social media and the oscarsAs social media becomes increasingly integrated into the world of traditional media and television, large televised events like the Super Bowl and the Oscars are becoming a hotbed of social media activity. Broadcasters are embracing the trend, realizing that second screen viewing experiences offer yet another place to engage with fans, amplify messages and incorporate user-generated content into their programming.

Rise of Social Television

According to an article on The Next Web, we watch television with one or more mobile devices in our hands or within reach and we are eager to share online what we like and don’t like when we’re watching television.

Researchers Nielsen, Deloitte, Google and Thinkbox tell us:

  • 75% to 85% of TV viewers use internet devices while watching.
  • 60% of these multi-taskers are emailing
  • Up to 52% of viewers are doing something with social media related to the show being viewed
  • Between 27% to 44% browse for products spotted in a show (what are YOU wearing tonight? @VeraWang?)

According to Rob Gelick, senior vice president and general manager of digital platforms for CBS Interactive, second screen experiences exist in a space between marketing and content, and they’ve been “more wildly successful than we’d ever hoped.”

In fact, watching TV is now decidedly no longer an ‘offline experience’ for a quickly growing group of people.

Oscars and Social Media

At this year’s Oscars, social media was integrated into almost every part of the night.

While Hollywood’s greatest gathered in the Dolby Theater for the 85th annual Academy Awards, the rest of the country gathered in maybe a slightly less glamorous place — the Internet. Like any other big nationally televised event, the masses took to Twitter and Facebook to share their thoughts and excitement on everything from  Seth MacFarlane’s hosting and jokes to the musical acts.

Over the course of the night there were over 8.9 million tweets about the big show (2.1 million during the red carpet and 6.8 million during the awards show).
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social media campaigns 2012

(Editor’s 2013 Note: View the 13 Best Social Media Campaigns of 2013)

Social media marketing has continued to evolve, grow and become an integral part of any cohesive digital strategy for many of the top brands. In 2012, we saw many companies roll out innovative and creative campaigns via multiple social media platforms.

Here’s a look at 12 of our favorite successful social media campaigns from the past year:

Grey Poupon – The Society of Good Taste

grey poupon social mediaIn the 1980s, Grey Poupon rolled out a memorable ad and marketing campaign that promoted the image of the mustard as being a premium condiment enjoyed by the likes of rich guys who get chauffeured in Rolls-Royces.

After a long quiet period on the marketing front, Grey Poupon launched a new marketing initiative via social media this past fall. The creative campaign aimed to refocus on positioning the brand as one of high class and good taste.

Grey Poupon created a Facebook app that would check would-be fans profiles to see whether their proper use of grammar, taste in art, restaurant check-ins, books and movie combined for a high enough score to merit membership in the “Society of Good Taste” (become a fan of the Facebook page). In an age where most brands clamor to amass as many fan likes as possible, the move to disqualify some people from becoming a fan seemed counter intuitive.

However, the reality was the campaign was exclusive, on-brand and smart. Not only did the unique campaign gain a lot of media attention, but Grey Poupon also curated a smaller, but more engaged fan base.

Sephora – 15 Days of Beauty Thrills

sephora social media I recently mentioned another Sephora social media campaign in my post, “Creative Social Media Holiday Campaigns,” but their holiday-focused campaign wasn’t the only way the beauty emporium successfully marketed themselves online last year.

Turns out, the brand has proven itself to be very savvy when it comes to digital and social (and blending the two together). After rolling out a mobile friendly overhaul of the website in April, the company wanted to find a clever way to drive traffic there via social media.

In order to achieve this, Sephora rolled out their 15 Days of Beauty Thrills sweepstakes, which partnered with its partners in the beauty business to furnish the “thrills” for users. Thrills (such as small gifts, shopping sprees and more) were given away to those who participated via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. On Facebook, fans were able to learn about the next day’s thrill at midnight, incentivizing people to “like” the Brand Page in return for these exclusives.

The campaign was a success – growing the fan base grew six times the normal rate, and there were more sales linked to the Facebook than ever. Website traffic was also up. Continue reading

Social Media MicrositesWhen it comes to building a successful branded social media campaign, there are countless creative strategies and tactics at a brand’s disposal. One strategy becoming more popular (especially with the rise of social media) is the microsite.

A brand’s main website already has a structured navigation, ecommerce actions and basic social needs, and adding an additional component for a campaign or promotion could get complicated and/or make a mess of the site. Enter microsite, stage left.

A microsite is a dedicated site that is used to highlight a brand’s product, a promotion or a campaign. It’s an exclusive place for fans and consumers to engage and interact with unique content: both brand and user-generated.

Microsites are an effective method of enhancing marketing efforts, efficiently targeting additional audiences that companies normally wouldn’t have time to reach using the traditional approach.

The most common social media campaign microsites contain user-generated content, creating context for the brand as well as credibility.

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In a recent article published on the Sales Force blog, over 70% of the Internet population use social networks, and 42% of those social media users have had a conversation with a brand via social networks.

Obviously, the marketing opportunity for brands and businesses to reach current and potential customers has not been lost, as more and more and more businesses have brought on social media and community managers (or entire departments) to man the growing need for this marketing channel.

But, with the field of social media management still fairly new, and budgets often still small (social media is, after all, “free”), the onus has been put on social media managers to find creative ways to maximize their time and efforts without spending big dollars.

This is especially true at many small and medium sized businesses, where the person in charge of social media also has a lot of other tasks and responsibilities on their plate (I myself am in this boat). Here are some of the tips, tricks and resources I’ve used to help become an efficient one-woman social media machine.

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hashtag campaign user generated content

A hashtag isn’t just a word, or combination or words- it can be a brand, a passion, a spirit or a joke. However, it is most of all a community in conversation. It’s people coming together to share excitement, pride, gripes, stories and/or loyalty for a common interest.

