Tag Archives: twitter

Top 5 Brands Effectively Using Vine

Twitter’s popular Vine app announced this week that it will now be available on Android operating systems. This newly poplar 6-second looping video application began back in January on Apple iOS and I can attest based on my own experience with a 12-year old son that it’s the hottest new form of social media today. Consumers looking to target teens (and parents of teens) should keep their eye on The Vine.

Similar to Instagram, this app allows users to create a series of short video clips with their friends. As more and more adults become social media gurus, the teen generation has migrated away from the traditional Facebook, Twitter and YouTube’s of the world and find them no longer “cool”. According to a new study  called The Pew Internet and American Life‘s new study, “Teens, Social Media, and Privacy,”  teens “have waning enthusiasm for Facebook, disliking the increasing adult presence, people sharing excessively, and stressful ‘drama,’.

Like Twitter celebrities are catching on with The Vine and you can follow top celebrity videos on The Vine from Snoop Dog, Soulja Boy, Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale, and even Jimmy Fallon and Tyra Banks!

Some brands adopted The Vine early on; Wheat Thins, GE and candy brand Red Vines have all run Promoted Tweets with Vine videos. Also reported in Mobile Marketer,  Dunkin’ Donuts, recently launched a contest on the Vine requesting fans to take a post a video of how their iced coffee puts “a spring in their step.” The advent of the 6-second video is making :60 second, :30 second and even :15 second commercials units of the dark ages.

Here’s a great infographic that explains Vine put together by Media Bistro. Click on the image below to read in detail:

Vine pic

Creative Uses of the 6-Second Video on The Vine by Top Brands:

1) Doritos – Frito-Lay brand used the official Mariachi Doritos band they performed a mystery tune to get brand fans to play along.


2) Taco Bell – promoted their new Cool Ranch Dorito Taco.


3) Lowe’s – used the video to show how to fix a striped screw with a rubber band (wow I just learned something really cool!)


4) Bacardi – offered a 6-second drink recipe


5) Urban Outfitters teamed with Converse to get Chuck-lovers to submit 6-second video diaries of their adventures with these popular shoes. The best #yourchucks entries won prizes such as free sneakers or a trip to San Francisco.


In May The Vine was No. 1 on the Apple App Store with over 13 million users.  The question remains of its longevity, however considering the appeal to the teen generation its popularity is likely to be short lived as trends wear quickly. Only time will tell and as a media specialist this is why our jobs are so much more difficult today. The consumer media vehicles are so diverse and constantly changing. By the time I figure this out I’m sure there will be something new.


Crash Course in Social Media

This week, I had the opportunity to sit and learn from some of Baltimore’s social media gurus, thanks to the Baltimore Business Journal. On a personal level, I consider myself fluent in social media. When I told my sister I was attending this course she said, “Are you teaching it?” On a daily basis, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. However, on a professional level, I am only just starting to learn the in’s and out’s of social media and what it has to offer our clients. This year’s Crash Course featured local professionals from Planit, BBJ, Yelp! and of course Media Works! Each presenter covered different areas of social media, giving the audience a better understanding of what social media’s capabilities. Here are few insights I caught during the presentations:

BBJ Crash Course in Social Media   Planit: “Share Those Assets: Using Social Media at Live Events to Drive Engagement”

  • Make your events social! Use sites like EventBrite, which is a social community on its own and connect to Facebook and Twitter. This will allow your attendees to engage/interact with each other and build excitement for your event.
  • Bring the event to life – instant postings and live-tweeting during the event. Live-tweeting during events will allow your audience who could not attend the event feel like they are there.
  • Extend the event’s life – post pictures after the event. Once the event is over, keep the buzz and excitement going by engaging your audience and showing off the success.

Baltimore Business Journal: “How to Break News in a Digital World”

  • News consumption is increasing, because people are using social media to receive their news. The average person consumes news for about 70 minutes a day.
  • You do not need a link in each tweet to drive engagement. When you are breaking news, you don’t want to rush a story without accurate information. Your followers will still engage without the article.

Yelp!: “Beyond the Brick and Mortar – Tips to Personalize Your Business on Social Media and Make it Pop”

  •  Giving your brand a personality by having continuous dialogue with your audience through social media. Interact with your audience! They are taking the time to reach out to you, show some love back.
  • Commit to social media – do not just join and disappear, give it the effort to create relationships. You do not have to be on every outlet. Pick the channels that will best reach your audience and have a large presence.
  • Reputation management – take time to reply to not only the good but also the negative reviews, and make sure to be proud of your comments.


