Ellen’s “12 Days of Giveaways”-Case Study

Ellen DeGeneres is one of my favorite celebrities.  She always finds new ways to interact with fans, while also creating new products and services with her true identity.  In my opinion, Ellen is her own brand and is loved and trusted by millions across the world.  Her recent campaign, “12 Days of Giveaways” began Dec. 3 and instead of only letting audience members have all the fun, Ellen is giving TV viewers at home a chance to win prizes. This specific campaign creates high engagement with the brand (Ellen) and her fans through the use of social media.

Ellen is on just about every social media site: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Tumblr (just to name a few).  Throughout the “12 Days of Giveaways,” she encourages fans to pick a social media site to enter to win the giveaways of that specific day.  Facebook and Twitter are the two main social media sites the brand uses.  Ellen’s Facebook is home to 8,763,785 likes with 516,028 people talking about the brand.  After being on the Facebook page for one minute, I refreshed the page and noticed the brand’s “likes” went up to 8,764,550.  In one minute alone the brand had increased its “likes” by almost 800.  This definitely shows the power of the brand in terms of its social media presence.  In terms of content, the brand posts around four times a day.  These posts include specifics about the campaign and content about who is on her show that current day.   Overall, the brand creates a lot of engagement on the page.  Most posts generate between 1,000 and 11,000 comments-even if the picture is of only a dog.  In addition to Facebook, Ellen also has a huge presence on Twitter.  The brand has 15,157,467 followers with about three to ten posts a day.  Ellen tweets everything from really bad jokes to direct messages with fans.  Nonetheless, with her current campaign, most content generated on her Facebook and Twitter is centered on “12 Days of Giveaways.”

On Facebook alone this campaign has received around 154,000 “likes” with only 11 posts, and it is only day four of the campaign.  Furthermore, this campaign has created around 27,000 comments and 4,400 shares with eight days left of the campaign.  One specific post in regards to “Day 2 of 12 Days” created 42,825 likes, 942 shares, and 8,336 comments. Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 11.02.59 PM

Most of the comments are focused on what fans will do with their gifts if they win while also continuously thanking Ellen for all she does.  For example, one comment calls out Ellen’s character talking about how she brightens up the fan’s day.  This type of comment is one of many featured on the page demonstrating the positive impact the brand has on its customers.

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In addition to creating a positive vibe, this specific campaign has created a very high engagement with the brand.  Not only does Ellen post updates very frequently on her Facebook page, but she also takes the time to create a post about the “12 Days of Giveaway’s” Facebook winner of the day.

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Personally, I think these posts show a great deal of personality, displaying how much Ellen cares about giving back.  I also think seeing the name of the winner encourages fans to continually register to win so that they too might see their names on her Facebook page.  Furthermore, I think it is important to notice that Facebook is only one way to win- there are 11 other ways to win and 11 other ways to create customer engagement.

In addition to Facebook, the brand also created (and continues to create) a significant amount of engagement on Twitter.  From only nine “12 Days of Giveaways” related tweets, there were over 21,000 retweets, and 16,000 favorites.  Many fans would tweet back to here asking to win a giveaway, which Ellen would respond with “consider yourself picked!”  There is also a hashtag used to track the campaign, which is #12daysofGiveaways.  AScreen Shot 2012-12-07 at 12.29.13 AM few days ago this hashtag was trending, causing Ellen to spontaneously give one of her followers a giveaway. This engagement demonstrates that the brand does actually pay close attention to the tweets it receives and is interested in creating a conversation.  The engagement numbers also show the strong social media presence Ellen has and how she is accomplishing her goal of not only receiving more brand attention, but more fans as well.

Overall, from studying this specific campaign, I learned that creating a conversation can lead to high brand and customer engagement.  Customers want to know they are being heard and Ellen does a great job showing she listens by directing certain posts and tweets to fans, letting them know they have won.  When fans see how easy it is to win a giveaway, they continue to post and tweet in hopes that they too will get a shout out from Ellen.  Ellen demonstrates a brand that relies on creating a personality and trust with customers, which I think should be a goal for every company and brand.  Without this trust, Ellen would not have the powerful social media presence that she currently displays. It’s incredible to see how social media can have this great of an influence on the way a brand can market itself.  I think all brands should look towards Ellen when dealing with customer engagement because in my opinion, Ellen is changing the game!

