Connected and opting out

With the ever changing landscape of social media, connectivity and how that is viewed continues to change.  Connecting with long distant relatives was once done via the United States postal service, then through the convenience of a phone call, then email took wave and as long as the relative had an email address, you were set.  Then, social media rose which allowed for photo sharing, commenting, likes, live video feeds, and more.

 

How has the advancement of technology changed human behavior and caused a disconnection in a world that is now so highly connected?

Sherry Turkle, Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, suggested just this in her TED Talk entitled Connected, but alone

“These days, those phones in our pockets are changing our minds and hearts because they offer us three gratifying fantasies. One, that we can put our attention wherever we want it to be; two, that we will always be heard; and three, that we will never have to be alone. And that third idea, that we will never have to be alone, is central to changing our psyches. Because the moment that people are alone, even for a few seconds, they become anxious, they panic, they fidget, they reach for a device”.

The eases of connecting with others far away has alternatively enabled a distance between verbal conversations and causing a feeling of isolation, discontentment, and loneliness.  In fact, in a study done by the University of Michigan’s psychologist Ethan Kross, as viewed in The New Yorker, found that Facebook can make people feel unhappy in How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy.  The shared theory behind this is that “we may start to resent both others’ lives and the image of ourselves that we feel we need to continuously maintain”.

What implications may this have on future brands working to strategically align social media marketing strategies?  Let’s take a look at how outdoor brand REI tackles this issue and works to reconnect members with the love of outdoors and each other.  Black Friday 2016 was the perfect time to reinforce being with family members during the holidays and getting off of social media long enough to do so.

rei-black-friday-final-hed-2015

Image retrieved from https://www.rei.com/opt-outside

Below, is a snapshot of what members received in their email inbox suggesting that the sharing of how they holiday might be spent.  The option to #OptOutside was easily shared via social media sites with a click of the, then embedded image within the email sent, image below.  Encouraging the opting out of going Black Friday shopping, via online or in store, was reinforced with REI’s closing during that day so employees could spend the holiday with their families.  In fact, to take it a step further, the #OptOutside site even offers suggestions for families with kids, pet friendly spots, along with links for specific preferred sports outside.

 rei-email-links

REI works again to reinforce their message, “Time outdoors makes you healthier and happier. And there are so many ways to get out. No need to be extreme. Just find a place near you, then open the door and head outside”, by linking the hashtag on their site.  The idea to get members to then share their images of what was done and how time was spent during this dis-connectivity period was amazing.  REI’s campaign, and the organization itseslf, instantly started trending on social media with images and comments of how time was spent, showing other brands that capitalism and greed are no longer trumping the family card.

Other brands could learn from this and implement their own strategic campaign relieving employees the headaches and heartbreaks of spending the holiday season at work when they could be spending time with family or for personal reflection.  Either way, better than being at work.  I have been shopping on these days and with four kids, I can grab some killer deals.  On the other hand, with four kids, they can remember how we spent the holidays and not what I got them in my absence.

To view a resulting case study, click here.

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Viral Marketing Initiatives

“Viral marketing is the rapid sharing of an idea, a portion of this idea contains a marketing message about buying a product of service”

Creating viral content is a marketing dream come true.  Sometimes it feels as though the stars need aligned on a clear day to achieve this level of exposure, likes, follows, and shares.  Taking your brand or self to the next level to gain a farther reach takes minimal effort and costs next to nothing, if implemented correctly.  Below are five common characteristics of a viral marketing campaign that have been shown to spread like wildfire;

Common interests Everyone knows the movie series Twilight and if not, then you’ve happily spent a significant time under that rock you call home-no offense.  President Trump was die-hard Team Edward. Staying true to form took to Twitter to express his thoughts on Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson’s breakup stating that Robert was too good to take Kristin back, etc.  Why he was so obsessed with Robert Pattinson and Kristin’s relationship escapes everyone but sure enough, the tweets went viral. 

