Note: The following company analysis and blog post example is taken from an Integrated Marketing Communications plan, created for BullHorn Media, as a graduate level project.
BullHorn Media is a spinoff company from Pro One Video, owned and operated by Mark and Lisa LeGrand out of Orlando. Mark and Lisa have an extensive professional videography background, having been in video production since 1993 and starting with small wedding videography. They have recently begun to work with larger corporate clients and, as a result, created BullHorn Media, so the two types of clients could better be differentiated.
The target audience for BullHorn Media would be corporate clients, small or large, looking for a video production company for either short term or long term needs. Clients do not necessarily need to live in the Orlando area, as they could be travelling in for a trade expo, convention, etc.
Steven Jolly, owner of SRJ Marketing Communications, explains the importance of an Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) strategy with 6 important steps to keep in mind (detailed further in Steven’s article):
The following is suggested blog content to be used in the 4th quarter of 2014 – to promote the BullHorn Media tag-line, “Amplify”:
Amplify Your Brand
Exactly how beneficial is it to amplify your image with quality videos that engage your viewers or consumers? Maybe we’re biased, but check the facts:
Forbes revealed that 75% of business executives watch business-related videos each week, and of those, 50% went on to make a purchase for their business, after viewing.
Whether you are looking for high-quality video to capture a corporate event or are a small non-profit organization in need of a professional video to enhance your mission, video can speak volumes to help your organization amplify their message.
Video can capture an audience and keep their interest, if captured in the right way. Because of this, it is important to consider a few things before meeting with your videographer:
What is the purpose of your video? Consider your audience, whether it be internal employees or consumers.
What message are you trying to send? Perhaps your organization is celebrating its 50th anniversary at their annual nation-wide convention – this would be reason to celebrate! Alternatively, your non-profit organization could be in need of an inspirational message, providing a mission in the Orlando community – this might be a more serious mood, as a call to action for viewers.
Get more for your money: maybe your organization could use video footage to make two separate videos that have different purposes. Talk with your videographer about ideas and plans for each so that accurate footage is captured.
These are just a few items to begin thinking about, before discussing your organization’s video needs with a videographer (although they will be prepared with all of these questions for you, as well).
Amplify your image by providing your viewers with captivating videos. Establish a long-term relationship with your videographer in order to consistently promote the same message and professional style.
We maintain a long-time relationship with The Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) and, as a result, consistently provide fresh video content for publishing across FNGLA’s multiple social media channels and website. Check out our recap of the 2014 (FNGLA) Landscape Show:
Tags for blog post: Amplify, Videography, Corporate Image, Event, Videographer, Non-Profit, Video Production, Orlando, Florida, Brand
When developing a strong communications plan, it is crucial to take into consideration how effective your IMC strategy is. But how can this be determined? There are many tools to be used, but they all provide one thing: analytics.
For those in the marketing and communications industry, analytics can be your report card: how did your efforts pay off? What areas need improvement? It is imperative to use these analytics to measure your reach, not only to plan for the future, but also to adjust current strategies and content.
Measuring analytics can help with knowing your audience…picture yourself as a comedian: (that’s a scary image, at least for me!) Comedians must know their crowd to be able to feed off of them. They’re telling this great story, and then reach the punch line…only to hear crickets chirping. They’ll probably stray from stories similar to this in the future, providing humorous content comparable to what has been successful in the past.
While it is important to analyze all platforms in an IMC strategy, we are only going to focus on two today: Facebook and Email marketing. We will use Facebook Insights and Bronto to analyze “ABC Company”.
Brief company background: ABC Company is a health-oriented organization based out of Central Florida. In addition to their Facebook page and bi-weekly email newsletters, they have a Twitter account, Pinterest page, and YouTube channel.
Note: The following screenshots are from May 2013: therefore, some aspects of Facebook Insights and Bronto may have slightly changed since these screenshots were taken. These screenshots were distributed as an assignment. Therefore, I do not have full access to the actual company’s analytics.
