Posts Tagged ‘social media’

A peace message from Puerto Rico

December 17, 2012 1 comment


Social media is a known to be a powerful marketing tool and therefore in Puerto Rico its users are using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to promote the message of peace.

This small island in the Caribbean has been facing a huge wave crime in the past few years with over 1,000 people being murdered in 2011 alone. Recently a publicist called José Enrique Gómez was carjacked by 4 suspects with no guns, taken to an ATM machine to withdraw $400 and then set on fire. This violent murder has been the final straw for the citizens of this island who are tired of living with nothing but crimes reported on the news.

People have taken to social media to pour the messages of peace and to promote the end of the violence in the country. Several Facebook groups popped up overnight reaching over 50,000 supporters in 24 hours. They all have been promoting the message of “Todos somos Jorge Steven” (“We are all Jorge Steven”) and “Los Buenos Somos Mas” (“The Good Guys are More”). The hashtags associated with this peace message: #todossomosjorgeenrique, #unabrazoparapuertorico, #losbuenossomosmas and #bastaya are still being used weeks after the movement started. This is a good sign because in the social media world movements rise and fall with a lifespan of a few days at most. This message of peace has also been kept strong by increasing support from local celebrities like Ricky Martin and by the news spreading globally and supporters joining from other countries.

This social media movement has also moved the message from the social media outlets to major news outlets not only in Puerto Rico but around the world. It has also inspired the citizens to voice their message from the virtual world to the real world by organizing vigils for victims, peaceful marches and conversations in daily life.


The impact of this virtual conversation has taken one step further. The mother of one of the suspects saw her son’s picture on Facebook in a movement to find the perpetrators and made him turn himself in to the police.

This movement has been causing some powerful impacts to the social health of a wounded country. There is hope in how the conversations are being kept alive and that people are not forgetting to keep interest in spreading the message. Hopefully 2013 will be the first time in over a decade where Puerto Ricans will see a year in decreasing murder rates and less violence in their daily lives.

You CAN Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

On November 29th, 2012, a post was made on Social Media Today, titled, “ 90% of Social Media Has Nothing to Do With Social Media”, that immediately caught my eye. As much as we learn in school that innovation and true customer insight comes from research and constant social media monitoring, nothing beats getting out of the office and truly experiencing life. The real life. The one outside those cyber walls. The life with fresh air, real people, real adventures and real content that makes for successful branding and marketing.

In the post, the author offers a few ideas on how to “avoid the peaks and valleys of great content and become a more dependable source of value to your consumers?” I would like to share them with you now.

Once you have read them, I hope that every office chair is left spinning as each and every one of you is out in this beautiful world bettering the company you work for as well as taking sometime to simply enjoy the little thing I like to call…. life.risks

1) Prove your brand’s promise

Undoubtedly you have a deep understanding of what your brand means to consumers’ lives and continually work to prove this through everything you do. Create compelling content by documenting, capturing, and finding new and creative ways to prove your brand’s promise. Don’t just talk about it, live it, and showcase that.

2) Showcase your product or service

While you certainly don’t want to over do your self-promotion, or try to hard sell your consumers via social media, a key reason why people are attracted to you on social media is because of your product or service. Think about showcasing your product or service, how it is used, who uses it, where it is produced, and on. The key thing here is to show the reality of your product or service, not just rhyme off information from a sell sheet.

3) Community spotlight

For too many brands a community spotlight means commenting or liking a contribution that one of your consumers made on social media. Consider spotlighting consumers who use your product or service in interesting ways, or who do particularly interesting things themselves that are related to your brand. When you’ve identified these people, reach out to them, meet with them, and find some time to see them in person to learn what they’re up to, and how your brand plays a role in their life. Chances are that others interested in your brand, will be interested in these people as well.

 4) Do something interesting

Have you ever noticed that the most interesting of your friends to follow on social media are those who live interesting lives? The reason for this is that their social media profiles mirror their real lives. The same principles hold true for brands. Find opportunities for your brand to live an interesting life and you’ll be rewarded with numerous opportunities for great content creation. Think about planning an event, making a splash with a new product launch, sponsoring a conference, or holding training sessions, to list a few ideas.

