Tag Archives: social media

Viral Marketing Initiatives | He makes me smile

June 2, 2013

2 Comments

Do you know that, you see something funny, entertaining with great content on YouTube and you think: Oh that’s cool I wanna share this with people I know through my various social networks! Once posted I know lots of my friends will also like it and there is a high chance that they will share this link as well. All of a sudden it creates a domino or snowball effect – in the social media world it is called “go viral”. For businesses this type of marketing is great to spread a message, not in the typical way to push a message with a product or service promote, no, it’s rather telling a story that engages people.

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But what is it that make campaigns and stories go viral? The easiness of distribution – as I said most people share by using social networks to serve as the distribution channel – widgets, RSS feed or the famous comment section foster the easiness of distribution; a good message – make people think about the object of a campaign rather than having the product displayed all the time. I, especially, liked the T-Mobile viral campaigns. Funny to watch the people doing karaoke at Trafalgar Square – not that I am a big fan of T-Mobile but I thought for a European company this is a great initiative and video. Having singer Pink for the celeb factor is another bonus that incorporates with the company’s image: pink.

But of course like planting flowers and vegetables, it all starts with a seed and you hope that it will mature and grow – same applies for a viral campaign, you need the people interested in sharing what you have provided. I think we all agree that any message create has to be genuine, same I do here – I try to connect with you, dear reader in the way I write about this topic. So what do you think? By raising this question I am asking for some action, I want you to comment (and I hope you will do so).

A video that has spread like a virus was last year’s marriage proposal by Isaac Lamb. I didn’t know that he’s an actor residing in Portland, OR, but when I saw the video (of course through a link at one of my Facebook friend’s timeline) I thought: that’s a great proposal and the whole set up was very professionally arranged. While I think a proposal should be something private in this case I am really glad that this video was uploaded and shared among lots of people. I wouldn’t say it was Isaac’s attempt to become famous rather than creating a unique way to ask his loved one to marry him. Bruno Mars, the singer of the “will you marry me” surely got some additional boost through this video but he may also have regretted that it was not his idea. However, two-camera positioning, cheering, singing and dancing family members and friends and a smiling Isaac at the end made this video very unique with a great message and definitely worth going viral. I wonder whether requests for unique and special marriage proposals have increased since then. If not Isaac at least the wedding industry has benefited from it.

In general, this is also my attempt to use widgets (social widgets such as Facebook, Twitter) and plugins to enable sharing. So far I haven’t added a video to my blog – may be I should start doing so – by not taking oneself too seriously.

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Differentiation: a social media course related topic | #SNHUMK655

April 12, 2013

3 Comments

DSC04483Most of my posts became travel focused: place we went to and the experience I want to share with family & friends and other interested in the adventures of a German woman living abroad. Back in Germany the U.S. was always known for fitness, people in perfect shape hanging out at the California beaches. I have never been a sporty person but since I moved here I started to go to the gym on a regular basis and at some point it became a routine. Living in a big city one has a big choice of places to choose from but when one lives in the countryside one has limited choice.

This post is also a “thanks for chasing me all the time to give my best” to my personal trainer Traci but also for the fact that I can do it.

Anyway, in this context I’d like to compare the global fitness company  “Golds Gym” and the  gym “Performance Health and Fitness” located in the Monadnock area.

Once you go to the gym you either love it or hate it – depending on the people surrounding you. But also the location and especially the instructors are key drivers why one goes there.

But the question is what are a fitness company’s strategic goals? Of course increasing number of members and also having the latest and greatest equipment and motivating instructors onboard. But what tactics do both gyms use to achieve their strategic goals? In a small town, mouth-to-mouth advertising is the most important which applies for big city gyms likewise but the city hosts more competition. So what else? A proper website which provides information about the facility. Promotions shown on the website are also tactics to raise interest and to get closer to the goal. However, this is a one-way communication and therefore both Gold’s Gym and Performance Health and Fitness use social media. In a way it is unfair as the comparison is between a global company and a local company – David vs. Goliath – but still it is all about customer engagement and to connect with them also outside the gym.

Performance Health and Fitness only maintains a Facebook account and while at the facility people get easily connected the Facebook posts are a mix of general comments on health and fitness combined with news from the gym. One does not really feel connected, which I think is a pity. It’s a great location, great people and with more emphasis in taking advantage of social media the gym could easily get more attention and people would feel more engaged.

Gold’s Gym in contrast, is by far bigger and also has a more professional approach in terms of traditional marketing combined with social media activities.

