Intro to Social Media

INTRO TO SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK 6: SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT IDEA ~ Published June 24, 2014

THE #IWILL CAMPAIGN

(DISCLAIMER: This is a piece of fiction. It is an idea generated for my Intro to Social Media class. Athleta has no knowledge of this or endorsement of it to my knowledge)

The #IWill Campaign

OBJECTIVES:

There are two specific objectives for this campaign:

  • Increase followers on Pinterest by 15%  (approximately 2250)
  • Increase followers on Instagram by 15%  (approximately 4800)

The two specific objectives of this campaign align with our key long-term goals of increasing brand awareness in our target market, expanding brand awareness to a younger demographic and converting brand awareness into purchase.

THE #IWill CAMPAIGN:

Athleta proudly states the values of their brand as

1. Inspiring an active lifestyle

2. Motivating others

3. Tapping into our collective power as a group (women)

In the spirit of those values, I propose the #IWill campaign. There’s always that voice inside us saying “I can do better” or “I can do more”. It may keep us awake some nightsIt may talk to us when we are on the mat, out for a run or swimming. It may creep in while we work. Whatever It is ~ Athleta is calling on you to harness the Power to the She.  Make the commitment.  Take a personal pledge and promise yourself this is the year it happens. This is the year you say “I Will”:

  • #IWill get stronger
  • #IWill dive the Great Barrier Reef
  • #IWill be more patient
  • #IWill survive
  • #IWill learn to swim
  • #IWill get that promotion
  • #IWill master that asana
  • #IWill get a job
  • #IWill finish my degree
  • #IWill play more with my daughter
  • #IWill be Present

The #IWill Contest will last 30 days. Consumers should begin by following Athleta on Pinterest and Instagram. They should then post a photo with their #IWill declaration and encourage their sisters, mothers, daughters, girlfriends, workout buddies and colleagues to do the same. Entries can be as simple as holding a sign or as elaborate as imagination allows. There are no rules just declarations.  Be creative and make the commitment. Each person should tag the photo or video with #IWill #PowertotheShe. There will be a one entry per day limit.

In addition to catalog and in-store promotion of the #IWill Campaign, Athleta will push out teasers and promotion on all social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, main company site, Athleta Chi blog) driving traffic towards Pinterest and Instagram for two weeks leading up to the campaign. We will also email blast our subscribers once a week in the 2 weeks before the campaign. That email will include a “share” button so the email can be sent to others. The complete social push will continue during the event. People will be encouraged to both post, “Like” and Pin entries. The executive leadership of Athleta will post their own #IWill declaration to encourage community, empower and give a little nudge!

INCENTIVES: (Because even the most motivated need some extra motivation)

  • 20% coupon/online code just for posting your photo/video and entering the contest (limit two for contest duration)
  • Top 5 entries (defined by most “Likes”) will receive a $200 Athleta Gift Card
  • Grand Prize for the entry with the most “Likes”: Two round trip plane tickets and two nights’ hotel accommodations to attend Athleta’s Summer Solstice 2015 in Times Square & $500 to blow in NYC!

(This campaign could be repeated in January capitalizing on New Year’s Resolutions and the beginning-of-the-year increase in fitness activity)

CHANNEL FOCUS:

Pinterest: The channel is perfect for the #IWill campaign’s target market. The numbers speak for themselves:

  • In a 2014 report, Business Insider Intelligence identified Pinterest users as “high-income and very interested in using the site for shopping inspiration.” (Cooper Smith)
  • 83% of Pinterest users are women
  • 45% are in the 34 to 55 year-old demographic
  • 32% are in the 18 to 34 year-old demographic
  • 50% of U.S. moms who use Pinterest would follow a brand if rewards were offered to them
  • 81% of U.S. women online trust Pinterest as a reliable source for information and advice
  • The average Pinterest user has a household income of $100,000 or greater
  • Pinterest grabs about 41% of e-commerce (Salman Aslam)

Instagram: A strategic decision was made to include Instagram in this campaign to expand into the younger demographic and because Instagram is seeing significant popularity growth. Here are the numbers considered for this decision:

  • 68% of Instagram users are female
  • 37% are in the 18 to 29 year-old demographic
  • 18% are in the 34 to 49 year-old demographic
  • 57% of users access the site daily. It is second only to Facebook in frequency of site use
  • 150 million active users with 8500 likes per second and 1.2 billion likes daily
  • Retail and fashion brands are the most common in the top 10 largest Instagram communities (Jenn Herman)

TARGET MARKET:  Women. 24 to 55 years-old. Household Income: $80,000 to $105,000

CALL TO ACTION:

Go public with that inner voice. Make this the year you say #IWill. Pin a photo on the Athleta Pinterest #IWill Board and/or on your Instagram page with your #IWill declaration. Tag your entry with #IWill #PowertotheShe.

Submissions will be accepted from Tuesday, July 1, 2014 12:00am through Thursday, July 31, 2014 11:59pm. Only one entry per person per day.  You can “Like” and Share as much as you want! (In fact, we encourage that!)

OUTCOMES/MEASUREMENT:

We will measure the success of this campaign by compiling the following data:

  • Track follows on Pinterest and Instagram
  • Track submissions on Pinterest and Instagram
  • Track Likes of entries on Pinterest and Instagram
  • Track Likes of non-entries on Pinterest and Instagram
  • Track Re-Pins of entries on Pinterest
  • Track overall traffic on company site, blog, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Linked In for the duration of the contest
  • Track the use of the online code and in-store coupon and look at conversion to purchase rate
  • Track email blast to see how many were shared

Sources:

Cooper Smith. (April 14, 2014). This is the Behavior on Pinterest that Makes the Social Network So Attractive to Marketers. Retrieved June, 21 2014, http://www.businessinsider.com/demographics-on-pinterest-that-make-the-social-network-attractive-to-marketers-2014-4

Salman Aslam. (January 31, 2014). 30 Reasons to Market Your Business on Pinterest in 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2014,  http://www.business2community.com/infographics/30-reasons-market-business-pinterest-2014-infographic-0763727#!17mol

Jenn Herman. (February 17, 2014). Instagram Statistics for 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2014, http://jennstrends.com/instagram-statistics-for-2014/

___________________________________________________________________________

INTRO TO SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK 3:  Most Important Social Media Channel for My Industry

I have flip-flopped for a few days on this dilemma. What’s the single most important social channel for CNN? (my most recent employer**) Facebook? Twitter? Vine? Instagram?

I even conducted a little social engagement of my own, tapping my Facebook (the irony) focus group of journalist friends with a little poll. The majority answered Facebook but the discussion was very insightful. If you are interested in the comments, click HERE.

After careful consideration, I’m going with Twitter. On this date, at this time, Twitter is the single most important social channel that CNN can use. Why?

These are all news events that Twitter reported first. (Mark Hachman) Not Associated Press. Not the New York Times. Not CNN. Twitter.

In thinking about this discussion topic, I read several articles and a couple Pew Studies. I am including the links if you have an interest in reading further:

In this digital, information in an instant age, journalists have to be realistic. We can’t be everywhere. We have to look at everything as a possible source. We can’t look down our nose at social media as a lower quality, less valid resource of information. It is another tool. Consider it the Deep Throat of this generation and like Woodward and Bernstein, we have to fact-check our sources. Always. It’s great to be first but it’s better to be first and right. Once out there, you can’t take it back.

Before commercials can be sold, content can be sponsored, Facebook populated with advertisements, there has to be a story. There has to be original content that engages. Right now, Twitter is the best newsgathering tool for national/international organizations like CNN to find that story at its inception. The CNN/Twitter partnership with Dataminr reinforces that. Upon announcing the venture, Dataminr CEO Ted Bailey told TechCrunch the goal is to “alert journalists to information that’s emerging on Twitter in real time.” (Anthony Ha) The article continues revealing, “…the technology looks at tweets and finds patterns that can reveal breaking news when it’s still in its “infancy”.”

Overall, I respectfully submit that in my industry, the line of thought MUST be that there is no one channel above all others. There needs to be an integrated strategy with resources equally distributed. CNN, in my opinion, is far more powerful and relevant when the images from Vine and Instagram are incorporated into the news tips revealed on Twitter, backed by the fact-checking of the trained journalists, presented on multiple screens (Facebook, Television, Website, Mobile) for audience engagement.

