One of the really incredible things about the marketing industry is how much influence it has on people, what’s even more amazing is the way some companies are utilizing that to make amazing things happen. Just take a look at Do It Day 2016 and the way xAd were able to help people ‘get to a better place’.
I didn’t say he was a teacher of GOOD social media usage. In fact, he pretty much showed us all how not to use social media. #JebCanFixIt? Really? Yes, it’s difficult to represent an entire campaign and slogan in just a few words, but could they really not come up with something better?
The madness of this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball has been great so far! Have you found a way to utilize one of the biggest events in our nation into your digital media campaign? If not- you’re in luck! I’ve compiled a list of 4 ways you can utilize March Madness to help boost engagement with your brand on social media.
Why March Madness?
Contrary to what you might think, online searches for March Madness start as early as January and last all throughout April. This is because before the tournament starts, fans are constantly checking online to see which teams will make it into the Big Dance and those searches will increase with Selection Sunday. Obviously throughout the tournament people will be searching for scores, live action and where they can find the game. Once the final game is over, the interest dwindles down as people switch to searching about freshman recruiting and the NBA draft. Fans will also be flocking to their social media feeds and search engines every time a big upset or game changer happens; all the way from the time of tip-off to the final buzzer. With this large of a captive audience it’s almost a no brainer to integrate some type of March Madness content into your digital media campaigns. The NCAA Tournament will be dominating social media feeds, televisions and everyday conversations.
What Can You Do?
Not sure how to include March Madness in your brand’s editorial calendar? Here are a few ideas:
Contests are the #1 way to increase engagement and collect information from your audience. Lucky enough to score a pair of tickets to the big game? Create a ticket giveaway where you ask people to follow your brand and give their email addresses. Don’t have tickets to give away? One of the most common contests during March Madness are bracket challenges. Ask customers to fill out their best tournament predictions and pick a winner who has the most correct bracket!
2. Hometown Hero
Give the local teams who made it to the Big Dance a shoutout on all your digital media platforms. Be sure to tag the team and student section in all posts to increase engagement. Follow the team throughout the tournament and post live updates on your social media platforms. This will give you major brownie points in community management.
One of the simplest ways to engage with those talking about the NCAA Tournament is to use the appropriate hashtag on all social media platforms including but not limited to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Here are a few of the most popular ones:
These are just some of the most popular hashtags, but if you are looking to be a little more creative, check these out or even try to come up with your own hashtag that relates to your brand.
4. Special Offers & Deals
During the tournament get more people in the door with special offers and deals that you announce on social media. How about free appetizers when your team wins? People love to go out and watch the game with friends, so if your brand is one of those places people can watch the game at be sure you are attracting them on social media. You can also offer social media specific deals throughout the tournament to increase sales and engagement.
Incorporating March Madness can help increase engagement for almost any brand or business. The best part is figuring out all the creative ways you can make the event coincide with your brand. I’m lucky enough to live where the Final 4 takes place, so I am certainly excited to see how brands engage on social media during the Big Dance!
Need help advertising your brand during March Madness? Contact us today!
Watch out NBC, Facebook has released their game plan for advertising during Super Bowl XLIX and it doesn’t include puppies or Clydesdales. Facebook announced on Wednesday, January 28th that they will be launching Trending: Super Bowl, a real-time ticker that will bring together buzz and content related to Sunday’s big game.
Facebook is currently testing out its newest feature: the “buy” button. Although it is only on a preliminary basis at the moment, many believe it to be the new frontier in online retail. With a respectable sample size of 1.28 billion active users and 40+ million business pages registered, should this feature become standard it would make Facebook the largest and most data-rich retailer on the internet.
How it works:
Facebook will be implementing their “buy” button for a select bunch of small-to-medium sized businesses. The way this works is that the user will store their card information on file with Facebook and by doing so, they will never have to worry about filling in all of the checkout fields again. Of course, the option to check out without storing your card information is still available for those fearful of security breaches. The simplicity of clicking the buy button, and once more to confirm the order (pending that you’ve stored your card information), is believed to help with higher conversion rates of purchases.
The more steps in the purchasing funnel (i.e. going off page, filling out credit card information, etc), the more likely a consumer is to change his/her mind. This is what makes the simplicity of Facebook’s retail premise so enticing: it couldn’t be easier and you never leave the comfort and familiarity of your own news feed. In addition, if the buy button can prove to be successful at raising conversion rates, it would make advertisements on Facebook even more valuable and prices would inflate, causing the social media site to become an all-intensive money making machine.
Evolution of the buy button:
The buy button as it is currently used has evolved from several other sample features that Facebook has rolled out since 2012. First, was the “collect” button which worked much the way pinning does on Pinterest. By collecting items from your news feed, it created a wish list on user profiles that had a buy button directing you offsite to a point of purchase.
Next, Facebook started introducing an auto-fill feature in an attempt to increase conversion. It memorized credit card information and would auto-fill in the offsite that traffic was directed to, in order to assist in the purchasing process.
