In the news this week, we had earthquakes in Nepal, train wrecks in Philadelphia, tornadoes in Texas, and snow in Iowa. But I chose the one article that may not make it in the top 20 news items in any given day. I chose an article about pretty girl, a 27 year old blond from Kentucky, who got skin cancer from too much tanning.
Photo credit: Twitter
I received the article via WDBO 96.5 FM in Orlando on their Twitter feed. WDBO credited Twitter for the photo but received the photo and comments straight from Tawny Willoughby’s Facebook post. Apparently this 27 year old grew up with a tanning booth in her home and tanned more than five days per week.
Tawny posted the picture on Facebook and said, “If anyone needs a little motivation to not lay in the tanning bed and sun here ya go!” These photos have gone viral and retweeted 10,210 times.
The story engaged me because this could happen to me. I love to jog in the middle of the afternoon throughout the year and I live in Orlando.
After seeing this I will sure put on sun block and change my running schedule to 10:00 p.m. I may even carry an umbrella. My neighbors may laugh, but I don’t want this to happen to me.
The article is a short story with very little details. It did not need to be a lengthy story for me to get the message. The photo tells most of the story by itself.
The article was written by Samantha Jordan and uses common journalistic practices. Here is the original sentence
“One woman wanting to raise awareness of the dangers of tanning beds took to social media and posted a grisly photo of her bloody, blistered face after her own skin cancer treatment.”
The photo clearly captures your attention and Samantha’s first sentence gives you the bulk of the story in one sentence. The first sentence draws the reader in and makes you wonder what caused this situation and how is the victim doing today.
It turns out the victim is alive and well. She is now 27 years old and a mother of a 3 year old. Consequently, she continues to have melanoma skin cells removed annually.
The message is clear to me. “Stay out of the sun!”
Webber International University was founded in 1937 by Roger Babson and located in Babson Park, Florida. Originally it was created to teach women student about business and today it is a co-ed university that teaches a combination of both academics and sports. Webber has 750 students and specializes in business programs like Management, Marketing, Finance, and Accounting. The University offers Associates, Bachelors, and Masters degrees. Half of the student body is made up of students from United States and the other half come from all over the world.
Webber International University
Company Brand Profile
Webber International University is a nonprofit regionally accredited institution by IACBE located in Babson Park, Florida.
Close to 90 years ago, a successful economist and author Roger W. Babson and his wife founded Webber College. It would be named after the last name of their grand-daughter Camilla Grace Webber.
Originally, the college was established for the purpose of teaching women about business. In1970, Webber became a coed student population and started combining athletics with academics to teach business and leadership skills.
In 1996, Webber started offering a Masters of Business administration degree and changed the name from Webber College to Webber International University.
Today, Webber International University is small four year college with approximately 750 students. Currently has 35 professors, 27 coaches, and has 44 administrative staff members. Direct competition includes Rollins College (Orlando), Warner University (Lake Wales), Florida Southern College (Lakeland), and Polk State University (Winter Haven).
The following is a list of majors:
Computer Information Science
Ninety percent of the students play some kind of sport while attending classes. Almost all of them will receive some kind of sports scholarship.
The following is a list of sports:
Softball and Baseball
Indoor Volleyball and Beach Volleyball
The majority of the students who attend Webber International University are athletic men and women between the ages of 18-23 who want to play a competitive sport while earning their degree.
Graduates of WIU rank in the top 3 job placement category because of the academic knowledge they learn in the classroom and the leadership skills they learn on the field.
Like many other schools, Webber is adapting to the Internet and offers a variety of classes online. This gives students the opportunity to focus on their sports during the day and complete school work in the evening.
Target Market – Webber International University
The target market for Webber is as follows:
Geographic: Primary target market is men and women from Florida
Secondary target market is men and women from Brazil, Colombia, Europe, and Asia.
17-20 year old men and women (mostly high school students) with household incomes between $50,000 and $90,000.
Men and Women who value sports, health, and competition.
Behavioristics: (Perfect Fit)
Talented sports athletes who shined in high school but did not get accepted to a major state university.
Special Note: International students are high school students who are looking to get an American University degree and also play sports.
Webber International University SWOT Analysis
Rank # 1 Job Placement in Florida – By combining both athletics and academics, the team work and leadership the students learn on the field and in the classroom produce highly qualified employees.
Quality Professors – Webber prides themselves of having qualified and caring professors who find extraordinary ways to reach the minds of today’s students.
Demand for Specialization – Some of today’s students are looking for very specific skills while attending college, like social media marketing, sports announcing, and sports medicine.