From this overview, we see that ABC Company has 880 Likes, or fans, and reached 340,325 friends of these fans. (The “Friends of Fans” metric is no longer used in Facebook Insights today, as it was not found to be beneficial to page owners.) Additionally, we see a 50.54% decrease in the number of fans talking about ABC Company.
Looking at the Overview chart, we see that there was a slight spike in the total reach around May 7th. From the size of the dot (which represents the number of posts within that time period), we can gather that the spike was generated from one single post. Although not shown in the screenshot, we can then scroll through the list of posts underneath, with their individual reach statistics, and see which post, from May 7th, garnered the small spike in total reach. Let’s say this post was a tip on how to incorporate physical activity while at home with a napping baby. We can make a note to include similar posts that cater to our existing crowd.
Although it is not in the main time range of which we are studying, we can see that June 2nd’s post about National Cancer Survivor’s Day managed to be the most viral of the posts on this current list. However, the post with the most engagement, reach, and sharing was May 29th’s “Join us tomorrow morning in the…” Because these are not my own, I can only guess that ABC Company was planning a health-related event at their establishment, or in the Central Florida community. This reached 509, engaged 13 users, and had 10 sharing the post on their newsfeed. Virality of this post (percentage of those who liked, commented, or shared) was average for this company, but it still created a buzz and should be noted for future content planning.
The demographics portion shows us that more women are reached than men, and the average age range is 25-34 for both men and women.
Geographically, ABC Company mainly reaches Central Florida cities of the US and, consequently, the vast majority of viewers speak English, with the second largest language being Spanish.
In the Reach chart, we can see the spike in virality of the May 7th post, mentioned earlier, with a steady increase starting at the end of May. The organic reach remains the same, changing only if a large increase in the number of Likes were to occur. ABC Company does not incorporate paid Facebook advertising, so the Paid reach remains at 0. The Unique Users by Frequency shows that almost 3,000 users visited ABC Company’s page, with about half returning for a second time. Knowing that we have almost 900 likes, there could be room for improvement here by giving users more of a reason to engage with the company.
The Page Views chart shows us that ABC Company receives about twice the number of page views (number of times visitors accessed the page), as unique visitors (number ofindividuals who visited the page).
The total number of tab views shows us that users are more engaged in ABC Company’s posted content more than the About Me section. If ABC Company is a brick-and-mortar establishment, they may want to utilize this section to provide physical address, contact information, store hours, etc.
The demographics of users talking about ABC Company are displayed here: we can gather that, like the reach demographics discussed earlier, Central Florida users between 25 and 34 (the majority of whom are women) are most likely to talk about ABC Company.
The last chart demonstrates the number of fans talking about ABC Company. There was a steady decline in this chart, until the end of May. This could be due to the June 2nd National Cancer Survivor’s Day post. ABC Company can use this information to develop content in the future, possibly including additional health recognition days like this one. The more fans that continue to talk about ABC Company, the larger the viral reach will be.
The overview above shows the data collected from a May 21, 2013 email sent by ABC Company. Of the 2,624 emails sent, only 18 came back undeliverable. So, of the 2,606 emails received, 25.4% of consumers opened the email. Of those that opened, only 10.9% clicked through.
This email data, along with a 0% conversion rate and 17 contacts lost, shows us that ABC Company should drastically increase their email marketing efforts.
ABC Company knows their audience if they are frequently checking Facebook Insights, along with other social media analytic tools. This data can be used to create email newsletters that subscribers will want to open and read, maybe with valuable family health tips, fitness workout regiments, etc.
First and foremost, ABC Company should consider a new approach to their email marketing strategies. Increasing the open and click through rate should be their first priority. ABC Company should pay close attention to what their audience most responds to, and what posts their audience shares with friends to determine what content gets the best response. Facebook Insights show a steady increase in audience response, so they are on the right track with Facebook. However, to engage in a more IMC approach, ABC Company should consider including links in newsletters and posts to their other social media platforms.
