Zippyz by Little Trendyz

zippys by little trendyzZippyz by Little Trendyz is a company that was created by a mom who was frustrated with the onesies and footed pajamas on the market. Lisa Youngelson came up with the idea when she was tired of dealing with late night changes that left her baby boy Ryan with a cold and exposed chest during changes. Lisa realized that she was not pleased with either kind of newborn pajama on the market; the snaps were hard to line up, the zipper was leaving his chest cold, there just had to be an easier way! And then there was.. Lisa created the Zippyz in 2010 as a combination of both pajama styles. With three snaps on top, and a zipper from foot to belly, babies stay warm while getting changed. Zippyz are made from a combination of organic cotton and bamboo making the pajama soft for babies and eco-friendly. Take a look at how Zippyz work below.

This product is geared towards new parents and new babies. With its easy to use changing abilities, it cuts the changing process in half, and with the soft material, parents don’t have to worry about the material that they are dressing their babies in. The product is the company’s biggest strength. Since there is no other product like this on the market, Zippyz can capitalize on this opportunity to become a household name. At this time there is a lack of product awareness and brand recognition which can be changed through an integrated marketing campaign (IMC). In order to truly build awareness and recognition, creating an IMC strategy that integrates the same branding and messaging through different channels will help Zippyz be seen on a larger scale. At this time, the biggest threat to Zippyz would be a more established company creating a similar product for a lower price point. At $25 a pair it is a product that is geared towards middle class families.

Due to the  potential for growth that Zippyz is exhibiting, I would suggest a major overhaul of all social media channels in order to create consistent brand imagery. I would implement a #zippyz hashtag in order to be found easier across all channels, as well as start using channels more frequently. By posting more consistently Zippyz will be found much quicker and with a higher search ranking. Including a blog in the campaign will be especially important, with a blog that is consistently being updated more keywords and tagged words will boost rankings and being found. In order to not have to wonder about what to post about, I would take the approach of a “parent” blog. Reaching out to other parents who have good baby products that aren’t being recognized and having them guest write, as well as offer tips and advice for new parents. A nice mix of advice and product referrals will really help the brand Little Trendyz become much more recognized as a go-to source for parents. Another great way to increase awareness would be to hold contests and promotions where people can win one of the products. This would increase shares and likes depending on the contest.

In order to make the process of posting on various platforms easier, I would implement a tool like Hootsuite. By using Hootsuite for posting could be planned in advance on a weekly basis in order to save time. It would also allow one place to check and track interaction with followers instead of jumping from platform to platform. Using an IMC will help take a great product farther, faster. By integrating the brand through the various platforms, Zippyz can quickly become a household name.

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2013 International Spa Association Conference and Expo Recap

International Spa Association 2013

In order to look and really try to understand what was going on at the International Spa Association Conference and Expo, which will now be referred to as ISPA, I took a look at what happened both before and during the expo this year. The theme this year was “Grow”, and it was shown in a few different ways, there is the flower imagery that was used throughout some of the platforms, but not truly integrated into their Pulse magazine, or their ISPA Exposure Guide. Hidden in the Pulse magazine here, there is some of the flower imagery, but I would have expected an image on the front cover since this was the main event mentioned on the cover. Also, while the Exposure Guide showed the same color scheme as the flower imagery and the website, there were no flowers which was a little surprising. Some things that were also used for branding was the #GrowYourWorld hashtag, it was occasionally used. For the most part though, the event could be tracked through the #ISPA2013 hashtag.

They have a website, a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Blogger page. The conference took place from October 21-23 in Las Vegas, Nevada and was attended by a lot of famous speakers and businesses. Starting on October 14th the ISPA social media information and publicity really began. Some sites were utilized a lot better than others, while some were cross posted to various platforms keeping the branding and message consistent.

Social media was used as a way to both inform their guests about upcoming events, and registration times; as well as including pictures of what was going on behind the scenes.

Here is a shot of behind the scenes work that was happening on October 20:

ISPA prepThis was one of the many images that was posted both on their Instagram, Twitter and their Facebook. This image was great, and by cross posting it to the 3 various platforms it made sure that there was a lot of different viewings. I think when they used information such as what was going on behind the scenes and what various events there were to look forward to, it was a great use of social media. The usage of Instagram was really an integral part of the campaign since it gave people who weren’t attending a view of what was going on at the event. I will say, I think there could have been a lot more photos from the event. There were only a couple images of speaker or groups at the conferences, and almost no pictures of the booths. I think this was definitely a missed opportunity since visuals have shown to be such a great way to get engagement. The pictures from their Instagram simultaneously posted to their Facebook and Twitter page. This one picture got 31 likes and 4 comments on the Instagram page, 42 likes and 4 comments on the Facebook page, and 1 favorite on the Twitter page. Throughout the event it is easy to see that the best engagement occurred on the Facebook and Instagram page, bringing concrete evidence that visuals work the best on those two platforms. What I find interesting about the consistency of feedback and engagement on Facebook and Instagram is the fact that there are over 7,000 Facebook followers, over 4,000 Twitter followers, but only over 200 Instagram followers. This really exemplifies how impressive the amount of engagement that they are getting on Instagram. After the event, and during, they requested people share their pictures with #ISPA2013, and they created a page on their website here, with everyone’s pictures. I think that was a really nice touch and it gave people the opportunity to share their experience at the conference.

