Social media has provided brands, regardless of industry or size, the opportunity to connect directly with their community of supporters. The brands that are most successful on social provide relevant, engaging content to their fans, rather than exclusively talking about themselves. Twitter hosts countless customer service interactions, YouTube often showcases internal culture, and blog comment sections allow brands to garner and digest immediate feedback. In each of these instances, the focus is on listening to the customer and turning social media into a two-way conversation, not a highway billboard. While there are many examples to choose from, the health and fitness industry has done an especially great job, using their social channels to listen to their customers and tap into their lifestyles.
Here are a few examples:
ViSalus has turned their Instagram channel into a platform that fans can visit for weight loss motivation and encouragement. They share recipes, boast member before-and-after photos, and showcase the healthy, happy members of their community. They also regularly show off the gym in their corporate office, demonstrating that the ViSalus team is truly committed to health and fitness.
Weight Watchers is doing a great job on Pinterest, a channel that often gets the little-brother treatment. Rather than focusing exclusively on product, they have made an effort to make their pins useful to their customers. By filling their Pinterest page with healthy recipes and motivational boards like “Words to Live By,” the brand is a helpful resource and acts like a loyal friend to their customers. And Weight Watchers didn’t simply set up their page and forget about it; they actively drive traffic to their Pinterest page through their Facebook posts.
Whole Foods consistently does a great job of nurturing brand loyalty and trust. They listen closely to what matters to their community and adjust accordingly. With over 5,000,000 YouTube views, they use the channel as a vehicle for transparency and communication, by directly telling their customers what they're doing and why they’re doing it.
These brands are each making the most of their social channels by creating content that is relevant to their customers’ lifestyles and providing useful services. They successfully demonstrate just how critical transparency, authenticity and connection are for brands today.
To friend or not to friend—a perpetual social media question. If you work in client service, or have clients in some capacity, you’ve probably run into this particular dilemma of becoming friends with your clients on Facebook. So, what’s appropriate? If you work for a social media agency or in a social media-based role, might it be expected that you become friends with all of your contacts? Or is it better to keep your business all business and your personal, well, personal?
That depends. A better question may be, “Is Facebook really the best way to connect with your clients in the first place?” While Facebook is best for sharing among people you already know, Twitter and LinkedIn encourage you to share information, articles and other thoughts in a public space. These two platforms are natural places where you’d want to conduct conversations with professional contacts and new leads. Since your tweets can reveal as much or as little personal info as you’d like, you can intersperse your content with personal tidbits like photos without also giving access to your Spring Break photo albums from college.
As opposed to a few years ago, most people now are on LinkedIn and check it more often (i.e., not only when they’re on the job hunt). More frequent use is even broadening the type of content shared. Rather than always posting industry shop talk, more and more users are occasionally sharing content of personal interest to appear like a real person who’s more than his or her career. Like Twitter, LinkedIn allows you to develop your professional image while you conscientiously share certain types of content that convey the real you.
It’s also easier and less intimidating to follow clients (or have them follow you) on Twitter and LinkedIn. My Facebook public profile may seem innocuous enough because most of my info is friends-only, but if you’re a new friend, I honestly don’t know what you might find if you dig deep enough in my profile—that thing is almost 10 years old! I’d rather take our relationship online via Twitter, where my content is fairly ephemeral, or LinkedIn, which started out as my “professional” channel, and then I’ll share bits of my personal life with you there.
Being a client services person in the social media world doesn’t mean being an open book, but rather using the right networks to connect with your clients and contacts in a meaningful, yet appropriate way. And what do you do if a client friends you? Dawn Mentzer, aka the Insatiable Solopreneur, advises establishing a consistent “Facebook friend policy” for clients—you’ll either accept client friend requests, or kindly inform them that while you use Facebook to keep up with family and college friends, you’d love to connect with them on Twitter and LinkedIn (and follow through by connecting with them on these networks).
I’m sure a lot of you have thoughts on connecting with clients on social media, and I’d love to hear them! On what networks do you connect with your clients? Has connecting with clients on social media led to any success stories or cautionary tales?
