all my roommates, too. When I was looking around googling things about creative Facebook campaigns and Facebook marketing for this weeks post I found this article “The Five All-Time Best Facebook Campaigns” and thought it was very interesting, Take This Lollipop was included. The one that I was most impressed with, and one that I actually hadn’t seen before, was Intel’s Museum of Me campaign. It has the same concept of Take This Lollipop but extremely less creepy. After entering your Facebook info and allow the app to gather your information you have a visual video of your Facebook self. From your friends, your pictures, your posts, this video shows your Facebook interaction in a museum. It is actually really cool and after watching mine I was smiling rather than running to lock my door like after the Take This Lollipop video.

What I like about this campaign is Intel didn’t shove their product in your face. I hate when Facebook marketers try to do that. We, and I’m speaking for us 20 something college students, typically aren’t on Facebook to find a new product to buy. We are trying to interact with each other. So when a company can figure out how to market their product without being intrusive, it comes off so much better and in this case makes people that much more likely to be interested in the campaign and subsequently, the product. Intel’s Museum of Me was meant to promote the i5 processor. As a product that isn’t easy to get people, who aren’t tech nerds, excited about, Intel did an amazing job. Although, in the end I’m not sure that I’m super jazzed about an i5 processor because of this video or campaign but i do admit it put Intel in my brain. And Intel, to me, isn’t a company or brand that i really think about often, if at all. They are known for being “inside” operators. This brought their creativity and innovativeness to my attention.

This Museum of Me idea was genius. Because let’s face it, who wouldn’t want a museum exhibit dedicated to themselves?

After you virtually walk through your personalized exhibit, which includes pictures of friends who you interact with the most, a collection of your ‘likes’, photos and videos, and a compilation of the most commonly words associated with your page, you can save photos of your exhibit.

Here are mine:

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