Well, the Olympics have come to an end (sigh). The closing ceremonies are over and have successfully spiced up my life. But the completion of the games have left a void in my nightly television routine I have gotten quite accustomed to over the past two weeks. I’ve now had some time to reflect on the proud moments, the incredible athletes, and, of course, the tear jerking Olympic commercials that oftentimes deserve gold metals.
What struck me the most was the huge role social media played in this year’s games. The New York Times even referred to it as the “Socialympics”. There have been some highlights (following the athletes as on their road to Olympic stardom was inspiring), but there have also been some social media mishaps.
Here are some of the lessons we have learned that can be applied to your business or brand’s social media so that you don’t accidentally commit “social suicide”:
Greek Olympic triple jumper, Voula Papachristou, was ousted from the games and was ineligible to compete after tweeting racially hurtful comments about fellow African athletes. Not only did she get the boot, but she put a rather large dent in her personal brand.
Dick Raman, CEO of BrandReact, says, “the lesson here is think before you tweet. Because social media is instant, people sometimes don’t realize that things written in the heat of the moment have a lasting effect even in the Twitterverse.” Remember: social media is instant and permanent. This also validates that age old adage: If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Photographs by Stanley Chou/Getty Images; Michael Buckner/Getty Images.
Here’s another example: Olympic Soccer player Hope Solo and Brandi Chastain got in a twitter cat fight over Brandi’s guest commentating during a match. Their back and forth was more painful to watch than the final seconds of swimming.
The lesson here may be obvious, but it’s vital: don’t talk smack about your competition. You’re better off letting your brand, products or services speak for themselves than bashing your competitors. Keep it classy.
I’m already looking forward to the next round of Olympic Games and all of the glory and controversy it is sure to bring. Until then, I’ll be keeping an eye on my social media and carefully monitoring my twitter posts.
Every year, Brogan & Partners and Ignite Social Media go on an annual Mystery Trip. The tradition began in 1995 as a perk to create a happy work environment and as a bonding experience among employees. The first Mystery Trip was Chicago and the agency traveled by bus, shared beds and kept it simple. Since then, the trips have evolved and become a little more sophisticated.
Here’s how it works….there are only a select few who actually know where we are going. These people plan for months in advance. They coordinate flights, hotels, group activities and group dinners. All of this planning stays under wraps until clues are sent to our emails at random times. The clues can throw you for a massive loop or can trigger your inner Sherlock Holmes. There have been several occasions where a Mystery Tripper has packed summer gear and the actual destination was cold and rainy, the complete opposite has also happened.
I personally have been around for nine trips. Since I started in 2001 we’ve been to places such as Bahamas, San Antonio, Iceland, Amsterdam, Washington D.C., Miami, Chicago and Jamaica.
2012 was no different than the previous years. We were given those taunting, mind-boggling clues which included pictures of: Ron Burgundy (from Anchorman), Trent or Vince Vaughn (from Swingers) and Kermit the Frog.
And where did we end up? New Orleans or as the natives say N’awlins, The Big Easy.
This year was unique in itself because we had a ton of new employees and everyone is getting to know each other. This past weekend, the Mystery Trip came full circle, and was truly a bonding event. We shared such great experiences that included sightseeing (or gawking) on Bourbon Street, listening to jazz tunes on Frenchman Street, eating great Cajun food and feeding gators on the bayou.
The tradition of the Brogan/Ignite Mystery Trip is one of the greatest perks a business could give its employees. Where do you think we should go next?
As one of the digital thought leaders at Brogan & Partners, I was excited to attend this year's SXSW conference and see where the future of digital design was heading. Often, I feel like the "usability police" and for years I have been making sure our web sites, rich media and social media designs where intuitive so the user knows where to click and what they'll get. But with Touch UI gaining momentum, it begs the question: Is Touch UI the Click UI killer? After all, video killed the radio star...
During my week of Interactive sessions at SXSW, I realized that the focus of conventional Click UI was pretty much obsolete. If anything, it was only mentioned in passing. And I also didn't hear the word "usability" mentioned at all. It was all about the touch or gesture experience.
I joke that my kids don't know what a mouse is, but it's true. Their first experience and exposure to computers were a laptop, iPhone, and iPad. None of these devices uses a mouse or has to be clicked. We do have desktop computers around, but it's avoided because there's a feeling of entrapment compare to our mobile devices. Our expectations of how we experience the web has gone way beyond just the conventional and intuitive navigations.
