As the Democratic National Convention begins with the Republican National Convention finished, social media will continue to keep people from across the country tuned in on the action. Regardless of what political party you support, with the use of social media those from all angles of the political spectrum can catch all the action, cast their opinion on speakers, reflect on current issues, and show support for their party.
Since social media took center stage in the 2008 Presidential election, it has become a viable means of connecting voters with candidates. Social media sites help improve campaign engagement by sparking online interest. This year, a sharp use of Twitter and YouTube during the RNC occurred, with an already expected high use of these sites to follow during the DNC.
Within the RNC’s three-day long period, over 4 million tweets posted with 14,743 tweets popping up per minute. This is a drastic increase in comparison to the 2008 convention, in which only a mere 360,000 tweets were tweeted during the two week timespan of both conventions. This year’s trends included the official GOP hashtag of #GOP2012 with the hashtag #RNC also highly used. While the DNC occurs, users can expect to see the official Democratic hashtag of #DNC2012, as well as #DNC to trend. While listening to speakers, Twitter users can reflect on speeches, argue their points on issues discussed, and you can expect to see a lot of quotes by Presidential candidates and speakers.
YouTube pages are especially hot spots for social media users to watch and stay tuned in on convention activities. This year’s RNC saw more than 2.5 million YouTube views, with over 300,000 hours of video streaming, and a view time of more than 30 minutes. In addition to listening to speakers, YouTube offers infographics and social data to keep online audiences informed of the latest numbers.
Regardless of what social media site you’re on, you can expect the conventions to be a highlight, especially with the 2012 Presidential election rolling around the corner.
How can lip balm be controversial? Just ask Chapstick – they’ve managed to offend a lot of people with the image they chose for a new advertisement and, moreover, how they chose to deal with the backlash on their Facebook page.
Chapstick is the latest example of a brand mishandling negativity over a new advertising campaign – a prime example of how NOT to use social media when it comes to managing your reputation online.
What many companies don’t realize is that, for the most part, Americans are a forgiving group of people. We watched as Britney Spears fell from grace, but now she’s a judge on the popular television show X Factor with millions of people rooting her on. Michael Vick was involved in an illegal dog fighting ring and served time in jail for the conviction, but now he’s the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles with a strong fan-base. Chris Brown was charged with felony assault for beating his girlfriend, pop star Rihanna, but he continues to be a celebrated member of hip hop community.
What do these three people have in common? They all admitted their mistakes, apologized, asked for forgiveness, and explained to the public how they plan on changing their lives for the better. Any publicist will tell you that trying to cover up a controversial event will only make matters worse. Owning their actions and taking responsibility for their mistakes is the only way that celebrities or famous athletes can begin to repair their relationships with the American public – and that goes for brands, too, not just people.
So when Chapstick ran this ad -
- featuring a woman bent over the back of a couch looking for her lost Chapstick (we know where they were going with this ad: read Dan’s latest post about how sex sells in the marketing world), and they received criticism on their Facebook page by people who found it offensive, did they take ownership? How did they handle the backlash?
They deleted the comments. Big brand management no-no.
To make matters worse, in bold letters at the bottom of the ad it says “BE HEARD AT FACEBOOK.COM/CHAPSTICK.” Perhaps a more accurate call-to-action would’ve been “be heard – as long as it puts our brand in a positive light.”
If Chapstick wants to use social media as a place where consumers can go to give their honest feedback and “be heard,” they’ll need to be prepared to take the bad with the good. Here are my two pieces of advice for Chapstick, or any brand that is faced with a similar situation:
- Listen to people’s complaints, and apologize to those you have offended on your Facebook page where the public can see your response.
- Be prepared to handle criticisms as well as praise & approval whenever you launch a new campaign – especially if you direct readers to your Facebook page where consumer feedback is a fundamental part of social media for businesses.
What do you think about Chapstick’s decision to delete negative comments from their Facebook page? Join the conversation on Twitter using #brandchat or email me at pryan[AT]webimax.com.
The internet is abuzz about the App.net project that has shattered its fundraising goals days before its target date listed on their pseudo-Kickstarter site. If you are a professional who handles social media campaigns or you’re a business owner looking to hire a firm to handle a campaign for you, this development should pique your interest.
Obviously, it’s much too early to start saying things like “Twitter better watch out!” because the service hasn’t even launched yet. But the business model that App.net is looking to operate under changes the way social media services may be used to advertise. In fact, the App.net team sounds downright opposed to advertising.
They can accomplish this by charging a $50 a year subscription fee. There have been previous attempts at subscription based social networks, including Diaspora, which has run into funding problems. With the buzz building around App.net and the amount of money that’s already been raised, it could prove to be a strong niche service.
Its initial reach won’t be as vast as Twitter’s or Facebook’s because 1) those services are free and 2) they have millions and millions of users. Most users are just ordinary people sharing what they like and hopefully buying things they see advertised. If App.net successfully launches, it could be a useful tool for getting in touch with major tech leaders rather than traditional customers. After all, early adopters of App.net are most likely going to be in the tech industry or business owners.
