Tag Archives: social media marketing

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Celebrity Endorsed Politics

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As we all know, today is election day and it is crucial that all American citizens get to the polls and make sure their voice is heard. Over the past couple of months leading up to the elections, I have noticed a large number of celebrities endorsing political candidates via social media channels.

We know that influencer marketing is extremely effective. When you have a celebrity with a large number of followers backing your brand, people will listen. When it comes to politics, I think it’s awesome to see celebrities speaking up and encouraging people to vote. It shows that we are all united as Americans with the same rights, regardless of whether we are famous or not.

However, I’m not so sure I think celebrities should use their platform to endorse a specific candidate or bill. They are obviously free to say whatever they want on social media, but I believe it influences people to vote how Taylor Swift told them to rather than doing research and making individual opinions. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Swiftie and I love what she’s doing on social media right now.)

Below are screen grabs of Taylor Swift’s Instagram posts regarding the elections. She posted on her page about endorsing a certain candidate in her home state of Tennessee and explained why she was not voting for the opposing candidate. She then encouraged people to get out and vote, specifically for the candidate she endorsed. She has also been posting Instagram stories of her fans and other celebrities that tag her in their voting photos, which I believe is a great way to connect with people and show that she is no different from her fans.

Like I said, I’ll always be a Swiftie regardless of what she believes or how she uses her platform. I believe there are both pros and cons of celebrities encouraging their followers to vote. I’m just curious how this will impact elections and individuals’ opinions on issues in our country. What are your thoughts?


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Four Fat Cows: Increasing Brand Awareness through Social Media Marketing

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What on earth is Four Fat Cows?! It’s the best ice cream store ever!

Located on Baxter street, Four Fat Cows opened in January of this year and is the second location to open under the ownership of Robyn Rowles. Robyn and her son Brandon have worked together as a mother-son duo to create a place where the community can come together and enjoy sweet treats that meet a variety of dietary restrictions. As celiacs, Robyn and Brandon created an ice cream store where those who are gluten-free can enjoy all the ice cream offerings available. As a result, Four Fat Cows offers gluten-free ice cream, waffle cones, and baked goods. Additionally, there are dairy-free flavors available and specialty coffee can be made with regular milk or coconut milk. All in all, the store has a lot more to offer than just “regular” ice cream.

I have worked at the store since August, and doing so has given me enough insight into the company and customer base to make some recommendations about how the ice cream seller could benefit from implementing some digital marketing basics to expand its brand awareness. Despite its plethora of offerings, Four Fat Cows has only reached a small portion of the available audience in Athens – the student population.

Since its opening the ice cream store has been a popular spot for students to visit for their sugar fix. Due to it close proximity to Milledge Avenue and the freshman dorms on campus, the majority of the visitors to the store are students. Plenty of students involved in greek life and freshman who can easily walk to the store. Additionally, University of Georgia campus organizations also host percentage nights at the store. Overall, there seem to be a good number of students who are aware of the ice cream store. However, when the majority of students left during the summer semester this year, the ice cream store saw a decline in sales, which is very atypical for a business in its industry. While this might be expected in a college town, the business is missing a key target audience that could help make up for its migrating student customer base – Athens families.

Families are a big market in the frozen dessert market (yes that’s what ice cream falls under according to Mintel research). Think about it, when mom and dad take their three kids out for ice cream after dinner, they spend a lot more as a group than a single college student will. So, it is very beneficial for a local ice cream store like Four Fat Cows to reach Mom or Dad with their digital marketing. Doing so will increase sales and possibly cultivate a long-term customer as these families raise their children for almost two decades in Athens, whereas a student will live in the city for four years. So, how do we raise awareness of Four Fat Cows among the family population of Athens? Much like we would raise awareness in general! By increasing digital marketing efforts and strategies.

