Monday Mashup: It’s all about the numbers.

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If you’re thinking this week’s Mashup is about analytics – well, you’re partly right. Being able to measure the affects you have on social media platforms is important after all! However, we’ll also be talking about 5 mistakes to avoid on various social media channels, 5 tips on using hastags, the number of times you should upload posts and the amount of $$$ a logo can make you. Let the counting begin!

 

New Facebook Marketing research shows what works:

Five noteworthy Facebook findings according to Social Media Examiner suggests that users are increasingly going mobile and paid ads actually help with reach and post performance. Keep reading to find out what the highest CTR (click-through rate) content on Facebook is.

How do you guys feels about Facebook paid ads? Isn’t Facebook a platform for us to essentially promote stuff freely?

amy-icon Amy: When companies use Facebook ads to really target the right market, I think it’s great! I actually enjoy getting sent towards pages that offer me things that I would like to use or know about. The times when these ads don’t work, is when a generic product is blasted out to everyone and anyone. I don’t have a dog, so I have no need to see a doggy daycare ad every day on my feed. It just gets annoying and feels irrelevant. Lesson: Remember to use ads to target the right market. You may get fewer likes, but the likes will come from individuals that really do have an interest in your brand.

 

Is too much of something bad enough?

The amount of times you should update in a day are tricky depending on what platform you’re using (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook). Read this short little article on what is considered appropriate and then decide for yourself!

 

5 Mistakes to Avoid in Social Media

So much to do, and even more to not do on social media! Check out 5 tips on what should be avoided to make your social media voyage a breeze. (Hint: failing to prepare we prepare to fail.)

 

5 Tips for Hashtags

More 5’s! Positives this time. 5 much needed tips on using hashtags so you aren’t #doingitwrong.

What are some of the best hashtags you’ve seen and what are some that have completely failed?What are some of the best hashtags you’ve seen and what are some that have completely failed?

amy-icon Amy: All I have to say is #Keepitshortandsweet. If your hashtag is to serve a purpose, keep it short and memorable so people will use it. I also personally enjoy the long and silly ones as well like  #WhatWould2ChainzSay. Keep it straightforward, or creative. Both win!

 

Infographic pick of the week: Behind the Logo

Ever wonder what’s behind the making of a good logo? Look no further because this Infographic shows you the ropes on how colour, font and the designer make a logo truly impactful.

Fun question!: What’s your favourite logo and why? 

              amy-icon Amy: I love logos that are simple. If we are talking local, Meat and Bread is a great example.  AND as much as I hate to admit it, MEC has actually made a smart branding decision with their new logo (despite the controversy). They explain it well. The original logo with the mountains makes sense to those of us living on the West Coast, but less sense as the brand moves its products globally. Many people use their products within an urban environment and they needed to bring their logo to a place where it made sense to all of their customers, and not just us. It’s easy to get attached to a brand’s logo, but I think this was a good move. Again, a simple logo that gets the message across.

 

Until next Monday, that’s all for this week’s Mashup!

Friday 5: Amy’s 5 Songs About Food!

How can we mention anything at Popcorn without tagging food into it? Amy has taken the liberty for this week’s Friday 5 to find us songs about food. Whether you love it or hate it, take a look and get hungry!

1) Horchata By Vampire weekend – (Always makes Amy want Horchata from La Taqueria)

2) Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk by Rufus Wainwright

3) Lollipop by The Chordettes – (Because the ‘pop’ sound is just too great to not do along with the song)

4) Milkshake by Kelis – (Always a classic)

5) Peaches by Presidents of the USA 

And just because…

Chinese Food by Alison Gold - It’s a terrible song, but it’s so terrible that Amy can’t help but kinda like it. If you haven’t listened to it yet here’s your chance for a good laugh.

 

That’s all for this week’s Friday 5, see you next week!

Your favourite shows, your favourite restaurants, now with the bonus of social media!

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This week’s Monday Mashup is all about how social media affects what we want to eat, what shows we want to watch and how one timely tweet can change a person’s whole experience of a product or service.

