General

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

5 Things for October 4: Kleenex's Signs, Twitter's IPO & Fandango's Screams

Posted by Benjamin Porter

If you only read five awe-inspiring, toe-tapping, marker-moving stories this week, make it our weekly list of five things you might have missed!

1.) Sweet Screams: Fandango wants fans to scream their heads off on social media. According to ClickZ, “From October 1 to 18, Scream-Off fans can submit videos of their best ‘blood-curdling, skin-crawling screams’ on Instagram or Twitter, with the hashtag #FandangoScreamContest and @Fandango.” Fandango will pick a Scream of the Day and feature it on the site before moving it to the next round of competition. The best screamer gets a stay at the legendary Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, where The Shining was filmed.

2.) IPOh!: Late Thursday afternoon, Twitter filed its paperwork with U.S. securities regulators in hopes of being a social media IPO that really delivers. Twitter is hoping that the ever-exploding mobile market will give it a leg up on Facebook. Social media marketers can expect Twitter’s decision to go public to mean a larger emphasis on advertising and mobile-friendly campaigns. But Twitter (or TWTR, as it will be known on the stock ticker) has a long way to go until it can bring in the ad bucks like Google or Facebook, so it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

3.) Drawn Together: Beer maker Steinlager wants its consumers to “be the artist, not the canvas” in a new spot which shows a mischievous young man who draws on his friends who have had too much to drink. The smart and funny commercial is accompanied by a “be the artist” app which gives users a chance to make and share their own ink masterpieces. 

4.) Adstagram: We knew it would come to this… Instagram announced this week that it would finally start delivering on the promise of introducing advertisements into U.S. feeds. Only a select group of brands that are already Instagram users will get to show ads first. The ads will slowly start appearing over the next few months. In contrast, complaints about the ads have already appeared on pretty much every other social network. 

5.) Bless You: Wrapping up our list is a little slice of online video creation that perfectly mixes “eww” with “aww.” The fine folks at Kleenex remind us not to get caught without a tissue by using people with signs telling their true sneeze confessions. It’s a simple, short and very memorable spot for a brand on the verge of a hipper, lighter digital makeover.

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

How to Instagram Like the Big Brands

Posted by Dawn Walnoha

 183155719

Social media experts seemed a bit confused by Instagram when it first launched back in 2010. Would people actually care about photo sharing? Moreover, could this kind of platform really be social? And could brands find ways to make Instagram work for them? Three years later, the answer to those questions is a resounding “Yes!” Instagram has fast become the darling of social media marketing, and a new study shows just how Fortune 500 use Instagram. Turns out, the Instagram habits of the big boys are things every company can try.

According to the study conducted by TrackMaven, the best time to post on Instagram is, well, anytime. Marketing types often think social media ends with the workday, but TrackMaven found that user activity stayed virtually the same on Instagram on weekends as it was on the weekdays. As far as filters go, Fortune 500s used #nofilter the most on their Instagram photos, but the “Mayfair” filter performed the best. Also, Fortune 500 companies seem to be loving Instagram’s version of Vine  new video feature. Nike, Starbucks, Foot Locker, Apple and Ralph Lauren are the top five most active Fortune 500 brands on Instagram. Yet it should be noted that while 123 of the Fortune 500 companies have Instagram accounts, only 22 percent have active accounts.

For small businesses who want to get better at Instagram marketing, these are fascinating things to hear and chock full of lessons. For starters, post on Instagram all day, every day. Since photo sharing often happens from events (which happen whenever), normal business hours should be happily ignored. In fact, Instagram photos posted on the weekends have a better chance of getting “likes” with more folks off work and on their phones. Also, go crazy with the hashtags. As Mashable’s Jessica Lee puts it, “It’s often considered a social media faux pas to use more than two hashtags in a tweet; however, on Instagram, that rule can be thrown out the window. The data prove otherwise for bigger brands, showing that four to 11 hashtags can increase up to on average 77 interactions per Instagram post.” Lee also reminds us not to clog the bottom of the post with hashtags; rather, we’d do well to pepper them seamlessly throughout the post instead.

Finally, in order to have big-time rocking Instagram success, you actually have to use the darn thing! Pictures from trade shows, mouth-watering snapshots of the day’s specials and exclusive backstage photos make for great Instagram posts. Remember, the top five only became the top five because they were inspired by Instagram’s endless ways to connect by sharing amazing, funny and interesting original images. 

