Future Implications

In general companies have done a rather fine job of adapting to the new social media driven marketing climate.

It seems lessons were learned from companies that failed to adapt to the Internet. Eastman Kodak, Sears, Toys “R” Us are a few that are highlighted in this story about companies that lost their edge.

However technology is constantly changing. So will social media. Even the companies that “GET IT” right now need to continue to change with the social media landscape or they’ll get left behind.

There’s a few lessons companies and marketers should take with them as they move forward.

Try new things

If you were a company that decided to wait to see how Facebook or Twitter played out for your competitors, you probably found yourself playing catchup.

When new communication methods emerge, companies need to at least dabble their toes.

Periscope is a great current example. How the live video streaming service can be effective or it’s future are in doubt. But there’s no harm in establishing a presence and seeing what could possibly word.

broadcastperiscope

Brands are people, people are brands

More so now than any other time, brands have established themselves with identities that include human personalities and characteristics. At the same time people have been able to establish their personal selves as an identity brand others want to do business with.

This trend is likely to continue with the next round of technological advancement.

That’s because it’s easier for brands to connect and engage with their consumers through one-on-one communication. Instead of a corporate feeling mass media advertisement streamed over the airwaves, brands are able to speak directly to individual consumers. The context of those conversations are then taken by consumers who are “listening” in on the conversations. Brands therefore can act like people. They can be compassionate. They can inspire. They can set themselves up as something that cares more than just about the bottom line.

As for individuals. They are able to take their talents and express them in multitudes of ways and reach an audience that before was only reserved for large corporations. The power of the individual has reached new heights.

Human behavior changes with technology

"Dad, I want to become a doctor. I already know something about anatomy: A human being consists of a head, a belly, legs, arms, and a smartphone."

“Dad, I want to become a doctor. I already know something about anatomy: A human being consists of a head, a belly, legs, arms, and a smartphone.”

We’d like to think that as humans our own behavior is not altered because of outside influences. We’d like to think we’ve designed and built technology that works because of it.

However more and more technology is changing human behavior. Ever feel naked because you left your cell phone at home? How many people do you see in public with their face buried in a screen?

Humans are not adapting around technology. When the last thing you do is plug in your phone so it is charged and the first thing you do when waking up is interact with a phone, it’s hard to argue otherwise.

More and more our mobile technology will dictate our behavior. Marketers need to be engaged where consumers are, which will lead to more and in many cases new forms of mobile marketing.

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5 key ingredients to a successful viral

5 key ingredients to a successful viral campaign: https://gonzorag.wordpress.com/2015/11/28/viral-marketing/

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Viral Marketing

The viral campaign is the great equalizer in marketing. No matter an organization’s resources, the internet has provided for a level playing field where a home run idea can turn out to have as much impact as a $4 million Super Bowl advertisement.

So what makes a great viral campaign? If the answer was that easy you’d see Coca-Cola, McDonald’s or Walmart with one everyday. Instead viral campaigns are often the special blend of many things.

While marketers still haven’t perfected the formula, they are getting better and better at determining the ingredients that make up the magic recipe.

It has to be something people want to share.

That seems simple enough. People love to share cat videos, but to create a truly viral campaign an organization has to be able to tap into what makes humans share something to begin with.

There’s basically two reasons why people share something online. They either want to be seen by their friends and family as an INFLUENCER or they have a PHILANTHROPIC want to help a their friends or a cause.

Always’ #likeagirl campaign is one of the rare examples where an organization hit on both of these needs:

KISS

Keep it simple, stupid.

Remember the children’s game telephone, where one child tells a student a message, who tells another, who tells another. Eventually you ask the nth stupid down the line to repeat what they heard and it turns out to be completely different than the original version.

While a viral campaign’s content may not change because it is locked into a video, a Tweet or a hashtag, the context of the message can change the further it gets from it’s original source.

The other aspect to keep in mind is that those sharing the message shouldn’t have to explain why they are sharing it. The message should speak simply enough to the next viewer who will in turn continue to pass it along.

Red Bull and GoPro had a rather simple message with an extreme stunt they sponsored.Want to see a man jump from 24 miles high?

ENGAGE

The most important word in social media marketing.

It’s also an important aspect of viral campaigns.

People are more apt to take part of something if they ARE a part of it. And they are surely more likely to share it with their own friends if they had a role in it.

