We’ve all seen how businesses are using social media to promote their brands and drive traffic to their websites, but what about the Olympics? One of the biggest brands going, the Olympics draws a huge audience every time these biennial events roll around. This year, as the XXII Olympic Winter Games get ready to start on February 6 in Russia, social media has brought a new aspect to the event. While the 2012 Olympics were dubbed “the first social media Olympics,”—primarily promoted through Facebook and Twitter—2014 takes it to a new level.
- One interesting change is the promotion of the games on a social network called Vkontakte, or VK for short. This is the largest European social network with more than a 100 million active users, and it’s the place to be in the game’s host country. VK blows Facebook out of the water in Russia, as over six times as many Russians use VK than use Facebook. This is really the first time the Olympics has targeted Russian fans through social media, and the response has been huge, with over two million subscribers to the official Olympics page on VK since it was established eleven months ago. Organizers expect this to grow exponentially as the Opening Ceremonies approach. This is not the only new outreach the International Olympics Committee (IOC) is making via social media; the IOC’s social media team has also added Spanish and Korean to the list of languages it uses to communicate with fans on social media platforms, bringing the total number of languages to seven.
- A quick search of Pinterest yields a treasure trove of pinnable content pertaining to the Olympic Games. Journalists in particular are using the site to share action shots, snippets of news, and other interesting visual content regarding the action in Sochi.
- Don’t expect YouTube and Vine to be flooded with behind-the-scenes action. The IOC definitely encourages tweeting, blogging, and the posting of still shots, provided it’s all done from a first-person perspective, and not in any journalistic capacity. Disseminating video and audio, however, are expressly forbidden, because of restrictions on broadcast rights. Anyone sharing information should be cautious of copyright infringement, being especially wary of using the Olympic symbol or using the word “Olympics” in a domain name; blogs, websites, and social media should link back as much as possible to the official site.
- Journalists have a fair amount of freedom to post. This is good news, because some of the most popular images from the London Olympics in 2012 were snapped on the fly using mobile devices. This year, the IOC is urging journalists to take as many pictures as they’d like, sharing them on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter. Initially, there was some confusion about whether photos taken on mobile devices would be allowed, but IOC spokesman Mark Adams has clarified that those photos are fine, and sharing them on social media is encouraged.
- Want the official list of Olympic social media sites? Explore for yourself, and you’ll see all the exciting new, interactive ways that the IOC has found to promote the games through social media.
You probably don’t have a gargantuan event like Olympic Games to promote, but that doesn’t mean your business wouldn’t profit from a savvy social media strategy. If you need help coming up with a plan, Splash Media can help. Visit our website to learn more, or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Social media marketing is a fast-paced field, and it’s important to keep up with the next big thing that can affect the promotion of your brand. This can seem like a daunting task, particularly when you consider all the various platforms, and the new developments continually occurring. Fortunately, we at Splash Media Group are on top of it all! Here, we offer a look at the probable top trends of 2014.
There’s going to be a shakeup of the major players. Facebook is already losing popularity among young people, and soon it is going to fall behind Twitter in terms of importance. Twitter is a great platform for interacting with consumers and growing your customer base. At the same time, Google+ is gaining steam—primarily because Google wants it to! As the leading search engine, Google has plenty of clout, and being more deeply involved with Google can help businesses thrive in social media, search engine rankings, local listings, and more. No matter which platform you prefer, it’s all about to be a bit more expensive. Now that Facebook has gone public and has shareholders to consider, free promotion of your brand is beginning to be a thing of the past. Twitter is using self-serve ads now, and even Pinterest started experimenting with paid advertising in the fall of 2013.
There will be a mass exodus from mass media. Big brands are already doing it, with big names rolling out their clothing collections, promoting their albums, and debuting new products through social media outlets. Expect this trend to continue, and focus on cross-promoting your own business using high-quality content in place of traditional advertising.
Visual content will continue to be king. We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words and a video even more than that. Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube all offer venues for eye-catching content that can really grab consumers’ attention. The biggest trend in visual marketing? Knowing the attention span of the modern consumer, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that micro-videos are hot.
