Friday, November 8, 2013

Little Trendyz IMC Plan

Little Trendyz is a business that specializes in the creation and production of Zippyz, a one-of-a-kind footed pajama for babies. The company was formed in 2010 by new mom Lisa Feder Youngelson. Like many new moms, Youngelson was constantly waking up in the middle of the night to change her newborn son Ryan’s diaper. She was so exhausted that matching up the snaps on Ryan’s pajamas was a constant struggle. Youngelson decided to try a zippered pajama to ease the routine nightly changes, but when she went to change Ryan, he began to cry from the shock of the cold air hitting his exposed chest.

Youngelson searched for a pajama that was both comfortable for her son and hassle free for her, but she couldn’t find any such product on the market. That is when she came up with the idea of Zippyz; a footed baby pajama with three snaps on the chest and a zipper from foot to belly. 

Zippyz are made from a combination of bamboo and organic cotton, making the pajama both soft for babies and eco-friendly. The design of Zippyz cuts changing time in half. See how Zippyz works (right). Little Trendyz comfortable and convenient design targets new and expecting parents.

Little Trendyz's biggest strength is the product. As stated above, there is no similar product to Zippyz on the market, so Little Trendyz has the opportunity to capitalize on Zippyz's unique design. Little Trendyz's weakness is a lack of brand recognition. Because Little Trendyz is a relatively new company, the brand hasn't become a household name yet. In November 2013, Little Trendyz will receive its first major production order (8,000 Zippyz). Little Trendyz's biggest opportunity is to use the brand's recognizable celebrity endorsements to sell out of the major production order in the first quarter of 2014. The biggest threat standing in the way of Little Trendyz's goals is the fact that the brand is essentially a one-man production, and it's difficult for Youngelson to keep up with the brand's marketing, public relations and social media needs.

An integrated marketing strategy that utilizes various multimedia communication channels would be beneficial for the Little Trendyz brand. In today’s world, consumers are harder to reach through all of the white noise of advertising. An Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) strategy puts out the same message on multiple communication channels, so the brand’s message can cut through the white noise and make an impact on consumers. In order to be successful at IMC, Little Trendyz should produce consistent content that is engaging and relevant to their target audience. By producing this type of content and engaging with consumers, Little Trendyz will form real relationships with consumers, and consumers will be converted into brand enthusiasts. Once consumers are loyal to the brand, they will start to share the brand's message with all of their connections, and this will help Little Trendyz to establish brand recognition.

When developing an IMC plan for Little Trendyz, I would focus on the content being produced on the brand's website, blog and social media channels. Simple tasks like posting regularly on all social channels, and including industry-related keywords into content, would help Little Trendyz increase SEO and reach company goals. I would also try to increase brand engagement by cross-promoting social media platforms, and holding contests to get social media followers more engaged with the brand. 

I would suggest Little Trendyz invest in a tool like HootSuite, so the brand could post on multiple social media networks throughout the day, without having to constantly log in and out of each individual network. HootSuite would also allow the brand to automate social media posts, which would help the brand stay ahead.

Little Trendyz has developed a quality product in Zippyz, and with a couple minor changes, the brand could have a quality integrated marketing strategy that would help them reach all of their first quarter goals.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Measuring the Success of Your Integrated Marketing Campaign

An integral part of any successful integrated marketing campaign is tracking analytics and measuring results to see what content worked, and what content didn't. Figuring out your analytics will allow you to make real-time changes to your ongoing campaigns, and it will help guide you to make future campaigns a success. Below are examples of analytics from a company's Facebook page and email campaign, and a review of what the statistics mean and how the company could improve in the future.


The graph above shows an overview of the company's Facebook posts for the month of May (purple), with the number of people mentioning the post (green), and the total number of people who have seen each post (blue). The numbers above the graph show that brand has increased total likes, friends of fans and weekly total reach, but fewer people are talking about the brand's content. To make more sense of the graph above, it's helpful to look at the chart below. The chart below shows which type of posts correspond with the days above, so the company can have a better idea of what specific content is engaging their Facebook fans.

Based on the second chart, the company's best post was a call to action on May 29. This post was seen by 509 people and 30 people were talking about the post. The more people are talking about your content, and sharing and commenting on it, the larger reach your content will have. Similarly, in the post on May 28, the company was calling followers into action with the word "Join." Once again, followers responded well to the call to action. The post was seen by 428 people, and 18 of those users were engaged in the content. You have to engage your followers in order to reach more people. 

From this chart the company can also learn that links don't perform nearly as well. The links the company shared on May 29 and June 2 had a significantly smaller reach, and few followers were engaged in the content or talked about it. In the future, the company should share less links.

The company's Facebook analytics are broken down even further into what specific demographics are seeing the brand's content (reach) and talking about the brand (above). From the charts the brand can learn that their content is most engaging to 25-34 year old women. If this demographic is the brand's target audience, they're clearly doing a good job with the content they're posting. If the brand was hoping to target another demographic, they should try posting different types of content, and see how that specific demographic responds.

The graph to the right shows where the brand is receiving traffic from. From the graph, the company can see that most of their traffic is coming from their viral content. As the company's social media manager, I would look at increasing the brand's total reach by focusing on the organic reach. It doesn't look like the company wants to invest in paid advertisement, so organic search is the best area for improvement. A company can increase organic reach by producing consistent, quality content that includes keywords and links to reputable sources. Once a company is producing that type of content, they will appear higher in search engines, and more traffic will be driven to their page.

Another way the company could increase traffic and the reach of their content, would be to include links back to the Facebook page on other social media channels. Maybe one of the brand's followers is really engaged on Twitter, but they're unaware the brand is active on Facebook. By linking between all of your social media pages, as well as your webpage, you will have a truely integrated marketing campaign that will be more successful.

