Ohio University Strategic Social Media

Crowdsourced Learning Lab #ouj4530

Author: rileycarlton

Even in a Mobile World, Retailers Aren’t Convinced Social Media Can Sell

While retailers have long fretted over whether social media sites drive adequate sales, major players in the category seem to have no intention of backing away from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But a new study might change their minds.

Between January and March, e-commerce vendor Custora crunched data about $100 billion in sales among 500 million shoppers and found that only 1.5 percent of retailers’ last-click e-commerce transactions came via social media. Within that sliver of activity, Facebook dominated 81 percent of sales, while shopping-centric Pinterest generated 10.8 percent and Instagram, YouTube and Twitter collectively yielded 5.2 percent.

“If you’re looking on a last-click basis, there’s been no movement in terms of social media platforms. Even the advent of buy buttons has done absolutely nothing to move the needle,” said Claude de Jocas, a lead analyst at digital research firm L2.

By contrast, tried-and-true digital tactics like search, email and affiliate marketing dominated 70 percent of retail transactions in the study, while another 20 percent of sales were simply impulse purchases where marketing had no influence. Long-tail efforts like display ads, text messages and push notifications accounted for the remainder of sales—essentially making social seem dead in the water.

Article by Lauren Johnson.

View the full article at Ad Week. http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/even-mobile-world-retailers-arent-convinced-social-media-can-sell-170576 .

Cory Gregory’s Social Media Gainz

By: Riley Carlton

 

Last summer I had the pleasure of doing a social media and digital marketing internship under Cory Gregory, the co-founder and former executive vice president of MusclePharm. The experience throughout my internship was completely invaluable. To be in a position to learn from the self-made fitness and business professional was unreal.

Cory, who was once a coal miner, ultimately traded in his hard hat in order to pursue his dream in the fitness industry. Along his journey of personal training, body building shows, and power lifting competitions, Cory somehow found the time to become a social media and digital marketing mastermind. Throughout his ventures with MusclePharm, Cory acquired more than 690,000 followers on Twitter, and 200,000 followers on Instagram. He intrigues his followers with his #SquatEveryday training programs and constant motivational content. Besides his unique social media content, it is Cory’s overall approach to social media that has built a loyal following. As much as I tried to be a sponge during my internship to absorb Cory’s knowledge bombs, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to gain more insight on his social media and digital marketing methods.

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Picture retrieved from Google Images

 

Riley Carlton (RC): What originally drew you to social media and digital marketing? Because it seems like you were way ahead of everyone else in the fitness industry.

Cory Gregory (CG): It’s kind of interesting. So there’s a lot of people that have a way bigger following than I do, it we have different intentions. My intentions were all for creating consumer loyalty for the business. So the way I got in to social media is kind of a funny story. I was sitting at this UFC event with Tapout president, Dan “Punkass” Caldwell, and I asked him what is your advice to me as I move forward with MP? He asked if I was on social media, and at the time I was just on Facebook and wasn’t doing much with it. So Punkass says, “Look one thing I did really well was embedded myself in the brand. You’re already gonna be the face of the brand, so I’d get so ridiculously tight to the brand so that you get get the customer no matter what happens within the company.” So I went home that night and signed up for Twitter.

RC: Why do you think social media is important in building consumer engagement?

CG: The concept for me, started with this company called Beverly International. Now they were way before the whole social media thing, but what I loved about them, was I could call down there and they would just answer any questions I had about diet plans or whatever it was. So between them and Bill Phillips, I used to think if Bill Phillips had Twitter when I was your age, and I Tweeted at him with a supplement question and he responded with an answer, but then maybe added a workout I could try, I would Bill Phillip’s supplement for the rest of my life. It’s all about the loyalty you create over time. So ultimately my concept became leading with value before I ever ask the consumer to buy anything.

Twitter literally flew out to have a meeting with my office because we were spending no money with them and all my guys were just killing it. So Twitter was like, “what’s your marketing plan, like how are you guys doing this so successfully?” And my answer was, listen…….They tweet at me and I Tweet them back….

RC: “I’ve been seeing this phrase “brand activation” come up during the launch of your new marketing firm, Activ8. Can you talk a little about the role of social media in brand activation?

CG: So what Activ8 does is, take a business or team or whatever the brand may be, and we tell them exactly what their message to consumers needs to be on social media, advertising, clothing, ect.., or how to utilize their sponsored athletes better. So basically we take the brand, dive in to all of their social media platforms, and then determine what social media plan they should use, what the artwork and design should look like, and then either they can implement these plans, or they can pay us to do it for them. So social media plays a huge part in activating a brand.

RC: So from your experience and recent work with Activ8, how much have you relied on consumer research and data to develop social media plans?