In an effort to boost results across their multiple platforms, ABC Company could utilize their YouTube channel to create health and fitness videos and share on their multiple social media channels. This could also be included in their bi-weekly newsletter. Pinterest could be utilized to collect fitness workout techniques, healthy recipes, or tips for boosting the immune system – these Pinterest boards could then be tweeted, posted, emailed, etc. to their audience in an attempt to further engage and promote sharing.
We saw that ABC Company received great response to a post encouraging fans to join them for an event. Knowing this type of post is seen and shared more, ABC Company should begin planning similar events.
ABC Company should be catering to their younger, mainly female audience – which they seem to do, from the Facebook data provided. Providing interesting content about health is key: especially in the newsletters.
The following is an overview of a possible campaign idea for ABC Company:
“One Month to a Better You”
ABC Company could host group workouts, recipe swaps, healthy food samples, etc for the duration of one month. This could include posts with a healthy-eating routine, paired with week-long workout routines that target certain muscles. The workout routine should be able to be tailored for multiple age ranges, fitness capabilities, and weight groups.
“Ready to renew? September is National Self Improvement Month. In honor of this, we will be hosting weekly yoga classes and cooking demonstrations. One month to a better you!” (with link to detailed blog post)
#Orlando, Ready to Renew? For Nat’l #SelfImprovement Month, you won’t want to miss this! <bit.ly.shortenedurlhere>
Film local gym instructors giving tips for working muscles out properly. Shoot video for a re-cap of a cooking demonstration or yoga class to promote the following week’s events
Begin promoting National Self-Improvement Month one month ahead of time, including details of classes and cooking demonstrations, shared recipes, success stories, etc. Continue promotion throughout September, then provide a feature article re-capping the highlights of the month.
The following images are examples of the types of pins ABC Company could use during this campaign:
In order to effectively determine ROI from you organization’s IMC campaigns, marketing managers must pay close attention to the numerous helpful tools for measuring analytics.
The ROI through social media efforts in your IMC campaign could be determined through various social media analytic tools, such as Facebook Insights, Hootsuite, and more. Monitoring the number of fans and followers throughout the campaign will help with understanding how effective your strategies are. The greater the growth, the greater the consumer reach – which ultimately leads to a larger profit margin.
As many of us learned previously in the semester, email marketing is still very much alive and, therefore, should be paid close attention to, as far as measuring ROI. Silverpop, Mailchimp, and Mad Mimi are just a few email marketing analytic tools to assist with this. It is important to take the open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate into consideration when calculating the ROI.
While there are numerous methods to collect and analyze data for ROI (Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Radian6, and more), I found one (from this week’s lecture) particularly interesting for an IMC approach: credit card data. Analyzing the correlation between consumers’ online searches and, therefore, click rate of targeted ads with offline purchases in brick-and-mortar business establishments. Consumers may do all of the research online, read reviews, and then make their purchase offline. Without credit card data analysis, there is no true way to capture the end result of these consumers, and whether your online approach was effective in converting them.
There has been a misconception that companies should ignore negative feedback or reviews that are posted online and doing so will make it “go away”. If companies still believe this today, their naivete will soon get the best of them…
While responding to both positive and negative feedback is important, negative feedback will often provide the best learning opportunities for your organization – especially if there are a large number of them…(it might then be time to re-evaluate some areas of your organization.) It has been said that unhappy customers are much more likely to write a review than happy customers.
From our lecture this week, and a few supplemental articles I have read recently, I’ve created a list of a few items to take into consideration, when crafting your response to unhappy customers:
1. Cool your lid – No matter your role in the organization, you have played an important part in its success and, therefore, might get upset by some particularly catty reviews. Take this time to step away and cool off.
2. Take a walk in their shoes – Consider the customer…something about your organization has let them down; but they do care enough to let you know so that this may be improved upon in the future.
3. Be Empathetic – Try to understand where the customer is coming from: they have most likely spent time and money with your organization, and deserve a positive, understanding response.
4. Act Promptly: Respond to negative feedback quickly. This will show customers that you truly care to make things right, and not responding can quickly turn into additional negative reviews.
5. Make a Plan: Let the customer know that there is a definite plan to make things right. Suggest that you swap information in a private message or email, to reach the customer for resolving the issue(s).