As a young professional marketer, I especially connected with the last piece of advice: do something interesting. The observation could not be truer. Why do you think so many people take such an interest in the lives of celebrities and/or professional sports players? It is because of the unique and seemingly exciting lives they live. We wish to live vicariously through them. The “abnormal” intrigues us. This common notion holds true for almost everything, especially when it comes to product branding. You must be different.

We, as marketing professionals, must be willing to take risks, go with our guts and most of all.. truly live.

What do YOU think? 

Humanizing brands

December 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Recently I came across a blogpost written by Sean Hazell ” 8 Reasons Misery Loves Your Non-Human Company”. Few years back I wouldn’t have understood the relevance of this but today it holds true more than ever for most of the brands. We see brands like Comcast, Jetblue, Best Buy constantly talking to their customers getting a feedback, addressing issues. Social media has enabled two way communication between the brands and their customers. Customers, who are loyal to these brands and would like to play a significant role in the brand’s evolution. Today it is okay for a brand to make a mistake as long as they own up to it. Customers trust their brands to do the right thing. They share a love-hate relationship with their brands just like they do with their friends.  Customers use their favorite brands as a means of self-expression when they tweet about their experiences, like a post on Facebook or pin pictures of their new google phone. As the customers interact with their brands on various online platforms they build stories and memories around their brands and when the brand reciprocates with good customer service or a quick fix to their problem it is well-appreciated. They attach certain attributes to these brands which is above and beyond the functional attributes and much more emotional and human. It is real, honest and sticky. Without these personalities the brand is meaningless.

Are you keeping up with your younger consumers?

September 30, 2012 Leave a comment

As markets found different and unique ways to reach their target audience for “Back to School” sales, a lot did not take full advantage of digital marketing. Perhaps because this term “digital marketing” is still new to the field and a lot of people don’t quite know how to use it effectively. I understand that some people might not know how to create effective digital marketing campaign. Well, I am going to use this article that demonstrates six great “Back to School” digital marketing campaign and give my own opinion of why I think it was executed well and what could have been done to further enhance it.

1. Teen Vogue:

First of all, Teen Vogue allowed customers who have the “insider app” to retrieve coupons and discounts on their mobile devices. This allows only an exclusive group of their target audience to get discounts and spread the word to their friends to also join this app. Second of all, the benefit of having fashion shows in different cities is that those who don’t subscribe to Teen Vogue were reached. Furthermore, participating retailers increased brand awareness and trials.

Improvement: They could have encouraged those who witnessed the fashion shows to send live pictures of the events on Instagram and Twitter (ex. #TVfashionshow) in a chance to possible gain coupons and discounts.

2. American Eagle

First of all, American Eagle (AE) used a catchy phrase. “Live Your Life” really encourages young people to live their life the way they want without worrying about what others might think or say. Second of all, by asking your consumers to enter their pictures, you gain brand ambassadors. These brand ambassadors will be able to influence their peers more than an ad would do. Third of all, AE asked their followers to vote in order to increase interaction amount friends as well as those who don’t want to post their pictures but still want to participate.

Improvement: They should really extend this “Live Your Life” campaign and partner with non-profit organizations. Being a teenager in the U.S is very hard especially if you do not fit in with the cool crowd. The tag line would go so well with the anti-bullying organization or eating disorder organizations to bring more awareness to the on-going issues.

3. Staple

First of all, they were smart to keep offering new deals weekly, because this keeps consumers coming back for more deal. They want to see what will unfold this week that didn’t last week. In addition, your brand becomes top of mind for these consumers. Second of all, it was great that they added the #StaplesforStudents hashtag in order to make consumers feel like they are participating in a good cause.

Improvement: I don’t think the campaign should be limited to Twitter only, because they will be overseeing a lot of their target audience who are not on Twitter yet. The same idea, minus the hashtags, should be transported to the AE Facebook page. In addition, videos should be created that show where the donations are going and post it on Youtube (with tweets of those who donated embedded in the videos).

