How to use Facebook and email campaign analytics

*This post is for educational purposes

Company ABC is a company in the health industry located in the Central Florida Area. I just received the analytics of their Facebook page and email campaign for the period April 28, 2013- May 25, 2013. Here are my comments and insights about these analytics:

Facebook:

With Facebook Insights, I can see the overall performance of the company’s Facebook page. When I look at Facebook Insights, I first take a look at the overview tab, which gives me a snapshot of the most important areas of the page: likes, engagement, and reach. By taking a look at these three areas, I can determine if my fan size has grown, if my posts reached them and, most importantly, if my content is creating conversations, as well as social mentions.

These are the key questions I ask when evaluating Facebook Insights for any particular period. I have included some key insights and recommendations to each of the areas:

1. How was post engagement?

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  • This basically means if people clicked on a post, liked it, shared it, or commented about it. This, in my opinion, is a key aspect of social media management. It’s important to reach people, but when we look at the engagement levels can determine whether or not people are reacting to that message; whether or not the message had an impact big enough to talk about it with others. This conversation is what turns into social mentions and represents a potential for a company to establish relationships with their customers.
  • During a 7-day period, company ABC shows a 51% decrease in the “People are Talking About This” area. This means that the increased amount in reach did not generate enough conversation, meaning maybe the content of the posts wasn’t attractive to the audience. Maybe this can be attributed to the fact that the week before they posted sponsored ads, which generated more engagement? Different types of posts cause different reactions. Out of the 8 posts on the report, only 2 of them were link shares. The other 6 were status updates. ABC can consider posting photos with questions so that people participate. For example, post a photo of a vegetable and ask people how they use that item to cook at home. Another example to increase awareness would be to have people vote on ABC’s Facebook page on a charity that they think deserves a particular donation. Or maybe have people submit ideas about an ABC event at a local hospital. This can also be promoted on the newsletter, in order to direct people to the Facebook page.
  • The most viral post was also the one with the least reach. I want to make clear that reaching more people does not necessarily imply more engagement and more conversation. This post was also about National Cancer Survivors Day, which is a topic that many people care about or can identify with. Increasing the number of posts about this topic might be a good way to increase engagement. ABC can do something similar with National Diabetes Month, in which each day they post something related to diabetes, including videos from ABC’s YouTube page from celebrities who have diabetes.

2. Did the amount of likes and reach increased?

  • While the amount of likes is no guarantee of excellent performance and more engagement, an increase in the number of likes represents a bigger audience, especially after the changes that Facebook made this year, which brought organic reach down to 1-2%. What this means is that only that percentage of your fans will see the messages posted on your page.An increase in the number of likes should not be overlooked because “likes” represent your audience. According to Facebook Likes: How Important Are They to Your Business?, “by clicking Like, users are saying they are happy to see a business’s page content in their News Feed, potentially leading to more engagement.”During the period we are evaluating, organic reach was at 12%.  In a period of 7 days, ABC had an increase in the number of likes by .69%. Also, reach increased by almost 40%. What this means is that their audience grew and that the posts reached more page fans. Is this good? It depends….

 

3. Who is my my message reaching (audience)?

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  • Do demographics reflect my company’s target audience? It is important to know that while having more people in your page sounds fun, one of the most important criteria to consider is if you’re building an audience on social media that is in line with your company objectives and strategy. ABC is located in Central Florida. This is why we see that the highest amount of people liking their Facebook page living in Florida and speaking English, as well as Spanish. Because ABC is a company in the health industry and women seem to be more concerned with health, it makes sense to see that the majority of the audience in the Facebook page is women between ages 25-34. What does this mean? It means that messages should be of interest to this audience. For example, maybe a good idea would be to post about breast cancer screening tests or risk factors. The most important thing here is for ABC to keep in mind who they are speaking to. Likewise, there could also be a section on the newsletter devoted to breast cancer with a link to the Facebook page for more information. This also helps direct traffic to the Facebook page.

4. Paid or organic?

  • I also look at the strategy I need to use in order to increase reach. Because of the changes I discussed earlier, it is obvious that Facebook wants companies to invest in sponsored stories and other types of ads. After all, they need to make money…plus creating a Facebook page is free. Taking a look at the reach and frequency section in the analytics for ABC, we see that ABC had steady levels of viral reach during the period we are analyzing. What this represents is those who accessed a Page post through a story from their Facebook friends. This is the conversation ABC wants to create. This can be achieved through the use of creative, well-structured posts that include photos or videos. Since now organic reach is less, ABC should also contemplate investing in different types of ads, such as, page post ads (to increase engagement), page likes and event ads. This will help increase likes, as well as reach and engagement. Like I mentioned above, the content of the posts should be attractive enough for people to spread the word!

5. How do page visits look like?

 

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  • It is essential to know how many people are visiting the page, as well as how many accounts are accessing the page. Facebook Insights provides information about this. Page views represent how many times the page was visited on a particular day. Unique visitors represent how many accounts accessed the page. The important thing with unique visits is that it only counts it once. This means that someone may access the page more than once per day and this may only reflect in the page views. Why is this important? Because more page views means more people are engaging more with content, or at least find it relevant enough to go back and visit. As you can see on the table above, there are days in which ABC did not have page views or unique visitors. This may be due to the fact that there were no posts or no ads running or the fans did not find the content important. In order to keep momentum with a company’s audience, it is recommended to post everyday.
  • The posts calendar for one week could be promoted on the newsletter or Twitter page. Also, ABC can also por on Facebook photos of different events and them direct traffic to their Pinterest page so people can see more photos. The idea is to keep the audience in the loop. Higher number of page means means that visitors are coming back to the page or they find the content attractive enough to make them want to move to other areas of the page. This is why it is also important to post on other areas, other than the timeline. For example, if we are posting about National Diabetes month, there should also be an album of photos related to that.
  • Facebook Insights also includes information about external referrers, who also bring traffic to the page, like Google. This is why it is very important that ABC has an effective SEO strategy so that people could find the company, as well as the company’s main social channel. For example, using a primary set of specific keywords about the area in which ABC specializes. Secondary keywords may be related to content topics of the newsletter and posts in other social networks. Finally, the tab with total views gives a good idea about how many views of the timeline, photos, photo albums, and profile photos. This information is very useful in order for companies like ABC to revise editorial calendar according to where traffic during page visits.. ABC’s timeline has the most amount of views (441), followed by its profile (71). This means that, if the highest amount of traffic is there, this is where ABC should post the most.
  • Having an idea about where your page traffic is provides for revising the posting and content strategy. Also, in order to increase page visits, ABC can run a cross promotion on their Twitter page in which users have to post a photo of a particular health topic (their favorite veggie) on ABC’s Facebook page. Another idea is to use the bi-weekly newsletter to drive traffic to the Facebook page, in which they can access an educational video about why people should drink water, for example. Or drive traffic from YouTube to Facebook by including on the videos a “visit our Facebook page” caption at the end so people can find weekly “how to stay healthy” key points.

Email Campaign

 

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With email campaigns, what I look for when I receive analytics is the delivery rate, open rate, click rate, and conversion rate. The delivery rate can warn me if there is any email address I need to double check. The open rate is important because it gives marketers an idea about whether or not the audience cares about a message enough to open it.  According to the 2012 Silverpop Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study, open rates in the United States averaged 19.9%. In the health industry, the average is 30%. Based on this, the open rate of ABC’ email message of 25.4% is close to that average. Still, there is an opportunity to revise the subject line, test other options in the future in order to make that message more appealing and increase that open rate.

Clicks help marketers determine if the content of the campaign motivates readers enough that they want to click on a link to learn more or to achieve conversion. The mean click-thru-rate for the healthcare industry is 4.4%. ABC’s click rate for this campaign is 10.9%, fairly high. One way to increase this rate is to personalize the emails, rather than addressing them to a general audience. Also, each email campaign should be about one particular topic. Since it’s bi-weekly, maybe the newsletter can focus on one theme and have different articles and links about one particular topic. One or two of them can direct people to the Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or YouTube pages.

