• Coca Cola wants you to MakeItHappy

    Jan 27 • Social Media • 2990 Views

    The big game is this Sunday, and of course it’s more than a sporting event- it’s advertising’s biggest stage. Aside from paying big bucks for commercial airtime, you can bet that brands will be vying to make the biggest social media splash during game time as well. Coca Cola is hoping to lead the pack in a positive direction and has already started working to spark interest through #makeithappy.



    During the first quarter, a 60-second commercial from Coca Cola will address online negativity, ending with the hashtag #MakeItHappy and a call to action meant to promote positivity both on and offline. While the spot will not be released ahead of time, the company is promoting four online-only vignettes this week, across Coke’s social media channels, featuring people who’ve encountered online negativity, and people who see spreading happiness as their mission. The celebrity “gets” for this campaign include Danica Patrick, Michael Sam and Kid President.



    Coke says it’s all part of their brand identity. “Coca-Cola has always stood for optimism, uplift and inclusion … and these core values have been a common thread in our advertising through the years,” says Andy McMillin, VP and GM, Coca-Cola Trademark Brands. Last year’s “It’s Beautiful” campaign was seen by many, but didn’t fail to stir controversy, as it not only featured “America the Beautiful” sung in different languages, but also showed what may have been the first gay parents depicted in a Super Bowl ad. This year, it’s early yet, but most of the feedback seems to be “rah coke and happiness”:



    …some of it is already a little less than positive.



    Of course, maybe staying just a little bit edgy and controversial is part of the brand identity as well. Or maybe we’re being cynical. After all, Coca Cola is also partnering with DoSomething.org both before and after the game, in an effort to mobilize the organization’s 3.3 million strong community to help spread the word about working to make the Internet a happier place. Maybe anything that breaks through the pervasive cloud of online negativity is a worthwhile venture.


    So what do you think? Does an uplifting message lose its meaning when it’s a calculated marketing scheme? Or is any push toward positivity a good thing? Does Coke’s new #makeithappy campaign make you happy?



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  • Two Steps to Successful Email Marketing

    Jan 20 • Business • 2613 Views

    Don’t believe the “email marketing is outdated” hype. I used to be that person until I realized how many branded emails have provided value to me in recent months. Sale reminders, marketing newsletters and webinar updates. That’s not to say it’s right for everyone to use. Like the social media efforts your brand is already running, email marketing needs to solve a need.


    Step one: Solve a need

    What does the consumer need to know from you? I need to know when J.Crew is having an extra 30% off of clearance items. I need to know when Pie Five is offering double points. I need Google, Pinterest and reddit advertising to update me on new features and case studies. Basically, I’m lazy, and need information from my favorite places brought to me to read at my convenience. Knowing what consumers want is half the battle.


    Step two: Make them click

    An ugly or dysfunctional email ruins a great message. Christopher Lester from Emma, an email marketing service, spoke at Dallas Digital Summit 2014 about how to tap into users’ primal brains when designing email campaigns.


    More images than text

    Images make emails more memorable than blocks of text. We are also instinctively drawn to eyes. Christopher gives a great example of an email with a model looking down in the direction of the call-to-action button. Is it voodoo? Is it instinct? We don’t care so long as it works.


    Use buttons

    Remember when you were five-years-old and needed to press all the elevator buttons? That desire is still there. According to Christopher, we are programmed to scan pages for disruptions. Making a call-to-action into a button should encourage the user to follow through. If nothing else, the button is what will be remembered from the email. The button can be optimized by making it relevant to the size of a fingertip. Apple recommends 46×46 pixels.



    Certain colors provoke emotions out of us. Lester suggests the color blue is a trusting color. If a bank were to roll out a new feature, their email should include a blue call-to-action button for a higher click-through rate. On the contrary, yellow triggers anxiety in the brain, making it a good attention-getting color.


    Headlines matter

    As you can guess, the headline should stand out. However, according to Lester, this is not the time or place to be witty or use riddles. J.Crew headlines are great example because they are mostly informative but they definitely have a personality. I could picture my friend talking to me when I read it.


    What we’ve learned

    In order to be the J.Crew of email marketing we have to play on human instinct; the things that gives us a gut reaction in the first three seconds of opening an email. Read more by Christopher himself here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-lester/).



    You have questions or success stories? Tweet them to @ChristopherLester and tag me, @ericakoehler1! I can’t wait to chat about email marketing campaigns with you.



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  • iHeart Radio Ultimate Valentine’s Escape on Tinder

    Jan 14 • Culture • 2938 Views

    Yep, it’s happened.

    Digital marketers have pried their way into the erm, “dating” app world.


