Going out to eat is a treat. Sometimes, it’s a way to bail us out of our daily routine, which includes cooking at home. Either way, when we eat out we expect to have a pleasant experience. When eat outside of our house, either at a fast-food, casual or fine dining restaurant, we expect that not only it will satisfy our hunger, but that we will have an overall pleasant experience. We trust that the restaurant has food safety standards, including how employees handle food and we have some degree of confidence, regarding cleaning procedures. Imagine what happens if these expectations are cut short if one day, as we look at our Facebook newsfeed, we find a photo of one employee of our favorite fast-food restaurant literally licking a stack of taco shells? The fast-food industry is suffering as a result of people who have taken to social media their increasing concern regarding the ingredients used, employees mishandling ingredients, and food sabotage. Think Taco Bell.
In June 2013, a Taco Bell employee posted this photo on his personal Facebook page. Was Taco Bell’s reputation at risk? Absolutely. There’s three issues here: the social media crisis, how people respond, and how Taco Bell responds. What would I think of Taco Bell if I see this post? That the people I’m able to see preparing my tacos when I go there are kids who love to play with food so much that they’re willing to contaminate it with their saliva before they clock in or during training. My immediate reaction will be to stop visiting the place, take it out of my food hard drive and share the news with my friends. This is what happened. It was such a compelling and powerful image that, in no time, people began to share it. It’s difficult for such a photo not to become viral.
People reacted with negative feedback and talked about how disgusting is Taco Bell’s food, as well as its employee lack of self control when posting these types of photos. Sharing is a big part of social media and it may affect reputation, positively or negatively. Sharing makes it possible for a message to reach more people. As a result, with incidents like this one, the bigger the audience, the more a negative message spreads there’s more people disgusted.
Taco-Bell responded relatively fast on their website, where they published the following statement:
They responded swiftly and, even though I don’t see an apology in this statement, I think they did a good job recognizing that they were on top of the situation and identifying the course of action. Also, they address an area which would be my concern: whether these shells were served to customers. They insist they didn’t. Do I believe them? That’s another story. Also, in this statement, Taco Bell also reaffirms what the organization does and how much it cares about strict food handling. Finally, they clarify that they don’t tolerate this type of behavior. At least there is some honesty there! Even though this sounds reasonable enough to safeguard their reputation, there are some things they missed.
First of all, they responded on the website. Isn’t the right thing to do is to at least respond on Facebook, which was the platform used to disseminate this photo and then Twitter? As of March 2013, they had 9 million fans on Facebook and 880k on Twitter. Isn’t that amount of people way more than those who visit their website? In my opinion, posting this statement on their website was more a way to be able to say, “yes, we responded.” However, I don’t think it shows they actually cared about the situation. There is now way that they didn’t know they could potentially reach more people on social. Or maybe they didn’t want to create a horned’s nest again?
Also, they didn’t invite people to comment. As a matter of fact in Taco Bell’s Social Media Crisis Communications Fail, Melissa Agnes says that they even shut down the commenting by disabling this feature. Before doing this, they responded to some comments posted on their page. I don’t think that was enough. Shutting down comments means Taco Bell will have a negative reputation regarding how they allow (or don’t) their customers to speak. Remember, social media is about listening and responding. Isn’t the whole point of social media is to be social? To be able to interact and, in this case, have the intention of maintaining relationships, even after after this type of incident? Finally, I think they missed empathy; putting themselves in other’s shoes. The respond had a “corporate tone,” but I didn’t feel they were sorry.
Prior Taco Bell’s reputation has been harmed before by these types of post on social media by members of their own team; by people who are supposed to be advocates! There is a precedent here and people are sensible. As I mentioned at the beginning, if the fast food industry is suffering as a result of negative comments on social media, companies should have a plan to address these incidents, revise company policies regarding employees and be prepared to act swiftly, honestly, and genuinely.
On December 2013, GQ released an interview with Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, in which he made some serious and potentially offensive expressions about homosexuality. Many groups, including the Human Rights Campaign and GLADD, criticized these expressions, as well as other people who echoed this indignation on social media. Other results from these remarks include A&E’s, the network that broadcasts the show, decision to suspend him. Another business partner of Duck Commander (the name of the merchandise brand), Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, decided to pull some of Duck Dynasty products out of the shelves at their stores. 24 hours after making that decision, they put the products back on the shelves. I would say both decisions were made using data analysis, including listening to people’s comments and evaluating them using quantitative, qualitative data, as well as context and sentiment analysis. For this discussion, I will concentrate on Cracker Barrel’s decision and evaluation process.