Finally, since I was not able to see the content of the email message, I cannot tell if there is a specific call to action. Conversion rate is 0%, which is not positive. Content must be evaluated to see if the message invited readers to perform some kind of action, including subscribe, download or buy anything. If so, then the message must be clear and attractive in future campaigns. “Learn more” and “sign up” here are some call to actions that ABC can use in the future. People can sign up for an event or for a class, for example. Facebook may help boost email campaign results. There is a Constant Contact app that can be included on the company page so people can join the email list.

Reputation management: Hospitality Industry

Note: This is a “sample post” for class (educational) purposes only.

My role as Social Media Manager at the Hyatt Regency Orlando includes monitoring comments posted by our guests on travel review websites, such as Trip Advisor. These comments give us a good idea about the experiences of our guests at the hotel. They also provide us with feedback related to what is important to them. These comments can also reflect how our brand is perceived in the eyes of the consumer; how they describe Hyatt’s corporate image. Because I also handle public relations, tracking and responding to these comments is essential for our organization because we want to build and maintain relationships with our customers. In order to do this, it is very important to listen to them while they voice their opinion about our property; it is equally important to respond to them in order to show them that we care. We don’t have a standardized format that we use for every response. We tailor our response so that it is directly related to the message we receive from them. This means that what we do not answer just for the sake of it. We personalize our feedback because we value each guest’s experience.

We take positive reviews as free promotion, word of mouth marketing. We also value them as an opportunity to engage with our customers beyond their stay. We also treasure the fact that they take time to write these reviews because they want others to know how good was their stay. Finally, we showcase these reviews on our hotel website and social media accounts. After all, we want actual and potential customers to know how others see us! Below is an example of a positive review, followed by our “hypothetical” response:

Sample post (#1) from customer:

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Sample answer from our hotel:

Thank you so much for your feedback. We’re glad you came back to stay with us, this time for pleasure! I’m happy to hear we could fulfill your request of a higher floor and I hope next time we can accommodate your family in a room with pool view.

It was also good to learn that your kids enjoyed our zero-entry Grotto Pool with water slide and interactive water feature. We’ve seen families spend a whole day enjoying this pool, as well as our Olympic-size Terrace Pool. I will pass your comments about the pool maintenance to our Operations Manager. We value your opinion and strive to offer our guests a complete and pleasant experience. You also enjoyed your massage at The Spa and wished it were longer. This means you really enjoyed that experience in the harmonious atmosphere at The Spa.

We believe no stay at a hotel is complete without delightful dinning experiences. This is why our new dinning features offer choices that please everyone. This is the case of the 24-hour B-Line Dinner, in which the desserts and display window featuring our homemade cakes and pastries take the leading role! I’m happy you found that dessert scrumptious. Since you visited us during a very busy, the wait at Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse was longer than it should have and we apologize for that. However, we’re delighted that your dinning experience was positive and that you feel happy with the service at the table by Ralph. If your next visit is on Easter, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, don’t forget to try our award-winning brunch.

Our shuttle service frees you from the hassle of having to find a parking space at the theme parks, plus we take good care of your car, like you say! Since this was your second stay and we also want to see you come back here or to any other Hyatt hotels, we invite you to join our loyalty program for free, Hyatt Gold Passport, in which you can enjoy exclusive benefits and free nights with no blackout dates at any Hyatt worldwide. Hope to see you back here at the Hyatt Regency Orlando!

Two weeks after the previous post I was offered a work opportunity as Social Media Manager at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina. Even though this implied relocation, I was motivated by the opportunity and decided to go for it. Remember, this post is hypothetical and for educational purposes only!

While we love to read positive feedbacks and see our ratings go up, we also consistently track and respond to negative reviews. We are aware that these travel review websites represent an open forum for people to vent about the experiences they had at hotels, positive or negative. In both cases, we respond rapidly to each review. As soon as I started working here, the hotel received this feedback from a customer:

Sample post (#2) from customer:

Hilton-example-2014

Sample answer from our hotel:

Thank you for reviewing the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina hotel and for taking the time to highlight some areas for improvement. We apologize for the inconveniences and maintenance issues you had during your stay with us for your 10-year high school reunion. What you describe its contrary to Hilton standards. Since 1919, the Hilton family of hotels serves thousands of customers a week, and we strive to create the best possible hotel stay for our customers, including ensuring the guest rooms and the common areas are in optimal conditions and that the pool is cleaned everyday. Our guest rooms are designed with comfort and convenience in mind. I will personally follow up on everything that you pointed out with the management team and make sure we address all issues. We hope you give us another opportunity to serve you better in the future.

Event Marketing Communications- Cosmoprof North America

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 *This post is for educational purposes only.

Cosmoprof North America is the only B2B beauty event that has representation from all sectors of the beauty industry. This includes products related to haircare, eye-care, anti-aging, nail care, and makeup, among others. This year the event was held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas from July 13 to July 15. More than 900 exhibitors participated on the event. There were also meetings, networking opportunities, as well as keynote speakers. Cosmoprof North America implemented an integrated marketing communications plan (IMC), which combined different channels, including the event website and mobile app, as well as social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. During the months prior to the show, the objective of the plan was to promote the event, beginning in January in order to encourage people to register. During the event, the strategy was to keep participants informed about every detail related to the trade show. After the event, the different channels were used to promote next year’s show and to thank everyone who attended.

Social Media

Before the show
Before the show, the different social channels were used to create awareness about the event. There is a Facebook page, Cosmoprof North America, that was created in 2008 and which is used throughout the year to keep its 5,117 followers informed about industry news, as well as about the show. The Facebook page also features articles as links to Cosmoprof’s blog, CPNA Newsflash. The first announcement about the show on Facebook was in January, when the cover page of the photo was changed to the image at the beginning of this post. After that, there was not a lot of buzz about the event regarding the details. Registration was open and announced on Facebook on May 1st. During that month, they posted reminders to register and also included several posts about one of the main speakers, Mark Cuban. During the month of June, there was more buzz, more details about the event, which did not focus on the exhibitors, but on the keynote presenters, informative sessions, and the names of the bloggers at the event. Two weeks prior to the event, the only thing have about the show is post by a beauty blogger:

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The Twitter page (@Cosmoprof) was created on 2010. There was no official announcement of the show and no mention, until February, when there was a post about the excitement with the show.

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After May 1st, the strategy and content for Twitter was pretty much the same as Facebook. The only difference is that on Twitter, two weeks prior to the event, some exhibitors were promoting their booths and these posts were retweeted by Cosmoprof. So, even though there was a lack of content from Cosmoprof North America, they retweeted these messages on their page, like this one from John Russo:

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I would have created an event inside the Facebook page or a separate page for the event so that information posted is only about the event and avoid the mixup with other content. The Instagram account (@cosmoprofna) was not used for anything related to promoting the event until it began on July 12, one day before it started, when they uploaded a couple of photos to generate excitement, including one illustrating where to pick up the tickets for the Marc Cuban keynote, one with the Interactive area container, and one inviting guests to register to win a car. This was a great opportunity to post more photos of the event set-up.

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All social channels provided the website address of the event, as well as the event date and place. In my opinion, it’s strange to see that each of these accounts “about” section is related to the show, but there was not a lot of pre-show buzz.

During the show

Facebook: This was the least used channel during the show. In general, the purpose of the Facebook page was to provide content related to the show not related to exhibitors. Facebook was specifically the most used channel for posts about the bloggers that were at the event. This includes video event recaps from beauty bloggers. I think it’s a great way to provide endorsement to the event from respected industry representatives. This is a great strategy. However, knowing that the audience in Facebook is twice than Twitter, I would have posted more content here about other areas of the event. The post with the highest engagement had 5 likes.