    Hey, brands need lovin’ too, right?


    For those of you non-Tindees, let me lay down the basics: Tinder is an app that syncs with your Facebook account and connects you to other singles within the area. You’re able to build a profile of a few pictures and a bio, and your interests on Facebook are also displayed to those searching. You are then given the option to “swipe left” for those you aren’t interested in, or “swipe right” for those you are. If you both swipe right, you are alerted and then prompted to message board with them on the app.


    During a recent swiping session, I stumbled upon possibly the only attractive match of the night:


    iheart radio on Tinder


    With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, iHeart Radio took to Tinder for their iHeart Radio Ultimate Valentine’s Escape. Ten winners and their Valentine’s will spend a weekend in Las Vegas, including an awesome suite at the Paris Las Vegas, treatments at the Mandara Spa, dinner at BLT Steak and a private concert with OneRepublic and John Legend.



    With the options to adjust which gender(s), age and location of people you’re trying to match with, Tinder has made it easy for brands like iHeart Radio to target a prime audience; plus, they can do it without the extra promotional charges.


    No worries to those without Tinder, or even those without smartphones, you can still enter the contest on their website.


    Although John Legend is already my Valentine this year, I thought I’d try to score us the hotel and spa package to save him some much needed cash and swiped right.


    What do you think? Would you “swipe right” for a brand? Or is Tinder filled with enough corporate jerks as is?



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  • Facebook: Your Golden Globes Companion

    Jan 12 • Culture, Social Media • 2658 Views

    The race was tight for many of the categories at the Golden Globes last night, with massive talent competing for the coveted awards. If you watched it, you know things like who won for best screenplay (Birdman), best actress in a dramatic movie role (Julianne Moore), and best drama (Boyhood). You probably even have your own opinions about who won best and worst dressed on the red carpet! But do you know who won the social media aspect of the show? Were you even aware of this epic battle, being fought behind the scenes?


    Taking an aggressive stance was Facebook, which established a major presence at the ceremony, setting up “The Facebook Lounge”, where stars could record videos of themselves answering questions from fans. Facebook-owned Instagram was backstage too, with fashion photographer Ellen Von Unwerth snapping photos of the winners as they walked off stage, to upload onto the Golden Globes’ Instagram account. Why so fierce, Facebook? The social media behemoth seems to be playing catch up, employing the strategy that Twitter has already pursued pretty effectively for years.


    Golden Globes Instagram


    Did you think it was a coincidence last year when Ellen DeGeneres tweeted her Oscar selfie? Not on your life. Twitter made the savvy move of partnering with both Samsung and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which made that “selfie seen ‘round the world” happen. Back to the 2015 Golden Globes: did Facebook beat Twitter at its own game? Maybe so, and if not, there’s always the Oscars.


    Perhaps the biggest get for Facebook, though, was the chance to promote its enhanced video capabilities.



    By encouraging stars to use the platform to post more than photos, the platform showed regular people how to do it, too. Maybe even more importantly, Facebook showed itself as a contender in the category of “awards show companion to advertisers”. Live Facebooking isn’t as convenient as live tweeting, but the company’s working on it, so stay tuned as they continue to storm awards shows in a push to woo Hollywood.



    What do you think about all of this? Have you checked out the Golden Globes Facebook page? Did you enjoy all the celeb videos, or do you prefer staying up to date via Twitter? Who do you see as the social media winner last night?



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  • Je Suis Charlie

    Jan 9 • Culture, Social Media • 1833 Views

    French citizens have flooded social media to grieve and support Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French magazine that was attacked by terrorists Wednesday, leaving 12 dead. With the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie, which translates to “I am Charlie,” people around the world have joined in this conversation, proving once again how people of all ages, cultures and religions can come together on social media to show solidarity in the face of senseless violence.


    Hashtag #JeSuisCharlie received 3.6 million Tweets in the last few days, according to Topsy. Here are some poignant statements and cartoons from the Twitterverse:












    top photo by Gwenael Piaser via flickr.com



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  • Facecast: ABC World News Tonight on Facebook

    Dec 3 • Facebook, Social Media • 2081 Views

    ABC‘s World News Tonight has debuted a social media newscast on Facebook this week. Each day, a one-minute news roundup called Facecast: The One Thing will be recorded exclusively for Facebook and posted on the World News Tonight Facebook page. With anchor David Muir on board, Facecast: The One Thing is the first ever daily newscast for social media hosted by an evening anchor.



    ABC News and World News Tonight are not strangers to Facebook or social media in general. World News Tonight has over 1.5 million fans on Facebook and ABC News has over 1.8 million. Both boast a healthy amount of likes, comments and shares.