ISPA twitter The Twitter feed did not receive a lot of engagement, as I had previously mentioned. There was a wide variety of posts during the days, which makes sense since Twitter is usually used to keep things up to date. I don’t know if maybe there was more than one person managing the Twitter feed, but I did notice that sometimes the #ISPA2013 hashtag was used, while other times it was forgotten about. I can understand if this only happened when there was a lot to say in that one tweet, but it occurred randomly throughout all of the days. Twitter was used for a variety of reasons, there was a lot of reminding on Twitter. Such as, “Attend tomorrow’s last General Session w/ keynote Bill Rancic to learn how to think like an entrepreneur. It’s a can’t-miss event! #” or “Get your morning workout in with Lawrence Biscontini during the final Greet the Day on the Expo floor from 6-7 am!”. I think these are great ways to let people know about what is going on, and it gives people who can’t attend a snapshot of what is happening. Another use they made of Twitter was to give thank you’s to people who were speaking, which is nice but would have been better if they could have integrated the persons own Twitter handle into the tweet. Instead of, “Attend tomorrow’s last General Session w/ keynote Bill Rancic to learn how to think like an entrepreneur. It’s a can’t-miss event! #, there should have been more, “What a great first day! Looking forward to seeing speak on business on Wednesday!”. I don’t know why Twitter handles weren’t used, the last tweet I quoted was actually a retweet from someone attending the conference. I think using more Twitter handles would be appreciated by the people who want their own name out there as well. On the plus side, they did retweet any tweet that had their #ISPA2013 or #GrowYourWorld. To me, this is HUGE since so many companies completely ignore people when they are mentioned. It has actually become one of my biggest pet peeves, so the acknowledgement and retweet definitely made the Twitter feed stand out. Since the event ended, that is the biggest thing that they are doing, finding any tweets they missed and making sure they retweet them.

International Spa Association 2013 FacebookWhen it comes to the Facebook page, as I previously mentioned, there was a lot more interaction and engagement. I think that some of the posts were really great reminding people about events, and sharing supplemental information to guest speaker’s speeches as well as saying thank you to sponsors. I am a little surprised that more of the sponsors weren’t mentioned. I don’t know if maybe that was because there was more than enough marketing at the event that listed all of the sponsors, but if each sponsor has a Facebook, they should all be listed. While every company is focused on their own publicity, it is always good to have your name brought up by other people so you aren’t always promoting yourself. I am sure every sponsor would have appreciated a “shout out” that linked back to their own page. Other Facebook posts were about speakers and provided information about the speaker and gave people the ability to learn more if they wanted to. I did notice though that only a few speakers were mentioned. There were actually over 30 speakers at the event, and I am sure each one would have appreciated a little blurb on them and what they were speaking about and when they were speaking. I think this is a missed opportunity to share more things to enhance the experience. If you want people to sit and listen to them talk, why not promote that more and give them a reason to sit and listen? After the event, there have been many call to action posts requesting pictures from the conference as well as asking for posts for their blog about people’s experiences.

International Spa Association 2013 Pinterest board

The Pinterest page is seriously lacking, there are only 24 pins on this page when there is such an opportunity for so many more. First of all, I don’t know if every single speaker was pinned, but if they weren’t they should have been. Also, every single booth and company in attendance of the event should have been pinned as well! What a missed opportunity! Whenever someone is a part of a big conference such as this one, they should be listed everywhere possible. I think they did their sponsors and speakers a huge disservice by not pinning them to this board. It would have made their board look better and more complete, as well as help with SEO.

ISPA blogThe blog was a little disappointing, when I envision a blog on a big event such as this one, I am picturing daily if not twice daily posts describing what the day will entail and what can be expected, or what people can look forward to. There was nothing posted during the expo. While the post that was made on October 14th, seen below was very informative, and posts before that were informative and helpful as well, there should have been much more posting during the event. Also, there could have been an in-depth recap of the event, but there has not yet been one which is not really a good sign either. Usually if a recap hasn’t been done by now, things start to get forgotten and missed when someone actually goes to write a new post.