The following are two examples that have been provided for us to answer as if we are Social Media Managers of the Hyatt and Hilton hotel brands.
*Disclaimer: The following sample reviews and responses are for educational purposes only, and do not reflect the actual hotel brands.
Review #1: Posted on TripAdvisor for Hilton
On July 3, 2014 Hilton Ft. Lauderdale wrote:
We are truly sorry for the incidences during your recent experience with us. What you have described about our housekeeping services does not fit our customer service model we strive to maintain everyday, and we apologize for not meeting the high standards that Hilton properties holds themselves to.
We would like an opportunity to have you stay with us again. (We’ve replaced the metal keypad with rubberized keys per your feedback, so no more burned fingers!) Please contact me directly so that we can begin to correct these issues for you.
Social Media Manager, Hilton Ft. Lauderdale
Review #2: Posted on TripAdvisor for Hyatt
On July 5, 2014 Hyatt Regency wrote:
We are pleased to hear you enjoyed your recent stay with us. Our new pool area was an exciting addition, so we are glad to hear you and your children enjoyed it! It is our goal to offer a relaxing stay for both business trips and family fun.
We apologize for the additional wait at Fiorenzo, and suggest checking out the The Bar at Fiorenzo during your next stay for a full drink and food menu if there happens to be a wait. We understand that transportation can be costly, especially if taking a family to and from Orlando’s wonderful theme parks. Check out our transportation optionshere: maybe the I-Ride Trolley would be a cost-efficient alternative during your next stay.
Thanks again for your feedback, and we look forward to accommodating you and your family again soon!
Social Media Manager, Hyatt Regency
Note: The following post is for educational purposes only.
This week, I followed the Cosmoprof North America Trade Show event before, during, and after it took place. To gain a better understanding of what exactly Cosmoprof is, I did a little front-end research by checking out their various social media platforms, looking over their website, and signing up for their newsletter.
Here are the basics:
Cosmoprof North America, organized by North American Beauty Events (NABE), Professional Beauty Association (PBA), and Bologna Fierce, is an annual trade show held in Las Vegas each summer. Over 900 exhibitors, from 37 countries, participated this past week and 26,000 visitors from 104 countries were in attendance.
These numbers really surprised me. What a great opportunity to reach and expand an audience! The audience is already persuaded: they’ve made plans to attend, purchased airline tickets and lodging, and probably mapped out the booths they would like to check out. Should be as simple as pie, right? Not so much.
Event marketing does not stop at ticket purchases. There are a lot of other factors and statistics involved in event marketing through the website and media. It takes much thought, careful planning, and a strong team to be able to cover all aspects of the event thoroughly. So, how does Cosmoprof measure up?
A Review of Social Media channels listed on Cosmoprof’s website:
Cosmoprof’s Facebook page currently has 5,133 likes, which is only 11 likes higher than before the event. They used their Facebook page to promote the event beforehand, but did not post as frequently as I would have thought.
There were a good number of posts promoting the event beforehand, however they were not consistent. A promotional post was put up on July 9th, and then nothing was posted again until the second day of the event (July 14th). During the event, a total of 8 Facebook posts were put up, between July 13th – 15th, with an average of 3 likes per post.
The content on their Facebook is mainly what others have to say about the trade show, through a blogger’s review, video, etc. They only made a few plugs about the vendors that were participating.
Cosmoprof’s Twitter page had 2,716 followers before the event, and 2.727 followers after – (oddly enough, the same growth as their Facebook page). Regardless, I noticed this platform was much more heavily used than their others.
In what looked like an attempt to call out almost every vendor booth in attendance, Cosmoprof sent a rush of tweets in a short time frame on July 15th, giving a brief description of what products the vendor was showing, along with their booth number. They started these tweets out with hashtagging the vendor’s booth, which did not prove to be very effective. After a while, they continued to tweet booth numbers, leaving off the hashtag. I did not see very many other hashtags used by Comsoprof, other than from others’ tweets that were retweeted.