Give them a reason to get involved. Whether it’s a contest, an open ended question or a task and you’ll likely see more shares as a result.

The best example of engagement in recently memory was the ALS’ Ice Bucket Challenge. Dumping a bucket of ice water on one’s head was something everyone wanted to do. Even celebrities. Think of all the endorsement money a company would have had to shell out to get these types of endorsements:

It should be relevant..

Want people to share something? If often helps if the message has some relevance.

Relevancy can differ. It could be a social cause, it could be currently relevant or it could be culturally relevant.

Sometimes relevancy blends all three things.

Relevancy is quite open-ended, but you know it when you see it.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation nailed this with their #batkid campaign. When a child’s wish was to be Batman for a day, the foundation set in place a whole day of events across San Francisco. As it turned out the city and the rest of the world got involved.

Why? Because the combination of cancer, childhood dreams and giving back with your community are relevant topics for many people’s lives.

OR at least be entertaining!

As I said in the introduction, these ingredients to the viral campaign are interchangeable. Some marketing cooks use a little bit more of one ingredient than they do the other.

If your campaign isn’t going for relevance then you’ll need to over season with some entertainment.

A lot of viral campaigns tap into how much humans love to be entertained. There’s no one single emotion to tap into. Just like some of the best movies scare us, make us cry or even make us laugh. Choose to do one of them well.

The Dollar Shave Club opted to make people laugh. Even without large amounts of money it used the internet and a viral marketing campaign to catapult itself into a successful business.

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Detroit Lions and Michigan Wolverines football podcasts

I frequently stop by SportsTalk313.com to run my mouth about the Detroit sports scene.

I did dualy podcasts Thursday.

My regular Michigan football podcast (warning, this one gets a bit silly at the end):

And with the Detroit Lions firings, I did a special podcast:

http://www.podbean.com/media/player/arxsv-5a0569

 

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2016: One year out predictions

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We’re now a year out from the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. While this campaign seemingly started back in November 2012, I refuse to give in to the never ending election cycle. But a year out, OK, I’m game. I’m willing to give my nomination predictions.

You might think all of the primary and caucus dates are set by now right?

Ha! This isn’t Canada. This is the home of democracy, and making this thing as hard as possible for the average citizen to know what’s going on.

The Iowa Caucuses are set for Feb. 1.

New Hampshire will have it’s primary sometime in February, but they haven’t announced yet, because “Live Free or Die.” The South Carolina Republican Primary is Feb. 20, so it’ll be before that date, but that’s all anyone knows for now.

NY Times has this constantly changing chart to show you all the dates: Fancy New York Times chart

So do we know who’s going to win the nominations?

If history is any indicator we sure don’t.

Let’s go back t 2008, the last time we didn’t have an incumbent running. Actually let’s go back to November 2007, one year before.

At that time Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani were shoe-ins.

As that last article explains, typically the Democratic candidate is harder to predict, but the GOP is usually all orderly and GOP-like.

However the two parties have kind of reversed personalities over the past decade.

The Democrats appear to have their act together. Hillary, this time is a sure, most-likely, probably a lock. Bernie Sanders may still give some trouble and at least let the media play out some narrative, so they have something to talk about. However Sanders isn’t Obama. Yes he may appeal to youth like Obama did, but he won’t get them energized. Same for minorities. Tough to make the old, Jewish white guy hip. Like I said he might be the preferred candidate, but I don’t expect a sweeping current around him such as Obama had.

As for the GOP, they have gone and went crazy with nearly half of them basically saying they don’t care who runs the country polling that they will vote for Donald Trump or Ben Carson. Trump, Carson, Giuliani. All people who will put their foot in the mouth. Expect Trump and Carson’s run to fade away like Herman Cain’s by the time the snow melts.

So who then gets the GOP nom?

My prediction a year out, is that it’s Rubio. The GOP establishment may let chaos rule the party day-in and day-out right now, but when it comes to leadership positions they still get their way, see McCain, Boehner, Ryan.

He’s honestly their best bet, not only for not giving this election away – as it appears they’re trying to do – but for possibly saving the sinking ship.

He’s young, has a good story, has an image appeal beyond the typical GOP voter. The key will be whether Rubio can tell America a story that shows why someone who isn’t an old, rich racist would vote Republican.

Because when it comes down to it, the Republican keep and will keep losing elections because there’s fewer old, rich racists around every election cycle.

