Make your business Instagram worthy

Visual imagery has powerful effects on human psychology and physiology due to its ability of to conjure up images internally, this means it must play a central role in a businesses advertising. Effective imagery can influence your consumer’s perceptions, beliefs, connotations and opinions towards your brand (Alan, B. 2002).

Instagram provides your business with a popular platform to enhance the use of imagery within your marketing mix. Check out why:

It really works

Ben & Jerry’s was among the first brands to run advertising on Instagram and with the use of memorable imagery 17.7% more people became aware of their new flavour and 9.8 million people were reached in the United States (Instagram, 2013).

Mike Hayes, Digital Marketing Manager for Ben & Jerry’s stated (2013), “Since its launch, Instagram has provided us with an amazing platform to connect with our fans and tell our story visually. Ads on Instagram let us reach and engage with more fans about our flavors, fun and values.”

Implementing Instagram into your integrated marketing communications plan unleashes endless creative possibilities. For inspiration check out this guide to Instagram for business or these 7 tips for drool-worthy insta photos.

Get instagramming!

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References

Alan, B. (2002). Investigating the power of imagery in marketing communication: evidence-based techniques. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 5(3), 164-171. 
Instagram. (2014). Instagram Business. Instagram. http://business.instagram.com
Instagram. (2013). Ben and Jerrys Case Study. Instagram. http://instagram-static.s3.amazonaws.com/Instagram_Case_Study_BenAndJerrys.pdf 
Totems. (2014). Guide to Instagram for Business. Totems. http://analytics.totems.co/instagram-for-business/

Twitter: 140 characters of business potential

As the world is progressively connected via the Internet platforms like Twitter are available to public figures and businesses to “construct consensus, establish community and mobilize action” (Tierney, 2013, p19).

Twitter restricts users to 140 characters per post, this puts Twitter’s focus on the use and frequency of micro-blogging (Al-Deen & Hendricks, 2012, p185). This is the distributing of news and activities, posting photos and revealing a ‘human side’ through personal commentary, allowing professional individuals to build and maintain a positive image.

In The Twitter Book (2009) it explains that the biggest mistake professionals make is to use Twitter as a channel to push out information when it is such a great medium for holding conversations rather than making announcements. No one is going to continue to follow someone who comes off as pushy or purely after our money.

Business figures with successful twitter accounts address their followers as “friends” and write genuine and friendly tweets that include customers within the company’s decisions, behind the scenes work and ask for opinions. This leads to effective engagement, enhanced relationships, creation of networks and a positive public image (Al-Deen, & Hendricks).

Starbucks posts new offers and participates in threaded discussions, HRBlock runs ask-and-answer sessions and Dell creates a new twitter account for each new deal (Smarty, 2008).

When within the professional world, having an effective Twitter account is another to-do to add to the list. So… tweet a little tweet on twitter, any little thing will do! (as long as it is professional, engaging, appealing, effective, proof read, utilizes each 140 character well and is posted at the right time).

References:

Al-Deen, H. & Hendricks, J. (2012). Social Media: Usage and Impact. Unighted Kingdon: Lexington Books.
Tierney, T. (2013). The Public Space of Social Media: connected cultures of the network society. New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Publications.
O’Reilly, T. & Milstein, S. (2009). The Twitter Book. California, CA: O’Reilly Media.
Smarty, A. (2008). Huge Brands Using Twitter for Business. SEJ-Search Engine Journal. http://www.searchenginejournal.com/16-examples-of-huge-brands-using-twitter-for-business/7792/

Youtube: an oasis of UGC for marketers and businesses in the social media century

Youtube is one of the greatest social media marketing tools available for businesses. With more than 1 billion unique visits to YouTube each month (Youtube, 2014) not only does the platform provide great reach but it also provides creativity, innovation and best of all… user generated content (UGC).

UGC is all the hype in modern marketing, it is defined as the ways in which users engage in and produce new media content within digital media spaces (Flew, 2008). The growth of UGC has created effective new ways to influence, leverage and connect with consumers within the marketing industry – YouTube being the best place for this (Sehnkan and Sichel, 2007).

A great example of this in action is the company GoPro. A video filmed and tagged as GoPro is uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day (Honigman, 2013). This UGC is the company’s primary way of selling and marketing their product. The 759 videos on their YouTube channel (generated by users, fans and the company) are complied to created their advertisements – transforming user-generated content into consumer-generated advertising. The company is successfully using the online GoPro community in conjunction with the power of YouTube to create free advertising and to put their consumers at the front of the company; exciting and appreciating their work and building brand loyalty. One of their amazing compilation advertisements:

GoPro is rapidly building their YouTube community, with 1,961,428 subscribers to date. Shown in the graph below they are growing much faster than the rest of the consumer electronics sector due to their successful use of YouTube (Claridge, 2013):

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Simply, Youtube is an oasis of UGC for marketers and businesses in the social media century – use it well and the online world will love you for it!