In the future, this company should really focus on content that will keep engaging the 25-34 age range. This group already seems to be more captive, so capitalize on that. I would also post more call to actions on Facebook, because the brand's followers respond and share that content with their followers, and the brand has the potential to reach more people. Finally, I would look to improve how the brand is being found on Facebook by having a more integrated approach to the brand's marketing communications.


Below you can see an overview of an email the company sent on May 21, 2013. The graph tells the company how many emails were sent (2,624), and how many emails actually made it to an inbox (2,606). These numbers show that the company has done a pretty good job of keeping their email lists updated, and they're not wasting time and resources sending to email accounts that are no longer in service.

The chart then proceeds to show how many of the delivered emails were actually opened (661), how many people clicked on the links within the opened emails (72), and how many of those people who clicked on the links made a purchase (0). 

Besides the delivery rate, I think the company has a lot of work to do in future email campaigns. Only a quarter of the people they're sending the email to are even opening the email. As a consumer, I get sent a lot of email from brands every day. I don't have the time to open up and go through every single one, but I will click on the emails with intriguing headlines about sales or promotions. If I were this brand's marketing manager, I would include more industry-related keywords and information about sales within the subject line. The subject line determines whether or not someone opens an email, so you have to make sure you're subject line makes people want to open your email.

The other drastic drop offs are the number of people opening the email, to the number of people clicking on links within the email, and then number of people who are making a purchase. This 10.9 percent click rate and 0 percent conversion rate may mean that the brand's email and website aren't user-friendly. In future campaigns, the brand may want to consider restructuring emails and the website so they're seeing a larger return on investment.

Another way the company could increase the success of email campaigns in the future, is by incorporating links to the brand's website and social media networks in the email. Social media buttons allow recipients to easily share the 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Reputation Management

This week we have been challenged with the task of responding to positive and negative hotel reviews. The following examples are two sample posts, and how I would respond to each as the social media manager.

The Peabody Orlando/Hyatt Regency Orlando

Dear Travelwith3kiddos,

Thank you for returning to The Peabody Orlando and sharing your positive experience with us. As the social media manager of the newly acquired Hyatt Regency Orlando, we love hearing about our guests experiences, especially when it pertains to our great staff. We assure you that the same great staff that the Peabody was known for, have made the transition to the new hotel.

We apologize that you didn't have a room overlooking one of our three pools, but we're glad you were satisfied with the luxurious decor and furnishings that can be found in all of our rooms.

It's unfortunate that it rained during your stay, but as you know, Florida weather can sometimes be unpredictable. With rain and wind, debris sometimes gets blown into the pool, but we're happy to hear our staff got the pool clean after the storm and your kids could enjoy the slides and cascading waterfalls.

The 24-hour B-Line Diner is frequently featured on the Food Network and it is a great stop for a late night bite. We apologize that you had to wait at The Cappricio (now Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse), and we hope you didn't have to wait long. The restaurant is a popular choice among our guests, so even with a reservation, sometimes guests are forced to wait until a table opens up. We hope you got to enjoy a glass of wine from our extensive, award-winning wine cellar while you waited.

The Peabody/Hyatt Regency is conveniently located in the heart of Orlando, just minutes away from Universal Orlando, SeaWorld, Disney World and the Orange County Convention Center, making it an ideal choice for business and pleasure. We're sorry to hear that you were unhappy with the price of parking, but we're glad you took advantage of our shuttle service, which can transport guests to and from local attractions for $1.50.

Whether for business or pleasure, we hope you'll return to the Hyatt Regency Orlando soon.


Lauren Roberts
Social Media Manager, Hyatt Regency Orlando

The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina


We are very sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your stay at The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina. The issues you dealt with do not represent the experience we strive to provide to our guests.

I'm having my staff take a look at your room in order to fix the pocket-style door and thoroughly clean the shower head. We are also taking a look at adding a shield to the parking lot gate box, so future guests don't experience the same problem you had on your visit.

I apologize that you weren't able to enjoy our heated outdoor swimming pool. When guests leave their newspapers by our poolside lounges, sometimes gusts of wind can blow them into the pool. I can assure you that our cleaning staff will be informed about your experience and the pool will be cleaned. However, we hope you were able to enjoy the beautiful Fort Lauderdale beaches located within minutes of the hotel.

We welcome your feedback and the opportunity to discuss these concerns with The Hilton staff so we may immediately implement any training or maintenance needed to maintain our high standards.

I hope you'll visit The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina in the future and give us the opportunity to truly represent the quality standards that the Hilton brand is known for.


Lauren Roberts
Social Media Manager, The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina

Monday, October 28, 2013

Event Marketing: ISPA Conference

The International Spa Assoication (ISPA) hosted its annual national conference Oct. 21-23 in Las Vegas. In order to generate hype and continue the conversation, ISPA utilized social media for pre-, during and post-event marketing. Here is a closer look at how ISPA used social media to advertise the conference.

A month prior to the conference, ISPA posted photos, videos and text on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn and the organization's blog to help build hype for the event. Some of the posts prior to the conference included photos of different vendors preparing for the show, including their booth number; discounts to different vendors at the show, registration and show details, images of prizes that would be auctioned off, and videos of speakers who were presenting at the conference. Above is an Instagram post that ISPA posted prior to the conference. The post said, "Everything is all packed up in the Conference truck and on its way to Vegas! Can't wait to see everyone in just one week! #ispa2013."

