Posts Tagged ‘ Twitter ’

Affinity Groups and Social Media

In this day and age, social media is running through the veins of not only our personal life, but our businesses as well. Half a decade ago, I don’t know what was more painful…having a tooth pulled or getting a client to agree on a social media plan. That was after, of course, we went through the education process of why a social media plan is important. Now there are websites dedicated to finding your next job position with exciting titles like: “Social Media Manager”, “Social Marketing Manager” and even “Social Media Analyst”. In some cases, these positions even make-up the team of an entire department within a company.

So how is this changing “the game” and how does the interaction take place? We’re glad you asked! Correct us if we are wrong (and please feel free to comment on our Facebook page), but there appears to be a shift happening: moving from a “macro” approach to a more personal “micro” connection…also known as affinity groups. But my dear writer, what do you mean? Glad you asked so we didn’t end the white paper there!

Facebook – Full speed micro!

Facebook is all about friends/“likes” and how to keep connected. This holds true for individuals and businesses as well. Now, for example, we have your average individual on Facebook. They are infatuated with their Miniature Poodle, Miss Fru Fru. This individual could create a page to share their love of dogs or they could even create a page to show their love for Miniature Poodles. This individual chooses neither of these. They choose to create a page specifically for Miss Fru Fru, share it with everyone the dog may or may not have come in contact with, and to show off her amazing lion cut that more than likely completely embarrasses this dog, but still generates the “Awwww” reaction upon passing glances. Along with this, a Twitter account is set up so that Miss Fru Fru can tweet about the amazing nap she just had and how her owners will never find her secret stash of hidden socks she keeps lifting from the laundry basket. This may be diving a little too far into it, but the point stays the same: affinity groups are quickly on the rise within the realm of social media.

Why go through all that trouble? This allows people to connect not just with a type of animal or even specific breed, but on a much more personal, one-on-one level and gather like-minded people together. This applies to advertising and marketing as well. When placing an ad or trying to reach a certain market, you want to get the most out of your budget. You want to have your target clearly defined and connect with them. This can be done through social media. The Hilton Hotels have seized this great opportunity and offer a multitude of Facebook pages for specific Hilton locations, encouraging guests to post pictures and updates from their stay there, forming a company location affinity group.

A little blue birdie sending love and keeping you connected

Another company that is a prime player in the social media realm is JetBlue. JetBlue has been known to respond to most tweets about them in a fairly quick fashion. From tweets about missing sunglasses, issues with confirmation numbers and even as far as responding back with a “we love you too” comment here and there, JetBlue stays connected with its clients through social media by utilizing Twitter’s potential to the fullest. Now granted, JetBlue can’t get to every tweet, but they have a great track record of allowing their customers to feel appreciated individually through personal responses, and not just a tweet blast to the masses stating their apologies. Connections like this will continue to keep their customers happy and loyal.

Current research shows that the top-three social media sites businesses engage in are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you are new to the social media arena, we recommend you have a social media plan that includes a strategy, rules and guidelines your employees must adhere to and someone on your staff dedicating a minimum of 3 to 5 hours a week to keep everything current.

So if you ever catch yourself wondering what Social Media can do for you, then ask yourself, “How connected are we with our clients/customers and how can we build a better connection to shift to a more personal level?”

By Cheryl Parker/evok and Gerald Rollason/Mindspot

Satisfy Your Media Craving—pepper the proper landscape to taste

The way a potential target consumes media changes with the landscape. Due to this ever-changing fact, new and emerging media must be considered, along with traditional media of course, when planning media buys.  These new mediums include online buys, Facebook fan pages, Twitter accounts, seeded blogs, video, gaming, mobile text campaigns, experiential (which is a media category of its own) and many others (being created as you read this).

As an advertising agency, it is vital that we communicate the importance of understanding how messages can be integrated within these new—virtual and actual—areas. However one must carefully consider the product and service type, along with the target’s demographics and lifestyle habits to ensure the “right fit” media strategy and placement. Almost every group is becoming a more mobile consumer, so it is essential to consider where, when and how fast they expect and/or would be most receptive to receiving marketing messages.

The keys to help in media planning are still fairly traditional:

  • Define the target demographic
  • Know the product or service
  • Know the client (target)

Define the Target Demographic:

The better one can define their target audience, the more effective a media buy can be.  It is becoming necessary to look closer—explore psychographic information of the potential consumer as well as the more general demographics such as age, gender and geographic area.  You need to know what they like to do; if they are soccer moms or people who have pets or if they are retired, and customize both the message and the media to reach them.

Know the Product or Service Point of Different:

It is probably obvious that certain products and services are a better fit for some of the new and emerging media options available, while others have a higher success rate on their tried and true traditional formats.  For example, if you are trying to reach a younger demo, a mobile text messaging campaign may work extremely well; but to reach an older, more conservative demo, banner ads targeted by geography and content might be a better fit.

Know the client (target):

Keep in mind, for every rule, there is an exception. Just as with the target market, their will be advertisers willing to try something new and are open to putting their messages in new places; while others will be more cautious when considering venturing into new mediums and strategies before they see that it has worked for others. In advertising, it is as important to do the research, as it is to be the first. Some might say it’s a gamble, other’s argue “calculated risk” is a winning equation that should be incorporated into every media strategy and plan. As advertisers, both sound research and trail blazing get our vote. Further, it’s important to inquire regarding your feeling, as well as the beliefs of any agency partners you currently use or would consider. Media is as important as the message. A great message delivered to the wrong person at the wrong time in the wrong place is just, well…wrong.

It is essential for any agency offering media planning, buying and placing to be knowledgeable about all mediums, not just the ones their current clients use. Further, they should inform and educate the client and all team members (account services and creative) of what’s going on in the ever-changing media landscape. As an advertising agency with clients that run the gamut, we have the good fortune to keep up with all the new and emerging media. We have a living library of emerging media stories that assist all clients with options and ideas of how to get their message out. We’ve found that all our clients, even the more traditional ones, truly appreciate the latest and greatest media trends, even if they don’t end up on their strategy-driven plan.