Finally, Facebook issued the “donate now” button which took pledges for various nonprofit organizations. This feature collected credit card and billing information to assist with the auto-fill, and also included a pop-up window that allowed you to remain onsite rather than being directed to a new window.
Although this buy button is merely in a testing phase for a select sample of small-to-medium sized businesses, people are not hesitating to speculate about how Facebook as a retailer will measure up to an already established online retailer like Amazon.
Amazon has an active user base (those who have made a purchase within the past 12 months) of 244 million people that contributed to $67.9 billion in sales in 2013. That’s 49.6 billion more than the second largest online retailer, Apple (who sold $18.3 billion in 2013, largely due to their iTunes sales). Those numbers are staggering, but with over five times the amount of active users, a simplified checkout process and the potential for impulse purchases lurking within each one of our news feeds, Facebook may prove to be a true contender in the e-commerce market going forward.
Facebook is seeking to cut into the $66.4 billion TV advertisement market through their new Premium Video Ads. Let’s take a look at how these ads will work, who they’re designed for, what tangible benefits have already occurred, and what the cost will be to run one of these ads on a Facebook users’ News Feed.
How it works:
Facebook Premium Video Ads begin to play without sound as you are scrolling through your News Feed. If you don’t want to watch them, they’ll stop once you’ve scrolled past the screen. However, by tapping on the video, sound will emit and the advertisement will go into a larger screen outside of the news feed.
Facebook has changed its algorithms around not only to determine who is watching these Premium Video Ads, but for how long they are watching as well. Those who are more likely to open the videos based on previous behavior will find more ads within their news feeds than those who consistently scroll past the videos.
Who they’re designed for:
Premium video ads are designed for large brands’ awareness campaigns that are meant to reach a mass number of people in order to increase interest in a brand, product or content in a short amount of time. For example, the first premium ad that was shown on an experimental basis was a trailer for the movie “Divergent,” which was created by Lionsgate Summit Entertainment.
Facebook contends that while TV advertisements typically reach 38% of their targeted demographic, they often over-deliver to the wrong people and can’t reach others. Premium video ads, on the other hand, can be narrowly targeted to an ideal consumer (based on the wealth of personal data within Facebook) and can be converted with 89% accuracy.
One major benefit that Facebook Video ads seem to have over other digital marketing channels like YouTube is the aspect of free will. The insights gathered from Facebook video ads infer that a user sat through an advertisement voluntarily, instead of scrolling past it. This is in contrast to the advertisements on YouTube, where a user must sit through them in order to gain access to the desired content.
One specific example of where Facebook video ads have already outperformed TV advertisements is with Coca Cola reintroducing their iconic polar bears to their French market in 2013. In a dual campaign where the Facebook video ad ran at the same time as the television ad, Facebook and Coca Cola executives both reported that every euro spent on Facebook returned 2.74 euros in additional Coke sales. That was 3.6 times better than the ROI attributed to the TV advertisement. Although this is only one isolated example from a study of 10,000 people, it is clear that the ability to hone in on a target market via Facebook is extremely effective compared to taking a shot in the dark with TV advertisements.
Although the information has not been released publicly, it is widely speculated that due to Facebook’s enormous and active daily user base of 1.28 billion people, Premium Video Ads will cost advertisers’ ~$1-$2 million per day. The ads are bought based on Targeted Gross Rating Points to reach a specific audience over a short period of time. And while they have been proven to be effective for brands like Coca Cola, small brands will have to wait for such an opportunity; they are unfortunately tailored exclusively to elite brands and are not yet available for smaller brands and businesses.
As of 2013, only 36% of the world’s population had access to the internet. It is anticipated that by 2015, 50% of the population will have access to the internet, and as a result, we will have officially entered the Innovation Age. The impact that a more connected world could have on our society is immeasurable. Although they may seem like concepts taken from an episode of The Jetsons, the following are five examples of innovative products that are either currently available or will be in the near future that can dramatically improve the ease and comfort of one’s life.
Nest is a smart thermostat. This means that it has the ability to learn user habits and can adapt to them automatically over time, so you won’t have to fidget with it in the summer and winter. It also has the ability to connect to many other devices (car, phone, washing machine, etc). Half of one’s energy bill is wasted via the thermostat, so Nest is helpful in the sake of efficiency. In addition to learning your preferences, it knows when you are out of the house, so it turns off the heat/AC automatically in order to save you money. And due to the connectivity of the devices, it knows when your are returning so that your home is comfortable by the time you arrive.
Apple Healthbook is a new feature of iOS 8 (and a key feature of the highly anticipated iWatch) that measures essentially all of a user’s vitals (heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, respiratory rate, etc). It will also have a feature that measures the quality of sleep that a user received. This new app really seems like it could empower a lot of people to monitor their health more carefully and effectively, and as such, is a prime example of technology improving our lives.