Donald Trump Tweets

View more on this story, click here

Emotional connections- Using emotion in marketing is nothing new, but why does that increase the chances of something going viral?  To sum it up, content triggers an emotional connection, thus more likely to be shared because it elicits emotions of happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, fear, etc.  The more emotions felt, the better chance it will be shared.  The group P.E.T.A., or People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, uses tactics such as these when sending videos to their members.  Videos of slaughter houses, cruel and unethical treatments of animals, and cultural dietary preferences (such as China eating dogs and Spain’s eating of horses).  Their Tofucken video went viral, reminding members during the Thanksgiving season to eat tofurkey.  Click here to view the edited viral video on YouTube.  

News worthy/relevancy- can you relate to it? Is it prudent and you can’t escape the headlines?  Now is the time to share content and videos that are news worthy and relevant to the event.  Studies in web analytics have found that people are sharing content without fully reading it”, thus uses captivating headlines.  With IWD (international women’s day) recently behind us, headlines such as The Most Undervalued Leadership Traits of Women fits the bill.  See what author did there?  Used not only news worthy information but at a time when it is prudent in the minds of readers, with a catchy headline no less.

Sentiment- Exploring how sentiment can make something go viral can best be demonstrated with the positive sentiment created in the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge.  Through social sharing on Facebook, three individual families were responsible for ultimately changing history for social shares through a friend inviting a friend, who then invites another friend, then another, until, well, you know.  Through viral videos, ALS ultimately was able to fund research to find a connecting gene.

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Image retrieved from https://nyahda.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/social-media-marketing-als-ice-bucket-challenge/

 

Controversy No one wants to be bored.  Don’t use boring as a tactic to move your piece into a viral sensation.  Below is the UNHATE campaign from known controversial brand Benneton, featuring highly controversial pictures politics kissing.  Captivating, yes.  Controversial, absolutely!  That is what is so beautiful about this campaign and why it makes a great example of controversial viral marketing.

UNHATE

Image retrieved from https://www.michael84.co.uk/unhate-for-benetton/

Visit more from the UNHATE campaign by clicking here

“Most viral content has a very short shelf life.  Don’t let that deter you.  Focus on creating something that is captivating and emotionally connects individuals by including news worthy, relevant or sentimental themes.  If a picture speaks louder than words than consider including a GIF to convey your message.  “If your idea isn’t viral success, then you’ve lost nothing because no one saw it”.  So what do you have to loose.  Go ahead and give it a go…

Differentiation

There’s a weekend getaway coming up and you need a new tent, sleeping bag, and some hiking boots.  Several stores could fulfill the need for your trip.  Dick’s Sporting Goods (A huge retailer out of Pittsburg, PA) or REI (a co-op based out of Seattle, WA) could both fill these needs for you.  But who to choose?  Both offer easy to navigate websites that are similar in appearance.  Both also have membership programs that are valid for the lifeline of your own life’s line.

How do they differentiate?  Looking at the social media sites for both, you will find that they crushed it in 2016.  Both drive social media efforts towards engagement and sharing within their communities.  Asking for image sharing of weekend hikes, posts of favorite places to visit, and the gear used to do these fun adventures used.  With every similarity, there are differences and the key differentiation for both companies in 2016 was the approach taken on Black Friday.

Dick’s

Black Friday 2016 for Dick’s meant big deals and discounts.  Dick’s used social media to not only let customers in on door buster deals but created the hashtag #GiftThatMatters sweepstakes to encourage sharing of a photo of a product in store that  would enter them into winning a $500 Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card.  645 locations participated in this sweepstakes naming ten winners to showcase other promotional giveaways during the season.  With a mobile app developed and omnichannel convenient pickup, enhancing Dick’s “ability to provide an even wider selection and convenience to our in-store customers, Dick’s arms associates with mobile devices, kiosks and other workstations to offer customers an “Endless Aisle” experience” (Acosta, 2015).