As you might have guessed, Melissa Komadina works in Account Service at Renegade. Feel free to tweet her or find her on LinkedIn.
Though the big game is days away, major corporations like Coke, Mercedes, Audi, and Carl’s Jr. have already begun playing the field for the hearts of the 111 million viewers. Aside from the earned media potential of blogs and publications picking up the story, what advantages does pre-releasing your ad have?
In the case of Audi, probably nothing! Their pre-released YouTube tab “Big Game” seemingly gives away their entire spot, which costs around $2.5 million per 30 seconds. There is additional content around the same theme available for viewing, but unless Audi has a surprise up its sleeve for the big day, it has already run out of gas.
Mercedes and Carl’s Jr. haven’t quite shown it all. @CarlsJr has posted a few tweets with images from the ad shoot with swimsuit model @NinaAgdal as an appetizer. The full TV ad surely won’t be short of saucy. Mercedes, too, pre-released their ad spot with Kate Upton getting her shiny car washed, which alludes that there is more to bare.
Coke seems to be the most inventive, taking full advantage of social media for its big ad. Visit CokeChase.com and you can watch a pre-release video that sets the stage for the big day with cowboys, showgirls and badlanders racing to the land of sweet, bubble nirvana. Coke asks you, the user, to choose who will win the race and the final spot on the air—all you have to do is tweet your vote. The fun doesn’t stop there! Immediately in return, Coke sends you a tweet with the option to delay the contenders. This is a prime example of perfectly executed brand engagement that builds to the finale. When Coke’s ad finally rolls out on the big day, you can expect to see a hoard of tweets from enthusiasts rooting for their team.
Stay tuned to @Renegade_LLC for the Big Game Ads reviews, live as they happen on Feb 3rd.
This is part three of a three-part series about getting your friends, colleagues, family or associates to join social networks and find their value.
Now that you’ve got your friend to join multiple social networks and find a community for them to embrace, let’s talk about how they can create value for their audience.
Before we get into the tips for each network, let’s first define what social media value actually is.
If you’ve ever read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point, you would know that he places people that force cultural change into three distinct groups: Mavens, Connectors and Salesmen. To quickly sum up the roles of each, Mavens have vast knowledge about a particular subject and are able to talk about it eloquently; Connectors are people who know individuals in a particular field; and Salesman have the ability to make individuals adopt ideas that they were previously unsure of.
In real life, you’re lucky if you become one of these archetypes, but in social media, the ones who are adding value to their connections are all three. Value comes from being knowledgeable when commenting on relevant topics, interacting with people and letting others see it, and being convincingly opinionated so that you are sometimes at the point of being controversial. Doing all three of these things consistently plays a major factor in determining your value on social media. Think about your favorite blog site—would you visit it if they didn’t update it on a consistent basis? I don’t think so. Would you follow your friends if they didn’t contribute to a conversation on Twitter? I didn’t think so either.
Creating Value on Twitter
Having a strong, consistent and opinionated voice on Twitter can attract an audience to a specific account. This is where you can take the reins of being a Maven on Twitter.
Don’t hesitate to jump in conversations that surround a topic you’re interested in. If one of your followers is talking about a subject that interests you, or one that you can formulate an opinion on, just hit the reply button and put in your two cents.
Your fashion friend can set up lists of industry bloggers and search terms using Tweetdeck to monitor hot hashtags or and reply to their tweets. Here are examples of tweets containing the hashtag “#fashion”:
A response that can be written in reply to @CuriousYam that adds value would be something like “@CuriousYam I really like the #Floral #Circleskirt. I bought a similar one from @Target but it’s a print pic.twitter.com/adsuha”
Another example is answering questions that users post. For instance, if a person is looking for a specific product and you know where it can be acquired, you become a Connector by replying with the answer.
