Archive for October 2011

Social TV Adds Fuel to the Social Media Engine

October 21st, 2011 — 4:12pm

Social TV is the latest in social media trends.

Social TV allows audiences to engage in social interaction with their TV shows — enabling people to chat with characters, post comments, and even create trending topics for popular opinion, during and after airing. Rick Lieblind, director of digital strategy at Coyne PR defines the interaction between an audience and their entertainment as intermedia, adding that “as social TV gains momentum, savvy networks like [AMC, USA], Bravo, MTV and The CW are poised to take advantage by engaging their audiences in new and compelling ways.”

One of the hottest social media games: Psych's Hashtag Killer game, which releases a new part to the game every Wednesday. Participants earn points as they progress and share.

The whole point of social platforms is to engage an audience – social TV doesn’t just fuse audience and brand, but, rather, goes one step further and engages the audience with the components that make the brand what it is! After all, what would Jersey Shore be with out Snooki or The Situation? These characters are what audiences actually care about, and leveraging their popularity through social networks can increase engagement and ultimately, ratings.

AMC’s Mad Men was one of the first adopters as early as 2009, but recently reality shows on Bravo and MTV live tweet, post status updates, and even SMS text during airtimes, which allows viewers to better interact with the reality stars. A blog written by Anne Sherber on Digiday explains it best, citing how Lisa Hsia, EVP of Bravo Digital says how “convincing viewers to tune in to both channels of programming may have an effect on program ratings: engaging users with second screen experiences increases viewership during a program’s first airing.” In the article, Hsia is quoted as saying, “People want to meet in real time and talk about it as it is happening.”

So how do you convince audiences to participate? And what is better than being able to #fistpump along with Jersey Shore’s MVP?

Well, it seems that the more creative you are, the better the chance viewers will check-in. For example, USA Network’s show Psych embraced social TV by creating a social game called the #Hashtag Killer that evolves past the show’s airtime. What it is: a game that allows viewers to help main characters, Shawn and Gus, solve their next case. The game is progressive, meaning that you watch weekly episodes that build on previous episode experiences. There are a total of seven weeks and the game encourages you to check in every day as it progresses in real-time.
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Social Media: The More the Merrier?

October 14th, 2011 — 2:30pm

If you’re not trying to build better relationships, open two-way channels, and deepen the engagement between your brand and your consumer, than why are you using social media?

As “civilians,” social media makes it easy for us to share our feelings, ideas, viewpoints and ourselves. We touch a lot of people in one post. But when you’re a business, or more importantly a brand, the implications and interpretations of this information are also limitless. There are many ways to abuse and over-use social media. More importantly, social media isn’t (necessarily) meant to take the place of other media, it’s a tool to improve our ability to connect, and in most cases should be used in conjunction with a solid mixed media approach. Social media requires support and a lot of hard work, right?

Well, considering we use social media to better connect with our consumers, it might be worth taking a look at how the platforms affect them. A research study at Edinburgh Napier University suggests that Facebook usage creates stressors that impact users anxiety levels. Psychotherapist Stacey Nunez agrees that Facebook can cause severe angst and even depression. She explains that cyber-stalking and romanticizing about photos makes it difficult for a person to connect via face-to-face interaction, it creates false expectations, and that it lowers self-esteem. In short, she asserts Facebook enhances stressors and makes it difficult for managing adversity.

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And the Nominees Are…

October 7th, 2011 — 4:05pm

Websites are a major access point to a company, so it is important to put your best foot forward. Just as your wardrobe should evolve with the demands and expectations of your position in life, so should your digital image. Welt has evolved our online brand, and we are proud to present our updated website.

…for the rest of the entry, join us on Gnomeflash…

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The Fundamental WOMM Truth

October 7th, 2011 — 9:32am

Marketers wanting to tap into the power of word of mouth marketing to increase brand awareness, preference, and purchase eventually learn a fundamental truth. This truth is simply, “Marketers do not decide what gets talked about. People decide.”

Studies clearly indicate word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing. According to research from McKinsey & Company, word of mouth is responsible for up to 50% of all purchase decisions.

Studies also indicate there are seemingly endless ways to spark word of mouth conversations. The Keller Fay Group has been tracking conversations people have about brands since 2006. Their findings tell us 22% of all conversations people have about brands, products, and services are sparked by advertising. However, the vast majority of word of mouth conversations, 78% of them, are sparked by something else.

Which means… the playground for marketers wanting to trigger word of mouth from customers about brands is HUGE.

Anything and everything a customer can “touch” is an opportunity to spark a conversation. Every customer touchpoint is a possible talking point.

And since people, not marketers, make the decision about what gets talked about, it’s up to marketers to give people something to talk about at every customer touchpoint.

It's time to think about all the associations your service brings to your customer's mind.

For example, any restaurant that uses a “Please Wait To Be Seated” sign from a restaurant supply catalog has given up on being talk-able. This sign is one of the first customer touchpoints someone will experience inside a restaurant. It’s the perfect opportunity to showcase a brand’s unique personality by creating a custom sign that expresses the uniqueness of the restaurant.

Chevrolet was one of the most talked about brands at the 2011 SXSW Interactive Conference. They accomplished being talk-able by giving conference attendees something to talk about at various touchpoints. There were Chevy Volt-branded recharge stations throughout the Austin Convention Center for attendees to recharge all their electronic gadgets. Attendees needing a ride to someplace in downtown Austin could hop into Chevy Cruze and be shuttled free of charge. You could get a 360-degree picture taken of you and your friends at the Chevy Sonic photo booth. Prior to the start of SXSW, Chevy sponsored 10 teams on a scavenger hunt road trip from their hometowns to the conference in Austin. Of course, Chevy was all over social media during the conference with the much-used hashtag of #ChevySXSW. By far, Chevy was the most talk-able brand at the 2011 SXSW Interactive Conference because they gave people reasons to talk at various touchpoints.

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