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Content Communities

Hands down, Instagram is my favorite social media channel. I feel like Instagram is starting to become a content community with all the new updates. I use my Instagram to interact to those close to me unlike Twitter where my profile is not private and I follow anyone and everyone. I think that this transition from social to content is a great move.

On June 23, 2015 Instagram added a whole new page for the app’s 7.0 release. Explore aims to make Instagram a place of discovery by showing you places and events that are trending through Instagram’s hashtags. This update was a step in the right direction for Instagram becoming a content community.

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Instagram can be addicting. It is the only social network I can leave and return to and immediately catch up. I sometimes find myself checking the app every couple of minutes, force-reloading to see who has liked my latest post or posted a new picture. I am sure most users my age feel this way as well.

I see various organizations here on campus use Instagram as a way to promote their events. When members of an organization all take to Instagram at the same time to post a flyer, hundreds of people are reached. If the event has a hashtag like most do, more people are drawn to the posts. Being able to link Instagram accounts to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. broadens the community that posts can reach.

If someone is trying to keep up with what is happening in the world, more than likely there is a hashtag on Instagram for it. If someone wants to follow an account that posts similar interests all they have to do is search the hashtag. The use of hashtags really brings people with common interests together.

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Instagram differs from most web standards. It disables hyperlinks, except for the one you can put in your profile. It also prevents you from downloading images, so re-sharing a friend’s picture requires you to screenshot it and re-upload. Re-Instragramming is possible, but requires a third-party app. Also, Instagram only lets you search photos by hashtag. Once these things are improved upon, I believe Instagram will truly become more of a content community.

Differences Between Classic Marketing & Social Media Marketing

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Classic marketing methods are changing due to the introduction of social media marketing. I decided to compare and contrast the communication with customer and scope aspects on the chart because they play major roles in marketing.

Classic methods of marketing are more of a one way communication. The flow of communication through social media marketing is directed more towards the consumer, which allows for the marketing department to build lasting relationships with their consumers. If a crisis happens, a company can immediately respond to consumers via their social network sites. The responses are also fast and for the public to see compared to classic marketing where communication is well considered and reviewed. The results of social media are also measurable, which allows marketers to spot trends and make changes to their campaigns if needed.

Reaching consumers is a lot cheaper through social media than with classic marketing. According to Lyfe Marketing, social media is cheaper than any other form of advertising available today.

It is evident that social media platforms have a major influence on consumers. With social media platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube consumers are able to communicate amongst themselves and potentially reach millions of other users. According to Roland Berger, 90% of purchases are being made on the basis of recommendations or reviews. This demonstrates the extremely important role social networks play in the purchases made by consumers.

In some areas classic marketing is better. If an advertiser wanted to gain awareness of a new product nationwide then classic marketing would be better than social media marketing. Classic marketing is more suitable for reaching target audiences and markets. Therefore, classic methods are not yet obsolete. To truly reach the greatest amount of consumers, the two should be coordinated together.

Facebook Analytics of XYZ Company

Background: XYZ Company is a heating and cooling company (HVAC) and in Western Massachusetts. They provide installations, maintenance and repair. In addition to this Facebook page, XYZ Company has a website,Twitter account, Yelp page and Google+ page. This is a recently launched small business so all of these channels are being fine-tuned as this is pretty much a husband/wife team. Facebook is one of the primary ways they are advertising in addition to sending direct mail to a 30 mile radius. They do not have an email database yet.

What I am looking for: 

  • Who is the target audience and are we taking the proper measures to reach them?
  • Are the messages and content impacting the target audience and are they engaging with the posts?
  • Are there any links to other channels and how is integrated marketing communications being used?
  • What are the public’s opinion and views about XYZ Company that we can tell from the Facebook page?

Key Findings: 

The Facebook page has received a total of 549 likes as of March 20, 2016.

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The majority XYZ Company’s fans are between the ages 35-44 years old. The minority of their fans are under 25 years old. They have more women fans than they do men fans.

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These fans are more engaged with photo posts, video posts second and status updates last. The page reached 7,839 people, but only received 5 likes between March 13 and March 19 and only 729 fans engaged with the posts.

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The largest number of fans are online on Friday with the most views occurring at 9 p.m.

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The audience mainly accesses the page from a mobile device.

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Improvements to be made, parts other channels could play in boosting results and future campaigns or posts that could be effective:

Posts that were boosted had greater ROI than posts that were not boosted. To improve upon this, posts considered especially important should normally be boosted. Another suggestion would be to include videos or pictures with posts since they receive the most engagement. Posts should also be made more frequently on the Facebook page.

Posts referring audiences to the Facebook page should also be made. XYZ should hold contests and have fans “Like” their posts to be placed in a raffle to receive a discount on their service.

A key improvement to be made is the start of email marketing. They can send customers friendly reminders as well as information on any specials or promotions they are running especially during summer months when it is extremely hot.