During the conference, ISPA posted photos, videos and text on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Some of their content included photos of different sessions and booths at the conference, information about when keynote speakers were speaking and when certain sessions were taking place, quotes from keynote speakers, and questions asking participants what they were learning. The posts during the event informed people at the conference of different things that were happening around them, and they informed those who weren't able to attend what they were missing out on. The question posts on Facebook and Twitter also encouraged those who were attending the event, to join in the conversation. By showing all the great events happening at this year's conference, ISPA created incentive for people to come to, or return to the conference next year. Below is one of ISPA's Facebook posts encouraging participants to attend the last general session with keynote speaker Bill Rancic.

After the conference, ISPA kept the conversation about the conference going through social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The content after the event included posts thanking sponsors and vendors for making the event a success, posts thanking attendees for attending, posts asking participants to share their photos from the event on Instagram, retweets from attendees saying what a great time they had at the event, and posts asking attendees what they learned at the conference.

The ISPA conference had large followings on all social media platforms, but the organization's Facebook page seemed to get the most engagement throughout the conference. The post that seemed to garner the most engagement was a Facebook post on Oct. 24, thanking attendees for coming to the event and wishing them safe travels, (right). This post received 35 likes and nine comments. This post was successful because by liking or commenting, attendees showed their connections or clients that they were at the event, which paints them as an industry authority.

ISPA included "#ISPA2013" and "#GrowYourWorld" in their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts. By creating hashtags for the event, they helped with event branding and allowed attendees to converse. In several of ISPA's posts, they used "#ispa2013," which I thought took away from the event's branding. The hashtag should have been consistent throughout, so participants weren't confused.

Excluding the varying hashtags, ISPA's message seemed to be consistent on all social media platforms. It appeared as though the organization used a marketing tool like HootSuite to post the same message on Facebook and Twitter. Although this helped give the brand a consistent message, sometimes not creating messages for each individual channel didn't pay off. On Oct. 8, ISPA posted, "Be sure to stop by the ISPA Resource Center on the Expo floor to pick up one of these fun ISPA sticky flag booklets! Perfect for leaving reminder notes in your Conference Guide or on the ISPA Expo Map. #ISPA2013." While this message with the complimentary photo worked well on Facebook, it wasn't as effective on Twitter since over half of the message was cut off (below).

Throughout the event, ISPA would retweet the content participants were posting about the event. By posting attendees content, the organization gave all attendees an incentive to write about their experiences at the conference. The retweets also showed what a great time people were having at the conference and how beneficial the conference is for attendees.

ISPA posted social media content thanking sponsors after the event had concluded, but I was unable to find other social media posts talking about the sponsors. ISPA should have talked more about individual sponsors on social media. By giving sponsors free publicity, ISPA could have given sponsors a reason to sponsor next year's event.

ISPA did a good job of integrating their marketing efforts across social media and their other marketing platforms. The organization has it's own magazine called Pulse, and the October edition featured an article about the 2013 conference. A link to the magazine and article were posted ISPA's Facebook page (right) and Twitter feed. A link with the photo of the magazine cover was also featured on the organization's website. Because the link was shared on multiple platforms, ISPA's message reached a larger number of people.

The event's marketers also did a thorough job of advertising ISPA's other social media channels. There were Twitter and Facebook posts encouraging follower's to get involved in conversations, share photos and share their experiences on Instagram and ISPA's blog, (below).

The social media post that stood out the most for me, was the Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter post about Bill Rancic speaking. Highlighting a celebrity speaker not only catches people's attention, it makes people want to attend the event in the future.

There were several area's of ISPA's event marketing that I thought they could improve. To have a better IMC strategy, ISPA could have posted more content about the conference on their LinkedIn page and blog. The only thing on the organization's LinkedIn page was a very brief bio stating the date and location of the conference, with a link where individuals could register to attend. After the event, the organization could have created a blog post talking about what happened at the conference, how successful it was and details for next year's conference.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Creating Content for Animal Kingdom

This week I've been challenged with the task of planning a month's worth of Facebook and Twitter posts for Disney's Animal Kingdom. My goal for the month of December is to inform people of the different animals and attractions within the Animal Kingdom, and encourage people to visit Animal Kingdom during the holiday season.

Sunday, Dec. 1:
Facebook: On the first day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, a two-toed sloth sleeping in a tree #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of a two-toed sloth sleeping in a tree.
Twitter: On the 1st day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, a two-toed sloth sleeping in a tree #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of a two-toed sloth sleeping in a tree.

Monday, Dec. 2:
Facebook: On the second day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, two Jambu Fruit Doves #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a photo of two Jambu Fruit Doves.
Twitter: On the 2nd day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, 2 Jambu Fruit Doves #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a photo of two Jambu Fruit Doves.

Tuesday, Dec. 3:
Facebook: On the third day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, three Naked Mole Rats #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of Naked Mole Rats.
Twitter: On the 3rd day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, 3 Naked Mole Rats #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of Naked Mole Rats.

Wednesday, Dec. 4:
Facebook: On the fourth day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, four Asian Tigers #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of Asian Tigers.
Twitter: On the 4th day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, 4 Asian Tigers #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of Asian Tigers.

Thursday, Dec. 5:
Facebook: On the fifth day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, five Golden Pheasants #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a photo of Golden Pheasants.
Twitter: On the 5th day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, 5 Golden Pheasants #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a photo of Golden Pheasants.

Friday, Dec. 6:
Facebook: On the sixth day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, six Egyptian Geese laying #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of an Egyptian Goose sitting on her nest.
Twitter: On the 6th day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, 6 Egyptian Geese laying #12DaysOfAnimals
Notes: Include a video of an Egyptian Goose sitting on her nest.

Saturday, Dec. 7: 
Facebook: On the seventh day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, seven Black Neck Swans swimming #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of Black Neck Swans swimming.
Twitter: On the 7th day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, 7 Black Neck Swans swimming #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of Black Neck Swans swimming.