The Twitter content mainly consisted of these vendor tweets and retweets. There has only been one tweet since the trade show ended on the 15th, and it was to congratulate the winner of the Discover Beauty Award.
Prior to the event, Cosmoprof’s LinkedIn page had 2,422 members – which increased by one member to 2,423 after the event (I was that member).
Daniela Ciocan, Marketing Director of Cosmoprof North America, was the main content contributor within the private group’s dicsussion board. She provided strong content with links to blog posts or articles about Cosmoprof’s success and brand marketing information that could be beneficial for their vendors. Daniela has not yet posted a wrap-up or re-cap of the 2014 trade show.
Cosmoprof’s Instagram button on their website will take you to Web.stagram, an Instagram web viewer, however, clicking the Instagram button, above, will direct you to the actual Cosmoprof Instagram page. Cosmoprof currently has 2,866 followers.
Oddly enough, Cosmoprof’s Instagram channel is not used nearly as much as their Twitter page, however, they received the most audience response on their Instagram posts than any other social media channel used. Like Facebook and Twitter, hashtags are rarely used by Cosmoprof on Instagram.
Their content posted through Instagram is different from Twitter and Facebook – it has a bit less of a business-oriented presence, and more of a casual “friend” feel. (See the Marketing Director enjoying a cigar below)
Cosmoprof’s Pinterest follows along with the trend we are beginning to see: there are only 52 pins across 7 boards. Cosmoprof has gained one Pinterest follower from the beginning of the show to the end, for a total of 275 followers. Although no hashtags are used to increase the number of possible viewers, their boards contain relevant, and up to date pins about Discover Beauty, blog posts, fashion, and beauty tips.
The Cosmoprof website contains all information that is needed to plan a trip to the Cosmoprof North America trade show. Almost anything a vendor or visitor might need is hidden within this website. Cosmoprof does an excellent job of describing the special guests that will be speaking at their event. Their interactive exhibition floor plan is user-friendly and very helpful as well. This is the platform where Cosmoprof shines, compared to their social media efforts.
Cosmoprof North America “News Flash” contains great blog posts for those in the beauty business, and does an excellent job of sharing published posts across their social media channels.
Cosmoprof could stand to use more marketing tips when it comes to their social media channels. The platforms that they use are not used to the best of their abilities: for instance, Twitter is the king of hashtags: they need to take advantage of this missed opportunity to reach prospective visitors for future events. Pinterest is a perfect platform for sharing beauty tips or ideas for beauty businesses: this channel should be utilized more. I was surprised to see how little was posted across all channels during the actual event. I assumed content would be posted frequently during the event to take advantage of the opportunity to reach a large number of interested consumers.
On the contrary, Cosmoprof does do an excellent job of sharing what other bloggers and attendees have to say about the event, which fosters a positive and caring relationship with consumers by giving them some spotlight. They made a point to call out many of their vendors on Twitter, suggesting visitors stop by their booth and showcasing their products. Other than links to blog posts, and vendor spotlight, very little content was posted to promote the event: the occasional promotional offer for registration was posted, but Cosmoprof only seemed to promote Vegas and various trade show lodging options on their website.
IMC: Present with Cosmoprof?
I signed up for the Cosmoprof newsletter two days before the event began, in hopes that I might receive a newsletter between then, and writing this post. Unfortunately, I received nothing…not even a “Thank you for signing up!” email. I signed up again, with a second email address, in case this was a fluke, and still have not received anything. Therefore, I cannot accurately report on the content of Cosmoprof’s newsletter.
However, their website contains a large list, showcasing articles and write-ups from other media affiliates, about the trade show. They have also included their own press releases, as well. This, along with the fact that they do have a newsletter, leads me to believe Cosmoprof does make an effort to engage in an IMC strategy.
The Cosmoprof logo is consistently used as a profile picture across all social media channels, and the majority of images used are professional and clear.