Whether we believe conventional Click UI is a passing phase or not, it is paramount to consider the visual interface as part of the brand. As designers, we'll need to build an easy and memorable experience for our users. And to stay on top of our competitors, those experiences will need to be unique. This is what Nike Myers described in his "The Visual Interface Is Now Your Brand" session at SXSW. Where do you think the user interface is heading?
Here's a little taste of things to come when the visual is the interface.
Did you know that March 25th is the kickoff date for Michigan STEM Awareness Week? You’re probably wondering what is STEM and what does it have to do with me? Well, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It turns out that STEM occupations are the highest paying, fastest growing, most influential jobs of the future to drive economic growth and innovation. Which we all know is important for the State of Michigan. Michigan STEM Awareness Week is being sponsored by the STEM Alliance of Michigan (SAM).
I had the pleasure of working with these forward thinking folks on a TV spot to promote STEM education awareness. Working with the kids featured in the spot was too much fun, they were spontaneous, charming and hilarious. It’s times like this that I love my job. A job I couldn’t do without my MAC and technology. So learn more about the good stuff going on during Michigan STEM Awareness Week, March 25-31. How will you build STEM awareness? Start by sharing the spot with your family, friends and social networks. I did.
I just finished reading “Start Something That Matters” written by founder of TOMS shoes Blake Mycoskie. I picked up the book after learning that Brogan & Partners was featured in a call-out box. Blake recognized us for our long-standing tradition of honoring mistake of the month with a $50 reward. Each month at our agency meeting, while celebrating our hero of the month and our BVP (Brogan Values Perfectionista), we also share the mistake of the month. The only rule—you have to nominate yourself. Celebrating mistake of the month has helped contribute to our open and honest culture while also helping others to avoid making the same mistakes.
This is just one of the many traditions that makes our company truly great. When I walked in the doors 18 years ago, I never dreamt that I’d be working for the same company today but what I’ve found inside our walls is a spirit and an energy that inspires me every day. Whether it’s helping a company with a branding reboot, building a snowman for the Friendship Circle, raising money for breast cancer, walking for the Rainbow Connection or holding a party to benefit FORCE, our Board of Directors and employees are continuously thinking about how they can make a difference in this world. In our day to day worlds, we are working with our clients to make a difference in their companies—some of which we’ve worked with for over 20 years. This year we celebrated our 27th year in business and we are looking forward to the next 27 years. Big thanks to our clients, friends, neighbors and employees who are the reason we are able to continue doing great work. Wishing all of you much success in 2012 and beyond.
It's summertime! And research by Pixable estimates that 100 billion photos will be uploaded to Facebook this summer. Not to mention that 48 hours of video are uploaded per minute and there are 3 billion views per day according to YouTube. And the demographics for YouTube? 18-54 year olds.
B2C companies have implemented pictures and videos on their social networks for a while now. But what does that mean for B2B businesses? How can businesses use photo-sharing and video to increase brand recognition and sales in a B2B setting?
Photo-sharing and videos should first be part of an overall social media plan that fits into your marketing goals and objectives.
Both photo-sharing and video sites hold a huge opportunity in regards to conferences. During an event, a session can be uploaded to YouTube or shared via another video conferencing service to extend the reach of proprietary or expert content. You can also set it up before the event to stream live video to desktops for a price. After the event, you can use a photo-sharing site to upload pictures of the event and get participants involved and excited after they leave.
Videos and pictures can give your business a more personal/human appeal. This can be a particular struggle for B2Bs. People like doing business with people, and videos and pictures are one way to humanize a brand to a potential customer.
Uploading pictures with relevant tags and keywords can also help with SEO, but only when you know your target audience and what they are searching for. On Facebook, brands can even be tagged in pictures now. Zappos.com is a B2C company that has implemented this tactic.
Another way pictures and videos can be used is to upload them right from your phone. YouTube has 100 million daily mobile views. This is a great untapped resource for some businesses. The sales team could pull out their phone and show a customer the last conference your company hosted, or play a video on a certain product right from the YouTube channel. Mobile has endless possibilities, and picture and video uploading should be included in what’s to come.
How does your company use pictures and videos to increase sales?
