Posts tagged with “Social Media”

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The ‘Zoolander 2’ Announcement is So Hot Right Now

By Megan Burton



It’s 2015, and the PR industry is certainly changing. No, the press release still isn’t dead, but as our audiences’ news consumption habits and preferences evolve, brands must continue to explore fresh, creative ways to announce new products and share newsworthy content outside of the typical AP Style, inverted-pyramid structured press release of days past.

One such example comes from an unexpected source (which is kind of key, right?): actors Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. In case you missed it, Stiller and Wilson hit the runway during Paris Fashion Week to announce the sequel of their 2001 film Zoolander:



Dressed as characters Derek Zoolander and Hansel, the actors strutted down the runway during the Valentino show, confirming the long-rumored and highly anticipated sequel. Paramount Pictures, the studio behind the upcoming film, further confirmed on Twitter. Absent from Paramount’s announcement? You guessed it: A press release. Instead, Paramount relied on Derek and Hansel to tell the story, with the help of social media, of course. The results have been unbelievable; a Google News search shows more than 6 million clips of the story in less than two days.

You may not have access to really, really, ridiculously good-looking celebrities or a high fashion runway, but you can be successful in sharing your unique message by thinking outside of the traditional-PR box, finding fresh ways to connect with your audience, and embracing social media. Don’t know where to start? We can help.

And no, Derek Zoolander still can’t turn left.

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social media experts are storytellers
At JDPR, we are storytellers.

One of my favorite questions to ask a client is, “What sets you apart?”

It’s the basis of any good story. And especially if you’re targeting earned media (our forte here), you’re going to need a good – no, a great – answer to that question.

So it is with marketing agencies. In an era when everyone’s an “expert” on social media, how is a brand manager expected to know exactly who to turn to?

The truth is social media is nothing more than a new platform for us to tell and shape our stories. Facebook, being the social media powerhouse that it is, gives us little more than a shiny new interface with which to tell the narratives of our lives – often, these days, from inception to death. In fact, “92 percent of youngsters under age 2 already have a digital footprint, meaning identifiable photos and other personal information has been posted of them online,” according to Huffington Post.

Between photos of the college roommate’s newest dog and best friend’s first baby, how do brands cut through the clutter? Isn’t that what everyone is asking?

The answer is simple, and Facebook has upheld this rule time and time again, with each minute change or shift in its algorithm: Enhance the lives and the digital experiences of your target audience – with stories.

Instagram is a visual storytelling, and Twitter, while becoming increasingly visual, is a short-form storytelling. Facebook is a community storytelling, and Pinterest is a project-based storytelling. I could go on, but the point is, obviously, these sites are simply avenues for stories. Harness your brand’s stories and the stories of your consumers – and leverage social media’s tools to do it.

“I promise you, [the companies] who don’t learn how to tell these stories on today’s platforms are the ones who will go out of business,” said the king of social media, bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk.

With more than 25 years of award-winning storytelling experience, the JDPR team is uniquely poised to take the social media world by storm on behalf of our clients. That’s our differentiating factor.

Want to learn more about our unique social media strategy? Contact us today.
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Harness Social Media to Brand Yourself for Job Hunt Success

By: Alex Buchart

It is projected that in 2015, 93% of job recruiters will screen potential candidates’ social media profiles. That’s right, 93% of job recruiters. This means that almost every job you will apply to, a potential employer will be Googling you to see how you present yourself to the world. Additionally, 69% of potential employers have rejected a potential candidate because of what they saw on a social networking site.

Here is some food for thought, why not use social media to brand yourself as the perfect candidate for the job rather than as a liability? In fact, 68% of potential employers have hired a candidate because of what they saw on a social networking site.

We hear about how businesses try to create their own unique brands all the time, but what about people branding themselves? Ever found an Instagram or Twitter user you love to follow because they have so many interesting things to say? Well, that is an excellent example of someone branding themself to be a social media success.

Let me give you two examples of successful “branders,” so to speak, that I have observed on Instagram.

kinoyoga

One of the users I follow, a woman named Kino MacGregor , posts detailed yoga poses for each day accompanied by an inspirational caption. Her captions typically involve a message about how much diligence and hard work it has taken her to reach her level of strength – at times even a decade! With 498,000 followers, I began to analyze her success. It’s not just her ability to put her feet behind her head that is fascinating, it is also her ability to bare her vulnerabilities to her followers that ultimately makes her such an inspirational person to follow. She manages to showcase her talents while reminding her followers that it is continuously striving for success after facing failure that makes you stronger.

courtneykerr

The other user I follow is named Courtney Kerr , who uses bright photos and clever captions to capture the interests of her followers. Courtney’s posts are a little more lighthearted, yet she is similar to Kino in that she showcases pieces of herself as well. Typically these pieces are brightly colored jackets and bedazzling jewels, but it is the way she pairs these together that gives her followers a taste for her personality, interests and fears without even truly knowing her. Courtney also uses quotes, moments of sadness as well as joy that give her followers the feeling that she is a real person who has important attributes to show the world.