I know, Big Brother is watching, but this time he’s loving and he cares!

5 TV Shows Killing It With Social Media

Breaking Bad is officially over – how are you going to fill that void in your life? Wipe those tears because there’s plenty of shows that are trying to engage you not only with content but also with social media! (Hint: if you’ve been keeping up with Dancing with the Stars, you’ll know what I mean. Still upset that Bill Nye was kicked out so soon!)

Social media and TV shows – brilliant marketing or annoying for viewers?

dennis-iconDennis: Discussions and commentary on social media have become the norm for TV shows. It’s only annoying when spoilers are tweeted. In the case of Breaking Bad, I didn’t watch that series, but the series finale was so hyped up on social media that I decided to watch that episode. So in a way, you could say I was influenced via indirect word-of-mouth marketing. For shows that I do watch, the discussions on social media add a layer of interactivity and community, and is very much a part of the overall experience for me.

amy-iconAmy: Engagement for fans is a true way to solidify a brand. When people love something they want to share and talk about that thing. Social media (and hashtags) make that easy. I don’t see how it can be annoying. If you don’t want to hear about anything and everything that is happening in the world around you, whether that be inspiring news stories from another country or updates about the latest TV show, you shouldn’t be on social media.

 

The Future Of Storytelling

Books have been made into movies (Harry Potter anyone?), TV shows have been made into theme parks (kind of want a beer at Moe’s Tavern at Universal Studios), comic books are producing more merchandise than ever (I’ll have Thor anything), so what’s the next step for storytelling? This article provides possible suggestions for the future – you might get to text James Bond and like MI6 on Facebook!

Some of these suggestions have already happened, there are Facebook pages based on movie characters and Twitter accounts, do you feel that these ideas help brands last longer or is it just an attempt at boosting engagement while it’s still in its prime? 
dennis-iconDennis: I love these sorts of campaigns. As a marketer, it’s great when you are able to create an augmented experience that bridges the real-life and digital worlds. If you can make it interactive, relevant, memorable, and fun, while boosting engagement with the brand, then you’ve struck marketing gold right there.

Customers are looking towards social media more than ever to help broaden their experience for a brand – particularly when they aren’t having a good time with it. Read this article on things you should consider when trying to build social engagement, it’s not as easy as posting a couple of tweets!

Being assertive and being invasive is a fine line in social media, what are some tips and tricks that you use to avoid stepping over that line? 

dennis-iconDennis: The key to building social engagement is to be timely and jump into action when it is appropriate to do so. Many times, dissatisfied customers are only looking for acknowledgement that their complaints are being heard. Regarding negative comments, they should always be addressed in a timely manner. Every complaint should be looked at as opportunities to turn angry customers into happy ones. Think about it, these opportunities didn’t exist before social media.

amy-iconAmy: This can be tricky but is an important part of building brand voice online. If someone is asking “where can I find a really good coffee right now?” and you are a coffee shop, but aren’t there so answer, that just doesn’t make sense. You are leaving that open to others to hopefully recommend you, but likely they will recommend others. Sometimes people don’t like having businesses contact them in these situations, but to that I say, OH WELL. If you don’t want to be contacted, you shouldn’t make your twitter profile public. It’s all part of the game, and as long as you are giving people what they want with your engagement, all is good.

At Popcorn we are always discussing where’s a good place for food. Check out this week’s infographic on how much we rely on technology when deciding where to eat!

How often do you use social media to decide where to eat? 

dennis-iconDennis: Whether it’s looking up reviews for a restaurant that I’d never been to, or drooling over a friend’s Instagram photo of his delicious meal at a local restaurant, I fully depend on social media to decide where to eat. I get people asking me all the time on social media for recommendations on where to go eat. People are much more likely to trust recommendations from others than advertisements.

amy-iconAmy: I rarely look to social media to find out where to eat in the moment, but I pay attention for the weeks before deciding where to go. I find it really helpful when I hear over and over about how wonderful a new restaurant is. That just makes me want to go even more, but it takes me time to actually get off my butt and go somewhere new. Social media does take time, as does marketing. People need to hear and see a message several times before taking action, no matter how strong the message is. I also find others sending me tweets quite regularly asking where they should go, so I know it works more in the other way for me!

