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:

Hyatt-example2014

 

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.

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.

 

IMG_1080

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

Oreo’s Push-Pull Marketing Online Techniques

Oreo’s push and pull marketing digital techniques, including on its website, microblog and social media are directed to people who already know the brand. Rather than looking for new relationships, in my opinion, Oreo is looking to maintain relationships with existing customers. On this discussion, I will provide specific examples about how each technique is showcased. In push marketing, contact is initiated by the company in order to let customers know about their product or service. In this case, they find the consumer and send a message. Pull marketing refers to how companies make themselves available so that consumers can find them. According to Push vs. Pull Marketing: Is your Company Using Both?, the idea with pull marketing is “that people will find your company because your company was able to build a successful brand.” In my opinion, since Oreo is the leader of the market in the cookies category, it makes much sense to focus on maintaining those relationships.

Pull Marketing- How Oreo Teases Audiences

Oreo has a website and a microblog in Tumblr. Websites and blogs are considered pull marketing because the consumer is the one who chooses access them. This means that the company does not put the website in front of them. They are the ones who find the website or the microblog. Once the person accesses these two, the company pushes information and the consumer also decides which information they want to read. In both Oreo’s website and microblog, we see consistency in terms of the brand image, photos and colors. The Tumblr account focuses exclusively on the Snack Hacks, in which people submit their ideas (with a photo and 4-step or less process) of clever ways to snack an Oreo. Winners are selected by Oreo and the hacks with the most notes are featured on the Oreo Radar showcase. The content of this microblog is fresh as people constantly send their ideas. The Oreo & peanut butter stuffed red velvet cupcakes were the top fan submission in May. This is a perfect example of pull marketing because customers are the ones who initiate by following the Tumblr page and then submitting these photos and recipes to Oreo. However, the brand controls which snack hacks are featured on the Tumblr page. In my opinion, at this point, it becomes push marketing.

 

hack

 

Oreo’s website lacks content, specifically fresh content and text. Most of the content on the website consists of links to external websites, such as YouTube and Snackworks.com. When you first visit the Oreo website, you’ll find a very simple design, cohesive with other channels in terms of branding and colors. The focal point is the animated screen on the center, which features YouTube videos of different campaigns, including Snack Hacks and the Wonderfilled advertising campaign. Also, there are only three sections: Products, Recipes and Wonderfilled. The product section is a link to the Snack works website, which is Mondelez International’s website. I find it strange that Oreo’s products are not listed in Oreo’s website, including product descriptions. The mobile version is very simplified version of the website. It only has three items on the main menu: Wonderfilled, Twist Lick Dunk App and Follow Oreo on other social media channels icons. How come they do not have the recipes on the mobile version if according to Pew Research Internet Project 58% of Americans have a smartphone? I would definitely recommend adding this section to the mobile version.

The recipe section is very well organized, providing ideas that are divided in different categories. However, the recipes are also links to the Snack Works website; they are not on the Oreo website. Finally, the Wonderfilled section is dedicated to the campaign with that same name, aimed at adults starting with the premise that “how something as small as Oreo can bring a positive change in perspective,” according to Can Oreo’s New ‘Wonderfilled’ Campaign Sap the Cynicism Out of Your Day. The section consists of videos under the concept “Wonder if we give an Oreo to…” These videos are links to YouTube. Even though YouTube is a social media channel, thus considered pull marketing, I think Oreo is pushing the Wonderfilled campaign on the website. It’s very strange that they did not post the Oreo Transformers commercial on the website which already has almost 3 million views on YouTube. This means they should update the website by adding this commercial.

 

In order to find the website, microblog and social media, an SEO strategy is very important. Here are a few important findings about Oreo’s SEO:

  • After typing the word Oreo, the first item on the results list is the official Oreo website, followed by Wikipedia and their Facebook page. Surprisingly, the fourth item on the list is my blog entry from last week! Next on the list are the brand’s other social networks, including, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Tumblr. On the right hand side is the company profile from Wikipedia (thanks to Google’s Knowledge Graph which gathers information from other sites), instead of the Google+ profile. Oreo’s Google+ account has only 74 followers and the company doesn’t post frequently. Maybe this is the reason for not promoting it.

 

oreo

  • Other search terms for the purpose of this discussion were chocolate cookies and milk and cookies. In the first 5 pages of results, I could not find the Oreo website. I had to type milk and Oreo cookies in order to see their website on the first page of results. When I looked their source code, these are their keywords: oreo, wonderfilled, wonder, song, dunk, video, cookie, double stuf, mini, nabisco, chocolate sandwich, golden oreo, nabiscoworld. If I’m not mistaken, the name of the company is not Nabisco anymore, it’s Mondelez. Also, I would go with more specific terms, like chocolate cookie. Otherwise, it will be hard to find them, unless the person doing the search types the word Oreo.
  • By typing Oreo on the search box, Google’s predictive results are the following: oreo, oreo brand personality, oreo balls, oreo truffles. Since this list is based on a prediction by Google, it can be assumed that these are the terms searched most frequently. It was strange not to find campaigns like Wonderfilled and Snack Hacks after typing Oreo.