Engage With Influencers
By finding and following the major influencers in a specific industry, it’s easier for a user to be “in-the-know” of breaking news to form an opinion and share it with their followers. When it comes to social media, like in real life, the faster your access to information, the more influence you can have. Most individuals have to build this influence organically by constantly updating their social feeds, unless they have a pre-established reputation.
To find interesting influencers, you can run a quick search of “fashion” on Listorious.com, a site that lists reputable accounts by topic. You can quickly see a few of each account’s most recent tweets and reply to them from inside the website. Have patience in building relationships with these influencers. Sometimes they won’t respond, but if you reply to one of their tweets with something insightful you may be rewarded with a retweet or a mention. When influencers start taking notice of your ideas or thoughts and start to engage in conversation with you, it raises your status as a Salesman.
Creating Value on Instagram
Images hold a lot of weight in the online and mobile space because, besides videos, they capture a person’s attention the longest (after all, a picture is worth a 1,000 words). We might as well make every one count.
Mix Images With Descriptions That Resonate With Your Audience
Along with pictures that showcase a brand’s work, telling a story or putting a description with relevant keywords will resonate with your audience.
In the picture above @sethbrundle is able to showcase his new partnership while using relevant keywords. You can see that he received a bunch of likes and comments on his post.
Let’s say for instance that your friend, who has a huge following in New York City, posts photos of a new shop and their products to her Instagram account (and tweets them). She becomes a Maven by showing her followers where it is and the things she bought, and she becomes a Connector and a Salesman for that brand once she mentions them on her picture. By doing this, your friend helps to create value for those interested in fashion and even people who are interested in new shops that open in their neighborhood.
Creating Value On LinkedIn
People go to LinkedIn to find news, get valuable insights from experts in their particular industry, and to also have access to them. Being consistent in posting relevant articles, statuses or questions in groups and on your homepage can create interaction and lead to discussions.
Let’s go back to your friend, the fashion designer. For him or her to create value, they will have to be on the forefront of news that relates to their industry in order to share it on their timeline. If your friend has a fashion blog, sharing new posts on their timeline can create views and showcase their expertise. Even if they’re not creating original content, providing commentary on articles from the LinkedIn Today – Fashion & Apparel section, for example, will generate positive activity on their timeline.
Interaction within groups can raise your friend’s value as well. Many people, particularly in fashion, are looking for manufacturers, as evidenced in the Textile, Apparel, Footwear and Fashion group.
Suppose your friend is an experienced designer with connections to models and raw materials. Answering questions on these topics in LinkedIn groups allows them to become a Maven, Connector and a Salesman in the group. Asking questions about relevant subjects also can potentially create leads that eliminate the middleman, which would strengthen your friend’s reputation as a Connector..
Last, but not least, your friend can connect people to others. LinkedIn offers the ability to “introduce” two individuals who are not yet connected to each other. You can call it e-networking. Most users do this when they'd like to talk to people who are offering jobs on LinkedIn.
There you have it, three steps on how to get your friends to join social networks, find value for themselves and create value for others. I hope this works for you. Now go out there and make some new friends, followers, and connections! Don't forget to read part one and part two.
This is part two of a three-part series about getting your friends, colleagues, family or associates to join social networks and find their value.
Part II: Helping your friend find their community
The biggest step is now over—you got your friend to sign up for Twitter, Instagram and/or LinkedIn. Let’s move on to the next step: how does your friend find the people who share the same interests and passions?
I firmly believe that social media becomes worthwhile when a person finds a niche community that they interact with on a regular basis. Going back to our example in my previous post, your clothing designer friend will value social media only if they can use it to meet the designers, big fashion houses and trendsetters that matter to them. Fortunately, there are a number of tools and techniques within each network that can help guide your friend’s search and unlock the power of social networking.
The first group of people your friend should immediately follow is their real-life friends. These folks are a good place to start because they probably share some of the same interests as your friend, and they’ll be willing to divulge information from within a particular online community. Advise your friend to look through their friends’ followers and connections for interesting accounts to follow.