 

Currently Four Fat Cows has the following digital marketing measures:

Current Digital Marketing

Website: www.fourfatcows.com

  • Website is broken into: home, menu, contact, hours
  • Link to Facebook
  • Website is very basic
  • Homepage includes original copy from the website builder: “You can add HTML directly into this element to render on the page.”

Facebook: Four Fat Cows Athens

  • Facebook link on website takes you to the Alpharetta Facebook page
  • Rated 5 out of 5 based on 31 reviews
  • Posts about percentage nights, special discounts for holidays, and product offerings
  • 616 people like this page
  • Active weekly

Instagram: FourFatCows_Athens

  • 60 posts
  • 653 followers
  • Posts three or four times a month
  • Posts feature attractive product images
  • Utilize the story feature to showcase specific product categories: ice cream, bakery, smoothie bowls, coffee

Digital Marketing Recommendations

Website:

  • Hire a professional builder to create a more professional looking website
  • Update photos
  • Create a blog section of the website to highlight features in local news and updates on current season offerings, new store openings, or even employee introductions

Social Media:

Facebook

  • Launch a Facebook Advertising campaign for the Athens Facebook page – even a small monthly budget will help target ads to new customers
  • Specifically target adults with elementary and middle aged children living in and around Five Points
  • Partner with local school PTOs to have percentage nights that will increase awareness among families
  • Schedule regular posts and advertisements ahead of time to make sure the page sees activity
  • Encourage new followers and likes with giveaways

Instagram

  • Link posts to scheduled Facebook posts so content is regularly published
  • Utilize the story feature to advertise percentage nights and special holiday discounts
  • Offer a special discount on slow days/specific items through Instastories

Snapchat

  • Expanding into Snapchat could be a lucrative idea for Four Fat Cows – creating a sponsored Four Fat Cows filter would increase awareness among the student and millennial population living in Athens who often use Snapchat

Conclusion

Four Fat Cows has implemented basic digital marketing efforts through its website and presence on Facebook and Instagram. However, without venturing into paid advertising like paid search or advertising in print, there are still many things the company could do with digital marketing to increase its brand awareness with a small budget.


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Would You Swipe Right?

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Tinder is a well-known dating platform typically used by millennials who are hoping to find love, have some fun, or just kill some time. Regardless of the reason for using the platform, the ultimate goal is to get matches. To match you have to swipe right on people and they have to swipe right on you too. For some, their strategy is only to swipe and potentially match with those they’re actually interested in. However, others just want to see how many matches they can get, and so they swipe right on pretty much everyone. With that in mind, Tinder began offering the ability to advertise on their platform, but with interactive ads that appear as if they are their own person/profile.

Advertisement Profiles on Tinder

The benefit? If users swipe right, the company then has the ability to send more information, provide links, and even individually interact with consumers via the chat feature that is unlocked once you match with someone. This allows for a more personalized marketing approach with the option for consumers to interact with businesses on a platform they feel comfortable with.

So far, Tinder has done an excellent job at keeping the ratio of paid ad profiles to actual user profiles relatively low. When swiping through profiles, users will go through about 20 to 30 user profiles before running across a sponsored ad. This means that users won’t feel overrun by ad constantly popping up while they’re trying to use the app, but it also means there is a larger chance that users will accidentally swipe right on these ads if they get into the pattern of swiping right quickly in the attempt to gain more matches. For some, this advertising tactic might seem intrusive, but for businesses this is a relatively new and very strategic way to reach new consumers and interact with them in a new way.

What do you think? Do you think these ads will be successful for businesses targeting millennials who would be using the app, or do you think they will flop and be seen as intrusive/inappropriate by users encountering the ads?


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DIFF Eyewear Instagram

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I’ve been following DIFF eyewear on Instagram for a few years now, since before they were a well-known brand. Now, they have 566K followers on Instagram and are endorsed by celebrities like the Chrisleys and Kardashians. They sell designer sunglasses at a more affordable cost than other big name brands. DIFF brands itself as a charitable organization that gives back by donating a pair of eyeglasses to someone in need for every pair of sunglasses they sell.