Conclusion:

XYZ Company could greatly benefit from using Facebook Analytics. By including more videos and photos in their posts, posting at the most engaging time which is Friday at 9 p.m., promoting across all channels and building an email database they can improve their overall reach to customers.

Reputation Management

It is primarily the social media managers to respond to both positive and negative feedback on social media channels and blog comments. The PR manager should respond to the feedback on the public website.

Social media is a large aspect of the public relations/marketing department. A public relations manager may oversee all communications efforts but when it comes to day to day feedback the social media manager should be able to respond to both the positive and negative comments

A social media manager should be an expert in their field. Many social media managers have a background in public relations (like myself) so they should be well equipped to respond in the proper manner. I do believe that it is important for both the social media manager and PR manager agree on how they should go about responding to comments so that all channels and communications stay consistent.

Since social media managers are in charge of the day-to-day maintenance of the social media channels, website and blog, they have a better understanding of their followers and audience. Timeliness is also very important when it comes to responding to feedback especially negative feedback and a PR manager maybe too busy to check social media or the blog and the social media manager will more than likely be the one monitoring these channels so they will be able to respond quicker.

PR managers are the most equipped to deal with the public. It is in the company’s best interest that the PR manager is aware of the content that is being posted online. They are the ones that launch and develop the website do they would be the ones to have a better response to the public website comments.

Overall, the social media manager and PR manger should be on the same page when it comes to responding to both positive and negative feedback. Though each manager has their own niche to respond to, all the responses should accurately represent the company in a positive light.

Responding to Online Review Comments

*Below are two sample reviews of two different hotels. This is a sample response post for educational purposes only. 

Hyatt Regency Orlando

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Response:

Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review!

We strive to accommodate all of our guests’ room requests, however this is dependent upon availability at the time.

Unfortunately, we do have unpredictable storms in Florida during the spring and summer months. In the event of a storm, to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests, we try our best to clean up debris as soon as possible. If you experience any debris while at the pool, please feel free to let our staff know and we will promptly clean up the area.

I’m pleased to hear that you enjoyed the Spa and hope that you return for another relaxing service. The wellness philosophy at The Spa at Hyatt Regency Orlando is inspired by our guests.  Design your own treatment for a fully personalized experience or Book our Orlando Spa Getaway Package that includes a luxurious getaway in a spacious guestroom, spa services for two with a choice of 50-minute Relaxation Massage or 50-minute Organic Facial, $50 hotel credit, and complimentary valet.

For reservations and more information about spa and salon services, please call 407-345-4431, email TheSpa.mcoro@hyatt.com or reserve online.

I’m glad that you had a great experience at the B-Line and Fiorenzo. We strive to have guests with reservations seated as soon as possible, but on busy evenings guests may end up waiting a few minutes for a table. If at any point you find that your wait exceeds more than is expected, please feel free to speak to one of our staff members and we will do our best to accommodate you.

I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed the shuttle service. The $16 parking fee ensures that our guests’ vehicles are well taken care of in our covered parking.

We look forward to welcoming you and your family back in the future!

Sincerely,

Kimberly C.

Social Media Manager

Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina

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Response:

I’m sorry to hear about your experience at our hotel. Thank you for taking the time to leave us an honest review.

Our staff has been made aware of your experience and are working diligently to make sure that this does not happen again. We value your business and would like a chance to make it up to you, your spouse and friends.

Please email me directly at marinareservations@hilton.com so that we may discuss making arrangements for your complimentary stay at the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina.

Again, I apologize for your unpleasant experience during your stay and hope to resolve this issue as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Kimberly C.

Social Media Manager

3 Social Media Brand Reviews

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I have chosen to review the social media of Charlotte RusseBodyCandy and Publix. All three of these brands utilize multiple social media channels such as FacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle+Pinterest and YouTube.

Charlotte Russe

Charlotte Russe is a fast-growing fashion destination that offers a broad choice of trendy fashion, clothes, shoes, dresses, jeans, jewelry, and accessories at affordable value prices to fashionable young women they call the
“Charlotte Girls”.

All social media channels for Charlotte Russe have been updated within the last 24 hours. The content is consistently updated with information on sales or looks for an upcoming holiday.

Charlotte Russe regularly uses the hashtag #CharlotteLook on Instagram and Twitter to feature customers in their clothes.

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Besides their blog with all the customer submitted looks, there is an entire board on their Pinterest dedicated to this hashtag. This aspect drives users to their social channels because after purchasing a product from Charlotte Russe, they have a chance to be featured on them.

BodyCandy

BodyCandy is a New York based body jewelry company that offers only qualityBodyCandy-Instagram1 jewelry in a variety of price ranges to suit consumer needs.

I receive at least two to three emails weekly from BodyCandy about their sales. They are on the majority of social channels. On these channels they consistently post imagery and messaging for users.

BodyCandy does a great job of keeping their content up to date. All of their social media has new content posted within the last week. Even their Google+, which is not a channel most brands keep up to date.