Sunday, Dec. 8:
Facebook: On the eighth day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, eight Dexter Cows milking #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of a Dexter Cow being milked.
Twitter: On the 8th day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, 8 Dexter Cows milking #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of a Dexter Cow being milked.

Monday, Dec. 9:
Facebook: On the ninth day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, nine Gorillas dancing #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of various Gorillas moving to music so it appears like they're dancing.
Twitter: On the 9th day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, 9 Gorillas dancing #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of various Gorillas moving to music so it appears like they're dancing.

Tuesday, Dec. 10:
Facebook: On the tenth day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, ten Lemurs leaping #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of Lemurs leaping.
Twitter: On the 10th day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, 10 Lemurs leaping #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of Lemurs leaping.

Wednesday, Dec. 11:
Facebook: On the eleventh day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, eleven Pythons hissing #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of Pythons hissing.
Twitter: On the 11th day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, 11 Pythons hissing #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of Pythons hissing.

Thursday, Dec. 12:
Facebook: On the twelfth day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, 12 Meerkats running #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of Meerkats running.
Twitter: On the 12th day of Christmas Animal Kingdom gave to me, 12 Meerkats running #12DaysOfAnimals
Note: Include a video of Meerkats running.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Knot Your Average Bridal Network

The Knot is a bridal network that doesn't just target brides. When signing up for the network, you have the option of identifying yourself as the bride, groom, bridesmaid, groomsman, maid of honor, parent or wedding professional. After selecting your identity, you have the option of further identifying yourself. For example, if you select that you're the bride, you are presented with the following classifications:

  • No engagement ring yet
  • Ring on my finger, just started planning
  • Midway through my planning
  • Within weeks of my wedding
  • Married!
The social network targets everyone who is interested or involved with the wedding industry.

Members of The Knot enjoy access to 50,000 wedding photos, a free personalized wedding planner, deals and discounts, wedding vendor reviews and a free wedding website, (right).

Once you have registered for The Knot, you have the option of selecting your wedding date and wedding colors. Once you select your wedding date, every time you log onto your account, you'll see a countdown of how many days until your big day. 

Knot users have the option of creating a website for their wedding, creating a personalized checklist to ensure everything gets done before the big day, tracking their budget, creating a guest list, viewing local vendors, and creating a gift registry. Just like Pinterest, users can also view thousands of pictures from real weddings, and save their favorites to their account, (bottom, left) .

There are several ways that users are able to interact with one another on The Knot. Users can upload photos from their wedding, and other users can "love," comment on, or share the images on other social media networks. Knot users also can rate and write reviews on different wedding venues and vendors, which is helpful for brides and grooms trying to determine where they should hold their special day.

The Knot also allows brides to comment on different wedding-related boards, ask a wedding expert questions, and play interactive games like, "registry showdown" and "my inner bride."

The Knot is an important network because it's "the internet's most-trafficked one-stop wedding planning solution." Little girls dream of planning their wedding, but many don't dream of the stress that comes along with planning a budget and selecting who makes the guest list. The Knot helps to alleviate some of the wedding day stress, and keeps planning from turning into a nightmare. 

I signed up for The Knot before my fiance even proposed. My favorite feature of the network is the checklist because it allows me to check off everything I've done, and it gives me a visual of what I still need to do, and when I need to do it by. The network stands out from other channels because of all of its features, and its the go-to network for everything bridal. Brides don't have to wade through a lot of photos or vendors that aren't relevant to them, they can customize their experience to fit their tastes and needs, and that unique experience is what will keep them coming back to The Knot.

Social media plays a big role in the success of The Knot's Integrated Marketing Communications. The network has social buttons at the top of its page, as well as share buttons underneath photographs, linking users to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus. This allows users to not only find the network's social media pages that they may have been unaware of, but to share what they've found on the site with all of their friends, which could encourage their friends to join the network.

The Knot localizes its content by allowing users to search and comment on local venues and vendors. If marketers in the wedding industry were looking to include proximity marketing into their communications strategy, they could include themselves in map features, and offer those that check-in a percentage off of their product or service. This would entice more customers to visit the vendor, and if they're surrounded by a product, they're more likely to make a purchase

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

SlideShare: "The Quiet Giant of Content Marketing"

Click here to see the
infographic up close!
SlideShare is the world’s largest content community for sharing presentations. The network was founded in 2006 by Rashmi Sinha, and in 2012, the network was acquired by LinkedIn for $119 million. Since SlideShare's launch and integration with LinkedIn, the mobile-friendly network has exponentially grown. According to the SlideShare website, 60 million people visit the site monthly. With 130 million page views per month, SlideShare is among the top 200 most visited sites in the world. 

SlideShare targets users from professional and educational communities, who regularly leave comments, add favorites and download content from the network. Besides hosting presentations, SlideShare also supports documents, PDFs, videos and webinars. Businesses can upload documents to SlideShare to share ideas, conduct research, connect with others and generate leads.

SlideShare has many capabilities including:
  • Upload presentations publicly or privately
  • Download presentations on any topic
  • Embed presentations on blogs or websites
  • Share presentations on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn
  • Embed YouTube videos into your presentations
  • Sync MP3 audio with slides to create a webinar
  • Free, one click web meetings
  • Generates business leads
How to use SlideShare

  1. Use existing content, but trim fat as necessary
      You can upload all of your old business presentations, but
      be sure you’re formatting them to be successful on
      SlideShare. Add images to slides where they're
      appropriate, and cut out any wordiness. According to
      Gregory Clotti, the most effective SlideShare 
      presentations get right to the point because web users
      prefer quick, and information-packed sentences, images and graphics.

