Future Implications

Social media is constantly changing and evolving. This is a challenge in of itself; brands are having to constantly “keep up with the times” in order to being successful and competitive. There are either updates being made, new sites all together or the way of doing things have shifted. There are some implications that brands are faced with regarding social media and these are going to continue.

Some of the implications for brands that I see going forward are; social media is no longer “a should have” it is “a must have” for businesses. If a business is not on social media, it is very unlikely that they are going to have a successful marketing and advertising strategy. Another implication that I see is the company’s rating, this is becoming very popular and consumers are looking toward this for advice, to give feedback and to give their opinion, so that the rest of the consumers know. An implication that is always going to be challenging is the time efficiency of responses. Consumers are expecting a response back to their comment and/or feedback almost instantly. This is challenging for most businesses because they don’t have a social media person that is on 24/7.

With these implications that I have quickly listed can truly impact a company’s existing social media strategy. A company now has to be very agile and be able to shift with the changes that are constantly happening, but it is also important to shift with the implications. If these implications are not handled correctly, it can unfortunately impact the business tremendously because consumers are taking these things seriously and are expecting certain things.

A company’s existing social media strategy is usually something that has been planned and a lot of time and effort have gone into it. It is important for companies to strategize for change, plan for things to shift, or if things aren’t working. It is important to try and stay ahead of the constant change and begin to predict a little.

These implications are happening for more than one reason, and sometimes it is unknown why. Of course people are evolving each day, and with that their expectations are evolving, and inevitably social media is going to be changing because humans are so gravitated towards social media. Of course technology is always looking to upgrade and get better and be the next best thing, and in doing so, behaviors have to shift to adapt to the new technology. Think just ten years back; we weren’t so drawn to social media, we may have used it, but we weren’t gravitating towards it to give a company feedback, we were most likely calling the customer service line. This is how things are changing; behaviors are changing because technology has changed and the expectations have changed.

Yes, this can seem daunting and scary for businesses, but lets be realistic, without this constant change and development, things would get stagnant. Businesses would have no push for innovation, no push for recreating or developing itself. The fact that social media is constantly changing and transforming has forced our businesses to become innovative and create new things and get risky, this is the part that is challenging and this is the part that will set a business apart from another.

 

Resources

https://www.ama.org/publications/E-publications/Pages/ama-journal-reader-july-14-social-media.aspx

 

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Viral Marketing Initiatives

When things go viral, they really go viral and it happens overnight. Why? Things with emotions; any type emotion whether it be shock, sadness, anger, happiness, or anxiety. Emotions get people to listen and remember what they say and heard, and then they ultimately want to talk about because their feelings have taken over. Content that is going to provide a viewer with information that can later help people they know; something useful. It is also said that positive content will go viral mores than negative content, which was quite shocking to me. At the end of the message and/or content, its important to tell the viewer/reader what you want from them, marketing is ultimately trying to get people to do something…don’t assume they know what you want them to do, explain! Ultimately there is advice of some sort, advice to buy your product, advice to use your services, advice to do something a certain way; remember to explain HOW.

When providing your viewers/readers with knowledgable information, make sure you use research to back up your claims. This allows for the viewers/readers to trust and to really connect with the content and therefore spreading their new knowledge to their family and friends. Remember, negative comments/views or feelings to a marketing pitch is better than no comments/views. Don’t be scared to push the limits and possibly getting some of the opposite feelings that you would hope for, if it gets people talking; it usually will lead to a success story.

There is also a term that is used by Jonah Berger, who is the Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Berger uses, STEPPS: Social Currency, Triggers, Emotions, Public, Practical Value, Stories. These should be present in any marketing initiative, this is what gets people interested and later gets them talking about the content.

So in short, my 5 characteristics to make content go viral are:

  1. Emotion
  2. Useful information
  3. Provide advice and explain how to use that advice
  4. Use Research to support your advice
  5. STEPPS

An example is:

Oreo in 2013, mimicked and sort of made fun of the Super Bowl that year. The stadium lost power and was pitch black for about a half hour. Oreo made a marketing commercial; “Power out? No Problem. You can still dunk in the dark”. This was soon on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. They gained 20,000 retweets, and over 20,000 likes on Facebook. The Super Bowl is the most watched television program, so we know that TONS of people were watching that night. So, they have caused emotion, by bringing up a situation that most of the world was aware of and picked fun at it. They also are providing useful information; it’s hidden but it’s in there, you can can still accomplish things even in your darkest days as well as providing advice and explaining to their viewers of how. The research isn’t necessary because everyone is aware of the Super Bowl.