Demand for Youth Sports – Dual income parents twenty years ago spent a lot of time and resources teaching their children sports. The amount of money parents spend on their children’s sport is still increasing today.
Suggestion for the Future
Webber Mobile Unit App – The app has the potential to really engage the student and their parents. The app can provide content that is really helpful for the student while they are on campus – day or night.
Webber Radio – Instead of ordinary post on Facebook, why not create a much bigger personality.
Proximity Engagement – It would not be very difficult to have alerts sent to student mobile units when they approach a certain area of the college. For example, when the get close to the cafeteria, the menu pops up. When they get close to the student lounge tell them what movie is playing and that pool table number 4 is not be used.
Analytics should be used especially during this event. The enthusiasm generated by the opening day of the football season should be shared in the social media. Analytics will be used to determine which social media platform has the most activity and which medium has the most engagement. If most of the engagement and activity is in Instagram like we expect, then the University needs to try to connect with potential students with this medium.
We learned a lot from analyzing the Facebook Fans Activity Report. We learned that the timing of when the post, content, and the weather conditions outside made a big difference in the Facebook activity.
Here is a synopsis of the analytics report.
There was a tremendous leap in likes, comments and shares between February 22-24th and again on March 8 – 9th.
8% increase in “likes” from March 8 -14 from the previous week.
137% increase in “likes” for the same time period for new pages
8% increase in total reach
6% increase total engagement during the same time period.
What seem to cause the giant leap in activity?
During the week of March 8-14, the weather in Springfield was relatively mild. After a brutal snow fall during January and February, this week felt like spring was just around the corner. When it gets warmer people are more likely to install a wall unit. The XYZ Company released a post advertising their Fujitsu Mini Split at 5:00 p.m. on Friday March 12, which caused another peak in activity. We noticed a similar ad was posted back on February 27 which was also a Friday, but released at 9:00 a.m. The February 27 post received 4 times the amount likes and comments because it was released earlier in the day. This is a key point to remember.
Facebook analytics reported one day (February 6th) as the only day that people visited XYZ Facebook pages coming from a website. It is still unclear what drove this type of activity finding this variable will be a another key factor in XYZ social media efforts.
According to Facebook Analytics more people are active on the Facebook pages from Friday until Sunday. This tells us that people are working on their heating/air condition situation on weekends. We also see the people will visit the Facebook page through-out the work day but it peaks around 9:00 p.m. After that, it drops sharply.
Who is visiting XYZ Facebook
Facebook analytics show that more women are likely to press “like” (58% vs 42%), however we see that men are more likely to be engaged in the content than women (60% vs 40%). This may tell us that men are taking more of an active role in handling their heater/air conditioner installment.
Content in the Facebook makes a big difference. In this case the announcement of the 22 seer Fujitsu Mini Split had the most activity.
Early morning posts are better. We learned that when content was posted on Friday morning instead of Friday afternoon, it receive 4 times the amount of activity.
Men are more likely to get engaged on Facebook XYZ Pages. This is probably because men are assuming the role of solving their heating/air conditioning issue.
Temperature outside makes a big difference. In each of the spikes of Facebook activities the temperature outside was mild relative to previous weeks. This tells us that people are more likely to purchase an item in better weather conditions.
Top of Mind – It is important to be on the minds of the customer when they make the decision to buy a new wall unit.
What improvements on this channel can be made?
Improvements in Facebook activities can be based on the key findings. Here are my suggestions.
Content must me relate to the potential customer.
Post sales items on Friday morning.
Target men between the ages of 30 and 45.
Schedule the post with the right content related to the weather predictions.
Overall encompassing philosophy of XYZ Heating/Air Conditioning Company for Facebook activity.
From everything we learned from Facebook analytics, the XYZ Company needs to coordinate their direct mail promotions with Facebook post all with the needs of the customer in mind. In the spring, when the weather starts to lighten up, that is when you should post your sales on new units. People are not willing to have a gaping hole in the wall with a blizzard outside; not even for a few minutes. The situation is like this. A potential customer’s old unit probably has been working very hard for the last 6 months. During January and February it probably ran constantly causing bills to skyrocket and now is making noise. Customers will put up with the noise for a short while, but as soon as the weather warms up, especially on a weekend, that’s when they are ready to make a decision. Again, XYZ company needs to be in the evoked set of the customer when the decision to buy a unit is made.
Incorporating other Media Channels
The XYZ Heating and Air Condition Company should use both traditional advertising methods as well as additional social media channels to compliment the Facebook activities.