 

That’s all for this week’s Monday Mashup, happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday 5: #truestory Intern Tales & Lessons

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My internship with Popcorn is coming to an end. To finish, I would like to give you the low-down on this joint. Is this place really all sunshine and bacon after all? Please, raise an eyebrow and an imaginary goblet with me as I count down 5 true stories and lessons from my short time as a social media intern at Popcorn.

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1. It’s my job to “stalk” hundreds of strangers.

There are spreadsheets to prove it. Until this internship, I never realized social media is as much science as it is art. It can actually be very systematic!

2. I had a near-death by flag pole.

If you think social media is a desk job, you’re in for a surprise. Sure, there is always someone hovering over our client’s Twitter or Facebook, but the best social media extends beyond the screen too. Be it planning launch parties (complete with giant decorative flag poles), social media scavenger hunts or trying to creating photo ops for customers. Integration with the real world is where it’s at! And perhaps the coolest thing about working in social media.

3. Something I learned 3 months ago is already obsolete.

I knew that tech moves fast but social media moves REALLY fast. 3 months ago, I read this article about things you should know as a social media manager. I felt so smart after reading it that day but already, two items on that list are no longer relevant today. Stay informed!

4. Vancouver is actually very lively.

Aside from learning about myself and about the marketing world, I actually learned a lot about this place that I’ve lived in all my life. From hearing about all the cool things that the Kernels do, to researching content for clients, I realized there are so many hidden treasures in this city. What does this mean for social media? It means there is always something to connect over!

5. Dream teams are like rainbows.

Every person is a colour, different from the rest but when they come together they glow and make you smile. Clearly I am not a poet. I realized this (the rainbow thing not the poet part) when I went to a client meeting with Amy. Our client’s team was made of individuals who each had clearly very different ways of thinking. I watched them brainstorm up ideas and potential plans for coming months and when I came out, I felt like I had watched magic happen. The Popcorn team is the same. People who, well, complete each other.

Now if only I learned how to diffuse cheesy sentimental moments too.

I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing! Happy Friday!

Monday Mashup – To read this mashup, please watch this ad.

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We’ve all done it: wait 5 seconds then immediately skip over that ad to watch your YouTube video. Sure the occasional commercial can be fun and engaging (looking at you, Old Spice man), but most people would rather be going about their business without having to close, minimize or scroll pass an advertisement. Heads up though – these social media sites below are looking to get in on some ad action!

Auto-Play Ads on Facebook

What we’re all hoping won’t happen might actually happen: Facebook is considering implementing auto-play ads. These ads are said to be inserted into the newsfeed and it will target things you have already “liked” on Facebook. Although there is potential to bring in a daily revenue of $1.5 million for the social media website, might this feature deter you from wanting to log in and update your status? Find out about more details in this article!

Do you find ads on social media sites effective?

nick-iconNick: A truly terrible idea. The irony about this approach is that social media was supposed to be the great disrupter of traditional advertising. Yet, now sites like Twitter and Facebook/Instagram are turning to some very stale tricks to generate revenue. Who knows, if auto-play advertising on Facebook is more than just a rumour, it could be just the thing that send people running to other networks like Google+.

Instagram is Rolling Out Ads

Instagram is also hoping to start rolling out ads with the app in the near future. Still in talks and test run stages though, but keep an eye out for them next time you upload a picture!

Twitter for eCommerce Dominance?

Twitters own monetization concerns aside, there are many arguments suggesting that Twitter can massively influence online purchase. Much more than the other channels. With its superior mobile app, to brands’ ease of leveraging celebrity status, can it be the next big thing in shopping?

Infographic Pick of the Week: 7 Visual Data Websites

No specific graphic this week. Instead, here is a list of amazing ones to satisfy all your needs for deliciously beautiful visual representations of information.

