Tag Archives: brands

Lessons learned from this year’s Cannes Festival

By: Michael Scher

Lessons learned from this year’s Cannes Festival

As some of you are aware, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has just wrapped, the world’s biggest celebration of creativity in communications. Beyond all of the hoopla, parties, red carpet events and celebrity sightings, it’s predominantly a communications platform where the most prestigious marketers and advertising professionals from around the world gather to share and build a home of great ideas. Ideas that spark innovation, creativity and most importantly, reshape the future of our business moving forward.

Among all of the great insight shared, here are some key lessons that will transform the course of communications in how we work and operate:

  1. Dare to be different. You have to push past your comfort zone in order to really create change,” said Evan Spiegel, CEO of SnapChat. He sees his company as “really trying to understand the world through people’s eyes.”
  2. The importance of rebuilding. Have power to silence your doubters and have emotional intensity to back it up.
  3. As marketers, it’s our job to lead by compassion. “People make brands. If people are compassionate, brands will be compassionate in return. We can lead each other to be a more compassionate, more empathic place. We can help change behavior. We can all learn from our mistakes and be more resilient. And we can, together, make a society where the sometimes distancing effect of technology doesn’t remove our fundamental humanity,” said Monica Lewinsky on her panel on Public Shaming.
  4. Explorations of technology, data, artificial intelligence, and collaboration, these were all common themes at this year’s event and panels. Pharrell Williams, Artist and Music Producer Extraordinaire, shared his insights on baking intention into the creative process and endeavors as the secret ingredient to one’s success. “In music, millennials know that you don’t really mean it when they can’t hear the intention – and that raises the stakes; it’s like when you see a film that looks good and has all the right actors, but there’s no intention there.” In essence, understand the goal of the objective of a campaign and/ or project, and fuel significance and meaning behind it. Consumers will trust your intentions if they’re authentic and if they’re not, you’ll be overlooked quickly.
  5. To Lead through Inspiration. “The importance of brands has not changed. Nor has the importance of ideas. The nature of leadership is also unchanged. In order to lead oneself, you need to have a dream, the passion to pursue it, the persistence to see it through, and the creativity to do it all over again. Leading others–, a learned skill, not a bestowed title—depends on sharing your vision and values while helping others grow and keeping them inspired, said Keith Reinhard, Advertising legend.
  6. Social Media to Become More Transactional. Rather than solely focus on traditional social media factors such as engagement, awareness and building an active community, marketers will elevate their communications to be more transactional; a place for consumers to shop and click.
  7. Data and Creativity Intersect. Despite what some may think, data and analytics are being used to encourage creativity. With new emerging platforms on the rise, marketers are using data to uncover insights about their target audience where they can connect with their consumers in unthinkable ways.
  8. The Everyday Will Become the New Normal. One-off events that drive massive traffic and eventually tail off are being described as a ‘lighting strike’ by industry elites. For instance, the Oreo moment where the brand capitalized in real time the Super Bowl blackout event, generating major buzz online. Unfortunately, more brands are following lead, but are only gaining short term value. Therefore, the focus should be on more everyday events and occurrences to build more common connections and relevancy with their audiences.

What inspired you from this year’s Cannes Lions festival? If you were a brand, what brand would you be? As always, if you like what you read, be social and share.

Advertisements

Building a Social Media Presence

By: MJ Pedone

As a professional trying to build your online brand or an entrepreneur starting or running your own business, this is what I would like to share with you about social media…you don’t need to do it all to do it well!

When marketing experts suggest brands create a presence on all the major platforms, which is somewhere around nine, and post content on them all several times a day, they’re not talking to you. There’s no way you’re going to be able to do that well.

Social media falls strongly into the “quality over quantity” category, especially if you’re a one-person shop and don’t have the resources to hire a social media manager. So if you’re trying to figure out how to stay on top of your social media game without making yourself crazy and keeping yourself relevant, here are four suggestions:

Plan First, Build Second

Many people rush to get their brands up on a bunch of social media platforms, only to find themselves completely overwhelmed with what to publish and when to publish it. To begin, pick one or two platforms and that’s it. Focus on figuring out how to grow a platform and once you’ve gotten that down, you can add more. To pick the right starter platforms, think about three things: where your audience is hanging out, which platforms you actually like using and which platforms support the kind of content you want to post. For example, if you were marketing your photography business, Pinterest would be the perfect platform to showcase your work, whereas Twitter may not be as effective.

Unless you’re already a pro on the platform, take a tutorial before you begin so you can get comfortable with creating a page, posting content, engaging followers and tracking your analytics. Having this knowledge will make the daily publishing and engaging feel less daunting.

Get Organized

I know many people out there cringe at the idea of an editorial calendar because of its rigidity, but this will help keep you on top of everything.