For this discussion though, if I have to pick one, I pick Twitter. We are nothing without the story. What can I say…I’m an idealist.

Sources:

Mark Hachman. (April 19, 2013). 6 Stories That Broke on Twitter. Retrieved on May 31, 2014,http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow/story/310559/6-stories-that-broke-on-twitter/7

Anthony Ha. (January 29, 2014). CNN and Twitter Partner with Dataminr to Create News Tool for Journalists. Retrieved on June 1, 2014, http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/29/dataminr-for-news/

**As of this post (June 1, 2014), I am not employed by CNN. I do not speak for CNN and what is expressed here is only my opinion formed by my years in journalism and my time as a CNN Executive Producer.

INTRO TO SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK ONE

SOCIAL VS. TRADITIONAL MEDIA

At the heart, social media and traditional media are very similar. It is influential information. It has reach. It conveys a message, potentially an emotion and provides direction. Both social media and traditional media seek to stimulate a reaction and or action. The two greatest differences I see wield the most power: Immediate Engagement and Message Control.

The first and perhaps the greatest difference is Immediate Engagement. The audience is no longer passive. They have a voice, they have a platform and they have the tools to talk back. They no longer take your message sitting down on a couch in front of a television or in a car emitting from a radio.  Moreover, their engagement is immediate. Before they could simply choose to not buy your product or in my case, turn the channel. Previously, that may have reflected solely in sales reports down the line or Nielsen ratings a day later. Now, the engagement is instant on whatever platform the consumer chooses.

The above leads me to the second greatest difference: Message Control. The message is no longer controlled by the brand and the people who work for it. Our materials identify it as a “two-way conversation” but I would argue it goes beyond a two-way conversation into a multi-directional, zigzag discussion that can completely exclude the brand. You have brand and consumer speaking to each other. You then have “consumer A” speaking to “consumer B” about brand. Consumers will engage in discussion and the possibility exists that one consumer (if not many) may decide without ever engaging the brand directly. Two great examples are Yelp and Trip Advisor. Both of these are very powerful social mediums that directly affect the bottom line of companies. I use Yelp every time I am looking for a new restaurant. Trip Advisor is my favorite tool for purchasing decisions when I travel. Participants engage with one another, ask questions and make decisions without tasting food, staying at the hotel, calling the restaurant or even visiting a website. The control resides almost completely with the consumer. I have seen hotel managers or chefs engage as mentioned in the assigned article, “Use Social Media to Partner with Customers and Improve Service.” I find these are the “brands” I return to simply because they engage. Wisely, some of these restaurants or travel spots will put these social mediums to work for them beyond just engaging in comment boards. In traditional media such as television spots or print ads, companies will market with a Yelp logo or a Trip Advisor logo inviting the consumer to read all the user generated comments. You will even find decals posted on brick and mortar storefronts pointing the customer to these social sites.  A final point on message control is exemplified by Beyonce’s album launch. The element of surprise gave her a ton of free publicity and propelled her sales to record levels. She took the “who, the what, the when, the why” into her own hands with the element of surprise. Moreover, Beyonce did what many celebrities do not do. She was direct. She answered questions head on and left nothing to speculation…at least at launch time. Not even “Queen Bey” though can control brand messaging once out in the ether. I will say though, in the case of Miss Sasha Fierce, it does not seem to matter!  I imagine we would all love that brand strength!

               Embracing the new (social media) is key to growth but incorporating the old (traditional media) for a solid foundation is necessary to survival. There is a quality and integrity to traditional media that at this time has not been surpassed by social media. As discussed in our lecture, weaving the two together will create the strongest message with the widest reach. One example in my previous company CNN was the creation of the 11amEST program “@ This Hour”. The show was designed to incorporate viewer feedback from social sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram but not just presenting viewer comments in a viewer feedback segment. My understanding from conversation with former colleagues is that the show literally takes the comments provided from viewers and structures segments editorially to cater to that feedback. That’s a powerful concept. It’s also a frightening one but that’s a whole different conversation.

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