The YouTube channel had a lot of videos from the past, and really only added one video during the time frame from a speaker, saying that it is Volume IV, while not posting any of the other volumes. I think this is a big misstep on their part since they should really keep consistent posting when it comes to images and videos, I know that images are always a lot easier to upload since they are snapshots, and with a video there may be editing that they have to worry about, however I think more should be added to the channel by now, since it is already 4 days after the event.

International Spa Association LinkedIn ProfileWhen I looked at the various pages, I was interested in the fact that a LinkedIn profile was being publicized as a place to be followed. I thought this was a great way to have businesses and people link up professionally after they both connected to the International Spa Association. I was shocked that I didn’t see more activity about the expo. With over 500 connections I though this would have been a great place to include articles and informational pieces about the speakers, sponsors and award recipients in order to really get more information out there. I recently learned that having a great headline with a lot of keywords is a wonderful way to get seen more and recognized more often, but the headline is fairly lackluster and so is the rest of the profile.

All in all there were some wonderful parts to the social media campaigning, and some lackluster ones. I will say that they fact that ISPA attempted to stay on top of 8 different platforms is commendable. However, they probably would have been better sticking to just a couple and consistently doing them really well. I think it is really great that they made a point of recognizing everyone who reached out to them and used their hashtags, it is a great way to make people feel as though they are being listened to and heard and it is a step that so many companies miss these days.

Things to do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

holidaydisneyDisney’s Animal Kingdom is one of my favorite places to visit! There are so many different things to see and do while there, that it is a lot of fun! My job is to engage with potential customers on Facebook and Twitter and tell them about various things that are happening. Another key point that I will be trying to make is how many other things go on at Animal Kingdom that most people don’t know about! I think it is a great way to really capture the magic of what goes on at Disney and Animal Kingdom to show that there is not only the fun, standard rides and events, but that if you delve deeper there are lots of other things you can enjoy.**

Sunday, December 1 –

Facebook: Come watch the parade as Mickey goes from Africa crosses to Discovery Island, travels to Asia, and has some Jingle Jungle fun!

Twitter: Come see Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade with Mickey, Minnie and Goofy at 3:45pm today! #JingleJungle

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade

Monday, December 2 –

Facebook: Spend your vacation at the Animal Kingdom Lodge to get in and experience the animals an hour early!! Enjoy an Extra Magic Hour with your family!

Twitter: Figuring out where to stay? Stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge! #ExtraMagicHour

Tuesday, December 3 –

Facebook: Come meet Mickey, Minnie and their friends at Camp Minnie-Mickey and enjoy the Animal Kingdom atmosphere! #CampMinnieMickey

Twitter: Come hang out with Mickey, Minnie and all of their friends at #CampMinnieMickey

Wednesday, December 4 –

Facebook: Who wouldn’t want to meet this fun guy at the Animal Kingdom Affection Section?! He is so cute and you can actually enjoy the petting zoo and meet him. So come visit and make a furry friend! #AffectionSection

Twitter: Come meet this friendly guy at Animal Kingdom’s #AffectionSection today!

Animal Kingdom's Affection Section

Thursday, December 5 –

Facebook: One of the great features at the Animal Kingdom is the Tree of Life, come hang out inside while watching It’s Tough to be a Bug with Flik and Hopper! This is an 8 minute 3D movie that will let you get off your feet when you’re walking all day! Don’t forget to look up when walking through the #TreeofLife you may be able to see a lot of different things!

Twitter: Come hang out at the #TreeofLife and watch It’s Tough to be a Bug with Flik and Hopper!

Friday, December 6 –

Facebook: Learn to be a Conservation Hero at the Conservation Station. Designed for animal lovers, this station will help you learn about how to help conservation and how to save the world. #ConservationStation

NOTE: Include picture of children learning at Conservation Station

Twitter: Learn how to save the animals and save the world at the #ConservationStation Be a Conservation Hero!

NOTE: Include picture of children learning at Conservation Station

Saturday, December 7 –

Facebook: Take a look at our 13 foot long tall Tyrannosaurus Rex reproduction named Sue. Hang out at The Boneyard and enjoy a play maze where you can look at wooly mammoth bones! #Dino-Sue

Twitter: Take a look at our 13 foot long T-Rex named #Dino-Sue and hang out at DinoLand U.S.A.!

Dino-Sue at Animal Kingdom

Sunday, December 8 –

Facebook: Thinking back to all the times you have been at Animal Kingdom, what was your favorite experience? Share a photo if you have one!  #AnimalKingdomMemories

Twitter: Share one of your favorite times that you have had at #AnimalKingdomMemories

Monday, December 9 –

Facebook: Missing our four African elephants that we have given to the National Elephant Center, but so happy that they are happy! They get to pluck fruit straight from the trees!

