Jarter Jargon

Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

As everyone knows, Instagram launched its new video feature. What followed was not surprising. Vine fanatics bashed it, techies discussed whether it was better than Vine, and people everywhere posted the obligatory “My first Instagram video!”

While some believed the new Instagram features “beat” Vine, others argue that the two platforms are incomparable. Personally, I agree with the latter. While it’s obvious Facebook realized the potential Vine unlocked, Instagram’s video capability is very different than Vine’s.

The allure of Vine for marketers and Vine-celebs is the stop motion effect. Instagram video has a much harder time capturing that. It also takes quite a bit of creativity to pull off an impressive Vine.

Conversely, Instagram video has a few things going its way. Instagram is already so well-liked, I personally think the new feature will be widely accepted and make its way into your regular app use easier than it was for Vine to break through.

While I see Vine-celebs sticking to their guns, I think Instagram video will be a staple for consistent users.

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Facebook recently rolled out a new feature: adding emotions, things you’re watching, eating, reading, and listening to (among a few others) to your status post. It seems like a fun way to let people know how you’re doing or what you’re doing. It fosters conversations within your own community and connects you to others who could be watching/eating/drinking/listening to the same. But underneath, it serves a much larger purpose. As Josh Constine notes,

“Along with being fun for users, it could be a big help to advertisers, though Facebook tells me it’s not piping this data into its ad engine just yet. By selecting your current activity instead of merely writing it out, you structure data for Facebook. That could eventually help it to connect you with advertisers who want to reach people who frequently watch TV and movies, or listen to music, or eat at restaurants.”

If you listened to a certain song, ads for the artist’s new album could be targeted towards you. Or if you are the type to watch a lot of movies, Netflix could target ads towards you.

Facebook does a great job of mining information from you without you even knowing. Third party companies track your purchase habits. When you add a new friend, you are prompted with a question about whether or not you know that person outside of Facebook. You can set geo-tags on posts to let people (and Facebook) know where you are. These are just a few of the features that Facebook uses to learn as much about you as possible.

A little creepy, right?

A few months back, Facebook rolled out their Graph Search. It lets you search for people in a more specific (some say “unsettling”) way. You can search for people who like to cycle. You can look for people who like to cycle that live in your city. You can look for people who like to cycle that live in your city and are friends with your friends. You see where I’m going? It puts front and center just how much data we have committed to this social network.

With people freaking out about online privacy and security, it sure amazes me how openly they share information and how openly they allow Facebook to gather information. Although the latter, there isn’t really a way around it. The way Facebook structures itself makes it hard NOT to have your information mined out. Pages you like, people you friend, your interests, everything plays a role into how Facebook crawls across your profile and archives data. Although scary, it can be humorous (second link is now defunct).

So be careful about what you put on the internet. In Facebook’s case, every design mechanism plays a role.

It seems lately that social media marketing is slowly reaching a plateau, at least in my opinion. While there are some leaps and bounds that have been made, we just keep having roundabout discussions about what social media really can do. “No one knows the true power of social media marketing. There’s something there but we can’t put our finger on it.” “Engagement is key.” “Listen to your audience.” We live in a day and age where interconnectivity is thriving and growing rapidly. Brands pay incredible amounts of money to pump out every last drop of their social channels.

But how can we move past survival in this incredibly connected world?

As of late, I feel inspired and motivated to learn as much as I possibly can because social media is, in fact, a learning experience. We all make mistakes in our career. It’s inevitable, however we need to take those mistakes and turn it into something to not only benefit ourselves but the social community as a whole.

I recently read a blog post from 7Summits about how it doesn’t matter what tools you have to analyze and monitor and pour over what people are saying about your brand. News flash: everyone has access to the same tools. It’s how you take that information and apply it to create value for your business. We need to move past survival. One key role in doing so is also moving past ignorance.

This brings me back to the position I am in now. I want to learn. Social media is fascinating because there truly is a wealth of knowledge and power to be discovered. We are barely scratching the surface, but it also seems people are set in their ways: see how people interact with your brand’s channels, analyze sentiment, analyze share of voice, track some other KPIs. Again, there is progress being made, but what can we do to dive deep into the data we are gathering and really create value for our companies? We need to step back and ask ourselves, “Why?”

Asking “Why” is the foundation for any discovery. It is also the beginning of a cycle. When we ask ourselves this simple question, it leads to creative thinking which in turn leads us to solving problems. Through this process we continue to grasp new concepts. We can then ask ourselves “Why?” about these discoveries, and it starts the cycle again. Like I said, social media marketing is a learning experience. We will make mistakes, it’s a given. But we need to keep learning, keep asking ourselves, “Why?”