I used this example to show that these 5 steps that I have pointed out; it doesn’t have to be strict and serious, it can be in a light manner. People enjoy something that isn’t always serious; especially after working all day, sometimes lighter material can go viral more than serious content.

 

Resources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2013/04/25/jonah-berger-how-to-make-your-marketing-campaigns-go-viral/#23d139081a59

http://socialtriggers.com/craft-contagious-content/

 

Differentiation

Two companies that are in the same industry; Nike and lululemon athletica. These two companies are competitors and are both in the athletic apparel industry; they also both utilize social media.

Nike utilizes Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. Nike’s strategy is as such; the company sees sports and athletics as a social activity and therefore it makes sense to be part of the social media for marketing, advertising and customer service purposes. Do you have a Facebook page? Twitter page? Do you see posts from Nike? I know for myself, I see quite a bit of posts from Nike on my Facebook page. Nike has decided to have a Facebook page for each separate product categories; golf, snowboarding, basketball, and etc. This allows for the consumers to be able to go to the page they are interested in and not be bombarded by things they aren’t interested in.

Nike uses high quality photos and videos for their social media platforms. Any of their posts receive 300k-400k likes/views. On Instagram they have created hashtags that have become very popular; #justdoit and #nikewomen. They also use these social media platforms for a source of customer service, responding to comments by their consumers.

Nike utilizes their assets for advertising and marketing. So, on top of their paid advertising and marketing, they also use social media to connect with their consumers. They sponsor a lot of sport teams and athletes; Nike publishes posts on their social media pictures of popular athletes in the product. They post videos of athletes, similar ones you see on tv commercials.

lululemon athletica also uses multiple social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and a blog. lululemon athletica is a company that does not spend any of their money on advertisement or marketing. They have capitalized on social media, being able to reach their consumers as well as use the social media platforms for advertising and marketing reasons. lululemon does not have multiple Facebook pages for the different product categories; but they do have an overall company Facebook page as well as their different retail store locations having their own. This allows for their consumers to focus on a Facebook page according to their location.

lululemon athletica also uses their social media platforms to create relationships with their consumers. In trying to create relationships, they also respond to any comments or questions that are on their social media platforms. They have a best practice of responding within 24 hours, which allows their consumers to trust and respect.

lululemon provides all types of posts, new product that will be coming out soon, different ways and places to workout, information on their ambassadors and etc. lululemon athletica likes to be transparent and provide their consumers insider information.

RESOURCES

https://econsultancy.com/blog/62412-how-nike-uses-facebook-twitter-pinterest-and-google/

How Nike Uses Social Media [CASE STUDY]

Creative Concepts Shares How Lululemon Gets Multi-Platform Content Strategy Right

Best Practice for Blogging

There are all types of blogs and different people using blogs. There are corporate blogs that are written by a company for the stakeholders, these blogs are mostly informative for news and announcements about product and/or services that the company provides. There are personal blogs that people use for journaling their experiences or aspirations. These personal blogs are to share with the world and their viewers their experiences.

With that being said, depending on what type of blog you are aiming for, will decide what type of strategy and best practice you should use. First and foremost it is important to pick the right person to write the blog(s), if it is a company blog; the goal is to ultimately get new information and/or product out to the consumers. The person(s) writing this company blog should be familiar with the goals and just what the purpose of the blog is, therefore writing it in a specific manner. You want to be professional and informative but you also want to keep the blog light and creative, encouraging people to keep reading and making sure it is fitting for your market.

If this is a personal blog; the tone and language may sound different because the goal is different. In a personal blog, people are reading the blog because they are interested in hearing what you have to say and interested in learning about your experiences and journey. The language doesn’t have to fit a market or be necessarily professional.