Twitter: This was the most used social channel during the event. The main purpose of posting on Twitter was to promote the exhibitors, which I think it’s a great strategy. Those exhibitors pay a lot of money to participate and the fact that Cosmoprof North America mentions them is worth money! Twitter messages featured a call to action at the beginning (check out this, stop by this booth, you must head over to this booth), followed by a brief description of the product available at a particular booth. There was no consistency in terms of the use of hashtags. For example, sometimes they used hashtag prior to the booth number and other times they did not. The most used hashtags were the following: #cosmoproflv, #cpna2014, #DBSpotlight, #cosmetics, #makeup, but there was no clear trend or strategy related to when to use these. It would have great to always use #cosmoproflv and #cpna2014, as well as use hashtags for the product category available at that booth (#hair, #nails, #eyecare). This was the case for The Balm cosmetics:

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In some instances, they used these hashtags, as well as the exhibitor’s Twitter handle, if available. Because there were so many exhibitors, it was very hard to include at least one photo for each post, but it was done in some cases. Here is an example of a post on Twitter with a photo of Young Nails:

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Even though the YouTube videos of daily recaps from beauty bloggers were also included on this Twitter page, the majority of the posts were meant to promote exhibitors. The Twitter posts didn’t generate a lot of engagement from the audience regarding likes and retweets. I guess it’s hard to keep up with more than 60 posts per day! Because of the nature of Twitter, it is understandable that it was the most frequently used channel.

Instagram: Out of all 3 channels discussed here, Instagram was the one with the highest engagement. During the 3 days of the show, the highest amount of photos were uploaded on July 13 and 14. The average number of likes was 27, which is high compared to Facebook and Twitter. However, I think some of the photos lacked quality, light, and other technical details which would have made the images more appealing. Just like Facebook, the strategy for Instagram was to promote other areas of the 3-day event, including photos of the VIP reception, specific floor areas like Discover Beauty and Experience Interactive Area, blogger meetings and keynote speaker addresses.

keynote interactive

After the show

The day after the event, as of 5pm, there have been no posts on the Facebook and Twitter pages. On Instagram, there are two photos, one of them very dark, at the Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay, but it is not clear what happened there.

In terms of image, colors, graphic, branding, and most content, I would say there was consistency across all channels. My only recommendation, which I already mentioned, was to open a page on each channel for the event itself, as well as to use hashtags consistently across all channels.

Other channels

Website: The event website remained intact throughout the event. It is the only channel with the most detailed information about the event and it is also the one in which I guess people could register. I really like the part with the list of exhibitors that includes a floor map. Also, it includes information about the conferences, networking opportunities, forums, summits, as well as travel information (hotels, cars, restaurants). I always say websites should be the headquarters of companies and events like this one. In this case, this website is very complete and serves that purpose. The website contained all information necessary to stimulate people to register. This is the information that the social media channels lacked, particularly prior to the event. I guess the objective here was for the website to be used consistently prior to the event and the social media channels during and after the event. I also like that the website has links to social media channels, as well as a showcase of the blog on the right hand corner, which is essential in order to have an effective integrated marketing communications plan. The website is missing a mobile version, which is essential, considering people spend so much time on using their smartphones. The only thing updated after the event is the banner on the upper center, which promotes 2015′s show.

 

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Mobile app (Android and Iphone): In my opinion, this was the highlight that stood out to me! It was a huge surprise. As a matter of fact, I was able to register in order to have access to the information on the app. The most notable thing is the feed, in which people at the trade show could post status and photos and others could like or comment. This was the channel that generated the most response. This was not Cosmoprof North America reporting from the event; this were the show attendants speaking from the booths and from the activities and self-promoting. This was the channel in which I could find more than one person giving thanks after the event and using words of gratitude and appreciation. This channel provided for the show attendants to narrate the event from their point of view and perspective.

The app is also an extension of the event website. This means that all information on the website is available here so that people could have it with them during the event, avoiding having to access the website. The strategy with the app was to make the experience more pleasant and easy to follow. People could create a profile and include their company information and photo. They could also post updates and use the GPS to select where they were at that moment.

 

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What I even liked the most was that Cosmoprof North America sent an email once a day with the subject “Today at Cosmoprof North America.” The email included different sections, such as “What Attendees are saying,” which highlights some of the posts by attendees each day. Email is another channel that Cosmoprof used for event marketing communications. The ones I received were consistent with other channels in terms of branding. I’m sure they had an email campaign prior to the event. Finally, in order to invite people to visit other channels, there is a link on the website to Cosmoprof’s blog, CPNA Newsflash. That blog, which I mentioned in showcased on the event website, was also used to promote who was going to be speaking at the event. So the website directed people to the blog to read about Melissa and then back to the website for details about that particular event.

 

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Regarding branding, I think Cosmoprof did a good job with consistency across all platforms. Also, they chose the most optimal social media channels to promote the event. In this area, there are opportunities for improvement in terms of content, generating awareness prior to the show and building excitement. Also, I recommend using the YouTube channel to post videos with daily recaps, as well as considering having a mobile version. Finally, I did not find any information about the sponsors.

From Rolodex to LinkedIn

I’m 40-years old. I have no problem admitting it. Many years ago, I graduated from college and had to look for a job as soon as I came back from New Orleans to Puerto Rico. This meant writing a resume and sending it by email to different head hunters, as well as looking for job opportunities posted in local newspapers. At that time, resumes were sent by email and there were no job search websites like Monster or Career Builder; there was no social network in which individuals could gather to both look for a job and build a professional network. There was no social channel for companies to create their profile, post jobs or screen candidates based on other criteria, such as their reputation and relationships. There was not a place in which self-employed people, like myself, could find potential clients and share industry information with other professionals. Fast forward to the year 2003, when Reid Hoffman and some of his colleagues from Social Net and Paypal launched LinkedIn, thus providing a place in which professionals can meet. In LinkedIn is 10-Years Old Today: Here’s the Story of How it Changed the Way we Work, Ken Yeung says, “Simply finding an appealing job and submitting a resume isn’t enough — now companies are looking for personalized approaches and recommendations from networks.” LinkedIn has transformed this process by offering both companies and individuals valuable tools for a more valuable process.

History: 

With the slogan “Your network is bigger than you think,” LinkedIn was launched in 2003. Users could join by creating and completing a professional profile. The idea was for them to start building their networks so they could have professional presence online in order look for job opportunities or find collaboration from other connections. Hiring managers would post job opportunities and look for candidates. Even though the initial goal was 1 million users during the first few months, LinkedIn was off to a slow start during the first two years. However, by 2005, it had 1.7 million professionals. Below is a screenshot of what LinkedIn looked like on 2003:

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During 2005, the company began to add revenue-generating features like LinkedIn Jobs, which distanced drastically from job search websites like Monster, because this service provided companies with much more valuable information about candidates, including how many people have publicly endorsed a particular candidate. Also, companies posting jobs could find references from the candidate’s co-workers. The idea with LinkedIn jobs was to cut the clutter and provide companies with a closer opportunity to reach highly-qualified candidates. For the years to follow, the company continued the trend of adding more features, became public in 2011 and, by 2014, it has more than 300 million users around the globe and is available in more that 20 languages. Currently, the slogan is “Relationships Matter.”

 

Target Audience/User Profile

LinkedIn targets professionals looking for jobs and opportunities for networking, as well as recruiters who want to post job opportunities and professionals working at companies looking to grow their business. According to Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, as of January 2014, LinkedIn average users have the following profile:

  • Men and women (men being more like to use LinkedIn)
  • Between ages 30-64
  • 22% of Internet users use LinkedIn
  • Graduated from college or Grad School
  • Household income: $75k+
  • Currently employed
  • 52% spend 0-2 hours per week on LinkedIn

How does it work

For individuals seeking for a job, they complete a sign-up process, which is free, and then begin to create a profile. The profile includes information commonly found on a resume, such as email address, education, experience, skills, projects, associations, courses, volunteer experience, organizations, languages, skills and endorsements, and interests. Once the profile is ready, users begin to look for connections, meaning people they know or would like to meet. The main idea about these connections is how can each one can help people grow their professional network by introducing others. Finally, they can make recommendations for employment, as well as help reach potential customers. Users can search for connections by email contact, name, classmate search or by linking contacts from Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail or other accounts. After finding connections and contacts, members can begin discovering LinkedIn, including finding job opportunities, getting introduced to potential employers, joining various special interest groups, and posting relevant articles they may want to share with others. This is also a great way of sharing information with connections that they, in turn, will share with their connections. It’s another great way to put one’s name out there! Members of each user’s network  are “connections” and there are 3 levels: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The difference between each is related to how these people became your connection, as well as how they are related to your other connections. LinkedIn offers a guided, step-by-step process to create the basic profile. Here is a screenshot of this part: steps

Here is a preview of my profile: profile

Members can include attachments and links to projects on that profile. When listing volunteer associations, a person can include a link to that company so people can find out more information.