I noticed that the usernames on their social media channels are inconsistent, which could prohibit consumers from finding their profile. For example, on Facebook, Cosmoprof is called “Cosmoprof North America”, while on Twitter, it is called “@Cosmoproflv.” Cosmoprof could change their Twitter handle to “@Cosmoprofna” to avoid any possible confusion.
Overall, Cosmoprof makes much of an effort to promote their vendors and share Trade Show event reviews written by others. 45% of trade show attendees only visit one trade show, per year. Therefore, it is crucial that Cosmoprof engage with their attendants to ensure they remain at the top of their list. Their social marketing strategies could stand to use some additional content, with a goal to increase fans and followers engagement through added IMC efforts. They could achieve this by using relevant hashtags, such as #cosmoprof, #beautyprofessional, #beautytips, and more. Cosmoprof should also make an effort to share more than their blog posts across each of their social media platforms. Sharing an instagram picture on Twitter or Facebook could encourage fans to follow them on additional platforms.
With so many international attendants, Cosmoprof should also make an effort to promote the venue and any hotel or restaurant sponsorships/partnerships to assist attendants with travel plans and information about the Las Vegas area.
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom: A place that is all about magic and imagination….Let’s “imagine”, for the sake of this assignment, that I was the Social Media Manager for Disney’s Magic Kingdom. My goals, as Social Media Manager, would be to increase traffic to the Magic Kingdom portion of Disney World’s website by offering tips, event details, promotions, and interesting Magic Kingdom facts. My goal, specifically for the month of August, is to encourage consumers to: book a last-minute trip before school starts back and/or begin their plans for a fall or Christmas break trip.
Note: The following posts are hypothetical, and for the purpose of this academic assignment only:
Friday, August 1:
Did you know? August is National Family Fun Month. Plan your own family fun with Mickey and the gang at Magic Kingdom! Find out more here. #familyfun #MagicKingd0m
Mickey and his friends invite you to spend National #FamilyFun Month at Magic Kingdom! #Disney #Magic Kingdom
Saturday, August 2:
This Little Mermaid is ready to meet you! Check out Ariel’s Grotto in Fantasyland for an Under the Sea meet and greet adventure! #magickingdom
Twitter: Ariel is ready to meet you at her Grotto in Fantasyland! #magickingdom #WDW
Sunday, August 3:
Image for both Twitter and Facebook:
Facebook: Happy National Sisters Day from two of the coolest sisters around! #Frozen #NationalSistersDay #Disney
Twitter: In honor of #NationalSistersDay, RT your own Sister picture to us @WDWMagicKindgom #Disney
Monday, August 4:
Calling all Detectives: We need your help unlocking secret riddles and finding hidden clues! Join us on a Family Magic Tour tomorrow at 10:00 am for a magical adventure around Magic Kingdom.
Help us solve magical riddles and find secret clues on our #MagicKingdom Family Magic Tour tomorrow: http://bit.ly/1r71Tu3
Tuesday, August 5:
Share some Spaghetti and Meatballs tonight with your honey, “Lady and the Tramp style” at Tony’s Town Square.
Have a date night at Tony’s Town Square for some Puppy Lovin’ Spaghetti! #magickingdom #datenight
Wednesday, August 6:
Rise and Shine! Magic Kingdom will have an Extra Magic Hour tomorrow morning. Join us for lighter crowds, shorter ride lines, and cooler temperatures!
Tomorrow’s Extra Magic Hour starts at 8:00 am! Come early for shorter ride lines and cooler temps!
Thursday, August 7:
Image for both Facebook and Twitter:
Facebook: Throwback Thursday: Space Mountain opened in 1975, and is still one of the most loved Magic Kingdom attractions today! #MagicKingdom #TBT
Twitter: #TBT – Space Mountain opened 39 years ago…Can you believe it? #MagicKingdom #SpaceMountain
Friday, August 8:
Arr, mateys and maidens: Head over to the Pirates League to transform ye self into a Pirate or Mermaid and get yer official Pirate name!
Mickey Mouse is ready to hit the stage: but first, come meet him in his rehearsal room and talk with him before the show! You may even get to see some pre-show magic tricks, prepared just for you! Details can be found here.