Both, Gold’s Gym as a company or single locations, maintain a Facebook page. UntitledThe content varies but, for instance the local Facebook page, provides promotions, updates about courses which customers respond to.

The tactics used on a holistic but also local level foster the same output: increase the number of members and make people feel they have made the right choice. In order to get familiar with the company Gold’s Gym also has a YouTube presence, GoldsGymChannel, as well as videos of people sharing their success story. Sharing people’s (success) stories is always an opportunity to increase customer base. You can tell me the opposite, but who’s not dreaming of the perfect body?

In addition they also have a Google+ account, which I like as the appearance of the Google+ platform is not as overloaded as Facebook. Untitled

 Gold’s Gym uses best practices by having an aligned communication theme and again if one is neither on Facebook or YouTube this is another channel the company uses to reach out to customers. Finally Gold’s Gym is also utilizing Twitter. Untitled

Like on their other social media channels it is a mix of health & fitness but also tweets by customers providing information how motivated they are or what they like about Gold’s Gym.

It is clear that the bigger the company the overall marketing approach is different but no matter the budget available in the fitness industry it is all about motivation, transformation, healthy lifestyle and exercise. While the local gym shows efforts by incorporating all elements it doesn’t seem that they have a proper strategy in place to reach their goals. In contrast Gold’s Gym is doing great effort to use social media to get connected with customers also outside the gym. One can see, the more people provide positive feedback on Gold’s Gyms performance the more people want to connect to the company in order to get closer to one’s personal goals: become lean, toned and healthy.

Reference:

Performance Health and Fitness (2013). Retrieved from http://www.perfhealth.com/

Performance Health and Fitness (2013). Facebook. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from https://www.facebook.com/pages/Performance-Health-and-Fitness/146318762750?ref=ts&fref=ts

Gold’s Gym (2013). Retrieved from http://www.goldsgym.com/

Gold’s Gym (2013). Facebook. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from https://www.facebook.com/goldsgym?ref=ts&fref=ts

Gold’s Gym West Covina (2013). Facebook. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from https://www.facebook.com/goldsgymwestcovina?ref=ts&fref=ts

Gold’s Gym (2013). Twitter. Retrieved  on April 10, 2013 from https://twitter.com/goldsgym

Gold’s Gym (2013). Google+. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from https://plus.google.com/u/0/105914446067460306811/posts

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Hello??? Anybody out there… Recap of a one-year blogging experience | #SNHUMK555

March 3, 2013

8 Comments

DSC06949 The idea to have my own blog came up before we took off to our adventure – the move of all our belongings from Germany to the U.S. to experience a new way of living. My overall idea of this blog was to share a “diary” with people who either know me, such as friends and family, or those who find their way to my blog based on subject title, tags or any other keyword they are looking for their search in the Internet. Yeahhh, most people will think at this moment where something caught their attention and in the same moment we click the link to be directed to the site. Ok, from experience I know that first impression is the most lasting and that means a great subject title and tags will help me to “catch the fish”.

But what next? DSC06950What do I have to do to make people connected and addicted to my blog? Being interested in Art and Design the answer is easy: I need a blog that’s appealing, a design that suits me and I can identify with and people who see it will be able to get an idea who I am. Being me in the way I write my posts and share photos I take people can identify with. Voila and yet another person who (hopefully) wants to hear about my adventures. Sometimes I am like: Oh man it’s hard to begin, feels like a bumpy road I drive on but after a while it becomes like “go with the flow”. The goal is not to write a novel in terms of length but it’s important to write as much as necessary to make it a whole story.

So when I wrote my first blog ever, I was so nervous and excited at the same time as I thought: yes, the design of the blog – This is you! Looking back and also reading my first post I have to laugh…meaningful content to share…well, the first blog was not much content but the beginning of my “blog love story”. Writing a bilingual blog is challenging as sometimes it’s easier to write in one language than the other but like in sports consistency is soooo important to see results*. If you have nothing to say then leave it but also speaking for myself, once registered as follower of a blog I like, I am seeking for new posts desperately. Being a blogger this applies in the same way only the other way around.

DSC06951“Feed your audience” with content they like. Sharing life in a new country, far away from home and also to enjoy and show cultural differences this is what my “industry” is about. One could also see it as my personal travel book, no need to buy LonelyPlanet, Marco Polo or any other mainstream travel guide anymore…

Comments and feedback is always welcome. It’s not like a press release or a magazine where communication is only one-sided. When people provide feedback then it’s the proof that the content wasn’t too boring to leave the site immediately.