A well planned-out calendar will help you map out when you’ll be posting content, as well as where you’re getting that content. Are you writing it yourself? Curating it from other sites? Will you be-posting previous content? Once you have content regularly scheduled on your calendar, set reminders for yourself to post and engage throughout the day so you don’t get caught up with the rest of your day and forget to do this.

Leverage Your Content

While you don’t want to post the exact same content on every single platform, leveraging your best content across different platforms can seriously boost your social media efficiency. For example, if you write a blog every week, you can tweet the link to the blog on Twitter and post a related picture on Instagram and include a link to it in your caption. Now, instead of having to create three separate pieces of social media content, you’ve killed three birds with one stone.

Find Some Great Tools

When you’re working solo, you’re always fighting against time. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to successfully do your job and maintain an engaging presence on social media. The good news is, there are plenty of tools and apps that can help keep you on track. Inc. compiled a list of 60 of the best social media tools, like Hootsuite and Pocket. Most of the times, we look to experts and best practices to tell us how to engage with our community on social media. And while there’s a lot of great advice out there, if what they’re saying doesn’t resonate or doesn’t feel realistic to you, you’re never going to do it. People ask me all the time: How many times should I really be posting on my platforms? And my answer is: How many times can you realistically be posting on your platforms? Start there.

Social media, albeit time consuming, is a great way to garner brand awareness and potential business. Keep at it and don’t give up! As always, I welcome any and all comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

Royal Baby Fever

By: Gina Mason

Hear ye, hear ye! Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge arrived last Saturday and as to be expected, the world is still buzzing about her grand entrance.  After much anticipation, the news of the little bundle of joy spread quickly and social media nearly exploded with the reveal that William and Kate gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.

As the #1 topic that was trending globally, people from all over the world joined in the conversation about the new princess. Here are some fun social media facts and stats about the #RoyalBaby’s arrival:

  • The tweet sent by @KensingtonRoyal announcing the birth, “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a daughter at 8:34am” was retweeted 47,000 times and favorited 42,000 times.
  • Not only did the announcement garner over a million tweets, but the conversations peaked at 4,500 tweets per minute around 11:34am according to Twitter.
  • According to the DailyMail, “Hashtracking reveals that the majority of people posting about the baby were women (61%) and the highest proportion of tweets were surprisingly sent from the U.S. (23%).
  • The announcement of Princess Charlotte’s birth topped the arrival of her big brother as she received over 1 million #RoyalBaby tweets while Prince George’s birth generated only 900,000.
  • The tweet revealing the name, “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to announce that they have named their daughter Charlotte Elizabeth Diana” was shared and favorited more than 92,980 times.
  • More than 300,000 tweets mentioning ‘Charlotte’ were made following the name confirmation.

Not only were news outlets and people everywhere posting about the #RoyalBaby, but also a number of big brands took the opportunity to chime in the baby banter on social media.  Here are a few of my favorite tweets from big brands:

The @Disney Royal Babies gave Princess Charlotte a royal welcome with this fun video clip:

disney

@BritishAirways got creative when the Princess touched down:

BA

@Nissan got the royal chariot running:

nissan

@MLB reminded us that it has Royals babies too…

MLB

@CocaCola_GB shared the love with the Royal Family:

Coke

@PizzaHutUK even had a special delivery of its own:

Pizza Hut

I loved seeing all of the baby banter that has been going on and loved that many brands used this real-time event to engage their followers.  This is a great example of brands thinking outside of their “strictly promotional” box and coming up with creative ways to stay relevant in the conversation.

To see some additional brands that posted about the #RoyalBaby, check out this article on Buzzfeed: http://www.buzzfeed.com/tomphillips/hashtag-engagement#.anE85Vkqx

To see some brands that had a #RoyalFail, check out this Mashable article: http://mashable.com/2013/07/23/royal-baby-real-time-marketing-brands/

Did you join in the Twitter-chatter about the #RoyalBaby? What did you think of some of the brands that joined the baby conversation?

As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

The Risks of Resisting Social Media

By: MJ Pedone

 There are conversations taking place about brands 24 hours a day through social media. Are you a part of these conversations or are you hoping that this form of communication will come to a halt in a few more weeks? Social media offers a variety of opportunities for brands to get involved by participating in those conversations. While participating in social media is not without risk, not participating might prove to be the greater risk — especially to reputations.
Here are three risks for resisting involvement in social media for companies, brands, business owners and service providers:

Having your reputation defined by others: People are talking about you; your company and your brand, and your stakeholders expect you to be paying attention in real time, especially when they have a customer service complaint or positive feedback to give. You decide whether to participate in this conversation or not, but at least you are aware of what is being said. This is the new frontier for reputation risk management. If you don’t tell your story, others will tell it for you.