Social media experts should keep an eye on these developments. While App.net may not provide a way of marketing directly to customers, you could make some valuable, high powered connections with major players who subscribe to the site.
In my last blog post, I discussed the significance of “#NBCFail” and “#Rule40″ and their impact on the social media landscape as of late. The 2012 Olympics have affected the news, sports, entertainment and pop culture and have even influenced advertising and marketing on a global scale. Throughout the Web and more specifically, social media, this year’s Games have recently become the most discussed topic amongst the worldwide Internet community. However, the historic landing of the Mars Curiosity rover on Monday may have overshadowed the Olympics’ overwhelming social engagement levels and subsequently altered the focus of many online marketers and advertisers.
The official Twitter account of the Mars Curiosity rover has accumulated nearly 900,000 followers and the “#MSL” hashtag (a reference to the Mars Science Laboratory) is a top trend on the social network. Additionally, the discussions of MSL on Facebook and Google+ are abundant and nearly 25,000 YouTube videos have been uploaded featuring MSL-related content. For those in the digital marketing industry, the observation of such trends and the capitalization on their popularity is essential.
As my fellow WebiMax blog contributor, Bruce Rymshaw indicated in his last blog post, the relation of social trends to a brand’s own offerings allows for greater exposure in the mainstream media and raises brand awareness. This summer, the Olympics and Mars Curiosity will rank amongst the top social media trends and businesses should definitely attempt to create original, useful and relevant content that takes advantage of these topics.
The utilization of trends goes beyond merely generating content, however. Proactive outreach efforts can help to bring said content to the forefront of social media and search results. Press releases, interviews with major news and media outlets and guest blogging opportunities allow business owners and marketers to reach a more diverse and much larger audience. The resulting increase in brand awareness, online visibility and overall credibility is immensely valuable and is enhancing the roles of both proactive outreach and social trend utilization in digital marketing.
As reported extensively last week when Facebook’s quarterly earnings were made public, they are actively looking for additional ways to increase their revenue from all corners of their business. Our CEO, Ken Wisnefski talked with Bloomberg TV about Facebook, their latest earnings, and the direction of the company going forward. Check out the video here, and the follow-up blog post that discusses some of Ken’s additional ideas. All eyes are on Facebook to determine if they will be able to initiate winning programs and added revenue streams. A primary aspect of this process is finding new, viable ways to advertise on the platform. In this vein a promising offering is Facebook Exchange, their new Real-Time Bidding (RTB) service.
RTB is where both marketers and advertisers have the opportunity to purchase digital ads in real-time. This allows advertisers to buy targeted ads based on real-time data they are receiving about what Facebook users are doing and where they are going elsewhere on the web. Armed with this information, advertisers can target users specifically based on actions they have been making and those that they are likely to make in the future. By knowing where they have been and what they were doing, for example looking at or searching for certain types of products, it can be ascertained what they are interested in buying right now.
And that is the difference. The real-time element changes the game; as the immediacy of these online actions forces advertisers to act fast in order to capitalize on a closing purchase window. This process can prove lucrative for both Facebook and the advertisers themselves as they traditionally see greater return on investment with such ads. Full details regarding Facebook Exchange are not fully available, but there is buzz and it is mounting. When it arrives in its full capacity, it could mature Facebook’s advertising suite, providing greater confidence of its overall viability as a company.
And the next frontier…could very well be video. According to Forrester, digital video advertising will likely hit $5.4 billion by 2016, representing an increase of 250% over the video spend in 2011, and is 5% of the amount spent on TV. It appears Facebook Exchange will deal with image-based ads to start, but capitalizing on the power and emergence of video, could be the next move.
Reach out to me directly at rbuddenhagen(at)webimax.com for more detail on this subject.
Each year, more businesses are adopting social media marketing strategies to enhance their traditional, offline marketing efforts. The overall reach of social networks is impressive, with the combined user base of Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounting for about 1/7 of the world’s entire population. However, the vast scope of social media has left some business owners concerned about being “lost in the shuffle” and struggling to attain discernable visibility.
One important element to gaining recognition and visibility in the social space and within the SERPs is relevance. The term “relevance” goes beyond merely generating on-page content and keywords that are in line with a page’s general theme or context. Researching trends in social media and discovering ways to relate those trends to a brand’s offerings is one of the most effective ways to maximize the value of social media marketing and enhance brand awareness online.
Last week, fellow WebiMax.com Blog contributor and VP of Marketing & Digital Strategy, Todd Bailey, appeared on FOX News to discuss the hot topic of Penn State and how the university can repair its online reputation. Additionally, he wrote a follow-up blog post and hosted a video News Update further detailing the situation and possible long-term reputation management solutions for PSU. By relating a trending news topic to one of his areas of expertise, Todd was able to gain considerable visibility for his knowledge of reputation management and its application to a widely known issue.
Creating pertinent content not only positively affects organic search rankings and social engagement, but it is a crucial component of building brand awareness and establishing brand personality. With the roles of P.R., rich content and social media becoming substantially larger in online marketing initiatives, businesses should expect to see significantly increased value in generating high-quality, original content from trending topics.