Ever since the explosion of social media marketing, there has been a push to figure out how to track online experiences and how they convert to actual consumer action.

The prob­lem for most marketers is that they have a hard time see­ing what influ­ence the relation­ships they have nur­tured on social net­works have on cus­tomer behav­ior.  Where exactly does it make an impact? The “soft metrics” of social marketing—Likes, com­ments and retweets—don’t directly point to how social impacts pur­chase deci­sions along the customer journey. So instead of strate­giz­ing based on busi­ness data and results, mar­keters are rely­ing on their intuition that social media impacts their business.

We have seen a handful of platforms emerge to help social media metric strategy grow from adolescence into a mature digital marketing channel. Hootsuite and Radian 6 are some of the heavy hitters, but it still seems like true results of social media’s influence is hard to come by.

Apparently until now.

Early September, Adobe announced the release of Adobe Social which reportedly “can help you manage it all, from integrating social media into your overall digital marketing plan to getting critical insights and creating new content instantaneously. Most important, Adobe Social helps you turn your social efforts into measurable business results.”

Let’s be honest, no Exec is going to move some big money unless they get results. So how do you get those results? Adobe Social is a social media management platform combining listening, engagement, and analytics tools in one package. enables brands to determine whether or not social activity is having a true business impact. It features a publishing tool to easily publish to multiple networks.

Adobe Social also allows you to create social content and applications — which can currently be published to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ — using a drag-and-drop interface. The service comes with audience targeting capabilities, plus you can look at the data to see how effective the ads and content are, and adjust accordingly.

The other big selling point is the integration with other products in Adobe’s Digital Marketing Suite — as Adobe puts it, it’s breaking social advertising out of its silo. On the publishing side, marketers aren’t just creating and measuring social marketing campaigns, they can also use Adobe Test & Target to deliver personalized messages to visitors when they come to your website after clicking on a social ad. It also integrates with Adobe Discover, so marketers can divide their social audience into segments, and seeing which types of users (i.e., visitors who spend 1-5 minutes on the site versus visitors who spend more than 5 minutes) drive the most revenue. And it integrates Adobe Insight to show how social leads to in-store traffic.

The sheer scale of word-of-mouth that can be accomplished on social media can become a powerful boost or tragic descent for any company and is best managed if a company€™s social marketers are in lock-step,€ Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager, Digital Marketing Business, Adobe, said in a statement. €œAdobe Social brings to social marketing the control and accountability expected across other digital channels. The ultimate aim is to help social media as a marketing channel mature and prove its worth alongside other digital marketing investments.€

It will be interesting to see how Adobe Social plays out and what changes in online marketing will occur as a result.

When Facebook and Twitter completely exploded and changed the Internet scene, companies rushed online to make their presence within the socialsphere. They tried to accrue all the likes and followers they could, but at what cost?

As we’ve seen, it doesn’t matter how many likes/followers you have, but how many active and engaged likes/followers you have. Different social dashboards (i.e. SocialBro, Tweetdeck, BottleNose, etc.) can help you keep track of what’s going on, who’s doing what, and who’s talking about what. They can even give insight to your followers. SocialBro lets you know different ratio stats about followers (e.g. they have a higher ratio of followers-to-following/vice versa), and they can tell you about inactive/unengaged users that follow you. Facebook insights also does a pretty good job of digging deep into your ‘likes.’

But looking at the strategy that goes into a brand, some are too quick to get onto social streams. The idea is that, “If our competition is doing it, we should be too.” WRONG. The idea of a brand’s strategy is to look at what problems they are facing and how they can solve those problems. If Facebook and Twitter are solutions, develop a plan. If not, don’t jump head first into it just because your competition is using certain platforms.

Social media affords businesses with the opportunity to build their brand and gain customers more quickly, as well as having a greater and more personal impact than traditional branding methods.

But as with everything in business, there is a double-edged sword. The more quickly you can spread the positives about your business, the faster customers will come running. The same can happen if a dissatisfied customer uses social media to spread the word about their experience with your company, which can cause your customer base to dwindle.

Some might even say that social media has caused companies to remain more transparent and accountable to their customers because of the tool’s ability to be used for both positive and negative, both by company and by customer.

Just because Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and a hundred other social media tools are available for businesses to use, doesn’t mean that they are the best route for every business to take. Finding the tools that will work best for not only your business’s needs, but the work style of your team and the requirements of data backup, tracking and analytics will take time, but can mean saved time, money and frustration in the long run.