Cracker Barrel made two decisions in 24 hours or less probably based on listening to people’s responses and evaluating the possible outcomes there would be for them, as merchants of Duck Commander. In order to decide to pull out the merchandise, they listened to how people responded to Robertson’s anti-gay comments, how they felt, if they were seen as positive or negative, if attitudes were neutral. They also looked at how A&E responded, and decided that the possible offensive impact on some of their customers by keeping that merchandise weighed more than by pulling it out of the shelves. They also evaluated how this decision might impact the brand’s image in relation to how it looks by distancing from anything that has to do with anti-gay comments. However, they were bombarded by messages on Twitter, email, and phone calls, including threats to boycott Cracker Barrel. They were not able to anticipate the impact of their first decision on their customers. This is why, the day after, they reversed that decision and said: “You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called; you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong. We listened.” Here are some of the messages on Twitter:
In my opinion, taking two opposite decisions with two different possible impacts on customers doesn’t look like a responsible thing a company can do, if they want to show some consistency. They were able to admit a mistake, but they could have taken the time to listen before making that first decision. While we talk about listening to our customers, my question is, does Cracker Barrel make decisions based on listening what customers think about issues involving prejudice and controversial issues or they stand by their corporate policy regarding these issues? Do they respond as their customers respond? I think in this case, they evidently waited for their own customers to start talking and this is why they changed their opinion. When they noticed that the first decision could damage Cracker Barrel in the long run, they had to step back. This could have been avoided by taking the time to listen better.
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:
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?
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)?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For this week’s post, I will discuss my recommendations for Disney’s Magic Kingdom Facebook and Twitter accounts, specifically for the month of August 2014. The recommended posts on this blog are hypothetical and for academic purposes only.
While the main attractions of Disney’s Magic Kingdom are the rides, the park has many other amenities. The main goal for the month of August (last month of the summer) is to increase traffic at Disney’s Magic Kingdom by creating awareness about other park features like parades, character meet & greet, special events, photo passes, tours, and dining. This will be achieved through posts during that period on Twitter and Facebook, which will include valuable information, photos and links to the Magic Kingdom website. This will also direct traffic to the website and to the Disney blog, as well as increase sales of tours and restaurants at the park.
Friday, August 1: Facebook: Ready for a scavenger hunt at the park? Discover Disney’s Family Magic Tour…an unforgettable adventure magically unfolds around you.
Monday, August 4: Facebook: Your girl has a chance to meet Ariel at her grotto today from 9:00am to 11:30am! She has gadgets and gizmos aplenty, and she’s always happy to make new friends – especially human ones! For more information visit our website!
Tuesday, August 5: Facebook: Which one is your favorite buffet restaurant at Walt Disney World? Share your photo eating at this restaurant.
Twitter: Which one is your favorite buffet restaurant at the park? Post your answer with #disneydining for a chance to win $10-off your next visit!
Wednesday, August 6: Facebook: With help from a NASA astronaut, Space Mountain opened in January 1975 at Magic Kingdom park. Today, it’s one our big drops attractions! Have you ridden Space Mountain?
Twitter: Blast off on a rip-roaring rocket through the darkest reaches of outer space #spacemountain (with photo)
Facebook: Hit it out of the park with American baseball favorites: hot dogs, nachos, corn dog nuggets, French fries, cotton candy and Cracker Jack at Casey’s Corner
Twitter: Hit it out of the park with American baseball favorites: hot dogs, nachos, and French fries at Casey’s Corner. #disneymainstreet (with photo above)
Thursday, August 7: Facebook: Now everyone can reserve up to 3 attractions in advance with FastPass+! Not staying at Disney Resorts? Don’t worry, you can purchase tickets online and reserve you FastPasses in advance too! Which ones will you reserve today?
Sunday, August 10: Facebook: Get a Disney PhotoPass Card from any Disney PhotoPass photographer. Then, simply go online to view your photos, or even upload a few of your own! Visit Disney’s Photo Pass website to see PhotoPass locations, create photo albums and purchase gifts, including calendars, mugs and mouse pads.