  1. Keep your content simple, but visually interesting
Where possible, try to tell your business’ story through images or videos, as opposed to text. In a world with so much online content available, images help your content get noticed, and they help drive engagement. Put the most design work into your title slide because it serves as an advertisement for your content.

  1. Enable embedding
If you allow anyone to download your presentations, you exponentially expand the reach of your presentation. If you embed your SlideShare presentations onto your company website, you preserve your company’s bandwidth, and you make it easier for your visitors because they won’t have to open another application to view your content.

  1. Optimize your presentations for search
SlideShare content ranks well in external search engines, so it’s important to include keywords in titles, descriptions and tags so traffic is driven to your content.

  1. Add hyperlinks to your presentations
Include links to your company’s website on the first and last slides of your presentation, so people who enjoyed your presentation can learn more about your company.

  1. Integrate your SlideShare, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts
Adding the SlideShare app on Facebook and LinkedIn allows you to automatically display your most recent presentation on each of the social networks. The app sends a notification to your entire network, so they’re aware that there is new content to view.

  1. Take advantage of SlideShare analytics
By reviewing how many people view, comment on and share your presentations, you will know what your target audience responds to.

  1. Invest in SlideShare Pro if you want leads
If you upgrade your SlideShare account to SlideShare Pro, you can get insight on who’s viewing your presentations. This knowledge can lead to new partners and customers.

Why your company should be using SlideShare

Hundreds of companies aren't taking advantage of the network that has been nicknamed "The Quiet Giant of Content Marketing." Most companies are already creating great content, and SlideShare allows your content to be seen visually, and by a larger audience. Christina Milanowski elaborated on six reasons your company should be using SlideShare.

     1. Increase SEO

     From the link on your website, to the links embedded within you presentations, SlideShare
     generates a lot of referral traffic. Creating a presentation in SlideShare and adding keywords
     gives your company a robust result in searches.

     2. Appear as an industry expert
     To leverage content from speeches and make your employees appear as go-to-experts, post    
     presentations with appropriate keywords on SlideShare. You'll increase traffic to your homepage
     and you can easily share the speeches with SlideShare.

     3. Promote your content marketing strategy
     Infuse SlideShare into your content marketing strategy to help publish and promote the content
     that you're already sharing via articles, white papers, blog posts and downloadable content. It will
     direct new traffic and leads to your company.

     4. Maximize your LinkedIn potential
     LinkedIn allows your to display your SlideShare content in full color, which will draw more
     connections to your company's page and website.

     5. Use it as a search tool

     SlideShare is one of the best
     resources in terms of pure content.
     Search the network on a
     particular topic and you'll receive a
     list of content from great minds
     across the world.

     6. It's highly measurable

     SlideShare allows you to gauge the
     influence of your content by tracking
     how your presentations are
     performing on Facebook, Twitter,
     LinkedIn, Google Plus and
     Pinterest. You can also gauge
     how much traffic your website is
     receiving from SlideShare.

Want more information about how SlideShare can benefit your business? Check out this presentation!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Getting the most out of your social media marketing

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) ensures that all of a company's communications and messages coincide with one another, so a company has a consistent brand. If a company has consistent messaging and all of their communication channels work in harmony, the company's message will have more impact and will reach a larger audience. I took a closer look at three different bridal retailers to see how they were utilizing IMC on their social media networks.

David's Bridal

David's Bridal takes advantage of Integrated Marketing Communications by having consistent imagery and messaging on the Facebook page, Twitter feed, Instagram, Google Plus and Pinterest page. Each of their social media accounts also have links to either the David's Bridal website, or their other social media accounts. Having links to other accounts helps spread the brand's message and drive traffic to the other networks. If the brand's Facebook followers click on the link for Instagram, they are receiving the brand's message on multiple platforms, which increases the likelihood that the message will be heard.

David's Bridal's social media accounts all use the same image of a bride and groom, so consumers can recognize the brand no matter what network they're on (right). David's Bridal also uses the same font and colors in all of their wording. As you can see from the images on the right, the David's Bridal logo is consistent across all social media networks.

Posting up-to-date content is key to social media engagement, and David's Bridal does a good job of keeping consumers informed. New content and pictures are posted daily on all of David's Bridal's social media accounts. This ensures consumers will continuously check-in because they know they'll receive fresh information.

One way David's Bridal could improve their social media strategy is to take advantage of hashtags. The brand does a good job of utilizing the trend on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, but they're not utilizing the trend markers on Facebook or Google Plus. Hashtags are a powerful marketing tool. If used correctly, they can lead people who don't follow your social media accounts to your content. Brides are searching for content, so it's important that David's Bridal uses hashtags on all of their accounts so they can reach more potential consumers.

Allure Bridals

Allure Bridals does an okay job of integrating their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts, but one of their networks is seriously lacking. Allure isn't taking advantage of it's Google Plus page. Maybe the bridal company hasn't discovered the advantages that Google Plus provides, like boosting content in search results and increasing SEO. Google Plus has the second largest amount of active users of any search engine, so Allure Bridals is missing out on a lot of potential customers by not having any Google Plus posts.

One of Allure Bridals' best examples of Integrated Marketing Communications is on their Pinterest page. The brand has different boards that connect with their other marketing content (below). Some of the categories are, "our allure brides," "our blog: wedding wednesdays" and "allure behind the scenes." These pinned images lead followers to Allure's website and blog, extending the reach of the brand's message.

Part of Allure Bridals' brand consistency comes from the brand's imagery. All of the brand's social network profile pictures are the same, so as soon as consumers see that image, they're associating it with the Allure brand. Also to maintain consistency, Allure uses the same message in their social bios (below, right): "Whether your style is classic and traditional or bold and dramatic --- it all starts with how your dress makes you feel. And nothing feels like an Allure." The consistency on all networks helps drive the message home.