It is worth to devote part of this discussion to the Jobs section. LinkedIn provides candidates with a complete database of available jobs. Users can find a list of jobs, filtering the search by location, industry, position, and company name. After performing a search and getting results, a candidate can see the details of each post, including job description and desired skills, as well as other similar jobs. Candidates also have the option of applying for the job on either the company’s website or through LinkedIn by sending the resume and cover letter. Premium services allow them to send InMail messages to the job poster. Other features of each job post may include information about the company, recent updates, and other jobs at that company. Finally, there is the option to share the job opportunity on LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as an option to save it for viewing later.

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Companies join LinkedIn by creating a company page. This helps build brand awareness, reach their target audience and share information regarding job opportunities. A company page includes a brief description, type of industry, company size and website, and specialties. Once they create the company page, they can also share status updates about relevant information about their company, articles, industry news or information relevant to those seeking for a job. For example, The Coca-Cola Company‘s LinkedIn page contains information about different Coca-Cola programs, as well as some articles directed to recently graduated student with tips for building a career. All status updates and articles are links to the Coca-Cola website, which is very effective in driving traffic to the website. Also, in terms of brand image and content, there is consistency, which is a very important part of integrated marketing communications.

coke

There is a careers tab on the company page, which lists the job opportunities and directs candidates to the company website to further explore these opportunities.

Types of accounts

There are 2 types of accounts: Basic (free) and Premium (paid). According to The most popular ways people use LinkedIn, 85% of users have the basic account and 15% pay for premium services. The difference between paid and free accounts is how much information users can see, share, how to contact others, amount of search results, and find out more information about your profile views, among others. Premium accounts are divided into different categories related to different groups: business, job seeker, sales professional, and recruiter. All users create a profile with the basic account and then decide if they want to upgrade.

I. Basic account: This account is far from basic since it includes access to the most popular features. People can create a profile, build a network with unlimited connections, join LinkedIn Groups, create a company page, give recommendations, receive InMails, and request a limited amount of introductions.

II. Premium accounts (each one has 3 different types)

Business account: The difference between the three business accounts is related to visibility, reach, and search. For example, with the Business Executive, there is full name visibility of 3rd-degree connections, which is not possible with basic or other business accounts. This increases the chance of contacting more people. With Business Plus, users can send 10 InMail messages, compared to none on the basic account. These are available from $23.99 per month up to $74.99 per month.

Job Seeker: Job seekers willing to pay a monthly fee can get more benefits from a premium membership, like featured applicant, which moves job applications to the top of recruiter lists or see detailed salary information for each job. Premium services run from $19.99 per month to $59.99.

Recruiter: The 3 recruiter accounts differ in the way recruiters find and contact talent and how they recruit. For example, with Recruiter Light, members have access to the recruiter Iphone app and mobile website that those with the basic membership do not have. Plans run from $47.99 to $719.95 per month.

Sales Professional: These premium accounts help professionals find and engage with the right prospects, including connecting with them and building sales leads to close deals. Other benefits include Insights, which gives access to people seeing your profile in the last 90 days and full access to 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree networks.

Features

whatyoucando

Creating a profile is just the beginning. Here are some of LinkedIn features:

  • People you may know: Provides a chance to connect with people who LinkedIn has established that the user may know based on the information on their profile and my connections. It’s a simple way for people to grow their networks. This feature was just optimized this year, making it simple and user-friendly by also including pending invites on the top of the page, rather than on the inbox, where people cannot see them. Also, it combines pending invitations with suggested contacts on the same page.
  • You recently visited: Provides list of the last company pages or other profiles visited recently, just in case one needs to go back to them.
  • Who’s viewed you profile: Here, people may take a look at who’s looking at them. The basic membership does not let users see 100% of this information here. In order to see a list of everyone who has viewed a profile, it is necessary to upgrade to a premium account. However, other available information related to this feature that people can see includes where those people viewing your profile are from (their location) and in what industry they work. Also, how people rank on profile views, compared to their connections, as well as tips for increasing the number of views. According to LinkedIn Shows You Who Visits Your Profile, “LinkedIn will provide suggestions based on how members from the same industry generated more page views. A suggestion could be as simple as adding a certain skill to your profile or joining a particular group.”

WVYP_New

  • Who’s viewed my updates: This is effective for evaluating whether or not content is relevant to my connections. It is a great way to find out if my content strategy is working or not. This also represents an opportunity to revise the content calendar and timings of posts.
  • Recommendations and Endorsements: In 11 Incredibly Useful LinkedIn Features You Might Not be Using, Andrea Brinkman says, “Endorsements do however add to your presence on LinkedIn and can be thought of as a pantry full of your best keywords.” People can make recommendations and endorse other people’s skills. This helps each profile easier to be found in advanced searches. The best thing about these is that they are not time consuming. There is no need to sit and write a paragraph to recommend or endorse someone. For example, I can endorse a former colleague for their expertise on Trade Marketing by just visiting their profile. This is helpful information for recruiters looking for candidates with specific skills. The fact that with this feature other people recommend you makes it trustable.
  • Groups: There are more than one million LinkedIn Groups.  Social Media Today’s article, 7 Things That Can Get You Out of LinkedIn Groups When You Get Into’Em, discuss how Groups reflect a person’s business interests. People join them for different reasons, including getting advise from other professionals or viceversa, elevating reputation as experts by contributing and searching for opinions of others about particular topics. It is also a great opportunity to point people to a person’s blog or website. “Though it’s bad protocol to come on strong with sales pitches and promotions, it’s fair game and savvy to start in on an update or reply and point readers to your website, blog, videos and the like. Don’t be shy about offering links.” (Social Media Today). Here is an example of the type of discussions and how people can contribute from the SEO SEM Social Media group. It is important to highlight the difference between these conversations and those in Facebook, which is more oriented to social, not strictly business like LinkedIn.

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 9.18.21 PM

 

According to The most popular ways people use LinkedIn, the top two features are who has viewed your profile and people you may know, followed by groups and direct messaging. I think the first two provide users more specific information, like knowing exactly who might be interested in you. Using these two features strategically, may result in more connections and, as a result, more opportunities. If only a few people are viewing your profile, this may be a sign of changing something in the profile.

Integration with other channels/mobile friendly

In terms of integration with other channels, LinkedIn provides users with the opportunity to specifically include their Twitter and WeChat accounts in their profile. There is also additional space to include up to three other websites, which may be a company or personal website, blog, Facebook page, RSS feed or portfolio, as part of the contact information. Other than that, there is the option to share other people’s updates and job postings only on LinkedIn and Twitter. My appreciation is that LinkedIn pretty much intends to keep information inside LinkedIn. The reason for this, I suspect, is that LinkedIn is meant to be a social network for professionals to interact, on a business level, not on a personal level. The two things people are able to share on social networks, like Twitter, are meant to be used for professional purposes. The option to share on Twitter is not showcased. Here is an example of an article posted by one of my contacts today. The Twitter icon is very small:

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 11.27.44 AM

LinkedIn has a mobile friendly website, as well as an app I use on my Iphone. Both are as as efficient and complete as the desktop version. In terms of layout, colors, content, and menus, all three are consistent. Here is the mobile version and the app version:

mobile

Mobile version

app

Iphone app

LinkedIn also has a Facebook page and a couple of pages on Twitter. The Facebook page is updated with articles about human resources, economics, and innovation, among others. LinkedIn Jobs on Twitter is where they post some of the job opportunities, which then direct candidates to the LinkedIn page.

