‘Tis the season for family, food, friends, and of course shopping!
As we all know, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have practically become holidays in and of themselves. However, with each year that passes, fewer people are leaving the comfort of their homes on Friday morning to hit the mall now that social media has created a new way in which to shop at one’s favorite retail stores.
According to the infographic below, the majority of shoppers typically learn about Black Friday deals first via email, then television, and lastly social media. However things have changed since last holiday season as social media deals are becoming increasingly popular. Through Twitter for example, if you follow Macy’s they tweet select deals with links to their online store that are exclusive to their followers.
As shown on cybermonday.com, their top steps on getting the best deals this Christmas season are to follow Cyber Monday on Facebook and Twitter. (Cybermonday.com is the official site that highlights the best deals from over 800 online retailers, and consumers can sign up for email alerts.)
How do social media platforms play a role in online shopping? Last year twenty-percent of online purchases were made after surfing through social media sites with fifty-percent of shoppers admitting to browsing for an item in the store only to return to their computers and purchase the best deal online.
And as U.S. online retail sales expect to hit $370 million by 2017, along with Twitter and Facebook users growing astronomically from 2009 to 2013, the above chart shows great insight into why businesses are now using on average 80% of their marketing budgets on social media.
Twitter has become a daily part of life for the over 200 million people who use the platform every month. And even the people who don’t tweet are exposed to Twitter through television, magazines, radio, and so much more.
So for the 200 million people who use Twitter monthly, I started wondering where they are tweeting from. More specifically, what app do they use to tweet?
When Twitter launched seven years ago, the only option for early tweeters was to use Twitter itself. I was a late bloomer and did not start tweeting until 2009 and to this day I remember signing up for Twitter and instantly not liking it. The application seemed too slow to me, and let’s face it, in the early days, it was slow.
But then one of my social media savvy friends introduced me to TweetDeck. It was user friendly, and if you’re an information nerd or want to watch what your friends are doing, very helpful as well. The only problem I had with TweetDeck was it seemed to constantly be crashing, which, if you work and live social media like I do, can be very frustrating.
Then finally I found my home sweet Twitter home with Hootsuite. With less problems crashing than TweetDeck, I was able to schedule future tweets, manage multiple accounts, and it just seemed to be easier to use on my phone, which is really important to me.
However, since that was then and this is now, currently there are all sorts of different Twitter platforms that allow you to schedule tweets, manage multiple accounts, arrange your feed into customized columns, create teams and assignments, and link all of your other social media accounts so you can update from one place.
Out of pure curiosity, I may check out Social Sprout. But if it’s not off the wall awesome, odds are I’ll be back to Hootsuite in no time.
Where does your Twitter Loyalty lie?
Ever since I decided my major would be strategic communications, I learned one word very quickly: clutter.
Getting through the clutter in today’s world is a challenge, but it is something that must be done. The amount of information that consumers get on a daily basis is overwhelming, and can have marketers wondering if their message is getting through.
Recently I sat in on a presentation given by Joe Arcuri, VP of Beauty Care for North America at Proctor & Gamble. He came and spoke to students in my major at Butler University about brand building in the digital space. Here are a few of the points I think everyone in the marketing world should know:
Your competition is EVERYONE
At the beginning of his presentation, Arcuri shared with us different YouTube videos that all of us knew like the Manning brother’s football on your phone video and the videos with the voiceover animals. While these have nothing to do with beauty at all, which is Arcuri’s main focus at Proctor & Gamble, he used these videos to point out that since everyone is fighting for space, they are still his competition.
In the digital world people can avoid anything that you produce. As marketers our goal should be to capture people’s imaginations. Arcuri mentioned how great ideas come from human insights and don’t need explaining. They can just execute themselves. He gave a great example with Oral-B’s YouTube video “The Power of Dad.” The video takes YouTube clips of real people in real situations with their fathers. Ultimately, this idea is one that ties our relationships with our fathers back to the Oral-B brand. Something that I loved that Arcuri said in his presentation is to build brands that move people by making them think and then making them buy.
Learn a lot, spend a little, and fail fast
With the digital space being so fast spaced and constantly changing it is important to learn from your mistakes, but not dwell on them. The faster you can figure out what needs to change, the faster you can turn things around for the better.