For both company and personal blogs, the amount of blogs you post; frequency is important. A stakeholder and/or viewer is going to go to the blog and look forward to reading a new blog. It is important to keep consistency with the blogs, figuring out what is possible for the blog, is it a weekly blog, every other week blog, or a monthly blog? It all depends on the goals of the blog and the time that the “blogger” (person writing the blog) has.

Lastly, making sure that when there is a comment left on your specific blog, that you recognize the comment and engage with the person. Making sure that responses are going to only real comments and not toward a person that isn’t being genuine toward the blog. Blog readers enjoy being engaged in a conversation around the blog, and this is important and this is where a lot of time is spent, where the blogger will spend a lot of time. It is also important to set expectations for the readers of when responses will take place therefore they aren’t surprised and know when their comments will be responded to.

It is also important to connect other social media platforms with your blog. Using Hootsuite to schedule or post a new blog entry onto your Twitter or Facebook page. This allows for your blog to be seen on many different platforms, and can ultimately be read by people who may not have been interested before. It also allows for your blog to get recognition on social media platforms, a lot of blog readers will recognize specific blogs by commenting of them on their Twitter page.

These are best practices for blogging/tweeting; these steps can truly help a blogger or tweeter in being successful. These tips will help a newer blogger or tweeter in recognizing how to start, and what it should look and sound like. It’s important that once a blog or twitter account is started, it’s important to keep it active and not be inconsistent because that is where readers lose interest and hope.

Resources:

Blogging Best Practices – The Free Beginner’s Guide from Moz. (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2016, from https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-social-media/blogging

Schaefer, M. (n.d.). The Tao of Twitter: Changing your life and business 140 characters at a time.

Going Social

I think for any company going social it can be a risky endeavor. It is one that can be challenging at first because there is a lot that must go into it. It also depends what the the company’s goal is for their social media platforms as well, are they trying to increase sales with their social media platforms or are they trying to better their relationships with their customers? There is also the question of what social media platforms the company wants to join, there are many; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and etc.

Once a company decides if they want to go social and what social platforms they want to join, it is then important to figure out what they want their activity to be like, and once they decide the amount of activity, it is important to stay consistent for the customers. The company will decide how often they want to post, what types of posts do they want to offer their customers, and ultimately the goal of each post.

Companies have some challenges and risks that they need to overcome once they have found themselves on social media platforms. Making sure that the company has enough people that can focus on the social media platforms. A challenge for a company is the amount of time it takes to manage the social media platforms, therefore making sure you are ready and prepared. Another challenge can be knowing when the best time is to post on Facebook or make a tweet, when are their customers on social media the most? This is important because you want to make sure you are reaching out to the customers at an appropriate time. Making sure you have a plan and goals is another challenge and/or risk, making sure posts and tweets are working toward the same goal. Having engagement from their customers is also another scary thing that companies fear, because it can be upsetting if your not getting a great following.

With all of that said, working in the retail industry, almost every retail company is on some form of social media platform. Each company has a different goal and idea for their social media, but all companies are running into the challenges and/or risks that I had discussed earlier. For the company that I work for, lululemon athletica, we have transformed and adjusted our social media platforms over the years. We have taken feedback from our customers and adjusted accordingly. We do use Facebook in order to increase sales, because we do not do any other type of advertising or marketing. All of our other social media platforms’ goals are to build a better relationship with our customers and to grab their interests.

Since our Facebook page is to increase sales, we have a company Facebook page and then each retail store has their own Facebook page as well. This allows for the company to send out a notification to their customers with new product that will be coming soon or new information regarding the company. The stores then have the ability to post what they have currently, trying to drive foot traffic.

There are definitely risks and challenges in going social, but there are a lot of rewards as well. As generations, we keep getting more and more attached to technology and the social media platforms, therefore it makes sense for businesses to be part of social media. This is a chance for businesses to communicate with their customers almost immediately, getting important information out on the web that directly get sent to their customers.