Other Pull Marketing Techniques:

Email Subscription List:

  • Oreo’s website does not have any signup button so visitors can subscribe to email, text or any other service that would enhance the consumer’s future engagement with the brand. I find it particularly strange that this is not available on the recipe section. It would be very useful to have an email database so Oreo can send these recipes to its consumers.

Social Media Like/Follow buttons:

  • The links to like or follow Oreo on social media networks are on two different parts of the homepage: upper right-hand corner and bottom right corner. However, the icons list is not the same in both areas. The upper part has Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The bottom part has only Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The Twitter icon on the bottom includes the text Follow @oreo. I don’t think this is consistent, All icons and lists should be consistent. The Google+ button is a share button, not an invitation to follow the page, which only has a few followers and is not active.
  • Social media preview box: I think this is brilliant. It’s another way to direct consumers to Oreo’s social media channels, but in a more creative way, by providing images of the last post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. All buttons and icons open Oreo’s social media pages in new windows, which prevents the Oreo website from closing. According to 9 Tips for Integrating Social Media on Your Website, “it may be wise to showcase your Twitter feed or Facebook posts directly on your website.” I think Oreo does this very efficiently, however, I just found out that the Facebook and Instagram showcases are not updated, according to the last posts.

social

 

Social Media: Snack Hacks is the perfect example of how Oreo stimulates consumers by inviting them to upload content related to the product. In this type of effort, consumers actively and voluntarily participate, while providing the company other possible uses for the product. It is a very efficient way to promote the brand, in a very cost effective way. Oreo’s consumers become brand ambassadors. This campaign was also promoted on Twitter, inviting users to submit their ideas to Tumblr. Also, the company invited customers to upload this content using the hashtag #oreosnackhack in Vine. I did not find this campaign on Facebook or Instagram. Still, the campaign was so successful that Oreo decided to take it to the next level: Web series. YouTube is an example of pull marketing, but I think the content is pushed by Oreo so it will be discussed below.

Push Marketing: What Oreo Tells People

After spending a great deal of this discussion on pull marketing, I have to say that I think that in most cases, once Oreo pulls the consumer to the website or social media channels, all content, except that posted by consumers (for example Snack Hacks on Tumblr) is pushed by Oreo and controlled by Oreo, thus making it a form of push marketing. This includes all commercials posted by them for this campaign on YouTube.

For example, the Snack Hacks web series consists of commercials featuring well-known chefs, such as chef Roy Choi making chicken tenders with golden Oreos. It is very important to mention that the inspiration for this campaign was a viral photo of a person dunkin the Oreo on a glass of milk using a fork as a way to keep his hands clean. In Oreo Turns Snack Hacks into Web Series, Kristin Hajinlian, brand manager at Oreo says: “Isn’t that a creative way to enjoy the cookie in a new way,?” The company actually pulled the idea from a consumer!

Also, the content we see in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, consists of promoting the product through videos and photos sometimes using humor. In Twitter, we see the real-time benefit of social media. Oreo takes current events, like the next season premier of Orange is the New Black and integrates its product to this piece of “news.” This is another example of push marketing technique that depends if their pull marketing to get followers to Twitter worked! This is a perfect way to maintain the product out there in the eyes of the consumer using events happening on real-time.

orange

One last aspect of push marketing is that, when we take a look at Oreo’s website, there are not chat-windows or pop-up messages. I think that it would be brilliant to offer a chat window to talk about recipes, for example.

After tracking Oreo’s website and other channels, I think there are many opportunities for improvement. This will be essential in order for Oreo to have an integrated marketing campaign. First, I would revise the content of the website by adding a list of product and benefits, a chat window to talk about recipes, an email subscription list, and community events. I would have also promoted the Snack Hack campaign on traditional media, which must not be discouraged and can also direct consumers to the social media channels. I would be more consistent with the posts across social media channels, posting frequently and trying to keep the messages aligned. Finally, I would be more concerned about updating messages, specially posting the Transformers ad promo on Twitter and Instagram, not only Facebook and YouTube.

According to Integration of Push Marketing Campaigns into Social Media, “with social becoming the epicenter of marketing focuses around the world, pull marketing has taken new definition, offering better methods of naturally pushing company names across the internet without expensive advertising or unnatural marketing methods.” This pretty much summarizes my take on push and pull marketing. Prior to the Internet, it was easier to identify one or the other. Now, it’s a harder since I see one depends on the other. If companies pull consumers to their websites and social networks, but they fail to push relevant content related to the product in a consistent way, then what’s the use of attracting them?