rei-black-friday-final-hed-2015

Image retrieved from REI ADWEEK

REI

REI took a much different approach to social media on Black Friday.  They took their efforts prior to the season with notifications of an offline in an approach to preserve the holiday season and what it means for social responsibility in their eyes.  Setting them far apart from other retailers in the time of year where the norm is “hustle, bustle, shop til you drop”, REI created the anti-Black Friday campaign #OptOutside.   Accompanying this campaign was clickable links sent over via email or on their social accounts.  Encouraging sharing of how you spent your Black Friday or preemptively, how you were going to spend the season.

rei-email-links

The success of the campaign proved fruitful with winning top honors in 2016 at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.   The campaign used 143 locations on Black Friday to pay its 12,000 employees to do what they love outdoors with their friends and families.  Who wouldn’t want to be differentiated from competitors by being known for that as a company?

Reference:

Acosta, G. (2015, November 12). At Dick’s Sporting Goods, Black Friday is all about social media. Retrieved January 29, 2017, from http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/dicks-sporting-goods-black-friday-all-about-social-media

Twitterpated with Blogging

Just as the Friend Owl teaches Bambi and his friend Thumper in the 1942 Disney classic film-Bambi, twitterpated is to be obsessed or infatuated.  Loving what you do shows and being infatuated with mining is my current twitterpation.

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Image retrieved from Home of Service, Defining Best Practices 

“There are an estimated 8 million blogs online and 332 million active users on Twitter, greater than the U.S. population.  So how do you jump into this vast blogging world? With so many voices out there, how do you stand out?” -Sarah Berek

With a vast majority of the population online, why wouldn’t one establish best practices for an organization to blog and tweet.  The mining industy maybe seemingly not too interesting initially, but take a deeper look.  Where would we be without mining?  Just ask the Minerals Education Coalition.  A world without mining would be unlike the world we know today.  Everything is possible because of mining; planes, trains, and autmobiles included.

That being said, it is time to define best practices for blogging and tweeting in the mining industry:

  • Stay consistent-this can be in content tone, a global approach, a simple tweet but be consistent
  • Be responsive-let followers and audience members know you hear them and care that they care
  • Keep posts short and engaging-would you want to read it?  If the answer is no, why are you writing it
  • Humanize yourself-no one wants a robot to feed them information.  Add testimonials whenever possible
  • Customer service skills-this goes back to the old saying of “treat others as you would want to be treated”.  Again, goes back to being responsive and acknowledment
  • Ask for audience participation when applicable-to increase engagment, you must be engaging.  Invite audience members to share pictures from events of yours they attended and entice them to.  It never hurts to offer incentives…

Whenever I am working with our team to host events, there are always team efforts to promote the show/event pre/during/post show.  By using the above bullets to push messaging and engagment techniques, audience members are connected to upcoming shows and events, current global affairs in the mining industry, along with other relevant news within the industry.

Looking back at 2016’s MINExpo, the largest trade show for our global mining organization held every four years, part of our booths success was due to cross functional team members working together to apply these practices defined above.  Creating engaging promotional tweets and blogs was big (if not bigger than our equipment pieces displayed).

Social Media Mining

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Photo retrieved from Girard Brewer

Coming out of the closet, the social closet that is, to plant your company in the thicket of social media can be a tricky venture.  Deciding what platforms can best get you’re messaging to your audience members can be tricky.  Especially if the targeted audience members are defined of business owners, miners, and mining enthusiasts.

If your business is an international mining organization, for instance, then even more challenges arise…

Equal representation of all regions and territories should always be considered.

How do you push content across 11 different regions or leverage messaging?   With the capabilities to push messaging worldwide along with abilities to impact audience members globally, companies need to be sensitive of what is occurring holistically with all regions.  Some crisis in one of the participating regions may impact what messaging should be shared.

Digging deeper, pun intended, to look at a couple of examples of how CRM and bad timing can impact organizational successes on social media could be;

  • Sharing a large charitable donation after laying off hundreds of employees
  • Advertising new openings in locations during a devastating fire that wipes out another location and leaves employees without a job

Mining for a great strategy to engage audience members, within the mining industry itself can be challenging in general but through clearly defined targeted audience can save an organization.  Save them not only time but effort.  Timing is everything.  Content must be monitored as well as comments on Facebook.  If a message is left by a disgruntled member and time ticks by with no acknowledgment or monitoring, the result could be disastrous along with showing less than par customer service.