Adding social media to a brand management strategy may not simply be a matter of fitting it in between current marketing processes. In order to facilitate long-term success with social media brand management, it may also be necessary to take a look at the complete marketing and branding process to ensure that it contains the hierarchy and work flow to accommodate it.

The past few days have been very tense for the eastern seaboard. Hurricane Sandy has been tearing across New Jersey, New York, and other states leaving destruction in its path. Hundreds of thousands are without food and power, and many are turning to social media to find loved ones, reassure family (During Sandy, 30 million+ tweets sent, after Sandy, the top Facebook status is “We Are OK.”), and keep a captivated America connected to what’s happening in real time.

I for one have been keeping track with a #HurricaneSandy stream on my Hootsuite deck. It is truly amazing to see the outreach offered by people. Tweets of prayers for safety, Red Cross donation channels, and overall general concern for those involved are the majority of messages. However, there have been a string of comments, Twitter accounts, and corporate slip-ups that try to bring light to a subject that is devastating for millions.

Really, it’s just not funny, and those who are affected by this storm are outraged. Can you blame them?

However, some have taken it too far. On Monday, American Apparel and Gap found themselves on thin ice for their email blast and tweets, respectively.

The American Apparel ad apparently targets people who are seeking refuge during the storm. Needless to say, online backlash has been primarily negative. But American Apparel wasn’t the only culprit.

Gap also rubbed east coast-ers the wrong way as Hurricane Sandy was making its way along. On Monday afternoon, as the storm was touching down in the New York and New Jersey area, Gap tweeted the following:

Again, needless to say, it wasn’t the best thought out plan. The brand later took the tweet down and offered the following semi-apology: 

The Twittersphere blew up once again with outraged tweets.

American Apparel is just one of several companies that have committed online marketing faux pas. Last year, fashion designer Kenneth Cole’s Twitter account made light of the protests in Egypt by tweeting, “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.”

What do you think? Are you offended by American Apparel and Gap’s messages during the massive storm? It surprises me that mistakes like these still continue to happen. From the Kitchen Aid fiasco during the Presidential Debate to the mishaps during Hurricane Sandy, it’s about time people controlling these accounts realize the true potential the Internet provides.

On a rainy day in Milwaukee, what else is there to do besides settling down in Alterra and do some studying?

I met up with my buddy Alec, and he told me about the thesis for a class presentation he was working on. Before I proceed, I have to tell you that Alec is absolutely obsessed with coffee. Not just drinking it, but literally, everything about it. Different co-ops, different roast styles, different prep methods, and he can make a mean latte with a perfect tulip in the foam.

Either way, he told me of a presentation at the 2012 Nordic Barista Cup (yes, it exists) by a man named Doug Zell, of Intelligentsia Coffee, on “Coffee Bars and the Evolution of Hospitality.” The premise is that way back when, the idea was that “the customer is always right.” Of course we all like to think that, but Doug had a different idea.

Doug’s idea is that customers should be treated like pets. Not in a derogatory sense but in the sense that there has to be the fostering of a relationship. Picture this: you come home, Fido meets you at the door, tail wagging. You greet him, petting him, telling him he’s a good boy. You reinforce healthy relationship habits to maintain that relationship with him. If you don’t, Fido will bite your hand and take a shit on your rug. And nobody wants that.

Take that same idea and apply it to brands, and you have a powerful tool to foster relationships with your audience. Of course customers have some control over the direction of your brand, but for the most part, the brands themselves need to hold the reins. At the same time, however, you don’t want it to get to the point where you have to bat customers on the head with a newspaper for bad behavior and try to reel them back in. You want to create brand loyalty and brand-customer synergy.

Let’s look at a recent example. Chic-fil-A was known as a wholesome brand. They are closed on Sundays, they call you ma’am and sir, and tell you each and every time how much of a pleasure it is to have served you. You come in, they scratch you behind the ears, and you wag your tail (and buy some delicious chicken). All was fine until last year when they donated a large amount of money to organizations that were opposed to gay rights.

That’s the equivalent of dangling a piece of bacon in front of a dog’s nose and then eating it in their face. Cue your dog biting your hand and crapping on your rug. At this point, Chic-fil-A tried to sweep the crap under the rug instead of clean it up outright.

Essentially, Doug was right. Customers not only expect an enjoyable experience when interacting with your brand, they also expect consistency. Again, your dog has no sense of time and is overly excited to see you whether it’s five minutes or five hours. We need to treat them as we would treat our furry companions, with warm respect. It only strengthens relationships and fosters brand loyalty. The customer might not always be right, but if you treat them wrong, you could end up in the dog house.

It’s a bit lengthy, but here is Doug’s 45 minute presentation.