I believe DIFF has a very effective social strategy, particularly on Instagram. As you can see in the photo of their feed below, they maintain an aesthetically pleasing feed with high quality content that engages followers. I also think it’s unique that the majority of their content is user-generated, yet still professional quality. This encourages brand loyalty by showing customers DIFF wants to see how people are using their products with individual style.

As I mentioned before, DIFF has partnered with many celebrity influencers in order to promote their products. This has allowed them to increase brand awareness and followers tremendously. The influencers also typically offer a code for 20% off a DIFF purchase, which increases sales in addition to awareness. In addition to working with influencers, DIFF has collaborated with some celebrities to help them create an eyewear line under DIFF. Below are photos of Khloe Kardashian, Jessie James Decker, and Demi Lovato promoting their collaborations with DIFF.

Overall, I believe DIFF has a strong social strategy on Instagram that has led to their current success. Now that they are well-established as a brand, they focus on promoting new products and collaborations. I personally love everything about DIFF, from their products, to their social media, to their charitable efforts. What are your thoughts?


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Marketing Campus Organizations

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When you think of marketing, nonprofit organizations are not likely to be the first images that pop into your mind. However, marketing for nonprofits is crucial to the success of the organization. Whether you are raising awareness for a small organization or promoting a well-known annual event, digital marketing enables you to market quickly and inexpensively.

The challenge most organizations face when it comes to marketing is that someone has to coordinate all marketing efforts in their free time, especially for smaller nonprofits. I am the marketing chair for UGA Wishmakers on Campus, which benefits Make-A-Wish Georgia. As much as I want to accomplish all of my goals as the marketing chair, sometimes it simply cannot be my top priority because school and work come first. I honestly do not know what the best solutions to this problem are, but I have found that social media marketing is usually effective since you can post quickly and on-the-go. I personally use Canva to download templates I can quickly edit in order to create graphics for upcoming events. We then post the graphics on our social media pages and have members post them to their individual stories. It is amazing how simply being tagged in someone’s story can increase the number of followers and views our organization’s pages receive. After analyzing our social media insights, it seems that we generally receive more engagement on photos of people at our events than graphics and promotional posts. We consistently check our insights to help understand what kind of content appeals to followers while also delivering our message to them.

The reason I was inspired to write this post today is because Wishmakers is hosting our 2nd Annual HalloWish Fall Festival tonight. This is an event where people can purchase a $5 ticket to come hang out and enjoy food, live music, games, and raffles. The raffles include gift cards to local restaurants and a football signed by Jake Fromm; our goal is to raise money beyond ticket sales through the raffles by allowing people who are at the event to purchase tickets, as well as those who cannot attend. We hope HalloWish will eventually become a well-known campus philanthropy event, which would enable us to expand it over time. Below are some graphics I made for promotional materials.

What are your thoughts or advice on marketing for nonprofit organizations?


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Coldplay’s 20-Year Anniversary Documentary

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It’s crazy to think that Coldplay has been together for almost 20 years now. To celebrate this milestone, they are releasing a documentary called “Head Full of Dreams”. The film is featuring behind-the-scenes and live footage from their “Head Full of Dreams” tour that they just finished up, as well as unseen archived footage from their days in the early stages of Coldplay. The director of the documentary, Mat Whitecross, has been filming the band since their very first rehearsal in college. The documentary will be in select theaters worldwide on November 14th. For one day, and one day only. However, from November 16th, the film will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

Because my dad is from England, I naturally grew up listening to Coldplay all the time. So, you could say we’re both very excited to watch this documentary, hopefully at a theater that is chosen as one of the 2,000 select theaters that will be playing it. This documentary is a great way to connect with their older fans who have been with them since the beginning, as well as their younger fans who maybe only discovered them a few years ago. It’s going to be a great synopsis of the band as a whole and their entire journey, and even a look inside what their live concerts are like if people weren’t able to make it to one of their shows on any of their tours.