Media Works: “Social Contesting: Building Engagement Beyond the Like

  • Consider newer social media outlets like Instagram, Keek or Vine; don’t just stick with Facebook and Twitter. If you want to do a picture contest, Instagram may be a better outlet, since it is a photo-sharing medium.
  • Make your contest social! Add sharing capabilities for your contestants to show their friends/followers about your event. This will not only spread your contest organically but you may get more contestants who can do the same!

This, of course, is just a brief summary of these presentations. I cannot wait to try out some of the sites/ideas mentioned not only on a personal level, but now on a professional level. If you are interested in seeing more insight from this event, please check out #BBJCCSM on Twitter, to see what other attendees had to say!


6 Tips to Getting Started in Social Media: A Recap from This Week’s Webinar

This past week my colleague and I attended a  webinar on social media strategy put together by Media Life Magazine. As a media agency whose digital department continues to grow, we’re always looking to expand our knowledge within the social media space. While most of the information presented was focused on businesses just getting started in social media, the presenter had some excellent tips even for the seasoned social marketer. Here are six of the key takeaways we took from the presentation.

  1. Having traditional AND social presence- if you only use one strategy you will lose market share. Make sure you remain flexible in developing your online strategies. Just because you want to be online doesn’t mean you have to abandon your other strategies. Understanding your existing marketing initiatives and how you can leverage them with your new social strategy with help you become successful.
  2. Use social icons across all mediums – be sure to let people know you are available on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Make sure business cards include how they can contact you via social media.
  3. Defining your audience and goals upfront so that you are not wasting time and money. Making sure you know who you’re trying to reach and not posting blindly. Understanding what goal you’re reaching towards. Whether it’s making money or expanding our audience, your goal needs to be defined in the beginning. If you are trying to reach:
    1. Broad targeted audience – Facebook
    2. Women/Selling products – Pinterest
    3. B2B – LinkedIn
  4. Figure out how much time your company can afford to spend on social media. Do you need to outsource it? Can you afford managing internally? Defining how much time you can invest internally to managing a Facebook presence may save you time in the long run. If you don’t have time, don’t create 10 different profiles.  Social media takes time so don’t expect it to happen overnight. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t expect quick results when working with social media.
  5. Build relationships in order to earn trust.  Don’t always talk about yourself and your company’s offerings. Talking about yourself too much will turn off your audience. Create compelling content – don’t post statements; ask questions, be engaging, interact and make it interesting by staggering posts across all social media outlets.
  6. Define your goals – Be sure to establish immediate, long-term and monthly goals. You can always measure the results of the campaign to tell what works and what doesn’t. Where is the traffic coming from? How are people engaging? This is the type of information you should look for when analyzing your social presence. No matter what your goal, you should always run analytics to measure the success of your campaigns and to make adjustments.

Technology in Review: Paper.Li

These days, one of the difficulties in writing about technology is that the landscape is constantly changing. What is shiny and new one day is a previous version of itself the next month.  The frequency of our need to update technologies is increasing and we’ve grown to expect it from mobile phones, computers and TVs. Now we should expect it from our print publications too.

Working in media, we’ve all witnessed the dramatic shift in newspaper viewership from traditional papers to tablet technology. Studies have shown that fewer people are subscribing to the physical newspaper, and are now purchasing a digital subscription for their tablet or PC.

This transition has also created a whole new market for software start-ups looking to capitalize on the decline of traditional publications. Today, we’ll talk more about Paper.Li, an online news aggregator looking to expand on the recent decline of newspapers.

So I bet you’re wondering, what in the world is a content aggregator? Essentially, Paper.Li offers a way to build your very own online newspaper based on specific keywords or trending topics you’re interested in. Whether you’re interested in snowboarding or scrap-booking, you can setup your paper around a topic of your choice.

To login, you simply connect your account to either your Twitter or Facebook account. This is done because the content in your newspaper is collected through your social media channels. Each week, day, or month, the paper goes online and scans the internet for articles that meet your specific criteria, and publishes them in your paper.

For example, let’s say you create a newspaper based on deep see fishing in South Florida. Every time your newspaper is generated, it will include articles, tweets, videos, photos, and links all about deep sea fishing in South Florida.

The service is great because you simply set it up and wait for your next issue to be generated. Once the paper is generated, you’ll get an email saying your paper is ready to view. The best part about Paper.Li is that it can also automatically publicize your paper through your Twitter and Facebook accounts, while also tagging those who’ve contributed stories to your issue. Lastly, readers also have a chance to subscribe to your paper as well. They can simply click “subscribe”, and receive your newspaper every time it’s published. This simple step can be monumental when trying to build your online following.