CG: So that’s one of the biggest things we’ve talked about as far as choosing what is the very best platform to reach the consumer. So at MP surprisingly we never ran any analytics. But that was my wheelhouse. Fitness is my hobby, it’s my passion, it was my job. However now with Activ8, the consumer research is essential because we have to determine what is and what isn’t working on their social media. So then after the research, we’ll have a base to measure the progress. We’ll also be using the research to measure their website analytics.

RC: What do you think the most important upcoming trend in social media is?

 CG: So first, my opinion is that Snapchat, which is obviously huge with your age group and just in general will be a big trend for a while. And second, the common denominator for everybody that is a single figure in fitness that makes a lot of money is YouTube. YouTube has basically become a TV network for people. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would’ve started putting myself on YouTube a lot earlier, because that’s the ticket. I can’t see it changing anytime soon.

RC: So I’ll wrap it up with this question here, what advice do you have for an aspiring social media professional?

CG: I would say, and it’s hard to find, but you need to find someone who is already doing social media really well and learn from them. So that, and you have to basically have your own editorial calendar. You need a blog, and you need to run all of your social media like you are your own business. It doesn’t have to be super cheesy, but it’s practice. And then also, check out different brands that you like and seeing how they go about doing social media and just take some notes on it for the future. So you just have to be more intentional about checking out brands and studying outside the classroom because you’ll gain a lot of knowledge in the real world as well.

All in all, this interview with Cory provided me with great insights. The most important insight I gained was the importance of staying engaged with consumers and actually taking the time to respond. The next insight was the trend of video content. Consumers love videos and graphics. The last insight I gained was the importance and benefit of developing your personal brand.

You know the most interesting man from the Dos Equis commericals? Well that’s basically Cory Gregory when it comes to the fitness industry. I highly encourage you to check out his life story, because it’s really something special.

NYPD Hashtag Campaign Backfires

By: Riley Carlton

 

The New York Police Department turned to Twitter in hopes of sparking conversation with their followers using the hashtag #myNYPD. The call to action directed followers to tweet any pictures they had with NYPD officers using the hashtag, for the chance to be featured on the department’s Facebook. Conversation became overwhelmingly negative when members of the “Twittosphere” abused the hashtag to post pictures of police brutality and misconduct.

The NYPD was simply trying to make an attempt to become more active on social media, and be able to communicate with citizens on a platform that provides an open and public exchange of conversation.

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This photo is originally from  Cocky McSwagsalot

Despite the unsuspected negative repercussions of the hashtag campaign, a New York police spokeswoman spoke out to defend the campaign.

“The NYPD is creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community. Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city,” said Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster.

#myNYPD became the top Twitter hashtag by the end of the day, replacing #HappyEarthDay. According the the Daily News, over 70,000 people posted negative comments and pictures.

Not only was the NYPD getting trashed during the campaign, but people also brought other police departments into the conversation. The tags #MyLAPD, #MyCPD and #MyAPD were among those trending the next morning.

Indeed, not all tweets were negative. Some people tweeted pictures with officers smiling, and others even defended the NYPD during the backlash.

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This picture was originally from the NYPD News

This hashtag campaign became a devastating social fail for the NYPD as it negatively impacted their “brand’s” reputation. When considering a social media campaign, it is important the brand carefully considers what the public’s reaction will be and what the public’s perception of the brand already is.

The NYPD had very positive and strong internal attitudes about their department. However, when considering recent tragedies such as Ferguson, the timeliness of this campaign was awful to get a positive reaction out of the public.

For this campaign to have been a social win, the NYPD should have considered a different social media platform, where people don’t have so much freedom to criticize. If the department would like to pursue a new social media campaign, they could try a live periscope session showcasing some type of daily routine the officers perform. They then could promote the periscope session on their Twitter, which would still give them the opportunity to have the “open ended conversation” with the public. The department’s PR team should also be prepared to combat the negative tweets that may come during the campaign.

The NYPD must also realize that they’re a brand whom will be both loved and hated by the public. It is up to them to utilize and communicate the NYPD’s mission statement and overall goal in response to negative criticism from the public.

