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BRANDE : Social Media Content

November 1, 2016

Five Ways To Use Snapchat To Drive Employee Engagement

snapchat-700x467Snapchat embraces and champions the ephemeral nature of communication in a landscape that is saturated with it. Snap a pic or a vid, send it to a friend, and moments after being viewed it self-destructs into the ether forevermore. We’re talking about communication that both originates from and elicits an immediate emotional response, as opposed to a long and drawn-out intellectual consideration. For this reason, snapchatting is free of the anxiety surrounding traditional forms of communication. Perhaps this is why the once-spurned app is so popular today.

How can employers use this hugely popular social app to educate, motivate, and inspire employees, transforming them into full-fledged brand ambassadors? Could Snapchat be your most powerful tool to drive employee engagement? Only one way to know. Here are five ways you can test it out.

1) Company culture in a snap

Snapchat gives employers an opportunity to learn how to share knowledge in new and exciting ways. Use it to promote and celebrate your company culture from within. Create and share compelling “stories” that capture what life is like at your workplace. Use it to focus staff attention on specific messages and goals. Embrace and encourage the idea of employees creating internal communications that are fun, yet focused on meaningful tasks.

2) Create in-house news and buzz feeds to educate and motivate employees

Create a Snapchat channel that informs employees of important company news and events, relevant “stories” currently trending, and other hot conversation topics to keep them engaged. Snap and share original content to make company-wide or departmental announcements. Compile and maintain a go-to list of relevant and buzzworthy accounts for employees to follow.

3) Use Snapchat to reward, honor, and showcase excellence

Feature an employee, a partner, a department, or a project team on your company Snapchat feed (as either the subject or the creator of snaps or “stories”). Allow employees to nominate features with their own snap submissions. Snap a “story” that explores a day in the life of a particular employee or department. Increase interdepartmental awareness and broaden your employees’ sense of engagement with the bigger brand picture.

4) A snap for project management

It is not hard to see how Snapchat could be useful in a project management context — to share status updates and progress reports quickly and efficiently, for example. The creative, urgent, and flash-in-the-pan nature of the app makes it remarkably suited to a fast-paced work environment. Snapchat seems like the perfect tool to keep a team united, energized, and communicating in a creative and fun way around a specific goal.

5) Create a Snapchat contest

Host a Snapchat contest to rally and socialize staff. A Snapchat treasure hunt could lead employees on a journey of brand and interdepartmental discovery as they work together in teams to decipher snapped clues. A cropped-image riddle might involve the distribution of an incomplete snap image resulting in employee snaps guessing the complete image.

The preferred social media app of tweens, teens, and young adults can now be used as a powerful employer branding tool, offering immediate access to everything from job opportunities, to sneak-peek previews of new products to on-the-fly mini-movies that both entertain and inform. So start snapping.

For more on the Brandemix approach to employee engagement, click here.

February 17, 2016

3 Killer Strategies to Boost your Instagram Marketing

imgresInstagram is kind of taking over the social media world. Different from other social media platforms, Instagram is simple, authentic and visually stunning. It enables companies to communicate with their clients in a more creative way by using visual marketing. According to Forrester research in 2015, Instagram is also the king of social engagement.

For the reasons above, every marketer should consider how they can catch up with this trend to help build more online presence and engagement with clients on Instagram for their business.

Before we introduce 3 killer strategies that have been used by some successful players on this platform, let’s get started by defining your Instagram presence. Important elements to keep in mind:

Brand Identity: You should understand deeply your brand Identity and let everything on your Instagram tell a story of your brand. It’s absolutely critical that your Instagram presence reflect your brand’s signature style in order to make an impact and attract your ideal customer.

Instagram Performance: Set benchmarks when it comes to measure the number of followers, frequency of posting and engagement rate. These are all important indicators to help figure out the ongoing performance of your Instagram. Consistently monitor the changes of these indicators.

Now, let’s go straight to the point!!

1.     Quality but not Quantity

Less is more. When it comes to Instagram, quality of your image should always be your priority. Post only when you have a great, on-brand image to share.  Deliver content that is inspiring and relevant enough with the value that are perceived by your target audience. Check out a fantastic example for this : Red Bull (@redbull). Red Bull has achieved 4.2 m followers on Instagram so far. As a leading brand in energy drink industry, Red Bull has set a clear signature style of its Instagram presence as Energetic, Brave, Outgoing, Collector of interesting experiences. Red bull really catches people’s eyes by consistently posting high-quality images and videos featuring wonderful moments of people doing all kinds of sports. More than that, Red Bull uses image description to give out inspirational quotes. What a smart tactic to boost likes and engagement!

