Igniting consumer passion vs creating captivating content

fiskateers

Last night, I began reading Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable Word of Mouth Movements, a book written by Robbin Phillips, Greg Cordell, Geno Church, and Spike Jones. I have not finished, but already I am intrigued by their message of creating long-lasting brand movements rather than captivating marketing campaigns that are forgotten by a potential consumer within seconds. Television, newspaper, social media, and mail advertisements are often ignored by people. In fact, the book states that advertisements have a 1-4% success rate when it comes to increasing sales. So how can companies use their advertising dollars more effectively?

The way to ignite a movement is by going out to the customer and inquiring about their passions and how a brand can essentially “ignite” that passion. Customers want to hear stories about how brands can fit into their everyday lives. For instance, Fiskars, a company that produces scissors and office supplies, was experiencing low brand loyalty before hiring Brains on Fire to help them out. The solution was going out to customers and asking how these supplies benefitted their daily lives. They found customers passionate about scrapbooking and crafting and dubbed them “The Fiskateers.” These 5400 brand ambassadors started online conversations, began planning events and campaigns on their own, and promoted Fiskars in stores selling the product. Stores with Fiskateer visits have Fiskar sales have three times the sales growth of other stores selling the product, and these stores also experienced double the Fiskar sales than ever before. Within six months, web hits had increased by 57% and online conversations went up by 600% in the first 20 weeks. All of this growth just by incorporating their brand with the passions of consumers.

I think Brains of Fire is on to something. We often see captivating ads, but does it really prompt us to buy a product? A pretty post or funny video on a Facebook page is not going to get me to buy, say, the new flavor of Oreos if I no need or interest in the product. But an advertisement about how baking-enthusiast consumers are using this new flavor in new recipes will likely prompt those interested in baking to buy the Oreos and whip out some delicious recipes. Like Fiskars, perhaps these bakers can become Oreo brand enthusiasts!

Out with the captivating, in with the consumer passion!

I will be doing a of reading on public relations, advertising, and e-marketing this semester, which should inspire some more informative blog posts for my fellow marketing gurus!

Image found at http://www.whatsnextblog.com/fiskateers_how_a_social_community_became_a_veritable_sales_force/

Video Sharing is all the Rage!

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Consumers are attracted to posts that feature captivating images, but simply posting photos is not enough if marketers want responses from their target audience. Invodo released a report titled Video Statistics: The Marketer’s Summary 2014 that shows the effective results of posting videos on social media. The report states that 65% of viewers watch at least 75% of a video and video results are more likely to grab a customer’s attention when using a search engine. 93% of marketers already use videos and 52% of marketers claim video content has the biggest ROI. So which medium should marketers use to post their video content?

When it comes to posting videos, YouTube seems to be the logical option. However, this may not bring in the best results for marketers. A report from socialbakers shows that while more users shared videos from Youtube than from other sites in 2014, Facebook seems to be catching up fairly quickly. I think this is because people are more likely to follow a company on Facebook and use YouTube mainly as an entertainment medium.

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With the rapid increase of mobile technology, posting clips on Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat are great ways for marketers to receive responses from their audience. Social Media Today reports that 83% of internet usage is predicted to come from mobile devices and using these media outlets will be effective in targeting millenial audiences in particular. In fact, Instagram, a purely mobile social media outlet, has more users than Twitter. Maybe Instagram will beat out Facebook and YouTube in the race for the most shared videos!

Like photos, videos can portray a company’s target audience using their products, making the targeted consumer feel that they can use the product for their benefit. However, videos give marketers the advantage of providing more content than a single photo can provide. They are entertaining and are more memorable in the mind of the consumer. Invodo predicts 74% of internet content will be video content by 2017, so marketers better get their recording devices ready if they want to increase their ROI!

#hashtagify – a great tool for business on Twitter!

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I recently discovered the website hastagify.me and it seems to be a wonderful aid for businesses seeking hashtags to connect with their target audience. They have researched over 3 billion tweets, found over 40 million hashtags over the course of three years. What’s more, the service is completely free…unless you want in-depth analyses of certain hashtags.

The site allows you to view the most popular tags on Twitter for the month and week, showing their change in popularity from the previous month, as well as a tag’s “period popularity” or the rating of the tag relative to the most popular tag on a scale of 1-100. Users can view popular hashtags around the world or within one language. This can help businesses narrow down hashtags to use to reach their audience.

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However, businesses need more than just the most popular hashtags in the world or in a specific language if they truly want to reach their audience. Fortunately, they can search for a specific hashtag they want to use, view its overall popularity, and the correlation of other hashtags related to the searched tag. This is helpful so that businesses can discover the popularity of hashtags specifically related to their product or service. For instance, if a coffee company may simply search for the word “coffee,” here is what they might find:

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The weekly trend of the tag has gone down, but has increased over the month. However, it seems that there are not many tags strongly correlated with #coffee.

Another feature is that you can view the most influential Twitter users of a certain hashtag. These are people or companies with many followers that use a tag frequently. Here are the top influencers for #coffee:

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Starbucks is clearly the top influencer of the tag, but not many users seem to specialize in #coffee. Maybe a startup coffee company reading this article can take that top spot someday soon!