Any sites to highlight or others to suggest?

nick-iconNick: I’d be remiss if I didn’t plug Visual Capitalist. It’s a great place to learn about investing and the world of commodities. Otherwise, Visual.ly is the great aggregator of infographics. Unfortunately, their curation has gone out the window, but it’s still a great resource.”

 

Friday 5: Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

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This week’s Friday 5 is brought to you by Liane! Our new Popcorn Intern!

It’s October and you know what that means: pumpkin flavoured everything, your favourite raincoat + umbrella duo and of course festive planning for Thanksgiving and Halloween! Today’s Friday 5 is about igniting the little party planner in you, here are 4 creative turkey recipes for Thanksgiving Monday and 1 vegetarian dish!

1. Deep Fried Turkey:

What’s not good deep fried? Nothing, that’s what. So why not ditch the oven this year, open up the fryer and have yourself a finger lickin’ Thanksgiving!

2. Turkey Cake:

Don’t worry, it’s not what it sounds like. This Turkey cake may look like a dessert but it’s very much a Shepherd’s Pie inspired dish.

3. Cola Roast Turkey:

Looking for something with a little more kick and sweetness than your average honey and maple syrup glaze? Why not use the pop you have in the fridge as a sauce for your turkey! Seems like a delicious way to help clean out your kitchen.

4. Turkey Fingers:

For the child in you, turkey fingers are a great meal that doesn’t involve the hassle of wrestling with a whole turkey while bringing you back to your kid’s meal days.

5. Maple Pecan Tofurky Roast:

All the smells of a traditional roast turkey with the nutritional benefits of tofu, yum!

Happy eatings everyone, hope you enjoy the holidays!

Monday Mashups: Embedding, Sharing and Getting Creative About It

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Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms are great for customer feedback and promotions, but how can you further integrate them into your own website or blog? This week’s mashup offers tips and tricks on how to make navigating between your site and social media sites smooth and harmonious.

6 Creative Ways to Use Embedded Facebook Posts

You can direct customers to your Facebook with more than just a link now by embedding public posts into your website or blog. Above is a step-by-step guide on how to do it and what isn’t allowed to be done. The article also talks about creative ways marketers can play with Facebook’s embedded posts.

Would you say the added feature of embedding is effective for businesses to further create social puff?

dennis-iconDennis: I love the idea of embedding Facebook posts on websites. I especially see this as a great way to drive engagement with customers who might not be aware that your company is active on Facebook. It’s a big win anytime you’re able to extend the interaction with your audience beyond just your website, as websites generally serve as a 1-way communication channel, whereas you can keep a conversation going on Facebook.

6 Creative Ways to Use Embedded Twitter Posts

On the Twitter side of things, embedding tweets have also been used to enhance content, encourage engagement and create social proof. By simply copying and pasting a few codes, you can transform your webpage into a more interactive piece of marketing tool.

What are some tips in order to prevent your embedded posts from looking like a bit of a spam?
dee-iconDee: Use sparingly! I like seeing them when reading articles about what other people have to say about a hot topic, but if I wanted a list, I’d probably just do a twitter search and read it for myself.
Dennis: If you’re going to embed tweets on your website, I think it’s important that it’s relevant and that it adds value to the content of that page. For example, on a sales page, having an embedded testimonial will come across as more genuine than a copy and pasted one. On an event page, having a feed of event-related tweets can be a great way to stimulate buzz and encourage chatter. Be purposeful, and don’t just do it for the sake of doing it.

According to this infographic, customer service seems to trump the product itself. People want personalized experiences and timely and helpful responses to their feedback. Social media opens a new route to connect with these needs. Go beyond the humour and the promotions sometimes. Think about personalization and strengthening the feedback loop!

Speaking of the feedback loop, if a customer makes a public complaint on Facebook/Twitter, should managers ever respond via private message? (If so, how should the manager demonstrate to other followers that the complaint isn’t being ignored?)