References:

Flew, T. (2008). Twenty Key New Media Concepts: User Generated Content. In V. Somerset (Ed.) New Media: An Introduction. (3rd Ed) (p.35) Hong Kong, Oxford University Press.
Honigman, B. (2013). How GoPro Does Content Marketing Like a Pro. Contently. http://contently.com/strategist/2013/03/08/how-gopro-does-content-marketing-like-a-pro/
Shenkan, A., and Sichel, B. (2007). Marketing With User-Generated Content. The McKinsey Quarterly Journal. http://www.retailfinanciero.org/site/wp-content/site_files/2010/11/Marketing-with-user-generated-content.pdf
Claridge, P. (2013). Unmetirc: GoPro’s User Generated Content Turns Extreme Sports into Extreme Engagement. Womma. http://www.womma.org/posts/2013/02/gopros-user-generated-content-turns-extreme-sports-into-extreme-engagement
Youtube. (2014). Youtube: Statistics. http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html

The Facebook App: providing true power for innovative businesses

Facebook Apps “allow third-party developers to create their own applications and services that access data in Facebook” (Wikipedia, 2014). An must-have addition to business Facebook pages and a perfect tool for social media competitions.

These highly engaging apps provide further opportunities to engage users online (Claussen, 2013, p.187). Frito-Lay, the company owner of Lay’s potato chips pulled off an innovative and successful “Do us a Flavour” (how punny) Facebook campaign that reveals the true engagement power Facebook gives businesses.

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They asked their audience to help them create the next Lay’s flavor; over 3.8 million people from across 14 countries submitted their ideas through a Facebook app. The campaign resulted in 955 million organic Facebook impressions, 1.26 billion PR impressions, and boosted sales by 12% (David, 2013).

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Anindita Mukherjee, CMO of Frito-Lay America explains (2013), “Today consumers want to have their voices heard. They want to have their hand in where a brand goes… they want to have a say.”

The campaign is “one of the most widely used brand apps in Facebook history” according to Mark Darcy, the Director of Global Creative Solutions of Facebook.

While this proves the power of Facebook and its app possibilities, businesses must be innovative and creative when developing their campaign in order to STAND OUT from the white noise of Facebook.

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Claussen, J. (2013). The Effects of Rewarding User Engagement: The Case of Facebook Apps. Information Systems Research, 24 (1), pp.186-200.
Eunice, D. (2013). Top 10 Influential Social Media Marketing Campaigns of 2013. Ad Here. http://www.adherecreative.com/blog/bid/152638/Top-10-Influential-Social-Media-Marketing-Campaigns-of-2013
Fritolay. (2013). Lay’s “Do Us A Flavor” Contest. Lay’s. http://www.fritolay.com/about-us/press-release-20140114.html
Villegas, A. (2013). Facebook App Success. Boxless Media. http://www.boxlessmedia.com/facebook-app-success-do-us-a-flavor/
Wikipedia. (2014). Facebook Platform. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook_Platform

Corporate Wikipedia: a smart business move

We all know and love Wikipedia for its ability to know everything… literally! It is written in 285 languages and with 4525000 articles in the English free encyclopedia we have all used its magic to complete assignments and Google diagnose. But how can businesses make use of Wikipedia?

Firstly, the magical Wiki is defined as, “A browser based web platform that lets volunteers contribute information based on their expertise and knowledge and permits them to edit content within articles on specific topics” (Safko, 2012, p.197).

Businesses are discouraged from writing articles about themselves due to policies. Wiki states, “Our policy on neutral point of view mandates that promotional material and advertising be removed” (Wikipedia, 2014).

Due to this businesses use of Wikipedia is limited and structured. They can download the MediaWiki software for free, which is the same software that powers Wikipedia, and use it to set up a business corporate wiki. The use of this, “improves the information environment for business within their market” (Xiaoquan, 2013).

Businesses use this corporate wiki for a management system, internal knowledge sharing, to store corporate information and for employee training. The corporate wiki community includes companies like Adobe and Amazon.com

But… these corporate wiki’s look the same as a normal Wikipedia page, so for those unaware you will not know the difference. A great form of public relations! Check out the infographic below for some interesting statistics on the relationship between public relations and Wikipedia.

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References:

Safko, L. (2012). The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies for Business Success. 3rd ed.
Wikipedia. (2014). Wikipedia: FAQ/Organisations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:FAQ/Organizations
Xin Xu, S., & Xiaoquan (Michael), Z. (2013). Impact of Wikipedia on Market Information Environment. MIS Quarterly, 37(4), 1043-A10.
Image: PRSay (2012). Infographic: Measuring PR Pros’ Engagement With Wikipedia.
http://prsay.prsa.org/index.php/2012/04/17/measuring-the-relationship-between-wikipedia-and-public-relations-professionals/