Social Media + Politics

This is no doubt a crazy election year, but the process is changing a bit due to the integration of emerging media. Reaching voters is much different than it was twenty years ago, and social media a key component of a successful campaign and an important piece of the puzzle when trying to sway the undecided voter.

According to Global Risk Insight, here’s 4 ways social media advertising is changing politics:

  1. Campaigns are investing more in digital. In December 2015, The New York Times reported that digital ad spending is projected to grow by 13.5 percent in 2016. The cost of digital ads are a fraction of the cost of traditional channels.
  2. An online presence creates legitimacy. As we all know, the internet is not going anywhere which means a lack of online presence can mean that a candidate or cause does not exist in the eyes of a voter.
  3. Social media has created greater accountability. Social media gives voters the opportunity to experience a deeper level of connectivity with a campaign. It also gives the public the opportunity to scrutinize every post, tweet and policy stance. Everyone has a soapbox these days, and because of this candidates must be more careful when taking their stances online.
  4. Social media drives action. The most convenient way for a voter to engage with a campaign is online. At the click of a button, one can donate money, complete a poll, RSVP for an event or sign a petition to demonstrate their support. In September 2015, Twitter launched $Cashtag, an online platform that allows users to donate directly to political campaigns or causes via a Tweet. President Obama notably leveraged the power of online advertising by raising over $504 million from digital efforts during his 2012 campaign.

With the election now five weeks away, it’s so important for voters to actively seek information about the candidates they are electing. With two-thirds of people now on social media, it’s crucial for candidates to embrace the power of social media.





Advertising on Instagram

I am a HUGE fan of Instagram. With smartphones really taking their camera capabilities to the next level and the endless amount of app support, you can easily create beautiful, quality images with a few clicks.

I was recently scrolling through my Instagram feed and found a sponsored ad by Greetabl, a company that is an online one-stop-shop for creatively-curated gifts and greetings that are personalized, packaged and sent in just a few clicks. I had never heard of this company, and the ad was a video of them unboxing their personalized gifts. Simple. I was in love with the product and ordered one that night for my best friend who lives in Dallas. Plus I’m now telling anyone who will listen about how adorable their products are.

What I want to point out was out how their sponsored ad targeted me perfectly and how it didn’t feel like an interruption in my feed as other ads do. Greetabl is a company whose products are an experience, which is why a video was the perfect way to show me that I needed this product now. I immediately went and followed their page in the process of creating a beautiful gift for my friend.

Advertising on Instagram is a great way to spread awareness of your brand and build your audience. Keep in mind that your images and videos on your Instagram account should have a cohesive look and feel as this really helps add to your brand. Find out how to use this social media platform to share you company a broader audience by clicking here.

Going Organic When Building Your Audience

As more and more businesses get with the times and create pages for their organizations, it’s critical as a social media manager to understand the difference between organic and paid followers. For anyone who doesn’t understand how it works, it’s easy to assume that having a 10,000 followers verses 1,000 followers is best. The truth is that’s not exactly right.

While a lot of followers on your company’s page is typically a good thing, the way you generated those “likes” is extremely important. As an Admin on a Facebook page, you have the option of boosting your page to a targeted audience. I will say that Facebook has stepped up its game in terms of audience selection. There’s a lot of options now, and you are now able to get very specific in how you target your campaign’s audience. Depending on your budget, you can run various campaigns, boosting specific posts or your page as a whole.

But what is the true return on investment when funding these campaigns? Yes you do typically reach the intended follower or like goal that you paid for, but that’s where it usually ends.

The important factor that many businesses overlook is the organic versus paid reach. Why is this so important? The more you organically grow your audience, the more engagement your page will receive. That’s the point of social media, right? Sure, if you someone likes your sponsored post and see other posts that come later, you message is somewhat getting across to the audience. However an organic follower has made an effort to seek out your page and follow you, which in turn makes them more likely to be engaged with your content.

So yet again, organic is the buzz word in building your audience. 1,000 engaged followers is way more powerful to a brand than 10,000 followers who do not read any of your content. These organic followers are more likely to be or become loyal to your brand, which can mean a lot to your bottom line, depending on the type of organization you have.