The brand regularly uses the hashtags #BodyCandy and #BodyCandyHaul throughout their blog and Instagram. This drives people to their social channels because they are given the opportunity to win free body jewelry.

Publix

Publix is the largest and fastest-growing employee-owned supermarket chain in the United States.

The supermarket chain recently launched on social media platforms Pinterest and Instagram after realizing that its audience was already sharing branded content and has since seen a positive reception.
According to MobileMarketer.com, the retailer became conscience of the pull its content was deriving on Instagram and Pinterest and was quick to become a part of the conversation with its own pages.

“Instagram and Pinterest help us connect with our consumers by being where they already are,” said Maria Brous, spokeswoman at Publix. “We want to exchange ideas, pictures, recipes and so much more with our customers.”

After realizing that an abundant number of social media users on Pinterest were sharing and saving Publix’s recipes, the brand itself wanted to be involved in the conversation.

Last December, Publix launched its Pinterest account where users can interact with a variety of content, such as recipes and information, regarding products it sells.

Publix noted that the hashtag #Publix was shared more than 300,000 times on Instagram, which caused the retailer to launch its own account. In October, the brand launched its Instagram account, which features a variety of pictures and video content related to food.

Facebook and Twitter accounts were Publix’s main source of connection to consumers through social media, but its recent addition expanded its capability and provided a more comprehensive brand image.

Publix drives users to their social media channels by keeping them up to date and celebrating holidays and events with followers such as Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl with coinciding images and video. For instance, on Valentine’s Day on a short video featured candy hearts following out of the back of a toy Publix delivery truck which was then revealed to be in the shape of a heart. Also for Valentine’s Day, the retailer created a board on its Pinterest account, which shared various related content such as recipes and special occasion cards. Keeping up with holidays allows for the Publix to consistently post fresh and engaging content.

Final Thoughts

Overall, all three of these brands do a great job of engaging with their customers and replying to questions, comments or concerns. I know this personally because I have reached out to the customer service for each brand.

Charlotte Russe does the best job of driving customers to Instagram and Twitter. They are also the only brand that consistently updated their Google+ account. BodyCandy has the best blog of the three so most of their customers are drawn there. They also have the most social media channels. Both BodyCandy and Charlotte Russe do a better job of driving people to their social media channels because of their contests and user-generated content. Publix’s Pinterest is a great place for customers to find recipes and other food related topics. Publix has a Google+ account but does not have any posts. Publix updates their YouTube the most often followed by BodyCandy then Charlotte Russe. I really think that posting more YouTube videos would benefit all these brands because their products make for great imagery.

All of these brands do a wonderful job of posting around the holidays promote their sales. I think these brands have utilized an IMC approach to their marketing efforts. Each brand has a stronger following on a specific social channel but all three use the channel to their advantage.

 

Planning

I am currently a marketing intern at the Career Resource Center at the University of Florida. Our social media channels have a lot of consumer engagement. We post at least two to three times a day to Twitter  and Facebook  regularly. Anytime we have an event we tag our co-sponsors so that they can retweet to their followers as well. We post about two to three times a week to our Instagram  depending on if we are hosting an event or not. I personally prefer to use Hootsuite for Facebook and Tweetdeck for Twitter. Unfortunately, Hootsuite does not automatically post to Instagram but just sends reminders so I stilll have to manually post on there.

We try to make our posts contain important information to draw consumers to our website. We have a widget for our latest tweets to show up on the website. When we have an event going on we usually broadcast it live on Periscope. We use to have weekly videos posted to our YouTube account, but our videographer left for an internship to London so we have not been posting on there as much this semester. Lately, we have been trying to incorporate Snapchat as well but have a hard time coming up with content to post other than behind the scenes of events and short promo videos.

To gather ideas for content to post on our channels, we look at other successful career centers such as the FSU Career Center , USC Career Center , UGA Career Center and UMich Career Center. We also follow many of the departments on campus to see if there are any current events or even hashtags we can hop on and post about. This is a easy way to get content and even followers if they retweet or tag us.

The types of resources out there to help me with content are:

  1. Promote on all our social channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, YouTube and Snapchat
  2. Promote and use hashtags from other events happening on campus
  3. Create pre-event posts, during-event posts, post-event posts
  4. Promote fun/weird National Holidays such as National Pizza Day and make it career related
  5. Promote all services offered with logistics such as hours and days available
  6. Promote those who sponsor the Career Resource Center
  7. Co-sponsor other fairs and events happening on campus
  8. Broadcast all events and behind the scenes of events on Periscope
  9. Tweet generic day to day hashtags like #MotivationalMondays or #TipTuesday
  10. Live tweet quotes from interviews conducted on YouTube
  11. Consult with other career centers on content to post
  12. Post statistics, facts or other information about the current job market
  13. Get employees on our social channels to promote what they do at the center
  14. Host contests and have followers engage with us on social channels to win
  15. Retweet or quote followers that tag us
  16. Respond in a timely manner when followers tag us in their tweets