Strategy is key. It isn’t enough to have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. If your brand is going to thrive, you need to have time, money, and effort allocated to developing a social media marketing plan. It’s important to define your goals, understand your audience, and find innovative ways to improve your reach.
Does all of this seem overwhelming? Are you having trouble finding the right strategy for social media marketing? Splash Media can help. Our innovative team has the creativity and experience to help you navigate the social media waters with ease. For more information on social media solutions or best practices, visit our website and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
By now, we’ve all heard the news: young people just aren’t feeling Facebook anymore. Recent studies have shown that, as parents join in the social media phenomenon and enter Facebook, teens are not so keen on being active in the same platforms as Mom.
Enter We Heart It, a Pinterest-like social media platform that hinges on the love that Internet users evidently have for visuals. The platform is fairly simple: Sign up for an account, look through user-generated feeds of images and click on the images you love. Users can also create their own image collections, upload photos or add photos from other websites into We Heart It. As simple as it sounds, however, We Heart It has been generating buzz around the web as the go-to platform for young people seeking a separate hangout from their parents.
Hearting an “Artsier Pinterest”
So, why is We Heart It the new darling of social media? For starters, back in June 2013, a press release indicated that since its inception in 2011, We Heart It grew to 20 million users with no marketing dollars spent—a feat for social platforms competing for users’ attention. User count is now 25 million, with about a million users a month finding their way into We Heart It.
The company’s “marketing” (or lack thereof) savvy aside, what’s really compelling about We Heart It is that about 80 percent of users are under the age of 24, which means that youngsters are flocking away from Facebook and into more expressive forms of social. The numbers are surprising, given that the demographic for Pinterest users is the exact opposite. There are a few other notable differences between the more established Pinterest and the newer, shinier We Heart It:
- Artsier content. We Heart It has been dubbed the “artsier Pinterest”—and it’s easy to see why. The platform is brimming with beautiful images, motivational odes, and inspirational messages. What you won’t find is a lot of recipes, DIY tutorials, and other bits of info typically posted on Pinterest.
- No comments allowed. There’s no shortage of terrible commenters on the Internet, but here’s the good news: You won’t find them at We Heart It. With no comments allowed, users can focus on finding stuff they love instead of seeping in the negativity that can sometimes corrode social media communities.
- “Canvas” love. While Pinterest users have a profile and share their favorites on their boards, We Heart It users have a canvas, where they showcase their collections of photos they love. It’s a cute change from the usual profile, with a light and airy feel that proves inviting.
We Heart It: Social for the young masses
Right now, We Heart It’s bread and butter is its young demographic. With reports in the past couple of months reminding us all that Facebook is out for youngsters, We Heart It could be the visually impressive, positive outlet that they are looking for. And with a solid grasp on mobile users, it remains to be seen how We Heart It fares in the latest battle for social media supremacy, and what that can mean for marketing to youth in the future.
By now, there’s no denying that social media has changed the face of marketing. Savvy companies are perpetually finding new ways to capture consumers’ attention through the use of social sites, building a network while promoting their brands. Now brands are taking it to the next level, using social media to launch new products and premiere fashion lines, with some retailers putting their print and TV campaigns on Facebook and YouTube before launching them through more traditional channels. Here are some interesting ways brands are using social media sites to their advantage.
Posting its entire fall catalog on Pinterest, the retailer offered Pinterest users the opportunity to pre-order clothing items before they appeared in print or even in the company’s online store. Their reasoning: Pinterest is an outlet for “lifestyle marketing,” which puts their clothing into a sort of collage of aspirations rather than just a rack of clothes.
- Oscar de la Renta
In what may be a first for the fashion industry, this designer debuted their fall ad campaign on Instagram rather than in the pages of a fashion magazine. This is a savvy move, appealing to a younger audience that has deemed even Facebook to be old news. While Instagram isn’t a platform that allows for embedded links for shopping, the company captioned each image with a prompt to pre-order from their website.
- French Connection
This fashion retailer refers to their YouTube channel as their “Youtique,” where they present not only their ad campaigns, but also fashion tips and information on trends. It’s an extremely well designed channel that links to the company’s other platforms, including their online store, Twitter, Facebook, blog, and email newsletter.