The band is advertising this release on all of their social media platforms to get people to come see it in theaters and to unite fans across the globe. Coldplay’s Instagram page posted about this news this past Friday, October 12th. They even made an entire website (https://coldplay.film) dedicated to keeping fans updated on news about the release of the documentary and a place where fans can put in their email and the city that they live in to get email updates about when tickets go on sale and what theaters will be playing the film.

Below is the trailer for the documentary, and I highly encourage anyone who likes Coldplay to watch it, and maybe consider going to a theater near you to see it on November 14th.

 


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Sweetener The Experience: Spotify’s Exclusive Pop-Up Exhibit Is Changing How Artists Connect With Fans

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Last week, Ariana Grande partnered with Spotify to bring her newest album, Sweetener, to life. Through an exclusive Spotify pop-up event, Sweetener The Experience took visitors on a sensory journey to discover (or rediscover) her music.

 In the age of digital streaming, it can become difficult for artists to share the inspiration behind their music. Although album booklets and CD covers are a thing of the past, Spotify experiences are ushering in a new way for artists to connect with fans.

In Sweetener The Experience, the exhibit takes visitors through different rooms, all of which represent a specific track on the album. In essence, the popup reflects Grande’s lyrics on each song. For example, “get well soon” is in part an anthem of celebration and love of her fans. The room features a wall of phones, each of which has a message of wisdom and affirmation from the pop-star herself.

Ariana Grande in the “get well soon” room at Sweetener The Experience

Another room, for the track “God is a woman,” features a wall that mimics the iconic music video released ahead of the album. Fans have the opportunity to pose and experience the song from Ariana’s point of view.

Ariana Grande posing in the “God is a woman” room at Sweetener The Experience.

The experience, featuring fifteen rooms in total, was not only a great PR/marketing move, but also gave fans the experience of a lifetime. From a marketing standpoint, Grande was able to promote her successful album via social media, while also getting to share in a unique experience with some of her lucky fans. Additionally, it brought attention to the meaning behind Grande’s music. According to the exhibit, Grande has a deeper connection with her fans, who are aptly named “Arianators.” Although she is a pop singer, she doesn’t just sing hits, but rather writes from the heart and deeply cares about her audience.

The Rundown: The Spotify experience popup not only generated buzz around Grande’s music and career, but also solidified her image as someone who invests and connects with her fans. Secondary to that, the exhibit also brought renewed attention to her music and gave her a fresh way to promote her work. 

In my opinion, Sweetener The Experience is just the beginning. The positive PR gains are tempting and the popup is unique and fun. In the future, I think we’ll be seeing more artists take advantage of exclusive and immersive album experiences to connect with fans both online and in person. What do you think? Comment below!


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Instagram vs. Snapchat – Story Links

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As you may know, Instagram has been attempting to compete with, and potentially replace, Snapchat for a while now. With competitive features such as a questions function, polling, and Spotify linking abilities, Instagram seems to be winning this competition. However, one way in which Snapchat still seems to be ahead is in its ability for users to link directly from snap stories to other pages, accounts, videos, etc.

Yes, Instagram does have this feature, BUT you have to have over 10,000 followers or become a verified account, which is not an easy thing to do. Instagram decides who receives this status via their own elusive guidelines and only gives out the verification to “some public figures, celebrities and brands.”

What the Story-Linking Feature Looks Like for the “Instagram Elite”

So, why limit this feature to the select, successful few?

One argument may be that allowing anyone and everyone to link to their stories would overload the site with ads and spam. Another argument from a strategic business standpoint would be that this feature would eliminate the need for businesses to purchase as many (if any) Instagram ads, as they could simply tag a link to their site or product page directly to their account’s story for free.

Whatever the reason may be, poor follower-deficient users such as myself are unable to link things to our stories on Instagram, at least for the time being. So, if you want to send out links to your following all at once, your best bet is still via Snapchat, unless you already have 10,000+ followers, are Insta-verified, or you decide to buy more followers online to unlock the linking feature.