Here at Media Works we’ve been playing with the service long enough that we created not one, but five different papers. Each of our papers is focused on one of our specialties; automotive, healthcare, general media, education and the senior market. This tool has been vital in helping us stay on top of trends, but also for creating new relationships with both content creators and consumers. Below you’ll find links to each of our weekly papers. Check it out

Automotive Digest

Boomer Lifestyle

Education Digest

Healthcare Digest

Media Works Digest

Quick Tips For The Conference Amateur

Football fans have the Super Bowl. College basketball fans have March Madness. Advertising agencies have the 4A’s conference. Once a year, agencies both large and small, come together for the American Association of Advertising Agencies national conference, and lucky for us this year’s conference will be held in sunny Los Angeles. Media Works is ecstatic to be going, but more importantly we’re prepared.

As a young professional starting my career, I recently attended my first industry conference. I’ll admit it was a little overwhelming. There were industry leaders there from all across the country, many of who were like online celebrities in the social media world. When all was said and done I learned valuable lessons that have prepared us for the big show next week.

1) Preparation Is Key.

Remember when you were a kid and your mother would stop you at the door and ask “Do you have everything?” You’d shrug and continue on your way and then when you got to school you’d remember that you left your inhaler on the kitchen table? Well folks, that lesson still applies today. Before you travel to any event make sure you prepare a quick packing list. Be sure to include necessary items like phone chargers, business cards, and your special Hulk Hogan plush pillow. As silly as it sounds, we wouldn’t want a repeat of your 5th grade sleepover disaster.

Aside from bringing your vital necessities, you should also remember to prepare for your trip socially. To prime ourselves for the trip out West we’ve made a point to follow and connect with many speakers BEFORE the event. This is done to help with research as well as giving us something to talk about when we eventually meet. Just make sure your Twitter and Facebook are in shape to be viewed by your cohorts. You wouldn’t want the president of a big television network to see your Spring Break pictures would you?

2) Don’t Network Like A Mad Man

Of course we’ve all heard the mantra before, network network network. The question is, how do you know if you’re doing it right? Social media has made it easier to connect and remain “Linked” to individuals but the skills for face-to-face networking opportunities, like those that are available to you at a conference, may take some practice.

Luke Harlan published an insightful guide called “Ultimate Networking Strategies” in which he outlined key strategies for making the most out of your opportunity. The idea is that you want to go in to an event with a clear objective, as well as a strategy to get it done. One of his best points was that you should be looking for Links, NOT prospects. This means going in and finding that one person who can connect you to a greater audience. No sense in wasting your time chatting with the intern about your global sales initiatives, unless of course his dad is the president of a big television network.

So before you leave for that trip, be sure to write down your goals, the key links who will be there, and a couple of questions to ask them when you meet. Trust me, in the end your preparation will show your enthusiasm and increase the chance of reconnecting after the event.

3) Utilize The Tools You Have

Having a smartphone these days can often be the single most effective tool when visiting a conference. Forgot your business cards? Use the app Bump to exchange contact information. Don’t know where to grab dinner? Download Yelp or Aloqa to locate interesting restaurants or events close to your hotel. Need a way to remember the names of the people you meet? Try out #hashable, the new app for keeping track of the social profiles of other attendees.

In the end, the idea is that you want to pre plan as much of your trip as possible. There’s nothing like being stuck on a flight with a screaming two-year-old, struggling to find a cab at the airport, realizing your hotel bed sheets are still dirty, just to remember you forgot your business cards for the next morning. Walking into that room with all of your materials and your list of potential connections, you’ll have the needed confidence to get you through your very first conference.

A Social Commerce Role Model

Written by our March guest blogger Chris Richards of Fanpagetoolkit, a Philadelphia-based start-up pioneering a Facebook commerce and marketing platform for businesses, brands, and individuals.

While some groups have been busy preemptively criticizing social commerce and any new ventures into Facebook commerce, others have taken a creative lead and elevated the industry to a new level.

Heinz, we thank you. With the creation of a “pop-up” limited time store on Facebook, you’ve become a prime example for those looking for a role model of successful Facebook commerce.

As a big business, Heinz demonstrated the core principles of successful social commerce by offering a limited time promotion allowing Facebook fans to create and buy customized “Get Well” cans of soup for friends or family. Was the promotion incredibly profitable? No. In fact, that wasn’t the point.

“It wasn’t a revenue-driving activity, but more of a creative campaign to engage with consumers,” explained Nigel Dickie, director of corporate and government affairs for Heinz UK and Ireland.