- GE Appliances
Having revamped their kitchen appliances, taking customer input into account in the process, the appliance giant implemented a multi-platform, consumer-targeted ad campaign to show them off. There efforts included the use of an interactive website, hashtags, contests and a Tumblr page, as well as outreaches to all the usual suspects: Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook. One thing that stands out as particularly innovative and clever, though, is their use of Vine videos. These videos engaged customers, not only by showing features of the appliances, but also by relaying information like how to make guacamole or how to fold a napkin.
Marketing your new products on social media is a pretty brilliant maneuver, because it puts products in front of a young, hip audience, meeting them where they already hang out. Because of the nature of social media, it also makes it possible for enthusiastic customers to share that content across multiple platforms. Best of all, it allows consumers to shop from their smartphones and computers. Mobile devices are the new endcaps and checkout lanes—the perfect place for impulse shopping.
Whether you’ve got a fashion line to sell to aspiring hipsters, or you’re just interested in finding your groove in social media marketing, Splash Media can help. For more information on social media solutions or best practices visit our website or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has always been a staple of a carefully planned digital media strategy. Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be; it’s because of SEO that a company’s pages earn high rankings on search engines—and show up on web searches at all. It was once sort of a passive tool, with the strategic use of keywords and links to build an online reputation and attract the web traffic companies need to stay relevant. Today’s SEO, however, is rich and complex; it’s an active tool that involves more than just the use of keywords. Web design, layout, mobile capabilities and even location services are now a huge part of the SEO formula for success. But is using SEO enough to build a rich digital media marketing campaign?
Social Media: Digital Media Darling
These days, social media creates the kind of targeted engagement that gets people talking about brands. What do Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have that companies need? Exposure, sure; but it goes much deeper than that. According to the Guardian, “analysts say that one-third of new content discovery involves some form of social engagement.” In other words, those people who are looking for the newest information about a company or an industry do well to engage with those companies through social media networks if they want to find reliable, valuable content straight from the horse’s mouth.
But what else is social media good for? Today’s digital media consists of more than just cyber-taglines—it’s about having conversations, connecting with a business on an intrinsically personal level … it’s about the one-on-one connection that goes beyond the product or service. It’s about having a palpable online experience, almost like going to a store and speaking to a salesperson. Social media drives personal engagement to a new level.
SEO or Social Media?
So, which is best to incorporate into your company’s digital media marketing strategy? While SEO has evolved and become even more comprehensive, social media offers the sort of personal engagement with an audience that every company aspires to reach.
The answer, quite simply, is this: Companies need SEO and social media! Carefully crafted and put together, the ideal digital media strategy incorporates both SEO and social media networking to create a seamless, strong campaign that engages and informs. Here are some things to consider when creating an effective digital media campaign:
- SEO is more than just keywords. Today’s SEO takes into account the number of links and keywords, but it also considers clean, accessible web design and multimedia, and even includes location services. Look up a business on Google today and you no longer get just a website. You’ll get social media pages, Wikipedia entries in some cases, and in others, physical addresses and even business reviews and contact information. Keep this in mind when building a concise and effective strategy.
- Don’t neglect mobile marketing. When you consider that last July, a Pew Institute study indicated that 56% of Americans use smartphones—and that percentage is increasing rapidly—it comes as no surprise that the online marketing game has been forever changed by the introduction of mobile devices to the industry. Therefore, when putting together a digital marketing strategy, it’s important to remember to include features in your campaign that make it easy for mobile users to have full accessibility to your products or services.
- Include Google+ in your social media plan. Google+ has been, by many accounts, a growing social media network that is enjoying a rather slow but steady ascension into the social media pyramid. It’s worth noting, however, that inclusion of Google+ into your media campaign also improves chances for your business to be found on the Google search engine. After all, what would Google+ be without the valuable integration into the search engine that created it?
And, if you want your content in front of more people and want to build your Google authority, joining Google+ and using Google Authorship is a must.
A carefully crafted, comprehensive campaign that combines social media with search engine optimization is sure to give your business the valuable online presence that it seeks. Learn more about effectively integrating both into a winning marketing strategy for your business by checking out Splash Media online. You can also join our social communities on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.