Identification of relevant content to share about international business operations is also a challenge at times when taking a brand social.  Who is going to translate the content to be shared?  By identifying elected brand ambassadors of the regions operating in, initiatives can be set to share information to the department or person set to monitor and post.

Strategies to use upcoming events and trade shows can also make great promotions and identifying issues that might be effecting their target market and adjust accordingly. I think it will be interesting to watch how companies respond to and change their SM content to appeal to different countries or even within the US.  Balance, although not always easy to achieve, requires more work and effort on behalf of the organization at hand, especially in the mining sector.

 

Social Media Matters

socialmediamatters

Image courtesy of Kara Wood

Building brand awareness in the minds of consumers can be tough.  Especially if you’re marketing products that most consumers would never purchase.  Not only because the costs exceed what most would ever dream about making in a lifetime, but because the need is simply not there.  With a very specific and targeted market, surface mining equipment products are set to help miners purchase the right equipment pieces for their needs.

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Image courtesy of Ezra Siegel in Business 2 Community

Using social media to foster relationships and convey messaging while engaging with audience members is an important element to social media marketing.  With a whopping  nearly 80 percent of social media time now spent on mobile devices.  With the use of Twitter, equipment companies and organizations can push messaging to mobile on how to lower material handling costs or promote the next upcoming trade show or event.  Best of all, tweets can be seen directly on consumers mobile smartphone.

A few features that Twitter offers to the mining industry as an added benefit;

  • The ability to permanently pin a tweet for more effective promotion
  • Customize and personalize messaging to audience members
  • Attach images in Tweets.  After all, a picture is worth a thousand words
  • Add users automatically by specifying an action and adding to list by using IFTTT
  • Gain advancement to competition by using advanced search features

While that list certainly isn’t comprehensive, what can be is the integrated approach in which the industry uses to use Twitter as an advantage point for mobility of marketing messaging.  For example, upon participating in one of the largest trade shows for mining organizations held every four years, MINExpo International, mining leader Joy Global tweeted upcoming information, teasers and sneak peaks to product launches, as well as providing valuable information to the attendees.  Staying connected in real time at the show.

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Image courtesy of Joy Global’s Twitter Page @joyglobalinc.

The use of mobile marketing was a huge plus for tweeting before, during, and after the show is a great way to stay informed as a consumer and as a marketer, a great way to engage.  The success is seen with attendance at shows, MINExpo drew out 44,000 attendees at the Joy Global booth alone and through the use of such social applications such as Twitter, in a mobile friendly fashion.  According to the MINExpo influenced microsite for Joy Global, http://joyglobalminexpo16.com/, 80% of the 44,000 attendees traveled over “400 miles to attend” and “90%” of that came to “see new products ” as mentioned and teased on the Joy Global Twitter site.

The end use of the application chosen is ultimately dependent upon the best strategy aligned to reach your targeted audience members.  Whether it be LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, each serves the purpose of optimizing a real time mobile engagement platform to use as a foundation to place valuable content but for building relationships.  Fostering value through such mobile friendly platforms will ease the access of content published, mentioned, and build awareness along with loyalty.

 

Mining & Social Media

The quintessential tool for promoting businesses in today’s digital world is social media.  What are mining organizations using to engage with audience members and interact in discussions along with networking?  Dependent upon the end goal, many platforms are available for use and aligning the right tools is now more important than ever.  “According to the annual tracking the trends report by Deloitte, mining companies need to start getting serious about social media” (Operations, 2015).

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Photo courtesy of Joy Global

Using pictures, infographics, tweets, and other forms of social media interaction tools, the power to connect brands with audience members is more prominent than ever.  Finding useful ways to showcase operations, inform members of product launches, trends in the industry, environmental efforts, can undoubtedly can be applied to best practices in the social media arena.  Looking forward to find how Joy Global, Fortune 1000 American company that specializes in manufacturing and servicing of heavy machinery used in underground and surface mining, works to solve mining’s toughest challenges.