Instead, once I shared a picture of a cake I really LOVE!!! And promptly I was asked whether I can provide the receipt for this yummy cake – of course I can. If you don’t share and don’t engage with your readers than you shouldn’t have a blog…

No matter if private or corporate blog the before mentioned “tips” for blogging remain the same. Compared to my blog corporate businesses have to do more coordination behind the scene – coordination of bloggers, CI conformity, communication rules to follow and a clear understanding who’s the targeted audience and how they want to talk to. Linked via other social media channels one can reach a huge audience – with the right content one gets closer to become visible to the targeted audience.

When your reader feels that you do what you like then it’s going to be a good blog.

*Note: for Social Media Marketing tag it’s only in English due to requirements

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Source:

White, K. (n.d.). Corporate Blogging: 7 best practices. Retrieved on March 3, 2013 from http://www.businessknowhow.com/internet/corporate-blog.htm

Dawson, B. (June 8, 2012). Our Top 10 Best Practices for Blogging. Retrieved from http://www.business2community.com/blogging/our-top-10-best-practices-for-blogging-0188888

Klau, R. (n.d.). Blogging Best Practices. Retrieved on March 3, 2013 from http://www.howto.gov/sites/default/files/best-practices-for-blogging-slides.pdf

Urquarth, S. (February 27, 2013). Best Practices of Blogging. Retrieved from http://www.altitudesummit.com/blog/2013/2/27/best-practices-of-blogging.html

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Be aware of what you tell the world // the boomerang effect #SNHUMK555

February 23, 2013

4 Comments

How many people have I already heard saying (of course my mom was one of them but isn’t it a mom’s job to worry and protect their beloved from any harm?): Be careful with social media, do not provide too much private information, pay attention to the people you want to be connected with etc. I agree it is of importance to think about what and how much information one wants to spread throughout the Internet. As a private person I believe one has to be aware that everyone can find anything and one never knows what people do with other people’s information…but on the other hand, for instance, I am amazed with my blog about the people who have decided to receive my posts whenever published – thank you dear followers for taking note of mykatjesworld stories. I am really glad that you enjoy it. I wish a career as professional blogger or social media manager would become true one day! –

However, as a business one has to think twice before taking the social media path. While most businesses enjoy great experience with their social media presence for some – if not managed properly – social media activity can harm a businesses reputation. In Spiegel Online, a German magazine, I recently found an article about social media manager. As studies have shown (Pew) the US and also UK are much more advanced in utilizing social media as a marketing channel but the Germans still “try to figure out whether they can trust” this “new” movement. In the US it is more the other way around: one is kind of an outsider / old-fashioned if one doesn’t take the social media route.

But back to the German article: Btw, I usually don’t like people taking everything the negative way but I must say for a social media manager job description I found some true comments. “Shitstorm” manager they call it. The term has become popular in the German-speaking world since 2010 to describe a chorus of outrage on the Internet, especially by posting and writing in social media.

Well, it is known that social media networks like Facebook or Twitter provide a great platform for customer feedback, positively but also negatively. Zappos and L.L.Bean are great examples of businesses taking care of social media, they have a 100% response time within 24hrs. Isn’t it great? Also their ratio of positive vs. negative feedback shows how well the companies interact with their customers. Of course they have well-thought trough communication guidelines, worst-case scenario policies in place to avoid negative motions.

The Germans are more biased towards social media. It has gotten much better and businesses these days see the advantages of having a social media presence but due to negative examples the social media manager job is not promoted with “flowers”.

Maybe the example of Henkel’s dishwashing detergent Pril is one to be mentioned:

Pril selection - rag guy

The company asked the Internet community for a new design, which should have been to the taste of the customers. Some participants took the word for it and designed, among other things, the grilled chicken version with the label “Tastes good for chicken”. In polls the whimsical creation were far forward but the company took other designs which they thought were more in line with the company’s brand fit . The participants felt “taken for a ride” and posted their anger on the company’s social media tools. This shows that at that time Henkel did not have a worst-case scenario action plan is place. Otherwise they could have intervened much earlier. In order not to lose face and trust in customers 111 bottles with the “Rage Guy” were produced and raffled on Facebook.

Pril rag guy vs. chicken

It is obvious that the social media channel also provides risks and challenges to a company and its brand image. As long as a company has a proper set up, that includes dedicated and well trained social media teams together with a general communication guideline and long-term marketing strategy in place the social media path is beneficial for the company itself but also for the customers getting more emotionally connected to the products they buy.