A big purpose and where the power of social media resides is being able to go outside your reach and connect with people who you wouldn’t have access to in real life. The following tools exemplify this and heighten a user’s experience in a way that can benefit them.
Follower Wonk: This tool allows you to search Twitter bios for particular keywords and compare followers or following of up to three separate users. For instance, if your friend is looking for other fashion designers to collaborate with or get advice from, a search for the terms such as “fashion,” “fashiondesign” and “couture” reveals hundreds of results. From there, your friend can compare three users to see who they mutually follow in order to grow their network even further. Go ahead and give it a try.
Tweetdeck: Tweetdeck is a desktop or browser add-on that lets you monitor and engage various users; the platform also provides insight on certain keywords and allows you to create lists for certain followers and search terms. Your friend can monitor words like “fashion AND NYC” to see who is talking about certain fashion events in New York City. The strength of the keywords and lists can help your friend see who is actively engaged in the topic of their choosing. This is a great way to be more specific in a search for users that are considered influential within a certain community.
Search: Probably the most powerful tool for Instagram is already located within the app itself. The search feature allows you to look up hash tags found in the picture’s description and comments. Searching for the tag “#fashion” brings up close to 13 million images. Once your friend sees a user who consistently posts high-quality images that are constantly receiving plenty of interaction, they should tap the follow button because that person is viewed as an influencer. Monitoring several tags at once can help your friend target their niche market.
Statigram: Statigram is an online Instagram viewer that allows users to view more pictures at once in a web browser instead of scrolling through their mobile app. It also gives you a great breakdown of the metrics within your account. The only feature that it doesn’t have is the ability to post pictures to an Instagram account.
Like Instagram, LinkedIn’s search bar can be used to access all of their users, groups, and companies. Their advanced search feature allows a user to be more thorough in their search. This can be helpful if your friend is having trouble finding a person’s name but remembers their title and company.
To find big guns, joining groups would be the best place to start. Members in groups are typically employees within a certain field that are trying to gain benefits from the content and discussions that are posted. Within each group page, on the right column, LinkedIn lists the top influencers for each week. Since these individuals are leading a lot of the group’s discussions and managing the group, interacting with them could offer more insights. All your friend has to do is make their acquaintance within the group and then request to connect with them.
Now that your friend has found influential people to follow and started interacting with people who have the same interests as they, it’s time to move onto the final step: creating value to gain a loyal following.
-- Sean Clark
In his short story “The Aleph,” Jorge Luis Borges recalls an experience he had gazing into an aleph. He describes it as “one point in space that contains all other points. The only place on earth where all places are—seen from every angle, each standing clear, without any confusion or blending.” This fictional story regards the aleph as a both a gift and a curse because it gives the gazer a chance to see and know everything on earth. That is what social media has developed into today. Through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and countless other sites, we now have the opportunity to see all—to see into people’s lives and to see the world like never before. Social media has opened up the unimaginable universe. Like peering into the aleph, checking your newsfeed or your Twitter timeline provides insight into everything in our world, from every angle—simultaneously, infinitely.
The aleph is significant beyond Borges’ short story. Its symbol is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is literally a part of the word “alphabet.” It is venerated by Kabala and other mystic traditions that put value on an aleph as the pursuit of truth. Like the aleph in these ancient traditions, social media is the means by which we seek truth in modern times. From companies to customers, from artists to fans, from friends to family, and from your PC to mine, we can now paint a more accurate, “truer” picture of the people we interact with via social channels. Social media offers us an endless amount of communication that is continuous and extremely transparent. Through following people, companies, bands, etc. on social media, we can see who their friends are, what interests them, where the have been, where they plan to go, their religious, and political stances and a plethora of other information that we otherwise wouldn’t have discovered.
"Aleph Sanctuary" - Mati Klarwein
Thanks to the advances of social media technology and the massive amounts of information these sites are processing, we have transitioned into the age of the “recommendation.” There are logarithms, programs and software that can now introduce you to more people, places, and things based on what you already like and your physical location. You can discover when concerts and art festivals are happening in your area, what news is breaking, and what song will go well with your mood for the day. Other sites will recommend vacations spots, restaurants, lawyers, and doctors. Heck, these sites can find you a job or an employee—all out of the comfort of your living room! This age of “recommendation” is giving us options like never before and it is shocking how incredibly accurate the recommendations are.
