Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Social Networking Is Good For The Heart!

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

British Heart Foundation Social NetworkingThe possibilities for charities sharing information and engaging supporters through social media are endless! According to a recent report from Marketing Week The British Heart Foundation (BHF) hopes to utilize the free-to-use online community to help people affected by heart disease share experiences, advice and ideas.  This is fantastic news for obvious reasons but also for the social media rep…finally we see that this form of media can really change the face of how charities communicate with their supporters for the better, and also massively increase brand exposure, as that what it is all about.

Roberto Kusabbi, communities and social media executive at the BHF, expresses how the making of this new community has been going over the last two years and how it is now ready to be developed and will certainly go from strength to strength.  In the past the charity has used social networking sites, for example following the London to Brighton bike ride last year, which had proven success  in capturing a real buzz around the event and the volume of supporters who shared their experiences.  It is clear that the BHF has not created this community overnight but has invested time and resources over a long period to create a platform that can be developed.  This is a good example of how brands should consider investment into social media when looking at their marketing budget.

Great news for the market now in that Joe public can use their existing social platforms e.g Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to get the latest advice and share experiences without concerning themselves with where this information is coming from and how it is being used.  The social media era will hopefully promote more awareness with charities like the British Heart Foundation and encourage people to get more involved in not only raising money and taking part in events, but sharing experiences, whether they be good or bad and generally making people more aware.  It will be interesting to see if the hard core marathons and sports events of a similar intensity will receive more applicants as a result!

Is Social Media Now Seen As Mainstream Marketing?

Friday, June 17th, 2011

According to a recent study on the digital economy 90% of marketers that took part indicated that social media is a key part of their marketing activity and emphasized the importance of integrating this into their marketing mix.  We have seen previous reports in 2010 whereby more companies are exploring this area as part of their digital marketing strategy; however it now appears that the majority of marketers consider this to be a mainstream option.  How are marketers going about social media given the fact that it is a long term investment and not just a single campaign that may only run for a short period…?

The simple answer is that it depends on the size of the organization and more obviously it depends on the nature of the industry and what weighting should be awarded to social media.   The market analysis, referred to above, revealed that social media was taking a lot of resource with more than 6 hours a week on social media through the most popular networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  It seems that larger companies are investing more time and resources to social media whilst small or medium size enterprises (SME’s) are less likely to have the knowledge and resources available to them.

Volvo Case Study - Marketing Communications Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach demonstrates how larger corporations are extending beyond the traditional marketing communications (please refer to page 447 for an interesting case study on Volvo).

Marketing Week reports that 41% of UK businesses are using social networking sites.  Social Media may not be mainstream as of yet for many businesses, however there is evidence that social networking activity is on the rise and certainly the majority of businesses are looking to explore more of this activity in order to remain competitive and ultimately attract new customers. Are companies therefore adopting more innovative marketing strategies in order to remain competitive…YES!

Cadbury’s – TV Programs….Online….Olympics!

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Cadbury Spots V Stripes - Marketing Communication Blog

The Cadbury’s brand have done it again…In order to push the Spots V Stripes product the brand have partnered with ITV and ITV2 programmes to be launched this autumn.  The shows will be based on the Minute to Win It program that was launched by NBC in the US last year and the format is in production in 30 countries.

Cadbury’s initial launch of the Spots v Stripes product was in support of its sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics. According to a recent report from Marketing Week, the strategy was and is to encourage people to become involved in playing games. This branding is seen everywhere and has been a huge investment for Cadbury involving a substantial lead time running up to the Olympics.  Take a look at the launch advert from back in August 2010, almost two years prior to the Games, launching the Spots V Stripes idea with different competitive fish!

The wider gaming format of Minute to Win It will be rolled out at Cadbury Spots v Stripes events.  Hopefully the timing of the ITV game program will tie in nicely with the lead up to the Olympics and therefore give Cadbury the exposure it needs to ensure sales continue long after the events of 2012.   Cadbury currently have a strong association with the Olympics, on the website it is listed as a worldwide partner, alongside MacDonald’s and Coca Cola…ironic given the nature of the event!