Why does it matter? Hashtags not only create conversations and community, but they can create context for your brand or product.

As social media continues to exponentially grow, brands are trying to find new ways to set themselves apart and engage with their audiences.

Many big name brands have initiated hashtag campaigns- some successful, others horrific and some that just fell flat. There are many crucial parts to a successful hashtag campaign, and even the tiniest slip can cause one to fail.

Sourcing user-generated content and fan content is becoming more and more popular as brands are realizing how important consumer engagement is to their economic success. User-generated content demonstrates brand loyalty and also gives other audiences context for the content and, most importantly, the product.

Integrating user-generated content from a campaign back to a brand’s website can not only increase engagement with fans potentially unaware of the campaign or not on social media; but can also extend the mileage of the brand’s hashtag campaign content. Another benefit of bringing the campaign back to a website is that it’s been known to increase time on site exponentially. Continue reading

In an effort to update its brand story and up its “cool” factor, Nine West set out in 2010 to reinvent its digital and social marketing strategies. The largest brand under the Jones Group Inc. umbrella, the $1 billion brand sells shoes and accessories in both stand-alone stores, online and through retail partners throughout the world.

As part of the renewed marketing efforts and attempts to update the brand story, Nine West has been heavily focusing on digital since 2010 – where is has a strong presence on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and other channels.

Nine West started working with Postano in 2011, in an effort to help propel their social and digital engagement. The fashion brand has used Postano in several different ways to help amplify their message online, leverage user-generated content and help tell their brand story. Continue reading

best social medis campaigns Marketers out there are always looking for new ways to develop successful (and hopefully even viral) social media campaigns that will increase fans, followers, engagement and ultimately revenue.

The truth is that the heart of any successful social media campaign is great creativity, originality and content. In other words, the same principles that drive successful advertising campaigns are now applied to the social world as well – where great, engaging content that inspires us and triggers emotion will drive all those shares, likes, links and more.

It’s also important to keep in mind to set goals and measure any campaign. What are you really trying to achieve with your social media campaign?

If you’re successful and get your fans and followers to engage with your campaign, that’s great, but make sure you give them a reason to be there that will help move the needle for your company or business. Set goals – do you want to increase reach, generate leads, get more inbound links?

Also make sure you use clear calls-to-action and then engineer the campaign to achieve those goals.

Here’s a look at 7 great social media campaigns:

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Building Brands, Integrating User-Generated ContentWith the number of people on social networks continuing to explode (according to eMarketer, there will be 114.5 million user-generated content creators online by 2013), the opportunity for brands to leverage content created by consumers in marketing efforts will continue to grow.

Especially when backed by the evidence that millennials are more likely to both share brand experiences online and are more likely to have purchasing decisions influenced by both anonymous user-generated content and word of mouth from people they know, the importance of integrating user-generated and social content into marketing campaigns and websites is going to be paramount in the coming years.

>>See which brands are getting it right in 5 Best Social Media Campaigns with User-Generated Content

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Facebook PTAT metricThe following post is the second in a three-part guest post series from Gregg Blanchard, a resort marketing specialist who splits his time between running SlopeFillers, a ski resort marketing blog that aggregates and analyzes industry-wide social media marketing data and tactics, and Ryan Solutions, the leading database marketing supplier for resorts and the ski industry.  When he’s not at the computer, he’s either pedaling away the miles during the summer or searching for powder turns in the winter.

One summer during college I took an internship in a government office in downtown Utah. Us witty marketing folk used to poke fun at all the government guys who, at times, managed to form complete sentences using acronyms.  USTAR, WIRED, UGREEN, DBED, and EDCUtah were some of their favorites. Heck, even the name of the office was shortened to GOED.

And then, not too long ago, in a single conversation on web marketing I realized the depth of my hypocrisy as we discussed ROI, PPC, KPIs, CPM, CTR, and even the beloved PTAT without batting an eye.

Now, in case you don’t swim in a sea of Facebook marketing metrics, PTAT stands for “people talking about this” and is near and dear to many a marketer’s heart.  An aggregation of all engagements between fan and page during the last 7 days, PTAT is a rolling total that is often used to show how “good” or “active” a page’s fan base really is.

Except, there’s a problem with PTAT. Or rather, there’s a problem with the way most people use it.  They think it’s telling one story when it’s telling another one entirely.

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Now that we’re immersing ourselves in the age of social media, it’s no wonder that more and more nonprofits are getting into the game. It’s a no-brainer. Social media marketing initiatives allow nonprofit groups to spread the word to a massive audience at a relatively inexpensive rate. No paid media or public relations required.

In fact, the 2012 Nonprofit Social Networking Report states that 43% of all nonprofits budgeted a total of $0 for their social networking activities. As a result, social media campaigns prove to be a pretty smart time investment when it comes to fundraising for a cause.

Reach Nonprofit Social Media Superstardom with Facebook, Twitter & YouTube

social media for nonprofitsCraigslist founder-turned-philanthropist Craig Newmark discovered that among the 50 highest-earning nonprofit organizations, a whopping 92% of them use social media on their sites.

Social domains can be powerful tools for spurring on social change or advocating for important issues. The trick is to ensure that virtual campaigns align with realistic actions by providing a forum where people can share the differences they make with others around the world.

While there are many great social vehicles out there, let’s concentrate on the three heavy-weight champs that will be the easiest to connect with and, most likely, the most effective for your cause: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Staying active on these three sites will expose your cause to a slew of followers – especially if you combine all three – and may even catapult your organization to top-of-mind awareness if done right. Below is a breakdown of the best nonprofit case studies out there for companies that have taken full advantage of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.
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