Being invisible and less credible: The social Web is changing how people communicate and access information. With a smartphone, tablet or any handheld device, you can search the web and find just about any information you seek instantaneously from wherever you are. People are searching for you and want to read what they can. Not having a presence on the web means that you are not easy to find and can lead people to question whether you have a credible business or not. People are constantly turning to the different social sites as the easiest and most effective way to get their questions answered within seconds. Potential buyers are going online to research products or services before they purchase them and potential clients visit your different sites before they meet you. If people are looking for information about you or your business, what are they finding? A social page or profile even on a basic level enables you to provide accurate and helpful information about the services you or your company provides. Furthermore, social media pages typically appear with prominence in search results — without these online presences, relationship managers and organizations risk not being present in the search results when an interested prospect goes looking.

Being perceived as behind the curve: As consumers embrace new technologies, they expect businesses to do the same. Organizations and their team members that aren’t using social platforms will not be perceived as forward thinking and can risk losing potential clients who want business partners who speak their language. Would you open checking account with a bank that doesn’t have an online portal? Today, we depend upon online access for our data, so that seems inconceivable. Soon customers will feel this way about having a social connection with businesses.
Social media is perhaps best thought of as a set of new and innovative ways for businesses and customers to do what they have always done: build relationships, exchange information, read and write reviews and leverage trusted networks of friends and experts.

As you contemplate the risks and rewards of social media, I suggest that the key source for evaluation is simply to experience it for yourself. There are many low risk ways to do this, even if you work in a regulated industry. One of the best suggestions I have is to hire an experienced social media specialist who has the knowledge and experience with different companies.
Today’s real time social media world is challenging all businesses, brands, and professionals to adapt or at least make an informed decision not to. As you consider the many risks associated with being or not being in social media, it is important not to overlook the rewards and opportunities.

Have you reaped the rewards of social media? Is your strategy relevant? I welcome all comments. As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

Foundation of a Brilliant Brand on Twitter

By: Jenifer Weterau

Twitter and brands should go together like girls and purses or tuxes and ties. It just might be the best way ever for a brand to listen to and react to its customers. But some brands’ may find that their social media strategy isn’t generating the results they expected and they are missing opportunities. With over 255 million monthly active Twitter users, simply posting the same content about what your company does is not going to cut it. An effective Twitter strategy should be made up of a few key essentials:

Be Interactive
The majority of your feed should be interaction with your audience- whether it is answering questions, sending a thank you to brand advocates or supporting a media partner. Showing that you’re an engaged social brand will grow your audience and inspire more interaction. According to Twitter, 85% of followers feel more connected with a small business after following them. (via Twitter) Don’t just start tweeting assuming that the Twitter community is going to accept you with open arms. It’s important that you spend some time just listening and observing the behavior of those who are talking about you or your company. Understand how your customers behave and adjust accordingly.

Share Relevant Content
Providing your audience with smart, tailored content will establish you as a resource. Make sure to retweet and share articles that are aligned with your brand’s industry and personality, making use of @mentions. Tweets containing the words “right now” or “today” average higher engagement than the brand average. Remember to keep your Tweets prompt and timely—a crucial element for Twitter success.

Offer Value
Remember that every follower you have is following you for a reason: to know more about your products and services. In fact, 42% of Twitter users say they use Twitter to learn about products and services. (via Edison) Be generous with sharing tutorials, guides and new product updates.
To be a successful brand on Twitter, you have to build credibility and equity. That doesn’t necessarily refer to the number of followers, tweets, or retweets you may have, although these are important factors. Rather, it’s more about developing a reputation as a trusted source of information or being seen as an expert in a particular subject.

Promote Your Brand
Avoid going overboard with promotional messages, which will result in disengaged and annoyed followers. Brands that are too self-promotional risk losing touch with their audience. Follow the 80/20 rule: Tweet 80% helpful or entertaining content and only 20% self-promotional. Mediabistro found that over 90% say they follow businesses on Twitter to get discounts and promos. (via MediaBistro) Put your money where your mouth is and back up your promotional tweets with special offers for your loyal followers.

Show Personality
Showcase the human side of your brand. Even in our high tech world, people want to know and be able to identify with the people behind the machine. Your Twitter use can appear disingenuous and inhuman if you’re too structured with your approach, to the point where your community may be turned off. Treat your Twitter relationships the same way you would any other relationship.

Although there’s no magical length for a Tweet, a recent report by Buddy Media revealed that Tweets shorter than 100 characters get a 17% higher engagement rate. Similar research by Track Social also found that the perfect Tweet length was right around 100 characters. Their analysis saw a spike in retweets among those in the 71-100 character range—so-called “medium” length tweets. These medium tweets have enough characters for the original poster to say something of value and for the person retweeting to add commentary as well.

Authenticity is the golden rule in social media. We’ve known this for years, but there is another, related rule that is just as important: you and your brand need to be believable. This means spending time listening to your community, observing it, and learning about the dynamics of that community.

How healthy is your brand’s Twitter feed? Are you actively testing your content to find the magic sweet spot for maximum effectiveness?

As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read please be social and share.