Tag Archives: social media content

Corned Beef Hash(tags) For Everyone!

#StPatricksDay hashtagIt’s not too late to jump on the St. Patrick’s Day bandwagon, but don’t wait too long or you may miss out on this pot of gold completely. Whether you’re slinging corned beef hash or green beer this year, you might have the luck of the Irish by using these popular and festive hashtags:

  • #stpatricksday
  • #happystpatricksday
  • #luckoftheirish
  • #irish
  • #ireland
  • #stpattysday
  • #green

Although we know that everyone loves a holiday special, let’s not get carried away and start dropping these hashtags in where it’s not even relevant. No one likes to be deceived and there’s no quicker way to turn people off than by tricking them into clicking through.

Read more after the jump…

3 Nonprofits That Used Social Media to Stand Out on Colorado Gives Day

Now in its seventh year, Colorado Gives Day, the brainchild of the Community First Foundation and FirstBank, promotes giving to all registered Colorado nonprofits over the course of a 24-hour period each December. This year, it fell on Dec. 6, and ended up raising a record $33.8 million for great, local causes across the state.

Having been the beneficiary of some extensive and successful awareness campaigns, Colorado Gives Day has vastly improved charitable giving in a state that was once ranked 37th in the nation in contributions to nonprofits. That said, Colorado Gives Day has become so big that many in the marketing and communications sectors have almost come to lament the email and social media barrages that come with it.

So this year, we looked for nonprofits who rose above the din with creative social media strategies seeking to amplify their fundraising efforts. These three stood out:

Read more after the jump…

Consuming a Balanced Information Diet is Harder Than You Might Think

No matter where you stand on politics, these past few months have sure been a roller coaster. And whether you’re currently at the high point or the low, there’s no doubt that algorithms from Google to Facebook are feeding you news and information that align closely with your personal beliefs and validating your position.

The Benefit and Challenge of Algorithms

Eli Pariser's illustration of a filter bubble.

Eli Pariser’s illustration of a filter bubble.

Algorithms aren’t new, and as communications professionals we benefit from their ability to help serve information directly to our target audiences. But as conscious consumers, algorithms can present challenges that are perhaps amplified in light of this recent election.

Interestingly, this 2011 TEDTalk by Eli Pariser, founder of Upworthy, has been circulating the Twittersphere lately and while the talk, titled “Beware online ‘filter bubbles,’” is five years old, it’s pretty incredible how little seems to have changed. Read more after the jump…

Don’t Waste the Spotlight

At its essence, crisis communications is about taking external negativity and finding a way to transform it into a positive. Are you a business that made a mistake? Find a way to impress your customers with how you responded. They’ll forgive you.

The Cincinnati Zoo ignored this principle when it shut down its Twitter account two months ago in the face of cyberbullying trolls who inundated it with memes and attacks over the death of its beloved gorilla, Harambe. As PRWeek reported:

“The zoo has been the target of keyboard critics since May, after a boy fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, and zookeepers shot and killed Harambe, a 17-year-old silverback gorilla, to save the child’s life. Since then, Harambe has turned into a source of myriad internet memes.”

The Cincinnati Zoo had a spotlight on it, and instead of finding a way to withstand the pressure and use the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to its mission, it chose to run and hide. Standing up in the heat of a crisis is never easy, but it speaks to what you are as an organization, to your core values.

The Cincinnati Zoo could have used the spotlight to engage the community. It could have developed a program to support a gorilla conservation initiative, or created elementary and middle school curriculum that could be used in schools to educate children about gorillas.

And more than anything, it could have earned goodwill from the community by responding to the ridiculous barbs in a dignified and respectable manner. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “It is amazing how reasonable you can look when your opponents are unhinged lunatics*.”

The Cincinnati Zoo finally restored its Twitter account last week, but the damage has already been done and the opportunities have already been missed.

*Lincoln may have never said that.

Social Media Managers: It’s OK to Feel Uncomfortable

I’ll admit it – Snapchat makes me uncomfortable. I’ve never been one for making goofy faces into the camera, and I just can’t see the appeal in turning your head into a taco or swapping faces with a friend (well – maybe I get the humor in that one). But reading a recent Wall Street Journal article about how brands are using Snapchat to reach millennials, I had an “aha moment.”