4. Target

First of all, Target understands the headache that goes into going away for college. In order to attract more consumers to their mobile app, they created this engaging checklist to help the new students easily transition in their new life. Second of all, they provided design inspirations to help students understand what goes with what. Years later they might remember Target as the brand that helped them in their transition phase.

Improvement: I know this might sound too stretched but adding tips beyond what they need is necessary. A lot of students might not know how to wash covers, bed sheets, etc. They also might not know how often they need to change they sheets or how to fold their laundry. You also want to provide a chat option in case they have questions.

5. Sears

It is always good to partner with a non-profit and raise awareness that might be overlooked. However, the cause has to reflect your mission statement and your longterm goals. Sears in this case did a good job of reminding students about bullying as they were heading back to school.

Improvement: Again expanding it beyond Twitter, because the company is still growing. I think adding Youtube again might be a good idea. Or creating educational short documentaries that could be picked up by teachers so they can show it to the students.

6. SpareFoot

This is such a simple but yet effective campaign for a storage company. All you are doing is grabbing attention from users by asking them what they’ve kept since elementary school instead of talking about the services that you offer. Not only are you engaging with the brand by you are helping them supply kits to students. And here you see the use of both Facebook and Twitter.

Improvement: In addition, SpareFoot could allow users to create a collage from their keepsake  to be posted both Pinterest and Instagram

The first time is always hard especially in this ever-changing era where you have to constantly be on your toes. However, the key to creating effective digital campaigns is understanding where your consumers are, be creative in a simple way , integrate different social media sites, and allow engagement/sharing.

Using Social Media to Provide Exclusive Deals to Consumers

November 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Oscar de la Renta Perfume Ring

More and more company’s are using Facebook as a way to sell their products to consumers. Oscar de la Renta’s Facebook page is offering a $65 flower perfume ring exclusively on its Facebook page to the company’s fans. This is a unique shopping exclusive and picked up some buzz this morning from sites like Mashable and Forbes.

Many of the brands I like on Facebook have areas on their pages where you can shop directly on a shopping tab. Two examples of companies providing shopping capabilities on their pages are Banana Republic and Express. Express also offers an online version of their catalog on their Facebook page.

Companies have been using social media as a way to communicate directly to consumers and to create a community. Many retailers also offer exclusive deals and offers to fans or followers, which is another great way to build a community around a social media page. Offering not just the capability to shop but offering exclusive items online is a great way to target consumers that are highly engaged in the brand and may be more likely to be excited about this type of offer. Exclusive offers on social media can increase not only the sense of community around a brand, but also move that brand liking into the possibility of sales for the company.

However, according to many companies are losing money on these initiatives because of the costs to create a unique Facebook shopping app. As the cost of producing these application begins to decrease however, this trend is expected to reverse. Brands like Oscar de la Renta will be some of the first to see if this sort of social media e-commerce can be used effectively and be profitable.


Measuring ROI within Social Media campaigns – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

October 24, 2010 Leave a comment

This year Proctor & Gamble’s Old Spice and the ad agency Weiden & Kennedy (W+K) received significant attention with their innovative integrated marketing campaign which started with tv broadcast spots and then moved into the social media space. Many hailed the creative effort, but some industry experts, including BrandWeek and Fast Company initially questioned the effectiveness of the campaign asking if it drove revenue. (Once updated figures were released, several publications quickly made corrections).

While there are many different ways for determining a campaign’s success (awareness, demand, increased likelihood to purchase), in most cases, Creative has to prove its value and that the work must positively contributed to the bottom line. W+K and P&G took great care in monitoring the Old Spice campaign in the digital form (views, tweets, unique page views and engagement) and in the form of a ringing register (sales, market share, share of voice). This enabled them to correlate the social media effort (as a part of the overall IMC strategy) with an increase in brand awareness, engagement, market share (both for body wash, and in a ripple effect, other Old Spice product categories), and finally and most importantly to the CFO – an increase in sales and revenue.

The video made by W +K (post below) is a great case study for not just a social media campaign, but also how an agency/marketing team can show how a campaign can effect the bottom line. The Old Spice campaign, with W + K’s help, has been able to do something rare in the industry today: combine memorable, outstanding creative with the almighty dollar.