Advertising on LinkedIn

The lat part of this discussion will focus on advertising on LinkedIn. According to LinkedIn Paid Ads: A Beginner’s Guide, the are many misconceptions that businesses have of LinkedIn regarding using ads. Some of them include that fact that LinkedIn has a smaller audience than Facebook and Google. However, as Benjamin Spiegel discusses, there are many opportunities with LinkedIn ads, for instance, “achieve a very precise reach” because of targeting options. Also, the profiles contain more updated professional information about people, compared to Facebook, in which there is more detail about people’s social life. Because, as mentioned throughout this discussion, LinkedIn is a professional network, it makes more sense to post jobs here through ads than on Facebook or Google. Criteria available for reaching the right audience, includes job title, name of company for which prospect works, particular skills, role and seniority. Ads can also be created to sponsor updates. This can help companies to put their name out there with the intent of reaching decision makers, which may be part of their connections in the future and impact their businesses. There is a difference between targeting groups of people who might be interested in your product on Facebook and targeting people by job title. LinkedIn advertising works better for B2B promotions. This is why publishing an ad for LinkedIn should be considered by companies like mine, Buzzworthy Creations, to promote my products and services with the intent of finding prospects. The chance of reaching the right people may also increase return on investment. LinkedIn also provides campaign results, including reach and number of clicks.

aadiv

 

Integrated Marketing Communications

Companies should include LinkedIn as part of their integrated marketing communications plan. This channel puts the social aspect on the side (which is what other social networks are about) and focuses strictly on business. By creating a company page, a business has more exposure and builds awareness, thus positively impacting SEO and their chance of being found. This exposure helps a company find potential clients, as well as high-profile candidates to work for them. It also means finding other people working in the same industry to exchange information or do business. LinkedIn is also an additional vehicle to position a company as an industry expert. By either keeping the basic profile, upgrading to premium or using advertising, LinkedIn represents an additional opportunity to grow a business.

 

Link to Prezi (full presentation)

References:

Brinkman, A. (2014. April 21). 11 Incredibly Useful LinkedIn Features You Might Not be Using. Hubspot.com. Retrieved on July 1, 2014 from http://blog.hubspot.com/insiders/linkedin-features

Moyers, S. (2013. October 17). Take Your Brand to a New level with Linkedin Ads. Moz.com. Retrieved on July 1, 2014 from http://moz.com/ugc/take-your-brand-to-a-new-level-with-linkedin-ads

Piombino, K. (2013. July 30) The most popular ways people use LinkedIn. Ragan.com. Retrieved from http://www.ragan.com/Main/Articles/The_mostpopular_ways_people_use_LinkedIn_47070.aspx

Social Media Today. (2013. October 7). 7 Things That Can Get You Out of LinkedIn Groups When You Get Into’Em. Socialmediatoday.com. Retrieved on July 1, 2014 from http://socialmediatoday.com/feldmancreative/1798416/7-things-you-can-get-out-linkedin-groups-when-you-get-em

Spiegel, B. (2014. January 14). LinkedIn Paid Ads: A Beginner’s Guide. Marketinglando.com. Retrieved on July 1, 2014 from http://marketingland.com/linkedin-paid-ads-a-beginners-guide-69920

Yeung, K. (2013. May 5). LinkedIn is 10-Years Old Today: Here’s the Story of How it Changed the Way we Work. Thenextweb.com. Retrieved on July 1, 2014 from http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/05/05/linkedin-10-years-social-network/

 

Social Networks: Starbucks, Virgin Atlantic, and Miami Heat

This week I will evaluate three brands from the perspective of the way their social networks are structured: Starbucks,  Virgin Atlantic, and Miami Heat. The social networks I have selected are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, and Pinterest. We will discuss whether or not they take an integrated marketing communications approach (IMC), if they are consistent in messaging and imagery, content is up to date, how do they drive users to other social channels, and if they use hashtags regularly. The idea about integrated marketing communications is that the message, in this case the online message, is consistent with the image of the brand across all channels.

Starbucks

  • Are they consistent in messaging and imagery?
    1. In terms of brand image, like cover photo, colors, profile picture and other images, there is consistency across all channels. Right now, Starbucks social networks main pages feature images of the #WhiteCupContest, in which customers were encouraged to decorate a Starbucks cup with customized art, take a photo and submit it through social media using the hashtag. Starbucks will print the winning design on a reusable special edition plastic cup. There are photos of these cups in Facebook (37 million likes), Instagram (3 million followers), Twitter (6.3 million followers), Google Plus (2.7 million followers, and Pinterest (153k followers)

      Cover photo-Facebook (also on Instagram, Twitter, and Google Plus)

      Cover photo-Facebook (also on Instagram, Twitter, and Google Plus)

    2. In terms of the message, Starbucks is also consistent. Most content of the past months consists of photos and videos of new/existing products, stores, and public relations programs, like the College Achievement Plan and the Oprah Chai Tea Project, in which Starbucks will donate a money portion of each product sold to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation. I have to emphasize that the content is not identical on each channel all the time, for example photos, but one can tell that the brand is the same across all networks. This is an essential part of integrated marketing communications. The fact that some content is different does not mean they are doing it wrong. It means that Starbucks capitalizes on the strengths of each channel for specific content. For example, only Twitter and Google Plus feature special offers sometimes, like the Free Via Latte pack with the purchase of Via Coffee. We know Twitter is an excellent channel to post offers. Another offer they promote only on Twitter is the free song download cards. Also, since Pinterest and Instagram are optimal channels for photos, we see there are more photos of products on these two, compared to Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter. Finally, because Pinterest provides for creating boards about different themes, we see they cover the same topics on those boards (#WhiteCupContest, store photos, product photos). The difference is that they emphasize more on product shots they have categorized more in detail, like Latte, Espresso and Tea. Below are some examples of content:
starbucks

Special Offer- Twitter (same promo on Google Plus)

 

Product shot- Instagram

Product shot- Instagram

 

#WhiteCupContest Google Plus

#WhiteCupContest Google Plus

 

Boards on Pinterest

Boards on Pinterest

 

  • Is content up to date? Content is up to date in term of the fact that it’s recent on all Starbucks social networks. This does not mean they post everyday, which I think they should. According to How Often Should You Post Social Media Updates, the answer to the question about how many times to posts per day on social networks is that there is no definitive answer; as often as you have something useful to say. The caveat is to keep in mind that people in different networks have expectations and standards and marketers should identify these. The most recent posts of Starbucks per channel are as follows: Facebook (3 days ago), Twitter (22 minutes ago), Instagram (2 days ago), and Google+ (2 days ago). Honestly, I would think Starbucks has something useful to say everyday. It was strange to find that they posted more recently on Google+ than on Facebook. It is also strange to see they don’t post everyday.
  • Do they use hashtags regularly? In Facebook and Google Plus, Starbucks is not capitalizing as much on hashtags as they do on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. On Twitter, almost each post has a hashtag. Some of the hashtags they use most in Twitter are: #CollegeAchivementPlan, #PicoftheWeek, #CaramelMacchiato. On Instagram, Starbucks uses more hashtags. For example, #iced #caramel #macchiato, instead of one. Also, they use hashtags of more general themes like #love #reuse #recycle to be part of these conversations too! I like the #whereintheworld tag for the pictures of some stores around the world. Finally, on Pinterest, every photo pinned by Starbucks relates to their products has a hashtag. The ones about their gifts and stores do not have hashtags. It is strange to see that in post about the Caramel Machiatto on both Facebook and Twitter only one has the hashtag. There is an area of opportunity for consistency with these hashtags across all channels.