Excluding the Google Plus page, Allure Bridals does a good job of keeping their social media content up-to-date. The brand could improve their marketing by increasing the amount of Tweets they post daily. Because Twitter is constantly updating, a company should Tweet multiple times in a day in order to make sure their content is being seen. Allure is posting on Twitter once or twice, almost every day. By increasing their tweets, they can increase brand awareness.

Although Allure does a good job of leading consumers to their website (above), they could improve their IMC by having links to their other social media accounts. Allure's Facebook page has a link to it's Instagram account, but other than that, there are no connections. Allure could add social media buttons across all of their social media accounts to ensure they're reaching the largest number of people.

Another area where Allure Bridal's could improve is their use of hashtags. The bridal shop isn't taking advantage of hashtags on any of their social media networks. By not using hashtags on all of their content, they're missing out on being part of a larger conversation, and they're content won't be found in searches.

Kleinfeld Bridal

Like Allure Bridal's, Kleinfeld Bridal isn't taking advantage of it's Google Plus page. The bridal brand does have a profile picture that is consistent with the images on the brand's other social media accounts, but they have only posted on the network once. With 135 million active users on Google Plus, it's important for businesses to be present on the site. If business let their Google Plus page lapse, they're allowing competition to show up higher in search results, and missing out on sales.

Of all three brands, Kleinfeld does the best job of integrating all of their social media accounts. Within the past day, the company has tweeted and posted a photo on Instagram about how their Facebook page has reached 177,000 fans (below). By sharing their Facebook accomplishment on their other social media networks, they're reaching more followers and driving their followers to check out their other social media platforms.

Kleinfeld also uses the same images, fonts and colors on all social media accounts, to ensure consistency and branding. The profile picture and background images on Kleinfeld's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google Plus pages are of the company's storefront in New York City, and a simple black and white Kleinfeld logo. The storefront image and the brand's logo help make the social media networks look official and legitimate.

Excluding Kleinfeld's Google Plus page, the brand consistently provides followers with fresh content. Yesterday the company tweeted five times, which increases the likelihood their message will reach followers and their brand will be in the minds of consumers. While some of the company's tweets and social media posts have hashtags, they could include more so they're always part of conversations regarding the wedding industry and their products.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Email Blast

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Lauren Roberts and I'm passionate about joining the ESPN team as a social media professional. As an avid sports-lover and former athlete, with a background in social media, journalism and public relations, I could readily contribute to ESPN's social media strategy.

My passion for sports

As the child of an athlete and the grandchild of a successful coach, I was raised around athletics. I had a soccer ball at my feet and a basketball in my hands before I was old enough to join youth leagues. I always enjoyed being successful on the field, but I didn't find my true passion for sports until I watched the 1999 Women's World Cup, (below).

Brandi, Mia and Briana weren't just soccer players, they inspired a nation. The United States team brought together a nation that was, and still is, apathetic about soccer, and showed the world how compelling the game could be. The team ignited a fire within me and an entire generation of young girls. If I practiced every day, someday I might be a household name like the heroes whose faces were plastered on my bedroom walls.

My dreams of becoming a professional athlete didn't work out, but my passion for athletics increases every day.

Sports and social media

Yankees vs. Red Sox, Ohio State vs. Michigan and Celtics vs. Lakers...we've all witnessed how rivalries can divide passionate fans, but I love sports because they have the ability to bring all fans together. Jesse Owens' performance in Berlin, Germany during the 1936 Olympic games helped bring together a divided nation. In 2001 after the World Trade Center attacks, New Yorkers rallied together to support the Yankees in their playoff run.

Social media provides a platform to expand athletics' unifying reach. During the elite eight of last year's college basketball tournament, Louisville guard Kevin Ware went down with a gruesome leg injury, (above). Moments after the injury, basketball fans from around the nation took to Twitter and made #PrayForWare a trending topic in the United States.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, not only did #BostonStrong trend on Twitter, but a YouTube video of fans singing the national anthem at the Boston Bruins match trended on Facebook, (below).

Check out more of my favorite inspiring sports moments on my Pinterest page.

Why I want to work for ESPN

ESPN is the worldwide leader in sports coverage. I would be honored and privileged to work for an organization that is responsible for uniting passionate fans, no matter what colors they bleed or mascot they cheer for on game day.

Want to see my full resume or connect further? Connect with me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram or Pinterest.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Lauren Roberts

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Five Brands Take On Blogging

A blog is one of the best tools a company can use to connect with its customers. According to Dechay Watts, a blog gives your company a voice, creates a place to talk about your products and services, and it is a place to let your brand's personality shine. I took a close look at five different blogs to see how the brands are engaging with consumers, in the hopes that I could learn a couple things that I could use to improve my own blog. Here's what I found!

1. Express - EXPLife

The clothing store Express maintains a professional blog that's purpose is to inform young adult's about the latest fashion trends, and to showcase the brand's clothing. One thing that really stands out about EXPLife is how the site goes beyond push marketing, and really focuses on entertaining its intended audience. In a post about campus fashion you can listen to a popular Ke$ha song, there is a link for an app that puts your pictures into a collage, and there is a recipe for jungle juice (right). EXPLife goes beyond trying to sell their products, and posts things that are relevant to young adults. The targeted content on EXPLife reflects that Express is a brand for trendy, young adults.