Dennis: A public complaint should ALWAYS be addressed. Whether the manager decides to do so publicly or not depends on the situation, but they should at least publicly acknowledge that the complaint was received and that it will be dealt with. It’s important for their community to see that their feedback and opinions are valued. Remember, a complaint should always be looked at as an opportunity to convert an unhappy customer into a loyal customer. I’ve seen this happen on several occasions.

Dee: If a customer makes a public complaint on Twitter or Facebook, it’s important that the first message is public and an apology. From this, managers should encourage the customer to talk with them via DM/Message to further understand the situation.

nick-iconNick: Yes! To go a step further, community managers should always respond publicly, then take the conversation to a more private medium if need be. It’s important for your reputation to publicly demonstrate competency and empathy in the face of a complaint. Most importantly: Never erase negative feedback (unless it’s offensive somehow).

amy-iconAmy: When customers leave a negative comment, it’s crucial to reply, at least partially, publicly. No negative comments should ever be deleted or ignored (even if you don’t agree). It is much more effective to showcase how you respond in negative and positive situations. Your customers are smart and they want to receive respectful an timely responses to their feedback, both good and bad. Reply honesty and professionally and you will always come out on top. Each complaint is an opportunity to redeem yourself, remember that!

 

What’s Monday Mashups without a little randomness? This article suggests creative ways brands can leverage the Breaking Bad series finale for fun and engaging content. Even if you’re not a fan or if none of the ideas apply to your business, take it as a creative exercise so you don’t miss cool opportunities for your brand!

Breaking Bad, yay or nay?

Dennis: If you do choose to do this, make sure that:

  1. There’s context and that it fits the voice of your brand
  2. You’re not infringing on any trademarks 
  3. You think through how it might affect the perception of your brand

If there’s any uncertainty about any of these points, then it’s probably not a good idea.

Dee: Breaking Bad – yay. On the marketing side of things –  I’ve read some articles before the finale that any advertising spot (30 second ad) was going between 250-400k. It’s amazing what a great story can do for marketing! Breaking Bad has built up quite a following, and being a fan myself, I was quite satisfied with the ending!

Thanks for joining us on this week’s Monday Mashups! Happy Monday!

Friday 5: Vancouver Restaurants to take a Vegetarian To

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All too often, people send me tweets asking, “Where can I take my vegetarian date tonight?”. So, here it is, my top 5 restaurants for veggie dishes in Vancouver.

1) The Acorn – This is the only full veggie restaurant on my list. I feel like just because I am a vegetarian, doesn’t mean I should have to be stuck to restaurants that ONLY offer veggie food. The food here is truly incredible and one that both vegetarians and carnivores will enjoy. www.theacornrestaurant.ca 

2) East is East (Main st. or Broadway locations are each awesome) – Here’s a tip, go and get The Feast! This is basically the most delicious food you’ve ever had, and all you can eat. The flavours coming out of this place are truly to die for. www.eastiseast.ca

3) La Taqueria – Any of their vegetarian tacos are killer. I love the simple Frijoles (re-fried beans) or Rajas con crema (corn and peppers in a creamy sauce) with habanero salsa (the spiciest). Get 6 for the price of 4 on Wednesday and $3 beer on Thursday. http://lataqueria.ca/ 

4) Nuba – All I have to say, is NAJIB’S SPECIAL! Just do it and don’t ask questions. Order a glass of Blasted Church wine while you’re at it. www.nuba.ca 

5) Cafe D’Afrique – This hole in the wall Ethiopian restaurant on Broadway not only has tons of VEGAN options, it’s also mostly gluten free. If you have not had Ethiopian food, it is very unique and served with this spongy buckwheat bread. You eat with your hands, and it is a truly unique experience. I would give this place a try. It doesn’t look like much but it’s worth a visit! www.cafedafrique.com 

Happy vegging out everyone! Enjoy your weekend!

