Analyzing Analytics

Looking at the analytics provided to me from a company I am working with, I was able to pull some information to see what direction they should be going in.

Overall, the company is going in a great direction. There are quite a few likes and a large area of growth possible through Friends of Fans. There are also quite a few posts that had a higher virality percentage.

Starting on May 21st, the company got much more views and shares from the posts. So, what instigated that? Looking at the analytics, you can see that when wording was used as a call to action, there was a higher response rate.

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 10.15.25 PMSpecifically when people were asked to “Join us” or “Join in”. Both of those posts on May 29 and May 28 received a high engagement rate, they had a high “reach” amount and had “people talking about this” on the higher side. The best post was on June 2, and a big part of the reason for virality is due to the fact that people want to connect with the fact that on June 2 it was National Cancer Survivors Day. People like connecting to things that they have experienced in their own life. People also like to seem altruistic and like to post and share items that promote that concept of themselves.

Seeing how many people have responded to the call to action posts, more posts on health and wellness would add to the overall theme of the business. By providing information on physical fitness and wellness, it would be a great public service as well as a way to find more customers. I would also suggest posting pictures on their website or blog page and then pinning the pictures directly from that page to the Pinterest page. This way when someone wants to take the time to link back, they can see what the blog or website page looks like. This is a technique that I think a lot of companies could utilize more in order to gain more followers and more views to their page.

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 9.57.30 PMAnother way that I think this company could improve its ratings is by breaking down the language barrier. On the right there is a snapshot look at how many languages are being spoken. I think that adding a secondary Facebook page in Spanish with the same posts, just in Spanish may be useful. This way the company can reach out to a wider demographic. Taking a look at the graph below, you can see that Florida was the third largest state with a Hispanic population in 2011. If the company can reach out to this growing population they will increase their demographic and customer base.

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 9.40.52 PMBy combining posting more call to action posts and developing a second page in Spanish, the company can grow its friends and fans and gain more notoriety in doing so. Another reason that reaching out and getting a bigger fan base may help is by gaining more emails for the bi-weekly newsletter. This can really help with a higher percentage of email opens since it will be a more concentrated group of people who sign up for the newsletter. Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 9.57.42 PMAs you can see by the above graph, there is a high number of deliveries, but not a high open rate. By opening up an opportunity for more people to sign up for the newsletter, they can gain more opens which will help them get more click throughs back to their website, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Another thing they should be working on is linking their weekly newsletter into their Facebook and Twitter page so that it can be read on both social media platforms. By doing that, they can also try to gain more emails with a call to action.

The company will gain more likes and emails by doing all of these things. These will assist with them getting a better word of mouth reputation as well. In doing so, they can become a higher respected company when it comes to wellness. Realizing that marketing and outreach to people is never just a one step process, the whole concept can seem daunting. I always recommend making small changes so that people who are used to what you have been posting and the consistency of the posts don’t feel bombarded. A company wants to get more likes, not get rid of the ones they have. I think the consistency that this company has been posting with has been great and has helped them a lot. It can only help the company go farther.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Different Types of Blogs, What Works and What’s Missing

This week I am learning more about blogs, I am really excited about this because before taking class I have wanted to blog but really haven’t made a commitment. Per this weeks lesson I am taking a closer look at some blogs that I normally look at.

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 10.52.06 PMThe first blog I will be looking at is Lizzy Pancakes. I take a look at this blog from time to time for a couple of reasons. One is that I knew Lizzy in college, and the second is that I am thoroughly impressed with the adult she has become. Lizzy’s blog is a recreational blog where she makes food, or shows photography or explains sewing or crafting projects. It is a great culmination of various items that are highly detailed and photographed beautifully. Lizzy shares blog space and invites guest bloggers which improves her traffic. As a person she is highly unique and awesome and I think it comes across nicely in her branding of her blog. She is witty and honest and that shows in her writing and how she explains her projects. Lizzy keeps her content fresh, but since she is blogging in a more recreational manner her content doesn’t always happen in consistent intervals. She does have widgets to share her blog as well as providing information to connect with her on other social media outlets.  It is somewhat successful because of the integration and giving her followers the ability to be more connected, however she could be more successful with more consistent blogging. In her blog Lizzy talks about having a sponsored post about a cheese and it links to a group blog about Honest Cooking that she is a part of, which I believe helps drive traffic to her site. I think since I used to know Lizzy personally I would love to see more of her vivacity come across through her blog, and I would want more consistent blogging. Since Lizzy does a lot of cooking there are a lot of potential advertisers with either baking items for her to try out.