 

References:

Castillo, M. (2014. April 11). Oreo Turns Snack Hacks into Web Series. Adweek.com. Retrieved on June 6, 2014 from http://www.adweek.com/videowatch/oreo-turns-snack-hacks-web-series-157007

Diaz, A. (2013. May 14). Can Oreo’s New ‘Wonderfilled’ Campaign Sap the Cynicism Out of Your Day. AdAge.com. Retrieved on June 6, 2014 from http://adage.com/article/news/wonderfilled-animated-campaign-oreo/241470/

Pew Research Internet Project. (2014. January). Mobile Technology Fact Sheet. Retrieved on June 6, 2014 from http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet/

Social Media Today. (2013. February 19). Integration of Push Marketing Campaigns into Social Media. Retrieved on June 6, 2014 from http://socialmediatoday.com/freelancewriter/1247226/squeezing-pull-marketing-campaigns-social-media

Woodrow, M. (2012. January 25). Tips for Integrating Social Media on Your Website. Socialmediaexaminer.com. Retrieved on June 6, 2014 from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/9-tips-for-integrating-social-media-on-your-website/

 

Oreo’s 100th Anniversary: Celebrating the Kid Inside!

“Celebrate the Kid Inside.” This was the theme of Oreo’s 100th anniversary campaign launched for such a special occasion. The exact day of the anniversary was March 6, 2012. Personally, without such an effective integrated marketing communications campaign, I wouldn’t have any knowledge about it! The campaign included advertising, publicity, events, sales, direct response, and social media efforts, among others. The idea behind all messages was to look at the occasion as a big celebration, like throwing out a huge birthday party for a kid. In my opinion, all communication portrayed that in a brilliant and creative way. The message was consistent across all platforms.

In terms of advertising, there were print ads and television commercials, among others. The print ads featured how Oreo was around for some memorable events, such as the birth of Pac-Man and men’s first step on the moon. At the bottom of each ad, we see the 100th birthday logo with the “Celebrate the Kid Inside” theme.

 

oreo-moon       . oreo_pac_man_ad_01

 

In one of the television commercials, Commute, we see adults riding a train, a routine activity, meaning something they do on a regular basis, hence monotonous. Then, we see a group of children coming inside the train holding trays of Oreos and glasses of milk. They begin to share these with adults, attempting to transform that routine moment. The adults rapidly engage, thus celebrating the kid inside! At the end of the commercial, one of the kids is holding a sign that reads “Next stop: childhood.”

 

In terms of events, there were 100th birthday parties celebrated around the globe. These parties included activities, oreo dunking games, magician shows, and contests, among others. During the events, they also distributed branded t-shirts and other promotional giveaways. Children had the opportunity take a photo next to the Oreo character. This is a great way of integrating the brand and let people engage with it and play. These events generated a lot of free publicity in television and newspapers. One of the events was held in Puerto Rico. I didn’t go, but I found this video that summarizes what happened there!

 

Another promotional effort consisted of giving people in Facebook the opportunity to send Oreo Cookie Grams to their friends. The good thing was that the person receiving the message had the chance to redeem it for a package of Oreo cookies. In order to get the cookies, they needed to provide their smart phone number. Afterwards, they received a digital code to use at Target stores to pick up the package. This is also considered a direct response effort since customers had to respond to the message with information (their smart phone number). It is a brilliant way to engage with people, to the point in which they can eat Oreos.

In social media, Daily Twist online campaign celebrated culture and was the recipient of multiple awards at Cannes and CLIO. For 100 days, each day Oreo played with popular culture and released a cookie image to illustrate events or milestones. This image was posted to a microsite, as well as the Facebook page, Twitter feed and Pinterest board. According to Oreo Daily Twist, results included 280% increase in Facebook shares, and 433 million page views, as well as 510% in retweets. Not only they were able to engage with people and increase exposure, but Oreo was able to create conversation with its followers. For the image of the last day, they invited people to vote and select what was newsworthy. People selected “anniversary of the first high-five.” This means they crowdsourced what was going to be their final post. They created an ad agency” near Times Square to make the sketches of the last image.

This campaign was able deliver a consistent message through multiple channels, capitalizing on each channel’s strengths and opportunities, while establishing a connection with the audience. This was not a media plan by itself. It was a thoughtful communications plan, which took into consideration how audiences would react to messages. Those results that we can see (number of attendees at the birthday parties and engagement in social media channels) only tell us that the campaign was successful. With this campaign, people were reached and influenced. In Brand Media Strategy, Anthony Young says that marketers must know where to play and how to win. I think Oreo had very clear that, prior to knowing what to say, they knew exactly where and how to advertise. Regarding how to engage with customers, Young also says: “Facebook, Twitter and other media sites give existing consumers a greater voice in the final stage of advocacy.” I’m sure The Daily Twist campaign resulted in plenty of Oreo brand advocates. Finally, with this campaign, we were reminded about Oreo’s brand personality: fun, playful and happy.

 

 

References:

Macleod, D. (2013. June 21). Oreo Daily Twist. Theinspirationroom.com. Retrieved on May 28, 2014 from http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2013/oreo-daily-twist/

M&A. [Pupovision] (2012. March 12). Festejo de 100 Años de Oreo en Puerto Rico. . Retrieved on May 28, 2014 from http://www.youtube.com

[Oreo Cookie]. (2012. March 5). Oreo Commercial 2012: Commute. . Retrieved on May 28, 2014 from http://www.youtube.com

Young, A. (2010). Brand Media Strategy. New York, NY. Palgrave Macmillan. Ebook.