As our technologies grow and progress, we must accept that our lives are no longer veiled in secrecy. You can be a pessimist and see this as an intrusion on your privacy, but if you are receptive to this information exchange, the possibilities are endless. The more you share, the more people will share with you. The more you follow, the better recommendations you will get and the more useful social media will be for you. So instead of being wary of this connectivity, you could revel in the endless possibilities of this aleph. It will undoubtedly open your world to bigger and brighter things while introducing you to more people and experiences you would have never had an opportunity to access before.
— Jake Annear
“I just don’t get it – what’s so great about Twitter?”
This is the typical response I receive when my friends notice how much of my time is dedicated to my phone screen, reading tweets from my 500+ followers. What ensues shortly afterwards is back-and-forth dialogue where I argue for the advantages of social networks and then notice I have a new follower a few days later with my friend’s name attached to the account.
Convincing your friends to join a social network that you’ve already fully embraced can be an arduous task; fortunately, I’m battle-tested and willing to share my tactics for making them social media believers as well.
In this three-part series, I will help you to win your friends over and open them up to the world of social media. In part one, I will explain the advantages of the three main networks I believe each individual should join: Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Part two will have advice on finding and engaging an audience that shares your friend’s same interests. Finally, the last part in the series will be how your friend can create content that will add value and attract a following.
Most of the confusion that stops my friends from embracing social networking is that they really don’t know what each network is. I don’t blame them for stopping there - I wouldn’t try to go in the kitchen and try to make my grandma’s mac-n-cheese if I didn’t know how a cheese grater worked. Rather than trying to explain to them how each network works, I instead try to show them the purpose of each. Here is an excellent example using donuts:
However, if they’re still confused after seeing this, I’ve broken down the uses of each the social networks I mentioned earlier.
Twitter gives real-time updates of situations happening in real life. Your friend still doesn’t believe you? Go to Twitter and search for “DNC2012” to view the thousands of tweets that inform you who was at the DNC podium and what line from their speech resonated with the audience. If there’s anything happening with more 500 people in attendance, there are probably at least a few tweets about it.
But the best part about Twitter that makes it stand out from other social networks is the access. Because it’s a public forum, viewable even if you don’t have an account, it grants a ton of transparency to thoughts, ideas, whereabouts, and announcements from people you would never meet in real life – and for free.
Let’s say that your friend is a fashion designer. They’re about to launch a new line but they don’t have any exposure within the fashion industry. By tweeting often about the developments of their upcoming line and using the right hashtags, such as #fashion, #fabric and #design, your friend can introduce their products to a relevant audience and possibly even create a demand for them before they’ve premiered.
You can also consider Twitter’s search option a powerful, real-time engine for updates on current events and trends. This helps if your friend likes to research different topics or find out what’s happening in a certain area.
Need further help explaining? Instruction AE put together this video to explain Twitter:
Instagram is a photo-sharing community that has exploded onto the scene within the past year and a half. With membership reaching close to 100 million members, Instagram has yet to show any signs of slowing down. Even though you can attach a photo to a tweet on Twitter, Instagram fosters interaction around a photo by allowing users to like and comment on a picture like they would on Facebook. Instagram also allows users to share their pictures across other social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and through email. Idea Channel even thinks Instagram is the best thing to happen to photography:
Let’s go back to your friend, the clothing designer. They have tons of designs but aren’t getting exposure for them. Imagine they take a picture of a shirt they’ve made and instantly someone asks how they can buy it. How did that user find it? Simple: our friend added a hashtag such as ‘#shirt’ or ‘#fashion’ to their picture, which allowed other users searching those hashtags to come across that photo. If the picture is aesthetically pleasing, more than likely it will receive a decent amount of attention. Since Instagram has not yet allowed pictures to be shared, a lot of users screenshot the image and post it on their account while giving credit to the original photographer. That’s the end result of exposure via Instagram: a possible sale for your friend.