Go to hastagify.me to find out more or follow @hashtagify on Twitter!

The reviews are in! Do company reviews on social media affect buying decisions?

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When purchasing a product, we seek information on where we can purchase it and what brand offers the best price and quality. Perhaps we are seeking quality in a product, service, speed of delivery, or experience with employees. The internet allows consumers to research brands and products to help them make an educated decision about their purpose. Consumers can read reviews on sites such as Amazon, eBay, or other retail sites. Sometimes, companies create fake accounts on these sites to give positive reviews for products, which is why consumers should click on the reviewers name to see if their purchase is verified and check out what other products they have reviewed. But with about 310 million visitors per day on Facebook and 22 million on Twitter, marketers should be paying close attention to reviews posted on social media.

In a survey conducted by Zendesk, 88% of consumers were influenced by online reviews when making a purchase. They also state that 58% of consumers are more likely to post an online review today than they were 5 years ago. Those with negative buying experiences post reviews on social media and 35% used online review sites. Jeff Bulas shows that 49% of people believe using Google search is most helpful when looking to buy a product, but Facebook commentary on  a product is right behind with 48% of people believing it is most helpful.

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Facebook even has a feature where customers can rate a company out of 5 stars! Though a company may not have many customers who experience bad employee interactions, product malfunctions, or unresolved issues, but just a few bad reviews on social media can ruin a company’s reputation.

Bad reviews on social media can be a blessing in disguise. They give marketers the opportunity to interact with customers and see how they can improve their products and services. They can see what it is that their target audience is looking for. These resolved issues can inspire the creation of new content that will attract buyers similar to the bad reviewers (or perhaps the bad reviewers themselves!) to look to their company for great products and services.

Where do you go to look at reviews?

When Posts Go Viral: What We Can Learn From 2014’s Greatest Social Media Hits

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#socialmedia #socialmediamarketing

DRMG Knows

Social Media viralThis time of year is often spent in both reflection of the past and planning for the future. It’s a transitional period as we gauge the wind and readjust our sails, often setting us on a new course in uncharted waters. So too, should be the way businesses evaluate their Social Media practices. Effective social media strategies change all the time in response to the constant disruptions by social media giants like Facebook and Twitter (and even the government). Then there are the constant upstarts that consistently threaten to take market share away from these giants. Some find success (Instagram) and others don’t (Ello).

The bottom line is that businesses should keep a vigilant eye on what works and doesn’t work in terms of Social Media Marketing. One fun way to readjust your Social sails is by learning from what works. In order to plan for the future, it’s…

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Whatever happened to Facebook?

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Though Facebook is one of the most popular websites in the world, many younger users are turning away from the social network. According to a study conducted by iStrategy Labs, 88% of 13-to-17-year-old social media users were on Facebook in 2014, a drop from 95% in 2013. However, 48% of these users were on Twitter in 2014, a rise from 46% in 2013. In total, there has been a 25% drop of users in this age group since 2011 according to Mashable. What’s more, there has been an 8% drop in users within the 18-to-24-year-old age group since 2011. However, there has been a steady increase in Facebook usage within older age groups. So why are the youngsters turning away?

I am within the 18-to-24-year-old social media user group, and I quite enjoy using Facebook. I like seeing pictures, statuses, music people are listening to, pages they share, etc. I enjoy seeing posts from companies because I feel it brings a personalized connection with consumers via immediate updates, fun posts that feature new products, etc. However, young people may not like having older siblings, aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, or teachers being connected with them on a social network. There is also the fear of employers wanting to view Facebook profiles. This may make Facebook appear a bit “lame” and “out of style.”

Twitter is made solely for posting status updates. Whereas constant status updates can be annoying on Facebook, they are fun and entertaining on Twitter. People love posting their thoughts, sharing goofy tweets, or retweeting from their favorite celebrities or companies. People can make tweets private, so that only followers can see them, just as Facebookers can make their posts only visible to friends. Unlike Facebook, not many older users have joined the Twittersphere, giving young users more “creative freedom” without worrying about Grandma seeing their posts. Celebrities also seem to take more advantage of tweeting over Facebooking, making Twitter even more entertaining. People want to have fun when they use social media, and Twitter gives more of the fun factor than Facebook.

Instagram is extremely hip right now. People can take photos, edit them to perfection, and show them to the world right from their smart phones. If Twitter is seen as a platform used for status updates, then Instagram is seen as a platform used for the constant posting of photos without going through the trouble of creating an album. People have a blast taking pictures of friends, quotes, meals, buildings, nature, family, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, you name it. Companies also have a lot of fun posting fun photos featuring their products and services. And if celebrity tweets were not enough, now they post photos taken from their personal lives on Instagram. Again, this is used among younger social media users more than it is among older ones because of its “fun factor” and ability to make people look fabulous using filters and accompanying photo editing apps. Luckily, Facebook owns this popular platform, so perhaps this technically makes Facebook still cool?

Share your thoughts on your favorite social media platform!

BUZZ: The Evolution of Social Media Since 2004

sociallybuzz

Very cool infographic – The Evolution of #SocialMedia Since 2004

The Evolution of Social Media The Evolution of Social Media

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