2.   Smart Use of Hashtags

Hashtags are key to reaching prospects and customers on Instagram. With proper hashtags, companies can drive traffic to their Instagram profile, where the profile link can drive traffic further to their official websites or any other ideal websites. While making hashtags that could speak for your images of videos, you might want to use trending ones so as to increase the chances of being seen and reached by more people. The suggestions here are to take a look at the “Trending Tags” and “Explore Posts” using Instagram’s Explorer Feature. Find out the ones of these Trending Tags that are relevant to your brand and include them in your posts. You can also use tools such as “Tagboard” to give yourself some ideas on making relevant hashtags.

3. Leverage Sponsored Ads

As Instagram introduced this new paid feature, consumers can now regularly see sponsored ads in their timelines. An exciting thing is that Instagram even puts a series of call-to-action buttons in the advertisements. With a larger user base, Instagram is able to help businesses to reach out to their ideal targets. So if you have enough budget, it is a good try to promote your products or service using Instagram sponsored ads.

May 5, 2014

Why Oreo is a Social Media Superstar

I’m always looking for brands that are doing exciting, unconventional things on social media, whether in marketing, branding, or recruiting, and designated them “Superstars.” Past honorees have included Chitpotle and State Farm. Today, I’m recognizing a brand whose every piece of content is injected with fun and whimsy: Oreo. Everyone knows they won a Clio and a Cannes Lion Award for their clever and timely tweet during last year’s Super Bowl blackout, which changed social marketing forever. But their daily social efforts are equally engaging and effective. Here’s how the cookie crumbles:

Continuous Call to Action

Despite being “just” a simple dessert product, Oreo has several ongoing mini-campaigns. One of them is Oreo Snack Hacks, which is centralized on the brand’s Tumblr. “Whether it’s putting cookies in a pepper grinder to make sprinkles or freezing cookies in milk to make cubes for your iced coffee, we’ve shown you unexpected ways to enjoy an Oreo cookie,” reads the Snack Hacks main page, “Now we want to see the clever ways you snack an Oreo.” Fans and foodies concoct all sorts of delicacies — red velvet cookies with Oreos inside, for instance — and submit them. Oreo shares it, the fans share it, and everyone wins.

The takeaway: Take a cue from Oreo and determine how you can get fans more involved with your brand. People have been using Oreos in recipes for decades before the brand realized it could leverage that enthusiasm to create content that goes viral and inspires millions of aspiring pastry chefs.

Fanatically Fun Facebook

Perhaps the best way to get a sense of the brand’s social media frivolity is its Facebook page, which boasts an impressive 36 million likes. Besides posting much of its Twitter and Vine content, the page also features humorous images, like this “lost” poster:

Oreo lost poster
Oreo has no qualms about leaving up kooky posts and comments by its Facebook fans, since it matches the brand’s personality; if it’s silly and has anything to do with Oreos, the brand allows it. And why not? One photo posted by a fan showed an entire box of Oreos that had been separated into stacks of cookies and one giant tower of creme. This unsolicited post, which cost the company nothing, got 224 likes and 13 comments.

The takeaway: Sure, Oreo has it easy, being a cookie brand, but there are lots of ways to provide compelling content that suits your voice. Hotels, airlines, and even Amtrak post travel photos of beautiful locations. Pepsi posts videos of the musical artists they sponsor. Bank of America devotes an entire Twitter account to its community service. What content matches your brand’s mission and values?

Bite-Sized Content

#OreoSnackHacks is just one of the brand’s ongoing series. Another uses a format even shorter than 140 characters — the six seconds of a Vine video. #OreoMagic is a series of tiny magic tricks and illusions starring the cookie. The dialogue-free videos are funny, short, and accessible in any language. They don’t have ads running at the beginning or take any time to load on a mobile device. And that’s in addition to Oreo-created hashtags like #DunkFail, which gives a humorous spin to the popular image of dunking cookies in milk, and #Ollusions, a variation on #OreoMagic that features mind-blowing optical illusions — again, in six seconds.