NOTE: Picture of elephants picking oranges off the tree

Twitter: So happy to hear that our four elephants at the National Elephant Center are happy! #LoaningElephants

NOTE: Picture of elephants picking oranges off the tree

Tuesday, December 10 –

Facebook: Cool out after walking all day while enjoying the rafting expedition as it travels along the Chakranadi River in Asia. Enjoy the #KaliRiverRapids as you go through a 90 foot path and race down a 20 foot slope!

NOTE: Picture of people enjoying being soaked coming off the Kali River Rapids

Twitter: Cool down while enjoying the #KaliRiverRapids! Enjoy the rafting expedition and race through the rapids.

NOTE: Picture of people enjoying being soaked coming off the Kali River Rapids

Wednesday, December 11 –

Facebook: Come to our Maharajah Jungle Trek and enjoy looking at our Komodo Dragon that has grown to be 8 feet long! After that you can learn more about the other animals on our trek.  #KomodoDragon

NOTE: Include picture of Komodo Dragon measured out to 8 feet long

Twitter: Come to our Maharajah Jungle Trek and enjoy looking at our Komodo Dragon that has grown to be 8 feet long! #KomodoDragon

NOTE: Include picture of Komodo Dragon measured out to 8 feet long

Thursday, December 12 –

Facebook: When you stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort, come enjoy dinner at Sanaa and enjoy watching the animals roam the Sunset Savanna.

Twitter: Stay at the Animal Kingdom Resort and enjoy dinner at #Sanaa while watching animals roam!

Sanaa Restaurant at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort

Friday, December 13 –

Facebook: We are having fun planning Disney’s Avatar Land, and getting ready to break ground. 2017 can’t come soon enough! #AvatarLand Who else is excited? Let us know by commenting and tagging #AvatarLand

Twitter: We can’t wait until 2017 for #AvatarLand! Let us know your thoughts by tagging #AvatarLand

Saturday, December 14 –

Facebook: Explore the African savanna in the safety of our open-air vehicle on our Kilimanjaro Safari tours! Take a look at our many animals, including crocodiles, cheetahs, giraffes, lions, elephants and even more! #KilimanjaroSafari

Twitter: Bring your family on our #KilimanjaroSafari and enjoy seeing many of our animals up close!

Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom

Sunday, December 15 –

Facebook: Enjoying traveling through time and go back to the Dinosaur Age! Hop on a Time Rover and enjoy narration by #BillNyetheScienceGuy

Twitter: Enjoy traveling through time, meeting dinosaurs and listening to #BillNyetheScienceGuy during the Dinosaur Age!

Monday, December 16 –

Facebook: It’s Monday again! Did you spend time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom over the weekend? If so, let us know! We would love to see pictures from your Animal Kingdom Adventures! Tag #AnimalKingdomMemories so we can all experience the fun!

Twitter: Have any wonderful Animal Kingdom pictures or memories from this weekend? Share it with us by tagging #AnimalKingdomMemories

Tuesday, December 17 –

Facebook: Walk along our Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and come see our gorillas! Rumor has it that Disney cast members hide jugs filled with fruit to stimulate the gorillas, but one gorilla has turned the tables and hides his empty jug in order to force the cast member to look for it! See if you can figure out which gorilla is this crafty! #smartgorillas

NOTE: Include panoramic shot of gorillas

Twitter: Come see our gorillas on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, try to find out who is playing tricks on the cast members! #smartgorillas

NOTE: Include panoramic shot of gorillas

Wednesday, December 18 –

Facebook: Calling all runners! The time is now to register for the Expedition Everest Challenge, while the event takes place in May, register now to get your number! Enjoy the 5K run that is combined with the added challenge of a scavenger hunt! #ExpeditionEverest5K

Twitter: Come join in the fun on a nighttime 5K race at #ExpeditionEverest5K! Join today to run in May!

Disney's Animal Kingdom Expedition Everest Challenge Medals

Thursday, December 19 –

Facebook: Want to make your Christmas Eve a night like no other? Enjoy a night of holiday magic by signing up for a Disney Christmas. Walk into your room with  a completely personalized experience, Christmas lights lighting your way, large Mickey and Minnie’s each holding a special holiday gift you selected for your family. Also included is a special Christmas blanket. While you are snuggling, enjoy some caramel chocolate popcorn as you marvel at the magic. To sign up got to Dreaming of a Disney Christmas.

Twitter: Make your Christmas Eve even more fabulous with a night of magic. Go to Dreaming of a Disney Christmas for more information.

Dreaming of a Disney Christmas

Friday, December 20 –

Facebook: Looking for a new and amazing way to spend your holiday? Come enjoy the private Wild Africa Trek, when you buy this exclusive tour you also get to enjoy an African-Inspired treat as well as a CD of professional photos that are taken while you enjoy the adventure! #WildAfricaTrek

Twitter: Looking for something special and exciting for the holidays? Take part in our #WildAfricaTrek with your family!