    Caramel Machiatto-Facebook (no hashtag)

    Caramel Machiatto-Facebook (no hashtag)

Caramel Macchiato Twitter Post (with hashtag)

Pin with hashtag (Pinterest)

Pin with hashtag (Pinterest)

  • Do they drive users to other social channels: All channels have links to the Starbucks website. Only Facebook has a tab for the Pinterest account. Google Plus has a tab with YouTube videos, as well as links to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Finally, Pinterest only has a link to Twitter. This represents an opportunity for Starbucks to direct people from different channels to others. On the website, there is a link to Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. This means they are missing Instagram and Pinterest, as well as YouTube.
  • Conclusion (in terms of integrated marketing communications): I think Starbucks does an exceptional job in terms of integrated marketing communications. The format and content of the website leans more towards the corporate side, yet we can also see company products featured on the home page. It was strange not to see anything about the white cup contest, but the winners were announced three days ago, so I would think that is the reason. In terms of message, content and imagery, there is consistency across all channels. Frequency of posts should be one thing they can consider evaluating, but overall I can tell the same company is posting in all channels. Also, always using hashtags will help them monitor conversations about the brand in a more effective way.

Virgin Atlantic

  • Are they consistent in messaging and imagery? 

The color that I associate with Virgin Atlantic is red. In Virgin Atlantic’s social network channels, this is the color that predominates in terms of the visual image of the brand. After taking a look at the main page of the company’s Facebook (332k followers), Twitter (269k followers), Instagram (16k followers), Google Plus (1k followers), and Pinterest (1,228 followers), I have to say that the imagery is not consistent across all channels in terms of the brand. For example, they do not use the same Virgin Atlantic logo on all networks. They use one on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and a different one on the other two. Also, the cover photos do not have any similarities. For example, the one on Facebook features one of their airplanes, while Instagram features a collage of the photos they have posted in the last months. There is no particular theme. It mixes photos of Virgin Atlantic personnel with photos of a photo shoot of one of their campaigns. Finally, the Google Plus page features a slogan we do not see on other channels, “Flying in the Face of the Ordinary.”

Google Plus cover photo

Google Plus cover photo

Facebook Cover Page

Facebook Cover Page

Instagram Cover Photo

Instagram Cover Photo

In terms of the consistency of the message, there is no consistency across all channels. If I take a look at Facebook and Twitter, I find there is some correlation between the messages on both social networks. I can tell that the airline is celebrating its 30th anniversary because of some posts about #NextStopNYC contest and the 30-year journey, which features the profiles of employees that have been working for Virgin Atlantic since 1984. These profiles are links from Virgin Atlantic’s blog. However, the promotion of the contest is more evident on Twitter, while it’s only mentioned on Facebook once, none on Instagram, Google Plus or Pinterest. On Twitter, they published one photo of each winner of the contest who won a trip to New York. Also, the mechanics of the promotion and the countdown are part of the strategy for Twitter. The only Instagram posts this month are photos of the airline employees which have been with them for 30 years.  Other content on Facebook is related to general information, including new items on board and London travel tips. There is no board on Pinterest related to #NextStopNYC or the 30-year journey. The boards on Pinterest focus more on elements important to the brand, like fashion and beauty, including crew uniforms designed by Vivienne Westwood and travel in style featuring Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class red lipstick. This is not part of the content on the other social networks. It’s true that Pinterest is the best one for photos of fashion and beauty, but I would have included the photos of the airline employees and photos of the contest winners enjoying New York! I think there is an opportunity for improvement related to content in terms of consistency. As I mentioned before, content does not have to be identical on all platforms, but it should be cohesive and I don’t think it is here. Finally, there is no consistency in the content of the website and the social networks. The content on the website is more corporate and focused on booking trips and airline offers. I have to repeat, offers must be on Twitter, at least.

Twitter post #NextStopNYC

Twitter post #NextStopNYC

Instagram feed- #30yearjourney

Instagram feed- #30yearjourney

Pinterest Post

Pinterest Post

Behind the Scenes-Pinterest

Behind the Scenes-Pinterest

#NextStopNYC

#NextStopNYC-Facebook-the only post about this contest

 

  • Is the content up to date? Virgin Atlantic has not posted anything since October, 2013 on Google Plus. There is also no consistency with the posts on Facebook. They posted one thing on June 4 and the next on the 18th. On Twitter, they post once every 2 days, even though there are most posts recently because of the contest. During the month of June, there are only 6 posts, all related to the 30-year journey. All these photos were posted during the last two days. Before this posts, the last one was on May 29th. My conclusion about this is that thanks to the anniversary they have been posting relatively more in terms of content. This means that they should consider a strategy for posting more often, specially in Google Plus. The content on Pinterest is not up to date since it ignores the 30-year anniversary
  • Do they use hashtags regularly? In most posts, there are hashtags, even more on Twitter. The most used hashtag in the last months are: #NextStopNYC, #Onesie (because they are promoting a onesie for business class travelers), #Futureofflying and #TravelTips. In Facebook, there is no consistency with the hashtags or repeats. In the last two months, for example, the hashtags are: #NextStopNYC and #BrilliantMinds. They seem to put new content each month, not necessarily related to a program implemented the month before. Virgin Atlantic uses hashtags on every Instagram post. The most used ones in the last two months were #30YearJourney and #BrilliantMinds. The pins on Pinterest do not have hashtags, as well as the posts on Google Plus.
  • Do they drive users to other social channels: All channels only have links to the Virgin Atlantic website. There is no strategy to drive users to other social channels. On the website, there are links to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Thus, there is also an opportunity here to share information about other channels.
  • Conclusion (in terms of integrated marketing communications): In my opinion, there is space for improvement, specifically in terms of consistency in terms of visuals and content, timing and frequency of posts, as well as directing users to other channels. I would begin with the cover photos and images, so they are cohesive across platforms. That will give users a unique idea about the brand in terms of first impression. I would establish a calendar with content ideas, including which channels will be used for what. For example, it would have been a great idea to include more information about  #NextStopNYC contest on Facebook, which is where they have the most followers. Also, Pinterest would have been a great vehicle to see photos in New York of the winners of the contest.

Miami Heat

  • Are they consistent in messaging and imagery? 

When I first visited the Miami Heat Facebook (14.5 million likes), Twitter (2.6 followers), Instagram (1.4 followers), Google Plus (48k followers) and Pinterest (3k followers), I immediately noticed consistency in some imagery. All of the pages featured the Miami Heat logo. The colors red, black and white are predominant in terms of the visual image. I would capitalize more on the space given for the cover photo on all networks and would include a photo of the team. In this case, that was only done on Google Plus. Also, in Twitter, there is only a black background, meaning they are not using that space usually saved for appealing and bold images (just like they did on Instagram). I can tell the pages of the different social networks belong to the same team, but creatively they can do better.

Instagram cover photo

Instagram cover photo

Cover Page-Facebook

Cover Page-Facebook

In terms of content, I would say the message of the Miami Heat is consistent across all platforms, except Google Plus where there are no posts since 2011. Now that the NBA season is over, we still can see posts primarily on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These posts are related to press conferences held this past week, merchandise on sale, Heat summer basketball camps, and giveaways. They do a great job keeping consistency on all channels related to this information. For example, just today, Chris Andersen visited the Miami Heat camp to speak to campers and sign autographs. There was a video posted about this on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Another example is Pat Riley’s press conference on June 20th, which was mentioned on one Facebook post and one Instagram post. However, Twitter was used to narrate the press conference in real time, which is something we often see with Twitter. During the regular season, we see posts everything related to the games, including countdown, game scores, behind the scenes, and ticket information. The Pinterest account focuses more on game fashion (jerseys, women’s apparel, and gear). This is understandable due to the nature of Pinterest, but I would put more game photos on the Game Photos board. After all, Pinterest is a channel that focuses on photos and I’m sure there are great photos.