7 Social Media Challenges And Business Opportunities For Social Media Managers

 

7 Social Media Challenges And Business Opportunities For Social Media Managers

lululemon on Snapchat

Snapchat is a mobile social media application that is soaring. It is an application where people can take pictures or videos and allow their friends to see it for up to 10 seconds, once the 10 seconds is up, the video and/or picture is gone and cannot be seen again. Snapchat came out in 2012 sometime and it has been on a huge rise since. I was someone who always said that I wouldn’t download the app on my phone, and here I am in 2016 with the app on my phone. 60 million people have downloaded the app on their phone; that’s a crazy amount and of that the range is from 13 years old to 23 years old, with a shocking spike in people in their 30’s and 40’s as well.

With all of that being said, lululemon has a Snapchat account. Their Snapchat account provides a lot of pictures and videos of “behind the scene” stuff. This isn’t a social media application where lululemon is trying to “sell” their products, they are actually getting their consumers’ interest by showing them some of the cool things that they do, for example photo shoots and races they they are going to in order to support their consumers and/or employees of the company. lululemon has recognized the differences between the different social media platforms and applications. Facebook is a place where they can do both true product advertising and marketing as well as fun/interesting things to provide for their consumers. Snapchat is soley a place where they can build a relationship with their consumers. They are allowing their consumers an insight onto what is happening behind the curtain and how things come about.

I know for myself, as an employee for the company, I enjoy watching the Snapchats. It allows me to see how their awesome photo shoots look and sound, I am able to see some of the cool places that the networking people are able to go. They take pictures and videos of supporting different types of races; marathons, triathlons, and other things in between. Its really neat and interesting to see our company doing other things than just selling inventory. I work for this company because we are more than just a retail company, we have a lot of great things that I believe in; community, fun, integrity, entrepreneurship, and the ability to grow as a person. Snapchat is definitely an application that can give consumers the ability to see how lululemon is much more than just a retail company.

I think even though this application isn’t necessarily a “selling” point for the company, they are gaining consumers’ respect and earning relationships. By earning respect and earning relationships, consumers are going to be more apt to buy the product and be more faithful to the company because of the relationship built. This is new for the company, to be on Snapchat and I know many people who do not work for the company, enjoy looking at the snaps from lululemon because they are interesting. I would say that it is definitely a successful avenue for them to keep pursuing.

Advertising through Social Media

Lululemon athletica is an athletic apparel company that is based out of Vancouver. The company was founded in 1998 and there are stores all across the U.S. and other countries as well. We have grown into a very well known brand that consumers love and look to for their athletic clothing. The company is known for not including advertising and marketing in their strategy, they rely all on word of mouth. This also where lululemon brings in social media.

They use social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat in order to communicate with their consumers. lululemon has really adopted social media, it is a spot for the company to showcase their new product or what they are up to for events, and this allows them to actually do it without a cost. The company has realized that their consumers are accustomed to social media, therefore it is a great avenue to take and be able to take advantage of.

lululemon uses Facebook frequently, they post about once per week as a company. They post about new product, new events that they are sponsoring, new ambassadors that are supporting the company. Each retail store also is allowed to have their own Facebook page which again uses this for posting about new product, events and ambassadors as well. They also use Instagram and Snapchat that allows them to do very similar things as they do on Facebook.

The company also sends out a weekly product notification that gets sent to their consumers’ emails that will notify them of new product that will be released in upcoming week. This gets their consumers excited and looking forward to what will be coming out, I believe that this product notification gets them looking on the social media platforms as well, to see what else is new in the community.

On all of their social media platforms, they have very good followings. lululemon average 5,785 likes on each Instagram post. The company’s Facebook page has about 1,538,086 likes which is very good. They have done a great job of trying to capture their consumers on their social media platforms, and they have been able to really withstand their following through knowing what to post and when to post it.

I do think that lululemon will find a time when they are at their max level of followers and possibly their consumers may be ready to move on from social media. There is also the possibility of other companies relying solely on social media platforms and not rely on typical advertisement anymore. If this were to happen, the social media platforms may get flooded and it may not hold as much weight as it once did for lululemon specifically. lululemon may want to start thinking of other options of social media and/or ways of communicating with their consumers. Or possibly how they are going to keep elevating their posts on social media, possibly changing their Facebook and Instagram posts in a way that will be something new and appealing.

5 Greats Brands Using Video on Instagram

https://www.facebook.com/lululemon/