Twitter: Meet Mickey and see him practice his magic tricks at the Town Square Theater http://bit.ly/1wixqqR #mickey #magickingdom
Sunday, August 10:
Image for both Facebook and Twitter:
Facebook: It’s National Smile Week! Send us your best smiles while enjoying the Magic Kingdom for a chance to win Disney Dining Dollars! (Good at any Magic Kingdom restaurant) More information here: <link will be inserted here>
Twitter: Share your Magic Kingdom smiles for a chance to win! <shortened url inserted here> #NationalSmileWeek #magickingdom #contest
Monday, August 11:
[Image of various Disney characters wearing backpacks, waving]
Our friends at the Magic Kingdom would like to wish all students a happy first day back to school! #backtoschool #magickingdom
Twitter: Happy first day back to school from your Magic Kingdom friends! #magickingdom #backtoschool
Tuesday, August 12:
Image used for both Facebook and Twitter:
Facebook: Trivia Tuesday: Which Magic Kingdom attraction features the decoration in the picture? #magickingdom #trivia #disney
Twitter: RT to guess where in the #MagicKingdom this picture was taken #trivia #disney
Wednesday, August 13:
Facebook: Feeling the need for speed? Get behind the wheels of a luxury sports car at the world-class Exotic Driving Experience! See which cars are available here. #exoticdriving #WDWspeedway
Twitter: Take laps in a luxury sports car at the Exotic Driving Experience at #MagicKingdom – don’t miss out! http://bit.ly/1ydhJEb #exoticdriving
Thursday, August 14:
Image for both Facebook and Twitter:
Facebook: In honor of today’s Throwback Thursday from 1973, we’ve pulled back out these old baseball uniforms. See if you can spot Mickey, Goofy, Chip, and Dale in their baseball get-ups around Magic Kingdom today! #TBT MagicKingdom
Twitter: #TBT to 1973: The gang has these old baseball uniforms on again. Can you find them at #MagicKingdom ?
Friday, August 15:
Post #1: Image for both Facebook and Twitter:
Facebook: It’s hot outside…cool off with Mickey’s Kitchen Sink: a delectable ice cream treat from Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. This is one to share with family and friends! Take the bowl home after you finish for a cool souvenir!
Twitter: Indulge yourself with Mickey’s Kitchen Sink, from Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. Get extra spoons for sharing! #MagicKingdom #IceCream
Facebook: Don’t forget! Submit best smiles at Magic Kingdom by midnight tomorrow night, for a chance to win Disney Dining Dollars! [detail link inserted here] #MagicKingdom #Smile
Twitter: Tomorrow is the last day to submit your #MagicKingdom smiles for a chance to win! [shortened url detail link here] #smile #contest
Saturday, August 16:
Facebook: Look who we spotted last night at the Main St. Electrical Parade! Don’t miss out tonight! Parade starts at 9:00 pm. #MagicKingdom #Parade
Twitter: Who will you see at tonight’s Main St. Electrical Parade? #MagicKingdom #parade
Sunday, August 17:
Happy Friendship Week! Can you and your friends re-create this goofy princess picture? Share it with us! #friendshipweek #disneyprincess
In honor of #FriendshipWeek, check out our Facebook page for a fun challenge from the princesses! #disney #photochallenge [shortened url to FB page inserted here]
Originally Australia-based Spring.me is a social media app and website platform for generating questions around various interests. They call themselves “a social network for meeting people and starting conversations.” Ever heard of them? I hadn’t either and was suprised, until learning that they had just launched Beta this time last year, after acquiring an existing social media platform that had gotten a “bad rap”.
A relatively new social media platform, Spring.me has over 4 million visitors each month: 82% of which are between the ages of 16-24, according to their website. Part of this large number could be attributed to the fact that Spring.me acquired the (now closed) Formspring website, along with all of their users in May 2013. The existing Formspring users were given the opportunity to continue as Beta users on the new Spring.me platform in July of last year, before opening to the public in September 2013.