Express marketers drive traffic to their blog by posting new content regularly. If there's always something new to see or read, people will continuously checkin with your blog. EXPLife also provides buttons that link to the brand's Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube channel, Pinterest, Instagram and RSS feed, and there is a sidebar displaying the brand's latest tweets and Instagram posts. These social media links allow readers to connect with the brand and share the brand on multiple platforms, which magnifies the brand's reach and drives traffic to the blog. At the bottom of every EXPLife post, you have the option of liking the story on Facebook, tweeting the story, or sharing it on Google Plus. These share buttons, the links to social media networks and publishing content on a regular basis are the aspects that make EXPLife successful.

It would benefit Express to place its social media buttons higher on the blog, because that is the most viewed and clicked area. While some of the links were near the top, I had to scroll to the bottom of the page to find links to the brand's Pinterest and Instagram accounts.

Because EXPLife is a blog for a retail store, there are no advertisements on the blog. It wouldn't make sense to display clothing ads for any of Express' competitors! If the brand was going to add advertisements, they might consider showing advertisements for brands that they work with. On the blog there are video segments that Express does with GQ. Since the two brands are already working together, EXPLife could have advertisements for the magazine.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

When it comes to push marketing, Oreo's website crumbles

When it comes to push marketing on Oreo's website, the popular cookie seems to crumble. There are no popups, chat windows or signups to receive email. There are widgets on the website that allow you to like the brand on Facebook and follow them on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Google+. These links do push consumers toward the brand. Oreo marketers may not focus their efforts on push marketing on the cookie's website, because Oreo is already America's favorite cookie, and the top sold cookie in the United States. Tanya Robertson says that once a brand has established itself, it no longer needs to focus on push marketing because consumers are already aware the product exists.

Offsite, Oreo utilizes push marketing through its social media accounts, print advertisements, television commercials and grocery store displays. Oreo posts comical and relevant advertisements on its Facebook page and Twitter feed that push customers to remember, and ultimately buy, the brand. Several days ago Oreo posted an advertisement on Facebook and Twitter of a cookie with dark cream in the middle. (Right) The caption read, "Why all black? Because all white was sooooooo last week. #FashionWeek." Oreo used the posts to push the product at consumers, which Robertson says is key in push marketing.

Oreo uses push marketing to spread awareness of the brand, and more specifically the Wonderfilled campaign, through YouTube, print advertisements and television commercials. According to Janda Lukin, director for Oreo, The Wonderfilled campaign centers around how something as mundane as sharing an Oreo, could positively effect the world. The brand uses celebrity singers like Kasey Musgraves and Adam Young (of Owl City) on its YouTube channel and television commercials. The celebrity endorsements of the cookies are an effective way to push the brand in front of more consumers, because consumers are drawn to and trust celebrities.

Oreo does a much better job of pull marketing on its website and through its social media. During this week's lecture, we learned that pull marketing takes place when consumers engage with a brand, as opposed to a brand pushing their products onto the consumer. As part of Oreo's Wonderfilled campaign, consumers can upload and share their Oreo-related photos and videos. Those images and videos can then be shared on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. People who see their friends posting the videos and photos on social media may want to post a picture of their grandparent or child eating Oreos, which drives them to Oreo's website. Below is a video that was shared on Oreo's website.

We also learned in this week's lecture that pull marketing focuses on answering consumer's questions. For consumers wondering where they can find a certain Oreo recipe, they have to look no further than the cookie's website. From parfaits to cheesecakes, Oreo's website offers a magnitude of recipes that would make any dessert lover's mouth water. The brand pulls customers in by offering content that they're searching for.

Dave Birckhead says that social media is driving an increase in pull media, and more consumers want to engage with companies that are posting relevant content. Oreo does a good job of pulling consumers in by posting relevant and comical posts on social media. The brand caters to whatever is going on in the world, but they relate it back to the product. Oreo relates their posts to Fashion Week, Labor Day and the Super Bowl. As stated in my previous post, their tweet from the Super Bowl about dunking in the dark was one of the most successful ads. Recently the brand tweeted, "We've got 7 years to figure out how to say Dunk in Japanese. #Tokyo," in response to the Olympics announcement. (Below) It's this type of content that will pull consumers to the brand.


As shown with the example above, Oreo does a good job of updating their social media accounts to keep them relevant. They update their Twitter feed, Facebook page and Instagram account almost daily.  Compared to the brand's social media accounts, Oreo's webpage is a little stale. In the week that I have been monitoring Oreo's website, nothing has been changed, added or updated, besides their social media feed. 

Oreo's website is mobile friendly, but there are several aspects of IMC and branding that the site could improve on. If I were Oreo's website designer I would consider creating a blog and attaching it to the website. A blog will allow the brand to have the relevant content that people crave, and it will help the brand establish a human tone to garner consumers' trust. The blog could focus on what Oreo is doing in the communities, it could feature new products and it could highlight Oreo-related stories from the brand's loyal followers. If you added a blog and a place to sign up for an RSS feed, Oreo's website would be as addictive as its cookies!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Oreo's multimedia is a slam dunk...or twist!

One of my favorite brands is "America's favorite cookie," Oreo. In this week's lecture we learned that it takes seven "touches" for consumers to take notice of a product or respond to a call to action. The more marketing channels that a brand uses, the quicker they're likely to get noticed. Oreo achieves ubiquity by marketing across several different channels including, the brand's website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, television commercials and an Oreo cellphone app. The addictive cookies and the company's multimedia strategies have made Oreos the world's best-selling cookie of the 21st century.

In the week two lecture, we learned the importance of content and how sharing content that is up-to-date and relevant, is key to a brand's success. Oreo's website has a sidebar that display's the brands latest Facebook posts, tweets and Instagram uploads, so the consumer is able to stay up-to-date. This feature also allows consumers to easily connect with the brand on many different multimedia channels. Jae Baer says that in order for a company to stand out in a world full of advertising clutter, they must be useful. One way that Oreo's website is useful to consumers is they offer many Oreo recipes. Consumers are getting this great information for free and all in one place, making the website making it convenient and useful.