Traditional Off Line Advertising Methods
Local Cable – XYZ Company should run a 30 ROS (run of the schedule) 30 second TV commercial on Comcast per month. This one-way communication channel will create a top of mind awareness so when the customer finally makes the decision to solve their heating/air conditioning problem that they will at least consider XYZ as one of their solutions.
Local Radio Spots – The people in Massachusetts love their sports and politics and talk radio stations are huge. XYZ will run 90 radio commercials per month on News Talk and Sports Talk stations. Eighty-five percent of the listeners on sports talk and news talk stations are men between the ages of 25-45. This is the primary target marketing for XYZ marketing campaigns.
Direct Mail – XYZ company should purchase a list of households in the 100 mile radius of Springfield, Mass send a 5×7 post card with a 15% off if the customer decides to purchase before a certain date. Customers are asked to call a 1-800 number or visit the XYX website and make an appointment for a sales rep.
Deciding to purchase a new heating and air conditioning unit many times is made on the spot. Without heat in the winter or air conditioning in summer even for 1 hour is unbearable. When customers finally decide a new unit is needed, they make their decisions very quickly. Therefore, Twitter must be used in the marketing campaign.
The main benefit users receive from Twitter is relevant information for that moment in time. Facebook is one of those channels where users sit down in the evening and spend more corresponding. Not Twitter, if the information on Twitter is over an hour old, it is consider passe’.
A good time to gain Twitter followers are during the peak times. If a customer mentions that their wall unit is on the “fritz”, that is the perfect time for a dispatcher to post XYZ has a sale on wall units and have them call right now.
Normally, I would not advise companies to make a special effort on Instagram, however, these days, 21 – 29 year olds are making Instagram their main social media channel. Videos and pictures of new wall units with satisfied customers is the perfect thing to post on Instagram.
Future Advertising Campaigns
Future advertising campaigns should be based on what they learned from how customers use traditional media and social media. We know as soon as the weather warms up people are ready to make the decision to buy a new unit. We know men are the biggest decision makers. We know weekends have the most Facebook activity. And finally we know people respond to sales or coupons.
With this in mind, XYZ needs to run a pulsing type advertising campaign in the future with the main goal of keep “top of mind” awareness. Slogans, jingles, and logo recognition are important.
Social media analytics tools like RivalIQ and Google Analytics can report which channel is working best for the particular targeted customer. Adaptations should be made to coordinate with the weather, time of the year, and the day of the week. A dedicated person who understands their customers is immensely valuable.
The hotel staff and I are very happy you enjoyed your stay with us. We get great joy when we receive reviews like yours.
So, you noticed the storm. That was a good one, wasn’t it? Afternoon storms are typical during the summer time and we try our best to pick up afterwards, but I guess sometimes we don’t get to it soon enough. Thank you for pointing that out.
You mentioned The Florenzo Restaurant. Good choice. My wife and I like to visit there on special occasions. And Ralph, he happened to be walking by my office when I was typing this letter. He told me to ask you, “Did your son enjoy his birthday cake?”
Because the Hyatt offers free shuttles to the theme parks and across the street to the convention center, many people feel they don’t need to rent a car. However, if you do, we also have free parking on the north side of the main tower.
We sincerely hope you and your family join us again. And if you email me after you make your reservation, I will personally see that you get the high room facing the pool.
Social Media Manager
Hyatt Resort and Convention Center
2322 International Drive
Orlando, Florida 32824
Social Media Manager’s response to a customer review at Hilton Hotel in Fort Lauderdale.
Dear Madame or Sir,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your stay at Hilton Hotel Fort Lauderdale. Your response has value to everyone here at Hilton because it gives us focus.
I was saddened that your stay with us was not what you were expecting. Our entire staff at the hotel sends their deepest apologies.
Today before our staff meeting I made a copy of your review and shared it with everyone. To my amazement everyone took the review as motivation to do their part in making the necessary improvements. We spent a half hour brainstorming all the little things we can do and wrote them on a 3 x 5 card.
Henry, the head of maintenance is going to inspect each shower head and sliding door in the hotel and replace all of the bad faucets. He said the solid frame foundation under the bed must remain because of regulations, however we are putting padding along the side so no one else will bumped their feet.
We started replacing brand new furniture in each of the rooms slowly since the beginning of the year but since your letter we will speed up that process.
Until your letter we haven’t heard about the numbers on the outer gate being hot to the touch, but you have a valid point. The code
box originally came with a shield but it kept getting knocked off by mirrors, so we just took it down. We will replace the side mirror friendly gate code shield this week.