In addition to the increase in market share and profits, the campaign has received accolades and awards, including an Emmy). The idea of the “Man your man could smell like” has even taken on meme status, and truly has gone viral, enough for even Sesame Street to notice.

Hopefully this creative success will lead to more innovative campaigns overall that are smart and resonate with the target audience, making just a bit more of all that communication clutter worth paying attention to.


Yes we can COUNT, sort of…

March 31, 2010 Leave a comment

This will be a really short blog, I hope. Yesterday riding the T, I was struck by all the commercial billboards advocating the Census. Forgive me if somebody already mentioned this, but this looks like a job for …. wait for it…. a super Social Media marketer. C’mon Son, to borrow a line from Ed Lover, in the social age we can’t figure out a way for people to fill out this stuff and email it in? Aren’t there enough people, and we’re in the 10’s of millions by now, using online media from facebook to twitter., to warrant exploration of a field test mixing social media and record data like the census? I realize this argument sounds vaguely familiar to the one U.S. citiznes have every four years at election time, “Why can’t we email our vote?” or  “why can’t we do this on Saturday?” but NOW I am really serious.  The commercial’s mantra is “We can’t go forward, until you mail it back.” I admit, the slogan is very catchy. I have even seen a newer spin on “Yes We Can” ala the President’s campaign for the Census entitled “Yes We Count!” I like this spin also. I believe we could go one more step further. How about “Yes E-Can Count!” or “United E-Stand.” I know its not the greatest slogan, but you get the idea. Those of us emailers and mobile users UNITE. Imagine you could go online, fill out your census, and fewer trees are used. Sorry, mail carriers, there about to phase out Saturday anyway, so its one more piece of mail you won’t be delivering. But according to analysts, we’re not mailing them in either. How cool would a social media campaign around the Census be? I think very. Or how setting up e-kiosks in malls. During your Easter, if you commemorate, shopping you stop by the kiosk fill out the info, done.

Well those are my two cents. Before you ask, I snail mailed my Census in already. Did you? Do you wish you could’ve emailed it? Just asking. 😉

Does Twitter Impact Stock Prices?

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

By Jessica Malcolm

As everyone probably knows, on January 27, Apple released the iPad, but not everyone was following Twitter and stocks during Steve Jobs’ speech. Leading up to the hyped unveiling, Apple’s stock prices increased as consumers took to social media to discuss the possible products which could be unveiled. The most popular topic was the Apple tablet, which consumers were very enthusiastic about. Yet, once Jobs’ took the stage and announced exactly what everyone thought he would announce, Apple’s stock immediately fell 4% (for more information about the exact stock prices

Similar to Stock prices, enthusiasm on Twitter seemed to die down. As more of the iPad’s features were exposed, consumers expressed their interest or disinterest in the product. Seemingly enough the Tweets were reflected in consumer’s enthusiasm and distain for the product (For an in-depth look at the Tweets during As consumer opinion changed from the iStink to the iFantastic stock prices rose. Is someone on Wall Street tracking Twitter and advising traders to buy or sell in regards to the sentiment on Twitter? Its possible, Twitter is a quick check of the consumer’s pulse and opinion’s about a product or service and can accurately gauge if consumers are likely to purchase a product based on a sentiment. As marketers, we can use information gleaned from Twitter to combat rumors and make sure that their concerns are met with marketing.

FACing up to ways Social Media is used – Virtually Astounding.

December 17, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ll be honest, when it comes to facebook gaming, I’m not a participant. But a recent article I read in didn’t bring me any closer to wanting to be one either.  According to a December 9, 2009 article in entitled, “Health Insurers Paying Facebook Gamers Virtual Currency to Oppose Reform Bill” players of popular games such as Mafia Wars or Farmville should be very careful in how they accrue points to play their games.  Usually, gamers need additional points called virtual currency to continue playing in these virtual games.