A few of my takeaways from these Instagram personalities are that in order to brand yourself you must showcase what you love in a clever, tasteful, soul-baring way. These are not just photos of a woman doing yoga on the beach or another posing in a hounds-tooth coat; they are windows into the lives of other people.

I have used these women as inspiration to advertise what I love in a manner of self-expression. In fact, my Instagram is full of dishes I have tried, places I have been and hobbies I love. These past few months I have begun using my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as a complete reflection of my resume. Anything and everything I have put in my resume, I have attempted to showcase in some form on my social media. Not only does this prove to employers you are not lying, but it also serves as a portfolio to show my potential employers what I am capable of.

Social media is a wonderful way to brand yourself as a cooking connoisseur, a culture junkie or even a music enthusiast. Let your social media accounts be another voice that speaks truths about who you are as a person and what you can accomplish. Harness the things you care about and put them out there in a way that show your potential employers what you love too!

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The Gold Rush to Master Social Media for Companies

By: Jack Evans

The rapid emergence of social media has opened a limitless, digital frontier that gives companies, consumers and friends instant engagement. As a company, implementing an effective social media focus in your marketing strategy will provide an efficient avenue to reach diverse audiences. It is vital to identify your position in the market, what type of content reflects your brand’s voice, and ensure that your company is efficient in the creation of your content. These 3 components make up the core of an effective social media strategy.

Market Positioning- As a company you need to find your place in the market and align your social media engagements accordingly. Generating content that is both socially and brand relevant to your specific audience is essential to attracting positive “buzz” in the digital marketplace. Posting should reflect your brand’s voice, lifestyle and above all else, product. In other words, use a variety of social media forums to persuade your audience that your product is the best, before they even realize they need it.

Content- Your company should focus on creating a strategic blend of posting that is brand relevant and engages your target audience. Show the audience what your brand does, the people your company attracts and the lifestyle your brand promotes. Consumers will ask questions, give shout-outs and post comments at all hours, and it’s vital these engagements are managed with quick responses. You want your audience to not only feel valued, but INVOLVED in your company.

Efficient Generation of Content- Compared to traditional advertising and promotion, social media gives companies freedom to blend authentic and professionally generated content. Because most images are either free or already budgeted in your marketing plan, content generation is simplified and requires little additional cost, if any. Behind the scenes or exclusive photos, imagery that shows brand leaders outside traditional settings, or promoting special company offerings are three simple ways your audience can feel valued and part of your company’s family.

By connecting with the official Instagram of the NFL, you see an example of a highly effective social media strategy that has resulted in over 2 million followers. While in season, this feed is loaded with a diverse posting style that blends authentic images showing scores and stats, on field action shots, and exclusive photos only available on the NFL Instagram. During the offseason we see more lifestyle appeals in posts that reflect social trends, league updates, and a more creative blend of brand relevant fodder that connects a diverse body of followers with the National Football League.

By hiring additional employees or outsourcing responsibilities to a firm specializing in the digital marketplace, your company will see a high return on investment as its reach and messaging platforms grow daily. While you may not see an instantaneous impact in revenue, social media engagements greatly contribute to building relationships within your target market that will drive sales over time. These relationships will grow your brand awareness, cement your location in the market, and result in recurring customers in the long run.

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Applying John Mayer’s wisdom to social media

mecookie via Compfight cc

By Tiffany Deluccia

John Mayer wrote a line in his song “Daughters” that sticks in my head.

“She’s just like a maze where all of the walls continually change,” he sings of a girl he just can’t figure out. That’s what social media can feel like: a maze where the walls continually change.

Just last week, Facebook tweaked its News Feed algorithm (again) to prioritize trending breaking news". A few weeks back we learned Facebook had made changes to favor links over images and videos. What? Weren’t we just doing the opposite of that?

At the same time, Twitter, which has always been about sharing links, has begun featuring images prominently in its used-to-be-simple stream.

Tumblr waxes and wanes in popularity. Then a study says" Tumblr users have the highest median household income, and brands rush towards the gold.

Pinterest and Instagram were ad-free. Until they weren’t".