With 60-80% of jobs coming through personal connections and networking, why not have a social network to lend a helping hand? Voila! Enter LinkedIn to serve that purpose. LinkedIn’s power is in connecting people in various professions so that they may collaborate on ideas, projects, and find new positions. A profile on LinkedIn closely resembles a resume, which is advantageous for recruiters who are searching for the person that best fits their needs. Linkedin is different from Facebook because it is viewed as being a strictly professional network.
Your designer friend has experienced some success selling their items and wants to now become an in-house designer for a major fashion label. Using LinkedIn, your friend can search for a label, view any open positions and clearly see if any of their connections work at that company or if someone they know is connected to an employee and asked to be introduced through a simple message. If your friend fears networking events, LinkedIn offers a new way to make connections.
LinkedIn Groups is also a powerful feature for job seekers and professionals who want to network and keep up with their industry. Mostly dedicated to different types of professions, Groups offer insights and resources on their particular industry.
If looking for a job on Linkedin is on your friend's mind, this little tutorial could be useful:
Hopefully by this point your friend has created an account on each of these networks and is ready to learn what they can do to find out where their audience is and how to engage them. I’ll discuss how to teach them these next steps in my next post.
-- Sean Clark
Is Facebook going “out with the old?” I realize as I write this, I have my Twitter page open at all times now, when that used to be true for Facebook. I no longer feel the need to check Facebook 50 times a day anymore (it’s more like 48 times now, so I’d say that’s a pretty significant decrease). The use of my iPhone has also added Instagram and Pinterest accounts to my life, but I didn’t really notice this subtle change in my social media habits until a friend let me know that Facebook’s stock has dropped significantly and also that “more of [her] friends are deleting their accounts.” This phenomenon is due to any number of reasons, including getting hacked, the desire to avoid unnecessary drama caused by certain interactions, and even a desire to spend less time on social media sites. Those who are interested in spending less time on social media chose to quit Facebook rather than other sites because it is the platform on which they seem to waste the most time.
I don’t know when a retweet, favorite or Instagram “like” began providing a bigger feeling of accomplishment than a Facebook “like” or comment, but I would rather post my photos to either of these sites and update my Twitter statuses than my Facebook statuses on a regular basis. The way I see it, status updates are what Twitter was made for, so when you create one, you know what you’re signing up for and what to expect from the people you follow. The lack of specificity with Facebook often allows for the overuse of its features to the point where I will see uploaded photos of sonograms. I don’t know about my fellow Facebookers, but I certainly did not expect to see things like that pop up when I log in to post a funny video to a friend’s Timeline. Even as I look at my page now, I see people linking their Pinterest and Twitter updates to Facebook rather than directly posting content.
This demonstrates the use of Facebook as secondary method of promoting yourself, rather than the go-to outlet.
The Twitter vs. Facebook debate is an obvious point of interest in investigating the falling popularity of Facebook. Users of both outlets have weighed in on this, and the resulting consensus of this dispute is the same as the age old Ben Affleck vs. Matt Damon one—there will never be one right answer, and and the two don’t mind working together. Matt and Ben share an Oscar, and Facebook and Twitter each has an account on the other’s site.
Other social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and numerous blogging sites are also growing in popularity and have singular focuses just like Twitter. The idea that you can post your status to your Twitter, your photos to your Instagram, your plans to Pinterest, and your rants to Tumblr has been embraced by many. Facebook doesn’t have just one purpose, and without the unwritten, simple guidelines of the other platforms, people don’t quite know anymore just what qualifies as “Facebook appropriate.”
As completely reliable as stating “my friend” as a source of the drop in Facebook stock is, I decided I needed to find actual evidence of these shortcomings. Sure enough, CBS posted a report on their site last Tuesday with a lot of stock market jargon that I would need my equity-to-teenager translator to understand. But one thing that I was able to take from this article is that the stock has fallen 43 percent since its initial public offering. This information, combined with an article in the Los Angeles Times indicating that Facebook shares fell 8.1 percent a few weeks ago, support the news that Facebook is on the decline.
