This time of year is known for many things, but two things that are high on the list are charitable giving and fun movies. As we gather with our families, it’s a great time to head out for a movie together, but it’s also important to think about giving back, remembering those who are less fortunate. Subway has come up with a fantastic idea this year, combining one of the hottest new movies of the season with an opportunity to help—and they’re promoting it all through social media.
The movie, of course, is Catching Fire. The second film in the Hunger Games series, this one has the right combination of action, drama, spectacle, and pretty people to please just about everyone in the family. The way Subway is using it to give back is pretty clever: participants simply head to a Subway store, snap a picture of themselves with a Catching Fire standee, and tweet it using the hashtag #subtracthunger. That’s it! For every photo shared, Subway will donate a meal to a needy person. Participants are encouraged to share news of the contest with their friends, via Facebook and Twitter, in order to bring more people on board.
This charitable promotion goes along with Subway’s current Catching Fire Sweepstakes. For a chance to win the sweepstakes, customers look for codes on 30-ounce collector cups and select bags of chips, which they then enter online to win prizes that include things like food, movie tickets, gym memberships, and even trips to Hawaii and Hollywood. Some of the codes earn instant prizes, while others enter participants for a chance at the bigger-ticket items.
All in all, this is a pretty smart way to drum up business. People will buy Subway food in order to find the sweepstakes codes, and then will leave feeling good about themselves and the company, having taken a silly picture in order to donate to charity. It’s an easy way to give and an easy thing to share on social media, which means there will be plenty of warm fuzzies about Subway in conversations—social and otherwise—this year.
This is just one more example of a company using social media to promote itself, and combining it with a charitable act in order to look good doing it. If you’re trying to find new and clever ways to promote your business, 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.
If there were ever a digital red carpet that we could roll out – it would be for this.
Karl Lagerfeld, head designer and creative director for the fashion house Chanel, brought Coco back to Dallas. Partnering with Neiman Marcus for the Métiers d’Art fashion extravaganza, Lagerfeld took all 900 invitation-only guests on a tour through Chanel’s history. So where does marketing come in? Well, Lagerfeld has been promoting his short film of Chanel, “The Return,” for weeks now, and the film debuted before the fashion show began.
Lagerfeld is not the only genius in this equation; all Dallas traditional and digital publications have published articles and were among the invite list to document one of the largest, document-worthy, fashion soirées to hit Dallas. Among their press list, editors from the top fashion magazines in the world such as Vogue, W, and Harper’s Bazaar were said to have been in attendance. In fact, a Vogue Australia editor was caught doing some last-minute shoe shopping at Neiman’s yesterday.
The promotion for this event has been going on for weeks, with Neiman’s leading the way by providing all the details you need via its blog. Before yesterday at 5 p.m. the hashtag that Chanel has been promoting, #chaneldallas, had an average of 1500 uses, mostly all on Twitter. Today, that number was closing out over 12,000. Now, we are not talking #NYFW numbers, but for an invite-only guest list, this is pretty becoming for Dallas nightlife. Kristen Stewart was definitely the highlight of the evening, social media-wise, that is. Her fan Twitter accounts garnered most of the action, tweeting an average of 35-40 times last night.
When you take into account how many Twitter and Instagram accounts live-posted—not to mention the blogs, articles, and YouTube videos that will be captured in the upcoming weeks—the social sphere of Dallas will have exceeded a new level that even Mark Zuckerburg cannot comprehend.
| LESSON |
When you take history (relevant and interesting content) of an industry and apply the best practices of marketing:
- Partnership (Fashion House, Chanel + Neiman Marcus, Kristen Stewart)
- Promotion (The Return Film)
- Publicity (2 Words: Invite-Only)
– And then top it all off with the social twist of hashtags/instant uploads/ and live tweeting, you have what you could call the “Little Black Dress” of Marketing. It just goes with every ‘outfit.’
It’s a Dallas version of New York Fashion Week in a day, minus the New York skyline but with the beauty of Fair Park, Reunion Tower and the Omni Hotel taking center stage.
Now, if we only would have been on that guest list…
Did you know that the Dallas Business Journal hosted a Twitter chat today? Here are some of the highlights!
Q1: What has been the most effective social medium for your company, why?
- @SouthwestAir says, “Our first step into social media was w/http://blogsouthwest.com.”
- @mikedmerrill says, “Facebook seems to have more engagement but we’ll be investing more in LinkedIn in 2014.”
- @Chilis says, “We love Twitter for talking to our guests. Instagram for sharing candid moments. Facebook for promoting new news!”
- @JennaBrom says, “So far for @pizzahut, Facebook; killer mix of engagement, customer service and DR. Easy to track sales, too.”
- @StephanieScott says, “It depends entirely on key message & intended audience e.g. if visual, Instagram or Vine. If newsworthy, Twitter.”
Q2: On average how many times do you tweet a day? Why?
- @Chilis says, “We might Tweet a few messages throughout the day, but most of our activity is around engaging with our awesome fans!”
- @StephanieScott says, “We post across our channels 2 to 4 times per day to keep engagement high throughout the day and on average, we reply to about 1,000 customer tweets per day.”
- @JennaBrom says, “@pizzahut publishes 3 brand tweets/day, around meal decision times. And 300-500 customer svc replies per day!”
- @SouthwestAir says, “1-2 corporate messages per day; plus as many customer service and fun conversations we can manage!”
Q3: How much red tape is there in regards to posting social media content?
- @Chilis says, “We just try to be relevant and have fun with the content we put out there, so there’s not a ton of red tape.”
- @JennaBrom says, “The @pizzahut legal team is stellar. A brand our size has to be careful, but we like to be bold (within reason) and we have a lot of freedom in our day to day posting; we spend more time fact checking w/ subject matter experts.”