Twitter: With#Disneyphotopass you can capture your magical experiences throughout your vacation.http://bit.ly/1mdkuBH.Special offers in August! (same photo as Facebook-gifts)
Monday, August 11: Facebook: Our Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade is the newest in New Fantasyland. Everyday in August at 3:00pm. Find a garden of Disney Princesses, starring Cinderella, Belle, Tiana, Elsa and Anna, take a photo and share it with us.
Twitter: Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade at #NewFantasyland at 3pm. Find Merida from Brave with by her bear brothers; share your photos!
Tuesday, August 12 Facebook: Our latest post on Disney Parks Blog features photos of Disney parks after dark. Which one is your favorite one of Magic Kingdom?
Twitter: Our latest #disneyparksblog features photos of Disney parks after dark. Would you like to be there?
Wednesday, August 13 Facebook: Which one is your kid’s favorite character? Tinker Bell, Mickey Mouse, Merida, or Alice in Wonderland? Check out today’s meet & greet schedule!
Thursday, August 14 Facebook: Here are some attractions for preschoolers. Which one you wish you were riding today with you child? Dumbo, Buzz Lightyear, or “It’s a Small World?” Share with us which one your kids like the most.
Friday, August 15: Facebook: Have you eaten at The Diamond Horseshoe? Fastest lunch in the West. Stop by for a barbecued turkey sandwich or hand-carved pork brisket—each served alongside apple slices or potato chips.
Twitter: Get lunch today at Diamond Horseshoe. Grab a barbecued turkey sandwich or hand-carved pork brisket and share with us using #diamondhorseshoe (same photo as above)
Saturday, August 16 Facebook: Can you name the 6 whimsical lands at Magic Kingdom?
Twitter: Which of the 6 whimsical lands was recently renovated?
Sunday, August 17 Facebook: The fun doesn’t stop at night fall. Join us at Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks show at 10pm. Find Tinker Bell flying over the park, take a photo and share it with us and your friends!
Twitter: End your day with a special #disneymagical moment at Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks show tonight at 10pm!
Monday, August 18:
Facebook: Are you thirsty? Stop by Aloha Isle and try the Dole Whip-a popular frozen treat blended in pineapple, orange, vanilla or swirled flavors. Pineapples from Hawaii @ Aloha Isle! Visit at Adventureland!
Twitter: Dole Whip, a popular frozen treat blended in pineapple, orange, vanilla or swirled flavors available @ Aloha Isle #adventureland
Tuesday, August 19
Facebook: Is your girl dreaming of having lunch with Cinderella? Dine with Disney Princesses inside Cinderella Castle during this one-of-a-kind Fairytale Dining experience at Cinderella Royal Table. Delight in a regal banquet as Disney Princesses visit for photos and autographs. Reserve today!
Wednesday, August 20
Facebook: Ferrari or Lamborghini? Which one would you choose at Disney’s Exotic driving experience? Drive like a secret agent or a millionaire tycoon for a day: Get behind the wheel of a luxury sports car and take off! Call 404-WDW-PLAY for reservations.
Thursday, August 21
Facebook: How tall is your kid this summer? 44 inches is the minimum height requirement for Space Mountain. Can they ride? Let us know!
Twitter: Quick poll: How tall is your kid this summer? 44 inches? Not a problem for riding #spacemountain!
Friday, August 22
Facebook: Make her dream of becoming a princess come true at this enchanted beauty salon located inside the iconic palace, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Your girl can select hairstyle then add make-up, nail color, accessories and a Disney princess costume! Reservations required!
Twitter: Your girl can become princess at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Select hairstyle, add make-up, and a Disney princess costume! #NewFantasyland
Saturday, August 23
Facebook: Quick poll: How many countries are represented on “It’s a Small World?”
Twitter: How many times have you visited “It’s a Small World?” How many countries are represented? #NewFantasyland
Sunday, August 24 Facebook: Would you rather make reservations to eat at our park? No problem. Check out which restaurants accept reservations! Do you remember the name of any of them?
Monday, August 25 Facebook: Complimentary transportation throughout Walt Disney World Resort—including transportation to and from Disney Theme Parks and Disney Water Parks—is available to Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Ride by bus, boat or monorail!