Saturday, December 21 –

Facebook: Due to popular demand, our Expedition Everest Tour with an Imagineer contest is back! Enter today through December 23rd and you can be selected to enjoy a wonderful one hour inside look at what makes the attraction so great through the eyes of a Walt Disney Imagineer! Since the winners will be selected to attend the tour from December 25-December 31, this time we will allow you to bring one loved one to share the joy during the holiday season. Take a look at the rules and make sure you enter your name! #EEContest

NOTE: Include image of inside the Expedition Everest attraction

Twitter: Bringing back our Expedition Everest Tour Contest! Sign up to win and spend December 25-31 on the tour! Enter by December 23!

NOTE: Include image of inside the Expedition Everest attraction

Sunday, December 22 –

Facebook: Learn about over 20 species of birds while enjoying our Flights of Wonder show! Under a canvas canopy, your can watch as various birds take flight in front of you, and soar over your heads. If you are feeling really ambitious, raise your hand to be selected for audience participation and make sure someone is ready to snap some amazing photos of you! This show happens 5 times a day, so make sure you don’t miss it! #FlightsOfFancy

NOTE: Include picture of audience participant in a gallery where more can be added, so that it is an ongoing chance for people to see their own participation.

Twitter: Enjoy the Flights of Wonder show!! Make sure you don’t miss it or a chance to be selected as a participant!

NOTE: Include picture of audience participant in a gallery where more can be added, so that it is an ongoing chance for people to see their own participation.

Monday, December 23 –

Facebook: Wondering what to do while waiting in line with your family? Look for Hidden Mickeys! Hidden Mickeys are something that happened as an inside joke from the Imagineer’s, however, once the concept and idea got out, the idea grew to include them and leave them as something for people to find! It is a great way to pass the time when standing in line, especially since sometimes you will have to use your imagination to find them! They can be in a leopard spot, the pupil of a painted animal, even in a footpath while you walk! Keep your eyes open and let your imagination run wild! If you do find some, snap a picture and use #HiddenMickey to share it with us.

Twitter: Be bored in line no more! Look for Hidden Mickey’s everywhere! Find one and share it with us by using #HiddenMickey

Tuesday, December 24 –

Facebook: Love Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and want to learn more? Take the Wild by Design Tour! This is a 3 hour walking tour that will show you how the 500 acres of wetlands was made into the jungle paradise that it is today. What better way to spend your Christmas Eve Day? You’ll enjoy learning fun facts about how the park was created, a continental breakfast, and you’ll enjoy a Wild by Design keepsake! Find out more today! #WildByDesign

Twitter: Learn more about Disney’s Animal Kingdom with a special #WildByDesign tour! Enjoy your Christmas Eve Day with a walk through the jungle!

Wednesday, December 25 –

Facebook: Since you are going to be here enjoying Christmas, here is a fun way to plan out your day! Hit all of the different spots on our Animal Kingdom Bingo card to make the most of your day! Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas everyone!!! #AKBingo

Twitter: While you are enjoying Christmas, play our #AKBingo game for a way to make the most of your day! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Disney Animal Kingdom Bingo

Thursday, December 26 –

Facebook: What was you favorite moment yesterday? Share it wish us by tagging #MakeMagic

Twitter: What was you favorite moment yesterday? Share it wish us by tagging #MakeMagic

Friday, December 27 –

Facebook: Enjoy the day and make it a point to go see the Festival of the Lion King! With a sing-a-long, acrobatics, and incredible costumes this will sure be an incredible way to spend your day! There are 6 different show times, so make sure you choose a time to go sit down, and cool off while you watch a wondrous show! #HakunaMatata

Twitter: Spend time watching the Festival of the Lion King! What was your favorite Lion King Movie moment? Share it with us by tagging #HakunaMatata

Saturday, December 28 –

Facebook: When you come to Animal Kingdom, take a ride on Primeval Whirl and don’t forget to look for the Hidden Mickeys!!! Enjoy taking the time machine coaster back to the dinosaur age!

Twitter: When you come to Animal Kingdom, take a ride on Primeval Whirl and don’t forget to look for the Hidden Mickeys!!! #Primeval

Animal Kingdom Primeval Whirl

Sunday, December 29 –

Facebook: Do you want to learn more about how the animals are taken care of at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Find out at the Backstage Safari, it’s a 3 hour look at how the Cast Members take care of the 1,500+ inhabitants!

NOTE: Include picture of guests looking at the food being prepared.

Twitter: Do you want to learn more about how the animals are taken care of at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Find out at the #AKBackstageSafari

NOTE: Include picture of guests looking at the food being prepared.