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Fashionable Facebook Pages That Awe & Inspire

Posted by Benjamin Porter

Facebook for business continues to evolve, and so do the ways marketers use the platform. Long gone are the days of branded Facebook pages rich in one-sided, sales-driven messages. Today, company Facebook pages can be information hubs, industry journals and a lively spot to talk to followers. Leave it to the fashion industry to come up with smart, stunning and stylish ways to market on Facebook.

When an old-school fashion staple like Burberry wants to reach out to a younger buyer, Facebook is an ideal place to start. Burberry’s page is filled with the kind of luxury the brand has always been associated with but bent to a hipper, more youthful audience. Currently, the page features photos from a new campaign featuring UK “It Couple” Tom Sturridge and Sienna Miller, for example. Burberry also takes advantage of Facebook’s improved video capabilities by posting videos from recent runway shows.

But let’s say you’re not that fancy a dresser. Fine. With nearly 38 million “likes,” Converse must be doing something right. The iconic shoe company uses Facebook to post the kind of things its fans are into, like music, skateboarding and viral videos. Converse excels at speaking to followers rather than at them and therefore encourages lively discussions in its comments sections.

And for incredibly chic and trendy foreign fashion labels like UNIQLO, Facebook is a must. The Japanese retailer is opening 10 more stateside stores this fall, so a steady stream of interesting posts and fabulous photos is essential for keeping fans, both new and old, excited.

Who needs a glossy, overpriced fashion magazine when you’ve got Gucci’s Facebook page? The mainstay of high-end branding for 92 years running stays fresh and on the cutting edge with a Facebook page chock full of slick videos, incredible images and the latest from the runways. Gucci keeps its whopping 11 million fans on the edge of their seats by continuously updating, reinventing and changing its page.  

In the end, that’s what great Facebook marketing is all about. Every business can take a cue from the fashion industry and keep their pages as fresh and innovative as the designs coming off the runway.

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

What the Best Email Newsletters Have in Common

Posted by Benjamin Porter

If a branded email newsletter is a big part of your content marketing strategy, the Awl published a great piece this week you’ll want to check out. “A Guide to Our Golden Age of Internet Newsletters,” written by Aleksander Chan, profiles the best, most entertaining and informative email newsletters.

“The email newsletter is the most special of all emails,” Chan writes. “At their best, they’re a miniature rush: This isn’t something I have to deal with. This is for me — to enjoy, to ignore, to save for later, and then to be completely done with.”

Chan cites Letters of Note, a weekly newsletter filled with vintage letters and postcards, as well as Now I Know, one which features “random knowledge that you didn’t even know you cared about.” Goodreads, McSweeney’s, Muck Rack Daily and Harper’s Weekly Review all made the list. While all of these are terrific reads, they couldn’t be any more different as far as style and actual content goes. Yet each of these noted newsletters contains that magical ingredient which makes for a superb newsletter: diverse content. Successful newsletters, whether they be from Amazon or the local church, need a variety of articles and tidbits to appeal to wider audiences.Don’t like the article about home decor? Here’s one about pet care! Bored with the new location remodel article? Read an interview with a stylist instead! Readers will subscribe if you come up with an assortment of articles they can enjoy and savor — and they’ll dump you as soon as they get newsletters filled with too many sales pushes or repeat articles.

Also, in the smartphone/tablet era, it’s important to keep the articles to a reasonable length. People will read the 3,500 in-depth New Yorker piece from the comfort of their own couch.We noticed each of the newsletters on the Awl’s list are all the delicious bite-size kind of thing you can enjoy anywhere. Email newsletters are ideal for retailers who sell lots of products, non-profits who need to profile their monthly achievements and any company generating a variety of news stories. 

What are some of your favorite email newsletters? Tell us in the comments section below.

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Online Video Creation & Google+, a Match Made in Heaven

Posted by Benjamin Porter

Social media marketing is a must to promote branded videos. Links to your company’s newest videos on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like are the easiest way to get your amazing online video creation in front of audiences. Posts with original videos make for dynamic and viral social media gold, so there isn’t a reason not to do it. Yet for our money, no social media channel is better for video marketing than Google+.

For starters, Google+ is incredibly YouTube friendly (naturally, given both channels are part of the Google family). This ease means original videos posted to Google+ can be added instantly to a brand’s YouTube channel. For anyone who has ever spent an entire day loading a video to YouTube, this is fantastic news. Also, videos uploaded to YouTube and then posted on Google+ look and sound great given there are no compatibility issues. And with Google+ Hangouts On Air, you can actually create live content which can also be saved to your YouTube channel. Hangouts On Air are used by tons of brands of all sizes for things like interviews, product reviews, conference coverage and live Q&As with followers. In fact, these hangouts can become a live event in themselves, potentially driving folks to your brand’s channels. If you’re good at rolling live and have a game plan for an entertaining segment, Hangouts On Air are a real solution for fresh video content. Finally, Google+ has dozens of ways to promote videos throughout the platform. Communities, for example, are terrific spots to place videos in front of handpicked audiences with interests in what you and your brand do. From bookworms and weekend warriors to travel lovers and fashionistas, there are Communities for everybody.