ImageThe second blog I looked at, is one I love to go to for recipes, called The Shiksa Blog. Even though I was raised in a Jewish home, my mother didn’t really cook or host large family gatherings, so when I got married I was determined to turn that around. This blog helped me do that, it is a very informative blog about various kosher-style cooking. This is a professional blog with advertisers, cookbooks that can be purchased, consistently updated content and various ways to connect. This website is unique in the way that it provides people with kosher style cooking recipes in an easy to follow format that assists with celebrating Jewish holidays. I think since Tori Avey talks about how she converted to Judaism and really takes the time to explain things it helps with  her branding and reflects who she is. This site comes up high in the search engine, which is how I found it to begin with. Since this blog is about kosher-style cooking, I believe that it speaks to a specific group of people and due to that it would be greatly improved with an email newsletter system. I have looked over this website and have not found any way to sign up for a newsletter. Since there are so many different Jewish holidays, I think that is something that is missing. I wouldn’t say that a weekly newsletter should be put out, but an email a month ahead of a holiday with recipe ideas and information? I would definitely want that, and I bet a lot of other readers would as well.

ImageAnother site I found by searching, is The Pioneer Woman. The recipes that this blog puts out are raved about not only in other blogs, but on Pinterest too! What is most interesting to me is that even though she become popular on Pinterest for a lot of her cooking, her site is so much more. There is a “Confessions” section, as well as an “Entertainment” section proving that Ree Drummond is more than just a woman who cooks. The site gives people great ideas about cooking as well as giving a deeper look into the Pioneer Woman and what she deals with in her life. The way she has her site shows a lot about her branding and who she is, and by sharing in the way she does, it makes her unique. I do believe quite a lot of traffic is driven to her blog by Pinterest, but she also has an email newsletter that people can sign up for, which I am sure gives her a lot of return traffic. This blog is a professional blog with consistent updates, lots of innovative and creative content, ways to share and connect. She advertises her own book as well as having giveaways, some of which are done by advertisers and some of which she sponsors herself. Honestly, this blog is so well developed with such a unique sense of personality that shows throughout the posting that I don’t think anything is missing.

Image The fourth blog I looked at is called Make It and Love It, it is a semi-professional site about a wife and mom of 3 who would rather craft than clean a bathroom. Who can’t get behind that? I think the fact that Ashley is so open about how much she would rather do crafts and cook than clean is a huge part of why she is so successful. It creates an honest and open relationship that has become integrated in her branding. As seen in the picture to the left, there are many ways to connect with this site, include RSS Feeds and a newsletter, as well as various social media platforms. The main reason for this site is the tutorials section, and this leads me to believe that most of the traffic comes from searches, or word of mouth. Although digging deeper into the site shows some giveaways as well, which is also helpful in gaining traffic.  When you get to the site though, there are lots of tutorials and personality to keep you there. There are also a lot of advertisers on the site, varying from Adwords advertising, to specific sponsors. Ashley posts consistently a few times a week and varies which topic she is posting about. I think that something that is missing from this site is the life stories. She has 3 kids and a husband, while she adds anecdotes into what she is doing sometimes, I feel like a whole section could be added on what she is learning being a mom.

ImageThe last blog I am looking at is the Tip Junkie blog. This is a group blog with tips and information about a wide variety of topics. Food, Gifts, Holiday and Lifestyle just to name a few. The site has over 147,000 people liking them on Facebook, and even offers a Tip Junkie app! Readers can subscribe via email or RSS feeds, and can also connect on various social media platforms. It is a great site that has compiled data from lots of different women sharing and holds it in one place so that things can be found in an easier format. There is advertising from various advertisers, as well as Etsy advertising from their own store. I really think that this site is missing an “About” page explaining how it was founded and thought up and why it is there. I think that the lack of that information leaves readers without a lot of information about the person who thought this up, and sometimes buying into the branding of the person is what makes you come back for more. Since this is a group blog and has lots of followers on Facebook, as well as a daily tip newsletter, it shows up high in searches and gets a lot of shares whenever someone in the group posts their own tutorial.

All in all, I learned a lot about blogging this week. It makes me think of what my own branding and blog should be about. I have realized a lot while looking at these blog posts. It is not enough for someone to just be informative, I really think showing personality is key to having people truly enjoy your blog and want to come back for more. I also believe that even for a recreational blogger, consistent posting is key, since it gives readers something to look forward to. What do you think makes a great blog?

Old Navy Online – What Works and What Doesn’t.

Screen Shot 2013-09-15 at 2.07.04 PMLast week I took a look at Old Navy and what they were doing with their branding online. Old Navy does a great job of constantly updating their website with new promotions. Last week there was a promotion on baby clothes. This week there is a focus on women’s outfits. While Old Navy doesn’t have a blog, they do create new material online under their Shop Our Favorites section. For instance, new this week is a section called Black + White = Chic. This shows different products that they have in black and white to show people new ways to wear their pieces of clothing.