Monday Mashups: Trending Spotting for Social Media Marketing

I have a theory for what makes campaigns go viral (or at least be very good!) It’s part insight into current trends on how/where people engage, part insight into what people care about and lastly a good reason to share. This week’s Monday Mashups looks into articles that will help you get started on finding and utilizing insight.

Viral Marketing from the Past 5 Years

Let’s start by learning from the greatest. You may have already seen many of the campaigns in the article but read and watch them again. This time, think about what the companies and advertisers saw in their consumer’s needs and interests. It’s this understanding of what people care about that make them so successful.

How Restaurants are Using Social Media

Reading research on your industry is a great way to know what is up and coming. A big thanks to Adrian Ver at Noise Digital for sharing the above article with us. The article looks into what kinds of tactics are being used and what kind of content is shared on mobile. An interesting highlight is that location-based marketing in restaurants grew by 11% in the past year. Seeing strong growth in a relatively new tactic (only 27% of restaurants are using it) could be a sign to jump on this as the swell is coming. But then again, is it right for your brand? Let’s ask the experts!

Do you agree that seeing growth like this is a sign to really consider location-based marketing? Or is this only relevant to brands that have “hip” and “trendy” as a part of their brand identity? Could it be too soon to say with this data?

nick-iconNick: At this stage, only trendier, urban businesses are likely to get any benefit from location-based marketing, but there are exceptions. For example, if you own a small town coffee shop, if people from urban centres are passing through or visiting, it may still be worth running a Foursquare special, or encouraging people to check in. It’s a low cost way to gain more exposure for your brand, so why not try?

Inspire Fans to Share Your Stories

Promotional marketing success is all about the reach. Reach in today’s world is all about sharing. We all like to share things that are funny, or touching, or scary, or simply makes us look good. This article uses cases and examples to really dig into another way of looking at it. Talking less about your brand and more about your consumers can get people sharing too.

As a consumer yourself, when are you most motivated to share?

amy-iconAmy: For me to share something, if it’s a contest, the prize has to be so good that I know my friends will be interested in it too. If it’s content, it needs to be something that I personally identify with, that I know will be appreciated by my friends and my social network. Things that are clever and witty ways work for me.

Nick: I’m a little picky about what I share over my social media channels, so I really need to believe in the business to vouch for them online. Unfortunately, there aren’t any short-cuts to get me–or anyone with a similar personality–to share your content online. Either create an extremely badass contest or piece of content, or (more importantly) be so good at what you do that people feel compelled to talk about what you’re offering.

Infographic Pick of the Week: What Part of a Web Page Gets the Highest Viewership?

Where is the best spot for ads on a website? Just how important is the content below the fold? It may surprise you but, on average, readers actually spend more time reading after the fold than before.  The spot where ads have the highest viewability is right before the fold. This is important information if you want to maximize your return on ad spend.

Friday 5: Apps to Help Your On-the-Go Photography Shine

 

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1. Photoshop Express – This a fantastic app for making minor edits to photos. If you prefer a natural look to your photos, then you’ll probably enjoy exposure and sharpening features. Also, the upgrade that includes a noise reduction feature is fantastic (we all know how grainy mobile photos can get, especially in lower light).

2. Camera+ – This is my favourite editing app, especially when I’m looking to up the sharpness and contrast in urban photos. There are a number of quality photo filters and they recently included the option to blend them together. “So Emo” and “Lo-Fi” are my current favourites.

3. VSCO Cam – This is another fantastic app with filters that lean toward lower contrast and a more faded look. Personally, I love VSCO for food and portrait shots. The black and white filters are particularly nice.

4. Lenslight – If you’re in the mood to try some more creative editing, Lenslight is a great way to play with lighting effects. Everything from sun flares to vibrant light streaks. Also, you’re able to layer multiple effects with ease. I find that Lenslight’s effects work best on shots that already have some interesting lighting happening (such as a sun flare or city lights at night). Get creative and try it out!

5. Over – Ever wonder how people add words and quotes to their photos? This is often the app they’re using. Over features a wide selection of trendy typefaces, and some old classics as well.

Have questions? Chat with me on Instagram! @Phanyxx