Will bespoke albums help revive the music industry?

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

There has been an ongoing battle in the music industry with illegal downloads.  The music industry has to envolve to encourage users to buy music.

The latest attempt to encourage users to buy albums has come from Kaiser Chiefs.  Their new album ‘The Future is Medieval’ has been released (3rd June) and is available online only for a limited period of time.

Using the bands Website fans can select ten of their favourite tunes (from a selection of 20) to make their own bespoke version (with choice of artwork) of the new Kaiser Chiefs album ‘The Future is Medieval’.   Users purchase and download their bespoke album for £7.50.

Fans get their own webpage with their personalised album and are encouraged to promote their bespoke album via social media channels (e.g. Facebook and Twitter). For every bespoke album the fan sells they will receive £1 through a personalised transactional website.

Kaiser Chiefs have also partnered with the Alzheimer’s Society who created their own version of the album and the band will donate all profits from this album to the Alzheimer’s Society.

In the launch statement the band explained that the intention was to ‘revitalise and subvert the industry standard’. Fans can hear/download the record at the same time as the media and critics which hopefully helps to improve the experience and bring extra excitement to the fans.

Will this new idea be enough to help revive the music industry and combat the illegal downloads or could it be just a good marketing stunt?  People like to interact with brands, and social media is one of the most popular ways to do this, so this campaign could tick all the boxes!

Facebook ‘Social Media’ or ‘Social Commerce’?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

In the context of social media, social commerce is defined as ‘e-commerce transactions’, this gives brands the opportunity to sell products and services through online social networking sites.  Is this a good idea and does this work for some industries and not so much for others…? This is questionable for music store HVM as they launch their Facebook Store.

Should social media and in particular, social networking sites be used as a selling platform?  A recent Marketing Week article expresses concern about using Facebook as a form of social commerce rather than using the networking site for what it was meant for, networking conversations around products.  With applications such as blogs, micro-blogs, social networking and media-sharing, there is too much happening under one heading – social media!  As a result of this there are concerns that HMV are wasting their time and distracting from where their real problems are.

It is important to remember that HMV have been very cautious when launching their Facebook Store…according to a research study the brand is currently redirecting consumers to the website to purchase products so they can view the music they are passionate about on Facebook initially.   HMV are testing the water before completely committing to Facebook as an online shop.  Does this work for some industries and not for others, will this work for academic publishing for example?

The Burger King Facebook viral campaign, featured in Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach, is an example of what brands, in the past, are using Facebook for, media attention! Maybe this is as far as social media investment should go for many brands (see chapter 13, page 355 for case study).

Easyjet’s plans to increase online presence.

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Easyjet has appointed a new head of digital communications to boost presence online as the brand expands further into Europe.  Back in October Easyjet launched a ‘15 Hour Blogger Challenge‘  which saw four bloggers fly to Europe with Easyjet and visit a city each (Munich, Paris, Malta and Istanbul), where they had 15 hours and a £100 to spend to explore as much of the city as they could.  The visit was recorded on video which was then utilsed on the Easyjet blog and on YouTube, the bloggers also used Twitter as a resource to find out places to visit.  Will this challenge help raise awareness of the brand expand their customer base in Europe?

According to recent news reports Easyjet are planning to increase social media activity with posts about great travel destinations, latest route announcements and new competitions and prizes on popular networking sites like facebook and Twitter.  Twitter will be an effective tool as it is inline with their plans to increase routes in Europe, building on their business traveller portfolio.  Are other airlines jumping on the social media band wagon?

A report from the Daily Telegraph demonstrates how the relationship between global airlines and social media is deepening, however this correlation is not yet evident in the UK with only Delta and Easyjet launching Facebook and Twitter campaigns to communicate with their consumers.  US airlines have proven success in this area and it is clear that European airlines should allow their consumers to enter into discussions and provide constant feedback, instantly, in order to remain competitive.  It is therefore apparent that the aviation industry is one areathat has found social media to be a powerful marketing tool.  I guess it does depend on the nature of the brand as to how successful there social media marketing is.