Embracing the Internet of Things

Since the introduction of smart phones, we are now entering a new age of product/human interaction. According to Social Media Week, the Internet of Things, or IoT, is pushing the boundaries of how we interact with our world. These devices interact with software servers both near and far away from us. Software and sensors are controlling more of what once was done by humans, often more efficiently, conveniently, and cheaply. We talk to our televisions, and now they listen, thanks to embedded sensors and voice processing chips that can tap into the cloud for corrections.We drive down the road and sensors gather data from our cell phones to measure the flow of traffic. Our cars have mobile apps to unlock them. Health devices send data back to doctors, and wristwatches let us send our pulse to someone else. The digital has become physical.

This reminds me of a time when I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and saw a 360 degree interactive video on Mars. I could use my mouse to look around our neighboring planet, and I was intrigued for about 5 minutes and moved on. Then it struck me how accustomed to these amazing advances I have become. Imagine if this technology had been available 10 years ago.  Technology is improving so quickly that we’ve become so numb to these changes. I mean the Razor was all of the rage a decade ago, and now I carry a computer around with me at all times.

This why I believe this idea of Enchanted Objects is so important. Watching this Tedx Talks video really made the creative ideas flow! I was like look at this umbrella! I would never think to improve something that already does the task at hand, but why not? Why can’t it blink when it’s going to rain, making one less step for me in the morning when I’m getting ready? The whole initial idea behind our advancing technology is to make our lives easier.

There is a gray area, and I understand the ethical concern as a marketer. When do you cross the line in collecting data? In researching for this week’s post, I had a hard time finding a real answer because ethics are not black and white. For instance, the camera that he’s wearing in this video that takes pictures every 30 seconds could be seen as an invasion. It also could be an incredible tool in a murder case or a court of law (or capturing that perfect Instagram image!). With so many consumers owning smartphones, the data has been collected. You can easily find patterns in all of that information to try to guess what a person is going to buy next. It can also be a tool to make getting those items much more efficiently.




McDonald’s + Pokemon Go

Love it or hate it, Pokemon Go is a revolutionary app that made a big impact in pop culture this year. You couldn’t get away from the chatter of either people jumping on their soapbox to bash anyone who enjoyed playing or those who you REALLY got into the game.

Regardless, it was great for businesses who were anywhere near a Pokestop because it drove customers into their stores to reap the various items from that location. I am fortunate to work near three Pokestops, but it was a source of conversation. While waiting in line at a local ice cream shop, the workers would ask anyone on their phones if they were playing the game, which helped build relationships whether you love or hate the app. It also used landmarks as important spots within the game, getting people out in the community.

One company that jumped on the app’s success was McDonald’s. An article posted in July on Marketing Week points out that the fast-food chain was the first brand to advertise on Pokémon Go, paying to see 3,000 of its restaurants in Japan become ‘Pokémon gyms’ in the virtual reality game. Players must visit these locations to progress in the game by becoming the gym’s champion. CEO Steve Easterbrook admitted the deal has been good for business.

While the conversation around Pokemon Go has died down some, it’s important for advertisers to think outside of the box when approaching these types of activities as an opportunity to promote your brand. For McDonald’s, it was a great opportunity to drive customers in their restaurants and boost sales.

Kate Spade + Emerging Media

A brand that comes to mind when discussing successful emerging media tactics is Kate Spade. If you think they are just women’s handbags, you’d be mistaken. The company now includes several lines of bags, clothes, accessories, home décor, office organization and now a men’s line called Jack Spade and a girls ‘children line. The brand has a very distinct “preppy-with-attitude” style.

Even after the founders, Kate and Jack Spade, left the company in 2007, the leadership that followed has remained incredibly true to the brand. In recent years, they have done an excellent job reaching their loyal audience online through successful digital campaigns.

They are also very successful in bringing on great celebrity endorsements. Their #MissAdventure online series featured actress Anna Kendrick as a hapless, quirky girl who gracefully overcomes New York City disasters while decked out in Kate Spade. The brand’s magazine ads star big-name models like Karlie Kloss and Jourdan Dunn alongside more everyday talents like literary agent Anne Borchardt and Vogue‘s resident sex columnist Karley Sciortino. Unlike other mid-priced labels that try to elevate through luxe, glossy branding, Kate Spade aims to be approachable and endearing according to Their most recent episode of #MissAdventure features Zosia Mamet, Sarah Jones and Ali Wong.