Oreo's Facebook page has over 34 million likes, making it the sixth most liked brand on Facebook, worldwide. Warren Knight talks about the importance of creating engaging social media sites to attract customers. The more you get the customer engaged, the more likely they will be a loyal follower of your brand. In February 2012, Oreo asked its Facebook followers to post their favorite conversation heart messages. They then posted the responses, but with a little bit of a twist. They put the messages on Oreo cookies and then tagged the Facebook followers who submitted the sayings. They engaged their Facebook users by getting them involved, and the outcome was thousands of likes and shares.

Oreo's Instagram page utilizes all the multimedia strategies above and is useful, entertaining and engaging. There are pictures and videos of various Oreo desserts with links to the recipes. Once again, having all of this information in one place is useful and convenient for consumers. The brand's most recent post got me laughing and made me want to scroll through the rest of their pictures. In April 2013, Oreo got Instagram users involved by asking them to submit pictures of their pets and then users got to vote on "best smile," "best selfie," "most playful" and "thinks they're human." Even if people don't love Oreos, they were engaged because they love their pets.

One of the most talked about ad's of this year's Super Bowl, wasn't a commercial, it was a tweet. During the blackout delay, someone at Oreo was thinking on their toes and tweeted this:

The ad was retweeted 10,000 times in an hour. Young says that media planning is all about reaching people at the right place and the right time (Young, 35), and this ad did just that. Millions of people watch the Super Bowl and were experiencing the blackout, so they could relate to this ad and be entertained by it. Oreo's twitter feed is constantly staying relevant and using a personal tone to connect with its audiences. Recently when #WorstPickupLines was trending on Twitter, Oreo posted, "You must play basketball because I can see you dunking me. #WorstPickupLines." The brand's tone helps audiences feel connected, and has gotten the brand over 97 thousand  Twitter followers.

Oreo's YouTube page has used the power of celebrity endorsement to garner 25,500 subscribers. The videos include songs about Oreos recorded by up-and-coming country singer Kasey Musgraves and hip hop artist Chiddy Bang. Dean Crutchfield says that celebrity endorsements cut through advertising clutter, create a brand narrative and allow for channel specific optimization. Fans of Musgraves and Chiddy Bang will be drawn to the videos, and they help establish the human tone and trust that an audience needs to connect with a brand. If Taylor Swift endorsed a brand, I would most likely buy whatever it was, just because she said that she used it!

Oreo's most recent commercial (above) uses a human and relatable tone to connect with audiences. Some people like the cookie, some people like the cream. A lot of people have had the debate, albeit doesn't usually involve throwing someone over a library railing! People can relate to the debate, so they feel connected to the product.

Recently, Oreo developed an app that allows users to point their phones at the sky and see a map of the constellations, and they're able message their friends on Facebook. The app keeps users engaged with their friends and the brand because if they post the most messages in a lunar cycle, they get to "own the moon" and post something for the entire Oreo network to read. According to Paul Tassi, consumers feel inundated with advertisements on social media and they're looking for sites, or in this case apps, where they aren't bombarded by advertisements. Oreo's app doesn't seem like an advertisement so consumers aren't being turned off, but the brand name is still on the minds of consumers.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Communicating with Customers: Classic Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

My first job in life was working trade shows with my mom. I would only work a couple of weekends a year to earn a little extra money, and my responsibilities were simple: helping the customers and answering any questions they had. Although I never had any altercations with customers (Most didn't get upset that a 14-year-old wasn't able to address all of their questions and concerns), my mom repeatedly reminded me that the customer was always right. Communication with customers is critical to the success of any business or marketing campaign. As an increasing number of consumers are utilizing social media networks, it is advantageous for brands to communicate with customers where they're already spending their time.
According to Gartner, Inc., companies that refuse to communicate with customers via social media, will face the same wrath as those that ignore customers' concerns on the phone or through email. 
When it comes to communicating with customers, timing is everything. In classic marketing strategies, if a customer has a question or complaint, they may have to wait days to receive an email or may get transferred to ten different people before someone is able to address their concern on the phone. Social media marketing allows customers to receive a response almost immediately. According to a study conducted by Ignite Social Media, the average time it takes Walmart to respond to a customer's Facebook post is 28 minutes. The less a customer has to wait for a response, the more satisfied they will be. 
Another advantage of communicating with customers via social media is that it allows you to monitor what customers are saying, respond in a timely fashion, and prevent a little problem turning into a full-blown crisis.
This past week I noticed that one of my Facebook friends posted on Sprint's Facebook page about a problem that she was having with her phone service. Several of her friends then commented that they were having the same problem. A Sprint representative was able to comment back within 24 hours. She let them know that she recognized the problem and told them when they could expect it to be fixed. Sprint's response not only addressed my friend's concern, it addressed the concerns of others having the same problem, and showed potential customers that the brand cares about its customers. 
In classic marketing, communication with customers is kept more private. All of your customers may have the same question, but you're going to have to speak with each individually because it's not transparent.
Classic marketing can allow customers to have more of a personal connection with the brand. If the customer has a positive experience of talking to someone face-to-face or on the phone, they'll associate that person and experience with the brand. I think it's more of a challenge for a brand to come off as personable on social media. 
I think brands are best off using a combination of both social media and classic marketing to satisfy the most customers. With more people using social media than ever, brands should start out monitoring and communicating with customers where they're already comfortable. If a problem still exists after communicating online, a company can resort to classic marketing techniques to establish more of a personal connection to keep the customer satisfied.