The takeaway: Creating a series can create regular visits to your social channels or your website. Oreo uses Vine, but your series could involve photos on Pinterest, longer videos on YouTube, podcasts on EarWolf, or even blog articles on a certain topic, such as social media superstars…

Miscellaneous Magical Munchies

Oreo has a presence on even more social channels. The brand has more than 300 images on Pinterest, including “Daily Twist,” a gallery of clever and timely images using Oreos; for example, a cookie slipping into a ballot box celebrates National Voter Registration Day. Other galleries provide recipes for Halloween treats, images of Oreo art (using the white creme as a tiny canvas), and — of course — a gallery of “Oreo Moments” submitted by Facebook fans. Oreo uses YouTube to host its commercials from all over the world, highlight some of its most popular Snack Hacks, and feature some fun videos that seemed to be made expressly for online viewing. The result is more than 50,000 subscribers and more than 43 million total views.

An example of clver Oreo art

The takeaway: All your fans may not use all social channels. Oreo posts the same visual content on Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Pinterest, and YouTube, ensuring that everyone sees it. But they also post content unique to each channel, so their social media super-fans see something new and different every day.

There are few better examples of maximizing a product’s potential than Oreo. From recipes to tiny artworks to comic statements, the brand brings a sense of joy to all its content — and encourages fans to create their own. This philosophy makes the famous Super Bowl tweet seem less like a lucky fluke and more like the culmination of a brilliant and perceptive marketing effort. For all these reasons, I name Oreo a Social Media Superstar!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to eat an entire carton of a certain sandwich cookie…

Jason Ginsburg is Director of Interactive Branding at Brandemix.

March 3, 2014

Social Recruiting Is Still The Next Big Thing

Jobvite recently released its 2014 Job-Seeker Survey, speaking to 2,135 adults both in and out of the labor force. I’ve read the report and discovered that social and mobile recruiting are still trending upwards,just as they were in 2012.

So who is looking for work? Everyone. 35% of respondents said they change jobs at least every five years. Only 47% have stayed at a job more than 10 years. In addition, 51% of employed workers are actively seeking or are open to a new job. That includes 26% of workers making $100,000 or more, proving that no one is safe! All together, Jobvite considers 71% of the entire American workforce to be “on the job market.”

College grads go to the following places to vet a prospective employer’s company culture: 23% LinkedIn; 19% Facebook; 19% Google Plus; 16% Instagram; 13% Twitter. It’s hard to believe, but this is one of the few categories LinkedIn actually wins.

 

Image courtesy of Jobvite

For example, 40% of those surveyed found their “favorite or best” job through a personal connection. The next biggest category was social media but Facebook comes in first at 10%, followed by LinkedIn at 6% and Twitter at 5%.

Facebook virtually ties LinkedIn in the social network used by job-seekers to look up contacts that are employees of a prospective employer.

76% of “social job seekers” (those dependent on social media for job searches) found their current job on Facebook. Almost the same percentage shared an opportunity with a contact, or had a contact share one with them, on Facebook as on LinkedIn. This has to make LinkedIn executives scratch their heads.

It gets worse for LinkedIn. While 94% of recruiters are active on the network, only 36% of job-seekers are. In fact, the social site specifically designed for professional networking comes in last of the four major social channels: 83% of job-seekers are active on Facebook, 40% on Twitter, and 37% on Google Plus. 

Not to pick on LinkedIn, but it loses in the mobile category as well. 12% of job-seekers said they’ve search for a job on Facebook using their mobile device. Only 7% have done a mobile search with LinkedIn.

Image courtesy of Jobvite


Let’s talk about mobile for a moment. 43% of job-seekers have used their mobile device to engage in some type of job-search activity. (Perhaps the biggest indication that times are changing is that 17% of full-time workers have searched for job on their phone at their current workplace.)

This carries over into the application process as well. 27% of job-seekers say it’s “important” to be able to apply for a job directly from their mobile device. 55% say it’s “important” that they’re able to view job listings without having to register first.

It seems that job-seekers are wising up, as well. 93% of recruiters say they’re “likely” to look at a candidate’s social profile (whichever one they can find). In response, some job-seekers have untagged themselves from photos, deleted specific content — and 17% have actually deleted a social media account.


Image courtesy of Jobvite


You can see that social and mobile recruiting aren’t fads, and they’re moving from ancillary tactics to being full partners in an integrated online strategy.
 