Facebook is still the number one social network with hundreds of millions of users worldwide, but with the recent loss of nearly 2 million users, there is no doubt that it as not as strong an influence as it used to be. Users have abandoned their accounts for other platforms, or just don’t feel the need to constantly interact with their 1,500 “friends,” the majority of whom they barely speak to in real life. This has become somewhat upsetting, as Facebook has been home to so many trends over the years, including games, photo sharing, bumper stickers and—who could forget—poking. I’m obviously not saying that this is the end of Facebook. With its purchase of Instagram and the recent addition of Timeline to provide access to a complete history of activity, Facebook works to remain current with constant updates and adjustments to the site. So, no worries, Facebook won’t die off like Pokémon cards and Ferbies, but the present social networking competition is definitely a significant blow to its status at the top.
And now, on a happier note, I will leave you with an example of one particular use for Facebook that I can’t see ever going out: posting cute videos of cats on people’s walls.
-- Arielle Lewen
“Ted,” the big box office hit from “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, has captivated audiences in the theater and beyond. The movie’s title refers to its star, Ted: a foul mouthed, womanizing, pot smoking anti-teddy bear whose punch lines could give you a black eye. Watching an iconic childhood toy do things your craziest friend from college wouldn’t do is like that eTrade baby talking about personal finance: magical and brilliant in its unfathomable nature. Yet there is something deeper with Ted that makes him so effective. Perhaps it’s that he represents the challenge of letting go of things from your past; of learning to take responsibility and be an adult. Or I could be totally off: I haven’t seen the movie.
So how do I know so much about Ted or care about what life lessons he embodies? Because of a comprehensive promotional campaign that puts this wonderful, furry little jackass all over the place. The marketers behind “Ted” covered all their bases, making smart social media moves and brand partnerships that all commit the voice and character of Ted to memory.
Ted is on Facebook with 2,027,292 Likes as I write this, and I’m sure there will be more in the next few hours. Ted’s Facebook page provides fans with pictures, status updates, and more Ted-related content from other websites that is of interest to anyone who enjoys his humor, regardless of whether or not you have seen the movie. One look at the Facebook page and you know Ted, as every post is loyal to his voice.
@WhatTedSaid currently has 283,524 followers on Twitter, and capitalizes on the one-liners creator Seth MacFarlane is known for. The tweets are just like the Facebook posts in that they’re accessible even if you haven’t seen the movie, and unabashedly Ted.
The partnership between AXE and “Ted” is brilliant for many reasons. First, the content is hilarious. Ted is a perfect spokesbear for AXE, whose brand voice shares a similar sense of humor. On YouTube, “Ted” trailers immediately follow AXE commercials, which were also written and directed by MacFarlane. The viewer is easily transitioned from one product to the other, a testament to the compatibility of the brand voices.
WHAT TO LEARN
A consistent brand voice is vital to the success of a social media campaign. The voice of Ted the character is much more entertaining and understandable than the voice of “Ted” the movie would be if it didn't have a character to personify it. While the Facebook page is clearly promoting the movie (users can buy tickets to see “Ted” via the page), users respond to the page’s content and the voice of the character in a far more interactive way because it does not feel forced. Because “Ted” has the ability to market itself through its title character, it seems like more of a “friend” on Facebook than a promotional page. The same applies to the Twitter account: because Ted the character is “responsible” for the tweets, there is no unwanted brand pushing or interaction between the movie and fans; it’s more personal and thus, more effective. When given the opportunity, a character or avatar is a great way to connect with consumers in a social media campaign.
The success of “Ted” is obviously not solely dependent on its social media campaign or viral web presence, but rather it proves that social media marketing done right can encourage lasting relationships between consumers and a brand. People who have yet to see “Ted” or those who have just left the theater can have a connection with this movie, and more importantly, its bear, beyond the screen.