Again, we apologize for lack of quality service on your last visit with us. We will do our best to make your next visit much better.
Catersource has returned to Las Vegas this week for their spectacular annual Event Solutions Conference and Trade Show. March 8-11at Caesar’s Palace, the Catersource Conference included guest speakers, exhibits, entertainment, workshops, and brainstorming sessions. Guests from all over the world were able to network in person and through the social media.
The following is an observation and summary of how Catersource used social media to promote the event prior to and engage participants during the conference.
Social Media Channels
The primary social media channels used were Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.
One of the first things I did was visit the website of Catersource. Registering for the Conference and Trade Show was clearly a priority on the site. I signed up for the Catersource e-newsletter and immediately received my first edition. The e-newsletter talks about general day to day operations of Catersource, but mostly promoted the big conference in Las Vegas, March 8-11, 2015.
As a college educator, I am always evaluating the marketing efforts of organization. The main thing I look for is integrated marketing communications. This means from all of the outward communications of a company, there is one unified message. Let’s call it IMC. The communications team at Catersource made numerous posts before, during and after the conference. Let’s talk about how well they did.
Facebook and Twitter had the most activity before the conference and Twitter and Instagram had the most activity during the conference . Facebook and Twitter posted comments that showed their enthusiasm for the event and encouraged others to register. So far….so good. Catersource’s two largest social media tools did a good job at presenting one message, which is the promotion of the conference coming up in a few days.
So I visited Catersource’s Youtube Channel, and Pinterest account. This was very nice, but the social site only posted videos and photos of the last 2 conferences, not the 2015 conference that ended this week. It has only been 2 days since the conference ended, I am sure the photos and videos will be up soon.
From day one, the enthusiasm level is high and it is quite evident by the post made by Catersource on Twitter and Instagram.
Catersource tweeted out messages almost every 5 minutes during the conference on Twitter. They made posts like “Join us at the registration table and pick up your gift packet.” and “Don’t forget to sign up for the grand prize.”
Catersource made more than 80 posts on Twitter and received thousands of responses by it guests. By the tone of the responses of the guests, you can tell that the enthusiasm level remained high throughout the whole 4 days.
Catersource on Instagram
Before I found Catersource on Instagram, I wondered why Catersource needs so many social media sites. Facebook is good for allowing longer responses when conference guests get back to their rooms and relax. Twitter is good for making quick announcements and gathering a crowd. What can Instagram do that the others cannot do? Good question, right?
I was finally sold on the value of Instagram by viewing the photos from the 2015 Catersource Event Solution and Conference. While Twitter served as a good source for microblogging, Instagram was especially good at posting candit photos of the events as they were happening. Catersource posted more than 100 photos throughout the 4 day event. The photos received thousands of “likes” and thousands of comments.
What type of content is Catersource posting?
From the Twitter and Instagram post it is clear that the social media team at Catersource is trying to engage and maintain a high level of enthusiasm at the conference.
On Twitter, you see registration notices, contest winners, guest speakers announcements, happy hour notices, and gratitude for the sponsors.
On Instagram they post photos of contest winners, people dancing at the concert, speakers, training activities, and food…lots and lots of food. The photos presented an air of fun, excitement, and networking. It made you want to be there as it was happening.
The Use of Hashtags
I noticed that in about 90% of the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram post they used hashtags. These hashtags would promote sponsors, partners, conversations, people, and fun activities. The most common hashtag is #CSES2015.
Hashtag use on Twitter
Hasttage use on Instagram
How are sponsors being promoted?
In many of the photos that are being posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram you can see the brand name. See below.
Highlights of the Event
After a week-long conference there are two things that is worth pointing out.
Don’t underestimate Instagram – The Catersource Conference proved that you can create a lot of excitement and engaging on-line interaction by posting photos and short videos. A picture is really worth a thousand words.
As long as you have Twitter and Instagram to engage the audience in the “now” you can use Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest for more deeper and lasting engagement during the off peak times.
Was there anything missing from the event?
It is not easy to point out anything that was missing. However, if I had to make a suggestion I would say, “Keep your YouTube and Pinterest accounts up to date just like Twitter and Instagram. I know it takes more time to edit the videos and clear all the photos but the extra effort will be worth it. Besides this is the biggest event of the whole year.
Through the different social media tools by Catersource, including their 3-newsletter there is consistent brand positioning. Logos, slogans, and colors all communicate one IMC message. Each photo and text has a feel of professionalism, fun, and contemporary.
The type of channel for this project is Instagram.
What type of features does Instagram have?