Overall I think Kate Spade has done an great job of reaching their audience through a variety of online channels, while staying true to the brand’s identity. They have evolved with their customers and continue to remain a top brand in the fashion world.

Why Your Business Needs Snapchat

Like it or not, Snapchat is THE social media platform to be on right now thanks to our obsession with fun filters. Who knew looking like a puppy or having a flower wreath on my head would be so popular? Many companies are now adding SnapChat to their long list of social media channels to follow. Now is the time for your business to take advantage of this growing platform, especially if you are targeting Millennials and Generation Z.

If Snapchat sort of scares you as a marketer, you’re not alone, but know that it is the fastest growing social media network in the history of social media networks. 63 percent of its more than 100,000 daily active users, are between the ages of 13-to-34 and a driving force behind the mobile revolution.

So if you’re reading this wondering “How can I use this for my company?”, below are a few ways to integrate the social network into your IMC campaign according to Social Media Week:

  1. Flash Sales: Snapchat is used as an “in the moment” communication, so it can be a great tool if you are having a spur of the moment sale. If your follower base is small, consider sending it directly to all your fans – but be aware this may come across as too spammy. Judge your audience and when in doubt, try with a small group first. Another thing to consider is giving your Snapchat audience an incentive for following you, such as a special discount. This will help you build your audience and create that brand loyalty.
  2. Events: Get buzz around your event with an On-Demand Geo-Filter. You can learn how to easily create one here. Be sure to advertise with signage at the event that you have a geo-filter available! You pay not by the use, but by the coverage area and days – so make the most of it.While snaps technically disappear after being viewed, every savvy Snapchat user knows how to save the original photo to the camera roll or screen capture a snap from a friend. This allows the original geo-filter to show up in other social media platforms if shared.
  3. Behind the Scenes: One of the most endearing features of Snapchat is the feeling of authenticity. Videos and photos are gone quickly so there is no need to make it your most polished product. Show your audience what your day looks like – if you are a baker, show them a few seconds of your morning process. If you are a dog walker, share the pups you are walking.If you are a maker, show us just how hard that specific piece was to make. The best place to share these are in My Story – and keep them coming. Try to share daily, but if you can share at least three times a week, that’s a great start.
  4. Feedback and Pop-Quizzes: The makers of the world are the best I’ve seen at this. A video on My Story that asks “What am I making today?” is always intriguing. Again this using Snapchat’s “in the moment” channel to connect with your audience. The platform encourages the viewer to swipe to chat, so be responsive if you are getting engagement! With the on-screen drawing tools you can ask people questions and ask them to chat you their response. Be sure to share those results after the fact!
  5. Product Demos: If your business has tangible products, you can give followers an up-close and personal demonstration of products, and reveal any unknown facts or interesting stories that the public may not know about. Consider it a private tour of your business and products, and explain in your Snaps (videos preferred) the backstory to a feature, idea, or inspiration you had.You can also use Snapchat for troubleshooting. Perhaps there is a way for you to take the FAQ section of your website, or any commonly asked inquiry you get from customers, and address those in a video. At the end of the day, you’re providing value and possibly entertainment as well.
  6. Collaborate with nearby businesses: If you’re located near other small business, ask them if they’d like to be featured on your Snapchat channel. You could ask for them to promote themselves and your Snapchat account via their owned channels as a way for both businesses to gain exposure. Think of it like two YouTube stars who appear in each others’ videos. It’s another way to introduce your brand to a new audience, and in turn, gain new followers and eyeballs.

The biggest takeaway is to have fun with it. Snapchat doesn’t offer the super produced video and images, but that’s part of the appeal. It’s more of a real look into your company or brand. Its strength lies in creating fun moments for your audience and raising your brand awareness. Today, it really cannot be measured by typical marketing measurements such as impressions, mentions, click-throughs (there is NO click-through ability), net-new-leads, and so on. However, it can be used to measure a new marketing metric: engagement with your brand.