Do you currently like or follow any movies or characters on Facebook or Twitter? Have you seen “Ted?” Tell us in the comments below!
Reflecting back on my past year, I realize, sadly, that aside from the occasional frantic text from my mother, Twitter has been my main source of information regarding every sports victory and celebrity death, divorce and coming out. If Obama’s health care reform passing wasn’t on my tab of United States trends and mentioned by every single person I follow, I would have remained in the dark for an embarrassingly extended period of time. Twitter trending topics, while sometimes used as more of a game like #UnansweredHipHopQuestions, #MentionSomeoneBeautiful and #ImThatGirlfriend, are often indicators of the latest news, such as the birth of Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick’s newborn and the death of beloved filmmaker Nora Ephron. Thanks to trending topics and Tailored Trends, Twitter can give you information and the latest news according to your interests while you again attempt to get retweeted by Lady Gaga.
Twitter trends cover a wide range of topics and are used in different ways. Whether you are interested in how people feel about the latest Wimbledon champion, or if you are bored and just looking for something to tweet, trends provide the necessary information to do just that. For your convenience, the trends feed is located in the lower left corner of your Twitter homepage right under suggestions of who to follow. The best part about trends is the user’s individual ability to choose which ones they are exposed to. There is the worldwide option as well as individual countries and states. You can change these freely depending on the area you would like insight into at that particular moment. If you are like me and like to get news from these constantly updated keywords, you’ll be interested to know the latest buzz under United States trends includes the unfortunate passing of Marty star Ernest Borgnine, Skip Bayless and his comments about Tony Romo, the return of “Bad Girls Club,” and Michael Fassbender’s upcoming role in an “Assassin’s Creed” movie.
Tailored Trends and what it means if you have them
Tailored Trends are adapted to each individual based on their interests, location and whom they follow. You can enable these, as you please, just like location-based trends.
These trends, while possibly more relatable to users, give the false impression that your interests are shared by a wide range of people, when in reality you could be one of a very small group that actually cares about whatever it is that could possibly be newsworthy about Sienna Miller. Mashable discusses this drawback in their “Tailored Trends Ruining Twitter” post, while Twitter maintains that the purpose of Tailored Trends is to better show “emerging trends that matter to you.” I can’t say that Twitter’s efforts have been exactly accurate though, since “el 99%” is listed as one of my Tailored Trends. I wonder how this trend could possibly be relevant to me, an American 19-year-old college student who has minimal financial responsibility at present. I agree with the author that Tailored Trends provide a small range of information and that turning them off allows for a more accurate and open-minded depiction of the latest news. At the same time, however, others enjoy having their trends filtered and prefer not to be bothered with the general ones that do not directly relate to them.
One final thing to keep in mind about trends is that as fun and informative as they can be, they are based on what is being discussed by the majority of users on Twitter, and a lot are only trending because of popular opinion, rather than fact. This caveat, however, is not going to stop me from finding out who Justin Johnson is and why he suddenly popped up on my list of trends. Happy trend-setting!
Popular recent Trends
- Ernest Borgnine
- Penelope Scotland Disick
- Tom Cruise
- R.I.P. Whitney Houston
- Heath Care
- Andy Griffith
- Windows 8
- Nora Ephron
- Bracket Time
- Steve Jobs
- Joe Paterno
- #notguilty (Casey Anthony)
- Happy Canada Day
- Up All Night Tour
- Ray Bradbury
- Happy Tomlinson Tuesday (Louis Tomlinson- One Direction)
- 25 Million Monsters
- Justin and Selena
- iOS 5.1
- Black Friday
- Invisible Children
- Kim Jong
- End Piracy
- Etta James
- Happy Australia Day
- Demi Moore
- The Devil Inside
- Blue Ivy
- Nikon D4
- Happy Birthday Bob Marley
- Jeremy Lin
- Photoshop CS6
- Ron Burgundy (in response to "Anchorman 2" announcement)