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IHOb Marketing Troll

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Remember when IHOP tricked everyone over the summer by changing their name to IHOb? IHOP partnered with Droga5, an agency in New York, to implement this marketing strategy on Twitter not only to promote their burgers, but to draw attention to their brand as well. Due to the trend of individuals and companies using Twitter for entertaining and humorous content, it was certainly the best platform to reach their audience with a marketing tactic that involves “trolling” users. While this post mainly focuses on IHOP’s use of Twitter for their marketing campaign, they did go further than Twitter to fully convince people of the name change. For example, they even changed the signage at a few locations.

IHOb restaurant

On June 4th, IHOP announced their new name in a tweet, but left people guessing what the b stood for.

The news about IHOb spread rapidly; I remember seeing it all over Twitter. From people complaining about the new name to making jokes about what the b stood for, IHOP consumed my timeline. After a week of hyping people up about what the b might represent, IHOP finally released a video promoting their burgers on June 11th. That day, they earned the 1st, 2nd, and 4th trending spots on Twitter. The single tweet announcing their steak burgers received over 21K replies, 16K retweets/shares, and 44K likes. In the first 10 days of the campaign, there were over 1.2M tweets about the burgers and over 2.1M social media conversations about IHOb. IHOP earned 41B impressions… talk about going viral!

IHOP’s twitter page responded to users, which allowed them to interact with followers and customers. They even received feedback from celebrities, like this tweet from Chrissy Teigen. (Did you catch the hint about a ‘new legend’ in reference to Teigen’s husband, John Legend? Clever, IHOP. Very clever.)

The IHOb marketing campaign didn’t just break the internet. It exceeded IHOP’s expectations for burger sales. In the first 3 weeks after the announcement, IHOP quadrupled burger sales and saw a 0.7% increase in same-restaurant sales for Q2. Since the campaign ended, burger sales have remained steady.

Whether you thought IHOP’s latest marketing campaign was annoying or brilliant, they certainly accomplished their overall business objective of getting more customers in for lunch and dinner. They were able to remind consumers of what they liked about IHOP to begin with (pancakes, of course) while also promoting a new product line.

IHOP has since announced that they will always be the International House of Pancakes, but wanted people to know they were just as serious about their burgers. What are your thoughts on IHOP’s disruptive marketing campaign?


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Targeted Advertising: Creepy or Convenient?

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We all know that companies use information gathered from our habits and interests to better target consumers and show us products we actually want to buy… But how far is too far? Have you ever searched for something online on your phone or computer, then a few minutes later you see an ad on Facebook for the product you were looking at? Or an even creepier example that has happened to me personally on multiple occasions: I’ll talk out loud to a friend about an object or store, then soon enough I’ll see a Facebook ad about it. Are they really listening to what users say and using that data to target consumers? And if they are, is this form of advertising acceptable or is it an invasion of our privacy?

These tweets are further evidence of how users feel about this ‘creepy’ targeted advertising.

 

In 2016, Facebook released a statement denying the rumors. They claim they “do not use your phone’s microphone to inform ads” and that they “show ads based on people’s interests and other profile information.” (Read the full statement here: https://newsroom.fb.com/news/h/facebook-does-not-use-your-phones-microphone-for-ads-or-news-feed-stories/) However, your online search, purchase history, and other information regarding your purchase behavior is used for targeted ads. The extent to which Facebook and other platforms know how you think and what you’re interested in is insanely accurate. In my opinion, this form of advertising is complex enough and has the ability to be even more precise, but this could terrify users.

At the end of the day, this is advertising in 2018. We can regulate it, but we can’t regress. Technology continues to become more advanced every day and there’s no telling what will be possible 5 years from now. While some people are skeptical of targeted advertising, I believe my generation and younger people embrace it. Essentially, consumers give up privacy in order to have a convenient shopping experience.

What is your opinion on targeted advertising? Creepy or convenient? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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