#So #Many #Hashtags

Since its first appearance on Twitter in August of 2007, the hashtag has gone on to do great things.  But it is the people using the hashtags incorrectly that lead to all the negativity.  Furthermore, the hashtag has sneaked its way on to other social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, which has in turn received a lot of disapproval. Many people argue that hashtags should stay on Twitter and Twitter only.

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This post stems from a current article on PR Daily which discuses common hashtag mistakes and blunders.  Although the hashtag has been around for almost six years, people and companies continue to either overuse hashtags or use the hashtag inappropriately.  This ultimately leads to confusion and complications. The most common mistakes involve: over hashtag use, or making an extremely long hashtag.  A hashtag over-use is when people start hashtaging every word in their tweets regardless of the word or significance of the word.    An extremely long hashtag could simply be making all 140 tweet characters into one word and putting hashtag on the front.  These are just two instances when hashtags can be more of a nuisance than an organizational tool.

Nonetheless, hashtags do offer a way to track conversations and trending topics on Twitter. If a company or organization is holding an event and needs a way to follow customer’s opinions or thoughts, a universal hashtag could be used to help with this tracking.  Brands could also create a universal hashtag and include it in all of their marketing efforts to monitor customer service questions.  This would not only keep everything organized but also allow companies the opportunity to respond quickly.

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Although hashtags can sometimes create more confusion than necessary, I think they are here to stay.  In the future I think we will see hashtags slowly being incorporated into other social media sites, allowing these sites to also help with tracking and organizing thoughts.

Social Media Policy at Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls is a “global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries.”  The company believes in sustainability along with employee engagement while also carrying out the company’s values.  Nonetheless, to ensure that all employees respect the company’s values and respect the company’s identity, a social media policy has been issued.

This policy is formally known as a communication policy, but has a subpart which involves the social media policy for all employees.  Overall, the policy is set up nicely and clearly states what is or is not okay when it comes to the company’s name with all social media entities.  First of all, employees are encouraged to fix mistakes as soon as possible which I think is a good idea to include in the policy.  Instead of covering up a fault, employees must admit to their wrongs.  Furthermore I like that employees can use social media but must use a disclaimer that their ideas do not reflect that of the company’s.  Too often do companies fire employees because of social media mishaps, but by clearly stating that your idea does not reflect that of the brand, you can save a lot of trouble.

I did not see anything that was a “lowlight” however there is one thing I would change.  In the policy it states that employees can use social media on Johnson resources while at the workplace (but must use discretion).  Nonetheless, if the use of the Johnson resources (computers, etc) affects employee productivity it is not okay.  I guess my problem with this is that if an employee does not need to use social media for their job, then isn’t every time they use a Johnson computer for social media interfering with their productivity?   I would personally just nix this whole portion and say employees cannot use Johnson resources to update their social media sites, just to erase confusion.

Overall, I think when it comes to social media use in the workplace, companies should try to make everything not so confusing and just erase social media use in the office completely.  Furthermore, I think when it comes to using a company’s name, employees should use a disclaimer but be smart not to post anything that will make their employers question their alliance with the brand. If company’s don’t have a social media policy in place now they better start because social media is not going to be gone anytime soon!

Case Study- Tide “Show Us Your Colors”

Tide has recently partnered with the 32 teams of the NFL on a new “Show Us Your Colors” campaign.  This campaign encourages NFL fans to upload a photo including their favorite team’s colors entering them into a contest to win a trip to Super Bowl XLVII.  This campaign, which was featured in an article on The New York Times, shows fans the evolution of their team’s uniforms, demonstrating that “when colors mean this much, you can only trust them to Tide.”  Overall, this campaign has greatly increased the brand’s engagement with customers allowing the fan’s to create user-generated content.

Currently Tide is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  The brand has 57,698 followers on Twitter with only 3,460 tweets. Twitter also has the most interaction when it comes to this campaign.  Tide encourages followers to retweet or upload pictures of themselves showing their “colors.”  Furthermore many fans have been tweeting at Tide, letting the brand know they uploaded a picture for their favorite team.  Tide has also been tweeting how many days of the campaign are left and tweets pictures of fans.

In addition, its YouTube site has 506 subscribers and 2,051,722 video views.  This site also includes commercials not only for Tide but for the contest as well.  Nonetheless, it’s the brand’s Facebook that really stands out with almost 4 million likes and more than 80 thousand people talking about the brand in both Spanish and English. When it comes to the campaign though, Tide will occasionally post stuff about it on Facebook, but could definitely increase the campaign conversation and content.