Facebook players accumulate points by buying them literally with their own money, winning the games they’re playing or by signing up with a 3rd party who will make them an offer and in exchange for the user accepting the offer recieve virtual points. For example, companies such as Netflix offer these facebook gamers virtual points in exchange for the gamer accepting and product or service trial. But, what happens when politics gets into the mix? This is the case as the debate for universal healthcare has entered the arena of facebook.

You may ask yourself, “What does healthcare and facebook have to do with one another?” Well, not so surprisingly, a majority of the users that healthcare companies are targeting – women in their 30s and 40s are heavy facebook users. An organization called Get Healthcare Reform Right has enlisted the aid of facilitators such as Gambit to bring together healthcare status quo advocates, facebook gamers and facebook game creators. Players desperately desiring to play on their favorite game, but lack virtual currency to continue merely need to fill out a survey supplied by Get Healthcare Reform Right acts on behalf of some of the largest healthcare insurer organizations in the U.S. Such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers and Healthcare Leadership Council. After filling out the survey, the following email is sent to their Congressperson:



Get Healthcare Reform Right Screenshot

Tell Congress to Get Health Reform Right!

“I am concerned a new government plan could cause me to lose the employer coverage I have today. More government bureaucracy will only create more problems, not solve the ones we have.”

The players receive their points, the political lobbyists are happier for more support and the game creator is happier that more participants are using their facebook gaming software.  

Politricks are nothing new to the American people, but using Social Media to further these gains are some unchartered waters. Will there be a Social Media backlash? Is it ethical to promote a political agenda via Social Media? Many people believe we probably wouldn’t have the latest President of the United States without his campaign party’s use of some matter of Social Media, so fair is fair. Astroturfing is the term used to describe paying someone for their political support and its NOT illegal – I always thought it was called bribery myself.  Unlike true “grassroots” followings, astroturfing is so named because it is “fake-grassroots” in nature.   Will the healthcare debate in the United States come down to how many virtual points Andre or Vera or Sophie need to continue to play Balloono or Hover Kart Battle? I sincerely hope not, but the next time a facebook friend shows me their next highest score on a virtual game, I’m going to be very concerned how they got that score and at what cost is it indirectly is to me, personally.

Health Insurers Caught Paying Facebook Gamers Virtual Currency To Oppose Reform Bill

The Risks of Changing Facebook’s Security Standards

December 8, 2009 Leave a comment

In the FastCompany article “Facebook Locks Up Its User Safety With Global Advisory Board”, the author talks about Facebooks plans to drastically improve safety standards on the social media platform.

Facebook greatly announced in a press release this morning that it plans to set up a Global Advisory Board on Security.
There can be no doubt that online safety is of fundamental importance for a social networking site. In the German speaking market (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), the social media market leader has ever since been a site called StudiVz. In terms of its functions and user groups, this platform seems like a copy of Facebook adapted to the local market conditions.

About two years ago, negative press about personal information being passed to third parties have led to a fundamental shift in the highly private sphere wary German consumer market. All of a sudden, users changed to invented profile names on the site and by that taking the essence from the tool- to find each other and connect. The medium suffered irreparable damage by these shifts. It appears to be only a matter of time until Facebook will take over market leadership.

Now, could this scenario happen to Facebook as well? I don’t think so. There have been similar issues about privacy in the past, but it does not seem to affect the US user environment. In spite of a high general awareness of potential misuse of private data, people still keep posting highly personal information as well as pictures on the site. There seems to be a large difference in consumer culture regarding private sphere.

With Facebook expanding largely internationally and soon reaching 350,000,000 users, these consumer insights undoubtedly have to be taken into consideration. Nevertheless, the company has be careful not to create more problems than before through the enhancement of safety standards. First of all, the security deficit might not be perceived as such by the current Facebook audience. Large-scale PR announcements might therefore evoke an unnecessary suspiciousness among users: “What is wrong with the current Facebook security structure?” Secondly, the past has shown that users are highly attached to the current system of the site and any changes in layout have usually led to a large uproar.

Facebook therefore has to carefully think about how to go about changes in its safety standards as well as how to communicate them. There has to be a fine balance in being more appealing to international markets without jeopardizing its value in its home market.