Other features on the site include signing up for emails, having the ability to find something in a store near you, and being able to click on various social media platform links. Such as their Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest page. This provides customers with the ability to do their own pull marketing if they want to stay connected to the company in other ways.

Another cool feature is the ability to reach out and put your own information in the site and become a part of their database is a great example of pull marketing. Old Navy provides the opportunity to give your information in order to get coupons and discounts, this is a great way to not push customers too much and possibly push them away from wanting to be your customer. As far as push marketing techniques, once someone does sign up for emails or text messaging alerts, Old Navy does send emails quite frequently. In fact, they send an email about three or four times a week.

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No matter what week you go to their site, when you first get there, a coupon pops up to let you know that there is a possible discount depending on what you purchase. This is a great push marketing technique since they are letting the customer know right away that if they weren’t convinced they were going to buy something today, the coupon may be able to change their mind. Another couple of great features are being able to sign up by text message, or shop from a mobile phone. While there is an Old Navy mobile app, I really don’t think it is a great one.

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These three screenshots were from their app, Old Navy Snap Appy. The concept is that when you snap a picture of their logo, anywhere, you get a “snap surprise”.  The photo all the way to the left is the wheel spinning to see what you’ll get. I snapped 8 photos and all I ever got was either a Fabcabulary or a Fabulous Phone-Y Compliment. Either way, it was not impressive. To improve upon this content, I really would suggest including the “Outfits We Love” section in this app. I would also make it easier to use this app for shopping, instead when you click on it, nothing happens. Also, if there is a possibility of a “deal” on the wheel, it should actually happen in a timely manner. Since I didn’t get one when I spun 8 times, I will never bother to do it again. Even though I shop at Old Navy all the time, I will forget about this since I have never gotten anything valuable from it. This app is a way that they could really improve upon their integrated marketing. It does not include the same information that is on their website, but it also does not add anything to my Old Navy experience. The marketing in store and online always seems happy and friendly and helpful, this app is none of those things. The website is fabulous, the only thing that can be improved upon is possibly having a blog. I have noticed a lot of fashion companies have blogs describing outfit choices and give information about accessories. I think this would be a great way to reach out to customers in a non-push format so that they can get some added value without having to purchase anything.

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.

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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.

Communication Planning vs. Media Planning

Before reading this chapter, I will admit that I thought communications planning and media planning weren’t all that different. However, I was completely wrong. According to Young (2010) “Media planning is focused on reaching as many of the right audience in the right place at the right time and at the right cost as possible, whereas communications planning is less about reaching people than influencing them.” 1 As more social media applications and platforms grow in popularity, influence is a major desire for companies and people. Knowing how you are influencing people has become such a major strategy that platforms have come out solely to measure influence, such as Klout. I have to say that when I plugged in all of my information and saw what my own Klout score was, seeing the impact of my influence was incredible. It was enough to really make me think of what I was doing to see how I could influence the people who follow, like, or friend me even more. I find it very interesting that across all platforms, people may or may not choose to follow a brand. For instance, I have a lot of followers on Pinterest, but not nearly as many on Instagram. This shows that some platforms may showcase my personality and ingenuity better than others. Just because people find me interesting in one aspect, they might not find me interesting at all in another. This holds true for brands and companies as well. Just because I have liked Old Navy on Facebook, does not mean I am interested in seeing what they are doing on Twitter. Influence is a concept that shows how much companies have to prove their brand management across various borders.

Thinking of how to apply the concept of influence to various channels, I took a look at the readings and video and would like to focus on how the tone, purpose, language, and persona can enhance a brand no matter what platform is used.2  By ensuring that what a company or person puts out into the world maintains the same branding as what they do in print and other communication appeals, I believe this is a good way to handle branding and create a communications strategy. For instance, I would like to expand my business in social media, so not only do I strive to show my personality through all of my social media interaction, but I also like to try and help others with ideas when possible. I created a Pinterest board solely about social media which has already helped me get new followers and new people interacting with me. This is a strategy that I am using to help my brand. Whether it will work or not, I will see in the long run. Right now my main focus is creating a brand that I feel best represents me. I think companies need to do the same thing when it comes to their own brand strategies and they need to figure out ways to be on many social media platforms in different ways that represent their own branding strategy.

1 – Young, Antony. “A Shift From Media Planning to Communications Planning.” Brand Media Strategy: Integrated Communications Planning in the Digital Era. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 74. Print.

2 – Schwab, Stephanie. “Finding Your Brand Voice.” Social Media Explorer Finding Your Brand Voice Comments. N.p., 31 Mar. 2011. Web. 05 Sept. 2013. <http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/social-media-marketing/finding-your-brand-voice/&gt;.