Adam Ogden is the entrepreneur behind JuiceBlendz, and YoBlendz, two rapidly expanding restaurant chains that benefit from personal communication in their social campaigns.
In this interview with Duncan Gilman, Odgen discusses the impact of his own significant Twitter following, the “Ask Our CEO Anything” section of their website, and the story behind Ogden’s favorite smoothie flavor.
Check out our playlist to watch more SplashCasts: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL730A9649E3F2A154
The Olympic Games may be a stellar gathering of accomplished athletes from around the world, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) also has to think like a business. And for the first time, the Games are taking a cue from many other global businesses and embracing social media.
The Beijing Olympics in 2008 had no official social media strategy and the Vancouver Games made tiny forays. But the London Olympics will be the first to make full use of social media.
The London 2012 Olympics has hired a social media team, and set up official Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram (@Olympics) and foursquare accounts. In addition, the IOC is building an Olympic Village online to connect worldwide fans to the hundreds of social networking streams of athletes and events on Twitter and Facebook.
Many wondered how the IOC was going to handle the other issue regarding social media: fans sharing photos and videos. According to Anthony Edgar, head of media operations for the IOC, spectators will not be penalized for sharing media and they can take pictures of athletes and events and post them through social media platforms. Video, however, should not be posted online but can be shared with family and friends.
In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, IOC Director of Communications Mark Adams said, ”Auntie Mabel in Norwich is not going to get a knock on the door at midnight and told to take something down. The main reason we do this is to stop companies (from) making money out of the Olympics who don’t put any money back into the sport.”
Athletes, on the other hand, face substantial social media restrictions and have to be very careful not to exploit their existing commercial contracts through the Olympics.
How much control will the IOC ultimately have? It will be interesting to see how this plays out, since much of the Olympics’ revenue is dependent on the billion-dollar deals with television/radio networks and other companies that have paid to be official sponsors.
Are you planning on following any of the Olympics’ social media accounts? Are you following any athletes online? Tell us about it here.
In August 2011, Splash Media invited Chiara Granado and Liz Jones from Genghis Grill to talk about the Mongolian barbecue chain’s social media marketing efforts. And since that time, the company has added to its social media menu.
Genghis Grill now has a presence on Google+ and Pinterest, and continues to talk to its customers on its Facebook and Twitter pages. The company’s HealthKwest campaign – a success for Genghis Grill in 2011 – keeps rewarding customers who share their exercise and diet stories on the HealthKwest.com website.
In this SplashCast with host Renay San Miguel, Granado and Jones talk about the role social media played in the 2011 HealthKwest campaign, and how Genghis Grill uses the different platforms to distribute content to current and potential customers.
Jones tells Splash Media that in an effort to reach a goal of 1 million fans on Facebook and its Khan’s Klub email database, Genghis Grill has launched its Facebook Referral Engine, a way to offer incentives for customers to like its FB page. The initial customer gets a free appetizer for joining Khan’s Klub and the news is posted to that customer’s personal FB page. If five or more friends see that status update and do some liking of their own on the Genghis Facebook page, the original customer gets a free bowl coupon and the friends get appetizers. Jones also promises some tasty news regarding the Referral Engine coming in September.
“This is a great way to expand our network and gain new fans and trial,” Jones told Splash Media. “This will also help promote our new appetizers to all of our fans.”
This is part 2 of a blog post focusing on social media marketing success stories presented during the 2nd annual Social Media Showcase, sponsored July 19th by Social Media Club of Dallas.
The goal was to find a way to allow a well-known Dallas-Fort Worth chain of pizza restaurants to give back to the local community. It wasn’t really about jump-starting sales. “i Fratelli is killing it,” said Jeff Schick, director of integrated digital strategy at Online Performance Marketing, during his Social Media Showcase presentation. “They’ve grown to 10 locations, received outstanding customer reviews. The brand is doing extremely well after 25 years of business.”
But wouldn’t you know it: by trying to help others, i Fratelli’s social media-driven strategy also helped its own bottom line.
Known for its thin crust, rectangular pizzas (ad tagline: “Never Trust A Round Pizza”), i Fratelli used Online Performance’s strategy for the i Fratelli Pizza DoughNation, a social media-based program. Customers would nominate worthy charities online, and i Fratelli would donate 15% of all Monday sales to that group.