Monday, December 30 –

Facebook: We are getting ready for our 2013 year round up! Share any pictures you have of spending the year at Animal Kingdom in 2013. Share it with the tag #AnimalKingdom2013 We will display a compiled slideshow on January 1, 2014. Make sure you come back to take a look!

NOTE: Create a slideshow of compiled photos from 2013

Twitter: We are getting ready for our 2013 year round up! Share any pictures you have at Animal Kingdom in 2013. Share it with #AnimalKingdom2013

NOTE: Create a slideshow of compiled photos from 2013

Tuesday, December 31 –

Facebook: Can’t wait to start the New Year? Start New Year’s Eve from the top of Expedition Everest! Get ready for 2014! Share your New Year’s resolutions with us at #NewYearNewYou2014

Twitter: Get ready for 2014 from the top of our Expedition Everest! Share your New Year’s resolutions with us at #NewYearNewYou2014

Disney's Animal Kingdom Expedition Everest

** This post is not in any way affiliated with Disney World, Disney, or Animal Kingdom. This is a mock post about what I think would be a good idea for Disney’s social media programming to implement in the month of December. While many of these are events that will happen, or have happened, this is in no way a guarantee of anything happening at Animal Kingdom. For the most up to date information on Disney’s Animal Kingdom you should always look at their actual site and see what they are offering. Thank you for your understanding!

Candy, Pets and Martha Stewart- A look at what works..

social-platformIn the past few weeks we have learned a lot about different ways that brands have taken control of their marketing. Some brands focus more on social media, while others integrate social media into their other marketing strategies.

The three companies I looked at are MandM’s, Martha Stewart and Petco. I have had experiences with all three which is why I chose them.

Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 8.49.05 PM

MandM’s Black MandM Contest

MandM’s does a great job keeping up with the seasons and updating all of their websites to reflect the times as well as have marketing with their products in print and in person. Their YouTube page has lots of views, their Instagram has really funny photos for the fall, and their Twitter is fairly up to date. They consistently use the hashtag #mms which has created enough of a following that people have taken it and begun to use it themselves when they have pictures with various products.

Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 9.55.53 PM

Ms. Brown MandM’s Twitter Page

Part of the integration method that they are using is combining different contests through various social media channels. For instance, on the left they posted a contest on Twitter that had a picture that linked to Instagram in order to drive traffic to that platform.

The way that this company uses all various forms of marketing between different social media platforms as well as marketing on products, in magazines, and in grocery ads is a well thought out strategy.

The next company I looked at was Martha Stewart. This brand is constantly working in various areas of improvement and updating their various social media platforms consistently. The way Martha Stewart integrates between the magazines she puts out, as well as all of the products she is selling, is a well thought out plan.

Martha Stewart uses various hashtags such as #MarthaStewartCrafts and #MarthasHalloweenHunt. Both of these allow other people to use the content provided as well as insert their own information to answer the riddles and connect back to their own Twitter.

Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 8.50.38 PM

Martha Stewart’s YouTube

Another platform that they are using incredibly well is YouTube, the way that they connect their TV programming into clips on YouTube.

What Martha Stewart posts in her magazines is also mentioned on the website as well as having the ability to connect to her Apple apps for iPad and iPhones. The brand also allows you to subscribe to emails and receive daily messages on new posts.

The fact that she consistently uses the same themes in her work and stays up to date makes a big difference in her marketing. People know what to expect, they know that if a holiday is coming up there will be new content to look through for ideas on various items.

Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 8.58.47 PM

Petco’s Facebook

Lastly, I looked at Petco for the ways that they reach out to customers. While you can sign up for emails, they also send you mail and you can sign up to receive coupons and discounts on items in store and online. Petco reaches out to customers and potential customers in different ways, truly showing how they integrate all of their marketing tactics.

Across all of their social media platforms they do keep consistent imagery and various campaigns. For instance, right now they are focusing on their Star Wars Halloween costume collection as well as timing it for their Halloween “Make a Scene” contest. They use their various social media platforms to cross publicize the contest and let people know what is going on. One thing they don’t do is use consistent hashtags. I was a little shocked about this, it seems as though creating a #Petco hashtag would be a simple enough thing for them to follow, but it is the customers who are using that and not the actually company.

Truthfully all of these companies have taken the time to stay up to date with their campaign strategies as well as making sure that they don’t only focus on social media. Something to constantly remember is that the best marketing is still face to face communication and word of mouth. Which is why even though all of these companies focus on social media they also make sure to have outreach to customers in other ways. Through product placement and sales, emails, social media, and mail.

Why I Would Love to Work for Michaels Wedding Section

Mark and Amanda (227 of 1037)When I began planning my wedding, I knew that there were a lot of personal touches I wanted to add to my design and scheme. Due to this, I decided to head over to Pinterest where I created my own Wedding board. This is something I really enjoyed, but what shocked me was that while there were lots of ideas for purchase, there weren’t always great do it yourself ideas.