Finally, posting videos on Google+ has a distinct edge that the other channels won’t ever have: It’s Google! This means every time you create content for Google+, your company has just given its SEO a shot in the arm. Videos — and everything you post on Google+ — winds up in Google searches for your business. 

Readers, have you used Google+ for videos? Tell us your love stories (or tales of woe) in the comments section below.

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

5 Things for September 13: Fiona Crucifies 'Big Food' for Chipotle

Posted by Brandsplat

Haunting and genius online video creation? Yup. Oddities from the world of social media marketing? Uh huh. Some legitimate news thrown in just for good measure? You got it. Our weekly list of five things you might have missed has all that and then some.

1. Pure Imagination:  The creative team on Chipotle’s new online short film and game reads like a big-budget movie: Fiona Apple singing an iconic song, Oscar-winning producers and a compelling look at a controversial topic. While cute and charming in animation, make no bones about it: This film takes a tough stance against “Big Food.” Undoubtedly one of the most creative and most-talked-about online videos of the year. 

2. Footlong Couture: Project Subway incorporated the currently happening New York Fashion Week with its “$5 Any Footlong in September” promotion to produce a competition where designers made outfits entirely out of Subway wrappers. The hashtag #ProjectSubway was used by the chain to help engage its 1.6 million followers in this unique fashion smackdown. 

3. Twitter’s New Song: Speaking of Twitter, the social media giant has long tried to launch its own music platform. The results have been underwhelming at best. Yet all hope for #TwitterMusic may not be lost: This week, the company paired with massive music service Spotify to hopefully take music streaming and social search to new heights.

4. Skip the McLine: Mobile ordering to pick up real-life items and in real time is something a few brands have been ballsy enough to attempt. According to Mashable, McDonalds is willing to give it a shot. The company is now testing a mobile payment application in Utah and Texas. “With the app, you can order ahead and pick up your food at drive-thru windows, curbside or in the restaurant,” Mashable reports. 

5. Try to Forget: Finally, we round out this week’s list with a major Twitter bellyflop from AT&T. The communications magnet tried to pay tribute to those lost on 9/11 with a tweeted image of the Twin Towers in searchlights, but consumers weren’t having it. After hundreds of complaints, the company took the image down and apologized a couple of times. The moral of the story? Take the day off from marketing on 9/11, brands… Or deal with the wrath.

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Is the New Gmail Email Marketing Hell?

Posted by Brandsplat

Custom content creators whose online marketing plans include email marketing and digital newsletters rolled their eyes back in late May when Google announced new inbox tabs for Gmail. This organized inbox now features tabs for primary messages, social media-generated email alerts and promotions. Many worried the “promotions” tab was nothing more than a fancy-titled junk mailbox. We wondered if our fears about Google inbox limbo were true or if they actually ended  up being pretty helpful for email marketing.

Dela Quist of The Guardian believes we have nothing to be afraid of, given Google’s brilliant marketing moxie.

“Google gives people an email platform for free for a good reason — to tie people into its range of online products. This gives them access to valuable consumer data for its search and advertising business. It’s important to remember that Google wouldn’t make these changes if it thought it would damage its core business and if it didn’t think there are going to be additional business benefits,” Quist writes.

Quist also notes that the new inbox is simply replacing traditional banner ads and allowing marketers to get inside of Gmail inboxes instead.

But not everybody agrees that this is a good thing. Gap reportedly asked subscribers to move its messages into their primary inboxes. We happen to agree with AdAge’s Tim Peterson, who thinks these new inboxes could challenge brands to get more creative and less spammy when it comes to email marketing content.

“Message with relevance and maybe they’ll mark you with a ‘priority’ label or even let you into their primary inbox,” he writes. 

Amen, Tim. Great email newsletters and interesting content will get in front of the right eyes — and read — regardless of what box it ends up in. We also think that the “promotions” inbox could eventually turn into a jackpot for companies that market directly to deal hunters (like former Groupon addicts).

Readers, give it to us straight. Are you a fan of the Gmail redesign or has it left you wishing for your old AOL inbox? Holler at us in the comments section!