Taco Bell’s chief marketing officer, Marisa Thalberg, recounted a pitch from her team about creating a sponsored lens on Snapchat that just wasn’t clicking for her. But she trusted her team and the results were incredible (224 million views!) – and she said “I think it’s important that sometimes I feel uncomfortable.” Bingo!I was quickly transported back to May when I heard a piece on NPR from Youth Radio in which a young reporter talked about the efficacy of brands reaching teens via social media. What struck me in the piece was the clarity from the reporter and his young cohorts that brands, their marketing managers and agencies just don’t get what it’s like to be a teen. Truth. I haven’t been a teen in, well – awhile. And while I certainly understand how to market, it’s a simple truth that I don’t know how to market to everyone, particularly demographics like teens who I’m fairly separated from.

Which brings me back to my “aha” moment: It’s okay to feel uncomfortable when developing a social media strategy. It stands to reason that marketing to a demographic other than your own will cause you to stretch and think in ways you haven’t in years, if ever, and that’s okay. Surround yourself with really smart people who have insight into or are willing to spend the time deeply researching your target market – then trust their instincts. Just because it doesn’t resonate with you doesn’t mean it’s wrong. And you never know, you just might end up with 224 million views to prove it!

Maternal Insights: Social Media Advertising to the New Mom

Having survived the first few months in my new role as a mother of two, I now find myself back in my old role as digital marketer and reflecting on my short time away…

It was 3am. The familiar sounds of a newborn cry had come again all too soon for my sleep-deprived state of mind. I stumbled down the hall in my bare feet and frumpy ol’ bathrobe grumbling to myself about how many more hours of sleep I could hope to get before the sun came up.

As soon as I caught the scent of that sweet baby girl, all was forgiven. With the lights out, we settled into the rocking chair for the third middle-of-the-night feeding that night. As she drifted off into her milk-drunk sleepy state of happiness, I aimlessly scrolled Facebook on my phone.

Read more after the jump…

Social Media: Marketing vs. Community Building

Marketing, or Community Building?

Marketing, or Community Building?

An important question came up in a recent meeting: Should the focus of social media channels be marketing or community building?

To be sure, we didn’t come to a definitive answer in the 60-minute meeting, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the question and how it mirrors many of the current grey areas and questions about the marketing communications industry.

Read more after the jump…

Nationwide Turns to Social Media to Mitigate its Super Bowl Disaster

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 10.59.10 AMI’m pretty sure everyone agrees that Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is the biggest loser of Super Bowl XLIX. With just one shockingly bad play call, Carroll went from G.O.A.T. to goat.

But many people are pointing to insurance provider Nationwide as the second-biggest loser of Sunday’s Super Bowl. Its depressing Super Bowl ad aired in the first quarter of the game, and it was widely – and immediately – ripped to shreds. A decade ago, you had to wait for tomorrow’s newspaper to see how people responded. But Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms give advertisers real-time feedback – and allow viewer opinions to quickly go viral.

Fortunately for Nationwide, its social media and public relations team quickly came to the rescue of its focus group-challenged advertising team. Within an hour of the ad airing, Nationwide released a statement online explaining the ad and took to social media to join the conversation. The company noted in part:

Read more after the jump…

How Much Damage Did That Tweet Cause?

It was bad, but did it hurt the company's reputation?

It was bad, but did it hurt the company’s reputation?

As we head into two weeks of Super Bowl coverage, we’ll see more and more about “what brands will be tweeting” from the publications that cover the marketing and communications industry. The articles brought up a concept that I first came across at a South by Southwest session back in 2011: Do even the worst social media flub ups cause real repetitional  damage for a brand?

Read more after the jump…

The Fine Line Between Twitter-Clever and Twitter-Offensive: 5 Tips

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 11.19.22 AMRoyal Dutch Airlines (@KLM) recently ruffled some international feathers when it tweeted “Adios Amigos #NEDMEX” with a photo of a mustached man in a sombrero in response to the Netherlands’ victory over Mexico in the World Cup. The tweet was only up for 25 minutes before it was deleted, but the damage had been done. Just another example in a long line of tweets that cross the line from “clever” to “offensive.”

Brands and organizations everywhere continue to push the Twitter envelope in an effort to get noticed. But how do they walk that fine line without crossing it and risking embarrassment, ridicule and even a loss of customers?

Read more after the jump…