Although this campaign was a major social fail, the NYPD says they will continue trying to become more active on social media. How does the saying go? There is no such thing as bad publicity? I guess you can’t deny the NYPD certainly got their name out during this campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Oh, I. (2014, April 22). This NYPD Idea Backfired Horribly On Twitter. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/22/mynypd-nypd-twitter_n_5193523.html
Valuable Lessons from 5 Shockingly Bad Social Media Fails. (2015, April 15). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2015/04/valuable-lessons-5-shockingly-bad-social-media-fails/

 

Ford, D., Lear, J., Ferrigno, L., & Gross, D. (2014, April 24). #D’oh! NYPD Twitter campaign backfires. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/22/tech/nypd-twitter-fail/
Lessons Learned from the #myNYPD Twitter Disaster. (2014, April 29). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.adweek.com/prnewser/lessons-learned-from-the-mynypd-twitter-disaster/91862
#myNYPD Campaign Draws the Wrong Kind of Twitter Engagement. (2014, April 24). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.prnewsonline.com/water-cooler/2014/04/23/mynypd-campaign-draws-the-wrong-twitter-engagement/

Coca Cola #ChooseHappiness Campaign is a “Selfie” Win

By: Riley Carlton

 

Coca Cola has taken another step in developing their one brand strategy with the #ChooseHappieness campaign. This campaign introduces the the idea of Coca Cola being synonymous with joy. Coca Cola uses an assertive tone in this campaign to tell its’ consumers that not only can you be happy, but you should be happy. All you have to do is drink an ice cold Coca Cola.

But first, let me take a selfie. That’s right, selfie! Coca Cola utilized Twitter as a platform for their #ChooseHappiness campaign, in an effort to have consumers post selfies of their happiest moments. After Coca Cola took to the streets of London to experiment with a giant pin board that exhilarated people to draw, write and express what makes them happy, photos were uploaded immediately to social media with the tag #ChooseHappiness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuSUxHmqTTo

To continue the conversation, Coca Cola encouraged consumers to take a selfie of themselves enjoying a Coca Cola with their friends, family, or even a cute squirrel and post it to Twitter with the tag #ChooseHappiness.

Photo originally published by Oil White

Photo originally published by Oil White

Coca Cola’s brand ambassadors remained present throughout the campaign providing call to actions, and uploading photos and videos to various brands and media outlets utilizing the hashtag.

The purpose of this campaign was to develop an experiential and digital strategy with a huge reach to a wide audience. The campaign was also designed to encourage the older generation to observe millennials’ happy lifestyle. Coca Cola designated Twitter as the platform for the campaign due to the convenience and quickness of posting a tweet. It also allowed all the photos to be grouped together based on the hashtag. Throughout the campaign, Coca Cola’s brand “impression, quality, value, satisfaction, recommendations and reputation, has risen 8.2 percentage points to 26.7,” according to YouGov’s BrandIndex.

Coca Cola utilized the trend of the selfie perfectly. A study done by Google estimated there are 93 million selfies taken a day. Why not encourage a few millions of those front-facing camera artists to join the Coca Cola conversation with a simple hashtag? The hashtag was not only promoted by Coca Cola’s Twitter account, which flaunts 2.96 million followers, but it was also the top trend in the UK during the London event.

#ChooseHappiness was a major social win for Coca Cola. In further developing their one brand strategy, they are quickly dissolving the disconnectedness of the four Coca Cola soft drinks. By incorporating digital marketing, Coca Cola interacted with millions of its consumers. The timeliness of the selfie trend fell perfectly in to place as there were millions of posts in the month of May.

A suggestion I would make to give consumers more incentive to engage in the #ChooseHappiness conversation would be to offer multiple month long supplies of Coca Cola. People who have Tweeted at Coca Cola and used the hashtag would be entered in the contest. Overall, the campaign was a major success in increasing Coca Cola’s brand reputation amongst millennials and the older generation of Coca Cola drinkers.

 

 

 

References:

Coca Cola replaces ‘Share A Coke’ with new ‘Choose Happiness’ plea. (2015, June 2). Retrieved February 08, 2016, from https://www.marketingweek.com/2015/06/02/coca-cola-replaces-share-a-coke-with-new-choose-happiness-plea/
Nichols, J. (2015, June 10). Coca-Cola Releases ‘Choose Happiness Over Tradition’ Pro-LGBT Ad. Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/10/coca-cola-happiness-ad_n_7493530.html
Coca-Cola Demands You Choose Happiness in This Gritty Anthem Ad for Europe. (2015, May 6). Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/coca-cola-demands-you-choose-happiness-gritty-anthem-ad-europe-164557
Coca-Cola Choose Happiness Experiential Campaign. (2015, May 20). Retrieved February 08, 2016, from https://bdaily.co.uk/creative/20-05-2015/coca-cola-choose-happiness-experiential-campaign/
Coca-Cola Journey website brings ‘One Brand’ strategy to life. (n.d.). Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://www.marketingweek.com/2015/04/14/coca-cola-journey-website-brings-one-brand-strategy-to-life/
WIN! 1 of 3 Exclusive Coca Cola Selfie Sticks #choosehappiness – Verily Victoria Vocalises. (2015, August 06). Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://www.vevivos.com/2015/08/06/win-1-of-3-exclusive-coca-cola-selfie-sticks-choosehappiness/