Tiaras, the royal family and a fairytale happy ending fit for a queen (or a future princess in this case); it’s a dream come true for not only Kate Middleton, but for media and marketers alike. In less than 24 hours, the media circus that has been running wild since Prince William’s proposal will come to a pinnacle. The Royal Wedding is expected to break the record for highest ratings in television history, with an estimated viewership of over 2 billion and millions more who will stream the nuptials online. With this attention is it any surprise that marketers are giving their brand’s the royal treatment? Here are just a few campaigns that are all using different strategies to pay homage to the Prince and his bride.
- Kodak’s print campaign uses a play on the future princess’ last name to advertise their All-in-One printer with the tagline, “Say goodbye to Middle tones.” Two other taglines in the campaign are “For richer not poorer,” and “Prints Charming.”
- Post-it took in to account the amount of people travelling to London this week and launched an outdoor campaign for their Super Sticky Note. These ads show an enlarged Sticky Note with the soon-to-be newlyweds’ names, a heart and the congratulatory message, “May you stick together forever.”
- T-Mobile took an even lighter approach. This video, which has almost 13 million views on YouTube, uses royal family look-a-likes busting a move down the aisle to promote their “Life’s for Sharing” campaign.
Have you been following the coverage? Will you be donning an over-sized hat, pouring a spot of tea and tuning in for the royal ceremony?
The first crack of a bat and pop of a glove are sounds coming from baseball diamonds all across America as MLB opening days start off the season. It’s also a big day for some advertisers because they can start monitoring their in-stadium campaigns. What are some of the newest ways advertisers are reaching fans at games this year?
We have seen the amount of exposure a product/service can receive from advertising at a baseball stadium. From the LED panels behind home plate, first base and third base, to the eBlasts and texts that persuade fans to “play this game,” or “check out our Facebook fan page.” But don’t forget about the advertisements that are strategically placed around concessions, on cups, napkins, seat cushions and foam fingers, because really…what’s a game without SWAG?
One of the newest ways to reach fans is by going right to the one thing that keeps them most connected with the world, their phone. To many people, cell phones are like an extension to their body; glued to them at all times making them always accessible. Next time you’re walking into a stadium, look to see if there are any signs outside that say, “turn on your Bluetooth, sign up and win free stuff!” Advertisers now have the option to place Bluetooth deliver devices at stadium gates that scan and pick up any Bluetooth signal. This will send a welcome message that allows fans to download an application to receive exclusive coupons, make reservations, play interactive games to win prizes, buy merchandise or even participate in a charity event. In the Detroit market at Comerica Park, Cedar Point ran a text promotion that played a video on the big screen of people riding a rollercoaster. Fans had to text a number and guess which coaster it was at Cedar Point. The first person who guessed the correct coaster won day passes to the amusement park.
Mobile technology and stadium advertising has opened many doors and given us endless ways to reach a niche consumer on a personal level, even in the middle of an exciting baseball game. By the seventh inning stretch, how many coupons, Facebook pages and promotions do you think you have you been exposed to?
Change is good. We all need a good reboot every so often to grow and move forward. And since Michigan has entered into an era of reinvention, we thought we’d like to help facilitate some change for a Michigan business. Brogan & Partners wants to give a local business the tools and support it needs to reinvent and refresh its brand. A rebooting, so to speak.
The Michigan Business Reboot Contest is a competition for a business headquartered in our home state to win a complete marketing and public relations makeover by Brogan & Partners. It will include a marketing strategy, creative, social media and public relations - a total value of $75,000.
Do you know of a Michigan business that needs a brand reboot? It just may be the best upgrade for the future a company could make this year.
Learn more about the Michigan Business Reboot Contest here.
Through the LinkedIn grapevine, I learned about a really interesting opportunity for patients, providers, insurers, and healthcare experts to explore, discuss, and brainstorm what is happening in the healthcare 2.0 realm. HealthCa.mp is described on its own website as an "un-conference" with the mission encouraging open dialogue on how "social media, open source and the best of the Internet, Mobile web and process innovation to work for better health care and health technology."
As a healthcare marketer, I'm intrigued. So I've paid my $25 to attend and see what the rest of the world (or at least Raleigh/Durham) is thinking - and add my own two cents-worth, of course. Anyone out there attended a healthca.mp? If so, please comment and let me know about your experience.