Was it successful? Yes. Considering Facebook’s inherently social and familial nature, the brand aimed to tap into the more personal side of their customers. This connection would have otherwise been impossible on a traditional brand website, and Facebook’s sharing features ended up elevating the promotion to something remarkable. Generating over 32,000 “likes” and 40,000 interactions with the Facebook shop, eMarketer reports that the campaign was in fact very successful in a truly “social” way.

Looking at the promotion in more detail, what can we learn from Heinz and their “Get Well” soup Facebook store?

1. Creativity is king. Heinz made an attractive looking campaign. Using snappy, pre-like page graphics, and clear calls to action, this promotion left the creativity up to users as they composed their customized soup can messages. In this case, the creative element was also the most “buzz-worthy,” as Heinz allowed fans to share their own customized messages with Facebook friends. The idea, in the first place, was highly creative and demonstrated a higher level of thinking about a rather basic product. By thinking outside of the traditional mindset of “we must sell soup to customers,” Heinz proved that creativity is king in social commerce promotions. Users don’t want the same experience they could get by going to a traditional e-commerce store. They want something unique, creative, and worth mentioning.

2. Money isn’t everything. As mentioned earlier, Heinz should be commended for realizing that not all promotions, or “shops” for that matter, are best measured in terms of sales numbers. In this case, they found that one in eight fans would buy something from the Facebook shop, but how can you put a price on the 32,000+ fans gained during the promotion? The countless shares and word of mouth recognition? All these factors contribute to “brand value,” a metric that leaves profit completely out of the equation. Finally, when the focus goes from money to genuine engagement, people and media take notice.

3. Limited availability drives action. Heinz Soup UK made their store available for a limited time, during the colder winter months, when many fans probably had sick friends and family. Then, only lasting for four weeks, the promotion conveyed a sense of urgency to sign-up and share soup. As opposed to leaving the store open for business constantly, Heinz made the strategic decision to make it a limited-time offering. The result? Increased word of mouth buzz and comments regarding availability. Looking on the Heinz Soup UK Facebook wall today, there are still comments asking for more customized soup! As a result, if and when it comes back online next time, the promotion will be even bigger and more popular, don’t you think?

4. Personal connections drive social commerce. Clearly, the biggest take away from this example is the fact that it highlights just how effective a truly “social” store-front can be. The feeling and phrase “Get well soon” is an age-old part of our society, and a warm bowl of soup is still sometimes seen as the best cold medicine. What Heinz capitalized on with its store was nothing more than human emotion at play. People like to share and make other feel better. In this case, a customized can of Heinz soup from Facebook was just what the doctor ordered.

Again, thank you Heinz for stepping up and reporting F-commerce results. The industry needs more shining examples such as yours. When the tools are readily available, there is no excuse for companies large and small to step up to the precedent set by Heinz, and create memorable, engaging Facebook commerce store fronts. Get creative!

Lastly, many thanks to Dr. Paul Marsden for again providing great food for thought with his article on Social Commerce Today.

For more information I can be reached on Twitter at @seerichards

Social Media Taking to the Skies

Years ago, getting in touch with customer service took a lot of effort. You had to type a letter, put a stamp on it and then mail it off to a large corporation. Most of the time, you didn’t even get a response.

In recent years you have been able to get online and find an online form or email to write your complaints (or praises). This usually gives you an automated email but still much easier than in the past. With the constant evolvement in social media with your brand, your consumers can now tweet or leave you a Facebook comment that you can keep up with to hear exactly what they have to say. Sometimes, this can be more hurtful than not. It takes a lot less effort to write a rude tweet to someone than it was to sit down and type a well thought-out letter or place a phone call.

This has put more pressure on brands to have a presence on all social media sites. Whether it’s “retweets”, Facebook comments, or contacting Yelp Reviewers. They’re listening. 

Now, airlines are proving to have more involvement with their “unhappy” customers via Twitter and Facebook rather than if you had called or emailed. Due to their well known reputation of having poor customer service, the airline industry has taken a real initiative to use their social media as their number one customer service tool.

AdWeek states that JetBlue recently stopped charging for folded bikes carried on to their planes. Why? A customer angrily tweeted about it and it quickly spread around the world. “We love to see happy customers,” said JetBlue’s Morgan Johnston, who’s part of a team of 27 that monitors the airline’s Twitter account and Facebook page, which were established in 2007 and 2009, respectively. “We also understand that we’re not always going to win. But we have to be transparent about that.”

Southwest jumped on the bandwagon early. Starting their social media sites in 2007. While Delta was very late to the game, only joining Facebook and Twitter in 2010. Delta now has 14 employees who monitor their sites.

Do you find that it is much easier in this day in age to contact large corporations via social media sites? Or do you still prefer filling out customer service reports on their website. It’s nice to see such reputable companies taking great action in improving their customer service.