Instagram promotes itself as a “fast, beautiful, and fun way to share your life with friends and family.” To post something on Instagram the user will take a picture or a video and post it on their wall. Before you share the photo you can choose among several filters to get the right effect you are looking for. The program will ask you if you would like to tag people in your photo. Than finally the program will ask you if you would also like to share the photo on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and/or Flickr.
In 2013, Instagram created a feature that would allow users to send photos to specific people. This feature was added mostly to compete against SnapChat.
Instagram is the evolved product by Systrom and Brazilian Krieger which began in San Francisco around 2008. The name Instagram grew out of “instant camera” and “telegram”.
Instagram is relatively young. In early 2010, Systrom secured $500,000 in development money and started promoting Instagram and slowly making changes. Hashtags were added in 2011. Instagram went live in the App Store (iOS). New photo graphic filters were added and continually adding emoticons that have a better descriptive image of how you feel.
In late 2011, Instagram is gaining popularity very quickly. The teenage and college market have quickly adopted Instagram as their favorite “go to” social media platform.
Facebook acquired Instagram in early 2012 for nearly $1 billion. Since then, Instagram has made mostly minor changes like additional filters, emoticons, easier sharing to other social medias and improvements in graphic layout. Instagram became available on Apple iphones, Samsung, and Windows Phone 8. And finally in November of 2013, Instagram started accepting sponsored posts meant to target specific groups.
Although Instagram does not restrict any access to any age group, it is wise to know who uses Instagram. Before you start buying ads on Instagram you need to know that 90% of users are under the age of 35. And most of them are between the ages of 16 and 25. With a slight skew toward women, most Instagram users are urban youths.
Occasionally I will ask my 18-22 year college students why they use Instagram more than the other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Besides being the most popular platform among their age group, usually authority figures like parents, teachers, and coaches are not present. Since Instagram is about sharing photos rather than words, a lot of meaning is distributed that only a close circle of friends would understand.
Number of Users on Instagram
As of December of 2014 the photo sharing community site of Instagram had reached over 300 million active users. In March of 2014 the figure was 200 million.
By seeing the chart below, Instagram has enjoyed insane growth. The total number of shared photos surpassed 300 million in December 2014.
How does Instagram work?
Instagram is designed for its users to send and upload photos very easily. Users will be given the option to share each of the photos on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr. If a user chooses not to share the photo it will remain on Instagram and only viewed by those who follow you. Below the photos is the option for you to “like” or “comment”.
Integration with other Social Media Platforms
Integrating your photo or video is absolutely encouraged on Instagram. Migrating back and forth from one site to another is easy. A post in one site is easily and quickly redistributed in an attractive user friendly format to another site.
Is Instagram Mobile Friendly?
Instagram is purposely designed for the cell phone mobile unit. Photo sizes are set up in a square format for the purpose of easy viewing by their users on their mobile units.
Who are the big players on Instagram?
Below is list of the Top 10 Instagram Brands by Followers.
I was amazed to see The Ellen Show was the number one brand on Instagram. Ellen is not even one of Forbes 100 Most Valuable Brand Names. It is not even close. I expected Victoria’s Secret, National Geographic and Nike but I did not expect The Ellen Show.
For marketing purposes, I had to find out why The Ellen Show beat out names like Nike, Starbucks, Disney, and Google.
Ellen Degeneres has an Instagram account called “TheEllenShow”. Not surprising that most of her photos and videos are about her show. The visual aspect of her Instagram account is consistent with Ellen’s personality. The most recent photos and videos that she shares are cute kids, celebrities on her show, and funny computer graphics of her imitating another celebrity.
Why is Ellen number one on Instagram?
The reason Ellen is number one on Instagram is because a combination of things.
She has a highly rated television show that really connect with the audience. Budweiser and Home Depot do not have a 60 minute daily show.
Ellen’s fans can interact directly to one of Ellen’s posts on Instagram and Twitter.
Ellen appears only to entertain. She is not trying to sell anything. Budweiser and Home Depot can say that.
There is a real person behind “TheEllenShow”. Budweiser, Nike, and Home Depot cannot say that.
One day last year a neighbor of mind was so excited because Ellen retweeted one of her post. You would think that my neighbor won the lottery.
The Nitrogram Top 10 Brands on Instagram based on advertising dollars spent.
Instagram is primarily a photo sharing site. So companies with high visual importance will do well on Instagram. There is no doubt that clothes designers are in the Top 10. What surprised me is Starbucks at Number 2. I did not expect a coffee shop to rate up there with Nike and Adidas.