Knowing I still wanted to add my own flavor to things, I decided to head over to my local Michaels. When I went over there, I was shocked to see there was a wedding section, something I believe is thoroughly under publicized. The picture on the right is something I created myself, from all Michaels products. It was my card box and I saw a similar idea online and went to the store and took it to the next level. While there are project ideas on your wedding page, there is not sufficient information, or instructions, or even ideas.

In order to truly take your marketing to the next level, there needs to be a lot more inspiration when it comes to your social media, and that is where I can come in. Not only am I passionate that every wedding should be every woman’s dream come true no matter how large or small the budget, I have also worked and created a lot of the projects from Michaels products, after being inspired elsewhere.

So what are good examples?

I think that the goal for any wedding inspiration would be to have as much publicity and trust as Martha Stewart’s DIY Weddings. One of the key parts of that, is giving away information for free.

Below Martha Stewart has paired up with Nordstrom to give advice on how to shop for wedding dresses:

This is something that Michaels sorely needs. Not just crafting information, but information on all things wedding if you want to be considered an authority for people to turn to. Another key part of becoming an industry leader is having videos of projects without constantly selling the products to make it. If someone sees the video and heads into a Michaels near them, that’s fabulous, but the truth is, you aren’t everywhere so if you post projects and don’t sell yourself when you do become larger people will be more willing to shop from you. Think of it as building a fan base through your social media presence preemptively. Below are two great videos, one on how to create a centerpiece using painted glass bottles and another on how to color mason jars. Both concepts are huge in the wedding market right now.

Painting glass bottles for centerpieces:

How to color mason jars yourself:

Bringing in other people who have worked on projects is a great way to create a social media presence, get great word of mouth from the people you are promoting and truly come across as more of a company that cares instead of always selling yourself and your products. Customers don’t want to always be sold to, and that is why being helpful and providing information for free is so important. It creates a trust and a bond so that customers reach to you first.

What does this all mean?

While Michaels does a great job at having wonderful products to make crafts, there needs to be a much better process on how to get the word out about your wedding section. There should be a complete social media overhaul, which I am more than happy to join in and help with! While you are doing a good job on your Michaels Stores Facebook, there isn’t one for weddings and I think you are really missing out.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 11.02.05 PM  Just looking at this infographic, if you multiply $27,000.00 by the 18,000 brides questioned, that is a $486,000,000.00 million dollar market that you need to be a bigger part of. Even if you only look at smaller pieces, this is a big chunk of what happens every year, and Michaels Weddings needs to be a much bigger part of it and have a much larger presence.

In closing, I would love to hear from you regarding my ideas, and it would be wonderful to work together to bring your company more social influence and in the end, a higher profit margin in your wedding and crafts section.

Push and Pull Marketing

After all that we learned this week, I believe that push and pull marketing work together to increase people viewing both social media sites as well as websites. Push marketing is great because it allows a company to do what it is there to do, sell. It allows for honesty in a time where having integrity and believing in a company or product may not always happen. It also is great for a consumer since push marketing sometimes involves an incentive of some kind. Whether it is a free item with purchase, a discount code for a coupon, or early entry into a sale, no matter what the consumer is winning if it is a product they are interested in. Lastly, push marketing is a great way to ensure that the people who are viewing your site and signing up for your emails want to be there. If they don’t they won’t sign up which will save you time rather than have people use fake email addresses and getting bounce backs.

However, people don’t always want the hard sell, and that is why pull marketing is also great. With pull marketing a company has to work for their end game, whether it is for someone to buy a product or just sign up for a newsletter. Pull marketing forces companies to look outside their comfort zone and offer different pieces of information to get what they want. It is a great way for a company to teach a consumer something different about what is going on with their brand, for instance as a social media maven, I post a lot of different blogs and articles on my page so that people can take that knowledge and learn something on their own. Also, it allows consumers to decide if they want to take part in the marketing or not. Consumers make the decisions, and people like to make their own decisions instead of having their email taken unknowingly.

I think the two concepts work together by finding consumers who are interested in your product or company and by allowing consumers to be in charge of their own news feeds or what emails they receive.  Professor Rhoads spoke in her lecture about the drastic difference between how many people visit a Facebook or Twitter page and how many visit a website. I believe that is extremely true since companies that don’t sell on their website don’t always have interesting information on there to grab a consumer’s attention. Integrating website information with social media feeds is essential to direct traffic between the two.

jcrew

One company that I think does a great job integrating the two marketing concepts, is J.Crew. They do a fabulous job of not only having an interesting Facebook page, but also of directing their consumers back to their own website. For instance, their Discovered collection shows a bunch of special items that they have selected and when people want to look at them further, they choose to go to the site. This way, even though a consumer may want more information, they have to get it themselves and it isn’t always a hard sell.