To prepare for its launch after raising over $2 million from various investors, Helpa Services (owner of Spring.me) recruited a technical team to build a platform ready to support Formspring’s existing 25 million users. In the last few months, an announcement has been made that Helpa Services will be acquired and rebranded: “[…] GRP Corporation will acquire Spring.Me’s parent company Helpa Services, and rebrand as Spring Networks, as the company seeks to raise $4.5 million from existing and new investors on the sharemarket.”
So you’ve got the scoop…but what exactly is it used for?
Spring.me is a place for questions…questions about love, questions about life, questions asking “would you rather,” and so on. Spring.me’s open community allows users to ask all types of questions, post videos, pictures, send both public and private messages, and “smile” at other users’ posts (similar to Facebook’s “like” function.) If you’re familiar with Formspring, you are probably aware that it received a reputation for cyber bullying. Spring.me has revitalized the original concept of “starting conversations” based on common interests making an effort to keep risqué or vulgar posts away by their extended list of privacy, security and content settings, allowing users to select from “Green” content: suitable for everyone; “Orange” content: suitable for 15+, and “Red” content: suitable for 18+.
New users can integrate their Google +, Facebook and/or Twitter accounts to see which of their friends or followers are already using Spring.me and connect with them. The Spring.me app mirrors the website, both visually and with its functionality.
Key features and functions within the mobile app and website:
The ability to ask any or all users a question: (your status as an active user or influencer, based on number of followers, determines just how many people see your post)
Users can use suggested questions to get a conversation going:
Top users (Spring.me, in most cases) posts a featured question that generates a large response:
The “Gallery” function allows users to share photos publicly:
The “Opinions” feature allows users to participate in polls.(Currently in Beta, this feature shows the percentage of other users that selected the same answer, however, it does not show the total number of users that participated.)
The “People” function gives users the ability to see others who are ready to chat, followers, and featured profiles.
Additional feature: ability to create meme images:
Users can post a Widget directly on their blog or website, encouraging site visitors to ask them questions:
Now, how can these features be beneficial for a brand’s marketing efforts?
After researching the Spring.me channel, I noticed this platform is hardly used by brands. Sure, many more users can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and other major social media platforms, but there is something to be said for over 4 million visitors each month. Spring.me could be a mecca for brands that target the younger crowd. They can ease their way into the “conversation” by asking open-ended questions, generating a discussion with their followers. This could be an added effort to establish or maintain a relationship between consumer and brand. Plus, consumers know what they want and can give feedback for new or improved products.
Spring.me encourages organizations to become an “influencer” on their website. Whether you are a major corporation or a small mom & pop storefront, various price options are offered.
Spring.me welcomes organizations to participate in conversations: “Our targeting options allow you to setup a Spring.me account and build a following of members who are passionate about your business. We can connect you with customers in a specific geography or across specific demographics allowing you to engage them in meaningful conversations.”
To demonstrate the response one question can receive, I posted the question: “How often do you log into spring.me?” Within 30 minutes, I had three responses:
If my measly little week-old profile with no true profile picture and 1 follower could generate a handful of responses within half an hour, a brand that is widely recognized by consumers could receive a massive response to their posts. (Due to the lack of brands on Spring.me, I was unable to capture this response and, therefore, these are only my assumptions based on project research.)
Not only would adding Spring.me into a company’s communications plan reap benefits from a virtually untapped platform, it would also be a smart IMC move, which is perhaps the biggest benefit…
Let’s say “ABC Ice Cream” company posted the question,”What flavor would you like to see on the shelf next?” on their Spring.me page, selecting the options to post via Facebook and Twitter. Not only would they receive answers from the original platform, but current Facebook and Twitter fans will also be able to see this question and have the opportunity to share their thoughts.
As previously mentioned, Spring.me is still in its early stages, but appears to have promising results with the current number of visitors to the mobile app and website. There is much room for brands to begin making their presence on this platform, especially those that target young adults, or are looking for ways to include their current audience in relationship-building discussions.
For information on how Spring.me can benefit a brand’s IMC strategies, as well as a brief walk-through of Spring.me, check out this Prezi.