Keeping up is brutal. As a businessperson, it can be easy to get stressed out by all of the changes. You can’t predict what change is coming next, and as these networks monetize, the supposed “control” we once had over our content reaching our audience is ever slipping away.

John Mayer’s song goes on to say, “Now I’m starting to see, maybe it’s got nothing to do with me.”

Take a deep breath.

This constant change is just one reason (not the most strategic reason, but certainly a relevant one) we tend to recommend clients don’t do all the social networks at once. It’s better to know the ones your customers like best inside and out, keep up with their ebb and flow, noting changes and evaluating everything. A one or two-level maze is challenging enough; there isn’t always a compelling reason to make it an eight-decker.

We can also be your ally. We’re here to help you navigate the changing walls and adjust your strategies, campaigns and budgets accordingly so you can continue to listen to the marketplace, engage with your customers and drive your business objectives.

Photo Credit: mecookie via Compfight cc

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Pinterest’s New Features and What They Mean for Communicators

By Megan Grubbs

Since its launch in 2010, Pinterest has become known as a hub for women looking for wedding planning tips, holiday decorating advice and drool-worthy photos of food. It hasn’t garnered the respect its social media peers have acquired; there are no watchdogs analyzing and experimenting with its changes in algorithms and no national media mentions when it rolls out a new function, but no longer is Pinterest a social network underdog. It’s quickly gaining recognition as one of the top players in the social sphere, and its user base is quickly catching up with the big dogs.

Pinterest is working to shed its reputation as just the “social network of choice for cocktail recipes and succulent gardening.” Recent upgrades to this unique network reveal the brand’s commitment to innovation and improvement, and the massive potential it presents to communicators and social media marketers.



Guided Search
With its new Guided Search function, Pinterest has perhaps forever changed the online search process. Rather than displaying the results tagged with your specifically mentioned search terms, the new Guided Search function helps answer searches that might have more than one solution, helping you to explore new topics, discovering content you may not have otherwise found the correct keywords for. Suggested guides help point you in the right direction, or in a direction you weren’t even aware you wanted to go. Watch the video above to see it in action.

The possibilities for marketers with Guided Search are huge. Gone are days of hoping your keywords magically match users’ search terms. The Guided Search feature takes into account a pin’s board name and unique description, as well as comments left on the post. Your content is much more likely to be shared with your target audience thanks to these changes.



Messages
Pinterest’s most recent upgrade—messaging—offers brands the chance to communicate directly with consumers. Let’s say you have one extraordinarily engaged pinner that consistently pins original content from your website, or regularly repins your brand’s pins—you can send a private message personally thanking that user for his or her dedication and support. Or maybe you’re running a Pinterest-based contest and giveaway—you can alert your most influential followers, who in turn can help spread the word. One caveat, however, is that both users must be following each other in order to send and receive messages, a move on Pinterest’s part to prevent spam.

These new features not only improve Pinterest user experiences, but afford social media marketers the opportunity to reach more pinners with their content while also building relationships and increasing interactions with brand advocates and online influencers. As many social media experts predict users’ emigration from Facebook and the demise of Twitter, I’m calling it: Pinterest is the next huge social network.

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Content Marketing Lessons from Weird Al Yankovic (Yes, Really)

By Megan Grubbs



It’s safe to say that everyone loves a good viral sensation… and that every social media marketer would love to have his or her content go viral, whether a video, an image, even a heart-warming story. The truth, however, is that very little content actually manages that great feat.

Creating viral content is an art form, an arduous, strategic process. So how can you accomplish it? Unfortunately, most content will fail, but take notes from Weird Al Yankovic and his recent viral videos, and you just might succeed:

1. Utilize the best medium for your content and audience. Weird Al’s been in the business for more than three decades, and during that time, has learned to design his music and videos to reach fans in the most effective way possible, whether via MTV in the 1980s or on YouTube and around the internet today. Know where your specific audience is and what they want, and you’re heading in the right direction. 


2. Humorous parodies are often the way to success, a fact Weird Al has acknowledged throughout his career, with hits like "Fat” and “Amish Paradise.” Recent YouTube sensations like “Do You Wanna Go to Starbucks?” and “I’m So Pregnant” have captured millions of views and shares because of their clever interpretations of already popular media. Capitalize on trending topics, and you’ll increase your shareability. 


3. Try and try and try again. Every marketer has experienced it at some point: a timely, clever piece of content you just know will go viral falls flat online. Gather insights as to why your content failed and move on. Fourteen albums and 35-years later, Weird Al has nabbed the No. 1 spot for the first time ever with his new album, “Mandatory Fun.” If that’s not a testament to perseverance, I don’t know what is.