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Another thing that J.Crew does is have their own blog. This is a great way for their consumers to follow up with what the women or men in the office believe are the greatest trends. It is also a place for individuals to get free fashion advice from people they want to style themselves after. Once you look at the blog and find an outfit you like, it is up to you to go back to the site and purchase the different pieces to create it.

The second company I looked at is Chanel. Looking at these two companies makes me think that fashion truly lends itself to great push and pull marketing.

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Chanel is considered high fashion or haute couture, yet for someone who wants to stay in touch with what is going on with them, there is a Facebook page filled with videos and information about photo shoots with celebrities as well as images like this one that link to their Chanel News site that gives information about different events happening around the world as well as the ability to subscribe and receive all of this information at your email. Another prime example of using the push and pull marketing method to put information out there in an interesting way and allowing the consumer to decide whether or not they want to take the next step and receive more information.

Why I Think Old Navy is Getting it Right

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Old Navy is a company that I believe is handing social media and brand strategy in a very effective way. When it comes to reaching out to customers, they send emails consistently letting people know about sales and upcoming products, as well as staying on top of different forms of social media. On their website, when you go to their page, there are consistently happy pictures and images while still constantly allocating a section right on the home page that gives a coupon code, or sale information.

Another way they emphasize their branding is by using the picture shown above on both their Facebook page and Twitter page. Using the same pictures across various platforms is a great way to maintain ease of identification for users. This way people know what company they are looking at very quickly.

oldnavytwitter

Old Navy stays up to date with various information on Twitter by posting anywhere from 1 – 4 times per day. Some Twitter posts, are more well received than others. I screenshot a picture to the right of what is one of their most popular recent tweets. It got 50 retweets and was selected as a favorite, 100 times. It is promoting a sale, while also promoting a new style. This is one of the ways that Old Navy is keeping their customers engaged in their Twitter feed while also letting them know what is going on in their stores.

This week we read an article by Stephanie Schwab that spoke about branding. I think that of the things she speaks about, the branding voice really resonates with Old Navy. The tone that is used by Old Navy is consistently bright and cheery while being informative about products. The character is friendly, warm, and directed to women throughout all of their sites. The purpose is clearly to sell and the language is always simple. I believe that Old Navy uses Stephanie Schwab’s concepts wholeheartedly.

oldnavypinterestThe concept also extends to their Pinterest page. While Old Navy still strives to sell their clothing, on Pinterest they are also reaching out and showing their customers different ways that they can use their clothing in their lifestyle. This shows the company in a different way. Instead of always selling to the consumer, they are now also showcasing their items and other items and how consumers can use them in their life.

All of these different things are why I think Old Navy is doing a great job reaching out to customers. They have a consistent brand and are working on reaching out to customers in various social media platforms.

Classic Marketing v. Social Marketing

This week we have been looking at the differences between classic, traditional marketing, and social media marketing. I think that there are strengths to both kinds of marketing but I think that as more people are coming into the digital age, social media marketing is the way of the future. While there are people who still look at magazines and newspapers for their primary sources of information, more and more people are looking online for things such as watching TV or keeping up with what is going on in the world. I think some classic marketing campaigns, such as billboard ads or subway stations have a place but shorter online ads should be incorporated into a marketing campaign as well. Should companies stick to just one way or the other? No, I truly think that companies should maintain both levels of marketing, possibly with an emphasis on social media, since companies are able to gain more traction and react to customers better. Scheduling campaigns is great, and when people can schedule using social media as well as traditional formats I think that is the way to success. I looked at Old Navy since they are a company that is doing well.  They  are running a long range campaign where fans send in pictures in football gear from Old Navy and send it in with the hashtag, #ONSuperFan.

oldnavyfan

This campaign is a great way to ask for customer interaction and have customers come back and look for their pictures. While doing that, customers will see new content that has been posted including sales that are going on or new outfit ideas. Old Navy is really doing a good job at interacting with their customers, including responding to complaints.

oldnavy

Here is a screenshot of customer complaints and how Old Navy customer relations employees respond to different complaints.

I think Old Navy is a company that not only has great campaign ads, but is also handling customer communications amazingly well. They respond to customers quickly and try to handle any and all complaints. I think in the way that Old Navy is handling their marketing, they are more successful with long range ad campaigns, as well as customer communications. I think the transparency of quick interaction that handles customers problems publicly is much better than communication that is done behind closed doors.

All in all, while scheduling ads does well in a classic and traditional format as well as spontaneously through social media, customer communications are really done  better in a fast and public fashion. This way customers know that a company is reliable with immediate interaction.