But even with all this data showing how much job-seekers use Facebook, only 65% of recruiters are active there. Are you ready to create a careers portal on Facebook? Want to improve your LinkedIn presence? Do you see the lower numbers for Twitter and Google Plus as an opportunity to stake a claim? 

Brandemix has a long history of social media recruiting success, and we’d love to help with your social and mobile campaigns. Contact us for more information.

February 24, 2014

How to Avoid a Social Media PR Disaster

Since 2011, I’ve covered social media PR disasters. It’s surprising how many big brands, with decades of competent public relations, have stumbled in the new world of two-way online communications — whether it’s allowing customers to make their own satirical commercials or driving a musician to write three songs of revenge.

In each case, I’ve shared the lessons of the disaster so that your brand can avoid similar crises. But many incidents have the same takeaways, so I thought I’d offer some general social media best practices here. 


Apologize First
It’s an adage in customer service that many wronged customers simply want to hear an apology and have their concerns acknowledged. Before any spin or damage control, say you’re sorry to the wronged party. 

When Jessica Bennett, Lean In’s Editor-at-Large, posted an ad for an intern on her Facebook page — in seeming contradiction to Lean In’s message of equal pay and female empowerment — the negative comments piled up. But Bennett’s response to, as she put it, “what appears to be my entire Facebook feed” said, confusingly, that the post was for a personal intern, not a Lean In intern, and “Let’s all take a deep breath.” Backpedaling? Yes. Apologizing? No. The result was 200 more angry comments.

Keep Your Cool
Some social media PR disasters spring from good intentions and simple misunderstandings. But when brands fight back, they lose a lot of sympathy from the public. Just because many people use social media to post cat videos doesn’t mean your social communications shouldn’t be restrained, mature, and professional.

After a Kansas City Chiefs fan tweeted a criticism of the team’s ownership, the Chiefs sent a direct message to him that included “Your choice to be a fan. Get a clue.” Maybe they thought that was the end of the matter — without even sending a link to where a “clue” might be found. The fan took a screenshot and tweeted the image to his 125,000 followers and posted it on Reddit, where it made the front page of “The Front Page of the Internet.” The next day, the Chiefs issued an apology, which they botched by tweeting in the first person (see Applebee’s below).


Present a Unified Front
As the Chiefs found, it’s possible to get even the apology wrong. If your organization tweets in the plural, as many do, then it’s jarring and puzzling to suddenly start using the singular. Your audience has to wonder: Who is talking? 

When Applebee’s fired a waitress for violating a seldom-enforced policy, her defenders took to the restaurant’s Facebook page to complain. Applebee’s refused to respond…until 2 a.m. Someone from the company started posting replies to individual comments. This person went crazy, tagging some commenters and deleting others, in the early hours of a Saturday morning. The meltdown was complete when the unknown rep finally posted “No one’s asking me to comment at 5 a.m. I am because I care.” But who is “I”? A social media intern? A franchise owner? The VP of Communications? The CEO? By using the first person, it appeared that Applebee’s had lost control of its communications channels. 

Communicate Internally
Before responding to a social media issue, it’s best to check in with all relevant departments. Sometimes the biggest headache is coming not from outraged Facebook followers but your own colleagues down the hall.

Since 2006, blogger Sara Rosso had hosted an unofficial World Nutella Day to celebrate her love for the hazelnut spread. But in 2013, Nutella’s parent company, Ferrero, sent Ross a cease-and-desist letter demanding she stop using the brand’s name — thus shutting down her website and ending the “holiday.” Rosso’s supporters blast the company on its Facebook page for five days. Finally, Ferrero released a statement expressing its “sincere gratitude for her passion for Nutella” and allowing World Nutella Day to continue. Why the about-face? Probably because the legal team was behind the first response and the marketing team was behind the second. Legal saw a violation of trademark, while Marketing saw a grassroots celebration of its brand. Had the two departments spoken before taking any action, they could have almost certainly avoided a week of vitriol and bad press.



Keep these four lessons in mind before doing anything on social media that may spiral out of control — and that includes responding to what you perceive as an unreasonable complaint. 

Branding, marketing, and recruiting on social media can be tricky, but Brandemix is here to help. If you’d like more of our assistance, we‘d love to hear from you.