Twitter: Free transportation to and from Disney Parks is available to Guests of Walt Disney Resort hotels by bus or monorail!#disneytransportation
Tuesday, August 26 Facebook: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train officially debuted in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park in May. See what guests have to say about the rockingest, rollickingest, twistiest train ride ever!
Friday, August 29 Facebook: Disney’s The Magic Behind Our Steam Train Tour: A fun- and fact-filled foray into the fascinating world of steam trains and their role. Ride the rails around the park in a fully restored antique freight train, gain exclusive backstage access to the roundhouse, where the steam engines are stored and serviced and more. Book it today!
Twitter: Magic Behind Our Steam Train Tour: Ride in a fully restored train,backstage access to where steam engines are stored. http://bit.ly/1kE3a4k
Saturday, August 30 Facebook: FUN FACT: Splash Mountain includes 950,000 gallons of water, 3 dips and a massive 5-story waterfall.Share your memories with us! Post a photo of your kids soaked coming out of Splash Mountain!
Twitter: How was that last splash at Splash Mountain? Share it with us. Post a photo of your kids soaked and use #splashmountain
Sunday, August 31 Facebook: Caption this photo and include the name of the attraction. You could win a trip to Disney World for 2 adults and 2 kids.
Twitter: Caption this photo and include the name of the attraction. You could win a trip to Disney World for 2 adults and 2 kids! #disneyvacations (with photo above)
For the past fourteen years, I’ve been running my own business of advertising specialties, displays and POP material, Buzzworthy Creations. My company has 1 employee: myself. Even though it has been a fantastic experience, I must confess there have been times in which I’ve felt lonely, regarding business networking online. There is Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but honestly the first two are meant for people to connect more on a personal level and it’s kind of difficult to find my business peers and connect with people sharing relevant information on LinkedIn. My Facebook friends keep adding me to their networks and I just want to use it for my business! While reading some articles for my class recently, I found out about industry-specific social media. According to Industry Specific Social Networking for Professional Services Firms, these are “social networks that are comprised exclusively of people who work in or have interest in a specific industry such as accounting, financial services, or the A/E/C Industry.” I decided to look look into one social network relevant to my small business and find out what it offers: Biznik.
Here is the definition of “biznik,” according to their website (creativity is one thing that stood out from other networks):
Biznik is an online social network that gathers small business owners (those running their own show) together in one place as a community, for sharing resources, support, advice, and referrals. People who join Biznik are looking for business connections, better SEO and visibility, or ways to build their business. Activating an account it’s free, and the only information one must provide is full name, company location, email, and reason for joining. Once the account is created, that activation includes the company website, profile picture, one business category, and a short about you profile. There are three ways to get more benefits:
Basic SEO: (cost: $79 per year)- Includes a profile optimized for search, as well as being able to RSVP, and leave comments.
Pro: (cost: $14 per month or $140 per year)- Includes the benefits of the Basic, plus message others, start conversations, publish articles, host events, and form groups.
ProVIP: (cost: $24 per month or $290 per year)- In addition to the benefits above, they get featured placement, bios & signatures, extra promotion, personalized assistance, free profile assessment, and SEO optimization.
In Membership Websites- 10 Questions You Should Ask Before You Join, the first one on the list is to ask yourself what will you receive as return on investment. “You need to assess the quality and quantity of content on your membership site and the tools and resources that are available to members. Can you get the same thing elsewhere and what are other similar sites offering and what subscription fees are they charging,” says Chapman on this post. This is why I decided to create a free account with the hopes of finding out if paying for membership is justifiable.
Once the account is created (I’m using the free option) and members select their city, they they can search for other members by city, then by industry. For example, I put San Juan, Puerto Rico and there are only twenty nine members, none of them in Marketing or Sales. However, for the purpose of this analysis, I chose Graphic Design so I could see what type of information is available and here is what I get:
Since I created the free account, that’s pretty much what I can see. I tried the option of sending her a message, but I need the Pro account. I can still contact her by phone and check out her company website. It is important to note that the search results for my query only include members with free accounts, just like mine. I tried searching for people in other places, like New York, and I got more information I was actually able to see, including the events hosted by that user (like webinars) and their posts. Another feature is the events section. Here, members can search for events near the area, such as networking sessions, happy hours, wine tasting & networking, book club meetings, and roundtables. Sadly, I did not find any events in New York, San Francisco or Portland. Biznik encourages users to create events.