The strategy’s components:
- Content strategies for i Fratelli’s blog The Sauce;
- Cross-pollination of posts on Facebook and Twitter to boost SEO performance;
- Identifying influencers;
- Seeded code words (usually non-profit/charity names) in social media that – when mentioned in pizza orders – would help with measurement;
- Using i Fratelli’s owned media to generate earned media (local TV and print news coverage).
Now a slew of DFW non-profits and charities are indeed getting much-needed financial help, and i Fratelli has stronger ties to its communities. But Schick said his client, which started DoughNation in February, has never dipped below a 300% return on investment each month since then. “We’ve had an increase in sales, and we’ve been able to tie that to social media ROI,” he said.
Online Performance grew i Fratelli’s retweet percentages, receiving national and international shout-outs. The Sauce blog’s unique views were 86% driven by social media and 14% from direct URL input, “so we were increasing brand awareness and recall.” Monthly impressions rose from 40,000 to 125,000.
“Social media results are not just for big brands,” Schick said. “Small and medium-sized businesses can see powerful results, whether it’s attitudinal behavior or financial. You just gotta know how to do it right.”
“It’s like having a built-in pep squad,” i Fratelli marketing director Rachel Black told Splash Media. “I like keeping our name in front of customers via a platform they are already engaged in. Our company is local and many of our fans know the owners and have developed an ownership of their success over the years. Their enthusiasm for our product and our story really drives our success on social media.”
And despite the boost in sales that was a byproduct of DoughNation, “we do not spend any time worrying about return on investment,” she said. “Our marketing budget is small for a company of our size, but there has been no question that an investment in social is good business. We have halted print advertising almost entirely and focused on web and social. Though it can be hard to discern a measurable impact, we have agreed that an absence in the realm of social media would leave us behind the curve.”
The Social Media Club of Dallas staged its annual Social Media Showcase this week, allowing marketing specialists to highlight how they used Facebook, Twitter, blogs and videos to solve business problems for clients. And while the event is geared towards other social media marketing pros, business owners still trying to figure out how new media fits into their strategies would have also benefitted from hearing about these compelling case studies.
A lot of great information was presented during the Showcase – blog fodder for more than one post, as it happens. In this instance, I wanted to highlight the evidence I heard about online video becoming more and more important to social media marketing strategies.
Radio Shack and Chevrolet made extensive use of video during their respective campaigns discussed at the Showcase. For Radio Shack, it was an attempt to boost its used electronics trade-in program, Trade-&-Save. Chevy, meanwhile, had it sights set on brand awareness at the recent South by Southwest Festival in Austin.
In the case of Radio Shack, its agency Weber Shandwick reached out to technology influencers as both partners and for distributing news of the campaign. “This was incredibly video-focused,” said Weber digital supervisor Alyssa Gardina. “We needed to make sure that video content got shared. We had influencers posting about how much fun it was to work with Radio Shack” on its Trade-&-Save program.
Gardina says that may be because her team stayed in contact with those tech-savvy bloggers/vloggers. “When working with influencers, don’t just film the video and leave. Follow up with comments on posts, let them know you’re listening. You’re building a relationship with them.”
Chevy was out to steer more younger drivers to its brand, said Miker Stovall, Senior V.P. for content at Fleishman-Hillard. Keys to accomplishing that? Create unique SXSW experiences for attendees and provide lots of content, including exclusive content for those not able to attend.
“We had 90 pieces of original content” during the 10-day festival, Stovall said. “And I know you can define that a lot of ways, but this was mostly videos. That was our heavy lift there. We were producing video content around the clock.”
The result? 41,000 new Facebook fans (“more than 4,000 new fans every day of the festival”) and half-a-million views on Chevy’s SXSW content hub. Stovall’s simple mantra for content strategy: “Be useful, be entertaining or be ignored. If you can be entertaining to the people who can’t be at the festival, then you can’t be ignored.”
Coming Monday: how a Dallas-based pizza business – NOT one of the big national chains, mind you - used social media to give back to the community.
Did you attend the Social Media Showcase? Are you seeing more use of video in digital campaigns for big and small brands? Please share your thoughts in our Comments section.