Google Self Driving Car:
Though there is a functioning prototype of the Google car, it still isn’t ready to be mass produced for a large market. However, these autonomous vehicles, if mass produced, could greatly reduce the risk of vehicular accidents in the future. Also, they restore a great deal of independence to people who might have disabilities that have prevented them from driving previously.
Crowdfunding sites are a relatively new thing on the internet that are essentially fundraising platforms for various causes. Strangers will pool their money together to rally around a certain cause, whether it’s a creative venture (à la Kickstarter) or raising money for someone who’s sick in the hospital. These sites have given the ability to drastically change one’s circumstance all due to the kindness and generosity of strangers.
Mint is a personal finance website (and app) that is owned by Intuit. It puts all of your accounts, transactions, budgeting, investments and savings in one easy-to-read location. It will send you alerts about possible fraudulent activity, remind you of bills that are due, and give you a warning when you’ve gone over your budget. It is super helpful for those who often struggle with keeping a close eye on their financial situation.
With the acquisitions of WhatsApp and Oculus Rift, Facebook has had a busy year and it’s only half over. The WhatsApp purchase made sense, but shocked some because CEO Jan Koum was adamant about not selling the company earlier in the year.
The Oculus Rift purchase, on the other hand, shocked many more in the technology world. Palmer Luckey, a college dropout, began working on this virtual reality headset when he was only 15, and he created the first prototype in his parent’s garage in 2009. Oculus Rift started as a completely independent company getting its initial start from a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised almost $2.5 million dollars. (The initial goal for the VR project was just $250,000.)
A lot of their Kickstarter backers felt betrayed when the acquisition was announced, and they took to Oculus Rift’s Kickstarter page to voice their opinions.
“This is not what I backed this project for. Seriously not. I hope Kickstarter will learn from this and find ways to prevent such abuse of their platform in the future. You lost a lot of credibility due to this. And Oculus? Oh well … RIP,” writes Jashan Chittesh on the Kickstarter site.
But Oculus Rift CEO Brendan Iribe had this to say: “Do we want to be Game Boy, or iPhone or Android?” Iribe realized the mobile platform is where to be these days.
If Oculus were to stick to a handheld platform (i.e. Gameboy), their potential reach would be far less. With the help of Facebook’s users, Oculus Rift’s plan is to put one billion people into an immense virtual world. “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate,” said Mark Zuckerberg. But creator Palmer Lucky has also assured people that they won’t need to sign into Facebook to use an Oculus Rift. It will operate independently of Facebook. That remains to be seen.
This isn’t the first time a startup with a devoted fan base has been bought up by a bigger company — and it won’t be the last time either. The future of this acquisition remains to be seen, but I will be surprised if these two companies don’t make an excellent product, utilized for much more than just gaming.
What are your thoughts on Facebook purchasing Oculus Rift? Were you one of the spurned Kickstarter backers? I would love to connect with you on Twitter or in the comments below.
Of the 255 recognized countries or territories in the world, 230 of them have generated at least one mention of the 2014 World Cup on social media, according to the Adobe Social Index (ADI). On average, 350,000 Tweets are being sent out per day mentioning the World Cup. The opening game, Brazil vs. Croatia, is expected to draw over 3 billion viewers, which is around half the world’s population.
Why is social media brand coverage so important during this event? In a 90-minute game, only 17 percent of that time is dedicated to commercials, which are easy to skip or avoid with today’s technology. Meanwhile social media represents a constant flow of information throughout the game, and some of that information is guaranteed to be advertising.
The phrase World Cup has amassed 19 million mentions on social media since last June. Most likely because of this, Adidas is spending more on digital marketing than it is on television ads this year. Tom Ramsden, the global brand marketing director for Adidas football, had this to say about the World Cup: “This will undoubtedly be the most social World Cup ever and probably the most social event in history.” The top 20 most shared World Cup ads have already out-performed the top 20 Super Bowl commercials earlier this year.
Christian Ronaldo, the world’s most popular athlete on Twitter, tweeted out a Nike YouTube commercial to his 26 million followers recently. The results were staggering. The video has reached over 75 million views since it was uploaded less than two months ago. Shakira’s World Cup hit La La La has been viewed over 97 million times in under two weeks.
Google is also taking advantage of this event’s global popularity by creating a World Cup website that will show live updates and what’s trending in one convenient spot. As you can see from the picture below, each match has people’s reactions in real-time on social media regarding each team.
FIFA.com has a fantastic social media hub that shows you live feeds from all of their Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages. If you want a visual of how popular the World Cup is on social media, check out this recent Facebook post that garnered close to 15,000 shares and almost 150,000 comments in less than an hour.
Not all the buzz on social media is positive. Brazilians are particularly angry about the cost of this month-long event. It is believed that Brazil has spent over $11 billion in preparing for the World Cup. Protests even erupted hours before opening ceremonies. Police tried to diffuse angry demonstrators with tear gas and rubber bullets near one of the stadiums.
How do you plan on staying up-to-date during this highly anticipated event? Let us know in the comments.