 

When applying the practices to the social media campaigns aiming to be the viable resource providing articles, videos, and photos to engage and push messaging to connect audience members.  Through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, Joy Global pushes messaging and is therefore ranked number 9 out of 10 for mining organizations you can learn from on social media according to Mining Global.   With the use of Facebook and Twitter to connect and engage audience members with the company as well as promote collector sites such as a sticker collector page and soon to be implemented, a promotional merchandise promotional page, engagement goes up for B2C members.  Twitter and Facebook are also great places to promote upcoming trade show and events that Joy Global is participating in with 9,843 likes, 1,632 followers.

 

Using platforms such as LinkedIn, the B2B audience members can stay informed of articles relevant to the industry, openings in the career sector of the global locations, press releases, along with recent acquisition updates to the Komatsu and Joy Global pages.  Using these tools to promote such informative and relevant information is particularly important as upcoming changes within the organization can cause a riptide effect for the organizations that Joy Global renders services provided.  Further providing value to the consumer while simultaneously promoting brand awareness and harnessing connectivity to the maximum potential with use of such platforms is what continues to keep Joy Global leaders in the mining industry.

 

Continuous improvement and definition of best practices on the various social media platforms is key.  Redefining needs and strategic approaches as industry trends change in the digital arena will push engagement tactics to a new level.  Bringing the organization inside the homes and businesses for a direct link while personalizing the approach is what Joy Global does best.  To visit Joy Global’s Facebook, click here.  To visit Joy Global’s LinkedIn page, click here.  To visit Joy Global’s Twitter page, click here.

Resources

Operations. (2015, May 07). Is social media important for mining companies? Retrieved November 27, 2016, from http://www.miningglobal.com/operations/1463/Is-social-media-important-for-mining-companies

 

 

Social Media Tools for Success

Dependent upon the end goal, choosing the right social media tools can be tricky.  With so many readily available at your fingertips, the world becomes your oyster with a pearl found within every tool.  Defining strategic goals prior to using these landscapes to manage multiple profiles to streamline and consolidate efforts leaving more time to focus on putting your organization, or self, on the social map.  Leverage your social media management by using two of the top rated social media tools reported below.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social works to measure reports and provide analytics, monitor and engage with others in social conversations, and to plan or schedule posts on various social platforms.  What sets the stage for this tool is that it harnesses the belief that customers and businesses should engage freely with options to enhance the levels of engagement.  For example, according to Kenneth Waldman’s perspective on Social Media Examiner, “you can see the profiles attached to your account and the team members who are helping you manage these networks. Looking left allows you to get insight into audience demographics and trends on your account, detailing interactions and impressions you’ve made during the past day or week.

profiles

Untitled. (Diagram). 2016 retrieved from
http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-social-media-management-tools-to-save-time/

See which social media profiles are connected and add other team members to help you manage your accounts” (Waldman, 2016).  Follow the Social Media Examiner on Twitter @SMExaminer.

Another great aspect of this tool is you can begin to use smart words to capture what is trending.  Following mentions and creating content to engage conversations through this tool can be tested out free of charge for a trial period with Sprout Social.  Have questions, take to Twitter and ask the support team by clicking #SproutChat.

sproutchat

Everypost

 Making social media marketing a breeze, Everypost connects all platforms to allow for easy management of social media accounts.  With a simple interface, users can view a dashboard that you can pull visual content from these platforms you manage.  Much like the social media management tool Klout, you can content to reach audience members when traffic patterns of usage are highest.  With five different pricing plans available for purchase, you can choose the correct plan for your needs.  Also with a complementary plan, beginners are welcome to join to discover the wonder of Everypost.

everypost

 

Resource:

Waldman, K. (2016, April 18). 5 Social Media Management Tools to Save Time: Social Media Examiner. Retrieved November 20, 2016, from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-social-media-management-tools-to-save-time/