Sources:

Bakir, D. (February 8, 2013). Die Shirtstorm-Manager. Spiegel Online. Retrieved from http://www.spiegel.de/karriere/berufsleben/stress-job-social-media-die-shitstorm-manager-a-881673.html

Happy Customer (May 30,2012). Most Customer Service Tweets Go Unanswered Within 24 Hours. Retrieved from http://happycustomer.stellaservice.com/2012/05/30/most-customer-service-tweets-go-unanswered-within-24-hours/

Keller, A.K. (September 5, 2012). Wie Marketingstrategien im Shitstorm enden und was zu tun ist. Absatzwirtschaft. Retrieved from http://www.absatzwirtschaft.de/content/online-marketing/news/wie-marketingstrategien-im-shitstorm-enden-und-was-zu-tun-ist;77939;0

Maloney, A. (September 17, 2012). When Social Media Turns into Risky Business. Retrieved from http://socialmediatoday.com/allisonmaloney/819211/when-social-media-turns-risky-business

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Nor’easter Nemo and social media | #SNHUMK555

February 8, 2013

6 Comments

IMG_3210I am amazed! I am amazed by two things: first – the weather in New England and its forecasted Nor’easter (storm Nemo – the name reminds more on the little striped fish in the movie than a weather impact) and second – the power of media, especially social media to provide information to the consumer.

Having no TV I rely on internet, especially the local WMUR website (btw, this has nothing to do with any political orientation!) and The Weather Channel, also known as TWC and my favorite website wunderground. With the winter storm ahead of us, when looking outside, it already feels like being part of it all; both provide constant updates about the weather situation on their websites. WMUR, TWC but also wunderground are heavily engaged in social media – Facebook and Twitter. In order not only to stick to the computer all three, of course (what else to say), have apps available, which can be downloaded on various devices. Whether on a netbook, tablet or smartphone all three provide the same information (also in terms of content and layout) as on their common website.

My review:

WMUR is very good in updating consumers in the area about closings, general alerts and how the granite state (NH) is prepared for the big storm. On Twitter they have a constant stream of information and one can barely miss a local important matter. For parents it must be a great tool to observe whether schools are closed but also a great platform for parents to share content. I sometimes think: how did I grew up and how did my parents manage? It is so convenient these days maybe not for those who have to feed streams constantly.

TWC and wunderground are both great in observing weather. Current conditions, forecast, radar or video’s – whatever one is interested in one can find on their website, on Facebook or Twitter. Even when you hit the road, like I did this morning, I checked in again and again on Facebook but also on their mobile applications to know what to expect. Do not expect the unexpected, I would say. Therefore I wasn’t surprised that the snowfall was still less, the roads not snow covered and: my Mini Dealership closed today – they just made a post yesterday evening to inform people that due to the weather conditions they will be closed. In the old days one would have faced a closed door and would have been upset that one drove 45min to expect a locked door. Another question to raise: Does the overload of information inhibit people to deal with challenging situations? I mean, at the time when social media and all apps did not exist people managed to get through the storm and they adapted their behavior to weather conditions. Following news on Facebook / Twitter / TV and any other channel is quite overwhelming. On one side it is great to have all information available, to be updated constantly, raise awareness but in a way it also makes me scared what all could happen. Surely, it is definitely of importance to keep people updated about this Nor’easter storm and the danger the storm creates.

Btw, while writing this post in about 10 minutes almost 70 new tweet showed up to inform me about the weather conditions. In case one is alone at home, one doesn’t feel lonely as thousands of people share their experience during this storm.

In order to keep a good level of judgment one sometimes should not focus to much on social media as one may lose one’s own opinion and becomes an addict of the constant stream of people’s opinion. The approach of: let’s cross that bridge when we get there…may be more in line with the New Hampshire’s “live free or die” but during this weather event it is great to rely on social media available on various devices to stream updates about the movements of this winter storm.

Once the storm has passed by, I am looking forward to seeing great “winter wonderland” pictures, hearing about people’s experience how they made it through the storm.

Therefore: stay safe and warm!

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Mini Bedford (2013). Retrieved on February 8, 2013 from https://www.facebook.com/miniofbedford?ref=ts&fref=ts

WMUR (2013). Retrieved on February 8, 2013 from http://www.wmur.com/

Wunderground (2013). Retrieved on February 8, 2013 from http://www.wunderground.com/

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