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Differentiation

The Los Angeles Kings have one of the most-talked about Twitter accounts not just in the National Hockey League, but perhaps all of sports. The Kings’ Manager of Digital Media Pat Donahue Jr. simply understands how to utilize the social media application as well as what engages the team’s 680,000 followers. Here’s a good story on Donahue. And here’s some of his legendary tweets, to give you an idea of what he’s up to.

In any industry when someone does something well, it’s bound to be copied. The Kings’ Twitter style is starting to trickle into more and more sports teams feeds. Imitation after all is the sincerest form of flattery. Although what works with Los Angeles hockey fans isn’t going to translate everywhere.

For comparison I decided to look at my hometown Detroit Red Wings use of Twitter.

One of the first aspects of these Twitter feeds that pops out is the vibrant use of color through emojis, pictures and videos. Twitter feeds have come a long way in a few short years. The 140-character medium that mainly consisted of blocks of text and possibly a few links has been constantly upgraded by the platform. Twitter feeds more and more resemble Facebook pages these days.

Both the Kings and the Red Wings take full advantage of these features. There’s a lot of video and photos used of the players and as promotional material for upcoming games or features.

Part of the Kings’ charm was the incorporation of pop culture references into their feed. That’s still present. The Kings take full advantage of memes. Like this beauty after a recent loss:

Overall the Kings’ Twitter feed still seems more geared toward an edgy, humor. The Red Wings feed has a bit of that, but it’s more of a supportive community feel. The Red Wings use a lot of “we” language trying to incorporate the fan base as part of the team.

Despite that difference both teams are incorporating some of the best practices of social media usage:

  • Consistent and relevant messaging
  • Appropriate reach
  • Time well spent
  • Maximization of growth opportunities
  • Achievement of stated goals

Those that know the markets can fully grasp why there are subtle differences in tone. The Red Wings have been around for 90s years in a city steep in hockey tradition. Detroit is also a city that at it’s best falls into a small town feel of working together. The Red Wings emphasize the latter.

While hockey has been around for quite awhile in Los Angeles, the Kings and the sport remain an industry that has its trends of being hip. Usually that centers around the team being good. When they are you want to be part of the club and the inside jokes. The Kings get that. They also get their place as an outsider in a sport that centers around colder climates. They are the outsiders and it’s that brash attitude one sees through their feed.

What it call comes down to is knowing your organization, where it is and where it should be positioned.

For a great audio interview with Donahue about the Kings’ social media strategy and sports branding position online: LISTEN HERE.

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Tips for being a wrestling blogger

kingkong

Now that you’re geared up to start a wrestling blog, what are some of the best practices you could have? Here are some helpful hints:

Read other blogs (The Good & The Bad)

The best advice I received when I started as a journalist was to read the work of others, both great work and bad work. The great work can push you to be a better writer. But the bad work will help you understand why something didn’t work. There’s lessons to be learned in the reactions you take from any type of writing.

Content

Content is key. Commit yourself to blogging at least three times a week. As the previous post mentioned, a non-active social media account gives off the impression you are lazy.

Combine positive with negative

There are countless negative posts associated with any industry out there. In wrestling, where fans typically enjoy being cynical, it may help you stand out if you are positive every once in awhile. That doesn’t mean you should never criticize, but make sure you point out some of the positives you see in the business during your blog posts. People/readers tend to be attracted to those they agree with, both in negative and positive lights.

Be truthful

This tip covers a lot of territory. First don’t make up facts. Your blogs should ring true with real information. Although opinions aren’t covered by fact or fiction, they should remain loyal to who you are as a writer, or readers will see through them. Most importantly be honest with your readers. If you promise to blog three times a week (because you read the first tip), you should be prepared to blog three times a week.

Leave a hook

Once of the best ways to keep readers coming back to your blog is to leave your last post with a baited hook about what will be coming next post. This actually works for you as well as it helps remove writer’s block. If you have already committed to writing about a particular topic, a baited hook will get you focused on writing your next blog.

Engage

Our favorite word on this blog. Engage with your audience. Read the comments being left to you and talk with your readers. Conversations and Social Media a 2-lane street. Remember content can drive readership, but readership can also drive content.

Have fun

If you’re not having fun writing a blog about wrestling than you probably shouldn’t be writing a blog about wrestling.

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