    “We are grateful that our audience engages with David Muir and World News Tonight on social media all day long,” said World News Tonight Executive Producer Almin Karamehmedovic. “We’re very excited to launch a newscast that is exclusively for Facebook where users can continue the conversation beyond the evening newscast at any time.”



    With an average of 864 million daily active users on Facebook, it makes sense to bring the news to Facebook, especially for the benefit of mobile users. Having news videos specifically created for Facebook is an interesting way to leverage the social platform, but I’m not sure how necessary it is, since the news organization is already on Facebook and sharing news through status updates anyway. However, what is interesting about this move is that it shows the change in the thinking and mindset of newscasters. Mobile and social is where it’s at, and they clearly see that.


    Do you follow any news sites on Facebook or Twitter? Will you check out Facecast?



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  • #GivingTuesday: A Social Movement

    Dec 2 • Culture • 2586 Views

    This last week was a busy one for U.S. consumers, with Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday – but, it’s not over yet. Today, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is #GivingTuesday, a day to give back to a community, to a cause, to something in some way, shape or form.

    Founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, #GivingTuesday has grown quickly and globally with a little hashtag activism. Their biggest message is that it doesn’t matter how much you give or what you give, only that you give.



    With over 250,000 tweets in the last week, 41,000 in the last hour, #GivingTuesday is definitely picking up steam. Here is some of the social media chatter around #GivingTuesday today:













    Social media and hashtags help inform and mobilize global audiences to talk about and do something about an issue. And since this is the season of giving, we should all look outside ourselves to see what we can give and do to give back.


    Does #GivingTuesday inspire you to do something good? Do you plan to give (time, money, attention) to a cause today?




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  • #GiveaBook: A Social Media Campaign from Penguin

    Nov 25 • Social Media • 3040 Views

    On November 29, Penguin Random House is launching a social media campaign called #GiveaBook. The idea behind it is to get readers, authors, booksellers and publishers to participate and give books … for a good cause! Penguin will donate one book to Save the Children for every #GiveaBook hashtag used on Facebook or Twitter before December 25 (up to a max of 25,000 books).



    In addition to just using the #GiveaBook hashtag, you can also participate in the #GiveaBook Video Challenge. In the video, challenge three friends to give books as gifts this holiday season. Then pick books you’d like to give and why. It’s a chance to share a book that is special to you in some way. Check out some of the author videos already posted on the #GiveaBook YouTube Channel.



    What I like about this campaign is that is has multiple benefits.

    • It promotes reading, which is something I will always support.
    • It not only reminds people to give books, free books are being donated to children.
    • It involves small & independent booksellers, giving them a chance to be involved in the charity and jump on a large, free marketing campaign for their own stores.  Booksellers can retweet and post #GiveaBook through social media, put up displays in their stores and promote it however they choose.


    In my mind, this is a win-win campaign, and because it’s done through social media, it’s all-inclusive and far-reaching. I love it when social media is used for good.





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  • Oh, BTW, Facebook Launched Two New Products Today

    Nov 18 • Facebook, Social Media • 3364 Views

    Facebook has been busy lately. Last week they announced that organic distribution of posts that are promotional in nature will be reduced. Today, they launched two new products: FB Techwire and Facebook Groups App. No big deal.


    FB Techwire


    FB Techwire (very similar to FB Newswire, which launched in April 2014), is powered by Storyful and will help people who follow the page discover original content including breaking news, first-person analyses, photos and videos for journalists who care about and cover tech.



    Facebook Groups App


    Facebook Groups app is designed to help people share quickly and easily with groups such as groups of friends, family, fellow students on a project, professionals, co-workers, etc.



    What is the main takeaway from these new products? Facebook wants to remain in the business of keeping people connected, and they don’t plan to rest on their laurels.


    How do you use Facebook?



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  • #CometLanding: The Rosetta Mission on Social Media

    Nov 12 • Social Media, Twitter • 3225 Views

    History is being made today, both on social media and off. We have never made contact with a comet, until now. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is sending a lander to the surface of Comet #67P to receive scientific information.  “We don’t know exactly what awaits us there,” says lander Project Manager Stephan Ulamec from the DLR.



    This is all groundbreaking science and fascinating information … and it’s being played out in real time on social media through Twitter. Both the Rosetta Mission Control and the actual Philae Lander have Twitter handles, and they are live Tweeting. Their interactions, as they separate and communicate, are very cute and creative. With a little clever conversation and personification, the average person can easily follow along during this momentous scientific event.








    We have touchdown!





    A little celebrity plug




    Reactions to the #CometLanding all over Twitter





    Are you following the #CometLanding conversation on Twitter?



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