In case you haven’t heard, this month has been designated No-Shave November. Designed to raise cancer awareness and funding, No-Shave November is a web-based initiative in which people are encouraged to forgo personal hair removal for a month, while donating the money that would’ve gone toward personal grooming to cancer research. Forming teams and finding fundraising opportunities is also encouraged, with the goal of putting as much money toward the cause as possible during this one-month push. It’s a fun way to draw attention to cancer-related causes, through facial hair growing contests and sponsored unkempt appearances. Companies are embracing this event as a way to draw attention to their brands while supporting a cause, and they’re finding creative ways to do it.
It makes perfect sense, of course, for charities that regularly support cancer research to make the most of No-Shave November. St Jude Children’s Research Hospital encourages people to form teams and raise money, which resulted in almost $130,000 of funding in 2012. So far this year, the American Cancer Society has used No-Shave November to raise almost $160,000.
Some companies take it beyond No-Shave November. PointRoll, for instance, also participated in Octobeard, eschewing the razor for an extra month in order to support men’s health and cancer research. The staff formed two teams, and the Creative Team and Client Service Team challenged each other to raise at least $1000 over the course of the two months. The winner, of course, will be the team that raises the most money, and at the end of the month there will also be a vote for best beard.
Oreo is a brand that makes excellent use of social media. Given its success embracing events as diverse as the power outage at the Super Bowl, the Mars Rover landing, Elvis Week, and Pride, it’s no surprise that their marketing team would come up with an ingenious way to celebrate No-Shave November. They didn’t disappoint, using mustachioed cookies with clever nicknames in an appealing graphic.
If you want to dress to advertise your support of the cause, companies like Little Mountain Print Shoppe make it easy, with t-shirts that feature hand-drawn artwork promoting facial hair. Others have jumped on this idea as well, with companies like Inktastic, CafePress, and Spreadshirt offering a wide assortment of themed products—from mouse pads to phone cases to clothing, emblazoned with beards, mustaches, and clever slogans. Given the recent popularity of mustaches, this a great way for these businesses to make some money while helping people show off their no-shave pride.
Of course, when you’re the latest big thing, you’ve got a great opportunity to make a difference for a cause. That’s why it’s praiseworthy that the folks from Duck Dynasty have partnered with Corello, a highly favored fashion line, to raise money this month. Known for extravagant facial hair all year long, the men of Duck Dynasty are a logical choice to represent No-Shave November; they’re also a good representation of the Corello brand, which is an edgy, Nashville-based company. Duck Dynasty’s Jep and Jessica Robertson are appearing in Corello marketing efforts, and the designer is giving 10% of the month’s proceeds to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
So what’s the point? Capitalizing on a cause as a way to promote your business may seem a little cynical, but in truth, it’s a great idea. It allows you to lend your support, promote your brand, and establish your company as a benevolent entity, all at the same time. If you’re looking for good ideas for growing your business and keeping up with social marketing trends, 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.
Google’s latest attempt at a social network is getting much better reviews than predecessors Google Wave and Google Buzz. But what can Circles, Hangouts and Sparks do for a company’s online branding efforts?
In this week’s SplashCast, host Renay San Miguel talks to Splash Media social media manager Adam Robinson about what there is to like in Google +, its business uses and how it sets the stage for a battle between the search giant and Facebook over “internet time ownership.”
With over 500 million users and 30 billion pieces of content shared each month, Facebook has surpassed Google as the most visited site on the web. And now, Facebook is offering businesses a new way to approach their social media marketing with their new fan page design. Below are a few of the feature changes and how they will Facebook marketers.
Posting as the Brand
Change: Administrators can click on a button located on the right side of their admin page that says, “Use Facebook as a Page” and Facebook switches to a page focused site where page administrators can now post comments to other pages as their brand.
Impact: This enables businesses to interact with other companies and potential customers as their brand, increasing visibility throughout Facebook with influencers.
Using Facebook as a Brand
Change: When admins are using Facebook as their page, they will receive notifications anytime a new user “likes” their page, posts on their page, or comments on their page. The notifications show up in the upper-left corner of the site, just like they do with a normal Facebook account. Admins can also choose to receive e-mail notifications to let them know about new page activity.
Impact: This will enable admins not using a third party tool to keep track of activity to be more up to date on activity and take your responsiveness to the next level.
Facebook Brand News Feed
Change: You can now like pages as a brand as well as comment on their pages as your brand. Normally your news feed is populated with pages that you have liked as an individual. Now when you switch to using Facebook as a brand, the pages that you have liked as the brand will populate your news feed.
Impact: Networking just became as easy as pursuing your news feed for influential brands and commenting on the content that they are posting. Sharing as the brand is also available.
Marketing in today’s world is all about creating conversation. With the new features on Facebook pages, businesses can engage their communities and potential customers in worthwhile conversations, increasing their visibility on the most popular website in the world.
Take heart: the weekend is almost here. But before the rest and relaxation really begins, consider these headlines from the past week regarding do’s and don’t's, case studies and can’t-miss-examples of social media marketing:
10 Laws of Social Media Marketing
Susan Gunelius, CEO of marketing communications firm KeySplash Creative, writes a great primer on what fundamentals to keep in mind when businesses start dipping their toes into the social media waters. “10 Laws of Social Media Marketing” is a must-read for companies on how they can boost their business by using these tools to help them connect to customers – and help them listen.
Google Vs. JC Penney
The tech blogosphere lit up following Sunday’s New York Times investigation into JC Penney and “black hat” search engine optimization tricks that ranked the retailer inordinately high on Google’s results pages for search terms on dozens of products like “dresses” and “bedding.” The company JC Penney hired to help it with SEO had successfully staged an end-run around Google’s search algorithms before being exposed by the newspaper and an internal Google link-spam team. For its part, JC Penney issued a response denying any knowledge of the tricks.
Nordstrom Buys HauteLook
Flash sale websites give consumers the chance to save big on high-end, A-list merchandise, but only for very brief periods of time and with very little warning. Seattle-based retailer Nordstrom – famous for customer service and a seemingly endless supply of women’s shoes – decided to expand its digital footprint by acquiring HauteLook, one of the top members-only flash sale companies, for $270 million.
Tasti D-Lite Serves Up Social Media Goodness
Many New Yorkers have a sweet tooth for Tasti D-Lite, the frozen dessert maker that started offering up franchises in 2008. A company executive took to the stage at a recent franchising convention to highlight how Tasti D-Lite is adding flavor to its connections with customers via Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and FourSquare.
Any opinions on these stories from the past week? How much damage did JC Penney sustain in its SEO controversy? Do you think Nordstrom can successfully transfer its reputation for customer service to its fledgling digital and social media efforts? Are there other examples of companies using social media platforms to narrow the distance between them and their customers? Feel free to share in our comments section, and have a great weekend!