The 3 other sections are Groups, Biz Talk, and Articles. In Groups, I found more than 300 related to marketing. My favorite one was Networking in High Heels. Again, I was able to see the group members, events, read articles, and take a look at some discussions, but in order to join or participate I need the basic membership. On each discussion, I was able to see how many replies it had, how many members and how many views. This is how this group is presented:
Biz Talk is a moderated community forum, divided into different categories, like Hot Topics & Controversy. Members ask questions like how to make initial contact with a client and others respond with ideas, links, and other valuable information. Finally, there are more than 8,000 articles on that section. You can search using several criteria, such as hottest and highly rated. One of the articles is 7 Deadly Sins of Designing Your Own Website, offering great tips. What I like about this is that other people are able to respond by voicing their opinion, but also by adding other information, for example an 8th sin! Participation is not as high in terms of the number of people responding. Members are the ones adding content. From all the sections I reviewed, I have to say this is the one with the most current information. Most information from other sections is from 2009-2011.
I believe this platform has a lot of potential. It’s very user-friendly, the brand personality is fun and the concept is clear. I was very excited to find out about it until I took a closer look. I feel that most of the information is not current, like I mentioned above. The fact that there are no events in big cities only makes me wonder if the members really actively participate. Also, when I took a look at the groups, the last activity for the ones on the first page was more than one month ago. There are only a few from this year and more for years 2009-2012. This makes me think that they have not been able to increase the number of members or maybe maintain old ones? Finally, by taking a look at the number of comments in many articles, I could only see a few. If the idea is to find other people who run the show like me, I would expect more conversation, right? Also, the fact that I have to pay is also another factor I would take into consideration. Biznik can stand from other channels because I believe there are no other similar ones. However, in order for me to see it as a trustable source, I would like to see more action. It can stand from other social channels because it is specifically for small business owners. I’m not sure I’ll join a small business group on Facebook. That is where I meet friends and family. I would love to talk to colleagues and Biznik is an excellent channel for that!
Biznik can incorporate proximity marketing using Foursquare. According to Types of Marketing: Proximity Marketing, “the main purpose of the proximity marketing plan is to connect with customers while they are near your business or service and spur them into action.” Biznik can partner, for example, with the bar in which there will be a meet & greet, to have a special offer for participants on that particular day. If the person is close to that business, that special offer will show on Foursquare as an incentive to arrive at the seminar earlier. People who check-in at the establishment for the session before 6pm get one free beer. Another idea might be for Biznik to create a brand page and as a way to send information to their phones regarding special offers.
To help with the IMC efforts, Biznik can use YouTube to promote their events. Someone can take short videos of events and post them to Biznik’s YouTube channel and to the website in order to promote these events. Maybe people watching them may be curious about this events and may begin to organize some of them! Another vehicle that can be used is SlideShare. Members can post their SlideShare presentations on a new “Presentations” tab. In terms of other social networks. Biznik should try to increase followers, as well as keep posts more current on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages, as well as encourage more participation. After all, there is a social element of Biznik, mainly with events and if members are in a meet & greet and want to share their photos with friends, they can do so on Facebook. Also, this will serve as promotion for Biznik. Changing the name of the Instagram account from @indiebizunite to @biznik, will help have a more integrated marketing communications approach across these platforms. I have to say there is a link to all three channels on their website. An email newsletter might also be a great idea to send general information about small businesses, including articles from the Small Business Administration. Finally, working on the brand image, including logo and colors in these channels might make the pages look more cohesive.
Chapman, I. (2008. October 10). Membership Websites- 10 Questions You Should Ask Before You Join. Retrieved on June 27, 2014 from http://www.iandavidchapman.com/membership-websites-10-questions-you-should-ask-before-you-join/
Hinge. Industry Specific Social Networking for Professional Services Firms. Hingemarketing.com. Retrieved on June 27, 2014 from http://www.hingemarketing.com/blog/story/industry_specific_social_networking_for_professional_services_firms
Marketing-Schools.org. Types of Marketing: Proximity Marketing. Retrieved on June 27, 2014 from http://www.marketing-schools.org/types-of-marketing/proximity-marketing.html
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.
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)
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:
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
When I first visited the Miami HeatFacebook (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.
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.
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.