The target audience of this campaign is Tide consumers along with all NFL fans who have a passion for a football team.  The audience is not only looking to win Superbowl tickets, but are also curious about the history of their team’s uniforms and colors.  Nonetheless, after further research into comments on social media sites, women ages 25-60 seem to be most interested in this campaign.

The brand successfully increased their customer engagement by encouraging fans to post pictures of themselves (or friends and family) wearing the colors of their favorite NFL team. From just ten NFL teams, Tide engaged with over 1,700 fans.

Consumers are reminded on social media sites, specifically Twitter and Facebook, to post a picture to the contest site to be entered to win Superbowl tickets.  Most of these posts receive numerous comments, retweets, and  “likes”.  One post on Facebook received over 45 thousand “likes”.

Essentially, this contest has really made fans interact more with the Tide brand whether it be with questions or comments about the campaign.  Numerous times on Twitter a fan will be retweeted and/or Tide will further respond to the tweet. This back and forth conversation shows other Tide fans (or non Tide fans) that the brand is more than just a laundry detergent. It actually cares and takes to heart what its fans have to say.

After looking more in depth at Tide’s different accounts I learned the value of having a cohesive message and look.  I thought it was great how the website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube account all shared the same banners and message in regards to the campaign. Not only was the slogan and logo cohesive, but the content on each site was also the same (even though Twitter’s content was better).  Furthermore I learned that when it comes to social media, content really is everything.  Because Tide does not post regularly about the contest, when it does, the content needs to be out of this world. Overall Tide has been doing a good job with the contest and is a good example of a social business.

Heinz Ketchup Serving our Veterans

For the second year in a row, Heinz ketchup has teamed up with the Wounded Warrior Project for the Our Turn to Serve project.  This campaign allows smartphone users to give back to veterans all by scanning a QR code.  Each time a user scans a code, they are prompted to send a thank you note to a veteran.  Heinz then donates $1 to Wounded Warriors.  The goal is to reach $250,000, which is $50,000 more than last year’s donation.

Although scanning a QR code is the main approach for this campaign, non-smartphone customers can also visit the URL on each bottle to send a thank you note.  Furthermore, users can also participate through social media.  For every Facebook or Twitter message customers send with a thank you note, Heinz donates an additional 57 cents to Wounded Warrior.

 This campaign is a great example of brand awareness through every portal.  Heinz is not only using basic advertising on its products, but also encouraging customers to use their smartphones and social media accounts.  In my opinion, mobile applications and mobile involvement are both the future of marketing and community. Heinz has created a great campaign that not only encourages this mobile use but also promotes service and support.

The only problem I can see happening with this campaign is a non-smartphone user not visiting the URL, which is seen on each bottle.  It’s likely that by the time customers are near a computer, they will have forgotten the URL.  I think it would be wise if Heinz advertised their campaign in different places than just on the bottle, such as advertising on social media or various websites.  I know from personal experience that I’m less likely to visit a URL I see during the day than I am if I see a URL when I have my phone or am at my computer. Nonetheless, I think it is a smart move for Heinz to team up with Wounded Warriors to give back to our veterans showing just how great of a brand Heinz is!

Adobe Throws a Punch at Marketers

Adobe recently introduced a new set of ads for a campaign worth $10 million that promotes its social media metrics software.  Todd Wasserman for Mashable writes that the ads consist of marketing executives being physically abused as they answer social media questions with “BS.”  The marketers try to change their answers to prevent the abuse but finally give up, surrendering to the questioner.  This campaign stems from the ongoing discussion that marketing execs use big words and a constant jargon to describe how they measure social media.  Ann Lewnes, CMO at Adobe, says the campaign is targeted towards marketers and communication execs who are angry about hearing this “BS” over and over again in the work place. One of the ads featuring a marketing exec being continuously slapped for his “BS” regarding social media ROI can be seen below:

So, will these ads work? In my opinion these ads are very relatable especially coming from a communication background where certain buzzwords can be more confusing than helpful.  As a student who is still learning all the ins-and-outs of marketing and social media, I am sometimes overwhelmed with all the different terms I hear in class and read.  Nonetheless, I do think these ads poke a little fun at marketers who are just as overwhelmed with trying to get their clients all the answers they want and need. I think we are all responsible for using these marketing words at one point in our life.  However, it really comes down to where we use the words.  Ian Schafer, CEO for DeepFocus, says, “When talking to each other, it can be acceptable. But when they make it outside the conference room, it’s unbearable to laypeople.” If marketers respect this time and place concept for sharing the buzzwords, they might also gain more appreciation in their field.