Post on Instagram about visit to summer camp

Post on Instagram about visit to summer camp

 

Riley press conference-Twitter

Riley press conference-Twitter

 

Heat Fashion-Pinterest

Heat Fashion-Pinterest

Facebook post about game scores

Facebook post about game scores

Miami Heat game photo-Instagram

Miami Heat game photo-Instagram

  • Is the content up to date? Even with the season over by now, the contest on most social networks is current, specifically on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We see at least one post per day on Facebook. Posts are more frequent on Instagram and Twitter, specially this past week with all the press conferences. During those days, there was an average of 5 posts per day, both on Instagram and Twitter. I would suggest using Google Plus the same way. Evidently, there is material to share and they are not capitalizing on this.
  • Do they use hashtags regularly? There is no use of hashtags at all. This represents a great area of opportunity in order to establish categories which followers can also use to find conversations and engage more. Some of the could be #heat #miamiheat #heatnation and #whitehot.
  • Do they drive users to other social channels: In all channels, there is a link to the Miami Heat website. In Facebook, there are links to Instagram and Twitter accounts. There are no other links on Instagram and Twitter. Finally, there is a link to the YouTube channel on Google Plus.
  • Conclusion (in terms of integrated marketing communications): I would have to say that in terms of content and imagery, there is integration across most channels. The recommendation here is to use more Google Plus, as well as Pinterest to extend the conversation going on at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Also, posting on Google Plus increases SEO. In general, there is consistency also with the content on the website and this is a very important part of integrated marketing communications.

Email Marketing and Content Communities

Celeste Martínez

To: Jaclyn Sherman
Reply-To: Celeste Martínez
Subject: Meet the New Host of TripAdvisor Destinations TV Show
___________________________________________________________________________
For consistent delivery, please add celeste@buzzworthycreations.com to your address book.

11% of the world traveled. 89% more to go…

tripfb

  • More than 30 years of experience in family, business, community service, and leisure travel, including a week spent at the St. Bernard Project in New Orleans.
  • My travels include United States, Caribbean, South America, and Europe.

 

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Volunteering at New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina


What travel means to me…

  • Establish new interpersonal relationships
  • Learn about other cultures, history and backgrounds
  • Traveling gives people new perspectives about the places they visit and the people they see:

  • Traveling brings people closer to each other, putting aside what makes them different and bringing them together by what makes them similar.

 

My relationship with TripAdvisor

  • TripAdvisor is a trustable source of information since independent contributors collaborate, rather than marketers trying to promote their hotels, restaurants or attractions.
  • TripAdvisor offers a system of badges, which symbolically compensates contributors with them, depending on the number of reviews they write. This makes it possible for contributors to feel part of the TripAdvisor community. I’m a proud Senior Contributor for TripAdvisor.

 

My qualifications for TripAdvisor Destinations

  • I love people: Let’s face it, in order to be in front of the cameras talking to people, you need to like them. You should be able to approach them without being shy, initiate a conversation, be nice, ask questions, while acting as natural as possible. People also have to like you. People happen to like me.
  • Passionate about travel: I care so much about travel, that I want to make a career out of it!
  • Don’t mind being on the spotlight: Bring it on and ask for autographs!
  • I know English and Spanish (as well as dialects, like Caribbean Spanish and Latin American Spanish)
  • Not afraid of being in front of cameras: I have experience with public speaking. To me, the camera represents the people I want to talk to:

 

Below, please find my resumé on my Pinterest Page:

 

This email was sent to Jaclyn Rhoads because you subscribed to Celeste Martínez’s email list. This email has been sent on behalf of Celeste Martínez. I would be happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have. For all inquiries and to UNSUBSCRIBE email me at: celeste@buzzworthycreations.com.
This email and any information or files transmitted with it are solely for the confidential use of the recipient. This message contains confidential and proprietary information of Celeste Martínez that may not be read, searched, distributed or otherwise used by anyone other than the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error please notify the sender and promptly delete this message and its attachments.

My take on blogs: Grub Street, Johnny Jet, and No Dog About It

According to How Many Blogs are there on the Internet, as of 2013 there were 152,000,000 blogs on the Internet. A new blog is created every half second and most people read blogs more than once a day. Blogs also have a huge influence on purchase decisions. I selected three different blogs, which I have studied thoroughly in terms of their purpose, uniqueness, whether or not they reflect their brand, what gets people to read them, if they have advertisers, and any missing elements. Finally, I will discuss whether or not each one is successful.

I. Grub Street

esq-grub-street-logo-010711-xlg

  • Type of blog- This blog, from New York Magazine, is recreational because it focuses one particular topic: food. Also, it is not intended to make money.
  • Purpose: The purpose of this blog is to provide foodies with information about the New York restaurant scene. Information includes restaurant openings, closings, bars, menus, and chefs, among other topics. The blog also features restaurant search and recipe research, both powered by New York Magazine. The Restaurant Power Rankings tool provides a list of 20 restaurants which is updated every week. Finally, there are links to other restaurant blogs and food related websites.

libros

  • What makes it unique and does it reflect the brand? Clean format, noncommercial angle and content make the blog unique. One of the things I enjoy the most is going out to eat, specially at New York! Grub Street posts about six times a day. The interesting thing is that each post is about a different topic. For example, today they published posts about the following topics: FDA, celebrity chef reality shows, Shake Shacks’s anniversary, and Alton Brown’s outdoor deep-fry. The FDA post was about cheese-aging regulations. This is relevant for chefs and restaurant owners, but also for people like you and me. When I took a look at yesterday’s posts, the topics were the same. The fact that they think outside of the box and decide to delight audiences with such interesting topics also makes the blog unique. Also, in my opinion, the blog reflects the brand, even though it’s very clear that they are part of New York Magazine. However, the publication identified a niche for this type of content, which is more sophisticated and was able to create Grub Streetwhich I think is very successful.

alton

  • Is the blog successful?: In my opinion, Grub Street is very successful in terms of creating original content, posting often, and having a Twitter link. However, the link to their Twitter account lands in their old Twitter Handle, not the new one, @grubstreet. Big mistake. Grub Street is also provides links to Flickr, as well as RSS feeds and the opportunity to subscribe to email marketing. It is very strange that other social media channels, specifically Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are not on the list of social network accounts to follow Grub Street. This represents a huge area of opportunity, specially because they post many photos. After all, it is a food blog. It is important to mention that each post does have the buttons to share on all social networks.
  • What drives traffic to the blog?: The blog is high on search engines. When I type New York food blogs and New York food blogs, Grub Street is on the first page of the results. When I put New York blogs, it shows on the third page, while another blog Serious Eats, shows on the first page. There is an opportunity here to optimize and try to show on the first page. Also, opening the other social media accounts and trying to have more presence boosts this. Finally, having a YouTube channel would also help find it easier. I like to read this blog because of the main reason that makes it unique: the careful selection of the topics to deliver relevant, clean and uncommercial content. They talk about Starbucks, as well as casual elegant or fine dining restaurants and then food trucks. It’s very comprehensive.
  • Anything missing on the blog? In terms of consistency, flow, relevance, layout, and content, I think Grub Street isn’t missing too much!  I would put a social media feed (at least including Twitter) in order for people reading the blog to know what’s going on there. Also, as mentioned above, I would consider opening social media accounts at least on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Also, instead of depending on the recipe directory of New York Magazine, I would create my own, based on chef or reader submissions.
  • Are there advertisers? There are 3 different advertising sections. Right now, advertisements include The Rover movie, Promozoo and Hedwig and the Angry Inch Broadway show. My take on this is that the blog is informative and its main purpose is specifically to inform, not to make money.