- @SouthwestAir says, “We have a lot of freedom in our day to day posting; we spend more time fact checking w/ subject matter experts.”
Q4: Do you respond to negative messages/news about your co. on social media? If so, how?
- @Chilis says, “We take guest feedback very seriously and respond to any and all negative experiences posted in social.”
- @StephanieScott says, “You bet we do! That’s our opportunity to engage & resolve issues. We daily turn detractors into advocates. Unless conversation requires the exchange of private information, we will try to resolve in public @reply.
- @JennaBrom says, “Absolutely. Social is a two-way conversation.”
Q5: What types of messages do you retweet? Do you ever retweet another company’s tweet?
- @Chilis says, “We RT anything that makes us laugh! And we love sharing our brand advocates’ Tweets to us.”
- @JennaBrom says, “RTs witty content worth amplifying. And we’re always down for a brand social flirt .”
- @SouthwestAir says, “We LUV sharing and retweeting content that is relevant to the @southwestair travel experience.”
Q6: How do you deal with employees who may tweet inappropriate/negative content related to the brand?
- @Mikedmerrill says, “Well, a social media policy and constant education is important. I think this for most orgs will be an ongoing issue.”
- @StephanieScott says, “We agree – a social policy & continued education are key. We encourage employees to share using good judgment.”
- @SouthwestAir says, “We have a social media policy for Employees; violations are handled offline on a case by case basis.”
As social media becomes a staple of the consumer experience, it’s important to learn what works and what doesn’t and how the big brands are approaching it. Chili’s, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and Pizza Hut are all doing a great job in the social media sphere, and it’s great to hear what they have to say. Thanks, Dallas Business Journal, for hosting such an informative chat! We hope this becomes a regular occurrence.
The holiday season is upon us, and many companies are using it as a way to ramp up their social media efforts. This makes sense, because social media traffic increases significantly during the holidays, especially on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, while people are shopping, liking, tweeting, and pinning in record numbers. To figure out how your brand can make the best use of this increased activity, look to big names that are making an impact.
- Promote your brand across multiple platforms. Target is doing a really good job with this strategy during this holiday season, promoting their advertising campaign through traditional advertising and extending it through viral videos and a Twitter campaign as well. #MyKindofHoliday personalizes the store’s marketing efforts in a push inspired by guests’ own holiday stories. By asking customers how they envision their holidays this year, Target gives them the opportunity to engage not only with the brand, but also with each other.
- Contests make the season merry and bright. Many brands use gamification and humor to draw the attention of consumers. PetSmart’s Facebook page hosts voting for wish-list items, with customers vying to win gift cards. AllRecipes and Kahlua have partnered for a Pinterest sweepstakes that lets participants pin “Kahlua-inspired” images portraying fabulous holiday parties for a chance to win a party worth $5000. Because this contest requires “liking” Kahlua’s Facebook page, it’s an excellent cross-promotional effort.
- Consider how people use social media during this time of year. The holiday season changes the ways consumers interact with social media platforms; so think about where your target audience will be and what they’ll be doing. Pinterest, for example, is extremely popular during the holidays—especially among women who use the site to find and share recipes, decorating techniques, and gift ideas. Where customers congregate will vary depending on the target demographic, but figuring out how to reach them can really make your brand stand out.
- Engage consumers with a strategy that calls for participation. Maker’s Mark did this in a clever way last year, designing decoy boxes for their product, so that recipients would think they were opening gag gifts. People were encouraged to film their friends opening these silly looking packages, which were then hosted on the company’s webpage. OfficeMax has great success each year with its popular “Elf Yourself” campaign, and this year the company expanded this fun chance to put your loved ones’ faces atop the bodies of dancing elves, making it available as a mobile app. Companies like Gap and Dunkin’ Donuts have run successful initiatives in the past utilizing customer photos, and some businesses, like thredUP.com, turn it around to share their own holiday photos, giving customers a glimpse of the real people behind the brand name.
- Catering to the consumer breeds brand loyalty during the hectic holidays. Starbucks introduced @tweetacoffee this year that was a really clever idea AND super profitable with at least an initial profit of over $180,000 according to research done by Keyhole. Customers with a Starbucks account have used it to send gift cards through Twitter in a way that’s not dissimilar to the way charities allow people to donate through text messages. “Tweet a coffee” gives people a nice way to connect with each other and make the holiday season a little warmer, but it’s also a pretty brilliant way for Starbucks to gather consumer information. Starbucks is one company that does a great job of making customers feel a brand connection during the holiday season, with products that feel a little indulgent and are marketed in a way that elicits feelings of nostalgia, with familiar red cups and seasonal offerings. It’s not surprising that the company makes good use of social media, as well, promoting seasonal gifts and using clever imagery on Facebook, selling coffee on Twitter, sharing educational ad evocative content on YouTube, promoting the brand through mobile apps, and even soliciting customer input through their “My Starbucks Idea” program.
- Don’t forget about mobile apps. We’ve mentioned how Starbucks and OfficeMax are using mobile apps, and many other companies are learning how to utilize this new medium as well. It’s easy to send sales alerts and discount codes via text message, but the brands that find new ways to use mobile devices are the ones that really stand out. Macy’s has a “Macy’s Day Parade” app that lets people learn about, follow, and interact with the parade. Game creator Zynga offers consumers the opportunity to donate to real charities, like Toys for Tots, within the framework of their games.
No matter how you choose to promote your brand, make sure you take advantage of all the opportunities available during the holiday season. If you need help figuring out how to do that, Splash Media can help. For more information on social media solutions for your business visit us at splashmedia.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.