While most of these are probably obvious to those in the world of marketing, or any form of communication for that matter, sometimes we all need a little reminder.
I wanted to get another expert opinion on social media promotions so I asked our own Chad Richards, who has run more social promotions than he can remember, to offer some advice.
“There have been so many occasions when I’ve seen brands build a promotion and complain about the low participation. After all, if you build it – shouldn’t they come? Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works. Building it is only one (important) part and the other part is to promote the promotion. You’ve got to get the word out. Plus, it’s a great opportunity for cross-channel integration.”
If you build it, they will not come. You must promote your promotion in order for it to be successful. Send out an email announcing the launch of your promotion and another “last chance” email during the final week. Include links on your website and email signatures. If you’re a brick and mortar store, be sure to put up signs and pass out flyers. Don’t forget Facebook ads, sponsored stories, or any other platform specific paid promotion that is available.
Use your email list to push the message out about the launch of the promotion with all the details. Ensure that you use your subject line to help increase the open rate. Also consider doing a secondary send to people that opened the first email with a different angle of the promotion – maybe more about the prize.
This may seem silly but when you look at your analytics you’ll recognize that people look at email signatures and that they’re a valuable source of traffic.
Sponsored Stories and Ads
I’ve seen additional traffic and entries come to a promotion because of the added value that sponsored stories and ads bring.
Publish Status Updates on the Page
I suggest that you announce the promotion on your page. Try one message before the promotion, one at the launch of the promotion, and one last minute reminder. In addition – you could do a post about the prize and be sure to attach a photo of the prize or a video of someone talking about the features of the prize.
Super Advocate Release
Use an advocate – someone that loves you, knows your story, and is highly credible, to talk about the promotion. This is a highly underutilized strategy.
Get that fancy PR firm you employ to get your contest some “traditional media” love. While you can expect the “that’s not news” push back, the traditional media is hungry for positive stories and will take advantage of these opportunities on slow news days.
In addition don’t forget that there’s a whole universe of bloggers with great followings that need content too!
Put a button along with a message on your website. People visit websites at least 30% of the time (depending on the demographics more or less). The ideal place is the home or news page or on the blog.
A greatly underused opportunity, the text club offers immediacy and its self-segmenting. People opt in and stay opted in based on the value you provide.
In a world full of acronyms, I have to admit even I can’t keep up. If you just figured out what YOLO means (You only live once) then here comes another acronym to confuse you with, FOMO. And FOMO, which stands for fear of missing out, is not just an acronym but is also considered a syndrome that many of us face every day.
An article from mashable.com revealed 56% of social media users suffer from FOMO. The fear of missing out could be from numerous situations and could manifest from seeing news, events, or maybe what your friends are doing.
Even I can admit I have experienced FOMO. If you know me personally then you know my obsession with Butler basketball. On July 3rd, when I was out with some friends I put my phone down. I thought I don’t need to keep checking my phone while with friends, that’s rude. Yet 20 minutes later I realized how much I regretted that. After numerous texts I found out that Brad Stevens had stepped down as the Butler basketball coach and had taken a job with the Boston Celtics as their head coach. Had I been checking my Twitter within those 20 minutes I would have already known, and been up to speed on the news. Instead, I got texts that I thought were either an extremely late or extremely early April Fool’s joke. Excuse me, FOMO anyone?
With that example I realized a few things. FOMO may not have to be a diagnosed condition but it is something that each and every one of us who are on social media experience quite often without even knowing it. Think about how many times a day you look at Twitter,Facebook, Instagram, or any social media. As a college student I know many of my friends put blocks on their Facebook so they cannot waste time on it during finals week or have friends change their password to their social media accounts just to avoid the constant checking.
So do you suffer from FOMO? An MSN article shares these signs that you may be someone suffering from FOMO.
- You’re always on your phone, checking different social media accounts, even at parties.
- When you’re at home you’re constantly checking social media.
- You don’t want to commit to making plans until you’ve heard from everyone so you can pick the most exciting option.
Maybe we should all follow the advice of one doctor in the article who says,”Live in the moment.” So ask yourself “Do I suffer from FOMO?”