II. Johnny Jet- The Travel Insider

jj-logo-new

 

 

  • Type of blog- This blog is recreational because it focuses on passion for travel and focuses on giving information about it. It’s not entirely directed intended to make money. There are some ways it probably does, but it’s not the most important idea. Johnny just cares about travel and wants to share information with us. The blog has some contributors, meaning it’s not a one-man or one-woman show. It produces content more than sporadically, a couple of times a day.
  • Purpose: The purpose of this blog is for travel experts to share information and tips related about any type of travel. The objective is to provide relevant information about how to travel comfortably, economically and efficiently. It attempts to reach both people who travel frequently and those who don’t. The idea was born from Johnny’s email conversations with his friends about how to get more miles when traveling. He began to add other useful information, like travel tips and travel websites. When the email list reached 500, he decided to begin a blog.
  • What makes it unique and does it reflect the brand? 
    1. Name: When I first saw the title of the blog, it didn’t seem attractive at all. After taking a closer look, I understood that the name is what gives the blog a personal touch; it creates a space for people to relate to Johnny, a person just like you and me who happens to travel a lot and wants to share information. In my opinion, his ability to establish this is what makes the blog unique and clearly reflects the brand. The brand is Johnny and, even though he has contributors, we know that we will see Johnny everywhere in the blog. Here are the names of some of the sections of the blog: Where’s Johnny, Who is Johnny, Keep up with Johnny, Johnny’s Travel, and Johnny’s newsletter. I think it’s a brilliant way to get top of mind awareness when we think about travel.
    2. Content: Posts on Johnny Jet cover different topics, including travel tips posted by Johnny or his contributors, as well as their readers, thus giving them the opportunity to share other ideas. Other topics include which travel contests are happening right now (with the links to each one), weekly top 10 in travel news (with the links to each article), travel app of the week, travel website of the week, and reasons to stay at a particular hotel. Content is posted between 2 and 4 times per day in the form of text, images and external links. The content is 100% informative and it covers all areas of the industry. Other blogs are not as informative as this one or only focus on a few destinations and even do not post consistently.  Johnny Jet posts frequently about different topics. For example, one of the recent posts was about how cheap water bottles are in other countries, meaning you have to be careful not to put them inside a bag where they may crack and leak. I think this is a more specific topic that applies to many travelers. Johnny focuses on these details.

      contest

      Example of content on Johnny Jet’s website

    3. “Hooking up” with Johnny: We are used to websites and blogs with social media buttons directing people to continue their relationship with them on these channels.  Johnny Jet does this with a more aggressive strategy. He wants to make sure that he will not lose you. In addition to social media buttons on the top and bottom sections, there are two opportunities to sign up for his newsletter. On each one, you can select with a check mark which type of information you want to receive. In case you miss all these opportunities, there is a third “like us” on Facebook button and a Trippy link on the right hand side. It may seem overwhelming, but it works for me. I would think he is very aggressive on social media too and that he is consistent.
  • What drives traffic to the blog?: In order to find this blog, I did a research about the best travel blogs. I reviewed a few and this was the one that caught my attention. That is how I found  Johnny Jet. If I only wrote “travel blogs,” the results were articles about travel blogs, not specific blogs (until you get to page 4). When I searched  Johnny Jet or Johnny Jet blog, all search results were related to the blog and social media channels of Johnny Jet. Also, since Johnny Jet seems to have a business relationship with travel websites like Yahoo Travel, this helps people find their blog. For example, when I searched Johnny Jet travel on Google, there was a Yahoo Travel ad, which directed me to their website. When I got to Yahoo Travel, the page was promoting Johnny Jet’s blog with a link. Finally, the fact that the brand has presence on all social media channels makes it easier to find them across all platforms. Content, creative and brand identity are consistent in all platforms, thus accounting for a cohesive integrated marketing communications approach.
Yahoo Travel Ad

Yahoo Travel Ad

yahootravel

  • Is the blog successful?: Definitely. First of all, new posts are published often, thus helping drive traffic. Also, they create original content and it has multiple social sites in which we can connect with them, including Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest
  • Anything missing on the blog? I would put a social media feed (at least including Twitter) in order for people reading the blog to know what’s going on there. It is also an additional way to direct people there by giving them the opportunity to take a look at what they are posting before they do so. Also, it may help cut the advertisement clutter on the right hand side.
  • Are there advertisers? Johnny Jet has plenty of space for advertisers, mostly travel related http://www.insuremytrip.com and The Suitest. Also, there is a search box for flights and hotels that links to travel websites like Priceline and Expedia, which I think pays them a referral fee. Also, there is a whole section, under travel deals, of the idea travel credit cards. On the bottom of the page, there is a disclaimer that reads: ““Please note that JohnnyJet.com has financial relationships with some of the merchants mentioned here. JohnnyJet.com may be compensated if consumers choose to utilize the links located throughout the content on this site and generate sales for the said merchant.”

III. No Dog About It

dog

  • Type of blog- This blog is recreational because it provides content about a particular subject sporadically. Even though there are a couple of ads, I don’t see this blog as one established to make money. Taking a look at the fact that it’s a one-woman show also makes it semi-professional.
  • Purpose: In this blog, Melissa, a former pet sitter and dog lover, shares her pet knowledge and experience with her readers. It also provides some space for pet lovers to share their own experiences and information by commenting and/or sending questions. Content is provided almost every day or every other day and includes articles about puppy mills, how to deal with loose dogs in the neighborhood, dogs with aggressive behavior, and how to cope with a lost dog. Content consists of text, but also there are photos and videos. The blog has 50 categories, was created in 2009 and currently has 4,324 followers, as well as 918,706 hits.
Animal Rescue post

Animal Rescue post

  • What makes it unique and does it reflect the brand? I’m a dog lover. In fact, I have two beautiful dogs, Eco and FIFA (yes, because she came home during the 2010 FIFA World Cup!). I’m constantly looking for information about how to take better care of the dogs. I also love seeing photos of dogs, every type of dog. I don’t have kids, so my dogs are my kids and I want to make sure my job as a parent is done better every day! The name of this blog, No Dog About It, is the first thing that caught my attention. It’s meaning can be understood in many different ways, but I associated it with the phrase “no doubt about it.” I’ve read other blogs about pet related information, but the specific content about this one is what makes it unique, specifically the fact that Melissa has established different sections, depending on the day of the week, like Wordless WednesdayBlack & White Sunday, and Favorite Video Friday. People get bored if they see similar articles everyday. I think Melissa was able to look for other types of ways to upload content and does it in a very effective way.  Another thing that makes it unique is that Melissa provides a list of other pet blogs that people can visit. I think it’s very professional to recognize other people’s work, even though these blogs may represent competition. The blog reflects the brand because every visual, article, video, and piece of information is related to dogs. Here is a piece from Favorite Video Friday:

  • What drives traffic to the blog?: Because I’m so obsessed with dogs, I’m constantly looking for websites and blogs about them. No Dog About It is high on search engines. When I typed “blogs about dogs,” it was number three on the list. However, when I search other terms like pet care blogs, dog blogs, dog care blogs, and information about dogs, No Dog About It was not part of the first few pages of search results. This represents an opportunity to optimize SEO so when people search for more specific terms, the blog ranks higher. If I type “No Dog About It,” the blog is the first one on the search results, followed by its Facebook Page. Since the blog also has a Twitter account, I think SEO can be optimized so that people will find that page easier. Of all the other blogs I have visited, I think this blog is one of the few that encourages me to read it constantly.
  • Is the blog successful?: I think the blog is successful in terms of producing content frequently. Also, in my opinion, content is very original and I love the idea about different themes (Black & White Sunday). However, it misses some opportunities with other social media channels. It has a link to the Twitter page, but when I click on that link, the account is @MelzPetPals, not @nodogaboutit. I think this is the reason why the page did not rank higher on Google because the Twitter handle is not consistent with the brand, meaning it looks like two separate items. The only other social media channel is Facebook, in which the account name is Not Dog About It. I think Pinterest and Instagram would be an important channel because some of the content on the blog consists of photos.
  • Anything missing on the blog? I think the blog is missing more presence on social media channels. Although it is recreational and meant only to provide information, it has the potential to reach more people. Also, I would have some endorsements from pet related brands. These endorsements help build brand awareness and boosts credibility. Evidently, Melissa is an expert in pets and I think she is missing some opportunities.
  • Are there advertisers? This is Melissa’s response to the question “Can I advertise on your blog? on the FAQs section: “Um yeah. I might be a blogger, but I am NOT a techie or tech-savvy or technologically inclined. I have no idea how to add ads to my blog, nor am I interested in learning. I work a full-time job and blogging is a hobby. It is not about making money for me. So take your wares and hawk elsewhere please.” Is this bad? I don’t think so if this is what she wants, right? There are two links (which look like ads) on the right of the screen, but these are links to other blogs.

 

 

Reference:

Gaille, B. (2013. November 20). How Many Blogs are on the Internet. Wpvirtuoso.com. Retrieved on June 12, 2014 from http://wpvirtuoso.com