Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013 Digital Marketing Highlights Infographic

2013 marked the start of brands begging to find new ways to market to their target audiences through different social networks like Facebook, Vine, Twitter and Instagram.  With 2013 coming to an end, it is important for us to reflect on what worked and why.  For me, I think Oreo's Superbowl blackout tweet, and Instagram introducing video, come to mind as successful marketing moments because people are still talking about them months later.

This info graphic from ExactTarget breaks down the best digital marketing moments of 2013.

What was your favorite digital marketing moment of 2013? 

Infographic Credit

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Queen B epitomizes the brilliance that is social media

Picture via US Weekly

Ah, Beyonce has done it again. As many of you probably already know, Beyonce dropped her latest album Thursday night at midnight, breaking virtually every rule known to mankind surrounding the release of an album. In case you are not familiar, most albums are released on a Tuesday, are publicized through various media appearances, involve numerous consumer partnerships and feature at least one single being overplayed on the radio long before the actual album is released. Beyonce, however, refrained from all of these "rules" and in turn, showed the world just how powerful she is.

Unsurprisingly, this new album is not just any album. It is accompanied by 17 videos, 14 outrageous tracks, and was done all in secrecy while Beyonce was on tour and raising a baby. How did she do it? I am confident that many of the world's biggest music stars are probably wondering the same thing. The mere fact that nothing was leaked and no word got out about it is an achievement in itself in this day of technology and social media. There really is only one thing to say and that is, all hail the Queen.

What makes this really interesting from a PR standpoint, however, is the fact that Beyonce relied solely on social media to announce the release of the album. The only form of publicity to occur before all 14 songs and 17 videos appeared for sale on iTunes was a video posted to Instagram accompanied with the caption, "surprise!" 

According to the New York Times, this approach was a success and lead to over 365,000 copies sold in the United States on the first day. It is also being predicted that it will have one of the year's most successful opening sales weeks. Even though it is undeniable that Beyonce is a huge star and would most likely see success no matter how she released her album, this may just be the way of the future for the music business. After all, social media is all about the basis of relationships and by telling her fans exclusively on her personal Instagram, they were able to feel that they truly had a special bond with the artist. 

After the initial Instagram post, the album garnished much publicity. According to Mashable, the release generated 1.2 million tweets in 12 hours and was promoted by stars such as Katy Perry and Lady Gaga almost immediately. Additionally, Beyonce spent no money on marketing, which could perhaps have quite the impact on the industry in the future. All in all, Beyonce's album release was a monumental event for the music industry and a huge advocate for the power of social media. It must be nice to be Queen.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December's issue of esPResso out today!

Be sure to check out the latest issue of esPResso! From the PRSSA National Conference to an investigation of beauty vlogging, you are sure to find something of interest in it. Thanks to all who took part in making this issue of esPResso so amazing!

Click here!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Teens Get Tips with "Think Before You Share"

A few weeks ago, I posted a blog about Facebook and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence teaming up to end bullying with the installation of the Bully Prevention Hub.  To expand on these features, Facebook has joined with MediaSmarts, a Canadian nonprofit organization, to create a guide to help Facebook’s younger users to "Think Before You Share."  MediaSmarts and Facebook hopes that these tips will help teens make more conscious decisions about what they share online.  According to MediaBistro, "Facebook said it will run ads on the social network to promote Think Before You Share to both teens and parents."  A statement on the top of the PDF document that can be downloaded, says:
"We always hear that sharing is a good thing. And thanks to technology, we can share our ideas, opinions, pictures and videos with our friends and other people. Most of the time, sharing is good. But if we aren’t thoughtful about how we share, we run the risk of hurting ourselves or someone else. Also, remember that the things you share with your friends can end up being shared with others. That’s why it’s important to think before you share."
A few great tips for teens that the PDF provides are:

  • It’s not a good idea to share things when you’re feeling really emotional – whether you’re angry, sad, or excited. Calm down first and then decide if it’s really a good idea. 
  • Passwords are not social: There’s some things you need to be really careful about sharing. Sometimes friends share passwords with each other when all is good, but unfortunately this can turn into a nightmare later.  Don’t share your password with anyone.
  • If what you received makes that person look bad, would embarrass them, or could hurt them if it got around, don’t pass it on. The person who sent it to you may have meant it as a joke, but jokes can be a lot less funny when something is seen by the wrong person. 
  • If you shared something you shouldn’t have, the first step is to ask the people you sent it to not to pass it on.
The guide was first announced on December 4, 2013 online at Facebook's Safety Page.  Cathy Wing, the Co-Executive Director at MediaSmarts, released a statement saying:
For young people, more than anyone else, digital media is all about sharing: Whether it’s their thoughts, photos, or their latest favorite videos, almost all of the devices and platforms that youths use are designed to make it easy for them to share things with their friends. In MediaSmarts’ research with young people, we have looked carefully at the habits and attitudes youth have toward sharing things online, as well as their worries, bad experiences, and strategies for avoiding problems and fixing things when they go wrong.
One of the most interesting findings in recent research is that with the exception of online gaming, young people almost exclusively socialize online with people that they also know offline. That doesn’t mean that they’re not worried about their privacy: In fact, the youths we spoke to were very concerned about the things they posted online being seen by unintended audiences and acutely aware of the possibility that something meant for one friend might cause trouble if seen by another. They were also very conscious of the need to manage how they were portrayed in social media by other people, such as in revealing or embarrassing photos.
What do you think?  Do you think that Think Before You Share will be a helpful resource for teens?