Digital conversation platforms are discussed in chapter 16 of Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach. An interesting IBM Digital Consumer Survey in 2008, discovered the different rationales for different platforms. Consumers can communicate, connect and collaborate with brands; and this demonstrates the potential for digital conversations for many industries (see page 461 for further explanation).

Brands Increasing Social Media Spend?

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Is it really a shock to hear that brands are increasing social media marketing spend this year…?- Blue Orbit, an independent marketing communications agency, reports that social media will be key in the majority of businesses marketing strategies for 2011.

The author team of Marketing Communications demonstrate the importance of an integrated marketing strategy from which each marketing activity can contribute quantitative measurements in different ways (Chapter 17, Marketing Communications: A brand Narrative Approach).

According to a recent industry report, marketers are set to increase their spend on social media by 10% much of which will go toward trying to find new Facebook fans (for further information visit, www.cmswire.com). For many businesses the increase in budget awarded to social media will include outsourcing to social media agencies, could this be due to lack of resources and man power in house?…And should companies be spending more time training employees internally?

The question is, how are marketers planning to measure ROI, if at all…? The point of social media is not solely to track sales but to achieve brand engagement.  A study conducted in 2007 reported that direct sales revenue was not the top measure for determining social media success.  Has this changed and are marketers under more pressure to track ROI as more investment is poured into social media…?

Facebook or Twitter…?

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

It seems businesses are not utilizing Twitter…recent stats show that only 25% of Twitter users follow a brand compared to 40% of Facebook users, a report from Marketing Week recommends that brands should do more on Twitter to offer their users an incentive for following them.  So why are businesses adopting strong Facebook marketing strategies and not making use of the benefits that Twitter has to offer…?

It is clear that Facebook and Twitter offer different benefits and that both have proven successes on marketing campaigns, however the success of a campaign is determined by the nature of the product.  Controversial coverage from yahoo news reports common questions posed by social network leaders such as;  “Are Facebook Likes social proof of anything other than mass opinion”.  Is Facebook therefore more suited to campaigns that are socially driven such as, special events?

An interesting case study on Burger Kings’s approach to campaigning on Facebook, The Burger King’s ‘Whopper Sacrifice’ can be found in Chapter 13 of Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach (page 355).  Surprisingly consumers sacrificed friends for burgers- hilarious report on what was a really successful, however short term marketing strategy for Burger King, what next!

Apparently if you want to get feedback from your customers, use Twitter. Only one in ten of users tend to update their Facebook status each day, the majority of Twitter users tweet daily, and throughout the day. It is clear that both sites have benefits that are useful for businesses in different ways and that is important that marketing embrace these opportunities. –Even the royal family are embracing the new digital age…!

Do Consumers LIKE Facebook?

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Lara O’Reilly, digital and telecoms specialist for Marketing Week, emphasises the importance for marketers to include social media, Facebook and Twitter in particular, in a fully integrated marketing strategy.  The report highlights networking sites such as Facebook as a highly engaged user base that is actively seeking brands to interact with (for the full report visit http://bit.ly/fKSSS8).

The question is, do consumers really LIKE using Facebook’s application when purchasing goods online…? A recent report reveals that the LIKE button is now featured on 3.5 million websites and this is representative of the applications success rate for businesses (for full report visit http://bit.ly/jBiROb).  This represents the social demand when purchasing products online.  -It will be interesting to see whether Facebook’s success in this area continues…

 

Facebook’s recents stats show that 51% of Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers are more likely to buy the brands they follow or are a fan of.  If a customer is a loyal fan then this clearly indicates that they are a fan of a product or brand.  It seems that not just consumers, but that businesses LIKE Facebook too! (Visit chapter 10 of Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach for an interesting case study on charity brands and the affect that social media has on Amnesty, page 286).

As well as utilizing traditional marketing channels it is important that marketers address this increase in demand for social media activity, the results speak for themselves!